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J Neuroimmunol. 2005 Feb;159(1-2):215-24. Epub 2004 Nov 26.

Evidence for systemic immune system alterations in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS).

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University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital, 995 Potrero Avenue, Building 80, Ward 84, Box 0874, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.


Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS) is a progressive neuroinflammatory disease of spinal cord motor neurons of unclear etiology. Blood from 38 patients with sALS, 28 aged-match controls, and 25 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients were evaluated and activated monocyte/macrophages were observed in all patients with sALS and AD; the degree of activation was directly related to the rate of sALS disease progression. Other parameters of T-cell activation and immune globulin levels showed similar disease associated changes. These data are consistent with a disease model previously suggested for AD, wherein systemic immunologic activation plays an active role in sALS.

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