Causes Of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, usually referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a condition that continually deteriorates motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons are nerve cells that control muscle movements. When these nerves fail, the muscles they are supposed to communicate with don't receive the full messages that are being carried from the brain or spinal cord, causing the muscles to stop working properly. Early symptoms of this disease include cramping or twitching of feet and hand muscles, muscle weakness in the arms or legs, and slurred speech. As the disease progresses, people have difficulty with speaking, swallowing, and breathing, have persistent fatigue, muscle spasticity and intense twitching, severe muscle weakness, and frequent falls. Eventually they suffer from muscle …show more content…
People typically only live three to five years after the onset of the disease and death occurs once the respiratory muscles become paralyzed or too weak and withered to support the breathing process.
There is no known cause of ALS. Almost 90 percent of the cases are sporadic, with only about 10 percent being caused by genetics. Two things that are known for certain about ALS are that it is most common in people over 40, and men are affected more often than women. In recent years, scientists have also identified genetic mutations linked to ALS. These mutations cause proteins to form or function abnormally, which can lead to irregular function of the neurons. Some of the gene and protein mutations that have been linked to ALS include C9ofr72, SOD1, TDP43, and ubiquilin-2 (UBQLN2). C9orf72 gene mutations are the most common cause

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