Clinical Neuroscience

[Calcium ion is a common denominator in the pathophysiological processes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]

PATAI Roland1, NÓGRÁDI Bernát2, MESZLÉNYI Valéria2, OBÁL Izabella3, ENGELHARDT József István3, SIKLÓS László1

JULY 30, 2017

Clinical Neuroscience - 2017;70(07-08)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.70.0247

[Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most frequent motor neuron disease is characterized by progressive muscle weakness caused by the degeneration of the motor neurons in the spinal cord and motor cortex. However, according to the recent observations, ALS is a rather complex syndrome which frequently involves symptoms of cognitive impairment. Therefore, ALS cases can be interpreted in a clinico-pathological spectrum spanning from the classical ALS involving only the motor system to the fronto-temporal dementia. The progression of the disease, however, manifested in the degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons, is based on the same complex pathobiology. The main elements of the pathomechanism, such as oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, immune/inflammatory processes and mitochondrial dysfunction are well described already, which operate in orchestrated way and amplify the deleterious effect of each other. It is assumed that calcium ions act as a catalyst in this interaction, hence each of the individual mechanisms has strong, positive and reciprocal calcium dependence thus may combine the individual pathological processes into a unified escalating mechanism of neuronal destruction. This review provides an overview of the role of calcium in connecting and amplifying the major mechanisms which lead to degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS. ]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. MTA Szegedi Biológiai Kutatóközpont, Biofizikai Intézet, Szeged
  2. A Szegedi Orvosbiológiai Kutatások Jövôjéért Alapítvány, Szeged
  3. Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Neurológiai Klinika, Szeged

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Concerns regarding the projected prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) over the next several decades have stimulated a need for the detection of AD in its earliest stages. A self-administered cognitive test (Test Your Memory, TYM) is designed as a short, cognitive screening tool for the detection of AD. Our aim was to validate the Hungarian version of the Test Your Memory (TYM-HUN) test for the detection of AD. The TYM-HUN was applied in case of individuals aged 60 years or more, 50 patients with AD and 50 healthy controls were recruited into the study. We compared the diagnostic utility of the Hungarian version of the TYM in AD with that of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). The sensitivity and specificity of the TYM-HUN in the detection of Alzheimer’s disease were determined. The patients with AD scored an average of 15.5/30 on the MMSE and 20.3/50 on the TYM-HUN. The average score achieved by the members of the healthy control group was 27.3/30 on the MMSE and 42.7/50 on the TYM. The total TYM-HUN scores significantly correlated with the MMSE scores (Spearman’s rho, r=0.8830; p<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression model demonstrated that a one-point increase in the TYM score reduced the probability of having AD by 36%. The optimal cut-off score on the TYM-HUN was 35/36 along with 94% sensitivity and 94% specificity for the detection of AD. The TYM has a much wider scoring range than the MMSE and is also a suitable screening tool for memory problems, furthermore, it fulfils the requirements of being a short cognitive test for the non-specialists. The TYM-HUN is useful for the detection of Alzheimer’s disease and can be applied as a screening test in Hungarian memory clinics as well as in primary care settings.

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