Lou Gehrig´S Diease (Als) Essay

678 words - 3 pages

Lou Gehrig's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an movement disorder that affects the motor neuron pathways in the central nervous system. Amyotrophic means that the muscle of the body has lost their nourishment. Lateral means that it is affected the sides of the spinal cord which is also known as corticospinal region of the spinal cord that has the motor neuronspathways. Sclerosis mean scarring or hardening in place of the healthy nerve. The part of the brain that affected is in the cerebral cortex. The motor neurons in the brain are known as the upper motor neurons which takes the output action of the brain to the spinal cord, from the spinal cord to the muscles of the trunk and limbs are the lower motor neurons.
How this affects the brain is by the neurotransmitter Glutamate which plays a dominate role in the brain that is harmful when not in the right concentrations according to Professor Danbolt from University of Olso (2013). Glutamate is considered to be the major Emissary of excitatory action potential in the human central nervous system and is involved in most aspects of normal brain function including cognition, memory and learning. A closer look reveals that glutamate is not present everywhere in the body. It is almost exclusively located inside the neural cells. The intracellular location of some 99.99 % of brain glutamate is the reason why this system can work (Danbolt, 2013) this is essential because glutamate receptors can only be activated by glutamate binding to them from the outside. Glutamate’s toxicity is allegedly due to calcium influx into the cell. Calcium is supposed to briefly enter the neuron with each signal and triggers the cell to fire off its own signals and adjust its own activities accordingly. But prolonged influx of calcium inside the cell can do damage, and will even initiate cell death (NIH, 2013)
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are no specific first symptoms. Because the disease affects the motor neurons it can be anywhere from the brain to the spinal cord that get affected. In an individual...

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