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1.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31298054

RESUMO

Background: There is a lack of knowledge about what factors may impede or facilitate engagement in psychological interventions in people with motor neuron disease (pwMND) and how such interventions can be adapted to best meet the needs of this population. Objectives: To explore the needs and preferences of pwMND with respect to psychological interventions, and how best to adapt such interventions for pwMND. Methods: A series of semi-structured interviews (n = 22) and workshops (n = 3) were conducted with pwMND (n = 15), informal caregivers of pwMND (n = 10), and MND healthcare professionals (n = 12). These explored preferences and concerns that would need to be considered when delivering a psychological intervention for pwMND. Three areas were explored: (i) perceived factors that may hinder or facilitate pwMND engaging with psychological interventions; (ii) ways in which such interventions could be adapted to meet the individual needs of pwMND; and (iii) views regarding the main psychological issues that would need to be addressed. Workshops and interviews were audio recorded and transcribed and thematic analysis was used to inductively derive themes. Findings: Data could be classified within four overarching themes: unfamiliar territory; a series of losses; variability and difficulty meeting individual needs; and informal support. Conclusions: Flexibility, tailoring interventions to the individual needs of pwMND, and encouraging autonomy are key attributes for psychological interventions with pwMND. Psychological interventions such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) could be acceptable for pwMND if adapted to their specific needs.

2.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 90(10): 1165-1170, 2019 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31315908

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral levosimendan in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This phase II, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover, three-period study with 6 months open-label follow-up enrolled adults with ALS and sitting slow vital capacity (SVC) 60%-90 % of predicted from 11 sites in four countries. METHODS: Patients received levosimendan 1 mg daily, 1 mg two times a day or placebo during three 14-day crossover periods and levosimendan 1-2 mg daily during open-label follow-up. Primary endpoint was sitting SVC; secondary endpoints included supine SVC, ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R), tolerability and safety. RESULTS: Of 66 patients randomised, 59 contributed to the double-blind results and 50 entered open-label follow-up. Sitting SVC was not significantly different between the treatments. In post hoc analysis using period-wise baselines, supine SVC favoured levosimendan over placebo, estimated mean differences from baseline being -3.62% on placebo, +0.77% on levosimendan 1 mg daily (p=0.018) and +2.38% on 1 mg two times a day (p=0.001). Headache occurred in 16.7% of patients during levosimendan 1 mg daily (p=0.030), 28.6% during 1 mg two times a day (p=0.002) and 3.3% during placebo. The respective frequencies for increased heart rate were 5.1% (p=0.337), 18.5% (p=0.018) and 1.7%. No significant differences between the treatments were seen for other adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Levosimendan did not achieve the primary endpoint of improving sitting SVC in ALS. Headache and increased heart rate were increased on levosimendan, although it was otherwise well tolerated. A phase III study to evaluate the longer term effects of oral levosimendan in ALS is ongoing.

3.
Acta Neuropathol Commun ; 7(1): 115, 2019 Jul 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31315673

RESUMO

The expansion of a hexanucleotide repeat GGGGCC in C9orf72 is the most common known cause of ALS accounting for ~ 40% familial cases and ~ 7% sporadic cases in the European population. In most people, the repeat length is 2, but in people with ALS, hundreds to thousands of repeats may be observed. A small proportion of people have an intermediate expansion, of the order of 20 to 30 repeats in size, and it remains unknown whether intermediate expansions confer risk of ALS in the same way that massive expansions do. We investigated the association of this intermediate repeat with ALS by performing a meta-analysis of four previously published studies and a new British/Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative dataset of 1295 cases and 613 controls. The final dataset comprised 5071 cases and 3747 controls. Our meta-analysis showed association between ALS and intermediate C9orf72 repeats of 24 to 30 repeats in size (random-effects model OR = 4.2, 95% CI = 1.23-14.35, p-value = 0.02). Furthermore, we showed a different frequency of the repeat between the northern and southern European populations (Fisher's exact test p-value = 5 × 10- 3). Our findings provide evidence for the association between intermediate repeats and ALS (p-value = 2 × 10- 4) with direct relevance for research and clinical practice by showing that an expansion of 24 or more repeats should be considered pathogenic.

5.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31292200

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Funding and resources for low prevalent neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are limited, and optimising their use is vital for efficient drug development. In this study, we review the design assumptions for pivotal ALS clinical trials with time-to-event endpoints and provide optimised settings for future trials. METHODS: We extracted design settings from 13 completed placebo-controlled trials. Optimal assumptions were estimated using parametric survival models in individual participant data (n=4991). Designs were compared in terms of sample size, trial duration, drug use and costs. RESULTS: Previous trials overestimated the hazard rate by 18.9% (95% CI 3.4% to 34.5%, p=0.021). The median expected HR was 0.56 (range 0.33-0.66). Additionally, we found evidence for an increasing mean hazard rate over time (Weibull shape parameter of 2.03, 95% CI 1.93 to 2.15, p<0.001), which affects the design and planning of future clinical trials. Incorporating accrual time and assuming an increasing hazard rate at the design stage reduced sample size by 33.2% (95% CI 27.9 to 39.4), trial duration by 17.4% (95% CI 11.6 to 23.3), drug use by 14.3% (95% CI 9.6 to 19.0) and follow-up costs by 21.2% (95% CI 15.6 to 26.8). CONCLUSIONS: Implementing distributional knowledge and incorporating accrual at the design stage could achieve large gains in the efficiency of ALS clinical trials with time-to-event endpoints. We provide an open-source platform that helps investigators to make more accurate sample size calculations and optimise the use of their available resources.

6.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31284763

RESUMO

Objective: This study sought to investigate whether a multistep process was also evident in an Australian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) population. Methods: Mortality rates for ALS patients (years 2007-2016) were obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The log incidence of ALS, as reflected by crude mortality rates, was regressed against log of age disease onset. Results: From a total population of 24 million, 6524 cases of ALS were identified. A linear relation between the log incidence and log age was identified, with r2 value of 0.99, indicating that ALS is a multistep process. The linear slope estimate was 5.0, suggesting that six steps were required for development of ALS. Conclusions: This study established a linear relationship between log incidence and log age onset in an Australia ALS population, consistent with a multistep process. Identification of these steps will likely be of therapeutic benefit in ALS.

7.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31284774

RESUMO

Background: Neuroinflammation and human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) are thought to have a role in the pathophysiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Therapy directed against endogenous retroviruses has demonstrated positive effects during in vitro and biomarker studies. Consequently, the present study was undertaken to assess the safety and tolerability of long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART), Triumeq (abacavir, lamivudine, and dolutegravir) exposure in patients with ALS, and efficacy against biomarkers of disease progression. Methods: Patients were observed during a 10-week lead-in period before receiving Triumeq treatment for 24 weeks at four specialist ALS centers. The primary outcomes were safety and tolerability. Secondary outcomes included HERV-K expression levels, urinary p75ECD levels, neurophysiological parameters, and clinical indicators. The ENCALS prediction model was applied to provide an estimate of the cohort survival. The trial was registered (NCT02868580). Findings: 40 patients with ALS received Triumeq and 35 (88%) completed treatment. There were no drug-related serious adverse events; one patient was withdrawn from the study due to a drug-associated increase in liver enzymes. A favorable response on HERV-K expression levels was observed, accompanied by a decline in ALSFRS-R progression rate of 21.8% (95% CI -4.8%-48.6%) and the amount of urinary p75ECD measured. One patient died five months after stopping treatment, while five were expected to have died during the treatment period (interquartile range 2-8). Interpretation: Long-term Triumeq exposure was safe and well tolerated in this cohort. There was suggestive indication for a possible biological response in some pharmacodynamic and clinical biomarkers. A larger international phase 3 trial will be deployed to assess the effect of Triumeq on overall survival and disease progression. Funding: Funding was provided by the FightMND Foundation; MND Research Institute of Australia; MND Association, United Kingdom, and GSK. ViiV Healthcare provided the Triumeq.

8.
Mov Disord ; 34(7): 1049-1059, 2019 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31059154

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Progressive supranuclear palsy is a neurodegenerative tauopathy manifesting clinically as a progressive akinetic-rigid syndrome. In this study, we sought to identify genetic variants influencing PSP susceptibility through a genome-wide association analysis of a cohort of well-characterized patients who had participated in the Neuroprotection and Natural History in Parkinson Plus Syndromes and Blood Brain Barrier in Parkinson Plus Syndromes studies. METHODS: We genotyped single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 283 PSP cases from the United Kingdom, Germany, and France and compared these with genotypes from 4472 controls. Copy number variants were identified from genotyping data. RESULTS: We observed associations on chromosome 17 within or close to the MAPT gene and explored the genetic architecture at this locus. We confirmed the previously reported association of rs1768208 in the MOBP gene (P = 3.29 × 10-13 ) and rs1411478 in STX6 (P = 3.45 × 10-10 ). The population-attributable risk from the MAPT, MOBP, and STX6 single-nucleotide polymorphisms was found to be 0.37, 0.26, and 0.08, respectively. In addition, we found 2 instances of copy number variants spanning the MAPT gene in patients with PSP. These copy number variants include tau but few other genes within the chromosome 17 haplotype region, providing additional support for the direct pathogenicity of MAPT in PSP. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians should also be aware of MAPT duplication as a possible genetic cause of PSP, especially in patients presenting with young age at onset. © 2019 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

