Science.gov

Sample records for advanced amyotrophic lateral

  1. Recent advances in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Riva, Nilo; Agosta, Federica; Lunetta, Christian; Filippi, Massimo; Quattrini, Angelo

    2016-06-01

    ALS is a relentlessly progressive and fatal disease, with no curative therapies available to date. Symptomatic and palliative care, provided in a multidisciplinary context, still remains the cornerstone of ALS management. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease has advanced greatly over the past years, giving new hope for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Here, we have reviewed the most recent studies that have contributed to improving both clinical management and our understanding of ALS pathogenesis. PMID:27025851

  2. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000688.htm Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a disease of the nerve ...

  3. Against All Odds: Positive Life Experiences of People with Advanced Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Jenny M.; McNicoll, Paule

    1998-01-01

    Describes the nature of positive life experiences of 13 people coping exceptionally well while living with advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's, disease and the resulting significant physical disabilities. Emerging themes were the use of cognitive reappraisal, reframing, and intellectual stimulation as coping mechanisms;…

  4. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    MedlinePlus

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a nervous system disease that attacks nerve cells called neurons in your ... people with ALS die from respiratory failure. The disease usually strikes between age 40 and 60. More ...

  5. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    MedlinePlus

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a nervous system disease that attacks nerve cells called neurons in your brain and spinal cord. These neurons ... breathing machine can help, but most people with ALS die from respiratory failure. The disease usually strikes ...

  6. Conjugal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Dewitt, John D.; Kwon, Julia; Burton, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the motor cortex, brainstem, and spinal cord. The incidence of sporadic ALS is 1.5 to 2.7 in 100,000, and the prevalence is 5.2 to 6.0 in 100,000. Conjugal ALS is even rarer than sporadic ALS. We report a case of conjugal ALS encountered in our outpatient neurology clinic. PMID:22275781

  7. Stem cell therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Recent advances and prospects for the future

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal disease involving the loss of motor neurons. Although the mechanisms responsible for motor neuron degeneration in ALS remain elusive, the development of stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of ALS has gained widespread support. Here, we review the types of stem cells being considered for therapeutic applications in ALS, and emphasize recent preclinical advances that provide supportive rationale for clinical translation. We also discuss early trials from around the world translating cellular therapies to ALS patients, and offer important considerations for future clinical trial design. Although clinical translation is still in its infancy, and additional insight into the mechanisms underlying therapeutic efficacy and the establishment of long-term safety are required, these studies represent an important first step towards the development of effective cellular therapies for the treatment of ALS. PMID:24448926

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

    PubMed Central

    Juranek, Judyta K.; Daffu, Gurdip K.; Wojtkiewicz, Joanna; Lacomis, David; Kofler, Julia; Schmidt, Ann Marie

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disorder of largely unknown pathogenesis. Recent studies suggest that enhanced oxidative stress and neuroinflammation contribute to the progression of the disease. Mounting evidence implicates the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) as a significant contributor to the pathogenesis of certain neurodegenerative diseases and chronic conditions. It is hypothesized that detrimental actions of RAGE are triggered upon binding to its ligands, such as AGEs (advanced glycation end products), S100/calgranulin family members, and High Mobility Group Box-1 (HMGB1) proteins. Here, we examined the expression of RAGE and its ligands in human ALS spinal cord. Tissue samples from age-matched human control and ALS spinal cords were tested for the expression of RAGE, carboxymethyllysine (CML) AGE, S100B, and HMGB1, and intensity of the immunofluorescent and immunoblotting signals was assessed. We found that the expression of both RAGE and its ligands was significantly increased in the spinal cords of ALS patients versus age-matched control subjects. Our study is the first report describing co-expression of both RAGE and its ligands in human ALS spinal cords. These findings suggest that further probing of RAGE as a mechanism of neurodegeneration in human ALS is rational. PMID:26733811

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26895253

  10. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Wijesekera, Lokesh C; Leigh, P Nigel

    2009-01-01

    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 immunoreactive inclusions in

  11. Advanced glycation endproducts in neurofilament conglomeration of motoneurons in familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed Central

    Chou, S. M.; Wang, H. S.; Taniguchi, A.; Bucala, R.

    1998-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Massive neurofilament conglomeration in motor neurons has been described to occur in the early stages of both familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Previously, neurofilament conglomerates were immunolabeled for both superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and nitrotyrosine, suggesting the potential for oxidative nitration damage to neurofilament protein by peroxynitrite. Long-lived neurofilaments may also undergo modification by advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) with concomitant generation of free radicals, including superoxide. This radical species may then react with nitric oxide to form the potent oxidant, peroxynitrite, which in turn can nitrate neurofilament protein. Such a glycated and nitrated neurofilament protein may become resistant to proteolytic systems, forming high-molecular-weight protein complexes and cytotoxic, neuronal inclusions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Paraffin sections containing both neurofilament conglomerates and neuronal inclusions were obtained from patients with sporadic (n = 5) and familial (n = 2) ALS and were probed with specific antibodies directed against the AGEs cypentodine/piperidine-enolone, arginine-lysine imidazole, pentosidine, and pyrraline. RESULTS: Neurofilament conglomerates, but not neuronal inclusions, were intensely immunolabeled with each of the anti-AGE antibodies tested. The immunoreactivity was selective for neurofilament conglomerates and suggested that AGEs may form inter- or intramolecular cross-links in neurofilament proteins. CONCLUSIONS: These data support the hypothesis that AGE formation affects neurofilament proteins in vivo and is associated with the concomitant induction of SODI and protein nitration in neurofilament conglomerates. AGE formation in neurofilament protein may not only cause covalent cross-linking but also generate superoxide and block nitric oxide-mediated responses, thereby perpetuating neuronal toxicity in patients with ALS. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:9642682

  12. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mimic syndromes

    PubMed Central

    Ghasemi, Majid

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) misdiagnosis has many broad implications for the patient and the neurologist. Potentially curative treatments exist for certain ALS mimic syndromes, but delay in starting these therapies may have an unfavorable effect on outcome. Hence, it is important to exclude similar conditions. In this review, we discuss some of the important mimics of ALS. PMID:27326363

  13. Widespread Structural and Functional Connectivity Changes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Insights from Advanced Neuroimaging Research

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disease principally affecting motor neurons. Besides motor symptoms, a subset of patients develop cognitive disturbances or even frontotemporal dementia (FTD), indicating that ALS may also involve extramotor brain regions. Both neuropathological and neuroimaging findings have provided further insight on the widespread effect of the neurodegeneration on brain connectivity and the underlying neurobiology of motor neurons degeneration. However, associated effects on motor and extramotor brain networks are largely unknown. Particularly, neuropathological findings suggest that ALS not only affects the frontotemporal network but rather is part of a wide clinicopathological spectrum of brain disorders known as TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathies. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge concerning the neuropsychological and neuropathological sequelae of TDP-43 proteinopathies, with special focus on the neuroimaging findings associated with cognitive change in ALS. PMID:22720174

  14. Advanced magnetic resonance neuroimaging in bulbar and limb onset early amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Vora, Maulik; Kumar, Suresh; Sharma, Sanjiv; Sharma, Sudhir; Makhaik, Sushma; Sood, R. G.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal and most common motor neuron disease, caused by progressive loss of motor neurons. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) studies detect pathological changes in neuronal fibers in vivo. We evaluated the role of DTI and MRS in early course of the disease, which may prove beneficial in the early diagnosis and better management. Materials and Methods: Twenty-one patients with ALS and 13 age-matched controls received 1.5T DTI and three-dimensional multi-voxel MRS. Fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient, N-acetyl aspartate (NAA)/Creatine (Cr), and NAA/Choline (Ch) ratios were analyzed in various regions of the brain and compared with healthy controls. ALS patients were classified as definite, possible, and probable category, and patients were also studied in limb versus bulbar onset. Results: Decreased FA and increase mean diffusivity values in regions of corticospinal tract (CST) and corpus callosum (CC) was consistent finding in definite and probable disease category (P < 0.05). In possible disease, CC involvement was not significant. NAA/Cr and NAA/Ch ratios were lower in CC and regions of CST. However, in possible disease, CC involvement was not significant, while regions of CST were showing significant reduction in NAA/Cr and NAA/Ch ratios (P < 0.05). Conclusion: DTI and MRS detect changes associated with ALS even in the early phase of the disease. Bulbar onset and limb onset ALS patients show different pattern of involvement. Extramotor involvement suggested by CC involvement is a feature seen in bulbar onset patient and can suggest poor outcome in such patients. The present findings may be helpful for designing further studies in the direction of more early diagnosis of disease and its management. PMID:26933355

  15. Quantifying Disease Progression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Retroviruses and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Alfahad, Tariq; Nath, Avindra

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, invariably fatal neurologic disorder resulting from upper and lower motor neuron degeneration, which typically develops during the sixth or seventh decade of life, and is diagnosed based on standard clinical criteria. Its underlying cause remains undetermined. The disease may occur with increased frequency within certain families, often in association with specific genomic mutations, while some sporadic cases have been linked to environmental toxins or trauma. Another possibility, first proposed in the 1970s, is that retroviruses play a role in pathogenesis. In this paper, we review the published literature for evidence that ALS is associated either with infection by an exogenous retrovirus or with the expression of human endogenous retroviral (HERV) sequences in cells of the central nervous system. A small percentage of persons infected with the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) or human T cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1) develop ALS-like syndromes. While HTLV-1 associated ALS-like syndrome has several features that may distinguish it from classical ALS, HIV-infected patients may develop neurological manifestations that resemble classical ALS although it occurs at a younger age and they may show a dramatic improvement following the initiation of antiretroviral therapy. However, most patients with probable or definite ALS show no evidence of HIV-1 or HTLV-1 infection. In contrast, recent reports have shown a stronger association with HERV, as analysis of serum samples, and postmortem brain tissue from a number of patients with a classical ALS has revealed significantly increased expression of HERV-K, compared to controls. These findings suggest that endogenous retroviral elements are involved in the pathophysiology of ALS, but there is no evidence that they are the primary cause of the syndrome. PMID:23707220

  17. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Historical Perspective.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26515617

  18. Double cortical stimulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed Central

    Yokota, T; Yoshino, A; Inaba, A; Saito, Y

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Transcranial double magnetic stimulation on the motor cortex was used to investigate central motor tract function in 16 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, five with spinal muscular atrophy, and 16 age matched normal controls. METHODS: Surface EMG responses were recorded from the relaxed abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle. RESULTS: Responses to test stimuli were markedly attenuated by a subthreshold conditioning stimulus given at a condition-test (C-T) interval of 1-4 ms in normal controls and patients with spinal muscular atrophy, but attenuation was mild in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In the normal controls this suppression was caused by activation of the intracortical inhibitory mechanism because responses to electrical test stimuli and the H wave were not suppressed by the same magnetic subthreshold conditioning stimulus. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis the effect of the conditioning cortical stimulus on the H wave was also in the normal range. CONCLUSION: The intracortical inhibitory mechanism may be impaired in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:8971106

  19. [Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Diagnostic criteria].

    PubMed

    Godoy, J M; de Oliveira, M A; de Moraes Neto, J B; Balassiano, S L; Montagna, N; Pinto, J R; Skacel, M

    1993-06-01

    The authors report two cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) misdiagnosis (a craniocervical junction disorder, and a cervical spinal cord ependymoma). They review some causes of ALS-like syndrome and propose a protocol to be adopted for the study of all patients who present clinical abnormalities suggesting ALS. PMID:8274087

  20. Altered Cortical Communication in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Blain-Moraes, Stefanie; Mashour, George A.; Lee, Heonsoo; Huggins, Jane E.; Lee, UnCheol

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disorder associated primarily with the degeneration of the motor system. More recently, functional connectivity studies have demonstrated potentially adaptive changes in ALS brain organization, but disease-related changes in cortical communication remain unknown. We recruited individuals with ALS and age-matched controls to operate a brain-computer interface while electroencephalography was recorded over three sessions. Using normalized symbolic transfer entropy, we measured directed functional connectivity from frontal to parietal (feedback connectivity) and parietal to frontal (feedforward connectivity) regions. Feedback connectivity was not significantly different between groups, but feedforward connectivity was significantly higher in individuals with ALS. This result was consistent across a broad electroencephalographic spectrum (4 – 35 Hz), and in theta, alpha and beta frequency bands. Feedback connectivity has been associated with conscious state and was found to be independent of ALS symptom severity in this study, which may have significant implications for the detection of consciousness in individuals with advanced ALS. We suggest that increases in feedforward connectivity represent a compensatory response to the ALS-related loss of input such that sensory stimuli have sufficient strength to cross the threshold necessary for conscious processing in the global neuronal workspace. PMID:23567743

  1. Altered cortical communication in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Blain-Moraes, Stefanie; Mashour, George A; Lee, Heonsoo; Huggins, Jane E; Lee, Uncheol

    2013-05-24

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disorder associated primarily with the degeneration of the motor system. More recently, functional connectivity studies have demonstrated potentially adaptive changes in ALS brain organization, but disease-related changes in cortical communication remain unknown. We recruited individuals with ALS and age-matched controls to operate a brain-computer interface while electroencephalography was recorded over three sessions. Using normalized symbolic transfer entropy, we measured directed functional connectivity from frontal to parietal (feedback connectivity) and parietal to frontal (feedforward connectivity) regions. Feedback connectivity was not significantly different between groups, but feedforward connectivity was significantly higher in individuals with ALS. This result was consistent across a broad electroencephalographic spectrum (4-35 Hz), and in theta, alpha and beta frequency bands. Feedback connectivity has been associated with conscious state and was found to be independent of ALS symptom severity in this study, which may have significant implications for the detection of consciousness in individuals with advanced ALS. We suggest that increases in feedforward connectivity represent a compensatory response to the ALS-related loss of input such that sensory stimuli have sufficient strength to cross the threshold necessary for conscious processing in the global neuronal workspace. PMID:23567743

  2. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: one or multiple causes?

    PubMed Central

    Bastos, Aline Furtado; Orsini, Marco; Machado, Dionis; Mello, Mariana Pimentel; Nader, Sergio; Silva, Júlio Guilherme; da Silva Catharino, Antonio M.; de Freitas, Marcos R.G.; Pereira, Alessandra; Pessoa, Luciane Lacerda; Sztajnbok, Flavio R.; Leite, Marco Araújo; Nascimento, Osvaldo J.M.; Bastos, Victor Hugo

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21785676

  3. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and environmental factors.

    PubMed

    Bozzoni, V; Pansarasa, Orietta; Diamanti, L; Nosari, G; Cereda, C; Ceroni, M

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects central and peripheral motor neuron cells. Its etiology is unknown, although a relationship between genetic background and environmental factors may play a major role in triggering the neurodegeneration. In this review, we analyze the role of environmental factors in ALS: heavy metals, electromagnetic fields and electric shocks, pesticides, β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, physical activity and the controversial role of sports. The literature on the single issues is analyzed in an attempt to clarify, as clearly as possible, whether each risk factor significantly contributes to the disease pathogenesis. After summarizing conflicting observations and data, the authors provide a final synthetic statement. PMID:27027889

  4. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis associated with pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Tyagi, A; Sweeney, B J; Connolly, S

    2001-12-01

    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. PMID:11799421

  5. Toward precision medicine in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chang-Yun; Che, Chun-Hui

    2016-01-01

    Precision medicine is an innovative approach that uses emerging biomedical technologies to deliver optimally targeted and timed interventions, customized to the molecular drivers of an individual’s disease. This approach is only just beginning to be considered for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The clinical and biological complexities of ALS have hindered development of effective therapeutic strategies. In this review we consider applying the key elements of precision medicine to ALS: phenotypic classification, comprehensive risk assessment, presymptomatic period detection, potential molecular pathways, disease model development, biomarker discovery and molecularly tailored interventions. Together, these would embody a precision medicine approach, which may provide strategies for optimal targeting and timing of efforts to prevent, stop or slow progression of ALS. PMID:26889480

  6. A comprehensive review of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and environmental factors

    PubMed Central

    Bozzoni, Virginia; Pansarasa, Orietta; Diamanti, Luca; Nosari, Guido; Cereda, Cristina; Ceroni, Mauro

    2016-01-01

    Summary Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects central and peripheral motor neuron cells. Its etiology is unknown, although a relationship between genetic background and environmental factors may play a major role in triggering the neurodegeneration. In this review, we analyze the role of environmental factors in ALS: heavy metals, electromagnetic fields and electric shocks, pesticides, β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, physical activity and the controversial role of sports. The literature on the single issues is analyzed in an attempt to clarify, as clearly as possible, whether each risk factor significantly contributes to the disease pathogenesis. After summarizing conflicting observations and data, the authors provide a final synthetic statement. PMID:27027889

  8. Selective attention impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Volpato, Chiara; Prats Sedano, Maria Angeles; Silvoni, Stefano; Segato, Nicoletta; Cavinato, Marianna; Merico, Antonio; Piccione, Francesco; Palmieri, Arianna; Birbaumer, Niels

    2016-01-01

    Objective of this study was to evaluate attentional control mechanisms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using an auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) paradigm. Fifteen mild to moderate ALS patients and 15 healthy controls were administered a brief neuropsychological test battery and an ERPs paradigm assessing selective attention. Four types of auditory stimuli were presented in random order: short standard (200 Hz, 200 ms), long standard (200 Hz, 500 ms), short deviant (1000 Hz, 200 ms) and long deviant (1000 Hz, 500 ms). Participants had to respond to the long deviant stimuli only. During the task the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. The N200, P300 and re-orienting negativity (RON) ERP components were analysed. Compared to controls ALS patients showed reduced amplitudes and delayed latencies of N200, P300 and RON. These results could be attributable to both an alteration in change detection resulting in a reduction of the allocation and re-orientation of attentional resources or a general slowing or reduction of neural processing efficiency in the same system. The ERPs results support the hypothesis that ALS involves extramotor cognitive functions including auditory attentional processing at all processing stages, early (200 ms) and late (300-600 ms). These data prove the usefulness and sensitivity of the auditory ERPs in detection of cognitive functions in ALS patients. PMID:26889872

  9. Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Ping; Gal, Jozsef; Kwinter, David M.; Liu, Xiaoyan; Zhu, Haining

    2009-01-01

    The etiology of motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains to be better understood. Based on the studies from ALS patients and transgenic animal models, it is believed that ALS is likely to be a multifactorial and multisystem disease. Many mechanisms have been postulated to be involved in the pathology of ALS, such as oxidative stress, glutamate excitotoxicity, mitochondrial damage, defective axonal transport, glia cell pathology and aberrant RNA metabolism. Mitochondria, which play crucial roles in excitotoxicity, apoptosis and cell survival, have shown to be an early target in ALS pathogenesis and contribute to the disease progression. Morphological and functional defects in mitochondria were found in both human patients and ALS mice overexpressing mutant SOD1. Mutant SOD1 was found to be preferentially associated with mitochondria and subsequently impair mitochondrial function. Recent studies suggest that axonal transport of mitochondria along microtubules and mitochondrial dynamics may also be disrupted in ALS. These results also illustrate the critical importance of maintaining proper mitochondrial function in axons and neuromuscular junctions, supporting the emerging “dying-back” axonopathy model of ALS. In this review, we will discuss how mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to the ALS variants of SOD1 and the mechanisms by which mitochondrial damage contributes to the disease etiology. PMID:19715760

  10. Miro1 deficiency in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Fan; Wang, Wenzhang; Siedlak, Sandra L.; Liu, Yingchao; Liu, Jun; Jiang, Keji; Perry, George; Zhu, Xiongwei; Wang, Xinglong

    2015-01-01

    Proper transportation of mitochondria to sites with high energy demands is critical for neuronal function and survival. Impaired mitochondrial movement has been repeatedly reported in motor neurons of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and indicated as an important mechanism contributing to motor neuron degeneration in ALS. Miro1, a RhoGTPase also referred to as Rhot1, is a key regulator of mitochondrial movement linking mitochondria and motor proteins. In this study, we investigated whether the expression of Miro1 was altered in ALS patients and ALS animal models. Immunoblot analysis revealed that Miro1 was significantly reduced in the spinal cord tissue of ALS patients. Consistently, the decreased expression of Miro1 was also noted only in the spinal cord, and not in the brain tissue of transgenic mice expressing ALS-associated SOD1 G93A or TDP-43 M337V. Glutamate excitotoxicity is one of the major pathophysiological mechanisms implicated in the pathogenesis of ALS, and we found that excessive glutamate challenge lead to significant reduction of Miro1 expression in spinal cord motor neurons both in vitro and in mice. Taken together, these findings show Miro1 deficiency in ALS patients and ALS animal models and suggest glutamate excitotoxicity as a likely cause of Miro1 deficiency. PMID:26074815

  11. Controversies and priorities in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. Characteristics of pain in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Hanisch, Frank; Skudlarek, Anika; Berndt, Janine; Kornhuber, Malte E

    2015-01-01

    Background Pain is an often underestimated and neglected symptom in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods In a cross-sectional survey, 46 patients with ALS, 46 age- and gender matched population-based controls, and 23 diseased controls with myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) were screened for occurrence, type, distribution, and treatment of pain and cramps. Data were collected with the use of the short form brief pain inventory (BPI). Results Pain was reported in 78% of ALS patients,79% of DM2 patients, and 54% of controls (P < 0.05). More ALS patients than controls reported moderate to severe pain (42% vs. 20%). Pain in ALS patients interfered significantly more with daily activities than in controls (median pain interference score: 3.0 vs. 1.2, P < 0.05), especially enjoyment of life (5.0 vs. 1.0) and mood (3.0 vs. 1.0). There was no correlation between the duration of the disease and the severity of pain. Movement-induced cramps were reported in 63% of ALS patients, mostly in the distal extremities. There was no difference in the duration of ALS disease between patients reporting cramps and those who did not. Discussion Our study showed that pain was a relatively frequent symptom which had an important impact on the quality of life. Pain that requires treatment can occur at every stage of ALS. PMID:25642388

  13. Immune system alterations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    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 cells working together are necessary for the pathogenesis of the disease. Observed immune system alterations could indicate an active participation in this mechanism. Damaged motor neurons are able to activate microglia, astrocytes and the complement system, which further can influence each other and contribute to neurodegeneration. Infiltrating peripheral immune cells appears to correlate with disease progression, but their significance and composition is unclear. The deleterious effects of this collaborating system of cells appear to outweigh the protective aspects, and revealing this interplay might give more insight into the disease. Markers from the classical complement pathway are elevated where its initiator C1q appears to derive primarily from motor neurons. Activated microglia and astrocytes are found in close proximity to dying motor neurons. Their activation status and proliferation seemingly increases with disease progression. Infiltrating monocytes, macrophages and T cells are associated with these areas, although with mixed reports regarding T cell composition. This literature review will provide evidence supporting the immune system as an important part of ALS disease mechanism and present a hypothesis to direct the way for further studies. PMID:23550891

  14. Epidemiologic correlates of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    SciTech Connect

    Armon, C.; Kurland, L.T.; Daube, J.R.; O'Brien, P.C. )

    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.

  15. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: New Perpectives and Update

    PubMed Central

    Orsini, Marco; Oliveira, Acary Bulle; Nascimento, Osvaldo J.M.; Reis, Carlos Henrique Melo; Leite, Marco Antonio Araujo; de Souza, Jano Alves; Pupe, Camila; de Souza, Olivia Gameiro; Bastos, Victor Hugo; de Freitas, Marcos R.G.; Teixeira, Silmar; Bruno, Carlos; Davidovich, Eduardo; Smidt, Benny

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Charcot’s disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a term used to cover the spetrum of syndromes caracterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons, a paralytic disorder caused by motor neuron degeneration. Currently, there are approximately 25,000 patients with ALS in the USA, with an average age of onset of 55 years. The incidence and prevalence of ALS are 1-2 and 4-6 per 100,000 each year, respectively, with a lifetime ALS risk of 1/600 to 1/1000. It causes progressive and cumulative physical disabilities, and leads to eventual death due to respiratory muscle failure. ALS is diverse in its presentation, course, and progression. We do not yet fully understand the causes of the disease, nor the mechanisms for its progression; thus, we lack effective means for treating this disease. In this chapter, we will discuss the diagnosis, treatment, and how to cope with impaired function and end of life based on of our experience, guidelines, and clinical trials. Nowadays ALS seems to be a more complex disease than it did two decades – or even one decade – ago, but new insights have been plentiful. Clinical trials should be seen more as experiments on pathogenic mechanisms. A medication or combination of medications that targets more than one pathogenic pathway may slow disease progression in an additive or synergistic fashion. PMID:26487927

  16. Risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

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

    PubMed

    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 lowerPomcbut higherAgrpmRNA 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 lateral

  18. Suicide among patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Fang, Fang; Valdimarsdóttir, Unnur; Fürst, Carl Johan; Hultman, Christina; Fall, Katja; Sparén, Pär; Ye, Weimin

    2008-10-01

    Studies on the suicide risk among patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in countries without legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide are important additions to data on the wish to die of these patients. We conducted a population-based cohort study in Sweden between 1965 and 2004, which comprised of 6,642 patients with incident ALS identified from the Swedish Inpatient Register. We calculated the standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) of suicide among the patients using the suicide rates of the general Swedish population as a reference. In total, 21 patients committed suicide during follow-up, compared to the predicted 3.6 suicides. Thus, we noted an almost 6-fold increased risk for suicide among ALS patients [SMR 5.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.6-8.8]. Patients who committed suicide were, on average, around 7 years younger at the time of their first period of hospitalization than patients who did not commit suicide. The highest relative risk for suicide was observed within the first year after the patient's first period of hospitalization (SMR 11.2, 95% CI 5.8-19.6). After that, the relative risks decreased with time after hospitalization (P-value for trend = 0.006), but remained elevated 3 years later. The relative risks of suicide among ALS patients did not show a clear trend over time in contrast to the decreasing trend of relative risks for suicide among patients with cancer during the same period. Patients with ALS are at excess risk of suicide in Sweden and the relative risk is higher during the earlier stage of the disease. PMID:18669498

  19. PESTICIDE EXPOSURE AND AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS

    PubMed Central

    Kamel, Freya; Umbach, David M; Bedlack, Richard S; Richards, Marie; Watson, Mary; Alavanja, Michael CR; Blair, Aaron; Hoppin, Jane A; Schmidt, Silke; Sandler, Dale P

    2012-01-01

    Our objectives were to summarize literature on the association of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with pesticides as a group and to evaluate associations of ALS with specific pesticides. We conducted a meta-analysis of published studies of ALS and pesticides as a group and investigated the association of ALS with specific pesticides, using data from the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a cohort including 84,739 private pesticide applicators and spouses. AHS participants provided information on pesticide use at enrollment in 1993-1997. In mortality data collected through February, 2010, ALS was recorded on death certificates of 41 individuals whom we compared to the remaining cohort (controls), using unconditional logistic regression adjusted for age and gender to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals. In the meta-analysis, ALS was associated with use of pesticides as a group (1.9, 1.1-3.1). In the AHS, ALS was not associated with pesticides as a group, but was associated with use of organochlorine insecticides (OCs) (1.6, 0.8-3.5), pyrethroids (1.4, 0.6-3.4), herbicides (1.6, 0.7-3.7), and fumigants (1.8, 0.8-3.9). ORs were elevated for ever use of the specific OCs aldrin (2.1, 0.8-5.1), dieldrin (2.6, 0.9-7.3), DDT (2.1, 0.9-5.0), and toxaphene (2.0, 0.8-4.9). None of these associations was statistically significant. Similar results were observed in an analysis restricted to men. In conclusion, the meta-analysis suggests that ALS risk is associated with use of pesticides as a group, and our analysis of AHS data points to OC use in particular. The latter results are novel but based on a small number of cases and require replication in other populations. PMID:22521219

  20. Rodent Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Philips, Thomas; Rothstein, Jeffrey D.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease affecting upper and lower motor neurons in the CNS. Patients with ALS develop extensive muscle wasting and atrophy leading to paralysis and death 3-5 years after disease onset. ALS 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 (around 40-50% of fALS and ~10% of sALS). From a wide range of pathological studies the general conclusion is that ALS disease is mediated through aberrant protein homeostasis (ie ER stress and autophagy) and/or changes in RNA processing (as seen in all non-SOD1-mediated ALS). In all of these cases, animal models suggest that the disease 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 disease pathogenesis. This overview will give a chronological overview of a wide range of different ALS rodent models generated so far with a thorough description of their intrinsic advantages and disadvantages. We will focus on their respective correlation with disease as seen in humans and their potential for understanding basic disease biology. As RNA processing has more recently come to the foreground of ALS research, we will mainly focus on a thorough description of the most recently generated ALS rodent models. PMID:26344214

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:20576696

  2. Chapter 15 Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Orban, Paul; Devon, Rebecca S; Hayden, Michael R; Leavitt, Blair R

    2007-01-01

    Several forms of genetically defined juvenile amy-otrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have now been charac-terized and discussion of these conditions will form the basis for this chapter. ALS2 is an autosomal recessive form of ALS with a juvenile onset and very slow progression that mapped to chromosome 2q33. Nine different mutations have been identified in the ALS2 gene that result in premature stop codons, suggesting a loss of function in the gene product, alsin. The alsin protein is thought to function as a guanine-nucleotide exchange factor for GTPases and may play a role in vesicle transport or membrane trafficking processes. ALS4 is an autosomal dominant form of juvenile onset ALS associated with slow progression, severe muscle weakness and pyramidal signs, in the absence of bulbar and sensory abnormalities. Mutations in the SETX gene cause ALS4, and the SETX gene product senataxin may have DNA and RNA helicase activity and play a role in the regulation of RNA and/or DNA in the cell. A third form of juvenile-onset ALS (ALS5) is associated with slowly progressing lower motor neuron signs (weak-ness and atrophy) initially of the hands and feet, with eventual bulbar involvement. Progressive upper motor neuron disease becomes more obvious with time. ALS5 has been linked to a 6 cM region of chromosome 15q15.1-q21.1, but the causative gene mutation for ALS5 has yet to be identified. The high degree of clin-ical and genetic heterogeneity in the various forms of juvenile ALS can make differential diagnosis difficult, other genetic disorders that must be considered include: spinal muscular atrophy, hereditary spastic paraplegia, SBMA, GM2 gangliosidosis and the hereditary motor neuronopathies/motor forms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Acquired disorders that must also be consid-ered include heavy metal intoxications (especially lead), multifocal motor neuropathy, paraneoplastic syndromes, vitamin deficiencies (B12) and infections (HTLV-II, HIV and poliomyelitis). PMID

  3. [BIPAP-mask-ventilation in terminal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)].

    PubMed

    Sellner-Pogány, Theresa; Lahrmann, Heinz

    2009-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, neuromuscular disease without any curative therapy at the moment. Non-invasive BIPAP-ventilation has proven to be helpful to cope with the increasing hypoventilation due to weakness in ventilatory muscles in ALS. If BIPAP-ventilation is well tolerated by the patient, it can be very helpful for symptom control in palliative homecare. In this case presentation we discuss how non-invasive ventilation can influence perception of dying at home and thereby quality of life of patients, caregivers and members of palliative teams. We will see that especially during this sensible terminal phase various questions and fears concerning the mechanically assisted ventilation may arise. These issues should be addressed in advance with careful attention and information. Members of palliative teams should therefore be provided with good training and regular supervision. PMID:20151350

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  6. Spatiotemporal Coupling of the Tongue in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  7. 25 years of neuroimaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Foerster, Bradley R.; Welsh, Robert C.; Feldman, Eva L.

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease for which a precise cause has not yet been identified. Standard CT or MRI evaluation does not demonstrate gross structural nervous system changes in ALS, so conventional neuroimaging techniques have provided little insight into the pathophysiology of this disease. Advanced neuroimaging techniques—such as structural MRI, diffusion tensor imaging and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy—allow evaluation of alterations of the nervous system in ALS. These alterations include focal loss of grey and white matter and reductions in white matter tract integrity, as well as changes in neural networks and in the chemistry, metabolism and receptor distribution in the brain. Given their potential for investigation of both brain structure and function, advanced neuroimaging methods offer important opportunities to improve diagnosis, guide prognosis, and direct future treatment strategies in ALS. In this article, we review the contributions made by various advanced neuroimaging techniques to our understanding of the impact of ALS on different brain regions, and the potential role of such measures in biomarker development. PMID:23917850

  8. 38 CFR 3.318 - Presumptive service connection for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 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...

  9. 38 CFR 3.318 - Presumptive service connection for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 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...

  10. 38 CFR 3.318 - Presumptive service connection for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    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...

  12. Genetics Home Reference: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... amytrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia, regulates endosomal trafficking. Hum Mol Genet. 2014 Jul 1;23(13): ... Accessibility FOIA Viewers & Players U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health National Library of ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    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. PMID:27372371

  14. Dynamic markers of altered gait rhythm in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hausdorff, J. M.; Lertratanakul, A.; Cudkowicz, M. E.; Peterson, A. L.; Kaliton, D.; Goldberger, A. L.

    2000-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disorder marked by loss of motoneurons. We hypothesized that subjects with ALS would have an altered gait rhythm, with an increase in both the magnitude of the stride-to-stride fluctuations and perturbations in the fluctuation dynamics. To test for this locomotor instability, we quantitatively compared the gait rhythm of subjects with ALS with that of normal controls and with that of subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD), pathologies of the basal ganglia. Subjects walked for 5 min at their usual pace wearing an ankle-worn recorder that enabled determination of the duration of each stride and of stride-to-stride fluctuations. We found that the gait of patients with ALS is less steady and more temporally disorganized compared with that of healthy controls. In addition, advanced ALS, HD, and PD were associated with certain common, as well as apparently distinct, features of altered stride dynamics. Thus stride-to-stride control of gait rhythm is apparently compromised with ALS. Moreover, a matrix of markers based on gait dynamics may be useful in characterizing certain pathologies of motor control and, possibly, in quantitatively monitoring disease progression and evaluating therapeutic interventions.

  15. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: An Emerging Era of Collaborative Gene Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Gwinn, Katrina; Corriveau, Roderick A.; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Bednarz, Kate; Brown, Robert H.; Cudkowicz, Merit; Gordon, Paul H.; Hardy, John; Kasarskis, Edward J.; Kaufmann, Petra; Miller, Robert; Sorenson, Eric; Tandan, Rup; Traynor, Bryan J.; Nash, Josefina; Sherman, Alex; Mailman, Matthew D.; Ostell, James; Bruijn, Lucie; Cwik, Valerie; Rich, Stephen S.; Singleton, Andrew; Refolo, Larry; Andrews, Jaime; Zhang, Ran; Conwit, Robin; Keller, Margaret A.

    2007-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form of motor neuron disease (MND). It is currently incurable and treatment is largely limited to supportive care. Family history is associated with an increased risk of ALS, and many Mendelian causes have been discovered. However, most forms of the disease are not obviously familial. Recent advances in human genetics have enabled genome-wide analyses of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that make it possible to study complex genetic contributions to human disease. Genome-wide SNP analyses require a large sample size and thus depend upon collaborative efforts to collect and manage the biological samples and corresponding data. Public availability of biological samples (such as DNA), phenotypic and genotypic data further enhances research endeavors. Here we discuss a large collaboration among academic investigators, government, and non-government organizations which has created a public repository of human DNA, immortalized cell lines, and clinical data to further gene discovery in ALS. This resource currently maintains samples and associated phenotypic data from 2332 MND subjects and 4692 controls. This resource should facilitate genetic discoveries which we anticipate will ultimately provide a better understanding of the biological mechanisms of neurodegeneration in ALS. PMID:18060051

  16. The Puzzling Case of Hyperexcitability in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Jong Seok; Simon, Neil G.; Menon, Parvathi; Vucic, Steve

    2013-01-01

    The development of hyperexcitability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a well-known phenomenon. Despite controversy as to the underlying mechanisms, cortical hyperexcitability appears to be closely related to the interplay between excitatory corticomotoneurons and inhibitory interneurons. Hyperexcitability is not a static phenomenon but rather shows a pattern of progression in a spatiotemporal aspect. Cortical hyperexcitability may serve as a trigger to the development of anterior horn cell degeneration through a 'dying forward' process. Hyperexcitability appears to develop during the early disease stages and gradually disappears in the advanced stages of the disease, linked to the destruction of corticomotorneuronal pathways. As such, a more precise interpretation of these unique processes may provide new insight regarding the pathophysiology of ALS and its clinical features. Recently developed technologies such as threshold tracking transcranial magnetic stimulation and automated nerve excitability tests have provided some clues about underlying pathophysiological processes linked to hyperexcitability. Additionally, these novel techniques have enabled clinicians to use the specific finding of hyperexcitability as a useful diagnostic biomarker, enabling clarification of various ALS-mimic syndromes, and the prediction of disease development in pre-symptomatic carriers of familial ALS. In terms of nerve excitability tests for peripheral nerves, an increase in persistent Na+ conductances has been identified as a major determinant of peripheral hyperexcitability in ALS, inversely correlated with the survival in ALS. As such, the present Review will focus primarily on the puzzling theory of hyperexcitability in ALS and summarize clinical and pathophysiological implications for current and future ALS research. PMID:23626643

  17. Natural compounds used as therapies targeting to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Nabavi, Seyed F; Daglia, Maria; D'Antona, Giuseppe; Sobarzo-Sánchez, Eduardo; Talas, Zeliha S; Nabavi, Seyed M

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neuromuscular disease that occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries. Despite its high morbidity and mortality, there are limited medications available for ALS that may increase survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by approximately 2-3 months. Inasmuch as negative effects of riluzole on muscle atrophy and wasting, weakness, muscle spasticity, dysarthria, dysphagia, and overall patient quality of life and its different adverse effects, much attention has been paid to natural products and herbal medicines. Overall scientific reports indicate that natural products have beneficial effects on patients with ALS low side effects and multiple targets. In the present paper, we review the scientific reports on beneficial role of natural polyphenolic compounds in treatment of ALS. PMID:25601606

  18. New In Vitro Models to Study Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Myszczynska, Monika; Ferraiuolo, Laura

    2016-03-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a complex multifactorial disorder, characterized by motor neuron loss with involvement of several other cell types, including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia. Studies in vivo and in in vitro models have highlighted that the contribution of non-neuronal cells to the disease is a primary event and ALS pathogenesis is driven by both cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms. The advancements in genetics and in vitro modeling of the past 10 years have dramatically changed the way we investigate the pathogenic mechanisms involved in ALS. The identification of mutations in transactive response DNA-binding protein gene (TARDBP), fused in sarcoma (FUS) and, more recently, a GGGGCC-hexanucleotide repeat expansion in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) and their link with familial ALS have provided new avenues of investigation and hypotheses on the pathophysiology of this devastating disease. In the same years, from 2007 to present, in vitro technologies to model neurological disorders have also undergone impressive developments. The advent of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) gave the field of ALS the opportunity to finally model in vitro not only familial, but also the larger part of ALS cases affected by sporadic disease. Since 2008, when the first human iPS-derived motor neurons from patients were cultured in a petri dish, several different techniques have been developed to produce iPSC lines through genetic reprogramming and multiple direct conversion methods have been optimised. In this review, we will give an overview of how human in vitro models have been used so far, what discoveries they have led to since 2007, and how the recent advances in technology combined with the genetic discoveries, have tremendously widened the horizon of ALS research. PMID:26780562

  19. Motoneuron afterhyperpolarisation duration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Piotrkiewicz, Maria; Hausmanowa-Petrusewicz, Irena

    2011-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:21486815

  20. Early abnormalities in transgenic mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Durand, Jacques; Amendola, Julien; Bories, Cyril; Lamotte d'Incamps, Boris

    2006-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative and fatal human disorder characterized by progressive loss of motor neurons. Transgenic mouse models of ALS are very useful to study the initial mechanisms underlying this neurodegenerative disease. We will focus here on the earlier abnormalities observed in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutant mice. Several hypotheses have been advanced to explain the selective loss of motor neurons such as apoptosis, neurofilament disorganisation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, astrogliosis and excitotoxicity. Although disease onset appears at adulthood, recent studies have detected abnormalities during embryonic and postnatal maturation in animal models of ALS. We reported that SOD1(G85R) mutant mice exhibit specific delays in acquiring sensory-motor skills during the first week after birth. In addition, physiological measurements on in vitro spinal cord preparations reveal defects in evoking rhythmic activity with N-methyl-DL-aspartate and serotonin at lumbar, but not sacral roots. This is potentially significant, as functions involving sacral roots are spared at late stages of the disease. Moreover, electrical properties of SOD1 lumbar motoneurons are altered as early as the second postnatal week when mice begin to walk. Alterations concern the input resistance and the gain of SOD1 motoneurons which are lower than in control motoneurons. Whether or not the early changes in discharge firing are responsible for the uncoupling between motor axon terminals and muscles is still an open question. A link between these early electrical abnormalities and the late degeneration of motoneurons is proposed in this short review. Our data suggest that ALS, as other neurodegenerative diseases, could be a consequence of an abnormal development of neurons and network properties. We hypothesize that the SOD1 mutation could induce early changes during the period of maturation of motor systems and that compensatory mechanisms

  1. Mutant SOD1 mediated pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neural disorder that causes death of the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord; this affects the voluntary muscles and gradually leads to paralysis of the whole body. Most ALS cases are sporadic, though about 5-10% are familial. ALS is caused by multiple factors including mutation in any one of a number of specific genes, one of the most frequently affected is superoxide dismutase (SOD) 1. Alterations in SOD 1 have been linked with several variants of familial ALS. SOD 1 is a powerful antioxidant enzyme that protects cells from the damaging effects of superoxide radicals. The enzyme binds both copper and zinc ions that are directly involved in the deactivation of toxic superoxide radicals. Mutated SOD1 gene can acquire both gain and loss of function mutations. The most commonly identified mutations in SOD1 that affect protein activity are D90A, A4V and G93A. Deleterious mutations have been shown to modify SOD1 activity, which leads to the accumulation of highly toxic hydroxyl radicals. Accumulation of these free radicals causes degradation of both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA and protein misfolding, features which can be used as pathological indicators associated with ALS. Numerous clinical trials have been carried out over last few years with limited success. In some patients advanced techniques like gene and stem cell therapy have been trialed. However no definitive treatment option can provide a cure and currently ALS is managed by drugs and other supportive therapies. Consequently there is a need to identify new approaches for treatment of this ultimately fatal disease. PMID:26657039

  2. Misregulation of iron homeostasis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Gajowiak, Anna; Styś, Agnieszka; Starzyński, Rafał R; Staroń, Robert; Lipiński, Paweł

    2016-01-01

    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 constitute one of the most common genetic causes of the inherited form of ALS. However, it should be considered that overexpression of the SOD1 gene usually leads to increased SOD1 enzymatic activity, a condition which does not occur in human pathology and which may itself change the expression of iron metabolism genes. PMID:27356602

  3. Respiratory failure as the presenting manifestation of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Srivali, Narat; Ryu, Jay H; Rabatin, Jeffrey T

    2016-07-01

    Although amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) does not directly affect the lung parenchyma, it can jeopardize the mechanical function of the respiratory system. About one-quarter of ALS patients have had at least one prior misdiagnosis. Therefore, a high clinical suspicion, and careful correlation of physical examination and electromyography (EMG) are needed to reach the correct diagnosis. We report a 65-year-old man who presented with a progressive exertional dyspnea. He was subsequently found to have a diaphragmatic paralysis that was felt to be secondary to spinal cord stenosis. However, his subsequent EMG showed evidence of muscle fasciculation and he was ultimately diagnosed with ALS. PMID:26899358

  4. [Dysfunction of mitochondrial dynamic and distribution in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Walczak, Jarosław; Szczepanowska, Joanna

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a complex disease leading to degradation of motor neurons. One of the early symptoms of many neurodegenerative disorders are mitochondrial dysfunctions. Since few decades mitochondrial morphology changes have been observed in tissues of patients with ALS. Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles which constantly undergo continuous process of fusion and fission and are actively transported within the cell. Proper functioning of mitochondrial dynamics and distribution is crucial for cell survival, especially neuronal cells that have long axons. This article summarizes the current knowledge about the role of mitochondrial dynamics and distribution in pathophysiology of familial and sporadic form of ALS. PMID:26689011

  5. Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Bedlack, Richard S; Joyce, Nanette; Carter, Gregory T; Paganoni, Sabrina; Karam, Chafic

    2015-11-01

    Given the severity of their illness and lack of effective disease-modifying agents, it is not surprising that most patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) consider trying complementary and alternative therapies. Some of the most commonly considered alternative therapies include special diets, nutritional supplements, cannabis, acupuncture, chelation, and energy healing. This article reviews these in detail. The authors also describe 3 models by which physicians may frame discussions about alternative therapies: paternalism, autonomy, and shared decision making. Finally, the authors review a program called ALSUntangled, which uses shared decision making to review alternative therapies for ALS. PMID:26515629

  6. Frontotemporal Dysfunction and Dementia in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Woolley, Susan C; Strong, Michael J

    2015-11-01

    Although amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is classically considered a disorder exclusively affecting motor neurons, there is substantial clinical, neuroimaging, and neuropathologic evidence that more than half of patients have an associated syndrome of frontotemporal dysfunction. These syndromes range from frontotemporal dementia to behavioral or cognitive syndromes. Neuroimaging and neuropathologic findings are consistent with frontotemporal lobar degeneration that underpins alterations in network connectivity. Future clinical trials need to be stratified based on the presence or absence of frontotemporal dysfunction on the disease course of ALS. PMID:26515622

  7. Tracheomegaly Secondary to Tracheotomy Tube Cuff in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dong Hoon; Yoon, Tae Mi; Lee, Joon Kyoo; Lim, Sang Chul

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Tracheomegaly has not been reported in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Herein, the authors report a case of tracheomegaly secondary to tracheotomy tube cuff in a patient with ALS. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an ALS patient with tracheomegaly and of tracheomegaly being associated with tracheotomy tube cuff and home tracheotomy mechanical ventilator. The clinician should consider the possibility of tracheomegaly in the differential diagnosis, if a patient with ALS develops repeat air leakage around the tracheotomy tube or rupture of tracheotomy tube cuff. PMID:26496301

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

    PubMed

    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

  9. Anthropometry of Arm: Nutritional Risk Indicator in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Salvioni, Cristina Cleide Dos Santos; Stanich, Patricia; Oliveira, Acary Souza Bulle; Orsini, Marco

    2015-12-29

    The aim of the paper is to examine the correlation between clinical data, nutritional, respiratory and functional parameters in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This is a descriptive study of 111 ALS patients [91 spinal onset (GS) and 20 bulbar onset (GB)] carried on using nutritional and respiratory parameters and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale (ALSFRS). ALSFRS was analyzed in the main domains (D1, D2 and D3). Forced vital capacity and anthropometric measurements, there was significant association for GS and GB, and in GS there was positive correlation with midarm circumference (MAC) (r=0.30; P=0.020), midarm muscle circumference (r=0.29; P=0.026), arm muscle area (r=0.28; P=0.033) and protein-caloric malnutrition score (r=0.27; P=0.039), while for GB only with body weight (r=0.64; P=0.024). On correlation of nutritional parameters and ALSFRS for GS patients we observed that MAC and %MAC presented positive association with both issues of D1 and D2. For GB, the total score in addition to correlate positively with anthropometric parameters related to lean body mass also presented negative association with a parameter associated with body fat. In summary, it is suggested that the application of anthropometry of arm could be useful in routine monitoring of ALS patients. PMID:26788263

  10. Anthropometry of Arm: Nutritional Risk Indicator in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Stanich, Patricia; Oliveira, Acary Souza Bulle; Orsini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the paper is to examine the correlation between clinical data, nutritional, respiratory and functional parameters in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This is a descriptive study of 111 ALS patients [91 spinal onset (GS) and 20 bulbar onset (GB)] carried on using nutritional and respiratory parameters and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale (ALSFRS). ALSFRS was analyzed in the main domains (D1, D2 and D3). Forced vital capacity and anthropometric measurements, there was significant association for GS and GB, and in GS there was positive correlation with midarm circumference (MAC) (r=0.30; P=0.020), midarm muscle circumference (r=0.29; P=0.026), arm muscle area (r=0.28; P=0.033) and protein-caloric malnutrition score (r=0.27; P=0.039), while for GB only with body weight (r=0.64; P=0.024). On correlation of nutritional parameters and ALSFRS for GS patients we observed that MAC and %MAC presented positive association with both issues of D1 and D2. For GB, the total score in addition to correlate positively with anthropometric parameters related to lean body mass also presented negative association with a parameter associated with body fat. In summary, it is suggested that the application of anthropometry of arm could be useful in routine monitoring of ALS patients. PMID:26788263

  11. Chitotriosidase - a putative biomarker for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Potential biomarkers to aid diagnosis and therapy need to be identified for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a progressive motor neuronal degenerative disorder. The present study was designed to identify the factor(s) which are differentially expressed in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS; ALS-CSF), and could be associated with the pathogenesis of this disease. Results Quantitative mass spectrometry of ALS-CSF and control-CSF (from orthopaedic surgical patients undergoing spinal anaesthesia) samples showed upregulation of 31 proteins in the ALS-CSF, amongst which a ten-fold increase in the levels of chitotriosidase-1 (CHIT-1) was seen compared to the controls. A seventeen-fold increase in the CHIT-1 levels was detected by ELISA, while a ten-fold elevated enzyme activity was also observed. Both these results confirmed the finding of LC-MS/MS. CHIT-1 was found to be expressed by the Iba-1 immunopositive microglia. Conclusion Elevated CHIT-1 levels in the ALS-CSF suggest a definitive role for the enzyme in the disease pathogenesis. Its synthesis and release from microglia into the CSF may be an aligned event of neurodegeneration. Thus, high levels of CHIT-1 signify enhanced microglial activity which may exacerbate the process of neurodegeneration. In view of the multifold increase observed in ALS-CSF, it can serve as a potential CSF biomarker for the diagnosis of SALS. PMID:24295388

  12. Case-control study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  13. The expanding syndrome of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a clinical and molecular odyssey

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Martin R; Swash, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in understanding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have delivered new questions. Disappointingly, the initial enthusiasm for transgenic mouse models of the disease has not been followed by rapid advances in therapy or prevention. Monogenic models may have inadvertently masked the true complexity of the human disease. ALS has evolved into a multisystem disorder, involving a final common pathway accessible via multiple upstream aetiological tributaries. Nonetheless, there is a common clinical core to ALS, as clear today as it was to Charcot and others. We stress the continuing relevance of clinical observations amid the increasing molecular complexity of ALS. PMID:25644224

  14. [Non-invasive mechanical ventilation with a facial interface during sedation for a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis].

    PubMed

    González-Frasquet, M C; García-Covisa, N; Vidagany-Espert, L; Herranz-Gordo, A; Llopis-Calatayud, J E

    2015-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a chronic neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system which affects the motor neurons and produces a progressive muscle weakness, leading to atrophy and muscle paralysis, and ultimately death. Performing a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy with sedation in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can be a challenge for the anesthesiologist. The case is presented of a 76-year-old patient who suffered from advanced stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ASA III, in which a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy was performed with deep sedation, for which non-invasive ventilation was used as a respiratory support to prevent hypoventilation and postoperative respiratory complications. PMID:25804680

  15. Is erythropoietin gene a modifier factor in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    PubMed

    Ghezzi, Serena; Del Bo, Roberto; Scarlato, Marina; Nardini, Martina; Carlesi, Cecilia; Prelle, Alessandro; Corti, Stefania; Mancuso, Michelangelo; Briani, Chiara; Siciliano, Gabriele; Murri, Luigi; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo Pietro

    2009-05-01

    To investigate the role of erythropoietin (EPO) as genetic determinant in the susceptibility to sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS). We sequenced a 259-bp region spanning the 3'hypoxia-responsive element of the EPO gene in 222 Italian SALS patients and 204 healthy subjects, matched for age and ethnic origin. No potentially causative variation was detected in SALS subjects; in addition, two polymorphic variants (namely C3434T and G3544T) showed the same genotype and haplotype frequencies in patients and controls. Conversely, a weak but significant association between G3544T and age of disease onset was observed (p=0.04). Overall, our data argue against the hypothesis of EPO as a genetic risk factor for motor neuron dysfunction, at least in Italian population. However, further studies on larger cohort of patients are needed to confirm the evidence of EPO gene as modifier factor. PMID:17888545

  16. Strategies for clinical approach to neurodegeneration in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Carlesi, Cecilia; Pasquali, Livia; Piazza, Selina; Lo Gerfo, Annalisa; Caldarazzo Ienco, Elena; Alessi, Rosaria; Fornai, Francesco; Siciliano, Gabriele

    2011-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder of unknown aetiology that involves the loss of upper and lower motor neurons in the cerebral cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. Significant progress in understanding the cellular mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration in ALS has not been matched with the development of therapeutic strategies to prevent disease progression, and riluzole remains the only available therapy, with only marginal effects on disease survival. More recently alterations of mRNA processing in genetically defined forms of ALS, as those related to TDP-43 and FUS-TLS gene mutations have provided important insights into the molecular networks implicated in the disease pathogenesis. Here we review some of the recent progress in promoting therapeutic strategies for neurodegeneration. PMID:21412722

  17. Projected increase in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from 2015 to 2040

    PubMed Central

    Arthur, Karissa C.; Calvo, Andrea; Price, T. Ryan; Geiger, Joshua T.; Chiò, Adriano; Traynor, Bryan J.

    2016-01-01

    Although amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is relatively rare, the socioeconomic significance of the disease is extensive. It is therefore vital to project the epidemiologic trend of ALS. To date, there have been few published studies attempting to estimate the number and distribution of ALS cases in the upcoming years. Here we show that the number of ALS cases across the globe will increase from 222,801 in 2015 to 376,674 in 2040, representing an increase of 69%. This increase is predominantly due to ageing of the population, particularly among developing nations. This projection is likely an underestimate due to improving healthcare and economic conditions. The results should be used to inform healthcare policy to more efficiently allocate healthcare resources. PMID:27510634

  18. Myasthenia gravis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A pathogenic overlap.

    PubMed

    Gotaas, Håvard Torvik; Skeie, Geir Olve; Gilhus, Nils Erik

    2016-06-01

    The aim was to examine potential joint disease mechanisms for myasthenia gravis (MG) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) through the examination of long-term patient cohorts for comorbidity. Recent studies support early involvement of the neuromuscular junction in ALS patients with subsequent degeneration of motor neurons. Medical records at Haukeland University Hospital from 1987 to 2012 were examined for International Classification of Diseases diagnostic codes for MG and ALS. Sera were re-tested for antibodies to acetylcholine receptor, titin, MuSK and GM1. We report one patient with both MG and ALS, and another 3 patients with suggestive evidence of both conditions. This is far more than expected from prevalence and incidence figures in this area if the disorders were unrelated. Our data suggest that immunological mechanisms in the neuromuscular junction are relevant in ALS pathogenesis. Attention should be given to possible therapeutic targets in the neuromuscular junction and muscle in ALS patients. PMID:27102003

  19. Pain in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Neglected Aspect of Disease

    PubMed Central

    Handy, Chalonda R.; Krudy, Christina; Boulis, Nicholas; Federici, Thais

    2011-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder marked by progressive loss of motor neurons, muscle wasting, and respiratory dysfunction. With disease progression, secondary symptoms arise creating new problematic conditions for ALS patients. Amongst these is pain. Although not a primary consequence of disease, pain occurs in a substantial number of individuals. Yet, studies investigating its pathomechanistic properties in the ALS patient are lacking. Therefore, more exploratory efforts into its scope, severity, impact, and treatment should be initiated. Several studies investigating the use of Clostridial neurotoxins for the reduction of pain in ALS patients suggest the potential for a neural specific approach involving focal drug delivery. Gene therapy represents a way to accomplish this. Therefore, the use of viral vectors to express transgenes that modulate the nociceptive cascade could prove to be an effective way to achieve meaningful benefit in conditions of pain in ALS. PMID:21766021

  20. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with an Acute Hypertensive Crises

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ha Lim

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder involving the systemic motor neurons, but autonomic nervous function is relatively well preserved. A few studies related to autonomic dysfunction have been reported, but autonomic dysfunction is rare in ALS. Moreover, dysautonomia symptoms are not prominent in patients with ALS. We present a 55-year-old male patient with ALS, who had acute severe hypertension and tachycardia crises, as well as sudden falls in his blood pressure. After he was diagnosed with ALS, he suddenly collapsed and was placed under mechanical ventilation. Several hypertensive attacks and dysautonomic signs then occurred. We successfully controlled the dysautonomia using diazepam and doxazocin mesylate, an alpha receptor antagonist. PMID:22837981

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23540596

  2. REHABILITATION IN AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS: WHY IT MATTERS

    PubMed Central

    MAJMUDAR, SALONY; WU, JASON; PAGANONI, SABRINA

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that results in a constellation of problematic symptoms and a high patient and caregiver burden. Multidisciplinary care includes rehabilitation interventions that have the goal of assisting people to teach their fullest potential despite the presence of a disabling disease. Given the progressive nature of ALS, the clinician must be aware of the expected disease trajectory and apply appropriate interventions at each stage. This review will present rehabilitation strategies that can be utilized to maximize patient independence, function, safety, and quality of life, and to minimize disease-related symptoms. The role of bracing, exercise, assistive devices, and adaptive equipment will be discussed. At each disease stage, an experienced rehabilitation team is well positioned to make a significant impact on the life of ALS patients. PMID:24510737

  3. Projected increase in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from 2015 to 2040.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Karissa C; Calvo, Andrea; Price, T Ryan; Geiger, Joshua T; Chiò, Adriano; Traynor, Bryan J

    2016-01-01

    Although amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is relatively rare, the socioeconomic significance of the disease is extensive. It is therefore vital to project the epidemiologic trend of ALS. To date, there have been few published studies attempting to estimate the number and distribution of ALS cases in the upcoming years. Here we show that the number of ALS cases across the globe will increase from 222,801 in 2015 to 376,674 in 2040, representing an increase of 69%. This increase is predominantly due to ageing of the population, particularly among developing nations. This projection is likely an underestimate due to improving healthcare and economic conditions. The results should be used to inform healthcare policy to more efficiently allocate healthcare resources. PMID:27510634

  4. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: increased solubility of skin collagen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Focus on Disease Progression

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. Impact of Expiratory Strength Training in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Plowman, Emily K.; Watts, Stephanie A.; Tabor, Lauren; Robison, Raele; Gaziano, Joy; Domer, Amanda S.; Richter, Joel; Vu, Tuan; Gooch, Clifton

    2016-01-01

    Introduction We evaluated the feasibility and impact of Expiratory Muscle Strength Training (EMST) on respiratory and bulbar function in persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods 25 ALS patients participated in this delayed intervention open-label clinical trial. Following a lead-in period, patients completed a 5-week EMST protocol. Outcome measures included: maximum expiratory pressure (MEP), physiologic measures of swallow and cough, and Penetration-Aspiration Scale (PAS) scores. Results Of those participants who entered the active phase of the study (n=15), EMST was well tolerated and led to significant increases in MEPs and maximum hyoid displacement during swallowing post-EMST (P<0.05). No significant differences were observed for PAS scores or cough spirometry measures. Discussion EMST was feasible and well tolerated in this small cohort of ALS patients and led to improvements in expiratory force-generating pressures and swallow kinematics. Further investigation is warranted to confirm these preliminary findings. PMID:26599236

  8. Case of Young-Onset Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Artemiadis, Artemios K; Peppas, Christos; Giannopoulos, Sotiris; Zouvelou, Vasiliki; Triantafyllou, Nikos

    2016-06-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) constitutes the main type of motor neuron disease. Familial ALS is characterized by the presence of positive family history and accounts for 10% of ALS cases. Although familial ALS is the main culprit for early-onset disease, there are rare cases of early- or young-onset ALS with negative family history or sporadic ALS. We describe a 23-year-old man with clinical and electrophysiological evidence of probable sporadic ALS according to the revised EI Escorial criteria. Interestingly, brain neuroimaging revealed bilaterally increased T2 signals across corona radiata, posterior limb of the internal capsule, and descending motor tracts in the brainstem and hypointensity rim of the motor cortex on T2-weighted images. Young-onset sporadic ALS may be a distinct nosological entity. The topic is shortly discussed in the light of its genetic and clinical characteristics. PMID:27224438

  9. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and motor neuron syndromes in Asia.

