Lou gehrigs (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)

Legs | Rheumatology | Lou gehrigs (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) (Disease)


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrigs disease or motor neurone disease is a form of motor neurone disease caused by the degeneration of upper and lower neurons, located in the ventral horn of the spinal cord and the cortical neurons that provide their efferent input.

The disorder is characterized by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations, spasticity, dysarthria, dysphagia, and respiratory compromise. Sensory function generally is spared, as is autonomic and oculomotor activity. ALS is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease with most affected patients dying of respiratory compromise and pneumonia after 2 to 3 years; although some die within a year from the onset of symptoms, and occasional individuals have a more indolent course and survive for many years.

Causes and Risk factors

Doctors dont know what causes Lou Gehrigs disease, and the disease cant be cured. Although doctors cant reverse the progression of Lou Gehrigs disease, advances in treatment mean that many who have the disease live longer than they did in the past.

Lou Gehrigs disease causes the nerve cells in certain regions of your brain and spinal cord to gradually die. Eventually, people who have Lou Gehrigs disease (ALS) lose the ability to move their limbs and the muscles needed to move, eat, speak and breathe.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis is set up by ruling out causes of the symptoms and physical findings.

There is no cure for ALS. Some medicines can relieve symptoms, whereas physical therapy and speech therapy can help reduce the severity of symptoms. ...

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