9.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31116037

RESUMO

Objectives: Using the Wilson and Cleary model linking clinical variables to quality of life, we explored the associations between physical and psychological factors, disability, perceived health and quality of life in ALS/MND. Methods: The ongoing UK study of Trajectories of Outcomes in Neurological Conditions (TONiC) recruited participants with ALS/MND to complete a questionnaire pack including demographic factors and several patient reported outcome measures (PROMs); a clinician provided data on disease onset type and duration since diagnosis. All PROMs were transformed from ordinal raw scores to interval-scaled latent estimates via the Rasch measurement model. Results: Data from 636 patients were analyzed; mean age 65.1 years (SD 10.7), 61.3% male. Median duration since diagnosis was 11.2 months (IQR 4.6-29.9; range 0.4-295.9 months); 67.3% had limb and 27.3% bulbar onset disease. Symptoms such as breathlessness and fatigue, along with most domains of activity limitations, were shown to vary by onset type. A series of models illustrated the importance of physical functioning and anxiety upon quality of life, with breathlessness and fatigue having indirect effects. The models were invariant for gender and onset type. Conclusions: This large study highlights the importance of functional status and anxiety as key variables influencing quality of life in ALS/MND. The nature and diversity of factors, both physical and psychological, which have been shown to influence the quality of life of people with ALS/MND provide strong evidence in support of the widespread implementation of multidisciplinary care.

10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30931641

RESUMO

Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons resulting in progressive paralysis and death, typically within 3-5 years. Although the heritability of ALS is about 60%, only about 11% is explained by common gene variants, suggesting that other forms of genetic variation are important. Telomeres maintain DNA integrity during cellular replication and shorten naturally with age. Gender and age are risk factors for ALS and also associated with telomere length. We therefore investigated telomere length in ALS. Methods: We estimated telomere length by applying a bioinformatics analysis to whole genome sequence data of leukocyte-derived DNA from people with ALS and age and gender-matched matched controls in a UK population. We tested the association of telomere length with ALS and ALS survival. Results: There were 1241 people with ALS and 335 controls. The median age for ALS was 62.5 years and for controls, 60.1 years, with a male-female ratio of 62:38. Accounting for age and sex, there was a 9% increase of telomere length in ALS compared to matched controls. Those with longer telomeres had a 16% increase in median survival. Of nine SNPs associated with telomere length, two were also associated with ALS: rs8105767 near the ZNF208 gene (p = 1.29 × 10-4) and rs6772228 (p = 0.001), which is in an intron for the PXK gene. Conclusions: Longer telomeres in leukocyte-derived DNA are associated with ALS, and with increased survival in those with ALS.

11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30961394

RESUMO

Objective: To model the effects of demographic change under various scenarios of possible future treatment developments in ALS. Methods: Patients diagnosed with ALS at the King's College Hospital Motor Nerve Clinic between 2004 and 2017, and living within the London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, and Lewisham (LSL), were included as incident cases. We also ascertained incident cases from the Canterbury region over the same period. Future incidence of ALS was estimated by applying the calculated age- and sex-specific incidence rates to the UK population projections from 2020 to 2116. The number of prevalent cases for each future year was estimated based on an established method. Assuming constant incidence, we modelled four possible future prevalence scenarios by altering the median disease duration for varying subsets of the population, to represent the impact of new treatments. Results: The total number of people newly diagnosed with ALS per year in the UK is projected to rise from a baseline of 1415 UK cases in 2010 to 1701 in 2020 and 2635 in 2116. Overall prevalence of ALS was predicted to increase from 8.58 per 100,000 persons in 2020 to 9.67 per 100,000 persons in 2116. Halting disease progression in patients with C9orf72 mutations would yield the greatest impact of the modelled treatment scenarios, increasing prevalence in the year 2066 from a baseline of 9.50 per 100,000 persons to 15.68 per 100,000 persons. Conclusions: Future developments in treatment would combine with the effects of demographic change to result in more people living longer with ALS.

