ALS is a disease in which the causes are unknown and the effects are devastating. Along with great physiological damage there is great mental damage that a patient that had ALS must endure. A disease with a great influence in today's life and the life of those in the past. There is no cure for ALS only treatments. Treatments that treat the symptoms and not the disease.
ALS is a disease that has impacted today's society of individuals in a dramatic and influential way. Not necessarily in a good way, but never the less influential. Throughout recent history the disease has cause heartbreak and hardship, and also a new era of research and paranoia. "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neuromuscular disease." This is how ALS is defined by the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at John's Hopkins University (The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins 2005). Through devastating physiological and psychological effects, this disease has raised awareness and an effort to alleviate the effects previously mentioned. In this paper, I hope to raise awareness to the reader about the history of this disease, the causes and treatments, and also the many effects this disease actually entails.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease that is characterized by the slow degeneration of motor neurons, which leads to the weakening of the respiratory system, and eventually death. Its first clinical description was made in 1860, in Europe by the French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot (Clem 2004). ALS received its medical name in 1874 from Charcot. Charcot had observed the wasting away of a patient's muscles (known medically as amyotrophy) and the scarring and hardening, or sclerosis, of the bundles of motor neurons running down each side (laterally) through the spinal cord ("Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis" 2004). This is why the disease is named for him in Europe, however in the United...
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