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What are the symptoms of primary lateral sclerosis?

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Symptoms of primary lateral sclerosis include difficulty swallowing, leg weakness and stiffness, muscles spasms, loss of balance and speech difficulty, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients with primary lateral sclerosis may also experience weak and stiff trunk, tongue and arms.

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The symptoms of primary lateral sclerosis develop slowly over years, notes Mayo Clinic. Although primary lateral sclerosis rarely causes death, when the symptoms persist, it is advisable to seek medical attention for early diagnosis and treatment of the condition. This helps to avoid possible complications such as loss of walking ability, and injuries resulting from falling due to weak leg muscles.

In diagnosing the condition, a doctor reviews the patient's medical and family history, and performs a neurological examination on the patient, explains Mayo Clinic. To ensure that the underlying cause of the symptoms is primary lateral sclerosis only and not any other neurological condition, the patient undergoes various tests, including magnetic resonance imaging, nerve conduction studies, lumbar puncture and positron emission tomography. Although preventing, reversing or stopping primary lateral sclerosis is impossible, as of 2015, available treatment options that alleviate symptoms include physiotherapy, speech therapy, and oral medications such as tizanidine and clonazepam.

Primary lateral sclerosis is a neurological condition in which a person experiences muscle weakness as a result of damaged muscle neurons, states Mayo Clinic. Typically, it occurs in people aged 40 to 60 years. However, the condition can affect anyone, irrespective of age.

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