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April 1986

Failure of Immunosuppression With a Ten- to 14-Day Course of High-Dose Intravenous Cyclophosphamide to Alter the Progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Author Affiliations

From the Neuromuscular Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr Brown), the Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital (Drs Hauser, Harrington, and Weiner), and the Harvard Medical School (Drs Brown, Hauser, Harrington, and Weiner), Boston.

Arch Neurol. 1986;43(4):383-384. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520040063021

• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disorder of the nervous system for which there is no known treatment. Because recent studies have suggested that there may be abnormalities of the immune function in patients with ALS and since we have found a beneficial effect from a short course of intensive immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide in progressive multiple sclerosis, we treated six patients with ALS with a ten- to 14-day course of intensive immunosuppression in a pilot study. At 18 months following therapy, all patients showed a continued progression of the disease; four of the six patients died. We conclude that this form of immunosuppression does not alter the course of ALS.