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)Superoxide Dismutase: An oxidoreductase that catalyzes the reaction between superoxide anions and hydrogen to yield molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. The enzyme protects the cell against dangerous levels of superoxide. EC 220.127.116.11.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)Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.RNA-Binding Protein FUS: A multifunctional heterogeneous-nuclear ribonucleoprotein that may play a role in homologous DNA pairing and recombination. The N-terminal portion of protein is a potent transcriptional activator, while the C terminus is required for RNA binding. The name FUS refers to the fact that genetic recombination events result in fusion oncogene proteins (ONCOGENE PROTEINS, FUSION) that contain the N-terminal region of this protein. These fusion proteins have been found in myxoid liposarcoma (LIPOSARCOMA, MYXOID) and acute myeloid leukemia.Multiple Sclerosis: An autoimmune disorder mainly affecting young adults and characterized by destruction of myelin in the central nervous system. Pathologic findings include multiple sharply demarcated areas of demyelination throughout the white matter of the central nervous system. Clinical manifestations include visual loss, extra-ocular movement disorders, paresthesias, loss of sensation, weakness, dysarthria, spasticity, ataxia, and bladder dysfunction. The usual pattern is one of recurrent attacks followed by partial recovery (see MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, RELAPSING-REMITTING), but acute fulminating and chronic progressive forms (see MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE) also occur. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p903)Spinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.DNA Repeat Expansion: An increase number of repeats of a genomic, tandemly repeated DNA sequence from one generation to the next.Frontotemporal Dementia: The most common clinical form of FRONTOTEMPORAL LOBAR DEGENERATION, this dementia presents with personality and behavioral changes often associated with disinhibition, apathy, and lack of insight.Guam: An island in Micronesia, east of the Philippines, the largest and southernmost of the Marianas. Its capital is Agana. It was discovered by Magellan in 1521 and occupied by Spain in 1565. They ceded it to the United States in 1898. It is an unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Department of the Interior since 1950. The derivation of the name Guam is in dispute. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p471)Riluzole: A glutamate antagonist (RECEPTORS, GLUTAMATE) used as an anticonvulsant (ANTICONVULSANTS) and to prolong the survival of patients with AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS.Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration: Heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by frontal and temporal lobe atrophy associated with neuronal loss, gliosis, and dementia. Patients exhibit progressive changes in social, behavioral, and/or language function. Multiple subtypes or forms are recognized based on presence or absence of TAU PROTEIN inclusions. FTLD includes three clinical syndromes: FRONTOTEMPORAL DEMENTIA, semantic dementia, and PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE NONFLUENT APHASIA.Inclusion Bodies: A generic term for any circumscribed mass of foreign (e.g., lead or viruses) or metabolically inactive materials (e.g., ceroid or MALLORY BODIES), within the cytoplasm or nucleus of a cell. Inclusion bodies are in cells infected with certain filtrable viruses, observed especially in nerve, epithelial, or endothelial cells. (Stedman, 25th ed)Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Nerve Degeneration: Loss of functional activity and trophic degeneration of nerve axons and their terminal arborizations following the destruction of their cells of origin or interruption of their continuity with these cells. The pathology is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases. Often the process of nerve degeneration is studied in research on neuroanatomical localization and correlation of the neurophysiology of neural pathways.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Neurodegenerative Diseases: Hereditary and sporadic conditions which are characterized by progressive nervous system dysfunction. These disorders are often associated with atrophy of the affected central or peripheral nervous system structures.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Fasciculation: Involuntary contraction of the muscle fibers innervated by a motor unit. Fasciculations can often by visualized and take the form of a muscle twitch or dimpling under the skin, but usually do not generate sufficient force to move a limb. They may represent a benign condition or occur as a manifestation of MOTOR NEURON DISEASE or PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1294)TDP-43 Proteinopathies: Diseases characterized by the presence of abnormally phosphorylated, ubiquitinated, and cleaved DNA-binding protein TDP-43 in affected brain and spinal cord. Inclusions of the pathologic protein in neurons and glia, without the presence of AMYLOID, is the major feature of these conditions, thus making these proteinopathies distinct from most other neurogenerative disorders in which protein misfolding leads to brain amyloidosis. Both frontotemporal lobar degeneration and AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS exhibit this common method of pathogenesis and thus they may represent two extremes of a continuous clinicopathological spectrum of one disease.Anterior Horn Cells: MOTOR NEURONS in the anterior (ventral) horn of the SPINAL CORD which project to SKELETAL MUSCLES.Sclerosis: A pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve.Bulbar Palsy, Progressive: A motor neuron disease marked by progressive weakness of the muscles innervated by cranial nerves of the lower brain stem. Clinical manifestations include dysarthria, dysphagia, facial weakness, tongue weakness, and fasciculations of the tongue and facial muscles. The adult form of the disease is marked initially by bulbar weakness which progresses to involve motor neurons throughout the neuroaxis. Eventually this condition may become indistinguishable from AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS. Fazio-Londe syndrome is an inherited form of this illness which occurs in children and young adults. