Lou Gehrig Disease

Overview

This is a rapidly progressive neuromuscular disease caused by destruction of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This disease usually starts in the hands or feet, but may start in the cranial nerves. It usually affects only motor function. If the cranial nerves are affected, there may be difficulty of speech, swallowing, or chewing. Characteristically this disease may be associated with fits of uncontrollable laughter. The bladder, sexual drive and eyes are not usually affected. Men are far more commonly affected than females. The most common age of presentation is between the ages of 40-70, although individuals in their 20's may get involved. The average life expectancy once the diagnosis is made is 2-5 years.

There are essentially 2 forms in the USA: Genetic (familial) and Sporadic (Guam-form is the 3rd type). In the familial type there is a genetic defect of superoxide dismutase -- so highly toxic "superoxide" is not removed as a free radical (no removing anti-oxidant-SOD) The possible invoked causes of ALS (Lou-Gehrig's Disease):

  • Glutamic Acid - There may be a glutamate-transport system defect that allows neurotoxic levels of Glutamate to build up.
  • Oxidative Stress - Most free radicals react with molecules that contain oxygen to form reactive oxygen species (nitric oxide-NO; Superoxide-02, and Hydroxyl-OH) Antioxidants prevent this oxidation by free radicals.
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction - There may be a possible defect in Mitochondrial function, so problems of Oxidative phosphorylation occur (energy production) This process also requires CoQ10, niacin for the formation of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), riboflavin for flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD).
  • Auto Immune Disease - Antibodies secreted by denervated muscle are found in ALS. Also immunoglobulins that effect conduction of neuronal voltage-activated calcium channels are present. Immune complexes have been found in the spinal cords of these patients.
  • Infectious Origin - Both Lyme's disease and Poliomyelitis have Chronic states that resemble ALS
  • Toxic Metal Exposure - A higher incidence of this disorder is found in soldiers returning from the Desert Storm War, due to toxic exposures there. Xenobiotics are chemicals that are harmful to the body that may damage neurons.
  • Heavy Metals - The most common include lead, mercury, aluminum, manganese-selenium is helpful in reducing the toxicity of mercury in the body. Manganese can cause a syndrome similar to Parkinson's disease (found in miners, dry-battery makers and welders)
  • Calcium/Magnesium Deficiency - Low levels of calcium may result in the increased absorption of toxic metals
  • Growth Factor Deficiency - Decreased levels of growth factor (IGF-1) in ALS. Also nerve growth factor (NGF), Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and ciliary Neurotrophic factor (CNF)
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Symptoms

  • Trouble standing, walking, or running
  • Extreme clumsiness
  • Difficulty chewing/swallowing
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Visible muscle twitching underneath skin
  • Atrophy of hand muscles or tongue

This is not a complete list and if you are experiencing these symptoms it is not guaranteed you are have Lou Gehrig Disease. Back to Top

Management

  • Numerous pharmaceuticals have had minimal success in this disorder
  • Various nutritional supplements including growth stimulants with growth factor and testosterone
  • Antioxidants
  • Protect and help regenerate neurons by very specific supplementation
  • Impaired mitochondrial function
  • Replace Mineral Deficiencies
  • Growth stimulation by specified supplements

Dr. Allibone specializes in creating protocols that are individualized for each patient based on their exact history, conditions, and test results. Back to Top

Learn more about how the Houston Wellness Clinic manages Lou Gehrig Disease.

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If we fill our hours with regrets of yesterday and with worries of tomorrow, we have no today in which to enjoy our existence. Seize the day, and take control of your health and life. How you are going to live those tomorrows will depend on how you act and choose today. - George Allibone M.D.