A Comparison Between ALS, Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are conditions that affect an individual’s nervous system and brain. Both conditions also cause tremors during the early stages, which can affect an individual’s movement. Despite their similarities, however, the conditions require different treatments to manage their symptoms. Below, we look at the similarities and differences between ALS and Parkinson’s disease.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

This condition destroys cells in the basal ganglia, which makes it hard for individuals to control their movements. Data from the Parkinson’s Foundation shows that about 90,000 individuals are diagnosed with this condition annually in America.

This condition’s symptoms usually begin on one side, becoming more debilitating as the disease progresses. Its primary symptoms include the following:

  • arm, hand, head or leg shaking
  • muscle stiffness
  • coordination and balance issues that result in falls

What about ALS?

ALS, which is also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease that attacks motor neurons, which control breathing and muscle movement. Over time, the disease weakens muscles, causing a loss in mass as well as twitching. As the condition progresses, individuals reach a stage where they cannot talk, walk or even chew food.

Early symptoms of ALS include muscle stiffness, weakness in the limbs, slurred speech and muscle twitching, among others.

What are the similarities between the two conditions?

Apart from causing tremors, the two illnesses occur because of the breakdown of different areas of an individual’s nervous system. Additionally, patients with these diseases require a significant amount of care as the conditions progress and patients age.

What about differences?

Parkinson’s disease affects nerve cells that produce dopamine in the brain while ALS mainly affects motor neurons. Patients with Parkinson’s often live for a longer period in comparison to those with ALS. Additionally, Lou Gehrig’s disease always causes disability in patients. This may occur in Parkinson’s but not in all patients.

Furthermore, both conditions require different treatments to manage their symptoms. For ALS, treatment involves medications such as Edaravone, Relyvrio and Riluzole, among others. These drugs work by slowing functional decline, preventing the death of nerve cells and decreasing damage to motor neurons, respectively.

For Parkinson’s, medications that boost dopamine in the brain are prescribed. Surgery may also be recommended in some cases, with other options such as physical therapy and occupational therapy also being included in treatment plans.

It should be noted that no current treatment can cure and/or reverse either disease.

Companies such as Clene Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN) are focused on bringing to market effective treatments that will not only halt the progression of conditions such as ALS but possibly reverse them.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Clene Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CLNN

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