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

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    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.

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

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    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

  3. 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.

  4. The changing scene of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    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.

  5. The epidemiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Talbott, E O; Malek, A M; Lacomis, D

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common motor neuron disease in adults and is characterized by neurodegeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The incidence of ALS is approximately 1-2.6 cases per 100 000 persons annually, whereas the prevalence is approximately 6 cases per 100 000. The average age of onset of ALS is currently 58-60 years and the average survival from onset to death is 3-4 years. Between October 19, 2010 and December 31, 2011, there were an estimated 12 187 prevalent cases diagnosed with definite ALS in the USA alone. Sporadic ALS (90-95%) constitutes the large majority of cases, while the remaining 5-10% are hereditary and termed familial ALS. Sporadic ALS is suspected to involve genetic susceptibility to environmental risk factors. The purpose of this review is to present a clinical overview of ALS and provide an epidemiologic summary of personal and environmental risk factors shown to be related to the risk of disease. A discussion of the most recent research initiatives is also included. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Acoustic reflex patterns in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Canale, Andrea; Albera, Roberto; Lacilla, Michelangelo; Canosa, Antonio; Albera, Andrea; Sacco, Francesca; Chiò, Adriano; Calvo, Andrea

    2017-02-01

    The aim of the study is to investigate acoustic reflex testing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. Amplitude, latency, and rise time of stapedial reflex were recorded for 500 and 1000 Hz contralateral stimulus. Statistical analysis was performed by the Wilcoxon test and the level of significance was set at 5 %. Fifty-one amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and ten sex- and age-matched control subjects were studied. Patients were further divided in two groups: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-bulbar (38 cases, with bulbar signs at evaluation) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-spinal (13 cases, without bulbar signs at evaluation). Stapedial reflex was present in all patients. There was a statistically significant difference in the mean amplitude, latency, and rise time between the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients as compared with the controls. Amplitude was lower in both the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-bulbar and the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-spinal patients than in the controls (p amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases with bulbar signs and, moreover, suggesting a possible subclinical involvement of the stapedial motor neuron even in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-spinal patients. Amplitude and rise time seem to be good sensitive parameters for investigating subclinical bulbar involvement.

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

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    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.

  8. Cerebrospinal fluid levels of alpha-tocopherol in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    de Bustos, F; Jiménez-Jiménez, F J; Molina, J A; Esteban, J; Guerrero-Sola, A; Zurdo, M; Ortí-Pareja, M; Tallón-Barranco, A; Gómez-Escalonilla, C; Ramírez-Ramos, C; Arenas, J; Enríquez de Salamanca, R

    1998-01-01

    We compared CSF and serum levels, and the CSF/serum ratio of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), measured by HPLC, in 30 patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and 78 matched controls. The mean CSF and serum vitamin E levels did not differ significantly between the 2 study groups. These values were not influenced by the clinical form (spinal versus bulbar) of SALS. CSF alpha-tocopherol levels did not correlate with age, age at onset, and duration of the disease. These results suggest that CSF and serum alpha-tocopherol concentrations are unrelated with the risk for ALS.

  9. Spatiotemporal Coupling of the Tongue in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. The genetics and neuropathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    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

  13. Angiogenin levels and ANG genotypes: dysregulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Lewis McLaughlin

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To determine whether 5 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs associate with ALS in 3 different populations. We also assessed the contribution of genotype to angiogenin levels in plasma and CSF. METHODS: Allelic association statistics were calculated for polymorphisms in the ANG gene in 859 patients and 1047 controls from Sweden, Ireland and Poland. Plasma, serum and CSF angiogenin levels were quantified and stratified according to genotypes across the ANG gene. The contribution of SNP genotypes to variance in circulating angiogenin levels was estimated in patients and controls. RESULTS: All SNPs showed association with ALS in the Irish group. The SNP rs17114699 replicated in the Swedish cohort. No SNP associated in the Polish cohort. Age- and sex-corrected circulating angiogenin levels were significantly lower in patients than in controls (p<0.001. An allele dose-dependent regulation of angiogenin levels was observed in controls. This regulation was attenuated in the ALS cohort. A significant positive correlation between CSF plasma angiogenin levels was present in controls and abolished in ALS. CONCLUSIONS: ANG variants associate with ALS in the Irish and Swedish populations, but not in the Polish. There is evidence of dysregulation of angiogenin expression in plasma and CSF in sporadic ALS. Angiogenin expression is likely to be important in the pathogenesis of ALS.

  14. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and BDNF plasma levels in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Angelucci, Francesco; Oliviero, Antonio; Pilato, Fabio; Saturno, Eleonora; Dileone, Michele; Versace, Viviana; Musumeci, Gabriella; Batocchi, Anna P; Tonali, Pietro A; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2004-03-22

    Low- and high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the motor cortex results in lasting changes of excitatory neurotransmission. We investigated the effects of suprathreshold 1 Hz rTMS on brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plasma levels in 10 healthy subjects and effects of either 1 Hz or 20 Hz rTMS in four amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. BDNF levels were progressively decreased by 1 Hz rTMS in healthy subjects; there was no effect of 1 Hz rTMS on BDNF plasma levels in ALS patients, an effect probably due to the loss of motor cortex pyramidal cells. High frequency rTMS determined a transitory decrease in BDNF plasma levels. Cumulatively these findings suggest that rTMS might influence the BDNF production by interfering with neuronal activity.

  15. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

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    ... 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 ...

  16. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

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    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 ...

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

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    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

  18. What causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

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    Martin, Sarah; Al Khleifat, Ahmad; Al-Chalabi, Ammar

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease predominantly affecting upper and lower motor neurons, resulting in progressive paralysis and death from respiratory failure within 2 to 3 years. The peak age of onset is 55 to 70 years, with a male predominance. The causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are only partly known, but they include some environmental risk factors as well as several genes that have been identified as harbouring disease-associated variation. Here we review the nature, epidemiology, genetic associations, and environmental exposures associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:28408982

  19. What causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

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    Martin, Sarah; Al Khleifat, Ahmad; Al-Chalabi, Ammar

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease predominantly affecting upper and lower motor neurons, resulting in progressive paralysis and death from respiratory failure within 2 to 3 years. The peak age of onset is 55 to 70 years, with a male predominance. The causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are only partly known, but they include some environmental risk factors as well as several genes that have been identified as harbouring disease-associated variation. Here we review the nature, epidemiology, genetic associations, and environmental exposures associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  20. The interaction between breathing and swallowing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Erdem, Nazan Simsek; Karaali, Kamil; Ünal, Ali; Kızılay, Ferah; Öğüş, Candan; Uysal, Hilmi

    2016-12-01

    The aim of the study is to determine the association between respiratory swallow patterns in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Furthermore, it aims to clarify the role of the dysphagia limit in defining the relationship between swallowing disorders and respiratory disorders. Functional rating scales were used to describe swallowing and respiratory function. Swallowing was observed using the dysphagia limit. Dysphagia limit is the volume at which a second or more swallows are required to swallow the whole bolus. Laryngeal and chest movement sensors, pulmonary function tests, submental, and diaphragm electromyography activity were used to evaluate the relationship between swallowing and respiratory phase. Of the 27 patients included in the study, 14 were dysphagic and 13 were non-dysphagic. Tests showed normal respiratory function in 11 of the non-dysphagic patients and 3 of the dysphagic patients. There was a high correlation between the dysphagia limit and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale swallowing parameters. Non-dysphagic patients were able to swallow during inspiration but only six patients in the dysphagic group were able to swallow during inspiration. The occurrence of dysphagia in ALS is related to piecemeal deglutition and respiration consistency during swallowing. Detecting the timing of disturbances in the relationship between swallowing and respiration may be a way of identifying dysphagia. Dysphagia limit may be a useful, complementary test for assessing swallowing disturbances in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  1. Urate levels predict survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Analysis of the expanded Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS clinical trials database.

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    Paganoni, Sabrina; Nicholson, Katharine; Chan, James; Shui, Amy; Schoenfeld, David; Sherman, Alexander; Berry, James; Cudkowicz, Merit; Atassi, Nazem

    2017-08-31

    Urate has been identified as a predictor of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) survival in some but not all studies. Here we leverage the recent expansion of the Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials (PRO-ACT) database to study the association between urate levels and ALS survival. Pooled data of 1,736 ALS participants from the PRO-ACT database were analyzed. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to evaluate associations between urate levels at trial entry and survival. After adjustment for potential confounders (i.e., creatinine and body mass index), there was an 11% reduction in risk of reaching a survival endpoint during the study with each 1-mg/dL increase in uric acid levels (adjusted hazard ratio 0.89, 95% confidence interval 0.82-0.97, P < 0.01). Our pooled analysis provides further support for urate as a prognostic factor for survival in ALS and confirms the utility of the PRO-ACT database as a powerful resource for ALS epidemiological research. Muscle Nerve 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  5. Serum levels of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and vitamin A in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Molina, J A; de Bustos, F; Jiménez-Jiménez, F J; Esteban, J; Guerrero-Sola, A; Zurdo, M; Ortí-Pareja, M; Gasalla, T; Gómez-Escalonilla, C; Ramírez-Ramos, C; Guillamón, F; Arenas, J

    1999-05-01

    To elucidate whether serum alpha and beta-carotene and retinol levels are related with the risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we compared serum levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and retinol (vitamin A), measured by HPLC, in 40 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 87 matched controls using an isocratic high performance liquid chromatography technique. The mean serum alpha and beta-carotene, and retinol levels did not differ significantly between the 2 study groups. These values were not influenced by the clinical form (spinal vs bulbar) of ALS, and they did not correlate with age, age at onset, and duration of the disease. These results suggest that serum alpha and beta-carotene and retinol concentrations are unrelated with the risk for ALS.

  6. Muscle ultrasound imaging in the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Yu. N. Rushkevich

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is the most common form of motor neuron disease. This pathology is characterized by the involvement of central and peripheral motor neurons in the pathological process. One  f the specific symptoms of ALS is fasciculations - involuntary muscle contractions that may occasionally precede the development of muscle weakness and atrophies. This paper summarizes the accumulated practical experience in using muscle ultrasound study in the diagnosis of fasciculations and their prevalence as an early sign of anterior corneal lesion in ALS.

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

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    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.

  8. Optineurin and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    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.

  9. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the clinical potential of dexpramipexole

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    Corcia P

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Philippe Corcia,1 Paul H Gordon21Centre SLA, CHRU de Tours, Tours, France; UMR INSERM U930, Université François Rabelais de Tours (PC, Tours, France; 2AP-HP, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Département des Maladies du Système Nerveux (PHG, Paris, FranceAbstract: 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.Keywords: dexpramipexole, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, survival, clinical trials, neurodegeneration

  10. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: update

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    Zapata-Zapata, Carlos Hugo

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease with devastating consequences for the patient and his/her family. Its etiology is still not clear. In about 10 % of the patients there is a hereditary pattern of the disease. Worldwide, prevalence ranges from 2 to 11 cases per 100,000 people. Age of presentation varies from 58 to 63 years for sporadic cases, and from 47 to 52 years for the familial ones. Concerning gender, there is a slight preference for males. Clinical manifestations include signs of upper and lower motor neurons, damage in limbs and bulbar muscles, and, in some patients, frontotemporal cognitive dysfunction. Diagnosis is essentially clinical supported by neurophysiological studies, such as needle electromyography, which is the most important test for early diagnosis. There is no cure, but riluzol has proven to delay the use of mechanical ventilation and to slightly prolong survival. Consequently, management is based on support measures, such as those related to nutrition and ventilatory function, in addition to control of the motor and non-motor symptoms of the disease.

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

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    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

  12. 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

  13. Correlation of Creatine Kinase Levels with Clinical Features and Survival in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongfei Tai

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available ObjectiveTo evaluate serum creatine kinase (CK levels of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS patients and to explore the relationship between CK levels and the clinical characteristics and survival prognosis of ALS patients.MethodsWe analyzed the CK levels of 185 ALS patients who underwent long-term follow-up. The relationship between CK levels and clinical features including sex, age, disease duration, site of onset, body mass index (BMI, serum creatinine (Cr, and spontaneous electromyographic activity was analyzed by univariate analysis and multiple linear regression. Kaplan–Meier and Cox proportional hazards models were used to explore whether CK levels were independently correlated with survival prognosis of ALS.ResultsBaseline serum CK was raised in 43% of participants. The median CK level was 160 U/L (range: 20–2,574 U/L, and 99% of patients had a baseline serum CK level less than 1,000 U/L. CK levels were significantly higher in male patients than in female patients [204 (169 versus 117 (111 U/L, p < 0.001] and in patients with limb onset ALS than with bulbar onset ALS (p < 0.001. CK levels were also correlated with serum Cr (p = 0.011 and the spontaneous potential score of electromyography (EMG (p = 0.037 but not correlated with age (p = 0.883, disease duration (p = 0.116, or BMI (p = 0.481. Log CK was independently correlated with survival of ALS patients (HR = 0.457, 95% confidence interval 0.221–0.947, p = 0.035 after adjusting for age, sex, site of onset, serum Cr, and BMI.ConclusionSerum CK levels of ALS patients were correlated with sex, site of onsite, serum Cr, and spontaneous activity in EMG. Serum CK could be an independent prognostic factor for survival of ALS patients.

  14. Altered microRNA expression profile in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a role in the regulation of NFL mRNA levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos-Melo, Danae; Droppelmann, Cristian A; He, Zhongping; Volkening, Kathryn; Strong, Michael J

    2013-05-24

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, adult onset, fatal neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons. There is emerging evidence that alterations in RNA metabolism may be critical in the pathogenesis of ALS. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are key determinants of mRNA stability. Considering that miRNAs are increasingly being recognized as having a role in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, we decided to characterize the miRNA expression profile in spinal cord (SC) tissue in sporadic ALS (sALS) and controls. Furthermore, we performed functional analysis to identify a group of dysregulated miRNAs that could be responsible for the selective suppression of low molecular weight neurofilament (NFL) mRNA observed in ALS. Using TaqMan arrays we analyzed 664 miRNAs and found that a large number of miRNAs are differentially expressed in ventral lumbar SC in sALS compared to controls. We observed that the majority of dysregulated miRNAs are down-regulated in sALS SC tissues. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) showed that dysregulated miRNAs are linked with nervous system function and cell death. We used two prediction algorithms to develop a panel of miRNAs that have recognition elements within the human NFL mRNA 3'UTR, and then we performed functional analysis for these miRNAs. Our results demonstrate that three miRNAs that are dysregulated in sALS (miR-146a*, miR-524-5p and miR-582-3p) are capable of interacting with NFL mRNA 3'UTR in a manner that is consistent with the suppressed steady state mRNA levels observed in spinal motor neurons in ALS. The miRNA expression profile is broadly altered in the SC in sALS. Amongst these is a group of dysregulated miRNAs directly regulate the NFL mRNA 3'UTR, suggesting a role in the selective suppression of NFL mRNA in the ALS spinal motor neuron neurofilamentous aggregate formation.

  15. [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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  1. The multifaceted role of glial cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valori, Chiara F; Brambilla, Liliana; Martorana, Francesca; Rossi, Daniela

    2014-01-01

    Despite indisputable progress in the molecular and genetic aspects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a mechanistic comprehension of the neurodegenerative processes typical of this disorder is still missing and no effective cures to halt the progression of this pathology have yet been developed. Therefore, it seems that a substantial improvement of the outcome of ALS treatments may depend on a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal pathology and survival as well as on the establishment of novel etiological therapeutic strategies. Noteworthy, a convergence of recent data from multiple studies suggests that, in cellular and animal models of ALS, a complex pathological interplay subsists between motor neurons and their non-neuronal neighbours, particularly glial cells. These observations not only have drawn attention to the physiopathological changes glial cells undergo during ALS progression, but they have moved the focus of the investigations from intrinsic defects and weakening of motor neurons to glia-neuron interactions. In this review, we summarize the growing body of evidence supporting the concept that different glial populations are critically involved in the dreadful chain of events leading to motor neuron sufferance and death in various forms of ALS. The outlined observations strongly suggest that glial cells can be the targets for novel therapeutic interventions in ALS.

  2. 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

  3. Relevance of the pyramidal syndrome in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez, N; Díez, L; Avellaneda, C; Serra, M; Rubio, M Á

    2016-06-20

    Pyramidal signs (hyperreflexia, spasticity, Babinski sign) are essential for the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, these signs are not always present at onset and may vary over time, besides which their role in disease evolution is controversial. Our goal was to describe which pyramidal signs were present and how they evolved in a cohort of patients with ALS, as well as their role in prognosis. Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected patients diagnosed with ALS in our centre from 1990 to 2015. Of a total of 130 patients with ALS, 34 (26.1%) patients showed no pyramidal signs at the first visit while 15 (11.5%) had a complete pyramidal syndrome. Of those patients without initial pyramidal signs, mean time of appearance of the first signs was 4.5 months. Babinski sign was positive in 64 (49.2%) patients, hyperreflexia in 90 (69.2%) and 22 (16.9%) patients had spasticity. Pyramidal signs tended to remain unchanged over time, although they seem to appear at later stages or even disappear with time in some patients. We found no association between survival and the presence of changes to pyramidal signs, although decreased spasticity was associated with greater clinical deterioration (ALSFR scale) (P<.001). A quarter of patients with ALS initially showed no pyramidal signs and in some cases they even disappear over time. These data support the need for tools that assess the pyramidal tract. Copyright © 2016 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  6. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Clinical Neurogenetics: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, Matthew B.; Baloh, Robert H.

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, about which our understanding is expanding rapidly as its genetic causes are uncovered. The pace of new gene discovery over the last 5 years has accelerated, providing new insights into the pathogenesis of disease and highlighting biological pathways for target for therapeutic development. This article reviews our current understanding of the heritability of ALS, provides an overview of each of the major ALS genes, highlighting their phenotypic characteristics and frequencies as a guide for clinicians evaluating patients with ALS. PMID:24176417

  11. Perception of Emotional Facial Expressions in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at Behavioural and Brain Metabolic Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Perception of Emotional Facial Expressions in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at Behavioural and Brain Metabolic Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aho-Özhan, Helena E A; Keller, Jürgen; Heimrath, Johanna; Uttner, Ingo; Kassubek, Jan; Birbaumer, Niels; Ludolph, Albert C; Lulé, Dorothée

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  13. c-jun-N-Terminal Kinase (JNK) for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    1 AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-12-1-0431 TITLE: “c-jun-N-Terminal Kinase (JNK) for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ” PRINCIPAL...TITLE AND SUBTITLE “c-jun-N-Terminal Kinase (JNK) for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Scelerosis” 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER... Lateral   Sclerosis ”   Final  Report:  Project  Period  Sept  2012-­‐Dec  2014     Personnel  List:     Feng,  Yangbo

  14. 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

  15. TDP-43 pathology in the basal forebrain and hypothalamus of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cykowski, Matthew D; Takei, Hidehiro; Schulz, Paul E; Appel, Stanley H; Powell, Suzanne Z

    2014-12-24

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease characterized clinically by motor symptoms including limb weakness, dysarthria, dysphagia, and respiratory compromise, and pathologically by inclusions of transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43). Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also may demonstrate non-motor symptoms and signs of autonomic and energy dysfunction as hypermetabolism and weight loss that suggest the possibility of pathology in the forebrain, including hypothalamus. However, this region has received little investigation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this study, the frequency, topography, and clinical associations of TDP-43 inclusion pathology in the basal forebrain and hypothalamus were examined in 33 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: 25 men and 8 women; mean age at death of 62.7 years, median disease duration of 3.1 years (range of 1.3 to 9.8 years). TDP-43 pathology was present in 11 patients (33.3%), including components in both basal forebrain (n=10) and hypothalamus (n=7). This pathology was associated with non-motor system TDP-43 pathology (Χ2=17.5, p=0.00003) and bulbar symptoms at onset (Χ2=4.04, p=0.044), but not age or disease duration. Furthermore, TDP-43 pathology in the lateral hypothalamic area was associated with reduced body mass index (W=11, p=0.023). This is the first systematic demonstration of pathologic involvement of the basal forebrain and hypothalamus in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Furthermore, the findings suggest that involvement of the basal forebrain and hypothalamus has significant phenotypic associations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including site of symptom onset, as well as deficits in energy metabolism with loss of body mass index.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Reduction of elevated IGF-1 levels in coincident amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and acromegaly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Erlick A C; Turner, Martin R; Wass, John A H; Talbot, Kevin

    2010-01-01

    We report a patient presenting with ALS in whom acromegaly was later confirmed. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) has been tried in the treatment of ALS and despite equivocal results from clinical trials, efforts have continued to try to harness the significant positive effects on motor neuron growth observed in vitro and in survival of mouse models of the disease. One subsequent study has reported an association between higher circulating serum IGF-1 levels and longer disease duration in ALS patients. Concern therefore arose in our case that treatment of the acromegaly with a somatostatin analogue might adversely affect the natural course of his ALS through lowering of potentially beneficial IGF-1 levels. Through clinical observation and prognostic modelling we suggest that this concern was unfounded. The potential interaction of these two rarely coincident disorders in our patient is discussed.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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)

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gil, 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and the Risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population-based Study.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jong, S.W. de; Huisman, M.H.; Sutedja, N.A.; Kooi, A.J. van der; Visser, M. de; Schelhaas, H.J.; Fischer, K.; Veldink, J.H.; Berg, L.H. van den

    2012-01-01

    Smoking has been posited as a possible risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but large population-based studies of patients with incident disease are still needed. The authors performed a population-based case-control study in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2009, including 494 patie

  13. A comprehensive analysis of rare genetic variation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Sarah; Shatunov, Aleksey; Sproviero, William; Jones, Ashley R; Shoai, Maryam; Hughes, Deborah; Al Khleifat, Ahmad; Malaspina, Andrea; Morrison, Karen E; Shaw, Pamela J; Shaw, Christopher E; Sidle, Katie; Orrell, Richard W; Fratta, Pietro; Hardy, John; Pittman, Alan; Al-Chalabi, Ammar

    2017-06-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons. About 25 genes have been verified as relevant to the disease process, with rare and common variation implicated. We used next generation sequencing and repeat sizing to comprehensively assay genetic variation in a panel of known amyotrophic lateral sclerosis genes in 1126 patient samples and 613 controls. About 10% of patients were predicted to carry a pathological expansion of the C9orf72 gene. We found an increased burden of rare variants in patients within the untranslated regions of known disease-causing genes, driven by SOD1, TARDBP, FUS, VCP, OPTN and UBQLN2. We found 11 patients (1%) carried more than one pathogenic variant (P = 0.001) consistent with an oligogenic basis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These findings show that the genetic architecture of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is complex and that variation in the regulatory regions of associated genes may be important in disease pathogenesis. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.

  14. Altered Brain Network in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Resting Graph Theory-Based Network Study at Voxel-Wise Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Chaoyang; Hu, Xiaofei; Hu, Jun; Liang, Minglong; Yin, Xuntao; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Jiuquan; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare degenerative disorder characterized by loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Neuroimaging has provided noticeable evidence that ALS is a complex disease, and shown that anatomical and functional lesions extend beyond precentral cortices and corticospinal tracts, to include the corpus callosum; frontal, sensory, and premotor cortices; thalamus; and midbrain. The aim of this study is to investigate graph theory-based functional network abnormalities at voxel-wise level in ALS patients on a whole brain scale. Forty-three ALS patients and 44 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were enrolled. The voxel-wise network degree centrality (DC), a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, was used to characterize the alteration of whole brain functional network. Compared with the controls, the ALS patients showed significant increase of DC in the left cerebellum posterior lobes, bilateral cerebellum crus, bilateral occipital poles, right orbital frontal lobe, and bilateral prefrontal lobes; significant decrease of DC in the bilateral primary motor cortex, bilateral sensory motor region, right prefrontal lobe, left bilateral precuneus, bilateral lateral temporal lobes, left cingulate cortex, and bilateral visual processing cortex. The DC's z-scores of right inferior occipital gyrus were significant negative correlated with the ALSFRS-r scores. Our findings confirm that the regions with abnormal network DC in ALS patients were located in multiple brain regions including primary motor, somatosensory and extra-motor areas, supporting the concept that ALS is a multisystem disorder. Specifically, our study found that DC in the visual areas was altered and ALS patients with higher DC in right inferior occipital gyrus have more severity of disease. The result demonstrated that the altered DC value in this region can probably be used to assess severity of ALS.

  15. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-associated mutant SOD1 inhibits anterograde axonal transport of mitochondria by reducing Miro1 levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moller, Annekathrin; Bauer, Claudia S; Cohen, Rebecca N; Webster, Christopher P; De Vos, Kurt J

    2017-09-14

    Defective axonal transport is an early neuropathological feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have previously shown that ALS-associated mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) impair axonal transport of mitochondria in motor neurons isolated from SOD1 G93A transgenic mice and in ALS mutant SOD1 transfected cortical neurons, but the underlying mechanisms remained unresolved.The outer mitochondrial membrane protein mitochondrial Rho GTPase 1 (Miro1) is a master regulator of mitochondrial axonal transport in response to cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) levels ([Ca2+]c) and mitochondrial damage. Ca2+ binding to Miro1 halts mitochondrial transport by modifying its interaction with kinesin-1 whereas mitochondrial damage induces Phosphatase and Tensin homolog (PTEN)-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and Parkin-dependent degradation of Miro1 and consequently stops transport.To identify the mechanism underlying impaired axonal transport of mitochondria in SOD1-related ALS we investigated [Ca2+]c and Miro1 levels in ALS mutant SOD1 expressing neurons. We found that expression of ALS mutant SOD1 reduced the level of endogenous Miro1 but did not affect [Ca2+]c. ALS mutant SOD1 induced reductions in Miro1 levels were Parkin dependent. Moreover, both overexpression of Miro1 and ablation of PINK1 rescued the mitochondrial axonal transport deficit in ALS mutant SOD1-expressing cortical and motor neurons.Together these results provide evidence that ALS mutant SOD1 inhibits axonal transport of mitochondria by inducing PINK1/Parkin-dependent Miro1 degradation. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Increased plasma levels of lead in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis compared with control subjects as determined by flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conradi, S; Ronnevi, L O; Vesterberg, O

    1978-01-01

    The levels of lead in plasma were determined in 16 cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 18 control subjects, using flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The mean values were 0.52+/-0.22 microgram/100ml (ALS) and 0.37+/-0.13 microgram/100ml (controls), the difference is statistically significant (5% level). The values in both groups are lower than reported earlier for normal subjects. The findings are discussed against the background of the possible pathogenetic significance of retrograde axoplasmic flow in ALS. PMID:77896

  19. Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers for Kii Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yui Nakayama

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex is classified as one of the tauopathies. Methods. The total tau, phosphorylated tau, and amyloid β42 levels were assayed in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with Kii amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex (, Alzheimer’s disease (, Parkinson’s disease (, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (, and controls ( using specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods. Results. Total tau and phosphorylated tau did not increase and amyloid β42 was relatively reduced in Kii amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex. Relatively reduced amyloid β42 might discriminate Kii amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, and the ratios of phosphorylated-tau to amyloid β42 could discriminate Kii amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex from Alzheimer’s disease. Conclusions. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis may be useful to differentiate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex from Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

  20. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the processes leading to cell death. Using both animal models and cell culture systems, scientists are trying to determine how and why ALS-causing gene mutations lead to the destruction of neurons. These animal models include fruit flies, zebrafish, and rodents. Initially, ...

  1. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... ALS and some people with noninherited ALS. These genetic variations might make people more susceptible to ALS. Environmental factors may trigger ALS. Some that may affect ALS risk include: Smoking. Smoking is the only likely environmental risk factor ...

  2. Primary Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and wheelchairs ma help some people retain independence.. Speech therapy may be useful for those with involvement of ... muscle movement. PLS belongs to a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases. PLS affects the ...

  3. Calcium in the pathomechanism of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - Taking center stage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patai, Roland; Nógrádi, Bernát; Engelhardt, József I; Siklós, László

    2017-02-19

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is an incurable, relentlessly progressive disease primarily affecting motor neurons. The cause of the disease, except for the mutations identified in a small fraction of patients, is unknown. The major mechanisms contributing to the degeneration of motor neurons have already been disclosed and characterized, including excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and immune/inflammatory processes. During the progression of the disease these toxic processes are not discrete, but each facilitates the deleterious effect of the other. However, due to their common reciprocal calcium dependence, calcium ions may act as a common denominator and through a positive feedback loop may combine the individual pathological processes into a unified escalating mechanism of neuronal destruction. This mini-review provides an overview of the mutual calcium dependence of the major toxic mechanisms associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Reduced isotope uptake restricted to the motor area in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abe, K. (Dept. of Neurology, Osaka Univ. Medical School (Japan)); Yorifuji, S. (Dept. of Neurology, Osaka Univ. Medical School (Japan)); Nishikawa, Y. (Dept. of Neurology, Osaka Univ. Medical School (Japan))

    1993-01-01

    To study degeneration in the central nervous system in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we studied four patients using single photon emission tomography (SPECT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI demonstrated high intensity along the pyramidal tract on T2-weighted images in two. SPECT demonstrated reduced isotope uptake restricted to the motor area. While the cause of degeneration of the cortical neurons in the motor area is unknown, SPECT is useful for detecting the degeneration in patients with ALS. (orig.)

  5. 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

  6. Immune system alterations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  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. 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.)

