Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a serious neurologic disease characterized by progressive deterioration of the motor cells in the brain and spinal cord, affecting the motor neuron cells and the motor tracts in the brain and spinal cord. Thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord . A chronic, progressive disease marked by gradual degeneration of the nerve cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement. Eventually the ability of the brain to start and control voluntary movement is lost.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. The disease belongs to a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases, which are characterized by the gradual degeneration and death of motor neurons. Individuals with ALS lose their strength and the ability to move their arms, legs, and body. When muscles in the diaphragm and chest wall fail, individuals lose the ability to breathe without ventilatory support.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis disease is relatively rare: About 5,000 new cases are diagnosed in the US each year. It almost always strikes after the age of 40, and afflicts more men than women.. The voluntary muscles weaken and become immobile. Involvement of both upper and lower motor neurons is characteristic. Patients develop variable hyperreflexia, clonus, spasticity, extensor plantar responses, and limb or tongue fasciculations
The earliest symptoms include muscle twitching, cramping, stiffness, or weakness. Speech may become slurred, and later there is difficulty chewing or swallowing. . Most individuals with type 1 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis die of respiratory failure within 3 to 5 years of the onset of symptoms. Symptoms of type 8 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis begin earlier than type 1 (between 25 and 44 years of age) but progress slowly over several years to several decades.
The cause of ALS is not known, and scientists do not yet know why ALS strikes some people and not others. Motor neurons are nerve cells located in the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord that serve as controlling units and vital communication links between the nervous system and the voluntary muscles of the body. Messages from motor neurons in the brain (called upper motor neurons) are transmitted to motor neurons in the spinal cord (called lower motor neurons) and from them to particular muscles.
In ALS, both the upper motor neurons and the lower motor neurons degenerate or die, ceasing to send messages to muscles. Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken, waste away (atrophy) , and twitch (fasciculations) . Eventually, the ability of the brain to start and control voluntary movement is lost. The disorder causes muscle weakness and atrophy; symptoms commonly appear in middle to late adulthood, with death in two to five years. This neuron loss causes muscles to weaken and waste away, leading to paralysis.
Causes of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Some causes are given bellow
Symptoms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Some symptoms - Progressive loss of muscle strength and coordination eventually interfere with the ability to perform routine activities, such as going up steps, getting out of a chair, or swallowing. Occasionally, breathing or swallowing muscles may be the first to be affected
Some listed here :
Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Scleros
Some treatment & advise are given here :
Disclaimer : All information on www.healthatoz.info is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, please consult your doctor.