ALS (motor neurone disease)
Some causative factors
- Calcium and magnesium deficiency
- Gluten sensitivity
- Toxic overload.
The conditions which produce calcium deficiency may also lead to a shift of calcium from bone to soft tissue. This may promote not only osteoporosis but also arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure, due to increased levels of calcium in the blood vessel walls. Motor neurone disease and senile dementia could result from the calcium being deposited in the central nervous system. Fujita T: Aging and calcium as an environmental factor. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 31(Suppl):S15-19, 1985.
Chronic deficiencies of calcium and magnesium stimulate the chronic release of excess parathyroid hormone. This can result in the increased intestinal absorption of toxic metals, the mobilization of calcium and magnesium from bone, and the deposition of these elements in nervous tissue. Yase Y: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – causative role of trace elements. Nippon Rinsho 54(1):123-8, 1996.
Food, water and soil were assessed for mineral content in Hohara, Japan, a location with a high incidence of motor neurone disease. Compared with control areas, Hohara inhabitants had a significantly higher manganese intake and significantly lower magnesium intake. Iwami O et al: Motor neuron disease on the Kii Peninsula of Japan: excess manganese intake from food coupled with low magnesium in drinking water as a risk factor. Sci Total Environ 149(1-2):121-35, 1994.
Neurological dysfunction is a known complication of coeliac disease (gluten sensitivity). 30 of 53 patients with neurological disease (ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, nononeuritis multiplex, myopathy, motor neuropathy) of unknown cause were found to have antibodies to the substance gliaden found in gluten. This suggests that gluten sensitivity may be a significant causative factor in neurological diseases of unknown cause. Hadjivassiliou M et al: Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet 347(8998):369-71, 1996.
Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator