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Muscle Nerve. 2010 Jul;42(1):95-103. doi: 10.1002/mus.21625.

Plasma biomarkers associated with ALS and their relationship to iron homeostasis.

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George M. Leader Family Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 500 University Drive (H110), Hershey, PA 17033-0850, USA.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with complicated pathogenesis with variable presentation and disease progression. There is a critical need for a panel of biomarkers to provide clinicians and researchers with additional information. In this study, multiplex immunoassays were used to screen a number of cytokines, growth factors, and iron-related proteins. ALS patients had significantly higher plasma levels of L-ferritin and lower concentrations of transferrin when compared to healthy controls and together classified a test group of subjects with 82% accuracy. Duration of ALS symptoms correlated positively with levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) and negatively with levels of granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). The biomarker profile suggests iron homeostasis is disrupted in ALS patients, and changes in ferritin and transferrin (Tf) appear to be indicators of ongoing inflammatory processes. The data demonstrate a plasma biomarker profile in ALS patients that may differ from published reports of cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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