Vol 1-7 Mini Review

Obesity and Multiple Sclerosis Susceptibility: A Review

Milena A. Gianfrancesco and Lisa F. Barcellos

Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

 Several studies conducted around the world over the last decade have demonstrated that early childhood and adolescent obesity are significant risk factors for MS susceptibility. This association has been largely confirmed in females, while evidence supporting a strong role for obesity and risk of MS in males has been mixed. Further, interaction between increased body mass index and genetic as well as environmental factors in MS susceptibility has been proposed, and evidence of a causal relationship has recently been established. In this review, we discuss findings supporting the significant association between obesity and MS, as well as identify areas for future investigation.

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Vol 1-7 Commentary

Comment: New potential pharmacological functions of Chinese herbal medicines via regulation of autophagy: the search of reliable pharmaceutical candidates for chronic disorders therapy

Simon Wing Fai Mok, Vincent Kam Wai Wong, Betty Yuen Kwan Law*

State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China

 Chronic diseases are the leading causes of physical impairments and mortality in the world. The functional role of autophagy in maintaining cellular homeostasis implies that the molecular machinery is a compelling pharmaceutical target for such disorders involving overall body imbalance. Therefore, autophagy modulators appeared to be the ideal source for hunting of novel and effective pharmaceutical interventions. Law et al., have performed a systematic review on more than 30 different Chinese herbal medicine (CHM)-derived bioactive compounds capable of regulating autophagy activity. The successful experimental and clinical applications of these compounds which have not been previously documented have been discussed. Notably, most of the reported novel applications are associated with chronic dysfunctions.

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Vol 1-7 Commentary

Commentary: alpha-synuclein interacts with SOD1 and promotes its oligomerization

Anika M. Helferich1, Pamela J. McLean2, Jochen H. Weishaupt1 and Karin M. Danzer1*

1Department of Neurology, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89081 Ulm, Germany
2Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

 Alpha-synuclein and Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) are both aggregation-prone proteins that are associated with Parkinson´s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), respectively. Recently, we showed that alpha-synuclein interacts with SOD1 in various cell types and tissues. Using a cell culture model, we also found that alpha-synuclein nucleates the polymerization of SOD1. Here, we discuss the current literature regarding their interaction and their co-localization in aggregates of human post-mortem tissue. Furthermore we comment on the reported alpha-synuclein-induced SOD1 polymerization in terms of cross-seeding effects in neurodegeneration.

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Vol 1-7 Commentary

Commentary: A novel infection- and inflammation-associated molecular signature in peripheral blood of myasthenia gravis patients

Claudia Barzago1, Pia Bernasconi1, Raffaele A. Calogero2, Carlo Antozzi1, Francesca Zolezzi3, Renato Mantegazza1# and Lucia Mori4*

1Neurology IV - Neuroimmunology and Neuromuscular Diseases Unit, Foundation Neurological Institute "Carlo Besta", 20133 Milan, Italy
2Molecular Biology Center, Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Turin, 10126 Turin, Italy
3GALDERMA R&D, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
4Experimental Immunology, Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel and University of Basel, 4031, Basel, Switzerland

 Early-onset acetylcholine receptor-positive myasthenia gravis is the most studied and better-characterized clinical subgroup of myasthenia gravis. Here we discuss the results of the first comprehensive and unbiased transcriptome sequencing analysis performed on circulating cells of a clinically homogeneous cohort of patients affected by this disease form.

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Vol 1-7 Mini Review

TrkB and the calpain dependent-Tc TrkB receptor isoforms: possible neurological therapeutic targets

Víctor Danelon1, Andrea B. Cragnolini1, Daniel Mascó1*

1Laboratorio de Neurobiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas y Tecnológicas, IIByT-CONICET-FCEFyN, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Vélez Sarsfield 1611, Córdoba, Argentina.

 Several neurological conditions share a characteristic feature: an increase in intracellular calcium levels ([Ca2+]i). It has been demonstrated that calcium influx induces changes ranging from an increase in the expression levels of several genes to the activation of proteases such as calpains. Calpains are a family of Ca2+-dependent non-lysosomal cysteine proteases, whose substrates include several proteins that play critical roles in several cellular functions including synaptic plasticity and neuronal apoptosis.

TrkB is a type of tyrosine related kinase receptor that can promote neuronal survival and differentiation upon ligand binding. It has been recently shown that in several neurological diseases, the level of full-length TrkB protein decreases before the onset of neuronal death due to one of two different processes: a) a reverse regulation of TrkB isoforms mRNA, or b) calpain-mediated processing of TrkB full-length, which yields a truncated form of TrkB (Tc-TrkB). Because the most notorious feature of calpain proteolytic activity is that the products of calpain-mediated cleavage may have biological activity, here we review the hypotheses by which calpain-generated isoform Tc-TrkB may perform biological functions.

