, Volume 255, Issue 11, pp 1652-1656

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

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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.