Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive upper motor neuron dysfunction. Because PLS patients represent only 1 to 4% of patients with adult motor neuron diseases, there is limited information about the disease's natural history. The objective of this study was to establish a large multicenter retrospective longitudinal registry of PLS patients seen at Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) sites to better characterize the natural progression of PLS.
Methods: Clinical characteristics, electrophysiological findings, laboratory values, disease-related symptoms, and medications for symptom management were collected from PLS patients seen between 2000 and 2015.
Results: The NEALS registry included data from 250 PLS patients. Median follow-up time was 3 years. The mean rate of functional decline measured by ALSFRS-R total score was -1.6 points/year (SE:0.24, n = 124); the mean annual decline in vital capacity was -3%/year (SE:0.55, n = 126). During the observational period, 18 patients died, 17 patients had a feeding tube placed and 7 required permanent assistive ventilation.
Conclusions: The NEALS PLS Registry represents the largest available aggregation of longitudinal clinical data from PLS patients and provides a description of expected natural disease progression. Data from the registry will be available to the PLS community and can be leveraged to plan future clinical trials in this rare disease.