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NeuroepidemiologyFrom principles to practice$
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Lorene M. Nelson, Caroline M. Tanner, Stephen Van Den Eeden, and Valarie M. McGuire

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195133790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195133790.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 September 2020

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

(p.162) 7 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Lorene M. Nelson

Caroline M. Tanner

Stephen K. Van Den Eeden

Valerie M. McGuire

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common motor neuron disease. It discusses the three major forms of ALS: sporadic ALS, the familial or hereditary form of ALS, and the western Pacific (Mariana Islands) form. Considerable progress has been made in recent years on identifying genetic loci responsible for Mendelian forms of ALS; this evidence is summarized. The potential importance of geographic clusters is discussed, with particular emphasis on the western Pacific form of ALS because it often occurs in association with a parkinsonism and/or dementia complex (PDC). The incidence of Western Pacific ALS peaked and then declined in the mid-20th century, which strongly implicated an environmental cause. The chapter also presents detailed information regarding putative risk factors for sporadic ALS, which includes environmental toxicants, skeletal trauma, cigarette smoking, diet, and vigorous physical activity.

Keywords:   motor neuron disease, ALS, western Pacific ALS, sporadic ALS, risk factors, environmental toxicants, geographic clusters, smoking, diet, physical activity

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