Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
ALS is often called Lou Gehrigs’s Disease, which was named after a famous baseball player who was diagnosed with it. ALS is a type of motor neuron disease that causes nerve cells to gradually brake down. ALS is rare and in a small number of cases are inherited.
- Muscle twitching and weakness in an arm or leg, or sometimes with slurring of speech or trouble swallowing.
- Hand weakness or clumsiness.
- Difficulty walking, tripping or difficulty doing your normal daily activities.
- Difficulty holding your head up or keeping a good posture.
- Disease frequently begins in your hands, feet or limbs, and then spreads to other parts of your body.
Testing and Diagnosis
- EMG study-test evaluates the electrical activity of your muscles when they contract and when they are at rest.
- MRI-reveal if there is any abnormal finding in the brain or spinal cord.
- Blood Test-help eliminate other possible causes of your signs and symptoms.
- Spinal Tap-taking a sample of your spinal fluid to test the cerebrospinal fluid.
- Muscle biopsy-this could decipher if you have muscle disease rather than ALS.
- Because there is no reversing the course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, treatments focus on slowing the progression of symptoms, preventing unnecessary complications and making you more comfortable and independent.
- Seeking a Neurologist would be the best course of action for treating ALS, so they may place you on the proper medications to slow the disease.