Diagnosing ALS vs MS

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ptich

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As both ALS and MS affect myelin membrane of the nerve cells, they probably have similar symptoms. What are the main tests that distinguish them ? From browsing the web I got an impression that doctors usually do not misdiagnose between these two, so apparently there should be some pertty clear difference in some symptoms or tests.
 

Sammantha

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As far as i knew ALS does not affect the myelin.... MS is where your immune system attacks the myelin sheath and causes damage, like melting of the the outer part of a electrical cord..... ALS is where the motor neurons die and so there are less sent to the muscle.... My analogy for MND: Motor neurons/axons are the people in the car, the motor conduction signal is the car, and the road is the peripheral nerve and the end is the muscle. In MS the road is full of potholes and in ALS there are few to none passengers..... An EMG can clearly identify the differences between muscle wasting due to ALS and muscle wasting due to MS....... It takes a lot of damage from MS to cause muscle wasting, where muscle wasting is an early sign of ALS.
 

seanmucci

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Als V.s. Ms Response

In Ms The Mylenen Sheafe Out Side The Nerve Is Damaged But The Nerve It Self Is Alive And Well.so When The Outside Of The Nerve Heals It Produses A Scar Then That Causes A Disrtupion In The Signal Sent To The Brain.in Ms Both The Sensory Nerves And The Motor Nerves Are Effected. In Als Only The Motor Nerve I Effective. And In Als The Motor Nerve Cells Die And The Harden The Nerve Axon Which Affects The Use Of The Muscle.and Atrophy Sets In.in Ms The Nerve Cells Stay Alive And Life Expectancy Is More Normal. In Ms The Mri Is Usualy Abnormal In Als Its 50-50 . The Big Test Is The Emg To Help Define A Als Diagnosis. I Hope This Helps. Please Correct Me With Any Misinformation. God Bless.
 

patricia1

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ptich said:
As both ALS and MS affect myelin membrane of the nerve cells, they probably have similar symptoms. What are the main tests that distinguish them ? From browsing the web I got an impression that doctors usually do not misdiagnose between these two, so apparently there should be some pertty clear difference in some symptoms or tests.
A MRI usually can show MRI lesions and also Spinal taps can DX MS It easier to Dx MS than ALS Because there are teats for MS Pat
 

ptich

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> EMG can clearly identify the differences

It does not seem that EMG provides a clear answer: I found a refernce to a study of 28 MS patients with marked motor symptoms (limb weakness or paresis), and 19 of them had normal EMG, and 4 others had signs of neurogenic atrophy, just like with ALS.
 

Sammantha

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MS directly causes paraylisis and weakness, in turn that causes disuse of muscle, that in turn causes atrophy.... Now, if atrophy is due to disuse of muscle over a period of time, than EMG would not show abnormalities...... The thing is if your muscle wastes because of disuse, you can regain it back.... But, MS causes debilitating paraylsis, so if you become paralyzed for good than it would be impossible to "grow back" your muscle. It is like ALS in reverse... ALS causes continual muscle deterioation that eventually causes paralysis... MS causes direct paraylsis, that then can cause muscle atrophy... Hopefully if you do have MS it is the kind that remits and allows you to work your muscle back up.. Now, NCS would be abnormal in long standing MS, so much so that the pain/sensations/lack of sensation; from dying peripheral nerves would be more noticeable than the atrophy of muscle.
 
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