Are You Dealing With ALS?

One Against All All Against One Discussion

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS for brief and also widely referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is disease that leads to the death of neurons throughout the body that control voluntary muscles.

Between 5 and 10 percent of ALS cases are due to heredity. If a parent has the disorder, the offspring are 50% more likely to get it as well due to the heredity element. The other cases are due to other factors, and researchers are busy trying to pinpoint precisely what causes this disorder to occur.

Risk factors which were found out already include age as most cases start to happen between the ages of 40-60, and sex, because slightly more women than men will have ALS before age 65 (after age 70, sex does not factor into the issue since it becomes more balanced between people ). Environmental factors like smoking, exposure to environmental toxins and support in the military are also being studied. It is not clear why more veterans get ALS than those who have done no military service, but researchers are looking into continual exertion, exposure to metals and chemicals and traumatic accidents as other elements that contribute to ALS.

So what causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to attack an otherwise healthy person? It might be a gene mutation, it could be a chemical imbalance like having too much glutimate which has been proven to be toxic to cells, it might be a disorganized immune response or it could be a protein mishandling issue. This is where research is going at the moment in an attempt to narrow down how a person become affected and what we can do to stop this terrible disease.

Some early signs of ALS include difficulty walking, falling, tripping, hand fatigue, clumsiness, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and muscle cramps. Sadly, those who have ALS have between two and four years before it will claim them, although 10 percent of patients do live ten years ago diagnosis. Most people who have ALS die from respiratory failure and some will acquire dementia near the end also. This is a dreadful disease, one that has no cure, but one in which teams of researchers are trying to understand.

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