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ALS of “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”

Last updated date: 08-Oct-2021

CloudHospitalLou Gehrig’s Disease
CloudHospital

3 mins read

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or better known colloquially as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the baseball player who was diagnosed with it in the 1930s. The condition was discovered by a French doctor named Jean-Martin Charcot in 1869.

Lou Gehrig's disease is a progressive disease; thus, it gets worse over time. It affects nerves in your brain and spinal cord that control your muscles. The muscles get weaker, it gets more difficult to walk, talk, eat, and breathe. It’s a disease that affects your motor neurons. These nerve cells send messages from the brain to the spinal cord and then to the muscles in the body. You have two main types neurons: upper motor neurons, or nerve cells in the brain and lower motor neurons, or nerve cells in the spinal cord to muscular tissue. These motor neurons control all your voluntary movements -- the muscles in your arms, legs, and face, for example. They tell your muscles to contract so you can walk, run, pick up objects, chew, and swallow food, and even simply breathe. With Lou Gehrig’s disease, motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord break down and die over time. As this happens, the brain cannot send messages to the muscles. Because the muscles do not get any signals, they atrophy and become weak over time. After a while, the muscles no longer work, and one loses control over their bodily movements.

At first, the muscles get weaker or stiffens. Those affected may have more trouble with fine movements such as trying to tie shoes or play an instrument. They may stumble clumsily or fall often. After a while, they cannot move their limbs, head, or body in general.

As the disease progresses, people with Lou Gehrig’s lose control of their diaphragm, the muscles in the chest that is essential to breathe. Then they cannot breathe on their own and will need to be on a ventilator for survival.

The loss of breathing causes many people with Lou Gehrig’s to die within five years after they have been diagnosed. However, some affected patients go on to live ten years or more under the disease.

People with Lou Gehrig’s disease are still able to think and learn. They have all of their senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. However, the disease can adversely affect their memory and decision-making abilities.

Unfortunately, so far, there is no cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease. trials. However, today scientists know a lot about the disease and some are excelling in treating patients to reduce the effects of the disease and to slow down the progression, resulting in additional years of life in better conditions than without the right treatments. There are many researchers still continuing to find a cure as there are approximately 2,500 patients in Korea and 350,000 worldwide. Until then, world-recognized hospitals such as Hanyang University Seoul Hospital in Korea hosts a world-renowned Lou Gehrig Clinic which offers a vast arsenal of treatments such as various stem cell derived treatments in clinical stages as well as utilizing erythropoietin to treat as it has neuroprotective qualities and has shown efficacy in neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS. Patients from around the world visit Hanyang University Seoul Hospital to treat their Lou Gehrig’s disease for their excellence in results derived from years of experience in the field. The hospital, based in South Korea, is a premier healthcare provider that CloudHospital proudly represents as it excels in its practice. 

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