[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate whether or not the lesions in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) originate from a single focal onset site and spread contiguously by prion-like cell-to-cell propagation in the rostrocaudal direction along the spinal cord, as has been hypothesised (the 'single seed and simple propagation' hypothesis).
Subjects included 36 patients with sporadic ALS and initial symptoms in the bulbar, respiratory or upper limb regions. Abnormal spontaneous activities in needle electromyography (nEMG)-that is, fibrillation potentials, positive sharp waves (Fib/PSWs) or fasciculation potentials (FPs)-were compared among the unilateral muscles innervated by different spinal segments, especially between the T10 and L5 paraspinal muscles, and between the vastus medialis and biceps femoris. Axon length and the proportion of muscle fibre types, which are both related to motoneuronal vulnerability in ALS, are similar in the paired muscles.
Fourteen of 36 patients showed a non-contiguous distribution of nEMG abnormalities from the onset site, with skipping of intermediate segments. In eight of them, the non-contiguous pattern was evident between paired muscles with the same motoneuronal vulnerability. The non-contiguously affected lumbosacral lesions involved motoneuron columns horizontally or radially proximate to one another, appearing to form a cluster in four of the eight patients. FPs, known to precede Fib/PSWs, were shown more frequently than Fib/PSWs in all the lumbosacral segments but L5, suggesting that 2nd hits occur at L5 and then spread to other lumbosacral segments.
In sporadic ALS, the distribution of lower motoneuron involvement cannot be explained by the 'single seed and simple propagation' hypothesis alone. We propose a 'multifocal hits and local propagation' hypothesis instead.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 09/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bortezomib is a proteasome inhibitor with high efficacy for multiple myeloma but with severe peripheral neurotoxicity, leading to dose modification and severe neurological disability. This study aimed to investigate the pathophysiology of bortezomib-induced neuropathy.
Threshold tracking was used to assess the excitability of sensory and motor axons. Measurements were sequentially performed before and after bortezomib treatment in nine patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.
In total, 67% of patients finally developed symptomatic neuropathy. Changes in sensory axonal excitability indices readily occurred after the first course of administration. Patterns of changes in excitability indices suggest membrane depolarization (decreased superexcitability, P<0.001; decreased depolarizing threshold electrotonus 90-100ms, P=0.02). Abnormalities in nerve conduction parameters suggestive of axonal degeneration appeared after the second course of treatment.
Bortezomib induces a depolarizing shift in resting membrane potential prior to the development of neuropathy. Membrane depolarization could be associated with impairment of electrogenic Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase-dependent pump caused by toxic effects of bortezomib on mitochondria.
Axonal depolarization and hyperexcitability might enhance neurodegeneration in bortezomib-induced neuropathy.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 08/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To clarify whether patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) or spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) suffer disabling muscle fatigue, and whether activity-dependent conduction block (ADCB) contributes to their fatigue. ADCB is usually caused by reduced safety factor for impulse transmission in demyelinating diseases, whereas markedly increased axonal branching associated with collateral sprouting may reduce the safety factor in chronic lower motor neuron disorders. METHODS: We assessed the fatigue severity scale (FSS) in 22 patients with SMA/SBMA, and in 100 disease controls (multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), and axonal neuropathy). We then performed stimulated-single fibre electromyography (s-SFEMG) in the extensor digitorum communis (EDC) muscle of 21 SMA/SBMA patients, 6 CIDP patients, and 10 normal subjects. RESULTS: The FSS score was the highest in SMA/SBMA patients [4.9±1.1 (mean±SD)], with 81% of them complaining of disabling fatigue, compared with normal controls (3.5±1.0), whereas patients with multiple sclerosis (4.3±1.6), myasthenia gravis (4.0±1.6) or CIDP (4.3±1.4) also showed higher FSS score. When 2000 stimuli were delivered at 20Hz in s-SFEMG, conduction block of single motor axons developed in 46% of patients with SMA/SBMA, and 40% of CIDP patients, but in none of the normal controls. CONCLUSION: SMA/SBMA patients frequently suffer from disabling fatigue presumably caused by ADCB induced by voluntary activity. SIGNIFICANCE: ADCB could be the mechanism for muscle fatigue in chronic lower motor neuron diseases.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 04/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), muscle wasting preferentially affects the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and first dorsal interosseous over the abductor digit minimi (ADM), and this is termed 'split hand'. Previous axonal excitability studies have suggested increased nodal persistent sodium current and reduced potassium current in motor axons in ALS, but the extent of excitability changes in APB and ADM axons in ALS has never been compared. OBJECTIVE: To elucidate the peripheral axonal pathophysiology of split hand. METHODS: In both APB and ADM motor axons of 21 patients with ALS and 17 age-matched normal controls, threshold tracking was used to measure excitability indices such as strength-duration time constant (SDTC; a measure of persistent sodium current) and threshold electrotonus. RESULTS: In normal controls, SDTC was significantly longer for APB than ADM axons, suggesting that axonal excitability is physiologically higher in APB axons. Compared with normal controls, patients with ALS had longer SDTC and greater threshold changes in depolarising threshold electrotonus in both APB and ADM axons. Furthermore, the difference in extent of SDTC prolongation between normal subjects and patients with ALS was greater in APB than ADM axons. CONCLUSIONS: APB axons have physiologically higher excitability than ADM axons, and, in ALS, the hyperexcitability is more prominent in APB axons. Although cortical mechanisms would also be involved, more prominent hyperexcitability of APB axons may contribute to development of split hand, and the altered axonal properties are possibly associated with motor neuronal death in ALS.