A new study has shown that patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease maintain high quality of life despite the severity of condition.
ALS or Lou Gehrig's is a progressive, usually fatal, neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons. It is the disorder that causes muscle weakness and atrophy throughout the body.
The authors found that many ALS patients were satisfied with their lives despite physical restrictions.
They found that patients who have to be given artificial respiration are more satisfied than patients for whom this is not necessary.
Although an outside observer would have expected ALS patients to be depressed, as the disease is so serious, this was only the case for 10 pct of patients
This means that the proportion of depressive disorders is only slightly greater than in the overall population.
The study is reported in the current edition of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.