Prell, T., Steinbach, R., Witte, O. W., Grosskreutz, J.
The study aimed to determine the impact of emotional well-being on disease aggressiveness and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In 224 patients with ALS (without significant cognitive deficits) the revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (physical function), the ALS Assessment Questionnaire (ALSAQ-40) for health-related Quality of Life and survival data were collected. Data analysis comprised logistic regression, Kaplan-Meier curves analyses and Cox regression model. Most patients reported to be worried about how the disease will affect them in the future and 67% reported to feel depressed. Patients with good emotional well-being were characterized by better physical function (higher ALSFRS-R) and lower disease aggressiveness. The association between high emotional well-being and lower disease aggressiveness was confirmed in the univariate analysis and also after adjustment for known predictors of disease progression. In the Kaplan-Meier survival curve analysis the overall 1-year, 2-year and 3-year mortality did not significantly differ between patients with poor and good emotional well-being. Our study demonstrates an association between emotional well-being and disease progression. Knowing that subjective well-being is neither a necessary nor a sufficient cause of health, longitudinal studies are necessary to explore when well-being does and does not influence disease progress and survival in ALS.