An Overview of the Signs and Symptoms of ALS

Wendy Henderson avatar

by Wendy Henderson |

Share this article:

Share article via email

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.

MORE: Do firefighters have an increased risk of ALS?

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.

MORE: Nine facts to know about the new ALS drug, Radicava.

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.