Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 211-216

Bone mineral density and body composition in males with motor neuron disease: A study from teaching hospital in southern part of India

1 Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Neurology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hesarghatta S Asha
Endocrinology and Diabetes, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_293_20

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Background: Osteoporosis and sarcopenia are important aspects of motor neuron disease (MND). Individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND-ALS) have an increased risk of falls and fractures. Currently, the standard of care does not involve a routine assessment of bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition in these patients. We aimed to assess BMD, bone mineral parameters and body composition in men with MND and compared them with healthy controls. Methods: Consecutive males between 50 and 80 years of age diagnosed as MND-ALS by revised El Escorial criteria and able to walk unassisted attending Neurology outpatient clinic were recruited into the study. Age, gender and body mass index (BMI) matched healthy controls were recruited from the local community. BMD and body composition were assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Bone mineral parameters and bone turnover markers (BTMs) were also assessed in them. Results: A total of 30 subjects with MND-ALS and 33 controls were recruited. The mean age (years) was 59.2 in cases and 61.2 in controls. The mean BMD (g/cm2) between the two groups was similar; however, BTMs were significantly higher in the MND group (P < 0.05). Subjects with MND-ALS had significantly lower mean appendicular lean mass (ALM) (19.9 versus 22.4 kg; P = 0.007) and ALM corrected for BMI than the healthy control group (0.858 versus 0.934 kg/kg/m2; P = 0.034). Sarcopenic obesity (Percentage fat mass >27% + ALM/BMI <0.786 kg/kg/m2) was more prevalent in MND-ALS compared to controls (44.5% versus 16.7%; P = 0.03). Conclusion: Although BMD was not significantly different between subjects with MND-ALS and healthy controls, BTMs were significantly higher in the MND group indicating a high bone turnover state. Sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity were also more in MND-ALS group than controls. Routine assessment for bone health parameters and body composition indices may be included in management of the patients with MND.

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