    PubMed

    Shahrizaila, N; Sobue, G; Kuwabara, S; Kim, S H; Birks, Carol; Fan, D S; Bae, J S; Hu, C J; Gourie-Devi, M; Noto, Y; Shibuya, K; Goh, K J; Kaji, R; Tsai, C P; Cui, L; Talman, P; Henderson, R D; Vucic, S; Kiernan, M C

    2016-08-01

    While the past 2 decades have witnessed an increasing understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) arising from East Asia, particularly Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China, knowledge of ALS throughout the whole of Asia remains limited. Asia represents >50% of the world population, making it host to the largest patient cohort of ALS. Furthermore, Asia represents a diverse population in terms of ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds. In this review, an overview is presented that covers what is currently known of ALS in Asia from basic epidemiology and genetic influences, through to disease characteristics including atypical phenotypes which manifest a predilection for Asians. With the recent establishment of the Pan-Asian Consortium for Treatment and Research in ALS to facilitate collaborations between clinicians and researchers across the region, it is anticipated that Asia and the Pacific will contribute to unravelling the uncertainties in ALS. PMID:27093948

  10. Assessment of the upper motor neuron in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Huynh, William; Simon, Neil G; Grosskreutz, Julian; Turner, Martin R; Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2016-07-01

    Clinical signs of upper motor neuron (UMN) involvement are an important component in supporting the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but are often not easily appreciated in a limb that is concurrently affected by muscle wasting and lower motor neuron degeneration, particularly in the early symptomatic stages of ALS. Whilst recent criteria have been proposed to facilitate improved detection of lower motor neuron impairment through electrophysiological features that have improved diagnostic sensitivity, assessment of upper motor neuron involvement remains essentially clinical. As a result, there is often a significant diagnostic delay that in turn may impact institution of disease-modifying therapy and access to other optimal patient management. Biomarkers of pathological UMN involvement are also required to ensure patients with suspected ALS have timely access to appropriate therapeutic trials. The present review provides an analysis of current and recently developed assessment techniques, including novel imaging and electrophysiological approaches used to study corticomotoneuronal pathology in ALS. PMID:27291884

  11. Canine degenerative myelopathy: a model of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Nardone, Raffaele; Höller, Yvonne; Taylor, Alexandra C; Lochner, Piergiorgio; Tezzon, Frediano; Golaszewski, Stefan; Brigo, Francesco; Trinka, Eugen

    2016-02-01

    Canine degenerative myelopathy (CDM) represents a unique naturally occurring animal model for human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) because of similar clinical signs, neuropathologic findings, and involvement of the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutation. A definitive diagnosis can only be made postmortem through microscopic detection of axonal degeneration, demyelination and astroglial proliferation, which is more severe in the dorsal columns of the thoracic spinal cord and in the dorsal portion of the lateral funiculus. Interestingly, the muscle acetylcholine receptor complexes are intact in CDM prior to functional impairment, thus suggesting that muscle atrophy in CDM does not result from physical denervation. Moreover, since sensory involvement seems to play an important role in CDM progression, a more careful investigation of the sensory pathology in ALS is also warranted. The importance of SOD1 expression remains unclear, while oxidative stress and denatured ubiquinated proteins appear to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of CDM. In this updated narrative review we performed a systematic search of the published studies on CDM that may shed light on the pathophysiological mechanisms of human ALS. A better understanding of the factors that determine the disease progression in CDM may be beneficial for the development of effective treatments for ALS. PMID:26432396

  12. Deficits in sentence expression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Ash, Sharon; Olm, Christopher; Mcmillan, Corey T.; Boller, Ashley; Irwin, David J; Mccluskey, Leo; Elman, Lauren; Grossman, Murray

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative examinations of speech production in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are rare. To identify language features minimally confounded by a motor disorder, we investigated linguistic and motor sources of impaired sentence expression in ALS, and we related deficits to gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) MRI abnormalities. We analyzed a semi-structured speech sample in 26 ALS patients and 19 healthy seniors for motor- and language-related deficits. Regression analyses related grammaticality to GM atrophy and reduced WM fractional anisotropy (FA). Results demonstrated that ALS patients were impaired relative to controls on quantity of speech, speech rate, speech articulation errors, and grammaticality. Speech rate and articulation errors were related to the patients’ motor impairment, while grammatical difficulty was independent of motor difficulty. This was confirmed in subgroups without dysarthria and without executive deficits. Regressions related grammatical expression to GM atrophy in left inferior frontal and anterior temporal regions and to reduced FA in superior longitudinal and inferior frontal-occipital fasciculi. In conclusion, patients with ALS exhibit multifactorial deficits in sentence expression. They demonstrate a deficit in grammatical expression that is independent of their motor disorder. Impaired grammatical expression is related to disease in a network of brain regions associated with syntactic processing. PMID:25482157

  13. Black hairy tongue in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Erriu, Matteo; Pili, Francesca Maria Giovanna; Denotti, Gloria; Garau, Valentino

    2016-01-01

    Black hairy tongue (BHT) is a condition characterized by the elongation of filiform papillae associated with a marked discoloration, from yellowish-brown to black, and a thick lingual coating. BHT is usually observed in the elderly and in patients with limited self-sufficiency, as a consequence of poor oral hygiene. In this perspective, the patients affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) represent a high-risk category for the occurrence of BHT. The fast and inexorable loss of their self-sufficiency due to progressive muscle atrophy as well as the impropriate education of healthcare assistants have demonstrated to have significant reflection on the maintenance of an adequate standard of oral hygiene. This paper firstly described a case of BHT in a patient affected by ALS. A case of BHT in a patient (Caucasic, male, 63 years old) affected by ALS was described. The primary goal of the work was to teach and motivate the patient to the use of the tongue cleaner in association with the local application of chlorexidine 0.20%. Furthermore, in order to support the patient with accurate domiciliary oral hygiene, a proper training for his health-care assistant was provided. The maintenance of the oral health of ALS patient is fundamental to prevent systemic complications that could jeopardize the already fragile physical balance of these patients. The dedicated monitoring by a dentist or a dental hygienist would seem essential in order to achieve this objective. PMID:27011938

  14. How common are behavioural changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    PubMed

    Lillo, Patricia; Mioshi, Eneida; Zoing, Margaret C; Kiernan, Matthew C; Hodges, John R

    2011-01-01

    Our objectives were to assess the frequency of behavioural changes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to compare the clinical profile of ALS patients with those with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). Ninety-two patients with ALS and their carers participated in a postal survey. ALS patients completed self-report measures of motor function and mood. Eighty-one carers of ALS patients and 25 carers of bvFTD patients completed the revised version of the Cambridge Behavioural Inventory (CBI-R). Results showed that reduced motivation was reported in more than 80% of the ALS cases, with almost 41% of them having moderate-severe apathy. Depression was present in 30% of ALS patients and did not contribute significantly to the presence of behavioural symptoms. Bulbar and limb onset ALS patients did not differ. Abnormal behaviour and stereotypical and motor behaviours were present to a moderate-severe degree in around 20%, and 11% reached the criteria for FTD. The rate of behavioural symptoms was significantly higher in the bvFTD group than ALS in all behavioural domains (p <0.001). In conclusion, apathy was the most prominent feature in ALS patients. A substantial proportion of ALS patients manifested behavioural changes of the type seen in FTD, with 11% fulfilling the criteria for FTD. PMID:20849323

  15. Impaired Perception of Emotional Expression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Seong-il; Oh, Ki-Wook; Kim, Hee-Jin; Park, Jin-Seok

    2016-01-01

    Background and Purpose 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions Emotion perception deficits occur in Korean ALS patients, particularly regarding facial expressions of emotion. These findings expand the spectrum of cognitive and behavioral dysfunction associated with ALS into emotion processing dysfunction. PMID:27095526

  16. Exerting control and adapting to loss in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Foley, Geraldine; Timonen, Virpi; Hardiman, Orla

    2014-01-01

    People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) engage with a broad range of health care services from symptom onset to end-of-life care. We undertook a grounded theory study to identify processes that underpin how and why people with ALS engage with health care services. Using theoretical sampling procedures, we sampled 34 people from the Irish ALS population-based register during September 2011 to August 2012. We conducted in-depth interviews with participants about their experiences of health care services. Our study yielded new insights into how people with ALS engage with services and adapt to loss. People with ALS live with insurmountable loss and never regain what they have already lost. Loss for people with ALS is multidimensional and includes loss of control. The experience of loss of control prompts people with ALS to search for control over health care services but exerting control in health care services can also include rendering control to service providers. People with ALS negotiate loss by exerting control over and rendering control to health care services. Our findings are important for future research that is attuned to how people with terminal illness exert control in health care services and make decisions about care in the context of mounting loss. PMID:24560231

  17. Mitochondrial Disorders May Mimic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at Onset

    PubMed Central

    Finsterer, Josef; Zarrouk-Mahjoub, Sinda

    2016-01-01

    Similarities between a mitochondrial disorder (MID) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) fade with disease progression and the development of mitochondrial multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MIMODS). However, with mild MIMODS, a MID may still be misinterpreted as ALS. We report a 48-year-old male who presented to the Neurological Hospital Rosenhügel, Vienna, Austria, in February 2001 with slowly progressive weakness, wasting and left upper limb fasciculations which spread to the shoulder girdle and lower limbs. Additionally, he developed tetraspasticity and bulbar involvement. He had been diagnosed with ALS a year previously due to electrophysiological investigations indicative of a chronic neurogenic lesion. However, a muscle biopsy revealed morphological features of a MID and a combined complex-II/III defect. Nerve conduction studies were performed over subsequent years until February 2011. This case demonstrates that MIDs may mimic ALS at onset and begin as a mono-organ disorder but develop into a multi-organ disease with long-term progression. A combined complex II/III defect may manifest with bulbar involvement. PMID:26909222

  18. NEK1 variants confer susceptibility to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-09-01

    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 significant association between loss-of-function (LOF) NEK1 variants and FALS risk. Independently, autozygosity mapping for an isolated community in the Netherlands identified a NEK1 p.Arg261His variant as a candidate risk factor. Replication analyses of sporadic ALS (SALS) cases and independent control cohorts confirmed significant disease association for both p.Arg261His (10,589 samples analyzed) and NEK1 LOF variants (3,362 samples analyzed). In total, we observed NEK1 risk variants in nearly 3% of ALS cases. NEK1 has been linked to several cellular functions, including cilia formation, DNA-damage response, microtubule stability, neuronal morphology and axonal polarity. Our results provide new and important insights into ALS etiopathogenesis and genetic etiology. PMID:27455347

  19. Molecular Imaging of Microglial Activation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Corcia, Philippe; Tauber, Clovis; Vercoullie, Johnnie; Arlicot, Nicolas; Prunier, Caroline; Praline, Julien; Nicolas, Guillaume; Venel, Yann; Hommet, Caroline; Baulieu, Jean-Louis; Cottier, Jean-Philippe; Roussel, Catherine; Kassiou, Mickael; Guilloteau, Denis; Ribeiro, Maria-Joao

    2012-01-01

    There is growing evidence of activated microglia and inflammatory processes in the cerebral cortex in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Activated microglia is characterized by increased expression of the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) in the brain and may be a useful biomarker of inflammation. In this study, we evaluated neuroinflammation in ALS patients using a radioligand of TSPO, 18F-DPA-714. Ten patients with probable or definite ALS (all right-handed, without dementia, and untreated by riluzole or other medication that might bias the binding on the TSPO), were enrolled prospectively and eight healthy controls matched for age underwent a PET study. Comparison of the distribution volume ratios between both groups were performed using a Mann-Whitney’s test. Significant increase of distribution of volume ratios values corresponding to microglial activation was found in the ALS sample in primary motor, supplementary motor and temporal cortex (p = 0.009, p = 0.001 and p = 0.004, respectively). These results suggested that the cortical uptake of 18F-DPA-714 was increased in ALS patients during the “time of diagnosis” phase of the disease. This finding might improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of ALS and might be a surrogate marker of efficacy of treatment on microglial activation. PMID:23300829

  20. Black hairy tongue in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Erriu, Matteo; Pili, Francesca Maria Giovanna; Denotti, Gloria; Garau, Valentino

    2016-01-01

    Black hairy tongue (BHT) is a condition characterized by the elongation of filiform papillae associated with a marked discoloration, from yellowish-brown to black, and a thick lingual coating. BHT is usually observed in the elderly and in patients with limited self-sufficiency, as a consequence of poor oral hygiene. In this perspective, the patients affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) represent a high-risk category for the occurrence of BHT. The fast and inexorable loss of their self-sufficiency due to progressive muscle atrophy as well as the impropriate education of healthcare assistants have demonstrated to have significant reflection on the maintenance of an adequate standard of oral hygiene. This paper firstly described a case of BHT in a patient affected by ALS. A case of BHT in a patient (Caucasic, male, 63 years old) affected by ALS was described. The primary goal of the work was to teach and motivate the patient to the use of the tongue cleaner in association with the local application of chlorexidine 0.20%. Furthermore, in order to support the patient with accurate domiciliary oral hygiene, a proper training for his health-care assistant was provided. The maintenance of the oral health of ALS patient is fundamental to prevent systemic complications that could jeopardize the already fragile physical balance of these patients. The dedicated monitoring by a dentist or a dental hygienist would seem essential in order to achieve this objective. PMID:27011938

  1. Inflammation and neurovascular changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Evans, M C; Couch, Y; Sibson, N; Turner, M R

    2013-03-01

    Neuroinflammation in now established as an important factor in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). At various time points, astrocytes and microglia are markedly activated, either producing neuroprotective or pro-inflammatory molecules, which can decrease or increase the rate of primary motor neuron degeneration respectively. Recent research has shown that this neuroinflammatory component is affected by the peripheral immune system; T lymphocytes in particular are able to cross into the brain and spinal cord parenchyma, where they interact with resident microglia, either inducing them to adopt an M1 (cytotoxic) or M2 (protective) phenotype, depending on the stage of disease. Clearly understanding the changes that occur to allow the interaction between peripheral and central immune responses will be essential in any attempt to manipulate the disease process via neuroinflammatory mechanisms. However, our understanding of the endothelial changes, which facilitate the infiltration of peripheral immune cells into the brain and spinal cord, is still in its infancy. There are suggestions, though, of up-regulation of cellular adhesion molecules, which are able to arrest circulating leukocytes and facilitate diapedesis into the brain parenchyma. In addition, tight junction proteins appear to be down-regulated, leading to an increase in vascular permeability, an effect that is amplified by vascular damage late in the disease process. This review summarises our current knowledge regarding neuroinflammation, peripheral immune involvement, and endothelial changes in ALS. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration and neurodysfunction'. PMID:23110760

  2. TDP-43-The key to understanding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zuoshang; Yang, Chunxing

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes motor neuron degeneration leading to progressive muscle atrophy, weakness, paralysis and death. The majority of ALS (>95%) shows intracellular aggregation of transactive response DNA binding protein (TDP-43) as a prominent pathological feature. TDP-43 is normally a nuclear protein. In ALS, TDP-43 accumulates and aggregates in the cytoplasm (thus forming TDP-43 proteinopathy) and is depleted from the nucleus in CNS cells, including motor neurons and glia. While TDP-43 aggregation can harm cells through a gain of toxicity, it can also cause a loss of TDP-43 function in conjunction with its nuclear depletion. TDP-43 regulates its own expression to maintain itself at a constant level. Perturbation of this level by either increasing or decreasing TDP-43 in animal models leads to neurodegeneration and ALS phenotypes. The evidence supports the hypothesis that TDP-43 dysfunction is a critical driver of neurodegeneration in the vast majority of ALS cases. PMID:26942097

  3. Current pathways for epidemiological research in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    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

    2013-05-01

    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

  4. Electrophysiological assessment of corticorespiratory pathway function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Toshio; Komori, Tetsuo; Kugio, Yumiko; Fujimaki, Yumi; Oyanagi, Kiyomitsu; Hayashi, Hideaki

    2010-01-01

    Respiratory muscle paralysis is inevitable in the clinical course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Our objective was to electrophysiologically assess the function of the phrenic nerve and diaphragm motor cortex in ALS. Phrenic nerve M waves, diaphragm motor evoked potentials (MEPs) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation, and their clinical correlations were analyzed in 29 ALS patients. The M wave amplitude was significantly lower in patients than in healthy control subjects (p<0.001). The MEP amplitudes both in the expiratory and inspiratory phases were significantly decreased in patients (p<0.01). In particular, 15 patients showed no MEPs in the expiratory phase, six of whom also showed no MEPs in the inspiratory phase. Five of them had no respiratory complaints. There was a weak, non-significant correlation between the inspiratory MEP amplitude and forced vital capacity (p=0.052). We conclude that the loss of MEP might reflect the subclinical involvement of the voluntary respiratory drive from the diaphragm motor cortex, potentially leading to further respiratory deterioration. PMID:19707909

  5. Role of autophagy in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jae Keun; Shin, Jin Hee; Lee, Ji Eun; Choi, Eui-Ju

    2015-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons associated with the abnormal aggregation of ubiquitinated proteins. The molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of ALS remain unclear, however. Autophagy is a major pathway for the elimination of protein aggregates and damaged organelles and therefore contributes to cellular homeostasis. This catabolic process begins with the formation of the double membrane-bound autophagosome that engulfs portions of the cytoplasm and subsequently fuses with a lysosome to form an autolysosome, in which lysosomal enzymes digest autophagic substrates. Defects at various stages of autophagy have been associated with pathological mutations of several ALS-linked genes including SOD1, p62, TDP-43, and optineurin, suggesting that such defects may play a causative role in the pathogenesis of this condition. In this review, we summarize the dysregulation of autophagy associated with ALS as well as potential therapeutic strategies based on modulation of the autophagic process. PMID:26264610

  6. Executive dysfunction predicts social cognition impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Watermeyer, Tamlyn J; Brown, Richard G; Sidle, Katie C L; Oliver, David J; Allen, Christopher; Karlsson, Joanna; Ellis, Catherine M; Shaw, Christopher E; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Goldstein, Laura H

    2015-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder of the motor system with recognised extra-motor and cognitive involvement. This cross-sectional study examined ALS patients' performance on measures requiring social inference, and determined the relationship between such changes and variations in mood, behaviour, personality, empathy and executive function. Fifty-five ALS patients and 49 healthy controls were compared on tasks measuring social cognition and executive function. ALS patients also completed measures examining mood, behaviour and personality. Regression analyses explored the contribution of executive function, mood, behaviour and personality to social cognition scores within the ALS sample. A between-group MANOVA revealed that, the ALS group was impaired relative to controls on two composite scores for social cognition and executive function. Patients also performed worse on individual tests of executive function measuring cognitive flexibility, response inhibition and concept formation, and on individual aspects of social cognition assessing the attribution of emotional and mental states. Regression analyses indicated that ALS-related executive dysfunction was the main predictor of social cognition performance, above and beyond demographic variables, behaviour, mood and personality. On at least some aspects of social cognition, impaired performance in ALS appears to be secondary to executive dysfunction. The profile of cognitive impairment in ALS supports a cognitive continuum between ALS and frontotemporal dementia. PMID:25957636

  7. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in an Italian professional soccer player.

    PubMed

    Vanacore, Nicola; Binazzi, Alessandra; Bottazzi, Marco; Belli, Stefano

    2006-06-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare devastating neurodegenerative disease of unknown etiology. Two recent epidemiological studies showed a high risk for ALS among Italian male soccer players. We present the clinical and occupational history of an Italian professional soccer player affected by sporadic ALS. The early onset of ALS (45 years), the bulbar form, the playing position (midfielder) and the duration of the job as professional soccer (17 years) are four characteristics of this patient that are in good agreement with the findings in the previous epidemiological studies. This patient reports the frequent consumption of fructose 1,6 biphosphate, extracts of suprarenal cortex, crotetamide and cropropamide, and dietary supplements (branched chain amino acids and creatine) during his playing career. Some hypotheses have been proposed to explain this high excess of deaths for ALS among soccer players: (a) vigorous physical activity; (b) soccer specific trauma or microtrauma; (c) use of illegal toxic substances or chronic misuse of drugs (most often anti-inflammatory) and dietary supplements; and (d) exposure to pesticides used on playing fields. The overall available clinical and epidemiological evidence supports the possible relation between the specific occupational environment (soccer) and the occurrence of ALS in this patient. PMID:16459125

  8. CCNF mutations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.

    PubMed

    Williams, Kelly L; Topp, Simon; Yang, Shu; Smith, Bradley; Fifita, Jennifer A; Warraich, Sadaf T; Zhang, Katharine Y; Farrawell, Natalie; Vance, Caroline; Hu, Xun; Chesi, Alessandra; Leblond, Claire S; Lee, Albert; Rayner, Stephanie L; Sundaramoorthy, Vinod; Dobson-Stone, Carol; Molloy, Mark P; van Blitterswijk, Marka; Dickson, Dennis W; Petersen, Ronald C; Graff-Radford, Neill R; Boeve, Bradley F; Murray, Melissa E; Pottier, Cyril; Don, Emily; Winnick, Claire; McCann, Emily P; Hogan, Alison; Daoud, Hussein; Levert, Annie; Dion, Patrick A; Mitsui, Jun; Ishiura, Hiroyuki; Takahashi, Yuji; Goto, Jun; Kost, Jason; Gellera, Cinzia; Gkazi, Athina Soragia; Miller, Jack; Stockton, Joanne; Brooks, William S; Boundy, Karyn; Polak, Meraida; Muñoz-Blanco, José Luis; Esteban-Pérez, Jesús; Rábano, Alberto; Hardiman, Orla; Morrison, Karen E; Ticozzi, Nicola; Silani, Vincenzo; de Belleroche, Jacqueline; Glass, Jonathan D; Kwok, John B J; Guillemin, Gilles J; Chung, Roger S; Tsuji, Shoji; Brown, Robert H; García-Redondo, Alberto; Rademakers, Rosa; Landers, John E; Gitler, Aaron D; Rouleau, Guy A; Cole, Nicholas J; Yerbury, Justin J; Atkin, Julie D; Shaw, Christopher E; Nicholson, Garth A; Blair, Ian P

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are overlapping, fatal neurodegenerative disorders in which the molecular and pathogenic basis remains poorly understood. Ubiquitinated protein aggregates, of which TDP-43 is a major component, are a characteristic pathological feature of most ALS and FTD patients. Here we use genome-wide linkage analysis in a large ALS/FTD kindred to identify a novel disease locus on chromosome 16p13.3. Whole-exome sequencing identified a CCNF missense mutation at this locus. Interrogation of international cohorts identified additional novel CCNF variants in familial and sporadic ALS and FTD. Enrichment of rare protein-altering CCNF variants was evident in a large sporadic ALS replication cohort. CCNF encodes cyclin F, a component of an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase complex (SCF(Cyclin F)). Expression of mutant CCNF in neuronal cells caused abnormal ubiquitination and accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, including TDP-43 and a SCF(Cyclin F) substrate. This implicates common mechanisms, linked to protein homeostasis, underlying neuronal degeneration. PMID:27080313

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26780251

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    While there is increasing attention toward cognitive changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the domain of pragmatics, defined as the ability to integrate language and context to engage in successful communication, remains unexplored. Here we tested pragmatic abilities in 33 non-demented ALS patients and 33 healthy controls matched for age and education through 6 different tasks, ranging from discourse organization to the comprehension of figurative language, further grouped in three composite measures for pragmatic production, pragmatic comprehension and global pragmatic abilities. For a subgroup of patients, assessment included executive functions and social cognition skills. ALS patients were impaired on all pragmatic tasks relative to controls, with 45% of the patients performing below cut-off in at least one pragmatic task, and 36% impaired on the global pragmatic score. Pragmatic breakdowns were more common than executive deficit as defined by the consensus criteria, and approximately as prevalent as deficits in social cognition. Multiple regression analyses support the idea of an interplay of executive and social cognition abilities in determining the pragmatic performance, although all these domains show some degree of independence. These findings shed light on pragmatic impairment as a relevant dimension of ALS, which deserves further consideration in defining the cognitive profile of the disease, given its vital role for communication and social interaction in daily life. PMID:26799425

  11. Syntactic Comprehension in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Recent neuropsychological studies of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have demonstrated that some patients have aphasic symptoms, including impaired syntactic comprehension. However, it is not known if syntactic comprehension disorder is related to executive and visuospatial dysfunction. In this study, we evaluated syntactic comprehension using the Syntax Test for Aphasia (STA) auditory comprehension task, frontal executive function using the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), visuospatial function using Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM), and dementia using the Hasegawa Dementia Scale-Revised (HDS-R) in 25 patients with ALS. Of the 25 patients, 18 (72%) had syntactic comprehension disorder (STA score < IV), nine (36%) had frontal executive dysfunction (FAB score < 14), six (24%) had visuospatial dysfunction (RCPM score < 24), and none had dementia (HDS-R score < 20). Nine of the 18 patients with syntactic comprehension disorder (50%) passed the FAB and RCPM. Although sample size was small, these patients had a low STA score but normal FAB and RCPM score. All patients with bulbar onset ALS had syntactic comprehension disorder. These results indicate that it might be necessary to assess syntactic comprehension in patients with bulbar onset ALS. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the pathological continuum of ALS. PMID:25161339

  12. Mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum crosstalk in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Manfredi, Giovanni; Kawamata, Hibiki

    2016-06-01

    Physical and functional interactions between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are crucial for cell life. These two organelles are intimately connected and collaborate to essential processes, such as calcium homeostasis and phospholipid biosynthesis. The connections between mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum occur through structures named mitochondria associated membranes (MAMs), which contain lipid rafts and a large number of proteins, many of which serve multiple functions at different cellular sites. Growing evidence strongly suggests that alterations of ER-mitochondria interactions are involved in neurodegenerative disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a devastating and rapidly fatal motor neuron disease. Mutations in proteins that participate in ER-mitochondria interactions and MAM functions are increasingly being associated with genetic forms of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. This evidence strongly suggests that, rather than considering the two organelles separately, a better understanding of the disease process can derive from studying the alterations in their crosstalk. In this review we discuss normal and pathological ER-mitochondria interactions and the evidence that link them to ALS. PMID:26282323

  13. Deficits in sentence expression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Ash, Sharon; Olm, Christopher; McMillan, Corey T; Boller, Ashley; Irwin, David J; McCluskey, Leo; Elman, Lauren; Grossman, Murray

    2015-03-01

    Quantitative examinations of speech production in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are rare. To identify language features minimally confounded by a motor disorder, we investigated linguistic and motor sources of impaired sentence expression in ALS, and we related deficits to gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) MRI abnormalities. We analyzed a semi-structured speech sample in 26 ALS patients and 19 healthy seniors for motor- and language-related deficits. Regression analyses related grammaticality to GM atrophy and reduced WM fractional anisotropy (FA). Results demonstrated that ALS patients were impaired relative to controls on quantity of speech, speech rate, speech articulation errors, and grammaticality. Speech rate and articulation errors were related to the patients' motor impairment, while grammatical difficulty was independent of motor difficulty. This was confirmed in subgroups without dysarthria and without executive deficits. Regressions related grammatical expression to GM atrophy in left inferior frontal and anterior temporal regions and to reduced FA in superior longitudinal and inferior frontal-occipital fasciculi. In conclusion, patients with ALS exhibit multifactorial deficits in sentence expression. They demonstrate a deficit in grammatical expression that is independent of their motor disorder. Impaired grammatical expression is related to disease in a network of brain regions associated with syntactic processing. PMID:25482157

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the motor neurons in the motor cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. 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. PMID:23264687

  15. Endocannabinoids in Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26408162

  16. Diagnostic timelines and delays in diagnosing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

    PubMed

    Paganoni, Sabrina; Macklin, Eric A; Lee, Alexandra; Murphy, Alyssa; Chang, Judith; Zipf, Amanda; Cudkowicz, Merit; Atassi, Nazem

    2014-09-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize the diagnostic timelines and their predictors in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Patients were identified through ALS billing codes. Time from presenting symptom to first doctor visit, first doctor visit to suspected ALS diagnosis, suspected to confirmed ALS diagnosis, and presenting symptom to confirmed ALS diagnosis (total diagnostic time) were collected. Regression models were used to analyze the predictors of diagnostic delay. Three hundred and four ALS patients were included in the analysis. Median total diagnostic time was 11.5 months. Diagnostic timelines were longer in patients with age > 60 years (p < 0.001), sporadic ALS (p = 0.043), and limb onset (p = 0.010). The presence of fasciculations, slurred speech, and lower extremity weakness when symptoms were first noted were independent predictors of shorter time to ALS diagnosis (p = 0.04, p = 0.02, and p = 0.04, respectively). About half of the patients (52%) received an alternative diagnosis and each patient saw an average of three different physicians before ALS diagnosis was confirmed. In conclusion, diagnostic timelines in ALS are long, and patients see many physicians and receive multiple alternative diagnoses before the diagnosis of ALS is confirmed. Older age, sporadic disease, and limb onset can delay ALS diagnosis. PMID:24981792

  17. Identification of new mutations in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    SciTech Connect

    Siddique, T.; Deng, H.X.; Hentati, A.

    1994-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal neurodegenerative disease due to motor neuron death in the cortex, brain stem and spinal cord. Ten percent of ALS cases are familial (FALS). Previously a subset of FALS families have been mapped to chromosome 21 and mutations in the Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase gene have been identified in those families. Nineteen different mutations at 16 distinct codons have been documented, of which 12 different mutations were identified in our 29 FALS families. These mutations account for about twenty percent of all FALS families screened. The mutations identified in our FALS families are A4V, A4T, G37R, G41D, H43R, G85R, G93A, E100G, L106V, I113T, L144F, and V148G. Mutation A4V is the most frequent one which occurred in 14 out of our 29 FALS families. In further screening of our FALS families, two new mutations, V14M and L84V, have been identified. Thus a total of 21 different mutations at 18 distinct codon sites have been identified in SOD1.

  18. CCNF mutations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Kelly L.; Topp, Simon; Yang, Shu; Smith, Bradley; Fifita, Jennifer A.; Warraich, Sadaf T.; Zhang, Katharine Y.; Farrawell, Natalie; Vance, Caroline; Hu, Xun; Chesi, Alessandra; Leblond, Claire S.; Lee, Albert; Rayner, Stephanie L.; Sundaramoorthy, Vinod; Dobson-Stone, Carol; Molloy, Mark P.; van Blitterswijk, Marka; Dickson, Dennis W.; Petersen, Ronald C.; Graff-Radford, Neill R.; Boeve, Bradley F.; Murray, Melissa E.; Pottier, Cyril; Don, Emily; Winnick, Claire; McCann, Emily P.; Hogan, Alison; Daoud, Hussein; Levert, Annie; Dion, Patrick A.; Mitsui, Jun; Ishiura, Hiroyuki; Takahashi, Yuji; Goto, Jun; Kost, Jason; Gellera, Cinzia; Gkazi, Athina Soragia; Miller, Jack; Stockton, Joanne; Brooks, William S.; Boundy, Karyn; Polak, Meraida; Muñoz-Blanco, José Luis; Esteban-Pérez, Jesús; Rábano, Alberto; Hardiman, Orla; Morrison, Karen E.; Ticozzi, Nicola; Silani, Vincenzo; de Belleroche, Jacqueline; Glass, Jonathan D.; Kwok, John B. J.; Guillemin, Gilles J.; Chung, Roger S.; Tsuji, Shoji; Brown, Robert H.; García-Redondo, Alberto; Rademakers, Rosa; Landers, John E.; Gitler, Aaron D.; Rouleau, Guy A.; Cole, Nicholas J.; Yerbury, Justin J.; Atkin, Julie D.; Shaw, Christopher E.; Nicholson, Garth A.; Blair, Ian P.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are overlapping, fatal neurodegenerative disorders in which the molecular and pathogenic basis remains poorly understood. Ubiquitinated protein aggregates, of which TDP-43 is a major component, are a characteristic pathological feature of most ALS and FTD patients. Here we use genome-wide linkage analysis in a large ALS/FTD kindred to identify a novel disease locus on chromosome 16p13.3. Whole-exome sequencing identified a CCNF missense mutation at this locus. Interrogation of international cohorts identified additional novel CCNF variants in familial and sporadic ALS and FTD. Enrichment of rare protein-altering CCNF variants was evident in a large sporadic ALS replication cohort. CCNF encodes cyclin F, a component of an E3 ubiquitin–protein ligase complex (SCFCyclin F). Expression of mutant CCNF in neuronal cells caused abnormal ubiquitination and accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, including TDP-43 and a SCFCyclin F substrate. This implicates common mechanisms, linked to protein homeostasis, underlying neuronal degeneration. PMID:27080313

  19. [Cell therapy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: science and controversy].

    PubMed

    Galán, L; Guerrero-Sola, A; Gómez-Pinedo, U; Matias-Guiu, J

    2010-10-01

    Stem cell therapy is seen as a possible alternative for the treatment of different degenerative diseases, among which includes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Despite there being basic research works with this therapy in ALS, the mechanism of action of the implanted cells are still unclear. It is also unclear which type of cells to use (bone marrow, fat, dental pulp, etc.), or the most ideal administration route. Furthermore, clinical trials with mesenchymal stem cells are not very conclusive, therefore it has not been convincingly established as an alternative therapy in ALS or any other neurodegenerative disease. Despite the scientific evidence, several clinical trials have been conducted in the last few years that offer stem cell treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, giving rise to what is known as "cellular tourism". This phenomenon has set off alarms and reactions in the scientific community. The application of these therapies must be performed following the good clinical practice guidelines in research, evidence based methodology and international ethical and scientific recommendations. PMID:20964996

  20. Roles of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Pronto-Laborinho, Ana Catarina; Pinto, Susana; de Carvalho, Mamede

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal devastating neurodegenerative disorder, involving progressive degeneration of motor neurons in spinal cord, brainstem, and motor cortex. Riluzole is the only drug approved in ALS but it only confers a modest improvement in survival. In spite of a high number of clinical trials no other drug has proved effectiveness. Recent studies support that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), originally described as a key angiogenic factor, also plays a key role in the nervous system, including neurogenesis, neuronal survival, neuronal migration, and axon guidance. VEGF has been used in exploratory clinical studies with promising results in ALS and other neurological disorders. Although VEGF is a very promising compound, translating the basic science breakthroughs into clinical practice is the major challenge ahead. VEGF-B, presenting a single safety profile, protects motor neurons from degeneration in ALS animal models and, therefore, it will be particularly interesting to test its effects in ALS patients. In the present paper the authors make a brief description of the molecular properties of VEGF and its receptors and review its different features and therapeutic potential in the nervous system/neurodegenerative disease, particularly in ALS. PMID:24987705

  1. Roles of vascular endothelial growth factor in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Pronto-Laborinho, Ana Catarina; Pinto, Susana; de Carvalho, Mamede

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal devastating neurodegenerative disorder, involving progressive degeneration of motor neurons in spinal cord, brainstem, and motor cortex. Riluzole is the only drug approved in ALS but it only confers a modest improvement in survival. In spite of a high number of clinical trials no other drug has proved effectiveness. Recent studies support that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), originally described as a key angiogenic factor, also plays a key role in the nervous system, including neurogenesis, neuronal survival, neuronal migration, and axon guidance. VEGF has been used in exploratory clinical studies with promising results in ALS and other neurological disorders. Although VEGF is a very promising compound, translating the basic science breakthroughs into clinical practice is the major challenge ahead. VEGF-B, presenting a single safety profile, protects motor neurons from degeneration in ALS animal models and, therefore, it will be particularly interesting to test its effects in ALS patients. In the present paper the authors make a brief description of the molecular properties of VEGF and its receptors and review its different features and therapeutic potential in the nervous system/neurodegenerative disease, particularly in ALS. PMID:24987705

  2. Glycosphingolipids are modulators of disease pathogenesis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Dodge, James C.; Treleaven, Christopher M.; Pacheco, Joshua; Cooper, Samantha; Bao, Channa; Abraham, Marissa; Cromwell, Mandy; Sardi, S. Pablo; Chuang, Wei-Lien; Sidman, Richard L.; Cheng, Seng H.; Shihabuddin, Lamya S.

    2015-01-01

    Recent genetic evidence suggests that aberrant glycosphingolipid metabolism plays an important role in several neuromuscular diseases including hereditary spastic paraplegia, hereditary sensory neuropathy type 1, and non-5q spinal muscular atrophy. Here, we investigated whether altered glycosphingolipid metabolism is a modulator of disease course in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Levels of ceramide, glucosylceramide, galactocerebroside, lactosylceramide, globotriaosylceramide, and the gangliosides GM3 and GM1 were significantly elevated in spinal cords of ALS patients. Moreover, enzyme activities (glucocerebrosidase-1, glucocerebrosidase-2, hexosaminidase, galactosylceramidase, α-galactosidase, and β-galactosidase) mediating glycosphingolipid hydrolysis were also elevated up to threefold. Increased ceramide, glucosylceramide, GM3, and hexosaminidase activity were also found in SOD1G93A mice, a familial model of ALS. Inhibition of glucosylceramide synthesis accelerated disease course in SOD1G93A mice, whereas infusion of exogenous GM3 significantly slowed the onset of paralysis and increased survival. Our results suggest that glycosphingolipids are likely important participants in pathogenesis of ALS and merit further analysis as potential drug targets. PMID:26056266

  3. Mitochondrial Disorders May Mimic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at Onset.

    PubMed

    Finsterer, Josef; Zarrouk-Mahjoub, Sinda

    2016-02-01

    Similarities between a mitochondrial disorder (MID) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) fade with disease progression and the development of mitochondrial multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MIMODS). However, with mild MIMODS, a MID may still be misinterpreted as ALS. We report a 48-year-old male who presented to the Neurological Hospital Rosenhügel, Vienna, Austria, in February 2001 with slowly progressive weakness, wasting and left upper limb fasciculations which spread to the shoulder girdle and lower limbs. Additionally, he developed tetraspasticity and bulbar involvement. He had been diagnosed with ALS a year previously due to electrophysiological investigations indicative of a chronic neurogenic lesion. However, a muscle biopsy revealed morphological features of a MID and a combined complex-II/III defect. Nerve conduction studies were performed over subsequent years until February 2011. This case demonstrates that MIDs may mimic ALS at onset and begin as a mono-organ disorder but develop into a multi-organ disease with long-term progression. A combined complex II/III defect may manifest with bulbar involvement. PMID:26909222

  4. Dissociated lower limb muscle involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Simon, Neil G; Lee, Michael; Bae, Jong Seok; Mioshi, Eneida; Lin, Cindy S-Y; Pfluger, Casey M; Henderson, Robert D; Vucic, Steve; Swash, Michael; Burke, David; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2015-06-01

    It has been suggested that corticomotoneuronal drive to ankle dorsiflexors is greater than to ankle plantar flexor muscles, despite the finding that plantar flexors are no less active than TA during walking and standing. The present study was undertaken to determine whether there was differential involvement of distal lower limb muscles in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), to elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms of selective muscle involvement. Prospective studies were undertaken in 52 ALS patients, including clinical assessment, disease staging (revised ALS functional rating scale), Medical Research Council sum score, and a scale of upper motor neurone (UMN) dysfunction. Motor unit number estimates (MUNE) and compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) from ankle dorsiflexors and plantar flexors were used to provide objective measures. A novel 'split leg index' was calculated as follows: SLI = CMAPDF ÷ CMAPPF. In ALS, there was significantly greater reduction of MUNE and CMAP amplitude recorded from plantar flexors when compared to dorsiflexors, suggesting preferential involvement of plantar flexor muscles, underpinning a 'split leg' appearance. The SLI correlated with clinical plantar flexor strength (R= -0.56, p < 0.001). In no patient did the SLI suggest preferential dorsiflexor involvement. In subgroup analyses, mean SLI was greatest in lower limb-onset ALS. In conclusion, the present study has established dissociated involvement of muscles acting around the ankle in ALS. We suggest this reflects underlying differences in cortical, descending or local spinal modulation of these muscles. PMID:25845764

  5. Dysregulated axonal RNA translation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Yasuda, Kyota; Mili, Stavroula

    2016-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset motor neuron disease that has been associated with a diverse array of genetic changes. Prominent among these are mutations in RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) or repeat expansions that give rise to toxic RNA species. RBPs are additionally central components of pathologic aggregates that constitute a disease hallmark, suggesting that dysregulation of RNA metabolism underlies disease progression. In the context of neuronal physiology, transport of RNAs and localized RNA translation in axons are fundamental to neuronal survival and function. Several lines of evidence suggest that axonal RNA translation is a central process perturbed by various pathogenic events associated with ALS. Dysregulated translation of specific RNA groups could underlie feedback effects that connect and reinforce disease manifestations. Among such candidates are RNAs encoding proteins involved in the regulation of microtubule dynamics. Further understanding of axonally dysregulated RNA targets and of the feedback mechanisms they induce could provide useful therapeutic insights. WIREs RNA 2016, 7:589-603. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1352 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27038103

  6. Supportive and symptomatic management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Hobson, Esther V; McDermott, Christopher J

    2016-09-01

    The main aims in the care of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are to minimize morbidity and maximize quality of life. Although no cure exists for ALS, supportive and symptomatic care provided by a specialist multidisciplinary team can improve survival. The basis for supportive management is shifting from expert consensus guidelines towards an evidence-based approach, which encourages the use of effective treatments and could reduce the risk of harm caused by ineffective or unsafe interventions. For example, respiratory support using noninvasive ventilation has been demonstrated to improve survival and quality of life, whereas evidence supporting other respiratory interventions is insufficient. Increasing evidence implicates a causal role for metabolic dysfunction in ALS, suggesting that optimizing nutrition could improve quality of life and survival. The high incidence of cognitive dysfunction and its impact on prognosis is increasingly recognized, although evidence for effective treatments is lacking. A variety of strategies are used to manage the other physical and psychological symptoms, the majority of which have yet to be thoroughly evaluated. The need for specialist palliative care throughout the disease is increasingly recognized. This Review describes the current approaches to symptomatic and supportive care in ALS and outlines the current guidance and evidence for these strategies. PMID:27514291

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    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 years of follow-up, 1153 participants developed ALS. Cohort-specific Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate rates that were then pooled with random-effects models. Results showed that lower BMI at baseline was associated with ALS; for each 5-unit increase in BMI, ALS rates were 21% lower (95% CI 14% 27%). Compared to individuals with healthy BMI, ALS rates were significantly lower among the overweight (RR = 0.76 (95% CI 0.62-0.93)) and obese (RR = 0.73 (95% CI 0.55-0.96)). Among never smokers the association persisted: RR = 0.75 (95% CI 0.65-0.85) for each 5-unit increase. Excluding the first seven years of follow-up, the associations were materially unchanged suggesting that weight loss from undiagnosed disease does not fully explain the findings. Overall, 75% of males and females had a healthy BMI at age 18/21 years, 15% of males and 8% of females were overweight or obese; there was no association with ALS although numbers with an unhealthy weight were small. In conclusion, these findings support an association between lower premorbid BMI and ALS. PMID:23134505

  8. Racing against the clock: recognizing, differentiating, diagnosing, and referring the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient.

    PubMed

    Shook, Steven J; Pioro, Erik P

    2009-01-01

    Recognition of the early symptoms and signs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, exclusion of alternative diagnoses, and referral to a tertiary center can have a significant positive impact on the lives of patients and their caregivers. This article provides the most current amyotrophic lateral sclerosis criteria, as well as helpful clinical clues to the diagnosis. An approach to laboratory testing, electrodiagnostic testing, and imaging to exclude diseases that mimic ALS also are discussed, as are atypical presentations that can confound timely diagnosis. PMID:19191305

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

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Kevin X.; Edwards, Benjamin; Lee, Sheena; Finelli, Mattéa J.; Davies, Ben

    2015-01-01

    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 SOD1G93A 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 SOD1G93A 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 SOD1G93A 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. PMID:25753484

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Cytoskeletal abnormalities in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: beneficial or detrimental effects?

    PubMed

    Julien, J P; Beaulieu, J M

    2000-11-01

    Cytoskeletal abnormalities have been reported in cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) including abnormal inclusions containing neurofilaments (NFs) and/or peripherin, reduced mRNA levels for the NF light (NF-L) protein and mutations in the NF heavy (NF-H) gene. Recently, transgenic mouse approaches have been used to address whether cytoskeletal changes may contribute to motor neuron disease. Mice lacking one of the three NF subunits are viable and do not develop motor neuron disease. Nonetheless, mice with null mutations for NF-L or for both NF-M and NF-H genes developed severe atrophy of ventral and dorsal root axons. The atrophic process is associated with hind limb paralysis during aging in mice deficient for both NF-M and NF-H proteins. The overexpression in mice of transgenes coding for wild-type or mutant NF proteins can provoke abnormal NF accumulations, axonal atrophy and sometimes motor dysfunction. However, the perikaryal NF accumulations are generally well tolerated by motor neurons and, except for expression of a mutant NF-L transgene, they did not provoke massive motor neuron death. Increasing the levels of perikaryal NF proteins may even confer protection in motor neuron disease caused by ALS-linked mutations in the superoxide dismutase (SOD1). In contrast, the overexpression of wild-type peripherin, a type of IF gene upregulated by inflammatory cytokines, provoked the formation of toxic IF inclusions with the high-molecular-weight NF proteins resulting in the death of motor neurons during aging. These results together with the detection of peripherin inclusions at early stage of disease in mice expressing mutant SOD1 suggest that IF inclusions containing peripherin may play a contributory role in ALS pathogenesis. PMID:11090858

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

    PubMed

    van Blitterswijk, Marka; van Es, Michael A; Hennekam, Eric A M; Dooijes, Dennis; van Rheenen, Wouter; Medic, Jelena; Bourque, Pierre R; Schelhaas, Helenius J; van der Kooi, Anneke J; de Visser, Marianne; de Bakker, Paul I W; Veldink, Jan H; van den Berg, Leonard H

    2012-09-01

    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. Therefore, we screened 111 familial ALS (FALS) patients from 97 families, and large cohorts of sporadic ALS (SALS) patients and control subjects for mutations in TAR DNA-binding protein (TARDBP), fused in sarcoma/translated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS), superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1), angiogenin (ANG) and chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72). Mutations were identified in 48% of FALS families, 8% of SALS patients and 0.5% of control subjects. In five of the FALS families, we identified multiple mutations in ALS-associated genes. We detected FUS/TLS and TARDBP mutations in combination with ANG mutations, and C9orf72 repeat expansions with TARDBP, SOD1 and FUS/TLS mutations. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the presence of multiple mutations in FALS is in excess of what is to be expected by chance (P = 1.57 × 10(-7)). The most compelling evidence for an oligogenic basis was found in individuals with a p.N352S mutation in TARDBP, detected in five FALS families and three apparently SALS patients. Genealogical and haplotype analyses revealed that these individuals shared a common ancestor. We obtained DNA of 14 patients with this TARDBP mutation, 50% of whom had an additional mutation (ANG, C9orf72 or homozygous TARDBP). Hereby, we provide evidence for an oligogenic aetiology of ALS. This may have important implications for the interpretation of whole exome/genome experiments designed to identify new ALS-associated genes and for genetic counselling, especially of unaffected family members. PMID:22645277

  13. Alzheimer disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: An etiopathogenic connection

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaochuan; Blanchard, Julie; Grundke-Iqbal, Inge; Wegiel, Jerzy; Deng, Han-Xiang; Siddique, Teepu; Iqbal, Khalid

    2013-01-01

    The etiopathogenesis of neither the sporadic form of Alzheimer disease (AD) nor of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are well understood. The activity of protein phosphatase-2A (PP2A), which regulates the phosphorylation of tau and neurofilaments, is negatively regulated by the myeloid leukemia-associated protein SET, also known as inhibitor-2 of PP2A, I2PP2A. In AD brain PP2A activity is compromised, probably because I2PP2A is overexpressed and is selectively cleaved at asparagine 175 into an N-terminal fragment, I2NTF, and a C-terminal fragment, I2CTF, and both fragments inhibit PP2A. Here we analyzed the spinal cords from ALS and control cases for I2PP2A cleavage and PP2A activity. As observed in AD brain, we found a selective increase in the cleavage of I2PP2A into I2NTF and I2CTF and inhibition of the activity and not the expression of PP2A in the spinal cords of ALS cases. To test the hypothesis that both AD and ALS could be triggered by I2CTF, a cleavage product of I2PP2A, we transduced by intracerebroventricular injections newborn rats with adeno-associated virus serotype 1 (AAV1) containing human I2CTF. AAV1- I2CTF produced reference memory impairment and tau pathology, and intraneuronal accumulation of Aβ by 5–8 months, and motor deficit and hyperphosphorylation and proliferation of neurofilaments, tau and TDP-43 pathologies, degeneration and loss of motor neurons and axons in the spinal cord by 10–14 months in rats. These findings suggest a previously undiscovered etiopathogenic relationship between sporadic forms of AD and ALS that is linked to I2PP2A and the potential of I2PP2A-based therapeutics for these diseases. PMID:24136402

  14. Quantitative diffusion tensor imaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: revisited.

    PubMed

    Sage, Caroline A; Van Hecke, Wim; Peeters, Ronald; Sijbers, Jan; Robberecht, Wim; Parizel, Paul; Marchal, Guy; Leemans, Alexander; Sunaert, Stefan

    2009-11-01

    Voxel-based analyses (VBA) are increasingly being used to detect white matter abnormalities with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in different types of pathologies. However, the validity, specificity, and sensitivity of statistical inferences of group differences to a large extent depend on the quality of the spatial normalization of the DTI images. Using high-dimensional nonrigid coregistration techniques that are able to align both the spatial and orientational diffusion information and incorporate appropriate templates that contain this complete DT information may improve this quality. Alternatively, a hybrid technique such as tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) may improve the reliability of the statistical results by generating voxel-wise statistics without the need for perfect image alignment and spatial smoothing. In this study, we have used (1) a coregistration algorithm that was optimized for coregistration of DTI data and (2) a population-based DTI atlas to reanalyze our previously published VBA, which compared the fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity maps of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with those of healthy controls. Additionally, we performed a complementary TBSS analysis to improve our understanding and interpretation of the VBA results. We demonstrate that, as the overall variance of the diffusion properties is lowered after normalizing the DTI data with such recently developed techniques (VBA using our own optimized high-dimensional nonrigid coregistration and TBSS), more reliable voxel-wise statistical results can be obtained than had previously been possible, with our VBA and TBSS yielding very similar results. This study provides support for the view of ALS as a multisystem disease, in which the entire frontotemporal lobe is implicated. PMID:19404990

  15. [Hepatocyte growth factor therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Aoki, Masashi

    2012-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the death of upper and lower motor neurons. Approximately 20% of familial ALS cases are caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene. We generated rats that express a human SOD1 transgene with two different ALS-associated mutations and found that these rats develop remarkable motor neuron degeneration and paralysis. This rat model, because of the larger size of the animals as compared to ALS-affected mice, will facilitate studies involving manipulation of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (e.g., implantation of intrathecal catheters for chronic therapeutic studies; CSF sampling) or spinal cord (e.g., direct administration of viral- and cell-mediated therapies). The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is one of the most potent survival-promoting factors for motor neurons. To examine its protective effect on motor neurons and its therapeutic potential, we administered human recombinant HGF (hrHGF) to the transgenic rats, by continuous intrathecal delivery, for 4 weeks from the onset of paralysis. Intrathecal administration of hrHGF attenuated motor neuron degeneration and prolonged the duration of the disease 62.7% compared with the contrast group. Our results indicated the therapeutic efficacy of continuous intrathecal administration of hrHGF in ALS rats. To explore the potential use of this treatment strategy in humans, we induced a contusive cervical spinal cord injury in the common marmoset, a primate, and then administered hrHGF intrathecally. The intrathecal administration of hrHGF promoted functional recovery. These projects have been supported by the "Super Special Consortium for Supporting the Development of Cutting-edge Medical Care" (tokku), a special program organized by the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government (research representative: Hideyuki Okano, M.D., Ph.D., Professor at Keio University). PMID:22402718

  16. [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with the SOD1 mutations].

    PubMed

    Aoki, Masashi; Warita, Hitoshi; Itoyama, Yasuto

    2008-11-01

    Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) have been linked to some familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In familial ALS kinders with mutations in the SOD1 gene, the age of onset of weakness varies greatly but the duration of illness appears to be characteristic to each mutation. For example, in patients with the L84V mutation, the average life expectancy is less than 1.5 year after the onset of symptoms, whereas patients harboring the H46R mutation have an average life expectancy of 18 years after the disease onset. In view of the evidence supporting the idea that familial ALS variants of SOD1 enzymes acquire toxic properties, the variations in the duration of illness in the different kinders might arise because each mutation imparts different degrees of toxicity to the mutant protein. We developed rats that express a human SOD1 transgene with two different ALS-associated mutations (G93A and H46R) develop striking motor neuron degeneration and paralysis. The larger size of this rat model as compared with the ALS mice will facilitate studies involving manipulations of spinal fluid (implantation of intrathecal catheters for chronic therapeutic studies; CSF sampling) and spinal cord (e.g., direct administration of viral- and cell-mediated therapies). Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is one of the most potent survival-promoting factors for motor neurons. To examine its both protective effect on motor neurons and therapeutic potential, we administered human recombinant HGF (hrHGF) by continuous intrathecal delivery to G93A transgenic (Tg) rats at onset of paralysis for 4 weeks. Intrathecal administration of hrHGF attenuates motor neuron degeneration and prolonged the duration of the disease by 63%. Our results indicated the therapeutic efficacy of continuous intrathecal administration of hrHGF in Tg rats. The results should prompt further clinical trials in ALS using continuous intrathecal administration of hrHGF. PMID:19198133

  17. Blood levels of trace metals and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Peters, Tracy L; Beard, John D; Umbach, David M; Allen, Kelli; Keller, Jean; Mariosa, Daniela; Sandler, Dale P; Schmidt, Silke; Fang, Fang; Ye, Weimin; Kamel, Freya

    2016-05-01

    Some trace metals may increase risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), whereas others may be beneficial. Our goal was to examine associations of ALS with blood levels of selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and manganese (Mn). We conducted a case-control study of 163 neurologist confirmed patients from the National Registry of Veterans with ALS and 229 frequency-matched veteran controls. We measured metal levels in blood using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between ALS and a doubling of metal levels using unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for age, gender, and race/ethnicity. ALS was inversely associated with both Se (OR=0.4, 95% CI: 0.2-0.8) and Zn (OR=0.4, 95% CI: 0.2-0.8). Inverse associations with Se were stronger in patients with bulbar compared to spinal onset, worse function, longer diagnostic delay, and longer collection delay; inverse associations with Zn were stronger for those with worse function and longer collection delay. In contrast, ALS was positively associated with Cu (OR=3.4, 95% CI: 1.5-7.9). For Mn, no linear trend was evident (OR=0.9, 95% CI: 0.6-1.3, Ptrend=0.51). Associations of Se, Zn, Cu, and Mn with ALS were independent of one another. Adjustment for lead levels attenuated the positive association of ALS with Cu but did not change associations with Se, Zn, or Mn. In conclusion, Se and Zn were inversely associated with ALS, particularly among those with worse function, suggesting that supplementation with these metals may benefit such patients, while Cu was positively associated with ALS. Deficiencies of Se and Zn and excess Cu may have a role in ALS etiology. PMID:27085208

  18. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: cell vulnerability or system vulnerability?

    PubMed Central

    Talbot, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a complex neurodegenerative disease with clinical, pathological and genetic overlap with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). No longer viewed as one disease with a single unified cause, ALS is now considered to be a clinicopathological syndrome resulting from a complex convergence of genetic susceptibility, age-related loss of cellular homeostasis, and possible environmental influences. The rapid increase in recent years of the number of genes in which mutations have been associated with ALS has led to in vitro and in vivo models that have generated a wealth of data indicating disruption of specific biochemical pathways and sub-cellular compartments. Data implicating pathways including protein misfolding, mRNA splicing, oxidative stress, proteosome and mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of ALS reinforce a disease model based on selective age-dependent vulnerability of a specific population of cells. To the clinical neurologist, however, ALS presents as a disease of focal onset and contiguous spread. Characteristic regional patterns of involvement and progression suggest that the disease does not proceed randomly but via a restricted number of anatomical pathways. These clinical observations combined with electrophysiological and brain-imaging studies underpin the concept of ALS at the macroscopic level as a ‘system degeneration’. This dichotomy between cellular and systems neurobiology raises the fundamental questions of what initiates the disease process in a specific anatomical site and how the disease is propagated. Is the essence of ALS a cell-to-cell transmission of pathology with, for example, a ‘prion-like’ mechanism, or does the cellular pathology follow degeneration of specific synaptic networks? Elucidating the interaction between cellular degeneration and system level degeneration will aid modeling of the disease in the earliest phases, improve the development of sensitive markers of disease

  19. Systemic inflammatory response and neuromuscular involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Ching-Hua; Allen, Kezia; Oei, Felicia; Leoni, Emanuela; Kuhle, Jens; Tree, Timothy; Fratta, Pietro; Sharma, Nikhil; Sidle, Katie; Howard, Robin; Orrell, Richard; Fish, Mark; Greensmith, Linda; Pearce, Neil; Gallo, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the combined blood expression of neuromuscular and inflammatory biomarkers as predictors of disease progression and prognosis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods: Logistic regression adjusted for markers of the systemic inflammatory state and principal component analysis were carried out on plasma levels of creatine kinase (CK), ferritin, and 11 cytokines measured in 95 patients with ALS and 88 healthy controls. Levels of circulating biomarkers were used to study survival by Cox regression analysis and correlated with disease progression and neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels available from a previous study. Cytokines expression was also tested in blood samples longitudinally collected for up to 4 years from 59 patients with ALS. Results: Significantly higher levels of CK, ferritin, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)–α, and interleukin (IL)–1β, IL-2, IL-8, IL-12p70, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13 and lower levels of interferon (IFN)–γ were found in plasma samples from patients with ALS compared to controls. IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ were the most highly regulated markers when all explanatory variables were jointly analyzed. High ferritin and IL-2 levels were predictors of poor survival. IL-5 levels were positively correlated with CK, as was TNF-α with NfL. IL-6 was strongly associated with CRP levels and was the only marker showing increasing expression towards end-stage disease in the longitudinal analysis. Conclusions: Neuromuscular pathology in ALS involves the systemic regulation of inflammatory markers mostly active on T-cell immune responses. Disease stratification based on the prognostic value of circulating inflammatory markers could improve clinical trials design in ALS. PMID:27308305

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

    PubMed

    Iwai, Yuta; Shibuya, Kazumoto; Misawa, Sonoko; Sekiguchi, Yukari; Watanabe, Keisuke; Amino, Hiroshi; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Wide-spread fasciculations are a characteristic feature in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggesting motor axonal hyperexcitability. Previous excitability studies have shown increased nodal persistent sodium conductances and decreased potassium currents in motor axons of ALS patients, both of the changes inducing hyperexcitability. Altered axonal excitability potentially contributes to motor neuron death in ALS, but the relationship of the extent of motor neuronal death and abnormal excitability has not been fully elucidated. We performed multiple nerve excitability measurements in the median nerve at the wrist of 140 ALS patients and analyzed the relationship of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude (index of motor neuronal loss) and excitability indices, such as strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, recovery cycle and current-threshold relationships. Compared to age-matched normal controls (n = 44), ALS patients (n = 140) had longer strength-duration time constant (SDTC: a measure of nodal persistent sodium current; p < 0.05), greater threshold changes in depolarizing threshold electrotonus (p < 0.05) and depolarizing current threshold relationship (i.e. less accommodation; (p < 0.05), greater superexcitability (a measure of fast potassium current; p < 0.05) and reduced late subexcitability (a measure of slow potassium current; p < 0.05), suggesting increased persistent sodium currents and decreased potassium currents. The reduced potassium currents were found even in the patient subgroups with normal CMAP (> 5mV). Regression analyses showed that SDTC (R = -0.22) and depolarizing threshold electrotonus (R = -0.22) increased with CMAP decline. These findings suggest that motor nerve hyperexcitability occurs in the early stage of the disease, and precedes motor neuronal loss in ALS. Modulation of altered ion channel function could be a treatment option for ALS. PMID:27383069

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

    PubMed Central

    Iwai, Yuta; Shibuya, Kazumoto; Misawa, Sonoko; Sekiguchi, Yukari; Watanabe, Keisuke; Amino, Hiroshi; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Wide-spread fasciculations are a characteristic feature in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggesting motor axonal hyperexcitability. Previous excitability studies have shown increased nodal persistent sodium conductances and decreased potassium currents in motor axons of ALS patients, both of the changes inducing hyperexcitability. Altered axonal excitability potentially contributes to motor neuron death in ALS, but the relationship of the extent of motor neuronal death and abnormal excitability has not been fully elucidated. We performed multiple nerve excitability measurements in the median nerve at the wrist of 140 ALS patients and analyzed the relationship of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude (index of motor neuronal loss) and excitability indices, such as strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, recovery cycle and current-threshold relationships. Compared to age-matched normal controls (n = 44), ALS patients (n = 140) had longer strength-duration time constant (SDTC: a measure of nodal persistent sodium current; p < 0.05), greater threshold changes in depolarizing threshold electrotonus (p < 0.05) and depolarizing current threshold relationship (i.e. less accommodation; (p < 0.05), greater superexcitability (a measure of fast potassium current; p < 0.05) and reduced late subexcitability (a measure of slow potassium current; p < 0.05), suggesting increased persistent sodium currents and decreased potassium currents. The reduced potassium currents were found even in the patient subgroups with normal CMAP (> 5mV). Regression analyses showed that SDTC (R = -0.22) and depolarizing threshold electrotonus (R = -0.22) increased with CMAP decline. These findings suggest that motor nerve hyperexcitability occurs in the early stage of the disease, and precedes motor neuronal loss in ALS. Modulation of altered ion channel function could be a treatment option for ALS. PMID:27383069

  2. Cognitive Impairment in Chinese Patients with Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Bo; Cui, Liying; Gao, Jing; Liu, Mingsheng; Li, Xiaoguang; Liu, Caiyan; Ma, Junfang; Fang, Jia

    2015-01-01

    Background It has reached a consensus that patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) could display cognitive impairment characterized by executive dysfunction or even dementia, but cognitive spectrum of Chinese patients with ALS still waits to be documented. Methods A total of 106 incident patients with sporadic ALS were enrolled and comprehensive neuropsychological tests covering memory, executive function, attention, language, and visuospatial function were administered to them. Neuropsychological performances of 76 age- and education- matched healthy controls were used for the purpose of classification and comparison. Results 106 patients were categorized into 4 subtypes:84 (79.2%) ALS with normal cognition (ALS-NC), 12 (11.3%) ALS with executive cognitive impairment (ALS-ECI), 5 (4.7%) ALS with non-executive cognitive impairment (ALS-NECI), and 5 (4.7%) ALS with frontotemporal lobe degeneration (ALS-FTLD). Under the same criteria, 2 (2.6%) and 1 (1.3%) healthy controls were diagnosed as ECI and NECI, respectively. The proportion of ECI was significantly higher in non-demented ALS than that in healthy controls, but it was not for NECI. Patients with ALS-FTLD had significantly severer bulbar function and older age than those with ALS-NC. Conclusion Comorbid FTLD occurred in around 5% of Chinese sporadic ALS cases. Different genetic background and unique age distribution of Chinese ALS patients might be the reasons for the relatively low rate of comorbid FTLD. Cognitive dysfunction, predominant but not exclusive in executive area, was present in around 16% of non-demented ALS patients. PMID:26367133

  3. Analysis of resting salivation rate in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using tracheostomy invasive ventilation.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Chiharu; Shimizu, Toshio; Nakayama, Yuki; Haraguchi, Michiko; Mochizuki, Yoko; Hakuta, Chiyoko; Taira, Masato; Numayama, Takaya; Kinoshita, Masanobu

    2016-07-28

    Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) often suffer from salivation problems such as drooling and dry mouth. We examined resting salivation rate cross-sectionally in 66 advanced ALS patients with tracheostomy invasive ventilation using a cotton roll method, and investigated clinical factors associated with salivation rate. Resting salivation rate in the patients was well preserved (median value 0.6 g/min), and was significantly more increased in patients with impairment of jaw movement (P = 0.007) or mouth opening (P = 0.003) than in patients with less impairment, and in patients with the mouth being constantly open ≥ 10 mm in rostrocaudal length than in patients with < 10 mm. These data indicate that salivation rate was increased with progression of dysfunction of voluntary jaw movement. Appropriate oral care is required in advanced ALS patients to maintain their oral hygiene and to avoid penetration of saliva into the airway. PMID:27356730

  4. Antecedent Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: What Is Protecting Whom?

    PubMed Central

    Hollinger, Sabrina K.; Okosun, Ike S.; Mitchell, Cassie S.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple studies have shown that antecedent diseases are less prevalent in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients than the general age-matched population, which suggests possible neuroprotection. Antecedent disease could be protective against ALS or, conversely, the asymptomatic early physiological underpinnings of ALS could be protective against other antecedent disease. Elucidating the impact of antecedent disease on ALS is critical for assessing diagnostic risk factors, prognostic outcomes, and intervention timing. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between antecedent conditions and ALS onset age and disease duration (i.e. survival). Medical history surveys for 1439 Emory ALS Clinic patients (Atlanta, GA, USA) were assessed for antecedent hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, obesity, asthma, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), thyroid, kidney, liver, and other non-ALS neurological diseases. The ALS onset age and disease duration are compared between the antecedent and non-antecedent populations using chi square, Kaplan–Meier, and ordinal logistic regression. When controlled for confounders, antecedent hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), arthritis, COPD, thyroid disease, and non-ALS neurological disease are found to be statistically associated with a delayed ALS onset age, whereas antecedent obesity [body mass index (BMI) > 30] was correlated to earlier ALS onset age. With the potential exceptions of liver disease and diabetes (the latter without other common comorbid conditions), antecedent disease is associated with overall shorter ALS disease duration. The unique potential relationship between antecedent liver disease and longer ALS disease duration warrants further investigation, especially given liver disease was found to be a factor of 4–7 times less prevalent in ALS. Notably, most conditions associated with delayed ALS onset are also associated with shorter

  5. Lockhart Clarke’s contribution to the description of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:20576696

  6. Proteomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    CHEN, YAN; LIU, XIAO-HUI; WU, JIAN-JUN; REN, HUI-MING; WANG, JIAN; DING, ZHENG-TONG; JIANG, YU-PING

    2016-01-01

    The present study used comparative proteomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients in order to identify proteins that may act as diagnostic biomarkers and indicators of the pathogenesis of ALS. This analysis was performed using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) technology, coupled with 2-dimensional liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery software was utilized for bioinformatic analysis of the data. Following this, western blotting was performed in order to examine the expression of 3 candidate proteins in ALS patients compared with healthy individuals [as a normal control (NC) group] or patients with other neurological disease (OND); these proteins were insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-2), glutamate receptor 4 (GRIA4) and leucine-rich α-2-glycoprotein 1 (LRG1). Clinical data, including gender, age, disease duration and ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) score, were also collected in the ALS patients. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed between the clinical data and the results of western blot analysis. A total of 248 distinct proteins were identified in the ALS and NC groups, amongst which a significant difference could be identified in 35 proteins; of these, 21 proteins were downregulated and 14 were upregulated. These differentially-expressed proteins were thus revealed to be associated with ALS. The western blot analysis confirmed a proportion of the data attained in the iTRAQ analysis, revealing the differential protein expression of IGF-2 and GRIA4 between the ALS and NC groups. IGF-2 was significantly downregulated in ALS patients (P=0.017) and GRIA4 was significantly upregulated (P=0.016). These results were subsequently validated in the 35-patient ALS and OND groups (P=0.002), but no significant difference was identified in LRG1 expression between these groups. GRIA4 protein expression was higher

  7. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    Davanipour, Z.; Sobel, E.; Bowman, J.D.; Qian, Z.; Will, A.D.

    1997-03-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  9. Side of Limb-Onset Predicts Laterality of Gray Matter Loss in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Cuiping; Jin, Jiaoting; Niu, Chen; Dang, Jingxia

    2014-01-01

    Conflicting findings have been reported regarding the lateralized brain abnormality in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we aimed to investigate the probable lateralization of gray matter (GM) atrophy in ALS patients. We focused on the relationship between the asymmetry in decreased GM volume and the side of disease onset in patients with limb-onset. Structural imaging evaluation of normalized atrophy (SIENAX) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) were used to assess differences in global and local brain regions in patients with heterogeneous body onset and subgroups with different side of limb-onset. We found global brain atrophy and GM losses in the frontal and parietal areas in each patient group as well as left predominant GM losses in the total cohort. The intriguing findings in subgroup analyses demonstrated that the motor cortex in the contralateral hemisphere of the initially involved limb was most affected. We also found that regional brain atrophy was related to disease progression rate. Our observations suggested that side of limb-onset can predict laterality of GM loss in ALS patients and disease progression correlates with the extent of cortical abnormality. PMID:25093168

  10. Dietary BMAA Exposure in an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Cluster from Southern France

    PubMed Central

    Masseret, Estelle; Banack, Sandra; Boumédiène, Farid; Abadie, Eric; Brient, Luc; Pernet, Fabrice; Juntas-Morales, Raoul; Pageot, Nicolas; Metcalf, James; Cox, Paul; Camu, William

    2013-01-01

    Background Dietary exposure to the cyanotoxin BMAA is suspected to be the cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Western Pacific Islands. In Europe and North America, this toxin has been identified in the marine environment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clusters but, to date, only few dietary exposures have been described. Objectives We aimed at identifying cluster(s) of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Hérault district, a coastal district from Southern France, and to search, in the identified area(s), for the existence of a potential dietary source of BMAA. Methods A spatio-temporal cluster analysis was performed in the district, considering all incident amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases identified from 1994 to 2009 by our expert center. We investigated the cluster area with serial collections of oysters and mussels that were subsequently analyzed blind for BMAA concentrations. Results We found one significant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cluster (p = 0.0024), surrounding the Thau lagoon, the most important area of shellfish production and consumption along the French Mediterranean coast. BMAA was identified in mussels (1.8 µg/g to 6.0 µg/g) and oysters (0.6 µg/g to 1.6 µg/g). The highest concentrations of BMAA were measured during summer when the highest picocyanobacteria abundances were recorded. Conclusions While it is not possible to ascertain a direct link between shellfish consumption and the existence of this ALS cluster, these results add new data to the potential association of BMAA with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, one of the most severe neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:24349504

  11. 76 FR 78823 - Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Evaluation of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-20

    ... INFORMATION: On June 23, 2010, VA published in the Federal Register (75 FR 35711) a proposed rule that would... Sclerosis AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans... criterion provided for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to provide an evaluation of 100 percent for...

