Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Environmental Toxins Associated with ALS

JAMA Neurol; ePub 2016 May 9; Su, et al

Persistent environmental pollutants measured in blood were significantly associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and may represent modifiable ALS disease risk factors, according to a recent study. Researchers conducted a case-control study between 2011 and 2014 at a tertiary referral center for ALS. Cases were patients diagnosed as having definite, probably, probable with laboratory support, or possible ALS; controls were excluded if they were diagnosed as having ALS or another neurodegenerative condition or if they had a family history of ALS in a first- or second-degree blood relative. Participants included 156 cases (mean age, 60.5 [11.1] years; 61.5% male) and 128 controls (mean age, 60.4 [9.4] years; 57.8% male). Researchers found:

• Reported pesticide exposure in the cumulative exposure window was significantly associated with ALS.

• Military service was also associated with ALS in 2 time windows (exposure ever happened in entire occupational history; exposure ever happened 10 to 30 years ago).

• A multivariable model of measured persistent environmental pollutants in the blood, representing cumulative occupational and residential exposure, showed increased odds of ALS for 2 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), 2 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 1 brominated flame retardant (BFR).

Citation: Su FC, Goutman SA, Chernyak S, et al. Association of environmental toxins with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print May 9, 2016]. JAMA Neurol. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.0594.

This Week's Must Reads

Social Cognitive Theory and Physical Activity in MS, Int J MS Care; 2018 May/June; Uszynski, Casey, et al

Wheeled Mobility Device Intervention Found Feasible, Int J MS Care; 2018 May/June; Rice, Isaacs, et al

Somatic Symptoms of Depression/Anxiety in MS, Int J MS Care; 2018 May/June; Jones, Salem, et al

Turning: Important Marker of Gait and Balance in MS, PLoS One; ePub 2018 Jun 7; Adusumilli, Lancia, et al

Autonomic Dysfunction Compared in Patients with MS, Clin Neurophysiol; 2018 Aug; Adamec, Crnošija, et al

Must Reads in Movement Disorders

Restless Legs Syndrome, CVD Linked in Women, Neurology; ePub 2017 Dec 15; Li, Li, Winkelman, et al

Cognitive Impairment in PSP Linked with Tau Burden, Mov Disord; ePub 2017 Oct 30; Koga, Parks, et al

Dystonia and Ataxia Progression Examined, Parkinson Relat Disord; ePub 2017 Oct 23; Kuo, et al

FDA Approves Drug to Treat ALS, FDA news release; 2017 May 5

FDA Approves First Drug for Tardive Dyskinesia, FDA news release; 2017 Apr 11