Lou Gehrig's Disease

525 Words3 Pages
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease that either can be passed along genetically through a family line or develop sporadically if a genetic mutation occurs in an individual’s DNA. There are numerous genes in which a mutation could lead to the development of ALS. These genes include SOD1, FUS, C9or72, ANG, SETX, TARDBP, and VPB genes. The most common mutated gene, especially in familial ALS in the United States, occurs on the C9or72 gene with the SOD1 following closely behind. ALS occurs less through inheritance as it does sporadically; however, it is usually autosomal dominant when inherited. There are some cases where the disease can either be autosomal recessive or X-linked, but these are less common.1
ALS is a disease that affects motor neurons, eventually causing muscles to become weakened to the point of not being usable and breathing becomes increasingly difficult. Individuals with this disease lose the ability to walk, have difficulty chewing or swallowing, lose mobility of other muscles, and gain difficulty in breathing. Their muscles often become thinner due to atrophy. Symptoms of ALS do not typically develop until the person affected is
…show more content…
Treatments focus on slowing down the progression of symptoms, thus prolonging the quality of life of the person suffering the disease. A common drug used to delay the intensity of the symptoms is riluzole. This drug works at targeting certain chemicals in the brain that are at high levels in people with ALS and reducing the amount of those chemicals. This does not prevent the disease from progressing, but it causes the progression to occur at a slower rate. People with ALS also commonly take part in physical therapy and speech therapy to help maintain muscle and speech ability as much as possible. However, despite the treatments, the muscles of individuals inflicted with ALS will deteriorate.

More about Lou Gehrig's Disease

Open Document