Original Communication

Journal of Neurology

, Volume 255, Issue 11, pp 1652-1656

First online:

Increased serum ferritin levels in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients

  • E. F. GoodallAffiliated withMolecular Neurology Group, Division of Neuroscience, Institute of Biomedical Research, The Medical School, University of Birmingham
  • , M. S. HaqueAffiliated withDept. of Primary Care and General Practice, University of Birmingham
  • , K. E. MorrisonAffiliated withMolecular Neurology Group, Division of Neuroscience, Institute of Biomedical Research, The Medical School, University of BirminghamDept. of Neurology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS, Foundation Trust Email author 

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Abstract

Iron misregulation promotes oxidative stress, a proposed pathological mechanism in neurodegenerative disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum iron metabolism indicators in 60 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and 44 age matched controls. Serum ferritin levels were significantly increased in ALS patients compared to controls (p < 0.001), while no differences in the levels of serum iron, transferrin, iron saturation or total iron binding capacity were found. Likewise no differences in C reactive protein (CRP) or caeruloplasmin were detected, suggesting that the elevated ferritin levels in ALS did not merely indicate an acute phase response. The increased ferritin level may reflect a general increase in stored iron or be a consequence of ongoing muscle degeneration.

Key words

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis iron metabolism serum ferritin