  12. Increased IL-17, a Pathogenic Link between Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Di Summa, Alfonsina; Capone, Loredana; Stuefer, Josef; Piccin, Andrea; Porzia, Alessandra; Capozzi, Antonella; Sorice, Maurizio; Binazzi, Raffaella; Gandini, Lathá; Rimenti, Giovanni; Mian, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The immune system protects the organism from foreign invaders and foreign substances and is involved in physiological functions that range from tissue repair to neurocognition. However, an excessive or dysregulated immune response can cause immunopathology and disease. A 39-year-old man was affected by severe hepatosplenic schistosomiasis mansoni and by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. One question that arose was, whether there was a relation between the parasitic and the neurodegenerative disease. IL-17, a proinflammatory cytokine, is produced mainly by T helper-17 CD4 cells, a recently discovered new lineage of effector CD4 T cells. Experimental mouse models of schistosomiasis have shown that IL-17 is a key player in the immunopathology of schistosomiasis. There are also reports that suggest that IL-17 might have an important role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is hypothesized that the factors that might have led to increased IL-17 in the hepatosplenic schistosomiasis mansoni might also have contributed to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the described patient. A multitude of environmental factors, including infections, xenobiotic substances, intestinal microbiota, and vitamin D deficiency, that are able to induce a proinflammatory immune response polarization, might favor the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in predisposed individuals. PMID:25379310

  13. 78 FR 72573 - Specially Adapted Housing Eligibility for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Beneficiaries

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-03

    ... Federal Register on December 20, 2011 (76 FR 78823), VA amended its regulations pertaining to the percent... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 3 RIN 2900-AO84 Specially Adapted Housing Eligibility for Amyotrophic Lateral... housing (SAH). The amendment authorizes automatic issuance of a certificate of eligibility for SAH to...

  14. Characteristics of Speaking Rate in the Dysarthria Associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Greg S.; Weismer, Gary

    1993-01-01

    The ability to alter speaking rate was studied in nine adult subjects with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and nine control subjects. Results suggest that the relationship between speaking rate, articulation rate, pause duration, and pause frequency remained largely intact for the dysarthric speakers. Data showed greater dependence on pausing by the…

  15. Speech Intelligibility and Marital Communication in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: An Exploratory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joubert, Karin; Bornman, Juan; Alant, Erna

    2011-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rapidly progressive neuromuscular disease, has a devastating impact not only on individuals diagnosed with ALS but also their spouses. Speech intelligibility, often compromised as a result of dysarthria, affects the couple's ability to maintain effective, intimate communication. The purpose of this…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  18. Non-human primate model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with cytoplasmic mislocalization of TDP-43

    PubMed Central

    Uchida, Azusa; Sasaguri, Hiroki; Kimura, Nobuyuki; Tajiri, Mio; Ohkubo, Takuya; Ono, Fumiko; Sakaue, Fumika; Kanai, Kazuaki; Hirai, Takashi; Sano, Tatsuhiko; Shibuya, Kazumoto; Kobayashi, Masaki; Yamamoto, Mariko; Yokota, Shigefumi; Kubodera, Takayuki; Tomori, Masaki; Sakaki, Kyohei; Enomoto, Mitsuhiro; Hirai, Yukihiko; Kumagai, Jiro; Yasutomi, Yasuhiro; Mochizuki, Hideki; Kuwabara, Satoshi; Uchihara, Toshiki; Mizusawa, Hidehiro

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive motoneuron loss. Redistribution of transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and the presence of cystatin C-positive Bunina bodies are considered pathological hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but their significance has not been fully elucidated. Since all reported rodent transgenic models using wild-type transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 failed to recapitulate these features, we expected a species difference and aimed to make a non-human primate model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We overexpressed wild-type human transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 in spinal cords of cynomolgus monkeys and rats by injecting adeno-associated virus vector into the cervical cord, and examined the phenotype using behavioural, electrophysiological, neuropathological and biochemical analyses. These monkeys developed progressive motor weakness and muscle atrophy with fasciculation in distal hand muscles first. They also showed regional cytoplasmic transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 mislocalization with loss of nuclear transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 staining in the lateral nuclear group of spinal cord innervating distal hand muscles and cystatin C-positive cytoplasmic aggregates, reminiscent of the spinal cord pathology of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 mislocalization was an early or presymptomatic event and was later associated with neuron loss. These findings suggest that the transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 mislocalization leads to α-motoneuron degeneration. Furthermore, truncation of transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 was not a prerequisite for motoneuronal degeneration, and

  19. Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping of the Motor Cortex in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Primary Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Liu, Tian; Gupta, Ajay; Zheng, Karen; Seedial, Stephen; Shtilbans, Alexander; Shahbazi, Mona; Lange, Dale; Wang, Yi; Tsiouris, A. John

    2016-01-01

    Objective Diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) is often difficult due to absence of disease biomarkers. Our aim was to investigate quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) of the motor cortex as a potential quantitative biomarker for the diagnosis of ALS and PLS. Materials and Methods Utilizing an institutional review board approved retrospective database, QSM images for 16 patients with upper motor neuron disease (12 with ALS and 4 with PLS; mean age 56.3; 56% male) and 23 control patients (mean age 56.6; 57% male) were reviewed. Two neuroradiologists, blinded to diagnosis, qualitatively assessed QSM, T2, T2*, and T2 FLAIR-weighted images. Relative motor cortex susceptibility (RMCS) was quantitatively calculated by subtracting adjacent white matter/CSF signal intensity from mean motor cortex susceptibility on the axial image most representative of the hand lobule, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed. The Fisher’s exact and Student’s t tests were used to evaluate for statistical differences between the groups. Results Qualitatively, QSM had higher diagnostic accuracy than T2, T2*, or T2 FLAIR for the diagnosis of ALS/PLS. Quantitatively, RMCS was found to be significantly higher in patients with motor neuron disease than in control patients (46.0 and 35.0, respectively; p<0.001). ROC analysis demonstrated an area-under-the-curve of 0.88 (p<0.0001) and an optimal cutoff value of 40.5 ppb for distinguishing between control and ALS/PLS patients (sensitivity, 87.5%; specificity, 87.0%). Conclusions QSM is a sensitive and specific quantitative biomarker of iron deposition in the motor cortex in ALS and PLS. PMID:25905946

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. MTHFSD and DDX58 are novel RNA-binding proteins abnormally regulated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    MacNair, Laura; Xiao, Shangxi; Miletic, Denise; Ghani, Mahdi; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Keith, Julia; Zinman, Lorne; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Robertson, Janice

    2016-01-01

    Tar DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is an RNA-binding protein normally localized to the nucleus of cells, where it elicits functions related to RNA metabolism such as transcriptional regulation and alternative splicing. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, TDP-43 is mislocalized from the nucleus to the cytoplasm of diseased motor neurons, forming ubiquitinated inclusions. Although mutations in the gene encoding TDP-43, TARDBP, are found in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, these are rare. However, TDP-43 pathology is common to over 95% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases, suggesting that abnormalities of TDP-43 play an active role in disease pathogenesis. It is our hypothesis that a loss of TDP-43 from the nucleus of affected motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis will lead to changes in RNA processing and expression. Identifying these changes could uncover molecular pathways that underpin motor neuron degeneration. Here we have used translating ribosome affinity purification coupled with microarray analysis to identify the mRNAs being actively translated in motor neurons of mutant TDP-43(A315T) mice compared to age-matched non-transgenic littermates. No significant changes were found at 5 months (presymptomatic) of age, but at 10 months (symptomatic) the translational profile revealed significant changes in genes involved in RNA metabolic process, immune response and cell cycle regulation. Of 28 differentially expressed genes, seven had a ≥ 2-fold change; four were validated by immunofluorescence labelling of motor neurons in TDP-43(A315T) mice, and two of these were confirmed by immunohistochemistry in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases. Both of these identified genes, DDX58 and MTHFSD, are RNA-binding proteins, and we show that TDP-43 binds to their respective mRNAs and we identify MTHFSD as a novel component of stress granules. This discovery-based approach has for the first time revealed translational changes in motor neurons of a TDP-43 mouse model

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

    PubMed Central

    Therrien, Martine; Parker, J. Alex

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases share pathogenic mechanisms at the cellular level including protein misfolding, excitotoxicity and altered RNA homeostasis among others. Recent advances have shown that the genetic causes underlying these pathologies overlap, hinting at the existence of a genetic network for neurodegeneration. This is perhaps best illustrated by the recent discoveries of causative mutations for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). Once thought to be distinct entities, it is now recognized that these diseases exist along a genetic spectrum. With this wealth of discoveries comes the need to develop new genetic models of ALS and FTD to investigate not only pathogenic mechanisms linked to causative mutations, but to uncover potential genetic interactions that may point to new therapeutic targets. Given the conservation of many disease genes across evolution, Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal system to investigate genetic interactions amongst these genes. Here we review the use of C. elegans to model ALS and investigate a putative genetic network for ALS/FTD that may extend to other neurological disorders. PMID:24860590

  3. Mutations in the Profilin 1 Gene Cause Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chi-Hong; Fallini, Claudia; Ticozzi, Nicola; Keagle, Pamela J.; Sapp, Peter C.; Piotrowska, Katarzyna; Lowe, Patrick; Koppers, Max; McKenna-Yasek, Diane; Baron, Desiree M.; Kost, Jason E.; Gonzalez-Perez, Paloma; Fox, Andrew D.; Adams, Jenni; Taroni, Franco; Tiloca, Cinzia; Leclerc, Ashley Lyn; Chafe, Shawn C.; Mangroo, Dev; Moore, Melissa J.; Zitzewitz, Jill A.; Xu, Zuo-Shang; van den Berg, Leonard H.; Glass, Jonathan D.; Siciliano, Gabriele; Cirulli, Elizabeth T.; Goldstein, David B.; Salachas, Francois; Meininger, Vincent; Rossoll, Wilfried; Ratti, Antonia; Gellera, Cinzia; Bosco, Daryl A.; Bassell, Gary J.; Silani, Vincenzo; Drory, Vivian E.; Brown, Robert H.; Landers, John E.

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder resulting from motor neuron death. Approximately 10% of cases are familial (FALS), typically with a dominant inheritance mode. Despite numerous advances in recent years1-9, nearly 50% of FALS cases have unknown genetic etiology. Here we show that mutations within the profilin 1 (PFN1) gene can cause FALS. PFN1 is critical for monomeric (G)-actin conversion to filamentous (F)-actin. Exome sequencing of two large ALS families revealed different mutations within the PFN1 gene. Additional sequence analysis identified 4 mutations in 7 out of 274 FALS cases. Cells expressing PFN1 mutants contain ubiquitinated, insoluble aggregates that in many cases contain the ALS-associated protein TDP-43. PFN1 mutants also display decreased bound actin levels and can inhibit axon outgrowth. Furthermore, primary motor neurons expressing mutant PFN1 display smaller growth cones with a reduced F-/G-actin ratio. These observations further document that cytoskeletal pathway alterations contribute to ALS pathogenesis. PMID:22801503

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

    PubMed

    Connolly, Sheelah; Galvin, Miriam; Hardiman, Orla

    2015-04-01

    Most health-care professionals are trained to promote and maintain life and often have difficulty when faced with the often rapid decline and death of people with terminal illnesses such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). By contrast, data suggest that early and open discussion of end-of-life issues with patients and families allows time for reflection and planning, can obviate the introduction of unwanted interventions or procedures, can provide reassurance, and can alleviate fear. Patients' perspectives regarding end-of-life interventions and use of technologies might differ from those of the health professionals involved in their care, and health-care professionals should recognise this and respect the patient's autonomy. Advance care directives can preserve autonomy, but their legal validity and use varies between countries. Clinical management of the end of life should aim to maximise quality of life of both the patient and caregiver and, when possible, incorporate appropriate palliation of distressing physical, psychosocial, and existential distress. Training of health-care professionals should include the development of communication skills that help to sensitively manage the inevitability of death. The emotional burden for health-care professionals caring for people with terminal neurological disease should be recognised, with structures and procedures developed to address compassion, fatigue, and the moral and ethical challenges related to providing end-of-life care. PMID:25728958

  5. Cognitive-behavioral changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Screening prevalence and impact on patients and caregivers.

    PubMed

    Bock, Meredith; Duong, Y-Nhy; Kim, Anthony; Allen, Isabel; Murphy, Jennifer; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Our objective was to evaluate the association between cognitive-behavioral deficits and patient quality of life (QoL), caregiver burden, and disease stage in a population of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We administered the ALS Cognitive-Behavioral Screen™ to 86 patients with ALS. Multiple regression was used to evaluate the association between cognitive or behavioral deficits and disease stage, patient QoL, and caregiver burden while controlling for clinically important variables. Of 86 participants enrolled, 53 (62%) had some degree of cognitive impairment, 32 (37%) were behaviorally impaired and four met both cognitive and behavioral screening criteria for frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The severity of cognitive-behavioral deficits was not associated with patient QoL. More pronounced cognitive deficits (beta = -1.4, p = 0.04) and behavioral symptoms (-0.69, p < 0.001) predicted higher caregiver burden. Self-reported QoL was lower in patients with more depressive symptoms (beta = -0.32, p < 0.001) and more advanced disease (beta =0.10, p = 0.01). In conclusion, general QoL for patients with ALS is not associated with cognitive or behavioral deficits. More severe cognitive deficits and caregiver-reported behavioral symptoms predict higher caregiver burden. Routine cognitive-behavioral screening can identify patients who require full neuropsychological examination, inform patient counseling, and identify caregivers in need of early, targeted interventions. PMID:27043386

  6. Cannabis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: hypothetical and practical applications, and a call for clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Carter, Gregory T; Abood, Mary E; Aggarwal, Sunil K; Weiss, Michael D

    2010-08-01

    Significant advances have increased our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), yet this has not translated into any greatly effective therapies. It appears that a number of abnormal physiological processes occur simultaneously in this devastating disease. Ideally, a multidrug regimen, including glutamate antagonists, antioxidants, a centrally acting anti-inflammatory agent, microglial cell modulators (including tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-alpha] inhibitors), an antiapoptotic agent, 1 or more neurotrophic growth factors, and a mitochondrial function-enhancing agent would be required to comprehensively address the known pathophysiology of ALS. Remarkably, cannabis appears to have activity in all of those areas. Preclinical data indicate that cannabis has powerful antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. In the G93A-SOD1 ALS mouse, this has translated to prolonged neuronal cell survival, delayed onset, and slower progression of the disease. Cannabis also has properties applicable to symptom management of ALS, including analgesia, muscle relaxation, bronchodilation, saliva reduction, appetite stimulation, and sleep induction. With respect to the treatment of ALS, from both a disease modifying and symptom management viewpoint, clinical trials with cannabis are the next logical step. Based on the currently available scientific data, it is reasonable to think that cannabis might significantly slow the progression of ALS, potentially extending life expectancy and substantially reducing the overall burden of the disease. PMID:20439484

  7. Cortical drive to breathe in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a dyspnoea-worsening defence?

    PubMed

    Georges, Marjolaine; Moraviec, Elise; Raux, Mathieu; Gonzalez-Bermejo, Jésus; Pradat, Pierre-François; Similowski, Thomas; Morélot-Panzini, Capucine

    2016-06-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease causing diaphragm weakness that can be partially compensated by inspiratory neck muscle recruitment. This disappears during sleep, which is compatible with a cortical contribution to the drive to breathe. We hypothesised that ALS patients with respiratory failure exhibit respiratory-related cortical activity, relieved by noninvasive ventilation (NIV) and related to dyspnoea.We studied 14 ALS patients with respiratory failure. Electroencephalographic recordings (EEGs) and electromyographic recordings of inspiratory neck muscles were performed during spontaneous breathing and NIV. Dyspnoea was evaluated using the Multidimensional Dyspnea Profile.Eight patients exhibited slow EEG negativities preceding inspiration (pre-inspiratory potentials) during spontaneous breathing. Pre-inspiratory potentials were attenuated during NIV (p=0.04). Patients without pre-inspiratory potentials presented more advanced forms of ALS and more severe respiratory impairment, but less severe dyspnoea. Patients with pre-inspiratory potentials had stronger inspiratory neck muscle activation and more severe dyspnoea during spontaneous breathing.ALS-related diaphragm weakness can engage cortical resources to augment the neural drive to breathe. This might reflect a compensatory mechanism, with the intensity of dyspnoea a negative consequence. Disease progression and the corresponding neural loss could abolish this phenomenon. A putative cognitive cost should be investigated. PMID:27076590

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. De novo FUS P525L mutation in Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with dysphonia and diplopia.

    PubMed

    Leblond, Claire S; Webber, Alina; Gan-Or, Ziv; Moore, Fraser; Dagher, Alain; Dion, Patrick A; Rouleau, Guy A

    2016-04-01

    Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (jALS) is characterized by progressive upper and lower motor neuron degeneration leading to facial muscle spasticity, spastic dysarthria, and spastic gait with an early onset (before 25 years old). Unlike adult-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), patients with jALS tend to have slower progression of motor neuron disease and prolonged survival to a normal life expectancy. Mutations in FUS gene have been reported in jALS,(1) including p.P525L mutation that has been consistently associated with early onset and aggressive presentation.(2) Here, we report a patient carrying p.P525L FUS mutation and experiencing an aggressive course of ALS presenting with dysphonia and diplopia. PMID:27123482

  11. Clinicopathologic variability of the GRN A9D mutation, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Ashley; Fujioka, Shinsuke; Rutherford, Nicola J.; Ferman, Tanis J.; Broderick, Daniel F.; Boylan, Kevin B.; Graff-Radford, Neill R.; Uitti, Ryan J.; Rademakers, Rosa; Wszolek, Zbigniew K.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: We examined the clinical and pathologic phenotypes of GRN mutation carriers with the pathogenic A9D (g.26C>A) missense mutation. Methods: Three patients with GRN A9D mutations were evaluated clinically and came to autopsy with subsequent neuropathologic examination. Results: The clinical diagnoses of patients with GRN A9D mutations were amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, atypical extrapyramidal disorder, and behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia. Immunohistochemistry for TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) revealed variability in morphology and distribution of pathology. One patient had notable involvement of motor neurons in the spinal cord as well as type B TDP-43, whereas 2 other patients had type A TDP-43. Conclusions: The clinical presentation of the GRN A9D missense mutation is not restricted to behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and may include aphasia, extrapyramidal features, and, notably, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:23596077

  12. Concomitant rheumatoid arthritis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: report of two new cases and review of literature.

    PubMed

    Padovan, Melissa; Caniatti, Luisa Maria; Trotta, Francesco; Govoni, Marcello

    2011-06-01

    To describe a rare association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Two new cases of patients with RA who developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), one receiving anti-TNFα agents, were reported. Only other five cases of this rare association have been previously described in literature. The simultaneous presence of the two diseases represents a difficult diagnostic challenge because RA may mimic some musculoskeletal symptoms of ALS. There is no evidence in favor of a common pathophysiologic mechanism, and thus the possibility of a fortuitous association must be raised. A neurotoxic side effect of various drugs for RA treatment could be considered. Casual or causal association remains a difficult choice. The possibility of a coincidental association must be raised but neurologic side effects of TNFα blockers lead to discussion. PMID:21258799

  13. Copper mediated neurological disorder: visions into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer and Menkes disease.

    PubMed

    Ahuja, Anami; Dev, Kapil; Tanwar, Ranjeet S; Selwal, Krishan K; Tyagi, Pankaj K

    2015-01-01

    Copper (Cu) is a vital redox dynamic metal that is possibly poisonous in superfluous. Metals can traditionally or intricately cause propagation in reactive oxygen species (ROS) accretion in cells and this may effect in programmed cell death. Accumulation of Cu causes necrosis that looks to be facilitated by DNA damage, followed by activation of P53. Cu dyshomeostasis has also been concerned in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Menkes disease and is directly related to neurodegenerative syndrome that usually produces senile dementia. These mortal syndromes are closely related with an immense damage of neurons and synaptic failure in the brain. This review focuses on copper mediated neurological disorders with insights into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer and Menkes disease. PMID:24975171

  14. TARDBP mutations in individuals with sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kabashi, Edor; Valdmanis, Paul N; Dion, Patrick; Spiegelman, Dan; McConkey, Brendan J; Vande Velde, Christine; Bouchard, Jean-Pierre; Lacomblez, Lucette; Pochigaeva, Ksenia; Salachas, Francois; Pradat, Pierre-Francois; Camu, William; Meininger, Vincent; Dupre, Nicolas; Rouleau, Guy A

    2008-05-01

    Recently, TDP-43 was identified as a key component of ubiquitinated aggregates in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an adult-onset neurological disorder that leads to the degeneration of motor neurons. Here we report eight missense mutations in nine individuals--six from individuals with sporadic ALS (SALS) and three from those with familial ALS (FALS)--and a concurring increase of a smaller TDP-43 product. These findings further corroborate that TDP-43 is involved in ALS pathogenesis. PMID:18372902

  15. Genetic analysis of CHCHD10 in French familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Teyssou, Elisa; Chartier, Laura; Albert, Mélanie; Bouscary, Alexandra; Antoine, Jean-Christophe; Camdessanché, Jean-Philippe; Rotolo, Francesco; Couratier, Philippe; Salachas, François; Seilhean, Danielle; Millecamps, Stéphanie

    2016-06-01

    Mutations in CHCHD10 have been reported as the cause of a large panel of neurologic disorders. To confirm the contribution of this gene to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease, we analyzed the 4 coding exons of CHCHD10 by Sanger sequencing in a cohort of 118 French familial ALS already excluded for all known ALS-related genes. We did not find any pathogenic mutation suggesting that CHCHD10 is not a major genetic cause of familial ALS, in France. PMID:27095681

  16. [Effects of Vitamin B12 in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Peripheral Neuropathy].

    PubMed

    Nodera, Hiroyuki; Izumi, Yuishin; Kaji, Ryuji

    2015-09-01

    Vitamin B(12)(vB(12)) deficient is regarded as iatrogenic in some cases. Although the recommended oral intake of vB(12) has been determined, administration of vB(12) exceeding the recommended dose could have multiple pharmacological effects. "Ultra-high dose" vB(12) therapy has been used for peripheral neuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, suggesting its promising neuroprotective effects. PMID:26329154

  17. An Overview of Potential Targets for Treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Huntington's Disease

    PubMed Central

    de Paula, Caroline Zocatelli; Gonçalves, Bruno Daniel Correia; Vieira, Luciene Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of people worldwide. Progressive damage or loss of neurons, neurodegeneration, has severe consequences on the mental and physical health of a patient. Despite all efforts by scientific community, there is currently no cure or manner to slow degeneration progression. We review some treatments that attempt to prevent the progress of some of major neurodegenerative diseases: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Huntington's disease. PMID:26295035

  18. The Dilemma of the Clinical Trialist in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: The Hurdles to Finding a Cure.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can be described as a disease with a poorly understood pathophysiologic mechanism and no treatment that dramatically impacts the course of the disease. Clinical trialists are faced with finding small treatment effects against a background of multiple potential treatments, a past history of failed trials, and heterogenous clinical outcomes. This article summarizes this environment and provides a rationale for drug development going forward. PMID:26515630

  19. Mutations in the Matrin 3 gene cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Janel O; Pioro, Erik P; Boehringer, Ashley; Chia, Ruth; Feit, Howard; Renton, Alan E; Pliner, Hannah A; Abramzon, Yevgeniya; Marangi, Giuseppe; Winborn, Brett J; Gibbs, J Raphael; Nalls, Michael A; Morgan, Sarah; Shoai, Maryam; Hardy, John; Pittman, Alan; Orrell, Richard W; Malaspina, Andrea; Sidle, Katie C; Fratta, Pietro; Harms, Matthew B; Baloh, Robert H; Pestronk, Alan; Weihl, Conrad C; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Zinman, Lorne; Drory, Vivian E; Borghero, Giuseppe; Mora, Gabriele; Calvo, Andrea; Rothstein, Jeffrey D; Drepper, Carsten; Sendtner, Michael; Singleton, Andrew B; Taylor, J Paul; Cookson, Mark R; Restagno, Gabriella; Sabatelli, Mario; Bowser, Robert; Chiò, Adriano; Traynor, Bryan J

    2014-05-01

    MATR3 is an RNA- and DNA-binding protein that interacts with TDP-43, a disease protein linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia. Using exome sequencing, we identified mutations in MATR3 in ALS kindreds. We also observed MATR3 pathology in ALS-affected spinal cords with and without MATR3 mutations. Our data provide more evidence supporting the role of aberrant RNA processing in motor neuron degeneration. PMID:24686783

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Cellular studies have been undertaken on a nonamer peptide nucleic acid (PNA) sequence, which binds to mRNA encoding superoxide dismutase 1, and a series of peptide nucleic acids conjugated to synthetic lipophilic vitamin analogs including a recently prepared menadione (vitamin K) analog. Reduction of both mutant superoxide dismutase 1 inclusion formation and endoplasmic reticulum stress, two of the key cellular pathological hallmarks in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, by two of the prepared PNA oligomers is reported for the first time. PMID:26935939

  1. Mutations in the Matrin 3 gene cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Feit, Howard; Renton, Alan E.; Pliner, Hannah A.; Abramzon, Yevgeniya; Marangi, Giuseppe; Winborn, Brett J.; Gibbs, J Raphael; Nalls, Michael A.; Morgan, Sarah; Shoai, Maryam; Hardy, John; Pittman, Alan; Orrell, Richard W.; Malaspina, Andrea; Sidle, Katie C.; Fratta, Pietro; Harms, Matthew B.; Baloh, Robert H.; Pestronk, Alan; Weihl, Conrad C.; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Zinman, Lorne; Drory, Vivian E.; Borghero, Giuseppe; Mora, Gabriele; Calvo, Andrea; Rothstein, Jeffrey D.; Drepper, Carsten; Sendtner, Michael; Singleton, Andrew B.; Taylor, J. Paul; Cookson, Mark R.

    2014-01-01

    MATR3 is an RNA/DNA binding protein that interacts with TDP-43, a major disease protein linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and fronto-temporal dementia. Using exome sequencing, we identified mutations in MATR3 in ALS kindreds. We also observed MATR3 pathology in the spinal cords of ALS cases with and without MATR3 mutations. Our data provide additional evidence supporting the role of aberrant RNA processing in motor neuron degeneration. PMID:24686783

  2. Dysequilibrium between caspases and their inhibitors in a mouse model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Tokuda, Eiichi; Ono, Shin-ichi; Ishige, Kumiko; Watanabe, Shunsuke; Okawa, Eriko; Ito, Yoshihisa; Suzuki, Takashi

    2007-05-01

    Mutations in copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutant SOD1 protein likely gains a novel cytotoxic property, leading to the death of motor neurons. We therefore investigated whether caspase-mediated apoptosis is associated with novel cytotoxic properties in a rodent model for familial ALS (G93A SOD1 transgenic mice). Caspase-9 (an effecter in the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway), caspase-8 (an effecter in the Fas apoptotic pathway), and caspase-3 (an executioner of both pathways) proteins were all present in nonactive forms in the spinal cords of wild-type mice during the early stage of the disease (8 weeks), at which time the mice had not yet exhibited motor paralysis. In transgenic mice, however, these proteins were present in their active forms, and their mRNA levels were significantly upregulated in the represent to this conversion from nonactive to active forms. During the advanced stage of the disease (16 weeks), when paralysis was evident, the active caspase levels were further elevated. On the other hand, the mRNA and protein levels of survivin, a counteraction protein against caspases, were significantly suppressed during the early stage, and sharply increased during the advanced stage. Although the mRNA and protein levels of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) remained at the same levels as those seen in the control (wild-type mice) during the early stage, they were significantly depressed at an age of 16 weeks. These findings were observed exclusively in the spinal cord, the region responsible for the disease, and not in the cerebellum, a non-responsible region. We conclude that conditions facilitating the apoptotic process during the early stage of the disease play causative roles in the pathogenesis of ALS and that the suppression of XIAP levels during the advanced stage could contribute to disease expression and/or progression. PMID:17397813

  3. Changes in cognition and behaviour in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: nature of impairment and implications for assessment.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Laura H; Abrahams, Sharon

    2013-04-01

    Increased awareness of cognitive and behavioural change in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has been driven by various clinic-based and population-based studies. A frontotemporal syndrome occurs in a substantial proportion of patients, a subgroup of whom present with frontotemporal dementia. Deficits are characterised by executive and working-memory impairments, extending to changes in language and social cognition. Behaviour and social cognition abnormalities are closely similar to those reported in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, implying a clinical spectrum linking amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Cognitive impairment should be considered in clinical management, but few specialist assessment resources are available, and thus the cognitive status of most patients is unknown. Standard assessment procedures are not appropriate to detect dysfunction due to progressive physical disability; techniques that better measure the problems encountered by this group of patients are needed to further establish disease effects. Screening instruments are needed that are validated specifically for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, encompass the heterogeneity of impairment, and accommodate physical disability. PMID:23518330

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

    PubMed Central

    Herrando-Grabulosa, Mireia; Mulet, Roger; Pujol, Albert; Mas, José Manuel; Navarro, Xavier; Aloy, Patrick; Coma, Mireia; Casas, Caty

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor neuron function for which there is no effective treatment. One of the main difficulties in developing new therapies lies on the multiple events that contribute to motor neuron death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Several pathological mechanisms have been identified as underlying events of the disease process, including excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, altered axonal transport, proteasome dysfunction, synaptic deficits, glial cell contribution, and disrupted clearance of misfolded proteins. Our approach in this study was based on a holistic vision of these mechanisms and the use of computational tools to identify polypharmacology for targeting multiple etiopathogenic pathways. By using a repositioning analysis based on systems biology approach (TPMS technology), we identified and validated the neuroprotective potential of two new drug combinations: Aliretinoin and Pranlukast, and Aliretinoin and Mefloquine. In addition, we estimated their molecular mechanisms of action in silico and validated some of these results in a well-established in vitro model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis based on cultured spinal cord slices. The results verified that Aliretinoin and Pranlukast, and Aliretinoin and Mefloquine promote neuroprotection of motor neurons and reduce microgliosis. PMID:26807587

  5. Pathological hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal lobar degeneration in transgenic mice produced with TDP-43 genomic fragments.

    PubMed

    Swarup, Vivek; Phaneuf, Daniel; Bareil, Christine; Robertson, Janice; Rouleau, Guy A; Kriz, Jasna; Julien, Jean-Pierre

    2011-09-01

    Transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 ubiquitinated inclusions are a hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions. Yet, mutations in TARDBP, the gene encoding these inclusions are associated with only 3% of sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Recent transgenic mouse studies have revealed a high degree of toxicity due to transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 proteins when overexpressed under the control of strong neuronal gene promoters, resulting in early paralysis and death, but without the presence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like ubiquitinated transactive response DNA-binding protein 43-positive inclusions. To better mimic human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we generated transgenic mice that exhibit moderate and ubiquitous expression of transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 species using genomic fragments that encode wild-type human transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 or familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked mutant transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (G348C) and (A315T). These novel transgenic mice develop many age-related pathological and biochemical changes reminiscent of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis including ubiquitinated transactive response DNA-binding protein 43-positive inclusions, transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 cleavage fragments, intermediate filament abnormalities, axonopathy and neuroinflammation. All three transgenic mouse models (wild-type, G348C and A315T) exhibited impaired learning and memory capabilities during ageing, as well as motor dysfunction. Real-time imaging with the use of biophotonic transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 transgenic mice carrying a glial fibrillary acidic protein-luciferase reporter revealed that the behavioural defects were preceded by induction of astrogliosis, a finding consistent with a role for reactive astrocytes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26765768

  7. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Genetic Point Of View.

    PubMed

    Carlesi, C; CaldarazzoIenco, E; Mancuso, M; Siciliano, G

    2014-10-10

    In the last twenty years the rapid advances in neurogenetic have revolutionized not only the molecular, pathological inheritance but also the clinical concept of ALS. Here we review the current genetic breakthrough in familial and sporadic ALS, considering how this knowledge has allowed widening of the scenario on the possible pathogenic disease mechanisms and better understanding of the relationship between the genetic, pathological and clinical subtypes. PMID:25323864

  8. Soluble RAGE Treatment Delays Progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in SOD1 Mice

    PubMed Central

    Juranek, Judyta K.; Daffu, Gurdip K.; Geddis, Matthew S.; Li, Huilin; Rosario, Rosa; Kaplan, Benjamin J.; Kelly, Lauren; Schmidt, Ann Marie

    2016-01-01

    The etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal motor neuron disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness and spasticity, remains largely unknown. Approximately 5–10% of cases are familial, and of those, 15–20% are associated with mutations in the gene encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Mutations of the SOD1 gene interrupt cellular homeostasis and contribute to cellular toxicity evoked by the presence of altered SOD1, along with other toxic species, such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs trigger activation of their chief cell surface receptor, RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products), and induce RAGE-dependent cellular stress and inflammation in neurons, thereby affecting their function and leading to apoptosis. Here, we show for the first time that the expression of RAGE is higher in the SOD1 transgenic mouse model of ALS vs. wild-type mouse spinal cord. We tested whether pharmacological blockade of RAGE may delay the onset and progression of disease in this mouse model. Our findings reveal that treatment of SOD1 transgenic mice with soluble RAGE (sRAGE), a natural competitor of RAGE that sequesters RAGE ligands and blocks their interaction with cell surface RAGE, significantly delays the progression of ALS and prolongs life span compared to vehicle treatment. We demonstrate that in sRAGE-treated SOD1 transgenic animals at the final stage of the disease, a significantly higher number of neurons and lower number of astrocytes is detectable in the spinal cord. We conclude that RAGE antagonism may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for ALS intervention. PMID:27242430

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    We report a case of acute severe hepatitis resulting from masitinib in a young amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient. Hepatotoxicity induced by masitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is usually transient with mild elevation of transaminases, although acute hepatitis has been not reported to date. The hepatitis was resolved after masitinib was discontinued and a combination of prednisone and azathioprine was started. The transaminases returned to baseline normal values five months later. This is the first case in the hepatitis literature associated with masitinib. The autoimmune role of this drug-induced liver injury is discussed. Physicians should be aware of this potential complication. PMID:26420975

  10. Recombinant growth hormone treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Smith, R A; Melmed, S; Sherman, B; Frane, J; Munsat, T L; Festoff, B W

    1993-06-01

    Based on the known trophic effects of growth hormone (GH) on nerve and muscle 75 patients with ALS were treated for up to 18 months with synthetic human growth hormone (Protropin) or a placebo. The course of ALS was assessed serially using a quantitative (TQNE) neuromuscular and manual exam (MRC) and laboratory chemistries. Average insulin-related growth factor (IGF-I) values increased from 1.2 to 2.3 U/mL in the treated group. Surprisingly, serum insulin levels did not increase. Hyperglycemia was noted in only 2 patients of the 38 patients receiving hGH, and this resolved with cessation of treatment. Over the 12 months of treatment there were 11 deaths (6 controls, 5 treated). Survival analysis, performed approximately 12 months following cessation of treatment, did not reveal a difference between the treatment and placebo group. The TQNE scores declined inexorably in both the control and treated group. Retrospective analysis of the TQNE data indicated a poor prognosis for patients who lost arm strength early. A correlation between the TQNE and MRC scores was evident at early stages of motor unit loss, less so when muscle weakness was advanced. PMID:8502260

  11. Defining Swallowing-Related Quality of Life Profiles in Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Gaziano, Joy; Watts, Stephanie; Robison, Raele; Plowman, Emily K.

    2016-01-01

    Although it is known that dysphagia contributes to significant malnutrition, pneumonia, and mortality in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), it remains unclear how swallowing impairment impacts quality of life in this vulnerable patient population. The aim of the current study was to (1) delineate swallow-related quality of life (SR-QOL) profiles in individuals with ALS and (2) evaluate relationships between SR-QOL, degree of swallowing impairment, and ALS global disease progression. Eighty-one ALS patients underwent a standardized videofluoroscopic swallow study and completed the swallowing quality of life (SWAL-QOL) instrument and ALS functional rating scale-revised (ALSFRS-R). Penetration Aspiration Scale (PAS) scores were derived by a blinded rater. Correlation analyses and a between groups ANOVA (safe vs. penetrators vs. aspirators) were performed. Mean SWAL-QOL score for this cohort was 75.94 indicating a moderate degree of SR-QOL impairment with fatigue, eating duration, and communication representing the most affected domains. Correlations were revealed between the SWAL-QOL and (1) PAS (r = −0.39, p < 0.001) and (2) ALSFRS-R (r = 0.23, p < 0.05). Mean (SD) SWAL-QOL scores for safe versus penetrator versus aspirator groups were 81.2 (2.3) versus 77 (3.4) versus 58.7 (5.9), respectively, with a main effect observed [F(2,78) = 9.71, p < 0.001]. Post hoc testing revealed lower SWAL-QOL scores for aspirators versus safe swallowers (p < 0.001) and aspirators versus penetrators (p < 0.001). Overall, SR-QOL was moderately reduced in this cohort of ALS patients and profoundly impacted in ALS aspirators and individuals with advanced disease. These findings highlight the importance of early multidisciplinary intervention to not only avoid malnutrition, weight loss, and pulmonary sequelae but also the associated reduced QOL seen in these individuals. PMID:26837611

  12. Intravenous Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improve Survival and Motor Function in Experimental Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Uccelli, Antonio; Milanese, Marco; Principato, Maria Cristina; Morando, Sara; Bonifacino, Tiziana; Vergani, Laura; Giunti, Debora; Voci, Adriana; Carminati, Enrico; Giribaldi, Francesco; Caponnetto, Claudia; Bonanno, Giambattista

    2012-01-01

    Despite some advances in the understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathogenesis, significant achievements in treating this disease are still lacking. Mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (MSCs) have been shown to be effective in several models of neurological disease. To determine the effects of the intravenous injection of MSCs in an ALS mouse model during the symptomatic stage of disease, MSCs (1 × 106) were intravenously injected in mice expressing human superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) carrying the G93A mutation (SOD1/G93A) presenting with experimental ALS. Survival, motor abilities, histology, oxidative stress markers and [3H]d-aspartate release in the spinal cord were investigated. MSC injection in SOD1/G93A mice improved survival and motor functions compared with saline-injected controls. Injected MSCs scantly home to the central nervous system and poorly engraft. We observed a reduced accumulation of ubiquitin agglomerates and of activated astrocytes and microglia in the spinal cord of MSC-treated SOD1/G93A mice, with no changes in the number of choline acetyltransferase– and glutamate transporter type 1–positive cells. MSC administration turned around the upregulation of metallothionein mRNA expression and of the activity of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione S-transferase, both associated with disease progression. Last, we observed that MSCs reverted both spontaneous and stimulus-evoked neuronal release of [3H]d-aspartate, a marker of endogenous glutamate, which is upregulated in SOD1/G93A mice. These findings suggest that intravenous administration of MSCs significantly improves the clinical outcome and pathological scores of mutant SOD1/G93A mice, thus providing the rationale for their exploitation for the treatment of ALS. PMID:22481270

  13. New application of intelligent agents in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identifies unexpected specific genetic background

    PubMed Central

    Penco, Silvana; Buscema, Massimo; Patrosso, Maria Cristina; Marocchi, Alessandro; Grossi, Enzo

    2008-01-01

    Background Few genetic factors predisposing to the sporadic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have been identified, but the pathology itself seems to be a true multifactorial disease in which complex interactions between environmental and genetic susceptibility factors take place. The purpose of this study was to approach genetic data with an innovative statistical method such as artificial neural networks to identify a possible genetic background predisposing to the disease. A DNA multiarray panel was applied to genotype more than 60 polymorphisms within 35 genes selected from pathways of lipid and homocysteine metabolism, regulation of blood pressure, coagulation, inflammation, cellular adhesion and matrix integrity, in 54 sporadic ALS patients and 208 controls. Advanced intelligent systems based on novel coupling of artificial neural networks and evolutionary algorithms have been applied. The results obtained have been compared with those derived from the use of standard neural networks and classical statistical analysis Results Advanced intelligent systems based on novel coupling of artificial neural networks and evolutionary algorithms have been applied. The results obtained have been compared with those derived from the use of standard neural networks and classical statistical analysis. An unexpected discovery of a strong genetic background in sporadic ALS using a DNA multiarray panel and analytical processing of the data with advanced artificial neural networks was found. The predictive accuracy obtained with Linear Discriminant Analysis and Standard Artificial Neural Networks ranged from 70% to 79% (average 75.31%) and from 69.1 to 86.2% (average 76.6%) respectively. The corresponding value obtained with Advanced Intelligent Systems reached an average of 96.0% (range 94.4 to 97.6%). This latter approach allowed the identification of seven genetic variants essential to differentiate cases from controls: apolipoprotein E arg158cys; hepatic lipase

  14. Prognostic Factors in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population-Based Study

    PubMed Central

    Moura, Mirian Conceicao; Novaes, Maria Rita Carvalho Garbi; Eduardo, Emanoel Junio; Zago, Yuri S. S. P.; Freitas, Ricardo Del Negro Barroso; Casulari, Luiz Augusto

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine the prognostic factors associated with survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at diagnosis. Methods This retrospective population-based study evaluated 218 patients treated with riluzole between 2005 and 2014 and described their clinical and demographic profiles after the analysis of clinical data and records from the mortality information system in the Federal District, Brazil. Cox multivariate regression analysis was conducted for the parameters found. Results The study sample consisted of 132 men and 86 women with a mean age at disease onset of 57.2±12.3 years; 77.6% of them were Caucasian. The mean periods between disease onset and diagnosis were 22.7 months among men and 23.5 months among women, and the mean survival periods were 45.7±47.0 months among men and 39.3±29.8 months among women. In addition, 80.3% patients presented non-bulbar-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and 19.7% presented bulbar-onset. Cox regression analysis indicated worse prognosis for body mass index (BMI) <25 kg/m2 (relative risk [RR]: 3.56, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.44–8.86), age >75 years (RR: 12.47, 95% CI: 3.51–44.26), and bulbar-onset (RR: 4.56, 95% CI: 2.06–10.12). Electromyography did not confirm the diagnosis in 55.6% of the suspected cases and in 27.9% of the bulbar-onset cases. Conclusions The factors associated with lower survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were age >75 years, BMI <25 kg/m2, and bulbar-onset. PMID:26517122

  15. Potential role of gut microbiota and tissue barriers in Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Fang, Xin

    2016-09-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are neurodegenerative diseases with pathophysiology that may be related to the gastrointestinal tract. It is well established that tissue barriers maintain homeostasis and health. Furthermore, gut microbiota may have an impact on brain activity through the gut-microbiota-brain axis under both physiological and pathological conditions. In this review, we highlight the current knowledge regarding the role of gut microbiota and tissue barriers in PD and ALS. To our knowledge, this is the first review of the key issues involving both the altered gut microbiota and impaired tissue barriers in the pathophysiology of PD and ALS. PMID:26381230

  16. Pilot trial of branched-chain aminoacids in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Plaitakis, A; Smith, J; Mandeli, J; Yahr, M D

    1988-05-01

    22 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were entered into a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of treatment with branched-chain aminoacids. 11 received daily 12 g L-leucine, 8 g L-isoleucine, and 6.4 g L-valine, by mouth, and the remainder received placebo. During the one-year trial, patients in the placebo group showed a linear decline in functional status consistent with the natural history of the disease. Those treated with aminoacids showed significant benefit in terms of maintenance of extremity muscle strength and continued ability to walk. PMID:2896868

  17. Cronobacter sakazakii DNA Detection in Cerebrospinal Fluid of a Patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Mimic Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Piombo, Marianna; Chiarello, Daniela; Corbetto, Marzia; Di Pino, Giovanni; Dicuonzo, Giordano; Angeletti, Silvia; Riva, Elisabetta; De Florio, Lucia; Capone, Fioravante; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    A 45-year-old male noticed progressive weakness of the right lower limb with gait disturbance. Over the following months, motor deficits worsened, spreading to the right upper limb. Electromyography showed active denervation in the upper and lower limb muscles. A diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was made. About 2 years after symptom onset, gradual improvement occurred. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis performed about 3 years after the beginning of symptoms identified Cronobacter sakazakii. Since no other possible causes were identified, we suggest that an almost completely reversible ALS-like syndrome had been triggered by Cronobacter infection in our immunocompetent patient. PMID:26955334

  18. Cronobacter sakazakii DNA Detection in Cerebrospinal Fluid of a Patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Mimic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Piombo, Marianna; Chiarello, Daniela; Corbetto, Marzia; Di Pino, Giovanni; Dicuonzo, Giordano; Angeletti, Silvia; Riva, Elisabetta; De Florio, Lucia; Capone, Fioravante; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    A 45-year-old male noticed progressive weakness of the right lower limb with gait disturbance. Over the following months, motor deficits worsened, spreading to the right upper limb. Electromyography showed active denervation in the upper and lower limb muscles. A diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was made. About 2 years after symptom onset, gradual improvement occurred. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis performed about 3 years after the beginning of symptoms identified Cronobacter sakazakii. Since no other possible causes were identified, we suggest that an almost completely reversible ALS-like syndrome had been triggered by Cronobacter infection in our immunocompetent patient. PMID:26955334

  19. [Tako-tsubo syndrome in a young man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A case report].

    PubMed

    Massari, Ferdinando Maria; Tonella, Tatiana; Tarsia, Paolo; Kirani, Sonia; Blasi, Francesco; Magrini, Fabio

    2011-05-01

    A 40-year-old man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis undergoing home non-invasive ventilation, with no risk factors for coronary artery disease, was admitted with bilateral lung infiltrates. Given the lack of a favorable clinical response, transfer to our department was scheduled. During ambulance transport the patient experienced chest discomfort. Upon arrival at our department, a diagnosis of tako-tsubo syndrome was made. In this report, the clinical aspects are taken as a basis to highlight differences with common available findings, and an international registry is proposed to help piece together fractional information present in the literature. PMID:21593960

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

    PubMed

    Orsini, Marco; Lopes, Agnaldo José; Menezes, Sara Lucia Silveira de; Oliveira, Acary Bulle; Freitas, Marcos Raimundo Gomes de; Nascimento, Osvaldo Jose Moreira do; Guimarães, Fernando Silva

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26331388

  1. Decreased galectin-1 immunoreactivity of the skin in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Wada, Manabu; Ono, Seiitsu; Kadoya, Toshihiko; Kawanami, Toru; Kurita, Keiji; Kato, Takeo

    2003-04-15

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease involving motor neurons. In addition to motor neuron signs and symptoms, a lack of bedsores has been considered a feature of ALS. Recently, we revealed that galectin-1 is a component of the axonal spheroid, which is an early pathological change of the spinal cord in ALS. To investigate whether galectin-1 is associated with skin changes in ALS, we performed an immunohistochemical investigation using anti-galectin-1 antibodies. The present study revealed that galectin-1 immunoreactivity is reduced in the skin of patients with ALS, suggesting that cutaneous galectin-1 is involved in the pathological process of ALS. PMID:12639727

  2. Evidence for a dopaminergic deficit in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis on positron emission scanning

    SciTech Connect

    Takahashi, Hirohide; Snow, B.J.; Bhatt, M.H.; Peppard, R.; Eisen, A.; Calne, D.B. )

    1993-10-23

    Although rare, the chronic neurodegenerative disorders amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and idiopathic parkinsonism coexist to a greater degree than expected by chance. This suggests that patients with ALS may have subclinical lesions of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. To study this hypothesis, the authors did positron emission tomography with 6-fluorodopa on 16 patients with sporadic ALS and without extrapyramidal disease, and compared the results with age-matched controls. They found a significant progressive fall in 6-fluorodopa uptake with time since diagnosis, and reduced dopaminergic function in 3 patients with ALS of long duration. This supports the hypothesis that ALS and IP may share pathogenesis, and, perhaps, etiology.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-09-10

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

  4. Depression and disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A comprehensive meta-regression analysis.

    PubMed

    Pagnini, Francesco; Manzoni, Gian Mauro; Tagliaferri, Aurora; Gibbons, Chris J

    2015-08-01

    Depression in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal and progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is a serious issue with important clinical consequences. However, physical impairment may confound the diagnosis when using generic questionnaires. We conducted a comprehensive review of literature. Mean scores from depression questionnaires were meta-regressed on study-level mean time since onset of symptoms. Data from 103 studies (3190 subjects) indicate that the Beck Depression Inventory and, to a lesser degree, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale are influenced by the time since symptom onset, strongly related to physical impairment. Our results suggest that widely used depression scales overestimate depression due to confounding with physical symptoms. PMID:24764286

  5. Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Classical wine glass sign on magnetic resonance imaging

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Saurabh; Aga, Pallavi; Gupta, Aakansha; Kohli, Neera

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig disease, is a chronic degenerative neurologic disease and is characterized by the selective involvement of the motor system. Usually, patients present with upper motor neuron (UMN) and lower motor neuron compromise. Degeneration of the UMN in the cerebral cortex is one of the main pathologic changes in ALS. These changes usually affect corticospinal tracts leading to degeneration of the fibers which show characteristic hyperintensities along the tracts leading to the “wine glass sign.” Patients with ALS usually present in the sixth decade of life; presentation in pediatric age in the form of juvenile ALS being rare. PMID:27195035

  6. TDP-43 pathology and neuronal loss in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Brettschneider, Johannes; Arai, Kimihito; Del Tredici, Kelly; Toledo, Jon B.; Robinson, John L.; Lee, Edward B.; Kuwabara, Satoshi; Shibuya, Kazumoto; Irwin, David J.; Fang, Lubin; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M.; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Ludolph, Albert C.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Braak, Heiko

    2015-01-01

    We examined the phosphorylated 43-kDa TAR DNA-binding protein (pTDP-43) inclusions as well as neuronal loss in full-length spinal cords and five selected regions of the central nervous system from 36 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 10 age-matched normal controls. The most severe neuronal loss and pTDP-43 lesions were seen in lamina IX motor nuclei columns 4, 6, and 8 of lower cervical segments and in columns 9–11 of lumbosacral segments. Severity of pTDP-43 pathology and neuronal loss correlated closely with gray and white matter oligodendroglial involvement and was linked to onset of disease, with severe involvement of columns 4, 6, and 8 of upper extremity onset cases and severe involvement of columns of 9, 10, and 11 in cases with lower extremity onset. Severe TDP-43 lesions and neuronal loss were observed in stage 4 cases and sometimes included Onuf’s nucleus. Notably, three cases displayed pTDP-43 aggregates in the midbrain oculomotor nucleus, which we had not seen previously even in cases with advanced (i.e., stage 4) pathology. pTDP-43 aggregates were observed in neurons of Clarke’s column in 30.6 % of cases but rarely in the intermediolateral nucleus (IML). Gray matter oligodendroglial pTDP-43 inclusions were present in areas devoid of neuronal pTDP-43 aggregates and neuronal loss. Taken together, our findings indicate that (1) the dorsolateral motor nuclei columns of the cervical and lumbosacral anterior horn may be the earliest foci of pTDP-43 pathology in the spinal cord, (2) gray matter oligodendroglial involvement is an early event in the ALS disease process that possibly heralds subsequent involvement of neurons by pTDP-43 pathology, and (3) in some very advanced cases, there is oculomotor nucleus involvement, which may constitute an additional neuropathological stage (designated here as stage 5) of pTDP-43 pathology in ALS. PMID:24916269

  7. Early electrophysiological abnormalities in lumbar motoneurons in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Bories, Cyril; Amendola, Julien; Lamotte d'Incamps, Boris; Durand, Jacques

    2007-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a lethal, adult-onset disease characterized by progressive degeneration of motoneurons. Recent data have suggested that the disease could be linked to abnormal development of the motor nervous system. Therefore, we investigated the electrical properties of lumbar motoneurons in an in-vitro neonatal spinal cord preparation isolated from SOD1(G85R) mice, which is a transgenic model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The study was performed on young animals at the beginning of their second week, between postnatal days 6 and 10. Measurements of resting membrane potential and action potential characteristics of motoneurons were similar in wild-type and SOD1(G85R) mice. However, the input resistance of motoneurons from transgenic mice was significantly lower than that of wild-type animals, whereas their membrane capacitance was increased, strongly suggesting larger SOD1(G85R) motoneurons. Furthermore, the slope of the frequency-intensity curve was steeper in motoneurons from wild-type pups. Interestingly, the input resistance as well as the slope of the frequency-intensity curves of other spinal neurons did not show such differences. Finally, the amplitude of dorsal root-evoked potentials following high-intensity stimulation was significantly smaller in SOD1(G85R) motoneurons. The superoxide dismutase 1 mutation thus induces specific alterations of the functional properties of motoneurons early in development. PMID:17284186

  8. Pathological characterization of astrocytic hyaline inclusions in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed Central

    Kato, S.; Hayashi, H.; Nakashima, K.; Nanba, E.; Kato, M.; Hirano, A.; Nakano, I.; Asayama, K.; Ohama, E.

    1997-01-01

    To clarify the pathological characteristics of astrocytic hyaline inclusions (Ast-HIs) in patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) with neuronal Lewy-body-like hyaline inclusions (LBHIs), eight autopsies on members of four different families, including two long-term surviving patients with clinical courses of over 10 years, were analyzed. Ast-HIs were found only in the two long-term surviving patients who belonged to different families and to different races. Ast-HIs were ultrastructurally composed of 15- to 25-nm granule-coated fibrils that had immunoreactivities to superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and ubiquitin. Approximately 50% of the Ast-HIs expressed alpha B-crystallin, metallothionein, glutamine synthetase, and tubulin (alpha and beta) at various intensities. Some Ast-HIs reacted with antibodies to tau protein, S-100 protein, and heat shock protein 27. The Ast-HIs were not stained for glial fibrillary acidic protein. Our results suggest a cooperative role of superoxide dismutase 1, ubiquitin, and cytoskeletal proteins in the formation of granule-coated fibrils (namely, Ast-HIs) and provide evidence that Ast-HIs are formed in certain long-surviving familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients with neuronal Lewy-body-like hyaline inclusions. Images Figure 2 p615-a Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:9273821

  9. Metabolomics in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: how far can it take us?

    PubMed

    Blasco, H; Patin, F; Madji Hounoum, B; Gordon, P H; Vourc'h, P; Andres, C R; Corcia, P

    2016-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease. Alongside identification of aetiologies, development of biomarkers is a foremost research priority. Metabolomics is one promising approach that is being utilized in the search for diagnosis and prognosis markers. Our aim is to provide an overview of the principal research in metabolomics applied to ALS. References were identified using PubMed with the terms 'metabolomics' or 'metabolomic' and 'ALS' or 'amyotrophic lateral sclerosis' or 'MND' or 'motor neuron disorders'. To date, nine articles have reported metabolomics research in patients and a few additional studies examined disease physiology and drug effects in patients or models. Metabolomics contribute to a better understanding of ALS pathophysiology but, to date, no biomarker has been validated for diagnosis, principally due to the heterogeneity of the disease and the absence of applied standardized methodology for biomarker discovery. A consensus on best metabolomics methodology as well as systematic independent validation will be an important accomplishment on the path to identifying the long-awaited biomarkers for ALS and to improve clinical trial designs. PMID:26822316

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanrieder, Jörg; Ewing, Andrew G.

    2014-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

    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. Military Service, Deployments, and Exposures in Relation to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Etiology and Survival

    PubMed Central

    Beard, John D.; Kamel, Freya

    2015-01-01

    Rates of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have been reported to be higher among US military veterans, who currently number more than 21 million, but the causal factor(s) has not been identified. We conducted a review to examine the weight of evidence for associations between military service, deployments, and exposures and ALS etiology and survival. Thirty articles or abstracts published through 2013 were reviewed. Although the current evidence suggests a positive association with ALS etiology, it is too limited to draw firm conclusions regarding associations between military service and ALS etiology or survival. Some evidence suggests that deployment to the 1990–1991 Persian Gulf War may be associated with ALS etiology, but there is currently no strong evidence that any particular military exposure is associated with ALS etiology. Future studies should address the limitations of previous ones, such as reliance on mortality as a surrogate for incidence, a dearth of survival analyses, lack of clinical data, low statistical power, and limited exposure assessment. The Genes and Environmental Exposures in Veterans with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (GENEVA) Study is one such study, but additional research is needed to determine whether military-related factors are associated with ALS and to assess potential prevention strategies. PMID:25365170

  13. Mislocated FUS is sufficient for gain-of-toxic-function amyotrophic lateral sclerosis phenotypes in mice.

    PubMed

    Shiihashi, Gen; Ito, Daisuke; Yagi, Takuya; Nihei, Yoshihiro; Ebine, Taeko; Suzuki, Norihiro

    2016-09-01

    Mutations in RNA-binding proteins, including fused in sarcoma (FUS) and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43, encoded by TARDBP), are associated with sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A major question is whether neuronal loss is caused by toxic gain-of-function cytoplasmic aggregates or loss of nuclear RNA-binding protein function. We generated a transgenic mouse overexpressing exogenous FUS without a nuclear localization signal (ΔNLS-FUS), which developed progressive spastic motor deficits and neuronal loss in the motor cortex. The ΔNLS-FUS protein was restricted to the cytoplasm and formed ubiquitin/p62-positive aggregates. Endogenous FUS expression, nuclear localization, and splicing activity were not altered, indicating that mislocated FUS is sufficient for proteinopathy. Crossing ΔNLS-FUS with wild-type human TDP-43 transgenic mice exacerbated pathological and behavioural phenotypes, suggesting that both proteins are involved in a common cascade. RNA-sequence analysis revealed specific transcriptome alterations, including genes regulating dynein-associated molecules and endoplasmic reticulum stress. ΔNLS-FUS mice are promising tools for understanding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis and testing new therapeutic approaches. PMID:27368346

  14. Attitudes toward and desire for assisted suicide among persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Achille, Marie A; Ogloff, James R P

    This study aimed at investigating attitudes toward assisted suicide among individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the differences in health status (illness severity and functional disability) and psychosocial adjustment (depression, perceived stress, social support, and coping) between those in favor of and those against assisted suicide. This study also aimed at describing the characteristics of terminally-ill individuals who acknowledge contemplating assisted suicide. Forty-four individuals diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were surveyed about their attitudes and the circumstances that would make them contemplate assisted suicide and filled out standardized measures of mood, stress, social support, coping, and illness status. Seventy percent of the sample found assisted suicide morally acceptable and 60% thought it should be legalized. In addition, 60% of patients agreed they could foresee circumstances that would make them contemplate assisted suicide, but only three (7%) indicated they would have requested it already if it had been legal. Willingness to contemplate assisted suicide was associated with reports of elevated levels of depressive symptoms and reports of hopelessness. Results highlight the need to assess psychological status carefully when terminally ill individuals begin contemplating assisted suicide or voice a request for it. PMID:15688543

  15. Motor neuron degeneration in spastic paraplegia 11 mimics amyotrophic lateral sclerosis lesions.

    PubMed

    Denora, Paola S; Smets, Katrien; Zolfanelli, Federica; Ceuterick-de Groote, Chantal; Casali, Carlo; Deconinck, Tine; Sieben, Anne; Gonzales, Michael; Zuchner, Stephan; Darios, Frédéric; Peeters, Dirk; Brice, Alexis; Malandrini, Alessandro; De Jonghe, Peter; Santorelli, Filippo M; Stevanin, Giovanni; Martin, Jean-Jacques; El Hachimi, Khalid H

    2016-06-01

    The most common form of autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia is caused by mutations in the SPG11/KIAA1840 gene on chromosome 15q. The nature of the vast majority of SPG11 mutations found to date suggests a loss-of-function mechanism of the encoded protein, spatacsin. The SPG11 phenotype is, in most cases, characterized by a progressive spasticity with neuropathy, cognitive impairment and a thin corpus callosum on brain MRI. Full neuropathological characterization has not been reported to date despite the description of >100 SPG11 mutations. We describe here the clinical and pathological features observed in two unrelated females, members of genetically ascertained SPG11 families originating from Belgium and Italy, respectively. We confirm the presence of lesions of motor tracts in medulla oblongata and spinal cord associated with other lesions of the central nervous system. Interestingly, we report for the first time pathological hallmarks of SPG11 in neurons that include intracytoplasmic granular lysosome-like structures mainly in supratentorial areas, and others in subtentorial areas that are partially reminiscent of those observed in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, such as ubiquitin and p62 aggregates, except that they are never labelled with anti-TDP-43 or anti-cystatin C. The neuropathological overlap with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, associated with some shared clinical manifestations, opens up new fields of investigation in the physiopathological continuum of motor neuron degeneration. PMID:27016404

  16. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with Frontotemporal Dementia in the Presence of C9orf72 Repeat Expansion—A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Bonda, Chaitanya; Kolikonda, Murali K.; Brown, Martin E.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia are significant neurodegenerative illnesses with possible genetic predispositions. The C9orf72 gene and the GGGGCC repeat expansions of it are reported to have a causative role in the expression of these conditions. We report a case of a patient with autosomal dominant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD) in the presence of C9orf72 repeat expansion. We believe our case further supports the theory that the presence of C9orf72 repeat expansion in patients with a family history of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and/or frontotemporal dementia significantly increases their risk of developing either or both diseases. The development of antisense oligonucleotides that might target GGGGCC RNA sequences theoretically may have a therapeutic role in mitigating the clinical expression of these illnesses.

