Potential Environmental Factors in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Björn Oskarsson, D. Kevin Horton, Hiroshi Mitsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are largely unknown, and may always be multiple, including environmental factors. Monogenetic determinants of ALS are involved in roughly 20% of all cases (including 10% familial cases). Less well understood multigenetic causes may contribute to another 20% to 80%. Environmental factors likely play a role in the development of ALS in susceptible individuals, but proved causation remains elusive. This article discusses the possible factors of male gender (males are selectively exposed to different influences, or genetically predisposed to be susceptible), smoking, military service, exercise, electrical exposure, heavy metals, agricultural chemicals, and geographic clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-888
Number of pages12
JournalNeurologic clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • ALS
  • Environmental risk factors
  • Epidemiology
  • Gender
  • Military service
  • Oxidative stress
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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