Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Lou Gehrig's Disease

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS is also named Lou Gehrig’s disease because he was the first person to bring ALS to a national attention in the 1930’s. Lou Gehrig’s amazing professional baseball career was ended short by this horrific disease. There are multiple treatments for ALS, but no cure for this fatal disease. In 2014, ALS was brought to major attention by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Although Lou has the disease named after him, there are several other notable individuals who have been diagnosed with ALS. These individuals include Stephen Hawking, Jim Hunter, Steve Gleason, George Yardley …show more content…

Breaking down the disease “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis” word for word can help you understand how this disease affects someone. The word “Amyotrophic” comes from the Greek language. “A” means no, “myo” refers to the muscles, and “Trophic” means nourishment. This translates to “No muscle nourishment.” When a muscle has no nourishment it wastes away and cannot be used. The word “lateral” refers to the area where the nerve cells are in the spinal cord. As this area is affected by ALS it creates scarring or hardening which is that last part of the name “sclerosis” (What Is ALS?). The symptoms of ALS include the muscles to not operate correctly in the legs, arms, face, and tongue. Eventually, a person with ALS can lose the ability to breathe too, but recent technologies have made a tubing system to allow you to breathe. ALS is all physically affected, not logical thought. People with ALS still will have the ability to gain intelligence, touch, taste, smell, hear, see, and be able to function sexually (Harvard Med School Family Health Guide). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also referred …show more content…

There is not a cure for ALS. Even though there is not a cure, some treatment methods have proven to be effective. Doctors assign individually designed therapy for maintaining a person’s muscle function. A troubling effect of ALS is the difficulty in swallowing food and saliva. This is fixed by the insertion of a tube through the abdomen and into the stomach through which liquid food can be given. To encourage a positive attitude, emotional support from friends and family help the patient mentally (Larson). ALS is a very mystifying disease that in 90 percent of cases, scientists do not know the cause. Scientists say that nothing in the ALS patient’s diet, where they live, or how they have lived their life can be a credible case for ALS. However, in a small percent of cases, a genetic history can exist. In these cases around half of the entire family is diagnosed with ALS (Causes of

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