This Tuesday marks the World Day of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, this disease also known as Bad by Lou Gehrig , is a progressive neurological disease. It attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling the voluntary muscles (motor neurons) by means of a gradual degeneration and taking them to death.
Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken and wear out (atrophy) and contract (fasciculations). Eventually, the brain's ability to engage and control voluntary movement is lost. So far no cure for ALS has been found but there are treatments that help delay the disease process and prevent complications.
Inside of the treatment we can find rehabilitation therapies (so that the muscle fiber maintains better functionality); because the swallowing capacity is decreasing the patient requires a special diet which can be enteral by tube or gastrostomy; in addition to the follow-up provided by the pulmonologist or ornino-laryngologist, due to the respiratory difficulty that the patient has. But the most important thing is to provide a good quality of life to the patient, to take care of the possible complications that can have in later stages, for example, chronic prostration due to the difficulty to walk or infections of the skin to be lying down for a long time.
In Mexico the prevalence of this disorder is very low (there are no statistical data of patients), the initial symptoms are similar to those of other diseases that cause mobility disorders such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease, so for a correct diagnosis, they perform electromyography, tomography or magnetic resonance studies. The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) provides comprehensive care to those who present it.