Is there a genetic test for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Only a fraction of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases have been identified as hereditary. Only some of these cases, in turn, have been associated with mutations in a specific gene. Genetic testing can evaluate the status of this gene, called SOD1. Changes in this gene may be responsible for killing motor neurons and causing ALS. Prenatal testing of the SOD1 gene is possible; however, a negative result does not guarantee that a person will not get ALS. The test takes two or three months and costs several hundred dollars.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.