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How Stephen Hawking lived so long with ALS?

It is normally observed that a person with ALS (Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis) succumbs to death within five years. Stephen Hawking‘s condition was first diagnosed when he was 21, and he was not expected to see his 25th birthday. But how he managed to “actively” to his 72 years of age? This is a matter to be discussed.

What is ALS?

ALS stands for Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis and is a motor neuron disease. Also known as as Lou Gehrig’s disease after an American baseball first baseman who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees (1923–1939);  and in 1995 Gehrig’s streak ended in 1939 after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which forced him to retire at age 36 and claimed his life two years later.

ALS is a neuro degenerative disease.

What causes ALS?

Structure of target enzyme

The exact cause of LAS is not known. 5% to 10% caused by a defective gene that prevents the body from producing a normal amount of an enzyme called superoxide dismutase. This enzyme helps neutralize free radicals — highly reactive oxygen molecules produced during metabolism and capable of damaging body tissues. Researchers speculate that defects in protective enzymes may also account for non-inherited ALS and that environmental toxins may be a factor.

Some evidence suggests that the disease may be triggered by exposure to heavy metals, animal hides, or fertilizers, although this is by no means proven. In addition, viral infection and severe physical trauma have been implicated as possible contributors. Other theories link ALS to a phenomenon called excitotoxicity, in which the nerve cells that control movement are overstimulated by a neurotransmitter called glutamate to the point where they eventually die.

How ALS kills?

Life expectancy turns on two things: the motor neurons running the diaphragm—the breathing muscles. So the common way people die is of respiratory failure. And the other thing is the deterioration of swallowing muscles, and that can lead to malnutrition and dehydration.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was predicted to leave this world at the age of 25, but now he is going to be 72! What made him live so long (Thank God!)?

Many account the round the clock medical care and the sophisticated environment to be responsible for his longevity.

But, the biological setup, the will power, the affirmation of self to go on to better heights despite the problems ….

What do you think?

Read More …

What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?
Who gets ALS?
What are the symptoms?
How is ALS diagnosed?
What causes ALS?
How is ALS treated?
What research is being done?
How Can I Help Research?
Where can I get more information?

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