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7 Stages of ALS

Who is more likely to get ALS?

The most common age for ALS to appear is between 55 and 75. This condition is most likely to strike non-Hispanics and Caucasians.

Men are slightly more likely to have ALS than women, but the difference disappears the older people get. Most people have ALS because of family history. Mutations in more than a dozen genes can result in familial ALS.

Different Stages of ALS

The motor neurons in ALS patients will gradually progress through the seven stages. In effect, it decreases the person’s ability to walk, speak, write, or breathe before the patient dies.

Some signs of ALS include stiffness and weakness in muscle, stumbling, and speech that slurs. These symptoms do not progress the same way for each person.

1. The early stages of ALS

If you or a loved one are experiencing muscle weakness, tightness, stiffness, and cramping, it may be due to ALS. To detect this problem at the earliest stage of development is key in determining the best treatment plan.

The traditional progression of typically slower and weaker physical function due to ALS can make it difficult for the individual to perform basic tasks.

ALS is most often referred to as limb onset ALS if the symptoms start in the arms or leg. If the case influences speech first, most specialists refer to it as bulbar onset ALS.

Medical problems are diagnosed in the late stages of ALS because most symptoms don't show themselves until the disease has progressed and it usually invades all parts of a person's body.

2. The Diagnosis Stage

Myriad signs, in the second stage, are clear. Muscle weakness progressively extends to different body parts, and a doctor will typically look at test results and previous medical history.

A study in 2018 found that doctors diagnosed ALS less frequently than they should have, due to their narrow scope of diagnoses.

What tests doctors use:

- MRI scans reveal about ALS
- Electrodiagnostic tests for ALS
- a blood test
- Urinary tests
- Level tests for Thyroid and parathyroid hormones
- Test on muscles biopsies
- Nerve biopsy
- Neurological check-ups for ALS

In some cases, many people diagnosed with ALS, even at a late stage, have all their mental capabilities intact, although as the condition progresses and the muscles start to not function as well anymore.

3. ALS Middle Stages

The muscles that help with breathing need to be paralyzed, and breathing will increase the pressure in the lungs.

Some muscles become paralyzed, while some unused muscles become shortened forever as a result of this condition. This is known as contracture, and it hinders joints from fully straightening.

Patients in the last stages of ALS may experience difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness and an increased risk of choking. In addition, some patients may start crying or laughing uncontrollably without reason. This unbidden laughing or crying is called pseudobulbar affect (PBA).

The Middle Stages

4. The Middle Stages

In the fourth stage of ALS, people's ability to move is severely restricted. They might need a healthcare professional to help them with daily tasks.

In the middle stages, ALS patients experience chronic headaches, fatigue, and pneumonia. They may also experience speech disorientation. Respiratory failure is common in the middle stages and is often one of the primary sources of death in ALS patients.

5. Gastronomy

When the fifth stage of bariatric surgery is used, it requires a gastrostomy (tube) to feed the patient. This mode of feeding food usually lasts between two and six months.

Individuals with dysphagia experience significant problems with weight loss, swallowing, and difficulty breathing.

Typically, doctors recommend a gastrostomy feeding technique to offer sufficient nutritional support for people with extreme dysphagia or ALS. This feeding method also improves the incidence of survival, healthy outcome, and quality of life in patients with this disease. This treatment technique also guarantees appropriate hydration for the patient.


Final Stages

6. ALS late stages

The sixth stage is the end or late stage. In this stage, most voluntary muscles have died, including those used for breathing. The body becomes unfit to get enough air to keep breathing normally. Doctors can provide aid for these patients through ventilators in the late and final stages.

7. Death

The last phase of ALS is death. Patients eventually die because they lose the ability to utilize their lung muscles, and are unable to breathe. The most significant cause of a failure in an individual with ALS is respiratory failure, followed by pneumonia, and cardiovascular problems.

Possible treatment for ALS

There is no definite cure for ALS. Instead, it is usually managed by treating its symptoms and providing supportive care to promote personal satisfaction and lengthen survival.

Some medications are available to treat the progression of ALS, but their effectiveness and mechanism of action is not yet clear. Generally, prescriptions for ALS symptoms involve drugs that help reduce weakness, spasms, and spasticity. If you see any signs of ALS, visit your doctor right away.

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All medical treatments have varied outcomes. Therefore, results from the procedures will vary from patient to patient. This website is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment and advice of your trusted MD. Luxus Stem Cells educates and facilitates access to medical treatments and services. The ultimate responsibility for the treatment is with the treatment providers, clinics and hospitals.