Physical genius Stephen Hawking died after more than 50 years fighting with ALS. How scary is this physicist’s disease?
Scleroderma is a neurodegenerative disease when nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain stem die, leading to muscle weakness and death. The most famous ALS patient was theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. The process he fought against was different from many patients.
While Hawking developed the disease at age 20, the majority of patients with atrial fibrillation (ALS) have been diagnosed at an early age – often over the age of 50. Stephen Hawking died after more than 50 years fighting with ALS. This is a rare case, because usually the patient will die in 4 to 5 years.
Here are some things you need to know about ALS:
– The disease starts with the weakening of the muscle. When neurons begin to die due to ALS, the first symptom is weakness, which can occur in any part of the body, but tends to occur first in the hands, feet, or mouth. Some people may find it difficult to move their legs or fall. In other cases the hands may be more clumsy, such as difficulty unlocking. Stuttering or speech problems are also one of the early symptoms.
In each case, weak muscles will get worse and spread to other parts of the body.
– The disease does not cause pain. Losing weight and muscle function will not hurt the patient. Some patients may find it uncomfortable to change positions and sit in a wheelchair or bed all day. But ALS rarely causes pain.
– High mortality rate
While some ALS-like Hawking patients – survived on the slow progression of the disease over the years – most patients lose their motor function quickly, leading to problems of eating or breathing. Severe ALS patients may starve if they stop receiving food through the esophagus. But typical patients die from mechanical asphyxia for respiratory paralysis.
– Dissemination but not fully aware
About 35,000 Americans suffer from ALS. This ratio is 1 – 2 per 100,000 people. Disease is inherited. If you have a loved one with ALS, you are at risk of getting sick. Some studies have found a link between smoking and illness. For most people, the disease occurs unexpectedly. The cause of progression is unclear, it seems to be due to multiple factors that we do not understand all.
– Almost no treatment options
There is no cure for ALS. There is now a drug that can last for an average of 3 months. Other treatment options include palliative care to help the person cope with the symptoms. But they will not reduce or slow the progression of symptoms. Physical exercise does not help improve muscle tone, but it tends to speed up the degeneration process by causing the muscles to break down.
– Diagnosis of ALS can be difficult
If a patient has these symptoms, he or she will usually perform a general neurological examination to find other signs. Patients may be hyperactive or hyperactive in certain parts of the body and they often can not identify themselves. We can study images or blood tests for evidence supporting ALS. But at present there are no definite 100% test results.
Better treatments are being studied – but you will not be able to find them online. There are always three or four new ALS drugs available at some stage of the test. But because of this little known disease, it is difficult to develop good treatment options. Unlike the 3-month lifespan mentioned above, no other drugs have shown efficacy. But ALS treatment is still being studied. One of the recent efforts has been to stem cells to help an ALS patient walk back.