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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a medical termfor the condition marked by the degeneration of motor neurons that affects thevoluntary muscles in the body. It is not an uncommondisease and nowadays it affects men equally as women, although in the past itwas more prevalent in men. This condition in 5 to 10 % of the cases is inherited because itis essentially a genetic disorder. In most cases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affectsthose people at the age between 40 and 60. This disease is also called Stephen Hawking’sdisease, according to a famous physicist that suffered from it. The third nameis Lou Gehrig's disease. Lou Gehrig was a famous baseball player who sufferedfrom this disorder.

Symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in women

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has very mild symptomsin the early stages, so therefore, it is very difficult to diagnose it in thebeginning. One of the first symptoms of this disease is theweakness of the muscles, which is usually accompanied by muscle pain andmuscle cramps. The woman who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mayexperience arm immobility and can find daily tasks very difficult forperforming. Furthermore, the legs gradually become weaker andthe woman has trouble walking. Therefore, imbalance and falling are also thesymptoms of this disorder.

Since this disorder affects voluntary muscles, itmay happen that the woman cannot control certain facial expressions, such assmiling, laughing, and crying. It happens that if, for example, the woman startssmiling, it becomes very difficult for her to stop it and resume the normalexpression. Moreover, dysphagia may occur as well as a symptomof amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dysphagia is a medical term for thedifficult swallowing either of liquid or food. This disorder occurs because themuscles of throat and mouth become weak.

When amyotrophic lateral sclerosis progresses, themost common symptoms are slurred speech, complete loss of movements anddifficulty while breathing. Slurred speech occurs because the motor neuronsthat are in charge of the speech are affected. In this stage, the woman cannotcontrol the muscles any longer and is bedridden in the majority of cases. She cannotperform everyday tasks by herself and needs constant surveillance. The shortness of breath occurs because the lungmuscles are weaker due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Furthermore, it canlead to pneumonia and the woman must be on ventilation until the death. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cannot be curedcompletely even if it is diagnosed in the early stages.

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