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ALS News TodayEnvironmental Pollutants in Blood Linked to ALS Risk, Survival

Greater exposure to a mix of chemicals tied to higher odds of developing ALS

A recent study suggests that the degree of exposure to environmental pollutants, as indicated by their presence in the blood, may predict both the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and survival rates among ALS patients. This research emphasizes the potential impact of environmental pollution on ALS and other diseases and highlights the importance of assessing these pollutants using available blood samples.

Key Points

  • The study found that greater exposure to environmental pollutants was associated with increased odds of an individual developing ALS, as well as a higher mortality risk among ALS patients in Michigan.
  • The researchers developed an environmental risk score (ERS) based on these exposures that could predict ALS risk and survival.
  • The team examined blood levels of 36 different persistent organic pollutants (POPs) among 164 ALS patients and 105 people from the general Michigan population.
  • The highest risk of ALS didn’t arise from just one pollutant, but rather a mixture of several.
  • Scores in the 75th percentile were significantly linked to 2.58 times greater odds of developing ALS compared with patients in the 25th percentile.
  • 24 of 36 POPs were found to have a negative effect on ALS survival.
  • The 25% of patients with the highest exposure had a 2.31 times greater mortality risk than the 25% of those with the lowest exposure.

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