  17. Defining Swallowing-Related Quality of Life Profiles in Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Tabor, Lauren; Gaziano, Joy; Watts, Stephanie; Robison, Raele; Plowman, Emily K

    2016-06-01

    Although it is known that dysphagia contributes to significant malnutrition, pneumonia, and mortality in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), it remains unclear how swallowing impairment impacts quality of life in this vulnerable patient population. The aim of the current study was to (1) delineate swallow-related quality of life (SR-QOL) profiles in individuals with ALS and (2) evaluate relationships between SR-QOL, degree of swallowing impairment, and ALS global disease progression. Eighty-one ALS patients underwent a standardized videofluoroscopic swallow study and completed the swallowing quality of life (SWAL-QOL) instrument and ALS functional rating scale-revised (ALSFRS-R). Penetration Aspiration Scale (PAS) scores were derived by a blinded rater. Correlation analyses and a between groups ANOVA (safe vs. penetrators vs. aspirators) were performed. Mean SWAL-QOL score for this cohort was 75.94 indicating a moderate degree of SR-QOL impairment with fatigue, eating duration, and communication representing the most affected domains. Correlations were revealed between the SWAL-QOL and (1) PAS (r = -0.39, p < 0.001) and (2) ALSFRS-R (r = 0.23, p < 0.05). Mean (SD) SWAL-QOL scores for safe versus penetrator versus aspirator groups were 81.2 (2.3) versus 77 (3.4) versus 58.7 (5.9), respectively, with a main effect observed [F(2,78) = 9.71, p < 0.001]. Post hoc testing revealed lower SWAL-QOL scores for aspirators versus safe swallowers (p < 0.001) and aspirators versus penetrators (p < 0.001). Overall, SR-QOL was moderately reduced in this cohort of ALS patients and profoundly impacted in ALS aspirators and individuals with advanced disease. These findings highlight the importance of early multidisciplinary intervention to not only avoid malnutrition, weight loss, and pulmonary sequelae but also the associated reduced QOL seen in these individuals. PMID:26837611

  18. Elimination Rate of Serum Lactate is Correlated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Progression

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuan-Jin; Fan, Dong-Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Background: Mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We aimed to demonstrate mitochondrial dysfunction in ALS using a lactate stress test and to examine the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction with motor deterioration. Methods: We enrolled 116 patients and observed clinical variables, including the survival state. Results: Patients with a rapid slope of revised ALS functional rating scales (ALSFRS-r) (>20 U/year) exhibited the slowest elimination rate (median −4.67 × 10−3 mmol∙L−1∙min−1, coefficient of variation, 590.15%), the shortest duration (0.63 ± 0.28 years) and the worst ALSFRS-r (32.59 ± 4.93). Patients with a moderate slope of ALSFRS-r (10–20 U/year) showed a moderate elimination rate (median −11.33 × 10−3 mmol∙L−1∙min−1, coefficient of variation, 309.89%), duration (1.16 ± 0.45 years), and ALSFRS-r (34.83 ± 6.11). The slower progressing (<10 U/year group) patients exhibited a rapid elimination rate (median: −12.00 × 10−3 mmol∙L−1∙min−1, coefficient of variation: 143.08%), longer duration (median: 3 years, coefficient of variation: 193.33%), and adequate ALSFRS-r values (39.58 ± 9.44). Advanced-phase ALS patients also showed slower elimination rate (ER, quartiles −17.33, −5.67, 4.00) and worse ALSFRS-r (34.88 ± 9.27), while early-phase patients showed a more rapid ER (quartiles −25.17, −11.33, −3.50) and better ALSFRS-r (39.28 ± 7.59). These differences were statistically significant. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed strong direct associations among ER, ALSFRS-r slope (standard beta = 0.33, P = 0.007), and forced vital capacity (predict %) (standard beta = −0.458, P = 0.006, adjusted for ALSFRS-r, course and onset region). However, the data obtained from 3 years of follow-up showed no statistically significant difference in the survival rates between the most rapid and slowest ER groups. Conclusion: There

  19. Association study between XRCC1 gene polymorphisms and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Coppedè, Fabio; Migheli, Francesca; Lo Gerfo, Annalisa; Fabbrizi, Maria Rita; Carlesi, Cecilia; Mancuso, Michelangelo; Corti, Stefania; Mezzina, Nicoletta; del Bo, Roberto; Comi, Giacomo P; Siciliano, Gabriele; Migliore, Lucia

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible contribution of three common functional polymorphisms in the DNA repair protein X-ray repair cross-complementing group 1 (XRCC1), namely Arg194Trp (rs1799782), Arg280His (rs25489) and Arg399Gln (rs25487), to sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS). We genotyped 206 Italian SALS patients and 203 matched controls for XRCC1 Arg194Trp, Arg280His and Arg399Gln polymorphisms by means of PCR/RFLP technique, searching for association between any of the studied polymorphisms and disease risk, age and site of onset. We observed a statistically significant difference in XRCC1 Gln399 allele frequencies between SALS cases and controls (0.39/0.28; p=0.001). The present study suggests that the XRCC1 Arg399Gln polymorphism might contribute to SALS risk. PMID:19707910

  20. Drosophila expressing human SOD1 successfully recapitulates mitochondrial phenotypic features of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Gallart-Palau, Xavier; Ng, Chee-Hoe; Ribera, Joan; Sze, Siu Kwan; Lim, Kah-Leong

    2016-06-15

    Mitochondrial pathology is a seminal pathogenic hallmark of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) which is extensively manifested by human patients and mutant SOD1(G93A) mammalian models. Rodents expressing human FALS-associated mutations successfully mimic several human disease features; although they are not as amenable to genetic and therapeutic compound screenings as non-mammalian models. In this study, we report a newly generated and characterized Drosophila model that expresses human SOD1(G93A) in muscle fibers. Presence of SOD1(G93A) in thoracic muscles causes mitochondrial pathology and impairs normal motor behavior in these flies. Use of this new FALS-24B-SOD1(G93A) fly model holds promise for better understanding of the mitochondrial affectation process in FALS and for the discovery of novel therapeutic compounds able to reverse mitochondrial dysfunction in this fatal disease. PMID:27163198

  1. Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Archit; Farooq, Muhammad U; Aburashed, Rany; Kassab, Mounzer Y; Majid, Arshad; Bhatt, Shaila; Naravetla, Bharath; Dhaliwal, Gurmail

    2009-06-01

    A 56-year-old male with recurrent painless focal neuropathies and a family history of peripheral neuropathy of unknown etiology presented with progressively worsening of impaired sensations and weakness in his lower extremities. His initial electrodiagnostic evaluation was suggestive of severe sensory and motor peripheral polyneuropathy. The genetic testing was performed for familial causes of peripheral neuropathy as there was a family history of peripheral neuropathy of unknown etiology. The patient was found to have 1.5-Mb deletion in the PMP22 gene which was confirmatory of hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP). He developed progressive upper and lower extremity weakness, bulbar dysfunction and widespread fasciculations during the course of his illness. He was subsequently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This is the second reported case of HNPP associated with ALS. We discuss significant clinical and electrodiagnostic findings of this interesting case. PMID:19238316

  2. Exome sequencing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identifies risk genes and pathways

    PubMed Central

    Cirulli, Elizabeth T.; Lasseigne, Brittany N.; Petrovski, Slavé; Sapp, Peter C.; Dion, Patrick A.; Leblond, Claire S.; Couthouis, Julien; Lu, Yi-Fan; Wang, Quanli; Krueger, Brian J.; Ren, Zhong; Keebler, Jonathan; Han, Yujun; Levy, Shawn E.; Boone, Braden E.; Wimbish, Jack R.; Waite, Lindsay L.; Jones, Angela L.; Carulli, John P.; Day-Williams, Aaron G.; Staropoli, John F.; Xin, Winnie W.; Chesi, Alessandra; Raphael, Alya R.; McKenna-Yasek, Diane; Cady, Janet; de Jong, J.M.B. Vianney; Kenna, Kevin P.; Smith, Bradley N.; Topp, Simon; Miller, Jack; Gkazi, Athina; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; van den Berg, Leonard H.; Veldink, Jan; Silani, Vincenzo; Ticozzi, Nicola; Shaw, Christopher E.; Baloh, Robert H.; Appel, Stanley; Simpson, Ericka; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Pulst, Stefan M.; Gibson, Summer; Trojanowski, John Q.; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Grossman, Murray; Shneider, Neil A.; Chung, Wendy K.; Ravits, John M.; Glass, Jonathan D.; Sims, Katherine B.; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M.; Maniatis, Tom; Hayes, Sebastian D.; Ordureau, Alban; Swarup, Sharan; Landers, John; Baas, Frank; Allen, Andrew S.; Bedlack, Richard S.; Harper, J. Wade; Gitler, Aaron D.; Rouleau, Guy A.; Brown, Robert; Harms, Matthew B.; Cooper, Gregory M.; Harris, Tim; Myers, Richard M.; Goldstein, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurological disease with no effective treatment. Here we report the results of a moderate-scale sequencing study aimed at identifying new genes contributing to predisposition for ALS. We performed whole exome sequencing of 2,874 ALS patients and compared them to 6,405 controls. Several known ALS genes were found to be associated, and the non-canonical IκB kinase family TANK-Binding Kinase 1 (TBK1) was identified as an ALS gene. TBK1 is known to bind to and phosphorylate a number of proteins involved in innate immunity and autophagy, including optineurin (OPTN) and p62 (SQSTM1/sequestosome), both of which have also been implicated in ALS. These observations reveal a key role of the autophagic pathway in ALS and suggest specific targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:25700176

  3. Initial gene vector dosing for studying symptomatology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in non-human primates

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Kasey L.; Dayton, Robert D.; Fisher-Perkins, Jeanne M.; Didier, Peter J.; Baker, Kate C.; Weimer, Maria; Gutierrez, Amparo; Cain, Cooper D.; Mathis, J. Michael; Gitcho, Michael A.; Bunnell, Bruce A.; Klein, Ronald L.

    2015-01-01

    Background Most amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research has focused on mice, but there are distinct differences in the functional neuroanatomy of the corticospinal pathway in primates vs. rodents. A non-human primate model may be more sensitive and more predictive for therapeutic efficacy. Methods Rhesus macaques received recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV9) encoding either the ALS-related pathological protein TDP-43 or a green fluorescent protein (GFP) control by intravenous administration. Motor function and electromyography were assessed over a nine-month expression interval followed by post-mortem analyses. Results Recombinant TDP-43 or GFP was stably expressed long term. Although the TDP-43 subjects did not manifest severe paralysis and atrophy, there were trends of a partial disease state in the TDP-43 subjects relative to the control. Conclusions These data indicate that a higher gene vector dose will likely be necessary for more robust effects, yet augur that a relevant primate model is feasible. PMID:25639184

  4. Golgi fragmentation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an overview of possible triggers and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Sundaramoorthy, Vinod; Sultana, Jessica M.; Atkin, Julie D.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorder, which specifically targets motor neurons in the brain, brain stem and spinal cord. Whilst the etiology of ALS remains unknown, fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus is detected in ALS patient motor neurons and in animal/cellular disease models. The Golgi is a highly dynamic organelle that acts as a dispatching station for the vesicular transport of secretory/transmembrane proteins. It also mediates autophagy and maintains endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and axonal homeostasis. Both the trigger for Golgi fragmentation and the functional consequences of a fragmented Golgi apparatus in ALS remain unclear. However, recent evidence has highlighted defects in vesicular trafficking as a pathogenic mechanism in ALS. This review summarizes the evidence describing Golgi fragmentation in ALS, with possible links to other disease processes including cellular trafficking, ER stress, defective autophagy, and axonal degeneration. PMID:26578862

  5. Copper Homeostasis as a Therapeutic Target in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with SOD1 Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Tokuda, Eiichi; Furukawa, Yoshiaki

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal neurodegenerative disease affecting both upper and lower motor neurons, and currently, there is no cure or effective treatment. Mutations in a gene encoding a ubiquitous antioxidant enzyme, Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1), have been first identified as a cause of familial forms of ALS. It is widely accepted that mutant SOD1 proteins cause the disease through a gain in toxicity but not through a loss of its physiological function. SOD1 is a major copper-binding protein and regulates copper homeostasis in the cell; therefore, a toxicity of mutant SOD1 could arise from the disruption of copper homeostasis. In this review, we will briefly review recent studies implying roles of copper homeostasis in the pathogenesis of SOD1-ALS and highlight the therapeutic interventions focusing on pharmacological as well as genetic regulations of copper homeostasis to modify the pathological process in SOD1-ALS. PMID:27136532

  6. Linking β-methylamino-L-alanine exposure to sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Annapolis, MD.

    PubMed

    Field, Nicholas C; Metcalf, James S; Caller, Tracie A; Banack, Sandra A; Cox, Paul A; Stommel, Elijah W

    2013-08-01

    Most amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases occur sporadically. Some environmental triggers have been implicated, including beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a cyanobacteria produced neurotoxin. This study aimed to identify environmental risk factors common to three sporadic ALS patients who lived in Annapolis, Maryland, USA and developed the disease within a relatively short time and within close proximity to each other. A questionnaire was used to identify potential risk factors for ALS among the cohort of patients. One common factor among the ALS patients was the frequent consumption of blue crab. Samples of blue crab from the patients' local fish market were tested for BMAA using LC-MS/MS. BMAA was identified in these Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. We conclude that the presence of BMAA in the Chesapeake Bay food web and the lifetime consumption of blue crab contaminated with BMAA may be a common risk factor for sporadic ALS in all three patients. PMID:23660330

  7. A cost comparison of hospice care in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Elman, Lauren B; Stanley, Lisa; Gibbons, Patricia; McCluskey, Leo

    2006-01-01

    The authors compare the cost of hospice care provided to 25 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and 159 lung cancer patients by the Wissahickon Hospice of the University of Pennsylvania. The mean length of stay was 86.7 days for ALS patients and 35.0 days for patients with lung cancer (P = .011). The mean per patient cost was 5622.93 dollars for the ALS patients and 2658.91 dollars for patients with lung cancer (P = .057) The average operating margin excluding administrative costs was 5293.04 dollars for ALS patients and 2126.74 dollars for patients with lung cancer (P = .008). The longer length of stay (LOS) accounts for this difference. Longer LOS can be accomplished by close clinical monitoring of ALS patients for the development of life threatening respiratory and/or nutritional compromise and by liberalizing the present hospice admission guidelines. PMID:17060281

  8. Laryngeal dysfunction in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a review and case report

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Christopher R; Vanryckeghem, Martine

    2001-01-01

    Background Laryngeal dysfunction can be a salient feature in the clinical symptomatology of speakers diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). In addition to dysphonia, swallowing function is also disrupted. This paper reviews what is known about laryngeal dysfunction resulting from ALS. Results Presented is a case report of a female, diagnosed with ALS, whose initial symptoms were caused by laryngeal bulbar involvement that was characterized by dysphonia and dysphagia. Conclusions In bulbar forms of ALS, voice and/or swallowing difficulties are often the initial signs of disease. Careful examination of the muscles innervated by bulbar nerves, and tracking the rate of progressive deficit in the affected muscles, will help to solidify an accurate diagnosis. With therapy, the ability to swallow safely may still be maintained even when voice and articulation abilities are such that oral communication is inefficient. PMID:11722802

  9. Exome sequencing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identifies risk genes and pathways.

    PubMed

    Cirulli, Elizabeth T; Lasseigne, Brittany N; Petrovski, Slavé; Sapp, Peter C; Dion, Patrick A; Leblond, Claire S; Couthouis, Julien; Lu, Yi-Fan; Wang, Quanli; Krueger, Brian J; Ren, Zhong; Keebler, Jonathan; Han, Yujun; Levy, Shawn E; Boone, Braden E; Wimbish, Jack R; Waite, Lindsay L; Jones, Angela L; Carulli, John P; Day-Williams, Aaron G; Staropoli, John F; Xin, Winnie W; Chesi, Alessandra; Raphael, Alya R; McKenna-Yasek, Diane; Cady, Janet; Vianney de Jong, J M B; Kenna, Kevin P; Smith, Bradley N; Topp, Simon; Miller, Jack; Gkazi, Athina; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; van den Berg, Leonard H; Veldink, Jan; Silani, Vincenzo; Ticozzi, Nicola; Shaw, Christopher E; Baloh, Robert H; Appel, Stanley; Simpson, Ericka; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Pulst, Stefan M; Gibson, Summer; Trojanowski, John Q; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Grossman, Murray; Shneider, Neil A; Chung, Wendy K; Ravits, John M; Glass, Jonathan D; Sims, Katherine B; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M; Maniatis, Tom; Hayes, Sebastian D; Ordureau, Alban; Swarup, Sharan; Landers, John; Baas, Frank; Allen, Andrew S; Bedlack, Richard S; Harper, J Wade; Gitler, Aaron D; Rouleau, Guy A; Brown, Robert; Harms, Matthew B; Cooper, Gregory M; Harris, Tim; Myers, Richard M; Goldstein, David B

    2015-03-27

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurological disease with no effective treatment. We report the results of a moderate-scale sequencing study aimed at increasing the number of genes known to contribute to predisposition for ALS. We performed whole-exome sequencing of 2869 ALS patients and 6405 controls. Several known ALS genes were found to be associated, and TBK1 (the gene encoding TANK-binding kinase 1) was identified as an ALS gene. TBK1 is known to bind to and phosphorylate a number of proteins involved in innate immunity and autophagy, including optineurin (OPTN) and p62 (SQSTM1/sequestosome), both of which have also been implicated in ALS. These observations reveal a key role of the autophagic pathway in ALS and suggest specific targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:25700176

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

    PubMed

    Aronica, Eleonora; Baas, Frank; Iyer, Anand; ten Asbroek, Anneloor L M A; Morello, Giovanna; Cavallaro, Sebastiano

    2015-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disease, caused by the loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Although 10% of ALS cases are familial (FALS), the majority are sporadic (SALS) and probably associated to a multifactorial etiology. Currently there is no cure or prevention for ALS. A prerequisite to formulating therapeutic strategies is gaining understanding of its etio-pathogenic mechanisms. In this study we analyzed whole-genome expression profiles of 41 motor cortex samples of control (10) and sporadic ALS (31) patients. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering was able to separate control from SALS patients. In addition, SALS patients were subdivided in two different groups that were associated to different deregulated pathways and genes, some of which were previously associated to familiar ALS. These experiments are the first to highlight the genomic heterogeneity of sporadic ALS and reveal new clues to its pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets. PMID:25500340

  11. Elevation of serum heat-shock protein levels in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Daigo; Nakamura, Akinori; Hineno, Akiyo; Kobayashi, Chinatsu; Kinoshita, Tomomi; Yoshida, Kunihiro; Ikeda, Shu-Ichi

    2016-08-01

    Heat-shock proteins (HSPs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we aimed to examine whether the serum levels of HSPs (HSP27, HSP70, and HSP90) are altered in patients with ALS. We included 58 patients diagnosed with ALS and 85 control individuals. Serum HSP levels of patients and controls were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The serum levels of HSP70 and HSP90 were significantly higher in patients than in controls. In contrast, serum levels of HSP27 did not differ significantly between the patient and control groups. Moreover, serum levels of HSP70 and HSP90 in patients remained high throughout the duration of the disease. Taken together, our findings suggest that HSPs might have a role in ALS progression throughout the course of the disease. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of HSPs in the pathogenesis of ALS. PMID:27112486

  12. A review of options for treating sialorrhea in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Banfi, Paolo; Ticozzi, Nicola; Lax, Agata; Guidugli, Giulia Andrea; Nicolini, Antonello; Silani, Vincenzo

    2015-03-01

    Sialorrhea or drooling represents quite a common problem in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this review, we describe the possible treatments for this issue. Current medical management is not always effective: anticholinergic drugs (atropine, glycopyrrolate, amitriptyline, hyoscyamine, and transdermal scopolamine) are often used, but there is very little evidence of their effectiveness in patients with ALS. More invasive treatments, such as botulinum toxin injections and/or radiation therapy in the salivary glands, can be considered when anticholinergic drugs are not effective. In this review, we also explore the possible surgical options for treatment of sialorrhea. Although no specific studies have been conducted on patients with ALS, surgical therapies might represent a valid option for treatment of sialorrhea since there is no tachyphylaxis or need for repeated therapeutic sessions. PMID:25228780

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  14. Multislice 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging: assessment of epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiner, Michael W.; Maudsley, Andrew A.; Schuff, Norbert; Soher, Brian J.; Vermathen, Peter P.; Fein, George; Laxer, Kenneth D.

    1998-07-01

    Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (1H MRSI) with volume pre-selection (i.e. by PRESS) or multislice 1H MRSI was used to investigate changes in brain metabolites in Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Examples of results from several ongoing clinical studies are provided. Multislice 1H MRSI of the human brain, without volume pre-selection offers considerable advantages over previously available techniques. Furthermore, MRI tissue segmentation and completely automated spectra curve fitting greatly facilitate quantitative data analysis. Future efforts will be devoted to obtaining full brain coverage and data acquisition at short spin echo times (TE less than 30 ms) for the detection of metabolites with short T2 relaxation times.

  15. Elastin cross-linking in the skin from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ono, S.; Yamauchi, M.

    1994-01-01

    Two cross-links unique to elastin, desmosine and isodesmosine were measured and compared in skin tissue (left upper arm) from 10 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and from seven age-matched controls. The contents of desmosine and isodesmosine were significantly decreased (p < 0.01 and p < 0.01, respectively) in patients with ALS compared with those of controls, and were negatively and significantly associated with duration of illness in ALS patients (r = -0.77, p < 0.01 and r = -0.65, p < 0.05, respectively). The decline in skin desmosine and isodesmosine is more rapid in ALS than in normal ageing. Thus cross-linking of skin elastin is affected in ALS.

  16. Collagen cross-linking of skin in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ono, S.; Yamauchi, M.

    1992-01-01

    Collagen cross-links of skin tissue (left upper arm) from 11 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 9 age-matched control subjects were quantified. It was found that patients with ALS had a significant reduction in the content of an age-related, stable cross-link, histidinohydroxylysinonorleucine, that was negatively correlated with the duration of illness. The contents of sodium borohydride-reducible labile cross-links, dehydro-hydroxylysinonorleucine and dehydro-histidinohydroxymerodesmosine, were significantly increased and were positively associated with the duration of illness (r = 0.703, p less than 0.05 and r = 0.684, p less than 0.05, respectively). The results clearly indicate that during the course of ALS, the cross-linking pathway of skin collagen runs counter to its normal aging, resulting in a "rejuvenation" phenomenon of skin collagen. Thus, cross-linking of skin collagen is affected in ALS.

  17. Maple Syrup Decreases TDP-43 Proteotoxicity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

    PubMed

    Aaron, Catherine; Beaudry, Gabrielle; Parker, J Alex; Therrien, Martine

    2016-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease causing death of the motor neurons. Proteotoxicity caused by TDP-43 protein is an important aspect of ALS pathogenesis, with TDP-43 being the main constituent of the aggregates found in patients. We have previously tested the effect of different sugars on the proteotoxicity caused by the expression of mutant TDP-43 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we tested maple syrup, a natural compound containing many active molecules including sugars and phenols, for neuroprotective activity. Maple syrup decreased several age-dependent phenotypes caused by the expression of TDP-43(A315T) in C. elegans motor neurons and requires the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16 to be effective. PMID:27071850

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26584831

  19. Metal concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Roos, Per M; Vesterberg, Olof; Syversen, Tore; Flaten, Trond Peder; Nordberg, Monica

    2013-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and fatal degenerative disorder of motor neurons. The cause of this degeneration is unknown, and different causal hypotheses include genetic, viral, traumatic and environmental mechanisms. In this study, we have analyzed metal concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood plasma in a well-defined cohort (n = 17) of ALS patients diagnosed with quantitative electromyography. Metal analyses were performed with high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Statistically significant higher concentrations of manganese, aluminium, cadmium, cobalt, copper, zinc, lead, vanadium and uranium were found in ALS CSF compared to control CSF. We also report higher concentrations of these metals in ALS CSF than in ALS blood plasma, which indicate mechanisms of accumulation, e.g. inward directed transport. A pattern of multiple toxic metals is seen in ALS CSF. The results support the hypothesis that metals with neurotoxic effects are involved in the pathogenesis of ALS. PMID:23225075

  20. [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and cognition disorders. Neuropsychological study of a population of 26 patients].

    PubMed

    Dary-Auriol, M; Ingrand, P; Bonnaud, V; Dumas, P; Neau, J P; Gil, R

    1997-05-01

    Typical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is described as a motoneuron disease which spared cognitive functions. Recent studies reported cognitive impairement associated with classical ALS. Gallasi and al. (1985) detect subtle cognitive impairement sparing memory in a population of 22 patients affected with sporadic motoneuron disease. Iwasaki and al. (1990) finds lower scores, including memory tests. Our study evaluated 26 patients compared with 26 control subjects with neurospychological tests (rapid evaluation of cognitive function fluency, Weschler adult intelligence scale, Wisconsin cards, Rey scheme, memory tests - Luria -, trail making, visual retentional test of Benton Violon Seyll test). All the neuropsychological tests were significantly lower for the patients group. The cognitive impairement is global: memory and frontal functions were not spared and this impairement is also subtle. It may easily go undetected without tests. We cannot isolate a cortical or subcortical profile of the deterioration. PMID:9296142

  1. RNA-mediated pathogenic mechanisms in polyglutamine diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Chan, Ho Yin Edwin

    2014-01-01

    Gene transcription produces a wide variety of ribonucleic acid (RNA) species in eukaryotes. Individual types of RNA, such as messenger, structural and regulatory RNA, are known to play distinct roles in the cell. Recently, researchers have identified a large number of RNA-mediated toxicity pathways that play significant pathogenic roles in numerous human disorders. In this article, we describe various common RNA toxicity pathways, namely epigenetic gene silencing, nucleolar stress, nucleocytoplasmic transport, bi-directional gene transcription, repeat-associated non-ATG translation, RNA foci formation and cellular protein sequestration. We emphasize RNA toxicity mechanisms that involve nucleotide repeat expansion, such as those related to polyglutamine (polyQ) disorders and frontotemporal lobar degeneration-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:25565965

  2. Role of PET and SPECT in the Study of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Cuccurullo, Vincenzo; Pagani, Marco; Valentini, Maria Consuelo; Mansi, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has been defined as a “heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative syndromes characterized by progressive muscle paralysis caused by the degeneration of motor neurons allocated in primary motor cortex, brainstem, and spinal cord.” A comprehensive diagnostic workup for ALS usually includes several electrodiagnostic, clinical laboratory and genetic tests. Neuroimaging exams, such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and spinal cord myelogram, may also be required. Nuclear medicine, with PET and SPECT, may also play a role in the evaluation of patients with ALS, and provide additional information to the clinicians. This paper aims to offer to the reader a comprehensive review of the different radiotracers for the assessment of the metabolism of glucose (FDG), the measurement of cerebral blood flow (CBF), or the evaluation of neurotransmitters, astrocytes, and microglia by means of newer and not yet clinically diffuse radiopharmaceuticals. PMID:24818133

  3. Meditation Training for People with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Their Caregivers

    PubMed Central

    Di Credico, Chiara; Gatto, Ramona; Fabiani, Viviana; Rossi, Gabriella; Lunetta, Christian; Marconi, Anna; Fossati, Federica; Castelnuovo, Gianluca; Tagliaferri, Aurora; Banfi, Paolo; Corbo, Massimo; Sansone, Valeria; Molinari, Enrico; Amadei, Gherardo

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Objectives: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease that is clinically characterized by progressive weakness leading to death by respiratory insufficiency, usually within three years. Although the patient's intellect and personality usually remain unimpaired, as the disease progresses, the patient becomes immobile, develops wasting, and speech becomes impaired, often resulting in social isolation and a high degree of psychological suffering. Mindfulness meditation has proven to be effective technique for reducing distress in many chronic diseases. However, to date, no study has investigated the effect of mindfulness meditation on patients with ALS. Design: A mindfulness meditation training program for ALS patients needs to consider the particularities of ALS symptoms, including the loss of muscular functions and difficulties in respiration, together with the subsequent emotional impairments. With these caveats in mind, a modified protocol, based on original mindfulness meditation interventions, has been created specifically for the ALS population. This article describes the protocol and preliminary results. PMID:24328393

  4. Recognition of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease using factorial hidden Markov model.

    PubMed

    Khorasani, Abed; Daliri, Mohammad Reza; Pooyan, Mohammad

    2016-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a common disease among neurological disorders that can change the pattern of gait in human. One of the effective methods for recognition and analysis of gait patterns in ALS patients is utilizing stride interval time series. With proper preprocessing for removing unwanted artifacts from the raw stride interval times and then extracting meaningful features from these data, the factorial hidden Markov model (FHMM) was used to distinguish ALS patients from healthy subjects. The results of classification accuracy evaluated using the leave-one-out (LOO) cross-validation algorithm showed that the FHMM method provides better recognition of ALS and healthy subjects compared to standard HMM. Moreover, comparing our method with a state-of-the art method named least square support vector machine (LS-SVM) showed the efficiency of the FHMM in distinguishing ALS subjects from healthy ones. PMID:26110481

  5. Aberrant RNA homeostasis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: potential for new therapeutic targets?

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, Christopher J; Grima, Jonathan C; Sattler, Rita

    2015-01-01

    Summary Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive motor neuron degeneration. The disease pathogenesis is multifaceted in that multiple cellular and molecular pathways have been identified as contributors to the disease progression. Consequently, numerous therapeutic targets have been pursued for clinical development, unfortunately with little success. The recent discovery of mutations in RNA modulating genes such as TARDBP/TDP-43, FUS/TLS or C9ORF72 changed our understanding of neurodegenerative mechanisms in ALS and introduced the role of dysfunctional RNA processing as a significant contributor to disease pathogenesis. This article discusses the latest findings on such RNA toxicity pathways in ALS and potential novel therapeutic approaches. PMID:25531686

  6. [Adverse efects of riluzole (Rilutek) in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Roch-Torreilles, I; Camu, W; Hillaire-Buys, D

    2000-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly fatal degenerative disorder of the motoneurones which was without any effective therapy until 1997. Riluzole (Rilutek) has been the first patented drug used in its specific treatment. In order to evaluate the tolerability profile of this molecule, a Pharmacovigilance study was undertaken in the Department of Neurology B at the Montpellier University Hospital. A total of 153 patients were studied and all observed side-effects were listed in the French bank of Pharmacovigilance. Riluzole induced one or more adverse effects in 50.3 per cent of patients. The most frequent were gastrointestinal disturbances, hepatotoxicity and asthenia. Dermatological, haematological, neuropsychiatric and metabolic side-effects were also reported. This study shows an acceptable safety profile for riluzole. Due to its mode of action, riluzole could potentially be used in the treatment of other neurodegenerative diseases involving glutamate excitotoxicity. Subsequently, Pharmacovigilance will have to be carried out to establish the proper use of riluzole. PMID:10967703

  7. A genome-wide association study on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Taiwanese Han population.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chi-Jim; Chen, Chien-Ming; Pai, Tun-Wen; Chang, Hao-Teng; Hwang, Chi-Shin

    2016-06-01

    Identification of mutations in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in a genome-wide association study can reveal possible biomarkers of such a rapidly progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease. It was observed that significant single nucleotide polymorphisms vary when the tested population changes from one ethnic group to another. To identify new loci associated with ALS susceptibility in the Taiwanese Han population, we performed a genome-wide association study on 94 patients with sporadic ALS and 376 matched controls. We uncovered two new susceptibility loci at 13q14.3 (rs2785946) and 11q25 (rs11224052). In addition, we analyzed the functions of all the associated genes among 54 significant single nucleotide polymorphisms using Gene Ontology annotations, and the results showed several statistically significant neural- and muscle-related Gene Ontology terms and the associated diseases. PMID:26580837

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    We used thematic analysis to investigate factors affecting decision making about gastrostomy and noninvasive ventilation (NIV) by people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) from the viewpoint of the health care professionals (HCPs) supporting them. We conducted 20 in-depth interviews with 19 HCPs nominated by people with ALS who had made a decision to accept or decline NIV or gastrostomy. We found the main themes influencing decision making were patient-centric, caregiver-related or related to HCPs' own beliefs, perspectives, and actions. HCPs felt patients should be, and were, in control of decision making, although caregivers and HCPs played a role. The patient's evaluation of quality of life, the desirability of prolonging life, and acceptance of the disease and its progression by both patient and caregiver were the most important factors identified by HCPs. HCPs should be aware of the importance of multiprofessional discussions, and the potential influences (identified above) that might require discussion with patients and caregivers. PMID:25918114

  9. Tools and talk: an evolutionary perspective on the functional deficits associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Andrew; Turner, Martin R; Lemon, Roger

    2014-04-01

    We propose that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia may be viewed as a failure of interlinked functional complexes having their origins in key evolutionary adaptations. We discuss how hand-arm function, locomotion, brainstem function (involving vocalization/speech, swallowing and breathing), and cognitive impairment share complex, interdependent evolutionary adaptations that can be traced back several million years. Fine movements of the hand facilitated tool-making and use enhanced by development of bipedalism. Development of the larynx and integration of respiratory control were central to vocalization, which when combined with gesture are intermediary to human language. These adaptations were accompanied by progressive encephalization, with development of Theory of Mind to facilitate socialization. The varied clinical phenotypes of ALS can thus be understood in the context of inter-related functional complexes that subserve "Tools and Talk"; they have a long evolutionary history and are related to specific developmental neural and gene networks. PMID:24273101

  10. Mutations in the FUS/TLS gene on chromosome 16 cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kwiatkowski, T J; Bosco, D A; Leclerc, A L; Tamrazian, E; Vanderburg, C R; Russ, C; Davis, A; Gilchrist, J; Kasarskis, E J; Munsat, T; Valdmanis, P; Rouleau, G A; Hosler, B A; Cortelli, P; de Jong, P J; Yoshinaga, Y; Haines, J L; Pericak-Vance, M A; Yan, J; Ticozzi, N; Siddique, T; McKenna-Yasek, D; Sapp, P C; Horvitz, H R; Landers, J E; Brown, R H

    2009-02-27

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal degenerative motor neuron disorder. Ten percent of cases are inherited; most involve unidentified genes. We report here 13 mutations in the fused in sarcoma/translated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) gene on chromosome 16 that were specific for familial ALS. The FUS/TLS protein binds to RNA, functions in diverse processes, and is normally located predominantly in the nucleus. In contrast, the mutant forms of FUS/TLS accumulated in the cytoplasm of neurons, a pathology that is similar to that of the gene TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP43), whose mutations also cause ALS. Neuronal cytoplasmic protein aggregation and defective RNA metabolism thus appear to be common pathogenic mechanisms involved in ALS and possibly in other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:19251627

  11. Altered Metabolic Homeostasis in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Mechanisms of Energy Imbalance and Contribution to Disease Progression.

    PubMed

    Ioannides, Zara A; Ngo, Shyuan T; Henderson, Robert D; McCombe, Pamela A; Steyn, Frederik J

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the death of motor neurones, which leads to paralysis and death in an average of 3 years following diagnosis. The cause of ALS is unknown, but there is substantial evidence that metabolic factors, including nutritional state and body weight, affect disease progression and survival. This review provides an overview of the characteristics of metabolic dysregulation in ALS focusing on mechanisms that lead to disrupted energy supply (at a whole-body and cellular level) and altered energy expenditure. We discuss how a decrease in energy supply occurs in parallel with an increase in energy demand and leads to a state of chronic energy deficit which has a negative impact on disease outcome in ALS. We conclude by presenting potential and tested strategies to compensate for, or correct this energy imbalance, and speculate on promising areas for further research. PMID:27400276

  12. RNA-mediated pathogenic mechanisms in polyglutamine diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Ho Yin Edwin

    2014-01-01

    Gene transcription produces a wide variety of ribonucleic acid (RNA) species in eukaryotes. Individual types of RNA, such as messenger, structural and regulatory RNA, are known to play distinct roles in the cell. Recently, researchers have identified a large number of RNA-mediated toxicity pathways that play significant pathogenic roles in numerous human disorders. In this article, we describe various common RNA toxicity pathways, namely epigenetic gene silencing, nucleolar stress, nucleocytoplasmic transport, bi-directional gene transcription, repeat-associated non-ATG translation, RNA foci formation and cellular protein sequestration. We emphasize RNA toxicity mechanisms that involve nucleotide repeat expansion, such as those related to polyglutamine (polyQ) disorders and frontotemporal lobar degeneration-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:25565965

  13. Pseudo-ischaemic ECG in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis surviving for a decade

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Yang, Shi-Wei; Wang, Zheng; Wei, Guang-Ru; Zhou, Yu-Jie

    2012-01-01

    A 58-year-old female with no history of heart disease was admitted to our hospital for abnormal ECG mimicking myocardial ischaemia. The ECG revealed persistent T-wave inversion in almost all leads, especially in precordial leads V2–V6. The patient had no complaints of chest pain, chest distress, short of breath or other atypical myocardial ischaemia symptoms. She had a history of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with a disease course more than 20 years. Examinations help rule out other diseases causing persistent T-wave inversion. Importantly, cardiac catheterisation showed nearly normal coronary arteries that could rule out myocardial ischaemia. Accordingly, the authors presumed that the pseudo-ischaemic ECG was associated with ALS in this patient. The findings of the present case provide new evidence that autonomic nervous system may involve in the pathophysiological progress of ALS. PMID:22665549

  14. Discordance between train-of-four response and clinical symptoms in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Chang, Young Jin; Jung, Wol Seon; Son, Woon Rak; Jo, Young Yi

    2014-01-01

    A 47-year-old woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was scheduled for total thyroidectomy with cervical node dissection. During anesthetic management by total intravenous anesthesia using remifentanil, propofol, and rocuronium, train-of-four (TOF) monitoring findings were not consistent with clinical signs. Sugammadex successfully reversed shallow respiration. PMID:24743788

  15. Oxidized/misfolded superoxide dismutase-1: the cause of all amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    PubMed

    Kabashi, Edor; Valdmanis, Paul N; Dion, Patrick; Rouleau, Guy A

    2007-12-01

    The identification in 1993 of superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) mutations as the cause of 10 to 20% of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases, which represents 1 to 2% of all amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases, prompted a substantial amount of research into the mechanisms of SOD1-mediated toxicity. Recent experiments have demonstrated that oxidation of wild-type SOD1 leads to its misfolding, causing it to gain many of the same toxic properties as mutant SOD1. In vitro studies of oxidized/misfolded SOD1 and in vivo studies of misfolded SOD1 have indicated that these protein species are selectively toxic to motor neurons, suggesting that oxidized/misfolded SOD1 could lead to ALS even in individuals who do not carry an SOD1 mutation. It has also been reported that glial cells secrete oxidized/misfolded mutant SOD1 to the extracellular environment, where it can trigger the selective death of motor neurons, offering a possible explanation for the noncell autonomous nature of mutant SOD1 toxicity and the rapid progression of disease once the first symptoms develop. Therefore, considering that sporadic (SALS) and familial ALS (FALS) cases are clinically indistinguishable, the toxic properties of mutated SOD1 are similar to that of oxidized/misfolded wild-type SOD1 (wtSOD1), and secreted/extracellular misfolded SOD1 is selectively toxic to motor neurons, we propose that oxidized/misfolded SOD1 is the cause of most forms of classic ALS and should be a prime target for the design of ALS treatments. PMID:18074357

  16. Noninvasive Ventilation Improves Sleep in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Prospective Polysomnographic Study

    PubMed Central

    Vrijsen, Bart; Buyse, Bertien; Belge, Catharina; Robberecht, Wim; Van Damme, Philip; Decramer, Marc; Testelmans, Dries

    2015-01-01

    Study Objective: To evaluate the effects of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) on sleep in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after meticulous titration with polysomnography (PSG). Methods: In this prospective observational study, 24 ALS patients were admitted to the sleep laboratory during 4 nights for in-hospital NIV titration with PSG and nocturnal capnography. Questionnaires were used to assess subjective sleep quality and quality of life (QoL). Patients were readmitted after one month. Results: In the total group, slow wave sleep and REM sleep increased and the arousal-awakening index improved. The group without bulbar involvement (non-bulbar) showed the same improvements, together with an increase in sleep efficiency. Nocturnal oxygen and carbon dioxide levels improved in the total and non-bulbar group. Except for oxygen saturation during REM sleep, no improvement in respiratory function or sleep structure was found in bulbar patients. However, these patients showed less room for improvement. Patient-reported outcomes showed improvement in sleep quality and QoL for the total and non-bulbar group, while bulbar patients only reported improvements in very few subscores. Conclusions: This study shows an improvement of sleep architecture, carbon dioxide, and nocturnal oxygen saturation at the end of NIV titration and after one month of NIV in ALS patients. More studies are needed to identify the appropriate time to start NIV in bulbar patients. Our results suggest that accurate titration of NIV by PSG improves sleep quality. Commentary: A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 511. Citation: Vrijsen B, Buyse B, Belge C, Robberecht W, Van Damme P, Decramer M, Testelmans D. Noninvasive ventilation improves sleep in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a prospective polysomnographic study. J Clin Sleep Med 2015;11(5):559–566. PMID:25766713

  17. Increased levels of phosphoinositides cause neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Forrest, Stuart; Chai, Andrea; Sanhueza, Mario; Marescotti, Manuela; Parry, Katherine; Georgiev, Atanas; Sahota, Virender; Mendez-Castro, Raquel; Pennetta, Giuseppa

    2013-01-01

    The Vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP)-Associated Protein B (VAPB) is the causative gene of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 8 (ALS8) in humans. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective death of motor neurons leading to spasticity, muscle atrophy and paralysis. VAP proteins have been implicated in various cellular processes, including intercellular signalling, synaptic remodelling, lipid transport and membrane trafficking and yet, the molecular mechanisms underlying ALS8 pathogenesis remain poorly understood. We identified the conserved phosphoinositide phosphatase Sac1 as a Drosophila VAP (DVAP)-binding partner and showed that DVAP is required to maintain normal levels of phosphoinositides. Downregulating either Sac1 or DVAP disrupts axonal transport, synaptic growth, synaptic microtubule integrity and the localization of several postsynaptic components. Expression of the disease-causing allele (DVAP-P58S) in a fly model for ALS8 induces neurodegeneration, elicits synaptic defects similar to those of DVAP or Sac1 downregulation and increases phosphoinositide levels. Consistent with a role for Sac1-mediated increase of phosphoinositide levels in ALS8 pathogenesis, we found that Sac1 downregulation induces neurodegeneration in a dosage-dependent manner. In addition, we report that Sac1 is sequestered into the DVAP-P58S-induced aggregates and that reducing phosphoinositide levels rescues the neurodegeneration and suppresses the synaptic phenotypes associated with DVAP-P58S transgenic expression. These data underscore the importance of DVAP–Sac1 interaction in controlling phosphoinositide metabolism and provide mechanistic evidence for a crucial role of phosphoinositide levels in VAP-induced ALS. PMID:23492670

  18. DIABETES, OBESITY AND DIAGNOSIS OF AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS: A POPULATION-BASED STUDY

    PubMed Central

    Kioumourtzoglou, Marianthi-Anna; Rotem, Ran S.; Seals, Ryan M.; Gredal, Ole; Hansen, Johnni; Weisskopf, Marc G.

    2016-01-01

    Importance Although prior studies have suggested a role of cardiometabolic health on pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the association with diabetes has not been widely examined. Objective Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is the most common motor neuron disorder. Several vascular risk factors have been associated with decreased risk for ALS. Although diabetes is also a risk factor for vascular disease, the few studies of diabetes and ALS have been inconsistent. We examined the association between diabetes and obesity, each identified through ICD-8 or 10 codes in a hospital registry, and ALS using data from the Danish National Registers. Design and Setting Population-based nested case-control study. Participants 3,650 Danish residents diagnosed with ALS between 1982 and 2009, and 365,000 controls (100 for each ALS case), matched on age and sex. Main Outcome Measure Adjusted odds ratio (OR) for ALS associated with diabetes or obesity diagnoses at least three years prior to the ALS diagnosis date. Results When considering diabetes and our obesity indicator together, the estimated OR for ALS was 0.61 (95%CI: 0.46–0.80) for diabetes and 0.81 (95%CI: 0.57–1.16) for obesity. We observed no effect modification on the association with diabetes by gender, but a significant modification by age at first diabetes or age at ALS, with the protective association stronger with increasing age, consistent with different associations by diabetes type. Conclusions and Relevance We conducted a nationwide study to investigate the association between diabetes and ALS diagnosis. Our findings are in agreement with previous reports of a protective association between vascular risk factors and ALS, and suggest type 2 diabetes, but not type 1, is protective for ALS. PMID:26030836

  19. Executive Dysfunctions and Event-Related Brain Potentials in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Seer, Caroline; Fürkötter, Stefanie; Vogts, Maj-Britt; Lange, Florian; Abdulla, Susanne; Dengler, Reinhard; Petri, Susanne; Kopp, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of evidence implies psychological disturbances in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Specifically, executive dysfunctions occur in up to 50% of ALS patients. The recently shown presence of cytoplasmic aggregates (TDP-43) in ALS patients and in patients with behavioral variants of frontotemporal dementia suggests that these two disease entities form the extremes of a spectrum. The present study aimed at investigating behavioral and electrophysiological indices of conflict processing in patients with ALS. A non-verbal variant of the flanker task demanded two-choice responses to target stimuli that were surrounded by flanker stimuli which either primed the correct response or the alternative response (the latter case representing the conflict situation). Behavioral performance, event-related potentials (ERP), and lateralized readiness potentials (LRP) were analyzed in 21 ALS patients and 20 controls. In addition, relations between these measures and executive dysfunctions were examined. ALS patients performed the flanker task normally, indicating preserved conflict processing. In similar vein, ERP and LRP indices of conflict processing did not differ between groups. However, ALS patients showed enhanced posterior negative ERP waveform deflections, possibly indicating increased modulation of visual processing by frontoparietal networks in ALS. We also found that the presence of executive dysfunctions was associated with more error-prone behavior and enhanced LRP amplitudes in ALS patients, pointing to a prefrontal pathogenesis of executive dysfunctions and to a potential link between prefrontal and motor cortical functional dysregulation in ALS, respectively. PMID:26733861

  20. Positron emission tomography neuroimaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: what is new?

    PubMed

    Quartuccio, N; Van Weehaeghe, D; Cistaro, A; Jonsson, C; Van Laere, K; Pagani, M

    2014-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease involving upper and lower motor neurons, extra-motor neurons, microglia and astrocytes. The neurodegenerative process results in progressive muscle paralysis and even in cognitive impairment. Within the complex diagnostic work-up, positron emission tomography (PET) represents a valuable imaging tool in the assessment of patients with ALS. PET, by means of different radiotracers (i.e. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose, 6-[18F]fluoro-L-dopa, [11C]flumazenil) can assess the status of the wide range of brain regions and neural circuits, which can be affected by ALS. Furthermore, experimental radiocompounds have been developed for the evaluation of white matter, which plays a role in the progression of the disease. Here we present a comprehensive review including in different sections the most relevant PET studies: studies investigating ALS and ALS-mimicking conditions (especially primary lateral sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases), articles selecting specific subsets of patients (with bulbar or spinal onset), studies investigating patients with familial type of ALS, studies evaluating the role of the white matter in ALS and papers evaluating the diagnostic sensitivity of PET in ALS patients. PMID:25375229

  1. Oral motor functions, speech and communication before a definitive diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Makkonen, Tanja; Korpijaakko-Huuhka, Anna-Maija; Ruottinen, Hanna; Puhto, Riitta; Hollo, Kirsi; Ylinen, Aarne; Palmio, Johanna

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the cranial nerve symptoms, speech disorders and communicative effectiveness of Finnish patients with diagnosed or possible amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at their first assessment by a speech-language pathologist. The group studied consisted of 30 participants who had clinical signs of bulbar deterioration at the beginning of the study. They underwent a thorough clinical speech and communication examination. The cranial nerve symptoms and ability to communicate were compared in 14 participants with probable or definitive ALS and in 16 participants with suspected or possible ALS. The initial type of ALS was also assessed. More deterioration in soft palate function was found in participants with possible ALS than with diagnosed ALS. Likewise, a slower speech rate combined with more severe dysarthria was observed in possible ALS. In both groups, there was some deterioration in communicative effectiveness. In the possible ALS group the diagnostic delay was longer and speech therapy intervention actualized later. The participants with ALS showed multidimensional decline in communication at their first visit to the speech-language pathologist, but impairments and activity limitations were more severe in suspected or possible ALS. The majority of persons with bulbar-onset ALS in this study were in the latter diagnostic group. This suggests that they are more susceptible to delayed diagnosis and delayed speech therapy assessment. It is important to start speech therapy intervention during the diagnostic processes particularly if the person already shows bulbar symptoms. PMID:27110704

  2. Electrophysiological and spinal imaging evidences for sensory dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Iglesias, Caroline; Sangari, Sina; El Mendili, Mohamed-Mounir; Benali, Habib; Marchand-Pauvert, Véronique; Pradat, Pierre-François

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The prevalence of sensory impairment at an early stage of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is still debated. The study aim was to investigate the anatomofunctional properties of sensory pathways in patients with ALS, combining spinal diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). Design Case–control study. Settings ALS referral centre and laboratory of biomedical imaging (Paris, France). Participants Well-characterised group of 21 patients with ALS with moderate disability (mean amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS) score 39.3±1.0) and no clinical sensory signs and control group of 21 gender and age-matched healthy subjects. Outcome measures Fractional anisotropy and diffusivity of the dorsal columns at C5-T1 levels (DTI metrics) and SEPs after median and ulnar nerve stimulations (latency and amplitude of N9 and N20 components). Results Abnormal DTI metrics indicated anatomical damages of ascending sensory fibres in ∼60% of patients (p<0.05). Raw SEPs (μV) were smaller in ∼40% of patients but the difference with healthy subjects was not significant (p>0.16). Their normalisation to prestimulus activity strengthened the difference between groups (p<0.05) and allowed identification of ∼60% of patients with abnormal values. According to N9 latency, the peripheral conduction time was normal in patients (p>0.32) but based on N20 latency, the central conduction time (between spinal cord and parietal cortex) was found to be slower (p<0.05). Significant correlation was found between DTI metrics and N9 amplitude (p<0.05). Altered SEPs were also correlated with the disease duration (p<0.05). Taken together, spinal imaging and electrophysiology helped to identify ∼85% of patients with subclinical sensory defect while separated methods revealed abnormal values in ∼60%. Conclusions Sensory impairments have been underestimated at early stages of ALS. These results show for the first time the interest

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects upper and lower motor neurons. Observational and intervention studies can be tracked using clinical measures such as the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) but for a complete understanding of disease progression, objective in vivo biomarkers of both central and peripheral motor pathway pathology are highly desirable. The aim of this study was to determine the utility of structural and diffusion imaging as central nervous system biomarkers compared to the standard clinical measure, ALSFRS-R, to track longitudinal evolution using three time-point measurements. N = 34 patients with ALS were scanned and clinically assessed three times at a mean of three month time intervals. The MRI biomarkers were structural T1-weighted volumes for cortical thickness measurement as well as deep grey matter volumetry, voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Cortical thickness focused specifically on the precentral gyrus while quantitative DTI biomarkers focused on the corticospinal tracts. The evolution of imaging biomarkers and ALSFRS-R scores over time were analysed using a mixed effects model that accounted for the scanning interval as a fixed effect variable, and, the initial measurements and time from onset as random variables. The mixed effects model showed a significant decrease in the ALSFRS-R score, (p < 0.0001, and an annual rate of change (AROC) of - 7.3 points). Similarly, fractional anisotropy of the corticospinal tract showed a significant decrease (p = 0.009, AROC = - 0.0066) that, in turn, was driven by a significant increase in radial diffusivity combined with a trend to decrease in axial diffusivity. No significant change in cortical thickness of the precentral gyrus was found (p > 0.5). In addition, deep grey matter volumetry and voxel-based morphometry also identified no significant changes. Furthermore, the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects upper and lower motor neurons. Observational and intervention studies can be tracked using clinical measures such as the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) but for a complete understanding of disease progression, objective in vivo biomarkers of both central and peripheral motor pathway pathology are highly desirable. The aim of this study was to determine the utility of structural and diffusion imaging as central nervous system biomarkers compared to the standard clinical measure, ALSFRS-R, to track longitudinal evolution using three time-point measurements. N = 34 patients with ALS were scanned and clinically assessed three times at a mean of three month time intervals. The MRI biomarkers were structural T1-weighted volumes for cortical thickness measurement as well as deep grey matter volumetry, voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Cortical thickness focused specifically on the precentral gyrus while quantitative DTI biomarkers focused on the corticospinal tracts. The evolution of imaging biomarkers and ALSFRS-R scores over time were analysed using a mixed effects model that accounted for the scanning interval as a fixed effect variable, and, the initial measurements and time from onset as random variables. The mixed effects model showed a significant decrease in the ALSFRS-R score, (p < 0.0001, and an annual rate of change (AROC) of − 7.3 points). Similarly, fractional anisotropy of the corticospinal tract showed a significant decrease (p = 0.009, AROC = − 0.0066) that, in turn, was driven by a significant increase in radial diffusivity combined with a trend to decrease in axial diffusivity. No significant change in cortical thickness of the precentral gyrus was found (p > 0.5). In addition, deep grey matter volumetry and voxel-based morphometry also identified no significant changes. Furthermore, the

  5. Defining peripheral nervous system dysfunction in the SOD-1G93A transgenic rat model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Riva, Nilo; Chaabane, Linda; Peviani, Marco; Ungaro, Daniela; Domi, Teuta; Dina, Giorgia; Bianchi, Francesca; Spano, Giorgia; Cerri, Federica; Podini, Paola; Corbo, Massimo; Carro, Ubaldo Del; Comi, Giancarlo; Bendotti, Caterina; Quattrini, Angelo

    2014-07-01

    Growing evidence indicates that alterations within the peripheral nervous system (PNS) are involved at an early stage in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathogenetic cascade. In this study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neurophysiologic analyses, and histologic analyses were used to monitor the extent of PNS damage in the hSOD-1 ALS rat model. The imaging signature of the disease was defined using in vivo MRI of the sciatic nerve. Initial abnormalities were detected in the nerves by an increase in T2 relaxation time before the onset of clinical disease; diffusion MRI showed a progressive increase in mean and radial diffusivity and reduction of fractional anisotropy at advanced stages of disease. Histologic analysis demonstrated early impairment of the blood-nerve barrier followed by acute axonal degeneration associated with endoneurial edema and macrophage response in motor nerve compartments. Progressive axonal degeneration and motor nerve fiber loss correlated with MRI and neurophysiologic changes. These functional and morphologic investigations of the PNS might be applied in following disease progression in preclinical therapeutic studies. This study establishes the PNS signature in this rat ALS model (shedding new light into pathogenesis) and provides a rationale for translating into future systematic MRI studies of PNS involvement in patients with ALS. PMID:24918640

  6. Effect of a short-term psychological intervention on the anxiety and depression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Díaz, José Luis; Sancho, Jesús; Barreto, Pilar; Bañuls, Pilar; Renovell, Mercedes; Servera, Emilio

    2016-07-01

    This study evaluated the effectiveness of a psychological intervention in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients, consisting of four semi-structured sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy combined with counselling techniques. An intervention group and a control group were established. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess levels of anxiety and depression. In total, fifty-four patients took part. Prior to the intervention, the intervention group displayed rates of 63.3 and 36.7 per cent for anxiety and depression, respectively, falling to 16.7 and 10.0 per cent afterwards. The psychological intervention demonstrated potential for the reduction of levels of anxiety and depression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. PMID:25370571

  7. Evaluating the prevalence of polyglutamine repeat expansions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, T.; Li, Y.R.; Chesi, A.; Hart, M.P.; Ramos, D.; Jethava, N.; Hosangadi, D.; Epstein, J.; Hodges, B.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Given the recent finding of an association between intermediate-length polyglutamine (polyQ) expansions in ataxin 2 and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we sought to determine whether expansions in other polyQ disease genes were associated with ALS. Methods: We assessed the polyQ lengths of ataxin 1, ataxin 3, ataxin 6, ataxin 7, TBP, atrophin 1, and huntingtin in several hundred patients with sporadic ALS and healthy controls. Results: Other than ataxin 2, we did not identify a significant association with the other polyQ genes and ALS. Conclusions: These data indicate that the effects of ataxin 2 polyQ expansions on ALS risk are likely to be rooted in the biology of ataxin 2 or ataxin 2-specific interactions, rather than the presence of an expanded polyQ repeat per se. These findings have important consequences for understanding the role of ataxin 2 in ALS pathogenesis and provide a framework for future mechanistic studies. PMID:21562248

  8. Impact of disease, cognitive and behavioural factors on caregiver outcome in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Watermeyer, Tamlyn J; Brown, Richard G; Sidle, Katie C L; Oliver, David J; Allen, Christopher; Karlsson, Joanna; Ellis, Cathy; Shaw, Christopher E; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Goldstein, Laura H

    2015-01-01

    Up to 50% of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) show mild to moderate cognitive-behavioural change alongside their progressive functional impairment. This study examines the relative impact of patients' disease symptoms, behavioural change and current executive function and social cognition abilities on psychosocial outcomes in spouse caregivers of people with ALS. Thirty-five spouse caregivers rated their own levels of depression and anxiety, subjective burden and marital satisfaction. Caregivers also rated their partner's everyday behaviour. The patients were assessed for disease severity and cognitive function, with composite scores derived for executive function and social cognition. Regression analyses revealed that caregiver burden was predicted by the severity of patients' limb involvement and behavioural problems. Depression was predicted by patients' limb involvement, while behavioural problems and patient age predicted caregiver anxiety. Current marital satisfaction was predicted by patient behavioural problems beyond the level of pre-illness marital satisfaction. In conclusion, the study highlights the potential impact of ALS patients' functional impairment and behavioural change on ALS caregivers' psychosocial functioning. Clinical communication with ALS families should emphasise both physical and psychological challenges presented by the disease. PMID:26199108

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    The objective of this study is to determine if quality of care, symptoms of depression, disease characteristics and quality of life of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are related to requesting euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (EAS) and dying due to EAS. Therefore, 102 ALS patients filled out structured questionnaires every 3 months until death and the results were correlated with EAS. Thirty-one percent of the patients requested EAS, 69% of whom eventually died as a result of EAS (22% of all patients). Ten percent died during continuous deep sedation; only one of them had explicitly requested death to be hastened. Of the patients who requested EAS, 86% considered the health care to be good or excellent, 16% felt depressed, 45% experienced loss of dignity and 42% feared choking. These percentages do not differ from the number of patients who did not explicitly request EAS. The frequency of consultations of professional caregivers and availability of appliances was similar in both groups. Our findings do not support continuous deep sedation being used as a substitute for EAS. In this prospective study, no evidence was found for a relation between EAS and the quality and quantity of care received, quality of life and symptoms of depression in patients with ALS. Our study does not support the notion that unmet palliative care needs are related to EAS. PMID:25022937

  10. Beyond the consensus criteria: multiple cognitive profiles in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    PubMed

    Consonni, Monica; Catricalà, Eleonora; Dalla Bella, Eleonora; Gessa, Valentina C; Lauria, Giuseppe; Cappa, Stefano F

    2016-08-01

    The Strong consensus recommendations (2009) propose behavioural (ALSbi) and/or dysexecutive (ALSci) impairment as the two main clinical profiles of non-motor manifestations in non-demented amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. We aimed at assessing whether clustering pattern of neuropsychological performance of ALS patients suggest the existence of additional clinical syndromes beyond the currently recognized phenotypes. We applied principal component analysis (PCA) to a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation of 71 non-demented ALS patients in order to identify clusters of variables correlating highly with each other, with the aim of detecting distinct patterns of neuropsychological test performance. The outcome of PCA demonstrated the existence of three main test clusters. Two, accounting for 27% of the patients, were compatible with the recognised ALSbi and ALSci profiles. An additional third cluster loaded on social cognition, language and memory tests and accounted for 24% of the patients. Of these, 15% had defective performance on at least two tests belonging to the latter non-executive cluster, and were thus unclassifiable according to current criteria. Our data-driven approach indicated a third dimension of cognitive impairment, including language, social cognition and episodic memory, as a distinct pattern of non-motor manifestations in ALS patients, in addition to the recognized ALSci and ALSbi profiles. PMID:27236371

  11. Oral Solubilized Ursodeoxycholic Acid Therapy in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Randomized Cross-Over Trial

    PubMed Central

    Min, Ju-Hong; Hong, Yoon-Ho; Sung, Jung-Joon; Kim, Sung-Min; Lee, Jung Bok

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the efficacy and safety of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) with oral solubilized formula in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, patients with probable or definite ALS were randomized to receive oral solubilized UDCA (3.5 g/140 mL/day) or placebo for 3 months after a run-in period of 1 month and switched to receive the other treatment for 3 months after a wash-out period of 1 month. The primary outcome was the rate of progression, assessed by the Appel ALS rating scale (AALSRS), and the secondary outcomes were the revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) and forced vital capacity (FVC). Fifty-three patients completed either the first or second period of study with only 16 of 63 enrolled patients given both treatments sequentially. The slope of AALSRS was 1.17 points/month lower while the patients were treated with UDCA than with placebo (95% CI for difference 0.08-2.26, P = 0.037), whereas the slopes of ALSFRS-R and FVC did not show significant differences between treatments. Gastrointestinal adverse events were more common with UDCA (P < 0.05). Oral solubilized UDCA seems to be tolerable in ALS patients, but we could not make firm conclusion regarding its efficacy, particularly due to the high attrition rate in this cross-over trial. PMID:22323869

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25704016

  13. Characterization of Intercostal Muscle Pathology in Canine Degenerative Myelopathy: A Disease Model for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Brandie R.; Coates, Joan R.; Johnson, Gayle C.; Bujnak, Alyssa C.; Katz, Martin L.

    2014-01-01

    Dogs homozygous for missense mutations in the SOD1 gene develop a late-onset neuromuscular disorder called degenerative myelopathy (DM) that has many similarities to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Both disorders are characterized by widespread progressive declines in motor functions accompanied by atrophic changes in the descending spinal cord tracts , and some forms of ALS are also associated with SOD1 mutations. In end-stage ALS, death usually occurs as a result of respiratory failure due to severe functional impairment of respiratory muscles. The mechanisms that lead to this loss of function are not known. Dogs with DM are euthanized at all stages of disease progression providing an opportunity to characterize the onset and progression of any pathological changes in the respiratory muscles that may precede respiratory failure. To characterize such potential disease-related pathology we evaluated intercostal muscles from Boxer and Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs that were euthanized at various stages of DM disease progression. DM was found to result in intercostal muscle atrophy, fibrosis, increased variability in muscle fiber size and shape, and an alteration in muscle fiber type composition. This pathology was not accompanied by retraction of the motor neuron terminals from the muscle acetylcholine receptor complexes, suggesting that the muscle atrophy did not result from physical denervation. These findings provide a better understanding of the mechanisms that likely lead to respiratory failure in at least some forms of ALS and will be useful in the development and evaluation of potential therapeutic interventions using the DM model. PMID:24043596

  14. Incidence and prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in an HMO of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Bettini, Mariela; Vicens, Jimena; Giunta, Diego Hernán; Rugiero, Marcelo; Cristiano, Edgardo

    2013-12-01

    The incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 per 100,000 persons worldwide. Few epidemiological studies have been published in Latin America. The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence and prevalence of ALS in an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) of Buenos Aires, capital city of Argentina. The population studied was affiliates of the Italian Hospital Medical Care Program, whose distribution across age and gender strata is similar to the population of Buenos Aires. Cases were detected from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2010. Incidence density (ID) and prevalence for ALS were estimated for the whole period and at 31 December 2010, respectively. During the seven-year study period, the crude ID estimated was 3.17 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI 2.24-4.48) and the age-adjusted ID for the Buenos Aires population was 2.23 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI 1.45-3.01). Point prevalence at 31 December 2010 was 8.86 per 100,000 persons (95% CI 4.05-13.68). Mean age at diagnosis was 72.29 years (SD 8.5). In conclusion, estimated age-adjusted ID and prevalence of ALS were similar to the incidence and prevalence rates found in other geographical areas. PMID:23834086

  15. Lack of association between the APEX1 Asp148Glu polymorphism and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Coppedè, Fabio; Lo Gerfo, Annalisa; Carlesi, Cecilia; Piazza, Selina; Mancuso, Michelangelo; Pasquali, Livia; Murri, Luigi; Migliore, Lucia; Siciliano, Gabriele

    2010-02-01

    Impairments in DNA repair enzymes have been observed in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) tissues, particularly in the activity of the apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APEX1). Moreover, it was suggested that the common APEX1 Asp148Glu polymorphism might be associated with ALS risk. To further address this question we performed the present study aimed at evaluating the contribution of the APEX1 Asp148Glu polymorphism in sporadic ALS (sALS) risk and clinical presentation, including age and site of onset and disease progression. We screened 134 sALS Italian patients and 129 matched controls for the presence of the APEX1 Asp148Glu polymorphism. No difference in APEX1 Asp148Glu allele and genotype frequencies was found between the groups, nor was the polymorphism associated with age and site of onset or disease progression. Present results do not support a role for the APEX1 Asp148Glu polymorphism in sALS pathogenesis in the Italian population. PMID:18482781

  16. Suppressed autophagy flux in skeletal muscle of an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse model during disease progression

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Yajuan; Ma, Changling; Yi, Jianxun; Wu, Shaoping; Luo, Guo; Xu, Xiulong; Lin, Pei‐Hui; Sun, Jun; Zhou, Jingsong

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Accumulation of abnormal protein inclusions is implicated in motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Autophagy, an intracellular process targeting misfolded proteins and damaged organelles for lysosomal degradation, plays crucial roles in survival and diseased conditions. Efforts were made to understand the role of autophagy in motor neuron degeneration and to target autophagy in motor neuron for ALS treatment. However, results were quite contradictory. Possible autophagy defects in other cell types may also complicate the results. Here, we examined autophagy activity in skeletal muscle of an ALS mouse model G93A. Through overexpression of a fluorescent protein LC3‐RFP, we found a basal increase in autophagosome formation in G93A muscle during disease progression when the mice were on a regular diet. As expected, an autophagy induction procedure (starvation plus colchicine) enhanced autophagy flux in skeletal muscle of normal mice. However, in response to the same autophagy induction procedure, G93A muscle showed significant reduction in the autophagy flux. Immunoblot analysis revealed that increased cleaved caspase‐3 associated with apoptosis was linked to the cleavage of several key proteins involved in autophagy, including Beclin‐1, which is an essential molecule connecting autophagy and apoptosis pathways. Taking together, we provide the evidence that the cytoprotective autophagy pathway is suppressed in G93A skeletal muscle and this suppression may link to the enhanced apoptosis during ALS progression. The abnormal autophagy activity in skeletal muscle likely contributes muscle degeneration and disease progression in ALS. PMID:25602021

  17. Well-being in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pilot experience sampling study

    PubMed Central

    Real, Ruben G. L.; Dickhaus, Thorsten; Ludolph, Albert; Hautzinger, Martin; Kübler, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Objective: The aim of this longitudinal study was to identify predictors of instantaneous well-being in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Based on flow theory well-being was expected to be highest when perceived demands and perceived control were in balance, and that thinking about the past would be a risk factor for rumination which would in turn reduce well-being. Methods: Using the experience sampling method, data on current activities, associated aspects of perceived demands, control, and well-being were collected from 10 patients with ALS three times a day for two weeks. Results: Results show that perceived control was uniformly and positively associated with well-being, but that demands were only positively associated with well-being when they were perceived as controllable. Mediation analysis confirmed thinking about the past, but not thinking about the future, to be a risk factor for rumination and reduced well-being. Discussion: Findings extend our knowledge of factors contributing to well-being in ALS as not only perceived control but also perceived demands can contribute to well-being. They further show that a focus on present experiences might contribute to increased well-being. PMID:25071670

  18. Hexosaminidase A deficiency is an uncommon cause of a syndrome mimicking amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Drory, Vivian E; Birnbaum, Miriam; Peleg, Leah; Goldman, Boleslaw; Korczyn, Amos D

    2003-07-01

    Patients with adult hexosaminidase A (Hex A) deficiency may have clinical manifestations similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutations in the hexosaminidase A (HEXA) gene are common in the Jewish Ashkenazi population in Israel. Serum samples of 115 Israeli patients with sporadic ALS were screened for enzymatic activity to detect "enzyme-based carriers." Fifteen samples with low (< 50%) enzymatic activity were subjected to mutation analysis, which included the two common mutations in the HEXA gene among Ashkenazi Jews (+1278TATC and IVS12+1G-->C). Three "enzymatic carrier" patients of Moroccan origin were checked for two additional mutations (DeltaF304/305 and Arg170-->Gln), specific to this ethnic group. Two "enzymatic carrier" patients of Iraqi origin were analyzed for the mutation Gly250-->Val, specific to this population. The mutation Gly 269-->Ser was screened in carriers of Ashkenazi origin only (n = 10). The only abnormalities found were heterozygous +1278TATC mutations in two Ashkenazi patients. Their clinical presentation was not different from that usually encountered in ALS. The frequency of mutations in the HEXA gene among Israeli ALS patients was not higher than in the healthy Israeli population. Therefore, Hex A deficiency seems to be a very unlikely cause of an ALS-mimic syndrome. PMID:12811781

  19. Two superoxide dismutase prion strains transmit amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–like disease

    PubMed Central

    Bidhendi, Elaheh Ekhtiari; Bergh, Johan; Zetterström, Per; Andersen, Peter M.; Marklund, Stefan L.; Brännström, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset degeneration of motor neurons that is commonly caused by mutations in the gene encoding superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). Both patients and Tg mice expressing mutant human SOD1 (hSOD1) develop aggregates of unknown importance. In Tg mice, 2 different strains of hSOD1 aggregates (denoted A and B) can arise; however, the role of these aggregates in disease pathogenesis has not been fully characterized. Here, minute amounts of strain A and B hSOD1 aggregate seeds that were prepared by centrifugation through a density cushion were inoculated into lumbar spinal cords of 100-day-old mice carrying a human SOD1 Tg. Mice seeded with A or B aggregates developed premature signs of ALS and became terminally ill after approximately 100 days, which is 200 days earlier than for mice that had not been inoculated or were given a control preparation. Concomitantly, exponentially growing strain A and B hSOD1 aggregations propagated rostrally throughout the spinal cord and brainstem. The phenotypes provoked by the A and B strains differed regarding progression rates, distribution, end-stage aggregate levels, and histopathology. Together, our data indicate that the aggregate strains are prions that transmit a templated, spreading aggregation of hSOD1, resulting in a fatal ALS-like disease. PMID:27140399

  20. The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 8 protein, VAP, is required for ER protein quality control

    PubMed Central

    Moustaqim-Barrette, Amina; Lin, Yong Q.; Pradhan, Sreeparna; Neely, Gregory G.; Bellen, Hugo J.; Tsuda, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    A familial form of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS8) is caused by a point mutation (P56S) in the vesicle-associated membrane protein associated protein B (VapB). Human VapB and Drosophila Vap-33-1 (Vap) are homologous type II transmembrane proteins that are localized to the ER. However, the precise consequences of the defects associated with the P56S mutation in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and its role in the pathology of ALS are not well understood. Here we show that Vap is required for ER protein quality control (ERQC). Loss of Vap in flies shows various ERQC associated defects, including protein accumulation, ER expansion, and ER stress. We also show that wild type Vap, but not the ALS8 mutant Vap, interacts with a lipid-binding protein, Oxysterol binding protein (Osbp), and that Vap is required for the proper localization of Osbp to the ER. Restoring the expression of Osbp in the ER suppresses the defects associated with loss of Vap and the ALS8 mutant Vap. Hence, we propose that the ALS8 mutation impairs the interaction of Vap with Osbp, resulting in hypomorphic defects that might contribute to the pathology of ALS8. PMID:24271015

  1. The Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore: A Molecular Target for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lee J.