  12. Association Between Blood Lead and the Risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Fang; Kwee, Lydia C.; Allen, Kelli D.; Umbach, David M.; Ye, Weimin; Watson, Mary; Keller, Jean; Oddone, Eugene Z.; Sandler, Dale P.; Schmidt, Silke; Kamel, Freya

    2010-01-01

    The authors conducted a 2003–2007 case-control study including 184 cases and 194 controls to examine the association between blood lead and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) among US veterans and to explore the influence on this association of bone turnover and genetic factors related to lead toxicokinetics. Blood lead, plasma biomarkers of bone formation (procollagen type 1 amino-terminal peptide (PINP)) and resorption (C-terminal telopeptides of type 1 collagen (CTX)), and the K59N polymorphism in the δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase gene, ALAD, were measured. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association of blood lead with ALS were estimated with unconditional logistic regression after adjustment for age and bone turnover. Blood lead levels were higher among cases compared with controls (P < 0.0001, age adjusted). A doubling of blood lead was associated with a 1.9-fold increased risk of ALS (95% confidence interval: 1.3, 2.7) after adjustment for age and CTX. Additional adjustment for PINP did not alter the results. Significant lead-ALS associations were observed in substrata of PINP and CTX levels. The K59N polymorphism in the ALAD gene did not modify the lead-ALS association (P = 0.32). These results extend earlier findings by accounting for bone turnover in confirming the association between elevated blood lead level and higher risk of ALS. PMID:20406759

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. Evaluation of the microbial diversity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using high-throughput sequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Fang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available More and more evidences indicate that diseases of the central nervous system (CNS have been seriously affected by faecal microbes. However, little work is done to explore interaction between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and faecal 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 (PCoA, 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Evaluation and management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valadi, Nojan

    2015-06-01

    Motor neuron diseases can cause progressive impairment of voluntary muscles of movement, respiration, speech, and swallowing. This review discusses the most common motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It reviews the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of ALS, and its epidemiology, pathophysiology, and management. A coordinated approach by the primary care physician and neurologist is necessary with a focus on treatment options, durable medical equipment needs, and end-of-life discussions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The theory of everything (2014, a closer to the effects of Amiotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in the life of Stephen Hawking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofía AGUIÑAGA MALANCO

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Stephen Hawking, author of the most fundamental theories of black hole´s behavior and other considerations of time and space, suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, diagnosed during his last year at Oxford, as described in the movie The Theory of Everything (2014 directed by James Marsh and produced by Anthony McCarten. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig´s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive weakness of voluntary muscles. It is characterized by a degeneration of motor neurons in the motor cortex, brain stem and spinal cord.

  8. 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

  9. Cortical dysfunction underlies the development of the split-hand in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Cortical dysfunction underlies the development of the split-hand in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the city of Porto Alegre, in Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Linden Junior

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective : To determine the prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Method : We conducted an extensive investigation in clinics and hospitals that provide specialized assistance to these patients, contacted neurologists and the regional association of people with ALS. Results : On July 31, 2010, 70 patients were alive and diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Considering the population living in the city in the same period (1,409,351, the estimated prevalence was 5.0 cases per 100,000 people (95% CI, 3.9-6.2, being higher for men (5.2/100,000 95% CI, 3.6-7.2 than for women (4.8/100,000 95% CI, 3.4-6.5. The prevalence increased with age peaking in the age group 70-79 years in both genders. Conclusion : The prevalence of ALS in the city of Porto Alegre is similar to that reported in other parts of the world.

  13. Conformational Disorder of the Most Immature Cu, Zn-Superoxide Dismutase Leading to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furukawa, Yoshiaki; Anzai, Itsuki; Akiyama, Shuji; Imai, Mizue; Cruz, Fatima Joy C; Saio, Tomohide; Nagasawa, Kenichi; Nomura, Takao; Ishimori, Koichiro

    2016-02-19

    Misfolding of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is a pathological change in the familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis caused by mutations in the SOD1 gene. SOD1 is an enzyme that matures through the binding of copper and zinc ions and the formation of an intramolecular disulfide bond. Pathogenic mutations are proposed to retard the post-translational maturation, decrease the structural stability, and hence trigger the misfolding of SOD1 proteins. Despite this, a misfolded and potentially pathogenic conformation of immature SOD1 remains obscure. Here, we show significant and distinct conformational changes of apoSOD1 that occur only upon reduction of the intramolecular disulfide bond in solution. In particular, loop regions in SOD1 lose their restraint and become significantly disordered upon dissociation of metal ions and reduction of the disulfide bond. Such drastic changes in the solution structure of SOD1 may trigger misfolding and fibrillar aggregation observed as pathological changes in the familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  14. An Investigation of Perspectives of Respite Admission Among People Living With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and the Hospitals That Support Them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakai, Michiko; Narita, Yugo; Tomimoto, Hidekazu

    2017-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive disease with rapid degeneration. Respite care is an essential service for improving the well-being of both patients with this disease and their family caregivers, but accessibility of respite services is limited. This study investigates perspectives on respite admission among people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the hospitals supporting them. We conducted semistructured interviews among 3 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 12 family members, exploring demographic information and their awareness and experience of respite admission. We also interviewed 16 representatives from hospitals about awareness of and preparation for respite admission for patients with this disease, the role of regional networks for intractable diseases, and knowledge about communication support schemes. We found significant differences in the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale between patients who had and had not received respite admission. Qualitative analysis of the data indicated that respite admission was a contributory factor in continuing and stabilizing home care. Limited provision of social services and hospital care quality were barriers to respite admission. Respite admission was essential to continued home care for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Severe-stage patients were eligible for respite admission. Its accessibility, however, was limited, especially for patients living in rural areas. Supporting hospitals had limited capacity to respond to patients' needs. Individualized care and communication were internal barriers to respite admission.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) treated with Low Level LASER Therapy (LLLT): a case report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, Leonardo; Postiglione, Marco; Gabellini, Massimiliano; Longo, Diego

    2009-06-01

    The topic concerns the effect of LLLT on ALS. The purpose is to find a new and effective approach to treat ALS by utilizing the beneficial biological effects on human tissues provided by LLLT and by testing the effectiveness of a specific treatment protocol. There are no reports in literature dealing with this topic. A 69 year old male with signs of lower motor neuron degeneration diagnosed in 2003 as ALS was given LLLT. Two different types of LASERs (wavelengths 810 and 890 nm) where used with specific parameters in March 2007. Three cycles of 20 daily sessions at 40 days interval were given. Gradual and significant improvements were noted after each cycle particularly appreciated by the patient especially in muscular mobility and respiratory functions. However signs of improvement 20 days after the third cycle showed a tendency to regression. Results obtained indicate that LLLT with the specific protocol used gives significant improvement of the ALS clinical picture but that its duration is not permanent. Further research on a large cohort is justified especially as regards LASER parameters and treatment cycles.

  18. Lead content of neuromuscular tissue in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: case report and other considerations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petkau, A.; Sawatzky, A.; Hillier, C.R.; Hoogstraten, J.

    1974-10-01

    In a case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in which occupational history and laboratory evidence indicated that exposure to lead had occurred, it was found at necropsy that in nerve, spinal cord, and cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues the lead content was abnormally high. Significantly elevated levels of lead were also found however, in nerve, spinal cord and muscle tissue in other cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that had not been exposed to lead during life. A reassessment of the role of lead in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is indicated. (CIS Abstract Vol. 2)

  19. 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

  20. The cervical cord in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A comparison of the CT-myelography with pathological observation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sugamiya, Hitoshi; Tokumaru, Yukio; Arai, Kimihito; Hirayama, Keizo [Chiba Univ. (Japan). School of Medicine

    1995-08-01

    The spinal cord with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was macroscopically examined in five patients using CT-myelography (CTM) and autopsied specimens. The autopsied ages were from 48 to 75 years old (average: 64), and their clinical follow-up periods were from 0.8 to 4.0 years (average: 1.9). Muscular atrophy developed from an upper limb in three patients, whereas from a lower limb in one case and from bulbar muscles in another case. Cervical CTM was performed at C3 to C7 cervical vertebrae less than one year (four cases) and 1.9 years (one case) prior to autopsy. The macroscopical examination of the CTM and autopsied specimens showed the following characteristics: Two patients, whose clinical courses were less than one year from the onset, showed no abnormalities. Three patients, whose clinical courses were more than one year from the onset, showed a marked cervical flattening and concave of the posterolateral fissure, especially at the lower cervical level. It was supposed that this lower cervical abnormalities caused pronounced amyotrophy in the upper limbs and pyramidal tract sign of the lower limbs. Although muscular atrophy was asymmetric in one case, the spinal cord was symmetric in macroscopic appearance in both CTM and autopsied specimens. It was concluded that marked flattening and concave at the posterolateral fissure of the lower cervical spinal cord were revealed by CTM in patients whose clinical courses of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were more than one year from the onset. (author).

  1. Analysis of the neurofilament heavy subunit (NFH) gene in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rooke, K.; Rouleau, G.A. [McGill Univ., Montreal (Canada); Figlewicz, D.A. [Univ. of Rochester Medical Center, NY (United States)

    1994-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, adult-onset, degenerative disorder of the motor neurons in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. Approximately 10% of ALS cases are familial (FALS) and are inherited as an age-dependent autosomal dominant trait. Mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) gene on chromosome 21 have been found in a subset of cases. However, for the remaining FALS cases, the etiology is unknown. The abnormal accumulation of neurofilaments in the cell body and proximal axon of motor neurons is a characteristic pathological finding in ALS. Furthermore, aberrant neuronal swellings that closely resemble those found in ALS have been reported in transgenic mice overexpressing NFH. The C-terminal region of NFH contains a unique functional domain with multiple repeats of the amino acids (Lys-Ser-Pro) (KSP) and forms the side-arms which appear, at the level of electron microscopy, to cross-link neurofilaments. Recently, deletions in the DSP repeat domain have been identified in five ALS patients diagnosed as sporadic cases of the disease. Based on these findings, we propose to analyze all 4 exons of the NFH gene for variation in FALS. DNA from 110 FALS cases has been amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and analyzed by single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. Exon 2, exon 3 and the KSP repeat domain (part of exon 4) appear normal in all our FALS individuals under several different SSCP conditions. The analysis of exon 1 and the remainder of exon 4 has yet to be completed.

  2. Primary lateral sclerosis mimicking atypical parkinsonism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Norlinah, Ibrahim M; Bhatia, Kailash P; Østergaard, Karen

    2007-01-01

    Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), the upper motor neurone variant of motor neurone disease, is characterized by progressive spinal or bulbar spasticity with minimal motor weakness. Rarely, PLS may present with clinical features resembling parkinsonism resulting in occasional misdiagnosis as one...... of the atypical parkinsonian syndromes. Here we describe five patients initially referred with a diagnosis of levodopa-unresponsive atypical parkinsonism (n = 4) or primary progressive multiple sclerosis (n = 1), but subsequently found to have features consistent with PLS instead. Onset age varied from 49 to 67...... included emotional lability (n = 5) and cognitive impairment involving frontal subcortical systems (n = 1). In conclusion, these cases represent a subgroup of PLS patients in whom pyramidal slowness may be mistaken for akinesia, and spasticity misconstrued as rigidity, leading to an erroneous diagnosis...

  3. The potential for transition metal-mediated neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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. Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide among patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veldink, Jan H; Wokke, John H J; van der Wal, Gerrit; Vianney de Jong, J M B; van den Berg, Leonard H

    2002-05-23

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that causes progressive paralysis leading to respiratory failure. Patients with ALS may consider physician-assisted suicide. However, it is not known how many patients, if given the option, would actually decide to end their lives by physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia nor at what stage of the disease they would choose to do so. We identified physicians of 279 patients in the Netherlands with a diagnosis of ALS who died between 1994 and 1999. Physicians were asked to fill out a validated questionnaire about the end-of-life decisions that were made. Of 241 eligible physicians, 203 returned the questionnaire (84 percent). Of the 203 patients, 35 (17 percent) chose euthanasia and died that way. An additional six patients (3 percent) died as a result of physician-assisted suicide. Patients to whom religion was important were less likely to have died as a result of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. The choice of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide was not associated with any particular characteristics of the disease or of the patient's care, nor was it associated with income or educational level. Disability before death was significantly more severe in patients who died as a result of euthanasia than among those who died in other ways. Physician-assisted suicide appeared to occur somewhat earlier in the course of the disease than did euthanasia. An additional 48 patients (24 percent) received palliative treatment, which probably shortened their lives. In the Netherlands, we found that one in five patients with ALS died as a result of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.

  6. 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.

  7. What causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Martin

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease predominantly affecting upper and lower motor neurons, resulting in progressive paralysis and death from respiratory failure within 2 to 3 years. The peak age of onset is 55 to 70 years, with a male predominance. The causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are only partly known, but they include some environmental risk factors as well as several genes that have been identified as harbouring disease-associated variation. Here we review the nature, epidemiology, genetic associations, and environmental exposures associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  8. MR imaging of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oba, Hiroshi; Monzawa, Shuichi (Yamanashi Medical College, Nakakoma (Japan). Hospital); Araki, Tsutomu (and others)

    1992-04-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MR imaging) provides a sensitive method for mapping the normal and pathological distribution of iron in the brain. High field strength MR imaging (1.5 T) was used to evaluate eight patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 49 neurological normal control patients. All eight ALS patients showed decreased signal intensity in the motor cortex on T2-weighted images, while only one of the normal control patients showed this finding. The results suggested that the decreased signal intensity in the motor cortex in ALS was caused by the deposition of iron in this area. (author).

  9. Manganese concentration in the spinal cords and blood corpuscles of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miyata, Satoru; Toyoshima, Masanori; Otsuki, Yuzo; Nagata, Hiroshi; Nakamura, Shigenobu (Kyoto Univ. (Japan). Faculty of Medicine)

    1981-11-01

    Manganese concentration in the spinal cord tissues and the blood corpuscles from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other diseases were measured by neutron activation analysis. The mean manganese concentration in the spinal cord from ALS patients was significantly higher than that from control subjects, especially in the anterior horn of the cervical cord. In order to determine the manganese concentration in blood corpuscles by neutron activation analysis, it was necessary to subtract /sup 56/Mn derived from the /sup 56/Fe(n, p)/sup 56/Mn reaction. The mean Mn concentration in the blood corpuscles from ALS patients seems to be lower than that from patients with other diseases. Fe, Se, Rb and Zn concentrations in the blood corpuscles from ALS patients were not different from those of patients with other diseases.

  10. 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.

  11. Stem cell therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhijuan Mao

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of motor neurons. Currently, no effective therapy is available to treat ALS, except for Riluzole, which has only limited clinical benefits. Stem-cell-based therapy has been intensively and extensively studied as a potential novel treatment strategy for ALS and has been shown to be effective, at least to some extent. In this article, we will review the current state of research on the use of stem cell therapy in the treatment of ALS and discuss the most promising stem cells for the treatment of ALS.

  12. Involvement of quinolinic acid in the neuropathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jong-Min; Tan, Vanessa; Lovejoy, David; Braidy, Nady; Rowe, Dominic B; Brew, Bruce J; Guillemin, Gilles J

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease characterized by a progressive degeneration of central and peripheral motor neurons, leading to the atrophy of voluntary muscles. It has been previously demonstrated that the kynurenine pathway (KP), the major biochemical pathway for tryptophan metabolism, is dysregulated in ALS. In particular, the neuroactive intermediate, quinolinic acid (QUIN) has been shown to accumulate with a concomitant decrease in other neuroprotective and immunomodulatory KP metabolites. Furthermore, multiple biochemical phenomena associated with QUIN cytotoxicity are present in ALS, suggesting that QUIN may play a substantial role in the pathogenesis of ALS. This review highlights the potential roles of QUIN in ALS, and explores KP modulation as a therapeutic candidate in ALS. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Kynurenine Pathway in Health and Disease'. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.)

  14. 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.

  15. Hyaluronic acid is increased in the skin and urine in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, S.; Imai, T.; Yamauchi, M.; Nagao, K.

    1996-01-01

    We performed morphological studies of skin and measured glycosaminoglycans in the urine from patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and control subjects. The wide spaces separating collagen bundles reacted strongly with alcian blue stain in ALS patients and stained more markedly as ALS progressed. Staining with alcian blue was virtually eliminated by Streptomyces hyaluronidase. The urinary excretion of hyaluronic acid (HA) (mg/day) was significantly increased (P < 0.01) in ALS patients compared with that of control subjects, and there was a significant positive correlation between the excreted amount of HA and the duration of illness in advanced ALS patients with a duration of more than 2 years from clinical onset (r = 0.72, P < 0.02). We suggest that sporadic ALS includes a metabolic disorder of HA in which an accumulation of HA in the skin is linked to an increased urinary excretion of HA.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Transplantation of autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells in the subarachnoid space for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a safety analysis of 14 patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Yan; Liang, Zhan-Hua; Han, Chao; Wei, Wen-Juan; Song, Chun-Li; Zhou, Li-Na; Liu, Yang; Li, Ying; Ji, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Jing

    2017-03-01

    There is a small amount of clinical data regarding the safety and feasibility of autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cell transplantation into the subarachnoid space for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The objectives of this retrospective study were to assess the safety and efficacy of peripheral blood mononuclear cell transplantation in 14 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients to provide more objective data for future clinical trials. After stem cell mobilization and collection, autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (1 × 10(9)) were isolated and directly transplanted into the subarachnoid space of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. The primary outcome measure was incidence of adverse events. Secondary outcome measures were electromyography 1 week before operation and 4 weeks after operation, Functional Independence Measurement, Berg Balance Scale, and Dysarthria Assessment Scale 1 week preoperatively and 1, 2, 4 and 12 weeks postoperatively. There was no immediate or delayed transplant-related cytotoxicity. The number of leukocytes, serum alanine aminotransferase and creatinine levels, and body temperature were within the normal ranges. Radiographic evaluation showed no serious transplant-related adverse events. Muscle strength grade, results of Functional Independence Measurement, Berg Balance Scale, and Dysarthria Assessment Scale were not significantly different before and after treatment. These findings suggest that peripheral blood mononuclear cell transplantation into the subarachnoid space for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is safe, but its therapeutic effect is not remarkable. Thus, a large-sample investigation is needed to assess its efficacy further.

  20. Nuclear trafficking in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prpar Mihevc, Sonja; Darovic, Simona; Kovanda, Anja; Bajc Česnik, Ana; Župunski, Vera; Rogelj, Boris

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration are two ends of a phenotypic spectrum of disabling, relentlessly progressive and ultimately fatal diseases. A key characteristic of both conditions is the presence of TDP-43 (encoded by TARDBP) or FUS immunoreactive cytoplasmic inclusions in neuronal and glial cells. This cytoplasmic mislocalization of otherwise predominantly nuclear RNA binding proteins implies a perturbation of the nucleocytoplasmic shuttling as a possible event in the pathogenesis. Compromised nucleocytoplasmic shuttling has recently also been associated with a hexanucleotide repeat expansion mutation in C9orf72, which is the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and leads to accumulation of cytoplasmic TDP-43 inclusions. Mutation in C9orf72 may disrupt nucleocytoplasmic shuttling on the level of C9ORF72 protein, the transcribed hexanucleotide repeat RNA, and/or dipeptide repeat proteins translated form the hexanucleotide repeat RNA. These defects of nucleocytoplasmic shuttling may therefore, constitute the common ground of the underlying disease mechanisms in different molecular subtypes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. 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.

  2. The mitochondrial calcium regulator cyclophilin D is an essential component of oestrogen-mediated neuroprotection in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Jeong; Magranè, Jordi; Starkov, Anatoly A; Manfredi, Giovanni

    2012-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder that is more prevalent in males than in females. A similar gender difference has been reported in some strains of transgenic mouse models of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis harbouring the G93A mutation in CuZn superoxide dismutase. Mitochondrial damage caused by pathological alterations in Ca(2+) accumulation is frequently involved in neurodegenerative diseases, including CuZn superoxide dismutase-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but its association with gender is not firmly established. In this study, we examined the effects of genetic ablation of cyclophilin D on gender differences in mice expressing G93A mutant CuZn superoxide dismutase. Cyclophilin D is a mitochondrial protein that promotes mitochondrial damage from accumulated Ca(2+). As anticipated, we found that cyclophilin D ablation markedly increased Ca(2+) retention in brain mitochondria of both males and females. Surprisingly, cyclophilin D ablation completely abolished the phenotypic advantage of G93A females, with no effect on disease in males. We also found that the 17β-oestradiol decreased Ca(2+) retention in brain mitochondria, and that cyclophilin D ablation abolished this effect. Furthermore, 17β-oestradiol protected G93A cortical neurons and spinal cord motor neurons against glutamate toxicity, but the protection was lost in neurons lacking cyclophilin D. Taken together, these results identify a novel mechanism of oestrogen-mediated neuroprotection in CuZn superoxide dismutase-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, whereby Ca(2+) overload and mitochondrial damage are prevented in a cyclophilin D-dependent manner. Such a protective mechanism may contribute to the lower incidence and later onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and perhaps other chronic neurodegenerative diseases, in females.

  3. 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.; Vosa, Urmo; de Jong, Simone; Robinson, Matthew R.; Yang, Jian; Fogh, Isabella; van Doormaal, Perry T. C.; 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-Glavac, Metka; Koritnik, Blazi; Zidar, Janez; Leonardis, Lea; Groselj, Leja Dolenc; Millecamps, Stephanie; Salachas, Francois; Meininger, Vincent; de Carvalho, Mamede; Pinto, Susana; Mora, Jesus S.; Rojas-Garcia, 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; Duerr, Alexandra; Wood, Nicholas W.; Tittmann, Lukas; Lieb, Wolfgang; Franke, Andre; Rietschel, Marcella; Cichon, Sven; Noethen, Markus M.; Amouyel, Philippe; Tzourio, Christophe; Dartigues, Jean-Francois; 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; Soraru, 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; Huebner, Christian A.; Leigh, P. Nigel; Casale, Federico; Chio, Adrian; 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.

    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

  4. 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

  5. SPATACSIN mutations cause autosomal recessive juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlacchio, Antonio; Babalini, Carla; Borreca, Antonella; Patrono, Clarice; Massa, Roberto; Basaran, Sarenur; Munhoz, Renato P; Rogaeva, Ekaterina A; St George-Hyslop, Peter H; Bernardi, Giorgio; Kawarai, Toshitaka

    2010-02-01

    The mutation of the spatacsin gene is the single most common cause of autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia with thin corpus callosum. Common clinical, pathological and genetic features between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and hereditary spastic paraplegia motivated us to investigate 25 families with autosomal recessive juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and long-term survival for mutations in the spatascin gene. The inclusion criterion was a diagnosis of clinically definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis according to the revised El Escorial criteria. The exclusion criterion was a diagnosis of hereditary spastic paraplegia with thin corpus callosum in line with an established protocol. Additional pathological and genetic evaluations were also performed. Surprisingly, 12 sequence alterations in the spatacsin gene (one of which is novel, IVS30 + 1 G > A) were identified in 10 unrelated pedigrees with autosomal recessive juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and long-term survival. The countries of origin of these families were Italy, Brazil, Canada, Japan and Turkey. The variants seemed to be pathogenic since they co-segregated with the disease in all pedigrees, were absent in controls and were associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis neuropathology in one member of one of these families for whom central nervous system tissue was available. Our study indicates that mutations in the spatascin gene could cause a much wider spectrum of clinical features than previously recognized, including autosomal recessive juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  6. Mirror movements in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittstock, Mathias; Meister, Steffanie; Walter, Uwe; Benecke, Reiner; Wolters, Alexander

    2011-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor syndrome with clinical evidence of upper and lower motor neuron dysfunction. Mirror movements (MM) in ALS have been reported and attributed to a disturbed transcallosal inhibition (TI). Hence, occurrence of MM in ALS might be explained by involvement of transcallosal projecting fibre tracts into the degenerative process of the motor system. Twenty-six consecutive ALS patients were studied by clinical investigation of MM and by transcranial magnetic stimulation testing of TI using evaluation of the ipsilateral silent period. MM were observed in 39% of ALS patients. There was a significant correlation between the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and occurrence of MM (correlation coefficient -0.315; p = 0.044). In conclusion, all MM patients had pathological TI at least in one hemisphere, which indicates involvement of transcallosally projecting output neurons in ALS patients, which in turn may be an early feature of the disease process with the potential of a diagnostic biomarker.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 75 FR 35711 - Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Evaluation of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-23

    ... for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to provide a 100-percent evaluation for any veteran with.../treatment.shtml ; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis/DS00359/DSECTION... convulsive disorders. Rating * * * * * 8017 Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 100 Note: Consider the need for...

  12. Unraveling the complexity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: recent advances from the transgenic mutant SOD1 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peviani, M; Caron, I; Pizzasegola, C; Gensano, F; Tortarolo, M; Bendotti, C

    2010-08-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which accounts for the majority of motor neuron disorders, is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease leading to complete paralysis of skeletal muscles and premature death usually from respiratory failure. About 10% of all ALS cases are inherited, with the responsible gene having been identified in approximately 25% of these individuals. Mutations in the copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene were the first to be recognized nearly twenty years ago, and since then different animal models, in particular transgenic rodents, have been developed. They replicate many of the clinical, neuropathological and molecular features of ALS patients and have contributed significantly to our understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of this disease. Although results obtained so far with mutant SOD1 mice have not translated into effective therapies in ALS patients, these models still represent the only experimentally accessible system to study multiple aspects of disease pathogenesis and to provide proof-of-principle for the development of new therapeutic strategies. This review will examine the most recent discoveries obtained from these animal models in an attempt to elucidate the complex mechanisms of the disease. In particular it will focus on the contribution of multiple cell types in governing the disease development and progression.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costagli, M; Donatelli, G; Biagi, L; Caldarazzo Ienco, E; Siciliano, G; Tosetti, M; Cosottini, M

    2016-01-01

    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.

  15. Report by the Spanish Foundation for the Brain on the social impact of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neuromuscular disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, A; Esteban, J; Paradas, C

    2015-03-27

    A thorough knowledge of the socioeconomic scope of neuromuscular disease is essential for managing resources and raising social awareness. Our group reviewed current data on the epidemiology, mortality and dependence rates, and socioeconomic impact of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neuromuscular diseases in Spain. We also recorded how neurological care for these patients is organised. Neuromuscular disorders are a very heterogeneous group of diseases, and some are very rare. These disorders account for between 2.8% and 18% of the total motives for a neurological consultation. In Spain, prevalence and incidence figures for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are similar to those in other countries; however, figures for patients with other neuromuscular diseases are not known. Since the diseases are chronic, progressive, and debilitating, they cause considerable disability and dependence, which in turn directly affects healthcare and social costs associated with the disease. The costs generated by one patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Duchenne disease have been calculated at about 50 000 euros per year. Neuromuscular disease shows aetiological, diagnostic, and prognostic complexity, and it requires multidisciplinary management. Follow-up for these patients should be entrusted to specialised units. Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. The Balloon-Based Manometry Evaluation of Swallowing in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerzy Tomik

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to analyse the disturbances of the oro-pharyngeal swallowing phase of dysphagia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS patients with the use of specific manometric measurements and to evaluate their plausible association with the duration of the disease. Seventeen patients with ALS were evaluated with manometric examinations of the oral and pharyngeal part of the gastrointestinal tract. Tests were carried out by using the oesophageal balloon-based method with four balloon transducers located 5 cm away from each other. The following manometric parameters were analysed: the base of tongue contraction (BTC and the upper oesophageal sphincter pressure (UESP, and the hypopharyngeal suction pump (HSP as well as the oro-pharyngeal, pharyngeal and hypopharyngeal transit time and average pharyngeal bolus velocity (oropharyngeal transit time (OTT, pharyngeal transit time (PTT, hypopharyngeal transit time (HTT and average pharyngeal bolus velocity (APBV, respectively. Manomatric examinations during swallowing in patients with ALS showed significant weakness of BTC, a decrease of HSP and a decrease of the velocity of bolus transit inside the pharynx which were particularly marked between the first and the third examination. Manometric examinations of the oro-pharyngeal part of the gastrointestinal tract are useful and supportive methods in the analysis of swallowing disturbances in ALS patients.

  18. 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.

  19. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: update and new developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratt, Ashley J; Getzoff, Elizabeth D; Perry, J Jefferson P

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form of motor neuron disease. It is typically characterized by adult-onset degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons, and is usually fatal within a few years of onset. A subset of ALS patients has an inherited form of the disease, and a few of the known mutant genes identified in familial cases have also been found in sporadic forms of ALS. Precisely how the diverse ALS-linked gene products dictate the course of the disease, resulting in compromised voluntary muscular ability, is not entirely known. This review addresses the major advances that are being made in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms giving rise to the disease, which may eventually translate into new treatment options. PMID:23019386

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Characterizing the complexity of spontaneous motor unit patterns of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using approximate entropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ping; Barkhaus, Paul E.; Zhang, Xu; Zev Rymer, William

    2011-10-01

    This paper presents a novel application of the approximate entropy (ApEn) measurement for characterizing spontaneous motor unit activity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. High-density surface electromyography (EMG) was used to record spontaneous motor unit activity bilaterally from the thenar muscles of nine ALS subjects. Three distinct patterns of spontaneous motor unit activity (sporadic spikes, tonic spikes and high-frequency repetitive spikes) were observed. For each pattern, complexity was characterized by calculating the ApEn values of the representative signal segments. A sliding window over each segment was also introduced to quantify the dynamic changes in complexity for the different spontaneous motor unit patterns. We found that the ApEn values for the sporadic spikes were the highest, while those of the high-frequency repetitive spikes were the lowest. There is a significant difference in mean ApEn values between two arbitrary groups of the three spontaneous motor unit patterns (P < 0.001). The dynamic ApEn curve from the sliding window analysis is capable of tracking variations in EMG activity, thus providing a vivid, distinctive description for different patterns of spontaneous motor unit action potentials in terms of their complexity. These findings expand the existing knowledge of spontaneous motor unit activity in ALS beyond what was previously obtained using conventional linear methods such as firing rate or inter-spike interval statistics.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Importance of sample size for the estimation of repeater F waves in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Jia; Liu, Ming-Sheng; Guan, Yu-Zhou; Cui, Bo; Cui, Li-Ying

    2015-02-20

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), repeater F waves are increased. Accurate assessment of repeater F waves requires an adequate sample size. 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. 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 waves obtained from 100 stimuli, the Index RN (P 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.

  11. An inactivating mutation in the SOD 1 gene causes familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Pramatarova, A.; Rouleau, G.A. [Montreal General Hospital Research Institute (Canada); Goto, J. [Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by highly selective death of large motor neurons in the cerebral cortex and spinal cord. The familial form of ALS (FALS) accounts for approximately 10% of the cases and is transmitted in an autosomal dominant manner. Recently the defective gene causing chromosome 21-linked FALS was shown to be the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD 1). However, the precise mechanism of neurotoxicity seen in FALS with SOD 1 mutations is still unknown. Until now all SOD 1 mutations reported were single base pair substitutions (missense). We have identified a nonsense mutation in exon 5 of the SOD 1 gene in a FALS kindred. This two base pair deletion provokes a frameshift and a predicted premature truncation of the protein. The region affected has a very important structural and functional role: it contains part of the active loop and is involved in dimer contact. We would predict that the loss of these structures would impair the functioning of the enzyme.

