Stephen Hawking’s contribution to science is hard to underestimate.like his zeal for life. As you know, the famous scientist suffered from a poorly treatable disease called “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis”, which ultimately caused Stephen’s death. At the same time, the disease takes many lives each year and, quite possibly, a group of researchers from the Weizmann Institute (Israel) discovered how to cure a serious illness. At least, the preliminary data speak about it.
What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (abbreviated BAS)- It is a slowly developing disease, which is characterized by gradual damage to the motor parts of both the brain and the spinal cord. As a result, the person gradually develop paralysis, and then muscle atrophy. Manifestations of the disease gradually "increase." And, if at the beginning the muscles of the limbs fail, then over time other types of muscles start to work poorly. As a result, in a patient suffering from ALS, death occurs from respiratory tract infections or from the failure of the respiratory muscles. As a rule, patients with ALS do not live for more than 3-5 years from the time the disease is detected.
But in rare cases, the patient’s condition maystabilize and the course of the disease slows down or stops altogether. This is what allowed Stephen Hawking to live a long life. Another case in point is American rock musician Jason Becker, who has lived with ALS since 1989 to this day.
What causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
The exact reasons for today are notare clear. It is known that there are both hereditary and acquired forms of the disease, but new data suggests that the state of the gastrointestinal tract may be responsible for the development of the disease. It seems that there is no connection between the digestive tract and the nervous system. But this is only at first glance, say scientists from Israel.
A group of researchers from the Weizmann InstituteA study of a population of rodents affected by a form of ALS found that mice with a predisposition to the disease felt much worse when the microflora of their intestines was practically destroyed by antibiotics. In mice with almost destroyed microflora, the symptoms of amyotrophic sclerosis manifested more quickly than in rodents with a normal state of the gastrointestinal tract.
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After that, scientists analyzed the bacterialthe composition of the stomach and intestines of healthy mice and mice with a predisposition to ALS and calculated the 11 most common strains of bacteria that were present in each group. After that, they found that the bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila secreted a lot of a substance called nicotinamide. This would not be anything ordinary, but the fact is that nicotinamide significantly slows down the course of the disease and improves the functioning of the central nervous system.
Scientists did not stop at this and studiedcondition of intestinal microflora in 37 patients with ALS. They found that all patients had low levels of nicotinamide in the blood. Moreover, when experts introduced mice suffering from ALS nicotinamide, their condition improved significantly.
A cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis found?
That's a very difficult question. On the one hand, the drug developed by Israeli scientists works. And this is confirmed by the data obtained in the course of research. On the other hand, there was no full-scale human research. In addition, we can not exclude the presence of long-term side effects from the drug in the future. Scientists themselves also warn that the results of their work should not be taken as a "signal to action." However, if further tests succeed, the finished product can be expected on the market in a few years.
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