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Sample records for advanced amyotrophic lateral

  1. 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;…

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Optineurin and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Hirofumi; Kawakami, Hideshi

    2013-07-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  11. 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

  12. The 'Omics' of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Caballero-Hernandez, Diana; Toscano, Miguel G; Cejudo-Guillen, Marta; Garcia-Martin, Maria L; Lopez, Soledad; Franco, Jaime M; Quintana, Francisco J; Roodveldt, Cintia; Pozo, David

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects motor neurons and is accompanied by sustained unregulated immune responses, but without clear indications of the ultimate causative mechanisms. The identification of a diverse array of ALS phenotypes, a series of recently discovered mutations, and the links between ALS and frontotemporal degeneration have significantly increased our knowledge of the disease. In this review we discuss the main features involved in ALS pathophysiology in the context of recent advances in 'omics' approaches, including genomics, proteomics, and others. We emphasize the pressing need to combine clinical imaging with various different parameters taken from omics fields to facilitate early, accurate diagnosis and rational drug design in the treatment of ALS.

  13. 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.

  14. A perspective on stem cell modeling of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    de Boer, A Sophie; Eggan, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a complex neurodegenerative disease. Limitations in animal models have impeded progress in studying disease pathology and potential drug discovery. Here, we will review recent advances in the development of stem cell models for the study of ALS. Additionally, we will discuss the progress toward therapeutic development derived from these stem cell based assays.

  15. Mitochondrial dysfunction in blood cells from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Ehinger, Johannes K; Morota, Saori; Hansson, Magnus J; Paul, Gesine; Elmér, Eskil

    2015-06-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, where the progressive degeneration of motor neurons results in muscle atrophy, paralysis and death. Abnormalities in both central nervous system and muscle mitochondria have previously been demonstrated in patient samples, indicating systemic disease. In this case-control study, venous blood samples were acquired from 24 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and 21 age-matched controls. Platelets and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and mitochondrial oxygen consumption measured in intact and permeabilized cells with additions of mitochondrial substrates, inhibitors and titration of an uncoupler. Respiratory values were normalized to cell count and for two markers of cellular mitochondrial content, citrate synthase activity and mitochondrial DNA, respectively. Mitochondrial function was correlated with clinical staging of disease severity. Complex IV (cytochrome c-oxidase)-activity normalized to mitochondrial content was decreased in platelets from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients both when normalized to citrate synthase activity and mitochondrial DNA copy number. In mononuclear cells, complex IV-activity was decreased when normalized to citrate synthase activity. Mitochondrial content was increased in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient platelets. In mononuclear cells, complex I activity declined and mitochondrial content increased progressively with advancing disease stage. The findings are, however, based on small subsets of patients and need to be confirmed. We conclude that when normalized to mitochondria-specific content, complex IV-activity is reduced in blood cells from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and that there is an apparent compensatory increase in cellular mitochondrial content. This supports systemic involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and suggests further study of mitochondrial function in blood cells as a future biomarker for the

  16. Lou Gehrig and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Is vitamin E to be revisited?

    PubMed

    Reider, C R; Paulson, G W

    1997-05-01

    Investigators are beginning to reexamine the use of vitamin E for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Vitamin E was isolated in the 1920s, and the results of animal studies led rapidly to clinical use. Regrettably, vitamin E did not ameliorate the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for Lou Gehrig, but more recent advances may identify subpopulations that do respond to vitamin E.

  17. 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

  18. Semantic deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Felicity V C; Hsieh, Sharpley; Caga, Jashelle; Savage, Sharon A; Mioshi, Eneida; Hornberger, Michael; Kiernan, Matthew C; Hodges, John R; Burrell, James R

    2015-03-01

    Our objective was to investigate, and establish neuroanatomical correlates of, semantic deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD), compared to semantic dementia (SD) and controls. Semantic deficits were evaluated using a naming and semantic knowledge composite score, comprising verbal and non-verbal neuropsychological measures of single-word processing (confrontational naming, comprehension, and semantic association) from the Sydney Language Battery (SYDBAT) and Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination - Revised (ACE-R). Voxel based morphometry (VBM) analysis was conducted using the region of interest approach. In total, 84 participants were recruited from a multidisciplinary research clinic in Sydney. Participants included 17 patients with ALS, 19 with ALS-FTD, 22 with SD and 26 age- and education-matched healthy controls. Significant semantic deficits were observed in ALS and ALS-FTD compared to controls. The severity of semantic deficits varied across the clinical phenotypes: ALS patients were less impaired than ALS-FTD patients, who in turn were not as impaired as SD patients. Anterior temporal lobe atrophy significantly correlated with semantic deficits. In conclusion, semantic impairment is a feature of ALS and ALS-FTD, and reflects the severity of temporal lobe pathology.

  19. 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

  20. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease progression model.

    PubMed

    Gomeni, Roberto; Fava, Maurizio

    2014-03-01

    Our objective was to develop: 1) a longitudinal model to describe amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease progression using the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R); and 2) a probabilistic model to estimate the presence of clusters of trajectories in ALS progression over 12 months of treatment. Three hundred and thirty-eight patients treated with placebo from the PRO-ACT database were included in the analyses. A non-linear Weibull model best described the ALS disease progression, and a stepwise logistic regression approach was used to select the variables predicting a slow or fast disease progression. Results identified two clusters of trajectories: 1) slow disease progressors (46% of patients with a change from baseline of 13%); 2) fast disease progressors (54% of patients with a change from baseline of 49%). ROC curve analysis estimated the optimal cut-off for classifying patients as slow or fast disease progressors given ALSFRS-R measurements at 2-4 weeks. Results showed that the degree of ALS disease progression quantified by the ALSFRS-R symptomatic change on placebo is highly heterogeneous. In conclusion, this finding indicates the potential interest of disease progression models for implementing a population enrichment strategy to control the level of heterogeneity in the patients included in new trials.

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

    PubMed

    Paganoni, Sabrina; Wills, Anne-Marie

    2013-08-01

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

  2. Hyperimmune goat serum for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Mackenzie, R; Kiernan, M; McKenzie, D; Youl, B D

    2006-12-01

    The authors report a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who showed a lessening of deterioration in respiratory muscle strength during treatment with hyperimmune goat serum (HGS) (Aimspro). Respiratory function tests (RFTs) were measured by established protocols, and all measurements were expressed as a percentage of normal predicted values. The rate of decline was calculated by linear regression analysis. Respiratory muscle strength decline was less during 13 months of treatment with HGS (mean 1.3% per month, range 0.8-1.7%) compared to the preceding 13 months (mean 2.3% per month, range 1.2-3.1%), while a greater decline would be expected with disease progression. Comparison with similarly affected patients in the literature suggest that a decline of 4-5% per month of predicted values may be expected during the treatment phase.

  3. Electrodiagnosis in persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Nanette C; Carter, Gregory T

    2013-05-01

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

  4. Motoneuron firing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

    PubMed Central

    de Carvalho, Mamede; Eisen, Andrew; Krieger, Charles; Swash, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is an inexorably progressive neurodegenerative disorder involving the classical motor system and the frontal effector brain, causing muscular weakness and atrophy, with variable upper motor neuron signs and often an associated fronto-temporal dementia. The physiological disturbance consequent on the motor system degeneration is beginning to be well understood. In this review we describe aspects of the motor cortical, neuronal, and lower motor neuron dysfunction. We show how studies of the changes in the pattern of motor unit firing help delineate the underlying pathophysiological disturbance as the disease progresses. Such studies are beginning to illuminate the underlying disordered pathophysiological processes in the disease, and are important in designing new approaches to therapy and especially for clinical trials. PMID:25294995

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Magnetic resonance imaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kollewe, Katja; Körner, Sonja; Dengler, Reinhard; Petri, Susanne; Mohammadi, Bahram

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disorder which is incurable to date. As there are many ongoing studies with therapeutic candidates, it is of major interest to develop biomarkers not only to facilitate early diagnosis but also as a monitoring tool to predict disease progression and to enable correct randomization of patients in clinical trials. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has made substantial progress over the last three decades and is a practical, noninvasive method to gain insights into the pathology of the disease. Disease-specific MRI changes therefore represent potential biomarkers for ALS. In this paper we give an overview of structural and functional MRI alterations in ALS with the focus on task-free resting-state investigations to detect cortical network failures. PMID:22848820

  9. Mitochondrial dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - a valid pharmacological target?

    PubMed

    Muyderman, H; Chen, T

    2014-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective death of upper and lower motor neurons which ultimately leads to paralysis and ultimately death. Pathological changes in ALS are closely associated with pronounced and progressive changes in mitochondrial morphology, bioenergetics and calcium homeostasis. Converging evidence suggests that impaired mitochondrial function could be pivotal in the rapid neurodegeneration of this condition. In this review, we provide an update of recent advances in understanding mitochondrial biology in the pathogenesis of ALS and highlight the therapeutic value of pharmacologically targeting mitochondrial biology to slow disease progression.

  10. Radiotherapy reduces sialorrhea in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Neppelberg, E; Haugen, D F; Thorsen, L; Tysnes, O-B

    2007-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Sialorrhea is a frequent problem in ALS patients with bulbar symptoms, because of progressive weakness of oral, lingual and pharyngeal muscles. This prospective study aimed to investigate the putative effect of palliative single-dose radiotherapy on problematic sialorrhea in patients with ALS. Twenty patients with ALS and problematic drooling were included; 14 were given radiotherapy with a single fraction of 7.5 Grey (Gy). Five patients were treated with botulinum toxin A (BTX-A) injections (20 U) into the parotid glands; two of these were later given radiotherapy. Symptom assessment, clinical examination and measurements of salivary flow (ml/min) were performed before and after treatment (1-2 weeks, 3 months). Salivary secretion was significantly reduced after radiation treatment, with a mean reduction of 60% (1 week) and 51% (2 weeks). Three months post-treatment, 21% reduction of the salivary secretion was observed compared with salivation before treatment. Mean salivary flow was not reduced after BTX-A treatment in five patients. No serious side-effects were observed with either of the two treatment modalities. Single-dose radiotherapy (7.5 Gy) significantly reduces sialorrhea and is an effective and safe palliative treatment in patients with ALS.

  11. Impaired Cognitive Flexibility in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Jessica; Olm, Christopher; McCluskey, Leo; Elman, Lauren; Boller, Ashley; Moran, Eileen; Rascovsky, Katya; Bisbing, Teagan; McMillan, Corey T.; Grossman, Murray

    2014-01-01

    Objective Up to half of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may have cognitive difficulty, but most cognitive measures are confounded by a motor component. Rare studies have related impaired cognition in ALS to disease in gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM). We evaluated a simple, untimed measure of executive functioning with minimal motor demands in ALS, and relate performance to structural disease. Methods Fifty-six patients with ALS and 29 matched healthy controls were assessed with the Visual-Verbal Test (VVT). This brief measure of cognitive flexibility first assesses an individual's ability to identify a shared feature in three of four simple geometric designs. Cognitive flexibility is challenged when individuals are next asked to identify a different shared feature in another three of the same four geometric designs. Regression analyses related performance to GM atrophy and reduced WM fractional anisotropy (FA) in a subset of patients. Results ALS patients were significantly impaired on this simple measure of cognitive flexibility (p<0.01). An error in cognitive flexibility was present in 48.2% of individual ALS patients. Regression analyses related impaired cognitive flexibility to GM atrophy in inferior frontal and insula regions, and to reduced FA in WM projections in inferior frontal-occipital and uncinate fasciculi and corpus callosum. Conclusion Patients with ALS have impaired cognitive flexibility on an untimed measure with minimal motor demands, and this is related in part to a large-scale frontal network that is degraded in ALS. PMID:25812127

  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. Narrative discourse deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. [Restorative therapy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Aoki, Masashi

    2012-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the death of upper and lower motor neurons. About 10% of all ALS cases are familial; approximately 20% of familial ALS cases are caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene. We developed rats that express a human SOD1 transgene with ALS-associated mutations, developing 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 and the spinal cord. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is one of the most potent survival-promoting factors for motor neurons. We administered human recombinant HGF (hrHGF) by continuous intrathecal delivery to the transgenic rats at the onset of paralysis for 4 weeks. Intrathecal administration of hrHGF attenuated motor neuron degeneration and prolonged the duration of the disease by 63%. To translate this strategy to human treatment, 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 results prompted further clinical trials in ALS using continuous intrathecal administration of hrHGF. PMID:23373317

  15. Emotional Perception Deficits in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Zimmerman BA, Erin K.; Eslinger PhD, Paul J.; MD, Zachary Simmons; Barrett MD, Anna M.

    2007-01-01

    Objective Cognitive deficits associated with frontal lobe dysfunction can occur in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), particularly in individuals with bulbar ALS who can also suffer pathological emotional lability. Since frontal pathophysiology can alter emotional perception, we examined whether emotional perception deficits occur in ALS, and whether they are related to depressive or dementia symptoms. Methods Bulbar ALS participants (n = 13) and age-matched healthy normal controls (n = 12) completed standardized tests of facial and prosodic emotional recognition, the Geriatric Depression Scale, and the Mini-Mental State Examination. Participants identified the basic emotion (happy, sad, angry, afraid, surprised, disgusted) that matched 39 facial expressions and 28 taped, semantically neutral, intoned sentences. Results ALS patients performed significantly worse than controls on facial emotional recognition but not on prosodic emotional recognition. Eight of 13 patients (62%) scored below the 95% Confidence Interval of controls in recognizing facial emotions, and 3 of these patients (23% overall) also scored lower in prosody recognition. Among the 8 patients with emotional perceptual impairment, one-half did not have depressive, or memory or cognitive symptoms on screening, while the remainder showed dementia symptoms alone or together with depressive symptoms. Conclusions Emotional recognition deficits occur in bulbar ALS, particularly with emotional facial expressions, and can arise independent of depressive and dementia symptoms or co-morbid with depression and dementia. These findings expands the scope of cognitive dysfunction detected in ALS, and bolsters the view of ALS as a multisystem disorder involving cognitive as well as motor deficits. PMID:17558250

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The epidemiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common motor neuron disease in adults and is characterized by neurodegeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The incidence of ALS is approximately 1-2.6 cases per 100 000 persons annually, whereas the prevalence is approximately 6 cases per 100 000. The average age of onset of ALS is currently 58-60 years and the average survival from onset to death is 3-4 years. Between October 19, 2010 and December 31, 2011, there were an estimated 12 187 prevalent cases diagnosed with definite ALS in the USA alone. Sporadic ALS (90-95%) constitutes the large majority of cases, while the remaining 5-10% are hereditary and termed familial ALS. Sporadic ALS is suspected to involve genetic susceptibility to environmental risk factors. The purpose of this review is to present a clinical overview of ALS and provide an epidemiologic summary of personal and environmental risk factors shown to be related to the risk of disease. A discussion of the most recent research initiatives is also included. PMID:27637961

  20. 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

  1. Decisional Capacity in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Khin Khin, Eindra; Minor, Darlinda; Holloway, Amanda; Pelleg, Ayla

    2015-06-01

    The cognitive and behavioral changes that can be observed in the neurodegenerative terminal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), once characterized as purely a motor neuron disease, have become increasingly recognized over the past century. Detecting cognitive deficits earlier and identifying continued changes at regular intervals can lead to improved care, proactive treatments, and earlier discussions about end-of-life wishes. Although medical decisional capacity is required for every treatment decision made, its importance becomes paramount when making decisions on complex medical treatments that will invariably and significantly affect quality of life or life itself. In this review, we conducted a critical analysis of the evidence-based literature on the cognitive and behavioral impairments in ALS that can compromise medical decisional capacity. We review specific ALS-related clinical scenarios in which decisional capacity is of utmost importance and discuss a practical framework for cognitive and behavioral assessment that can be routinely and efficiently used, while being mindful of the confounding factors associated with ALS. Finally, we review models for preserving patient choices that can be used in patients with ALS to help safeguard autonomy and retain dignity toward the end of life. PMID:26071511

  2. Rodent Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Philips, Thomas; Rothstein, Jeffrey D

    2015-06-01

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

  3. 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 lower Pomc but higher Agrp mRNA levels in the hypothalamus of presymptomatic SOD1(G86R) mice. Consistently, numbers of POMC-positive neurons were decreased, whereas AGRP fibre density was elevated in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus of SOD1(G86R) mice. Consistent with a defect in the hypothalamic melanocortin system, food intake after short term fasting was increased in SOD1(G86R) mice. Importantly, these findings were replicated in two other amyotrophic

  4. HIV-related neuromuscular diseases: nemaline myopathy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and bibrachial amyotrophic diplegia.

    PubMed

    Rowland, L P

    2011-06-01

    The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes diverse disorders of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Rarely, polymyositis and myoglobinuria are seen. Two other neuromuscular syndromes in people with HIV antibodies are nemaline myopathy and bibrachial amyotrophic diplegia, a form of motor neuron disease. The associations between these diseases and the possibility that HIV infection could be a risk factor for either amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) itself or other motor neuron diseases are investigated. PMID:21842590

  5. [Announcement of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis].

    PubMed

    Couratier, P; Desport, J C; Torny, F; Lacoste, M

    2006-06-01

    Breaking the news of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is considered as a daunting task in most cases and is not a standardizable procedure. However, proven techniques exist to reduce the trauma to the patient. Announcing ALS falls upen the neurologist who must respect the ethical principle of the patient's independence. After the diagnosis is firmly established, the patient should be informed that he or she has a progressive disease of the motor nerves, for which no curative therapy is available. The name of the disease must be stated and explained. If the family history is negative, it is reassuring for the patient and family to know that their children are unlikely to be at risk. Positive aspects (no pain, no disturbances in sensation, cognition, memory and continence) should be stressed as well as the availability of efficient palliative measures for practically all symptoms. Current research efforts, and when available, the possibility of taking part in clinical studies of new drugs should be pointed out as a means of hope. The answer to the question of prognosis should include the information that there are no sudden worsenings to be expected, that the course of ALS may vary between months and decades, that making a firm statement on prognosis all but impossible for any single patient and that respiratory function may worsen during the disease course. It is therefore mandatory to inform patients and families about the existence of ALS patients'associations. The way the patient is told the diagnosis is of great importance and is considered as a multiple-step procedure. Discussion should take place in a private and quiet room and respect some fundamental objectives such as finding out what the patient already knows or suspects and how much more the patient wants to know, observing and responding to the patient's reactions, reinforcing the information and planning the future. It is proven that communicating the diagnosis of ALS in an empathetic fashion is an

  6. Homozygosity analysis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Mok, Kin; Laaksovirta, Hannu; Tienari, Pentti J; Peuralinna, Terhi; Myllykangas, Liisa; Chiò, Adriano; Traynor, Bryan J; Nalls, Michael A; Gurunlian, Nicole; Shatunov, Aleksey; Restagno, Gabriella; Mora, Gabriele; Nigel Leigh, P; Shaw, Chris E; Morrison, Karen E; Shaw, Pamela J; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Hardy, John; Orrell, Richard W

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may appear to be familial or sporadic, with recognised dominant and recessive inheritance in a proportion of cases. Sporadic ALS may be caused by rare homozygous recessive mutations. We studied patients and controls from the UK and a multinational pooled analysis of GWAS data on homozygosity in ALS to determine any potential recessive variant leading to the disease. Six-hundred and twenty ALS and 5169 controls were studied in the UK cohort. A total of 7646 homozygosity segments with length >2 Mb were identified, and 3568 rare segments remained after filtering ‘common' segments. The mean total of the autosomal genome with homozygosity segments was longer in ALS than in controls (unfiltered segments, P=0.05). Two-thousand and seventeen ALS and 6918 controls were studied in the pooled analysis. There were more regions of homozygosity segments per case (P=1 × 10−5), a greater proportion of cases harboured homozygosity (P=2 × 10−5), a longer average length of segment (P=1 × 10−5), a longer total genome coverage (P=1 × 10−5), and a higher rate of these segments overlapped with RefSeq gene regions (P=1 × 10−5), in ALS patients than controls. Positive associations were found in three regions. The most significant was in the chromosome 21 SOD1 region, and also chromosome 1 2.9–4.8 Mb, and chromosome 5 in the 65 Mb region. There are more than twenty potential genes in these regions. These findings point to further possible rare recessive genetic causes of ALS, which are not identified as common variants in GWAS. PMID:23612577

  7. 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.

  8. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: early contributions of Jean-Martin Charcot.

    PubMed

    Goetz, C G

    2000-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is historically an important entity because its manifestations involve distinct signs that can be correlated with gray and white matter lesions at specific sites within the central nervous system. Working at the end of the nineteenth century, the celebrated neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, used this disorder as a prototypic example of the power of his research method, termed "méthode anatomoclinique." Using clinical cases and autopsy material, he showed how anatomical lesions in the nervous system could be accurately determined by the presence of carefully analyzed clinical signs. Charcot's work on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis brought together neurological entities formerly considered as disparate disorders, primary amyotrophy and primary lateral sclerosis. In addition, these studies contributed to the understanding of spinal cord and brain stem anatomy and the organization of the normal nervous system. Because of Charcot's fundamental contributions, the eponym "Charcot's disease" has been used internationally in association with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  9. [Announcement of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis].

    PubMed

    Couratier, P; Desport, J C; Torny, F; Lacoste, M

    2006-06-01

    Breaking the news of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is considered as a daunting task in most cases and is not a standardizable procedure. However, proven techniques exist to reduce the trauma to the patient. Announcing ALS falls upen the neurologist who must respect the ethical principle of the patient's independence. After the diagnosis is firmly established, the patient should be informed that he or she has a progressive disease of the motor nerves, for which no curative therapy is available. The name of the disease must be stated and explained. If the family history is negative, it is reassuring for the patient and family to know that their children are unlikely to be at risk. Positive aspects (no pain, no disturbances in sensation, cognition, memory and continence) should be stressed as well as the availability of efficient palliative measures for practically all symptoms. Current research efforts, and when available, the possibility of taking part in clinical studies of new drugs should be pointed out as a means of hope. The answer to the question of prognosis should include the information that there are no sudden worsenings to be expected, that the course of ALS may vary between months and decades, that making a firm statement on prognosis all but impossible for any single patient and that respiratory function may worsen during the disease course. It is therefore mandatory to inform patients and families about the existence of ALS patients'associations. The way the patient is told the diagnosis is of great importance and is considered as a multiple-step procedure. Discussion should take place in a private and quiet room and respect some fundamental objectives such as finding out what the patient already knows or suspects and how much more the patient wants to know, observing and responding to the patient's reactions, reinforcing the information and planning the future. It is proven that communicating the diagnosis of ALS in an empathetic fashion is an

  10. Inhibitory dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: future therapeutic opportunities.

    PubMed

    Clark, Rosemary; Blizzard, Catherine; Dickson, Tracey

    2015-12-01

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, motor neuron hyperexcitability and inhibitory dysfunction is emerging as a potential causative link in the dysfunction and degeneration of the motoneuronal circuitry that characterizes the disease. Interneurons, as key regulators of excitability, may mediate much of this imbalance, yet we know little about the way in which inhibitory deficits perturb excitability. In this review, we explore inhibitory control of excitability and the potential contribution of altered inhibition to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease processes and vulnerabilities, identifying important windows of therapeutic opportunity and potential interventions, specifically targeting inhibitory control at key disease stages.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 38 CFR 3.318 - Presumptive service connection for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 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...

  1. Mechanisms of FUS mutations in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yulei; Huang, Eric J

    2016-09-15

    Recent advances in the genetics of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have provided key mechanistic insights to the pathogenesis of this devastating neurodegenerative disease. Among many etiologies for ALS, the identification of mutations and proteinopathies in two RNA binding proteins, TDP-43 (TARDBP or TAR DNA binding protein 43) and its closely related RNA/DNA binding protein FUS (fused in sarcoma), raises the intriguing possibility that perturbations to the RNA homeostasis and metabolism in neurons may contribute to the pathogenesis of these diseases. Although the similarities between TDP-43 and FUS suggest that mutations and proteinopathy involving these two proteins may converge on the same mechanisms leading to neurodegeneration, there is increasing evidence that FUS mutations target distinct mechanisms to cause early disease onset and aggressive progression of disease. This review focuses on the recent advances on the molecular, cellular and genetic approaches to uncover the mechanisms of wild type and mutant FUS proteins during development and in neurodegeneration. These findings provide important insights to understand how FUS mutations may perturb the maintenance of dendrites through fundamental processes in RNA splicing, RNA transport and DNA damage response/repair. These results contribute to the understanding of phenotypic manifestations in neurodegeneration related to FUS mutations, and to identify important directions for future investigations. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:RNA Metabolism in Disease.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Eisen, Andrew; Krieger, Charles

    2013-11-01

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

  7. 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 ...

  8. Neuropathology of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Its Variants.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    The neuropathologic molecular signature common to almost all sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and most familial ALS is TDP-43 immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions. The neuropathologic and molecular neuropathologic features of ALS variants, primarily lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy, are less certain but also seem to share the primary features of ALS. Genetic causes, including mutations in SOD1, TDP-43, FUS, and C9orf72, all have distinctive molecular neuropathologic signatures. Neuropathology will continue to play an increasingly key role in solving the puzzle of ALS pathogenesis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-15

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Yui; Morimoto, Satoru; Yoneda, Misao; Kuzuhara, Shigeki; Kokubo, Yasumasa

    2013-01-01

    Objective. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex is classified as one of the tauopathies. Methods. The total tau, phosphorylated tau, and amyloid β42 levels were assayed in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with Kii amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex (n = 12), Alzheimer's disease (n = 9), Parkinson's disease (n = 9), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (n = 11), and controls (n = 5) using specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods. Results. Total tau and phosphorylated tau did not increase and amyloid β42 was relatively reduced in Kii amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex. Relatively reduced amyloid β42 might discriminate Kii amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, and the ratios of phosphorylated-tau to amyloid β42 could discriminate Kii amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex from Alzheimer's disease. Conclusions. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis may be useful to differentiate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex from Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.

