13 February 2013
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Sometimes this disease is called ‘ Lou Gehring Disease” referring to the baseball play Lou who was diagnosed with it and paralyzed for his life. About 10 percent of people diagnosed with this disease survive for 10 or more years before dying(Kinsley). The A means negative myo means muscle and trophic refers to no muscle nourishment. Once a muscle has no nourishment it wastes away and decays. Lateral refers to the areas in a persons spinal cord where sections of nerve cells control the muscles location. ALS attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles.
No one truly knows the cause of ALS but 5 to 10 percent inheritance is genetic or passed on from a family member. In about 1 case out of 10 it runs in families therefore 9 times out of 10 a person with ALS has never had a family member with the disease(webMD). There is no simple way to determine whether or no this trait is dominant or recessive. Most ALS cases follow an autosomal inheritance.
Early symptoms of ALS include difficulty walking, increasing weakness in one limb, especially in a hand, impaired speech, difficulty swallowing, and fasciculation’s. Later on Page 2
weakening of other limbs and problems with chewing and swallowing, and breathing may occur. Eventual paralysis and muscle cramping is common. Varieties of drugs and devices are optional to help control and live with this disease. Certain approved drugs for this disease are available such as Rilek which is said to prevent damage caused by the nerve cell overwhelmed by glutamate. Physical therapy can help improve circulation and prolong muscle use when first diagnosed. With that said, various medicines can be prescribed to help with the disease. Optional experimental therapy is offered using a form of insulin-live nerve...