Neuropathology with clinical correlations of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: 102 autopsy cases examined between 1962 and 2000

Brain Pathol. 2003 Jan;13(1):10-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2003.tb00002.x.


Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurological disorder affecting adults. We studied the neuropathology and clinical correlations in 102 autopsy cases of ALS. The age at onset of the disease was significantly higher for the bulbaronset form (30 cases) than for the limb-onset form (72 cases). Dementia was confirmed in 7 cases. These 102 cases were divided into 4 pathological subgroups: typical ALS (59 cases), lower-motor-predominant ALS (23 cases), ALS with temporal lesions (18 cases), and ALS with pallido-nigro-luysian degeneration (2 cases). The age at onset was significantly higher for lower-motor-predominant ALS and ALS with temporal lesions than for typical ALS. In the lower motor neurons, Bunina bodies were detected in 88 cases, whereas ubiquitin-immunoreactive skein and/or spherical inclusions were detected in all 102 cases. Of the 100 available cases, 50 and 16 also showed ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions in the neostriatal and temporal small neurons, respectively. Ubiquitin-immunoreactive dystrophic neurites were also observed in the neostriatum in 3 of the 50 cases with neostriatal inclusions, and in the temporal cortex in 4 of the 16 cases with temporal inclusions. There was a significant association between the bulbar-onset form, temporal lesions, neostriatal inclusions and temporal inclusions, and between dementia, temporal lesions and temporal inclusions. Neostriatal and temporal dystrophic neurites were associated with dementia and bulbar-onset form through temporal lesions and temporal inclusions. The present findings may be helpful for designing further studies on the mechanisms underlying the development of ALS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / epidemiology
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Anterior Horn Cells / metabolism
  • Anterior Horn Cells / pathology*
  • Anterior Horn Cells / ultrastructure
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / ultrastructure
  • Dementia / metabolism
  • Dementia / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inclusion Bodies / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism


  • Ubiquitin