Neurologists call for ALS to be made notifiable

US researchers say knowing annual incidence may elucidate environmental risks

Neurologists in the US are calling for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to be made a notifiable disease, as a first step in understanding the environmental factors that may trigger it.

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In a viewpoint in JAMA Neurology, Professor Eva Feldman and Associate Professor Stephen Goutman, both clinician-researchers in the neurology department at the University of Michigan, note that 90% of patients with ALS have no family history of the disease.

Among these patients, the heritability of the disease is estimated to be between 20% and 60%, they say.

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