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June 1965

Serum Amino Acid Studies in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: I. Results of Arginine Tolerance Tests

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Experimental Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan, and Division of Neurology, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Kansas City General Hospital, Kansas City, Mo. Professor of Neurology, University of Missouri School of Medicine, (Dr. Poser); Resident in Psychiatry, University of Kansas Medical Center (Dr. Johnson); Biochemist-in-Charge, H. L. Snyder Memorial Research Foundation (L. Bunch).

Arch Neurol. 1965;12(6):604-609. doi:10.1001/archneur.1965.00460300052006

ABOUT three years ago, we investigated a family constellation in which several members were believed to have died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We performed a number of clinical biochemical determinations on ten unaffected blood relatives in the hope of discovering possible abnormalities which might have some relation to the disease process.

One of the procedures was column chromatographic analysis of serum amino acids. The only noteworthy observation we made was that the fasting serum arginine level appeared to be lower than normal in four of the ten individuals tested, according to the normal ranges given by Westall.1 Although we know that this might not be clinically or statistically significant, it led us to investigate the possible role of arginine in ALS. Our preliminary results are presented in this article.


Chromatographic Analysis.—  All amino acid analyses referred to in this paper were carried out by the following

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