Biomarkers In Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Opportunities And Limitations

Robert Bowser, Barrow Neurological Institute
Martin R. Turner
Jeremy Shefner


Insights into the mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have relied predominantly on the study of postmortem tissue. Modern technology has improved the ability of scientists to probe effectively the underlying biology of ALS by examination of genomic, proteomic and physiological changes in patients, as well as to monitor functional and structural changes in patients over the course of disease. While effective treatments for ALS are lacking, the discovery of biomarkers for this disease offers clinicians tools for rapid diagnosis, improved ways to monitor disease progression, and insights into the pathophysiology of sporadic ALS. The ultimate aim is to broaden the therapeutic options for patients with this disease. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.