Although there is no cure for
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), treatment can
help you maintain strength and independence, manage symptoms, and avoid
complications for as long as possible. Treatment also focuses on providing
emotional support as your disability increases.
Physical therapists and
occupational therapists can help you maintain strength
and function and make the most of your remaining abilities.
Speech therapists can help you maintain your ability
to communicate after speaking problems begin.
A pituitary tumor is a growth of abnormal cells in the tissues of the pituitary gland.
Pituitary tumors form in the pituitary gland, a pea-sized organ in the center of the brain, just above the back of the nose. The pituitary gland is sometimes called the "master endocrine gland" because it makes hormones that affect the way many parts of the body work. It also controls hormones made by many other glands in the body. Anatomy of the inside of the brain, showing the pineal and pituitary glands, optic...
If you are having problems getting enough food or taking
medicine, a tube can be inserted through the skin into the stomach
(percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, or PEG). The tube provides an easier way
to get adequate nutrition and take medicines.
may be needed as the muscles of the chest become affected. Initially, extra
oxygen can be given through a
nasal cannula, a flexible plastic tube that is placed
in the nostrils. For people who have mild breathing problems, nonsurgical forms
of ventilation may be used. These include bilevel positive airway pressure
(BiPAP) and noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV), which deliver air
or extra oxygen through a face mask. But in some cases, an opening in the neck
leading to the windpipe (tracheostomy) may have to be created and oxygen
delivered through a tube in the opening.
At first, breathing
devices may be needed only part of the time, such as when you are sleeping. As
the disease and breathing problems get worse, you may need to be on a breathing
machine all the time.
A medicine called riluzole (Rilutek) may
prolong survival by about 2 months.4 It is not known
exactly how the medicine works, but it may slow the release of certain brain
chemicals (neurotransmitters) that are believed to play a role in ALS. Riluzole
is the only medicine approved for the treatment of ALS.