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Doctor insights on: Medicine For Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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My grandma has Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and what medicine she should take for relieving the pain? Or preventing the further complications?

My grandma has Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and what medicine she should take for relieving the pain? Or preventing the further complications?

Comments: Sole drug on market for ALS is riluzole, which can delay tracheotomy but does not enhance strength. Since it inhibits glutamate, maybe pain relief achieved by use of Lyrica (pregabalin) or gabapentin. Most of the approach in ALS is supportive and palliative. Have a family conference with her neurologist. ...Read more

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?

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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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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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 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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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 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 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 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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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 does it mean when a guy has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Degenrative DO: Als is a neurologic disease where nerves in the central nervous system degenerate, leading to weakness. This can cause inability to walk or use the hands or arms, facial weakness, difficulty eating and swallowing, and respiratory difficulties, leading to infections like pneumonia. It is not a curable disease. ...Read more

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What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als)? Can it be treated?

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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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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What is the definition or description of: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Neurodegenerative: ALS is a neurodegenerative disease of the upper and lower motor neurons. There is a male predominance, and occurs most frequently between the ages of 50 - 60 years. While the most frequent form has a dire prognosis, it does have several variants, with different prognoses that can be prolonged with respect to survival. The diagnosis is based on the clinical findings and robust NCV/EMG studies. ...Read more

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What are the main causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? What can be done to treat it?

See below: We really do not understand the cause, but 10% are genetic and 25% of these are associated with mutations of a gene encoding copper/zinc superoxide dismutase. 90% are sporadic and of no clear causation. There is no cure and control measures are mediocre. The drug Riluzole may delay need to respirator, but most treatments are palliative. ...Read more

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Just heard a close neighbor has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. How do we explain this condition to the kids?

Weakness: I would explain that it means he will get weak over time, may eventually need a wheelchair, and that his doctors will do everything they can to help him. I would tell them they can't catch it from him, and it is a rare condition, so it is unlikely they or their family members would develop it. ...Read more

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Hi doctors, was just wondering what is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Lou Gehrig's disease: Als is a very nasty uncurable disease involving the motor neuron in brain and spinal cord, usually arising in middle to later years of life. It results in a steady deterioration of muscle, with atrophy and fasciculations, possibly eventuating in loss of ability to swallow and breathe. The sole medication on the market which may modestly help is riluzole. ...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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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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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

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Is it true that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a chromosomal error?

10% are familial: And 25% of these involve a mutation of the gene encoding copper/zinc superoxide dismutase. 90% of all cases are sporadic and of unknown etiology. ...Read more

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Do you know if amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is sex linked or a chromosomal error?

Possible: About 10% of cases of ALS are familial, and 30% of these are due to mutations of the gene than encodes copper/zinc superoxide dysmutase. ...Read more

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My mom has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. (lou gehrigs). What is this exactly?

Bad disease: ALS damages the motor nerve cell in brain and spinal cord causing progressive arm and leg weakness, muscle flickering, with progressive disability. If the disease affects the lower part of the brain, problems with tongue atrophy, swallowing, and breathing can create major crises, and even need for tracheostomy. The sole available drug, Riluzole does delay trach, but no effect on strength. ...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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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 do you suggest if my mom has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. (lou gehrigs)?

? research study: This is a very unfortunate situation, as ALS is a very bad disease without a cure. The drug Riluzole can slow the process, and some pts have added gabapentin and memantine to the mix. Have a doctor who is very experienced in neuromuscular disease, and perhaps get involved in a Medical School based research project, involving a newer agent. ...Read more

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I'm having hard time swallowing, can this be a sign of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Unlikely: While dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) can be a herald of als, this is a very, very rare disease, and dysphagia is a common symptom. Depending on your age, what you have trouble swallowing, and other medical issues you have, there are a host of potential causes for dysphagia. See your physician and discuss it with him/her, include what is hard to swallow, when, when it started. Good luck. ...Read more

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Need doctor's help! What can you tell me about als (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)?

Need expert help: Als is indeed a bad disease, as there is no cure, and only minimal modest interventions. It is a disorder of unknown cause, but 10% are genetic with 25% of these having problems with copper/zinc superoxide dismutase. It is a disorder of the motor nerve cell resulting in muscle atrophy, weakness, fasciculations, and terminal swallowing and breathing problems. The drug Riluzole may delay outcomes. ...Read more

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Can you tell me could I have a deadly neurological disease like ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) what causes this?

Need information: There is NO way I can make any diagnosis based on vague description you provide. If you have some symptoms, please describe, and we can provide a much more direct answer. ...Read more

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Can prenatal screening tell you if your baby will have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Rarely: Rare families have a genetic form of ALS that involves the gene for superoxide dismutase or other genes. More commonly, ALS occurs sporadically in families with multiple gene and environmental factors and cannot be tested for in advance of symptoms. ...Read more

Dr. Steven Bowers
536 Doctors shared insights

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig Disease) (Definition)

Also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) this is a disorder of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that play a role in controlling voluntary muscle movement. ...Read more