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Spinal anterior horn has the capacity to self-regenerate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis model mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Kazunori; Nagai, Makiko; Morimoto, Nobutoshi; Kurata, Tomoko; Takehisa, Yasushi; Ikeda, Yoshio; Abe, Koji

    2009-12-01

    The exact host environment necessary for neural regeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has not yet been fully elucidated. We first focused on the extracellular matrix proteins in ALS model mice during development of the disease and then attempted to examine whether regeneration occurs in the ALS spinal cord under regenerative conditions. A progressive increase in gamma1 laminin (a promoter of regeneration) and a progressive decrease in semaphorin3A (Sema3A; an inhibitor of regeneration) were observed, mainly in the neuropil of the spinal anterior horn from 15 to 18 weeks, when astrocytes began to express both gamma1 laminin and Sema3A. On the other hand, a progressive increase in growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43; synaptic regeneration site) and a progressive decrease in synaptotagmin1 (actual synaptic bouton) were observed in the same areas of the spinal anterior horn from 15 to 18 weeks. Thus, the present data suggest that, although the spinal anterior horn in ALS models loses motor neurons, it initially possesses the capacity to self-regenerate but displays a progressive loss of ability to regenerate new effective synapses. Copyright 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. A muscle ultrasound score in the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Yukiko; Noto, Yu-Ichi; Shiga, Kensuke; Teramukai, Satoshi; Nakagawa, Masanori; Mizuno, Toshiki

    2017-06-01

    The aims of this study are to elucidate the frequencies and distribution of fasciculations using muscle ultrasound in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and those with other conditions mimicking ALS, and subsequently to develop a novel fasciculation score for the diagnosis of ALS. Ultrasound of 21 muscles was performed to detect fasciculations in 36 consecutive patients suspected of having ALS. We developed a fasciculation ultrasound score that indicated the number of muscles with fasciculations in statistically selected muscles. A total of 525 muscles in 25 ALS patients and 231 in 11 non-ALS patients were analysed. Using relative operating characteristic and multivariate logistic regression analysis, we selected the trapezius, deltoid, biceps brachii, abductor pollicis brevis, abdominal, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, biceps femoris, and gastrocnemius muscles for the fasciculation ultrasound score. The mean scores were higher in the ALS group than those in the non-ALS group (5.3±0.5vs. 0.3±0.7) (mean±SD); p<0.001. Two or more of the fasciculation ultrasound scores showed high sensitivity and specificity in differentiating ALS patients from non-ALS patients. The fasciculation ultrasound score can be a simple and useful diagnostic marker of ALS. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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.)

  1. Evaluation of dysphagia at the initial diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murono, Shigeyuki; Hamaguchi, Tsuyoshi; Yoshida, Hiroshi; Nakanishi, Yosuke; Tsuji, Akira; Endo, Kazuhira; Kondo, Satoru; Wakisaka, Naohiro; Yamada, Masahito; Yoshizaki, Tomokazu

    2015-06-01

    Dysphagia eventually occurs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Swallowing in patients with ALS at their initial diagnosis was evaluated using videofluoroscopy (VF). Nineteen consecutive patients with ALS, 14 with bulbar symptoms, and 5 without them, underwent VF. Fourteen physiologic components, 6 oral and 8 pharyngeal components, were assessed during the examination. Significantly poorer scores were observed in three of the 6 oral components and 3 of the 8 pharyngeal components in patients with bulbar symptoms. Furthermore, bolus transport from the oral cavity to pharynx, pharyngeal constriction, oral residue and pharyngeal residue were impaired in patients even without bulbar symptoms. On the other hand, pharyngoesophageal segment opening was preserved in patients even with bulbar symptoms. Bolus transport and initiation of pharyngeal swallow were correlated with the swallowing category of the ALS severity scale. Defining types of impairment in patients with or without bulbar symptoms is useful for evaluating dysphagia in this disease. Although VF showed impairment of oral and pharyngeal phases of swallowing, the oral phase affected the eating habit in ALS at the initial diagnosis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Incidence and Previous Prescriptions of Drugs for the Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ovidio, Fabrizio; d'Errico, Angelo; Farina, Elena; Calvo, Andrea; Costa, Giuseppe; Chiò, Adriano

    2016-01-01

    An increased frequency of psychotic disorders in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) families compared to controls has been reported. Aim of our study was to assess the relationship between nervous system drugs prescriptions and subsequent onset of ALS in a large Italian population. The study population consisted of all subjects over 15 years at the 2001 Italian census, resident in Turin since 1996 (n = 687,324), followed up for ALS occurrence from 2002 to 2014. Exposure to nervous system drugs was measured until 2012, or until 1 year before ALS onset. The association was estimated for ever and cumulative exposure, through Cox proportional Hazards models adjusted for sex, age, education, marital status and drug co-exposure. In the analysis for ever exposure, opioids were significantly inversely associated with ALS risk (hazard ratio (HR) 0.59; 95% CI 0.35-0.97), while antiepileptics (HR 1.35; 95% CI 0.92-2.00) showed a marginally significantly positive association. Examining cumulative exposure, the protective role of opioids associated with more than 4 prescriptions and the risk effect of antiepileptics for over 6 prescriptions was confirmed. The present study revealed associations of ALS onset with previous exposure to opioids, maybe through the activation of δ receptor and σ receptors and antiepileptics, which are novel findings to our knowledge. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Therapeutic neuroprotective agents for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandya, Rachna S.; Zhu, Haining; Li, Wei; Bowser, Robert; Friedlander, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal chronic neurodegenerative disease whose hallmark is proteinaceous, ubiquitinated, cytoplasmic inclusions in motor neurons and surrounding cells. Multiple mechanisms proposed as responsible for ALS pathogenesis include dysfunction of protein degradation, glutamate excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, oxidative stress, and inflammation. It is therefore essential to gain a better understanding of the underlying disease etiology and search for neuroprotective agents that might delay disease onset, slow progression, prolong survival, and ultimately reduce the burden of disease. Because riluzole, the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment, prolongs the ALS patient’s life by only 3 months, new therapeutic agents are urgently needed. In this review, we focus on studies of various small pharmacological compounds targeting the proposed pathogenic mechanisms of ALS and discuss their impact on disease progression. PMID:23864030

  7. Management of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    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. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Racial and ethnic differences among amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rechtman, Lindsay; Jordan, Heather; Wagner, Laurie; Horton, D Kevin; Kaye, Wendy

    2015-03-01

    Our objective was to describe racial and ethnic differences of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in distinct geographic locations around the United States (U.S.). ALS cases for the period 2009-2011 were identified using active case surveillance in three states and eight metropolitan areas. Of the 5883 unique ALS cases identified, 74.8% were white, 9.3% were African-American/black, 3.6% were Asian, 12.0% were an unknown race, and 0.3% were marked as some other race. For ethnicity, 77.5% were defined as non-Hispanic, 10.8% Hispanic, and 11.7% were of unknown ethnicity. The overall crude average annual incidence rate was 1.52 per 100,000 person-years and the rate differed by race and ethnicity. The overall age-adjusted average annual incidence rate was 1.44 per 100,000 person-years and the age-adjusted average incidence rates also differed by race and ethnicity. Racial differences were also found in payer type, time from symptom onset to diagnosis, reported El Escorial criteria, and age at diagnosis. In conclusion, calculated incidence rates demonstrate that ALS occurs less frequently in African-American/blacks and Asians compared to whites, and less frequently in Hispanics compared to non-Hispanics in the U.S. A more precise understanding of racial and ethnic variations in ALS may help to reveal candidates for further studies of disease etiology and disease progression.

  13. Epidemiology of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in the Republic of Cyprus: A 25-Year Retrospective Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demetriou, Christiana A; Hadjivasiliou, Petros M; Kleopa, Kleopas A; Christou, Yiolanda P; Leonidou, Eleni; Kyriakides, Theodoros; Zamba-Papanicolaou, Eleni

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare, rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease. Despite wide variability in the incidence and prevalence of ALS, there is evidence of positive temporal trends and an increase in incidence with age. The aim of this study was to conduct a detailed epidemiological investigation of ALS in Cyprus. All registered Cypriot ALS patients in the Republic of Cyprus from January 1985 until December 2014 were included. Socio-demographic information was extracted from patient files. The study identified 179 ALS patients, of whom 7 had a positive family history. The mean age at onset was 58.6 years and a slight male predominance was observed. Average annual crude incidence was 1.26 cases/100,000 person-years and at the beginning of 2015, prevalence of ALS was 7.9 cases/100,000 population. Both incidence and prevalence displayed an increasing trend, even after age-standardization of incidence rates. Incidence, prevalence and main socio-demographic characteristics of ALS in Cyprus were similar to those of other European countries, without any geographic clustering of the disease. Additionally, an increased incidence through the years was confirmed. However, observations such as a higher male prevalence and a younger mean age of onset compared to published literature require further investigation. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Structural explanation of poor prognosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the non-demented state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, H-J; Oh, S-I; de Leon, M; Wang, X; Oh, K-W; Park, J-S; Deshpande, A; Buj, M; Kim, S H

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a motor neuron disease, is associated with various cortical symptoms including mild cognitive decline with behavior changes, suggesting the involvement of extra-motor areas in ALS. Our aim was to investigate the specific patterns of brain atrophy in sporadic, impaired ALS patients without commonly known genetic mutations using voxel-based morphometry. Forty-seven patients with sporadic ALS and 28 age-matched healthy controls were recruited. ALS participants were divided into three groups according to comprehensive neuropsychological testing: pure (ALS-pure), cognitive impairment (ALSci) and behavioral impairment (ALSbi). Quantitative comparison of brain atrophy patterns was performed amongst these three groups using voxel-based analysis. All analyses were adjusted for total intracranial volume, age, sex, disease duration and functional disability score. The ALSci group exhibited decreased volume in the left cerebellum, fusiform gyrus, optic radiations and corticospinal tracts compared to healthy controls. ALSci patient imaging showed decreased brain volume in the bilateral cerebellum, right putamen gray matter and bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculi white matter compared to pure ALS patients (P < 0.001 uncorrected, corrected for the entire volume). Compared to healthy controls, ALS-pure and ALSbi groups did not show any significant volume changes in gray and white matter. These findings also support the hypothesis that ALS pathogenesis has a dual focality of onset (cortex and anterior horn) with contiguous spread outwards. Additionally, neuropsychological features may be an important predictor of progression and survival rates in ALS. © 2016 EAN.

  18. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: from current developments in the laboratory to clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cozzolino, Mauro; Ferri, Alberto; Carrì, Maria Teresa

    2008-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset progressive degeneration of motor neurons occurring both as a sporadic and a familial disease. The etiology of ALS remains unknown, but one fifth of instances are due to specific gene defects, the best characterized of which is point mutations in the gene coding for Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Because sporadic and familial ALS affect the same neurons with similar pathology, it is hoped that understanding these gene defects will help in devising therapies effective in both forms. A wealth of evidence has been collected in rodents made transgenic for mutant SOD1, which represent the best available models for familial ALS. Mutant SOD1 likely induces selective vulnerability of motor neurons through a combination of several mechanisms, including protein misfolding, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative damage, cytoskeletal abnormalities and defective axonal transport, excitotoxicity, inadequate growth factor signaling, and inflammation. Damage within motor neurons is enhanced by noxious signals originating from nonneuronal neighboring cells, where mutant SOD1 induces an inflammatory response that accelerates disease progression. The clinical implication of these findings is that promising therapeutic approaches can be derived from multidrug treatments aimed at the simultaneous interception of damage in both motor neurons and nonmotor neuronal cells.

  19. Protein Quality Control and the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Frontotemporal Dementia Continuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahheydari, Hamideh; Ragagnin, Audrey; Walker, Adam K.; Toth, Reka P.; Vidal, Marta; Jagaraj, Cyril J.; Perri, Emma R.; Konopka, Anna; Sultana, Jessica M.; Atkin, Julie D.

    2017-01-01

    Protein homeostasis, or proteostasis, has an important regulatory role in cellular function. Protein quality control mechanisms, including protein folding and protein degradation processes, have a crucial function in post-mitotic neurons. Cellular protein quality control relies on multiple strategies, including molecular chaperones, autophagy, the ubiquitin proteasome system, endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) and the formation of stress granules (SGs), to regulate proteostasis. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the presence of misfolded protein aggregates, implying that protein quality control mechanisms are dysfunctional in these conditions. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are neurodegenerative diseases that are now recognized to overlap clinically and pathologically, forming a continuous disease spectrum. In this review article, we detail the evidence for dysregulation of protein quality control mechanisms across the whole ALS-FTD continuum, by discussing the major proteins implicated in ALS and/or FTD. We also discuss possible ways in which protein quality mechanisms could be targeted therapeutically in these disorders and highlight promising protein quality control-based therapeutics for clinical trials. PMID:28539871

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Pain in Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis : Its relation to the medial and lateral pain systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scherder, E; Wolters, E; Polman, C; Sergeant, J; Swaab, D

    2005-01-01

    Although pain is one of the major clinical symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) and multiple sclerosis (MS), it is often neglected and therefore undertreated. The question why the perception of pain in stages without cognitive impairment is not affected by the neuropathology has not been addressed s

  7. EMG-force relation in the first dorsal interosseous muscle of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahanmiri-Nezhad, Faezeh; Hu, Xiaogang; Suresh, Nina L; Rymer, William Z; Zhou, Ping

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between surface electromyography (EMG) and muscle force is essential to assess muscle function and its deficits. However, few studies have explored the EMG-force relation in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The purpose of this study was to examine the EMG-force relation in ALS subjects and its alteration in comparison with healthy control subjects. Surface EMG and force signals were recorded while 10 ALS and 10 age-matched healthy control subjects produced isometric voluntary contractions in the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle over the full range of activation. A linear fit of the EMG-force relation was evaluated through the normalized root mean square error (RMSE) between the experimental and predicted EMG amplitudes. The EMG-force relation was compared between the ALS and the healthy control subjects. With a linear fit, the normalized RMSE between the experimental and predicted EMG amplitudes was 9.6 ± 3.6% for the healthy control subjects and 12.3 ± 8.0% for the ALS subjects. The slope of the linear fit was 2.9 ± 2.2 μVN-1 for the ALS subjects and was significantly shallower (p force, the slope for the remaining ALS subjects was 3.5 ± 2.2 μVN-1 and was not significantly different from the control subjects (p > 0.05). A linear fit can be used to well describe the EMG-force relation for the FDI muscle of both ALS and healthy control subjects. A variety of processes may work together in ALS that can adversely affect the EMG-force relation.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Potassium channel abnormalities are consistent with early axon degeneration of motor axons in the G127X SOD1 mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maglemose, Rikke; Hedegaard, Anne; Lehnhoff, Janna

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal neurodegenerative disease, which selectively affects upper and lower motoneurones. The underlying pathophysiology of the disease is complex but electrophysiological studies of peripheral nerves in ALS patients as well as human autopsy studies indicate...

  12. Wnt Signaling Alteration in the Spinal Cord of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Transgenic Mice: Special Focus on Frizzled-5 Cellular Expression Pattern.

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    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.

  13. Gacyclidine improves the survival and reduces motor deficits in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Grey and White Matter Changes across the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Frontotemporal Dementia Continuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Grey and white matter changes across the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia continuum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Occupations and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: are jobs exposed to the general public at higher risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ovidio, F; d'Errico, A; Calvo, A; Costa, G; Chiò, A

    2017-02-14

    Aim of this study was to assess whether previous employment in certain occupations could be a risk factor for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) incidence. This topic has been explored by several studies, but no risk factor has been firmly identified. The study population consisted of all subjects over 30 years old resident in Turin in 1996 who worked or were unemployed at 1991 Italian census ( n = 284 406), followed up for ALS occurrence from 1996 to 2014. The risk of ALS was estimated in relation to the occupation held in 1991, using the Italian classification of occupations at the greatest detail. The association between occupations and ALS risk was estimated through Huber-White sandwich multivariate Poisson regression models adjusted for age, gender, education and marital status. During the follow-up, 208 subjects developed ALS. ALS risk was significantly associated with previous employment as bank teller (IRR = 7.33), general practitioner (IRR = 4.61) and sales representative (IRR = 3.06). Categorizing all occupations as exposed or unexposed to direct contact with general public, it was found that previous employment in this group of occupations increased significantly ALS risk (IRR = 1.51), mainly driven by occupations in direct contact with customers (IRR = 1.79). The study results indicate that ALS risk may be increased by previous employment in occupations implying direct contact with the general public, in particular customers. A possible explanation of this finding, partly supported by the literature, is that workers in contact with the public could be more exposed to certain infections, which would increase their ALS risk.

  17. Nerve excitability changes related to axonal degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Insights from the transgenic SOD1(G127X) mouse model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez Herrero, Susana; Pinchenko, Volodymyr

    2012-01-01

    Motor nerve excitability studies by "threshold tracking" in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) revealed heterogeneous abnormalities in motor axon membrane function possibly depending on disease stage. It remains unclear to which extent the excitability deviations reflect a pathogenic mechanism...

  18. Different occupations associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: is diesel exhaust the link?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Different occupations associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: is diesel exhaust the link?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. The relationship between depressive symptoms, disease state, and cognition in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Beyond Parkinson disease: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the axon guidance pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy G Lesnick

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: We recently described a genomic pathway approach to study complex diseases. We demonstrated that models constructed using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs within axon guidance pathway genes were highly predictive of Parkinson disease (PD susceptibility, survival free of PD, and age at onset of PD within two independent whole-genome association datasets. We also demonstrated that several axon guidance pathway genes represented by SNPs within our final models were differentially expressed in PD. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we employed our genomic pathway approach to analyze data from a whole-genome association dataset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; and demonstrated that models constructed using SNPs within axon guidance pathway genes were highly predictive of ALS susceptibility (odds ratio = 1739.73, p = 2.92x10(-60, survival free of ALS (hazards ratio = 149.80, p = 1.25x10(-74, and age at onset of ALS (R(2 = 0.86, p = 5.96x10(-66. We also extended our analyses of a whole-genome association dataset of PD, which shared 320,202 genomic SNPs in common with the whole-genome association dataset of ALS. We compared for ALS and PD the genes represented by SNPs in the final models for susceptibility, survival free of disease, and age at onset of disease and noted that 52.2%, 37.8%, and 34.9% of the genes were shared respectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings for the axon guidance pathway and ALS have prior biological plausibility, overlap partially with PD, and may provide important insight into the causes of these and related neurodegenerative disorders.

  2. Coping strategies among patients with newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsson Larsson, Birgitta; Nordin, Karin; Askmark, Håkan; Nygren, Ingela

    2014-11-01

    To prospectively identify different coping strategies among newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and whether they change over time and to determine whether physical function, psychological well-being, age and gender correlated with the use of different coping strategies. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal disease with impact on both physical function and psychological well-being. Different coping strategies are used to manage symptoms and disease progression, but knowledge about coping in newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients is scarce. This was a prospective study with a longitudinal and descriptive design. A total of 33 patients were included and evaluation was made at two time points, one to three months and six months after diagnosis. Patients were asked to complete the Motor Neuron Disease Coping Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Physical function was estimated using the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale. The most commonly used strategies were support and independence. Avoidance/venting and information seeking were seldom used at both time points. The use of information seeking decreased between the two time points. Men did not differ from women, but patients ≤64 years used positive action more often than older patients. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale was positively correlated with positive action at time point 1, but not at time point 2. Patients' psychological well-being was correlated with the use of different coping strategies. Support and independence were the most used coping strategies, and the use of different strategies changed over time. Psychological well-being was correlated with different coping strategies in newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. The knowledge about coping strategies in early stage of the disease may help the nurses to improve and develop the care and support for these patients. © 2014 John Wiley

  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. The corticospinal tract lesion of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Magnetic resonance imaging of the spinal cord

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terao, Shin-ichi; Sobue, Gen; Mitsuma, Terunori (Aichi Medical Univ., Nagakute (Japan)); Yasuda, Takeshi; Kachi, Teruhiko

    1994-09-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging by gradient echo method demonstrated lesions of the lateral corticospinal tract at cervical cord levels in three ALS patients. Patient 1 was a 43-year-old woman with common from of ALS. She developed right-side predominant pyramidal signs, and right-side predominant prolongation of central motor conduction time. MRI showed hypersignal intensity areas in the dorsal region of the lateral column at the 4th and 5th cervical segments with right-side predominacy. Patient 2 was a 65-year-old man with pseudopolyneuritic from of ALS, who showed lower motor neuron signs without a pyramidal sign. MRI of the 3rd and 4th cervical cord segments demonstrated bilateral hypersignal intensity areas in the dorsal part of the lateral column. Patient 3 was a 62-year-old man with common form of ALS, who showed marked bilateral pyramidal signs with Babinski's sign. MRI of the 5th cervical spinal cord segment demonstrated bilateral hypersignal intensity areas in the dorsolateral column. MR images of the spinal cord thus obtained corresponded well to the postmortem confirmed degeneration of the spinal corticospinal tract. MRI of the spinal cord performed by gradient echo method would provide additional information on the upper motor neuron involvement in ALS. (author).

  5. Possible involvement of overexposure to environmental selenium in the etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a short review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Vinceti

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Excess exposure to the metalloid selenium (Se, a trace element with both toxicological and nutritional properties, has been implicated in the etiology of a human motor neuron disease of unknown origin and extremely severe prognosis, sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. This relation has been suggested on the basis of two epidemiologic investigations which found an increased risk of ALS associated with residence in a seleniferous area or with consumption of drinking water with unusually high levels of inorganic hexavalent Se, in South Dakota and in northern Italy respectively. Biological plausibility to a Se-ALS relation is provided by veterinary medicine observations and toxicological studies, showing that Se, particularly the inorganic forms, has a selective toxicity to motor neurons in swine and in cattle. Neurotoxic effects of Se species have also been demonstrated in laboratory studies and, for the inorganic forms, even at very low concentrations. Selenium has also been shown to affect muscle function in experimental animal models. Overall, these findings from the epidemiologic and the toxicological literature indicate that environmental Se, particularly in its inorganic forms and at unexpectedly low levels of exposure, might be a risk factor for ALS, suggesting the opportunity to further investigate this issue.

  6. 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

  7. The MITOS system predicts long-term survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tramacere, Irene; Dalla Bella, Eleonora; Chiò, Adriano; Mora, Gabriele; Filippini, Graziella; Lauria, Giuseppe

    2015-11-01

    The choice of adequate proxy for long-term survival, the ultimate outcome in randomised clinical trials (RCT) assessing disease-modifying treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a key issue. The intrinsic limitations of the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R), including non-linearity, multidimensionality and floor-effect, have emerged and its usefulness argued. The ALS Milano-Torino staging (ALS-MITOS) system was proposed as a novel tool to measure the progression of ALS and overcome these limitations. This study was performed to validate the ALS-MITOS as a 6-month proxy of survival in 200 ALS patients followed up to 18 months. Analyses were performed on data from the recombinant human erythropoietin RCT that failed to demonstrate differences between groups for both primary and secondary outcomes. The ALS-MITOS system is composed of four key domains included in the ALSFRS-R scale (walking/self-care, swallowing, communicating and breathing), each with a threshold reflecting the loss of function in the specific ALSFRS-R subscores. Sensitivity, specificity and the area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic curves of the ALS-MITOS system stages and ALSFRS-R decline at 6 months were calculated and compared with the primary outcome (survival, tracheotomy or >23-hour non-invasive ventilation) at 12 and 18 months Predicted probabilities of the ALS-MITO system at 6 months for any event at 12 and 18 months were computed through logistic regression models. Disease progression from baseline to 6 months as defined by the ALS-MITOS system predicted death, tracheotomy or >23-hour non-invasive ventilation at 12 months with 82% sensitivity (95% CI 71% to 93%, n=37/45) and 63% specificity (95% CI 55% to 71%, n=92/146), and at 18 months with 71% sensitivity (95% CI 61% to 82%, n=50/70) and 68% specificity (95% CI 60% to 77%, n=76/111). The analysis of ALS-MITOS and ALSFRS-R progression at 6-month follow-up showed that the best cut-off to

  8. Experimental models for the study of neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tapia Ricardo

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of unknown cause, characterized by the selective and progressive death of both upper and lower motoneurons, leading to a progressive paralysis. Experimental animal models of the disease may provide knowledge of the pathophysiological mechanisms and allow the design and testing of therapeutic strategies, provided that they mimic as close as possible the symptoms and temporal progression of the human disease. The principal hypotheses proposed to explain the mechanisms of motoneuron degeneration have been studied mostly in models in vitro, such as primary cultures of fetal motoneurons, organotypic cultures of spinal cord sections from postnatal rodents and the motoneuron-like hybridoma cell line NSC-34. However, these models are flawed in the sense that they do not allow a direct correlation between motoneuron death and its physical consequences like paralysis. In vivo, the most widely used model is the transgenic mouse that bears a human mutant superoxide dismutase 1, the only known cause of ALS. The major disadvantage of this model is that it represents about 2%–3% of human ALS. In addition, there is a growing concern on the accuracy of these transgenic models and the extrapolations of the findings made in these animals to the clinics. Models of spontaneous motoneuron disease, like the wobbler and pmn mice, have been used aiming to understand the basic cellular mechanisms of motoneuron diseases, but these abnormalities are probably different from those occurring in ALS. Therefore, the design and testing of in vivo models of sporadic ALS, which accounts for >90% of the disease, is necessary. The main models of this type are based on the excitotoxic death of spinal motoneurons and might be useful even when there is no definitive demonstration that excitotoxicity is a cause of human ALS. Despite their difficulties, these models offer the best possibility to establish

  9. Controversies and priorities in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Martin R; Hardiman, Orla; Benatar, Michael; Brooks, Benjamin R; Chio, Adriano; de Carvalho, Mamede; Ince, Paul G; Lin, Cindy; Miller, Robert G; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Nicholson, Garth; Ravits, John; Shaw, Pamela J; Swash, Michael; Talbot, Kevin; Traynor, Bryan J; den Berg, Leonard H Van; Veldink, Jan H; Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2015-01-01

    Summary Two decades after the discovery that 20% of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases were linked to mutations in the superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) gene, a substantial proportion of the remainder of cases of familial ALS have now been traced to an expansion of the intronic hexanucleotide repeat sequence in C9orf72. This breakthrough provides an opportunity to re-evaluate longstanding concepts regarding the cause and natural history of ALS, coming soon after the pathological unification of ALS with frontotemporal dementia through a shared pathological signature of cytoplasmic inclusions of the ubiquitinated protein TDP-43. However, with profound clinical, prognostic, neuropathological, and now genetic heterogeneity, the concept of ALS as one disease appears increasingly untenable. This background calls for the development of a more sophisticated taxonomy, and an appreciation of ALS as the breakdown of a wider network rather than a discrete vulnerable population of specialised motor neurons. Identification of C9orf72 repeat expansions in patients without a family history of ALS challenges the traditional division between familial and sporadic disease. By contrast, the 90% of apparently sporadic cases and incomplete penetrance of several genes linked to familial cases suggest that at least some forms of ALS arise from the interplay of multiple genes, poorly understood developmental, environmental, and age-related factors, as well as stochastic events. PMID:23415570

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Apparent segregation distortion for the SOD1 mutation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  13. Pathways and genes differentially expressed in the motor cortex of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santama Niovi

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal disorder caused by the progressive degeneration of motoneurons in brain and spinal cord. Despite identification of disease-linked mutations, the diversity of processes involved and the ambiguity of their relative importance in ALS pathogenesis still represent a major impediment to disease models as a basis for effective therapies. Moreover, the human motor cortex, although critical to ALS pathology and physiologically altered in most forms of the disease, has not been screened systematically for therapeutic targets. Results By whole-genome expression profiling and stringent significance tests we identify genes and gene groups de-regulated in the motor cortex of patients with sporadic ALS, and interpret the role of individual candidate genes in a framework of differentially expressed pathways. Our findings emphasize the importance of defense responses and cytoskeletal, mitochondrial and proteasomal dysfunction, reflect reduced neuronal maintenance and vesicle trafficking, and implicate impaired ion homeostasis and glycolysis in ALS pathogenesis. Additionally, we compared our dataset with publicly available data for the SALS spinal cord, and show a high correlation of changes linked to the diseased state in the SALS motor cortex. In an analogous comparison with data for the Alzheimer's disease hippocampus we demonstrate a low correlation of global changes and a moderate correlation for changes specifically linked to the SALS diseased state. Conclusion Gene and sample numbers investigated allow pathway- and gene-based analyses by established error-correction methods, drawing a molecular portrait of the ALS motor cortex that faithfully represents many known disease features and uncovers several novel aspects of ALS pathology. Contrary to expectations for a tissue under oxidative stress, nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes are uniformly down-regulated. Moreover, the down-regulation of

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardo, Giovanni; Pozzi, Silvia; Pignataro, Mauro; Lauranzano, Eliana; Spano, Giorgia; Garbelli, Silvia; Mantovani, Stefania; Marinou, Kalliopi; Papetti, Laura; Monteforte, Marta; Torri, Valter; Paris, Luca; Bazzoni, Gianfranco; Lunetta, Christian; Corbo, Massimo; Mora, Gabriele; Bendotti, Caterina; Bonetto, Valentina

    2011-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

  16. Risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingre, Caroline; Roos, Per M; Piehl, Fredrik; Kamel, Freya; Fang, Fang

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25709501

  17. 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. PMID:23533690

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. GENETIC FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarina Vrabec

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a rare complex neurodegenerative disease characterized by degeneration of motor neurons in the cerebral cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. The disease mainly occurs in adults, typically between 50. and 60. years and presents with symptoms like muscular weakness, atrophy and later on paralysis which lead to death due to respiratory failure within 2-5 years from onset and remains incurable. The symptoms typically start in the muscles of arms or legs (spinal onset or bulbary (bulbar onset. Most ALS cases are sporadic although about 5% are familiar. Genetic factors contribute to the disease in sporadic form as well as in familial form. Mutations have been found in 116 genes among which SOD1, TARDBP, FUS and C9ORF72 are represented in highest frequencies. Besides those four genes we are also describing 13 other genes involved in the disease process. Oligogenic model has been proposed for ALS that considers mutations in two or more genes in one patient. We emphasize the convergence between hereditary and sporadic form, which are clinically inseparable, and other neurodegenerative diseases that share with ALS genetic and clinical characteristics. Because about 2/3 of familial cases and only about 11% of sporadic cases are explained by mutations the research have been aimed at discovering new candidate genes using  genome –wide association studies and at the epigenetic causes of the disease. We have recently completed the first representative genetic analysis of patients with ALS in Slovenia and research on methylation and microRNAs is currently in progress.

