What You Need To Know About ALS – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a motor neuron disease. It is a group of neurological disorders that selectively affect and kill motor neurons, the cells that control voluntary muscles in the body.

It is also popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after American baseball legend Lou Gehrig. He played 17 seasons with the New York Yankees and died shortly before his 38th birthday in 1941.

Unfortunately ALS has no cure and is 100% fatal. Average life expectancy after diagnosis is between two to five years, although around 25% of ALS victims have lived over 5 years. It is not known why ALS occurs, though some cases are inherited (between 5% – 10%). It often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in a limb, or slurred speech. It affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat, and breath. It does not affect bowel and bladder control and your senses and thinking ability.

Read on to know more:

Early Signs And Symptoms

  • Difficulty in walking
  • Tripping and falling
  • Weakness in legs, ankles, and feet
  • Hand weakness and clumsiness
  • Slurred speech or trouble swallowing
  • Muscle cramps,twitching in the arms, shoulders, and tongue
  • Difficulty holding your head up or keeping good posture

ALS often starts in the hands, feet, and limbs. It then spreads to other parts of the body. When the disease advances, it destroys the nerve cells weakens the muscles in the areas affected. Eventually, even the muscles that control breathing.

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