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Related terms: ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig's Disease, Motor Neurone Disease, ALS

Smoking Tied to Shorter Survival With ALS

Posted 22 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – Smoking may speed progression of Lou Gehrig's disease and shorten the lives of those with the fatal illness, new research suggests. Also known as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), the disease damages nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. These cells control many vital muscle functions, including speaking, swallowing and breathing. Though no cure for ALS has been found, scientists have identified several risk factors, including genes, gender, age and underlying health issues. For this study, researchers explored the link between tobacco and development of ALS. They collected data on the smoking habits of 650 people diagnosed with ALS between 2007 and 2011 in northern Italy. They also looked at chronic lung disease (COPD) among these patients. Nearly 19 percent of the ALS patients were regular smokers when they were diagnosed. Researchers noted that 28 ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Better Detection Key to Rising ALS Cases in U.S.

Posted 4 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2016 – Better detection appears to explain the recent rise in the number of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases in the United States, government health officials say. It's unlikely that the rate of ALS – also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the legendary baseball player who died from it – is actually increasing, says a new report from the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. According to the agency's National ALS Registry, the estimated ALS prevalence rate rose from 4.7 cases per 100,000 people in 2012 to 5 cases per 100,000 in 2013. However, "it is likely the increased prevalence rate since the first report was issued does not reflect an actual increase in the number of ALS cases," said report lead author Dr. Paul Mehta, medical epidemiologist and principal investigator with the ALS Registry. "Rather, this increase is more ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Diagnosis and Investigation

'Ice Bucket Challenge' Funds a Boon to ALS Research

Posted 27 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2016 – The hugely popular "Ice Bucket Challenge" did more than convince millions of people to dump buckets of ice water over their heads to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research: It actually funded a study that has discovered an important new ALS gene. The ALS Association used Ice Bucket Challenge donations to fund Project MinE, an international effort to sequence the genomes of at least 15,000 people with ALS. Researchers now report on the fruits of that effort: A gene called NEK1 was discovered through a search for ALS risk genes in more than 1,000 families with a history of ALS. Further gene testing, of more than 13,000 people with ALS who did not have a family history of the devastating disease, also revealed over-representation of variants in the NEK1 gene. "Global collaboration among scientists, which was really made possible by ALS Ice ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Diagnosis and Investigation

Pesticides Linked to Raised Risk of ALS

Posted 9 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 9, 2016 – Exposure to pesticides and other chemicals may increase the risk for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a fatal neurological disease, researchers say. Three toxins in particular were associated with greater risk for the progressive condition, often called Lou Gehrig's disease because it killed the legendary baseball player with that name. "We are identifying these toxic, persistent, environmental pollutants in higher amounts in ALS patients compared to those who do not have ALS," said study co-author Dr. Stephen Goutman. He is assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan and director of its ALS Clinic. This new study doesn't prove pesticides cause ALS, but it does build on an association suggested in previous research, Goutman said. Scientists already suspect pesticides may contribute to Parkinson's disease, another neurodegenerative disorder. ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Poisoning, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Organophosphate Poisoning

Formaldehyde in Embalming Fluid May Raise ALS Risk for Funeral Directors

Posted 13 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 13, 2015 – Male funeral directors who routinely work with embalming fluid might be at increased risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study finds. Those whose jobs involved continual exposure to the formaldehyde in embalming fluid were three times more likely to develop the neurological disease, compared to people never exposed to the chemical, researchers reported in the July 13 issue of the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. The study found that the jobs of funeral directors involve the sort of frequent and intense formaldehyde exposure that could lead to ALS, often called Lou Gehrig's disease for the famous baseball player who died of it. "Of the approximately 500 men exposed to very high levels of formaldehyde, they were all funeral directors," said study author Andrea Roberts, a research associate at Harvard University's T.H. Chan ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Formaldehyde, Lazerformalyde, Forma-Ray, Formalaz, Formadon, Formalyde-10 Spray

Could Type 2 Diabetes Shield Against ALS?

Posted 1 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 1, 2015 – Type 2 diabetes may reduce the risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study suggests. ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease after the famed baseball player who died of the illness, destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Little is known about its causes, and no treatments exist to halt it. About half of ALS patients die within three years of diagnosis, according to the study authors. This study of Danish residents found that type 2 diabetes – but not obesity, which is often linked to type 2 diabetes – was associated with a possible lower risk of developing ALS. "We found a protective association between type 2 diabetes and ALS," said lead author Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "This is a very new finding." Only in the past six months ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Diabetes Mellitus

Common Blood Pressure Drug May Lower Risk For Lou Gehrig's Disease: Study

Posted 10 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 10, 2014 – Medications commonly used to lower blood pressure might also lower the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, researchers suggest. In fact, those who took particular doses of the medications known as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) for more than four years appeared to reduce their risk of ALS by 57 percent, the researchers found. "ALS is the most common form of motor neuron disease," said lead researcher Charles Tzu-Chi Lee, an associate professor in the department of public health at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan. Neurons are nerve cells, and motor neurons are the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movements, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). "Most patients with ALS die within three to five years after the onset of ... Read more

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Omega-3s in Diet May Help Ward Off Lou Gehrig's Disease

Posted 15 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 15, 2014 – A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help cut your risk for the fatal neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a new study suggests. These fatty acids – found most commonly in certain fish – are known to help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress on cells. Both of those processes can damage nerve tissue, according to the study authors. Inflammation and oxidative stress have long been linked with ALS, the study authors said, so any nutrient that fights those processes might be helpful. In the study, "individuals with higher dietary intakes of total omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids – an essential type of dietary fat found in vegetable oils and fish – had a reduced risk for ALS," said lead researcher Kathryn Fitzgerald of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "We also found that higher ... Read more

Related support groups: Fish Oil, Lovaza, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Omega-3, Omacor, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, MaxEPA, Animi-3, Marine Lipid Concentrate, EPA Fish Oil, Omega 3-6-9 Complex, Proepa, TherOmega, Sea-Omega 30, Vascazen, Super-EPA, Mi-Omega, Omega-500, Divista, Sea-Omega

Can Brightly Colored Fruits, Veggies Protect Against ALS?

