Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Essay

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Essay

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is the most common form of motor neuron disease in the adulthood (Batos et al,. 2011). Motor neurons are cells that carry messages from the brain to the muscles so they can contract. During ALS these motor neurons gradually degenerate and die (Ingram, 2012). The symptoms progress from muscles weakness, clumsiness and cramping (Ingram, 2012). It can then start in the limbs, slowly eroding the ability to move, ending in paralysis or it can start affecting speech, swallowing and eventually breathing (Ingram, 2012). Patients with ALS usually die of respiratory failures within five years of being diagnosed (Ingram, 2012).
Most ALS cases are sporadic and they are not sure what brings them on, but around five percent of ALS patients have evidence of it in their family history (Batos et al., 2011). Although they are not clear of the cause of ALS, a team with Neurology International has made some hypothesis to the possible cause. The first possible cause they believe could cause ALS is heavy metal intoxication. The Neurology International team described a patient that had worked in a factory and was exposed to large amounts of lead. The study concluded that, although no other tests were performed, that the probable cause of his ALS was the exposure to lead (Batos et al., 2011). Mercury could also be a cause of the development of ALS. Researchers believe this because a nurse developed ALS after she broke a thermometer containing mercury (Batos et al., 2011).
Viral Infections were pointed out to also be a possibly cause of ALS. Studies demonstrated a possible association between persistent infection due to enterovirus and ALS development in 46 individuals (Batos et al...

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Bastos, A. F., Pessoa, L. L., Sztajnbok, F. R., Leite, M. A., Nascimento, O. J. M., Bastos, V. H., . . . Pereira, A. (2011). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: One or multiple causes? Neurology International, 3(1), e4-e4.
Facts You Should Know. (2010). - The ALS Association. Retrieved November 11, 2013
Ingram, J. (2012). Fatal flaws: how a misfolded protein baffled scientists and changed the way we look at the brain. Toronto, Ont.: HarperCollins.
Jones, P. (2013). Glutamate Research Could Lead to ALS Treatment. The ALS Association. Retrieved November 11, 2013
Lou Gehrig Remembered. (2011). - The ALS Association. Retrieved November 11, 201
Nursing Facility - The ALS Association. (2010). Nursing Facility - The ALS Association. Retrieved November 11, 2013
Nursing Management in ALS. (2010). - The ALS Association. Retrieved November 11, 2013

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