TORINO, Italy — A new study is linking blood levels of albumin and creatinine as independent markers of survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

The findings were published online in JAMA Neurology in July and were done by a team of researchers at the Rita Levi Montalcini Department of Neuroscience in Torino, Italy.

Lead researcher Adriano Chio, MD, said the two proteins will make good prognostic markers for new drug trials in the battle against ALS.

Researchers examined data from 712 patients with ALS in Italy. They looked at leukocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, glucose, creatinine, uric acid, albumin, bilirubin, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, creatinine kinase, thyroid-stimulating hormones, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

After adjustment for other factors, only serum albumin and creatinine were independently associated with survival.

Results were confirmed in an independent validation in 122 patients at different stages of disease consecutively seen at an ALS tertiary center.

They also found that lower albumin and creatinine levels were strongly related to worse clinical function at diagnosis (ALSFRS-R score and forced vital capacity).

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