Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a disease that attacks the nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord. In that location is no known cure.
Merely doctors do take treatments and therapies that can irksome down or ease symptoms in you or a loved one.
Researchers continue to study ALS, hoping to learn more nigh its causes and possible new treatments.
What Is ALS?
It’s unremarkably known as Lou Gehrig’southward disease, after the baseball player whose diagnosis and eventual decease brought wide public attention to the illness.
This condition kills the nerves that control motion in your torso. As those fretfulness die, you lot lose control of your muscles. As the disease worsens, you lose the power to walk, speak, swallow, and somewhen, to breathe.
About 1 person in 25,000 volition exist diagnosed with ALS. Almost of them die within ii to five years of being diagnosed, usually because of respiratory failure. However, a small group, about 5% of those with ALS, have been able to survive for 20 years or more.
Medication for ALS
There are two medications which accept proven helpful in slowing the progression of ALS and extending the life of those who have been diagnosed with the illness. While they have been shown to push button back the time when you’ll demand mechanical help to breathe, they can’t fix damage already done.
administered through IV, information technology is an antioxidant that can preclude impairment to nerve cells from toxic substances called free radicals. Merely it is unclear how it works to boring the physical progression of patients with AlS,. The most mutual side furnishings include bruising, unsteady gait, and headache.
taken orally, it helps reduce damage to your motor nerves by reducing the corporeality of glutamate in your system. (Glutamate carries chemic messages to your fretfulness. Too much of it can damage the cells). The virtually common side furnishings include gastric distress, dizziness and bruising.
Medication for Symptoms
Pain relievers or muscle relaxants such as baclofen (Gablofen, Kemstro, Lioresal) or diazepam (Diastat, Valium) tin can help ease cramps.
A variety of medications can lower how much saliva you brand. It often builds upwards in your rima oris equally swallowing becomes more hard. 1 of the most common medications is glycopyrrolate (Robinul).
Doctors may prescribe drugs to help ease other symptoms of ALS, which may include:
- Outbursts of laughter or crying
- Lack of slumber
Most treatments for ALS involve managing the symptoms of the disease equally it worsens. Some of them include:
Physical therapy and exercise:
These keep your muscles strong and working every bit long as possible.
Hot tub and whirlpool baths:
These can ease your muscle spasms or cramps.
This becomes really important when swallowing becomes a problem.
Specialists can help you learn ways to brand your speech more articulate when you talk or other methods of communicating, such every bit writing with pen and newspaper or an alphabet board.
This tin aid you discover ways to clothes, breast-stroke, and groom. A therapist can help you lot set up your home and then it’due south easier for you or a loved one to move effectually.
Tools and Devices
There are also a diversity of tools and mechanical devices that can assistance if you lot have ALS:
Splints, reach extenders, and grab-bars:
They tin assist you get around as the disease progresses.
Canes, walkers, and wheelchairs:
They can help you stay mobile fifty-fifty as your ability to walk fades.
Computerized vocalization synthesizers:
These are bachelor when you lose the power to speak. In the final stages of the illness, only about a quarter of people tin talk conspicuously plenty to exist understood.
Information technology may be needed in the late stage of the disease to assist you breathe. A physician will have to insert a animate tube directly into your windpipe. This is called a tracheostomy.
As swallowing becomes harder, you might also demand a dr. to insert a feeding tube into your breadbasket. This tube is chosen a PEG tube (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy).
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