The list of symptoms experienced by those with ALS grows longer the longer we live. Fasciculations, cramps, spasticity, and loss of muscle control; but there’s more to it than that.
ALS leads to progressive muscle involvement and requires a complex multidisciplinary approach to manage increasing disability which goes beyond motor neurons. Sialorrhea is, amongst others, one of the most disabling symptoms in ALS. The complexity in managing saliva is due to a muscular spasticity and to a scarce palatino-lingual muscles control.
Yes. Though my particular brand of ALS is respiratory onset, more typical symptoms have begun to appear.
Lots of saliva. More saliva than you can imagine. But no drooling. Yet. Well, other than watching my wife undress before bedtime (I wear sunglasses to mitigate the effects).
As it turns out, all that excess saliva— definitely a bad symptom when drooling is common— has a side benefit.
Using a ventilator and mask for 20 hours a day causes an excessive amount of dry mouth; so dry that the tongue flops around like a big piece of rubber inside a tiny human cave. But with excess saliva only a muscle squeeze away all that dry mouth can disappear within seconds.
Anything else? Swallowing, often a problem for those with ALS, is much easier, and coughing is reduced because saliva is abundant.
Excess saliva is a bad symptom with a good benefit. For now.