Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive, fatal neurological disease affecting as many as 20,000 Americans with 5,000 new cases occurring in the United States each year. The disorder belongs to a class of disorders known as motor neuron diseases. ALS occurs when specific nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movement gradually degenerate. The loss of these motor neurons causes the muscles under their control to weaken and waste away, leading to paralysis.

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... Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive disease that affects the control of muscle movement by damaging specialized nerve cells (motor neurons) in the spinal cord and the part of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord (brain stem). Most cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are sporadic, which means there is no previous family history of this disorder, and the cause may not be genetic. The different types of inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are distinguished by genetic cause, pattern of inheritance, age when symptoms begin, and how quickly the disease progresses.

Genetic changes are related to the following types of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, type 1
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, type 2
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, type 4

Additional types of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have been reported, but the responsible mutations have not been adequately described.

The first signs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may be so subtle that they are overlooked. The earliest symptoms include muscle twitching, cramping, stiffness, or weakness. Speech may become slurred, and later there is difficulty chewing or swallowing. The muscles become weaker as the disease progresses, and arms and legs begin to look thinner as muscle tissue wastes away (atrophies). Individuals with this disorder lose their strength and the ability to walk and use their hands and arms. In late stages of the disease, breathing becomes difficult because the muscles of the respiratory system weaken. Most people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis die from respiratory failure, usually from 3 to 15 years after the onset of symptoms. ...

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... Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, type 4, is a juvenile-onset disorder that affects the control of muscle movement by damaging specialized nerve cells (motor neurons) in the brain and spinal cord.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, type 4 is a subtype of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Signs and symptoms of type 4 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis typically begin before the age of 25 years and slowly progress over several decades. Difficulty walking is often the initial symptom, followed by weakness and wasting of muscles in the hands and feet. Symptoms vary widely, from individuals with mild walking abnormalities to those who become wheelchair-bound and lose the use of their hands by their 40s or 50s. ...

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... Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, type 2, is a juvenile-onset disorder that affects the control of muscle movement by damaging specialized nerve cells (motor neurons) in the brain and spinal cord.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, type 2 is a subtype of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Symptoms of type 2 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis usually begin in early childhood or adolescence and slowly worsen for 10 to 15 years. Typical symptoms include muscle weakness and twitching, stiff or rigid muscles that can interfere with movement or speech, repetitive jerky motions, and unusual posturing such as carrying the shoulder, arm, wrist, or fingers at an abnormal angle. Some individuals with this disorder experience periods of uncontrolled weeping or laughter. ...

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, ...
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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Symptoms

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Signs and symptoms
... Signs of ALS are typically subtle at first. The disease commonly begins in one part of the body and progresses slowly. Gradual death of nerve cells saps muscles of their control. Early signs and sympt...
Source: MayoClinic

Causes
... The basic units of your central nervous system — which includes your brain and spinal cord — are nerve cells (neurons). Each neuron consists of a cell body, a major branching fiber (axon) ...
Source: MayoClinic

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Treatment

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Treatment
... Because there''s no reversing the course of ALS, treatments mainly involve efforts to make you more comfortable and independent and to slow the progression of symptoms.Treatments may involve many prof...
Source: MayoClinic

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Support

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Coping skills
... No one chooses to live with ALS. Yet many have managed to do it with daring, dignity, humor and a hopeful attitude. If you have ALS, you can, too. Take time to accept your diagnosis and the changes it...
Source: MayoClinic

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Other

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ALS
... Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known in the United States as Lou Gehrig''s disease, is a progressive neuromuscular disease for which the cause is unknown. ALS is the commonest form of t...
Source: Cleveland Clinic

Dental Prosthesis Assists in Diminishing ALS Speech Problems
... Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neuromuscular disorder also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, causes the eventual wasting of the patient’s muscles. As their muscles become debilitated, patie...
Source: Cleveland Clinic

   

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