Background and purpose:: The aim was to investigate the association between serum asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) levels and the progression and prognosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and to compare cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum ADMA levels with other biomarkers of ALS. Methods: Serum ADMA levels of sporadic ALS patients (n = 68), disease control patients (n = 54) and healthy controls (n = 20) were measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Correlations of the ADMA level and other markers (nitric oxide and neurofilament light chain levels) were analyzed. Changes in the ALS Functional Rating Scale Revised (ALSFRS-R) score from the onset of disease (ALSFRS-R pre-slope) was used to assess disease progression. Survival was evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model and Kaplan–Meier analysis. Results: The serum ADMA level was substantially higher in patients with ALS than in healthy controls and disease controls. Serum ADMA level correlated with CSF ADMA level (r = 0.591, p < 0.0001) and was independently associated with the ALSFRS-R pre-slope (r = 0.505, p < 0.0001). Patients with higher serum ADMA levels had less favorable prognoses. CSF ADMA level significantly correlated with CSF neurofilament light chain level (r = 0.456, p = 0.0002) but not with nitric oxide level (r = 0.194, p = 0.219). Conclusion: Serum ADMA level is an independent biomarker of ALS disease progression and prognosis and reflects the degree of motor neuron degeneration.
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