ALS is inherited in 5 to 10 percent of cases, while the rest have no known cause.
Researchers are studying several possible causes of ALS, including:
- Chemical imbalance. People with ALS generally have higher than normal levels of glutamate, a chemical messenger in the brain, around the nerve cells in their spinal fluid.
- Disorganized immune response. Sometimes a person's immune system begins attacking some of his or her body's own normal cells, which may lead to the death of nerve cells.
- Gene mutation. Various genetic mutations can lead to inherited ALS.
- Protein mishandling. Mishandled proteins within the nerve cells may lead to a gradual accumulation of abnormal forms of these proteins in the cells, destroying the nerve cells.
Keyword: cause als disease