Lou Gehrig's disease refers to a disorder called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. I don't frequently treat patients with ALS in my private practice, but I have encountered it enough times that I've done a good amount of research to discover how I can support my ASL patients. Some things I learned with my research:
- People with ALS have impaired methylation and high levels of oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Any effort to provide antioxidants, reduce sources of inflammation, and ensure proper methylation may assist in decreasing some of the mechanisms that are contributors to ALS.
- My treatment approach is a supportive, complementary approach. Not a cure or a replacement for standard medical care.
Many people with ALS have the genetic variants SOD and MTHFR. For some, these genetic variants make a big impact as the disease progresses. For others, these variants may make no impact at all. Below is additional information to help those looking for a way to further support their current ALS treatment plan.
- SOD is an antioxidant called Superoxide Dismutase. It has demonstrably positive effects for neurodegenerative diseases, among many other benefits. Some people have a common genetic mutation of the SOD enzyme, and when combined with other factors can cause a predisposition to ALS.
- MTHFR is an enzyme that, when mutated, causes decreased ability to perform a process called methylation. Methylation occurs in every cell of the body, continuously throughout the day. It is responsive for many functions including building of new cells, immune balance, neurotransmitter creation, detoxification and gene expression. People with this common mutation do not process and cannot tolerate folic acid. Folic acid is found in most multivitamins and many enriched and packaged foods.
Should you want to try this complementary approach, make sure you check with your pharmacist and medical specialist to ensure it is right for you.