Researchers have found a link between diet and ALS saying that a ketogenic- high caloric diet may prevent the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The Mount Sinai School of Medicine is the first to draw a correlation between diet and neuronal cell death, the cause of ALS.
According to foodconsumer.org, ALS is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder in which spinal and cortical motor neurons die causing relentlessly progressive weakness and wasting of skeletal muscles through the body.
"ALS is such a devastating disease for those individuals diagnosed with the disorder," said Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Director of the Neuroinflammation Research Center at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine and lead author of this study. "The findings assert the significance of certain high caloric dietary intake in the prevention of ALS. In view of any available therapeutic application for the disease, this new evidence might bring hope to those affected."
The cause of neuronal death in ALS is uncertain but study researchers say mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role. Ketones promote mitochondrial energy production and membrane stabilization. Mitochondiral membrane dysfunction, loss of oxidative stress control, generation of excessive free radicals, neurofilament accumulation, and excitotoxicity are all implicated in the onset of ALS.
This is the first study showing that diet, specifically a high caloric - KD, may slow the progression of the clinical and biological manifestations of ALS in a mouse model. This may be due to the ability of ketone bodies to promote ATP synthesis and bypass inhibition of complex I in the mitochondrial respiratory chain.