Non-motor symptoms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Ali Shojaie, Ahmad Al Khleifat, Sarah Opie-Martin, Payam Sarraf, Ammar Al-Chalabi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Objective While motor symptoms are well-known in ALS, non-motor symptoms are often under-reported and may have a significant impact on quality of life. In this study, we aimed to examine the nature and extent of non-motor symptoms in ALS.

A 20-item questionnaire was developed covering the domains of autonomic function, sleep, pain, gastrointestinal disturbance, and emotional lability, posted online and shared on social media platforms to target people with ALS and controls.

A total of 1018 responses were received, of which 927 were complete from 506 people with ALS and 421 unaffected individuals. Cold limbs (p 1.66 x 10-36), painful limbs (p 6.14 x 10-28), and urinary urgency (p 4.70 x 10-23) were associated with ALS. People with ALS were more likely to report autonomic symptoms, pain, and psychiatric symptoms than controls (autonomic symptoms B = 0.043, p 6.10 x 10-5, pain domain B = 0.18, p 3.72 x 10-11 and psychiatric domain B = 0.173, p 1.32 x 10-4).

Non-motor symptoms in ALS are common. The identification and management of non-motor symptoms should be integrated into routine clinical care for people with ALS. Further research is warranted to investigate the relationship between non-motor symptoms and disease progression, as well as to develop targeted interventions to improve the quality of life for people with ALS.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis & frontotemporal degeneration
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2023


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