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Sample records for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou Gehrig disease; ALS; Upper and lower motor neuron disease; Motor neuron disease ... 98. Shaw PJ. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other motor neuron diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil ...

  2. Optineurin and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, Hirofumi; Kawakami, Hideshi

    2013-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating disease, and thus it is important to identify the causative gene and resolve the mechanism of the disease. We identified optineurin as a causative gene for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We found three types of mutations: a homozygous deletion of exon 5, a homozygous Q398X nonsense mutation and a heterozygous E478G missense mutation within its ubiquitin-binding domain. Optineurin negatively regulates the tumor necrosis factor-α-induced activation of nuclear factor kappa B. Nonsense and missense mutations abolished this function. Mutations related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also negated the inhibition of interferon regulatory factor-3. The missense mutation showed a cyotoplasmic distribution different from that of the wild type. There are no specific clinical symptoms related to optineurin. However, severe brain atrophy was detected in patients with homozygous deletion. Neuropathologically, an E478G patient showed transactive response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa-positive neuronal intracytoplasmic inclusions in the spinal and medullary motor neurons. Furthermore, Golgi fragmentation was identified in 73% of this patient's anterior horn cells. In addition, optineurin is colocalized with fused in sarcoma in the basophilic inclusions of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with fused in sarcoma mutations, and in basophilic inclusion body disease. These findings strongly suggest that optineurin is involved in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  3. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... ALS Neurons' broken machinery piles up in ALS Esclerosis Lateral Amiotrófica Dormant viral genes may awaken to ... Dementia Information Page Multifocal Motor Neuropathy Information Page Multiple Sclerosis Information Page Muscular Dystrophy Information Page Myasthenia ...

  4. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh P Nigel

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by progressive muscular paralysis reflecting degeneration of motor neurones in the primary motor cortex, corticospinal tracts, brainstem and spinal cord. Incidence (average 1.89 per 100,000/year and prevalence (average 5.2 per100,000 are relatively uniform in Western countries, although foci of higher frequency occur in the Western Pacific. The mean age of onset for sporadic ALS is about 60 years. Overall, there is a slight male prevalence (M:F ratio~1.5:1. Approximately two thirds of patients with typical ALS have a spinal form of the disease (limb onset and present with symptoms related to focal muscle weakness and wasting, where the symptoms may start either distally or proximally in the upper and lower limbs. Gradually, spasticity may develop in the weakened atrophic limbs, affecting manual dexterity and gait. Patients with bulbar onset ALS usually present with dysarthria and dysphagia for solid or liquids, and limbs symptoms can develop almost simultaneously with bulbar symptoms, and in the vast majority of cases will occur within 1–2 years. Paralysis is progressive and leads to death due to respiratory failure within 2–3 years for bulbar onset cases and 3–5 years for limb onset ALS cases. Most ALS cases are sporadic but 5–10% of cases are familial, and of these 20% have a mutation of the SOD1 gene and about 2–5% have mutations of the TARDBP (TDP-43 gene. Two percent of apparently sporadic patients have SOD1 mutations, and TARDBP mutations also occur in sporadic cases. The diagnosis is based on clinical history, examination, electromyography, and exclusion of 'ALS-mimics' (e.g. cervical spondylotic myelopathies, multifocal motor neuropathy, Kennedy's disease by appropriate investigations. The pathological hallmarks comprise loss of motor neurones with intraneuronal ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions in upper motor neurones and TDP-43

  5. Diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowland, L P

    1998-10-01

    This review of the differential diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis focuses on two themes. The first is practical, how to establish the diagnosis based primarily on clinical findings buttressed by electrodiagnosis. The main considerations are multifocal motor neuropathy and cervical spondylotic myelopathy. The second theme is the relationship of motor neuron disease to other conditions, including benign fasciculation (Denny-Brown, Foley syndrome), paraneoplastic syndromes, lymphoproliferative disease, radiation damage, monomelic amyotrophy (Hirayama syndrome), as well as an association with parkinsonism, dementia and multisystem disorders of the central nervous system.

  6. Genetics Home Reference: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Lattante S, Ciura S, Rouleau GA, Kabashi E. Defining the genetic connection linking amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Trends Genet. 2015 May;31(5):263-73. ...

  7. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Historical Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Jonathan S; Dimachkie, Mazen M; Barohn, Richard J

    2015-11-01

    This article looks back in time to see where the foundational basis for the understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis originated. This foundation was created primarily in France by Jean-Martin Charcot and his fellow countrymen and disciples, along with key contributions from early clinicians in England and Germany. The early work on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis provides a useful foundation for today's clinicians with respect to tying together genetic and biologic aspects of the disorder that have been discovered over the past few decades.

  8. Traces of disease in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verstraete, E.

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disease of the motor system involving both upper motor neurons in the brain and lower motor neurons in the spinal cord. Patients suffer from progressive wasting and weakness of limb, bulbar and respiratory muscles. Onset and disease course in ALS

  9. Sweet food preference in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Turner, M; Talbot, K

    2017-01-01

    An elderly female developed anarthria with prominent emotionality over an 18 month period prior to specialist neurological assessment. Although tongue electromyography (EMG) was normal, corticobulbar signs were consistent with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a pattern which in the absence of functional impairment outside of speech and swallowing, is appropriately termed progressive bulbar palsy

  10. Clinical psychology and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Pagnini

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a fatal and progressive disease, characterized by progressive muscles weakness, with consequent loss of physical capacities. Psychologists can play an important role in ALS care, by providing clinical activities in every step of the disease, including support and counseling activities directed to patients, their caregivers and to physicians.

  11. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Regional Variants (Brachial Amyotrophic Diplegia, Leg Amyotrophic Diplegia, and Isolated Bulbar Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jawdat, Omar; Statland, Jeffrey M; Barohn, Richard J; Katz, Jonathan S; Dimachkie, Mazen M

    2015-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal disease, involves mixed upper and lower motor neurons in different spinal cord regions. Patients with bulbar onset progress more rapidly than patients with limb onset or with a lower motor neuron presentation. Recent descriptions of regional variants suggest some patients have ALS isolated to a single spinal region for many years, including brachial amyotrophic diplegia, leg amyotrophic diplegia, and isolated bulbar palsy. Clearer definitions of regional variants will have implications for prognosis, understanding the pathophysiology of ALS, identifying genetic factors related to slower disease progression, and future planning of clinical trials.

  12. The management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Phukan, Julie

    2009-02-01

    The terms amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or motor neuron disease (MND) refer to a condition characterized by motor system degeneration with relative preservation of other pathways. Although there have been advances in symptomatic treatment, ALS remains an incurable condition. Advances in ALS management prolong survival but simultaneously raise challenging ethical dilemmas for physicians, patients and their families. Here, we review current practice in the management of ALS including pharmacological treatment, nutritional management, respiratory care, and evolving strategies in the management of cognitive impairment.

  13. Clinical neurorestorative progress in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen L

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Lin Chen,1,2,5 Hongyun Huang,3 Haitao Xi,4,5 Gengsheng Mao3 1Medical Center, Tsinghua University, 2Tsinghua University Yuquan Hospital, 3General Hospital of Chinese People's Armed Police Forces, 4Beijing Rehabilitation Hospital of Capital Medical University, 5Beijing Hongtianji Neuroscience Academy, Beijing, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive paralysis and motor neuron death. In addition to symptomatic managements such as ventilation and nutritional support, neurorestorative therapies have demonstrated anti-neurodegenerative potential and may improve quality of life for patients. Currently, clinical neurorestorative strategies include pharmacological management (granulocyte colony stimulating factor, neuromodulatory intervention (repetitive transcranial magnetic and cortical stimulation, cell transplantation (bone marrow stromal cells, olfactory ensheathing cells, granulocyte colony stimulating factor-mobilized peripheral blood stromal cells, hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, neural stem/progenitor cells, CD133+ cells and CD34+ cells, bioengineering and tissue engineering therapy, and combined neurorehabilitative treatment. In this review, we describe the latest progress in clinical neurorestorative management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and discuss the underlying evidence base. Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, neurorestorative treatment, cell transplantation, clinical trial

  14. The changing scene of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robberecht, Wim; Philips, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    Several recent breakthroughs have provided notable insights into the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), with some even shifting our thinking about this neurodegenerative disease and raising the question as to whether this disorder is a proteinopathy, a ribonucleopathy or both. In addition, these breakthroughs have revealed mechanistic links between ALS and frontotemporal dementia, as well as between ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as the cerebellar atrophies, myotonic dystrophy and inclusion body myositis. Here, we summarize the new findings in ALS research, discuss what they have taught us about this disease and examine issues that are still outstanding.

  15. Quantifying Disease Progression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Neil G; Turner, Martin R; Vucic, Steve; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Shefner, Jeremy; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) exhibits characteristic variability of onset and rate of disease progression, with inherent clinical heterogeneity making disease quantitation difficult. Recent advances in understanding pathogenic mechanisms linked to the development of ALS impose an increasing need to develop strategies to predict and more objectively measure disease progression. This review explores phenotypic and genetic determinants of disease progression in ALS, and examines established and evolving biomarkers that may contribute to robust measurement in longitudinal clinical studies. With targeted neuroprotective strategies on the horizon, developing efficiencies in clinical trial design may facilitate timely entry of novel treatments into the clinic. PMID:25223628

  16. Pemphigus vulgaris and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokhtari, Fatemeh; Matin, Marzieh; Rajati, Fatemeh

    2016-01-01

    Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune bullous and erosive mucocutaneous disease. Rarely, it occurs in patients with other autoimmune disease. The relation between PV and neurological disorders is unclear and needs to be more studied. Here, we report a case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), followed by dermatologic involvement. Histopathological evidence and direct immunofluorescence are consistent with PV. Systemic corticosteroid and azathioprine were effective in the treatment of mucocutaneous lesions. PV seems to be accidentally associated with ALS. Expression of major histocompatibility complex Class II in autoimmune disease and production of autoantibodies have been proposed to describe the association of PV with ALS. PMID:28163728

  17. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: one or multiple causes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Furtado Bastos

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is the most common form of motor neuron disease in the adulthood, and it is characterized by rapid and progressive compromise of the upper and lower motor neurons. The majority of the cases of ALS are classified as sporadic and, until now, a specific cause for these cases still is unknown. To present the different hypotheses on the etiology of ALS. It was carried out a search in the databases: Bireme, Scielo and Pubmed, in the period of 1987 to 2011, using the following keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, motor neuron disease, etiology, causes and epidemiology and its similar in Portuguese and Spanish. It did not have consensus as regards the etiology of ALS. Researches demonstrates evidences as regards intoxication by heavy metals, environmental and occupational causes, genetic mutations (superoxide dismutase 1, certain viral infections and the accomplishment of vigorous physical activity for the development of the disease. There is still no consensus regarding the involved factors in the etiology of ALS. In this way, new research about these etiologies are necessary, for a better approach of the patients, promoting preventive programs for the disease and improving the quality of life of the patients.

  18. High-fat and ketogenic diets in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paganoni, Sabrina; Wills, Anne-Marie

    2013-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease. Epidemiologic data suggest that malnutrition is a common feature in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and being overweight or obese confers a survival advantage in this patient population. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse models, a high-fat diet has been shown to lead to weight gain and prolonged survival. However, little research has been conducted to test whether nutritional interventions might ameliorate the disease course in humans. Here we review the currently available evidence supporting the potential role of dietary interventions as a therapeutic tool for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ultimately, determining whether a high-fat or ketogenic diet could be beneficial in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis will require large randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.

  19. Motoneuron firing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamede eDe Carvalho

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is an inexorably progressive neurodegenerative disorder involving the classical motor system and the frontal effector brain, causing muscular weakness and atrophy, with variable upper motor neuron signs and often an associated fronto-temporal dementia. The physiological disturbance consequent on the motor system degeneration is beginning to be well understood. In this review we describe aspects of the motor cortical, neuronal and lower motor neuron dysfunction. We show how studies of the changes in the pattern of motor unit firing help delineate the underlying pathophysiological disturbance as the disease progresses. Such studies are beginning to illuminate the underlying disordered pathophysiological processes in the disease, and are important in designing new approaches to therapy and especially for clinical trials.

  20. A comprehensive review of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarei, Sara; Carr, Karen; Reiley, Luz; Diaz, Kelvin; Guerra, Orleiquis; Altamirano, Pablo Fernandez; Pagani, Wilfredo; Lodin, Daud; Orozco, Gloria; Chinea, Angel

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons with an incidence of about 1/100,000. Most ALS cases are sporadic, but 5–10% of the cases are familial ALS. Both sporadic and familial ALS (FALS) are associated with degeneration of cortical and spinal motor neurons. The etiology of ALS remains unknown. However, mutations of superoxide dismutase 1 have been known as the most common cause of FALS. In this study, we provide a comprehensive review of ALS. We cover all aspects of the disease including epidemiology, comorbidities, environmental risk factor, molecular mechanism, genetic factors, symptoms, diagnostic, treatment, and even the available supplement and management of ALS. This will provide the reader with an advantage of receiving a broad range of information about the disease. PMID:26629397

  1. [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and respiratory insufficiency].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siirala, Waltteri; Korpela, Jaana; Vuori, Arno; Saaresranta, Tarja; Olkkola, Klaus T; Aantaa, Riku

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease causing degeneration of motor neurons, without any curative treatment. The most common cause of death is respiratory arrest due to atrophy of the respiratory musculature. ALS-associated respiratory insufficiency differs in mechanism from the more common causes of dyspnea, such as diseases of pulmonary or cardiac origin. Recognizing the respiratory insufficiency can be challenging for a clinician. It should be possible to predict the development of respiratory insufficiency in order to avoid leaving the treatment decisions concerning respiratory insufficiency to emergency services. Noninvasive ventilatory support can be used to alleviate the patient's dyspnea. It is actually recommended as the first-line treatment of ALS-associated respiratory insufficiency.

  2. Dysarthria in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomik, Barbara; Guiloff, Roberto J

    2010-01-01

    Dysarthria is a motor disorder of speech characterized by abnormalities of the articulation and intelligibility of speech. Phonation and the rate of facial movements may also be affected. Understanding the nature and course of dysarthria in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is important because loss of communication prevents patients from participating in many activities, may lead to social isolation, and reduces the quality of life. The goal of management of dysarthria in ALS patients is to optimize communication effectiveness for as long as possible. The information about dysarthria in ALS is dispersed in physiological, pathological, speech therapy, otorhinolaringological and neurological publications. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge on the clinical features, differential diagnosis, pathophysiology, investigations and management of dysarthria in ALS patients. There is a need to compare the different methods used to assess dysarthria and for controlled clinical trials to assess therapeutic strategies.

  3. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis associated with pregnancy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyagi A

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is the most common, progressive motor neurone disease but is rare in the obstetric population. Only 4 cases have been described in the English literature since 1975. We describe a 29 year old woman who presented with ataxia, lower limb weakness and dysarthria 4 weeks after the birth of her first child. The symptoms had onset during the pregnancy but had not been considered remarkable. There were clinical features of upper and lower motor neurone involvement without any sensory loss. MRI of brain and spine was normal. CSF analysis was negative. EMG studies confirmed the presence of widespread anterior horn cell dysfunction compatible with ALS. The patient was commenced on Riluzole and has progressed clinically, at 12 months post diagnosis.

  4. Immune system alterations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hovden, H; Frederiksen, J L; Pedersen, S W

    2013-01-01

    cells working together are necessary for the pathogenesis of the disease. Observed immune system alterations could indicate an active participation in this mechanism. Damaged motor neurons are able to activate microglia, astrocytes and the complement system, which further can influence each other...... give more insight into the disease. Markers from the classical complement pathway are elevated where its initiator C1q appears to derive primarily from motor neurons. Activated microglia and astrocytes are found in close proximity to dying motor neurons. Their activation status and proliferation......Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease of which the underlying cause and pathogenesis are unknown. Cumulatative data clearly indicates an active participation by the immune system in the disease. An increasingly recognized theory suggests a non-cell autonomous mechanism, meaning that multiple...

  5. A comprehensive review of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Zarei

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a late-onset fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons with an incidence of about 1/100,000. Most ALS cases are sporadic, but 5-10% of the cases are familial ALS. Both sporadic and familial ALS (FALS are associated with degeneration of cortical and spinal motor neurons. The etiology of ALS remains unknown. However, mutations of superoxide dismutase 1 have been known as the most common cause of FALS. In this study, we provide a comprehensive review of ALS. We cover all aspects of the disease including epidemiology, comorbidities, environmental risk factor, molecular mechanism, genetic factors, symptoms, diagnostic, treatment, and even the available supplement and management of ALS. This will provide the reader with an advantage of receiving a broad range of information about the disease.

  6. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis associated with pregnancy.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Tyagi, A

    2012-02-03

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common, progressive motor neurone disease but is rare in the obstetric population. Only 4 cases have been described in the English literature since 1975. We describe a 29 year old woman who presented with ataxia, lower limb weakness and dysarthria 4 weeks after the birth of her first child. The symptoms had onset during the pregnancy but had not been considered remarkable. There were clinical features of upper and lower motor neurone involvement without any sensory loss. MRI of brain and spine was normal. CSF analysis was negative. EMG studies confirmed the presence of widespread anterior horn cell dysfunction compatible with ALS. The patient was commenced on Riluzole and has progressed clinically, at 12 months post diagnosis.

  7. Management of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Calvo

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons. We report a case of a 45-years-old patient with ALS to underline difficulties and challenges in ALS management. Even though ALS remains fatal, several advances have been made in improving the consequences of this disease: symptomatic treatments have an important role in controlling sialorrhea, bronchial secretions, pseudobulbar emotional lability, cramps, spasticity, depression and anxiety, insomnia and pain. An adequate management of ALS should be multidisciplinar, involving not only the neurologist, but also family physicians and many other specialists, such as pulmonologist, rehabilitation medicine physician, speech therapist, dietitian and psychologist. The multidisciplinary approach should be aimed at relieving specific problems associated with the disability of single patients and improving their quality of life.

  8. Electrodiagnosis in persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Nanette C; Carter, Gregory T

    2013-05-01

    Electrophysiology remains an important tool in the evaluation of patients presenting with signs and symptoms of motor neuron disease. The electrodiagnostic study should include peripheral nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography to both exclude treatable disease and gather evidence regarding a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The recent changes in the revised El Escorial criteria, recommended by the Awaji-shima consensus group, have increased the diagnostic significance of fasciculation potentials to equal that of fibrillation and positive sharp-wave potentials in the needle electromyography examination of patients suspected of having ALS. In addition, electrophysiologic evidence is now considered equivalent to clinical signs and symptoms in reaching a diagnostic certainty of ALS. These changes, strategies for the design, and implementation of an effective electrodiagnostic evaluation, in addition to electrophysiologic techniques and their relationship to the evaluation of a patient with ALS, are reviewed and discussed.

  9. Risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingre C

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Caroline Ingre,1 Per M Roos,2 Fredrik Piehl,1 Freya Kamel,3 Fang Fang4 1Department of Clinical Neuroscience, 2Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; 3Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA; 4Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Abstract: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is the most common motor neuron disease. It is typically fatal within 2–5 years of symptom onset. The incidence of ALS is largely uniform across most parts of the world, but an increasing ALS incidence during the last decades has been suggested. Although recent genetic studies have substantially improved our understanding of the causes of ALS, especially familial ALS, an important role of non-genetic factors in ALS is recognized and needs further study. In this review, we briefly discuss several major genetic contributors to ALS identified to date, followed by a more focused discussion on the most commonly examined non-genetic risk factors for ALS. We first review factors related to lifestyle choices, including smoking, intake of antioxidants, physical fitness, body mass index, and physical exercise, followed by factors related to occupational and environmental exposures, including electromagnetic fields, metals, pesticides, β-methylamino-L-alanine, and viral infection. Potential links between ALS and other medical conditions, including head trauma, metabolic diseases, cancer, and inflammatory diseases, are also discussed. Finally, we outline several future directions aiming to more efficiently examine the role of non-genetic risk factors in ALS. Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, risk factors, genetics, lifestyle, environment

  10. Alterations in the hypothalamic melanocortin pathway in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vercruysse, Pauline; Sinniger, Jérôme; El Oussini, Hajer; Scekic-Zahirovic, Jelena; Dieterlé, Stéphane; Dengler, Reinhard; Meyer, Thomas; Zierz, Stephan; Kassubek, Jan; Fischer, Wilhelm; Dreyhaupt, Jens; Grehl, Torsten; Hermann, Andreas; Grosskreutz, Julian; Witting, Anke; Van Den Bosch, Ludo; Spreux-Varoquaux, Odile; Ludolph, Albert C; Dupuis, Luc

    2016-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease, leads to death within 3 to 5 years after onset. Beyond progressive motor impairment, patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis suffer from major defects in energy metabolism, such as weight loss, which are well correlated with survival. Indeed, nutritional intervention targeting weight loss might improve survival of patients. However, the neural mechanisms underlying metabolic impairment in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis remain elusive, in particular due to the lack of longitudinal studies. Here we took advantage of samples collected during the clinical trial of pioglitazone (GERP-ALS), and characterized longitudinally energy metabolism of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in response to pioglitazone, a drug with well-characterized metabolic effects. As expected, pioglitazone decreased glycaemia, decreased liver enzymes and increased circulating adiponectin in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, showing its efficacy in the periphery. However, pioglitazone did not increase body weight of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis independently of bulbar involvement. As pioglitazone increases body weight through a direct inhibition of the hypothalamic melanocortin system, we studied hypothalamic neurons producing proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and the endogenous melanocortin inhibitor agouti-related peptide (AGRP), in mice expressing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked mutant SOD1(G86R). We observed lower Pomc but higher Agrp mRNA levels in the hypothalamus of presymptomatic SOD1(G86R) mice. Consistently, numbers of POMC-positive neurons were decreased, whereas AGRP fibre density was elevated in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus of SOD1(G86R) mice. Consistent with a defect in the hypothalamic melanocortin system, food intake after short term fasting was increased in SOD1(G86R) mice. Importantly, these findings were replicated in two other amyotrophic

  11. Molecular Motor Proteins and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manal Farg

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor neurons in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord, which is characterized by motor dysfunction, muscle dystrophy and progressive paralysis. Both inherited and sporadic forms of ALS share common pathological features, however, the initial trigger of neurodegeneration remains unknown. Motor neurons are uniquely targeted by ubiquitously expressed proteins in ALS but the reason for this selectively vulnerability is unclear. However motor neurons have unique characteristics such as very long axons, large cell bodies and high energetic metabolism, therefore placing high demands on cellular transport processes. Defects in cellular trafficking are now widely reported in ALS, including dysfunction to the molecular motors dynein and kinesin. Abnormalities to dynein in particular are linked to ALS, and defects in dynein-mediated axonal transport processes have been reported as one of the earliest pathologies in transgenic SOD1 mice. Furthermore, dynein is very highly expressed in neurons and neurons are particularly sensitive to dynein dysfunction. Hence, unravelling cellular transport processes mediated by molecular motor proteins may help shed light on motor neuron loss in ALS.

  12. Respiratory exercise in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Susana; Swash, Michael; de Carvalho, Mamede

    2012-01-01

    We have evaluated the potential role of respiratory exercise by implementing specific inspiratory muscle training in a selected population of early-affected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. We studied 26 patients with ALS with normal respiratory function using two groups of patients in a parallel, control-group, randomized, delayed-start design. Patients in the first group (G1) started the active inspiratory exercise programme at entry and were followed for eight months, while the second group (G2) of patients followed a placebo exercise programme for the first four months and then active exercise for the second four-month period. The primary outcome measure was the ALSFRS. Respiratory tests, neurophysiological measurements, fatigue and quality of life scales were secondary outcomes. Analysis of covariance was used to compare changes between and within groups. Results showed that there was no significant difference between the two patient groups. Within-group analysis suggested that inspiratory exercise promotes a transient improvement in the respiratory subscore and in the maximal voluntary ventilation, peak expiratory flow, and sniff inspiratory pressure. In conclusion, there was no clear positive or negative outcome of the respiratory exercise protocol we have proposed, but we cannot rule out a minor positive effect. Exercise regimes merit more detailed clinical evaluation in ALS.

  13. Redox Regulation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonam Parakh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that results from the death of upper and lower motor neurons. Due to a lack of effective treatment, it is imperative to understand the underlying mechanisms and processes involved in disease progression. Regulations in cellular reduction/oxidation (redox processes are being increasingly implicated in disease. Here we discuss the possible involvement of redox dysregulation in the pathophysiology of ALS, either as a cause of cellular abnormalities or a consequence. We focus on its possible role in oxidative stress, protein misfolding, glutamate excitotoxicity, lipid peroxidation and cholesterol esterification, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired axonal transport and neurofilament aggregation, autophagic stress, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress. We also speculate that an ER chaperone protein disulphide isomerase (PDI could play a key role in this dysregulation. PDI is essential for normal protein folding by oxidation and reduction of disulphide bonds, and hence any disruption to this process may have consequences for motor neurons. Addressing the mechanism underlying redox regulation and dysregulation may therefore help to unravel the molecular mechanism involved in ALS.

  14. Narrative discourse deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menaged, Anna; Olm, Christopher; McMillan, Corey T.; Boller, Ashley; Irwin, David J.; McCluskey, Leo; Elman, Lauren; Grossman, Murray

    2014-01-01

    Objective: We examined narrative discourse in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to assess the role of executive functioning in support of language and the neuroanatomical basis for such support. Methods: We analyzed a semistructured speech sample in 26 patients with ALS and 19 healthy seniors for narrative discourse features of coherence. Regression analyses related a measure of discourse coherence (“local connectedness”) to gray matter atrophy and reduced white matter fractional anisotropy. Results: Patients with ALS were impaired relative to controls on measures of discourse adequacy, including local connectedness and maintenance of the theme. These discourse measures were related to measures of executive functioning but not to motor functioning. Regressions related local connectedness to gray matter atrophy in ventral and dorsal prefrontal regions and to reduced fractional anisotropy in white matter tracts mediating projections between prefrontal regions. Conclusion: Patients with ALS exhibit deficits in their ability to organize narrative discourse. These deficits appear to be related in part to executive limitations. Consistent with the hypothesis that ALS is a multisystem disorder, this deficit is related to disease in prefrontal regions. PMID:24991038

  15. Redox regulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parakh, Sonam; Spencer, Damian M; Halloran, Mark A; Soo, Kai Y; Atkin, Julie D

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that results from the death of upper and lower motor neurons. Due to a lack of effective treatment, it is imperative to understand the underlying mechanisms and processes involved in disease progression. Regulations in cellular reduction/oxidation (redox) processes are being increasingly implicated in disease. Here we discuss the possible involvement of redox dysregulation in the pathophysiology of ALS, either as a cause of cellular abnormalities or a consequence. We focus on its possible role in oxidative stress, protein misfolding, glutamate excitotoxicity, lipid peroxidation and cholesterol esterification, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired axonal transport and neurofilament aggregation, autophagic stress, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. We also speculate that an ER chaperone protein disulphide isomerase (PDI) could play a key role in this dysregulation. PDI is essential for normal protein folding by oxidation and reduction of disulphide bonds, and hence any disruption to this process may have consequences for motor neurons. Addressing the mechanism underlying redox regulation and dysregulation may therefore help to unravel the molecular mechanism involved in ALS.

  16. Lockhart Clarke's contribution to the description of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Martin R; Swash, Michael; Ebers, George C

    2010-11-01

    The definition of the clinicopathological entity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis evolved over half a century. Although the definitive term amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that acknowledged both upper and lower motor neuron involvement was attributed to Jean-Martin Charcot in 1874, his initial case was published nearly a decade earlier; and it is accepted that, from at least the 1830s, several others (including Charles Bell, François-Amilcar Aran and Jean Cruveilhier) had already recognized a progressive lower motor neuron-only syndrome within a broader, clinically-defined group of disorders, termed progressive muscular atrophy. Although William Gowers first grouped the three phenotypes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, progressive muscular atrophy and progressive bulbar palsy together as part of the same syndrome, the term motor neuron disease, as an over-arching label, was not suggested until nearly a century later by W. Russell Brain. Augustus Jacob Lockhart Clarke (1817-80) is best known for his descriptions of spinal cord anatomy. However, in two detailed case reports from the 1860s, he carried out rigorous post-mortem neuropathological studies of what appear to be classical cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Furthermore, he recognized the additional involvement of the corticospinal tracts that distinguished this from progressive muscular atrophy. Several aspects of the exquisite clinical histories documented as part of both studies, one by Charles Bland Radcliffe, resonate with contemporary debates concerning the evolution of disease in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These 'past masters' still have much to teach us.

  17. 76 FR 78823 - Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Evaluation of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-20

    ... criterion provided for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to provide an evaluation of 100 percent for any... revise the evaluation criterion for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the VA Schedule for Rating... Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association. The comments from the general public included 5 from veterans...

  18. 38 CFR 3.318 - Presumptive service connection for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... connection for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 3.318 Section 3.318 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief... sclerosis. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the development of amyotrophic lateral... under this section: (1) If there is affirmative evidence that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was...

  19. Endocannabinoids in Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pryce, Gareth; Baker, David

    2015-01-01

    There are numerous reports that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have for many years been self-medicating with illegal street cannabis or more recently medicinal cannabis to alleviate the symptoms associated with MS and also amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These anecdotal reports have been confirmed by data from animal models and more recently clinical trials on the ability of cannabinoids to alleviate limb spasticity, a common feature of progressive MS (and also ALS) and neurodegeneration. Experimental studies into the biology of the endocannabinoid system have revealed that cannabinoids have efficacy, not only in symptom relief but also as neuroprotective agents which may slow disease progression and thus delay the onset of symptoms. This review discusses what we now know about the endocannabinoid system as it relates to MS and ALS and also the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid therapeutics as disease-modifying or symptom control agents, as well as future therapeutic strategies including the potential for slowing disease progression in MS and ALS.

  20. Wnt and Extraocular Muscle Sparing in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The potential role of Wnt signaling factors in extraocular muscle (EOM) sparing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was examined. Three of the Wnts were preferentially upregulated in EOM, suggesting that they may be involved in maintenance of neuromuscular junctions in the EOM of ALS patients.

  1. Insulin-like growth factor system in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilczak, N; de Keyser, J; Cianfarani, S; Clemmons, DR; Savage, MO

    2005-01-01

    Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is a neurotrophic factor with insulin-like metabolic activities, and possesses potential clinical applications, particularly in neurodegenerative disorders. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a chronic progressive devastating disorder of the central nervous s

  2. Risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis : Lifestyle, environment and genetics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seelen, M.

    2015-01-01

    In this thesis the results of studies aiming to identify risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are described. A population-based case-control design was used to perform (1) epidemiological risk factor studies, examining lifestyle factors and environmental exposures, and (2) genetic st

  3. Unravelling the genetics of familial and sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Es, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neuron disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised by the selective loss of motor neurons in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. Patients suffer from progressive wasting and weakness of limb, bulbar and respiratory muscles, and

  4. The genetics and neuropathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Jones, Ashley; Troakes, Claire; King, Andrew; Al-Sarraj, Safa; van den Berg, Leonard H.

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons leading to death from respiratory failure within about 3 years of symptom onset. A family history of ALS is obtained in about 5 % but the distinction between familial and apparently sporadic ALS is artificial and gen

  5. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: genetic susceptibility factors and pleiotropy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Diekstra, F.P.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness, spasticity, dysarthria and, ultimately, respiratory muscle insufficiency. These symptoms are caused by the loss of motor neurons in both the brain and in the anterior horn of the sp

  6. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: clinical features and current treatment approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuba Tulay Koca

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also known as Lou Gehring's disease, is the most common motor neuron disease characterized by motor neuron degeneration in the primary cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. This leads to widespread paralysis, respiratory insufficiency and death within an average of 3-5 years from disease onset. Majority of cases is sporadic and only 10% have a family story. One of the most interesting discovery in the field of neurodegeneration in recent years is genetic mutation in the C9orf72 (chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 gene, the most common mutation found to be causative of frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and concomitant of these two diseases. Currently curative therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is lacking. To date, one medication, Riluzole, has been proved to prolong survival, approximately 3-5 months, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Researches aim to slow disease progression by targeting known pathophysiological pathways or genetics defects. Only symptomatic care to improve quality of life and survival is suggested. These includes respiratory and nutrition support; dysphagia and gastrostomy management; communication and mobility programs; spasticity prevention; pain medication; management of cognitive dysfunction, depression, mood dysorders (especially apathy, fatigue, sleep disturbance and prevention of deep venous thrombosis. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2015; 24(2.000: 182-194

  7. Spatiotemporal Coupling of the Tongue in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuruvilla, Mili S.; Green, Jordan R.; Yunusova, Yana; Hanford, Kathy

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The primary aim of the investigation was to identify deficits in spatiotemporal coupling between tongue regions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The relations between disease-related changes in tongue movement patterns and speech intelligibility were also determined. Methods: The authors recorded word productions from 11…

  8. Mortality from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Finland, 1986-1995

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maasilta, P.; Jokelainen, M.; Löytönen, M.;

    2001-01-01

    Objective - To study the possible changes, between 1986 and 1995, in the mortality due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) among Finnish patients. Materials and methods - A total of 1000 deaths from ALS were extracted from the Finnish Death Certificate Register for the study years. General...

  9. Premorbid body mass index and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O'Reilly, Eilis J.; Wang, Hao; Weisskopf, Marc G.; Fitzgerald, Kathryn C.; Falcone, Guido; McCullough, Marjorie L.; Thun, Michael; Park, Yikyung; Kolonel, Laurence N.; Ascherio, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Our objective was to determine if amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) risk varies according to body mass index (BMI) captured up to three decades earlier. At baseline 537,968 females and 562,942 males in five ongoing cohorts reported height, current weight and weight at age 18/21 years. During 14-28

  10. Incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Joachim; Wöhrle, Johannes C; Palm, Frederick; Nix, Wilfred A; Maschke, Matthias; Safer, Anton; Becher, Heiko; Grau, Armin J

    2014-06-01

    There is a lack of prospective and population based epidemiological data on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Germany to date. The ALS registry Rhineland-Palatinate was established to investigate the incidence, course and phenotypic variety of ALS in this south-west German state of about 4 million inhabitants. During the period 2010-2011, consecutive incident patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis according to the revised El Escorial criteria were included and followed up using multiple overlapping sources of case ascertainment. One hundred and forty-six patients were enrolled. The annual crude incidence for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Rhineland-Palatinate was 1.8/100,000 person-years (95% CI 1.6-2.2). Male to female ratio was 1.1:1. Incidence increased with age reaching a peak in the 70-74 years age group and declined thereafter. Late-onset ALS (≥ 75 years) was found in 14.4% of patients. About 32% of patients presented with bulbar onset. In conclusion, incidence rate of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Rhineland-Palatinate is within the range of other prospective population based registers in Europe and North America. Gender ratio is nearly balanced.

  11. Evidence for an oligogenic basis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blitterswijk, M. van; Es, M.A. van; Hennekam, E.A.; Dooijes, D.; Rheenen, W. van; Medic, J.; Bourque, P.R.; Schelhaas, H.J.; Kooi, A.J. van der; Visser, M. de; Bakker, P.I. de; Veldink, J.H.; Berg, L.H. van den

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder with a substantial heritable component. In pedigrees affected by its familial form, incomplete penetrance is often observed. We hypothesized that this could be caused by a complex inheritance of risk variants in multiple genes

  12. The genetic basis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: recent breakthroughs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eykens C

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Caroline Eykens,1,2 Wim Robberecht1–31Research Group Experimental Neurology, Department of Neurosciences, KU Leuven – University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 2Laboratory of Neurobiology, Vesalius Research Center, VIB, Leuven, Belgium; 3Department of Neurology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, BelgiumAbstract: Deciphering the genetic architecture of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder of the motor neuron system, is important to understand the etiology of this fatal disease as well as to develop customized ALS therapies based on the patient's genetic fingerprint. In this review, we discuss the genetic basis of ALS, and attempt to link the causal genes to three highly interrelated pathogenic mechanisms: dysproteostasis, RNA dysregulation, and axon dysfunction. In addition, we address the clinical and biological implications of these genetic findings. Furthermore, we explore to what extent genetic knowledge can be converted into targeted and personalized treatments.Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, genetics, disease modifiers, personalized medicine

  13. Nutritional care in motor neurone disease/ amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Cleide dos Santos Salvioni

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS often present changes in nutritional status. Based on weight loss and on difficulty in nutritional management, this study aims to review the different possibilities and to present guidelines concerning nutritional treatment to such patients. Diet characteristics, types of treatment and nutritional therapy indicating administration routes and discussing the details of the disease are described herein. Nutritional therapy has been a substantial therapeutic resource for ALS development.

  14. Sporadic Parkinson disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis complex (Brait-Fahn-Schwartz disease).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manno, Concetta; Lipari, Alessio; Bono, Valeria; Taiello, Alfonsa Claudia; La Bella, Vincenzo

    2013-03-15

    Clinical evidence for parkinsonism may accompany Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with a frequency ranging from 5% to 17%. The concurrence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, outside the known Guam and Kii Peninsula foci, is instead rare, but this raises the possibility of a common pathogenesis. Clinically this complex presents with a levodopa-responsive parkinsonism and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and has been termed Brait-Fahn-Schwartz disease. Here we describe two patients with this uncommon neurodegenerative complex. Both presented with Parkinson disease and progressed to a full blown Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. We further suggest that the association of Parkinson disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis represents a distinct nosological entity, which should be kept separated from extrapyramidal signs and symptoms that may occur in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

  15. Palliative care in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a review of current international guidelines and initiatives.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Bede, Peter

    2011-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative condition. Optimal management requires a palliative approach from diagnosis with emphasis on patient autonomy, dignity and quality of life.

  16. Riluzole exerts central and peripheral modulating effects in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vucic, Steve; Lin, Cindy Shin-Yi; Cheah, Benjamin C; Murray, Jenna; Menon, Parvathi; Krishnan, Arun V; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2013-05-01

    Riluzole, a benzothiazole derivative, has been shown to be effective in prolonging survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The mechanisms by which riluzole exerts neuroprotective effects in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis remains to be fully elucidated, although inhibition of glutamatergic transmission and modulation of Na+ channel function have been proposed. In an attempt to determine the mechanisms by which riluzole exerts neuroprotective effects, in particular to dissect the relative contributions of inhibition of glutamatergic transmission and Na+ channel modulation, the present study utilized a combination of cortical and peripheral axonal excitability approaches to monitor changes in excitability and function in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Cortical assessment was undertaken by utilising the threshold tracking transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) technique and combined with peripheral axonal excitability studies in 25 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Studies were performed at baseline and repeated when patients were receiving riluzole 100 mg/day. At the time of second testing all patients were tolerating the medication well. Motor evoked potential and compound muscle action potential responses were recorded over the abductor pollicis brevis muscle. At baseline, features of cortical hyperexcitability were evident in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, indicated by marked reduction in short interval intracortical inhibition (P amyotrophic lateral sclerosis had significant increases in depolarizing threshold electrotonus [amyotrophic lateral sclerosisbaseline TEd (90-100 ms) 49.1 ± 1.8%; controlsTEd (90-100 ms) 45.2 ± 0.6%, P amyotrophic lateral sclerosisbaseline 30.1 ± 2.3%; control subjects 23.4 ± 1.0%, P amyotrophic lateral sclerosisbaseline 30.1 ± 2.3%; amyotrophic lateral sclerosisON riluzole 27.3 ± 2.3%, P amyotrophic lateral sclerosisbaseline 98.7 ± 10.7%; amyotrophic lateral sclerosisON riluzole 67.8 ± 9

  17. Bunina bodies in dendrites of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuroda,Shigetoshi

    1990-02-01

    Full Text Available We studied the brains of two cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with dementia. Bunina bodies were found in the motor neurons of cranial nerve nuclei (trigeminal, facial and hypoglossal nerves as well as in the spinal motoneurons. They appeared mostly in the cytoplasm and occasionally in the neuronal processes. However, the present electron microscopic study disclosed clearly that Bunina bodies were present not only in the cell body but also in the dendrites. No Bunina bodies were observed in the axons. It is inferred that the Bunina bodies were degenerative products formed as a result of a protein metabolism disorder.

  18. UBQLN2 in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in The Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Doormaal, Perry T C; van Rheenen, Wouter; van Blitterswijk, Marka; Schellevis, Raymond D; Schelhaas, Helenius J; de Visser, Marianne; van der Kooi, Anneke J; Veldink, Jan H; van den Berg, Leonard H

    2012-09-01

    Recently it was discovered that mutations in the UBQLN2 gene were a cause of an X-linked dominant type of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We investigated the frequency of mutations in this gene in a cohort of 92 families with ALS in the Netherlands. Eight families were excluded because of male-to-male transmission. In the remaining 84 familial ALS cases no mutations were discovered in UBQLN2. Hence, UBQLN2 was not found to be a cause of familial ALS in the Netherlands.

  19. Vocal cord dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis : four cases and a review of the literature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Graaff, Maaike M; Grolman, Wilko; Westermann, Erik J; Boogaardt, Hans C; Koelman, Hans; van der Kooi, Anneke J; Tijssen, Marina A; de Visser, Marianne

    2009-01-01

    We describe 4 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and glottic narrowing due to vocal cord dysfunction, and review the literature found using the following search terms: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, motor neuron disease, stridor, laryngospasm, vocal cord abductor paresis, and hoarsene

  20. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: applications of stem cells – an update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lidia Cova

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Lidia Cova1, Vincenzo Silani21Department of Neurology and Laboratory of Neuroscience, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milano, Italy; 2Department of Neurology and Laboratory of Neuroscience, “Dino Ferrari” Center, Università degli Studi di Milano, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milano, ItalyAbstract: Neurodegenerative diseases are a growing public health challenge, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS remains a fatal incurable disease. The advent of stem cell therapy has opened new horizons for both researchers and ALS patients, desperately looking for a treatment. ALS must be considered a systemic disease affecting many cell phenotypes besides motor neurons, even outside the central nervous system. Cell replacement therapy needs to address the specific neurobiological issues of ALS to safely and efficiently reach clinical settings. Moreover, the enormous potential of induced pluripotent cells directly derived from patients for modeling and understanding the pathological mechanisms, in correlation with the discoveries of new genes and animal models, provides new opportunities that need to be integrated with previously described transplantation strategies. Finally, a careful evaluation of preclinical data in conjunction with wary patient choice in clinical trials needs to be established in order to generate meaningful results.Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy, clinical trials

  1. Case-control study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deapen, D.M.; Henderson, B.E.

    1986-05-01

    The authors conducted a study of 518 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients identified between 1977 and 1979 and 518 controls to investigate putative risk factors for this disease. Occupations at risk of electrical exposure were reported more often by patients (odds ratio (OR) = 3.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.4-13.0) as were electrical shocks producing unconsciousness (OR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.0-9.9). Although an overall excess of physical trauma associated with unconsciousness was observed in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.0-2.4), the effect was inversely associated with duration of the unconscious episodes, suggesting an effect of recall bias. Only slight differences were found for surgical traumata to the nervous system. Parkinsonism was reported more often among first degree relatives of cases (OR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.1-7.6). The frequencies of prior poliomyelitis or other central nervous system diseases were similar for patients and controls. Occupational exposure to selected toxic substances was similar for patients and controls except for the manufacture of plastics (OR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.0-20.5), although few details of these exposures were provided. No differences in occupations with exposure to animal skins or hides were observed.

  2. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis multiprotein biomarkers in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Nardo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal progressive motor neuron disease, for which there are still no diagnostic/prognostic test and therapy. Specific molecular biomarkers are urgently needed to facilitate clinical studies and speed up the development of effective treatments. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used a two-dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis approach to identify in easily accessible clinical samples, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC, a panel of protein biomarkers that are closely associated with ALS. Validations and a longitudinal study were performed by immunoassays on a selected number of proteins. The same proteins were also measured in PBMC and spinal cord of a G93A SOD1 transgenic rat model. We identified combinations of protein biomarkers that can distinguish, with high discriminatory power, ALS patients from healthy controls (98%, and from patients with neurological disorders that may resemble ALS (91%, between two levels of disease severity (90%, and a number of translational biomarkers, that link responses between human and animal model. We demonstrated that TDP-43, cyclophilin A and ERp57 associate with disease progression in a longitudinal study. Moreover, the protein profile changes detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of ALS patients are suggestive of possible intracellular pathogenic mechanisms such as endoplasmic reticulum stress, nitrative stress, disturbances in redox regulation and RNA processing. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicate that PBMC multiprotein biomarkers could contribute to determine amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis, differential diagnosis, disease severity and progression, and may help to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms.

  3. Association between alcohol consumption and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a meta-analysis of five observational studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    E, Meng; Yu, Sufang; Dou, Jianrui; Jin, Wu; Cai, Xiang; Mao, Yiyang; Zhu, Daojian; Yang, Rumei

    2016-08-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the association between alcohol consumption and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Published literature on the association between alcohol consumption and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was retrieved from the PubMed and Embase databases. Two authors independently extracted the data. The quality of the identified studies was evaluated according to the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed and publication bias was assessed. Five articles, including one cohort study and seven case-control studies, and a total of 431,943 participants, were identified. The odds ratio for the association between alcohol consumption and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was 0.57 (95 % confidence interval 0.51-0.64). Subgroup and sensitivity analyses confirmed the result. Evidence for publication bias was detected. Alcohol consumption reduced the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis compared with non-drinking. Alcohol, therefore, has a potentially neuroprotective effect on the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  4. Current Therapy of Drugs in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Haiyan; Le, Wei Dong; Xie, Ya-Ying; Wang, Xiao-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly termed as motor neuron disease (MND) in UK, is a chronically lethal disorder among the neurodegenerative diseases, meanwhile. ALS is basically irreversible and progressive deterioration of upper and lower motor neurons in the motor cortex, brain stem and medulla spinalis. Riluzole, used for the treatment of ALS, was demonstrated to slightly delay the initiation of respiratory dysfunction and extend the median survival of patients by a few months. In this study, the key biochemical defects were discussed, such as: mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase, mitochondrial protectants, and anti-excitotoxic/ anti-oxidative / antiinflammatory/ anti-apoptotic agents, so the related drug candidates that have been studied in ALS models would possibly be further used in ALS patients.

  5. Comprehensive care of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: a care model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Güell, Maria Rosa; Antón, Antonio; Rojas-García, Ricardo; Puy, Carmen; Pradas, Jesus

    2013-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that presents with muscle weakness, causing progressive difficulty in movement, communication, eating and ultimately, breathing, creating a growing dependence on family members and other carers. The ideal way to address the problems associated with the disease, and the decisions that must be taken, is through multidisciplinary teams. The key objectives of these teams are to optimise medical care, facilitate communication between team members, and thus to improve the quality of care. In our centre, we have extensive experience in the care of patients with ALS through an interdisciplinary team whose aim is to ensure proper patient care from the hospital to the home setting. In this article, we describe the components of the team, their roles and our way of working.

  6. Abnormalities of cortical inhibitory neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enterzari-Taher, M; Eisen, A; Stewart, H; Nakajima, M

    1997-01-01

    We have used peristimulus time histograms to study how paired, transcranial magnetic stimulation alters the firing of single motor units and the magnitude of unitary excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) recorded from the extensor digitorum communis muscle. With stimulus intensity at threshold and an interstimulus interval of 30 ms, normal subjects (n = 20) demonstrated marked inhibition with a mean test/conditioning EPSP ratio of 13.8% (range 0-51%) and in 7 subjects the ratio was 0 (100% inhibition). In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) the ratio was 133% (range 64-267%), P monomelic amyotrophy. We speculate that the marked loss of inhibition seen in all patients with ALS, which may be unique to this disorder, reflects loss of inhibitory modulation of the corticomotoneuron and could result in their chronic excitatory drive and eventual demise.

  7. An Overview of DNA Repair in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Coppedè

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neuron disease (MND, is an adult onset neurodegenerative disorder characterised by the degeneration of cortical and spinal cord motor neurons, resulting in progressive muscular weakness and death. Increasing evidence supports mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative DNA damage in ALS motor neurons. Several DNA repair enzymes are activated following DNA damage to restore genome integrity, and impairments in DNA repair capabilities could contribute to motor neuron degeneration. After a brief description of the evidence of DNA damage in ALS, this paper focuses on the available data on DNA repair activity in ALS neuronal tissue and disease animal models. Moreover, biochemical and genetic data on DNA repair in ALS are discussed in light of similar findings in other neurodegenerative diseases.

  8. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Metabolomics: Clinical Implication and Therapeutic Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alok Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is one of the most common motor neurodegenerative disorders, primarily affecting upper and lower motor neurons in the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord, resulting in paralysis due to muscle weakness and atrophy. The majority of patients die within 3–5 years of symptom onset as a consequence of respiratory failure. Due to relatively fast progression of the disease, early diagnosis is essential. Metabolomics offer a unique opportunity to understand the spatiotemporal metabolic crosstalks through the assessment of body fluids and tissue. So far, one of the most challenging issues related to ALS is to understand the variation of metabolites in body fluids and CNS with the progression of disease. In this paper we will review the changes in metabolic profile in response to disease progression condition and also see the therapeutic implication of various drugs in ALS patients.

  9. Advances in treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: insights from pathophysiological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vucic, Steve; Rothstein, Jeffrey D; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2014-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most frequently occurring of the neuromuscular degenerative disorders, with a median survival time of 3-5 years. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying ALS are multifactorial, with a complex interaction between genetic factors and molecular pathways. To date 16 genes and loci have been associated with ALS, with mutations in DNA/RNA-regulating genes including the recently described c9orf72 (chromosome 9 open reading frame 72) gene, suggesting an important role for dysregulation of RNA metabolism in ALS pathogenesis. Further, dysfunction of molecular pathways, including glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity, has been identified in sporadic and familial ALS, indicating the existence of a common pathogenic pathway. These pathophysiological insights have suggested novel therapeutic approaches, including stem cell and genetics-based strategies, providing hope for feasible treatment of ALS.

  10. [A specific phobia of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS phobia)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levitskiĭ, G N; Gilod, V M; Levin, O S

    2012-01-01

    A specific phobia of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS phobia) was not previously described in the literature. We examined 21 patients, 11 men and 10 women, aged 28-72 years, with symptoms of this phobia. Only 23% of patients had a history of the psychiatric disorder in the past. The duration of phobia symptoms was significantly higher in patients with moderate and severe phobia than in mild cases (1.5±0.6 and 5.0±1.1 months respectively; рphobia was correlated with its duration (r= -0.5; p=0.004). The primary character of phobia was established in 52.4% of patients basing on the regression of phobia symptoms assessed by the Hamilton anxiety scale after psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy (17±4 and 3±1 scores before and 3 months after treatment, respectively; p<0.05).

  11. Outcome measures in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clinical trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paganoni, Sabrina; Cudkowicz, Merit; Berry, James D

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease with an average survival of 3–5 years. While therapies for ALS remain limited, basic and translational ALS research has been host to numerous influential discoveries in recent years. These discoveries have led to a large pipeline of potential therapies that await testing in clinical trials. Until recently, ALS clinical trials have relied on a limited cadre of ‘traditional’ outcome measures, including survival and measures of function. These measures have proven useful, although imperfect, in Phase III ALS trials. However, their utility in early-phase ALS trials is limited. For these early trials, outcome measures focused on target engagement or biological pathway analysis might improve trial outcomes and better support the drug development process.

  12. Therapeutic progress in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-beginning to learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vijay; Islam, Asimul; Hassan, Md Imtaiyaz; Ahmad, Faizan

    2016-10-04

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease associated with motor neuron degeneration, muscle weakness, paralysis and finally death. The proposed mechanisms of ALS include glutamate excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis and proteasomal dysfunction. Although numerous pathological mechanisms have been explained, ALS remains incurable disease because of failure of clinical trials and lack of any effective therapy. The rapid advancement in genetic discoveries in ALS emphasizes the point that ALS is a multi-subtype syndrome rather than a single disease. This can be argued as one of the single reason why many previous therapeutic drug trials have failed. Efforts to develop novel ALS treatments which target specific pathomechanisms are currently being pursued. Herein, we review the recent discovery and preclinical characterization of neuroprotective compounds and compare their effects on disease onset, duration and survival. Furthermore, the structure-activity relationships of these agents are analyzed with the overall goal of developing a screening strategy for future clinical applications.

  13. Myostatin as a therapeutic target in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Frank S; Rutkowski, Julia Lynn

    2012-11-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a devastating neurological disease that is inevitably fatal after 3-5years duration. Treatment options are minimal and as such new therapeutic modalities are required. In this review, we discuss the role of the myostatin pathway as a modulator of skeletal muscle mass and therapeutic approaches using biological based therapies. Both monoclonal antibodies to myostatin and a soluble receptor decoy to its high affinity receptor have been used in clinical trials of neuromuscular diseases and while there have been efficacy signals with the latter approach there have also been safety issues. Our approach is to target the high affinity receptor-binding site on myostatin and to develop a next generation set of therapeutic reagents built on a novel protein scaffold. This is the natural single domain VNAR found in sharks which is extremely versatile and has the ability to develop products with superior properties compared to existing therapeutics.

  14. Is SOD1 loss of function involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saccon, Rachele A; Bunton-Stasyshyn, Rosie K A; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Fratta, Pietro

    2013-08-01

    Mutations in the gene superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are causative for familial forms of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. When the first SOD1 mutations were identified they were postulated to give rise to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis through a loss of function mechanism, but experimental data soon showed that the disease arises from a--still unknown--toxic gain of function, and the possibility that loss of function plays a role in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis was abandoned. Although loss of function is not causative for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, here we re-examine two decades of evidence regarding whether loss of function may play a modifying role in SOD1-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. From analysing published data from patients with SOD1-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we find a marked loss of SOD1 enzyme activity arising from almost all mutations. We continue to examine functional data from all Sod1 knockout mice and we find obvious detrimental effects within the nervous system with, interestingly, some specificity for the motor system. Here, we bring together historical and recent experimental findings to conclude that there is a possibility that SOD1 loss of function may play a modifying role in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This likelihood has implications for some current therapies aimed at knocking down the level of mutant protein in patients with SOD1-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Finally, the wide-ranging phenotypes that result from loss of function indicate that SOD1 gene sequences should be screened in diseases other than amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  15. Vitamin D as a potential therapy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianforcaro, Alexandro; Hamadeh, Mazen J

    2014-02-01

    Vitamin D has been demonstrated to influence multiple aspects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathology. Both human and rodent central nervous systems express the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and/or its enzymatic machinery needed to fully activate the hormone. Clinical research suggests that vitamin D treatment can improve compromised human muscular ability and increase muscle size, supported by loss of motor function and muscle mass in animals following VDR knockout, as well as increased muscle protein synthesis and ATP production following vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D has also been shown to reduce the expression of biomarkers associated with oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease; diseases that share common pathophysiologies with ALS. Furthermore, vitamin D treatment greatly attenuates hypoxic brain damage in vivo and reduces neuronal lethality of glutamate insult in vitro; a hallmark trait of ALS glutamate excitotoxicity. We have recently shown that high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation improved, whereas vitamin D3 restriction worsened, functional capacity in the G93A mouse model of ALS. In sum, evidence demonstrates that vitamin D, unlike the antiglutamatergic agent Riluzole, affects multiple aspects of ALS pathophysiology and could provide a greater cumulative effect.

  16. Occupational Exposure to Electric Shocks and Magnetic Fields and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Sweden

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fischer, Heidi; Kheifets, Leeka; Huss, Anke; Peters, Tracy L; Vermeulen, Roel; Ye, Weimin; Fang, Fang; Wiebert, Pernilla; Vergara, Ximena P; Feychting, Maria

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been consistently related to "electric occupations," but associations with magnetic field levels were generally weaker than those with electrical occupations. Exposure to electric shock has been suggested as a possible explanation. Furthermore, stu

  17. Effect of Presymptomatic Body Mass Index and Consumption of Fat and Alcohol on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, M.H.B.; Seelen, M.; Doormaal, van P.T.C.; Vries, de J.H.M.

    2015-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Because dietary intakemay influence pathophysiologic mechanisms in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the association between premorbid dietary intake and the risk of sporadic ALS will provide insight into which mechanisms are possibly involved in ALS pathophogenesis. OBJECTIVE

  18. Application of botulinum toxin to treat sialorrhea in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: a literature review

    OpenAIRE

    Oliveira Filho,Ademar Francisco de; Silva,Gêssyca Adryene de Menezes; Almeida,Débora Milenna Xavier

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons, which are the central nervous system cells that control voluntary muscle movements. The excessive salivation (sialorrhea) is present in approximately 50% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases. Thus, some alternative therapeutic methods are sought, such as anticholinergic drugs and surgery. Recently the use of botulinum toxin applied at a midpoint of ...

  19. The split hand syndrome in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Andrew; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2012-04-01

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), hand muscle wasting preferentially affects the 'thenar (lateral) hand', including the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscles, with relative sparing of the hypothenar muscles (the abductor digiti minimi (ADM)). This peculiar pattern of dissociated atrophy of the intrinsic hand muscles is termed the 'split hand' and is rarely seen in diseases other than ALS. The muscles involved in the split hand are innervated through the same spinal segments (C8 and T1), and FDI and ADM, which are differentially affected, are both ulnar nerve innervated. The physiological mechanisms underlying the split hand in ALS are incompletely understood but both cortical and spinal/peripheral mechanisms are probably involved. Motor potentials evoked by magnetic stimulation are significantly smaller when recorded from the thenar complex, compared with the hypothenar muscles, supporting a cortical mechanism. But peripheral axonal excitability studies have suggested that APB/FDI motor axons have more prominent persistent sodium currents than ADM axons, leading to higher axonal excitability and thereby more ready degeneration. Pincer or precision grip is vital to human hand function, and frequent use of thenar complex muscles may lead to greater oxidative stress and metabolic demands at both upper and lower motoneurons innervating the APB and FDI. The split hand is a useful diagnostic sign in early ALS, and recent objective studies indicate that the sign has a high degree of specificity.

  20. Microstructural Correlates of Emotional Attribution Impairment in Non-Demented Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, Chiara; Cerami, Chiara; Dodich, Alessandra; Canessa, Nicola; Iannaccone, Sandro; Corbo, Massimo; Lunetta, Christian; Falini, Andrea; Cappa, Stefano F

    2016-01-01

    Impairments in the ability to recognize and attribute emotional states to others have been described in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and linked to the dysfunction of key nodes of the emotional empathy network. Microstructural correlates of such disorders are still unexplored. We investigated the white-matter substrates of emotional attribution deficits in a sample of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients without cognitive decline. Thirteen individuals with either probable or definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 14 healthy controls were enrolled in a Diffusion Tensor Imaging study and administered the Story-based Empathy Task, assessing the ability to attribute mental states to others (i.e., Intention and Emotion attribution conditions). As already reported, a significant global reduction of empathic skills, mainly driven by a failure in Emotion Attribution condition, was found in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients compared to healthy subjects. The severity of this deficit was significantly correlated with fractional anisotropy along the forceps minor, genu of corpus callosum, right uncinate and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi. The involvement of frontal commissural fiber tracts and right ventral associative fronto-limbic pathways is the microstructural hallmark of the impairment of high-order processing of socio-emotional stimuli in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These results support the notion of the neurofunctional and neuroanatomical continuum between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.

  1. Microstructural Correlates of Emotional Attribution Impairment in Non-Demented Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerami, Chiara; Dodich, Alessandra; Canessa, Nicola; Iannaccone, Sandro; Corbo, Massimo; Lunetta, Christian; Falini, Andrea; Cappa, Stefano F.

    2016-01-01

    Impairments in the ability to recognize and attribute emotional states to others have been described in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and linked to the dysfunction of key nodes of the emotional empathy network. Microstructural correlates of such disorders are still unexplored. We investigated the white-matter substrates of emotional attribution deficits in a sample of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients without cognitive decline. Thirteen individuals with either probable or definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 14 healthy controls were enrolled in a Diffusion Tensor Imaging study and administered the Story-based Empathy Task, assessing the ability to attribute mental states to others (i.e., Intention and Emotion attribution conditions). As already reported, a significant global reduction of empathic skills, mainly driven by a failure in Emotion Attribution condition, was found in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients compared to healthy subjects. The severity of this deficit was significantly correlated with fractional anisotropy along the forceps minor, genu of corpus callosum, right uncinate and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi. The involvement of frontal commissural fiber tracts and right ventral associative fronto-limbic pathways is the microstructural hallmark of the impairment of high-order processing of socio-emotional stimuli in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These results support the notion of the neurofunctional and neuroanatomical continuum between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. PMID:27513746

  2. Exposing asymmetric gray matter vulnerability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew S. Devine

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Limb weakness in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is typically asymmetric. Previous studies have identified an effect of limb dominance on onset and spread of weakness, however relative atrophy of dominant and non-dominant brain regions has not been investigated. Our objective was to use voxel-based morphometry (VBM to explore gray matter (GM asymmetry in ALS, in the context of limb dominance. 30 ALS subjects were matched with 17 healthy controls. All subjects were right-handed. Each underwent a structural MRI sequence, from which GM segmentations were generated. Patterns of GM atrophy were assessed in ALS subjects with first weakness in a right-sided limb (n = 15 or left-sided limb (n = 15. Within each group, a voxelwise comparison was also performed between native and mirror GM images, to identify regions of hemispheric GM asymmetry. Subjects with ALS showed disproportionate atrophy of the dominant (left motor cortex hand area, irrespective of the side of first limb weakness (p < 0.01. Asymmetric atrophy of the left somatosensory cortex and temporal gyri was only observed in ALS subjects with right-sided onset of limb weakness. Our VBM protocol, contrasting native and mirror images, was able to more sensitively detect asymmetric GM pathology in a small cohort, compared with standard methods. These findings indicate particular vulnerability of dominant upper limb representation in ALS, supporting previous clinical studies, and with implications for cortical organisation and selective vulnerability.

  3. Writing Errors and Anosognosia in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with Dementia

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    Hiroo Ichikawa

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS with dementia (ALS-D is known to exhibit characteristics of frontotemporal dementia. However, in clinical situations, it is often difficult to evaluate their cognitive functions because of impaired voluntary speech and physical disabilities. In order to identify characteristic and diagnostic cognitive symptoms of relatively advanced ALS-D patients, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical features of seven cases of clinically definitive ALS who had dementia, impaired voluntary speech, and physical disability. Their medical records showed that six out of seven patients made writing errors, and all of the patients demonstrated anosognosia. The writing errors consisted of paragraphia such as substitution, omission, or syntactic errors with individual differences in error types. Dissociation between kana and kanji were also observed. Anosognosia was evaluated by a self-rating scale with which the patients and the medical staff evaluated the patient's physical ability; the results indicated a large discrepancy between the evaluation by the patients and the medical staff. We emphasize that aphasic writing errors have been underestimated, particularly in ALS-D patients with impaired voluntary speech. We also reported that anosognosia was the most important and quantifiable symptom in ALS-D. The relationship between writing errors and anosognosia should be investigated further.

  4. The pre-clinical discovery of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Drugs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glicksman, Marcie A.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease is characterized by the progressive loss of cells in the brain and spinal cord that leads to debilitation and death in 3–5 years. Only one therapeutic drug, Riluzole, has been approved for ALS and that drug improves survival by 2–3 months. The need for new therapeutics, either that can postpone or slow the progression of the motor deficits and prolong survival, is still a strong unmet medical need. Areas Covered Although there are a number of drugs currently in clinical trials for ALS, this review provides an overview of the most promising biological targets and preclinical strategies that are currently being developed and deployed. The list of targets for ALS was compiled from a variety of websites including: individual companies that have ALS programs, and the author’s experience. Expert Opinion Progress is being made in the identification of possible new therapeutics for ALS with recent efforts in: understanding the genetic causes of the disease, susceptibility factors, and the development of additional preclinical animal models. However, many challenges remain in the identification of new ALS therapeutics including: the use of relevant biomarkers, the need for earlier diagnosis of the disease, and additional animal models. Multiple strategies need to be tested, in the clinic, in order to determine what will be effective in patients. PMID:22646982

  5. Axonal Dysfunction Precedes Motor Neuronal Death in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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    Yuta Iwai

    Full Text Available Wide-spread fasciculations are a characteristic feature in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, suggesting motor axonal hyperexcitability. Previous excitability studies have shown increased nodal persistent sodium conductances and decreased potassium currents in motor axons of ALS patients, both of the changes inducing hyperexcitability. Altered axonal excitability potentially contributes to motor neuron death in ALS, but the relationship of the extent of motor neuronal death and abnormal excitability has not been fully elucidated. We performed multiple nerve excitability measurements in the median nerve at the wrist of 140 ALS patients and analyzed the relationship of compound muscle action potential (CMAP amplitude (index of motor neuronal loss and excitability indices, such as strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, recovery cycle and current-threshold relationships. Compared to age-matched normal controls (n = 44, ALS patients (n = 140 had longer strength-duration time constant (SDTC: a measure of nodal persistent sodium current; p 5mV. Regression analyses showed that SDTC (R = -0.22 and depolarizing threshold electrotonus (R = -0.22 increased with CMAP decline. These findings suggest that motor nerve hyperexcitability occurs in the early stage of the disease, and precedes motor neuronal loss in ALS. Modulation of altered ion channel function could be a treatment option for ALS.

  6. Dissection of genetic factors associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblond, Claire S; Kaneb, Hannah M; Dion, Patrick A; Rouleau, Guy A

    2014-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal late onset neurological disorder characterized by motor neuron degeneration in the primary motor cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. The majority of cases are sporadic (SALS) and only 5-10% have a family history (FALS). FALS cases show a high heritability and this has enabled the identification of several genetic triggers, of which mutations in SOD1, FUS, TARDBP and C9ORF72 are the most frequent. While such advances have contributed to our current understanding of the causes of most cases of FALS and their underlying pathophysiological consequences, they only explain a small fraction of SALS with the etiology of most SALS cases remaining unexplained. Here, we review past and current methods used for the identification of FALS and SALS associated genes and propose a risk-based classification for these. We also discuss how the growing number of whole exome/genome sequencing datasets prepared from SALS cases, and control individuals, may reveal novel insights into the genetic etiology of SALS; for instance through revealing increased mutation burden rates across genes or genomic regions that were not previously associated with ALS or through allowing the examination of a potential "oligogenic" mechanism of the disease. Finally we summarize the three most recently discovered 'high risk' genes in ALS.

