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Home > Association between alcohol exposure and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Euro-MOTOR study.

D'Ovidio, Fabrizio and Rooney, James PK and Visser, Anne E and Manera, Umberto and Beghi, Ettore and Logroscino, Giancarlo and Vermeulen, Roel CH and Veldink, Jan Herman and van den Berg, Leonard H and Hardiman, Orla and Chiò, Adriano (2019) Association between alcohol exposure and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Euro-MOTOR study. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 90, (1), pp. 11-19.

OBJECTIVES: Several studies focused on the association between alcohol consumption and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), although with inconsistent findings. Antioxidants may play a role since lyophilised red wine was found to prolong SOD1 mice lifespan. The aim of this international population-based case-control study performed in Ireland, The Netherlands and Italy was to assess the role of alcohol, and red wine in particular, in developing ALS.

METHODS: Euro-MOTOR is a case-control study where patients with incident ALS and controls matched for gender, age and area of residency were recruited in a population-based design. Logistic regression models adjusted for sex, age, cohort, education, leisure time physical activity, smoking, heart problems, hypertension, stroke, cholesterol and diabetes were performed.

RESULTS: 1557 patients with ALS and 2922 controls were enrolled in the study. Exposure to alcohol drinking was not significantly associated with ALS risk. A stratified analysis of exposure to alcohol by cohort revealed significant ORs in The Netherlands and in Apulia, with opposite directions (respectively 0.68 and 2.38). With regard to red wine consumption, only in Apulia the double-fold increased risk (OR 2.53) remained significant. A decreased risk was found for current alcohol drinkers (OR 0.83), while a significantly increased risk was detected among former drinkers (OR 1.63). Analysis of cumulative exposure to alcohol revealed no significant associations with ALS risk.

CONCLUSION: With few exceptions, no significant association was found between alcohol consumption and ALS. The study of the association between alcohol and ALS requires a thorough exploration, especially considering the role of different type of alcoholic beverages.


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