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March 1986

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Associated Clinical Disorders and Immunological Evaluations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston (Drs Appel and Stewart and Ms Stockton-Appel); and the Department of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (Dr Kerman).

Arch Neurol. 1986;43(3):234-238. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520030026007

• We examined the family history and associated diseases in 58 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as the T-cell phenotypes and functions in 46 consecutive patients with this disorder. A family history of thyroid disease was present in 19%, and an additional 21% of patients described family members with other possible autoimmune disorders. In 19% of the patients with ALS either past or present thyroid disease was documented. Eleven of 47 additional patients with ALS had significant elevations of microsomal and/or thyroglobulin antibody levels. The T-cell phenotypes and functions were comparable in the ALS and control groups, with the exception of the presence of Ia antigen. In patients with ALS, 11.9% of the T cells were positive for the Ia antigen, while in both a normal control population and a non-ALS neurologic disease population, only 6.4% of T cells have this antigenic determinant. These data support involvement of autoimmune mechanisms in ALS.

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