We gave you the scoop with the first set of seven crucial things that you didn’t know about ALS in our part one article, and we have finally returned with part two to give you the full scoop on everything you need to know about this medical threat. There is no person safe from the possible onset of this neurodegenerative disease, and we have brought you everything that every person should know. To discover the final top eight crucial things that you didn’t know about ALS, all you have to do is keep reading!
Number Eight: Institutional Programs
It is becoming increasingly difficult to live life with this plaguing disease, and medical professionals and caregivers understand that. To aid the trying process of dealing with the symptoms of Lou Gehrig’s disease, many institutions are implementing programs aimed at caring for these patients. Some of the most notable institutions are the Methodist Neurologist Institute in Houston, the UMass Medical and MGH of Massachusetts, and the California Pacific Medical Center in the Bay Area.
Number Seven: Rate of Development
In the United States, the rate of development for ALS is exceptionally high and growing. It is estimated that for every 100,000 citizens, two will be diagnosed. In retrospect, that means that a new diagnosis is discovered approximately every 90 minutes. Oddly enough, this rate is almost exactly identical to the rate of contraction for MS.
Number Six: The Cause Is Unknown
Medical professionals have been able to predict slight correlations between ALS and audiences at risk, such as military veterans; however, the main source of ALS is widely unknown. This disease will continue to take lives until the primary cause is found, but for now, researchers are testing an array of over 150 possible treatments.
Number Five: Life Expectancy
Sadly, a diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s Disease is fatal in almost all cases. Life expectancy from the time of diagnosis varies among patients, but the average is only two to five years. However, medical research and technology advances are lengthening these statistics. Over half of these patients will live three years past their diagnosis, 20% live past five years, and as many as 10% can live past ten years.
Number Four: Spotty Symptoms
The symptoms that indicate the onset of Lou Gehrig’s disease can often prove very difficult to understand. In many cases, it can take as long as a whole year to finally receive a diagnosis. In addition, patients may experience periods of symptom “arrests” or “reversals” in which patients experience improvement in function or the full return of functionality. While these experiences may give patients hope, the symptoms return in full force 99% of the time.
Number Three: ALS Is Not Contagious
If someone you know has been afflicted with ALS, there is no reason to neglect them for fear of catching the disease yourself. It has been proven that this disease is in no way contagious. Additionally, a person who has developed this disease is in more need of your care and company than ever.
Number Two: It Can Happen to Anyone
If anything has been learned from what we know about the onset of this disease, it is that no one is safe from it. It has been observed all around the world, and every single one of us is at risk of developing ALS.
Number One: Hope on the Horizon
Although there is currently no cure for this devastating disease, medical research has been progressively expanding technology. A new drug called Riluzole has shown remarkable potential in the field and is estimated to prolong the life of affected patients by as long as seven months. It does not have the ability to reverse the damage done to the motor neurons, but it may preserve functionality for a short time. We hope you enjoyed learning the 15 crucial things you didn’t know about ALS!