Lou Gehrig’s Disease

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after a well known talented baseball player. Diagnosed by Mayo clinic in the 1930s. Read more about him at http://www.lougehrig.com/

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is the one of the most common form of progressive motor neuron disease. The pathological hallmark is neurodegeneration of both lower motor neuron and upper motor neuron. It’s presentation is variable, depending on the degree of involvement of upper and lower motor neuron. Usually, victims develop insidious onset of asymmetrical weakness, involved distally on one limb. Eventually, as disease progresses there is associated muscle weakness, atrophy (hence the name amyotrophic), spontaneous twitching or fasciculation of muscle. It is not easy to differentiate ALS with other motor neuron disease. Once the upper motor neuron tract is involved (corticospinal tract), there will be hyperactivity of tendon reflexes (knee jerk, ankle jerk, ect.), and spastic resistance to passive movements of affected limb. Involvement of corticobulbar (brainstem), result in dysarthria (difficulty in speech) and exaggeration of motor expression of speech. One can have lower motor neuron or upper motor neuron as initial presentation. Thus, it is variable.

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