Diagnostics will become more accurate.

Diagnosis of ALS by blood tests will allow more accurate detection of ALS at an earlier stage of the disease, according to a study by scientists from the University of Gothenburg and the University of Umeå. This test involves measuring the blood levels of a substance whose concentration varies depends on the variant of ALS the patient has.

More sensitive methods of analysis.

It is currently difficult to diagnose amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the early stages of the disease. Even after a long examination, there is a risk of misdiagnosis due to other diseases that may resemble ALS at the early stages. An earlier correct diagnosis would be of great benefit and the current results also look promising.

Higher concentrations of neurofilaments in the blood.

Identifying suspected cases of ALS through a blood test opens up entirely new possibilities for screening and measuring neurofilaments in collected blood, the scientists say. This simplifies the evaluation of treatment effects in clinical medications trials compared to longitudinal CSF collection. Detection of ALS at an early stage of the disease may facilitate earlier medication treatment, before the muscles atrophy.

Early diagnosis of ALS is a chance for life extension.

ALS is a neurodegenerative syndrome that causes loss of nerve cells in both the brain and spinal cord, what is leading to muscle weakness and atrophy. Most of these patients die within two to four years of the onset of symptoms, but about one of ten survives more than ten years after the onset of symptoms. Several genetic mutations have been associated with ALS. Currently, there is no way to cure the patient from this disease. However, the currently available medication has been shown to prolong survival in some ALS patients if it is given on time.