Canale, Andrea; Albera, Roberto; Lacilla, Michelangelo; Canosa, Antonio; Albera, Andrea; Sacco, Francesca; Chiò, Adriano; Calvo, Andrea
The aim of the study is to investigate acoustic reflex testing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. Amplitude, latency, and rise time of stapedial reflex were recorded for 500 and 1000 Hz contralateral stimulus. Statistical analysis was performed by the Wilcoxon test and the level of significance was set at 5 %. Fifty-one amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and ten sex- and age-matched control subjects were studied. Patients were further divided in two groups: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-bulbar (38 cases, with bulbar signs at evaluation) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-spinal (13 cases, without bulbar signs at evaluation). Stapedial reflex was present in all patients. There was a statistically significant difference in the mean amplitude, latency, and rise time between the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients as compared with the controls. Amplitude was lower in both the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-bulbar and the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-spinal patients than in the controls (p < 0.05) and rise time was longer in both patient groups compared with the controls (p < 0.05). These results confirm the presence of abnormal acoustic reflex patterns in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases with bulbar signs and, moreover, suggesting a possible subclinical involvement of the stapedial motor neuron even in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-spinal patients. Amplitude and rise time seem to be good sensitive parameters for investigating subclinical bulbar involvement.
Martin, Sarah; Al Khleifat, Ahmad; Al-Chalabi, Ammar
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease predominantly affecting upper and lower motor neurons, resulting in progressive paralysis and death from respiratory failure within 2 to 3 years. The peak age of onset is 55 to 70 years, with a male predominance. The causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are only partly known, but they include some environmental risk factors as well as several genes that have been identified as harbouring disease-associated variation. Here we review the nature, epidemiology, genetic associations, and environmental exposures associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:28408982
Jawdat, Omar; Statland, Jeffrey M; Barohn, Richard J; Katz, Jonathan S; Dimachkie, Mazen M
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fisher, Fiona; Philpott, April; Andrews, Sophie C.; Maule, Roxanne; Douglas, Jacinta
Background: Speech and language impairments are well-established in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, knowledge about particular aspects of social communication and everyday conversational abilities is limited. Aims: To investigate self- and informant-report ratings of social communicative abilities in ALS participants…
Paganoni, Sabrina; Wills, Anne-Marie
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. PMID:23666040
Masseret, Estelle; Banack, Sandra; Boumédiène, Farid; Abadie, Eric; Brient, Luc; Pernet, Fabrice; Juntas-Morales, Raoul; Pageot, Nicolas; Metcalf, James; Cox, Paul; Camu, William
Background Dietary exposure to the cyanotoxin BMAA is suspected to be the cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Western Pacific Islands. In Europe and North America, this toxin has been identified in the marine environment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clusters but, to date, only few dietary exposures have been described. Objectives We aimed at identifying cluster(s) of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Hérault district, a coastal district from Southern France, and to search, in the identified area(s), for the existence of a potential dietary source of BMAA. Methods A spatio-temporal cluster analysis was performed in the district, considering all incident amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases identified from 1994 to 2009 by our expert center. We investigated the cluster area with serial collections of oysters and mussels that were subsequently analyzed blind for BMAA concentrations. Results We found one significant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cluster (p = 0.0024), surrounding the Thau lagoon, the most important area of shellfish production and consumption along the French Mediterranean coast. BMAA was identified in mussels (1.8 µg/g to 6.0 µg/g) and oysters (0.6 µg/g to 1.6 µg/g). The highest concentrations of BMAA were measured during summer when the highest picocyanobacteria abundances were recorded. Conclusions While it is not possible to ascertain a direct link between shellfish consumption and the existence of this ALS cluster, these results add new data to the potential association of BMAA with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, one of the most severe neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:24349504
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a nervous system disease that attacks nerve cells called neurons in your brain and spinal cord. These neurons ... breathing machine can help, but most people with ALS die from respiratory failure. The disease usually strikes ...
Panas, M; Karadima, G; Kalfakis, N; Psarrou, O; Floroskoufi, P; Kladi, A; Petersen, M B; Vassilopoulos, D
The mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are not fully understood. Recent studies suggest that apoptosis is involved in the abnormal neural death that occurs in this devastating disease. Presenilin-1, a transmembrane protein, seems to be implicated in apoptosis. To determine whether presenilin-1 intron 8 polymorphism has an influence in the course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we examined this polymorphism genotypes in a large group of patients (n = 72) with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and in a random sample of 213 healthy individuals. The results showed a significant difference in genotype (P < 0.04) and allele (P < 0.03) distribution between patients controls. These results suggest a possible intervention of presenilin-1 in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Saccon, Rachele A.; Bunton-Stasyshyn, Rosie K. A.; Fisher, Elizabeth M.C.; Fratta, Pietro
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. PMID:23687121
... 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 not...
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
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
Paquin, M-Ê; El Mendili, M M; Gros, C; Dupont, S M; Cohen-Adad, J; Pradat, P-F
There is an emerging need for biomarkers to better categorize clinical phenotypes and predict progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This study aimed to quantify cervical spinal gray matter atrophy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and investigate its association with clinical disability at baseline and after 1 year. Twenty-nine patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 22 healthy controls were scanned with 3T MR imaging. Standard functional scale was recorded at the time of MR imaging and after 1 year. MR imaging data were processed automatically to measure the spinal cord, gray matter, and white matter cross-sectional areas. A statistical analysis assessed the difference in cross-sectional areas between patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and controls, correlations between spinal cord and gray matter atrophy to clinical disability at baseline and at 1 year, and prediction of clinical disability at 1 year. Gray matter atrophy was more sensitive to discriminate patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from controls ( P = .004) compared with spinal cord atrophy ( P = .02). Gray matter and spinal cord cross-sectional areas showed good correlations with clinical scores at baseline ( R = 0.56 for gray matter and R = 0.55 for spinal cord; P < .01). Prediction at 1 year with clinical scores ( R 2 = 0.54) was improved when including a combination of gray matter and white matter cross-sectional areas ( R 2 = 0.74). Although improvements over spinal cord cross-sectional areas were modest, this study suggests the potential use of gray matter cross-sectional areas as an MR imaging structural biomarker to monitor the evolution of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. © 2018 by American Journal of Neuroradiology.
treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Raymond J. Grill CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: University of Texas Health...treating Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-12-1-0612 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...survival in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . This project involves work performed at both UT-Health and Rice University; combining the
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
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
Kelsaka, Ebru; Karakaya, Deniz; Zengin, Eyüp Cağatayn
Objective To report on general anesthesia management in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Case Presentation and Intervention A 47-year-old man presented with fracture of the humerus. The patient was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. General anesthesia was induced with propofol, rocuronium and remifentanil. After uneventful surgical repair, TOF (train-of-four) ratio reached >0.90 at the end of operation. However, muscle strength and tidal volume were inadequate. After sugammadex 2 mg kg−1 i.v. was given, the patient was extubated 120 s later. Conclusion This case highlights that rocuronium and sugammadex can be used safely in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis undergoing surgery with general anesthesia. PMID:23075763
Bozzoni, Virginia; Pansarasa, Orietta; Diamanti, Luca; Nosari, Guido; Cereda, Cristina; Ceroni, Mauro
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
Ehinger, Johannes K; Morota, Saori; Hansson, Magnus J; Paul, Gesine; Elmér, Eskil
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
Makkonen, Tanja; Ruottinen, Hanna; Puhto, Riitta; Helminen, Mika; Palmio, Johanna
Background: The symptoms and their progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are typically studied after the diagnosis has been confirmed. However, many people with ALS already have severe dysarthria and loss of adequate speech at the time of diagnosis. Speech-and-language therapy interventions should be targeted timely based on…
Jakobsson Larsson, Birgitta; Nordin, Karin; Askmark, Håkan; Nygren, Ingela
To prospectively identify different coping strategies among newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and whether they change over time and to determine whether physical function, psychological well-being, age and gender correlated with the use of different coping strategies. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal disease with impact on both physical function and psychological well-being. Different coping strategies are used to manage symptoms and disease progression, but knowledge about coping in newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients is scarce. This was a prospective study with a longitudinal and descriptive design. A total of 33 patients were included and evaluation was made at two time points, one to three months and six months after diagnosis. Patients were asked to complete the Motor Neuron Disease Coping Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Physical function was estimated using the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale. The most commonly used strategies were support and independence. Avoidance/venting and information seeking were seldom used at both time points. The use of information seeking decreased between the two time points. Men did not differ from women, but patients ≤64 years used positive action more often than older patients. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale was positively correlated with positive action at time point 1, but not at time point 2. Patients' psychological well-being was correlated with the use of different coping strategies. Support and independence were the most used coping strategies, and the use of different strategies changed over time. Psychological well-being was correlated with different coping strategies in newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. The knowledge about coping strategies in early stage of the disease may help the nurses to improve and develop the care and support for these patients. © 2014 John Wiley
Masseret, Estelle; Banack, Sandra; Boumédiène, Farid; Abadie, Eric; Brient, Luc; Pernet, Fabrice; Juntas-Morales, Raoul; Pageot, Nicolas; Metcalf, James; Cox, Paul; Camu, William
Dietary exposure to the cyanotoxin BMAA is suspected to be the cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Western Pacific Islands. In Europe and North America, this toxin has been identified in the marine environment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clusters but, to date, only few dietary exposures have been described. We aimed at identifying cluster(s) of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Hérault district, a coastal district from Southern France, and to search, in the identified area(s), for the existence of a potential dietary source of BMAA. A spatio-temporal cluster analysis was performed in the district, considering all incident amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases identified from 1994 to 2009 by our expert center. We investigated the cluster area with serial collections of oysters and mussels that were subsequently analyzed blind for BMAA concentrations. We found one significant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cluster (p = 0.0024), surrounding the Thau lagoon, the most important area of shellfish production and consumption along the French Mediterranean coast. BMAA was identified in mussels (1.8 µg/g to 6.0 µg/g) and oysters (0.6 µg/g to 1.6 µg/g). The highest concentrations of BMAA were measured during summer when the highest picocyanobacteria abundances were recorded. While it is not possible to ascertain a direct link between shellfish consumption and the existence of this ALS cluster, these results add new data to the potential association of BMAA with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, one of the most severe neurodegenerative disorder.
Turner, Martin R.; Swash, Michael; Ebers, George C.
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
Steele, John C; Wresch, Robert; Hanlon, Samuel D; Keystone, Jay; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav
The aim of this work was to examine whether a linear retinal pigment epitheliopathy is associated with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex of Guam. A total of 918 Guamanian Chamorros, with and without amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex, were examined cross-sectionally for linear retinal pigment epitheliopathy (LRPE). Overall, 239 Guamanians, who were neurologically asymptomatic, were followed for up to 20 years to determine the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex. The epitheliopathy was present in 59.7% (117 of 196) patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex, but in only 24.7% (178 of 722) of subjects who were neurologically asymptomatic (age- and sex-adjusted risk difference: 35.0%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 27.5-42.6; p < 0.0001). Prospectively, 15 of 50 cases with epitheliopathy developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex, compared to 4 of 189 cases without epitheliopathy (age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio: 13.1; 95% CI: 4.0-43.1; P < 0.0001). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex is associated with an LRPE and predicts future neurological disease. Identifying the cause of this retinopathy could provide an understanding about the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex and related diseases. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
Crespi, Chiara; Cerami, Chiara; Dodich, Alessandra; Canessa, Nicola; Iannaccone, Sandro; Corbo, Massimo; Lunetta, Christian; Falini, Andrea; Cappa, Stefano F
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.
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
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. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Cerami, Chiara; Dodich, Alessandra; Canessa, Nicola; Iannaccone, Sandro; Corbo, Massimo; Lunetta, Christian; Falini, Andrea; Cappa, Stefano F.
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
E, Meng; Yu, Sufang; Dou, Jianrui; Jin, Wu; Cai, Xiang; Mao, Yiyang; Zhu, Daojian; Yang, Rumei
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.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Motor Neuron Disease; Neuromuscular Diseases; Neurodegenerative Diseases; Spinal Cord Diseases; TDP-43 Proteinopathies; Nervous System Diseases; Central Nervous System Diseases
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
AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-12-1-0431 TITLE: “c-jun-N-Terminal Kinase (JNK) for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ” PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR...TITLE AND SUBTITLE “c-jun-N-Terminal Kinase (JNK) for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Scelerosis” 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH
Morgan, Sarah; Orrell, Richard W
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or motor neuron disease is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder. The primary involvement is of motor neurons in the brain, spinal cord and peripherally. There is secondary weakness of muscles and primary involvement of other brain regions, especially involving cognition. Peer-reviewed journal articles and reviews. PubMed.gov The pathogenesis of ALS remains largely unknown. There are a wide range of potential mechanisms related to neurodegeneration. An increasing number of genetic factors are recognized. There remains controversy, or lack of knowledge, in explaining how cellular events manifest as the complex human disease. There is controversy as to how well cellular and animal models of disease relate to the human disease. Large-scale international collaborative genetic epidemiological studies are replacing local studies. Therapies related to pathogenesis remain elusive, with the greatest advances to date relating to provision of care (including multidisciplinary management) and supportive care (nutrition and respiratory support). The identification of C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeats as the most frequent genetic background to ALS, and the association with frontotemporal dementia, gives the potential of a genetic background against which to study other risk factors, triggers and pathogenic mechanisms, and to develop potential therapies. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geng, Dan; Ou, RuWei; Miao, XiaoHui; Zhao, LiHong; Wei, QianQian; Chen, XuePing; Liang, Yan; Shang, HuiFang; Yang, Rong
This study surveys the quality of life of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and the factors associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients' self-perceived burden and their caregivers' burden. Burdens of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their caregivers in Chinese population are largely unknown. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 81 pairs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and their caregivers. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients' self-perceived burden and caregivers' burden were assessed by the Self-Perceived Burden Scale and Zarit-Burden Interview, respectively. Quality of life of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients was measured using the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref. The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised questionnaire was used to estimate patients' physical function. Both patients and caregivers reported a mild to moderate burden. The World Health Organization quality of life-Bref scores were decreased in respondents with lower amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised, higher Self-Perceived Burden Scale and higher Zarit-Burden Interview scores. Self-Perceived Burden Scale scores were associated with patients' knowledge of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, respiratory function and female sex. Zarit-Burden Interview scores were associated with caregivers' age, patients' motor function and out-of-pocket payment. With increase in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients' self-perceived burden and caregivers' burden, quality of life of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients decreased. Female patients, who had known more about the disease, and those with severe respiratory dysfunction were subject to higher self-perceived burden. Older caregivers and caregivers of patients with severe motor dysfunction and more out-of-pocket payment experienced more care burdens. Our study suggests that paying more attention to female amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients
Cosottini, M; Donatelli, G; Costagli, M; Caldarazzo Ienco, E; Frosini, D; Pesaresi, I; Biagi, L; Siciliano, G; Tosetti, M
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive motor neuron disorder that involves degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. In patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, pathologic studies and ex vivo high-resolution MR imaging at ultra-high field strength revealed the co-localization of iron and activated microglia distributed in the deep layers of the primary motor cortex. The aims of the study were to measure the cortical thickness and evaluate the distribution of iron-related signal changes in the primary motor cortex of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as possible in vivo biomarkers of upper motor neuron impairment. Twenty-two patients with definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 14 healthy subjects underwent a high-resolution 2D multiecho gradient-recalled sequence targeted on the primary motor cortex by using a 7T scanner. Image analysis consisted of the visual evaluation and quantitative measurement of signal intensity and cortical thickness of the primary motor cortex in patients and controls. Qualitative and quantitative MR imaging parameters were correlated with electrophysiologic and laboratory data and with clinical scores. Ultra-high field MR imaging revealed atrophy and signal hypointensity in the deep layers of the primary motor cortex of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with a diagnostic accuracy of 71%. Signal hypointensity of the deep layers of the primary motor cortex correlated with upper motor neuron impairment (r = -0.47; P < .001) and with disease progression rate (r = -0.60; P = .009). The combined high spatial resolution and sensitivity to paramagnetic substances of 7T MR imaging demonstrate in vivo signal changes of the cerebral motor cortex that resemble the distribution of activated microglia within the cortex of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Cortical thinning and signal hypointensity of the deep layers of the primary motor cortex could constitute a marker of upper motor neuron
Liu, Kevin X; Edwards, Benjamin; Lee, Sheena; Finelli, Mattéa J; Davies, Ben; Davies, Kay E; Oliver, Peter L
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive loss of spinal motor neurons. While the aetiological mechanisms underlying the disease remain poorly understood, oxidative stress is a central component of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and contributes to motor neuron injury. Recently, oxidation resistance 1 (OXR1) has emerged as a critical regulator of neuronal survival in response to oxidative stress, and is upregulated in the spinal cord of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that OXR1 is a key neuroprotective factor during amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis by crossing a new transgenic mouse line that overexpresses OXR1 in neurons with the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Interestingly, we report that overexpression of OXR1 significantly extends survival, improves motor deficits, and delays pathology in the spinal cord and in muscles of SOD1(G93A) mice. Furthermore, we find that overexpression of OXR1 in neurons significantly delays non-cell-autonomous neuroinflammatory response, classic complement system activation, and STAT3 activation through transcriptomic analysis of spinal cords of SOD1(G93A) mice. Taken together, these data identify OXR1 as the first neuron-specific antioxidant modulator of pathogenesis and disease progression in SOD1-mediated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and suggest that OXR1 may serve as a novel target for future therapeutic strategies. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.
de Oliveira, Ademar Francisco; Silva, Gêssyca Adryene de Menezes; Almeida, Débora Milenna Xavier
ABSTRACT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons, which are the central nervous system cells that control voluntary muscle movements. The excessive salivation (sialorrhea) is present in approximately 50% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases. Thus, some alternative therapeutic methods are sought, such as anticholinergic drugs and surgery. Recently the use of botulinum toxin applied at a midpoint of the salivary glands, often guided by ultrasound, have demonstrated positive results. The objective was to review the literature to demonstrate an alternative method to treatments of sialorrhea in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In recent studies, the efficacy of botulinum toxin is confirmed, although new applications are required. Since the side effects are negligible, this is an alternative to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other patients with diseases that present sialorrhea. PMID:27759834
Harms, Matthew B.; Baloh, Robert H.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, about which our understanding is expanding rapidly as its genetic causes are uncovered. The pace of new gene discovery over the last 5 years has accelerated, providing new insights into the pathogenesis of disease and highlighting biological pathways for target for therapeutic development. This article reviews our current understanding of the heritability of ALS, provides an overview of each of the major ALS genes, highlighting their phenotypic characteristics and frequencies as a guide for clinicians evaluating patients with ALS. PMID:24176417
1 AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-12-1-0431 TITLE: “c-jun-N-Terminal Kinase (JNK) for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ” PRINCIPAL...TITLE AND SUBTITLE “c-jun-N-Terminal Kinase (JNK) for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Scelerosis” 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER... Lateral Sclerosis ” Final Report: Project Period Sept 2012-‐Dec 2014 Personnel List: Feng, Yangbo
Sako, Wataru; Abe, Takashi; Izumi, Yuishin; Harada, Masafumi; Kaji, Ryuji
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Morgan, Sarah; Shatunov, Aleksey; Sproviero, William; Jones, Ashley R; Shoai, Maryam; Hughes, Deborah; Al Khleifat, Ahmad; Malaspina, Andrea; Morrison, Karen E; Shaw, Pamela J; Shaw, Christopher E; Sidle, Katie; Orrell, Richard W; Fratta, Pietro; Hardy, John; Pittman, Alan; Al-Chalabi, Ammar
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons. About 25 genes have been verified as relevant to the disease process, with rare and common variation implicated. We used next generation sequencing and repeat sizing to comprehensively assay genetic variation in a panel of known amyotrophic lateral sclerosis genes in 1126 patient samples and 613 controls. About 10% of patients were predicted to carry a pathological expansion of the C9orf72 gene. We found an increased burden of rare variants in patients within the untranslated regions of known disease-causing genes, driven by SOD1, TARDBP, FUS, VCP, OPTN and UBQLN2. We found 11 patients (1%) carried more than one pathogenic variant (P = 0.001) consistent with an oligogenic basis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These findings show that the genetic architecture of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is complex and that variation in the regulatory regions of associated genes may be important in disease pathogenesis. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.
Kassubek, Jan; Müller, Hans-Peter; Del Tredici, Kelly; Brettschneider, Johannes; Pinkhardt, Elmar H; Lulé, Dorothée; Böhm, Sarah; Braak, Heiko; Ludolph, Albert C
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
Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ” PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Philip LoGrasso CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: The Scripps Research... Lateral Sclerosis ” 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-12-1-0431 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-12-1-0431 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Philip...Annual 3. DATES COVERED 30September2012-29September2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE “c-jun-N-Terminal Kinase (JNK) for the Treatment of Amyotrophic
Neto, Lavoisier Leite; Constantini, Ana Carolina; Chun, Regina Yu Shon
Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) exhibit speech disorders since the early stages that decrease the communication rate and interfere in social participation. To conduct a literature review on communication vulnerable and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Descriptors of the Health Sciences Descriptors (DeCS) were used: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Health Vulnerability, Communication Barriers, Nonverbal Communication, and Communication Aids for Disabled. Articles in Portuguese and English from 2010 to 2015, fully available in the Virtual Health Library, PubMed, and Scopus were used. Duplicate articles and those not related to communication/language were excluded. Of the 94 articles found, 37 met the criteria. All of them were published in the USA and Europe, none was Brazilian; 27% of 2012 to 2014; 40.5% descriptive studies and 24.3% case studies; 45.9% addressed ALS and 24.3%, other serious motor alterations, including ALS. A large proportion (89.2%) addressed AAC, 70.3% Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). The results show that the researches recurrently addressed communication vulnerable, although not necessarily in these terms. The device which was most employed was the BCI, mainly in advanced stages of the disease.
Oh, Juyeon; Kim, Jung A
A few studies have examined the specific informational needs of the population with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The aims of this study were to describe the information-seeking behavior and information needs of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their families in Korea by analyzing messages from an online patient community. A total of 1047 messages from the question and answer forum of the "Lou Gehrig's Disease Network" (http://cafe.daum.net/alsfree) from January 2010 to September 2015 were collected. The word frequency, main questions, and asker of the messages were analyzed and coded. Terms such as "hospital," "mother," "father," "gastrostomy," and "ALS" were most frequently identified. The most commonly mentioned main topic was about disease-specific information, while the most frequent subcategory was symptoms or management of symptoms. Other prominent categories concerned information about treatment, rehabilitation, and the medical system. The people who wrote the questions were mostly the son/daughter of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their family members commonly obtained information by posting their inquiries online and have a variety of questions regarding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in this study. The findings of this study can be used as a base of information for developing educational programs and resources for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their families.
Li, Shengwen Calvin; Yin, Hong Zhen; Loudon, William G; Weiss, John H
This editorial addresses the current challenges and future directions in the use of stem cells as an approach for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A wide variety of literature has been reviewed to enlighten the reader on the many facets of stem cell research that are important to consider before using them for a cell based therapy. PMID:23516096
Deapen, D.M.; Henderson, B.E.
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, suggestingmore » 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.« less
Kuruvilla, Mili S.; Green, Jordan R.; Yunusova, Yana; Hanford, Kathy
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…
Erdem, Nazan Simsek; Karaali, Kamil; Ünal, Ali; Kızılay, Ferah; Öğüş, Candan; Uysal, Hilmi
The aim of the study is to determine the association between respiratory swallow patterns in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Furthermore, it aims to clarify the role of the dysphagia limit in defining the relationship between swallowing disorders and respiratory disorders. Functional rating scales were used to describe swallowing and respiratory function. Swallowing was observed using the dysphagia limit. Dysphagia limit is the volume at which a second or more swallows are required to swallow the whole bolus. Laryngeal and chest movement sensors, pulmonary function tests, submental, and diaphragm electromyography activity were used to evaluate the relationship between swallowing and respiratory phase. Of the 27 patients included in the study, 14 were dysphagic and 13 were non-dysphagic. Tests showed normal respiratory function in 11 of the non-dysphagic patients and 3 of the dysphagic patients. There was a high correlation between the dysphagia limit and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale swallowing parameters. Non-dysphagic patients were able to swallow during inspiration but only six patients in the dysphagic group were able to swallow during inspiration. The occurrence of dysphagia in ALS is related to piecemeal deglutition and respiration consistency during swallowing. Detecting the timing of disturbances in the relationship between swallowing and respiration may be a way of identifying dysphagia. Dysphagia limit may be a useful, complementary test for assessing swallowing disturbances in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Fernandes, P M; Macleod, M R; Bateman, A; Abrahams, S; Pal, S
Conjugal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is rare, with significant effects on psychological and care needs. We report a case of conjugal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease from central Scotland. This case is particularly unusual as both patients were diagnosed within an 18-month period and experienced the disease simultaneously, with similar symptomatology and progression. Patient A was a 71-year-old man who presented with unilateral arm weakness and wasting. Patient B was a 68-year-old woman who presented with unilateral shoulder and elbow weakness. Diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was made within a few months of presentation in both cases, based on typical clinical symptomatology together with supportive neurophysiological testing. Interventions included enteral feeding and non-invasive ventilation. The time period between symptom onset and death was 5 years for Patient A and 3.5 years for Patient B. This case illustrates two main points: the care issues surrounding cases of conjugal neurological disease, and the psychological issues in these patients. There are significant care issues arising when co-habiting couples both develop severe functionally limiting neurological diseases at the same time. The more slowly progressive nature of Patient A's disease may be at least partially explained by the support he was able to receive from Patient B before she developed symptoms. Secondly, there are important psychological effects of living with someone with the same - but more advanced - progressive and incurable neurological disease. Thus, Patient B was reluctant to have certain interventions that she had observed being given to her husband. Lastly, no plausible shared environmental risk factors were identified, implying that the co-occurrence of ALS in this couple was a random association.
Jésus, P; Fayemendy, P; Nicol, M; Lautrette, G; Sourisseau, H; Preux, P-M; Desport, J-C; Marin, B; Couratier, P
The aim of this study was to investigate patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in order to determine their nutritional, neurological and respiratory parameters, and survival according to metabolic level. Nutritional assessment included resting energy expenditure (REE) measured by indirect calorimetry [hypermetabolism if REE variation (ΔREE) > 10%] and fat mass (FM) using impedancemetry. Neurological assessment included the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised score. Survival analysis used the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate Cox model. A total of 315 patients were analysed. Median age at diagnosis was 65.9 years and 55.2% of patients were hypermetabolic. With regard to the metabolic level (ΔREE: < 10%, 10-20% and >20%), patients with ΔREE > 20% initially had a lower FM(29.7% vs. 32.1% in those with ΔREE ≤10%; P = 0.0054). During follow-up, the median slope of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised tended to worsen more in patients with ΔREE > 20% (-1.4 vs. -1.0 points/month in those with ΔREE ≤10%; P = 0.07). Overall median survival since diagnosis was 18.4 months. ΔREE > 20% tended to increase the risk of dying compared with ΔREE ≤10% (hazard ratio, 1.33; P = 0.055). In multivariate analysis, an increased REE:FM ratio was independently associated with death (hazard ratio, 1.005; P = 0.001). Hypermetabolism is present in more than half of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It modifies the body composition at diagnosis, and patients with hypermetabolism >20% have a worse prognosis than those without hypermetabolism. © 2017 EAN.
Shepheard, Stephanie R; Chataway, Tim; Schultz, David W; Rush, Robert A; Rogers, Mary-Louise
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.
Herrando-Grabulosa, Mireia; Mulet, Roger; Pujol, Albert; Mas, José Manuel; Navarro, Xavier; Aloy, Patrick; Coma, Mireia; Casas, Caty
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
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
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. 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. 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 r(2)=0·95, Ireland r(2)=0·99, Italy r(2)=0·95, the Netherlands r(2)=0·99, and Scotland r(2)=0·97; overall r(2)=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). 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. UK Medical Research Council; UK Economic and Social Research Council; Ireland Health Research Board; The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw); the
Mesci, Pinar; Zaïdi, Sakina; Lobsiger, Christian S; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Escartin, Carole; Seilhean, Danielle; Sato, Hideyo; Mallat, Michel; Boillée, Séverine
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
Fang, Pu; Xu, Wenyuan; Wu, Chengsi; Zhu, Min; Li, Xiaobing; Hong, Daojun
A previous study of European Caucasian patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis demonstrated that a polymorphism in the microtubule-associated protein Tau (MAPT) gene was significantly associated with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis. Here, we tested this association in 107 sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and 100 healthy controls from the Chinese Han population. We screened the mutation-susceptible regions of MAPT – the 3' and 5' untranslated regions as well as introns 9, 10, 11, and 12 – by direct sequencing, and identified 33 genetic variations. Two of these, 105788 A > G in intron 9 and 123972 T > A in intron 11, were not present in the control group. The age of onset in patients with the 105788 A > G and/or the 123972 T > A variant was younger than that in patients without either genetic variation. Moreover, the pa-tients with a genetic variation were more prone to bulbar palsy and breathing difficulties than those with the wild-type genotype. This led to a shorter survival period in patients with a MAPT genetic variant. Our study suggests that the MAPT gene is a potential risk gene for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the Chinese Han population. PMID:25206632
Madsen, Louise Sofia; Jeppesen, Jørgen; Handberg, Charlotte
The aim of this study was to gain insight into experiences and reflections of persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and relatives concerning the peer group rehabilitation programme "More Life - Less Illness". This qualitative study used the Interpretive Description methodology with Symbolic Interactionism as the analytical framework. Eighteen programme participants representing persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (n = 8) and relatives (n = 10) were included. Data consisted of individual interviews and participant observation. The analysis revealed two categorical themes, "Sense of Community Building" and "Understanding my ALS", which represented the participants' experiences and reflections on peer group rehabilitation. Through the analysis, it became apparent that "Sense of Community Building" gave rise to an increased and personalised understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis among the participants. As a part of the continuous processing of the knowledge gained, "Facing Facts" and "Retaining Normality" appeared as subthemes regarding the participants' ability to live a less dependent and more meaningful life. This study of peer group rehabilitation for persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and relatives indicates that programme participation leads to positive experiences in terms of living a shared meaningful life despite severe disability. The findings may guide practice to develop longitudinal peer group rehabilitation programmes with joint inclusion of persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and relatives. Implications for Rehabilitation Peer group rehabilitation may facilitate an increased and personalised understanding of what it means to live with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A programme design with six months of sequential sessions enables a continuous processing of shared experiences and gained knowledge. Joint participation of persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their relatives supports both their internal
Moura, Mirian Conceicao; Novaes, Maria Rita Carvalho Garbi; Eduardo, Emanoel Junio; Zago, Yuri S S P; Freitas, Ricardo Del Negro Barroso; Casulari, Luiz Augusto
To determine the prognostic factors associated with survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at diagnosis. This retrospective population-based study evaluated 218 patients treated with riluzole between 2005 and 2014 and described their clinical and demographic profiles after the analysis of clinical data and records from the mortality information system in the Federal District, Brazil. Cox multivariate regression analysis was conducted for the parameters found. The study sample consisted of 132 men and 86 women with a mean age at disease onset of 57.2±12.3 years; 77.6% of them were Caucasian. The mean periods between disease onset and diagnosis were 22.7 months among men and 23.5 months among women, and the mean survival periods were 45.7±47.0 months among men and 39.3±29.8 months among women. In addition, 80.3% patients presented non-bulbar-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and 19.7% presented bulbar-onset. Cox regression analysis indicated worse prognosis for body mass index (BMI) <25 kg/m2 (relative risk [RR]: 3.56, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.44-8.86), age >75 years (RR: 12.47, 95% CI: 3.51-44.26), and bulbar-onset (RR: 4.56, 95% CI: 2.06-10.12). Electromyography did not confirm the diagnosis in 55.6% of the suspected cases and in 27.9% of the bulbar-onset cases. The factors associated with lower survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were age >75 years, BMI <25 kg/m2, and bulbar-onset.
Moura, Mirian Conceicao; Novaes, Maria Rita Carvalho Garbi; Eduardo, Emanoel Junio; Zago, Yuri S. S. P.; Freitas, Ricardo Del Negro Barroso; Casulari, Luiz Augusto
Objective To determine the prognostic factors associated with survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at diagnosis. Methods This retrospective population-based study evaluated 218 patients treated with riluzole between 2005 and 2014 and described their clinical and demographic profiles after the analysis of clinical data and records from the mortality information system in the Federal District, Brazil. Cox multivariate regression analysis was conducted for the parameters found. Results The study sample consisted of 132 men and 86 women with a mean age at disease onset of 57.2±12.3 years; 77.6% of them were Caucasian. The mean periods between disease onset and diagnosis were 22.7 months among men and 23.5 months among women, and the mean survival periods were 45.7±47.0 months among men and 39.3±29.8 months among women. In addition, 80.3% patients presented non-bulbar-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and 19.7% presented bulbar-onset. Cox regression analysis indicated worse prognosis for body mass index (BMI) <25 kg/m2 (relative risk [RR]: 3.56, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.44–8.86), age >75 years (RR: 12.47, 95% CI: 3.51–44.26), and bulbar-onset (RR: 4.56, 95% CI: 2.06–10.12). Electromyography did not confirm the diagnosis in 55.6% of the suspected cases and in 27.9% of the bulbar-onset cases. Conclusions The factors associated with lower survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were age >75 years, BMI <25 kg/m2, and bulbar-onset. PMID:26517122
Ong, Mei-Lyn; Tan, Pei Fang; Holbrook, Joanna D
Better predictors of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease course could enable smaller and more targeted clinical trials. Partially to address this aim, the Prize for Life foundation collected de-identified records from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis sufferers who participated in clinical trials of investigational drugs and made them available to researchers in the PRO-ACT database. In this study, time series data from PRO-ACT subjects were fitted to exponential models. Binary classes for decline in the total score of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale revised (ALSFRS-R) (fast/slow progression) and survival (high/low death risk) were derived. Data was segregated into training and test sets via cross validation. Learning algorithms were applied to the demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters in the training set to predict ALSFRS-R decline and the derived fast/slow progression and high/low death risk categories. The performance of predictive models was assessed by cross-validation in the test set using Receiver Operator Curves and root mean squared errors. A model created using a boosting algorithm containing the decline in four parameters (weight, alkaline phosphatase, albumin and creatine kinase) post baseline, was able to predict functional decline class (fast or slow) with fair accuracy (AUC = 0.82). However similar approaches to build a predictive model for decline class by baseline subject characteristics were not successful. In contrast, baseline values of total bilirubin, gamma glutamyltransferase, urine specific gravity and ALSFRS-R item score-climbing stairs were sufficient to predict survival class. Using combinations of small numbers of variables it was possible to predict classes of functional decline and survival across the 1-2 year timeframe available in PRO-ACT. These findings may have utility for design of future ALS clinical trials.
Penco, Silvana; Buscema, Massimo; Patrosso, Maria Cristina; Marocchi, Alessandro; Grossi, Enzo
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 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 -480 C/T; endothelial
MacNair, Laura; Xiao, Shangxi; Miletic, Denise; Ghani, Mahdi; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Keith, Julia; Zinman, Lorne; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Robertson, Janice
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
Sheelakumari, R; Madhusoodanan, M; Radhakrishnan, A; Ranjith, G; Thomas, B
Iron-mediated oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This study aimed to assess iron deposition qualitatively and quantitatively by using SWI and microstructural changes in the corticospinal tract by using DTI in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Seventeen patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 15 age- and sex-matched controls underwent brain MR imaging with SWI and DTI. SWI was analyzed for both signal-intensity scoring and quantitative estimation of iron deposition in the anterior and posterior banks of the motor and sensory cortices and deep gray nuclei. The diffusion measurements along the corticospinal tract at the level of pons and medulla were obtained by ROI analysis. Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis showed reduced signal-intensity grades in the posterior bank of the motor cortex bilaterally. Quantitative analysis confirmed significantly higher iron content in the posterior bank of the motor cortex in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In contrast, no significant differences were noted for the anterior bank of the motor cortex, anterior and posterior banks of the sensory cortex, and deep nuclei. Receiver operating characteristic comparison showed a cutoff of 35μg Fe/g of tissue with an area under the curve of 0.78 (P = .008) for the posterior bank of the motor cortex in discriminating patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from controls. Fractional anisotropy was lower in the pyramidal tracts of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the pons and medulla on either side, along with higher directionally averaged mean diffusivity values. The combination of SWI and DTI revealed an area under the curve of 0.784 for differentiating patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from controls. Measurements of motor cortex iron deposition and diffusion tensor parameters of the corticospinal tract may be useful biomarkers for the diagnosis of clinically suspected
Almeida, Claudinéa S; Stanich, Patricia; Salvioni, Cristina C S; Diccini, Solange
Neurological patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)often deteriorate to a worsening nutritional status. The aim of this study was to compare the nutritional status and food intake after nutrition education in patients with ALS. Clinical, anthropometric and functional variables were analyzed. Fifty-three patients were monitored at an early stage of the disease. The average score on the functionality scale was 33 points. Initially only 3.8% were classified as low body weight. After three months, 50% showed significant variation in anthropometric measures related to muscle mass and body fat reserves without association with clinical variables. After nutritional guidance, there was an increase in the intake of all food groups, especially the dairy group (p <0.05).The change of the nutritional status occurs early in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, even in those previously eutrophic or over weight. There was an increase in food intake after nutritional guidance according to the food guide adapted to the Brazilian population.
Oh, Juyeon; Kim, Jung A
To identify the supportive care needs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients and their caregivers, categorise and summarise them into a Supportive Care Needs Framework and identify gaps in literature. Little is known about the supportive care needs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients and their caregivers, and this subject has not previously been systemically reviewed. Scoping review. We conducted a scoping review from the MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane databases for the period January 2000-July 2016, using the following inclusion criteria: (i) written in English only, (ii) published in peer-reviewed journals, (iii) at least part of the research considered the supportive care needs perspective of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients or their caregivers and (iv) the population sample included patients of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease or their caregivers. Thirty-seven articles were included. Our review shows that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients and their caregivers' supportive care needs were mentioned across all seven domains of the Supportive Care Needs Framework. Most common were practical needs (n = 24), followed by Informational needs (n = 19), Social needs (n = 18), Psychological needs (n = 16), Physical needs (n = 15), Emotional needs (n = 13) and Spiritual needs (n = 8). From the perspectives of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients and their caregivers, there is a significant need for more practical, social, informational, psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual support. The Supportive Care Needs Framework has potential utility in the development of patient-centred support services or healthcare policies and serves as an important base for further studies; especially, specific examples of each supportive care needs domain can guide in clinical settings when healthcare professionals
Young, Jenny M.; And Others
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…
Hoffman, R. Leigh; Decker, Thomas W.
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…
Patai, Roland; Nógrádi, Bernát; Engelhardt, József I; Siklós, László
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is an incurable, relentlessly progressive disease primarily affecting motor neurons. The cause of the disease, except for the mutations identified in a small fraction of patients, is unknown. The major mechanisms contributing to the degeneration of motor neurons have already been disclosed and characterized, including excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and immune/inflammatory processes. During the progression of the disease these toxic processes are not discrete, but each facilitates the deleterious effect of the other. However, due to their common reciprocal calcium dependence, calcium ions may act as a common denominator and through a positive feedback loop may combine the individual pathological processes into a unified escalating mechanism of neuronal destruction. This mini-review provides an overview of the mutual calcium dependence of the major toxic mechanisms associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kimura, Fumiharu; Ishida, Simon; Furutama, Daisuke; Hirata, Yuuji; Sato, Toshihiko; Hosokawa, Takashi; Hanafusa, Toshiaki
A wheelchair-bound 61-year-old diabetic man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) developed sudden respiratory failure. Specific findings for hypoxemia and hypocapnia were incompatible with type II respiratory failure seen in the terminal stages of ALS. 'Economy class syndrome' was diagnosed, with massive thrombosis in the pulmonary arteries and deep vein thrombosis. This case offers a warning for long-term wheelchair users, particularly hypoxemic ALS patients, regarding the risks of treatable pulmonary thromboembolism.
infusions with or without H- ferritin shows a significant extension of lifespan and a clear trend of increased survival (Figures 7 and 8). Given that the......August 2012 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Apo- Ferritin as a Therapeutic Treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 5b. GRANT NUMBER
Oh, Juyeon; Kim, Jung A
The Zarit Burden Interview has been used in many studies to assess caregiver burden in family caregivers of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but the factor structure of the Zarit Burden Interview in the caregivers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients is unknown. The aim of this study was to explore the factor structure of the Zarit Burden Interview in family caregivers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients using exploratory factor analysis. The exploratory factor analysis was performed using generalized least squares with oblique rotation in a sample of 202 family caregivers. Three factors had an eigenvalue greater than 1 and accounted for 60.33% of the total variance. The three factors were named as follows: (factor 1) "Social restrictions" (items 2, 3, and 10-15); (factor 2) "Self-criticism" (items 20-21); and (factor 3) "Anger and frustration" (items 1, 4-6, 9, and 16-19). The correlation between factors 1 and 3 was much higher (r = 0.79) than that between factors 1 and 2 (r = 0.14) or factors 2 and 3 (r = 0.15). The findings of this study enriched our understanding of several meaningful dimensions of the caregiving burden in caregivers of an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis population and provided opportunities for future intervention.
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
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.
Figueroa-Romero, Claudia; Hur, Junguk; Lunn, J Simon; Paez-Colasante, Ximena; Bender, Diane E; Yung, Raymond; Sakowski, Stacey A; Feldman, Eva L
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Moura, Mirian Conceicao; Casulari, Luiz Augusto; Carvalho Garbi Novaes, Maria Rita
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.
Belli, Stefano; Vanacore, Nicola
The objective of the study is to investigate the mortality experience of Italian soccer players and to discuss the findings in the light of possible long term effects of doping. Standardized proportionate mortality ratio (SPMR) and standardized proportionate cancer mortality ratio (SPCMR) were computed for 350 deceased subjects deriving from a list of about 24,000 active Italian soccer players from 1960 to 1996 in the three top leagues (A, B and C). When considering SPMRs, there is a substantial adherence of observed to expected mortality, with the only exception of mortality for diseases of the nervous system (13 obs. vs. 6 exp.) mainly explained by an excess of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (8 obs. vs 0.69 exp.). As far as SPCMRs are concerned, some digestive cancers (namely: colon cancer, liver cancer and pancreas cancer) show a doubled risk. A high risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is observed among Italian soccer players. Epidemiological data on association between sport and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are contrasting. On the basis of the overall available evidence we suggest a possible connection between dietary supplements or drugs used to enhance sporting performance and ALS pathogenesis. Further epidemiological studies are needed to confirm these specific mortality risks among soccer players.
Moisset, Xavier; Cornut-Chauvinc, Catherine; Clavelou, Pierre; Pereira, Bruno; Dallel, Radhouane; Guy, Nathalie
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive debilitating and lethal disorder, characterized by degeneration of motor neurons that warrant palliative care. Pain is frequent in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and significantly impacts on quality of life. To describe pain and assess the prevalence of pain with neuropathic characteristics in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Cross-sectional survey from March 2009 to October 2013. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients underwent multidisciplinary assessment and completed questionnaires measuring the severity and impact of pain and anxiety. The Douleur Neuropathique-4 questionnaire was used to look for pain with neuropathic characteristics. Of 96 clinical evaluations, 93 were usable for analysis (age at onset: 62 ± 12.5 years; disease duration: 34 ± 33 months). The overall pain prevalence was 66%, with 9% experiencing pain with neuropathic characteristics. Pain was most often located in the neck and shoulders (38% of pain patients). Neck and shoulder pain was associated with neck (p = 0.04) and proximal upper limb muscular weakness (p = 0.02), respectively. Pain was not associated with disease duration, respiratory or nutritional parameters, but with higher anxiety scores (p = 0.01). Patients with neuropathic characteristics pain did not differ significantly from patients with or without pain, except that they had higher minimal pain intensity score (p < 0.05). Neuropathic characteristics pain was frequently spontaneous (rarely evoked) and described as numbness, burning, electric shock, tingling, and pins-and-needle. Even if amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease of the motor system, pain is frequent and can rarely have neuropathic characteristics. Pain must be always sought and appropriately treated to limit quality of life impairment. © The Author(s) 2015.
Karademir, Betul; Corek, Ceyda; Ozer, Nesrin Kartal
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rafael, Hernando; David, Juan Oscar; Vilca, Antonio Santiago
Background: To date all researchers conclude that the etiology of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not known. On the contrary, since August 2009, we believe that disease is of ischemic origin in the anterior surface of the medulla oblongata. Material and method: We present our surgical experience into 45 patients with ALS (bulbar form in 36 cases and spinal form in 9). Preoperative MRI scans revealed microinfarcts in the medulla oblongata and/or cervical cord. During surgery we found: 1) poor quality of omentum in most cases; 2) degenerative changes in the cervical spine; 3) anatomical anomalies at the V4 segments of the vertebral arteries; 4) moderate to severe atherosclerosis at both V4 segments; 5) unilateral absence or stenosis in the anterior-ventral spinal arteries (AVSAs). All patients received omentum on the anterior, lateral and posterior surface of the medulla oblongata, and in 9 cases, an additional segment at the C5-C6 level. Results: Neurological improvement was better during the first days or weeks after surgery than in the following months or years, in all patients. However, 13 patients suffered neurological impairment in about 4 months later, due to greater deterioration of the cervical spine, by contrast, 7 patients with mild ALS have experienced neurological improvement by 80 to 100% during a follow-up of 4 and 6 years. Conclusions: These results confirm that ALS is of ischemic origin in the intraparenchymal territory of the AVSAs and/or in anterior spinal artery caused by atherosclerosis and associated to anatomical variants in the V4 segments of the vertebral arteries. Because in contrast to this, its revascularization by means of omentum can cure (mild degree) or improve this disease. PMID:28533943
Simon, Neil G; Turner, Martin R; Vucic, Steve; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Shefner, Jeremy; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Kiernan, Matthew C
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) exhibits characteristic variability of onset and rate of disease progression, with inherent clinical heterogeneity making disease quantitation difficult. Recent advances in understanding pathogenic mechanisms linked to the development of ALS impose an increasing need to develop strategies to predict and more objectively measure disease progression. This review explores phenotypic and genetic determinants of disease progression in ALS, and examines established and evolving biomarkers that may contribute to robust measurement in longitudinal clinical studies. With targeted neuroprotective strategies on the horizon, developing efficiencies in clinical trial design may facilitate timely entry of novel treatments into the clinic. PMID:25223628
Cipolletta, Sabrina; Gammino, Giorgia Rosamaria; Palmieri, Arianna
To identify illness trajectories in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by analysing personal, social and functional dimensions related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis progression. Previous studies have considered some psychological distinct variables that may moderate illness progression, but no research has combined an extensive qualitative understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients' psychological characteristics and illness progression. A mixed-methods approach was used to combine quantitative and qualitative measures. Illness progression was assessed through a longitudinal design. Eighteen patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis attending a Neurology Department in northern Italy participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews to explore personal experience, and dependency grids to assess the distribution of dependency; ALSFRS-R and neuropsychological screening were, respectively, used to measure physical and cognitive impairment. To assess the progression of the disease, ALSFRS-R was re-administered after 8 months and mortality rate was considered. Data were analysed using the grounded theory approach. Illness progression changed according to the perception of the disease, the trust placed in medical care, self-construction and the distribution of dependency. Based on these categories, cases that had similar experiences were grouped, and four illness trajectories were identified: aggressiveness, threat, constriction and guilt. The findings suggest that it is possible to identify different illness trajectories in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Personalised intervention strategies may be construed based on the different trajectories identified. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Oliveira, Ademar Francisco de; Silva, Gêssyca Adryene de Menezes; Almeida, Débora Milenna Xavier
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons, which are the central nervous system cells that control voluntary muscle movements. The excessive salivation (sialorrhea) is present in approximately 50% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases. Thus, some alternative therapeutic methods are sought, such as anticholinergic drugs and surgery. Recently the use of botulinum toxin applied at a midpoint of the salivary glands, often guided by ultrasound, have demonstrated positive results. The objective was to review the literature to demonstrate an alternative method to treatments of sialorrhea in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In recent studies, the efficacy of botulinum toxin is confirmed, although new applications are required. Since the side effects are negligible, this is an alternative to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other patients with diseases that present sialorrhea. RESUMO Esclerose lateral amiotrófica é uma doença neurodegenerativa progressiva e fatal, caracterizada pela degeneração dos neurônios motores, as células do sistema nervoso central que controlam os movimentos voluntários dos músculos. A salivação excessiva (sialorreia) está presente em cerca de 50% dos casos de esclerose lateral amiotrófica. Dessa forma, surgem medidas terapêuticas alternativas como drogas anticolinérgicas e cirurgia, e recentemente, o uso da toxina botulínica, aplicada em um ponto central das glândulas salivares, muitas vezes guiado por ultrassonografia, demostrou resultados positivos. Objetivou-se revisar a literatura no intuito de demonstrar um método alternativo aos tratamentos de sialorreia em pacientes com esclerose lateral amiotrófica. Em estudos recentes, a eficácia do tratamento com toxina botulínica foi confirmada e, mesmo requerendo novas aplicações, os efeitos colaterais são ínfimos. Ela surge então como alternativa não só ao
Henriques, Alexandre; Huebecker, Mylene; Blasco, Hélène; Keime, Céline; Andres, Christian R; Corcia, Philippe; Priestman, David A; Platt, Frances M; Spedding, Michael; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe
Recent metabolomic reports connect dysregulation of glycosphingolipids, particularly ceramide and glucosylceramide, to neurodegeneration and to motor unit dismantling in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at late disease stage. We report here altered levels of gangliosides in the cerebrospinal fluid of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients in early disease stage. Conduritol B epoxide is an inhibitor of acid beta-glucosidase, and lowers glucosylceramide degradation. Glucosylceramide is the precursor for all of the more complex glycosphingolipids. In SOD1 G86R mice, an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, conduritol B epoxide preserved ganglioside distribution at the neuromuscular junction, delayed disease onset, improved motor function and preserved motor neurons as well as neuromuscular junctions from degeneration. Conduritol B epoxide mitigated gene dysregulation in the spinal cord and restored the expression of genes involved in signal transduction and axonal elongation. Inhibition of acid beta-glucosidase promoted faster axonal elongation in an in vitro model of neuromuscular junctions and hastened recovery after peripheral nerve injury in wild type mice. Here, we provide evidence that glycosphingolipids play an important role in muscle innervation, which degenerates in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from the early disease stage. This is a first proof of concept study showing that modulating the catabolism of glucosylceramide may be a therapeutic target for this devastating disease.
Mishra, Pooja-Shree; Vijayalakshmi, K; Nalini, A; Sathyaprabha, T N; Kramer, B W; Alladi, Phalguni Anand; Raju, T R
Microglial cell-associated neuroinflammation is considered as a potential contributor to the pathophysiology of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, the specific role of microglia in the disease pathogenesis remains to be elucidated. We studied the activation profiles of the microglial cultures exposed to the cerebrospinal fluid from these patients which recapitulates the neurodegeneration seen in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This was done by investigating the morphological and functional changes including the expression levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), TNF-α, IL-6, IFN-γ, IL-10, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), arginase, and trophic factors. We also studied the effect of chitotriosidase, the inflammatory protein found upregulated in the cerebrospinal fluid from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients, on these cultures. We report that the cerebrospinal fluid from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients could induce an early and potent response in the form of microglial activation, skewed primarily towards a pro-inflammatory profile. It was seen in the form of upregulation of the pro-inflammatory cytokines and factors including IL-6, TNF-α, iNOS, COX-2, and PGE2. Concomitantly, a downregulation of beneficial trophic factors and anti-inflammatory markers including VEGF, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, and IFN-γ was seen. In addition, chitotriosidase-1 appeared to act specifically via the microglial cells. Our findings demonstrate that the cerebrospinal fluid from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients holds enough cues to induce microglial inflammatory processes as an early event, which may contribute to the neurodegeneration seen in the sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These findings highlight the dynamic role of microglial cells in the pathogenesis of the disease, thus suggesting the need for a multidimensional and temporally guarded therapeutic approach targeting the inflammatory
Meier, Sandra L; Charleston, Alison J; Tippett, Lynette J
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
Shahrizaila, N; Sobue, G; Kuwabara, S; Kim, S H; Birks, Carol; Fan, D S; Bae, J S; Hu, C J; Gourie-Devi, M; Noto, Y; Shibuya, K; Goh, K J; Kaji, R; Tsai, C P; Cui, L; Talman, P; Henderson, R D; Vucic, S; Kiernan, M C
While the past 2 decades have witnessed an increasing understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) arising from East Asia, particularly Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China, knowledge of ALS throughout the whole of Asia remains limited. Asia represents >50% of the world population, making it host to the largest patient cohort of ALS. Furthermore, Asia represents a diverse population in terms of ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds. In this review, an overview is presented that covers what is currently known of ALS in Asia from basic epidemiology and genetic influences, through to disease characteristics including atypical phenotypes which manifest a predilection for Asians. With the recent establishment of the Pan-Asian Consortium for Treatment and Research in ALS to facilitate collaborations between clinicians and researchers across the region, it is anticipated that Asia and the Pacific will contribute to unravelling the uncertainties in ALS. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/
Ahuja, Anami; Dev, Kapil; Tanwar, Ranjeet S; Selwal, Krishan K; Tyagi, Pankaj K
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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Millecamps, Stéphanie; Nicolle, Delphine; Ceballos-Picot, Irène; Mallet, Jacques; Barkats, Martine
Using adenoviruses encoding reporter genes as retrograde tracers, we assessed the capacity of motoneurons to take up and retrogradely transport adenoviral particles injected into the muscles of transgenic mice expressing the G93A human superoxide dismutase mutation, a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Surprisingly, transgene expression in the motoneurons was significantly higher in symptomatic mice than in control or presymptomatic mice. Using botulinum toxin to induce nerve sprouting at neuromuscular junctions, we showed that the unexpectedly high level of motoneurons retrograde transduction results, at least in part, from newly acquired uptake properties of the sprouts. These findings demonstrate the remarkable uptake properties of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis motoneurons in response to denervation and the rationale of using intramuscular injections of adenoviruses to overexpress therapeutic proteins in motor neuron diseases. PMID:11404466
Nakai, Michiko; Narita, Yugo; Tomimoto, Hidekazu
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive disease with rapid degeneration. Respite care is an essential service for improving the well-being of both patients with this disease and their family caregivers, but accessibility of respite services is limited. This study investigates perspectives on respite admission among people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the hospitals supporting them. We conducted semistructured interviews among 3 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 12 family members, exploring demographic information and their awareness and experience of respite admission. We also interviewed 16 representatives from hospitals about awareness of and preparation for respite admission for patients with this disease, the role of regional networks for intractable diseases, and knowledge about communication support schemes. We found significant differences in the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale between patients who had and had not received respite admission. Qualitative analysis of the data indicated that respite admission was a contributory factor in continuing and stabilizing home care. Limited provision of social services and hospital care quality were barriers to respite admission. Respite admission was essential to continued home care for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Severe-stage patients were eligible for respite admission. Its accessibility, however, was limited, especially for patients living in rural areas. Supporting hospitals had limited capacity to respond to patients' needs. Individualized care and communication were internal barriers to respite admission.
