Font Size

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (cont.)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Causes

We do not know exactly what causes ALS. Although some cases of ALS are hereditary (run in families), most are not. A mutation of a gene called SOD1 has been identified in some of the hereditary cases, but we do not know what role the mutation plays in the disease.

Using an evidence-based approach, smoking was found to be more likely than not a risk factor for ALS based on two excellent studies by Kamel et al. and Nelson et al. Smoking has a broad public health impact, no redeeming features, and is a modifiable risk factor. Evidence also supported the conclusion that the following were probably not risk factors for ALS: trauma, physical activity, residence in rural areas, and alcohol consumption.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2014
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Dementia in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig Disease)
Dementia in ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disorder. It affects the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary movements. ALS is sometimes cal...learn more >>
Dysphagia (Swallowing Problems) Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) has many causes. Dysphagia can be caused by diseases of the brain, diseases or conditions that affect muscle function, disease...learn more >>
Muscle Cramps
Muscle Cramps Muscle cramps occur when a muscle undergoes a sustained, forceful, involuntary contraction. The cramp may cause a visible or palpable hardening of the muscle. D...learn more >>

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis »

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease of unknown cause characterized by slowly progressive degeneration of upper motor neurons (UMNs) and lower motor neurons (LMNs).

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary