amyotrophiclateralsclerosis

What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?


In ALS, the nerve cells that control the movement of your muscles gradually die, so your muscles progressively weaken and begin to waste away. Up to one in 10 cases of ALS is inherited. But the remainder appears to occur randomly.

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Also known as als, Gehrig Disease, Lou-Gehrigs Disease, Lou Gehrig Disease, motor neuron disease, Gehrig's Disease, Lou Gehrig's Disease, Gehrigs Disease, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Motor Neuron Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis With Dementia, upper and lower motor neuron disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Scleroses, Dementia With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Guam Form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Guam Form Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a nervous system disease that attacks nerve cells called neurons in your brain and spinal cord. These neurons transmit messages from your brain and spinal cord to your voluntary muscles - the ones you can control, like in your arms and legs. At first, this causes mild muscle problems. Some people notice Eventually, you lose your strength and cannot move. When muscles in your chest fail, you cannot breathe. A ventilator can help, but most people with ALS die from respiratory failure.

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a serious neurological disease that causes muscle weakness, disability and eventually death. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's disease, after the famous baseball player who died of it in 1941.

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also called ALS, or Lou Gehrig disease. ALS is a disease that affects the nervous system. The nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves in the body. The main cells that make up the brain and spinal cord are called neurons. Neurons that control the muscles for moving, breathing, and swallowing are called motor neurons. Movement occurs when upper motor neurons (neurons in the brain) send messages to lower motor neurons (neurons in the spinal cord). The lower motor neurons relay these messages to the specific muscles that carry out the movement.

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig Disease

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disorder of the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary movements. It is sometimes called Lou Gehrig disease for the famous baseball player who died of the disease. The muscles become progressively weaker, and the condition eventually leads to paralysis and death.

Multiple Sclerosis

BBC Health. (2006). Multiple Sclerosis [online]. [Accessed 14th December 2007]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (abbreviated ALS, also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease) is a form of motor neuron disease. ALS is a progressive, fatal, ...

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ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Fact Sheet: National Institute ...

Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and research on ALS, motor neuron disease, or Lou Gehrig's disease from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and ...

Read more on www.ninds.nih.gov

What is ALS? - The ALS Association

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the ...

Read more on www.alsa.org

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - MedicineNet

Mar 12, 2011 ... Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou ... Suggested Reading on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) by Our Doctors ...

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: eMedicine Neurology

Nov 15, 2010 ... Overview: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common neurodegenerative disease of the motor neuron system. In its classic form, ...

Read more on emedicine.medscape.com

Contents

Complications
As the disease progresses, people with ALS experience one or more of the following complications: Frontotemporal dementia; Alzheimer's disease

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Coping and support
Learning you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can be devastating. The following tips may help you and your family cope: Take time to grieve. The news that you have a fatal condition that will rob you of your mobility and independence is often nothing less than shocking. If you are newly diagnosed, you and your family will likely experience a period of mourning and grief. Be hopeful. Some people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis live much longer than the three to five years typically associated with this condition. Some live 10 years or more. Keeping hope alive is vital for people with ALS. Think beyond the physical changes. ALS doesn't typically affect the intellect or spirit. Many people...

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Exams and Tests
An exam of the nerves and muscles shows weakness, often beginning in one area. There may be muscle tremors, spasms, twitching, or loss of muscle tissue (atrophy). Atrophy and twitching of the tongue are common.

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Medical advice
Call your health care provider if symptoms suggest ALS, particularly if there is a family history of the disorder.

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Outlook (Prognosis)
There is progressive loss of ability to function or care for oneself. Death often occurs within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis, about 20% of patients survive more than 5 years after diagnosis.

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Possible Complications
Inhaling food or fluid Loss of ability to care for self Lung failure (See: Adult respiratory distress syndrome) Pneumonia Pressure sores Weight loss

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Preparing for your appointment
If you're having some of the early signs and symptoms of a neuromuscular disease such as ALS, you might first consult your family doctor, who will listen to your description of symptoms and do an initial physical examination. Then your doctor will probably refer you to a neurologist for further evaluation.

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Prevention
Genetic counseling may be advised if there is a family history of ALS.

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Risk factors
ALS risk factors may include: Heredity. Up to 10 percent of the people who have ALS inherited it from their parents. If you have this type of ALS, your children have a 50-50 chance of developing the disease. Age. ALS most commonly occurs in people between the ages of 40 and 60. Sex. Before the age of 65, more men than women develop ALS. This sex difference disappears after age 70. Geography. People living in Guam, West New Guinea and parts of Japan have an increased risk of developing ALS. Dietary factors may be to blame. Military service. Recent studies indicate that people who have served in the military are at higher risk of ALS.

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Support Groups
Emotional support is vital in coping with the disorder, because mental functioning is not affected. Groups such as the ALS Association may be available to assist in coping with the disorder.

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Symptoms
Early signs and symptoms of ALS include: Difficulty lifting the front part of your foot and toes (footdrop); Weakness in your leg, feet or ankles; Hand weakness or clumsiness; Slurring of speech or trouble swallowing; Muscle cramps and twitching in your arms, shoulders and tongue

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Tests and diagnosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is difficult to diagnose early because it may appear similar to several other neurological diseases. Tests to rule out other conditions may include: Electromyogram. This test measures the tiny electrical discharges produced in muscles. A fine wire electrode is inserted into the muscles that your doctor wants to study. An instrument records the electrical activity in your muscle as you rest and contract the muscle. This test is mildly uncomfortable for most people. Nerve conduction study. For this test, electrodes are attached to your skin above the nerve or muscle to be studied. A small shock is passed through the nerve to measure the strength and speed of nerve...

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Treatments and drugs
Because there's no reversing the course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, treatments mainly involve efforts to slow the progression of symptoms and make you more comfortable and independent.

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