What Are Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ( Als ) Is Known For Being A Progressive Neurodegenerative Disease?

1276 Words Dec 5th, 2015 null Page
Description: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is known for being a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Upon symptoms onset life expectancy becomes 3 years, with survival ranging from a few months to decades for some. It is the most common neuromuscular disease worldwide with people of all races and ethnic backgrounds affected. The cause is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental risks to render a person vulnerable, however few have been discovered to date. Such discoveries revealed degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons as well as some cellular processes such as mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation based from examinations of the patient’s history and clinical trials. Currently the limited treatments include pharmacological and nonpharmacological methods meant to maintain and prolong the quality of life; at least until more robust neuroprotective treatments are discovered.

Signs and Symptoms: Being a subtle disease, the symptoms of ALS are often overlooked upon onset. Early symptoms could include involuntary muscular contraction, cramps, spasticity, muscle weakness in limbs, impaired speech, difficulty chewing or swallowing, or depression in some cases. As symptoms become more severe or cause accidents, it becomes easy to diagnose ALS. The parts of the body affected and the order of symptoms vary among individuals. As the respiratory system weakens, patients have difficulty breathing, depending on ventilatory support. In the…

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