Background: Given that the pathogenetic process of ALS begins many years prior to its clinical onset, examining patients' residential histories may offer insights on the disease risk factors. Here, we analyzed the spatial distribution of a large ALS cohort in the 50 years preceding the disease onset. Methods: Data from the PARALS register were used. A spatial cluster analysis was performed at the time of disease onset and at 1-year intervals up to 50 years prior to that. Results: A total of 1124 patients were included. The analysis revealed a higher-incidence cluster in a large area (435,000 inhabitants) west of Turin. From 9 to 2 years before their onset, 105 cases were expected and 150 were observed, resulting in a relative risk of 1.49 (P = 0.04). We also found a surprising high number of patients pairs (51) and trios (3) who lived in the same dwelling while not being related. Noticeably, these occurrences were not observed in large dwellings as we would have expected. The probability of this occurring in smaller buildings only by chance was very low (P = 0.01 and P = 0.04 for pairs and trios, respectively). Conclusions: We identified a higher-incidence ALS cluster in the years preceding the disease onset. The cluster area being densely populated, many exposures could have contributed to the high incidence ALS cluster, while we could not find a shared exposure among the dwellings where multiple patients had lived. However, these findings support that exogenous factors are likely involved in the ALS pathogenesis.

Presymptomatic geographical distribution of ALS patients suggests the involvement of environmental factors in the disease pathogenesis / Vasta, Rosario; Callegaro, S; Sgambetterra, S; Cabras, S; Di Pede, F; De Mattei, F; Matteoni, E; Grassano, M; Bombaci, A; De Marco, G; Fuda, G; Marchese, G; Palumbo, F; Canosa, A; Mazzini, L; De Marchi, F; Moglia, C; Manera, U; Chiò, A; Calvo, A. - In: JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY. - ISSN 1432-1459. - 270:11(2023), pp. 5475-5482. [10.1007/s00415-023-11888-8]

Presymptomatic geographical distribution of ALS patients suggests the involvement of environmental factors in the disease pathogenesis

Bombaci, A;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background: Given that the pathogenetic process of ALS begins many years prior to its clinical onset, examining patients' residential histories may offer insights on the disease risk factors. Here, we analyzed the spatial distribution of a large ALS cohort in the 50 years preceding the disease onset. Methods: Data from the PARALS register were used. A spatial cluster analysis was performed at the time of disease onset and at 1-year intervals up to 50 years prior to that. Results: A total of 1124 patients were included. The analysis revealed a higher-incidence cluster in a large area (435,000 inhabitants) west of Turin. From 9 to 2 years before their onset, 105 cases were expected and 150 were observed, resulting in a relative risk of 1.49 (P = 0.04). We also found a surprising high number of patients pairs (51) and trios (3) who lived in the same dwelling while not being related. Noticeably, these occurrences were not observed in large dwellings as we would have expected. The probability of this occurring in smaller buildings only by chance was very low (P = 0.01 and P = 0.04 for pairs and trios, respectively). Conclusions: We identified a higher-incidence ALS cluster in the years preceding the disease onset. The cluster area being densely populated, many exposures could have contributed to the high incidence ALS cluster, while we could not find a shared exposure among the dwellings where multiple patients had lived. However, these findings support that exogenous factors are likely involved in the ALS pathogenesis.
2023
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Environment
Epidemiology
Etiology
Geoepidemiology
Spatial epidemiology
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/159117
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