Support groups for patients with Amylotrophic Lateral Sclerosis urge that the condition be counted as a rare disease.
GS II: Health
Dimensions of the Article:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Mechanism of ALS Effects
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative condition affecting specific nerve cells called motor neurons within the brain and spinal cord.
- These motor neurons are responsible for controlling various voluntary functions, such as movement, speech, and chewing.
- The disease is also commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the famous baseball player who battled ALS.
Impact on Motor Neurons and Muscles:
- ALS leads to the gradual degeneration of motor neurons, causing the muscles they control to lose functionality and weaken.
- The result is muscle atrophy, characterized by the wasting away of muscles due to the loss of nerve signals.
Mechanism of ALS Effects:
Upper Motor Neurons:
- These motor neurons exist in the brain and spinal cord.
- Their role is to transmit signals to lower motor neurons.
Lower Motor Neurons:
- Situated in the brain stem and spinal cord.
- They receive instructions from upper motor neurons and relay messages to muscles, initiating movement.
- Following the emergence of symptoms, ALS diagnosis typically occurs over a period of 8 to 15 months.
Current Treatment Landscape:
- Presently, there is no definitive cure for ALS.
- Available treatments focus on symptom management and improving the quality of life for individuals living with the disease.
-Source: The Hindu