Associations of Patient Mood, Modulators of Quality of Life, and Pharmaceuticals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Survival Duration. Academic Article uri icon


  • Associations of modulators of quality of life (QoL) and survival duration are assessed in the fatal motor neuron disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Major categories include clinical impression of mood (CIM); physical health; patient social support; and usage of interventions, pharmaceuticals, and supplements. Associations were assessed at p < 0.05 and p < 0.001 significance thresholds using applicable methods (Chi-square, t-test, ANOVA, logistical regression, random forests, Fisher's exact test) within a retrospective cohort of 1585 patients. Factors significantly correlated with positive (happy or normal) mood included family support and usage of bi-level positive airway pressure (Bi-PAP) and/or cough assist. Decline in physical factors like presence of dysphagia, drooling, general pain, and decrease in ALSFRS-R total score or forced vital capacity (FVC) significantly correlated with negative (depressed or anxious) mood (p < 0.05). Use of antidepressants or pain medications had no association with ALS patient mood (p > 0.05), but were significantly associated with increased survival (p < 0.05). Positive patient mood, Bi-PAP, cough assist, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), and accompaniment to clinic visits associated with increased survival duration (p < 0.001). Of the 47 most prevalent pharmaceutical and supplement categories, 17 associated with significant survival duration increases ranging +4.5 to +16.5 months. Tricyclic antidepressants, non-opioids, muscle relaxants, and vitamin E had the highest associative increases in survival duration (p < 0.05). Random forests, which examined complex interactions, identified the following pharmaceuticals and supplements as most predictive to survival duration: Vitamin A, multivitamin, PEG supplements, alternative herbs, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, stimulant laxatives, and antispastics. Statins, metformin, and thiazide diuretics had insignificant associations with decreased survival.

published proceedings

  • Behav Sci (Basel)

altmetric score

  • 3.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Bond, L., Bowen, G., Mertens, B., Denson, K., Jordan, K., Vidakovic, B., & Mitchell, C. S.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Bond, Leila||Bowen, Gloria||Mertens, Benjamin||Denson, Keelie||Jordan, Kathleen||Vidakovic, Branislav||Mitchell, Cassie S

publication date

  • January 2020