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1091; Brain 1992 Dec;115(Pt 6):1889-1900)Neurofilament Proteins: Type III intermediate filament proteins that assemble into neurofilaments, the major cytoskeletal element in nerve axons and dendrites. They consist of three distinct polypeptides, the neurofilament triplet. Types I, II, and IV intermediate filament proteins form other cytoskeletal elements such as keratins and lamins. It appears that the metabolism of neurofilaments is disturbed in Alzheimer's disease, as indicated by the presence of neurofilament epitopes in the neurofibrillary tangles, as well as by the severe reduction of the expression of the gene for the light neurofilament subunit of the neurofilament triplet in brains of Alzheimer's patients. (Can J Neurol Sci 1990 Aug;17(3):302)Disease Progression: The worsening of a disease over time. This concept is most often used for chronic and incurable diseases where the stage of the disease is an important determinant of therapy and prognosis.Rats, Transgenic: Laboratory rats that have been produced from a genetically manipulated rat EGG or rat EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN. They contain genes from another species.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Age of Onset: The age, developmental stage, or period of life at which a disease or the initial symptoms or manifestations of a disease appear in an individual.Tuberous Sclerosis: Autosomal dominant neurocutaneous syndrome classically characterized by MENTAL RETARDATION; EPILEPSY; and skin lesions (e.g., adenoma sebaceum and hypomelanotic macules). There is, however, considerable heterogeneity in the neurologic manifestations. It is also associated with cortical tuber and HAMARTOMAS formation throughout the body, especially the heart, kidneys, and eyes. Mutations in two loci TSC1 and TSC2 that encode hamartin and tuberin, respectively, are associated with the disease.Lithium Carbonate: A lithium salt, classified as a mood-stabilizing agent. Lithium ion alters the metabolism of BIOGENIC MONOAMINES in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, and affects multiple neurotransmission systems.Mutation, Missense: A mutation in which a codon is mutated to one directing the incorporation of a different amino acid. This substitution may result in an inactive or unstable product. (From A Dictionary of Genetics, King & Stansfield, 5th ed)Cycas: A plant genus of the family Cycadaceae, order Cycadales, class Cycadopsida, division CYCADOPHYTA of palm-like trees. It is a source of CYCASIN, the beta-D-glucoside of methylazoxymethanol.Astrocytes: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system - the largest and most numerous neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes (from "star" cells) are irregularly shaped with many long processes, including those with "end feet" which form the glial (limiting) membrane and directly and indirectly contribute to the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER. They regulate the extracellular ionic and chemical environment, and "reactive astrocytes" (along with MICROGLIA) respond to injury.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Neuroprotective Agents: Drugs intended to prevent damage to the brain or spinal cord from ischemia, stroke, convulsions, or trauma. Some must be administered before the event, but others may be effective for some time after. They act by a variety of mechanisms, but often directly or indirectly minimize the damage produced by endogenous excitatory amino acids.Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 2: A glutamate plasma membrane transporter protein found in ASTROCYTES and in the LIVER.DNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind to DNA. The family includes proteins which bind to both double- and single-stranded DNA and also includes specific DNA binding proteins in serum which can be used as markers for malignant diseases.Microglia: The third type of glial cell, along with astrocytes and oligodendrocytes (which together form the macroglia). Microglia vary in appearance depending on developmental stage, functional state, and anatomical location; subtype terms include ramified, perivascular, ameboid, resting, and activated. Microglia clearly are capable of phagocytosis and play an important role in a wide spectrum of neuropathologies. They have also been suggested to act in several other roles including in secretion (e.g., of cytokines and neural growth factors), in immunological processing (e.g., antigen presentation), and in central nervous system development and remodeling.Pyramidal Tracts: Fibers that arise from cells within the cerebral cortex, pass through the medullary pyramid, and descend in the spinal cord. Many authorities say the pyramidal tracts include both the corticospinal and corticobulbar tracts.Pseudobulbar Palsy: A syndrome characterized by DYSARTHRIA, dysphagia, dysphonia, impairment of voluntary movements of tongue and facial muscles, and emotional lability. This condition is caused by diseases that affect the motor fibers that travel from the cerebral cortex to the lower BRAIN STEM (i.e., corticobulbar tracts); including MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS; MOTOR NEURON DISEASE; and CEREBROVASCULAR DISORDERS. