Sunday, December 17, 2023

ALS Overview and Symptoms

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is an uncommon and progressive ailment affecting the nerve cells that control voluntary movements. Typically identified between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average diagnosis age of 55, there are instances of ALS emerging in individuals in their twenties and thirties.

The initial symptoms may appear in muscles governing speech, swallowing, hands, arms, legs, or feet. Unfortunately, these early cues are frequently disregarded as they are often attributed to clumsiness or fatigue.

During the initial stages of ALS, pain is generally absent and remains infrequent in later stages. Bladder control is typically unaffected, and the senses, encompassing taste, smell, touch, and hearing, are generally preserved.

Early indications can vary and include problems such as tripping, dropping items, unusual fatigue in the arms or legs, slurred speech, muscle cramps, twitches, and episodes of uncontrollable laughter or crying.

ALS specifically targets the nerve cells controlling voluntary muscle movements in activities like walking and talking. The disease results in the gradual deterioration and eventual demise of both groups of motor neurons. When these motor neurons are compromised, they cease transmitting messages to the muscles, leading to their inability to function.
ALS Overview and Symptoms

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