  12. [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

  13. Ensuring continued progress in biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Martin R; Benatar, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Multiple candidate biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have emerged across a range of platforms. Replication of results, however, has been absent in all but a few cases, and the range of control samples has been limited. If progress toward clinical translation is to continue, the specific biomarker needs of ALS, which differ from those of other neurodegenerative disorders, as well as the challenges inherent to longitudinal ALS biomarker cohorts, must be understood. Appropriate application of multimodal approaches, international collaboration, presymptomatic studies, and biomarker integration into future therapeutic trials are among the essential priorities going forward. PMID:25288265

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Endoplasmic reticulum stress and proteasomal system in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Karademir, Betul; Corek, Ceyda; Ozer, Nesrin Kartal

    2015-11-01

    Protein processing including folding, unfolding and degradation is involved in the mechanisms of many diseases. Unfolded protein response and/or endoplasmic reticulum stress are accepted to be the first steps which should be completed via protein degradation. In this direction, proteasomal system and autophagy play important role as the degradation pathways and controlled via complex mechanisms. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a multifactorial neurodegenerative disease which is also known as the most catastrophic one. Mutation of many different genes are involved in the pathogenesis such as superoxide dismutase 1, chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 and ubiquilin 2. These genes are mainly related to the antioxidant defense systems, endoplasmic reticulum stress related proteins and also protein aggregation, degradation pathways and therefore mutation of these genes cause related disorders.This review focused on the role of protein processing via endoplasmic reticulum and proteasomal system in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which are the main players in the pathology. In this direction, dysfunction of endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation and related cell death mechanisms that are autophagy/apoptosis have been detailed.

  3. The risk to relatives of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Hanby, Martha F; Scott, Kirsten M; Scotton, William; Wijesekera, Lokesh; Mole, Thomas; Ellis, Catherine E; Leigh, P Nigel; Shaw, Christopher E; Al-Chalabi, Ammar

    2011-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons with a median survival of 2 years. Most patients have no family history of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but current understanding of such diseases suggests there should be an increased risk to relatives. Furthermore, it is a common question to be asked by patients and relatives in clinic. We therefore set out to determine the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to first degree relatives of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis attending a specialist clinic. Case records of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis seen at a tertiary referral centre over a 16-year period were reviewed, and pedigree structures extracted. All individuals who had originally presented with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but who subsequently had an affected first degree relative, were identified. Calculations were age-adjusted using clinic population demographics. Probands (n = 1502), full siblings (n = 1622) and full offspring (n = 1545) were identified. Eight of the siblings and 18 offspring had developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The unadjusted risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis over the observation period was 0.5% for siblings and 1.0% for offspring. Age information was available for 476 siblings and 824 offspring. For this subset, the crude incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was 0.11% per year (0.05-0.21%) in siblings and 0.11% per year (0.06-0.19%) in offspring, and the clinic age-adjusted incidence rate was 0.12% per year (0.04-0.21%) in siblings. By age 85, siblings were found to have an 8-fold increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in comparison to the background population. In practice, this means the risk of remaining unaffected by age 85 dropped from 99.7% to 97.6%. Relatives of people with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have a small but definite increased risk of being affected.

  4. Transcranial magnetic stimulation in amyotrophic and primary lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Cruz Martínez, A; Trejo, J M

    1999-01-01

    Conduction of the central motor pathways after transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was investigated in 7 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 1 case with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). Threshold intensity, central motor conduction time (CMCT) and amplitude of the motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were evaluated. Threshold was abnormal in 85% of tested limbs, and CMCT prolonged and amplitude of the MEPs attenuated in 28.5% of patients with ALS. Abnormal CMCT was asymmetric and related to clinical score. MEPs were absent in lower limbs in PLS, with prolonged or attenuated amplitude of the MEPs in upper limbs. EMG showed widespread signs of lower motor neuron involvement in ALS, but not in PLS. Cranial MRI showed frontoparietal cortical atrophy, more marked in pre-central gyrus, and SPECT there was lower tracer uptake in the perirolandic area in the PLS patient. EMG examination, TMS, cranial MRI and SPECT can help in the diagnosis of PLS.

  5. 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

  6. [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

  7. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Age, gender, kinship and caregiver burden in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Tramonti, Francesco; Bongioanni, Paolo; Leotta, Rebecca; Puppi, Irene; Rossi, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the motor neurons and causes progressive physical impairment. Also, other functions, such as breathing, swallowing and speech are compromised, and the loss of independence makes caregiver burden extremely high. The present study aimed at evaluating the differences in the caregiver burden due to age, gender and kinship. Women reported a higher physical and social burden than men, and partners scored higher in several dimensions of the caregiver burden when compared to sons and daughters. With respect to adult child caregivers, daughters reported higher levels of developmental burden than sons. Age has a significant impact on the caregiver burden, especially for the time dedicated to assistance and physical burden; disease severity is significantly related to the physical burden as well, and also with the developmental burden. PMID:24588639

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Survey of cannabis use in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Amtmann, Dagmar; Weydt, Patrick; Johnson, Kurt L; Jensen, Mark P; Carter, Gregory T

    2004-01-01

    Cannabis (marijuana) has been proposed as treatment for a widening spectrum of medical conditions and has many properties that may be applicable to the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This study is the first, anonymous survey of persons with ALS regarding the use of cannabis. There were 131 respondents, 13 of whom reported using cannabis in the last 12 months. Although the small number of people with ALS that reported using cannabis limits the interpretation of the survey findings, the results indicate that cannabis may be moderately effective at reducing symptoms of appetite loss, depression, pain, spasticity, and drooling. Cannabis was reported ineffective in reducing difficulties with speech and swallowing, and sexual dysfunction. The longest relief was reported for depression (approximately two to three hours). PMID:15055508

  19. Current Therapy of Drugs in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly termed as motor neuron disease (MND) in UK, is a chronically lethal disorder among the neurodegenerative diseases, meanwhile. ALS is basically irreversible and progressive deterioration of upper and lower motor neurons in the motor cortex, brain stem and medulla spinalis. Riluzole, used for the treatment of ALS, was demonstrated to slightly delay the initiation of respiratory dysfunction and extend the median survival of patients by a few months. In this study, the key biochemical defects were discussed, such as: mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase, mitochondrial protectants, and anti-excitotoxic/ anti-oxidative / anti-inflammatory/ anti-apoptotic agents, so the related drug candidates that have been studied in ALS models would possibly be further used in ALS patients. PMID:26786249

  20. 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

  1. Valosin-containing protein mutations in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Abramzon, Yevgeniya; Johnson, Janel O.; Scholz, Sonja W.; Taylor, J. Paul; Brunetti, Maura; Calvo, Andrea; Mandrioli, Jessica; Benatar, Michael; Mora, Gabriele; Restagno, Gabriella; Chiò, Adriano; Traynor, Bryan J.

    2012-01-01

    We recently reported that mutations in the VCP gene are a cause of 1–2% of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases, but their role in the pathogenesis of sporadic ALS is unclear. We undertook mutational screening of VCP in 701 sporadic ALS cases. Three pathogenic variants (p.Arg159Cys, p.Asn387Thr, and p.R662C) were found in three US cases, each of whom presented with progressive upper and lower motor neuron signs consistent with definite ALS by El Escorial diagnostic criteria. Our data indicate that VCP mutations may underlie apparently sporadic ALS, but account for less than 1% of this form of disease. PMID:22572540

  2. 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

  3. Progressive hemiparesis (Mills syndrome) with aphasia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Bäumer, Dirk; Butterworth, Richard; Menke, Ricarda A L; Talbot, Kevin; Hofer, Monika; Turner, Martin R

    2014-02-01

    The onset of motor symptoms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is strikingly focal. In three-quarters of cases, weakness emerges unilaterally in one limb, typically spreading contiguously over months to become bilateral.(1) An extremely rare clinical syndrome of upper motor neuron-predominant, progressive hemiparesis was first described by American neurologist Charles Karsner Mills (1845-1930).(2) More typical ALS shares a common histopathologic signature with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), consisting of ubiquitinated neuronal and glial inclusions containing the DNA and RNA binding protein, TDP-43. Cognitive impairment may be detected in at least one-third of ALS cases and involves mainly deficits in language, executive function, and fluency, with variable levels of behavioral impairments that all have overlap with the purer FTD syndromes. Frank FTD is seen in up to 15% of patients with ALS, in whom it typically occurs before or soon after the development of motor symptoms, and is associated with a more rapid disease progression.(3.)

  4. 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

  5. Extrapyramidal involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: backward falls and retropulsion

    PubMed Central

    Desai, J.; Swash, M.

    1999-01-01

    Three patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) presented with a history of backward falls. Impaired postural reflexes and retropulsion accompanied clinical features of ALS. Hypokinesia, decreased arm swing, and a positive glabellar tap were noted in two of these three patients. Cognitive impairment, tremor, axial rigidity, sphincter dysfunction, nuchal dystonia, dysautonomia, and oculomotor dysfunction were absent. Brain MRI disclosed bilateral T2 weighted hyperintensities in the internal capsule and globus pallidus in one patient. Necropsy studies performed late in the course of ALS have shown degeneration in extrapyramidal sites—for example, the globus pallidus, thalamus, and substantia nigra. Clinically, backward falls and retropulsion may occur early in ALS. This may reflect extrapyramidal involvement.

 PMID:10406993

  6. 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.

  7. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Current perspectives from basic research to the clinic.

    PubMed

    Mancuso, Renzo; Navarro, Xavier

    2015-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive degeneration of upper and lower motoneurons, leading to muscle weakness and paralysis, and finally death. Considerable recent advances have been made in basic research and preclinical therapeutic attempts using experimental models, leading to increasing clinical and translational research in the context of this disease. In this review we aim to summarize the most relevant findings from a variety of aspects about ALS, including evaluation methods, animal models, pathophysiology, and clinical findings, with particular emphasis in understanding the role of every contributing mechanism to the disease for elucidating the causes underlying degeneration of motoneurons and the development of new therapeutic strategies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  9. Degeneration of serotonergic neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a link to spasticity.

    PubMed

    Dentel, Christel; Palamiuc, Lavinia; Henriques, Alexandre; Lannes, Béatrice; Spreux-Varoquaux, Odile; Gutknecht, Lise; René, Frédérique; Echaniz-Laguna, Andoni; Gonzalez de Aguilar, Jose-Luis; Lesch, Klaus Peter; Meininger, Vincent; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; Dupuis, Luc

    2013-02-01

    Spasticity is a common and disabling symptom observed in patients with central nervous system diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease affecting both upper and lower motor neurons. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spasticity is traditionally thought to be the result of degeneration of the upper motor neurons in the cerebral cortex, although degeneration of other neuronal types, in particular serotonergic neurons, might also represent a cause of spasticity. We performed a pathology study in seven patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and six control subjects and observed that central serotonergic neurons suffer from a degenerative process with prominent neuritic degeneration, and sometimes loss of cell bodies in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Moreover, distal serotonergic projections to spinal cord motor neurons and hippocampus systematically degenerated in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In SOD1 (G86R) mice, a transgenic model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, serotonin levels were decreased in brainstem and spinal cord before onset of motor symptoms. Furthermore, there was noticeable atrophy of serotonin neuronal cell bodies along with neuritic degeneration at disease onset. We hypothesized that degeneration of serotonergic neurons could underlie spasticity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and investigated this hypothesis in vivo using tail muscle spastic-like contractions in response to mechanical stimulation as a measure of spasticity. In SOD1 (G86R) mice, tail muscle spastic-like contractions were observed at end-stage. Importantly, they were abolished by 5-hydroxytryptamine-2b/c receptors inverse agonists. In line with this, 5-hydroxytryptamine-2b receptor expression was strongly increased at disease onset. In all, we show that serotonergic neurons degenerate during amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and that this might underlie spasticity in mice. Further research is needed to determine whether inverse

  10. The split hand syndrome in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Andrew; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2012-04-01

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

  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.

  12. Exposing asymmetric gray matter vulnerability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Devine, Matthew S.; Pannek, Kerstin; Coulthard, Alan; McCombe, Pamela A.; Rose, Stephen E.; Henderson, Robert D.

    2015-01-01

    Limb weakness in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is typically asymmetric. Previous studies have identified an effect of limb dominance on onset and spread of weakness, however relative atrophy of dominant and non-dominant brain regions has not been investigated. Our objective was to use voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to explore gray matter (GM) asymmetry in ALS, in the context of limb dominance. 30 ALS subjects were matched with 17 healthy controls. All subjects were right-handed. Each underwent a structural MRI sequence, from which GM segmentations were generated. Patterns of GM atrophy were assessed in ALS subjects with first weakness in a right-sided limb (n = 15) or left-sided limb (n = 15). Within each group, a voxelwise comparison was also performed between native and mirror GM images, to identify regions of hemispheric GM asymmetry. Subjects with ALS showed disproportionate atrophy of the dominant (left) motor cortex hand area, irrespective of the side of first limb weakness (p < 0.01). Asymmetric atrophy of the left somatosensory cortex and temporal gyri was only observed in ALS subjects with right-sided onset of limb weakness. Our VBM protocol, contrasting native and mirror images, was able to more sensitively detect asymmetric GM pathology in a small cohort, compared with standard methods. These findings indicate particular vulnerability of dominant upper limb representation in ALS, supporting previous clinical studies, and with implications for cortical organisation and selective vulnerability. PMID:25844330

  13. Exposing asymmetric gray matter vulnerability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Devine, Matthew S; Pannek, Kerstin; Coulthard, Alan; McCombe, Pamela A; Rose, Stephen E; Henderson, Robert D

    2015-01-01

    Limb weakness in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is typically asymmetric. Previous studies have identified an effect of limb dominance on onset and spread of weakness, however relative atrophy of dominant and non-dominant brain regions has not been investigated. Our objective was to use voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to explore gray matter (GM) asymmetry in ALS, in the context of limb dominance. 30 ALS subjects were matched with 17 healthy controls. All subjects were right-handed. Each underwent a structural MRI sequence, from which GM segmentations were generated. Patterns of GM atrophy were assessed in ALS subjects with first weakness in a right-sided limb (n = 15) or left-sided limb (n = 15). Within each group, a voxelwise comparison was also performed between native and mirror GM images, to identify regions of hemispheric GM asymmetry. Subjects with ALS showed disproportionate atrophy of the dominant (left) motor cortex hand area, irrespective of the side of first limb weakness (p < 0.01). Asymmetric atrophy of the left somatosensory cortex and temporal gyri was only observed in ALS subjects with right-sided onset of limb weakness. Our VBM protocol, contrasting native and mirror images, was able to more sensitively detect asymmetric GM pathology in a small cohort, compared with standard methods. These findings indicate particular vulnerability of dominant upper limb representation in ALS, supporting previous clinical studies, and with implications for cortical organisation and selective vulnerability. PMID:25844330

  14. 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

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Socioeconomic costs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis according to staging system.

    PubMed

    Oh, Juyeon; An, Ji Won; Oh, Seong-Il; Oh, Ki Wook; Kim, Jung A; Lee, Jeong Seop; Kim, Seung Hyun

    2015-06-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the cost of illness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the Korean population based on the staging system for ALS from the perspective of both patients and the government. Direct medical costs, care-related costs, and loss of productivity in patients with ALS were measured based on medical records and face-to-face interviews. The patients were divided into groups according to the staging system for ALS, and the cost of illness was analysed. A total of 151 patients with ALS were enrolled in the study. The mean monthly cost of ALS was US $7902 per patient and increased according to the disease stage (stage 2, US $5181; stage 3, US $7089; stage 4, US $10,557). Of direct medical costs (US $3436), 44.8% of the cost burden was carried by patients, and the remaining costs were paid by the government. In conclusion, although the current coverage rate of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system for rare and intractable diseases including ALS is 90%, the rate of direct medical costs paid by patients and out-of-pocket costs remain high. Moreover, coverage rates and cost of illness are closely related with disease severity. PMID:25646865

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

    PubMed

    Gianforcaro, Alexandro; Hamadeh, Mazen J

    2014-02-01

    Vitamin D has been demonstrated to influence multiple aspects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathology. Both human and rodent central nervous systems express the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and/or its enzymatic machinery needed to fully activate the hormone. Clinical research suggests that vitamin D treatment can improve compromised human muscular ability and increase muscle size, supported by loss of motor function and muscle mass in animals following VDR knockout, as well as increased muscle protein synthesis and ATP production following vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D has also been shown to reduce the expression of biomarkers associated with oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease; diseases that share common pathophysiologies with ALS. Furthermore, vitamin D treatment greatly attenuates hypoxic brain damage in vivo and reduces neuronal lethality of glutamate insult in vitro; a hallmark trait of ALS glutamate excitotoxicity. We have recently shown that high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation improved, whereas vitamin D3 restriction worsened, functional capacity in the G93A mouse model of ALS. In sum, evidence demonstrates that vitamin D, unlike the antiglutamatergic agent Riluzole, affects multiple aspects of ALS pathophysiology and could provide a greater cumulative effect. PMID:24428861

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Infrastructure resources for clinical research in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Alexander V; Gubitz, Amelie K; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Bedlack, Richard; Berry, James; Conwit, Robin; Harris, Brent T; Horton, D Kevin; Kaufmann, Petra; Leitner, Melanie L; Miller, Robert; Shefner, Jeremy; Vonsattel, Jean Paul; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi

    2013-05-01

    Clinical trial networks, shared clinical databases, and human biospecimen repositories are examples of infrastructure resources aimed at enhancing and expediting clinical and/or patient oriented research to uncover the etiology and pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to the paralysis of voluntary muscles. The current status of such infrastructure resources, as well as opportunities and impediments, were discussed at the second Tarrytown ALS meeting held in September 2011. The discussion focused on resources developed and maintained by ALS clinics and centers in North America and Europe, various clinical trial networks, U.S. government federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and several voluntary disease organizations that support ALS research activities. Key recommendations included 1) the establishment of shared databases among individual ALS clinics to enhance the coordination of resources and data analyses; 2) the expansion of quality-controlled human biospecimen banks; and 3) the adoption of uniform data standards, such as the recently developed Common Data Elements (CDEs) for ALS clinical research. The value of clinical trial networks such as the Northeast ALS (NEALS) Consortium and the Western ALS (WALS) Consortium was recognized, and strategies to further enhance and complement these networks and their research resources were discussed.

  5. 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

  6. Targeted Exon Capture and Sequencing in Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Daneshjou, Roxana; Gitler, Aaron D.

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that results in progressive degeneration of motor neurons, ultimately leading to paralysis and death. Approximately 10% of ALS cases are familial, with the remaining 90% of cases being sporadic. Genetic studies in familial cases of ALS have been extremely informative in determining the causative mutations behind ALS, especially as the same mutations identified in familial ALS can also cause sporadic disease. However, the cause of ALS in approximately 30% of familial cases and in the majority of sporadic cases remains unknown. Sporadic ALS cases represent an underutilized resource for genetic information about ALS; therefore, we undertook a targeted sequencing approach of 169 known and candidate ALS disease genes in 242 sporadic ALS cases and 129 matched controls to try to identify novel variants linked to ALS. We found a significant enrichment in novel and rare variants in cases versus controls, indicating that we are likely identifying disease associated mutations. This study highlights the utility of next generation sequencing techniques combined with functional studies and rare variant analysis tools to provide insight into the genetic etiology of a heterogeneous sporadic disease. PMID:25299611

  7. Progress in therapy development for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Venkova-Hristova, Kalina; Christov, Alexandar; Kamaluddin, Zarine; Kobalka, Peter; Hensley, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that cannot be slowed substantially using any currently-available clinical tools. Through decades of studying sporadic and familial ALS (SALS and FALS), researchers are coming to understand ALS as a complex syndrome with diverse genetic and environmental etiologies. It is know appreciated that motor neuron degeneration in ALS requires active (gain of function) and passive (loss of function) events to occur in non-neuronal cells, especially astrocytes and microglia. These neuroinflammatory processes produce paracrine factors that detrimentally affect motor neurons, precipitating protein aggregation and compromising cytoskeletal integrity. The result is a loss of neuronal homeostasis and progressive die-back of motor axons culminating in death of the afflicted motor neurons. This review will discuss experimental therapeutics that have been tested in murine ALS models, with an emphasis on those that have progressed to human clinical trials. Reasons will be considered for the frequent failure of preclinical successes to translate into positive clinical outcomes. Finally, this review will explore current trends in experimental therapeutics for ALS with emphasis on the emerging interest in axon guidance signaling pathways as novel targets for pharmacological support of neural cytoskeletal structure and function in order to slow ALS.

  8. Progress in Therapy Development for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Venkova-Hristova, Kalina; Christov, Alexandar; Kamaluddin, Zarine; Kobalka, Peter; Hensley, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that cannot be slowed substantially using any currently-available clinical tools. Through decades of studying sporadic and familial ALS (SALS and FALS), researchers are coming to understand ALS as a complex syndrome with diverse genetic and environmental etiologies. It is know appreciated that motor neuron degeneration in ALS requires active (gain of function) and passive (loss of function) events to occur in non-neuronal cells, especially astrocytes and microglia. These neuroinflammatory processes produce paracrine factors that detrimentally affect motor neurons, precipitating protein aggregation and compromising cytoskeletal integrity. The result is a loss of neuronal homeostasis and progressive die-back of motor axons culminating in death of the afflicted motor neurons. This review will discuss experimental therapeutics that have been tested in murine ALS models, with an emphasis on those that have progressed to human clinical trials. Reasons will be considered for the frequent failure of preclinical successes to translate into positive clinical outcomes. Finally, this review will explore current trends in experimental therapeutics for ALS with emphasis on the emerging interest in axon guidance signaling pathways as novel targets for pharmacological support of neural cytoskeletal structure and function in order to slow ALS. PMID:22830014

  9. TDP-43 plasma levels are higher in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Verstraete, Esther; Kuiperij, H Bea; van Blitterswijk, Marka M; Veldink, Jan H; Schelhaas, H Jurgen; van den Berg, Leonard H; Verbeek, Marcel M

    2012-09-01

    Our objective was to investigate TDP-43 plasma levels in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). TDP-43 has been identified as a major component of protein inclusions in the brain of patients with ALS; mutations in the corresponding gene (TARDBP) have also been identified. Although increased TDP-43 levels have been reported in the cerebrospinal fluid, plasma levels have not yet been assessed in patients with ALS. TDP-43 levels were quantified by sandwich ELISA in plasma of 219 patients and 100 controls. In addition, we sequenced exon 6 of TARDBP, and performed longitudinal TDP-43 plasma measurements in a subset of patients. Results showed that TDP-43 plasma levels were significantly increased in patients with ALS (p=0.023) and we found a positive correlation with age in patients and controls. Longitudinal measurements of TDP-43 plasma levels showed an increase in only one patient, with stable levels in five others. Three TARDBP variations were identified in the ALS group (1.7%), but the association with TDP-43 plasma levels was ambiguous. In conclusion, our data indicate that TDP-43 plasma levels may have potential as a marker for ALS. A genotype-phenotype relationship could not, however, be established in this cohort.

  10. [New biological and radiological markers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Pradat, Pierre-François

    2009-12-01

    The only specific marker of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), that represent about 90% of all cases, is neuropathological and based on the demonstration of motoneuronal degeneration associated with typical inclusions positive for ubiquitine and TDP-43. The gene encoding the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is implicated in about 10-20% of familial ALS. A mutation in the SOD1 gene can be considered as a genetic marker of ALS, and not a polymorphism, if the mutation has been shown to be pathogenic or to segregate to the disease in familial cases. Studies in blood or cerebral spinal fluid have shown biological changes involving different physiopathological pathways (oxidative stress, inflammation, excitotoxicity...). These abnormalities are neither sensitive nor specific enough to provide a diagnostic tool. The ectopic expression of Nogo-A in muscle biopsy is a promising marker but further studies are needed to demonstrate its value as a diagnostic tool in ALS. Studies in series of ALS patients have shown that MR-spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging can detect cortico-spinal degeneration. However, because of an overlap between patients and normal subjects, spectroscopic and DTI-parameters cannot be used as diagnostic tool in individual patients. In the future, a combination of biological, radiological and electrophysiological markers, rather than a single marker, may provide diagnostic tool for the diagnosis and follow-up of ALS patients.

