ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis )
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. There is no muscle nourishment. When a muscle has n nourishment, it will waste away. The spinal cord is where portions of the nerve cells signal and control the muscles are located. When this area degenerates it leads to hardening and scarring to the region.
There are two types of ALS, sporadic and familial. Sporadic is the most common form of ALS in which 90-95 percent of all cases. Familial accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all cases in the US. This type of ALS is inherited.
- Trouble grasping or lifting
- change in vocal pitch when speaking
- progressive muscle weakness
- tripping or dropping things
- abnormal fatigue of arms and/or legs
- slurred speech
- muscle cramps
- uncontrollable periods of laughing or crying
- Electrodiagnostic test including electromyography and nerve conduction velocity
- blood and urine studies including serum protien electrophoresis, thyroid and parathyroid hormone levals
- spinal tap
- Myelogram of cervial spine
- muscle and/nerve biopsy
- neirological examination
Medication and therapy can help to slow down ALS and reduce discomfort but there is no cure.
- Physical Therapy
- Artificial respiration and Palliative care
- Glutamate blocker and muscle relaxant
- Specialist: Neurologist, Primary care provider (PCP), speech therapy, occupational therapy, pulmonologist, respiratory
For more information visit: http://www.alsa.org/about-als/symptoms.html