Introduction and objective:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. The disease leads to severe disability and eventually death from respiratory failure. Currently, attention is paid to the presence of major depression as an early marker of brain degeneration. The aim of the study was to review the literature on the occurrence of depression in patients with ALS.

Review methods:
Literature from the PubMed/Medline database covering the years 2004–2021 was included.

Brief description of the state of knowledge:
ALS patients are more likely to be diagnosed with depression. Studies have shown that the severity of depressive symptoms was related to gender, employment, perceived health status and the type of ALS. The severity of depression correlated with faster disease progression and worse functional status. Moreover, there is a high prevalence of depression in patients with ALS and cognitive impairment, compared with patients without cognitive deficits. However, in other studies it was observed that depression was not related to the duration and clinical presentation of the disease, gender, age at its onset, and the functional status of patients. Also, the occurrence and severity of depression were not correlated with disease progression. There were also no significant correlations between the level of depression and cognitive functions. A review of the literature shows that depression in ALS has a significant impact on both the physical and psychological domains of the quality of life.

Depression in patients with ALS occurs with varying frequency. The results of research regarding the influence of various factors on the incidence of depression in ALS patients are inconclusive. Depression in ALS is associated with poorer quality of life and social withdrawal.

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