• question-icon

    What causes sudden weight loss in an elderly person?

Posted on Wed, 27 Dec 2017 in Brain and Spine
Question: My 80 year old brother was diagnosed yesterday at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass
with ALS. This was after 2 EMG test 4 months apart.
He is waiting to hear from his neurologist regarding getting into a clinic for support.
Does ALS always progress rapidly or are there periods of less progression. Right now
he is having some difficulty writing, cramping in the arms and legs, weakness and some
weight loss.(10 lbs). Could you help me by giving me sources to help him. Also, the neurologist said there was a medication out there, but didn't go into if it was slowing the
progression or helping alleviate the symptoms. Even though I am an operating nurse, I am at a loss with this and so want to help my brother. Please let me know if you can
help me. Thanks, XXXXXXX Spiliotis
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 49 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Riluzole may be used, contact a specialized clinic for ALS patients.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for writing to us.

I have read your question and understand your concerns.

Sorry to hear about your brother being diagnosed with ALS.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease.

The rate of progression may be slowed by the drug RILUZOLE.

Treatment of ALS patients includes patient education, specific treatment, and supportive treatment.

After a guidance has been provided by a Neurologist, Psychiatrist, and palliative care physician, in the appropriate multidisciplinary clinics, the patient may be followed in the outpatient setting.

So, the best thing you can do about your brother right now is to get him in a multidisciplinary clinic near you, or he can be followed by his primary care provider who can coordinate all of the necessary care and consultations.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3850 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on

Recent questions on  Neurodegenerative disease

doctor1 MD

i was diagnosed with a rare disease that causes a type of lypodystropy but now forget the name of it. My daughter is now experiencing health...

doctor1 MD

My wife is diagnosed as suffering from Cerebellar Ataxia for the past eight months. No improvement in her since that time. She is bed-ridden and...

doctor1 MD

my son having age 2 years and 2 months declared mild cerebellar atrophy found through CT Scan report.... since birth to 1 year.... he was growing...

doctor1 MD

My 86 year father suffered a right sided CVA causing left sided paralysis 3 months ago. For the past two weeks he has been suffering motion type...

doctor1 MD

What is a good antipsychotic medication for Parkinson's disease that is not Serequel?

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

137 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
Questions Answered By Dr. Erion Spaho
  • Q - What causes tingling and pins and needle sensation on the left side of...

  • Q - What causes numbness in feet and ankles?

  • Q - What causes mouth spots and pit in forehead?

  • Q - What causes tingling feeling in shoulder?

  • Q - Suggest treatment for panic attacks, non functional rectum and memory loss

  • Q - What causes numbness in the right side of foot and leg?

  • Q - What causes burning sensation and tingling in hands and feet?

  • Q - What does my CT scan suggest?

  • Q - What causes shortness of breath in a patient with fibromyalgia?

  • Q - What causes severe muscle twitches at night in shoulders and arms?