Saberi, Shahram; Stauffer, Jennifer E.; Schulte, Derek J.; Ravits, John
Summary Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a clinical syndrome named for its neuropathological hallmark: degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal anterior horn and motor cortex and loss of axons in the lateral columns of the spinal cord. The signature neuropathological molecular signature common to almost all sporadic ALS and most familial ALS is TDP-43 immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions. The neuropathological and molecular neuropathological features of ALS variants primarly lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy are less certain, but also appear to share the primary features of ALS. A number of genetic causes including mutations in SOD1, FUS, and C9orf72 comprise a disease spectrum and all demonstrate distinctive molecular and neuropathological signatures. Neuropathology will continue to play to a key role in solving the puzzle of ALS pathogenesis. PMID:26515626
Senda, Joe; Atsuta, Naoki; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Bagarinao, Epifanio; Imai, Kazunori; Yokoi, Daichi; Riku, Yuichi; Masuda, Michihito; Nakamura, Ryoichi; Watanabe, Hazuki; Ito, Mizuki; Katsuno, Masahisa; Naganawa, Shinji; Sobue, Gen
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) presents with varying degrees of brain degeneration that can extend beyond the corticospinal tract (CST). Furthermore, the clinical course and progression of ALS varies widely. Brain degeneration detected using structural MRI could reflect disease progression. On study registration, 3-Tesla volumetric MRI and diffusion tensor imaging scans were obtained at baseline in 38 healthy controls and 67 patients with sporadic ALS. Patients had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) scores of ≥36 and did not have the chromosome 9, open reading frame 72 repeat expansion. Six months later, changes in ALSFRS-R (ΔALSFRS-R) scores were calculated and patients were grouped into three categories, namely, patients with slow progression with ΔALSFRS-R scores ≤3 (n=19), intermediate progression with ΔALSFRS-R scores =4, 5 and 6 (n=36) and rapid progression with ΔALSFRS-R scores ≥7 (n=12). We analysed voxel-based morphometry and tract-based spatial statistics among these subgroups and controls. In comparison with controls, patients with ALS showed grey matter atrophy and decreased fractional anisotropy beyond the motor cortex and CST, especially in the frontotemporal lobes and basal ganglia. Moreover, the degree of change was highly proportional to ΔALSFRS-R at the 6-month assessment. A more rapid disease progression and poorer functional decline were associated with greater involvement of the extra-motor cortex and basal ganglia, suggesting that the spatial extent of brain involvement can be an indicator of the progression in ALS. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
... revising the evaluation criterion for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to provide a 100-percent evaluation for any veteran with service-connected ALS. This change is necessary to adequately compensate... provide a total disability rating for any veteran with service- connected ALS. DATES: Comments must be...
Nieves, Jeri W; Gennings, Chris; Factor-Litvak, Pam; Hupf, Jonathan; Singleton, Jessica; Sharf, Valerie; Oskarsson, Björn; Fernandes Filho, J Americo M; Sorenson, Eric J; D'Amico, Emanuele; Goetz, Ray; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi
There is growing interest in the role of nutrition in the pathogenesis and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To evaluate the associations between nutrients, individually and in groups, and ALS function and respiratory function at diagnosis. A cross-sectional baseline analysis of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Multicenter Cohort Study of Oxidative Stress study was conducted from March 14, 2008, to February 27, 2013, at 16 ALS clinics throughout the United States among 302 patients with ALS symptom duration of 18 months or less. Nutrient intake, measured using a modified Block Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis function, measured using the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R), and respiratory function, measured using percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (FVC). Baseline data were available on 302 patients with ALS (median age, 63.2 years [interquartile range, 55.5-68.0 years]; 178 men and 124 women). Regression analysis of nutrients found that higher intakes of antioxidants and carotenes from vegetables were associated with higher ALSFRS-R scores or percentage FVC. Empirically weighted indices using the weighted quantile sum regression method of "good" micronutrients and "good" food groups were positively associated with ALSFRS-R scores (β [SE], 2.7 [0.69] and 2.9 [0.9], respectively) and percentage FVC (β [SE], 12.1 [2.8] and 11.5 [3.4], respectively) (all P < .001). Positive and significant associations with ALSFRS-R scores (β [SE], 1.5 [0.61]; P = .02) and percentage FVC (β [SE], 5.2 [2.2]; P = .02) for selected vitamins were found in exploratory analyses. Antioxidants, carotenes, fruits, and vegetables were associated with higher ALS function at baseline by regression of nutrient indices and weighted quantile sum regression analysis. We also demonstrated the usefulness of the weighted quantile sum regression method in the evaluation of diet. Those responsible for nutritional
Blasco, H; Patin, F; Madji Hounoum, B; Gordon, P H; Vourc'h, P; Andres, C R; Corcia, P
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease. Alongside identification of aetiologies, development of biomarkers is a foremost research priority. Metabolomics is one promising approach that is being utilized in the search for diagnosis and prognosis markers. Our aim is to provide an overview of the principal research in metabolomics applied to ALS. References were identified using PubMed with the terms 'metabolomics' or 'metabolomic' and 'ALS' or 'amyotrophic lateral sclerosis' or 'MND' or 'motor neuron disorders'. To date, nine articles have reported metabolomics research in patients and a few additional studies examined disease physiology and drug effects in patients or models. Metabolomics contribute to a better understanding of ALS pathophysiology but, to date, no biomarker has been validated for diagnosis, principally due to the heterogeneity of the disease and the absence of applied standardized methodology for biomarker discovery. A consensus on best metabolomics methodology as well as systematic independent validation will be an important accomplishment on the path to identifying the long-awaited biomarkers for ALS and to improve clinical trial designs. © 2016 EAN.
Jung, H H; Neumann, M; Bloch, K E
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) represents the most common motoneuron disorder in adulthood. It is characterized by selective degeneration of the motoneurons. About 10% of patients have a genetically determined ALS. Clinically, ALS is characterized by coexistence of signs of the first motoneuron, such as spasticity and hyperreflexia, as well as the second motoneuron, such as muscular atrophy and fasciculations. If such signs are present in at least three regions and if other possible causes have been excluded, a definite diagnosis of ALS can be made based on the revised El-Escorial criteria. Initial manifestations are often focalized and generalization develops during the course. The glutamate antagonist riluzole is worldwide the only approved ALS treatment. However, symptomatic treatments to ameliorate spasticity, drooling, speech and swallowing problems, and assisted ventilation to treat respiratory failure are essential.
Goldstein, Laura H; Abrahams, Sharon
Increased awareness of cognitive and behavioural change in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has been driven by various clinic-based and population-based studies. A frontotemporal syndrome occurs in a substantial proportion of patients, a subgroup of whom present with frontotemporal dementia. Deficits are characterised by executive and working-memory impairments, extending to changes in language and social cognition. Behaviour and social cognition abnormalities are closely similar to those reported in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, implying a clinical spectrum linking amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Cognitive impairment should be considered in clinical management, but few specialist assessment resources are available, and thus the cognitive status of most patients is unknown. Standard assessment procedures are not appropriate to detect dysfunction due to progressive physical disability; techniques that better measure the problems encountered by this group of patients are needed to further establish disease effects. Screening instruments are needed that are validated specifically for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, encompass the heterogeneity of impairment, and accommodate physical disability. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Joubert, Karin; Bornman, Juan; Alant, Erna
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…
... revising the disability evaluation criterion provided for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to provide an evaluation of 100 percent for any veteran with service-connected ALS. This change is necessary to adequately... to provide a total disability rating for any veteran with service-connected ALS. DATES: Effective...
Hanisch, Frank; Skudlarek, Anika; Berndt, Janine; Kornhuber, Malte E
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
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
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
Pettit, Lewis D; Bastin, Mark E; Smith, Colin; Bak, Thomas H; Gillingwater, Thomas H; Abrahams, Sharon
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
... amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) rated totally disabling under the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. The...-connected ALS. VA previously amended its Schedule for Rating Disabilities to assign a 100-percent disability evaluation for any veteran who has service-connected ALS based on the recognition that ALS is a rapidly...
Carter, G T; Rosen, B S
Marijuana has been proposed as treatment for a widening spectrum of medical conditions. Marijuana is a substance with many properties that may be applicable to the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These include analgesia, muscle relaxation, bronchodilation, saliva reduction, appetite stimulation, and sleep induction. In addition, marijuana has now been shown to have strong antioxidative and neuroprotective effects, which may prolong neuronal cell survival. In areas where it is legal to do so, marijuana should be considered in the pharmacological management of ALS. Further investigation into the usefulness of marijuana in this setting is warranted.
Gruis, Kirsten L; Lechtzin, Noah
Respiratory complications are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Treatment of respiratory insufficiency with noninvasive ventilation (NIV) improves ALS patients' quality of life and survival. Evidence-based practice guidelines for the management of ALS patients recommend treatment of respiratory insufficiency with NIV as well as consideration of insufflation/exsufflation to improve clearance of airway secretions. Despite these recommendations respiratory therapies remain underused. In this review we provide a practical guide for the clinician to prescribe and manage respiratory therapies for the patient with ALS. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Marini, Cecilia; Cistaro, Angelina; Campi, Cristina; Calvo, Andrea; Caponnetto, Claudia; Nobili, Flavio Mariano; Fania, Piercarlo; Beltrametti, Mauro C; Moglia, Cristina; Novi, Giovanni; Buschiazzo, Ambra; Perasso, Annalisa; Canosa, Antonio; Scialò, Carlo; Pomposelli, Elena; Massone, Anna Maria; Bagnara, Maria Caludia; Cammarosano, Stefania; Bruzzi, Paolo; Morbelli, Silvia; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Mancardi, Gianluigi; Piana, Michele; Chiò, Adriano
In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, functional alterations within the brain have been intensively assessed, while progression of lower motor neuron damage has scarcely been defined. The aim of the present study was to develop a computational method to systematically evaluate spinal cord metabolism as a tool to monitor disease mechanisms. A new computational three-dimensional method to extract the spinal cord from (18)F-FDG PET/CT images was evaluated in 30 patients with spinal onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 30 controls. The algorithm identified the skeleton on the CT images by using an extension of the Hough transform and then extracted the spinal canal and the spinal cord. In these regions, (18)F-FDG standardized uptake values were measured to estimate the metabolic activity of the spinal canal and cord. Measurements were performed in the cervical and dorsal spine and normalized to the corresponding value in the liver. Uptake of (18)F-FDG in the spinal cord was significantly higher in patients than in controls (p < 0.05). By contrast, no significant differences were observed in spinal cord and spinal canal volumes between the two groups. (18)F-FDG uptake was completely independent of age, gender, degree of functional impairment, disease duration and riluzole treatment. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a higher mortality rate in patients with standardized uptake values above the fifth decile at the 3-year follow-up evaluation (log-rank test, p < 0.01). The independence of this value was confirmed by multivariate Cox analysis. Our computational three-dimensional method enabled the evaluation of spinal cord metabolism and volume and might represent a potential new window onto the pathophysiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Battineni, Anusha; Gummi, Rohit; Mullaguri, Naresh; Govindarajan, Raghav
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neuromuscular disorder characterized by progressive death of the upper and lower motor neurons in the central nervous system. Patients with this disease die mostly as a result of respiratory failure; however, owing to prolonged survival through assisted ventilation, cardiovascular causes are increasingly responsible for mortality. We report what is to the best of our knowledge the first case of type 2 Brugada syndrome causing ventricular tachyarrhythmia and cardiac arrest in a patient with upper limb onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A 48-year-old Caucasian woman with a significant past medical history of papillary thyroid carcinoma status postresection, pulmonary embolism on anticoagulation, and a recent diagnosis of right upper limb-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis presented to the emergency department of our hospital with acute on chronic shortness of breath. On further evaluation, she was found to have hypoxic and hypercapnic respiratory failure and was placed on bilevel positive airway pressure ventilation. Her 12-lead electrocardiogram showed sinus rhythm with J-point elevation, saddle-shaped ST segment elevation, predominantly in V1 and V2 with no significant QTc prolongation. No troponin elevation was noted in her laboratory workup. Because she was unable to protect her airway, a decision was made to intubate her. After 1 minute of induction with etomidate and succinylcholine, she went into pulseless ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation requiring three cycles of cardiopulmonary resuscitation with high-quality chest compressions, three doses of epinephrine, and a loading dose of amiodarone prior to return of spontaneous circulation. She was further evaluated by cardiology services and was diagnosed with type 2 Brugada syndrome, for which she was started on quinidine. Her respiratory failure and the drugs she received for intubation likely caused her ventricular tachycardia to occur in conjunction with an
Turner, Greg S.; Weismer, Gary
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…
Parry, Gareth J; Rodrigues, Cecilia M P; Aranha, Marcia M; Hilbert, Sarah J; Davey, Cynthia; Kelkar, Praful; Low, Walter C; Steer, Clifford J
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive degenerative disease, which typically leads to death in 3 to 5 years. Neuronal cell death offers a potential target for therapeutic intervention. Ursodeoxycholic acid is a cytoprotective, endogenous bile acid that has been shown to be neuroprotective in experimental Huntington and Alzheimer diseases, retinal degeneration, and ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. The objective of this research was to study the safety and the tolerability of ursodeoxycholic acid in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and document effective and dose-dependent cerebrospinal fluid penetration. Eighteen patients were randomly assigned to receive ursodeoxycholic acid at doses of 15, 30, and 50 mg/kg of body weight per day. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid were obtained for analysis after 4 weeks of treatment. Treatment-emergent clinical and laboratory events were monitored weekly. Our data indicated that ursodeoxycholic acid is well tolerated by all subjects at all doses. We also showed that ursodeoxycholic acid is well absorbed after oral administration and crosses the blood-brain barrier in a dose-dependent manner. These results show excellent safety and tolerability of ursodeoxycholic acid. The drug penetrates the cerebrospinal fluid in a dose-dependent manner. A large, placebo-controlled clinical trial is needed to assess the efficacy of ursodeoxycholic acid in treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Beard, John D.; Engel, Lawrence S.; Richardson, David B.; Gammon, Marilie D.; Baird, Coleen; Umbach, David M.; Allen, Kelli D.; Stanwyck, Catherine L.; Keller, Jean; Sandler, Dale P.; Schmidt, Silke; Kamel, Freya
Background Military veterans may have higher rates of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mortality than non-veterans. Few studies, with sparse exposure information and mixed results, have studied relationships between military-related factors and ALS survival. We evaluated associations between military-related factors and ALS survival among U.S. military veteran cases. Methods We followed 616 medical record-confirmed cases from enrollment (2005–2010) in the Genes and Environmental Exposures in Veterans with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis study until death or July 25, 2013, whichever came first. We ascertained vital status information from several sources within the Department of Veterans Affairs. We obtained information regarding military service, deployments, and 39 related exposures via standardized telephone interviews. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals. We adjusted for potential confounding and missing covariate data biases via inverse probability weights. We also used inverse probability weights to adjust for potential selection bias among a case group that included a disproportionate number of long-term survivors at enrollment. Results We observed 446 deaths during 24,267 person-months of follow-up (median follow-up: 28 months). Survival was shorter for cases who served before 1950, were deployed to World War II, or mixed and applied burning agents, with HRs between 1.58 and 2.57. Longer survival was associated with exposure to: paint, solvents, or petrochemical substances; local food not provided by the Armed Forces; or burning agents or Agent Orange in the field with HRs between 0.56 and 0.73. Conclusions Although most military-related factors were not associated with survival, associations we observed with shorter survival are potentially important because of the large number of military veterans. PMID:29016608
Searl, Jeff; Knollhoff, Stephanie; Barohn, Richard J.
Purpose: This preliminary study on lingual-alveolar contact pressures (LACP) in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) had several aims: (a) to evaluate whether the protocol induced fatigue, (b) to compare LACP during speech (LACP-Sp) and during maximum isometric pressing (LACP-Max) in people with ALS (PALS) versus healthy controls, (c)…
de Carvalho, Mamede; Eisen, Andrew; Krieger, Charles; Swash, Michael
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
Pratt, Ashley J; Getzoff, Elizabeth D; Perry, J Jefferson P
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form of motor neuron disease. It is typically characterized by adult-onset degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons, and is usually fatal within a few years of onset. A subset of ALS patients has an inherited form of the disease, and a few of the known mutant genes identified in familial cases have also been found in sporadic forms of ALS. Precisely how the diverse ALS-linked gene products dictate the course of the disease, resulting in compromised voluntary muscular ability, is not entirely known. This review addresses the major advances that are being made in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms giving rise to the disease, which may eventually translate into new treatment options. PMID:23019386
Kuzel, Aaron R; Lodhi, Muhammad Uzair; Syed, Intekhab Askari; Rahim, Mustafa
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized clinically by progressive muscle weakness that can occur proximally or distally in either the upper or lower extremities. It includes both upper motor neuron signs (spasticity, hyperreflexia, clonus, and Babinski sign) and lower motor neuron signs (atrophy, weakness, and muscle fasciculation). Initial presentation of progressively painful muscle cramps should lead the physician to screen for other signs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We report the case of a 51-year-old male, who presented with dull muscle cramps in the right upper shoulder and arm. After a careful history and physical exam, it was found that patient had both upper and lower motor neuron signs; therefore, a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was made. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis should strongly be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with an atypical initial presentation of progressively painful muscle cramps.
Nieves, Jeri W.; Gennings, Chris; Factor-Litvak, Pam; Hupf, Jonathan; Singleton, Jessica; Sharf, Valerie; Oskarsson, Björn; Fernandes Filho, J. Americo M.; Sorenson, Eric J.; D’Amico, Emanuele; Goetz, Ray; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi
IMPORTANCE There is growing interest in the role of nutrition in the pathogenesis and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). OBJECTIVE To evaluate the associations between nutrients, individually and in groups, and ALS function and respiratory function at diagnosis. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A cross-sectional baseline analysis of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Multicenter Cohort Study of Oxidative Stress study was conducted from March 14, 2008, to February 27, 2013, at 16 ALS clinics throughout the United States among 302 patients with ALS symptom duration of 18 months or less. EXPOSURES Nutrient intake, measured using a modified Block Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis function, measured using the ALS Functional Rating Scale–Revised (ALSFRS-R), and respiratory function, measured using percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (FVC). RESULTS Baseline data were available on 302 patients with ALS (median age, 63.2 years [interquartile range, 55.5–68.0 years]; 178 men and 124 women). Regression analysis of nutrients found that higher intakes of antioxidants and carotenes from vegetables were associated with higher ALSFRS-R scores or percentage FVC. Empirically weighted indices using the weighted quantile sum regression method of “good” micronutrients and “good” food groups were positively associated with ALSFRS-R scores (β [SE], 2.7 [0.69] and 2.9 [0.9], respectively) and percentage FVC (β [SE], 12.1 [2.8] and 11.5 [3.4], respectively) (all P < .001). Positive and significant associations with ALSFRS-R scores (β [SE], 1.5 [0.61]; P = .02) and percentage FVC (β [SE], 5.2 [2.2]; P = .02) for selected vitamins were found in exploratory analyses. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Antioxidants, carotenes, fruits, and vegetables were associated with higher ALS function at baseline by regression of nutrient indices and weighted quantile sum regression analysis. We also demonstrated
Shellikeri, Sanjana; Green, Jordan R.; Kulkarni, Madhura; Rong, Panying; Martino, Rosemary; Zinman, Lorne; Yunusova, Yana
Purpose: The goal of this study was to identify the effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on tongue and jaw control, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The data were examined in the context of their utility as a diagnostic marker of bulbar disease. Method: Tongue and jaw movements were recorded cross-sectionally (n = 33…
8. Special Reporting Requirements…………………………………… 6 9. Appendices/Quadchart…………………………………………… n /a 1 1. Introduction: Amyotrophic lateral... acetyltransferase ) and quantified image analysis. These studies are ongoing, but should be complete by the middle of January, 2015. What opportunities
Young, Jenny M.; McNicoll, Paule
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;…
Johnson, Janel O; Pioro, Erik P; Boehringer, Ashley; Chia, Ruth; Feit, Howard; Renton, Alan E; Pliner, Hannah A; Abramzon, Yevgeniya; Marangi, Giuseppe; Winborn, Brett J; Gibbs, J Raphael; Nalls, Michael A; Morgan, Sarah; Shoai, Maryam; Hardy, John; Pittman, Alan; Orrell, Richard W; Malaspina, Andrea; Sidle, Katie C; Fratta, Pietro; Harms, Matthew B; Baloh, Robert H; Pestronk, Alan; Weihl, Conrad C; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Zinman, Lorne; Drory, Vivian E; Borghero, Giuseppe; Mora, Gabriele; Calvo, Andrea; Rothstein, Jeffrey D; Drepper, Carsten; Sendtner, Michael; Singleton, Andrew B; Taylor, J Paul; Cookson, Mark R; Restagno, Gabriella; Sabatelli, Mario; Bowser, Robert; Chiò, Adriano; Traynor, Bryan J
MATR3 is an RNA- and DNA-binding protein that interacts with TDP-43, a disease protein linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia. Using exome sequencing, we identified mutations in MATR3 in ALS kindreds. We also observed MATR3 pathology in ALS-affected spinal cords with and without MATR3 mutations. Our data provide more evidence supporting the role of aberrant RNA processing in motor neuron degeneration.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder involving both upper motor neurons (UMN) and lower motor neurons (LMN). Enormous research has been done in the past few decades in unveiling the genetics of ALS, successfully identifying at least fifteen candidate genes associated with familial and sporadic ALS. Numerous studies attempting to define the pathogenesis of ALS have identified several plausible determinants and molecular pathways leading to motor neuron degeneration, which include oxidative stress, glutamate excitotoxicity, apoptosis, abnormal neurofilament function, protein misfolding and subsequent aggregation, impairment of RNA processing, defects in axonal transport, changes in endosomal trafficking, increased inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction. This review is to update the recent discoveries in genetics of ALS, which may provide insight information to help us better understanding of the disease neuropathogenesis. PMID:23941283
Zarei, Sara; Carr, Karen; Reiley, Luz; Diaz, Kelvin; Guerra, Orleiquis; Altamirano, Pablo Fernandez; Pagani, Wilfredo; Lodin, Daud; Orozco, Gloria; Chinea, Angel
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
Pandya, Rachna S.; Zhu, Haining; Li, Wei; Bowser, Robert; Friedlander, Robert M.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal chronic neurodegenerative disease whose hallmark is proteinaceous, ubiquitinated, cytoplasmic inclusions in motor neurons and surrounding cells. Multiple mechanisms proposed as responsible for ALS pathogenesis include dysfunction of protein degradation, glutamate excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, oxidative stress, and inflammation. It is therefore essential to gain a better understanding of the underlying disease etiology and search for neuroprotective agents that might delay disease onset, slow progression, prolong survival, and ultimately reduce the burden of disease. Because riluzole, the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment, prolongs the ALS patient’s life by only 3 months, new therapeutic agents are urgently needed. In this review, we focus on studies of various small pharmacological compounds targeting the proposed pathogenic mechanisms of ALS and discuss their impact on disease progression. PMID:23864030
Soriani, M-H; Desnuelle, C
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a relentlessly progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive weakness of voluntary muscles of movement as well as those for swallowing, speech and respiration. In the absence of curative treatment, care can improve quality of life, prolong survival, and support ALS patients and their families, and also help them to anticipate and prepare for the end of life. Multidisciplinary management in tertiary centers is recommended in close collaboration with general practitioners, home carers and a dedicated health network. Patients' follow-up deals mainly with motor impairment and physical disability, adaptation, nutrition and respiratory function. Involvement of palliative care as part of the multidisciplinary team management offers patients the possibility of discussing their end of life issues. This review summarizes the different aspects of ALS care, from delivering the diagnosis to the end of life, and the organization of its management. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Silvoni, Stefano; Cavinato, Marianna; Volpato, Chiara; Ruf, Carolin A; Birbaumer, Niels; Piccione, Francesco
Our objective was to investigate the relationship between brain-computer interface (BCI) communication skill and disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We sought also to assess stability of BCI communication performance over time and whether it is related to the progression of neurological impairment before entering the locked-in state. A three years follow-up, BCI evaluation in a group of ALS patients (n = 24) was conducted. For a variety of reasons only three patients completed the three years follow-up. BCI communication skill and disability level, using the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised, were assessed at admission and at each of the three follow-ups. Multiple non-parametric statistical methods were used to ensure reliability of the dependent variables: correlations, paired test and factor analysis of variance. Results demonstrated no significant relationship between BCI communication skill (BCI-CS) and disease evolution. The patients who performed the follow-up evaluations preserved their BCI-CS over time. Patients' age at admission correlated positively with the ability to achieve control over a BCI. In conclusion, disease evolution in ALS does not affect the ability to control a BCI for communication. BCI performance can be maintained in the different stages of the illness.
Chen, Amy; Montes, Jacqueline; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the motor nervous system. It causes progressive and cumulative physical disabilities in patients, and leads to eventual death due to respiratory muscle failure. The disease is diverse in its presentation, course, and progression. We do not yet fully understand the cause or causes of the disease, nor the mechanisms for its progression; thus, we lack effective means for treating this disease. Currently, we rely on a multidisciplinary approach to symptomatically manage and care for patients who have ALS. In this article, the authors review the literature on the role of exercise in patients who have ALS, and briefly compare what is known about exercise in other neuromuscular diseases.
Webster, Christopher P.; Smith, Emma F.; Shaw, Pamela J.; De Vos, Kurt J.
Protein homeostasis (proteostasis), the correct balance between production and degradation of proteins, is essential for the health and survival of cells. Proteostasis requires an intricate network of protein quality control pathways (the proteostasis network) that work to prevent protein aggregation and maintain proteome health throughout the lifespan of the cell. Collapse of proteostasis has been implicated in the etiology of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common adult onset motor neuron disorder. Here, we review the evidence linking dysfunctional proteostasis to the etiology of ALS and discuss how ALS-associated insults affect the proteostasis network. Finally, we discuss the potential therapeutic benefit of proteostasis network modulation in ALS. PMID:28512398
ATASSI, NAZEM; COOK, AMANDA; PINEDA, CRISTIANA M. E.; YERRAMILLI-RAO, PADMAJA; PULLEY, DARLENE; CUDKOWICZ, MERIT
Depression is an under-recognized comorbidity associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The goals of this study were to prospectively estimate the prevalence of depression and other ALS related symptoms and to study the impact of depression on enrollment in research studies. One hundred and twenty-seven people with ALS completed the ALS Depression Inventory (ADI-12) and answered questions about ALS related symptoms and research study enrollment preferences. Demographics, ALS symptoms, medications, functional status, and research enrollment were compared between depressed and non-depressed patients. Results showed that the prevalence of mild and severe depression was 29% and 6%, respectively. More than one-third of our ALS patients were receiving anti-depressants to treat depression, sialorrhea, and pseudobulbar affect. Depression prevalence was not correlated with disease duration or progression. Except for anxiety, none of the ALS related symptoms predicted depression. The presence of depression did not have an effect on the decision to enroll in research studies. In conclusion, major depression is less common in our ALS cohort than in the general population. The diagnosis of depression can be masked by some ALS related symptoms and it has no impact on enrollment in ALS clinical trials. PMID:21091399
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Shan, X; Hu, J H; Cayabyab, F S; Krieger, C
Adducins alpha, beta and gamma are proteins that link spectrin and actin in the regulation of cytoskeletal architecture and are substrates for protein kinase C and other signaling molecules. Previous studies have shown that expressions of phosphorylated adducin (phospho-adducin) and protein kinase C are increased in spinal cord tissue from patients who died with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disorder of motoneurons and other cells. However, the distribution of phospho-adducin immunoreactivity has not been described in the mammalian spinal cord. We have evaluated the distribution of immunoreactivity to serine/threonine-dependent phospho-adducin at a region corresponding to the myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate-related domain of adducin in spinal cords of mice over-expressing mutant human superoxide dismutase, an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and in control littermates. We find phospho-adducin immunoreactivity in control spinal cord in ependymal cells surrounding the central canal, neurons and astrocytes. Phospho-adducin immunoreactivity is localized to the cell bodies, dendrites and axons of some motoneurons, as well as to astrocytes in the gray and white matter. Spinal cords of mutant human superoxide dismutase mice having motoneuron loss exhibit significantly increased phospho-adducin immunoreactivity in ventral and dorsal horn spinal cord regions, but not in ependyma surrounding the central canal, compared with control animals. Increased phospho-adducin immunoreactivity localizes predominantly to astrocytes and likely increases as a consequence of the astrogliosis that occurs in the mutant human superoxide dismutase mouse with disease progression. These findings demonstrate increased immunoreactivity against phosphorylated adducin at the myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate domain in a murine model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. As adducin is a substrate for protein kinase C at the myristoylated
Kabashi, Edor; Valdmanis, Paul N; Dion, Patrick; Spiegelman, Dan; McConkey, Brendan J; Vande Velde, Christine; Bouchard, Jean-Pierre; Lacomblez, Lucette; Pochigaeva, Ksenia; Salachas, Francois; Pradat, Pierre-Francois; Camu, William; Meininger, Vincent; Dupre, Nicolas; Rouleau, Guy A
Recently, TDP-43 was identified as a key component of ubiquitinated aggregates in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an adult-onset neurological disorder that leads to the degeneration of motor neurons. Here we report eight missense mutations in nine individuals--six from individuals with sporadic ALS (SALS) and three from those with familial ALS (FALS)--and a concurring increase of a smaller TDP-43 product. These findings further corroborate that TDP-43 is involved in ALS pathogenesis.
González-Frasquet, M C; García-Covisa, N; Vidagany-Espert, L; Herranz-Gordo, A; Llopis-Calatayud, J E
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. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Anestesiología, Reanimación y Terapéutica del Dolor. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Salvado, Maria; Vargas, Victor; Vidal, Marta; Simon-Talero, Macarena; Camacho, Jessica; Gamez, Josep
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
Calvo, Ana C.; Manzano, Raquel; Mendonça, Deise M. F.; Muñoz, María J.; Zaragoza, Pilar
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
Brownlee, Alisa; Bruening, Lisa M.
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…
Parakh, Sonam; Spencer, Damian M.; Halloran, Mark A.; Soo, Kai Y.; Atkin, Julie D.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that results from the death of upper and lower motor neurons. Due to a lack of effective treatment, it is imperative to understand the underlying mechanisms and processes involved in disease progression. Regulations in cellular reduction/oxidation (redox) processes are being increasingly implicated in disease. Here we discuss the possible involvement of redox dysregulation in the pathophysiology of ALS, either as a cause of cellular abnormalities or a consequence. We focus on its possible role in oxidative stress, protein misfolding, glutamate excitotoxicity, lipid peroxidation and cholesterol esterification, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired axonal transport and neurofilament aggregation, autophagic stress, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. We also speculate that an ER chaperone protein disulphide isomerase (PDI) could play a key role in this dysregulation. PDI is essential for normal protein folding by oxidation and reduction of disulphide bonds, and hence any disruption to this process may have consequences for motor neurons. Addressing the mechanism underlying redox regulation and dysregulation may therefore help to unravel the molecular mechanism involved in ALS. PMID:23533690
Ono, S.; Yamauchi, M.
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.
Prado, Laura de Godoy Rousseff; Bicalho, Isabella Carolina Santos; Vidigal-Lopes, Mauro; Prado, Vitor de Godoy Rousseff; Gomez, Rodrigo Santiago; de Souza, Leonardo Cruz; Teixeira, Antônio Lúcio
ABSTRACT Objective To investigate the frequency of anxiety and depression and their association with clinical features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Methods This is a cross-sectional and descriptive study including a consecutive series of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis according to Awaji’s criteria. Patients underwent clinical and psychiatric assessment (anxiety and depression symptoms). Results We included 76 patients. The men/women ratio was 1.6:1. Participants’ mean age at disease onset was 55 years (SD±12.1). Sixty-six patients (86.8%) were able to complete psychiatric evaluation. Clinically significant anxiety was found in 23 patients (34.8%) while clinically significant depression was found in 24 patients (36.4%). When we compared patients with and without depression a significant difference was seen only in the frequency of anxiety symptoms (p<0.001). We did further analysis comparing subgroups of patients classified according to the presence or not of anxiety and or depression, without any significant difference regarding sex, age at onset, initial form, disease duration or functional measures. A positive correlation between anxiety and depressive symptoms was found (p<0.001). Conclusion Anxiety and depressive symptoms were highly correlated and frequent in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In addition, anxiety and depression were not associated with disease duration and presentation, sex, age at onset, and functional score. PMID:28444090
Le Masson, Gwendal
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor disease in adults. Its pathophysiology remains mysterious, but tremendous advances have been made with the discovery of the most frequent mutations of its more common familial form linked to the C9ORF72 gene. Although most cases are still considered sporadic, these genetic mutations have revealed the role of RNA production, processing and transport in ALS, and may be important players in all ALS forms. There are no disease-modifying treatments for adult human neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS. As in spinal muscular atrophy, RNA-targeted therapies have been proposed as potential strategies for treating this neurodegenerative disorder. Successes achieved in various animal models of ALS have proven that RNA therapies are both safe and effective. With careful consideration of the applicability of such therapies in humans, it is possible to anticipate ongoing in vivo research and clinical trial development of RNA therapies for treating ALS. PMID:29342921
Mathis, Stéphane; Le Masson, Gwendal
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor disease in adults. Its pathophysiology remains mysterious, but tremendous advances have been made with the discovery of the most frequent mutations of its more common familial form linked to the C9ORF72 gene. Although most cases are still considered sporadic, these genetic mutations have revealed the role of RNA production, processing and transport in ALS, and may be important players in all ALS forms. There are no disease-modifying treatments for adult human neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS. As in spinal muscular atrophy, RNA-targeted therapies have been proposed as potential strategies for treating this neurodegenerative disorder. Successes achieved in various animal models of ALS have proven that RNA therapies are both safe and effective. With careful consideration of the applicability of such therapies in humans, it is possible to anticipate ongoing in vivo research and clinical trial development of RNA therapies for treating ALS.
Guerreiro, Rita J.; Schymick, Jennifer C.; Crews, Cynthia; Singleton, Andrew; Hardy, John; Traynor, Bryan J.
Background TAR DNA binding protein, encoded by TARDBP, was shown to be a central component of ubiquitin-positive, tau-negative inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-U) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, mutations in TARDBP have been linked to familial and sporadic ALS. Methodology/Principal Findings To further examine the frequency of mutations in TARDBP in sporadic ALS, 279 ALS cases and 806 neurologically normal control individuals of European descent were screened for sequence variants, copy number variants, genetic and haplotype association with disease. An additional 173 African samples from the Human Gene Diversity Panel were sequenced as this population had the highest likelihood of finding changes. No mutations were found in the ALS cases. Several genetic variants were identified in controls, which were considered as non-pathogenic changes. Furthermore, pathogenic structural variants were not observed in the cases and there was no genetic or haplotype association with disease status across the TARDBP locus. Conclusions Our data indicate that genetic variation in TARDBP is not a common cause of sporadic ALS in North American. PMID:18545701
Li, Xiao-yan; Liang, Zhan-hua; Han, Chao; Wei, Wen-juan; Song, Chun-li; Zhou, Li-na; Liu, Yang; Li, Ying; Ji, Xiao-fei; Liu, Jing
There is a small amount of clinical data regarding the safety and feasibility of autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cell transplantation into the subarachnoid space for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The objectives of this retrospective study were to assess the safety and efficacy of peripheral blood mononuclear cell transplantation in 14 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients to provide more objective data for future clinical trials. After stem cell mobilization and collection, autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (1 × 109) were isolated and directly transplanted into the subarachnoid space of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. The primary outcome measure was incidence of adverse events. Secondary outcome measures were electromyography 1 week before operation and 4 weeks after operation, Functional Independence Measurement, Berg Balance Scale, and Dysarthria Assessment Scale 1 week preoperatively and 1, 2, 4 and 12 weeks postoperatively. There was no immediate or delayed transplant-related cytotoxicity. The number of leukocytes, serum alanine aminotransferase and creatinine levels, and body temperature were within the normal ranges. Radiographic evaluation showed no serious transplant-related adverse events. Muscle strength grade, results of Functional Independence Measurement, Berg Balance Scale, and Dysarthria Assessment Scale were not significantly different before and after treatment. These findings suggest that peripheral blood mononuclear cell transplantation into the subarachnoid space for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is safe, but its therapeutic effect is not remarkable. Thus, a large-sample investigation is needed to assess its efficacy further. PMID:28469667
Isaacs, Jeremy D; Dean, Andrew F; Shaw, Christopher E; Al‐Chalabi, Ammar; Mills, Kerry R; Leigh, P Nigel
Sensory involvement is thought not to be a feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, in the setting of a specialist motor neuron disease clinic, we have identified five patients with sporadic ALS and a sensory neuropathy for which an alternative cause could not be identified. In three individuals, sensory nerve biopsy was performed, demonstrating axonal loss without features of an alternative aetiology. These findings support the hypothesis that ALS is a multisystem neurodegenerative disorder that may occasionally include sensory neuropathy among its non‐motor features. PMID:17575021
Tefera, Tesfaye W; Tan, Kah Ni; McDonald, Tanya S; Borges, Karin
This review summarises the recent findings on metabolic treatments for epilepsy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in honour of Professor Ursula Sonnewald. The metabolic impairments in rodent models of these disorders as well as affected patients are being discussed. In both epilepsy and ALS, there are defects in glucose uptake and reduced tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycling, at least in part due to reduced amounts of C4 TCA cycle intermediates. In addition there are impairments in glycolysis in ALS. A reduction in glucose uptake can be addressed by providing the brain with alternative fuels, such as ketones or medium-chain triglycerides. As anaplerotic fuels, such as the triglyceride of heptanoate, triheptanoin, refill the TCA cycle C4/C5 intermediate pool that is deficient, they are ideal to boost TCA cycling and thus the oxidative metabolism of all fuels.
Ingre, Caroline; Roos, Per M; Piehl, Fredrik; Kamel, Freya; Fang, Fang
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common motor neuron disease. It is typically fatal within 2–5 years of symptom onset. The incidence of ALS is largely uniform across most parts of the world, but an increasing ALS incidence during the last decades has been suggested. Although recent genetic studies have substantially improved our understanding of the causes of ALS, especially familial ALS, an important role of non-genetic factors in ALS is recognized and needs further study. In this review, we briefly discuss several major genetic contributors to ALS identified to date, followed by a more focused discussion on the most commonly examined non-genetic risk factors for ALS. We first review factors related to lifestyle choices, including smoking, intake of antioxidants, physical fitness, body mass index, and physical exercise, followed by factors related to occupational and environmental exposures, including electromagnetic fields, metals, pesticides, β-methylamino-L-alanine, and viral infection. Potential links between ALS and other medical conditions, including head trauma, metabolic diseases, cancer, and inflammatory diseases, are also discussed. Finally, we outline several future directions aiming to more efficiently examine the role of non-genetic risk factors in ALS. PMID:25709501
Szelechowski, M; Amoedo, N; Obre, E; Léger, C; Allard, L; Bonneu, M; Claverol, S; Lacombe, D; Oliet, S; Chevallier, S; Le Masson, G; Rossignol, R
Mitochondrial dysfunction in the spinal cord is a hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the neurometabolic alterations during early stages of the disease remain unknown. Here, we investigated the bioenergetic and proteomic changes in ALS mouse motor neurons and patients' skin fibroblasts. We first observed that SODG93A mice presymptomatic motor neurons display alterations in the coupling efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation, along with fragmentation of the mitochondrial network. The proteome of presymptomatic ALS mice motor neurons also revealed a peculiar metabolic signature with upregulation of most energy-transducing enzymes, including the fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and the ketogenic components HADHA and ACAT2, respectively. Accordingly, FAO inhibition altered cell viability specifically in ALS mice motor neurons, while uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) inhibition recovered cellular ATP levels and mitochondrial network morphology. These findings suggest a novel hypothesis of ALS bioenergetics linking FAO and UCP2. Lastly, we provide a unique set of data comparing the molecular alterations found in human ALS patients' skin fibroblasts and SODG93A mouse motor neurons, revealing conserved changes in protein translation, folding and assembly, tRNA aminoacylation and cell adhesion processes.
Ito, Hisashi; Kamei, Tetsumasa; Odake, Sanae; Nakano, Masayuki; Okeda, Riki; Kohriki, Shunsaku; Kawachi, Jun; Onders, Raymond P; Yoshii, Fumihito
Respiratory insufficiency is a critical problem in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. We herein present the case of an autopsied patient with sporadic ALS who underwent diaphragm pacing (DP). The pathology showed several localized adhesions with a markedly atrophied diaphragm. A marked loss of motor neurons with Bunina bodies and phosphorylated TDP-43 positive inclusions was found in the spinal cord and primary motor cortex. Mild hyalinization and a few multinucleated giant cells were present around the electrode tracks in the diaphragm. However, no infiltration of inflammatory cells was detected. Our findings suggest that full-time DP might not cause severe damage to adjacent diaphragm tissue.
Liu, Yu-Ju; Tsai, Po-Yi; Chern, Yijuang
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease that is clinically characterized by progressive muscle weakness and impaired voluntary movement due to the loss of motor neurons in the brain, brain stem and spinal cord. To date, no effective treatment is available. Ample evidence suggests that impaired RNA homeostasis and abnormal energy status are two major pathogenesis pathways in ALS. In the present review article, we focus on recent studies that report molecular insights of both pathways, and discuss the possibility that energy dysfunction might negatively regulate RNA homeostasis via the impairment of cytoplasmic-nuclear shuttling in motor neurons and subsequently contribute to the development of ALS. PMID:28522961
Beard, John D.; Engel, Lawrence S.; Richardson, David B.; Gammon, Marilie D.; Baird, Coleen; Umbach, David M.; Allen, Kelli D.; Stanwyck, Catherine L.; Keller, Jean; Sandler, Dale P.; Schmidt, Silke; Kamel, Freya
Background Factors underlying a possible excess of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) among military veterans remain unidentified. Limitations of previous studies on this topic include reliance on ALS mortality as a surrogate for ALS incidence, low statistical power, and sparse information on military-related factors. Objectives We evaluated associations between military-related factors and ALS using data from a case-control study of U.S. military veterans. Methods From 2005 to 2010, we identified medical record-confirmed ALS cases via the National Registry of Veterans with ALS and controls via the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator System database. In total, we enrolled 621 cases and 958 frequency-matched controls in the Genes and Environmental Exposures in Veterans with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis study. We collected information on military service and deployments and 39 related exposures. We used unconditional logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We used inverse probability weighting to adjust for potential bias from confounding, missing covariate data, and selection arising from a case group that disproportionately included long-term survivors and a control group that may or may not differ from U.S. military veterans at large. Results The odds of ALS did not differ for veterans of the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy. We found higher odds of ALS for veterans whose longest deployment was World War II or the Korean War and a positive trend with total years of all deployments (OR = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.52). ALS was positively associated with exposure to herbicides for military purposes, nasopharyngeal radium, personal pesticides, exhaust from heaters or generators, high-intensity radar waves, contaminated food, explosions within one mile, herbicides in the field, mixing and application of burning agents, burning agents in the field, and Agent Orange in
Hanrieder, Jörg; Ewing, Andrew G.
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.
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
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
Cao, Xiaohang; Antonyuk, Svetlana V.; Seetharaman, Sai V.
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 ionmore » 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.« less
Rafael, Hernando; David, Juan Oscar; Vilca, Antonio Santiago
To date all researchers conclude that the etiology of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not known. On the contrary, since August 2009, we believe that disease is of ischemic origin in the anterior surface of the medulla oblongata. We present our surgical experience into 45 patients with ALS (bulbar form in 36 cases and spinal form in 9). Preoperative MRI scans revealed microinfarcts in the medulla oblongata and/or cervical cord. During surgery we found: 1) poor quality of omentum in most cases; 2) degenerative changes in the cervical spine; 3) anatomical anomalies at the V4 segments of the vertebral arteries; 4) moderate to severe atherosclerosis at both V4 segments; 5) unilateral absence or stenosis in the anterior-ventral spinal arteries (AVSAs). All patients received omentum on the anterior, lateral and posterior surface of the medulla oblongata, and in 9 cases, an additional segment at the C5-C6 level. Neurological improvement was better during the first days or weeks after surgery than in the following months or years, in all patients. However, 13 patients suffered neurological impairment in about 4 months later, due to greater deterioration of the cervical spine, by contrast, 7 patients with mild ALS have experienced neurological improvement by 80 to 100% during a follow-up of 4 and 6 years. These results confirm that ALS is of ischemic origin in the intraparenchymal territory of the AVSAs and/or in anterior spinal artery caused by atherosclerosis and associated to anatomical variants in the V4 segments of the vertebral arteries. Because in contrast to this, its revascularization by means of omentum can cure (mild degree) or improve this disease.
Vrijsen, Bart; Testelmans, Dries; Belge, Catharina; Robberecht, Wim; Van Damme, Philip; Buyse, Bertien
Abstract Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is widely used to improve alveolar hypoventilation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Several studies indicate a better survival when NIV is used, certainly in patients with none to moderate bulbar dysfunction. Data on quality of life (QoL) are rather disputable. Overall QoL is shown to be equivalent in patients with or without NIV, although health-related QoL is shown to be increased in patients with none to moderate bulbar dysfunction. NIV improves sleep quality, although patient-ventilator asynchronies are demonstrated. FVC < 50%, seated or supine, has been widely applied as threshold to initiate NIV. Today, measurements of respiratory muscle strength, nocturnal gas exchange and symptomatic complaints are used as indicators to start NIV. Being compliant with NIV therapy increases QoL and survival. Cough augmentation has an important role in appropriate NIV. Patients have today more technical options and patients with benefit from these advances are growing in number. Tracheal ventilation needs to be discussed when NIV seems impossible or becomes insufficient.
Ash, Sharon; Menaged, Anna; Olm, Christopher; McMillan, Corey T; Boller, Ashley; Irwin, David J; McCluskey, Leo; Elman, Lauren; Grossman, Murray
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. 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. 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. 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. © 2014 American Academy of Neurology.
Gonzalez-Bermejo, Jesus; Morélot-Panzini, Capucine; Salachas, François; Redolfi, Stefania; Straus, Christian; Becquemin, Marie-Hélène; Arnulf, Isabelle; Pradat, Pierre-François; Bruneteau, Gaëlle; Ignagni, Anthony R; Diop, Moustapha; Onders, Raymond; Nelson, Teresa; Menegaux, Fabrice; Meininger, Vincent; Similowski, Thomas
In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, respiratory insufficiency is a major burden. Diaphragm conditioning by electrical stimulation could interfere with lung function decline by promoting the development of type 1 muscle fibres. We describe an ancillary study to a prospective, non-randomized trial (NCT00420719) assessing the effects of diaphragm pacing on forced vital capacity (FVC). Sleep-related disturbances being early clues to diaphragmatic dysfunction, we postulated that they would provide a sensitive marker. Stimulators were implanted laparoscopically in the diaphragm close to the phrenic motor point in 18 ALS patients for daily conditioning. ALS functioning score (ALSFRS), FVC, sniff nasal inspiratory pressure (SNIP), and polysomnographic recordings (PSG, performed with the stimulator turned off) were assessed before implantation and after four months of conditioning (n = 14). Sleep efficiency improved (69 ± 15% to 75 ± 11%, p = 0.0394) with fewer arousals and micro-arousals. This occurred against a background of deterioration as ALSFRS-R, FVC, and SNIP declined. There was, however, no change in NIV status or the ALSFRS respiratory subscore, and the FVC decline was mostly due to impaired expiration. Supporting a better diaphragm function, apnoeas and hypopnoeas during REM sleep decreased. In conclusion, in these severe patients not expected to experience spontaneous improvements, diaphragm conditioning improved sleep and there were hints at diaphragm function changes.
Daoud, H; Valdmanis, P N; Kabashi, E; Dion, P; Dupré, N; Camu, W; Meininger, V; Rouleau, G A
Mutations in the TARDBP gene, which encodes the TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43), have been described in individuals with familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We screened the TARDBP gene in 285 French sporadic ALS patients to assess the frequency of TARDBP mutations in ALS. Six individuals had potentially deleterious mutations of which three were novel including a Y374X truncating mutation and P363A and A382P missense mutations. This suggests that TARDBP mutations may predispose to ALS in approximately 2% of the individuals followed in this study. Our findings, combined with those from other collections, brings the total number of mutations in unrelated ALS patients to 17, further suggesting that mutations in the TARDBP gene have an important role in the pathogenesis of ALS.
Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by loss of motor neurons leading to severe weakness and death from respiratory failure within 3-5 years. Riluzole prolongs survival in ALS. A published report has suggested a dramatic effect of lithium carbonate on survival. 44 patients were studied, with 16 randomly selected to take LiCO3 and riluzole and 28 allocated to take riluzole alone. In the group treated with lithium, no patients had died (i.e., 100% survival) at the end of the study (15 months from entry), compared to 71% surviving in the riluzole-only group. Although the trial can be criticised on several grounds, there is a substantial rationale from other laboratory studies that lithium is worth investigating therapeutically in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Methods/Design LiCALS is a multi-centre double-blind randomised parallel group controlled trial of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of lithium carbonate (LiCO3) at doses to achieve stable 'therapeutic' plasma levels (0.4-0.8 mmol/L), plus standard treatment, versus matched placebo plus standard treatment, in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The study will be based in the UK, in partnership with the MND Association and DeNDRoN (the Dementias and Neurodegnerative Diseases Clinical Research Network). 220 patients will be recruited. All patients will be on the standard treatment for ALS of riluzole 100 mg daily. The primary outcome measure will be death from any cause at 18 months defined from the date of randomisation. Secondary outcome measures will be changes in three functional rating scales, the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised, The EuroQOL (EQ-5D), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Eligible patients will have El Escorial Possible, Laboratory-supported Probable, Probable or Definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with disease duration between 6 months and 36 months (inclusive), vital capacity ≥ 60% of
Miller, R G.; Jackson, C E.; Kasarskis, E J.; England, J D.; Forshew, D; Johnston, W; Kalra, S; Katz, J S.; Mitsumoto, H; Rosenfeld, J; Shoesmith, C; Strong, M J.; Woolley, S C.
