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Theories of Causation

  • S. H. Appel
  • J. I. Engelhardt
  • R. G. Smith
  • E. Stefani

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or motor neuron disease is a devastating human illness of unknown aetiology. Many different disorders have been associated with certain facets of the clinical syndrome of ALS, and thus the concept of different ALS syndromes with diverse aetiologies has been proposed (Rowland 1982). It is true that certain intoxications such as lead, viral infections such as enterovirus, endocrine dysfunction such as hyperparathyroidism, genetic disturbances such as hexosaminidase deficiency, as well as other disturbances, may simulate ALS. However, these cases together comprise only a small percentage of the total number of patients presenting with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and do not appear to offer insights into the aetiology of the sporadic disease. Similarly, although prior trauma has been more frequently encountered in ALS patients than in controls (Kurtzke and Beebe 1980; Gawel et al. 1983), there are no data to explain how such trauma participates in either the aetiology of the disease or the pathogenesis of motoneuron destruction.

Keywords

Amyotrophic Lateral Sderosis Amyotrophic Lateral Sderosis Patient Motor Neuron Disease Subacute Combine Degeneration Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sderosis Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. H. Appel
  • J. I. Engelhardt
  • R. G. Smith
  • E. Stefani

There are no affiliations available

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