In this video from the ALS Association, discover some of the signs and symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The film explains that the symptoms often appear very slowly at first and can vary greatly from person to person.
The progression of the disease takes place over several years. It begins when the brain signals to the muscles are interrupted, leading to atrophy of the muscles and eventually paralysis. Some of the first early signs of the disease include muscle weakness, lack of motor control in either the legs or arms, trouble swallowing and talking, muscle cramps and twitching, and shortness of breath.
None of the symptoms alone will lead to an ALS diagnosis, but as the disease progresses more muscle involvement will occur and the patient will experience more weakness.
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