ALS: 15 Crucial Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

ALS, for those of you who don’t know, is a degenerative disease that targets the all-important nervous system. Otherwise known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, this pressing disease is affecting more people as time passes on. Even if you have not been diagnosed with the condition, there are so many crucial tidbits of information that everyone should be aware of about this medical threat. We’re here to fill you in! Don’t forget to come back for our part to article, coming soon to reveal the top eight crucial things you didn’t know about ALS!

Number Fifteen: The Ice Bucket Challenge

For those of you who partook in the challenge, or remember your social media feeds blowing up with videos from the Ice Bucket Challenge, you have already been introduced to ALS. This trending challenge was created as a fundraiser, in order to create a more widespread awareness of this pressing disease.

Number Fourteen: The Effect on the Body

Those who experience the onset of this disease are put through an unimaginably frustrating and painful ordeal. The disease targets significant nerve cells in the body and spinal cord, leading its victims to a life of progressively increasing impairment of basic bodily movements. Over time, it will make it more difficult for its victims to move their arms, legs, and even face.

Number Thirteen: The Effect on the Mind

Much research has been done in relation to how ALS may affect a patient’s cognitive skills, but it is widely accepted that the disease does not hinder intelligence. However, affected persons tend to be more prone to developing depression, or may experience a decline in memory and decision-making abilities.

Number Twelve: It is Genealogically Spontaneous

When it comes to inheriting the disease, it is more likely for a person who has no family history of the disease to develop it. Of all of the documented cases, only about five to 10 percent of patients have observed the disease in their family history. All that is known of the correlations to its development is that is much more likely among military veterans, especially those deployed during the Gulf War.

Number Eleven: Risk Factor

Other than this particular group of military veterans, the disease has been known to be more prominent in men and people of Caucasian origin. Every year, it is estimated that 5,600 new cases are discovered. Of these cases, it is 20% more likely to be diagnosed among men than women. Of all of the cases known today, roughly 93% of these affected persons have been white.

Number Ten: Risk with Age

ALS is primarily observed in older people, mainly between the ages of 60 to 69 years. However, it is completely possible to develop symptoms at any age. In fact, the man who began the Ice Bucket Challenge was diagnosed in 2012 at the young age of 29 years.

Number Nine: ALS Symptoms Take Time

The symptoms of ALS may take quite a bit of time to notice. Affected persons don’t simply wake up one morning unable to control their limbs, the degeneration takes place over a prolonged period of time. Most people don’t notice the early signs of its onset, but it may be indicated by cramps, stiff muscles, twitching, or decreased function in chewing or swallowing. Eventually, most people affected with ALS will die from inability to breathe. Don’t forget to come back for our part to article, coming soon to reveal the top eight crucial things you didn’t know about ALS!