Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. Common symptoms of ALS include difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing, as well as muscular weakness, cramping, and twitches. Diagnosis is done through physical and neurological exams as well as laboratory tests and imaging scans. Treatment for ALS typically involves medications to treat symptoms, physical therapy, and speech therapy. Other treatments may include occupational therapy, nutritional counseling, and other supportive care.