Posted 29 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 – Eating bright orange, red or yellow fruits and dark-green vegetables rich in antioxidants may help prevent or delay the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, according to a new study. Researchers found that increasing consumption of carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene and lutein, might reduce the risk for this progressive neurological disease, which attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Carrots, yams and mangoes are rich in beta-carotenes, and spinach, collard greens and egg yolks are good sources of lutein. The study found, however, that diets rich in the antioxidants lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin and vitamin C do not apparently reduce the risk for ALS, which causes the muscles to waste away and eventually results in paralysis. The study was published online Jan. 29 in the journal Annals of Neurology. "ALS ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Stem Cell Transplants in Mice Show Promise for Lou Gehrig's Disease

Posted 9 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 – Stem cells may one day hold promise for a new treatment for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, new animal research suggests. A study of mice found that stem cell transplantation extended their lifespan by 20 days and improved their neuromuscular function by 15 percent. "There have been remarkable strides in stem cell transplantation when it comes to other diseases, such as cancer and heart failure," study author Dr. Stefania Corti, of the University of Milan in Italy, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "ALS is a fatal, progressive, degenerative disease that currently has no cure," Corti said. "Stem cell transplants may represent a promising avenue for effective cell-based treatment for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases." The mice involved in the study had an animal version of ALS. ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Scientists ID Gene That Shows Progression in ALS Patients

Posted 12 Dec 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 – A gene that's an indicator of disease progression in most patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been identified by researchers. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that slowly causes paralysis and death. It affects about five in 100,000 people and there is no known cure. The researchers at the Methodist Hospital in Houston found that the debilitating symptoms of ALS appear to be increased by a lack of inflammation-reducing T cells. Specifically, they discovered that expression of the gene FoxP3 – which helps control the production of anti-inflammatory T cells – was an indicator of disease progression in 80 percent of the ALS patients they studied. Low FoxP3 levels were likely in patients whose ALS progressed rapidly, while higher FoxP3 levels were associated with slower disease progression, according to the ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Scientists Discover Key Gene Mutation Behind Lou Gehrig's Disease

Posted 21 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21 – Researchers have identified a genetic mutation common to roughly one-third of two devastating neurological disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, destroys the motor neurons of the brain and the spinal cord, which are responsible for voluntary movement. ALS patients become progressively more paralyzed, and often die within a few years of diagnosis. FTD is a type of dementia that occurs when the frontal and temporal anterior lobes of the brain atrophy. People with FTD develop erratic behavior, emotional problems, trouble communicating and difficulty with walking and other basic movements. As with ALS, FTD is often fatal within a few years, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Now, an international team of researchers has found that ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Researchers Say They've Found Common Cause of All Types of ALS

Posted 22 Aug 2011 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Aug. 21 – The apparent discovery of a common cause of all forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) could give a boost to efforts to find a treatment for the fatal neurodegenerative disease, a new study contends. Scientists have long struggled to identify the underlying disease process of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and weren't even sure that a common disease process was associated with all forms of ALS. In this new study, Northwestern University researchers said they found that the basis of ALS is a malfunctioning protein recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord. Efficient recycling of the protein building blocks in the neurons are critical for optimal functioning of the neurons. They become severely damaged when they can't repair or maintain themselves. This problem occurs in all three types of ALS: hereditary, sporadic and ALS that targets ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Smoking May Up Risk of ALS

Posted 14 Feb 2011 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 14 – Smoking may increase the risk of the fatal muscle-wasting disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), researchers warn. Each year in the United States, more than 5,500 people are diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. There is no cure for the disease and treatments are very limited. In this study, researchers analyzed data from five long-term studies that involved a total of more than 1.1 million people, including 832 with ALS. Follow-up in the studies ranged from seven to 28 years. Compared to nonsmokers, the risk of developing ALS was 42 percent higher in current smokers and 44 percent higher in former smokers. The researchers also found that the risk of developing ALS increased by 10 percent for each additional 10 cigarettes smoked per day and by nine percent for each 10 years of smoking. The researchers also found that the younger a person was ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Gene Tied to Inherited Form of Lou Gehrig's Disease

Posted 9 Dec 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 – A genetic mutation associated with an inherited form of Lou Gehrig's disease – known in the medical world as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – has been identified by an international team of researchers. About five percent of ALS cases are hereditary. In their study, the team used a new type of genomics technology called exome sequencing to find the mutation in the valosin-containing protein (VCP) gene, which has been described as a molecular "chaperone" aiding various cellular activities such as protein breakdown. "Identifying the genetic mutations responsible for the inherited form of ALS increases our knowledge of the disease process. Mutations in the VCP gene appear to cause one to two percent of the familial ALS cases," project leader Dr. Bryan Traynor, of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the U.S. National Institute on Aging, said in an NIA news release. ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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