Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AlS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is a rapidly progressive disease caused by degeneration of neurons that control motor activity in the brain and spinal cord. Its symptoms include profound weakness, muscle spasms and difficulty speaking, swallowing and breathing.
The cause of this disease is not completely understood but energy metabolism is believed to play a role. Power house cells called mitochondria process energy in the brain in ways that can improve how other cells perform. Diet manipulation can alter the type and amount of energy produced in the mitochondria.
The ketogenic diet may be offer hope in reducing the progression of this disease. Experience with other neurological orders that benefit from the effects of ketosis elucidated from ketogenic diets is intriguing to scientists. Preliminary studies in mice have shown improvement in symptoms of ALS when fed a ketogenic diet compared to non-ketogenic diet-fed mice.
Further studies are warranted to evaluate the potential benefit of ketogenic diet therapy for Lou Gerhig’s disease.