  7. Syntactic comprehension in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizawa, Kentarou; Yasuda, Nao; Fukuda, Michinari; Yukimoto, Yumi; Ogino, Mieko; Hata, Wakana; Ishizaka, Ikuyo; Higashikawa, Mari

    2014-01-01

    Recent neuropsychological studies of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have demonstrated that some patients have aphasic symptoms, including impaired syntactic comprehension. However, it is not known if syntactic comprehension disorder is related to executive and visuospatial dysfunction. In this study, we evaluated syntactic comprehension using the Syntax Test for Aphasia (STA) auditory comprehension task, frontal executive function using the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), visuospatial function using Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM), and dementia using the Hasegawa Dementia Scale-Revised (HDS-R) in 25 patients with ALS. Of the 25 patients, 18 (72%) had syntactic comprehension disorder (STA score < IV), nine (36%) had frontal executive dysfunction (FAB score < 14), six (24%) had visuospatial dysfunction (RCPM score < 24), and none had dementia (HDS-R score < 20). Nine of the 18 patients with syntactic comprehension disorder (50%) passed the FAB and RCPM. Although sample size was small, these patients had a low STA score but normal FAB and RCPM score. All patients with bulbar onset ALS had syntactic comprehension disorder. These results indicate that it might be necessary to assess syntactic comprehension in patients with bulbar onset ALS. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the pathological continuum of ALS.

  8. Syntactic Comprehension in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kentarou Yoshizawa

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuropsychological studies of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS have demonstrated that some patients have aphasic symptoms, including impaired syntactic comprehension. However, it is not known if syntactic comprehension disorder is related to executive and visuospatial dysfunction. In this study, we evaluated syntactic comprehension using the Syntax Test for Aphasia (STA auditory comprehension task, frontal executive function using the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB, visuospatial function using Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM, and dementia using the Hasegawa Dementia Scale-Revised (HDS-R in 25 patients with ALS. Of the 25 patients, 18 (72% had syntactic comprehension disorder (STA score < IV, nine (36% had frontal executive dysfunction (FAB score < 14, six (24% had visuospatial dysfunction (RCPM score < 24, and none had dementia (HDS-R score < 20. Nine of the 18 patients with syntactic comprehension disorder (50% passed the FAB and RCPM. Although sample size was small, these patients had a low STA score but normal FAB and RCPM score. All patients with bulbar onset ALS had syntactic comprehension disorder. These results indicate that it might be necessary to assess syntactic comprehension in patients with bulbar onset ALS. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the pathological continuum of ALS.

  9. Percutaneous nocturnal oximetry in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: periodic desaturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho, Mamede; Costa, João; Pinto, Susana; Pinto, Anabela

    2009-06-01

    Percutaneous nocturnal oximetry (PNO) is useful to screen respiratory function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PNO recordings of some patients disclose a periodical pattern of O(2) desaturation (PP), whose significance is unknown. We aimed to characterize PP pattern, and we used a prospective study enrolling 261 consecutive ALS patients. Clinical, pulmonary and neurophysiological tests performed included: ALS functional rating scale, forced vital capacity (FVC), maximal inspiratory pressure (PImax), mouth occlusion pressure (MOP), phrenic nerve motor response, needle electromyography of the diaphragm, PNO, and sleep study. A total of 837 PNO recordings were analysed (3.2 recordings/patient) and 45 patients showed typical PP (17.2%). Four were excluded, 13 had normal diaphragm (group 1, G1), and in 28 the diaphragm was abnormal (G2). The two groups were comparable, apart from respiratory score, FVC and PImax which were lower in G2. In G1, REM sleep was absent and hypoventilation occurred at slow-wave sleep. Five patients in G1 were very spastic, had low MOP/FVC and a short survival. This study identified a subgroup of ALS patients (G1) with marked signs of upper motor neuron lesion, strong respiratory muscles, PP, low MOP/FVC ratio and poor prognosis. We speculate that they have a central respiratory dysfunction and deserve special care.

  10. Neurophysiological Differences between Flail Arm Syndrome and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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    Hecheng Yang

    Full Text Available There are many clinical features of flail arm syndrome (FAS that are different from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, suggesting they are probably different entities. Studies on electrophysiological differences between them are limited at present, and still inconclusive. Therefore, we aimed to find clinical and neurophysiological differences between FAS and ALS. Eighteen healthy control subjects, six FAS patients and forty-one ALS patients were recruited. The upper motor neuron signs (UMNS, split-hand index (SI, resting motor threshold (RMT, central motor conduction time (CMCT were evaluated and compared. There was no obvious upper motor neuron signs in FAS. The SI and RMT level in FAS was similar to control subjects, but significantly lower than that of in ALS. Compared with control group, the RMT and SI in ALS group were both significantly increased to higher level. However, no significant difference of CMCT was found between any two of these three groups. The differences in clinical and neurophysiological findings between FAS and ALS, argue against they are the same disease entity. Since there was no obvious UMNS, no split-hand phenomenon, and no obvious changes of RMT and CMCT in FAS patients, the development of FAS might be probably not originated from motor cortex.

  11. Action verb comprehension in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Collin; Olm, Christopher; Boller, Ashley; McCluskey, Leo; Elman, Lauren; Haley, Jenna; Seltzer, Emily; Chahine, Lama; Woo, John; Rascovsky, Katya; McMillan, Corey; Grossman, Murray

    2014-06-01

    Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have a motor disorder and cognitive difficulties, including difficulty with action verbs. However, the basis for the action verb impairment is unknown. Thirty-six participants with ALS and 22 with Parkinson's disease (PD) were assessed on a simple, two-alternative forced-choice associativity judgment task, where performance was untimed and did not depend on motor functioning. We probed 120 frequency-matched action verbs, cognition verbs, concrete nouns and abstract nouns. Performance was related to T1 MRI imaging of gray matter atrophy. Patients with ALS were significantly impaired relative to healthy senior control participants only for action verbs. Patients with PD did not differ from controls for all word categories. Regression analyses related action verb performance in ALS to motor-associated cortices, but action verb judgments in PD were not related to cortical atrophy. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that action verb difficulty in ALS is related in part to the degradation of action-related conceptual knowledge represented in motor-associated cortex.

  12. Clinical relevance of stem cell therapies in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Amit K Srivastava

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, characterized by the progressive loss of both upper and lower motor neurons, is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. This disease is often accompanied by a tremendous physical and emotional burden not only for the patients, but also for their families and friends as well. There is no clinically relevant treatment available for ALS. To date, only one Food and Drug Administration (FDA-approved drug, Riluzole, licensed 18 years ago, has been proven to marginally prolong patients′ survival without improving the quality of their lives. Because of the lack of an effective drug treatment and the promising outcomes from several preclinical studies, researchers have highlighted this disease as a suitable candidate for stem cell therapy. This review article highlights the finding of key preclinical studies that present a rationale for the use of different types of stem cells for the treatment of ALS, and the most recent updates on the stem cell-based ALS clinical trials around the world.

  13. Apparent anticipation in SOD1 familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vucic, Steve; Nicholson, Garth A; Chio, Adriano; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2013-09-01

    Although anticipation has been previously reported in the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) associated familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), some have argued that this may represent ascertainment bias. Consequently, the aim of the present study was to determine whether anticipation was a feature in SOD1 FALS. From a cohort of 112 individuals, the clinical and genetic history of 34 SOD1 patients was assessed. Clinical history was collected with the age of death and disease duration determined in successive generations (generation 1, grandparent; generation 2, parents; generation 3, children), from five large SOD1 families. Results showed that the age of death was significantly less in generation 3 (40.1 ± 2.8 years) compared to generation 2 (46.2 ± 2.0 years, p < 0.05) and generation 1 (56.7 ± 4.5 years, p < 0.01). Furthermore, disease duration was longer in generation 1 (18.4 ± 3.7 months) compared to the disease duration in generation 2 (12.6 ± 2.6 months) and generation 3 (12.3 ± 1.9 months, p = 0.08). Positive intergenerational differences were evident in 92% of parent-offspring transmissions in the present SOD1 FALS cohort (c(2) = 70.6, p < 0.001). In conclusion, the present study supports anticipation as a phenomenon in FALS, possibly due to co-inheritance of modifier genes.

  14. Biomarkers and future targets for development in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menon, Parvathi; Kiernan, Matthew C; Vucic, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Although the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain to be fully elucidated, there have been significant advances in the understanding of ALS pathogenesis, with evidence emerging of a complex interaction between genetic factors and dysfunction of vital molecular pathways. Glutamate- mediated excitoxicity is an important pathophysiological pathway in ALS, and was identified as an important therapeutic biomarker leading to development of the only pharmacologically based disease-modifying treatment currently available for ALS. More recently, a putative role of voltage-gated persistent Na(+) channels in ALS pathogenesis has been suggested and underscored by neuroprotective effects of Na(+) channel blocking agents in animal models. In addition, advances in ALS genetics have lead to identification of novel pathophysiological processes that could potentially serve as therapeutic targets in ALS. Genetic therapies, including antisense oligonucleotide approaches have been shown to exert neuroprotective effects in animal models of ALS, and Phase I human trial have been completed demonstrating the feasibility of such a therapeutic approach. The present review summarises the advances in ALS pathogenesis, emphasising the importance of these processes as potential targets for drug development in ALS.

  15. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: pathophysiological insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vucic, Steve; Ziemann, Ulf; Eisen, Andrew; Hallett, Mark; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2013-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the motor neurons in the motor cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. A combination of upper and lower motor neuron dysfunction comprises the clinical ALS phenotype. Although the ALS phenotype was first observed by Charcot over 100 years ago, the site of ALS onset and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of motor neuron degeneration remain to be elucidated. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) enables non-invasive assessment of the functional integrity of the motor cortex and its corticomotoneuronal projections. To date, TMS studies have established motor cortical and corticospinal dysfunction in ALS, with cortical hyperexcitability being an early feature in sporadic forms of ALS and preceding the clinical onset of familial ALS. Taken together, a central origin of ALS is supported by TMS studies, with an anterograde transsynaptic mechanism implicated in ALS pathogenesis. Of further relevance, TMS techniques reliably distinguish ALS from mimic disorders, despite a compatible peripheral disease burden, thereby suggesting a potential diagnostic utility of TMS in ALS. This review will focus on the mechanisms underlying the generation of TMS measures used in assessment of cortical excitability, the contribution of TMS in enhancing the understanding of ALS pathophysiology and the potential diagnostic utility of TMS techniques in ALS.

  16. Cystatin C: a candidate biomarker for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan E Wilson

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurologic disease characterized by progressive motor neuron degeneration. Clinical disease management is hindered by both a lengthy diagnostic process and the absence of effective treatments. Reliable panels of diagnostic, surrogate, and prognostic biomarkers are needed to accelerate disease diagnosis and expedite drug development. The cysteine protease inhibitor cystatin C has recently gained interest as a candidate diagnostic biomarker for ALS, but further studies are required to fully characterize its biomarker utility. We used quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA to assess initial and longitudinal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF and plasma cystatin C levels in 104 ALS patients and controls. Cystatin C levels in ALS patients were significantly elevated in plasma and reduced in CSF compared to healthy controls, but did not differ significantly from neurologic disease controls. In addition, the direction of longitudinal change in CSF cystatin C levels correlated to the rate of ALS disease progression, and initial CSF cystatin C levels were predictive of patient survival, suggesting that cystatin C may function as a surrogate marker of disease progression and survival. These data verify prior results for reduced cystatin C levels in the CSF of ALS patients, identify increased cystatin C levels in the plasma of ALS patients, and reveal correlations between CSF cystatin C levels to both ALS disease progression and patient survival.

  17. [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: is the astrocyte the cell primarily involved?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sica, Roberto E

    2013-01-01

    So far, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is thought as due to a primary insult of the motor neurons. None of its pathogenic processes proved to be the cause of the illness, nor can be blamed environmental agents. Motor neurons die by apoptosis, leaving the possibility that their death might be due to an unfriendly environment, unable to sustain their health, rather than being directly targeted themselves. These reasons justify an examination of the astrocytes, because they have the most important role controlling the neurons' environment. It is known that astrocytes are plastic, enslaving their functions to the requirements of the neurons to which they are related. Each population of astrocytes is unique, and if it were affected the consequences would reach the neurons that it normally sustains. In regard to the motor neurons, this situation would lead to a disturbed production and release of astrocytic neurotransmitters and transporters, impairing nutritional and trophic support as well. For explaining the spreading of muscle symptoms in ALS, correlated with the type of spreading observed at the cortical and spinal motor neurons pools, the present hypotheses suggests that the illness-causing process is spreading among astrocytes, through their gap junctions, depriving the motor neurons of their support. Also it is postulated that a normal astrocytic protein becomes misfolded and infectious, inducing the misfolding of its wild type, travelling from one protoplasmatic astrocyte to another and to the fibrous astrocytes encircling the pyramidal pathway which joints the upper and lower motoneurones.

  18. The corticospinal tract in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an MRI study

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    Hofmann, E.; Warmuth-Metz, M. [Department of Neuroradiology, University of Wuerzburg (Germany); Ochs, G.; Pelzl, A. [Department of Neurology, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg (Germany)

    1998-02-01

    Cortical motor neurone loss and corticospinal tract (CST) degeneration are typical of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is a matter of debate whether qualitative assessment of the CST by MRI is useful in the diagnosis. It is also an open question whether quantitative determination of the T2 relaxation times can improve its value. Signal intensity along the CST on 14 consecutive slices was assessed using arbitrary visual rating on double-echo T2-weighted and proton-density spin-echo images of 21 patients with ALS and 21 age- and sex-matched controls. T2 was determined quantitatively. On the T2-weighted images the patients` ratings did not differ from that of controls. The T2 of patients and controls showed no statistical difference in any slice. There was no correlation between T2 and patient age, duration of the disease, or predominant bulbar, lower or upper motor neurone signs. The only correlation between MRI findings and disease was on the proton-density images: all cases in which the CST was poorly seen were controls; a clearly high-signal CST was seen only in the patients. High conspicuity of the CST was thus specific but not sensitive for the diagnosis of ALS. T2-weighted images and measurement of T2 were not useful for diagnosis. (orig.) With 2 figs., 1 tab., 26 refs.

  19. Biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: facts and future horizons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradat, Pierre-François; Dib, Michel

    2009-01-01

    The only specific marker of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is neuropathologic, namely the presence of inclusions staining positively for ubiquitin and TAR DNA-binding protein (TARDBP, also known as TDP-43) in degenerating motor neurons. Abnormalities in various physiopathologic pathways associated with ALS, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and excitotoxicity, have been reported in blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and muscle biopsies. A number of studies in ALS patients have indicated that nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect corticospinal lesions. However, because of their relative lack of sensitivity and specificity, these techniques are currently inadequate for use as diagnostic tools in individual patients. Recently, there has been much interest in the use of high-throughput techniques such as transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics for the detection of biomarkers. In the future, a combination of biologic, radiologic, and electrophysiologic markers, rather than a single marker, may prove a useful tool for the diagnosis and follow-up of ALS patients. This article provides an overview of recently described biologic and radiologic markers of the disease.

  20. Ethical considerations in the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Andrew; Krieger, Charles

    2013-11-01

    This article examines some of the ethical concerns relevant for the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We emphasize the importance for providing a competent assessment of the clinical deficit to correctly identify the disease and to avoid incorrect diagnoses. Conveying the diagnosis to the patient and their family requires empathy and it is important to remain supportive and positive, even in the face of this incurable disease. The essence of care in ALS is to permit the patient to have optimal function for their level of ability. This may require the use of gastrostomy and non-invasive or permanent ventilation. Employment of a multi-disciplinary team will permit optimization of patient care to achieve a good quality of life for as long as possible. The patient should also be informed of the risks associated with unproven therapies and the risks and potential benefits of therapeutic trials. The wishes of patients in regard to gastrostomy, long-term ventilation and end-of life decisions must be considered in an unbiased fashion. Recent advances in the genetics of familial ALS (FALS) have demonstrated some overlap between FALS, sporadic ALS and fronto-temporal lobar dementia (FTLD). The interpretation and dissemination of the results of genetic testing although important can induce confusion, considerable anxiety and guilt in patients and their families and proper counseling is imperative.

  1. Widespread temporo-occipital lobe dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loewe, Kristian; Machts, Judith; Kaufmann, Jörn; Petri, Susanne; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Borgelt, Christian; Harris, Joseph Allen; Vielhaber, Stefan; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel

    2017-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) lie on a single clinical continuum. However, previous neuroimaging studies have found only limited involvement of temporal lobe regions in ALS. To better delineate possible temporal lobe involvement in ALS, the present study aimed to examine changes in functional connectivity across the whole brain, particularly with regard to extra-motor regions, in a group of 64 non-demented ALS patients and 38 healthy controls. To assess between-group differences in connectivity, we computed edge-level statistics across subject-specific graphs derived from resting-state functional MRI data. In addition to expected ALS-related decreases in functional connectivity in motor-related areas, we observed extensive changes in connectivity across the temporo-occipital cortex. Although ALS patients with comorbid FTD were deliberately excluded from this study, the pattern of connectivity alterations closely resembles patterns of cerebral degeneration typically seen in FTD. This evidence for subclinical temporal dysfunction supports the idea of a common pathology in ALS and FTD.

  2. The Role of Skeletal Muscle in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; Picchiarelli, Gina; Dupuis, Luc; Gonzalez De Aguilar, Jose-Luis

    2016-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal adult-onset disease primarily characterized by upper and lower motor neuron degeneration, muscle wasting and paralysis. It is increasingly accepted that the pathological process leading to ALS is the result of multiple disease mechanisms that operate within motor neurons and other cell types both inside and outside the central nervous system. The implication of skeletal muscle has been the subject of a number of studies conducted on patients and related animal models. In this review, we describe the features of ALS muscle pathology and discuss on the contribution of muscle to the pathological process. We also give an overview of the therapeutic strategies proposed to alleviate muscle pathology or to deliver curative agents to motor neurons. ALS muscle mainly suffers from oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and bioenergetic disturbances. However, the way by which the disease affects different types of myofibers depends on their contractile and metabolic features. Although the implication of muscle in nourishing the degenerative process is still debated, there is compelling evidence suggesting that it may play a critical role. Detailed understanding of the muscle pathology in ALS could, therefore, lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets.

  3. Emerging molecular biomarker targets for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Júlia; de Carvalho, Mamede

    2016-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects upper (UMN) and lower motor (LMN) neurons. It is associated with a short survival and there is no effective treatment, in spite of a large number of clinical trials. Strong efforts have been made to identify novel disease biomarkers to support diagnosis, provide information on prognosis, to measure disease progression in trials and increase our knowledge on disease pathogenesis. Electromyography by testing the function of the LMN can be used as a biomarker of its dysfunction. A number of electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods have been explored to identify a reliable marker of UMN degeneration. Recently, strong evidence from independent groups, large cohorts of patients and multicenter studies indicate that neurofilaments are very promising diagnostic biomarkers, in particular cerebrospinal fluid and blood levels of phosphoneurofilament heavy chain and neurofilament light chain. Furthermore, their increased levels are associated with poor prognosis. Additional studies have been performed aiming to identify other biomarkers, which alone or in combination with neurofilaments could increase the sensitivity and the specificity of the assays. Emerging molecular marker targets are being discovered, but more studies with standardized methods are required in larger cohorts of ALS patients.

  4. INSPIRATIonAL--INSPIRAtory muscle training in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheah, Benjamin C; Boland, Robert A; Brodaty, Nina E; Zoing, Margie C; Jeffery, Sandra E; McKenzie, David K; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2009-01-01

    Respiratory impairment, due to respiratory muscle weakness, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (ALS/MND). Threshold loading may strengthen the inspiratory muscles and thereby improve patient prognosis. A phase II, double-blind, randomized-controlled trial was undertaken to determine whether a 12-week inspiratory muscle training programme attenuated the decline in respiratory function and inspiratory muscle strength in patients with ALS/MND. Nine patients were randomized to inspiratory muscle training and 10 to sham training. Primary endpoints were respiratory function (forced vital capacity, vital capacity), lung volumes and inspiratory muscle strength. Patients were assessed before, during and immediately after a 12-week training period, and at eight weeks follow-up. While improvements in inspiratory muscle strength were observed in both treatment arms, there was a non-significant increase in maximum inspiratory pressure of 6.1% in the experimental group compared to controls (standard error of mean, 6.93%; 95% confidence interval -8.58 -20.79; p=0.39). The gains in inspiratory muscle strength were partially reversed during a period of training cessation. In conclusion, inspiratory muscle training may potentially strengthen the inspiratory muscles and slow the decline in respiratory function in patients with ALS/MND.

  5. Communication and pragmatic breakdowns in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bambini, Valentina; Arcara, Giorgio; Martinelli, Ilaria; Bernini, Sara; Alvisi, Elena; Moro, Andrea; Cappa, Stefano F; Ceroni, Mauro

    2016-02-01

    While there is increasing attention toward cognitive changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the domain of pragmatics, defined as the ability to integrate language and context to engage in successful communication, remains unexplored. Here we tested pragmatic abilities in 33 non-demented ALS patients and 33 healthy controls matched for age and education through 6 different tasks, ranging from discourse organization to the comprehension of figurative language, further grouped in three composite measures for pragmatic production, pragmatic comprehension and global pragmatic abilities. For a subgroup of patients, assessment included executive functions and social cognition skills. ALS patients were impaired on all pragmatic tasks relative to controls, with 45% of the patients performing below cut-off in at least one pragmatic task, and 36% impaired on the global pragmatic score. Pragmatic breakdowns were more common than executive deficit as defined by the consensus criteria, and approximately as prevalent as deficits in social cognition. Multiple regression analyses support the idea of an interplay of executive and social cognition abilities in determining the pragmatic performance, although all these domains show some degree of independence. These findings shed light on pragmatic impairment as a relevant dimension of ALS, which deserves further consideration in defining the cognitive profile of the disease, given its vital role for communication and social interaction in daily life.

  6. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the clinical potential of dexpramipexole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcia, Philippe; Gordon, Paul H

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to progressive weakness from loss of motor neurons and death on average in less than 3 years after symptom onset. No clear causes have been found and just one medication, riluzole, extends survival. Researchers have identified some of the cellular processes that occur after disease onset, including mitochondrial dysfunction, protein aggregation, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, inflammation, and apoptosis. Mitochondrial disease may be a primary event in neurodegeneration or occur secondary to other cellular processes, and may itself contribute to oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, and apoptosis. Clinical trials currently aim to slow disease progression by testing drugs that impact one or more of these pathways. While every agent tested in the 18 years after the approval of riluzole has been ineffective, basic and clinical research methods in ALS have become dramatically more sophisticated. Dexpramipexole (RPPX), the R(+) enantiomer of pramiprexole, which is approved for symptomatic treatment of Parkinson disease, carries perhaps the currently largest body of pre-and early clinical data that support testing in ALS. The neuroprotective properties of RPPX in various models of neurodegeneration, including the ALS murine model, may be produced through protective actions on mitochondria. Early phase trials in human ALS suggest that the drug can be taken safely by patients in doses that provide neuroprotection in preclinical models. A Phase III trial to test the efficacy of RPPX in ALS is underway. PMID:22956874

  7. Longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Keil Carsten

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder, caused by progressive loss of motor neurons. Changes are widespread in the subcortical white matter in ALS. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI detects pathological changes in white matter fibres in vivo, based on alterations in the degree (diffusivity, ADC and directedness (fractional anisotropy, FA of proton movement. Methods 24 patients with ALS and 24 age-matched controls received 1.5T DTI. FA and ADC were analyzed using statistical parametric mapping. In 15 of the 24 ALS patients, a second DTI was obtained after 6 months. Results Decreased FA in the corticospinal tract (CST and frontal areas confirm existing results. With a direct comparison of baseline and follow-up dataset, the progression of upper motor neuron degeneration, reflected in FA decrease, could be captured along the CST and in frontal areas. The involvement of cerebellum in the pathology of ALS, as suspected from functional MRI studies, could be confirmed by a reduced FA (culmen, declive. These structural changes correlated well with disease duration, ALSFRS-R, and physical and executive functions. Conclusion DTI detects changes that are regarded as prominent features of ALS and thus, shows promise in its function as a biomarker. Using the technique herein, we could demonstrate DTI changes at follow-up which correlated well with clinical progression.

  8. Imaging Findings Associated with Cognitive Performance in Primary Lateral Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    Avner Meoded

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Executive dysfunction occurs in many patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, but it has not been well studied in primary lateral sclerosis (PLS. The aims of this study were to (1 compare cognitive function in PLS to that in ALS patients, (2 explore the relationship between performance on specific cognitive tests and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI metrics of white matter tracts and gray matter volumes, and (3 compare DTI metrics in patients with and without cognitive and behavioral changes. Methods: The Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS, the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (DRS-2, and other behavior and mood scales were administered to 25 ALS patients and 25 PLS patients. Seventeen of the PLS patients, 13 of the ALS patients, and 17 healthy controls underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and DTI. Atlas-based analysis using MRI Studio software was used to measure fractional anisotropy, and axial and radial diffusivity of selected white matter tracts. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess gray matter volumes. The relationship between diffusion properties of selected association and commissural white matter and performance on executive function and memory tests was explored using a linear regression model. Results: More ALS than PLS patients had abnormal scores on the DRS-2. DRS-2 and D-KEFS scores were related to DTI metrics in several long association tracts and the callosum. Reduced gray matter volumes in motor and perirolandic areas were not associated with cognitive scores. Conclusion: The changes in diffusion metrics of white matter long association tracts suggest that the loss of integrity of the networks connecting fronto-temporal areas to parietal and occipital areas contributes to cognitive impairment.

  9. MRI and clinical features in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waragai, M. [Department of Neurology, Chiba University (Japan)

    1997-12-01

    MRI of the brain and spinal cord was performed in 21 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), 8 normal volunteers and 16 neurological disease controls. High signal was seen in the intracranial corticospinal tract in 16 of the 21 patients on T2-weighted and in 10 on proton density (PD)-weighted images. In one patient, the high signal on T2-weighted images became less marked with progression of the disease. Low signal intensity was seen in the motor cortex in 12 of the 21 patients. High signal in the anterolateral column of the spinal cord on T1 weighted images was seen in 14, and high signal in the lateral corticospinal tract on T2 weighted images was seen in 7 of the 21 patients. The relationship between the abnormal images and upper motor neurone signs remained unclear. High signal intensity was seen in the corticospinal tract in the brain on T2-weighted images in two normal volunteers and four disease controls, and on PD weighted images in three disease controls.Low signal intensity in the motor cortex on T2 weighted images was seen in three normal volunteers and four disease controls. However, high signal intensity was seen in the intracranial corticospinal tract on T1 weighted images in five patients with ALS who showed pronounced upper motor neurone signs including spastic paraparesis, but not in controls. Thus, abnormalities on MRI in the brain and spinal cord should be considered in the diagnosis of ALS, and high signal intensity of the intracranial corticospinal tract on T1-weighted images may reflect the severe pathological changes of the upper motor neurones in ALS. (orig.) With 3 figs., 1 tab., 19 refs.

  10. Mutant SOD1 mediated pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Simran J; McKeown, Stephanie R; Rashid, Shazia

    2016-02-15

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neural disorder that causes death of the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord; this affects the voluntary muscles and gradually leads to paralysis of the whole body. Most ALS cases are sporadic, though about 5-10% are familial. ALS is caused by multiple factors including mutation in any one of a number of specific genes, one of the most frequently affected is superoxide dismutase (SOD) 1. Alterations in SOD 1 have been linked with several variants of familial ALS. SOD 1 is a powerful antioxidant enzyme that protects cells from the damaging effects of superoxide radicals. The enzyme binds both copper and zinc ions that are directly involved in the deactivation of toxic superoxide radicals. Mutated SOD1 gene can acquire both gain and loss of function mutations. The most commonly identified mutations in SOD1 that affect protein activity are D90A, A4V and G93A. Deleterious mutations have been shown to modify SOD1 activity, which leads to the accumulation of highly toxic hydroxyl radicals. Accumulation of these free radicals causes degradation of both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA and protein misfolding, features which can be used as pathological indicators associated with ALS. Numerous clinical trials have been carried out over last few years with limited success. In some patients advanced techniques like gene and stem cell therapy have been trialed. However no definitive treatment option can provide a cure and currently ALS is managed by drugs and other supportive therapies. Consequently there is a need to identify new approaches for treatment of this ultimately fatal disease.

  11. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis among cross-country skiers in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Fang; Hållmarker, Ulf; James, Stefan; Ingre, Caroline; Michaëlsson, Karl; Ahlbom, Anders; Feychting, Maria

    2016-03-01

    A highly increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been suggested among professional athletes. We aimed to examine whether long distance cross-country skiers have also a higher risk of ALS and whether the increased risk was modified by skiing performance. We followed 212,246 cross-country skiers in the Swedish Vasaloppet cohort and a random selection of 508,176 general Swedes not participating in the Vasaloppet during 1989-2010. The associations between cross-country skiing as well as skiing performance (i.e., type of race, finishing time and number of races) and the consequent risk of ALS were estimated through hazard ratios (HRs) derived from Cox model. During the study, 39 cases of ALS were ascertained among the skiers. The fastest skiers (100-150% of winner time) had more than fourfold risk of ALS (HR 4.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.78-10.4), as compared to skiers that finished at >180% of winner time. Skiers who participated >4 races during this period had also a higher risk (HR 3.13, 95% CI 1.37-7.17) than those participated only one race. When compared to the non-skiers, the fastest skiers still had a higher risk (HR 2.08, 95% CI 1.12-3.84), as skiers who had >4 races (HR 1.88, 95% CI 1.05-3.35), but those finishing at >180% of winner time had a lower risk (HR 0.46, 95% CI 0.24-0.87). In conclusion, long distance cross-country skiing is associated with a higher risk of ALS, but only among the best skiers; recreational skiers appear to have a largely reduced risk.

  12. Apelin deficiency accelerates the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Atsushi Kasai

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons. Recent studies have implicated that chronic hypoxia and insufficient vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-dependent neuroprotection may lead to the degeneration of motor neurons in ALS. Expression of apelin, an endogenous ligand for the G protein-coupled receptor APJ, is regulated by hypoxia. In addition, recent reports suggest that apelin protects neurons against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Here, we examined whether apelin is an endogenous neuroprotective factor using SOD1(G93A mouse model of ALS. In mouse CNS tissues, the highest expressions of both apelin and APJ mRNAs were detected in spinal cord. APJ immunoreactivity was observed in neuronal cell bodies located in gray matter of spinal cord. Although apelin mRNA expression in the spinal cord of wild-type mice was not changed from 4 to 18 weeks age, that of SOD1(G93A mice was reduced along with the paralytic phenotype. In addition, double mutant apelin-deficient and SOD1(G93A displayed the disease phenotypes earlier than SOD1(G93A littermates. Immunohistochemical observation revealed that the number of motor neurons was decreased and microglia were activated in the spinal cord of the double mutant mice, indicating that apelin deficiency pathologically accelerated the progression of ALS. Furthermore, we showed that apelin enhanced the protective effect of VEGF on H(2O(2-induced neuronal death in primary neurons. These results suggest that apelin/APJ system in the spinal cord has a neuroprotective effect against the pathogenesis of ALS.

  13. Apelin Deficiency Accelerates the Progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasai, Atsushi; Kinjo, Toshihiko; Ishihara, Rie; Sakai, Ikumi; Ishimaru, Yuki; Yoshioka, Yasuhiro; Yamamuro, Akiko; Ishige, Kumiko; Ito, Yoshihisa; Maeda, Sadaaki

    2011-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons. Recent studies have implicated that chronic hypoxia and insufficient vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-dependent neuroprotection may lead to the degeneration of motor neurons in ALS. Expression of apelin, an endogenous ligand for the G protein-coupled receptor APJ, is regulated by hypoxia. In addition, recent reports suggest that apelin protects neurons against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Here, we examined whether apelin is an endogenous neuroprotective factor using SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS. In mouse CNS tissues, the highest expressions of both apelin and APJ mRNAs were detected in spinal cord. APJ immunoreactivity was observed in neuronal cell bodies located in gray matter of spinal cord. Although apelin mRNA expression in the spinal cord of wild-type mice was not changed from 4 to 18 weeks age, that of SOD1G93A mice was reduced along with the paralytic phenotype. In addition, double mutant apelin-deficient and SOD1G93A displayed the disease phenotypes earlier than SOD1G93A littermates. Immunohistochemical observation revealed that the number of motor neurons was decreased and microglia were activated in the spinal cord of the double mutant mice, indicating that apelin deficiency pathologically accelerated the progression of ALS. Furthermore, we showed that apelin enhanced the protective effect of VEGF on H2O2-induced neuronal death in primary neurons. These results suggest that apelin/APJ system in the spinal cord has a neuroprotective effect against the pathogenesis of ALS. PMID:21887354

  14. Is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a primary astrocytic disease?

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    Sica, Roberto E

    2012-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is thought to be due to primary involvement of motor neurons. Pathogenic mechanisms underlying its appearance are relatively well known and include inflammation, excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, protein damage, genetic abnormalities and type of neuronal death. Although these processes have been investigated in detail in the past two decades none of them appear to be the cause of the illness. In addition several possible environmental agents have been investigated but the results, in every case, were conflicting and therefore inconclusive. However, since the motor neurons display the features of apoptosis in this illness, the possibility remains that the motor neurons die because of a hostile environment, one that is unable to sustain their health, rather than being directly targeted themselves. The above considerations lead to an examination of astrocytes, for these cells play a key role in controlling the environment of neurons. It is known that astrocytes are exquisitely plastic, adapting their metabolism and behaviour to the needs of the neurons they contact. Each population of astrocytes is therefore unique and, were one to be adversely affected at the start of a disease process, the consequences would extend to the neurons that it normally chaperoned. The disturbed relationship might involve inappropriate production and secretion of astrocytic neurotransmitters, defective transport of glutamate and impaired trophic and metabolic support of the motor neurons. In order to explain the spread of weakness and pyramidal signs in ALS patients, which is very often from one group of muscles to a neighbouring one, it is postulated that, within the spinal cord, the brainstem and the motor cortex, the disease-causing process is also spreading-in this case, from one group of astrocytes to its neighbours. A misfolded protein, possibly a prion-like protein, would be a candidate for this type of transmission.

  15. Laryngeal sensitivity in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Giovanni Ruoppolo

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have shown the involvement of the sensory nervous system in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. The aim of our study was to investigate the correlation between the laryngeal sensitivity deficit and the type of ALS onset (bulbar or spinal in a large series of 114 consecutive ALS patients. Participants were subdivided into two groups, bulbar and spinal ALS according to the clinical onset of disease, and submitted to a clinical and instrumental evaluation of swallowing, including a fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES with sensory testing. Dysphagia severity was scored using the Penetration-Aspiration Scale (PAS and the Pooling score (P-score. In addition, three patients with laryngeal sensitivity deficit were submitted to a laryngeal biopsy to assess the status of the sensory innervation. All patients showed a normal glottal closure during phonation and volitional cough. Fifty-six subjects (49%, 14 spinal- and 42 bulbar-onset ALS, showed dysphagia at the first clinical observation (PAS score >1; P-score >5. Dysphagia resulted more frequently in bulbar-onset ALS (P < 0.01. Thirty-eight (33% patients had a sensory deficit of the larynx. The sensory deficit of the larynx was significantly more frequent in bulbar-onset ALS (P < 0.01. The sensory deficit of the larynx among dysphagic patients was also significantly more frequent in bulbar-onset ALS (P = 0.02. Several abnormalities were found in all three subjects who underwent a laryngeal biopsy: in one patient no intra-epidermal fibre was found; in the other two, the fibres showed morphological changes. Our observations are important to consider for assessment and management of dysphagia in patients with ALS.

  16. Nutritional and metabolic support in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscaritoli, Maurizio; Kushta, Irma; Molfino, Alessio; Inghilleri, Maurizio; Sabatelli, Mario; Rossi Fanelli, Filippo

    2012-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form of progressive motor neuron disease and the most devastating neurodegenerative disorder. ALS is characterized by progressive paralysis and respiratory failure leading to death within 3 to 5 years after its onset. Protein-energy malnutrition is a frequent finding in ALS. The pathogenesis of protein-energy malnutrition in ALS is multifactorial. Muscle atrophy, hypophagia, dysphagia, and hypermetabolism play a role in determining the deterioration of nutritional status. A multidisciplinary approach is crucial to set an appropriate plan for metabolic and nutritional support in ALS. Nutritional management incorporates a continuous assessment and implementation of dietary modifications throughout the duration of the disease. The nutritional and metabolic approaches to ALS should start when the diagnosis of ALS is made and should become an integral part of the continuous care to the patient, including nutritional surveillance, dietary counseling, management of dysphagia, and enteral nutrition when needed. Parenteral nutrition is rarely indicated. Standard polymeric enteral formulas are routinely used, usually providing 25 to 30 kcal/kg and protein 0.8 to 1.2 g /kg per day. The use of fiber-enriched formulas may help prevent constipation. However, considering the complex metabolic abnormalities of ALS, standard and/or fiber-enriched formulas might not be sufficient to achieve optimal metabolic and nutritional support. Based on the most recent clinical and experimental evidence, it is tempting to hypothesize that personalized nutritional support including specific nutritional substrates could act on disease progression and improve the quality of life and the response to the few and yet scarcely effective, currently available pharmacologic therapies.

  17. Amyloid- and FDG-PET imaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Matias-Guiu, Jordi A.; Pytel, Vanesa; Galan, Lucia; Valles-Salgado, Maria; Guerrero, Antonio; Moreno-Ramos, Teresa; Matias-Guiu, Jorge [Hospital Clinico San Carlos, San Carlos Institute for Health Research (IdISSC), Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Department of Neurology, Madrid (Spain); Cabrera-Martin, Maria Nieves; Carreras, Jose Luis [Hospital Clinico San Carlos, San Carlos Institute for Health Research (IdISSC), Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Madrid (Spain)

    2016-10-15

    We aimed to study brain metabolism and presence of beta-amyloid deposits using positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This prospective cross-sectional study included 18 patients with definite or probable ALS according to the revised El Escorial diagnostic criteria, and 24 healthy controls. Patients underwent neurological and neuropsychological assessments, PET with {sup 18}F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), and amyloid-PET with {sup 18}F-florbetaben. Patients with ALS showed hypometabolism in the frontal area and hypermetabolism in the cerebellum compared to healthy controls. Four patients (22 %) displayed cognitive impairment and decreased metabolism in the frontal area extending bilaterally to the parietal regions, and increased metabolism in the posterior area of the cerebellum. In patients with no cognitive impairment, metabolism was lower in the left superior frontal gyrus and higher in the anterior and posterior lobes of the cerebellum. In the individual analysis, six patients (35 %) displayed more anterior involvement with hypometabolism affecting the superior frontal, medial, and inferior gyri; six patients (35 %) exhibited a more posterior pattern with hypometabolism in the precentral and postcentral gyri and in the superior and inferior parietal lobules; two patients (11 %) showed a mixed pattern; and three patients (17 %) showed no alterations in brain metabolism. Three (16 %) showed increased {sup 18}F-florbetaben uptake compared to controls. We have identified two main patterns of brain metabolism with an association to cognitive status. Only a subgroup of patients showed an increased uptake of the amyloid tracer. Our results suggest that ALS is heterogeneous from a clinical, metabolic, and molecular standpoint. (orig.)

  18. Oligodendrocyte dysfunction in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Philips, T.; Bento-Abreu, A.; Nonneman, A.; Haeck, W.; Staats, K.; Geelen, V.; Hersmus, N.; Kusters, B.; Bosch, L. Van Den; Damme, P. van; Richardson, W.D.; Robberecht, W.

    2013-01-01

    Oligodendrocytes are well known targets for immune-mediated and infectious diseases, and have been suggested to play a role in neurodegeneration. Here, we report the involvement of oligodendrocytes and their progenitor cells in the ventral grey matter of the spinal cord in amyotrophic lateral sclero

  19. The extracellular domain of neurotrophin receptor p75 as a candidate biomarker for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie R Shepheard

    Full Text Available Objective biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis would facilitate the discovery of new treatments. The common neurotrophin receptor p75 is up regulated and the extracellular domain cleaved from injured neurons and peripheral glia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We have tested the hypothesis that urinary levels of extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75 serve as a biomarker for both human motor amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the SOD1(G93A mouse model of the disease. The extracellular domain of neurotrophin receptor p75 was identified in the urine of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients by an immuno-precipitation/western blot procedure and confirmed by mass spectrometry. An ELISA was established to measure urinary extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75. The mean value for urinary extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75 from 28 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients measured by ELISA was 7.9±0.5 ng/mg creatinine and this was significantly higher (p<0.001 than 12 controls (2.6±0.2 ng/mg creatinine and 19 patients with other neurological disease (Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis; 4.1±0.2 ng/mg creatinine. Pilot data of disease progression rates in 14 MND patients indicates that p75NTR(ECD levels were significantly higher (p = 0.0041 in 7 rapidly progressing patients as compared to 7 with slowly progressing disease. Extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75 was also readily detected in SOD1(G93A mice by immuno-precipitation/western blot before the onset of clinical symptoms. These findings indicate a significant relation between urinary extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75 levels and disease progression and suggests that it may be a useful marker of disease activity and progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  20. The extracellular domain of neurotrophin receptor p75 as a candidate biomarker for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepheard, Stephanie R; Chataway, Tim; Schultz, David W; Rush, Robert A; Rogers, Mary-Louise

    2014-01-01

    Objective biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis would facilitate the discovery of new treatments. The common neurotrophin receptor p75 is up regulated and the extracellular domain cleaved from injured neurons and peripheral glia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We have tested the hypothesis that urinary levels of extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75 serve as a biomarker for both human motor amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of the disease. The extracellular domain of neurotrophin receptor p75 was identified in the urine of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients by an immuno-precipitation/western blot procedure and confirmed by mass spectrometry. An ELISA was established to measure urinary extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75. The mean value for urinary extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75 from 28 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients measured by ELISA was 7.9±0.5 ng/mg creatinine and this was significantly higher (pSclerosis; 4.1±0.2 ng/mg creatinine). Pilot data of disease progression rates in 14 MND patients indicates that p75NTR(ECD) levels were significantly higher (p = 0.0041) in 7 rapidly progressing patients as compared to 7 with slowly progressing disease. Extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75 was also readily detected in SOD1(G93A) mice by immuno-precipitation/western blot before the onset of clinical symptoms. These findings indicate a significant relation between urinary extracellular neurotrophin receptor p75 levels and disease progression and suggests that it may be a useful marker of disease activity and progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  1. Antecedent disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: What is protecting whom?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina K Hollinger

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Multiple studies have shown that antecedent diseases are less prevalent in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS patients than the general age-matched population, which suggests possible neuroprotection. Antecedent disease could be protective against ALS or, conversely, the asymptomatic early physiological underpinnings of ALS could be protective against other antecedent disease. Elucidating the impact of antecedent disease on ALS is critical for assessing diagnostic risk factors, prognostic outcomes, and intervention timing. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between antecedent conditions and ALS onset age and disease duration. Medical history surveys for 1,439 Emory ALS Clinic patients (Atlanta, GA, USA were assessed for antecedent hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, obesity, asthma, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, thyroid, kidney, liver, and other non-ALS neurological disease. The ALS onset age and disease duration is compared between the antecedent and non-antecedent populations using Chi square, Kaplan Meier, and ordinal logistic regression. When controlled for confounders, antecedent hypertension (high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol, arthritis, COPD, thyroid disease and non-ALS neurological disease are found to be statistically associated with a delayed onset age whereas antecedent obesity (body mass index, BMI > 30 was correlated with earlier ALS onset age. With the potential exceptions of liver disease and diabetes (the latter without other common co-morbid conditions, antecedent disease is associated with overall shorter disease duration. The unique potential relationship between antecedent liver disease and longer ALS disease duration warrants further investigation, especially given liver disease was found to be a factor of 4-7 times less prevalent in ALS. Notably, most conditions associated with delayed ALS onset are also associated with shorter disease duration

  2. MOLECULAR STRUCTURE OF AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS IN RUSSIAN POPULATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Yu. Abramycheva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Materials and methods. 285 Russian patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS including 260 patients with a sporadic form and 25 with a familial form were examined for mutations in SOD1, C9orf72, TARDBP,  ANG and other genes and the presence of associations among polymorphic sites in ATXN2 (polyCAG and VEGF (-2578С/А genes.Molecular genetic analysis was performed using direct sequencing, fragment analysis and real-time polymerase chain reaction. On the last stage, rare ALS candidate genes were evaluated using a next generation sequencing (NGS panel.Results. Total rate of the identified mutations in the examined ALS cohort was 9.5 %. The most frequently observed defects were mutations in the SOD1 (24.0 % in familial ALS and 4.6 % in sporadic ALS and C9orf72 (pathological hexanucleotide repeat expansion was identified in 1.8 % cases of ALS, all sporadic genes. The TARDBP gene didn’t contain any mutations, though in the ALS group deletion c.715-126delG located in intron 5 of the TARDBP gene was significantly over-represented – 38.0 % vs. 26.6 % (χ2 = 13.17; р = 0.002. Mutations in the ANG gene were identified in 1.05 % of ALS patients (all cases were sporadic. In 1 (0.35 % sporadic case a G1082A mutation in the DCTN1 gene was identified. The examined group significantly more frequently carried a risk allele of the ATXN2 gene with an “intermediate” (28–33  number of CAG repeats – 5.0 % vs. 1.7 % in the control group (χ2 = 3.89; р = 0.0486. In Russian ALS patients, an association between the disease and the presence of a risk А-allele and homozygote genotype А/А of -2578С/А polymorphism in the VEGF gene was identified (χ2 = 7.14; р = 0.008 and χ2 = 13.46; р = 0.001 for the rates in the ALS population and in the control population, respectively, which is confirmed by the odds ratio.Conclusion. In the current article, molecular structure of ALS in the Russian population was examined, rates of individual genetic forms

  3. Single fiber electromyography in 78 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔丽英; 刘明生; 汤晓芙

    2004-01-01

    Background Single fiber electromyography (SFEMG) is a sensitive technique for detecting abnormalities in neuromuscular transmission and is mainly used in the diagnosis of neuromuscular junction disorders, such as myasthenia gravis. While the process of denervation-reinnervation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can also result in immature collateral nerve terminals and instability of neuromuscular transmission, the purpose of This study was to investigate the changes and clinical values of SFEMG in patients with ALS.Methods Volitional SFEMG was performed on the extensor digitorum communis (EDC) of 78 patients with ALS (men 52, women 26) who had been previously diagnosed by history, clinical features, and neurophysiological studies. The mean jitter, the percentage of jitter >55 μs, the impulse blocking percentage, and fiber density (FD) were determined. These results were compared to normal controls. In addition, the SFEMG indices were analyzed for correlations with the duration of ALS, the EDC strength score on the Medical Research Council (MRC) scale, and spontaneous activity detected by EMG studies. Results SFEMG indices were abnormal in all patients with ALS. Mean jitter ranged from 30 to 178 μs (mean 80.2 μs); the percentage of jitter >55 μs ranged from 5% to 100% (mean 60.5%). In addition, the impulse blocking percentage ranged from 0% to 90% (mean 28.1%) and FD ranged from 1.4 to 4.1 (mean 2.6). Mean jitter, the percentage of jitter >55 μs, and the blocking percentage in 57 patients with definite or probable ALS were significantly higher than in patients with possible or suspected ALS. MRC scores of the EDC negatively correlated with mean jitter, the percentage of jitter >55 μs, blocking percentage, and FD. Conclusions SFEMG is the most sensitive tool for diagnosing definite or probable ALS. Increased jitter, blocking percentage, and FD can indicate the degree of immature collateral sprouts and motor end plates resulting from the progressive

  4. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davanipour, Z.; Sobel, E.; Bowman, J.D.; Qian, Z. [Univ. of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Will, A.D.

    1997-03-01

    In an hypothesis-generating case-control study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, lifetime occupational histories were obtained. The patients (n = 28) were clinic based. The occupational exposure of interest in this report is electromagnetic fields (EMFs). This is the first and so far the only exposure analyzed in this study. Occupational exposure up to 2 years prior to estimated disease symptom onset was used for construction of exposure indices for cases. Controls (n = 32) were blood and nonblood relatives of cases. Occupational exposure for controls was through the same age as exposure for the corresponding cases. Twenty (71%) cases and 28 (88%) controls had at least 20 years of work experience covering the exposure period. The occupational history and task data were used to classify blindly each occupation for each subject as having high, medium/high, medium, medium/low, or low EMF exposure, based primarily on data from an earlier and unrelated study designed to obtain occupational EMF exposure information on workers in ``electrical`` and ``nonelectrical`` jobs. By using the length of time each subject spent in each occupation through the exposure period, two indices of exposure were constructed: total occupational exposure (E{sub 1}) and average occupational exposure (E{sub 2}). For cases and controls with at least 20 years of work experience, the odds ratio (OR) for exposure at the 75th percentile of the E{sub 1} case exposure data relative to minimum exposure was 7.5 (P < 0.02; 95% CI, 1.4--38.1) and the corresponding OR for E{sub 2} was 5.5 (P < 0.02; 95% CI, 1.3--22.5). For all cases and controls, the ORs were 2.5 (P < 0.1; 95% CI, 0.9--8.1) for E{sub 1} and 2.3 (P = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.8--6.6) for E{sub 2}. This study should be considered an hypothesis-generating study. Larger studies, using incident cases and improved exposure assessment, should be undertaken.

  5. Primary Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... mistaken for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or spastic paraplegia. Most neurologists follow an affected individual's clinical course ... mistaken for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or spastic paraplegia. Most neurologists follow an affected individual's clinical course ...

  6. Serum microRNAs in patients with genetic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and pre-manifest mutation carriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freischmidt, Axel; Müller, Kathrin; Zondler, Lisa; Weydt, Patrick; Volk, Alexander E; Božič, Anže Lošdorfer; Walter, Michael; Bonin, Michael; Mayer, Benjamin; von Arnim, Christine A F; Otto, Markus; Dieterich, Christoph; Holzmann, Karlheinz; Andersen, Peter M; Ludolph, Albert C; Danzer, Karin M; Weishaupt, Jochen H

    2014-11-01

    Knowledge about the nature of pathomolecular alterations preceding onset of symptoms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is largely lacking. It could not only pave the way for the discovery of valuable therapeutic targets but might also govern future concepts of pre-manifest disease modifying treatments. MicroRNAs are central regulators of transcriptome plasticity and participate in pathogenic cascades and/or mirror cellular adaptation to insults. We obtained comprehensive expression profiles of microRNAs in the serum of patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, asymptomatic mutation carriers and healthy control subjects. We observed a strikingly homogenous microRNA profile in patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that was largely independent from the underlying disease gene. Moreover, we identified 24 significantly downregulated microRNAs in pre-manifest amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mutation carriers up to two decades or more before the estimated time window of disease onset; 91.7% of the downregulated microRNAs in mutation carriers overlapped with the patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Bioinformatic analysis revealed a consensus sequence motif present in the vast majority of downregulated microRNAs identified in this study. Our data thus suggest specific common denominators regarding molecular pathogenesis of different amyotrophic lateral sclerosis genes. We describe the earliest pathomolecular alterations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mutation carriers known to date, which provide a basis for the discovery of novel therapeutic targets and strongly argue for studies evaluating presymptomatic disease-modifying treatment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  7. Novel cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis after treatment of cerebral arteriovenous malformationss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linnebank, Michael; McDougall, Cameron G; Krueger, Stefanie; Biskup, Saskia; Neumann, Manuela; Weller, Michael; Valavanis, Antonios; Prudlo, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Previous case studies reported nine patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM) who developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after AVM embolisation. Here, we describe three novel cases of ALS which developed 13-34 years after treatment, including embolisation, of cerebral AVM. This study provides further arguments supporting the thesis that embolisation of cerebral AVM might influence the risk of later ALS development.

  8. Concomitant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and paraclinical laboratory features of multiple sclerosis: coincidence or causal relationship?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borisow, Nadja; Meyer, Thomas; Paul, Friedemann

    2013-01-23

    We report a 55-year-old patient, presenting with paresis, muscle atrophy and dysarthria, all symptoms accordable to definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, MRI and cerebrospinal fluid show abnormalities typical of multiple sclerosis (MS). On the basis of this case report, we discuss possible overlaps between both diseases by comparing clinical and paraclinical features including laboratory, radiological and electrophysiological diagnostics. As genetic, as well as environmental, factors are assumed to be involved in the development of both the diseases, literature is reviewed according to similar cases, results of autopsies and possible parallels in pathogenesis. In summary, based on the data currently available, the hypothesis of ALS being a neurodegenerative multisystem disorder, a common pathophysiological pathway or, alternatively, a random comorbidity of ALS and MS in this patient has to be discussed.

  9. Skeletal Muscle Remodelling as a Function of Disease Progression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, L; Jørgensen, L H; Bech, R D;

    2016-01-01

    Muscle weakness is considered the pivotal sign of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Knowledge about the skeletal muscle degeneration/regeneration process and the myogenic potential is limited in ALS patients. Therefore, we investigate these processes in a time course perspective by analysing s...

  10. Prose memory impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients is related to hippocampus volume

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.; Tol, M.J. van; Visser, M de; Kooi, A.J. van der; Majoie, C.B.; Berg, L.H. van den; Schmand, B.; Veltman, D.J.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Thirty per cent of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients have non-motor symptoms, including executive and memory deficits. The in vivo anatomical basis of memory deficits in ALS has not been elucidated. In this observational study, brain atrophy in relation to memory f

  11. Prose memory impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients is related to hippocampus volume

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.; van Tol, M. J.; de Visser, M.; van der Kooi, A. J.; Majoie, C. B.; van den Berg, L. H.; Schmand, B.; Veltman, D. J.

    2015-01-01

    Background and purposeThirty per cent of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients have non-motor symptoms, including executive and memory deficits. The in vivo anatomical basis of memory deficits in ALS has not been elucidated. In this observational study, brain atrophy in relation to memory fun

  12. Prose memory impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients is related to hippocampus volume

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.; van Tol, M.J.; de Visser, M.; van der Kooi, A.J.; Majoie, C.B.; van den Berg, L.H.; Schmand, B.; Veltman, D.J.

    2015-01-01

    Background and purpose: Thirty per cent of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients have non-motor symptoms, including executive and memory deficits. The in vivo anatomical basis of memory deficits in ALS has not been elucidated. In this observational study, brain atrophy in relation to memory f

  13. Molecular classification of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by unsupervised clustering of gene expression in motor cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aronica, E.; Baas, F.; Iyer, A.; ten Asbroek, A.L.M.A.; Morello, G.; Cavallaro, S.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disease, caused by the loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Although 10% of ALS cases are familial (FALS), the majority are sporadic (SALS) and probably associated to a multifactorial e

  14. Acute deterioration of bulbar function after botulinum toxin treatment for sialorrhoea in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijer, J.W.; Kuijk, A.A. van; Geurts, A.C.H.; Schelhaas, H.J.; Zwarts, M.J.

    2008-01-01

    Transcutaneous botulinum toxin injection in the salivary glands was introduced in 2000 as a new treatment for sialorrhoea in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We describe an ALS patient who developed serious complications of botulinum toxin treatment for sialorrhoea, and we review the relevant li

  15. Deep learning predictions of survival based on MRI in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Burgh, Hannelore K; Schmidt, Ruben; Westeneng, Henk-Jan; de Reus, Marcel A; van den Berg, Leonard H; van den Heuvel, Martijn P

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neuromuscular disease, with large variation in survival between patients. Currently, it remains rather difficult to predict survival based on clinical parameters alone. Here, we set out to use clinical characteristics in combination with MRI data

  16. Animal model for identifying therapetucually useful compounds for the treatment of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Gil Ayuso-Gontán, Carmen; Martínez, Ana

    2012-01-01

    [EN] The invention relates to a method for identifying compounds that are potentially useful for the treatment of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), comprising the use of an animal model of rats, developed by means of the administration of β-Ν-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA)

  17. Complement activation at the motor end-plates in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    El Idrissi, N.B.; Bosch, S.; Ramaglia, V.; Aronica, E.; Baas, F.; Troost, D

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disease with no available therapy. Components of the innate immune system are activated in the spinal cord and central nervous system of ALS patients. Studies in the SOD1(G93A) mouse show deposition of C1q and C

  18. Exposure to chemicals and metals and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sutedja, N.A.; Veldink, J.H.; Fischer, K.; Kromhout, H.; Heederik, D.J.J.; Huisman, M.H.B.; Wokke, J.H.J.; van den Berg, L.H.

    2009-01-01

    Environmental exposure to chemicals and metals may contribute to the risk of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Two systematic reviews of the literature on these topics performed according to the well-established MOOSE guidelines are presented. Literature cited in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL,

  19. Population based epidemiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using capture-recapture methodology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.H.B. Huisman; S.W. de Jong; P.T.C. van Doormaal; S.S. Weinreich; H.J. Schelhaas; A.J. van der Kooi; M. Visser; J.H. Veldink; L.H. Berg

    2011-01-01

    Variation in the incidence rate in epidemiological studies on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be due to a small population size and under ascertainment of patients. The previously reported incidence decline in the elderly and a decrease in the male:female ratio in postmenopausal age groups h

  20. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis presenting with orthopnea in a patient with COPD and obstructive sleep apnea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.L.N. Swamy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neuron disease (MND is a relentlessly progressive neurological disorder causing peripheral muscular weakness and resultant respiratory failure. In this article, we report a case of ALS with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA with orthopnea as initial symptoms.

  1. MAPT as a predisposing gene for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Chinese Han population

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pu Fang; Wenyuan Xu; Chengsi Wu; Min Zhu; Xiaobing Li; Daojun Hong

    2013-01-01

    A previous study of European Caucasian patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis demonstrated that a polymorphism in the microtubule-associated protein Tau (MAPT) gene was significantly associated with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis. Here, we tested this association in 107 sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and 100 healthy controls from the Chinese Han population. We screened the mutation-susceptible regions of MAPT-the 3′and 5′untranslated regions as wel as introns 9, 10, 11, and 12-by direct sequencing, and identified 33 genetic variations. Two of these, 105788 A>G in intron 9 and 123972 T>A in intron 11, were not present in the control group. The age of onset in patients with the 105788 A>G and/or the 123972 T>A variant was younger than that in patients without either genetic variation. Moreover, the pa-tients with a genetic variation were more prone to bulbar palsy and breathing difficulties than those with the wild-type genotype. This led to a shorter survival period in patients with a MAPT genetic variant. Our study suggests that the MAPT gene is a potential risk gene for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Chinese Han population.

  2. Methods of Communication at End of Life for the Person with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownlee, Alisa; Bruening, Lisa M.

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that results in loss of most motor functions by the time of death. Most persons with ALS experience a dysarthria that eventually renders oral/vocal communication unintelligible. This article reviews the communication needs of persons with ALS and the range of communication…

  3. Skeletal Muscle Remodelling as a Function of Disease Progression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, L; Jørgensen, L H; Bech, R D;

    2016-01-01

    Muscle weakness is considered the pivotal sign of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Knowledge about the skeletal muscle degeneration/regeneration process and the myogenic potential is limited in ALS patients. Therefore, we investigate these processes in a time course perspective by analysing...

  4. Is There a Role for Exercise in the Management of Bulbar Dysfunction in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plowman, Emily K.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The role of exercise in the management of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (PALS) is controversial and currently unclear. The purpose of this review article is to review literature examining the impact of limb, respiratory, and oral motor exercise on function, disease progression, and survival in PALS and the transgenic ALS…

  5. The costs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to type of care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Der Steen, Irene; Van Den Berg, Jan-Paul; Buskens, Erik; Lindeman, Eline; Van Den Berg, Leonard H.

    2009-01-01

    Our objective was to estimate the economic burden of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to examine the effect of treatment in a multidisciplinary ALS treatment centre versus general care on costs and to describe differences in costs according to clinical characteristics. In a cros

  6. VAPB and C9orf72 mutations in 1 familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blitterswijk, M. van; Es, M.A. van; Koppers, M.; Rheenen, W. van; Medic, J.; Schelhaas, H.J.; Kooi, A.J. van der; Visser, M. de; Veldink, J.H.; Berg, L.H. van den

    2012-01-01

    Previously, we have reported amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) families with multiple mutations in major ALS-associated genes. These findings provided evidence for an oligogenic basis of ALS. In our present study, we screened a cohort of 755 sporadic ALS patients, 111 familial ALS patients (97 fam

  7. Inclusions of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked superoxide dismutase in ventral horns, liver, and kidney

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonsson, P.A.; Bergemalm, D.; Andersen, P.M.

    2008-01-01

    Mutant superoxide dismutases type 1 (SOD1s) cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by an unidentified toxic property. In a patient carrying the G127X truncation mutation, minute amounts of SOD1 were found in ventral horns using a mutant-specific antibody. Still, both absolute levels and ratios versus...

  8. [Familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis associated with Huntington chorea with increased aspartate level in the cerebrospinal fluid].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blin, O; Samuel, D; Guieu, R; Pouget, J; Nieoullon, A; Serratrice, G

    1992-01-01

    We report the case of a patient who presented with both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Huntington's disease. Interestingly, aspartate level was increased in the lumbar CSF. In vitro and in vivo studies have convincingly suggested that these two neurodegenerative diseases could be related to an excitotoxic mechanism.

  9. Autoimmune-like hepatitis during masitinib therapy in an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient

    OpenAIRE

    Salvado, Maria; Vargas, Victor; Vidal, Marta; Simon-Talero, Macarena; Camacho, Jessica; Gamez, Josep

    2015-01-01

    We report a case of acute severe hepatitis resulting from masitinib in a young amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient. Hepatotoxicity induced by masitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is usually transient with mild elevation of transaminases, although acute hepatitis has been not reported to date. The hepatitis was resolved after masitinib was discontinued and a combination of prednisone and azathioprine was started. The transaminases returned to baseline normal values five months later. This...

  10. Analysis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as a multistep process: a population-based modelling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Calvo, Andrea; Chio, Adriano; Colville, Shuna; Ellis, Cathy M; Hardiman, Orla; Heverin, Mark; Howard, Robin S; Huisman, Mark H B; Keren, Noa; Leigh, P Nigel; Mazzini, Letizia; Mora, Gabriele; Orrell, Richard W; Rooney, James; Scott, Kirsten M; Scotton, William J; Seelen, Meinie; Shaw, Christopher E; Sidle, Katie S; Swingler, Robert; Tsuda, Miho; Veldink, Jan H; Visser, Anne E; van den Berg, Leonard H; Pearce, Neil

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis shares characteristics with some cancers, such as onset being more common in later life, progression usually being rapid, the disease affecting a particular cell type, and showing complex inheritance. We used a model originally applied to cancer epidemiology to investigate the hypothesis that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a multistep process. Methods We generated incidence data by age and sex from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis population registers in Ireland (registration dates 1995–2012), the Netherlands (2006–12), Italy (1995–2004), Scotland (1989–98), and England (2002–09), and calculated age and sex-adjusted incidences for each register. We regressed the log of age-specific incidence against the log of age with least squares regression. We did the analyses within each register, and also did a combined analysis, adjusting for register. Findings We identified 6274 cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from a catchment population of about 34 million people. We noted a linear relationship between log incidence and log age in all five registers: England r2=0·95, Ireland r2=0·99, Italy r2=0·95, the Netherlands r2=0·99, and Scotland r2=0·97; overall r2=0·99. All five registers gave similar estimates of the linear slope ranging from 4·5 to 5·1, with overlapping confidence intervals. The combination of all five registers gave an overall slope of 4·8 (95% CI 4·5–5·0), with similar estimates for men (4·6, 4·3–4·9) and women (5·0, 4·5–5·5). Interpretation A linear relationship between the log incidence and log age of onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is consistent with a multistage model of disease. The slope estimate suggests that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a six-step process. Identification of these steps could lead to preventive and therapeutic avenues. Funding UK Medical Research Council; UK Economic and Social Research Council; Ireland Health Research Board; The

  11. Widespread grey matter pathology dominates the longitudinal cerebral MRI and clinical landscape of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menke, Ricarda A L; Körner, Sonja; Filippini, Nicola; Douaud, Gwenaëlle; Knight, Steven; Talbot, Kevin; Turner, Martin R

    2014-09-01

    Diagnosis, stratification and monitoring of disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis currently rely on clinical history and examination. The phenotypic heterogeneity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including extramotor cognitive impairments is now well recognized. Candidate biomarkers have shown variable sensitivity and specificity, and studies have been mainly undertaken only cross-sectionally. Sixty patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (without a family history of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or dementia) underwent baseline multimodal magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T. Grey matter pathology was identified through analysis of T1-weighted images using voxel-based morphometry. White matter pathology was assessed using tract-based spatial statistics analysis of indices derived from diffusion tensor imaging. Cross-sectional analyses included group comparison with a group of healthy controls (n = 36) and correlations with clinical features, including regional disability, clinical upper motor neuron signs and cognitive impairment. Patients were offered 6-monthly follow-up MRI, and the last available scan was used for a separate longitudinal analysis (n = 27). In cross-sectional study, the core signature of white matter pathology was confirmed within the corticospinal tract and callosal body, and linked strongly to clinical upper motor neuron burden, but also to limb disability subscore and progression rate. Localized grey matter abnormalities were detected in a topographically appropriate region of the left motor cortex in relation to bulbar disability, and in Broca's area and its homologue in relation to verbal fluency. Longitudinal analysis revealed progressive and widespread changes in the grey matter, notably including the basal ganglia. In contrast there was limited white matter pathology progression, in keeping with a previously unrecognized limited change in individual clinical upper motor neuron scores, despite advancing disability

  12. Executive deficits, not processing speed relates to abnormalities in distinct prefrontal tracts in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettit, Lewis D; Bastin, Mark E; Smith, Colin; Bak, Thomas H; Gillingwater, Thomas H; Abrahams, Sharon

    2013-11-01

    Cognitive impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is characterized by deficits on tests of executive function; however, the contribution of abnormal processing speed is unknown. Methods are confounded by tasks that depend on motor speed in patients with physical disability. Structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have revealed multi-system cerebral involvement, with evidence of reduced white matter volume and integrity in predominant frontotemporal regions. The current study has two aims. First, to investigate whether cognitive impairments in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are due to executive dysfunction or slowed processing speed using methodology that accommodates motor disability. This is achieved using a dual-task paradigm and tasks that manipulate stimulus presentation times and do not rely on response motor speed. Second, to identify relationships between specific cognitive impairments and the integrity of distinct white matter tracts. Thirty patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 30 age- and education-matched control subjects were administered an experimental dual-task procedure that combined a visual inspection time task and digit recall. In addition, measures of executive function (including letter fluency) and processing speed (visual inspection time and rapid serial letter identification) were administered. Integrity of white matter tracts was determined using region of interest analyses of diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging data. Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis did not show impairments on tests of processing speed, but executive deficits were revealed once visual inspection time was combined with digit recall (dual-task) and in letter fluency. In addition to the corticospinal tracts, significant differences in fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity were found between groups in a number of prefrontal and temporal white matter tracts including the anterior cingulate, anterior thalamic radiation

  13. Simulating disease propagation across white matter connectome reveals anatomical substrate for neuropathology staging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmidt, Ruben; de Reus, Marcel A.; Scholtens, Lianne H.; van den Berg, Leonard H.; van den Heuvel, Martijn P.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, characterized by progressive loss of motor function. While the pathogenesis of ALS remains largely unknown, recent histological examinations of Brettschneider and colleagues have proposed four time-sequential stages of neuropa

  14. Irradiation of salivary glands in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Irradiation des glandes salivaires dans la sclerose laterale amyotrophique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourry, N.; Lapeyre, M.; Tortochaux, J.; Gilliot, O.; Achard, J.L.; Verrelle, P. [Centre Jean-Perrin, Dept. de Radiotherapie 63 - Clermont-Ferrand (France); Clavelou, P.; Rouvet, S. [CHU Gabriel-Montpied, Service de Neurologie, 63 - Clermont-Ferrand (France)

    2006-11-15

    The irradiation of salivary glands in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is efficient. A dose about 20 Gy in five seances delivered by electrons seems a correct compromise between efficiency and toxicity. (N.C.)

