Current theories for cell death include excitotoxins (glutamate), free radicals, heavy metals, viral agents, and autoimmune reactions against such tissues as spinal cord collagen.3 Programmed cell death due to apoptosis is also being studied as a possible etiology. The most likely cause of ALS is genetic superoxide dismutase dysfunction related to a variety of environmental insults. 4
Gross central nervous system (CNS) pathology includes frontal cortical atrophy, degeneration of the corticospinal and spinocerebellar tracts, a reduction in large cervical and lumbar motor neurons, and cranial nerve nuclei degeneration. Both motor and sensory peripheral nerves are noted to undergo axonal degeneration and segmental demyelination, including motor end plate and axon terminal involvement.
Was this article helpful?
This guide will help millions of people understand this condition so that they can take control of their lives and make informed decisions. The ebook covers information on a vast number of different types of neuropathy. In addition, it will be a useful resource for their families, caregivers, and health care providers.