Blood-based Biomarkers for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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Heather M. Wilkins, PHD
Mazen M. Dimachkie, MD
Abdulbaki Agbas, MSC, PHD


Early detection of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is critical for better therapeutic outcomes. The median time from symptom onset to diagnosis of ALS is 11 months, with a range of 6-21 months. Given that the median life expectancy is three years, it is important to shorten the diagnostic journey, initiate therapies promptly, and facilitate clinical research participation. Biomarkers may be the key to enhancing early diagnosis, tracking disease progression, and testing target engagement of promising therapeutics. Clinically valid biomarkers for ALS are currently lacking, and research has been ongoing to identify appropriate biomarkers. Ideal biomarkers should be minimally invasive, such as blood. In this chapter, we review our current understanding of blood based biomarker research in ALS and discuss future directions.


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Chapter 6