Difference Between ALS and MS
Both ALS and MS are diseases that affect the brain and spinal cord. Â However, it is essential to distinguish between the two as this will help in the treatment of either disease. Â ALS is formally known medically as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Â The damage caused by MS is the result of the body’s own immune system causing damage to the spine, leading to paralysis. Â This disease is also referred to as autoimmune disease. Â The patient’s own immune system attacks normal tissue in the spine, causing degeneration of the muscles and leading to loss of movement and balance. Â ALS, meanwhile, is caused by the slow failing of the nerve cells called the motor neurons. Â These neurons are those cells that control the movement of the different parts of the body. Â ALS is also called the Lou Gehrig’ss disease.
The are also differences in the symptoms of the two diseases, particularly in the initial stages. Â The first symptoms that would indicate MS in a patient include numbness, ataxia, blurred vision and lack of balance when walking or moving. Â For ALS, the primary indications would be difficulty in swallowing, breathing problems and muscle weakness. The rarity of ALS is also a major difference between the two. Â Only around 30,000 Americans have been affected by ALS, while there are roughly 500,000 cases of MS across the United States.
There three different subtypes of ALS. Â The first is progressive muscular atrophy which affects the lower motor neurons. Â The other two are primary lateral sclerosis and progressive bulbar palsy. Â The former sub-type attacks the upper neurons, while the latter attacks the bulbar muscles of the body. Â There are no sub-classifications for MS. Â However, there are generally four presentations or stages of the disease. Â These stages are relapsing remitting, primary progressive, secondary progressive and progressive relapsing.
The life expectancy of a person who is diagnosed with ALS is usually around two to six years from the date of diagnosis. Â There are rare cases where the patient can survive up to twenty years. Â People afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis can achieve a normal life span provided that proper care and treatment are provided for the patient. Â Generally, these degenerative disorders are incurable. Â However, some treatment can be given to ease the discomfort of a patient who is diagnosed with the disease.
1. ALS is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and MS is also known as autoimmune disease.
2. MS causes damage when the human immune system attacks the normal tissues of the brain and the spine, while ALS attacks the motor neurons that send signals for movement to other parts of the body.
3. ALS is classified into three different sub-types while, in MS, there are four stages of the disease.
4. An ALS patient can live a life of up to five to twenty years after diagnosis, while an MS patient can be expected to have a nromal life expectancy.
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