Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A rare disease of nervous system

Anju Bisht

, Health A2Z


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis abbreviated as ALS. The condition is a set of uncommon neurological diseases that in particular involve the nerve cells (neurons). ALS is a progressive disease, basically, it gets worse with time. The disease, so far, has no treatment or effective remedy to curb or reverse the same.


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About Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


The data from NINDS states, people with ALS die within 3-5 years counting from the 1st appearance of the symptom, due to respiratory failure. Nevertheless, 10% of people do survive for 10 or more years.


The condition involves the nerve cells which take responsibility for managing voluntary muscle movement. Wherein, both upper, and the lower motor neurons dissolute or dies, and restrain from sending information to the muscles.


Over time, functional inability leads to gradual muscle weakness, twitching (fasciculations), and deterioration (atrophy). Inevitably, the brain tends to lose its ability to control voluntary movements.



Symptoms of ALS


ALS outset symptoms can be delicate which may go unnoticed, but little by little they come out as a more obvious weakness or deterioration. The early symptoms of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis include:


  • Fasciculations (muscle twitches):  Brief contraction in the muscles of arm, leg, shoulder, or tongue.


  • Muscle Spasms or cramps.


  • Spasticity: The condition of muscle contraction which leads to hardening or tightening of muscles.


  • Weaken muscles affecting an arm, a leg, neck or diaphragm.


  • Mumble and nasal speech.


  • Trouble chewing or swallowing.



Some people may find an early symptom of ALS, particularly in the hand or arm as simple activities might become difficult to perform. In general, the symptoms initiate from one leg.  Meanwhile, symptoms beginning with arms or legs are termed as “limb onset” ALS.



The condition rate of progression and emergence of symptoms differ from person to person. But in the due course, a person will end up with the inability to perform simple and basic activities.


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Causes of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


So far the causes are a concern, there are no particular causes even the scientist aren’t aware of. However, there are a few potential components for ALS counting:


1. Age


Age is a factor where ALS can strike at any time. But taking about symptoms it commonly occurs between the age of 55 and 75.


2. Gender


When talking about ALS, men are slightly more likely than women to develop the condition. However, with age that difference also likely to get disappear.


3. Familial (Genetic)


Data from NINDS supports that about 5-10% of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases are inherited from the parents. In this case, one parent with the gene responsible for the disease would be enough to for the child to inherit the condition.

A defect in the gene called “chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 or C9ORF72″ is responsible for the condition in about 25-40% of inherited cases.


4. Sporadic ALS


Another factor, where the majority of cases are sporadic (i.e., occurring at irregular intervals). Yes, the diseases occur in random situations without any risk factor or family history.  In cases with Sporadic ALS, the family members are also at risk but the risk likely low where most will never develop ALS.


With this, we wish you have understood enough about the condition by now. As of cure, there is not any but treatment involve managing symptoms preventing further complication and making living easier with the disease. If you have any question then you can call us or connect us on WhatsApp on +91 9654030724.



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