Anterior Horn Cells: MOTOR NEURONS in the anterior (ventral) horn of the SPINAL CORD which project to SKELETAL MUSCLES.Spinal Muscular Atrophies of Childhood: A group of recessively inherited diseases that feature progressive muscular atrophy and hypotonia. They are classified as type I (Werdnig-Hoffman disease), type II (intermediate form), and type III (Kugelberg-Welander disease). Type I is fatal in infancy, type II has a late infantile onset and is associated with survival into the second or third decade. Type III has its onset in childhood, and is slowly progressive. (J Med Genet 1996 Apr:33(4):281-3)Muscular Atrophy, Spinal: A group of disorders marked by progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord resulting in weakness and muscular atrophy, usually without evidence of injury to the corticospinal tracts. Diseases in this category include Werdnig-Hoffmann disease and later onset SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD, most of which are hereditary. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)Neuronal Apoptosis-Inhibitory Protein: An inhibitor of apoptosis protein that was initially identified during analysis of CHROMOSOME DELETIONS associated with SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY. Naip contains a nucleotide binding oligomerization domain and a carboxy-terminal LEUCINE rich repeat.SMN Complex Proteins: A complex of proteins that assemble the SNRNP CORE PROTEINS into a core structure that surrounds a highly conserved RNA sequence found in SMALL NUCLEAR RNA. They are found localized in the GEMINI OF COILED BODIES and in the CYTOPLASM. The SMN complex is named after the Survival of Motor Neuron Complex Protein 1, which is a critical component of the complex.Spinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.Survival of Motor Neuron 1 Protein: A SMN complex protein that is essential for the function of the SMN protein complex. In humans the protein is encoded by a single gene found near the inversion telomere of a large inverted region of CHROMOSOME 5. Mutations in the gene coding for survival of motor neuron 1 protein may result in SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD.Spinal Cord Diseases: Pathologic conditions which feature SPINAL CORD damage or dysfunction, including disorders involving the meninges and perimeningeal spaces surrounding the spinal cord. Traumatic injuries, vascular diseases, infections, and inflammatory/autoimmune processes may affect the spinal cord.Muscular Atrophy: Derangement in size and number of muscle fibers occurring with aging, reduction in blood supply, or following immobilization, prolonged weightlessness, malnutrition, and particularly in denervation.Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.Electromyography: Recording of the changes in electric potential of muscle by means of surface or needle electrodes.HornsPosterior Horn Cells: Neurons in the SPINAL CORD DORSAL HORN whose cell bodies and processes are confined entirely to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. They receive collateral or direct terminations of dorsal root fibers. They send their axons either directly to ANTERIOR HORN CELLS or to the WHITE MATTER ascending and descending longitudinal fibers.Menisci, Tibial: The interarticular fibrocartilages of the superior surface of the tibia.Arthrogryposis: Persistent flexure or contracture of a joint.Paralysis: A general term most often used to describe severe or complete loss of muscle strength due to motor system disease from the level of the cerebral cortex to the muscle fiber. This term may also occasionally refer to a loss of sensory function. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p45)Neuromuscular Diseases: A general term encompassing lower MOTOR NEURON DISEASE; PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES; and certain MUSCULAR DISEASES. Manifestations include MUSCLE WEAKNESS; FASCICULATION; muscle ATROPHY; SPASM; MYOKYMIA; MUSCLE HYPERTONIA, myalgias, and MUSCLE HYPOTONIA.Motor Neuron Disease: Diseases characterized by a selective degeneration of the motor neurons of the spinal cord, brainstem, or motor cortex. Clinical subtypes are distinguished by the major site of degeneration. In AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS there is involvement of upper, lower, and brainstem motor neurons. In progressive muscular atrophy and related syndromes (see MUSCULAR ATROPHY, SPINAL) the motor neurons in the spinal cord are primarily affected. With progressive bulbar palsy (BULBAR PALSY, PROGRESSIVE), the initial degeneration occurs in the brainstem. In primary lateral sclerosis, the cortical neurons are affected in isolation. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A degenerative disorder affecting upper MOTOR NEURONS in the brain and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and SPINAL CORD. Disease onset is usually after the age of 50 and the process is usually fatal within 3 to 6 years. Clinical manifestations include progressive weakness, atrophy, FASCICULATION, hyperreflexia, DYSARTHRIA, dysphagia, and eventual paralysis of respiratory function. Pathologic features include the replacement of motor neurons with fibrous ASTROCYTES and atrophy of anterior SPINAL NERVE ROOTS and corticospinal tracts. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1089-94)Spinal Nerve Roots: Paired bundles of NERVE FIBERS entering and leaving the SPINAL CORD at each segment. The dorsal and ventral nerve roots join to form the mixed segmental spinal nerves. The dorsal roots are generally afferent, formed by the central projections of the spinal (dorsal root) ganglia sensory cells, and the ventral roots are efferent, comprising the axons of spinal motor and PREGANGLIONIC AUTONOMIC FIBERS.Neural Conduction: The propagation of the NERVE IMPULSE along the nerve away from the site of an excitation stimulus.