Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Non-motor features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A clinic-based study

 Department of Neurology, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGME&R) and Bangur Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Atanu Biswas,
Department of Neurology, Bangur Institute of Neurosciences, 52/1A, S. N. Pandit Street, Kolkata - 700 025, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_51_21

Introduction: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons. Spread of pathology to other brain areas leads to development of non-motor symptoms (NMSs). These usually remain undiagnosed because of overwhelming motor problem and are responsible for significant distress to the patient. Our objective was to explore the burden of various NMSs of patients with ALS, compare between limb-onset and bulbar-onset patients, and to correlate with severity and duration of disease. Methods: Fifty patients with ALS diagnosed according to revised El Escorial Criteria and 50 healthy controls were included in this study. They were assessed with NMS Questionnaire, Beck's Depression Inventory, Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale, Drooling Frequency and Severity Scale, Epworth Sleepiness scale, Bengali Mental State Examination, and Frontal Assessment Battery and relevant statistical analyses were carried out. Results: The patients with ALS had significantly increased prevalence of almost all NMSs compared to controls. There was also significant increase in depression, suicidal ideation, pseudobulbar affect, and daytime sleepiness in patients with ALS. The bulbar onset subgroup had significantly increased daytime drooling, dysphagia, nausea and vomiting, whereas the limb onset subgroup reported increased frequency of leg swelling. Executive dysfunction was detected in 24% of patients with ALS and 9.8% had mild cognitive impairment. Weight loss, frequency of falling, insomnia, unpleasant nocturnal leg sensations, difficulty having sex, depression, and cognitive impairment increased significantly with an increase in severity of the disease. Conclusion: NMSs were significantly more prevalent in patients with ALS. Some NMSs worsened with advancement of the disease.

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    -  Chowdhury A
    -  Mukherjee A
    -  Sinharoy U
    -  Pandit A
    -  Biswas A
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