Background: There is an unmet need for real-world data regarding laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Researchers must identify specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS and understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS as well as possible subclinical disease manifestations.
Objectives: To valuate the role of laboratory results, co-morbidities, and medication use prior to the first symptoms of patients with ALS in Israel so that specific subpopulations at risk for developing ALS can be identified and for possible subclinical disease manifestations. To understand pathogenic mechanisms preceding the clinical presentation of ALS.
Methods: At the ALS clinic at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 259 ALS patients insured by Maccabi Healthcare Services and seen between January 1998 and December 2017 were included. Comparisons of demographics, co-morbidities, medications taken, history of trauma, and laboratory tests prior to disease onset were performed between patients and 1295 matched controls.
Results: Prior to disease presentation, ALS patients had a higher frequency of hypertension and cardiovascular disease; presented more frequently with trauma and viral infections; more frequently used analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, antibiotics, and antiviral medications; and had higher creatine kinase levels.
Conclusions: ALS patients showed higher frequency of cardiovascular disease prior to diagnosis, as well as higher frequency of trauma, infections, and pain medication usage.