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van Doormaal P.T.C.,University Utrecht | Ticozzi N.,Unit of Neurology and Laboratory of Neuroscience | Ticozzi N.,University of Milan | Gellera C.,IRCCS Carlo Besta Neurological Institute | And 44 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging

Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a multifactorial disease of environmental and genetic origin. In a previous large multicenter genome wide study, common genetic variation in the Kinesin-Associated Protein 3 (KIFAP3) gene (rs1541160) was reported to have a significant effect on survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. However, this could not be replicated in 3 smaller independent cohorts. We conducted a large multicenter multivariate survival analysis (n= 2362) on the effect of genetic variation in rs1541160. The previously reported beneficial genotype did not show a significant improvement in survival in this patient group. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Espay A.J.,James d Joan rdner Family Center For Parkinsons Disease And Movement Disorders | Espay A.J.,University of Cincinnati | Edwards M.J.,University College London | Oggioni G.D.,ogadro University And Maggiore Della Carita Hospital | And 7 more authors.
Parkinsonism and Related Disorders

Background: Entrainment, the change or elimination of tremor as patients perform a voluntary rhythmical movement by the unaffected limb, is a key diagnostic hallmark of psychogenic tremor. Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of using entrainment as a bedside therapeutic strategy ('retrainment') in patients with psychogenic tremor. Methods: Ten patients with psychogenic tremor (5 women, mean age, 53.6 ± 12.8 years; mean disease duration 4.3 ± 2.7 years) were asked to participate in a pilot proof-of-concept study aimed at "retraining" their tremor frequency. Retrainment was facilitated by tactile and auditory external cueing and real-time visual feedback on a computer screen. The primary outcome measure was the Tremor subscale of the Rating Scale for Psychogenic Movement Disorders. Results: Tremor improved from 22.2 ± 13.39 to 4.3 ± 5.51 (p = 0.0019) at the end of retrainment. The benefits were maintained for at least 1 week and up to 6 months in 6 patients, with relapses occurring in 4 patients between 2 weeks and 6 months. Three subjects achieved tremor freedom. Conclusions: Tremor retrainment may be an effective short-term treatment strategy in psychogenic tremor. Although blinded evaluations are not feasible, future studies should examine the long-term benefits of tremor retrainment as adjunctive to psychotherapy or specialized physical therapy. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Tiloca C.,University of Milan | Pensato V.,Unit of Genetics of Neurodegenerative and Metabolic Diseases | Corrado L.,The Interdisciplinary Center | Del Bo R.,University of Milan | And 24 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging

Mutations in the profilin 1 (PFN1) gene, encoding a protein regulating filamentous actin growth through its binding to monomeric G-actin, have been recently identified in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Functional studies performed on ALS-associated PFN1 mutants demonstrated aggregation propensity, alterations in growth cone, and cytoskeletal dynamics. Previous screening of PFN1 gene in sporadic ALS (SALS) cases led to the identification of the p.E117G mutation, which is likely to represent a less pathogenic variant according to both frequency data in control subjects and cases, and functional experiments. To determine the effective contribution of PFN1 mutations in SALS, we analyzed a large cohort of 1168 Italian SALS patients and also included 203 frontotemporal dementia (FTD) cases because of the great overlap between these 2 neurodegenerative diseases. We detected the p.E117G variant in 1 SALS patient and the novel synonymous change p.G15G in another patient, but none in a panel of 1512 control subjects. Our results suggest that PFN1 mutations in sporadic ALS and in FTD are rare, at least in the Italian population. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Corrado L.,The Interdisciplinary Center | Del Bo R.,University of Milan | Gagliardi S.,Irccs National Neurological Institute C Mondino | Pensato V.,Unit of Genetics of Neurodegenerative and Metabolic Diseases | And 15 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging

Mutations in the prion-like domain (PrLD) of hnRNPA1 and A2/B1 genes were recently identified in 2 families with inclusion body myopathy associated with Paget disease of bone, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and in ALS patients. These mutations were shown to increase the propensity of hnRNPA1 and A2/B1 proteins, which are TDP-43-binding partners, to self-aggregate. hnRNPA3 protein contains a similar PrLD and was recently described in the p62-positive/TDP-43-negative inclusions in affected tissues of C9orf72-mutated ALS/FTD patients. We screened hnRNPA1, A2/B1, and A3 genes in a cohort of 113 familial ALS (FALS) individuals without mutations in other known ALS-causative genes. We extended our analysis to 108 FALS with mutations in other ALS-associated genes and to 622 sporadic cases by screening specifically the PrLDs of hnRNPA1, A2/B1, and A3. We failed to find variants in each cohort. Our results suggest that mutations in hnRNPA1, A2/B1, and A3 genes are a rare finding in ALS. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Ratti A.,University of Milan | Corrado L.,The Interdisciplinary Center | Castellotti B.,Unit of Genetics of Neurodegenerative and Metabolic Diseases | Del Bo R.,University of Milan | And 20 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging

A hexanucleotide repeat expansion (RE) in C9ORF72 gene was recently reported as the main cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and cases with frontotemporal dementia. We screened C9ORF72 in a large cohort of 259 familial ALS, 1275 sporadic ALS, and 862 control individuals of Italian descent. We found RE in 23.9% familial ALS, 5.1% sporadic ALS, and 0.2% controls. Two cases carried the RE together with mutations in other ALS-associated genes. The phenotype of RE carriers was characterized by bulbar-onset, shorter survival, and association with cognitive and behavioral impairment. Extrapyramidal and cerebellar signs were also observed in few patients. Genotype data revealed that 95% of RE carriers shared a restricted 10-single nucleotide polymorphism haplotype within the previously reported 20-single nucleotide polymorphism risk haplotype, detectable in only 27% of nonexpanded ALS cases and in 28% of controls, suggesting a common founder with cohorts of North European ancestry. Although C9ORF72 RE segregates with disease, the identification of RE both in controls and in patients carrying additional pathogenic mutations suggests that penetrance and phenotypic expression of C9ORF72 RE may depend on additional genetic risk factors© 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

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