Kirsten M Scott

King's College London, London, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (11)70.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis shares characteristics with some cancers, such as onset being more common in later life, progression usually being rapid, the disease affecting a particular cell type, and showing complex inheritance. We used a model originally applied to cancer epidemiology to investigate the hypothesis that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a multistep process. Methods We generated incidence data by age and sex from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis population registers in Ireland (registration dates 1995–2012), the Netherlands (2006–12), Italy (1995–2004), Scotland (1989–98), and England (2002–09), and calculated age and sex-adjusted incidences for each register. We regressed the log of age-specific incidence against the log of age with least squares regression. We did the analyses within each register, and also did a combined analysis, adjusting for register. Findings We identified 6274 cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from a catchment population of about 34 million people. We noted a linear relationship between log incidence and log age in all five registers: England r2=0·95, Ireland r2=0·99, Italy r2=0·95, the Netherlands r2=0·99, and Scotland r2=0·97; overall r2=0·99. All five registers gave similar estimates of the linear slope ranging from 4·5 to 5·1, with overlapping confidence intervals. The combination of all five registers gave an overall slope of 4·8 (95% CI 4·5–5·0), with similar estimates for men (4·6, 4·3–4·9) and women (5·0, 4·5–5·5). Interpretation A linear relationship between the log incidence and log age of onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is consistent with a multistage model of disease. The slope estimate suggests that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a six-step process. Identification of these steps could lead to preventive and therapeutic avenues. Funding UK Medical Research Council; UK Economic and Social Research Council; Ireland Health Research Board; The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw); the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, University, and Research in Italy; the Motor Neurone Disease Association of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland; and the European Commission (Seventh Framework Programme).
    The Lancet Neurology 10/2014; · 21.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, motor neuron disease) is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons leading to paralysis and eventual death by respiratory failure. Median survival is 2-3 years. Susceptibility genes, environmental triggers and disease related prognostic factors have been established, but environmental effects on survival are yet to be investigated. We analysed survival in the South-East England ALS register (SEALS register). Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were used to investigate survival in London, coastal and rural areas according to postcode at diagnosis. Results showed that there were 933 cases of ALS identified in the catchment area during the study period (1994-January 2012). Cox regression demonstrated a highly significant model for survival with significant protective variables: coastal residency, riluzole use and younger age at onset. Significantly worse survival was associated with London residency, older age as well as definite and probable El Escorial classifications. In conclusion, these findings suggest the possibility of an environmental effect on survival in ALS.
    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration 05/2014; · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons. Single-nucleotide polymorphism rs3849942 is associated with ALS, tagging a hexanucleotide repeat mutation in the C9orf72 gene. It is possible that there is more than 1 disease-causing genetic variation at this locus, in which case association might remain after removal of cases carrying the mutation. DNA from patients with ALS was therefore tested for the mutation. Genome-wide association testing was performed first using all samples, and then restricting the analysis to samples not carrying the mutation. rs3849942 and rs903603 were strongly associated with ALS when all samples were included (rs3849942, p = [3 × 2] × 10(-6), rank 7/442,057; rs903603, p = [7 × 6] × 10(-8), rank 2/442,057). Removal of the mutation-carrying cases resulted in loss of association for rs3849942 (p = [2 × 6] × 10(-3), rank 1225/442,068), but had little effect on rs903603 (p = [1 × 9] × 10(-5), rank 8/442,068). Those with a risk allele of rs903603 had an excess of apparent homozygosity for wild type repeat alleles, consistent with polymerase chain reaction failure of 1 allele because of massive repeat expansion. These results indicate residual association at the C9orf72 locus suggesting a second disease-causing repeat mutation.
    Neurobiology of aging 04/2013; · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A massive hexanucleotide repeat expansion mutation (HREM) in C9ORF72 has recently been linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Here we describe the frequency, origin and stability of this mutation in ALS+/-FTD from five European cohorts (total n=1347). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms defining the risk haplotype in linked kindreds were genotyped in cases (n=434) and controls (n=856). Haplotypes were analysed using PLINK and aged using DMLE+. In a London clinic cohort, the HREM was the most common mutation in familial ALS+/-FTD: C9ORF72 29/112 (26%), SOD1 27/112 (24%), TARDBP 1/112 (1%) and FUS 4/112 (4%) and detected in 13/216 (6%) of unselected sporadic ALS cases but was rare in controls (3/856, 0.3%). HREM prevalence was high for familial ALS+/-FTD throughout Europe: Belgium 19/22 (86%), Sweden 30/41 (73%), the Netherlands 10/27 (37%) and Italy 4/20 (20%). The HREM did not affect the age at onset or survival of ALS patients. Haplotype analysis identified a common founder in all 137 HREM carriers that arose around 6300 years ago. The haplotype from which the HREM arose is intrinsically unstable with an increased number of repeats (average 8, compared with 2 for controls, P<10(-8)). We conclude that the HREM has a single founder and is the most common mutation in familial and sporadic ALS in Europe.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 13 June 2012; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.98.
