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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis:

(ALS) is a nervous system disease that attacks nerve cells called neurons in your brain and spinal cord. These neurons transmit messages from your brain and spinal cord to your voluntary muscles - the ones you can control, like in your arms and legs.


At first, this causes mild muscle problems. Some people notice
-Trouble walking or running
-Trouble writing
-Speech problems
-Head drop due to weakness of the neck muscles
-Muscle cramps
-Muscle contractions called fasciculations
-Muscle weakness that slowly gets worse
-Weight loss
-Atrophy and twitching of the tongue are common.
Eventually, you lose your strength and cannot move. When muscles in your chest fail, you cannot breathe. A ventilator can help, but most people with ALS die from respiratory failure.

Signs and tests:

The health care provider will take a medical history, which includes strength and endurance.
-The person's walk may be stiff or clumsy.
-Reflexes are abnormal.
-There are increased reflexes at the joints, but there may be a loss of the gag reflex.
-Some patients have trouble controlling crying or laughing. This is sometimes called "emotional incontinence.
The disease usually strikes between age 40 and 60. More men than women get it. No one knows what causes ALS. It can run in families, but usually it strikes at random. There is no cure. Medicines can relieve symptoms and, sometimes, prolong survival like.
*Baclofen or diazepam may be used to control spasticity that interferes with daily activities.
*Trihexyphenidyl or amitriptyline may be prescribed for people with problems swallowing their own saliva.

Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA...an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist is suffering from this diseases and was diagnosed wd it at age of 21..
Hawking's illness is markedly different from typical ALS because if confirmed Hawking's case would make for the most protracted case ever documented. A survival for more than ten years after diagnosis is uncommon for ALS; the longest documented durations, other than Hawking's, are 32 and 39 years and these cases were termed benign because of the lack of the typical progressive course.


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