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p489)Mutant Proteins: Proteins produced from GENES that have acquired MUTATIONS.Sialorrhea: Increased salivary flow.Rotarod Performance Test: A performance test based on forced MOTOR ACTIVITY on a rotating rod, usually by a rodent. Parameters include the riding time (seconds) or endurance. Test is used to evaluate balance and coordination of the subjects, particular in experimental animal models for neurological disorders and drug effects.Axons: Nerve fibers that are capable of rapidly conducting impulses away from the neuron cell body.Noninvasive Ventilation: Techniques for administering artificial respiration without the need for INTRATRACHEAL INTUBATION.Amino Acid Substitution: The naturally occurring or experimentally induced replacement of one or more AMINO ACIDS in a protein with another. If a functionally equivalent amino acid is substituted, the protein may retain wild-type activity. Substitution may also diminish, enhance, or eliminate protein function. Experimentally induced substitution is often used to study enzyme activities and binding site properties.Ribonuclease, Pancreatic: An enzyme that catalyzes the endonucleolytic cleavage of pancreatic ribonucleic acids to 3'-phosphomono- and oligonucleotides ending in cytidylic or uridylic acids with 2',3'-cyclic phosphate intermediates. EC 18.104.22.168.Axonal Transport: The directed transport of ORGANELLES and molecules along nerve cell AXONS. Transport can be anterograde (from the cell body) or retrograde (toward the cell body). (Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 3d ed, pG3)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.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Animals, Genetically Modified: ANIMALS whose GENOME has been altered by GENETIC ENGINEERING, or their offspring.Muscle Weakness: A vague complaint of debility, fatigue, or exhaustion attributable to weakness of various muscles. The weakness can be characterized as subacute or chronic, often progressive, and is a manifestation of many muscle and neuromuscular diseases. (From Wyngaarden et al., Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p2251)Mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive RIBOSOMES, transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER); AMINO ACYL T RNA SYNTHETASES; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs (RNA, MESSENGER). Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Amino Acids, DiaminoCell Death: The termination of the cell's ability to carry out vital functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and adaptability.Peripherins: Type III intermediate filament proteins expressed mainly in neurons of the peripheral and CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEMS. Peripherins are implicated in neurite elongation during development and axonal regeneration after injury.Protein Folding: Processes involved in the formation of TERTIARY PROTEIN STRUCTURE.Scleroderma, Systemic: A chronic multi-system disorder of CONNECTIVE TISSUE. It is characterized by SCLEROSIS in the SKIN, the LUNGS, the HEART, the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT, the KIDNEYS, and the MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM. Other important features include diseased small BLOOD VESSELS and AUTOANTIBODIES. The disorder is named for its most prominent feature (hard skin), and classified into subsets by the extent of skin thickening: LIMITED SCLERODERMA and DIFFUSE SCLERODERMA.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Electromyography: Recording of the changes in electric potential of muscle by means of surface or needle electrodes.Laughter: An involuntary expression of merriment and pleasure; it includes the patterned motor responses as well as the inarticulate vocalization.Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Non-invasive method of demonstrating internal anatomy based on the principle that atomic nuclei in a strong magnetic field absorb pulses of radiofrequency energy and emit them as radiowaves which can be reconstructed into computerized images. The concept includes proton spin tomographic techniques.Dementia: An acquired organic mental disorder with loss of intellectual abilities of sufficient severity to interfere with social or occupational functioning. The dysfunction is multifaceted and involves memory, behavior, personality, judgment, attention, spatial relations, language, abstract thought, and other executive functions. The intellectual decline is usually progressive, and initially spares the level of consciousness.Neuromuscular Junction: The synapse between a neuron and a muscle.Nerve Tissue ProteinsNeuroglia: The non-neuronal cells of the nervous system. They not only provide physical support, but also respond to injury, regulate the ionic and chemical composition of the extracellular milieu, participate in the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER and BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER, form the myelin insulation of nervous pathways, guide neuronal migration during development, and exchange metabolites with neurons. Neuroglia have high-affinity transmitter uptake systems, voltage-dependent and transmitter-gated ion channels, and can release transmitters, but their role in signaling (as in many other functions) is unclear.Central Nervous System: The main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges.Parkinson Disease: A progressive, degenerative neurologic disease characterized by a TREMOR that is maximal at rest, retropulsion (i.e. a tendency to fall backwards), rigidity, stooped posture, slowness of voluntary movements, and a masklike facial expression. Pathologic features include loss of melanin containing neurons in the substantia nigra and other pigmented nuclei of the brainstem. LEWY BODIES are present in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus but may also be found in a related condition (LEWY BODY DISEASE, DIFFUSE) characterized by dementia in combination with varying degrees of parkinsonism. