Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord. As the nerves degenerate, they scar and harden, preventing them from sending signals to your muscles. Without stimulation and nourishment, your muscles atrophy.
The disease progression in ALS is so slow you may not realize anything’s wrong. Early symptoms include:
Trouble standing straight
Difficulty accomplishing simple tasks
Weakness in your limbs
Excess saliva and mucus
Difficulty breathing and swallowing
After getting an ALS diagnosis, 50% of patients live for at least three years, 20% live for five or more years, and up to 10% live for more than 10 years. A small percentage live 20 years or more with the disease.
The damage caused by ALS can’t be undone, and the disease has no cure. However, several medications help alleviate symptoms and may extend life by a few months. Medications include:
Edaravone: Intravenous antioxidant that may prevent some nerve damage
Riluzole: Oral drug that reduces glutamate to control nerve damage
Glycopyrrolate: Controls excessive saliva
Baclofen: Muscle relaxant
Your doctor may also prescribe physical therapy to help keep your muscles strong, pain relievers, and speech therapy. A promising new therapy for ALS is medical cannabis, which alleviates many symptoms and may extend life for three years or more.
Medical cannabis contains hundreds of chemicals that interact with your body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS controls a wide variety of your functions, including:
Appetite and digestion
Skin and nerve function
Medical cannabis interacts with your ECS to alleviate many of the symptoms of ALS. They enhance the effects of the cannabinoids that your body naturally produces to alleviate symptoms such as:
Anxiety and depression
Lack of appetite
To find out if you qualify for medical cannabis treatment to alleviate symptoms of ALS, call today or use the convenient online form.