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RETROVIRUS IN ALS PATIENTS
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Concerning “Evidence of Retrovirus Infection Identified in Serum of ALS patients” (March 6, page 1), the claim that “the new study looked at CSF for the first time” is untrue. We were the first group to report last May in Neurology the results of reverse transcriptase in the CSF of ALS patients, assessing for evidence of retrovirus infection (See MacGowan DLJ, Scelsa SN, Baron PA, et al. A controlled study of reverse transcriptase detection in the serum and CSF of HIV negative, sporadic ALS patients. Neurology 2007; 68(22):1944–1946.)

We appreciate that Dr. Robert Brown referred to our clinical trial of antiretroviral therapy in ALS patients, and that the recent results agree with ours, showing a relationship with serum detection of reverse transcriptase, not CSF.

Daniel MacGowan, MD

Stephen Sclesa, MD

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY

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