Nerve Pain with  ALS Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), ALS Lou Gehrig’s Disease or classical motor neuron disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. In ALS, both the upper motor neurons and the lower motor neurons degenerate or die, ceasing to send messages to muscles.



  • Although the disease does not usually impair a person’s mind or personality, several recent studies suggest that some people with ALS may develop cognitive problems involving word fluency, decision-making, and memory
  • Eventually the ability of the brain to start and control voluntary movement is lost
  • Individuals with ALS lose their strength and the ability to move their arms and legs, and to hold the body upright
  • Muscle weakness and atrophy occur on both sides of the body
  • Symptoms are usually first noticed in the arms and hands, legs, or swallowing muscles
  • The disease does not affect a person’s ability to see, smell, taste, hear, or recognize touch
  • Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken, waste away, and twitch
  • When muscles in the diaphragm and chest wall fail to function properly, individuals lose the ability to breathe without ventilator support


  • No cure has yet been found for ALS
  • The drug riluzole–the only prescribed drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat ALS–prolongs life by 2-3 months but does not relieve symptoms
  • Other treatments are designed to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with ALS
  • Drugs are available to help individuals with spasticity, pain, panic attacks, and depression
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation may help to prevent joint immobility and slow muscle weakness and atrophy
  • Individuals with ALS may eventually consider forms of mechanical ventilation (respirators)
Translate »