Understanding Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases are diseases in which the nerves, gradually over time, lose their ability to function until the individuals effected become paralyzed, unable to control muscle movements (ALS, MS, Parkinson’s) and/or develop dementia (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s). ALS is the most aggressive and severely debilitating neurodegenerative disease from a physical perspective.
Patients with ALS typically only live between 1.5 and 3.5 years after diagnosis. After diagnosis, they quickly lose their ability to control all voluntary and some involuntary muscle movements: this includes losing use of hands, feet, legs and arms, losing the ability to speak, swallow food and saliva, blinking the eyes, breathe, digest, etc. They usually become 100% paralyzed with zero body function within one to two years of diagnosis and remain trapped in their bodies, needing round the clock care for a few years until they eventually pass away. All the while, their minds are fully functioning. There are no pharmaceutical drugs on the market to cure or treat ALS effectively.