Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Essay

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Motor Neuron Disease Maladie de Charcot Lou Gehrig's Disease

What is the Disease?

ALS is an extremely deadly disease affecting the nerve cells that control the victim's voluntary muscles. These nerves shrink and eventually die, leaving the muscles without stimulation. As these muscles go without stimulation, they too eventually shrink and die. The victim progressively weakens to the point of complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles and some involuntary muscles, such as breathing and swallowing, and soon after this point, death is inevitable.

'A' means "Without" 'Myo' means "Muscle" 'Trophic' means "Nourishment" 'Lateral' refers to uneven …show more content…

Another third find a weakness in their legs and may trip because of a mild foot drop. The remaining one-third notice slurring in their speech or difficulty swallowing. Because all of these symptoms happen naturally, it is generally not characterized as ALS until the symptom progressively worsens.
This happens as the affected area's muscle cells deteriorate, resulting in muscle tenseness. Frequently one side of the body is affected first and it then gradually passes to the other side. Muscles in the eyes, anus and bladder are generally left unaffected.


As there is no known way to prevent this disease, there is also no specific clinical test to identify ALS. It generally involves a physical examination, perusing through the patient's medical history, and neurological testing. To test muscle activity specialists often use an EMG, or electromyogram, and will often use CT scans, MRIs, and thorough blood examination. There is also a recently developed SOD1 scan, the gene now thought to be the cause for ALS, especially familial ALS. Only 20%, however, of patients with familial ALS show positive on the SOD1 scan.

Progress of ALS


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