ALS can occur at any age at anytime, although it is more likely to be diagnosed in the middle aged individuals. There are 4 stages to ALS:
- The Beginning - The muscles will become softer, appear to be weaker, or sometimes, they become tight and spastic. Cramping and twitching are also common signs that ALS is in its early stages.
- The Middle - The muscles of the affected areas will be paralyzed. The joints will become rigid, deformation of joints will be visible, and the person will face a lot of difficulty in standing on their own. Eating will become very hard as the saliva will tend to dry quickly and the patient will have a dry mouth.
- The Late Stage - Muscles in the lungs, which help in inhaling and exhaling, will be severely damaged and compromised. Mobility will be extremely restricted, personal needs and care will be needed to attend by a nurse or a full time accessible grownup. Speech will be disoriented and eating and drinking through the mouth will become almost impossible, and will have to be through another source.
- The Ending - The elderly patient may expire due to the lack of air and the disability to use lung muscles. Swelling of passage ways while swallowing food can result in chocking and may be fatal. Abnormalities may cause cardiac arrests and prove to be fatal.
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