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Fatal Genetic Disorder: Lou Gehrig's Disease

1466 words - 6 pages

Many people with ALS fear death from the start of it. Once you hear you have ALS you think death because there is no cure. The disease literally picks you apart, killing certain parts of your body over time. This rare, fatal genetic disorder can be fearful and helpful at the same time. The helpful part is that ALS brings out the best in people. 5 of every 100,000 people worldwide are affected by ALS. Living with people with their condition is hard. With no cure for this, people have to live life to the fullest. With over 500 ALS research facilities around the US there is a cure bound to be discovered.
Symptoms of ALS are the hardest part to live with or live with someone who has it. The difficulties they face are heartbreaking. Difficulty breathing causes problems in the lungs and eating food. With the difficulty breathing comes choking easily and gagging. Over time these muscles give out and then more problems occur. Muscles in the neck weak, speech problems increase and eventual paralysis is the fear every ALS victim has to face at one point of their condition. The minor signs start in the early fifties and the major ones don’t usually occur until mid to late fifties, but could rise sooner than expected. Daily living is not the same as before the disease like going up steps and getting out of a chair (NCBI Par. 2). These major muscles are terrorized by taking away simple tasks ruining the life of the victim. All the senses like smelling, tasting, seeing etc. are not affected or harmed in any manner. The legs and arms are affected by weakness or paralysis over time.
There are four major stages occurring during ALS. First, the early stage, the symptoms begin slowly and progressively get worse. The muscles both become soft or weak and become spastic (MDA Stages Par. 1). Extreame loss of energy and lack of motivation affects balance and increases the chance of tripping and weak grip. In the 2nd and 3rd stages the symptoms spread to a wider radius in the body. Minor muscles become paralyzed and other muscles are affected. Idle muscles cause joints to become sharp and painful to move (MDA Stages Par.2). People who live alone during the middle stages could face dangerous injuries. If a fall would occur at home by themselves, that person would not be able to get up. It is common during these stages a person may have to relinquish their driving. Muscles in the neck are weakened as well as the swallowing muscles. This hazard exposes high risks of choking very easily and troubles dealing with saliva. Eating meals, once easy and enjoyable become laborious and humbling: supervision is needed to avoid choking. The lungs are also greatly affected and can cause respiratory failure, especially when lying down (MDA Stages Par. 2). The late stages are the ones that hurt the most. Many of the voluntary muscles are paralyzed or greatly weakened. Breathing passages to and from the lungs become severely damaged, making speaking sometimes too great an effort. That...

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