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

    PubMed

    Pradat, Pierre-François; Dib, Michel

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Glicksman, Marcie A.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Clinical heterogeneity in Italian patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Piaceri, I; Del Mastio, M; Tedde, A; Bagnoli, S; Latorraca, S; Massaro, F; Paganini, M; Corrado, A; Sorbi, S; Nacmias, B

    2012-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare and devastating neurodegenerative disorder. The majority of cases are sporadic ALS (SALS), with 5-10% being familial ALS (FALS), and are inherited mostly as autosomal dominant. Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and the TAR DNA-binding protein (TARDBP) gene are the most commonly known cause of ALS. We analyzed these genes in 61 Italian ALS patients using high-resolution melting analysis to confirm the role of SOD1 and TARDBP in the physiopathology of ALS. The screenings showed a single mutation in SOD1 (Asp109Tyr) and three in TARBDP (Ala382Thr, Gly295Ser, Gly294Val) in five unrelated ALS patients. This report enlarges the spectrum of clinical phenotypes associated with genetic mutations in SOD1 and TARDBP genes confirming the variability of phenotypes associated with the same mutation and emphasizes the importance of genetic analysis. The different genotype-phenotype correlations suggest the implication of other factors possibly influencing clinical manifestation of the disease, such as an epigenetic or epistatic effect with other genes not yet identified. PMID:21651514

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have a motor disorder and cognitive difficulties, including difficulty with action verbs. However, the basis for the action verb impairment is unknown. Thirty-six participants with ALS and 22 with Parkinson's disease (PD) were assessed on a simple, two-alternative forced-choice associativity judgment task, where performance was untimed and did not depend on motor functioning. We probed 120 frequency-matched action verbs, cognition verbs, concrete nouns and abstract nouns. Performance was related to T1 MRI imaging of gray matter atrophy. Patients with ALS were significantly impaired relative to healthy senior control participants only for action verbs. Patients with PD did not differ from controls for all word categories. Regression analyses related action verb performance in ALS to motor-associated cortices, but action verb judgments in PD were not related to cortical atrophy. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that action verb difficulty in ALS is related in part to the degradation of action-related conceptual knowledge represented in motor-associated cortex. PMID:24676939

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Redox Modifier Genes and Pathways in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Barrie J.; Anklesaria, Pervin; Choi, Stephanie

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Enhanced redox-stress caused by neuroinflammation, mitochondria, and NADPH oxidases has been hypothesized to play critical roles in disease progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, distinguishing whether the redox-stress observed in ALS is due to a primary defect in cellular reactive oxygen species metabolism/catabolism, or is a secondary consequence of neuroinflammation, has been difficult and the issue remains a matter of debate. Emerging evidence suggests that defects in genes that regulate NADPH oxidases may account for at least some forms of ALS. NADPH oxidases are key signaling complexes that influence cellular responses to growth factors and cytokines. In this context, NADPH oxidase-derived reactive oxygen species exert spatial control over the redox-dependent activation of certain pro-inflammatory receptors. Understanding the biology of how NADPH oxidases control cell signaling may help to clarify how genetic determinants of ALS lead to dysregulated pro-inflammatory signaling. This review provides a framework for understanding endosomal signaling through NADPH oxidases and potential mechanisms whereby gene defects in various forms of ALS may influence this cellular process and lead to motor neuron degeneration. Lastly, this review discusses past and current efforts to treat ALS using antioxidant therapies, as well as the limitations and advantages of each of these approaches. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 1569–1586. PMID:19187001

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

    PubMed

    Pradat, Pierre-François; Dib, Michel

    2009-01-01

    The only specific marker of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is neuropathologic, namely the presence of inclusions staining positively for ubiquitin and TAR DNA-binding protein (TARDBP, also known as TDP-43) in degenerating motor neurons. Abnormalities in various physiopathologic pathways associated with ALS, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and excitotoxicity, have been reported in blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and muscle biopsies. A number of studies in ALS patients have indicated that nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect corticospinal lesions. However, because of their relative lack of sensitivity and specificity, these techniques are currently inadequate for use as diagnostic tools in individual patients. Recently, there has been much interest in the use of high-throughput techniques such as transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics for the detection of biomarkers. In the future, a combination of biologic, radiologic, and electrophysiologic markers, rather than a single marker, may prove a useful tool for the diagnosis and follow-up of ALS patients. This article provides an overview of recently described biologic and radiologic markers of the disease. PMID:19537846

  4. Longitudinal changes in discourse production in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Roberts-South, Angela; Findlater, Kate; Strong, Michael J; Orange, J B

    2012-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a multisystem disease that significantly impacts communication as a function of changes in motor speech, cognition, and language skills. Although discourse tasks have been used to assess language in a variety of acquired disorders, little work to date has been published on changes in discourse in ALS and even less work has evaluated these changes with disease progression. In the present study, discourse samples (gained from a picture description task) as well as standardized language test measures obtained from 16 individuals with ALS without dementia and 12 healthy controls (collected over a duration of 24 months). Discourse samples were analyzed for both productivity and content. Results indicate that there were no differences for ALS versus controls for any of the standardized language tests. However, findings suggest that discourse analysis methods may be more sensitive for identifying subtle language deficits in ALS. Overall, discourse productivity appears less impaired than discourse content for individuals with ALS. Although there was a general trend for decline in language performance over the study duration, there was the suggestion of subgroups of language performance among ALS participants. The results suggest that subtle cognitive language deficits that affect discourse emerge early in ALS and progress with disease progression.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the motor neurons in the motor cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. A combination of upper and lower motor neuron dysfunction comprises the clinical ALS phenotype. Although the ALS phenotype was first observed by Charcot over 100 years ago, the site of ALS onset and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of motor neuron degeneration remain to be elucidated. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) enables non-invasive assessment of the functional integrity of the motor cortex and its corticomotoneuronal projections. To date, TMS studies have established motor cortical and corticospinal dysfunction in ALS, with cortical hyperexcitability being an early feature in sporadic forms of ALS and preceding the clinical onset of familial ALS. Taken together, a central origin of ALS is supported by TMS studies, with an anterograde transsynaptic mechanism implicated in ALS pathogenesis. Of further relevance, TMS techniques reliably distinguish ALS from mimic disorders, despite a compatible peripheral disease burden, thereby suggesting a potential diagnostic utility of TMS in ALS. This review will focus on the mechanisms underlying the generation of TMS measures used in assessment of cortical excitability, the contribution of TMS in enhancing the understanding of ALS pathophysiology and the potential diagnostic utility of TMS techniques in ALS. PMID:23264687

  6. A(a)LS: Ammonia-induced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Parekh, Bhavin

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a dreadful, devastating and incurable motor neuron disease. Aetiologically, it is a multigenic, multifactorial and multiorgan disease. Despite intense research, ALS pathology remains unexplained. Following extensive literature review, this paper posits a new integrative explanation. This framework proposes that ammonia neurotoxicity is a main player in ALS pathogenesis. According to this explanation, a combination of impaired ammonia removal— mainly because of impaired hepatic urea cycle dysfunction—and increased ammoniagenesis— mainly because of impaired glycolytic metabolism in fast twitch skeletal muscle—causes chronic hyperammonia in ALS. In the absence of neuroprotective calcium binding proteins (calbindin, calreticulin and parvalbumin), elevated ammonia—a neurotoxin—damages motor neurons. Ammonia-induced motor neuron damage occurs through multiple mechanisms such as macroautophagy-endolysosomal impairment, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, CDK5 activation, oxidative/nitrosative stress, neuronal hyperexcitability and neuroinflammation. Furthermore, the regional pattern of calcium binding proteins’ loss, owing to either ER stress and/or impaired oxidative metabolism, determines clinical variability of ALS. Most importantly, this new framework can be generalised to explain other neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington’s disease and Parkinsonism.

  7. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: moving towards a new classification system.

    PubMed

    Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Hardiman, Orla; Kiernan, Matthew C; Chiò, Adriano; Rix-Brooks, Benjamin; van den Berg, Leonard H

    2016-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive adult-onset neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects upper and lower motor neurons, but also frontotemporal and other regions of the brain. The extent to which each neuronal population is affected varies between individuals. The subsequent patterns of disease progression form the basis of diagnostic criteria and phenotypic classification systems, with considerable overlap in the clinical terms used. This overlap can lead to confusion between diagnosis and phenotype. Formal classification systems such as the El Escorial criteria and the International Classification of Diseases are systematic approaches but they omit features that are important in clinical management, such as rate of progression, genetic basis, or functional effect. Therefore, many neurologists use informal classification approaches that might not be systematic, and could include, for example, anatomical descriptions such as flail-arm syndrome. A new strategy is needed to combine the benefits of a systematic approach to classification with the rich and varied phenotypic descriptions used in clinical practice. PMID:27647646

  8. Acceptance of brain-computer interfaces in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Geronimo, Andrew; Stephens, Helen E; Schiff, Steven J; Simmons, Zachary

    2015-06-01

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) have the potential to permit patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to communicate even when locked in. Although as many as half of patients with ALS develop cognitive or behavioral dysfunction, the impact of these factors on acceptance of and ability to use a BCI has not been studied. We surveyed patients with ALS and their caregivers about BCIs used as assistive communication tools. The survey focused on the features of a BCI system, the desired end-use functions, and requirements. Functional, cognitive, and behavioral data were collected from patients and analyzed for their influence over decisions about BCI device use. Results showed that behavioral impairment was associated with decreased receptivity to the use of BCI technology. In addition, the operation of a BCI system during a pilot study altered patients' opinions of the utility of the system, generally in line with their perceived performance at controlling the device. In conclusion, these two findings have implications for the engineering design and clinical care phases of assistive device deployment.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The predictors of survival in Chinese amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease, so it is important to explore the survival factors for ALS. Our aim was to evaluate the predictors of survival in Chinese ALS patients. A total of 1049 sporadic ALS patients were enrolled. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to compare survival time. Cox proportional hazards function and the hazard ratio were used to identify adjusted prognostic predictors. Results showed that the mean age of onset was 52.6 ± 12.0 years. During follow-up, 155 patients (14.8%) were lost and 378 patients were deceased. Median survival was 33 months for the deceased patients. In the adjusted Cox proportional hazard model, age of onset, diagnosis delay, rate of disease progression, and non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) treatment had an effect on survival in ALS. In conclusion, our study provides information on survival factors for Chinese ALS patients. Although the onset age of Chinese ALS patients is earlier than that of Caucasian patients, survival factors, including the age of onset, diagnostic delay, rate of disease progression, and NIPPV treatment, are similar.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Angiogenin Loss-of-Function Mutations in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Wu, David; Yu, Wenhao; Kishikawa, Hiroko; Folkerth, Rebecca D.; Iafrate, A. John; Shen, Yiping; Xin, Winnie; Sims, Katherine; Hu, Guo-fu

    2009-01-01

    Objective Heterozygous missense mutations in the coding region of angiogenin (ANG), an angiogenic ribonuclease, have been reported in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. However, the role of ANG in motor neuron physiology and the functional consequences of these mutations are unknown. We searched for new mutations and sought to define the functional consequences of these mutations. Methods We sequenced the coding region of ANG in an independent cohort of North American ALS patients. Identified ANG mutations were then characterized using functional assays of angiogenesis, ribonucleolysis, and nuclear translocation. We also examined expression of ANG in normal human fetal and adult spinal cords. Results We identified four mutations in the coding region of ANG from 298 ALS patients. Three of these mutations are present in the mature protein. Among the four mutations, P(-4)S, S28N, and P112L are novel, and K17I has been reported previously. Functional assays show that these ANG mutations result in complete loss of function. The mutant ANG proteins are unable to induce angiogenesis because of a deficiency in ribonuclease activity, nuclear translocation, or both. As a correlate, we demonstrate strong ANG expression in both endothelial cells and motor neurons of normal human spinal cords from the developing fetus and adult. Interpretation We provide the first evidence that ANG mutations, identified in ALS patients, are associated with functional loss of ANG activity. Moreover, strong ANG expression, in normal human fetal and adult spinal cord neurons and endothelial cells, confirms the plausibility of ANG dysfunction being relevant to the pathogenesis of ALS. PMID:17886298

  20. Clinical perspective on oxidative stress in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    D'Amico, Emanuele; Factor-Litvak, Pam; Santella, Regina M; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi

    2013-12-01

    Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the most devastating neurological diseases; most patients die within 3 to 4 years after symptom onset. Oxidative stress is a disturbance in the pro-oxidative/antioxidative balance favoring the pro-oxidative state. Autopsy and laboratory studies in ALS indicate that oxidative stress plays a major role in motor neuron degeneration and astrocyte dysfunction. Oxidative stress biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid, plasma, and urine are elevated, suggesting that abnormal oxidative stress is generated outside of the central nervous system. Our review indicates that agricultural chemicals, heavy metals, military service, professional sports, excessive physical exertion, chronic head trauma, and certain foods might be modestly associated with ALS risk, with a stronger association between risk and smoking. At the cellular level, these factors are all involved in generating oxidative stress. Experimental studies indicate that a combination of insults that induce modest oxidative stress can exert additive deleterious effects on motor neurons, suggesting that multiple exposures in real-world environments are important. As the disease progresses, nutritional deficiency, cachexia, psychological stress, and impending respiratory failure may further increase oxidative stress. Moreover, accumulating evidence suggests that ALS is possibly a systemic disease. Laboratory, pathologic, and epidemiologic evidence clearly supports the hypothesis that oxidative stress is central in the pathogenic process, particularly in genetically susceptive individuals. If we are to improve ALS treatment, well-designed biochemical and genetic epidemiological studies, combined with a multidisciplinary research approach, are needed and will provide knowledge crucial to our understanding of ALS etiology, pathophysiology, and prognosis. PMID:23797033

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  6. Wnt and Extraocular Muscle Sparing in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    McLoon, Linda K.; Harandi, Vahid M.; Brännström, Thomas; Andersen, Peter M.; Liu, Jing-Xia

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. The extraocular muscles (EOM) and their motor neurons are spared in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In limb muscle, axon retraction from the neuromuscular junctions occurs early in the disease. Wnts, a conserved family of secreted signaling molecules, play a critical role in neuromuscular junction formation. This is the first study to examine Wnt signaling for its potential involvement in maintenance of normal morphology in EOM in ALS. Methods. Extraocular muscle and limb muscle axons, neuromuscular junctions, and myofibers from control, aging, and ALS subjects and the SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS were quantified for their expression of Wnt1, Wnt3a, Wnt5a, Wnt7a, and β-catenin. Results. All four Wnt isoforms were expressed in most axon profiles in all human EOM. Significantly fewer were positive for Wnt1, Wnt3a, and Wnt7a in the human limb muscles. Similar differential patterns in Wnt myofiber expression were also seen except in the case of Wnt7a, where expression was elevated. In the SOD1G93A mouse, all four Wnt isoforms were significantly decreased in the neuromuscular junctions at the terminal stage compared to values in age-matched controls. β-Catenin was activated in a subset of myofibers in EOM and limb muscle in all subjects. Conclusions. The differences in expression of Wnts in EOM and limb muscle, particularly at the neuromuscular junction level, suggest that they play a role in the pathophysiology of ALS. Collectively, the data support a role for signaling of Wnts in the preservation of the EOM in ALS and their dysregulation and the subsequent development of pathology in the ALS limb muscles. PMID:25125606

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    Riluzole, a benzothiazole derivative, has been shown to be effective in prolonging survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The mechanisms by which riluzole exerts neuroprotective effects in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis remains to be fully elucidated, although inhibition of glutamatergic transmission and modulation of Na+ channel function have been proposed. In an attempt to determine the mechanisms by which riluzole exerts neuroprotective effects, in particular to dissect the relative contributions of inhibition of glutamatergic transmission and Na+ channel modulation, the present study utilized a combination of cortical and peripheral axonal excitability approaches to monitor changes in excitability and function in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Cortical assessment was undertaken by utilising the threshold tracking transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) technique and combined with peripheral axonal excitability studies in 25 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Studies were performed at baseline and repeated when patients were receiving riluzole 100 mg/day. At the time of second testing all patients were tolerating the medication well. Motor evoked potential and compound muscle action potential responses were recorded over the abductor pollicis brevis muscle. At baseline, features of cortical hyperexcitability were evident in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, indicated by marked reduction in short interval intracortical inhibition (P < 0.001) and cortical silent period duration (P < 0.001), as well as an increase in the motor evoked potential amplitude (P < 0.01). Riluzole therapy partially normalized cortical excitability by significantly increasing short interval intracortical inhibition (short interval intracortical inhibitionbaseline 0.5 ± 1.8%; short interval intracortical inhibitionON riluzole 7.9 ± 1.7%, P < 0.01). In contrast, riluzole did not exert any modulating effect on cortical silent period duration (P = 0

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Genetic Studies: From Genome-wide Association Mapping to Genome Sequencing.

    PubMed

    He, Ji; Mangelsdorf, Marie; Fan, Dongsheng; Bartlett, Perry; Brown, Matthew A

    2015-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease of obscure etiology. Multiple genetic studies have been conducted to advance our understanding of the disease, employing a variety of techniques such as linkage mapping in families, to genome-wide association studies and sequencing based approaches such as whole exome sequencing and whole genome sequencing and a few epigenetic analyses. While major progress has been made, the majority of the genetic variation involved in ALS is yet to be undefined. The optimal study designs to investigate ALS depend on the genetic model for the disease, and it is likely that different approaches will be required to map genes involved in familial and sporadic disease. The potential approaches and their strengths and weaknesses are discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-20

    ... 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 any... INFORMATION: On June 23, 2010, VA published in the Federal Register (75 FR 35711) a proposed rule that...

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Ethnic and demographic incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in Brazil: A population based study.

    PubMed

    Moura, Mirian Conceicao; Casulari, Luiz Augusto; Carvalho Garbi Novaes, Maria Rita

    2016-01-01

    Our objectives were to examine demographic and ethnic factors associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Brazil. The method used was a retrospective study of death certificates performed in June 2015, identifying the incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis over 10 years, from January 2004 to December 2013, related to gender, age and race. Results revealed 8942 death certificates with 8152 as the underlying cause and 790 as a secondary cause. The average age was 62.7 ± 13.2 years, with a predominance of males (1·3:1). The adjusted mortality rate over 20 years was 0.61 to 0.89/100,000 person-years, and over 45 years was 1.77 to 2.3/100,000 person-years. There was a predominance of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Caucasians compared to the general population above 20 years (2010 Census), with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.92 (95% CI 2.78-3.07). The OR in blacks was 0.04 (95% CI: 0.03-0.04), in mestizos was 0.05 (0.04-0.07), and in Indians was 0.02 (0.01-0.04). The mean age was lower than in European populations (48.5 ± 12.3 years) (p < 0.0001). In conclusion, the incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Brazil is close to other Latin American populations, with a lower age at death and clear predominance in Caucasians.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  7. Increased functional connectivity common to symptomatic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and those at genetic risk

    PubMed Central

    Menke, Ricarda A L; Proudfoot, Malcolm; Wuu, Joanne; Andersen, Peter M; Talbot, Kevin; Benatar, Michael; Turner, Martin R

    2016-01-01

    Objective To discern presymptomatic changes in brain structure or function using advanced MRI in carriers of mutations predisposing to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods T1-weighted, diffusion weighted and resting state functional MRI data were acquired at 3 T for 12 asymptomatic mutation carriers (psALS), 12 age-matched controls and affected patients with ALS. Cortical thickness analysis, voxel-based morphometry, volumetric and shape analyses of subcortical structures, tract-based spatial statistics of metrics derived from the diffusion tensor, and resting state functional connectivity (FC) analyses were performed. Results Grey matter cortical thickness and shape analysis revealed significant atrophy in patients with ALS (but not psALS) compared with controls in the right primary motor cortex and right caudate. Comparison of diffusion tensor metrics showed widespread fractional anisotropy and radial diffusivity differences in patients with ALS compared to controls and the psALS group, encompassing parts of the corpus callosum, corticospinal tracts and superior longitudinal fasciculus. While FC in the resting-state sensorimotor network was similar in psALS and controls, FC between the cerebellum and a network comprising the precuneus, cingulate & middle frontal lobe was significantly higher in psALS and affected ALS compared to controls. Conclusions Rather than structural brain changes, increased FC may be among the earliest detectable brain abnormalities in asymptomatic carriers of ALS-causing gene mutations. With replication and significant refinement, this technique has potential in the future assessment of neuroprotective strategies. PMID:26733601

  8. Nonnative SOD1 trimer is toxic to motor neurons in a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Fee, Lanette; Tao, Yazhong; Redler, Rachel L.; Fay, James M.; Zhang, Yuliang; Lv, Zhengjian; Mercer, Ian P.; Deshmukh, Mohanish; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.

    2016-01-01

    Since the linking of mutations in the Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase gene (sod1) to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 1993, researchers have sought the connection between SOD1 and motor neuron death. Disease-linked mutations tend to destabilize the native dimeric structure of SOD1, and plaques containing misfolded and aggregated SOD1 have been found in the motor neurons of patients with ALS. Despite advances in understanding of ALS disease progression and SOD1 folding and stability, cytotoxic species and mechanisms remain unknown, greatly impeding the search for and design of therapeutic interventions. Here, we definitively link cytotoxicity associated with SOD1 aggregation in ALS to a nonnative trimeric SOD1 species. We develop methodology for the incorporation of low-resolution experimental data into simulations toward the structural modeling of metastable, multidomain aggregation intermediates. We apply this methodology to derive the structure of a SOD1 trimer, which we validate in vitro and in hybridized motor neurons. We show that SOD1 mutants designed to promote trimerization increase cell death. Further, we demonstrate that the cytotoxicity of the designed mutants correlates with trimer stability, providing a direct link between the presence of misfolded oligomers and neuron death. Identification of cytotoxic species is the first and critical step in elucidating the molecular etiology of ALS, and the ability to manipulate formation of these species will provide an avenue for the development of future therapeutic strategies. PMID:26719414

  9. Stem cells for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis modeling and therapy: myth or fact?

    PubMed

    Coatti, G C; Beccari, M S; Olávio, T R; Mitne-Neto, M; Okamoto, O K; Zatz, M

    2015-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease whose pathophysiology is poorly understood. Aiming to better understand the cause of motor neuron death, the use of experimental cell-based models increased significantly over the past years. In this scenario, much knowledge has been generated from the study of motor neurons derived from embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. These methods, however, have advantages and disadvantages, which must be balanced on experimental design. Preclinical studies provide valuable information, making it possible to combine diverse methods to build an expanded knowledge of ALS pathophysiology. In addition to using stem cells as experimental models for understanding disease mechanism, these cells had been quoted for therapy in ALS. Despite ethical issues involved in its use, cell therapy with neural stem cells stands out. A phase I clinical trial was recently completed and a phase II is on its way, attesting the method's safety. In another approach, mesenchymal stromal cells capable of releasing neuroregulatory and anti-inflammatory factors have also been listed as candidates for cell therapy for ALS, and have been admitted as safe in a phase I trial. Despite recent advances, application of stem cells as an actual therapy for ALS patients is still in debate. Here, we discuss how stem cells have been useful in modeling ALS and address critical topics concerning their therapeutic use, such as administration protocols, injection site, cell type to be administered, type of transplantation (autologous vs. allogeneic) among other issues with particular implications for ALS therapy.

  10. [Utility of muscle ultrasonography for the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Misawa, Sonoko

    2014-03-01

    The diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is frequently challenging, because motor neuron involvement is usually focal at disease onset and many syndromes mimic ALS. Neurological examination and needle EMG are important in the diagnosis of ALS, and patients with early-stage ALS usually undergo several EMG examinations before the diagnosis is confirmed. Ultrasonography has recently been used for the non-invasive assessment of neuromuscular disorders. This review discusses the recent advances in ultrasonography for ALS diagnosis. Ultrasonography could help detect lower motor neuron involvement by evaluating muscle volume, echo intensity, and fasciculations. Previous reports have documented the diagnostic values of all these parameters. In particular, fasciculations are characteristic features of ALS that can be easily and reliably visualized using ultrasonography. Moreover, the combined use of ultrasonography and EMG to detect fasciculations could substantially increase the diagnostic sensitivity of Awaji criteria for ALS. Attempts to utilize ultrasonography for ALS diagnosis have started only recently, and the technique used is yet to be standardized. However, ultrasonography has a major advantage over EMG in that it is non-invasive. Further studies are needed to understand the use of ultrasound as a novel non-invasive tool for ALS diagnosis.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Stem cell transplantation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: therapeutic potential and perspectives on clinical translation.

    PubMed

    Faravelli, Irene; Riboldi, Giulietta; Nizzardo, Monica; Simone, Chiara; Zanetta, Chiara; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo P; Corti, Stefania

    2014-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurological disease characterized by degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons. There are currently no clinically impactful treatments for this disorder. Death occurs 3-5 years after diagnosis, usually due to respiratory failure. ALS pathogenesis seems to involve several pathological mechanisms (i.e., oxidative stress, inflammation, and loss of the glial neurotrophic support, glutamate toxicity) with different contributions from environmental and genetic factors. This multifaceted combination highlights the concept that an effective therapeutic approach should counteract simultaneously different aspects: stem cell therapies are able to maintain or rescue motor neuron function and modulate toxicity in the central nervous system (CNS) at the same time, eventually representing the most comprehensive therapeutic approach for ALS. To achieve an effective cell-mediated therapy suitable for clinical applications, several issues must be addressed, including the identification of the most performing cell source, a feasible administration protocol, and the definition of therapeutic mechanisms. The method of cell delivery represents a major issue in developing cell-mediated approaches since the cells, to be effective, need to be spread across the CNS, targeting both lower and upper motor neurons. On the other hand, there is the need to define a strategy that could provide a whole distribution without being too invasive or burdened by side effects. Here, we review the recent advances regarding the therapeutic potential of stem cells for ALS with a focus on the minimally invasive strategies that could facilitate an extensive translation to their clinical application.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. [Diagnostic Criteria for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex in the Kii Peninsula, Japan].

    PubMed

    Kokubo, Yasumasa

    2015-07-01

    The diagnostic criteria for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex in the Kii peninsula of Japan (Kii ALS/PDC) have been proposed. Muro disease has been considered an endemic neurodegenerative disease in the southern part of the Kii peninsula. Recent intensive and comprehensive research has revealed it to be a complex and genetically heterogeneous disease. At present, there are four subtypes of Muro disease: sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Kii ALS/PDC with tauopathy, ALS with C9orf72 gene mutation, and ALS with optineurin gene mutation. The present criteria are applicable to only one of these subtypes, Kii ALS/PDC with tauopathy, which is quite similar to ALS/PDC in Guam.