  2. 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

  3. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Seok-Jin; Hong, Yoon-Ho; Shin, Je-Young; Yoon, Byung-Nam; Sohn, Sung-Yeon; Park, Chan Soon; Sung, Jung-Joon

    2017-04-15

    To investigate the frequency, features, and prognosis of takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We reviewed detailed clinical, laboratory, and cardiovascular data from 64 ALS patients (38 men and 26 women) who underwent echocardiographic evaluation for various reasons at a single referral center between January 2011 and December 2015. TTC was diagnosed in 9 ALS patients (4 men and 5 women). Mean age was 61.3years (range 55-71years), and median disease duration was 51.5months (range 18-134months). All patients were bulbar or cervical onset, and were at advanced stages of ALS when TTC was diagnosed. Acute exacerbation of dyspnea was an invariable presentation, and chest discomfort mimicking acute coronary syndrome was present in 2 patients. Six patients had significant hypotension requiring intravenous fluid challenge and inotropic support. Three patients showed altered mentality, and 2 of them suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. TTC should be suspected in ALS patients presenting with acute exacerbation of dyspnea and chest discomfort, particularly at advanced stages of the disease. This study highlights the need for proper evaluation and management of cardiac dysfunction in ALS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Epidemiologic correlates of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Armon, C.; Kurland, L.T.; Daube, J.R.; O' Brien, P.C. (Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (USA))

    1991-07-01

    The authors evaluated 74 selected patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 201 matched controls for risk factors for ALS by a case-control design and a sequential questionnaire/interview technique to quantitate biographic data. They analyzed occupational and recreational data only for 47 male patients and 47 corresponding patient controls; data for women were insufficient. They used nonparametric analyses to evaluate five primary comparisons of ALS patients with controls: (1) more hard physical labor, p not significant (NS); (2) greater frequency of neurodegenerative disease in family members, p NS; (3) greater exposure to lead, p less than 0.05; (4) more years lived in a rural community, p NS; and (5) more trauma or major surgery, p NS. Men with ALS had worked more frequently at blue-collar jobs (although not a statistically significant difference, p = 0.10) and at welding or soldering (p less than 0.01). These results suggest that there may be an association between ALS in men and exposure to lead vapor. The limited nature of the association favors a multifactorial etiologic mechanism of ALS.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with unusual presentation: A case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panagariya A

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available A case of juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with wasting confined to the distal part of one lower limb and the proximal part of the contralateral upper limb is being presented. A brief review of the literature is carried out.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Genetic correlation between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.L. Mclaughlin (Russell); D. Schijven (Dick); W. van Rheenen (Wouter); K.R. van Eijk (Kristel); M. O'Brien (Margaret); R. Kahn; R.A. Ophoff (Roel); A. Goris (An); D.G. Bradley (Daniel G.); A. Al-Chalabi (Ammar); L.H. van den Berg (Leonard); J.J. Luykx (Jurjen J.); O. Hardiman (Orla); J.H. Veldink (Jan)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractWe have previously shown higher-than-expected rates of schizophrenia in relatives of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggesting an aetiological relationship between the diseases. Here, we investigate the genetic relationship between ALS and schizophrenia using genome-w

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Motor-evoked potential gain is a helpful test for the detection of corticospinal tract dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duclos, Y; Grapperon, A M; Jouve, E; Truillet, R; Zemmour, C; Verschueren, A; Pouget, J; Attarian, S

    2017-02-01

    The detection of upper motor neuron (UMN) dysfunction is necessary for the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, signs of UMN dysfunction may be difficult to establish. This study aimed to determine whether motor-evoked potential (MEP) gain (MEP area/background electromyographic activity) represents an efficient alternative to assess UMN dysfunction. MEP area, MEP/compound muscle action potential (CMAP) area ratio, and MEP gain were tested at different force levels in healthy control subjects and ALS patients. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses was used to determine the diagnostic utility of MEP gain and compare it to alternative techniques, namely, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and the triple stimulation technique (TST). MEP gain revealed a significant difference between the patients and healthy control subjects in contrast to MEP area and MEP/CMAP area ratio. The diagnostic utility of MEP gain was comparable with that of TST and superior to that of DTI. MEP gain can distinguish ALS patients from control subjects and may be helpful for the diagnosis of ALS. MEP gain appears to be a useful adjunct test and noninvasive method for the assessment of corticospinal dysfunction. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Angiogenin variants in Parkinson disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Es, M.A.; Schelhaas, H.J.; van Vught, P.W.; Ticozzi, N.; Andersen, P.M.; Groen, E.J.; Schulte, C.; Blauw, H.M.; Koppers, M.; Diekstra, F.P.; Fumoto, K.; Leclerc, A.L.; Keagle, P.; Bloem, B.R.; Scheffer, H.; van Nuenen, B.F.; van Blitterswijk, M.; van Rheenen, W.; Wills, A.M.; Lowe, P.P.; Hu, G.F.; Yu, W.; Kishikawa, H.; Wu, D.; Folkerth, R.D.; Mariani, C.; Goldwurm, S.; Pezzoli, G.; van Damme, P.A.; Lemmens, R.; Dahlberg, C.; Birve, A.; Fernandez-Santiago, R.; Waibel, S.; Klein, C.; Weber, M.; van der Kooi, A.J.; de Visser, M.; Verbaan, D.; van Hilten, J.J.; Heutink, P.; Hennekam, E.A.; Cuppen, E.; Berg, D.; Brown Jr., R.H.; Silani, V.; Gasser, T.; Ludolph, A.C.; Robberecht, W.; Ophoff, R.A.; Veldink, J.H.; Pasterkamp, R.J.; Bakker, P.A.H.M.; Landers, J.E.; van de Warrenburg, B.P.; van den Berg, L.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Several studies have suggested an increased frequency of variants in the gene encoding angiogenin (ANG) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Interestingly, a few ALS patients carrying ANG variants also showed signs of Parkinson disease (PD). Furthermore, relatives of ALS

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. High content analysis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldi, Federica; Motti, Dario; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Kaspar, Brian K

    2017-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. Neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglial cells all undergo pathological modifications in the onset and progression of ALS. A number of genes involved in the etiopathology of the disease have been identified, but a complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms of ALS has yet to be determined. Currently, people affected by ALS have a life expectancy of only two to five years from diagnosis. The search for a treatment has been slow and mostly unsuccessful, leaving patients in desperate need of better therapies. Until recently, most pre-clinical studies utilized the available ALS animal models. In the past years, the development of new protocols for isolation of patient cells and differentiation into relevant cell types has provided new tools to model ALS, potentially more relevant to the disease itself as they directly come from patients. The use of stem cells is showing promise to facilitate ALS research by expanding our understanding of the disease and help to identify potential new therapeutic targets and therapies to help patients. Advancements in high content analysis (HCA) have the power to contribute to move ALS research forward by combining automated image acquisition along with digital image analysis. With modern HCA machines it is possible, in a period of just a few hours, to observe changes in morphology and survival of cells, under the stimulation of hundreds, if not thousands of drugs and compounds. In this article, we will summarize the major molecular and cellular hallmarks of ALS, describe the advancements provided by the in vitro models developed in the last few years, and review the studies that have applied HCA to the ALS field to date. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Rodent Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philips, Thomas; Rothstein, Jeffrey D

    2015-06-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease affecting upper and lower motor neurons in the central nervous system. Patients with ALS develop extensive muscle wasting and atrophy leading to paralysis and death 3 to 5 years after disease onset. The condition may be familial (fALS 10%) or sporadic ALS (sALS, 90%). The large majority of fALS cases are due to genetic mutations in the Superoxide dismutase 1 gene (SOD1, 15% of fALS) and repeat nucleotide expansions in the gene encoding C9ORF72 (∼ 40% to 50% of fALS and ∼ 10% of sALS). Studies suggest that ALS is mediated through aberrant protein homeostasis (i.e., ER stress and autophagy) and/or changes in RNA processing (as in all non-SOD1-mediated ALS). In all of these cases, animal models suggest that the disorder is mediated non-cell autonomously, i.e., not only motor neurons are involved, but glial cells including microglia, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, and other neuronal subpopulations are also implicated in the pathogenesis. Provided in this unit is a review of ALS rodent models, including discussion of their relative advantages and disadvantages. Emphasis is placed on correlating the model phenotype with the human condition and the utility of the model for defining the disease process. Information is also presented on RNA processing studies in ALS research, with particular emphasis on the newest ALS rodent models. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis causes small fiber pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalla Bella, E; Lombardi, R; Porretta-Serapiglia, C; Ciano, C; Gellera, C; Pensato, V; Cazzato, D; Lauria, G

    2016-02-01

    Our aim was to address the correlation between small fiber loss and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for disease onset, phenotype, genotype, duration, severity and sensory findings. Consecutive patients referred for suspected ALS were screened. Exclusion criteria were possible ALS and previous diagnosis or known risk factors for small fiber neuropathies. A sural nerve conduction study (NCS) was bilaterally recorded. The ALS functional rating scale revised was administered and loss of functions were calculated using the Milano-Torino staging (MITOS) system. Sensory symptoms and signs were recorded. Genetic analysis was performed by the next-generation sequencing approach. Skin biopsy was performed at the distal leg and intraepidermal nerve fiber (IENF) density was quantified in three non-consecutive sections following published guidelines. Findings were referred to age- and sex-adjusted normative values. Fifty-seven patients including six with facial onset sensory and motor neuronopathy (FOSMN) were enrolled. Eight (15.7%) pure ALS patients and five (83%) FOSMN patients complained of sensory disturbances with different distributions. Sural NCS was normal in all except two patients. IENF density was reduced in 75.4% of pure ALS and 50% of FOSMN patients, without correlation with any disease features. IENF density was similarly reduced in bulbar (78.5%), flail limb (87.5%), pyramidal (100%), and spinal (68.2%) onset, as well as in genetic (83.3%) and sporadic (82%) ALS. There was no correlation with genotype, disease duration and severity. Intraepidermal nerve fiber loss is a feature of most ALS patients. It does not correlate with onset, phenotype, course and severity of the disease, and cannot be considered a clinical or prognostic biomarker. © 2016 EAN.

  3. Intrinsic disorder in proteins involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santamaria, Nikolas; Alhothali, Marwa; Alfonso, Maria Harreguy; Breydo, Leonid; Uversky, Vladimir N

    2017-04-01

    Five structurally and functionally different proteins, an enzyme superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), a TAR-DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43), an RNA-binding protein FUS, a cofilin-binding protein C9orf72, and polypeptides generated as a result of its intronic hexanucleotide expansions, and to lesser degree actin-binding profilin-1 (PFN1), are considered to be the major drivers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. One of the features common to these proteins is the presence of significant levels of intrinsic disorder. The goal of this study is to consider these neurodegeneration-related proteins from the intrinsic disorder perspective. To this end, we employed a broad set of computational tools for intrinsic disorder analysis and conducted intensive literature search to gain information on the structural peculiarities of SOD1, TDP-43, FUS, C9orf72, and PFN1 and their intrinsic disorder predispositions, and the roles of intrinsic disorder in their normal and pathological functions.

  4. “Neuropathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and its variants”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saberi, Shahram; Stauffer, Jennifer E.; Schulte, Derek J.; Ravits, John

    2015-01-01

    Summary Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a clinical syndrome named for its neuropathological hallmark: degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal anterior horn and motor cortex and loss of axons in the lateral columns of the spinal cord. The signature neuropathological molecular signature common to almost all sporadic ALS and most familial ALS is TDP-43 immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions. The neuropathological and molecular neuropathological features of ALS variants primarly lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy are less certain, but also appear to share the primary features of ALS. A number of genetic causes including mutations in SOD1, FUS, and C9orf72 comprise a disease spectrum and all demonstrate distinctive molecular and neuropathological signatures. Neuropathology will continue to play to a key role in solving the puzzle of ALS pathogenesis. PMID:26515626

  5. Establishing a novel C.elegans model to investigate the role of autophagy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jia LI; Kai-xing HUANG; Wei-dong LE

    2013-01-01

    Aim:To develop a C.elegans model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to evaluate the role of autophagy in the disease.Methods:Stable transgenic worms expressing the G93A mutant form of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) in GABAergic motor neurons were generated.Axon guidance and protein aggregation in the motor neurons were observed with fluorescence microscopy.A paralysis assay was performed to evaluate the motor function of the transgenic worms.The expression of autophagic genes in daf2(e1370) mutants was analyzed using real-time PCR.The reporter GFP::LGG-1 was used to verify whether autophagy was induced in motor neurons.Results:Expression of G93A SOD1 in motor neurons caused age-dependent motor defects accompanied by significant SOD1 aggregation and axon guidance failure.After 12 d,over 80% of the G93A worms became paralyzed,whereas less than 10% of the controls showed a paralytic phenotype.In the daf-2(e1370) mutants of C.elegans,the levels of autophagic genes bec-1,atg-7,Igg-1,and atg-18 were upregulated by approximately 1.5-fold,the level of unc-51 increased by approximately fourfold,and autophagosomes in motor neurons was markedly increased.Crossing the daf-2(e1370) mutation into the G93A SOD1 mutant worms significantly ameliorated the motor defects,SOD1 aggregation,and axon guidance failure.Conclusion:G93A SOD1 expression in motor neurons of C.elegans results in characteristic alterations of ALS.Increased autophagy protects C.elegans motor neurons against the toxicity of mutant SOD1.

  6. On the development of markers for pathological TDP-43 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geser, F; Prvulovic, D; O'Dwyer, L; Hardiman, O; Bede, P; Bokde, A L W; Trojanowski, J Q; Hampel, H

    2011-12-01

    Pathological 43-kDa transactive response sequence DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) has been recognized as the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin positive, tau and α-synuclein negative inclusions (FTLD-U) and the transitional forms between these multisystem conditions. In order to develop TDP-43 into a successful ALS biomarker, the natural history of TDP-43 pathology needs to be characterized and the underlying pathophysiology established. Here we propose a spatial and temporal "two-axes" model of central nervous system vulnerability for TDP-43 linked degeneration and review recent studies on potential biomarkers related to pathological TDP-43 in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), blood, and skeletal muscle. The model includes the following two arms: Firstly, a "motor neuron disease" or "spinal cord/brainstem to motor cortex" axis (with degeneration possibly ascending from the lower motor neurons to the upper motor neurons); and secondly, a "dementia" or "corticoid/allocortex to neocortex" axis (with a probable spread of TDP-43 linked degeneration from the mediotemporal lobe to wider mesocortical and neocortical brain areas). At the cellular level, there is a gradual disappearance of normal TDP-43 in the nucleus in combination with the formation of pathological aggregates in the cell body and cellular processes, which can also be used to identify the stage of the disease process. Moreover, TDP-43 lesions in subpial/subependymal or perivascular localizations have been noted, and this might account for increased CSF and blood TDP-43 levels through mechanisms that remain to be elucidated.

  7. On the development of markers for pathological TDP-43 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without dementia.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Geser, F

    2011-12-01

    Pathological 43-kDa transactive response sequence DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) has been recognized as the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin positive, tau and α-synuclein negative inclusions (FTLD-U) and the transitional forms between these multisystem conditions. In order to develop TDP-43 into a successful ALS biomarker, the natural history of TDP-43 pathology needs to be characterized and the underlying pathophysiology established. Here we propose a spatial and temporal "two-axes" model of central nervous system vulnerability for TDP-43 linked degeneration and review recent studies on potential biomarkers related to pathological TDP-43 in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), blood, and skeletal muscle. The model includes the following two arms: Firstly, a "motor neuron disease" or "spinal cord\\/brainstem to motor cortex" axis (with degeneration possibly ascending from the lower motor neurons to the upper motor neurons); and secondly, a "dementia" or "corticoid\\/allocortex to neocortex" axis (with a probable spread of TDP-43 linked degeneration from the mediotemporal lobe to wider mesocortical and neocortical brain areas). At the cellular level, there is a gradual disappearance of normal TDP-43 in the nucleus in combination with the formation of pathological aggregates in the cell body and cellular processes, which can also be used to identify the stage of the disease process. Moreover, TDP-43 lesions in subpial\\/subependymal or perivascular localizations have been noted, and this might account for increased CSF and blood TDP-43 levels through mechanisms that remain to be elucidated.

  8. Incidence and geographical variation of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS in Southern Germany--completeness of the ALS registry Swabia.

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    Hatice Uenal

    Full Text Available Objective of this paper was to investigate the incidence, potential geographical clusters and the completeness of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS registry in Southern Germany (Swabia. Age-standardized incidence rates (ASR and ratios (SIR as well as 95% confidence intervals (CI were estimated at county level. Capture-recapture (CARE procedures were applied taking data source dependency into account to estimate the quality of case ascertainment in the ALS registry Swabia. We identified 438 ALS cases (53% men, 47% women in the target population of about 8.4 Mio inhabitants. The gender ratio (men∶women was 1.1∶1. The mean age at onset of ALS was 63.8 (SD = 11.9 years for men and 66.0 (12.2 for women. The age distribution peaked in the age group 70-74 years. The ASR of ALS was 2.5 per 100,000 person years (PY; 95% CI: 2.3-2.7. The mean SIR was 1.1 per 100,000 PY (95% CI: 1.0-1.2. High SIR suggesting geographical clusters were observed in two counties (Göppingen and Bodenseekreis, but the variation was not statistically significant (p-values = 0.2 and 0.5. The percentage of CARE estimated missing cases was 18.9% in the registry yielding an ASR of 3.1 per 100,000 PY. The high coverage of the CARE estimated completeness of the ALS registry Swabia indicates excellent quality for future projects. Regional variations have to be investigated further.

  9. The omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid accelerates disease progression in a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Ping K Yip

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a progressive fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised by loss of motor neurons that currently has no cure. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, have many health benefits including neuroprotective and myoprotective potential. We tested the hypothesis that a high level of dietary EPA could exert beneficial effects in ALS. The dietary exposure to EPA (300 mg/kg/day in a well-established mouse model of ALS expressing the G93A superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1 mutation was initiated at a pre-symptomatic or symptomatic stage, and the disease progression was monitored until the end stage. Daily dietary EPA exposure initiated at the disease onset did not significantly alter disease presentation and progression. In contrast, EPA treatment initiated at the pre-symptomatic stage induced a significantly shorter lifespan. In a separate group of animals sacrificed before the end stage, the tissue analysis showed that the vacuolisation detected in G93A-SOD1 mice was significantly increased by exposure to EPA. Although EPA did not alter motor neurone loss, EPA reversed the significant increase in activated microglia and the astrocytic activation seen in G93A-SOD1 mice. The microglia in the spinal cord of G93A-SOD1 mice treated with EPA showed a significant increase in 4-hydroxy-2-hexenal, a highly toxic aldehydic oxidation product of omega-3 fatty acids. These data show that dietary EPA supplementation in ALS has the potential to worsen the condition and accelerate the disease progression. This suggests that great caution should be exerted when considering dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplements in ALS patients.

  10. Functional alterations of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in motor neurons of a mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheroni, Cristina; Marino, Marianna; Tortarolo, Massimo; Veglianese, Pietro; De Biasi, Silvia; Fontana, Elena; Zuccarello, Laura Vitellaro; Maynard, Christa J; Dantuma, Nico P; Bendotti, Caterina

    2009-01-01

    In familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in rodent models of the disease, alterations in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) may be responsible for the accumulation of potentially harmful ubiquitinated proteins, leading to motor neuron death. In the spinal cord of transgenic mice expressing the familial ALS superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene mutation G93A (SOD1G93A), we found a decrease in constitutive proteasome subunits during disease progression, as assessed by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. In parallel, an increased immunoproteasome expression was observed, which correlated with a local inflammatory response due to glial activation. These findings support the existence of proteasome modifications in ALS vulnerable tissues. To functionally investigate the UPS in ALS motor neurons in vivo, we crossed SOD1G93A mice with transgenic mice that express a fluorescently tagged reporter substrate of the UPS. In double-transgenic Ub(G76V)-GFP /SOD1G93A mice an increase in Ub(G76V)-GFP reporter, indicative of UPS impairment, was detectable in a few spinal motor neurons and not in reactive astrocytes or microglia, at symptomatic stage but not before symptoms onset. The levels of reporter transcript were unaltered, suggesting that the accumulation of Ub(G76V)-GFP was due to deficient reporter degradation. In some motor neurons the increase of Ub(G76V)-GFP was accompanied by the accumulation of ubiquitin and phosphorylated neurofilaments, both markers of ALS pathology. These data suggest that UPS impairment occurs in motor neurons of mutant SOD1-linked ALS mice and may play a role in the disease progression.

  11. Selective attention and the three-process memory model for the interpretation of verbal free recall in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christidi, Foteini; Zalonis, Ioannis; Smyrnis, Nikolaos; Evdokimidis, Ioannis

    2012-09-01

    The present study investigates selective attention and verbal free recall in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and examines the contribution of selective attention, encoding, consolidation, and retrieval memory processes to patients' verbal free recall. We examined 22 non-demented patients with sporadic ALS and 22 demographically related controls using Stroop Neuropsychological Screening Test (SNST; selective attention) and Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT; immediate & delayed verbal free recall). The item-specific deficit approach (ISDA) was applied to RAVLT to evaluate encoding, consolidation, and retrieval difficulties. ALS patients performed worse than controls on SNST (p recall (p recall, with encoding (p = .016), consolidation (p recall, with consolidation (p recall. Concluding, selective attention and the memory processes of encoding, consolidation, and retrieval should be considered while interpreting patients' impaired free recall. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1-10).

  12. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) controls natural protective mechanisms against lipid peroxidation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benedusi, Valeria; Martorana, Francesca; Brambilla, Liliana; Maggi, Adriana; Rossi, Daniela

    2012-10-19

    Recent evidence highlights the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) as critical neuroprotective factors in several neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To gain new mechanistic insights into the role of these receptors in the context of ALS, here we investigated how PPAR transcriptional activity varies in hSOD1(G93A) ALS transgenic mice. We demonstrate that PPARγ-driven transcription selectively increases in the spinal cord of symptomatic hSOD1(G93A) mice. This phenomenon correlates with the up-regulation of target genes, such as lipoprotein lipase and glutathione S-transferase α-2, which are implicated in scavenging lipid peroxidation by-products. Such events are associated with enhanced PPARγ immunoreactivity within motor neuronal nuclei. This observation, and the fact that PPARγ displays increased responsiveness in cultured hSOD1(G93A) motor neurons, points to a role for this receptor in neutralizing deleterious lipoperoxidation derivatives within the motor cells. Consistently, in both motor neuron-like cultures and animal models, we report that PPARγ is activated by lipid peroxidation end products, such as 4-hydroxynonenal, whose levels are elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid and spinal cord from ALS patients. We propose that the accumulation of critical concentrations of lipid peroxidation adducts during ALS progression leads to the activation of PPARγ in motor neurons. This in turn triggers self-protective mechanisms that involve the up-regulation of lipid detoxification enzymes, such as lipoprotein lipase and glutathione S-transferase α-2. Our findings indicate that anticipating natural protective reactions by pharmacologically modulating PPARγ transcriptional activity may attenuate neurodegeneration by limiting the damage induced by lipid peroxidation derivatives.

  13. Practice Parameter update: The care of the patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Drug, nutritional, and respiratory therapies (an evidence-based review)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, R G.; Jackson, C E.; Kasarskis, E J.; England, J D.; Forshew, D; Johnston, W; Kalra, S; Katz, J S.; Mitsumoto, H; Rosenfeld, J; Shoesmith, C; Strong, M J.; Woolley, S C.

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To systematically review evidence bearing on the management of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods: The authors analyzed studies from 1998 to 2007 to update the 1999 practice parameter. Topics covered in this section include slowing disease progression, nutrition, and respiratory management for patients with ALS. Results: The authors identified 8 Class I studies, 5 Class II studies, and 43 Class III studies in ALS. Important treatments are available for patients with ALS that are underutilized. Noninvasive ventilation (NIV), percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), and riluzole are particularly important and have the best evidence. More studies are needed to examine the best tests of respiratory function in ALS, as well as the optimal time for starting PEG, the impact of PEG on quality of life and survival, and the effect of vitamins and supplements on ALS. Recommendations: Riluzole should be offered to slow disease progression (Level A). PEG should be considered to stabilize weight and to prolong survival in patients with ALS (Level B). NIV should be considered to treat respiratory insufficiency in order to lengthen survival (Level B), and may be considered to slow the decline of forced vital capacity (Level C) and improve quality of life (Level C). Early initiation of NIV may increase compliance (Level C), and insufflation/exsufflation may be considered to help clear secretions (Level C). GLOSSARY AAN = American Academy of Neurology; ALS = amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; FVC = forced vital capacity; HFCWO = high frequency chest wall oscillation; MIE = mechanical insufflation/exsufflation; MIP = maximal inspiratory pressure; NIV = noninvasive ventilation; PCEF = peak cough expiratory flow; Pdi = transdiaphragmatic pressure; PEG = percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy; QOL = quality of life; RIG = radiologically inserted device; SNP = sniff nasal pressure; TIV = tracheostomy invasive ventilation. PMID:19822872

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Association of a Locus in the CAMTA1 Gene With Survival in Patients With Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogh, Isabella; Lin, Kuang; Tiloca, Cinzia; Rooney, James; Gellera, Cinzia; Diekstra, Frank P.; Ratti, Antonia; Shatunov, Aleksey; van Es, Michael A.; Proitsi, Petroula; Jones, Ashley; Sproviero, William; Chiò, Adriano; McLaughlin, Russell Lewis; Sorarù, Gianni; Corrado, Lucia; Stahl, Daniel; Bo, Roberto Del; Cereda, Cristina; Castellotti, Barbara; Glass, Jonathan D.; Newhouse, Steven; Dobson, Richard; Smith, Bradley N.; Topp, Simon; van Rheenen, Wouter; Meininger, Vincent; Melki, Judith; Morrison, Karen E.; Shaw, Pamela J.; Leigh, P. Nigel; Andersen, Peter M.; Comi, Giacomo P.; Ticozzi, Nicola; Mazzini, Letizia; D’Alfonso, Sandra; Traynor, Bryan J.; Van Damme, Philip; Robberecht, Wim; Brown, Robert H.; Landers, John E.; Hardiman, Orla; Lewis, Cathryn M.; van den Berg, Leonard H.; Shaw, Christopher E.; Veldink, Jan H.; Silani, Vincenzo; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Powell, John

    2017-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder with a poor prognosis and a median survival of 3 years. However, a significant proportion of patients survive more than 10 years from symptom onset. OBJECTIVE To identify gene variants influencing survival in ALS. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This genome-wide association study (GWAS) analyzed survival in data sets from several European countries and the United States that were collected by the Italian Consortium for the Genetics of ALS and the International Consortium on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Genetics. The study population included 4256 patients with ALS (3125 [73.4%] deceased) with genotype data extended to 7 174 392 variants by imputation analysis. Samples of DNA were collected from January 1, 1993, to December 31, 2009, and analyzed from March 1, 2014, to February 28, 2015. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Cox proportional hazards regression under an additive model with adjustment for age at onset, sex, and the first 4 principal components of ancestry, followed by meta-analysis, were used to analyze data. Survival distributions for the most associated genetic variants were assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis. RESULTS Among the 4256 patients included in the analysis (2589 male [60.8%] and 1667 female [39.2%]; mean [SD] age at onset, 59 [12] years), the following 2 novel loci were significantly associated with ALS survival: at 10q23 (rs139550538; P = 1.87 × 10−9) and in the CAMTA1 gene at 1p36 (rs2412208, P = 3.53 × 10−8). At locus 10q23, the adjusted hazard ratio for patients with the rs139550538 AA or AT genotype was 1.61 (95% CI, 1.38–1.89; P = 1.87 × 10−9), corresponding to an 8-month reduction in survival compared with TT carriers. For rs2412208 CAMTA1, the adjusted hazard ratio for patients with the GG or GT genotype was 1.17 (95% CI, 1.11–1.24; P = 3.53 × 10−8), corresponding to a 4-month reduction in survival compared with TT carriers

  17. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis outcome measures and the role of albumin and creatinine: a population-based study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiò, Adriano; Calvo, Andrea; Bovio, Giacomo; Canosa, Antonio; Bertuzzo, Davide; Galmozzi, Francesco; Cugnasco, Paolo; Clerico, Marinella; De Mercanti, Stefania; Bersano, Enrica; Cammarosano, Stefania; Ilardi, Antonio; Manera, Umberto; Moglia, Cristina; Sideri, Riccardo; Marinou, Kalliopi; Bottacchi, Edo; Pisano, Fabrizio; Cantello, Roberto; Mazzini, Letizia; Mora, Gabriele

    2014-09-01

    There is an urgent need to identify reliable biomarkers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) progression for clinical practice and pharmacological trials. To correlate several hematological markers evaluated at diagnosis with ALS outcome in a population-based series of patients (discovery cohort) and replicate the findings in an independent validation cohort from an ALS tertiary center. The discovery cohort included 712 patients with ALS from the Piemonte and Valle d'Aosta Register for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis from January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2011. The validation cohort comprised 122 patients with ALS at different stages of disease consecutively seen at an ALS tertiary center between January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2009. The following hematological factors were investigated and correlated with survival: total leukocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, glucose, creatinine, uric acid, albumin, bilirubin, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, creatine kinase, thyroid-stimulating hormones, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate; all analyses were performed separately by sex. The patient of the validation cohort also underwent bioelectrical impedance analysis for the calculation of fat-free mass. Of the 712 patients in the examined period in Piemonte and Valle d'Aosta, 638 (89.6%) were included in the study. Only serum albumin (men: ≤ 4.3 vs >4.3 mg/dL, P 4.3 mg/dL, P 0.82 mg/dL, P = .004; women: ≤ 0.65 vs >0.05 mg/dL, P = .004) and lymphocyte count (men: ≤ 1700 vs >1700/μL, P = .04; women: ≤ 1700 vs >1700/μL, P = .02) were significantly associated with ALS outcome in both sexes with a dose-response effect (better survival with increasing levels). These findings were confirmed in the validation cohort. Multivariable analysis showed that serum albumin (men: hazard ratio [HR], 1.39; 95% CI, 1.05-1.90; P = .02; women: HR, 1.73; 95 % CI, 1.35-2.39; P = .001) and

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Screening of the transcriptional regulatory regions of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Hartley Judith

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF has neurotrophic activity which is mediated by its main agonist receptor, VEGFR2. Dysregulation of VEGF causes motor neurone degeneration in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, and expression of VEGFR2 is reduced in motor neurones and spinal cord of patients with ALS. Methods We have screened the promoter region and 4 exonic regions of functional significance of the VEGFR2 gene in a UK population of patients with ALS, for mutations and polymorphisms that may affect expression or function of this VEGF receptor. Results No mutations were identified in the VEGFR2 gene. We found no association between polymorphisms in the regulatory regions of the VEGFR2 gene and ALS. Conclusion Mechanisms other than genetic variation may downregulate expression or function of the VEGFR2 receptor in patients with ALS.

