Top 7 Symptoms of ALSadmin
ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a group of diseases affecting the nerve cells that control the voluntary muscle movements such as chewing, walking, and talking. It progresses slowly and becomes worse over time, but the symptoms and severity vary from person to another. Here are the top 7 symptoms of ALD.
Fasciculations or muscle twitches are small, local, involuntary muscle contractions and relaxations that can be visible under the skin. If the twitches are deep, they can be detected by electromyography.
They belong to the early symptoms of ALS. (1, 2, 3)
6. Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps are common in ALS patients, but they are not usually among the first symptoms that happen due to muscle weakness such as muscle twitches and general fatigue. Studies show that muscle cramps can happen early or during the prodromal phase. (4, 5, 6)
Spasticity mean tight, stiff muscles that prevent the occurrence of normal movements. The muscles remain contracted and do not respond to any relaxation. It can affect not only movement but also gait and speech. ALS patients have tight, stiff muscles early. (7, 8, 9)
4. Slurred Speech
Slurred speech or dysarthria means mumbling, poor words pronunciation, and changes in the rhythm or speed of talking. Slurred speech due to ALS develops slowly over time but it is among the early symptoms. Studies show that it can be the only visible symptom, so it is important for early diagnosis. (10, 11, 12)
3. Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)
Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) is characterized by sudden, involuntary laughter, crying, or yawning. It is not a common symptom, but some ALS patients complain about it. They are usually out of proportion and do not match what the patient feels. (13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
2. Cognitive and Behavioral Changes
Studies show that 50% of ALS patients do not suffer from any cognitive or behavioral changes. On the other hand, the other 50% may experience a wide range of cognitive and behavioral symptoms according to the severity of the condition. (18, 19, 20, 21)
1. Hand Weakness or Clumsiness
Another early symptom of ALS is hand weakness or clumsiness. It can be noticed early when the patient notices that things are slipping more often recently. It is usually associated with muscle twitches, but it can occur alone too. (22, 23, 24)