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Electric shocks can cause motor neurone disease

作者:练桤    发布时间:2019-03-06 03:04:00    

By Emma Young Lightning strikes and other electric shocks could cause more cases of motor neurone disease than doctors suspect, says a French team. They identified six patients who had suffered electric shocks and gone on to develop a progressive deterioration of nerves controlling movement. In each of the patients, the nerve deterioration started in the part of the body where the electric charge entered or exited. “Although rare, electrical trauma should be more often considered as a possible cause of motor neurone disease,” write William Camu of the Hopital Gui de Chauliac and his colleagues in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. But Brian Dickie of the Motor Neurone Disease Association in Northampton, UK points out: “What they are describing is really a rare and distinct variant of motor neurone disease caused by a sudden trauma – and it is generally recognised by neurologists as such.” One of the French team’s patients made a full recovery, which does not happen with “classic” motor neurone disease. Others had damage to nerves other than motor neurones. But even the “classic” disease is a syndrome encompassing a number of closely related conditions, Dickie says. Camu and his team studied six patients, five men and one woman. One 56-year-old man was struck by lighting in the right hand while using an ice axe on a hiking trip up a mountain. The current exited through his right foot. Six months later, he complained of weakness in the limbs on his right side. Two years later, he was diagnosed with progressive motor neurone disease. Another patient, a 26-year-old man, complained of walking difficulties three years after suffering a 380 volt electric shock to his left foot. The man’s motor problems progressed, and he died nearly nine years later. On average, motor neurone disease symptoms began about three and a half years after the electrical shock. Data on the proportion of people who suffer electrical shocks and go on to develop symptoms of motor neurone disease is not available, Dickie says. Journal reference: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry (vol 71,

 

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