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      Dagmar Munn

      While ALS continues to be a challenge for medical experts to understand and treat, the general public still holds onto many myths and false beliefs about the condition. Fortunately, over time these are proved to be false.

      When I was diagnosed 9 years ago, these were the most common myths about ALS that I encountered circulating on the internet:

      • All patients die within 2-5 years of being diagnosed. Now, many ALS patients are successfully living 5, 10 years or more beyond their date of diagnosis.
      • ALS symptoms follow a set pattern: first in the legs and arms, then speech and swallowing, finally breathing. Now, we know that symptoms can vary in where they begin. Many ALS patients never experience all of the symptoms and some experience them in reverse order.
      • Any form of exercise is not recommended – – the thought was that exercise would “wear out the muscles faster.” Ten years of solid research has proven that mild exercise is indeed beneficial. It not only helps retain strength and range of motion in the muscles, but also helps improve the patient’s emotional well-being.

      What myths about ALS are you being told or have read about? Why do you think these persist?

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