August 6, 2010, Newsletter Issue #82: The Differential Diagnosis Of ALS

Tip of the Week

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
Syringomyelia
Spondylotic Myelopathy

Your doctor will carry out as many tests as possible to confirm or discard the diagnosis of ALS.

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