Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disease of the motor neuron system. It attacks the nerve cells which are responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. The symptoms are depression, tripping, stumbling, voice changes, muscle cramps, choking during meals, etc. Genetics can be one of the reasons for ALS.
HOW IS AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of the disease is done by: • Electromyography and nerve conduction velocity • Blood and urine studies • Spinal tap • MRI and Xrays • Myelogram of the cervical spine • Muscle and nerve biopsy • Neurological examination Genetic testing may also be done for detecting familial ALS
HOW IS AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS TREATED?
Most treatments for ALS are designed to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients. This supportive care is best provided by multidisciplinary teams of health care professionals such as physicians; pharmacists; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; nutritionists; social workers; and homecare and hospice nurses.
DID YOU KNOW?
As many as 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States have ALS!