This is a painting of ALS. It depicts a healthy nerve cell within skeletal muscle compared a to a nerve cell that is damaged by ALS.

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  1. Amyotrophic Lateral sclerosis, also referred to as ALS, is a rare disease in the nervous system that can weaken the muscles and can eventually leave someone impared. The nerves that are mostly involved are in the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord which control all of the muscle movements throughout the body. So when ALS is affecting the brain and spinal cord cells this causes the person to not be able to move their muscles. Since the nerve cells break down there are no neurons carrying the electrical charges, so therefore the muscles cannot contract, leaving the person to be completely unable to move or having limiting movement. The body also starts to use the muscle as a fuel source, which also contributes to the muscles shrinking. This all happens gradually as the muscles get weaker and weaker as the person’s ability to move their muscles stops over time. It is caused by a gene named SOD1 and it can appear randomly to someone. This person can be perfectly healthy one day and the next start to feel discomfort and realize they have ALS. Since this disease unfortunately leads to respiratory failure eventually, this disease has no known treatment or cure to stop it completely. But there has been some research done, showing that there could be a mutation for people through physical therapy and isolation of voluntary muscles. According to the research some scientists said that these treatments can only help the patients slow the disease down but it cannot be stopped fully.

    Mika Barto

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