Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Charcot disease, motor neuron disease and in some parts of the world as Lou Gehrig’s disease is a disease of neurodegenerative form which is having various causes.
ALS is presented in the form of following symptoms
•Rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy
•Difficulty in Swallowing (Dysphagia)
•Difficulty in breathing
•Difficulty in speaking
Age/Sex prevalence of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS)
ALS is higher in men than in women.Male to female ratio of occurrence is 1.5:2.1
Individuals of any race can be affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The major cause of ALS is the damage to the nerve cells that control the movement of muscles which slowly die and hence due to this muscles get weaken and begin to waste.
Other possible causes of ALS are as follows
•Mutations in genes can lead to ALS.
•There are some chemicals which when get imbalance lead to ALS. When glutamate levels are higher than the normal levels it can lead to ALS.
•Disturbance in the immune system of a person can also lead to ALS as in this condition patient’s immune cells start attacking his own body cells.
There is one more disturbance in the body that can lead to ALS. If proteins are not handled properly in the nerve cells it may lead to gradual accumulation of abnormal forms of these proteins in the cells and by the time it causes nerve cells to die.
•Weakness in hands and clumsiness.
•Walking difficulty, and along with that difficulty in doing normal daily activities.
•Speech slurred with trouble in swallowing.
•Difficulty in holding neck and unable to maintain perfect posture.
•Weakness in ankles, feet, and legs.
•Cramping in muscles and also twitching in arms, tongue, and shoulders of the patient.
Test to be done for ALS are as follows
•Nerve conduction nerve is to be done
•Blood and urine tests are to be done
•Magnetic resonance imaging
•Spinal fluid analysis by collecting spinal fluid through a spinal tap.
•Muscle biopsy to be done
Supportive treatment is given to the patient.
•When swallowing muscles get affected eating problems occur
•Problems in speech may occur, there may occur mild slurring of words.
•Breathing becomes difficult as ALS can lead to paralyzing the muscles needed for breathing.
ALS is a type of fatal disease. The patient can survive for 3 years from the onset of symptoms.
•Primary lateral sclerosis
•Sarcoidosis and neuropathy
•Spinal muscular atrophy
•Central cord syndrome
•Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy
•Lambert-Eaten Myasthenic syndrome