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Milano, Italy

Lunetta C.,University of Milan | Serafini M.,University of Milan | Prelle A.,UO di Neurologia | Magni P.,University of Milan | And 7 more authors.
Muscle and Nerve | Year: 2012

Introduction: Adult muscle fibers are a source of growth factors, including insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). These factors influence neuronal survival, axonal growth, and maintenance of synaptic connections. Methods: We investigated the components of the IGF system in skeletal muscle samples obtained from 17 sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients (sALS) and 29 control subjects (17 with normal muscle and 12 with denervated muscle unrelated to ALS). Results: The muscle expression of IGF-1 and IGF-binding proteins 3, 4, and 5 (IGF-BP3, -4, and -5, respectively), assessed by immunohistochemistry, was differently decreased in sALS compared with both control groups; conversely, IGF-1 receptor β subunit (IGF-1Rβ) was significantly increased. Western blot analysis confirmed the severe reduction of IGF-1, IGF-BP3, and -BP5 with the increment of IGF-1Rβ in sALS. Conclusion: In this study we describe the abnormal expression of the IGF-1 system in skeletal muscle of sALS patients that could participate in motor neuron degeneration and should be taken into account when developing treatments with IGF-1. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Majounie E.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Renton A.E.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Mok K.,University College London | Dopper E.G.P.,VU University Amsterdam | And 67 more authors.
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2012

Background: We aimed to accurately estimate the frequency of a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9orf72 that has been associated with a large proportion of cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Methods: We screened 4448 patients diagnosed with ALS (El Escorial criteria) and 1425 patients with FTD (Lund-Manchester criteria) from 17 regions worldwide for the GGGGCC hexanucleotide expansion using a repeat-primed PCR assay. We assessed familial disease status on the basis of self-reported family history of similar neurodegenerative diseases at the time of sample collection. We compared haplotype data for 262 patients carrying the expansion with the known Finnish founder risk haplotype across the chromosomal locus. We calculated age-related penetrance using the Kaplan-Meier method with data for 603 individuals with the expansion. Findings: In patients with sporadic ALS, we identified the repeat expansion in 236 (7·0%) of 3377 white individuals from the USA, Europe, and Australia, two (4·1%) of 49 black individuals from the USA, and six (8·3%) of 72 Hispanic individuals from the USA. The mutation was present in 217 (39·3%) of 552 white individuals with familial ALS from Europe and the USA. 59 (6·0%) of 981 white Europeans with sporadic FTD had the mutation, as did 99 (24·8%) of 400 white Europeans with familial FTD. Data for other ethnic groups were sparse, but we identified one Asian patient with familial ALS (from 20 assessed) and two with familial FTD (from three assessed) who carried the mutation. The mutation was not carried by the three Native Americans or 360 patients from Asia or the Pacific Islands with sporadic ALS who were tested, or by 41 Asian patients with sporadic FTD. All patients with the repeat expansion had (partly or fully) the founder haplotype, suggesting a one-off expansion occurring about 1500 years ago. The pathogenic expansion was non-penetrant in individuals younger than 35 years, 50% penetrant by 58 years, and almost fully penetrant by 80 years. Interpretation: A common Mendelian genetic lesion in C9orf72 is implicated in many cases of sporadic and familial ALS and FTD. Testing for this pathogenic expansion should be considered in the management and genetic counselling of patients with these fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Funding: Full funding sources listed at end of paper (see Acknowledgments). © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Marconi A.,Neuromuscular Omnicentre | Meloni G.,Neuromuscular Omnicentre | Meloni G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Fossati F.,Neuromuscular Omnicentre | And 6 more authors.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis | Year: 2012

Clinical experience has shown an increase of behavioural and mood symptoms, especially in the areas of aggressiveness, sexuality and obsessiveness, during the late stages of ALS. The lack of conclusive data concerning these symptoms prompted us to assess the psychological aspects of ALS patients in advanced stages of the disease. Moreover, we evaluated the personality of their caregivers in order to analyse the relationship between the pair. For these purposes, we studied 10 patients with ALS in late stages (tracheostomized for 36 months) and their caregivers using a questionnaire specifically elaborated for patients' communication limits. To assess the state of anxiety and depression of both patients and caregivers, we used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). To investigate caregivers' personality, we administered the Big Five Questionnaire (BFQ). Data showed a trend of aggression and high level of obsessiveness in ALS patients, associated with several clinical characteristics. High levels of anxiety emerged in both patients and caregivers. Regarding BFQ, caregivers obtained higher scores in the dimension of Conscientiousness and very low scores in Extraversion and Emotional Stability. In conclusion, the study showed a potential and considerable effect of the long duration of ALS on patients' personality and caregivers' distress. © 2012 Informa Healthcare. Source

Lunetta C.,Neuromuscular Omnicentre | Maestri E.,Neuromuscular Omnicentre | Melazzini M.,Neuromuscular Omnicentre | Corbo M.,Neuromuscular Omnicentre
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2012

Mutations in the . TARDBP gene are described as a cause of autosomal dominant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with or without motor neuron involvement, and, recently, Parkinson's disease (PD). We hereby describe a family presenting the A382T mutation; two subjects were in the homozygous state, and two were in the heterozygous state. The index case, carrying the A382T mutation in the homozygous state, had an 8-year history of sporadic PD and 6 years later developed ALS and FTLD; his brother, carrying the same mutation in the homozygous state, and the other two family member carriers of the same mutation in the heterozygous state were without neurological signs and symptoms. This family confirms that mutation in transactive response (TAR)-DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP43), both the homozygous and the heterozygous state, may be found in subjects with different clinical conditions ranging from neurological disease to non-neurological disease. In addition, the aforementioned findings add to the debate for the ethical and psychological dilemmas about genetic counseling. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.. Source

Lunetta C.,Neuromuscular Omnicentre | Sansone V.A.,Neuromuscular Omnicentre | Penco S.,Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pathology Laboratory | Mosca L.,Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pathology Laboratory | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Neurology | Year: 2014

Background and purpose: The occurrence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) during pregnancy is uncommon and the effect of one on the other is not well described. Methods: The clinical and genetic features of five cases of ALS are reported with an onset during pregnancy or within 1 month from delivery. Charts from 239 women with a diagnosis of ALS attending the neuromuscular clinics at the Neuromuscular Omnicentre (NEMO) and at IRCCS Policlinico San Donato from 2008 to 2011 were reviewed. Results: Of these, 12.8% of the women in child-bearing age had a diagnosis of ALS during pregnancy or immediately after delivery. Genetic screening of the major causative genes revealed two mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene the analysis of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) promoter variation showed a segregation of the haplotype CA/AG (-2578C/A; -1190A/G) in patients developing ALS related to pregnancy. No effects on foetal development or neonatal course were observed. Conclusions: Pregnancy may unmask ALS but whether this is coincidental is unclear. Hormonal and inflammatory modifications might trigger ALS in subjects with increased susceptibility to oxidative stress related to the toxic function of SOD1 or in subjects with a reduction of neuroprotective molecules such as VEGF. © 2014 EFNS. Source

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