Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
a fatal, progressive, degenerative motor neuron disease in which scars form on the neurons in the corticospinal pathways, the nuclei of the brainstem, and the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord
ALS usually begins with
progressive atrophy, usually in the hands or feet.
No known cause. Family history of a first or second degree relative with ALS is a significant risk factor.
4-7 out of every 100,000 people worldwide. The most common motor neuron disease in adults, affecting males more often.
*weakness in the small muscles of the hands or an asymmetrical foot drop. *night cramps, particularly in the calf muscles. *weight loss *fatigue *pain *drooling *dysphagia *dyphonia *dysarthria *cramps
The onset of ALS occurs between
16 and 77 years, but usually diagnosed between 55 and 75.
Duration of survival after diagnosis is
usually 1-5 years, with a mean survival of 3 years.
Death is usually from
involuntary contractions or twitching of groups of muscle fibers.