  4. Usefulness of diffusion tensor imaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: potential biomarker and association with the cognitive profile

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    Marcelo Chaves

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The objective of this preliminary study was to correlate diffusion tensor imaging (DTI alterations with the cognitive profile of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Methods This was a case-control study conducted from December 1, 2012 to December 1, 2014. Clinical and demographic data were recorded. A neuropsychological test battery adapted to ALS patients was used. An MRI with DTI was performed in all patients and fractional anisotropy (FA was analyzed in the white matter using the tract based spatial statistics program. Results Twenty-four patients with ALS (15 females, mean age 66.9 + -2.3 and 13 healthy controls (four females, average age 66.9 + - 2 were included. The DTI showed white matter damage in ALS patients vs. healthy controls (p < 0.001. Discussion In our preliminary study the alterations of white matter in DTI were significantly associated with cognitive impairment in patients with ALS.

  5. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a motor neuron disease. Case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Rubinowicz-Zasada

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Charcot’s disease and motor neuron disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis, and ultimately, respiratory failure. The aetiology and the pathogenesis of the syndrome remain unknown. Most people live 2–5 years after their first signs of the disease. There is no cure or effective treatment. We present a case of a female patient affected by progressing Charcot’s disease. On the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale – Revised (ALSFRS-R, the patient obtained 21 points. Atrophy and muscle spasm were very extended. Electromyography revealed features of coexisting denervation and reinnervation in the examined muscles. A growing number of Charcot’s disease cases require multidirectional actions to meet patient’s physical, emotional, and nutritional needs. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is an incurable disease. However, it is possible to relieve its symptoms by applying systematic physical rehabilitation.

  6. Identification of new mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene of patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pramatarova, A.; Han, F.Y.; Rouleau, G.A. [McGill Univ., Montreal (Canada); Figlewicz, D.A. [Univ. of Rochester Medical Center, NY (United States); Ceballos-Picot, I.; Nicole, A.; Meininger, V. [Centre de Diagnostic, Paris (France); Grown, R.H. [Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA (United States)

    1995-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor neurons. Although most cases of ALS are sporadic, {approximately}10% are inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Mutations in the CU/An superoxide dismutase gene (SOD 1) are responsible for a fraction of familial ALS (FALS). Screening our FALS kindreds by SSCP, we have identified mutations in 15 families, of which 9 have not been previously reported. Two of the new mutations alter amino acids that have never been implicated in FALS. One of them affects a highly conserved amino acid involved in dimer contact, and the other one affects the active-site loop of the enzyme. These two mutations reduce significantly SOD 1 enzyme activity in lymphoblasts. Our results suggest that SOD 1 mutations are responsible for {>=}13% of FALS cases. 16 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies of the Association Between Chronic Occupational Exposure to Lead and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, James; Cashman, Neil R.; Little, Julian; Krewski, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Objective: The association between occupational exposure to lead and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was examined through systematic review and meta-analyses of relevant epidemiological studies and reported according to PRISMA guidelines. Methods: Relevant studies were searched in multiple bibliographic databases through September 2013; additional articles were tracked through PubMed until submission. All records were screened in DistillerSR, and the data extracted from included articles were synthesized with meta-analysis. Results: The risk of developing ALS among individuals with a history of exposure to lead was almost doubled (odds ratio, 1.81; 95% confidence interval, 1.39 to 2.36) on the basis of nine included case-control studies with specific lead exposure information, with no apparent heterogeneity across included studies (I2 = 14%). The attributable risk of ALS because of exposure to lead was estimated to be 5%. Conclusions: Previous exposure to lead may be a risk factor for ALS. PMID:25479292

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. [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, PF-wave latency (median nerve, Z=-3.243, PF-wave chronodispersion (Z=-3.152, PF-wave persistence in the median (Z=6.139, PF-wave amplitude in the tibial nerve(t=2.981, PF-wave amplitude in the ulnar (Z=-2.134, PF-wave persistence in tibial nerve (Z=2.119, PF-wave amplitude in ulnar (Z=-2.552, PF-wave amplitude in peroneal nerve (t=2.693, PF-wave study differed according to different nerves, different F-wave parameters , and ALS patients or healthy subjects.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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; Pfurtscheller, G; Birbaumer, Niels; Kübler, Andrea

    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. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Overlapping features of frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lillo, Patricia; Matamala, José Manuel; Valenzuela, Daniel; Verdugo, Renato; Castillo, José Luis; Ibáñez, Agustín; Slachevsky, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    ...) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are overlapping multisystem disorders. While 10-15% of ALS patients fulfil criteria for FTD, features of motor neuron disease appear in approximately 15...

  19. Vitamin D Levels Predict Multiple Sclerosis Progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Research Matters NIH Research Matters February 3, 2014 Vitamin D Levels Predict Multiple Sclerosis Progression Among people ... sclerosis (MS), those with higher blood levels of vitamin D had better outcomes during 5 years of ...

  20. Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-associated Mutations Decrease the Thermal Stability of Distinctly Metallated Species of Human Copper/Zinc Superoxide Dismutase

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jorge A. Rodriguez; Joan S. Valentine; Daryl K. Eggers; James A. Roe; Ashutosh Tiwari; Robert H. Brown, Jr; Lawrence J. Hayward

    2002-01-01

    ...) associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS). Multiple endothermic unfolding transitions were observed by differential scanning calorimetry for partially metallated SOD1 enzymes isolated from a baculovirus system...

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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. Neurofilament light chain: A prognostic biomarker in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ching-Hua; Macdonald-Wallis, Corrie; Gray, Elizabeth; Pearce, Neil; Petzold, Axel; Norgren, Niklas; Giovannoni, Gavin; Fratta, Pietro; Sidle, Katie; Fish, Mark; Orrell, Richard; Howard, Robin; Talbot, Kevin; Greensmith, Linda; Kuhle, Jens; Turner, Martin R; Malaspina, Andrea

    2015-06-02

    To test blood and CSF neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels in relation to disease progression and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, NfL levels were measured in samples from 2 cohorts of patients with sporadic ALS and healthy controls, recruited in London (ALS/control, plasma: n = 103/42) and Oxford (ALS/control, serum: n = 64/36; paired CSF: n = 38/20). NfL levels in patients were measured at regular intervals for up to 3 years. Change in ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised score was used to assess disease progression. Survival was evaluated using Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier analysis. CSF, serum, and plasma NfL discriminated patients with ALS from healthy controls with high sensitivity (97%, 89%, 90%, respectively) and specificity (95%, 75%, 71%, respectively). CSF NfL was highly correlated with serum levels (r = 0.78, p NfL levels were approximately 4 times as high in patients with ALS compared with controls in both cohorts, and maintained a relatively constant expression during follow-up. Blood NfL levels at recruitment were strong, independent predictors of survival. The highest tertile of blood NfL at baseline had a mortality hazard ratio of 3.91 (95% confidence interval 1.98-7.94, p NfL level is an easily accessible biomarker with prognostic value in ALS. The individually relatively stable levels longitudinally offer potential for NfL as a pharmacodynamic biomarker in future therapeutic trials. This report provides Class III evidence that the NfL electrochemiluminescence immunoassay accurately distinguishes patients with sporadic ALS from healthy controls. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.

  5. Highly immunoreactive IgG antibodies directed against a set of twenty human proteins in the sera of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identified by protein array.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline May

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, the most common adult-onset motor neuron disorder, is characterized by the progressive and selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Diagnosis of this disorder is based on clinical assessment, and the average survival time is less than 3 years. Injections of IgG from ALS patients into mice are known to specifically mark motor neurons. Moreover, IgG has been found in upper and lower motor neurons in ALS patients. These results led us to perform a case-control study using human protein microarrays to identify the antibody profiles of serum samples from 20 ALS patients and 20 healthy controls. We demonstrated high levels of 20 IgG antibodies that distinguished the patients from the controls. These findings suggest that a panel of antibodies may serve as a potential diagnostic biomarker for ALS.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. Predicting functional decline and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Mei-Lyn; Tan, Pei Fang; Holbrook, Joanna D

    2017-01-01

    Better predictors of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease course could enable smaller and more targeted clinical trials. Partially to address this aim, the Prize for Life foundation collected de-identified records from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis sufferers who participated in clinical trials of investigational drugs and made them available to researchers in the PRO-ACT database. In this study, time series data from PRO-ACT subjects were fitted to exponential models. Binary classes for decline in the total score of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale revised (ALSFRS-R) (fast/slow progression) and survival (high/low death risk) were derived. Data was segregated into training and test sets via cross validation. Learning algorithms were applied to the demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters in the training set to predict ALSFRS-R decline and the derived fast/slow progression and high/low death risk categories. The performance of predictive models was assessed by cross-validation in the test set using Receiver Operator Curves and root mean squared errors. A model created using a boosting algorithm containing the decline in four parameters (weight, alkaline phosphatase, albumin and creatine kinase) post baseline, was able to predict functional decline class (fast or slow) with fair accuracy (AUC = 0.82). However similar approaches to build a predictive model for decline class by baseline subject characteristics were not successful. In contrast, baseline values of total bilirubin, gamma glutamyltransferase, urine specific gravity and ALSFRS-R item score-climbing stairs were sufficient to predict survival class. Using combinations of small numbers of variables it was possible to predict classes of functional decline and survival across the 1-2 year timeframe available in PRO-ACT. These findings may have utility for design of future ALS clinical trials.

  10. Energy Homeostasis and Abnormal RNA Metabolism in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu-Ju; Tsai, Po-Yi; Chern, Yijuang

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease that is clinically characterized by progressive muscle weakness and impaired voluntary movement due to the loss of motor neurons in the brain, brain stem and spinal cord. To date, no effective treatment is available. Ample evidence suggests that impaired RNA homeostasis and abnormal energy status are two major pathogenesis pathways in ALS. In the present review article, we focus on recent studies that report molecular insights of both pathways, and discuss the possibility that energy dysfunction might negatively regulate RNA homeostasis via the impairment of cytoplasmic-nuclear shuttling in motor neurons and subsequently contribute to the development of ALS. PMID:28522961

  11. Conjugal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a case report from Scotland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, P M; Macleod, M R; Bateman, A; Abrahams, S; Pal, S

    2017-03-29

    Conjugal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is rare, with significant effects on psychological and care needs. We report a case of conjugal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease from central Scotland. This case is particularly unusual as both patients were diagnosed within an 18-month period and experienced the disease simultaneously, with similar symptomatology and progression. Patient A was a 71-year-old man who presented with unilateral arm weakness and wasting. Patient B was a 68-year-old woman who presented with unilateral shoulder and elbow weakness. Diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was made within a few months of presentation in both cases, based on typical clinical symptomatology together with supportive neurophysiological testing. Interventions included enteral feeding and non-invasive ventilation. The time period between symptom onset and death was 5 years for Patient A and 3.5 years for Patient B. This case illustrates two main points: the care issues surrounding cases of conjugal neurological disease, and the psychological issues in these patients. There are significant care issues arising when co-habiting couples both develop severe functionally limiting neurological diseases at the same time. The more slowly progressive nature of Patient A's disease may be at least partially explained by the support he was able to receive from Patient B before she developed symptoms. Secondly, there are important psychological effects of living with someone with the same - but more advanced - progressive and incurable neurological disease. Thus, Patient B was reluctant to have certain interventions that she had observed being given to her husband. Lastly, no plausible shared environmental risk factors were identified, implying that the co-occurrence of ALS in this couple was a random association.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Measuring Neuromuscular Junction Functionality in the SOD1(G93A) Animal Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzuto, Emanuele; Pisu, Simona; Musarò, Antonio; Del Prete, Zaccaria

    2015-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that leads to motor neuron degeneration, alteration in neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), muscle atrophy, and paralysis. To investigate the NMJ functionality in ALS we tested, in vitro, two innervated muscle types excised from SOD1(G93A) transgenic mice at the end-stage of the disease: the Soleus, a postural muscle almost completely paralyzed at that stage, and the diaphragm, which, on the contrary, is functional until death. To this aim we employed an experimental protocol that combined two types of electrical stimulation: the direct stimulation and the stimulation through the nerve. The technique we applied allowed us to determine the relevance of NMJ functionality separately from muscle contractile properties in SOD1(G93A) animal model. Functional measurements revealed that the muscle contractility of transgenic diaphragms is almost unaltered in comparison to control muscles, while transgenic Soleus muscles were severely compromised. In contrast, when stimulated via the nerve, both transgenic muscle types showed a strong decrease of the contraction force, a slowing down of the kinetic parameters, as well as alterations in the neurotransmission failure parameter. All together, these results confirm a severely impaired functionality in the SOD1(G93A) neuromuscular junctions.

  15. 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.

  16. Post activation depression of the Ia EPSP in motoneurones is reduced in both aged mice and in the G127X SOD1 model of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hedegaard, Anne; Lehnhoff, Janna; Moldovan, Mihai

    2014-01-01

    D in both normal aging and in the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). We used both wild type (WT) C57BL/6J mice and the G127X SOD1 transgenic model of ALS (Jonsson et al 2004)Mice were anaesthetized with Hypnorm (0.315mg/mL fentanyl-citrate +10mg/mL fluanisone), Midazolam (5mg...

  17. A specific superoxide dismutase mutation is on the same genetic background in sporadic and familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hayward, C.; Brock, D.J.H. [Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom); Swingler, R.J. [Dundee Royal Infirmary (United Kingdom)] [and others

    1996-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disease of motor neurons, causing progressive muscular atrophy, weakness, and death from respiratory failure, often within 2-3 years. Although most cases are sporadic, some 5%-10% are inherited as autosomal dominants with age-dependent penetrance. An ALS locus has been mapped to chromosome 21q, and causative mutations identified in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene. A majority of SOD1 mutations have been found in cases with a clear family history of ALS. However, we and others have also described SOD1 mutations in patients where the disease appears to be sporadic. This is especially true for the missense mutation in codon 113 of the SOD1 gene, which substitutes threonine for isoleucine (I113T). One explanation for this finding is that this codon is a mutational hot spot with sporadic cases representing new mutations. Another is that the inherited nature of the cases is disguised by the reduced penetrance of this specific mutation. We have now shown that each of six unrelated cases of I113T mutation that we have collected in the Scottish population occurs on the same genetic background. Association analysis of multiple flanking loci on chromosome 21q supports the conclusion of a founder effect, with the original mutational event occurring {ge}10 generations ago. 12 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  18. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Myasthenia Gravis Overlap Syndrome: A Review of Two Cases and the Associated Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongfei Tai

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available ObjectiveTo describe the characteristics of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and myasthenia gravis (MG overlap syndrome and explore the relationship between the two diseases.MethodsWe conducted a search of medical records at Peking Union Medical University Hospital from 1983 to 2015 for coexistence of ALS and MG and searched the PubMed database for all literature describing ALS and MG overlap syndrome published through December 2016. We analyzed the clinical and neurophysiological characteristics of patients by groups according to strict diagnostic criteria.ResultsWe presented 2 patients in our database with combined ALS and MG, and together with 25 cases reported in the literature, the patients were divided into 4 groups: 12 patients with MG followed by ALS, 8 patients with ALS followed by MG, 5 ALS patients with false-positive anti-acetylcholine receptor, and the other 2 ALS patients with only myasthenia symptoms. Most patients had limb onset ALS, and myasthenia symptoms mainly affected ocular and bulbar muscles. Clinical and neurophysiological characteristics were summarized.ConclusionThese findings support the conclusion that immunological mechanisms and alterations in the neuromuscular junction are related to ALS pathogenesis.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The essential and downstream common proteins of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A protein-protein interaction network analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Yimin; Kuo, Su-Wei; Chen, Le; Heckman, C J; Jiang, M C

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a devastative neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective loss of motoneurons. While several breakthroughs have been made in identifying ALS genetic defects, the detailed molecular mechanisms are still unclear. These genetic defects involve in numerous biological processes, which converge to a common destiny: motoneuron degeneration. In addition, the common comorbid Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) further complicates the investigation of ALS etiology. In this study, we aimed to explore the protein-protein interaction network built on known ALS-causative genes to identify essential proteins and common downstream proteins between classical ALS and ALS+FTD (classical ALS + ALS/FTD) groups. The results suggest that classical ALS and ALS+FTD share similar essential protein set (VCP, FUS, TDP-43 and hnRNPA1) but have distinctive functional enrichment profiles. Thus, disruptions to these essential proteins might cause motoneuron susceptible to cellular stresses and eventually vulnerable to proteinopathies. Moreover, we identified a common downstream protein, ubiquitin-C, extensively interconnected with ALS-causative proteins (22 out of 24) which was not linked to ALS previously. Our in silico approach provides the computational background for identifying ALS therapeutic targets, and points out the potential downstream common ground of ALS-causative mutations.

  5. Analysis of the C9orf72 gene in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Spain and different populations worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Redondo, Alberto; Dols-Icardo, Oriol; Rojas-García, Ricard; Esteban-Pérez, Jesús; Cordero-Vázquez, Pilar; Muñoz-Blanco, José Luis; Catalina, Irene; González-Muñoz, Miguel; Varona, Luis; Sarasola, Esther; Povedano, Monica; Sevilla, Teresa; Guerrero, Antonio; Pardo, Julio; López de Munain, Adolfo; Márquez-Infante, Celedonio; de Rivera, Francisco Javier Rodríguez; Pastor, Pau; Jericó, Ivonne; de Arcaya, Amaya Álvarez; Mora, Jesús S; Clarimón, Jordi; Gonzalo-Martínez, Juan Francisco; Juárez-Rufián, Alexandra; Atencia, Gabriela; Jiménez-Bautista, Rosario; Morán, Yolanda; Mascías, Javier; Hernández-Barral, María; Kapetanovic, Solange; García-Barcina, María; Alcalá, Carmen; Vela, Alvaro; Ramírez-Ramos, Concepción; Galán, Lucía; Pérez-Tur, Jordi; Quintáns, Beatriz; Sobrido, M Jesús; Fernández-Torrón, Roberto; Poza, Juan José; Gorostidi, Ana; Paradas, Carmen; Villoslada, Pablo; Larrodé, Pilar; Capablo, José Luis; Pascual-Calvet, Jordi; Goñi, Miguel; Morgado, Yolanda; Guitart, Miriam; Moreno-Laguna, Sira; Rueda, Almudena; Martín-Estefanía, Carlos; Cemillán, Carlos; Blesa, Rafael; Lleó, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    A hexanucleotide repeat expansion in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) can cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and/or frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We assessed its frequency in 781 sporadic ALS (sALS) and 155 familial ALS (fALS) cases, and in 248 Spanish controls. We tested the presence of the reported founder haplotype among mutation carriers and in 171 Ceph Europeans from Utah (CEU), 170 Yoruba Africans, 81 Han Chinese, and 85 Japanese subjects. The C9orf72 expansion was present in 27.1% of fALS and 3.2% of sALS. Mutation carriers showed lower age at onset (P = 0.04), shorter survival (P = 0.02), greater co-occurrence of FTD (P = 8.2 × 10(-5)), and more family history of ALS (P = 1.4 × 10(-20)), than noncarriers. No association between alleles within the normal range and the risk of ALS was found (P = 0.12). All 61 of the mutation carriers were tested and a patient carrying 28 hexanucleotide repeats presented with the founder haplotype. This haplotype was found in 5.6% Yoruba Africans, 8.9% CEU, 3.9% Japanese, and 1.6% Han Chinese chromosomes. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonian syndromes in high incidence among the Auyu and Jakai people of West New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajdusek, D C; Salazar, A M

    1982-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and parkinsonism-dementia (PD) occur in the highest recorded incidence among primitive Auyu and Jakai people on the southern coastal plain of West New Guinea, in association with a heretofore unrecognized subacute, often recurrent, paralytic "poliomyeloradiculitis" (PMR). Ninety-seven cases of ALS, 19 cases of PD and 18 cases of PMR were recorded, with mean ages of onset of 33, 43, and 26, respectively, in a small affected population of only about 7000. The ecology, culture, and diet of the remote, primitive ALS- and PD-affected people are indistinguishable from that of their unaffected neighbors, except for a remarkable deficiency of calcium and magnesium in their soil and drinking water. The distribution of affected and nonaffected villages indicates that communicable infectious or genetic etiology is unlikely. As a result of the isolation and primitive technology, domestic animals (except dogs and pigs) were not found among the Auyu and Jakai, and no manufactured products (including metals, ceramics, textiles, petrochemicals, medicines, food additives, condiments, paints, dyes, or solvents) were available to them.

  7. 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.

  8. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Slovenia – analysis of patient population at the Ljubljana Institute of Clinical Neurophysiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mojca Kirbiš

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Backgorund: Data on epidemiology and disease characteristics of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS are geographically limited and no systematically collected data exist for slovenian patients. We performed a retrospective descriptive study on clinical attributes and disease course of patients with ALS treated at the Institute of clinical neurophysiology (ICN, University Medical Centre Ljubljana since the foundation of a specialised ALS group.Methods:  All 271 patients treated at ICN in the 10-year period between 2003 and 2012 were analysed. Data on basic demographic characteristics, phenotype of disease onset, diagnostic delay, survival, family history, use of percutaneous gastrostomy (PEG, of non-invasive ventilation and of riluzole were obtained.Results:  Mean age at symptoms onset was 62.7 ± 11.4 years, median diagnostic delay 11 (IQ range  7–19 months and mean survival from time of enrolment 16.4 ± 15.1 months.  179 (66.1%patients had spinal onset disease and 71 (26.2% bulbar onset disease. Factors associated with longer survival were lower age at enrolment, longer diagnostic delay and use of PEG. The proportion of patients using non-invasive ventilatory support was rising through the analysed years.Conclusions: Disease characteristics and survival in our series are similar to data from other tertiary care centres. The need for non-invasive ventilatory support in ALS patients is increasing.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Exposure to Environmental Toxicants and Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: State of the Art and Research Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trojsi, Francesca; Monsurrò, Maria Rosaria; Tedeschi, Gioacchino

    2013-01-01

    There is a broad scientific consensus that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neuromuscular disease, is caused by gene-environment interactions. In fact, given that only about 10% of all ALS diagnosis has a genetic basis, gene-environmental interaction may give account for the remaining percentage of cases. However, relatively little attention has been paid to environmental and lifestyle factors that may trigger the cascade of motor neuron degeneration leading to ALS, although exposure to chemicals—including lead and pesticides—agricultural environments, smoking, intense physical activity, trauma and electromagnetic fields have been associated with an increased risk of ALS. This review provides an overview of our current knowledge of potential toxic etiologies of ALS with emphasis on the role of cyanobacteria, heavy metals and pesticides as potential risk factors for developing ALS. We will summarize the most recent evidence from epidemiological studies and experimental findings from animal and cellular models, revealing that potential causal links between environmental toxicants and ALS pathogenesis have not been fully ascertained, thus justifying the need for further research. PMID:23887652

  12. Exposure to Environmental Toxicants and Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: State of the Art and Research Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Rosaria Monsurrò

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available There is a broad scientific consensus that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a fatal neuromuscular disease, is caused by gene-environment interactions. In fact, given that only about 10% of all ALS diagnosis has a genetic basis, gene-environmental interaction may give account for the remaining percentage of cases. However, relatively little attention has been paid to environmental and lifestyle factors that may trigger the cascade of motor neuron degeneration leading to ALS, although exposure to chemicals—including lead and pesticides—agricultural environments, smoking, intense physical activity, trauma and electromagnetic fields have been associated with an increased risk of ALS. This review provides an overview of our current knowledge of potential toxic etiologies of ALS with emphasis on the role of cyanobacteria, heavy metals and pesticides as potential risk factors for developing ALS. We will summarize the most recent evidence from epidemiological studies and experimental findings from animal and cellular models, revealing that potential causal links between environmental toxicants and ALS pathogenesis have not been fully ascertained, thus justifying the need for further research.

  13. The epidemiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Mount Etna region: a possible pathogenic role of volcanogenic metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicoletti, A; Vasta, R; Venti, V; Mostile, G; Lo Fermo, S; Patti, F; Scillieri, R; De Cicco, D; Volanti, P; Marziolo, R; Maimone, D; Fiore, M; Ferrante, M; Zappia, M

    2016-05-01

    Trace elements (TEs) may play a role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and volcanic degassing is the major natural source of TEs. Mount Etna, in the province of Catania, is the largest active volcano in Europe. Our aim was to assess the incidence of ALS in the province of Catania during 2005-2010 and its spatial distribution with respect to volcanic gas deposition. Cases from all neurological centres of the province of Catania and of the boundary provinces were retrospectively collected. Patients who had onset during 2005-2010 and fulfilled the El Escorial revised diagnostic criteria were included. The incidence of ALS was estimated for the entire province and separately for the population living on the eastern and western flank of Mount Etna, respectively, the most and least exposed areas to volcanogenic TEs, considered as a possible risk factor for ALS. One hundred and twenty-six (57 men) ALS patients were enrolled. The mean annual crude incidence rate was 2.0/100 000 person-years (95% confidence interval 1.7-2.4). A higher incidence rate was found in the population living on the eastern flank compared to the western flank (2.4/100 000 and 0.9/100 000 respectively) with a relative risk of 2.75 (95% confidence interval 1.64-4.89; P < 0.001). The incidence of ALS in the province of Catania is close to those reported worldwide. The incidence was higher amongst the population living on the eastern flank of Mount Etna, which could be interpreted as a possible role of volcanogenic TEs. Further research on TEs and genetic factors is necessary to support this assumption. © 2016 EAN.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Protein misfolding in the late-onset neurodegenerative diseases: common themes and the unique case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Vikram Khipple; Chakrabartty, Avijit

    2013-08-01

    Enormous strides have been made in the last 100 years to extend human life expectancy and to combat the major infectious diseases. Today, the major challenges for medical science are age-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease, lung disease, renal disease, and late-onset neurodegenerative disease. Of these, only the neurodegenerative diseases represent a class of disease so poorly understood that no general strategies for prevention or treatment exist. These diseases, which include Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are generally fatal and incurable. The first section of this review summarizes the diversity and common features of the late-onset neurodegenerative diseases, with a particular focus on protein misfolding and aggregation-a recurring theme in the molecular pathology. The second section focuses on the particular case of ALS, a late-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by the death of central nervous system motor neurons, leading to paralysis and patient death. Of the 10% of ALS cases that show familial inheritance (familial ALS), the largest subset is caused by mutations in the SOD1 gene, encoding the Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). The unusual kinetic stability of SOD1 has provided a unique opportunity for detailed structural characterization of conformational states potentially involved in SOD1-associated ALS. This review discusses past studies exploring the stability, folding, and misfolding behavior of SOD1, as well as the therapeutic possibilities of using detailed knowledge of misfolding pathways to target the molecular mechanisms underlying ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2016-01-01

    .... 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...

  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. c-jun-N-Terminal Kinase (JNK) for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-01

    indicate that both drugs reach the central nervous system and that their concentration level is compatible with an efficient JNK inhibition. Table 11... PCR protocol. An intracardiac blood draw will be performed for hematology and serum chemistry. Finally, mice will be perfused and the major 144.5

  20. Cerebrospinal Fluid TDP-43 in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients with and without the C9ORF72 Hexanucleotide Expansion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Junttila

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: TDP-43 is the main protein component of ubiquitinated inclusions in a subgroup of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS patients. The C9ORF72 hexanucleotide expansion is one of the main mutations associated with TDP-43 pathology in FTLD and ALS. Our aim was to analyze cerebrospinal fluid (CSF TDP-43 levels and Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in FTLD and ALS patients and to test whether the C9ORF72 expansion carrier status affects these variables. Methods: The patient cohort consisted of 90 clinically well-characterized FTLD (n = 69 and ALS (n = 21 patients. There were 30 patients with the C9ORF72 expansion and 60 patients without the expansion. CSF TDP-43, Aβ1-42, t-tau, and phospho-tau levels were measured using commercial ELISA kits. Results: There was no difference in CSF TDP-43 levels between the C9ORF72 expansion carriers and the noncarriers. CSF TDP-43 levels were higher in ALS patients than in FTLD patients, and this finding was independent of the C9ORF72 expansion carrier status. Males had significantly higher TDP-43 levels than females (p = 0.008 in the total cohort. Conclusion: CSF TDP-43 does not seem to distinguish the C9ORF72 expansion carriers from noncarriers. However, higher CSF TDP-43 levels were detected in ALS than in FTLD, which might be an indicator of a more rapid progression of TDP-43 pathology in ALS.

