Motor neuron disease lymphoproliferative disease, and bone marrow biopsy
Some have suggested that nonfamilial motor neuron disease (MND) may be autoimmune, and the neurological disorder may benefit from immunotherapy. There have been reports of over 30 cases of lymphoproliferative disease (lymphoma, multiple myeloma, Waldenström's macroglobulinemia) with MND, and these patients might he offered immunosuppressive therapy. Bone marrow examination might increase the sensitivity of the diagnostic workup for lymphoma and other lymphoproliferative disorders. We examined the bone marrow in our first evaluation of 161 patients with MND seen at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center during 1991-1994. Four of 161 patients (2.5%) had lymphoproliferative disease in the marrow; only 1 of these had a monoclonal paraprotein. Routine bone marrow examination of patients with MND increases the diagnostic yield of lymphoproliferative diseases. The frequency of these bone marrow abnormalities in comparison with a group of age-matched control subjects should be studied further.