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What is ALS?

The following is a description of ALS.  Not to discourage, but to present the enemy that the person with ALS is up against.  We believe that one must never give up hope or the firm resolve to defeat this disease. 

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ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  It is a degenerative disease of the neuromuscular system, attacking the nerve cells responsible for all voluntary movement.  These nerve cells are called motor neurons, and as their numbers diminish due to ALS, the muscles begin to waste away, or atrophy, causing muscle weakness.
A Motor Neuron

Clinical signs and symptoms of ALS include twitching and cramping of muscles, loss of motor control in hands, arms, and legs, weakness and fatigue, difficulty sleeping, slurred or thick speech and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

ALS does not affect vision, hearing, mental acuity, sensation, bowel and urinary function, and sexual function.

ALS is considered irreversible, incurable, and fatal, but there are known instances of the disease reversing and/or stopping.  ALS FORCE believes in never giving up hope, and believing that you’re destined to win the war.

© 2014 ALS Foundation of Research and Clinical Evaluation