Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

ALS is a rare disease, as a result, epidemiological research on ALS has been rather scarce. As the first group in Sweden, we started to conduct a series of epidemiological studies on ALS in 2005.

Research description

ALS is a devastating neurodegenerative disease causing progressive and relentless paralysis over months to years until death from respiratory failure. Although relatively rare (incidence rate: ~3 per 100,000 person-years), ALS is the commonest reason to seek assisted suicide. About 10% of ALS patients have a clear family history, for which an increasing contribution by genetic variants has been discovered. However, for the other 90% of cases (sporadic cases), the aetiology is still largely unknown and is most likely a complex interplay between genetics and environmental factors.

Project leaders

Senior researcher

Fang Fang

Phone: 852486131
Organizational unit: Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB), C8
E-mail: Fang.Fang@ki.se

Professor

Weimin Ye

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 861 84
Organizational unit: Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB), C8
E-mail: Weimin.Ye@ki.se

Research group

Our team was constructed in 2005 and has since been focusing on the aetiology as well as prognostic indicators of ALS. We are specifically interested in roles of environmental factors (e.g., metals, infections) and medical conditions (e.g., metabolism, inflammation) on ALS etiopathogenesis. We are actively collaborating with different ALS research groups both from Sweden and internationally. For example, from 2013, our team participated in the newly launched EU Consortium “STRENGTH”, aiming to disentangle specifically the gene-environment interactions on ALS risk and prognosis. Furthermore, since 2008, we have also initiated a PhD student exchange program with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, USA, on Neuroepidemiology, specifically ALS. Up to date, three students have had the chance to participate this program.

PhD students

PhD student

Elisa Longinetti

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 827 31
E-mail: elisa.longinetti@ki.se

Graduate Student

Solmaz Yazdani

Phone: +46-(0)70-095 94 25
E-mail: solmaz.yazdani@ki.se

Former PhD students

Ongoing projects

STRENGTH

Our research is supported by Vetenskapsrådet (VR), Forskningsrådet för hälsa, arbetsliv och välfärd (Forte), Hjärnfonden, Svenska Sällskapet för Medicinsk Forskning (SSMF), and the Karolinska Institutet.

Selected publications

Neurodegenerative diseases