  15. Nuclear TAR DNA-binding protein 43 A new target for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mei Zheng; Yujie Shi; Dongsheng Fan

    2013-01-01

    Abnormal TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) inclusion bodies can be detected in the degener-ative neurons of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this study, we induced chronic oxidative stress in-jury by applying malonate to cultured mouse cortical motor neurons. In the later stages of the ma-lonate insult, TDP-43 expression reduced in the nuclei and transferred to the cytoplasm. This was accompanied by neuronal death, mimicking the pathological changes in TDP-43 that are seen in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Interestingly, in the early stages of the response to ma-lonate treatment, nuclear TDP-43 expression increased, and neurons remained relatively intact, without inclusion bodies or fragmentation. Therefore, we hypothesized that the increase of nuclear TDP-43 expression might be a pro-survival factor against oxidative stress injury. This hypothesis was confirmed by an in vitro transgenic experiment, in which overexpression of wild type mouse TDP-43 in cultured cortical motor neurons significantly reduced malonate-induced neuronal death. Our findings suggest that the loss of function of TDP-43 is an important cause of neuronal dege-neration, and upregulation of nuclear TDP-43 expression might be neuroprotective in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  16. Cu,Zn SOD in Shandong families with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GU Hong-yan; ZHANG Feng-zhen; JIANG Han-Ming; SUN Ling-Yun; ZAI Jing; ZHANG Yuan-ying

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To understand the relationship between Cu,Zn SOD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Methods: The patients were clinically examined and classified according to the E1 Escorial Criteria, then we obtained blood samples from the patients for Cu,Zn SOD analysis and SOD assay. Amino acid analysis of Cu,Zn SOD were fully automated in instruments called amino acid analyzers. SOD assay was determined by cytochrome c method Results: Amino acid analysis of Cu,Zn SOD from patients with familial ALS was normal. The activity of Cu,Zn SOD was normal both in familial and sporadic form of ALS compared with normal person. Conclusion: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is not related to Cu,Zn SOD.

  17. Information-seeking Behavior and Information Needs in Patients With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Analyzing an Online Patient Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Juyeon; Kim, Jung A

    2017-02-22

    A few studies have examined the specific informational needs of the population with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The aims of this study were to describe the information-seeking behavior and information needs of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their families in Korea by analyzing messages from an online patient community. A total of 1047 messages from the question and answer forum of the "Lou Gehrig's Disease Network" (http://cafe.daum.net/alsfree) from January 2010 to September 2015 were collected. The word frequency, main questions, and asker of the messages were analyzed and coded. Terms such as "hospital," "mother," "father," "gastrostomy," and "ALS" were most frequently identified. The most commonly mentioned main topic was about disease-specific information, while the most frequent subcategory was symptoms or management of symptoms. Other prominent categories concerned information about treatment, rehabilitation, and the medical system. The people who wrote the questions were mostly the son/daughter of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their family members commonly obtained information by posting their inquiries online and have a variety of questions regarding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in this study. The findings of this study can be used as a base of information for developing educational programs and resources for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their families.

  18. The ratio of N-acetyl aspartate to glutamate correlates with disease duration of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sako, Wataru; Abe, Takashi; Izumi, Yuishin; Harada, Masafumi; Kaji, Ryuji

    2016-05-01

    Glutamate (Glu)-induced excitotoxicity has been implicated in the neuronal loss of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. To test the hypothesis that Glu in the primary motor cortex contributes to disease severity and/or duration, the Glu level was investigated using MR spectroscopy. Seventeen patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were diagnosed according to the El Escorial criteria for suspected, possible, probable or definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and enrolled in this cross-sectional study. We measured metabolite concentrations, including N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), creatine, choline, inositol, Glu and glutamine, and performed partial correlation between each metabolite concentration or NAA/Glu ratio and disease severity or duration using age as a covariate. Considering our hypothesis that Glu is associated with neuronal cell death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we investigated the ratio of NAA to Glu, and found a significant correlation between NAA/Glu and disease duration (r=-0.574, p=0.02). The "suspected" amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients showed the same tendency as possible, probable and definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients in regard to correlation of NAA/Glu ratio with disease duration. The other metabolites showed no significant correlation. Our findings suggested that glutamatergic neurons are less vulnerable compared to other neurons and this may be because inhibitory receptors are mainly located presynaptically, which supports the notion of Glu-induced excitotoxicity.

  19. The Use of Integrative Therapies in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Shanghai, China

    OpenAIRE

    Weidong Pan; Xiangjun Chen; Jie Bao; Yu Bai; Hua Lu; Qiudong Wang; Yi Liu; Canxing Yuan; Wenwei Li; Zhenguo Liu; Jun Liu; Xuying Zhu; Baofeng Qin; Dingfang Cai; Hua Zhou

    2013-01-01

    Objective. To investigate the current use of integrative therapies (IT) in the treatment of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods. A cross-sectional, multicenter clinical epidemiological survey was conducted in 12 hospitals in Shanghai. We investigated the type and frequency of IT use and determined whether the use of IT correlated with demographic, social, or disease-specific characteristics in our patient population. Results. A total of 231 (89.5%) of 258 patients with ...

  20. An Overview of Potential Targets for Treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Huntington’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Zocatelli de Paula

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of people worldwide. Progressive damage or loss of neurons, neurodegeneration, has severe consequences on the mental and physical health of a patient. Despite all efforts by scientific community, there is currently no cure or manner to slow degeneration progression. We review some treatments that attempt to prevent the progress of some of major neurodegenerative diseases: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.

  1. Glial nuclear aggregates of superoxide dismutase-1 are regularly present in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    The most common cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is mutations in superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1). Since there is evidence for the involvement of non-neuronal cells in ALS, we searched for signs of SOD1 abnormalities focusing on glia. Spinal cords from nine ALS patients carrying SOD1 mutations, 51 patients with sporadic or familial ALS who lacked such mutations, and 46 controls were examined by immunohistochemistry. A set of anti-peptide antibodies with specificity for misfolded SOD1...

  2. Psychological wellbeing and quality of life in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagnini, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease with a progressive and rapid course that, so far, cannot be stopped or reversed. The psychological impact of the disease is huge, on both patients and caregivers. This review summarizes studies that have investigated quality of life, depression, anxiety, pain, spiritual and existential issues, hope, and hopelessness in the ALS field, with attention to both patients and their caregivers. Psychological support and the possible role of psychologists in the ALS field are also discussed.

  3. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Presenting Respiratory Failure as the Sole Initial Manifestation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fuyuki Tateno

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available It is rare that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS presents with respiratory failure as the sole initial manifestation. A 72-year-old man with mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease developed exertional dyspnea for 13 months. He then progressed to limb weakness that led to the diagnosis of ALS. Although rare, ALS can present with respiratory failure as the sole initial manifestation more than 1 year prior to limb weakness.

  4. Exploring sarcasm detection in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using ecologically valid measures

    OpenAIRE

    Staios, Mathew; Fisher, Fiona; Lindell, Annukka K.; Ong, Ben; Howe, Jim; Reardon, Katrina

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive condition involving degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. Recent research suggests that a proportion of persons with ALS show a profile similar to that of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), with this group of ALS patients exhibiting social cognitive deficits. Although social cognitive deficits have been partially explored in ALS, research has yet to investigate such changes using ecologically valid measures. Therefore, thi...

  5. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease--clinical and neuropathological considerations in two cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusina, R; Sheardová, K; Rektorová, I; Ridzon, P; Kulist'ák, P; Matej, R

    2007-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be accompanied by cognitive impairment; when present, it is mainly in the form of frontotemporal impairment. We report on two cases with clinically defined ALS that subsequently developed dementia. Neuropathological examination showed not only the typical neuropathological hallmarks characteristic of ALS but, surprisingly, also showed neurofibrillary tangles and neuritic plaques in sufficient numbers to fulfill the diagnostic criteria of definite Alzheimer's disease.

  6. A large-scale multicentre cerebral diffusion tensor imaging study in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Muller, Hans-Peter; R Turner, Martin; Grosskreutz, Julian; Abrahams, Sharon; Bede, Peter; Govind, Varan; Prudlo, Johannes; Ludolph, Albert C.; Filippi, Massimo; Kassubek, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Damage to the cerebral tissue structural connectivity associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which extends beyond the motor pathways, can be visualized by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The effective translation of DTI metrics as biomarker requires its application across multiple magnetic resonance imaging scanners and patient cohorts. A multi-centre study was undertaken to assess structural connectivity in ALS at a large sample size. Methods: Four-hundred-and-forty-...

  7. Efficacy of peptide nucleic acid and selected conjugates against specific cellular pathologies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Elisse C; Parakh, Sonam; Duncan, Luke F; Langford, Steven J; Atkin, Julie D; Abbott, Belinda M

    2016-04-01

    Cellular studies have been undertaken on a nonamer peptide nucleic acid (PNA) sequence, which binds to mRNA encoding superoxide dismutase 1, and a series of peptide nucleic acids conjugated to synthetic lipophilic vitamin analogs including a recently prepared menadione (vitamin K) analog. Reduction of both mutant superoxide dismutase 1 inclusion formation and endoplasmic reticulum stress, two of the key cellular pathological hallmarks in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, by two of the prepared PNA oligomers is reported for the first time.

  8. Magnetic resonance findings in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using a spin echo magnetization transfer sequence: preliminary report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROCHA ANTÔNIO JOSÉ DA

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available We present the magnetic resonance (MR findings of five patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS using a spin-echo sequence with an additional magnetization transfer (MT pulse on T1-weighted images (T1 SE/MT. These findings were absent in the control group and consisted of hyperintensity of the corticospinal tract. Moreover we discuss the principles and the use of this fast but simple MR technique in the diagnosis of ALS

  9. Deep learning predictions of survival based on MRI in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Hannelore K. van der Burgh; Schmidt, Ruben; Westeneng, Henk-Jan; de Reus, Marcel A.; van den Berg, Leonard H; Van Den Heuvel, Martijn P.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neuromuscular disease, with large variation in survival between patients. Currently, it remains rather difficult to predict survival based on clinical parameters alone. Here, we set out to use clinical characteristics in combination with MRI data to predict survival of ALS patients using deep learning, a machine learning technique highly effective in a broad range of big-data analyses. A group of 135 ALS patients was included from whom high...

  10. Metabolic signatures of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis reveal insights into disease pathogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Dodge, James C.; Treleaven, Christopher M; Fidler, Jonathan A.; Tamsett, Thomas J.; Bao, Channa; Searles, Michelle; Taksir, Tatyana V.; Misra, Kuma; Sidman, Richard L.; Cheng, Seng H; Shihabuddin, Lamya S.

    2013-01-01

    Metabolic dysfunction is an important modulator of disease course in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We report here that a familial mouse model (transgenic mice over-expressing the G93A mutation of the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 gene) of ALS enters a progressive state of acidosis that is associated with several metabolic (hormonal) alternations that favor lipolysis. Extensive investigation of the major determinants of H+ concentration (i.e., the strong ion difference and the strong ion...

  11. Clinical Trial Designs in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Does One Design Fit All?

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholson, Katharine A.; Merit E. Cudkowicz; Berry, James D.

    2015-01-01

    The last 2 decades have seen a surge in the number of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) clinical trials with the hope of finding successful treatments. Clinical trialists aim to repurpose existing drugs and test novel compounds to target potential ALS disease pathophysiology. Recent technological advancements have led to the discovery of new causative genetic agents and modes of delivering potential therapy, calling for increasingly sophisticated trial design. The standard ALS clinical tria...

  12. Awake fi beroptic intubation of a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elif Bakı

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a rapidly progressive disease from the fi fth to sixth decades of life causing degeneration and death of the upper and lower motor neurons and no effective treatment. The diagnosis isdependent on the clinical presentation and consistent electrodiagnostic studies. Progressive denervation affects the muscles, causing muscular weakness and atrophy, when the ventilation muscles are affected deathdue to respiratory failure occurs within a few years. We present the case of a 54 years old, 180 cm height and 94 kg weight male patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who underwent surgical treatment of thyroidcancer. Fiberoptic intubation was orally performed providing spontaneus breathing. Propofol was applied after passing vocal cords. Anesthesia was maintained with sevofl orane (%2 and a mixture of oxygen and airunder volume controlled ventilation. Rocuronium was used 20 mg at the beginning of the surgery. At the end of surgery, he wasn’t extubated and transferred to anesthesia intensive care unit. He was extubated after tenhours and he was awaked perfectly. The patient was discharged from intensive care unit after 24 hours and from hospital after ten days. We reported that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient with limited mouth opening who underwent thyroid surgery, using awake intubation.

  13. Novel Neuroprotective Multicomponent Therapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Designed by Networked Systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mireia Herrando-Grabulosa

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor neuron function for which there is no effective treatment. One of the main difficulties in developing new therapies lies on the multiple events that contribute to motor neuron death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Several pathological mechanisms have been identified as underlying events of the disease process, including excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, altered axonal transport, proteasome dysfunction, synaptic deficits, glial cell contribution, and disrupted clearance of misfolded proteins. Our approach in this study was based on a holistic vision of these mechanisms and the use of computational tools to identify polypharmacology for targeting multiple etiopathogenic pathways. By using a repositioning analysis based on systems biology approach (TPMS technology, we identified and validated the neuroprotective potential of two new drug combinations: Aliretinoin and Pranlukast, and Aliretinoin and Mefloquine. In addition, we estimated their molecular mechanisms of action in silico and validated some of these results in a well-established in vitro model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis based on cultured spinal cord slices. The results verified that Aliretinoin and Pranlukast, and Aliretinoin and Mefloquine promote neuroprotection of motor neurons and reduce microgliosis.

  14. Autoimmune-like hepatitis during masitinib therapy in an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvado, Maria; Vargas, Victor; Vidal, Marta; Simon-Talero, Macarena; Camacho, Jessica; Gamez, Josep

    2015-09-28

    We report a case of acute severe hepatitis resulting from masitinib in a young amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient. Hepatotoxicity induced by masitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is usually transient with mild elevation of transaminases, although acute hepatitis has been not reported to date. The hepatitis was resolved after masitinib was discontinued and a combination of prednisone and azathioprine was started. The transaminases returned to baseline normal values five months later. This is the first case in the hepatitis literature associated with masitinib. The autoimmune role of this drug-induced liver injury is discussed. Physicians should be aware of this potential complication.

  15. Application of botulinum toxin to treat sialorrhea in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: a literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Ademar Francisco de; Silva, Gêssyca Adryene de Menezes; Almeida, Débora Milenna Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons, which are the central nervous system cells that control voluntary muscle movements. The excessive salivation (sialorrhea) is present in approximately 50% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases. Thus, some alternative therapeutic methods are sought, such as anticholinergic drugs and surgery. Recently the use of botulinum toxin applied at a midpoint of the salivary glands, often guided by ultrasound, have demonstrated positive results. The objective was to review the literature to demonstrate an alternative method to treatments of sialorrhea in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In recent studies, the efficacy of botulinum toxin is confirmed, although new applications are required. Since the side effects are negligible, this is an alternative to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other patients with diseases that present sialorrhea. RESUMO Esclerose lateral amiotrófica é uma doença neurodegenerativa progressiva e fatal, caracterizada pela degeneração dos neurônios motores, as células do sistema nervoso central que controlam os movimentos voluntários dos músculos. A salivação excessiva (sialorreia) está presente em cerca de 50% dos casos de esclerose lateral amiotrófica. Dessa forma, surgem medidas terapêuticas alternativas como drogas anticolinérgicas e cirurgia, e recentemente, o uso da toxina botulínica, aplicada em um ponto central das glândulas salivares, muitas vezes guiado por ultrassonografia, demostrou resultados positivos. Objetivou-se revisar a literatura no intuito de demonstrar um método alternativo aos tratamentos de sialorreia em pacientes com esclerose lateral amiotrófica. Em estudos recentes, a eficácia do tratamento com toxina botulínica foi confirmada e, mesmo requerendo novas aplicações, os efeitos colaterais são ínfimos. Ela surge então como alternativa não só ao

  16. System xC- is a mediator of microglial function and its deletion slows symptoms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesci, Pinar; Zaïdi, Sakina; Lobsiger, Christian S; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Escartin, Carole; Seilhean, Danielle; Sato, Hideyo; Mallat, Michel; Boillée, Séverine

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease and evidence from mice expressing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-causing SOD1 mutations suggest that neurodegeneration is a non-cell autonomous process where microglial cells influence disease progression. However, microglial-derived neurotoxic factors still remain largely unidentified in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. With excitotoxicity being a major mechanism proposed to cause motor neuron death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, our hypothesis was that excessive glutamate release by activated microglia through their system [Formula: see text] (a cystine/glutamate antiporter with the specific subunit xCT/Slc7a11) could contribute to neurodegeneration. Here we show that xCT expression is enriched in microglia compared to total mouse spinal cord and absent from motor neurons. Activated microglia induced xCT expression and during disease, xCT levels were increased in both spinal cord and isolated microglia from mutant SOD1 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice. Expression of xCT was also detectable in spinal cord post-mortem tissues of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and correlated with increased inflammation. Genetic deletion of xCT in mice demonstrated that activated microglia released glutamate mainly through system [Formula: see text]. Interestingly, xCT deletion also led to decreased production of specific microglial pro-inflammatory/neurotoxic factors including nitric oxide, TNFa and IL6, whereas expression of anti-inflammatory/neuroprotective markers such as Ym1/Chil3 were increased, indicating that xCT regulates microglial functions. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice, xCT deletion surprisingly led to earlier symptom onset but, importantly, this was followed by a significantly slowed progressive disease phase, which resulted in more surviving motor neurons. These results are consistent with a deleterious contribution of microglial-derived glutamate during symptomatic

  17. A PET/CT approach to spinal cord metabolism in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marini, Cecilia [CNR Institute of Bioimages and Molecular Physiology, Milan, Section of Genoa (Italy); University of Genoa, Nuclear Medicine, IRCCS San Martino IST, and Depth of Health Science, Genoa (Italy); IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, CNR Institute of Bioimages and Molecular Physiology, Section of Genoa, C/o Nuclear Medicine, Genoa (Italy); Cistaro, Angelina; Fania, Piercarlo [Positron Emission Tomography Centre IRMET, Affidea, Turin (Italy); Campi, Cristina; Perasso, Annalisa; Massone, Anna Maria [SPIN Institute, CNR, Genoa (Italy); Calvo, Andrea; Moglia, Cristina; Canosa, Antonio; Cammarosano, Stefania; Chio, Adriano [University of Turin, ALS Center, ' ' Rita Levi Montalcini' ' Department of Neuroscience, Turin (Italy); AUO Citta della Salute e della Scienza, Turin (Italy); Caponnetto, Claudia; Nobili, Flavio Mariano; Novi, Giovanni; Scialo, Carlo; Mancardi, Gianluigi [IRCCS San Martino IST, Department of Neuroscience, Genoa (Italy); DINOGMI University of Genoa, Genoa (Italy); Beltrametti, Mauro C. [University of Genoa, Department of Mathematics (DIMA), Genoa (Italy); Buschiazzo, Ambra; Pomposelli, Elena; Morbelli, Silvia; Sambuceti, Gianmario [University of Genoa, Nuclear Medicine, IRCCS San Martino IST, and Depth of Health Science, Genoa (Italy); Bagnara, Maria Claudia [IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, Medical Physics unit, Genoa (Italy); Bruzzi, Paolo [IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, Statistics and Epidemiology Unit, Genoa (Italy); Piana, Michele [SPIN Institute, CNR, Genoa (Italy); University of Genoa, Department of Mathematics (DIMA), Genoa (Italy)

    2016-10-15

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, functional alterations within the brain have been intensively assessed, while progression of lower motor neuron damage has scarcely been defined. The aim of the present study was to develop a computational method to systematically evaluate spinal cord metabolism as a tool to monitor disease mechanisms. A new computational three-dimensional method to extract the spinal cord from {sup 18}F-FDG PET/CT images was evaluated in 30 patients with spinal onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 30 controls. The algorithm identified the skeleton on the CT images by using an extension of the Hough transform and then extracted the spinal canal and the spinal cord. In these regions, {sup 18}F-FDG standardized uptake values were measured to estimate the metabolic activity of the spinal canal and cord. Measurements were performed in the cervical and dorsal spine and normalized to the corresponding value in the liver. Uptake of {sup 18}F-FDG in the spinal cord was significantly higher in patients than in controls (p < 0.05). By contrast, no significant differences were observed in spinal cord and spinal canal volumes between the two groups. {sup 18}F-FDG uptake was completely independent of age, gender, degree of functional impairment, disease duration and riluzole treatment. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a higher mortality rate in patients with standardized uptake values above the fifth decile at the 3-year follow-up evaluation (log-rank test, p < 0.01). The independence of this value was confirmed by multivariate Cox analysis. Our computational three-dimensional method enabled the evaluation of spinal cord metabolism and volume and might represent a potential new window onto the pathophysiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. (orig.)

  18. Preservation of the nucleus X-pelvic floor motosystem in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D; Reske-Nielsen, E

    1984-01-01

    Fourteen cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were investigated neuropathologically, emphazising the sacral spinal cord which contains Onuf's nucleus X. The nucleus innervates the pelvic sphincters. In two cases, small striated pelvic muscles were studied. No changes characteristic of ALS...... the cases revealed, that although 8 demonstrated severe involvement of the lower extremities, only one presented vesico-rectal dysfunction which could be ascribed to ALS. But even in this case, the pelvic closure mechanisms appeared to be intact. The preservation of continence in ALS is related...

  19. Targeted Riluzole Delivery by Antioxidant Nanovectors for Treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-01

    control number. PLEASE DO NOT RETURN YOUR FORM TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. 1. REPORT DATE June 2015 2. REPORT TYPE Final 3. DATES COVERED 30 Sep 2012...murine model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. HCCs were produced by Dr. James Tour of Rice University and provided to Dr. Grill to assess in his...4-5 5. Changes/ Problems ...….……………………………………………… 5 6. Products…………………………………….……….….……………. 5-6 7. Participants & Other Collaborating Organizations

  20. Spatial clustering of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Finland at place of birth and place of death

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sabel, Clive E.; Boyle, P. J.; Löytönen, M.;

    2003-01-01

    location at the time of death as the basis for cluster detection, rather than exploring clusters at other points in the life cycle. In this study, the authors examine 1,000 cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis distributed throughout Finland who died between June 1985 and December 1995. Using a spatial......-scan statistic, the authors examine whether there are significant clusters of the disease at both time of birth and time of death. Two significant, neighboring clusters were identified in southeast and south-central Finland at the time of death. A single significant cluster was identified in southeast Finland...

  1. Current issues in the respiratory care of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Orsini

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neuromuscular disease, resulting in respiratory muscle weakness, reduced pulmonary volumes, ineffective cough, secretion retention, and respiratory failure. Measures as vital capacity, maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures, sniff nasal inspiratory pressure, cough peak flow and pulse oximetry are recommended to monitor the respiratory function. The patients should be followed up by a multidisciplinary team, focused in improving the quality of life and deal with the respiratory symptoms. The respiratory care approach includes airway clearance techniques, mechanically assisted cough and noninvasive mechanical ventilation. Vaccination and respiratory pharmacological support are also recommended. To date, there is no enough evidence supporting the inspiratory muscle training and diaphragmatic pacing.

  2. Functional pattern of Brain FDG-PET in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Pagani, M.; Chi, A.; Valentini, Mc; Berg, J; F. Nobili; Calvo, A. (Alfonso); Moglia, C; Bertuzzo, D.; S. Morbelli; De Carli, F; Fania, P; Cistaro, A

    2014-01-01

    Objective: We investigated a large sample of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at rest in order to assess the value of 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18F-FDG) PET as a biomarker to discriminate patients from controls. Methods: A total of 195 patients with ALS and 40 controls underwent brain 18F-FDG-PET, most within 5 months of diagnosis. Spinal and bulbar subgroups of ALS were also investigated. Twenty-five bilateral cortical and subcortical volumes of interest and cerebellum...

  3. Screening for C9orf72 repeat expansions in Chinese amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Zhang-Yu; Li, Xiao-Guang; Liu, Ming-Sheng; Cui, Li-Ying

    2013-06-01

    An intronic GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene was recently identified as a major cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia in white populations. To determine if the C9orf72 repeat expansion was present in ALS patients in Chinese populations, we studied the size of the hexanucleotide repeat expansion in a cohort of familial and sporadic ALS patients of Chinese origin. No expanded hexanucleotide repeats were identified. This indicates that C9orf72 mutations are not a common cause of familial or sporadic ALS in Chinese mainland.

  4. The ER mitochondria calcium cycle and ER stress response as therapeutic targets in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vedrana eTadic

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Although the etiology remains unclear, disturbances in calcium homoeostasis and protein folding are essential features of neurodegeneration in this disorder. Here, we review recent research findings on the interaction between endoplasmic reticulum (ER and mitochondria, and its effect on calcium signaling and oxidative stress. We further provide insights into studies, providing evidence that structures of the ER mitochondria calcium cycle (ERMCC serve as a promising targets for therapeutic approaches for treatment of ALS.

  5. [Anesthetic management using muscle relaxant in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohshita, Naohiro; Tsutsumi, Yasuo M; Oshita, Shuzo; Takata, Kaori; Tomiyama, Yoshinobu; Tanaka, Katsuya

    2012-09-01

    A 31-year-old woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with respiratory muscle paralysis was scheduled for tracheotomy. After applying standard neuromuscular monitoring devices, general anesthesia was induced and maintained with propofol, remifentanil, rocuronium, and sevoflurane. Sugammadex is a potent agent for reversal of neuromuscular blockade by rocuronium. The patient emerged from general anesthesia smoothly using sugammadex; however, assisted respiration was continued for possible prolongation of the effect of muscle relaxant. The postoperative course was uneventful, and she was discharged without any discomfort.

  6. [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in literature, cinema and television].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collado-Vázquez, Susana; Carrillo, Jesús María

    2014-07-01

    Introduccion. La esclerosis lateral amiotrofica (ELA) es una enfermedad neurodegenerativa de curso progresivo que afecta a las motoneuronas corticoespinales y medulares, y que se manifiesta principalmente con debilidad muscular, amiotrofia e hiperreflexia. Su incidencia es de 0,4-2,4 casos/100.000 habitantes/año, y su prevalencia, de 4-6 casos/100.000 habitantes. Es mas frecuente en varones adultos mayores de 50 años. Se han mostrado diversas enfermedades neurologicas en la literatura, el cine y la television, entre ellas la ELA, que se ha presentado de forma correcta y realista. Objetivo. Analizar el abordaje que la literatura, el cine y la television han hecho de la ELA. Desarrollo. Existen diversas obras literarias que abordan la ELA, como El desencuentro, Lou Gehrig: the luckiest man o Martes con mi viejo profesor; el cine tambien ha reflejado esta enfermedad en titulos como El orgullo de los Yankees, My love beside me (closer to Heaven) o Derecho a morir; y en la television se ha mostrado esta enfermedad en series, documentales y telefilmes, como Martes con mi viejo profesor, Jenifer o Mi vida con Lou Gehrig. La mayor parte de las obras es de tipo biografico y de testimonio, y muestra la enfermedad con realismo, con la intencion de dar a conocer la ELA y de concienciar a la poblacion. Conclusion. La literatura, el cine y la television han mostrado la ELA de forma realista y creible, a diferencia de otras enfermedades de origen neurologico.

  7. The cyanobacteria derived toxin Beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banack, Sandra Anne; Caller, Tracie A; Stommel, Elijah W

    2010-12-01

    There is mounting evidence to suggest that environmental factors play a major role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases like ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). The non-protein amino acid beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) was first associated with the high incidence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex (ALS/PDC) in Guam, and has been implicated as a potential environmental factor in ALS, Alzheimer's disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. BMAA has a number of toxic effects on motor neurons including direct agonist action on NMDA and AMPA receptors, induction of oxidative stress, and depletion of glutathione. As a non-protein amino acid, there is also the strong possibility that BMAA could cause intraneuronal protein misfolding, the hallmark of neurodegeneration. While an animal model for BMAA-induced ALS is lacking, there is substantial evidence to support a link between this toxin and ALS. The ramifications of discovering an environmental trigger for ALS are enormous. In this article, we discuss the history, ecology, pharmacology and clinical ramifications of this ubiquitous, cyanobacteria-derived toxin.

  8. Spatial Elucidation of Spinal Cord Lipid- and Metabolite- Regulations in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanrieder, Jörg; Ewing, Andrew G.

    2014-06-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating, rapidly progressing disease of the central nervous system that is characterized by motor neuron degeneration in the brain stem and the spinal cord. We employed time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to profile spatial lipid- and metabolite- regulations in post mortem human spinal cord tissue from ALS patients to investigate chemical markers of ALS pathogenesis. ToF-SIMS scans and multivariate analysis of image and spectral data were performed on thoracic human spinal cord sections. Multivariate statistics of the image data allowed delineation of anatomical regions of interest based on their chemical identity. Spectral data extracted from these regions were compared using two different approaches for multivariate statistics, for investigating ALS related lipid and metabolite changes. The results show a significant decrease for cholesterol, triglycerides, and vitamin E in the ventral horn of ALS samples, which is presumably a consequence of motor neuron degeneration. Conversely, the biogenic mediator lipid lysophosphatidylcholine and its fragments were increased in ALS ventral spinal cord, pointing towards neuroinflammatory mechanisms associated with neuronal cell death. ToF-SIMS imaging is a promising approach for chemical histology and pathology for investigating the subcellular mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  9. Structures of the G85R Variant of SOD1 in Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cao, Xiaohang; Antonyuk, Svetlana V.; Seetharaman, Sai V.; Whitson, Lisa J.; Taylor, Alexander B.; Holloway, Stephen P.; Strange, Richard W.; Doucette, Peter A.; Valentine, Joan Selverstone; Tiwari, Ashutosh; Hayward, Lawrence J.; Padua, Shelby; Cohlberg, Jeffrey A.; Hasnain, S. Samar; Hart, P. John (Texas-HSC); (Cal. State); (UMASS, MED); (UCLA); (Daresbury)

    2008-07-21

    Mutations in the gene encoding human copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause a dominant form of the progressive neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Transgenic mice expressing the human G85R SOD1 variant develop paralytic symptoms concomitant with the appearance of SOD1-enriched proteinaceous inclusions in their neural tissues. The process(es) through which misfolding or aggregation of G85R SOD1 induces motor neuron toxicity is not understood. Here we present structures of the human G85R SOD1 variant determined by single crystal x-ray diffraction. Alterations in structure of the metal-binding loop elements relative to the wild type enzyme suggest a molecular basis for the metal ion deficiency of the G85R SOD1 protein observed in the central nervous system of transgenic mice and in purified recombinant G85R SOD1. These findings support the notion that metal-deficient and/or disulfide-reduced mutant SOD1 species contribute to toxicity in SOD1-linked amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  10. Mutant SOD1 inhibits ER-Golgi transport in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkin, Julie D; Farg, Manal A; Soo, Kai Ying; Walker, Adam K; Halloran, Mark; Turner, Bradley J; Nagley, Phillip; Horne, Malcolm K

    2014-04-01

    Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase is misfolded in familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but it is not clear how this triggers endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress or other pathogenic processes. Here, we demonstrate that mutant SOD1 (mSOD1) is predominantly found in the cytoplasm in neuronal cells. Furthermore, we show that mSOD1 inhibits secretory protein transport from the ER to Golgi apparatus. ER-Golgi transport is linked to ER stress, Golgi fragmentation and axonal transport and we also show that inhibition of ER-Golgi trafficking preceded ER stress, Golgi fragmentation, protein aggregation and apoptosis in cells expressing mSOD1. Restoration of ER-Golgi transport by over-expression of coatomer coat protein II subunit Sar1 protected against inclusion formation and apoptosis, thus linking dysfunction in ER-Golgi transport to cellular pathology. These findings thus link several cellular events in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis into a single mechanism occurring early in mSOD1 expressing cells.

  11. Military service, deployments, and exposures in relation to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis etiology and survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beard, John D; Kamel, Freya

    2015-01-01

    Rates of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have been reported to be higher among US military veterans, who currently number more than 21 million, but the causal factor(s) has not been identified. We conducted a review to examine the weight of evidence for associations between military service, deployments, and exposures and ALS etiology and survival. Thirty articles or abstracts published through 2013 were reviewed. Although the current evidence suggests a positive association with ALS etiology, it is too limited to draw firm conclusions regarding associations between military service and ALS etiology or survival. Some evidence suggests that deployment to the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War may be associated with ALS etiology, but there is currently no strong evidence that any particular military exposure is associated with ALS etiology. Future studies should address the limitations of previous ones, such as reliance on mortality as a surrogate for incidence, a dearth of survival analyses, lack of clinical data, low statistical power, and limited exposure assessment. The Genes and Environmental Exposures in Veterans with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (GENEVA) Study is one such study, but additional research is needed to determine whether military-related factors are associated with ALS and to assess potential prevention strategies.

  12. The Cyanobacteria Derived Toxin Beta-N-Methylamino-L-Alanine and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elijah W. Stommel

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available There is mounting evidence to suggest that environmental factors play a major role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases like ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The non-protein amino acid beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA was first associated with the high incidence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex (ALS/PDC in Guam, and has been implicated as a potential environmental factor in ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. BMAA has a number of toxic effects on motor neurons including direct agonist action on NMDA and AMPA receptors, induction of oxidative stress, and depletion of glutathione. As a non-protein amino acid, there is also the strong possibility that BMAA could cause intraneuronal protein misfolding, the hallmark of neurodegeneration. While an animal model for BMAA-induced ALS is lacking, there is substantial evidence to support a link between this toxin and ALS. The ramifications of discovering an environmental trigger for ALS are enormous. In this article, we discuss the history, ecology, pharmacology and clinical ramifications of this ubiquitous, cyanobacteria-derived toxin.

  13. Dexpramipexole versus placebo for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (EMPOWER): a randomised, double-blind, phase 3 trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cudkowicz, M.E.; Berg, L.H. van den; Shefner, J.M.; Mitsumoto, H.; Mora, J.S.; Ludolph, A.; Hardiman, O.; Bozik, M.E.; Ingersoll, E.W.; Archibald, D.; Meyers, A.L.; Dong, Y.; Farwell, W.R.; Kerr, D.A.; Voermans, N.C.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In a phase 2 study, dexpramipexole (25-150 mg twice daily) was well tolerated for up to 9 months and showed a significant benefit at the high dose in a combined assessment of function and mortality in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We aimed to assess efficacy and safety of

  14. Genome-wide association analyses identify new risk variants and the genetic architecture of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rheenen, Wouter; Shatunov, Aleksey; Dekker, Annelot M; McLaughlin, Russell L; Diekstra, Frank P; Pulit, Sara L; van der Spek, Rick A A; Võsa, Urmo; de Jong, Simone; Robinson, Matthew R; Yang, Jian; Fogh, Isabella; van Doormaal, Perry Tc; Tazelaar, Gijs H P; Koppers, Max; Blokhuis, Anna M; Sproviero, William; Jones, Ashley R; Kenna, Kevin P; van Eijk, Kristel R; Harschnitz, Oliver; Schellevis, Raymond D; Brands, William J; Medic, Jelena; Menelaou, Androniki; Vajda, Alice; Ticozzi, Nicola; Lin, Kuang; Rogelj, Boris; Vrabec, Katarina; Ravnik-Glavač, Metka; Koritnik, Blaž; Zidar, Janez; Leonardis, Lea; Grošelj, Leja Dolenc; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Salachas, François; Meininger, Vincent; de Carvalho, Mamede; Pinto, Susana; Mora, Jesus S; Rojas-García, Ricardo; Polak, Meraida; Chandran, Siddharthan; Colville, Shuna; Swingler, Robert; Morrison, Karen E; Shaw, Pamela J; Hardy, John; Orrell, Richard W; Pittman, Alan; Sidle, Katie; Fratta, Pietro; Malaspina, Andrea; Topp, Simon; Petri, Susanne; Abdulla, Susanne; Drepper, Carsten; Sendtner, Michael; Meyer, Thomas; Ophoff, Roel A.; Staats, Kim A; Wiedau-Pazos, Martina; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M; Trojanowski, John Q; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Basak, A Nazli; Tunca, Ceren; Hamzeiy, Hamid; Parman, Yesim; Meitinger, Thomas; Lichtner, Peter; Radivojkov-Blagojevic, Milena; Andres, Christian R; Maurel, Cindy; Bensimon, Gilbert; Landwehrmeyer, Bernhard; Brice, Alexis; Payan, Christine A M; Saker-Delye, Safaa; Dürr, Alexandra; Wood, Nicholas W; Tittmann, Lukas; Lieb, Wolfgang; Franke, Andre; Rietschel, Marcella; Cichon, Sven; Nöthen, Markus M; Amouyel, Philippe; Tzourio, Christophe; Dartigues, Jean-François; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Estrada, Karol; Hofman, Albert; Curtis, Charles; Blauw, Hylke M; van der Kooi, Anneke J; de Visser, Marianne; Goris, An; Weber, Markus; Shaw, Christopher E; Smith, Bradley N; Pansarasa, Orietta; Cereda, Cristina; Del Bo, Roberto; Comi, Giacomo P; D'Alfonso, Sandra; Bertolin, Cinzia; Sorarù, Gianni; Mazzini, Letizia; Pensato, Viviana; Gellera, Cinzia; Tiloca, Cinzia; Ratti, Antonia; Calvo, Andrea; Moglia, Cristina; Brunetti, Maura; Arcuti, Simona; Capozzo, Rosa; Zecca, Chiara; Lunetta, Christian; Penco, Silvana; Riva, Nilo; Padovani, Alessandro; Filosto, Massimiliano; Muller, Bernard; Stuit, Robbert Jan; Blair, Ian; Zhang, Katharine; McCann, Emily P; Fifita, Jennifer A; Nicholson, Garth A; Rowe, Dominic B; Pamphlett, Roger; Kiernan, Matthew C; Grosskreutz, Julian; Witte, Otto W; Ringer, Thomas; Prell, Tino; Stubendorff, Beatrice; Kurth, Ingo; Hübner, Christian A; Leigh, P Nigel; Casale, Federico; Chio, Adriano; Beghi, Ettore; Pupillo, Elisabetta; Tortelli, Rosanna; Logroscino, Giancarlo; Powell, John; Ludolph, Albert C; Weishaupt, Jochen H; Robberecht, Wim; Van Damme, Philip; Franke, Lude; Pers, Tune H; Brown, Robert H; Glass, Jonathan D; Landers, John E; Hardiman, Orla; Andersen, Peter M; Corcia, Philippe; Vourc'h, Patrick; Silani, Vincenzo; Wray, Naomi R; Visscher, Peter M; de Bakker, Paul I W; van Es, Michael A; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen; Lewis, Cathryn M; Breen, Gerome; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; van den Berg, Leonard H; Veldink, Jan H

    2016-01-01

    To elucidate the genetic architecture of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and find associated loci, we assembled a custom imputation reference panel from whole-genome-sequenced patients with ALS and matched controls (n = 1,861). Through imputation and mixed-model association analysis in 12,577 ca

  15. The cortisol awakening response in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is blunted and correlates with clinical status and depressive mood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roozendaal, Benno; Kim, Sungchul; Wolf, Oliver T.; Kim, Min Soo; Sung, Kang-Keyng; Lee, Sangkwan

    2012-01-01

    Considerable evidence indicates that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the motor system, has an enormous impact on the patient's emotional and physical well-being. As previous findings indicated that particularly the rise in cortisol levels immediately a

  16. Evidence for neuronal localisation of enteroviral sequences in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by in situ hybridization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodall, C J; Graham, D I

    2004-01-01

    Sequences resembling those of human enterovirus type B sequences have been associated with motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In a previous study we detected enteroviral sequences in spinal cord/brain stem from cases of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but not controls. Adjacent tissue sections to two of those strongly positive for these sequences by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction were analyzed by in situ hybridization with digoxigenin-labelled virus-specific antisense riboprobes. In one case, a female aged 83 showing 12 month rapid progressive disease, signal was specifically localized to cells identifiable as motor neurones of the anterior horn. In another case, a male aged 63 with a 60-month history of progressive muscle weakness, dysarthia, dyspnoea and increased tendon reflexes, signal was located to neurones in the gracile/cuneate nuclei of the brain stem tissue block that had been analyzed. This case showed loss of neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord by histopathologic examination which would account for clinical signs of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dysfunction of the gracile/cuneate nuclei might have been masked by the paralytic disease. These structures are adjacent to the hypoglossal nuclei, and suggest either localised dissemination from hypoglossal nuclei or a possible route of dissemination of infection through the brainstem to the hypoglossal nuclei. These findings provide further evidence for the possible involvement of enteroviruses in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  17. Evidence for neuronal localisation of enteroviral sequences in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by in situ hybridization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJ Woodall

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Sequences resembling those of human enterovirus type B sequences have been associated with motor neurone disease/ amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In a previous study we detected enteroviral sequences in spinal cord/brain stem from cases of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but not controls. Adjacent tissue sections to two of those strongly positive for these sequences by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction were analyzed by in situ hybridization with digoxigenin-labelled virus-specific antisense riboprobes. In one case, a female aged 83 showing 12 month rapid progressive disease, signal was specifically localized to cells identifiable as motor neurones of the anterior horn. In another case, a male aged 63 with a 60-month history of progressive muscle weakness, dysarthia, dyspnoea and increased tendon reflexes, signal was located to neurones in the gracile/cuneate nuclei of the brain stem tissue block that had been analyzed. This case showed loss of neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord by histopathologic examination which would account for clinical signs of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dysfunction of the gracile/cuneate nuclei might have been masked by the paralytic disease. These structures are adjacent to the hypoglossal nuclei, and suggest either localised dissemination from hypoglossal nuclei or a possible route of dissemination of infection through the brainstem to the hypoglossal nuclei. These findings provide further evidence for the possible involvement of enteroviruses in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  18. Expression of microRNAs in human post-mortem amyotrophic lateral sclerosis spinal cords provides insight into disease mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa-Romero, Claudia; Hur, Junguk; Lunn, J Simon; Paez-Colasante, Ximena; Bender, Diane E; Yung, Raymond; Sakowski, Stacey A; Feldman, Eva L

    2016-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a late-onset and terminal neurodegenerative disease. The majority of cases are sporadic with unknown causes and only a small number of cases are genetically linked. Recent evidence suggests that post-transcriptional regulation and epigenetic mechanisms, such as microRNAs, underlie the onset and progression of neurodegenerative disorders; therefore, altered microRNA expression may result in the dysregulation of key genes and biological pathways that contribute to the development of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Using systems biology analyses on postmortem human spinal cord tissue, we identified dysregulated mature microRNAs and their potential targets previously implicated in functional process and pathways associated with the pathogenesis of ALS. Furthermore, we report a global reduction of mature microRNAs, alterations in microRNA processing, and support for a role of the nucleotide binding protein, TAR DNA binding protein 43, in regulating sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-associated microRNAs, thereby offering a potential underlying mechanism for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  19. Reduced p75NTRexpression delays disease onset only in female mice of a transgenic model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Küst, B.M.; Brouwer, N.; Mantingh, I.J.; Boddeke, H.W.G.M.; Copray, J.C.V.M.

    2003-01-01

    hSOD1 (G93A) transgenic mice develop pathological changes similar to those in patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS). In particular, the progressive degeneration of motoneurons is charactered in this mouse model. One feature of stressed motoneurons in ALS and the hSOD1 mice is t

  20. Golgi Fragmentation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, an Overview of Possible Triggers and Consequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinod eSundaramoorthy

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is an invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorder, which specifically targets motor neurons in the brain, brain stem and spinal cord. Whilst the etiology of ALS remains unknown, fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus is detected in ALS patient motor neurons and in animal/cellular disease models. The Golgi is a highly dynamic organelle that acts as a dispatching station for the vesicular transport of secretory/transmembrane proteins. It also mediates autophagy and maintains endoplasmic reticulum (ER and axonal homeostasis. Both the trigger for Golgi fragmentation and the functional consequences of a fragmented Golgi apparatus in ALS remain unclear. However recent evidence has highlighted defects in vesicular trafficking as a pathogenic mechanism in ALS. This review summarises the evidence describing Golgi fragmentation in ALS, with possible links to other disease processes including cellular trafficking, ER stress, defective autophagy and axonal degeneration.

  1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as a spatiotemporal mislocalization disease: location, location, location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gershoni-Emek, Noga; Chein, Michael; Gluska, Shani; Perlson, Eran

    2015-01-01

    Spatiotemporal localization of signals is a fundamental feature impacting cell survival and proper function. The cell needs to respond in an accurate manner in both space and time to both intra- and intercellular environment cues. The regulation of this comprehensive process involves the cytoskeleton and the trafficking machinery, as well as local protein synthesis and ligand-receptor mechanisms. Alterations in such mechanisms can lead to cell dysfunction and disease. Motor neurons that can extend over tens of centimeters are a classic example for the importance of such events. Changes in spatiotemporal localization mechanisms are thought to play a role in motor neuron degeneration that occurs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this review we will discuss these mechanisms and argue that possible misregulated factors can lead to motor neuron degeneration in ALS.

  2. Decision Making About Gastrostomy and Noninvasive Ventilation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Naomi H; Lawrence, Vanessa; Murray, Joanna; Janssen, Anna; Higginson, Irene; Lyall, Rebecca; Burman, Rachel; Leigh, P Nigel; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Goldstein, Laura H

    2016-08-01

    We used thematic analysis to investigate factors affecting decision making about gastrostomy and noninvasive ventilation (NIV) by people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) from the viewpoint of the health care professionals (HCPs) supporting them. We conducted 20 in-depth interviews with 19 HCPs nominated by people with ALS who had made a decision to accept or decline NIV or gastrostomy. We found the main themes influencing decision making were patient-centric, caregiver-related or related to HCPs' own beliefs, perspectives, and actions. HCPs felt patients should be, and were, in control of decision making, although caregivers and HCPs played a role. The patient's evaluation of quality of life, the desirability of prolonging life, and acceptance of the disease and its progression by both patient and caregiver were the most important factors identified by HCPs. HCPs should be aware of the importance of multiprofessional discussions, and the potential influences (identified above) that might require discussion with patients and caregivers.

  3. Interdisciplinary palliative care, including massage, in treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatzheim, Kendra

    2009-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive fatal neurological disease that affects approximately 20,000 Americans. Symptoms include muscle weakness, fatigue, twitching, atrophy, spasticity, pain, oropharyngeal dysfunction, pseudobulbar affect, weight loss, and respiratory impairment. Death occurs within 3-5 yr after onset of symptoms, with diagnosis taking from 11 to 17.5 months. The only FDA-approved drug for ALS is Riluzole, which only increases the life expectancy by a few months. All other treatments for ALS provide symptom management to improve the patient's quality of life. An interdisciplinary palliative care team for the ALS patient helps to reduce the stress that the illness places on families. Massage can be a useful adjunctive treatment for spasticity and pain when medication side effects are unwanted. A holistic interdisciplinary palliative care team supports both the patient and the family improving their quality of life.

  4. Can cannabinoids be a potential therapeutic tool in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacoppo, Sabrina; Mazzon, Emanuela

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common degenerative disease of the motor neuron system. Over the last years, a growing interest was aimed to discovery new innovative and safer therapeutic approaches in the ALS treatment. In this context, the bioactive compounds of Cannabis sativa have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in preclinical models of central nervous system disease. However, most of the studies proving the ability of cannabinoids in delay disease progression and prolong survival in ALS were performed in animal model, whereas the few clinical trials that investigated cannabinoids-based medicines were focused only on the alleviation of ALS-related symptoms, not on the control of disease progression. The aim of this report was to provide a short but important overview of evidences that are useful to better characterize the efficacy as well as the molecular pathways modulated by cannabinoids. PMID:28197175

  5. Prevalence of Huntington's disease gene CAG repeat alleles in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Eliana Marisa; Keagle, Pamela; Gillis, Tammy; Lowe, Patrick; Mysore, Jayalakshmi S; Leclerc, Ashley Lyn; Ratti, Antonia; Ticozzi, Nicola; Gellera, Cinzia; Gusella, James F; Silani, Vincenzo; Alonso, Isabel; Brown, Robert H; MacDonald, Marcy E; Landers, John E

    2012-05-01

    A higher prevalence of intermediate ataxin-2 CAG repeats in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients has raised the possibility that CAG expansions in other polyglutamine disease genes could contribute to ALS neurodegeneration. We sought to determine whether expansions of the CAG repeat of the HTT gene that causes Huntington's disease, are associated with ALS. We compared the HTT CAG repeat length on a total of 3144 chromosomes from 1572 sporadic ALS patients and 4007 control chromosomes, and also tested its possible effects on ALS-specific parameters, such as age and site of onset and survival rate. Our results show that the CAG repeat in the HTT gene is not a risk factor for ALS nor modifies its clinical presentation. These findings suggest that distinct neuronal degeneration processes are involved in these two different neurodegenerative disorders.

  6. Agraphia in Mobile Text Messages in a Case of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with Frontotemporal Dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Kengo; Shiraishi, Tomoyuki; Idehara, Ryo

    2015-01-01

    We herein describe the case of a woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) showing errors in her choice of Japanese kana characters in her mobile text messages and agraphia of the kana in her handwriting in spite of the absence of weakness, ataxia, or apraxia of her hands. Magnetic resonance imaging showed the atrophy of the frontal lobes. Single-photon emission computed tomography revealed hypoperfusion of the frontal lobes including Exner's area. Although patients with bulbar-onset ALS have been reported to show agraphia of handwriting, in this case the basis of her agraphia might have been the disturbance of the pathway converting phones to graphemes in series, by which errors of spelling or writing would appear in any modality of output.

  7. Immunohistochemical studies of angiogenin in the skin of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higashida, Kazuhiro; Tsukie, Tomomi; Fukazawa, Hiroyuki; Fujikura, Mikio; Ono, Seiitsu

    2013-03-15

    Angiogenin (ANG) is a member of the ribonuclease superfamily which is implicated in angiogenesis. ANG maintains normal vasculature and thereby protects motor neurons from various stress conditions. It is suggested that ANG may play a role in pathomechanism of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, there have been no studies of ANG in ALS skin. We made a quantitative immunohistochemical study of the expression of ANG in the skin from 20 patients with sporadic ALS, 20 patients with other neurologic or muscular disorders (control group A), and 20 patients without neurologic or muscular disorders (control group B). The nuclei of the epidermal cells showed a weak ANG immunoreactivity in ALS patients. These findings became more marked as ALS progressed. The optical density for ANG immunoreactivity of the nucleus in the epidermal cells in ALS patients was significantly lower (pskin are related to the disease process and that metabolic alterations of ANG may take place in the skin of ALS patients.

  8. Concise review: Stem cell therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: recent advances and prospects for the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunn, J Simon; Sakowski, Stacey A; Feldman, Eva L

    2014-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal disease involving the loss of motor neurons. Although the mechanisms responsible for motor neuron degeneration in ALS remain elusive, the development of stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of ALS has gained widespread support. Here, we review the types of stem cells being considered for therapeutic applications in ALS, and emphasize recent preclinical advances that provide supportive rationale for clinical translation. We also discuss early trials from around the world translating cellular therapies to ALS patients, and offer important considerations for future clinical trial design. Although clinical translation is still in its infancy, and additional insight into the mechanisms underlying therapeutic efficacy and the establishment of long-term safety are required, these studies represent an important first step toward the development of effective cellular therapies for the treatment of ALS.

  9. Recent Advances and the Future of Stem Cell Therapies in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goutman, Stephen A; Chen, Kevin S; Feldman, Eva L

    2015-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the motor neurons without a known cure. Based on the possibility of cellular neuroprotection and early preclinical results, stem cells have gained widespread enthusiasm as a potential treatment strategy. Preclinical models demonstrate a protective role of engrafted stem cells and provided the basis for human trials carried out using various types of stem cells, as well as a range of cell delivery methods. To date, no trial has demonstrated a clear therapeutic benefit; however, results remain encouraging and are the basis for ongoing studies. In addition, stem cell technology continues to improve, and induced pluripotent stem cells may offer additional therapeutic options in the future. Improved disease models and clinical trials will be essential in order to validate stem cells as a beneficial therapy.

  10. Comparative study of peripheral nerve Mri and ultrasound in multifocal motor neuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jongbloed, Bas A.; Haakma, Wieke; Goedee, H. Stephan

    2017-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Differentiating multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is important, as MMN is a difficult, but treatable disorder. METHODS: We studied peripheral nerve imaging techniques in differentiating MMN from ALS by measuring the cross-sectional area (CSA......) of the median and ulnar nerves in the forearms using high resolution ultrasound (HRUS) and MRI. RESULTS: HRUS CSA values of the median nerve in the forearm (P = 0.002) and the ulnar nerve distal to the sulcus (P = 0.009) were significantly enlarged in patients with MMN. There was a positive correlation between...... CSA as measured with HRUS and MRI (Spearman rho 0.60; P nerve imaging is a potentially powerful technique to distinguish MMN from ALS. Muscle Nerve, 2016 Muscle Nerve 54: 1133-1135, 2016....

  11. Retraction: DNAJC6 variants in Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Teng; Zhang, Ying-Dong; Tan, Lan; Yu, Jin-Tai

    2016-04-04

    The above Letter to the Editor from Annals of Neurology, published online as an Accepted Article on 4th April 2016 on Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been withdrawn at the request of the authors with agreement from the journal editor, Clifford B. Saper, and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The withdrawal has been agreed due to an acknowledgement from the authors that they inappropriately implied that material from the PD Gene and ALS Gene public databases and a figure from the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science was their own work. Reference Jiang, T., Zhang, Y-D., Tan, L., and Yu, J-T (2016) DNAJC6 variants in Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ann Neurol. doi: 10.1002/ana.24658.

  12. Ethical considerations in disease management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a cross-cultural, worldwide perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, J A

    1998-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is universally fatal. Technological advances have provided a means to impact upon, without radically improving, the natural history of the disease. In addition, we now have the capability of potentially identifying patients who are pre-symptomatic carriers of the rare heritable forms of the disease. These capabilities provide the basis for the numerous ethical dilemmas that face patients, physicians, and agencies responsible for health care expenditures; dilemmas that can only be amplified between cultures. This paper attempts to address some of the major ethical issues germane to the care of ALS patients. It discusses the emergence of autonomy as the reigning principle of medical ethics in the United States and its potential conflict with the ethical dilemma of limited resource allocation. Finally, it attempts to compare and contrast, in an admittedly anecdotal and fragmentary fashion, the perspective of other cultures regarding the care of ALS patients.

  13. Epidemiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients in a centre in Buenos Aires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariela Bettini

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS is considered a multifactorial disease with genetic and environmental factors causing motor neuron degeneration. OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiological and occupational characteristics of patients with sALS who attended the Ramos Mejía Hospital at Buenos Aires, Argentina. METHOD: We analyzed the medical records of sALS patients diagnosed between 2001 and 2008. All occupations were coded according to the International Standard Classification of Occupation (ISCO. RESULTS: 187 patients were assessed, 38.5% were women and 61.5% men. Mean age at diagnosis was 55 years. 16% of them came from rural areas; 68% of the studied population had no health insurance. 40% were employed in elementary occupations, 19 were technicians and 8 handicraftsmen. CONCLUSION: The most represented profession was elementary occupation. A large proportion of patients came from rural areas, which might suggest an increased risk of environmental exposure to an unknown agent in those regions.

  14. Intraneuronal aluminum accumulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinsonism-dementia of Guam

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perl, D.P.; Gajdusek, D.C.; Garruto, R.M.; Yanagihara, R.T.; Gibbs, C.J.

    1982-09-10

    Scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry was used to analyze the elemental content of neurofibrillary tangle (NFT)-bearing and NFT-free neurons within the Sommer's sector (H1 region) of the hippocampus in Guamanian Chamorros with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia and in neurologically normal controls. Preliminary data indicate prominent accumulation of aluminum within the nuclear region and perikaryal cytoplasm of NFT-bearing hippocampal neurons, regardless of the underlying neurological diagnosis. These findings further extend the association between intraneuronal aluminum and NFT formation and support the hypothesis that environmental factors are related to the neurodegenerative changes seen in the Chamorro population.

  15. Comparison of psychosocial factors between patients with benign fasciculations and those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rana Sandeep

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available In this retrospective study, we compared the initial presentation of patients who were eventually diagnosed with either benign fasciculations (BF or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. We found a significantly higher number of patients with BF reporting a past history of psychiatric symptoms, life stressors, and concurrent psychosomatic symptoms. There was no difference between the two groups in patient report of current anxiety or depression symptoms. These findings support our hypothesis that BF are a manifestation of psychological distress due to somatization and that reviewing psychosocial history is important when patients are being evaluated for fasciculations. Patients seeking medical attention for fasciculations and who do not report a history of underlying psychiatric or psychosomatic disorders should be followed closely as fasciculations have been reported to be a presenting feature of ALS.

  16. Quantification of brain metabolites in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by localized proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gredal, O; Rosenbaum, S; Topp, S;

    1997-01-01

    We performed proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in patients with motor neuron disease (MND) to determine the absolute in vivo concentrations in the brain of the metabolites N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), and creatine (Cr/PCr). We examined the spectra acquired from a 20 x 20 x...... with both upper and lower motor neuron signs had a significantly decreased concentration of NAA (9.13 +/- 0.28 mM, mean +/- SEM) in the primary motor cortex when compared with healthy controls (10.03 +/- 0.22 mM). In conclusion, the slightly decreased concentration of NAA in the primary motor cortex from...... 20-mm3 voxel placed in the motor cortex and in the cerebellum from seven patients with clinically probable or definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) according to the El Escorial criteria, from three patients with suspected ALS (progressive muscular atrophy), and from eight normal control...

  17. Lower motor neuron involvement examined by quantitative electromyography in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Objective The diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) includes demonstration of lower motor neuron (LMN) and upper motor neuron (UMN) involvement of bulbar and spinal muscles. Electromyography (EMG) is essential to confirm LMN affection in weak muscles, and to demonstrate changes...... in clinically non-involved muscles. The aim of the study was to determine the relative importance of ongoing (active) denervation, fasciculations, chronic partial denervation with reinnervation at weak effort and loss of motor units at maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) in ALS. Methods EMG was carried out...... in weak and non-weak muscles in 220 patients suspected of ALS using concentric needle electrodes. Denervation activity and fasciculations in 966 muscles was quantified, the mean durations and amplitudes of motor unit potentials (MUPs) were compared to controls in 745 muscles, and the amplitudes...

  18. Genotype-Property Patient-Phenotype Relations Suggest that Proteome Exhaustion Can Cause Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kepp, Kasper Planeta

    2015-01-01

    number, expressed as an exponential function of the experimental stabilities (R-2 = 0.31, p = 0.002), and this phenotype is further aggravated by charge (R-2 = 0.51, p = 1.8 x 10-5). This finding suggests that disease relates to the copy number of misfolded proteins. Exhaustion of motor neurons due...... at the neuromuscular junctions where ALS often initiates. If true, this exhaustion mechanism implies a complete change of focus in treatment of ALS towards actively nursing the energy state and protein turnover of the motor neurons.......Late-onset neurodegenerative diseases remain poorly understood as search continues for the perceived pathogenic protein species. Previously, variants in Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1) causing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) were found to destabilize and reduce net charge, suggesting a pathogenic...

  19. An electronic communication system for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients - biomed 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, Atsushi; Maki, Hiromichi; Ogawa, Hidekuni; Tsukamoto, Sosuke; Yonezawa, Yoshiharu; Hahn, Allen W; Caldwell, W Morton

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive degeneration of motor neurons. Patients with the disease lose their ability to speak and to use their hands as the disease progresses. We have developed a new electronic communication system that enables communication by blinking of the eyes. The system consists of a light emitting diode (LED), two silicone rubber electrodes, an electrooculogram (EOG) recorder, a microcontroller, a sound reproduction board, a pillow speaker and a low power mobile phone. The two silicone rubber electrodes record the EOG induced by blinking the eyes synchronized with LED flashing. The EOG is amplified by the EOG recorder. The microcontroller detects the blinking from the amplified EOG, and then their meanings are confirmed by voice. After that, the patient’s intention is transmitted to the nurse by a low power mobile phone so the care giver is kept in the loop.

  20. Cortical T2 signal shortening in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is not due to iron deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hecht, M.J.; Neundoerfer, B. [University of Erlangen-Nurenberg, Department of Neurology, Erlangen (Germany); Fellner, C.; Fellner, F.A. [University of Erlangen-Nurenberg, Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, Erlangen (Germany); Landes-Nervenklinik Wagner-Jauregg, Institute of Radiology, Linz (Austria); Schmid, A. [University of Erlangen-Nurenberg, Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, Erlangen (Germany)

    2005-11-01

    Signal shortening of the motor cortex in T2-weighted MR images is a frequent finding in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The cause of signal shortening in ALS is unknown, although iron deposits have been suggested. To test this hypothesis, we acquired T2*-weighted gradient-echo (GRE) MR images in addition to T2-weighted turbo spin-echo in 69 patients with ALS. Signal shortening in T2-weighted images was found in 31 patients. In T2*-weighted GRE images, only three patients had signal shortening. One patient with additional bifrontal haemorrhage had frontal but no motor cortex signal shortening. Iron deposits do not cause cortical signal shortening in patients with ALS predominantly. Other factors are presumably more important in the generation of cortical T2 shortening in ALS. (orig.)

  1. Cardiac Failure as an Unusual Presentation in a Patient with History of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Hasan Namazi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is the most well-known form of motor neuron diseases in which both upper and lower motor neurons are involved in this disease. We presented an unusual case of ALS whom had presented with chief complaint of dyspnea. Cardiac failure was diagnosed at the final stage of the ALS disease. The pathogenetic mechanism leading to an elevated occurrence of cardiomyopathy in ALS is not comprehensible. Dilated cardiomyopathy has been explained in some previous studies. Based on the collected data, it was hypothesized that cardiomyopathy is underdiagnosed in the ALS population, probably because symptoms are masqueraded as a result of the patients’ disability. It was suggested that in all motor neuron diseases a serial cardiological evaluation should be executed, including annual echocardiography.

  2. New ALS-Related Genes Expand the Spectrum Paradigm of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabatelli, Mario; Marangi, Giuseppe; Conte, Amelia; Tasca, Giorgio; Zollino, Marcella; Lattante, Serena

    2016-03-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by the degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons. Clinical heterogeneity is a well-recognized feature of the disease as age of onset, site of onset and the duration of the disease can vary greatly among patients. A number of genes have been identified and associated to familial and sporadic forms of ALS but the majority of cases remains still unexplained. Recent breakthrough discoveries have demonstrated that clinical manifestations associated with ALS-related genes are not circumscribed to motor neurons involvement. In this view, ALS appears to be linked to different conditions over a continuum or spectrum in which overlapping phenotypes may be identified. In this review, we aim to examine the increasing number of spectra, including ALS/Frontotemporal Dementia and ALS/Myopathies spectra. Considering all these neurodegenerative disorders as different phenotypes of the same spectrum can help to identify common pathological pathways and consequently new therapeutic targets in these incurable diseases.

  3. Practical respiratory management in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: evidence, controversies and recent advances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, Stephen C; Steer, John

    2016-04-01

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the onset of respiratory muscle weakness is silent, but survival following symptom recognition may only be a few weeks. Consequently, respiratory function and symptoms should be assessed every 2-3 months. Noninvasive ventilation improves symptoms, quality of life and survival, without increasing carer burden. Lung volume recruitment helps to reverse and prevent atelectasis, improving gas exchange, while techniques to enhance sputum clearance reduce the risk of mucus plugging and lower respiratory tract infections. When noninvasive support fails, often due to severe bulbar impairment, tracheostomy ventilation prolongs life. Most patients receiving tracheostomy ventilation at home report satisfactory quality of life, but at the expense of high carer burden. Diaphragmatic pacing is associated with an increased risk of death.

