(UnitedVoice.com) – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS, is a horrible disorder. It causes the rapid breakdown of nerve cells in the voluntary muscles of a patient, which leads to loss of function in those muscles and to death. Ordinarily, it impacts older adults, but now scientists have made a horrifying discovery.
On March 31, a study published in the journal Nature Medicine revealed 11 children have received a rare ALS diagnosis. A mutation of the disease now impacts kids. The study found the children experienced symptoms as young as the age of 4.
11 children diagnosed with new form of ALS – in hopes of finding a diagnosis for her mysterious medical condition, which had caused her to lose the ability to walk and required her… – https://t.co/jfbTyMQW8a pic.twitter.com/XS5KYvsd1h
— iWeller.com (@iWeller_health) June 3, 2021
Researchers also discovered what they believe is the ALS gene. That discovery was huge because they were able to start working on potential therapies. What they found was that the mutated gene increases the production of fatty acids called sphingolipids.
The ALS mutation basically “takes the brake” off the production of an enzyme involved in the production of those sphingolipids so the body doesn’t stop producing them like it should. Researchers think if they’re able to turn that brake back on in some way they could treat the disease. And although this is all new, there’s hope for the future.
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