These are medical drugs often used by patients with ALS or MND.

Medical and Medicine Terms

Brisk Reflexes

Brisk reflexes in relation to ALS describe a condition whereby the upper motor nerve cells have become deteriorated (specific to neurons). Globally, brisk reflexes suggest an abnormality of the UMN or pyramidal tract, while decreased reflexes suggest abnormality in the anterior horn, nerve, or motor end plate. A reflex hammer is used for this testing.

Percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy

This is a type of feeding tube that goes through the skin into the stomach and is called a gastrostomy or percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ). Feeding tubes are used by people that cannot chew and swallow on their own. Individuals with ALS, in the late stages of ALS, often require feeding tubes to continue to receive proper nourishment.


An orthotist is a clinician involved with the assessment, fabrication, design, evaluation of orthoses, and, or in addition to, can assist in the formulation of orthoses. An orthosis(ses) is a device that is intended to mechanically compensate for a pathological condition.


An orthotic is a device, splint, apparatus, support or brace that is externally applied and used to control the position or function of a body part. Examples include neck collars, splints, power chairs, wrist aides, etc. Orthotics are created by and often prescribed by a clinician called an Orthotist.

Vital Capacity

The maximum amount of air that can be expelled from the lungs after a maximum drawing of air into the lungs, measured by a spirometer and then scored as a percentage.


A spirometer is an apparatus for measuring the volume of air inhaled and exhaled by the lungs. A spirometer is a precision differential pressure transducer for the measurements of respiration flow rates in animals and humans. It records the amount and rate of air breathed, in and out, over a specified period of time.


The brainstem is the lowest part of the brain which joins with the spinal cord, providing the major connection and communication pathway by which the upper realms of the brain send information, or transmissions, to, and receive information from the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. The brainstem consist of the medulla oblongata, midbrain, and pons.


A procedure that uses dye injected into the spinal canal to make the structure clearly visible on x-rays.

pyramidal pathway

A collection of nerve tracts that travel from the cerebral cortex through the pyramid of the medulla oblongata in the brainstem to the spinal cord. Within the pyramid of the medulla, fibers cross from one side of the brain to the opposite side of the spinal cord; the pyramidal pathway is intact in Parkinson's disease.


Rays of energy. The term "radiation" also refers to the use of energy waves to diagnose or to treat disease.