What is ALS?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, other name is Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease. It affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Nerves are involved in the process of thinking, memory, and of detecting sensations (such as hot/cold, sharp/dull), and others for vision, hearing, and other bodily functions. Basically, motor neurons provide voluntary movements and muscle power.
As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Motor neuron in ALS leads to their death so when it dies, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. Patient may become totally paralyzed. It often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller).
The heart and the digestive system are also made of muscle but a different kind, and their movements are not under voluntary control. When your heart beats or a meal is digested, it all happens automatically. Therefore, the heart and digestive system are not involved in ALS. Breathing also may seem to be involuntary. Remember, though, while you cannot stop your heart, you can hold your breath - so be aware that ALS may eventually have an impact on breathing.
An MRI with increased signal in the posterior part of the internal capsule which can be tracked to the motor cortex consistent with the diagnosis of ALS. Who will affect ALS?
Although the cause of ALS is not completely understood, the recent years have brought a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease.Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70. ALS occurs in greater percentages as men and women grow older. ALS is 20% more common in men than in women. However with increasing age, the incidence of ALS is...
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