Researchers say the results of a new study on long-term use of noninvasive ventilation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients shed doubt on the benefits of long-term NIV in ALS. The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, found that despite improved respiration, the patients’ quality of life may worsen over time.

Researchers evaluated quality of life for 77 patients undergoing NIV (30 with ALS and 47 without ALS) based on several questionnaires including:

  • Short Form 36 (SF-36);
  • Severe Respiratory Insufficiency (SRI);
  • Maugeri Respiratory Failure (MRF-28); and
  • Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

Analysis revealed that NIV significantly improved respiration in both groups after two and six months. However, although it also improved quality of life in the other patients, the ALS patients showed a different pattern. After two months, only three domains of the SRI questionnaire had significantly improved in ALS patients, and after six months, the quality of life of these patients was even worse.