October 3, 2023

Environmental Risk Score Established for ALS

New research by a team led by Drs. Eva Feldman and Stephan Goutman was just published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry which establishes an environmental risk score. 

photo of Drs. Eva Feldman and Stephen Goutman
Drs. Stephen Goutman and Eva Feldman

Thanks to multiple papers published by Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., Stephen Goutman, M.D., M.S., Directors of the ALS Center of Excellence and Pranger ALS Clinic, respectively, and their ALS research team that higher levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—carbon-based chemical substance like certain pesticides—present in the blood makes someone more likely to develop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

New research by the team just published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry establishes an environmental risk score.  

The study looked at not just POPs but inorganic pollutants—not carbon-based, like heavy metals—as well. “Rather than looking at individual pollutants and ALS risk,” explained Dr. Feldman. “When we looked at them as a mixture, you can develop an environmental risk score based on being exposed to all of them. Often, when you are exposed to one, you are exposed to many. This is very exciting because it is the first time anyone has developed such an environmental score for ALS.”

What does this mean? Now, by drawing a tube of blood, doctors can tell you what your risk of developing ALS is.