  18. 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

  19. Cognitive and behavioural deficits associated with the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Meier, Sandra L; Charleston, Alison J; Tippett, Lynette J

    2010-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive disease affecting motor neurons, may variably affect cognition and behaviour. We tested the hypothesis that functions associated with orbitomedial prefrontal cortex are affected by evaluating the behavioural and cognitive performance of 18 participants with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis without dementia and 18 healthy, matched controls. We measured Theory of Mind (Faux Pas Task), emotional prosody recognition (Aprosodia Battery), reversal of behaviour in response to changes in reward (Probabilistic Reversal Learning Task), decision making without risk (Holiday Apartment Task) and aberrant behaviour (Neuropsychiatric Inventory). We also assessed dorsolateral prefrontal function, using verbal and written fluency and planning (One-touch Stockings of Cambridge), to determine whether impairments in tasks sensitive to these two prefrontal regions co-occur. The patient group was significantly impaired at identifying social faux pas, recognizing emotions and decision-making, indicating mild, but consistent impairment on most measures sensitive to orbitomedial prefrontal cortex. Significant levels of aberrant behaviour were present in 50% of patients. Patients were also impaired on verbal fluency and planning. Individual subject analyses involved computing classical dissociations between tasks sensitive to different prefrontal regions. These revealed heterogeneous patterns of impaired and spared cognitive abilities: 33% of participants had classical dissociations involving orbitomedial prefrontal tasks, 17% had classical dissociations involving dorsolateral prefrontal tasks, 22% had classical dissociations between tasks of both regions, and 28% had no classical dissociations. These data indicate subtle changes in behaviour, emotional processing, decision-making and altered social awareness, associated with orbitomedial prefrontal cortex, may be present in a significant proportion of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  20. 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

  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. A mitochondrial origin for frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis through CHCHD10 involvement.

    PubMed

    Bannwarth, Sylvie; Ait-El-Mkadem, Samira; Chaussenot, Annabelle; Genin, Emmanuelle C; Lacas-Gervais, Sandra; Fragaki, Konstantina; Berg-Alonso, Laetitia; Kageyama, Yusuke; Serre, Valérie; Moore, David G; Verschueren, Annie; Rouzier, Cécile; Le Ber, Isabelle; Augé, Gaëlle; Cochaud, Charlotte; Lespinasse, Françoise; N'Guyen, Karine; de Septenville, Anne; Brice, Alexis; Yu-Wai-Man, Patrick; Sesaki, Hiromi; Pouget, Jean; Paquis-Flucklinger, Véronique

    2014-08-01

    Mitochondrial DNA instability disorders are responsible for a large clinical spectrum, among which amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like symptoms and frontotemporal dementia are extremely rare. We report a large family with a late-onset phenotype including motor neuron disease, cognitive decline resembling frontotemporal dementia, cerebellar ataxia and myopathy. In all patients, muscle biopsy showed ragged-red and cytochrome c oxidase-negative fibres with combined respiratory chain deficiency and abnormal assembly of complex V. The multiple mitochondrial DNA deletions found in skeletal muscle revealed a mitochondrial DNA instability disorder. Patient fibroblasts present with respiratory chain deficiency, mitochondrial ultrastructural alterations and fragmentation of the mitochondrial network. Interestingly, expression of matrix-targeted photoactivatable GFP showed that mitochondrial fusion was not inhibited in patient fibroblasts. Using whole-exome sequencing we identified a missense mutation (c.176C>T; p.Ser59Leu) in the CHCHD10 gene that encodes a coiled-coil helix coiled-coil helix protein, whose function is unknown. We show that CHCHD10 is a mitochondrial protein located in the intermembrane space and enriched at cristae junctions. Overexpression of a CHCHD10 mutant allele in HeLa cells led to fragmentation of the mitochondrial network and ultrastructural major abnormalities including loss, disorganization and dilatation of cristae. The observation of a frontotemporal dementia-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis phenotype in a mitochondrial disease led us to analyse CHCHD10 in a cohort of 21 families with pathologically proven frontotemporal dementia-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We identified the same missense p.Ser59Leu mutation in one of these families. This work opens a novel field to explore the pathogenesis of the frontotemporal dementia-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clinical spectrum by showing that mitochondrial disease may be at the origin of some of these

  3. Diffusion tensor imaging analysis of sequential spreading of disease in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis confirms patterns of TDP-43 pathology.

    PubMed

    Kassubek, Jan; Müller, Hans-Peter; Del Tredici, Kelly; Brettschneider, Johannes; Pinkhardt, Elmar H; Lulé, Dorothée; Böhm, Sarah; Braak, Heiko; Ludolph, Albert C

    2014-06-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging can identify amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-associated patterns of brain alterations at the group level. Recently, a neuropathological staging system for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has shown that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may disseminate in a sequential regional pattern during four disease stages. The objective of the present study was to apply a new methodological diffusion tensor imaging-based approach to automatically analyse in vivo the fibre tracts that are prone to be involved at each neuropathological stage of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Two data samples, consisting of 130 diffusion tensor imaging data sets acquired at 1.5 T from 78 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 52 control subjects; and 55 diffusion-tensor imaging data sets at 3.0 T from 33 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 22 control subjects, were analysed by a tract of interest-based fibre tracking approach to analyse five tracts that become involved during the course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: the corticospinal tract (stage 1); the corticorubral and the corticopontine tracts (stage 2); the corticostriatal pathway (stage 3); the proximal portion of the perforant path (stage 4); and two reference pathways. The statistical analyses of tracts of interest showed differences between patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and control subjects for all tracts. The significance level of the comparisons at the group level was lower, the higher the disease stage with corresponding involved fibre tracts. Both the clinical phenotype as assessed by the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale-revised and disease duration correlated significantly with the resulting staging scheme. In summary, the tract of interest-based technique allowed for individual analysis of predefined tract structures, thus making it possible to image in vivo the disease stages in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This approach can be used not only for

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-28

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

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

    PubMed

    Collado-Vázquez, Susana; Carrillo, Jesús María

    2014-07-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Regulation of CuZnSOD and Its Redox Signaling Potential: Implications for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Hitchler, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Molecular oxygen is a Janus-faced electron acceptor for biological systems, serving as a reductant for respiration, or as the genesis for oxygen-derived free radicals that damage macromolecules. Superoxide is well known to perturb nonheme iron proteins, including Fe/S proteins such as aconitase and succinate dehydrogenase, as well as other enzymes containing labile iron such as the prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing family of enzymes; whereas hydrogen peroxide is more specific for two-electron reactions with thiols on glutathione, glutaredoxin, thioredoxin, and the peroxiredoxins. Recent Advances: Over the past two decades, familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have been shown to have an association with commonly altered superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) activity, expression, and protein structure. This has led to speculation that an altered redox balance may have a role in creating the ALS phenotype. Critical Issues: While SOD1 alterations in familial ALS are manifold, they generally create perturbations in the flux of electrons. The nexus of SOD1 between one- and two-electron signaling processes places it at a key signaling regulatory checkpoint for governing cellular responses to physiological and environmental cues. Future Directions: The manner in which ALS-associated mutations adjust SOD1's role in controlling the flow of electrons between one- and two-electron signaling processes remains obscure. Here, we discuss the ways in which SOD1 mutations influence the form and function of copper zinc SOD, the consequences of these alterations on free radical biology, and how these alterations might influence cell signaling during the onset of ALS. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 1590–1598. PMID:23795822

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Tracheomegaly Secondary to Tracheotomy Tube Cuff in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Case Report.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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

  17. Symptom Management and End-of-Life Care in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Carlayne E; McVey, April L; Rudnicki, Stacy; Dimachkie, Mazen M; Barohn, Richard J

    2015-11-01

    The number of available symptomatic treatments has markedly enhanced the care of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Once thought to be untreatable, patients with ALS today clearly benefit from multidisciplinary care. The impact of such care on the disease course, including rate of progression and mortality, has surpassed the treatment effects commonly sought in clinical drug trials. Unfortunately, there are few randomized controlled trials of medications or interventions addressing symptom management. In this review, the authors provide the level of evidence, when available, for each intervention that is currently considered standard of care by consensus opinion.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bonda, Chaitanya; Kolikonda, Murali K; Brown, Martin E; Lippmann, Steven

    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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    There is mounting evidence to suggest that environmental factors play a major role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases like ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). The non-protein amino acid beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) was first associated with the high incidence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex (ALS/PDC) in Guam, and has been implicated as a potential environmental factor in ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. BMAA has a number of toxic effects on motor neurons including direct agonist action on NMDA and AMPA receptors, induction of oxidative stress, and depletion of glutathione. As a non-protein amino acid, there is also the strong possibility that BMAA could cause intraneuronal protein misfolding, the hallmark of neurodegeneration. While an animal model for BMAA-induced ALS is lacking, there is substantial evidence to support a link between this toxin and ALS. The ramifications of discovering an environmental trigger for ALS are enormous. In this article, we discuss the history, ecology, pharmacology and clinical ramifications of this ubiquitous, cyanobacteria-derived toxin. PMID:22069578

  6. A unifying hypothesis for the cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, parkinsonism, and Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Appel, S H

    1981-12-01

    The causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer disease are unknown. Furthermore, treatment for two of these conditions is almost totally lacking. The thesis is presented that each of these disorders is due to lack of a disorder-specific neurotrophic hormone. The hormone would be elaborated or stored in the target of the affected neurons. It would be released by the postsynaptic cell and then exert its effects in a retrograde fashion after being taken up by the presynaptic terminal. In the lower motor neuron syndromes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, failure of muscle cells to release the appropriate motor neurotrophic hormone would result in impaired function of anterior horn cells. In Parkinson disease, the neurotrophic failure would be characterized by inability of striatal cells to provide the required dopamine neurotrophic hormone with resulting impairment of substantia nigra cells. In Alzheimer disease, the abnormalities would lie in failure of the hippocampus and cortical cells to supply the relevant cholinergic neurotrophic hormone with resulting impairment of medial septal and nucleus basalis neurons. Central nervous system tissue culture provides a convenient system in which to assay these neurotrophic hormones and should permit a test of the hypothesis.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-19

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

  10. 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.

  11. A Bibliometric Assessment of Global Ice Bucket Challenge (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Research

    PubMed Central

    Ram, Shri

    2016-01-01

    Background This study is a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the global research trends on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (popularly known as Ice Bucket Challenge), through related literatures retrieved from SCOPUS multidisciplinary database for the period 1974-2013. Purpose This study is aimed at analyzing the literature on ALS in terms of document type, language, annual growth, productive country, journal, authors, subject, and most cited articles. Methods The bibliographic data for this study was retrieved from the SCOPUS database using keywords ‘amyotrophic lateral sclerosis’, ‘motor neurone disease’, ‘Charcot disease’, ‘Lou Gehrig's disease’, ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ available in title, abstract, and keyword fields of Scopus database from 1974 to 2013. Results The literature analysis included 21,750 articles during the period from 1974 to 2013 in different areas of ALS. USA was the most productive country in terms of literature produced, while Neurology was the most productive journal. Conclusion An intensive awareness created by ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ has attracted masses, and an intensive growth of literature is pertinent on ALS. The results of this study are expressed in terms of growth of literature, output of individual countries, and authors, and will be helpful in collaborative research in future. PMID:27780988

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Factors affecting longitudinal functional decline and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Hazuki; Atsuta, Naoki; Nakamura, Ryoichi; Hirakawa, Akihiro; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Ito, Mizuki; Senda, Jo; Katsuno, Masahisa; Izumi, Yuishin; Morita, Mitsuya; Tomiyama, Hiroyuki; Taniguchi, Akira; Aiba, Ikuko; Abe, Koji; Mizoguchi, Kouichi; Oda, Masaya; Kano, Osamu; Okamoto, Koichi; Kuwabara, Satoshi; Hasegawa, Kazuko; Imai, Takashi; Aoki, Masashi; Tsuji, Shoji; Nakano, Imaharu; Kaji, Ryuji; Sobue, Gen

    2015-06-01

    Our objective was to elucidate the clinical factors affecting functional decline and survival in Japanese amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. We constructed a multicenter prospective ALS cohort that included 451 sporadic ALS patients in the analysis. We longitudinally utilized the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) as the functional scale, and determined the timing of introduction of a tracheostomy for positive-pressure ventilation and death. A joint modelling approach was employed to identify prognostic factors for functional decline and survival. Age at onset was a common prognostic factor for both functional decline and survival (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively). Female gender (p = 0.019) and initial symptoms, including upper limb weakness (p = 0.010), lower limb weakness (p = 0.008) or bulbar symptoms (p = 0.005), were related to early functional decline, whereas neck weakness as an initial symptom (p = 0.018), non-use of riluzole (p = 0.030) and proximal dominant muscle weakness in the upper extremities (p = 0.01) were related to a shorter survival time. A decline in the ALSFRS-R score was correlated with a shortened survival time (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the factors affecting functional decline and survival in ALS were common in part but different to some extent. This difference has not been previously well recognized but is informative in clinical practice and for conducting trials.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  16. [In search of unknown aetiopathogenesis: from Henry Louis ("Lou") Gehrig to Gianluca Signorini: history of the link between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and sport].

    PubMed

    Cristani, Alessandro; Romagnoli, Elisa

    2006-01-01

    From "Lou" Gehirg to Gianluca Signorini: the history of almost 70 years of link between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and sport. From first intuitions and assumptions to late epidemiological evidences supporting the possible relation between Italian soccer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; comparison among old and new aetiopathogenetic hypothesis.

  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. The relation between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and inorganic selenium in drinking water: a population-based case-control study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A community in northern Italy was previously reported to have an excess incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis among residents exposed to high levels of inorganic selenium in their drinking water. Methods To assess the extent to which such association persisted in the decade following its initial observation, we conducted a population-based case-control study encompassing forty-one newly-diagnosed cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and eighty-two age- and sex-matched controls. We measured long-term intake of inorganic selenium along with other potentially neurotoxic trace elements. Results We found that consumption of drinking water containing ≥ 1 μg/l of inorganic selenium was associated with a relative risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis of 5.4 (95% confidence interval 1.1-26) after adjustment for confounding factors. Greater amounts of cumulative inorganic selenium intake were associated with progressively increasing effects, with a relative risk of 2.1 (95% confidence interval 0.5-9.1) for intermediate levels of cumulative intake and 6.4 (95% confidence interval 1.3-31) for high intake. Conclusion Based on these results, coupled with other epidemiologic data and with findings from animal studies that show specific toxicity of the trace element on motor neurons, we hypothesize that dietary intake of inorganic selenium through drinking water increases the risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:21134276

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Genes and Environmental Exposures in Veterans with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: The GENEVA Study

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Silke; Allen, Kelli D.; Loiacono, Valerie T.; Norman, Barbara; Stanwyck, Catherine L.; Nord, Kristina M.; Williams, Christina D.; Kasarskis, Edward J.; Kamel, Freya; McGuire, Valerie; Nelson, Lorene M.; Oddone, Eugene Z.

    2008-01-01

    Recent reports of a potentially increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for veterans deployed to the 1990–1991 Persian Gulf War prompted the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a National Registry of Veterans with ALS, charged with the goal of enrolling all US veterans with a neurologist-confirmed diagnosis of ALS. The Genes and Environmental Exposures in Veterans with ALS study (GENEVA) is a case-control study presently enrolling cases from the Department of Veterans Affairs registry and a representative sample of veteran controls to evaluate the joint contributions of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposures to the risk of sporadic ALS. The GENEVA study design, recruitment strategies, methods of collecting DNA samples and environmental risk factor information are described here, along with a summary of demographic characteristics of the participants (537 cases, 292 controls) enrolled to date. PMID:18421219

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Benefit of a combined treatment with trientine and ascorbate in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis model mice.

    PubMed

    Nagano, S; Ogawa, Y; Yanagihara, T; Sakoda, S

    1999-04-23

    We previously reported that the common toxic gain-of-function in various mutant copper-zinc superoxide dismutases (SOD1) seen in patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was an abnormal copper release from the enzyme protein. In this study, trientine and ascorbate, known to have a beneficial effect in an animal model of Wilson disease, were administered to transgenic mice overexpressing a mutated human SOD1 (G93A). The onset of neurological signs in the treated group was significantly delayed compared with that in the control group, and the time to reach total paralysis in the treated group was delayed as well. Since the agents used in this study cause low toxicity in animals and humans, this treatment may be a good candidate for clinical application.

  8. 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

  9. Accelerated Disease Onset with Stabilized Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)-linked Mutant TDP-43 Proteins*

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Shoji; Kaneko, Kumi; Yamanaka, Koji

    2013-01-01

    Abnormal protein accumulation is a pathological hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, including accumulation of TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dominant mutations in the TDP-43 gene are causative for familial ALS; however, the relationship between mutant protein biochemical phenotypes and disease course and their significance to disease pathomechanism are not known. Here, we found that longer half-lives of mutant proteins correlated with accelerated disease onset. Based on our findings, we established a cell model in which chronic stabilization of wild-type TDP-43 protein provoked cytotoxicity and recapitulated pathogenic protein cleavage and insolubility to the detergent Sarkosyl, TDP-43 properties that have been observed in sporadic ALS lesions. Furthermore, these cells showed proteasomal impairment and dysregulation of their own mRNA levels. These results suggest that chronically increased stability of mutant or wild-type TDP-43 proteins results in a gain of toxicity through abnormal proteostasis. PMID:23235148

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. [Suspected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? Don't forget diagnostic imaging of the spine].

    PubMed

    Opstelten, F W; Boon, A J

    2001-03-17

    Two patients, men aged 35 and 72 years, had progressive muscle weakness, lower motor neuron signs in all extremities and upper motor neuron signs in the legs. There were no major sensory signs on examination. The clinical picture very much resembled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), although there were never brain stem signs. Myelopathy and polyradiculopathies caused by a tandem cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis explained the clinical picture. Cervical MRI and lumbar CT confirmed this diagnosis. Laminectomy was done, after which both patients remained with unchanged symptoms. Tandem spinal stenosis should be part of the differential diagnosis of ALS. Imaging of the spine is necessary to confirm this diagnosis, and in the absence of bulbar signs always necessary prior to the diagnosis of ALS.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. [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

  16. 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.

  17. Botulinum toxin B ultrasound-guided injections for sialorrhea in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Contarino, Maria Fiorella; Pompili, Maurizio; Tittoto, Paola; Vanacore, Nicola; Sabatelli, Mario; Cedrone, Augusto; Rapaccini, Gian Ludovico; Gasbarrini, Giovanni; Tonali, Pietro Attilio; Bentivoglio, Anna Rita

    2007-07-01

    Sialorrhea is frequent and invalidating in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Parkinson's disease (PD). Botulinum toxin (BTX) emerged as an alternative to traditional treatments. We evaluated efficacy and tolerability of ultrasound-guided BTX-B injections in parotids and submandibular glands in 18 patients with ALS or PD. At 1 week, both objective (cotton rolls weight) and subjective evaluations (dedicated clinical scales) documented sialorrhea reduction (p<0.01). ALS patients reported shorter benefit duration (p<0.001) and higher prevalence of viscous saliva (seven vs one patients), possibly due to different pattern of autonomic involvement. BTX-B seems efficacious in reducing sialorrhea in ALS and PD but the risk-benefit ratio might differ between these two conditions. This might have implications for clinical practice.

  18. Botulinum toxin improves sialorrhea and quality of living in bulbar amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Verma, Ashok; Steele, Julie

    2006-08-01

    Sialorrhea is frequently a socially disabling symptom in patients with bulbar amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this open-label prospective study, we report the effect of botulinum toxin A (Botox) injection into the parotid glands in 10 patients with bulbar ALS and socially disabling sialorrhea. We applied three different outcome measures to determine the effect of Botox therapy on sialorrhea. Botox significantly improved the degree of sialorrhea and a drooling impact score and, by inference, the quality of living, in over half of the patients with bulbar ALS and severe sialorrhea. The beneficial effect of Botox lasted for at least 2 months in those who responded. No major adverse effects were noted. Local injection of a small dose of Botox into the parotid glands can control sialorrhea and potentially improve living quality in some patients with bulbar ALS.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Interaction between PON1 and population density in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Diekstra, Frank P; Beleza-Meireles, Ana; Leigh, Nigel P; Shaw, Christopher E; Al-Chalabi, Ammar

    2009-01-28

    Paraoxonase polymorphisms have been associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Paraoxonases are detoxifying enzymes involved in the metabolism of organophosphates. We tested the hypothesis that genetic variation within paraoxonase genes would interact with the environmental exposure to paraoxonase substrates. We used population density in the location of residence of ALS patients as a surrogate marker for environmental exposure. Paraoxonase genotypes at previously associated single nucleotide polymorphisms rs662, rs854560, rs6954345, and rs11981433 were studied in 98 patients from the South East England ALS population-based register. A case-only analysis was carried out and median population density was used to categorize patients into rural or urban environments. We found a significant interaction with population density for marker rs854560 (L55M) in ALS.

  2. Multi-resolution entropy analysis of gait symmetry in neurological degenerative diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Liao, Fuyuan; Wang, Jue; He, Ping

    2008-04-01

    Gait rhythm of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been studied focusing on the fractal and correlation properties of stride time fluctuations. In this study, we investigated gait asymmetry in these diseases using the multi-resolution entropy analysis of stance time fluctuations. Since stance time is likely to exhibit fluctuations across multiple spatial and temporal scales, the data series were decomposed into appropriate levels by applying stationary wavelet transform. The similarity between two corresponding wavelet coefficient series in terms of their regularities at each level was quantified based on a modified sample entropy method and a weighted sum was then used as gait symmetry index. We found that gait symmetry in subjects with PD and HD, especially with ALS is significantly disturbed. This method may be useful in characterizing certain pathologies of motor control and, possibly, in monitoring disease progression and evaluating the effect of an individual treatment.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Brain-computer interfacing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Implications of a resting-state EEG analysis.

    PubMed

    Jayaram, Vinay; Widmann, Natalie; Förster, Christian; Fomina, Tatiana; Hohmann, Matthias; Müller Vom Hagen, Jennifer; Synofzik, Matthis; Schölkopf, Bernhard; Schöls, Ludger; Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz

    2015-01-01

    Despite decades of research on EEG-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), there is still little known about how the disease affects the electromagnetic field of the brain. This may be one reason for the present failure of EEG-based BCI paradigms for completely locked-in ALS patients. In order to help understand this failure, we have recorded resting state data from six ALS patients and thirty-two healthy controls to investigate for group differences. While similar studies have been attempted in the past, none have used high-density EEG or tried to distinguish between physiological and non-physiological sources of the EEG. We find an ALS-specific global increase in gamma power (30-90 Hz) that is not specific to the motor cortex, suggesting that the mechanism behind ALS affects non-motor cortical regions even in the absence of comorbid cognitive deficits. PMID:26737898

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

    PubMed

    Maeda, Kengo; Shiraishi, Tomoyuki; Idehara, Ryo

    2015-01-01

    We herein describe the case of a woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) showing errors in her choice of Japanese kana characters in her mobile text messages and agraphia of the kana in her handwriting in spite of the absence of weakness, ataxia, or apraxia of her hands. Magnetic resonance imaging showed the atrophy of the frontal lobes. Single-photon emission computed tomography revealed hypoperfusion of the frontal lobes including Exner's area. Although patients with bulbar-onset ALS have been reported to show agraphia of handwriting, in this case the basis of her agraphia might have been the disturbance of the pathway converting phones to graphemes in series, by which errors of spelling or writing would appear in any modality of output. PMID:26631894

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The Regulatory Machinery of Neurodegeneration in In Vitro Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Ikiz, Burcin; Alvarez, Mariano J; Ré, Diane B; Le Verche, Virginia; Politi, Kristin; Lotti, Francesco; Phani, Sudarshan; Pradhan, Radhika; Yu, Changhao; Croft, Gist F; Jacquier, Arnaud; Henderson, Christopher E; Califano, Andrea; Przedborski, Serge

    2015-07-14

    Neurodegenerative phenotypes reflect complex, time-dependent molecular processes whose elucidation may reveal neuronal class-specific therapeutic targets. The current focus in neurodegeneration has been on individual genes and pathways. In contrast, we assembled a genome-wide regulatory model (henceforth, "interactome"), whose unbiased interrogation revealed 23 candidate causal master regulators of neurodegeneration in an in vitro model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), characterized by a loss of spinal motor neurons (MNs). Of these, eight were confirmed as specific MN death drivers in our model of familial ALS, including NF-κB, which has long been considered a pro-survival factor. Through an extensive array of molecular, pharmacological, and biochemical approaches, we have confirmed that neuronal NF-κB drives the degeneration of MNs in both familial and sporadic models of ALS, thus providing proof of principle that regulatory network analysis is a valuable tool for studying cell-specific mechanisms of neurodegeneration. PMID:26146077

  11. 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.

  12. Frontotemporal lobar dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis associated with c9orf72 expansion.

    PubMed

    Le Ber, I

    2015-01-01

    An intronic GGGGCC repeat expansion in c9orf72 gene has been identified as the most common genetic cause of frontotemporal lobar dementia (FTLD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and FTLD-ALS. The discovery of c9orf72 gene has led to important scientific progresses and has considerably changed our clinical practice over the last few years. This paper summarizes the common and less typical phenotypes associated with c9orf72 expansion, the complex pathological pattern characterized by p62/dipeptide repeat aggregates, as well as the pathological mechanisms by which the expansion might produce neurodegeneration implicating loss-of-function, RNA toxicity, RNA-binding protein sequestration and accumulation of dipeptide repeats. We also discuss the recommendations and limits for genetic testing and counseling in clinical practice. PMID:26032484

  13. 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.

  14. Multi-resolution entropy analysis of gait symmetry in neurological degenerative diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Liao, Fuyuan; Wang, Jue; He, Ping

    2008-04-01

    Gait rhythm of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been studied focusing on the fractal and correlation properties of stride time fluctuations. In this study, we investigated gait asymmetry in these diseases using the multi-resolution entropy analysis of stance time fluctuations. Since stance time is likely to exhibit fluctuations across multiple spatial and temporal scales, the data series were decomposed into appropriate levels by applying stationary wavelet transform. The similarity between two corresponding wavelet coefficient series in terms of their regularities at each level was quantified based on a modified sample entropy method and a weighted sum was then used as gait symmetry index. We found that gait symmetry in subjects with PD and HD, especially with ALS is significantly disturbed. This method may be useful in characterizing certain pathologies of motor control and, possibly, in monitoring disease progression and evaluating the effect of an individual treatment. PMID:17569571

  15. [Have ALS centers changed the care and management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?].

