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abstract numner 5 - Jacob Zipperstein November 6 2008...

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Jacob Zipperstein November 6, 2008 Abstract # 5 Playing Defense Against Lou Gehrig’s Disease Scientific America – November 2007 Evidence suggests that Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons, could possible be cured. The idea that ALS is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is briefly noted. The progressive neuromuscular disorder attacks nerve cells that lead from the brain and the spinal cord to muscles throughout the body. What happens when these motor neurons die is thoroughly explained. The idea that doctors once thought the disease to be rare, but now is consider fairly common, is covered in passing. The idea that one can gain a basic understanding of ALS by parsing its name is expressed in some detail. “Amyotrophic” is an amalgam of Greek terms. “a” for negative, “myo” for muscle and “trophic” for nourishment. The most common form of the disease, sporadic ALS, is thoroughly analyzed. The symptoms of ALS are explained in detail. ALS makes it hard for patients
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