  4. Mechanisms of Neuroprotection by Protein Disulphide Isomerase in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam K. Walker

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a devastating neurodegenerative disease characterised by the progressive loss of motor neurons, leading to paralysis and death within several years of onset. Although protein misfolding is a key feature of ALS, the upstream triggers of disease remain elusive. Recently, endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress was identified as an early and central feature in ALS disease models as well as in human patient tissues, indicating that ER stress could be an important process in disease pathogenesis. One important chaperone induced by ER stress is protein disulphide isomerase (PDI, which is both upregulated and posttranslationally inhibited by S-nitrosylation in ALS. In this paper, we present evidence from studies of genetics, model organisms, and patient tissues which indicate an active role for PDI and ER stress in ALS disease processes.

  5. Diffusion tensor tract-specific analysis of the uncinate fasciculus in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sato, Kanako; Masutani, Yoshitaka; Watadani, Takeyuki; Nakata, Yasuhiro; Yoshida, Mariko; Abe, Osamu; Ohtomo, Kuni [University of Tokyo, Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medicine, Bunkyo, Tokyo (Japan); Aoki, Shigeki [Juntendo University, Department of Radiology, Bunkyo, Tokyo (Japan); Iwata, Nobue K.; Terao, Yasuo; Tsuji, Shoji [University of Tokyo, Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, Bunkyo, Tokyo (Japan)

    2010-08-15

    The uncinate fasciculus (UF) consists of core fibers connecting the frontal and temporal lobes and is considered to be related to cognitive/behavioral function. Using diffusion tensor tractography, we quantitatively evaluated changes in fractional anisotropy (FA) and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of the UF by tract-specific analysis to evaluate the damage of the UF in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We obtained diffusion tensor images of 15 patients with ALS and 9 age-matched volunteers. Patients with ALS showed significantly lower mean FA (P = 0.029) compared with controls. No significant difference was seen in mean ADC. The results suggest that damage of the UF in patients with ALS can be quantitatively evaluated with FA. (orig.)

  6. The experience of meditation for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their caregivers - a qualitative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marconi, Anna; Gragnano, Gaia; Lunetta, Christian; Gatto, Ramona; Fabiani, Viviana; Tagliaferri, Aurora; Rossi, Gabriella; Sansone, Valeria; Pagnini, Francesco

    2016-09-01

    There is a lack of studies about psychological interventions for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their caregivers. We investigated the experience of a meditation training program tailored for ALS needs. People with ALS (pALS) and their caregivers that joined a meditation program for ALS were interviewed at the end of the program. Verbatims were analyzed with a qualitative approach. Both pALS and their caregivers reported a positive impact on their psychological well-being, promoted by an increase in acceptance and non-judgmental attitude. Furthermore, coping strategies seem to improve, with a positive effect on resilience skills. The ALS meditation training program seems to be an effective psychological intervention for the promotion of well-being in pALS and their caregivers.

  7. Attention and P300-based BCI performance in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela eRiccio

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to investigate the support of attentional and memory processes in controlling a P300-based brain-computer interface (BCI in people suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Eight people with ALS performed two behavioural tasks: i a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP task, screening the temporal filtering capacity and the speed of the update of the attentive filter, and ii a change detection task, screening the memory capacity and the spatial filtering capacity. The participants were also asked to perform a P300-based BCI spelling task. By using correlation and regression analyses, we found that only the temporal filtering capacity in the RSVP task was a predictor of both the P300-based BCI accuracy and of the amplitude of the P300 elicited performing the BCI task. We concluded that the ability to keep the attentional filter active during the selection of a target influences performance in BCI control.

  8. Total intravenous anesthesia without muscle relaxant in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dongchul; Lee, Kyung Cheon; Kim, Ji Young; Park, Yeon Soo; Chang, Young Jin

    2008-01-01

    A 63-year-old woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was scheduled for open reduction and internal fixation of the right tibia. Total intravenous anesthesia using propofol and remifentanil without muscle relaxant was selected as the anesthetic method, in order to avoid the possible occurrence of ventilatory depression due to abnormal responses to muscle relaxants and exacerbation of the motor neuron disease. After standard and neuromuscular monitoring devices were applied, anesthesia was induced and maintained with target controlled infusion of propofol and remifentanil in the range of 2.5-5.0 microg x ml(-1) and 2.5-5.0 ng x ml(-1), respectively. To avoid delayed neuromuscular recovery, we did not use any muscle relaxant at all. Intubation was successful and there were no remarkable events during anesthesia, except for three brief hypotensive events; there was no exacerbation of ALS itself during or after the anesthesia. She was discharged on postoperative day 3, without any discomfort.

  9. Glutamate and aspartate are decreased in the skin in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, S.; Yamauchi, M.

    1992-01-01

    We measured the levels of amino acids in biopsied skin from eight patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and seven controls. The most conspicuous changes in ALS patients were as follows. First, the contents of the acidic amino acids glutamate and aspartate were significantly decreased in ALS, and were negatively and significantly associated with the duration of illness. Second, the levels of the collagen-associated amino acids hydroxyproline, proline, glycine, alanine, and hydroxylysine were significantly decreased in ALS, and correlated inversely with the duration of illness. These results suggest that there are abnormalities of acidic amino acids and collagen-associated amino acids in the skin of patients with ALS. These changes may underlie the pathogenesis of ALS.

  10. Structural and diffusion imaging versus clinical assessment to monitor amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardenas-Blanco, Arturo; Machts, Judith; Acosta-Cabronero, Julio; Kaufmann, Joern; Abdulla, Susanne; Kollewe, Katja; Petri, Susanne; Schreiber, Stefanie; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Dengler, Reinhard; Vielhaber, Stefan; Nestor, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects upper and lower motor neurons. Observational and intervention studies can be tracked using clinical measures such as the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) but for a complete understanding of disease progression, objective in vivo biomarkers of both central and peripheral motor pathway pathology are highly desirable. The aim of this study was to determine the utility of structural and diffusion imaging as central nervous system biomarkers compared to the standard clinical measure, ALSFRS-R, to track longitudinal evolution using three time-point measurements. N = 34 patients with ALS were scanned and clinically assessed three times at a mean of three month time intervals. The MRI biomarkers were structural T1-weighted volumes for cortical thickness measurement as well as deep grey matter volumetry, voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Cortical thickness focused specifically on the precentral gyrus while quantitative DTI biomarkers focused on the corticospinal tracts. The evolution of imaging biomarkers and ALSFRS-R scores over time were analysed using a mixed effects model that accounted for the scanning interval as a fixed effect variable, and, the initial measurements and time from onset as random variables. The mixed effects model showed a significant decrease in the ALSFRS-R score, (p  0.5). In addition, deep grey matter volumetry and voxel-based morphometry also identified no significant changes. Furthermore, the availability of three time points was able to indicate that there was a linear progression in both clinical and fractional anisotropy measures adding to the validity of these results. The results indicate that DTI is clearly a superior imaging marker compared to atrophy for tracking the evolution of the disease and can act as a central nervous biomarker in longitudinal studies. It remains, however, less

  11. Structural and diffusion imaging versus clinical assessment to monitor amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arturo Cardenas-Blanco

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects upper and lower motor neurons. Observational and intervention studies can be tracked using clinical measures such as the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R but for a complete understanding of disease progression, objective in vivo biomarkers of both central and peripheral motor pathway pathology are highly desirable. The aim of this study was to determine the utility of structural and diffusion imaging as central nervous system biomarkers compared to the standard clinical measure, ALSFRS-R, to track longitudinal evolution using three time-point measurements. N = 34 patients with ALS were scanned and clinically assessed three times at a mean of three month time intervals. The MRI biomarkers were structural T1-weighted volumes for cortical thickness measurement as well as deep grey matter volumetry, voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI. Cortical thickness focused specifically on the precentral gyrus while quantitative DTI biomarkers focused on the corticospinal tracts. The evolution of imaging biomarkers and ALSFRS-R scores over time were analysed using a mixed effects model that accounted for the scanning interval as a fixed effect variable, and, the initial measurements and time from onset as random variables. The mixed effects model showed a significant decrease in the ALSFRS-R score, (p  0.5. In addition, deep grey matter volumetry and voxel-based morphometry also identified no significant changes. Furthermore, the availability of three time points was able to indicate that there was a linear progression in both clinical and fractional anisotropy measures adding to the validity of these results. The results indicate that DTI is clearly a superior imaging marker compared to atrophy for tracking the evolution of the disease and can act as a central nervous biomarker in longitudinal studies. It

  12. Riluzole 5 mg/mL oral suspension: for optimized drug delivery in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dyer AM

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Ann Margaret Dyer, Alan Smith PharmaSci Consulting Limited, Nottingham, UK Abstract: The aim of the present work is to extensively evaluate the pharmaceutical attributes of currently available riluzole presentations. The article describes the limitations and risks associated with the administration of crushed tablets, including the potential for inaccurate dosing and reduced rate of absorption when riluzole is administered with high-fat foods, and the advantages that a recently approved innovative oral liquid form of riluzole confers on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS patients. The article further evaluates the patented and innovative controlled flocculation technology used in the pseudoplastic suspension formulation to reduce the oral anesthesia seen with crushed tablets, resulting in optimized drug delivery for riluzole. Riluzole is the only drug licensed for treating ALS, which is the most common form of motor neurone disease and a highly devastating neurodegenerative condition. The licensed indication is to extend life or the time to mechanical ventilation. Until recently, riluzole was only available as an oral tablet dosage form in the UK; however, an innovative oral liquid form, Teglutik® 5 mg/mL oral suspension, is now available. An oral liquid formulation provides an important therapeutic option for patients with ALS, >80% of who may become unable to swallow solid oral dosage forms due to disease-related dysphagia. Prior to the launch of riluzole oral suspension, the only way for many patients to continue to take riluzole as their disease progressed was through crushed tablets. A novel suspension formulation enables more accurate dosing and consistent ongoing administration of riluzole. There are clear and important advantages such as enhanced patient compliance compared with crushed tablets administered with food or via an enteral feeding tube and the potential for an improved therapeutic outcome and enhanced quality of life for

  13. Muscle histone deacetylase 4 upregulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: potential role in reinnervation ability and disease progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruneteau, Gaëlle; Simonet, Thomas; Bauché, Stéphanie; Mandjee, Nathalie; Malfatti, Edoardo; Girard, Emmanuelle; Tanguy, Marie-Laure; Behin, Anthony; Khiami, Frédéric; Sariali, Elhadi; Hell-Remy, Caroline; Salachas, François; Pradat, Pierre-François; Fournier, Emmanuel; Lacomblez, Lucette; Koenig, Jeanine; Romero, Norma Beatriz; Fontaine, Bertrand; Meininger, Vincent; Schaeffer, Laurent; Hantaï, Daniel

    2013-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a typically rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor neurons leading to progressive muscle paralysis and death, usually from respiratory failure, in 3-5 years. Some patients have slow disease progression and prolonged survival, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Riluzole, the only approved treatment, only modestly prolongs survival and has no effect on muscle function. In the early phase of the disease, motor neuron loss is initially compensated for by collateral reinnervation, but over time this compensation fails, leading to progressive muscle wasting. The crucial role of muscle histone deacetylase 4 and its regulator microRNA-206 in compensatory reinnervation and disease progression was recently suggested in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (transgenic mice carrying human mutations in the superoxide dismutase gene). Here, we sought to investigate whether the microRNA-206-histone deacetylase 4 pathway plays a role in muscle compensatory reinnervation in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and thus contributes to disease outcome differences. We studied muscle reinnervation using high-resolution confocal imaging of neuromuscular junctions in muscle samples obtained from 11 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including five long-term survivors. We showed that the proportion of reinnervated neuromuscular junctions was significantly higher in long-term survivors than in patients with rapidly progressive disease. We analysed the expression of muscle candidate genes involved in the reinnervation process and showed that histone deacetylase 4 upregulation was significantly greater in patients with rapidly progressive disease and was negatively correlated with the extent of muscle reinnervation and functional outcome. Conversely, the proposed regulator of histone deacetylase 4, microRNA-206, was upregulated in both patient groups, but did not correlate with disease

  14. Altered cortical beta‐band oscillations reflect motor system degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proudfoot, Malcolm; Rohenkohl, Gustavo; Quinn, Andrew; Colclough, Giles L.; Wuu, Joanne; Talbot, Kevin; Woolrich, Mark W.; Benatar, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Continuous rhythmic neuronal oscillations underpin local and regional cortical communication. The impact of the motor system neurodegenerative syndrome amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on the neuronal oscillations subserving movement might therefore serve as a sensitive marker of disease activity. Movement preparation and execution are consistently associated with modulations to neuronal oscillation beta (15–30 Hz) power. Cortical beta‐band oscillations were measured using magnetoencephalography (MEG) during preparation for, execution, and completion of a visually cued, lateralized motor task that included movement inhibition trials. Eleven “classical” ALS patients, 9 with the primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) phenotype, and 12 asymptomatic carriers of ALS‐associated gene mutations were compared with age‐similar healthy control groups. Augmented beta desynchronization was observed in both contra‐ and ipsilateral motor cortices of ALS patients during motor preparation. Movement execution coincided with excess beta desynchronization in asymptomatic mutation carriers. Movement completion was followed by a slowed rebound of beta power in all symptomatic patients, further reflected in delayed hemispheric lateralization for beta rebound in the PLS group. This may correspond to the particular involvement of interhemispheric fibers of the corpus callosum previously demonstrated in diffusion tensor imaging studies. We conclude that the ALS spectrum is characterized by intensified cortical beta desynchronization followed by delayed rebound, concordant with a broader concept of cortical hyperexcitability, possibly through loss of inhibitory interneuronal influences. MEG may potentially detect cortical dysfunction prior to the development of overt symptoms, and thus be able to contribute to the assessment of future neuroprotective strategies. Hum Brain Mapp 38:237–254, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27623516

  15. 肌萎缩侧索硬化的诊治%Diagnosis and Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨芳

    2011-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rarely seen degenerative disease which involves the upper and lower motor neuron. In the past few years, significant progresses have been made in this disease. The article reviews the current diagnosis and treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.%肌萎缩侧索硬化是一种累及上、下运动神经元的变性疾病,临床较少见.在过去的几年中,对于本病的探索一直在持续.本文主要总结了目前关于肌萎缩侧索硬化的诊断及治疗方法,希望能给临床医生带来一定的帮助.

  16. Distribution of Arsenic, Manganese, and Selenium in the Human Brain in Chronic Renal Insufficiency, Parkinsons Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, N. A.; Pakkenberg, H.; Damsgaard, Else;

    1981-01-01

    The concentrations of arsenic, manganese and selenium/g wet tissue weight were determined in samples from 24 areas of the human brain from 3 patients with chronic renal insufficiency, 2 with Parkinson's disease and 1 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The concentrations of the 3 elements were...... determined for each sample by neutron activation analysis with radiochemical separation. Overall arsenic concentrations were about 2.5 times higher in patients with chronic renal failure than in controls, and lower than normal in the patients with Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis....... There were no obvious differences in the overall concentrations of manganese and selenium from one group to another. Even multivariate data analysis by the SIMCA method failed to reveal any significant difference in the distribution pattern of manganese and selenium in Parkinson's disease compared to normal...

  17. Altered cortical activation during action observation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: a parametric functional MRI study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Haiqing; Li, Yuxin; Yin, Bo; Tang, Weijun; Yu, Xiangrong; Geng, Daoying [Huashan Hospital, Department of Radiology, Fudan University, Shanghai (China); Chen, Yan [Fudan University, Department of Neurology, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai (China); Huang, Weiyuan [People' s Hospital of Hainan Province, Department of Radiology, Haikou, Hainan Province (China); Zhang, Biyun [Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Department of radiotherapy, Affiliated Jiangsu Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing (China)

    2015-09-15

    To investigate functional cerebral abnormalities in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during action observation. Thirty patients with ALS and 30 matched healthy controls underwent fMRI with an experimental paradigm while observing a video of repetitive flexion-extension of the fingers at three frequency levels or three complexity levels, alternated with periods of a static hand. A parametric analysis was applied to determine the effects of each of the two factors. Action observation activated similar neural networks as the research on execution of action in the ALS patients and healthy subjects in several brain regions related to the mirror-neuron system (MNS). In the ALS patients, in particular, the dorsal lateral premotor cortex (dPMC), inferior parietal gyrus (IPG), and SMA, were more activated compared with the activation in the controls. Increased activation within the primary motor cortex (M1), dPMC, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and superior parietal gyrus (SPG) mainly correlated with hand movement frequency/complexity in the videos in the patients compared with controls. The findings indicated an ongoing compensatory process occurring within the higher order motor-processing system of ALS patients, likely to overcome the loss of function. (orig.)

  18. Eye tracking communication devices in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: impact on disability and quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caligari, Marco; Godi, Marco; Guglielmetti, Simone; Franchignoni, Franco; Nardone, Antonio

    2013-12-01

    People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (PwALS) show progressive loss of voluntary muscle strength. In advanced disease, motor and phonatory impairments seriously hinder the patient's interpersonal communication. High-tech devices such as eye tracking communication devices (ETCDs) are used to aid communication in the later stages of ALS. We sought to evaluate the effect of ETCDs on patient disability, quality of life (QoL), and user satisfaction, in a group of 35 regular ETCD users in late-stage ALS with tetraplegia and anarthria. The following scales were administered: 1) the Individually Prioritized Problem Assessment (IPPA) scale, in three conditions: without device, with ETCD and, when applicable, with an Eye Transfer (ETRAN) board; 2) the Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale (PIADS); and 3) the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology (QUEST 2.0). With ETRAN, IPPA showed an increase in communicative abilities with respect to the condition without device, but ETCD produced a further significant increase. PIADS evidenced a large increase of QoL, and QUEST 2.0 showed high user satisfaction with ETCD use. In conclusion, ETCDs should be considered in late-stage ALS with tetraplegia and anarthria, since in these patients they can reduce communication disability and improve QoL.

  19. Executive dysfunctions and event-related brain potentials in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline eSeer

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A growing body of evidence implies psychological disturbances in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Specifically, executive dysfunctions occur in up to 50% of ALS patients. The recently shown presence of cytoplasmic aggregates (TDP-43 in ALS patients and in patients with behavioral variants of frontotemporal dementia suggests that these two disease entities form the extremes of a spectrum. The present study aimed at investigating behavioral and electrophysiological indices of conflict processing in patients with ALS. A non-verbal variant of the flanker task demanded two-choice responses to target stimuli that were surrounded by flanker stimuli which either primed the correct response or the alternative response (the latter case representing the conflict situation. Behavioral performance, event-related potentials (ERP, and lateralized readiness potentials (LRP were analyzed in 21 ALS patients and 20 controls. In addition, relations between these measures and executive dysfunctions were examined. ALS patients performed the flanker task normally, indicating preserved conflict processing. In similar vein, ERP and LRP indices of conflict processing did not differ between groups. However, ALS patients showed enhanced posterior negative ERP waveform deflections, possibly indicating increased modulation of visual processing by frontoparietal networks in ALS. We also found that the presence of executive dysfunctions was associated with more error-prone behavior and enhanced LRP amplitudes in ALS patients, pointing to a prefrontal pathogenesis of executive dysfunctions and to a potential link between prefrontal and motor cortical functional dysregulation in ALS, respectively.

  20. Screening of drugs inhibiting in vitro oligomerization of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase with a mutation causing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Itsuki Anzai; Keisuke Toichi; Eiichi Tokuda; Atsushi Mukaiyama; Shuji Akiyama; Yoshiaki Furukawa

    2016-01-01

    Dominant mutations in Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene have been shown to cause a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SOD1-ALS). A major pathological hallmark of this disease is abnormal accumulation of mutant SOD1 oligomers in the affected spinal motor neurons. While no effective therapeutics for SOD1-ALS is currently available, SOD1 oligomerization will be a good target for developing cures of this disease. Recently, we have reproduced the formation of SOD1 oligomers ab...

  1. An Autopsy Case of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with Waldenström Macroglobulinemia and Anti-MAG Gammopathy

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    Snejana Jurici

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We report the case of a 71-year-old woman with typical signs of bulbar amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS associated with immunoglobulin M (IgM monoclonal gammopathy and anti-MAG (myelin-associated glycoprotein antibodies. This unusual association between ALS and anti-MAG antibodies has previously been reported in a single case. Our present case, at neuropathological examination, demonstrated no causative link between anti-MAG antibodies and ALS.

  2. Mining Online Social Network Data for Biomedical Research: A Comparison of Clinicians’ and Patients’ Perceptions About Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Treatments

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Background While only one drug is known to slow the progress of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), numerous drugs can be used to treat its symptoms. However, very few randomized controlled trials have assessed the efficacy, safety, and side effects of these drugs. Due to this lack of randomized controlled trials, consensus among clinicians on how to treat the wide range of ALS symptoms and the efficacy of these treatments is low. Given the lack of clinical trials data, the wide range of rep...

  3. The Use of Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Cell Therapy of Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Belarus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushkevich, Yu N; Kosmacheva, S M; Zabrodets, G V; Ignatenko, S I; Goncharova, N V; Severin, I N; Likhachev, S A; Potapnev, M P

    2015-08-01

    We studied a new method of treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with autologous mesenchymal stem cells. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells were injected intravenously (intact cells) or via lumbar puncture (cells committed to neuronal differentiation). Evaluation of the results of cell therapy after 12-month follow-up revealed slowing down of the disease progression in 10 patients in comparison with the control group consisting of 15 patients. The cell therapy was safe for the patients.

  4. Post-paralysis tyrosine kinase inhibition with masitinib abrogates neuroinflammation and slows disease progression in inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Trias, Emiliano; Ibarburu, Sofía; Barreto-Núñez, Romina; Babdor, Joël; Maciel, Thiago T.; Guillo, Matthias; Gros, Laurent; Dubreuil, Patrice; Díaz-Amarilla, Pablo; Cassina, Patricia; Martínez-Palma, Laura; Moura, Ivan C.; Beckman, Joseph S.; Hermine, Olivier; Barbeito, Luis

    2016-01-01

    Background In the SOD1G93A mutant rat model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), neuronal death and rapid paralysis progression are associated with the emergence of activated aberrant glial cells that proliferate in the degenerating spinal cord. Whether pharmacological downregulation of such aberrant glial cells will decrease motor neuron death and prolong survival is unknown. We hypothesized that proliferation of aberrant glial cells is dependent on kinase receptor activation, and therefo...

  5. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis presenting as upper limb weakness in a 35 year old female: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurdson, Leif A

    2011-09-01

    Chiropractors regularly assess and provide treatment for a variety of neuromuscular complaints. Many of these respond well to conservative care however some represent conditions that must be referred for further evaluation. This article chronicles the management of a patient who presented with upper limb weakness and was subsequently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Chiropractors should be informed of the nature and presentation of this disease to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment.

  6. Ataxin-2 intermediate-length polyglutamine: a possible risk factor for Chinese patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yongping; Huang, Rui; Yang, Yuan; Chen, Ke; Song, Wei; Pan, Pinglei; Li, Jianpeng; Shang, Hui-Fang

    2011-10-01

    Intermediate-length polyglutamine (polyQ) expansions in the ataxin-2 (ATXN2) gene have recently been identified as a risk factor for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS). Our study aims to analyze cytosine, adenine, guanine (CAG)n expansions in the ATXN2 gene among Chinese patients with SALS. All patients diagnosed with adult-onset sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were consecutively followed up, and their clinical characteristics were collected. To measure the repeat length of ATXN2 polyQ, fluorescence-polymerase chain reaction products were analyzed on a 3100-Avant Genetic Analyzer Applied Biosystem (Foster City, CA, USA) using the ROC-500 size standard. Three hundred forty-five patients with SALS were studied. The mean age of onset was 51.38 ± 12.45 years. ATXN2 polyQ with a repeat length greater than 27 was found to be weakly associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in our study. There was no significant difference in mean age of onset, gender, and onset site between the group of SALS patients with and without ATXN2 polyQ expansion greater than 27. Our finding provides evidence that the ATXN2 polyQ expansion greater than 27 might be a risk factor for Chinese SALS patients.

  7. The Use of Integrative Therapies in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Shanghai, China

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    Weidong Pan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To investigate the current use of integrative therapies (IT in the treatment of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Methods. A cross-sectional, multicenter clinical epidemiological survey was conducted in 12 hospitals in Shanghai. We investigated the type and frequency of IT use and determined whether the use of IT correlated with demographic, social, or disease-specific characteristics in our patient population. Results. A total of 231 (89.5% of 258 patients with ALS were eligible for the study and 229 (99% of all of 231 reported the use of at least one IT for the treatment of ALS. Vitamins and Chinese herb decoctions, Chinese herb compounds, massage therapy, and acupuncture were the 5 most commonly used therapies. There was a strong association between education level, income, and use of IT. A household income of more than 75,000 RMB ($49,995 correlated with multiple IT use, and married patients used IT more often than single individuals. The main reasons for using IT were to treat weakness and fatigue, muscle atrophy, the development of ALS, depression, insomnia, limb pain or numbness, and side effects associated with Riluzole. Conclusion. The use of IT is common in patients with ALS in Shanghai. Vitamins and TCM are the most used additional therapies and the widespread and largely unexamined use of IT for ALS requires more attention.

  8. The use of integrative therapies in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in shanghai, china.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Weidong; Chen, Xiangjun; Bao, Jie; Bai, Yu; Lu, Hua; Wang, Qiudong; Liu, Yi; Yuan, Canxing; Li, Wenwei; Liu, Zhenguo; Liu, Jun; Zhu, Xuying; Qin, Baofeng; Cai, Dingfang; Zhou, Hua

    2013-01-01

    Objective. To investigate the current use of integrative therapies (IT) in the treatment of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods. A cross-sectional, multicenter clinical epidemiological survey was conducted in 12 hospitals in Shanghai. We investigated the type and frequency of IT use and determined whether the use of IT correlated with demographic, social, or disease-specific characteristics in our patient population. Results. A total of 231 (89.5%) of 258 patients with ALS were eligible for the study and 229 (99% of all) of 231 reported the use of at least one IT for the treatment of ALS. Vitamins and Chinese herb decoctions, Chinese herb compounds, massage therapy, and acupuncture were the 5 most commonly used therapies. There was a strong association between education level, income, and use of IT. A household income of more than 75,000 RMB ($49,995) correlated with multiple IT use, and married patients used IT more often than single individuals. The main reasons for using IT were to treat weakness and fatigue, muscle atrophy, the development of ALS, depression, insomnia, limb pain or numbness, and side effects associated with Riluzole. Conclusion. The use of IT is common in patients with ALS in Shanghai. Vitamins and TCM are the most used additional therapies and the widespread and largely unexamined use of IT for ALS requires more attention.

  9. Neuroprotective efficacy of aminopropyl carbazoles in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesla, Rachel; Wolf, Hamilton Parker; Xu, Pin; Drawbridge, Jordan; Estill, Sandi Jo; Huntington, Paula; McDaniel, Latisha; Knobbe, Whitney; Burket, Aaron; Tran, Stephanie; Starwalt, Ruth; Morlock, Lorraine; Naidoo, Jacinth; Williams, Noelle S; Ready, Joseph M; McKnight, Steven L; Pieper, Andrew A

    2012-10-16

    We previously reported the discovery of P7C3, an aminopropyl carbazole having proneurogenic and neuroprotective properties in newborn neural precursor cells of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. We have further found that chemicals having efficacy in this in vivo screening assay also protect dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra following exposure to the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, a mouse model of Parkinson disease. Here, we provide evidence that an active analog of P7C3, known as P7C3A20, protects ventral horn spinal cord motor neurons from cell death in the G93A-SOD1 mutant mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). P7C3A20 is efficacious in this model when administered at disease onset, and protection from cell death correlates with preservation of motor function in assays of walking gait and in the accelerating rotarod test. The prototypical member of this series, P7C3, delays disease progression in G93A-SOD1 mice when administration is initiated substantially earlier than the expected time of symptom onset. Dimebon, an antihistaminergic drug with significantly weaker proneurogenic and neuroprotective efficacy than P7C3, confers no protection in this ALS model. We propose that the chemical scaffold represented by P7C3 and P7C3A20 may provide a basis for the discovery and optimization of pharmacologic agents for the treatment of ALS.

  10. Pharmacological properties of microneurotrophin drugs developed for treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, James P; O'Brien, Laura C; Brohawn, David G

    2016-10-01

    Microneurotrophins (MNT's) are small molecule derivatives of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and do not have significant interactions with sex steroid receptors. MNT's retain high-affinity binding to protein tyrosine kinase (Trk) receptors and can mimic many pleiotropic actions of neurotrophin (NT) proteins on neurons. MNT's offer therapeutic potential for diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) where motor neurons (MN) degenerate. MNT's cross artificial membranes mimicking the blood-brain barrier, are not major substrates for ABC (ATP-binding cassette) transporters and are metabolized rapidly by mouse but more slowly by human hepatocytes. A lead MNT (BNN27) and its mono-oxidation metabolites enter mouse brain rapidly. RNA-sequencing measured gene expression profiles of human H9eSC-(embryonic stem cell)-derived or CTL (control) subject iPSC-(induced pluripotential stem cell)-derived MN's exposed to NT proteins or MNT molecules. Expression ratios (relative to DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) vehicle) were calculated, and the resulting top 500 gene lists were analyzed for Gene Ontology (GO) grouping using DAVID (Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery). The MNT's BNN20, BNN23, and BNN27 showed overlap of GO terms with NGF (nerve growth factor) and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in the H9eSC-derived MN's. In the iPSC-derived MN's two (BNN20, BNN27) showed overlap of GO terms with NGF or BDNF. Each NT protein had GO terms that did not overlap with any MNT in the MN cell lines.

  11. Advances in the Development of Disease-Modifying Treatments for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moujalled, Diane; White, Anthony R

    2016-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive adult-onset, neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons. Over recent years, numerous genes ha ve been identified that promote disease pathology, including SOD1, TARDBP, and the expanded hexanucleotide repeat (GGGGCC) within C9ORF72. However, despite these major advances in identifying genes contributing to ALS pathogenesis, there remains only one currently approved therapeutic: the glutamate antagonist, riluzole. Seminal breakthroughs in the pathomechanisms and genetic factors associated with ALS have heavily relied on the use of rodent models that recapitulate the ALS phenotype; however, while many therapeutics have proved to be significant in animal models by prolonging life and rescuing motor deficits, they have failed in human clinical trials. This may be due to fundamental differences between rodent models and human disease, the fact that animal models are based on overexpression of mutated genes, and confounding issues such as difficulties mimicking the dosing schedules and regimens implemented in mouse models to humans. Here, we review the major pathways associated with the pathology of ALS, the rodent models engineered to test efficacy of candidate drugs, the advancements being made in stem cell therapy for ALS, and what strategies may be important to circumvent the lack of successful translational studies in the clinic.

  12. TDP-43 expression in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy

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    Ansorge Olaf

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Redistribution of nuclear TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43 to the cytoplasm and ubiquitinated inclusions of spinal motor neurons and glial cells is characteristic of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS pathology. Recent evidence suggests that TDP-43 pathology is common to sporadic ALS and familial ALS without SOD1 mutation, but not SOD1-related fALS cases. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether TDP-43 abnormalities occur in non-ALS forms of motor neuron disease. Here, we characterise TDP-43 localisation, expression levels and post-translational modifications in mouse models of ALS and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA. Results TDP-43 mislocalisation to ubiquitinated inclusions or cytoplasm was notably lacking in anterior horn cells from transgenic mutant SOD1G93A mice. In addition, abnormally phosphorylated or truncated TDP-43 species were not detected in fractionated ALS mouse spinal cord or brain. Despite partial colocalisation of TDP-43 with SMN, depletion of SMN- and coilin-positive Cajal bodies in motor neurons of affected SMA mice did not alter nuclear TDP-43 distribution, expression or biochemistry in spinal cords. Conclusion These results emphasise that TDP-43 pathology characteristic of human sporadic ALS is not a core component of the neurodegenerative mechanisms caused by SOD1 mutation or SMN deficiency in mouse models of ALS and SMA, respectively.

  13. EEG functional network topology is associated with disability in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraschini, Matteo; Demuru, Matteo; Hillebrand, Arjan; Cuccu, Lorenza; Porcu, Silvia; di Stefano, Francesca; Puligheddu, Monica; Floris, Gianluca; Borghero, Giuseppe; Marrosu, Francesco

    2016-12-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is one of the most severe neurodegenerative diseases, which is known to affect upper and lower motor neurons. In contrast to the classical tenet that ALS represents the outcome of extensive and progressive impairment of a fixed set of motor connections, recent neuroimaging findings suggest that the disease spreads along vast non-motor connections. Here, we hypothesised that functional network topology is perturbed in ALS, and that this reorganization is associated with disability. We tested this hypothesis in 21 patients affected by ALS at several stages of impairment using resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) and compared the results to 16 age-matched healthy controls. We estimated functional connectivity using the Phase Lag Index (PLI), and characterized the network topology using the minimum spanning tree (MST). We found a significant difference between groups in terms of MST dissimilarity and MST leaf fraction in the beta band. Moreover, some MST parameters (leaf, hierarchy and kappa) significantly correlated with disability. These findings suggest that the topology of resting-state functional networks in ALS is affected by the disease in relation to disability. EEG network analysis may be of help in monitoring and evaluating the clinical status of ALS patients.

  14. Well-being in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a pilot Experience Sampling Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruben Gustav Leonhardt Real

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available ObjectiveThe aim of this longitudinal study was to identify predictors of instantaneous well-being in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Based on flow theory well-being was expected to be highest when perceived demands and perceived control were in balance, and that thinking about the past would be a risk factor for rumination which would in turn reduce well-being.MethodsUsing the experience sampling method, data on current activities, associated aspects of perceived demands, control, and well-being were collected from 10 patients with ALS three times a day for two weeks.ResultsResults show that perceived control was uniformly and positively associated with well-being, but that demands were only positively associated with well-being when they were perceived as controllable. Mediation analysis confirmed thinking about the past, but not thinking about the future, to be a risk factor for rumination and reduced well-being. DiscussionFindings extend our knowledge of factors contributing to well-being in ALS as not only perceived control but also perceived demands can contribute to well-being. They further show that a focus on present experiences might contribute to increased well-being.

  15. Metabolic Dysfunctions in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Pathogenesis and Potential Metabolic Treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tefera, Tesfaye W.; Borges, Karin

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease primarily characterized by loss of motor neurons in brain and spinal cord. The death of motor neurons leads to denervation of muscle which in turn causes muscle weakness and paralysis, decreased respiratory function and eventually death. Growing evidence indicates disturbances in energy metabolism in patients with ALS and animal models of ALS, which are likely to contribute to disease progression. Particularly, defects in glucose metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction limit the availability of ATP to CNS tissues and muscle. Several metabolic approaches improving mitochondrial function have been investigated in vitro and in vivo and showed varying effects in ALS. The effects of metabolic approaches in ALS models encompass delays in onset of motor symptoms, protection of motor neurons and extension of survival, which signifies an important role of metabolism in the pathogenesis of the disease. There is now an urgent need to test metabolic approaches in controlled clinical trials. In addition, more detailed studies to better characterize the abnormalities in energy metabolism in patients with ALS and ALS models are necessary to develop metabolically targeted effective therapies that can slow the progression of the disease and prolong life for patients with ALS. PMID:28119559

  16. Magnetic susceptibility in the deep layers of the primary motor cortex in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Costagli

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is a progressive neurological disorder that entails degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. The primary motor cortex (M1 in patients with upper motor neuron (UMN impairment is pronouncedly hypointense in Magnetic Resonance (MR T2* contrast. In the present study, 3D gradient-recalled multi-echo sequences were used on a 7 Tesla MR system to acquire T2*-weighted images targeting M1 at high spatial resolution. MR raw data were used for Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM. Measures of magnetic susceptibility correlated with the expected concentration of non-heme iron in different regions of the cerebral cortex in healthy subjects. In ALS patients, significant increases in magnetic susceptibility co-localized with the T2* hypointensity observed in the middle and deep layers of M1. The magnetic susceptibility, hence iron concentration, of the deep cortical layers of patients' M1 subregions corresponding to Penfield's areas of the hand and foot in both hemispheres significantly correlated with the clinical scores of UMN impairment of the corresponding limbs. QSM therefore reflects the presence of iron deposits related to neuroinflammatory reaction and cortical microgliosis, and might prove useful in estimating M1 iron concentration, as a possible radiological sign of severe UMN burden in ALS patients.

  17. [Dissociated Small Hand Muscle Atrophy Occurs in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Split Hand].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibuya, Kazumoto

    2016-05-01

    Split hand is a peculiar atrophy of hand muscle and was named by Willbourn in 1992. In this phenomenon, the hypothenar muscle is relatively preserved, but the thenar and the first dorsal interossei (FDI) muscles are preferentially involved. Some studies have measured compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitudes of intrinsic hand muscles in various neurological diseases and have revealed that this phenomenon is a specific feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The measurements of CMAP amplitude in intrinsic hand muscles may be useful for diagnosis of ALS. FDI and thenar muscles are innervated by the same ulnar nerve and same spinal segments (C8 and Th1), although atrophies of these muscles are dissociated. Anatomical innervations are not enough to explain this phenomenon. Motor neuronal hyperexcitability potentially contributes to motor neuron death in ALS, and in several articles, it is reported to be the possible mechanism of this phenomenon. In healthy controls and ALS patients, cortical and peripheral motor nerves, which project to the thenar and FDI muscles, may be more excitable than those of the hypothenar muscle. This article reviews the findings of previous articles about the utility of this phenomenon as a diagnostic marker, and its potential mechanisms.

  18. The Relationship between Depressive Symptoms, Disease State, and Cognition in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelsone-Swain, Laura; Persad, Carol; Votruba, Kristen L.; Weisenbach, Sara L.; Johnson, Timothy; Gruis, Kirsten L.; Welsh, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive impairment (CI) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may present a serious barrier to a patient’s wellbeing and significantly decrease quality of life. Although reports of CI in ALS without frank dementia are becoming quite common, questions remain regarding the specific cognitive domains affected, as well as how other psychological and medical factors may impact cognitive functioning in these patients. Additionally, the influence of depressive symptoms on disease processes is not known. We aimed to address these questions by completing extensive neuropsychological tests with 22 patients with ALS and 17 healthy volunteers. A subgroup of these patients also completed questionnaires to measure depressive and vegetative symptoms. We tested for overall cognitive differences between groups, the influence of physical (e.g., bulbar and limb), vegetative (e.g., fatigue), and depressive symptoms on cognitive performance, and the relationship between depressive symptoms and disease severity in ALS. Overall, patients performed more poorly than healthy controls (HCs), most notably on tests of executive functioning and learning and memory. Results suggest that true cognitive performance differences exist between patients with ALS and HCs, as these differences were not changed by the presence of vegetative or depressive symptoms. There was no effect of limb or bulbar symptoms on cognitive functioning. Also, patients were not any more depressed than HCs, however increased depressive scores correlated with faster disease progression and decreased limb function. Collectively, it is suggested that translational advances in psychological intervention for those with CI and depression become emphasized in future research. PMID:23411492

  19. Interleukin-1 Antagonist Anakinra in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis--A Pilot Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Maier

    Full Text Available Preclinical studies show that blocking Interleukin-1 (IL-1 retards the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS. We assessed the safety of Anakinra (ANA, an IL-1 receptor antagonist, in ALS patients. In a single arm pilot study we treated 17 ALS patients with ANA (100 mg daily for one year. We selected patients with dominant or exclusive lower motor neuron degeneration (LMND presentation, as peripheral nerves may be more accessible to the drug. Our primary endpoint was safety and tolerability. Secondary endpoints included measuring disease progression with the revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRSr. We also quantified serum inflammatory markers. For comparison, we generated a historical cohort of 47 patients that fit the criteria for enrollment, disease characteristics and rate of progression of the study group. Only mild adverse events occurred in ALS patients treated with ANA. Notably, we observed lower levels of cytokines and the inflammatory marker fibrinogen during the first 24 weeks of treatment. Despite of this, we could not detect a significant reduction in disease progression during the same period in patients treated with ANA compared to controls as measured by the ALSFRSr. In the second part of the treatment period we observed an increase in serum inflammatory markers. Sixteen out of the 17 patients (94% developed antibodies against ANA. This study showed that blocking IL-1 is safe in patients with ALS. Further trials should test whether targeting IL-1 more efficiently can help treating this devastating disease.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01277315.

  20. Multicentre quality control evaluation of different biomarker candidates for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, Stefan; Costa, Julia; de Carvalho, Mamede; Kirby, Janine; Kuzma-Kozakiewicz, Magdalena; Morelli, Claudia; Robberecht, Wim; Shaw, Pamela; Silani, Vincenzo; Steinacker, Petra; Tumani, Hayrettin; Van Damme, Philip; Ludolph, Albert; Otto, Markus

    2014-09-01

    Abstract Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron disease that mainly causes degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons, ultimately leading to paralysis and death within three to five years after first symptoms. The pathological mechanisms leading to ALS are still not completely understood. Several biomarker candidates have been proposed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). However, none of these has successfully translated into clinical routine. Part of the reason for this failure to translate may relate to differences across laboratories. For this reason, several of the most commonly used ALS biomarker candidates were evaluated on clinically well-defined ALS samples from six European centres in a multicentre sample-collection approach with centralized sample processing. Results showed that phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain differentiated between ALS and control cases in all centres. We therefore propose that measurement of phosphorylated neurofilaments in CSF is the most promising candidate for translation into the clinical setting and might serve as a benchmark for other biomarker candidates.

  1. Susceptibility-weighted imaging provides insight into white matter damage in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tino Prell

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterised by widespread white matter damage. There is growing evidence that disturbances in iron metabolism contribute to white matter alterations.We analysed the data of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI of white matter in a cohort of 27 patients with ALS and 30 healthy age-matched controls.Signal alterations were found on SWI in the corpus callosum; along the corticospinal tract (subcortical motor cortex, posterior limb of the internal capsule and brainstem levels and in the subgyral regions of frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital and limbic lobes. Alterations of white matter in the corpus callosum correlated with disease severity as assessed by the revised ALS functional rating scale.SWI is capable of indicating iron and myelin disturbances in white matter of ALS patients. The SWI patterns observed in this study suggest that widespread alterations due to iron disturbances occur in patients with ALS and correlate with disease severity.

  2. Voxel-based MRI intensitometry reveals extent of cerebral white matter pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Viktor Hartung

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is characterized by progressive loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Advanced MRI techniques such as diffusion tensor imaging have shown great potential in capturing a common white matter pathology. However the sensitivity is variable and diffusion tensor imaging is not yet applicable to the routine clinical environment. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM has revealed grey matter changes in ALS, but the bias-reducing algorithms inherent to traditional VBM are not optimized for the assessment of the white matter changes. We have developed a novel approach to white matter analysis, namely voxel-based intensitometry (VBI. High resolution T1-weighted MRI was acquired at 1.5 Tesla in 30 ALS patients and 37 age-matched healthy controls. VBI analysis at the group level revealed widespread white matter intensity increases in the corticospinal tracts, corpus callosum, sub-central, frontal and occipital white matter tracts and cerebellum. VBI results correlated with disease severity (ALSFRS-R and patterns of cerebral involvement differed between bulbar- and limb-onset. VBI would be easily translatable to the routine clinical environment, and once optimized for individual analysis offers significant biomarker potential in ALS.

  3. Increased expression of Myosin binding protein H in the skeletal muscle of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients

    KAUST Repository

    Conti, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe and fatal neurodegenerative disease of still unknown pathogenesis. Recent findings suggest that the skeletal muscle may play an active pathogenetic role. To investigate ALS\\'s pathogenesis and to seek diagnostic markers, we analyzed skeletal muscle biopsies with the differential expression proteomic approach. We studied skeletal muscle biopsies from healthy controls (CN), sporadic ALS (sALS), motor neuropathies (MN) and myopathies (M). Pre-eminently among several differentially expressed proteins, Myosin binding protein H (MyBP-H) expression in ALS samples was anomalously high. MyBP-H is a component of the thick filaments of the skeletal muscle and has strong affinity for myosin, but its function is still unclear. High MyBP-H expression level was associated with abnormal expression of Rho kinase 2 (ROCK2), LIM domain kinase 1 (LIMK1) and cofilin2, that might affect the actin-myosin interaction. We propose that MyBP-H expression level serves, as a putative biomarker in the skeletal muscle, to discriminate ALS from motor neuropathies, and that it signals the onset of dysregulation in actin-myosin interaction; this in turn might contribute to the pathogenesis of ALS. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

  4. Rac1 at the crossroad of actin dynamics and neuroinflammation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    Nadia eD'Ambrosi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Rac1 is a major player of the Rho family of small GTPases that controls multiple cell signaling pathways, such as the organization of cytoskeleton (including adhesion and motility, cell proliferation, apoptosis and activation of immune cells. In the nervous system, in particular, Rac1 GTPase plays a key regulatory function of both actin and microtubule cytoskeletal dynamics and thus it is central to axonal growth and stability, as well as dendrite and spine structural plasticity. Rac1 is also a crucial regulator of NADPH-dependent membrane oxidase (NOX, a prominent source of ROS, thus having a central role in the inflammatory response and neurotoxicity mediated by microglia cells in the nervous system. As such, alterations in Rac1 activity might well be involved in the processes that give rise to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, a complex syndrome where cytoskeletal disturbances in motor neurons and redox alterations in the inflammatory compartment play pivotal and synergic roles in the final disease outcomes. Here we will discuss the genetic and mechanistic evidence indicating the relevance of Rac1 dysregulation in the pathogenesis of ALS.

  5. The established and emerging roles of astrocytes and microglia in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia.

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    Rowan Andrew Warren Radford

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD are two progressive, fatal neurodegenerative syndromes with considerable clinical, genetic and pathological overlap. Clinical symptoms of FTD can be seen in ALS patients and vice versa, recent genetic discoveries conclusive link the two diseases, and several common molecular players have been identified (TDP-43, FUS, C9ORF72.The definitive aetiologies of ALS and FTD are currently unknown and both disorders lack a cure. Glia, specifically astrocytes and microglia are heavily implicated in the onset and progression of neurodegeneration witnessed in ALS and FTD. In this review, we summarise the current understanding of the role of microglia and astrocytes involved in ALS and FTD, highlighting their recent implications in neuroinflammation, alterations in waste clearance involving phagocytosis and the newly described glymphatic system, and vascular abnormalities. Elucidating the precise mechanisms of how astrocytes and microglia are involved in ALS and FTD will be crucial in characterising these two disorders and may represent more effective interventions for disease progression and treatment options in the future.

  6. Research advances in gene therapy approaches for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nizzardo, Monica; Simone, Chiara; Falcone, Marianna; Riboldi, Giulietta; Rizzo, Federica; Magri, Francesca; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo P; Corti, Stefania

    2012-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons that causes progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and premature death. No effective therapy is available. Research in the motor neuron field continues to grow, and recent breakthroughs have demonstrated the possibility of completely achieving rescue in animal models of spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic motor neuron disease. With adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, gene transfer can be achieved with systemic non-invasive injection and minimal toxicity. In the context of this success, we review gene therapy approaches for ALS, considering what has been done and the possible future directions for effective application of the latest generation of vectors for clinical translation. We focus on recent developments in the areas of RNA/antisense-mediated silencing of specific ALS causative genes like superoxide dismutase-1 and other molecular pathogenetic targets, as well as the administration of neuroprotective factors with viral vectors. We argue that gene therapy offers new opportunities to open the path for clinical progress in treating ALS.

  7. Evaluation of the Microbial Diversity in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Using High-Throughput Sequencing

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    Fang, Xin; Wang, Xin; Yang, Shaoguo; Meng, Fanjing; Wang, Xiaolei; Wei, Hua; Chen, Tingtao

    2016-01-01

    More and more evidences indicate that diseases of the central nervous system have been seriously affected by fecal microbes. However, little work is done to explore interaction between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and fecal microbes. In the present study, high-throughput sequencing method was used to compare the intestinal microbial diversity of healthy people and ALS patients. The principal coordinate analysis, Venn and unweighted pair-group method using arithmetic averages (UPGMA) showed an obvious microbial changes between healthy people (group H) and ALS patients (group A), and the average ratios of Bacteroides, Faecalibacterium, Anaerostipes, Prevotella, Escherichia, and Lachnospira at genus level between ALS patients and healthy people were 0.78, 2.18, 3.41, 0.35, 0.79, and 13.07. Furthermore, the decreased Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio at phylum level using LEfSE (LDA > 4.0), together with the significant increased genus Dorea (harmful microorganisms) and significant reduced genus Oscillibacter, Anaerostipes, Lachnospiraceae (beneficial microorganisms) in ALS patients, indicated that the imbalance in intestinal microflora constitution had a strong association with the pathogenesis of ALS. PMID:27703453

  8. Does dysfunction of the mirror neuron system contribute to symptoms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

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    Eisen, Andrew; Lemon, Roger; Kiernan, Matthew C; Hornberger, Michael; Turner, Martin R

    2015-07-01

    There is growing evidence that mirror neurons, initially discovered over two decades ago in the monkey, are present in the human brain. In the monkey, mirror neurons characteristically fire not only when it is performing an action, such as grasping an object, but also when observing a similar action performed by another agent (human or monkey). In this review we discuss the origin, cortical distribution and possible functions of mirror neurons as a background to exploring their potential relevance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have recently proposed that ALS (and the related condition of frontotemporal dementia) may be viewed as a failure of interlinked functional complexes having their origins in key evolutionary adaptations. This can include loss of the direct projections from the corticospinal tract, and this is at least part of the explanation for impaired motor control in ALS. Since, in the monkey, corticospinal neurons also show mirror properties, ALS in humans might also affect the mirror neuron system. We speculate that a defective mirror neuron system might contribute to other ALS deficits affecting motor imagery, gesture, language and empathy.

  9. Gingival Stromal Cells as an In Vitro Model: Cannabidiol Modulates Genes Linked With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, Thangavelu Soundara; Scionti, Domenico; Diomede, Francesca; Grassi, Gianpaolo; Pollastro, Federica; Piattelli, Adriano; Cocco, Lucio; Bramanti, Placido; Mazzon, Emanuela; Trubiani, Oriana

    2017-04-01

    Research in recent years has extensively investigated the therapeutic efficacy of mesenchymal stromal cells in regenerative medicine for many neurodegenerative diseases at preclinical and clinical stages. However, the success rate of stem cell therapy remains less at translational phase. Lack of relevant animal models that potentially simulate the molecular etiology of human pathological symptoms might be a reason behind such poor clinical outcomes associated with stem cell therapy. Apparently, self-renewal and differentiation ability of mesenchymal stem cells may help to study the early developmental signaling pathways connected with the diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), etc., at in vitro level. Cannabidiol, a non-psychotrophic cannabinoid, has been demonstrated as a potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective agent in neurological preclinical models. In the present study, we investigated the modulatory role of cannabidiol on genes associated with ALS using human gingiva-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hGMSCs) as an in vitro model system. Next generation transcriptomic sequencing analysis demonstrated considerable modifications in the expression of genes connected with ALS pathology, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and excitotoxicity in hGMSCs treated with cannabidiol. Our results suggest the efficacy of cannabidiol to delineate the unknown molecular pathways, which may underlie ALS pathology at an early stage using hGMSCs as a compelling in vitro system. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 819-828, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Pattern Differences of Small Hand Muscle Atrophy in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Mimic Disorders

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    Fang, Jia; Liu, Ming-Sheng; Guan, Yu-Zhou; Du, Hua; Li, Ben-Hong; Cui, Bo; Ding, Qing-Yun; Cui, Li-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and some mimic disorders, such as distal-type cervical spondylotic amyotrophy (CSA), Hirayama disease (HD), and spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) may present with intrinsic hand muscle atrophy. This study aimed to investigate different patterns of small hand muscle involvement in ALS and some mimic disorders. Methods: We compared the abductor digiti minimi/abductor pollicis brevis (ADM/APB) compound muscle action potential (CMAP) ratios between 200 ALS patients, 95 patients with distal-type CSA, 88 HD patients, 43 SBMA patients, and 150 normal controls. Results: The ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio was significantly higher in the ALS patients (P SBMA patients was similar to that of the normal controls (P = 0.862). An absent APB CMAP and an abnormally high ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio (≥4.5) were observed exclusively in the ALS patients. Conclusions: The different patterns of small hand muscle atrophy between the ALS patients and the patients with mimic disorders presumably reflect distinct pathophysiological mechanisms underlying different disorders, and may aid in distinguishing between ALS and mimic disorders. PMID:26996473

  11. Morphological abnormalities in mitochondria of the skin of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Gabriel E. Rodríguez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Mitochondrial dysfunction has been reported in the central nervous system, hepatocytes and peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS. However, the status of skin mitochondria has not been reported, in spite of the fact that SALS patients present skin abnormalities. The objective of the present study was to compare mitochondrial ultrastructural parameters in keratinocytes from patients with SALS and healthy controls. METHODS: Our study was based on the analysis of 112 skin mitochondria from 5 SALS patients and 99 organelles from 4 control subjects by electron microscopy. RESULTS: Computerized image analysis showed that mitochondrial major axis length, area and perimeter of the organelle were significantly smaller in SALS respect of healthy control subjects. Morphologically, SALS mitochondria presented cristolysis and breakage of the outer membrane. CONCLUSIONS: Mitochondrial dysfunction in the skin may possibly reflect changes occurring in mitochondria of the central nervous system. The analysis of mitochondrial morphology in this tissue may be of value to follow disease progression and, eventually, the effectiveness of current therapies for SALS.

  12. Regulation of endosomal motility and degradation by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 2/alsin

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    Lai Chen

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Dysfunction of alsin, particularly its putative Rab5 guanine-nucleotide-exchange factor activity, has been linked to one form of juvenile onset recessive familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS2. Multiple lines of alsin knockout (ALS2-/- mice have been generated to model this disease. However, it remains elusive whether the Rab5-dependent endocytosis is altered in ALS2-/- neurons. To directly examine the Rab5-mediated endosomal trafficking in ALS2-/- neurons, we introduced green fluorescent protein (GFP-tagged Rab5 into cultured hippocampal neurons to monitor the morphology and motility of Rab5-associated early endosomes. Here we report that Rab5-mediated endocytosis was severely altered in ALS2-/-neurons. Excessive accumulation of Rab5-positive vesicles was observed in ALS2-/- neurons, which correlated with a significant reduction in endosomal motility and augmentation in endosomal conversion to lysosomes. Consequently, a significant increase in endosome/lysosome-dependent degradation of internalized glutamate receptors was observed in ALS2-/- neurons. These phenotypes closely resembled the endosomal trafficking abnormalities induced by a constitutively active form of Rab5 in wild-type neurons. Therefore, our findings reveal a negatively regulatory mechanism of alsin in Rab5-mediated endosomal trafficking, suggesting that enhanced endosomal degradation in ALS2-/- neurons may underlie the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration in ALS2 and related motor neuron diseases.

  13. Utility of transcranial magnetic stimulation in delineating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathophysiology.

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    Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the motor neurons in the motor cortex, brainstem, and spinal cord. The clinical phenotype of ALS is underscored by a combination of upper and lower motor neuron dysfunction. Although this phenotype was observed over 100 years ago, the site of ALS onset and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of motor neuron degeneration remain to be elucidated. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) enables noninvasive assessment of the functional integrity of the motor cortex and its corticomotoneuronal projections. To date, TMS studies have established cortical dysfunction in ALS, with cortical hyperexcitability being an early feature in sporadic forms of ALS and preceding the clinical onset of familial ALS. Taken together, a central origin of ALS is supported by TMS studies, with an anterograde dying-forward mechanism implicated in ALS pathogenesis. Of further relevance, TMS techniques reliably distinguish ALS from mimic disorders, despite a compatible peripheral disease burden, thereby suggesting a potential diagnostic utility of TMS in ALS. This chapter reviews the mechanisms underlying the generation of TMS parameters utilized in assessment of cortical excitability, the contribution of TMS in enhancing the understanding of ALS pathophysiology, and the potential diagnostic utility of TMS techniques in ALS.

  14. Utility of dissociated intrinsic hand muscle atrophy in the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Menon, Parvathi; Vucic, Steve

    2014-03-04

    The split hand phenomenon refers to predominant wasting of thenar muscles and is an early and specific feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A novel split hand index (SI) was developed to quantify the split hand phenomenon, and its diagnostic utility was assessed in ALS patients. The split hand index was derived by dividing the product of the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude recorded over the abductor pollicis brevis and first dorsal interosseous muscles by the CMAP amplitude recorded over the abductor digiti minimi muscle. In order to assess the diagnostic utility of the split hand index, ALS patients were prospectively assessed and their results were compared to neuromuscular disorder patients. The split hand index was significantly reduced in ALS when compared to neuromuscular disorder patients (P<0.0001). Limb-onset ALS patients exhibited the greatest reduction in the split hand index, and a value of 5.2 or less reliably differentiated ALS from other neuromuscular disorders. Consequently, the split hand index appears to be a novel diagnostic biomarker for ALS, perhaps facilitating an earlier diagnosis.

  15. A novel missense mutation of the DDHD1 gene associated with juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Chujun Wu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (jALS is a rare form of ALS with an onset age of less than 25 years and is frequently thought to be genetic in origin. DDHD1 gene mutations have been reported to be associated with the SPG28 subtype of autosomal recessive HSP but have never been reported in jALS patients.Methods: Gene screens for the causative genes of ALS, HSP and CMT using next-generation sequencing (NGS technologies were performed on a jALS patient. Sanger sequencing was used to validate identified variants and perform segregation analysis.Results: We identified a novel c.1483A>G (p.Met495Val homozygous missense mutation of the DDHD1 gene in the jALS patient. All of his parents and young bother were heterozygous for this mutation. The mutation was not found in 800 Chinese control subjects or the data of dbSNP, ExAC and 1000G.Conclusion: The novel c.1483A>G (p.Met495Val missense mutation of the DDHD1 gene could be a causative mutation of autosomal recessive jALS.

  16. Climatic factors associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a spatial analysis from Taiwan

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    Ching-Piao Tsai

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have assessed the spatial association of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS incidence in the world. The aim of this study was to identify the association of climatic factors and ALS incidence in Taiwan. A total of 1,434 subjects with the primary diagnosis of ALS between years 1997 and 2008 were identified in the national health insurance research database. The diagnosis was also verified by the national health insurance programme, which had issued and providing them with “serious disabling disease (SDD certificates”. Local indicators of spatial association were employed to investigate spatial clustering of agestandardised incidence ratios in the townships of the study area. Spatial regression was utilised to reveal any association of annual average climatic factors and ALS incidence for the 12-year study period. The climatic factors included the annual average time of sunlight exposure, average temperature, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, atmospheric pressure, rainfall, relative humidity and wind speed with spatial autocorrelation controlled. Significant correlations were only found for exposure to sunlight and rainfall and it was similar in both genders. The annual average of the former was found to be negatively correlated with ALS, while the latter was positively correlated with ALS incidence. While accepting that ALS is most probably multifactorial, it was concluded that sunlight deprivation and/or rainfall are associated to some degree with ALS incidence in Taiwan.

  17. Bcl11b: A New Piece to the Complex Puzzle of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Neuropathogenesis?

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    Lennon, Matthew J; Jones, Simon P; Lovelace, Michael D; Guillemin, Gilles J; Brew, Bruce J

    2016-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an idiopathic, fatal, neurodegenerative disease of the human motor system. The pathogenesis of ALS is a topic of fascinating speculation and experimentation, with theories revolving around intracellular protein inclusions, mitochondrial structural issues, glutamate excitotoxicity and free radical formation. This review explores the rationale for the involvement of a novel protein, B-cell lymphoma/leukaemia 11b (Bcl11b) in ALS. Bcl11b is a multifunctional zinc finger protein transcription factor. It functions as both a transactivator and genetic suppressor, acting both directly, binding to promoter regions, and indirectly, binding to promoter-bound transcription factors. It has essential roles in the differentiation and growth of various cells in the central nervous system, immune system, integumentary system and cardiovascular system, to the extent that Bcl11b knockout mice are incompatible with extra-uterine life. It also has various roles in pathology including the suppression of latent retroviruses, thymic tumourigenesis and neurodegeneration. In particular its functions in neurodevelopment, viral latency and T-cell development suggest potential roles in ALS pathology.

  18. End-of-life management in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Connolly, Sheelah; Galvin, Miriam; Hardiman, Orla

    2015-04-01

    Most health-care professionals are trained to promote and maintain life and often have difficulty when faced with the often rapid decline and death of people with terminal illnesses such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). By contrast, data suggest that early and open discussion of end-of-life issues with patients and families allows time for reflection and planning, can obviate the introduction of unwanted interventions or procedures, can provide reassurance, and can alleviate fear. Patients' perspectives regarding end-of-life interventions and use of technologies might differ from those of the health professionals involved in their care, and health-care professionals should recognise this and respect the patient's autonomy. Advance care directives can preserve autonomy, but their legal validity and use varies between countries. Clinical management of the end of life should aim to maximise quality of life of both the patient and caregiver and, when possible, incorporate appropriate palliation of distressing physical, psychosocial, and existential distress. Training of health-care professionals should include the development of communication skills that help to sensitively manage the inevitability of death. The emotional burden for health-care professionals caring for people with terminal neurological disease should be recognised, with structures and procedures developed to address compassion, fatigue, and the moral and ethical challenges related to providing end-of-life care.

  19. Computed tomographic findings of skeletal muscles in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

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    Takahashi, Ryosuke; Imai, Terukuni; Sadashima, Hiromichi; Matsumoto, Sadayuki; Yamamoto, Toru; Kusaka, Hirobumi; Yamasaki, Masahiro; Maya, Kiyomi; Tanabe, Masaya (Kitano Hospital, Osaka (Japan))

    1989-04-01

    We evaluated the Computed Tomographic (CT) findings of skeletal muscles in 12 cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), 1 case of spinal progressive muscular atrophy (SPMA), and 1 case of Kugelberg-Welander disease. CT examination was performed in the neck, shoulders, abdomen, pelvis, thighs, and lower legs, 15 muscles were selected for evaluation. The following muscles tended to be affected: m. transversospinalis (12 cases were abnormal), m. deltoideus (10), m. subscapularis (10), m. infraspinatus (10), mm. dorsi (12), hamstring muscles (14), m. tibialis anterior (14), and m. triceps surae (14). On the contrary, the following muscles tended to be preserved: m. sternocleidomastoideus (only 7 cases were abnormal), m. psoas major (7), m. gluteus maximus (7), m. rectus femoris (7), m. sartorius (7) and m. gracilis (6). The distribution of the muscles affected showed neither proximal nor distal dominancy. As the disease advanced, however, all the muscles became affected without any severity. CT findings of skeletal muscles in ALS were characterized by muscle atrophy and fat infiltration, which showed a patchy, linear, or moth-eaten appearance. In mildly affected cases, there was muscle atrophy without internal architectual changes. In moderately affected cases, muscle atrophy advanced and internal architectural changes (patchy, linear, and moth-eaten fat infiltration) became evident. In most advanced cases, every muscle showed a ragged appearance because of severe muscle atrophy and internal architectural changes. These findings were well distinguished from those of SPMA, which resembled the CT pattern of primary muscle diseases. (author).

  20. Exploring sarcasm detection in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis using ecologically valid measures

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    Mathew eStaios

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rapidly progressive condition involving degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. Recent research suggests that a proportion of persons with ALS show a profile similar to that of FTD, with this group of ALS patients exhibiting social cognitive deficits. Although social cognitive deficits have been partially explored in ALS, research has yet to investigate such changes using ecologically valid measures. Therefore, this study aimed to further characterise the scope of social cognitive and emotion recognition deficits in non-demented ALS patients using an ecologically valid measure of social cognition. A sample of 35 ALS patients and 30 age-and-education matched controls were assessed using the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination, the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test, and The Awareness of Social Inference Test, where participants were required to discriminate between various emotions and decipher socially challenging scenarios enacted in video vignettes. Participants with ALS showed significant difficulties in recognising both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements, but not sincere statements, when compared to controls. After controlling for executive difficulties, ALS patients still displayed significant difficulties on tasks that assessed their comprehension of both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements. The inability to read social cues and make social inferences has the potential to place significant strain on familial/interpersonal relationships in ALS. The findings of this study highlight the importance of employing a broader range of neuropsychological assessment tools to aid in early detection of frontal lobe impairment in non-demented ALS patients.

  1. Exploring sarcasm detection in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using ecologically valid measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staios, Mathew; Fisher, Fiona; Lindell, Annukka K; Ong, Ben; Howe, Jim; Reardon, Katrina

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive condition involving degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. Recent research suggests that a proportion of persons with ALS show a profile similar to that of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), with this group of ALS patients exhibiting social cognitive deficits. Although social cognitive deficits have been partially explored in ALS, research has yet to investigate such changes using ecologically valid measures. Therefore, this study aimed to further characterize the scope of social cognitive and emotion recognition deficits in non-demented ALS patients using an ecologically valid measure of social cognition. A sample of 35 ALS patients and 30 age-and-education matched controls were assessed using the Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination, the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test, and The Awareness of Social Inference Test, where participants were required to discriminate between various emotions and decipher socially challenging scenarios enacted in video vignettes. Participants with ALS showed significant difficulties in recognizing both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements, but not sincere statements, when compared to controls. After controlling for executive difficulties, ALS patients still displayed significant difficulties on tasks that assessed their comprehension of both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements. The inability to read social cues and make social inferences has the potential to place significant strain on familial/interpersonal relationships in ALS. The findings of this study highlight the importance of employing a broader range of neuropsychological assessment tools to aid in early detection of frontal lobe impairment in non-demented ALS patients.