12.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 90(7): 730-733, 2019 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30846542

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease of the motor system. The split hand sign in ALS refers to observed preferential weakness of the lateral hand muscles, which is unexplained. One possibility is larger cortical representation of the lateral hand compared with the medial. Biceps strength is usually preserved relative to triceps in neurological conditions, but biceps has a larger cortical representation and might be expected to show preferential weakness in ALS. METHODS: Using the South-East England Register for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, we performed a retrospective longitudinal cohort study and extracted the modified Medical Research Council (MRC) muscle strength score for biceps and triceps in patients with a diagnosis of upper limb-onset ALS in the 19-year period 1996-2015. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to assess the relative strength of the muscles within the total sum of the upper limbs involved in the study. RESULTS: There were 659 people with upper limb onset of weakness. In 215 there were insufficient data to perform the analysis, and a further 33 were excluded for other reasons, leaving 411 for analysis. Biceps was stronger than triceps in 87 limbs, and triceps was stronger than biceps in 258 limbs, with no difference seen in the remaining 477. Triceps strength scores (mean rank=186.1) were higher than ipsilateral biceps strength scores (mean rank=134.2), Z=-10.1, p<0.001 (two-tailed). CONCLUSION: Triceps strength is relatively preserved compared with biceps in ALS. This is consistent with a broadly corticofugal hypothesis of selective vulnerability, in which susceptibility might be associated with larger cortical representation.

13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30835568

RESUMO

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, MND) is a neurodegenerative disease of upper and lower motor neurons resulting in death from neuromuscular respiratory failure, typically within two years of first symptoms. Genetic factors are an important cause of ALS, with variants in more than 25 genes having strong evidence, and weaker evidence available for variants in more than 120 genes. With the increasing availability of next-generation sequencing data, non-specialists, including health care professionals and patients, are obtaining their genomic information without a corresponding ability to analyze and interpret it. Furthermore, the relevance of novel or existing variants in ALS genes is not always apparent. Here we present ALSgeneScanner, a tool that is easy to install and use, able to provide an automatic, detailed, annotated report, on a list of ALS genes from whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data in a few hours and whole exome sequence data in about 1 h on a readily available mid-range computer. This will be of value to non-specialists and aid in the interpretation of the relevance of novel and existing variants identified in DNA sequencing data.

14.
Acta Neuropathol Commun ; 7(1): 45, 2019 Mar 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30885274

RESUMO

Over the past two decades a number of studies have demonstrated activity of the retroviral enzyme reverse transcriptase in the serum of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Known human exogenous retroviruses such as HIV-1 have been eliminated as possible sources of this activity and investigators have therefore considered the possibility that human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) might be involved. HERV-K (HML-2) is the most recent retroviral candidate to be proposed following the observation of elevated HERV-K expression in cortical and spinal neurons of ALS patients and the demonstration of HERV-K envelope protein neurotoxicity in vitro and in transgenic mice. This retroviral hypothesis is an attractive one, not least because it raises the possibility that ALS might become treatable using antiretroviral drugs. In the present study we have attempted independent confirmation of the observation that HERV-K RNA levels are elevated in ALS brain. Total RNA was extracted from the postmortem premotor cortex of 34 patients with ALS and 23 controls. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) was performed according to the MIQE guidelines using HERV-K gag, pol and env primer sets. Data was analysed by the 2-∆∆Ct method with normalisation against two reference genes, GAPDH and XPNPEP1. Geometric mean HERV-K RNA expression levels in the premotor cortex of ALS patients were not found to be different from the expression levels in non-ALS controls. Our findings do not confirm the recently reported association between elevated cortical HERV-K RNA levels and ALS, and thus raise doubts about the role of this endogenous retrovirus in ALS pathogenesis. The results of this study may have implications for ongoing clinical trials aiming to suppress HERV-K activity with antiretroviral drugs.