Objective: To systematically review evidence bearing on the management of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods: The authors analyzed studies from 1998 to 2007 to update the 1999 practice parameter. Topics covered in this section include breaking the news, multidisciplinary clinics, symptom management, cognitive and behavioral impairment, communication, and palliative care for patients with ALS. Results: The authors identified 2 Class I studies, 8 Class II studies, and 30 Class III studies in ALS, but many important areas have been little studied. More high-quality, controlled studies of symptomatic therapies and palliative care are needed to guide management and assess outcomes in patients with ALS. Recommendations: Multidisciplinary clinic referral should be considered for managing patients with ALS to optimize health care delivery and prolong survival (Level B) and may be considered to enhance quality of life (Level C). For the treatment of refractory sialorrhea, botulinum toxin B should be considered (Level B) and low-dose radiation therapy to the salivary glands may be considered (Level C). For treatment of pseudobulbar affect, dextromethorphan and quinidine should be considered if approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (Level B). For patients who develop fatigue while taking riluzole, withholding the drug may be considered (Level C). Because many patients with ALS demonstrate cognitive impairment, which in some cases meets criteria for dementia, screening for cognitive and behavioral impairment should be considered in patients with ALS (Level B). Other management strategies all lack strong evidence. GLOSSARY ALS = amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; ALS-FTD = amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with a dementia meeting the Neary criteria for frontotemporal dementia; ALSbi = amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with behavioral impairment; ALSci = amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with cognitive impairment; BTxA = botulinum toxin type A; BTxB = botulinum
Chen, Xueping; Chen, Yongping; Wei, Qianqian; Ou, Ruwei; Cao, Bei; Zhao, Bi; Shang, Hui-Fang
The aim of the study was to assess a panel of promising biomarkers for their ability to improve diagnosis of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Forty patients with sporadic ALS and 40 controls with other neurological diseases were evaluated. Levels of phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNfH), S100-β, cystatin C, and chitotriosidase (CHIT) in cerebrospinal fluid were assayed using two-site solid-phase sandwich ELISA. Patients with sporadic ALS showed higher levels of pNfH and CHIT than controls, but lower levels of cystatin C. Multivariate logistic regression that adjusted for patient age and sex identified significant associations between sporadic ALS and levels of pNfH, CHIT and cystatin C. Levels of pNfH correlated positively with rate of progression and decline based on the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale - Revised. Based on receiver operating curve analysis, a pNfH cut-off of 437 ng/L discriminated patients from controls with a sensitivity of 97.3 % and specificity of 83.8 %. A CHIT cut-off of 1593.779 ng/L discriminated patients from controls with a sensitivity of 83.8 % and specificity of 81.1 %. Combining the two biomarkers gave a sensitivity of 83.8 % and specificity of 91.9 %. Levels of pNfH in cerebrospinal fluid may be a reliable biomarker for diagnosing ALS, and combining this biomarker with levels of CHIT may improve diagnostic accuracy.
Bédard, Marie-Eve; McKim, Douglas A
Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is commonly used to provide ventilatory support for individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Once 24-h ventilation is required, the decision between invasive tracheostomy ventilation and palliation is often faced. This study describes the use and outcomes of daytime mouthpiece ventilation added to nighttime mask ventilation for continuous NIV in subjects with ALS as an effective alternative. This was a retrospective study of 39 subjects with ALS using daytime mouthpiece ventilation over a 17-y period. Thirty-one subjects were successful with mouthpiece ventilation, 2 were excluded, 2 stopped because of lack of motivation, and 4 with bulbar subscores of the Revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (b-ALSFRS-R) between 0 and 3 physically failed to use it consistently. No subject in the successful group had a b-ALSFRS-R score of <6. Thirty of the successful subjects were able to generate a maximum insufflation capacity - vital capacity difference with lung volume recruitment. The median (range) survival to tracheostomy or death from initiation of nocturnal NIV and mouthpiece ventilation were 648 (176-2,188) and 286 (41-1,769) d, respectively. Peak cough flow with lung-volume recruitment >180 L/min at initiation of mouthpiece ventilation was associated with a longer survival (637 ± 468 vs 240 ± 158 d (P = .01). Mouthpiece ventilation provides effective ventilation and prolonged survival for individuals with ALS requiring full-time ventilatory support and maintaining adequate bulbar function. Copyright © 2016 by Daedalus Enterprises.
White, Matthew A; Sreedharan, Jemeen
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), like other neurodegenerative diseases, remains incurable, but gene mutations linked to ALS are providing clues as to how to target therapies. It is important for researchers to keep abreast of the rapid influx of new data in ALS, and we aim to summarize the major genetic advances made in the field over the past 2 years. Significant variation in seven genes has recently been found in ALS: TBK1, CCNF, GLE1, MATR3, TUBA4A, CHCHD10 and NEK1. These have mostly been identified through large exome screening studies, though traditional linkage approaches and candidate gene screening remain important. We briefly update C9orf72 research, noting in particular the development of reagents to better understand the normal role of C9orf72 protein. Striking advances in our understanding of the genetic heterogeneity of ALS continue to be made, year on year. These implicate proteostasis, RNA export, nuclear transport, the cytoskeleton, mitochondrial function, the cell cycle and DNA repair. Functional studies to integrate these hits are needed. By building a web of knowledge with interlinked genes and mechanisms, it is hoped we can better understand ALS and work toward effective therapies.
Camacho, A; Esteban, J; Paradas, C
A thorough knowledge of the socioeconomic scope of neuromuscular disease is essential for managing resources and raising social awareness. Our group reviewed current data on the epidemiology, mortality and dependence rates, and socioeconomic impact of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neuromuscular diseases in Spain. We also recorded how neurological care for these patients is organised. Neuromuscular disorders are a very heterogeneous group of diseases, and some are very rare. These disorders account for between 2.8% and 18% of the total motives for a neurological consultation. In Spain, prevalence and incidence figures for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are similar to those in other countries; however, figures for patients with other neuromuscular diseases are not known. Since the diseases are chronic, progressive, and debilitating, they cause considerable disability and dependence, which in turn directly affects healthcare and social costs associated with the disease. The costs generated by one patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Duchenne disease have been calculated at about 50 000 euros per year. Neuromuscular disease shows aetiological, diagnostic, and prognostic complexity, and it requires multidisciplinary management. Follow-up for these patients should be entrusted to specialised units. Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Plowman, Emily K.
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…
Pryce, Gareth; Baker, David
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.
McLaughlin, Russell L.; Schijven, Dick; van Rheenen, Wouter; van Eijk, Kristel R.; O'Brien, Margaret; Kahn, René S.; Ophoff, Roel A.; Goris, An; Bradley, Daniel G.; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; van den Berg, Leonard H.; Luykx, Jurjen J.; Hardiman, Orla; Veldink, Jan H.; Shatunov, Aleksey; Dekker, Annelot M.; Diekstra, Frank P.; Pulit, Sara L.; van der Spek, Rick A. A.; van Doormaal, Perry T. C.; Sproviero, William; Jones, Ashley R.; Nicholson, Garth A.; Rowe, Dominic B.; Pamphlett, Roger; Kiernan, Matthew C.; Bauer, Denis; Kahlke, Tim; Williams, Kelly; Eftimov, Filip; Fogh, Isabella; Ticozzi, Nicola; Lin, Kuang; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Salachas, François; Meininger, Vincent; de Carvalho, Mamede; Pinto, Susana; Mora, Jesus S.; Rojas-García, Ricardo; Polak, Meraida; Chandran, Siddharthan; Colville, Shuna; Swingler, Robert; Morrison, Karen E.; Shaw, Pamela J.; Hardy, John; Orrell, Richard W.; Pittman, Alan; Sidle, Katie; Fratta, Pietro; Malaspina, Andrea; Petri, Susanne; Abdulla, Susanna; Drepper, Carsten; Sendtner, Michael; Meyer, Thomas; Wiedau-Pazos, Martina; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; van Deerlin, Vivianna M.; Trojanowski, John Q.; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Basak, Nazli; Meitinger, Thomas; Lichtner, Peter; Blagojevic-Radivojkov, Milena; Andres, Christian R.; Maurel, Cindy; Bensimon, Gilbert; Landwehrmeyer, Bernhard; Brice, Alexis; Payan, Christine A. M.; Saker-Delye, Safa; Dürr, Alexandra; Wood, Nicholas; Tittmann, Lukas; Lieb, Wolfgang; Franke, Andre; Rietschel, Marcella; Cichon, Sven; Nöuthen, Markus M.; Amouyel, Philippe; Tzourio, Christophe; Dartigues, Jean-François; Uitterlinden, Andre G.; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Estrada, Karol; Hofman, Albert; Curtis, Charles; van der Kooi, Anneke J.; de Visser, Marianne; Weber, Markus; Shaw, Christopher E.; Smith, Bradley N.; Pansarasa, Orietta; Cereda, Cristina; Del Bo, Roberto; Comi, Giacomo P.; D'Alfonso, Sandra; Bertolin, Cinzia; Sorarù, Gianni; Mazzini, Letizia; Pensato, Viviana; Gellera, Cinzia; Tiloca, Cinzia; Ratti, Antonia; Calvo, Andrea; Moglia, Cristina; Brunetti, Maura; Arcuti, Simon; Capozzo, Rosa; Zecca, Chiara; Lunetta, Christian; Penco, Silvana; Riva, Nilo; Padovani, Alessandro; Filosto, Massimiliano; Blair, Ian; Leigh, P. Nigel; Casale, Federico; Chio, Adriano; Beghi, Ettore; Pupillo, Elisabetta; Tortelli, Rosanna; Logroscino, Giancarlo; Powell, John; Ludolph, Albert C.; Weishaupt, Jochen H.; Robberecht, Wim; van Damme, Philip; Brown, Robert H.; Glass, Jonathan; Landers, John E.; Andersen, Peter M.; Corcia, Philippe; Vourc'h, Patrick; Silani, Vincenzo; van Es, Michael A.; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen; Lewis, Cathryn M.; Breen, Gerome; Ripke, Stephan; Neale, Benjamin M.; Corvin, Aiden; Walters, James T. R.; Farh, Kai-How; Holmans, Peter A.; Lee, Phil; Bulik-Sullivan, Brendan; Collier, David A.; Huang, Hailiang; Pers, Tune H.; Agartz, Ingrid; Agerbo, Esben; Albus, Margot; Alexander, Madeline; Amin, Farooq; Bacanu, Silviu A.; Begemann, Martin; Belliveau, Richard A.; Bene, Judit; Bergen, Sarah E.; Bevilacqua, Elizabeth; Bigdeli, Tim B.; Black, Donald W.; Bruggeman, Richard; Buccola, Nancy G.; Buckner, Randy L.; Byerley, William; Cahn, Wiepke; Cai, Guiqing; Campion, Dominique; Cantor, Rita M.; Carr, Vaughan J.; Carrera, Noa; Catts, Stanley V.; Chambert, Kimberley D.; Chan, Raymond C. K.; Chan, Ronald Y. L.; Chen, Eric Y. H.; Cheng, Wei; Cheung, Eric F. C.; Chong, Siow Ann; Cloninger, C. Robert; Cohen, David; Cohen, Nadine; Cormican, Paul; Craddock, Nick; Crowley, James J.; Curtis, David; Davidson, Michael; Davis, Kenneth L.; Degenhardt, Franziska; Del Favero, Jurgen; Demontis, Ditte; Dikeos, Dimitris; Dinan, Timothy; Djurovic, Srdjan; Donohoe, Gary; Drapeau, Elodie; Duan, Jubao; Dudbridge, Frank; Durmishi, Naser; Eichhammer, Peter; Eriksson, Johan; Escott-Price, Valentina; Essioux, Laurent; Fanous, Ayman H.; Farrell, Martilias S.; Frank, Josef; Franke, Lude; Freedman, Robert; Freimer, Nelson B.; Friedl, Marion; Friedman, Joseph I.; Fromer, Menachem; Genovese, Giulio; Georgieva, Lyudmila; Giegling, Ina; Giusti-Rodríguez, Paola; Godard, Stephanie; Goldstein, Jacqueline I.; Golimbet, Vera; Gopal, Srihari; Gratten, Jacob; de Haan, Lieuwe; Hammer, Christian; Hamshere, Marian L.; Hansen, Mark; Hansen, Thomas; Haroutunian, Vahram; Hartmann, Annette M.; Henskens, Frans A.; Herms, Stefan; Hirschhorn, Joel N.; Hoffmann, Per; Hofman, Andrea; Hollegaard, Mads V.; Hougaard, David M.; Ikeda, Masashi; Joa, Inge; Julià, Antonio; Kalaydjieva, Luba; Karachanak-Yankova, Sena; Karjalainen, Juha; Kavanagh, David; Keller, Matthew C.; Kennedy, James L.; Khrunin, Andrey; Kim, Yunjung; Klovins, Janis; Knowles, James A.; Konte, Bettina; Kucinskas, Vaidutis; Kucinskiene, Zita Ausrele; Kuzelova-Ptackova, Hana; Kähler, Anna K.; Laurent, Claudine; Lee, Jimmy; Lee, S. Hong; Legge, Sophie E.; Lerer, Bernard; Li, Miaoxin; Li, Tao; Liang, Kung-Yee; Lieberman, Jeffrey; Limborska, Svetlana; Loughland, Carmel M.; Lubinski, Jan; Lönnqvist, Jouko; Macek, Milan; Magnusson, Patrik K. E.; Maher, Brion S.; Maier, Wolfgang; Mallet, Jacques; Marsal, Sara; Mattheisen, Manuel; Mattingsdal, Morten; McCarley, Robert W.; McDonald, Colm; McIntosh, Andrew M.; Meier, Sandra; Meijer, Carin J.; Melegh, Bela; Melle, Ingrid; Mesholam-Gately, Raquelle I.; Metspalu, Andres; Michie, Patricia T.; Milani, Lili; Milanova, Vihra; Mokrab, Younes; Morris, Derek W.; Mors, Ole; Murphy, Kieran C.; Murray, Robin M.; Myin-Germeys, Inez; Müller-Myhsok, Bertram; Nelis, Mari; Nenadic, Igor; Nertney, Deborah A.; Nestadt, Gerald; Nicodemus, Kristin K.; Nikitina-Zake, Liene; Nisenbaum, Laura; Nordin, Annelie; O'Callaghan, Eadbhard; O'Dushlaine, Colm; O'Neill, F. Anthony; Oh, Sang-Yun; Olincy, Ann; Olsen, Line; van Os, Jim; Pantelis, Christos; Papadimitriou, George N.; Papiol, Sergi; Parkhomenko, Elena; Pato, Michele T.; Paunio, Tiina; Pejovic-Milovancevic, Milica; Perkins, Diana O.; Pietiläinen, Olli; Pimm, Jonathan; Pocklington, Andrew J.; Price, Alkes; Pulver, Ann E.; Purcell, Shaun M.; Quested, Digby; Rasmussen, Henrik B.; Reichenberg, Abraham; Reimers, Mark A.; Richards, Alexander L.; Roffman, Joshua L.; Roussos, Panos; Ruderfer, Douglas M.; Salomaa, Veikko; Sanders, Alan R.; Schall, Ulrich; Schubert, Christian R.; Schulze, Thomas G.; Schwab, Sibylle G.; Scolnick, Edward M.; Scott, Rodney J.; Seidman, Larry J.; Shi, Jianxin; Sigurdsson, Engilbert; Silagadze, Teimuraz; Silverman, Jeremy M.; Sim, Kang; Slominsky, Petr; Smoller, Jordan W.; So, Hon-Cheong; Spencer, Chris C. A.; Stahl, Eli A.; Stefansson, Hreinn; Steinberg, Stacy; Stogmann, Elisabeth; Straub, Richard E.; Strengman, Eric; Strohmaier, Jana; Stroup, T. Scott; Subramaniam, Mythily; Suvisaari, Jaana; Svrakic, Dragan M.; Szatkiewicz, Jin P.; Söderman, Erik; Thirumalai, Srinivas; Toncheva, Draga; Tosato, Sarah; Veijola, Juha; Waddington, John; Walsh, Dermot; Wang, Dai; Wang, Qiang; Webb, Bradley T.; Weiser, Mark; Wildenauer, Dieter B.; Williams, Nigel M.; Williams, Stephanie; Witt, Stephanie H.; Wolen, Aaron R.; Wong, Emily H. M.; Wormley, Brandon K.; Xi, Hualin Simon; Zai, Clement C.; Zheng, Xuebin; Zimprich, Fritz; Wray, Naomi R.; Stefansson, Kari; Visscher, Peter M.; Adolfsson, Rolf; Andreassen, Ole A.; Blackwood, Douglas H. R.; Bramon, Elvira; Buxbaum, Joseph D.; Børglum, Anders D.; Darvasi, Ariel; Domenici, Enrico; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Esko, Tõnu; Gejman, Pablo V.; Gill, Michael; Gurling, Hugh; Hultman, Christina M.; Iwata, Nakao; Jablensky, Assen V.; Jönsson, Erik G.; Kendler, Kenneth S.; Kirov, George; Knight, Jo; Lencz, Todd; Levinson, Douglas F.; Li, Qingqin S.; Liu, Jianjun; Malhotra, Anil K.; McCarroll, Steven A.; McQuillin, Andrew; Moran, Jennifer L.; Mortensen, Preben B.; Mowry, Bryan J.; Owen, Michael J.; Palotie, Aarno; Pato, Carlos N.; Petryshen, Tracey L.; Posthuma, Danielle; Riley, Brien P.; Rujescu, Dan; Sham, Pak C.; Sklar, Pamela; St Clair, David; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Wendland, Jens R.; Werge, Thomas; Daly, Mark J.; Sullivan, Patrick F.; O'Donovan, Michael C.
We have previously shown higher-than-expected rates of schizophrenia in relatives of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggesting an aetiological relationship between the diseases. Here, we investigate the genetic relationship between ALS and schizophrenia using genome-wide association study data from over 100,000 unique individuals. Using linkage disequilibrium score regression, we estimate the genetic correlation between ALS and schizophrenia to be 14.3% (7.05-21.6 P=1 × 10-4) with schizophrenia polygenic risk scores explaining up to 0.12% of the variance in ALS (P=8.4 × 10-7). A modest increase in comorbidity of ALS and schizophrenia is expected given these findings (odds ratio 1.08-1.26) but this would require very large studies to observe epidemiologically. We identify five potential novel ALS-associated loci using conditional false discovery rate analysis. It is likely that shared neurobiological mechanisms between these two disorders will engender novel hypotheses in future preclinical and clinical studies.
McLaughlin, Russell L; Schijven, Dick; van Rheenen, Wouter; van Eijk, Kristel R; O'Brien, Margaret; Kahn, René S; Ophoff, Roel A; Goris, An; Bradley, Daniel G; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; van den Berg, Leonard H; Luykx, Jurjen J; Hardiman, Orla; Veldink, Jan H
We have previously shown higher-than-expected rates of schizophrenia in relatives of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggesting an aetiological relationship between the diseases. Here, we investigate the genetic relationship between ALS and schizophrenia using genome-wide association study data from over 100,000 unique individuals. Using linkage disequilibrium score regression, we estimate the genetic correlation between ALS and schizophrenia to be 14.3% (7.05-21.6; P=1 × 10 -4 ) with schizophrenia polygenic risk scores explaining up to 0.12% of the variance in ALS (P=8.4 × 10 -7 ). A modest increase in comorbidity of ALS and schizophrenia is expected given these findings (odds ratio 1.08-1.26) but this would require very large studies to observe epidemiologically. We identify five potential novel ALS-associated loci using conditional false discovery rate analysis. It is likely that shared neurobiological mechanisms between these two disorders will engender novel hypotheses in future preclinical and clinical studies.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or motor neuron disease (MND) shares with other neurodegenetrative disorders of the aging nervous system a polygenic, multifactorial aetiology. Less than 10% are familial and these too probably are associated with several interactive genes. The onset of ALS predates development of clinical symptoms by an unknown interval which may extend several years. The cause of neurodegeneration remains unknown but a common end-point is protein misfolding which in turn causes cell function failure. The complex nature of ALS has hindered therapeutic advances. In recent years longer survival is attributable largely to institution of non-invasive ventilation with BiPAP and timely implementation of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding. Symptomatic treatment has advanced improving quality of life. Several encouraging avenues of therapy for ALS are beginning to be emerge raising hope for real benefit. They include protective autoimmunity, vaccines against misfolded protein epitopes and other deleterious species, new drug delivery systems employing nanotechnology and the potential of stem cell therapy.
Beard, John D.; Kamel, Freya
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
Jackson, Carlayne E; McVey, April L; Rudnicki, Stacy; Dimachkie, Mazen M; Barohn, Richard J
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chen, Ying-Zhang; Bennett, Craig L.; Huynh, Huy M.; Blair, Ian P.; Puls, Imke; Irobi, Joy; Dierick, Ines; Abel, Annette; Kennerson, Marina L.; Rabin, Bruce A.; Nicholson, Garth A.; Auer-Grumbach, Michaela; Wagner, Klaus; De Jonghe, Peter; Griffin, John W.; Fischbeck, Kenneth H.; Timmerman, Vincent; Cornblath, David R.; Chance, Phillip F.
Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4) is a rare autosomal dominant form of juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) characterized by distal muscle weakness and atrophy, normal sensation, and pyramidal signs. Individuals affected with ALS4 usually have an onset of symptoms at age <25 years, a slow rate of progression, and a normal life span. The ALS4 locus maps to a 1.7-Mb interval on chromosome 9q34 flanked by D9S64 and D9S1198. To identify the molecular basis of ALS4, we tested 19 genes within the ALS4 interval and detected missense mutations (T3I, L389S, and R2136H) in the Senataxin gene (SETX). The SETX gene encodes a novel 302.8-kD protein. Although its function remains unknown, SETX contains a DNA/RNA helicase domain with strong homology to human RENT1 and IGHMBP2, two genes encoding proteins known to have roles in RNA processing. These observations of ALS4 suggest that mutations in SETX may cause neuronal degeneration through dysfunction of the helicase activity or other steps in RNA processing. PMID:15106121
Carlesi, Cecilia; Pasquali, Livia; Piazza, Selina; Lo Gerfo, Annalisa; Caldarazzo Ienco, Elena; Alessi, Rosaria; Fornai, Francesco; Siciliano, Gabriele
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.
Kabashi, Edor; Valdmanis, Paul N; Dion, Patrick; Rouleau, Guy A
The identification in 1993 of superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) mutations as the cause of 10 to 20% of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases, which represents 1 to 2% of all amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases, prompted a substantial amount of research into the mechanisms of SOD1-mediated toxicity. Recent experiments have demonstrated that oxidation of wild-type SOD1 leads to its misfolding, causing it to gain many of the same toxic properties as mutant SOD1. In vitro studies of oxidized/misfolded SOD1 and in vivo studies of misfolded SOD1 have indicated that these protein species are selectively toxic to motor neurons, suggesting that oxidized/misfolded SOD1 could lead to ALS even in individuals who do not carry an SOD1 mutation. It has also been reported that glial cells secrete oxidized/misfolded mutant SOD1 to the extracellular environment, where it can trigger the selective death of motor neurons, offering a possible explanation for the noncell autonomous nature of mutant SOD1 toxicity and the rapid progression of disease once the first symptoms develop. Therefore, considering that sporadic (SALS) and familial ALS (FALS) cases are clinically indistinguishable, the toxic properties of mutated SOD1 are similar to that of oxidized/misfolded wild-type SOD1 (wtSOD1), and secreted/extracellular misfolded SOD1 is selectively toxic to motor neurons, we propose that oxidized/misfolded SOD1 is the cause of most forms of classic ALS and should be a prime target for the design of ALS treatments.
Kuzma-Kozakiewicz, Magdalena; Kwiecinski, Hubert
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the most devastating neurological disorders, affecting approximately half a million people worldwide. Currently there is no cure or prevention for ALS. Although ALS is a rare condition, it places a tremendous socioeconomic burden on patients, family members, caregivers and health systems. The review examines the mechanisms that may contribute to motor neuron degeneration in ALS, among which oxidative damage, glutatamate excitoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired axonal transport, apoptotic cell death, growth factor deficiency, glial cell pathology and abnormal RNA metabolism are potential targets for ALS treatment. The article provides an overview of clinical trials performed to date in attempts to treat ALS with regard to molecular mechanisms and pathways they act on. It also discusses new trials based on recently developed molecular biology techniques. Despite significant effectiveness of several potential therapeutics observed in preclinical trials, the results were not translatable to patients with ALS. The development of effective treatments of ALS strictly depends on understanding the primary cause of the disease. This goal will only be achieved when we identify the trigger point for motor neuron death in ALS.
Turner, Martin R; Swash, Michael
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
Joardar, Archi; Manzo, Ernesto; Zarnescu, Daniela C
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure and treatments are at best palliative. Several genes have been linked to ALS, which highlight defects in multiple cellular processes including RNA processing, proteostasis and metabolism. Clinical observations have identified glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia as key features of ALS however the causes of these metabolic alterations remain elusive. Recent studies reveal that motor neurons and muscle cells may undergo cell type specific metabolic changes that lead to utilization of alternate fuels. For example, ALS patients' muscles exhibit reduced glycolysis and increased reliance on fatty acids. In contrast, ALS motor neurons contain damaged mitochondria and exhibit impaired lipid beta oxidation, potentially leading to increased glycolysis as a compensatory mechanism. These findings highlight the complexities of metabolic alterations in ALS and provide new opportunities for designing therapeutic strategies based on restoring cellular energetics.
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
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
Goutman, Stephen A; Chen, Kevin S; Paez-Colasante, Ximena; Feldman, Eva L
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, noncurable neurodegenerative disorder of the upper and lower motor neurons causing weakness and death within a few years of symptom onset. About 10% of patients with ALS have a family history of the disease; however, ALS-associated genetic mutations are also found in sporadic cases. There are over 100 ALS-associated mutations, and importantly, several genetic mutations, including C9ORF72, SOD1, and TARDBP, have led to mechanistic insight into this complex disease. In the clinical realm, knowledge of ALS genetics can also help explain phenotypic heterogeneity, aid in genetic counseling, and in the future may help direct treatment efforts. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Respiratory muscle weakness represents the major cause of mortality in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As a result, ventilatory assistance is an important part of disease management. Nowadays, noninvasive ventilation (NIV) has become the first choice modality for most patients and represents an alternative to tracheostomy intermittent positive-pressure ventilation. Although, some consensus guidelines have been proposed to initiate NIV in patients with restrictive chronic respiratory failure, these criteria are discussed regarding ALS. While the current consensus recommends that NIV may be used in symptomatic patients with hypercapnia or forced vital capacity<50p.cent of predicted value, early use of NIV is proposed in the literature and reported in this paper.
Sarafov, Stayko; Doitchinova, Maryana; Karagiozova, Zhvka; Slancheva, Boriana; Dengler, Reinhard; Petri, Susanne; Kollewe, Katja
There are few reports on pregnancies in sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We report on a young woman with sporadic ALS who gave birth twice during the course of her disease. The first pregnancy occurred 13 months after the onset of symptoms, and one month after diagnosis. The pregnancy was uncomplicated and resulted in vaginal delivery of a healthy boy. Fifteen months later, when she was already bed-ridden, she became pregnant again. She received a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in the 21st gestational week and underwent early Caesarean section in the 34th week of gestation. The child was ventilated for 72 h in a neonatological unit. The patient was tracheotomized and ventilated two months later, i.e. 47 months after symptom onset, and died nine months later from gastrointestinal haemorrhage. Her two children have developed without abnormalities to date. This case confirms that pregnancies in early-stage ALS can develop normally and may result in uncomplicated vaginal delivery. Pregnancies in late stages may be critical for mother and child, and early delivery by Caesarean section may become necessary although neonatal outcome can be good.
Goursaud, Stéphanie; Schäfer, Sabrina; Dumont, Amélie O; Vergouts, Maxime; Gallo, Alessandro; Desmet, Nathalie; Deumens, Ronald; Hermans, Emmanuel
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has potent immune modulatory actions that may influence the course of neurodegenerative disorders associated with chronic inflammation. Here, we show the therapeutic benefits of a modified peptide agonist stearyl-norleucine-VIP (SNV) in a transgenic rat model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (mutated superoxide dismutase 1, hSOD1(G93A)). When administered by systemic every-other-day intraperitoneal injections during a period of 80 days before disease, SNV delayed the onset of motor dysfunction by no less than three weeks, while survival was extended by nearly two months. SNV-treated rats showed reduced astro- and microgliosis in the lumbar ventral spinal cord and a significant degree of motor neuron preservation. Throughout the treatment, SNV promoted the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 as well as neurotrophic factors commonly considered as beneficial in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis management (glial derived neuroptrophic factor, insulin like growth factor, brain derived neurotrophic factor). The peptide nearly totally suppressed the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α and repressed the production of the pro-inflammatory mediators interleukin-1β, nitric oxide and of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B. Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-α likely accounted for the observed down-regulation of nuclear factor kappa B that modulates the transcription of genes specifically involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sod1 and the glutamate transporter slc1a2). In line with this, levels of human superoxide dismutase 1 mRNA and protein were decreased by SNV treatment, while the expression and activity of the glutamate transporter-1 was promoted. Considering the large diversity of influences of this peptide on both clinical features of the disease and associated biochemical markers, we propose that SNV or related peptides may constitute promising candidates for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Foerster, Bradley R; Welsh, Robert C; Feldman, Eva L
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.
Hilton, James B; White, Anthony R; Crouch, Peter J
Mutations to the ubiquitous antioxidant enzyme Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) were the first established genetic cause of the fatal, adult-onset neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is widely accepted that these mutations do not cause ALS via a loss of antioxidant function, but elucidating the alternate toxic gain of function has proven to be elusive. Under physiological conditions, SOD1 binds one copper ion and one zinc ion per monomer to form a highly stable and functional homodimer, but there is now ample evidence to indicate aberrant persistence of SOD1 in an intermediate metal-deficient state may contribute to the protein's involvement in ALS. This review briefly discusses some of the data to support a role for metal-deficient SOD1 in the development of ALS and some of the outcomes from drug development studies that have aimed to modify the symptoms of ALS by targeting the metal state of SOD1. The implications for the metal state of SOD1 in cases of sporadic ALS that do not involve mutant SOD1 are also discussed.
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. PMID:27785351
Foerster, Bradley R.; Welsh, Robert C.; Feldman, Eva L.
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
Timmins, Hannah C; Saw, Wilfred; Cheah, Benjamin C; Lin, Cindy S Y; Vucic, Steve; Ahmed, Rebekah M; Kiernan, Matthew C; Park, Susanna B
Patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) generally have a limited medical history and a normal body mass index, raising the possibility of a premorbid ALS phenotype. The prevalence of cardiometabolic factors was analyzed in 58 ALS patients via comprehensive cardiovascular assessments and compared with Australian population norms. ALS patients had good cardiac fitness and no reported cardiovascular events. Average blood pressure, heart rate, PR interval, and corrected QT interval were in the normal range. There were significantly fewer obese women in the ALS cohort (13.6%, P < 0.05) and more men with a normal body mass index than in the general population (47.2%, P < 0.001). The percentage of individuals who had never smoked was greater for the ALS cohort (55.8%, P ≤ 0.001), and the prevalence of dyslipidemia was lower (38.7%) compared with the general population (74.4%, P < 0.001). ALS patients had good cardiometabolic health, with evidence of a reduced vascular risk profile. Muscle Nerve 56: 721-725, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Chen, Kevin S.; Sakowski, Stacey A.; Feldman, Eva L.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder in which the loss of upper and lower motor neurons produces progressive weakness and eventually death. In the decades since the approval of riluzole, the only FDA approved medication to moderately slow progression of ALS, no new therapeutics have arisen to alter the course of the disease. This is partly due to our incomplete understanding of the complex pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration. Stem cells have emerged as an attractive option in treating ALS since they come armed with equally complex cellular machinery and may modulate the local microenvironment in many ways to rescue diseased motor neurons. While various stem cell types are being evaluated in preclinical and early clinical applications, here we review the preclinical strategies and advances supporting the recent clinical translation of neural progenitor cell therapy for ALS. Specifically, we focus on the use of spinal cord neural progenitor cells and the pipeline starting from preclinical studies to the designs of the Phase I and IIa clinical trials involving direct intraspinal transplantation in humans. PMID:26696091
Nishimura, Agnes L.; Mitne-Neto, Miguel; Silva, Helga C. A.; Richieri-Costa, Antônio; Middleton, Susan; Cascio, Duilio; Kok, Fernando; Oliveira, João R. M.; Gillingwater, Tom; Webb, Jeanette; Skehel, Paul; Zatz, Mayana
Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are a group of neurodegenerative disorders with involvement of upper and/or lower motor neurons, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), progressive bulbar palsy, and primary lateral sclerosis. Recently, we have mapped a new locus for an atypical form of ALS/MND (atypical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS8]) at 20q13.3 in a large white Brazilian family. Here, we report the finding of a novel missense mutation in the vesicle-associated membrane protein/synaptobrevin-associated membrane protein B (VAPB) gene in patients from this family. Subsequently, the same mutation was identified in patients from six additional kindreds but with different clinical courses, such as ALS8, late-onset SMA, and typical severe ALS with rapid progression. Although it was not possible to link all these families, haplotype analysis suggests a founder effect. Members of the vesicle-associated proteins are intracellular membrane proteins that can associate with microtubules and that have been shown to have a function in membrane transport. These data suggest that clinically variable MNDs may be caused by a dysfunction in intracellular membrane trafficking. PMID:15372378
Wijesekera, Lokesh C; Leigh, P Nigel
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by progressive muscular paralysis reflecting degeneration of motor neurones in the primary motor cortex, corticospinal tracts, brainstem and spinal cord. Incidence (average 1.89 per 100,000/year) and prevalence (average 5.2 per100,000) are relatively uniform in Western countries, although foci of higher frequency occur in the Western Pacific. The mean age of onset for sporadic ALS is about 60 years. Overall, there is a slight male prevalence (M:F ratio~1.5:1). Approximately two thirds of patients with typical ALS have a spinal form of the disease (limb onset) and present with symptoms related to focal muscle weakness and wasting, where the symptoms may start either distally or proximally in the upper and lower limbs. Gradually, spasticity may develop in the weakened atrophic limbs, affecting manual dexterity and gait. Patients with bulbar onset ALS usually present with dysarthria and dysphagia for solid or liquids, and limbs symptoms can develop almost simultaneously with bulbar symptoms, and in the vast majority of cases will occur within 1–2 years. Paralysis is progressive and leads to death due to respiratory failure within 2–3 years for bulbar onset cases and 3–5 years for limb onset ALS cases. Most ALS cases are sporadic but 5–10% of cases are familial, and of these 20% have a mutation of the SOD1 gene and about 2–5% have mutations of the TARDBP (TDP-43) gene. Two percent of apparently sporadic patients have SOD1 mutations, and TARDBP mutations also occur in sporadic cases. The diagnosis is based on clinical history, examination, electromyography, and exclusion of 'ALS-mimics' (e.g. cervical spondylotic myelopathies, multifocal motor neuropathy, Kennedy's disease) by appropriate investigations. The pathological hallmarks comprise loss of motor neurones with intraneuronal ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions in upper motor neurones and TDP-43 immunoreactive inclusions in
Vandenberghe, Nadia; Vallet, Anne-Evelyne; Petitjean, Thierry; Le Cam, Pierre; Peysson, Stéphane; Guérin, Claude; Dailler, Frédéric; Jay, Sylvie; Cadiergue, Vincent; Bouhour, Françoise; Court-Fortune, Isabelle; Camdessanche, Jean-Philippe; Antoine, Jean-Christophe; Philit, François; Beuret, Pascal; Bin-Dorel, Sylvie; Vial, Christophe; Broussolle, Emmanuel
To assess factors that predict good tolerance of noninvasive ventilation (NIV), in order to improve survival and quality of life in subjects with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We conducted a prospective study in subjects with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and requiring NIV. The primary end point was NIV tolerance at 1 month. Subjects, several of whom failed to complete the study, were classified as "tolerant" or "poorly tolerant," according to the number of hours of NIV use (more or less than 4 h per night, respectively). Eighty-one subjects, 73 of whom also attended the 1-month follow-up visit, participated over 34 months. NIV tolerance after the first day of utilization predicted tolerance at 1 month (77.6% and 75.3% of subjects, respectively). Multivariate analysis disclosed 3 factors predicting good NIV tolerance: absence of airway secretions accumulation prior to NIV onset (odds ratio 11.5); normal bulbar function at initiation of NIV (odds ratio 8.5); and older age (weakly significant, odds ratio 1.1). Our study reveals 3 factors that are predictive of good NIV tolerance, in particular the absence of airway secretion accumulation, which should prompt NIV initiation before its appearance.
Jakobsson Larsson, B; Ozanne, A G; Nordin, K; Nygren, I
The aim of this prospective and longitudinal study was to describe individual quality of life in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and its correlations with physical function and emotional well-being from diagnosis and over time. Thirty-six patients were included in the study. Individual quality of life was measured with the Schedule of Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life-Direct Weighting (SEIQoL-DW), illness severity was assessed using the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALS FRS-R), and emotional distress was measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Data were collected from diagnosis and thereafter, every six months for a period of two years. Twelve patients completed the 24-month follow-up. Family, friends and own physical health were important for overall quality of life, from diagnosis and during the disease progression. Most patients had good quality of life, which remained stable, despite changed physical functions. Several patients scored above the cut-off score for doubtful and clinical anxiety and depression early on after diagnosis, and there was a significant decrease in anxiety over time. Soon after diagnosis, there was a correlation between depression and quality of life. The family, social relations and own physical health are important for overall quality of life in patients with ALS. Thus, supporting the family and facilitating so that patients can continue to stay in contact with friends are important aspects during the disease. Conducting an early screening for depression can be important for preventing decreased quality of life. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Beard, John D; Engel, Lawrence S; Richardson, David B; Gammon, Marilie D; Baird, Coleen; Umbach, David M; Allen, Kelli D; Stanwyck, Catherine L; Keller, Jean; Sandler, Dale P; Schmidt, Silke; Kamel, Freya
Military veterans may have higher rates of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mortality than non-veterans. Few studies, with sparse exposure information and mixed results, have studied relationships between military-related factors and ALS survival. We evaluated associations between military-related factors and ALS survival among U.S. military veteran cases. We followed 616 medical record-confirmed cases from enrollment (2005-2010) in the Genes and Environmental Exposures in Veterans with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis study until death or July 25, 2013, whichever came first. We ascertained vital status information from several sources within the Department of Veterans Affairs. We obtained information regarding military service, deployments, and 39 related exposures via standardized telephone interviews. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals. We adjusted for potential confounding and missing covariate data biases via inverse probability weights. We also used inverse probability weights to adjust for potential selection bias among a case group that included a disproportionate number of long-term survivors at enrollment. We observed 446 deaths during 24,267 person-months of follow-up (median follow-up: 28 months). Survival was shorter for cases who served before 1950, were deployed to World War II, or mixed and applied burning agents, with HRs between 1.58 and 2.57. Longer survival was associated with exposure to: paint, solvents, or petrochemical substances; local food not provided by the Armed Forces; or burning agents or Agent Orange in the field with HRs between 0.56 and 0.73. Although most military-related factors were not associated with survival, associations we observed with shorter survival are potentially important because of the large number of military veterans.
McGuire, V; Longstreth, W T; Koepsell, T D; van Belle, G
We conducted a population-based study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties in western Washington state. Between April 1, 1990 and March 31, 1995, neurologists diagnosed 235 patients with ALS, including 127 men (54%) and 108 women (46%). The incidence rate, age-adjusted to the 1990 total U.S. population, was higher for men at 2.1 per 100,000 per year (95% CI, 1.3 to 2.9) than for women at 1.9 (95% CI, 1.1, 2.7) and increased with age for both men and women. These incidence rates are consistent with other studies from northern latitudes.
Henriques, Alexandre; Croixmarie, Vincent; Bouscary, Alexandra; Mosbach, Althéa; Keime, Céline; Boursier-Neyret, Claire; Walter, Bernard; Spedding, Michael; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe
Lipid metabolism is drastically dysregulated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and impacts prognosis of patients. Animal models recapitulate alterations in the energy metabolism, including hypermetabolism and severe loss of adipose tissue. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we have performed RNA-sequencing and lipidomic profiling in spinal cord of symptomatic SOD1 G86R mice. Spinal transcriptome of SOD1 G86R mice was characterized by differential expression of genes related to immune system, extracellular exosome, and lysosome. Hypothesis-driven identification of metabolites showed that lipids, including sphingomyelin(d18:0/26:1), ceramide(d18:1/22:0), and phosphatidylcholine(o-22:1/20:4) showed profound altered levels. A correlation between disease severity and gene expression or metabolite levels was found for sphingosine, ceramide(d18:1/26:0), Sgpp2, Sphk1 , and Ugt8a . Joint-analysis revealed a significant enrichment of glycosphingolipid metabolism in SOD1 G86R mice, due to the down-regulation of ceramide, glucosylceramide, and lactosylceramide and the overexpression of genes involved in their recycling in the lysosome. A drug-gene interaction database was interrogated to identify potential drugs able to modulate the dysregulated genes from the signaling pathway. Our results suggest that complex lipids are pivotally changed during the first phase of motor symptoms in an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Plowman, Emily K.; Watts, Stephanie A.; Tabor, Lauren; Robison, Raele; Gaziano, Joy; Domer, Amanda S.; Richter, Joel; Vu, Tuan; Gooch, Clifton
Introduction We evaluated the feasibility and impact of Expiratory Muscle Strength Training (EMST) on respiratory and bulbar function in persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods 25 ALS patients participated in this delayed intervention open-label clinical trial. Following a lead-in period, patients completed a 5-week EMST protocol. Outcome measures included: maximum expiratory pressure (MEP), physiologic measures of swallow and cough, and Penetration-Aspiration Scale (PAS) scores. Results Of those participants who entered the active phase of the study (n=15), EMST was well tolerated and led to significant increases in MEPs and maximum hyoid displacement during swallowing post-EMST (P<0.05). No significant differences were observed for PAS scores or cough spirometry measures. Discussion EMST was feasible and well tolerated in this small cohort of ALS patients and led to improvements in expiratory force-generating pressures and swallow kinematics. Further investigation is warranted to confirm these preliminary findings. PMID:26599236
Dorst, Johannes; Ludolph, Albert C.; Huebers, Annemarie
In this review, we summarize the most important recent developments in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In terms of disease-modifying treatment options, several drugs such as dexpramipexole, pioglitazone, lithium, and many others have been tested in large multicenter trials, albeit with disappointing results. Therefore, riluzole remains the only directly disease-modifying drug. In addition, we discuss antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) as a new and potentially causal treatment option. Progress in symptomatic treatments has been more important. Nutrition and ventilation are now an important focus of ALS therapy. Several studies have firmly established that noninvasive ventilation improves patients’ quality of life and prolongs survival. On the other hand, there is still no consensus regarding best nutritional management, but big multicenter trials addressing this issue are currently ongoing. Evidence regarding secondary symptoms like spasticity, muscle cramps or sialorrhea remains generally scarce, but some new insights will also be discussed. Growing evidence suggests that multidisciplinary care in specialized clinics improves survival. PMID:29399045
Kuruvilla, Mili S; Green, Jordan R; Yunusova, Yana; Hanford, Kathy
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 individuals with ALS with mild, moderate, and severe dysarthria using an x-ray microbeam during word productions. A coupling index based on sliding window covariance was used to determine disease-related changes in the coupling between the tongue regions across each word. The results indicated decreased spatiotemporal coupling of mid-posterior tongue regions and reduced tongue speed in the ALS-moderate subgroup. Changes in the range of tongue coupling relations and speed of movement were highly correlated with speech intelligibility. These results provide new insights into the loss of lingual motor control due to ALS and suggest that measures of tongue performance may provide useful indicators of bulbar disease severity and progression.
Gotaas, Håvard Torvik; Skeie, Geir Olve; Gilhus, Nils Erik
The aim was to examine potential joint disease mechanisms for myasthenia gravis (MG) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) through the examination of long-term patient cohorts for comorbidity. Recent studies support early involvement of the neuromuscular junction in ALS patients with subsequent degeneration of motor neurons. Medical records at Haukeland University Hospital from 1987 to 2012 were examined for International Classification of Diseases diagnostic codes for MG and ALS. Sera were re-tested for antibodies to acetylcholine receptor, titin, MuSK and GM1. We report one patient with both MG and ALS, and another 3 patients with suggestive evidence of both conditions. This is far more than expected from prevalence and incidence figures in this area if the disorders were unrelated. Our data suggest that immunological mechanisms in the neuromuscular junction are relevant in ALS pathogenesis. Attention should be given to possible therapeutic targets in the neuromuscular junction and muscle in ALS patients. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Joardar, Archi; Manzo, Ernesto
Purpose of Review Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure and treatments are at best palliative. Several genes have been linked to ALS, which highlight defects in multiple cellular processes including RNA processing, proteostasis and metabolism. Clinical observations have identified glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia as key features of ALS however the causes of these metabolic alterations remain elusive. Recent Findings Recent studies reveal that motor neurons and muscle cells may undergo cell type specific metabolic changes that lead to utilization of alternate fuels. For example, ALS patients’ muscles exhibit reduced glycolysis and increased reliance on fatty acids. In contrast, ALS motor neurons contain damaged mitochondria and exhibit impaired lipid beta oxidation, potentially leading to increased glycolysis as a compensatory mechanism. Summary These findings highlight the complexities of metabolic alterations in ALS and provide new opportunities for designing therapeutic strategies based on restoring cellular energetics. PMID:29057168
Patten, Shunmoogum A; Parker, J Alex; Wen, Xiao-Yan; Drapeau, Pierre
Simple animal models have enabled great progress in uncovering the disease mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and are helping in the selection of therapeutic compounds through chemical genetic approaches. Within this article, the authors provide a concise overview of simple model organisms, C. elegans, Drosophila and zebrafish, which have been employed to study ALS and discuss their value to ALS drug discovery. In particular, the authors focus on innovative chemical screens that have established simple organisms as important models for ALS drug discovery. There are several advantages of using simple animal model organisms to accelerate drug discovery for ALS. It is the authors' particular belief that the amenability of simple animal models to various genetic manipulations, the availability of a wide range of transgenic strains for labelling motoneurons and other cell types, combined with live imaging and chemical screens should allow for new detailed studies elucidating early pathological processes in ALS and subsequent drug and target discovery.
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; Asbroek, Anneloor L M A ten; 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
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
Blain-Moraes, Stefanie; Mashour, George A; Lee, Heonsoo; Huggins, Jane E; Lee, Uncheol
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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cudkowicz, Merit E; van den Berg, Leonard H; Shefner, Jeremy M; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Mora, Jesus S; Ludolph, Albert; Hardiman, Orla; Bozik, Michael E; Ingersoll, Evan W; Archibald, Donald; Meyers, Adam L; Dong, Yingwen; Farwell, Wildon R; Kerr, Douglas A
In a phase 2 study, dexpramipexole (25-150 mg twice daily) was well tolerated for up to 9 months and showed a significant benefit at the high dose in a combined assessment of function and mortality in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We aimed to assess efficacy and safety of dexpramipexole in a phase 3 trial of patients with familial or sporadic disease. In our randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial (EMPOWER), we enrolled participants aged 18-80 years (with first amyotrophic lateral sclerosis symptom onset 24 months or less before baseline) at 81 academic medical centres in 11 countries. We randomly allocated eligible participants (1:1) with a centralised voice-interactive online system to twice-daily dexpramipexole 150 mg or matched placebo for 12-18 months, stratified by trial site, area of disease onset (bulbar vs other areas), and previous use of riluzole. The primary endpoint was the combined assessment of function and survival (CAFS) score, based on changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale-revised (ALSFRS-R) total scores and time to death up to 12 months. We assessed the primary endpoint in all participants who received at least one dose and had at least one post-dose ALSFRS-R measurement or died. We monitored adverse events in all participants. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01281189. Between March 28, 2011, and Sept 30, 2011, we enrolled 943 participants (474 randomly allocated dexpramipexole, 468 randomly allocated placebo, and one withdrew). Least-square mean CAFS scores at 12 months did not differ between participants in the dexpramipexole group (score 441·76, 95% CI 415·43-468·08) and those in the placebo group (438·84, 412·81-464·88; p=0·86). At 12 months, we noted no differences in mean change from baseline in ALSFRS-R total score (-13·34 in the dexpramipexole group vs -13·42 in the placebo group; p=0·90) or time to death (74 [16%] vs 79 [17%]; hazard ratio
Diekstra, Frank P; Beleza-Meireles, Ana; Leigh, Nigel P; Shaw, Christopher E; Al-Chalabi, Ammar
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.
Güell, Maria Rosa; Antón, Antonio; Rojas-García, Ricardo; Puy, Carmen; Pradas, Jesus
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. Copyright © 2012 SEPAR. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Weishaupt, Jochen H; Hyman, Tony; Dikic, Ivan
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are age-related neurodegenerative diseases in which predominantly motor neurons and cerebral cortex neurons, respectively, are affected. Several novel ALS and FTD disease genes have been recently discovered, pointing toward a few overarching pathways in ALS/FTD pathogenesis. Nevertheless, a precise picture of how various cellular processes cause neuronal death, or how different routes leading to ALS and FTD are functionally connected is just emerging. Moreover, how the most recent milestone findings in the ALS/FTD field might lead to improved diagnosis and treatment is actively being explored. We highlight some of the most exciting recent topics in the field, which could potentially facilitate the identification of further links between the pathogenic ALS/FTD pathways related to autophagy, vesicle trafficking, and RNA metabolism. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bandini, Andrea; Green, Jordan R.; Wang, Jun; Campbell, Thomas F.; Zinman, Lorne; Yunusova, Yana
Purpose: The goals of this study were to (a) classify speech movements of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in presymptomatic and symptomatic phases of bulbar function decline relying solely on kinematic features of lips and jaw and (b) identify the most important measures that detect the transition between early and late bulbar…
Beard, John D; Kamel, Freya
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. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2014. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Alfahad, Tariq; Nath, Avindra
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. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Eisen, Andrew; Lemon, Roger; Kiernan, Matthew C; Hornberger, Michael; Turner, Martin R
There is growing evidence that mirror neurons, initially discovered over two decades ago in the monkey, are present in the human brain. In the monkey, mirror neurons characteristically fire not only when it is performing an action, such as grasping an object, but also when observing a similar action performed by another agent (human or monkey). In this review we discuss the origin, cortical distribution and possible functions of mirror neurons as a background to exploring their potential relevance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have recently proposed that ALS (and the related condition of frontotemporal dementia) may be viewed as a failure of interlinked functional complexes having their origins in key evolutionary adaptations. This can include loss of the direct projections from the corticospinal tract, and this is at least part of the explanation for impaired motor control in ALS. Since, in the monkey, corticospinal neurons also show mirror properties, ALS in humans might also affect the mirror neuron system. We speculate that a defective mirror neuron system might contribute to other ALS deficits affecting motor imagery, gesture, language and empathy. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rosenbohm, Angela; Liu, Mingsheng; Nagel, Gabriele; Peter, Raphael S; Cui, Bo; Li, Xiaoguang; Kassubek, Jan; Rothenbacher, Dietrich; Lulé, Dorothée; Cui, Liying; Ludolph, Albert C
The aim of this study is to explore phenotypical differences of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) between two cohorts from Germany and China. Registry-based studies of ALS were conducted in South-West Germany from 2010 to 2014 and an ALS clinic in Beijing from 2013 to 2016, respectively. Demographic and clinical features of 663 German and 276 Chinese ALS patients were collected and compared. Mean age-at-onset was higher in German than in Chinese ALS patients [66.6 years (95% CI 65.7, 67.5) vs. 53.2 years (95% CI 52.0, 54.5)]. Age distribution of ALS patients peaked around 70-74 years in Germany and 50-54 years in China. Bulbar onset was more prevalent among German than among Chinese patients (35.9 vs. 22.8%). Diagnostic delay was higher in the Chinese than in the German study sample (12 vs. 5 months). Cognitive deficits were more pronounced in the Chinese cohort. Both cohorts differed in smoking habits, prevalence of diabetes and in body mass index (BMI). The apparent discrepancies between German and Chinese ALS patients (age at onset, gender distribution, bulbar forms, cognitive dysfunction, risk factors) reveal a quite different clinical phenotype in China, maybe due to socioeconomic status, environmental factors or genetic background. The observed differences in phenotype need to be pursued by further epidemiological studies on environmental and genetic risk factors.
Zou, Zhang-Yu; Zhou, Zhi-Rui; Che, Chun-Hui; Liu, Chang-Yun; He, Rao-Li; Huang, Hua-Pin
Genetic studies have shown that C9orf72 , SOD1 , TARDBP and FUS are the most common mutated genes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here, we performed a meta-analysis to determine the mutation frequencies of these major ALS-related genes in patients with ALS. We performed an extensive literature research to identify all original articles reporting frequencies of C9orf72 , SOD1 , TARDBP and FUS mutations in ALS. The mutation frequency and effect size of each study were combined. Possible sources of heterogeneity across studies were determined by meta-regression, sensitivity analysis and subgroup analysis. 111 studies were included in the meta-analysis. The overall pooled mutation frequencies of these major ALS-related genes were 47.7% in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) and 5.2% in sporadic ALS (SALS). A significant difference was identified regarding the frequencies of mutations in major ALS genes between European and Asian patients. In European populations, the most common mutations were the C9orf72 repeat expansions (FALS 33.7%, SALS 5.1%), followed by SOD1 (FALS 14.8%, SALS 1.2%), TARDBP (FALS 4.2%, SALS 0.8%) and FUS mutations (FALS 2.8%, SALS 0.3%), while in Asian populations the most common mutations were SOD1 mutations (FALS 30.0%, SALS 1.5%), followed by FUS (FALS 6.4%, SALS 0.9%), C9orf72 (FALS 2.3%, SALS 0.3%) and TARDBP (FALS 1.5%, SALS 0.2%) mutations. These findings demonstrated that the genetic architecture of ALS in Asian populations is distinct from that in European populations, which need to be given appropriate consideration when performing genetic testing of patients with ALS. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.
