Type 2 diabetes may protect against ALS

People with type 2 diabetes may have a lower risk for being diagnosed with the serious neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to a study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers.

The study was published June 1, 2015 online in JAMA Neurology.

Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, research fellow in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard Chan School, and colleagues studied the association between diabetes, obesity, and ALS using data from Danish National Registers. They compared data on 3,650 people diagnosed with ALS from 1982 to 2009 with that of 365,000 healthy control patients.

The researchers found that type 2 diabetes—but not obesity —was associated with a lower ALS risk. They also found type 1 diabetes appeared to increase the risk of being diagnosed with ALS.

Other Harvard Chan School researchers included senior author Marc Weisskopf, associate professor of environmental and occupational epidemiology, and Ran Rotem and Ryan Seals of the Department of Environmental Health.

Read the abstract: Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, and Diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis A Population-Based Study

Read a June 2, 2015 MedPage Today article: Study: Diabetes Lowers ALS Risk

Read a June 1, 2015 Endocrine Today article: Type 2 diabetes may reduce risk for ALS

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