Saturday, November 12, 2011

Living with ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a little known disease, with an annual incidence of 0.4 to 1.76 per 100,000 inhabitants, despite the image of a famous patient, Stephen Hawking, has been around the world and has been in the limelight of today since, in 1973, developed his theory of black holes in space. Men are more affected than women. Most patients are in their fifties at the start of symptoms and the incidence increases with each decade of life. In about 5% of cases the disease is familial, inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Family cases do not differ in their clinical course of sporadic, but usually start a little earlier, with equal distribution of men and women, a slightly shorter survival, a greater tendency to weakness in the legs begin.

Early symptoms of ALS often include: progressive loss of strength in upper limbs, seen in normal activities, like lifting a weight or open and close a valve, reduction in size of muscle mass in arms and hands, and speech disorders: nasal voice, difficulty moving the tongue) are due to the loss of strength in the muscles of the larynx and tongue.

Living the day

His diagnosis is not difficult, but sometimes it takes and, as in the case of Jose Lillo, is generally a pilgrimage to the orthopedist, the neurologist, and so on. and ends up throwing away diagnosed at other disease. Unfortunately there are no treatments for ALS. Patients will need advice and support because it is often the incidence of depressive disorders. Palliative drugs are used, which reduce the stiffness and muscle cramps. In the early stages of the disease that affected the muscles of respiration, we must consider the possibility of using ventilation devices (so-called iron lung). If you experience problems swallowing food, food is necessary to employ ground, or even support through a tube.
And in any case, says Joseph Lillo, "be very strong. I always I have faith that I will recover. I Live the day. "

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