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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and vitamin E.

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Amvotrophic Lateral
Scl&osis land Vitamin E
R. Keane, MD
A recent article described the benefits of vitamin E and
other agents in a transgenic mouse model of familial
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AL:S) [ 11. Historically
inclined clinicians may recall an earlier period of
optimism for vitamin E as a treatment for (sporadic)
1. Gurney ME. Cutting FB, Zhai P, et al. Benetit of vitamin E,
riluzole, and gabapentin in a transgenic model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ann Neurol 1996;39: 147-157
The paper by Jacobs and colleagues entitled “Intramuscular interferon beta-la for disease progression in relapsing multiple sclerosis,” which appeared in the
March issue, should be corrected as follows.
In Table 4, footnote a should read:
Gehrig’s Disease
Last June, when 36-year-old Lou Gehrig, the Yankee’s
“Iron Horse,” said good-by to baseball, no insurance
company would have considered him a good risk. For
Gehrig was benched by a rare, incurable, creeping paralysis known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Last
week stout-hearted Lou, now a Manhattan parole commissioner, told reporters: “I’ll lick. this paralysis thing
Since early February LOUhas taken huge quantitites
of Vitamin E, by mouth and injection. It is still too
soon for any perceptible results, but the doctors are
cheerful, for five other patients have visibly improved,
after long months of treatment.
The vitamin virtues were first reported in the Lancet
in January by Dr. Franklin Bicknell of London’s Farringdon Dispensary. Last week Neurologist Israel
Spaniet Wechsler of Mt. Sinai Hospital told a group
of noted colleagues that, working independently of Dr.
Bicknell, he had cured one man of the supposedly
hopeless disease, had got a bedridden woman to walking about her house, had “improved” three other patients.
I940 Article on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. (Reproduced
with permission fiom T i m e , March 2.5, 1940.)
Gehrig died the year after the Tzme article appeared,
and faith in vitamin E lasted only a little longer. Per-
From the Department of Neurology, LOPAngeks County/University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeleb, CA.
Received Apr 2, 1996. Accepted for publication May 23, 1996.
Addresy correspondence to L h Keane, 1200 North State Street, Los
Angeles, CA 90033.
haps the hopes of clinicians of half a century ago were
only slightly misplaced.
Within-person change in EDSS from baseline to
week 104 for patients who completed a week 104
evaluation. (Two interferon beta-la patients who
were followed for at least 104 weeks did nor have a
week 104 evaluation.)
In Table 4, footnote b should read:
p = 0.02 for sustained and unsustained distributions
of cbange; Mann-Whitney rank sum test.
In Table 4, the symbol for footnote b should be removed from the final entry for each group and added
to the footnote notations for the entire group as follows:
Unsustained change“‘)
Sustained changeb,“
In Table 5 , the last line of data under “No. of exacerbations” should read as follows:
16 (18) 6 (7)
In the second column on page 291, the last line of the
first paragraph should read:
Fifteen percent of the interferon beta-1 a recipients
tested positive for neutralizing activity when using
a cutoff value at which no placebo patient tested
The June issue contains an error in the article “Familial
cerebral cavernous angioma: a gene localized to a 15cM interval on chromosome 7q,” by Drs A. Gil-Nagel
and associates. O n page 808, in the Patients section
under Materials and Methods, the sentence at the bottom of the first column should read:
Affected subjects were required to have histological
confirmation, typical MRI findings, or multiple intracranial calczficdtions seen on computed tomography (CT) scans . . .
In the June issue, the correct title of the article by Drs
Kinji Ohno et a1 is:
MELAS- and Kearns-Sayre-type co-mutation with
myopathy and autoimmune polyendocrinopathy
The publisher apologizes for this error.
Copyright 0 1996 by t h e American Neurological Association
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vitamins, lateral, sclerosis, amyotrophic
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