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
BS
Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
FEB 06, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Why Does Saturn Tilt?
FEB 06, 2021
Why Does Saturn Tilt?
Two scientists from France have figured out why Saturn sits at a tilt. And they say that over the next few billion years ...
FEB 19, 2021
Plants & Animals
Group of Migrating Gray Whales Makes a Puget Sound Pitstop
FEB 19, 2021
Group of Migrating Gray Whales Makes a Puget Sound Pitstop
Washington’s Puget Sound is famously home to resident and transient orca pods. However, during their yearly migrat ...
MAR 03, 2021
Plants & Animals
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
MAR 03, 2021
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
Vocal communication is a primary key to survival for many species, including the Arctic Ocean's bearded seals. Accor ...
MAR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Study Highlights Importance of Chinook Salmon to Endangered Orcas
MAR 09, 2021
Study Highlights Importance of Chinook Salmon to Endangered Orcas
Many issues plague the iconic orcas of the Pacific Northwest United States, including declining salmon populations. ...
APR 01, 2021
Health & Medicine
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
APR 01, 2021
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
Drinking hot cocoa is comforting on cold winter nights, and new research from the University of Birmingham shows that it ...
JUL 15, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
JUL 15, 2021
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
Migrant settlements being exploited for work have been spotted with satellite imagery by researchers led by the Universi ...
Loading Comments...