The cause of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis still remains unknown. Although scientists observe family clustering of the disease, in most cases it occurs spontaneously. In approximately every 100 patient, changes are found in the genetic material, which affect the cell metabolism.
Apparently the formation of an enzyme, which assures the removal of free radicals in the cell, is disturbed. Free radicals are highly reactive oxygen atoms, which can cause damage to the cells. This is what also happens in the case of ALS. The nerve cells are damaged and are no longer able to send any commands to the muscles. Progressive paralysis occurs.