Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Disease

1 January 2017

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that makes muscles stop working. It is a rare disease found mostly in active people. The most common name for ALS is Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lou Gehrig was a hall of fame baseball player who played with Babe Ruth on the Yankees. He became a victim to ALS in the late 1930’s. ALS was discovered in Paris, France in the early 1870’s. Jean-Martin Charcot worked with many patients with similar diseases before discovering the disease.

People who have ALS first start to notice a weakening in the muscles of the arms and legs, poor balance, speech, and swallowing problems. Many people who have it have a hard time performing simple everyday tasks like tying their shoes or brushing their teeth. Eventually, patients will have to switch to a liquid diet. Overtime they become more fatigued and very weak. Almost all the victims of ALS have to use respiratory machines to breath and have their food inserted directly into the stomach.

ALS patients typically sleep a lot because any physical activity can cause fatigue and make breathing really hard. Life expectancy for people with this disease is usually 2-8 years and on rare occasions, 10+ years. There is no cure for ALS and every patient eventually passes away from the disease. There have been a few rare cases where people diagnosed with this disease have lived longer than fifteen years. There are a couple of ways to lessen the effects of ALS like massages, diets, and plenty of rest have been proven to slow down the process of the nerves dying out in some patients.

In conclusion, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a deadly and frightening disease. Although there is no cure, medications like siazepam can help control spasms, muscle cramps, and saliva. Siazepam can also help control muscle twitching. Physical therapy is important for patients with ALS to help stay flexible in joints and to prevent contractures, or fixations of muscles. Someday, hopefully, a cure will be developed, and the suffering this disease is causing will be stopped.

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