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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – ALS

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

Symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in women

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

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

When amyotrophic lateral sclerosis progresses, the most common symptoms are slurred speech, complete loss of movements and difficulty while breathing. Slurred speech occurs because the motor neurons that are in charge of the speech are affected. In this stage, the woman cannot control the muscles any longer and is bedridden in the majority of cases. She cannot perform everyday tasks by herself and needs constant surveillance. The shortness of breath occurs because the lung muscles are weaker due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Furthermore, it can lead to pneumonia and the woman must be on ventilation until the death. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cannot be cured completely even if it is diagnosed in the early stages.

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