In May, we take the time to become more aware of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a progressive disease that causes the degeneration of motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Eventually, the muscles weaken and atrophy. Generally, it is not diagnosed until after the age of 50, but can be diagnosed in people younger than 50. The symptoms can be muscle weakness and cramps that eventually get worse, difficulty swallowing, breathing, and speaking, along with muscle paralysis and weight loss. Muscle weakness usually involves one part of the body first, like your hand or arm, and progresses to making walking, stairs, or lifting difficult. The majority of causes for ALS are unknown, but 1 of 10 with ALS have a genetic defect. There aren’t any known risk factors, except if you have a family member with the heredity form of the disease.
ALS is not easily diagnosed. A neurologist will begin advanced tests to accurately diagnosis ALS. While there isn’t a cure for ALS, there are many medicines that can help manage symptoms, and clinical trials are continually looking for new and improved treatments. In addition to medical treatments, physical therapy and rehabilitation can help symptoms of ALS. When the disease progression requires adaptive aids, braces and wheelchairs can be used to keep people mobile and active. ALS doesn’t affect the senses or a person’s cognitive abilities.
If you or a family member have received a diagnosis of ALS, Affinity Home Care Agency can help you navigate daily life. We have many skilled care therapists, nurses, and caregivers that are specially trained to assist patients with ALS. Contact us, www.affinityhomecareagency.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 888-806-8773 to set up your assessment. Some or all of your treatment at home could be covered by insurance.