15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30773950

RESUMO

Objective: Clinical stages in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can be measured using a simple system based on the number of CNS regions involved and requirement for gastrostomy or noninvasive ventilation (NIV). We aimed to design a standard operating procedure (SOP) to define the standardized use and application of the King's staging system. Methods: We designed a SOP for the King's staging system. We wrote case vignettes representative of ALS patients at different disease stages. During two workshops, we taught health care professionals how to use the SOP, then asked them to stage the vignettes using the SOP. We measured the extent to which SOP staging corresponded with correct clinical stage. Results: The reliability of staging using the SOP was excellent, with a Spearman's Rank coefficient of 0.95 (p < 0.001), and was high for different groups of health care professionals, and for those with different levels of experience in ALS. The limits of agreement between SOP staging and actual clinical stage lie within a single stage, confirming that there is a clinically acceptable level of agreement between staging using the SOP and actual King's clinical stage. There were also no systematic biases of the SOP over the range of stages, either for over-staging or under-staging. Conclusions: We have demonstrated that the staging SOP provides a reliable method of calculating clinical stages in ALS patients and can be used prospectively by a range of health care professionals with different levels of experience, as for example may be the case in multicentre clinical trials.

16.
Cell Rep ; 26(9): 2298-2306.e5, 2019 Feb 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30811981

RESUMO

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disorder without effective neuroprotective therapy. Known genetic variants impair pathways, including RNA processing, axonal transport, and protein homeostasis. We report ALS-causing mutations within the gene encoding the glycosyltransferase GLT8D1. Exome sequencing in an autosomal-dominant ALS pedigree identified p.R92C mutations in GLT8D1, which co-segregate with disease. Sequencing of local and international cohorts demonstrated significant ALS association in the same exon, including additional rare deleterious mutations in conserved amino acids. Mutations are associated with the substrate binding site, and both R92C and G78W changes impair GLT8D1 enzyme activity. Mutated GLT8D1 exhibits in vitro cytotoxicity and induces motor deficits in zebrafish consistent with ALS. Relative toxicity of mutations in model systems mirrors clinical severity. In conclusion, we have linked ALS pathophysiology to inherited mutations that diminish the activity of a glycosyltransferase enzyme.

17.
Neurobiol Aging ; 73: 229.e5-229.e9, 2019 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30348461

RESUMO

Analysis of 226 exome-sequenced UK cases of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia identified 2 individuals who harbored a P497H and P506S UBQLN2 mutation, respectively (n = 0.9%). The P506S index case presented with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia at the age of 54 years then progressed to ALS surviving 3 years. Three sons presented with (1) slowly progressive pure spastic paraplegia with an onset at 25 years and (2) ALS with disease onset of 25 years and survival of 2 years, and (3) ALS presenting symptoms at the age of 26 years, respectively. Analysis of postmortem tissue from the index case revealed frequent neuronal cytoplasmic UBQLN2-positive inclusions in the dentate gyrus and TDP-43-positive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions in the frontal and temporal cortex and granular cell layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Furthermore, a comprehensive analysis of published UBQLN2 mutations demonstrated that only proline-rich domain mutations contribute to a significantly earlier age of onset in male patients (p = 0.0026).

18.
Lancet Neurol ; 18(1): 12-13, 2019 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30563673
19.
Neurobiol Aging ; 2018 Sep 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30342764

RESUMO

NIPA1 (nonimprinted in Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome 1) mutations are known to cause hereditary spastic paraplegia type 6, a neurodegenerative disease that phenotypically overlaps to some extent with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Previously, a genomewide screen for copy number variants found an association with rare deletions in NIPA1 and ALS, and subsequent genetic analyses revealed that long (or expanded) polyalanine repeats in NIPA1 convey increased ALS susceptibility. We set out to perform a large-scale replication study to further investigate the role of NIPA1 polyalanine expansions with ALS, in which we characterized NIPA1 repeat size in an independent international cohort of 3955 patients with ALS and 2276 unaffected controls and combined our results with previous reports. Meta-analysis on a total of 6245 patients with ALS and 5051 controls showed an overall increased risk of ALS in those with expanded (>8) GCG repeat length (odds ratio = 1.50, p = 3.8×10-5). Together with previous reports, these findings provide evidence for an association of an expanded polyalanine repeat in NIPA1 and ALS.

20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30305322

RESUMO

Endogenous retrotransposon sequences constitute approximately 42% of the human genome, and mobilisation of retrotransposons has resulted in rearrangements, duplications, deletions, novel transcripts and the introduction of new regulatory domains throughout the human genome. Both germline and somatic de novo retrotransposition events have been involved in a range of human diseases, and there is emerging evidence for the modulation of retrotransposon activity during the development of specific diseases. Particularly, there is unequivocal consensus that endogenous retrotransposition can occur in neuronal lineages. This review addresses our current knowledge of the different mechanisms through which retrotransposons might influence the development of and predisposition to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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