Charcot’s disease: “A year ago I was swimming two kilometers a day, today I go out in an electric wheelchair”


ALS causes progressive weakness and then muscle wasting associated with muscle twitching. Adobe Stock

TESTIMONY – On the occasion of the world day of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – or “Charcot’s disease” -, Le Figaro collected the testimony of Katherine, 67, recently affected by this destructive and incurable pathology.

It is one of those rare diseases whose causes remain very mysterious for the medical community. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a serious neurodegenerative disease that results in progressive paralysis of the muscles involved in voluntary motor skills, breathing, speaking and swallowing. Caused by the gradual destruction of motor neurons, the cells that control the muscles, it generally manifests itself between the ages of 50 and 75.

In the vast majority of cases, the patient retains all his cognitive faculties. He is therefore fully aware of what is happening to him. Three to five years after the onset of symptoms, damage to the respiratory muscles generally results in the patient’s death. About 8,000 people are currently affected by this serious disease and four people die from it every day, according to the Association for ALS Research (ARSLA).

This is the case of Katherine Icardi Lazareff, 67 years old. This retired mother of three children…

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