How is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) differentiated from stroke or trauma?

Updated: Nov 13, 2019
  • Author: Kathleen Clem, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Answer

ALS can be differentiated from stroke or trauma due to the subacute or chronic progression of symptoms. When focal limb weakness occurs, ALS is differentiated from a root or peripheral nerve lesion by the lack of pain or sensory symptoms. While ALS is a slowly progressive disease, a precipitous event may occur to bring the patient to the emergency department (ED).


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