ANTERIOR HORN DISEASE & TREATMENT
Definition: What is "Anterior horn disease"?
Anterior horn disease is a condition that affects the anterior horn cells, which are responsible for voluntary muscle activities, such as breathing, walking, swallowing & speaking. Anterior horn disease is characterized by the death of more neurons, which result in a prolonged & progressive motor weakness. Some patients with anterior horn disease are affected permanently.
Symptoms & Signs
Anterior horn disease presents symptoms associated with the lower & upper motor neurone degeneration, such as brisk reflexes, spasticity, Babinski sign (for lower motor neurone), weakness & muscle atrophy (for upper motor neurone). Note that all muscle groups in the human body require both lower & upper motor neurones in order to function. These signs could occur in various muscle groups, including the torso, legs, arms & the bulbar region. Symptoms of Anterior horn disease usually appear in ages of 50 to 70. Symptoms include muscle wasting, progressive weakness, muscle fasciculations, arms & legs spasticity, stiffness & overactive reflexes of tendons. Other patients experience serious symptoms such as slurred speech, dragging foot or unilateral muscle wasting of the hands.
Treatment: How to Treat "Anterior horn disease"?
There is no cure for Anterior horn disease. The only medicine used for Anterior horn disease patients is "riluzole".
Anterior horn disease has no known cause. However, genetic factors are important in determining a person's vulnerability to this disease.