[Exogenous risk factors in sporadic ALS: a review of the literature]

Rev Neurol (Paris). 2007 Nov;163(11):1021-30. doi: 10.1016/s0035-3787(07)74174-7.
[Article in French]


The latest reviews of the literature devoted to the epidemiology of ALS all agree that exogenic risk factors play a role in sporadic ALS. Nevertheless, there is no convincing evidence demonstrating in a reproducible manner an association between an environmental risk factor and ALS. This discordance is mainly explained by methodological skews. Over the last ten years, exogenic factors have been analyzed within the framework of specific lifestyle factors such as place of residence, smoking or not, or certain eating practices. The most recent work suggests that interactions between genetic and environmental factors depend on the age at exposure and the duration of exposure. The objectives of this general review is: to analyze the principal case-control studies, historical cohort studies or mortality studies which looked at the associations between an environmental factor and ALS, to present main results of studies having analyzed lifestyles in relation to one or more exogenic factors, and to discuss the limitations of epidemiologic studies on ALS.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Electric Injuries / complications
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Metals, Heavy / adverse effects
  • Pesticides / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Solvents / adverse effects
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Pesticides
  • Solvents