Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - 1

Topics: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Mutation, Stephen Hawking Pages: 3 (1013 words) Published: May 15, 2013
Many people are affected by genetic disorders every day. Abnormalities in one’s DNA are what cause a genetic disorder. These disorders could be as little as a mutation in a single gene. In another case, they could be as severe as having an extra chromosome, or taking away a chromosome.

Genetic disorders are present from birth, but they may not be visibly seen until a later age. Some mutations could be heritable, or from your parents genes. Some forms of cancer can be inherited form a parent. Although, in most cases, these mutations are new changes to the DNA. “All humans have the same basic set of genes”. This means that everyone has the probability that they could get a genetic disorder. The thing that makes us different is the genetic sequence.

There are many different types of genetic disorders. A few of them are: Angleman syndrome, Hemophilia, Sickle-cell disease, Neurofibromatosis, Cri du chat, and Down syndrome. People are born with these diseases and have to face many challenges every day to live with these genetic mutations. This essay is going to specifically cover one genetic disorder called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a genetic disorder that occurs in the nervous system. Each word in ALS briefly describes what the disorder is. Amyotrophic has two parts to it. The prefix “amyo” means muscular atrophy. Atrophy means to waste away, typically due to the degeneration of cells. The suffix “trophic” means that it is relating to feeding and nutrition. So to sum it up, amyotrophic means that the muscles have lost their nourishment. Lateral usually means the side of something. In this case, it means that the mutation is affecting the sides of the spine. The sides of the spine are where the nerves that nourish the muscles can be found. Sclerosis is the abnormal hardening of body tissue. In this case its referring to how the mutated part of the spinal cord develops hardened or...
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