  2. Dysregulation of Iron Metabolism in Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    Satoru Oshiro

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Dysregulation of iron metabolism has been observed in patients with neurodegenerative diseases (NDs. Utilization of several importers and exporters for iron transport in brain cells helps maintain iron homeostasis. Dysregulation of iron homeostasis leads to the production of neurotoxic substances and reactive oxygen species, resulting in iron-induced oxidative stress. In Alzheimer's disease (AD and Parkinson's disease (PD, circumstantial evidence has shown that dysregulation of brain iron homeostasis leads to abnormal iron accumulation. Several genetic studies have revealed mutations in genes associated with increased iron uptake, increased oxidative stress, and an altered inflammatory response in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here, we review the recent findings on brain iron metabolism in common NDs, such as AD, PD, and ALS. We also summarize the conventional and novel types of iron chelators, which can successfully decrease excess iron accumulation in brain lesions. For example, iron-chelating drugs have neuroprotective effects, preventing neural apoptosis, and activate cellular protective pathways against oxidative stress. Glial cells also protect neurons by secreting antioxidants and antiapoptotic substances. These new findings of experimental and clinical studies may provide a scientific foundation for advances in drug development for NDs.

  3. [Evaluation and treatment of dysphagia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson's disease].

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    Yamamoto, Toshiyuki

    2011-11-01

    As both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease (PD) exhibit a variety of patterns of dysphagia, appropriate symptomatic treatment is provided after evaluation of swallowing function through videofluoroscopic examination of swallowing. In ALS, disease progression is rapid, therefore, respiratory function, swallowing function and nutritional status should be evaluated regularly. When the oral or pharyngeal stage of swallowing are affected early in dysphagia, adjusting swallowing volume and varying consistency can be beneficial in ALS. When all stages of swallowing are impaired in ALS, such complications as pneumonia, dehydration and malnutrition, are observed. In such patients, it is necessary to consider an alternative to oral dietary intake. In PD, dysphagia is not necessarily associated with severity of parkinsonism and can appear at any time during the course of the disease. Dysphagia in PD can occur at any stage of swallowing and frequently accompanies multiple abnormalities. In particular, aspiration is an important risk factor for pneumonia in PD. The effect of L-dopa treatment for dysphagia is often insufficient; however, this treatment remains the first choice because dysphagia is exacerbated during off state. Rehabilitation for dysphagia in PD has also some effect.

  4. Neuropathology of olfactory ensheathing cell transplantation into the brain of two amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giordana, Maria Teresa; Grifoni, Silvia; Votta, Barbara; Magistrello, Michela; Vercellino, Marco; Pellerino, Alessia; Navone, Roberto; Valentini, Consuelo; Calvo, Andrea; Chiò, Adriano

    2010-07-01

    Although a large number of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients have undergone transplantation procedures with olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) in the Bejing Hospital, to our knowledge, no post-mortem neuropathologic analyses have been performed. We examined the post-mortem brain of two Italian patients affected by ALS who underwent cellular transplantation in Beijing with their consent. Our aim was to assess the events following the graft procedure to possibly support the rationale of the treatment strategy. The neuropathologic findings were analyzed on the basis of the limited awareness of the experimental conditions and discussed in relation to the safety, efficacy and long-term outcome of the transplanted cells. Islands of quiescent, undifferentiated cells within the delivery track persisting for up to 12 months-24 months were found. Prominent glial and inflammatory reaction around the delivery track strongly supports the encasement of the graft. Evidence of axonal regeneration, neuronal differentiation and myelination was not seen. The surgical procedure of implantation was not compatible with a neurotrophic effect. The OEC transplantation did not modify the neuropathology of ALS in the two patients. In conclusion, the present neuropathologic analysis does not support a beneficial effect of fetal OEC implantation into the frontal lobes of ALS patients.

  5. Circulating gonadal and adrenal steroids in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: possible markers of susceptibility and outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gargiulo-Monachelli, G M; Sivori, M; Meyer, M; Sica, R E P; De Nicola, A F; Gonzalez-Deniselle, M C

    2014-06-01

    Although changes of circulating steroids have been reported in patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a full comparison of the adrenal and gonadal steroid profile between control subjects and ALS patients is lacking. Considering that respiratory failure is the most frequent cause of death in ALS, we looked into whether a relationship emerged between circulating steroids and respiratory parameters. Serum levels of adrenal and gonadal steroids were measured in 52 age- and gender-matched subjects (28 ALS and 24 controls) using radioimmunoassay techniques. We also evaluated respiratory parameters in ALS patients, including forced vital capacity (FVC), maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP). We found increased levels of testosterone in female ALS patients compared to healthy female subjects. Furthermore, control subjects showed a significant decline of testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone and its sulfate, and a borderline decline of progesterone with increasing age. Instead, testosterone did not decline with increasing age in ALS patients. We also found that the dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate/cortisol ratio was positively associated with FVC, MIP, and MEP. Moreover, ALS patients showing higher testosterone levels and lower progesterone/free testosterone ratio presented a more rapid worsening of the monthly FVC. In conclusion, first our study revealed a differential steroid profile with age and gender in ALS patients relative to controls. Second, we demonstrated an association between some steroids and their ratios with respiratory function and disease progression. Thus, we hypothesize that the endogenous steroid profile could be a marker of susceptibility and prognosis in ALS patients.

  6. Optineurin mutations in patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chengyu; Ji, Ying; Tang, Lu; Zhang, Nan; He, Ji; Ye, Shan; Liu, Xiaolu; Fan, Dongsheng

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of optineurin (OPTN) mutation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients from mainland China, as well as to characterize the relationship between OPTN mutation and clinical phenotypes. We examined the coding region of OPTN in 511 unrelated Chinese sporadic ALS (SALS) subjects and 204 healthy controls using a PCR direct sequencing strategy. Nine OPTN variants were identified, of which four were novel missense mutations: c.407C > T (p.A136V), c.1184A > G (p.K395R), c.1352T > C (p.I451T), and c.1546G > C (p.E516Q) (all heterozygous). The remaining five variants were already present in single nucleotide polymorphism databases. Patients with OPTN mutations were characterized by spinal onset, although they showed differences in disease progression. In conclusion, this study provides a genetic epidemiological characterization of OPTN mutations in Chinese patients, and our results are consistent with the proposition that such mutations are common in Asian populations.

  7. Breaking bad news in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: the need for medical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schellenberg, Kerri L; Schofield, Susie J; Fang, Shoufan; Johnston, Wendy S W

    2014-03-01

    The manner in which physicians deliver difficult diagnoses is an area of discontent for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The American Academy of Neurology's Practice Parameter for care of the ALS Patient recommended teaching and evaluating strategies for disclosing the diagnosis (10). Our objective was to examine residents' ability in and perceptions of communicating the diagnosis of ALS. Twenty-two resident physicians were videotaped and rated by two ALS neurologists as they delivered an ALS diagnosis to a standardized patient (SP) during an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Residents self-rated immediately after the OSCE, again after viewing their videotape, and completed a survey regarding the OSCE and delivering difficult diagnoses. OSCE performance was suboptimal, particularly for communication skills and empathy. The two examiners' scores correlated except for the empathy subscore. Residents' self-assessments did not align with the examiners' scores either before or after watching their videotape. The survey uncovered residents' apprehension and dissatisfaction with their training in diagnosis delivery. The results highlight a need for resident education in delivering an ALS diagnosis. The lack of correlation between residents' and examiners' scoring requires further study. Evaluation of empathy is particularly challenging. Residents agreed that OSCE participation was worthwhile.

  8. Worming forward: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis toxicity mechanisms and genetic interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martine eTherrien

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases share pathogenic mechanisms at the cellular level including protein misfolding, excitotoxicity and altered RNA homeostasis among others. Recent advances have shown that the genetic causes underlying these pathologies overlap, hinting at the existence of a genetic network for neurodegeneration. This is perhaps best illustrated by the recent discoveries of causative mutations for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD. Once thought to be distinct entities, it is now recognized that these diseases exist along a genetic spectrum. With this wealth of discoveries comes the need to develop new genetic models of ALS and FTD to investigate not only pathogenic mechanisms linked to causative mutations, but to uncover potential genetic interactions that may point to new therapeutic targets. Given the conservation of many disease genes across evolution, Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal system to investigate genetic interactions amongst these genes. Here we review the use of C. elegans to model ALS and investigate a putative genetic network for ALS/FTD that may extend to other neurological disorders.

  9. Genetics insight into the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal dementia spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Ai-Ling; Zhang, Xia; Chen, Wei-Wei; Huang, Wen-Juan

    2017-03-01

    Recent genetic discoveries have dramatically changed our understanding of two major neurodegenerative conditions. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are common, devastating diseases of the brain. For decades, ALS and FTD were classified as movement and cognitive disorders, respectively, due to their distinct clinical phenotypes. The recent identification of chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) as the major gene causative of familial forms of ALS and FTD uncovered a new reality of a continuous FTD/ALS spectrum. The finding that up to 50% of all patients present some degree of ALS and FTD phenotypes supports this ALS/FTD continuum. Now >100 genes are known to contribute to ALS/FTD, with a few major contributors that are reviewed below. The low penetrance of C9orf72 mutations, its contribution to sporadic cases, and its combination with other genes support an oligogenic model where two or more genes contribute to disease risk, onset, progression and phenotype: from 'pure' ALS or FTD to combined ALS/FTD. These advances in the genetics of ALS/FTD will soon lead to a better mechanistic understanding of the pathobiology of the disease, which should result in the development of effective therapies in the near future.

  10. Is there a link between physical activity and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?

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    Giuseppe La Torre

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is a chronic and progressive neuro-degenerative pathology that starts in adult age and usually leads patients to death for respiratory distress after 3 years from the onset of symptoms In some studies, vigorous and continuous physical activity due to heavy working activity and sport is associated with ALS. On the other hand other studies are against this association. A study carried out in Europe found overall physical activity is associated with reduced odds of having ALS (OR=0.65, 95% CI=0.48-0.89, and the same protective factor is seen for work-related physical activity (OR=0.56, 95% CI=0.36-0.87 and organized sports (OR=0.49, 95% CI=0.32-0.75.A recent literature review found that football/soccer may be considered as a possible risk factor for ALS (level C and there is a strong need for further research that must take into account the numerous confounding factors that could be present in this field. However only well conducted observational studies, such as cohort and case-control studies, carried out with the same design in different countries could give a final answer to this suspected but still unconfirmed association

  11. A pilot clinical study on the Traditional Korean Medicine treatment of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Kim Sung-chul

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : This study was to investigate the effect of Oriental medical treatment on ALS. Methods : We investigated 12 ALS patients which were admitted to Gwang-Ju O.M. hospital from Oct. 14, 2008 to Nov. 14, 2008. All patients were treated by SAAM-acupuncture, herb medication, Bee venom Pharmacopuncture therapy, Needle-embedding therapy, etc. We evaluated patients using the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised(ALSFRS-R, Medical Research Council (MRC Scale. Results : After 30 days, mean ALSFRS-R score of patients was improved from 28.42±7.83 to 29.08 ±7.99, and mean MRC Scale of patients was improved from 24.79±8.37 to 25.34±8.45. But in both cases, the variation was not statistically significant. After 30 days, mean ALSFRS-R score and mean MRC Scale of patients was more improved in subjects with bulbar-onset, onset age: 51-60yrs., disease duration: 24-48mo. And the results showed partially significant difference. Conclusions : We think that the results of this case be a pilot study that proves the effect of Oriental Medical treatment on ALS.

  12. A seeded propagation of Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase aggregates in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Ogawa, Mariko; Furukawa, Yoshiaki

    2014-01-01

    Abnormal accumulation of protein inclusions in motor neurons has been known as a major pathological change in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Increasing numbers of proteins including mutant Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) have been identified as constituents of pathological inclusions in a form of insoluble fibrillar aggregates. Notably, protein fibrillar aggregates exhibit a self-perpetuating property, which can convert a soluble native protein into insoluble fibrillar aggregates. Such “seeding reaction” of protein fibrils can accelerate the aggregation significantly and would contribute to the spread of inclusion pathologies from an affected cell to its neighboring cells in neurodegenerative diseases. In ALS, a pathological change first occurs at the site of disease onset and then propagates throughout the affected tissues in a time-dependent manner; therefore, it can be assumed that seeded aggregation may be the key factor of disease progression in ALS. In this mini review, we will briefly summarize recent studies on possible roles of a seeded aggregation of SOD1 in pathomechanism of ALS. PMID:24672430

  13. A seeded propagation of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase aggregates in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariko eOgawa

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Abnormal accumulation of protein inclusions in motor neurons has been known as a major pathological change in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Increasing numbers of proteins including mutant Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1 have been identified as constituents of pathological inclusions in a form of insoluble fibrillar aggregates. Notably, protein fibrillar aggregates exhibit a self-perpetuating property, which can convert a soluble native protein into insoluble fibrillar aggregates. Such seeding reaction of protein fibrils can accelerate the aggregation significantly and would contribute to the spread of inclusion pathologies from an affected cell to its neighboring cells in neurodegenerative diseases. In ALS, a pathological change first occurs at the site of disease onset and then propagates throughout the affected tissues in a time-dependent manner; therefore, it can be assumed that seeded aggregation may be the key factor of disease progression in ALS. In this mini review, we will briefly summarize recent studies on possible roles of a seeded aggregation of SOD1 in pathomechanism of ALS.

  14. Altered Intracellular Milieu of ADAR2-Deficient Motor Neurons in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    Takenari Yamashita

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Transactive response DNA-binding protein (TDP-43 pathology, and failure of A-to-I conversion (RNA editing at the glutamine/arginine (Q/R site of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA receptor subunit GluA2, are etiology-linked molecular abnormalities that concomitantly occur in the motor neurons of most patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 2 (ADAR2 specifically catalyzes GluA2 Q/R site-RNA editing. Furthermore, conditional ADAR2 knockout mice (AR2 exhibit a progressive ALS phenotype with TDP-43 pathology in the motor neurons, which is the most reliable pathological marker of ALS. Therefore, the evidence indicates that ADAR2 downregulation is a causative factor in ALS, and AR2 mice exhibit causative molecular changes that occur in ALS. We discuss the contributors to ADAR2 downregulation and TDP-43 pathology in AR2 mouse motor neurons. We describe mechanisms of exaggerated Ca2+ influx amelioration via AMPA receptors, which is neuroprotective in ADAR2-deficient motor neurons with normalization of TDP-43 pathology in AR2 mice. Development of drugs to treat diseases requires appropriate animal models and a sensitive method of evaluating efficacy. Therefore, normalization of disrupted intracellular environments resulting from ADAR2 downregulation may be a therapeutic target for ALS. We discuss the development of targeted therapy for ALS using the AR2 mouse model.

  15. Is exposure to cyanobacteria an environmental risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases?

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    Bradley, Walter G.; Borenstein, Amy R.; Nelson, Lorene M.; Codd, Geoffrey A.; Rosen, Barry H.; Stommel, Elijah W.; Cox, Paul Alan

    2013-01-01

    There is a broad scientific consensus that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is caused by gene-environment interactions. Mutations in genes underlying familial ALS (fALS) have been discovered in only 5–10% of the total population of ALS patients. Relatively little attention has been paid to environmental and lifestyle factors that may trigger the cascade of motor neuron death leading to the syndrome of ALS, although exposure to chemicals including lead and pesticides, and to agricultural environments, smoking, certain sports, and trauma have all been identified with an increased risk of ALS. There is a need for research to quantify the relative roles of each of the identified risk factors for ALS. Recent evidence has strengthened the theory that chronic environmental exposure to the neurotoxic amino acid β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) produced by cyanobacteria may be an environmental risk factor for ALS. Here we describe methods that may be used to assess exposure to cyanobacteria, and hence potentially to BMAA, namely an epidemiologic questionnaire and direct and indirect methods for estimating the cyanobacterial load in ecosystems. Rigorous epidemiologic studies could determine the risks associated with exposure to cyanobacteria, and if combined with genetic analysis of ALS cases and controls could reveal etiologically important gene-environment interactions in genetically vulnerable individuals.

  16. A cluster of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in New Hampshire: a possible role for toxic cyanobacteria blooms.

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    Caller, Tracie A; Doolin, James W; Haney, James F; Murby, Amanda J; West, Katherine G; Farrar, Hannah E; Ball, Andrea; Harris, Brent T; Stommel, Elijah W

    2009-01-01

    Cyanobacteria produce many neurotoxins including beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) that has been liked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and neurodegenerative disease. A number of ALS cases have been diagnosed among residents of Enfield, NH, a town encompassing a lake with a history of cyanobacteria algal blooms. To investigate an association between toxic cyanobacterial blooms in New Hampshire and development of ALS, we reviewed records from our institution and other community databases to obtain demographic information on patients diagnosed with ALS within New England. We identified nine ALS patients who lived near Lake Mascoma in Enfield, NH, an incidence of sporadic ALS that is 10 to 25 times the expected incidence of 2/100,000/year. We suggest that the high incidence of ALS in this potential cluster could be directly related to chronic exposure to cyanobacterial neurotoxins such as BMAA. Possible routes of toxin exposure include inhalation of aerosolized toxins, consuming fish, or ingestion of lake water. Further investigation, including analysis of brain tissue for cyanobacterial toxins, will be helpful to test for an association between BMAA and ALS.

  17. Genetic analysis and SOD1 mutation screening in Iranian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavi, Afagh; Nafissi, Shahriar; Rohani, Mohammad; Zamani, Babak; Sedighi, Behnaz; Shamshiri, Hosein; Fan, Jian-Bing; Ronaghi, Mostafa; Elahi, Elahe

    2013-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease, and the most common in European populations. Results of genetic analysis and mutation screening of SOD1 in a cohort of 60 Iranian ALS patients are here reported. Initially, linkage analysis in 4 families identified a disease-linked locus that included the known ALS gene, SOD1. Screening of SOD1 identified homozygous p.Asp90Ala causing mutations in all the linked families. Haplotype analysis suggests that the p.Asp90Ala alleles in the Iranian patients might share a common founder with the renowned Scandinavian recessive p.Asp90Ala allele. Subsequent screening in all the patients resulted in identification of 3 other mutations in SOD1, including p.Leu84Phe in the homozygous state. Phenotypic features of the mutation-bearing patients are presented. SOD1 mutations were found in 11.7% of the cohort, 38.5% of the familial ALS probands, and 4.25% of the sporadic ALS cases. SOD1 mutations contribute significantly to ALS among Iranians.

  18. Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a prospective study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maessen, Maud; Veldink, Jan H; Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Bregje D; Hendricks, Henk T; Schelhaas, Helenius J; Grupstra, Hepke F; van der Wal, Gerrit; van den Berg, Leonard H

    2014-10-01

    The objective of this study is to determine if quality of care, symptoms of depression, disease characteristics and quality of life of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are related to requesting euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (EAS) and dying due to EAS. Therefore, 102 ALS patients filled out structured questionnaires every 3 months until death and the results were correlated with EAS. Thirty-one percent of the patients requested EAS, 69% of whom eventually died as a result of EAS (22% of all patients). Ten percent died during continuous deep sedation; only one of them had explicitly requested death to be hastened. Of the patients who requested EAS, 86% considered the health care to be good or excellent, 16% felt depressed, 45% experienced loss of dignity and 42% feared choking. These percentages do not differ from the number of patients who did not explicitly request EAS. The frequency of consultations of professional caregivers and availability of appliances was similar in both groups. Our findings do not support continuous deep sedation being used as a substitute for EAS. In this prospective study, no evidence was found for a relation between EAS and the quality and quantity of care received, quality of life and symptoms of depression in patients with ALS. Our study does not support the notion that unmet palliative care needs are related to EAS.

  19. Efficacy of hypnosis-based treatment in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A pilot study

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    Arianna ePalmieri

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and its devastating neurodegenerative consequences have an inevitably psychological impact on patients and their caregivers: however, although it would be strongly needed, there is a lack of research on the efficacy of psychological intervention. Our aim was to investigate the effect of hypnosis-based intervention on psychological and perceived physical wellbeing in patients and the indirect effect on caregivers. Methods: We recruited 8 ALS volunteers patients as a pilot sample for an hypnosis intervention and self-hypnosis training protocol lasting one month. Anxiety and depression level was measured in patients and caregivers at pre and post treatment phase. Quality of life and perceived physical symptoms changes were also investigated in patients. Results: One month pre-post treatment improvement in depression, anxiety and quality of life was clearly clinically observed and confirmed by psychometric analyses on questionnaire data. Moreover, decreases in physical symptoms such as pain, sleep disorders, emotional lability and fasciculations were reported by our patients. Improvements in caregiver psychological wellbeing, likely as a consequence of patients psychological and perceived physical symptomatology improvement, were also observed. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, even if at a preliminary level, this is the first report on efficacy psychological intervention protocol on ALS patients. The findings provide initial support for using hypnosis and self-hypnosis training to manage some ALS physical consequences and mainly to cope its dramatic psychological implications for patients and, indirectly, for their caregivers.

  20. State of the art and the dark side of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Antonio; Musarò

    2010-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS) is a disorder that involves the degeneration of motor neurons,muscle atrophy,and paralysis.In a few familiar forms of ALS,mutations in the superoxide dismutase-1(SOD1) gene have been held responsible for the degeneration of motor neurons.Nevertheless,after the discovery of the SOD1 mutations no consensus has emerged as to which cells,tissues and pathways are primarily implicated in the pathogenic events that lead to ALS.Ubiquitous overexpression of mutant SOD1 in transgenic animals recapitulates the pathological features of ALS.However,the toxicity of mutant SOD1 is not necessarily limited to the central nervous system.Views about ALS pathogenesis are now enriched by the recent discovery of mutations in a pair of DNA/RNA-binding proteins called TDP-43 and FUS/TLS as causes of familial and sporadic forms of ALS.Although the steps that lead to the pathological state are well defined,several fundamental issues are still controversial:are the motor neurons the first direct targets of ALS;and what is the contribution of non-neuronal cells,if any,to the pathogenesis of ALS?The state of the art of ALS pathogenesis and the open questions are discussed in this review.

  1. MRI of the intracranial corticospinal tracts in amyotrophic and primary lateral sclerosis

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    Peretti-Viton, P.; Brunel, H.; Daniel, C.; Salazard, B.; Salamon, G. [Dept. of Neuroradiology, Hopital de la Timone, Marseille (France); Azulay, J.P.; Trefouret, S.; Pouget, J.; Serratrice, G. [Dept. of Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases, Hopital de la Timone, Marseille (France); Viton, J.M. [Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hopital de la Timone, Marseille (France); Flori, A. [Medical Informatics Dept., Hopital Nord, Marseille (France)

    1999-10-01

    Our aim was to investigate the corticospinal tracts (CST) in motor neurone disease, using MRI, and to correlate findings with clinical data. We studied 31 patients with amyotrophic (ALS) and eight with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). The signal from the CST was classified into four grades on T2-weighted images, and compared to T2-weighted images of 37 age-matched control subjects. No abnormalities were seen in the CST on T1-weighted images and were rarely evident on proton-density weighting. Variable high signal in the CST was found on T2-weighted images in 35 patients, and in 29 control subjects. Our grades 0 and 1 were more frequent in control subjects, grades 2 and 3 more frequent in patients. We found no correlation between the high signal and clinical data, including the duration of the illness. We therefore conclude that this technique is neither sensitive nor specific except in grade 3 which is quite specific for ALS. In half the patients we found atrophy of the superior parietal gyrus, which merits further study. (orig.)

  2. Adducin at the Neuromuscular Junction in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Hanging on for Dear Life

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    Charles eKrieger

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The neurological dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS/motor neurone disease (MND is associated with defective nerve-muscle contacts early in the disease suggesting that perturbations of cell adhesion molecules linking the pre- and post-synaptic components of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ are involved. To search for candidate proteins implicated in this degenerative process, researchers have studied the Drosophila larval NMJ and find that the cytoskeleton-associated protein, adducin, is ideally placed to regulate synaptic contacts. By controlling the levels of synaptic proteins, adducin can de-stabilize synaptic contacts. Interestingly, elevated levels of phosphorylated adducin have been reported in ALS patients and in a mouse model of the disease. Adducin is regulated by phosphorylation through protein kinase C (PKC, some isoforms of which exhibit Ca2+-dependence, raising the possibility that changes in intracellular Ca2+ might alter PKC activation and secondarily influence adducin phosphorylation. Furthermore, adducin has interactions with the alpha subunit of the Na+/K+-ATPase. Thus, the phosphorylation of adducin may secondarily influence synaptic stability at the NMJ and so influence pre- and post-synaptic integrity at the NMJ in ALS.

  3. Performance predictors of brain-computer interfaces in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geronimo, A.; Simmons, Z.; Schiff, S. J.

    2016-04-01

    Objective. Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may benefit from brain-computer interfaces (BCI), but the utility of such devices likely will have to account for the functional, cognitive, and behavioral heterogeneity of this neurodegenerative disorder. Approach. In this study, a heterogeneous group of patients with ALS participated in a study on BCI based on the P300 event related potential and motor-imagery. Results. The presence of cognitive impairment in these patients significantly reduced the quality of the control signals required to use these communication systems, subsequently impairing performance, regardless of progression of physical symptoms. Loss in performance among the cognitively impaired was accompanied by a decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio of task-relevant EEG band power. There was also evidence that behavioral dysfunction negatively affects P300 speller performance. Finally, older participants achieved better performance on the P300 system than the motor-imagery system, indicating a preference of BCI paradigm with age. Significance. These findings highlight the importance of considering the heterogeneity of disease when designing BCI augmentative and alternative communication devices for clinical applications.

  4. A case study of an emerging visual artist with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Anli; Werner, Kelly; Roy, Subhojit; Trojanowski, John Q; Morgan-Kane, Ursula; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2009-06-01

    Patients presenting with left-sided FTLD syndromes sometimes develop a new preoccupation with art, greater attention to visual stimuli, and increased visual creativity. We describe the case of a 53-year-old, right-handed man with a history of bipolar disorder who presented with language and behavior impairments characteristic of FTLD, then developed motor symptoms consistent with a second diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Though the patient had never created visual art before, he developed a compulsion for painting beginning at the earliest stages of his disease, and continued producing art daily until he could no longer lift a paintbrush because of his motor deficits. Upon autopsy, he was found to have ubiquitin and TDP43-positive inclusions with MND pathology. This case study details the patient's longitudinal neuropsychological, emotional, behavioral, and motor symptoms, along with structural imaging, neurologic, and neuropathologic findings. Multiple examples of the patient's art are depicted throughout all stages of his illness, and the possible cognitive, behavioral, and neurologic correlates of his new-onset visual artistry are discussed.

  5. The family experience of living with a person with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cipolletta, Sabrina; Amicucci, Linda

    2015-08-01

    Living with a person with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a complex and difficult experience. Most research involves only the primary caregiver and uses a quantitative approach. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of family members who live with ALS patients until their death. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 family members of ALS patients now deceased. Transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three main themes were identified: "Meaning of ALS," including the peculiarity of ALS and its comparison with other illnesses, the explanation of ALS, emotions, coping strategies, personal change and difficult choices; "Family relationships," including centripetal vs. centrifugal forces, role changes, ALS as a family disease, ALS as a family solution, openness towards the outside world; and "Healthcare context," including access to services, information and humanization. One finding was that families of a person with ALS need more supportive interaction and information during the patients' illness and their end-of-life. This study is an invitation to understand families' experience and subsequently help them to find new ways to cope with the situation.

  6. ATXN2 CAG repeat expansions increase the risk for Chinese patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaolu; Lu, Ming; Tang, Lu; Zhang, Nan; Chui, Dehua; Fan, Dongsheng

    2013-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder with unclear etiology. Recently, intermediate CAG repeat expansions in ATXN2, the gene responsible for spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2), have been identified as a possible genetic risk factor for ALS. In this study, we analyzed the ATXN2 CAG repeat length in Chinese patients with ALS to evaluate the relationship between the genotype and phenotype. We studied 1,067 patients with ALS and 506 controls from mainland China (excluding Tibet). We collected clinical data and analyzed fluorescent PCR products to assess ATXN2 CAG repeat length in all of the samples. We observed that intermediate CAG repeat expansions in ATXN2 (CAG repeat length >30) were associated with ALS (p = 0.004). There was no significant difference in clinical characteristics between the groups with and without intermediate CAG repeat expansions in ATXN2. Our data indicate that, for ALS patients from mainland China, intermediate CAG repeat expansions in ATXN2 increase the risk of ALS but have no effect on disease phenotype.

  7. C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansions in Chinese sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ji; Tang, Lu; Benyamin, Beben; Shah, Sonia; Hemani, Gib; Liu, Rong; Ye, Shan; Liu, Xiaolu; Ma, Yan; Zhang, Huagang; Cremin, Katie; Leo, Paul; Wray, Naomi R; Visscher, Peter M; Xu, Huji; Brown, Matthew A; Bartlett, Perry F; Mangelsdorf, Marie; Fan, Dongsheng

    2015-09-01

    A hexanucleotide repeat expansion (HRE) in the C9orf72 gene has been identified as the most common mutation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) among Caucasian populations. We sought to comprehensively evaluate genetic and epigenetic variants of C9orf72 and the contribution of the HRE in Chinese ALS cases. We performed fragment-length and repeat-primed polymerase chain reaction to determine GGGGCC copy number and expansion within the C9orf72 gene in 1092 sporadic ALS (sALS) and 1062 controls from China. We performed haplotype analysis of 23 single-nucleotide polymorphisms within and surrounding C9orf72. The C9orf72 HRE was found in 3 sALS patients (0.3%) but not in control subjects (p = 0.25). For 2 of the cases with the HRE, genotypes of 8 single-nucleotide polymorphisms flanking the HRE were inconsistent with the haplotype reported to be strongly associated with ALS in Caucasian populations. For these 2 individuals, we found hypermethylation of the CpG island upstream of the repeat, an observation not detected in other sALS patients (p Chinese samples provides robust evidence that may not be consistent with a single Caucasian founder event. Both the Caucasian and Chinese haplotypes associated with HRE were highly associated with repeat lengths >8 repeats implying that both haplotypes may confer instability of repeat length.

  8. Temporal trends and geographic clusters of mortality from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Japan, 1995-2004.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doi, Yuriko; Yokoyama, Testuji; Tango, Toshiro; Takahashi, Kunihiko; Fujimoto, Kenichi; Nakano, Imaharu

    2010-11-15

    The present study examined temporal trends and geographic clustering of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mortality in Japan, during 1995-2004, using vital statistics based on death certificates. ALS was usually diagnosed by neurologists according to clinical guidelines that complied with the El Escorial Criteria. The underlying cause of death for ALS was coded as G12.2A. Regression analysis was used to examine temporal trends. Spatial scan statistic was used to detect any area of elevated risk as a cluster. A total of 12,173 (6864 male and 5309 female) ALS deaths were reported. Annual crude mortality rate per 100,000 population was 1.07 (1.26 for males and 0.89 for females) in 2004. Although the overall temporal trend was stable, the trend increased in the 70+ years age group (p for trend, <0.001 in males and <0.05 in females), while it declined in the under 70 years age group (p for trend, <0.01 for both sexes). Male preponderance and M/F ratio remained nearly constant over time. Three clusters were detected: two (p<0.005 in males and p<0.05 in females) in northeast and one (p<0.05 in males) in west-central Japan. Further research is needed to clarify contributing factors for the observed trends and clusters in ALS mortality.

  9. Clinical features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in south-west China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Qianqian; Chen, Xueping; Zheng, Zhenzhen; Huang, Rui; Guo, Xiaoyan; Cao, Bei; Zhao, Bi; Shang, Huifang

    2015-01-01

    Our objective was to profile clinical features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); we performed a large sample, cross-sectional study based on a hospital registry of ALS in south-west China. Patients were coded in our tertiary referral centre from May 2006 to September 2014. Demographic data and disease-related parameters were collected. A total of 1131 patients were included. Mean age of onset was 54.3 ± 11.6 years and the highest proportion of onset age (30.6%) was between 51 and 60 years. Male:female ratio was 1.45:1. Nearly 30% of the patients were young onset, and 20.3% of the patients were bulbar onset; only 35% received riluzole treatment. The young-onset patients had a higher educational level with a higher proportion performing manual labour and living in rural areas, and a lower proportion with bulbar onset than those who were older at onset. The bulbar-onset patients were older at age of onset, with a lower proportion of males than spinal-onset patients. In conclusion, Chinese ALS patients may be younger at age of onset than Caucasian patients. Environmental and geographical factors are related to the occurrence of ALS. The large treatment gap indicated a pressing need for medical and financial support for Chinese ALS patients.

  10. Association between depression and survival in Chinese amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Qianqian; Zheng, Zhenzhen; Guo, Xiaoyan; Ou, Ruwei; Chen, Xueping; Huang, Rui; Yang, Jing; Shang, Huifang

    2016-04-01

    To determine the prevalence of depression, to identify correlated factors for depression, and to explore the impact on the progression or survival of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by depression in a Chinese population. A total of 166 ALS patients were recruited. Diagnosis of depression disorders and the severity of depression were established by using the fourth diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-24 items (HDRS-24) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Major depression was found in 15 patients (9.6 %). The multiple regression analysis showed that a lower ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) score was correlated with increasing HDRS scores and BDI scores (P = 0.018 and P = 0.012). No significant difference in the median survival time between ALS patients with and without depression was revealed by Kaplan-Meier analysis (log-rank P = 0.282). Cox hazard model showed that the presence of depression in ALS was unrelated to the survival, while the severity of depression in ALS was correlated with the survival. The presence and severity of depression in ALS did not correlate with the progression of ALS. Major depression in ALS is uncommon. Depression evaluation should be given to ALS patients, especially those with lower ALSFRS-R score. The severity of depression may be associated with the survival; however, depression does not worse the progression of ALS.

  11. Magnetic resonance imaging and {sup 1}H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Sarchielli, P.; Gallai, V. [Neurological Clinic, Policlinico Monte Luce, Perugia (Italy); Pelliccioli, G.P.; Chiarini, P. [Dept. of Neuroradiology, Azienda Ospedaliera, Perugia (Italy); Tarducci, R.; Presciutti, O.; Gobbi, G. [Dept. of Medical Physics, Azienda Ospedaliera, Perugia (Italy)

    2001-03-01

    We aimed to increase confidence in the combined use of MRI and proton MR spectroscopy ({sup 1}H-MRS) in diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We investigated 12 patients with ALS, seven definite and five probable, taking into account clinical measures of motor neuron function. On T2-weighted images we found high signal in the corticospinal tract in six and low signal in the primary motor cortex in seven of the 12 patients. Atrophy of the precentral gyrus was apparent in all the patients apart from one with probable ALS. Absolute quantification of cerebral metabolites using {sup 1}H-MRS demonstrated a significantly lower mean concentration of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in the precentral gyrus of patients with probable and definite ALS (8.5 {+-} 0.62) than in control subjects (10.4 {+-} 0.71; P < 0.001). NAA concentration in primary motor cortex correlated with Norris scale scores (r = 0.30; P < 0.0001) but not with the ALS Functional Rating Scale score or disease duration. Significantly lower levels of NAA were detected in patients with low signal in the motor cortex than in those without (P < 0.01). Mean choline (Cho) and creatine (Cr) values did not differ between patients with ALS and controls. (orig.)

  12. Increased expression of Myosin binding protein H in the skeletal muscle of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conti, Antonio; Riva, Nilo; Pesca, Mariasabina; Iannaccone, Sandro; Cannistraci, Carlo V; Corbo, Massimo; Previtali, Stefano C; Quattrini, Angelo; Alessio, Massimo

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe and fatal neurodegenerative disease of still unknown pathogenesis. Recent findings suggest that the skeletal muscle may play an active pathogenetic role. To investigate ALS's pathogenesis and to seek diagnostic markers, we analyzed skeletal muscle biopsies with the differential expression proteomic approach. We studied skeletal muscle biopsies from healthy controls (CN), sporadic ALS (sALS), motor neuropathies (MN) and myopathies (M). Pre-eminently among several differentially expressed proteins, Myosin binding protein H (MyBP-H) expression in ALS samples was anomalously high. MyBP-H is a component of the thick filaments of the skeletal muscle and has strong affinity for myosin, but its function is still unclear. High MyBP-H expression level was associated with abnormal expression of Rho kinase 2 (ROCK2), LIM domain kinase 1 (LIMK1) and cofilin2, that might affect the actin-myosin interaction. We propose that MyBP-H expression level serves, as a putative biomarker in the skeletal muscle, to discriminate ALS from motor neuropathies, and that it signals the onset of dysregulation in actin-myosin interaction; this in turn might contribute to the pathogenesis of ALS.

  13. Folding of Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase and Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    CERN Document Server

    Khare, S D; Dokholyan, N V; Khare, Sagar D.; Ding, Feng; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.

    2003-01-01

    Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) has been implicated in the familial form of the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It has been suggested that mutant mediated SOD1 misfolding/aggregation is an integral part of the pathology of ALS. We study the folding thermodynamics and kinetics of SOD1 using a hybrid molecular dynamics approach. We reproduce the experimentally observed SOD1 folding thermodynamics and find that the residues which contribute the most to SOD1 thermal stability are also crucial for apparent two-state folding kinetics. Surprisingly, we find that these residues are located on the surface of the protein and not in the hydrophobic core. Mutations in some of the identified residues are found in patients with the disease. We argue that the identified residues may play an important role in aggregation. To further characterize the folding of SOD1, we study the role of cysteine residues in folding and find that non-native disulfide bond formation may significantly alter SOD1...

  14. Role of mitochondria in mutant SOD1 linked amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Wenzhi; Pasinelli, Piera; Trotti, Davide

    2014-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease with an adult onset characterized by loss of both upper and lower motor neurons. In ~10% of cases, patients developed ALS with an apparent genetic linkage (familial ALS or fALS). Approximately 20% of fALS displays mutations in the SOD1 gene encoding superoxide dismutase 1. There are many proposed cellular and molecular mechanisms among which, mitochondrial dysfunctions occur early, prior to symptoms occurrence. In this review, we modeled the effect of mutant SOD1 protein via the formation of a toxic complex with Bcl2 on mitochondrial bioenergetics. Furthermore, we discuss that the shutdown of ATP permeation through mitochondrial outer membrane could lead to both respiration inhibition and temporary mitochondrial hyperpolarization. Moreover, we reviewed mitochondrial calcium signaling, oxidative stress, fission and fusion, autophagy and apoptosis in mutant SOD1-linked ALS. Functional defects in mitochondria appear early before symptoms are manifested in ALS. Therefore, mitochondrial dysfunction is a promising therapeutic target in ALS.

  15. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like presentation in a HIV-positive patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, Kuljeet Singh; Wadhwa, Ankur; Garg, Jyoti; Mahajan, Rakesh Kumar

    2014-01-01

    There has been several reports of an MND like syndrome in HIV-1 infection, however the data is still sparse. Furthermore, HIV-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) syndrome differs from the classical ALS in some key aspects.. A 44-year-old male presented with a history of insidious onset and gradually progressive asymmetric weakness of lower limbs. He also complained of thinning in both legs, the left leg more than the right since 1 year along with spontaneous twitching of muscles in both the thighs. On neurological examination, the assessment of higher mental functions was normal. There were no cranial nerve deficits. Motor power was grade 5/5 (Medical Research Council scale) in both the upper limbs and 4+ at hips and knees bilaterally, 5 at right ankle, and 4+ at left ankle. All the deep tendon reflexes were brisk with extensor planter responses. There were no cerebellar signs or sensory deficits. HIV-1 was reactive in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Electrophysiological studies were conducted per the MND protocol.None of the nerves studied showed an abnormal drop in compound muscle action potential amplitude with proximal stimulation. There was evidence of diffuse spontaneous activity, which manifests as fibrillation and fasciculation potentials in most muscles tested . Overall there seems to be sufficient evidence to implicate HIV as a potential cause of an ALS-like disorder, but one must also consider the possibility of coincidental HIV infection in patients who have sporadic ALS.

  16. Health utility decreases with increasing clinical stage in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Ashley R; Jivraj, Naheed; Balendra, Rubika; Murphy, Caroline; Kelly, Joanna; Thornhill, Marie; Young, Carolyn; Shaw, Pamela J; Leigh, P Nigel; Turner, Martin R; Steen, I Nick; McCrone, Paul; Al-Chalabi, Ammar

    2014-06-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease typically causing death within three years. Understanding the impact of disease on patients using health utility at different stages of ALS would allow meaningful cost-benefit analysis of new potential therapies. A common health-related quality of life measurement, developed and validated for the UK, is the EQ-5D. Using clinical trial data from the LiCALS study, we calculated health utility using the EQ-5D for each King's ALS clinical stage from 214 patients. We analysed whether health utility, and other health-related measures, significantly changed between each of the clinical stages. Results showed that mean health utility decreased by 0.487 (the scale runs from 1 to - 0.594) between clinical stages 2A and 4. Emotional states, measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), showed worsening depression and anxiety scores as ALS progressed. Age of onset, disease onset, gender and treatment group were not predictors of EQ-5D, depression or anxiety. In conclusion, increasing severity of King's ALS Clinical Stage is associated with a progressive decrease in EQ-5D health utility. This is useful for cost-benefit analysis of new therapies and validates this ALS clinical staging system.

  17. The role of SIGMAR1 gene mutation and mitochondrial dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukunaga, Kohji; Shinoda, Yasuharu; Tagashira, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients exhibit diverse pathologies such as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in motor neurons. Five to ten percent of patients have familial ALS, a form of the disease caused by mutations in ALS-related genes, while sporadic forms of the disease occur in 90-95% of patients. Recently, it was reported that familial ALS patients exhibit a missense mutation in SIGMAR1 (c.304G > C), which encodes sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R), substituting glutamine for glutamic acid at amino acid residue 102 (p.E102Q). Expression of that mutant Sig-1R(E102Q) protein reduces mitochondrial ATP production, inhibits proteasome activity and causes mitochondrial injury, aggravating ER stress-induced neuronal death in neuro2A cells. In this issue, we discuss mechanisms underlying mitochondrial impairment seen in ALS motor neurons and propose that therapies that protect mitochondria might improve the quality of life (QOL) of ALS patients and should be considered for clinical trials.

  18. Structural insights into human angiogenin variants implicated in Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, William J.; Rehman, Saima; Pham, Tram T. K.; Thiyagarajan, Nethaji; Lee, Rebecca L.; Subramanian, Vasanta; Acharya, K. Ravi

    2017-01-01

    Mutations in Angiogenin (ANG), a member of the Ribonuclease A superfamily (also known as RNase 5) are known to be associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, motor neurone disease) (sporadic and familial) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD). In our previous studies we have shown that ANG is expressed in neurons during neuro-ectodermal differentiation, and that it has both neurotrophic and neuroprotective functions. In addition, in an extensive study on selective ANG-ALS variants we correlated the structural changes to the effects on neuronal survival and the ability to induce stress granules in neuronal cell lines. Furthermore, we have established that ANG-ALS variants which affect the structure of the catalytic site and either decrease or increase the RNase activity affect neuronal survival. Neuronal cell lines expressing the ANG-ALS variants also lack the ability to form stress granules. Here, we report a detailed experimental structural study on eleven new ANG-PD/ALS variants which will have implications in understanding the molecular basis underlying their role in PD and ALS. PMID:28176817

  19. Single-photon emission computed tomographic findings and motor neuron signs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terao, Shin-ichi; Sobue, Gen; Higashi, Naoki; Takahashi, Masahiko; Suga, Hidemichi; Mitsuma, Terunori [Aichi Medical Univ., Nagakute (Japan)

    1995-03-01

    {sup 123}I-amphetamine-single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 16 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to investigate the correlation between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and upper motor neuron signs. Significant decreased blood flow less than 2 SDs below the mean of controls was observed in the frontal lobe in 4 patients (25%) and in the frontoparietal lobe including the cortical motor area in 4 patients, respectively. The severity of extermity muscular weakness was significantly correlate with decrease in blood flow through the frontal lobe (p<0.05) and through the frontoparietal lobe (p<0.001). A significant correlation was also noted to exist between the severity of bulbar paralysis and decrease in blood flow through the frontoparietal lobe. No correlation, however, was observed between rCBF and severity of spasticity, presence or absence of Babinski`s sign and the duration of illness. Although muscular weakness in the limbs and bulbar paralysis are not pure upper motor neuron signs, the observed reduction in blood flow through the frontal or frontoparietal lobes appears to reflect extensive progression of functional or organic lesions of cortical neurons including the motor area. (author).

  20. Neuromuscular Junction Impairment in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Reassessing the Role of Acetylcholinesterase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campanari, Maria-Letizia; García-Ayllón, María-Salud; Ciura, Sorana; Sáez-Valero, Javier; Kabashi, Edor

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a highly debilitating disease caused by progressive degeneration of motorneurons (MNs). Due to the wide variety of genes and mutations identified in ALS, a highly varied etiology could ultimately converge to produce similar clinical symptoms. A major hypothesis in ALS research is the “distal axonopathy” with pathological changes occurring at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), at very early stages of the disease, prior to MNs degeneration and onset of clinical symptoms. The NMJ is a highly specialized cholinergic synapse, allowing signaling between muscle and nerve necessary for skeletal muscle function. This nerve-muscle contact is characterized by the clustering of the collagen-tailed form of acetylcholinesterase (ColQ-AChE), together with other components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and specific key molecules in the NMJ formation. Interestingly, in addition to their cholinergic role AChE is thought to play several “non-classical” roles that do not require catalytic function, most prominent among these is the facilitation of neurite growth, NMJ formation and survival. In all this context, abnormalities of AChE content have been found in plasma of ALS patients, in which AChE changes may reflect the neuromuscular disruption. We review these findings and particularly the evidences of changes of AChE at neuromuscular synapse in the pre-symptomatic stages of ALS. PMID:28082868

  1. Magnesium intake and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: results from five large cohort studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fondell, Elinor; O'Reilly, Eilis J; Fitzgerald, Kathryn C; Falcone, Guido J; McCullough, Marjorie L; Park, Yikyung; Kolonel, Laurence N; Ascherio, Alberto

    2013-09-01

    A low magnesium intake has been suggested to be associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in pathological and case-control studies, but prospective studies in humans are lacking. The relation between dietary intake of magnesium and ALS risk was explored in five large prospective cohort studies (the Nurses' Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, the Multiethnic Cohort Study, and the National Institutes of Health - AARP Diet and Health Study), comprising over 1,050,000 males and females contributing 1093 cases of ALS during a mean of 15 years of follow-up. Cox proportional hazards models were used within each cohort, and cohort-specific estimates were subsequently pooled using a random-effects model. Results demonstrated that dietary magnesium intake was not associated with ALS risk, relative risk 1.07, 95% confidence interval 0.88 - 1.31 comparing the highest quintile of intake with the lowest. This finding does not support a protective effect of magnesium intake on ALS risk. Further analyses should explore magnesium intake in combination with heavy metal exposure and genetic variants affecting magnesium absorption.

  2. Corneal confocal microscopy reveals trigeminal small sensory fiber neuropathy in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulio eFerrari

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Although subclinical involvement of sensory neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS has been previously demonstrated, corneal small fiber sensory neuropathy has not been reported to-date. We examined a group of sporadic ALS patients with corneal confocal microscopy, a recently developed imaging technique allowing in vivo observation of corneal small sensory fibers. Corneal confocal microscopy examination revealed a reduction of corneal small fiber sensory nerve number and branching in ALS patients. Quantitative analysis demonstrated an increase in tortuosity and reduction in length and fractal dimension of ALS patients’ corneal nerve fibers compared to age-matched controls. Moreover, bulbar function disability scores were significantly related to measures of corneal nerve fibers anatomical damage.Our study demonstrates for the first time a corneal small fiber sensory neuropathy in ALS patients. This finding further suggests a link between sporadic ALS and facial-onset sensory and motor neuronopathy (FOSMN syndrome, a rare condition characterized by early sensory symptoms (with trigeminal nerve distribution, followed by wasting and weakness of bulbar and upper limb muscles. In addition, the finding supports a model of neurodegeneration in ALS as a focally advancing process.

  3. Corneal confocal microscopy reveals trigeminal small sensory fiber neuropathy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Giulio; Grisan, Enrico; Scarpa, Fabio; Fazio, Raffaella; Comola, Mauro; Quattrini, Angelo; Comi, Giancarlo; Rama, Paolo; Riva, Nilo

    2014-01-01

    Although subclinical involvement of sensory neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been previously demonstrated, corneal small fiber sensory neuropathy has not been reported to-date. We examined a group of sporadic ALS patients with corneal confocal microscopy, a recently developed imaging technique allowing in vivo observation of corneal small sensory fibers. Corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) examination revealed a reduction of corneal small fiber sensory nerve number and branching in ALS patients. Quantitative analysis demonstrated an increase in tortuosity and reduction in length and fractal dimension of ALS patients’ corneal nerve fibers compared to age-matched controls. Moreover, bulbar function disability scores were significantly related to measures of corneal nerve fibers anatomical damage. Our study demonstrates for the first time a corneal small fiber sensory neuropathy in ALS patients. This finding further suggests a link between sporadic ALS and facial-onset sensory and motor neuronopathy (FOSMN) syndrome, a rare condition characterized by early sensory symptoms (with trigeminal nerve distribution), followed by wasting and weakness of bulbar and upper limb muscles. In addition, the finding supports a model of neurodegeneration in ALS as a focally advancing process. PMID:25360111

  4. Rate of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Byrne, Susan

    2010-11-03

    Background The population rate of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) is frequently reported as 10%. However, a systematic review and meta-analysis of the true population based frequency of FALS has never been performed. Method A Medline literature review identified all original articles reporting a rate of FALS. Studies were grouped according to the type of data presented and examined for sources of case ascertainment. A systematic review and meta-analysis of reported rates of FALS was then conducted to facilitate comparison between studies and calculate a pooled rate of FALS. Results 38 papers reported a rate of FALS. Thirty-three papers were included in analysis and the rate of FALS for all studies was 4.6% (95% CI 3.9% to 5.5%). Restricting the analysis to prospective population based registry data revealed a rate of 5.1% (95% CI 4.1% to 6.1%). The incidence of FALS was lower in southern Europe. There was no correlation between rate of FALS and reported SOD1 mutation rates. Conclusion The rate of FALS among prospective population based registries is 5.1% (CI 4.1 to 6.1%), and not 10% as is often stated. Further detailed prospective population based studies of familial ALS are required to confirm this rate.

  5. Active music therapy approach in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a randomized-controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raglio, Alfredo; Giovanazzi, Elena; Pain, Debora; Baiardi, Paola; Imbriani, Chiara; Imbriani, Marcello; Mora, Gabriele

    2016-12-01

    This randomized controlled study assessed the efficacy of active music therapy (AMT) on anxiety, depression, and quality of life in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Communication and relationship during AMT treatment were also evaluated. Thirty patients were assigned randomly to experimental [AMT plus standard of care (SC)] or control (SC) groups. AMT consisted of 12 sessions (three times a week), whereas the SC treatment was based on physical and speech rehabilitation sessions, occupational therapy, and psychological support. ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire, and Music Therapy Rating Scale were administered to assess functional, psychological, and music therapy outcomes. The AMT group improved significantly in McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire global scores (P=0.035) and showed a positive trend in nonverbal and sonorous-music relationship during the treatment. Further studies involving larger samples in a longer AMT intervention are needed to confirm the effectiveness of this approach in ALS.

  6. Nutritional state, energy intakes and energy expenditure of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genton, L; Viatte, V; Janssens, J-P; Héritier, A-C; Pichard, C

    2011-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) alters nutritional state, energy intake and energy expenditure. This article aims at reviewing present knowledge on these topics in order to determine energy requirements for maintaining a neutral energy balance in ALS patients. Maintaining a neutral energy balance prevents malnutrition and its complications and may improve physical functioning, quality of life and survival. Prevalence of malnutrition varies between 16 and 55% in ALS patients. Energy intakes are below recommended dietary allowances in 70% of ALS patients at least. These elements suggest a chronic negative energy balance with an imbalance between requirements and intakes. While insufficient intakes can be compensated with nutritional support, the energy requirements are unclear. Studies generally report hypermetabolism in ALS patients. Estimation of total energy expenditure and as a corollary energy needs, necessitates taking into account this hypermetabolism, physical activity and possibly mechanical ventilation. The review suggests a flow chart for optimal nutritional follow-up in clinics. Further studies are required to assess whether optimal nutritional follow-up improves outcome.

  7. Pathological Roles of Wild-Type Cu, Zn-Superoxide Dismutase in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiaki Furukawa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Dominant mutations in a Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1 gene cause a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. While it remains controversial how SOD1 mutations lead to onset and progression of the disease, many in vitro and in vivo studies have supported a gain-of-toxicity mechanism where pathogenic mutations contribute to destabilizing a native structure of SOD1 and thus facilitate misfolding and aggregation. Indeed, abnormal accumulation of SOD1-positive inclusions in spinal motor neurons is a pathological hallmark in SOD1-related familial ALS. Furthermore, similarities in clinical phenotypes and neuropathology of ALS cases with and without mutations in sod1 gene have implied a disease mechanism involving SOD1 common to all ALS cases. Although pathogenic roles of wild-type SOD1 in sporadic ALS remain controversial, recent developments of novel SOD1 antibodies have made it possible to characterize wild-type SOD1 under pathological conditions of ALS. Here, I have briefly reviewed recent progress on biochemical and immunohistochemical characterization of wild-type SOD1 in sporadic ALS cases and discussed possible involvement of wild-type SOD1 in a pathomechanism of ALS.

  8. Rate of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Byrne, Susan

    2012-02-01

    BACKGROUND: The population rate of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) is frequently reported as 10%. However, a systematic review and meta-analysis of the true population based frequency of FALS has never been performed. METHOD: A Medline literature review identified all original articles reporting a rate of FALS. Studies were grouped according to the type of data presented and examined for sources of case ascertainment. A systematic review and meta-analysis of reported rates of FALS was then conducted to facilitate comparison between studies and calculate a pooled rate of FALS. RESULTS: 38 papers reported a rate of FALS. Thirty-three papers were included in analysis and the rate of FALS for all studies was 4.6% (95% CI 3.9% to 5.5%). Restricting the analysis to prospective population based registry data revealed a rate of 5.1% (95% CI 4.1% to 6.1%). The incidence of FALS was lower in southern Europe. There was no correlation between rate of FALS and reported SOD1 mutation rates. CONCLUSION: The rate of FALS among prospective population based registries is 5.1% (CI 4.1 to 6.1%), and not 10% as is often stated. Further detailed prospective population based studies of familial ALS are required to confirm this rate.

  9. Eosinophil-Derived Neurotoxin Is Elevated in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guan-Ting Liu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor neurons in the brainstem, motor cortex, and spinal cord. Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation have been implicated in the pathophysiology of ALS. Members of the family of damage-associated molecular patterns, including reactive oxygen species, high-mobility group box 1, and eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN, may participate in pathological conditions. In this study, we aim to discover new biomarker for detecting ALS. Materials and Methods. We examined 44 patients with ALS, 41 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, 41 patients with Parkinson’s disease, and 44 healthy controls. The concentration of serum EDN was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results. EDN levels were significantly increased 2.17-fold in the serum of patients with ALS as compared with healthy controls (P<0.05. No correlation between the levels of serum EDN and various clinical parameters of ALS was found. Moreover, the levels of serum EDN in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease and healthy controls were similar. Conclusion. A higher level of serum EDN was found specifically in patients with ALS, indicating that EDN may participate in the pathophysiology of ALS.

  10. Brain-computer interface (BCI) evaluation in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCane, Lynn M.; Sellers, Eric W.; Mcfarland, Dennis J.; Mak, Joseph N.; Carmack, C. Steve; Zeitlin, Debra; Wolpaw, Jonathan R.; Vaughan, Theresa M.

    2015-01-01

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) might restore communication to people severely disabled by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or other disorders. We sought to: 1) define a protocol for determining whether a person with ALS can use a visual P300-based BCI; 2) determine what proportion of this population can use the BCI; and 3) identify factors affecting BCI performance. Twenty-five individuals with ALS completed an evaluation protocol using a standard 6 × 6 matrix and parameters selected by stepwise linear discrimination. With an 8-channel EEG montage, the subjects fell into two groups in BCI accuracy (chance accuracy 3%). Seventeen averaged 92 (± 3)% (range 71–100%), which is adequate for communication (G70 group). Eight averaged 12 (± 6)% (range 0–36%), inadequate for communication (L40 subject group). Performance did not correlate with disability: 11/17 (65%) of G70 subjects were severely disabled (i.e. ALSFRS-R < 5). All L40 subjects had visual impairments (e.g. nystagmus, diplopia, ptosis). P300 was larger and more anterior in G70 subjects. A 16-channel montage did not significantly improve accuracy. In conclusion, most people severely disabled by ALS could use a visual P300-based BCI for communication. In those who could not, visual impairment was the principal obstacle. For these individuals, auditory P300-based BCIs might be effective. PMID:24555843

  11. Eye-Tracking Control to Assess Cognitive Functions in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Jürgen; Gorges, Martin; Aho-Özhan, Helena E A; Uttner, Ingo; Schneider, Erich; Kassubek, Jan; Pinkhardt, Elmar H; Ludolph, Albert C; Lulé, Dorothée

    2016-10-13

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder with pathological involvement of upper and lower motoneurons, subsequently leading to progressive loss of motor and speech abilities. In addition, cognitive functions are impaired in a subset of patients. To evaluate these potential deficits in severely physically impaired ALS patients, eye-tracking is a promising means to conduct cognitive tests. The present article focuses on how eye movements, an indirect means of communication for physically disabled patients, can be utilized to allow for detailed neuropsychological assessment. The requirements, in terms of oculomotor parameters that have to be met for sufficient eye-tracking in ALS patients are presented. The properties of stimuli, including type of neuropsychological tests and style of presentation, best suited to successfully assess cognitive functioning, are also described. Furthermore, recommendations regarding procedural requirements are provided. Overall, this methodology provides a reliable, easy to administer and fast approach for assessing cognitive deficits in patients who are unable to speak or write such as patients with severe ALS. The only confounding factor might be deficits in voluntary eye movement control in a subset of ALS patients.

  12. Evidence-based evaluation of therapeutic measures for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JIA Hua

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and side effects of various treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS in order to formulate the best therapeutic regimen. Methods ALS, Riluzole, Gabapentin, Lamotrigine, neurotrophic factor, antioxidant and free radical scavenger gene therapy, neural stem cell treatment, treatment were appointed as retrieval words. MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Wanfang Database for Scientific Journals in China and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI for Scientific Journals Database were used for retrieval. Related clinical guidelines, systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials, controlled clinical trials and case-observation studies were collected following the corresponding inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria and evaluated by Jadad Scale to judge the authenticity and reliability of the conclusion. Manual searching was also used. Results After screening, 39 related articals were selected as follow: 4 systematic reviews, 18 randomised controlled trials, 11 controlled clinical trials, and 6 case-observation studies. Twenty-seven articals were of high quality (according to Jadad Scale, 11 with score 4, 13 with score 5, and 3 with score 7, while 12 were of low quality with score 3. According to the evaluation of therapeutic efficacy and side effects of various therapies, it is suggested that: 1 The Riluzole is the only drug approved by American FDA, lacking of more effective treatments. 2 When the patients' condition is not relieved, medicine-combined therapies and symptomatic treatments should be used. Conclusion Evidence-based medicine can provide best clinical evidence on ALS treatment.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: The Role of Angiogenin, a Secreted RNase

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    Isabela M. Aparicio-Erriu

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by the loss of motoneurons. The precise molecular and cellular basis for neuronal death is not yet well established, but the contemporary view is that it is a culmination of multiple aberrant biological processes. Among the proposed mechanisms of motoneuron degeneration, alterations in the homeostasis of RNA binding proteins (RBP and the consequent changes in RNA metabolism have received attention recently.The ribonuclease, angiogenin was one of the first RBPs associated with familial and sporadic ALS. It is enriched in motoneurons under physiological conditions, and is required for motoneuron survival under stress conditions. Furthermore, delivery of angiogenin protects cultured motoneurons against stress-induced injury, and significantly increases the survival of motoneurons in SODG93A mice. In this overview on the role of angiogenin in RNA metabolism and in the control of motoneuron survival, we discuss potential pathogenic mechanisms of angiogenin dysfunction relevant to ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders. We also discuss recent evidence demonstrating that angiogenin secreted from stressed motoneurons may alter RNA metabolism in astrocytes.

  14. Dysregulation of the Autophagy-Endolysosomal System in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Related Motor Neuron Diseases

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    Asako Otomo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a heterogeneous group of incurable motor neuron diseases (MNDs characterized by a selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Most cases of ALS are sporadic, while approximately 5–10% cases are familial. More than 16 causative genes for ALS/MNDs have been identified and their underlying pathogenesis, including oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, neural inflammation, protein misfolding and accumulation, dysfunctional intracellular trafficking, abnormal RNA processing, and noncell-autonomous damage, has begun to emerge. It is currently believed that a complex interplay of multiple toxicity pathways is implicated in disease onset and progression. Among such mechanisms, ones that are associated with disturbances of protein homeostasis, the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy, have recently been highlighted. Although it remains to be determined whether disease-associated protein aggregates have a toxic or protective role in the pathogenesis, the formation of them results from the imbalance between generation and degradation of misfolded proteins within neuronal cells. In this paper, we focus on the autophagy-lysosomal and endocytic degradation systems and implication of their dysfunction to the pathogenesis of ALS/MNDs. The autophagy-endolysosomal pathway could be a major target for the development of therapeutic agents for ALS/MNDs.

  15. TDP-43 in the hypoglossal nucleus identifies amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halliday, Glenda M; Kiernan, Matthew C; Kril, Jillian J; Mito, Remika; Masuda-Suzukake, Masami; Hasegawa, Masato; McCann, Heather; Bartley, Lauren; Dobson-Stone, Carol; Kwok, John B J; Hornberger, Michael; Hodges, John R; Tan, Rachel H

    2016-07-15

    The hypoglossal nucleus was recently identified as a key brain region in which the presence of TDP-43 pathology could accurately discriminate TDP-43 proteinopathy cases with clinical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The objective of the present study was to assess the hypoglossal nucleus in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), and determine whether TDP-43 in this region is associated with clinical ALS. Twenty-nine cases with neuropathological FTLD-TDP and clinical bvFTD that had not been previously assessed for hypoglossal TDP-43 pathology were included in this study. Of these 29 cases, 41% (n=12) had a dual diagnosis of bvFTD-ALS at presentation, all 100% (n=12) of which demonstrated hypoglossal TDP-43 pathology. Of the 59% (n=17) cohort that presented with pure bvFTD, 35% (n=6) were identified with hypoglossal TDP-43 pathology. Review of the case files of all pure bvFTD cases revealed evidence of possible or probable ALS in 5 of the 6 hypoglossal-positive cases (83%) towards the end of disease, and this was absent from all cases without such pathology. In conclusion, the present study validates grading the presence of TDP-43 in the hypoglossal nucleus for the pathological identification of bvFTD cases with clinical ALS, and extends this to include the identification of cases with possible ALS at end-stage.

  16. Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products and its Inflammatory Ligands are Upregulated in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judyta eJuranek

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal motor neuron disorder of largely unknown pathogenesis. Recent studies suggest that enhanced oxidative stress and neuroinflammation contribute to the progression of the disease. Mounting evidence implicates the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE as a significant contributor to the pathogenesis of certain neurodegenerative diseases and chronic conditions. It is hypothesized that detrimental actions of RAGE are triggered upon binding to its ligands, such as AGEs (advanced glycation end products, S100/calgranulin family members, and High Mobility Group Box-1 (HMGB1 proteins. Here, we examined the expression of RAGE and its ligands in human ALS spinal cord. Tissue samples from age-matched human control and ALS spinal cords were tested for the expression of RAGE, carboxymethyllysine (CML AGE, S100B and HMGB1, and intensity of the immunofluorescent and immunoblotting signals was assessed. We found that the expression of both RAGE and its ligands was significantly increased in the spinal cords of ALS patients versus age-matched control subjects. Our study is the first report describing co-expression of both RAGE and its ligands in human ALS spinal cords. These findings suggest that further probing of RAGE as a mechanism of neurodegeneration in human ALS is rational.

  17. The established and emerging roles of astrocytes and microglia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radford, Rowan A; Morsch, Marco; Rayner, Stephanie L; Cole, Nicholas J; Pountney, Dean L; Chung, Roger S

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two progressive, fatal neurodegenerative syndromes with considerable clinical, genetic and pathological overlap. Clinical symptoms of FTD can be seen in ALS patients and vice versa. Recent genetic discoveries conclusively link the two diseases, and several common molecular players have been identified (TDP-43, FUS, C9ORF72). The definitive etiologies of ALS and FTD are currently unknown and both disorders lack a cure. Glia, specifically astrocytes and microglia are heavily implicated in the onset and progression of neurodegeneration witnessed in ALS and FTD. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the role of microglia and astrocytes involved in ALS and FTD, highlighting their recent implications in neuroinflammation, alterations in waste clearance involving phagocytosis and the newly described glymphatic system, and vascular abnormalities. Elucidating the precise mechanisms of how astrocytes and microglia are involved in ALS and FTD will be crucial in characterizing these two disorders and may represent more effective interventions for disease progression and treatment options in the future.

