Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Lou Gehrig's Disease

Superior Essays
Paige Slopey
Dr. Laurie Ward
English II
4 November 2014
A Perspective of ALS

A Perspective of ALS Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a muscular disease that affects the upper and lower motor neurons. When the motor neurons die the ability to control muscle movements is no longer there. Before the age of 65, slightly more men than women develop ALS. This gender difference disappears after age 70. ALS is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig 's disease; Lou Gehrig was a famous baseball player. The disease was discovered in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but was not nationally studied until Lou Gehrig’s diagnosis in 1939. “Progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the
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This is named after a conference center in Spain. (Diagnosis, MDA) This criterion requires four things. The degeneration of the lower motor neurons, which are located in the brain stem and the spinal cord, must be tested by clinical examination, or specialized tests. The degenerations of the upper motor neurons, which are located in the brain, must be tested with clinical examinations. “Fast spread signs of a certain part of the body or the absence of evidence of other disease processes that might explain the observed clinical and electrophysiological signs.” (Diagnosis, MDA) If a doctor thinks the patient has ALS the next step of diagnosis is the electromyogram, or EGM. This test looks at signals that run through the nerves and muscles to see if there is a pattern that matches ALS. Blood tests are also run to insure that it is not a disorder that mimics ALS. An MRI is used to look at the muscles and sometimes they even test the spinal fluid. There are many tests that have to be run to diagnose someone with …show more content…
In most cases, doctors don 't know why ALS occurs. A small number of cases are inherited. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig 's disease, after the famous baseball player who was diagnosed with it in the height of his baseball career. ALS often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in an arm or leg, or sometimes with slurring of speech. Eventually, ALS can affect your ability to control the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. ALS cannot be cured and eventually leads to death. Although there is no way to stop the progression of ALS there are many treatments to make the patient more comfortable and possibly slow the progression. This disease progresses over a period of time. It can progress very fast and it can move slowly. One patient, Dale Masterson, has lived with ALS for 25 years. ALS is split into three stages: early, middle and late stages. Although they cannot pinpoint why people get ALS it is thought that the environment may trigger the disease in some. Also smoking cigarettes appears to increase a person 's risk of ALS almost twice that of a nonsmoker. However, quitting smoking can eventually lower the risk. Lastly, recent studies indicate that people who have served in the military are at higher risk of ALS; exactly what about military service may trigger the development of ALS is uncertain, but it may include exposure to certain metals or

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