Non-contiguous propagation of ALS: River of hyperexcitability?

The site of disease onset in ALS remains enigmatic, and resolution of this quandary could shed light of ALS pathogenesis and may be of therapeutic significance. Previous studies suggested a contiguous spread of disease, implying a role for local (spinal) factors in ALS pathogenesis. In contrast, Sekiguchi and colleagues report non-contiguous spread, a well observed […]

Read More…

When being overweight pays off!

Factors influencing mortality in ALS are clearly multifactorial.  The ability to determine these factors and subsequently modify them could be of therapeutic significance in ALS.  The large EPIC cohort recently established that a higher body mass index may be neuroprotective, i.e. reduce mortality in ALS, which was evident in both males and females.  This association […]

Read More…

Cortical atrophy in ALS related to cognitive dysfunction. Food for thought?

Cortical atrophy, as assessed by novel volumetric MRI techniques, have revealed inconsistent results in ALS.  Specifically, while cortical thinning, predominantly within the motor/frontal lobe regions, have been reported by some, absence of atrophy has been reported by others.  Mioshi and colleagues elegantly demonstrate a potential explanation for such discordant MRI findings.  Namely, ALS patients with […]

Read More…

MS and ALS: A common pathophysiological denominator?

Ismail and colleagues report on a high concurrence rate of multiple sclerosis (MS) and ALS.  Interestingly, the C9orf72 expansion was identified in 80% of the ALS-MS patients.  Given that the inflammatory system appears to be deregulated in patients expressing the c9orf72 expansion, with down-regulation of the neuroprotective CXCL10 chemokine and dysfunction of NF-kB activity,   the […]

Read More…