  18. The heat shock response plays an important role in TDP-43 clearance: evidence for dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Chen, Han-Jou; Mitchell, Jacqueline C; Novoselov, Sergey; Miller, Jack; Nishimura, Agnes L; Scotter, Emma L; Vance, Caroline A; Cheetham, Michael E; Shaw, Christopher E

    2016-05-01

    Detergent-resistant, ubiquitinated and hyperphosphorylated Tar DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43, encoded by TARDBP) neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions are the pathological hallmark in ∼95% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and ∼60% of frontotemporal lobar degeneration cases. We sought to explore the role for the heat shock response in the clearance of insoluble TDP-43 in a cellular model of disease and to validate our findings in transgenic mice and human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis tissues. The heat shock response is a stress-responsive protective mechanism regulated by the transcription factor heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), which increases the expression of chaperones that refold damaged misfolded proteins or facilitate their degradation. Here we show that manipulation of the heat shock response by expression of dominant active HSF1 results in a dramatic reduction of insoluble and hyperphosphorylated TDP-43 that enhances cell survival, whereas expression of dominant negative HSF1 leads to enhanced TDP-43 aggregation and hyperphosphorylation. To determine which chaperones were mediating TDP-43 clearance we over-expressed a range of heat shock proteins (HSPs) and identified DNAJB2a (encoded by DNAJB2, and also known as HSJ1a) as a potent anti-aggregation chaperone for TDP-43. DNAJB2a has a J domain, allowing it to interact with HSP70, and ubiquitin interacting motifs, which enable it to engage the degradation of its client proteins. Using functionally deleted DNAJB2a constructs we demonstrated that TDP-43 clearance was J domain-dependent and was not affected by ubiquitin interacting motif deletion or proteasome inhibition. This indicates that TDP-43 is maintained in a soluble state by DNAJB2a, leaving the total levels of TDP-43 unchanged. Additionally, we have demonstrated that the levels of HSF1 and heat shock proteins are significantly reduced in affected neuronal tissues from a TDP-43 transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and patients with

  19. A ketogenic diet as a potential novel therapeutic intervention in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Humala Nelson

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The cause of neuronal death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is uncertain but mitochondrial dysfunction may play an important role. Ketones promote mitochondrial energy production and membrane stabilization. Results SOD1-G93A transgenic ALS mice were fed a ketogenic diet (KD based on known formulations for humans. Motor performance, longevity, and motor neuron counts were measured in treated and disease controls. Because mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role in neuronal cell death in ALS, we also studied the effect that the principal ketone body, D-β-3 hydroxybutyrate (DBH, has on mitochondrial ATP generation and neuroprotection. Blood ketones were > 3.5 times higher in KD fed animals compared to controls. KD fed mice lost 50% of baseline motor performance 25 days later than disease controls. KD animals weighed 4.6 g more than disease control animals at study endpoint; the interaction between diet and change in weight was significant (p = 0.047. In spinal cord sections obtained at the study endpoint, there were more motor neurons in KD fed animals (p = 0.030. DBH prevented rotenone mediated inhibition of mitochondrial complex I but not malonate inhibition of complex II. Rotenone neurotoxicity in SMI-32 immunopositive motor neurons was also inhibited by DBH. Conclusion This is the first study showing that diet, specifically a KD, alters the progression of the clinical and biological manifestations of the G93A SOD1 transgenic mouse model of ALS. These effects may be due to the ability of ketone bodies to promote ATP synthesis and bypass inhibition of complex I in the mitochondrial respiratory chain.

  20. FUNCTIONAL MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING STUDY OF THE BRAIN IN PATIENTS WITH AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing Han; Lin Ma

    2006-01-01

    Objective To study the activation changes of the brain in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) while executing sequential finger tapping movement using the method of blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).Methods Fifteen patients with definite or probable ALS and fifteen age and gender matched normal controls were enrolled.MRI was performed on a 3.0 Tesla scanner with standard headcoil.The functional images were acquired using a gradient echo single shot echo planar imaging (EPI) sequence.All patients and normal subjects executed sequential finger tapping movement at the frequency of 1-2 Hz during a block-design motor task.Structural MRI was acquired using a three-dimensional fast spoiled gradient echo (3D-FSPGR) sequence.The fMRI data were analyzed by statistical parametric mapping(SPM).Results Bilateral primary sensorimotor cortex (PSM),bilateral premotor area (PA),bilateral supplementary motor area (SMA),bilateral parietal region (PAR),contralateral inferior lateral premotor area (ILPA),and ipsilateral cerebellum showed activation in both ALS patients and normal controls when executing the same motor task.The activation areas in bilateral PSM,bilateral PA,bilateral SMA,and ipsilateral cerebellum were significantly larger in ALS patients than those in normal controls (P<0.05).Extra activation areas including ipsilateral ILPA,bilateral posterior limb of internal capsule,and contralateral cerebellum were only detected in ALS patients.Conclusions Similar activation areas are activated in ALS patients and normal subjects while executing the same motor task.The increased activation areas in ALS patients may represent neural reorganization,while the extra activation areas in ALS patients may indicate functional compensation.

  1. [Upper airway obstruction caused by a floppy epiglottis--report of two cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)].

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    Ito, Keiko; Chitose, Hiroko; Kobayashi, Asako

    2009-09-01

    The motor system is extensively affected in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Rapid disease progression almost certainly ensures that about half of thsese cases will experience respiratory muscle paralysis to breathe within about five years. We report two cases of ALS involving upper airway obstruction. Fiberoptic laryngoscopy showed floppy epiglottis, tilted posteriorly and horizontally and impacting against the posterior pharyngeal wall during inspiration. Several months later, airway obstruction grew exceedingly worse, and the tilted epiglottis did not return to its vertical resting position. Tracheostomy was conducted during this period. We found that laryngoscopy may be useful in the evaluation of upper airway obstruction, and it may be safer to avoid continuous positive airway pressure.

  2. Soluble RAGE Treatment Delays Progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in SOD1 Mice

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    Judyta K Juranek

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a fatal motor neuron disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness and spasticity, remains largely unknown. Approximately 5-10% of cases are familial, and of those, 15-20% are associated with mutations in the gene encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1. Mutations of the SOD1 gene interrupt cellular homeostasis and contribute to cellular toxicity evoked by the presence of altered SOD1, along with other toxic species, such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs. AGEs trigger activation of their chief cell surface receptor, RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products, and induce RAGE-dependent cellular stress and inflammation in neurons, thereby affecting their function and leading to apoptosis. Here, we show for the first time that the expression of RAGE is higher in the SOD1 transgenic mouse model of ALS versus wild-type mouse spinal cord. We tested whether pharmacological blockade of RAGE may delay the onset and progression of disease in this mouse model. Our findings reveal that treatment of SOD1 transgenic mice with soluble RAGE (sRAGE, a natural competitor of RAGE that sequesters RAGE ligands and blocks their interaction with cell surface RAGE, significantly delays the progression of ALS and prolongs life span compared to vehicle treatment. We demonstrate that in sRAGE-treated SOD1 transgenic animals at the final stage of the disease, a significantly higher number of neurons and lower number of astrocytes is detectable in the spinal cord. We conclude that RAGE antagonism may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for ALS intervention.

  3. Neurofilaments as Biomarkers for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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    Henderson, Robert David; David, Michael; McCombe, Pamela Ann

    2016-01-01

    Background To allow early diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression, there is a need for biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Neurofilaments (NF) are emerging protein biomarkers in other neurological diseases, and are of possible use in ALS. Objective The aim of this study is to evaluate the utility of NF levels as blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker in patients with ALS. Methods A systematic search of Pubmed, Embase and Scopus was performed. Methodological quality assessment was applied to refine the final search results. Meta-analysis of the data was performed. Results Level of NF heavy chain and light chains were significantly elevated in the CSF of ALS patients compared to healthy controls/controls without parenchymal central nervous system (CNS) involvement and ALS mimic disease patients. NF light chain level in CSF was higher in ALS patients than in neurological patients with CNS involvement (SMD = 1.352, P = 0.01). NF light chain concentration in blood was higher in ALS patients than healthy controls/controls without CNS involvement (SMD = 1.448, P<0.0001). NF heavy chain levels in CSF were negatively correlated disease duration and ALSFRS-R ((r = -0.447, P<0.0001; r = -0.486, P<0.0001). NF light chain levels in CSF were negatively correlated with disease duration (r = -0.273, P = 0.011). Conclusion NF heavy and light chain levels have potential use as a marker of neural degeneration in ALS, but are not specific for the disease, and are more likely to be used as measures of disease progression. PMID:27732645

  4. The potential for transition metal-mediated neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    David Benn Lovejoy

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Modulations of the potentially toxic transition metals iron (Fe and copper (Cu are implicated in the neurodegenerative process in a variety of human disease states including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. However, the precise role played by these metals is still very much unclear, despite considerable clinical and experimental data suggestive of a role for these elements in the neurodegenerative process. The discovery of mutations in the antioxidant enzyme Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD-1 in ALS patients established the first known cause of ALS. Recent data suggest that various mutations in SOD-1 affect metal-binding of Cu and Zn, in turn promoting toxic protein aggregation. Copper homeostasis is also disturbed in ALS, and may be relevant to ALS pathogenesis. Another set of interesting observations in ALS patients involves the key nutrient Fe. In ALS patients Fe loading can be inferred by studies showing increased expression of serum ferritin, an Fe storage protein, with high serum ferritin levels correlating to poor prognosis. Magnetic resonance imaging of ALS patients shows a characteristic T2 shortening that is attributed to the presence of Fe in the motor cortex. In mutant SOD-1 mouse models, increased Fe is also detected in the spinal cord and treatment with Fe-chelating drugs lowers spinal cord Fe, preserves motor neurons and extends lifespan. Inflammation may play a key causative role in Fe accumulation, but this is not yet conclusive. Excess transition metals may enhance induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress, a system that is already under strain in ALS. Taken together, the evidence suggests a role for transition metals in ALS progression and the potential use of metal-chelating drugs as a component of future ALS therapy.

  5. Blood Cell Palmitoleate-Palmitate Ratio Is an Independent Prognostic Factor for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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    Alexandre Henriques

    Full Text Available Growing evidence supports a link between fatty acid metabolism and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here we determined the fatty acid composition of blood lipids to identify markers of disease progression and survival. We enrolled 117 patients from two clinical centers and 48 of these were age and gender matched with healthy volunteers. We extracted total lipids from serum and blood cells, and separated fatty acid methyl esters by gas chromatography. We measured circulating biochemical parameters indicative of the metabolic status. Association between fatty acid composition and clinical readouts was studied, including ALS functional rating scale-revised (ALSFRS-R, survival, disease duration, site of onset and body mass index. Palmitoleate (16:1 and oleate (18:1 levels, and stearoyl-CoA desaturase indices (16:1/16:0 and 18:1/18:0 significantly increased in blood cells from ALS patients compared to healthy controls. Palmitoleate levels and 16:1/16:0 ratio in blood cells, but not body mass index or leptin concentrations, negatively correlated with ALSFRS-R decline over a six-month period (p<0.05. Multivariate Cox analysis, with age, body mass index, site of onset and ALSFRS-R as covariables, showed that blood cell 16:1/16:0 ratio was an independent prognostic factor for survival (hazard ratio=0.1 per unit of ratio, 95% confidence interval=0.01-0.57, p=0.009. In patients with high 16:1/16:0 ratio, survival at blood collection was extended by 10 months, as compared to patients with low ratio. The 16:1/16:0 index is an easy-to-handle parameter that predicts survival of ALS patients independently of body mass index. It therefore deserves further validation in larger cohorts for being used to assess disease outcome and effects of disease-modifying drugs.

  6. Grey and white matter changes across the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia continuum.

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    Patricia Lillo

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD lie on a clinical, pathological and genetic continuum with patients of one disease exhibiting features of the other. Nevertheless, to date, the underlying grey matter and white matter changes across the ALS-FTD disease continuum have not been explored. In this study fifty-three participants with ALS (n = 10, ALS-FTD (n = 10 and behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD; n = 15 as well as controls (n = 18, underwent detailed clinical assessment plus structural imaging using voxel-based morphometry (VBM and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI analysis of magnetic resonance brain imaging to examine grey and white matter differences and commonalities across the continuum. Importantly, patient groups were matched for age, education, gender and disease duration. VBM and DTI results showed that changes in the ALS group were confined mainly to the motor cortex and anterior cingulate as well as their underlying white matter tracts. ALS-FTD and bvFTD showed widespread grey matter and white matter changes involving frontal and temporal lobes. Extensive prefrontal cortex changes emerged as a marker for bvFTD compared to other subtypes, while ALS-FTD could be distinguished from ALS by additional temporal lobe grey and white matter changes. Finally, ALS could be mainly distinguished from the other two groups by corticospinal tract degeneration. The present study shows for the first time that FTD and ALS overlap in anterior cingulate, motor cortex and related white matter tract changes across the whole continuum. Nevertheless, frontal and temporal atrophy as well as corticospinal tract degeneration emerged as marker for subtype classification, which will inform future diagnosis and target disease management across the continuum.

  7. Different occupations associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: is diesel exhaust the link?

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    Roger Pamphlett

    Full Text Available The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS remains unknown. We attempted to find out if occupational exposure to toxicants plays a part in the pathogenesis of this disease. In an Australia-wide case-control study we compared the lifetime occupations of 611 SALS and 775 control individuals. Occupations were coded using country-specific as well as international classifications. The risk of SALS for each occupation was calculated with odds ratios using logistic regression. In addition, the literature was searched for possible toxicant links between our findings and previously-reported occupational associations with SALS. Male occupations in our study that required lower skills and tasks tended to have increased risks of SALS, and conversely, those occupations that required higher skills and tasks had decreased risks of SALS. Of all the occupations, only truck drivers, where exposure to diesel exhaust is common, maintained an increased risk of SALS throughout all occupational groups. Another large case-control study has also found truck drivers to be at risk of SALS, and almost two-thirds of occupations, as well as military duties, that have previously been associated with SALS have potential exposure to diesel exhaust. In conclusion, two of the largest case-control studies of SALS have now found that truck drivers have an increased risk of SALS. Since exposure to diesel exhaust is common in truck drivers, as well as in other occupations that have been linked to SALS, exposure to this toxicant may underlie some of the occupations that are associated with SALS.

  8. Different occupations associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: is diesel exhaust the link?

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    Pamphlett, Roger; Rikard-Bell, Anna

    2013-01-01

    The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) remains unknown. We attempted to find out if occupational exposure to toxicants plays a part in the pathogenesis of this disease. In an Australia-wide case-control study we compared the lifetime occupations of 611 SALS and 775 control individuals. Occupations were coded using country-specific as well as international classifications. The risk of SALS for each occupation was calculated with odds ratios using logistic regression. In addition, the literature was searched for possible toxicant links between our findings and previously-reported occupational associations with SALS. Male occupations in our study that required lower skills and tasks tended to have increased risks of SALS, and conversely, those occupations that required higher skills and tasks had decreased risks of SALS. Of all the occupations, only truck drivers, where exposure to diesel exhaust is common, maintained an increased risk of SALS throughout all occupational groups. Another large case-control study has also found truck drivers to be at risk of SALS, and almost two-thirds of occupations, as well as military duties, that have previously been associated with SALS have potential exposure to diesel exhaust. In conclusion, two of the largest case-control studies of SALS have now found that truck drivers have an increased risk of SALS. Since exposure to diesel exhaust is common in truck drivers, as well as in other occupations that have been linked to SALS, exposure to this toxicant may underlie some of the occupations that are associated with SALS.

  9. Deep learning predictions of survival based on MRI in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Hannelore K. van der Burgh

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disease, with large variation in survival between patients. Currently, it remains rather difficult to predict survival based on clinical parameters alone. Here, we set out to use clinical characteristics in combination with MRI data to predict survival of ALS patients using deep learning, a machine learning technique highly effective in a broad range of big-data analyses. A group of 135 ALS patients was included from whom high-resolution diffusion-weighted and T1-weighted images were acquired at the first visit to the outpatient clinic. Next, each of the patients was monitored carefully and survival time to death was recorded. Patients were labeled as short, medium or long survivors, based on their recorded time to death as measured from the time of disease onset. In the deep learning procedure, the total group of 135 patients was split into a training set for deep learning (n = 83 patients, a validation set (n = 20 and an independent evaluation set (n = 32 to evaluate the performance of the obtained deep learning networks. Deep learning based on clinical characteristics predicted survival category correctly in 68.8% of the cases. Deep learning based on MRI predicted 62.5% correctly using structural connectivity and 62.5% using brain morphology data. Notably, when we combined the three sources of information, deep learning prediction accuracy increased to 84.4%. Taken together, our findings show the added value of MRI with respect to predicting survival in ALS, demonstrating the advantage of deep learning in disease prognostication.

  10. Increased persistent sodium current determines cortical hyperexcitability in a genetic model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Pieri, Massimo; Carunchio, Irene; Curcio, Livia; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio; Zona, Cristina

    2009-02-01

    Cortical hyperexcitability has been observed in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients. Familial ALS accounts for 10% of all cases and mutations of the Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene have been identified in about 20% of the familial cases. The aim of this study was to investigate whether in a mouse model of ALS the cortical neurons developed hyperexcitability due to intrinsic properties of the single cell. We first examined the passive membrane properties and the pattern of repetitive firing in cultured cortical neurons from Control mice and transgenic mice expressing high levels of the human mutated protein (Gly(93)-->Ala, G93A). The former did not display significantly differing values between Control and G93A cortical neurons. However, the threshold potential and time of the first action potential decreased significantly and the firing frequency increased significantly in the G93A compared to Control neurons. The analysis of the voltage-dependent sodium currents revealed that the fast transient sodium current was unaffected by the SOD1 mutation whereas the persistent sodium current was significantly higher in the mutated neurons. Finally, Riluzole, a selective blocker of the persistent sodium current at low concentrations, decreased the firing frequency in G93A neurons, strongly indicating an involvement of this current in the observed hyperexcitability. These are the first data that demonstrate an intrinsic hyperexcitability in the G93A cortical neurons due to a higher current density of the persistent sodium current in the mutated neurons and open up new prospects of understanding ALS disease etiopathology.

  11. The relationship between depressive symptoms, disease state, and cognition in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Laura M Jelsone-Swain

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment (CI in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS may present a serious barrier to a patient’s wellbeing and significantly decrease quality of life. Although reports of cognitive impairment in ALS without frank dementia are becoming quite common, questions remain regarding the specific cognitive domains affected, as well as how other psychological and medical factors may impact cognitive functioning in these patients. Additionally, the influence of depressive symptoms on disease processes is not known. We aimed to address these questions by completing extensive neuropsychological tests with 22 patients with ALS and 17 healthy volunteers. A subgroup of these patients also completed questionnaires to measure depressive and vegetative symptoms. Analyses tested the overall cognitive differences between groups, the influence of physical (e.g. bulbar and limb, vegetative (e.g. fatigue and depressive symptoms on cognitive performance, and the relationship between depressive symptoms and physical dysfunction in ALS. Overall the patients performed more poorly than healthy controls, most notably on tests of executive functioning and learning and memory. Results suggest that true cognitive performance differences exist between patients with ALS and healthy controls, as these differences were not changed by the presence of vegetative or depressive symptoms. There was no effect of limb or bulbar symptoms on cognitive functioning. Also, patients were not any more depressed than healthy controls, however increased depressive scores correlated with faster disease progression and decreased limb function. Collectively, it is suggested that translational advances in psychological intervention for those with CI and depression become emphasized in future research.

  12. Exendin-4 ameliorates motor neuron degeneration in cellular and animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Yazhou Li

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a devastating neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive loss of lower motor neurons in the spinal cord. The incretin hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1, facilitates insulin signaling, and the long acting GLP-1 receptor agonist exendin-4 (Ex-4 is currently used as an anti-diabetic drug. GLP-1 receptors are widely expressed in the brain and spinal cord, and our prior studies have shown that Ex-4 is neuroprotective in several neurodegenerative disease rodent models, including stroke, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Here we hypothesized that Ex-4 may provide neuroprotective activity in ALS, and hence characterized Ex-4 actions in both cell culture (NSC-19 neuroblastoma cells and in vivo (SOD1 G93A mutant mice models of ALS. Ex-4 proved to be neurotrophic in NSC-19 cells, elevating choline acetyltransferase (ChAT activity, as well as neuroprotective, protecting cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress and staurosporine-induced apoptosis. Additionally, in both wild-type SOD1 and mutant SOD1 (G37R stably transfected NSC-19 cell lines, Ex-4 protected against trophic factor withdrawal-induced toxicity. To assess in vivo translation, SOD1 mutant mice were administered vehicle or Ex-4 at 6-weeks of age onwards to end-stage disease via subcutaneous osmotic pump to provide steady-state infusion. ALS mice treated with Ex-4 showed improved glucose tolerance and normalization of behavior, as assessed by running wheel, compared to control ALS mice. Furthermore, Ex-4 treatment attenuated neuronal cell death in the lumbar spinal cord; immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated the rescue of neuronal markers, such as ChAT, associated with motor neurons. Together, our results suggest that GLP-1 receptor agonists warrant further evaluation to assess whether their neuroprotective potential is of therapeutic relevance in ALS.

  13. Grey and White Matter Changes across the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Frontotemporal Dementia Continuum

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    Lillo, Patricia; Mioshi, Eneida; Burrell, James R.; Kiernan, Matthew C.; Hodges, John R.; Hornberger, Michael

    2012-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) lie on a clinical, pathological and genetic continuum with patients of one disease exhibiting features of the other. Nevertheless, to date, the underlying grey matter and white matter changes across the ALS-FTD disease continuum have not been explored. In this study fifty-three participants with ALS (n = 10), ALS-FTD (n = 10) and behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD; n = 15) as well as controls (n = 18), underwent detailed clinical assessment plus structural imaging using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analysis of magnetic resonance brain imaging to examine grey and white matter differences and commonalities across the continuum. Importantly, patient groups were matched for age, education, gender and disease duration. VBM and DTI results showed that changes in the ALS group were confined mainly to the motor cortex and anterior cingulate as well as their underlying white matter tracts. ALS-FTD and bvFTD showed widespread grey matter and white matter changes involving frontal and temporal lobes. Extensive prefrontal cortex changes emerged as a marker for bvFTD compared to other subtypes, while ALS-FTD could be distinguished from ALS by additional temporal lobe grey and white matter changes. Finally, ALS could be mainly distinguished from the other two groups by corticospinal tract degeneration. The present study shows for the first time that FTD and ALS overlap in anterior cingulate, motor cortex and related white matter tract changes across the whole continuum. Nevertheless, frontal and temporal atrophy as well as corticospinal tract degeneration emerged as marker for subtype classification, which will inform future diagnosis and target disease management across the continuum. PMID:22952843

  14. Importance of Sample Size for the Estimation of Repeater F Waves in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    Jia Fang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, repeater F waves are increased. Accurate assessment of repeater F waves requires an adequate sample size. Methods: We studied the F waves of left ulnar nerves in ALS patients. Based on the presence or absence of pyramidal signs in the left upper limb, the ALS patients were divided into two groups: One group with pyramidal signs designated as P group and the other without pyramidal signs designated as NP group. The Index repeating neurons (RN and Index repeater F waves (Freps were compared among the P, NP and control groups following 20 and 100 stimuli respectively. For each group, the Index RN and Index Freps obtained from 20 and 100 stimuli were compared. Results: In the P group, the Index RN (P = 0.004 and Index Freps (P = 0.001 obtained from 100 stimuli were significantly higher than from 20 stimuli. For F waves obtained from 20 stimuli, no significant differences were identified between the P and NP groups for Index RN (P = 0.052 and Index Freps (P = 0.079; The Index RN (P < 0.001 and Index Freps (P < 0.001 of the P group were significantly higher than the control group; The Index RN (P = 0.002 of the NP group was significantly higher than the control group. For F waves obtained from 100 stimuli, the Index RN (P < 0.001 and Index Freps (P < 0.001 of the P group were significantly higher than the NP group; The Index RN (P < 0.001 and Index Freps (P < 0.001 of the P and NP groups were significantly higher than the control group. Conclusions: Increased repeater F waves reflect increased excitability of motor neuron pool and indicate upper motor neuron dysfunction in ALS. For an accurate evaluation of repeater F waves in ALS patients especially those with moderate to severe muscle atrophy, 100 stimuli would be required.

  15. Differences in Dysfunction of Thenar and Hypothenar Motoneurons in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Jia; Cui, Liying; Liu, Mingsheng; Guan, Yuzhou; Li, Xiaoguang; Li, Dawei; Cui, Bo; Shen, Dongchao; Ding, Qingyun

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to determine differences in spinal motoneuron dysfunction between the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and the abductor digiti minimi (ADM) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients based on studying F-waves. Forty ALS patients and 20 normal controls (NCs) underwent motor nerve conduction studies on both median and ulnar nerves, including F-waves elicited by 100 electrical stimuli. The F-wave persistence (P repeating neuron (RN; P repeater F-waves (Freps; P < 0.001) significantly differed between the APB and the ADM in the NC participants. For the hands of the ALS patients that lacked detectable wasting or weakness and exhibited either no or mild impairment of discrete finger movements, significantly reduced F-wave persistence (P < 0.001), increased index RN (P < 0.001), and increased index Freps (P < 0.001) were observed in APB in comparison with the normal participants, with relatively normal ADM F-wave parameters. For the hands of ALS patients that exhibited wasting and weakness, the mean F-wave amplitude (P < 0.05), the F/M amplitude ratio (P < 0.05), F-wave persistence (P < 0.001), index RN (P < 0.05), and index Freps (P < 0.05) significantly differed between APB and ADM. The differences in the dysfunction of motoneurons innervating APB and ADM are unique manifestations in ALS patients. The F-wave persistence (P = 0.002), index RN (P < 0.001), and index Freps (P < 0.001) in the APB seemed to differentiate ALS from the NCs more robustly than the ADM/APB Compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude ratio. Thus, F-waves may reveal subclinical alterations in anterior horn cells, and may potentially help to distinguish ALS from mimic disorders.

  16. Differences in dysfunction of thenar and hypothenar motoneurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Jia eFang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine differences in spinal motoneuron dysfunction between the abductor pollicis brevis (APB and the abductor digiti minimi (ADM in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS patients based on studying F-waves. Forty ALS patients and 20 normal controls underwent motor nerve conduction studies on both median and ulnar nerves, including F-waves elicited by 100 electrical stimuli. The F-wave persistence (P < 0.05, index repeating neuron (RN (P < 0.001, and index repeater F-waves (Freps (P < 0.001 significantly differed between the APB and the ADM in the normal control participants. For the hands of the ALS patients that lacked detectable wasting or weakness and exhibited either no or mild impairment of discrete finger movements, significantly reduced F-wave persistence (P < 0.001, increased index RN (P < 0.001, and increased index Freps (P < 0.001 were observed in APB in comparison with the normal participants, with relatively normal ADM F-wave parameters. For the hands of ALS patients that exhibited wasting and weakness, the mean F-wave amplitude (P < 0.05, the F/M amplitude ratio (P < 0.05, F-wave persistence (P < 0.001, index RN (P < 0.05, and index Freps (P < 0.05 significantly differed between APB and ADM. The differences in the dysfunction of motoneurons innervating APB and ADM are unique manifestations in ALS patients. The F-wave persistence (P = 0.002, index RN (P < 0.001, and index Freps (P < 0.001 in the APB seemed to differentiate ALS from the normal controls more robustly than the ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio. Thus, F-waves may reveal subclinical alterations in anterior horn cells, and may potentially help to distinguish ALS from mimic disorders.

  17. Deep learning predictions of survival based on MRI in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    van der Burgh, Hannelore K; Schmidt, Ruben; Westeneng, Henk-Jan; de Reus, Marcel A; van den Berg, Leonard H; van den Heuvel, Martijn P

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neuromuscular disease, with large variation in survival between patients. Currently, it remains rather difficult to predict survival based on clinical parameters alone. Here, we set out to use clinical characteristics in combination with MRI data to predict survival of ALS patients using deep learning, a machine learning technique highly effective in a broad range of big-data analyses. A group of 135 ALS patients was included from whom high-resolution diffusion-weighted and T1-weighted images were acquired at the first visit to the outpatient clinic. Next, each of the patients was monitored carefully and survival time to death was recorded. Patients were labeled as short, medium or long survivors, based on their recorded time to death as measured from the time of disease onset. In the deep learning procedure, the total group of 135 patients was split into a training set for deep learning (n = 83 patients), a validation set (n = 20) and an independent evaluation set (n = 32) to evaluate the performance of the obtained deep learning networks. Deep learning based on clinical characteristics predicted survival category correctly in 68.8% of the cases. Deep learning based on MRI predicted 62.5% correctly using structural connectivity and 62.5% using brain morphology data. Notably, when we combined the three sources of information, deep learning prediction accuracy increased to 84.4%. Taken together, our findings show the added value of MRI with respect to predicting survival in ALS, demonstrating the advantage of deep learning in disease prognostication.

  18. Pathological TDP-43 in parkinsonism-dementia complex and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis of Guam.

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    Geser, Felix; Winton, Matthew J; Kwong, Linda K; Xu, Yan; Xie, Sharon X; Igaz, Lionel M; Garruto, Ralph M; Perl, Daniel P; Galasko, Douglas; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Trojanowski, John Q

    2008-01-01

    Pathological TDP-43 is the major disease protein in frontotemporal lobar degeneration characterized by ubiquitin inclusions (FTLD-U) with/without motor neuron disease (MND) and in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As Guamanian parkinsonism-dementia complex (PDC) or Guamanian ALS (G-PDC or G-ALS) of the Chamorro population may present clinically similar to FTLD-U and ALS, TDP-43 pathology may be present in the G-PDC and G-ALS. Thus, we examined cortical or spinal cord samples from 54 Guamanian subjects for evidence of TDP-43 pathology. In addition to cortical neurofibrillary and glial tau pathology, G-PDC was associated with cortical TDP-43 positive dystrophic neurites and neuronal and glial inclusions in gray and/or white matter. Biochemical analyses showed the presence of FTLD-U-like insoluble TDP-43 in G-PDC, but not in Guam controls (G-C). Spinal cord pathology of G-PDC or G-ALS was characterized by tau positive tangles as well as TDP-43 positive inclusions in lower motor neurons and glial cells. G-C had variable tau and negligible TDP-43 pathology. These results indicate that G-PDC and G-ALS are associated with pathological TDP-43 similar to FTLD-U with/without MND as well as ALS, and that neocortical or hippocampal TDP-43 pathology distinguishes controls from disease subjects better than tau pathology. Finally, we conclude that the spectrum of TDP-43 proteinopathies should be expanded to include neurodegenerative cognitive and motor diseases, affecting the Chamorro population of Guam.

  19. Pattern Differences of Small Hand Muscle Atrophy in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Mimic Disorders

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    Jia Fang; Ming-Sheng Liu; Yu-Zhou Guan; Hua Du; Ben-Hong Li; Bo Cui; Qing-Yun Ding

    2016-01-01

    Background:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and some mimic disorders,such as distal-type cervical spondylotic amyotrophy (CSA),Hirayama disease (HD),and spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) may present with intrinsic hand muscle atrophy.This study aimed to investigate different patterns of small hand muscle involvement in ALS and some mimic disorders.Methods:We compared the abductor digiti minimi/abductor pollicis brevis (ADM/APB) compound muscle action potential (CMAP) ratios between 200 ALS patients,95 patients with distal-type CSA,88 HD patients,43 SBMA patients,and 150 normal controls.Results:The ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio was significantly higher in the ALS patients (P < 0.001) than that in the normal controls.The ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio was significantly reduced in the patients with distal-type CSA (P < 0.001) and the HD patients (P < 0.001) compared with that in the normal controls.The patients with distal-type CSA had significantly lower APB CMAP amplitude than the HD patients (P =0.004).The ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio was significantly lower in the HD patients (P < 0.001) than that in the patients with distal-type CSA.The ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio of the SBMA patients was similar to that of the normal controls (P =0.862).An absent APB CMAP and an abnormally high ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio (>4.5) were observed exclusively in the ALS patients.Conclusions:The different patterns of small hand muscle atrophy between the ALS patients and the patients with mimic disorders presumably reflect distinct pathophysiological mechanisms underlying different disorders,and may aid in distinguishing between ALS and mimic disorders.

  20. Differences in F-Wave Characteristics between Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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    Fang, Jia; Cui, Liying; Liu, Mingsheng; Guan, Yuzhou; Li, Xiaoguang; Li, Dawei; Cui, Bo; Shen, Dongchao; Ding, Qingyun

    2016-01-01

    There is limited data on the differences in F-wave characteristics between spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) and lower motor neuron dominant (LMND) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We compared the parameters of F-waves recorded bilaterally from the median, ulnar, tibial, and deep peroneal nerves in 32 SBMA patients, 37 patients with LMND ALS, and 30 normal controls. The maximum F-wave amplitudes, frequencies of giant F-waves, and frequencies of patients with giant F-waves in all nerves examined were significantly higher in the SBMA patients than in the ALS patients and the normal controls. The mean F-wave amplitude, maximum F-wave amplitude, frequency of giant F-waves, and frequency of patients with giant F-waves in the median and deep peroneal nerves were comparable between the ALS patients and normal controls. Giant F-waves were detected in multiple nerves and were often symmetrical in the SBMA patients compared with the ALS patients. The number of nerves with giant F-waves seems to be the most robust variable for differentiation of SBMA from ALS, with an area under the curve of 0.908 (95% CI: 0.835-0.982). A cut-off value of the number of nerves with giant F-waves (≥3) for diagnosing SBMA showed high sensitivity and specificity: 85% sensitivity and 81% specificity vs. ALS patients. No significant correlations were found between the pooled frequency of giant F-waves and disease duration in the SBMA (r = 0.162, P = 0.418) or ALS groups (r = 0.107, P = 0.529). Our findings suggested that F-waves might be used to discriminate SBMA from ALS, even at early stages of disease.

  1. Differences in F-wave characteristics between Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    Jia eFang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available There is limited data on the differences in F-wave characteristics between spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA and lower motor neuron dominant (LMND amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. We compared the parameters of F-waves recorded bilaterally from the median, ulnar, tibial, and deep peroneal nerves in 32 SBMA patients, 37 patients with LMND ALS, and 30 normal controls. The maximum F-wave amplitudes, frequencies of giant F-waves, and frequencies of patients with giant F-waves in all nerves examined were significantly higher in the SBMA patients than in the ALS patients and the normal controls. The mean F-wave amplitude, maximum F-wave amplitude, frequency of giant F-waves, and frequency of patients with giant F-waves in the median and deep peroneal nerves were comparable between the ALS patients and normal controls. Giant F-waves were detected in multiple nerves and were often symmetrical in the SBMA patients compared with the ALS patients. The number of nerves with giant F-waves seems to be the most robust variable for differentiation of SBMA from ALS, with an area under the curve of 0.908 (95% CI: 0.835–0.982. A cut-off value of the number of nerves with giant F-waves (≥ 3 for diagnosing SBMA showed high sensitivity and specificity: 85% sensitivity and 81% specificity vs. ALS patients. No significant correlations were found between the pooled frequency of giant F-waves and disease duration in the SBMA (r = 0.162, P = 0.418 or ALS groups (r = 0.107, P = 0.529. Our findings suggested that F-waves might be used to discriminate SBMA from ALS, even at early stages of disease.

  2. Granulocyte colony stimulating factor attenuates inflammation in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Giniatullina Raisa

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF is protective in animal models of various neurodegenerative diseases. We investigated whether pegfilgrastim, GCSF with sustained action, is protective in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease with manifestations of upper and lower motoneuron death and muscle atrophy accompanied by inflammation in the CNS and periphery. Methods Human mutant G93A superoxide dismutase (SOD1 ALS mice were treated with pegfilgrastim starting at the presymptomatic stage and continued until the end stage. After long-term pegfilgrastim treatment, the inflammation status was defined in the spinal cord and peripheral tissues including hematopoietic organs and muscle. The effect of GCSF on spinal cord neuron survival and microglia, bone marrow and spleen monocyte activation was assessed in vitro. Results Long-term pegfilgrastim treatment prolonged mutant SOD1 mice survival and attenuated both astro- and microgliosis in the spinal cord. Pegfilgrastim in SOD1 mice modulated the inflammatory cell populations in the bone marrow and spleen and reduced the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine in monocytes and microglia. The mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells into the circulation was restored back to basal level after long-term pegfilgrastim treatment in SOD1 mice while the storage of Ly6C expressing monocytes in the bone marrow and spleen remained elevated. After pegfilgrastim treatment, an increased proportion of these cells in the degenerative muscle was detected at the end stage of ALS. Conclusions GCSF attenuated inflammation in the CNS and the periphery in a mouse model of ALS and thereby delayed the progression of the disease. This mechanism of action targeting inflammation provides a new perspective of the usage of GCSF in the treatment of ALS.

  3. Autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A pilot study

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    Sudesh Prabhakar

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder with no effective treatment. Stem cell therapy may be one of the promising treatment options for such patients. Aim: To assess the feasibility, efficacy and safety of autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells in patients of ALS. Settings and Design: We conducted an open-label pilot study of autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells in patients with ALS attending the Neurology Clinic of a tertiary care referral centre. Materials and Methods: Ten patients with ALS with mean revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R score of 30.2 (± 10.58 at baseline received intrathecal autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells. Primary end point was improvement in the ALSFRS-R score at 90, 180, 270 and 365 days post therapy. Secondary endpoints included ALSFRS-R subscores, time to 4-point deterioration, median survival and reported adverse events. Paired t-test was used to compare changes in ALSFRS-R from baseline and Kaplan-Meier analysis was used for survival calculations. Results: There was no significant deterioration in ALSFRS-R composite score from baseline at one-year follow-up (P=0.090. The median survival post procedure was 18.0 months and median time to 4-point deterioration was 16.7 months. No significant adverse events were reported. Conclusion: Autologous bone marrow-derived stem cell therapy is safe and feasible in patients of ALS. Short-term follow-up of ALSFRS-R scores suggests a trend towards stabilization of disease. However, the benefit needs to be confirmed in the long-term follow-up period.

  4. Blood Cell Palmitoleate-Palmitate Ratio Is an Independent Prognostic Factor for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    Henriques, Alexandre; Blasco, Hélène; Fleury, Marie-Céline; Corcia, Philippe; Echaniz-Laguna, Andoni; Robelin, Laura; Rudolf, Gabrielle; Lequeu, Thiebault; Bergaentzle, Martine; Gachet, Christian; Pradat, Pierre-François; Marchioni, Eric; Andres, Christian R.; Tranchant, Christine; Gonzalez De Aguilar, Jose-Luis; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Growing evidence supports a link between fatty acid metabolism and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here we determined the fatty acid composition of blood lipids to identify markers of disease progression and survival. We enrolled 117 patients from two clinical centers and 48 of these were age and gender matched with healthy volunteers. We extracted total lipids from serum and blood cells, and separated fatty acid methyl esters by gas chromatography. We measured circulating biochemical parameters indicative of the metabolic status. Association between fatty acid composition and clinical readouts was studied, including ALS functional rating scale-revised (ALSFRS-R), survival, disease duration, site of onset and body mass index. Palmitoleate (16:1) and oleate (18:1) levels, and stearoyl-CoA desaturase indices (16:1/16:0 and 18:1/18:0) significantly increased in blood cells from ALS patients compared to healthy controls. Palmitoleate levels and 16:1/16:0 ratio in blood cells, but not body mass index or leptin concentrations, negatively correlated with ALSFRS-R decline over a six-month period (p<0.05). Multivariate Cox analysis, with age, body mass index, site of onset and ALSFRS-R as covariables, showed that blood cell 16:1/16:0 ratio was an independent prognostic factor for survival (hazard ratio=0.1 per unit of ratio, 95% confidence interval=0.01-0.57, p=0.009). In patients with high 16:1/16:0 ratio, survival at blood collection was extended by 10 months, as compared to patients with low ratio. The 16:1/16:0 index is an easy-to-handle parameter that predicts survival of ALS patients independently of body mass index. It therefore deserves further validation in larger cohorts for being used to assess disease outcome and effects of disease-modifying drugs. PMID:26147510

  5. Elucidation of Relevant Neuroinflammation Mechanisms Using Gene Expression Profiling in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    Choi, Young-Chul; Ha, Yoon; Kim, Hyongbum; Kim, Do-Young; Kim, Myung-Sun; Yu, Ji Hea; Seo, Jung Hwa; Kim, MinGi; Cho, Sung-Rae; Kang, Seong-Woong

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by damage of motor neurons. Recent reports indicate that inflammatory responses occurring within the central nervous system contribute to the pathogenesis of ALS. We aimed to investigate disease-specific gene expression associated with neuroinflammation by conducting transcriptome analysis on fibroblasts from three patients with sporadic ALS and three normal controls. Several pathways were found to be upregulated in patients with ALS, among which the toll-like receptor (TLR) and NOD-like receptor (NLR) signaling pathways are related to the immune response. Genes—toll-interacting protein (TOLLIP), mitogen-activated protein kinase 9 (MAPK9), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1)—related to these two pathways were validated using western blotting. This study validated the genes that are associated with TLR and NLR signaling pathways from different types of patient-derived cells. Not only fibroblasts but also induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and neural rosettes from the same origins showed similar expression patterns. Furthermore, expression of TOLLIP, a regulator of TLR signaling pathway, decreased with cellular aging as judged by changes in its expression through multiple passages. TOLLIP expression was downregulated in ALS cells under conditions of inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide. Our data suggest that the TLR and NLR signaling pathways are involved in pathological innate immunity and neuroinflammation associated with ALS and that TOLLIP, MAPK9, IL-1β, IL-8, and CXCL1 play a role in ALS-specific immune responses. Moreover, changes of TOLLIP expression might be associated with progression of ALS. PMID:27812125

  6. Cortical dysfunction underlies the development of the split-hand in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Menon, Parvathi; Kiernan, Matthew C; Vucic, Steve

    2014-01-01

    The split-hand phenomenon, a specific feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), refers to preferential wasting of abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and first dorsal interosseous (FDI) with relative preservation of abductor digiti minimi (ADM). The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the split-hand phenomenon remain elusive and resolution of this issue would provide unique insights into ALS pathophysiology. Consequently, the present study dissected out the relative contribution of cortical and peripheral processes in development of the split-hand phenomenon in ALS. Cortical and axonal excitability studies were undertaken on 26 ALS patients, with motor responses recorded over the APB, FDI and ADM muscles. Results were compared to 21 controls. Short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI), a biomarker of cortical excitability, was significantly reduced across the range of intrinsic hand muscles (APB(SICI ALS) 0.3±2.0%, APB(SICI controls) 16.0±1.9%, P<0.0001; FDI(SICI ALS) 2.7±1.7%, FDI(SICI controls) 14.8±1.9%, P<0.0001; ADM(SICI ALS) 2.6±1.5%, ADM(SICI controls) 9.7±2.2%, P<0.001), although the reduction was most prominent when recorded over APB/FDI. Changes in SICI were accompanied by a significant increase in motor evoked potential amplitude and reduction of cortical silent period duration, all indicative of cortical hyperexcitability, and these were most prominent from the APB/FDI. At a peripheral level, a significant increase in strength-duration time constant and reduction in depolarising threshold electrotonus were evident in ALS, although these changes did not follow a split-hand distribution. Cortical dysfunction contributed to development of the split-hand in ALS, thereby implying an importance of cortical hyperexcitability in ALS pathogenesis.

  7. Cortical dysfunction underlies the development of the split-hand in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Parvathi Menon

    Full Text Available The split-hand phenomenon, a specific feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, refers to preferential wasting of abductor pollicis brevis (APB and first dorsal interosseous (FDI with relative preservation of abductor digiti minimi (ADM. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the split-hand phenomenon remain elusive and resolution of this issue would provide unique insights into ALS pathophysiology. Consequently, the present study dissected out the relative contribution of cortical and peripheral processes in development of the split-hand phenomenon in ALS. Cortical and axonal excitability studies were undertaken on 26 ALS patients, with motor responses recorded over the APB, FDI and ADM muscles. Results were compared to 21 controls. Short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI, a biomarker of cortical excitability, was significantly reduced across the range of intrinsic hand muscles (APB(SICI ALS 0.3±2.0%, APB(SICI controls 16.0±1.9%, P<0.0001; FDI(SICI ALS 2.7±1.7%, FDI(SICI controls 14.8±1.9%, P<0.0001; ADM(SICI ALS 2.6±1.5%, ADM(SICI controls 9.7±2.2%, P<0.001, although the reduction was most prominent when recorded over APB/FDI. Changes in SICI were accompanied by a significant increase in motor evoked potential amplitude and reduction of cortical silent period duration, all indicative of cortical hyperexcitability, and these were most prominent from the APB/FDI. At a peripheral level, a significant increase in strength-duration time constant and reduction in depolarising threshold electrotonus were evident in ALS, although these changes did not follow a split-hand distribution. Cortical dysfunction contributed to development of the split-hand in ALS, thereby implying an importance of cortical hyperexcitability in ALS pathogenesis.

  8. Perception of Emotional Facial Expressions in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at Behavioural and Brain Metabolic Level

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    Aho-Özhan, Helena E. A.; Keller, Jürgen; Heimrath, Johanna; Uttner, Ingo; Kassubek, Jan; Birbaumer, Niels; Ludolph, Albert C.; Lulé, Dorothée

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) primarily impairs motor abilities but also affects cognition and emotional processing. We hypothesise that subjective ratings of emotional stimuli depicting social interactions and facial expressions is changed in ALS. It was found that recognition of negative emotions and ability to mentalize other’s intentions is reduced. Methods Processing of emotions in faces was investigated. A behavioural test of Ekman faces expressing six basic emotions was presented to 30 ALS patients and 29 age-, gender and education matched healthy controls. Additionally, a subgroup of 15 ALS patients that were able to lie supine in the scanner and 14 matched healthy controls viewed the Ekman faces during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Affective state and a number of daily social contacts were measured. Results ALS patients recognized disgust and fear less accurately than healthy controls. In fMRI, reduced brain activity was seen in areas involved in processing of negative emotions replicating our previous results. During processing of sad faces, increased brain activity was seen in areas associated with social emotions in right inferior frontal gyrus and reduced activity in hippocampus bilaterally. No differences in brain activity were seen for any of the other emotional expressions. Inferior frontal gyrus activity for sad faces was associated with increased amount of social contacts of ALS patients. Conclusion ALS patients showed decreased brain and behavioural responses in processing of disgust and fear and an altered brain response pattern for sadness. The negative consequences of neurodegenerative processes in the course of ALS might be counteracted by positive emotional activity and positive social interactions. PMID:27741285

  9. Functional Connectivity Changes in Resting-State EEG as Potential Biomarker for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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    Parameswaran Mahadeva Iyer

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is heterogeneous and overlaps with frontotemporal dementia. Spectral EEG can predict damage in structural and functional networks in frontotemporal dementia but has never been applied to ALS.18 incident ALS patients with normal cognition and 17 age matched controls underwent 128 channel EEG and neuropsychology assessment. The EEG data was analyzed using FieldTrip software in MATLAB to calculate simple connectivity measures and scalp network measures. sLORETA was used in nodal analysis for source localization and same methods were applied as above to calculate nodal network measures. Graph theory measures were used to assess network integrity.Cross spectral density in alpha band was higher in patients. In ALS patients, increased degree values of the network nodes was noted in the central and frontal regions in the theta band across seven of the different connectivity maps (p<0.0005. Among patients, clustering coefficient in alpha and gamma bands was increased in all regions of the scalp and connectivity were significantly increased (p=0.02. Nodal network showed increased assortativity in alpha band in the patients group. The Clustering Coefficient in Partial Directed Connectivity (PDC showed significantly higher values for patients in alpha, beta, gamma, theta and delta frequencies (p=0.05.There is increased connectivity in the fronto-central regions of the scalp and areas corresponding to Salience and Default Mode network in ALS, suggesting a pathologic disruption of neuronal networking in early disease states. Spectral EEG has potential utility as a biomarker in ALS.

  10. Functional Connectivity Changes in Resting-State EEG as Potential Biomarker for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    Iyer, Parameswaran Mahadeva; Egan, Catriona; Pinto-Grau, Marta; Burke, Tom; Elamin, Marwa; Nasseroleslami, Bahman; Pender, Niall; Lalor, Edmund C.; Hardiman, Orla

    2015-01-01

    Background Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is heterogeneous and overlaps with frontotemporal dementia. Spectral EEG can predict damage in structural and functional networks in frontotemporal dementia but has never been applied to ALS. Methods 18 incident ALS patients with normal cognition and 17 age matched controls underwent 128 channel EEG and neuropsychology assessment. The EEG data was analyzed using FieldTrip software in MATLAB to calculate simple connectivity measures and scalp network measures. sLORETA was used in nodal analysis for source localization and same methods were applied as above to calculate nodal network measures. Graph theory measures were used to assess network integrity. Results Cross spectral density in alpha band was higher in patients. In ALS patients, increased degree values of the network nodes was noted in the central and frontal regions in the theta band across seven of the different connectivity maps (p<0.0005). Among patients, clustering coefficient in alpha and gamma bands was increased in all regions of the scalp and connectivity were significantly increased (p=0.02). Nodal network showed increased assortativity in alpha band in the patients group. The Clustering Coefficient in Partial Directed Connectivity (PDC) showed significantly higher values for patients in alpha, beta, gamma, theta and delta frequencies (p=0.05). Discussion There is increased connectivity in the fronto-central regions of the scalp and areas corresponding to Salience and Default Mode network in ALS, suggesting a pathologic disruption of neuronal networking in early disease states. Spectral EEG has potential utility as a biomarker in ALS. PMID:26091258

  11. Microstructural white matter correlates of emotion recognition impairment in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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    Crespi, Chiara; Cerami, Chiara; Dodich, Alessandra; Canessa, Nicola; Arpone, Marta; Iannaccone, Sandro; Corbo, Massimo; Lunetta, Christian; Scola, Elisa; Falini, Andrea; Cappa, Stefano F

    2014-04-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is associated in about half of the cases with behavioral and cognitive disorders, including impairments in socio-emotional processing, considered as key-features for the diagnosis of the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bv-FTD). The neurostructural bases of emotional deficits in ALS, however, still remain largely unexplored. Here we aim to assess emotion recognition in non-demented sporadic ALS patients compared with healthy controls, and to explore for the first time its microstructural white-matter correlates. Twenty-two subjects with either probable or definite diagnosis of ALS and 55 age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy controls were recruited in the study. All participants performed the Ekman 60-Faces Test, assessing the recognition of six basic emotions (i.e., anger, disgust, fear, sadness, surprise and happiness). A subgroup of subjects, comprising 19 patients and 20 healthy controls, also underwent a Diffusion Tensor Imaging scanning. Behavioral analysis highlighted a significant decline of emotion recognition skills in patients compared to controls, particularly affecting the identification of negative emotions. Moreover, the Diffusion Tensor Imaging analyses revealed a correlation between this impairment and the alteration of white-matter integrity along the right inferior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. Our findings indicate the presence of an early emotion recognition deficit in non-demented sporadic ALS patients, associated with microstructural changes in ventral associative bundles connecting occipital, temporo-limbic and orbitofrontal regions in the right hemisphere. These changes may represent a frontotemporal-limbic microstructural marker of socio-emotional impairment in ALS.

  12. Gacyclidine improves the survival and reduces motor deficits in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Yannick Nicolas Gerber

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder typified by a massive loss of motor neurons with few therapeutic options. The exact cause of neuronal degeneration is unknown but it is now admitted that ALS is a multifactorial disease with several mechanisms involved including glutamate excitotoxicity. More specifically, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA-mediated cell death and impairment of the glutamate-transport has been suggested to play a key role in ALS pathophysiology. Thus, evaluating NMDAR antagonists is of high therapeutic interest. Gacyclidine, also named GK11, is a high affinity non-competitive NMDAR antagonist that may protect against motor neuron death in an ALS context. Moreover, GK11 presents a low intrinsic neurotoxicity and has already been used in two clinical trials for CNS lesions. In the present study, we investigated the influence of chronic administration of two doses of GK11 (0.1 and 1 mg/kg on the survival and the functional motor activity of hSOD1G93A mice, an animal model of ALS. Treatment started at early symptomatic age (60 days and was applied bi-weekly until the end stage of the disease. We first confirmed that functional alteration of locomotor activity was evident in the hSOD1G93A transgenic female mice by 60 days of age. A low dose of GK11 improved the survival of the mice by 4.3% and partially preserved body weight. Improved life span was associated with a delay in locomotor function impairment. Conversely, the high dose treatment worsened motor functions. These findings suggest that chronic administration of GK11beginning at early symptomatic stage may be beneficial for patients with ALS.

  13. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in patients with early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Sivak, Stefan [Comenius University, Clinic of Neurology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Martin (Slovakia); Jessenius Medical Faculty, Clinic of Neurology, Martin (Slovakia); Bittsansky, Michal; Dobrota, Dusan [Comenius University, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Martin (Slovakia); Kurca, Egon; Turcanova-Koprusakova, Monika; Grofik, Milan; Nosal, Vladimir [Comenius University, Clinic of Neurology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Martin (Slovakia); Polacek, Hubert [Comenius University, Clinic of Radiodiagnostics, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Martin (Slovakia)

    2010-12-15

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder primarily affecting upper and lower motor neurons. Due to relative fast progression of the disease, early diagnosis is essential. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ({sup 1}H-MRS) is used for objectivization of upper motor neuron (UMN) lesions. The aim of this study was to assess the use of {sup 1}H-MRS in the early stages of ALS. Eleven patients with clinically definite (n = 2), probable (n = 7), and probable laboratory-supported (n = 2) diagnosis of ALS with disease duration of less than 14 months were studied. Control group consists of 11 sex- and age-matched healthy subjects. All subjects underwent assessment of functional disability using revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and single-voxel {sup 1}H-MRS examination of both precentral gyri, pons, medulla oblongata, and occipital lobe. Spectra were evaluated with LCModel software. The mean disease duration was 6.5 {+-} 3.5 months. The median ALSFRS-R was 42. Significant decrease between patient and control groups was found in the NAA/Cre ratio in the left and right precentral gyri (p = 0.008, p = 0.040). Other metabolite ratios in other areas did not show significant differences. Total ALSFRS-R score weakly positively correlated with NAA/Cre ratio in the left precentral gyrus (p = 0.047). {sup 1}H-MRS is sensitive to detect metabolic changes caused by neurodegeneration processes during ALS and can be used for detection of UMN dysfunction. These MRS changes in the early stages of ALS are most prominent in motor cortex. (orig.)

  14. Disease origin and progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an immunology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaspina, Andrea; Puentes, Fabiola; Amor, Sandra

    2015-03-01

    The immune system is inextricably linked with many neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a devastating neuromuscular disorder affecting motor cell function with an average survival of 3 years from symptoms onset. In ALS, there is a dynamic interplay between the resident innate immune cells, that is, microglia and astrocytes, which may become progressively harmful to motor neurons. Although innate and adaptive immune responses are associated with progressive neurodegeneration, in the early stages of ALS immune activation pathways are primarily considered to be beneficial promoting neuronal repair of the damaged tissues, though a harmful effect of T cells at this stage of disease has also been observed. In addition, although auto-antibodies against neuronal antigens are present in ALS, it is unclear whether these arise as a primary or secondary event to neuronal damage, and whether the auto-antibodies are indeed pathogenic. Understanding how the immune system contributes to the fate of motor cells in ALS may shed light on the triggers of disease as well as on the mechanisms contributing to the propagation of the pathology. Immune markers may also act as biomarkers while pathways involved in immune action may be targets of new therapeutic strategies. Here, we review the modalities by which the immune system senses the core pathological process in motor neuron disorders, focusing on tissue-specific immune responses in the neuromuscular junction and in the neuroaxis observed in affected individuals and in animal models of ALS. We elaborate on existing data on the immunological fingerprint of ALS that could be used to identify clues on the disease origin and patterns of progression.

  15. Profiling Speech and Pausing in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yunusova, Yana; Graham, Naida L.; Shellikeri, Sanjana; Phuong, Kent; Kulkarni, Madhura; Rochon, Elizabeth; Tang-Wai, David F.; Chow, Tiffany W.; Black, Sandra E.; Zinman, Lorne H.; Green, Jordan R.

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study examines reading aloud in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and those with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in order to determine whether differences in patterns of speaking and pausing exist between patients with primary motor vs. primary cognitive-linguistic deficits, and in contrast to healthy controls. Design 136 participants were included in the study: 33 controls, 85 patients with ALS, and 18 patients with either the behavioural variant of FTD (FTD-BV) or progressive nonfluent aphasia (FTD-PNFA). Participants with ALS were further divided into 4 non-overlapping subgroups—mild, respiratory, bulbar (with oral-motor deficit) and bulbar-respiratory—based on the presence and severity of motor bulbar or respiratory signs. All participants read a passage aloud. Custom-made software was used to perform speech and pause analyses, and this provided measures of speaking and articulatory rates, duration of speech, and number and duration of pauses. These measures were statistically compared in different subgroups of patients. Results The results revealed clear differences between patient groups and healthy controls on the passage reading task. A speech-based motor function measure (i.e., articulatory rate) was able to distinguish patients with bulbar ALS or FTD-PNFA from those with respiratory ALS or FTD-BV. Distinguishing the disordered groups proved challenging based on the pausing measures. Conclusions and Relevance This study demonstrated the use of speech measures in the identification of those with an oral-motor deficit, and showed the usefulness of performing a relatively simple reading test to assess speech versus pause behaviors across the ALS—FTD disease continuum. The findings also suggest that motor speech assessment should be performed as part of the diagnostic workup for patients with FTD. PMID:26789001

  16. Soluble beta-amyloid precursor protein is related to disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Petra Steinacker

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Biomarkers of disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS could support the identification of beneficial drugs in clinical trials. We aimed to test whether soluble fragments of beta-amyloid precursor protein (sAPPα and sAPPß correlated with clinical subtypes of ALS and were of prognostic value. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a cross-sectional study including patients with ALS (N = 68 with clinical follow-up data over 6 months, Parkinson's disease (PD, N = 20, and age-matched controls (N = 40, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF levels of sAPPα a, sAPPß and neurofilaments (NfH(SMI35 were measured by multiplex assay, Progranulin by ELISA. CSF sAPPα and sAPPß levels were lower in ALS with a rapidly-progressive disease course (p = 0.03, and p = 0.02 and with longer disease duration (p = 0.01 and p = 0.01, respectively. CSF NfH(SMI35 was elevated in ALS compared to PD and controls, with highest concentrations found in patients with rapid disease progression (p<0.01. High CSF NfH(SMI3 was linked to low CSF sAPPα and sAPPß (p = 0.001, and p = 0.007, respectively. The ratios CSF NfH(SMI35/CSF sAPPα,-ß were elevated in patients with fast progression of disease (p = 0.002 each. CSF Progranulin decreased with ongoing disease (p = 0.04. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides new CSF candidate markers associated with progression of disease in ALS. The data suggest that a deficiency of cellular neuroprotective mechanisms (decrease of sAPP is linked to progressive neuro-axonal damage (increase of NfH(SMI35 and to progression of disease.

  17. Association Between Rectus Abdominis Denervation and Ventilation Dysfunction in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hua-Gang Zhang; Shuo Zhang; Ying-Sheng Xu; Nan Zhang; Dong-Sheng Fan

    2016-01-01

    Background:Spontaneous potentials in electromyography (EMG) ofparaspinal muscles are associated with diaphragm denervation and,therefore,poor respiratory function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is understandable.EMG changes in the rectus abdominis (RA)display an effect similar to those in paraspinal muscles with respect to the function of lower motor neurons in the thoracic spinal cord.The RA denervation was examined to determine its association with ventilation dysfunction in ALS.Methods:We collected the clinical data of 128 patients with sporadic ALS in Department of Neurology of Peking University Third Hospital from 2009 to 2013.EMG,Revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were performed in all patients and the differences in the EMG changes in RA between those with and without FVC ≥ 80% were analysed.Results:The mean FVC value was 83.4% ± 17.1% (range:45%-131%) of the predicted value.A total of 79 patients displayed FVC ≥80%,and 49 patients displayed FVC <80%.Compared with the patients displaying a normal FVC (60/79,75.9%),spontaneous activity in RA was significantly different among those patients displaying an FVC <80% (47/49,95.9%).In addition,spontaneous potentials in RA were more frequently detected in patients exhibiting dyspnea (32/33,97.0%) than in patients without dyspnea (75/95,78.9%).Conclusion:Spontaneous potentials in RA are associated with ventilation dysfunction and dyspnea in ALS patients.

  18. Neuroprotective Effect of Human Adipose Stem Cell-Derived Extract in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Gye Sun; Im, Wooseok; Shim, Yu-Mi; Lee, Mijung; Kim, Myung-Jin; Hong, Yoon-Ho; Seong, Seung-Yong; Kim, Manho; Sung, Jung-Joon

    2016-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating human neurodegenerative disease. The precise pathogenic mechanisms of the disease remain uncertain, and as of yet, there is no effective cure. Human adipose stem cells (hASC) can be easily obtained during operative procedures. hASC have a clinically feasible potential to treat neurodegenerative disorders, since cytosolic extract of hASC contain a number of essential neurotrophic factors. In this study, we investigated effects of hASC extract on the SOD1 G93A mouse model of ALS and in vitro test. Administration of hASC extract improved motor function and prolonged the time until symptom onset, rotarod failure, and death in ALS mice. In the hASC extracts group, choline acetyltransferase immunostaining in the ventral horn of the lumbar spinal cord showed a large number of motor neurons, suggesting normal morphology. The neuroprotective effect of hASC extract in ALS mice was also suggested by western blot analysis of spinal cord extract from ALS mice and in vitro test. hASC extract treatment significantly increased expression of p-Akt, p-CREB, and PGC-1α in SOD1 G93A mouse model and in vitro test. Our results indicated that hASC extract reduced apoptotic cell death and recovered mutant SOD1-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Moreover, hASC extract reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. In conclusion, we have demonstrated, for the first time, that hASC extract exert a potential therapeutic action in the SOD1 G93A mouse model of ALS and in vitro test. These findings suggest that hASC hold promise as a novel therapeutic strategy for treating ALS.

  19. Radiation Therapy for Hypersalivation: A Prospective Study in 50 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Assouline, Avi, E-mail: avi.assouline@ccpsc.fr [Department of Radiation Oncology, Centre Clinique de la Porte de Saint Cloud, Boulogne-Billancourt (France); Department of Radiation Oncology, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP), Paris (France); Levy, Antonin [Department of Radiation Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Université Paris-Sud XI, Villejuif (France); Abdelnour-Mallet, Maya [Service Evaluation Pharmaceutique et Bon Usage (SEPBU), Unité Evaluation Scientifique, Bon Usage et Information (ESBUI), APHP AGEPS/pôle Pharmacie Hospitalière, Hôpitaux de Paris - PHHP, Paris (France); Gonzalez-Bermejo, Jesus [Departement of Pneumology and Intensive Care, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, APHP, Paris (France); Lenglet, Timothée [Departement of Nervous System Diseases, Paris ALS center, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, APHP, Paris (France); Le Forestier, Nadine [Departement of Nervous System Diseases, Paris ALS center, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, APHP, Paris (France); Département de Recherche ES3, Emmanuel Hirsch, EA 1610 Études sur les Sciences et les Techniques, Université Paris-Sud XI, Paris (France); and others

    2014-03-01

    Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the efficiency and the tolerance of radiation therapy (RT) on salivary glands in a large series of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with hypersalivation. Methods and Materials: Fifty ALS patients that had medically failure pretreatment were included in this prospective study. RT was delivered through a conventional linear accelerator with 6-MV photons and 2 opposed beams fields including both submandibular glands and two-thirds of both parotid glands. Total RT dose was 10 Gy in 2 fractions (n=30) or 20 Gy in 4 fractions (n=20). RT efficacy was assessed with the 9-grade Sialorrhea Scoring Scale (SSS), recently prospectively validated as the most effective and sensitive tool to measure sialorrhea in ALS patients. Results: At the end of RT, all patients had improved: 46 had a complete response (92% CR, SSS 1-3) and 4 had a partial response (8% PR, SSS 4-5). A significant lasting salivary reduction was observed 6 months after RT completion: there was 71% CR and 26% PR, and there was a significant SSS reduction versus baseline (P<10{sup −6}). There was no grade 3 to 4 toxicity, and most side effects (34%) occurred during RT. Nine patients (18%) underwent a second salivary gland RT course, with a 3-months mean delay from the first RT, resulting in a SSS decrease (−77%). Both RT dose regimens induced a significant SSS decrease with no significant toxicity. There were, however, more patients with CR/PR in the 20-Gy protocol (P=.02), and 8 of 9 patients (89%) receiving a second RT course had previously been treated within the 10-Gy protocol. Conclusion: Radiation therapy of 20 Gy in 4 fractions is an efficient and safe treatment for ALS patients with sialorrhea. A shorter RT course (10 Gy in 2 fractions) may be proposed in patients in poor medical condition.

  20. Copper and Zinc Metallation Status of Copper Zinc Superoxide Dismutase form Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Transgenic Mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lelie, H.L.; Miller, L.; Liba, A.; Bourassa, M.W.; Chattopadhyay, M.; Chan, P.K.; Gralla, E.B.; Borchelt, D.R.; et al

    2010-09-24

    Mutations in the metalloenzyme copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause one form of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and metals are suspected to play a pivotal role in ALS pathology. To learn more about metals in ALS, we determined the metallation states of human wild-type or mutant (G37R, G93A, and H46R/H48Q) SOD1 proteins from SOD1-ALS transgenic mice spinal cords. SOD1 was gently extracted from spinal cord and separated into insoluble (aggregated) and soluble (supernatant) fractions, and then metallation states were determined by HPLC inductively coupled plasma MS. Insoluble SOD1-rich fractions were not enriched in copper and zinc. However, the soluble mutant and WT SOD1s were highly metallated except for the metal-binding-region mutant H46R/H48Q, which did not bind any copper. Due to the stability conferred by high metallation of G37R and G93A, it is unlikely that these soluble SOD1s are prone to aggregation in vivo, supporting the hypothesis that immature nascent SOD1 is the substrate for aggregation. We also investigated the effect of SOD1 overexpression and disease on metal homeostasis in spinal cord cross-sections of SOD1-ALS mice using synchrotron-based x-ray fluorescence microscopy. In each mouse genotype, except for the H46R/H48Q mouse, we found a redistribution of copper between gray and white matters correlated to areas of high SOD1. Interestingly, a disease-specific increase of zinc was observed in the white matter for all mutant SOD1 mice. Together these data provide a picture of copper and zinc in the cell as well as highlight the importance of these metals in understanding SOD1-ALS pathology.

