The levels of lead in plasma were determined in 16 cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 18 control subjects, using flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The mean values were 0.52+/-0.22 microgram/100ml (ALS) and 0.37+/-0.13 microgram/100ml (controls), the difference is statistically significant (5% level). The values in both groups are lower than reported earlier for normal subjects. The findings are discussed against the background of the possible pathogenetic significance of retrograde axoplasmic flow in ALS.
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