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The excellent review shows the limits of the descriptive epidemiology in the understanding of the pathogenesis of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The destruction of neurons in its classical form takes place primarily in the motor tracts which would suggest a synaptic neuron to
neuron transfer of the harmful factor thus saving initially other networks.
The hypothetical effect could be relat...
The hypothetical effect could be related to a special protein species found in the myelin fraction isolated from brain of an ALS patient (1). Similar protein species have also been found in two further patients.
Investigation post mortem of the brain with modern neuroscientific methods could thus advance the understanding in the causation and progress of the disease.
Professor Heikki Savolainen
1. Palo J, Savolainen H, Kivalo E. Comparison between the proteins of human brain myelin in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and malignant diseases. J neurol Sci 1973; 18: 175-181