Jordan, Heather; Fagliano, Jerald; Rechtman, Lindsay; Lefkowitz, Daniel; Kaye, Wendy
Background Limited epidemiological data exist about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the United States (US). The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry maintains the National ALS Registry and funded state and metropolitan surveillance projects to obtain reliable, timely information about ALS in defined geographic areas. Methods Neurologists submitted case reports for ALS patients under their care between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011 who were New Jersey residents. A medical record verification form and electromyogram (EMG) report were requested for a sample of case reports. Incidence rates were standardized to the 2000 US Standard Population. Results The average crude annual incidence rate was 1.87 per 100,000 person-years, the average age-adjusted annual incidence rate was 1.67 per 100,000 person-years, and the point prevalence rate on December 31, 2011 was 4.40 per 100,000 persons. Average annual incidence rates and point prevalence rates were statistically higher for men compared with women; Whites compared with Blacks/African Americans and Asians; and non-Hispanics compared with Hispanics. Conclusions The project findings contribute new, population-based, state-specific information to epidemiological data regarding ALS. The findings are generally consistent with previously published surveillance studies conducted in the US and abroad. PMID:25323440
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative brain disease characterized by motor, behavioural and cognitive deficits. Only recently, emotional processing disorders have been shown in this disease. The interest in affective processing in ALS is growing given that basic emotion impairments could impact copying strategies and mood. Studies explore both basic emotion recognition and social cognition. Results are congruent on arousal and valence detection impairments, independently from the stimulus modality (verbal or visual). Further, recognition of facial expressions of anger, sadness and disgust is impaired in ALS, even when cognition is preserved. Clinical features such as type of onset and severity of the disease could be the cause of the heterogeneity in emotional deficits profiles between patients. Finally, a study employing diffusion tensor imaging showed that emotional dysfunctions in ALS are related to right hemispheric connective bundles impairments, involving the inferior longitudinal fasciculus and the inferior frontal occipital fasciculus. Research on emotional processing in ALS is still in its infancy and results are mixed. Future research including more detailed clinical profiles of patients and measures of brain connectivity will provide useful information to understand heterogeneity of results in ALS.
Yu, Bing; Pamphlett, Roger
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised by a rapid loss of lower and upper motor neurons. As a complex disease, the ageing process and complicated gene-environment interactions are involved in the majority of cases. Significant advances have been made in unravelling the genetic susceptibility to ALS with massively parallel sequencing technologies, while environmental insults remain a suspected but largely unexplored source of risk. Several studies applying the strategy of Mendelian randomisation have strengthened the link between environmental insults and ALS, but none so far has proved conclusive. We propose a new ALS model which links the current knowledge of genetic factors, ageing and environmental insults. This model provides a mechanism as to how ALS is initiated, with environmental insults playing a critical role. The available evidence has suggested that inherited defect(s) could cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which would establish the primary susceptibility to ALS. Further study of the underlying mechanism may shed light on ALS pathogenesis. Environmental insults are a critical trigger for ALS, particularly in the aged individuals with other toxicant susceptible genes. The identification of ALS triggers could lead to preventive strategies for those individuals at risk.
Ono, S.; Yamauchi, M.
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.
Ono, S.; Yamauchi, M.
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.
Henriques, Alexandre; Croixmarie, Vincent; Bouscary, Alexandra; Mosbach, Althéa; Keime, Céline; Boursier-Neyret, Claire; Walter, Bernard; Spedding, Michael; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe
Lipid metabolism is drastically dysregulated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and impacts prognosis of patients. Animal models recapitulate alterations in the energy metabolism, including hypermetabolism and severe loss of adipose tissue. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we have performed RNA-sequencing and lipidomic profiling in spinal cord of symptomatic SOD1G86R mice. Spinal transcriptome of SOD1G86R mice was characterized by differential expression of genes related to immune system, extracellular exosome, and lysosome. Hypothesis-driven identification of metabolites showed that lipids, including sphingomyelin(d18:0/26:1), ceramide(d18:1/22:0), and phosphatidylcholine(o-22:1/20:4) showed profound altered levels. A correlation between disease severity and gene expression or metabolite levels was found for sphingosine, ceramide(d18:1/26:0), Sgpp2, Sphk1, and Ugt8a. Joint-analysis revealed a significant enrichment of glycosphingolipid metabolism in SOD1G86R mice, due to the down-regulation of ceramide, glucosylceramide, and lactosylceramide and the overexpression of genes involved in their recycling in the lysosome. A drug-gene interaction database was interrogated to identify potential drugs able to modulate the dysregulated genes from the signaling pathway. Our results suggest that complex lipids are pivotally changed during the first phase of motor symptoms in an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:29354030
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
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.
Liang, Christina; Ng, Karl
Poliomyelitis causes selective destruction of anterior horn cells and usually has a stable disease course post-infection. We assessed the excitability characteristics in patients with a stable course after past poliomyelitis and compared them with changes described in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The excitability characteristics of motor and sensory nerves were studied in 10 subjects with stable past poliomyelitis. Motor rheobase was increased, but there were no significant changes in strength-duration properties or depolarizing threshold electrotonus, as have been seen in previous studies of ALS. There is minimal change in axonal excitability properties in patients with stable past poliomyelitis. The results may signify sufficient compensation in the stable state of the disease. Increased subexcitability in 1 subject with demonstrable hyperexcitability may represent compensation for increased ectopic activity rather than a different process in surviving motor neurons. Muscle Nerve 50: 602-604, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Eisen, Andrew; Braak, Heiko; Del Tredici, Kelly; Lemon, Roger; Ludolph, Albert C; Kiernan, Matthew C
The early motor manifestations of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), while rarely documented, reflect failure of adaptive complex motor skills. The development of these skills correlates with progressive evolution of a direct corticomotoneuronal system that is unique to primates and markedly enhanced in humans. The failure of this system in ALS may translate into the split hand presentation, gait disturbance, split leg syndrome and bulbar symptomatology related to vocalisation and breathing, and possibly diffuse fasciculation, characteristic of ALS. Clinical neurophysiology of the brain employing transcranial magnetic stimulation has convincingly demonstrated a presymptomatic reduction or absence of short interval intracortical inhibition, accompanied by increased intracortical facilitation, indicating cortical hyperexcitability. The hallmark of the TDP-43 pathological signature of sporadic ALS is restricted to cortical areas as well as to subcortical nuclei that are under the direct control of corticofugal projections. This provides anatomical support that the origins of the TDP-43 pathology reside in the cerebral cortex itself, secondarily in corticofugal fibres and the subcortical targets with which they make monosynaptic connections. The latter feature explains the multisystem degeneration that characterises ALS. Consideration of ALS as a primary neurodegenerative disorder of the human brain may incorporate concepts of prion-like spread at synaptic terminals of corticofugal axons. Further, such a concept could explain the recognised widespread imaging abnormalities of the ALS neocortex and the accepted relationship between ALS and frontotemporal dementia. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
Ahmeti, Kreshnik B; Ajroud-Driss, Senda; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Andersen, Peter M; Armstrong, Jennifer; Birve, Anne; Blauw, Hylke M; Brown, Robert H; Bruijn, Lucie; Chen, Wenjie; Chio, Adriano; Comeau, Mary C; Cronin, Simon; Diekstra, Frank P; Soraya Gkazi, Athina; Glass, Jonathan D; Grab, Josh D; Groen, Ewout J; Haines, Jonathan L; Hardiman, Orla; Heller, Scott; Huang, Jie; Hung, Wu-Yen; Jaworski, James M; Jones, Ashley; Khan, Humaira; Landers, John E; Langefeld, Carl D; Leigh, P Nigel; Marion, Miranda C; McLaughlin, Russell L; Meininger, Vincent; Melki, Judith; Miller, Jack W; Mora, Gabriele; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A; Rampersaud, Evadnie; Robberecht, Wim; Russell, Laurie P; Salachas, Francois; Saris, Christiaan G; Shatunov, Aleksey; Shaw, Christopher E; Siddique, Nailah; Siddique, Teepu; Smith, Bradley N; Sufit, Robert; Topp, Simon; Traynor, Bryan J; Vance, Caroline; van Damme, Philip; van den Berg, Leonard H; van Es, Michael A; van Vught, Paul W; Veldink, Jan H; Yang, Yi; Zheng, J G
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 [OR] = 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 (R(2)(partial) = 0.0061; p = 6.59 × 10(-8)) and rs803675 (R(2)(partial) = 0.0060; p = 6.96 × 10(-8)). These associations were consistent across all 13 cohorts. For rs3011225, individuals with at least 1 copy of the minor allele had an earlier average age of onset of over 2 years. Identifying the underlying pathways influencing susceptibility to and age at onset of ALS may provide insight into the pathogenic mechanisms and motivate new pharmacologic targets for this fatal neurodegenerative disease. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hovden, H; Frederiksen, J L; Pedersen, S W
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease of which the underlying cause and pathogenesis are unknown. Cumulatative data clearly indicates an active participation by the immune system in the disease. An increasingly recognized theory suggests a non-cell autonomous mechanism, meaning that multiple cells working together are necessary for the pathogenesis of the disease. Observed immune system alterations could indicate an active participation in this mechanism. Damaged motor neurons are able to activate microglia, astrocytes and the complement system, which further can influence each other and contribute to neurodegeneration. Infiltrating peripheral immune cells appears to correlate with disease progression, but their significance and composition is unclear. The deleterious effects of this collaborating system of cells appear to outweigh the protective aspects, and revealing this interplay might give more insight into the disease. Markers from the classical complement pathway are elevated where its initiator C1q appears to derive primarily from motor neurons. Activated microglia and astrocytes are found in close proximity to dying motor neurons. Their activation status and proliferation seemingly increases with disease progression. Infiltrating monocytes, macrophages and T cells are associated with these areas, although with mixed reports regarding T cell composition. This literature review will provide evidence supporting the immune system as an important part of ALS disease mechanism and present a hypothesis to direct the way for further studies. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Nardone, Raffaele; Höller, Yvonne; Taylor, Alexandra C; Lochner, Piergiorgio; Tezzon, Frediano; Golaszewski, Stefan; Brigo, Francesco; Trinka, Eugen
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Lattante, Serena; Le Ber, Isabelle; Camuzat, Agnès; Brice, Alexis; Kabashi, Edor
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) are 2 adult onset neurological disorders with overlapping symptoms and clinical characteristics. It is well established that they share a common pathologic and genetic background. Recently, mutations in profilin 1 gene (PFN1) have been identified in patients with familial ALS, suggesting a role for this gene in the pathogenesis of the disease. Based on this, we hypothesized that mutations in PFN1 might also contribute to FTLD disease. We studied a French cohort of 165 ALS/FTLD patients, without finding any variant. We conclude that mutations in PFN1 are not a common cause for ALS/FTLD in France. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ueno, Hiroki; Kobatake, Keitaro; Matsumoto, Masayasu; Morino, Hiroyuki; Maruyama, Hirofumi; Kawakami, Hideshi
Previous studies have shown widespread multisystem degeneration in patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who develop a total locked-in state and survive under mechanical ventilation for a prolonged period of time. However, the disease progressions reported in these studies were several years after disease onset. There have been no reports of long-term follow-up with brain imaging of patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at an advanced stage of the disease. We report the cases of siblings with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with homozygous deletions of the exon 5 mutation of the gene encoding optineurin, in whom brain computed tomography scans were followed up for more than 20 years. The patients were a Japanese brother and sister. The elder sister was 33 years of age at the onset of disease, which began with muscle weakness of her left lower limb. Two years later she required mechanical ventilation. She became bedridden at the age of 34, and died at the age of 57. A computed tomography scan of her brain at the age of 36 revealed no abnormality. Atrophy of her brain gradually progressed. Ten years after the onset of mechanical ventilation, atrophy of her whole brain, including the cerebral cortex, brain stem and cerebellum, markedly progressed. Her younger brother was 36 years of age at the onset of disease, which presented as muscle weakness of his left upper limb. One year later, he showed dysphagia and dysarthria, and tracheostomy ventilation was performed. He became bedridden at the age of 37 and died at the age of 55. There were no abnormal intracranial findings on brain computed tomography scans obtained at the age of 37 years. At the age of 48 years, computed tomography scans showed marked brain atrophy with ventricular dilatation. Subsequently, atrophy of the whole brain rapidly progressed as in his elder sister. We conclude that a homozygous deletion-type mutation in the optineurin gene may be associated with widespread
Kuruvilla, Mili S.; Green, Jordan R.; Yunusova, Yana; Hanford, Kathy
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 was also determined. Methods Eleven individuals with ALS with mild, moderate, and severe dysarthria were recorded using the x-ray microbeam during word productions. A coupling index based on sliding window covariance was used to determine disease-related changes in the coupling between the tongue regions across each word. Results The results indicate decreased spatiotemporal coupling and reduced tongue speed in the moderate-ALS subgroup. Spatiotemporal coupling of the mid-posterior tongue was significantly affected in the moderate-ALS group. Changes in the range of tongue coupling relations and speed of movement were highly correlated with speech intelligibility. Conclusions These results provide new insights into the loss of lingual motor control due to ALS and suggest that measures of tongue performance may provide useful indicators of bulbar disease severity and progression. PMID:22615476
Loewe, Kristian; Machts, Judith; Kaufmann, Jörn; Petri, Susanne; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Borgelt, Christian; Harris, Joseph Allen; Vielhaber, Stefan; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel
Recent studies suggest that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) lie on a single clinical continuum. However, previous neuroimaging studies have found only limited involvement of temporal lobe regions in ALS. To better delineate possible temporal lobe involvement in ALS, the present study aimed to examine changes in functional connectivity across the whole brain, particularly with regard to extra-motor regions, in a group of 64 non-demented ALS patients and 38 healthy controls. To assess between-group differences in connectivity, we computed edge-level statistics across subject-specific graphs derived from resting-state functional MRI data. In addition to expected ALS-related decreases in functional connectivity in motor-related areas, we observed extensive changes in connectivity across the temporo-occipital cortex. Although ALS patients with comorbid FTD were deliberately excluded from this study, the pattern of connectivity alterations closely resembles patterns of cerebral degeneration typically seen in FTD. This evidence for subclinical temporal dysfunction supports the idea of a common pathology in ALS and FTD.
Kumar, Vijay; Islam, Asimul; Hassan, Md Imtaiyaz; Ahmad, Faizan
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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Cady, Janet; Allred, Peggy; Bali, Taha; Pestronk, Alan; Goate, Alison; Miller, Timothy M; Mitra, Robi D; Ravits, John; Harms, Matthew B; Baloh, Robert H
To define the genetic landscape of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and assess the contribution of possible oligogenic inheritance, we aimed to comprehensively sequence 17 known ALS genes in 391 ALS patients from the United States. Targeted pooled-sample sequencing was used to identify variants in 17 ALS genes. Fragment size analysis was used to define ATXN2 and C9ORF72 expansion sizes. Genotype-phenotype correlations were made with individual variants and total burden of variants. Rare variant associations for risk of ALS were investigated at both the single variant and gene level. A total of 64.3% of familial and 27.8% of sporadic subjects carried potentially pathogenic novel or rare coding variants identified by sequencing or an expanded repeat in C9ORF72 or ATXN2; 3.8% of subjects had variants in >1 ALS gene, and these individuals had disease onset 10 years earlier (p = 0.0046) than subjects with variants in a single gene. The number of potentially pathogenic coding variants did not influence disease duration or site of onset. Rare and potentially pathogenic variants in known ALS genes are present in >25% of apparently sporadic and 64% of familial patients, significantly higher than previous reports using less comprehensive sequencing approaches. A significant number of subjects carried variants in >1 gene, which influenced the age of symptom onset and supports oligogenic inheritance as relevant to disease pathogenesis. © 2014 American Neurological Association.
Vandoorne, Eva; Vrijsen, Bart; Belge, Catharina; Testelmans, Dries; Buyse, Bertien
Little is known about the effects of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) on sleep quality in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We aim to evaluate the long-term effects of NIV on sleep quality and quality of life in patients with ALS. In this prospective observational study, 13 ALS patients were followed for one year after initiating NIV. We evaluated sleep quality, quality of life and functional status with several questionnaires: Epworth sleepiness Scale (ESS), Pittsburg sleep quality index (PSQI), Short Form 36 Health Questionnaire (SF-36), McGill Quality of Life questionnaire (McGillQoL) and revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale scores (ALSFRS-R). Median and interquartile range (IQR) at the start of NIV was 59 (53-65) years. The ALSFRS-R at start was 30 (24-37) (median, IQR), with three patients having severe bulbar impairment (ALSFRS-R-bulbar ≤ 9). The P a CO 2 at start of NIV treatment was 48 (43-52) mmHg (median, IQR). During the one-year follow-up period, a significant decrease in the ALSFRS-R was observed. The impact of NIV in a short term (1 month) revealed a statistically significant decrease in ESS, decrease in total PSQI and of four PSQI subscales and improvement of almost all subscales of the McGill questionnaire. Long-term analyses (9 months to 1 year) revealed that amelioration in ESS and total PSQI was sustained. We conclude that accurately titrated NIV in ALS patients can stabilize sleep quality and quality of life for at least one year, despite significant disease progression.
Grigoriev, V V; Efimova, A D; Ustyugov, A A; Shevchenko, V P; Bachurin, S O; Myasoedov, N F
In this paper, we showed that in the cortex of mice expressing an abberant form of FUS protein that model amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the processes of KCl-induced and basal [(3)H]glutamate release and uptake are altered at the presymptomatic stage as compared to the non-transgenic littermates. The change in these three parameters in transgenic animals causes excitotoxicity, which, in turn, may lead to massive loss of motor neurons and the onset of ALS symptoms.
Vaisman, Nachum; Lusaus, Michal; Nefussy, Beatrice; Niv, Eva; Comaneshter, Doron; Hallack, Ron; Drory, Vivian E
Nutritional status is a prognostic factor for survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. We investigated the contribution of some of the components contributing to resting energy expenditure (REE) in order to determine whether potentially higher energy needs should be considered for these patients. Thirty three ALS patients and 33 age- and gender-matched healthy controls participated. REE was measured by an open-circuit indirect calorimeter, body composition by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and estimated caloric intake by 7-day food records. Patients had lower body mass indices and lower lean body mass (LBM) than healthy controls. REE values (as a percentage of predicted) was similar but increased when normalized by LBM (P<0.001). LBM and REE decreased while REE/LBM increased in ten patients who were reassessed 6 months later. A model for predicting measured REE was constructed based on the different components, with 86% prediction of its variability. ALS is associated with increased REE. Various factors, such as poor caloric intake and mechanical ventilation, may mask this tendency. All the above parameters need to be considered during nutritional intervention to prevent additional muscle loss.
Tibshirani, Michael; Zhao, Beibei; Gentil, Benoit J; Minotti, Sandra; Marques, Christine; Keith, Julia; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Zinman, Lorne; Rouaux, Caroline; Robertson, Janice; Durham, Heather D
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease with paralysis resulting from dysfunction and loss of motor neurons. A common neuropathological finding is attrition of motor neuron dendrites, which make central connections vital to motor control. The chromatin remodelling complex, neuronal Brahma-related gene 1 (Brg1)-associated factor complex (nBAF), is critical for neuronal differentiation, dendritic extension and synaptic function. We have identified loss of the crucial nBAF subunits Brg1, Brg1-associated factor 53b and calcium responsive transactivator in cultured motor neurons expressing FUS or TAR-DNA Binding Protein 43 (TDP-43) mutants linked to familial ALS. When plasmids encoding wild-type or mutant human FUS or TDP-43 were expressed in motor neurons of dissociated spinal cord cultures prepared from E13 mice, mutant proteins in particular accumulated in the cytoplasm. Immunolabelling of nBAF subunits was reduced in proportion to loss of nuclear FUS or TDP-43 and depletion of Brg1 was associated with nuclear retention of Brg1 mRNA. Dendritic attrition (loss of intermediate and terminal dendritic branches) occurred in motor neurons expressing mutant, but not wild-type, FUS or TDP-43. This attrition was delayed by ectopic over-expression of Brg1 and was reproduced by inhibiting Brg1 activity either through genetic manipulation or treatment with the chemical inhibitor, (E)-1-(2-Hydroxyphenyl)-3-((1R, 4R)-5-(pyridin-2-yl)-2, 5-diazabicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-yl)prop-2-en-1-one, demonstrating the importance of Brg1 to maintenance of dendritic architecture. Loss of nBAF subunits was also documented in spinal motor neurons in autopsy tissue from familial amyotrophic sclerosis (chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 with G4C2 nucleotide expansion) and from sporadic cases with no identified mutation, pointing to dysfunction of nBAF chromatin remodelling in multiple forms of ALS. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved
Invasive and/or non-invasive mechanical ventilation are most important options of respiratory management in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We evaluated the frequency, clinical characteristics, decision-making factors about ventilation and survival analysis of 190 people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients from 1990 until 2013. Thirty-one percentage of patients underwent tracheostomy invasive ventilation with the rate increasing more than the past 20 years. The ratio of tracheostomy invasive ventilation in patients >65 years old was significantly increased after 2000 (25%) as compared to before (10%). After 2010, the standard use of non-invasive ventilation showed a tendency to reduce the frequency of tracheostomy invasive ventilation. Mechanical ventilation prolonged median survival (75 months in tracheostomy invasive ventilation, 43 months in non-invasive ventilation vs natural course, 32 months). The life-extending effects by tracheostomy invasive ventilation were longer in younger patients ≤65 years old at the time of ventilation support than in older patients. Presence of partners and care at home were associated with better survival. Following factors related to the decision to perform tracheostomy invasive ventilation: patients ≤65 years old: greater use of non-invasive ventilation: presence of a spouse: faster tracheostomy: higher progression rate; and preserved motor functions. No patients who underwent tracheostomy invasive ventilation died from a decision to withdraw mechanical ventilation. The present study provides factors related to decision-making process and survival after tracheostomy and help clinicians and family members to expand the knowledge about ventilation.
Experiences of burden, needs, rewards and resilience in family caregivers of people living with Motor Neurone Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A secondary thematic analysis of qualitative interviews.
Weisser, Fabia B; Bristowe, Katherine; Jackson, Diana
Family caregivers of people with Motor Neurone Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, an incurable, mostly rapidly fatal neurodegenerative disease, face many challenges. Although there is considerable research on caregiver burden in Motor Neurone Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, there is less knowledge of the positive aspects of caring. To explore the experiences of family caregivers of people with Motor Neurone Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, specifically the relationship between positive and negative experiences of caring, and to identify possible ways to better support these caregivers. Secondary thematic analysis of 24 semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted longitudinally with 10 family caregivers. Interviews explored rewarding and unrewarding aspects of caring. Themes emerged around burden, needs, rewards and resilience. Resilience included getting active, retaining perspective and living for the moment. Burden was multifaceted, including social burden, responsibility, advocacy, ambivalence, guilt and struggling with acceptance. Rewards included being helped and 'ticking along'. Needs were multifaceted, including social, practical and psychological needs. The four main themes were interrelated. A model of coping was developed, integrating resilience (active/positive), burden (active/negative), needs (passive/negative) and reward (passive/positive). Burden, resilience, needs and rewards are interrelated. Caregivers' ability to cope with caring for a person with Motor Neurone Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis oscillates between positive and negative aspects of caring, being at times active, at times passive. Coping is a non-linear process, oscillating between different states of mind. The proposed model could enable clinicians to better understand the caregiver experience, help family caregivers foster resilience and identify rewards, and develop appropriate individualised caregiver support plans. © The Author(s) 2015.
Ono, S.; Yamauchi, M.
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.
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
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. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Lancioni, Giulio E.; Singh, Nirbhay N.; O'Reilly, Mark F.; Sigafoos, Jeff; Ferlisi, Gabriele; Ferrarese, Giacomina; Zullo, Valeria; Addante, Luigi M.; Spica, Antonella; Oliva, Doretta
Technology-aided programs for assisting communication and leisure engagement were assessed in single-case studies involving two men with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Study I involved a 51-year-old man with a virtually total loss of his motor repertoire and assessed a technology-aided program aimed at enabling him to (a) write and send out…
Gonçalves, Lígia Maria Napolitano; Palinkas, Marcelo; Hallak, Jaime Eduardo Cecilio; Marques Júnior, Wilson; Vasconcelos, Paulo Batista de; Frota, Nicolly Parente Ribeiro; Regalo, Isabela Hallak; Siéssere, Selma; Regalo, Simone Cecilio Hallak
To compare the molar bite force, electromyographic activity, chewing efficiency and thickness of the masseter and temporalis muscles in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and healthy individuals. Thirty individuals enrolled in the study were divided into the study group (with ALS, n=15) and control group (healthy individuals, n=15). Data regarding molar bite force (right and left), electromyographic activity (mandibular rest, right and left laterality, protrusion, and maximum voluntary contraction), chewing efficiency (habitual and non-habitual), and masticatory muscle thickness (rest and maximum voluntary contraction) were tabulated and subjected to statistical analysis (Student's t-test, p≤0.05). Comparisons between the groups demonstrated a statistically significant increase in the electromyographic activity of the right masseter (p=0.03) and left masseter (p=0.03) muscles during mandibular rest; left masseter (p=0.00), right temporalis (p=0.00), and left temporalis (p=0.03) muscles during protrusion; and right masseter (p=0.00), left masseter (p=0.00), and left temporalis (p=0.00) muscles during left laterality, in individuals with ALS as compared with healthy individuals. A statistically significant decrease was observed in the habitual chewing efficiency of the right masseter (p=0.00) and right temporalis (p=0.04) muscles in individuals with ALS. No statistically significant difference between the groups was found the masticatory muscle thickness and maximal molar bite force. ALS may lead to modifications in the activities of the stomatognathic system, including muscular hyperactivity and reduction in chewing efficiency; however, no change has been observed in the masticatory muscle thickness and molar bite force.
Saigusa, Hideto; Yamaguchi, Satoshi; Nakamura, Tsuyoshi; Komachi, Taro; Kadosono, Osamu; Ito, Hiroyuki; Saigusa, Makoto; Niimi, Seiji
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive debilitating neurological disease. ALS disturbs the quality of life by affecting speech, swallowing and free mobility of the arms without affecting intellectual function. It is therefore of significance to improve intelligibility and quality of speech sounds, especially for ALS patients with slowly progressive courses. Currently, however, there is no effective or established approach to improve speech disorder caused by ALS. We investigated a surgical procedure to improve speech disorder for some patients with neuromuscular diseases with velopharyngeal closure incompetence. In this study, we performed the surgical procedure for two patients suffering from severe speech disorder caused by slowly progressing ALS. The patients suffered from speech disorder with hypernasality and imprecise and weak articulation during a 6-year course (patient 1) and a 3-year course (patient 2) of slowly progressing ALS. We narrowed bilateral lateral palatopharyngeal wall at velopharyngeal port, and performed this surgery under general anesthesia without muscle relaxant for the two patients. Postoperatively, intelligibility and quality of their speech sounds were greatly improved within one month without any speech therapy. The patients were also able to generate longer speech phrases after the surgery. Importantly, there was no serious complication during or after the surgery. In summary, we performed bilateral narrowing of lateral palatopharyngeal wall as a speech surgery for two patients suffering from severe speech disorder associated with ALS. With this technique, improved intelligibility and quality of speech can be maintained for longer duration for the patients with slowly progressing ALS.
Kamel, Freya; Lichtenstein, Paul; Bellocco, Rino; Sparén, Pär; Sandler, Dale P; Ye, Weimin
Objective To assess the relative risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in families of ALS patients. Methods We conducted a cohort study based on the Swedish Multi-Generation Register (MGR) in 1961-2005. Among 6,671 probands (first ALS case in the family), 1,909 full siblings, 13,947 children, and 5,405 spouses were identified (exposed group). Other persons in MGR, who were siblings, children, or spouses to persons without ALS, served as the reference group. Relative risks of ALS among the exposed group, compared to the reference group, were calculated from Poisson regression models. Concurrence of ALS within twins was assessed in 86,441 twin pairs registered in the Swedish Twin Register. Results Nine cases of ALS were noted among the siblings and 37 cases among the children of the probands, giving a 17-fold risk among the siblings (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.1-30.4) and a 9-fold risk among the children (95% CI, 6.2-12.0), compared to the reference group. Siblings and children had a higher excess risk if the proband was diagnosed at younger age, and the excess risks decreased with increasing age at diagnosis of the proband (p < 0.001). Spouses had no significantly increased risk (p = 0.27). Two cases were identified among the co-twins of ALS probands, giving a relative risk of 32 (95% CI, 5.2-102.6). Interpretation The siblings and children of ALS patients have an around 10-fold risk of ALS compared to the reference group. The excess risks vary with both age and kinship, indicating a major genetic role in familial ALS. PMID:19670447
Benyamin, Beben; He, Ji; Zhao, Qiongyi; Gratten, Jacob; Garton, Fleur; Leo, Paul J; Liu, Zhijun; Mangelsdorf, Marie; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Anderson, Lisa; Butler, Timothy J; Chen, Lu; Chen, Xiang-Ding; Cremin, Katie; Deng, Hong-Weng; Devine, Matthew; Edson, Janette; Fifita, Jennifer A; Furlong, Sarah; Han, Ying-Ying; Harris, Jessica; Henders, Anjali K; Jeffree, Rosalind L; Jin, Zi-Bing; Li, Zhongshan; Li, Ting; Li, Mengmeng; Lin, Yong; Liu, Xiaolu; Marshall, Mhairi; McCann, Emily P; Mowry, Bryan J; Ngo, Shyuan T; Pamphlett, Roger; Ran, Shu; Reutens, David C; Rowe, Dominic B; Sachdev, Perminder; Shah, Sonia; Song, Sharon; Tan, Li-Jun; Tang, Lu; van den Berg, Leonard H; van Rheenen, Wouter; Veldink, Jan H; Wallace, Robyn H; Wheeler, Lawrie; Williams, Kelly L; Wu, Jinyu; Wu, Xin; Yang, Jian; Yue, Weihua; Zhang, Zong-Hong; Zhang, Dai; Noakes, Peter G; Blair, Ian P; Henderson, Robert D; McCombe, Pamela A; Visscher, Peter M; Xu, Huji; Bartlett, Perry F; Brown, Matthew A; Wray, Naomi R; Fan, Dongsheng
Cross-ethnic genetic studies can leverage power from differences in disease epidemiology and population-specific genetic architecture. In particular, the differences in linkage disequilibrium and allele frequency patterns across ethnic groups may increase gene-mapping resolution. Here we use cross-ethnic genetic data in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an adult-onset, rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease. We report analyses of novel genome-wide association study data of 1,234 ALS cases and 2,850 controls. We find a significant association of rs10463311 spanning GPX3-TNIP1 with ALS (p = 1.3 × 10 -8 ), with replication support from two independent Australian samples (combined 576 cases and 683 controls, p = 1.7 × 10 -3 ). Both GPX3 and TNIP1 interact with other known ALS genes (SOD1 and OPTN, respectively). In addition, GGNBP2 was identified using gene-based analysis and summary statistics-based Mendelian randomization analysis, although further replication is needed to confirm this result. Our results increase our understanding of genetic aetiology of ALS.Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease. Here, Wray and colleagues identify association of the GPX3-TNIP1 locus with ALS using cross-ethnic meta-analyses.
Marangi, Giuseppe; Traynor, Bryan J.
The genetic architecture of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is being increasingly understood. In this far-reaching review, we examine what is currently known about ALS genetics and how these genes were initially identified. We also discuss the various types of mutations that might underlie this fatal neurodegenerative condition and outline some of the strategies that might be useful in untangling them. These include expansions of short repeat sequences, common and low-frequency genetic variations, de novo mutations, epigenetic changes, somatic mutations, epistasis, oligogenic and polygenic hypotheses. PMID:25316630
The present review focuses an early history of Japanese amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-related diseases and the current development. In relation to foreign previous reports, five topics are introduced and discussed on ALS with dementia, ALS/Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC), familial ALS (FALS), spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), and multisystem involvement especially in cerebellar system of ALS including ALS/SCA (spinocerebellar ataxia) crossroad mutation Asidan. This review found the great contribution of Japanese reports on the above five topics, and confirmed the great development of ALS-related diseases over the past 120 years.
Turner, Martin R.; Bowser, Robert; Bruijn, Lucie; Dupuis, Luc; Ludolph, Albert; Mcgrath, Michael; Manfredi, Giovanni; Maragakis, Nicholas; Miller, Robert G.; Pullman, Seth L.; Rutkove, Seward B.; Shaw, Pamela J.; Shefner, Jeremy; Fischbeck, Kenneth H.
The last 30 years have seen a major advance in the understanding of the clinical and pathological heterogeneity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and its overlap with frontotemporal dementia. Multiple, seemingly disparate biochemical pathways converge on a common clinical syndrome characterized by progressive loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Pathogenic themes in ALS include excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation, altered energy metabolism, and most recently RNA mis-processing. The transgenic rodent, overexpressing mutant superoxide dismutase-1, is now only one of several models of ALS pathogenesis. The nematode, fruit fly and zebrafish all offer fresh insight, and the development of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons holds promise for the screening of candidate therapeutics. The lack of useful biomarkers in ALS contributes to diagnostic delay, and the inability to stratify patients by prognosis may be an important factor in the failure of therapeutic trials. Biomarkers sensitive to disease activity might lessen reliance on clinical measures and survival as trial endpoints and reduce study length. Emerging proteomic markers of neuronal loss and glial activity in cerebrospinal fluid, a cortical signature derived from advanced structural and functional MRI, and the development of more sensitive measurements of lower motor neuron physiology are leading a new phase of biomarker-driven therapeutic discovery. PMID:23678877
Bock, Meredith; Duong, Y-Nhy; Kim, Anthony; Allen, Isabel; Murphy, Jennifer; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine
To prospectively evaluate the progression of cognitive-behavioral function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and examine the association of cognitive-behavioral deficits with disease progression, patient quality of life (QOL), and caregiver burden. We evaluated cognitive-behavioral function using the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Cognitive Behavioral Screen at enrollment and after 7 months in a cohort of patients with ALS. Paired t tests were used to evaluate the change in the 2 assessments. Linear regression and Kruskal-Wallis tests were applied to investigate how initial cognitive or behavioral status related to outcomes. The mean test-retest interval was 6.8 months (SD 1.6). Cognitive status of the study population (n = 49) overall did not change over the study period ( p = 0.06) despite progression of motor weakness ( p < 0.001), though small subsets of the sample demonstrate cognitive change. Patients initially classified as behaviorally normal showed increased behavioral problems over time ( t = -2.8, p = 0.009). Decline in cognitive (β = -1.3, p = 0.03) and behavioral (β = -0.76, p = 0.002) status predicted increasing caregiver burden. Behavioral abnormalities predicted decline in forced vital capacity and ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised score ( p = 0.008, 0.012) in the study population and patient QOL in the most severely affected group ( t = 4.3, p = 0.003). Cognitive-behavioral change is a key aspect of disease heterogeneity in ALS. Executive function in ALS overall remains stable over 7 months as detected by an administered screening tool. However, patients may develop caregiver-reported behavioral symptoms in that time period. Screening for caregiver-reported symptoms has a particular utility in predicting future clinical decline, increased caregiver burden, and worsening patient QOL.
Chiò, A; Logroscino, G; Traynor, BJ; Collins, J; Simeone, JC; Goldstein, LA; White, LA
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
Zhao, Weihua; Beers, David R.; Hooten, Kristopher G.; Sieglaff, Douglas H.; Zhang, Aijun; Kalyana-Sundaram, Shanker; Traini, Christopher M.; Halsey, Wendy S.; Hughes, Ashley M.; Sathe, Ganesh M.; Livi, George P.; Fan, Guo-Huang
Importance Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a common adult-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Patients with ALS have persistent peripheral and central inflammatory responses including abnormally functioning T cells and activated microglia. However, much less is known about the inflammatory gene profile of circulating innate immune monocytes in these patients. Objective To characterize the transcriptomics of peripheral monocytes in patients with ALS. Design, Setting, and Participants Monocytes were isolated from peripheral blood of 43 patients with ALS and 22 healthy control individuals. Total RNA was extracted from the monocytes and subjected to deep RNA sequencing, and these results were validated by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Main Outcomes and Measures The differential expressed gene signatures of these monocytes were identified using unbiased RNA sequencing strategy for gene expression profiling. Results The demographics between the patients with ALS (mean [SD] age, 58.8 [1.57] years; 55.8% were men and 44.2% were women; 90.7% were white, 4.65% were Hispanic, 2.33% were black, and 2.33% were Asian) and control individuals were similar (mean [SD] age, 57.6 [2.15] years; 50.0% were men and 50.0% were women; 90.9% were white, none were Hispanic, none were black, and 9.09% were Asian). RNA sequencing data from negative selected monocytes revealed 233 differential expressed genes in ALS monocytes compared with healthy control monocytes. Notably, ALS monocytes demonstrated a unique inflammation-related gene expression profile, the most prominent of which, including IL1B, IL8, FOSB, CXCL1, and CXCL2, were confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (IL8, mean [SE], 1.00 [0.18]; P = .002; FOSB, 1.00 [0.21]; P = .009; CXCL1, 1.00 [0.14]; P = .002; and CXCL2, 1.00 [0.11]; P = .01). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis monocytes
Hirano, Makito; Nakamura, Yusaku; Saigoh, Kazumasa; Sakamoto, Hikaru; Ueno, Shuichi; Isono, Chiharu; Mitsui, Yoshiyuki; Kusunoki, Susumu
Accumulating evidence has proven that mutations in the VCP gene encoding valosin-containing protein (VCP) cause inclusion body myopathy with Paget disease of the bone and frontotemporal dementia. This gene was later found to be causative for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease, occurring typically in elderly persons. We thus sequenced the VCP gene in 75 Japanese patients with sporadic ALS negative for mutations in other genes causative for ALS and found a novel mutation, p.Arg487His, in 1 patient. The newly identified mutant as well as known mutants rendered neuronal cells susceptible to oxidative stress. The presence of the mutation in the Japanese population extends the geographic region for involvement of the VCP gene in sporadic ALS to East Asia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Neumann, Manuela; Bentmann, Eva; Dormann, Dorothee; Jawaid, Ali; DeJesus-Hernandez, Mariely; Ansorge, Olaf; Roeber, Sigrun; Kretzschmar, Hans A; Munoz, David G; Kusaka, Hirofumi; Yokota, Osamu; Ang, Lee-Cyn; Bilbao, Juan; Rademakers, Rosa; Haass, Christian; Mackenzie, Ian R A
Accumulation of the DNA/RNA binding protein fused in sarcoma as cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons and glial cells is the pathological hallmark of all patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with mutations in FUS as well as in several subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, which are not associated with FUS mutations. The mechanisms leading to inclusion formation and fused in sarcoma-associated neurodegeneration are only poorly understood. Because fused in sarcoma belongs to a family of proteins known as FET, which also includes Ewing's sarcoma and TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15, we investigated the potential involvement of these other FET protein family members in the pathogenesis of fused in sarcoma proteinopathies. Immunohistochemical analysis of FET proteins revealed a striking difference among the various conditions, with pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations being labelled exclusively for fused in sarcoma, whereas fused in sarcoma-positive inclusions in subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration also consistently immunostained for TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 and variably for Ewing's sarcoma. Immunoblot analysis of proteins extracted from post-mortem tissue of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with fused in sarcoma pathology demonstrated a relative shift of all FET proteins towards insoluble protein fractions, while genetic analysis of the TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 and Ewing's sarcoma gene did not identify any pathogenic variants. Cell culture experiments replicated the findings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations by confirming the absence of TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 and Ewing's sarcoma alterations upon expression of mutant fused in sarcoma. In contrast, all endogenous FET proteins were recruited into cytoplasmic stress granules upon general inhibition of Transportin-mediated nuclear import, mimicking the findings in frontotemporal lobar degeneration
Yamada, Hiroki; Takeda, Takahiro; Uchihara, Toshiki; Sato, Shizuko; Kirimura, Susumu; Hirota, Yuka; Kodama, Makoto; Kitagawa, Masanobu; Hirokawa, Katsuiku; Yokota, Takanori; Toru, Shuta
Subicular degeneration occurs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. However, it was unknown whether microscopic subicular degeneration could be observed as macroscopic changes and whether these changes were associated with the transactive-response DNA binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43) pathology. Topographic differences between subicular degeneration caused by ALS and Alzheimer disease (AD) had also not been characterized. Here we investigated the subiculum and related areas in autopsied brains from 3 ALS and 3 AD patients. Macroscopic subicular thinning and corresponding astrocytosis were pronounced in ALS compared to AD. This thinning was frequently accompanied by TDP-43 pathology in the transentorhinal cortex and nucleus accumbens. The preferential susceptibility of the perforant pathway to TDP-43 deposition may be an underlying cause of subicular thinning in ALS. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Giacoppo, Sabrina; Mazzon, Emanuela
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common degenerative disease of the motor neuron system. Over the last years, a growing interest was aimed to discovery new innovative and safer therapeutic approaches in the ALS treatment. In this context, the bioactive compounds of Cannabis sativa have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in preclinical models of central nervous system disease. However, most of the studies proving the ability of cannabinoids in delay disease progression and prolong survival in ALS were performed in animal model, whereas the few clinical trials that investigated cannabinoids-based medicines were focused only on the alleviation of ALS-related symptoms, not on the control of disease progression. The aim of this report was to provide a short but important overview of evidences that are useful to better characterize the efficacy as well as the molecular pathways modulated by cannabinoids.
Patten, Shunmoogum A; Aggad, Dina; Martinez, Jose; Tremblay, Elsa; Petrillo, Janet; Armstrong, Gary Ab; La Fontaine, Alexandre; Maios, Claudia; Liao, Meijiang; Ciura, Sorana; Wen, Xiao-Yan; Rafuse, Victor; Ichida, Justin; Zinman, Lorne; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Kabashi, Edor; Robitaille, Richard; Korngut, Lawrence; Parker, J Alexander; Drapeau, Pierre
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing, fatal disorder with no effective treatment. We used simple genetic models of ALS to screen phenotypically for potential therapeutic compounds. We screened libraries of compounds in C. elegans, validated hits in zebrafish, and tested the most potent molecule in mice and in a small clinical trial. We identified a class of neuroleptics that restored motility in C. elegans and in zebrafish, and the most potent was pimozide, which blocked T-type Ca2+ channels in these simple models and stabilized neuromuscular transmission in zebrafish and enhanced it in mice. Finally, a short randomized controlled trial of sporadic ALS subjects demonstrated stabilization of motility and evidence of target engagement at the neuromuscular junction. Simple genetic models are, thus, useful in identifying promising compounds for the treatment of ALS, such as neuroleptics, which may stabilize neuromuscular transmission and prolong survival in this disease.
Patten, Shunmoogum A.; Aggad, Dina; Martinez, Jose; Tremblay, Elsa; Petrillo, Janet; Armstrong, Gary A.B.; Maios, Claudia; Liao, Meijiang; Ciura, Sorana; Wen, Xiao-Yan; Rafuse, Victor; Ichida, Justin; Zinman, Lorne; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Kabashi, Edor; Robitaille, Richard; Korngut, Lawrence; Parker, J. Alexander
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing, fatal disorder with no effective treatment. We used simple genetic models of ALS to screen phenotypically for potential therapeutic compounds. We screened libraries of compounds in C. elegans, validated hits in zebrafish, and tested the most potent molecule in mice and in a small clinical trial. We identified a class of neuroleptics that restored motility in C. elegans and in zebrafish, and the most potent was pimozide, which blocked T-type Ca2+ channels in these simple models and stabilized neuromuscular transmission in zebrafish and enhanced it in mice. Finally, a short randomized controlled trial of sporadic ALS subjects demonstrated stabilization of motility and evidence of target engagement at the neuromuscular junction. Simple genetic models are, thus, useful in identifying promising compounds for the treatment of ALS, such as neuroleptics, which may stabilize neuromuscular transmission and prolong survival in this disease. PMID:29202456
Zhang, Ke; Coyne, Alyssa N; Lloyd, Thomas E
The fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster has been widely used to study neurodegenerative diseases. The conservation of nervous system biology coupled with the rapid life cycle and powerful genetic tools in the fly have enabled the identification of novel therapeutic targets that have been validated in vertebrate model systems and human patients. A recent example is in the study of the devastating motor neuron degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutations in genes that regulate RNA metabolism are a major cause of inherited ALS, and functional analysis of these genes in the fly nervous system has shed light on how mutations cause disease. Importantly, unbiased genetic screens have identified key pathways that contribute to ALS pathogenesis such as nucleocytoplasmic transport and stress granule assembly. In this review, we will discuss the utilization of Drosophila models of ALS with defects in RNA metabolism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
McCann, E P; Williams, K L; Fifita, J A; Tarr, I S; O'Connor, J; Rowe, D B; Nicholson, G A; Blair, I P
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous fatal neurodegenerative disease. Around 10% of ALS cases are hereditary. ALS gene discoveries have provided most of our understanding of disease pathogenesis. We aimed to describe the genetic landscape of ALS in Australia by assessing 1013 Australian ALS patients for known ALS mutations by direct sequencing, whole exome sequencing or repeat primed polymerase chain reaction. Age of disease onset and disease duration were used for genotype-phenotype correlations. We report 60.8% of Australian ALS families in this cohort harbour a known ALS mutation. Hexanucleotide repeat expansions in C9orf72 accounted for 40.6% of families and 2.9% of sporadic patients. We also report ALS families with mutations in SOD1 (13.7%), FUS (2.4%), TARDBP (1.9%), UBQLN2 (.9%), OPTN (.5%), TBK1 (.5%) and CCNF (.5%). We present genotype-phenotype correlations between these genes as well as between gene mutations. Notably, C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion positive patients experienced significantly later disease onset than ALS mutation patients. Among SOD1 families, p.I114T positive patients had significantly later onset and longer survival. Our report highlights a unique spectrum of ALS gene frequencies among patients from the Australian population, and further, provides correlations between specific ALS mutations with disease onset and/or duration. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Bourke, Stephen C; Tomlinson, Mark; Williams, Tim L; Bullock, Robert E; Shaw, Pamela J; Gibson, G John
Few patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis currently receive non-invasive ventilation (NIV), reflecting clinical uncertainty about the role of this intervention. We aimed to assess the effect of NIV on quality of life and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in a randomised controlled trial. 92 of 102 eligible patients participated. They were assessed every 2 months and randomly assigned to NIV (n=22) or standard care (n=19) when they developed either orthopnoea with maximum inspiratory pressure less than 60% of that predicted or symptomatic hypercapnia. Primary validated quality-of-life outcome measures were the short form 36 mental component summary (MCS) and the sleep apnoea quality-of-life index symptoms domain (sym). Both time maintained above 75% of baseline (T(i)MCS and T(i)sym) and mean improvement (microMCS and microsym) were measured. NIV improved T(i)MCS, T(i)sym, microMCS, microsym, and survival in all patients and in the subgroup with better bulbar function (n=20). This subgroup showed improvement in several measures of quality of life and a median survival benefit of 205 days (p=0.006) with maintained quality of life for most of this period. NIV improved some quality-of-life indices in those with poor bulbar function, including microsym (p=0.018), but conferred no survival benefit. In patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis without severe bulbar dysfunction, NIV improves survival with maintenance of, and improvement in, quality of life. The survival benefit from NIV in this group is much greater than that from currently available neuroprotective therapy. In patients with severe bulbar impairment, NIV improves sleep-related symptoms, but is unlikely to confer a large survival advantage.
Ruoppolo, G; Schettino, I; Frasca, V; Giacomelli, E; Prosperini, L; Cambieri, C; Roma, R; Greco, A; Mancini, P; De Vincentiis, M; Silani, V; Inghilleri, M
To characterize swallowing deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); investigate the delay in dysphagia onset; estimate correlations between dysphagia severity and patients' functional status; identify the symptom(s) most likely to predict dysphagia. A group of 49 consecutive patients with ALS, 14 with bulbar onset and 35 with spinal onset, underwent swallowing evaluation including bedside and fiberoptic endoscopic examination to detect dysphagia. Patients with dysphagia were more likely than those without to have bulbar onset ALS (P = 0.02); more severely impaired chewing (P = 0.01); and tongue muscle deficits (P = 0.001). The only variable measured at first examination significantly associated with dysphagia was a more than mild tongue muscle deficit. The only variable useful in predicting dysphagia was a chewing deficit. In 10 of the 49 patients studied, swallowing evaluation disclosed an impaired cough reflex. Dysphagia in patients with ALS correlates significantly with bulbar onset and with oral swallowing impairment. Fiberoptic swallowing evaluation is a useful tool for detecting swallowing deficits and laryngeal sensitivity in patients with ALS. An impaired cough reflex is an unexpected finding in many patients with ALS. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Oh, Seong Il; Oh, Ki Wook; Kim, Hee Jin; Park, Jin Seok; Kim, Seung Hyun
The increasing recognition that deficits in social emotions occur in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is helping to explain the spectrum of neuropsychological dysfunctions, thus supporting the view of ALS as a multisystem disorder involving neuropsychological deficits as well as motor deficits. The aim of this study was to characterize the emotion perception abilities of Korean patients with ALS based on the recognition of facial expressions. Twenty-four patients with ALS and 24 age- and sex-matched healthy controls completed neuropsychological tests and facial emotion recognition tasks [ChaeLee Korean Facial Expressions of Emotions (ChaeLee-E)]. The ChaeLee-E test includes facial expressions for seven emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, surprise, and neutral. The ability to perceive facial emotions was significantly worse among ALS patients performed than among healthy controls [65.2±18.0% vs. 77.1±6.6% (mean±SD), p=0.009]. Eight of the 24 patients (33%) scored below the 5th percentile score of controls for recognizing facial emotions. Emotion perception deficits occur in Korean ALS patients, particularly regarding facial expressions of emotion. These findings expand the spectrum of cognitive and behavioral dysfunction associated with ALS into emotion processing dysfunction.
Musaeva, L S; Zavalishin, I A; Gulevskaia, T S
Retrospective clinical analysis with a special focus on pyramidal syndrome expression in the disease course as well as morphological study of brain and spinal structures in all levels of cortical-spinal projection (from brain motor cortex to spinal lumbar segments) have been conducted for 11 section cases of lateral amyotrophic sclerosis (LAS), sporadic type. Two groups of patients were studied: with pronounced pyramidal syndrome (spasticity, hyperreflexia, etc)--7 cases and with some signs of pyramidal deficiency (anisoreflexia, stability of peritoneal reflexes)--4 cases. Pyramidal syndrome in LAS is considered as an emergence of current neurodegenerative process, embracing a significant part of upper motor neurons of both precentral convolution and its axons along the whole length of cerebrospinal axis in the form of cytoplasmic inclusions and axonal spheroids. A presence of pathomorphological changes in other upper segmental structures of motor control reveals their role in pyramidal deficiency. Comparative analysis showed that expression of pyramidal syndrome signs and its correlation to atrophic paresis appearances is specifically determined by the severity of upper and lower motor neurons lesions. With regard to morphological changes in CNS structures, the peculiarities of some pyramidal syndrome appearances in LAS are analyzed.
Álvarez, N; Díez, L; Avellaneda, C; Serra, M; Rubio, M Á
Pyramidal signs (hyperreflexia, spasticity, Babinski sign) are essential for the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, these signs are not always present at onset and may vary over time, besides which their role in disease evolution is controversial. Our goal was to describe which pyramidal signs were present and how they evolved in a cohort of patients with ALS, as well as their role in prognosis. Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected patients diagnosed with ALS in our centre from 1990 to 2015. Of a total of 130 patients with ALS, 34 (26.1%) patients showed no pyramidal signs at the first visit while 15 (11.5%) had a complete pyramidal syndrome. Of those patients without initial pyramidal signs, mean time of appearance of the first signs was 4.5 months. Babinski sign was positive in 64 (49.2%) patients, hyperreflexia in 90 (69.2%) and 22 (16.9%) patients had spasticity. Pyramidal signs tended to remain unchanged over time, although they seem to appear at later stages or even disappear with time in some patients. We found no association between survival and the presence of changes to pyramidal signs, although decreased spasticity was associated with greater clinical deterioration (ALSFR scale) (P<.001). A quarter of patients with ALS initially showed no pyramidal signs and in some cases they even disappear over time. These data support the need for tools that assess the pyramidal tract. Copyright © 2016 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Desseille, Céline; Deforges, Séverine; Biondi, Olivier; Houdebine, Léo; D’amico, Domenico; Lamazière, Antonin; Caradeuc, Cédric; Bertho, Gildas; Bruneteau, Gaëlle; Weill, Laure; Bastin, Jean; Djouadi, Fatima; Salachas, François; Lopes, Philippe; Chanoine, Christophe; Massaad, Charbel; Charbonnier, Frédéric
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by the specific loss of motor neurons, leading to muscle paralysis and death. Although the cellular mechanisms underlying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-induced toxicity for motor neurons remain poorly understood, growing evidence suggest a defective energetic metabolism in skeletal muscles participating in ALS-induced motor neuron death ultimately destabilizing neuromuscular junctions. In the present study, we report that a specific exercise paradigm, based on a high intensity and amplitude swimming exercise, significantly improves glucose metabolism in ALS mice. Using physiological tests and a biophysics approach based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), we unexpectedly found that SOD1(G93A) ALS mice suffered from severe glucose intolerance, which was counteracted by high intensity swimming but not moderate intensity running exercise. Furthermore, swimming exercise restored the highly ALS-sensitive tibialis muscle through an autophagy-linked mechanism involving the expression of key glucose transporters and metabolic enzymes, including GLUT4 and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). Importantly, GLUT4 and GAPDH expression defects were also found in muscles from ALS patients. Moreover, we report that swimming exercise induced a triglyceride accumulation in ALS tibialis, likely resulting from an increase in the expression levels of lipid transporters and biosynthesis enzymes, notably DGAT1 and related proteins. All these data provide the first molecular basis for the differential effects of specific exercise type and intensity in ALS, calling for the use of physical exercise as an appropriate intervention to alleviate symptoms in this debilitating disease. PMID:29104532
Kovrazhkina, E A; Razinskaya, O D; Gubsky, L V
To clarify clinical polymorphism of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The study was based on records of a hospital personalized register. Ninety-four patients, aged from 25 to 81 years, diagnosed with ALS according to El Escorial criteria were included. Electromyography and, if necessary, transcranial magnetic stimulation and magnetic-resonance tomography were used to confirm the diagnosis. Disease progression was assessed with the ARSFRS. Age at disease onset, progression rate and duration of survival of patients, rare symptoms of ALS ('extramotor'), time for palliative care (gastrostomy, non-invasive and invasive lung ventilation) and provision of the care to the patient, family history were recorded in a specially designed questionnaire. Most of the patients had sporadic ALS, only two familial cases were identified. Spinal onset ALS was found in 66.0% of the patients, bulbar onset in 29.8%, diffuse onset (spinal and bulbar motor neurons were affected simultaneously) in 4.2%. Moderate ALS progression was observed in 42.6% of the patients, mean time till death was 3.0±1.2 years. A slow progression was found in patients with cervical, low back and bulbar onset. A rapid and even 'momentary' type of progression was in diffuse and breast onset. An extremely slow progression with the long-term hospital treatment and survival >5 years was found in 9.7%. Rare ALS symptoms were represented by specific cognitive and psychological impairments, a type of frontal/temporal dysfunction, but only 5 (5.3%) patients were diagnosed with ALS-dementia. Signs of pathological muscle fatigue (myasthenic syndrome) were identified in 18 (19.1%), extrapyramidal disorders in 5 (5.3%), coordination disorders in 4 (4.3%), pain in 12 (12.8%), sensory symptoms in 5 (5.3%) of the patients. ALS is a multisystemic neurodegeneration disease though the progressive motor neuron death determines the fatal outcome.
