It is known that environmental factors can influence ALS risk and disease survival, such as exposures to metals and elements. It remains unknown whether causative environmental changes, including exposure to metals, that already occur in childhood cause ALS later in life. Here, we reconstructed exposures in the first 10 years of life in permanent teeth from ALS participants and healthy controls, and applied analytical methods to characterize metal metabolism.
Our analysis of the teeth showed that ALS patients exposed to metals as children metabolized the metal differently compared to healthy individuals. This difference in metals processing may be predictive of disease onset later in life.