Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Alternate Names : Lou Gehrig Disease, Progressive Bulbar Palsy, ALS
What are the treatments for the disease?
There is no effective treatment for ALS. The drug riluzole
may add 3 months to life expectancy. Creatine
may help improve strength. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy are helpful.
may help to relax spastic muscles. Feeding tubes are often needed in the end stages of
the disease. A ventilator, or breathing machine, can be used to prolong the life of someone
with ALS. However, most people with ALS prefer not to use a ventilator to prolong their lives.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
There are very few side effects from the medicines used for people with ALS. Sedation is probably the most common side effect.
What happens after treatment for the disease?
Treatment usually does not extend life. It can ease pain or discomfort and
spasticity and help with general care.
How is the disease monitored?
The disease is monitored by a healthcare provider. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the provider.