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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) damages the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. These nerves control the ability to move muscles. ALS slowly gets worse. Over time, it often becomes harder to walk, speak, eat, swallow, and breathe. But some people live for many years, even decades, after they learn that they have ALS.
Finding out that you have ALS may be overwhelming. You may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. Treatment for ALS helps you stay active as long as possible. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent muscle cramps or stiffness, improve appetite, and relieve depression and pain.
ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease or motor neuron disease.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: April 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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