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Inside the Lab Neurology, Technology and innovation

Benchmarking Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known around the world as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Charcot disease or motor neurone disease, is a neurodegenerative condition that causes motor neuron death in the brain and spinal cord. There is no cure, and the origin of disease is unclear in the vast majority of cases. As a field in desperate need of better therapies, ALS researchers received a windfall last summer, when the “ice bucket challenge” significantly raised their profile, and their funding. Although it remains to be seen if this funding boost can be sustained, one thing is certain – researchers have been working to better understand ALS before it found fame, and their work will continue even if the condition returns to its previous semi-obscurity.

To provide insight into past research priorities, and predictions for the future of the field, a series of metrics were applied to the last five years of the published literature. We asked:

  • What are the major topics for the field?
  • Which publications have the  greatest impact?
  • How is the knowledge available online?
  • Who are the most prolific authors?
Top 20 Authors by Number of Publications
Top 20 Important Words
Fee or Free?
Publications per Year
Top 20 Journals by Impact Factor
Top 20 Journals by No. of Publications
Categorization of Articles
Publications by Country

PubMed was searched for “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis” and “diagnosis” (for a diagnostic focus) with results limited to the last five years, in humans (for a clinical focus). The data were analyzed in Microsoft Excel 2013.

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About the Author
Roisin McGuigan

I have an extensive academic background in the life sciences, having studied forensic biology and human medical genetics in my time at Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities. My research, data presentation and bioinformatics skills plus my ‘wet lab’ experience have been a superb grounding for my role as an Associate Editor at Texere Publishing. The job allows me to utilize my hard-learned academic skills and experience in my current position within an exciting and contemporary publishing company.

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