Relationships between disease progression and serum levels of lipid, urate, creatinine and ferritin in Japanese patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a cross-sectional study

Intern Med. 2012;51(12):1501-8. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.51.7465. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


Objective: Previous studies have reported distinct serological profiles of lipid, urate and ferritin in Western patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We aimed to examine the levels of these serological factors and their relationship to disease progression in Japanese ALS patients.

Methods: Ninety-two patients with definite or probable ALS who fulfilled the revised El Escorial criteria were analyzed for clinical and serological variables. Serological data at the time diagnosed with ALS were compared to those of 92 age/sex/body mass index-matched healthy controls.

Results: Compared to controls, urate and creatinine (Cr) levels were decreased and ferritin levels were increased significantly in sera of male and female patients with ALS. Significant increases of serum total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglyceride levels were found in female ALS patients. The annual decline of ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALS-FRS) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were inversely correlated with serum TC, LDL-C, Cr and urate levels, and were positively correlated with serum ferritin levels. Multivariate analysis showed that the rapid worsening of annual ALS-FRS and FVC was associated with serum levels of TC, LDL-C, Cr, urate and ferritin.

Conclusion: The present study indicated that serum levels of TC, LDL-C, Cr, urate and ferritin were correlated with clinical deterioration in ALS patients. These results are similar to those in Western patients. Metabolic and nutritional conditions of lipid, urate and iron could contribute to disease progression in ALS patients. Further studies investigating high nutrition diets and iron chelation for the treatment of ALS are warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / blood*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Asian People
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Uric Acid / blood
  • Vital Capacity


  • Lipids
  • Uric Acid
  • Ferritins
  • Creatinine