WRITTEN BY: Tammy C. Perez, M.A., NCC, LCDC, LPC
REVIEWED BY: Dr. Terry Schroeder on April 18, 2023
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
What is ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which control voluntary muscle movement. As these motor neurons degenerate and die, the muscles they control weaken and waste away, leading to paralysis and, eventually, death. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rare condition with an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the United States. Although the direct cause is unknown, researchers believe genetic and environmental factors contribute to its development. No cure for ALS currently exists, but treatments and therapies can help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for those affected.
What causes ALS?
The exact cause of ALS is not fully understood, but researchers believe genetic and environmental factors contribute to its development.
Studies have shown 5-10% of ALS diagnoses are inherited and caused by specific gene mutations. The most common gene associated with inherited ALS is C9orf72, which accounts for approximately 40% of cases. Other inherited genes linked to the disease include SOD1, FUS, and TARDBP.
Most ALS diagnoses are sporadic and occur without any known family history, indicating genetic and environmental factors are primary contributors to the condition's advancement. Components that could affect ALS outcomes include exposure to toxins, viral infections, and physical trauma.
Despite ongoing research, the exact cause of ALS remains unknown. However, advances in genetics and molecular biology are helping researchers to understand the disease better and identify potential targets for future therapies.
What are the symptoms of ALS?
The symptoms of ALS can vary depending on the person. Typical disease symptoms include physical weakness, muscle twitching and cramping, difficulty speaking and swallowing, muscle atrophy, loss of motor function, and respiratory problems.
ALS causes the muscles to become weaker and more challenging to control, leading to complications in overall functioning. As the disease progresses, consuming food and liquids may also become difficult, leading to choking or aspiration pneumonia. Additionally, breathing may become problematic in the advanced stages of ALS due to weakened respiratory muscles.
How is ALS treated?
Multiple treatments help manage ALS symptoms and improve quality of life. These treatments include medication, assistive devices, nutritional support, respiratory assistance, and physical and speech therapy.
Certain medications alleviate symptoms such as muscle cramps, stiffness, and excess saliva production. Braces, wheelchairs, communication aids, and other assistive devices help to maintain independence. As ALS progresses, eating and swallowing become more difficult. Feeding tubes and special diets help to support nutritional needs.
How does ALS affect brain wellness?
Although ALS primarily affects motor neurons that control movement, it can also significantly impact brain wellness.
The degeneration of motor neurons can alter brain structure and reduce functionality. This condition causes specific brain regions to decrease in gray matter volume, including the prefrontal cortex. This area is responsible for decision-making and social behavior. ALS can also change brain activity in movement control and other cognitive functions.
Cognitive and behavioral symptoms, such as executive dysfunction, apathy, and depression, develop from a combination of factors, including changes in brain structure and function, the psychological impact of living with a debilitating disease, and medication side effects. Furthermore, the physical limitations caused by ALS can result in isolation and inactivity, leading to a further decline in cognitive function and mental health.
How can Brain Frequency™ help?
The Brain Frequency™ AI system is an innovative therapeutic approach to improving brain health and wellness. We use proprietary science-based technology to promote optimal brain functioning across mental, emotional, physical, and social domains. Our diagnostic technology and individualized treatment protocols help decrease or eliminate trauma-related symptoms and various mental health disorders.
The Brain Frequency™ 3 Step Treatment Process consists of; first, performing a Baseline EEG and completing Psychometric Assessments; second, conducting a Brain Frequency Consultation; and third, Initiating Treatment.
An Electroencephalogram (EEG) analyzes brain waves and produces a brain map identifying current and optimal frequencies in 19 areas of the brain. Based on the individualized brain map, Brain Frequency™ will determine possible diagnoses of various mental health disorders or brain trauma for the provider to consider during treatment. Brain Frequency™ AI software provides clinicians with an "Approval Ready" treatment plan using personalized protocols based on each patient's needs.
Those suffering from symptoms of ALS can efficiently and effectively improve their brain health and wellness by using the Brain Frequency™ AI system. Our innovative system drastically reduces the time needed to properly diagnose and construct treatment plans leading to a faster recovery and greater quality of life.
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA): https://www.samhsa.gov/
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): https://www.nimh.nih.gov/
Center For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/
American Psychological Association (APA): https://www.apa.org/
National Institutes of Health (NIH): https://www.nih.gov/
National Suicide Prevention Line: https://988lifeline.org/
National Library of Medicine: https://medlineplus.gov/
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/
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