Clinical, demographic and prognostic features of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Northern Turkey

Int J Neurosci. 2014 Jan;124(1):68-73. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2013.823605. Epub 2013 Aug 12.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease for which progression cannot be prevented. In this study, we evaluated 37 patients diagnosed with sporadic definitive-probable ALS who were monitored in our neurology clinic between 2002 and 2012 in terms of age, gender, profession, onset, and clinical course within the disease process. The hospital ethics committee approved the study. Nineteen female and 18 male patients diagnosed with sporadic definitive or probable ALS were evaluated for age, gender, level of education, residence, onset of disease, the time between the first symptom and diagnosis, and average lifetime after diagnosis. Twenty-eight of the patients had graduated from primary-secondary school, six were illiterate, and three of them were college graduates. Eighteen patients were living in city center, 19 were living in the country. Fourteen patients were farmers, 11 were housewives, and the remaining was working in various different occupations. The age of onset was 62.13. The men and women were diagnosed 10.27 months and 17.91 months after the first symptom, respectively (p = 0.001). The average survival time after diagnosis was 36.70 months for males and 49.80 months for females (p < 0.05). This difference was particularly evident among patients from rural areas. In addition, our female patients required interventions such as ventilation at a later period than did males. In conclusion, female gender seems to be one of the good prognostic factors for our ALS patients. This may be due to the protection by hormonal mechanisms in women or differences in their responses to exogenous toxins.

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / mortality
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Demography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Turkey / epidemiology