Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fast progressing neurodegenerative disease leading to quadriplegia, anarthria and respiratory insufficiency. A large variety of phenotypes and disability progression requires individually tailored management. Identification of predictors of poor prognosis may not only improve management, but also allow for more precise patients’ stratification for clinical trials or research studies. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of emotional lability present at disease onset on ALS progression by exploring its direct impact on the decay of the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R). The study was performed in a group of 1145 patients from Germany, Poland, Portugal and Turkey between 2014 and 2018. The analysis showed that the presence of emotional lability at ALS onset was linked to a faster decline of ALSFRS-R (0.70 vs 0.50, p<0.0001), in case of either bulbar (0.80 vs 0.65, p<0.05) or limb disease onset (0.59 vs 0.46, p <0.01). It was most prominent in the bulbar subscore of ALSFRS-R. A multiple regression analysis showed a direct influence of emotional lability at ALS onset on disease progression, regardless of age, gender, site of onset, weight loss, cognitive impairment and diagnosis delay (β=0.071; p=0.019). It can therefore be concluded that the presence of emotional lability at the disease onset is an independent factor of faster disease progression in ALS.
Research Areas and Centers
- Centers: Center for Neuromuscular Diseases