  1. Profiling Speech and Pausing in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yana Yunusova

    Full Text Available This study examines reading aloud in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and those with frontotemporal dementia (FTD in order to determine whether differences in patterns of speaking and pausing exist between patients with primary motor vs. primary cognitive-linguistic deficits, and in contrast to healthy controls.136 participants were included in the study: 33 controls, 85 patients with ALS, and 18 patients with either the behavioural variant of FTD (FTD-BV or progressive nonfluent aphasia (FTD-PNFA. Participants with ALS were further divided into 4 non-overlapping subgroups--mild, respiratory, bulbar (with oral-motor deficit and bulbar-respiratory--based on the presence and severity of motor bulbar or respiratory signs. All participants read a passage aloud. Custom-made software was used to perform speech and pause analyses, and this provided measures of speaking and articulatory rates, duration of speech, and number and duration of pauses. These measures were statistically compared in different subgroups of patients.The results revealed clear differences between patient groups and healthy controls on the passage reading task. A speech-based motor function measure (i.e., articulatory rate was able to distinguish patients with bulbar ALS or FTD-PNFA from those with respiratory ALS or FTD-BV. Distinguishing the disordered groups proved challenging based on the pausing measures.This study demonstrated the use of speech measures in the identification of those with an oral-motor deficit, and showed the usefulness of performing a relatively simple reading test to assess speech versus pause behaviors across the ALS-FTD disease continuum. The findings also suggest that motor speech assessment should be performed as part of the diagnostic workup for patients with FTD.

  2. Degeneration of proprioceptive sensory nerve endings in mice harboring amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-causing mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, Sydney K; Kemp, Zachary; Hatzipetros, Theo; Vieira, Fernando; Valdez, Gregorio

    2015-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that primarily targets the motor system. Although much is known about the effects of ALS on motor neurons and glial cells, little is known about its effect on proprioceptive sensory neurons. This study examines proprioceptive sensory neurons in mice harboring mutations associated with ALS, in SOD1(G93A) and TDP43(A315T) transgenic mice. In both transgenic lines, we found fewer proprioceptive sensory neurons containing fluorescently tagged cholera toxin in their soma five days after injecting this retrograde tracer into the tibialis anterior muscle. We asked whether this is due to neuronal loss or selective degeneration of peripheral nerve endings. We found no difference in the total number and size of proprioceptive sensory neuron soma between symptomatic SOD1(G93A) and control mice. However, analysis of proprioceptive nerve endings in muscles revealed early and significant alterations at Ia/II proprioceptive nerve endings in muscle spindles before the symptomatic phase of the disease. Although these changes occur alongside those at α-motor axons in SOD1(G93A) mice, Ia/II sensory nerve endings degenerate in the absence of obvious alterations in α-motor axons in TDP43(A315T) transgenic mice. We next asked whether proprioceptive nerve endings are similarly affected in the spinal cord and found that nerve endings terminating on α-motor neurons are affected during the symptomatic phase and after peripheral nerve endings begin to degenerate. Overall, we show that Ia/II proprioceptive sensory neurons are affected by ALS-causing mutations, with pathological changes starting at their peripheral nerve endings.

  3. Laryngeal response patterns influence the efficacy of mechanical assisted cough in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Tiina; Sandnes, Astrid; Brekka, Anne Kristine; Hilland, Magnus; Clemm, Hege; Fondenes, Ove; Tysnes, Ole-Bjørn; Heimdal, John-Helge; Halvorsen, Thomas; Vollsæter, Maria; Røksund, Ola Drange

    2017-01-01

    Background Most patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are treated with mechanical insufflation–exsufflation (MI-E) in order to improve cough. This method often fails in ALS with bulbar involvement, allegedly due to upper-airway malfunction. We have studied this phenomenon in detail with laryngoscopy to unravel information that could lead to better treatment. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of 20 patients with ALS and 20 healthy age-matched and sex-matched volunteers. We used video-recorded flexible transnasal fibre-optic laryngoscopy during MI-E undertaken according to a standardised protocol, applying pressures of ±20 to ±50 cm H2O. Laryngeal movements were assessed from video files. ALS type and characteristics of upper and lower motor neuron symptoms were determined. Results At the supraglottic level, all patients with ALS and bulbar symptoms (n=14) adducted their laryngeal structures during insufflation. At the glottic level, initial abduction followed by subsequent adduction was observed in all patients with ALS during insufflation and exsufflation. Hypopharyngeal constriction during exsufflation was observed in all subjects, most prominently in patients with ALS and bulbar symptoms. Healthy subjects and patients with ALS and no bulbar symptoms (n=6) coordinated their cough well during MI-E. Conclusions Laryngoscopy during ongoing MI-E in patients with ALS and bulbar symptoms revealed laryngeal adduction especially during insufflation but also during exsufflation, thereby severely compromising the size of the laryngeal inlet in some patients. Individually customised settings can prevent this and thereby improve and extend the use of non-invasive MI-E. PMID:27174631

  4. The Potential for Transition Metal-Mediated Neurodegeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovejoy, David B.; Guillemin, Gilles J.

    2014-01-01

    Modulations of the potentially toxic transition metals iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) are implicated in the neurodegenerative process in a variety of human disease states including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, the precise role played by these metals is still very much unclear, despite considerable clinical and experimental data suggestive of a role for these elements in the neurodegenerative process. The discovery of mutations in the antioxidant enzyme Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD-1) in ALS patients established the first known cause of ALS. Recent data suggest that various mutations in SOD-1 affect metal-binding of Cu and Zn, in turn promoting toxic protein aggregation. Copper homeostasis is also disturbed in ALS, and may be relevant to ALS pathogenesis. Another set of interesting observations in ALS patients involves the key nutrient Fe. In ALS patients, Fe loading can be inferred by studies showing increased expression of serum ferritin, an Fe-storage protein, with high serum ferritin levels correlating to poor prognosis. Magnetic resonance imaging of ALS patients shows a characteristic T2 shortening that is attributed to the presence of Fe in the motor cortex. In mutant SOD-1 mouse models, increased Fe is also detected in the spinal cord and treatment with Fe-chelating drugs lowers spinal cord Fe, preserves motor neurons, and extends lifespan. Inflammation may play a key causative role in Fe accumulation, but this is not yet conclusive. Excess transition metals may enhance induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, a system that is already under strain in ALS. Taken together, the evidence suggests a role for transition metals in ALS progression and the potential use of metal-chelating drugs as a component of future ALS therapy. PMID:25100994

  5. The Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen in a Chinese Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Population.

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    Shan Ye

    Full Text Available The existing screening batteries assessing multiple neuropsychological functions are not specific to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS patients and are limited to their physical dysfunctions, whereas category cognitive tests are too time-consuming to assess all the domains. The Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS was recently developed as a fast and easy cognitive screening tool specifically designed for patients. The purpose of the study was to validate the effectiveness of the Chinese version in Chinese ALS populations.Eighty-four ALS patients and 84 age-, gender- and education-matched healthy controls were included in this cross-sectional study. All the participants took the ECAS, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE and Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB. Primary caregivers of patients were interviewed for behavioural and psychiatric changes.Significant differences were noted in language (p = 0.01, fluency, executive function, ALS-specific functions, and ECAS total score (p<0.01 between ALS patients and controls. The cut-off value of the total ECAS score was 81.92. Cognitive impairment was observed in 35.71% of patients, and 27.38% exhibited behavioural abnormalities. The ECAS total score had a medium correlation with education year. Memory was more easily impaired in the lower education group, whereas verbal fluency and language function tended to be preserved in the higher education group. The average time of ECAS was only 18 minutes.The Chinese version of the ECAS is the first screening battery assessing multiple neuropsychological functions specially designed for the ALS population in China, which provides an effective and rapid tool to screen cognitive and behavioural impairments.

  6. Modelling and treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis through induced-pluripotent stem cells technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohl, Delphine; Pochet, Roland; Mitrecic, Dinko; Nicaise, Charles

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease affecting primarily the population of motor neurons, even though a non-cell autonomous component, involving neighbouring non-neuronal cells, is more and more described. Despite 140 years of disease experience, still no efficient treatment exists against ALS. The inability to readily obtain the faulty cell types relevant to ALS has impeded progress in drug discovery for decades. However, the pioneer work of Shinya Yamanaka in 2007 in the stem cell field was a real breakthrough. Recent advances in cell reprogramming now grant access to significant quantities of CNS disease-affected cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSc) have been recently derived from patients carrying mutations linked to familial forms of ALS as well as from sporadic patients. Precise and mature protocols allow now their differentiation into ALS-relevant cell subtypes; sustainable and renewable sources of human motor neurons or glia are being available for ALS disease modelling, drug screening or for the development of cell therapies. In few years, the proof-of-concept was made that ALS disease-related phenotypes can be reproduced with iPSc and despite some remaining challenges, we are now not so far to provide platforms for the investigation of ALS therapeutics. This paper also reviews the pioneering studies regarding the applicability of iPSc technology in ALS animal models. From modest slowing down of ALS progression to no severe adverse effects, iPSc-based cell therapy resulted in promising premises in ALS preclinical paradigms, although long-term surveys are highly recommended.

  7. Analysis of neurotrophic factors in limb and extraocular muscles of mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Vahid M Harandi

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is currently an incurable fatal motor neuron syndrome characterized by progressive weakness, muscle wasting and death ensuing 3-5 years after diagnosis. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs are known to be important in both nervous system development and maintenance. However, the attempt to translate the potential of NTFs into the therapeutic options remains limited despite substantial number of approaches, which have been tested clinically. Using quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR technique, the present study investigated mRNA expression of four different NTFs: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, neurotrophin-3 (NT-3, neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4 and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF in limb muscles and extraocular muscles (EOMs from SOD1G93A transgenic mice at early and terminal stages of ALS. General morphological examination revealed that muscle fibres were well preserved in both limb muscles and EOMs in early stage ALS mice. However, in terminal ALS mice, most muscle fibres were either atrophied or hypertrophied in limb muscles but unaffected in EOMs. qRT-PCR analysis showed that in early stage ALS mice, NT-4 was significantly down-regulated in limb muscles whereas NT-3 and GDNF were markedly up-regulated in EOMs. In terminal ALS mice, only GDNF was significantly up-regulated in limb muscles. We concluded that the early down-regulation of NT-4 in limb muscles is closely associated with muscle dystrophy and dysfunction at late stage, whereas the early up-regulations of GDNF and NT-3 in EOMs are closely associated with the relatively well-preserved muscle morphology at late stage. Collectively, the data suggested that comparing NTFs expression between limb muscles and EOMs from different stages of ALS animal models is a useful method in revealing the patho-physiology and progression of ALS, and eventually rescuing motor neuron in ALS patients.

  8. Leukocyte-derived microparticles and scanning electron microscopic structures in two fractions of fresh cerebrospinal fluid in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a case report

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    Zachau Anne C

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by degeneration of motoneuron cells in anterior spinal horns. There is a need for early and accurate diagnosis with this condition. In this case report we used two complementary methods: scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. This is the first report to our knowledge of microparticles in the cerebrospinal fluid of a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Case presentation An 80-year-old Swedish man of Caucasian ethnicity presented to our facility with symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis starting a year before his first hospital examination, such as muscle weakness and twitching in his right hand progressing to arms, body and leg muscles. Electromyography showed classical neurophysiological findings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Routine blood sample results were normal. A lumbar puncture was performed as a routine investigation and his cerebrospinal fluid was normal with regard to cell count and protein levels, and there were no signs of inflammation. However, scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence-activated cell sorting showed pronounced abnormalities compared to healthy controls. Flow cytometry analysis of two fractions of cerebrospinal fluid from our patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was used to measure the specific binding of antibodies to CD42a, CD144 and CD45, and of phosphatidylserine to lactadherin. Our patient displayed over 100 times more phosphatidylserine-positive microparticles and over 400 times more cell-derived microparticles of leukocyte origin in his cerebrospinal fluid compared to healthy control subjects. The first cerebrospinal fluid fraction contained about 50% more microparticles than the second fraction. The scanning electron microscopy filters used with cerebrospinal fluid from our patient were filled with compact aggregates of spherical particles of

  9. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with dementia: case report Esclerose lateral amiotrófica com demência: relato de caso

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    PAULO ROBERTO DE BRITO-MARQUES

    1999-06-01

    Full Text Available A patient is described in whom a profound and rapidly progressive dementia occurred in association with clinical features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A magnetic resonance imaging showed signs of frontal and especially left temporal atrophy. The pattern of dementia indicated impaired frontotemporal lobe functions, evidenced by reduced tracer uptake in the frontotemporal lobes on brain single photon emission computed tomography. Neuropathological examination in this patient revealed mild frontotemporal atrophy with spongiform changes and neuronal loss affecting mainly layers II and III of the frontotemporal cortices. There was atrophy of the hypoglossal nuclei. The spinal cord changes were consistent with motor neuron disease. The patient showed an irreversible and progressive course. A review of the relevant literature was made.Demência de evolução rápida e progressiva associada com esclerose lateral amiotrófica ocorreu em uma paciente de 68 anos. A ressonância magnética mostrou sinais de atrofia frontal e, principalmente, temporal bilateral mais acentuada à esquerda. A demência se caracterizou como de tipo fronto-temporal, como sugere por hipoperfusão moderada nos lobos fronto-temporais através da tomografia cerebral computadorizada por emissão de fóton simples. O exame neuropatológico revelou atrofia leve fronto-temporal com alterações esponjiformes e perda neuronal afetando principalmente as camadas II e III dos córtices fronto-temporais. Havia importante perda de neurônios em ambos os núcleos do hipoglosso. A medula espinhal mostrou alterações consistentes com doença do neurônio motor. O caso teve curso de quatro anos até o óbito.

  10. Esclerose lateral amiotrófica e neurossífilis Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neurosyphilis. A case report

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    Eliova Zukerman

    1973-09-01

    Full Text Available É relatado um caso clínico de esclerose lateral amiotrófica (ELA, caracterizado por amiotrofias extensas na cintura escapular e membros superiores, associadas a exaltação dos reflexos osteotendinosos nos membros inferiores, com sinal de Rossolimo bilateral e sinal Babinski esboçado a esquerda, sem distúrbios sensitivos ou esfinterianos, em mulher de 51 anos de idade e com história progressiva de um ano. O exame de líquido cefalorraqueano permitiu o diagnóstico de neurossífilis parenquimatosa. Chamando a atenção para a raridade dessa associação, os AA. discutem o papel da neuro-lues como fator causal da síndrome de ELA, concluindo por uma provável relação de causa e efeito no caso descrito, por ter havido estabilização do quadro sintomatológico após terapêutica penicilínica.A clinic case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS in a 51 years old woman is reported. The patient exhibited signs of pyramidal system and anterior motor neuron involvement. The cerebrospinal fluid examinations showed clear cut indications of parenchymatous neurosyphilis. Attention is called to the rarity of the association above mentioned. The role of neurosyphilis as an atiological factor of ALS is discussed. The authors conclude that in the case described there is a close relationship between the two entities.

  11. Cerebrospinal fluid from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis inhibits sonic hedgehog function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drannik, Anna; Martin, Joan; Peterson, Randy; Ma, Xiaoxing; Jiang, Fan; Turnbull, John

    2017-01-01

    Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is a morphogen essential to the developing nervous system that continues to play an important role in adult life by contributing to cell proliferation and differentiation, maintaining blood-brain barrier integrity, and being cytoprotective against oxidative and excitotoxic stress, all features of importance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a fatal disease characterized by selective loss of motor neurons due to poorly understood mechanisms. Evidence indicates that Shh might play an important role in ALS, and that Shh signaling might be also adversely affected in ALS. Since little is known about the functional status of Shh pathway in patients with ALS, we therefore sought to determine whether Shh protein levels or biological activity in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was less in ALS patients than controls, and whether these measures could be correlated with ALS disease severity and disease progression, and with other CSF analytes of biological interest in ALS. Comparing Shh levels in the CSF of normal controls (n = 13), neurological controls (n = 12), and ALS patients (n = 9) measured by ELISA, we found that CSF Shh levels were not different between controls and ALS patients. However, when assessing Shh biological activity in CSF using in vitro cell-based assays, which measure Shh activity as inducible Gli-driven luminescence, we found that in the presence of exogenous recombinant Shh or the Shh agonist, purmorphamine, the inducible activity of CSF was significantly augmented in the control groups as expected, but not in the ALS group, suggesting the presence of an inhibitor of Shh signaling in ALS CSF samples. Since purmorphamine acts on Smoothened, downstream of Shh and its receptor Patched, the inhibitory action is downstream of Smoothened. Our results also demonstrated that while the inhibitory effect of ALS CSF on Shh signaling did not correlate significantly with ALS disease characteristics, the levels of IL-1β and TNF-α did. In

  12. Design of functional small interfering RNAs targeting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-associated mutant alleles

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GENG Chang-ming; DING Hong-liu

    2011-01-01

    Background RNA interference (RNAi) is a potential cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by dominant,gain-of-function superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutations. The success of such therapy relies on the functional small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that can effectively deliver RNAi. This study aimed to design the functional siRNAs targeting ALS-associated mutant alleles.Methods A modified dual luciferase system containing human SOD1 mRNA target was established to quantify siRNA efficacy. Coupled with validated siRNAs identified in the literature, we analyzed the rationale of siRNA design and subsequently developed an asymmetry rule-based strategy for designing siRNA. We then further tested the effectiveness of this design strategy in converting a naturally symmetric siRNA into functional siRNAs with favorable asymmetry for gene silencing of SOD1 alleles.Results The efficacies of siRNAs could vary tremendously by one base-pair position change. Functional siRNAs could target the whole span of SOD1 mRNA coding sequence as well as non-coding region. While there is no distinguishable pattern of the distribution of nucleobases in these validated siRNAs, the high percent of GC count at the last two positions of siRNAs (P18 and P19) indicated a strong effect of asymmetry rule. Introducing a mismatch at position 1 of the 5' of antisense strand of siRNA successfully converted the inactive siRNA into functional siRNAs that silence SOD1 with desired efficacy.Conclusions Asymmetry rule-based strategy that incorporates a mismatch into siRNA most consistently enhances RNAi efficacy and guarantees producing functional siRNAs that successfully silence ALS-associated SOD1 mutant alleles regardless target positions. This strategy could also be useful to design siRNAs for silencing other disease-associated dominant, gain-of-function mutant genes.

  13. Erythropoietin in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a multicentre, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, phase III study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauria, Giuseppe; Dalla Bella, Eleonora; Antonini, Giovanni; Borghero, Giuseppe; Capasso, Margherita; Caponnetto, Claudia; Chiò, Adriano; Corbo, Massimo; Eleopra, Roberto; Fazio, Raffaella; Filosto, Massimiliano; Giannini, Fabio; Granieri, Enrico; La Bella, Vincenzo; Logroscino, Giancarlo; Mandrioli, Jessica; Mazzini, Letizia; Monsurrò, Maria Rosaria; Mora, Gabriele; Pietrini, Vladimiro; Quatrale, Rocco; Rizzi, Romana; Salvi, Fabrizio; Siciliano, Gabriele; Sorarù, Gianni; Volanti, Paolo; Tramacere, Irene; Filippini, Graziella

    2015-01-01

    Objective To assess the efficacy of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods Patients with probable laboratory-supported, probable or definite ALS were enrolled by 25 Italian centres and randomly assigned (1:1) to receive intravenous rhEPO 40 000 IU or placebo fortnightly as add-on treatment to riluzole 100 mg daily for 12 months. The primary composite outcome was survival, tracheotomy or >23 h non-invasive ventilation (NIV). Secondary outcomes were ALSFRS-R, slow vital capacity (sVC) and quality of life (ALSAQ-40) decline. Tolerability was evaluated analysing adverse events (AEs) causing withdrawal. The randomisation sequence was computer-generated by blocks, stratified by centre, disease severity (ALSFRS-R cut-off score of 33) and onset (spinal or bulbar). The main outcome analysis was performed in all randomised patients and by intention-to-treat for the entire population and patients stratified by severity and onset. The study is registered, EudraCT 2009-016066-91. Results We randomly assigned 208 patients, of whom 5 (1 rhEPO and 4 placebo) withdrew consent and 3 (placebo) became ineligible (retinal thrombosis, respiratory insufficiency, SOD1 mutation) before receiving treatment; 103 receiving rhEPO and 97 placebo were eligible for analysis. At 12 months, the annualised rate of death (rhEPO 0.11, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.20; placebo: 0.08, CI 0.04 to 0.17), tracheotomy or >23 h NIV (rhEPO 0.16, CI 0.10 to 0.27; placebo 0.18, CI 0.11 to 0.30) did not differ between groups, also after stratification by onset and ALSFRS-R at baseline. Withdrawal due to AE was 16.5% in rhEPO and 8.3% in placebo. No differences were found for secondary outcomes. Conclusions RhEPO 40 000 IU fortnightly did not change the course of ALS. PMID:25595151

  14. Synaptophysin expression in motor neurons of transgenic mice with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Juan Liu; Dawei Zang; Surindar Cheema

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Affected signal convection of synaptophysin on motor neurons may Cause injury of motor neurons and then induce neurodegeneration and cell death in the end.OBJECTTVE: To investigate the number and density of synaptophysin on motor neurons in the anterior horn of lumbar spinal cord and sensorimotor cortex of the transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS).DESIGN: Randomized controlled animal study.SETTTNG: Brain Injury and Repair Group, HFI Institute of Melbourne University.MATERIALS: Transgenic mice expressing a mutated human superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD-1) were taken as ALS group (n =36), while those dedved from the B6SJL-TgN gene line were taken as control group (n =36),according to the difference of gender and three postnatal time points (postnatal 60, 90 and 120 days), twelve mice of either gender were allocated in each subgroup.METHODS: The experiment was carried out in Brain Injury and Repair Group, HFI Institute of Melbourne University from November 2003 to June 2004. ① Fluorogold labeling was used for the motor neurons in the lumbar and sensorimotor cortex. ② Immunofluorescence was applied for the labeling of synaptophysin; positive control sections were represented by adding the synaptophysin antibody and the staining, showing a positive result. For negative controls, the synaptophysin antibody was omitted. ③ Stereological counting system was adopted in the statistical analysis.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: ① Fluorogold labeling of motor neurons; ② number of synaptophysin on the motor neurons.RESULTS: ① Fluorogold labeling of motor neurons: The motor neurons in the lumbar and sensorimotor cortex were clearly labeled by fluorogold under the detection of fluorescent microscope. ② The number of synaptophysin on the motor neurons: The number statistically decreased at the mid stage (postnatal 90 days)and late stage (postnatal 120 days) [motor neuron somas at lumbar spinal cord: (0.75±0.06), (0.59±0.09)/μm;motor neuron

  15. One universal common endpoint in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Jesse A Solomon

    Full Text Available There is no consensus among research laboratories around the world on the criteria that define endpoint in studies involving rodent models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Data from 4 nutrition intervention studies using 162 G93A mice, a model of ALS, were analyzed to determine if differences exist between the following endpoint criteria: CS 4 (functional paralysis of both hindlimbs, CS 4+ (CS 4 in addition to the earliest age of body weight loss, body condition deterioration or righting reflex, and CS 5 (CS 4 plus righting reflex >20 s. The age (d; mean ± SD at which mice reached endpoint was recorded as the unit of measurement. Mice reached CS 4 at 123.9±10.3 d, CS 4+ at 126.6±9.8 d and CS 5 at 127.6±9.8 d, all significantly different from each other (P<0.001. There was a significant positive correlation between CS 4 and CS 5 (r = 0.95, P<0.001, CS 4 and CS 4+ (r = 0.96, P<0.001, and CS 4+ and CS 5 (r = 0.98, P<0.001, with the Bland-Altman plot showing an acceptable bias between all endpoints. Logrank tests showed that mice reached CS 4 24% and 34% faster than CS 4+ (P = 0.046 and CS 5 (P = 0.006, respectively. Adopting CS 4 as endpoint would spare a mouse an average of 4 days (P<0.001 from further neuromuscular disability and poor quality of life compared to CS 5. Alternatively, CS 5 provides information regarding proprioception and severe motor neuron death, both could be important parameters in establishing the efficacy of specific treatments. Converging ethics and discovery, would adopting CS 4 as endpoint compromise the acquisition of insight about the effects of interventions in animal models of ALS?

  16. Flecainide in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis as a Neuroprotective Strategy (FANS): A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Susanna B.; Vucic, Steve; Cheah, Benjamin C.; Lin, Cindy S.-Y.; Kirby, Adrienne; Mann, Kristy P.; Zoing, Margie C.; Winhammar, Jennica; Kiernan, Matthew C.

    2015-01-01

    Background Abnormalities in membrane excitability and Na+ channel function are characteristic of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We aimed to examine the neuroprotective potential, safety and tolerability of the Na+ channel blocker and membrane stabiliser flecainide in ALS. Methods A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised clinical trial of flecainide (200 mg/day) for 32-weeks with a 12-week lead-in phase was conducted in participants with probable or definite ALS recruited from multiple Australian centres (ANZCT Registry number ACTRN12608000338369). Patients were reviewed by a cardiologist to rule out cardiac contraindications. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to flecainide or placebo using stratified permuted blocks by a central pharmacy. The primary outcome measure was the slope of decline of the ALS Functional Rating Scale-revised (ALS FRS-r) during the treatment period. Findings Between March 11, 2008 and July 1, 2010, 67 patients were screened, 54 of whom were randomly assigned to receive flecainide (26 patients) or placebo (28 patients). Four patients in the flecainide group and three patients in the placebo group withdrew from the study. One patient in the flecainide group died during the study, attributed to disease progression. Flecainide was generally well tolerated, with no serious adverse events reported in either group. There was no significant difference in the rate of decline in the primary outcome measure ALS-FRS-r between placebo and flecainide treated patients (Flecainide 0.65 [95% CI 0.49 to 0.98]; Placebo 0.81 [0.49 to 2.12] P = 0.50). However, the rate of decline of the neurophysiological index was significantly reduced in the flecainide group (Flecainide 0.06 [0.01 to 0.11]; Placebo 0.14 [0.09 to 0.19], P = 0.02). Placebo-treated patients demonstrated greater CMAP amplitude reduction during the course of the study in the subset of patients with a reduced baseline CMAP amplitude (Flecainide: − 15 ± 12%; Placebo

  17. Adaptive immune neuroprotection in G93A-SOD1 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice.

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    Rebecca Banerjee

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Innate neuroimmune dysfunction is a pathobiological feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. However, links, if any, between disease and adaptive immunity are poorly understood. Thus, the role of T cell immunity in disease was investigated in human G93A superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1 transgenic (Tg mice and subsequently in ALS patients. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Quantitative and qualitative immune deficits in lymphoid cell and T cell function were seen in G93A-SOD1 Tg mice. Spleens of Tg animals showed reductions in size, weight, lymphocyte numbers, and morphological deficits at terminal stages of disease compared to their wild-type (Wt littermates. Spleen sizes and weights of pre-symptomatic Tg mice were unchanged, but deficits were readily seen in T cell proliferation coincident with increased annexin-V associated apoptosis and necrosis of lymphocytes. These lymphoid deficits paralleled failure of Copolymer-1 (COP-1 immunization to affect longevity. In addition, among CD4(+ T cells in ALS patients, levels of CD45RA(+ (naïve T cells were diminished, while CD45RO(+ (memory T cells were increased compared to age-matched caregivers. In attempts to correct mutant SOD1 associated immune deficits, we reconstituted SOD1 Tg mice with unfractionated naïve lymphocytes or anti-CD3 activated CD4(+CD25(+ T regulatory cells (Treg or CD4(+CD25(- T effector cells (Teff from Wt donor mice. While naive lymphocytes failed to enhance survival, both polyclonal-activated Treg and Teff subsets delayed loss of motor function and extended survival; however, only Treg delayed neurological symptom onset, whereas Teff increased latency between disease onset and entry into late stage. CONCLUSIONS: A profound and progressive immunodeficiency is operative in G93A-SOD1 mice and is linked to T cell dysfunction and the failure to elicit COP-1 neuroprotective immune responses. In preliminary studies T cell deficits were also observed in human ALS. These findings

  18. The processing of actions and action-words in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papeo, Liuba; Cecchetto, Cinzia; Mazzon, Giulia; Granello, Giulia; Cattaruzza, Tatiana; Verriello, Lorenzo; Eleopra, Roberto; Rumiati, Raffaella I

    2015-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease with prime consequences on the motor function and concomitant cognitive changes, most frequently in the domain of executive functions. Moreover, poorer performance with action-verbs versus object-nouns has been reported in ALS patients, raising the hypothesis that the motor dysfunction deteriorates the semantic representation of actions. Using action-verbs and manipulable-object nouns sharing semantic relationship with the same motor representations, the verb-noun difference was assessed in a group of 21 ALS-patients with severely impaired motor behavior, and compared with a normal sample's performance. ALS-group performed better on nouns than verbs, both in production (action and object naming) and comprehension (word-picture matching). This observation implies that the interpretation of the verb-noun difference in ALS cannot be accounted by the relatedness of verbs to motor representations, but has to consider the role of other semantic and/or morpho-phonological dimensions that distinctively define the two grammatical classes. Moreover, this difference in the ALS-group was not greater than the noun-verb difference in the normal sample. The mental representation of actions also involves an executive-control component to organize, in logical/temporal order, the individual motor events (or sub-goals) that form a purposeful action. We assessed this ability with action sequencing tasks, requiring participants to re-construct a purposeful action from the scrambled presentation of its constitutive motor events, shown in the form of photographs or short sentences. In those tasks, ALS-group's performance was significantly poorer than controls'. Thus, the executive dysfunction manifested in the sequencing deficit -but not the selective verb deficit- appears as a consistent feature of the cognitive profile associated with ALS. We suggest that ALS can offer a valuable model to study the relationship between

  19. Increased Expressions of Plasma Galectin-3 in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jun Yan; Yun Xu; Li Zhang; Hui Zhao; Ling Jin; Wei-Guo Liu; Lei-Hua Weng

    2016-01-01

    Background:High expressions of galectin-3 were identified recently in the end stage of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients,which suggested that immune reactivity and inflammatory mechanisms might play an important role in the pathogenesis of ALS.The purpose of this study was to investigate plasma galectin-3 levels in different groups and stages of ALS patients and the association with related clinical characteristics.Methods:A total of 51 patients with ALS and 60 normal controls (NCs) were recruited in this study.Plasma galectin-3 levels were determined using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.Patients with ALS were divided into several groups according to their clinical characteristics:gender,type of disease onset,duration of disease,and clinical conditions of disease.Statistical analyses of the differences of galectin-3 levels between groups and the association with the clinical characteristics of disease were performed.Results:As compared with the NCs (201.64 [22.35-401.63] ng/ml),plasma galectin-3 levels were significantly elevated in the patients with duration >12 months (341.17 [69.12-859.22] ng/ml,P < 0.05),and the patients with limb onset of disease (254.14 [69.12-859.22] ng/ml,P < 0.05);however,no difference was found in the patients with duration ≤12 months (250.62 [109.77-334.92] ng/ml,P > 0.05),and the patients with bulbar onset of disease (251.79 [109.20-404.76] ng/ml,P > 0.05).In addition,galectin-3 levels were significantly increased in the female patients (263.27 [123.32-859.22] ng/ml,P < 0.05) while no difference was found in the male patients (220.39 [69.12-748.73] ng/ml,P > 0.05).The further statistical analyses showed that plasma galectin-3 levels were positively correlated with the duration of disease (r =0.293,P =0.037).Conclusions:Plasma galectin-3 levels were significantly increased in ALS patients with limb onset of disease,especially in ALS female patients,and positively correlated with the duration of disease

  20. Elimination Rate of Serum Lactate is Correlated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Progression

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yuan-Jin Zhang; Dong-Sheng Fan

    2016-01-01

    Background: Mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).We aimed to demonstrate mitochondrial dysfunction in ALS using a lactate stress test and to examine the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction with motor deterioration.Methods: We enrolled 116 patients and observed clinical variables, including the survival state.Results: Patients with a rapid slope of revised ALS functional rating scales (ALSFRS-r) (>20 U/year) exhibited the slowest elimination rate (median-4.67 × 10 3 mmol.L-1.min-1, coefficient of variation, 590.15%), the shortest duration (0.63 ± 0.28 years) and the worst ALSFRS-r (32.59 ± 4.93).Patients with a moderate slope of ALSFRS-r (10-20 U/year) showed a moderate elimination rate (median-11.33 × 10 3 mmol.L-1.min-1, coefficient of variation, 309.89%), duration (1.16 ± 0.45 years), andALSFRS-r (34.83 ± 6.11).The slower progressing (< 10 U/year group) patients exhibited a rapid elimination rate (median:-12.00 × 10-3 mmol·L-1·min-1, coefficient of variation: 143.08%), longer duration (median: 3 years, coefficient of variation: 193.33%), and adequate ALSFRS-r values (39.58 ± 9.44).Advanced-phase ALS patients also showed slower elimination rate (ER, quartiles-17.33,-5.67, 4.00) and worse ALSFRS-r (34.88 ± 9.27), while early-phase patients showed a more rapid ER (quartiles-25.17,-11.33,-3.50) and betterALSFRS-r (39.28 ± 7.59).These differences were statistically significant.Multiple linear regression analysis revealed strong direct associations among ER, ALSFRS-r slope (standard beta =0.33, P =0.007), and forced vital capacity (predict %) (standard beta =-0.458, P =0.006, adjusted for ALSFRS-r, course and onset region).However, the data obtained from 3 years of follow-up showed no statistically significant difference in the survival rates between the most rapid and slowest ER groups.Conclusion: There is a potential linear relationship between ER and motor

  1. CX3CR1 is a modifying gene of survival and progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Alan Lopez-Lopez

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to investigate the association of functional variants of the human CX3CR1 gene (Fractalkine receptor with the risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, the survival and the progression rate of the disease symptoms in a Spanish ALS cohort. 187 ALS patients (142 sporadic [sALS] and 45 familial and 378 controls were recruited. We investigated CX3CR1 V249I (rs3732379 and T280M (rs3732378 genotypes and their haplotypes as predictors of survival, the progression rate of the symptoms (as measured by ALSFRS-R and FVC decline and the risk of suffering ALS disease. The results indicated that sALS patients with CX3CR1 249I/I or 249V/I genotypes presented a shorter survival time (42.27 ± 4.90 than patients with 249V/V genotype (67.65 ± 7.42; diff -25.49 months 95%CI [-42.79,-8.18]; p = 0.004; adj-p = 0.018. The survival time was shorter in sALS patients with spinal topography and CX3CR1 249I alleles (diff =  -29.78 months; 95%CI [-49.42,-10.14]; p = 0.003. The same effects were also observed in the spinal sALS patients with 249I-280M haplotype (diff =  -27.02 months; 95%CI [-49.57, -4.48]; p = 0.019. In the sALS group, the CX3CR1 249I variant was associated with a faster progression of the disease symptoms (OR = 2.58; 95IC% [1.32, 5.07]; p = 0.006; adj-p = 0.027. There was no evidence for association of these two CX3CR1 variants with ALS disease risk. The association evidenced herein is clinically relevant and indicates that CX3CR1 could be a disease-modifying gene in sALS. The progression rate of the disease's symptoms and the survival time is affected in patients with one or two copies of the CX3CR1 249I allele. The CX3CR1 is the most potent ALS survival genetic factor reported to date. These results reinforce the role of the immune system in ALS pathogenesis.

  2. Quantitating Changes in Jitter and Spike Number Using Concentric Needle Electrodes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ming-Sheng Liu; Jing-Wen Niu; Yi Li; Yu-Zhou Guan; Li-Ying Cui

    2016-01-01

    Background:Single-fiber electromyography (SFEMG) has been suggested as a quantitative method for supporting chronic partial denervation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by the revised El Escorial criteria.Although concentric needle (CN) electrodes have been used to assess jitter in myasthenia gravis patients and healthy controls,there are few reports using CN electrodes to assess motor unit instability and denervation in neurogenic diseases.The aim of this study was to determine whether quantitative changes in jitter and spike number using CN electrodes could be used for ALS studies.Methods:Twenty-seven healthy controls and 23 ALS patients were studied using both CN and single-fiber needle (SFN) electrodes on the extensor digitorum communis muscle with an SFEMG program.The SFN-jitter and SFN-fiber density data were measured using SFN electrodes.The CN-jitter and spike number were measured using CN electrodes.Results:The mean CN-jitter was significantly increased in ALS patients (47.3 ± 17.0 μs) than in healthy controls (27.4 ± 3.3 μs) (P < 0.001).Besides,the mean spike number was significantly increased in ALS patients (2.5 ± 0.5) than in healthy controls (1.7 ± 0.3) (P < 0.001).The sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of ALS were 82.6% and 92.6% for CN-jitter (cut-off value:32 μs),and 91.3% and 96.3% for the spike number (cut-offvalue:2.0),respectively.There was no significant difference between the SFN-jitter and CN-jitter in ALS patients; meanwhile,there was no significant difference between the SFN-jitter and CN-jitter in healthy controls.Conclusion:CN-jitter and spike number could be used to quantitatively evaluate changes due to denervation-reinnervation in ALS.

  3. Importance of Sample Size for the Estimation of Repeater F Waves in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jia Fang; Ming-Sheng Liu; Yu-Zhou Guan; Bo Cui; Li-Ying Cui

    2015-01-01

    Background:In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),repeater F waves are increased.Accurate assessment of repeater F waves requires an adequate sample size.Methods:We studied the F waves of left ulnar nerves in ALS patients.Based on the presence or absence of pyramidal signs in the left upper limb,the ALS patients were divided into two groups:One group with pyramidal signs designated as P group and the other without pyramidal signs designated as NP group.The Index repeating neurons (RN) and Index repeater F waves (Freps) were compared among the P,NP and control groups following 20 and 100 stimuli respectively.For each group,the Index RN and Index Freps obtained from 20 and 100 stimuli were compared.Results:In the P group,the Index RN (P =0.004) and Index Freps (P =0.001) obtained from 100 stimuli were significantly higher than from 20 stimuli.For F waves obtained from 20 stimuli,no significant differences were identified between the P and NP groups for Index RN (P =0.052) and Index Freps (P =0.079); The Index RN (P < 0.001) and Index Freps (P < 0.001) of the P group were significantly higher than the control group; The Index RN (P =0.002) of the NP group was significantly higher than the control group.For F waves obtained from 100 stimuli,the Index RN (P < 0.001) and Index Freps (P < 0.001) of the P group were significantly higher than the NP group; The Index RN (P < 0.001) and Index Freps (P < 0.001) of the P and NP groups were significantly higher than the control group.Conclusions:Increased repeater F waves reflect increased excitability of motor neuron pool and indicate upper motor neuron dysfunction in ALS.For an accurate evaluation of repeater F waves in ALS patients especially those with moderate to severe muscle atrophy,100 stimuli would be required.

  4. Aberration of miRNAs Expression in leukocytes from sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Yongping Chen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Accumulating evidence indicates that miRNAs play an important role in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Most of previous studies on miRNA dysregulation in ALS focused on the alterative expression in ALS animal model or in limited samples from European patients with ALS. In the present study, the miRNA expression profiles were investigated in Chinese ALS patients to explore leukocytes miRNAs as a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of ALS.Methods: We analyzed the expression profiles of 1733 human mature miRNAs using microarray technology in leukocytes obtained from 5 patients with sporadic ALS (SALS and 5 healthy controls. An independent group of 83 SALS patients, 24 Parkinson’s disease (PD patients and 61 controls was used for validation by real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC was used to evaluate diagnostic accuracy. In addition, target genes and signaling information of validated differential expression miRNAs were predicted using Bioinformatics.Results: Eleven miRNAs, including four over-expressed and seven under-expressed miRNAs detected in SALS patients compared to healthy controls were selected for validation. Four under-expressed microRNAs, including hsa-miR-183, hsa-miR-193b, hsa-miR-451 and hsa-miR-3935, were confirmed in validation stage by comparison of 83 SALS patients and 61 HCs. Moreover, we identified a miRNA panel (hsa-miR-183, hsa-miR-193b, hsa-miR-451 and hsa-miR-3935 having a high diagnostic accuracy of SALS (AUC 0.857 for the validation group. However, only hsa-miR-183 was significantly lower in SALS patients than that in PD patients and in HCs, while no differences were found between PD patients and HCs. By bioinformatics analysis, we obtained a large number of target genes and signaling information that are linked to neurodegeneration. Conclusion: This study provided evidence of abnormal miRNA expression patterns in the

  5. Aberration of miRNAs Expression in Leukocytes from Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, YongPing; Wei, QianQian; Chen, XuePing; Li, ChunYu; Cao, Bei; Ou, RuWei; Hadano, Shinji; Shang, Hui-Fang

    2016-01-01

    Background: Accumulating evidence indicates that miRNAs play an important role in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Most of previous studies on miRNA dysregulation in ALS focused on the alterative expression in ALS animal model or in limited samples from European patients with ALS. In the present study, the miRNA expression profiles were investigated in Chinese ALS patients to explore leukocytes miRNAs as a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of ALS. Methods: We analyzed the expression profiles of 1733 human mature miRNAs using microarray technology in leukocytes obtained from 5 patients with sporadic ALS (SALS) and 5 healthy controls. An independent group of 83 SALS patients, 24 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and 61 controls was used for validation by real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was used to evaluate diagnostic accuracy. In addition, target genes and signaling information of validated differential expression miRNAs were predicted using Bioinformatics. Results: Eleven miRNAs, including four over-expressed and seven under-expressed miRNAs detected in SALS patients compared to healthy controls were selected for validation. Four under-expressed microRNAs, including hsa-miR-183, hsa-miR-193b, hsa-miR-451, and hsa-miR-3935, were confirmed in validation stage by comparison of 83 SALS patients and 61 HCs. Moreover, we identified a miRNA panel (hsa-miR-183, hsa-miR-193b, hsa-miR-451, and hsa-miR-3935) having a high diagnostic accuracy of SALS (AUC 0.857 for the validation group). However, only hsa-miR-183 was significantly lower in SALS patients than that in PD patients and in HCs, while no differences were found between PD patients and HCs. By bioinformatics analysis, we obtained a large number of target genes and signaling information that are linked to neurodegeneration. Conclusion: This study provided evidence of abnormal miRNA expression patterns in the peripheral

  6. Apparent segregation distortion for the SOD1 mutation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Rimmer, J.B.; Pericak-Vance, M.A. [Duke Univ. Medical Center, Durham, NC (United States); Hentati, A. [Northwestern Univ., Chicago, IL (United States)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating, progressive neurodegenerative disorder with a short duration form onset to death. Approximately 15% of all ALS cases are familial. Of this a subset of families ({approximately}20%) are caused by mutations in the SOD1 gene on chromosome 21. The recent identification of SOD1 as the causative factor in a subset of families has enabled us to classify at-risk as well as symptomatic SOD1 mutation carriers in completed sibships. Our investigations suggest that the transmission of the SOD1 mutation from parent to child occurs substantially more often than 50% of the time. At the present time we have examined this phenomena in 17 SOD1/ALS families with mutations in exons 1 (N=6 families), 2 (N=2), 4 (N=8) and 5 (N=1). In fully ascertained sibships from a mutation-carrying parent, there were 318 offspring available for mutation evaluation. Of these, 195 were found to have the SOD1 mutation, while 123 were without the mutation. These data result in a segregation ratio of 0.61 [chi-square = 16.3, P<0.0001]. Analysis of the individual exon mutation types indicated that the majority of the distortion was occurring in the exon 4 mutation families [chi-square=13.4, p<0.001 vs. non-4, chi-square=4.97, p<0.05]. These findings are of interest in light of the recent report of meiotic drive at the myotonic dystrophy locus, a CTG repeat expansion, variable onset, neurological disorder on chromosome 19. Additional SOD1/ALS mutation families are presently under study and these data will be similarily evaluated. Future studies include the genotyping of human sperm specimens for SOD1 mutation-bearing males. The possibility that over 66% of children of a mutation carrier could inherit the mutation preferentially would dramatically alter the counseling risk in such families. These studies provide further evidence of the occurrence of segregation distortion in humans.

  7. Behavioral variant frontotemporal lobar degeneration with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with a chromosome 9p21 hexanucleotide repeat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert eFriedland

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available To determine the genetic basis of familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS we performed a clinical and genetic analysis of an affected family. A 51-year-old man with behavioral variant frontotemporal lobar degeneration with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis had a family history of the disease suggestive of autosomal dominant inheritance with incomplete penetrance. Genetic studies in this patient demonstrated the presence of an amplified hexanucleotide repeat (>30 polymorphism in the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72 gene which was previously identified as a cause of FTLD. Five others unaffecteds from the family were negative (all had less than 11 repeats. We did not find association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in C9ORF72 gene with Alzheimer’s disease (AD risk using a large genome wide association study dataset. Bioinformatic analysis of C9ORF72 using the Gene Expression Omnibus database showed expression differences in patients with muscular dystrophy, neural tube defects and schizophrenia. We also report analysis of gene expression in brain regions using the Allen Human Brain Atlas. Defects in this recently reported gene are now believed to be the most common cause of inherited ALS and an important cause of inherited FTLD. Our work suggests that the gene may also be important in other neurological conditions.

  8. Cognitive and clinical characteristics of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis carrying a C9orf72 repeat expansion: a population-based cohort study.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Byrne, Susan

    2012-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of upper and lower motor neurons, associated with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in about 14% of incident cases. We assessed the frequency of the recently identified C9orf72 repeat expansion in familial and apparently sporadic cases of ALS and characterised the cognitive and clinical phenotype of patients with this expansion.

  9. The small heat shock protein B8 (HspB8) promotes autophagic removal of misfolded proteins involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crippa, Valeria; Sau, Daniela; Rusmini, Paola; Boncoraglio, Alessandra; Onesto, Elisa; Bolzoni, Elena; Galbiati, Mariarita; Fontana, Elena; Marino, Marianna; Carra, Serena; Bendotti, Caterina; De Biasi, Silvia; Poletti, Angelo

    2010-01-01

    Several neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are characterized by the presence of misfolded proteins, thought to trigger neurotoxicity. Some familial forms of ALS (fALS), clinically indistinguishable from sporadic ALS (sALS), are linked to superoxide dismutase 1

  10. Frequency of the C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia: A cross-sectional study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Majounie (Elisa); A. Renton (Alan); K. Mok (Kin); E.G.P. Dopper (Elise); A. Waite (Adrian); S. Rollinson (Sara); A. Chiò (Adriano); G. Restagno (Gabriella); N. Nicolaou (Nayia); J. Simón-Sánchez (Javier); J.C. van Swieten (John); Y. Abramzon (Yevgeniya); J. Johnson (Janel); M. Sendtner (Michael); R. Pamphlett (Roger); R. Orrell (Richard); S. Mead (Simon); K.C. Sidle (Katie); H. Houlden (Henry); J.D. Rohrer (Jonathan Daniel); K.E. Morrison (Karen); H. Pall (Hardev); D. Talbot; O. Ansorge (Olaf); D.G. Hernandez (Dena); S. Arepalli (Sampath); M. Sabatelli (Mario); G. Mora (Gabriele); J.C. Corbo (Joseph); F. Giannini (Fabio); A. Calvo (Andrea); E. Englund (Elisabet); G. Borghero (Giuseppe); O.A.M. Floris; A. Remes (Anne); H. Laaksovirta (Hannu); L. McCluskey (Leo); J.Q. Trojanowski (John); V.M. Deerlin (Vivianna); G.D. Schellenberg (Gerard); M.A. Nalls (Michael); V.E. Drory (Vivian E); C.S. Lu (Chin-Song); T.-H. Yeh (Tu-Hsueh); H. Ishiura (Hiroyuki); Y. Takahashi (Yukari); S. Tsuji (Shoji); I. Le Ber (Isabelle); A. Brice; C. Drepper (Carsten); N. Williams (Nigel); J. Kirby (Janine); P.J. Shaw (Pamela); J. Hardy (John); P.J. Tienari (Pentti); P. Heutink (Peter); H. Morris (Huw); S. Pickering-Brown (Stuart); B.J. Traynor (Bryan)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractBackground: We aimed to accurately estimate the frequency of a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9orf72 that has been associated with a large proportion of cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Methods: We screened 4448 patients diagnosed with

  11. FET Proteins TAF15 and EWS Are Selective Markers that Distinguish FTLD with FUS Pathology from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with "FUS" Mutations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Manuela; Bentmann, Eva; Dormann, Dorothee; Jawaid, Ali; DeJesus-Hernandez, Mariely; Ansorge, Olaf; Roeber, Sigrun; Kretzschmar, Hans A.; Munoz, David G.; Kusaka, Hirofumi; Yokota, Osamu; Ang, Lee-Cyn; Bilbao, Juan; Rademakers, Rosa; Haass, Christian; Mackenzie, Ian R. A.

    2011-01-01

    Accumulation of the DNA/RNA binding protein fused in sarcoma as cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons and glial cells is the pathological hallmark of all patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with mutations in "FUS" as well as in several subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, which are not associated with "FUS" mutations. The mechanisms…

  12. The role of TREM2 R47H as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lill, Christina M; Rengmark, Aina; Pihlstrøm, Lasse;

    2015-01-01

    A rare variant in TREM2 (p.R47H, rs75932628) was recently reported to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and, subsequently, other neurodegenerative diseases, i.e. frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson's disease (PD). Here we...

  13. Technology-Aided Programs for Assisting Communication and Leisure Engagement of Persons with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Two Single-Case Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancioni, Giulio E.; Singh, Nirbhay N.; O'Reilly, Mark F.; Sigafoos, Jeff; Ferlisi, Gabriele; Ferrarese, Giacomina; Zullo, Valeria; Addante, Luigi M.; Spica, Antonella; Oliva, Doretta

    2012-01-01

    Technology-aided programs for assisting communication and leisure engagement were assessed in single-case studies involving two men with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Study I involved a 51-year-old man with a virtually total loss of his motor repertoire and assessed a technology-aided program aimed at enabling him to (a) write and send out…

  14. The influence of psychological state and motivation on Brain–computer interface performance in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a longitudinal study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijboer, Femke; Birbaumer, Niels; Kübler, Andrea; Pfurtscheller, G

    2010-01-01

    The current study investigated the effects of psychological well-being measured as quality of life, depression, current mood and motivation on brain-computer interface (BCI) performance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Six participants with most advanced ALS were trained either for a block of

  15. Screening of Drugs Inhibiting In vitro Oligomerization of Cu/Zn-Superoxide Dismutase with a Mutation Causing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anzai, Itsuki; Toichi, Keisuke; Tokuda, Eiichi; Mukaiyama, Atsushi; Akiyama, Shuji; Furukawa, Yoshiaki

    2016-01-01

    Dominant mutations in Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene have been shown to cause a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SOD1-ALS). A major pathological hallmark of this disease is abnormal accumulation of mutant SOD1 oligomers in the affected spinal motor neurons. While no effective therapeutics for SOD1-ALS is currently available, SOD1 oligomerization will be a good target for developing cures of this disease. Recently, we have reproduced the formation of SOD1 oligomers abnormally cross-linked via disulfide bonds in a test tube. Using our in vitro model of SOD1 oligomerization, therefore, we screened 640 FDA-approved drugs for inhibiting the oligomerization of SOD1 proteins, and three effective classes of chemical compounds were identified. Those hit compounds will provide valuable information on the chemical structures for developing a novel drug candidate suppressing the abnormal oligomerization of mutant SOD1 and possibly curing the disease.

  16. Spontaneous activity in electromyography may differentiate certain benign lower motor neuron disease forms from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokela, Manu E; Jääskeläinen, Satu K; Sandell, Satu; Palmio, Johanna; Penttilä, Sini; Saukkonen, Annamaija; Soikkeli, Raija; Udd, Bjarne

    2015-08-15

    There is limited data on electromyography (EMG) findings in other motor neuron disorders than amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We assessed whether the distribution of active denervation detected by EMG, i.e. fibrillations and fasciculations, differs between ALS and slowly progressive motor neuron disorders. We compared the initial EMG findings of 43 clinically confirmed, consecutive ALS patients with those of 41 genetically confirmed Late-onset Spinal Motor Neuronopathy and 14 Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy patients. Spontaneous activity was more frequently detected in the first dorsal interosseus and deltoid muscles of ALS patients than in patients with the slowly progressive motor neuron diseases. The most important observation was that absent fibrillations in the first dorsal interosseus muscle identified the benign forms with sensitivities of 66%-77% and a specificity of 93%. The distribution of active denervation may help to separate ALS from mimicking disorders at an early stage.

  17. Global Motor Unit Number Index sum score for assessing the loss of lower motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimaldi, Stephan; Duprat, Lauréline; Grapperon, Aude-Marie; Verschueren, Annie; Delmont, Emilien; Attarian, Shahram

    2017-02-06

    Introduction Our objective was to propose a motor unit number index (MUNIX) global sum score in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to estimate the loss of functional motor units. Methods MUNIX was assessed for 18 ALS patients and 17 healthy controls in seven muscles: the abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor digiti minimi (ADM), tibialis anterior (TA), deltoid, trapezius, submental complex (SMC) and orbicularis oris. Results MUNIX was significantly lower in ALS patients than in healthy controls for the APB, ADM, TA and the trapezius muscles. The MUNIX sum score of 4 muscles (ADM + APB + Trapezius + TA) was lower in ALS patients (P = 0.01) and was correlated with clinical scores. Discussion The global MUNIX sum score proposed in this study estimates the loss of lower motor neurons in several body regions including the trapezius, and is correlated with clinical impairment in ALS patients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  18. Early treatment with noninvasive positive pressure ventilation prolongs survival in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients with nocturnal respiratory insufficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scoditti Cristina

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disease, which rapidly leads to chronic respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Currently, forced vital capacity (FVC 75%, independently by any treatment. Aim To assess the role of NPPV in improving outcome of ALS, a retrospective analysis was performed to investigate 1 year survival of ALS patients with FVC Methods We investigated seventy-two consecutive ALS patients who underwent pulmonary function test. Forty-four presented a FVC > 75% and served as control group. Twenty-eight patients presented a FVC Results Increased survival rate at 1 year in patients with FVC Conclusion This report demonstrates that early treatment with NPPV prolongs survival and reduces decline of FVC% in ALS.

  19. The Use of Stem Cells to Model Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia: From Basic Research to Regenerative Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin C. Hedges

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years several genes have linked amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD as a spectrum disease; however little is known about what triggers their onset. With the ability to generate patient specific stem cell lines from somatic cells, it is possible to model disease without the need to transfect cells with exogenous DNA. These pluripotent stem cells have opened new avenues for identification of disease phenotypes and their relation to specific molecular pathways. Thus, as never before, compounds with potential applications for regenerative medicine can be specifically tailored in patient derived cultures. In this review, we discuss how patient specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs have been used to model ALS and FTD and the most recent drug screening targets for these diseases. We also discuss how an iPSC bank would improve the quality of the available cell lines and how it would increase knowledge about the ALS/FTD disease spectrum.

  20. Clinical features and lifestyle of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Campania: brief overview of an Italian database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Trojsi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Physical activity and occupational exposures appeared to play a relevant role in pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a neurodegenerative disease of unknown origin. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We aimed to make an overview of the clinical characteristics and lifestyle (occupation and sport of a population of 395 patients with ALS from Campania, in southern Italy. RESULTS: ALS onset resulted anticipated of about 11 years in industry workers, whilst the more frequent site of onset among farmers was upper limbs. Compared to non-athletes, athletes, particularly soccer players, showed a 7 years anticipation of ALS onset, with higher mortality after 5 years. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that subjects genetically prone to abnormal response to hypoxia during strenuous physical activity or exposed to neurotoxic agents, such as athletes, farmers or industry workers, might present increased risk to develop ALS. Future case-control and follow-up studies on our population should be implemented to deepen the present results.

  1. Distinct regulation of cell cycle and survival in lymphocytes from patients with Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolomé, Fernando; Muñoz, Ursula; Esteras, Noemí; Esteban, Jesús; Bermejo-Pareja, Félix; Martín-Requero, Angeles

    2009-01-01

    Alterations in cell cycle progression seem to be associated with neuronal death in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We previously reported disturbances in the control of cell survival/death fate in immortalized lymphocytes from AD patients. These cell cycle dysfunction and impaired apoptosis were considered systemic manifestations of AD disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether these abnormalities are characteristic of AD, or they may be seen in other neurodegenerative disorders such ALS. Our results indicate that alterations in signaling molecules, Akt and ERK1/2, and in the cyclin-dependent kinase complex inhibitors (CDKis) p21(Cip1) and p27(Kip1) are detectable in lymphoblasts from AD patients, but not in ALS patients, suggesting that these variables may be considered for the development of biomarkers of AD. However, lymphocytes from ALS patients do not represent a useful model to study cell cycle-related events associated with neurodegeneration of motoneurons.

  2. Intermediate-length polyglutamine in ATXN2 is a possible risk factor among Eastern Chinese patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hai-Peng; Gan, Shi-Rui; Chen, Sheng; Li, Hong-Fu; Liu, Zhi-Jun; Ni, Wang; Wang, Ning; Wu, Zhi-Ying

    2015-03-01

    An effective treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has not yet been found because the pathogenesis of this fatal disease is not well understood. A number of previous studies demonstrated that intermediate-length polyglutamine repeats within the ataxin-2 gene (ATXN2) might be a risk factor among patients with ALS in Western countries. Here, we aim to determine whether this sequence is a risk factor in Eastern Chinese ALS patients. Therefore, 379 unrelated sporadic ALS patients, 15 unrelated familial ALS patients, and 900 neurologically normal controls were studied. The ATXN2 CAG repeats were amplified using polymerase chain reaction. The products were separated on an 8% polyacrylamide gel and confirmed using Sanger sequencing. The results were evaluated using SPSS 17.0. We found that ATXN2 intermediate-length polyglutamine expansions greater than 24 and 27 repeats were associated with sporadic ALS. Our finding supports the hypothesis that ATXN2 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of ALS.

  3. Diffusion tensor imaging for long-term follow-up of corticospinal tract degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacob, S.; Ehrenreich, H. [Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine, Georg-August-University, Hermann-Rein-Strasse 3, 37075, Goettingen (Germany); Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, Georg-August-University, Goettingen (Germany); Finsterbusch, J.; Frahm, J. [Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Georg-August-University, Goettingen (Germany); Weishaupt, J.H. [Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, Georg-August-University, Goettingen (Germany); Khorram-Sefat, D. [Department of Neuroradiology, Georg-August-University, Goettingen (Germany)

    2003-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a predominantly clinical and electromyographic diagnosis. Conventional MRI reveals atrophy of the motor system, particularly the pyramidal tract, in the advanced stages but does not provide a sensitive measure of disease progression. Three patients with different principal symptoms of ALS, i.e., with predominant involvement of the upper (UMN) or lower (UMN) motor neurons, or bulbar disease, respectively, underwent serial clinical examination including lung function tests, conventional MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). MRI demonstrated changes in of the pyramidal tract without measurable variation on follow-up. The patient with UMN involvement showed remarkable progressive loss of diffusion anisotropy in the pyramidal tract. DTI might be useful, together with clinical follow-up, as an objective morphological marker in therapeutic trials. (orig.)

  4. The Use of Stem Cells to Model Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia: From Basic Research to Regenerative Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedges, Erin C; Mehler, Vera J; Nishimura, Agnes L

    2016-01-01

    In recent years several genes have linked amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) as a spectrum disease; however little is known about what triggers their onset. With the ability to generate patient specific stem cell lines from somatic cells, it is possible to model disease without the need to transfect cells with exogenous DNA. These pluripotent stem cells have opened new avenues for identification of disease phenotypes and their relation to specific molecular pathways. Thus, as never before, compounds with potential applications for regenerative medicine can be specifically tailored in patient derived cultures. In this review, we discuss how patient specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been used to model ALS and FTD and the most recent drug screening targets for these diseases. We also discuss how an iPSC bank would improve the quality of the available cell lines and how it would increase knowledge about the ALS/FTD disease spectrum.

  5. Brain-Specific Cytoskeletal Damage Markers in Cerebrospinal Fluid: Is There a Common Pattern between Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Abdelhak

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Many neurodegenerative disorders share a common pathophysiological pathway involving axonal degeneration despite different etiological triggers. Analysis of cytoskeletal markers such as neurofilaments, protein tau and tubulin in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF may be a useful approach to detect the process of axonal damage and its severity during disease course. In this article, we review the published literature regarding brain-specific CSF markers for cytoskeletal damage in primary progressive multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in order to evaluate their utility as a biomarker for disease progression in conjunction with imaging and histological markers which might also be useful in other neurodegenerative diseases associated with affection of the upper motor neurons. A long-term benefit of such an approach could be facilitating early diagnostic and prognostic tools and assessment of treatment efficacy of disease modifying drugs.

  6. Brain-Specific Cytoskeletal Damage Markers in Cerebrospinal Fluid: Is There a Common Pattern between Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelhak, Ahmed; Junker, Andreas; Brettschneider, Johannes; Kassubek, Jan; Ludolph, Albert C; Otto, Markus; Tumani, Hayrettin

    2015-07-31

    Many neurodegenerative disorders share a common pathophysiological pathway involving axonal degeneration despite different etiological triggers. Analysis of cytoskeletal markers such as neurofilaments, protein tau and tubulin in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be a useful approach to detect the process of axonal damage and its severity during disease course. In this article, we review the published literature regarding brain-specific CSF markers for cytoskeletal damage in primary progressive multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in order to evaluate their utility as a biomarker for disease progression in conjunction with imaging and histological markers which might also be useful in other neurodegenerative diseases associated with affection of the upper motor neurons. A long-term benefit of such an approach could be facilitating early diagnostic and prognostic tools and assessment of treatment efficacy of disease modifying drugs.

  7. Epstein-Barr virus antibodies in serum and cerebrospinal fluid from multiple sclerosis, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nociti, V; Frisullo, G; Marti, A; Luigetti, M; Iorio, R; Patanella, A K; Bianco, A; Tonali, P A; Grillo, R L; Sabatelli, M; Batocchi, A P

    2010-08-25

    Elevated anti-Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibody levels are present in serum of Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients but literature lacks of studies comparing anti-EBV antibody levels between MS and other neurological diseases. We evaluate anti-VCA IgG and IgM, anti-EBNA1 IgG, anti-Cytomegalovirus IgG and IgM titres in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 267 MS, 50 Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) and 88 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients. We found increased titres of anti-EBV-IgG in serum and CSF of MS subjects as compared to CIDP and ALS patients thus providing additional evidence for a possible involvement of EBV in MS.

  8. Conceptualizing the relations between metacognition and executive functions in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS patients’ caregivers. A preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania La Foresta

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Executive Functions are goal-directed neurocognitive processes that allow the management of cognition and behavior. Executive Functions are essential to allow people to set goals, self-monitor, inhibit inappropriate responses, and generally engage in well-planned, flexible, future-oriented behavior. Metacognitive processes, in close alliance with executive functions, are viewed as integral components of awareness and emotional regulation. The influence of metacognition on planning, monitoring and mental flexibility has not been investigated. The aim of this pilot study was to examine the relationship between metacognition and executive functions in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patient's caregivers. Twenty-two caregivers were evaluated using the following instruments: Metacognition Questionnaire-30 and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Data analysis was performed using SPSS for Windows applying correlational analysis (Spearman’s Rho. We founded that total score of metacognition is positive correlated with number of perseverative errors made in Wisconsin (0.75 p<.001. In particular, need to control thoughts is positive correlated with number of perseverative errors (0.78 p<.001. Results could suggest the importance to explore the relationship between metacognitive processes and executive functions in order to cope disease’s changes and optimize the relative daily living management. Providing care to a Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis relative may cause feelings of burden, psychological distress, anxiety or depression, in particular in case of dysfunctional metacognitions. So, our future researches will be oriented to explore the relationship between psycopatological symptoms and metacognition and executive functions in ALS’caregivers in order to contain caregiver emotional burden.

  9. [Sample size for the estimation of F-wave parameters in healthy volunteers and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, J; Cui, L Y; Liu, M S; Guan, Y Z; Ding, Q Y; Du, H; Li, B H; Wu, S

    2017-03-07

    Objective: The study aimed to investigate whether sample sizes of F-wave study differed according to different nerves, different F-wave parameters, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS) patients or healthy subjects. Methods: The F-waves in the median, ulnar, tibial, and deep peroneal nerves of 55 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and 52 healthy subjects were studied to assess the effect of sample size on the accuracy of measurements of the following F-wave parameters: F-wave minimum latency, maximum latency, mean latency, F-wave persistence, F-wave chronodispersion, mean and maximum F-wave amplitude. A hundred stimuli were used in F-wave study. The values obtained from 100 stimuli were considered "true" values and were compared with the corresponding values from smaller samples of 20, 40, 60 and 80 stimuli. F-wave parameters obtained from different sample sizes were compared between the ALS patients and the normal controls. Results: Significant differences were not detected with samples above 60 stimuli for chronodispersion in all four nerves in normal participants. Significant differences were not detected with samples above 40 stimuli for maximum F-wave amplitude in median, ulnar and tibial nerves in normal participants. When comparing ALS patients and normal controls, significant differences were detected in the maximum (median nerve, Z=-3.560, Pwave latency (median nerve, Z=-3.243, Pwave chronodispersion (Z=-3.152, Pwave persistence in the median (Z=6.139, Pwave amplitude in the tibial nerve(t=2.981, Pwave amplitude in the ulnar (Z=-2.134, Pwave persistence in tibial nerve (Z=2.119, Pwave amplitude in ulnar (Z=-2.552, Pwave amplitude in peroneal nerve (t=2.693, Pwave study differed according to different nerves, different F-wave parameters , and ALS patients or healthy subjects.

