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Doctor insights on: Amylotropic Lateral Sclerosis

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What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als)? 

What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als)? 

Motor neuron disease: A disorder of misfolded proteins, attacking nerve cell bodies in spinal cord and brain. Tends to involve weakness not numbness, and can affect legs and arms with flickering of muscles, loss of muscle mass, and evenually problems with breathing and swallowing. Unfortunately, there is no cure, and it preserves awareness. Gratefully, it is relatively rare. ...Read more

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Dr. Barbara Lavi
3 doctors shared insights

Sclerosis (Definition)

We neurologists employ the term to describe localized damage involving the central nervous system, and sclerosis means scarring. If in many areas, might be multiple sclerosis. If affecting the motor nerve cell, ...Read more


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What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Disease of nervecell: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or als, is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. Als does not affect the senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch). It only rarely affects bladder or bowel function, or a person's ability to think or reason.The condition slowly gets worse and cause difficulty with breathing muscles. ...Read more

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Is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a type of multiple sclerosis (ms)?

Is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a type of multiple sclerosis (ms)?

Not similar diseases: Als is very different, and is a disease of "mis-folded proteins" like alzheimers and parkinson's, and all of these affect older people. Ms is an autoimmune disease afflicting younger patients who have hereditary susceptibilities and environmental exposures. Ms can be successfully treated and controlled, but ALS does not respond well to current therapies. ...Read more

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Who first discovered amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Who first discovered amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Charcot: The French Neurologist Charcot is credited with the paper describing ALS as a distinct illness ...Read more

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What exactly is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

What exactly is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Lou Gehrig's disease: Als is a disease affecting the nerve cell body, causes weakness, muscle wasting, and fasciculations or fluttering of the muscles. It can affect mobility, swallowing, and breathing. There is no known cure to date, and the prognosis is often very poor. We believe it is a disorder of "misfolded proteins", similar in some ways to alzheimer's and parkinson's, but a far rarer condition, fortunately. ...Read more

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Could kids get amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Could kids get amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Similar : But most childhood illnesses which affect the motor neuron, like als, are quite rare, and more hereditary in origin. A variety of such disorders cause weakness in very young children, and adolescents and seem similar in outcome. Also, polio used to affect many children but is almost unknown in usa today. ...Read more

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What are the tests for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Diagnosis: Since we hope to find alternative problems instead of als, we search for possible other diagnoses. The testing includes blood studies, especially for hyperthyroidism, MRI tests of the neck and spinal cord, EMG studies, and even muscle biopsies on occasion. ...Read more

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What's are future treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als)?

Hope it arrives.: There is a lot of research and we have identified a misfolded protein as playing a role (superoxide dismutase). But we do not have a cure. Best we can do is Riluzole and palliative supportive care at this time. However, a variety of meds and approaches are being studied. Stayed tuned. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

What are the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

See below: The main symptoms of ALS are weakness. The weakness often starts with one hand and then may progress to the other. The legs will often become weak as well. The muscles begin to get thinner. This is called atrophy. There may also be exaggerated reflexes and stiffness in the muscles called spasticity. The muscles that help us speak and swallow and breath can also be weakened. ...Read more

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What is primary lateral sclerosis?

Variation of ALS: Motor neuron disease or ALS presents in several variable forms, and is a disease of motor neuron degeneration in brain and spinal cord. In the primary lateral sclerosis variant (only 1-3% of all cases), the disorder affects the upper motor neuron only, and is focal on one side or the other. By definition, this form would be far less malignant. ...Read more

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How is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis transmitted in humans?

How is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis transmitted in humans?

It is not transmitte: It is not typically a heriditary or infectious disease. No one knows the exact cause. ...Read more

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What sort of problem is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Lou Gehrig's: Als also known as lou gehrig's disease is a disease of nerves. It is a progressive loss of muscle strength. Initial symptoms are usually muscle weakness or cramps followed by muscle paralysis in later stages. Difficulty breathing and swallowing are common due to the muscle weakness. There is no cure but there are medications to help with symptom management. ...Read more

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What is the treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

What is the treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Not good: Lou gehrig's disease remains resistant to successful treatment or control. The drug Riluzole is on the market but is very disappointing, although may delay useage of a tracheostomy tube for a few months. We are learning about a misfolded protein, and this may point the way for future success. ...Read more

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What is tubular sclerosis (or tuberous sclerosis)?

What is tubular sclerosis (or tuberous sclerosis)?

Neurological disorde: Tuberous sclerosis is a disorder involving brain structure, skin manifestations and cognitive function. Brain malformations called tubers are characteristic. Skin abnormalities of sebaceous adenomas and subungual fibromas. See a neurologist for more information. ...Read more

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What causes tuberous sclerosis?

Genetic mutations: These people have a genetic mutation at one of two loci TSC1 or TSC2 (hamartin and tuberin). A second mutation in a particular cell results in creation of a tumor. No two TS patients are alike and the severity of the illness varies tremendously. It's not curable, but it's often manageable. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis sex-linked or a chromosomal error?

Is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis sex-linked or a chromosomal error?

ALS: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS (lou gehrig's disease) is a central nervous system disease that causes progressive loss of strength and coordination. There are no known risk factors which predispose someone to developing als. Most commonly, the cause is unknown but in about 10% of cases, there is a genetic defect which leads to the problem. ...Read more

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Optic neuritis (nmo) or multiple sclerosis (ms)? What are the different victims?

Optic neuritis (nmo) or multiple sclerosis (ms)? What are the different victims?

Say what???: This question is confusing! optic neuritis (abbreviated on) is one of many symptoms of ms and results from inflammation in one or both optic nerves. It is one of the most common symptoms of ms and typically causes eye pain and decreased vision in one eye. It does not typically cause complete blindness. Multiple sclerosis (ms) is an autoimmune disorder of the center nervous system. See below. ...Read more

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What are the challenges of living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Very difficult: ALS is a progressive nasty disease with NO cure or even significant control other than Riluzole, and causes muscular atrophy, weakness, fasciculations, and eventual inability to swallow or breathe. As you can imagine, these problems require extensive medical care and diligence, and interventions which may be very complex. ...Read more

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Last advances in the investigation on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Research still slow: A number of established agents have recently been investigated for their potential as neuroprotective agents, including antibiotics and minocycline. Progress has also been made in exploiting growth factors for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, partly due to advances in developing effective delivery systems to the central nervous system but overall out looks so far is not great yet. ...Read more