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What is the full form of ALS

ALS: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It is a neurodegenerative disease that affects motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It is a progressive disease as it gets worse over time and causes the death of motor nerve cells (neurons) that control the voluntary muscles. Eventually, the motor nerve cells can no longer send impulses/signals to muscles and muscles begin to waste away or decrease in size (atrophy). It affects the ability of brain to initiate and coordinate muscle movement and the person may not speak, eat, move and breathe properly.

Fullform ALS

ALS is also known as motor neuron disease (MND). The word "Amyotrophic" is derived from the Greek language. It is a combination of three words, "A" means no. "Myo" means muscle and "Trophic" means nourishment, so it means no muscle nourishment. ALS is discovered by a French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot in 1869. It is also called Lou Gehrig?s disease, after the famous baseball player who was diagnosed with this medical condition.

ALS can be of two types, sporadic and familial. Sporadic is the most common type of ALS in the U.S. Familial, as the name suggests, is a hereditary disease as it passes from one generation to next generation.

Common Symptoms

The symptoms of ALS may vary from person to person. Some of the common early symptoms are as follows:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle twitches in the arm, leg, shoulder or tongue
  • Tight and stiff muscles
  • Difficult chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing and speaking

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