Appetite and quality of life in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A scoping review

Max Sarmet, Aamna Kabani, Nicholas J. Maragakis, Ambereen K. Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Loss of appetite is related to undesirable loss of weight in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and affects up to two thirds of people with this disease. Little is known about the instruments used to measure appetite loss, its impact on quality of life (QoL), or strategies used to improve loss of appetite. In this study we aim to characterize the existing literature on the symptom of appetite loss in ALS through a systematic scoping review following the framework by Arksey and O'Malley and PRISMA guidelines. Studies assessing appetite in people with ALS (pALS) published in English and indexed on Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus databases were included. A total of 156 full references were identified, of which 10 articles met the inclusion criteria and were eligible for data synthesis after screening. Seven unique instruments were used to assess appetite across the included studies, most commonly the Council of Nutrition Appetite Questionnaire. No studies included a subjective assessment of appetite loss. A total of 12 unique potential associated factors across five studies were identified. QoL was measured in seven studies using nine different QoL measurement tools. Few studies measure appetite in pALS and there is no consensus on the assessment tool used. Few studies evaluated the impact of appetite as a symptom on QoL. Furthermore, the heterogeneity of outcomes and risk factors of the existing data limit the clinical application of these findings. Future studies are needed to guide clinical management and interventions for people with ALS and appetite loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-660
Number of pages8
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • appetite alteration
  • motor neuron disease
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • neuromuscular diseases
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Appetite and quality of life in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A scoping review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this