When an ALS diagnosis was made in the late 1970s, doctors knew it would take years to diagnose the disease and often required the death of patients to make the diagnosis.
Today, however, patients can receive an immediate diagnosis and can be treated right away.
The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV-TR), is the gold standard for diagnosing ALS.
It is the only manual to have been designed for the study of the disease.
With this revision, doctors will be able to test patients, collect and analyze data and even perform diagnostic tests.
However, some patients who are being tested could be suffering from some of the most common ALS symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.
For patients who do not have any symptoms and are not receiving treatment, symptoms are often missed or misdiagnosed.
Symptoms that should be taken into consideration when assessing a patient for ALS include: a history of a stroke or other serious medical condition; severe loss of motor skills; hearing loss, speech impairment or confusion; or a severe impairment of memory, concentration or coordination.
To help make sure patients are receiving proper care, doctors should ask about the patient’s history and how they responded to a previous test.
Some people who have ALS may not have symptoms at all, and they may be more likely to have other conditions, such an epilepsy, that could be related to the disease, said Dr. Roberta Zumwalt, associate director of the Neurosciences Research Institute at the University of Minnesota.
Zumwaalt is also a physician with the ALS Research Center in Minneapolis.
Zimwalt’s research focuses on diagnosing and treating ALS.
She said patients should be tested for ALS symptoms as early as possible after they receive a diagnosis of ALS.
“We need to find out what the underlying condition is, and we need to be able and willing to provide appropriate care,” she said.
Zamwalt said some patients may not even have symptoms, but they may have other health problems.
Patients with other conditions that might be related may need more intensive treatment.
The ALS Research Centre in Minneapolis also is looking into ways to make diagnosing patients more accessible.
Zampatti is working on a way to allow people to download the diagnostic test results to their smartphones, so that they can be taken by a physician.
He said the goal is to make people who are diagnosed with ALS more likely, but there is no timetable for when this will be possible.
“It’s a new area and there is a lot of research and clinical studies that needs to be done,” he said.
The National Institutes of Health has launched an online test to assist people with ALS and to help them get better.
For the ALS community, Zampattis research has given hope to those who are experiencing a life-threatening illness.
“The people that have ALS have a very low threshold for what constitutes life threatening,” Zampatto said.
“And they need to understand what their symptoms are, and how that could contribute to a diagnosis, and then they can make the right decision about treatment.”
If someone is having trouble finding answers, and it’s not life-saving, and their symptoms aren’t getting better, then it’s a different question,” Zumwitch said.
If a person has a stroke, for example, they may not be able the person who is treating them. “
I don’t think anyone knows how many people with MS, ALS or Huntington’s have no symptoms,” Zimwitch said, adding that many patients don’t want to disclose the diagnosis because they don’t know how to deal with it.
If a person has a stroke, for example, they may not be able the person who is treating them.
“You have to be prepared to go to a doctor, you have to tell the doctor what you need to do,” Zamwitch said about how to be ready to get help.
The hope is that as ALS diagnoses increase in number, the ALS research community will be better equipped to help people with the disease to manage their symptoms.