Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – ALS):

Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) is a nervous disease that weakens the muscles and impacts the entire body’s physical functioning. Lou Gehrig’s Disease is considered a very rare condition with less than 20,000 cases being diagnosed in the US each year. Lou Gehrig’s cannot be cured, but treatment may slow progress of symptoms. Lou Gehrig’s does require a medical diagnosis and lab testing or imaging is also required to confirm the diagnosis. Lou Gehrig’s is a chronic condition that lasts for the rest of someone’s life.

Lou Gehrig’s is generally quite rapid in nature, and decline in a person’s physical ability will happen rather quickly. Every case of Lou Gehrig’s is different, but it is generally progressive enough to be invariably fatal. The fatality comes from the death of a massive neurological disease that causes mass kill offs of nerve cells and neurons. These are the muscles that are responsible for voluntary muscle movement that is performed consciously. The cause of the breakdowns in this muscle tissue is not known.

The main symptom of Lou Gehrig’s disease is muscle weakness. Additional symptoms include stiffness and a lack of coordination are often also present. Medications and therapies can help slow the symptoms and help lessen the discomfort of Lou Gehrig’s. Researchers are currently looking for a cure for Lou Gehrig’s as a cure is not presently known. Lou Gehrig’s disease can affect people as young as 19 years of age, but is usually diagnosed in people between the ages 40-50 years of age, and before age 60. Some people do not get diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease till after age 60. This makes Lou Gehrig’s a disease that can strike at virtually any point in someone’s life, which makes it even more unpredictable.

The later phases of Lou Gehrig’s disease present themselves with additional, more severe symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, drooling, mild cognitive impairment, severe constipation, unintentional weight loss, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are due to the muscles in the body failing to work properly. Devices like tracheotomies (breathing tubes) and gastrostomies (feeding tubes) are often needed to help perform even the most basic bodily functions vital to survival in the later stages of the disease.

Lou Gehrig’s is treated by a team of specialists that include a neurologist, personal care professional (PCP), and team of therapists to assist in providing the highest quality of life to the patient for as long as is possible. Additionally, many patients will seek additional therapies. Such therapies include speech, occupational, and physical therapies can help the person to retain many of their bodily functions and as much independence as possible as Lou Gehrig’s progresses. Until a definitive cure is found focusing on quality of life and preservation of the patient’s bodily functions is the best treatment or management plan that is available.

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Everything You Need to Know About Epilepsy

Epilepsy also known as Seizure Disorder is common with over 200,000 cases being diagnosed in the US each year. Epilepsy cannot be cured, but treatment oftentimes does help. Epilepsy requires a diagnosis, and also often requires lab tests and imaging to confirm the results of the diagnosis. Epilepsy can be caused by several different factors including excessive and abnormal brain cell activity. Epilepsy may occur as a result from a genetic disorder, or an acquired brain injury from a traumatic injury or stroke. During a seizure, a person experiences abnormal behavior, symptoms, and sensations sometimes including a loss of consciousness. There are generally very few if any symptoms between seizures, but seizures can come on suddenly and unexpectedly at any time. Sometimes seizures only occur rarely or occasionally, but sometimes often as every few hours.

Epilepsy is usually treated by medications, and in some cases surgeries and medical devices or even dietary changes can help control symptoms. This helps people recover from the common fainting spells, and sometimes muscle convulsions and spasms that are common for people suffering from epilepsy. Many people suffering from epilepsy also experience anxiety, depression, headaches, sleepiness, staring spells, and temporary paralysis as part of their condition.

Neurologists, neurosurgeons, primary care providers (PCPs), and emergency doctor. Seizures are believed to be due to electrical abnormalities in the brain which have a profound effect on the person’s daily functioning due to the seizures they caused a person to suffer from. It is estimated that about 65 million people worldwide suffer from epileptic disorders, with over 3,000,000 of those people are in the US. About 1 in 26 Americans will endure some type of epilepsy in their lifetime. Between 4 and 10 of every 1,000 people in the US will suffer from chronic epileptic-type seizures at some point in their lifetimes. This comes out to about 150,000 new cases of epilepsy being diagnosed in the US annually. In the end, about 6 out of every 10 Americans don’t know where their epilepsy comes from.

Sometimes medications like sedatives or anticonvulsants help treat some cases of epilepsy. Others suffering from epilepsy have a brain procedure that requires them to have their corpus collosum clipped to help stop seizures from occurring. The corpus collosum is the bridge of nerve that connect the two hemispheres of the brain, but when that collosum is clipped it keeps messages from traveling from one side of the brain to the other, thus stopping the seizures. People generally can recover quite well from this procedure, and the younger the patient when this is done generally the better they are able to adapt. While they essentially have two separate halves to their brain, their body learns to compensate for one side acting on the part of the other, and it works out very well allowing many patients to live a more normal life.

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What’s Your Risk of a Heart Attack?

Heart attacks are known as a Myocardial Infarction, and are very common with over 3,000,000 being diagnosed in the US alone each year. Heart attacks require a medical diagnosis, and oftentimes lab tests or imaging are what confirms that someone had a heart attack. Heart attacks are generally treatable within days to weeks by a healthcare professional. A heart attack is considered a severe medical emergency.

Usually heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks the flow of the blood to the heart muscle. If the heart does not have an adequate supply of blood, the tissue that makes up the heart loses oxygen and it dies. Massive heart attacks usually kill instantly or within a matter of a few hours, but if found in time most heart attacks can be treated. Symptoms of a heart attack include tightness in the chest/neck/back/arms, extra added anxiety, extreme sudden fatigue, and lightheadedness. These symptoms will come on very suddenly after being fine just a moment or two earlier. Women are more likely to have atypical symptoms than men are.  Treatments include anything from lifestyle changes and cardiac rehabilitation or even medications, stents, and bypass surgeries to restore normal function of the cardiac system to the person who suffered from the heart attack.

People can suffer from heart attacks at any age and stage of life, but the most common patients are aged 60+. Although one can experience a slightly increased risk of heart attacks between the ages of 19-40, and yet a more elevated risk between the ages of 41-60. After age 60 the changes are the greatest. For many patients who have had a heart attack using a daily aspirin regimen can help lower the risk of a future heart attack by 10-15%. However, a patient should talk to their doctors before beginning any medication regimen, even one that is simple as something like aspirin that are available over the counter as this may not be the best treatment for everyone.

ACE inhibitors can also help reduce the risk of someone having a future heart attack or stroke by about 20-25%. Statins treat high cholesterol and reduce risks of future heart attacks by 15-20%. Exercise can help increase heart function and make the chances of having a heart attack 21-34% less likely depending on how much activity one is getting in their daily life as the heart works more efficiently, and is less likely to get clogged with plaque and cholesterol that stops blood flow causing heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac conditions. It is vital to assume responsibility by doing these recommended steps after consulting with your doctor to avoid future cardiac problems. Remember that it is never known how big the next heart attack or stroke could be, and how it may affect an individual if they survive at all! You can help lower the chances of such future incidences from happening, but you must consult your doctor and take proactive steps to stay ahead of the threat!

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