Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: what it is, photos

There are several diseases, which include the term «sclerosis». For example, atherosclerosis in which the walls of the arteries affects the cholesterol plaques, harden and become stiff, lose their elasticity and become sources of thrombosis and ischemia. There are multiple sclerosis, in which different parts of the Central nervous system are formed region of demyelination, or violation of the «insulation» of nerve pathways. Finally, there is the disease under the mysterious name «amyotrophic lateral sclerosis». What is it, what are its causes and how it manifests itself?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als) is a disease in which slowly but surely affects the motor neurons that are directly responsible for muscular contraction. These neurons lie in the anterior horns of the spinal cord, motor nuclei of cranial nerves, and motor cortices. The disease progresses slowly, but eventually leads to complete immobility, peripheral paralysis and muscle atrophy. Despite the fact that the front affects the neurons, the name «lateral» indicates severe degeneration of the lateral columns of white matter of the spinal cord, with relative preservation of posterior columns.

Notorious for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis acquired in the face of his genius victims of the great physicist and mathematician, Professor of mathematics at Cambridge (a post which at the time was occupied by sir Isaac Newton), a member of the Royal society of London, one of the founders of a new science – in quantum cosmology, the pioneer of the evaporation of black holes – Stephen Hawking. Despite the fact that for many years the scientist completely motionless, does not speak (using a speech synthesizer) and controls a computer only by using the electrode, hung above a facial muscle of the face (the only moveable muscle), he maintains fruitful scientific activity. This fact proves that the intelligence in this disease does not suffer.

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Host disorder BASS is a combination of lesions of the Central (cortical) and peripheral (spinal) neuron. So you can see the symptoms of Central paralysis and peripheral, despite the fact that they often have opposite signs. Features of the course the BASS is following:

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  • clear symmetrical lesions;
  • the safety of abdominal cutaneous reflexes;
  • the absence of disorders of urination;
  • there are painful muscle pain and spasms;
  • expressed vegetative-trophic disorders, in particular, sweating;
  • permanent acrocyanosis with cold hands and feet;
  • early emaciation.

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About the causes of disease

At present, there is every reason to report amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the group of «slow infections» of the Central nervous system. It is on a par with diseases such as:

  • Kuru (laughing death);
  • mad cow disease (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or subacute encephalopathy spongioform);
  • amyotrophic lateral leukospongiosis;
  • subacute sclerosing panencephalitis van Bogart.

Causes of BASS due to infection until proven, but not proven. To slow infections of the nervous system this disease can be attributed on a number of grounds:

  • the lack of inflammatory response in blood and cerebrospinal fluid;
  • dystrophic-degenerative changes in the nervous system;
  • slowly progressive course of the disease;
  • the electoral defeat of the neurons;
  • inevitable, though distant death.

The cause of death when the BASS, of course, may be different. Most often patients die from intercurrent diseases caused by lack of reasonable care. Because they are all bedridden and completely immobile patients, the most common cause of death was pneumonia, sepsis, purulent complications caused by pressure ulcers, intestinal paralysis and self-poisoned. But even if the patient is the ideal treatment, death may occur for two reasons. Don’t forget that the motor neurons perform several vital functions: it is a breathing, and circulation. The respiratory muscles are subject to the neurons of the anterior horns of the spinal cord and the heartbeat is regulated by the structures of the medulla oblongata.

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Therefore, if developing the bulbar form of ALS, affecting vital centers of circulation and respiration, that death comes quicker. But most often patients with proper care, would die of paralysis of respiratory muscles, with symptoms of acute respiratory failure.