    PubMed

    Pouget, J

    2013-02-01

    The multidisciplinary care of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients in clinics with expertise in the disease was created in the 1980s and 1990 s specifically to manage the severe functional impairment caused by the disorder. This specialized care for both diagnosis and management led to the creation of the ALS centers. To facilitate the continuity of care through close liaisons between primary-care physicians and community-based services, a specialized network was also developed. French ALS centers are now 10 years old, and their efficient national coordination has provided an improved and homogeneous care delivery in our country, while their recommendations for care have been published both nationally and internationally. Several studies have indicated positive effects on ALS patients'survival after attending ALS centers and receiving such specialized palliative treatments as assisted ventilation.

  16. 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

  17. Increased in vivo glial activation in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Assessed with [11C]-PBR28

    PubMed Central

    Zürcher, Nicole R.; Loggia, Marco L.; Lawson, Robert; Chonde, Daniel B.; Izquierdo-Garcia, David; Yasek, Julia E.; Akeju, Oluwaseun; Catana, Ciprian; Rosen, Bruce R.; Cudkowicz, Merit E.; Hooker, Jacob M.; Atassi, Nazem

    2015-01-01

    Evidence from human post mortem, in vivo and animal model studies implicates the neuroimmune system and activated microglia in the pathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The study aim was to further evaluate in vivo neuroinflammation in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using [11C]-PBR28 positron emission tomography. Ten patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (seven males, three females, 38–68 years) and ten age- and [11C]-PBR28 binding affinity-matched healthy volunteers (six males, four females, 33–65 years) completed a positron emission tomography scan. Standardized uptake values were calculated from 60 to 90 min post-injection and normalized to whole brain mean. Voxel-wise analysis showed increased binding in the motor cortices and corticospinal tracts in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis compared to healthy controls (pFWE < 0.05). Region of interest analysis revealed increased [11C]-PBR28 binding in the precentral gyrus in patients (normalized standardized uptake value = 1.15) compared to controls (1.03, p < 0.05). In patients those values were positively correlated with upper motor neuron burden scores (r = 0.69, p < 0.05), and negatively correlated with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale (r = –0.66, p < 0.05). Increased in vivo glial activation in motor cortices, that correlates with phenotype, complements previous histopathological reports. Further studies will determine the role of [11C]-PBR28 as a marker of treatments that target neuroinflammation. PMID:25685708

  18. Increased in vivo glial activation in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: assessed with [(11)C]-PBR28.

    PubMed

    Zürcher, Nicole R; Loggia, Marco L; Lawson, Robert; Chonde, Daniel B; Izquierdo-Garcia, David; Yasek, Julia E; Akeju, Oluwaseun; Catana, Ciprian; Rosen, Bruce R; Cudkowicz, Merit E; Hooker, Jacob M; Atassi, Nazem

    2015-01-01

    Evidence from human post mortem, in vivo and animal model studies implicates the neuroimmune system and activated microglia in the pathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The study aim was to further evaluate in vivo neuroinflammation in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using [(11)C]-PBR28 positron emission tomography. Ten patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (seven males, three females, 38-68 years) and ten age- and [(11)C]-PBR28 binding affinity-matched healthy volunteers (six males, four females, 33-65 years) completed a positron emission tomography scan. Standardized uptake values were calculated from 60 to 90 min post-injection and normalized to whole brain mean. Voxel-wise analysis showed increased binding in the motor cortices and corticospinal tracts in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis compared to healthy controls (p FWE < 0.05). Region of interest analysis revealed increased [(11)C]-PBR28 binding in the precentral gyrus in patients (normalized standardized uptake value = 1.15) compared to controls (1.03, p < 0.05). In patients those values were positively correlated with upper motor neuron burden scores (r = 0.69, p < 0.05), and negatively correlated with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale (r = -0.66, p < 0.05). Increased in vivo glial activation in motor cortices, that correlates with phenotype, complements previous histopathological reports. Further studies will determine the role of [(11)C]-PBR28 as a marker of treatments that target neuroinflammation.

  19. An assessment of possible neuropathology and clinical relationships in 46 sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patient autopsies

    PubMed Central

    Coan, Grant; Mitchell, Cassie S.

    2015-01-01

    Background Recent studies have suggested overlapping pathological features among motoneuron, cognitive and neurodegenerative diseases. Aims/Methods Secondary analysis of 46 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patient autopsies was performed to independently assess pathological feature prevalence (e.g. percent of patients with any positive finding), degree of severity (e.g. mild, moderate, severe), and 2200+ potential clinical/neuropathological correlations. The possible impact of gender, onset age, onset type (limb versus bulbar), riluzole treatment, and severe TDP-43 pathology was assessed within patient sub-groups. Results Assessed features (prevalence, severity) include: lateral corticospinal tract degeneration (89%, moderate); Purkinje cell loss (85%, mild); localized neuronal loss (83%, mild to moderate), TDP-43 inclusions (80%, moderate); Betz cell loss (76%, mild); neurofibrillary tangles (78%, severe); anterior corticospinal tract degeneration (72%, moderate); spinal ventral root atrophy (65%, moderate); atherosclerosis (35%, mild); beta amyloid (35%, mild); tauopathy/tau inclusions (17%, mild); ventricular dilation (13%, mild); Lewy body formation (11%, mild); microinfracts (7%, mild); alpha-synuclein (0.04%, mild). Twenty-two percent of patients met criteria for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and 26% for frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Substantive differences were identified in the AD group and in the different onset age groups. Conclusion Our findings support the hypothesis that ALS and its variants could comprise a larger neuropathological continuum. PMID:26183171

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  1. 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

  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. Prospects for bone marrow cell therapy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: how far are we from a clinical treatment?

    PubMed Central

    Gubert, Fernanda; Satiago, Marcelo F.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive muscular atrophy and death within 3–5 years after its onset. Despite the significant advances in knowledge of ALS pathology, no effective treatment is available. Therefore, it is imperative to search for new alternatives to treat ALS. Cell therapy, especially using bone-marrow cells, has showed to be very useful to protect the neural tissue in different brain disease or traumatic lesions. In ALS, most published results show beneficial effects of the use bone marrow cells, especially mesenchymal stromal cells. However, until now, the best outcome extends animal's lifespan by only a few weeks. It is essential to continue the search for a really effective therapy, testing different cells, routes and time-windows of administration. Studying the mechanisms that initiate and spread the degenerative process is also important to find out an effective therapy. Therefore, we discussed here some progresses that have been made using bone-marrow cell therapy as a therapeutic tool for ALS. PMID:27651758

  4. Prospects for bone marrow cell therapy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: how far are we from a clinical treatment?

    PubMed Central

    Gubert, Fernanda; Satiago, Marcelo F.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive muscular atrophy and death within 3–5 years after its onset. Despite the significant advances in knowledge of ALS pathology, no effective treatment is available. Therefore, it is imperative to search for new alternatives to treat ALS. Cell therapy, especially using bone-marrow cells, has showed to be very useful to protect the neural tissue in different brain disease or traumatic lesions. In ALS, most published results show beneficial effects of the use bone marrow cells, especially mesenchymal stromal cells. However, until now, the best outcome extends animal's lifespan by only a few weeks. It is essential to continue the search for a really effective therapy, testing different cells, routes and time-windows of administration. Studying the mechanisms that initiate and spread the degenerative process is also important to find out an effective therapy. Therefore, we discussed here some progresses that have been made using bone-marrow cell therapy as a therapeutic tool for ALS.

  5. Prospects for bone marrow cell therapy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: how far are we from a clinical treatment?

    PubMed

    Gubert, Fernanda; Satiago, Marcelo F

    2016-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive muscular atrophy and death within 3-5 years after its onset. Despite the significant advances in knowledge of ALS pathology, no effective treatment is available. Therefore, it is imperative to search for new alternatives to treat ALS. Cell therapy, especially using bone-marrow cells, has showed to be very useful to protect the neural tissue in different brain disease or traumatic lesions. In ALS, most published results show beneficial effects of the use bone marrow cells, especially mesenchymal stromal cells. However, until now, the best outcome extends animal's lifespan by only a few weeks. It is essential to continue the search for a really effective therapy, testing different cells, routes and time-windows of administration. Studying the mechanisms that initiate and spread the degenerative process is also important to find out an effective therapy. Therefore, we discussed here some progresses that have been made using bone-marrow cell therapy as a therapeutic tool for ALS. PMID:27651758

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Functional contribution of the transcription factor ATF4 to the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    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 SOD1(G86R) transgenic mice. The fraction of ATF4(-/-)-SOD1(G85R) 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Riluzole. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties and therapeutic potential in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Bryson, H M; Fulton, B; Benfield, P

    1996-10-01

    Riluzole, a benzothiazole, affects neurons by 3 mechanisms: by inhibiting excitatory amino acid release, inhibiting events following stimulation of excitatory amino acid receptors and stabilising the inactivated state of voltage-dependent sodium channels. It has demonstrated neuroprotective activity in vivo and in vitro. Results from 2 randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trials in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; motor neuron disease) have demonstrated that riluzole can extend survival and/or time to tracheostomy. After 18 months, the relative risk of death or tracheostomy with riluzole 100 mg/day was reduced by 21%. Although riluzole slowed the rate of deterioration in muscle strength in the first trial, this was not confirmed in the second, larger trial. Riluzole had no effect on any other functional or secondary variable. Gastrointestinal effects, anorexia, asthenia, circumoral paraesthesia and dizziness were reported more frequently with riluzole than placebo. Elevated alanine aminotransferase levels were observed in 10.6 versus 3.8% of patients treated with riluzole 100 mg/day versus placebo, leading to treatment withdrawal in 3.8 versus 2.1% of patients. In conclusion, riluzole is the first drug that has been shown to have an effect on survival in patients with ALS. Although the effect of riluzole was modest, it has allowed some insight into the pathogenesis of ALS from which future gains may be made.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Microneurotrophins (MNT's) are small molecule derivatives of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and do not have significant interactions with sex steroid receptors. MNT's retain high-affinity binding to protein tyrosine kinase (Trk) receptors and can mimic many pleiotropic actions of neurotrophin (NT) proteins on neurons. MNT's offer therapeutic potential for diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) where motor neurons (MN) degenerate. MNT's cross artificial membranes mimicking the blood-brain barrier, are not major substrates for ABC (ATP-binding cassette) transporters and are metabolized rapidly by mouse but more slowly by human hepatocytes. A lead MNT (BNN27) and its mono-oxidation metabolites enter mouse brain rapidly. RNA-sequencing measured gene expression profiles of human H9eSC-(embryonic stem cell)-derived or CTL (control) subject iPSC-(induced pluripotential stem cell)-derived MN's exposed to NT proteins or MNT molecules. Expression ratios (relative to DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) vehicle) were calculated, and the resulting top 500 gene lists were analyzed for Gene Ontology (GO) grouping using DAVID (Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery). The MNT's BNN20, BNN23, and BNN27 showed overlap of GO terms with NGF (nerve growth factor) and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in the H9eSC-derived MN's. In the iPSC-derived MN's two (BNN20, BNN27) showed overlap of GO terms with NGF or BDNF. Each NT protein had GO terms that did not overlap with any MNT in the MN cell lines. PMID:27498123

  20. 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

  1. Immature copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Extensive FUS-immunoreactive pathology in juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with basophilic inclusions.

    PubMed

    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

    2010-11-01

    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 fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. C/EBPβ expression in activated microglia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Valente, Tony; Mancera, Pilar; Tusell, Josep M; Serratosa, Joan; Saura, Josep

    2012-09-01

    Neuroinflammation is thought to play a pathogenic role in many neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study we demonstrate that the expression of nitric oxide (NO) synthase-2 (NOS2), and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with interferon-γ is higher in microglial-enriched cultures from G93A-SOD1 mice, an ALS animal model, than from wild type mice. The levels of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ), a transcription factor that regulates proinflammatory gene expression, are also upregulated in activated G93A-SOD1 microglial cells. In vivo, systemic lipopolysaccharide also induces an exacerbated neuroinflammatory response in G93A-SOD1 mice versus wild type mice, with increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), CD11b, nitric oxide synthase-2, cyclooxygenase-2, proinflammatory cytokines, and C/EBPβ. Finally, we report that C/EBPβ is expressed by microglia in the spinal cord of ALS patients. This is the first demonstration to our knowledge of microglial C/EBPβ expression in human disease. Altogether these findings indicate that G93A-SOD1 expression results in an exacerbated pattern of neuroinflammation and suggest that C/EBPβ is a candidate to regulate the expression of potentially neurotoxic genes in microglial cells in ALS.

  14. 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

  15. A PDF-based classification of gait cadence patterns in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yunfeng; Ng, Sin Chun

    2010-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a type of neurological disease due to the degeneration of motor neurons. During the course of such a progressive disease, it would be difficult for ALS patients to regulate normal locomotion, so that the gait stability becomes perturbed. This paper presents a pilot statistical study on the gait cadence (or stride interval) in ALS, based on the statistical analysis method. The probability density functions (PDFs) of stride interval were first estimated with the nonparametric Parzen-window method. We computed the mean of the left-foot stride interval and the modified Kullback-Leibler divergence (MKLD) from the PDFs estimated. The analysis results suggested that both of these two statistical parameters were significantly altered in ALS, and the least-squares support vector machine (LS-SVM) may effectively distinguish the stride patterns between the ALS patients and healthy controls, with an accurate rate of 82.8% and an area of 0.87 under the receiver operating characteristic curve. PMID:21095924

  16. Inherited and somatic mitochondrial DNA mutations in Guam amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia.

    PubMed

    Reiff, Dana M; Spathis, Rita; Chan, Chim W; Vilar, Miguel G; Sankaranarayanan, Krithivasan; Lynch, Daniel; Ehrlich, Emily; Kerath, Samantha; Chowdhury, Risana; Robinowitz, Leah; Koji Lum, J; Garruto, Ralph M

    2011-10-01

    There is increasing evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders, although the exact role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in this process is unresolved. We investigated inherited and somatic mtDNA substitutions and deletions in Guam amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and parkinsonism-dementia (PD). Hypervariable segment 1 sequences of Chamorro mtDNA revealed that the odds ratio of a PD or ALS diagnosis was increased for individuals in the E1 haplogroup while individuals in the E2 haplogroup had decreased odds of an ALS or PD diagnosis. Once the disorders were examined separately, it became evident that PD was responsible for these results. When the entire mitochondrial genome was sequenced for a subset of individuals, the nonsynonymous mutation at nucleotide position 9080, shared by all E2 individuals, resulted in a significantly low odds ratio for a diagnosis of ALS or PD. Private polymorphisms found in transfer and ribosomal RNA regions were found only in ALS and PD patients in the E1 haplogroup. Somatic mtDNA deletions in the entire mtDNA genome were not associated with either ALS or PD. We conclude that mtDNA haplogroup effects may result in mitochondrial dysfunction in Guam PD and reflect Guam population history. Thus it is reasonable to consider Guam ALS and PD as complex disorders with both environmental prerequisites and small genetic effects.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cipolletta, Sabrina; Amicucci, Linda

    2015-08-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. Monitoring systemic oxidative stress in an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Miana-Mena, Francisco Javier; González-Mingot, Cristina; Larrodé, Pilar; Muñoz, María Jesús; Oliván, Sara; Fuentes-Broto, Lorena; Martínez-Ballarín, Enrique; Reiter, Russel J; Osta, Rosario; García, Joaquín José

    2011-05-01

    A mutant form of the ubiquitous copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) protein has been found in some patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We monitored oxidative stress in an animal model of ALS, the SOD(G93A) mouse, which develops a disease similar to ALS with an accelerated course. The aim of this work was to show that ALS damages several organs and tissues, from an oxidative stress point of view. We measured lipid and protein oxidative damage in different tissue homogenates of SOD(G93A) mice. The biomarkers that we analyzed were malondialdehyde + 4-hydroxyalkenal (MDA + 4-HDA) and carbonyls, respectively. The spinal cord and brain of SOD(G93A) mice showed increased lipid peroxidation after 100 or 130 days compared to age-matched littermate controls. The CNS was most affected, but lipid peroxidation was also detected in the skeletal muscle and liver on day 130. No changes were observed in protein carbonylation in the homogenates. Our results are consistent with a multisystem etiology of ALS and suggest that oxidative stress may play a primary role in ALS pathogenesis. Thus, oxidative stress represents a potential biomarker that might be useful in developing new therapeutic strategies for ALS.

  9. Glutamate Transporters and the Excitotoxic Path to Motor Neuron Degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Foran, Emily

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Responsible for the majority of excitatory activity in the central nervous system (CNS), glutamate interacts with a range of specific receptor and transporter systems to establish a functional synapse. Excessive stimulation of glutamate receptors causes excitotoxicity, a phenomenon implicated in both acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases [e.g., ischemia, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)]. In physiology, excitotoxicity is prevented by rapid binding and clearance of synaptic released glutamate by high-affinity, Na+-dependent glutamate transporters and amplified by defects to the glutamate transporter and receptor systems. ALS pathogenetic mechanisms are not completely understood and characterized, but excitotoxicity has been regarded as one firm mechanism implicated in the disease because of data obtained from ALS patients and animal and cellular models as well as inferred by the documented efficacy of riluzole, a generic antiglutamatergic drug, has in patients. In this article, we critically review the several lines of evidence supporting a role for glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity in the death of motor neurons occurring in ALS, putting a particular emphasis on the impairment of the glutamate-transport system. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 1587–1602. PMID:19413484

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive condition involving degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. Recent research suggests that a proportion of persons with ALS show a profile similar to that of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), with this group of ALS patients exhibiting social cognitive deficits. Although social cognitive deficits have been partially explored in ALS, research has yet to investigate such changes using ecologically valid measures. Therefore, this study aimed to further characterize the scope of social cognitive and emotion recognition deficits in non-demented ALS patients using an ecologically valid measure of social cognition. A sample of 35 ALS patients and 30 age-and-education matched controls were assessed using the Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination, the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test, and The Awareness of Social Inference Test, where participants were required to discriminate between various emotions and decipher socially challenging scenarios enacted in video vignettes. Participants with ALS showed significant difficulties in recognizing both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements, but not sincere statements, when compared to controls. After controlling for executive difficulties, ALS patients still displayed significant difficulties on tasks that assessed their comprehension of both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements. The inability to read social cues and make social inferences has the potential to place significant strain on familial/interpersonal relationships in ALS. The findings of this study highlight the importance of employing a broader range of neuropsychological assessment tools to aid in early detection of frontal lobe impairment in non-demented ALS patients. PMID:23734113

  13. Sumoylation of critical proteins in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: emerging pathways of pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Foran, Emily; Rosenblum, Lauren; Bogush, Alexey I.; Trotti, Davide

    2013-01-01

    Emerging lines of evidence suggest a relationship between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and protein sumoylation. Multiple studies have demonstrated that several of the proteins involved in the pathogenesis of ALS, including superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), fused in liposarcoma (FUS), and TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP43), are substrates for sumoylation. Additionally, recent studies in cellular and animal models of ALS revealed that sumoylation of these proteins impact their localization, longevity and how they functionally perform in disease, providing novel areas for mechanistic investigations and therapeutics. In this article, we summarize the current literature examining the impact of sumoylation of critical proteins involved in ALS and discuss the potential impact for the pathogenesis of the disease. In addition, we report and discuss the implications of new evidence demonstrating that sumoylation of a fragment derived from the proteolytic cleavage of the astroglial glutamate transporter, EAAT2, plays a direct role in downregulating the expression levels of full length EAAT2 by binding to a regulatory region of its promoter. PMID:24062161

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    There is growing evidence that mirror neurons, initially discovered over two decades ago in the monkey, are present in the human brain. In the monkey, mirror neurons characteristically fire not only when it is performing an action, such as grasping an object, but also when observing a similar action performed by another agent (human or monkey). In this review we discuss the origin, cortical distribution and possible functions of mirror neurons as a background to exploring their potential relevance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have recently proposed that ALS (and the related condition of frontotemporal dementia) may be viewed as a failure of interlinked functional complexes having their origins in key evolutionary adaptations. This can include loss of the direct projections from the corticospinal tract, and this is at least part of the explanation for impaired motor control in ALS. Since, in the monkey, corticospinal neurons also show mirror properties, ALS in humans might also affect the mirror neuron system. We speculate that a defective mirror neuron system might contribute to other ALS deficits affecting motor imagery, gesture, language and empathy. PMID:25727900

  19. [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

  20. 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

  1. Job strain, hypoxia and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Results from a death certificate study.

    PubMed

    Vanacore, Nicola; Cocco, Pierluigi; Fadda, Domenica; Dosemeci, Mustafa

    2010-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) most likely results from a multifactorial gene-environment interaction. Strenuous physical activity and occupational exposures have been suggested to play a role, and an abnormal response to hypoxia has been proposed in ALS pathogenesis. To test the hypothesis of an excess risk in occupations typically leading to intermittent hypoxia at the tissue level, we accessed a large publicly available database, including death certificates from 24 U.S. states in 1984-1998. We conducted a case-control analysis of 14,628 deaths due to ALS therein reported and 58,512 controls deceased from other selected causes of death, frequency matched by age, gender and broad geographic area. ALS risk associated with physical activity, and occupations leading to intermittent hypoxia, such as fire fighters and professional athletes, were calculated with unconditional logistic regression, adjusting by age, marital status, residence, and socioeconomic status. Physical activity in general did not show an association with ALS risk. Risk associated with occupation as a professional athlete was elevated (OR = 1.81, 99% CI 0.69-4.78), but not significantly so. Fire fighters showed a significant two-fold excess ALS risk (OR = 2.0; 99% CI 1.2-3.2). Based on our findings and the current clinical, epidemiological and experimental evidence, we suggest that occupational conditions typically leading to intermittent hypoxia, such as fire fighting, might be an ALS risk factor in subjects genetically prone to an abnormal response to hypoxia. PMID:20698805

  2. 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

  3. Protein Kinase CK-1 Inhibitors As New Potential Drugs for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease where motor neurons in cortex, brain stem, and spinal cord die progressively, resulting in muscle wasting, paralysis, and death. Currently, effective therapies for ALS are lacking; however, identification of pathological TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) as the hallmark lesion in sporadic ALS suggests new therapeutic targets for pharmacological intervention. Pathological TDP-43 phosphorylation appears to drive the onset and progression of ALS and may result from upregulation of the protein kinase CK-1 in affected neurons, resulting in postranslational TDP-43 modification. Consequently, brain penetrant specific CK-1 inhibitors may provide a new therapeutic strategy for treating ALS and other TDP-43 proteinopathies. Using a chemical genetic approach, we report the discovery and further optimization of a number of potent CK-1δ inhibitors. Moreover, these small heterocyclic molecules are able to prevent TDP-43 phosphorylation in cell cultures, to increase Drosophila lifespan by reduction of TDP-43 neurotoxicity, and are predicted to cross the blood–brain barrier. Thus, N-(benzothiazolyl)-2-phenyl-acetamides are valuable drug candidates for further studies and may be a new therapeutic approach for ALS and others pathologies in which TDP-43 is involved. PMID:24592867

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Osteopathic Manual Treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Feasibility Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Maggiani, Alberto; Tremolizzo, Lucio; Valentina, Andrea Della; Mapelli, Laurent; Sosio, Silvia; Milano, Valeria; Bianchi, Manuel; Badi, Francesco; Lavazza, Carolina; Grandini, Marco; Corna, Giovanni; Prometti, Paola; Lunetta, Christian; Riva, Nilo; Ferri, Alessandra; Lanfranconi, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Background: Current interventions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are focused on supporting quality of life (QoL) and easing pain with a multidisciplinary approach. Objective: Primary aim of this pilot work assessed feasibility, safety, tolerability and satisfaction of osteopathic manual treatment (OMT) in 14 ALS outpatients. Methods: Patients were randomized according to an initial single-blind design (12 weeks, T0-T1), in order to receive OMT (weekly for 4 weeks, and fortnightly for the following 8 weeks) versus usual-care (n=7 each group), followed by an OMT open period (T1-T2, once a week for 8 weeks, n=10). Secondary aims included blind osteopathic assessment of somatic dysfunctions (SD) for goal attainment scale (GAS) calculation, Brief Pain Inventory-short form and McGill QoL-16 items. Results: OMT was demonstrated feasible and safe and patients displayed high satisfaction (T1-VAS=8.34 ± 0.46; T2-VAS=8.52 ± 0.60). Considering secondary aims no significant differences emerged. Finally, at study entry (T0), a cervico-dorsal SD was found in 78% of ALS patients versus 28% of healthy matched controls (p<0.01). Conclusion: OMT was found feasible, safe and satisfactory in ALS. The lack of secondary aim differences can be due to the limited sample size. OMT could be an interesting option to explore in ALS.