Spataro, R; Ciriacono, M; Manno, C; La Bella, V
To explore the effectiveness of communication and the variables affecting the eye-tracking computer system (ETCS) utilization in patients with late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We performed a telephone survey on 30 patients with advanced non-demented ALS that were provisioned an ECTS device. Median age at interview was 55 years (IQR = 48-62), with a relatively high education (13 years, IQR = 8-13). A one-off interview was made and answers were later provided with the help of the caregiver. The interview included items about demographic and clinical variables affecting the daily ETCS utilization. The median time of ETCS device possession was 15 months (IQR = 9-20). The actual daily utilization was 300 min (IQR = 100-720), mainly for the communication with relatives/caregiver, internet surfing, e-mailing, and social networking. 23.3% of patients with ALS (n = 7) had a low daily ETCS utilization; most reported causes were eye-gaze tiredness and oculomotor dysfunction. Eye-tracking computer system is a valuable device for AAC in patients with ALS, and it can be operated with a good performance. The development of oculomotor impairment may limit its functional use. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Mao, Yimin; Kuo, Su-Wei; Chen, Le; Heckman, C J; Jiang, M C
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a devastative neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective loss of motoneurons. While several breakthroughs have been made in identifying ALS genetic defects, the detailed molecular mechanisms are still unclear. These genetic defects involve in numerous biological processes, which converge to a common destiny: motoneuron degeneration. In addition, the common comorbid Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) further complicates the investigation of ALS etiology. In this study, we aimed to explore the protein-protein interaction network built on known ALS-causative genes to identify essential proteins and common downstream proteins between classical ALS and ALS+FTD (classical ALS + ALS/FTD) groups. The results suggest that classical ALS and ALS+FTD share similar essential protein set (VCP, FUS, TDP-43 and hnRNPA1) but have distinctive functional enrichment profiles. Thus, disruptions to these essential proteins might cause motoneuron susceptible to cellular stresses and eventually vulnerable to proteinopathies. Moreover, we identified a common downstream protein, ubiquitin-C, extensively interconnected with ALS-causative proteins (22 out of 24) which was not linked to ALS previously. Our in silico approach provides the computational background for identifying ALS therapeutic targets, and points out the potential downstream common ground of ALS-causative mutations.
Rademakers, Rosa; Stewart, Heather; DeJesus-Hernandez, Mariely; Krieger, Charles; Graff-Radford, Neill; Fabros, Marife; Briemberg, Hannah; Cashman, Neil; Eisen, Andrew; Mackenzie, Ian R. A.
Introduction Mutations in the fused in sarcoma (FUS) gene have recently been found to cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS). Methods We screened FUS in a cohort of 200 ALS patients [32 FALS and 168 sporadic ALS (SALS)]. Results In one FALS proband, we identified a mutation (p.R521C) that was also present in her affected daughter. Their clinical phenotype was remarkably similar and atypical of classic ALS, with symmetric proximal pelvic and pectoral weakness. Distal weakness and upper motor neuron features only developed late. Neuropathological examination demonstrated FUS-immunoreactive neuronal and glial inclusions in the spinal cord and many extramotor regions, but no TDP-43 pathology. We also identified a novel mutation (p.G187S) in one SALS patient. Overall, FUS mutations accounted for 3% of our non-SOD1, non-TARDBP FALS cases and 0.6% of SALS. Discussion This study demonstrates that the phenotype with FUS mutations extends beyond classical ALS. It suggests there are specific clinicogenetic correlations and provides the first detailed neuropathological description. PMID:20544928
Huynh, William; Simon, Neil G; Grosskreutz, Julian; Turner, Martin R; Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C
Clinical signs of upper motor neuron (UMN) involvement are an important component in supporting the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but are often not easily appreciated in a limb that is concurrently affected by muscle wasting and lower motor neuron degeneration, particularly in the early symptomatic stages of ALS. Whilst recent criteria have been proposed to facilitate improved detection of lower motor neuron impairment through electrophysiological features that have improved diagnostic sensitivity, assessment of upper motor neuron involvement remains essentially clinical. As a result, there is often a significant diagnostic delay that in turn may impact institution of disease-modifying therapy and access to other optimal patient management. Biomarkers of pathological UMN involvement are also required to ensure patients with suspected ALS have timely access to appropriate therapeutic trials. The present review provides an analysis of current and recently developed assessment techniques, including novel imaging and electrophysiological approaches used to study corticomotoneuronal pathology in ALS. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sebastião, Ana M; Rei, Nádia; Ribeiro, Joaquim A
In the present review we discuss the potential involvement of adenosinergic signaling, in particular the role of adenosine receptors, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Though the literature on this topic is not abundant, the information so far available on adenosine receptors in animal models of ALS highlights the interest to continue to explore the role of these receptors in this neurodegenerative disease. Indeed, all motor neurons affected in ALS are responsive to adenosine receptor ligands but interestingly, there are alterations in pre-symptomatic or early symptomatic stages that mirror those in advanced disease stages. Information starts to emerge pointing toward a beneficial role of A 2A receptors (A 2A R), most probably at early disease states, and a detrimental role of caffeine, in clear contrast with what occurs in other neurodegenerative diseases. However, some evidence also exists on a beneficial action of A 2A R antagonists. It may happen that there are time windows where A 2A R prove beneficial and others where their blockade is required. Furthermore, the same changes may not occur simultaneously at the different synapses. In line with this, it is not fully understood if ALS is a dying back disease or if it propagates in a centrifugal way. It thus seems crucial to understand how motor neuron dysfunction occurs, how adenosine receptors are involved in those dysfunctions and whether the early changes in purinergic signaling are compensatory or triggers for the disease. Getting this information is crucial before starting the design of purinergic based strategies to halt or delay disease progression.
Browne, Elisse C; Parakh, Sonam; Duncan, Luke F; Langford, Steven J; Atkin, Julie D; Abbott, Belinda M
Cellular studies have been undertaken on a nonamer peptide nucleic acid (PNA) sequence, which binds to mRNA encoding superoxide dismutase 1, and a series of peptide nucleic acids conjugated to synthetic lipophilic vitamin analogs including a recently prepared menadione (vitamin K) analog. Reduction of both mutant superoxide dismutase 1 inclusion formation and endoplasmic reticulum stress, two of the key cellular pathological hallmarks in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, by two of the prepared PNA oligomers is reported for the first time. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wu, Chi-Hong; Fallini, Claudia; Ticozzi, Nicola; Keagle, Pamela J; Sapp, Peter C; Piotrowska, Katarzyna; Lowe, Patrick; Koppers, Max; McKenna-Yasek, Diane; Baron, Desiree M; Kost, Jason E; Gonzalez-Perez, Paloma; Fox, Andrew D; Adams, Jenni; Taroni, Franco; Tiloca, Cinzia; Leclerc, Ashley Lyn; Chafe, Shawn C; Mangroo, Dev; Moore, Melissa J; Zitzewitz, Jill A; Xu, Zuo-Shang; van den Berg, Leonard H; Glass, Jonathan D; Siciliano, Gabriele; Cirulli, Elizabeth T; Goldstein, David B; Salachas, Francois; Meininger, Vincent; Rossoll, Wilfried; Ratti, Antonia; Gellera, Cinzia; Bosco, Daryl A; Bassell, Gary J; Silani, Vincenzo; Drory, Vivian E; Brown, Robert H; Landers, John E
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder resulting from motor neuron death. Approximately 10% of cases are familial (FALS), typically with a dominant inheritance mode. Despite numerous advances in recent years, nearly 50% of FALS cases have unknown genetic aetiology. Here we show that mutations within the profilin 1 (PFN1) gene can cause FALS. PFN1 is crucial for the conversion of monomeric (G)-actin to filamentous (F)-actin. Exome sequencing of two large ALS families showed different mutations within the PFN1 gene. Further sequence analysis identified 4 mutations in 7 out of 274 FALS cases. Cells expressing PFN1 mutants contain ubiquitinated, insoluble aggregates that in many cases contain the ALS-associated protein TDP-43. PFN1 mutants also display decreased bound actin levels and can inhibit axon outgrowth. Furthermore, primary motor neurons expressing mutant PFN1 display smaller growth cones with a reduced F/G-actin ratio. These observations further document that cytoskeletal pathway alterations contribute to ALS pathogenesis.
Wainger, Brian J; Kiskinis, Evangelos; Mellin, Cassidy; Wiskow, Ole; Han, Steve S W; Sandoe, Jackson; Perez, Numa P; Williams, Luis A; Lee, Seungkyu; Boulting, Gabriella; Berry, James D; Brown, Robert H; Cudkowicz, Merit E; Bean, Bruce P; Eggan, Kevin; Woolf, Clifford J
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of the motor nervous system. We show using multielectrode array and patch-clamp recordings that hyperexcitability detected by clinical neurophysiological studies of ALS patients is recapitulated in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons from ALS patients harboring superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), C9orf72, and fused-in-sarcoma mutations. Motor neurons produced from a genetically corrected but otherwise isogenic SOD1(+/+) stem cell line do not display the hyperexcitability phenotype. SOD1(A4V/+) ALS patient-derived motor neurons have reduced delayed-rectifier potassium current amplitudes relative to control-derived motor neurons, a deficit that may underlie their hyperexcitability. The Kv7 channel activator retigabine both blocks the hyperexcitability and improves motor neuron survival in vitro when tested in SOD1 mutant ALS cases. Therefore, electrophysiological characterization of human stem cell-derived neurons can reveal disease-related mechanisms and identify therapeutic candidates. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hervieu-Bègue, M; Rouaud, O; Graule Petot, A; Catteau, A; Giroud, M
A total of 30 to 50% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients suffer from cognitive disorders. The aim of the study is to characterize these disorders and to assess semantic memory in non-demented ALS patients. The secondary aim is to look for a link between disease type and neuropsychological characteristics. Patients were followed in an ALS center in Dijon. The following neuropsychological tests were used in this study: Folstein test, BREF test, verbal fluency, Isaac test, GRESEM test and TOP 30 test. Fifteen ALS patients were included. Nine of them (60%) were suffering from a semantic memory disorder. There was no correlation between ALS characteristics and the semantic memory disorder. This is the first study to reveal a semantic memory disorder in ALS. This result accentuates the hypothesis that ALS and semantic dementia are two phenotypes of the same degenerative process linked to TDP 43 proteinopathy. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.
Martin, Naomi H; Lawrence, Vanessa; Murray, Joanna; Janssen, Anna; Higginson, Irene; Lyall, Rebecca; Burman, Rachel; Leigh, P Nigel; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Goldstein, Laura H
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. © The Author(s) 2015.
Shayya, Luay; Babu, Suma; Pioro, Erik P; Li, Jianbo; Li, Yuebing
We compare the electrodiagnostic (EDX) yield of limb muscles in revealing lower motor neuron (LMN) dysfunction by electromyography (EMG) in early stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Single-site retrospective review Results: This study includes 122 consecutive patients with possible ALS as defined by revised El Escorial Criteria. Distal limb muscles show more frequent EMG abnormalities than proximal muscles. EDX yield is higher in the limb where weakness begins and when clinical signs of LMN dysfunction are evident. Adoption of Awaji criteria increases the yield of EMG positive segments significantly in the cervical (p<0.0005) and lumbosacral regions (P<0.0001), and upgrades 19 patients into probable and 1 patient into definite categories. Electromyographic abnormalities are distal limb-predominant in early stage ALS. A redefinition of an EDX-positive cervical or lumbosacral segment, with an emphasis on distal limb muscles, may result in an earlier ALS diagnosis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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
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.
Rzhepetskyy, Yuriy; Lazniewska, Joanna; Blesneac, Iulia; Pamphlett, Roger; Weiss, Norbert
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. In a recent study by Steinberg and colleagues, 2 recessive missense mutations were identified in the Cav3.2 T-type calcium channel gene (CACNA1H), in a family with an affected proband (early onset, long duration ALS) and 2 unaffected parents. We have introduced and functionally characterized these mutations using transiently expressed human Cav3.2 channels in tsA-201 cells. Both of these mutations produced mild but significant changes on T-type channel activity that are consistent with a loss of channel function. Computer modeling in thalamic reticular neurons suggested that these mutations result in decreased neuronal excitability of thalamic structures. Taken together, these findings implicate CACNA1H as a susceptibility gene in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Olney, Nicholas T; Goodkind, Madeleine S; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Whalen, Patrick K; Williamson, Craig A; Holley, Deborah E; Verstaen, Alice; Brown, Laurel M; Miller, Bruce L; Kornak, John; Levenson, Robert W; Rosen, Howard J
Pathological laughing and crying is a disorder of emotional expression seen in a number of neurological diseases. The aetiology is poorly understood, but clinical descriptions suggest a disorder of emotion regulation. The goals of this study were: (i) to characterize the subjective, behavioural and physiological emotional reactions that occur during episodes of pathological laughing and crying; (ii) to compare responses during these episodes to those that occur when emotions are elicited under standard conditions (watching sad and amusing emotional films, being startled); and (iii) to examine the ability of patients with this disorder to regulate their emotions under standardized conditions. Twenty-one patients with pathological laughing and crying due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 14 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but no pathological laughing and crying were studied. Emotional measures included self-reported emotional experience, video recordings of facial reactivity and peripheral physiological responses (skin conductance, heart rate and somatic activity). Nineteen of the 21 patients with histories of pathological laughing and crying had at least one episode in the laboratory that they agreed constituted pathological laughing or crying (a total of 56 episodes were documented). Compared with viewing sad and amusing films, the episodes were associated with greater facial and physiological activation. Contrary to many clinical descriptions, episodes were often induced by contextually appropriate stimuli and associated with strong experiences of emotion that were consistent with the display. When instructed to regulate their facial responses to emotion-eliciting films, patients with pathological laughing and crying showed impairments compared with patients who did not have a history of this disorder. These findings support the idea that pathological laughing and crying represents activation of all channels of emotional responding (i.e. behavioural
Olney, Nicholas T.; Goodkind, Madeleine S.; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Whalen, Patrick K.; Williamson, Craig A.; Holley, Deborah E.; Verstaen, Alice; Brown, Laurel M.; Miller, Bruce L.; Kornak, John; Levenson, Robert W.
Pathological laughing and crying is a disorder of emotional expression seen in a number of neurological diseases. The aetiology is poorly understood, but clinical descriptions suggest a disorder of emotion regulation. The goals of this study were: (i) to characterize the subjective, behavioural and physiological emotional reactions that occur during episodes of pathological laughing and crying; (ii) to compare responses during these episodes to those that occur when emotions are elicited under standard conditions (watching sad and amusing emotional films, being startled); and (iii) to examine the ability of patients with this disorder to regulate their emotions under standardized conditions. Twenty-one patients with pathological laughing and crying due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 14 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but no pathological laughing and crying were studied. Emotional measures included self-reported emotional experience, video recordings of facial reactivity and peripheral physiological responses (skin conductance, heart rate and somatic activity). Nineteen of the 21 patients with histories of pathological laughing and crying had at least one episode in the laboratory that they agreed constituted pathological laughing or crying (a total of 56 episodes were documented). Compared with viewing sad and amusing films, the episodes were associated with greater facial and physiological activation. Contrary to many clinical descriptions, episodes were often induced by contextually appropriate stimuli and associated with strong experiences of emotion that were consistent with the display. When instructed to regulate their facial responses to emotion-eliciting films, patients with pathological laughing and crying showed impairments compared with patients who did not have a history of this disorder. These findings support the idea that pathological laughing and crying represents activation of all channels of emotional responding (i.e. behavioural
Van Damme, Philip; Robberecht, Wim
This review examines the clinical implications of recent breakthroughs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS has been found to be a highly variable condition at the clinical, genetic and mechanistic level. The study of newly discovered genetic causes for ALS has demonstrated that in addition to the effect of toxic mutant proteins, abnormalities of RNA householding contribute to motor neuron degeneration. Furthermore, the classic distinction between gain of function and loss of function may be an oversimplification of the biological reality. The most important clinical breakthrough was the finding of intronic hexanucleotide repeat expansions in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) as a common cause of ALS, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and ALS with concomitant FTLD. This provides unambiguous evidence that ALS and FTLD represent the ends of one spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases. The high prevalence of C9orf72 mutations in patients without family history further blurs the distinction between sporadic and familial forms of ALS and FTLD. It also opens opportunities for stratified clinical trials in ALS and for the development of targeted therapies. ALS is a heterogeneous disorder that overlaps with FTLD. C9orf72 mutations are the most common cause of ALS, and add to the evidence that disturbances in RNA householding contribute to ALS.
Köroğlu, Çiğdem; Yılmaz, Rezzak; Sorgun, Mine Hayriye; Solakoğlu, Seyhun; Şener, Özden
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease eventually leading to death from respiratory failure. Recessive inheritance is very rare. Here, we describe the clinical findings in a consanguineous family with five men afflicted with recessive ALS and the identification of the homozygous mutation responsible for the disorder. The onset of the disease ranged from 12 to 35 years of age, with variable disease progressions. We performed clinical investigations including metabolic and paraneoplastic screening, cranial and cervical imaging, and electrophysiology. We mapped the disease gene to 9p21.1-p12 with a LOD score of 5.2 via linkage mapping using genotype data for single-nucleotide polymorphism markers and performed exome sequence analysis to identify the disease-causing gene variant. We also Sanger sequenced all coding sequences of SIGMAR1, a gene reported as responsible for juvenile ALS in a family. We did not find any mutation in SIGMAR1. Instead, we identified a novel homozygous missense mutation p.(His705Arg) in GNE which was predicted as damaging by online tools. GNE has been associated with inclusion body myopathy and is expressed in many tissues. We propose that the GNE mutation underlies the pathology in the family.
Olivieri, C; Castioni, C A; Livigni, S; Bersano, E; Cantello, R; Della Corte, F; Mazzini, L
Surgery in patients affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) presents a particular anesthetic challenge because of the risk of post-operative pulmonary complications. We report on the use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) to prevent post-operative pulmonary complications (PPCs) in nine patients affected by ALS enrolled in a phase-1 clinical trial with stem cell transplantation. All patients were treated with autologous mesenchymal stem cells implanted into the spinal cord with a surgical procedure. Anesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with remifentanil and sevoflurane. No muscle relaxant was used. After awakening and regain of spontaneous breathing, patients were tracheally extubated. Non-invasive ventilation through nasal mask was delivered and non-invasive positive pressure ventilation and continuous positive pressure ventilation were started. The average time on NIV after surgery was 3 h and 12 min. All patients regained stable spontaneous breathing after NIV discontinuation and had no episodes of respiratory failure until the following day. Our case series suggest that the use of NIV after surgery can be a safe strategy to prevent PPCs in patients affected by ALS. The perioperative procedure we chose for these patients appeared safe even in patients with advanced functional stage of the disease. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Van Laere, Koen; Vanhee, Annelies; Verschueren, Jolien; De Coster, Liesbeth; Driesen, An; Dupont, Patrick; Robberecht, Wim; Van Damme, Philip
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder primarily affecting the motor system, with extramotor involvement to a variable extent. Biomarkers for early differential diagnosis and prognosis are needed. An autosomal dominant hexanucleotide (GGGGCC) expansion in the noncoding region of the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) gene is the most frequent genetic cause of ALS, but its metabolic pattern has not been studied systematically. To evaluate the use of 18fluorodeoxyglucose-positron-emission tomography as a marker of ALS pathology and investigate whether a specific metabolic signature is present in patients with C9orf72 mutations. In total, 81 patients with a suspected diagnosis of ALS at University Hospital Leuven were prospectively investigated. All underwent detailed neurological examination and electrodiagnostic and genetic testing for the major known genetic causes of ALS (C9orf72, SOD1, TARDBP, and FUS). A diagnosis of ALS was made in 70 of 81 patients. Of these, 11 were C9orf72 positive and 59 were C9orf72 negative. In 7 patients, the diagnosis of primary lateral sclerosis was made; 4 patients had progressive muscular atrophy. A screened healthy control population was used for comparison. Positron-emission tomographic data were spatially normalized and analyzed using a predefined volume of interest and a voxel-based analysis (SPM8). Discriminant analysis was done both volume of interest based and voxel based using a support vector machine approach. Compared with control participants, 18fluorodeoxyglucose-positron-emission tomography showed perirolandic and variable prefrontal hypometabolism in most patients. Patients with primary lateral sclerosis showed a similar pattern. Patients with C9orf72-positive ALS had discrete relative hypometabolism in the thalamus and posterior cingulate compared with those with C9orf72-negative ALS. A posteriori-corrected discriminant analysis was able to correctly classify 95% of ALS cases and
Beard, John D; Engel, Lawrence S; Richardson, David B; Gammon, Marilie D; Baird, Coleen; Umbach, David M; Allen, Kelli D; Stanwyck, Catherine L; Keller, Jean; Sandler, Dale P; Schmidt, Silke; Kamel, Freya
Factors underlying a possible excess of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) among military veterans remain unidentified. Limitations of previous studies on this topic include reliance on ALS mortality as a surrogate for ALS incidence, low statistical power, and sparse information on military-related factors. We evaluated associations between military-related factors and ALS using data from a case-control study of U.S. military veterans. From 2005 to 2010, we identified medical record-confirmed ALS cases via the National Registry of Veterans with ALS and controls via the Veterans Benefits Administration's Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator System database. In total, we enrolled 621 cases and 958 frequency-matched controls in the Genes and Environmental Exposures in Veterans with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis study. We collected information on military service and deployments and 39 related exposures. We used unconditional logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We used inverse probability weighting to adjust for potential bias from confounding, missing covariate data, and selection arising from a case group that disproportionately included long-term survivors and a control group that may or may not differ from U.S. military veterans at large. The odds of ALS did not differ for veterans of the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy. We found higher odds of ALS for veterans whose longest deployment was World War II or the Korean War and a positive trend with total years of all deployments (OR=1.27; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.52). ALS was positively associated with exposure to herbicides for military purposes, nasopharyngeal radium, personal pesticides, exhaust from heaters or generators, high-intensity radar waves, contaminated food, explosions within one mile, herbicides in the field, mixing and application of burning agents, burning agents in the field, and Agent Orange in the field, with ORs between 1.50 and 7
Popova, L M; Sakharova, A V
Electron microscopic examination of the frontal cortex of a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with 14-year prolongation of life by artificial ventilation of the lungs revealed heretofore undescribed cytoplasmic virus-like inclusions in neurons and glial cells as well as changes in the granular endoplasmic reticulum in astrocytes consisting of large accumulations of ribosomes in which regular arrays were frequently observed. The discovered inclusions were not similar to any identified viral inclusions but were similar to virus-like particles found in the muscle in ALS and viral inclusions in experimental poliomyelitis. The role of the observed inclusions and their etiological importance remain obscure.
Meoded, Avner; Kwan, Justin Y.; Peters, Tracy L.; Huey, Edward D.; Danielian, Laura E.; Wiggs, Edythe; Morrissette, Arthur; Wu, Tianxia; Russell, James W.; Bayat, Elham; Grafman, Jordan; Floeter, Mary Kay
Introduction Executive dysfunction occurs in many patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but it has not been well studied in primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). The aims of this study were to (1) compare cognitive function in PLS to that in ALS patients, (2) explore the relationship between performance on specific cognitive tests and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics of white matter tracts and gray matter volumes, and (3) compare DTI metrics in patients with and without cognitive and behavioral changes. Methods The Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (DRS-2), and other behavior and mood scales were administered to 25 ALS patients and 25 PLS patients. Seventeen of the PLS patients, 13 of the ALS patients, and 17 healthy controls underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and DTI. Atlas-based analysis using MRI Studio software was used to measure fractional anisotropy, and axial and radial diffusivity of selected white matter tracts. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess gray matter volumes. The relationship between diffusion properties of selected association and commissural white matter and performance on executive function and memory tests was explored using a linear regression model. Results More ALS than PLS patients had abnormal scores on the DRS-2. DRS-2 and D-KEFS scores were related to DTI metrics in several long association tracts and the callosum. Reduced gray matter volumes in motor and perirolandic areas were not associated with cognitive scores. Conclusion The changes in diffusion metrics of white matter long association tracts suggest that the loss of integrity of the networks connecting fronto-temporal areas to parietal and occipital areas contributes to cognitive impairment. PMID:24052798
Neumann, Manuela; Bentmann, Eva; Dormann, Dorothee; Jawaid, Ali; DeJesus-Hernandez, Mariely; Ansorge, Olaf; Roeber, Sigrun; Kretzschmar, Hans A.; Munoz, David G.; Kusaka, Hirofumi; Yokota, Osamu; Ang, Lee-Cyn; Bilbao, Juan; Rademakers, Rosa; Haass, Christian; Mackenzie, Ian R. A.
Accumulation of the DNA/RNA binding protein fused in sarcoma as cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons and glial cells is the pathological hallmark of all patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with mutations in "FUS" as well as in several subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, which are not associated with "FUS" mutations. The mechanisms…
Cudkowicz, Merit E.; Johnson, Norman
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
Collado-Vázquez, Susana; Carrillo, Jesús María
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease with a progressive course that affects the corticospinal and spinal cord motor neurons, the main manifestations of which are muscular weakness, amyotrophy and hyperreflexia. It has an incidence of 0.4-2.4 cases/100,000 inhabitants/year, and a prevalence of 4-6 cases/100,000 inhabitants. It is more frequent in adult males over 50 years of age. A number of different neurological diseases have been portrayed in literature, cinema and television, including ALS, which has been presented correctly and realistically. To analysis how literature, cinema and television have addressed ALS. Several different literary works have dealt with ALS, such as El desencuentro, Lou Gehrig: the luckiest man or Tuesdays with Morrie; the cinema has also depicted this disease in films such as The pride of the Yankees, My love beside me (closer to Heaven) or Right to die; and on television this disease has been shown in series, documentaries and television films, such as: Tuesdays with Morrie, Jenifer or A love affair: the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story. Most of the works are of a biographical and testimonial nature, and portray the disease realistically, with the intention of making ALS more widely known and raising the population's awareness about the condition. Literature, cinema and television have portrayed ALS in a realistic and believable manner, unlike some other diseases of a neurological origin.
Abdel-Khalik, Jonas; Yutuc, Eylan; Crick, Peter J.; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke; Warner, Margaret; Roman, Gustavo; Talbot, Kevin; Gray, Elizabeth; Turner, Martin R.; Wang, Yuqin
As neurons die, cholesterol is released in the central nervous system (CNS); hence, this sterol and its metabolites may represent a biomarker of neurodegeneration, including in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in which altered cholesterol levels have been linked to prognosis. More than 40 different sterols were quantified in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from ALS patients and healthy controls. In CSF, the concentration of cholesterol was found to be elevated in ALS samples. When CSF metabolite levels were normalized to cholesterol, the cholesterol metabolite 3β,7α-dihydroxycholest-5-en-26-oic acid, along with its precursor 3β-hydroxycholest-5-en-26-oic acid and product 7α-hydroxy-3-oxocholest-4-en-26-oic acid, were reduced in concentration, whereas metabolites known to be imported from the circulation into the CNS were not found to differ in concentration between groups. Analysis of serum revealed that (25R)26-hydroxycholesterol, the immediate precursor of 3β-hydroxycholest-5-en-26-oic acid, was reduced in concentration in ALS patients compared with controls. We conclude that the acidic branch of bile acid biosynthesis, known to be operative in-part in the brain, is defective in ALS, leading to a failure of the CNS to remove excess cholesterol, which may be toxic to neuronal cells, compounded by a reduction in neuroprotective 3β,7α-dihydroxycholest-5-en-26-oic acid. PMID:27811233
Piombo, Marianna; Chiarello, Daniela; Corbetto, Marzia; Di Pino, Giovanni; Dicuonzo, Giordano; Angeletti, Silvia; Riva, Elisabetta; De Florio, Lucia; Capone, Fioravante; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo
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
Katz, Jonathan S; Katzberg, Hans D; Woolley, Susan C; Marklund, Stefan L; Andersen, Peter M
Mutations in the gene for superoxide dismutase type 1 cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but are not thought to be associated with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). A lack of detailed case reports is one reason, among others, for this skepticism. This case report comments on a patient with familial ALS caused by I113T mutation in the SOD1 gene presenting with progressive cognitive and behavioral decline two years before developing progressive motor degeneration. In conclusion, this case provides evidence that SOD1 mutations can be associated with FTD.
Hausdorff, J. M.; Lertratanakul, A.; Cudkowicz, M. E.; Peterson, A. L.; Kaliton, D.; Goldberger, A. L.
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.
Bonvicini, Francesca; Vinceti, Marco; Marcello, Norina; Rodolfi, Rossella; Rinaldi, Manuela
Incidence and mortality rates of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) vary between countries, and in some studies appear to increase over time. We performed a study to assess ALS incidence in a northern Italy area over a 10-year period. We identified the new cases of probable or definite ALS diagnosed among residents in Reggio Emilia province between 1996 and 2005 using several sources of data, such as death certificates, clinical records, hospital discharge registers and drug prescriptions. A total of 94 newly-diagnosed patients were identified. The average standardized incidence in the period was 2.0 and 1.0 cases/100,000/year, using the Italian and the world population, respectively, as reference. There was no variation in rates over time. Incidence was 1.3 in males and 0.8 in females. No cases were observed in patients under 35 years of age. Incidence increased after the age of 55 years, reaching a peak in the group aged 70-74 years and declining thereafter. We concluded that ALS incidence in this population was similar to that observed in other Italian regions and European countries, and no variation was identified during the study period.
Silberberg, Agustín A; Robetto, Josefina; Achával, Mora
Decision making in advanced Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients keeps on being a controversial issue. The aim of this work is to discuss ethical implications of withdrawing respiratory support treatment in patients with ALS. Through a bibliographic search on Pubmed database (2010-2016) we investigated whether or not the use of Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) and Mechanical Ventilation (MV) would increase survival and quality of life. We included 38 review articles. From these papers, results and ethical implications of initiating and mainly withdrawing respiratory support were analyzed. Survival time increased with NIV and with MV. Quality of life, above all according to physiological criteria, improved with NIV but regarding MV it remained controversial. Implementation and future withdrawal of MV seemed open to medical and ethical discussion. From a perspective of the intrinsic dignity of every human being, whatever its quality of life was, and knowing that no effective therapies for the underlying disease are available, the decision to remove MV in a patient with advanced ALS requires: knowledge of the will of the patient and, above all, evaluating whether this respiratory support measure is becoming objectively disproportionate.
Khalid, Syed I.; Ampie, Leonel; Kelly, Ryan; Ladha, Shafeeq S.; Dardis, Christopher
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons. Though many molecular and genetic causes are thought to serve as predisposing or disease propagating factors, the underlying pathogenesis of the disease is not known. Recent discoveries have demonstrated the presence of inflammation propagating substrates in the central nervous system of patients afflicted with ALS. Over the past decade, this hypothesis has incited an effort to better understand the role of the immune system in ALS and has led to the trial of several potential immune-modulating therapies. Here, we briefly review advances in the role of such therapies. The clinical trials discussed here are currently ongoing or have been concluded at the time of writing. PMID:28993751
Jokic, Natasa; Gonzalez de Aguilar, Jose-Luis; Dimou, Leda; Lin, Shuo; Fergani, Anissa; Ruegg, Markus A; Schwab, Martin E; Dupuis, Luc; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor neuron loss and muscle wasting. In muscles of ALS patients, Nogo-A—a protein known to inhibit axon regeneration—is ectopically expressed at levels that correlate with the severity of the clinical symptoms. We now show that the genetic ablation of Nogo-A extends survival and reduces muscle denervation in a mouse model of ALS. In turn, overexpression of Nogo-A in wild-type muscle fibres leads to shrinkage of the postsynapse and retraction of the presynaptic motor ending. This suggests that the expression of Nogo-A occurring early in ALS skeletal muscle could cause repulsion and destabilization of the motor nerve terminals, and subsequent dying back of the axons and motor neurons. PMID:17039253
Levi, Benjamin H; Simmons, Zachary; Hanna, Courtney; Brothers, Allyson; Lehman, Erik; Farace, Elana; Bain, Megan; Stewart, Renee; Green, Michael J
To determine whether an advance care planning (ACP) decision-aid could improve communication about end-of-life treatment wishes between patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their clinicians. Forty-four patients with ALS (>21, English-speaking, without dementia) engaged in ACP using an interactive computer based decision-aid. Before participants completed the intervention, and again three months later, their clinicians reviewed three clinical vignettes, and made treatment decisions (n = 18) for patients. After patients indicated their agreement with the team's decisions, concordance was calculated. The mean concordance between patient wishes and the clinical team decisions was significantly higher post-intervention (post = 91.9%, 95% CI = 87.8, 96.1, vs. pre = 52.4%, 95% CI = 41.9, 62.9; p <0.001). Clinical team members reported greater confidence that their decisions accurately represented each patient's wishes post-intervention (mean = 6.5) compared to pre-intervention (mean = 3.3, 1 = low, 10 = high, p <0.001). Patients reported high satisfaction (mean = 26.4, SD = 3.2; 6 = low, 30 = high) and low decisional conflict (mean = 28.8, SD = 8.2; 20 = low, 80 = high) with decisions about end-of-life care, and high satisfaction with the decision-aid (mean = 52.7, SD = 5.7, 20 = low, 60 = high). Patient knowledge regarding ACP increased post-intervention (pre = 47.8% correct responses vs. post = 66.3%; p <0.001) without adversely affecting patient anxiety or self-determination. A computer based ACP decision-aid can significantly improve clinicians' understanding of ALS patients' wishes with regard to end-of-life medical care.
Background Environmental toxins are suspected to play a role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In an attempt to determine which pathways these toxins can use to enter motor neurons we compared the distribution of mercury in the CNS of a human and of mice that had been exposed to inorganic mercury. Results In the human who had been exposed to metallic mercury, mercury was seen predominantly in the locus ceruleus and corticomotor neurons, as well as in scattered glial cells. In mice that had been exposed to mercury vapor or mercuric chloride, mercury was present in lower motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain stem. Conclusions In humans, inorganic mercury can be taken up predominantly by corticomotor neurons, possibly when the locus ceruleus is upregulated by stress. This toxin uptake into corticomotor neurons is in accord with the hypothesis that ALS originates in these upper motor neurons. In mice, inorganic mercury is taken up predominantly by lower motor neurons. The routes toxins use to enter motor neurons depends on the nature of the toxin, the duration of exposure, and possibly the amount of stress (for upper motor neuron uptake) and exercise (for lower motor neuron uptake) at the time of toxin exposure. PMID:24252585
Brettschneider, Johannes; Toledo, Jon B.; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M.; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.
Background/Aims We evaluated clinicopathological correlates of upper motor neuron (UMN) damage in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and analyzed if the presence of the C9ORF72 repeat expansion was associated with alterations in microglial inflammatory activity. Methods Microglial pathology was assessed by IHC with 2 different antibodies (CD68, Iba1), myelin loss by Kluver-Barrera staining and myelin basic protein (MBP) IHC, and axonal loss by neurofilament protein (TA51) IHC, performed on 59 autopsy cases of ALS including 9 cases with C9ORF72 repeat expansion. Results Microglial pathology as depicted by CD68 and Iba1 was significantly more extensive in the corticospinal tract (CST) of ALS cases with a rapid progression of disease. Cases with C9ORF72 repeat expansion showed more extensive microglial pathology in the medulla and motor cortex which persisted after adjusting for disease duration in a logistic regression model. Higher scores on the clinical UMN scale correlated with increasing microglial pathology in the cervical CST. TDP-43 pathology was more extensive in the motor cortex of cases with rapid progression of disease. Conclusions This study demonstrates that microglial pathology in the CST of ALS correlates with disease progression and is linked to severity of UMN deficits. PMID:22720079
van Eijk, Ruben PA; Eijkemans, Marinus JC; Rizopoulos, Dimitris
Objective Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) clinical trials based on single end points only partially capture the full treatment effect when both function and mortality are affected, and may falsely dismiss efficacious drugs as futile. We aimed to investigate the statistical properties of several strategies for the simultaneous analysis of function and mortality in ALS clinical trials. Methods Based on the Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials (PRO-ACT) database, we simulated longitudinal patterns of functional decline, defined by the revised amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) and conditional survival time. Different treatment scenarios with varying effect sizes were simulated with follow-up ranging from 12 to 18 months. We considered the following analytical strategies: 1) Cox model; 2) linear mixed effects (LME) model; 3) omnibus test based on Cox and LME models; 4) composite time-to-6-point decrease or death; 5) combined assessment of function and survival (CAFS); and 6) test based on joint modeling framework. For each analytical strategy, we calculated the empirical power and sample size. Results Both Cox and LME models have increased false-negative rates when treatment exclusively affects either function or survival. The joint model has superior power compared to other strategies. The composite end point increases false-negative rates among all treatment scenarios. To detect a 15% reduction in ALSFRS-R decline and 34% decline in hazard with 80% power after 18 months, the Cox model requires 524 patients, the LME model 794 patients, the omnibus test 526 patients, the composite end point 1,274 patients, the CAFS 576 patients and the joint model 464 patients. Conclusion Joint models have superior statistical power to analyze simultaneous effects on survival and function and may circumvent pitfalls encountered by other end points. Optimizing trial end points is essential, as selecting suboptimal outcomes may disguise
Hohmann, M R; Fomina, T; Jayaram, V; Widmann, N; Förster, C; Just, J; Synofzik, M; Schölkopf, B; Schöls, L; Grosse-Wentrup, M
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. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Shahheydari, Hamideh; Ragagnin, Audrey; Walker, Adam K.; Toth, Reka P.; Vidal, Marta; Jagaraj, Cyril J.; Perri, Emma R.; Konopka, Anna; Sultana, Jessica M.; Atkin, Julie D.
Protein homeostasis, or proteostasis, has an important regulatory role in cellular function. Protein quality control mechanisms, including protein folding and protein degradation processes, have a crucial function in post-mitotic neurons. Cellular protein quality control relies on multiple strategies, including molecular chaperones, autophagy, the ubiquitin proteasome system, endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) and the formation of stress granules (SGs), to regulate proteostasis. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the presence of misfolded protein aggregates, implying that protein quality control mechanisms are dysfunctional in these conditions. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are neurodegenerative diseases that are now recognized to overlap clinically and pathologically, forming a continuous disease spectrum. In this review article, we detail the evidence for dysregulation of protein quality control mechanisms across the whole ALS-FTD continuum, by discussing the major proteins implicated in ALS and/or FTD. We also discuss possible ways in which protein quality mechanisms could be targeted therapeutically in these disorders and highlight promising protein quality control-based therapeutics for clinical trials. PMID:28539871
Gruis, K L; Brown, D L; Schoennemann, A; Zebarah, V A; Feldman, E L
Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) appears to improve survival and quality of life in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but little is known about predictors of NIV tolerance. NIV use was assessed and clinical predictors of tolerance were investigated, using predictive modeling, in ALS patients diagnosed and followed in our clinic until death over a 4-year time period. Patients were prescribed NIV based on current practice parameters when respiratory symptoms were present or forced vital capacity was less than 50%. We prescribed NIV in 52% (72) of patients. For those prescribed NIV, information regarding tolerance was available for 50 patients, with 72% (36) tolerant to its use. Tolerance was six times more likely in limb-onset than bulbar-onset ALS patients, with a trend toward reduced tolerance in those with lower forced vital capacity at NIV initiation. Age, gender, and duration of disease were not predictors of NIV tolerance. We conclude that a majority of ALS patients who are prescribed NIV can successfully become tolerant to its use.
Schiffman, P L; Belsh, J M
The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of respiratory muscle impairment in patients with newly diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the subsequent rate of decline of respiratory function. Thirty-one of 36 patients had respiratory muscle weakness at presentation, although only 7 complained of any respiratory symptoms. Vital capacity (percent predicted) was significantly lower in the symptomatic group (55.9 +/- 20.3) compared with the asymptomatic group (76.4 +/- 21.0). Respiratory muscle impairment as measured by vital capacity (percent predicted) was related to stage of disease at presentation. Rate of decline of respiratory muscle strength as measured by VC (-3.5 percent/month), negative inspiratory pressure (NIF) (+2.9 cm H2O/month), and positive expiratory pressure (PEP) (-3.4 cm H2O/month) tended to be linear with a great deal of interpatient variability. It is concluded that early measurement of respiratory muscle strength in ALS with subsequent follow-up studies may be useful in determining overall prognosis and in decision making.
Strong, Michael J; Abrahams, Sharon; Goldstein, Laura H; Woolley, Susan; Mclaughlin, Paula; Snowden, Julie; Mioshi, Eneida; Roberts-South, Angie; Benatar, Michael; HortobáGyi, Tibor; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey; Silani, Vincenzo; Ince, Paul G; Turner, Martin R
This article presents the revised consensus criteria for the diagnosis of frontotemporal dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) based on an international research workshop on frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and ALS held in London, Canada in June 2015. Since the publication of the Strong criteria, there have been considerable advances in the understanding of the neuropsychological profile of patients with ALS. Not only is the breadth and depth of neuropsychological findings broader than previously recognised - - including deficits in social cognition and language - but mixed deficits may also occur. Evidence now shows that the neuropsychological deficits in ALS are extremely heterogeneous, affecting over 50% of persons with ALS. When present, these deficits significantly and adversely impact patient survival. It is the recognition of this clinical heterogeneity in association with neuroimaging, genetic and neuropathological advances that has led to the current re-conceptualisation that neuropsychological deficits in ALS fall along a spectrum. These revised consensus criteria expand upon those of 2009 and embrace the concept of the frontotemporal spectrum disorder of ALS (ALS-FTSD).
Johnson, Stephanie; Alonso, Bryant; Faulkner, Katie; Roberts, Haley; Monroe, Britton; Lehman, Leigh; Kearney, Pamalyn
This study explored differences in perspectives on quality of life (QOL) between people affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their caregivers. QOL is often thought of as related to physical limitations, without consideration of other factors (e.g., cognitive, emotional) that may be stronger predictors of QOL in people with long-term degenerative diseases. Because QOL is complex and influenced by multiple factors, people with ALS and their caregivers may have different perspectives on what constitutes QOL. This study investigated potential discrepancies in QOL perspectives between people with ALS and their caregivers. Thirty dyads from the Augusta University Health ALS Clinic completed a measure of QOL, and we compared the results and identified patterns. The most prominent finding was that members of the dyads misunderstood the mental experiences of one another. Copyright © 2017 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Shaw, Pamela J; Young, Carolyn A; Morrison, Karen E; Murphy, Caroline; Thornhill, Marie; Kelly, Joanna; Steen, I Nicholas; Leigh, P Nigel
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by loss of motor neurons leading to severe weakness and death from respiratory failure within 3-5 years. Riluzole prolongs survival in ALS. A published report has suggested a dramatic effect of lithium carbonate on survival. 44 patients were studied, with 16 randomly selected to take LiCO3 and riluzole and 28 allocated to take riluzole alone. In the group treated with lithium, no patients had died (i.e., 100% survival) at the end of the study (15 months from entry), compared to 71% surviving in the riluzole-only group. Although the trial can be criticised on several grounds, there is a substantial rationale from other laboratory studies that lithium is worth investigating therapeutically in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. LiCALS is a multi-centre double-blind randomised parallel group controlled trial of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of lithium carbonate (LiCO3) at doses to achieve stable 'therapeutic' plasma levels (0.4-0.8 mmol/L), plus standard treatment, versus matched placebo plus standard treatment, in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The study will be based in the UK, in partnership with the MND Association and DeNDRoN (the Dementias and Neurodegnerative Diseases Clinical Research Network). 220 patients will be recruited. All patients will be on the standard treatment for ALS of riluzole 100 mg daily. The primary outcome measure will be death from any cause at 18 months defined from the date of randomisation. Secondary outcome measures will be changes in three functional rating scales, the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised, The EuroQOL (EQ-5D), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.Eligible patients will have El Escorial Possible, Laboratory-supported Probable, Probable or Definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with disease duration between 6 months and 36 months (inclusive), vital capacity ≥ 60% of predicted within 1 month prior to
Watanabe, Kazutoshi; Tanaka, Masahiko; Yuki, Satoshi; Hirai, Manabu; Yamamoto, Yorihiro
Edaravone is a low-molecular-weight antioxidant drug targeting peroxyl radicals among many types of reactive oxygen species. Because of its amphiphilicity, it scavenges both lipid- and water-soluble peroxyl radicals by donating an electron to the radical. Thus, it inhibits the oxidation of lipids by scavenging chain-initiating water-soluble peroxyl radicals and chain-carrying lipid peroxyl radicals. In 2001, it was approved in Japan as a drug to treat acute-phase cerebral infarction, and then in 2015 it was approved for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also approved edaravone for treatment of patients with ALS. Its mechanism of action was inferred to be scavenging of peroxynitrite. In this review, we focus on the radical-scavenging characteristics of edaravone in comparison with some other antioxidants that have been studied in clinical trials, and we summarize its pharmacological action and clinical efficacy in patients with acute cerebral infarction and ALS. PMID:29371752
Hand, Collette K.; Khoris, Jawad; Salachas, François; Gros-Louis, François; Lopes, Ana Amélia Simões; Mayeux-Portas, Veronique; Brown, Jr., Robert H.; Meininger, Vincent; Camu, William; Rouleau, Guy A.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset degenerative disorder characterized by the death of motor neurons in the cortex, brain stem, and spinal cord. Despite intensive research the basic pathophysiology of ALS remains unclear. Although most cases are sporadic, ∼10% of ALS cases are familial (FALS). Mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene cause ∼20% of FALS. The gene(s) responsible for the remaining 80% of FALS remain to be found. Using a large European kindred without SOD1 mutation and with classic autosomal dominant adult-onset ALS, we have identified a novel locus by performing a genome scan and linkage analysis. The maximum LOD score is 4.5 at recombination fraction 0.0, for polymorphism D18S39. Haplotype analysis has identified a 7.5-cM, 8-Mb region of chromosome 18q21, flanked by markers D18S846 and D18S1109, as a novel FALS locus. PMID:11706389
Van Groenestijn, Annerieke C; Schröder, Carin D; Kruitwagen-Van Reenen, Esther T; Van Den Berg, Leonard H; Visser-Meily, Johanna M A
The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of participation restrictions in ambulatory patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to identify physical and psychological contributory factors. In this cross-sectional study, self-reported participation restrictions of 72 ambulatory ALS patients were assessed using the social health status dimension (SIPSOC) of the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP-68). Associations between SIPSOC and physical functioning, psychological factors, and demographic factors were analyzed using hierarchical regression analyses. Ninety-two percent of the patients reported participation restrictions; 54.9% could be explained by physical functioning; psychological factors accounted for 8.1% of the variance. Lung capacity, functional mobility, fatigue, and helplessness were independently associated with participation restrictions. Ambulatory ALS patients have participation restrictions, which may be influenced if early ALS care is directed toward lung capacity, functional mobility, fatigue, and feelings of helplessness. Muscle Nerve 56: 912-918, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Raglio, Alfredo; Giovanazzi, Elena; Pain, Debora; Baiardi, Paola; Imbriani, Chiara; Imbriani, Marcello; Mora, Gabriele
This randomized controlled study assessed the efficacy of active music therapy (AMT) on anxiety, depression, and quality of life in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Communication and relationship during AMT treatment were also evaluated. Thirty patients were assigned randomly to experimental [AMT plus standard of care (SC)] or control (SC) groups. AMT consisted of 12 sessions (three times a week), whereas the SC treatment was based on physical and speech rehabilitation sessions, occupational therapy, and psychological support. ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire, and Music Therapy Rating Scale were administered to assess functional, psychological, and music therapy outcomes. The AMT group improved significantly in McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire global scores (P=0.035) and showed a positive trend in nonverbal and sonorous-music relationship during the treatment. Further studies involving larger samples in a longer AMT intervention are needed to confirm the effectiveness of this approach in ALS.
Sabatelli, Mario; Marangi, Giuseppe; Conte, Amelia; Tasca, Giorgio; Zollino, Marcella; Lattante, Serena
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by the degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons. Clinical heterogeneity is a well-recognized feature of the disease as age of onset, site of onset and the duration of the disease can vary greatly among patients. A number of genes have been identified and associated to familial and sporadic forms of ALS but the majority of cases remains still unexplained. Recent breakthrough discoveries have demonstrated that clinical manifestations associated with ALS-related genes are not circumscribed to motor neurons involvement. In this view, ALS appears to be linked to different conditions over a continuum or spectrum in which overlapping phenotypes may be identified. In this review, we aim to examine the increasing number of spectra, including ALS/Frontotemporal Dementia and ALS/Myopathies spectra. Considering all these neurodegenerative disorders as different phenotypes of the same spectrum can help to identify common pathological pathways and consequently new therapeutic targets in these incurable diseases. © 2016 International Society of Neuropathology.
Liu, Jia; Wang, Fei
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects upper motor neurons (MNs) comprising the corticospinal tract and lower MNs arising from the brain stem nuclei and ventral roots of the spinal cord, leading to fatal paralysis. Currently, there are no effective therapies for ALS. Increasing evidence indicates that neuroinflammation plays an important role in ALS pathogenesis. The neuroinflammation in ALS is characterized by infiltration of lymphocytes and macrophages, activation of microglia and reactive astrocytes, as well as the involvement of complement. In this review, we focus on the key cellular players of neuroinflammation during the pathogenesis of ALS by discussing not only their detrimental roles but also their immunomodulatory actions. We will summarize the pharmacological therapies for ALS that target neuroinflammation, as well as recent advances in the field of stem cell therapy aimed at modulating the inflammatory environment to preserve the remaining MNs in ALS patients and animal models of the disease. PMID:28871262
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
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.
Wang, Lijun; Popko, Brian; Roos, Raymond P
Mutant superoxide dismutase type 1 (MTSOD1) is thought to cause ∼20% of cases of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) because it misfolds and aggregates. Previous studies have shown that MTSOD1 accumulates inside the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and activates the unfolded protein response (UPR), suggesting that ER stress is involved in the pathogenesis of FALS. We used a genetic approach to investigate the role of the UPR in FALS. We crossed G85RSOD1 transgenic mice with pancreatic ER kinase haploinsufficient (PERK(+/-)) mice to obtain G85R/PERK(+/-) mice. PERK(+/-) mice carry a loss of function mutation of PERK, which is the most rapidly activated UPR pathway, but have no abnormal phenotype. Compared with G85R transgenic mice, G85R/PERK(+/-) mice had a dramatically accelerated disease onset as well as shortened disease duration and lifespan. There was also acceleration of the pathology and earlier MTSOD1 aggregation. A diminished PERK response accelerated disease and pathology in G85R transgenic mice presumably because the mice had a reduced capacity to turn down synthesis of misfolded SOD1, leading to an early overloading of the UPR. The results indicate that the UPR has a significant influence on FALS, and suggest that enhancing the UPR may be effective in treating ALS.
Eisen, Andrew; Krieger, Charles
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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; Picchiarelli, Gina; Dupuis, Luc; Gonzalez De Aguilar, Jose-Luis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal adult-onset disease primarily characterized by upper and lower motor neuron degeneration, muscle wasting and paralysis. It is increasingly accepted that the pathological process leading to ALS is the result of multiple disease mechanisms that operate within motor neurons and other cell types both inside and outside the central nervous system. The implication of skeletal muscle has been the subject of a number of studies conducted on patients and related animal models. In this review, we describe the features of ALS muscle pathology and discuss on the contribution of muscle to the pathological process. We also give an overview of the therapeutic strategies proposed to alleviate muscle pathology or to deliver curative agents to motor neurons. ALS muscle mainly suffers from oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and bioenergetic disturbances. However, the way by which the disease affects different types of myofibers depends on their contractile and metabolic features. Although the implication of muscle in nourishing the degenerative process is still debated, there is compelling evidence suggesting that it may play a critical role. Detailed understanding of the muscle pathology in ALS could, therefore, lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets. © 2016 The Authors. Brain Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Society of Neuropathology.
