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It is recognized that neuropsychiatric conditions are overrepresented in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient kindreds and psychiatric symptoms may precede the onset of motor symptoms. Using a hospital record linkage database, hospitalization with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety was significantly associated with a first diagnosis of ALS within the following year. This is likely to specifically reflect the clinicopathological overlap of ALS with frontotemporal dementia. A diagnosis of depression was significantly associated with a first record of ALS ≥5 years later, in keeping with growing evidence for major depressive disorder as an early marker of cerebral neurodegeneration. Ann Neurol 2016;80:935-938.

Original publication




Journal article


Annals of neurology

Publication Date





935 - 938


Oxford University Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, John Radcliffe Hospital.


Humans, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Case-Control Studies, Mental Disorders, Comorbidity, Time Factors, Databases, Factual, England, Female, Male