The latest medical research on Motor Neuron Disease

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about motor neuron disease gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Characterization of the skeletal muscle arginine methylome in health and disease reveals remodeling in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Motor Neuron Disease

Arginine methylation is a protein posttranslational modification important for the development of skeletal muscle mass and function. Despite this, ...

Profiling tofersen as a treatment of superoxide dismutase 1 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Motor Neuron Disease

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive motor neuron disorder with a fatal outcome 3-5 years after disease onset due to respiratory complications. Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutations are found in about 2% of all patients. Tofersen is a novel oligonucleotide antisense drug specifically developed to treat SOD1-ALS patients.

Our review covers and discusses tofersen pharmacological properties and its phase I/II and III clinical trials results. Other available drugs and their limitations are also addressed.

VALOR study failed to meet the primary endpoint (change in the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale score from baseline to week 28, tofersen arm vs. placebo), but a significant reduction in plasma neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels was observed in tofersen arm (60% vs. 20%). PrefALS study has proposed plasma NfL has a potential biomarker for presymptomatic treatment, since it increases 6-12 months before phenoconversion. There is probably a delay between plasma NfL reduction and the clinical benefit. ATLAS study will allow more insights regarding tofersen clinical efficacy in disease progression rate, survival, and even disease onset delay in presymptomatic SOD1 carriers.

An interpretable data-driven prediction model to anticipate scoliosis in spinal muscular atrophy in the era of (gene-) therapies.

Motor Neuron Disease

5q-spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder (NMD) that has become one of the first 5% treatable rare diseases. The efficacy of new...

Sex Differences in Dystonia.

"Movement Disorders Clinical Practice

Prior studies have indicated that female individuals outnumber male individuals for certain types of dystonia. Few studies have addressed factors impacting these sex differences or their potential biological mechanisms.

To evaluate factors underlying sex differences in the dystonias and explore potential mechanisms for these differences.

Data from individuals with various types of dystonia were analyzed in relation to sex. Data came from two different sources. One source was the Dystonia Coalition database, which contains predominantly idiopathic adult-onset focal and segmental dystonias. The second source was the MDSGene database, which contains predominantly early-onset monogenic dystonias.

The 3222 individuals from the Dystonia Coalition included 71% female participants and 29% male participants for an overall female-to-male ratio (F:M) of 2.4. This ratio varied according to body region affected and whether dystonia was task-specific. The female predominance was age-dependent. Sex did not have a significant impact on co-existing tremor, geste antagoniste, depression or anxiety. In the 1377 individuals from the MDSGene database, female participants outnumbered male participants for some genes (GNAL, GCH1, and ANO3) but not for other genes (THAP1, TH, and TOR1A).

These results are in keeping with prior studies that have indicated female individuals outnumber male individuals for both adult-onset idiopathic and early onset monogenic dystonias. These results extend prior observations by revealing that sex ratios depend on the type of dystonia, age, and underlying genetics.

Decompression Surgery in Elderly Patients with Hemifacial Spasm Refractory to Botulinum Toxin.

"Movement Disorders Clinical Practice

Botulinum toxin is an effective treatment for hemifacial spasm in elderly patients. However, some patients do not tolerate the side effects and frequency of botulinum toxin treatments.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the characteristics and outcomes of a cohort of elderly patients referred by neurologists for surgical decompression of the facial nerve following botulinum toxin treatment.

In a prospective cohort study, logistic regression was used to detect potential predictors of spasm-freedom after surgical decompression of the facial nerve in elderly patients that received ≤8 and >8 botulinum toxin treatments for hemifacial spasm before surgery. Age, sex, side, preoperative symptom duration, and preoperative botulinum toxin treatment were assessed as potential predictors of spasm-freedom at last follow-up.

Of 76 elderly patients with hemifacial spasm treated with botulinum toxin and microvascular decompression, with at least 2-years of follow-up (median, 44.5 months), 84.2% were spasm-free at last follow-up. Age (P = 0.38), sex (P = 0.59), side (P = 0.15), preoperative symptom duration (P = 0.7), and number of preoperative botulinum toxin treatments (P = 0.3) were not predictors of long-term spasm-freedom. Permanent ipsilateral hearing loss was the most frequent complication (3.9%).

This study provides evidence that elderly patients can undergo botulinum toxin treatment for hemifacial spasm without compromising their likelihood of achieving spasm-freedom with future surgical decompression. Therefore, surgical decompression of the facial nerve is an effective therapy for elderly patients with hemifacial spasm refractory to botulinum toxin.

Efficacy of non-pharmacological interventions for individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized control trials.

Motor Neuron Disease

This network meta-analysis (NMA) aimed to compare the efficacy of five non-pharmacological interventions, including exercise intervention (EI), nut...

Parkinson's Disease Associated with G2019S LRRK2 Mutations without Lewy Body Pathology.

"Movement Disorders Clinical Practice

The G2019S leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene mutation is an important and commonly found genetic determinant of Parkinson's disease (PD). The neuropathological findings associated with this mutation have thus far been varied but are most often associated with Lewy body (LB) pathology.

