APR 22, 2017 6:02 PM PDT

The Impact of ALS on Nerve Cells

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

This video from Nature discusses the pathophysiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Learn about what happens to nerve cells or neurons affected by ALS, made famous by the 'ice-bucket challenge' research fundraising effort of 2014. The disease impacts neurons in the spinal cord and brain that control movement. They begin to degenerate, and over time they die. You can see an animation of what happens in the cells.

In the affected neurons, there is a critical buildup of proteins. As those proteins build up, they damage other parts of the cell in a domino effect that ultimately affects the genetic material in the cell. Other dysfunctions in the cell are discussed.

Around 6,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS every year; most who get the disease are between 40 and 70 years old, although it can affect younger people. There seem to be some risk factors for developing the disease (which is not contagious). For example, military vets are twice as likely to get the disorder, and it is around twenty percent more common in men. A lot more research is needed to combat this disease.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JAN 23, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 23, 2020
Scientists Assess the Value of the Ocean's Twilight Zone
Fifteen years ago, an international cohort of scientists and policy experts introduced the idea of assessing ecosystems by the "services" they pr...
JAN 28, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 28, 2020
An Ambitious New Mission to Explore the Sun's Poles
A plethora of spacecraft have photographed the Sun, but every one of those photographs has been snapped from the rather limited perspective of the Sun&rsqu...
FEB 12, 2020
Health & Medicine
FEB 12, 2020
Brain Patients are Advancing Research
Neuroscientists may face the challenge of not having enough material or high-quality material to study the condition they’re researching. Luckily&mda...
FEB 11, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 11, 2020
Why China Was Banned from the International Space Station
The International Space Station is just that – a place where international space agencies can work together in an effort to accomplish similar goals:...
FEB 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 16, 2020
ISS Poised to Receive Fresh Supplies by Tuesday
Life on the International Space Station isn’t quite as convenient as it is for the rest of us here on Earth. With no convenient restaurants or conven...
FEB 20, 2020
Cardiology
FEB 20, 2020
Most Commonly Birth Defects Affect The Heart
Birth defects are not uncommon. For every 33 babies born in the United States each year, one is born with a defect. That adds up to about 120,000 babies ea...
Loading Comments...