  7. 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

  8. Autophagy regulates amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked fused in sarcoma-positive stress granules in neurons.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Hyun-Hee; Jun, Mi-Hee; Min, Kyung-Jin; Jang, Deok-Jin; Lee, Yong-Seok; Kim, Hyong Kyu; Lee, Jin-A

    2014-12-01

    Mutations in fused in sarcoma (FUS), a DNA/RNA binding protein, have been associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS), which is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive muscular weakness and has overlapping clinical and pathologic characteristics with frontotemporal lobar degeneration. However, the role of autophagy in regulation of FUS-positive stress granules (SGs) and aggregates remains unclear. We found that the ALS-linked FUS(R521C) mutation causes accumulation of FUS-positive SGs under oxidative stress, leading to a disruption in the release of FUS from SGs in cultured neurons. Autophagy controls the quality of proteins or organelles; therefore, we checked whether autophagy regulates FUS(R521C)-positive SGs. Interestingly, FUS(R521C)-positive SGs were colocalized to RFP-LC3-positive autophagosomes. Furthermore, FUS-positive SGs accumulated in atg5(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and in autophagy-deficient neurons. However, FUS(R521C) expression did not significantly impair autophagic degradation. Moreover, autophagy activation with rapamycin reduced the accumulation of FUS-positive SGs in an autophagy-dependent manner. Rapamycin further reduced neurite fragmentation and cell death in neurons expressing mutant FUS under oxidative stress. Overall, we provide a novel pathogenic mechanism of ALS associated with a FUS mutation under oxidative stress, as well as therapeutic insight regarding FUS pathology associated with excessive SGs.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-15

    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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. A compensatory subpopulation of motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Anneliese M; Sanes, Joshua R; Lichtman, Jeff W

    2005-09-26

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal paralytic disease that targets motor neurons, leading to motor neuron death and widespread denervation atrophy of muscle. Previous electrophysiological data have shown that some motor axon branches attempt to compensate for loss of innervation, resulting in enlarged axonal arbors. Recent histological assays have shown that during the course of the disease some axonal branches die back. We thus asked whether the two types of behavior, die-back and compensatory growth, occur in different branches of single neurons or, alternatively, whether entire motor units are of one type or the other. We used high-resolution in vivo imaging in the G93A SOD1 mouse model, bred to express transgenic yellow fluorescent protein in all or subsets of motor neurons. Time-lapse imaging showed that degenerative axon branches are easily distinguished from those undergoing compensatory reinnervation, showing fragmentation of terminal branches but sparing of the more proximal axon. Reconstruction of entire motor units showed that some were abnormally large. Surprisingly, these large motor units contained few if any degenerating synapses. Some small motor units, however, no longer possessed any neuromuscular contacts at all, giving the appearance of "winter trees." Thus, degenerative versus regenerative changes are largely confined to distinct populations of neurons within the same motor pool. Identification of factors that protect "compensatory" motor neurons from degenerative changes may provide new targets for therapeutic intervention.

  14. Osteopathic Manual Treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Feasibility Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Maggiani, Alberto; Tremolizzo, Lucio; Valentina, Andrea Della; Mapelli, Laurent; Sosio, Silvia; Milano, Valeria; Bianchi, Manuel; Badi, Francesco; Lavazza, Carolina; Grandini, Marco; Corna, Giovanni; Prometti, Paola; Lunetta, Christian; Riva, Nilo; Ferri, Alessandra; Lanfranconi, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Background: Current interventions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are focused on supporting quality of life (QoL) and easing pain with a multidisciplinary approach. Objective: Primary aim of this pilot work assessed feasibility, safety, tolerability and satisfaction of osteopathic manual treatment (OMT) in 14 ALS outpatients. Methods: Patients were randomized according to an initial single-blind design (12 weeks, T0-T1), in order to receive OMT (weekly for 4 weeks, and fortnightly for the following 8 weeks) versus usual-care (n=7 each group), followed by an OMT open period (T1-T2, once a week for 8 weeks, n=10). Secondary aims included blind osteopathic assessment of somatic dysfunctions (SD) for goal attainment scale (GAS) calculation, Brief Pain Inventory-short form and McGill QoL-16 items. Results: OMT was demonstrated feasible and safe and patients displayed high satisfaction (T1-VAS=8.34 ± 0.46; T2-VAS=8.52 ± 0.60). Considering secondary aims no significant differences emerged. Finally, at study entry (T0), a cervico-dorsal SD was found in 78% of ALS patients versus 28% of healthy matched controls (p<0.01). Conclusion: OMT was found feasible, safe and satisfactory in ALS. The lack of secondary aim differences can be due to the limited sample size. OMT could be an interesting option to explore in ALS. PMID:27651843

  15. 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.

  16. Power Wheelchair Use in Persons With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Changes Over Time.

    PubMed

    Ward, Amber Lea; Hammond, Sara; Holsten, Scott; Bravver, Elena; Brooks, Benjamin Rix

    2015-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to survey persons with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at 1 and 6 months after receiving power wheelchairs to determine long-term use, comfort, and function as well as the power wheelchair's impact on daily tasks and quality of life. A 33-question survey and Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale (PIADS) were sent 1 month after getting a new power wheelchair; a follow-up survey was sent at 6 months. Based on satisfaction and feature use survey results, at 1 month, 81% of users found the power wheelchair overall comfort to be high, 88% found their overall mobility to be improved, and 95% found it easy to use. Their quality of life increased and pain decreased at 1 and 6 months. According to the PIADS, the power wheelchair gave users increased ability to participate and sense of competence. This study has important results for the ALS community, as it is the first to assess power wheelchair users at 1 and 6 months after power wheelchair procurement. The results demonstrate the impact the power wheelchair has on mobility, psychosocial issues, functional abilities, and quality of life for a person with ALS.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Guan-Ting; Hwang, Chi-Shin; Hsieh, Chia-Hung; Lu, Chih-Hao; Chang, Sunny Li-Yun; Lee, Jin-Ching; Huang, Chien-Fu

    2013-01-01

    Background and Objectives. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor neurons in the brainstem, motor cortex, and spinal cord. Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation have been implicated in the pathophysiology of ALS. Members of the family of damage-associated molecular patterns, including reactive oxygen species, high-mobility group box 1, and eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN), may participate in pathological conditions. In this study, we aim to discover new biomarker for detecting ALS. Materials and Methods. We examined 44 patients with ALS, 41 patients with Alzheimer's disease, 41 patients with Parkinson's disease, and 44 healthy controls. The concentration of serum EDN was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results. EDN levels were significantly increased 2.17-fold in the serum of patients with ALS as compared with healthy controls (P < 0.05). No correlation between the levels of serum EDN and various clinical parameters of ALS was found. Moreover, the levels of serum EDN in patients with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls were similar. Conclusion. A higher level of serum EDN was found specifically in patients with ALS, indicating that EDN may participate in the pathophysiology of ALS. PMID:23533305

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-16

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

  3. Socioeconomic burden of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Schepelmann, Karsten; Winter, Yaroslav; Spottke, Annika E; Claus, Detlef; Grothe, Christoph; Schröder, Rolf; Heuss, Dieter; Vielhaber, Stefan; Mylius, Veit; Kiefer, Reinhard; Schrank, Bertold; Oertel, Wolfgang H; Dodel, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Neuromuscular disorders (NMD) are chronic devastating diseases. The aim of this multicenter cross-sectional study was to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of three NMDs in Germany. Patients (n = 107) with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myasthenia gravis (MG) or facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) were recruited consecutively in seven centers in Germany. The health-economic data were collected using a "bottom-up" approach consisting of comprehensive questionnaires and patient diaries. Costs were evaluated from the societal perspective in 2009 Euros (EUR). Total annual costs from the societal perspective were EUR 36,380 (95% CI 27,090-47,970) per patient in ALS, EUR 26,240 (95% CI 17,770-37,940) in FSHD and EUR 14,950 (95% CI 10,470-21,730) in MG. The main components of costs were the expenditures of health insurance and the loss of productivity of patients and their caregivers. The following independent cost-driving factors were identified: disease severity, assistance in activities of daily living (ADL), dementia and younger age in ALS, disease severity in FSHD and assistance in ADL, disease severity and assistance in ADL in MG. The socioeconomic burden of NMDs in Germany is considerable. Further studies evaluating both the health-economic and clinical effects of NMD treatment as well as disease management programs and benchmarking activities are necessary. PMID:19629566

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. [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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Increased peripheral lipid clearance in an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Fergani, Anissa; Oudart, Hugues; Gonzalez De Aguilar, Jose-Luis; Fricker, Bastien; René, Frédérique; Hocquette, Jean-François; Meininger, Vincent; Dupuis, Luc; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe

    2007-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult motor neuron disease causing motor neuron degeneration, muscle atrophy, paralysis and death. Despite this degenerative process, a stable hypermetabolic state has been observed in a large subset of patients. Mice expressing a mutant form of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (mSOD1 mice) constitute an animal model of ALS that, as patients, exhibits unexpectedly increased energy expenditure. Counterbalancing for this increase with a high fat diet extends lifespan and prevents motor neuron loss. Here we investigated whether lipid metabolism is defective in this animal model. Hepatic lipid metabolism was roughly normal while gastro-instestinal absorption of lipids as well as peripheral clearance of triglycerides-rich lipoproteins were markedly increased, leading to decreased postprandial lipidemia. This defect was corrected by the high fat regimen that typically induces neuroprotection in these animals. Altogether, our findings show that energy metabolism in mSOD1 mice shifts towards an increase in the peripheral use of lipids. This metabolic shift probably accounts for the protective effect of dietary lipids in this model. PMID:17438338

  11. Increased peripheral lipid clearance in an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Fergani, Anissa; Oudart, Hugues; Gonzalez De Aguilar, Jose-Luis; Fricker, Bastien; René, Frédérique; Hocquette, Jean-François; Meininger, Vincent; Dupuis, Luc; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe

    2007-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult motor neuron disease, causing motor neuron degeneration, muscle atrophy, paralysis, and death. Despite this degenerative process, a stable hypermetabolic state has been observed in a large subset of patients. Mice expressing a mutant form of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (mSOD1 mice) constitute an animal model of ALS that, like patients, exhibits unexpectedly increased energy expenditure. Counterbalancing for this increase with a high-fat diet extends lifespan and prevents motor neuron loss. Here, we investigated whether lipid metabolism is defective in this animal model. Hepatic lipid metabolism was roughly normal, whereas gastrointestinal absorption of lipids as well as peripheral clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins were markedly increased, leading to decreased postprandial lipidemia. This defect was corrected by the high-fat regimen that typically induces neuroprotection in these animals. Together, our findings show that energy metabolism in mSOD1 mice shifts toward an increase in the peripheral use of lipids. This metabolic shift probably accounts for the protective effect of dietary lipids in this model.

  12. 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

  13. SQSTM1 mutations in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Rainero, Innocenzo; Chiò, Adriano; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Galimberti, Daniela; Fenoglio, Pierpaola; Grinberg, Yakov; Isaia, Giancarlo; Calvo, Andrea; Gentile, Salvatore; Bruni, Amalia Cecilia; St. George-Hyslop, Peter Henry; Scarpini, Elio; Gallone, Salvatore; Pinessi, Lorenzo

    2012-01-01

    Objective: There is increasing evidence that common genetic risk factors underlie frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, mutations in the sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) gene, which encodes p62 protein, have been reported in patients with ALS. P62 is a multifunctional adapter protein mainly involved in selective autophagy, oxidative stress response, and cell signaling pathways. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the frequency of SQSTM1 mutations in a dataset of unrelated patients with FTLD or ALS, in comparison with healthy controls and patients with Paget disease of bone (PDB). Methods: Promoter region and all exons of SQSTM1 were sequenced in a large group of subjects, including patients with FTLD or ALS, healthy controls, and patients with PDB. The clinical characteristics of patients with FTLD or ALS with gene mutations were examined. Results: We identified 6 missense mutations in the coding region of SQSTM1 in patients with either FTLD or ALS, none of which were found in healthy controls or patients with PDB. In silico analysis suggested a pathogenetic role for these mutations. Furthermore, 7 novel noncoding SQSTM1 variants were found in patients with FTLD and patients with ALS, including 4 variations in the promoter region. Conclusions: SQSTM1 mutations are present in patients with FTLD and patients with ALS. Additional studies are warranted in order to better investigate the role of p62 in the pathogenesis of both FTLD and ALS. PMID:22972638

  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. 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.

  16. Retinoids and motor neuron disease: Potential role in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Riancho, Javier; Berciano, Maria T; Ruiz-Soto, Maria; Berciano, Jose; Landreth, Gary; Lafarga, Miguel

    2016-01-15

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons (MN). This fatal disease is characterized by progressive muscular atrophy and unfortunately it does not have an effective treatment. Although a small proportion of ALS cases have a familiar origin, the vast majority of them are thought to have a sporadic origin. Although the pathogenesis of ALS has not been fully elucidated, various disorders in different cellular functions such as gene expression, protein metabolism, axonal transport and glial cell disorders have been linked to MN degeneration. Among them, proteostasis is one of the best studied. Retinoids are vitamin A-derived substances that play a crucial role in embryogenesis, development, programmed cell death and other cellular functions. Retinoid agonists behave as transcription factors throughout the activation of the nuclear retinoid receptors. Several reports in the literature suggest that retinoids are involved in proteostasis regulation, by modulating its two major pathways, the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the autophagy-lysosome response. Additionally, there are some evidences for a role of retinoids themselves, in ALS pathogenesis. In this review, we discuss the importance of proteostasis disruption as a trigger for MN degeneration and the capability of retinoids to modulate it, as well as the potential therapeutic role of retinoids as a new therapy in ALS.

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

    PubMed

    Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the motor neurons in the motor cortex, brainstem, and spinal cord. The clinical phenotype of ALS is underscored by a combination of upper and lower motor neuron dysfunction. Although this phenotype was observed over 100 years ago, the site of ALS onset and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of motor neuron degeneration remain to be elucidated. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) enables noninvasive assessment of the functional integrity of the motor cortex and its corticomotoneuronal projections. To date, TMS studies have established cortical dysfunction in ALS, with cortical hyperexcitability being an early feature in sporadic forms of ALS and preceding the clinical onset of familial ALS. Taken together, a central origin of ALS is supported by TMS studies, with an anterograde dying-forward mechanism implicated in ALS pathogenesis. Of further relevance, TMS techniques reliably distinguish ALS from mimic disorders, despite a compatible peripheral disease burden, thereby suggesting a potential diagnostic utility of TMS in ALS. This chapter reviews the mechanisms underlying the generation of TMS parameters utilized in assessment of cortical excitability, the contribution of TMS in enhancing the understanding of ALS pathophysiology, and the potential diagnostic utility of TMS techniques in ALS. PMID:24112924

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Proteasome Activation is a Mechanism for Pyrazolone Small Molecules Displaying Therapeutic Potential in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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-SOD1G93A cells. PC12-SOD1G93A 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-SOD1G93A 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Musarò, Antonio

    2010-05-26

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Involvement of immune response in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a therapeutic opportunity?

    PubMed

    Calvo, A; Moglia, C; Balma, M; Chiò, A

    2010-07-01

    The immune system has been found to be involved with positive and negative effects in the nervous system of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. In general, T cells, B cells, NK cells, mast cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, microglia, antibodies, complement and cytokines participate in limiting damage. Several mechanisms of action, such as production of neurotrophic growth factors and interaction with neurons and glial cells, have been shown to preserve these latter from injury and stimulate growth and repair. The immune system also participates in proliferation of neural progenitor stem cells and their migration to sites of injury and this activity has been documented in various neurologic disorders including traumatic injury, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, multiple sclerosis, infection, and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ALS). Many therapies have been shown to stimulate the protective and regenerative aspects of the immune system in humans, such as intravenous immunoglobulins, and other experimental interventions such as vaccination, minocycline, antibodies and neural stem cells, have shown promise in animal models of ALS. Consequently, several immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory therapies have been tried in ALS, generally with no success, in particular intravenous immunoglobulins. The multiple aspects of the immune response in ALS are beginning to be appreciated, and their potential as pharmacologic targets in neurologic disease is being explored. PMID:20406178

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    We previously reported the discovery of P7C3, an aminopropyl carbazole having proneurogenic and neuroprotective properties in newborn neural precursor cells of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. We have further found that chemicals having efficacy in this in vivo screening assay also protect dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra following exposure to the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, a mouse model of Parkinson disease. Here, we provide evidence that an active analog of P7C3, known as P7C3A20, protects ventral horn spinal cord motor neurons from cell death in the G93A-SOD1 mutant mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). P7C3A20 is efficacious in this model when administered at disease onset, and protection from cell death correlates with preservation of motor function in assays of walking gait and in the accelerating rotarod test. The prototypical member of this series, P7C3, delays disease progression in G93A-SOD1 mice when administration is initiated substantially earlier than the expected time of symptom onset. Dimebon, an antihistaminergic drug with significantly weaker proneurogenic and neuroprotective efficacy than P7C3, confers no protection in this ALS model. We propose that the chemical scaffold represented by P7C3 and P7C3A20 may provide a basis for the discovery and optimization of pharmacologic agents for the treatment of ALS. PMID:23027932

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Tan, Wenzhi; Pasinelli, Piera; Trotti, Davide

    2014-08-01

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

  15. SOD1 Function and Its Implications for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Pathology: New and Renascent Themes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    The canonical role of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is as an antioxidant enzyme protecting the cell from reactive oxygen species toxicity. SOD1 was also the first gene in which mutations were found to be causative for the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more than 20 years ago. ALS is a relentless and incurable mid-life onset disease, which starts with a progressive paralysis and usually leads to death within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis; in the majority of cases, the intellect appears to remain intact while the motor system degenerates. It rapidly became clear that when mutated SOD1 takes on a toxic gain of function in ALS. However, this novel function remains unknown and many cellular systems have been implicated in disease. Now it seems that SOD1 may play a rather larger role in the cell than originally realized, including as a key modulator of glucose signaling (at least so far in yeast) and in RNA binding. Here, we consider some of the new findings for SOD1 in health and disease, which may shed light on how single amino acid changes at sites throughout this protein can cause devastating neurodegeneration in the mammalian motor system.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Cognitive impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, clues from the SOD1 mouse.

    PubMed

    Spalloni, Alida; Longone, Patrizia

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is now recognized as a multisystem disorder, in which the primary pathology is the degeneration of motor neurons, with cognitive and/or behavioral dysfunctions that constitutes the non-motor manifestations of ALS. The combination of clinical, neuroimaging, and neuropathological data, and detailed genetic studies suggest that ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) might form part of a disease continuum, with pure ALS and pure FTD at the two extremes. Mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene were the first genetic mutations linked to the insurgence of ALS. Since that discovery numerous animal models carrying SOD1 mutations have been created. Despite their limitations these animal models, particularly the mice, have broaden our knowledge on the system alterations occurring in the ALS spectrum of disorders. The present review aims at providing an overview of the data obtained with the SOD1 animal models first and foremost on the cortical and subcortical regions, the cortico-striatal and hippocampal synaptic plasticity, dendritic branching and glutamate receptors function.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. A Novel F45S SOD1 Mutation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Coexisting with Bullous Pemphigoid

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Seong-il; Hong, Jeong Ho; Choi, Byung Woo; Oh, Ki-Wook; Park, Chan Kum; Kwon, Min-Jung; Ki, Chang-Seok

    2015-01-01

    Background The coexistence of an autoimmune disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has led to the hypothesis that immune-mediated pathological mechanisms are overlapping in the two diseases. We report herein a rare coexistence of bullous pemphigoid (BP) in a novel mutation (F45S) of the gene encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) in an ALS patient, and discuss a role for the SOD1 mutation in this unusual overlap. Case Report A 57-year-old male with familial ALS, including vesicles and tense bullae on erythematous bases, was diagnosed with BP. Direct immunofluorescence revealed deposits of C3 and immunoglobulin G in the basement membrane zone. Direct sequencing of SOD1 in the patient revealed a novel mutation (c.137T>C; F45S). Conclusions We report a novel SOD1 mutation in ALS, which was combined with BP. This novel SOD1 mutation could affect the phenotype of a combined autoimmune disease and matrix metalloproteinase-9. There may therefore be common factors linking BP and ALS with the SOD1 mutation. PMID:25749822

  3. The family support group in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Finger, S

    1987-02-01

    Support groups are effective means of addressing the psychosocial needs of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their families. An education-support group for family members of patients with ALS has been functioning at New England Medical Center in Boston and has been found to be successful in helping families and, therefore, patients to cope with this stressful illness. This article discusses the benefits of this group to families and patients, family members' roles in caring for and coping with this illness, the group's structure and development, and gives suggestions to others who are considering running a group of this kind. Our experience has shown that group participants feel less isolated, less fearful, and less threatened than prior to their involvement in the group and gain a sense of empowerment that enables them to meet the extensive caretaking demands of the patient with ALS. The contribution that an ALS Family Support Group provides is a component in the care of the patient with ALS that can be critical to families dealing with this illness.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  7. Clinical recognition and management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: the nurse's role.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Kathie; Levine, Todd

    2011-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, causes a progressive wasting and loss of the upper and lower motor neurons that facilitate the movement of body parts. At onset, ALS patients may show symptoms such as muscle weakness, atrophy, hyperreflexia, or bulbar symptoms such as dysphagia or dysarthria. Deterioration progresses rapidly, and the later stages of ALS are characterized by severely limited mobility and respiratory failure, which is the primary cause of death. There is no specific diagnostic test for ALS, and there are a number of other conditions that may resemble ALS, making a diagnosis difficult. The variability of the initial presentation combined with the broad differential diagnosis may result in significant delays in diagnosis or, in some cases, misdiagnosis, which in turn have a negative impact on patient outcomes. There is no cure for ALS; however, many of the symptoms are treatable, and the physical and psychological symptoms are best managed through the efforts of a coordinated, multidisciplinary team. Nurses play a critical role in the clinical management of ALS and may be involved in coordinating the activities of the team, facilitating treatment, and helping patients and caregivers in making informed treatment and end-of-life decisions. Drug therapy for ALS is currently limited to riluzole; however, patients may be treated with a number of nonpharmacologic methods on the basis of their symptoms. A number of other treatment modalities, such as stem-cell-based therapy or gene therapy, and an array of neuroprotective clinical trials are currently under development for the treatment of ALS. Nurses may also have a key role in these various ALS studies.

  8. Structural hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis progression revealed by probabilistic fiber tractography.

    PubMed

    Steinbach, Robert; Loewe, Kristian; Kaufmann, Joern; Machts, Judith; Kollewe, Katja; Petri, Susanne; Dengler, Reinhard; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Vielhaber, Stefan; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel; Stoppel, Christian Michael

    2015-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive limb and/or bulbar muscular weakness and atrophy. Although ALS-related alterations of motor and extra-motor neuronal networks have repeatedly been reported, their temporal dynamics during disease progression are not well understood. Recently, we reported a decline of motor system activity and a concurrent increase of hippocampal novelty-evoked modulations across 3 months of ALS progression. To address whether these functional changes are associated with structural ones, the current study employed probabilistic fiber tractography on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data using a longitudinal design. Therein, motor network integrity was assessed by DTI-based tracking of the intracranial corticospinal tract, while connectivity estimates of occipito-temporal tracts (between visual and entorhinal, perirhinal or parahippocampal cortices) served to assess structural changes that could be related to the increased novelty-evoked hippocampal activity across time described previously. Complementing these previous functional observations, the current data revealed an ALS-related decrease in corticospinal tract structural connectivity compared to controls, while in contrast, visuo-perirhinal connectivity was relatively increased in the patient group. Importantly, beyond these between-group differences, a rise in the patients' occipito-temporal tract strengths occurred across a 3-month interval, while at the same time no changes in corticospinal tract connectivity were observed. In line with previously identified functional alterations, the dynamics of these structural changes suggest that the affection of motor- and memory-related networks in ALS emerges at distinct disease stages: while motor network degeneration starts primarily during early (supposedly pre-symptomatic) phases, the hippocampal/medial temporal lobe dysfunctions arise at later stages of the disease. PMID:26159103

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Measurement of Social Cognition in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population Based Study

    PubMed Central

    Pinto-Grau, Marta; Lonergan, Katie; Elamin, Marwa; Bede, Peter; Costello, Emmet; Hardiman, Orla; Pender, Niall

    2016-01-01

    Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease. Executive dysfunction is common in patients with ALS, with up to 50% of patients performing within an impaired range. There is evidence that social cognitive deficits associated with ALS are a function of deficits in executive function. The ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ Test is a recognized test of social cognitive function, although the reliability of this instrument remains to be established. Methodology: Patients with ALS (n = 106), and age and IQ matched controls (n = 50) were recruited and asked to perform the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test as part of an on-going population-based study of cognitive function. ALS patients were sub-stratified based on the presence, and/or extent of executive dysfunction. Results: Cronbach’s Alpha of .73 was observed, indicating good reliability on this measure. Split-half reliability analysis further confirms these findings (p = 0.826). The Reading the Mind in the Eyes test had excellent psychometric properties when discriminating between ALS patients who are cognitively intact, and those who have executive impairment, with an overall medium difficulty. There was a large magnitude significant difference between patients and controls (p< 0.001; η2 = .19). Post-hoc analysis revealed that controls performed significantly higher than patients with executive impairment (p< 0.001), and patients with single executive deficits (p = 0.002). Conclusion: Executive dysfunction impacts on social cognitive performance. This study contributes not only to the psychometric knowledge of this measure, but also to the usability, efficacy, and reliability of social cognitive assessment in ALS. Using population-specific normative data, we confirm the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test is a reliable measure of social cognitive processes in ALS. PMID:27556398

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

    PubMed

    Lillo, Patricia; Mioshi, Eneida; Burrell, James R; Kiernan, Matthew C; Hodges, John R; Hornberger, Michael

    2012-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) lie on a clinical, pathological and genetic continuum with patients of one disease exhibiting features of the other. Nevertheless, to date, the underlying grey matter and white matter changes across the ALS-FTD disease continuum have not been explored. In this study fifty-three participants with ALS (n = 10), ALS-FTD (n = 10) and behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD; n = 15) as well as controls (n = 18), underwent detailed clinical assessment plus structural imaging using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analysis of magnetic resonance brain imaging to examine grey and white matter differences and commonalities across the continuum. Importantly, patient groups were matched for age, education, gender and disease duration. VBM and DTI results showed that changes in the ALS group were confined mainly to the motor cortex and anterior cingulate as well as their underlying white matter tracts. ALS-FTD and bvFTD showed widespread grey matter and white matter changes involving frontal and temporal lobes. Extensive prefrontal cortex changes emerged as a marker for bvFTD compared to other subtypes, while ALS-FTD could be distinguished from ALS by additional temporal lobe grey and white matter changes. Finally, ALS could be mainly distinguished from the other two groups by corticospinal tract degeneration. The present study shows for the first time that FTD and ALS overlap in anterior cingulate, motor cortex and related white matter tract changes across the whole continuum. Nevertheless, frontal and temporal atrophy as well as corticospinal tract degeneration emerged as marker for subtype classification, which will inform future diagnosis and target disease management across the continuum.

