3. Muscular Atrophy
Muscular atrophy is a disorder that involves the loss or diminishing of the body’s skeletal muscle mass. It is generally caused by an abnormal imbalance between protein synthesis and its subsequent degradation. In the specific case of ALS, it occurs due to a dramatic reduction in the connection between nerves and muscle fibers caused by the death of motor neurons.
Because muscular atrophy directly affects the nerve cells of skeletal muscles, it often culminates in partial or total paralysis. This disorder contributes to the further loss of muscle strength, which in turn contributes to exacerbating atrophy. Progressively the muscles wear out, and the patient has more and more difficult to perform activities such as walking.
Muscle atrophy can be best characterized by the various symptoms that develop as the atrophy worsens. The most frequent signs of atrophy are a decrease in muscle mass of the arms and legs, a pervasive sensation of weakness in the extremities, and difficulty performing basic everyday tasks.