Veyrat-Durebex, Charlotte; Corcia, Philippe; Piver, Eric; Devos, David; Dangoumau, Audrey; Gouel, Flore; Vourc'h, Patrick; Emond, Patrick; Laumonnier, Frédéric; Nadal-Desbarats, Lydie; Gordon, Paul H; Andres, Christian R; Blasco, Hélène
This study aims to develop a cellular metabolomics model that reproduces the pathophysiological conditions found in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in order to improve knowledge of disease physiology. We used a co-culture model combining the motor neuron-like cell line NSC-34 and the astrocyte clone C8-D1A, with each over-expressing wild-type or G93C mutant human SOD1, to examine amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) physiology. We focused on the effects of mutant human SOD1 as well as oxidative stress induced by menadione on intracellular metabolism using a metabolomics approach through gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Preliminary non-supervised analysis by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) revealed that cell type, genetic environment, and time of culture influenced the metabolomics profiles. Supervised analysis using orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) on data from intracellular metabolomics profiles of SOD1 G93C co-cultures produced metabolites involved in glutamate metabolism and the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) cycle. This study revealed the feasibility of using a metabolomics approach in a cellular model of ALS. We identified potential disruption of the TCA cycle and glutamate metabolism under oxidative stress, which is consistent with prior research in the disease. Analysis of metabolic alterations in an in vitro model is a novel approach to investigation of disease physiology.
Schlautman, Joshua D; Rozek, Wojciech; Stetler, Robert; Mosley, R Lee; Gendelman, Howard E; Ciborowski, Pawel
Background The ProteomeLab™ PF 2D platform is a relatively new approach to global protein profiling. Herein, it was used for investigation of plasma proteome changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients before and during immunization with glatiramer acetate (GA) in a clinical trial. Results The experimental design included immunoaffinity depletion of 12 most abundant proteins from plasma samples with the ProteomeLab™ IgY-12 LC10 column kit as first dimension separation, also referred to as immuno-partitioning. Second and third dimension separations of the enriched proteome were performed on the PF 2D platform utilizing 2D isoelectric focusing and RP-HPLC with the resulting fractions collected for analysis. 1D gel electrophoresis was added as a fourth dimension when sufficient protein was available. Protein identification from collected fractions was performed using nano-LC-MS/MS approach. Analysis of differences in the resulting two-dimensional maps of fractions obtained from the PF 2D and the ability to identify proteins from these fractions allowed sensitivity threshold measurements. Masked proteins in the PF 2D fractions are discussed. Conclusion We offer some insight into the strengths and limitations of this emerging proteomic platform. PMID:18789151
Wang, Lixia; Yi, Fei; Fu, Lina; Yang, Jiping; Wang, Si; Wang, Zhaoxia; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Sun, Liang; Xu, Xiuling; Yu, Yang; Qiao, Jie; Belmonte, Juan Carlos Izpisua; Yang, Ze; Yuan, Yun; Qu, Jing; Liu, Guang-Hui
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a complex neurodegenerative disease with cellular and molecular mechanisms yet to be fully described. Mutations in a number of genes including SOD1 and FUS are associated with familial ALS. Here we report the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from fibroblasts of familial ALS patients bearing SOD1 +/A272C and FUS +/G1566A mutations, respectively. We further generated gene corrected ALS iPSCs using CRISPR/Cas9 system. Genome-wide RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of motor neurons derived from SOD1 +/A272C and corrected iPSCs revealed 899 aberrant transcripts. Our work may shed light on discovery of early biomarkers and pathways dysregulated in ALS, as well as provide a basis for novel therapeutic strategies to treat ALS.
Musaeva, L S; Sakharova, A V; Zavalishin, I A
Microscopic examination of musculus gastrocnemius biopsies was made in four cases of sporadic lateral amyotrophic sclerosis (LAS). The validity of the clinical diagnosis was confirmed by detected neurotrophic atrophy of the muscular fibers typical for LAS. Electron microscopic study revealed virus-like inclusions 200-450 nm in size in sarcoplasm of myocytes of all the patients. The inclusions consist of lined cells of hexagonal shape at the distance of 37-41 nm from each other. The inclusions resemble enteroviruses but are not identical to them both by size and structure of their elements. There were also specific ultrastructural changes of myocytes corresponding to viral infection. The above virus-like inclusions should be considered as specific structures formed as a result of metabolic shifts caused by productive action on the cell of infective or unknown factor.
Kioumourtzoglou, Marianthi-Anna; Rotem, Ran S; Seals, Ryan M; Gredal, Ole; Hansen, Johnni; Weisskopf, Marc G
Although prior studies have suggested a role of cardiometabolic health on pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the association with diabetes mellitus has not been widely examined. 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. To examine the association between diabetes and obesity, each identified through International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Eighth or Tenth Revision codes in a hospital registry, and ALS using data from the Danish National Registers. Population-based nested case-control study of 3650 Danish residents diagnosed as having ALS between January 1, 1982, and December 31, 2009, and 365,000 controls (100 for each ALS case) matched on age and sex. The analysis was conducted in September and October 2014. Adjusted odds ratio for ALS associated with diabetes or obesity diagnoses at least 3 years prior to the ALS diagnosis date. When considering diabetes and our obesity indicator together, the estimated odds ratio 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 sex. We did find a significant modification by age at ALS diagnosis and age at first mention of diabetes in the hospital registers. The protective association was stronger with increasing age at ALS diagnosis (P = .01), and the odds ratio for first mention of diabetes was 1.66 (95% CI, 0.85-3.21) before age 40 years but 0.52 (95% CI, 0.39-0.70) for older ages. These results are consistent with different associations for type 1 vs type 2 diabetes. In this Danish nationwide study to investigate the association between diabetes and ALS diagnosis, our findings are in agreement with previous reports of a protective association between
Nardo, Giovanni; Iennaco, Raffaele; Fusi, Nicolò; Heath, Paul R; Marino, Marianna; Trolese, Maria C; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Lawrence, Neil; Shaw, Pamela J; Bendotti, Caterina
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is heterogeneous with high variability in the speed of progression even in cases with a defined genetic cause such as superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutations. We reported that SOD1(G93A) mice on distinct genetic backgrounds (C57 and 129Sv) show consistent phenotypic differences in speed of disease progression and life-span that are not explained by differences in human SOD1 transgene copy number or the burden of mutant SOD1 protein within the nervous system. We aimed to compare the gene expression profiles of motor neurons from these two SOD1(G93A) mouse strains to discover the molecular mechanisms contributing to the distinct phenotypes and to identify factors underlying fast and slow disease progression. Lumbar spinal motor neurons from the two SOD1(G93A) mouse strains were isolated by laser capture microdissection and transcriptome analysis was conducted at four stages of disease. We identified marked differences in the motor neuron transcriptome between the two mice strains at disease onset, with a dramatic reduction of gene expression in the rapidly progressive (129Sv-SOD1(G93A)) compared with the slowly progressing mutant SOD1 mice (C57-SOD1(G93A)) (1276 versus 346; Q-value ≤ 0.01). Gene ontology pathway analysis of the transcriptional profile from 129Sv-SOD1(G93A) mice showed marked downregulation of specific pathways involved in mitochondrial function, as well as predicted deficiencies in protein degradation and axonal transport mechanisms. In contrast, the transcriptional profile from C57-SOD1(G93A) mice with the more benign disease course, revealed strong gene enrichment relating to immune system processes compared with 129Sv-SOD1(G93A) mice. Motor neurons from the more benign mutant strain demonstrated striking complement activation, over-expressing genes normally involved in immune cell function. We validated through immunohistochemistry increased expression of the C3 complement subunit and major histocompatibility
Watermeyer, Tamlyn J; Brown, Richard G; Sidle, Katie C L; Oliver, David J; Allen, Christopher; Karlsson, Joanna; Ellis, Catherine M; Shaw, Christopher E; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Goldstein, Laura H
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder of the motor system with recognised extra-motor and cognitive involvement. This cross-sectional study examined ALS patients' performance on measures requiring social inference, and determined the relationship between such changes and variations in mood, behaviour, personality, empathy and executive function. Fifty-five ALS patients and 49 healthy controls were compared on tasks measuring social cognition and executive function. ALS patients also completed measures examining mood, behaviour and personality. Regression analyses explored the contribution of executive function, mood, behaviour and personality to social cognition scores within the ALS sample. A between-group MANOVA revealed that, the ALS group was impaired relative to controls on two composite scores for social cognition and executive function. Patients also performed worse on individual tests of executive function measuring cognitive flexibility, response inhibition and concept formation, and on individual aspects of social cognition assessing the attribution of emotional and mental states. Regression analyses indicated that ALS-related executive dysfunction was the main predictor of social cognition performance, above and beyond demographic variables, behaviour, mood and personality. On at least some aspects of social cognition, impaired performance in ALS appears to be secondary to executive dysfunction. The profile of cognitive impairment in ALS supports a cognitive continuum between ALS and frontotemporal dementia.
Suh, Mi Ri; Choi, Won Ah; Choi, Young-Chul; Lee, Jang Woo; Hong, Jung Hwa; Park, Jihyun; Kang, Seong-Woong
To report the latest long-term outcome of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to analyze the predictors of prognosis. Subjects who were diagnosed with ALS between January 2005 and December 2009 at a single institute were followed up until death or up to December 2014. Data regarding age, sex, date of onset, date of diagnosis, presence of bulbar symptoms on onset, date of initiation of non-invasive ventilation (NIV), and the date of tracheostomy were collected. Survival was assessed using Kaplan-Meier curves and multivariate analyses of the risk of death were performed using the Cox proportional hazards model. Among 212 suspicious subjects, definite ALS was diagnosed in 182 subjects. The survival rate at 3 and 5 years from onset was 61.5% and 40.1%, respectively, and the survival rate at 3 and 5 years post-diagnosis was 49.5% and 24.2%, respectively. Further, 134 patients (134/182, 73.6%) were initiated on NIV, and among them, 90 patients (90/182, 49.5%) underwent tracheostomy. Male gender and onset age of ≥65 years were independent predictors of adverse survival. The analysis of long term survival in ALS showed excellent outcomes considering the overall poor prognosis of this disease.
Peysson, S; Vandenberghe, N; Philit, F; Vial, C; Petitjean, T; Bouhour, F; Bayle, J Y; Broussolle, E
The involvement of respiratory muscles is a major predicting factor for survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recent studies show that noninvasive ventilation (NIV) can relieve symptoms of alveolar hypoventilation. However, factors predicting survival in ALS patients when treated with NIV need to be clarified. We conducted a retrospective study of 33 consecutive ALS patients receiving NIV. Ten patients had bulbar onset. We determined the median survivals from onset, diagnosis and initiation of NIV and factors predicting survival. Statistical analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier test and Cox proportional hazard models. The median initial and maximal total uses of NIV were 10 and 14 h/24h. The overall median survival from ALS onset was 34.2 months and worsened with increasing age and bulbar onset of the disease. The median survival from initiation of NIV was 8.4 months and was significantly poorer in patients with advanced age or with airway mucus accumulation. Survival from initiation of NIV was not influenced by respiratory parameters or bulbar symptoms. Advanced age at diagnosis and airway mucus accumulation represent poorer prognostic factors of ALS patients treated with NIV. NIV is a helpful treatment of sleep-disordered breathing, including patients with bulbar involvement. Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Henkel, Jenny S; Beers, David R; Wen, Shixiang; Rivera, Andreana L; Toennis, Karen M; Appel, Joan E; Zhao, Weihua; Moore, Dan H; Powell, Suzanne Z; Appel, Stanley H
In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mice, regulatory T-lymphocytes (Tregs) are neuroprotective, slowing disease progression. To address whether Tregs and FoxP3, a transcription factor required for Treg function, similarly influence progression rates of ALS patients, T-lymphocytes from patients were assessed by flow cytometry. Both numbers of Tregs and their FoxP3 protein expressions were reduced in rapidly progressing ALS patients and inversely correlated with progression rates. The mRNA levels of FoxP3, TGF-β, IL4 and Gata3, a Th2 transcription factor, were reduced in rapidly progressing patients and inversely correlated with progression rates. Both FoxP3 and Gata3 were accurate indicators of progression rates. No differences in IL10, Tbx21, a Th1 transcription factor or IFN-γ expression were found between slow and rapidly progressing patients. A 3.5-year prospective study with a second larger cohort revealed that early reduced FoxP3 levels were indicative of progression rates at collection and predictive of future rapid progression and attenuated survival. Collectively, these data suggest that Tregs and Th2 lymphocytes influence disease progression rates. Importantly, early reduced FoxP3 levels could be used to identify rapidly progressing patients. PMID:23143995
Proudfoot, Malcolm; Rohenkohl, Gustavo; Quinn, Andrew; Colclough, Giles L; Wuu, Joanne; Talbot, Kevin; Woolrich, Mark W; Benatar, Michael; Nobre, Anna C; Turner, Martin R
Continuous rhythmic neuronal oscillations underpin local and regional cortical communication. The impact of the motor system neurodegenerative syndrome amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on the neuronal oscillations subserving movement might therefore serve as a sensitive marker of disease activity. Movement preparation and execution are consistently associated with modulations to neuronal oscillation beta (15-30 Hz) power. Cortical beta-band oscillations were measured using magnetoencephalography (MEG) during preparation for, execution, and completion of a visually cued, lateralized motor task that included movement inhibition trials. Eleven "classical" ALS patients, 9 with the primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) phenotype, and 12 asymptomatic carriers of ALS-associated gene mutations were compared with age-similar healthy control groups. Augmented beta desynchronization was observed in both contra- and ipsilateral motor cortices of ALS patients during motor preparation. Movement execution coincided with excess beta desynchronization in asymptomatic mutation carriers. Movement completion was followed by a slowed rebound of beta power in all symptomatic patients, further reflected in delayed hemispheric lateralization for beta rebound in the PLS group. This may correspond to the particular involvement of interhemispheric fibers of the corpus callosum previously demonstrated in diffusion tensor imaging studies. We conclude that the ALS spectrum is characterized by intensified cortical beta desynchronization followed by delayed rebound, concordant with a broader concept of cortical hyperexcitability, possibly through loss of inhibitory interneuronal influences. MEG may potentially detect cortical dysfunction prior to the development of overt symptoms, and thus be able to contribute to the assessment of future neuroprotective strategies. Hum Brain Mapp 38:237-254, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals
Proudfoot, Malcolm; Rohenkohl, Gustavo; Quinn, Andrew; Colclough, Giles L.; Wuu, Joanne; Talbot, Kevin; Woolrich, Mark W.; Benatar, Michael
Abstract Continuous rhythmic neuronal oscillations underpin local and regional cortical communication. The impact of the motor system neurodegenerative syndrome amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on the neuronal oscillations subserving movement might therefore serve as a sensitive marker of disease activity. Movement preparation and execution are consistently associated with modulations to neuronal oscillation beta (15–30 Hz) power. Cortical beta‐band oscillations were measured using magnetoencephalography (MEG) during preparation for, execution, and completion of a visually cued, lateralized motor task that included movement inhibition trials. Eleven “classical” ALS patients, 9 with the primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) phenotype, and 12 asymptomatic carriers of ALS‐associated gene mutations were compared with age‐similar healthy control groups. Augmented beta desynchronization was observed in both contra‐ and ipsilateral motor cortices of ALS patients during motor preparation. Movement execution coincided with excess beta desynchronization in asymptomatic mutation carriers. Movement completion was followed by a slowed rebound of beta power in all symptomatic patients, further reflected in delayed hemispheric lateralization for beta rebound in the PLS group. This may correspond to the particular involvement of interhemispheric fibers of the corpus callosum previously demonstrated in diffusion tensor imaging studies. We conclude that the ALS spectrum is characterized by intensified cortical beta desynchronization followed by delayed rebound, concordant with a broader concept of cortical hyperexcitability, possibly through loss of inhibitory interneuronal influences. MEG may potentially detect cortical dysfunction prior to the development of overt symptoms, and thus be able to contribute to the assessment of future neuroprotective strategies. Hum Brain Mapp 38:237–254, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27623516
Terao, Shin-ichi; Miura, Naofumi; Noda, Aiji; Yoshida, Mari; Hashizume, Yoshio; Ikeda, Hiroshi; Sobue, Gen
We report a 69-year-old man who developed paralytic poliomyelitis in childhood and then decades later suffered from fatal respiratory failure. Six months before this event, he had progressive weight loss and shortness of breath. He had severe muscular atrophy of the entire right leg as a sequela of the paralytic poliomyelitis. He showed mild weakness of the facial muscle and tongue, dysarthria, and severe muscle atrophy from the neck to proximal upper extremities and trunk, but no obvious pyramidal signs. Electromyogram revealed neurogenic changes in the right leg, and in the paraspinal, sternocleidomastoid, and lingual muscles. There was a slight increase in central motor conduction time from the motor cortex to the lumbar anterior horn. Pulmonary function showed restrictive ventilation dysfunction, which was the eventual cause of death. Some neuropathological features were suggestive of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), namely Bunina bodies. In patients with a history of paralytic poliomyelitis who present after a long stable period with advanced fatal respiratory failure, one may consider not only respiratory impairment from post-polio syndrome but also the onset of ALS.
O'Reilly, Éilis J; Bjornevik, Kjetil; Schwarzschild, Michael A; McCullough, Marjorie L; Kolonel, Laurence N; Le Marchand, Loic; Manson, Joann E; Ascherio, Alberto
To prospectively examine for the first time the association between plasma urate levels measured in healthy participants and future amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) risk. A pooled case-control study nested in five US prospective cohorts comprising 319,617 participants who provided blood, of which 275 had ALS during follow-up. Pre-diagnostic plasma urate was determined for all participants using a clinical colorimetric enzyme assay. Gender-specific multivariable-adjusted rate ratios (RR) of ALS incidence or death estimated by conditional logistic regression and pooled using inverse-variance weighting. In age- and matching factor-adjusted analyses, a 1 mg/dL increase in urate concentration was associated with RR = 0.88 (95% CI: [0.78, 0.997] p = 0.044). After adjustment for BMI, a strong predictor of ALS and urate levels, and other potential covariates, the RR = 0.89 (95% CI: [0.78, 1.02]; p = 0.08 for 1mg/dL increase in urate). Elevation of plasma urate was modestly inversely associated with the risk of ALS and warrants further study for a potential role in this disease.
Pinkhardt, Elmar H; Jürgens, Reinhart; Becker, Wolfgang; Mölle, Matthias; Born, Jan; Ludolph, Albert C; Schreiber, Herbert
The evidence for involvement of extramotor cortical areas in non-demented patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been provided by recent neuropsychological and functional brain imaging studies. The aim of this study was to investigate possible alterations in selective attention, as an important constituent part of frontal brain function in ALS patients. A classical dichotic listening task paradigm was employed to assess event-related EEG potential (ERPs) indicators of selective attention as well as preattentive processing of mismatch, without interference by motor impairment.A total of 20 patients with sporadic ALS according to the revised El Escorial criteria and 20 healthy controls were studied. Additionally a neuropsychological test battery of frontotemporal functions was applied. Compared with the controls, the ALS patients showed a distinct decrease of the fronto-precentral negative difference wave (Nd), i.e., the main ERP indicator of selective attention. Analysis of the P3 component of the ERPs indicated an increased processing of non-relevant stimuli in ALS patients confirming a reduced focus of attention. We conclude impaired selective attention reflects a subtle variant of frontotemporal dementia frequently observed in ALS patients at a relatively early stage of the disease.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease. Although the pathogenesis remains unresolved, oxidative stress is known to play a pivotal role. Edaravone works in the central nervous system as a potent scavenger of oxygen radicals. In ALS mouse models, edaravone suppresses motor functional decline and nitration of tyrosine residues in the cerebrospinal fluid. Areas covered: Three clinical trials, one phase II open-label trial, and two phase III placebo-control randomized trials were reviewed. In all trials, the primary outcome measure was the changes in scores on the revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) to evaluate motor function of patients. Expert opinion: The phase II open label trial suggested that edaravone is safe and effective in ALS, markedly reducing 3-nitrotyrosine levels in the cerebrospinal fluid. One of the two randomized controlled trials showed beneficial effects in ALSFRS-R, although the differences were not significant. The last trial demonstrated that edaravone provided significant efficacy in ALSFRS-R scores over 24 weeks where concomitant use of riluzole was permitted. Eligibility was restricted to patients with a relatively short disease duration and preserved vital capacity. Therefore, combination therapy with edaravone and riluzole should be considered earlier.
Danel-Brunaud, V; Perez, T; Just, N; Destée, A
In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), respiratory muscle involvement is highly predictive of survival and quality of life (QOL). There is compelling evidence that non invasive ventilation (NIV) prolongs survival by several months and improves QOL more than any other currently available treatment. Frequent testing of pulmonary function and regular evaluations are recommended since 1999 by the American Academy of Neurology in order to take appropriate treatment decisions. There are numerous tests available to evaluate respiratory status in ALS and it is important to know their sensitivity and specificity to recognize clinical risk situations. Some recent data suggest that sniff nasal pressure and maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) can be performed reliably by most ALS patients and are more sensitive to decrements in inspiratory muscle strength than spirometry or arterial blood gasometry. Airway obstruction caused by ineffective coughing is the principal cause of intolerance to NIV. Several factors other than respiratory muscle strength may affect pulmonary function: postural changes, nutritional status, infectious disease, drugs. The neurologist has to coordinate multidisciplinary care, with attention to individual patient preferences, and with a frank and compassionate discussion between the patient, the family, the physicians and the caregivers.
Soler, Bernardita; Fadic, Ricardo; von Bernhardi, Rommy
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease. At present, there are not curative therapies for ALS. Pathogenic and progression mechanisms suggest the existence of oxidative stress, abnormal intracellular protein aggregation, mitochondrial dysfunction, axonal transport impairment, impairment of trophic support, altered glial cell function, and glutamate excitoxicity. To evaluate therapeutic results with adult stem cell for ALS treatment. Stem cells represent a potential therapeutic strategy, because their biological mechanisms could act on several of the pathogenic mechanisms proposed for ALS. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells are especially interesting among adult stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells can differentiate in all central nervous system cells and potentially replace them. Furthermore, they have immunomodulatory effects, secreting, especially in neuroinflammatory environments, neurotrophic and antiinflammatory factors. Studies in murine models of ALS show decrease of inflammation and disease progression, and increase on animal highly heterogeneous, suggest that mesenchymal stem cells transplant in ALS appears to be safe. However, they fail showing clinical improvement of patients. Additional preclinical studies are necessary to refine this therapeutic approach, to assess long term survival and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells, dosing, biological activity and safety should be conducted before any planning further human testing occurs.
Shang, Yulei; Huang, Eric J
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. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Praxmarer, Veronika; Lahrmann, Heinz
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease with progressive muscle weakness, also affecting respiratory muscles. In the terminal phase most patients experience a progression. Nutrition, speech and breathing capacity decrease. It is important to inform the patient and relatives in time and to give them a chance to decide. "Care Planning" and "Advance Directives" especially concerning ventilation reduces fear and helps the doctors and carers to decide, following the will of the patient. Nobody knows the speed of the progression. The patient in this case had few subjective symptoms at the time of the family conference. Progression till death lasted one month only. Treatment of his dyspnoe was not optimised, but during care all decisions were based on the actual will of the patient. Generally nocturnal hypoventilation, for instance non-invasive ventilation by BiPAP-mode, can relieve symptoms of dyspnoe in ALS patients. Low-dose morphine and/or benzodiazepine relieve respiratory discomfort and remove the negative spiral of dysnoe-fear-dyspnoe. Oxygen therapy is usually not needed (only in the very last stages of the disease) and is not recommended especially during the night. Hypercapnia can occur because of hypoventilation. This can cause growing unconsciousness and maybe death during sleep. Prolonging life is only possible by invasive long-term ventilation with all the problems of intensive care measures. The patient could have been given low dose morphine from the time of the family conference. Ventilation by CPAP-mode was insufficient for him.
Kim, Boeun; Jin, Youri; Kim, Seung Hyun; Park, Yongsoon
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, and the nutritional state of ALS patients is associated with survival. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether macronutrient intake at early stage of the disease was positively associated with survival and duration from symptom onset to death, tracheostomy, or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in ALS. ALS patients diagnosed according to EI Escorial criteria were recruited from 2011 to 2016 and followed up until 2017, when they reached the endpoint of death, tracheostomy, or NIV use. Dietary intake was estimated based on a 24-hour recall conducted less than 2 years from symptom onset, and the survival time was defined as the duration from symptom onset to the endpoint. ALS patients were categorized as short-term group (n=79) and long-term group (n=69) according to the mean survival time (33.03±14.01 months). Short-term survival was negatively associated with fat, protein, and meat intake, and positively associated with carbohydrate intake after adjustment for confounders. In addition, the survival time was positively associated with fat, protein, and meat intake but was not associated with carbohydrate intake. The present study suggested that higher intake of fat and protein, particularly from meat at early stage of the disease, could prolong the survival of ALS patients. However, further clinical trials are necessary to confirm the beneficial effects of higher fat and protein intake on mortality in ALS patients.
Georges, Marjolaine; Morélot-Panzini, Capucine; Similowski, Thomas; Gonzalez-Bermejo, Jesus
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) leads to chronic respiratory failure. Diaphragmatic dysfunction, a major driver of dyspnea and mortality, is associated with a shift of the burden of ventilation to extradiaphragmatic inspiratory muscles, including neck muscles. Besides, energy expenditure is often abnormally high in ALS, and this is associated with a negative prognostic value. We hypothesized that noninvasive ventilation (NIV) would relieve inspiratory neck muscles and reduce resting energy expenditure (REE). Using indirect calorimetry, we measured REE during spontaneous breathing (REESB) and NIV (REENIV) in 16 ALS patients with diaphragmatic dysfunction, during the first 3 months of NIV. Measured values were compared with predicted REE (REEpred)(Harris-Benedict equation). NIV abolished inspiratory neck muscle activity. Even though our patients were not hypermetabolic, on the contrary, with a REESB that was lower than REEpred (average 11%), NIV did reduce energy expenditure. Indeed, median REENIV, in this population with a mean body mass index of 21.4 kg.m-2, was 1149 kcal/24 h [interquartile 970-1309], lower than REESB (1197 kcal/24 h, 1054-1402; mean difference 7%; p = 0.03, Wilcoxon). REESB and REENIV were correlated with forced vital capacity and maximal inspiratory pressure. NIV can reduce energy expenditure in ALS patients probably by alleviating the ventilatory burden imposed on inspiratory neck muscles to compensate diaphragm weakness. It remains to be elucidated whether or not, in which population, and to what extent, NIV can be beneficial in ALS through the corresponding reduction in energy expenditure.
Weiner, Michael W.; Maudsley, Andrew A.; Schuff, Norbert; Soher, Brian J.; Vermathen, Peter P.; Fein, George; Laxer, Kenneth D.
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.
Aaron, Catherine; Beaudry, Gabrielle; Parker, J Alex; Therrien, Martine
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.
Tada, Mikiko; Doi, Hiroshi; Koyano, Shigeru; Kubota, Shun; Fukai, Ryoko; Hashiguchi, Shunta; Hayashi, Noriko; Kawamoto, Yuko; Kunii, Misako; Tanaka, Kenichi; Takahashi, Keita; Ogawa, Yuki; Iwata, Ryo; Yamanaka, Shoji; Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Tanaka, Fumiaki
Mutations in the MATR3 gene have been identified as a cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but involvement of the matrin 3 (MATR3) protein in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) pathology has not been fully assessed. We immunohistochemically analyzed MATR3 pathology in the spinal cords of SALS and control autopsy specimens. MATR3 immunostaining of the motor neuron nuclei revealed two distinct patterns: mild and strong staining. There were no differences in the ratio of mild versus strong nuclear staining between the SALS and control cases. MATR3-containing neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs) were observed in 60% of SALS cases. Most motor neurons with MATR3-positive NCIs exhibited a mild nuclear staining pattern. Although 16.8% of NCIs positive for transactivating response region DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) were estimated as double-labeled by MATR3, no MATR3-positive or TDP-43-negative NCIs were observed. Although a previous study found that MATR3-positive NCIs are present only in cases with C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion, ubiquitin-positive granular NCIs were not observed in the cerebellum, which have been reported as specific to C9orf72-related ALS. Six ALS cases were confirmed to be negative for the GGGGCC hexanucleotide. Our results reveal that MATR3 is a component of TDP-43-positive NCIs in motor neurons, even in SALS, and indicate the broader involvement of MATR3 in ALS pathology and the heterogeneity of TDP-43-positive NCIs. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Background The Kii peninsula of Japan is one of the foci of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia complex (ALS/PDC) in the world. The purpose of this study is to clarify the neuropsychological features of the patients with ALS/PDC of the Kii peninsula (Kii ALS/PDC). Methods The medical interview was done on 13 patients with Kii ALS/PDC, 12 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, 10 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy, 10 patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and 10 patients with dementia with Lewy bodies. These patients and their carer/spouse were asked to report any history of abulia-apathy, hallucination, personality change and other variety of symptoms. Patients also underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and neuropsychological tests comprising the Mini Mental State Examination, Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrices, verbal fluency, and Paired-Associate Word Learning Test and some of them were assessed with the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB). Results All patients with Kii ALS/PDC had cognitive dysfunction including abulia-apathy, bradyphrenia, hallucination, decrease of extraversion, disorientation, and delayed reaction time. Brain MRI showed atrophy of the frontal and/or temporal lobes, and SPECT revealed a decrease in cerebral blood flow of the frontal and/or temporal lobes in all patients with Kii ALS/PDC. Disorientation, difficulty in word recall, delayed reaction time, and low FAB score were recognized in Kii ALS/PDC patients with cognitive dysfunction. Conclusions The core neuropsychological features of the patients with Kii ALS/PDC were characterized by marked abulia-apathy, bradyphrenia, and hallucination. PMID:25041813
Andersen, Tiina; Sandnes, Astrid; Brekka, Anne Kristine; Hilland, Magnus; Clemm, Hege; Fondenes, Ove; Tysnes, Ole-Bjørn; Heimdal, John-Helge; Halvorsen, Thomas; Vollsæter, Maria; Røksund, Ola Drange
Background Most patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are treated with mechanical insufflation–exsufflation (MI-E) in order to improve cough. This method often fails in ALS with bulbar involvement, allegedly due to upper-airway malfunction. We have studied this phenomenon in detail with laryngoscopy to unravel information that could lead to better treatment. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of 20 patients with ALS and 20 healthy age-matched and sex-matched volunteers. We used video-recorded flexible transnasal fibre-optic laryngoscopy during MI-E undertaken according to a standardised protocol, applying pressures of ±20 to ±50 cm H2O. Laryngeal movements were assessed from video files. ALS type and characteristics of upper and lower motor neuron symptoms were determined. Results At the supraglottic level, all patients with ALS and bulbar symptoms (n=14) adducted their laryngeal structures during insufflation. At the glottic level, initial abduction followed by subsequent adduction was observed in all patients with ALS during insufflation and exsufflation. Hypopharyngeal constriction during exsufflation was observed in all subjects, most prominently in patients with ALS and bulbar symptoms. Healthy subjects and patients with ALS and no bulbar symptoms (n=6) coordinated their cough well during MI-E. Conclusions Laryngoscopy during ongoing MI-E in patients with ALS and bulbar symptoms revealed laryngeal adduction especially during insufflation but also during exsufflation, thereby severely compromising the size of the laryngeal inlet in some patients. Individually customised settings can prevent this and thereby improve and extend the use of non-invasive MI-E. PMID:27174631
Iyer, Parameswaran Mahadeva; Egan, Catriona; Pinto-Grau, Marta; Burke, Tom; Elamin, Marwa; Nasseroleslami, Bahman; Pender, Niall; Lalor, Edmund C.; Hardiman, Orla
Background Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is heterogeneous and overlaps with frontotemporal dementia. Spectral EEG can predict damage in structural and functional networks in frontotemporal dementia but has never been applied to ALS. Methods 18 incident ALS patients with normal cognition and 17 age matched controls underwent 128 channel EEG and neuropsychology assessment. The EEG data was analyzed using FieldTrip software in MATLAB to calculate simple connectivity measures and scalp network measures. sLORETA was used in nodal analysis for source localization and same methods were applied as above to calculate nodal network measures. Graph theory measures were used to assess network integrity. Results Cross spectral density in alpha band was higher in patients. In ALS patients, increased degree values of the network nodes was noted in the central and frontal regions in the theta band across seven of the different connectivity maps (p<0.0005). Among patients, clustering coefficient in alpha and gamma bands was increased in all regions of the scalp and connectivity were significantly increased (p=0.02). Nodal network showed increased assortativity in alpha band in the patients group. The Clustering Coefficient in Partial Directed Connectivity (PDC) showed significantly higher values for patients in alpha, beta, gamma, theta and delta frequencies (p=0.05). Discussion There is increased connectivity in the fronto-central regions of the scalp and areas corresponding to Salience and Default Mode network in ALS, suggesting a pathologic disruption of neuronal networking in early disease states. Spectral EEG has potential utility as a biomarker in ALS. PMID:26091258
Geronimo, A.; Simmons, Z.; Schiff, S. J.
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.
Verde, Federico; Steinacker, Petra; Oeckl, Patrick; Weishaupt, Jochen H; Rosenbohm, Angela; Silani, Vincenzo; Ludolph, Albert C; Otto, Markus
Chromogranin A (CgA) is a protein found in large dense-core vesicles of neuroendocrine cells and neurons and regulating secretion. A relevance to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was suggested as its overexpression accelerates disease onset in model systems and it interacts with mutant forms of SOD1. Recently, increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CgA levels have been reported in ALS patients relative to controls. With the aim of confirming this finding, we measured CgA and phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNFH), an established ALS biomarker, in the CSF of 32 ALS patients and 32 disease controls. ALS patients had clearly increased pNFH levels (p < 0.0001), while CgA levels were only modestly lower relative to controls (p = 0.0265), with wide value overlap and consequently poor discriminative performance. CgA did not correlate with any disease parameters among ALS patients. Our findings suggest that CgA is not a promising clinical biomarker for ALS. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Riccio, Angela; Simione, Luca; Schettini, Francesca; Pizzimenti, Alessia; Inghilleri, Maurizio; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; Mattia, Donatella; Cincotti, Febo
The purpose of this study was to investigate the support of attentional and memory processes in controlling a P300-based brain-computer interface (BCI) in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Eight people with ALS performed two behavioral tasks: (i) a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task, screening the temporal filtering capacity and the speed of the update of the attentive filter, and (ii) a change detection task, screening the memory capacity and the spatial filtering capacity. The participants were also asked to perform a P300-based BCI spelling task. By using correlation and regression analyses, we found that only the temporal filtering capacity in the RSVP task was a predictor of both the P300-based BCI accuracy and of the amplitude of the P300 elicited performing the BCI task. We concluded that the ability to keep the attentional filter active during the selection of a target influences performance in BCI control. PMID:24282396
Han, Huihui; Wei, Wanyi; Duan, Weisong; Guo, Yansu; Li, Yi; Wang, Jie; Bi, Yue; Li, Chunyan
Autophagy-linked FYVE (Alfy) is a protein implicated in the selective degradation of aggregated proteins. In our present study, we found that Alfy was recruited into the aggregated G93A-SOD1 in transgenic mice with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We demonstrated that Alfy overexpression could decrease the expression of mutant proteins via the autophagosome-lysosome pathway, and thereby, the toxicity of mutant proteins was reduced. The clearance of the mutant proteins in NSC34 cells was significantly inhibited in an Alfy knockdown cellular model. We therefore deduced that Alfy translocalization likely is involved in the pathogenesis of ALS. Alfy may be developed into a useful target for ALS therapy.
Ludolph, Albert C; Schuster, Joachim; Dorst, Johannes; Dupuis, Luc; Dreyhaupt, Jens; Weishaupt, Jochen H; Kassubek, Jan; Weiland, Ulrike; Petri, Susanne; Meyer, Thomas; Grosskreutz, Julian; Schrank, Berthold; Boentert, Matthias; Emmer, Alexander; Hermann, Andreas; Zeller, Daniel; Prudlo, Johannes; Winkler, Andrea S; Grehl, Torsten; Heneka, Michael T; Wollebæk Johannesen, Siw; Göricke, Bettina
Rasagiline, a monoamine oxidase B inhibitor with neuroprotective potential in Parkinson's disease, has shown a disease-modifying effect in the SOD1-Gly93Ala low-expressing mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, both alone and in combination with riluzole. We sought to test whether or not rasagiline 1 mg/day can prolong survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also receiving riluzole. Patients with possible, probable, or definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were enrolled to our randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, double-blind, phase 2 trial from 15 German network for motor neuron diseases (MND-NET) centres (university hospitals or clinics). Eligible patients were aged at least 18 years, had onset of progressive weakness within the 36 months before the study, had disease duration of more than 6 months and less than 3 years, and had a best-sitting slow vital capacity of at least 50%. After a 4-week screening period, eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either rasagiline (1 mg/day) or placebo in addition to riluzole (100 mg/day), after stratification for site of onset (bulbar or spinal) and study centre. Patients and all personnel assessing outcome parameters were masked to treatment allocation. Patients were followed up 2, 6, 12, and 18 months after randomisation. The primary endpoint was survival time, defined as the time to death or time to study cutoff date (ie, the last patient's last visit plus 14 days). Analyses of primary outcome and safety measures were done in all patients who received at least one dose of trial treatment (intention-to-treat population). The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01879241. Between July 2, 2013, and Nov 11, 2014, 273 patients were screened for eligibility, and 252 patients were randomly assigned to receive rasagiline (n=127) or placebo (n=125). 126 patients taking rasagiline and 125 taking placebo were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. For the
Cooper-Knock, Johnathan; Ahmedzai, Sam H; Shaw, Pamela
Sialorrhoea is a recognized complication of bulbar amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that leads to an increased risk of potentially harmful aspiration and often prevents patients from tolerating non-invasive ventilation (NIV). A case of treatment-resistant sialorrhoea in bulbar ALS is described where subcutaneous glycopyrrolate was effective without significant side-effects. The patient went on to markedly increase the length of time she could tolerate NIV each night.
Caller, Tracie A; Andrews, Angeline; Field, Nicholas C; Henegan, Patricia L; Stommel, Elijah W
Trends in disease incidence and mortality can provide clues to disease etiology. Previously, we described a town in New Hampshire (N.H.), USA, with 25 times the expected incidence rate of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This study aimed to describe the incidence and mortality of ALS across the state to assess rates relative to other states and industrialized nations. A retrospective review of records from regional ALS centers, clinics and ALS organizations was conducted to obtain demographics and diagnostic details for patients diagnosed with ALS or primary lateral sclerosis in N.H. from January 2004 to December 2007. Data on mortality from review of death certificates were obtained for a similar time frame. We identified 113 N.H. residents diagnosed with ALS in 2004-2007, yielding an age-standardized incidence rate ranging from 1.3 to 2.2 per 100,000 of the population per year. During the same period, the standardized mortality rate per 100,000 varied from 2.6 to 3.5. ALS was more common among men (ratio 1.6:1), who were more likely than women to have an earlier age at onset (59 ± 14.2 vs. 65 ± 11.8 years, p = 0.01). While localized areas in N.H. with high ALS incidence rates have been reported previously, the overall incidence and mortality rates of ALS in N.H. are similar to those in other industrialized nations. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Riancho, Javier; Bosque-Varela, Pilar; Perez-Pereda, Sara; Povedano, Mónica; de Munaín, Adolfo López; Santurtun, Ana
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons (MNs). Although a small percentage of ALS has a familial origin, the vast majority of cases are sporadic in which genetic factors and environment interact with each other leading to disease onset in genetically predisposed individuals. In the current model of the disease, each individual has a determined genetic load, some degree of cell degeneration related to age and several risky environmental exposures. In this scenario, MN degeneration would occur when the sum of these factors reach a certain threshold. To date, an extensive list of environmental factors has been associated to ALS, including different categories, such as exposure to heavy metals and other toxicants, cyanotoxins or infectious agents. In addition, in recent years, lifestyle and other demographic parameters are gaining relevance in the genesis of the disease. Among them, physical activity, nutrition, body mass index, cardiovascular risk factors, autoimmune diseases and cancer are some of the conditions which have been related to the disease. In this review, we will discuss the potential mechanisms of environmental conditions in motor neuron degeneration. Understanding the role of each one of these factors as well as their interactions appears as a crucial step in order to develop new preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for ALS patients.
Yamauchi, Rika; Imai, Tomihiro; Tsuda, Emiko; Hozuki, Takayoshi; Yamamoto, Daisuke; Shimohama, Shun
We performed a longitudinal study to elucidate the correlation between respiratory insufficiency and respiratory biomarkers, including diaphragmatic compound muscle action potential (DCMAP), at the initiation of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The patients were assessed at least every six months. Additional assessments were performed at the start of respiratory therapy when the patients met the criteria for the initiation of NIV. Each assessment consisted of a full neurological examination, a phrenic nerve conduction study, respiratory function tests, and nocturnal pulsed oximetry. We enrolled 43 patients with either definite or probable ALS as defined by the revised El Escorial criteria. The patients were divided into two groups according to the timing of the initiation of respiratory therapy. Seventeen patients (group A) met the criteria for NIV initiation when their DCMAP remained normal. Twenty-six patients (group B) met the criteria when their DCMAP decreased below normal limits. Although respiratory function parameters were significantly worse in group B compared with group A at NIV initiation, more than 80% of the patients in both groups developed nocturnal desaturation during sleep. DCMAP is not always a reliable indicator for determining the optimal timing for NIV initiation during the progression of respiratory insufficiency in ALS. Physicians should be aware of the risk of respiratory insufficiency during sleep in patients with ALS.
Connolly, Sheelah; Galvin, Miriam; Hardiman, Orla
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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Roos, Per M; Vesterberg, Olof; Syversen, Tore; Flaten, Trond Peder; Nordberg, Monica
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and fatal degenerative disorder of motor neurons. The cause of this degeneration is unknown, and different causal hypotheses include genetic, viral, traumatic and environmental mechanisms. In this study, we have analyzed metal concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood plasma in a well-defined cohort (n = 17) of ALS patients diagnosed with quantitative electromyography. Metal analyses were performed with high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Statistically significant higher concentrations of manganese, aluminium, cadmium, cobalt, copper, zinc, lead, vanadium and uranium were found in ALS CSF compared to control CSF. We also report higher concentrations of these metals in ALS CSF than in ALS blood plasma, which indicate mechanisms of accumulation, e.g. inward directed transport. A pattern of multiple toxic metals is seen in ALS CSF. The results support the hypothesis that metals with neurotoxic effects are involved in the pathogenesis of ALS.
Marconi, Anna; Gragnano, Gaia; Lunetta, Christian; Gatto, Ramona; Fabiani, Viviana; Tagliaferri, Aurora; Rossi, Gabriella; Sansone, Valeria; Pagnini, Francesco
There is a lack of studies about psychological interventions for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their caregivers. We investigated the experience of a meditation training program tailored for ALS needs. People with ALS (pALS) and their caregivers that joined a meditation program for ALS were interviewed at the end of the program. Verbatims were analyzed with a qualitative approach. Both pALS and their caregivers reported a positive impact on their psychological well-being, promoted by an increase in acceptance and non-judgmental attitude. Furthermore, coping strategies seem to improve, with a positive effect on resilience skills. The ALS meditation training program seems to be an effective psychological intervention for the promotion of well-being in pALS and their caregivers.
Abrahams, Sharon; Goldstein, Laura H; Suckling, John; Ng, Virginia; Simmons, Andy; Chitnis, Xavier; Atkins, Louise; Williams, Steve C R; Leigh, P N
Cognitive dysfunction can occur in some patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who are not suffering from dementia. The most striking and consistent cognitive deficit has been found using tests of verbal fluency. ALS patients with verbal fluency deficits have shown functional imaging abnormalities predominantly in frontotemporal regions using positron emission tomography (PET). This study used automated volumetric voxel-based analysis of grey and white matter densities of structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to explore the underlying pattern of structural cerebral change in nondemented ALS patients with verbal fluency deficits. Two groups of ALS patients, defined by the presence or absence of cognitive impairment on the basis of the Written Verbal Fluency Test (ALSi, cognitively impaired, n=11; ALSu, cognitively unimpaired n=12) were compared with healthy age matched controls (n=12). A comparison of the ALSi group with controls revealed significantly (p<0.002) reduced white matter volume in extensive motor and non-motor regions, including regions corresponding to frontotemporal association fibres. These patients demonstrated a corresponding cognitive profile of executive and memory dysfunction. Less extensive white matter reductions were revealed in the comparison of the ALSu and control groups in regions corresponding to frontal association fibres. White matter volumes were also found to correlate with performance on memory tests. There were no significant reductions in grey matter volume in the comparison of either patient group with controls. The structural white matter abnormalities in frontal and temporal regions revealed here may underlie the cognitive and functional imaging abnormalities previously reported in non-demented ALS patients. The results also suggest that extra-motor structural abnormalities may be present in ALS patients with no evidence of cognitive change. The findings support the hypothesis of a continuum of extra
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 progression and
Larrodé, Pilar; Calvo, Ana Cristina; Moreno-Martínez, Laura; de la Torre, Miriam; Moreno-García, Leticia; Molina, Nora; Castiella, Tomás; Iñiguez, Cristina; Pascual, Luis Fernando; Mena, Francisco Javier Miana; Zaragoza, Pilar; Y Cajal, Santiago Ramón; Osta, Rosario
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease of unknown origin and characterized by a relentless loss of motor neurons that causes a progressive muscle weakness until death. Among the several pathogenic mechanisms that have been related to ALS, a dysregulation of calcium-buffering proteins in motor neurons of the brain and spinal cord can make these neurons more vulnerable to disease progression. Downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM) is a neuronal calcium-binding protein that plays multiple roles in the nucleus and cytosol. The main aim of this study was focused on the characterization of DREAM and glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) in the brain and spinal cord tissues from transgenic SOD1 G93A mice and ALS patients to unravel its potential role under neurodegenerative conditions. The DREAM and GFAP levels in the spinal cord and different brain areas from transgenic SOD1 G93A mice and ALS patients were analyzed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Our findings suggest that the calcium-dependent excitotoxicity progressively enhanced in the CNS in ALS could modulate the multifunctional nature of DREAM, strengthening its apoptotic way of action in both motor neurons and astrocytes, which could act as an additional factor to increase neuronal damage. The direct crosstalk between astrocytes and motor neurons can become vulnerable under neurodegenerative conditions, and DREAM could act as an additional switch to enhance motor neuron loss. Together, these findings could pave the way to further study the molecular targets of DREAM to find novel therapeutic strategies to fight ALS.
Xue, Yuan Chao; Feuer, Ralph; Cashman, Neil; Luo, Honglin
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that primarily attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, leading to progressive paralysis and ultimately death. Currently there is no effective therapy. The majority of ALS cases are sporadic, with no known family history; unfortunately the etiology remains largely unknown. Contribution of Enteroviruses (EVs), a family of positive-stranded RNA viruses including poliovirus, coxsackievirus, echovirus, enterovirus-A71 and enterovirus-D68, to the development of ALS has been suspected as they can target motor neurons, and patients with prior poliomyelitis show a higher risk of motor neuron disease. Multiple efforts have been made to detect enteroviral genome in ALS patient tissues over the past two decades; however the clinical data are controversial and a causal relationship has not yet been established. Recent evidence from in vitro and animal studies suggests that enterovirus-induced pathology remarkably resembles the cellular and molecular phenotype of ALS, indicating a possible link between enteroviral infection and ALS pathogenesis. In this review, we summarize the nature of enteroviral infection, including route of infection, cells targeted, and viral persistence within the central nervous system (CNS). We review the molecular mechanisms underlying viral infection and highlight the similarity between viral pathogenesis and the molecular and pathological features of ALS, and finally, discuss the potential role of enteroviral infection in frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a disease that shares common clinical, genetic, and pathological features with ALS, and the significance of anti-viral therapy as an option for the treatment of ALS. PMID:29593492
Markovic, Nevena; Povitz, Marcus; Smith, Joanne; Leasa, David; Shoesmith, Christen; Gofton, Teneille E
Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) improves quality of life and survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and respiratory symptoms. Little is known about the patterns of NIV use over time and the impact of NIV on end-of-life decision-making in ALS. This study assessed the pattern of NIV use over the course of the disease and the timing of end-of-life discussions in people living with ALS. A retrospective single-center cohort study was performed at London Health Sciences Centre. Daily NIV duration of use was evaluated at 3-month intervals. The timing of diagnosis, NIV initiation, discussions relating to do-not-attempt-resuscitation (DNAR) and death were examined. In total, 48 patients were included in the analysis. Duration of NIV use increased over time, and tolerance to NIV was observed to be better than expected in patients with bulbar-onset ALS. There was a high degree of variability in the timing of end-of-life discussions in patients with ALS (356±451 days from diagnosis). In this cohort, there was a strong association between the timing of discussions regarding code status and establishment of a DNAR order (r2=0.93). This retrospective cohort study suggests that the use of NIV in ALS increases over time and that there remains a great deal of variability in the timing of end-of-life discussions in people living with ALS. Future prospective studies exploring the use NIV over the disease trajectory and how NIV affects end-of-life decision-making in people with ALS are needed.
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
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
Tefera, Tesfaye W.; Borges, Karin
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease primarily characterized by loss of motor neurons in brain and spinal cord. The death of motor neurons leads to denervation of muscle which in turn causes muscle weakness and paralysis, decreased respiratory function and eventually death. Growing evidence indicates disturbances in energy metabolism in patients with ALS and animal models of ALS, which are likely to contribute to disease progression. Particularly, defects in glucose metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction limit the availability of ATP to CNS tissues and muscle. Several metabolic approaches improving mitochondrial function have been investigated in vitro and in vivo and showed varying effects in ALS. The effects of metabolic approaches in ALS models encompass delays in onset of motor symptoms, protection of motor neurons and extension of survival, which signifies an important role of metabolism in the pathogenesis of the disease. There is now an urgent need to test metabolic approaches in controlled clinical trials. In addition, more detailed studies to better characterize the abnormalities in energy metabolism in patients with ALS and ALS models are necessary to develop metabolically targeted effective therapies that can slow the progression of the disease and prolong life for patients with ALS. PMID:28119559
Diaz-Abad, Montserrat; Brown, John Edward
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease in which most patients die of respiratory failure. Although volume-targeted non-invasive bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) ventilation has been studied in patients with chronic respiratory failure of various etiologies, its use in ALS has not been reported. We present the case of a 66-year-old woman with ALS and respiratory failure treated with volume-targeted BPAP ventilation for 15 weeks. Weekly data downloads showed that disease progression was associated with increased respiratory muscle weakness, decreased spontaneous breathing, and increased use of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation, whereas tidal volume and minute ventilation remained relatively constant. PMID:25210968
Tsermentseli, Stella; Leigh, P. Nigel; Taylor, Lorna J.; Radunovic, Aleksandar; Catani, Marco; Goldstein, Laura H.
Despite recent interest in cognitive changes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), investigations of language function looking at the level of word, sentence and discourse processing are relatively scarce. Data were obtained from 26 patients with sporadic ALS and 26 healthy controls matched for age, education, gender, anxiety, depression and executive function performance. Standardized language tasks included confrontation naming, semantic access, and syntactic comprehension. Quantitative production analysis (QPA) was used to analyse connected speech samples of the Cookie Theft picture description task. Results showed that the ALS patients were impaired on standardized measures of grammatical comprehension and action/verb semantics. At the level of discourse, ALS patients were impaired on measures of syntactic complexity and fluency; however, the latter could be better explained by disease related factors. Discriminant analysis revealed that syntactic measures differentiated ALS patients from controls. In conclusion, patients with ALS exhibit deficits in receptive and expressive language on tasks of comprehension and connected speech production, respectively. Our findings suggest that syntactic processing deficits seem to be the predominant feature of language impairment in ALS and that these deficits can be detected by relatively simple language tests. PMID:26312952
Tsermentseli, Stella; Leigh, P Nigel; Taylor, Lorna J; Radunovic, Aleksandar; Catani, Marco; Goldstein, Laura H
Despite recent interest in cognitive changes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), investigations of language function looking at the level of word, sentence and discourse processing are relatively scarce. Data were obtained from 26 patients with sporadic ALS and 26 healthy controls matched for age, education, gender, anxiety, depression and executive function performance. Standardized language tasks included confrontation naming, semantic access, and syntactic comprehension. Quantitative production analysis (QPA) was used to analyse connected speech samples of the Cookie Theft picture description task. Results showed that the ALS patients were impaired on standardized measures of grammatical comprehension and action/verb semantics. At the level of discourse, ALS patients were impaired on measures of syntactic complexity and fluency; however, the latter could be better explained by disease related factors. Discriminant analysis revealed that syntactic measures differentiated ALS patients from controls. In conclusion, patients with ALS exhibit deficits in receptive and expressive language on tasks of comprehension and connected speech production, respectively. Our findings suggest that syntactic processing deficits seem to be the predominant feature of language impairment in ALS and that these deficits can be detected by relatively simple language tests.
