Thursday, April 21, 2011

D. Lou Gehrig's disease (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)

Lou Gehrig's diseases is defined as a condition of neurological disorders that selectively affect the motor neurones caused by the degeneration of neurons located in the two separate anatomical structures of the spinal cord and the cerebral cortex that provide activity of carrying nerve impulses from receptors to the central nervous system.
1. Symptoms
1.1. Initial Symptoms
a. Muscle weakness affecting an arm or a leg
b. Slurred and nasal speech.
c. Tripping or stumbling
d. Difficulty speaking clearly or swallowing
e. Loss of tongue mobility
f. Affect intercostal muscles that support breathing
g. Uncontrollable laughter, crying or smiling
h. Etc.
1.2. Progressive symptoms
a. Unable to stand or walk
b. Unable to use their hands and arms
c. Unable to swallow and chew and eat normally
d. Mild problems with word-generation, attention, or decision-making
e. poor breathing
f. Etc.

2. Causes
a. Glutamate
Some theories suggested that ALS is a result of the diminish of glutamate in the synapses, causing the build up of plague due to overflow of calcium into motor neurons.

b. Gene alternation
Gene alternation of superoxide dismutase enzyme will reduce the functions in catalyzing the dismutation of superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide.

c. Genetic defect
An inherited genetic defect on the coding for superoxide dismutase (chromosome 21) is associated with approximately 20% of familial cases of ALS.

d. Environmental factors
Prolonged exposure to a dietary neurotoxin called BMAA (a neurotoxin found in the seeds of the cycad) produced by cyanobacteria is one suspected risk factor to cause ALS.

e. Toxic exposure
There is another epidemiologic association suggested a link of toxins and ALS.

f. Other theories have been proposed that may cause ALS, including autoimmune disorders, heavy metal poisoning, and even viral infection.

g. Etc.

3. Free radicals and Lou Gehrig's disease
Researchers found that glutamate in the synapses enhances the production of free radicals compounds only in motor nerve cells but spares other nerve cells such as cells control senses and other body functions, causing to more production of free radicals and leading to disrupting of the surrounding support cells, called astrocytes, which regulate glutamate levels.

4. Antioxidants and Lou Gehrig's disease
a. Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin)
Researcher found that high doses of vitamin B12 (25 mg) as an antioxidant have been shown to improve or slow muscle wastingin the later stages of patients with ALS disease.

b. Vitamin E
Vitamin E beside helps to protect cell membranes from lipid peroxidation damage that reduce the risk of breakdowning of the cell membrane, causing ALS.

c. Superoxide dismutase enzyme
Research found that mutations in the superoxide dismutase enzyme can increase the risk ALS in catalyzing the dismutation of superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide.

d. Cerebral cortex
Researcher found that oxidative protein damage and DNA alternation were found in elevating levels in the cerebal cortex of those with sporadic ALS.

e. Amino acids
study found that diet high in amino acids as antioxidants have shown some promising effect in treating ALS.

f. Etc.