ALS

ALS and Cannabis Oil Tratment

ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurological (nervous system) disease that destroys nerve cells and leads to disability.

ALS is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the famous baseball player who was diagnosed with the disease. ALS is a type of motor neuron disease that gradually breaks down nerve cells, causing them to die.

Doctors usually do not know why ALS occurs, however, in some cases, it is inherited.

ALS often starts with muscle twitching and limb weakness, or slurred speech. Ultimately, ALS affects control of the muscles that are needed to move, speak, breathe and eat. There is unfortunately no cure for ALS, and in the end the disease is fatal.

Causes

ALS is inherited in 5% to 10% of cases, while the remaining have no clear cause.

Researchers are studying many possible causes of ALS, including:

  • Protein mishandling. Mishandled proteins in the nerve cells may lead to a gradual accumulation of irregular forms of these proteins in the cells, abolishing the nerve cells.
  • Chemical imbalance. People with ALS generally have higher than usual levels of glutamate, a chemical messenger in the brain, surrounding the nerve cells in their spinal fluid. Too much glutamate is known to be toxic to some nerve cells.
  • Gene mutation. Various genetic mutations can cause inherited ALS, which causes almost the same signs and symptoms as the non-inherited form.
  • Disorganized immune response. Sometimes a person’s immune system starts attacking some of his or her body’s own normal cells, which may cause the death of nerve cells.

Risk factors

Established risk factors for ALS include:

  • Genetics. Some studies examining the entire human genome found many similarities in the genetic variations of people suffering from familial ALS and some people with non-inherited ALS. These genetic variations could make people more susceptible to ALS.
  • Age. ALS risk growths with age, and is most common between the ages of 40 and 60 years.
  • Heredity. 5% to 10% of the people with ALS inherited it. In the majority of people with familial ALS, their children have a 50-50 chance of developing the disease.
  • Sex. Before the age of 65, slightly more men than women get ALS. This sex difference disappears after age 70.

Symptoms

Early symptoms and signs of ALS include:

  • Trouble holding one’s head up or keeping good posture
  • Trouble walking or performing normal daily activities
  • Hand weakness or clumsiness
  • Muscle cramps and twitching in the arms, shoulders and tongue
  • Slurred speech or trouble swallowing
  • Tripping and falling
  • Weakness in the leg, feet or ankles

ALS often begins in the limbs, feet or hands, and then spreads to various other parts of the body. As the disease advances and nerve cells are demolished, the muscles progressively weaken. This eventually affects speaking, chewing, swallowing, and breathing.

ALS does not usually affect bladder or bowel control, the senses or thinking ability. It is possible to remain actively involved with family and friends while suffering from ALS.