  13. Blood Cell Palmitoleate-Palmitate Ratio Is an Independent Prognostic Factor for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Henriques, Alexandre; Blasco, Hélène; Fleury, Marie-Céline; Corcia, Philippe; Echaniz-Laguna, Andoni; Robelin, Laura; Rudolf, Gabrielle; Lequeu, Thiebault; Bergaentzle, Martine; Gachet, Christian; Pradat, Pierre-François; Marchioni, Eric; Andres, Christian R.; Tranchant, Christine; Gonzalez De Aguilar, Jose-Luis; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Growing evidence supports a link between fatty acid metabolism and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here we determined the fatty acid composition of blood lipids to identify markers of disease progression and survival. We enrolled 117 patients from two clinical centers and 48 of these were age and gender matched with healthy volunteers. We extracted total lipids from serum and blood cells, and separated fatty acid methyl esters by gas chromatography. We measured circulating biochemical parameters indicative of the metabolic status. Association between fatty acid composition and clinical readouts was studied, including ALS functional rating scale-revised (ALSFRS-R), survival, disease duration, site of onset and body mass index. Palmitoleate (16:1) and oleate (18:1) levels, and stearoyl-CoA desaturase indices (16:1/16:0 and 18:1/18:0) significantly increased in blood cells from ALS patients compared to healthy controls. Palmitoleate levels and 16:1/16:0 ratio in blood cells, but not body mass index or leptin concentrations, negatively correlated with ALSFRS-R decline over a six-month period (p<0.05). Multivariate Cox analysis, with age, body mass index, site of onset and ALSFRS-R as covariables, showed that blood cell 16:1/16:0 ratio was an independent prognostic factor for survival (hazard ratio=0.1 per unit of ratio, 95% confidence interval=0.01-0.57, p=0.009). In patients with high 16:1/16:0 ratio, survival at blood collection was extended by 10 months, as compared to patients with low ratio. The 16:1/16:0 index is an easy-to-handle parameter that predicts survival of ALS patients independently of body mass index. It therefore deserves further validation in larger cohorts for being used to assess disease outcome and effects of disease-modifying drugs. PMID:26147510

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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 sclerosis (ALS), but only one prospective study—of a volunteer cohort—has examined this question. Methods: We prospectively assessed the relation between service in the military and ALS mortality among participants in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study, a population-representative cohort of U.S. men and women surveyed from 1973 through 2002. Participant follow-up was conducted from 1979 through 2002 for ALS mortality. There were 696,743 men and 392,571 women who were 25 years old or more with military service data. In this group, there were 375 male ALS deaths and 96 female ALS deaths. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards. Results: Men who served in the military had an increased adjusted ALS death rate [HR: 1.23; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.98, 1.53] compared with those who did not serve. An increase in ALS mortality was found among those who served during World War II (HR: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.13, 1.91) but not during other time periods. This pattern of results was similar for women, but with larger confidence intervals (HR for military service: 1.26; 95% CI: 0.29, 5.59; HR for service during World War II: 2.03; 95% CI: 0.45, 9.05). Conclusions: Military personnel have an increased risk of ALS, which may be specific to certain service periods although there was no data on actual deployment. Because of the longer follow-up time for World War II veterans, we cannot rule out that increased risk for those who served during other periods would be seen with further follow-up. PMID:26414854

  2. What are the roles of carers in decision-making for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis multidisciplinary care?

    PubMed Central

    Hogden, Anne; Greenfield, David; Nugus, Peter; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Family carers of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are presumed to have frequent involvement in decision-making for symptom management and quality of life. To better understand and improve decision-making, we investigated the range and extent of carer participation in decision-making. By focusing on the perspectives of ALS support carers, the study aimed to explore carer participation in decision-making, to identify carer roles, and determine the facilitators and barriers to carer participation in decision-making for ALS multidisciplinary care. Participants and methods An exploratory, in-depth study was conducted with eight carers of ALS patients from two specialized ALS multidisciplinary clinics. Carers participated in semi-structured interviews that were audio recorded and transcribed then coded and analyzed for emergent themes. Results Carers made a significant contribution to ALS decision-making. Their roles were: promoting the patient voice, promoting patient health literacy, and providing emotional support and logistical assistance. Facilitators of carer participation in decision-making were perceived to be: health professional endorsement of patients’ decision-making style; access to credible information sources; evidence-based information from the ALS clinic, ALS support association, and health practitioners; supportive relationships with family and friends; spiritual faith; ease of contact with ALS services; and availability of physical and practical support for carers. Barriers to carer participation included: changes to patient communication and cognition; conflict between respect for patients’ independence and patients’ best interest; communication breakdown between patient, carer, and service providers; the confronting nature of disease information; credibility of Internet sites; carer coping strategies; lack of support for the carer; and the burden of care. Conclusion Carers enhance ALS patient-centered care through their

  3. Degeneration of proprioceptive sensory nerve endings in mice harboring amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-causing mutations.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Sydney K; Kemp, Zachary; Hatzipetros, Theo; Vieira, Fernando; Valdez, Gregorio

    2015-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that primarily targets the motor system. Although much is known about the effects of ALS on motor neurons and glial cells, little is known about its effect on proprioceptive sensory neurons. This study examines proprioceptive sensory neurons in mice harboring mutations associated with ALS, in SOD1(G93A) and TDP43(A315T) transgenic mice. In both transgenic lines, we found fewer proprioceptive sensory neurons containing fluorescently tagged cholera toxin in their soma five days after injecting this retrograde tracer into the tibialis anterior muscle. We asked whether this is due to neuronal loss or selective degeneration of peripheral nerve endings. We found no difference in the total number and size of proprioceptive sensory neuron soma between symptomatic SOD1(G93A) and control mice. However, analysis of proprioceptive nerve endings in muscles revealed early and significant alterations at Ia/II proprioceptive nerve endings in muscle spindles before the symptomatic phase of the disease. Although these changes occur alongside those at α-motor axons in SOD1(G93A) mice, Ia/II sensory nerve endings degenerate in the absence of obvious alterations in α-motor axons in TDP43(A315T) transgenic mice. We next asked whether proprioceptive nerve endings are similarly affected in the spinal cord and found that nerve endings terminating on α-motor neurons are affected during the symptomatic phase and after peripheral nerve endings begin to degenerate. Overall, we show that Ia/II proprioceptive sensory neurons are affected by ALS-causing mutations, with pathological changes starting at their peripheral nerve endings.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The split-hand phenomenon, a specific feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), refers to preferential wasting of abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and first dorsal interosseous (FDI) with relative preservation of abductor digiti minimi (ADM). The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the split-hand phenomenon remain elusive and resolution of this issue would provide unique insights into ALS pathophysiology. Consequently, the present study dissected out the relative contribution of cortical and peripheral processes in development of the split-hand phenomenon in ALS. Cortical and axonal excitability studies were undertaken on 26 ALS patients, with motor responses recorded over the APB, FDI and ADM muscles. Results were compared to 21 controls. Short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI), a biomarker of cortical excitability, was significantly reduced across the range of intrinsic hand muscles (APB(SICI ALS) 0.3±2.0%, APB(SICI controls) 16.0±1.9%, P<0.0001; FDI(SICI ALS) 2.7±1.7%, FDI(SICI controls) 14.8±1.9%, P<0.0001; ADM(SICI ALS) 2.6±1.5%, ADM(SICI controls) 9.7±2.2%, P<0.001), although the reduction was most prominent when recorded over APB/FDI. Changes in SICI were accompanied by a significant increase in motor evoked potential amplitude and reduction of cortical silent period duration, all indicative of cortical hyperexcitability, and these were most prominent from the APB/FDI. At a peripheral level, a significant increase in strength-duration time constant and reduction in depolarising threshold electrotonus were evident in ALS, although these changes did not follow a split-hand distribution. Cortical dysfunction contributed to development of the split-hand in ALS, thereby implying an importance of cortical hyperexcitability in ALS pathogenesis.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Pathological TDP-43 in parkinsonism-dementia complex and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis of Guam.

    PubMed

    Geser, Felix; Winton, Matthew J; Kwong, Linda K; Xu, Yan; Xie, Sharon X; Igaz, Lionel M; Garruto, Ralph M; Perl, Daniel P; Galasko, Douglas; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Trojanowski, John Q

    2008-01-01

    Pathological TDP-43 is the major disease protein in frontotemporal lobar degeneration characterized by ubiquitin inclusions (FTLD-U) with/without motor neuron disease (MND) and in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As Guamanian parkinsonism-dementia complex (PDC) or Guamanian ALS (G-PDC or G-ALS) of the Chamorro population may present clinically similar to FTLD-U and ALS, TDP-43 pathology may be present in the G-PDC and G-ALS. Thus, we examined cortical or spinal cord samples from 54 Guamanian subjects for evidence of TDP-43 pathology. In addition to cortical neurofibrillary and glial tau pathology, G-PDC was associated with cortical TDP-43 positive dystrophic neurites and neuronal and glial inclusions in gray and/or white matter. Biochemical analyses showed the presence of FTLD-U-like insoluble TDP-43 in G-PDC, but not in Guam controls (G-C). Spinal cord pathology of G-PDC or G-ALS was characterized by tau positive tangles as well as TDP-43 positive inclusions in lower motor neurons and glial cells. G-C had variable tau and negligible TDP-43 pathology. These results indicate that G-PDC and G-ALS are associated with pathological TDP-43 similar to FTLD-U with/without MND as well as ALS, and that neocortical or hippocampal TDP-43 pathology distinguishes controls from disease subjects better than tau pathology. Finally, we conclude that the spectrum of TDP-43 proteinopathies should be expanded to include neurodegenerative cognitive and motor diseases, affecting the Chamorro population of Guam.

  8. 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.

  9. Delineating the relationship between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia: Sequence and structure-based predictions.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are related neurodegenerative disorders which are characterized by a rapid decline in cognitive and motor functions, and short survival. Both syndromes may be present within the same family or even in the same person. The genetic findings for both diseases also support the existence of a continuum, with mutations in the same genes being found in patients with ALS, FTD or FTD/ALS. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the differences in mutations of the same protein causing either ALS or FTD. Here, we shed light on 348 ALS and FTD missense mutations in 14 genes focusing on genic intolerance and protein stability based on available 3D structures. Using EvoTol, we prioritized the disease-causing genes and their domain. The most intolerant genes predicted by EvoTol are SQSTM1 and OPTN which are involved in protein homeostasis. Further, using ENCoM (Elastic Network Contact Model) that predicts stability based on vibrational entropy, we predicted that most of the missense mutations with destabilizing energies are in the structural regions that control the protein-protein interaction, and only a few mutations affect protein folding. We found a trend that energy changes are higher for ALS compared to FTD mutations. The stability of the ALS mutants correlated well with the duration of disease progression as compared to FTD-ALS mutants. This study provides a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of ALS and illustrates the significance of structure-energy based studies in differentiating ALS and FTD mutations. PMID:27318084

  10. 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

  11. A Case for Microtubule Vulnerability in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Altered Dynamics During Disease.

    PubMed

    Clark, Jayden A; Yeaman, Elise J; Blizzard, Catherine A; Chuckowree, Jyoti A; Dickson, Tracey C

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an aggressive multifactorial disease converging on a common pathology: the degeneration of motor neurons (MNs), their axons and neuromuscular synapses. This vulnerability and dysfunction of MNs highlights the dependency of these large cells on their intracellular machinery. Neuronal microtubules (MTs) are intracellular structures that facilitate a myriad of vital neuronal functions, including activity dependent axonal transport. In ALS, it is becoming increasingly apparent that MTs are likely to be a critical component of this disease. Not only are disruptions in this intracellular machinery present in the vast majority of seemingly sporadic cases, recent research has revealed that mutation to a microtubule protein, the tubulin isoform TUBA4A, is sufficient to cause a familial, albeit rare, form of disease. In both sporadic and familial disease, studies have provided evidence that microtubule mediated deficits in axonal transport are the tipping point for MN survivability. Axonal transport deficits would lead to abnormal mitochondrial recycling, decreased vesicle and mRNA transport and limited signaling of key survival factors from the neurons peripheral synapses, causing the characteristic peripheral "die back". This disruption to microtubule dependant transport in ALS has been shown to result from alterations in the phenomenon of microtubule dynamic instability: the rapid growth and shrinkage of microtubule polymers. This is accomplished primarily due to aberrant alterations to microtubule associated proteins (MAPs) that regulate microtubule stability. Indeed, the current literature would argue that microtubule stability, particularly alterations in their dynamics, may be the initial driving force behind many familial and sporadic insults in ALS. Pharmacological stabilization of the microtubule network offers an attractive therapeutic strategy in ALS; indeed it has shown promise in many neurological disorders, ALS included

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  15. Accumulation of altered aspartyl residues in erythrocyte membrane proteins from patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    D'Angelo, Stefania; Trojsi, Francesca; Salvatore, Anna; Daniele, Luca; Raimo, Marianna; Galletti, Patrizia; Monsurrò, Maria Rosaria

    2013-11-01

    Spontaneous protein deamidation of labile asparagines (Asn), generating abnormal l-isoaspartyl residues (IsoAsp), is associated with cell aging and enhanced by an oxidative microenvironment. The presence of isopeptide bonds impairs protein structure/function. To minimize the damage, IsoAsp can be "repaired" by the protein l-isoaspartyl/d-aspartyl O-methyltransferase (PIMT) and S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) is the methyl donor of this reaction. PIMT is a repair enzyme that initiates the conversion of l-isoAsp (or d-Asp) residues to l-Asp residues. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disease principally affecting motor neurons. The condition of oxidative stress reported in familial and sporadic forms of ALS prompted us to investigate Asn deamidation in ALS tissue. Erythrocytes (RBCs) were selected as a model system since they are unable to replace damaged proteins and protein methylesterification is virtually the only AdoMet-consuming reaction operating in these cells. Our data show that, in vitro assay, abnormal IsoAsp residues were significantly higher in ALS patients erythrocyte membrane proteins with an increased methyl accepting capability relative to controls (p<0.05). Moreover, we observed a reduction in AdoMet levels, while AdoHcy concentration was comparable to that detected in the control, resulting in a lower [AdoMet]/[AdoHcy] ratio. Then, the accumulation of altered aspartyl residues in ALS patients is probably related to a reduced efficiency of the S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet)-dependent repair system causing increased protein instability at Asn sites. The increase of abnormal residues represents a new protein alteration that may be present not only in red blood cells but also in other cell types of patients suffering from ALS.

  16. Mortality, health, social and economic consequences of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a controlled national study.

    PubMed

    Jennum, Poul; Ibsen, Rikke; Pedersen, Stephen Wørlich; Kjellberg, Jakob

    2013-03-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that imposes a great burden on the patient, the patient's family and society. However, we lack information about the total disease burden at a national level, especially regarding costs before and after diagnosis and the consequences for spouses. We aimed to estimate the factual direct and indirect costs of ALS in a national sample. Using records from the Danish National Patient Registry (1998-2009), 2,394 patients with ALS were identified and subsequently compared with 9,575 randomly chosen control subjects matched for age, gender and geographic area/civil status. Direct costs, including frequencies of primary and sector contacts and procedures, and medication from primary and secondary sectors, were obtained from the Danish Ministry of Health, the Danish Medicines Agency, and the National Health Security. Indirect costs included labour supply and social transfer payments, and were based on income data derived from Coherent Social Statistics. Patients with a diagnosis of ALS had poor survival. The average (95 % CI) 5-year survival rate was 0.278 (0.358-0.298) compared with 0.865 (0.858-0.872) among controls. Patients with ALS had significantly higher rates of health-related contact and medication use and higher socioeconomic costs. They also had very low employment rates, while those in employment had a lower income level than control subjects. The annual mean excess health-related cost was 18,918 for each ALS patient. However, spouses showed no excess health usage; in fact, their employment and income rates were higher, and the net cost was reduced by -3,420. We conclude that ALS has serious mortality, health and socioeconomic consequences for patients. However, the consequences for spouses are complex; they tend to compensate for the social consequences to patients by increasing their net income after ALS diagnosis.

  17. A Case for Microtubule Vulnerability in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Altered Dynamics During Disease

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Jayden A.; Yeaman, Elise J.; Blizzard, Catherine A.; Chuckowree, Jyoti A.; Dickson, Tracey C.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an aggressive multifactorial disease converging on a common pathology: the degeneration of motor neurons (MNs), their axons and neuromuscular synapses. This vulnerability and dysfunction of MNs highlights the dependency of these large cells on their intracellular machinery. Neuronal microtubules (MTs) are intracellular structures that facilitate a myriad of vital neuronal functions, including activity dependent axonal transport. In ALS, it is becoming increasingly apparent that MTs are likely to be a critical component of this disease. Not only are disruptions in this intracellular machinery present in the vast majority of seemingly sporadic cases, recent research has revealed that mutation to a microtubule protein, the tubulin isoform TUBA4A, is sufficient to cause a familial, albeit rare, form of disease. In both sporadic and familial disease, studies have provided evidence that microtubule mediated deficits in axonal transport are the tipping point for MN survivability. Axonal transport deficits would lead to abnormal mitochondrial recycling, decreased vesicle and mRNA transport and limited signaling of key survival factors from the neurons peripheral synapses, causing the characteristic peripheral “die back”. This disruption to microtubule dependant transport in ALS has been shown to result from alterations in the phenomenon of microtubule dynamic instability: the rapid growth and shrinkage of microtubule polymers. This is accomplished primarily due to aberrant alterations to microtubule associated proteins (MAPs) that regulate microtubule stability. Indeed, the current literature would argue that microtubule stability, particularly alterations in their dynamics, may be the initial driving force behind many familial and sporadic insults in ALS. Pharmacological stabilization of the microtubule network offers an attractive therapeutic strategy in ALS; indeed it has shown promise in many neurological disorders, ALS

  18. 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

  19. β2-Adrenoceptor agonists as novel, safe and potentially effective therapies for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

    PubMed

    Bartus, Raymond T; Bétourné, Alexandre; Basile, Anthony; Peterson, Bethany L; Glass, Jonathan; Boulis, Nicholas M

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a chronic and progressive neuromuscular disease for which no cure exists and better treatment options are desperately needed. We hypothesize that currently approved β2-adrenoceptor agonists may effectively treat the symptoms and possibly slow the progression of ALS. Although β2-agonists are primarily used to treat asthma, pharmacologic data from animal models of neuromuscular diseases suggest that these agents may have pharmacologic effects of benefit in treating ALS. These include inhibiting protein degradation, stimulating protein synthesis, inducing neurotrophic factor synthesis and release, positively modulating microglial and systemic immune function, maintaining the structural and functional integrity of motor endplates, and improving energy metabolism. Moreover, stimulation of β2-adrenoceptors can activate a range of downstream signaling events in many different cell types that could account for the diverse array of effects of these agents. The evidence supporting the possible therapeutic benefits of β2-agonists is briefly reviewed, followed by a more detailed review of clinical trials testing the efficacy of β-agonists in a variety of human neuromuscular maladies. The weight of evidence of the potential benefits from treating these diseases supports the hypothesis that β2-agonists may be efficacious in ALS. Finally, ways to monitor and manage the side effects that may arise with chronic administration of β2-agonists are evaluated. In sum, effective, safe and orally-active β2-agonists may provide a novel and convenient means to reduce the symptoms of ALS and possibly delay disease progression, affording a unique opportunity to repurpose these approved drugs for treating ALS, and rapidly transforming the management of this serious, unmet medical need. PMID:26459114

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) primarily impairs motor abilities but also affects cognition and emotional processing. We hypothesise that subjective ratings of emotional stimuli depicting social interactions and facial expressions is changed in ALS. It was found that recognition of negative emotions and ability to mentalize other’s intentions is reduced. Methods Processing of emotions in faces was investigated. A behavioural test of Ekman faces expressing six basic emotions was presented to 30 ALS patients and 29 age-, gender and education matched healthy controls. Additionally, a subgroup of 15 ALS patients that were able to lie supine in the scanner and 14 matched healthy controls viewed the Ekman faces during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Affective state and a number of daily social contacts were measured. Results ALS patients recognized disgust and fear less accurately than healthy controls. In fMRI, reduced brain activity was seen in areas involved in processing of negative emotions replicating our previous results. During processing of sad faces, increased brain activity was seen in areas associated with social emotions in right inferior frontal gyrus and reduced activity in hippocampus bilaterally. No differences in brain activity were seen for any of the other emotional expressions. Inferior frontal gyrus activity for sad faces was associated with increased amount of social contacts of ALS patients. Conclusion ALS patients showed decreased brain and behavioural responses in processing of disgust and fear and an altered brain response pattern for sadness. The negative consequences of neurodegenerative processes in the course of ALS might be counteracted by positive emotional activity and positive social interactions. PMID:27741285

  3. 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

  4. Mechanisms defining the electrotonic potential abnormalities in simulated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Stephanova, D I; Krustev, S M; Negrev, N

    2012-06-01

    Electrotonic potentials allow the accommodative processes to polarizing stimuli to be assessed. Electrotonic potential transients in response to applied polarizing stimuli are caused by the kinetics of underlying axonal conductances. Here, we study these transients using our multi-layered model of the human motor nerve, in three simulated cases of the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): ALS1, ALS2 and ALS3 are three consecutively greater degrees of uniform axonal dysfunctions along the human motor nerve fibre. The results show that the responses in the ALS1 case are quite similar to the normal case. In contrast, in the ALS2 and ALS3 cases, long-lasting (100 ms) subthreshold depolarizing stimuli activate the classical "transient" Na(+) channels in the nodal and in the internodal axolemma beneath the myelin sheath; this leads to action potential generation during the early parts of the electrotonic responses in all compartments along the fibre length. The results also show that the electrotonic potentials in response to long-lasting (100 ms) subthreshold hyperpolarizing stimuli in the ALS1 and ALS2 cases are quiet similar to those of the normal case. However, the current kinetics in the ALS3 case differs from the normal case after the termination of the long-lasting hyperpolarizing stimuli. In the most abnormal ALS3 case, the activation of the Na(+) channels in the nodal and in the internodal axolemma leads to repetitive action potential generation in the late parts (100-200 ms) of the hyperpolarizing electrotonic responses. The results show that the repetitive firing, due to the progressively increased nodal and internodal ion channel dysfunction, are consistent with the loss of functional potassium channels involving both the fast and the slow potassium channel types. The results confirm that the electrotonic potentials in the three simulated ALS cases are specific indicators for the motor neuron disease ALS. The mechanisms underlying the

  5. Differences in Dysfunction of Thenar and Hypothenar Motoneurons in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Neural substrate of cognitive theory of mind impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Carluer, Laurence; Mondou, Audrey; Buhour, Marie-Sonia; Laisney, Mickaël; Pélerin, Alice; Eustache, Francis; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice

    2015-04-01

    We now know that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not restricted to the motor system. Indeed, a large proportion of patients with ALS exhibit cognitive impairment, especially executive dysfunction or language impairment. Although researchers have recently turned their attention to theory of mind (ToM) in ALS, only five studies have been performed so far, and they reported somewhat contradictory results. Moreover, the neural basis of the potential ToM deficit in ALS remains largely unknown. The present study was therefore designed to clarify whether a cognitive ToM deficit is indeed associated with ALS, specify the putative link between cognitive ToM deficits and executive dysfunction in ALS, and identify the dysfunctional brain regions responsible for any social cognition deficits. We investigated cognitive ToM and executive functions in a group of 23 patients with ALS and matched healthy controls, using an original false-belief task and a specially designed battery of executive tasks. We also performed an (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography examination. Results confirmed the presence of cognitive ToM deficits in patients compared with controls, and revealed significant correlations between ToM and executive functions, although the cognitive ToM deficit persisted when a composite executive function score was entered as a covariate. Using statistical parametric mapping, we calculated positive correlations between tracer uptake and false-belief scores on a voxel-by-voxel basis in the patient sample. Results showed that the cognitive ToM deficit correlated with the dorsomedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, as well as the supplementary motor area. Our findings provide compelling clinical and imaging evidence for the presence of a genuine cognitive ToM deficit in patients with ALS.

  12. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: An update for 2013 Clinical Features, Pathophysiology, Management and Therapeutic Trials

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. 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

  14. Results of Florida's Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Surveillance Project, 2009–2011

    PubMed Central

    Freer, Cecilia; Hylton, Tara; Jordan, Heather M; Kaye, Wendy E; Singh, Sabrina; Huang, Youjie

    2015-01-01

    Objective Studies to determine the incidence and prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in defined geographic areas in the USA are needed. The Florida Department of Health received funding from the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to implement a state-wide ALS Surveillance Project. The objectives of the project were to describe the demographic characteristics of ALS cases and to calculate the incidence and prevalence of ALS in Florida. Setting/participants All neurologists were asked to submit case reports for persons with ALS diagnosed and/or under their care during 1 January 2009 through 31 December 2011. A medical record verification form and an electromyogram (EMG) report were requested for a sample of cases and reviewed by an independent consulting neurologist to confirm ALS diagnosis. Death data were used to aid with case report collection. Primary and secondary outcome measures Demographics, relevant history and clinical characteristics, El Escorial classifications, time from symptom onset to diagnosis, crude annual incidence rates and 2009 period prevalence are presented. Results The 1450 reported ALS cases were more likely to be older, male, white and non-Hispanic. Slightly more than 4% of cases were reported as also having dementia, and 4.8% were reported to have an immediate family member diagnosed with ALS. Incidence rates ranged from 1.7 to 1.9 per 100 000 person-years during the project period and the 2009 period prevalence was 4.0 per 100 000 persons. Conclusions Project findings are generally consistent with findings of population-based studies in Europe, as well as geographically limited studies in the USA. Our findings add to the growing body of epidemiological literature about ALS in the USA. Future epidemiological studies in the USA should focus on identifying cases from minority groups and those that may have limited access to healthcare, and should consider conducting capture–recapture analysis to

  15. 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.

