Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase activity at different ages in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Mónica L. Fiszman, Laura N Borodinsky, Karina C. Ricart, Olga P. Sanz, Roberto E P Sica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disorder resulting from degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Sporadic ALS (SALS) accounts for the majority of patients and the familial form (FALS) represents fewer than 10% of all cases. Since it was found that there are Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene mutations in 20% of FALS patients and that FALS and SALS patients show similar clinical features, it has been postulated that both may share a common physiopathological mechanism. We studied Cu/Zn SOD1 activity in cytosolic extracts of erythrocytes from 125 normal individuals and 40 SALS patients. We found that enzyme activity does not change with age in control subjects and tends to decrease in most SALS patients older than 60 years. A subpopulation of five SALS patients had significantly increased SOD1 activity; four of these patients over 70 years old. There was no correlation between enzyme activity and time of onset of the disease, or clinical forms of the illness. The variation in SOD1 activity in ageing SALS patients compared with younger patients suggests that they may undergo an oxidative disbalance contributing to the development of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-37
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Red blood cells
  • SALS
  • SOD1 activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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