    2009-01-01

    Effective therapies are needed for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal type of motor neuron disease. Morphological, biochemical, molecular genetic, and cell/animal model studies suggest that mitochondria have potentially diverse roles in neurodegenerative disease mechanisms and neuronal cell death. In human ALS, abnormalities have been found in mitochondrial structure, mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes, and mitochondrial cell death proteins indicative of some non-classical form of programmed cell death. Mouse models of ALS are beginning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of selective neuronal vulnerability that implicate mitochondria. This minireview summarizes work on the how malfunctioning mitochondria might contribute to neuronal death in ALS through the biophysical entity called the mitochondrial permeability pore (mPTP). The major protein components of the mPTP are enriched in mouse motor neurons. Early in the course of disease in ALS mice expressing human mutant superoxide dismutase-1, mitochondria in motor neurons undergo trafficking abnormalities and dramatic remodeling resulting in the formation of mega-mitochondria and coinciding with increased protein carbonyl formation and nitration of mPTP components. The genetic deletion of a major mPTP component, cyclophilin D, has robust effects in ALS mice by delaying disease onset and extending survival. Thus, attention should be directed to the mPTP as rational target for the development of drugs designed to treat ALS. PMID:19651206

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

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Bradley J; Bäumer, Dirk; Parkinson, Nicholas J; Scaber, Jakub; Ansorge, Olaf; Talbot, Kevin

    2008-01-01

    Background Redistribution of nuclear TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) to the cytoplasm and ubiquitinated inclusions of spinal motor neurons and glial cells is characteristic of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathology. Recent evidence suggests that TDP-43 pathology is common to sporadic ALS and familial ALS without SOD1 mutation, but not SOD1-related fALS cases. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether TDP-43 abnormalities occur in non-ALS forms of motor neuron disease. Here, we characterise TDP-43 localisation, expression levels and post-translational modifications in mouse models of ALS and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Results TDP-43 mislocalisation to ubiquitinated inclusions or cytoplasm was notably lacking in anterior horn cells from transgenic mutant SOD1G93A mice. In addition, abnormally phosphorylated or truncated TDP-43 species were not detected in fractionated ALS mouse spinal cord or brain. Despite partial colocalisation of TDP-43 with SMN, depletion of SMN- and coilin-positive Cajal bodies in motor neurons of affected SMA mice did not alter nuclear TDP-43 distribution, expression or biochemistry in spinal cords. Conclusion These results emphasise that TDP-43 pathology characteristic of human sporadic ALS is not a core component of the neurodegenerative mechanisms caused by SOD1 mutation or SMN deficiency in mouse models of ALS and SMA, respectively. PMID:18957104

  3. Neurodegenerative Models in Drosophila: Polyglutamine Disorders, Parkinson Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Ambegaokar, Surendra S.; Roy, Bidisha; Jackson, George R.

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases encompass a large group of neurological disorders. Clinical symptoms can include memory loss, cognitive impairment, loss of movement or loss of control of movement, and loss of sensation. Symptoms are typically adult onset (although severe cases can occur in adolescents) and are reflective of neuronal and glial cell loss in the central nervous system. Neurodegenerative diseases also are considered progressive, with increased severity of symptoms over time, also reflective of increased neuronal cell death. However, various neurodegenerative diseases differentially affect certain brain regions or neuronal or glial cell types. As an example, Alzheimer disease (AD) primarily affects the temporal lobe, whereas neuronal loss in Parkinson disease (PD) is largely (although not exclusively) confined to the nigrostriatal system. Neuronal loss is almost invariably accompanied by abnormal insoluble aggregates, either intra- or extracellular. Thus, neurodegenerative diseases are categorized by (a) the composite of clinical symptoms, (b) the brain regions or types of brain cells primarily affected, and (c) the types of protein aggregates found in the brain. Here we review the methods by which Drosophila melanogaster has been used to model aspects of polyglutamine diseases, Parkinson disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and key insights into that have been gained from these models; Alzheimer disease and the tauopathies are covered elsewhere in this special issue. PMID:20561920

  4. Frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-associated disease protein TDP-43 promotes dendritic branching

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yubing; Ferris, Jacob; Gao, Fen-Biao

    2009-01-01

    Background TDP-43 is an evolutionarily conserved RNA-binding protein implicated in the pathogenesis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases. In diseased neurons, TDP-43 is depleted in the nucleus, suggesting a loss-of-function pathogenic mechanism. However, the normal function of TDP-43 in postmitotic neurons is largely unknown. Results Here we demonstrate that overexpression of Drosophila TDP-43 (dTDP-43) in vivo significantly increases dendritic branching of sensory neurons in Drosophila larvae. Loss of dTDP-43 function, either in a genetic null mutant or through RNAi knockdown, decreased dendritic branching. Further genetic analysis demonstrated a cell-autonomous role for dTDP-43 in dendrite formation. Moreover, human TDP-43 (hTDP-43) promoted dendritic branching in Drosophila neurons, and this function was attenuated by mutations associated with ALS. Conclusion These findings reveal an essential role for TDP-43 in dendritic structural integrity, supporting the notion that loss of normal TDP-43 function in diseased neurons may compromise neuronal connectivity before neuronal cell loss in FTD and ALS. PMID:19781077

  5. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia and beyond: the TDP-43 diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Lage, Maria; Kwong, Linda K.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2009-01-01

    Ever since the significance of pathological 43-kDa transactivating responsive sequence DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) for human disease has been recognized in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin positive inclusions (FTLD-U), a number of publications have emerged reporting on this pathology in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Given the heterogeneous and, in part, conflicting nature of the recent findings, we here review pathological TDP-43 and its relationship to human disease with a special focus on ALS and FTLD-U. To this end, we propose a classification scheme in which pathological TDP-43 is the major disease defining pathology in one group, or is present in addition to other neurodegenerative hallmark pathologies in a second category. We conclude that the TDP-43 proteinopathies represent a novel class of neurodegenerative disorders akin to α-synucleinopathies and tauopathies, with the concept of ALS and FTLD-U to be widened to a broad clinico-pathological multisystem disease, i.e., TDP-43 proteinopathy. PMID:19271105

  6. Olesoxime, a cholesterol-like neuroprotectant for the potential treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lee J

    2011-01-01

    Effective therapies are needed for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating and fatal motor neuron disease. Cell and animal models of ALS are begsinning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of motor neuron-selective vulnerability that implicate mitochondria and the mitochondrial permeability pore (mPTP). Proteins associated with the mPTP are known to be enriched in motor neurons and the genetic deletion of a major regulator of the mPTP has robust effects in ALS transgenic mice, delaying disease onset and extending survival. Thus, the mPTP is a rational, mechanism-based target for the development of drugs designed to treat ALS. Trophos SA has discovered olesoxime (TRO-19622), a small-molecule with a cholesterol-like structure, which has remarkable neuroprotective properties for motor neurons in cell culture and in rodents. Olesoxime appears to act on mitochondria, possibly at the mPTP. Phase I clinical trials of olesoxime have been completed successfully. Olesoxime is well tolerated and achieves levels predicted to be clinically effective when administered orally. It has been granted orphan drug status for the treatment of ALS in the US and for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy in the EU. Phase II/III clinical trials are in progress in Europe. PMID:20721828

  7. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis–Plus Syndrome With TAR DNA-Binding Protein-43 Pathology

    PubMed Central

    McCluskey, Leo F.; Elman, Lauren B.; Martinez-Lage, Maria; Van Deerlin, Vivianna; Yuan, Wuxing; Clay, Dana; Siderowf, Andrew; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2009-01-01

    Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)–Plus syndromes meet clinical criteria for ALS but also include 1 or more additional features such as dementia, geographic clustering, extrapyramidal signs, objective sensory loss, autonomic dysfunction, cerebellar degeneration, or ocular motility disturbance. Methods We performed a whole-brain and spinal cord pathologic analysis in a patient with an ALS-Plus syndrome that included repetitive behaviors along with extrapyramidal and supranuclear ocular motility disturbances resembling the clinical phenotype of progressive supranuclear palsy. Results There was motoneuron cell loss and degeneration of the corticospinal tracts. Bunina bodies were present. TAR DNA-binding protein-43 pathology was diffuse. Significant tau pathology was absent. Conclusions TAR DNA-binding protein-43 disorders can produce a clinical spectrum of neurodegeneration that includes ALS, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and ALS with frontotemporal lobar degeneration. The present case illustrates that isolated TAR DNA-binding protein-43 disorders can produce an ALS-Plus syndrome with extrapyramidal features and supranuclear gaze palsy resembling progressive supranuclear palsy. PMID:19139310

  8. Extensive FUS-immunoreactive Pathology in Juvenile Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with Basophilic Inclusions

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Eric J.; Zhang, Jiasheng; Geser, Felix; Trojanowski, John Q.; Strober, Jonathan B.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Brown, Robert H.; Shapiro, Barbara E.; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine

    2010-01-01

    Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with basophilic inclusions is a well-recognized entity. However, the molecular underpinnings of this devastating disease are poorly understood. Here, we present genetic and neuropathological characterizations in two young women with fatal rapidly progressive ALS with basophilic inclusions. In one case, a germline mutation (P525L) was detected in the FUS/TLS (fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma) gene, whereas no mutation was identified in the other case. Postmortem examination in both cases revealed severe loss of spinal motor neurons with remaining neurons showing basophilic inclusions that contain abnormal aggregates of FUS proteins and disorganized intracellular organelles, including mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. In both patients, the FUS-positive inclusions were also detected in neurons in layers IV–V of cerebral cortex and several brainstem nuclei. In contrast, spinal motor neurons in patients with late-onset sporadic ALS showed no evidence of abnormal accumulation of FUS protein. These results underscore the importance of FUS mutations and pathology in rapidly progressive juvenile ALS. Furthermore, our study represents the first detailed characterizations of neuropathological findings in rapidly progressive juvenile ALS patients with a mutation in the FUS/TLS gene. PMID:20579074

  9. TARDBP and FUS mutations associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: summary and update.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    Mutations in the TAR DNA Binding Protein gene (TARDBP), encoding the protein TDP-43, were identified in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Interestingly, TDP-43 positive inclusion bodies were first discovered in ubiquitin-positive, tau-negative ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) inclusion bodies, and subsequently observed in the majority of neurodegenerative disorders. To date, 47 missense and one truncating mutations have been described in a large number of familial (FALS) and sporadic (SALS) patients. Fused in sarcoma (FUS) was found to be responsible for a previously identified ALS6 locus, being mutated in both FALS and SALS patients. TARDBP and FUS have a structural and functional similarity and most of mutations in both genes are also clustered in the C-terminus of the proteins. The molecular mechanisms through which mutant TDP-43 and FUS may cause motor neuron degeneration are not well understood. Both proteins play an important role in mRNA transport, axonal maintenance, and motor neuron development. Functional characterization of these mutations in in vitro and in vivo systems is helping to better understand how motor neuron degeneration occurs. This report summarizes the biological and clinical relevance of TARDBP and FUS mutations in ALS. All the data reviewed here have been submitted to a database based on the Leiden Open (source) Variation Database (LOVD) and is accessible online at www.lovd.nl/TARDBP, www.lovd.nl/FUS. PMID:23559573

  10. Focal dysfunction of the proteasome: a pathogenic factor in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kabashi, Edor; Agar, Jeffrey N; Taylor, David M; Minotti, Sandra; Durham, Heather D

    2004-06-01

    Mutations in the Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) gene are responsible for a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS). The present study demonstrated impaired proteasomal function in the lumbar spinal cord of transgenic mice expressing human SOD-1 with the ALS-causing mutation G93A (SOD-1(G93A)) compared to non-transgenic littermates (LM) and SOD-1(WT) transgenic mice. Chymotrypsin-like activity was decreased as early as 45 days of age. By 75 days, chymotrypsin-, trypsin-, and caspase-like activities of the proteasome were impaired, at about 50% of control activity in lumbar spinal cord, but unchanged in thoracic spinal cord and liver. Both total and specific activities of the proteasome were reduced to a similar extent, indicating that a change in proteasome function, rather than a decrease in proteasome levels, had occurred. Similar decreases of total and specific activities of the proteasome were observed in NIH 3T3 cell lines expressing fALS mutants SOD-1(G93A) and SOD-1(G41S), but not in SOD-1(WT) controls. Although overall levels of proteasome were maintained in spinal cord of SOD-1(G93A) transgenic mice, the level of 20S proteasome was substantially reduced in lumbar spinal motor neurons relative to the surrounding neuropil. It is concluded that impairment of the proteasome is an early event and contributes to ALS pathogenesis. PMID:15189335

  11. De Novo Truncating FUS Gene Mutation as a Cause of Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    DeJesus-Hernandez, Mariely; Kocerha, Jannet; Finch, NiCole; Crook, Richard; Baker, Matt; Desaro, Pamela; Johnston, Amelia; Rutherford, Nicola; Wojtas, Aleksandra; Kennelly, Kathleen; Wszolek, Zbigniew K.; Graff-Radford, Neill; Boylan, Kevin; Rademakers, Rosa

    2010-01-01

    Mutations in the gene encoding fused in sarcoma (FUS) were recently identified as a novel cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), emphasizing the genetic heterogeneity of ALS. We sequenced the genes encoding superoxide dismutase (SOD1), TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TARDBP) and FUS in 99 sporadic and 17 familial ALS patients ascertained at Mayo Clinic. We identified two novel mutations in FUS in two out of 99 (2.0%) sporadic ALS patients and established the de novo occurrence of one FUS mutation. In familial patients, we identified three (17.6%) SOD1 mutations, while FUS and TARDBP mutations were excluded. The de novo FUS mutation (g.10747A>G; IVS13-2A>G) affects the splice-acceptor site of FUS intron 13 and was shown to induce skipping of FUS exon 14 leading to the C-terminal truncation of FUS (p.G466VfsX14). Subcellular localization studies showed a dramatic increase in the cytoplasmic localization of FUS and a reduction of normal nuclear expression in cells transfected with truncated compared to wild-type FUS. We further identified a novel in-frame insertion/deletion mutation in FUS exon 12 (p.S402 P411delinsGGGG) which is predicted to expand a conserved poly-glycine motif. Our findings extend the mutation spectrum in FUS leading to ALS and describe the first de novo mutation in FUS. PMID:20232451

  12. Neurotrophic Peptides: Potential Drugs for Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Ciesler, Jessica; Sari, Youssef

    2013-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the progressive loss of neurons and glial cells in the central nervous system correlated to their symptoms. Among these neurodegenerative diseases are Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Neurodegeneration is mostly restricted to specific neuronal populations: cholinergic neurons in AD and motoneurons in ALS. The demonstration that the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases in models of transgenic mice, in particular, is delayed or improved by the application of neurotrophic factors and derived peptides from neurotrophic factors has emphasized their importance in neurorestoration. A range of neurotrophic factors and growth peptide factors derived from activity-dependent neurotrophic factor/activity-dependent neuroprotective protein has been suggested to restore neuronal function, improve behavioral deficits and prolong the survival in animal models. In this review article, we focus on the role of trophic peptides in the improvement of AD and ALS. An understanding of the molecular pathways involved with trophic peptides in these neurodegenerative diseases may shed light on potential therapies. PMID:23795307

  13. Efficacy of Hypnosis-Based Treatment in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Palmieri, Arianna; Kleinbub, Johann Roland; Calvo, Vincenzo; Sorarù, Gianni; Grasso, Irene; Messina, Irene; Sambin, Marco

    2012-01-01

    Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and its devastating neurodegenerative consequences have an inevitably psychological impact on patients and their caregivers: however, although it would be strongly needed, there is a lack of research on the efficacy of psychological intervention. Our aim was to investigate the effect of hypnosis-based intervention on psychological and perceived physical wellbeing in patients and the indirect effect on caregivers. Methods: We recruited eight ALS volunteers patients as a pilot sample for an hypnosis intervention and self-hypnosis training protocol lasting 1 month. Anxiety and depression level was measured in patients and caregivers at pre and post treatment phase. Quality of life and perceived physical symptoms changes were also investigated in patients. Results: One month pre-post treatment improvement in depression, anxiety, and quality of life was clearly clinically observed and confirmed by psychometric analyses on questionnaire data. Moreover, decreases in physical symptoms such as pain, sleep disorders, emotional lability, and fasciculations were reported by our patients. Improvements in caregiver psychological wellbeing, likely as a consequence of patients psychological and perceived physical symptomatology improvement, were also observed. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, even if at a preliminary level, this is the first report on efficacy psychological intervention protocol on ALS patients. The findings provide initial support for using hypnosis and self-hypnosis training to manage some ALS physical consequences and mainly to cope its dramatic psychological implications for patients and, indirectly, for their caregivers. PMID:23162510

  14. Tweak regulates astrogliosis, microgliosis and skeletal muscle atrophy in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Bowerman, Melissa; Salsac, Céline; Coque, Emmanuelle; Eiselt, Émilie; Deschaumes, Roman G; Brodovitch, Alexandre; Burkly, Linda C; Scamps, Frédérique; Raoul, Cédric

    2015-06-15

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects motoneurons in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocyte and microglia activation as well as skeletal muscle atrophy are also typical hallmarks of the disease. However, the functional relationship between astrocytes, microglia and skeletal muscle in the pathogenic process remains unclear. Here, we report that the tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (Tweak) and its receptor Fn14 are aberrantly expressed in spinal astrocytes and skeletal muscle of SOD1(G93A) mice. We show that Tweak induces motoneuron death, stimulates astrocytic interleukin-6 release and astrocytic proliferation in vitro. The genetic ablation of Tweak in SOD1(G93A) mice significantly reduces astrocytosis, microgliosis and ameliorates skeletal muscle atrophy. The peripheral neutralization of Tweak through antagonistic anti-Tweak antibody ameliorates muscle pathology and notably, decreases microglial activation in SOD1(G93A) mice. Unexpectedly, none of these approaches improved motor function, lifespan and motoneuron survival. Our work emphasizes the multi-systemic aspect of ALS, and suggests that a combinatorial therapy targeting multiple cell types will be instrumental to halt the neurodegenerative process. PMID:25765661

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

    PubMed Central

    Krieger, Charles; Wang, Simon Ji Hau; Yoo, Soo Hyun; Harden, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    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 (CAMs) 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. PMID:26858605

  16. Role of the Sigma-1 receptor in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

    PubMed

    Mavlyutov, Timur A; Guo, Lian-Wang; Epstein, Miles L; Ruoho, Arnold E

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease affecting spinal cord motoneurons (MN) with an associative connection to Frontotemporal Lobar Dementia (FTLD). The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) bound Sigma-1 Receptor (S1R) chaperone protein localizes to specialized ER cisternae within 10 nm of the plasma membrane in spinal cord ventral horn cholinergic post synaptic C-terminals. Removal of the S1R gene in the Superoxide Dismutase-1 (SOD-1) mouse model of ALS exacerbated the neurodegenerative condition and resulted in a significantly reduced longevity when compared to the SOD-1/S1R wild type (WT) mouse. The proposed amelioration of the ALS phenotype by the S1R is likely due to a "brake" on excitation of the MN as evidenced by a reduction in action potential generation in the MN of the WT when compared to the S1R KO mouse MN. Although the precise signal transduction pathway(s) regulated by the S1R in the MN has/have not been elucidated at present, it is likely that direct or indirect functional interactions occur between the S1R in the ER cisternae with voltage gated potassium channels and/or with muscarinic M2 receptor signaling in the post synaptic plasma membrane. Possible mechanisms for regulation of MN excitability by S1R are discussed. PMID:25704013

  17. Intrinsic membrane hyperexcitability of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient-derived motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Wainger, Brian J; Kiskinis, Evangelos; Mellin, Cassidy; Wiskow, Ole; Han, Steve S W; Sandoe, Jackson; Perez, Numa P; Williams, Luis A; Lee, Seungkyu; Boulting, Gabriella; Berry, James D; Brown, Robert H; Cudkowicz, Merit E; Bean, Bruce P; Eggan, Kevin; Woolf, Clifford J

    2014-04-10

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of the motor nervous system. We show using multielectrode array and patch-clamp recordings that hyperexcitability detected by clinical neurophysiological studies of ALS patients is recapitulated in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons from ALS patients harboring superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), C9orf72, and fused-in-sarcoma mutations. Motor neurons produced from a genetically corrected but otherwise isogenic SOD1(+/+) stem cell line do not display the hyperexcitability phenotype. SOD1(A4V/+) ALS patient-derived motor neurons have reduced delayed-rectifier potassium current amplitudes relative to control-derived motor neurons, a deficit that may underlie their hyperexcitability. The Kv7 channel activator retigabine both blocks the hyperexcitability and improves motor neuron survival in vitro when tested in SOD1 mutant ALS cases. Therefore, electrophysiological characterization of human stem cell-derived neurons can reveal disease-related mechanisms and identify therapeutic candidates. PMID:24703839

  18. No evidence for shared genetic basis of common variants in multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Goris, An; van Setten, Jessica; Diekstra, Frank; Ripke, Stephan; Patsopoulos, Nikolaos A.; Sawcer, Stephen J.; van Es, Michael; Andersen, Peter M.; Melki, Judith; Meininger, Vincent; Hardiman, Orla; Landers, John E.; Brown, Robert H.; Shatunov, Aleksey; Leigh, Nigel; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Shaw, Christopher E.; Traynor, Bryan J.; Chiò, Adriano; Restagno, Gabriella; Mora, Gabriele; Ophoff, Roel A.; Oksenberg, Jorge R.; Van Damme, Philip; Compston, Alastair; Robberecht, Wim; Dubois, Bénédicte; van den Berg, Leonard H.; De Jager, Philip L.; Veldink, Jan H.; de Bakker, Paul I.W.

    2014-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies have been successful in identifying common variants that influence the susceptibility to complex diseases. From these studies, it has emerged that there is substantial overlap in susceptibility loci between diseases. In line with those findings, we hypothesized that shared genetic pathways may exist between multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While both diseases may have inflammatory and neurodegenerative features, epidemiological studies have indicated an increased co-occurrence within individuals and families. To this purpose, we combined genome-wide data from 4088 MS patients, 3762 ALS patients and 12 030 healthy control individuals in whom 5 440 446 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were successfully genotyped or imputed. We tested these SNPs for the excess association shared between MS and ALS and also explored whether polygenic models of SNPs below genome-wide significance could explain some of the observed trait variance between diseases. Genome-wide association meta-analysis of SNPs as well as polygenic analyses fails to provide evidence in favor of an overlap in genetic susceptibility between MS and ALS. Hence, our findings do not support a shared genetic background of common risk variants in MS and ALS. PMID:24234648

  19. Unusual association of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and myasthenia gravis: A dysregulation of the adaptive immune system?

    PubMed

    Del Mar Amador, Maria; Vandenberghe, Nadia; Berhoune, Nawel; Camdessanché, Jean-Philippe; Gronier, Sophie; Delmont, Emilien; Desnuelle, Claude; Cintas, Pascal; Pittion, Sophie; Louis, Sarah; Demeret, Sophie; Lenglet, Timothée; Meininger, Vincent; Salachas, François; Pradat, Pierre-François; Bruneteau, Gaëlle

    2016-06-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder affecting neuromuscular junctions that has been associated with a small increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here, we describe a retrospective series of seven cases with a concomitant diagnosis of ALS and myasthenia gravis, collected among the 18 French reference centers for ALS in a twelve year period. After careful review, only six patients strictly met the diagnostic criteria for both ALS and myasthenia gravis. In these patients, limb onset of ALS was reported in five (83%) cases. Localization of myasthenia gravis initial symptoms was ocular in three (50%) cases, generalized in two (33%) and bulbar in one (17%). Median delay between onset of the two conditions was 19 months (6-319 months). Anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies testing was positive in all cases. All patients were treated with riluzole and one had an associated immune-mediated disease. In the one last ALS case, the final diagnosis was false-positivity for anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies. The co-occurrence of ALS and myasthenia gravis is rare and requires strict diagnostic criteria. Its demonstration needs thoughtful interpretation of electrophysiological results and exclusion of false positivity for myasthenia gravis antibody testing in some ALS cases. This association may be triggered by a dysfunction of adaptive immunity. PMID:27102004

  20. Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Basal Ganglia and Thalamus in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Khema R.; Sheriff, Sulaiman; Maudsley, Andrew; Govind, Varan

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To assess the involvement of basal ganglia and thalamus in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) method. Methods Fourteen definite-ALS patients and 12 age-matched controls underwent whole brain DTI on a 3T scanner. Mean-diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) were obtained bilaterally from the basal ganglia and thalamus in the regions-of-interest (ROI). Results The MD was significantly higher (p < 0.02) in basal ganglia and thalamus in patients with ALS compared with controls. Correspondingly, the FA was significantly lower (p < 0.02) in these structures, except in caudate (p =0.04) and putamen (p = 0.06) in patients compared with controls. There were mild to strong correlations (r: 0.3 – 0.7) between the DTI measures of basal ganglia and finger–tap, foot-tap, and lip-and-tongue-movement-rate. Conclusions The increased MD in basal ganglia and thalamus, and decreased FA in globus pallidus and thalamus are indicative of neuronal loss or dysfunction in these structures. PMID:22273090

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

    PubMed

    Peretti-Viton, P; Azulay, J P; Trefouret, S; Brunel, H; Daniel, C; Viton, J M; Flori, A; Salazard, B; Pouget, J; Serratrice, G; Salamon, G

    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. PMID:10552025

  2. Efficacy of Stem Cell Therapy in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Moura, Mirian Conceicao; Novaes, Maria Rita Carvalho Garbi; Zago, Yuri S. S. P.; Eduardo, Emanoel Junio; Casulari, Luiz Augusto

    2016-01-01

    Background Published studies seeking to improve survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have poor results in humans, although there are several studies in animal models with positive results. Methods We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that were published between March 2009 and March 2015 on stem cell therapy and survival in animal models and patients with ALS. A total of 714 articles were identified, and from these, we selected preclinical in vivo studies and retrospective clinical studies. Results and conclusions A meta-analysis confirmed the efficacy of stem cell therapy in improving survival in preclinical trials, where a mean difference of 9.79 days (95% confidence interval: 4.45 - 15.14) in lifespan favored stem cell therapy. In contrast, the number of clinical studies is still insufficient to assess their effectiveness, and these studies only demonstrate the absence of serious adverse events. However, even this conclusion should be interpreted with caution because clinical studies are retrospective and heterogeneous and have an unsatisfactory quality. PMID:26985252

  3. Mitochondrial network genes in the skeletal muscle of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Bernardini, Camilla; Censi, Federica; Lattanzi, Wanda; Barba, Marta; Calcagnini, Giovanni; Giuliani, Alessandro; Tasca, Giorgio; Sabatelli, Mario; Ricci, Enzo; Michetti, Fabrizio

    2013-01-01

    Recent evidence suggested that muscle degeneration might lead and/or contribute to neurodegeneration, thus it possibly play a key role in the etiopathogenesis and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To test this hypothesis, this study attempted to categorize functionally relevant genes within the genome-wide expression profile of human ALS skeletal muscle, using microarray technology and gene regulatory network analysis. The correlation network structures significantly change between patients and controls, indicating an increased inter-gene connection in patients compared to controls. The gene network observed in the ALS group seems to reflect the perturbation of muscle homeostasis and metabolic balance occurring in affected individuals. In particular, the network observed in the ALS muscles includes genes (PRKR1A, FOXO1, TRIM32, ACTN3, among others), whose functions connect the sarcomere integrity to mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. Overall, the analytical approach used in this study offer the possibility to observe higher levels of correlation (i.e. common expression trends) among genes, whose function seems to be aberrantly activated during the progression of muscle atrophy. PMID:23469062

  4. A novel approach for analysis of altered gait variability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Xia, Yi; Gao, Qingwei; Lu, Yixiang; Ye, Qiang

    2016-09-01

    Gait variability reflects important information for the maintenance of human beings' health. For pathological populations, changes in gait variability signal the presence of abnormal motor control strategies. Quantitative analysis of the altered gait variability in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) will be helpful for either diagnosing or monitoring pathological progression of the disease. Thus, we applied Teager energy operator, an energy measure that can highlight the deviations from moment to moment of a time series, to produce an instantaneous energy time series. Then, two important features were extracted to assess the variability of the new time series. First, the standard deviation statistics were used to measure the magnitude of the variability. Second, to quantify the temporal structural characteristics of the variability, the permutation entropy was applied as a tool from the nonlinear dynamics. In the classification experiments, the two proposed features were input to the support vector machine classifier, and the dataset consists of 12 ALS patients and 16 healthy control subjects. The experimental results showed that an area of 0.9643 under the receiver operating characteristic curve was achieved, and the classification accuracy evaluated by leave-one-out cross-validation method could reach 92.86 %. PMID:26518306

  5. Regulatory T-lymphocytes mediate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis progression and survival

    PubMed Central

    Henkel, Jenny S; Beers, David R; Wen, Shixiang; Rivera, Andreana L; Toennis, Karen M; Appel, Joan E; Zhao, Weihua; Moore, Dan H; Powell, Suzanne Z; Appel, Stanley H

    2013-01-01

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mice, regulatory T-lymphocytes (Tregs) are neuroprotective, slowing disease progression. To address whether Tregs and FoxP3, a transcription factor required for Treg function, similarly influence progression rates of ALS patients, T-lymphocytes from patients were assessed by flow cytometry. Both numbers of Tregs and their FoxP3 protein expressions were reduced in rapidly progressing ALS patients and inversely correlated with progression rates. The mRNA levels of FoxP3, TGF-β, IL4 and Gata3, a Th2 transcription factor, were reduced in rapidly progressing patients and inversely correlated with progression rates. Both FoxP3 and Gata3 were accurate indicators of progression rates. No differences in IL10, Tbx21, a Th1 transcription factor or IFN-γ expression were found between slow and rapidly progressing patients. A 3.5-year prospective study with a second larger cohort revealed that early reduced FoxP3 levels were indicative of progression rates at collection and predictive of future rapid progression and attenuated survival. Collectively, these data suggest that Tregs and Th2 lymphocytes influence disease progression rates. Importantly, early reduced FoxP3 levels could be used to identify rapidly progressing patients. PMID:23143995

  6. Immature Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase and Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Seetharaman, Sai V.; Prudencio, Mercedes; Karch, Celeste; Holloway, Stephen P.; Borchelt, David R.; Hart, P. John

    2010-01-01

    Mutations in human copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause an inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, motor neuron disease). Insoluble forms of mutant SOD1 accumulate in neural tissues of human ALS patients and in spinal cords of transgenic mice expressing these polypeptides, suggesting that SOD1-linked ALS is a protein misfolding disorder. Understanding the molecular basis for how the pathogenic mutations give rise to SOD1 folding intermediates, which may themselves be toxic, is therefore of keen interest. A critical step on the SOD1 folding pathway occurs when the copper chaperone for SOD1 (CCS) modifies the nascent SOD1 polypeptide by inserting the catalytic copper cofactor and oxidizing its intrasubunit disulfide bond. Recent studies reveal that pathogenic SOD1 proteins coming from cultured cells and from the spinal cords of transgenic mice tend to be metal-deficient and/or lacking the disulfide bond, raising the possibility that the disease-causing mutations may enhance levels of SOD1-folding intermediates by preventing or hindering CCS-mediated SOD1 maturation. This mini-review explores this hypothesis by highlighting the structural and biophysical properties of the pathogenic SOD1 mutants in the context of what is currently known about CCS structure and action. Other hypotheses as to the nature of toxicity inherent in pathogenic SOD1 proteins are not covered. PMID:19596823

  7. A genetic model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in zebrafish displays phenotypic hallmarks of motoneuron disease.

    PubMed

    Ramesh, Tennore; Lyon, Alison N; Pineda, Ricardo H; Wang, Chunping; Janssen, Paul M L; Canan, Benjamin D; Burghes, Arthur H M; Beattie, Christine E

    2010-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that, for approximately 80% of patients, is fatal within five years of diagnosis. To better understand ALS, animal models have been essential; however, only rodent models of ALS exhibit the major hallmarks of the disease. Here, we report the generation of transgenic zebrafish overexpressing mutant Sod1. The construct used to generate these lines contained the zebrafish sod1 gene and approximately 16 kb of flanking sequences. We generated lines expressing the G93R mutation, as well as lines expressing wild-type Sod1. Focusing on two G93R lines, we found that they displayed the major phenotypes of ALS. Changes at the neuromuscular junction were observed at larval and adult stages. In adulthood the G93R mutants exhibited decreased endurance in a swim tunnel test. An analysis of muscle revealed normal muscle force, however, at the end stage the fish exhibited motoneuron loss, muscle atrophy, paralysis and premature death. These phenotypes were more severe in lines expressing higher levels of mutant Sod1 and were absent in lines overexpressing wild-type Sod1. Thus, we have generated a vertebrate model of ALS to complement existing mammal models. PMID:20504969

  8. Utility of Dissociated Intrinsic Hand Muscle Atrophy in the Diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Menon, Parvathi; Vucic, Steve

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24637778

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27288806

  10. Evidence for Fungal Infection in Cerebrospinal Fluid and Brain Tissue from Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Alonso, Ruth; Pisa, Diana; Marina, Ana Isabel; Morato, Esperanza; Rábano, Alberto; Rodal, Izaskun; Carrasco, Luis

    2015-01-01

    Among neurogenerative diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal illness characterized by a progressive motor neuron dysfunction in the motor cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. ALS is the most common form of motor neuron disease; yet, to date, the exact etiology of ALS remains unknown. In the present work, we have explored the possibility of fungal infection in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in brain tissue from ALS patients. Fungal antigens, as well as DNA from several fungi, were detected in CSF from ALS patients. Additionally, examination of brain sections from the frontal cortex of ALS patients revealed the existence of immunopositive fungal antigens comprising punctate bodies in the cytoplasm of some neurons. Fungal DNA was also detected in brain tissue using PCR analysis, uncovering the presence of several fungal species. Finally, proteomic analyses of brain tissue demonstrated the occurrence of several fungal peptides. Collectively, our observations provide compelling evidence of fungal infection in the ALS patients analyzed, suggesting that this infection may play a part in the etiology of the disease or may constitute a risk factor for these patients. PMID:25892962

  11. [An Autopsy Case of Globular Glial Tauopathy Presenting with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with Dementia].

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Ryogen; Mimuro, Maya; Kokubo, Yasumasa; Imai, Hiroshi; Yoshida, Mari; Tomimoto, Hidekazu

    2016-08-01

    We report an autopsy case of globular glial tauopathy (GGT) presenting clinically with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with dementia. A 79-year-old female developed weakness in the right upper limb, which progressed gradually. She developed apathy and speech disorder at 80 years of age. On neurological examination, she showed signs of upper and lower motor neuron disorder and dementia, but no extrapyramidal signs. The clinical diagnosis was ALS with dementia. The autopsy revealed left predominant marked atrophy of the frontal lobe due to severe neuronal loss and Gliosis. Immunohistochemistry using anti-4-repeat tau antibody revealed numerous globular glial inclusions. Severe neurodegeneration in the primary motor cortex and corticospinal tract was observed. There were distinctive tau-positive inclusions in both Betz and anterior horn cells. TDP-43-positive inclusions in motor neurons were not detected. Sequence analysis of the tau gene revealed no mutations in exons 1-5, 7, 9-13, or the adjacent intronic sequences. GGT can cause a clinical phenotype of ALS with dementia. (Received December 28, 2015; Accepted February 23, 2016; Published August 1, 2016). PMID:27503823

  12. [Constructive disturbance and low-level perfusion in parietal areas in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with dementia].

    PubMed

    Kondo, Masaki; Ohmichi, Takuma; Mukai, Mao; Fujinami, Jun; Nakagawa, Masanori; Mizuno, Toshiki

    2015-01-01

    Although amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with dementia (ALS-D) has been characterized by symptoms of fronto-temporal dysfunction, we report two patients with ALS-D who showed constructive disturbance and low-level perfusion in the parietal areas. The first was a 69-year-old woman (Case 1) who had been diagnosed with the bulbar type of ALS. She showed fronto-temporal dementia as well as low scores and disturbance on block construction and copying; however, she showed a better score on the imitation of finger postures. The second was a 73-year-old woman (Case 2) who had been diagnosed with the leg onset type of ALS. She showed mild impairment of the frontal function as well as mild disturbance on block construction and copying, but no problem on the imitation of finger postures. Case 1 showed more severe symptoms of dementia and constructive disturbance than Case 2, whereas Case 2 showed lower levels of cerebral perfusion over more extensive areas than Case 1. Cases 1 and 2 were compatible with definite ALS according to the El Escorial Criteria, and they showed constructive disturbance with characteristics reported previously, such as both left and right hemisphere damage and constructive disturbance similar to those seen in Alzheimer's disease. In addition, they showed poorer scores on performing tasks requiring the use of objects (block construction and copying) rather than using their body (imitation of finger postures). PMID:26028194

  13. Association Between Rectus Abdominis Denervation and Ventilation Dysfunction in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hua-Gang; Zhang, Shuo; Xu, Ying-Sheng; Zhang, Nan; Fan, Dong-Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Background: Spontaneous potentials in electromyography (EMG) of paraspinal muscles are associated with diaphragm denervation and, therefore, poor respiratory function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is understandable. EMG changes in the rectus abdominis (RA) display an effect similar to those in paraspinal muscles with respect to the function of lower motor neurons in the thoracic spinal cord. The RA denervation was examined to determine its association with ventilation dysfunction in ALS. Methods: We collected the clinical data of 128 patients with sporadic ALS in Department of Neurology of Peking University Third Hospital from 2009 to 2013. EMG, Revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were performed in all patients and the differences in the EMG changes in RA between those with and without FVC ≥ 80% were analysed. Results: The mean FVC value was 83.4% ± 17.1% (range: 45%–131%) of the predicted value. A total of 79 patients displayed FVC ≥80%, and 49 patients displayed FVC <80%. Compared with the patients displaying a normal FVC (60/79, 75.9%), spontaneous activity in RA was significantly different among those patients displaying an FVC <80% (47/49, 95.9%). In addition, spontaneous potentials in RA were more frequently detected in patients exhibiting dyspnea (32/33, 97.0%) than in patients without dyspnea (75/95, 78.9%). Conclusion: Spontaneous potentials in RA are associated with ventilation dysfunction and dyspnea in ALS patients. PMID:27569232

  14. Macular sub-layer thinning and association with pulmonary function tests in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Simonett, Joseph M; Huang, Russell; Siddique, Nailah; Farsiu, Sina; Siddique, Teepu; Volpe, Nicholas J; Fawzi, Amani A

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder that may have anterior visual pathway involvement. In this study, we compare the macular structure of patients with ALS to healthy controls, and examine correlations between macular sub-layer thickness measurements and pulmonary function tests and disease duration. ALS patients underwent optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging to obtain macular cube scans of the right eye. Macular cube OCT data from age-matched healthy subjects were provided by the OCT reading center. Semi-automated retinal segmentation software was used to quantify macular sub-layers. Pulmonary function tests and time since symptom onset were collected retrospectively from the electronic medical records of ALS patients. Macular retinal nerve fiber layer was significantly thinner in ALS patients compared to healthy controls (P < 0.05). Total macular and other sub-layer thicknesses were not reduced in the ALS cohort. Macular retinal nerve fiber layer thickness positively correlated with forced vital capacity % predicted and forced expiratory volume in 1 second % predicted (P < 0.05). In conclusion, analysis of OCT measurements supports the involvement of the anterior visual pathway in ALS. Subtle structural thinning in the macular retinal nerve fiber layer correlates with pulmonary function tests. PMID:27383525

  15. Magnetic resonance imaging of pathological processes in rodent models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Evans, Matthew C; Modo, Michel; Talbot, Kevin; Sibson, Niki; Turner, Martin R

    2012-05-01

    Non-human models of neurodegenerative diseases have potential for the identification of key pathways in pathogenesis and for the more rapid assessment of therapeutic candidates. While there are legitimate concerns about the physiological differences between the rodent and human motor systems, mice expressing the 'G93A' superoxide dismutase-1 gene mutation are a predictable and robustly-characterized model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This model has provided evidence for an important role of inflammatory processes during the pre-clinical phase, a stage currently inaccessible for human study in what is largely a sporadic disease. While magnetic resonance imaging is now an established and leading modality for the identification of ALS biomarkers in humans, it can also be increasingly applied to rodent models to probe structural, functional and biochemical changes throughout the course of the disease, with additional potential to generate surrogate markers for the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. Targeted MRI contrast agents, through tagging of various cell types and even individual molecules, will deliver an era of in vivo molecular neuroimaging, with greater specificity for the most relevant pathological processes. These are potentially important steps towards the ultimate goal of human therapeutic translation. PMID:22117132

  16. Amelioration of toxicity in neuronal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by hUPF1.

    PubMed

    Barmada, Sami J; Ju, Shulin; Arjun, Arpana; Batarse, Anthony; Archbold, Hilary C; Peisach, Daniel; Li, Xingli; Zhang, Yuxi; Tank, Elizabeth M H; Qiu, Haiyan; Huang, Eric J; Ringe, Dagmar; Petsko, Gregory A; Finkbeiner, Steven

    2015-06-23

    Over 30% of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) exhibit cognitive deficits indicative of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), suggesting a common pathogenesis for both diseases. Consistent with this hypothesis, neuronal and glial inclusions rich in TDP43, an essential RNA-binding protein, are found in the majority of those with ALS and FTD, and mutations in TDP43 and a related RNA-binding protein, FUS, cause familial ALS and FTD. TDP43 and FUS affect the splicing of thousands of transcripts, in some cases triggering nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), a highly conserved RNA degradation pathway. Here, we take advantage of a faithful primary neuronal model of ALS and FTD to investigate and characterize the role of human up-frameshift protein 1 (hUPF1), an RNA helicase and master regulator of NMD, in these disorders. We show that hUPF1 significantly protects mammalian neurons from both TDP43- and FUS-related toxicity. Expression of hUPF2, another essential component of NMD, also improves survival, whereas inhibiting NMD prevents rescue by hUPF1, suggesting that hUPF1 acts through NMD to enhance survival. These studies emphasize the importance of RNA metabolism in ALS and FTD, and identify a uniquely effective therapeutic strategy for these disorders. PMID:26056265

  17. Geographic Variation of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Incidence in New Jersey, 2009–2011

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Kevin A.; Fagliano, Jerald; Jordan, Heather M.; Rechtman, Lindsay; Kaye, Wendy E.

    2015-01-01

    Few analyses in the United States have examined geographic variation and socioeconomic disparities in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) incidence, because of lack of population-based incidence data. In this analysis, we used population-based ALS data to identify whether ALS incidence clusters geographically and to determine whether ALS risk varies by area-based socioeconomic status (SES). This study included 493 incident ALS cases diagnosed (via El Escorial criteria) in New Jersey between 2009 and 2011. Geographic variation and clustering of ALS incidence was assessed using a spatial scan statistic and Bayesian geoadditive models. Poisson regression was used to estimate the associations between ALS risk and SES based on census-tract median income while controlling for age, sex, and race. ALS incidence varied across and within counties, but there were no statistically significant geographic clusters. SES was associated with ALS incidence. After adjustment for age, sex, and race, the relative risk of ALS was significantly higher (relative risk (RR) = 1.37, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02, 1.82) in the highest income quartile than in the lowest. The relative risk of ALS was significantly lower among blacks (RR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.39, 0.83) and Asians (RR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.41, 0.97) than among whites. Our findings suggest that ALS incidence in New Jersey appears to be associated with SES and race. PMID:26041711

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    There is a broad scientific consensus that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is caused by gene-environment interactions. Mutations in genes underlying familial ALS (fALS) have been discovered in only 5-10% of the total population of ALS patients. Relatively little attention has been paid to environmental and lifestyle factors that may trigger the cascade of motor neuron death leading to the syndrome of ALS, although exposure to chemicals including lead and pesticides, and to agricultural environments, smoking, certain sports, and trauma have all been identified with an increased risk of ALS. There is a need for research to quantify the relative roles of each of the identified risk factors for ALS. Recent evidence has strengthened the theory that chronic environmental exposure to the neurotoxic amino acid β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) produced by cyanobacteria may be an environmental risk factor for ALS. Here we describe methods that may be used to assess exposure to cyanobacteria, and hence potentially to BMAA, namely an epidemiologic questionnaire and direct and indirect methods for estimating the cyanobacterial load in ecosystems. Rigorous epidemiologic studies could determine the risks associated with exposure to cyanobacteria, and if combined with genetic analysis of ALS cases and controls could reveal etiologically important gene-environment interactions in genetically vulnerable individuals. PMID:23286757

  19. Aerosolization of cyanobacteria as a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Stommel, Elijah W; Field, Nicholas C; Caller, Tracie A

    2013-02-01

    Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease with no known cause. There are many clues to suggest an environmental trigger for the disease, including reports of conjugal couples and co-localized employees that developed sALS. On the island of Guam,a very high incidence of sALS occurred among the Chamorro natives back in the 1940s and 1950s and has been linked to the neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) that is produced by cyanobacteria that live symbiotically in the roots of the cycad plant, the seeds from which were a staple of the Chamorro diet. It has been shown that BMAA was biomagnified up the food chain from the cycad seeds to the now largely extinct, indigenous flying foxes, a former delicacy of the Chamorro natives. Recent evidence suggests that long term, chronic exposure to low levels of BMAA might cause ALS in genetically predisposed individuals. Many exposure routes to BMAA have been implicated thus far, including consumption of contaminated food and exposure to water harboring cyanobacterial blooms which have the capability of producing BMAA. Aerosolization is a well documented means for bacterial or toxin exposure causing subsequent illness, as in the case of brevetoxins and pulmonary disease and Legionnaire's disease. We hypothesize that some cases of ALS may be related to chronic exposure to the aerosolization of cyanobacteria derived BMAA from cooling towers and might explain the observation of conjugal ALS couples. PMID:23246360

  20. Early intrinsic hyperexcitability does not contribute to motoneuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Leroy, Félix; Lamotte d'Incamps, Boris; Imhoff-Manuel, Rebecca D; Zytnicki, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) the large motoneurons that innervate the fast-contracting muscle fibers (F-type motoneurons) are vulnerable and degenerate in adulthood. In contrast, the small motoneurons that innervate the slow-contracting fibers (S-type motoneurons) are resistant and do not degenerate. Intrinsic hyperexcitability of F-type motoneurons during early postnatal development has long been hypothesized to contribute to neural degeneration in the adult. Here, we performed a critical test of this hypothesis by recording from identified F- and S-type motoneurons in the superoxide dismutase-1 mutant G93A (mSOD1), a mouse model of ALS at a neonatal age when early pathophysiological changes are observed. Contrary to the standard hypothesis, excitability of F-type motoneurons was unchanged in the mutant mice. Surprisingly, the S-type motoneurons of mSDO1 mice did display intrinsic hyperexcitability (lower rheobase, hyperpolarized spiking threshold). As S-type motoneurons are resistant in ALS, we conclude that early intrinsic hyperexcitability does not contribute to motoneuron degeneration. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04046.001 PMID:25313866

  1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Brazil: Case series and review of the Brazilian literature.

    PubMed

    Prado, Laura de Godoy Rousseff; Bicalho, Isabella Carolina Santos; Vidigal-Lopes, Mauro; Ferreira, Carla Juliana Araújo; Mageste Barbosa, Luiz Sérgio; Gomez, Rodrigo Santiago; De Souza, Leonardo Cruz; Teixeira, Antônio Lúcio

    2016-01-01

    Our objective was to systematically analyse the first series of cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in Minas Gerais and to review the Brazilian literature about clinical studies in ALS. This was a cross-sectional and descriptive study of a consecutive series of patients with probable or defined sporadic ALS according to the Awaji criteria, followed at two referral centres of Belo Horizonte (South-east Brazil). Patients underwent full clinical assessment. Comparisons of patient subgroups according to disease duration and initial presentation were performed. A systematic review was performed about Brazilian clinical studies in ALS. Results showed that of the 61 enrolled patients the male/female ratio was 1.6:1. The mean age at onset of symptoms was 54.9 years (SD ± 11.4). Mean age at diagnosis was 56.3 years (SD ± 11.1). Regarding the initial form of presentation, 43 cases (70.5%) were spinal, 12 cases (19.7%) were generalized and six cases (9.8%) were bulbar. Eight studies were found in the systematic review. In conclusion, the profile of our sample was similar to other national and international series, except for fewer cases of bulbar ALS in our series. There are few clinical studies of ALS in Brazil. The national data of prevalence and incidence are still uncertain. PMID:26854959

  2. Activation of HIPK2 Promotes ER Stress-Mediated Neurodegeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sebum; Shang, Yulei; Redmond, Stephanie A; Urisman, Anatoly; Tang, Amy A; Li, Kathy H; Burlingame, Alma L; Pak, Ryan A; Jovičić, Ana; Gitler, Aaron D; Wang, Jinhua; Gray, Nathanael S; Seeley, William W; Siddique, Teepu; Bigio, Eileen H; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Trojanowski, John Q; Chan, Jonah R; Huang, Eric J

    2016-07-01

    Persistent accumulation of misfolded proteins causes endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, a prominent feature in many neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here we report the identification of homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) as the essential link that promotes ER-stress-induced cell death via the IRE1α-ASK1-JNK pathway. ER stress, induced by tunicamycin or SOD1(G93A), activates HIPK2 by phosphorylating highly conserved serine and threonine residues (S359/T360) within the activation loop of the HIPK2 kinase domain. In SOD1(G93A) mice, loss of HIPK2 delays disease onset, reduces cell death in spinal motor neurons, mitigates glial pathology, and improves survival. Remarkably, HIPK2 activation positively correlates with TDP-43 proteinopathy in NEFH-tTA/tetO-hTDP-43ΔNLS mice, sporadic ALS and C9ORF72 ALS, and blocking HIPK2 kinase activity protects motor neurons from TDP-43 cytotoxicity. These results reveal a previously unrecognized role of HIPK2 activation in ER-stress-mediated neurodegeneration and its potential role as a biomarker and therapeutic target for ALS. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27321923

  3. Functional Contribution of the Transcription Factor ATF4 to the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Matus, Soledad; Lopez, Estefanía; Valenzuela, Vicente; Nassif, Melissa; Hetz, Claudio

    2013-01-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress represents an early pathological event in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ATF4 is a key ER stress transcription factor that plays a role in both adaptation to stress and the activation of apoptosis. Here we investigated the contribution of ATF4 to ALS. ATF4 deficiency reduced the rate of birth of SOD1G86R transgenic mice. The fraction of ATF4−/−-SOD1G85R transgenic mice that were born are more resistant to develop ALS, leading to delayed disease onset and prolonged life span. ATF4 deficiency completely attenuated the induction of pro-apoptotic genes, including BIM and CHOP, and also led to quantitative changes in the ER protein homeostasis network. Unexpectedly, ATF4 deficiency enhanced mutant SOD1 aggregation at the end stage of the disease. Studies in the motoneuron cell line NSC34 demonstrated that knocking down ATF4 enhances mutant SOD1 aggregation possibly due to alteration in the redox status of the cell. Our results support a functional role of ATF4 in ALS, offering a novel target for disease intervention. PMID:23874395

  4. Role of the Sigma-1 receptor in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

    PubMed Central

    Mavlyutov, Timur A.; Guo, Lian-Wang; Epstein, Miles L.; Ruoho, Arnold E.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease affecting spinal cord motoneurons (MN) with an associative connection to Frontotemporal Lobar Dementia (FTLD). The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) bound Sigma-1 Receptor (S1R) chaperone protein localizes to specialized ER cisternae within 10 nm of the plasma membrane in spinal cord ventral horn cholinergic post synaptic C-terminals. Removal of the S1R gene in the Superoxide Dismutase-1 (SOD-1) mouse model of ALS exacerbated the neurodegenerative condition and resulted in a significantly reduced longevity when compared to the SOD-1/S1R wild type (WT) mouse. The proposed amelioration of the ALS phenotype by the S1R is likely due to a “brake” on excitation of the MN as evidenced by a reduction in action potential generation in the MN of the WT when compared to the S1R KO mouse MN. Although the precise signal transduction pathway(s) regulated by the S1R in the MN has/have not been elucidated at present, it is likely that direct or indirect functional interactions occur between the S1R in the ER cisternae with voltage gated potassium channels and/or with muscarinic M2 receptor signaling in the post synaptic plasma membrane. Possible mechanisms for regulation of MN excitability by S1R are discussed. PMID:25704013

  5. Myasthenia gravis with muscle specific kinase antibodies mimicking amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Huijbers, Maartje G; Niks, Erik H; Klooster, Rinse; de Visser, Marianne; Kuks, Jan B; Veldink, Jan H; Klarenbeek, Pim; Van Damme, Philip; de Baets, Marc H; van der Maarel, Silvère M; van den Berg, Leonard H; Verschuuren, Jan J

    2016-06-01

    Muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis (MG) is hallmarked by the predominant involvement of bulbar muscles and muscle atrophy. This might mimic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) presenting with bulbar weakness. We encountered four cases of MuSK MG patients with an initial misdiagnosis of ALS. We analyzed the clinical data of the four misdiagnosed MuSK MG patients, and investigated the presence of MuSK autoantibodies in a group of 256 Dutch bulbar-onset ALS patients using a recombinant MuSK ELISA and a standard MuSK radioimmunorecipitation assay. Clues for changing the diagnosis were slow progression, clinical improvement, development of diplopia and absence of signs of upper motor neuron involvement. No cases of MuSK MG were identified among a group of 256 bulbar ALS patients diagnosed according to the revised El Escorial criteria. A misdiagnosis of ALS in patients with MuSK MG is rare. We recommend to carefully consider the diagnosis of MuSK MG in patients presenting with bulbar weakness without clear signs of upper motor neuron dysfunction. PMID:27133662

  6. Major Histocompatibility Complex I Expression by Motor Neurons and Its Implication in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Nardo, Giovanni; Trolese, Maria Chiara; Bendotti, Caterina

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal expression of major histocompatibility complex I (MHCI)-related molecules in adults and during CNS diseases is involved in the synaptic plasticity and axonal regeneration with mechanisms either dependent or independent of their immune functions. Motor neurons are highly responsive in triggering the expression of MHCI molecules during normal aging or following insults and diseases, and this has implications in the synaptic controls, axonal regeneration, and neuromuscular junction stability of these neurons. We recently reported that MHCI and immunoproteasome are strongly activated in spinal motor neurons and their peripheral motor axon in a mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) during the course of the disease. This response was prominent in ALS mice with slower disease progression in which the axonal structure and function was better preserved than in fast-progressing mice. This review summarizes and discusses our observations in the light of knowledge about the possible role of MHCI in motor neurons providing additional insight into the pathophysiology of ALS. PMID:27379008

  7. Personality disturbances in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a case study demonstrating changes in personality without cognitive deficits.

    PubMed

    Waldron, Eric J; Barrash, Joseph; Swenson, Andrea; Tranel, Daniel

    2014-08-01

    Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) often show deficits on neuropsychological tests that tap functions related to the integrity of the prefrontal lobes. Various aspects of personality are also known to be mediated by prefrontal regions, particularly ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Other than apathy, personality changes have not been widely reported in patients with ALS, although clinical observations indicate such changes might be relatively common. Here, we report on a middle-aged woman with bulbar onset ALS (diagnosed 06/2011, examined in Spring, 2012) whose neuropsychological exam did not reveal cognitive deficits. She performed normally on tests of executive functioning. Self-report measures of mood and personality were unremarkable. However, significant personality changes subsequent to disease onset were reported by her husband and two daughters, and these changes were quantified with the Iowa Scales of Personality Change. Results show that personality disturbance may manifest in the absence of notable cognitive changes in ALS, and careful assessment of personality may be important for documenting early neurobehavioral changes in some ALS patients. Findings also show that patients with ALS may not have good insight into personality changes, underscoring the importance of acquiring collateral information. More generally, the results provide further evidence that ALS may compromise the integrity of ventromedial prefrontal regions. PMID:24854881

  8. Syntactic processing as a marker for cognitive impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Tsermentseli, Stella; Leigh, P. Nigel; Taylor, Lorna J.; Radunovic, Aleksandar; Catani, Marco; Goldstein, Laura H.

