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What is ALS?-2014 APS Video Contest

A woman experiences symptoms such as muscle weakness in her legs while out with a friend. The video continues to show the woman unable to lift her back pack and swallow. She is later diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) after her friend suggests a visit to the doctor. ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a neurodegenerative disease. The story focuses on the pathophysiology of the disease as well as symptoms and diagnosis. This includes tripping, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and eventually difficulty breathing. ALS affects the motor neurons only; therefore the five senses are still normal. The degeneration of motor neurons prevents voluntary movement which is demonstrated by the symptoms in the video.

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Resource Type: Video
Audience Level: High School lower division (Grades 9-10), High School upper division (Grades 11-12), Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14), Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16), General Public

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Zahra Essa of University of New Hampshire at Manchester Dept. of Biology, Alexis Dagher of University of New Hamphire at Manchester Dept. of Biology, Jehona Latifi of University of New Hampshire at Manchester Dept. of Biology
Publisher: University of New Hampshire at Manchester Dept. of Biology
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: No
Cost: No


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