Treatment Options For Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), occasionally referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a devastating and fatal neurodegenerative condition. It frequently strikes individuals in the prime of their life and causes severe dysfunction progressing to death over around three years on average, with approximately five thousand new cases diagnosed in the United States every year. ALS causes motor neurons in the spinal cord to die. 

Initial symptoms include difficulty using the feet and hands and slurring speech. The condition then progresses to complete paralysis, including the need for a ventilator. The most horrific aspect of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is while the body fails, the mind remains intact. While there is currently no cure, some treatment options can delay progression.

Therapies

A variety of different therapies can be used to help relieve the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Physical therapists can devise assorted therapies to help with difficulties in using the legs and arms. They can also be helpful in identifying the appropriate braces and walking assistance devices and can assist patients in deciding when to transition to a wheelchair. Physical therapy can also improve the patient's feelings of well-being and their quality of life. As the disease progresses, patients experience difficulties in breathing, swallowing, and speaking, and professionals in these various fields can assist in developing various approaches to improve each patient's capacity in performing these essential functions.

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