An International Conference on "Therapeutic. Psychological and Research Aspects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis" was held in Varese. Italy from the 27th to the 31st March 1985. Health care professionals. scientists. patients and their families from twenty countries around the world participated in this meeting. The objectives of the Varese conference were the following: a. To provide a forum for the proponents of the various paths of research into ALS. b. To correlate the useful therapies employed regionally. for the purpose of developing a common guide for patients, families, and supporting professionals. c. To encourage self-examination by the health care professionals into the psychological barriers imposed by a diagnosis of terminal illness for which there is no known cause or cure. Not surprisingly, there were no announcements of "breakthroughs" or "miracle cures", which are nonetheless hoped for in the confrontation of a disease such as ALS. It is fair to say, however, that Varese provided the context for a thorough review of what is known about ALS and we hope that the papers will renew some of the enthusiasm which has characterized this conference. The book contains six sections: Basic Research Aspects, Diagnostic Tools, Clinical Management, Therapeutic Trials, Psychological Aspects and the Epidemiology of ALS. Certain aspects, such as pathological studies and animal models, have not been covered; these subjects were partially treated during the informal sessions. Nevertheless, the large number of papers bears evidence to the growing interest in ALS and to the success of the Varese meeting.