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Treatment and Management of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Last Updated on May 07, 2018
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Treatment and Management of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

A specific cure for ALS does not exist, hence the treatment of the disease is focused on slowing the progression of the disease and making it manageable.

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  • Medications- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shown the green signal for the first drug riluzole (Rilutek) that can be used in the treatment of ALS. Riluzole works to minimize motor neuron damage by controlling the release of glutamate.
  • Clinical trials with ALS patients showed that Riluzole does not reverse the damage already inflicted but mainly helps those with difficulty in swallowing. It also extends survival by several months and delays the need for ventilation support. However, there remains a possibility of developing some side effects (such as liver damage).
  • Medications to control fatigue, muscle cramps & pain, constipation, excess salivation & phlegm, spasticity, depression and sleep disturbances are often prescribed for these patients.
  • Physical therapy under the guidance of a physical therapist encourages the patient to do simple and low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or stationary bicycling. This increases muscle strength and improves cardiovascular health besides helping the patient to counter fatigue and depression.
  • Occupational therapists can help the patient to become familiar with devices that would help them in daily life such as wheelchairs, walkers, ramps and braces that help patients to remain mobile and active to some extent.
  • Speech therapy is recommended for ALS patients as communication becomes increasingly difficult with disease progression. Speech therapists can teach the patients how to speak more loudly and clearly and also to use non verbal means to communicate. They also help the patient to make the use of devices such as speech synthesizers and computers that make better communication possible.
  • Caregivers of ALS patients must learn from nutritionists how to prepare small nutritious meals that can be given to the patient at various intervals throughout the day. If the patient can no longer eat, a feeding tube can be inserted into the stomach. This also helps to avoid choking or developing pneumonia.
  • Suction devices are often used to remove excess fluid or saliva from the patient to prevent chocking.
  • A nocturnal ventilatory assistance will be used to artificially inflate the lungs and aid breathing while sleeping. As the disease progresses the ventilator will be used full time.

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Comments

mnarciastewart

With my amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS], the first thing that happened almost 2 years ago now, was speaking as if I were drunk. I wasn't. I initially did improve speech (articulating clearly but slow) but now I can no longer speak in an acceptable way. Then, a year later eating became problematic, I was biting my tongue and lips, and chewing became weak and less controlled. Soon after that some fingers started to fail me and things would drop out of my hands. Somewhere at that time bulbar ALS was diagnosed. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help me. The medical team did even less. My decline was rapid and devastating.. We tried every shot available but nothing was working. There has been little if any progress in finding a reliable treatment, Our care provider introduced us to Kycuyu Health Clinic ALS/MND herbal treatment. The treatment is a miracle.i recovered significantly! Visit www. kycuyuhealthclinic. com

glen66t

My ALS [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis] Symptoms started out with a "foot drop" on my left foot. From there my left leg lost all muscle tone and the entire left leg muscles are gone. Also my fingers and thumbs "contract" at times. Left arm loses muscle tone too. My family doctor said there is no cure for ALS, I was just living unhappy life till I saw a blog talking about Best Health Herbal Centre. So many people said positive things about their herbal product which I don’t believe at first. I showed my daughter what I saw online about their product and my daughter decided we shall give it a try. Few days later she purchased two bottle of ALS herbal remedy which they said I will use for only six weeks. My life changed automatically after six weeks of applying the herbal remedy as instructed. All my symptoms was terminated completely and am now living ALS FREE .. All Thanks to Best Health Herbal Centre for their good work in people’s life. For more details about their herbal product visit their Homepage w ww .besthealthherbalcentre. co m

Andrea59

Are there any new treatments for Als?

hopeforjoy

My dearest friend, Joy Styles, died from ALS on July 1st 2011. She was only 52. She was running half marathons and was very active when she noticed an atrophy in her left and and a weakness in her right leg. I have created a website in her name http://www.hopeforjoy.ca that is about her and has useful information about the disease. I wish I could do more, but every little bit helps. God bless everyone who has had experience with this terrible disease.

Doctor_Lilly

My symptoms started off with extreme muscle spasms and cramps. It would get worse when I was on my monthly. I was walking and running at the time to lose some weight that I thought was causing the muscle aches, headaches, and the pain that I was feeling in my whole body. One day it got overwhelming. It was August 17th, 2007. I felt like I was getting the life squeezed out of me and my mind was racing the whole time while experiencing difficulty speaking, walking, and trying to control the jerky movements. I was admitted as a psychiatric patient at that time, now it's been two years later and I feel like I am disseminating. I had another attack recently and that is what scared me enough to go to the neurologist. I am still afraid. I want to see it, and I'm interested in the damage that my body has endured. Can't wait to start treatment. Findyourdrug.com

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