General terms are available that encompass commonly used terms for patients newly diagnosed. ulnar nerve

General Terms


Proteins are large molecules required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's cells, tissues, and organs. Each protein has unique functions. Proteins are essential components of muscles, skin, bones and the body as a whole. Protein is also one of the three types of nutrients used as energy sources by the body.

progressive muscular atrophy

A progressive neurological disease in which the lower motor nerve cells (motor neurons) deteriorate. PMA is not rapidly progressive. What is PMA? PMA affects only the lower motor neurons, causing atrophy and fasciculations. PMA is noted by an absence of upper motor neuron difficulties such as spasticity, brisk reflexes, or the Babinski sign.

progressive bulbar palsy

A condition that begins with difficulties in speaking, chewing and swallowing due to lower motor nerve cell (neuron) deterioration. This disorder affects about 25 percent of all people with ALS. The average onset of symptoms is usually 50-70 years of age.

primary lateral sclerosis

A progressive neurological disease in which the upper motor nerve cells deteriorate. If the lower motor neurons are not affected within two years, the disease usually remains a purely upper motor disease.

positron emission tomography scan

A computer-based imaging technique that provides a picture of the brain's activity rather than its structure. The technique detects levels of injected glucose labeled with a radioactive tracer.

pluripotent stem cells

Human pluripotent stem cells are a unique scientific and medical resource. They can develop into most of the specialized cells and tissues of the body, such as muscle cells, nerve cells, liver cells, and blood cells, and they are self-renewing, making them readily available for research, and potentially, for treatment purposes.


The expression of the genes present in an individual. This may be directly observable (eye color) or apparent only with specific tests (blood type). Some phenotypes such as the blood groups are completely determined by heredity, while others are readily altered by environmental agents.


The study of drugs and their origin, nature, properties and effects upon living organisms.

PEG tube

Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube - a tube placed directly into the stomach through the abdominal wall to provide another way to receive nourishment and liquids.


The name given to a group of disorders with similar features -- four primary symptoms (tremor, rigidity, postural instability, and bradykinesia) that are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.