  1. Cerebrospinal Fluid TDP-43 in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients with and without the C9ORF72 Hexanucleotide Expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junttila, Anna; Kuvaja, Mari; Hartikainen, Päivi; Siloaho, Maritta; Helisalmi, Seppo; Moilanen, Virpi; Kiviharju, Anna; Jansson, Lilja; Tienari, Pentti J; Remes, Anne Marja; Herukka, Sanna-Kaisa

    2016-01-01

    TDP-43 is the main protein component of ubiquitinated inclusions in a subgroup of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. The C9ORF72 hexanucleotide expansion is one of the main mutations associated with TDP-43 pathology in FTLD and ALS. Our aim was to analyze cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) TDP-43 levels and Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in FTLD and ALS patients and to test whether the C9ORF72 expansion carrier status affects these variables. The patient cohort consisted of 90 clinically well-characterized FTLD (n = 69) and ALS (n = 21) patients. There were 30 patients with the C9ORF72 expansion and 60 patients without the expansion. CSF TDP-43, AΒ1-42, t-tau, and phospho-tau levels were measured using commercial ELISA kits. There was no difference in CSF TDP-43 levels between the C9ORF72 expansion carriers and the noncarriers. CSF TDP-43 levels were higher in ALS patients than in FTLD patients, and this finding was independent of the C9ORF72 expansion carrier status. Males had significantly higher TDP-43 levels than females (p = 0.008 in the total cohort). CSF TDP-43 does not seem to distinguish the C9ORF72 expansion carriers from noncarriers. However, higher CSF TDP-43 levels were detected in ALS than in FTLD, which might be an indicator of a more rapid progression of TDP-43 pathology in ALS.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Assessment and nutrition education in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudinéa. S. Almeida

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Neurological patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALSoften deteriorate to a worsening nutritional status. The aim of this study was to compare the nutritional status and food intake after nutrition education in patients with ALS. Clinical, anthropometric and functional variables were analyzed. Fifty-three patients were monitored at an early stage of the disease. The average score on the functionality scale was 33 points. Initially only 3.8% were classified as low body weight. After three months, 50% showed significant variation in anthropometric measures related to muscle mass and body fat reserves without association with clinical variables. After nutritional guidance, there was an increase in the intake of all food groups, especially the dairy group (p <0.05.The change of the nutritional status occurs early in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, even in those previously eutrophic or over weight. There was an increase in food intake after nutritional guidance according to the food guide adapted to the Brazilian population.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Neuron-specific antioxidant OXR1 extends survival of a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kevin X; Edwards, Benjamin; Lee, Sheena; Finelli, Mattéa J; Davies, Ben; Davies, Kay E; Oliver, Peter L

    2015-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive loss of spinal motor neurons. While the aetiological mechanisms underlying the disease remain poorly understood, oxidative stress is a central component of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and contributes to motor neuron injury. Recently, oxidation resistance 1 (OXR1) has emerged as a critical regulator of neuronal survival in response to oxidative stress, and is upregulated in the spinal cord of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that OXR1 is a key neuroprotective factor during amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis by crossing a new transgenic mouse line that overexpresses OXR1 in neurons with the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Interestingly, we report that overexpression of OXR1 significantly extends survival, improves motor deficits, and delays pathology in the spinal cord and in muscles of SOD1(G93A) mice. Furthermore, we find that overexpression of OXR1 in neurons significantly delays non-cell-autonomous neuroinflammatory response, classic complement system activation, and STAT3 activation through transcriptomic analysis of spinal cords of SOD1(G93A) mice. Taken together, these data identify OXR1 as the first neuron-specific antioxidant modulator of pathogenesis and disease progression in SOD1-mediated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and suggest that OXR1 may serve as a novel target for future therapeutic strategies. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.

  8. 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.

  9. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with ragged-red fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Michio; Angelini, Corrado; Montagna, Pasquale; Hays, Arthur P; Tanji, Kurenai; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Gordon, Paul H; Naini, Ali B; DiMauro, Salvatore; Rowland, Lewis P

    2008-03-01

    Motor neuron diseases (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS] and spinal muscular atrophy [SMA]) have been rarely associated with mitochondrial respiratory chain defects. To describe a patient with typical ALS and the finding of ragged-red fibers in muscle biopsy specimens and to review the literature on respiratory chain defects in ALS and SMA. Case report and review of the literature. Collaboration between tertiary care academic hospitals. A 65-year-old man with typical ALS. The patient had 10% ragged-red fibers and 3% cytochrome-c oxidase-negative fibers in muscle biopsy specimens but no biochemical defects of respiratory chain enzymes or alterations of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with ragged-red fibers has been reported in 5 families and is associated with mtDNA mutations in some subjects. Spinal muscular atrophy without mutations in the survival motor neuron gene (SMN; OMIM 600354) has been associated with mtDNA depletion or with mutations in the cytochrome-c oxidase assembly gene (SCO2; OMIM 604377). Respiratory chain defects can mimic ALS or SMA and should be considered in the differential diagnosis.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. Phosphorylated tau as a candidate biomarker for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, Murray; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; McMillan, Corey T; Boller, Ashley; Powers, John; Rascovsky, Katya; Hu, William; Shaw, Les; Irwin, David J; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Trojanowski, John Q

    2014-04-01

    An increasingly varied clinical spectrum of cases with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been identified, and objective criteria for clinical trial eligibility are necessary. To develop a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of ALS. A case-control study including 51 individuals with ALS and 23 individuals with a disorder associated with a 4-repeat tauopathy was conducted at an academic medical center. The CSF level of tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (ptau) and ratio of ptau to total tau (ttau). Using a cross-validation prediction procedure, we found significantly reduced CSF levels of ptau and the ptau:ttau ratio in ALS relative to 4-repeat tauopathy and to controls. In the validation cohort, the receiver operating characteristic area under the curve for the ptau:ttau ratio was 0.916, and the comparison of ALS with 4-repeat tauopathy showed 92.0% sensitivity and 91.7% specificity. Correct classification based on a low CSF ptau:ttau ratio was confirmed in 18 of 21 cases (86%) with autopsy-proved or genetically determined disease. In patients with available measures, ptau:ttau in ALS correlated with clinical measures of disease severity, such as the Mini-Mental State Examination (n = 51) and ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (n = 42), and regression analyses related the ptau:ttau ratio to magnetic resonance imaging (n = 10) evidence of disease in the corticospinal tract and white matter projections involving the prefrontal cortex. The CSF ptau:ttau ratio may be a candidate biomarker to provide objective support for the diagnosis of ALS.

  13. PHOSPHORYLATED TAU: CANDIDATE BIOMARKER FOR AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, Murray; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; McMillan, Corey T.; Boller, Ashley; Powers, John; Rascovsky, Katya; Hu, William; Shaw, Les; Irwin, David J.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2014-01-01

    IMPORTANCE An increasingly varied clinical spectrum of cases with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been identified, and objective criteria for clinical trial eligibility is necessary. OBJECTIVE We sought to develop a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of ALS. DESIGN Case-control study. SETTING Academic medical center. PARTICIPANTS 51 individuals with ALS and 23 individuals with a disorder associated with a four-repeat tauopathy (4R-tau). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE CSF level of tau phosophorylated at threonine 181 (ptau), and ratio of ptau to total tau (ttau). RESULTS Using a cross-validation prediction procedure, we found significantly reduced CSF levels of ptau and ptau:ttau in ALS relative to 4R-tau and to controls. In the validation cohort, the receiver operating characteristic area under the curve for the ptau:ttau ratio was 0.916, and the comparison of ALS to 4R-tau showed sensitivity=92% and specificity=91.7%. Correct classification based on low CSF ptau:ttau was confirmed in 18 (85.7%) of 21 cases with autopsy-proven or genetically-determined disease. In patients with available measures, ptau:ttau in ALS correlated with clinical measures of disease severity such as Mini Mental State Exam (n=51) and ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (n=42), and regression analyses related ptau:ttau to MRI (n=10) evidence of disease in the corticospinal tract and white matter projections involving prefrontal cortex. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE CSF ptau:ttau may be a candidate biomarker to provide objective support for the diagnosis of ALS. PMID:24492862

  14. A Retrospective Study of the Characteristics and Clinical Significance of A-Waves in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia Fang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available A-wave was observed in patients with motor neuron disease (1. However, data on the characteristics and clinical significance of A-waves in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS have been scarce. The F-wave studies of 83 patients with ALS and 63 normal participants which were conducted previously at the Department of Neurology in Peking Union Medical College Hospital were retrospectively reviewed to determine the occurrence of A-waves in ALS. A-waves occurred more frequently in ALS patients than in normal controls. For the median and peroneal nerves, the frequencies of nerves with A-waves and frequencies of patients with A-waves were comparable between the ALS patients and normal controls. For the ulnar and tibial nerves, the frequencies of nerves with A-waves and frequencies of patients with A-waves were significantly increased in the ALS patients compared with those of the normal participants. Disease progression rate was slower in the ALS patients with A-waves (0.73 ± 0.99 than that in the ALS patients without A-waves (0.87 ± 0.55, P = 0.007. No correlations were found between the amplitudes of F-waves with A-waves and those of A-waves in the ulnar nerves (r = 0.423, P = 0.149. No correlations were found between the persistence of F-waves with A-waves and the persistence of A-waves in the ulnar nerves as well (r = 0.219, P = 0.473. The occurrence of A-waves may indicate dysfunction of lower motor neurons and possibly imply a relatively slower degenerative process.

  15. Neuroprotective effect of bexarotene in the SOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier eRiancho

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive weakness and muscle atrophy related to the loss of upper and lower motor neurons (MNs without a curative treatment. There is experimental evidence suggesting that retinoids may be involved in ALS pathogenesis. Bexarotene (Bxt is a retinoid-X receptor agonist used in the treatment of cutaneous lymphoma with a favourable safety profile whose effects have been recently investigated in other neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we analyze the potential therapeutic effect of Bxt in the SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS.Mice were treated with Bxt or vehicle five times per week from day 60 onwards. Survival, weight and neuromuscular function studies together with histological and biochemical analyses were performed. Bxt significantly delayed motor function deterioration, ameliorated the loss of body weight and extended mice survival up to 30% of the symptomatic period. Histological analyses of the lumbosacral spinal cord revealed that Bxt markedly delayed the early motor-neuron degeneration occurring at presymptomatic stages in ALS-transgenic mice. Bxt treatment contributed to preserve the MN homeostasis in the SOD1G93A mice. Particularly, it reduced the neuronal loss and the chromatolytic response, induced nucleolar hypertrophy, decreased the formation of ubiquitylated inclusions and modulated the lysosomal response. As an agonist of the retinoic-X receptor pathway (RXR, Bxt notably increased the nuclear expression of the RXRα throughout transcriptionally active euchromatin domains. Bxt also contributed to protect the MN environment by reducing reactive astrogliosis and preserving perisomatic synapsis. Overall, these neuroprotective effects suggest that treatment with Bxt could be useful in ALS, particularly in those cases related to SOD1 mutations.

  16. Dissociation of Structural and Functional Integrities of the Motor System in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Behavioral-Variant Frontotemporal Dementia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jong Seok; Ferguson, Michele; Tan, Rachel; Mioshi, Eneida; Simon, Neil; Burrell, James; Vucic, Steve; Hodges, John R.; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2016-01-01

    Background and Purpose This study investigated the structural and functional changes in the motor system in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; n=25) and behavioral-variant fronto-temporal dementia (bvFTD; n=17) relative to healthy controls (n=37). Methods Structural changes were examined using a region-of-interest approach, applying voxel-based morphometry for gray-matter changes and diffusion tensor imaging for white-matter changes. Functional changes in the motor system were elucidated using threshold-tracking transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) measurements of upper motor-neuron excitability. Results The structural analyses showed that in ALS there were more white-matter changes in the corticospinal and motor-cortex regions and more gray-matter changes in the cerebellum in comparison to controls. bvFTD showed substantial gray- and white-matter changes across virtually all motor-system regions compared to controls, although the brainstem was affected less than the other regions. Direct comparisons across patient groups showed that the gray- and white-matter motor-system changes inclusive of the motor cortex were greater in bvFTD than in ALS. By contrast, the functional integrity of the motor system was more adversely affected in ALS than in bvFTD, with both patient groups showing increased excitability of upper motor neurons compared to controls. Conclusions Cross-correlation of structural and functional data further revealed a neural dissociation of different motor-system regions and tracts covarying with the TMS excitability across both patient groups. The structural and functional motor-system integrities appear to be dissociated between ALS and bvFTD, which represents useful information for the diagnosis of motor-system changes in these two disorders. PMID:26932257

  17. EFNS guidelines on the Clinical Management of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (MALS) - revised report of an EFNS task force.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2012-02-01

    Background: The evidence base for the diagnosis and management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is weak. Objectives: To provide evidence-based or expert recommendations for the diagnosis and management of ALS based on a literature search and the consensus of an expert panel. Methods: All available medical reference systems were searched, and original papers, meta-analyses, review papers, book chapters and guidelines recommendations were reviewed. The final literature search was performed in February 2011. Recommendations were reached by consensus. Recommendations: Patients with symptoms suggestive of ALS should be assessed as soon as possible by an experienced neurologist. Early diagnosis should be pursued, and investigations, including neurophysiology, performed with a high priority. The patient should be informed of the diagnosis by a consultant with a good knowledge of the patient and the disease. Following diagnosis, the patient and relatives\\/carers should receive regular support from a multidisciplinary care team. Medication with riluzole should be initiated as early as possible. Control of symptoms such as sialorrhoea, thick mucus, emotional lability, cramps, spasticity and pain should be attempted. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy feeding improves nutrition and quality of life, and gastrostomy tubes should be placed before respiratory insufficiency develops. Non-invasive positive-pressure ventilation also improves survival and quality of life. Maintaining the patient\\'s ability to communicate is essential. During the entire course of the disease, every effort should be made to maintain patient autonomy. Advance directives for palliative end-of-life care should be discussed early with the patient and carers, respecting the patient\\'s social and cultural background.

  18. Directly converted patient-specific induced neurons mirror the neuropathology of FUS with disrupted nuclear localization in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Su Min; Choi, Won Jun; Oh, Ki-Wook; Xue, Yuanchao; Choi, Ji Young; Kim, Sung Hoon; Nahm, Minyeop; Kim, Young-Eun; Lee, Jinhyuk; Noh, Min-Young; Lee, Seungbok; Hwang, Sejin; Ki, Chang-Seok; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Kim, Seung Hyun

    2016-01-22

    Mutations in the fused in sarcoma (FUS) gene have been linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS patients with FUS mutations exhibit neuronal cytoplasmic mislocalization of the mutant FUS protein. ALS patients' fibroblasts or induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons have been developed as models for understanding ALS-associated FUS (ALS-FUS) pathology; however, pathological neuronal signatures are not sufficiently present in the fibroblasts of patients, whereas the generation of iPSC-derived neurons from ALS patients requires relatively intricate procedures. Here, we report the generation of disease-specific induced neurons (iNeurons) from the fibroblasts of patients who carry three different FUS mutations that were recently identified by direct sequencing and multi-gene panel analysis. The mutations are located at the C-terminal nuclear localization signal (NLS) region of the protein (p.G504Wfs*12, p.R495*, p.Q519E): two de novo mutations in sporadic ALS and one in familial ALS case. Aberrant cytoplasmic mislocalization with nuclear clearance was detected in all patient-derived iNeurons, and oxidative stress further induced the accumulation of cytoplasmic FUS in cytoplasmic granules, thereby recapitulating neuronal pathological features identified in mutant FUS (p.G504Wfs*12)-autopsied ALS patient. Importantly, such FUS pathological hallmarks of the patient with the p.Q519E mutation were only detected in patient-derived iNeurons, which contrasts to predominant FUS (p.Q519E) in the nucleus of both the transfected cells and patient-derived fibroblasts. Thus, iNeurons may provide a more reliable model for investigating FUS mutations with disrupted NLS for understanding FUS-associated proteinopathies in ALS.

  19. Pulmonary function tests in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the association between these tests and survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed-Ali Javad Mousavi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The rapidity of progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS to death or respiratory failure impacts patients, clinicians, and clinical investigators. The aim of this study is to evaluate of the pulmonary function tests (PFTs in patients with ALS and the association between these PFTs and survival Methods: A total of 36 ALS patients who PFTs, including vital capacity (VC, maximum mid-expiratory flow rate (MMEFR, forced vital capacity (FVC, and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1, were available from the time of diagnosis were included in this study. Non-pulmonary characteristics assessed at the time of PFTs. Data were analyzed using chi-square, Student's independent t-test, Kaplan-Meier, correlation, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve.The mean age of subjects was 55.36 (SD = 12.24 year, and the male to female ratio was 2.6. Twenty-five (69.4% were died in 5 years period of our study. The mean and median survival time (In months was calculated as 42.51 (95% confidence interval [CI] 33.64-51.39 and 38 (95% CI 27.23-48.77 months, respectively. The rate of ALS survival was 74% at 1(st year, 41% at 3(rd year and 10% at 5(th year of starting symptoms. The results of Kaplan-Meier test showed survival was significantly longer in the group with PFTs closer to normal. In addition, ROC analysis showed that FVC < 50% could potentially be a predictor of death in ALS patients(P = 0.003, area under curve = 0.649.We found single measures of upright FVC, FEV1 to be significantly associated with survival, even after controlling for relevant non-pulmonary patient characteristics. Our study demonstrated that upright FVC, FEV1, VC, and MMEFR are useful non-invasive measures in the prediction of survival in ALS.

  20. The use of botulinum toxin injections to manage drooling in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neurone disease: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squires, Nina; Humberstone, Miles; Wills, Adrian; Arthur, Antony

    2014-08-01

    Difficulty in managing oral secretions is commonly experienced by patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/motor neurone disease (MND) and associated bulbar weakness including dysphagia. There are no definitive evidence-based treatment guidelines to manage the distressing symptom of drooling. We reviewed the evidence for the effectiveness of botulinum toxin injections to reduce saliva in ALS/MND. The search strategy was conducted in four stages: (1) electronic search of relevant databases, (2) hand searches of all international ALS/MND symposium journals, (3) email request to MND care centres in the UK and Ireland, and (4) hand searching of reference lists. All studies were critically appraised and relevant data extracted. Botulinum toxin type A and type B were analysed separately. Due to heterogeneity, it was not possible to calculate a pooled estimate of effect. Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria (9 for type A and 3 for type B). Only two randomised controlled trials were identified. Study sample sizes were small with a mean of 12.5 subjects. The most frequently reported outcomes were weight of cotton rolls and number of tissues used. All studies claimed the intervention tested was effective, but only seven studies (4 for type A and 3 for type B) reported statistically significant differences. Although there is evidence to suggest that botulinum toxin B can reduce drooling, the evidence base is limited by a lack of randomized controlled trials. Evidence to support the use of botulinum toxin A is weaker. Larger trials will help remove the uncertainty practitioners face in treating this disabling symptom.

  1. Monitoring CSF proteome alterations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: obstacles and perspectives in translating a novel marker panel to the clinic.

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    Nils von Neuhoff

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal disorder of the motor neuron system with poor prognosis and marginal therapeutic options. Current clinical diagnostic criteria are based on electrophysiological examination and exclusion of other ALS-mimicking conditions. Neuroprotective treatments are, however, most promising in early disease stages. Identification of disease-specific CSF biomarkers and associated biochemical pathways is therefore most relevant to monitor disease progression, response to neuroprotective agents and to enable early inclusion of patients into clinical trials. METHODS AND FINDINGS: CSF from 35 patients with ALS diagnosed according to the revised El Escorial criteria and 23 age-matched controls was processed using paramagnetic bead chromatography for protein isolation and subsequently analyzed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. CSF protein profiles were integrated into a Random Forest model constructed from 153 mass peaks. After reducing this peak set to the top 25%, a classifier was built which enabled prediction of ALS with high accuracy, sensitivity and specificity. Further analysis of the identified peptides resulted in a panel of five highly sensitive ALS biomarkers. Upregulation of secreted phosphoprotein 1 in ALS-CSF samples was confirmed by univariate analysis of ELISA and mass spectrometry data. Further quantitative validation of the five biomarkers was achieved in an 80-plex Multiple Reaction Monitoring mass spectrometry assay. CONCLUSIONS: ALS classification based on the CSF biomarker panel proposed in this study could become a valuable predictive tool for early clinical risk stratification. Of the numerous CSF proteins identified, many have putative roles in ALS-related metabolic processes, particularly in chromogranin-mediated secretion signaling pathways. While a stand-alone clinical application of this classifier will only be possible after further validation and a multicenter trial, it could be

  2. Misregulation of iron homeostasis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Gajowiak

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Iron is essential for all mammalian cells, but it is toxic in excess. Our understanding of molecular mechanisms ensuring iron homeostasis at both cellular and systemic levels has dramatically increased over the past 15 years. However, despite major advances in this field, homeostatic regulation of iron in the central nervous system (CNS requires elucidation. It is unclear how iron moves in the CNS and how its transfer to the CNS across the blood-brain and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers, which separate the CNS from the systemic circulation, is regulated. Increasing evidence indicates the role of iron dysregulation in neuronal cell death observed in neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by selective cortical czynand spinal motor neuron dysfunction that results from a complex interplay among various pathogenic factors including oxidative stress. The latter is known to strongly affect cellular iron balance, creating a vicious circle to exacerbate oxidative injury. The role of iron in the pathogenesis of ALS is confirmed by therapeutic effects of iron chelation in ALS mouse models. These models are of great importance for deciphering molecular mechanisms of iron accumulation in neurons. Most of them consist of transgenic rodents overexpressing the mutated human superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1 gene. Mutations in the SOD1 gene constituteone of the most common genetic causes of the inherited form of ALS. However, it should beconsidered that overexpression of the SOD1 gene usually leads to increased SOD1 enzymaticactivity, a condition which does not occur in human pathology and which may itself changethe expression of iron metabolism genes.

  3. Molecular chaperone mediated late-stage neuroprotection in the SOD1(G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey S Novoselov

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord, brain stem, and motor cortex. Mutations in superoxide dismutase (SOD1 are associated with familial ALS and lead to SOD1 protein misfolding and aggregation. Here we show that the molecular chaperone, HSJ1 (DNAJB2, mutations in which cause distal hereditary motor neuropathy, can reduce mutant SOD1 aggregation and improve motor neuron survival in mutant SOD1 models of ALS. Overexpression of human HSJ1a (hHSJ1a in vivo in motor neurons of SOD1(G93A transgenic mice ameliorated disease. In particular, there was a significant improvement in muscle force, increased motor unit number and enhanced motor neuron survival. hHSJ1a was present in a complex with SOD1(G93A and led to reduced SOD1 aggregation at late stages of disease progression. We also observed altered ubiquitin immunoreactivity in the double transgenic animals, suggesting that ubiquitin modification might be important for the observed improvements. In a cell model of SOD1(G93A aggregation, HSJ1a preferentially bound to mutant SOD1, enhanced SOD1 ubiquitylation and reduced SOD1 aggregation in a J-domain and ubiquitin interaction motif (UIM dependent manner. Collectively, the data suggest that HSJ1a acts on mutant SOD1 through a combination of chaperone, co-chaperone and pro-ubiquitylation activity. These results show that targeting SOD1 protein misfolding and aggregation in vivo can be neuroprotective and suggest that manipulation of DnaJ molecular chaperones might be useful in the treatment of ALS.

  4. Physical activity and neuroprotection in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrate, Mary E; Kaspar, Brian K

    2008-01-01

    Physical exercise exerts a wide range of benefits on an organism's overall health and well-being. Exercise contributes positively toward an individual's healthy weight, muscle strength, immune system, and cardiovascular health. Indeed, exercise has been demonstrated to reduce life-threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Of particular interest to this review, exercise has also been shown to be neuroprotective in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Naturally, such findings apply broadly to the study of neurodegenerative disease with numerous reports demonstrating that exercise has beneficial effects on disease progression. One of the most devastating neurodegenerative diseases is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease in the United States, or motor neuron disease in the United Kingdom, resulting from the progressive loss of brain and spinal cord motor neurons. Several human studies show that moderate exercise regimens improve ALS patients' scoring on functionality tests and ameliorate disease symptoms. Other promising recent works using transgenic mouse models of familial ALS have shown markedly slowed disease progression, improved function, and extension of survival in moderately exercised animals. Possible explanations for these findings include the exercise-induced changes in motor neuron morphology, muscle-nerve interaction, glial activation, and altering levels of gene expression of anti-apoptotic proteins and neurotrophic factors in the active tissue. Here we review the current literature on exercise and motor neuron disease, focusing on rodent and human studies to define the proper type, intensity, and duration of exercise necessary to enhance neuron survival as well discuss current mechanistic studies to further define the exercise-mediated pathways of neuroprotection.

  5. The influence of the initial state of nutrition on the lifespan of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS during home enteral nutrition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janusz Sznajder

    Full Text Available Aim: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a chronic, neurodegenerative disease, which leads to development of malnutrition. The main purpose of this research was to analyze the impact of malnutrition on the course of the disease and long-term survival. Material and methods: A retrospective analysis has been performed on 48 patients (22 F [45,83%] and 26 M [54,17%], the average age of patients: 66,2 [43-83] in 2008-2014.The analysis of the initial state of nutrition was measured by body mass index (BMI, nutritional status according to NRS 2002, SGA and concentration of albumin in blood serum. Patients were divided into two groups, depending on the state of nutrition: well-nourished and malnourished. The groups were created separately for each of these, which allowed an additional comparative analysis of techniques used for the assessment of nutritional status. Results: Proper state of nutrition was interrelated with longer survival (SGA: 456 vs. 679 days, NRS: 312 vs. 659 vs. 835 days, BMI: respectively, 411, 541, 631 days, results were statistically significant for NRS and BMI. Concentration of albumin was not a prognostic factor, but longer survival was observed when level of albumin was increased during nutritional therapy. Conclusions: The initial nutrition state and positive response to enteral feeding is associated with better survival among patients with ALS. For this reason, nutritional therapy should be introduced as soon as possible.

  6. The influence of the initial state of nutrition on the lifespan of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) during home enteral nutrition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sznajder, Janusz; S Lefarska-Wasilewska, Marta; Kłek, Stanisław

    2016-02-16

    Aim: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a chronic, neurodegenerative disease, which leads to development of malnutrition. The main purpose of this research was to analyze the impact of malnutrition on the course of the disease and long-term survival. Material and methods: A retrospective analysis has been performed on 48 patients (22 F [45,83%] and 26 M [54,17%], the average age of patients: 66,2 [43-83]) in 2008-2014.The analysis of the initial state of nutrition was measured by body mass index (BMI), nutritional status according to NRS 2002, SGA and concentration of albumin in blood serum. Patients were divided into two groups, depending on the state of nutrition: well-nourished and malnourished. The groups were created separately for each of these, which allowed an additional comparative analysis of techniques used for the assessment of nutritional status. Results: Proper state of nutrition was interrelated with longer survival (SGA: 456 vs. 679 days, NRS: 312vs. 659vs. 835 days, BMI: respectively, 411, 541, 631 days, results were statistically significant for NRS and BMI). Concentration of albumin was not a prognostic factor, but longer survival was observed when level of albumin was increased during nutritional therapy. Conclusions: The initial nutrition state and positive response to enteral feeding is associated with better survival among patients with ALS. For this reason, nutritional therapy should be introduced as soon as possible.

