Those suffering from ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease may soon have some hope when it comes to treatments, as a group of scientists at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine recently had a major breakthrough regarding the disease.
These neurological disorders have baffled scientists for years, which has created limited treatment and therapy option for sufferers.
According to the researchers' study, published in the journal Nature, these scientists believe they have found the cause of this mind boggling disease. The basis of the findings suggest that the problem arises from a broken down protein recycling system in the neurons of the spinal cord and the brain. For the neurons in these areas to function, they need proper recycling of the protein building blocks in each cell. Those suffering from ALS, have broken recycling systems, so the cells are unable to maintain themselves and they become damaged.
Scientists are hopeful that with this new revelation will come better treatment options aimed at repairing the system to give those suffering and their caregivers their lives back.
"These people in the prime of their lives and the peak of their productivity get this devastating illness that kills them," senior author Teepu Siddique, M.D., wrote in the study. "The people who get ALS/dementia, an even more vicious disease, have a double whammy."