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Vol 1-7 Mini Review

Extracellular uridine diphosphate-mediated microglial inflammation in a mouse model of Sandhoff disease

Eri Kawashita1, Daisuke Tsuji2, Kohji Itoh2

1Department of Pathological Biochemistry, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
2Department of Medicinal Biotechnology, Institute for Medicinal Research, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima University, Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan

 Sandhoff disease (SD) is an inherited lysosomal storage disease caused by a β-hexosaminidase deficiency involving excessive accumulation of undegraded substrates, including GM2 ganglioside, which leads to neurological symptoms, such as mental retardation, spasms and quadriplegia. Macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α) is a crucial factor for microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in the onset or progression of SD. However, there was no therapeutic approach to control the abnormal production of MIP-1α in the brain of SD, and the mechanisms underlying the MIP-1α production by microglia, especially the transmitter-mediated production, remains unclear.

Extracellular nucleotides, including uridine diphosphate (UDP), are leaked by injured or damaged neurons. It has been shown that the nucleotide leakage activates microglia to trigger chemotaxis, phagocytosis, macropinocytosis and cytokine production, suggesting that extracellular nucleotides may be important neurotransmitters for microglia to regulate their functions physiologically and pathologically.

In the present study, we review the essential roles of extracellular nucleotides in the microglial functions and the UDP-enhanced MIP-1α production by microglia in SD model mice, providing a potential therapeutic approach for SD.

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Vol 1-7 Mini Review

Managing post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathic pain: is surgery enough?

John R. Zuniga1, Tara F. Renton2

1Departments of Surgery and Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA
2Department of Oral Surgery, Kings College London Dental Institute, Denmark Hill Campus, London SE5 9RS, UK

 In the absence of effective non-surgical methods to permanently resolve neuropathic pain involving the lip, chin, or tongue following inferior alveolar and/or lingual nerve injury, microsurgery of these nerves has been a recommended modality. In two ambispective clinical trials, we demonstrated that phenotypic differences exist between individuals with neuropathic pain and those without neuropathic pain of the trigeminal nerve. In those without neuropathic pain before microsurgery there was a 2% incidence of neuropathic pain after microsurgery whereas there was a 67% incidence of neuropathic pain after microsurgery, some reporting an increase in pain levels, when neuropathic pain was present before microsurgery. The recurrence of neuropathic pain after trigeminal microsurgery is likely multifactorial and might not depend on factors that normally affect useful or functional sensory recovery in those who have no neuropathic pain. These results indicate that the understanding of post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathic pain is incomplete. Predictive outcomes of treatment will probably improve when the etiology is better defined to allow mechanistic or target-/site-specific treatment. Until then, non-surgical treatment for post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathic pain remains a safer option. Risk factors have been identified for patients developing chronic post -surgical pain due to post-traumatic neuropathy. These include psychological, medical, and age related factors. The best management may lie in preoperative screening and avoidance of elective surgery for high risk patients as the prevention of post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathic pain in the absence of effective medical or surgical interventions.

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Vol 1-7 Mini Review

Neuropathies of Stüve-Wiedemann Syndrome due to mutations in leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) gene

Alexandra E. Oxford, Cheryl L. Jorcyk, Julia Thom Oxford

Boise State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Biomolecular Research Center, 1910 University Drive, Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725

 Stüve-Wiedemann syndrome (STWS; OMIM #610559) is a rare disease that results in dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary processes such as breathing rate and body temperature. In infants, this can result in respiratory distress, feeding and swallowing difficulties, and hyperthermic episodes. Individuals may sweat excessively when body temperature is not elevated. Additionally, individuals have reduced ability to feel pain and may lose reflexes such as the corneal reflex that normally causes one to blink, and the patellar reflex resulting in the knee-jerk. STWS usually results in infant mortality, yet some STWS patients survive into early adulthood. STWS is caused by a mutation in the leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) gene, which is inherited in an autosomal-recessive pattern. Most LIFR mutations resulting in STWS cause instability of the mRNA due to frameshift mutations leading to premature stop codons, which prevent the formation of LIFR protein. STWS is managed on a symptomatic basis as no treatment is currently available.

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Vol 1-7 Case Report

A Case of Misdiagnosed Juvenile Dermatomyositis

Wang Liang1, Xu Min2, Sun Yiming3, Zhang Cheng1*

1Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, No. 58 Zhongshan 2nd Road, Guangzhou 510080, P.R. China
2Department of Dermatology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, No. 107 Yanjiang West Road, Guangzhou 510120, P.R. China
3Department of Health Care, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, No. 58 Zhongshan 2nd Road, Guangzhou 510080, P.R. China

 

To report a misdiagnosed case in order to avoid similar misdiagnosis of atypical juvenile dermatomyositis as muscular dystrophy in neurological clinics.

The process of misdiagnosis was first described. Thereafter, the patient’s diagnosis and treatment effect at the six-month follow-up were evaluated, and reported here.

The patient presented an atypical course of juvenile dermatomyositis. The rashes, which mainly presented as erythema and wheals, were subsequently followed by the appearance of muscle weakness. However, the rashes were inconspicuous at first consult. The misdiagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy was made due to the age of onset, distribution of muscle weakness, a high creatine kinase level, and other serum enzymatic changes. Upon further analysis, however, a diagnosis of juvenile dermatomyositis was definitively confirmed and the disease was controlled following systematic treatment for five months.

Although atypical juvenile dermatomyositis has a manifestation similar to that of muscular dystrophy, the considerations outlined in this case report will be helpful to avoid similar misdiagnosis.

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