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Difference Between MS and ALS

MS vs ALS

It is quite sad and disturbing that some people acquire diseases in the course of their lives What’s more sad is if this is a neurological problem that can cause severe problems in the long run if not treated or maintained with proper medical interventions. These kinds of diseases would make us realize that we are still lucky to live. That God gave us second chance to live should make us thankful.

MS and ALS are two neurological diseases that are quite debilitating in the long run. “MS” stands for “multiple sclerosis” while “ALS” stands for “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.” “Amyotrophic” means “no muscle nourishment.” “Lateral” means “side.” “Sclerosis” means “hardening of connective tissue” that increases and causes the hardening. Both are disorders of the spinal cord. Let us try to differentiate both diseases.

In terms of life expectancy, MS patients can live up to an old age. ALS patients, sadly, die younger because the ascending paralysis becomes permanent. This halts their diaphragm muscle for breathing which will make them die. In ALS symptoms, it involves the voluntary muscles while in MS, it involves both voluntary and involuntary muscles.

MS causes an abnormality on the myelin. The myelin sheath is responsible for the covering of the nerves. ALS, on the other hand, affects the motor nerve cells of the spinal cord. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

For the initial symptoms that show in MS, it is usually optic neuritis characterized by blurring of vision. The other one is paresthesia which means numbness or tingling of the extremities. In ALS, however, it would be muscle weakness which will occur on only one side of the patient’s body. There would also be a problem in writing or picking up objects in that limb or hand affected. There would also be difficulty in climbing up stairs.

ALS is progressive and fatal. It causes death in two to four years upon the initial diagnosis and start of symptoms. The usual cause of death in people with ALS is respiratory failure and pneumonia. MS is permanent but is not fatal. People with MS usually die a decade earlier up to five years earlier than the usual population.

There are no treatments available for ALS and MS. These diseases are diagnosed using an MRI. It is diagnosed by neurologists or a physician whose specialty is the nervous system which includes the brain, spinal cord, and neurons. There are still no known causes for both of this neurological diseases.

Summary:

1. ALS is progressive and fatal while MS is permanent but not fatal.
2. ALS patients die within two to four years upon diagnosis while MS patients die five to
ten years younger than the population.
3. ALS patients manifest one-sided weakness as the initial symptom while MS patients
exhibit blurring of vision and paresthesia.
4. In ALS symptoms, they involve the voluntary muscles while in MS they involve both
the voluntary and involuntary muscles.


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2 Comments

  1. It’s not true that there are no treatments for MS – there are several. While they don’t cure the disease, they can slow down its progression.

  2. What are the treatments for ME.. What is life expectancy with MS

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