Lou Gehrig’s disease which is also commonly known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease which can be caused due to many different reasons. ALS is characterized by muscle spasticity and rapidly increasing weakness which happens due to muscle wasting.
This disease generally starts around the age of 60 and can cause difficulty in speaking, breathing and swallowing. . It is a kind of a motor neuron disease which is among the most common of the 5 major types.
Other major information about Lou Gehrig disease is given below:
Signs and Symptoms
The following are the main signs and symptoms of Loud Gehrig disease:
- One of the major signs of Lou Gehrig disease is the loss in the ability to initiate and control the voluntary movement.
- Weakness and muscle altrophy are the earliest symptoms of Lou Gehrig disease and some of the other symptoms include cramping, troubled swallowing, stiffness in the muscles which have been affected and slurred nasal speech.
- The disease first affects the arms and the feet and this may result in limb-onset or arm-onset which is the conditions in which one may experience awkwardness while walking, running jogging and difficulty in tasks like buttoning the shirt respectively.
- People with ALS may also experience difficulty in generating voluntary fast movements of the eye. Also, some of the people may experience problems in generating smooth pursuit as well as difficult in convergence movements.
The following are the main and most common causes of Lou Gehrig disease or ALS:
- Genetics-one of the most major cause of ALS is genetics. About 10% of the cases of this disease are directly transferred in a patient from his/her parents. A defect caused in the chromosome 21 is related to about 20% of the familial cases.
- In 90% of the cases of ALS, no real cause or factor is known. Some of the potential causes in these cases could be serious head trauma, frequent use of drugs, and participation in contact sports on a regular basis as well as service in the military.
- ALS has also been associated with consumption of food which is contaminated with blue-green algae.