The use of vitamin E in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has resulted in a controversy among neurologists. One group of investigators1 feels that vitamin E cures or arrests the progress of the disease, whereas others2 are equally certain that this substance is ineffectual.
In looking for an explanation of this wide difference in opinion the following questions arise: (a) What are the essential features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? (b) Are all investigators of this problem using the same criteria for its diagnosis? (c) What is the natural course of the disease when untreated—do all cases progress to death, or is it possible that some patients get well or the disease fails to progress after the initial involvement?
In an attempt to answer these and other questions, the following clinical analysis was undertaken. In order to overlook no cases of recovery, as well as to compare amyotrophic