Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig disease, is a neurological disease that results from the loss of motor neuron nerve cells, which causes the muscles under these cells to weaken and waste away, leading to paralysis. It is often fatal within 5 years, due to respiratory failure.
- ALS does not impair a person’s mind, personality, or intelligence. It does not affect the ability to see, smell, hear, taste or recognize touch.
Signs & Symptoms:
- Frequent tripping and falling
- Loss of control in arms and hands
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, or breathing
- Persistent fatigue
- Twitching and cramping
- Spasticity – tightening and stiffening of muscles
- Respiratory weakness – lying down after meals, lethargy, drowsiness, confusion, anxiety, depression, irritability, loss of appetite
- High risk for pneumonia and pulmonary embolism
The only FDA approved mediation is Riluzole, used to prolong the survival of people with ALS for a few months. It reduces damage caused to motor neurons and prolongs time before a person needs ventilation support.