The Ice Bucket Challenge has introduced ALS to millions of individuals who might otherwise have never known about this disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease that affects about 30,000 Americans, and around 5,000 new patients are diagnosed each year. While the Ice Bucket Challenge has done a lot to raise money for research and a search for a cure, many people still don't know exactly what ALS is, how it effects a patient, and how doctors can help treat it. No matter where you live, there's a neurological treatment center in the vicinity that conducts research and offers care for patients with this and other diseases. neurologist el paso
More commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS has affected many high-profile individuals. The symptoms for the illness may be unnoticeable at first, but they worsen over time. Unfortunately, there is still no cure for the disease. This is why the Ice Bucket Challenge may prove to be so meaningful. The additional funding could ultimately pave the way for a cure. As it stands, doctors are only able to treat the symptoms patients have. Once detected at a neurological treatment center, doctors will offer medication that slows the progression of the disease and reduces the severity of some symptoms.
Riluzole is the most common drug prescribed by a neurological treatment center, but it is also quite expensive. Doctors prescribe a number of other medications to help patients overcome difficulty swallowing or moving. At first, a patient will simply experience weakness in his or her muscles. However, this weakness eventually becomes paralysis. It can affect every muscle group in the body, and it even affects muscles used for breathing. Doctors use a number of devices to support the respiratory and other bodily systems to help keep them from failing.
Before symptoms become severe, it can be difficult for doctors at a neurological treatment center to determine if a patient indeed has ALS. Funding from the Ice Bucket Challenge will also certainly be used to advance the methods used to diagnose the disease. An earlier diagnosis would allow for patients to begin taking medication at an earlier time. This could significantly affect the pace of the onset of more severe symptoms. Currently doctors conduct physical exams, look at an individual's medical history, and conduct lab tests to determine if there is ALS. In addition, electromyography may be used to determine how healthy and responsive the nervous system and muscle groups are. Poor test results may be evidence of ALS or another neurological disease.