Taylor, Lorna J; Brown, Richard G; Tsermentseli, Stella; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Shaw, Christopher E; Ellis, Catherine M; Leigh, P Nigel; Goldstein, Laura H
Systematic explorations of language abilities in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are lacking in the context of wider cognitive change. Neuropsychological assessment data were obtained from 51 patients with ALS and 35 healthy controls matched for age, gender and IQ. Composite scores were derived for the domains of language and executive functioning. Domain impairment was defined as a composite score ≤5th centile relative to the control mean. Cognitive impairment was also classified using recently published consensus criteria. The patients with ALS were impaired on language and executive composite scores. Language domain impairment was found in 43% of patients with ALS, and executive domain impairment in 31%. Standardised language and executive composite scores correlated in the ALS group (r=0.68, p<0.001). Multiple regression analyses indicated that scores on the executive composite accounted for 44% of the variance in language composite scores. Language impairments are at least as prevalent as executive dysfunction in ALS. While the two domains are strongly associated, executive dysfunction does not fully account for the profile of language impairments observed, further highlighting the heterogeneity of cognitive impairment in non-demented patients with ALS.
Siciliano, G; Piazza, S; Carlesi, C; Del Corona, A; Franzini, M; Pompella, A; Malvaldi, G; Mancuso, M; Paolicchi, A; Murri, L
The causes of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are unknown. A bulk of evidence supports the hypothesis that oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction can be implicated in ALS pathogenesis. METHODS =: We assessed, in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in plasma of 49 ALS patients and 8 controls, the amount of oxidized proteins (AOPP, advanced oxidation protein products), the total antioxidant capacity (FRA, the ferric reducing ability), and, in CSF, two oxidation products, the 4-hydroxynonenal and the sum of nitrites plus nitrates. The FRA was decreased (p = 0.003) in CSF, and AOPP were increased in both CSF (p = 0.0039) and plasma (p = 0.001) of ALS patients. The content of AOPP was differently represented in CSF of ALS clinical subsets, resulting in increase in the common and pseudopolyneuropathic forms (p < 0.001) and nearly undetectable in the bulbar form, as in controls. The sum of nitrites plus nitrates and 4-hydroxynonenal were unchanged in ALS patients compared with controls. Our results, while confirming the occurrence of oxidative stress in ALS, indicate how its effects can be stratified and therefore implicated differently in the pathogenesis of different clinical forms of ALS.
Yamashita, A; Koike, Y; Takahashi, A; Hirayama, M; Murakami, N; Sobue, G
We evaluated plasma noradrenaline (NA) levels at test and during head-up tilt test in 20 patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Their fasting plasma NA levels ranged from 195 to 4227 pg/ml. The average plasma NA level was 483 pg/ml in five ambulatory patients, 341 in two wheelchair-bound patients, 1264 in 11 bedridden patients, and 208 in two respirator-dependent patients whose disability grading was the worst among the four groups. Arterial carbon dioxide (PCO2) was evaluated as a measure of respiratory function. The coefficient of correlation between PCO2 and plasma NA was r = 0.654 (p < 0.01). Either respiratory failure or lower motor neuron dysfunction may relate to the elevation of plasma NA levels. In the two bedridden patients, plasma NA levels and heart rate at rest increased significantly as the disease progressed. Cardiovascular responses to head-up tilting were normal. These data suggest that the elevation of plasma NA levels may be related to progression of respiratory failure and lower motor neuron dysfunction. In conclusion, sympathetic hyperactivity in ALS is considered to be not primary, but secondary to somatic motor disabilities and respiratory failure.
As both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease (PD) exhibit a variety of patterns of dysphagia, appropriate symptomatic treatment is provided after evaluation of swallowing function through videofluoroscopic examination of swallowing. In ALS, disease progression is rapid, therefore, respiratory function, swallowing function and nutritional status should be evaluated regularly. When the oral or pharyngeal stage of swallowing are affected early in dysphagia, adjusting swallowing volume and varying consistency can be beneficial in ALS. When all stages of swallowing are impaired in ALS, such complications as pneumonia, dehydration and malnutrition, are observed. In such patients, it is necessary to consider an alternative to oral dietary intake. In PD, dysphagia is not necessarily associated with severity of parkinsonism and can appear at any time during the course of the disease. Dysphagia in PD can occur at any stage of swallowing and frequently accompanies multiple abnormalities. In particular, aspiration is an important risk factor for pneumonia in PD. The effect of L-dopa treatment for dysphagia is often insufficient; however, this treatment remains the first choice because dysphagia is exacerbated during off state. Rehabilitation for dysphagia in PD has also some effect.
Ward, Amber Lea; Hammond, Sara; Holsten, Scott; Bravver, Elena; Brooks, Benjamin Rix
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.
Tortarolo, Massimo; Lo Coco, Daniele; Veglianese, Pietro; Vallarola, Antonio; Giordana, Maria Teresa; Marcon, Gabriella; Beghi, Ettore; Poloni, Marco; Strong, Michael J.; Iyer, Anand M.; Aronica, Eleonora
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is considered a multifactorial, multisystem disease in which inflammation and the immune system play important roles in development and progression. The pleiotropic cytokine TNFα is one of the major players governing the inflammation in the central nervous system and peripheral districts such as the neuromuscular and immune system. Changes in TNFα levels are reported in blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and nerve tissues of ALS patients and animal models. However, whether they play a detrimental or protective role on the disease progression is still not clear. Our group and others have recently reported opposite involvements of TNFR1 and TNFR2 in motor neuron death. TNFR2 mediates TNFα toxic effects on these neurons presumably through the activation of MAP kinase-related pathways. On the other hand, TNFR2 regulates the function and proliferation of regulatory T cells (Treg) whose expression is inversely correlated with the disease progression rate in ALS patients. In addition, TNFα is considered a procachectic factor with a direct catabolic effect on skeletal muscles, causing wasting. We review and discuss the role of TNFα in ALS in the light of its multisystem nature. PMID:29081600
Tokuda, Eiichi; Furukawa, Yoshiaki
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
Wu, Yunfeng; Ng, Sin Chun
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.
Tokuda, Eiichi; Furukawa, Yoshiaki
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.
Fang, Xin; Wang, Xin; Yang, Shaoguo; Meng, Fanjing; Wang, Xiaolei; Wei, Hua; Chen, Tingtao
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.
Aparicio-Erriu, Isabela M.; Prehn, Jochen H. M.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by the loss of motoneurons. The precise molecular and cellular basis for neuronal death is not yet well established, but the contemporary view is that it is a culmination of multiple aberrant biological processes. Among the proposed mechanisms of motoneuron degeneration, alterations in the homeostasis of RNA binding proteins (RBP) and the consequent changes in RNA metabolism have received attention recently. The ribonuclease, angiogenin was one of the first RBPs associated with familial and sporadic ALS. It is enriched in motoneurons under physiological conditions, and is required for motoneuron survival under stress conditions. Furthermore, delivery of angiogenin protects cultured motoneurons against stress-induced injury, and significantly increases the survival of motoneurons in SODG93A mice. In this overview on the role of angiogenin in RNA metabolism and in the control of motoneuron survival, we discuss potential pathogenic mechanisms of angiogenin dysfunction relevant to ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders. We also discuss recent evidence demonstrating that angiogenin secreted from stressed motoneurons may alter RNA metabolism in astrocytes. PMID:23181008
Aparicio-Erriu, Isabela M; Prehn, Jochen H M
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by the loss of motoneurons. The precise molecular and cellular basis for neuronal death is not yet well established, but the contemporary view is that it is a culmination of multiple aberrant biological processes. Among the proposed mechanisms of motoneuron degeneration, alterations in the homeostasis of RNA binding proteins (RBP) and the consequent changes in RNA metabolism have received attention recently. The ribonuclease, angiogenin was one of the first RBPs associated with familial and sporadic ALS. It is enriched in motoneurons under physiological conditions, and is required for motoneuron survival under stress conditions. Furthermore, delivery of angiogenin protects cultured motoneurons against stress-induced injury, and significantly increases the survival of motoneurons in SOD(G93A) mice. In this overview on the role of angiogenin in RNA metabolism and in the control of motoneuron survival, we discuss potential pathogenic mechanisms of angiogenin dysfunction relevant to ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders. We also discuss recent evidence demonstrating that angiogenin secreted from stressed motoneurons may alter RNA metabolism in astrocytes.
Riancho, J; Gonzalo, I; Ruiz-Soto, M; Berciano, J
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons. Although a small proportion of ALS cases are familial in origin and linked to mutations in specific genes, most cases are sporadic and have a multifactorial aetiology. Some recent studies have increased our knowledge of ALS pathogenesis and raised the question of whether this disorder is a proteinopathy, a ribonucleopathy, an axonopathy, or a disease related to the neuronal microenvironment. This article presents a review of ALS pathogenesis. To this end, we have reviewed published articles describing either ALS patients or ALS animal models and we discuss how the main cellular pathways (gene processing, protein metabolism, oxidative stress, axonal transport, relationship with neuronal microenvironment) may be involved in motor neurons degeneration. ALS pathogenesis has not been fully elucidated. Recent studies suggest that although initial triggers may differ among patients, the final motor neurons degeneration mechanisms are similar in most patients once the disease is fully established. Copyright © 2016 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Paganoni, Sabrina; Macklin, Eric A; Karam, Chafic; Yu, Hong; Gonterman, Fernando; Fetterman, K Ashley; Cudkowicz, Merit; Berry, James; Wills, Anne-Marie
The objective of this study was to determine whether serum vitamin D [25(OH)D] levels are associated with disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 25(OH)D was measured in subjects enrolled in a multicenter study for validation of ALS biomarkers. Baseline 25(OH)D levels were correlated with baseline ALSFRS-R scores. Average 25(OH)D levels from baseline and month 6 visits (seasonally asynchronous) were used to predict subsequent rate of change in ALSFRS-R from month 6 to month 18. Most subjects had either insufficient or deficient 25(OH)D levels. Lower 25(OH)D was associated with lower ALSFRS-R gross motor scores, but not lower ALSFRS-R total scores at baseline. Levels of 25(OH)D were not predictive of disease progression over the next 12 months. 25(OH)D was associated with baseline gross motor ALSFRS-R scores but did not predict the rate of disease progression. Vitamin D levels may reflect poor mobility in patients with ALS. Muscle Nerve, 2017 Muscle Nerve 56: 726-731, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bacci, Elizabeth D; Staniewska, Dorota; Coyne, Karin S; Boyer, Stacey; White, Leigh Ann; Zach, Neta; Cedarbaum, Jesse M
Our objective was to examine dimensionality and item-level performance of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) across time using classical and modern test theory approaches. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Item Response Theory (IRT) analyses were conducted using data from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Pooled Resources Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials (PRO-ACT) database with complete ALSFRS-R data (n = 888) at three time-points (Time 0, Time 1 (6-months), Time 2 (1-year)). Results demonstrated that in this population of 888 patients, mean age was 54.6 years, 64.4% were male, and 93.7% were Caucasian. The CFA supported a 4* individual-domain structure (bulbar, gross motor, fine motor, and respiratory domains). IRT analysis within each domain revealed misfitting items and overlapping item response category thresholds at all time-points, particularly in the gross motor and respiratory domain items. Results indicate that many of the items of the ALSFRS-R may sub-optimally distinguish among varying levels of disability assessed by each domain, particularly in patients with less severe disability. Measure performance improved across time as patient disability severity increased. In conclusion, modifications to select ALSFRS-R items may improve the instrument's specificity to disability level and sensitivity to treatment effects.
Shimizu, Toshio; Bokuda, Kota; Kimura, Hideki; Kamiyama, Tsutomu; Nakayama, Yuki; Kawata, Akihiro; Isozaki, Eiji; Ugawa, Yoshikazu
To investigate somatosensory cortex excitability and its relationship to survival prognosis in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A total of 145 patients with sporadic ALS and 73 healthy control participants were studied. We recorded compound muscle action potential and sensory nerve action potential of the median nerve and the median nerve somatosensory evoked potential (SEP), and we measured parameters, including onset-to-peak amplitude of N13 and N20 and peak-to-peak amplitude between N20 and P25 (N20p-P25p). Clinical prognostic factors, including ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised, were evaluated. We followed up patients until the endpoints (death or tracheostomy) and analyzed factors associated with survival using multivariate analysis in the Cox proportional hazard model. Compared to controls, patients with ALS showed a larger amplitude of N20p-P25p in the median nerve SEP. Median survival time after examination was shorter in patients with N20p-P25p ≥8 μV (0.82 years) than in those with N20p-P25p <8 μV (1.68 years, p = 0.0002, log-rank test). Multivariate analysis identified a larger N20p-P25p amplitude as a factor that was independently associated with shorter survival ( p = 0.002). Sensory cortex hyperexcitability predicts short survival in patients with ALS. © 2018 American Academy of Neurology.
Gamez, Josep; Carmona, Francesc; Raguer, Nuria; Ferrer-Sancho, Jaume; Martín-Henao, Gregorio A; Martí-Beltrán, Sergi; Badia, Merce; Gratacós, Margarita; Rodriguez-Gónzalez, Esther; Seoane, Jose Luis; Pallero-Castillo, Mercedes; Burgos, Rosa; Puiggros, Carolina; Pasarin, Alejandro; Bori-Fortuny, Inmaculada
Cytotherapy is a promising option for neurodegenerative disease treatment. Because of the fatal prognosis and imperative need for effective treatment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients request this therapy before its effectiveness has been verified. The increase in clinics offering cytotherapies but providing little scientific information has prompted considerable medical tourism. We present an observational study of Spanish ALS patients receiving cytotherapy, analyzing the experiences arising from the treatment (TX) and considering two progression markers, FVC and ALSFRS-R. Twelve ALS patients with a mean age of 48.6 years (SD 12.8) received cytotherapy 26.9 months (SD 15.8) after clinical onset. ALSFRS-R and FVC at TX were 32.3 (SD 6.8) and 63.4% (SD 15.3), respectively. TX involved transplants of olfactory ensheathing cells in three patients, and autologous mesenchymal stromal cells in the remainder. One patient died 33 months post-TX after surviving for 49 months. Five required mechanical non-invasive home ventilation 7.4 months post-TX. Two required invasive ventilation 13 months post-TX. Five patients needed gastrostomy feeding 23.3 months post-TX. Survival between clinical onset and the study end date was 50 months (SD 17.2). No significant adverse events or changes in the decline of FVC and ALSFRS-R compared with the disease's natural history were observed. Our observations suggest that these therapies do not halt the course of the disease. Cytotherapy cannot yet be considered a curative treatment for ALS.
Cykowski, Matthew D.; Powell, Suzanne Z.; Peterson, Leif E.; Appel, Joan W.; Rivera, Andreana L.; Takei, Hidehiro; Chang, Ellen; Appel, Stanley H.
To determine the significance of TAR DNA binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43) pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we examined the whole brains and spinal cords of 57 patients (35 men; 22 women; mean age 63.3 years; 15 patients with c9orf72-associated ALS [c9ALS]). TDP-43 pathologic burden was determined relative to symptom onset site, disease duration, progression rate, cognitive status, and c9ALS status. There was a trend for greater TDP-43 pathologic burden in cognitively impaired patients (p = 0.07), though no association with disease duration or progression rate was seen. Shorter disease duration (p = 0.0016), more severe striatal pathology (p = 0.0029), and a trend toward greater whole brain TDP-43 pathology (p = 0.059) were found in c9ALS. Cluster analysis identified “TDP43-limited,” “TDP43-moderate,” and “TDP43-severe” subgroups. The TDP43-limited group contained more cognitively intact (p = 0.005) and lower extremity onset site (p = 0.019) patients, while other subgroups contained more cognitively impaired patients. We conclude that TDP-43 pathologic burden in ALS is associated with cognitive impairment and c9ALS, but not duration of disease or rate of progression. Further, we demonstrate a subgroup of patients with low TDP-43 burden, lower extremity onset, and intact cognition, which requires further investigation. PMID:28521037
Spataro, R; Volanti, P; Lo Coco, D; La Bella, V
Several variables have been linked to a shorter survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), for example, female sex, older age, site of disease onset, rapid disease progression, and a relatively short diagnostic delay. With regard to marital status, previous studies suggested that living with a partner might be associated to a longer survival and a higher likelihood to proceed to tracheostomy. Therefore, to further strengthen this hypothesis, we investigated the role of marital status as a prognostic variable in a cohort of ALS patients. We performed a retrospective analysis on 501 consecutive ALS patients for which a complete disease's natural history and clinical/demographic data were available. At diagnosis, 409 patients (81.6%) were married or lived with a stable partner, whereas 92 patients (18.4%) were single/widowed/divorced. In our ALS cohort, being married was associated with a median longer survival (married, 35 months [24-50] vs unmarried, 27 months [18-42]; P<.004). Moreover, married and unmarried patients were significantly different in many clinical and demographic variables, including age at disease onset, gender, body mass index, and number of children. Cox regression analysis showed that age at onset, diagnostic delay, and marital status were independent predictors of survival. In unmarried patients, female sex was also significantly associated with shorter survival. Marital status is a prognostic factor in ALS, and it significantly affects survival. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Fang, Fang; Peters, Tracy L; Beard, John D; Umbach, David M; Keller, Jean; Mariosa, Daniela; Allen, Kelli D; Ye, Weimin; Sandler, Dale P; Schmidt, Silke; Kamel, Freya
Blood lead and bone turnover may be associated with the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We aimed to assess whether these factors were also associated with time from ALS diagnosis to death through a survival analysis of 145 ALS patients enrolled during 2007 in the National Registry of Veterans with ALS. Associations of survival time with blood lead and plasma biomarkers of bone resorption (C-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX)) and bone formation (procollagen type I amino-terminal peptide (PINP)) were estimated using Cox models adjusted for age at diagnosis, diagnostic certainty, diagnostic delay, site of onset, and score on the Revised ALS Functional Rating Scale. Hazard ratios were calculated for each doubling of biomarker concentration. Blood lead, plasma CTX, and plasma PINP were mutually adjusted for one another. Increased lead (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.38; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03, 1.84) and CTX (HR = 2.03; 95% CI: 1.42, 2.89) were both associated with shorter survival, whereas higher PINP was associated with longer survival (HR = 0.59; 95% CI: 0.42, 0.83), after ALS diagnosis. No interactions were observed between lead or bone turnover and other prognostic indicators. Lead toxicity and bone metabolism may be involved in ALS pathophysiology. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Miranda, Marie Lynn; Alicia Overstreet Galeano, M; Tassone, Eric; Allen, Kelli D; Horner, Ronnie D
Veterans of the 1991 Gulf War have an increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the etiology is unknown. This study sought to identify geographic areas with elevated risk for the later development of ALS among military personnel who served in the first Gulf War. A unified geographic information system (GIS) was constructed to allow analysis of secondary data on troop movements in the 1991 Gulf War theatre in the Persian Gulf region including Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. We fit Bayesian Poisson regression models to adjust for potential risk factors, including one relatively discrete environmental exposure, and to identify areas associated with elevated risk of ALS. We found that service in particular locations of the Gulf was associated with an elevated risk for later developing ALS, both before and after adjustment for branch of service and potential of exposure to chemical warfare agents in and around Khamisiyah, Iraq. Specific geographic locations of troop units within the 1991 Gulf War theatre are associated with an increased risk for the subsequent development of ALS among members of those units. The identified spatial locations represent the logical starting points in the search for potential etiologic factors of ALS among Gulf War veterans. Of note, for locations where the relative odds of subsequently developing ALS are among the highest, specific risk factors, whether environmental or occupationally related, have not been identified. The results of spatial models can be used to subsequently look for risk factors that follow the spatial pattern of elevated risk.
Takei, Koji; Watanabe, Kazutoshi; Yuki, Satoshi; Akimoto, Makoto; Sakata, Takeshi; Palumbo, Joseph
The etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is unknown. Oxidative stress may be one of the major mechanisms involved. In vitro and in vivo data of edaravone suggest that it may possess broad free radical scavenging activity and protect neurons, glia, and vascular endothelial cells against oxidative stress. During the 1980s and 1990s, edaravone was developed for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. In 2001, a clinical program in ALS was initiated and five clinical studies were conducted in Japan. Phase III studies were designed to rapidly evaluate (within a 24-week double-blind study window) functional changes using the Revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) as a primary endpoint. The study populations were selected according to these considerations and were further refined as the studies proceeded. Although the first phase III study did not meet its primary endpoint, post-hoc analyses showed an apparent effect of edaravone, when additional patient inclusion criteria defined by ALSFRS-R score, pulmonary function, certainty of ALS diagnosis, and duration of disease were applied. This population was hypothesized not only to have retained broad functionality and normal respiratory function at study baseline but also to be likely to show measurable disease progression over 24 weeks. A second confirmatory phase III study applying these refinements in patient selection was prospectively designed and successfully documented a statistically significant difference between the edaravone and placebo groups in the ALSFRS-R primary endpoint. This paper describes and reviews data pertinent to the potential mechanism of action of edaravone, and reviews the development history of edaravone for the treatment of ALS.
Ono, S.; Imai, T.; Yamauchi, M.; Nagao, K.
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.
Martínez-Payá, Jacinto J; Ríos-Díaz, José; Medina-Mirapeix, Francesc; Vázquez-Costa, Juan F; Del Baño-Aledo, María Elena
The need is increasing for progression biomarkers that allow the loss of motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to be monitored in clinical trials. In this prospective longitudinal study, muscle thickness, echointensity, echovariation and gray level co-occurrence matrix textural features are examined as possible progression ultrasound biomarkers in ALS patients during a 5-mo follow-up period. We subjected 13 patients to 3 measurements for 20 wk. They showed a significant loss of muscle, an evident tendency to loss of thickness and increased echointensity and echovariation. In regard to textural parameters, muscle heterogeneity tended to increase as a result of the neoformation of non-contractile tissue through denervation. Considering some limitations of the study, the quantitative muscle ultrasound biomarkers evaluated showed a promising ability to monitor patients affected by ALS. Copyright © 2018 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Radunovic, Aleksandar; Annane, Djillali; Rafiq, Muhammad K; Mustfa, Naveed
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neuron disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease. Neuromuscular respiratory failure is the commonest cause of death, usually within two to five years of the disease onset. Supporting respiratory function with mechanical ventilation may improve survival and quality of life. This is the first update of a review first published in 2009. The primary objective of the review is to examine the efficacy of mechanical ventilation (tracheostomy and non-invasive ventilation) in improving survival in ALS. The secondary objectives are to examine the effect of mechanical ventilation on functional measures of disease progression and quality of life in people with ALS; and assess adverse events related to the intervention. We searched The Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group Specialized Register (1 May 2012), CENTRAL (2012, Issue 4), MEDLINE (January 1966 to April 2012), EMBASE (January 1980 to April 2012), CINAHL Plus (January 1937 to April 2012), and AMED (January 1985 to April 2012). We also searched for ongoing studies on ClinicalTrials.gov. Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials involving non-invasive or tracheostomy assisted ventilation in participants with a clinical diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, independent of the reported outcomes. We planned to include comparisons with no intervention or the best standard care. For the original review, four authors independently selected studies for assessment and two authors reviewed searches for this update. All authors extracted data independently from the full text of selected studies and assessed the risk of bias in studies that met the inclusion criteria. We attempted to obtain missing data where possible. We planned to collect adverse event data from included studies. For the original Cochrane review, the review authors identified and included two randomised controlled trials involving 54 participants with ALS receiving non-invasive ventilation. There
Alonso, Ruth; Pisa, Diana; Fernández-Fernández, Ana M; Rábano, Alberto; Carrasco, Luis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease and the main cause of motor neuron pathology. The etiology of the disease remains unknown, and no effective therapy exists to halt the disease or improve the quality of life. Here, we provide compelling evidence for the existence of fungal infection in ALS. Immunohistochemistry analysis using a battery of antifungal antibodies revealed fungal structures such as yeast and hyphae in the motor cortex, the medulla and the spinal cord, in eleven patients with ALS. Some fungal structures were localized intracellularly and even intranuclearly, indicating that this infection is not the result of post-mortem colonization. By contrast, this burden of fungal infection cannot be observed in several CNS areas of control subjects. PCR analysis and next generation sequencing of DNA extracted from frozen neural tissue identified a variety of fungal genera including Candida, Malassezia, Fusarium, Botrytis, Trichoderma and Cryptococcus. Overall, our present observations provide strong evidence for mixed fungal infections in ALS patients. The exact mixed infection varies from patient to patient consistent with the different evolution and severity of symptoms in each ALS patient. These novel findings provide a logical explanation for the neuropathological observations of this disease, such as neuroinflammation and elevated chitinase levels, and could help to implement appropriate therapies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Al-Saif, Amr; Al-Mohanna, Futwan; Bohlega, Saeed
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness and eventually death from respiratory failure. ALS is familial in about 10% of cases, with SOD1 mutations accounting for 20% of familial cases. Here we describe a consanguineous family segregating juvenile ALS in an autosomal recessive pattern and describe the genetic variant responsible for the disorder. We performed homozygosity mapping and direct sequencing to detect the genetic variant and tested the effect of this variant on a motor neuron-like cell line model (NSC34) expressing the wild-type or mutant gene. We identified a shared homozygosity region in affected individuals that spans ~120 kbp on chromosome 9p13.3 containing 9 RefSeq genes. Sequencing the SIGMAR1 gene revealed a mutation affecting a highly conserved amino acid located in the transmembrane domain of the encoded protein, sigma-1 receptor. The mutated protein showed an aberrant subcellular distribution in NSC34 cells. Furthermore, cells expressing the mutant protein were less resistant to apoptosis induced by endoplasmic reticulum stress. Sigma-1 receptors are known to have neuroprotective properties, and recently Sigmar1 knockout mice have been described to have motor deficiency. Our findings emphasize the role of sigma-1 receptors in motor neuron function and disease. Copyright © 2011 American Neurological Association.
McCane, Lynn M; Sellers, Eric W; McFarland, Dennis J; Mak, Joseph N; Carmack, C Steve; Zeitlin, Debra; Wolpaw, Jonathan R; Vaughan, Theresa M
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.
Ogawa, Tomohiro; Tanaka, Hideaki; Hirata, Koichi
To determine the cognitive profiles in non-demented, relatively less handicapped patients with early-stage sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by using neuropsychological tests, event-related potentials (ERPs) and clinical scale. We recruited 19 patients with sporadic ALS (eight with limb-onset, 11 with bulbar-onset) and 19 controls. In addition to the mini-mental state examination and the Wechsler adult intelligence scale-revised, we assessed the frontal lobe function with Wisconsin card sorting test, Stroop test and trail making test. We used auditory 'oddball' counting paradigm for the ERPs under 20-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) recording. Global field power (GFP) was computed, and its peak amplitudes and latencies of N1/N2/P3 were determined. The results of ERP and neuropsychological tests were correlated with respiratory function and clinical scale. No global cognitive impairment except for subtle frontal dysfunction was detected, although N1/N2/P3 GFP latencies were significantly prolonged in ALS patients than in the controls. Vital capacity correlated with P3 GFP amplitude, and the relative bulbar functional rating scale correlated with P3 GFP latency. Our findings indicated the presence of sub-clinical cognitive deficits in non-demented, sporadic ALS patients. In addition, clinical sub-types and respiratory function dependently influenced cognitive function in patients with sporadic ALS. ERP confirmed cognitive impairment in patients with sporadic ALS.
Calzada Sierra, D J
The traditional doctor-patient relation has become a great bioethical challenge due to the advances in science in recent years. This is particularly true when patients suffer diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease with a relentless course and in spite of modern treatment 50% of the patients die within three years of first having symptoms of the disease. It therefore causes great psychological and social impact. To analyze the great bioethical challenge which arises when diagnosing and treating a patient with ALS. In this paper we analyze the doctor-patient relationship, the principles of doing no harm and of being beneficial, and more modern concepts such as informed consent, biomedical investigations and euthanasia, as well as the importance of palliative medicine and rehabilitation to alleviate suffering and improve quality of life. Biomedical investigations should conform to the relevant national and international rules. We discuss the right of patients to be given truthful information. We recommend better training of doctors in all aspects of attention to these patients, with emphasis on the diagnosis and importance of rehabilitation, palliative medicine and the management of psychological aspects. Biomedical investigations should fulfil current regulations. We recommend discretion, complete or partial, with regard to information given to the patients and their relatives so as not to cause despair.
Weil, Clara; Zach, Neta; Rishoni, Shay; Shalev, Varda; Chodick, Gabriel
Globally, the annual incidence and prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are estimated at 1.9 and 4.5 per 100,000 population, respectively. This study is aimed at describing the epidemiology of ALS in Israel in a real-world setting. A retrospective study was performed using the databases of Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS), a 2-million-member health maintenance organization in Israel. The study included all MHS adults diagnosed with ALS between 1997 and 2013. In 2013, characteristics of ALS patients were compared to those of age-sex-matched patients without ALS. Survival after ALS diagnosis was assessed until death and until tracheostomy or death (follow-up through 2014). In 2013 (n = 158), the prevalence of ALS was 8.1 per 100,000 population in MHS. In 1997-2013, a total of 375 ALS patients were diagnosed, corresponding to an average annual incidence of 1.8 per 100,000 population in MHS. The median survival from diagnosis to death was 3.5 years (95% CI 2.9-4.1), with approximately 28% surviving at least 10 years. Median tracheostomy-free survival was 2.5 years (95% CI 2.1-2.9). Results suggest that there is a relatively high prevalence of ALS in Israel. Further research is needed to investigate factors that may contribute to the survival of patients with ALS in Israel. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Hikiami, Ryota; Yamakado, Hodaka; Tatsumi, Shinsui; Ayaki, Takashi; Hashi, Yuichiro; Yamashita, Hirofumi; Sawamoto, Nobukatsu; Tsuji, Teruyuki; Urushitani, Makoto; Takahashi, Ryosuke
We herein report a 15-year-old girl who developed rapid progressive muscle weakness soon after the third injection of a bivalent human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. Although immunotherapies were performed for possible vaccine-related disorders, she died of respiratory failure 14 months after the onset of the disease. A genetic analysis identified a heterozygous p.P525L mutation of the fused in sarcoma (FUS) gene, and a histopathological analysis was also consistent with FUS-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) without any evidence of neuroinflammation. We concluded the diagnosis to be FUS-ALS, although we cannot completely rule out the possibility that the vaccination worked as a trigger.
Agosta, Federica; Altomare, Daniele; Festari, Cristina; Orini, Stefania; Gandolfo, Federica; Boccardi, Marina; Arbizu, Javier; Bouwman, Femke; Drzezga, Alexander; Nestor, Peter; Nobili, Flavio; Walker, Zuzana; Pagani, Marco
To evaluate the incremental value of FDG-PET over clinical tests in: (i) diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); (ii) picking early signs of neurodegeneration in patients with a genetic risk of Huntington's disease (HD); and detecting metabolic changes related to cognitive impairment in (iii) ALS and (iv) HD patients. Four comprehensive literature searches were conducted using the PICO model to extract evidence from relevant studies. An expert panel then voted using the Delphi method on these four diagnostic scenarios. The availability of evidence was good for FDG-PET utility to support the diagnosis of ALS, poor for identifying presymptomatic subjects carrying HD mutation who will convert to HD, and lacking for identifying cognitive-related metabolic changes in both ALS and HD. After the Delphi consensual procedure, the panel did not support the clinical use of FDG-PET for any of the four scenarios. Relative to other neurodegenerative diseases, the clinical use of FDG-PET in ALS and HD is still in its infancy. Once validated by disease-control studies, FDG-PET might represent a potentially useful biomarker for ALS diagnosis. FDG-PET is presently not justified as a routine investigation to predict conversion to HD, nor to detect evidence of brain dysfunction justifying cognitive decline in ALS and HD.
Pradat, Pierre-François; El Mendili, Mohamed-Mounir
Neuroimaging allows investigating the extent of neurological systems degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Advanced MRI methods can detect changes related to the degeneration of upper motor neurons but have also demonstrated the participation of other systems such as the sensory system or basal ganglia, demonstrating in vivo that ALS is a multisystem disorder. Structural and functional imaging also allows studying dysfunction of brain areas associated with cognitive signs. From a biomarker perspective, numerous studies using diffusion tensor imaging showed a decrease of fractional anisotropy in the intracranial portion of the corticospinal tract but its diagnostic value at the individual level remains limited. A multiparametric approach will be required to use MRI in the diagnostic workup of ALS. A promising avenue is the new methodological developments of spinal cord imaging that has the advantage to investigate the two motor system components that are involved in ALS, that is, the lower and upper motor neuron. For all neuroimaging modalities, due to the intrinsic heterogeneity of ALS, larger pooled banks of images with standardized image acquisition and analysis procedures are needed. In this paper, we will review the main findings obtained with MRI, PET, SPECT, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in ALS. PMID:24949452
Gonzalez Calzada, Nuria; Prats Soro, Enric; Mateu Gomez, Lluis; Giro Bulta, Esther; Cordoba Izquierdo, Ana; Povedano Panades, Monica; Dorca Sargatal, Jordi; Farrero Muñoz, Eva
Non invasive ventilation (NIV) improves quality of life and extends survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. However, few data exist about the factors related to survival. We intended to assess the predictive factors that influence survival in patients after NIV initiation. Patients who started NIV from 2000 to 2014 and were tolerant (compliance ≥ 4 hours) were included; demographic, disease related and respiratory variables at NIV initiation were analysed. Statistical analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier test and Cox proportional hazard models. 213 patients were included with median survival from NIV initiation of 13.5 months. In univariate analysis, the identified risk factors for mortality were severity of bulbar involvement (HR 2), Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) % (HR 0.99) and ALSFRS-R (HR 0.97). Multivariate analysis showed that bulbar involvement (HR 1.92) and ALSFRS-R (HR 0.97) were independent predictive factors of survival in patients on NIV. In our study, the two prognostic factors in ALS patients following NIV were the severity of bulbar involvement and ALSFRS-R at the time on NIV initiation. A better assessment of bulbar involvement, including evaluation of the upper airway, and a careful titration on NIV are necessary to optimize treatment efficacy.
Hazenberg, A; Kerstjens, H A M; Prins, S C L; Vermeulen, K M; Wijkstra, P J
Most patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) develop respiratory insufficiency in the advanced stage of their disease. Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is commonly regarded to be a treatment that is effective in reducing these complaints. To assess whether the effect of NIV on gas exchange and quality of life (QOL) is different in patients with ALS versus without ALS. A post hoc analysis was done with data from a previously published trial, in which all patients were instituted on NIV. Arterial blood gasses were assessed next to QOL by generic as well as disease-specific questionnaires. 77 patients started NIV: 30 with ALS and 47 without. Both groups showed significant improvements in blood gasses after 2 and 6 months. Compared to the non-ALS group, the ALS group had significantly worse scores after 6 months in MRF-28, SRI, HADS and SF-36 than the non-ALS group. This study shows that NIV improves gas exchange, both in patients with and without ALS. QOL improves markedly more in patients without ALS than in those with ALS, in whom only some domains improve. Our observation of little or no effect in ALS patients warrants a large study limited to ALS patients only.
Georges, Marjolaine; Morawiec, Elise; Raux, Mathieu; Gonzalez-Bermejo, Jésus; Pradat, Pierre-François; Similowski, Thomas; Morélot-Panzini, Capucine
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease causing diaphragm weakness that can be partially compensated by inspiratory neck muscle recruitment. This disappears during sleep, which is compatible with a cortical contribution to the drive to breathe. We hypothesised that ALS patients with respiratory failure exhibit respiratory-related cortical activity, relieved by noninvasive ventilation (NIV) and related to dyspnoea.We studied 14 ALS patients with respiratory failure. Electroencephalographic recordings (EEGs) and electromyographic recordings of inspiratory neck muscles were performed during spontaneous breathing and NIV. Dyspnoea was evaluated using the Multidimensional Dyspnea Profile.Eight patients exhibited slow EEG negativities preceding inspiration (pre-inspiratory potentials) during spontaneous breathing. Pre-inspiratory potentials were attenuated during NIV (p=0.04). Patients without pre-inspiratory potentials presented more advanced forms of ALS and more severe respiratory impairment, but less severe dyspnoea. Patients with pre-inspiratory potentials had stronger inspiratory neck muscle activation and more severe dyspnoea during spontaneous breathing.ALS-related diaphragm weakness can engage cortical resources to augment the neural drive to breathe. This might reflect a compensatory mechanism, with the intensity of dyspnoea a negative consequence. Disease progression and the corresponding neural loss could abolish this phenomenon. A putative cognitive cost should be investigated. Copyright ©ERS 2016.
Dickerson, Aisha S; Hansen, Johnni; Gredal, Ole; Weisskopf, Marc G
Previous studies have suggested an increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other motor neuron diseases for those in occupations commonly exposed to diesel exhaust (DE). In this study, we investigated the association between occupational exposures to DE and odds of ALS. ALS cases were identified from the Danish National Patient Registry 1982 to 2013 and individually matched to 100 controls per case based on birth year and sex. Using occupational history since 1964 from the Danish Pension Fund, Cumulative DE exposures were estimated using a job exposure matrix. Associations were evaluated using conditional logistic regression analyses and stratified by sex. DE exposure at 10-year lag periods was positively associated with ALS in men ever exposed (aOR: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.38). For men with > 50% probability of DE exposure, we observed a positive association with ALS and the highest quartile exposures during the 5-year lag period (aOR: 1.40; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.78) and 10-year lag period (aOR: 1.41; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.79). Our study suggests an association between consistently higher exposures to DE and ALS in men but not in women. These findings support those of previously reported associations between ALS and commonly DE exposed occupations.
Xu, Zhouwei; Alruwaili, Ashwag Rafea S; Henderson, Robert David; McCombe, Pamela Ann
To screen for cognitive and behavioural impairment in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and controls with neuromuscular disease and to correlate these with clinical features. 108 people with ALS and 60 controls with other neuromuscular diseases were recruited and assessed with the Addenbrooke's cognitive examination-III (ACE-III), the frontal assessment battery (FAB), and the executive function component of the Edinburgh cognitive and behavioural ALS screen (ECAS). The Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-Frontotemporal dementia questionnaire (ALS-FTD-Q) and the Motor Neuron Disease Behavioural instrument (MiND-B) were administered to the caregivers of people with ALS. The prevalence of abnormalities was determined and correlated with clinical features and survival. In 37 people with ALS, serial studies were performed. The frequencies of cognitive impairment based on the ACE-III and FAB were 30.0% and 14.0%, in ALS and 11.7% and 3.3% in controls, respectively. Age and years of education influence the results of the ACE-III and ECAS executive function. In ALS, the frequencies of behavioural impairment based on ALS-FTD-Q and MiND-B were 32.1% and 39.4%, respectively. There is significant correlation of ALS-FTD-Q and MiND-B with the ALSFRS-R score. ALS participants with cognitive impairment measured with ACE-III had significantly shorter survival time than those without. ALS participants with behavioural impairment measured with ALS-FTD-Q had worse prognosis than those without. No significant difference was found between the first two serial cognitive tests based on ACE-III and FAB by using generalized estimating equation. There is a greater frequency of cognitive impairment in people with ALS than in patients with other neuromuscular diseases. The cognitive and behavioural tests are potential biomarkers of the prognosis of ALS. The results of cognitive tests are stable over 6months and possibly longer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Schuster, Christina; Kasper, Elisabeth; Machts, Judith; Bittner, Daniel; Kaufmann, Jörn; Benecke, Reiner; Teipel, Stefan; Vielhaber, Stefan; Prudlo, Johannes
To determine longitudinal rates of cortical atrophy in classical Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and ALS variants. Rates of cortical thinning were determined between 2 scans, 3-15 months apart, in 77 ALS patients: 51 classical, 12 upper motor neuron (UMN), and 14 lower motor neuron (LMN) ALS variants. Cortical thickness at the first assessment was compared with 60 healthy controls matched by age and gender. Atrophy rates were compared between patient sub-groups and correlated with disease duration, progression, and severity. Using a cross-sectional analysis, we found a significant difference in cortical thickness between ALS patients and controls in the motor and extra-motor areas (left medial orbito frontal gyrus, left inferior parietal gyrus, bilateral insular cortex, right fusiform gyrus, bilateral precuneus). Using a longitudinal analysis, we found a significant decline of cortical thickness in frontal, temporal, and parietal regions over the course of the study in ALS patients. Effects were independent of the clinical subtype, with exception of the precentral gyrus (p < 0.001). The LMN ALS variants demonstrated the highest rates of cortical thinning in the precentral gyrus, the UMN-dominant subjects exhibited intermediate rates of atrophy, and the classical ALS patients exhibited no such change. Atrophy of the precentral gyrus in classical ALS indicates a floor effect at the first assessment, resulting in a lack of further atrophy over time. Structural loss of the precentral gyrus appears to be an early sign of classical ALS. Over time, patterns of cortical thinning in extra-motor areas can be identified in ALS, regardless of the phenotype.
Luchesi, Karen Fontes; Kitamura, Satoshi; Mourão, Lucia Figueiredo
To describe swallowing management in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson' disease (PD), to investigate whether physiopathology determines the choice of therapeutic approaches, and to investigate whether the disease duration modifies the therapeutic approaches. This is a long-term study comprising 24 patients with idiopathic PD and 27 patients with ALS. The patients were followed-up in a dysphagia outpatient clinic between 2006 and 2011. The patients underwent clinic evaluation and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing, Functional Oral Intake Scale, and therapeutic intervention every 3 months. The swallowing management was based on orientation about the adequate food consistency and volume, besides the necessary maneuvers or exercises to improve swallowing functionality. An exploratory analysis of data was used to investigate associations between the groups of disease (PD or ALS) and clinic aspects and to know about the association between the groups of diseases and the application of maneuver or exercises over the follow-up. The most frequent recommended maneuvers in PD were bolus effect (83.3%), bolus consistency (79.2%), and swallowing frequency (79%). To patients with ALS, the bolus consistency (92%) and the bolus effect (74.1%) were more recommended. Strengthening-tongue (p=0.01), tongue control (p=0.05), and vocal exercises (p<0.001) were significantly more recommended in PD than in ALS. Compensatory and sensorial maneuvers are more recommended to rehabilitee program in both diseases. The physiopathology of the diseases determined the choice of therapeutic approaches. The disease duration of the patients did not interfere directly in the therapeutic approaches.
Cellura, Eleonora; Spataro, Rossella; Taiello, Alfonsa Claudia; La Bella, Vincenzo
Although amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a relentlessly progressive disorder, early diagnosis allows a prompt start with the specific drug riluzole and an accurate palliative care planning. ALS at onset may however mimic several disorders, some of them treatable (e.g., multifocal motor neuropathy) or epidemiologically more frequent (e.g., cervical myelopathy). To study the delay from onset to diagnosis in a cohort of ALS patients and to the variables that may affect it. We performed a retrospective analysis of the diagnostic delays in a cohort of 260 patients affected by ALS (M/F = 1.32) followed at our tertiary referral ALS Center between 2000 and 2007. The median time from onset to diagnosis was 11 months (range: 6-21) for the whole ALS cohort, 10 months (range: 6-15) in bulbar-onset (n = 65) and 12 months (range: 7-23) in spinal-onset (n = 195) patients (p = 0.3). 31.1% of patients received other diagnoses before ALS and this led to a significant delay of the correct diagnosis in this group (other diagnoses before ALS, n = 81: median delay, 15 months [9.75-24.25] vs ALS, n = 179, median delay, 9 months [6-15.25], p < 0.001). The diagnostic delay in ALS is about one year, besides the growing number of tertiary centres and the spread of information about the disease through media and internet. Cognitive errors based on an incorrect use of heuristics might represent an important contributing factor. Furthermore, the length of the differential diagnosis from other disorders and delays in referral to the neurologist seems to be positively associated with the delay in diagnosis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Escarrabill, J; Vianello, A; Farrero, E; Ambrosino, N; Martínez Llorens, J; Vitacca, M
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative neurological disorder that affects motor neurons. Involvement of respiratory muscles causes the failure of the ventilator pump with more or less significant bulbar troubles. ALS course is highly variable but, in most cases, this disease entails a very significant burden for patients and caregivers, especially in the end-of-life period. In order to analyze the characteristics of ALS patients who die at home (DH) and in hospital (DHosp) and to study the variability of clinical practice, a retrospective medical records analysis was performed (n=77 from five hospitals). time elapsed since the onset of symptoms and the beginning of ventilation, characteristics of ventilation (device, mask and hours/day), and support devices and procedures. In all, 14% of patients were ventilated by tracheotomy. From the analysis, 57% of patients were of DH. Mean time since the onset of symptoms was 35.93±25.89 months, significantly shorter in patients who DHosp (29.28±19.69 months) than DH (41.12±29.04) (p=0.044). The percentage of patients with facial ventilation is higher in DHosp (11.4% vs 39.4%, p<0.005). DH or not is related to a set of elements in which health resources, physician attitudes and support resources in the community play a role in the decision-making process. There is great variability between countries and between hospitals in the same country. Given the variability of circumstances in each territory, the place of death in ALS might not be the most important element; more important are the conditions under which the process unfolds. Copyright © 2013 Sociedade Portuguesa de Pneumologia. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.
Lemoignan, Josée; Ells, Carolyn
Throughout the course of their illness, people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) must make many treatment decisions; however, none has such a significant impact on quality of life and survival as decisions about assisted ventilation. The purpose of this study was to better understand the experience of decision-making about assisted ventilation for ALS patients. Using qualitative phenomenology methodology, 10 semi-structured interviews were conducted with persons with ALS and their caregivers to elicit factors that are pertinent to their decision-making process about assisted ventilation. Six main themes emerged from the interviews. (1) the meaning of the intervention - participants made a sharp distinction between non-invasive ventilation, which they viewed as a means to relieve symptoms of respiratory failure, and invasive ventilation, which they viewed as taking over their breathing and thereby saving their life when they otherwise would die, (2) the importance of context - including functional status, available supports, and financial implications, (3) the importance of values - with respect to communication, relationships, autonomy, life, and quality of life, (4) the effect of fears - particularly respiratory distress, chocking, running out of air, and the process of death itself, (5) the need for information - how use of assisted ventilation would impact daily life, how death from respiratory failure would occur, how caregivers and persons with ALS differ in their information needs and common misconceptions, and (6) adaptation to or acceptance of the intervention - a lengthy process that involved gradual familiarization with the equipment and its benefits. People with ALS and caregivers value autonomy in decision-making about assisted ventilation. Their decision-making process is neither wholly rational nor self-interested, and includes factors that health professionals should anticipate and address. Discussions about assisted ventilation and timing
Zhou, Ting; Ahmad, Tina Khorshid; Gozda, Kiana; Truong, Jessica; Kong, Jiming; Namaka, Michael
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, which involves the progressive degeneration of motor neurons. ALS has long been considered a disease of the grey matter; however, pathological alterations of the white matter (WM), including axonal loss, axonal demyelination and oligodendrocyte death, have been reported in patients with ALS. The present review examined motor neuron death as the primary cause of ALS and evaluated the associated WM damage that is guided by neuronal-glial interactions. Previous studies have suggested that WM damage may occur prior to the death of motor neurons, and thus may be considered an early indicator for the diagnosis and prognosis of ALS. However, the exact molecular mechanisms underlying early-onset WM damage in ALS have yet to be elucidated. The present review explored the detailed anatomy of WM and identified several pathological mechanisms that may be implicated in WM damage in ALS. In addition, it associated the pathophysiological alterations of WM, which may contribute to motor neuron death in ALS, with similar mechanisms of WM damage that are involved in multiple sclerosis (MS). Furthermore, the early detection of WM damage in ALS, using neuroimaging techniques, may lead to earlier therapeutic intervention, using immunomodulatory treatment strategies similar to those used in relapsing-remitting MS, aimed at delaying WM damage in ALS. Early therapeutic approaches may have the potential to delay motor neuron damage and thus prolong the survival of patients with ALS. The therapeutic interventions that are currently available for ALS are only marginally effective. However, early intervention with immunomodulatory drugs may slow the progression of WM damage in the early stages of ALS, thus delaying motor neuron death and increasing the life expectancy of patients with ALS. PMID:28791401
Nardo, Giovanni; Trolese, Maria Chiara; Bendotti, Caterina
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
Pagnini, Francesco; Phillips, Deborah; Bosma, Colin M; Reece, Andrew; Langer, Ellen
Caregivers of people with severe chronic conditions, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are at risk of developing depression and anxiety and reduced quality of life. Few studies have explored protective factors in this population and none investigated the role of mindfulness. The study aimed to examine the relationship between mindfulness and health-related outcomes in a population of ALS caregivers. We conducted an online survey with ALS caregivers, and again at 4-month follow-up, to assess mindfulness, burden, quality of life, anxiety, and depression. The associations between mindfulness and the other outcomes were evaluated both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Mindfulness correlated negatively with burden, depression, and anxiety and positively with quality of life, maintaining stability through time. Our results showed that mindfulness is positively related to quality of life and negatively related to level of burden. We suggest that this construct can represent a preventative factor toward the negative effects of caregiving. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Carilho, Rita; de Carvalho, Mamede; Swash, Michael; Pinto, Susana; Pinto, Anabela; Costa, Júlia
We evaluated plasma vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with reference to the effects of respiratory failure, noninvasive ventilation (NIV), and exercise. We studied plasma VEGF levels in 83 ALS patients, 20 healthy controls, and 10 patients with other disorders. There were 4 groups of ALS patients: G1, 27 patients without respiratory problems; G2, 14 patients stabilized on nocturnal NIV; G3, 30 patients presenting with respiratory failure; G4, 12 patients on an aerobic exercise protocol. VEGF plasma levels did not differ significantly between ALS patients and controls, or between ALS groups. In G3, the mean VEGF levels increased 75% during NIV. In G4, the mean VEGF level increased by 300% during the exercise program. VEGF levels did not change during the course of the disease. VEGF levels in ALS depend on changes in ventilation and exercise but are probably not affected by the disease process itself. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Mosier, D R; Baldelli, P; Delbono, O; Smith, R G; Alexianu, M E; Appel, S H; Stefani, E
The sporadic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an idiopathic and eventually lethal disorder causing progressive degeneration of cortical and spinal motoneurons. Recent studies have shown that the majority of patients with sporadic ALS have serum antibodies that bind to purified L-type voltage-gated calcium channels and that antibody titer correlates with the rate of disease progression. Furthermore, antibodies purified from ALS patient sera have been found to alter the physiologic function of voltage-gated calcium channels in nonmotoneuron cell types. Using whole-cell patch-clamp techniques, immunoglobulins purified from sera of 5 of 6 patients with sporadic ALS are now shown to increase calcium currents in a hybrid motoneuron cell line, VSC4.1. These calcium currents are blocked by the polyamine funnel-web spider toxin FTX, which has previously been shown to block Ca2+ currents and evoked transmitter release at mammalian motoneuron terminals. These data provide additional evidence linking ALS to an autoimmune process and suggest that antibody-induced increases in calcium entry through voltage-gated calcium channels may occur in motoneurons in this disease, with possible deleterious effects in susceptible neurons.
Vejux, Anne; Namsi, Amira; Nury, Thomas; Moreau, Thibault; Lizard, Gérard
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a non-demyelinating neurodegenerative disease in adults with motor disorders. Two forms exist: a sporadic form (90% of cases) and a family form due to mutations in more than 20 genes including the Superoxide dismutase 1, TAR DNA Binding Protein, Fused in Sarcoma, chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 and VAPB genes. The mechanisms associated with this pathology are beginning to be known: oxidative stress, glutamate excitotoxicity, protein aggregation, reticulum endoplasmic stress, neuroinflammation, alteration of RNA metabolism. In various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis, the involvement of lipids is increasingly suggested based on lipid metabolism modifications. With regard to ALS, research has also focused on the possible involvement of lipids. Lipid involvement was suggested for clinical arguments where changes in cholesterol and LDL/HDL levels were reported with, however, differences in positivity between studies. Since lipids are involved in the membrane structure and certain signaling pathways, it may be considered to look for oxysterols, mainly 25-hydroxycholesterol and its metabolites involved in immune response, or phytosterols to find suitable biomarkers for this pathology. PMID:29445325
Chiò, Adriano; Calvo, Andrea; Moglia, Cristina; Gamna, Federica; Mattei, Alessio; Mazzini, Letizia; Mora, Gabriele
To evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcome of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in an epidemiological based series of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. The study was performed using data from the Piemonte and Valle d'Aosta Register for ALS, a prospective epidemiological register enrolling all ALS incident cases in two Italian regions. Among the 1260 patients incident in the period 1995-2004, 259 (20.6%) underwent NIV. Young male patients and subjects attending the tertiary ALS centres were more likely to undergo NIV. There was a progressive significant increase in the use of NIV during the study but was limited to patients attending the ALS tertiary centres. Median survival after NIV was 289 days (95% CI 255 to 333). In an epidemiological setting, NIV represents an increasingly utilised option for the treatment of respiratory disturbances in ALS and has favourable effects on survival, in particular among patients followed by tertiary ALS centres. Sociocultural factors, such as age, gender and marital status, strongly influence the probability of undergoing NIV. Efforts should be made to remove these obstacles in order to spread the use of NIV in all ALS patients with respiratory failure.
