Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - Amyotrophic Lateral...

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Causes: Nerves that control muscles gradually die, so muscles gradually weaken and waste away Possible causes- mutation in gene for SOD1 enzyme , chemical imbalance (too much glutamate in spinal fluid so may be toxic), disorganized immune response (immune systems attack themselves), protein mishandling (proteins in cell eventually cause cell to die) Interesting Facts: 1 in 10 cases are inherited but appear the same 50:50 chance of giving it to kids often called Lou Gehrig's disease after the famous baseball player who was diagnosed with it in 1939 Worldwide, ALS occurs in 1 to 3 people per 100,000 Only one medication to help slow progression before age 65 more men have this than women most common in ages 40-60 Risk Factors: Heredity Gender Age Symptoms: Difficulty lifting the front part of your foot and toes (footdrop) Weakness in your leg, feet or ankles Hand weakness or clumsiness Slurring of speech or trouble swallowing Muscle cramps and twitching in your arms, shoulders and tongue
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Unformatted text preview: • Dementia Begins in hands, feet, or limbs and then spreads to other parts As it continues muscles become paralyzed Begins affecting chewing, swallowing, speaking, and breathing Tests: Electromyogram Nerve conduction study- electrodes attached to skin above nerve or muscle to be studied, small shock passed through nerve to measure strength and speed of nerve signals MRI Blood and urine tests Muscle biopsy Treatments: only slow progression riluzole (Rilutek) only drug approved by FDA for slowing ALS, may reduce glutamate levels Other meds relieve: Muscle cramps, Constipation, Fatigue, Excessive salivation, Excessive phlegm, Pain, Depression Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, and Speech therapy Prevention: avoid risk factors Genetic counseling . ../amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als-topic-overview...
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