Lou Gehrig's Disease

Also called: ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Lou Gehrig's Disease is a very rare disease that only effects about 20k people each year.The cause is not known in 90% to 95% of cases. About 5-10% of cases are inherited from a person's parents.There is no cure for ALS. A medication called riluzole may extend life expectancy by about two to three months.

10 Facts about ALS

  • ALS is not contagious.
  • It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.
  • Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year.ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
  • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live for five years and more. More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial or ethnic boundaries.
  • ALS can strike anyone.
  • ALS has struck many celebrities
  • Riluzole, the first treatment to alter the course of ALS
  • The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms.

Common Symptoms of ALS

Common symptoms of this disease are
  1. Difficulty walking, tripping or difficulty doing your normal daily activities.
  2. Weakness in your leg, feet or ankles.
  3. Hand weakness or clumsiness.
  4. Slurring of speech or trouble swallowing.
  5. Muscle cramps and twitching in your arms, shoulders and tongue.

Is it Fatal Or Deadly?

Yes, "ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is possibly the most deadly disease many people have never heard of" says the ALSA. Half of all people affected with ALS live at least three or more years after diagnosis. Twenty percent live five years or more, up to ten percent will live more than ten years. ALS is not contagious, but it could strike anyone at anytime...

Diagnosis

  • A loss of muscle bulk, and muscle weakness, particularly in the arms and legs
  • Muscle twitching
  • Spasticity. The arms or legs resist being moved by someone else.
  • Abnormal tendon reflexes
  • The Babinski sign. The toe moves upward when the sole of the foot is stroked.
  • Difficulty taking a deep breath in and out
  • Facial weakness
  • Slurred speech

Citations

"The Lou Gehrig Society." The Lou Gehrig Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.

"Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS)." KidsHealth - the Web's Most Visited Site about Children's Health. Ed. Steven Dowshen. The Nemours Foundation, 01 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.

"Facts You Should Know." - The ALS Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.

"ALS Therapy Development Institute." ALS Therapy Development Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.

"Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis." (ALS) Treatments and Drugs. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.

By Tyler A2