Products - Antigen detection - Neurodegenerative diseases - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

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Disease information

Motor neuron diseases (MND) are characterized by degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons. They include:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral sclerosis
  • Primary lateral sclerosis
  • Progressive muscular atrophy
  • Pseudobulbar palsy

Amyotrophic sclerosis (ALS) is the most common of these MNDs with a worldwide incidence of 2/100,000 people per year. ALS starts with non-specific symptoms such as cramps and muscle weakness, dysphagia (difficulty to swallow) and dysarthria (difficulty to move). These then progress to involve the entire body so the patient loses the ability to move and communicate completely. Unfortunately, there is no cure for ALS, and the majority of patients succumb to the disease within 3 to 5 years after the onset of symptoms. Although low, familial cases of the disease occur due to inherited mutations in certain genes (5 to 10% of ALS cases). The rest are sporadic and the exact cause is still not known despite intensive research.

Diagnostic Guidelines

According to the EI Escorial criteria, diagnosis of ALS is based upon the evaluation of clinical symptoms and the description of motor neuron failures by electromyography (EMG). This is only helpful during the later stages of the disease when substantial damage has been done to motor neurons. Generally, the diagnosis of the disease is slow. It can take up to 12 months between the appearance of symptoms and the final diagnosis (many conditions replicate symptoms of ALS) and since the patients of ALS are already short on life expectancy, an earlier and accurate diagnosis becomes of paramount importance.

Fortunately, research has led to the identification of a marker that can be used to diagnose disease at an early stage. It’s called phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNf-H). It is released from damaged neurons and its levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are important indicators of ALS. In patients with ALS, the concentration of pNf-H in CSF is significantly increased. Moreover, its concentration correlate with the extent of motor neuron degeneration. Thus because of its great value in diagnosis, differential diagnosis and prognosis of ALS, it is now recommended that pNf-H be included in the routine diagnosis of MNDs

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) products

The individual product regulatory statements may vary, please refer to the instructions for use for more information.

wdt_ID Method Parameter Species/ Antigen
642 ELISA neurofilament (pNf-H)
determination in CSF and serum
human
643 ELISA neurofilament (pNf-H)
highly sensitive determination
in serum and plasma
human
Method Parameter Species/ Antigen
Contact our Antigen Product Team for further details and information

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