Our objective was to measure serum ferritin levels, which reflect iron metabolism, in ALS patients versus healthy and disease controls, and determine whether serum ferritin levels correlate with survival. We retrospectively analyzed data from 138 ALS patients, 152 healthy controls, and 82 disease controls. Gender, age, site of onset, and dates of symptom onset and death were recorded. Survival was defined as the time from symptom onset to death. Serum ferritin levels were measured using immunoassay. ANOVA and Pearson's correlation were used to compare ferritin levels between groups and test the association between ferritin levels and age and survival. Ferritin levels were categorized into high and low groups, and Kaplan-Meier analysis performed. Results showed that gender proportions differed between ALS patients versus healthy and disease controls, and gender affected serum ferritin levels. Ferritin comparisons were stratified for gender. In both males and females, ferritin levels were higher in ALS patients versus healthy and disease controls. However, ferritin levels were unrelated to survival in either gender, by tests of association or survival analysis. In conclusion, ALS patients have altered iron metabolism that is not simply due to the presence of neurological disease. Serum ferritin levels alone are not sufficient to predict survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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