  16. Microstructural white matter correlates of emotion recognition impairment in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is associated in about half of the cases with behavioral and cognitive disorders, including impairments in socio-emotional processing, considered as key-features for the diagnosis of the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bv-FTD). The neurostructural bases of emotional deficits in ALS, however, still remain largely unexplored. Here we aim to assess emotion recognition in non-demented sporadic ALS patients compared with healthy controls, and to explore for the first time its microstructural white-matter correlates. Twenty-two subjects with either probable or definite diagnosis of ALS and 55 age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy controls were recruited in the study. All participants performed the Ekman 60-Faces Test, assessing the recognition of six basic emotions (i.e., anger, disgust, fear, sadness, surprise and happiness). A subgroup of subjects, comprising 19 patients and 20 healthy controls, also underwent a Diffusion Tensor Imaging scanning. Behavioral analysis highlighted a significant decline of emotion recognition skills in patients compared to controls, particularly affecting the identification of negative emotions. Moreover, the Diffusion Tensor Imaging analyses revealed a correlation between this impairment and the alteration of white-matter integrity along the right inferior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. Our findings indicate the presence of an early emotion recognition deficit in non-demented sporadic ALS patients, associated with microstructural changes in ventral associative bundles connecting occipital, temporo-limbic and orbitofrontal regions in the right hemisphere. These changes may represent a frontotemporal-limbic microstructural marker of socio-emotional impairment in ALS.

  17. Defects in optineurin- and myosin VI-mediated cellular trafficking in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sundaramoorthy, Vinod; Walker, Adam K; Tan, Vanessa; Fifita, Jennifer A; Mccann, Emily P; Williams, Kelly L; Blair, Ian P; Guillemin, Gilles J; Farg, Manal A; Atkin, Julie D

    2015-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder primarily affecting motor neurons. Mutations in optineurin cause a small proportion of familial ALS cases, and wild-type (WT) optineurin is misfolded and forms inclusions in sporadic ALS patient motor neurons. However, it is unknown how optineurin mutation or misfolding leads to ALS. Optineurin acts an adaptor protein connecting the molecular motor myosin VI to secretory vesicles and autophagosomes. Here, we demonstrate that ALS-linked mutations p.Q398X and p.E478G disrupt the association of optineurin with myosin VI, leading to an abnormal diffuse cytoplasmic distribution, inhibition of secretory protein trafficking, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and Golgi fragmentation in motor neuron-like NSC-34 cells. We also provide further insight into the role of optineurin as an autophagy receptor. WT optineurin associated with lysosomes and promoted autophagosome fusion to lysosomes in neuronal cells, implying that it mediates trafficking of lysosomes during autophagy in association with myosin VI. However, either expression of ALS mutant optineurin or small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous optineurin blocked lysosome fusion to autophagosomes, resulting in autophagosome accumulation. Together these results indicate that ALS-linked mutations in optineurin disrupt myosin VI-mediated intracellular trafficking processes. In addition, in control human patient tissues, optineurin displayed its normal vesicular localization, but in sporadic ALS patient tissues, vesicles were present in a significantly decreased proportion of motor neurons. Optineurin binding to myosin VI was also decreased in tissue lysates from sporadic ALS spinal cords. This study therefore links several previously described pathological mechanisms in ALS, including defects in autophagy, fragmentation of the Golgi and induction of ER stress, to disruption of optineurin function. These findings also indicate that

  18. 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

  19. H63D HFE genotype accelerates disease progression in animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Nandar, Wint; Neely, Elizabeth B; Simmons, Zachary; Connor, James R

    2014-12-01

    H63D HFE is associated with iron dyshomeostasis and oxidative stress; each of which plays an important role in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathogenesis. To examine the role of H63D HFE in ALS, we generated a double transgenic mouse line (SOD1/H67D) carrying the H67D HFE (homologue of human H63D) and SOD1(G93A) mutations. We found double transgenic mice have shorter survival and accelerated disease progression. We examined parameters in the lumbar spinal cord of double transgenic mice at 90days (presymptomatic), 110days (symptomatic) and end-stage. Transferrin receptor and L-ferritin expression, both indicators of iron status, were altered in double transgenic and SOD1 mice starting at 90days, indicating loss of iron homeostasis in these mice. However, double transgenic mice had higher L-ferritin expression than SOD1 mice. Double transgenic mice exhibited increased Iba-1 immunoreactivity and caspase-3 levels, indicating increased microglial activation which would be consistent with the higher L-ferritin levels. Although both SOD1 and double transgenic mice had increased GFAP expression, the magnitude of the increase was higher in double transgenic mice at 110days, suggesting increased gliosis in these mice. Increased hemeoxygenase-1 and decreased nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 levels in double transgenic mice strongly suggest the accelerated disease process could be associated with increased oxidative stress. There was no evidence of TAR-DNA-binding protein 43 mislocalization to the cytoplasm in double transgenic mice; however, there was evidence suggesting neurofilament disruption, which has been reported in ALS. Our findings indicate H63D HFE modifies ALS pathophysiology via pathways involving oxidative stress, gliosis and disruption of cellular functions.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Neurofilaments as Biomarkers for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Robert David; David, Michael; McCombe, Pamela Ann

    2016-01-01

    Background To allow early diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression, there is a need for biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Neurofilaments (NF) are emerging protein biomarkers in other neurological diseases, and are of possible use in ALS. Objective The aim of this study is to evaluate the utility of NF levels as blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker in patients with ALS. Methods A systematic search of Pubmed, Embase and Scopus was performed. Methodological quality assessment was applied to refine the final search results. Meta-analysis of the data was performed. Results Level of NF heavy chain and light chains were significantly elevated in the CSF of ALS patients compared to healthy controls/controls without parenchymal central nervous system (CNS) involvement and ALS mimic disease patients. NF light chain level in CSF was higher in ALS patients than in neurological patients with CNS involvement (SMD = 1.352, P = 0.01). NF light chain concentration in blood was higher in ALS patients than healthy controls/controls without CNS involvement (SMD = 1.448, P<0.0001). NF heavy chain levels in CSF were negatively correlated disease duration and ALSFRS-R ((r = -0.447, P<0.0001; r = -0.486, P<0.0001). NF light chain levels in CSF were negatively correlated with disease duration (r = -0.273, P = 0.011). Conclusion NF heavy and light chain levels have potential use as a marker of neural degeneration in ALS, but are not specific for the disease, and are more likely to be used as measures of disease progression. PMID:27732645

  3. Copper and Zinc Metallation Status of Copper Zinc Superoxide Dismutase form Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Transgenic Mice

    SciTech Connect

    Lelie, H.L.; Miller, L.; Liba, A.; Bourassa, M.W.; Chattopadhyay, M.; Chan, P.K.; Gralla, E.B.; Borchelt, D.R.; et al

    2010-09-24

    Mutations in the metalloenzyme copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause one form of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and metals are suspected to play a pivotal role in ALS pathology. To learn more about metals in ALS, we determined the metallation states of human wild-type or mutant (G37R, G93A, and H46R/H48Q) SOD1 proteins from SOD1-ALS transgenic mice spinal cords. SOD1 was gently extracted from spinal cord and separated into insoluble (aggregated) and soluble (supernatant) fractions, and then metallation states were determined by HPLC inductively coupled plasma MS. Insoluble SOD1-rich fractions were not enriched in copper and zinc. However, the soluble mutant and WT SOD1s were highly metallated except for the metal-binding-region mutant H46R/H48Q, which did not bind any copper. Due to the stability conferred by high metallation of G37R and G93A, it is unlikely that these soluble SOD1s are prone to aggregation in vivo, supporting the hypothesis that immature nascent SOD1 is the substrate for aggregation. We also investigated the effect of SOD1 overexpression and disease on metal homeostasis in spinal cord cross-sections of SOD1-ALS mice using synchrotron-based x-ray fluorescence microscopy. In each mouse genotype, except for the H46R/H48Q mouse, we found a redistribution of copper between gray and white matters correlated to areas of high SOD1. Interestingly, a disease-specific increase of zinc was observed in the white matter for all mutant SOD1 mice. Together these data provide a picture of copper and zinc in the cell as well as highlight the importance of these metals in understanding SOD1-ALS pathology.

  4. Differences in F-Wave Characteristics between Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Differences in Dysfunction of Thenar and Hypothenar Motoneurons in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Importance of Sample Size for the Estimation of Repeater F Waves in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Background: In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), repeater F waves are increased. Accurate assessment of repeater F waves requires an adequate sample size. Methods: We studied the F waves of left ulnar nerves in ALS patients. Based on the presence or absence of pyramidal signs in the left upper limb, the ALS patients were divided into two groups: One group with pyramidal signs designated as P group and the other without pyramidal signs designated as NP group. The Index repeating neurons (RN) and Index repeater F waves (Freps) were compared among the P, NP and control groups following 20 and 100 stimuli respectively. For each group, the Index RN and Index Freps obtained from 20 and 100 stimuli were compared. Results: In the P group, the Index RN (P = 0.004) and Index Freps (P = 0.001) obtained from 100 stimuli were significantly higher than from 20 stimuli. For F waves obtained from 20 stimuli, no significant differences were identified between the P and NP groups for Index RN (P = 0.052) and Index Freps (P = 0.079); The Index RN (P < 0.001) and Index Freps (P < 0.001) of the P group were significantly higher than the control group; The Index RN (P = 0.002) of the NP group was significantly higher than the control group. For F waves obtained from 100 stimuli, the Index RN (P < 0.001) and Index Freps (P < 0.001) of the P group were significantly higher than the NP group; The Index RN (P < 0.001) and Index Freps (P < 0.001) of the P and NP groups were significantly higher than the control group. Conclusions: Increased repeater F waves reflect increased excitability of motor neuron pool and indicate upper motor neuron dysfunction in ALS. For an accurate evaluation of repeater F waves in ALS patients especially those with moderate to severe muscle atrophy, 100 stimuli would be required. PMID:25673456

  10. Aggregated α-Synuclein Increases SOD1 Oligomerization in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Koch, Yvonne; Helferich, Anika M; Steinacker, Petra; Oeckl, Patrick; Walther, Paul; Weishaupt, Jochen H; Danzer, Karin M; Otto, Markus

    2016-08-01

    Aggregation of misfolded disease-related proteins is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases. Aggregate propagation accompanying disease progression has been demonstrated for different proteins (eg, for α-synuclein). Additional evidence supports aggregate cross-seeding activity for α-synuclein. For mutated superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), which causes familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), self-propagation of aggregation and cell-to-cell transmission have been demonstrated in vitro. However, there is a prominent lack of in vivo data concerning aggregation and cross-aggregation processes of SOD1. We analyzed the effect of α-synuclein and SOD1 seeds in cell culture using protein fragment complementation assay and intracerebral injection of α-synuclein and SOD1 seeds into SOD1(G93A) transgenic ALS mice. Survival of injected mice was determined, and SOD1 aggregates in the facial nuclei were quantified during disease course. We found that α-synuclein preformed fibrils increased the oligomerization rate of SOD1 in vivo and in vitro, whereas aggregated SOD1 did not exert any effect in both experimental setups. Notably, survival of ALS mice was not changed after inoculation of preformed fibrils. We conclude that misfolded α-synuclein can increase SOD1 aggregation and suppose that α-synuclein seeds are transported from the temporal cortex to the facial nuclei. However, unlike other proteins, the further enhancement of a self-aggregation process by additional SOD1 could not be confirmed in our models.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. An exploratory study of serum creatinine levels in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xueping; Guo, Xiaoyan; Huang, Rui; Zheng, Zhenzhen; Chen, Yongping; Shang, Hui-Fang

    2014-10-01

    The etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains unknown, but existing data argue for a role of creatinine in ALS pathophysiology. Our aim is to clarify the correlation between serum creatinine and ALS in Chinese population. A total of 512 sporadic ALS (SALS) patients and 501 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were included. Revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALS-FRS-R) was used to assess the motor functional status of SALS patients. Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier method. Serum creatinine levels were significantly lower in SALS patients than in controls (p < 0.001). Patients with the second, the third and highest quartiles of creatinine levels had a significantly lower presence of ALS compared to those with the lowest quartile (p for trend <0.001). However, decreased presence of ALS was not found in the highest quartiles compared with the lowest quartiles in females. Sporadic ALS patients with different site of onset have similar serum creatinine levels, but underweight patients presented lower levels of serum creatinine. Patients with low serum creatinine levels are more likely to have severe motor impairment and low body mass index (BMI) values. This study demonstrates that SALS patients have lower serum creatinine levels than well-matched controls. Higher levels of serum creatinine are less likely to be associated with the presence of ALS in Chinese populations. Low serum creatinine levels may be related to severe motor impairment in SALS patients, after adjusting the confounding factor-BMI. However, serum creatinine has no deleterious impact on survival in ALS.

  14. New kid on the block: does histamine get along with inflammation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    PubMed

    Volonté, Cinzia; Parisi, Chiara; Apolloni, Savina

    2015-01-01

    Results from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and pre-clinical studies strongly suggest that systemic and CNS-intrinsic immune activation plays a central role in ALS pathogenesis. Microglial cells are emerging in this context as master regulators with a bi-functional role in the progression of the pathological response. They foster a pro-inflammatory setting through the production of cytotoxic cytokines and chemokines (M1 phenotype), after an aborted effort to sustain an anti-inflammatory environment for motor neurons through the release of beneficial cytokines and growth factors (M2 phenotype). In this review, we gather information meant to propose that histamine and ATP, which are released from mast cells, microglia and damaged neurons at sites of injury where they function as transmitters, have to be considered as new players in the ALS neuroinflammatory arena. After all, abnormal histamine and ATP signalling in the brain are already documented in neurodegenerative/neuroinflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer and Parkinson's disease and, at present, histamine- as well as ATP-related compounds are in clinical trial for these same pathologies. Concerning ALS, while emerging data are now available about purinergic mechanisms, the involvement of histamine is basically unexplored. The circumstantial evidence that we present here thus constitutes a solid background for formulating novel hypotheses, stimulating a scientific debate and, most of all, inspiring future research. We deem that a new potential role of histamine in the setting of ALS neuroinflammation might find a fertile ground where to thrive. ALS is still a disease without a cure: why not to play with a new kid on the block?

  15. Analysis of Neurotrophic Factors in Limb and Extraocular Muscles of Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Harandi, Vahid M.; Lindquist, Susanne; Kolan, Shrikant Shantilal; Brännström, Thomas; Liu, Jing-Xia

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is currently an incurable fatal motor neuron syndrome characterized by progressive weakness, muscle wasting and death ensuing 3–5 years after diagnosis. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) are known to be important in both nervous system development and maintenance. However, the attempt to translate the potential of NTFs into the therapeutic options remains limited despite substantial number of approaches, which have been tested clinically. Using quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) technique, the present study investigated mRNA expression of four different NTFs: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in limb muscles and extraocular muscles (EOMs) from SOD1G93A transgenic mice at early and terminal stages of ALS. General morphological examination revealed that muscle fibres were well preserved in both limb muscles and EOMs in early stage ALS mice. However, in terminal ALS mice, most muscle fibres were either atrophied or hypertrophied in limb muscles but unaffected in EOMs. qRT-PCR analysis showed that in early stage ALS mice, NT-4 was significantly down-regulated in limb muscles whereas NT-3 and GDNF were markedly up-regulated in EOMs. In terminal ALS mice, only GDNF was significantly up-regulated in limb muscles. We concluded that the early down-regulation of NT-4 in limb muscles is closely associated with muscle dystrophy and dysfunction at late stage, whereas the early up-regulations of GDNF and NT-3 in EOMs are closely associated with the relatively well-preserved muscle morphology at late stage. Collectively, the data suggested that comparing NTFs expression between limb muscles and EOMs from different stages of ALS animal models is a useful method in revealing the patho-physiology and progression of ALS, and eventually rescuing motor neuron in ALS patients. PMID:25334047

  16. Analysis of neurotrophic factors in limb and extraocular muscles of mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Harandi, Vahid M; Lindquist, Susanne; Kolan, Shrikant Shantilal; Brännström, Thomas; Liu, Jing-Xia

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is currently an incurable fatal motor neuron syndrome characterized by progressive weakness, muscle wasting and death ensuing 3-5 years after diagnosis. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) are known to be important in both nervous system development and maintenance. However, the attempt to translate the potential of NTFs into the therapeutic options remains limited despite substantial number of approaches, which have been tested clinically. Using quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) technique, the present study investigated mRNA expression of four different NTFs: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in limb muscles and extraocular muscles (EOMs) from SOD1G93A transgenic mice at early and terminal stages of ALS. General morphological examination revealed that muscle fibres were well preserved in both limb muscles and EOMs in early stage ALS mice. However, in terminal ALS mice, most muscle fibres were either atrophied or hypertrophied in limb muscles but unaffected in EOMs. qRT-PCR analysis showed that in early stage ALS mice, NT-4 was significantly down-regulated in limb muscles whereas NT-3 and GDNF were markedly up-regulated in EOMs. In terminal ALS mice, only GDNF was significantly up-regulated in limb muscles. We concluded that the early down-regulation of NT-4 in limb muscles is closely associated with muscle dystrophy and dysfunction at late stage, whereas the early up-regulations of GDNF and NT-3 in EOMs are closely associated with the relatively well-preserved muscle morphology at late stage. Collectively, the data suggested that comparing NTFs expression between limb muscles and EOMs from different stages of ALS animal models is a useful method in revealing the patho-physiology and progression of ALS, and eventually rescuing motor neuron in ALS patients. PMID:25334047

  17. A Case for Microtubule Vulnerability in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Altered Dynamics During Disease

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Jayden A.; Yeaman, Elise J.; Blizzard, Catherine A.; Chuckowree, Jyoti A.; Dickson, Tracey C.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an aggressive multifactorial disease converging on a common pathology: the degeneration of motor neurons (MNs), their axons and neuromuscular synapses. This vulnerability and dysfunction of MNs highlights the dependency of these large cells on their intracellular machinery. Neuronal microtubules (MTs) are intracellular structures that facilitate a myriad of vital neuronal functions, including activity dependent axonal transport. In ALS, it is becoming increasingly apparent that MTs are likely to be a critical component of this disease. Not only are disruptions in this intracellular machinery present in the vast majority of seemingly sporadic cases, recent research has revealed that mutation to a microtubule protein, the tubulin isoform TUBA4A, is sufficient to cause a familial, albeit rare, form of disease. In both sporadic and familial disease, studies have provided evidence that microtubule mediated deficits in axonal transport are the tipping point for MN survivability. Axonal transport deficits would lead to abnormal mitochondrial recycling, decreased vesicle and mRNA transport and limited signaling of key survival factors from the neurons peripheral synapses, causing the characteristic peripheral “die back”. This disruption to microtubule dependant transport in ALS has been shown to result from alterations in the phenomenon of microtubule dynamic instability: the rapid growth and shrinkage of microtubule polymers. This is accomplished primarily due to aberrant alterations to microtubule associated proteins (MAPs) that regulate microtubule stability. Indeed, the current literature would argue that microtubule stability, particularly alterations in their dynamics, may be the initial driving force behind many familial and sporadic insults in ALS. Pharmacological stabilization of the microtubule network offers an attractive therapeutic strategy in ALS; indeed it has shown promise in many neurological disorders, ALS

  18. Cerebrospinal fluid of newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients exhibits abnormal levels of selenium species including elevated selenite

    PubMed Central

    Vinceti, Marco; Solovyev, Nikolay; Mandrioli, Jessica; Crespi, Catherine M.; Bonvicini, Francesca; Arcolin, Elisa; Georgoulopoulou, Eleni; Michalke, Bernhard

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to selenium, and particularly to its inorganic forms, has been hypothesized as a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fast progressing motor neuron disease with poorly understood etiology. However, no information is known about levels of inorganic and some organic selenium species in the central nervous system of ALS patients, and recent observations suggest that peripheral biomarkers of exposure are unable to predict these levels for several Se species including the inorganic forms. Using a hospital-referred cases-control series and advanced selenium speciation methods, we compared the chemical species of selenium in cerebrospinal fluid from thirty-eight ALS patients to those of thirty-eight reference neurological patients matched on age and gender. We found that higher concentrations of inorganic selenium in the form of selenite and of human serum albumin-bound selenium were associated with increased ALS risk (relative risks 3.9 (95% confidence interval 1.2–11.0) and 1.7 (1.0–2.9) for 0.1µg/l increase). Conversely, lower concentrations of selenoprotein P-bound selenium were associated with increased risk (relative risk 0.2 for 1µg/l increase, 95% confidence interval 0.04–0.8). The associations were stronger among cases age 50 years or older, who are postulated to have lower rates of genetic disease origin. These results suggest that excess selenite and human serum albumin bound-selenium and low levels of selenoprotein P-bound selenium in the central nervous system, which may be related, may play a role in ALS etiology. PMID:23732511

  19. VGF Protein and Its C-Terminal Derived Peptides in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Human and Animal Model Studies

    PubMed Central

    Noli, Barbara; Boido, Marina; Boi, Andrea; Puddu, Roberta; Borghero, Giuseppe; Marrosu, Francesco; Bongioanni, Paolo; Orrù, Sandro; Manconi, Barbara; D’Amato, Filomena; Messana, Irene; Vincenzoni, Federica; Vercelli, Alessandro; Ferri, Gian-Luca; Cocco, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    VGF mRNA is widely expressed in areas of the nervous system known to degenerate in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), including cerebral cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. Despite certain VGF alterations are reported in animal models, little information is available with respect to the ALS patients. We addressed VGF peptide changes in fibroblast cell cultures and in plasma obtained from ALS patients, in parallel with spinal cord and plasma samples from the G93A-SOD1 mouse model. Antisera specific for the C-terminal end of the human and mouse VGF proteins, respectively, were used in immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), while gel chromatography and HPLC/ESI-MS/MS were used to identify the VGF peptides present. Immunoreactive VGF C-terminus peptides were reduced in both fibroblast and plasma samples from ALS patients in an advanced stage of the disease. In the G93A-SOD1 mice, the same VGF peptides were also decreased in plasma in the late-symptomatic stage, while showing an earlier down-regulation in the spinal cord. In immunohistochemistry, a large number of gray matter structures were VGF C-terminus immunoreactive in control mice (including nerve terminals, axons and a few perikarya identified as motoneurons), with a striking reduction already in the pre-symptomatic stage. Through gel chromatography and spectrometry analysis, we identified one form likely to be the VGF precursor as well as peptides containing the NAPP- sequence in all tissues studied, while in the mice and fibroblasts, we revealed also AQEE- and TLQP- peptides. Taken together, selective VGF fragment depletion may participate in disease onset and/or progression of ALS. PMID:27737014

  20. Cerebrospinal fluid of newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients exhibits abnormal levels of selenium species including elevated selenite.

    PubMed

    Vinceti, Marco; Solovyev, Nikolay; Mandrioli, Jessica; Crespi, Catherine M; Bonvicini, Francesca; Arcolin, Elisa; Georgoulopoulou, Eleni; Michalke, Bernhard

    2013-09-01

    Exposure to selenium, and particularly to its inorganic forms, has been hypothesized as a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fast progressing motor neuron disease with poorly understood etiology. However, no information is known about levels of inorganic and some organic selenium species in the central nervous system of ALS patients, and recent observations suggest that peripheral biomarkers of exposure are unable to predict these levels for several Se species including the inorganic forms. Using a hospital-referred case-control series and advanced selenium speciation methods, we compared the chemical species of selenium in cerebrospinal fluid from 38 ALS patients to those of 38 reference neurological patients matched on age and gender. We found that higher concentrations of inorganic selenium in the form of selenite and of human serum albumin-bound selenium were associated with increased ALS risk (relative risks 3.9 (95% confidence interval 1.2-11.0) and 1.7 (1.0-2.9) for 0.1μg/L increase). Conversely, lower concentrations of selenoprotein P-bound selenium were associated with increased risk (relative risk 0.2 for 1μg/L increase, 95% confidence interval 0.04-0.8). The associations were stronger among cases age 50 years or older, who are postulated to have lower rates of genetic disease origin. These results suggest that excess selenite and human serum albumin bound-selenium and low levels of selenoprotein P-bound selenium in the central nervous system, which may be related, may play a role in ALS etiology. PMID:23732511

  1. Age of onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is modulated by a locus on 1p34.1

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the third most common adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. Individuals with ALS rapidly progress to paralysis and die from respiratory failure within 3 to 5 years after symptom onset. Epidemiological factors explain only a modest amount of the risk for ALS. However, there is growing evidence of a strong genetic component to both familial and sporadic ALS risk. The International Consortium on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Genetics was established to bring together existing genome-wide association cohorts and identify sporadic ALS susceptibility and age at symptom onset loci. Here, we report the results of a meta-analysis of the International Consortium on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Genetics genome-wide association samples, consisting of 4243 ALS cases and 5112 controls from 13 European ancestry cohorts from across the United States and Europe. Eight genomic regions provided evidence of association with ALS, including 9p21.2 (rs3849942, odds ratio [R] = 1.21; p = 4.41 × 10−7), 17p11.2 (rs7477, OR = 1.30; p = 2.89 × 10−7), and 19p13 (rs12608932, OR = 1.37, p = 1.29 × 10−7). Six genomic regions were associated with age at onset of ALS. The strongest evidence for an age of onset locus was observed at 1p34.1, with comparable evidence at rs3011225 (R2partial = 0.0061; p = 6.59 × 10−8) and rs803675 (R2partial = 0.0060; p = 6.96 × 10−8). These associations were consistent across all 13 cohorts. For rs3011225, individu