A new research, conducted by the team of neurologists from the Netherlands, finds that intensive physical activity may lead to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
To assess the connection between physical activity and ALS, a team of scientists investigated the lifestyles of more than 1,500 adults with the diagnosis of ALS in Ireland, Italy, and The Netherlands. These data contained information on their lifetime physical activity levels, their gender, educational attainment, employment history, and smoking and alcohol intake.
According to the received data, the average heightened risk for physical activity in leisure time was 7%, and 6% for occupational physical activity.
The team says the overall risk can be as high as a 26% increase in risk when comparing a person who is more active than average with one who is significantly less active than average.
For the study, the researchers surveyed around 500 people, 294 people with ALS and 224 without it. Participants were asked about their eating habits concerning fish and seafood, and whether they caught it themselves or bought it. Then the researchers estimated how much mercury the participants consumed each year. They also tested participants’ toenail clippings for mercury content.
After the analysis, the scientists found that 61% of those with ALS were in the top quarter of mercury consumption, compared to 44% of those without ALS. However, the study only establishes a link between the two and does not find a cause-and-effect relationship.
A revolutionary study, conducted by a team of researchers at the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Switzerland, found that patients with complete locked-in syndrome can express their thoughts through the goal-oriented thinking.
Complete locked-in syndrome is a condition when a person experiences paralysis of all voluntary muscles in the body, and that means that such people cannot move, speak, or even move their eyes for communication.
Four persons with the syndrome due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) participated in the study. They were fitted with non-invasive brain-computer interface which is a cap packed with sensors.
This device uses near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and electroencephalography (EEG) to measure blood oxygenation and electrical activity in the brain that are distinctly different when the patient thinks “yes” or “no.” After calibration, the scientists managed to receive patients’ answers to various questions.