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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

            There are very many known diseases in the world today. In the past many sicknesses meant certain death, because a lack of technology to research to develop a cure. In our modern day world most diseases are treatable, in modern medicine only a handful of diseases are "incurable." One of these is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS research needs to become more prevalent and publicized by educating people about what ALS is, the three types of ALS and some of famous cases of ALS.
             ALS is a disease that kills off the connections between the motor neurons in the brain and the body's muscles. Over an unknown period of time this degeneration no longer allows the brain to tell the muscles to move. (What Is ALS) Early Symptoms of ALS can be easily overlooked or dismissed. Although they are never constant from patient to patient some early symptoms include twitching, cramping, muscle stiffness, slurred speech and difficulty chewing. As the disease progresses problems with basic muscle movement, weight loss, and speaking increase rapidly. The disease has no known time table on how fast it affects one's body but all patients eventually become fully paralyzed. (What Is ALS).
             Once all connections are destroyed the only functioning part of the patient's body is their brain. They are still fully capable of thinking and are completely aware of everything going on around them, but are helpless and completely dependent on others around them. Another hard part is the difficulty to determine if it is actually ALS because early stages of the disease mimic other pathologies (Lewis, Tanya). A series of tests are performed which consists of blood and urine tests to rule out any other possibilities. Once ALS is suspected a neurological exam is performed to test the electrical signals throughout the body's muscles and is the main support to an ALS diagnosis.

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