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 03/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To elucidate the features of sensory nerve involvement in Fisher syndrome (FS), this study extensively investigated sensory electrophysiology. METHODS: In 47 consecutive FS patients, results of sensory nerve conduction studies in the median, ulnar and sural nerves, soleus H-reflexes, and median or tibial somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEP) were reviewed. Because of the large effects of age on amplitude of sensory nerve action potentials (SNAP), we strictly defined reduction of SNAP amplitudes by using a nomogram which age and amplitude obtained from 87normal subjects. RESULTS: In routine nerve conduction studies, SNAP amplitude was reduced only in 32% of the patients, and conduction velocity was decreased in 2%. In contrast, soleus H-reflexes were frequently absent or reduced (67%). SEPs were abnormal only in 17%. CONCLUSIONS: In FS, absent soleus H-reflexes are the most frequent electrophysiologic abnormalities, whereas SNAPs amplitudes are rarely affected. The pattern is characterized by predominant involvement of group Ia afferents with relatively preserved cutaneous afferents without evidence suggestive of demyelination. SIGNIFICANCE: The major targets of immune attack by anti-GQ1b antibodies in FS appear to be group Ia neurons in the dorsal root ganglia, and this is presumably responsible for ataxia and areflexia in FS.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 03/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays an essential role in the pathophysiology of polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-protein and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome. Anti-VEGF antibody (bevacizumab) appears to be an attractive therapeutic option. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of bevacizumab for patients with POEMS syndrome. METHODS: We reported six POEMS patients treated with bevacizumab and reviewed the literature. RESULTS: The serum VEGF levels decreased immediately after bevacizumab administration in all six patients. However, four patients had entirely no clinical response, and two of them died. The remaining two showed improvement that could be explained by combined treatments. We also reviewed the literature and found 11 patients treated with bevacizumab; of these, only one was treated with bevacizumab alone. 10 had combined treatments, and four died without any response. CONCLUSIONS: Both our experience and the literature suggest ambiguous effects of bevacizumab; inhibition of VEGF alone may be insufficient because multiple cytokines are upregulated, or aberrant neo-vascularization may have already fully developed in the advanced stage of POEMS syndrome.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 03/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-protein, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome is a multisystem disorder associated with plasma cell dyscrasia. Elevated serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which strongly promotes neovascularization and vasopermeability, are considered to be responsible for the characteristic symptoms such as angiomata, pleural effusion/ascites, edema, and organomegaly in the disorder. To study whether other angiogenetic factors are upregulated in POEMS syndrome, we measured serum levels of basic fibroblast growth factor and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), as well as VEGF, in 17 patients with POEMS syndrome. All these factors were significantly upregulated in the POEMS syndrome patients. After the treatment with anti-VEGF antibody, the levels of HGF did not change, suggesting that elevation of HGF levels is not secondary to VEGF overproduction. These results suggest that different angiogenetic factors might contribute to the pathogenesis of POEMS syndrome, and this fact might contribute to the insufficient clinical effects obtained by suppression of VEGF alone.
Annals of Hematology 10/2012; · 2.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adult-onset Alexander disease (AOAD) has been increasingly recognized since the identification of the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene mutation in 2001. We report on a 56-year-old man who was genetically confirmed as AOAD with the glial fibrillary acidic protein mutation of p.M74T. He developed spastic tetraparesis, sensory disturbances in four limbs, and mild cognitive impairment without apparent dysarthria and dysphagia. The case was characterized by severe atrophy of the medulla oblongata and upper cervical cord with intramedullary signal intensity changes on magnetic resonance imaging. While AOAD is diverse in clinical presentation, the peculiar magnetic resonance imaging findings of marked atrophy of the medulla oblongata and cervical cord are thought to be highly suggestive of the diagnosis of AOAD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To systematically study abnormalities in cytokine profiles in polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-protein, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome, which has been increasingly recognized as a cause of demyelinating neuropathy associated with plasma cell dyscrasia and elevated serum level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
In this case-control study, we measured serum levels of 27 cytokines in patients with POEMS syndrome using a multiplex suspension array system, and compared them with those of controls. In 10 patients, serial changes after treatment were analyzed.
