[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Our objective was to describe incidence and clinical features of ALS from a prospective population-based study in Emilia Romagna Region (ERR). From 2009 onwards, a prospective registry recorded all incident cases of ALS among residents in the ERR (population, 4.4 million inhabitants), involving 17 neurological departments. For each patient, detailed demographic and clinical information was collected by caring physicians. Results showed that from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2011, 347 patients received a new diagnosis of ALS with a crude incidence rate of 2.63/100,000/year. There was micro-geographic heterogeneity throughout ERR, with higher incidence rates in the low density population (3.27/100,000) (p < 0.01). ALS patients have been more frequently employed in agriculture than the general ERR population (8.64% vs. 4.6%, p < 0.01). Clinical features were similar to those described in previous population based studies. In conclusion, we report incidence rates similar to those reported by European registries, reflecting good accuracy of our prospective study. We confirmed previous studies reporting higher incidence rates in rural areas and among agricultural workers. Although genetics has been gaining increasing importance in ALS aetiology, some epidemiological data are still unexplained. Identifying geographical areas or populations with high incidence rates can be a starting point for identifying environmental risk factors. Further studies having this specific aim can shed light on these topics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) antibody-associated encephalitis is a well-known form of limbic encephalitis characterized by acute to subacute onset of confusion and cognitive impairment, mediotemporal seizures, and psychiatric disturbances.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to selenium, and particularly to its inorganic forms, has been hypothesized as a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fast progressing motor neuron disease with poorly understood etiology. However, no information is known about levels of inorganic and some organic selenium species in the central nervous system of ALS patients, and recent observations suggest that peripheral biomarkers of exposure are unable to predict these levels for several Se species including the inorganic forms. Using a hospital-referred cases-control series and advanced selenium speciation methods, we compared the chemical species of selenium in cerebrospinal fluid from thirty-eight ALS patients to those of thirty-eight reference neurological patients matched on age and gender. We found that higher concentrations of inorganic selenium in the form of selenite and of human serum albumin-bound selenium were associated with increased ALS risk (relative risks 3.9 (95% confidence interval 1.2-11.0) and 1.7 (1.0-2.9) for 0.1μg/l increase). Conversely, lower concentrations of selenoprotein P-bound selenium were associated with increased risk (relative risk 0.2 for 1μg/l increase, 95% confidence interval 0.04-0.8). The associations were stronger among cases age 50 years or older, who are postulated to have lower rates of genetic disease origin. These results suggest that excess selenite and human serum albumin bound-selenium and low levels of selenoprotein P-bound selenium in the central nervous system, which may be related, may play a role in ALS etiology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prognostic role of riluzole, enteral nutrition (EN), non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and interdisciplinary care in ALS is still debated. A population based study has been performed focusing on ALS survival, with particular attention to prognostic factors and therapeutic intervention. All patients diagnosed with ALS between 2000 and 2009 and residing in Modena, Italy, have been registered. A centre for motor neuron disease (MND) has been active in our province since 2000, in addition to a prospective registry collecting all incident cases. One hundred and ninety-three incident cases have been collected during the 10 years of the study. Results demonstrated that median survival was 41 months (the overall three-year and five-year survival rates being 54.36% and 28.81%, respectively). Based on univariate analysis, factors related to survival were: age at diagnosis, gender, site of onset, phenotype, riluzole treatment and tracheostomy. In the Cox multivariable model, the factors independently related to a longer survival were age (p < 0.01), site of onset (p = 0.02) and riluzole treatment (p < 0.01), with a median gain in survival of 29 months (patients aged < 55 years compared with patients ≥ 55 years), 20 months (spinal versus bulbar onset), and 12 months (riluzole, yes vs. no), respectively. In conclusion, the study has confirmed the prognostic role of clinical features, but has surprisingly demonstrated that riluzole prolonged life significantly longer than NIV and EN. This observational study described the effects of ALS management in a setting that may approximate routine clinical practice more closely than randomized controlled trial (RCT); effects of uncontrolled potential confounders, however, cannot be excluded.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal degeneration. 02/2013;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We performed a prospective population-based study to describe the temporal pattern of the incidence and prevalence and the clinical features and phenotypes of ALS in Modena, Italy, from 2000 to 2009. From 2000 onwards, a prospective registry has been collecting all cases of incident ALS among residents in the province of Modena. This source was implemented by cases resulting from the provincial hospitals, and by death certificates. Based on 193 newly diagnosed cases, the crude average annual incidence rate of ALS was 2.9 cases per 100,000 person years (py); adjusted incidence rate was 2.8/100,000. The age-standardized incidence rates increased from 2.6 per 100,000 py in 2000-2004 to 2.9 per 100,000 py in 2005-2009, representing an annual increase of approximately 2% throughout the 10-year period. There was a constant increase in prevalence rates throughout the years of the study (from 5.8/100,000 on 31 December 2000 to 11.2/100,000 on 31 December 2009). Median life time was 29 months for patients diagnosed before the year 2000 and 36 months for patients diagnosed from 1 January 2000 (p < 0.01). Thus, we report incidence rates similar to those reported by recent European population based studies, but we observed an increasing trend over the 10 years of the study. The increasing incidence is not explained by aging of the population, and our study raises the question as to whether local environmental or genetic factors are driving this temporal trend. Along with an increasing incidence, we found an important increase in prevalence and survival probably related to access to mutidisciplinary clinics and improvements in symptomatic care of ALS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately 10% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases are familial, and the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene mutation accounts for 20% of them. More than 100 SOD1 mutations have been described, some with peculiar phenotypes. Moreover, mutations in the SOD1 gene have been described in apparently sporadic ALS cases. We report a new mutation (D11Y) in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene in a patient with ALS and an unusually slow disease progression.