This is highly anecdotal so I may have remembered the details incorrectly but at the time I visited Professor Dake, he was seeing an astrophysicist with Lou Gehrig's. He thought there were problems in the shoulder area venous/arterial systems.
I believe that sports people are more prone to this disease.
Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2010 May 3;11(3):289-92.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, physical exercise, trauma and sports: results of a population-based pilot case-control study.
Beghi E, Logroscino G, Chiò A, Hardiman O, Millul A, Mitchell D, Swingler R, Traynor BJ.
Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our objective was to investigate exposure to physical exercise and trauma in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) compared to the general population. Previous studies in this area have yielded conflicting results. Using population-based ALS registries from Italy, the UK and Ireland, newly diagnosed patients with definite, probable or possible ALS were enrolled in a case- control study with two age- and sex-matched controls for each patient. Source, intensity and duration of physical activity and history of trauma were recorded. We here present the results of a pilot investigation. We studied 61 patients and 112 controls. Forty-one per cent of cases and 17.0% of controls (p = 0.001) had blue-collar occupations; 13.1% versus 3.6% reported strenuous physical activity at work (p = 0.05). Compared with controls, ALS patients had a longer exposure to work-related (10.7 vs. 7.3 years; p = 0.02) and sport-related physical exercise (9.6 vs. 5.2 years; p = 0.005). Three patients (0 controls) reported professional sports (p = 0.04). Traumatic events were similar. Blue collar occupation (OR 4.27; 95% CI 1.68-10.88) and duration of sport-related physical exercise (OR 1.03; 95% CI 1.00-1.05) were independent variables in multivariate analysis. We concluded that ALS is associated with physical exercise but not with traumatic events.
PMID: 20433412 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2009 Aug;10(4):205-9.
ALS in Italian professional soccer players: the risk is still present and could be soccer-specific.
Chio A, Calvo A, Dossena M, Ghiglione P, Mutani R, Mora G.
Department of Neuroscience, University of Turin, Turin, Italy. email@example.com
We previously found an increased risk for ALS in Italian professional soccer players actively engaged between 1970 and 2001 (n =7325). The present study extends previous work with a prospective follow-up of the original cohort to 2006 and investigates the risk of ALS in two other cohorts of professional athletes, basketball players (n =1973) and road cyclists (n =1701). Standardized morbidity ratios (SMRs) were calculated. Among soccer players three new cases of ALS were identified, reaching a total of eight ALS cases (mean age of onset, 41.6 years). The number of expected cases was 1.24, with an SMR of 6.45 (95% CI 2.78-12.70; p<0.00001). The risk of ALS was higher for careers lasting >5 years, for midfielders, and for players engaged after 1980. No basketball player and no cyclist developed ALS. This prospective extension of the Italian soccer players cohort survey confirms the highly significant risk of developing ALS, the young age of onset, the dose-effect risk and a predilection for midfielders. The absence of ALS cases in professional road cyclists and basketball players indicates that ALS is not related to physical activity per se.
PMID: 19267274 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE
maybe injury to the spinal cord contributes:
Neurodegener Dis. 2011 Feb 23. [Epub ahead of print]
Spinal Cord Herniation: A Missing Piece in the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Multiple Sclerosis?
Manara R, Citton V, Nardetto L, Semplicini C, Burlina A, Trevisan C, Argentiero V, Baracchini C.
Neuroradiologic Unit, University Hospital of Padua, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.
Background: Idiopathic spinal cord herniation (SCH) is a rare and often misdiagnosed condition characterized by displacement of the spinal cord through an anterior defect of the dural sac. This condition determines continuous focal trauma of the spinal cord, causing slowly progressive myelopathy. The peculiar MR scan findings, particularly sagittal T(2)-weighted images, allow its recognition. Objective: Herein, we report 3 cases of SCH and suggest a possible association with trauma-related neurodegenerative or chronic inflammatory diseases. Methods: We reviewed the clinical files of all patients admitted to our hospital with a history and signs of progressive myelopathy (paraparesis and/or lower extremity hypoesthesia) who were diagnosed with SCH by MRI. Results: We found 3 female patients (37, 69 and 68 years of age) with a diagnosis of SCH. Two of them presented with concomitant, relatively rare disabling neurological diseases, namely amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. The third patient underwent surgery and gradually recovered over 6 months. Conclusions: Persistent central nervous system trauma due to idiopathic SCH might provide an unexpected hint about the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.
PMID: 21346318 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]