Nutrient effects on motor neurons and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable chronic progressive neurodegenerative disease with the progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the motor cortex and lower motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brain stem. The etiology and pathogenesis of ALS are being actively studied, but there is still no single concept. The study of ALS risk factors can help to understand the mechanism of this disease development and, possibly, slow down the rate of its progression in patients and also reduce the risk of its development in people with a predisposition toward familial ALS. The interest of researchers and clinicians in the protective role of nutrients in the development of ALS has been increasing in recent years. However, the role of some of them is not well-understood or disputed. The objective of this review is to analyze studies on the role of nutrients as environmental factors affecting the risk of developing ALS and the rate of motor neuron degeneration progression. Methods: We searched the PubMed, Springer, Clinical keys, Google Scholar, and E-Library databases for publications using keywords and their combinations. We analyzed all the available studies published in 2010–2020. Discussion: We analyzed 39 studies, including randomized clinical trials, clinical cases, and metaanalyses, involving ALS patients and studies on animal models of ALS. This review demonstrated that the following vitamins are the most significant protectors of ALS development: vitamin B12, vitamin E > vitamin C > vitamin B1, vitamin B9 > vitamin D > vitamin B2, vitamin B6 > vitamin A, and vitamin B7. In addition, this review indicates that the role of foods with a high content of cholesterol, polyunsaturated fatty acids, urates, and purines plays a big part in ALS development. Conclusion: The inclusion of vitamins and a ketogenic diet in disease-modifying ALS therapy can reduce the progression rate of motor neuron degeneration and slow the rate of disease progression, but the approach to nutrient selection must be personalized. The roles of vitamins C, D, and B7 as ALS protectors need further study. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Goncharova P.S.1 , Davydova T.K.2 , Popova T.E.2 , Novitsky M.A.1 , Petrova M.M.3 , Gavrilyuk O.A.3 , Al-Zamil M. 4 , Zhukova N.G.5 , Nasyrova R.F. 1 , Shnayder N.A. 1, 3
NLM (Medline)
Номер выпуска
  • 1 Center of Personalized Psychiatry and Neurology, V.M. Bekhterev National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Neurology, Saint-Petersburg, 192019, Russian Federation
  • 2 Center of Neurogenerative Disorders, Yakut Science Centre of Complex Medical Problems, Yakutsk, 677000, Russian Federation
  • 3 Center for Collective Using “Molecular and Cell Technologies”, V.F. Voino-Yasenetsky Krasnoyarsk State Medical University, Krasnoyarsk, 660022, Russian Federation
  • 4 Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Continuing Medical Education, Peoples’ Friendship, University of Russia, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 5 Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Siberian State Medical University, Tomsk, 634050, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Nutrient; Predictor; Protector; Risk factor; Vitamin
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