Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease of animals and man with life-altering consequences. The defining pathology is destruction of neurons resulting in loss of neuromuscular connections. Genetic predisposition is a factor in a small number of cases, 10%. The most commonly recognized presentation is idiopathic spontaneous disease (SALS). Spontaneous ALS may be due to multiple factors and that means treating disease would require multiple-therapies in a targeted approach. Our hypothesis is that SALS initiates innate immune mechanisms that become dysfunctional at the cellular level. We suggest that a bystander mechanism could initiate innate immune responses that become unregulated and the dysfunctional systems may vary with the site of the pathology.
Our work on parasitic diseases and the effect parasites have on innate immunity may cross-over and explain pathophysiology of some ALS presentations. We are extending our mission, to develop patent protected technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of parasitic diseases, to include a goal of developing technologies that may facilitate research in ALS. Our areas of interest are in vitro cell testing to identify disease pathogenesis, facilitate modeling to test treatments for specific immune pathways, and develop bioassays that could potentially assist in determining a response to treatment.
We found out critical elements of living with ALS are good nutrition and a good physical therapy program. The Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory and worth a look. These are the books we like:
There are web sites with a wealth of information. We direct you to these sites if you want to learn about ALS. Here are a couple of our favorites: