Lou Gehrigs Disease Essay

The first recorded notes of ALS date back to 1874 , and was discovered by JeanMarie Charcot, who was a noted neurologist Many know ALS as Lou Gehrig’s disease named after the baseball player whose career came to an end through ALS . After this, ALS became well known. There is no cure for ALS, although in 1 995 the first drug treatment was approv ed for ALS symptoms. It is called Riluzole It’s believed to help decrease damage to the motor neurons. This is because it decreases the rate of glutamate .

Glutamate is an amino acid that transmits messages to molecules, and those with ALS have higher levels of gl tamate than average There are some side effects of the medication including dizziness and reduc ed leukocytes in the blood There are other drugs that can be given over the counter to help reduce any pains or fatigue, which can aid those with progressing ALS, Many who suff erfrom ALS have also been known to suffer from depression, so many take antidepressan ts as well . ALS symptoms are very subtle, and tend to be overlooked by most . Recorded symptom of ALS include shakiness, twitching, cramping, or stiffness of muscles .

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Slurring of speech and ifficulty chewing or swallowing have also been recorded to be symptoms of ALS . A little over 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS in the united States each ye Averaging about 1015 cases diagnosed each day. It is most common in people aging 4070 . Genetics and environmental causes have both been known to be factors in th e development in ALS however little is known about what exactly the factors of these two causes ar e. About 510% of cases are hereditary, this is called familial ALS Cases that are not passed through the family are known as sporadic ALS

Multiple studies have found that veterans, especially those who had fought in the Gulf War are approximately two times more likely than others to develop ALS throughout their lifetime Roughly 60% of those diagnosed with ALS are men, and an average of 93% of recorded cases are caucasian Recently a dramatic amount of attention has been drawn to the awareness of ALS through the ALS ice bucket challenge Those who accept the “challenge” dump a bucket of ice water on themselves or donate to the ALS foundation in order to help funding in their search for urther treatment, potential cures, and overall causes of ALS .

The “ice bucket challenge” has raised millions of dollar going towards researc It started as a simulation. When you get cold, your muscles contract and may fe el hard to move . ALS causes the muscles to stop moving over a period of time , giving those who take on the “challenge” a feel for what those who suffer from ALS have to deal with . It varies from person to person but the majority of those who are in the later stages of ALS cannot use their arms or legs Some lose their ability to talk, swallow, and chew their food.

Most need to use portable ventilators (called BiPAP’s) to help with their breath ing as well . Progression of ALS varies on the individual, and regardless of where the disor der may of began , it will form in other parts of the body as well, creating muscle weakness , and making progression move along quicker than if it had begun in one area instead of th roughout the body . The speed of eye movement can also affected by ALS . Those who suffer from ALS cannot move their eyes quickly, and have difficulty doing so .

There is no test for a definite diagnosis of ALS . Most diagnosis’s depend on the detection of symptoms and through physician observations In order to keep from confusing a diagnosis with other diseases or disorders a series of tests are given to the patient. One of which is called electromyography (EMG) which is a recording recording technique that is used to detect electrical activity found within the muscles , and certain findings can be helpful in the diagnosis of ALS. Another test is used to measure nerve conduction velocity ( NCV) .

Abnormalities within this test can be used to help aid a diagnosis for ALS as w In some ases, a muscle biopsy is required to tell is a patient has ALS or something els e with similar symptoms like myopathy or peripheral neuropathy Therapists can also be beneficial for those who have ALS , both physical and occupational They can help play a large role with rehabilitation, and teach them to maintai n endurance, limiting their pain and promote functioning independently as well.

Going through rehabilitation can strengthen the muscles that are still functioning , slowing the progression of ALS to those muscles Because those with ALS have difficulty chewing, swallowing, and digesting thei food, it’s recommended that they eat many small meals throughout the day in orde r to maintain their collins 1 nutrition. Once ALS has progressed to the smooth muscle, their organs can’t function pr operly, and many have to be hooked up to tubes in order to help them digest their fo od .

Breathing support Normally called BiPAP) can be necessary in some highly developed cases . Devices are used to mechanically Inflate ones lungs using external sources, so that they h ave easier access to oxygen and to make breathing easier for them It is classified as a rare disease but is the most common of all motor neuron diseases, and is still one of the most known diseases for our modern society.