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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS is also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. This condition is characterized by progressive neuromuscular weakness. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affects nerve cells controlling voluntary muscles. Men are more likely to be affected by myotrophic Lateral Sclerosis than women. ALS does not affect involuntary muscles and senses.


Patients suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis notice problems in dexterity and gait. There might be cramps in the muscles, twitching in the limbs and clumsiness. Patients suffering from myotrophic Lateral Sclerosis face difficulties in chewing and swallowing. Symptoms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis are often mistaken for other neurological diseases. Gradually the patient faces muscular weakness and loss of function. The muscles may then get paralyzed. This may lead to respiratory failure.


MRI of the brain is done to determine the exact cause of the muscle weakness. Spinal tap can also throw light on the levels of proteins and sugar and white blood cells. Electromyogram (EMG) helps in understanding the electrical activity of the muscles. Riluzole is the only FDA approved medication for controlling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Physical therapy helps in maintaining muscle strength.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 19, 2019