Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 1

Symptoms

What are the main symptoms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?

Most people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) initially notice weakness in their hands and legs, slurred or unclear speech, trouble swallowing or chewing and muscle problems (twitching, cramping, stiffness or weakness). Late symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) include generalized muscle weakness and atrophy (muscle wasting), increasing problems with moving, swallowing, and speaking, exaggerated reflexes (hyperreflexia), and an overactive gag reflex. People with ALS eventually lose the ability to stand/walk, get in/out of bed on their own, and use their hands/arms. A small percentage of people may have trouble with memory or decision making. About 5% of individuals with ALS, regardless of family history, have frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The average duration of disease is three years, but it can vary significantly. Most people with ALS die because the muscles that control their breathing are compromised.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1450/

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