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Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Jan;34(1):357.e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.07.016. Epub 2012 Aug 22.

UNC13A influences survival in Italian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: a population-based study.

Author information

1
ALS Center, Department of Neuroscience, University of Torino, and Azienda Ospedale Università San Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy. achio@usa.net

Abstract

The common variant rs12608932, located within an intron of UNC13A gene on chromosome 19p13.3, has been suggested to influence susceptibility to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as survival, in patients of north European descent. To examine this possibility further, we evaluated the association of rs12608932 with susceptibility and survival in a population-based cohort of 500 Italian ALS patients and 1457 Italian control samples. Although rs12608932 was not associated with ALS susceptibility in our series (p = 0.124), it was significantly associated with survival under the recessive model (median survival for AA/AC genotypes = 3.5 years [interquartile range, 2.2-6.4]; CC = 2.5 years [interquartile range, 1.6-4.2]; p = 0.017). Furthermore, rs12608932 genotype remained an independent prognostic factor in Cox multivariable analysis adjusting for other factors known to influence survival (p = 0.023). Overall, minor allele carrier status of rs12608932 was strongly associated with an approximate 1-year reduction of survival in ALS patients, making it a significant determinant of phenotype variation. The identification of UNC13A as a modifier of prognosis among sporadic ALS patients potentially provides a new therapeutic target aimed at slowing disease progression.

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