Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in an urban setting
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Sirs: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease primarily affecting cortical and spinal motor neurons. There have been several previous population studies, reporting incidences between 0.44 and 3.2 per 100,000 person-years[1, 2].
As a preliminary step in establishing a population register for ALS in South-East England, we have identified all prevalent cases in the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham (LSL) between 1 January 1997 and 31 July 2004. Cases were identified from multiple sources to ensure ascertainment was as complete as possible, but it is important to recognise that this register covers a relatively small population, with a high rate of migration in and out of the area.
KeywordsAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Lifetime Risk African Ancestry Spinal Motor Neuron Crude Incidence
We thank Drs. Bryan Traynor and Orla Hardiman who kindly provided data from the Irish ALS register, and Miss Rosie Leigh for her contribution to the data collection. We are grateful to the MRC, MNDA, Jenkins family and Myrtle Sketchley Memorial Trust for funding.
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