The purpose of this protocol is to develop and maintain a clinical findings data bank including diagnostic evaluations obtained from medical records sent from prior medical evaluations, diagnostic intake evaluations and follow-up care in the Methodist Neurological Institute and MDA/ALS clinic. Since ALS is a rare disease (as defined by the National Organization for Rare Disorders), it is difficult to obtain the volume of biological specimens or clinical records required for a valid experiment without a data bank. The existence of such a bank would allow the availability of comparison for large-scale studies of clinical markers of disease, and for findings that may affect motor neuron survival.
An additional objective is to characterize alterations or differences found in clinical presentation related to increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and immune activation of ALS patients. Alterations identified within this population will be studied in the context of alterations identified in the CNS (spinal cord and cerebral cortices) and biological samples obtained under a separate protocol, in order to determine the distribution of pathogenesis in neurodegenerative disease.