    2016-01-01

    Despite recent interest in cognitive changes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), investigations of language function looking at the level of word, sentence and discourse processing are relatively scarce. Data were obtained from 26 patients with sporadic ALS and 26 healthy controls matched for age, education, gender, anxiety, depression and executive function performance. Standardized language tasks included confrontation naming, semantic access, and syntactic comprehension. Quantitative production analysis (QPA) was used to analyse connected speech samples of the Cookie Theft picture description task. Results showed that the ALS patients were impaired on standardized measures of grammatical comprehension and action/verb semantics. At the level of discourse, ALS patients were impaired on measures of syntactic complexity and fluency; however, the latter could be better explained by disease related factors. Discriminant analysis revealed that syntactic measures differentiated ALS patients from controls. In conclusion, patients with ALS exhibit deficits in receptive and expressive language on tasks of comprehension and connected speech production, respectively. Our findings suggest that syntactic processing deficits seem to be the predominant feature of language impairment in ALS and that these deficits can be detected by relatively simple language tests. PMID:26312952

  9. Syntactic processing as a marker for cognitive impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Tsermentseli, Stella; Leigh, P Nigel; Taylor, Lorna J; Radunovic, Aleksandar; Catani, Marco; Goldstein, Laura H

    2015-01-01

    Despite recent interest in cognitive changes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), investigations of language function looking at the level of word, sentence and discourse processing are relatively scarce. Data were obtained from 26 patients with sporadic ALS and 26 healthy controls matched for age, education, gender, anxiety, depression and executive function performance. Standardized language tasks included confrontation naming, semantic access, and syntactic comprehension. Quantitative production analysis (QPA) was used to analyse connected speech samples of the Cookie Theft picture description task. Results showed that the ALS patients were impaired on standardized measures of grammatical comprehension and action/verb semantics. At the level of discourse, ALS patients were impaired on measures of syntactic complexity and fluency; however, the latter could be better explained by disease related factors. Discriminant analysis revealed that syntactic measures differentiated ALS patients from controls. In conclusion, patients with ALS exhibit deficits in receptive and expressive language on tasks of comprehension and connected speech production, respectively. Our findings suggest that syntactic processing deficits seem to be the predominant feature of language impairment in ALS and that these deficits can be detected by relatively simple language tests. PMID:26312952

  10. The anatomy of cognitive impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: more than frontal lobe dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Tsermentseli, Stella; Leigh, P Nigel; Goldstein, Laura H

    2012-02-01

    Cognitive and behavioural impairments accompanying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have been reported since the early 20th century. Typically, these changes can be associated with a dysexecutive syndrome or manifest as a frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Although the nature of specific frontotemporal dysfunction in ALS remains to be refined, as with the clinical presentation, there is likely to be significant heterogeneity. This article will review the current state of knowledge regarding the neuropathological and neuroanatomical basis for cognitive dysfunction in ALS. Neuropathological findings suggest that ALS does not selectively affect the frontotemporal network but rather is part of a broad clinico-pathological spectrum now known as TAR-DNA binding protein (TDP)-43 proteinopathies. Functional neuroimaging has supported neuropsychological findings of frontotemporal dysfunction but has also implied the involvement of somatosensory areas. Structural neuroimaging has not been able to establish a specific hypothesis of extra-motor cortical atrophy beyond the combination of various frontal, temporal and limbic areas. The finding of reduction in the integrity of white matter in the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes including long association fibers suggests that subcortical involvement may underlie both cognitive and functional changes in ALS. Future perspectives for further investigations are highlighted. PMID:21396632

  11. Mass spectrometric analysis of accumulated TDP-43 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis brains

    PubMed Central

    Kametani, Fuyuki; Obi, Tomokazu; Shishido, Takeo; Akatsu, Hiroyasu; Murayama, Shigeo; Saito, Yuko; Yoshida, Mari; Hasegawa, Masato

    2016-01-01

    TDP-43 is the major disease-associated protein involved in the pathogenesis and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions linked to TDP-43 pathology (FTLD-TDP). Abnormal phosphorylation, truncation and cytoplasmic mis-localization are known to be the characteristics for the aggregated forms of TDP-43, and gain of toxic abnormal TDP-43 or loss of function of physiological TDP-43 have been suggested as the cause of neurodegeneration. However, most of the post-translational modifications or truncation sites in the abnormal TDP-43 in brains of patients remain to be identified by protein chemical analysis. In this study, we carried out a highly sensitive liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of Sarkosyl-insoluble pathological TDP-43 from brains of ALS patients and identified several novel phosphorylation sites, deamidation sites, and cleavage sites. Almost all modifications were localized in the Gly-rich C-terminal half. Most of the cleavage sites identified in this study are novel and are located in N-terminal half, suggesting that these sites may be more accessible to proteolytic enzymes. The data obtained in this study provide a foundation for the molecular mechanisms of TDP-43 aggregation and ALS pathogenesis. PMID:26980269

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26578880

  13. Mass spectrometric analysis of accumulated TDP-43 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis brains.

    PubMed

    Kametani, Fuyuki; Obi, Tomokazu; Shishido, Takeo; Akatsu, Hiroyasu; Murayama, Shigeo; Saito, Yuko; Yoshida, Mari; Hasegawa, Masato

    2016-01-01

    TDP-43 is the major disease-associated protein involved in the pathogenesis and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions linked to TDP-43 pathology (FTLD-TDP). Abnormal phosphorylation, truncation and cytoplasmic mis-localization are known to be the characteristics for the aggregated forms of TDP-43, and gain of toxic abnormal TDP-43 or loss of function of physiological TDP-43 have been suggested as the cause of neurodegeneration. However, most of the post-translational modifications or truncation sites in the abnormal TDP-43 in brains of patients remain to be identified by protein chemical analysis. In this study, we carried out a highly sensitive liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of Sarkosyl-insoluble pathological TDP-43 from brains of ALS patients and identified several novel phosphorylation sites, deamidation sites, and cleavage sites. Almost all modifications were localized in the Gly-rich C-terminal half. Most of the cleavage sites identified in this study are novel and are located in N-terminal half, suggesting that these sites may be more accessible to proteolytic enzymes. The data obtained in this study provide a foundation for the molecular mechanisms of TDP-43 aggregation and ALS pathogenesis. PMID:26980269

  14. Occurrence of the "applause sign" in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Anneser, Johanna M H; Krzovska, Marija; Borasio, Gian Domenico; Danek, Adrian

    2015-10-01

    The applause sign was originally described as a quick bedside test to discriminate progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) (positive applause sign, PAS) from Parkinson's disease (PD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) (negative applause sign). However, recent research demonstrated that the test is positive not only in a subset of patients with PD and FTD, but also in other neurodegenerative diseases. We tested 22 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) together with 22 healthy sex- and age-matched controls for the occurrence of PAS. Furthermore, we performed neuropsychological testing with the EXIT-25 battery to correlate PAS with neuropsychological deficits, especially frontal lobe dysfunction. Five ALS patients (23%) and none of the controls displayed PAS (p≤0.05). The occurrence of PAS in ALS patients was not correlated with pathologic EXIT-25 scores or subtests for aberrant motor behaviour. We describe for the first time the occurrence of the applause sign in ALS and provide additional evidence that PAS is not specific for Parkinsonian disorders. Although its occurrence has been related to aberrant motor behaviour due to frontal involvement, in our study PAS did not correlate with executive dysfunction as tested by the EXIT-25 test battery, or with subtests of aberrant motor behaviour. PMID:26117556

  15. Sleep disorders and diaphragmatic function in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Arnulf, I; Similowski, T; Salachas, F; Garma, L; Mehiri, S; Attali, V; Behin-Bellhesen, V; Meininger, V; Derenne, J P

    2000-03-01

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the progressive loss of upper and lower motor neurons leads to respiratory failure, often with predominant diaphragm dysfunction, and death. Because the diaphragm is the only active inspiratory muscle during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, there is a high theoretical risk of respiratory disorders during REM sleep in patients with ALS. To assess this hypothesis, we studied sleep characteristics (polysomnography) in 21 patients with ALS, stratified according to the presence or absence of diaphragmatic dysfunction. Diaphragmatic dysfunction was defined as an absent or delayed diaphragm response to cervical or cortical magnetic stimulation, abdominal paradox, or respiratory pulse (Group 1, 13 patients). These patients did not differ in age, clinical course, or form (bulbar or spinal) from the eight others, who did not have diaphragmatic dysfunction (Group 2). REM sleep was reduced in Group 1 (7 +/- 7% of total sleep time; mean +/- SD) and normal in Group 2 (18 +/- 6%, p = 0.004). Apneas or hypopneas were rare in both groups. In Group 1, REM sleep was absent or minimal (less than 3 min) in five patients. An unusual and remarkable preservation of phasic inspiratory sternomastoid activation during REM was associated with longer REM sleep duration in six of the other patients with diaphragmatic dysfunction. Median survival time was dramatically shorter (217 d) in Group 1 than in Group 2 (619 d, p = 0.015). PMID:10712332

  16. Diversity of ion channels in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Park, Kyoung Sun; Choi, Mi Ran; Jung, Kyoung Hwa; Kim, Seunghyun; Kim, Hyun Young; Kim, Kyung Suk; Cha, Eun-Jong; Kim, Yangmi; Chai, Young Gyu

    2008-12-01

    Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) represent a potentially valuable cell type for clinical therapeutic applications. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of long-term culturing (up to 10(th) passages) of hBM-MSCs from eight individual amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, focusing on functional ion channels. All hBM-MSCs contain several MSCs markers with no significant differences, whereas the distribution of functional ion channels was shown to be different between cells. Four types of K(+) currents, including noise-like Ca(+2)-activated K(+) current (IK(Ca)), a transient outward K(+) current (I(to)), a delayed rectifier K(+) current (IK(DR)), and an inward-rectifier K(+) current (K(ir)) were heterogeneously present in these cells, and a TTX-sensitive Na(+) current (I(Na,TTX)) was also recorded. In the RT-PCR analysis, Kv1.1, heag1, Kv4.2, Kir2.1, MaxiK, and hNE-Na were detected. In particular, I(Na,TTX) showed a significant passage-dependent increase. This is the first report showing that functional ion channel profiling depend on the cellular passage of hBM-MSCs. PMID:19967076

  17. Posttranslational Modifications in Cu,Zn-Superoxide Dismutase and Mutations Associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    FURUKAWA, YOSHIAKI

    2006-01-01

    Activation of the enzyme Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) involves several posttranslational modifications including copper and zinc binding, as well as formation of the intramolecular disulfide bond. The copper chaperone for SOD1, CCS, is responsible for intracellular copper loading in SOD1 under most physiological conditions. Recent in vitro and in vivo assays reveal that CCS not only delivers copper to SOD1 under stringent copper limitation, but it also facilitates the stepwise conversion of the disulfide-reduced immature SOD1 to the active disulfide-containing enzyme. The two new functions attributed to CCS, (i.e., O2-dependent sulfhydryl oxidase- and disulfide isomerase-like activities) indicate that this protein has attributes of the larger class of molecular chaperones. The CCS-dependent activation of SOD1 is dependent upon oxygen availability, suggesting that the cell only loads copper and activates this enzyme when O2-based oxidative stress is present. Thiol/disulfide status as well as metallation state of SOD1 significantly affects its structure and protein aggregation, which are relevant in pathologies of a neurodegenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The authors review here a mechanism for posttranslational activation of SOD1 and discuss models for ALS in which the most immature forms of the SOD1 polypeptide exhibits propensity to form toxic aggregates. PMID:16771675

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease, and the most common in European populations. Results of genetic analysis and mutation screening of SOD1 in a cohort of 60 Iranian ALS patients are here reported. Initially, linkage analysis in 4 families identified a disease-linked locus that included the known ALS gene, SOD1. Screening of SOD1 identified homozygous p.Asp90Ala causing mutations in all the linked families. Haplotype analysis suggests that the p.Asp90Ala alleles in the Iranian patients might share a common founder with the renowned Scandinavian recessive p.Asp90Ala allele. Subsequent screening in all the patients resulted in identification of 3 other mutations in SOD1, including p.Leu84Phe in the homozygous state. Phenotypic features of the mutation-bearing patients are presented. SOD1 mutations were found in 11.7% of the cohort, 38.5% of the familial ALS probands, and 4.25% of the sporadic ALS cases. SOD1 mutations contribute significantly to ALS among Iranians. PMID:23062701

  19. Physical activity and risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in a prospective cohort study.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Valentina; Vanacore, Nicola; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; Vermeulen, Roel; Brayne, Carol; Pearce, Neil; Wark, Petra A; Ward, Heather A; Ferrari, Pietro; Jenab, Mazda; Andersen, Peter M; Wennberg, Patrik; Wareham, Nicholas; Katzke, Verena; Kaaks, Rudolf; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Peeters, Petra H; Mattiello, Amalia; Pala, Valeria; Barricante, Aurelio; Chirlaque, Maria-Dolores; Travier, Noémie; Travis, Ruth C; Sanchez, Maria-Jose; Pessah-Rasmussen, Hélène; Petersson, Jesper; Tjønneland, Anne; Tumino, Rosario; Quiros, Jose Ramon; Trichopoulou, Antonia; Kyrozis, Andreas; Oikonomidou, Despoina; Masala, Giovanna; Sacerdote, Carlotta; Arriola, Larraitz; Boeing, Heiner; Vigl, Matthaeus; Claver-Chapelon, Francoise; Middleton, Lefkos; Riboli, Elio; Vineis, Paolo

    2016-03-01

    Previous case-control studies have suggested a possible increased risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) with physical activity (PA), but this association has never been studied in prospective cohort studies. We therefore assessed the association between PA and risk of death from ALS in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. A total of 472,100 individuals were included in the analysis, yielding 219 ALS deaths. At recruitment, information on PA was collected thorough standardised questionnaires. Total PA was expressed by the Cambridge Physical Activity Index (CPAI) and analysed in relation to ALS mortality, using Cox hazard models. Interactions with age, sex, and anthropometric measures were assessed. Total PA was weakly inversely associated with ALS mortality with a borderline statistically significant trend across categories (p = 0.042), with those physically active being 33% less likely to die from ALS compared to those inactive: HR = 0.67 (95% CI 0.42-1.06). Anthropometric measures, sex, and age did not modify the association with CPAI. The present study shows a slightly decreased-not increased like in case-control studies-risk of dying from ALS in those with high levels of total PA at enrolment. This association does not appear confounded by age, gender, anthropometry, smoking, and education. Ours was the first prospective cohort study on ALS and physical activity. PMID:26968841

  20. Adeno Associated Viral Vector Delivered RNAi for Gene Therapy of SOD1 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Stoica, Lorelei; Sena-Esteves, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are a leading cause of ALS, responsible for up to 20% of familial cases. Although the exact mechanism by which mutant SOD1 causes disease remains unknown, multiple studies have shown that reduction of the mutant species leads to delayed disease onset and extension of lifespan of animal models. This makes SOD1 an ideal target for gene therapy coupling adeno associated virus vector (AAV) gene delivery with RNAi molecules. In this review we summarize the studies done thus far attempting to decrease SOD1 gene expression, using AAV vectors as delivery tools, and RNAi as therapeutic molecules. Current hurdles to be overcome, such as the need for widespread gene delivery through the entire central nervous system (CNS), are discussed. Continued efforts to improve current AAV delivery methods and capsids will accelerate the application of these therapeutics to the clinic. PMID:27531973

  1. Protein disulfide isomerase-immunopositive inclusions in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Honjo, Yasuyuki; Kaneko, Satoshi; Ito, Hidefumi; Horibe, Tomohisa; Nagashima, Masato; Nakamura, Masataka; Fujita, Kengo; Takahashi, Ryosuke; Kusaka, Hirofumi; Kawakami, Koji

    2011-11-01

    The major pathological hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs) and swollen neurites. Superoxide dismutase (SOD)-1-immunopositive NCIs are observed in patients with familial ALS (FALS), and TAR DNA-binding protein 43kDa (TDP-43)-immunopositive NCIs are found in patients with sporadic ALS (SALS). Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is a member of the thioredoxin superfamily and is believed to accelerate the folding of disulfide-bonded proteins by catalyzing the disulfide interchange reaction, which is the rate-limiting step during protein folding in the luminal space of the endoplasmic reticulum. Post mortem spinal cord specimens from five patients with SALS and one with FALS (I113T), and five normal controls were utilized in this immunohistochemical study. We found PDI-immunopositive swollen neurites and NCIs in the patients with ALS. Furthermore, PDI was colocalized with TDP-43 and SOD1 in NCIs. The accumulation of misfolding proteins may disturb axon transport and make swollen neurites. As the motor neuron is the longest cell in the nervous system, the motor system may selectively be disturbed. In conclusion, we assume that PDI is S-nitrosylated in the affected neurons, which inhibits its enzymatic activity and thus allows protein misfolding to occur in ALS. PMID:21745122

  2. An autopsy case of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with a TARDBP Q343R mutation.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Koichi; Fujita, Yukio; Hoshino, Eri; Tamura, Yuhji; Fukuda, Toshio; Hasegawa, Masato; Takatama, Masamitsu

    2015-10-01

    We describe a Japanese autopsy case of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) with a TARDBP Q343R mutation. This male patient developed dysarthria at the age of 52 years, and bulbar symptoms progressed, with weakness and atrophy in the extremities. His mental status was normal, but he became bedridden, received artificial respiratory support at 54 years of age, and gradually acquired a locked-in state and died at 58 years of age. Microscopically, marked diffuse myelin pallor was observed in the anterolateral columns of the spinal cord. The remaining anterior horn cells contained Bunina bodies and phosphorylation-dependent transactivation response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (pTDP-43)-positive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs). Glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) were also observed. The number of ubiquitin- and p62-positive inclusions was markedly lower than that of pTDP-43-positive inclusions. NCIs and many fine dot-like pTDP-43-positive granules in the neuropil were mainly seen in the temporal and motor cortices, and striatum. NCIs were rare in hippocampal granular cells. Immunoblotting of samples from the cerebral cortex using an anti-pTDP-43 antibody was slightly different from previous TDP-43 pathological subtypes. PMID:26096467

  3. Cerebrospinal Fluid from Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients Induces Mitochondrial and Lysosomal Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Aparna; Varghese, Anu Mary; Vijaylakshmi, Kalyan; Sumitha, Rajendrarao; Prasanna, V K; Shruthi, S; Chandrasekhar Sagar, B K; Datta, Keshava K; Gowda, Harsha; Nalini, Atchayaram; Alladi, Phalguni Anand; Christopher, Rita; Sathyaprabha, Talakad N; Raju, Trichur R; Srinivas Bharath, M M

    2016-05-01

    In our laboratory, we have developed (1) an in vitro model of sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (sALS) involving exposure of motor neurons to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from sALS patients and (2) an in vivo model involving intrathecal injection of sALS-CSF into rat pups. In the current study, we observed that spinal cord extract from the in vivo sALS model displayed elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial dysfunction. Quantitative proteomic analysis of sub-cellular fractions from spinal cord of the in vivo sALS model revealed down-regulation of 35 mitochondrial proteins and 4 lysosomal proteins. Many of the down-regulated mitochondrial proteins contribute to alterations in respiratory chain complexes and organellar morphology. Down-regulated lysosomal proteins Hexosaminidase, Sialidase and Aryl sulfatase also displayed lowered enzyme activity, thus validating the mass spectrometry data. Proteomic analysis and validation by western blot indicated that sALS-CSF induced the over-expression of the pro-apoptotic mitochondrial protein BNIP3L. In the in vitro model, sALS-CSF induced neurotoxicity and elevated ROS, while it lowered the mitochondrial membrane potential in rat spinal cord mitochondria in the in vivo model. Ultra structural alterations were evident in mitochondria of cultured motor neurons exposed to ALS-CSF. These observations indicate the first line evidence that sALS-CSF mediated mitochondrial and lysosomal defects collectively contribute to the pathogenesis underlying sALS. PMID:26646005

  4. Oxysterol-binding protein ORP3 rescues the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-linked mutant VAPB phenotype.

    PubMed

    Darbyson, Angie; Ngsee, Johnny K

    2016-02-01

    A mutation in VAPB causes a familial form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The mutant protein (VAPB-P56S) is aggregate prone and blocks retrograde traffic from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) including trafficking to the nuclear envelope (NE). Here we report a morphological screen where overexpression of oxysterol binding protein-related protein-3 (ORP3) rescued the mutant VAPB phenotype. It resolved the mutant VAPB-induced membrane expansions, restored solubility of the mutant protein in non-ionic detergent, and restored trafficking of Emerin to the NE. Knockdown of ORP3 or VAPB increased the intracellular level of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns4P). Decreasing PtdIns4P levels by inhibiting its synthesis reduced the severity of the mutant VAPB-induced membrane expansions and restored Emerin trafficking to the NE. Thus, VAPB and its interacting partners cooperatively regulate protein trafficking through the ERGIC by modulating PtdIns4P levels. PMID:26812496

  5. Crowdsourced analysis of clinical trial data to predict amyotrophic lateral sclerosis progression.

    PubMed

    Küffner, Robert; Zach, Neta; Norel, Raquel; Hawe, Johann; Schoenfeld, David; Wang, Liuxia; Li, Guang; Fang, Lilly; Mackey, Lester; Hardiman, Orla; Cudkowicz, Merit; Sherman, Alexander; Ertaylan, Gokhan; Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz; Hothorn, Torsten; van Ligtenberg, Jules; Macke, Jakob H; Meyer, Timm; Schölkopf, Bernhard; Tran, Linh; Vaughan, Rubio; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Leitner, Melanie L

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease with substantial heterogeneity in its clinical presentation. This makes diagnosis and effective treatment difficult, so better tools for estimating disease progression are needed. Here, we report results from the DREAM-Phil Bowen ALS Prediction Prize4Life challenge. In this crowdsourcing competition, competitors developed algorithms for the prediction of disease progression of 1,822 ALS patients from standardized, anonymized phase 2/3 clinical trials. The two best algorithms outperformed a method designed by the challenge organizers as well as predictions by ALS clinicians. We estimate that using both winning algorithms in future trial designs could reduce the required number of patients by at least 20%. The DREAM-Phil Bowen ALS Prediction Prize4Life challenge also identified several potential nonstandard predictors of disease progression including uric acid, creatinine and surprisingly, blood pressure, shedding light on ALS pathobiology. This analysis reveals the potential of a crowdsourcing competition that uses clinical trial data for accelerating ALS research and development. PMID:25362243

  6. Gibbs Energy of Superoxide Dismutase Heterodimerization Accounts for Variable Survival in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yunhua; Acerson, Mark J; Abdolvahabi, Alireza; Mowery, Richard A; Shaw, Bryan F

    2016-04-27

    The exchange of subunits between homodimeric mutant Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and wild-type (WT) SOD1 is suspected to be a crucial step in the onset and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The rate, mechanism, and ΔG of heterodimerization (ΔGHet) all remain undetermined, due to analytical challenges in measuring heterodimerization. This study used capillary zone electrophoresis to measure rates of heterodimerization and ΔGHet for seven ALS-variant apo-SOD1 proteins that are clinically diverse, producing mean survival times between 2 and 12 years (postdiagnosis). The ΔGHet of each ALS variant SOD1 correlated with patient survival time after diagnosis (R(2) = 0.98), with more favorable ΔGHet correlating with shorter survival by 4.8 years per kJ. Rates of heterodimerization did not correlate with survival time or age of disease onset. Metalation diminished the rate of subunit exchange by up to ∼38-fold but only altered ΔGHet by <1 kJ mol(-1). Medicinal targeting of heterodimer thermodynamics represents a plausible strategy for prolonging life in SOD1-linked ALS. PMID:27054659

  7. Mitochondrial Network Genes in the Skeletal Muscle of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Lattanzi, Wanda; Barba, Marta; Calcagnini, Giovanni; Giuliani, Alessandro; Tasca, Giorgio; Sabatelli, Mario; Ricci, Enzo; Michetti, Fabrizio

    2013-01-01

    Recent evidence suggested that muscle degeneration might lead and/or contribute to neurodegeneration, thus it possibly play a key role in the etiopathogenesis and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To test this hypothesis, this study attempted to categorize functionally relevant genes within the genome-wide expression profile of human ALS skeletal muscle, using microarray technology and gene regulatory network analysis. The correlation network structures significantly change between patients and controls, indicating an increased inter-gene connection in patients compared to controls. The gene network observed in the ALS group seems to reflect the perturbation of muscle homeostasis and metabolic balance occurring in affected individuals. In particular, the network observed in the ALS muscles includes genes (PRKR1A, FOXO1, TRIM32, ACTN3, among others), whose functions connect the sarcomere integrity to mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. Overall, the analytical approach used in this study offer the possibility to observe higher levels of correlation (i.e. common expression trends) among genes, whose function seems to be aberrantly activated during the progression of muscle atrophy. PMID:23469062

  8. Linear ubiquitination is involved in the pathogenesis of optineurin-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Nakazawa, Seshiru; Oikawa, Daisuke; Ishii, Ryohei; Ayaki, Takashi; Takahashi, Hirotaka; Takeda, Hiroyuki; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Kamei, Kiyoko; Takeyoshi, Izumi; Kawakami, Hideshi; Iwai, Kazuhiro; Hatada, Izuho; Sawasaki, Tatsuya; Ito, Hidefumi; Nureki, Osamu; Tokunaga, Fuminori

    2016-01-01

    Optineurin (OPTN) mutations cause neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and glaucoma. Although the ALS-associated E478G mutation in the UBAN domain of OPTN reportedly abolishes its NF-κB suppressive activity, the precise molecular basis in ALS pathogenesis still remains unclear. Here we report that the OPTN-UBAN domain is crucial for NF-κB suppression. Our crystal structure analysis reveals that OPTN-UBAN binds linear ubiquitin with homology to NEMO. TNF-α-mediated NF-κB activation is enhanced in OPTN-knockout cells, through increased ubiquitination and association of TNF receptor (TNFR) complex I components. Furthermore, OPTN binds caspase 8, and OPTN deficiency accelerates TNF-α-induced apoptosis by enhancing complex II formation. Immunohistochemical analyses of motor neurons from OPTN-associated ALS patients reveal that linear ubiquitin and activated NF-κB are partially co-localized with cytoplasmic inclusions, and that activation of caspases is elevated. Taken together, OPTN regulates both NF-κB activation and apoptosis via linear ubiquitin binding, and the loss of this ability may lead to ALS. PMID:27552911

  9. Neurophysiological measures in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: markers of progression in clinical trials.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Mamede; Chio, Adriano; Dengler, Reinhard; Hecht, Martin; Weber, Markus; Swash, Michael

    2005-03-01

    In this review we evaluate clinical neurophysiological methods, originally described for use in diagnosis that can be applied to measurement of change during the progress of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Such measurements are potentially important in clinical trials, and also in clinical practice. We have assessed methods for lower and upper motor neuron function, including conventional EMG, nerve conduction and F-wave studies, the derived Neurophysiological Index, motor unit counting methods (MUNE), and transcranial magnetic motor cortex stimulation. We have also addressed the validity of measurements of electromechanical coupling. Methods for measuring muscle strength are beyond the scope of this review. We conclude that MUNE, M-wave amplitude and the Neurophysiological Index are sufficiently reliable, sensitive, and relevant to the clinical problem of ALS, to be used in clinical trials in the disease. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is of limited value, but a combination of the measurements made as part of this technique may also be useful. We conclude that clinical neurophysiological techniques should now be used in measuring change in clinical trials in ALS. PMID:16036422

  10. Impairment of cardiac autonomic control in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Pavlovic, Sanja; Stevic, Zorica; Milovanovic, Branislav; Milicic, Biljana; Rakocevic-Stojanovic, Vidosava; Lavrnic, Dragana; Apostolski, Slobodan

    2010-05-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate autonomic cardiac control in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Fifty-five patients with sporadic ALS (28 female and 27 male; average age 56.00 +/- 10.34 years) were compared to 30 healthy controls (17 female and 13 male; average age 42.87 +/- 11.91 years). Patients with previous history of cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, and impaired respiratory function were excluded from the study. Cardiovascular autonomic tests according to Ewing, power spectrum analysis of RR variability (low- and high-frequency bands - LF and HF, LF/HF index), real-time beat-to-beat ECG signal monitoring with heart rate variability analysis and baroreflex function analysis were carried out in all patients. Time-domain parameters of heart rate variability (mean RR interval, SDNN, SDANN, SDNN index, rMSSD and pNN50%) were obtained from 24-h ECG monitoring. ALS patients had a significantly higher score of sympathetic (p <0.01) and parasympathetic (p <0.001) dysfunction, as well as of the overall score of autonomic dysfunction (p <0.001). LF/HF index was significantly increased; baroreflex sensitivity and time-domain parameters of heart rate variability were highly significantly decreased in ALS patients (p <0.001). Our results demonstrated impaired cardiac autonomic control in ALS with marked parasympathetic dysfunction and sympathetic predominance. PMID:20001491

  11. Opposite Interplay between PPAR Gamma and Canonical Wnt/Beta-Catenin Pathway in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Lecarpentier, Yves; Vallée, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    The opposite interplay between peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma) and Wnt/beta-catenin signaling has led to the categorization of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) as either NDs in which PPAR gamma is downregulated while the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is upregulated [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, Friedreich's ataxia] or NDs in which PPAR gamma is upregulated while the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is downregulated (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease). ALS, a common adult-onset debilitating ND, is characterized by a chronic and progressive degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons resulting in muscular atrophy, paralysis, and ultimately death. The intent of this review is to provide an analysis of the integration of these two opposed systems, i.e., canonical Wnt/beta-catenin and PPAR gamma, in ALS. Understanding this integration may aid in the development of novel ALS therapies. Although the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is upregulated in ALS, riluzole, an enhancer of the canonical Wnt signaling, is classically prescribed in this disease in humans. However, studies carried out on ALS transgenic mice have shown beneficial effects after treatment by PPAR gamma agonists partly due to their anti-inflammatory effects. PMID:27445967

  12. SIRT1 deacetylase protects against neurodegeneration in models for Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dohoon; Nguyen, Minh Dang; Dobbin, Matthew M; Fischer, Andre; Sananbenesi, Farahnaz; Rodgers, Joseph T; Delalle, Ivana; Baur, Joseph A; Sui, Guangchao; Armour, Sean M; Puigserver, Pere; Sinclair, David A; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2007-01-01

    A progressive loss of neurons with age underlies a variety of debilitating neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), yet few effective treatments are currently available. The SIR2 gene promotes longevity in a variety of organisms and may underlie the health benefits of caloric restriction, a diet that delays aging and neurodegeneration in mammals. Here, we report that a human homologue of SIR2, SIRT1, is upregulated in mouse models for AD, ALS and in primary neurons challenged with neurotoxic insults. In cell-based models for AD/tauopathies and ALS, SIRT1 and resveratrol, a SIRT1-activating molecule, both promote neuronal survival. In the inducible p25 transgenic mouse, a model of AD and tauopathies, resveratrol reduced neurodegeneration in the hippocampus, prevented learning impairment, and decreased the acetylation of the known SIRT1 substrates PGC-1alpha and p53. Furthermore, injection of SIRT1 lentivirus in the hippocampus of p25 transgenic mice conferred significant protection against neurodegeneration. Thus, SIRT1 constitutes a unique molecular link between aging and human neurodegenerative disorders and provides a promising avenue for therapeutic intervention. PMID:17581637

  13. Increased ratio of circulating neutrophils to monocytes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Murdock, Benjamin J.; Bender, Diane E.; Kashlan, Samy R.; Figueroa-Romero, Claudia; Backus, Carey; Callaghan, Brian C.; Goutman, Stephen A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To elucidate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) biomarkers and potential mechanisms of disease, we measured immune cell populations in whole blood from a large cohort of patients with ALS. Methods: Leukocytes were isolated from the blood of 44 control patients and 90 patients with ALS. The percentages and total numbers of each cell population were analyzed using flow cytometry and matched with patient ALS Functional Rating Scale–Revised (ALSFRS-R) score to correlate leukocyte metrics with disease progression. Results: We show a significant increase in the percentage of neutrophils and a significant decrease in the percentage of CD4 T cells and CD16− monocytes in the blood of patients with ALS compared to controls; however, only CD16− monocyte levels correlated with disease progression. We also examined the monocyte surface expression of CCRL2 and CCR3; CD16− monocytes displayed decreased percentages and total numbers expressing CCR3, but these numbers did not correlate with ALSFRS-R score. We found that combining multiple disease metrics yielded the most accurate predictor of disease progression: the ratio of neutrophils to CD16− monocytes (N:M ratio) is significantly increased in patients with ALS and better correlates with disease progression than any other single metric. Conclusions: These observations implicate neutrophils and monocytes as important factors in late disease progression. PMID:27308304

  14. Early-onset alopecia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a cohort study.

    PubMed

    Fondell, Elinor; Fitzgerald, Kathryn C; Falcone, Guido J; O'Reilly, Eilis J; Ascherio, Alberto

    2013-10-01

    A recent meta-analysis of 7 genome-wide association studies on early balding (alopecia) revealed single nucleotide polymorphism variants in the region of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) gene TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TARDBP/TDP-43). We therefore explored the association of early-onset alopecia and ALS in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a large cohort of 51,529 US men. In 1992, the participants (then aged 46-81 years) were asked to report their hair line pattern at age 45 years. During the follow-up period (1992-2008), 42 men were diagnosed with ALS. Of those, 13 had reported no alopecia, 18 had reported moderate alopecia, and 11 had reported extensive alopecia at age 45 years. Those who reported extensive alopecia had an almost 3-fold increased risk of ALS compared with those who reported no alopecia (relative risk = 2.74, 95% confidence interval: 1.23, 6.13). Furthermore, we observed a linear trend of increased risk of ALS with increasing level of balding at age 45 years (Ptrend = 0.02). In conclusion, men with early-onset alopecia seem to have a higher risk of ALS. The mechanisms underlying this association deserve further investigation. PMID:23942216

  15. Abnormalities of Bell's phenomenon in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a clinical and electrophysiological evaluation.

    PubMed Central

    Esteban, A; De Andrés, C; Giménez-Roldán, S

    1978-01-01

    A clinical and electromyographic study of oculomotor function was carried out in a series of 24 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In 15 cases an alteration of Bell's phenomenon was found. In addition, three patients showed some impairment of conjugate ocular motility in the form of upward gaze paly. All cases had preserved oculocephalic reflexes in the vertical and horizontal planes. On clinical and electromyographic grounds, three degrees of altered Bell's phenomenon are suggested: attenuated (short and unsustained upward displacement of the eyeballs after forced closure of the eyelids), abolished (no upward displacement), and inverted (downward instead of upward displacement of the eyes). These oculomotor alterations were not directly related to the type of ALS at onset of the illness, nor with its duration. However they were correlated with the relative degree of the clinical bilateral pyramidal tract signs at the supraspinal level. The common involvement of the corticogeniculate tract in ALS could explain the unexpectedly high incidence of alteration of Bell's phenomenon found in this disease, but is is non-specific and similar lesions from different causes may also produce it. Images PMID:681956

  16. Predictors of impaired communication in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients with tracheostomy-invasive ventilation.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Yuki; Shimizu, Toshio; Mochizuki, Yoko; Hayashi, Kentaro; Matsuda, Chiharu; Nagao, Masahiro; Watabe, Kazuhiko; Kawata, Akihiro; Oyanagi, Kiyomitsu; Isozaki, Eiji; Nakano, Imaharu

    2015-01-01

    Predictors of communication impairment in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using tracheostomy-invasive ventilation (TIV) were investigated. Seventy-six ALS patients using TIV were enrolled and classified into three subgroups of communication ability: patients who could communicate with communication devices (Stage I), patients who had difficulty with communication (Stage II, III, or IV), and patients who could not communicate by any means (Stage V). Predictors of communication impairment were analysed by the Cox proportional hazard model. Results demonstrated that there were no significant differences in disease duration between subgroups. Within 24 months after disease onset, patients who needed TIV and tube feeding, developed oculomotor impairment or became totally quadriplegic and progressed from Stage I to II and V significantly earlier. Multivariate analyses revealed that within 24 months from onset, the need for TIV and progression to total quadriplegia were significant events in patients who progressed to Stage II, whereas the development of oculomotor limitation was significant in patients who progressed to Stage V. In conclusion, TIV, impaired oculomotor movement and total quadriplegia are predictors of severe communication impairment. Rapid disease progression might indicate future communication impairment after the use of TIV. We highly recommend early detection of impaired communication and identification of the best methods of communication. PMID:26121169

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

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Chen; Xie, Chengsong; Shim, Hoon; Chandran, Jayanth; Howell, Brian W; Cai, Huaibin

    2009-01-01

    Dysfunction of alsin, particularly its putative Rab5 guanine-nucleotide-exchange factor activity, has been linked to one form of juvenile onset recessive familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS2). Multiple lines of alsin knockout (ALS2-/-) mice have been generated to model this disease. However, it remains elusive whether the Rab5-dependent endocytosis is altered in ALS2-/- neurons. To directly examine the Rab5-mediated endosomal trafficking in ALS2-/- neurons, we introduced green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Rab5 into cultured hippocampal neurons to monitor the morphology and motility of Rab5-associated early endosomes. Here we report that Rab5-mediated endocytosis was severely altered in ALS2-/-neurons. Excessive accumulation of Rab5-positive vesicles was observed in ALS2-/- neurons, which correlated with a significant reduction in endosomal motility and augmentation in endosomal conversion to lysosomes. Consequently, a significant increase in endosome/lysosome-dependent degradation of internalized glutamate receptors was observed in ALS2-/- neurons. These phenotypes closely resembled the endosomal trafficking abnormalities induced by a constitutively active form of Rab5 in wild-type neurons. Therefore, our findings reveal a negatively regulatory mechanism of alsin in Rab5-mediated endosomal trafficking, suggesting that enhanced endosomal degradation in ALS2-/- neurons may underlie the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration in ALS2 and related motor neuron diseases. PMID:19630956

  18. Mutations in SOD1 associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cause novel protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Kunst, C B; Mezey, E; Brownstein, M J; Patterson, D

    1997-01-01

    A subset of familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS-a fatal disorder characterised by progressive motor neuron degeneration) cases are due to mutations in the gene encoding Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Two mutations which have been successfully used to generate transgenic mice that develop an ALS-like syndrome are glycine 85 to arginine (G85R) and glycine 93 to alanine (G93A) with the mutant SOD1 allele overexpressed in a normal mouse genetic background. No ALS-like phenotype is observed in mice overexpressing wild-type SOD1 or mice without any SOD1 activity. These dominant mutations, which do not necessarily decrease SOD1 activity, may confer a gain of function that is selectively lethal to motor neurons. The yeast interaction trap system allowed us to determine whether these mutations in SOD1 caused novel protein interactions not observed with wild-type SOD1 and which might participate in the generation of the ALS phenotype. Two proteins, lysyl-tRNA synthetase and translocon-associated protein delta, interact with mutant forms of SOD1 but not with wild-type SOD1. The specificity of the interactions was confirmed by the coimmunoprecipitation of mutant SOD1 and the expressed proteins. These proteins are expressed in ventral cord, lending support to the relevance of this interaction to motor neuron disease. PMID:8988176

  19. Mutational analysis of CHCHD2 in Chinese patients with multiple system atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xinglong; An, Ran; Zhao, Quanzhen; Zheng, Jinhua; Tian, Sijia; Chen, Yalan; Xu, Yanming

    2016-09-15

    CHCHD2, which encodes a regulator of mitochondrial metabolism, has been linked to Parkinson's disease (PD) in a Japanese population. Since PD and two other neurodegenerative diseases, multiple system atrophy (MSA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, we wanted to know whether CHCHD2 mutations may be linked to MSA and sporadic ALS in Chinese patients. All four CHCHD2 exons were Sanger-sequenced in 89 patients with MSA, 424 patients with sporadic ALS and 594 unrelated healthy Han Chinese. Four exonic variants were detected in six patients with sporadic ALS: Pro2Leu (rs142444896), Ala32Thr (rs145190179), Ser85Arg (rs182992574), and Tyr99ArgfsX42 (rs778030300). No exonic variants were detected in patients with MSA. Pro2Leu was not significantly associated with risk of ALS in our cohort, and no variants in untranslated or flanking regions of CHCHD2 were associated with risk of MSA or ALS. Our results suggest that genetic variants of CHCHD2 may not be a frequent cause of MSA or ALS in our Chinese population. PMID:27538669

  20. Linear ubiquitination is involved in the pathogenesis of optineurin-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Nakazawa, Seshiru; Oikawa, Daisuke; Ishii, Ryohei; Ayaki, Takashi; Takahashi, Hirotaka; Takeda, Hiroyuki; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Kamei, Kiyoko; Takeyoshi, Izumi; Kawakami, Hideshi; Iwai, Kazuhiro; Hatada, Izuho; Sawasaki, Tatsuya; Ito, Hidefumi; Nureki, Osamu; Tokunaga, Fuminori

    2016-01-01

    Optineurin (OPTN) mutations cause neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and glaucoma. Although the ALS-associated E478G mutation in the UBAN domain of OPTN reportedly abolishes its NF-κB suppressive activity, the precise molecular basis in ALS pathogenesis still remains unclear. Here we report that the OPTN-UBAN domain is crucial for NF-κB suppression. Our crystal structure analysis reveals that OPTN-UBAN binds linear ubiquitin with homology to NEMO. TNF-α-mediated NF-κB activation is enhanced in OPTN-knockout cells, through increased ubiquitination and association of TNF receptor (TNFR) complex I components. Furthermore, OPTN binds caspase 8, and OPTN deficiency accelerates TNF-α-induced apoptosis by enhancing complex II formation. Immunohistochemical analyses of motor neurons from OPTN-associated ALS patients reveal that linear ubiquitin and activated NF-κB are partially co-localized with cytoplasmic inclusions, and that activation of caspases is elevated. Taken together, OPTN regulates both NF-κB activation and apoptosis via linear ubiquitin binding, and the loss of this ability may lead to ALS. PMID:27552911

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Adeno Associated Viral Vector Delivered RNAi for Gene Therapy of SOD1 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Stoica, Lorelei; Sena-Esteves, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are a leading cause of ALS, responsible for up to 20% of familial cases. Although the exact mechanism by which mutant SOD1 causes disease remains unknown, multiple studies have shown that reduction of the mutant species leads to delayed disease onset and extension of lifespan of animal models. This makes SOD1 an ideal target for gene therapy coupling adeno associated virus vector (AAV) gene delivery with RNAi molecules. In this review we summarize the studies done thus far attempting to decrease SOD1 gene expression, using AAV vectors as delivery tools, and RNAi as therapeutic molecules. Current hurdles to be overcome, such as the need for widespread gene delivery through the entire central nervous system (CNS), are discussed. Continued efforts to improve current AAV delivery methods and capsids will accelerate the application of these therapeutics to the clinic. PMID:27531973

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

    SciTech Connect

    Pramatarova, A.; Rouleau, G.A.; Goto, J.

    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.

  4. Diverse abnormalities of corticomotoneuronal projections in individual patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, M; Eisen, A; Stewart, H

    1997-12-01

    Using peristimulus time histograms (PSTHs), abnormalities of composite excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation were studied in multiple motor units from individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and normal subjects. We studied 97 motor units in the extensor digitorum communis muscle of 22 patients with sporadic ALS and 47 motor units of 10 healthy control subjects. Four or five motor units were studied in each patient and normal subject. For each unit, macro motor unit potentials (Macro-MUPs) were simultaneously recorded from a surface electrode after spike-triggered averaging. The composite EPSPs in ALS showed a generally bi-directional deviation from the normal curve, with small EPSPs at one end, and larger amplitude EPSPs with a prolonged rise time at the other end. The variability of EPSPs from adjacent motor units in the same individual was significantly larger in ALS than in controls. In normal subjects there is a significant negative correlation between the amplitude of composite EPSPs and the Macro-MUPs. In ALS, the trend is reversed (positive) suggesting that the abnormalities of composite EPSPs are supraspinal in origin. A combination of partial attrition of the corticomotoneuronal core and hyper-excitability of surviving corticomotoneurons projecting to a given spinal motoneuron pool best explains the diversity of the composite EPSP in individuals with ALS. PMID:9448646

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

    PubMed

    Jensen, L; Jørgensen, L H; Bech, R D; Frandsen, U; Schrøder, H D

    2016-01-01

    Muscle weakness is considered the pivotal sign of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Knowledge about the skeletal muscle degeneration/regeneration process and the myogenic potential is limited in ALS patients. Therefore, we investigate these processes in a time course perspective by analysing skeletal muscle biopsies from ALS patients collected before and after a 12-week period of normal daily activities and compare these with healthy age-matched control tissue. We do this by evaluating mRNA and protein (immunohistochemical) markers of regeneration, neurodegeneration, myogenesis, cell cycle regulation, and inflammation. Our results show morphological changes indicative of active denervation and reinnervation and an increase in small atrophic fibres. We demonstrate differences between ALS and controls in pathways controlling skeletal muscle homeostasis, cytoskeletal and regenerative markers, neurodegenerative factors, myogenic factors, cell cycle determinants, and inflammatory markers. Our results on Pax7 and MyoD protein expression suggest that proliferation and differentiation of skeletal muscle stem cells are affected in ALS patients, and the myogenic processes cannot overcome the denervation-induced wasting. PMID:27195289

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

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, L.; Jørgensen, L. H.; Bech, R. D.; Frandsen, U.; Schrøder, H. D.

    2016-01-01

    Muscle weakness is considered the pivotal sign of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Knowledge about the skeletal muscle degeneration/regeneration process and the myogenic potential is limited in ALS patients. Therefore, we investigate these processes in a time course perspective by analysing skeletal muscle biopsies from ALS patients collected before and after a 12-week period of normal daily activities and compare these with healthy age-matched control tissue. We do this by evaluating mRNA and protein (immunohistochemical) markers of regeneration, neurodegeneration, myogenesis, cell cycle regulation, and inflammation. Our results show morphological changes indicative of active denervation and reinnervation and an increase in small atrophic fibres. We demonstrate differences between ALS and controls in pathways controlling skeletal muscle homeostasis, cytoskeletal and regenerative markers, neurodegenerative factors, myogenic factors, cell cycle determinants, and inflammatory markers. Our results on Pax7 and MyoD protein expression suggest that proliferation and differentiation of skeletal muscle stem cells are affected in ALS patients, and the myogenic processes cannot overcome the denervation-induced wasting. PMID:27195289

  7. MHC class I protects motor neurons from astrocyte-induced toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Lyndsey; Meyer, Kathrin; Frakes, Ashley E.; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Likhite, Shibi; Bevan, Adam K.; Foust, Kevin D.; McConnell, Michael J.; Walker, Christopher M.; Kaspar, Brian K.

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes isolated from individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are toxic towards motor neurons (MNs) and play a non-cell autonomous role in disease pathogenesis. The mechanisms underlying the susceptibility of motor neurons to cell death remains unclear. Here, we report that astrocytes derived from mice bearing ALS mutations and from individuals with ALS reduce expression of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) on MNs. Reduced MHCI expression makes these MNs susceptible to astrocyte-induced cell death. Increasing MHCI expression on MNs increases survival and motor performance in a mouse model of ALS and protects MN against astrocyte toxicity. A single MHCI molecule, HLA-F, protects MNs from ALS astrocyte-mediated toxicity, while knockdown of its receptor, the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor KIR3DL2, an inhibitory receptor that recognizes MHCI, on astrocytes results in enhanced MN death. These data indicate that in ALS upon loss of MHCI expression MNs become vulnerable to astrocyte-mediated toxicity. PMID:26928464

  8. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

    PubMed

    Łukaszewicz-Zając, Marta; Mroczko, Barbara; Słowik, Agnieszka

    2014-11-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-dependent endopeptidases, responsible for the integrity of the basement membrane (BM) via degradation of extracellular matrix and BM components. These enzymes are presented in central and peripheral nervous system. They are considered to be involved in the pathogenesis of several neurological diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a motor neuron disease, leading to muscle atrophy, paralysis and death within 3-5 years from diagnosis. Currently, there is no treatment that can substantially prolong life of ALS patients. Despite the fact that MMPs are not specific for ALS, there is also strong evidence that these enzymes are involved in the pathology of ALS. MMPs are able to exert direct neurotoxic effects, or may cause cell death by degrading matrix proteins. The objective of this paper is to provide an updated and comprehensive review concerning the role of MMPs and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) in the pathology of ALS with an emphasis on the significance of MMP-2 and MMP-9 as well as their tissue inhibitors as potential biomarkers of ALS. Numerous hypotheses have been proposed regarding the role of selected MMPs and TIMPs in ALS pathogenesis. Moreover, selective MMPs' inhibitors might be potential targets for therapeutic strategies for patients with ALS. However, future investigations are necessary before some of those non-specific for ALS enzymes could finally be used as biomarkers of this disease. PMID:25047909

  9. Voxel-Wise Meta-Analysis of Gray Matter Changes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Dongchao; Cui, Liying; Fang, Jia; Cui, Bo; Li, Dawei; Tai, Hongfei

    2016-01-01

    Background: Increasing neuroimaging studies have revealed gray matter (GM) anomalies of several brain regions by voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A voxel-wise meta-analysis was conducted to integrate the reported studies to determine the consistent GM alterations in ALS based on VBM methods. Methods: Ovid Medline, Pubmed, Emabase, and BrainMap database were searched for relevant studies.Data were extracted by two independent researchers. Voxel-wise meta-analysis was performed using the effect-size signed differential mapping (ES-SDM) software. Results: Twenty-nine VBM studies comprising 638 subjects with ALS and 622 healthy controls (HCs) met inclusion criteria.The global GM volumes of ALS patients were significantly decreased compared with those of HCs. GM reductions in patients were mainly located in the right precentral gyrus, the left Rolandic operculum, the left lenticular nucleus and the right anterior cingulate/paracingulate gyri. The right precentral gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus might be potential anatomical biomarkers to evaluate the severity of the disease, and longer disease duration was associated with more GM atrophy in the left frontal aslant tract and the right precentral gyrus in ALS patients. Conclusion: The results support that ALS is a complex degenerative disease involving multisystems besides the motor system.The mechanism of asymmetric atrophy of the motor cortex and the implication of Rolandic operculum involvement in ALS need to be further elucidated in future studies. PMID:27065078

  10. Using technology to improve access to specialist care in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A systematic review.

    PubMed

    Hobson, Esther V; Baird, Wendy O; Cooper, Cindy L; Mawson, Sue; Shaw, Pamela J; Mcdermott, Christopher J

    2016-01-01

    Our objective was to review the evidence for using technology to improve access to specialist care for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their carers. Medline, Google Scholar and the Cochrane library were searched for articles describing technology that enabled clinical care of patients with ALS or their carers where the patient/carer and clinician were not in the same location. Two applications were identified: telemedicine to facilitate video conferencing as an alternative to outpatient consultations and telehealth monitoring for patients with respiratory failure. One randomized controlled trial using telehealth in patients with respiratory failure including 22 patients with ALS was identified. While rates of hospitalization were reduced, overall mortality was unchanged and there were too few patients with ALS in the study to detect significant benefit. In conclusion, there is limited evidence to support the use of telemedicine or telehealth in the care of patients with ALS. Future research needs to develop an understanding of the key beneficial aspects of the traditional specialist ALS service and how these factors could be delivered using technology. Successful evaluation and implementation of technologies to facilitate access to specialist care will only be possible if all the relevant impacts of an intervention are understood and measured. PMID:27027466

  11. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and denervation alter sphingolipids and up-regulate glucosylceramide synthase

    PubMed Central

    Henriques, Alexandre; Croixmarie, Vincent; Priestman, David A.; Rosenbohm, Angela; Dirrig-Grosch, Sylvie; D'Ambra, Eleonora; Huebecker, Mylene; Hussain, Ghulam; Boursier-Neyret, Claire; Echaniz-Laguna, Andoni; Ludolph, Albert C.; Platt, Frances M.; Walther, Bernard; Spedding, Michael; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; Gonzalez De Aguilar, Jose-Luis

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal adult-onset disease characterized by upper and lower motor neuron degeneration, muscle wasting and paralysis. Growing evidence suggests a link between changes in lipid metabolism and ALS. Here, we used UPLC/TOF-MS to survey the lipidome in SOD1(G86R) mice, a model of ALS. Significant changes in lipid expression were evident in spinal cord and skeletal muscle before overt neuropathology. In silico analysis also revealed appreciable changes in sphingolipids including ceramides and glucosylceramides (GlcCer). HPLC analysis showed increased amounts of GlcCer and downstream glycosphingolipids (GSLs) in SOD1(G86R) muscle compared with wild-type littermates. Glucosylceramide synthase (GCS), the enzyme responsible for GlcCer biosynthesis, was up-regulated in muscle of SOD1(G86R) mice and ALS patients, and in muscle of wild-type mice after surgically induced denervation. Conversely, inhibition of GCS in wild-type mice, following transient peripheral nerve injury, reversed the overexpression of genes in muscle involved in oxidative metabolism and delayed motor recovery. GCS inhibition in SOD1(G86R) mice also affected the expression of metabolic genes and induced a loss of muscle strength and morphological deterioration of the motor endplates. These findings suggest that GSLs may play a critical role in ALS muscle pathology and could lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets. PMID:26483191

  12. Mutational analysis of TBK1 in Taiwanese patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Pei-Chien; Liu, Yi-Chien; Lin, Kon-Ping; Liu, Yo-Tsen; Liao, Yi-Chu; Hsiao, Cheng-Tsung; Soong, Bing-Wen; Yip, Ping-Keung; Lee, Yi-Chung

    2016-04-01

    Mutations in the TBK1 gene were just recently identified to cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and their role in ALS in various populations remains unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and spectrum of mutations in TBK1 in a Taiwanese ALS cohort of Han Chinese origin. Mutational analyses of TBK1 were carried out by direct nucleotide sequencing in a cohort of 207 unrelated patients with ALS. Among them, the genetic diagnoses of 168 patients remained elusive after mutations in SOD1, C9ORF72, TARDBP, FUS, ATXN2, OPTN, VCP, UBQLN2, SQSTM1, PFN1, HNRNPA1, HNRNPA2B1, MATR3, CHCHD10, and TUBA4A had been excluded. We identified one nonsense mutation, p.R444X (c.1330C>T), in one patient with apparently sporadic ALS-frontotemporal dementia. In vitro functional study demonstrated the p.R444X mutation resulting in a truncated TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) protein product, low protein expression, and loss of kinase function and interaction with optineurin. The frequency of TBK1 mutations in ALS patients in Taiwan is, therefore, approximately 0.5% (1/207). This study reports a novel TBK1 mutation and stresses on the importance to consider TBK1 mutation as a possible etiology of ALS. PMID:26804609

  13. Comparative Analysis of VOCs in Exhaled Breath of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy Patients

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Changsong; Li, Mingjuan; Jiang, Hongquan; Tong, Hongshuang; Feng, Yue; Wang, Yue; Pi, Xin; Guo, Lei; Nie, Maomao; Feng, Honglin; Li, Enyou

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable neurological degenerative disease. It can cause irreversible neurological damage to motor neurons; typical symptoms include muscle weakness and atrophy, bulbar paralysis and pyramidal tract signs. The ALS-mimicking disease cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) presents similar symptoms, but analysis of breath volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can potentially be used to distinguish ALS from CSM. In this study, breath samples were collected from 28 ALS and 13 CSM patients. Subsequently, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS) was used to analyze breath VOCs. Principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLSDA) were the statistical methods used to process the final data. We identified 4 compounds with significantly decreased levels in ALS patients compared with CSM controls: (1) carbamic acid, monoammonium salt; (2) 1-alanine ethylamide, (S)-; (3) guanidine, N,N-dimethyl-; and (4) phosphonic acid, (p-hydroxyphenyl)-. Currently, the metabolic origin of the VOCs remains unclear; however, several pathways might explain the decreasing trends observed. The results of this study demonstrate that there are specific VOC profiles associated with ALS and CSM patients that can be used to differentiate between the two. In addition, these metabolites could contribute to a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of ALS. PMID:27212435

  14. Predicting Speech Intelligibility Decline in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Based on the Deterioration of Individual Speech Subsystems

    PubMed Central

    Yunusova, Yana; Wang, Jun; Zinman, Lorne; Pattee, Gary L.; Berry, James D.; Perry, Bridget; Green, Jordan R.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To determine the mechanisms of speech intelligibility impairment due to neurologic impairments, intelligibility decline was modeled as a function of co-occurring changes in the articulatory, resonatory, phonatory, and respiratory subsystems. Method Sixty-six individuals diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were studied longitudinally. The disease-related changes in articulatory, resonatory, phonatory, and respiratory subsystems were quantified using multiple instrumental measures, which were subjected to a principal component analysis and mixed effects models to derive a set of speech subsystem predictors. A stepwise approach was used to select the best set of subsystem predictors to model the overall decline in intelligibility. Results Intelligibility was modeled as a function of five predictors that corresponded to velocities of lip and jaw movements (articulatory), number of syllable repetitions in the alternating motion rate task (articulatory), nasal airflow (resonatory), maximum fundamental frequency (phonatory), and speech pauses (respiratory). The model accounted for 95.6% of the variance in intelligibility, among which the articulatory predictors showed the most substantial independent contribution (57.7%). Conclusion Articulatory impairments characterized by reduced velocities of lip and jaw movements and resonatory impairments characterized by increased nasal airflow served as the subsystem predictors of the longitudinal decline of speech intelligibility in ALS. Declines in maximum performance tasks such as the alternating motion rate preceded declines in intelligibility, thus serving as early predictors of bulbar dysfunction. Following the rapid decline in speech intelligibility, a precipitous decline in maximum performance tasks subsequently occurred. PMID:27148967

  15. Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for SOD1-Associated Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Pathogenesis Studies

    PubMed Central

    Chestkov, I. V.; Vasilieva, E. A.; Illarioshkin, S. N.; Lagarkova, M. A.; Kiselev, S. L.

    2014-01-01

    The genetic reprogramming technology allows one to generate pluripotent stem cells for individual patients. These cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), can be an unlimited source of specialized cell types for the body. Thus, autologous somatic cell replacement therapy becomes possible, as well as the generation of in vitro cell models for studying the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and drug discovery. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable neurodegenerative disorder that leads to a loss of upper and lower motor neurons. About 10% of cases are genetically inherited, and the most common familial form of ALS is associated with mutations in the SOD1 gene. We used the reprogramming technology to generate induced pluripotent stem cells with patients with familial ALS. Patient-specific iPS cells were obtained by both integration and transgene-free delivery methods of reprogramming transcription factors. These iPS cells have the properties of pluripotent cells and are capable of direct differentiation into motor neurons. PMID:24772327

  16. Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for SOD1-Associated Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Pathogenesis Studies.

    PubMed

    Chestkov, I V; Vasilieva, E A; Illarioshkin, S N; Lagarkova, M A; Kiselev, S L

    2014-01-01

    The genetic reprogramming technology allows one to generate pluripotent stem cells for individual patients. These cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), can be an unlimited source of specialized cell types for the body. Thus, autologous somatic cell replacement therapy becomes possible, as well as the generation of in vitro cell models for studying the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and drug discovery. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable neurodegenerative disorder that leads to a loss of upper and lower motor neurons. About 10% of cases are genetically inherited, and the most common familial form of ALS is associated with mutations in the SOD1 gene. We used the reprogramming technology to generate induced pluripotent stem cells with patients with familial ALS. Patient-specific iPS cells were obtained by both integration and transgene-free delivery methods of reprogramming transcription factors. These iPS cells have the properties of pluripotent cells and are capable of direct differentiation into motor neurons. PMID:24772327

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

    PubMed Central

    D’Ambrosi, Nadia; Rossi, Simona; Gerbino, Valeria; Cozzolino, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    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 reactive oxygen species (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. PMID:25249940

  18. [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: recent insights from transgenic animal models with SOD1 mutations].

    PubMed

    Aoki, Masashi

    2004-11-01

    Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) have been linked to some familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In order to reproduce the different degree of toxicity to the mutant protein by mutations, we generated new transgenic mice with two mutations from which the progression of the disease in human family is rapid (L84V) or extremely slow (H46R). By comparing the two transgenic mice with different SOD1 mutations, we demonstrate that the time course and the first symptoms in these mice were likely to human SOD1-mediated familial ALS. In addition, we report here that rats that express a human SOD1 transgene with two different ALS-associated mutations (G93A and H46R) develop striking motor neuron degeneration and paralysis. The larger size of this rat model as compared with the ALS mice will facilitate studies involving manipulations of spinal fluid (implantation of intrathecal catheters for chronic therapeutic studies; CSF sampling) and spinal cord (e.g., direct administration of viral- and cell-mediated therapies). Using this rat model we showed that intrathecal administration of the hepatocyte growth factor attenuates motoneuron death and prolongs the duration of the disease of transgenic rats. PMID:15651292

  19. A Case Study of an Emerging Visual Artist with Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Patients with presenting with left-sided FTLD syndromes sometimes develop a new preoccupation with art, greater attention to visual stimuli, and increased visual creativity. We describe the case of a 53-year-old, right-handed man with a history of bipolar disorder who presented with language and behavior impairments characteristic of FTLD, then developed motor symptoms consistent with a second diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Though the patient had never created visual art before, he developed a compulsion for painting beginning at the earliest stages of his disease, and continued producing art daily until he could no longer lift a paintbrush because of his motor deficits. Upon autopsy, he was found to have ubiquitin and TDP43-positive inclusions with MND pathology. This case study details the patient’s longitudinal neuropsychological, emotional, behavioral, and motor symptoms, along with structural imaging, neurologic, and neuropathologic findings. Multiple examples of the patient’s art are depicted throughout all stages of his illness, and the possible cognitive, behavioral, and neurologic correlates of his new-onset visual artistry are discussed. PMID:19274573

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

    PubMed

    Tsai, Ching-Piao; Tzu-Chi Lee, Charles

    2013-11-01

    Few studies have assessed the spatial association of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) incidence in the world. The aim of this study was to identify the association of climatic factors and ALS incidence in Taiwan. A total of 1,434 subjects with the primary diagnosis of ALS between years 1997 and 2008 were identified in the national health insurance research database. The diagnosis was also verified by the national health insurance programme, which had issued and providing them with "serious disabling disease (SDD) certificates". Local indicators of spatial association were employed to investigate spatial clustering of age-standardised incidence ratios in the townships of the study area. Spatial regression was utilised to reveal any association of annual average climatic factors and ALS incidence for the 12-year study period. The climatic factors included the annual average time of sunlight exposure, average temperature, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, atmospheric pressure, rainfall, relative humidity and wind speed with spatial autocorrelation controlled. Significant correlations were only found for exposure to sunlight and rainfall and it was similar in both genders. The annual average of the former was found to be negatively correlated with ALS, while the latter was positively correlated with ALS incidence. While accepting that ALS is most probably multifactorial, it was concluded that sunlight deprivation and/or rainfall are associated to some degree with ALS incidence in Taiwan. PMID:24258882

  1. Accepting or declining non-invasive ventilation or gastrostomy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: patients' perspectives.

    PubMed

    Greenaway, L P; Martin, N H; Lawrence, V; Janssen, A; Al-Chalabi, A; Leigh, P N; Goldstein, L H

    2015-01-01

    The objective was to identify factors associated with decisions made by patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to accept or decline non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and/or gastrostomy in a prospective population-based study. Twenty-one people with ALS, recruited from the South-East ALS Register who made an intervention decision during the study timeframe underwent a face-to-face in-depth interview, with or without their informal caregiver present. Sixteen had accepted an intervention (11 accepted gastrostomy, four accepted NIV and one accepted both interventions). Five patients had declined gastrostomy. Thematic analysis revealed three main themes: (1) patient-centric factors (including perceptions of control, acceptance and need, and aspects of fear); (2) external factors (including roles played by healthcare professionals, family, and information provision); and (3) the concept of time (including living in the moment and the notion of 'right thing, right time'). Many aspects of these factors were inter-related. Decision-making processes for the patients were found to be complex and multifaceted and reinforce arguments for individualised (rather than 'algorithm-based') approaches to facilitating decision-making by people with ALS who require palliative interventions. PMID:25683760

  2. Proteomic profiling of cerebrospinal fluid identifies biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Ranganathan, Srikanth; Williams, Eric; Ganchev, Philip; Gopalakrishnan, Vanathi; Lacomis, David; Urbinelli, Leo; Newhall, Kristyn; Cudkowicz, Merit E.; Brown, Robert H.; Bowser, Robert

    2006-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by degeneration of motor neurons. We tested the hypothesis that proteomic analysis will identify protein biomarkers that provide insight into disease pathogenesis and are diagnostically useful. To identify ALS specific biomarkers, we compared the proteomic profile of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from ALS and control subjects using surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS). We identified 30 mass ion peaks with statistically significant (p < 0.01) differences between control and ALS subjects. Initial analysis with a rule-learning algorithm yielded biomarker panels with diagnostic predictive value as subsequently assessed using an independent set of coded test subjects. Three biomarkers were identified that are either decreased (transthyretin, cystatin C) or increased (carboxy-terminal fragment of neuroendocrine protein 7B2) in ALS CSF. We validated the SELDI-TOF-MS results for transthyretin and cystatin C by immunoblot and immunohistochemistry using commercially available antibodies. These findings identify a panel of CSF protein biomarkers for ALS. PMID:16313519

  3. Long-term physical activity: an exogenous risk factor for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    PubMed Central

    Harwood, Ceryl A.; Westgate, Kate; Gunstone, Sue; Brage, Soren; Wareham, Nicholas J.; McDermott, Christopher J.; Shaw, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Objectives: To conduct a geographically defined, UK-based case-control study, to examine any association between physical activity (PA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods: A novel historical PA questionnaire was designed, validated, and subsequently administered in individual face-to-face interviews of 175 newly diagnosed sporadic ALS cases and 317 age- and sex-matched community controls. Historical PA energy expenditure and time spent in vigorous-intensity PA were derived from questionnaire data and compared between cases and controls. Results: Participation in an extra 10kJ/kg/day of PA (equivalent to approximately 45minutes brisk walking) was consistently associated with an increased risk of ALS, with the strongest association observed for adulthood exercise-related PA (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.10-1.97). An extra 10mins/day of vigorous PA was also associated with the odds of ALS (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1·01-1·05). Results were slightly attenuated following adjustment for smoking and educational attainment. Conclusions: To our knowledge this is the first study to demonstrate a positive association between ALS and PA participation using a specifically designed and validated historical PA questionnaire. Despite the well-established health benefits of PA, a high activity lifestyle may also be associated with elevated risk of ALS. Large-scale prospective studies in the future may help to confirm this association. PMID:26998882

  4. Proteasome activation is a mechanism for pyrazolone small molecules displaying therapeutic potential in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Trippier, Paul C; Zhao, Kevin Tianmeng; Fox, Susan G; Schiefer, Isaac T; Benmohamed, Radhia; Moran, Jason; Kirsch, Donald R; Morimoto, Richard I; Silverman, Richard B

    2014-09-17

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disease. Pyrazolone containing small molecules have shown significant disease attenuating efficacy in cellular and murine models of ALS. Pyrazolone based affinity probes were synthesized to identify high affinity binding partners and ascertain a potential biological mode of action. Probes were confirmed to be neuroprotective in PC12-SOD1(G93A) cells. PC12-SOD1(G93A) cell lysates were used for protein pull-down, affinity purification, and subsequent proteomic analysis using LC-MS/MS. Proteomics identified the 26S proteasome regulatory subunit 4 (PSMC1), 26S proteasome regulatory subunit 6B (PSMC4), and T-complex protein 1 (TCP-1) as putative protein targets. Coincubation with appropriate competitors confirmed the authenticity of the proteomics results. Activation of the proteasome by pyrazolones was demonstrated in the absence of exogenous proteasome inhibitor and by restoration of cellular protein degradation of a fluorogenic proteasome substrate in PC12-SOD1(G93A) cells. Importantly, supplementary studies indicated that these molecules do not induce a heat shock response. We propose that pyrazolones represent a rare class of molecules that enhance proteasomal activation in the absence of a heat shock response and may have therapeutic potential in ALS. PMID:25001311

  5. Targeted assessment of lower motor neuron burden is associated with survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Devine, Matthew S; Ballard, Emma; O'Rourke, Peter; Kiernan, Matthew C; Mccombe, Pamela A; Henderson, Robert D

    2016-01-01

    Estimating survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is challenging due to heterogeneity in clinical features of disease and a lack of suitable markers that predict survival. Our aim was to determine whether scoring of upper or lower motor neuron weakness is associated with survival. With this objective, 161 ALS subjects were recruited from two tertiary referral centres. Scoring of upper (UMN) and lower motor neuron (LMN) signs was performed, in addition to a brief questionnaire. Subjects were then followed until the censorship date. Univariate analysis was performed to identify variables associated with survival to either non-invasive ventilation (NIV) or death, which were then further characterized using Cox regression. Results showed that factors associated with reduced survival included older age, bulbar and respiratory involvement and shorter diagnostic delay (all p < 0.05). Whole body LMN score was strongly associated with time to NIV or death (p ≤0.001) whereas UMN scores were poorly associated with survival. In conclusion, our results suggest that, early in disease assessment and in the context of other factors (age, bulbar, respiratory status), the burden of LMN weakness provides an accurate estimate of outcome. Such a scoring system could predict prognosis, and thereby aid in selection of patients for clinical trials. PMID:26700804

  6. Immunoglobulins from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients enhance spontaneous transmitter release from motor-nerve terminals.

    PubMed Central

    Uchitel, O D; Appel, S H; Crawford, F; Sczcupak, L

    1988-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incapacitating neuromuscular disease of unknown etiology. Although laboratory evidence is lacking, circumstantial evidence supports the importance of immune factors in the pathogenesis of ALS. In the present study immunoglobulins from 4 of 8 ALS patients induced a significant increase in spontaneous quantal transmitter release as monitored by miniature end-plate potential (MEPP) frequency in mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations at 23 degrees C, whereas immunoglobulins from normal individuals and from patients with other neuromuscular diseases had no effect. At 32 degrees C neither normal nor disease control immunoglobulins influenced MEPP frequency, but 8 of 11 ALS immunoglobulin samples produced a significant increase in spontaneous quantal transmitter release. The enhancing effect could be prevented by 10 mM Mg2+. No effects were noted on MEPP amplitude and muscle resting potential. These findings suggest that the presynaptic terminal of the motor neuron may be an early target and that immunological factors may play an important role in the disease process. PMID:2902629

  7. RBM45 Modulates the Antioxidant Response in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis through Interactions with KEAP1

    PubMed Central

    Bakkar, Nadine; Kousari, Arianna; Kovalik, Tina; Li, Yang

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons. Various factors contribute to the disease, including RNA binding protein dysregulation and oxidative stress, but their exact role in pathogenic mechanisms remains unclear. We have recently linked another RNA binding protein, RBM45, to ALS via increased levels of protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of ALS patients and its localization to cytoplasmic inclusions in ALS motor neurons. Here we show RBM45 nuclear exit in ALS spinal cord motor neurons compared to controls, a phenotype recapitulated in vitro in motor neurons treated with oxidative stressors. We find that RBM45 binds and stabilizes KEAP1, the inhibitor of the antioxidant response transcription factor NRF2. ALS lumbar spinal cord lysates similarly show increased cytoplasmic binding of KEAP1 and RBM45. Binding of RBM45 to KEAP1 impedes the protective antioxidant response, thus contributing to oxidative stress-induced cellular toxicity. Our findings thus describe a novel link between a mislocalized RNA binding protein implicated in ALS (RBM45) and dysregulation of the neuroprotective antioxidant response seen in the disease. PMID:25939382

  8. Level of neurotoxic metals in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A population-based case-control study.

