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    What causes sudden weight loss in an elderly person?

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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
doctor
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
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Answered by
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Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3850 Questions

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