Riluzole (product name: Rilutek) is used to slow the progress of ALS. Riluzole antagonizes excess harmful glutamic acid level, which is considered as motor neuron destroyer, and thus, it inhibits death of nerve cells. However, results on the efficacy of Riluzole are conflicting because it prolongs survival by only few months for patients with ALS. Although many research teams have studied and developed new treatment for ALS, there are no effective treatments for ALS yet.
If ALS strikes and muscle weakness happens, at least 70% of the motor neurons already destroyed at the time muscle weakness first appear. The life expectancy of a person with ALS averages about three to five years from the time of diagnosis. Many people can live with ALS for 10 years and more due to developing new treatments such as using respirator and managing diet. If the earliest symptom is caused by numbness of brain stem, it increases the risk of pneumonia due to breathing difficulty and swallowing foods, and poor nutritional status leads to poor survival. Therefore, supplying adequate nutrition and respiratory condition are very important. However, it is very difficult to predict the ALS survival rate because prognosis for ALS depends on individuals.
While a research finds that excess glutamine acid is released in muscle cells, another research argues that chlorine, which is produced when Na (sodium) is dissociated from salt, destroys neurons. Other study suggests that one of cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), virus or virus inducing substance may mutate gene.