[Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis].
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Tandheelkunde, 117, 7-8, (2010), pp. 380-382
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Tandheelkunde
SubjectDCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is one of the most severe and disabling diseases of the nervous system. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis leads to the progressive weakening of the muscles in the arms, legs, face, mouth and trunk. The onset of the disease is insidious, starting with weakness in the hands or feet or with slurred speech. The weakness worsens and patients pass away as a result of weakness of the respiratory muscles on average within 3 years of the onset of the disease. In the Netherlands, approximately 400 patients are diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis every year. There is no diagnostic test for this neuro-muscular disease; the diagnosis is established by excluding other disorders that resemble amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Only one drug is able to inhibit the progression of the disease to any extent: riluzole. Treatment, therefore, is mainly focused on supportive measures and those which enhance the quality of life optimally.
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