What causes weight loss in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and what are its effects?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS; Chief Editor: Ryan O Stephenson, DO  more...
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Weight loss is another common and serious issue in ALS and is usually related to the progression of dysphagia but cannot always be attributed to dysphagia. Weight loss had a negative impact on quality of life and was associated with shorter survival. [21] Weight loss also may develop in patients with and without bulbar involvement because of generalized fatigue, poor appetite, and associated depression. Malnutrition is a poor prognosticating factor and correlates with increased risk of death; therefore, once a patient has lost 5-10% of normal body weight, consider enteric feeding and discuss options with the patient and caregivers.

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