ALS- The Terrible Disease without a Cure Essay

ALS- The Terrible Disease without a Cure Essay

Length: 1047 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Compared to diseases such as cancer or heart disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), affects very few people, only about 20,000-30,000 people in the United States (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2013) and 2,500-3,000 in Canada (ALS Canada, 2013). It is responsible for about 2 deaths of every 100,000 people. Yet, ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is relatively well known across the population. Why is this?

One of the reasons certainly has to do with the name Lou Gehrig, a famous baseball superstar who had to suddenly retire in 1939 due to ALS and then passed away shortly after. But, another reason ALS is so well known is undoubtedly due to it being an especially devastating disease with horrific effects and no known cure despite years of research.

History

While recorded reports on symptoms that appear to be Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis date from as far back as 1824, the first description in scientific literature was by a French neurologist named Jean-Marie Charcot. Charcot published his findings on the characteristics of ALS in 1869 (Yale, 2013). But it wasn't until Lou Gehrig's major announcement in 1939 that there was a widespread public recognition of the disease, especially in the Western world.

ALS is one of the most common neuromuscular diseases around the world, and people of all races and ethnic backgrounds are affected. On average about one to three out of every 100,000 people develop ALS each year (Kinsley & Siddique, 2013). ALS is usually diagnosed in people between 40 and 60 years of age, but younger and older people can also develop the disease. Men are affected slightly more often than women (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, June 2013)

Causes...


... middle of paper ...


...tterson, D.,Figlewicz, D. A., Sapp, P., Hentati,A.,... & Brown, R. H. (1993). Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene are associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nature, 362(6415}, 59-62.

Talbot, K. (2011). Familial versus sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-a false dichotomy? Brain 134 {12): 3429-3434.doi: 10.1093/brain/awr296

Valdes, E. G.,& Garbuzova-Davis, S. (2013). Brain and Spinal Cord Trauma as a Risk Factor for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Mini-Review. Open Journal of Neuroscience, 3(1). http://rossscience.org/o jns/arti cles/2075-9088 -3-4.pdf

Wicklund,M. P. (2005}. Amyotrophi c lateral sclerosis: possible role of environmental influences. Neurologic clinics, 23(2), 461-484.

Yale School of Medicine. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Retrieved Dec. 4,2013 from http://medicine.yale.edu/neurology/divisions/neuromuscular/als.aspx

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Death Disease : Als / Cte Essay

- The death disease; ALS/CTE Imagine being an individual stuck on bed rest. The first day it’s all good, but by the second day the individual starts getting a little bit more antsy and is wanting to get up, stretch, and move around. Well Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS) is a disease that takes away an individual’s ability to move, speak and eat which makes them stuck on bed rest, unable to move until the individual ends up dying. ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is damage to the nerve cells inside the brain and down the spinal cord....   [tags: Traumatic brain injury, Concussion]

Strong Essays
1040 words (3 pages)

What's Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Essay

- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a genetic disorder that has proven to be very fatal to those who have it. A flaw in the DNA of a person can result in this disease, taking their life for an unexpected turn. I chose ALS to study because after hearing about several cases and reading Tuesdays With Morrie, I would like to find out what the cause of this disease is, and among other things, what research has been done to help prevent the disease. The disease is transmitted through genetics, and one clinic says that through extensive research, they were able to conclude a few things about ALS; “In ALS, the nerve cells that control the movement of your mus...   [tags: lou gehrig's disease, genetic disorder]

Strong Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Searching for the Cure for Alzheimer's Disease

- The human brain is a remarkable organ, complex chemical and electrical processes take place within our brains. They let us speak, move, see, feel emotions and make decisions. Inside a normal healthy brain billions of cells called neurons constantly communicate with one another.Healthy neurotransmission is important for the brain to function well. Alzheimer's disease destroys memory and thinking skills over time by compromising the ability of neurons to communicate with one another (Jannis).The disease triggers as two abnormal protein fragments called plaques and tangles accumulate in hippocampus, the part of the brain where memory first formed, and destroy brain cells....   [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]

Strong Essays
1757 words (5 pages)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): Lou Gehrig's Disease Essays

- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects approximately 20,000 - 30,000 U.S. citizens, with an estimated 5,000 new diagnoses made each year. ALS is a rapidly progressive neurological disease which attacks neurons responsible for the control of voluntary muscles, and is habitually fatal. ALS is part of the class of disorders called motor neuron diseases (MNDs). Motor neuron diseases are characterized by the gradual degeneration of motor neurons, ultimately leading to the death of affected motor neurons....   [tags: medicine, motor neuron disease]

Strong Essays
1368 words (3.9 pages)

ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease Essay

- Research Paper According to www.medterms.com , ALS is defined as “a classic motor neuron disease. Motor neuron diseases are progressive chronic diseases of the nerves that come from the spinal cord responsible for supplying electrical stimulation to the muscles. This stimulation is necessary for the movement of body parts.” “1 out of 10 cases are a genetic defect” (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis- National Library of Medicine, 2012). The other nine times, the cause of cannot be determined. As stated by the A.D.A.M Medical Encyclopedia, “ALS affects approximately 5 out of every 100,000 people worldwide” (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis- National Library of Medicine, 2012)....   [tags: muscles, 50 years old, symptoms]

Strong Essays
750 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Understanding ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)

- Research essay (ALS) An individual diagnosed with a terminal illness has one major battle to fight. Families of terminally ill patients suffer significant effects related to an illness, forcing some households to have large debts and making them unable to afford food and other necessaries. One specific terminal illness is called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is a disease affecting the human nervous system like the brain, muscles, and spinal cord. It is a deadly disease that cripples and kills its victims....   [tags: research paper, medical]

Strong Essays
718 words (2.1 pages)

Lou Gehrig's Disease Essay

- Lou Gehrig's disease is often referred to as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), this is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons come from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the entire body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS would eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is also lost....   [tags: ALS, Neurodegenerative DIsease]

Strong Essays
1052 words (3 pages)

Essay about ALS DISEASE Oral Notes

- ALS- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Lou Gehrig’s disease- Yankee B-Ball player 1903-1941 Neurodegenerative disease- Unknown cause breaks tissue down in nervous system. Motor Neurons- they control muscle movement Affects nerves from the brain to the spinal cord (upper motor neurons) then the lower spinal cord (lower motor neurons) which control muscle movement. With this disease, for unknown reasons, these neurons die, meaning a progressive loss of the ability to move nearly any of the muscles in the body....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
390 words (1.1 pages)

Parkinson's Disease Essay

- The world has many diseases and illnesses but we do not realize the destructiveness of these complications because there are cures for them. There are only a few diseases today that no cures exists for such as Cancer and HIV but the one we tend to overlook is Parkinson’s. This is a disease that affects many people in the United States today and has for many years. Parkinson’s will continue to be a disease of mystery because the causes and cures have yet to be discovered. I have had a direct relationship with the unpredictable and incurable disease, which resulted in the death of my great grandfather....   [tags: cure for diseases]

Free Essays
1201 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Als

- Medical history has been filled with an array of diseases and illnesses, ranging from the common cold to deadly killers. Some are easily treatable and others can be terminal, but some of the worst are those that still remain without a cure; one such disease is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a degenerative disease affecting the human nervous system. It is a deadly disease that cripples and kills its victims due to a breakdown in the body’s motor neurons....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
699 words (2 pages)