The Differences between Parkinson’s & Lou Gehrig’s Disease

How Are ALS & Parkinson’s Disease Different?

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As Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, are both progressive neurodegenerative diseases, many people confuse the terms. Below is some information on the basic differences between Parkinson’s and ALS to help you better understand the two diseases. 


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

ALS involves the degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord. These neurons normally transmit signals and impulses from the brain to the rest of the body, but as the condition progresses, the neurons harden and eventually die. The loss of these neurons makes it impossible for signals from the brain to reach the rest of the body, diminishing voluntary muscle control. People with ALS may lose the ability to move, speak, eat, or breathe. 

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for the help they need. We provide high-quality in-home care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.


Parkinson’s Disease

Unlike ALS, Parkinson’s disease involves the degeneration of neurons within the brain itself. This neuronal degeneration causes the brain to stop producing dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter, or brain chemical, that’s essential for movement, coordination, cognition, motivation, and enjoyment. People who have Parkinson’s disease generally experience depression and anxiety along with extensive motor problems, including tremors, slowness of movement, postural instability, and impaired balance and coordination. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of elderly home care Columbia, MD, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.


The Similarities

Both ALS and Parkinson’s disease may lead to dementia, a progressive condition that significantly impairs thinking and behavior. If your loved one develops dementia as a result of ALS or Parkinson’s disease, he or she may not be able to live independently, drive, or conduct his or her daily routine. Providing in-home care may be the right option to keep your loved one safe. Knowing the differences between PD and ALS can make discussing treatment options for your loved one easier to understand. 

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Columbia, live-in care is available around the clock if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today.