Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 1
Is there a way someone can have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis without a genetic mutation?
There are two types of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): acquired and familial. 90-95% of people who have ALS have the acquired type, meaning that it does not seem to be caused by a single genetic change and may be the result of environmental and other factors. It has been suggested that some environmental factors can make someone more likely to develop ALS. These environmental factors include exposure to heavy metals like mercury and lead, toxic/infectious agents like pesticides, specific types of head trauma, or occupational factors. There are also ongoing studies in United States veterans to determine if military-related exposures have contributed to ALS in that population. However, none of these has been conclusively demonstrated to be a significant cause of all sporadic ALS so there are no specific measures that can eliminate the risk for ALS altogether.