ALS is a multistep process in South Korean, Japanese, and Australian patients

Steve Vucic, Mana Higashihara, Gen Sobue, Naoki Atsuta, Yuriko Doi, Satoshi Kuwabara, Seung Hyun Kim, Inah Kim, Ki Wook Oh, Jinseok Park, Eun Mi Kim, Paul Talman, Parvathi Menon, Matthew C. Kiernan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


ObjectiveTo establish whether amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a multistep process in South Korean and Japanese populations when compared to Australian cohorts.MethodsWe generated incident data by age and sex for Japanese (collected between April 2009 and March 2010) and South Korean patients with ALS (collected between January 2011 and December 2015). Mortality rates were provided for Australian patients with ALS (collected between 2007 and 2016). We regressed the log of age-specific incidence against the log of age with least squares regression for each ALS population.ResultsWe identified 11,834 cases of ALS from the 3 populations, including 6,524 Australian, 2,264 Japanese, and 3,049 South Korean ALS cases. We established a linear relation between the log incidence and log age in the 3 populations: Australia r2 = 0.99, Japan r2 = 0.99, South Korea r2 = 0.99. The estimate slopes were similar across the 3 populations, being 5.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.8-5.5) in Japanese, 5.4 (95% CI, 5.2-5.7) in Australian, and 4.4 (95% CI, 4.2-4.8) in South Korean patients.ConclusionsThe linear relationship between log age and log incidence is consistent with a multistage model of disease, with slope estimated suggesting that 6 steps were required in Japanese and Australian patients with ALS while 5 steps were needed in South Korean patients. Identification of these steps could identify novel therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1657-E1663
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2020 Apr 14

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    Vucic, S., Higashihara, M., Sobue, G., Atsuta, N., Doi, Y., Kuwabara, S., Kim, S. H., Kim, I., Oh, K. W., Park, J., Kim, E. M., Talman, P., Menon, P., & Kiernan, M. C. (2020). ALS is a multistep process in South Korean, Japanese, and Australian patients. Neurology, 94(15), E1657-E1663.