  7. The combined use of conventional MRI and MR spectroscopic imaging increases the diagnostic accuracy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cervo, Amedeo [Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University “Federico II”, Naples (Italy); Cocozza, Sirio, E-mail: siriococozza@hotmail.it [Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University “Federico II”, Naples (Italy); Saccà, Francesco [Department of Neurosciences, Reproductive Sciences and Odontostomatology, University “Federico II”, Naples (Italy); Giorgio, Sara M.d.A. [Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University “Federico II”, Naples (Italy); Morra, Vincenzo Brescia [Department of Neurosciences, Reproductive Sciences and Odontostomatology, University “Federico II”, Naples (Italy); Tedeschi, Enrico [Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University “Federico II”, Naples (Italy); Marsili, Angela; Vacca, Giovanni [Department of Neurosciences, Reproductive Sciences and Odontostomatology, University “Federico II”, Naples (Italy); Palma, Vincenzo [U.O.C. Neurofisiopatologia, PO S. Gennaro ASL Napoli 1, Naples (Italy); Brunetti, Arturo [Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University “Federico II”, Naples (Italy); Quarantelli, Mario [Biostructure and Bioimaging Institute, National Research Council, Naples (Italy)

    2015-01-15

    Highlights: • We assessed in ALS the diagnostic accuracy of MRI signal and MRS data used alone and in combination. • We found that T2-hypointensity and NAA decrease in motor cortex are two independent phenomena. • These two variables taken alone do not provide acceptable diagnostic accuracy in ALS. • The same variables, when used in combination, improve the diagnostic accuracy of MRI in ALS. - Abstract: Purpose: We aimed to assess, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the diagnostic accuracy of the combined use of conventional MRI signal changes (namely, hypointensity of the precentral cortex and hyperintensity of the corticospinal tracts on T2-weighted images), and N-Acetyl-Aspartate (NAA) reduction in the motor cortex at Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), which are affected by limited diagnostic accuracy when used separately. Methods: T2-hypointensity and NAA/(Choline + Creatine) ratio of the precentral gyrus and T2-hyperintensity of the corticospinal tracts were measured in 84 ALS patients and 28 healthy controls, using a Region-of-Interest approach. Sensitivity and specificity values were calculated using Fisher stepwise discriminant analysis, and cross-validated using the leave-one-out method. Results: Precentral gyrus T2 signal intensity (p < 10{sup −4}) and NAA peak (p < 10{sup −6}) were significantly reduced in patients, and their values did not correlate significantly to each other both in patients and controls, while no significant differences were obtained in terms of T2-hyperintensity of the corticospinal tract. Sensitivity and specificity of the two discriminant variables, taken alone, were 71.4% and 75.0%, for NAA peak, and 63.1% and 71.4% for T2-hypointensity, respectively. When using these two variables in combination, a significant increase in sensitivity (78.6%) and specificity (82.1%) was achieved. Conclusions: Precentral gyrus T2-hypointensity and NAA peak are not significantly correlated in ALS patients, suggesting that they

  8. Association Between Dietary Intake and Function in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieves, Jeri W; Gennings, Chris; Factor-Litvak, Pam; Hupf, Jonathan; Singleton, Jessica; Sharf, Valerie; Oskarsson, Björn; Fernandes Filho, J Americo M; Sorenson, Eric J; D'Amico, Emanuele; Goetz, Ray; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi

    2016-12-01

    There is growing interest in the role of nutrition in the pathogenesis and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To evaluate the associations between nutrients, individually and in groups, and ALS function and respiratory function at diagnosis. A cross-sectional baseline analysis of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Multicenter Cohort Study of Oxidative Stress study was conducted from March 14, 2008, to February 27, 2013, at 16 ALS clinics throughout the United States among 302 patients with ALS symptom duration of 18 months or less. Nutrient intake, measured using a modified Block Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis function, measured using the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R), and respiratory function, measured using percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (FVC). Baseline data were available on 302 patients with ALS (median age, 63.2 years [interquartile range, 55.5-68.0 years]; 178 men and 124 women). Regression analysis of nutrients found that higher intakes of antioxidants and carotenes from vegetables were associated with higher ALSFRS-R scores or percentage FVC. Empirically weighted indices using the weighted quantile sum regression method of "good" micronutrients and "good" food groups were positively associated with ALSFRS-R scores (β [SE], 2.7 [0.69] and 2.9 [0.9], respectively) and percentage FVC (β [SE], 12.1 [2.8] and 11.5 [3.4], respectively) (all P < .001). Positive and significant associations with ALSFRS-R scores (β [SE], 1.5 [0.61]; P = .02) and percentage FVC (β [SE], 5.2 [2.2]; P = .02) for selected vitamins were found in exploratory analyses. Antioxidants, carotenes, fruits, and vegetables were associated with higher ALS function at baseline by regression of nutrient indices and weighted quantile sum regression analysis. We also demonstrated the usefulness of the weighted quantile sum regression method in the evaluation of diet. Those responsible for nutritional

  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. Characterizing Social Communication Changes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Fiona; Philpott, April; Andrews, Sophie C.; Maule, Roxanne; Douglas, Jacinta

    2017-01-01

    Background: Speech and language impairments are well-established in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, knowledge about particular aspects of social communication and everyday conversational abilities is limited. Aims: To investigate self- and informant-report ratings of social communicative abilities in ALS participants…

  11. 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

    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

  12. NEK1 variants confer susceptibility to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kenna, Kevin P; van Doormaal, Perry T C; Dekker, Annelot M; Ticozzi, Nicola; Kenna, Brendan J; Diekstra, Frank P; van Rheenen, Wouter; van Eijk, Kristel R; Jones, Ashley R; Keagle, Pamela; Shatunov, Aleksey; Sproviero, William; Smith, Bradley N; van Es, Michael A; Topp, Simon D; Kenna, Aoife; Miller, Jack W; Fallini, Claudia; Tiloca, Cinzia; McLaughlin, Russell L; Vance, Caroline; Troakes, Claire; Colombrita, Claudia; Mora, Gabriele; Calvo, Andrea; Verde, Federico; Al-Sarraj, Safa; King, Andrew; Calini, Daniela; de Belleroche, Jacqueline; Baas, Frank; van der Kooi, Anneke J; de Visser, Marianne; Ten Asbroek, Anneloor L M A; Sapp, Peter C; McKenna-Yasek, Diane; Polak, Meraida; Asress, Seneshaw; Muñoz-Blanco, José Luis; Strom, Tim M; Meitinger, Thomas; Morrison, Karen E; Lauria, Giuseppe; Williams, Kelly L; Leigh, P Nigel; Nicholson, Garth A; Blair, Ian P; Leblond, Claire S; Dion, Patrick A; Rouleau, Guy A; Pall, Hardev; Shaw, Pamela J; Turner, Martin R; Talbot, Kevin; Taroni, Franco; Boylan, Kevin B; Van Blitterswijk, Marka; Rademakers, Rosa; Esteban-Pérez, Jesús; García-Redondo, Alberto; Van Damme, Phillip; Robberecht, Wim; Chio, Adriano; Gellera, Cinzia; Drepper, Carsten; Sendtner, Michael; Ratti, Antonia; Glass, Jonathan D; Mora, Jesús S; Basak, Nazli A; Hardiman, Orla; Ludolph, Albert C; Andersen, Peter M; Weishaupt, Jochen H; Brown, Robert H; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Silani, Vincenzo; Shaw, Christopher E; van den Berg, Leonard H; Veldink, Jan H; Landers, John E

    2016-01-01

    To identify genetic factors contributing to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we conducted whole-exome analyses of 1,022 index familial ALS (FALS) cases and 7,315 controls. In a new screening strategy, we performed gene-burden analyses trained with established ALS genes and identified a

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients' Perspectives on Use of Mechanical Ventilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Jenny M.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Interviewed 13 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. All believed that they alone should make decision regarding use of mechanical ventilation. Factors they considered important were quality of life, severity of disability, availability of ventilation by means of nasal mask, possible admission to long-term care facility, ability to discontinue…

  16. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: An Introduction to Psychosocial and Behavioral Adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, R. Leigh; Decker, Thomas W.

    1993-01-01

    Defines amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as motor-neuron disease that is terminal. Discusses symptoms associated with ALS and identifies treatment options. Reviews psychological and behavioral adaptations in regard to ALS clients, their families, and professionals who work with them. Discusses support groups as method of reducing stress for ALS…

  17. Severe brain atrophy after long-term survival seen in siblings with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and a mutation in the optineurin gene: a case series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ueno Hiroki

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Previous studies have shown widespread multisystem degeneration in patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who develop a total locked-in state and survive under mechanical ventilation for a prolonged period of time. However, the disease progressions reported in these studies were several years after disease onset. There have been no reports of long-term follow-up with brain imaging of patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at an advanced stage of the disease. We report the cases of siblings with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with homozygous deletions of the exon 5 mutation of the gene encoding optineurin, in whom brain computed tomography scans were followed up for more than 20 years. Case presentation The patients were a Japanese brother and sister. The elder sister was 33 years of age at the onset of disease, which began with muscle weakness of her left lower limb. Two years later she required mechanical ventilation. She became bedridden at the age of 34, and died at the age of 57. A computed tomography scan of her brain at the age of 36 revealed no abnormality. Atrophy of her brain gradually progressed. Ten years after the onset of mechanical ventilation, atrophy of her whole brain, including the cerebral cortex, brain stem and cerebellum, markedly progressed. Her younger brother was 36 years of age at the onset of disease, which presented as muscle weakness of his left upper limb. One year later, he showed dysphagia and dysarthria, and tracheostomy ventilation was performed. He became bedridden at the age of 37 and died at the age of 55. There were no abnormal intracranial findings on brain computed tomography scans obtained at the age of 37 years. At the age of 48 years, computed tomography scans showed marked brain atrophy with ventricular dilatation. Subsequently, atrophy of the whole brain rapidly progressed as in his elder sister. Conclusion We conclude that a homozygous deletion

  18. 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.

  19. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis surveillance in Baltimore and Philadelphia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Heather; Rechtman, Lindsay; Wagner, Laurie; Kaye, Wendy E

    2015-06-01

    Limited epidemiological data on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) exist in defined geographic areas in the United States. Neurologists submitted case reports for patients under their care between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2011, who met the El Escorial criteria. Diagnosis was confirmed for a sample of cases by the consulting neurologist. Death certificate data were used for supplemental case identification. The 248 reported cases were most likely to be 50-69 years old, men, white, and non-Hispanic. The total crude average annual incidence rate was 1.46 per 100,000 person-years. The reported demographic characteristics were consistent with previously published findings. The crude annual incidence was slightly lower than the expected rate of 1.6 but was within the range reported previously (0.7-2.5). These findings help quantify the burden of ALS in the United States. © 2014 The Authors. Muscle & Nerve Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. 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.

  1. Protein Homeostasis in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Therapeutic Opportunities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher P.; Smith, Emma F.; Shaw, Pamela J.; De Vos, Kurt J.

    2017-01-01

    Protein homeostasis (proteostasis), the correct balance between production and degradation of proteins, is essential for the health and survival of cells. Proteostasis requires an intricate network of protein quality control pathways (the proteostasis network) that work to prevent protein aggregation and maintain proteome health throughout the lifespan of the cell. Collapse of proteostasis has been implicated in the etiology of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common adult onset motor neuron disorder. Here, we review the evidence linking dysfunctional proteostasis to the etiology of ALS and discuss how ALS-associated insults affect the proteostasis network. Finally, we discuss the potential therapeutic benefit of proteostasis network modulation in ALS. PMID:28512398

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Alok; Ghosh, Devlina; Singh, R. L.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:26317018

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Protein Homeostasis in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Therapeutic Opportunities?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela J. Shaw

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Protein homeostasis (proteostasis, the correct balance between production and degradation of proteins, is essential for the health and survival of cells. Proteostasis requires an intricate network of protein quality control pathways (the proteostasis network that work to prevent protein aggregation and maintain proteome health throughout the lifespan of the cell. Collapse of proteostasis has been implicated in the etiology of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, the most common adult onset motor neuron disorder. Here, we review the evidence linking dysfunctional proteostasis to the etiology of ALS and discuss how ALS-associated insults affect the proteostasis network. Finally, we discuss the potential therapeutic benefit of proteostasis network modulation in ALS.

  6. Analysis of dysarthria in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; MRI of the tongue and formant analysis of vowels

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    Watanabe, Sakae; Arasaki, Keisuke (Hitachi General Hospital, Ibaraki (Japan)); Nagata, Hiroshi; Shouji, Shinichi

    1994-03-01

    To evaluate dysarthria in patients with ALS, we used MRI (gradient rephasing echo method) and compared it with the computed acoustic analysis. Five ALS male patients of progressive bulbar palsy type and five normal males were asked to phonate the five Japanese vowels, /a/[center dot]/i/[center dot]/u/[center dot]/e/[center dot]/o/. MRI of the sagittal tongue and vocal tract was obtained by the gradient rephasing echo method (0.2 Tesla, TR: 30 ms, TE: 10 ms, FA: 25degC, Hitachi). We could clearly visualized the change of tongue shape and the narrow site of the vocal tract for each vowel phonation. In normal subjects, the tongue shape and the narrow site of the vocal tract were distinguishable between each vowel, but unclear in ALS. Acoustic analysis showed that the first formant frequency of /i/[center dot]/u/ in ALS was higher than normal and the second formant frequency of /i/[center dot]/e/ in ALS was significantly lower than normal. The discrepancy from the normal first, second and third formant frequency for each vowel of ALS was most seen in /i/[center dot]/ e/. It was speculated that /i/ and /e/ were the most disturbed vowels in ALS. The first and second formant frequency of vowel depends on the tongue shape and the width of the oral cavity. Therefore the results of the acoustic analysis in ALS indicated poor movement of tongue in /i/[center dot]/u/[center dot]/e/ and were compatible with the findings of the sagittal tongue MRI. The sagittal view of the tongue in the gradient rephasing echo MRI and the acoustic analysis are useful in evaluating dysarthria in ALS. (author).

  7. Management and therapeutic perspectives in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Stéphane; Couratier, Philippe; Julian, Adrien; Vallat, Jean-Michel; Corcia, Philippe; Le Masson, Gwendal

    2017-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting both upper and lower motor neurons. Despite much research and effort, no clear insights into a unifying hypothesis for the pathogenesis has so far emerged for this disease. Areas covered: We review the main pathophysiological hypotheses and the potential therapeutic targets in ALS, as well as the management of these patients (in order to improve their survival and quality of life). Expert commentary: ALS is a complex neurodegenerative disease, these days considered as a multisystem disorder with predominant motor symptoms (and various clinical forms). Further comprehension of the pathophysiology of this disease is required, although pathophysiological mechanisms (such as TDP-43) show promise in the search for new therapies. There is still no curative treatment for ALS, but the emergence of multidisciplinary specialized ALS clinics has increased both the quality of life and the survival of these patients.

  8. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: increased solubility of skin collagen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, S.; Yamauchi, M.

    1992-01-01

    We studied the solubility of skin collagen from six patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and six controls. The amount of collagen extracted with neutral salt solution was significantly greater in patients with ALS than in controls. In addition, there was a statistically significant increase in the proportion of collagen extracted from ALS patients with increased duration of illness. The collagen solubilized by pepsin and cyanogen bromide treatments was significantly higher in ALS patients than in controls, and its proportion was positively and significantly associated with duration of illness in ALS patients. These results indicate that the metabolism of skin collagen may be affected in the disease process of ALS, causing an increase in immature soluble collagen in the tissue, which is the opposite to that which occurs in the normal aging process.

  9. Intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E reduces the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldink, J.H.; Kalmijn, S.; Groeneveld, G.J.; Wunderink, W.; Köster, B.; Vries, de J.H.M.; Luyt, van der J.; Wokke, J.H.J.; Berg, L.H.

    2007-01-01

    Background: To assess whether the premorbid dietary intake of fatty acids, cholesterol, lutamate, or anti- oxidants was associated with the risk of developing ALS. Methods: Patients referred to our clinic during the one-year period, 2001-2002, who had definite, probable or possible ALS according to

  10. The role of a clinical pharmacist in a multidisciplinary amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferies, Kristen A; Bromberg, Mark B

    2012-02-01

    Patients with ALS have complicated medication regimens and many questions about medications. Our multidisciplinary ALS clinic includes a clinical pharmacist, and the purpose of this study was to assess the types and outcomes of consultative interactions. This was a prospective, data collection study of patients seen by the pharmacist at a single ALS clinic visit. The following data were obtained: 1) current medications; 2) number and types of pharmacy interventions; 3) amount of time spent by the pharmacist with each patient. Thirty-seven patients were included. The average number of prescriptions used per patient was 3.59 (0-10) with 1.75 (0-9) used for ALS related indications. The average number of pharmacist interventions was two per patient, with the majority related to medication monitoring and optimizing drug therapy for ALS symptoms. The pharmacist provided education on an average of 2.5 topics per patient. The pharmacist spent an average of 21 (5-50) min with each patient. In conclusion, a clinical pharmacist contributes to the team by: 1) optimizing drug therapy for ALS symptoms; 2) providing medication-related education to patients; 3) allowing more time for the neurologist to attend to neurologic issues; and 4) discussing general medicine issues.

  11. Defining the genetic connection linking amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattante, Serena; Ciura, Sorana; Rouleau, Guy A; Kabashi, Edor

    2015-05-01

    Several genetic causes have been recently described for neurological diseases, increasing our knowledge of the common pathological mechanisms involved in these disorders. Mutation analysis has shown common causative factors for two major neurodegenerative disorders, ALS and FTD. Shared pathological and genetic markers as well as common neurological signs between these diseases have given rise to the notion of an ALS/FTD spectrum. This overlap among genetic factors causing ALS/FTD and the coincidence of mutated alleles (including causative, risk and modifier variants) have given rise to the notion of an oligogenic model of disease. In this review we summarize major advances in the elucidation of novel genetic factors in these diseases which have led to a better understanding of the common pathogenic factors leading to neurodegeneration.

  12. Intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E reduces the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Veldink, J. H.; Kalmijn, S; Groeneveld, G J; Wunderink, W.; Köster, B.; de Vries; Luyt, van der, J.; Wokke, J. H. J.; Berg, L.H.

    2007-01-01

    Background: To assess whether the premorbid dietary intake of fatty acids, cholesterol, lutamate, or anti- oxidants was associated with the risk of developing ALS. Methods: Patients referred to our clinic during the one-year period, 2001-2002, who had definite, probable or possible ALS according to El Escorial criteria, without a familial history of ALS, were asked to participate in a case-control study (132 patients and 220 healthy controls). A food-frequency questionnaire was used to assess...

  13. A mapping review of international guidance on the management and care of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssens, Astrid I W A; Ruytings, Marijke; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Chio, Adriano; Hardiman, Orla; Mcdermott, Christopher J; Meyer, Thomas; Mora, Gabriele; Van Damme, Philip; Van Den Berg, Leonard H; Vanhaecht, Kris; Winkler, Andrea S; Sermeus, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Management of ALS is suboptimal. Consequently, quality improvement interventions are needed to improve ALS care. An evidence-based insight into how patients should be managed is essential when developing quality improvement interventions. Therefore, this study aimed to map, categorize and summarize international guidance on the management and care of ALS and to identify gaps in this guidance by means of a mapping review. Literature was searched for clinical practice guidelines, quality indicators and evidence-based clinical summaries. A content analysis and meta-synthesis of the included literature was performed. Interventions and outcomes used in the management and care of ALS were identified and categorized. Furthermore, the amount of guidance underpinning these interventions and outcomes was analysed. Six clinical practice guidelines, one set of quality indicators and three evidence-based clinical summaries were identified. The results demonstrated that certain domains in ALS care, mainly disease-specific domains such as breathing and swallowing, are extensively addressed in the literature whereas other subjects, such as care coordination, receive little attention. In conclusion, this mapping review provides a scientific basis for targeting and developing the clinical content of a quality improvement intervention for the management of ALS.

  14. Abnormal distribution of lead in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis--reestimation of lead in the cerebrospinal fluid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conradi, S; Ronnevi, L O; Nise, G; Vesterberg, O

    1980-12-01

    The lead concentration in CSF was determined by flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry in 16 ALS patients and 22 control cases. The mean values were 0.69 +/- 0.55 (ALS) and 0.41 +/- 0.37 (controls), P controls.

  15. Histological-MRI correlation in the primary motor cortex of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadowcroft, Mark D; Mutic, Nathan J; Bigler, Don C; Wang, Jian-Li; Simmons, Zachary; Connor, James R; Yang, Qing X

    2015-03-01

    To establish the relationship between ALS histopathology and quantitative MRI metrics. ALS patients (N = 8) in advanced stages of the disease were enrolled and, immediately after death, the brain of each patient was removed. Freshly excised ALS tissue was imaged at 3.0 Tesla with T1 and T2 mapping protocols and subsequently stained with astrocyte, myelin, and neuronal markers. Measures of ALS histological stains were compared with the internal control (primary visual cortex) and longitudinal parametric maps. Post-mortem T1 -weighted images demonstrate diminished contrast between gray and white matter and alterations in T1 relaxation within the primary motor cortex. An increase in astrocyte number and reactivity as well as evident neuronal loss, a decrease in axonal density, and unraveling of the myelin sheaths in subcortical white matter were found in the ALS primary motor cortex exhibiting significant T1 relaxation and contrast changes. This study provides a histopathological basis for differences in MR T1 contrast and relaxation seen in the ALS brain. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. 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.

  17. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Focus on Disease Progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, Ana C.; Manzano, Raquel; Mendonça, Deise M. F.; Muñoz, María J.; Zaragoza, Pilar

    2014-01-01

    Since amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was discovered and described in 1869 as a neurodegenerative disease in which motor neuron death is induced, a wide range of biomarkers have been selected to identify therapeutic targets. ALS shares altered molecular pathways with other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases. However, the molecular targets that directly influence its aggressive nature remain unknown. What is the first link in the neurodegenerative chain of ALS that makes this disease so peculiar? In this review, we will discuss the progression of the disease from the viewpoint of the potential biomarkers described to date in human and animal model samples. Finally, we will consider potential therapeutic strategies for ALS treatment and future, innovative perspectives. PMID:25157374

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Psychopathological features and suicidal ideation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmieri, Arianna; Sorarù, Gianni; Albertini, Elisa; Semenza, Carlo; Vottero-Ris, Francesca; D'Ascenzo, Carla; Querin, Giorgia; Zennaro, Alessandro; Pegoraro, Elena; Angelini, Corrado

    2010-12-01

    Psychopathological diagnosis has become increasingly important in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), since the recent emphasis on the comprehensive management and end-of-life decisions. Rorschach test is the third most commonly used psychological instrument worldwide and can offer a different approach from self-reporting questionnaires, mainly providing information on issues of which individuals may be unaware or unwilling to admit to. Forty-two ALS patients underwent a psychopathological assessment with the Rorschach test. Psychopathological data were also correlated with skeletal muscle strength as measured by MRC scale and functional evaluation as ALSFRSr and FVC values. Psychopathological features, including suicidial ideation, were more frequent in the recently diagnosed ALS patients. These features were observed to be different according to the kind of functional impairment. Rorschach test may be an useful tool to assess psychopathological features in ALS. Results of our study highlight the need of an early psychopathological diagnosis and specific psychotherapeutic treatment in patients with ALS.

  1. [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).

  2. The cognitive profile of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.; de Visser, M.; Linssen, W.H.J.P.; de Haan, R.J.; Schmand, B.

    2010-01-01

    We aimed to clarify the profile of cognitive impairment in ALS, by meta-analysis of published studies. Criteria for inclusion were: ALS diagnosed according to El Escorial criteria; control group matched for age and education; correction for bias due to motor impairment or dysarthria; no dementia in

  3. The cognitive profile of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.; de Visser, M.; Linssen, W.H.J.P.; de Haan, R.J.; Schmand, B.

    2010-01-01

    We aimed to clarify the profile of cognitive impairment in ALS, by meta-analysis of published studies. Criteria for inclusion were: ALS diagnosed according to El Escorial criteria; control group matched for age and education; correction for bias due to motor impairment or dysarthria; no dementia in

  4. Alternative Fuels in Epilepsy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tefera, Tesfaye W; Tan, Kah Ni; McDonald, Tanya S; Borges, Karin

    2017-06-01

    This review summarises the recent findings on metabolic treatments for epilepsy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in honour of Professor Ursula Sonnewald. The metabolic impairments in rodent models of these disorders as well as affected patients are being discussed. In both epilepsy and ALS, there are defects in glucose uptake and reduced tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycling, at least in part due to reduced amounts of C4 TCA cycle intermediates. In addition there are impairments in glycolysis in ALS. A reduction in glucose uptake can be addressed by providing the brain with alternative fuels, such as ketones or medium-chain triglycerides. As anaplerotic fuels, such as the triglyceride of heptanoate, triheptanoin, refill the TCA cycle C4/C5 intermediate pool that is deficient, they are ideal to boost TCA cycling and thus the oxidative metabolism of all fuels.

  5. 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.

  6. Common Molecular Pathways in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weishaupt, Jochen H; Hyman, Tony; Dikic, Ivan

    2016-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are age-related neurodegenerative diseases in which predominantly motor neurons and cerebral cortex neurons, respectively, are affected. Several novel ALS and FTD disease genes have been recently discovered, pointing toward a few overarching pathways in ALS/FTD pathogenesis. Nevertheless, a precise picture of how various cellular processes cause neuronal death, or how different routes leading to ALS and FTD are functionally connected is just emerging. Moreover, how the most recent milestone findings in the ALS/FTD field might lead to improved diagnosis and treatment is actively being explored. We highlight some of the most exciting recent topics in the field, which could potentially facilitate the identification of further links between the pathogenic ALS/FTD pathways related to autophagy, vesicle trafficking, and RNA metabolism. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The emerging roles of microRNAs in the pathogenesis of frontotemporal dementia-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FTD-ALS) spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascon, Eduardo; Gao, Fen-Biao

    2014-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) share some clinical, pathological, and molecular features as part of a common neurodegenerative spectrum disorder. In recent years, enormous progress has been made in identifying both pathological proteins and genetic mutations associated with FTD-ALS. However, the molecular pathogenic mechanisms of disease onset and progression remain largely unknown. Recent studies have uncovered unexpected links between FTD-ALS and multiple aspects of RNA metabolism, setting the stage for further understanding of the disorder. Here, the authors will focus on microRNAs and review the emerging roles of these small RNAs in several aspects of FTD-ALS pathogenesis.

  8. 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.

  9. Motoneuron afterhyperpolarisation duration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piotrkiewicz, Maria; Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz, Irena

    2011-06-01

    Motor unit (MU) potentials were registered from 20 ALS patients and 13 age-matched control individuals during isometric constant force contractions of brachial biceps (BB). The registered signals were decomposed into single MU potential trains. The estimates of duration of the afterhyperpolarisation (AHP) in MNs, derived from the interspike interval variability, was compared between ALS patients (124 MNs) and control subjects (111 MNs) and no significant differences were encountered. However, the relationship between TI and age for patients appeared to be qualitatively different from that of the control group. The dependence of patients' AHPs on relative force deficit (RFD), which quantified muscle involvement, was more specific. For RFDs below 30%, the AHP estimate was significantly lower than control values and then increased thereafter with increasing RFDs. Moreover, firing rates of patients with the smallest RFDs were significantly higher while firing rates of patients with the greatest RFDs were significantly lower than control values. The AHP shortening in the early stages of muscle impairment is consistent with the decrease in firing threshold of ‘fast' MNs found in spinal cord slices from neonatal SOD1 mice. The later elongation of the AHP may be caused by the higher vulnerability of ‘fast' MNs to degeneration and by the influence of reinnervation. Our results are comparable to what has been observed in acute experiments in animal models, providing a bridge between animal and clinical research that may be relevant for identification of mechanism(s) underlying neurodegeneration in ALS.

  10. Progress in clinical diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    YANG Qiong

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, mainly involving the pyramidal tract, brain stem and spinal cord anterior horn cells, manifests as progressive muscle atrophy, weakness and cramps, as well as cognitive impairment, and may overlap with frontotemporal dementia. ALS is familial in 5% of cases, whose clinical manifestations are similar to sporadic. The diagnosis is made mainly based on clinical manifestations, using internationally recognized consensus standard, after rule out conditions that can mimic ALS. Genetic testing provides a new way to accelerate the diagnostic process for early intervention. Part of the gene mutations are associated with specific phenotypes. According to this, prognosis assessment and genetic counseling are able to carry out.

  11. Development of a Smartphone App for a Genetics Website: The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Online Genetics Database (ALSoD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abel, Olubunmi; Shatunov, Aleksey; Jones, Ashley R; Andersen, Peter M; Powell, John F; Al-Chalabi, Ammar

    2013-09-04

    The ALS Online Genetics Database (ALSoD) website holds mutation, geographical, and phenotype data on genes implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and links to bioinformatics resources, publications, and tools for analysis. On average, there are 300 unique visits per day, suggesting a high demand from the research community. To enable wider access, we developed a mobile-friendly version of the website and a smartphone app. We sought to compare data traffic before and after implementation of a mobile version of the website to assess utility. We identified the most frequently viewed pages using Google Analytics and our in-house analytic monitoring. For these, we optimized the content layout of the screen, reduced image sizes, and summarized available information. We used the Microsoft .NET framework mobile detection property (HttpRequest.IsMobileDevice in the Request.Browser object in conjunction with HttpRequest.UserAgent), which returns a true value if the browser is a recognized mobile device. For app development, we used the Eclipse integrated development environment with Android plug-ins. We wrapped the mobile website version with the WebView object in Android. Simulators were downloaded to test and debug the applications. The website automatically detects access from a mobile phone and redirects pages to fit the smaller screen. Because the amount of data stored on ALSoD is very large, the available information for display using smartphone access is deliberately restricted to improve usability. Visits to the website increased from 2231 to 2820, yielding a 26% increase from the pre-mobile to post-mobile period and an increase from 103 to 340 visits (230%) using mobile devices (including tablets). The smartphone app is currently available on BlackBerry and Android devices and will be available shortly on iOS as well. Further development of the ALSoD website has allowed access through smartphones and tablets, either through the website or directly through

  12. An Overview of DNA Repair in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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    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.

  13. Cortical excitability of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khedr, E M; Ahmed, M A; Hamdy, A; Shawky, O A

    2011-05-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to provide insight into the central changes that occur in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with a view to understanding how these could contribute to symptoms. Seventeen patients with definite ALS and 17 control healthy volunteers were included in the study. Clinical examination, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis severity score (ALSSS) and TMS investigations including measurement of resting and active motor threshold (RMT and AMT), motor evoked potential (MEP), input-output curve, contralateral silent period, and transcallosal inhibition (CSP and TI, postulated markers of GABAb function) were measured for each participant. There were no significant differences in RMT or AMT in either hemisphere between patients and the control group. Despite this there was a significant negative correlation between ALSSS and RMT and AMT meaning that increased severity was associated with higher thresholds. MEPs were significantly smaller in ALS patients in comparison to the control group (P = 0.03). There was a significant decrease in the slope of the I/O relationship of MEP amplitude to TMS intensity in patients group in comparison to controls. ALS patients had a significant prolongation of CSP and TI for both hemispheres. There was a tendency for a significant negative correlation between left TI and ALSSS (P = 0.051). Measurements of cortical motor excitatory changes in ALS confirm the presence of corticospinal hypoexcitability. Additionally we found increased excitability of presumed intracortical GABAb circuits that correlated with the severity of ALS. We postulate that the disease results in an imbalance between excitation and inhibition in the cortex that can contribute to clinical symptoms. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  14. The review of the methods to obtain non-neuronal cells to study glial influence on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis pathophysiology at molecular level in vitro Revisão dos métodos de obtenção de células não neuronais para o estudo da fisiopatologia da Esclerose Lateral Amiotrófica ao nível molecular in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Milani Scorisa

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that displays a rapid evolution. Current treatments have failed to revert clinical symptoms because the mechanisms involved in the death of motoneuron are still unknown. Recent publications have put non-neuronal cells, particularly, astrocyte and microglia, in the scenario of pathophisiology of the disease. Animal models for ALS, particularly transgenic mice expressing the human SOD1 gene with a G93A mutation (hSOD1, are available and display the phenotype of the disease at cellular and clinical levels. However, it is a lack of detailed information regarding the methods to study the disease in vitro to better understand the contribution of non-neuronal cells in the onset and progression of the pathology. METHODS: Colonies of Swiss mice and transgenic mice expressing hSOD1 mutation as well as non-transgenic controls (wild-type were amplified after a genotyping evaluation. Disease progression was followed behaviorally and mortality was registered. Highly purified primary cultures of astrocytes and microglia from mouse spinal cord were obtained. Cells were identified by means of GFAP and CD11B immunocytochemistry. The purity of astroglial and microglial cell cultures was also accompanied by means of Western blot and RT-PCR analyses employing a number of markers. RESULTS: The disease onset was about 105 days and the majority of transgenic mice displayed the disease symptoms by 125 days of age and reached the endpoint 20 days later. A substantial motor weakens was registered in the transgenic mice compared to wild-type at the end point. Immunocytochemical, biochemical and RT-PCR analyses demonstrated a highly purified primary cultures of spinal cord astrocytes and microglia. CONCLUSION: It is possible to achieve highly purified primary cultures of spinal cord astrocytes and microglia to be employed in cellular and molecular analyses of the influence of such non

  15. Surgical improvement of speech disorder caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saigusa, Hideto; Yamaguchi, Satoshi; Nakamura, Tsuyoshi; Komachi, Taro; Kadosono, Osamu; Ito, Hiroyuki; Saigusa, Makoto; Niimi, Seiji

    2012-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive debilitating neurological disease. ALS disturbs the quality of life by affecting speech, swallowing and free mobility of the arms without affecting intellectual function. It is therefore of significance to improve intelligibility and quality of speech sounds, especially for ALS patients with slowly progressive courses. Currently, however, there is no effective or established approach to improve speech disorder caused by ALS. We investigated a surgical procedure to improve speech disorder for some patients with neuromuscular diseases with velopharyngeal closure incompetence. In this study, we performed the surgical procedure for two patients suffering from severe speech disorder caused by slowly progressing ALS. The patients suffered from speech disorder with hypernasality and imprecise and weak articulation during a 6-year course (patient 1) and a 3-year course (patient 2) of slowly progressing ALS. We narrowed bilateral lateral palatopharyngeal wall at velopharyngeal port, and performed this surgery under general anesthesia without muscle relaxant for the two patients. Postoperatively, intelligibility and quality of their speech sounds were greatly improved within one month without any speech therapy. The patients were also able to generate longer speech phrases after the surgery. Importantly, there was no serious complication during or after the surgery. In summary, we performed bilateral narrowing of lateral palatopharyngeal wall as a speech surgery for two patients suffering from severe speech disorder associated with ALS. With this technique, improved intelligibility and quality of speech can be maintained for longer duration for the patients with slowly progressing ALS.