    PubMed

    Bocca, Beatrice; Forte, Giovanni; Oggiano, Riccardo; Clemente, Simonetta; Asara, Yolande; Peruzzu, Angela; Farace, Cristiano; Pala, Salvatore; Fois, Alessandro Giuseppe; Pirina, Pietro; Madeddu, Roberto

    2015-12-15

    The association between exposure to toxic metals and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was explored in a population-based case-control study in the Sardinia island (Italy), a region characterized by elevated rates of ALS cases. In 34 patients with ALS (mean age, 62 ± 10 years) and 30 controls (mean age, 65 ± 11 years), Al, Cd, Hg, Mn and Pb were determined in blood, hair and urine by sector field inductively coupled mass spectrometry. Results indicated that, in blood, concentrations of Al (p=0.045) and Pb were higher (p=0.026) in ALS patients than in control subjects. In hair, a depletion of Al (p=0.006) and Mn (p=0.032) concentrations in ALS subjects respect to controls was found. In urine, no significant differences between cases and controls were observed. Thus, some metals seemed to be associated with ALS degeneration, but a definitive conclusion is still far considering the multiple risk factors (genetic mutations, environmental toxicants and stressors) involved in the disease. Finally, the interpretation that deregulated metal concentrations can be a consequence of the degenerative process, rather than a cause, is also valid. PMID:26671079

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Disrupted effective connectivity of the sensorimotor network in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Fang, Xiaojing; Zhang, Yuanchao; Wang, Yue; Zhang, Yuling; Hu, Jun; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Jiuquan; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-03-01

    Although dysfunctional sensorimotor network (SMN) has been frequently involved in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the causal relationship within this network remains unexplored. In this study, spectral dynamic causal modeling was applied to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data to estimate the causal relationship of SMN in a cohort of 20 ALS patients and 21 healthy controls. The SMN components were first extracted using an independent component analysis, and then compared between the two groups to identify the abnormalities in SMN. In ALS patients, we found significant regional activity alterations in the left primary motor cortex (M1), the left primary somatosensory cortex (S1), and the right supplementary motor cortex (SMA). Among these regions, spectral DCM revealed missing closed-loop circuit between the left M1 and the right SMA, and lost projection from the right SMA to the left S1 in ALS. These findings may reflect the influences of the loss of motor neurons on motor function in ALS, and provide compelling evidence for a breakdown of the sensorimotor neural circuits in ALS. In conclusion, this study elucidates a neurobiological model that may explain the functional impairments of the SMN in ALS, and provides much deeper insights into the pathophysiology of this disease. PMID:26743627

  11. Systemic Pharmacokinetics and Cerebrospinal Fluid Uptake of Intravenous Ceftriaxone in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yanli; Cudkowicz, Merit E.; Shefner, Jeremy; Krivickas, Lisa; David, William S.; Vriesendorp, Francine; Pestronk, Alan; Caress, James B.; Katz, Jonathan; Simpson, Ericka; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey; Pascuzzi, Robert; Glass, Jonathan; Rezania, Kourosh; Harmatz, Jerold S.; Schoenfeld, David; Greenblatt, David J

    2015-01-01

    The cephalosporin antibiotic ceftriaxone was evaluated as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The pharmacokinetics (PK) of ceftriaxone in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were investigated in 66 participants in a previously reported clinical trial. Their mean age was 51 years, and 65 % were male. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups receiving intravenous infusions (mean duration: 25 minutes) every 12 hours of either: placebo and placebo; 2 grams ceftriaxone and placebo; or 2 grams ceftriaxone twice. Mean steady-state plasma PK variables were: volume of distribution, 14 liters (0.17 liters/kg); elimination half-life, 8 - 9 hours; total clearance, 17-21 mL/min (0.22 - 0.25 mL/min/kg). Values were not different between dosage groups. CSF PK analysis, determined through sparse CSF sampling, indicated apparent entry and elimination half-life values of 1.0 and 34 hours, respectively. With both dosage regimens, CSF concentrations were maintained above the target threshold of 1.0 μM (0.55 μg/mL) as determined from in vitro models. The plasma and CSF PK profile of ceftriaxone were used as a basis for planning the Phase 3 clinical trial of ceftriaxone in ALS. PMID:24771634

  12. Repurpose terbutaline sulfate for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using electronic medical records

    PubMed Central

    Paik, Hyojung; Chung, Ah-Young; Park, Hae-Chul; Park, Rae Woong; Suk, Kyoungho; Kim, Jihyun; Kim, Hyosil; Lee, KiYoung; Butte, Atul J.

    2015-01-01

    Prediction of new disease indications for approved drugs by computational methods has been based largely on the genomics signatures of drugs and diseases. We propose a method for drug repositioning that uses the clinical signatures extracted from over 13 years of electronic medical records from a tertiary hospital, including >9.4 M laboratory tests from >530,000 patients, in addition to diverse genomics signatures. Cross-validation using over 17,000 known drug–disease associations shows this approach outperforms various predictive models based on genomics signatures and a well-known “guilt-by-association” method. Interestingly, the prediction suggests that terbutaline sulfate, which is widely used for asthma, is a promising candidate for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for which there are few therapeutic options. In vivo tests using zebrafish models found that terbutaline sulfate prevents defects in axons and neuromuscular junction degeneration in a dose-dependent manner. A therapeutic potential of terbutaline sulfate was also observed when axonal and neuromuscular junction degeneration have already occurred in zebrafish model. Cotreatment with a β2-adrenergic receptor antagonist, butoxamine, suggests that the effect of terbutaline is mediated by activation of β2-adrenergic receptors. PMID:25739475

  13. Morpholino-mediated SOD1 reduction ameliorates an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Nizzardo, M.; Simone, C.; Rizzo, F.; Ulzi, G.; Ramirez, A.; Rizzuti, M.; Bordoni, A.; Bucchia, M.; Gatti, S.; Bresolin, N.; Comi, G. P.; Corti, S.

    2016-01-01

    Neurotoxicity due to the accumulation of mutant proteins is thought to drive pathogenesis in neurodegenerative diseases. Mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are linked to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS); these mutations result in progressive motor neuron death through one or more acquired toxicities. Interestingly, SOD1 is not only responsible for fALS but may also play a significant role in sporadic ALS; therefore, SOD1 represents a promising therapeutic target. Here, we report slowed disease progression, improved neuromuscular function, and increased survival in an in vivo ALS model following therapeutic delivery of morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) designed to reduce the synthesis of human SOD1. Neuropathological analysis demonstrated increased motor neuron and axon numbers and a remarkable reduction in astrogliosis and microgliosis. To test this strategy in a human model, we treated human fALS induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived motor neurons with MOs; these cells exhibited increased survival and reduced expression of apoptotic markers. Our data demonstrated the efficacy of MO-mediated therapy in mouse and human ALS models, setting the stage for human clinical trials. PMID:26878886

  14. Opposite Interplay between PPAR Gamma and Canonical Wnt/Beta-Catenin Pathway in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Lecarpentier, Yves; Vallée, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    The opposite interplay between peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma) and Wnt/beta-catenin signaling has led to the categorization of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) as either NDs in which PPAR gamma is downregulated while the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is upregulated [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Friedreich’s ataxia] or NDs in which PPAR gamma is upregulated while the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is downregulated (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease). ALS, a common adult-onset debilitating ND, is characterized by a chronic and progressive degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons resulting in muscular atrophy, paralysis, and ultimately death. The intent of this review is to provide an analysis of the integration of these two opposed systems, i.e., canonical Wnt/beta-catenin and PPAR gamma, in ALS. Understanding this integration may aid in the development of novel ALS therapies. Although the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is upregulated in ALS, riluzole, an enhancer of the canonical Wnt signaling, is classically prescribed in this disease in humans. However, studies carried out on ALS transgenic mice have shown beneficial effects after treatment by PPAR gamma agonists partly due to their anti-inflammatory effects. PMID:27445967

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

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Kathrin; Weishaupt, Jochen H.; Krannich, Alexander; Röhle, Robert; Meissner, Felix; Molawi, Kaaweh; Münch, Christoph; Holm, Teresa; Meyer, Robert; Meyer, Thomas; Zychlinsky, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Preclinical studies show that blocking Interleukin–1 (IL–1) retards the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). We assessed the safety of Anakinra (ANA), an IL–1 receptor antagonist, in ALS patients. In a single arm pilot study we treated 17 ALS patients with ANA (100 mg) daily for one year. We selected patients with dominant or exclusive lower motor neuron degeneration (LMND) presentation, as peripheral nerves may be more accessible to the drug. Our primary endpoint was safety and tolerability. Secondary endpoints included measuring disease progression with the revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRSr). We also quantified serum inflammatory markers. For comparison, we generated a historical cohort of 47 patients that fit the criteria for enrolment, disease characteristics and rate of progression of the study group. Only mild adverse events occurred in ALS patients treated with ANA. Notably, we observed lower levels of cytokines and the inflammatory marker fibrinogen during the first 24 weeks of treatment. Despite of this, we could not detect a significant reduction in disease progression during the same period in patients treated with ANA compared to controls as measured by the ALSFRSr. In the second part of the treatment period we observed an increase in serum inflammatory markers. Sixteen out of the 17 patients (94%) developed antibodies against ANA. This study showed that blocking IL–1 is safe in patients with ALS. Further trials should test whether targeting IL–1 more efficiently can help treating this devastating disease. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01277315 PMID:26444282

  16. TBK1 mutation frequencies in French frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cohorts.

    PubMed

    Le Ber, Isabelle; De Septenville, Anne; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Camuzat, Agnès; Caroppo, Paola; Couratier, Philippe; Blanc, Frédéric; Lacomblez, Lucette; Sellal, François; Fleury, Marie-Céline; Meininger, Vincent; Cazeneuve, Cécile; Clot, Fabienne; Flabeau, Olivier; LeGuern, Eric; Brice, Alexis

    2015-11-01

    TANK1-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) has been recently identified as a new amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) gene. Loss-of-function (LoF) mutations in TBK1 could be responsible for 0.4%-4% of ALS. Considering the strong genetic overlap existing between frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and ALS, we have evaluated the frequencies of TBK1 mutations in a cohort of French FTD and of ALS patients. We identified 5 LoF mutations, in 4 FTD-ALS and 1 ALS patients. We also identified 5 heterozygous missense variants, predicted to be deleterious, in 1 isolated FTD, 1 FTD-ALS, and 3 ALS cases. Our results demonstrate that TBK1 loss-of-function mutations are more frequent in patients with FTD-ALS (10.8%) than in isolated ALS. TBK1 should thus also be sequenced, after exclusion of C9orf72 mutation, in patients presenting FTD, particularly in cases secondarily associated with ALS. PMID:26476236

  17. Two superoxide dismutase prion strains transmit amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like disease.

    PubMed

    Bidhendi, Elaheh Ekhtiari; Bergh, Johan; Zetterström, Per; Andersen, Peter M; Marklund, Stefan L; Brännström, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset degeneration of motor neurons that is commonly caused by mutations in the gene encoding superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). Both patients and Tg mice expressing mutant human SOD1 (hSOD1) develop aggregates of unknown importance. In Tg mice, 2 different strains of hSOD1 aggregates (denoted A and B) can arise; however, the role of these aggregates in disease pathogenesis has not been fully characterized. Here, minute amounts of strain A and B hSOD1 aggregate seeds that were prepared by centrifugation through a density cushion were inoculated into lumbar spinal cords of 100-day-old mice carrying a human SOD1 Tg. Mice seeded with A or B aggregates developed premature signs of ALS and became terminally ill after approximately 100 days, which is 200 days earlier than for mice that had not been inoculated or were given a control preparation. Concomitantly, exponentially growing strain A and B hSOD1 aggregations propagated rostrally throughout the spinal cord and brainstem. The phenotypes provoked by the A and B strains differed regarding progression rates, distribution, end-stage aggregate levels, and histopathology. Together, our data indicate that the aggregate strains are prions that transmit a templated, spreading aggregation of hSOD1, resulting in a fatal ALS-like disease. PMID:27140399

  18. Global Epidemiology of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a Systematic Review of the Published Literature

    PubMed Central

    Chiò, A; Logroscino, G; Traynor, BJ; Collins, J; Simeone, JC; Goldstein, LA; White, LA

    2014-01-01

    Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is relatively rare, yet the economic and social burden is substantial. Having accurate incidence and prevalence estimates would facilitate efficient allocation of healthcare resources. Objective To provide a comprehensive and critical review of the epidemiologic literature on ALS. Methods MEDLINE and EMBASE (1995–2011) databases of population-based studies on ALS incidence and prevalence reporting quantitative data were analyzed. Data extracted included study location and time, design and data sources, case ascertainment methods, and incidence and/or prevalence rates. Medians and inter-quartile ranges (IQRs) were calculated, and ALS case estimates derived using 2010 population estimates. Results In all, 37 articles met inclusion criteria. In Europe, the median (IQR) incidence rate (/100,000 population) was 2.08 (1.47–2.43), corresponding to an estimated 15,355 (10,852–17,938) cases. Median (IQR) prevalence (/100,000 population) was 5.40 (4.06–7.89), or 39,863 (29,971–58,244) prevalent cases. Conclusions Disparity in rates among ALS incidence and prevalence studies may be due to differences in study design or true variations in population demographics, such as age, and geography, including environmental factors and genetic predisposition. Additional large-scale studies that use standardized case ascertainment methods are needed to more accurately assess the true global burden of ALS. PMID:23860588

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26563995

  20. Suppressed autophagy flux in skeletal muscle of an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse model during disease progression.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yajuan; Ma, Changling; Yi, Jianxun; Wu, Shaoping; Luo, Guo; Xu, Xiulong; Lin, Pei-Hui; Sun, Jun; Zhou, Jingsong

    2015-01-01

    Accumulation of abnormal protein inclusions is implicated in motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Autophagy, an intracellular process targeting misfolded proteins and damaged organelles for lysosomal degradation, plays crucial roles in survival and diseased conditions. Efforts were made to understand the role of autophagy in motor neuron degeneration and to target autophagy in motor neuron for ALS treatment. However, results were quite contradictory. Possible autophagy defects in other cell types may also complicate the results. Here, we examined autophagy activity in skeletal muscle of an ALS mouse model G93A. Through overexpression of a fluorescent protein LC3-RFP, we found a basal increase in autophagosome formation in G93A muscle during disease progression when the mice were on a regular diet. As expected, an autophagy induction procedure (starvation plus colchicine) enhanced autophagy flux in skeletal muscle of normal mice. However, in response to the same autophagy induction procedure, G93A muscle showed significant reduction in the autophagy flux. Immunoblot analysis revealed that increased cleaved caspase-3 associated with apoptosis was linked to the cleavage of several key proteins involved in autophagy, including Beclin-1, which is an essential molecule connecting autophagy and apoptosis pathways. Taking together, we provide the evidence that the cytoprotective autophagy pathway is suppressed in G93A skeletal muscle and this suppression may link to the enhanced apoptosis during ALS progression. The abnormal autophagy activity in skeletal muscle likely contributes muscle degeneration and disease progression in ALS. PMID:25602021

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

    PubMed

    Shibuya, Kazumoto

    2016-05-01

    Split hand is a peculiar atrophy of hand muscle and was named by Willbourn in 1992. In this phenomenon, the hypothenar muscle is relatively preserved, but the thenar and the first dorsal interossei (FDI) muscles are preferentially involved. Some studies have measured compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitudes of intrinsic hand muscles in various neurological diseases and have revealed that this phenomenon is a specific feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The measurements of CMAP amplitude in intrinsic hand muscles may be useful for diagnosis of ALS. FDI and thenar muscles are innervated by the same ulnar nerve and same spinal segments (C8 and Th1), although atrophies of these muscles are dissociated. Anatomical innervations are not enough to explain this phenomenon. Motor neuronal hyperexcitability potentially contributes to motor neuron death in ALS, and in several articles, it is reported to be the possible mechanism of this phenomenon. In healthy controls and ALS patients, cortical and peripheral motor nerves, which project to the thenar and FDI muscles, may be more excitable than those of the hypothenar muscle. This article reviews the findings of previous articles about the utility of this phenomenon as a diagnostic marker, and its potential mechanisms. PMID:27156503

  2. Comparative Analysis of VOCs in Exhaled Breath of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy Patients.

    PubMed

    Wang, Changsong; Li, Mingjuan; Jiang, Hongquan; Tong, Hongshuang; Feng, Yue; Wang, Yue; Pi, Xin; Guo, Lei; Nie, Maomao; Feng, Honglin; Li, Enyou

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable neurological degenerative disease. It can cause irreversible neurological damage to motor neurons; typical symptoms include muscle weakness and atrophy, bulbar paralysis and pyramidal tract signs. The ALS-mimicking disease cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) presents similar symptoms, but analysis of breath volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can potentially be used to distinguish ALS from CSM. In this study, breath samples were collected from 28 ALS and 13 CSM patients. Subsequently, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS) was used to analyze breath VOCs. Principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLSDA) were the statistical methods used to process the final data. We identified 4 compounds with significantly decreased levels in ALS patients compared with CSM controls: (1) carbamic acid, monoammonium salt; (2) 1-alanine ethylamide, (S)-; (3) guanidine, N,N-dimethyl-; and (4) phosphonic acid, (p-hydroxyphenyl)-. Currently, the metabolic origin of the VOCs remains unclear; however, several pathways might explain the decreasing trends observed. The results of this study demonstrate that there are specific VOC profiles associated with ALS and CSM patients that can be used to differentiate between the two. In addition, these metabolites could contribute to a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of ALS. PMID:27212435

  3. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia: distinct and overlapping changes in eating behaviour and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Rebekah M; Irish, Muireann; Piguet, Olivier; Halliday, Glenda M; Ittner, Lars M; Farooqi, Sadaf; Hodges, John R; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2016-03-01

    Metabolic changes incorporating fluctuations in weight, insulin resistance, and cholesterol concentrations have been identified in several neurodegenerative disorders. Whether these changes result from the neurodegenerative process affecting brain regions necessary for metabolic regulation or whether they drive the degenerative process is unknown. Emerging evidence from epidemiological, clinical, pathological, and experimental studies emphasises a range of changes in eating behaviours and metabolism in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). In ALS, metabolic changes have been linked to disease progression and prognosis. Furthermore, changes in eating behaviour that affect metabolism have been incorporated into the diagnostic criteria for FTD, which has some clinical and pathological overlap with ALS. Whether the distinct and shared metabolic and eating changes represent a component of the proposed spectrum of the two diseases is an intriguing possibility. Moreover, future research should aim to unravel the complex connections between eating, metabolism, and neurodegeneration in ALS and FTD, and aim to understand the potential for targeting modifiable risk factors in disease development and progression. PMID:26822748

  4. Characterization of intercostal muscle pathology in canine degenerative myelopathy: a disease model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Brandie R; Coates, Joan R; Johnson, Gayle C; Bujnak, Alyssa C; Katz, Martin L

    2013-12-01

    Dogs homozygous for missense mutations in the SOD1 gene develop a late-onset neuromuscular disorder called degenerative myelopathy (DM) that has many similarities to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Both disorders are characterized by widespread progressive declines in motor functions, accompanied by atrophic changes in the descending spinal cord tracts. Some forms of ALS are also associated with SOD1 mutations. In end-stage ALS, death usually occurs as a result of respiratory failure from severe functional impairment of respiratory muscles. The mechanisms that lead to this loss of function are not known. Dogs with DM are euthanized at all stages of disease progression, providing an opportunity to characterize the onset and progression of any pathological changes in the respiratory muscles that may precede respiratory failure. To characterize such potential disease-related pathology, we evaluated intercostal muscles from Boxer and Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs that were euthanized at various stages of DM disease progression. DM was found to result in intercostal muscle atrophy, fibrosis, increased variability in muscle fiber size and shape, and alteration in muscle fiber type composition. This pathology was not accompanied by retraction of the motor neuron terminals from the muscle acetylcholine receptor complexes, suggesting that the muscle atrophy did not result from physical denervation. These findings provide a better understanding of the mechanisms that likely lead to respiratory failure in at least some forms of ALS and will be useful in the development and evaluation of potential therapeutic interventions using the DM model. PMID:24043596

  5. Fatigue and Depression in Iranian Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients in Tehran in 2012

    PubMed Central

    Nazemi, Maryam; Raad, Marjan Hassani; Arzoomanian, Christineh Serob; Ghasemzadeh, Azizreza

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease with a progressive and rapid course. Fatigue and depression are common among ALS patients. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between depression and fatigue in Iranian ALS patients. Methods In this 2012 cross-sectional study, 40 ALS patients, including 22 females and 18 males, were selected through consecutive relapsing-remitting, and 40 age- and gender-matched health controls (HCs) were recruited from Loghman Hakim Hospital in Tehran, Iran. The Persian version of the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS-Per) questionnaire and depression substance of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were used to assess fatigue and depression. Data were analyzed using the Kolmogorov-Sminov Test, Levene’s test, Independent Samples t-test, and Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. Results We identified a significant and positive relationship between fatigue and depression in patients with ALS (p=0.000). Furthermore, the scores of fatigue and depression in ALS patients were higher than in non-ALS patients. Conclusion The results indicated that there was a relationship between fatigue and depression in ALS patients and that early intervention services can improve these symptoms. Further studies are suggested to investigate the direction of such relationship. PMID:27123230

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

    Patients presenting with left-sided FTLD syndromes sometimes develop a new preoccupation with art, greater attention to visual stimuli, and increased visual creativity. We describe the case of a 53-year-old, right-handed man with a history of bipolar disorder who presented with language and behavior impairments characteristic of FTLD, then developed motor symptoms consistent with a second diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Though the patient had never created visual art before, he developed a compulsion for painting beginning at the earliest stages of his disease, and continued producing art daily until he could no longer lift a paintbrush because of his motor deficits. Upon autopsy, he was found to have ubiquitin and TDP43-positive inclusions with MND pathology. This case study details the patient's longitudinal neuropsychological, emotional, behavioral, and motor symptoms, along with structural imaging, neurologic, and neuropathologic findings. Multiple examples of the patient's art are depicted throughout all stages of his illness, and the possible cognitive, behavioral, and neurologic correlates of his new-onset visual artistry are discussed. PMID:19274573

  7. Stochastic Formation of Fibrillar and Amorphous Superoxide Dismutase Oligomers Linked to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Abdolvahabi, Alireza; Shi, Yunhua; Chuprin, Aleksandra; Rasouli, Sanaz; Shaw, Bryan F

    2016-06-15

    Recent reports suggest that the nucleation and propagation of oligomeric superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) is effectively stochastic in vivo and in vitro. This perplexing kinetic variability-observed for other proteins and frequently attributed to experimental error-plagues attempts to discern how SOD1 mutations and post-translational modifications linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affect SOD1 aggregation. This study used microplate fluorescence spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering to measure rates of fibrillar and amorphous SOD1 aggregation at high iteration (ntotal = 1.2 × 10(3)). Rates of oligomerization were intrinsically irreproducible and populated continuous probability distributions. Modifying reaction conditions to mimic random and systematic experimental error could not account for kinetic outliers in standard assays, suggesting that stochasticity is not an experimental artifact, rather an intrinsic property of SOD1 oligomerization (presumably caused by competing pathways of oligomerization). Moreover, mean rates of fibrillar and amorphous nucleation were not uniformly increased by mutations that cause ALS; however, mutations did increase kinetic noise (variation) associated with nucleation and propagation. The stochastic aggregation of SOD1 provides a plausible statistical framework to rationalize how a pathogenic mutation can increase the probability of oligomer nucleation within a single cell, without increasing the mean rate of nucleation across an entire population of cells. PMID:26979728

  8. Association between metallothionein genes polymorphisms and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in a Japanese population.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Yuichi; Hashizume, Tatsuma; Wakida, Kenji; Satoh, Masahiko; Uchida, Yoko; Watabe, Kazuhiko; Matsuyama, Zenjiro; Kimura, Akio; Inuzuka, Takashi; Hozumi, Isao

    2006-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, lethal neurodegenerative disease that selectively affects motor neurons. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are assumed to be involved in the pathogenesis of ALS. Metallothioneins (MTs) are self-protective, multifunctional proteins that scavenge ROS. In particular, metallothionein-III (MT-III) has a strong scavenging effect on hydroxyl radicals. MTs have been suggested to have important roles in the pathophysiology of ALS. Therefore we investigated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the MT-III and the metallothionein-IIA (MT-IIA) promoter region in 37 Japanese SALS cases and 206 sex-matched healthy controls using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-direct sequencing or PCR-temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TTGE). We detected no SNPs of the MT-III gene in SALS cases and controls, and no detectable association between SALS phenotypes and a SNP of the MT-IIA promoter region. We conclude that gene polymorphisms of MT-IIA promoter region and MT-III gene are not associated with SALS phenotypes in a Japanese population. PMID:16546755

  9. Economic burden of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a Canadian study of out-of-pocket expenses.

    PubMed

    Gladman, Matthew; Dharamshi, Celina; Zinman, Lorne

    2014-09-01

    This study quantifies the 'out-of-pocket' expenses incurred by individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their families, explores cost-driving factors and describes the current state of financial support in a Canadian cohort. We performed structured cost-of-illness interviews with 50 consecutive ALS patients and family members detailing disease-specific factors, direct and indirect costs. Direct costs were divided into 'out-of-pocket' and 'government/non-profit organization (NPO) supported'. Results showed that the average annual direct cost per patient was $32,337, of which $19,574 (61%) was paid for out-of-pocket. The most significant direct cost was disease-related home renovations, which garnered minimal government or NPO support. The costs of mobility aids, medical expenses, and private personal support workers were also substantial. Higher out-of-pocket costs were associated with an ALS Functional Rating Scale gross motor subscore of ≤ 6 (p = 0.03), limb-predominant symptoms (p = 0.04) and > 4 h/week of personal support care (p = 0.005). Annual indirect costs (lost wages) for patients with ALS and family members providing care were $56,821. In conclusion, this study quantified the substantial personal economic impact of ALS as measured by non-reimbursed, out-of-pocket expenses. Mobilization of additional resources for ALS patients and families is required to soften the economic burden of this disabling disease. PMID:25025935

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. A cognitive brain-computer interface for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Hohmann, M R; Fomina, T; Jayaram, V; Widmann, N; Förster, C; Just, J; Synofzik, M; Schölkopf, B; Schöls, L; Grosse-Wentrup, M

    2016-01-01

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are often based on the control of sensorimotor processes, yet sensorimotor processes are impaired in patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We devised a new paradigm that targets higher-level cognitive processes to transmit information from the user to the BCI. We instructed five ALS patients and twelve healthy subjects to either activate self-referential memories or to focus on a process without mnemonic content while recording a high-density electroencephalogram (EEG). Both tasks are designed to modulate activity in the default mode network (DMN) without involving sensorimotor pathways. We find that the two tasks can be distinguished after only one experimental session from the average of the combined bandpower modulations in the theta- (4-7Hz) and alpha-range (8-13Hz), with an average accuracy of 62.5% and 60.8% for healthy subjects and ALS patients, respectively. The spatial weights of the decoding algorithm show a preference for the parietal area, consistent with modulation of neural activity in primary nodes of the DMN. PMID:27590971

  12. Functional studies of the parotid and pancreas glands in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Charchaflie, R. J.; Fernandez, L. Bustos; Perec, C. J.; Gonzalez, E.; Marzi, A.

    1974-01-01

    Functional studies of the pancreas and parotid glands are reported in 17 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The exocrine function of the pancreas was studied by measuring amylase concentration after stimulation with the endogenous secretin-pancreozymine test (ESP). Under these conditions, the pancreatic amylase concentration in ALS patients was found to be markedly decreased by about 45% when compared with those of healthy control subjects. Different conclusions in the literature about a possible impairment of the exocrine pancreas in ALS patients induced us to study the function of the parotid gland, which has close structural, functional, and physiopathological relationship with the pancreas. Flow rate and bicarbonate concentration of parotid saliva were measured after indirect stimulation (intraoral citric acid) and direct stimulation (pilocarpine). After indirect stimulation, both parotid flow rate and bicarbonate concentration from ALS patients were found to be decreased by about 66% and 70% respectively, when compared with controls. On the other hand, direct stimulation with pilocarpine in ALS patients elicited normal responses in both flow rate and bicarbonate concentration of saliva. It is concluded that the pancreatic and parotid deficiencies observed in ALS patients do not indicate primary disease of these exocrine glands. This interpretation is further emphasized by the results obtained by a sweat test, plasma osmolarity, and sialographic studies. The possibility that the gland impairments observed might be due to modifications of the neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating their secretory activity is suggested. PMID:4852110

  13. Emotional empathy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a behavioural and voxel-based morphometry study.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a multisystem condition, in which executive and/or behavioural symptoms can occur. Deficits of social cognition, including defective cognitive and emotional empathy, have been recently reported in ALS subjects. The neurostructural correlates of these disorders in ALS are still unknown. The aims of this study were to evaluate two components of empathy in non-demented ALS subjects, and to associate performance with regional grey-matter density using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Twenty non-demented sporadic probable or definite ALS patients and 56 matched healthy controls (HC) participated in a non-verbal task requiring the attribution of emotional versus cognitive states to identify the correct ending of comic strips, compared with a control condition requiring identifying causal relationships devoid of social components. A subgroup of 14 ALS and 20 HC joined the VBM study. Results demonstrated that, compared with controls, ALS patients showed defective emotional empathy attribution, related with reduced grey-matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex and right inferior frontal gyrus. Our study provided evidence of a specific impairment of emotional empathy in ALS patients, reflecting neural damage in a limbic prefrontal network involved in emotional processing. Social cognition disorders may represent a marker of cognitive dysfunction in ALS. PMID:23586919

  14. Macular sub-layer thinning and association with pulmonary function tests in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Simonett, Joseph M.; Huang, Russell; Siddique, Nailah; Farsiu, Sina; Siddique, Teepu; Volpe, Nicholas J.; Fawzi, Amani A.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder that may have anterior visual pathway involvement. In this study, we compare the macular structure of patients with ALS to healthy controls, and examine correlations between macular sub-layer thickness measurements and pulmonary function tests and disease duration. ALS patients underwent optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging to obtain macular cube scans of the right eye. Macular cube OCT data from age-matched healthy subjects were provided by the OCT reading center. Semi-automated retinal segmentation software was used to quantify macular sub-layers. Pulmonary function tests and time since symptom onset were collected retrospectively from the electronic medical records of ALS patients. Macular retinal nerve fiber layer was significantly thinner in ALS patients compared to healthy controls (P < 0.05). Total macular and other sub-layer thicknesses were not reduced in the ALS cohort. Macular retinal nerve fiber layer thickness positively correlated with forced vital capacity % predicted and forced expiratory volume in 1 second % predicted (P < 0.05). In conclusion, analysis of OCT measurements supports the involvement of the anterior visual pathway in ALS. Subtle structural thinning in the macular retinal nerve fiber layer correlates with pulmonary function tests. PMID:27383525

  15. Early intrinsic hyperexcitability does not contribute to motoneuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Leroy, Félix; Lamotte d'Incamps, Boris; Imhoff-Manuel, Rebecca D; Zytnicki, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) the large motoneurons that innervate the fast-contracting muscle fibers (F-type motoneurons) are vulnerable and degenerate in adulthood. In contrast, the small motoneurons that innervate the slow-contracting fibers (S-type motoneurons) are resistant and do not degenerate. Intrinsic hyperexcitability of F-type motoneurons during early postnatal development has long been hypothesized to contribute to neural degeneration in the adult. Here, we performed a critical test of this hypothesis by recording from identified F- and S-type motoneurons in the superoxide dismutase-1 mutant G93A (mSOD1), a mouse model of ALS at a neonatal age when early pathophysiological changes are observed. Contrary to the standard hypothesis, excitability of F-type motoneurons was unchanged in the mutant mice. Surprisingly, the S-type motoneurons of mSDO1 mice did display intrinsic hyperexcitability (lower rheobase, hyperpolarized spiking threshold). As S-type motoneurons are resistant in ALS, we conclude that early intrinsic hyperexcitability does not contribute to motoneuron degeneration. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04046.001

  16. Physical Trauma and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population-Based Study Using Danish National Registries.

    PubMed

    Seals, Ryan M; Hansen, Johnni; Gredal, Ole; Weisskopf, Marc G

    2016-02-15

    Prior studies have suggested that physical trauma might be associated with the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We conducted a population-based, individually matched case-control study in Denmark to assess whether hospitalization for trauma is associated with a higher risk of developing ALS. There were 3,650 incident cases of ALS in the Danish National Patient Register from 1982 to 2009. We used risk-set sampling to match each case to 100 age- and sex-matched population controls alive on the date of the case's diagnosis. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using a conditional logistic regression model. History of trauma diagnosis was also obtained from the Danish Patient Register. When traumas in the 5 years prior to the index date were excluded, there was a borderline association between any trauma and ALS (odds ratio (OR) = 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99, 1.19). A first trauma before age 55 years was associated with ALS (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.08, 1.37), whereas first traumas at older ages were not (OR = 0.97, 95% CI: 0.85, 1.10). Our data suggest that physical trauma at earlier ages is associated with ALS risk. Age at first trauma could help explain discrepancies in results of past studies of trauma and ALS. PMID:26825926

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24363770

  18. Deep Vein Thrombosis Associated with May-Thurner Syndrome in an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patient -A Case Report-

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dong Kyu; Song, Sun Hong; Lee, Jong Hyeog

    2011-01-01

    There have been a few reports on deep vein thrombosis (DVT) associated with compression of the left common iliac vein by the right common iliac artery, referred to as May-Thurner syndrome (MTS). However, there have been no reports on DVT associated with MTS in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients exhibiting similar clinical features to paraplegic spinal cord injury patients. We hereby report a case of DVT associated with MTS in an ALS patient, who was treated successfully. PMID:22506157

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

    PubMed Central

    Sigurdson, Leif A.

    2011-01-01

    Chiropractors regularly assess and provide treatment for a variety of neuromuscular complaints. Many of these respond well to conservative care however some represent conditions that must be referred for further evaluation. This article chronicles the management of a patient who presented with upper limb weakness and was subsequently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Chiropractors should be informed of the nature and presentation of this disease to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment. PMID:21886282

  20. Clinical, demographic and prognostic features of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Northern Turkey.

    PubMed

    Aksoy, Durdane; Cevik, Betul; Solmaz, Volkan; Kurt, Semiha Gulsum

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease for which progression cannot be prevented. In this study, we evaluated 37 patients diagnosed with sporadic definitive-probable ALS who were monitored in our neurology clinic between 2002 and 2012 in terms of age, gender, profession, onset, and clinical course within the disease process. The hospital ethics committee approved the study. Nineteen female and 18 male patients diagnosed with sporadic definitive or probable ALS were evaluated for age, gender, level of education, residence, onset of disease, the time between the first symptom and diagnosis, and average lifetime after diagnosis. Twenty-eight of the patients had graduated from primary-secondary school, six were illiterate, and three of them were college graduates. Eighteen patients were living in city center, 19 were living in the country. Fourteen patients were farmers, 11 were housewives, and the remaining was working in various different occupations. The age of onset was 62.13. The men and women were diagnosed 10.27 months and 17.91 months after the first symptom, respectively (p = 0.001). The average survival time after diagnosis was 36.70 months for males and 49.80 months for females (p < 0.05). This difference was particularly evident among patients from rural areas. In addition, our female patients required interventions such as ventilation at a later period than did males. In conclusion, female gender seems to be one of the good prognostic factors for our ALS patients. This may be due to the protection by hormonal mechanisms in women or differences in their responses to exogenous toxins. PMID:23837674

  1. Age-period-cohort analysis of trends in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Denmark, 1970-2009.

    PubMed

    Seals, Ryan M; Hansen, Johnni; Gredal, Ole; Weisskopf, Marc G

    2013-10-15

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease of the motor neuron with poorly understood etiology. Recent studies have suggested that the incidence rate of ALS and the rate of death from ALS are increasing, but it is unclear whether this is due to changing exposures or improvements in diagnosis. We used age-period-cohort models to investigate trends in ALS incidence (hospitalization) from 1982 to 2009 and ALS mortality from 1970 to 2009 in Denmark. Among those 45 years of age or older, 4,265 deaths (incidence rate = 5.35 per 100,000 person-years) and 3,228 incident diagnoses (incidence rate = 5.55 per 100,000 person-years) were recorded. Age-adjusted mortality rates increased by an average of 3.0% annually between 1970 and 2009 and by an average of 2.1% annually after 1982. Age-period-cohort analyses suggested that the full age-period-cohort model provided the best fit to the mortality data (P < 0.001), although restriction to the post-1982 period suggested that the age-cohort model provided the best fit. Age-adjusted incidence rates increased by 1.6% annually after 1982 (P < 0.001), which was best explained by the age-period model, with borderline significant cohort effects (P = 0.08). A consistent finding regardless of parameterization or data subset appeared to be an increase in ALS incidence and mortality rate with later birth cohorts, up to a birth year of at least 1910. PMID:24064744

  2. Age-Period-Cohort Analysis of Trends in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Denmark, 1970–2009

    PubMed Central

    Seals, Ryan M.; Hansen, Johnni; Gredal, Ole; Weisskopf, Marc G.

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease of the motor neuron with poorly understood etiology. Recent studies have suggested that the incidence rate of ALS and the rate of death from ALS are increasing, but it is unclear whether this is due to changing exposures or improvements in diagnosis. We used age-period-cohort models to investigate trends in ALS incidence (hospitalization) from 1982 to 2009 and ALS mortality from 1970 to 2009 in Denmark. Among those 45 years of age or older, 4,265 deaths (incidence rate = 5.35 per 100,000 person-years) and 3,228 incident diagnoses (incidence rate = 5.55 per 100,000 person-years) were recorded. Age-adjusted mortality rates increased by an average of 3.0% annually between 1970 and 2009 and by an average of 2.1% annually after 1982. Age-period-cohort analyses suggested that the full age-period-cohort model provided the best fit to the mortality data (P < 0.001), although restriction to the post-1982 period suggested that the age-cohort model provided the best fit. Age-adjusted incidence rates increased by 1.6% annually after 1982 (P < 0.001), which was best explained by the age-period model, with borderline significant cohort effects (P = 0.08). A consistent finding regardless of parameterization or data subset appeared to be an increase in ALS incidence and mortality rate with later birth cohorts, up to a birth year of at least 1910. PMID:24064744

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. DiPALS: Diaphragm Pacing in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - a randomised controlled trial.

    PubMed Central

    McDermott, Christopher J; Bradburn, Mike J; Maguire, Chin; Cooper, Cindy L; Baird, Wendy O; Baxter, Susan K; Cohen, Judith; Cantrill, Hannah; Dixon, Simon; Ackroyd, Roger; Baudouin, Simon; Bentley, Andrew; Berrisford, Richard; Bianchi, Stephen; Bourke, Stephen C; Darlison, Roy; Ealing, John; Elliott, Mark; Fitzgerald, Patrick; Galloway, Simon; Hamdalla, Hisham; Hanemann, C Oliver; Hughes, Philip; Imam, Ibrahim; Karat, Dayalan; Leek, Roger; Maynard, Nick; Orrell, Richard W; Sarela, Abeezar; Stradling, John; Talbot, Kevin; Taylor, Lyn; Turner, Martin; Simonds, Anita K; Williams, Tim; Wedzicha, Wisia; Young, Carolyn; Shaw, Pamela J

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease resulting in death, usually from respiratory failure, within 2-3 years of symptom onset. Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is a treatment that when given to patients in respiratory failure leads to improved survival and quality of life. Diaphragm pacing (DP), using the NeuRx/4(®) diaphragm pacing system (DPS)™ (Synapse Biomedical, Oberlin, OH, USA), is a new technique that may offer additional or alternative benefits to patients with ALS who are in respiratory failure. OBJECTIVE The Diaphragm Pacing in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (DiPALS) trial evaluated the effect of DP on survival over the study duration in patients with ALS with respiratory failure. DESIGN The DiPALS trial was a multicentre, parallel-group, open-label, randomised controlled trial incorporating health economic analyses and a qualitative longitudinal substudy. PARTICIPANTS Eligible participants had a diagnosis of ALS (ALS laboratory-supported probable, clinically probable or clinically definite according to the World Federation of Neurology revised El Escorial criteria), had been stabilised on riluzole for 30 days, were aged ≥ 18 years and were in respiratory failure. We planned to recruit 108 patients from seven UK-based specialist ALS or respiratory centres. Allocation was performed using 1 : 1 non-deterministic minimisation. INTERVENTIONS Participants were randomised to either standard care (NIV alone) or standard care (NIV) plus DP using the NeuRX/4 DPS. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The primary outcome was overall survival, defined as the time from randomisation to death from any cause. Secondary outcomes were patient quality of life [assessed by European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions, three levels (EQ-5D-3L), Short Form questionnaire-36 items and Sleep Apnoea Quality of Life Index questionnaire]; carer quality of life (EQ-5D-3L and Caregiver Burden Inventory); cost-utility analysis and health

  6. The Potential for Transition Metal-Mediated Neurodegeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gerber, Yannick N.; Privat, Alain; Perrin, Florence E.

    2013-01-01

    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 GK11 beginning at early symptomatic stage may be beneficial for patients with ALS. PMID:24409117

  8. A two-stage genome-wide association study of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Chiò, Adriano; Schymick, Jennifer C.; Restagno, Gabriella; Scholz, Sonja W.; Lombardo, Federica; Lai, Shiao-Lin; Mora, Gabriele; Fung, Hon-Chung; Britton, Angela; Arepalli, Sampath; Gibbs, J. Raphael; Nalls, Michael; Berger, Stephen; Kwee, Lydia Coulter; Oddone, Eugene Z.; Ding, Jinhui; Crews, Cynthia; Rafferty, Ian; Washecka, Nicole; Hernandez, Dena; Ferrucci, Luigi; Bandinelli, Stefania; Guralnik, Jack; Macciardi, Fabio; Torri, Federica; Lupoli, Sara; Chanock, Stephen J.; Thomas, Gilles; Hunter, David J.; Gieger, Christian; Wichmann, H. Erich; Calvo, Andrea; Mutani, Roberto; Battistini, Stefania; Giannini, Fabio; Caponnetto, Claudia; Mancardi, Giovanni Luigi; La Bella, Vincenzo; Valentino, Francesca; Monsurrò, Maria Rosaria; Tedeschi, Gioacchino; Marinou, Kalliopi; Sabatelli, Mario; Conte, Amelia; Mandrioli, Jessica; Sola, Patrizia; Salvi, Fabrizio; Bartolomei, Ilaria; Siciliano, Gabriele; Carlesi, Cecilia; Orrell, Richard W.; Talbot, Kevin; Simmons, Zachary; Connor, James; Pioro, Erik P.; Dunkley, Travis; Stephan, Dietrich A.; Kasperaviciute, Dalia; Fisher, Elizabeth M.; Jabonka, Sibylle; Sendtner, Michael; Beck, Marcus; Bruijn, Lucie; Rothstein, Jeffrey; Schmidt, Silke; Singleton, Andrew; Hardy, John; Traynor, Bryan J.

    2009-01-01

    The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is largely unknown, but genetic factors are thought to play a significant role in determining susceptibility to motor neuron degeneration. To identify genetic variants altering risk of ALS, we undertook a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS): we followed our initial GWAS of 545 066 SNPs in 553 individuals with ALS and 2338 controls by testing the 7600 most associated SNPs from the first stage in three independent cohorts consisting of 2160 cases and 3008 controls. None of the SNPs selected for replication exceeded the Bonferroni threshold for significance. The two most significantly associated SNPs, rs2708909 and rs2708851 [odds ratio (OR) = 1.17 and 1.18, and P-values = 6.98 × 10−7 and 1.16 × 10−6], were located on chromosome 7p13.3 within a 175 kb linkage disequilibrium block containing the SUNC1, HUS1 and C7orf57 genes. These associations did not achieve genome-wide significance in the original cohort and failed to replicate in an additional independent cohort of 989 US cases and 327 controls (OR = 1.18 and 1.19, P-values = 0.08 and 0.06, respectively). Thus, we chose to cautiously interpret our data as hypothesis-generating requiring additional confirmation, especially as all previously reported loci for ALS have failed to replicate successfully. Indeed, the three loci (FGGY, ITPR2 and DPP6) identified in previous GWAS of sporadic ALS were not significantly associated with disease in our study. Our findings suggest that ALS is more genetically and clinically heterogeneous than previously recognized. Genotype data from our study have been made available online to facilitate such future endeavors. PMID:19193627

  9. A two-stage genome-wide association study of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Chiò, Adriano; Schymick, Jennifer C; Restagno, Gabriella; Scholz, Sonja W; Lombardo, Federica; Lai, Shiao-Lin; Mora, Gabriele; Fung, Hon-Chung; Britton, Angela; Arepalli, Sampath; Gibbs, J Raphael; Nalls, Michael; Berger, Stephen; Kwee, Lydia Coulter; Oddone, Eugene Z; Ding, Jinhui; Crews, Cynthia; Rafferty, Ian; Washecka, Nicole; Hernandez, Dena; Ferrucci, Luigi; Bandinelli, Stefania; Guralnik, Jack; Macciardi, Fabio; Torri, Federica; Lupoli, Sara; Chanock, Stephen J; Thomas, Gilles; Hunter, David J; Gieger, Christian; Wichmann, H Erich; Calvo, Andrea; Mutani, Roberto; Battistini, Stefania; Giannini, Fabio; Caponnetto, Claudia; Mancardi, Giovanni Luigi; La Bella, Vincenzo; Valentino, Francesca; Monsurrò, Maria Rosaria; Tedeschi, Gioacchino; Marinou, Kalliopi; Sabatelli, Mario; Conte, Amelia; Mandrioli, Jessica; Sola, Patrizia; Salvi, Fabrizio; Bartolomei, Ilaria; Siciliano, Gabriele; Carlesi, Cecilia; Orrell, Richard W; Talbot, Kevin; Simmons, Zachary; Connor, James; Pioro, Erik P; Dunkley, Travis; Stephan, Dietrich A; Kasperaviciute, Dalia; Fisher, Elizabeth M; Jabonka, Sibylle; Sendtner, Michael; Beck, Marcus; Bruijn, Lucie; Rothstein, Jeffrey; Schmidt, Silke; Singleton, Andrew; Hardy, John; Traynor, Bryan J

    2009-04-15

    The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is largely unknown, but genetic factors are thought to play a significant role in determining susceptibility to motor neuron degeneration. To identify genetic variants altering risk of ALS, we undertook a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS): we followed our initial GWAS of 545 066 SNPs in 553 individuals with ALS and 2338 controls by testing the 7600 most associated SNPs from the first stage in three independent cohorts consisting of 2160 cases and 3008 controls. None of the SNPs selected for replication exceeded the Bonferroni threshold for significance. The two most significantly associated SNPs, rs2708909 and rs2708851 [odds ratio (OR) = 1.17 and 1.18, and P-values = 6.98 x 10(-7) and 1.16 x 10(-6)], were located on chromosome 7p13.3 within a 175 kb linkage disequilibrium block containing the SUNC1, HUS1 and C7orf57 genes. These associations did not achieve genome-wide significance in the original cohort and failed to replicate in an additional independent cohort of 989 US cases and 327 controls (OR = 1.18 and 1.19, P-values = 0.08 and 0.06, respectively). Thus, we chose to cautiously interpret our data as hypothesis-generating requiring additional confirmation, especially as all previously reported loci for ALS have failed to replicate successfully. Indeed, the three loci (FGGY, ITPR2 and DPP6) identified in previous GWAS of sporadic ALS were not significantly associated with disease in our study. Our findings suggest that ALS is more genetically and clinically heterogeneous than previously recognized. Genotype data from our study have been made available online to facilitate such future endeavors. PMID:19193627

  10. Evaluating the levels of interleukin-1 family cytokines in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron disease leading to the death of affected individuals within years. The involvement of inflammation in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS, is increasingly recognized but still not well understood. The aim of this study is to evaluate the levels of inflammation-related IL-1 family cytokines (IL-1β, IL-18, IL-33, IL-37) and their endogenous inhibitors (IL-1Ra, sIL-1R2, IL-18BP, sIL-1R4) in patients with sporadic ALS (sALS), Methods Sera were collected from 144 patients (125 patients were characterized by disease form, duration, and disability, using the revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) and from 40 matched controls. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was collected from 54 patients with sALS and 65 patients with other non-infectious non-oncogenic diseases as controls. Cytokines and inhibitors were measured by commercial ELISA. Results Among the IL-1 family cytokines tested total IL-18, its endogenous inhibitor IL-18BP, and the active form of the cytokine (free IL-18) were significantly higher in the sALS sera than in controls. No correlation between these soluble mediators and different clinical forms of sALS or the clinical setting of the disease was found. IL-18BP was the only mediator detectable in the CSF of patients. Conclusions Among the IL-1 family cytokines, only IL-18 correlates with this disease and may therefore have a pathological role in sALS. The increase of total IL-18 suggests the activation of IL-18-cleaving inflammasome. Whether IL-18 upregulation in circulation of sALS patients is a consequence of inflammation or one of the causes of the pathology still needs to be addressed. PMID:24884937

  11. Investigating the contribution of VAPB/ALS8 loss of function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kabashi, Edor; El Oussini, Hajer; Bercier, Valérie; Gros-Louis, François; Valdmanis, Paul N; McDearmid, Jonathan; Mejier, Inge A; Dion, Patrick A; Dupre, Nicolas; Hollinger, David; Sinniger, Jérome; Dirrig-Grosch, Sylvie; Camu, William; Meininger, Vincent; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; René, Frédérique; Drapeau, Pierre; Rouleau, Guy A; Dupuis, Luc

    2013-06-15

    The mutations P56S and T46I in the gene encoding vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein B/C (VAPB) cause ALS8, a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Overexpression of mutant forms of VAPB leads to cytosolic aggregates, suggesting a gain of function of the mutant protein. However, recent work suggested that the loss of VAPB function could be the major mechanism leading to ALS8. Here, we used multiple genetic and experimental approaches to study whether VAPB loss of function might be sufficient to trigger motor neuron degeneration. In order to identify additional ALS-associated VAPB mutations, we screened the entire VAPB gene in a cohort of ALS patients and detected two mutations (A145V and S160Δ). To directly address the contribution of VAPB loss of function in ALS, we generated zebrafish and mouse models with either a decreased or a complete loss of Vapb expression. Vapb knockdown in zebrafish led to swimming deficits. Mice knocked-out for Vapb showed mild motor deficits after 18 months of age yet had innervated neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Importantly, overexpression of VAPB mutations were unable to rescue the motor deficit caused by Vapb knockdown in zebrafish and failed to cause a toxic gain-of-function defect on their own. Thus, Vapb loss of function weakens the motor system of vertebrate animal models but is on its own unable to lead to a complete ALS phenotype. Our findings are consistent with the notion that VAPB mutations constitute a risk factor for motor neuron disease through a loss of VAPB function. PMID:23446633

  12. Novel Mutations in TARDBP (TDP-43) in Patients with Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Rutherford, Nicola J.; Zhang, Yong-Jie; Baker, Matt; Gass, Jennifer M.; Finch, NiCole A.; Xu, Ya-Fei; Stewart, Heather; Kelley, Brendan J.; Kuntz, Karen; Crook, Richard J. P.; Sreedharan, Jemeen; Vance, Caroline; Sorenson, Eric; Lippa, Carol; Bigio, Eileen H.; Geschwind, Daniel H.; Knopman, David S.; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Petersen, Ronald C.; Cashman, Neil R.; Hutton, Mike; Shaw, Christopher E.; Boylan, Kevin B.; Boeve, Bradley; Graff-Radford, Neill R.; Wszolek, Zbigniew K.; Caselli, Richard J.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Mackenzie, Ian R.; Petrucelli, Leonard; Rademakers, Rosa

    2008-01-01

    The TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been identified as the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin inclusions (FTLD-U), defining a novel class of neurodegenerative conditions: the TDP-43 proteinopathies. The first pathogenic mutations in the gene encoding TDP-43 (TARDBP) were recently reported in familial and sporadic ALS patients, supporting a direct role for TDP-43 in neurodegeneration. In this study, we report the identification and functional analyses of two novel and one known mutation in TARDBP that we identified as a result of extensive mutation analyses in a cohort of 296 patients with variable neurodegenerative diseases associated with TDP-43 histopathology. Three different heterozygous missense mutations in exon 6 of TARDBP (p.M337V, p.N345K, and p.I383V) were identified in the analysis of 92 familial ALS patients (3.3%), while no mutations were detected in 24 patients with sporadic ALS or 180 patients with other TDP-43–positive neurodegenerative diseases. The presence of p.M337V, p.N345K, and p.I383V was excluded in 825 controls and 652 additional sporadic ALS patients. All three mutations affect highly conserved amino acid residues in the C-terminal part of TDP-43 known to be involved in protein-protein interactions. Biochemical analysis of TDP-43 in ALS patient cell lines revealed a substantial increase in caspase cleaved fragments, including the ∼25 kDa fragment, compared to control cell lines. Our findings support TARDBP mutations as a cause of ALS. Based on the specific C-terminal location of the mutations and the accumulation of a smaller C-terminal fragment, we speculate that TARDBP mutations may cause a toxic gain of function through novel protein interactions or intracellular accumulation of TDP-43 fragments leading to apoptosis. PMID:18802454

  13. FUS and TARDBP but not SOD1 interact in genetic models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kabashi, Edor; Bercier, Valérie; Lissouba, Alexandra; Liao, Meijiang; Brustein, Edna; Rouleau, Guy A; Drapeau, Pierre

    2011-08-01

    Mutations in the SOD1 and TARDBP genes have been commonly identified in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Recently, mutations in the Fused in sarcoma gene (FUS) were identified in familial (FALS) ALS cases and sporadic (SALS) patients. Similarly to TDP-43 (coded by TARDBP gene), FUS is an RNA binding protein. Using the zebrafish (Danio rerio), we examined the consequences of expressing human wild-type (WT) FUS and three ALS-related mutations, as well as their interactions with TARDBP and SOD1. Knockdown of zebrafish Fus yielded a motor phenotype that could be rescued upon co-expression of wild-type human FUS. In contrast, the two most frequent ALS-related FUS mutations, R521H and R521C, unlike S57Δ, failed to rescue the knockdown phenotype, indicating loss of function. The R521H mutation caused a toxic gain of function when expressed alone, similar to the phenotype observed upon knockdown of zebrafish Fus. This phenotype was not aggravated by co-expression of both mutant human TARDBP (G348C) and FUS (R521H) or by knockdown of both zebrafish Tardbp and Fus, consistent with a common pathogenic mechanism. We also observed that WT FUS rescued the Tardbp knockdown phenotype, but not vice versa, suggesting that TARDBP acts upstream of FUS in this pathway. In addition we observed that WT SOD1 failed to rescue the phenotype observed upon overexpression of mutant TARDBP or FUS or upon knockdown of Tardbp or Fus; similarly, WT TARDBP or FUS also failed to rescue the phenotype induced by mutant SOD1 (G93A). Finally, overexpression of mutant SOD1 exacerbated the motor phenotype caused by overexpression of mutant FUS. Together our results indicate that TARDBP and FUS act in a pathogenic pathway that is independent of SOD1. PMID:21829392

  14. SQSTM1 Mutations in French Patients With Frontotemporal Dementia or Frontotemporal Dementia With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Le Ber, Isabelle; Camuzat, Agnès; Guerreiro, Rita; Bouya-Ahmed, Kawtar; Bras, Jose; Nicolas, Gael; Gabelle, Audrey; Didic, Mira; De Septenville, Anne; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Lenglet, Timothée; Latouche, Morwena; Kabashi, Edor; Campion, Dominique; Hannequin, Didier; Hardy, John; Brice, Alexis

    2014-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Mutations in the SQSTM1 gene, coding for p62, are a cause of Paget disease of bone and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, SQSTM1 mutations were confirmed in ALS, and mutations were also identified in 3 patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), suggesting a role for SQSTM1 in FTD. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the exact contribution of SQSTM1 to FTD and FTD with ALS (FTD-ALS) in an independent cohort of patients. DESIGN A SQSTM1 mutation was first identified in a multiplex family with FTD by use of whole-exome sequencing. To evaluate the frequency of SQSTM1 mutations, we sequenced this gene in a cohort of patients with FTD or FTD-ALS, with no mutations in known FTD and ALS genes. SETTING Primary care or referral center. PARTICIPANTS An overall cohort of 188 French patients, including 132 probands with FTD and 56 probands with FTD-ALS. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Frequency of SQSTM1 mutations in patients with FTD or FTD-ALS; description of associated phenotypes. RESULTS We identified 4 heterozygous missense mutations in 4 unrelated families with FTD; only 1 family had clinical symptoms of Paget disease of bone, and only 1 family had clinical symptoms of FTD-ALS, possibly owing to the low penetrance of some of the clinical manifestations. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Although the frequency of the mutations is low in our series (4 of 188 patients [2%]), our results, similar to those already reported, support a direct pathogenic role of p62 in different types of FTD. PMID:24042580

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

    SciTech Connect

    Rooke, K.; Rouleau, G.A.; Figlewicz, D.A.

    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.

  16. Ophthalmic Manifestations of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (An American Ophthalmological Society Thesis)

    PubMed Central

    Volpe, Nicholas J.; Simonett, Joseph; Fawzi, Amani A.; Siddique, Teepu

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To determine if clinical and histopathologic findings were present in the eyes of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and explore correlations to an animal model of ALS. Methods: Two patients with ALS were studied histopathologically as well as the retinas of ALS/dementia transgenic mice with dysfunctional ubiquilin2, UBQLN2P497H. Clinical study 1, an observational, cross-sectional study, was performed using optical coherence tomography (OCT) to obtain and compare mean total macular thickness and average and quadrant specific peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) scans from 16 patients with ALS to controls. Correlation analysis was performed to evaluate the association with disease duration. Clinical study 2 consisted of measuring visual acuity, color vision, contrast sensitivity, and quality of life in 12 patients. Results: Histopathologic studies demonstrated intraretinal inclusions in one patient and loss of ganglion cell axons in another. Mouse eyes had intraretinal inclusions in the inner plexiform layers. Total macular volume was thinner in patients compared to controls (P<.05), and 37.5% of patients with ALS had an average pRNFL below the 1st percentile. Total macular and pRNFL thickness correlated inversely with disease duration. Conclusions: Histopathologic analysis of ALS eyes and mice with the UBQLN2P497H mutation, as well as OCT measurements, supports involvement of the anterior visual pathway. We identified pathologies, including intraretinal deposits and axonal loss. pRNFL and total macular thinning found on OCT correlated with disease duration. A pattern of vision loss specific for ALS was not identified. This study confirms ocular involvement in patients and transgenic animals with ALS/dementia. PMID:26877563

  17. Patient-ventilator asynchrony, leaks and sleep in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Vrijsen, Bart; Testelmans, Dries; Belge, Catharina; Vanpee, Goele; Van Damme, Philip; Buyse, Bertien

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping with non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis appears to be accompanied by a high patient-ventilator asynchrony (PVA) index. This prospective observational cohort study quantifies PVA and leaks, and searches for effects of these events on sleep after polysomnographic NIV titration. Full-video polysomnography, with incorporation of transcutaneous carbon dioxide and ventilator software, was used to analyse sleep epoch-by-epoch and respiratory events and PVA breath-by-breath in 35 patients (17 non-bulbar). After diagnostic polysomnography, NIV was titrated during three consecutive nights. Sleep, PVA and leaks were evaluated at discharge and after one month. Results showed that non-bulbar patients improved in sleep architecture and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels while bulbar patients only improved oxygen saturation. PVA remained present at discharge (non-bulbar 54 (21-101) and bulbar 31 (9-39)/h sleep) and one month (non-bulbar 31 (9-39) and bulbar 32 (17-55)/h sleep), with ineffective effort as most prominent asynchrony. Leaks also persisted after titration (non-bulbar 16.6 (3.1-44.6) and bulbar 5.1 (0.0-19.5)% of total sleep time (TST)) and one month (non-bulbar 7.7 (1.4-29.3) and bulbar 12.7 (0.0-35.2)% TST). PVA and leaks have none to minor effect on sleep architecture. In conclusion, although PVA and leaks remain present after meticulous NIV titration, these events seem not to interfere with sleep. PMID:27077786

  18. Prediagnostic body fat and risk of death from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Wark, Petra A.; Jenab, Mazda; Pearce, Neil; Brayne, Carol; Vermeulen, Roel; Andersen, Peter M.; Hallmans, Goran; Kyrozis, Andreas; Vanacore, Nicola; Vahdaninia, Mariam; Grote, Verena; Kaaks, Rudolf; Mattiello, Amalia; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H. Bas; Peeters, Petra H.; Travis, Ruth C.; Petersson, Jesper; Hansson, Oskar; Arriola, Larraitz; Jimenez-Martin, Juan-Manuel; Tjønneland, Anne; Halkjær, Jytte; Agnoli, Claudia; Sacerdote, Carlotta; Bonet, Catalina; Trichopoulou, Antonia; Gavrila, Diana; Overvad, Kim; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Palli, Domenico; Quirós, J. Ramón; Tumino, Rosario; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Wareham, Nicholas; Barricante-Gurrea, Aurelio; Fedirko, Veronika; Ferrari, Pietro; Clavel-Chapelon, Françoise; Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine; Boeing, Heiner; Vigl, Matthaeus; Middleton, Lefkos; Riboli, Elio; Vineis, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate for the first time the association between body fat and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with an appropriate prospective study design. Methods: The EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study included 518,108 individuals recruited from the general population across 10 Western European countries. At recruitment, information on lifestyle was collected and anthropometric characteristics were measured. Cox hazard models were fitted to investigate the associations between anthropometric measures and ALS mortality. Results: Two hundred twenty-two ALS deaths (79 men and 143 women) occurred during the follow-up period (mean follow-up = 13 years). There was a statistically significant interaction between categories of body mass index and sex regarding ALS risk (p = 0.009): in men, a significant linear decrease of risk per unit of body mass index was observed (hazard ratio = 0.93, 95% confidence interval 0.86–0.99 per kg/m2); among women, the risk was more than 3-fold increased for underweight compared with normal-weight women. Among women, a significant risk reduction increasing the waist/hip ratio was also evident: women in the top quartile had less than half the risk of ALS compared with those in the bottom quartile (hazard ratio = 0.48, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.93) with a borderline significant p value for trend across quartiles (p = 0.056). Conclusion: Increased prediagnostic body fat is associated with a decreased risk of ALS mortality. PMID:23390184

  19. Preliminary Results of National Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Registry Risk Factor Survey Data

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background The National ALS Registry is made up of two components to capture amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases: national administrative databases (Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration) and self-identified cases captured by the Registry’s web portal. This study describes self-reported characteristics of U.S. adults with ALS using the data collected by the National ALS Registry web portal risk factor surveys only from October 19, 2010 through December 31, 2013. Objective To describe findings from the National ALS Registry’s web portal risk factor surveys. Measurements The prevalence of select risk factors among adults with ALS was determined by calculating the frequencies of select risk factors—smoking and alcohol (non, current and former) histories, military service and occupational history, and family history of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s and/or Parkinson’s. Results Nearly half of survey respondents were ever smokers compared with nearly 41% of adults nationally. Most respondents were ever drinkers which is comparable to national estimates. The majority were light drinkers. Nearly one-quarter of survey respondents were veterans compared with roughly 9% of US adults nationally. Most respondents were retired or disabled. The industries in which respondents were employed for the longest time were Professional and Scientific and Technical Services. When family history of neurodegenerative diseases in first degree relatives was evaluated against our comparison group, the rates of ALS were similar, but were higher for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and any neurodegenerative diseases. Conclusions The National ALS Registry web portal, to our knowledge, is the largest, most geographically diverse collection of risk factor data about adults living with ALS. Various characteristics were consistent with other published studies on ALS risk factors and will allow

  20. Radiation Therapy for Hypersalivation: A Prospective Study in 50 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients

    SciTech Connect

    Assouline, Avi; Levy, Antonin; Abdelnour-Mallet, Maya; Lenglet, Timothée; Le Forestier, Nadine; and others

    2014-03-01

    Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the efficiency and the tolerance of radiation therapy (RT) on salivary glands in a large series of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with hypersalivation. Methods and Materials: Fifty ALS patients that had medically failure pretreatment were included in this prospective study. RT was delivered through a conventional linear accelerator with 6-MV photons and 2 opposed beams fields including both submandibular glands and two-thirds of both parotid glands. Total RT dose was 10 Gy in 2 fractions (n=30) or 20 Gy in 4 fractions (n=20). RT efficacy was assessed with the 9-grade Sialorrhea Scoring Scale (SSS), recently prospectively validated as the most effective and sensitive tool to measure sialorrhea in ALS patients. Results: At the end of RT, all patients had improved: 46 had a complete response (92% CR, SSS 1-3) and 4 had a partial response (8% PR, SSS 4-5). A significant lasting salivary reduction was observed 6 months after RT completion: there was 71% CR and 26% PR, and there was a significant SSS reduction versus baseline (P<10{sup −6}). There was no grade 3 to 4 toxicity, and most side effects (34%) occurred during RT. Nine patients (18%) underwent a second salivary gland RT course, with a 3-months mean delay from the first RT, resulting in a SSS decrease (−77%). Both RT dose regimens induced a significant SSS decrease with no significant toxicity. There were, however, more patients with CR/PR in the 20-Gy protocol (P=.02), and 8 of 9 patients (89%) receiving a second RT course had previously been treated within the 10-Gy protocol. Conclusion: Radiation therapy of 20 Gy in 4 fractions is an efficient and safe treatment for ALS patients with sialorrhea. A shorter RT course (10 Gy in 2 fractions) may be proposed in patients in poor medical condition.