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1059, pp1067-75)Pedigree: The record of descent or ancestry, particularly of a particular condition or trait, indicating individual family members, their relationships, and their status with respect to the trait or condition.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)Communication Aids for Disabled: Equipment that provides mentally or physically disabled persons with a means of communication. The aids include display boards, typewriters, cathode ray tubes, computers, and speech synthesizers. The output of such aids includes written words, artificial speech, language signs, Morse code, and pictures.Copper: A heavy metal trace element with the atomic symbol Cu, atomic number 29, and atomic weight 63.55.Mice, Inbred C57BLTracheostomy: Surgical formation of an opening into the trachea through the neck, or the opening so created.ItalyGlial Fibrillary Acidic Protein: An intermediate filament protein found only in glial cells or cells of glial origin. MW 51,000.Gliosis: The production of a dense fibrous network of neuroglia; includes astrocytosis, which is a proliferation of astrocytes in the area of a degenerative lesion.Muscle, Skeletal: A subtype of striated muscle, attached by TENDONS to the SKELETON. Skeletal muscles are innervated and their movement can be consciously controlled. They are also called voluntary muscles.Glutamic Acid: A non-essential amino acid naturally occurring in the L-form. Glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Chromosomes, Human, Pair 9: A specific pair of GROUP C CHROMSOMES of the human chromosome classification.Ubiquitin: A highly conserved 76-amino acid peptide universally found in eukaryotic cells that functions as a marker for intracellular PROTEIN TRANSPORT and degradation. Ubiquitin becomes activated through a series of complicated steps and forms an isopeptide bond to lysine residues of specific proteins within the cell. These "ubiquitinated" proteins can be recognized and degraded by proteosomes or be transported to specific compartments within the cell.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Atrophy: Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes.Motor Cortex: Area of the FRONTAL LOBE concerned with primary motor control located in the dorsal PRECENTRAL GYRUS immediately anterior to the central sulcus. It is comprised of three areas: the primary motor cortex located on the anterior paracentral lobule on the medial surface of the brain; the premotor cortex located anterior to the primary motor cortex; and the supplementary motor area located on the midline surface of the hemisphere anterior to the primary motor cortex.Genetic Predisposition to Disease: A latent susceptibility to disease at the genetic level, which may be activated under certain conditions.Pyrazolones: Compounds with a five-membered heterocyclic ring with two nitrogens and a keto OXYGEN. Some are inhibitors of TNF-ALPHA production.Respiratory Insufficiency: Failure to adequately provide oxygen to cells of the body and to remove excess carbon dioxide from them. (Stedman, 25th ed)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)Oxidative Stress: A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products (Sies, Oxidative Stress, 1991, pxv-xvi).Nervous System Diseases: Diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system. This includes disorders of the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscle.Glycine: A non-essential amino acid. It is found primarily in gelatin and silk fibroin and used therapeutically as a nutrient. It is also a fast inhibitory neurotransmitter.Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive: A form of multiple sclerosis characterized by a progressive deterioration in neurologic function which is in contrast to the more typical relapsing remitting form. If the clinical course is free of distinct remissions, it is referred to as primary progressive multiple sclerosis. When the progressive decline is punctuated by acute exacerbations, it is referred to as progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis. The term secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is used when relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis evolves into the chronic progressive form. (From Ann Neurol 1994;36 Suppl:S73-S79; Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp903-914)Cell Survival: The span of viability of a cell characterized by the capacity to perform certain functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, some form of responsiveness, and adaptability.Proteins: Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Neuroimaging: Non-invasive methods of visualizing the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, especially the brain, by various imaging modalities.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.