  16. G-CSF prevents the progression of structural disintegration of white matter tracts in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pilot trial.

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    Thomas Duning

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The hematopoietic protein Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF has neuroprotective and -regenerative properties. The G-CSF receptor is expressed by motoneurons, and G-CSF protects cultured motoneuronal cells from apoptosis. It therefore appears as an attractive and feasible drug candidate for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. The current pilot study was performed to determine whether treatment with G-CSF in ALS patients is feasible. METHODS: Ten patients with definite ALS were entered into a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Patients received either 10 µg/kg BW G-CSF or placebo subcutaneously for the first 10 days and from day 20 to 25 of the study. Clinical outcome was assessed by changes in the ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS, a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery, and by examining hand activities of daily living over the course of the study (100 days. The total number of adverse events (AE and treatment-related AEs, discontinuation due to treatment-related AEs, laboratory parameters including leukocyte, erythrocyte, and platelet count, as well as vital signs were examined as safety endpoints. Furthermore, we explored potential effects of G-CSF on structural cerebral abnormalities on the basis of voxel-wise statistics of Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI, brain volumetry, and voxel-based morphometry. RESULTS: Treatment was well-tolerated. No significant differences were found between groups in clinical tests and brain volumetry from baseline to day 100. However, DTI analysis revealed significant reductions of fractional anisotropy (FA encompassing diffuse areas of the brain when patients were compared to controls. On longitudinal analysis, the placebo group showed significant greater and more widespread decline in FA than the ALS patients treated with G-CSF. CONCLUSIONS: Subcutaneous G-CSF treatment in ALS patients appears as feasible approach. Although exploratory analysis of

  17. Organophosphate neurotoxicity to the voluntary motor system on the trail of environment-caused amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: the known, the misknown, and the unknown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merwin, Samantha J; Obis, Teresa; Nunez, Yanelli; Re, Diane B

    2017-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset paralytic disorder. It is characterized by progressive degeneration of the motor neurons controlling voluntary movement. The underlying mechanisms remain elusive, a fact that has precluded development of effective treatments. ALS presents as a sporadic condition 90-95% of the time, i.e., without familial history or obvious genetic mutation. This suggests that ALS has a strong environmental component. Organophosphates (OPs) are prime candidate neurotoxicants in the etiology of ALS, as exposure to OPs was linked to higher ALS incidence among farmers, soccer players, and Gulf War veterans. In addition, polymorphisms in paraoxonase 1, an enzyme that detoxifies OPs, may increase individual vulnerability both to OP poisoning and to the risk of developing ALS. Furthermore, exposure to high doses of OPs can give rise to OP-induced delayed neuropathy (OPIDN), a debilitating condition akin to ALS characterized by similar motor impairment and paralysis. The question we pose in this review is: "what can we learn from acute exposure to high doses of neurotoxicants (OPIDN) that could help our understanding of chronic diseases resulting from potentially decades of silent exposure (ALS)?" The resemblances between OPIDN and ALS are striking at the clinical, etiological, neuropathological, cellular, and potentially molecular levels. Here, we critically present available evidence, discuss current limitations, and posit future research. In the search for the environmental origin of ALS, OPIDN offers an exciting trail to follow, which can hopefully lead to the development of novel strategies to prevent and cure these dreadful disorders.

  18. Lateral facilitation--no effect on the target noise level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katkov, Mikhail; Sagi, Dov

    2010-11-23

    The detection threshold of a centrally placed Gabor target is reduced in the presence of aligned high-contrast Gabor patches that are optimally spaced from the target (Polat & Sagi, 1993). Here we determined whether threshold reduction is due to signal enhancement or to decreased signal response variability (internal noise), using a recently developed analysis for a Signal Detection Theory (SDT)-based contrast-identification paradigm (Katkov, Tsodyks, & Sagi, 2007a). We found that flankers did not affect internal noise, but instead caused increased target response when collinear with it, in agreement with the lateral facilitation effect. Based on these results, we concluded that lateral facilitation can be explained by signal enhancement only, and that uncertainty-based models do not provide a satisfactory description of the data.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Comparison of the expression levels of Fas and Apaf-1 genes in systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts

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    Majid Abed Khojasteh

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc is an autoimmune rheumatic connective tissue disease. In normal wound healing process, fibroblasts are activated, proliferated and involved in tissue repair, and then removed by apoptosis. In systemic sclerosis, patient’s fibrosis occurs when fibroblasts become resistant to apoptosis and secrete a large amount of collagen and other extracellular matrixes. As the primary causes the disease are very complex and often unknown, it is necessary to consider or target the secondary causes of disease, such as the unresponsiveness of activated fibroblasts to apoptosis as the major factor in the creation and deployment of illness. In this study, we examined the expression levels of two key pro-apoptotic genes, Fas and Apaf-1, which are respectively involved in external and internal pathway of apoptosis. Methods: In a case-control study skin biopsy samples were obtained from 19 patients with diffuse SSc, and 16 healthy controls. Dermal fibroblasts were cultured and total RNA was isolated from cell populations using High Pure RNA Isolation Kit (Roche Applied Science, Mannheim, Germany, followed by cDNA synthesis using RevertAid First Strand cDNA Synthesis Kit (Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Massachusetts, USA. Real-time PCR was performed using SYBRGreen gene expression master mix (Takara Shuzo, Co., Ltd, Shiga, Japan and specific primers for Fas and Apaf-1. Real-time data were analyzed using the (2-ΔCT×1000 method. Statistical analysis was accomplished by using the SPSS software, v22 (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA. The P value less than 0.05 were recognized as a significant threshold. All data are represented as the mean ± SEM. Results: Our results showed no significant difference in Fas (P=0.8 and Apaf-1 (P=0.17 mRNA expression levels between skin fibroblasts of systemic sclerosis patients and healthy controls. Conclusion: In this study we observed no significant change in Apaf-1 and Fas mRNA levels in systemic sclerosis

  2. Validation of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Assessment Questionnaire (ALSAQ-40 scale in the portuguese language Validação da escala ALSAQ-40 em pacientes com esclerose lateral amiotrófica para a língua portuguesa

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    Karina Pavan

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a degenerative neurological disorder that has a great impact in the quality of life of the patients. This study had the objective of validating the ALS Assessment Questionnaire in the Portuguese Language (ALSAQ-40/BR. The version of ALSAQ-40/BR, was adapted into the Portuguese language after the evaluation and re-evaluation of 20 patients with a defined ALS diagnosis. The demonstration of its reproducibility and reliability makes this instrument an additional and useful parameter which can be used in the evaluation of ALS for research or assistance.Esclerose lateral amiotrófica, doença neurológica degenerativa, apresenta grande impacto na qualidade de vida dos pacientes. Este estudo teve como objetivo realizar a adaptação transcultural e validação da escala Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Assessment Questionnaire (ALSAQ-40 nestes pacientes. Foi aplicada em 20 pacientes com reteste após 30 dias. A tradução para o português e sua adequação às condições socioeconômicas e culturais da nossa população, bem como a demonstração de sua reprodutibilidade e validade, tornam este instrumento um parâmetro adicional útil que pode ser utilizado na avaliação da ELA seja em nível de pesquisa ou assistencial.

  3. Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: new hypothesis regarding its etiology and pathogenesis suggests that astrocytes might be the primary target hosting a still unknown external agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sica, Roberto E P; Nicola, Alejandro F De; González Deniselle, María C; Rodriguez, Gabriel; Monachelli, Gisella M Gargiulo; Peralta, Liliana Martinez; Bettini, Mariela

    2011-08-01

    This article briefly describes the already known clinical features and pathogenic mechanisms underlying sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, namely excitoxicity, oxidative stress, protein damage, inflammation, genetic abnormalities and neuronal death. Thereafter, it puts forward the hypothesis that astrocytes may be the cells which serve as targets for the harmful action of a still unknown environmental agent, while neuronal death may be a secondary event following the initial insult to glial cells. The article also suggests that an emergent virus or a misfolded infectious protein might be potential candidates to accomplish this task.

  4. Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: new hypothesis regarding its etiology and pathogenesis suggests that astrocytes might be the primary target hosting a still unknown external agent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto E.P. Sica

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This article briefly describes the already known clinical features and pathogenic mechanisms underlying sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, namely excitoxicity, oxidative stress, protein damage, inflammation, genetic abnormalities and neuronal death. Thereafter, it puts forward the hypothesis that astrocytes may be the cells which serve as targets for the harmful action of a still unknown environmental agent, while neuronal death may be a secondary event following the initial insult to glial cells. The article also suggests that an emergent virus or a misfolded infectious protein might be potential candidates to accomplish this task.

  5. sup 26 Al tracer experiment by accelerator mass spectrometry and its application to the studies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kobayashi, Koichi (Tokyo Univ. (Japan). Research Center for Nuclear Science and Technology); Yumoto, Sakae; Nagai, Hisao; Hosoyama, Yoshiyuki; Imamura, Mineo; Masuzawa, Shin-ichirou; Koizumi, Yoshinobu; Yamashita, Hiroshi

    1990-12-01

    Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) was applied for {sup 26}Al tracer experiment to study the aluminum toxicity and metabolism in rats. To investigate the cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer's disease, the aluminum incorporation into the brain (cerebrum) was studied by AMS using {sup 26}Al as a tracer. When {sup 26}Al was intraperitoneally injected into rats, a considerable amount of {sup 26}Al was incorporated into the cerebrum after 5-35 days of the injection. (author).

  6. The role of D-serine and glycine as co-agonists of NMDA receptors in motor neurone degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS

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    Praveen ePaul

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The fundamental role of D-serine as a co-agonist at the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR, mediating both physiological actions of glutamate in long term potentiation and nociception and also pathological effects mediated by excitotoxicty, are well established. More recently, a direct link to a chronic neurodegenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/ motor neuron disease (ALS has been suggested by findings that D-serine levels are elevated in sporadic ALS and the G93A SOD1 model of ALS (Sasabe et al., 2007; 2012 and that a pathogenic mutation (R199W in the enzyme that degrades D-serine, D-amino acid oxidase (DAO, co-segregates with disease in familial ALS (Mitchell et al., 2010. Moreover, D-serine, its biosynthetic enzyme, serine racemase (SR and DAO are abundant in human spinal cord and severely depleted in ALS. Using cell culture models, we have defined the effects of R199W- DAO, and shown that it activates autophagy, leads to the formation of ubiquitinated aggregates and promotes apoptosis, all of which processes are attenuated by a D-serine/glycine site NMDAR antagonist. These studies provide considerable insight into the crosstalk between neurons and glia and also into potential therapeutic approaches for ALS.

  7. Basic fibroblast growth factor increases the number of endogenous neural stem cells and inhibits the expression of amino methyl isoxazole propionic acid receptors in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weihui Huang; Dawei Zang; Yi Lu; Ping Jiang

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the number of amino methyl isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) re-ceptors and production of endogenous neural stem cells in the SOD1G93AG1H transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, at postnatal day 60 following administration of basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2). A radioligand binding assay and immunohistochemistry were used to estimate the number of AMPA receptors and endogenous neural stem cells respectively. Results showed that the number of AMPA receptors and endogenous neural stem cells in the brain stem and sensorimotor cortex were significantly increased, while motor function was significantly decreased at postnatal days 90 and 120. After administration of FGF-2 into mice, numbers of endogenous neural stem cells increased, while expression of AMPA receptors decreased, whilst motor functions were recovered. At postnatal day 120, the number of AMPA receptors was negatively correlated with the number of endogenous neural stem cells in model mice and FGF-2-treated mice. Our experimental findings indicate that FGF-2 can inhibit AMPA receptors and increase the number of endogenous neural stem cells, thus repairing neural injury in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice.

  8. 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

    Previous evidence for spatial clustering of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is inconclusive. Studies that have identified apparent clusters have often been based on a small number of cases, which means the results may have occurred by chance processes. Also, most studies have used the geographic...... 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...

  9. Cross-diagnostic validity of the SF-36 physical functioning scale in patients with stroke, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A study using rasch analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dallmeijer, Annet J.; Groot, de Vincent; Roorda, Leo D.; Schepers, Vera P.M.; Lindeman, Eline; Berg, van den Leonard H.; Beelen, Anita; Dekker, Joost

    2007-01-01

    Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate uni­dimensionality and differential item functioning of the SF-36 physical functioning scale (PF10) in patients with various neurological disorders. Patients: Patients post-stroke (n = 198), with multiple sclero­sis (n = 151) and amyotrophic later

  10. Analysis of FUS gene mutation in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis within an Italian cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticozzi, N; Silani, V; LeClerc, A L; Keagle, P; Gellera, C; Ratti, A; Taroni, F; Kwiatkowski, T J; McKenna-Yasek, D M; Sapp, P C; Brown, R H; Landers, J E

    2009-10-13

    Mutations in the FUS gene on chromosome 16 have been recently discovered as a cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS). This study determined the frequency and identities of FUS gene mutations in a cohort of Italian patients with FALS. We screened all 15 coding exons of FUS for mutations in 94 Italian patients with FALS. We identified 4 distinct missense mutations in 5 patients; 2 were novel. The mutations were not present in 376 healthy Italian controls and thus are likely to be pathogenic. Our results demonstrate that FUS mutations cause approximately 4% of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases in the Italian population.

  11. Further studies on the erythrocyte uptake of lead in vitro in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and controls. Abnormal erythrocyte fragility in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronnevi, L O; Conradi, S; Nise, G

    1982-01-01

    Following our earlier observations on increased plasma concentrations of lead in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the erythrocyte uptake of lead from plasma has been studied in vitro. Whole-blood from ALS patients and controls was incubated after the addition of lead (0.6 mumol/l whole-blood) and plasma lead concentrations were repeatedly determined. Incubation was continued until haemolysis developed. Fairly stable plasma lead concentrations were established at, on the average, 0.5-0.6 mumol/l after 10-30 min and persisted throughout the incubation with no significant difference between ALS- and control samples. Unexpectedly, it was also observed that haemolysis occurred significantly earlier in the ALS- than in the control samples. Plateau levels in plasma lead concentration of the same order as in the present experiments have been observed both in ALS- and control samples in previous experiments with the same technique, where the lead dose added was twice as high, and these plateau levels were about 10 times higher than those observed in vivo in ALS patients and controls. It is therefore suggested that the final plasma lead concentrations in vivo is established by factors other than the erythrocyte uptake and it is improbable that the differences between ALS patients and controls in plasma lead concentration are associated with differences in the degree of lead uptake by the red cells. The increased plasma lead concentrations in ALS patients may instead be caused by increased fragility of the erythrocytes, as manifested by the earlier occurrence of haemolysis in the present experiments. The observation of increased red cell fragility is, however, also of interest as a possible manifestation of a generalized membrane defect.

  12. Safety and efficacy of botulinum toxin A for the treatment of spasticity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: results of a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Costa, Juan F; Máñez, Inmaculada; Alabajos, Ana; Guevara Salazar, Maricruz; Roda, Cristina; Sevilla, Teresa

    2016-10-01

    Spasticity can be a very disabling problem in some amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) phenotypes, such as upper motor neuron-dominant ALS (UMN-D ALS) and primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). Our aim is to describe the safety and efficacy of botulinum toxin A (BoTox-A) for improving gait in those ALS phenotypes. UMN-D ALS and PLS outpatients experiencing gait disturbances, secondary to moderate-to-severe spasticity despite optimized oral medication, were offered BoTox-A treatment. Stretching exercises were indicated to complement BoTox-A effect, and ankle-foot orthotics were prescribed when appropriate. Tolerance (muscle strength, disease progression rate) and efficacy (10-m walk test) were measured at baseline and after treatment. Eight out of 122 ALS outpatients were offered BoTox-A treatment. One declined and the other seven were administered BoTox-A in the lower limbs, every 5-8 months. All of them experienced improvement in the clinical outcome and all but one referred subjective improvement. Moreover, after a median follow-up of 16 months and three injections, BoTox-A effect was maintained with no adverse events. This study provides class IV evidence that BoTox-A is safe , and could be beneficial in the short term and long term in a subset of ALS patients with moderate-to-severe spasticity.

  13. 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

  14. Enhancing NAD+ Salvage Pathway Reverts the Toxicity of Primary Astrocytes Expressing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-linked Mutant Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harlan, Benjamin A; Pehar, Mariana; Sharma, Deep R; Beeson, Gyda; Beeson, Craig C; Vargas, Marcelo R

    2016-05-13

    Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) participates in redox reactions and NAD(+)-dependent signaling pathways. Although the redox reactions are critical for efficient mitochondrial metabolism, they are not accompanied by any net consumption of the nucleotide. On the contrary, NAD(+)-dependent signaling processes lead to its degradation. Three distinct families of enzymes consume NAD(+) as substrate: poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases, ADP-ribosyl cyclases (CD38 and CD157), and sirtuins (SIRT1-7). Because all of the above enzymes generate nicotinamide as a byproduct, mammalian cells have evolved an NAD(+) salvage pathway capable of resynthesizing NAD(+) from nicotinamide. Overexpression of the rate-limiting enzyme in this pathway, nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, increases total and mitochondrial NAD(+) levels in astrocytes. Moreover, targeting nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase to the mitochondria also enhances NAD(+) salvage pathway in astrocytes. Supplementation with the NAD(+) precursors nicotinamide mononucleotide and nicotinamide riboside also increases NAD(+) levels in astrocytes. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is caused by the progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord, brain stem, and motor cortex. Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutations account for up to 20% of familial ALS and 1-2% of apparently sporadic ALS cases. Primary astrocytes isolated from mutant human superoxide dismutase 1-overexpressing mice as well as human post-mortem ALS spinal cord-derived astrocytes induce motor neuron death in co-culture. Increasing total and mitochondrial NAD(+) content in ALS astrocytes increases oxidative stress resistance and reverts their toxicity toward co-cultured motor neurons. Taken together, our results suggest that enhancing the NAD(+) salvage pathway in astrocytes could be a potential therapeutic target to prevent astrocyte-mediated motor neuron death in ALS.

  15. Abnormal exocytotic release of glutamate in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milanese, Marco; Zappettini, Simona; Onofri, Franco; Musazzi, Laura; Tardito, Daniela; Bonifacino, Tiziana; Messa, Mirko; Racagni, Giorgio; Usai, Cesare; Benfenati, Fabio; Popoli, Maurizio; Bonanno, Giambattista

    2011-03-01

    Glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity plays a major role in the degeneration of motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and reduced astrocytary glutamate transport, which in turn increases the synaptic availability of the amino acid neurotransmitter, was suggested as a cause. Alternatively, here we report our studies on the exocytotic release of glutamate as a possible source of excessive glutamate transmission. The basal glutamate efflux from spinal cord nerve terminals of mice-expressing human soluble superoxide dismutase (SOD1) with the G93A mutation [SOD1/G93A(+)], a transgenic model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was elevated when compared with transgenic mice expressing the wild-type human SOD1 or to non-transgenic controls. Exposure to 15 mM KCl or 0.3 μM ionomycin provoked Ca(2+)-dependent glutamate release that was dramatically increased in late symptomatic and in pre-symptomatic SOD1/G93A(+) mice. Increased Ca(2+) levels were detected in SOD1/G93A(+) mouse spinal cord nerve terminals, accompanied by increased activation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase II and increased phosphorylation of synapsin I. In line with these findings, release experiments suggested that the glutamate release augmentation involves the readily releasable pool of vesicles and a greater capability of these vesicles to fuse upon stimulation in SOD1/G93A(+) mice. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  16. Exogenous risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, M.H.B.

    2015-01-01

    The aims of this thesis were to determine the epidemiology of ALS in the Netherlands, to determine the familial aggregation of ALS with Parkinson disease (PD), dementia, and vascular diseases, and to determine the association between several environmental and lifestyle factors and risk for sporadic

  17. 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.

  18. Huntington's disease presenting as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phukan, Julie; Ali, Elfatih; Pender, Niall P; Molloy, Fiona; Hennessy, Michael; Walsh, Ronan J; Hardiman, Orla

    2010-08-01

    We present the clinical, electrophysiological and molecular genetic findings of a 58-year-old male with genetically confirmed Huntington's disease (HD) and concurrent clinically definite ALS by El Escorial criteria. The patient presented with asymmetric upper limb amyotrophy and weakness, and subsequently developed chorea and cognitive change. Genetic testing confirmed the presence of expanded trinucleotide repeats in huntingtin, consistent with a diagnosis of Huntington's disease. This case confirms the rare coexistence of Huntington's disease and motor neuron degeneration.

  19. Intraspinal Stem Cell Transplantation for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kevin S.; Sakowski, Stacey A.; Feldman, Eva L.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder in which the loss of upper and lower motor neurons produces progressive weakness and eventually death. In the decades since the approval of riluzole, the only FDA approved medication to moderately slow progression of ALS, no new therapeutics have arisen to alter the course of the disease. This is partly due to our incomplete understanding of the complex pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration. Stem cells have emerged as an attractive option in treating ALS since they come armed with equally complex cellular machinery and may modulate the local microenvironment in many ways to rescue diseased motor neurons. While various stem cell types are being evaluated in preclinical and early clinical applications, here we review the preclinical strategies and advances supporting the recent clinical translation of neural progenitor cell therapy for ALS. Specifically, we focus on the use of spinal cord neural progenitor cells and the pipeline starting from preclinical studies to the designs of the Phase I and IIa clinical trials involving direct intraspinal transplantation in humans. PMID:26696091

  20. Current pathways for epidemiological research in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    FACTOR-LITVAK, PAM; AL-CHALABI, AMMAR; ASCHERIO, ALBERTO; BRADLEY, WALTER; CHÍO, ADRIANO; GARRUTO, RALPH; HARDIMAN, ORLA; KAMEL, FREYA; KASARSKIS, EDWARD; MCKEE, ANN; NAKANO, IMAHARU; NELSON, LORENE M.; EISEN, ANDREW

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease. The current status of the epidemiology, challenges to its study, and novel study design options are discussed in this paper. We focus on recent results from large-scale population based prospective studies, case-control studies and population based registries, risk factors, and neuropathologic findings in chronic traumatic encephalomyelopathy. We identify areas of interest for future research, including time-trends in the incidence and prevalence of ALS; the meaning of lifetime risk; the phenotypic description of ALS; the definition of familial versus sporadic ALS, syndromic aspects of ALS; specific risk factors such as military service, life style factors such as smoking, the use of statins, and the presence of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), an excitotoxic amino acid derivative possibly produced by cyanobacteria found in almost every terrestrial and aquatic habitat; the emergence and disappearance of an endemic ALS in areas of the Pacific; and gene-environment interactions in the etiology of ALS. To move the epidemiology forward, we suggest using well-characterized cohorts of newly diagnosed ALS patients to identify risk and prognostic factors; storing biological material for future studies; building on the National ALS Registry as a resource of future studies; working in multidisciplinary consortia; and addressing the possible early life etiology of ALS. PMID:23678878

  1. Huntington's disease presenting as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Phukan, Julie

    2010-08-01

    We present the clinical, electrophysiological and molecular genetic findings of a 58-year-old male with genetically confirmed Huntington\\'s disease (HD) and concurrent clinically definite ALS by El Escorial criteria. The patient presented with asymmetric upper limb amyotrophy and weakness, and subsequently developed chorea and cognitive change. Genetic testing confirmed the presence of expanded trinucleotide repeats in huntingtin, consistent with a diagnosis of Huntington\\'s disease. This case confirms the rare coexistence of Huntington\\'s disease and motor neuron degeneration.

  2. Deletion of the BDNF truncated receptor TrkB.T1 delays disease onset in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sudhirkumar U Yanpallewar

    Full Text Available Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF exerts strong pro-survival effects on developing and injured motoneurons. However, in clinical trials, BDNF has failed to benefit patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. To date, the cause of this failure remains unclear. Motoneurons express the TrkB kinase receptor but also high levels of the truncated TrkB.T1 receptor isoform. Thus, we investigated whether the presence of this receptor may affect the response of diseased motoneurons to endogenous BDNF. We deleted TrkB.T1 in the hSOD1(G93A ALS mouse model and evaluated the impact of this mutation on motoneuron death, muscle weakness and disease progression. We found that TrkB.T1 deletion significantly slowed the onset of motor neuron degeneration. Moreover, it delayed the development of muscle weakness by 33 days. Although the life span of the animals was not affected we observed an overall improvement in the neurological score at the late stage of the disease. To investigate the effectiveness of strategies aimed at bypassing the TrkB.T1 limit to BDNF signaling we treated SOD1 mutant mice with the adenosine A2A receptor agonist CGS21680, which can activate motoneuron TrkB receptor signaling independent of neurotrophins. We found that CGS21680 treatment slowed the onset of motor neuron degeneration and muscle weakness similarly to TrkB.T1 removal. Together, our data provide evidence that endogenous TrkB.T1 limits motoneuron responsiveness to BDNF in vivo and suggest that new strategies such as Trk receptor transactivation may be used for therapeutic intervention in ALS or other neurodegenerative disorders.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ichikawa, Hiroo; Koyama, Shinichi; Ohno, Hideki; Ishihara, Kenji; Nagumo, Kiyomi; Kawamura, Mitsuru

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18641430

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collado-Vázquez, Susana; Carrillo, Jesús María

    2014-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease with a progressive course that affects the corticospinal and spinal cord motor neurons, the main manifestations of which are muscular weakness, amyotrophy and hyperreflexia. It has an incidence of 0.4-2.4 cases/100,000 inhabitants/year, and a prevalence of 4-6 cases/100,000 inhabitants. It is more frequent in adult males over 50 years of age. A number of different neurological diseases have been portrayed in literature, cinema and television, including ALS, which has been presented correctly and realistically. To analysis how literature, cinema and television have addressed ALS. Several different literary works have dealt with ALS, such as El desencuentro, Lou Gehrig: the luckiest man or Tuesdays with Morrie; the cinema has also depicted this disease in films such as The pride of the Yankees, My love beside me (closer to Heaven) or Right to die; and on television this disease has been shown in series, documentaries and television films, such as: Tuesdays with Morrie, Jenifer or A love affair: the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story. Most of the works are of a biographical and testimonial nature, and portray the disease realistically, with the intention of making ALS more widely known and raising the population's awareness about the condition. Literature, cinema and television have portrayed ALS in a realistic and believable manner, unlike some other diseases of a neurological origin.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Establishing a Canadian registry of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korngut, L; Genge, A; Johnston, M; Benstead, T; Bourque, P; Briemberg, H; Casey, A; D'Amour, M; Dupré, N; Figlewicz, D; Hader, W; Johnston, W; Kalra, S; Melanson, M; O'Connell, C; Rouleau, G; Shoesmith, C; Wee, J; Zinman, L

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating cause of progressive weakness, respiratory failure and death. To date there is no effective therapy to meaningfully extend survival but continuously emerging targets and putative treatments are studied in clinical trials. Canadian epidemiological data on ALS is scarce and the socioeconomic impact of ALS on Canadian society is unclear. The Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry (CNDR) is a national clinic-based registry of patients with neuromuscular diseases with the goal of facilitating the design and execution of clinical research. We conducted a national stakeholder survey to assess interest for a Canadian ALS registry and an assessment of expected case ascertainment. A dataset derivation meeting was held to establish the registry medical dataset. We report the results of the national stakeholder survey, case ascertainment assessment, and the derived dataset that have resulted in the current implementation of a Canadian registry of patients with ALS. The development of this long sought-after resource is a significant step forward for the Canadian ALS patient and research communities that will result in more efficient clinical trial recruitment and advancements in our understanding of ALS in Canada.

  10. Impaired Perception of Emotional Expression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Seong Il; Oh, Ki Wook; Kim, Hee Jin; Park, Jin Seok; Kim, Seung Hyun

    2016-07-01

    The increasing recognition that deficits in social emotions occur in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is helping to explain the spectrum of neuropsychological dysfunctions, thus supporting the view of ALS as a multisystem disorder involving neuropsychological deficits as well as motor deficits. The aim of this study was to characterize the emotion perception abilities of Korean patients with ALS based on the recognition of facial expressions. Twenty-four patients with ALS and 24 age- and sex-matched healthy controls completed neuropsychological tests and facial emotion recognition tasks [ChaeLee Korean Facial Expressions of Emotions (ChaeLee-E)]. The ChaeLee-E test includes facial expressions for seven emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, surprise, and neutral. The ability to perceive facial emotions was significantly worse among ALS patients performed than among healthy controls [65.2±18.0% vs. 77.1±6.6% (mean±SD), p=0.009]. Eight of the 24 patients (33%) scored below the 5th percentile score of controls for recognizing facial emotions. Emotion perception deficits occur in Korean ALS patients, particularly regarding facial expressions of emotion. These findings expand