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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Message Board

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Board Index


He had definite weakness. His strength ebbed away. In november, before he was diagnosed, he built a birdhouse that was really heavy and stood on a post that was about 12 feet high. He put it in frozen ground all by himself. He was diagnosed in March of the following year. In may, we went to move his canoe from the yard and he couldn't pick it up. I think he had the fatigue before we noticed the weakness. By mid 96, he was having problems with balance andwould fall flat on his face as he didnt have the strenght to catch hinself. He had the test, I think the EMG, where they use elctrical stimulation, EMG? He said that was painful. I didn't notice any wasting immediately though. The other wierd thing.. when they test your knee for reflexes.. well they did that with him and it looked like something out of a move.. his lower leg came up as if he were going to kick someone, like in an exaggerated manner.. apparently that is common... My friends dtr had lupus and she could hardley walk before they diagnosed her. She had these wierd things on her skin that appeared before your eyes.. Have they tested you for Lupus? That can have strange symptoms. Most things would be better than having a diagnosis of ALS. It isusually diagnosed by ruling out other things. He also had a spinal tap. With MS, the coating around the nerves (myelin sheath) is deteriorating. With ALS itself, the myelin sheath remains in tact but the nerve cells under the myelin sheath die, like broken telephone wires. We were also told that ALS travels in a certain pattern. Unless it is the bulbar type, which affects the breathing/swalllowing first, it will travel down one side of the body and then up the other side. I'm sure it has to be torturous waiting for this diagnosis. Take care Beth.

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