Investigation of next-generation sequencing technologies as a diagnostic tool for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Morgan S., Shoai M., Fratta P., Sidle K., Orrell R., Sweeney MG., Shatunov A., Sproviero W., Jones A., Al-Chalabi A., Malaspina A., Houlden H., Hardy J., Pittman A.
The future of genetic diagnostics will see a move toward massively parallel next-generation sequencing of a patient's DNA. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the diseases that would benefit from this prospect. Exploring this idea, we designed a screening panel to sequence 25 ALS-linked genes and examined samples from 95 patients with both familial and sporadic ALS. Forty-three rare polymorphisms were detected in this cohort. A third of these have already been reported with respect to ALS, leaving 28 novel variants all open for further investigation. This study highlights the potential benefits of next-generation sequencing as a reliable, cost and time efficient, diagnostic, and research tool for ALS.