El Mendili, Mohamed-Mounir; Cohen-Adad, Julien; Pelegrini-Issac, Mélanie; Rossignol, Serge; Morizot-Koutlidis, Régine; Marchand-Pauvert, Véronique; Iglesias, Caroline; Sangari, Sina; Katz, Rose; Lehericy, Stéphane; Benali, Habib; Pradat, Pierre-François
To evaluate multimodal MRI of the spinal cord in predicting disease progression and one-year clinical status in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. After a first MRI (MRI1), 29 ALS patients were clinically followed during 12 months; 14/29 patients underwent a second MRI (MRI2) at 11±3 months. Cross-sectional area (CSA) that has been shown to be a marker of lower motor neuron degeneration was measured in cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord from T2-weighted images. Fractional anisotropy (FA), axial/radial/mean diffusivities (λ⊥, λ//, MD) and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) were measured within the lateral corticospinal tract in the cervical region. Imaging metrics were compared with clinical scales: Revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and manual muscle testing (MMT) score. At MRI1, CSA correlated significantly (P<0.05) with MMT and arm ALSFRS-R scores. FA correlated significantly with leg ALFSRS-R scores. One year after MRI1, CSA predicted (P<0.01) arm ALSFSR-R subscore and FA predicted (P<0.01) leg ALSFRS-R subscore. From MRI1 to MRI2, significant changes (P<0.01) were detected for CSA and MTR. CSA rate of change (i.e. atrophy) highly correlated (P<0.01) with arm ALSFRS-R and arm MMT subscores rate of change. Atrophy and DTI metrics predicted ALS disease progression. Cord atrophy was a better biomarker of disease progression than diffusion and MTR. Our study suggests that multimodal MRI could provide surrogate markers of ALS that may help monitoring the effect of disease-modifying drugs.
Zhao, Zhong; Lange, Dale J; Voustianiouk, Andrei; MacGrogan, Donal; Ho, Lap; Suh, Jason; Humala, Nelson; Thiyagarajan, Meenakshisundaram; Wang, Jun; Pasinetti, Giulio M
The cause of neuronal death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is uncertain but mitochondrial dysfunction may play an important role. Ketones promote mitochondrial energy production and membrane stabilization. SOD1-G93A transgenic ALS mice were fed a ketogenic diet (KD) based on known formulations for humans. Motor performance, longevity, and motor neuron counts were measured in treated and disease controls. Because mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role in neuronal cell death in ALS, we also studied the effect that the principal ketone body, D-beta-3 hydroxybutyrate (DBH), has on mitochondrial ATP generation and neuroprotection. Blood ketones were > 3.5 times higher in KD fed animals compared to controls. KD fed mice lost 50% of baseline motor performance 25 days later than disease controls. KD animals weighed 4.6 g more than disease control animals at study endpoint; the interaction between diet and change in weight was significant (p = 0.047). In spinal cord sections obtained at the study endpoint, there were more motor neurons in KD fed animals (p = 0.030). DBH prevented rotenone mediated inhibition of mitochondrial complex I but not malonate inhibition of complex II. Rotenone neurotoxicity in SMI-32 immunopositive motor neurons was also inhibited by DBH. This is the first study showing that diet, specifically a KD, alters the progression of the clinical and biological manifestations of the G93A SOD1 transgenic mouse model of ALS. These effects may be due to the ability of ketone bodies to promote ATP synthesis and bypass inhibition of complex I in the mitochondrial respiratory chain.
Sasaki, Ryogen; Mimuro, Maya; Kokubo, Yasumasa; Imai, Hiroshi; Yoshida, Mari; Tomimoto, Hidekazu
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).
Jenkins, Thomas M; Alix, James J P; Kandler, Rosalind H; Shaw, Pamela J; McDermott, Christopher J
The contribution of cranial and thoracic region electromyography (EMG) to diagnostic criteria for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has not been evaluated. Clinical and EMG data from each craniospinal region were retrospectively assessed in 470 patients; 214 had ALS. Changes to diagnostic classification in Awaji-Shima and revised El Escorial criteria after withdrawal of cranial/thoracic EMG data were ascertained. Sensitivity for lower motor neuron involvement in ALS was highest in the cervical/lumbar regions; specificity was highest in cranial/thoracic regions. Cranial EMG contributed to definite/probable Awaji-Shima categorization in 1.4% of patients. Thoracic EMG made no contribution. For revised El Escorial criteria, cranial and thoracic data reclassified 1% and 5% of patients, respectively. Cranial EMG data make small contributions to both criteria, whereas thoracic data contribute only to the revised El Escorial criteria. However, cranial and thoracic region abnormalities are specific in ALS. Consideration should be given to allowing greater diagnostic contribution from thoracic EMG. Muscle Nerve 54: 378-385, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Fukunaga, Kohji; Shinoda, Yasuharu; Tagashira, Hideaki
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. Copyright © 2015 Japanese Pharmacological Society. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Azadzoi, Kazem; Yang, Yun; Fei, Zhou; Dou, Kefeng; Kowall, Neil W.; Choi, Han-Pil; Vieira, Fernando; Yang, Jing-Hua
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive fatal neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have neuroprotective effects potentially useful for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including ALS; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying their potential efficacy is not well understood. Here we report that protein acetylation in urea-soluble proteins is differently regulated in post-mortem ALS spinal cord. Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) analysis reveals several protein clusters with similar molecular weight but different charge status. Liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) identifies glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) as the dominant component in the protein clusters. Further analysis indicates six heavily acetylated lysine residues at positions 89, 153, 189, 218, 259 and 331 of GFAP. Immunoprecipitation followed by Western blotting confirms that the larger form of GFAP fragments are acetylated and upregulated in ALS spinal cord. Further studies demonstrate that acetylation of the proteins additional to GFAP is differently regulated, suggesting that acetylation and/or deacetylation play an important role in pathogenesis of ALS. PMID:24312501
Yoo, Jae Hwa; Kim, Soon Im; Park, Sun Young; Jun, Mi Roung; Kim, Yong Eun; Kim, Hyoung June
Abstract Introduction: We herein present 2 cases involving the combination of rocuronium and sugammadex in patients with motor neuron disease. The patients were a 54-year-old man with progressive muscular atrophy who underwent removal of internal fixators in the arm and leg, and a 66-year-old woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who underwent skin grafting in the left lower leg. General anesthesia was induced with propofol, rocuronium, and remifentanil and maintained with desflurane and remifentanil. At the end of the surgical procedure, we administered sugammadex. Three or 4 minutes after administration of sugammadex, the patients began to breathe spontaneously and were extubated without complications. Conclusion: Sugammadex can be used successfully to reverse neuromuscular blockade in patients with motor neuron disease. PMID:28591053
Taylor, David M; Gibbs, Bernard F; Kabashi, Edor; Minotti, Sandra; Durham, Heather D; Agar, Jeffrey N
One familial form of the neurodegenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is caused by gain-of-function mutations in the gene encoding copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD-1). This study provides in vivo evidence that normally occurring oxidative modification to SOD-1 promotes aggregation and toxicity of mutant proteins. The oxidation of Trp-32 was identified as a normal modification being present in both wild-type enzyme and SOD-1 with the disease-causing mutation, G93A, isolated from erythrocytes. Mutating Trp-32 to a residue with a slower rate of oxidative modification, phenylalanine, decreased both the cytotoxicity of mutant SOD-1 and its propensity to form cytoplasmic inclusions in motor neurons of dissociated mouse spinal cord cultures.
Hirayanagi, Kimitoshi; Sato, Masayuki; Furuta, Natsumi; Makioka, Kouki; Ikeda, Yoshio
A 24-year-old Japanese woman developed anterocollis, weakness of the proximal arms, and subsequent cognitive impairment. A neurological examination revealed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) without a family history. Systemic muscle atrophy progressed rapidly. Cerebral MRI clearly exhibited high signal intensities along the bilateral pyramidal tracts. An analysis of the FUS gene revealed a heterozygous two-base pair deletion, c.1507-1508delAG (p.G504WfsX515). A subset of juvenile-onset familial/sporadic ALS cases with FUS gene mutations reportedly demonstrates mental retardation or learning difficulty. Our study emphasizes the importance of conducting a FUS gene analysis in juvenile-onset ALS cases, even when no family occurrence is confirmed.
Choi, Jin Sun; Kim, Kidae; Lee, Do Hee; Cho, Sayeon; Ha, Jae Du; Park, Byoung Chul; Kim, Sunhong; Park, Sung Goo; Kim, Jeong-Hoon
Although the ubiquitin-proteasome system is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), caused by mutations in Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), the mechanism of how mutant SOD1 protein is regulated in cells is still poorly understood. Here we have demonstrated that cellular inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (cIAPs) are specifically associated with FALS-linked mutant SOD1 (mSOD1) and that this interaction promotes the ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation of mutant SOD1. By utilizing cumate inducible SOD1 cells, we also showed that knock-down or pharmacologic depletion of cIAPs leads to H 2 O 2 induced cytotoxicity in mSOD1 expressing cells. Altogether, our results reveal a novel role of cIAPs in FALS-associated mutant SOD1 regulation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sánchez-López, C R; Perestelo-Pérez, L; Ramos-Pérez, C; López-Bastida, J; Serrano-Aguilar, P
Progressive deterioration in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has a major impact on their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The objectives of this study are to evaluate HRQOL in a sample of patients diagnosed with ALS and estimate the predictive capability of a set of sociodemographic variables for the different scales covered by a general health survey. A total of 63 patients diagnosed with ALS were assessed using a sociodemographic questionnaire and the SF-36 general health survey. The sociodemographic variables studied were sex, age, presence of a caregiver, employment status, and time from diagnosis of disease. The SF-36 survey shows positive correlations between the different scales composing it, which proves its reliability. The mean scores obtained for each of the SF-36 scales were higher in men than in women, although the only statistically significant difference was for the Physical Role scale. The lowest age range (less than 56 years) presented the highest mean scores for most of these dimensions. Most of the variance in the test is explained by the variable 'presence of caregiver'. The SF-36 health survey has been confirmed as a valid and useful tool for evaluating HRQOL in ALS patients, and it discriminates between patients in different states of health according to their level of dependency. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
De Benedetti, Stefano; Lucchini, Giorgio; Del Bò, Cristian; Deon, Valeria; Marocchi, Alessandro; Penco, Silvana; Lunetta, Christian; Gianazza, Elisabetta; Bonomi, Francesco; Iametti, Stefania
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disorder with unknown etiology, in which genetic and environmental factors interplay to determine the onset and the course of the disease. Exposure to toxic metals has been proposed to be involved in the etiology of the disease either through a direct damage or by promoting oxidative stress. In this study we evaluated the concentration of a panel of metals in serum and whole blood of a small group of sporadic patients, all living in a defined geographical area, for which acid mine drainage has been reported. ALS prevalence in this area is higher than in the rest of Italy. Results were analyzed with software based on artificial neural networks. High concentrations of metals (in particular Se, Mn and Al) were associated with the disease group. Arsenic serum concentration resulted lower in ALS patients, but it positively correlated with disease duration. Comet assay was performed to evaluate endogenous DNA damage that resulted not different between patients and controls. Up to now only few studies considered geographically well-defined clusters of ALS patients. Common geographical origin among patients and controls gave us the chance to perform metallomic investigations under comparable conditions of environmental exposure. Elaboration of these data with software based on machine learning processes has the potential to be extremely useful to gain a comprehensive view of the complex interactions eventually leading to disease, even in a small number of subjects.
Galán, L; Matías-Guiu, J; Matias-Guiu, J A; Yáñez, M; Pytel, V; Guerrero-Sola, A; Vela-Souto, A; Arranz-Tagarro, J A; Gómez-Pinedo, U; García, A G
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from some patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been demonstrated to significantly reduce the neuronal viability of primary cell cultures of motor neurons. We aimed to study the potential clinical consequences associated with the cytotoxicity of CSF in a cohort of patients with ALS. We collected CSF from thirty-one patients with ALS. We analysed cytotoxicity by incubating it into the primary cultures of motor cortex neurons. Neural viability was quantified after 24 hours using the colorimetric MTT reduction assay. All patients were followed up from the moment of diagnosis to death, and a complete evaluation during disease progression and survival was performed, including gastrostomy and respiratory assistance. Twenty-one patients (67.7%) presented a cytotoxic CSF. There were no significant differences between patients with and without cytotoxicity regarding mean time from symptom onset to the diagnosis, from the diagnosis to death, from the diagnosis to respiratory assistance with BIPAP, from diagnosis to gastrostomy and from the onset of symptoms to death. In Cox regression analysis, bulbar onset, but not cytotoxicity, gender or age at onset, was associated with a lower risk of survival. Cerebrospinal fluid cytotoxicity was not associated with differential survival rates. This suggests that the presence of cytotoxicity in CSF, measured through neuronal viability in primary cultures of motor cortex neurons, could reflect different mechanisms of the disease, but it does not predict disease outcome. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Yan, Jun; Xu, Yun; Zhang, Li; Zhao, Hui; Jin, Ling; Liu, Wei-Guo; Weng, Lei-Hua; Li, Zuo-Han; Chen, Ling
Background: High expressions of galectin-3 were identified recently in the end stage of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, which suggested that immune reactivity and inflammatory mechanisms might play an important role in the pathogenesis of ALS. The purpose of this study was to investigate plasma galectin-3 levels in different groups and stages of ALS patients and the association with related clinical characteristics. Methods: A total of 51 patients with ALS and 60 normal controls (NCs) were recruited in this study. Plasma galectin-3 levels were determined using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Patients with ALS were divided into several groups according to their clinical characteristics: gender, type of disease onset, duration of disease, and clinical conditions of disease. Statistical analyses of the differences of galectin-3 levels between groups and the association with the clinical characteristics of disease were performed. Results: As compared with the NCs (201.64 [22.35–401.63] ng/ml), plasma galectin-3 levels were significantly elevated in the patients with duration >12 months (341.17 [69.12–859.22] ng/ml, P < 0.05), and the patients with limb onset of disease (254.14 [69.12–859.22] ng/ml, P < 0.05); however, no difference was found in the patients with duration ≤12 months (250.62 [109.77–334.92] ng/ml, P > 0.05), and the patients with bulbar onset of disease (251.79 [109.20–404.76] ng/ml, P > 0.05). In addition, galectin-3 levels were significantly increased in the female patients (263.27 [123.32–859.22] ng/ml, P < 0.05) while no difference was found in the male patients (220.39 [69.12–748.73] ng/ml, P > 0.05). The further statistical analyses showed that plasma galectin-3 levels were positively correlated with the duration of disease (r = 0.293, P = 0.037). Conclusions: Plasma galectin-3 levels were significantly increased in ALS patients with limb onset of disease, especially in ALS female patients, and positively
Alshikho, Mohamad J; Zürcher, Nicole R; Loggia, Marco L; Cernasov, Paul; Chonde, Daniel B; Izquierdo Garcia, David; Yasek, Julia E; Akeju, Oluwaseun; Catana, Ciprian; Rosen, Bruce R; Cudkowicz, Merit E; Hooker, Jacob M; Atassi, Nazem
In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to evaluate brain structural abnormalities in relation to glial activation in the same cohort of participants. Ten individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 10 matched healthy controls underwent brain imaging using integrated MR/PET and the radioligand [ 11 C]-PBR28. Diagnosis history and clinical assessments including Upper Motor Neuron Burden Scale (UMNB) were obtained from patients with ALS. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analyses including tract-based spatial statistics and tractography were applied. DTI metrics including fractional anisotropy (FA) and diffusivities (mean, axial, and radial) were measured in regions of interest. Cortical thickness was assessed using surface-based analysis. The locations of structural changes, measured by DTI and the areas of cortical thinning, were compared to regional glial activation measured by relative [ 11 C]-PBR28 uptake. In this cohort of individuals with ALS, reduced FA and cortical thinning colocalized with regions demonstrating higher radioligand binding. [ 11 C]-PBR28 binding in the left motor cortex was correlated with FA (r = -0.68, p < 0.05) and cortical thickness (r = -0.75, p < 0.05). UMNB was correlated with glial activation (r = +0.75, p < 0.05), FA (r = -0.77, p < 0.05), and cortical thickness (r = -0.75, p < 0.05) in the motor cortex. Increased uptake of the glial marker [ 11 C]-PBR28 colocalizes with changes in FA and cortical thinning. This suggests a link between disease mechanisms (gliosis and inflammation) and structural changes (cortical thinning and white and gray matter changes). In this multimodal neuroimaging work, we provide an in vivo model to investigate the pathogenesis of ALS. © 2016 American Academy of Neurology.
Iwai, Yuta; Shibuya, Kazumoto; Misawa, Sonoko; Sekiguchi, Yukari; Watanabe, Keisuke; Amino, Hiroshi; Kuwabara, Satoshi
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
Elliott, Michael A.; Jung Henson, Lily; Gerena-Maldonado, Elba; Strom, Susan; Downing, Sharon; Vetrovs, Jennifer; Kayihan, Paige; Paul, Piper; Kennedy, Kate; Benditt, Joshua O.; Weiss, Michael D.
Objectives: To describe the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients who sought medication under the Washington State Death with Dignity (DWD) Act since its inception in 2009. Methods: Chart review at 3 tertiary medical centers in the Seattle/Puget Sound region and comparison to publicly available data of ALS and all-cause DWD cohorts from Washington and Oregon. Results: In Washington State, 39 patients with ALS requested DWD from the University of Washington, Virginia Mason, and Swedish Medical Centers beginning in 2009. The median age at death was 65 years (range 46–86). Seventy-seven percent of the patients used the prescriptions. All of the patients who used the medications passed away without complications. The major reasons for patients to request DWD as reported by participating physicians were loss of autonomy and dignity and decrease in enjoyable activities. Inadequate pain control, financial cost, and loss of bodily control were less commonly indicated. These findings were similar to those of the 92 patients who sought DWD in Oregon. In Washington and Oregon, the percentage of patients with ALS seeking DWD is higher compared to the cancer DWD cohort. Furthermore, compared to the all-cause DWD cohort, patients with ALS are more likely to be non-Hispanic white, married, educated, enrolled in hospice, and to have died at home. Conclusions: Although a small number, ALS represents the disease with the highest proportion of patients seeking to participate in DWD. Patients with ALS who choose DWD are well-educated and have access to palliative or life-prolonging care. The use of the medications appears to be able to achieve the patients' goals without complications. PMID:27770068
Muscaritoli, Maurizio; Kushta, Irma; Molfino, Alessio; Inghilleri, Maurizio; Sabatelli, Mario; Rossi Fanelli, Filippo
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form of progressive motor neuron disease and the most devastating neurodegenerative disorder. ALS is characterized by progressive paralysis and respiratory failure leading to death within 3 to 5 years after its onset. Protein-energy malnutrition is a frequent finding in ALS. The pathogenesis of protein-energy malnutrition in ALS is multifactorial. Muscle atrophy, hypophagia, dysphagia, and hypermetabolism play a role in determining the deterioration of nutritional status. A multidisciplinary approach is crucial to set an appropriate plan for metabolic and nutritional support in ALS. Nutritional management incorporates a continuous assessment and implementation of dietary modifications throughout the duration of the disease. The nutritional and metabolic approaches to ALS should start when the diagnosis of ALS is made and should become an integral part of the continuous care to the patient, including nutritional surveillance, dietary counseling, management of dysphagia, and enteral nutrition when needed. Parenteral nutrition is rarely indicated. Standard polymeric enteral formulas are routinely used, usually providing 25 to 30 kcal/kg and protein 0.8 to 1.2 g /kg per day. The use of fiber-enriched formulas may help prevent constipation. However, considering the complex metabolic abnormalities of ALS, standard and/or fiber-enriched formulas might not be sufficient to achieve optimal metabolic and nutritional support. Based on the most recent clinical and experimental evidence, it is tempting to hypothesize that personalized nutritional support including specific nutritional substrates could act on disease progression and improve the quality of life and the response to the few and yet scarcely effective, currently available pharmacologic therapies. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wang, Leo H; Elliott, Michael A; Jung Henson, Lily; Gerena-Maldonado, Elba; Strom, Susan; Downing, Sharon; Vetrovs, Jennifer; Kayihan, Paige; Paul, Piper; Kennedy, Kate; Benditt, Joshua O; Weiss, Michael D
To describe the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients who sought medication under the Washington State Death with Dignity (DWD) Act since its inception in 2009. Chart review at 3 tertiary medical centers in the Seattle/Puget Sound region and comparison to publicly available data of ALS and all-cause DWD cohorts from Washington and Oregon. In Washington State, 39 patients with ALS requested DWD from the University of Washington, Virginia Mason, and Swedish Medical Centers beginning in 2009. The median age at death was 65 years (range 46-86). Seventy-seven percent of the patients used the prescriptions. All of the patients who used the medications passed away without complications. The major reasons for patients to request DWD as reported by participating physicians were loss of autonomy and dignity and decrease in enjoyable activities. Inadequate pain control, financial cost, and loss of bodily control were less commonly indicated. These findings were similar to those of the 92 patients who sought DWD in Oregon. In Washington and Oregon, the percentage of patients with ALS seeking DWD is higher compared to the cancer DWD cohort. Furthermore, compared to the all-cause DWD cohort, patients with ALS are more likely to be non-Hispanic white, married, educated, enrolled in hospice, and to have died at home. Although a small number, ALS represents the disease with the highest proportion of patients seeking to participate in DWD. Patients with ALS who choose DWD are well-educated and have access to palliative or life-prolonging care. The use of the medications appears to be able to achieve the patients' goals without complications. © 2016 American Academy of Neurology.
Ambegaokar, Surendra S.; Roy, Bidisha; Jackson, George R.
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
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
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.
Del Signore, Steven J; Amante, Daniel J; Kim, Jinho; Stack, Edward C; Goodrich, Sarah; Cormier, Kerry; Smith, Karen; Cudkowicz, Merit E; Ferrante, Robert J
Recent evidence suggests that transcriptional dysregulation may play a role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The histone deacetylase inhibitor, sodium phenylbutyrate (NaPB), is neuroprotective and corrects aberrant gene transcription in ALS mice and has recently been shown to be safe and tolerable in ALS patients while improving hypoacetylation. Since many patients are already on riluzole, it is important to ensure that any proposed therapy does not result in negative synergy with riluzole. The combined treatment of riluzole and NaPB significantly extended survival and improved both the clinical and neuropathological phenotypes in G93A transgenic ALS mice beyond either agent alone. Combination therapy increased survival by 21.5%, compared to the separate administration of riluzole (7.5%) and NaPB (12.8%), while improving both body weight loss and grip strength. The data show that the combined treatment was synergistic. In addition, riluzole/NaPB treatment ameliorated gross lumbar and ventral horn atrophy, attenuated lumbar ventral horn neuronal cell death, and decreased reactive astrogliosis. Riluzole/NaPB administration increased acetylation at H4 and increased NF-kappaB p50 translocation to the nucleus in G93A mice, consistent with a therapeutic effect. These data suggest that NaPB may not interfere with the pharmacologic action of riluzole in ALS patients.
Campanari, Maria-Letizia; García-Ayllón, María-Salud; Ciura, Sorana; Sáez-Valero, Javier; Kabashi, Edor
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a highly debilitating disease caused by progressive degeneration of motorneurons (MNs). Due to the wide variety of genes and mutations identified in ALS, a highly varied etiology could ultimately converge to produce similar clinical symptoms. A major hypothesis in ALS research is the "distal axonopathy" with pathological changes occurring at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), at very early stages of the disease, prior to MNs degeneration and onset of clinical symptoms. The NMJ is a highly specialized cholinergic synapse, allowing signaling between muscle and nerve necessary for skeletal muscle function. This nerve-muscle contact is characterized by the clustering of the collagen-tailed form of acetylcholinesterase (ColQ-AChE), together with other components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and specific key molecules in the NMJ formation. Interestingly, in addition to their cholinergic role AChE is thought to play several "non-classical" roles that do not require catalytic function, most prominent among these is the facilitation of neurite growth, NMJ formation and survival. In all this context, abnormalities of AChE content have been found in plasma of ALS patients, in which AChE changes may reflect the neuromuscular disruption. We review these findings and particularly the evidences of changes of AChE at neuromuscular synapse in the pre-symptomatic stages of ALS.
Campanari, Maria-Letizia; García-Ayllón, María-Salud; Ciura, Sorana; Sáez-Valero, Javier; Kabashi, Edor
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a highly debilitating disease caused by progressive degeneration of motorneurons (MNs). Due to the wide variety of genes and mutations identified in ALS, a highly varied etiology could ultimately converge to produce similar clinical symptoms. A major hypothesis in ALS research is the “distal axonopathy” with pathological changes occurring at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), at very early stages of the disease, prior to MNs degeneration and onset of clinical symptoms. The NMJ is a highly specialized cholinergic synapse, allowing signaling between muscle and nerve necessary for skeletal muscle function. This nerve-muscle contact is characterized by the clustering of the collagen-tailed form of acetylcholinesterase (ColQ-AChE), together with other components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and specific key molecules in the NMJ formation. Interestingly, in addition to their cholinergic role AChE is thought to play several “non-classical” roles that do not require catalytic function, most prominent among these is the facilitation of neurite growth, NMJ formation and survival. In all this context, abnormalities of AChE content have been found in plasma of ALS patients, in which AChE changes may reflect the neuromuscular disruption. We review these findings and particularly the evidences of changes of AChE at neuromuscular synapse in the pre-symptomatic stages of ALS. PMID:28082868
Tsai, Ching-Piao; Tzu-Chi Lee, Charles
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.
Jenkins, Thomas M; Burness, Christine; Connolly, Daniel J; Rao, D Ganesh; Hoggard, Nigel; Mawson, Susan; McDermott, Christopher J; Wilkinson, Iain D; Shaw, Pamela J
Our objective was to investigate the potential of muscle volume, measured with magnetic resonance (MR), as a biomarker to quantify disease progression in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this longitudinal pilot study, we first sought to determine the stability of volumetric muscle MR measurements in 11 control subjects at two time-points. We assessed feasibility of detecting atrophy in four patients with ALS, followed at three-month intervals for 12 months. Muscle power and MR volume were measured in thenar eminence (TEm), first dorsal interosseous (1DIO), tibialis anterior (TA) and tongue. Changes over time were assessed using linear regression models and t-tests. Results demonstrated that, in controls, no volumetric MR changes were seen (mean volume variation in all muscles < 5%, p > 0.1). In patients, between-subject heterogeneity was identified. Trends for volume loss were found in TEm (mean, - 26.84%, p = 0.056) and TA (- 8.29%, p = 0.077), but not in 1DIO (- 18.47%, p = 0.121) or tongue (< 5%, p = 0.367). In conclusion, volumetric muscle MR appears a stable measure in controls, and progressive volume loss was demonstrable in individuals with ALS in whom clinical weakness progressed. In this small study, subclinical atrophy was not demonstrable using muscle MR. Clinico-radiological discordance between muscle weakness and MR atrophy could reflect a contribution of upper motor neuron pathology.
Martínez, Daniel; Sancho, Jesús; Servera, Emilio; Marín, Julio
Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) tolerance has been identified as an independent predictor of survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Volume control continuous mandatory ventilation (VC-CMV) NIV has been associated with poor tolerance. The aim of this study was to determine the tolerance of subjects with ALS to VC-CMV NIV. This was a prospective study involving subjects with ALS who were treated with VC-CMV NIV. Respiratory and functional parameters were recorded when the subjects began ventilatory support. NIV tolerance was evaluated after 3 months. Eighty-seven subjects with ALS were included. After 3 months, 80 subjects (92%) remained tolerant of NIV. Tolerant subjects presented greater survival (median 22.0 months, 95% CI 14.78-29.21) than intolerant subjects (median 6.0 months, 95% CI 0.86-11.13) (P = .03). The variables that best predicted NIV tolerance were mechanically assisted cough peak flow (P = .01) and percentage of time spent with SpO2 < 90% at night while on NIV (P = .03) CONCLUSIONS: VC-CMV NIV provides high rates of NIV tolerance in subjects with ALS. Mechanically assisted cough peak flow and percentage of time spent with SpO2 < 90% at night while using NIV are the 2 factors associated with tolerance of VC-CMV NIV in subjects with ALS. Copyright © 2015 by Daedalus Enterprises.
Chiaramonte, Rita; Di Luciano, Carmela; Chiaramonte, Ignazio; Serra, Agostino; Bonfiglio, Marco
The objective of this study was to examine the role of different specialists in the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), to understand changes in verbal expression and phonation, respiratory dynamics and swallowing that occurred rapidly over a short period of time. 22 patients with bulbar ALS were submitted for voice assessment, ENT evaluation, Multi-Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP), spectrogram, electroglottography, fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. In the early stage of the disease, the oral tract and velopharyngeal port were involved. Three months after the initial symptoms, most of the patients presented hoarseness, breathy voice, dysarthria, pitch modulation problems and difficulties in pronunciation of explosive, velar and lingual consonants. Values of MDVP were altered. Spectrogram showed an additional formant, due to nasal resonance. Electroglottography showed periodic oscillation of the vocal folds only during short vocal cycle. Swallowing was characterized by weakness and incoordination of oro-pharyngeal muscles with penetration or aspiration. A specific multidisciplinary clinical protocol was designed to report vocal parameters and swallowing disorders that changed more quickly in bulbar ALS patients. Furthermore, the patients were stratified according to involvement of pharyngeal structures, and severity index. Copyright © 2018 Sociedad Española de Otorrinolaringología y Cirugía de Cabeza y Cuello. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Abhinav, Kumar; Al‐Chalabi, Ammar; Hortobagyi, Tibor; Leigh, P Nigel
Electrical injury may act as a potential precipitating or risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A systematic review of the literature was undertaken to assess the relationship between electrical injury and the development of ALS. Information for the review was obtained using five medical databases, and from manual searching of individual papers. Patients presenting with a neurological syndrome after electrical injury, including lightning, were included and classified into four categories: ALS; progressive upper motor neurone (UMN) syndrome; progressive lower motor neurone (LMN) syndrome; and non‐progressive syndrome. Linear regression and χ2testing were used for analysis of the data. 96 individuals, comprising 44 with ALS, 1 with a progressive UMN syndrome, 7 with a progressive LMN syndrome and 44 with a non‐progressive syndrome, were identified from 31 papers with publication dates between 1906 and 2002. The median interval between electrical injury and disease onset was 2.25 years for all progressive syndromes and just over 1 week for the non‐progressive syndrome. The more severe the shock (excluding lightning), the more likely individuals were to have a non‐progressive motor syndrome. A non‐progressive spinal cord syndrome is associated with more severe electrical injury. Overall, the evidence reviewed does not support a causal relationship between ALS and electric shock. PMID:17098839
Isse, Naohi; Miura, Yoh; Obata, Toshiyuki; Takahara, Noriko
L-carnitine is an important metabolic mediator involved in fatty acid transport. It is obtained from the diet, particularly from animal products, such as red meat. Previous reports have revealed that long-term tube feeding with a commercial product containing no or low levels of carnitine can lead to an altered mental state caused by hyperammonemia. A 72-year-old Japanese man had a 12-year history of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was bedridden and had required mechanical ventilation and enteral tube feeding for 10 years at home. His main enteral solution was a commercial product that contained low carnitine levels, and he sometimes received coffee and homemade products such as miso soup. Our patient's ability to communicate gradually deteriorated over a period of one year. His serum total carnitine level was abnormally low, at 26.7μmol/L (normal range, 45 to 91μmol/L), but his ammonium level was normal. His mental state improved dramatically after starting L-carnitine supplementation (600mg twice daily). This case highlights the importance of avoiding carnitine deficiency in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis undergoing long-term tube feeding. These patients experience progressive muscle atrophy that might cause impaired carnitine storage and might manifest as communication difficulties. Carnitine deficiency can be misdiagnosed as a progression of systemic muscle atrophy. Clinicians should be aware of this disorder and should consider periodically measuring carnitine levels, regardless of the patient's serum ammonium levels.
El Mendili, Mohamed-Mounir; Cohen-Adad, Julien; Pelegrini-Issac, Mélanie; Rossignol, Serge; Morizot-Koutlidis, Régine; Marchand-Pauvert, Véronique; Iglesias, Caroline; Sangari, Sina; Katz, Rose; Lehericy, Stéphane; Benali, Habib; Pradat, Pierre-François
Objective To evaluate multimodal MRI of the spinal cord in predicting disease progression and one-year clinical status in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Materials and Methods After a first MRI (MRI1), 29 ALS patients were clinically followed during 12 months; 14/29 patients underwent a second MRI (MRI2) at 11±3 months. Cross-sectional area (CSA) that has been shown to be a marker of lower motor neuron degeneration was measured in cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord from T2-weighted images. Fractional anisotropy (FA), axial/radial/mean diffusivities (λ⊥, λ//, MD) and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) were measured within the lateral corticospinal tract in the cervical region. Imaging metrics were compared with clinical scales: Revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and manual muscle testing (MMT) score. Results At MRI1, CSA correlated significantly (P<0.05) with MMT and arm ALSFRS-R scores. FA correlated significantly with leg ALFSRS-R scores. One year after MRI1, CSA predicted (P<0.01) arm ALSFSR-R subscore and FA predicted (P<0.01) leg ALSFRS-R subscore. From MRI1 to MRI2, significant changes (P<0.01) were detected for CSA and MTR. CSA rate of change (i.e. atrophy) highly correlated (P<0.01) with arm ALSFRS-R and arm MMT subscores rate of change. Conclusion Atrophy and DTI metrics predicted ALS disease progression. Cord atrophy was a better biomarker of disease progression than diffusion and MTR. Our study suggests that multimodal MRI could provide surrogate markers of ALS that may help monitoring the effect of disease-modifying drugs. PMID:24755826
Mackness, Brian C.; Tran, Meme T.; McClain, Shannan P.; Matthews, C. Robert; Zitzewitz, Jill A.
Pathological alteration of TDP-43 (TAR DNA-binding protein-43), a protein involved in various RNA-mediated processes, is a hallmark feature of the neurodegenerative diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Fragments of TDP-43, composed of the second RNA recognition motif (RRM2) and the disordered C terminus, have been observed in cytoplasmic inclusions in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases, suggesting that conformational changes involving RRM2 together with the disordered C terminus play a role in aggregation and toxicity. The biophysical data collected by CD and fluorescence spectroscopies reveal a three-state equilibrium unfolding model for RRM2, with a partially folded intermediate state that is not observed in RRM1. Strikingly, a portion of RRM2 beginning at position 208, which mimics a cleavage site observed in patient tissues, increases the population of this intermediate state. Mutually stabilizing interactions between the domains in the tethered RRM1 and RRM2 construct reduce the population of the intermediate state and enhance DNA/RNA binding. Despite the high sequence homology of the two domains, a network of large hydrophobic residues in RRM2 provides a possible explanation for the increased stability of RRM2 compared with RRM1. The cluster analysis suggests that the intermediate state may play a functional role by enhancing access to the nuclear export signal contained within its sequence. The intermediate state may also serve as a molecular hazard linking productive folding and function with pathological misfolding and aggregation that may contribute to disease. PMID:24497641
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its adjudication regulation regarding certificates of eligibility for financial assistance in the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance and adaptive equipment. The amendment authorizes automatic issuance of a certificate of eligibility for financial assistance in the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance and adaptive equipment to all veterans with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty with ALS.
Atkin, Julie D; Scott, Rachel L; West, Jan M; Lopes, Elizabeth; Quah, Alvin K J; Cheema, Surindar S
This investigation was undertaken to determine if there are altered histological, pathological and contractile properties in presymptomatic or endstage diseased muscle fibres from representative slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles of SOD1 G93A mice in comparison to wildtype mice. In presymptomatic SOD1 G93A mice, there was no detectable peripheral dysfunction, providing evidence that muscle pathology is secondary to motor neuronal dysfunction. At disease endstage however, single muscle fibre contractile analysis demonstrated that fast-twitch muscle fibres and neuromuscular junctions are preferentially affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-induced denervation, being unable to produce the same levels of force when activated by calcium as muscle fibres from their age-matched controls. The levels of transgenic SOD1 expression, aggregation state and activity were also examined in these muscles but there no was no preference for muscle fibre type. Hence, there is no simple correlation between SOD1 protein expression/activity, and muscle fibre type vulnerability in SOD1 G93A mice.
Coppedè, Fabio; Lo Gerfo, Annalisa; Carlesi, Cecilia; Piazza, Selina; Mancuso, Michelangelo; Pasquali, Livia; Murri, Luigi; Migliore, Lucia; Siciliano, Gabriele
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.
Lattante, Serena; Le Ber, Isabelle; Camuzat, Agnès; Pariente, Jérémie; Brice, Alexis; Kabashi, Edor
The ubiquilin-2 gene (UBQLN-2) is the only amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-related gene mapping on the X chromosome. Mutations in the PXX domain of UBQLN-2 have been first described in ALS patients with a mutational frequency of 2.6% in familial ALS cases with no evidence of male-to-male transmission. Different populations have been further tested with mutations largely distributed in the gene and lower frequency of positive cases. To determine the genetic contribution of UBQLN-2 in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and FTLD-ALS, we screened a cohort of 136 French patients, identifying a missense variant (c.1006A>G; p.T336A) in 1 FTLD patient whose biological relevance to disease is questionable. We conclude that UBQLN-2 mutations related to ALS/FTLD are extremely rare in French FTLD and FTLD-ALS patients and should not be analyzed systematically. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.
The occurrence of dementia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was only widely recognized in the late 20th century. Hitherto, it was believed that dementia was a rare event due to the fortuitous association with other diseases. In 1924, Kostantin Nikolaevich Tretiakoff and Moacyr de Freitas Amorim reported a case of dementia with features of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) that preceded the motor signs of ALS. Neuropathological examination confirmed ALS and found no signs of other dementia-causing diseases. The authors hypothesized that dementia was part of ALS and recommended the search for signs of involvement of motor neurons in cases of dementia with an ill-defined clinical picture, a practice currently accepted in the investigation of cases of FTD. This was one of the first descriptions of dementia preceding the motor impairments of ALS and was published in Portuguese and French in Memórias do Hospício de Juquery. PMID:29213884
Thivard, Lionel; Pradat, Pierre‐François; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Lacomblez, Lucette; Dormont, Didier; Chiras, Jacques; Benali, Habib; Meininger, Vincent
The aim of this study was to investigate the extent of cortical and subcortical lesions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using, in combination, voxel based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and voxel based morphometry (VBM). We included 15 patients with definite or probable ALS and 25 healthy volunteers. Patients were assessed using the revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS‐R). In patients, reduced fractional anisotropy was found in bilateral corticospinal tracts, the left insula/ventrolateral premotor cortex, the right parietal cortex and the thalamus, which correlated with the ALSFRS‐R. Increased mean diffusivity (MD) was found bilaterally in the motor cortex, the ventrolateral premotor cortex/insula, the hippocampal formations and the right superior temporal gyrus, which did not correlate with the ALSFRS‐R. VBM analysis showed no changes in white matter but widespread volume decreases in grey matter in several regions exhibiting MD abnormalities. In ALS patients, our results show that subcortical lesions extend beyond the corticospinal tract and are clinically relevant. PMID:17635981
Thivard, Lionel; Pradat, Pierre-François; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Lacomblez, Lucette; Dormont, Didier; Chiras, Jacques; Benali, Habib; Meininger, Vincent
The aim of this study was to investigate the extent of cortical and subcortical lesions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using, in combination, voxel based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and voxel based morphometry (VBM). We included 15 patients with definite or probable ALS and 25 healthy volunteers. Patients were assessed using the revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R). In patients, reduced fractional anisotropy was found in bilateral corticospinal tracts, the left insula/ventrolateral premotor cortex, the right parietal cortex and the thalamus, which correlated with the ALSFRS-R. Increased mean diffusivity (MD) was found bilaterally in the motor cortex, the ventrolateral premotor cortex/insula, the hippocampal formations and the right superior temporal gyrus, which did not correlate with the ALSFRS-R. VBM analysis showed no changes in white matter but widespread volume decreases in grey matter in several regions exhibiting MD abnormalities. In ALS patients, our results show that subcortical lesions extend beyond the corticospinal tract and are clinically relevant.
van Rheenen, Wouter; Shatunov, Aleksey; Dekker, Annelot M; McLaughlin, Russell L; Diekstra, Frank P; Pulit, Sara L; van der Spek, Rick A A; Võsa, Urmo; de Jong, Simone; Robinson, Matthew R; Yang, Jian; Fogh, Isabella; van Doormaal, Perry TC; Tazelaar, Gijs H P; Koppers, Max; Blokhuis, Anna M; Sproviero, William; Jones, Ashley R; Kenna, Kevin P; van Eijk, Kristel R; Harschnitz, Oliver; Schellevis, Raymond D; Brands, William J; Medic, Jelena; Menelaou, Androniki; Vajda, Alice; Ticozzi, Nicola; Lin, Kuang; Rogelj, Boris; Vrabec, Katarina; Ravnik-Glavač, Metka; Koritnik, Blaž; Zidar, Janez; Leonardis, Lea; Grošelj, Leja Dolenc; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Salachas, François; Meininger, Vincent; de Carvalho, Mamede; Pinto, Susana; Mora, Jesus S; Rojas-García, Ricardo; Polak, Meraida; Chandran, Siddharthan; Colville, Shuna; Swingler, Robert; Morrison, Karen E; Shaw, Pamela J; Hardy, John; Orrell, Richard W; Pittman, Alan; Sidle, Katie; Fratta, Pietro; Malaspina, Andrea; Topp, Simon; Petri, Susanne; Abdulla, Susanne; Drepper, Carsten; Sendtner, Michael; Meyer, Thomas; Ophoff, Roel A; Staats, Kim A; Wiedau-Pazos, Martina; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M; Trojanowski, John Q; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Basak, A Nazli; Tunca, Ceren; Hamzeiy, Hamid; Parman, Yesim; Meitinger, Thomas; Lichtner, Peter; Radivojkov-Blagojevic, Milena; Andres, Christian R; Maurel, Cindy; Bensimon, Gilbert; Landwehrmeyer, Bernhard; Brice, Alexis; Payan, Christine A M; Saker-Delye, Safaa; Dürr, Alexandra; Wood, Nicholas W; Tittmann, Lukas; Lieb, Wolfgang; Franke, Andre; Rietschel, Marcella; Cichon, Sven; Nöthen, Markus M; Amouyel, Philippe; Tzourio, Christophe; Dartigues, Jean-François; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Estrada, Karol; Hofman, Albert; Curtis, Charles; Blauw, Hylke M; van der Kooi, Anneke J; de Visser, Marianne; Goris, An; Weber, Markus; Shaw, Christopher E; Smith, Bradley N; Pansarasa, Orietta; Cereda, Cristina; Bo, Roberto Del; Comi, Giacomo P; D’Alfonso, Sandra; Bertolin, Cinzia; Sorarù, Gianni; Mazzini, Letizia; Pensato, Viviana; Gellera, Cinzia; Tiloca, Cinzia; Ratti, Antonia; Calvo, Andrea; Moglia, Cristina; Brunetti, Maura; Arcuti, Simona; Capozzo, Rosa; Zecca, Chiara; Lunetta, Christian; Penco, Silvana; Riva, Nilo; Padovani, Alessandro; Filosto, Massimiliano; Muller, Bernard; Stuit, Robbert Jan; Blair, Ian; Zhang, Katharine; McCann, Emily P; Fifita, Jennifer A; Nicholson, Garth A; Rowe, Dominic B; Pamphlett, Roger; Kiernan, Matthew C; Grosskreutz, Julian; Witte, Otto W; Ringer, Thomas; Prell, Tino; Stubendorff, Beatrice; Kurth, Ingo; Hübner, Christian A; Leigh, P Nigel; Casale, Federico; Chio, Adriano; Beghi, Ettore; Pupillo, Elisabetta; Tortelli, Rosanna; Logroscino, Giancarlo; Powell, John; Ludolph, Albert C; Weishaupt, Jochen H; Robberecht, Wim; Van Damme, Philip; Franke, Lude; Pers, Tune H; Brown, Robert H; Glass, Jonathan D; Landers, John E; Hardiman, Orla; Andersen, Peter M; Corcia, Philippe; Vourc’h, Patrick; Silani, Vincenzo; Wray, Naomi R; Visscher, Peter M; de Bakker, Paul I W; van Es, Michael A; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen; Lewis, Cathryn M; Breen, Gerome; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; van den Berg, Leonard H; Veldink, Jan H
To elucidate the genetic architecture of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and find associated loci, we assembled a custom imputation reference panel from whole-genome-sequenced patients with ALS and matched controls (n = 1,861). Through imputation and mixed-model association analysis in 12,577 cases and 23,475 controls, combined with 2,579 cases and 2,767 controls in an independent replication cohort, we fine-mapped a new risk locus on chromosome 21 and identified C21orf2 as a gene associated with ALS risk. In addition, we identified MOBP and SCFD1 as new associated risk loci. We established evidence of ALS being a complex genetic trait with a polygenic architecture. Furthermore, we estimated the SNP-based heritability at 8.5%, with a distinct and important role for low-frequency variants (frequency 1–10%). This study motivates the interrogation of larger samples with full genome coverage to identify rare causal variants that underpin ALS risk. PMID:27455348
Sancho, Jesus; Servera, Emilio; Bañuls, Pilar; Marin, Julio
Acute lower respiratory infections can impair muscle strength in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). When associated with an increase in load on the respiratory system, this situation may precipitate hypercapnic respiratory failure in non-ventilated patients with ALS. The aim of this study was to determine whether a clinical or functional parameter can predict the need for noninvasive ventilation (NIV) during an acute respiratory infection for medically stable, non-ventilated patients with ALS. This was a prospective study involving all non-ventilated subjects with ALS admitted due to an acute respiratory infection to a respiratory care unit from a tertiary hospital. Thirty-two non-ventilated subjects with ALS were admitted to our respiratory care unit due to an acute respiratory infection: 60.72 ± 10.54 y, 13 males, 23 with spinal onset, FVC of 1.58 ± 0.83 L, FVC of 56.21 ± 23.15% of predicted, peak cough flow of 3.41 ± 1.77 L/s, maximum insufflation capacity of 1.87 ± 0.94 L, revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale score of 22.80 ± 8.83, and Norris bulbar score of 23.48 ± 12.14. Fifteen subjects required NIV during the episode. Logistic regression analysis showed that the only predictors of need for NIV were percent-of-predicted FVC (odds ratio of 1.06, 95% CI 1.01-1.11, P = .02) and peak cough flow (odds ratio of 2.57, 95% CI 1.18-5.59, P = .02). In medically stable, non-ventilated patients with ALS, measurement of percent-of-predicted FVC and peak cough flow can predict the need for NIV during an acute lower respiratory tract infection. Copyright © 2015 by Daedalus Enterprises.
Lepow, Lauren; Van Sweringen, James; Strutt, Adriana M; Jawaid, Ali; MacAdam, Claire; Harati, Yadollah; Schulz, Paul E; York, Michele K
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been associated with changes in frontal and temporal lobe-mediated cognitive and behavioral functions. Verbal fluency, a sensitive measure to these changes, was utilized to investigate phonemic and semantic abilities in 49 ALS patients and 25 healthy controls (HCs). A subset of the ALS patients was classified as ALS-intact, ALS with mild cognitive impairments (ALS-mild), and ALS with fronto-temporal dementia (ALS-FTD) based on a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. Clustering and switching, the underlying component processes of verbal fluency, were analyzed using Troyer's (Troyer, Moscovitch, & Winocur, 1997) and Abwender's (Abwender, Swan, Bowerman, & Connolly, 2001) scoring systems. ALS patients exhibited decreased fluency versus HCs. For phonemic fluency, the intact ALS sample generated fewer clusters and more switches than the ALS-mild and ALS-FTD patients using both scoring systems. This suggests temporal involvement in ALS patients, with increasing frontal lobe involvement in patients with greater cognitive dysfunction. For semantic fluency, similar results were obtained with a greater emphasis on declines in clustering or increased temporal lobe dysfunction. These results suggest that verbal fluency measures identify frontal and temporal lobe involvement in the cognitive decline associated with ALS, particularly when the component processes are evaluated. The clinical utility of these scoring systems with ALS patients is also discussed.
Okada, Masamitsu; Yamashita, Satoshi; Ueyama, Hidetsugu; Ishizaki, Masatoshi; Maeda, Yasushi; Ando, Yukio
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Edaravone, a free radical scavenger, was approved as a therapeutic drug for ALS in 2015 in Japan. A phase 3 clinical trial demonstrated a smaller decline in ALS functional scale scores compared with placebo. However, the long-term effects of edaravone on ALS patients remain unclear. This study aimed to retrospectively investigate the long-term effects of edaravone on the survival of ALS patients. We retrospectively analyzed 27 consecutive patients with ALS who were treated with edaravone and 30 consecutive ALS patients who were not treated with edaravone between 2010 and 2016. The differences of ALSFRS-R scores from baseline to 6 months was significantly reduced in the edaravone group, compared to the control group. The changes in serum creatinine, as a possible marker of ALS severity, from baseline to 6 and 12 months were significantly improved in the edaravone group, compared to the control group. The survival rate was significantly improved in the edaravone group compared with control patients. Our retrospective single-center analysis suggests slower progression and better prognosis of ALS patients with edaravone treatment. Further investigation, including prospective multicenter analysis, is warranted to confirm the usefulness of edaravone for a better prognosis of ALS.
Liu, Zhi-Jun; Li, Hong-Fu; Tan, Guo-He; Tao, Qing-Qing; Ni, Wang; Cheng, Xue-Wen; Xiong, Zhi-Qi; Wu, Zhi-Ying
To date, at least 18 causative genes have been identified in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Because of the clinical and genetic heterogeneity, molecular diagnosis for ALS faces great challenges. HaloPlex target enrichment system is a new targeted sequencing approach, which can detect already known mutations or candidate genes. We performed this approach to screen 18 causative genes of ALS, including SOD1, SETX, FUS, ANG, TARDBP, ALS2, FIG4, VAPB, OPTN, DAO, VCP, UBQLN2, SPG11, SIGMAR1, DCTN1, SQSTM1, PFN1, and CHMP2B in 8 ALS probands. Using this approach, we got an average of 9.5 synonymous or missense mutations per sample. After validation by Sanger sequencing, we identified 3 documented SOD1 mutations (p.F21C, p.G148D, and p.C147R) and 1 novel DCTN1 p.G59R mutation in 4 probands. The novel DCTN1 mutation appeared to segregate with the disease in the pedigree and was absent in 200 control subjects. The high throughput and efficiency of this approach indicated that it could be applied to diagnose ALS and other inherited diseases with multiple causative genes in clinical practice. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tomik, Jerzy; Tomik, Barbara; Gajec, Sebastian; Ceranowicz, Piotr; Pihut, Małgorzata; Olszanecki, Rafał; Stręk, Paweł; Składzień, Jacek
The aim of the study was to analyse the disturbances of the oro-pharyngeal swallowing phase of dysphagia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with the use of specific manometric measurements and to evaluate their plausible association with the duration of the disease. Seventeen patients with ALS were evaluated with manometric examinations of the oral and pharyngeal part of the gastrointestinal tract. Tests were carried out by using the oesophageal balloon-based method with four balloon transducers located 5 cm away from each other. The following manometric parameters were analysed: the base of tongue contraction (BTC) and the upper oesophageal sphincter pressure (UESP), and the hypopharyngeal suction pump (HSP) as well as the oro-pharyngeal, pharyngeal and hypopharyngeal transit time and average pharyngeal bolus velocity (oropharyngeal transit time (OTT), pharyngeal transit time (PTT), hypopharyngeal transit time (HTT) and average pharyngeal bolus velocity (APBV), respectively). Manomatric examinations during swallowing in patients with ALS showed significant weakness of BTC, a decrease of HSP and a decrease of the velocity of bolus transit inside the pharynx which were particularly marked between the first and the third examination. Manometric examinations of the oro-pharyngeal part of the gastrointestinal tract are useful and supportive methods in the analysis of swallowing disturbances in ALS patients. PMID:28346382
Smith, Bradley N; Topp, Simon D; Fallini, Claudia; Shibata, Hideki; Chen, Han-Jou; Troakes, Claire; King, Andrew; Ticozzi, Nicola; Kenna, Kevin P; Soragia-Gkazi, Athina; Miller, Jack W; Sato, Akane; Dias, Diana Marques; Jeon, Maryangel; Vance, Caroline; Wong, Chun Hao; de Majo, Martina; Kattuah, Wejdan; Mitchell, Jacqueline C; Scotter, Emma L; Parkin, Nicholas W; Sapp, Peter C; Nolan, Matthew; Nestor, Peter J; Simpson, Michael; Weale, Michael; Lek, Monkel; Baas, Frank; Vianney de Jong, J M; Ten Asbroek, Anneloor L M A; Redondo, Alberto Garcia; Esteban-Pérez, Jesús; Tiloca, Cinzia; Verde, Federico; Duga, Stefano; Leigh, Nigel; Pall, Hardev; Morrison, Karen E; Al-Chalabi, Ammar; Shaw, Pamela J; Kirby, Janine; Turner, Martin R; Talbot, Kevin; Hardiman, Orla; Glass, Jonathan D; De Belleroche, Jacqueline; Maki, Masatoshi; Moss, Stephen E; Miller, Christopher; Gellera, Cinzia; Ratti, Antonia; Al-Sarraj, Safa; Brown, Robert H; Silani, Vincenzo; Landers, John E; Shaw, Christopher E
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. We screened 751 familial ALS patient whole-exome sequences and identified six mutations including p.D40G in the ANXA11 gene in 13 individuals. The p.D40G mutation was absent from 70,000 control whole-exome sequences. This mutation segregated with disease in two kindreds and was present in another two unrelated cases ( P = 0.0102), and all mutation carriers shared a common founder haplotype. Annexin A11-positive protein aggregates were abundant in spinal cord motor neurons and hippocampal neuronal axons in an ALS patient carrying the p.D40G mutation. Transfected human embryonic kidney cells expressing ANXA11 with the p.D40G mutation and other N-terminal mutations showed altered binding to calcyclin, and the p.R235Q mutant protein formed insoluble aggregates. We conclude that mutations in ANXA11 are associated with ALS and implicate defective intracellular protein trafficking in disease pathogenesis. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.