Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS is a disease that destroys the nerve cells that are responsible for muscles in adults, resulting in complete paralysis while mentality is intact. ALS is most common in people older than 30 and men are more likely to develop the disease.
ALS is a fatal condition and death often comes within five years of diagnosis, although some patients can survive longer. Scientists can't find a cure for the disease. Multiple symptoms change while the disease progresses, affecting every part of life, including walking, breathing, and swallowing.
With ALS, neurons in the brain and spinal cord die. When this happens, your muscles stop getting signals from the brain and become very weak. After that, the muscles stop working and the patient loses control over the body.
The first symptoms are weakness and stiffness. Patients have trouble with movements, especially with smaller actions like turning a key. Then, falls become common. After some time, patients can't move arms, body, head, and legs.
Eventually, patients stop breathing. They can keep living with the help of a breathing machine, but after some time they die. The focus of care is to maintain independence for as long as possible, allowing patients to stay active and enjoy life.