Interleukin (IL)-12 as well as VEGF levels were markedly increased (p < 0.0001) in all the patients (n = 23). Ten kinds of other proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α were also significantly increased in the POEMS syndrome group, but in some patients the serum levels of such cytokines remained within the normal ranges. After treatments, the IL-12 as well as VEGF levels significantly decreased with clinical improvements (p > 0.01 and p > 0.05, respectively).
Our findings suggest that serum IL-12 is a biomarker of the disease activity in POEMS syndrome. The overproduction of IL-12, as well as VEGF, is likely to play an important role in the pathogenesis of the disorder, and could contribute to the peripheral nerve demyelination in POEMS syndrome.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate whether axonal excitability indices are associated with survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Previous nerve excitability studies suggested increased persistent sodium currents in motor axons of patients with ALS, which lead to axonal hyperexcitability and potentially enhance neuronal death.
112 patients with sporadic ALS were followed up until endpoint (death or tracheostomy). Multivariate analyses were performed using the Cox proportional hazard model. Threshold tracking was used to measure multiple axonal excitability indices in median motor axons, such as strength-duration time constant (SDTC; a measure of nodal persistent sodium current). Latent addition was also used to estimate the magnitude of persistent sodium currents.
The overall median tracheostomy-free survival from onset was 37 months. Prolonged SDTC was strongly associated with shorter survival (adjusted HR 4.07; 95% CI 1.7 to 9.8; p=0.0018) compared with older onset age (>60 years; HR=1.80) and bulbar onset (HR=1.80). Estimated median survival was 34 months in the longer SDTC group and 51 months in the shorter SDTC group. This index was highly statistically significant even after multiple testing adjustments with age and site of onset (bulbar or limb). Latent addition study results were consistent with these findings.
Axonal persistent sodium currents, estimated by SDTC and latent addition, are strong and independent predictors for shorter survival in patients with ALS. Membrane hyperexcitability is possibly associated with motor neuronal death, and modulation of excessive sodium currents could be a novel therapeutic option for ALS.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 05/2012; 83(7):734-8. · 4.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive motoneuron loss. Redistribution of transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and the presence of cystatin C-positive Bunina bodies are considered pathological hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but their significance has not been fully elucidated. Since all reported rodent transgenic models using wild-type transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 failed to recapitulate these features, we expected a species difference and aimed to make a non-human primate model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We overexpressed wild-type human transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 in spinal cords of cynomolgus monkeys and rats by injecting adeno-associated virus vector into the cervical cord, and examined the phenotype using behavioural, electrophysiological, neuropathological and biochemical analyses. These monkeys developed progressive motor weakness and muscle atrophy with fasciculation in distal hand muscles first. They also showed regional cytoplasmic transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 mislocalization with loss of nuclear transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 staining in the lateral nuclear group of spinal cord innervating distal hand muscles and cystatin C-positive cytoplasmic aggregates, reminiscent of the spinal cord pathology of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 mislocalization was an early or presymptomatic event and was later associated with neuron loss. These findings suggest that the transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 mislocalization leads to α-motoneuron degeneration. Furthermore, truncation of transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 was not a prerequisite for motoneuronal degeneration, and phosphorylation of transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 occurred after degeneration had begun. In contrast, similarly prepared rat models expressed transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 only in the nucleus of motoneurons. There is thus a species difference in transactive response deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 pathology, and our monkey model recapitulates amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathology to a greater extent than rodent models, providing a valuable tool for studying the pathogenesis of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: POEMS (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M protein and skin changes) syndrome, a rare cause of demyelinating neuropathy associated with multiorgan involvement, has been increasingly recognised. Polyneuropathy is often an initial manifestation and therefore the disorder can be misdiagnosed as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). Objective To elucidate whether POEMS syndrome and CIDP are differentiated based on profiles of neuropathy.
Clinical and electrophysiological data were reviewed in consecutive POEMS syndrome (n=51) and typical CIDP (n=46) patients in a single Japanese hospital between 2000 and 2010.
Both POEMS and CIDP patients showed symmetric polyneuropathy, physiological evidence of demyelination (70% of POEMS patients fulfilled the electrodiagnostic criteria for definite CIDP) and albuminocytological dissociation; 49% of the POEMS syndrome patients had neuropathy onset and 60% of them were initially diagnosed as having CIDP by neurologists. Clinically, POEMS neuropathy more frequently showed severe leg pain (76% vs 7%; p<0.001), muscle atrophy (52% vs 24%; p=0.005) and distal dominant muscle weakness. Electrophysiologically, POEMS syndrome was characterised by less prolonged distal motor latency (mean 5.6 ms vs 8.1 ms; p<0.001) and higher terminal latency index (0.42 vs 0.33; p=0.006) in the median nerves, and unrecordable tibial and sural responses (p<0.001), suggesting demyelination predominant in the nerve trunk rather than in the distal nerve terminals, and axonal loss in the lower limb nerves.
Before development of typical systemic manifestations, POEMS neuropathy can be distinguished from CIDP by the clinical profile and patterns of nerve conduction abnormalities. Recognition of these features leads to early diagnosis and proper treatment for POEMS syndrome.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 02/2012; 83(5):476-9. · 4.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether or not antiganglioside antibodies are related to axonal or demyelinating Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is still a matter of controversy, as detailed in previous studies conducted in Western and Asian countries.
To clarify whether antiganglioside antibodies are associated with axonal dysfunction in Japanese and Italian GBS patient cohorts.
Clinical and electrophysiological profiles were reviewed for 156 GBS patients collected from Japan (n=103) and Italy (n=53). Serum IgG antibodies against GM1, GM1b, GD1a and GalNAc-GD1a were measured by ELISA in the same laboratory. Electrodiagnostic criteria and results of serial electrophysiological studies were used for classification of GBS subtypes: acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) and acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN).
In both Japanese and Italian cohorts, any of the antibodies were positive in 36% of the patients, and antibody positivity had a significant association with the AMAN electrodiagnosis. Approximately 30% of Japanese and Italian antiganglioside positive patients showed the AIDP pattern at the first examination whereas sequential studies showed that most finally showed the AMAN pattern. Clinically, seropositive patients more frequently had preceding diarrhoea and pure motor neuropathy in both Japanese and Italian cohorts; vibratory sensation was normal in 97% of Japanese and in 94% of Italian seropositive patients.
In GBS, clinical and electrophysiological features appear to be determined by antiganglioside antibodies, and the antibodies are associated with motor axonal GBS in both Japan and Italy. Classification of the GBS subtypes as a disease entity should be made, combining the results of antiganglioside assays and serial electrodiagnostic studies.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 01/2012; 83(1):23-8. · 4.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate differences in excitability properties of human median and superficial radial sensory axons (e.g., axons innervating the glabrous and hairy skin in the hand). Previous studies have shown that excitability properties differ between motor and sensory axons, and even among sensory axons between median and sural sensory axons.
In 21 healthy subjects, threshold tracking was used to examine excitability indices such as strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, supernormality, and threshold change at the 0.2 ms inter-stimulus interval in latent addition. In addition, threshold changes induced by ischemia for 10 min were compared between median and superficial radial sensory axons.
Compared with radial sensory axons, median axons showed shorter strength-duration time constant, greater threshold changes in threshold electrotonus (fanning-out), greater supernormality, and smaller threshold changes in latent addition. Threshold changes in both during and after ischemia were greater for median axons.
These findings suggest that membrane potential in human median sensory axons is more negative than in superficial radial axons, possibly due to greater activity of electrogenic Na(+)/K(+) pump. These results may reflect adaptation to impulses load carried by median axons that would be far greater with a higher frequency.
Biophysical properties are not identical in different human sensory axons, and therefore their responses to disease may differ.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 12/2011; 123(7):1440-5. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fasciculation is a characteristic feature of ALS. Nerve excitability studies have shown increased persistent sodium currents and reduced potassium currents in motor axons of ALS patients, both of which lead to axonal hyperexcitability and thereby generation of fasciculations. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether abnormal axonal excitability indices are correlated with survival in ALS patients. A total of 112 consecutive patients with sporadic ALS were followed-up until endpoint (death or tracheostomy). Univariate analyses revealed longer strength-duration time constant (SDTC) was associated with a shorter survival. In multivariate analyses using the Cox proportional hazard model, onset age>60 years and longer SDTC were strong predictors of shorter survival. Assuming that SDTC depends on nodal persistent sodium conductances, our results showed that an increased persistent sodium current is strong and independent predictor for short survival of ALS patients. These findings support the hypothesis that membrane hyperexcitability would contribute to motor neuronal death in ALS.