Environmental risk scores of persistent organic pollutants associate with higher ALS risk and shorter survival in a new Michigan case/control cohort

Affiliates Stephen A Goutman [1][2], Jonathan Boss [3], Dae-Gyu Jang [1][2], Bhramar Mukherjee [3], Rudy J Richardson [1][4], Stuart Batterman [4], Eva L Feldman [1],


1. Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
2. NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
3. Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
4. Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Journal Neurodegeneration
Summary The study from the University of Michigan investigates the association between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) risk and progression. Plasma samples from 164 ALS patients and 105 controls in Michigan were analyzed for POPs. Multiple POPs, including polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides, were significantly associated with ALS risk. The risk of ALS was particularly influenced by certain POP mixtures, with an interquartile increase in environmental risk scores (ERS) enhancing ALS risk by 2.58 times. ALS survival was also impacted, with a combined mixture of all POPs increasing the mortality rate by 1.65 times. These findings confirm the importance of POPs in ALS risk and progression and suggest the need for targeted reduction strategies, encouraging further assessment of POPs in ALS cohorts beyond Michigan to understand global effects.
Link to paper Read the paper here!