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What Is Lou Gehrig’s Disease And What Can Be Done To Prolong Quality Of Life?

What Is Lou Gehrig’s Disease And What Can Be Done To Prolong Quality Of Life?

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease because the famous baseball player contracted it and ultimately died from it at age 37. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the spinal cord and nerve cells in the brain. After diagnosis, the expected life span of a patient suffering from the disease is less than five years. It is a progressive disease that eventually and inevitably leads to death.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this fatal disease. Riluzole, however, has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in treating ALS. Although this drug does not repair damage already done, it does slow the decline, extending the life of the patient for several months. It also delays the time when life support means will be necessary. Riluzole decreases the release of glutamate, which will reduce damage to motor neurons. This new drug instills hope in ALS patients and their families that there may one day be a cure for the disease.

Other treatments for the disease are designed to improve the quality of life in an ALS patient. Because the muscles deteriorate until they no longer function and this happens at varying speeds, a physician will be able to develop a medical plan that is best suited for the individual. Each case should be evaluated for the progression and severity of symptoms at that period.


Drugs such as ibuprofen will relieve general pain and it is commonly used to enhance comfort levels. Baclofen or tizanadine will help reduce muscle spasms. Physical therapy is essential in maintaining flexibility and reducing risk of permanent muscle contractions. It will also help with pain management.

Proper nutrition is important to maintain as ALS patient need easy to swallow foods that build energy. Speech therapy may also be advised to enhance the ability to communicate verbally for as long as possible. As the disease progressives, life support mechanisms will need to be employed to sustain life. Feeding tubes and breathing machines will need to be used. Heart problems may also occur which will need treatment to prolong the life of the patient.

Lou Gehrig’s disease is fatal. At this time, there are no cures but there are treatments that will help prolong life and add to the quality of life. This disease is tragic and affects the lives of the patient and family.


MaPomDen.com is Ghana’s Health Hub Spearheaded by Dr. Frank Dartey Amankonah (Dr. Doo), a Medical Doctor with extensive Healthcare experience and WordPress skills, and works for a Mission Hospital in Ghana.His main aim is to bring Health education to all and sundry and make people comfortable to ask their health-related questions freely and a friendly way to understand their conditions.Dr. Frank A Dartey has B.Sc. Human Biology (2009) and MBChB (2012) from the School of Medical Sciences (SMS)- KNUST, Ghana.

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My Wife was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) when she was 72 years old 4 years ago. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. Her arms weakened first, then her hands and legs. Last year, a family friend told us about Organic Herbal clinic and their successful ALS TREATMENT, we visited their website Organic Herbal Clinic and ordered their ALS Formula, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed her Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most of the symptoms stopped, she is able… Read more »

Luka kegley
Luka kegley

My first ALS symptom appeared in 2011. 4 years ago I learnt about ALS/MND successful chinese medicine from Rich Herbs Foundation (ww w. richherbsfoundation.c om), the treatment made a tremendous difference for me. Few weeks into the treatment I had improved muscle strength and coordination, improved speech, improved walking balance, increased appetite, improved eyesight and improved mood swings. 4 years since the treatment, i still feel stronger than ever with no symptoms at all, only occasional tingling on my right foot at night. I feel cured from the disease!