Two-Year Cohort of 88 Multiple System Atrophy Patients’ Occupations and Incidence of Electric Shock and Head Injury: A Hypothesis Stimulating Pilot Study
Authors: Pritchard, C. and Silk, A.
Journal: Journal of Clinical Neurology, Neurosurgery and Spine
Introduction: Multiple Systematic Atrophy (MSA) whose incidences have virtually doubled, in … years (how many) coinciding with confirmed major rises in total neurological mortality in the developed world. The aetiology of neurological diseases is linked to various `Possible Occupations Linked’ (POL) to neurological disease- Electronics and IT; Engineering, Chemicals, Solvents. Two inconsistent findings - electric shock and head injury have been reported by many MSA patients.
This pilot study analyses differences between MSA patients and the general population in regard to occupation and incidence of electric shock and head injury.
Methodology: A two-year cohort of MSA patients attending support groups completed a one page self-administered questionnaire. It explored age, sex, occupation and electric shock and head injury, contrasted with estimates in the General Public, occupations were determined from ONS data, from which odds ratios of patients and general population were calculated.
Results: [Colin these figures are a bit puzzling but I am not a statistician] Of the 88 patients, 34% were aged <60; 56% occupations were POL compared to 24% in the regional population; one in 1.52 MSA patients reported head injury 1:1.52 and 1:3.26 electric shock. This yielded odd ratios of patients to general population of 1: 91.4 and 1: 589.9 respectively. Patents with Other occupations had significantly more trauma than POL patients.
Discussion: Despite the limits of the study 34% of the cohort were relatively young for neurological disease, double the 'possible occupational links’ to neurological disease than the general population and substantially higher trauma incidence. This pilot study indicates the need for a more focused analysis of possible tripping [? or is contributory better] factors in the aetiology of MSA.