  10. Association between extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields occupations and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a meta-analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongjie Zhou

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To estimate the relationship between exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS by a meta-analysis. METHODS: Through searching PubMed databases (or manual searching up to April 2012 using the following keywords: "occupational exposure", "electromagnetic fields" and "amyotrophic lateral sclerosis" or "motor neuron disease", seventeen studies were identified as eligible for this meta-analysis. The associations between ELF-EMF exposure and the ALS risk were estimated based on study design (case-control or cohort study, and ELF-EMF exposure level assessment (job title or job-exposure matrix. The heterogeneity across the studies was tested, as was publication bias. RESULTS: Occupational exposure to ELF-EMF was significantly associated with increased risk of ALS in pooled studies (RR = 1.29, 95%CI = 1.02-1.62, and case-control studies (OR = 1.39, 95%CI = 1.05-1.84, but not cohort studies (RR = 1.16, 95% CI = 0.80-1.69. In sub-analyses, similar significant associations were found when the exposure level was defined by the job title, but not the job-exposure matrix. In addition, significant associations between occupational exposure to ELF-EMF and increased risk of ALS were found in studies of subjects who were clinically diagnosed but not those based on the death certificate. Moderate heterogeneity was observed in all analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest a slight but significant ALS risk increase among those with job titles related to relatively high levels of ELF-EMF exposure. Since the magnitude of estimated RR was relatively small, we cannot deny the possibility of potential biases at work. Electrical shocks or other unidentified variables associated with electrical occupations, rather than magnetic-field exposure, may be responsible for the observed associations with ALS.

  11. Oxidative stress in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis%氧化应激与肌萎缩侧索硬化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    程济玲; 丰宏林

    2016-01-01

    肌萎缩侧索硬化(amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,ALS)是一种神经组织退化紊乱的疾病,以运动神经元受累为特点,通常在症状发现后2~3年死亡.ALS的明确病因尚不清楚,疾病的发展过程也十分多变且复杂.大量证据表明,氧化应激是该疾病发生的一个重要机制.约20%的家族型ALS是由超氧化物歧化酶1(superoxide dismutase 1,SOD1)引起的,同时,在ALS患者的脊髓及脑脊液中均发现氧化应激的标记物升高.本文简要介绍了ALS发病机制中氧化应激的重要作用及氧化应激的主要来源.%Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease of neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons and the patients are usually dead within 2-3 years of symptom onset.The causes of ALS are not completely understood yet,while the disease progression is diverse and complex.It is believed that multiple mechanisms underlie the disease progression and oxidative stress is considered to be one of the important factors.About 20 % of familial ALS cases are linked to mutation in the gene encoding the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD 1).It is found that the markers of oxidative damage are elevated in the spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid of ALS patients.In this review,we summarize the importance and the source of oxidative stress in ALS pathogenesis.

  12. Motor neuron-astrocyte interactions and levels of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, S A; Roedica, J; Nagy, D; Hallewell, R A; Alderson, K; Marklund, S L; Kuby, J; Kushner, P D

    1995-02-01

    Copper, zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is involved in neutralizing free radicals within cells, and mutant forms of the enzyme have recently been shown to occur in about 20% of familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To explore the mechanism of SOD1 involvement in ALS, we have analyzed SOD1 in sporadic ALS using activity assays and immunocyto-chemistry. Analyses of SOD1 activity in washed erythrocytes revealed no difference between 13 ALS cases and 4 controls. Spinal cord sections from 6 ALS cases, 1 primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) case, and 1 control case were stained using three different antibodies to SOD1. Since astrocytes are closely associated with motor neurons, antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin were used as independent monitors of astrocytes. The principal findings from localizations are: (1) normal motor neurons do not have higher levels of SOD1 than other neurons, (2) there was no detectable difference in SOD1 levels in motor neurons of ALS cases and controls, (3) ALS spinal cord displayed a reduction or absence of SOD1-reactive astrocytes compared to the control and PLS cases, and (4) examination of GFAP-stained sections and morphometry showed that the normal close association between astrocytic processes and motor neuron somata was decreased in the ALS and PLS cases. These results indicate the disease mechanism in sporadic ALS may involve alterations in spinal cord astrocytes.

  13. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor increases extracellular glutamic acid uptake and suppresses free radicals in an experimental model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shengzhe Zheng; Lei Song; Lei Lu; Lina Lin; Yao Wang; Qun Liu

    2011-01-01

    Excitatory amino acid toxicity and free radical damage play important roles in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) protects nerve cells exposed to high-concentrations of glutamic acid, suggesting positive effects in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.The present study induced in vitro motor neuron injury using glutamic acid excitotoxicity, and the biochemical effects of G-CSF on glutamic acid concentration were determined.In addition, the effects of G-CSF on superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase activity in motor neurons, and malondialdehyde and nitric oxide contents were analyzed.Immunohistochemistry was performed to measure neuronal survival.Results revealed that G-CSF significantly suppressed free radical activity, inhibited excitotoxicity, and reduced apoptosis and loss of motor neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord.

  14. The possible meaning of fractional anisotropy measurement of the cervical spinal cord in correct diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budrewicz, Slawomir; Szewczyk, Pawel; Bladowska, Joanna; Podemski, Ryszard; Koziorowska-Gawron, Ewa; Ejma, Maria; Słotwiński, Krzysztof; Koszewicz, Magdalena

    2016-03-01

    Diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is based on clinical criteria and electrophysiological tests (electromyography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation). In the search for ALS biomarkers, the role of imaging procedures is currently emphasized, especially modern MR techniques. MR procedures were performed on 15 ALS patients and a sex- and age-matched control group. The MR examinations were performed with a 1.5-T MR unit, and the protocol consisted of sagittal T1-weighed images, sagittal and axial T2-weighed images, and sagittal T2-weighed FAT SAT images followed by an axial diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) sequence of the cervical spinal cord. FA values in individual segments of the cervical spinal cord were decreased in the ALS group in comparison with the control group. After comparing FA values for anterior, posterior, and lateral corticospinal columns, the greatest difference was observed between the C2 and C5 segments. Spinal cord assessment with the use of FA measurements allows for confirmation of the motor pathways lesion in ALS patients. The method, together with clinical criteria, could be helpful in ALS diagnosis, assessment of clinical course, or even the effects of new drugs. The results also confirmed the theory of the generalized character of ALS.

  15. Longitudinal tracking of triple labeled umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stromal cells in a mouse model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Bruna Violatto

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The translational potential of cell therapy to humans requires a deep knowledge of the interaction between transplanted cells and host tissues. In this study, we evaluate the behavior of umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (UC-MSCs, labeled with fluorescent nanoparticles, transplanted in healthy or early symptomatic transgenic SOD1G93A mice (a murine model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The double labeling of cells with nanoparticles and Hoechst-33258 enabled their tracking for a long time in both cells and tissues. Whole-body distribution of UC-MSCs was performed by in-vivo and ex-vivo analyses 1, 7, 21 days after single intravenous or intracerebroventricular administration. By intravenous administration cells were sequestered by the lungs and rapidly cleared by the liver. No difference in biodistribution was found among the two groups. On the other hand, UC-MSCs transplanted in lateral ventricles remained on the choroid plexus for the whole duration of the study even if decreasing in number. Few cells were found in the spinal cord of SOD1G93A mice exclusively. No migration in brain parenchyma was observed. These results suggest that the direct implantation in brain ventricles allows a prolonged permanence of cells close to the damaged areas and makes this method of tracking reliable for future studies of efficacy.

  16. Targeting Extracellular Cyclophilin A Reduces Neuroinflammation and Extends Survival in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasetto, Laura; Pozzi, Silvia; Castelnovo, Mariachiara; Basso, Manuela; Estevez, Alvaro G; Fumagalli, Stefano; De Simoni, Maria Grazia; Castellaneta, Valeria; Bigini, Paolo; Restelli, Elena; Chiesa, Roberto; Trojsi, Francesca; Monsurrò, Maria Rosaria; Callea, Leonardo; Malešević, Miroslav; Fischer, Gunter; Freschi, Mattia; Tortarolo, Massimo; Bendotti, Caterina; Bonetto, Valentina

    2017-02-08

    Neuroinflammation is a major hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is currently untreatable. Several anti-inflammatory compounds have been evaluated in patients and in animal models of ALS, but have been proven disappointing in part because effective targets have not yet been identified. Cyclophilin A, also known as peptidylprolyl cis-/trans-isomerase A (PPIA), as a foldase is beneficial intracellularly, but extracellularly has detrimental functions. We found that extracellular PPIA is a mediator of neuroinflammation in ALS. It is a major inducer of matrix metalloproteinase 9 and is selectively toxic for motor neurons. High levels of PPIA were found in the CSF of SOD1(G93A) mice and rats and sporadic ALS patients, suggesting that our findings may be relevant for familial and sporadic cases. A specific inhibitor of extracellular PPIA, MM218, given at symptom onset, rescued motor neurons and extended survival in the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of familial ALS by 11 d. The treatment resulted in the polarization of glia toward a prohealing phenotype associated with reduced NF-κB activation, proinflammatory markers, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and insoluble phosphorylated TDP-43. Our results indicates that extracellular PPIA is a promising druggable target for ALS and support further studies to develop a therapy to arrest or slow the progression of the disease in patients.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We provide evidence that extracellular cyclophilin A, also known as peptidylprolyl cis-/trans-isomerase A (PPIA), is a mediator of the neuroinflammatory reaction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and is toxic for motor neurons. Supporting this, a specific extracellular PPIA inhibitor reduced neuroinflammation, rescued motor neurons, and extended survival in the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of familial ALS. Our findings suggest selective pharmacological inhibition of extracellular PPIA as a novel therapeutic strategy, not only for SOD1-linked ALS, but possibly also

  17. The influence of psychological state and motivation on Brain–computer interface performance in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a longitudinal study

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    The current study investigated the effects of psychological well-being measured as quality of life, depression, current mood and motivation on brain-computer interface (BCI) performance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Six participants with most advanced ALS were trained either for a block of 20 sessions with a BCI based on sensorimotor rhythms (SMR) or a block of 10 sessions with a BCI based on event-related potentials (ERP), or both. Questionnaires assessed quality of life and severi...

  18. Increased aluminum content in the spinal cord of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinsonism-dementia of Guam and in the Kii Peninsula of Japan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wakayama, Ikuro; Yoshida, Sohei [Wakayama Medical Coll. (Japan); Sasajima, Kazuhisa; Takada, Jitsuya; Yoshida, Koichi

    1994-07-01

    Aluminum content in the lumbar spinal cord of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS) and Parkinsonism-dementia(PD) in the Kii Peninsula of Japan and in the island of Guam was measured using a particle induced X-ray emission analysis. We demonstrated that aluminum content was increased in the spinal cord of patients with ALS in two foci of the western Pacific, indicating aluminum to be a important factor in the process of spinal motor neuron degeneration. (author).

  19. Wnt Signaling Alteration in the Spinal Cord of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Transgenic Mice: Special Focus on Frizzled-5 Cellular Expression Pattern.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos González-Fernández

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive paralysis due to degeneration of motor neurons by unknown causes. Recent evidence shows that Wnt signaling is involved in neurodegenerative processes, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. However, to date, little is known regarding the expression of Wnt signaling components in this fatal condition. In the present study we used transgenic SOD1G93A mice to evaluate the expression of several Wnt signaling components, with special focus on Frizzled-5 cellular expression alteration along disease progression.Based on previous studies demonstrating the expression of Wnts and their transcriptional regulation during Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis development, we have analyzed the mRNA expression of several Wnt signaling components in the spinal cord of SOD1G93A transgenic mice at different stages of the disease by using real time quantitative PCR analysis. Strikingly, one of the molecules that seemed not to be altered at mRNA level, Frizzled-5, showed a clear up-regulation at late stages in neurons, as evidenced by immunofluorescence assays. Moreover, increased Frizzled-5 appears to correlate with a decrease in NeuN signal in these cells, suggesting a correlation between neuronal affectation and the increased expression of this receptor.Our data suggest the involvement of Wnt signaling pathways in the pathophysiology of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and, more specifically, the implication of Frizzled-5 receptor in the response of neuronal cells against neurodegeneration. Nevertheless, further experimental studies are needed to shed light on the specific role of Frizzled-5 and the emerging but increasing Wnt family of proteins research field as a potential target for this neuropathology.

  20. The anti-inflammatory peptide stearyl-norleucine-VIP delays disease onset and extends survival in a rat model of inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goursaud, Stéphanie; Schäfer, Sabrina; Dumont, Amélie O; Vergouts, Maxime; Gallo, Alessandro; Desmet, Nathalie; Deumens, Ronald; Hermans, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has potent immune modulatory actions that may influence the course of neurodegenerative disorders associated with chronic inflammation. Here, we show the therapeutic benefits of a modified peptide agonist stearyl-norleucine-VIP (SNV) in a transgenic rat model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (mutated superoxide dismutase 1, hSOD1(G93A)). When administered by systemic every-other-day intraperitoneal injections during a period of 80 days before disease, SNV delayed the onset of motor dysfunction by no less than three weeks, while survival was extended by nearly two months. SNV-treated rats showed reduced astro- and microgliosis in the lumbar ventral spinal cord and a significant degree of motor neuron preservation. Throughout the treatment, SNV promoted the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 as well as neurotrophic factors commonly considered as beneficial in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis management (glial derived neuroptrophic factor, insulin like growth factor, brain derived neurotrophic factor). The peptide nearly totally suppressed the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α and repressed the production of the pro-inflammatory mediators interleukin-1β, nitric oxide and of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B. Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-α likely accounted for the observed down-regulation of nuclear factor kappa B that modulates the transcription of genes specifically involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sod1 and the glutamate transporter slc1a2). In line with this, levels of human superoxide dismutase 1 mRNA and protein were decreased by SNV treatment, while the expression and activity of the glutamate transporter-1 was promoted. Considering the large diversity of influences of this peptide on both clinical features of the disease and associated biochemical markers, we propose that SNV or related peptides may constitute promising candidates for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  1. Diagnostic pathway to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): the significance of Babinski's sign in a unique patient and the necessity for a multidisciplinary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulthuis, Vincent; Vlooswijk, Marielle; van Santbrink, Henk; Schijns, Olaf

    2013-01-09

    In this case report, we present a patient with rare diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this patient, four different neurological disorders were diagnosed in a short-time period of 8 months. The first three diagnoses, chronic low back and leg pain, a left frontal gemistocytic astrocytoma WHO grade 2 and suspected Lyme's disease, could not fully explain the signs of physical examination. Finally, the diagnosis of ALS could reduce these signs to the same denominator.

  2. Modification of Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1) Properties by a GFP Tag – Implications for Research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

    OpenAIRE

    Stevens, James C.; Ruth Chia; Hendriks, William T.; Virginie Bros-Facer; Jan van Minnen; Joanne E Martin; Jackson, Graham S.; Linda Greensmith; Giampietro Schiavo; Elizabeth M. C. Fisher

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Since the discovery that mutations in the enzyme SOD1 are causative in human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), many strategies have been employed to elucidate the toxic properties of this ubiquitously expressed mutant protein, including the generation of GFP-SOD1 chimaeric proteins for studies in protein localization by direct visualization using fluorescence microscopy. However, little is known about the biochemical and physical properties of these chimaeric proteins, and whet...

  3. Automobile or other conveyance and adaptive equipment certificate of eligibility for veterans or members of the armed forces with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Interim final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-02-25

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its adjudication regulation regarding certificates of eligibility for financial assistance in the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance and adaptive equipment. The amendment authorizes automatic issuance of a certificate of eligibility for financial assistance in the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance and adaptive equipment to all veterans with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty with ALS.

  4. Eye-tracking in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A longitudinal study of saccadic and cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proudfoot, Malcolm; Menke, Ricarda A L; Sharma, Rakesh; Berna, Claire M; Hicks, Stephen L; Kennard, Christopher; Talbot, Kevin; Turner, Martin R

    2015-01-01

    A relative preservation of eye movements is notable in ALS, but saccadic functions have not been studied longitudinally. ALS overlaps with FTD, typically involving executive dysfunction, and eye-tracking offers additional potential for the assessment of extramotor pathology where writing and speaking are both impaired. Eye-tracking measures (including anti-saccade, trail-making and visual search tasks) were assessed at six-monthly intervals for up to two years in a group of ALS (n = 61) and primary lateral sclerosis (n = 7) patients, compared to healthy age-matched controls (n = 39) assessed on a single occasion. Task performance was explored speculatively in relation to resting-state functional MRI (R-FMRI) network connectivity. Results showed that ALS patients were impaired on executive and visual search tasks despite normal basic saccadic function, and impairments in the PLS patients were unexpectedly often more severe. No significant progression was detected longitudinally in either group. No changes in R-FMRI network connectivity were identified in relation to patient performance. In conclusion, eye-tracking offers an objective means to assess extramotor cerebral involvement in ALS. The relative resistance of pure oculomotor function is confirmed, and higher-level executive impairments do not follow the same rate of decline as physical disability. PLS patients may have more cortical dysfunction than has been previously appreciated.

  5. A genetic screen identifies Tor as an interactor of VAPB in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deivasigamani, Senthilkumar; Verma, Hemant Kumar; Ueda, Ryu; Ratnaparkhi, Anuradha; Ratnaparkhi, Girish S

    2014-10-31

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by selective death of motor neurons. In 5-10% of the familial cases, the disease is inherited because of mutations. One such mutation, P56S, was identified in human VAPB that behaves in a dominant negative manner, sequestering wild type protein into cytoplasmic inclusions. We have conducted a reverse genetic screen to identify interactors of Drosophila VAPB. We screened 2635 genes and identified 103 interactors, of which 45 were enhancers and 58 were suppressors of VAPB function. Interestingly, the screen identified known ALS loci - TBPH, alsin2 and SOD1. Also identified were genes involved in cellular energetics and homeostasis which were used to build a gene regulatory network of VAPB modifiers. One key modifier identified was Tor, whose knockdown reversed the large bouton phenotype associated with VAP(P58S) expression in neurons. A similar reversal was seen by over-expressing Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (Tsc1,2) that negatively regulates TOR signaling as also by reduction of S6K activity. In comparison, the small bouton phenotype associated with VAP(wt) expression was reversed with Tsc1 knock down as well as S6K-CA expression. Tor therefore interacts with both VAP(wt) and VAP(P58S), but in a contrasting manner. Reversal of VAP(P58S) bouton phenotypes in larvae fed with the TOR inhibitor Rapamycin suggests upregulation of TOR signaling in response to VAP(P58S) expression. The VAPB network and further mechanistic understanding of interactions with key pathways, such as the TOR cassette, will pave the way for a better understanding of the mechanisms of onset and progression of motor neuron disease.

  6. A genetic screen identifies Tor as an interactor of VAPB in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senthilkumar Deivasigamani

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by selective death of motor neurons. In 5–10% of the familial cases, the disease is inherited because of mutations. One such mutation, P56S, was identified in human VAPB that behaves in a dominant negative manner, sequestering wild type protein into cytoplasmic inclusions. We have conducted a reverse genetic screen to identify interactors of Drosophila VAPB. We screened 2635 genes and identified 103 interactors, of which 45 were enhancers and 58 were suppressors of VAPB function. Interestingly, the screen identified known ALS loci – TBPH, alsin2 and SOD1. Also identified were genes involved in cellular energetics and homeostasis which were used to build a gene regulatory network of VAPB modifiers. One key modifier identified was Tor, whose knockdown reversed the large bouton phenotype associated with VAP(P58S expression in neurons. A similar reversal was seen by over-expressing Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (Tsc1,2 that negatively regulates TOR signaling as also by reduction of S6K activity. In comparison, the small bouton phenotype associated with VAP(wt expression was reversed with Tsc1 knock down as well as S6K-CA expression. Tor therefore interacts with both VAP(wt and VAP(P58S, but in a contrasting manner. Reversal of VAP(P58S bouton phenotypes in larvae fed with the TOR inhibitor Rapamycin suggests upregulation of TOR signaling in response to VAP(P58S expression. The VAPB network and further mechanistic understanding of interactions with key pathways, such as the TOR cassette, will pave the way for a better understanding of the mechanisms of onset and progression of motor neuron disease.

  7. Exposure to pesticides and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a population-based case-control study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Bonvicini

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A few epidemiologic studies have suggested an association of agricultural work and pesticides exposure with a severe degenerative disease of the motor neurons, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, though conflicting results have also been provided. We investigated through a populationbased case-control study the possible relation between overall occupational exposure to pesticides and ALS risk in the northern Italy municipality of Reggio Emilia. By administering a questionnaire, we investigated occupational history and leisure-time habits of the 41 ALS patients diagnosed in the 1995-2006 period, and of 82 age- and sex-matched randomly sampled population controls. More cases than controls were found to have been exposed to pesticides for at least six months (31.7% vs 13.4%, respectively, in all cases within the occupational environment. In a conditional logistic regression model, we found an excess ALS risk associated with exposure to pesticides, with a relative risk of 3.6 (95% confidence interval 1.2-10.5. Such association persisted after inclusion in the statistical analysis of potential confounders. Despite the limited statistical stability of the risk estimates, these results appear to indicate that occupational exposure to pesticides is a risk factor for ALS, suggesting the need to further investigate this issue.

  8. Identifying the primary site of pathogenesis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – vulnerability of lower motor neurons to proximal excitotoxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine A. Blizzard

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available There is a desperate need for targeted therapeutic interventions that slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. ALS is a disorder with heterogeneous onset, which then leads to common final pathways involving multiple neuronal compartments that span both the central and peripheral nervous system. It is believed that excitotoxic mechanisms might play an important role in motor neuron death in ALS. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which excitotoxicity might lead to the neuromuscular junction degeneration that characterizes ALS, or about the site at which this excitotoxic cascade is initiated. Using a novel compartmentalised model of site-specific excitotoxin exposure in lower motor neurons in vitro, we found that spinal motor neurons are vulnerable to somatodendritic, but not axonal, excitotoxin exposure. Thus, we developed a model of somatodendritic excitotoxicity in vivo using osmotic mini pumps in Thy-1-YFP mice. We demonstrated that in vivo cell body excitotoxin exposure leads to significant motor neuron death and neuromuscular junction (NMJ retraction. Using confocal real-time live imaging of the gastrocnemius muscle, we found that NMJ remodelling preceded excitotoxin-induced NMJ degeneration. These findings suggest that excitotoxicity in the spinal cord of individuals with ALS might result in a die-forward mechanism of motor neuron death from the cell body outward, leading to initial distal plasticity, followed by subsequent pathology and degeneration.

  9. Motor unit number estimation as a complementary test to routine electromyography in the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawel, Malgorzata; Zalewska, Ewa; Lipowska, Marta; Kostera-Pruszczyk, Anna; Szmidt-Salkowska, Elzbieta; Kaminska, Anna

    2016-02-01

    Electromyographic (EMG) abnormalities that reveal denervation and reinnervation caused by lower motor neuron degeneration do not reflect the number of motor units that determines muscle strength. Consequently, motor unit activity potential (MUAP) parameters do not reflect muscle dysfunction. The aim of the study was to compare the value of motor unit number estimation (MUNE) and MUAP parameters as indicators of clinical muscle dysfunction in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and to analyze the role of MUNE as a supplement to the EMG criteria for the diagnosis of ALS. In 25 patients with ALS, MUNE by the multipoint incremental method in the abductor digiti minimi (ADM) and quantitative EMG in the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) were obtained. The Medical Research Council (MRC) scale was used to evaluate clinical muscle dysfunction. A strong correlation between the number of motor units evaluated by MUNE and ADM clinical function by the MRC scale was found (P<0.001). An increased value of surface-detected single motor action potential was associated with a decreased MRC score for ADM (P<0.1). No relation was found between MUAP parameters in FDI and MRC scores. Our data support the value of the MUNE method for the detection of motor unit loss in ALS, and it could be postulated that MUNE studies may be considered complementary tests for ALS in a future revision of ALS criteria.

  10. Uncinate fasciculus microstructure and verbal episodic memory in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a diffusion tensor imaging and neuropsychological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christidi, Foteini; Zalonis, Ioannis; Kyriazi, Stavroula; Rentzos, Michalis; Karavasilis, Efstratios; Wilde, Elisabeth A; Evdokimidis, Ioannis

    2014-12-01

    The present study evaluates the integrity of uncinate fasciculus (UF) and the association between UF microstructure and verbal episodic memory (as one of the cognitive functions linked to UF) in non-demented patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We studied 21 patients with ALS and 11 healthy, demographically-comparable volunteers. Fractional anisotropy, apparent diffusion coefficient, axial and radial diffusivity were the DTI metrics examined. Episodic memory was evaluated with Babcock Story Recall Test and Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) for patients; measures of immediate and delayed recall and retention for both tests and sum of words recalled through five learning trials for RAVLT were considered. Patients with ALS showed significant bilateral reduction of axial diffusivity in the UF as compared to controls. Furthermore, there were several significant relations between various DTI metrics (mostly in left hemisphere) and memory measures (specifically for the RAVLT). UF microstructural changes may contribute to ALS-related memory impairment, with word-list learning performance relying more upon the integrity of frontal and temporal connections than memory components associated with story recall.

  11. Gemals, a new drug candidate, extends lifespan and improves electromyographic parameters in a rat model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicaise, Charles; Coupier, Jerome; Dabadie, Marie-Pierre; De Decker, Robert; Mangas, Arturo; Bodet, Dominique; Poncelet, Luc; Geffard, Michel; Pochet, Roland

    2008-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease involving selective and progressive degeneration and death of motor neurons. ALS is a multifactorial disease in which oxidative stress, glutamate excitotoxicity, intracellular aggregates, neurofilamentous disorganization, zinc excitotoxicity, mitochondrial damage, neuroinflammation, abnormalities in growth factors and apoptosis play a role. Any therapeutic approach to delay or stop the evolution of ALS should therefore ideally target these multiple pathways leading to motor neuron death. We have developed a combination therapy (Gemals) composed of functional polypeptides (fatty acids, free radical scavengers and amino acids linked to poly-L-lysine), chosen according to their known potentiality for regeneration or protection of neuronal components such as myelin, axon transport and mitochondria. We found that Gemals significantly extended lifespan and improved electromyographic parameters in a SOD1(G93A) rat model. The use of two drug concentrations indicated a possible dose dependence. These initial findings open the way to further investigation necessary to validate this new drug as a candidate for ALS treatment.

  12. Properties of slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibres in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkin, Julie D; Scott, Rachel L; West, Jan M; Lopes, Elizabeth; Quah, Alvin K J; Cheema, Surindar S

    2005-05-01

    This investigation was undertaken to determine if there are altered histological, pathological and contractile properties in presymptomatic or endstage diseased muscle fibres from representative slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles of SOD1 G93A mice in comparison to wildtype mice. In presymptomatic SOD1 G93A mice, there was no detectable peripheral dysfunction, providing evidence that muscle pathology is secondary to motor neuronal dysfunction. At disease endstage however, single muscle fibre contractile analysis demonstrated that fast-twitch muscle fibres and neuromuscular junctions are preferentially affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-induced denervation, being unable to produce the same levels of force when activated by calcium as muscle fibres from their age-matched controls. The levels of transgenic SOD1 expression, aggregation state and activity were also examined in these muscles but there no was no preference for muscle fibre type. Hence, there is no simple correlation between SOD1 protein expression/activity, and muscle fibre type vulnerability in SOD1 G93A mice.

  13. Theory of Mind and Its Neuropsychological and Quality of Life Correlates in the Early Stages of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trojsi, Francesca; Siciliano, Mattia; Russo, Antonio; Passaniti, Carla; Femiano, Cinzia; Ferrantino, Teresa; De Liguoro, Stefania; Lavorgna, Luigi; Monsurrò, Maria R.; Tedeschi, Gioacchino; Santangelo, Gabriella

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to explore the potential impairment of Theory of Mind (ToM; i.e., the ability to represent cognitive and affective mental states to both self and others) and the clinical, neuropsychological and Quality of Life (QoL) correlates of these cognitive abnormalities in the early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a multisystem neurodegenerative disease recently recognized as a part of the same clinical and pathological spectrum of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Twenty-two consecutive, cognitively intact ALS patients, and 15 healthy controls, underwent assessment of executive, verbal comprehension, visuospatial, behavioral, and QoL measures, as well as of the ToM abilities by Emotion Attribution Task (EAT), Advanced Test of ToM (ATT), and Eyes Task (ET). ALS patients obtained significantly lower scores than controls on EAT and ET. No significant difference was found between the two groups on ATT. As regard to type of ALS onset, patients with bulbar onset performed worse than those with spinal onset on ET. Correlation analysis revealed that EAT and ET were positively correlated with education, memory prose, visuo-spatial performances, and “Mental Health” scores among QoL items. Our results suggest that not only “cognitive” but also “affective” subcomponents of ToM may be impaired in the early stages of ALS, with significant linkage to disease onset and dysfunctions of less executively demanding conditions, causing potential impact on patients’ “Mental Health.” PMID:28018269

  14. Pu-Erh Tea Extract Induces the Degradation of FET Family Proteins Involved in the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available FET family proteins consist of fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS, Ewing's sarcoma (EWS, and TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 (TAF15. Mutations in the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43, and FET family proteins are associated with the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disease. There is currently no cure for this disease and few effective treatments are available. Epidemiological studies indicate that the consumption of tea is associated with a reduced risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases. The results of this study revealed that components of a pu-erh tea extract (PTE interacted with FET family proteins but not with TDP-43 or SOD1. PTE induced the degradation of FET family proteins but had no effects on TDP-43 or SOD1. The most frequently occurring ALS-linked FUS/TLS mutant protein, R521C FUS/TLS, was also degraded in the presence of PTE. Furthermore, ammonium chloride, a lysosome inhibitor, but not lactacystin, a proteasome inhibitor, reduced the degradation of FUS/TLS protein by PTE. PTE significantly reduced the incorporation of R521C FUS/TLS into stress granules under stress conditions. These findings suggest that PTE may have beneficial health effects, including preventing the onset of FET family protein-associated neurodegenerative diseases and delaying the progression of ALS by inhibiting the cytoplasmic aggregation of FET family proteins.

  15. [Correlation between corticospinal tract degeneration through magnetic resonance imaging, and functional scale (ALSFRS) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Larissa Nery; Silva, Alexandre Vallota da; Carrete, Henrique; Favero, Francis Meire; Fontes, Sissy Veloso; Moneiro, Marcelo Tavares; Oliveira, Acary Souza Bulle de

    2007-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the corticospinal tract. ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS) is a questionnaire that quantifies motor deficits, while diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) evaluates the integrity of fibers through the fractional anisotropy (FA). In the present study, seven ALS patients were evaluated by ALSFRS and immediately submitted to DTI, getting FA values in the following regions: cerebral peduncle (PC), internal capsule (CI) and the white matter under the primary motor cortex (M1), secondary motor cortex (M2) and somesthetic cortex (SI). A control group was constituted by twelve healthy individuals. FA values in patients were significantly lower when compared with controls, with a tendency to higher reductions in the right hemisphere and more inferior regions. Interestingly, FA values were reduced in somesthetic area. No correlation was observed between symptoms duration and FA values. Despite the correlation observed between ALSFRS scores and degeneration in PC and CI, our results suggest that this subjective scale is not a good parameter for the evaluation of the structural damage in encephalic portions of the corticospinal tract.

  16. Loss of oxidation-reduction specificity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-associated CuZnSOD mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cafe, C; Testa, M P; Sheldon, P J; French, W P; Ellerby, L M; Bredesen, D E

    2000-10-01

    Both transgenic mouse and cell culture models of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) support a gain-of-function effect for the mutations in copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) associated with FALS, but the nature of the function gained remains incompletely characterized. We previously reported an enhanced peroxidase activity for FALS-associated CuZnSOD mutants. Because one of the targets of such activity is CuZnSOD itself, we examined peroxide-mediated inactivation of wild-type and mutant CuZnSODs, and found that the mutants are more readily inactivated. Inactivation of the mutants was associated with fragmentation, which did not occur in the wild-type enzyme under these conditions. Furthermore, the reduction of the FALS-associated mutants by ascorbate was enhanced markedly when compared to the wild-type enzyme. The visible spectra of the mutants showed a consistent blue shift of the peak at 680 nm in the wild-type enzyme, suggesting an alteration in copper-site geometry. These results extend previous studies demonstrating enhanced peroxidase activity in the mutants, and suggest that the toxic function that leads to motor neuron degeneration may result from a loss of specificity of the redox reactions catalyzed by CuZnSOD.

  17. Androgens affect muscle, motor neuron, and survival in a mouse model of SOD1-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Tanya; Polanco, Maria J; Scaramuzzino, Chiara; Rocchi, Anna; Milioto, Carmelo; Emionite, Laura; Ognio, Emanuela; Sambataro, Fabio; Galbiati, Mariarita; Poletti, Angelo; Pennuto, Maria

    2014-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons and skeletal muscle atrophy. Epidemiologic and experimental evidence suggest the involvement of androgens in ALS pathogenesis, but the mechanism through which androgens modify the ALS phenotype is unknown. Here, we show that androgen ablation by surgical castration extends survival and disease duration of a transgenic mouse model of ALS expressing mutant human SOD1 (hSOD1-G93A). Furthermore, long-term treatment of orchiectomized hSOD1-G93A mice with nandrolone decanoate (ND), an anabolic androgenic steroid, worsened disease manifestations. ND treatment induced muscle fiber hypertrophy but caused motor neuron death. ND negatively affected survival, thereby dissociating skeletal muscle pathology from life span in this ALS mouse model. Interestingly, orchiectomy decreased androgen receptor levels in the spinal cord and muscle, whereas ND treatment had the opposite effect. Notably, stimulation with ND promoted the recruitment of endogenous androgen receptor into biochemical complexes that were insoluble in sodium dodecyl sulfate, a finding consistent with protein aggregation. Overall, our results shed light on the role of androgens as modifiers of ALS pathogenesis via dysregulation of androgen receptor homeostasis.

  18. Theory of Mind and its neuropsychological and Quality of Life correlates in the early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Trojsi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to explore the potential impairment of Theory of Mind (ToM (i.e., the ability to represent cognitive and affective mental states to both self and others and the clinical, neuropsychological and Quality of Life (QoL correlates of these cognitive abnormalities in the early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a multisystem neurodegenerative disease recently recognized as a part of the same clinical and pathological spectrum of frontotemporal lobar degeneration.Twenty-two consecutive, cognitively intact ALS patients, and 15 healthy controls, underwent assessment of executive, verbal comprehension, visuospatial, behavioural and QoL measures, as well as of the ToM abilities by Emotion Attribution Task (EAT, Advanced Test of ToM (ATT and Eyes Task (ET.ALS patients obtained significantly lower scores than controls on EAT and ET. No significant difference was found between the two groups on ATT. As regard to type of ALS onset, patients with bulbar onset performed worse than those with spinal onset on ET. Correlation analysis revealed that EAT and ET were positively correlated with education, memory prose, visuo-spatial performances and Mental Health scores among QoL items.Our results suggest that not only cognitive but also affective subcomponents of ToM may be impaired in the early stages of ALS, with significant linkage to disease onset and dysfunctions of less executively demanding conditions, causing potential impact on patients' Mental Health.

  19. Accumulation of Misfolded SOD1 in Dorsal Root Ganglion Degenerating Proprioceptive Sensory Neurons of Transgenic Mice with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sábado

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is an adult-onset progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting upper and lower motoneurons (MNs. Although the motor phenotype is a hallmark for ALS, there is increasing evidence that systems other than the efferent MN system can be involved. Mutations of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1 gene cause a proportion of familial forms of this disease. Misfolding and aggregation of mutant SOD1 exert neurotoxicity in a noncell autonomous manner, as evidenced in studies using transgenic mouse models. Here, we used the SOD1G93A mouse model for ALS to detect, by means of conformational-specific anti-SOD1 antibodies, whether misfolded SOD1-mediated neurotoxicity extended to neuronal types other than MNs. We report that large dorsal root ganglion (DRG proprioceptive neurons accumulate misfolded SOD1 and suffer a degenerative process involving the inflammatory recruitment of macrophagic cells. Degenerating sensory axons were also detected in association with activated microglial cells in the spinal cord dorsal horn of diseased animals. As large proprioceptive DRG neurons project monosynaptically to ventral horn MNs, we hypothesise that a prion-like mechanism may be responsible for the transsynaptic propagation of SOD1 misfolding from ventral horn MNs to DRG sensory neurons.

  20. Prospects for bone marrow cell therapy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis:how far are we from a clinical treatment?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fernanda Gubert; Marcelo F. Satiago

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive muscular atrophy and death within 3–5 years after its onset. Despite the signiifcant advances in knowledge of ALS pa-thology, no effective treatment is available. Therefore, it is imperative to search for new alternatives to treat ALS. Cell therapy, especially using bone-marrow cells, has showed to be very useful to protect the neural tissue in different brain disease or traumatic lesions. In ALS, most published results show beneifcial effects of the use bone marrow cells, especially mesenchymal stromal cells. However, until now, the best outcome extends animal’s lifespan by only a few weeks. It is essential to continue the search for a really effective therapy, testing different cells, routes and time-windows of administration. Studying the mechanisms that initiate and spread the degenerative process is also important to ifnd out an effective therapy. Therefore, we discussed here some progresses that have been made using bone-marrow cell therapy as a therapeutic tool for ALS.

  1. TBK1 Mutation Spectrum in an Extended European Patient Cohort with Frontotemporal Dementia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Zee, Julie; Gijselinck, Ilse; Van Mossevelde, Sara; Perrone, Federica; Dillen, Lubina; Heeman, Bavo; Bäumer, Veerle; Engelborghs, Sebastiaan; De Bleecker, Jan; Baets, Jonathan; Gelpi, Ellen; Rojas-García, Ricardo; Clarimón, Jordi; Lleó, Alberto; Diehl-Schmid, Janine; Alexopoulos, Panagiotis; Perneczky, Robert; Synofzik, Matthis; Just, Jennifer; Schöls, Ludger; Graff, Caroline; Thonberg, Håkan; Borroni, Barbara; Padovani, Alessandro; Jordanova, Albena; Sarafov, Stayko; Tournev, Ivailo; de Mendonça, Alexandre; Miltenberger-Miltényi, Gabriel; Simões do Couto, Frederico; Ramirez, Alfredo; Jessen, Frank; Heneka, Michael T; Gómez-Tortosa, Estrella; Danek, Adrian; Cras, Patrick; Vandenberghe, Rik; De Jonghe, Peter; De Deyn, Peter P; Sleegers, Kristel; Cruts, Marc; Van Broeckhoven, Christine; Goeman, Johan; Nuytten, Dirk; Smets, Katrien; Robberecht, Wim; Damme, Philip Van; Bleecker, Jan De; Santens, Patrick; Dermaut, Bart; Versijpt, Jan; Michotte, Alex; Ivanoiu, Adrian; Deryck, Olivier; Bergmans, Bruno; Delbeck, Jean; Bruyland, Marc; Willems, Christiana; Salmon, Eric; Pastor, Pau; Ortega-Cubero, Sara; Benussi, Luisa; Ghidoni, Roberta; Binetti, Giuliano; Hernández, Isabel; Boada, Mercè; Ruiz, Agustín; Sorbi, Sandro; Nacmias, Benedetta; Bagnoli, Silvia; Sorbi, Sandro; Sanchez-Valle, Raquel; Llado, Albert; Santana, Isabel; Rosário Almeida, Maria; Frisoni, Giovanni B; Maetzler, Walter; Matej, Radoslav; Fraidakis, Matthew J; Kovacs, Gabor G; Fabrizi, Gian Maria; Testi, Silvia

    2017-03-01

    We investigated the mutation spectrum of the TANK-Binding Kinase 1 (TBK1) gene and its associated phenotypic spectrum by exonic resequencing of TBK1 in a cohort of 2,538 patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or FTD plus ALS, ascertained within the European Early-Onset Dementia Consortium. We assessed pathogenicity of predicted protein-truncating mutations by measuring loss of RNA expression. Functional effect of in-frame amino acid deletions and missense mutations was further explored in vivo on protein level and in vitro by an NFκB-induced luciferase reporter assay and measuring phosphorylated TBK1. The protein-truncating mutations led to the loss of transcript through nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. For the in-frame amino acid deletions, we demonstrated loss of TBK1 or phosphorylated TBK1 protein. An important fraction of the missense mutations compromised NFκB activation indicating that at least some functions of TBK1 are lost. Although missense mutations were also present in controls, over three times more mutations affecting TBK1 functioning were found in the mutation fraction observed in patients only, suggesting high-risk alleles (P = 0.03). Total mutation frequency for confirmed TBK1 LoF mutations in the European cohort was 0.7%, with frequencies in the clinical subgroups of 0.4% in FTD, 1.3% in ALS, and 3.6% in FTD-ALS.

  2. Environmental risk factors and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS: a case-control study of ALS in Michigan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Yu

    Full Text Available An interim report of a case-control study was conducted to explore the role of environmental factors in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Sixty-six cases and 66 age- and gender-matched controls were recruited. Detailed information regarding residence history, occupational history, smoking, physical activity, and other factors was obtained using questionnaires. The association of ALS with potential risk factors, including smoking, physical activity and chemical exposure, was investigated using conditional logistic regression models. As compared to controls, a greater number of our randomly selected ALS patients reported exposure to fertilizers to treat private yards and gardens and occupational exposure to pesticides in the last 30 years than our randomly selected control cases. Smoking, occupational exposures to metals, dust/fibers/fumes/gas and radiation, and physical activity were not associated with ALS when comparing the randomly selected ALS patients to the control subjects. To further explore and confirm results, exposures over several time frames, including 0-10 and 10-30 years earlier, were considered, and analyses were stratified by age and gender. Pesticide and fertilizer exposure were both significantly associated with ALS in the randomly selected ALS patients. While study results need to be interpreted cautiously given the small sample size and the lack of direct exposure measures, these results suggest that environmental and particularly residential exposure factors warrant close attention in studies examining risk factors of ALS.

  3. Decrease in N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio in the motor area and the frontal lobe in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abe, K.; Takanashi, M.; Yanagihara, T. [Dept. of Neurology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine (Japan); Watanabe, Y.; Tanaka, H.; Fujita, N.; Hirabuki, N. [Dept. of Radiology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine (Japan)

    2001-07-01

    We studied whether N-acetylaspartate (NAA), a neuronal marker, is reduced in the brain of 14 patients with clinically definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and whether NAA levels in the motor area and frontal lobe correlate with the clinical features, including frontal lobe function. We also studied 14 normal controls were evaluated. We obtained peak integrals in {sup 1}H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) for NAA, creatine (Cr), and choline-containing compounds (Cho). Severity of the disease was determined using the manual muscle strength test, and the Norris limb and bulbar scales. In the patients, the NAA/Cr ratio was reduced in the motor area and frontal lobe, while the Cho/Cr ratio was normal throughout the brain. There were significant correlations between the NAA/Cr ratio in the motor area and the Norris limb scale (r = 0.50; P < 0.01) and between the NAA/Cr ratio in the frontal lobe and the number of categories achieved in the Wisconsin Card Sorting test (r = 0.71; P < 0.05), implying frontal lobe dysfunction. These correlations suggest that a reduced NAA/Cr ratio is a marker of cortical neuronal loss and dysfunction in ALS. (orig.)

  4. Microglia induce motor neuron death via the classical NF-κB pathway in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frakes, Ashley E; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Haidet-Phillips, Amanda M; Schmelzer, Leah; Braun, Lyndsey; Miranda, Carlos J; Ladner, Katherine J; Bevan, Adam K; Foust, Kevin D; Godbout, Jonathan P; Popovich, Phillip G; Guttridge, Denis C; Kaspar, Brian K

    2014-03-05

    Neuroinflammation is one of the most striking hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), a master regulator of inflammation, is upregulated in spinal cords of ALS patients and SOD1-G93A mice. In this study, we show that selective NF-κB inhibition in ALS astrocytes is not sufficient to rescue motor neuron (MN) death. However, the localization of NF-κB activity and subsequent deletion of NF-κB signaling in microglia rescued MNs from microglial-mediated death in vitro and extended survival in ALS mice by impairing proinflammatory microglial activation. Conversely, constitutive activation of NF-κB selectively in wild-type microglia induced gliosis and MN death in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, these data provide a mechanism by which microglia induce MN death in ALS and suggest a novel therapeutic target that can be modulated to slow the progression of ALS and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases by which microglial activation plays a role.

  5. Major histocompatibility complex class I molecules protect motor neurons from astrocyte-induced toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, SungWon; Miranda, Carlos J; Braun, Lyndsey; Meyer, Kathrin; Frakes, Ashley E; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Likhite, Shibi; Bevan, Adam K; Foust, Kevin D; McConnell, Michael J; Walker, Christopher M; Kaspar, Brian K

    2016-04-01

    Astrocytes isolated from individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are toxic to motor neurons (MNs) and play a non-cell autonomous role in disease pathogenesis. The mechanisms underlying the susceptibility of MNs to cell death remain unclear. Here we report that astrocytes derived from either mice bearing mutations in genes associated with ALS or human subjects with ALS reduce the expression of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) molecules on MNs; reduced MHCI expression makes these MNs susceptible to astrocyte-induced cell death. Increasing MHCI expression on MNs increases survival and motor performance in a mouse model of ALS and protects MNs against astrocyte toxicity. Overexpression of a single MHCI molecule, HLA-F, protects human MNs from ALS astrocyte-mediated toxicity, whereas knockdown of its receptor, the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor KIR3DL2, on human astrocytes results in enhanced MN death. Thus, our data indicate that, in ALS, loss of MHCI expression on MNs renders them more vulnerable to astrocyte-mediated toxicity.

  6. Risk of sepsis in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a population-based retrospective cohort study in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hsuan-Ju; Liang, Ji-An; Kao, Chia-Hung

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, and sepsis is a frequent cause of death in hospitalised patients. We investigated the relationship between ALS and the subsequent risk of sepsis. Design A retrospective cohort analysis. Setting Patients with ALSs diagnosed between 2000 and 2010 in Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Participants We included 701 and 2804 patients as the ALS and the non-ALS groups, respectively. Outcome measures The risk of sepsis was calculated by Cox proportional hazards regression model. Results During the follow-up period, the incidence density rates were 77.8 and 11.1 per 1000 person-years in the ALS and non-ALS groups, respectively. After adjusting for sex, age, Charlson comorbidity index score, life-support measures, and β2-adrenoceptor agonists treatment, the ALS group had a higher risk of sepsis (HR=3.42; 95% CI 2.60 to 4.50) than the non-ALS group. An increase of the risk was observed in patients with ALS receiving life support treatment measures, whereas a decrease of the risk was associated with treatment of β2-adrenoceptor agonists. Conclusions The risk of sepsis is associated with a prior ALS diagnosis, and may be increased by the use of life support measures and decreased by β2-adrenoceptor agonists. PMID:28093437

  7. Establishment of In Vitro FUS-Associated Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Model Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

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    Naoki Ichiyanagi

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a late-onset motor neuron disorder. Although its neuropathology is well understood, the cellular and molecular mechanisms are yet to be elucidated due to limitations in the currently available human genetic data. In this study, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC from two familial ALS (FALS patients with a missense mutation in the fused-in sarcoma (FUS gene carrying the heterozygous FUS H517D mutation, and isogenic iPSCs with the homozygous FUS H517D mutation by genome editing technology. These cell-derived motor neurons mimicked several neurodegenerative phenotypes including mis-localization of FUS into cytosolic and stress granules under stress conditions, and cellular vulnerability. Moreover, exon array analysis using motor neuron precursor cells (MPCs combined with CLIP-seq datasets revealed aberrant gene expression and/or splicing pattern in FALS MPCs. These results suggest that iPSC-derived motor neurons are a useful tool for analyzing the pathogenesis of human motor neuron disorders.

  8. Multidimensional protein fractionation using ProteomeLab PF 2D™ for profiling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis immunity: A preliminary report

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    Mosley R Lee

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ProteomeLab™ PF 2D platform is a relatively new approach to global protein profiling. Herein, it was used for investigation of plasma proteome changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS patients before and during immunization with glatiramer acetate (GA in a clinical trial. Results The experimental design included immunoaffinity depletion of 12 most abundant proteins from plasma samples with the ProteomeLab™ IgY-12 LC10 column kit as first dimension separation, also referred to as immuno-partitioning. Second and third dimension separations of the enriched proteome were performed on the PF 2D platform utilizing 2D isoelectric focusing and RP-HPLC with the resulting fractions collected for analysis. 1D gel electrophoresis was added as a fourth dimension when sufficient protein was available. Protein identification from collected fractions was performed using nano-LC-MS/MS approach. Analysis of differences in the resulting two-dimensional maps of fractions obtained from the PF 2D and the ability to identify proteins from these fractions allowed sensitivity threshold measurements. Masked proteins in the PF 2D fractions are discussed. Conclusion We offer some insight into the strengths and limitations of this emerging proteomic platform.

  9. A Neurodegeneration-Specific Gene-Expression Signature of Acutely Isolated Microglia from an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Mouse Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaac M. Chiu

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Microglia are resident immune cells of the CNS that are activated by infection, neuronal injury, and inflammation. Here, we utilize flow cytometry and deep RNA sequencing of acutely isolated spinal cord microglia to define their activation in vivo. Analysis of resting microglia identified 29 genes that distinguish microglia from other CNS cells and peripheral macrophages/monocytes. We then analyzed molecular changes in microglia during neurodegenerative disease activation using the SOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. We found that SOD1G93A microglia are not derived from infiltrating monocytes, and that both potentially neuroprotective and toxic factors, including Alzheimer’s disease genes, are concurrently upregulated. Mutant microglia differed from SOD1WT, lipopolysaccharide-activated microglia, and M1/M2 macrophages, defining an ALS-specific phenotype. Concurrent messenger RNA/fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis revealed posttranscriptional regulation of microglia surface receptors and T cell-associated changes in the transcriptome. These results provide insights into microglia biology and establish a resource for future studies of neuroinflammation.

  10. First assessment at home of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients by a nutrition network in the French region of Limousin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesus, Pierre; Massoulard, Aude; Marin, Benoit; Nicol, Marie; Laplagne, Olivier; Baptiste, Aurelie; Gindre-Poulvelarie, Laurence; Couratier, Philippe; Fraysse, Jean Louis; Desport, Jean Claude

    2012-10-01

    Malnutrition is associated with poor survival among patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This study aimed to evaluate nutritional assessment by a network during first consultations in patients' homes. Patients identified by the regional ALS centre gave their informed consent. Assessment included functional, nutritional issues, evaluation of the need for help, whether personal or the use of aids, and noted any dietary supplementation and modification of the texture of food. Forty patients were seen a mean of 7.4 months after diagnosis; 52.5% had bulbar disease, 7.5% were malnourished; 29.4 ± 10.1 kcal/kg/day were consumed and protein intake was 1.3 ± 0.5 g/kg/day. Thirty-five percent of patients were anorexic, 43.8% reported taste disorders, and 70% had dysphagia, significantly associated with salivary stasis. Only 30% of dysphagic patients ate texture-modified food, and 90% of patients with problems drinking liquids did not use a thickener. In conclusion, assessment at home by a nutritional network can be conducted promptly. Malnutrition is rare in early disease, despite the fact that patients' diets are often low in energy and dysphagia is common. Unexpected taste disorders are detected. Dysphagia is very common but inadequately addressed. Consequently, home assessment by the network led several beneficial interventions.

  11. Prognostic factors for survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: analysis of a multi-centre clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Emma; Rafiq, Muhammad K

    2016-10-01

    Information regarding factors influencing prognosis and quality of life (QoL) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is useful for clinicians and also for patients and their carers. The aims of this study are to identify prognostic factors for survival in ALS and to determine the physical factors influencing QoL. This study is a retrospective analysis of a cohort of 512 patients who participated in a phase II/III clinical trial of olesoxime. Cox multivariate regression analysis found older age, bulbar onset disease, low baseline forced vital capacity, low baseline manual muscle test (MMT) scores and a shorter diagnostic delay to be independently associated with poor survival outcome. Physical factors shown to have the strongest correlation with poor QoL were low weight and a reduced ability to climb stairs. Therapeutic interventions including gastrostomy and non-invasive ventilation had no positive impact on QoL in this cohort. The prognostic factors for survival identified here are consistent with other studies of ALS patients, with the additional identification of baseline MMT score as another predictor of prognosis. Furthermore, the correlation between both weight and poor lower limb function with QoL is novel and underlines the importance of careful nutritional management in this hypercatabolic condition.

  12. Quantitative analysis of the features of fasciculation potentials and their relation with muscle strength in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokuda, Kota; Shimizu, Toshio; Kimura, Hideki; Yamazaki, Toshihiro; Kamiyama, Tsutomu; Watabe, Kazuhiko; Kawata, Akihiro; Hayashi, Masaharu; Isozaki, Eiji

    2016-12-01

    This study aimed to quantitatively analyze fasciculation potentials (FPs) and to investigate their relationship with muscle strength in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Fifty-one patients with sporadic ALS or progressive muscular atrophy (25 men, 26 women, mean age of 68 years) underwent needle EMG. We determined the duration, phase number, and amplitude of FPs from three muscles (upper trapezius, biceps brachii, and tibialis anterior) and examined their relations with muscle strength. In total, 878 FPs were analyzed. FP duration displayed a significant negative relation with the strength of all three muscles; the weaker muscles showed longer durations of FPs than the muscles with normal strength. The amplitude and phase number were not related with muscle strength, but there were significant correlations between the duration and amplitude of FPs in the trapezius and tibialis anterior muscles. The longer duration of FPs in muscles with weak strength suggests that the morphological changes of FPs were caused by temporal dispersion through progressively degenerating and/or immature reinnervating motor branches, and were observed uniformly in different muscles along with disease progression.

  13. Metabolic Biomarkers and Neurodegeneration: A Pathway Enrichment Analysis of Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kori, Medi; Aydın, Busra; Unal, Semra; Arga, Kazim Yalcin; Kazan, Dilek

    2016-11-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) lack robust diagnostics and prognostic biomarkers. Metabolomics is a postgenomics field that offers fresh insights for biomarkers of common complex as well as rare diseases. Using data on metabolite-disease associations published in the previous decade (2006-2016) in PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science, we identified 101 metabolites as putative biomarkers for these three neurodegenerative diseases. Notably, uric acid, choline, creatine, L-glutamine, alanine, creatinine, and N-acetyl-L-aspartate were the shared metabolite signatures among the three diseases. The disease-metabolite-pathway associations pointed out the importance of membrane transport (through ATP binding cassette transporters), particularly of arginine and proline amino acids in all three neurodegenerative diseases. When disease-specific and common metabolic pathways were queried by using the pathway enrichment analyses, we found that alanine, aspartate, glutamate, and purine metabolism might act as alternative pathways to overcome inadequate glucose supply and energy crisis in neurodegeneration. These observations underscore the importance of metabolite-based biomarker research in deciphering the elusive pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Future research investments in metabolomics of complex diseases might provide new insights on AD, PD, and ALS that continue to place a significant burden on global health.

  14. No Evidence for Pathogenic Role of UBQLN2 Mutations in Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in the Mainland Chinese Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Shen; Fan, Dongsheng

    2017-01-01

    Mutations in the UBQLN2 gene, which encodes a member of the ubiquitin-like protein family (ubiquilin-2), have been identified in patients with dominant X-linked amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and ALS with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We analyzed mutations in the UBQLN2 gene in a Chinese cohort of 515 patients with sporadic ALS (sALS). A novel missense mutation (p.M392V) was detected in one sALS patient. The p.M392V mutation substitutes a highly conserved residue, has not been reported in the population databases, and previously, at the same residue, a missense mutation p.M392I was detected in two Turkey ALS patients and was considered to be pathogenic, so the M392V is a variant of uncertain significance (VOUS) for ALS. We also found a deletion mutation (p.P500_G502del), which seems to be benign. In conclusion, our data suggest that mutations in the UBQLN2 gene are rare in Chinese sALS patients. PMID:28125704

  15. Treatment with Hydrogen-Rich Saline Delays Disease Progression in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu; Li, Hang; Yang, Chen; Fan, Dan-Feng; Guo, Da-Zhi; Hu, Hui-Jun; Meng, Xiang-En; Pan, Shu-Yi

    2016-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most frequent adult-onset motor neuron disease, and accumulating evidence indicates that oxidative mechanisms contribute to ALS pathology, but classical antioxidants have not performed well in clinical trials. The aim of this work was to investigate the effect of treatment with hydrogen molecule on the development of disease in mutant SOD1 G93A transgenic mouse model of ALS. Treatment of mutant SOD1 G93A mice with hydrogen-rich saline (HRS, i.p.) significantly delayed disease onset and prolonged survival, and attenuated loss of motor neurons and suppressed microglial and glial activation. Treatment of mutant SOD1 G93A mice with HRS inhibited the release of mitochondrial apoptogenic factors and the subsequent activation of downstream caspase-3. Furthermore, treatment of mutant SOD1 G93A mice with HRS reduced levels of protein carbonyl and 3-nitrotyrosine, and suppressed formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), peroxynitrite, and malondialdehyde. Treatment of mutant SOD1 G93A mice with HRS preserved mitochondrial function, marked by restored activities of Complex I and IV, reduced mitochondrial ROS formation and enhanced mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate synthesis. In conclusion, hydrogen molecule may be neuroprotective against ALS, possibly through abating oxidative and nitrosative stress and preserving mitochondrial function.

  16. EEG correlates of P300-based brain-computer interface (BCI) performance in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mak, Joseph N.; McFarland, Dennis J.; Vaughan, Theresa M.; McCane, Lynn M.; Tsui, Phillippa Z.; Zeitlin, Debra J.; Sellers, Eric W.; Wolpaw, Jonathan R.

    2012-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify electroencephalography (EEG) features that correlate with P300-based brain-computer interface (P300 BCI) performance in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Twenty people with ALS used a P300 BCI spelling application in copy-spelling mode. Three types of EEG features were found to be good predictors of P300 BCI performance: (1) the root-mean-square amplitude and (2) the negative peak amplitude of the event-related potential to target stimuli (target ERP) at Fz, Cz, P3, Pz, and P4; and (3) EEG theta frequency (4.5-8 Hz) power at Fz, Cz, P3, Pz, P4, PO7, PO8 and Oz. A statistical prediction model that used a subset of these features accounted for >60% of the variance in copy-spelling performance (p < 0.001, mean R2 = 0.6175). The correlations reflected between-subject, rather than within-subject, effects. The results enhance understanding of performance differences among P300 BCI users. The predictors found in this study might help in: (1) identifying suitable candidates for long-term P300 BCI operation; (2) assessing performance online. Further work on within-subject effects needs to be done to establish whether P300 BCI user performance could be improved by optimizing one or more of these EEG features.

  17. Genome-wide association analyses identify new risk variants and the genetic architecture of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Rheenen, Wouter; Shatunov, Aleksey; Dekker, Annelot M; McLaughlin, Russell L; Diekstra, Frank P; Pulit, Sara L; van der Spek, Rick A A; Võsa, Urmo; de Jong, Simone; Robinson, Matthew R; Yang, Jian; Fogh, Isabella; van Doormaal, Perry Tc; Tazelaar, Gijs H P; Koppers, Max; Blokhuis, Anna M; Sproviero, William; Jones, Ashley R; Kenna, Kevin P; van Eijk, Kristel R; Harschnitz, Oliver; Schellevis, Raymond D; Brands, William J; Medic, Jelena; Menelaou, Androniki; Vajda, Alice; Ticozzi, Nicola; Lin, Kuang; Rogelj, Boris; Vrabec, Katarina; Ravnik-Glavač, Metka; Koritnik, Blaž; Zidar, Janez; Leonardis, Lea; Grošelj, Leja Dolenc; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Salachas, François; Meininger, Vincent; de Carvalho, Mamede; Pinto, Susana; Mora, Jesus S; Rojas-García, Ricardo; Polak, Meraida; Chandran, Siddharthan; Colville, Shuna; Swingler, Robert; Morrison, Karen E; Shaw, Pamela J; Hardy, John; Orrell, Richard W; Pittman, Alan; Sidle, Katie; Fratta, Pietro; Malaspina, Andrea; Topp, Simon; Petri, Susanne; Abdulla, Susanne; Drepper, Carsten; Sendtner, Michael; Meyer, Thomas; Ophoff, Roel A; Staats, Kim A; Wiedau-Pazos, Martina; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M; Trojanowski, John Q; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Basak, A Nazli; Tunca, Ceren; Hamzeiy, Hamid; Parman, Yesim; Meitinger, Thomas; Lichtner, Peter; Radivojkov-Blagojevic, Milena; Andres, Christian R; Maurel, Cindy; Bensimon, Gilbert; Landwehrmeyer, Bernhard; Brice, Alexis; Payan, Christine A M; Saker-Delye, Safaa; Dürr, Alexandra; Wood, Nicholas W; Tittmann, Lukas; Lieb, Wolfgang; Franke, Andre; Rietschel, Marcella; Cichon, Sven; Nöthen, Markus M; Amouyel, Philippe; Tzourio, Christophe; Dartigues, Jean-François; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Estrada, Karol; Hofman, Albert; Curtis, Charles; Blauw, Hylke M; van der Kooi, Anneke J; de Visser, Marianne; Goris, An; Weber, Markus; Shaw, Christopher E; Smith, Bradley N; Pansarasa, Orietta; Cereda, Cristina; Del Bo, Roberto; Comi, Giacomo P; D'Alfonso, Sandra; Bertolin, Cinzia; Sorarù, Gianni; Mazzini, Letizia; Pensato, Viviana; Gellera, Cinzia; Tiloca, Cinzia; Ratti, Antonia; Calvo, Andrea; Moglia, Cristina; Brunetti, Maura; Arcuti, Simona; Capozzo, Rosa; Zecca, Chiara; Lunetta, Christian; Penco, Silvana; Riva, Nilo; Padovani, Alessandro; Filosto, Massimiliano; Muller, Bernard; Stuit, Robbert Jan; Blair, Ian; Zhang, Katharine; McCann, Emily P; Fifita, Jennifer A; Nicholson, Garth A; Rowe, Dominic B; Pamphlett, Roger; Kiernan, Matthew C; Grosskreutz, Julian; Witte, Otto W; Ringer, Thomas; Prell, Tino; Stubendorff, Beatrice; Kurth, Ingo; Hübner, Christian A; Leigh, P Nigel; Casale, Federico; Chio, Adriano; Beghi, Ettore; Pupillo, Elisabetta; Tortelli, Rosanna; Logroscino, Giancarlo; Powell, John; Ludolph, Albert C; Weishaupt, Jochen H; Robberecht, Wim; Van Damme, Philip; Franke, Lude; Pers, Tune H; Brown, Robert H; Glass, Jonathan D; Landers, John E; Hardiman, Orla; Andersen, Peter M; Corcia, Philippe; Vourc'h, Patrick; Silani, Vincenzo; Wray, Naomi R; Visscher, Peter M; de Bakker, Paul I W; van Es, Michael A; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen; Lewis, Cathryn M; Breen, Gerome; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; van den Berg, Leonard H; Veldink, Jan H

    2016-09-01

    To elucidate the genetic architecture of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and find associated loci, we assembled a custom imputation reference panel from whole-genome-sequenced patients with ALS and matched controls (n = 1,861). Through imputation and mixed-model association analysis in 12,577 cases and 23,475 controls, combined with 2,579 cases and 2,767 controls in an independent replication cohort, we fine-mapped a new risk locus on chromosome 21 and identified C21orf2 as a gene associated with ALS risk. In addition, we identified MOBP and SCFD1 as new associated risk loci. We established evidence of ALS being a complex genetic trait with a polygenic architecture. Furthermore, we estimated the SNP-based heritability at 8.5%, with a distinct and important role for low-frequency variants (frequency 1-10%). This study motivates the interrogation of larger samples with full genome coverage to identify rare causal variants that underpin ALS risk.

  18. A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of pioglitazone in combination with riluzole in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc Dupuis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Pioglitazone, an oral anti-diabetic that stimulates the PPAR-gamma transcription factor, increased survival of mice with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed a phase II, double blind, multicentre, placebo controlled trial of pioglitazone in ALS patients under riluzole. 219 patients were randomly assigned to receive 45 mg/day of pioglitazone or placebo (one: one allocation ratio. The primary endpoint was survival. Secondary endpoints included incidence of non-invasive ventilation and tracheotomy, and slopes of ALS-FRS, slow vital capacity, and quality of life as assessed using EUROQoL EQ-5D. The study was conducted under a two-stage group sequential test, allowing to stop for futility or superiority after interim analysis. Shortly after interim analysis, 30 patients under pioglitazone and 24 patients under placebo had died. The trial was stopped for futility; the hazard ratio for primary endpoint was 1.21 (95% CI: 0.71-2.07, p = 0.48. Secondary endpoints were not modified by pioglitazone treatment. Pioglitazone was well tolerated. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Pioglitazone has no beneficial effects on the survival of ALS patients as add-on therapy to riluzole. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00690118.

  19. Intakes of caffeine, coffee and tea and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Results from five cohort studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fondell, Elinor; O'Reilly, É Ilis J; Fitzgerald, Kathryn C; Falcone, Guido J; Kolonel, Laurence N; Park, Yikyung; Gapstur, Susan M; Ascherio, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Caffeine is thought to be neuroprotective by antagonizing the adenosine A2A receptors in the brain and thereby protecting motor neurons from excitotoxicity. We examined the association between consumption of caffeine, coffee and tea and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Longitudinal analyses based on over 1,010,000 males and females in five large cohort studies (the Nurses' Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, the Multiethnic Cohort Study, and the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study). Cohort-specific multivariable-adjusted risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) estimates of ALS incidence or death were estimated by Cox proportional hazards regression and pooled using random-effects models. Results showed that a total of 1279 cases of ALS were documented during a mean of 18 years of follow-up. Caffeine intake was not associated with ALS risk; the pooled multivariable-adjusted RR comparing the highest to the lowest quintile of intake was 0.96 (95% CI 0.81-1.16). Similarly, neither coffee nor tea was associated with ALS risk. In conclusion, the results of this large study do not support associations of caffeine or caffeinated beverages with ALS risk.

  20. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: results from five prospective cohort studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fondell, Elinor; O'Reilly, Éilis J; Fitzgerald, Kathryn C; Falcone, Guido J; McCullough, Marjorie L; Thun, Michael J; Park, Yikyung; Kolonel, Laurence N; Ascherio, Alberto

    2012-10-01

    Animal and pathological studies suggest that inflammation may contribute to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathology and that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might be protective. However, there are no prospective data on the relation between NSAID use and ALS risk in humans. The relation between NSAID use and ALS risk was explored in five large prospective cohort studies (the Nurses' Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, the Multiethnic Cohort Study, and the National Institutes of Health - AARP Diet and Health Study). Detailed NSAID information was sough