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 06/2012; · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our objective was to generate a prognostic classification method for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) from a prognostic model built using clinical variables from a population register. We carried out a retrospective multivariate analysis of 713 patients with ALS over a 20-year period from the South-East England Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (SEALS) population register. Patients were randomly allocated to 'discovery' or 'test' cohorts. A prognostic score was calculated using the discovery cohort and then used to predict survival in the test cohort. The score was used as a predictor variable to split the test cohort in four prognostic categories (good, moderate, average, poor). The accuracy of the score in predicting survival was tested by checking whether the predicted survival fell within the actual survival tertile which that patient was in. A prognostic score generated from one cohort of patients predicted survival for a second cohort of patients (r(2) = 0.72). Six variables were included in the survival model: age at onset, diagnostic delay, El Escorial category, use of riluzole, gender and site of onset. Cox regression demonstrated a strong relationship between these variables and survival (χ(2) 80.8, df 1, p < 0.0001, n = 343) in the test cohort. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated a significant difference in survival between clinical categories (log rank 161.932, df 3, p < 0.001), and the prognostic score generated for the test cohort accurately predicted survival in 64% of the patients. In conclusion, it is possible to correctly classify patients into prognostic categories using clinical data easily available at time of diagnosis.
    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 06/2012; 13(6):502-8. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive loss of upper and lower motor neurons, with a median survival of 2-3 years. Although various phenotypic and research diagnostic classification systems exist and several prognostic models have been generated, there is no staging system. Staging criteria for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis would help to provide a universal and objective measure of disease progression with benefits for patient care, resource allocation, research classifications and clinical trial design. We therefore sought to define easily identified clinical milestones that could be shown to occur at specific points in the disease course, reflect disease progression and impact prognosis and treatment. A tertiary referral centre clinical database was analysed, consisting of 1471 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis seen between 1993 and 2007. Milestones were defined as symptom onset (functional involvement by weakness, wasting, spasticity, dysarthria or dysphagia of one central nervous system region defined as bulbar, upper limb, lower limb or diaphragmatic), diagnosis, functional involvement of a second region, functional involvement of a third region, needing gastrostomy and non-invasive ventilation. Milestone timings were standardized as proportions of time elapsed through the disease course using information from patients who had died by dividing time to a milestone by disease duration. Milestones occurred at predictable proportions of the disease course. Diagnosis occurred at 35% through the disease course, involvement of a second region at 38%, a third region at 61%, need for gastrostomy at 77% and need for non-invasive ventilation at 80%. We therefore propose a simple staging system for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Stage 1: symptom onset (involvement of first region); Stage 2A: diagnosis; Stage 2B: involvement of second region; Stage 3: involvement of third region; Stage 4A: need for gastrostomy; and Stage 4B: need for non-invasive ventilation. Validation of this staging system will require further studies in other populations, in population registers and in other clinic databases. The standardized times to milestones may well vary between different studies and populations, although the stages themselves and their meanings are likely to remain unchanged.
    Brain 03/2012; 135(Pt 3):847-52. · 10.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Previous studies have suggested a lower incidence of ALS in people of African origin. We used a population based register in an urban setting from inner city London postcodes where there is a large population of people of African ancestry to compare the frequency of ALS in people of European and African origin. Population statistics stratified by age, gender and ethnicity were obtained from the 2001 census. Incidence and prevalence were calculated in each ethnic group. Results showed that in a population of 683,194, of which 22% were of African ancestry, 88 individuals with ALS were identified over a seven-year period, including 14 people with African ancestry. The adjusted incidence in people of African ancestry was 1.35 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI 0.72-2.3) and in those of European ancestry 1.97 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI 1.55-2.48). In conclusion, in this small population based study we could not detect a difference in rates of ALS between people of African ancestry and those of European ancestry.
    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 01/2012; 13(1):66-8. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons with a median survival of 2 years. Most patients have no family history of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but current understanding of such diseases suggests there should be an increased risk to relatives. Furthermore, it is a common question to be asked by patients and relatives in clinic. We therefore set out to determine the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to first degree relatives of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis attending a specialist clinic. Case records of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis seen at a tertiary referral centre over a 16-year period were reviewed, and pedigree structures extracted. All individuals who had originally presented with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but who subsequently had an affected first degree relative, were identified. Calculations were age-adjusted using clinic population demographics. Probands (n = 1502), full siblings (n = 1622) and full offspring (n = 1545) were identified. Eight of the siblings and 18 offspring had developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The unadjusted risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis over the observation period was 0.5% for siblings and 1.0% for offspring. Age information was available for 476 siblings and 824 offspring. For this subset, the crude incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was 0.11% per year (0.05-0.21%) in siblings and 0.11% per year (0.06-0.19%) in offspring, and the clinic age-adjusted incidence rate was 0.12% per year (0.04-0.21%) in siblings. By age 85, siblings were found to have an 8-fold increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in comparison to the background population. In practice, this means the risk of remaining unaffected by age 85 dropped from 99.7% to 97.6%. Relatives of people with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have a small but definite increased risk of being affected.
    Brain 09/2011; 134(Pt 12):3454-7. · 10.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to assess whether rural residence is associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the south-east of England using a population based register. Previous studies in different populations have produced contradictory findings. Residence defined by London borough or non-metropolitan district at time of diagnosis was recorded for each incident case in the South-East England ALS Register between 1995 and 2005. Each of the 26 boroughs or districts of the catchment area of the register was classified according to population density. Age- and sex-adjusted incidence of ALS was calculated for each region and the relationship with population density tested by linear regression, thereby controlling for the underlying population structure. We found that population density in region of residence at diagnosis explained 25% of the variance in ALS rates (r = 0.5, p < 0.01). Thus, in this cohort in the south-east of England, people with ALS were more likely to be resident in areas of high population density at diagnosis.
    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 10/2010; 11(5):435-8. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Replicable risk factors for ALS include increasing age, family history and being male. The male: female ratio has been reported as being between 1 and 3. We tested the hypothesis that the sex ratio changes with age in a population register covering the south-east of England. The sex ratio before and after the age of 51 years was compared using a Z-test for proportions. Kendall's tau was used to assess the relationship between age group and sex ratio using incidence and prevalence data. Publicly available data from Italian and Irish population registers were compared with results. There was a significant difference in the proportion of females with ALS between those in the younger group (30.11%) and those in the older group (43.66%) (p = 0.013). The adjusted male: female ratio dropped from 2.5 in the younger group to 1.4 in the older group using prevalence data (Kendall's tau = -0.73, p = 0.039). Similar ratios were found in the Italian but not the Irish registry. We concluded that sex ratios in ALS may change with age. Over-representation of younger patients in clinic registers may explain the variation in sex ratios between studies. Menopause may also play a role.
    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 03/2010; 11(5):439-42. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disease of motor neurons that causes progressive paralysis and eventually results in death from respiratory failure. Environmental factors that trigger ALS might result in a pattern of geographical clustering of cases. We tested this hypothesis using the South-East England ALS population register, which covers south-east London, Kent and parts of neighbouring counties. The register's catchment area was divided into postcode districts and sectors. The expected rates of ALS (adjusted for age and sex) were compared with the observed rates using a standardised residuals method and the SaTScan programme. There were 406 cases of ALS identified in the catchment area during the study period. Four of the 126 postcode districts, all in Greater London, had residuals >2.5 SDs from the mean. Similarly, there were 15 postcode sectors (out of 420) that had residuals >1.96 SDs from the mean. Nine of these were in Greater London. SaTScan identified an area that had a 5.61-km radius in which the relative risk of ALS was 1.70 (p = 0.012). This area overlapped with the postcode districts and some of the sectors identified using the residuals method. These findings suggest an excess of ALS cases in some postcode districts in south-east England.
    Neuroepidemiology 12/2008; 32(2):81-8. · 2.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

124 Citations
70.43 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2013
    • King's College London
      • • Department of Clinical Neuroscience
      • • MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain