As ALS progresses and impairs patients’ ability to maintain sufficient oral nutritional intake, patients often require long-term nutritional support via gastrostomy, a procedure for inserting a feeding tube directly into the stomach. The ProGas study, a multi-center longitudinal, prospective cohort study in the UK, led by Christopher McDermott at the University of Sheffield, UK, compared over 300 ALS patients who had undergone gastrostomy by percutaneous endoscopy, radiological insertion, or per-oral image-guidance. As published in the July Lancet Neurology, no significant difference in the safety of the three methods was identified, based on 30-day mortality following the procedure. However, patients who received gastrostomy prior to losing 10% of their weight at diagnosis survived significantly longer than patients who had lost more than 10% of their diagnosis weight, suggesting that earlier intervention would benefit patients.
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