The natural history of ALS: Baseline characteristics from a multicenter clinical cohort

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Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener


BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare disease with urgent need for improved treatment. Despite the acceleration of research in recent years, there is a need to understand the full natural history of the disease. As only 40% of people living with ALS are eligible for typical clinical trials, clinical trial datasets may not generalize to the full ALS population. While biomarker and cohort studies have more generous inclusion criteria, these too may not represent the full range of phenotypes, particularly if the burden for participation is high. To permit a complete understanding of the heterogeneity of ALS, comprehensive data on the full range of people with ALS is needed.

METHODS: The ALS Natural History Consortium (ALS NHC) consists of nine ALS clinics and was created to build a comprehensive dataset reflective of the ALS population. At each clinic, most patients are asked to participate and about 95% do. After obtaining consent, a minimum dataset is abstracted from each participant's electronic health record. Participant burden is therefore minimal.

RESULTS: Data on 1925 ALS patients were submitted as of 9 December 2022. ALS NHC participants were more heterogeneous relative to anonymized clinical trial data from the Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials (PRO-ACT) database. The ALS NHC includes ALS patients of older age of onset and a broader distribution of El Escorial categories, than the PRO-ACT database.

CONCLUSIONS: ALS NHC participants had a higher diversity of diagnostic and demographic data compared to ALS clinical trial participants.

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ePub ahead of print

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