ABUJA – A Neuron-Surgeon, Dr Faruk Mustapha, on Thursday called for an extensive research into the brain and spinal cord disease known as “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)”.
Mustapha, a consultant with Supreme Hospital in Kaduna, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the research was imperative after more than 20 years of systematic studies on it.
According to him, the last systematic studies of ALS disease got reported from Ibadan, Nigeria, more than two decades ago.
“Since then, information about ALS disease has become limited making it necessary to review the current status of the disease,” he said.
He noted that the clinical records of all cases of ALS disease seen at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, during the period were studied.
Mustapha explained that sex, age at onset of illness, type of ALS disease and risk factors were documented and compared with findings of two previous reports from Ibadan.
He said 16 cases met the criteria for inclusion.
“The mean age at onset of disease was 38.6 years (the range being from 16 to 60 years).
“Fifteen of the subjects were male and one was female. All subjects had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,” he said.
Mustapha said trauma was the most frequent risk factor identified, documented in six (37.5 per cent) subjects.
He said the frequency of motor neuron disease appears to have declined considerably, adding that the male predominance has remarkably increased.
“The proportion of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has increased from 80 to 100 per cent of cases.
“Trauma, previously reported to be an uncommon risk factor, is now the most frequent,” he said.
On Aug. 20 Nigerian celebrities join their American counterparts in the `ALSIceBucketChallenge’.
The getting wet with buckets of ice cube or water competition is designed to raise funds for charity. (NAN)