: Few studies have focused on elderly (>80 years) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, who represent a fragile subgroup generally not included in clinical trials and often neglected because they are more difficult to diagnose and manage. We analyzed the clinical and genetic features of very late-onset ALS patients through a prospective, population-based study in the Emilia Romagna Region of Italy. From 2009 to 2019, 222 (13.76%) out of 1613 patients in incident cases were over 80 years old at diagnosis, with a female predominance (F:M = 1.18). Elderly ALS patients represented 12.02% of patients before 2015 and 15.91% from 2015 onwards (p = 0.024). This group presented with bulbar onset in 38.29% of cases and had worse clinical conditions at diagnosis compared to younger patients, with a lower average BMI (23.12 vs. 24.57 Kg/m2), a higher progression rate (1.43 vs. 0.95 points/month), and a shorter length of survival (a median of 20.77 vs. 36 months). For this subgroup, genetic analyses have seldom been carried out (25% vs. 39.11%) and are generally negative. Finally, elderly patients underwent less frequent nutritional- and respiratory-supporting procedures, and multidisciplinary teams were less involved at follow-up, except for specialist palliative care. The genotypic and phenotypic features of elderly ALS patients could help identify the different environmental and genetic risk factors that determine the age at which disease onset occurs. Since multidisciplinary management can improve a patient's prognosis, it should be more extensively applied to this fragile group of patients.

Insight into Elderly ALS Patients in the Emilia Romagna Region: Epidemiological and Clinical Features of Late-Onset ALS in a Prospective, Population-Based Study / Gianferrari, Giulia; Martinelli, Ilaria; Simonini, Cecilia; Zucchi, Elisabetta; Fini, Nicola; Caputo, Maria; Ghezzi, Andrea; Gessani, Annalisa; Canali, Elena; Casmiro, Mario; De Massis, Patrizia; Curro' Dossi, Marco; De Pasqua, Silvia; Liguori, Rocco; Longoni, Marco; Medici, Doriana; Morresi, Simonetta; Patuelli, Alberto; Pugliatti, Maura; Santangelo, Mario; Sette, Elisabetta; Stragliati, Filippo; Terlizzi, Emilio; Vacchiano, Veria; Zinno, Lucia; Ferro, Salvatore; Amedei, Amedeo; Filippini, Tommaso; Vinceti, Marco; Errals Group, Null; Mandrioli, Jessica. - In: LIFE. - ISSN 2075-1729. - 13:4(2023), pp. 942-958. [10.3390/life13040942]

Insight into Elderly ALS Patients in the Emilia Romagna Region: Epidemiological and Clinical Features of Late-Onset ALS in a Prospective, Population-Based Study

Gianferrari, Giulia;Martinelli, Ilaria;Simonini, Cecilia;Zucchi, Elisabetta;Caputo, Maria;Ghezzi, Andrea;Canali, Elena;Filippini, Tommaso;Vinceti, Marco;Mandrioli, Jessica
2023

Abstract

: Few studies have focused on elderly (>80 years) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, who represent a fragile subgroup generally not included in clinical trials and often neglected because they are more difficult to diagnose and manage. We analyzed the clinical and genetic features of very late-onset ALS patients through a prospective, population-based study in the Emilia Romagna Region of Italy. From 2009 to 2019, 222 (13.76%) out of 1613 patients in incident cases were over 80 years old at diagnosis, with a female predominance (F:M = 1.18). Elderly ALS patients represented 12.02% of patients before 2015 and 15.91% from 2015 onwards (p = 0.024). This group presented with bulbar onset in 38.29% of cases and had worse clinical conditions at diagnosis compared to younger patients, with a lower average BMI (23.12 vs. 24.57 Kg/m2), a higher progression rate (1.43 vs. 0.95 points/month), and a shorter length of survival (a median of 20.77 vs. 36 months). For this subgroup, genetic analyses have seldom been carried out (25% vs. 39.11%) and are generally negative. Finally, elderly patients underwent less frequent nutritional- and respiratory-supporting procedures, and multidisciplinary teams were less involved at follow-up, except for specialist palliative care. The genotypic and phenotypic features of elderly ALS patients could help identify the different environmental and genetic risk factors that determine the age at which disease onset occurs. Since multidisciplinary management can improve a patient's prognosis, it should be more extensively applied to this fragile group of patients.
2023
13
4
942
958
Insight into Elderly ALS Patients in the Emilia Romagna Region: Epidemiological and Clinical Features of Late-Onset ALS in a Prospective, Population-Based Study / Gianferrari, Giulia; Martinelli, Ilaria; Simonini, Cecilia; Zucchi, Elisabetta; Fini, Nicola; Caputo, Maria; Ghezzi, Andrea; Gessani, Annalisa; Canali, Elena; Casmiro, Mario; De Massis, Patrizia; Curro' Dossi, Marco; De Pasqua, Silvia; Liguori, Rocco; Longoni, Marco; Medici, Doriana; Morresi, Simonetta; Patuelli, Alberto; Pugliatti, Maura; Santangelo, Mario; Sette, Elisabetta; Stragliati, Filippo; Terlizzi, Emilio; Vacchiano, Veria; Zinno, Lucia; Ferro, Salvatore; Amedei, Amedeo; Filippini, Tommaso; Vinceti, Marco; Errals Group, Null; Mandrioli, Jessica. - In: LIFE. - ISSN 2075-1729. - 13:4(2023), pp. 942-958. [10.3390/life13040942]
Gianferrari, Giulia; Martinelli, Ilaria; Simonini, Cecilia; Zucchi, Elisabetta; Fini, Nicola; Caputo, Maria; Ghezzi, Andrea; Gessani, Annalisa; Canali, Elena; Casmiro, Mario; De Massis, Patrizia; Curro' Dossi, Marco; De Pasqua, Silvia; Liguori, Rocco; Longoni, Marco; Medici, Doriana; Morresi, Simonetta; Patuelli, Alberto; Pugliatti, Maura; Santangelo, Mario; Sette, Elisabetta; Stragliati, Filippo; Terlizzi, Emilio; Vacchiano, Veria; Zinno, Lucia; Ferro, Salvatore; Amedei, Amedeo; Filippini, Tommaso; Vinceti, Marco; Errals Group, Null; Mandrioli, Jessica
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