Serum Ferritin and Metal Levels as Risk Factors for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Muddasir Qureshi*, 1, 2, Robert H Brown Jr2, 3, Jack T Rogers4, Merit E Cudkowicz1, 2
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2008
First Page: 51
Last Page: 54
Publisher Id: TONEUJ-2-51
Article History:Received Date: 28/3/2008
Revision Received Date: 5/8/2008
Acceptance Date: 20/8/2008
Electronic publication date: 12/9/2008
Collection year: 2008
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
Metal toxicity has been identified as a possible risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative disorders. We conducted a retrospective chart review of urinary, hair and blood metal levels and serum ferritin in 321 people with ALS seen over a ten-year period at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). We found that hair lead levels and serum ferritin levels were elevated in ALS patients compared to published normal values. Metal levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, thallium, cobalt and aluminum in 24-hour urine specimens and lead, mercury and arsenic in serum were within the normal range. We conclude that twenty-four hour urine or blood testing for metals is not warranted as part of the evaluation of ALS. Elevated levels of serum ferritin in ALS population could reflect an underlying perturbation in iron metabolism.