  1. Investigating Default Mode and Sensorimotor Network Connectivity in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Chenji, Sneha; Jha, Shankar; Lee, Dawon; Brown, Matthew; Seres, Peter; Mah, Dennell; Kalra, Sanjay

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by degeneration of upper motor neurons (UMN) arising from the motor cortex in the brain and lower motor neurons (LMN) in the brainstem and spinal cord. Cerebral changes create differences in brain activity captured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), including the spontaneous and simultaneous activity occurring between regions known as the resting state networks (RSNs). Progressive neurodegeneration as observed in ALS may lead to a disruption of RSNs which could provide insights into the disease process. Previous studies have reported conflicting findings of increased, decreased, or unaltered RSN functional connectivity in ALS and do not report the contribution of UMN changes to RSN connectivity. We aimed to bridge this gap by exploring two networks, the default mode network (DMN) and the sensorimotor network (SMN), in 21 ALS patients and 40 age-matched healthy volunteers. An UMN score dichotomized patients into UMN+ and UMN- groups. Subjects underwent resting state fMRI scan on a high field MRI operating at 4.7 tesla. The DMN and SMN changes between subject groups were compared. Correlations between connectivity and clinical measures such as the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R), disease progression rate, symptom duration, UMN score and finger tapping were assessed. Significant group differences in resting state networks between patients and controls were absent, as was the dependence on degree of UMN burden. However, DMN connectivity was increased in patients with greater disability and faster progression rate, and SMN connectivity was reduced in those with greater motor impairment. These patterns of association are in line with literature supporting loss of inhibitory interneurons. PMID:27322194

  2. SOD1 mutations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Results from a multicenter Italian study.

    PubMed

    Battistini, Stefania; Giannini, Fabio; Greco, Giuseppe; Bibbò, Giuseppe; Ferrera, Loreta; Marini, Valeria; Causarano, Renzo; Casula, Michela; Lando, Giuliana; Patrosso, Maria Cristina; Caponnetto, Claudia; Origone, Paola; Marocchi, Alessandro; Del Corona, Alberto; Siciliano, Gabriele; Carrera, Paola; Mascia, Vincenzo; Giagheddu, Marcello; Carcassi, Carlo; Orrù, Sandro; Garrè, Cecilia; Penco, Silvana

    2005-07-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the most common form among motoneuron diseases, is characterized by a progressive neurodegenerative process involving motor neurons in the motor cortex, brain stem and spinal cord. Sporadic (SALS) accounts for the majority of patients but in about 10% of ALS cases the disease is inherited (FALS), usually as an autosomal dominant trait. In the present study we show the results of a referred based multicenter study on the distribution of SOD1 gene mutations in the largest cohort of Italian ALS patients described so far. Two hundred and sixty-four patients (39 FALS and 225 SALS) of Italian origin were studied. In 7 out of 39 FALS patients we found the following SOD1 gene mutations: i) a new G12R missense mutation in exon 1, found in a patient with a slowly progressive disease course; ii) the G41S mutation, in four unrelated patients with rapidly progressive course complicated with cognitive decline in two of them; iii) the L114F mutation, in a patient with a slowly progressive phenotype; iv) the D90A mutation, in a heterozygous patient with atypical phenotype. In addition, in one SALS patient a previously reported synonymous variant S59S was identified. In 17 (3 FALS and 14 SALS) out of 264 patients (6.4 %) the polymorphism A-->C at position 34 of intron 3 (IVS3: + 34 A-->C) was found, and in one FALS patient a novel variant IVS3 + 62 T-->C was identified. The frequency of SOD1 gene mutations (17.9 %) in FALS cases was comparable with that found in other surveys with a similar sample size of ALS cases. No SOD1 gene mutations have been identified in SALS cases. Within FALS cases, The most frequent mutation was the G41S identified in four FALS. PMID:15789135

  3. F Wave Study in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Assessment of Segmental Motoneuronal Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Jia; Cui, Li-Ying; Liu, Ming-Sheng; Guan, Yu-Zhou; Li, Xiao-Guang; Cui, Bo; Ding, Qing-Yun

    2015-01-01

    Background: Dysfunctional spinal circuit may play a role in the pathophysiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The purpose of this study was to use F waves for assessment of segmental motoneuronal excitability following upper motor neuron (UMN) dysfunctions in ALS. Methods: We studied the F waves of 152 ulnar nerves recorded from abductor digiti minimi in 82 patients with ALS. Two groups of hands were defined based on the presence or absence of pyramidal signs in the same upper limb. The group with pyramidal signs in the upper limbs was designated as the P group, and the group without pyramidal signs in the upper limbs was designated as the NP group. Results: The mean (P < 0.001), median (P < 0.001) and maximum (P = 0.035) F wave amplitudes, mean (P < 0.001), median (P < 0.001) and maximum (P = 0.003) F/M amplitude ratio, index repeating neuron (P < 0.001) and index repeater F waves (P < 0.001) of the P group were significantly increased compared with the NP group. No significant differences were identified for F wave chronodispersion (P = 0.628), mean F wave latency (P = 0.151), minimum F wave latency (P = 0.211), maximum F wave latency (P = 0.199), F wave persistence (P = 0.738), F wave duration (P = 0.152), F wave conduction velocity (P = 0.813) and number of giant F waves (P = 0.072) between the two groups. Conclusions: In this study, increased F wave amplitude, F/M amplitude ratio and number of repeater F waves reflected enhanced segmental motoneuronal excitability following UMN dysfunctions in ALS. PMID:26112713

  4. Effects of Noninvasive Ventilation on Sleep Outcomes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Katzberg, Hans D.; Selegiman, Adam; Guion, Lee; Yuan, Nancy; Cho, Sungho C.; Katz, Jonathan S.; Miller, Robert G.; So, Yuen T.

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives: The objective was to study the effects on noninvasive ventilation on sleep outcomes in patient with ALS, specifically oxygenation and overall sleep quality. Methods: Patients with ALS who met criteria for initiation of NIV were studied with a series of 2 home PSG studies, one without NIV and a follow-up study while using NIV. Primary outcome was a change in the maximum overnight oxygen saturation; secondary outcomes included change in mean overnight oxygen saturation, apnea and hypopnea indexes, sleep latency, sleep efficiency, sleep arousals, and sleep architecture. Results: A total of 94 patients with ALS were screened for eligibility; 15 were enrolled; and 12 completed study procedures. Maximum overnight oxygen saturation improved by 7.0% (p = 0.01) and by 6.7% during REM sleep (p = 0.02) with NIV. Time spent below 90% oxygen saturation was also significant-ly better with NIV (30% vs 19%, p < 0.01), and there was trend for improvement in mean overnight saturation (1.5%, p = 0.06). Apnea index (3.7 to 0.7), hypopnea index (6.2 to 5.7), and apnea hypopnea index (9.8 to 6.3) did not significantly improve after introducing NIV. NIV had no effect on sleep efficiency (mean change 10%), arousal index (7 to 12), or sleep stage distribution (Friedman chi-squared = 0.40). Conclusions: NIV improved oxygenation but showed no significant effects on sleep efficiency, sleep arousals, restful sleep, or sleep architecture. The net impact of these changes for patients deserves further study in a larger group of ALS patients. Citation: Katzberg HD; Selegiman A; Guion L; Yuan N; Cho SC; Katz JS; Mller RG; So YT. Effects of noninvasive ventilation on sleep outcomes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(4):345-351. PMID:23585750

  5. Disease origin and progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an immunology perspective.

    PubMed

    Malaspina, Andrea; Puentes, Fabiola; Amor, Sandra

    2015-03-01

    The immune system is inextricably linked with many neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a devastating neuromuscular disorder affecting motor cell function with an average survival of 3 years from symptoms onset. In ALS, there is a dynamic interplay between the resident innate immune cells, that is, microglia and astrocytes, which may become progressively harmful to motor neurons. Although innate and adaptive immune responses are associated with progressive neurodegeneration, in the early stages of ALS immune activation pathways are primarily considered to be beneficial promoting neuronal repair of the damaged tissues, though a harmful effect of T cells at this stage of disease has also been observed. In addition, although auto-antibodies against neuronal antigens are present in ALS, it is unclear whether these arise as a primary or secondary event to neuronal damage, and whether the auto-antibodies are indeed pathogenic. Understanding how the immune system contributes to the fate of motor cells in ALS may shed light on the triggers of disease as well as on the mechanisms contributing to the propagation of the pathology. Immune markers may also act as biomarkers while pathways involved in immune action may be targets of new therapeutic strategies. Here, we review the modalities by which the immune system senses the core pathological process in motor neuron disorders, focusing on tissue-specific immune responses in the neuromuscular junction and in the neuroaxis observed in affected individuals and in animal models of ALS. We elaborate on existing data on the immunological fingerprint of ALS that could be used to identify clues on the disease origin and patterns of progression. PMID:25344935

  6. The role of heat shock proteins in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: The therapeutic potential of Arimoclomol.

    PubMed

    Kalmar, Bernadett; Lu, Ching-Hua; Greensmith, Linda

    2014-01-01

    Arimoclomol is a hydroxylamine derivative, a group of compounds which have unique properties as co-inducers of heat shock protein expression, but only under conditions of cellular stress. Arimoclomol has been found to be neuroprotective in a number of neurodegenerative disease models, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and in mutant Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1) mice that model ALS, Arimoclomol rescues motor neurons, improves neuromuscular function and extends lifespan. The therapeutic potential of Arimoclomol is currently under investigation in a Phase II clinical trial for ALS patients with SOD1 mutations. In this review we summarize the evidence for the neuroprotective effects of enhanced heat shock protein expression by Arimoclomol and other inducers of the Heat Shock Response. ALS is a complex, multifactorial disease affecting a number of cell types and intracellular pathways. Cells and pathways affected by ALS pathology and which may be targeted by a heat shock protein-based therapy are also discussed in this review. For example, protein aggregation is a characteristic pathological feature of neurodegenerative diseases including ALS. Enhanced heat shock protein expression not only affects protein aggregation directly, but can also lead to more effective clearance of protein aggregates via the unfolded protein response, the proteasome-ubiquitin system or by autophagy. However, compounds such as Arimoclomol have effects beyond targeting protein mis-handling and can also affect additional pathological mechanisms such as oxidative stress. Therefore, by targeting multiple pathological mechanisms, compounds such as Arimoclomol may be particularly effective in the development of a disease-modifying therapy for ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23978556

  7. Quantitating Changes in Jitter and Spike Number Using Concentric Needle Electrodes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ming-Sheng; Niu, Jing-Wen; Li, Yi; Guan, Yu-Zhou; Cui, Li-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Background: Single-fiber electromyography (SFEMG) has been suggested as a quantitative method for supporting chronic partial denervation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by the revised EI Escorial criteria. Although concentric needle (CN) electrodes have been used to assess jitter in myasthenia gravis patients and healthy controls, there are few reports using CN electrodes to assess motor unit instability and denervation in neurogenic diseases. The aim of this study was to determine whether quantitative changes in jitter and spike number using CN electrodes could be used for ALS studies. Methods: Twenty-seven healthy controls and 23 ALS patients were studied using both CN and single-fiber needle (SFN) electrodes on the extensor digitorum communis muscle with an SFEMG program. The SFN-jitter and SFN-fiber density data were measured using SFN electrodes. The CN-jitter and spike number were measured using CN electrodes. Results: The mean CN-jitter was significantly increased in ALS patients (47.3 ± 17.0 μs) than in healthy controls (27.4 ± 3.3 μs) (P < 0.001). Besides, the mean spike number was significantly increased in ALS patients (2.5 ± 0.5) than in healthy controls (1.7 ± 0.3) (P < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of ALS were 82.6% and 92.6% for CN-jitter (cut-off value: 32 μs), and 91.3% and 96.3% for the spike number (cut-off value: 2.0), respectively. There was no significant difference between the SFN-jitter and CN-jitter in ALS patients; meanwhile, there was no significant difference between the SFN-jitter and CN-jitter in healthy controls. Conclusion: CN-jitter and spike number could be used to quantitatively evaluate changes due to denervation-reinnervation in ALS. PMID:27098787

  8. Voluntary Cough Airflow Differentiates Safe Versus Unsafe Swallowing in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Plowman, Emily K; Watts, Stephanie A; Robison, Raele; Tabor, Lauren; Dion, Charles; Gaziano, Joy; Vu, Tuan; Gooch, Clifton

    2016-06-01

    Dysphagia and aspiration are prevalent in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and contribute to malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia, and death. Early detection of at risk individuals is critical to ensure maintenance of safe oral intake and optimal pulmonary function. We therefore aimed to determine the discriminant ability of voluntary cough airflow measures in detecting penetration/aspiration status in ALS patients. Seventy individuals with ALS (El-Escorial criteria) completed voluntary cough spirometry testing and underwent a standardized videofluoroscopic swallowing evaluation (VFSE). A rater blinded to aspiration status derived six objective measures of voluntary cough airflow and evaluated airway safety using the penetration-aspiration scale (PAS). A between groups ANOVA (safe vs. unsafe swallowers) was conducted and sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve (AUC) and likelihood ratios were calculated. VFSE analysis revealed 24 penetrator/aspirators (PAS ≥3) and 46 non-penetrator/aspirators (PAS ≤2). Cough volume acceleration (CVA), peak expiratory flow rise time (PEFRT), and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were significantly different between airway safety groups (p < 0.05) and demonstrated significant discriminant ability to detect the presence of penetration/aspiration with AUC values of: 0.85, 0.81, and 0.78, respectively. CVA <45.28 L/s/s, PEFR <3.97 L/s, and PEFRT >76 ms had sensitivities of 91.3, 82.6, and 73.9 %, respectively, and specificities of 82.2, 73.9, and 78.3 % for identifying ALS penetrator/aspirators. Voluntary cough airflow measures identified ALS patients at risk for penetration/aspiration and may be a valuable screening tool with high clinical utility. PMID:26803772

  9. Oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients with disease-associated mutations

    PubMed Central

    Mencacci, Niccolò E.; Morelli, Claudia; Doretti, Alberto; Rusconi, Daniela; Colombrita, Claudia; Sangalli, Davide; Verde, Federico; Finelli, Palma; Messina, Stefano; Ratti, Antonia; Silani, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is usually performed to exclude inflammatory processes of the central nervous system. Although in a small subset of patients an intrathecal synthesis of IgG is detectable, usually there is no clear explanation for this evidence. This study investigates the occurrence of oligoclonal bands (OCBs) in the CSF of a large series of ALS patients, attempting a correlation with genotype data. CSF was collected from 259 ALS patients. CSF parameters were measured according to standard procedures, and detection of OCBs performed by isoelectric focusing. The patients were screened for mutations in SOD1, FUS, TARDBP, ANG, OPTN, and C9ORF72. We observed the presence of OCBs in the CSF of 9/259 ALS patients (3.5 %), and of disease-associated mutations in 12 cases. OCBs were significantly more frequent in mutation carriers compared to the remaining cohort (3/12 vs 6/247; p < 0.01). Among patients with OCBs, two patients had the TARDBP p.A382T mutation (one of which in homozygous state), and one the ANG p.P-4S variant. Both patients carrying the p.A382T mutation had an atypical phenotype, one of them manifesting signs suggestive of a cerebellar involvement, and the other presenting neuroradiological findings suggestive of an inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system. Our results suggest that ALS patients with OCBs may harbor mutations in disease-causing genes. We speculate that mutations in both TARDBP and ANG genes may disrupt the blood–brain barrier (BBB), promoting local immune responses and neuroinflammation. The role of mutant TARDBP and ANG genes on BBB integrity of ALS patients warrants further investigation. PMID:22752089

  10. Aspirin Use Associated With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a Total Population-Based Case-Control Study

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Ching-Piao; Lin, Feng-Cheng; Lee, Johnny Kuang-Wu; Lee, Charles Tzu-Chi

    2015-01-01

    Background The association of aspirin use and nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) risk is unclear. This study determined whether use of any individual compound is associated with ALS risk by conducting a total population-based case-control study in Taiwan. Methods A total of 729 patients with newly diagnosed ALS who had a severely disabling disease certificate between January 1, 2002, and December 1, 2008, comprised the case group. These cases were compared with 7290 sex-, age-, residence-, and insurance premium-matched controls. Drug use by each Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code was analyzed using conditional logistic regression models. False discovery rate (FDR)-adjusted P values were reported in order to avoid inflating false positives. Results Of the 1336 compounds, only the 266 with use cases exceeding 30 in our database were included in the screening analysis. Without controlling for steroid use, the analysis failed to reveal any compound that was inversely associated with ALS risk according to FDR criteria. After controlling for steroid use, we found use of the following compounds to be associated with ALS risk: aspirin, diphenhydramine (one of the antihistamines), and mefenamic acid (one of the NSAIDs). A multivariate analysis revealed that aspirin was independently inversely associated with ALS risk after controlling for diphenhydramine, mefenamic acid, and steroid use. The inverse association between aspirin and ALS was present predominately in patients older than 55 years. Conclusions The results of this study suggested that aspirin use might reduce the risk of ALS, and the benefit might be more prominent for older people. PMID:25721071

  11. Profiling Speech and Pausing in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

    PubMed Central

    Yunusova, Yana; Graham, Naida L.; Shellikeri, Sanjana; Phuong, Kent; Kulkarni, Madhura; Rochon, Elizabeth; Tang-Wai, David F.; Chow, Tiffany W.; Black, Sandra E.; Zinman, Lorne H.; Green, Jordan R.

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study examines reading aloud in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and those with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in order to determine whether differences in patterns of speaking and pausing exist between patients with primary motor vs. primary cognitive-linguistic deficits, and in contrast to healthy controls. Design 136 participants were included in the study: 33 controls, 85 patients with ALS, and 18 patients with either the behavioural variant of FTD (FTD-BV) or progressive nonfluent aphasia (FTD-PNFA). Participants with ALS were further divided into 4 non-overlapping subgroups—mild, respiratory, bulbar (with oral-motor deficit) and bulbar-respiratory—based on the presence and severity of motor bulbar or respiratory signs. All participants read a passage aloud. Custom-made software was used to perform speech and pause analyses, and this provided measures of speaking and articulatory rates, duration of speech, and number and duration of pauses. These measures were statistically compared in different subgroups of patients. Results The results revealed clear differences between patient groups and healthy controls on the passage reading task. A speech-based motor function measure (i.e., articulatory rate) was able to distinguish patients with bulbar ALS or FTD-PNFA from those with respiratory ALS or FTD-BV. Distinguishing the disordered groups proved challenging based on the pausing measures. Conclusions and Relevance This study demonstrated the use of speech measures in the identification of those with an oral-motor deficit, and showed the usefulness of performing a relatively simple reading test to assess speech versus pause behaviors across the ALS—FTD disease continuum. The findings also suggest that motor speech assessment should be performed as part of the diagnostic workup for patients with FTD. PMID:26789001

  12. Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis of long duration is associated with relatively mild TDP-43 pathology.

    PubMed

    Nishihira, Yasushi; Tan, Chun-Feng; Hoshi, Yasuhiro; Iwanaga, Keisuke; Yamada, Megumi; Kawachi, Izumi; Tsujihata, Mitsuhiro; Hozumi, Isao; Morita, Takashi; Onodera, Osamu; Nishizawa, Masatoyo; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi

    2009-01-01

    Recently, sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS), a fatal neurological disease, has been shown to be a multisystem proteinopathy of TDP-43 in which both neurons and glial cells in the central nervous system are widely affected. In general, the natural history of SALS is short (<5 years). However, it is also known that a few patients may survive for 10 years or more, even without artificial respiratory support (ARS). In the present study using TDP-43 immunohistochemistry, we examined various regions of the nervous system in six patients with SALS of long duration (10-20 years) without ARS, in whom lower motor-predominant disease with Bunina bodies and ubiquitinated inclusions (UIs) in the affected lower motor neurons was confirmed. One case also showed UIs in the hippocampal dentate granule cells (UDG). In all cases, except one with UDG, the occurrence of TDP-43-immunoreactive (ir) neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs) was confined to a few regions in the spinal cord and brainstem, including the anterior horns. In one case with UDG, TDP-43-ir NCIs were also detected in the substantia nigra, and some regions of the cerebrum, including the hippocampal dentate gyrus (granule cells). The number of neurons displaying NCIs in each region was very small (1-3 per region, except the dentate gyrus). On the other hand, the occurrence of TDP-43-ir glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) was more widespread in the central nervous system, including the cerebral white matter. Again, however, the number of glial cells displaying GCIs in each region was very small (1-3 per region). In conclusion, compared to the usual form of SALS, TDP-43 pathology shown in SALS of long duration was apparently mild in degree and limited in distribution, corresponding to the relatively benign clinical courses observed. It is now apparent that SALS of long duration is actually part of a TDP-43 proteinopathy spectrum. PMID:18923836

  13. Investigating Default Mode and Sensorimotor Network Connectivity in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Chenji, Sneha; Jha, Shankar; Lee, Dawon; Brown, Matthew; Seres, Peter; Mah, Dennell; Kalra, Sanjay

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by degeneration of upper motor neurons (UMN) arising from the motor cortex in the brain and lower motor neurons (LMN) in the brainstem and spinal cord. Cerebral changes create differences in brain activity captured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), including the spontaneous and simultaneous activity occurring between regions known as the resting state networks (RSNs). Progressive neurodegeneration as observed in ALS may lead to a disruption of RSNs which could provide insights into the disease process. Previous studies have reported conflicting findings of increased, decreased, or unaltered RSN functional connectivity in ALS and do not report the contribution of UMN changes to RSN connectivity. We aimed to bridge this gap by exploring two networks, the default mode network (DMN) and the sensorimotor network (SMN), in 21 ALS patients and 40 age-matched healthy volunteers. An UMN score dichotomized patients into UMN+ and UMN- groups. Subjects underwent resting state fMRI scan on a high field MRI operating at 4.7 tesla. The DMN and SMN changes between subject groups were compared. Correlations between connectivity and clinical measures such as the ALS Functional Rating Scale—Revised (ALSFRS-R), disease progression rate, symptom duration, UMN score and finger tapping were assessed. Significant group differences in resting state networks between patients and controls were absent, as was the dependence on degree of UMN burden. However, DMN connectivity was increased in patients with greater disability and faster progression rate, and SMN connectivity was reduced in those with greater motor impairment. These patterns of association are in line with literature supporting loss of inhibitory interneurons. PMID:27322194

  14. Estimating daily energy expenditure in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis123

    PubMed Central

    Kasarskis, Edward J; Mendiondo, Marta S; Matthews, Dwight E; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Tandan, Rup; Simmons, Zachary; Bromberg, Mark B; Kryscio, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    Background: Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) experience progressive limb weakness, muscle atrophy, and dysphagia, making them vulnerable to insufficient energy intake. Methods to estimate energy requirements have not been devised for this patient group. Objective: The goal was to develop equations to estimate energy requirements of ALS patients. Design: We enrolled 80 ALS participants at varying stages of their illness and studied them every 16 wk over 48 wk. At each time, we determined total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) in the home setting over a 10-d period by using the doubly labeled water method. We then developed statistical models to estimate TDEE by using factors easily obtained during a routine clinical visit. Results: The most practical TDEE models used the Harris-Benedict, Mifflin-St Jeor, or Owen equations to estimate resting metabolic rate (RMR) and 6 questions from the revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) that relate to physical activity. We developed a Web-based calculator to facilitate its use. In the research setting, measuring body composition with bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy enabled the estimation of RMR with the Rosenbaum equation and the same 6 questions from the ALSFRS-R to estimate TDEE. By using these models, the estimate of TDEE for nutritional maintenance was ±500 kcal/d across the spectrum of ALS progression. Conclusions: Our results emphasize the importance of physical function and body composition in estimating TDEE. Our predictive equations can serve as a basis for recommending placement of a feeding gastrostomy in ALS patients who fail to meet their energy requirements by oral intake. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00116558. PMID:24522445

  15. Phase II screening trial of lithium carbonate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Moore, D.H.; Forshew, D.A.; Katz, J.S.; Barohn, R.J.; Valan, M.; Bromberg, M.B.; Goslin, K.L.; Graves, M.C.; McCluskey, L.F.; McVey, A.L.; Mozaffar, T.; Florence, J.M.; Pestronk, A.; Ross, M.; Simpson, E.P.; Appel, S.H.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To use a historical placebo control design to determine whether lithium carbonate slows progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods: A phase II trial was conducted at 10 sites in the Western ALS Study Group using similar dosages (300–450 mg/day), target blood levels (0.3–0.8 mEq/L), outcome measures, and trial duration (13 months) as the positive trial. However, taking riluzole was not a requirement for study entry. Placebo outcomes in patients matched for baseline features from a large database of recent clinical trials, showing stable rates of decline over the past 9 years, were used as historical controls. Results: The mean rate of decline of the ALS Functional Rating Scale–Revised was greater in 107 patients taking lithium carbonate (−1.20/month, 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.41 to −0.98) than that in 249 control patients (−1.01/month, 95% CI −1.11 to −0.92, p = 0.04). There were no differences in secondary outcome measures (forced vital capacity, time to failure, and quality of life), but there were more adverse events in the treated group. Conclusions: The lack of therapeutic benefit and safety concerns, taken together with similar results from 2 other recent trials, weighs against the use of lithium carbonate in patients with ALS. The absence of drift over time and the availability of a large database of patients for selecting a matched historical control group suggest that use of historical controls may result in more efficient phase II trials for screening putative ALS therapeutic agents. Classification of evidence: This study provided Class IV evidence that lithium carbonate does not slow the rate of decline of function in patients with ALS over 13 months. Neurology® 2011;77:973–979 PMID:21813790

  16. Age of onset differentially influences the progression of regional dysfunction in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Yokoi, Daichi; Atsuta, Naoki; Watanabe, Hazuki; Nakamura, Ryoichi; Hirakawa, Akihiro; Ito, Mizuki; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Katsuno, Masahisa; Izumi, Yuishin; Morita, Mitsuya; Taniguchi, Akira; Oda, Masaya; Abe, Koji; Mizoguchi, Kouichi; Kano, Osamu; Kuwabara, Satoshi; Kaji, Ryuji; Sobue, Gen

    2016-06-01

    The clinical courses of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) show extensive variability. Our objective was to elucidate how age of onset influences the progression of regional symptoms and functional losses in sporadic ALS. We included 648 patients with sporadic ALS from a multicenter prospective ALS cohort. We investigated the distribution of initial symptoms and analyzed the time from onset to events affecting activities of daily living (ADL) as well as the longitudinal changes in each regional functional rating score among four groups with different ages of onset. The frequencies of dysarthria and dysphagia as initial symptoms were higher in the older age groups, whereas weakness of upper limbs was the most common initial symptom in the youngest age group. The survival times and the times from onset to loss of speech and swallowing were significantly shorter in the older age group (p < 0.001), although the times from onset to loss of upper limb function were not significantly different among the age groups. According to joint modeling analysis, the bulbar score declined faster in the older age groups (<50 vs. 60-69 years: p = 0.029, <50 vs. ≥70 years: p < 0.001), whereas there was no significant correlation between the age of onset and decline in the upper limb score. Our results showed that age of onset had a significant influence on survival time and the progression of bulbar symptoms, but had no influence on upper limb function in sporadic ALS. PMID:27083563

  17. Genetic linkage analysis of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using human chromosome 21 microsatellite DNA markers

    SciTech Connect

    Rosen, D.R.; Sapp, P.; O`Regan, J.; McKenna-Yasek, D.; Schlumpf, K.S.; Haines, J.L.; Gusella, J.F.; Horvitz, H.R.; Brown, R.H. Jr.

    1994-05-15

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig`s Disease) is a lethal neurodegenerative disease of upper and lower motorneurons in the brain and spinal cord. We previously reported linkage of a gene for familial ALS (FALS) to human chromosome 21 using 4 restriction fragment length polymorphism DNA markers and identified disease-associated mutations in the superoxide dismutase (SOD)-1 gene in some ALS families. We report here the genetic linkage data that led us to examine the SOD-1 gene for mutations. We also report a new microsatellite DNA marker for D21S63, derived from the cosmid PW517. Ten microsatellite DNA markers, including the new marker D21S63, were used to reinvestigate linkage of FALS to chromosome 21. Genetic linkage analysis performed with 13 ALS familes for these 10 DNA markers confirmed the presence of a FALS gene on chromosome 21. The highest total 2-point LOD score for all families was 4.33, obtained at a distance of 10 cM from the marker D21S223. For 5 ALS families linked to chromosome 21, a peak 2-point LOD score of 5.94 was obtained at the DNA marker D21S223. A multipoint score of 6.50 was obtained with the markers D21S213, D21S223, D21S167, and FALS for 5 chromosome 21-linked ALS families. The haplotypes of these families for the 10 DNA markers reveal recombination events that further refined the location of the FALS gene to a segment of approximately 5 megabases (Mb) between D21S213 and D21S219. The only characterized gene within this segment was SOD-1, the structural gene for Cu, Zn SOD. 30 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  18. Nerve ultrasound for differentiation between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multifocal motor neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Grimm, Alexander; Décard, Bernhard F; Athanasopoulou, Ioanna; Schweikert, Kathi; Sinnreich, Michael; Axer, Hubertus

    2015-01-01

    Ultrasound is useful for non-invasive visualization of focal nerve pathologies probably resulting from demyelination, remyelination, edema or inflammation. In patients with progressive muscle weakness, differentiation between multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is essential regarding therapy and prognosis. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate whether nerve ultrasound can differentiate between ALS and MMN. Systematic ultrasound measurements of peripheral nerves and the 6th cervical nerve root (C6) were performed in 17 patients with ALS, in 8 patients with MMN and in 28 healthy controls. Nerve conduction studies of corresponding nerves were undertaken in MMN and ALS patients. Electromyography was performed in ALS patients according to revised El-Escorial criteria. ANOVA and unpaired t test with Bonferroni correction revealed significant differences in cross-sectional areas (CSA) of different nerves and C6 diameter between the groups. Nerve enlargement was found significantly more frequently in MMN than in other groups (p < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristics analysis revealed detection of enlarged nerves/roots in at least four measurement points to serve as a good marker to differentiate MMN from ALS with a sensitivity of 87.5% and a specificity of 94.1%. Ultrasonic focal nerve enlargement in MMN was often not colocalized with areas of conduction blocks found in nerve conduction studies. Systematic ultrasound measurements in different nerves and nerve roots are valuable for detecting focal nerve enlargement in MMN, generally not found in ALS and thus could serve as a diagnostic marker to differentiate between both entities in addition to electrodiagnostic studies. PMID:25626722

  19. FUS and TARDBP but Not SOD1 Interact in Genetic Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Kabashi, Edor; Bercier, Valérie; Lissouba, Alexandra; Liao, Meijiang; Brustein, Edna; Rouleau, Guy A.; Drapeau, Pierre

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in the SOD1 and TARDBP genes have been commonly identified in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Recently, mutations in the Fused in sarcoma gene (FUS) were identified in familial (FALS) ALS cases and sporadic (SALS) patients. Similarly to TDP-43 (coded by TARDBP gene), FUS is an RNA binding protein. Using the zebrafish (Danio rerio), we examined the consequences of expressing human wild-type (WT) FUS and three ALS–related mutations, as well as their interactions with TARDBP and SOD1. Knockdown of zebrafish Fus yielded a motor phenotype that could be rescued upon co-expression of wild-type human FUS. In contrast, the two most frequent ALS–related FUS mutations, R521H and R521C, unlike S57Δ, failed to rescue the knockdown phenotype, indicating loss of function. The R521H mutation caused a toxic gain of function when expressed alone, similar to the phenotype observed upon knockdown of zebrafish Fus. This phenotype was not aggravated by co-expression of both mutant human TARDBP (G348C) and FUS (R521H) or by knockdown of both zebrafish Tardbp and Fus, consistent with a common pathogenic mechanism. We also observed that WT FUS rescued the Tardbp knockdown phenotype, but not vice versa, suggesting that TARDBP acts upstream of FUS in this pathway. In addition we observed that WT SOD1 failed to rescue the phenotype observed upon overexpression of mutant TARDBP or FUS or upon knockdown of Tardbp or Fus; similarly, WT TARDBP or FUS also failed to rescue the phenotype induced by mutant SOD1 (G93A). Finally, overexpression of mutant SOD1 exacerbated the motor phenotype caused by overexpression of mutant FUS. Together our results indicate that TARDBP and FUS act in a pathogenic pathway that is independent of SOD1. PMID:21829392

  20. Brain White Matter Shape Changes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): A Fractal Dimension Study

    PubMed Central

    Allexandre, Didier; Zhang, Luduan; Wang, Xiao-Feng; Pioro, Erik P.; Yue, Guang H.

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Current diagnosis time is about 12-months due to lack of objective methods. Previous brain white matter voxel based morphometry (VBM) studies in ALS reported inconsistent results. Fractal dimension (FD) has successfully been used to quantify brain WM shape complexity in various neurological disorders and aging, but not yet studied in ALS. Therefore, we investigated WM morphometric changes using FD analyses in ALS patients with different clinical phenotypes. We hypothesized that FD would better capture clinical features of the WM morphometry in different ALS phenotypes than VBM analysis. High resolution MRI T1-weighted images were acquired in controls (n = 11), and ALS patients (n = 89). ALS patients were assigned into four subgroups based on their clinical phenotypes.VBM analysis was carried out using SPM8. FD values were estimated for brain WM skeleton, surface and general structure in both controls and ALS patients using our previously published algorithm. No significant VBM WM changes were observed between controls and ALS patients and among the ALS subgroups. In contrast, significant (p<0.05) FD reductions in skeleton and general structure were observed between ALS with dementia and other ALS subgroups. No significant differences in any of the FD measures were observed between control and ALS patients. FD correlated significantly with revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) score a clinical measure of function. Results suggest that brain WM shape complexity is more sensitive to ALS disease process when compared to volumetric VBM analysis and FD changes are dependent on the ALS phenotype. Correlation between FD and clinical measures suggests that FD could potentially serve as a biomarker of ALS pathophysiology, especially after confirmation by longitudinal studies. PMID:24040000

  1. Early presymptomatic cholinergic dysfunction in a murine model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Casas, Caty; Herrando-Grabulosa, Mireia; Manzano, Raquel; Mancuso, Renzo; Osta, Rosario; Navarro, Xavier

    2013-01-01

    Sporadic and familiar amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases presented lower cholinergic activity than in healthy individuals in their still preserved spinal motoneurons (MNs) suggesting that cholinergic reduction might occur before MN death. To unravel how and when cholinergic function is compromised, we have analyzed the spatiotemporal expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) from early presymptomatic stages of the SOD1G93A ALS mouse model by confocal immunohistochemistry. The analysis showed an early reduction in ChAT content in soma and presynaptic boutons apposed onto MNs (to 76%) as well as in cholinergic interneurons in the lumbar spinal cord of the 30-day-old SOD1G93A mice. Cholinergic synaptic stripping occurred simultaneously to the presence of abundant surrounding major histocompatibility complex II (MHC-II)-positive microglia and the accumulation of nuclear Tdp-43 and the appearance of mild oxidative stress within MNs. Besides, there was a loss of neuronal MHC-I expression, which is necessary for balanced synaptic stripping after axotomy. These events occurred before the selective raise of markers of denervation such as ATF3. By the same time, alterations in postsynaptic cholinergic-related structures were also revealed with a loss of the presence of sigma-1 receptor, a Ca2+ buffering chaperone in the postsynaptic cisternae. By 2 months of age, ChAT seemed to accumulate in the soma of MNs, and thus efferences toward Renshaw interneurons were drastically diminished. In conclusion, cholinergic dysfunction in the local circuitry of the spinal cord may be one of the earliest events in ALS etiopathogenesis. PMID:23531559

  2. Evaluating the role of the FUS/TLS-related gene EWSR1 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Couthouis, Julien; Hart, Michael P.; Erion, Renske; King, Oliver D.; Diaz, Zamia; Nakaya, Tadashi; Ibrahim, Fadia; Kim, Hyung-Jun; Mojsilovic-Petrovic, Jelena; Panossian, Saarene; Kim, Cecilia E.; Frackelton, Edward C.; Solski, Jennifer A.; Williams, Kelly L.; Clay-Falcone, Dana; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Greene, Robert; Hakonarson, Hakon; Kalb, Robert G.; Lee, Virginia M.Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.; Nicholson, Garth A.; Blair, Ian P.; Bonini, Nancy M.; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M.; Mourelatos, Zissimos; Shorter, James; Gitler, Aaron D.

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons. Mutations in related RNA-binding proteins TDP-43, FUS/TLS and TAF15 have been connected to ALS. These three proteins share several features, including the presence of a bioinformatics-predicted prion domain, aggregation–prone nature in vitro and in vivo and toxic effects when expressed in multiple model systems. Given these commonalities, we hypothesized that a related protein, EWSR1 (Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1), might also exhibit similar properties and therefore could contribute to disease. Here, we report an analysis of EWSR1 in multiple functional assays, including mutational screening in ALS patients and controls. We identified three missense variants in EWSR1 in ALS patients, which were absent in a large number of healthy control individuals. We show that disease-specific variants affect EWSR1 localization in motor neurons. We also provide multiple independent lines of in vitro and in vivo evidence that EWSR1 has similar properties as TDP-43, FUS and TAF15, including aggregation–prone behavior in vitro and ability to confer neurodegeneration in Drosophila. Postmortem analysis of sporadic ALS cases also revealed cytoplasmic mislocalization of EWSR1. Together, our studies highlight a potential role for EWSR1 in ALS, provide a collection of functional assays to be used to assess roles of additional RNA-binding proteins in disease and support an emerging concept that a class of aggregation–prone RNA-binding proteins might contribute broadly to ALS and related neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22454397

  3. Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation transcriptome alterations in human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis spinal cord and blood.

    PubMed

    Ladd, Amy C; Keeney, Paula M; Govind, Maria M; Bennett, James P

    2014-12-01

    Origins of onset and progression of motor neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are not clearly known, but may include impairment of mitochondrial bioenergetics. We used quantitative PCR approaches to analyze the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) transcriptomes of spinal cord tissue and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from persons with sporadic ALS compared with those without neurological disease. Expression measurements of 88 different nuclear (n) and mitochondrial (mt) DNA-encoded OXPHOS genes showed mtDNA-encoded respiratory gene expression was significantly decreased in ALS spinal cord by 78-84% (ANOVA p < 0.002). We observed the same phenomenon in freshly isolated PBMC from ALS patients (reduced 24-35%, ANOVA p < 0.001) and reproduced it in a human neural stem cell model treated with 2',3'-dideoxycytidine (ddC) (reduced 52-78%, ANOVA p < 0.001). nDNA-encoded OXPHOS genes showed heterogeneously and mostly decreased expression in ALS spinal cord tissue. In contrast, ALS PBMC and ddC-treated stem cells showed no significant change in expression of nDNA OXPHOS genes compared with controls. Genes related to mitochondrial biogenesis (PGC-1α, TFAM, ERRα, NRF1, NRF2 and POLG) were queried with inconclusive results. Here, we demonstrate there is a systemic decrease in mtDNA gene expression in ALS central and peripheral tissues that support pursuit of bioenergetic-enhancing therapies. We also identified a combined nDNA and mtDNA gene set (n = 26), downregulated in spinal cord tissue that may be useful as a biomarker in the development of cell-based ALS models. PMID:25081190

  4. Neuropsychological study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia complex in Kii peninsula, Japan

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The Kii peninsula of Japan is one of the foci of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia complex (ALS/PDC) in the world. The purpose of this study is to clarify the neuropsychological features of the patients with ALS/PDC of the Kii peninsula (Kii ALS/PDC). Methods The medical interview was done on 13 patients with Kii ALS/PDC, 12 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, 10 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy, 10 patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and 10 patients with dementia with Lewy bodies. These patients and their carer/spouse were asked to report any history of abulia-apathy, hallucination, personality change and other variety of symptoms. Patients also underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and neuropsychological tests comprising the Mini Mental State Examination, Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrices, verbal fluency, and Paired-Associate Word Learning Test and some of them were assessed with the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB). Results All patients with Kii ALS/PDC had cognitive dysfunction including abulia-apathy, bradyphrenia, hallucination, decrease of extraversion, disorientation, and delayed reaction time. Brain MRI showed atrophy of the frontal and/or temporal lobes, and SPECT revealed a decrease in cerebral blood flow of the frontal and/or temporal lobes in all patients with Kii ALS/PDC. Disorientation, difficulty in word recall, delayed reaction time, and low FAB score were recognized in Kii ALS/PDC patients with cognitive dysfunction. Conclusions The core neuropsychological features of the patients with Kii ALS/PDC were characterized by marked abulia-apathy, bradyphrenia, and hallucination. PMID:25041813

  5. C9orf72 Hexanucleotide Repeat Expansion and Guam Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis–Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex

    PubMed Central

    Dombroski, Beth A.; Galasko, Douglas R.; Mata, Ignacio F.; Zabetian, Cyrus P.; Craig, Ulla-Katrina; Garruto, Ralph M.; Oyanagi, Kiyomitsu; Schellenberg, Gerard D.

    2013-01-01

    Importance High-prevalence foci of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and parkinsonism-dementia complex (PDC) exist in Japanese on the Kii Peninsula of Japan and in the Chamorros of Guam. Clinical and neuropathologic similarities suggest that the disease in these 2 populations may be related. Recent findings showed that some of the Kii Peninsula ALS cases had pathogenic C9orf72 repeat expansions, a genotype that causes ALS in Western populations. Objectives To perform genotyping among Guam residents to determine if the C9orf72 expanded repeat allele contributes to ALS-PDC in this population and to evaluate LRRK2 for mutations in the same population. Design and Setting Case-control series from neurodegenerative disease research programs on Guam that screened residents for ALS, PDC, and dementia. Participants Study participants included 24 with ALS and 22 with PDC and 43 older control subjects with normal cognition ascertained between 1956 and 2006. All but one participant were Chamorro, the indigenous people of Guam. A single individual of white race/ethnicity with ALS was ascertained on Guam during the study. Main Outcomes and Measures Participants were screened for C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat length. Participants with repeat numbers in great excess of 30 were considered to have pathogenic repeat expansions. LRRK2 was screened for point mutations by DNA sequencing. Results We found a single individual with an expanded pathogenic hexanucleotide repeat. This individual of white race/ethnicity with ALS was living on Guam at the time of ascertainment but had been born in the United States. All Chamorro participants with ALS and PDC and control subjects had normal repeats, ranging from 2 to 17 copies. No pathogenic LRRK2 mutations were found. Conclusions and Relevance Unlike participants with ALS from the Kii Peninsula, C9orf72 expansions do not cause ALS-PDC in Chamorros. Likewise, LRRK2 mutations do not cause Guam ALS-PDC. PMID:23588498

  6. Proteomic characterization of lipid raft proteins in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Jianjun; Ström, Anna-Lena; Kilty, Renee; Venkatakrishnan, Priya; White, James; Everson, William V; Smart, Eric J; Zhu, Haining

    2009-06-01

    Familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been linked to mutations in the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene. The mutant SOD1 protein exhibits a toxic gain-of-function that adversely affects the function of neurons. However, the mechanism by which mutant SOD1 initiates ALS is unclear. Lipid rafts are specialized microdomains of the plasma membrane that act as platforms for the organization and interaction of proteins involved in multiple functions, including vesicular trafficking, neurotransmitter signaling, and cytoskeletal rearrangements. In this article, we report a proteomic analysis using a widely used ALS mouse model to identify differences in spinal cord lipid raft proteomes between mice overexpressing wild-type (WT) and G93A mutant SOD1. In total, 413 and 421 proteins were identified in the lipid rafts isolated from WT and G93A mice, respectively. Further quantitative analysis revealed a consortium of proteins with altered levels between the WT and G93A samples. Functional classification of the 67 altered proteins revealed that the three most affected subsets of proteins were involved in: vesicular transport, and neurotransmitter synthesis and release; cytoskeletal organization and linkage to the plasma membrane; and metabolism. Other protein changes were correlated with alterations in: microglia activation and inflammation; astrocyte and oligodendrocyte function; cell signaling; cellular stress response and apoptosis; and neuronal ion channels and neurotransmitter receptor functions. Changes of selected proteins were independently validated by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. The significance of the lipid raft protein changes in motor neuron function and degeneration in ALS is discussed, particularly for proteins involved in vesicular trafficking and neurotransmitter signaling, and the dynamics and regulation of the plasma membrane-anchored cytoskeleton. PMID:19438725

  7. The Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen in a Chinese Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Population

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Shan; Ji, Ying; Li, Chengyu; He, Ji; Liu, Xiaolu; Fan, Dongsheng

    2016-01-01

    Objective 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusion 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. PMID:27195772

  8. Frontal lobe function and behavioral changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a study from Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Wei, QianQian; Chen, XuePing; Zheng, ZhenZhen; Huang, Rui; Guo, XiaoYan; Cao, Bei; Zhao, Bi; Shang, Hui-Fang

    2014-12-01

    Despite growing interest, the frequency and characteristics of frontal lobe functional and behavioral deficits in Chinese people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as their impact on the survival of ALS patients, remain unknown. The Chinese version of the frontal assessment battery (FAB) and frontal behavioral inventory (FBI) were used to evaluate 126 sporadic ALS patients and 50 healthy controls. The prevalence of frontal lobe dysfunction was 32.5%. The most notable impairment domain of the FAB was lexical fluency (30.7%). The binary logistic regression model revealed that an onset age older than 45 years (OR 5.976, P = 0.002) and a lower educational level (OR 0.858, P = 0.002) were potential determinants of an abnormal FAB. Based on the FBI score, 46.0% of patients showed varied degrees of frontal behavioral changes. The most common impaired neurobehavioral domains were irritability (25.4%), logopenia (20.6%) and apathy (19.0%). The binary logistic regression model revealed that the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised scale score (OR 0.127, P = 0.001) was a potential determinant of an abnormal FBI. Frontal functional impairment and the severity of frontal behavioral changes were not associated with the survival status or the progression of ALS by the cox proportional hazard model and multivariate regression analyses, respectively. Frontal lobe dysfunction and frontal behavioral changes are common in Chinese ALS patients. Frontal lobe dysfunction may be related to the onset age and educational level. The severity of frontal behavioral changes may be associated with the ALSFRS-R. However, the frontal functional impairment and the frontal behavioral changes do not worsen the progression or survival of ALS. PMID:25249295

  9. LRP4 antibodies in serum and CSF from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients

    PubMed Central

    Tzartos, John S; Zisimopoulou, Paraskevi; Rentzos, Michael; Karandreas, Nikos; Zouvelou, Vasiliki; Evangelakou, Panagiota; Tsonis, Anastasios; Thomaidis, Thomas; Lauria, Giuseppe; Andreetta, Francesca; Mantegazza, Renato; Tzartos, Socrates J

    2014-01-01

    Objective Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and myasthenia gravis (MG) are caused, respectively, by motor neuron degeneration and neuromuscular junction (NMJ) dysfunction. The membrane protein LRP4 is crucial in the development and function of motor neurons and NMJs and LRP4 autoantibodies have been recently detected in some MG patients. Because of the critical role in motor neuron function we searched for LRP4 antibodies in ALS patients. Methods We developed a cell-based assay and a radioimmunoassay and with these we studied the sera from 104 ALS patients. Results LRP4 autoantibodies were detected in sera from 24/104 (23.4%) ALS patients from Greece (12/51) and Italy (12/53), but only in 5/138 (3.6%) sera from patients with other neurological diseases and 0/40 sera from healthy controls. The presence of LRP4 autoantibodies in five of six tested patients was persistent for at least 10 months. Cerebrospinal fluid samples from six of seven tested LRP4 antibody-seropositive ALS patients were also positive. No autoantibodies to other MG autoantigens (AChR and MuSK) were detected in ALS patients. No differences in clinical pattern were seen between ALS patients with or without LRP4 antibodies. Conclusions We infer that LRP4 autoantibodies are involved in patients with neurological manifestations affecting LRP4-containing tissues and are found more frequently in ALS patients than MG patients. LRP4 antibodies may have a direct pathogenic activity in ALS by participating in the denervation process. PMID:25356387

  10. Electrical impedance myography to assess outcome in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clinical trials

    PubMed Central

    Rutkove, Seward B.; Zhang, Hui; Schoenfeld, David A.; Raynor, Elizabeth M.; Shefner, Jeremy M.; Cudkowicz, Merit E.; Chin, Anne B.; Aaron, Ronald; Shiffman, Carl A.

    2007-01-01

    Objective Standard outcome measures used for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) clinical trials, including the ALS Functional Rating Scale-revised (ALSFRS-R), maximal voluntary isometric contraction testing (MVICT), and manual muscle testing (MMT) are limited in their ability to detect subtle disease progression. Electrical impedance myography (EIM) is a new non-invasive technique that provides quantitative data on muscle health by measuring localized tissue impedance. This study investigates whether EIM could provide a new outcome measure for use in ALS clinical trials work. Methods Fifteen ALS patients underwent repeated EIM measurements of one or more muscles over a period of up to 18 months and the primary outcome variable, θz-max, measured. The θz-max megascore was then calculated using the same approach as has been applied in the past for MVICT. This and the MMT data were then used to assess each measure’s statistical power to detect a given effect on disease progression in a hypothetical planned clinical therapeutic trial. Results θz-max showed a mean decline of about 21% for the test period, averaged across all patients and all tested muscles. The θz-max megascore had a power of 73% to detect a 10% treatment effect in our planned hypothetical trial, as compared to a 28% power for MMT. These results also compared favorably to historical data for ALSFRS-R and MVICT arm megascore from the trial of celecoxib in ALS, where both measures had only a 23% power to detect the same 10% treatment effect. Conclusions The θz-max megascore may provide a powerful new outcome measure for ALS clinical trials. Significance The application of EIM to future ALS trials may allow for smaller, faster studies with an improved ability to detect subtle treatment effects. PMID:17897874

  11. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: An update for 2013 Clinical Features, Pathophysiology, Management and Therapeutic Trials.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Paul H

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), first described by Jean-Martin Charcot in the 1870s, is an age-related disorder that leads to degeneration of motor neurons. The disease begins focally in the central nervous system and then spreads relentlessly. The clinical diagnosis, defined by progressive signs and symptoms of upper and lower motor neuron dysfunction, is confirmed by electromyography. Additional testing excludes other conditions. The disease is heterogeneous, but most patients die of respiratory muscle weakness less than 3 years from symptom-onset. Like other age-related neurodegenerative diseases, ALS has genetic and environmental triggers. Of the five to 10% of cases that are inherited, mutations have been discovered for a high proportion. In addition to genetic factors, age, tobacco use, and athleticism may contribute to sporadic ALS, but important etiologies are unidentified for most patients. Complex pathophysiological processes, including mitochondrial dysfunction, aggregation of misfolded protein, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, inflammation and apoptosis, involve both motor neurons and surrounding glial cells. There is clinical and pathological overlap with other neurodegenerative diseases, particularly frontotemporal dementia. The mechanisms leading to disease propagation in the brain are a current focus of research. To date, one medication, riluzole, licensed in 1996, has been proved to prolong survival in ALS. Numerous clinical trials have so far been unable to identify another neuroprotective agent. Researchers now aim to slow disease progression by targeting known pathophysiological pathways or genetic defects. Current approaches are directed at muscle proteins such as Nogo, energetic balance, cell replacement, and abnormal gene products resulting from mutations. Until better understanding of the causes and mechanisms underlying progression lead to more robust neuroprotective agents, symptomatic therapies can extend life and improve quality of

  12. Increased Axonal Ribosome Numbers Is an Early Event in the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Verheijen, Mark H. G.; Peviani, Marco; Hendricusdottir, Rita; Bell, Erin M.; Lammens, Martin; Smit, August B.; Bendotti, Caterina; van Minnen, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Myelinating glia cells support axon survival and functions through mechanisms independent of myelination, and their dysfunction leads to axonal degeneration in several diseases. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal motor neurons undergo retrograde degeneration, and slowing of axonal transport is an early event that in ALS mutant mice occurs well before motor neuron degeneration. Interestingly, in familial forms of ALS, Schwann cells have been proposed to slow disease progression. We demonstrated previously that Schwann cells transfer polyribosomes to diseased and regenerating axons, a possible rescue mechanism for disease-induced reductions in axonal proteins. Here, we investigated whether elevated levels of axonal ribosomes are also found in ALS, by analysis of a superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1)G93A mouse model for human familial ALS and a patient suffering from sporadic ALS. In both cases, we found that the disorder was associated with an increase in the population of axonal ribosomes in myelinated axons. Importantly, in SOD1G93A mice, the appearance of axonal ribosomes preceded the manifestation of behavioral symptoms, indicating that upregulation of axonal ribosomes occurs early in the pathogenesis of ALS. In line with our previous studies, electron microscopy analysis showed that Schwann cells might serve as a source of axonal ribosomes in the disease-compromised axons. The early appearance of axonal ribosomes indicates an involvement of Schwann cells early in ALS neuropathology, and may serve as an early marker for disease-affected axons, not only in ALS, but also for other central and peripheral neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24498056

  13. 3T MR Spectroscopy Reveals an Imbalance between Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurotransmitters in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Foerster, Bradley R.; Pomper, Martin G.; Callaghan, Brian C.; Petrou, Myria; Edden, Richard A.E.; Mohamed, Mona A.; Welsh, Robert C.; Carlos, Ruth C.; Barker, Peter B.; Feldman, Eva L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine whether there are reductions in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and elevations of glutamate + glutamine (Glx) levels in different brain regions of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). Design 3T short echo time and GABA-edited 1H-MRS centered on the left motor cortex and left subcortical white matter. Short echo time 1H-MRS was also performed centered on the pons. Data were analyzed using logistic regression, t-tests, and Pearson correlations. Post hoc analyses were performed to investigate differences between riluzole-naïve and riluzole-treated ALS patients. Participants Twenty-nine ALS patients and thirty age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs). Results ALS patients had significantly lower levels of GABA in the motor cortex compared to HCs (P<.01). ALS patients also had significantly lower levels of N-acetylaspartate in the motor cortex (P<.01), subcortical white matter (P<.05), and pons (P<.01) and higher levels of myo-inositol in the motor cortex (P<.001) and subcortical white matter (P<.01) compared to HCs. Compared to riluzole-treated ALS patients, riluzole-naïve ALS patients had higher levels of Glx in the motor cortex (P<.05) and pons (P<.01), higher levels of creatine in the motor cortex (P<.001) and subcortical white matter (P=.05), and higher levels of N-acetylaspartate in the motor cortex (P<.01). Conclusion There are reduced levels of GABA in the motor cortex of ALS patients. There are elevations of Glx in riluzole-naïve ALS patients compared to ALS riluzole-treated patients. These results point to an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, contributing to the pathogenesis of ALS. PMID:23797905

  14. Different Occupations Associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Is Diesel Exhaust the Link?

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24244728

  15. Endplate denervation correlates with Nogo-A muscle expression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients

    PubMed Central

    Bruneteau, Gaëlle; Bauché, Stéphanie; Gonzalez de Aguilar, Jose Luis; Brochier, Guy; Mandjee, Nathalie; Tanguy, Marie-Laure; Hussain, Ghulam; Behin, Anthony; Khiami, Frédéric; Sariali, Elhadi; Hell-Remy, Caroline; Salachas, François; Pradat, Pierre-François; Lacomblez, Lucette; Nicole, Sophie; Fontaine, Bertrand; Fardeau, Michel; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; Meininger, Vincent; Fournier, Emmanuel; Koenig, Jeanine; Hantaï, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Objective Data from mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) suggest early morphological changes in neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), with loss of nerve–muscle contact. Overexpression of the neurite outgrowth inhibitor Nogo-A in muscle may play a role in this loss of endplate innervation. Methods We used confocal and electron microscopy to study the structure of the NMJs in muscle samples collected from nine ALS patients (five early-stage patients and four long-term survivors). We correlated the morphological results with clinical and electrophysiological data, and with Nogo-A muscle expression level. Results Surface electromyography assessment of neuromuscular transmission was abnormal in 3/9 ALS patients. The postsynaptic apparatus was morphologically altered for almost all NMJs (n = 430) analyzed using confocal microscopy. 19.7% of the NMJs were completely denervated (fragmented synaptic gutters and absence of nerve terminal profile). The terminal axonal arborization was usually sparsely branched and 56.8% of innervated NMJs showed a typical reinnervation pattern. Terminal Schwann cell (TSC) morphology was altered with extensive cytoplasmic processes. A marked intrusion of TSCs in the synaptic cleft was seen in some cases, strikingly reducing the synaptic surface available for neuromuscular transmission. Finally, high-level expression of Nogo-A in muscle was significantly associated with higher extent of NMJ denervation and negative functional outcome. Interpretation Our results support the hypothesis that morphological alterations of NMJs are present from early-stage disease and may significantly contribute to functional motor impairment in ALS patients. Muscle expression of Nogo-A is associated with NMJ denervation and thus constitutes a therapeutic target to slow disease progression. PMID:25909082

  16. Soluble Beta-Amyloid Precursor Protein Is Related to Disease Progression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Steinacker, Petra; Fang, Lubin; Kuhle, Jens; Petzold, Axel; Tumani, Hayrettin; Ludolph, Albert C.; Otto, Markus; Brettschneider, Johannes

    2011-01-01

    Background Biomarkers of disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) could support the identification of beneficial drugs in clinical trials. We aimed to test whether soluble fragments of beta-amyloid precursor protein (sAPPα and sAPPß) correlated with clinical subtypes of ALS and were of prognostic value. Methodology/Principal Findings In a cross-sectional study including patients with ALS (N = 68) with clinical follow-up data over 6 months, Parkinson's disease (PD, N = 20), and age-matched controls (N = 40), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of sAPPα a, sAPPß and neurofilaments (NfHSMI35) were measured by multiplex assay, Progranulin by ELISA. CSF sAPPα and sAPPß levels were lower in ALS with a rapidly-progressive disease course (p = 0.03, and p = 0.02) and with longer disease duration (p = 0.01 and p = 0.01, respectively). CSF NfHSMI35 was elevated in ALS compared to PD and controls, with highest concentrations found in patients with rapid disease progression (p<0.01). High CSF NfHSMI3 was linked to low CSF sAPPα and sAPPß (p = 0.001, and p = 0.007, respectively). The ratios CSF NfHSMI35/CSF sAPPα,-ß were elevated in patients with fast progression of disease (p = 0.002 each). CSF Progranulin decreased with ongoing disease (p = 0.04). Conclusions This study provides new CSF candidate markers associated with progression of disease in ALS. The data suggest that a deficiency of cellular neuroprotective mechanisms (decrease of sAPP) is linked to progressive neuro-axonal damage (increase of NfHSMI35) and to progression of disease. PMID:21858182

  17. Enhancement of single motor unit inhibitory responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Schmied, Annie; Attarian, Shahram

    2008-08-01

    In healthy human subjects, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied to the motor cortex induces concurrent inhibitory and excitatory effects on motoneurone activity. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease affecting both cortical and spinal motor neurons, paired-pulse studies based on electromyographic (EMG) recording have revealed a decrease in TMS-induced inhibition. This suggested that inhibition loss may promote excito-toxicity in this disease. Against this hypothesis, an abnormally high incidence of inhibitory responses to TMS has been observed in the peristimulus time histograms (PSTHs) in ALS single motor unit studies. The disappearance of cortico-motoneuronal excitatory inputs might, however, have facilitated the detection of single motor unit inhibitory responses in the PSTHs. This question was addressed here using a new approach, where the strength of the excitatory and inhibitory effects of TMS on motoneurone activity was assessed from the duration of inter-spike intervals (ISIs). This analysis was conducted on single motor unit (MU), tested on healthy subjects and patients with ALS or Kennedy's disease (KD), a motor neuron disease which unlike ALS, spares the cortico-spinal pathway. MUs tested on KD patients behaved like those of healthy subjects unlike those tested on ALS patients. The present data reveal that in ALS, the TMS-induced inhibitory effects are truly enhanced during voluntary contractions and not reduced, as observed in paired-pulse TMS studies under resting conditions. The possible contribution of inhibitory loss to the physiopathology of ALS therefore needs to be reconsidered. The present data do not support the idea that inhibition loss may underlie excito-toxicity in ALS. PMID:18496679

  18. Differences in F-Wave Characteristics between Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Jia; Cui, Liying; Liu, Mingsheng; Guan, Yuzhou; Li, Xiaoguang; Li, Dawei; Cui, Bo; Shen, Dongchao; Ding, Qingyun

    2016-01-01

    There is limited data on the differences in F-wave characteristics between spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) and lower motor neuron dominant (LMND) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We compared the parameters of F-waves recorded bilaterally from the median, ulnar, tibial, and deep peroneal nerves in 32 SBMA patients, 37 patients with LMND ALS, and 30 normal controls. The maximum F-wave amplitudes, frequencies of giant F-waves, and frequencies of patients with giant F-waves in all nerves examined were significantly higher in the SBMA patients than in the ALS patients and the normal controls. The mean F-wave amplitude, maximum F-wave amplitude, frequency of giant F-waves, and frequency of patients with giant F-waves in the median and deep peroneal nerves were comparable between the ALS patients and normal controls. Giant F-waves were detected in multiple nerves and were often symmetrical in the SBMA patients compared with the ALS patients. The number of nerves with giant F-waves seems to be the most robust variable for differentiation of SBMA from ALS, with an area under the curve of 0.908 (95% CI: 0.835–0.982). A cut-off value of the number of nerves with giant F-waves (≥3) for diagnosing SBMA showed high sensitivity and specificity: 85% sensitivity and 81% specificity vs. ALS patients. No significant correlations were found between the pooled frequency of giant F-waves and disease duration in the SBMA (r = 0.162, P = 0.418) or ALS groups (r = 0.107, P = 0.529). Our findings suggested that F-waves might be used to discriminate SBMA from ALS, even at early stages of disease. PMID:27014057

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and some mimic disorders, such as distal-type cervical spondylotic amyotrophy (CSA), Hirayama disease (HD), and spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) may present with intrinsic hand muscle atrophy. This study aimed to investigate different patterns of small hand muscle involvement in ALS and some mimic disorders. Methods: We compared the abductor digiti minimi/abductor pollicis brevis (ADM/APB) compound muscle action potential (CMAP) ratios between 200 ALS patients, 95 patients with distal-type CSA, 88 HD patients, 43 SBMA patients, and 150 normal controls. Results: The ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio was significantly higher in the ALS patients (P < 0.001) than that in the normal controls. The ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio was significantly reduced in the patients with distal-type CSA (P < 0.001) and the HD patients (P < 0.001) compared with that in the normal controls. The patients with distal-type CSA had significantly lower APB CMAP amplitude than the HD patients (P = 0.004). The ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio was significantly lower in the HD patients (P < 0.001) than that in the patients with distal-type CSA. The ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio of the SBMA patients was similar to that of the normal controls (P = 0.862). An absent APB CMAP and an abnormally high ADM/APB CMAP amplitude ratio (≥4.5) were observed exclusively in the ALS patients. Conclusions: The different patterns of small hand muscle atrophy between the ALS patients and the patients with mimic disorders presumably reflect distinct pathophysiological mechanisms underlying different disorders, and may aid in distinguishing between ALS and mimic disorders. PMID:26996473

  20. Differences in Dysfunction of Thenar and Hypothenar Motoneurons in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Jia; Cui, Liying; Liu, Mingsheng; Guan, Yuzhou; Li, Xiaoguang; Li, Dawei; Cui, Bo; Shen, Dongchao; Ding, Qingyun

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to determine differences in spinal motoneuron dysfunction between the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and the abductor digiti minimi (ADM) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients based on studying F-waves. Forty ALS patients and 20 normal controls (NCs) underwent motor nerve conduction studies on both median and ulnar nerves, including F-waves elicited by 100 electrical stimuli. The F-wave persistence (P < 0.05), index repeating neuron (RN; P < 0.001), and index repeater F-waves (Freps; P < 0.001) significantly differed between the APB and the ADM in the NC participants. For the hands of the ALS patients that lacked detectable wasting or weakness and exhibited either no or mild impairment of discrete finger movements, significantly reduced F-wave persistence (P < 0.001), increased index RN (P < 0.001), and increased index Freps (P < 0.001) were observed in APB in comparison with the normal participants, with relatively normal ADM F-wave parameters. For the hands of ALS patients that exhibited wasting and weakness, the mean F-wave amplitude (P < 0.05), the F/M amplitude ratio (P < 0.05), F-wave persistence (P < 0.001), index RN (P < 0.05), and index Freps (P < 0.05) significantly differed between APB and ADM. The differences in the dysfunction of motoneurons innervating APB and ADM are unique manifestations in ALS patients. The F-wave persistence (P = 0.002), index RN (P < 0.001), and index Freps (P < 0.001) in the APB seemed to differentiate ALS from the NCs more robustly than the ADM/APB Compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude ratio. Thus, F-waves may reveal subclinical alterations in anterior horn cells, and may potentially help to distinguish ALS from mimic disorders. PMID:27014030

  1. Cognition and eating behavior in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: effect on survival.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, R M; Caga, J; Devenney, E; Hsieh, S; Bartley, L; Highton-Williamson, E; Ramsey, E; Zoing, M; Halliday, G M; Piguet, O; Hodges, J R; Kiernan, M C

    2016-08-01

    It is increasingly recognized that metabolic factors influenced by eating behavior, may affect disease progression in neurodegeneration. In frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which shares a significant overlap with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), patients are well known to develop changes in eating behavior. Whether patients with pure ALS and those with cognitive and behavioral changes associated with ALS also develop similar changes is not known. The current study aimed to examine caloric intake, eating behavioral changes, body mass index, and using cox regression analyses survival across the spectrum of 118 ALS-FTD patients (29 pure ALS, 12 ALS-plus and 21 ALS-FTD, 56 behavioral variant FTD), compared with 25 control subjects. The current study found contrary to previous assumptions eating changes are not restricted to FTD, but a spectrum of eating behavioral changes occur in ALS, present in those with pure ALS and worsening as patients develop cognitive changes. ALS patients with cognitive impairment exhibited changes in food preference, with caloric intake and BMI increasing with the development of cognitive/behavioral changes. Both pure ALS and those with cognitive impairment demonstrated increased saturated fat intake. Survival analyses over the mean patient follow-up period of 6.9 years indicated that increasing eating behavioral changes were associated with an improved survival (threefold decrease risk of dying). Changes in eating behavior and metabolism occur in ALS in association with increasing cognitive impairment, perhaps exerting a protective survival influence. These changes provide insights into the common neural networks controlling eating and metabolism in FTD and ALS and provide potential targets to modify disease prognosis and progression. PMID:27260291

  2. Military Service and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in a Population-based Cohort

    PubMed Central

    Cudkowicz, Merit E.; Johnson, Norman

    2015-01-01

    Background: Military service has been suggested to be associated with an increased risk of amyotrophic lateral