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Causes / Risk Factors of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Last Updated on May 07, 2018
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Causes / Risk Factors of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Researchers are still probing the exact cause of ALS, although a plethora of factors, such as listed below, have been associated with the disease:

  • Familial ALS (or FALS) – In case of 20% of FALS an inherited autosomal dominant mutation on chromosome 21 is implicated. The children of these FALS patients have a higher risk factor for developing the disease.It must be noted that close family members carry risks similar to that of the general population.
  • Dietary factors - such as a neurotoxin present in the seed of the tropical cycad plant, cycus circinalis, is believed to have been the reason for increased incidence of ALS in West Pacific Guam.
  • Mutation in the gene SOD1 (super oxidase dismutase 1) is another cause that is often cited. The gene SOD1 produces the enzyme superoxide dismutase which acts as an anti -oxidant and protects the body from the free radical super oxide. The accumulation of free radicals is among the primary cause formany of the neurological diseases including ALS. It is now believed that a gain in function (due to SOD1 mutation) and not a loss, is the cause of ALS.
  • Glutamate, a neurotransmitter, is said to be present in higher quantities in the spinal fluid and serum of patients with ALS. Glutamate in higher quantities is said to be neuro-toxic.
  • Autoimmune impairment is another cause of ALS which is believed to be brought about when the body’s immune system gets impaired and starts attacking normal cells causing motor neuron degeneration. Recent studies indicate that the microglia (nervous system’s immune cells) are intensely involved in the late stages of the disease.

Risk factors Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

  • Exposure to neurotoxins, heavy metals or viruses are also believed to be trigger factors.
  • Spinal cord -involving surgeries could also play a role in damaging nerve fibres and causing ALS.
  • Military service -It has also been reported that those in the military have a 60% increased chance of getting the disease when compared to ordinary folks.
  • There is a possible link between the disease and exposure to pesticides as evidenced by the increased incidence among soccer players.
  • Age - People who are between the ages of 40-60 are at a higher risk.
  • Sex- Males are more affected than females.
  • Geographical factors-Japan, West Guinea and Guam reported a higher incidence of the disease.

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With my amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS], the first thing that happened almost 2 years ago now, was speaking as if I were drunk. I wasn't. I initially did improve speech (articulating clearly but slow) but now I can no longer speak in an acceptable way. Then, a year later eating became problematic, I was biting my tongue and lips, and chewing became weak and less controlled. Soon after that some fingers started to fail me and things would drop out of my hands. Somewhere at that time bulbar ALS was diagnosed. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help me. The medical team did even less. My decline was rapid and devastating.. We tried every shot available but nothing was working. There has been little if any progress in finding a reliable treatment, Our care provider introduced us to Kycuyu Health Clinic ALS/MND herbal treatment. The treatment is a miracle.i recovered significantly! Visit www. kycuyuhealthclinic. com


My ALS [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis] Symptoms started out with a "foot drop" on my left foot. From there my left leg lost all muscle tone and the entire left leg muscles are gone. Also my fingers and thumbs "contract" at times. Left arm loses muscle tone too. My family doctor said there is no cure for ALS, I was just living unhappy life till I saw a blog talking about Best Health Herbal Centre. So many people said positive things about their herbal product which I don’t believe at first. I showed my daughter what I saw online about their product and my daughter decided we shall give it a try. Few days later she purchased two bottle of ALS herbal remedy which they said I will use for only six weeks. My life changed automatically after six weeks of applying the herbal remedy as instructed. All my symptoms was terminated completely and am now living ALS FREE .. All Thanks to Best Health Herbal Centre for their good work in people’s life. For more details about their herbal product visit their Homepage w ww .besthealthherbalcentre. co m


Are there any new treatments for Als?


My dearest friend, Joy Styles, died from ALS on July 1st 2011. She was only 52. She was running half marathons and was very active when she noticed an atrophy in her left and and a weakness in her right leg. I have created a website in her name http://www.hopeforjoy.ca that is about her and has useful information about the disease. I wish I could do more, but every little bit helps. God bless everyone who has had experience with this terrible disease.


My symptoms started off with extreme muscle spasms and cramps. It would get worse when I was on my monthly. I was walking and running at the time to lose some weight that I thought was causing the muscle aches, headaches, and the pain that I was feeling in my whole body. One day it got overwhelming. It was August 17th, 2007. I felt like I was getting the life squeezed out of me and my mind was racing the whole time while experiencing difficulty speaking, walking, and trying to control the jerky movements. I was admitted as a psychiatric patient at that time, now it's been two years later and I feel like I am disseminating. I had another attack recently and that is what scared me enough to go to the neurologist. I am still afraid. I want to see it, and I'm interested in the damage that my body has endured. Can't wait to start treatment. Findyourdrug.com

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