TABLE 7.10 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Motor Neuron Disease) and Solvents

Reference, Country



Exposure Determination

Solvent Exposure

OR (95% CI or p)

Adjusted OR (95% CI)


Gunnarsson et al., 1992

112 cases of MND, age 45–79 years; from departments of neurology and internal medicine in nine counties;

496 controls randomly selected from national population registry

Excluded exposure occurring less than 5 years before 1990;

Men: any occupational solvent (three diagnoses);


1.3 (0.7–2.5)

Exposure to solvents might be confounder with regard to physical trauma



for cases, considered only exposure in last year before onset of MND;

Combination of male with MND, any solvent exposure, heritability (family history of AD, PD, ALS, thyroid disease);

15.6 (2.8–87.0)


ALS: lower motor neuron symptoms in at least two regions; symptoms of upper motor neuron involvement within 3 years after onset;



Self-administered questionnaire on current and past jobs;

Both sexes combined: any occupational solvent, PMA alone with no trauma

2.5 (1.0–6.5)

PBP: bulbar paresis as dominating symptom but no evidence of upper neuron involvement;

Also asked physical and chemical exposure, other factors, including diet, family history;


PMA: only lower motor neuron involvement during first 3 years;

Most solvents were aromatic hydrocarbons, mixed volatile hydrocarbons, petroleum


Mean duration of MND 5 years;


Prevalent cases

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