Lou Gehrig's Disease

Biology Research Project


The name of this disease is Lou Gehrig's Disease,also called ALS. I chose this disease because one of my friends has this disease. When she first told me about it i got really interested in it and knowing what can happen to a person with this disease.

What happens to the body?

Lou Gehrig's Disease will attack the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The muscle will not get the signal to move, also the muscle become smaller and weaker. Then gradually the body becomes paralyzed.
Lou Gehrig's Disease - Effects of Lou Gehrig's Disease - What Is ALS Video.mp4

The symptons

Muscle Weakness in one or more of the following:

  • Hands
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Muscle of speech
  • swallowing or breathing
There can also be twitching in the face.

Muscle cramps, especially in hands or feet.

The impairment of arms and legs.

Difficulty projecting voice.

In more advanced stages you will have shortness of breathe and difficultly of breathing & swallowing .

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What happens in the body?

The motor neuron will shrink and disappear. The muscles will not get the signal to move anymore. About 90 to 95 percent of Lou gehrig's Disease cases are sporadic and is not inherited. It is a mutation but it's a gene mutation. It's very rare that ALS is inherited in an X-linked dominant patter.

How ALS is inherited?

Lou Gehrig's is not sex-linked because,it's a gene mutation and it can affect anyone. It is on a particular chromosome; that chromosome is called Chromosome 9p21. ALS is recessive, but it's also mistaken for sporadic ALS even though its caused by a familial genetic mutation.
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How is it treated?

There is no cure for als yet,but there is treatment . Their is medicine that people can take, it's called Rilutek. Rilutek slows down the progression by decreasing the glutamate levels. There is also gene therapy for ALS. What happens during gene therapy is it delivers a beneficial protein to salvage dying nerve cells.

How is it diagnosed?

ALS is a disease that is very difficult to diagnose. Right now, there is no test or procedure yo establish the diagnoses of ALS. It's through a clinical examination and diagnostic test. The following test are or have been done:

  • Electomyography (EMG)
  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
  • Blood and urine test have been to see if their is a high resolution serum protein electrophoresis, thyroid and parathyroid hormone levels. Also they do a 24 hour urine collection for heavy metals.
  • Spinal tap
  • X-rays, like an MRI
  • Myelogram of cervical spine
  • muscle and/or nerve biopsy
  • neurological examination
There is gene counseling, when more than one with ALS and/or frontotemporal dementia in the the family. Some people like to meet with a genetic counselor. When meeting a genetic counselor involves in taking detailed family history, evaluating risk and also discussing the impact of genetic testing.

How many and what type of people can get ALS?

Based on the U.S population studies show a little over 5,600 are diagnosed with ALS each year. That's about 15 new cases each year. It's estimated that 30,000 that have ALS,but according to the ALS CARE database 60% of those people are men,and 93% patients in the database are Caucasian. ALS can strike anyone, and that it doesn't matter where you are in the world with no racial, or ethnic .
Caley and Greg ALS Story

New information i learned

I learned that there isn't a cure for Lou gehrig's disease and that it can strike anyone no matter what. Its also a genetic mutation and not just a mutation. Also it can affect a person's breathing, swallowing and sometimes you can choke. It also affects your speech and balance.

Pedigree of ALS

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