ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as motor neuron disease, is a rare disease affecting around 5000 people in the UK. It is usually diagnosed in people aged over 40. The condition is characterised by the progressive dysfunction of nerve cells that control movement in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, those affected develop a range of severe symptoms associated with defective movement. ALS has a significant impact on life expectancy. In half of those affected, life expectancy is reduced to around 3 years. If you think you are experiencing symptoms associated with ALS, please see a neurologist or GP. Despite the poor prognosis, a great deal of help is available both in ameliorating some of the symptoms and supporting ALS patients emotionally.
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