ALS in Africa: current knowledge and exciting opportunities for future study - short communication
Annals of medicine and surgery (2012)
Africa; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; neurodegeneration
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that can present with motor and extra-motor manifestations. Its global prevalence is 4.42 per 1 000 000, and it has a high mortality rate. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 15 per 100 000 develop ALS mainly between their 40s and 60s and only one-fourth of them have access to treatment. ALS was found to be not only affected by genetic variation but also by the patient's mood and lifestyle. In Africa, males and younger people tend to be affected with ALS and rarely present with bulbar onset. ALS diagnosis is very challenging due to the lack of ALS-specific biomarkers and the sharing of some clinical features with other syndromes. ALS treatment is mainly riluzole and supportive treatment via nasogastric tube and ventilatory support. The access to treatment in Africa is very limited, thus a very bad prognosis with a median survival time of 14 months post-diagnosis. Further research is needed to assess the real situation in Africa and to try to closely monitor patients suffering from ALS.
Kassahun Bekele, Bezawit; Kwizera, Lambert; Abdul Razzak, Rawane; Alfadul, Esraa S.; Anand, Ayush; Wojtara, Magda; Nazir, Abubakar; and Uwishema, Olivier, "ALS in Africa: current knowledge and exciting opportunities for future study - short communication" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 3526.
Public Health Student Works