Quantcast

ALS: What is it and how does it affect patients? - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

ALS: What is it and how does it affect patients?

Posted: Updated:
You may know it as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." It's amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Just about all of us have heard of it, but you might not know a lot about it -- what it is and what it does to those who are afflicted.

The first signs of ALS include weakness in the hands, legs or feet. This happens when ALS first strikes the central nervous system. The disease shuts down the body's motor neurons so that limbs and muscles become immobile. Eventually, sufferers are totally paralyzed, although they maintain full feeling throughout the body. At this point, only the heart and the digestive system can still function, because those muscles move involuntarily.

According to the ALS Association, the exact cause(s) of the disease have yet to be found. Although doctors have learned much more about it in recent years, there is still no known cure for ALS. The lone medication prescribed for ALS patients, riluzole, slows down its progression, but does not stop or reverse its effects. Although the disease affects each sufferer differently, the average life expectancy after diagnosis is two to five years. The ALS Association estimates that about 30,000 Americans suffer from it at any given time.


There are resources available for ALS patients throughout the U.S. Click here to find clinics, support groups and other help in your community.

  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Sci-Port offers special programming to remember anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita

    Sci-Port offers special programming to remember anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita

    Saturday, August 30 2014 7:12 AM EDT2014-08-30 11:12:25 GMT
    (Photo source: Sci-Port Science Center, Shreveport)(Photo source: Sci-Port Science Center, Shreveport)
    Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center, along with representatives of the National Weather Service, will present special programming to the public from Friday, August 29 through Monday, September 1 related to remembering Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.Nine years ago, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast. A weather balloon will be displayed in the Center's lobby, with representatives from the National Weather Service on-hand to discuss it on Saturday, August 30 and Sunday, August 3...
    Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center, along with representatives of the National Weather Service, will present special programming to the public from Friday, August 29 through Monday, September 1 related to remembering Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.Nine years ago, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast. A weather balloon will be displayed in the Center's lobby, with representatives from the National Weather Service on-hand to discuss it on Saturday, August 30 and Sunday, August 3...
  • KTBS 3 Storm Team Forecast

    KTBS 3 Storm Team Forecast

    Saturday, August 30 2014 6:52 AM EDT2014-08-30 10:52:13 GMT
    7 Day Forecast7 Day Forecast

     Here's the 7 day forecast.

     Here's the 7 day forecast.

  • Armed TXK man hospitalized after threatening to harm himself outside home

    Armed TXK man hospitalized after threatening to harm himself outside home

    Saturday, August 30 2014 6:51 AM EDT2014-08-30 10:51:49 GMT
    A man is being evaluated at a Texarkana hospital, after threatening to kill himself outside a home.It happened on Holly Ridge Street about 9:30 p.m..Friday night.Authorities responded to the home and began to create a perimeter, after seeing that the man was armed with an assault rifle.Texarkana, Texas police say the man, described only as a 45-year-old white male made contact with officers in the yard.The Texarkana, TX S.W.A.T. Team responded and a negotiator was able to talk the subject dow...
    A man is being evaluated at a Texarkana hospital, after threatening to kill himself outside a home.It happened on Holly Ridge Street about 9:30 p.m..Friday night.Authorities responded to the home and began to create a perimeter, after seeing that the man was armed with an assault rifle.Texarkana, Texas police say the man, described only as a 45-year-old white male made contact with officers in the yard.The Texarkana, TX S.W.A.T. Team responded and a negotiator was able to talk the subject dow...
Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File