You may not often hear this disease referred to often by its medical name, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but you’ve likely heard about it in its abbreviated form, ALS, or as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the famous New York Yankees baseball player who was forced to retire from it. Whatever you know it as, it’s a fairly rare condition as there are only about 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the country, according to John Hopkins Medicine.
There’s currently no cure for the motor neuron disease that slowly paralyzes a person, but medical science is learning a lot about it and making progress. Here’s what you should know about it…
The Physical Symptoms Can Vary
The Mayo Clinic explains that the way ALS presents itself in patients can vary from case to case, “depending on which neurons are affected.” But, there is a collection of common signs and symptoms that may show up in individuals with the disease, adds the source.
For example, those with ALS often have trouble walking and are prone to falling. They might have weakness in their hands, arms, or legs, and experience slurred speech or difficulty swallowing. Another marker of ALS is muscle cramps and twitching in the arms and even the tongue.