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What are some symptoms of ALS that present in women?

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Quick Answer

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis does not present with gender-specific symptoms, but people with ALS report that a change in their voice or inability to grasp small objects was one of the first signs of the disorder, explains the ALS Association. Also, women are less likely to develop ALS than men.

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Full Answer

If people with ALS first experience changes in vocal pitch, an inability to enunciate or another speech problem, doctors diagnose them with bulbar onset ALS, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. People who first present with difficulty completing tasks that require manual dexterity or have problems walking have limb onset ALS.

Over time, ALS prevents the body from standing, walking, writing, speaking or swallowing, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Each person with ALS is unique, and doctors cannot predict in what order or during what time frame someone with ALS will lose these abilities. As the disorder progresses, a patient with ALS can no longer breathe and must depend on a ventilator to live.

People with ALS retain cognitive function, so they often become depressed or anxious because of the disorder, notes the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. A few people with ALS may experience trouble with decision-making or have difficulty remembering past events, and there is evidence that some may develop dementia.

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