Motor neurone disease

Is smoking a risk factor for motor neurone disease?

Smoking and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a mendelian randomization study.

Zhan Y, Fang F

Ann Neurol 2019; 85:482-484.



In this study, we examined the potential causal effect of smoking on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using the Project MinE data involving 12,577 patients with ALS and 23,475 controls in a Mendelian randomization (MR) framework.


The MR approach has the potential to investigate a causal relationship between a risk factor and a disease, avoiding confounding and information bias that often present in conventional epidemiological studies.


We found that smokers had a higher risk of ALS compared to never smokers.


Our study thus provides evidence for a causal relationship between smoking and ALS.

This reference is cited in the neurochecklist:

Motor neurone disease (MND): environmental risk factors

Smoking Tobacco Cigarette. Lindsay Fox on Flickr.

Abstract link

By Ibrahim Imam

I am a UK Neurologist keen on general neurology, but with an interest in neuromuscular diseases. I maintain the neurology searchable database, I also blog at I share and discuss current issues around clinical neurology. I hope you find my blogs enlightening, practical, and even entertaining.

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