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Brain & Nervous System Health Center

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Understanding ALS -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of ALS?

In the early stages, the symptoms of ALS -- also called Lou Gehrig's disease -- include:

  • Increasing weakness in one limb, especially in a hand
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Clumsiness of the hands.
  • Fasciculations, which are subtle, light twitches under the skin
  • Impaired speech
  • Difficulty swallowing

As the ALS progresses, symptoms may include:

Understanding ALS

Find out more about ALS:



Diagnosis and Treatment





  • Weakening of other limbs, perhaps accompanied by twitching, muscle cramping, and exaggerated, faster reflexes
  • Problems with chewing, swallowing, and breathing; drooling may occur.
  • Eventual paralysis

Call Your Doctor About ALS If:

You have any of the above symptoms; ALS requires professional medical care.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on March 19, 2015

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