Is psychological stress a predisposing factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)? An online international case-control study of premorbid life events, occupational stress, resilience and anxiety

Affiliates Jane A. Parkin Kullmann [1], Susan Hayes [2], Roger Pamphlett [1,3]


[1] The Stacey Motor Neuron Disease Laboratory, Discipline of Pathology, Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney
[2] Forensic Psychology, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney
[3] Department of Neuropathology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Journal PLOS One 2018
Summary Psychological stress has been suggested to be relevant to the development of neurodegenerative disorders. This study sought to determine whether people with ALS have been subjected to more potentially stressful life events or occupations than others, and whether they had differences in resilience or trait anxiety that would affect their responses to these stressors. PALS reported no raised levels of potentially stressful premorbid life events or occupational stress, did not have reduced levels of resilience, or increased levels of anxiety. These results do not support the hypothesis that psychological stress from significant life events or occupational stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of ALS.
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