Symptoms And Treatment Of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Essay

1004 Words Apr 12th, 2016 5 Pages
Introduction Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The disease was discovered in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic comes from the Greek language, which translates, to “no muscle nourishment” Lateral refers to the area that the disease affects, which are portions of the nerve cells in the spinal cords that send signals to the muscles. Sclerosis is the pathological hardening of tissue, which happens as the area degenerates. As the lateral areas harden, the signals stop. ALS is 100% fatal and currently affects around 30,00 Americans.
In a normally functioning human, the neurons from the brain are sent along the spinal cord to the muscles to allow the body to perform every day movements and actions in our daily lives. When a person has ALS, the progressive degeneration of the neurons, essentially leads to the death of the neurons, making it impossible for the human body to function properly. “In ALS, the motor neurons are affected in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord, and there is a progressive loss of muscle control and strength. Oral motor function (e.g., contraction of musculature during speaking and swallowing) is impaired in the bulbar form of the disease. Although motor symptoms predominate, 10% of patients with ALS exhibit symptoms of FTD (Frontotemporal…

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