Officially diagnosed with the disease Stephen Hawking — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — an incurable and leads to death of the patient within a few years. However, the great physicist lived with this diagnosis more than half a century, died today at the age of 76 years. Some medical scientists believe that perhaps he suffered from some other disease.
Experts told, what in their opinion could hurt Hawking.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als) is a very rare chronic progressive disease of the Central nervous system. It affects the cortex and the brain stem, and spinal cord neurons responsible for the movement. Patients develop paralysis and later atrophy of all muscles. Mortality due to BASS is 100%.
– In principle the manifestations of the BASS can be confused with symptoms of other diseases of the nervous system, – says the doctor-neurophysiologist, Alexander Raikov. – The main symptoms are associated with disorders of muscle activity: first, the man becomes difficult to take actions and movements requiring precision — writing, sewing and other. Then difficult speech, becomes hard to swallow. Ends with complete muscle atrophy and paralysis. However, memory, thinking, hearing, sight are retained in full.
Death of patients is caused by atrophy of the muscles of the respiratory tract — the man simply loses the ability to breathe. Why this has not happened with Hawking — a question to which I have no answer. I admit that the diagnosis was wrong that the physicist had suffered other, less dangerous disease of the CNS.
But how to explain the long life of the Hawking Professor of neurology, rector of the medical faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Leo McCluskey. In his opinion, a disease of the motor neuron is a more extensive pathology than the present idea about it.
The concept about the disease ALS, according to McCluskey, today is not fully defined. The life expectancy of patients with the diagnosis of als depends on how much time will work the neurons responsible for the movement of the diaphragm and lung function. Only the inaction of these organs leads to death.
If the disease affects specific neurons, then the patient can live a long time. Under the assumptions McCluskey, Hawking was not disturbed by the operation of the diaphragm swallowing, and muscle function, however confirmed scientifically from a medical point of view, the explanation of the longevity of the physics is still there.
Read the article: “10 facts about Stephen Hawking: before death foretold doomsday”
See photo essay on the topic:
Stephen Hawking: history and victory in photos
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