Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Athleticism And Body Weight Tied To Als And Other Motor Neuron Diseases

Date:
September 10, 2002
Source:
American Academy Of Neurology
Summary:
Patients with motor neuron disease, including ALS, were significantly more likely to been slim and to have been varsity athletes, according to a new study conducted by Nikolaos Scarmeas and a team of epidemiologists from Columbia University. The study is published in the latest issue of Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology's scientific journal.

ST. PAUL, MN -- Patients with motor neuron disease, including ALS, were significantly more likely to been slim and to have been varsity athletes, according to a new study conducted by Nikolaos Scarmeas and a team of epidemiologists from Columbia University. The study is published in the latest issue of Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology's scientific journal.

ALS, sometimes called "Lou Gehrig's Disease" after the famous baseball player whose career was cut short by the disease, has been associated with many patients who were lean throughout their lives as well as being athletes, said Lewis P. Rowland, MD, with the Neurological Institute in New York, and a co-author of the study.

The case-control study compared variables including BMI (body mass index), age at onset of the disease, sex, slimness, and participation in varsity athletics of 279 patients with motor neuron disease and 152 with other neurological diseases.

"We found the odds of having motor neuron disease was 2.21 times higher in subjects who reported they had always been slim than in those who did not. Further, motor neuron disease was 1.70 times higher in patients who reported they had been varsity athletes," said Scarmeas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 14 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 to 29 years participate in physical activities, even fewer qualify for varsity sports. Rowland said, "The numbers of our motor neuron disease patients (38 percent) and controls (26.7 percent) were both higher than these population estimates.

It is not known what contributes to the higher concentration of motor neuron disease in top athletes. Researchers have hypothesized that vigorous physical activity might increase exposure to environmental toxins, facilitate the transport of toxins to the brain, increase the absorption of toxins, or increase the athlete's susceptibility to motor neuron disease through added physical stress.

Rowland said more could be learned in follow-up studies that look in depth at the nature of the activity, the environmental setting, and the intensity.

He added that "thousands and thousands of slim athletes never develop ALS. Why a tiny few of them do is unknown. We do know that there is no justification to avoid athletics in an attempt to avoid motor neuron diseases."

Previous studies that looked at a possible association between heavy labor or competitive athletics and ALS were inconclusive. However, they involved much smaller sample sizes and did not include a group of controls for comparison data.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of 18,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals in 90 countries, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit its web site at http://www.aan.com.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy Of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy Of Neurology. "Athleticism And Body Weight Tied To Als And Other Motor Neuron Diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020910080501.htm>.
American Academy Of Neurology. (2002, September 10). Athleticism And Body Weight Tied To Als And Other Motor Neuron Diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020910080501.htm
American Academy Of Neurology. "Athleticism And Body Weight Tied To Als And Other Motor Neuron Diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020910080501.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) — Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) — All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins