You’re probably aware that if your older family member has high cholesterol, they are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular problems. It turns out that it may also increase their chances of developing a serious and fatal disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that progressively impairs muscle movement. Most people who get the disease die within 2 to 5 years.
Research Concerning Cholesterol and ALS
A recent study conducted by researchers from the Laboratory of Neurogenetics in the NIA Intramural Research program and their colleagues from around the world. The scientists looked at data collected from existing studies, almost 21,000 cases of ALS, and 59,000 controls. They found that having high levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol increased the risk of developing ALS. Interestingly, they also found that smoking raised risks as did having a lower level of education.
Other Risk Factors for ALS
More research is needed before experts can establish high cholesterol as one of the known risk factors for ALS. Currently known risk factors for the disease include:
- Age: The chances of being diagnosed with ALS go up with age. Most cases of ALS are diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Gender: More men than women are diagnosed in people younger than 65. After the age of 70, there is no difference between genders.
- Heredity: Between 5 and 10 percent of ALS cases are familial.
- Genetics: Similarities between changes in genes in people with familial ALS have also been identified in people with non-familial ALS.
In addition to the above risk factors, scientists have found that there may be environmental factors that influence the development of ALS. There is some evidence that long-term exposure to certain substances, like lead, are associated with the disease. Some studies also show that people who have been in the military develop the disease at a slightly higher rate, though no one knows exactly why.
If you have a family member with ALS, home care can assist them to continue living in their home for as long as possible. Home care providers can help with things like dressing, bathing, and grooming. Home care can also assist them to continue being involved in their regular activities by driving them to social gatherings, places of worship, and other places and acting as a helper while they are there. Home care providers can also do things around the house for them, such as cleaning and cooking.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Home Care in Seminole, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.