Symptoms And Treatment Of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ( Als )

830 Words Aug 13th, 2015 4 Pages
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an idiopathic neurodegenerative disease that may result in death within two to three years of onset. It is a motor neuron disease that rapidly attacks and deteriorates the somatic neurons. Since it is idiopathic, science and medicine do not know much about it and have only been able to speculate at any sort of cause. Presently, there is no cure for ALS, and treatment options are severely limited. Also, there is no test for ALS, and it is only diagnosed when all other diseases that behave similarly, have been ruled out. 90-95% of cases occur seemingly without a cause, even if there are no known risk factors beforehand, with 10% of patients with a familial form on specific genes (Huether & McCance, 2012). ALS, or more famously Lou Gehrig’s disease, after New York Yankees player Lou Gehrig, became a media sensation last year when the ice bucket challenge became viral on the internet. Prior to that time, not many people recognized ALS by its proper name, and typically knew it only as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and even then, rarely knew what it entailed. Although not much is currently known about ALS, through awareness, money is being raised to research the disease as well as possible cures and treatments.
Pathophysiology
Since ALS is idiopathic, scientists are not sure of the cause in most cases; this form is known as sporadic. A small portion of cases are genetic, known as familial, and are caused by a mutation in a gene. However, in these…

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