Describe a case of clinical Parkinson's disease with levodopa responsiveness found to have LRRK2 mutations and the absence of Lewy bodies.

We present an 89-year-old man with a 10-year history of slowly progressive parkinsonism suspected to be secondary to Parkinson's disease.

Neuropathological evaluation revealed nigral degeneration without Lewy bodies or Lewy neurites, but there were frequent tau-immunopositive neurites and astrocytes in the putamen and substantia nigra, neocortical glial tau positive astrocytes associated with aging-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG), as well as neurofibrillary tangles, beta amyloid plaques, and amyloid angiopathy typical of advanced Alzheimer's disease. G2019S LRRK2 homozygous mutations were found.

This case illustrates that levodopa-responsive clinical PD caused by G2019S LRRK2 mutations can occur without Lewy bodies.

Cognitive rehabilitation effects on grey matter volume and Go-NoGo activity in progressive multiple sclerosis: results from the CogEx trial.

Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry


Participants were randomised to: 'CR plus EX', 'CR plus sham EX (EX-S)', 'EX plus sham CR (CR-S)' and 'CR-S plus EX-S' and attended 12-week intervention. All subjects performed physical/cognitive assessments at baseline, week 12 and 6 months post intervention (month 9). All MRI substudy participants underwent volumetric MRI and fMRI (Go-NoGo task).

104 PMS enrolled at four sites participated in the CogEx MRI substudy; 84 (81%) had valid volumetric MRI and valid fMRI. Week 12/month 9 cognitive performances did not differ among interventions; however, 25-62% of the patients showed Symbol Digit Modalities Test improvements. Normalised cortical grey matter volume (NcGMV) changes at week 12 versus baseline were heterogeneous among interventions (p=0.05); this was mainly driven by increased NcGMV in 'CR plus EX-S' (p=0.02). Groups performing CR (ie, 'CR plus EX' and 'CR plus EX-S') exhibited increased NcGMV over time, especially in the frontal (p=0.01), parietal (p=0.04) and temporal (p=0.04) lobes, while those performing CR-S exhibited NcGMV decrease (p=0.008). In CR groups, increased NcGMV (r=0.36, p=0.01) at week 12 versus baseline correlated with increased California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT)-II scores. 'CR plus EX-S' patients exhibited Go-NoGo activity increase (p<0.05, corrected) at week 12 versus baseline in bilateral insula.

In PMS, CR modulated grey matter (GM) volume and insular activity. The association of GM and CVLT-II changes suggests GM plasticity contributes to cognitive improvements.

TDP-43 proteinopathy in ALS is triggered by loss of ASRGL1 and associated with HML-2 expression.

Motor Neuron Disease

TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathy in brain cells is the hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) but its cause remains elusi...

Understanding the relationship between cerebellum and the frontal-cortex region of C9orf72-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A comparative analysis of genetic features.

Motor Neuron Disease

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a relentlessly progressive and fatal neurodegenerative diseases for which at present no cure is available. Despite the extensive research the progress from diagnosis to prognosis in ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) has been slow which represents suboptimal understanding of disease pathophysiological processes. In recent studies, several genes have been associated with the ALS and FTD diseases such as SOD1, TDP43, and TBK1, whereas the hexanucleotide GGGGCC repeat expansion (HRE) in C9orf72 gene is a most frequent cause of ALS and FTD, that has changed the understanding of these diseases.

The goal of this study was to identify and spatially determine differential gene expression signature differences between cerebellum and frontal cortex in C9orf72-associated ALS (C9-ALS), to study the network properties of these differentially expressed genes, and to identify miRNAs targeting the common differentially expressed genes in both the tissues. This study thus highlights underlying differential cell susceptibilities to the disease mechanisms in C9-ALS and suggesting therapeutic target selection in C9-ALS.

In this manuscript, we have identified that the genes involved in neuron development, protein localization and transcription are mostly enriched in cerebellum of C9-ALS patients, while the UPR-related genes are enriched in the frontal cortex. Of note, UPR pathway genes were mostly dysregulated both in the C9-ALS cerebellum and frontal cortex. Overall, the data presented here show that defects in normal RNA processing and the UPR pathway are the pathological hallmarks of C9-ALS. Interestingly, the cerebellum showed more strong transcriptome changes than the frontal cortex.

Interestingly, the cerebellum region showed more significant transcriptomic changes as compared to the frontal cortex region suggesting its active participation in the disease process. This nuanced understanding may offer valuable insights for the development of targeted therapeutic strategies aimed at mitigating disease progression in C9-ALS.

Alzheimer blood biomarkers: practical guidelines for study design, sample collection, processing, biobanking, measurement and result reporting.

Molecular Neurodegeneration

Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, remains challenging to understand and treat despite decades of research and clinical in...

Aberrant CHCHD2-associated mitochondriopathy in Kii ALS/PDC astrocytes.

Motor Neuron Disease

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex (ALS/PDC), a rare and complex neurological disorder, is predominantly observed in the W...