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ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most serious form of degenerative motor neuron disease in adults, whose relentless course leads to death within 2-5 years, generally due to respiratory failure. Apart from the age and site of onset, no other factors have consistently demonstrated to be related to the ALS outcome. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of fasting serum lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) and the body mass index (BMI) at the time of diagnosis on survival in ALS patients. The study included 82 patients with ALS residing in the Belgrade area who were diagnosed with ALS over a time period of 4 years (2006-2009). Survival was assessed by the Kaplan-Meier method. In this retrospective study, 39 (47.56%) patients had normal values of lipids and 43 (52.43%) patients had hyperlipidemia. The mean survival time from the onset of symptoms for patients with normal lipidemia was 4.21 ± 0.5 years, while the mean survival time from the onset of symptoms for patients with hyperlipidemia was 5.0 ± 0.67 years (P = 0.36). We also did not register a significant difference in survival in relation to gender, the site or age of onset, even though we noticed a longer survival in patients with hyperlipidemia in all of the examined groups, especially in the group of younger patients, with the onset of the disease before the age of 45 years. If we take into account the fact that BMI is pathophysiologically associated with cholesterol and triglyceride serum levels, the results in our study complement each other showing that patients with a higher BMI, registered in 28.8% of the cases, do not live longer. Our findings show that hyperlipidemia, which we found in 52.43% of our ALS patients, at the time of diagnosis, is not related to significantly longer survival.
Neurological Research 06/2012; 34(6):576-80. · 1.18 Impact Factor