When you visit your doctor for a diagnosis, he or she will complete two tasks before arriving at an ALS diagnosis. The first task involves finding clues that are characteristics of ALS, and the second task involves trying to find clues that point to another disease. This second task is called the differential diagnosis. Looking for the differential diagnosis, especially in a disease that is fatal, is necessary to arrive at the correct diagnosis.
Some diseases that are a differential diagnosis for ALS, because they share similar symptoms include:
· Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
· Primary Lateral Sclerosis
· Kennedy's Disease
· Spinal Muscular Atrophy
· Lyme Disease
· Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia
· Spondylotic Myelopathy
Your doctor will carry out as many tests as possible to confirm or discard the diagnosis of ALS.