Explaining the Progression of ALS


This illustrated video from Stichting ALS Nederland briefly explains the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

MORE: Could exercise help ALS patients with swallowing?

It explains the progression of the disease and how it affects patients. ALS causes the brain and spinal cord to stop transmitting signals to the muscles in the body, which leads to them wasting away. Over time, the patient will lose the ability to walk and eventually will be unable to swallow or breathe without help.

There is no cure or treatment for ALS. Palliative care is offered to patients to improve their quality of life and make them as comfortable as possible. Researchers are unsure as to why people develop the disease but are trying to better understand possible causes and hopefully find a cure.

MORE: How to support someone diagnosed with a terminal illness.

ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Ken Leach says:

    I am a logic-minded intellect that has a friend who has been diagnosed with ALS. His progression has been very noticeable over the last 6 weeks. From what I have read about ALS and how the mind, hearing and sight all stay sharp, it seems that it impacts all below the skull. Does that suggest a spinal cord issue that could be more from prior injury, rather than a disease or herititary issue. Is it possible that it manifests itself over time much like the current emergence of (CTE) the concussion studies?

    • Nancye says:

      Interesting, my mom was recently diagnosed with ALS. I too wondered if it was injury related; given the rapid progressive nature of the degenereation of muscle and the onset off “other” symptoms.

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