Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Changes in proteins may predict ALS progression

Date:
December 17, 2013
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Measuring changes in certain proteins -- called biomarkers -- in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may better predict the progression of the disease, according to scientists.

Measuring changes in certain proteins -- called biomarkers -- in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may better predict the progression of the disease, according to scientists at Penn State College of Medicine.

ALS is often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurological disease in which the brain loses its ability to control movement as motor neurons degenerate. The course of the disease varies, with survival ranging from months to decades.

"The cause of most cases of ALS remains unknown," said James Connor, Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery, Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics. "Although several genetic and environmental factors have been identified, each accounts for only a fraction of the total cases of ALS."

This clinical variation in patients presents challenges in terms of managing the disease and developing new treatments. Finding relevant biomarkers, which are objective measures that reflect changes in biological processes or reactions to treatments, may help address these challenges.

The project was led by Xiaowei Su, an M.D./ Ph.D. student in Connor's laboratory, in collaboration with Zachary Simmons, director of the Penn State Hershey ALS Clinic and Research Center. Su studied plasma and cerebrospinal fluid samples previously collected from patients undergoing diagnostic evaluation, who were later identified as having ALS. Analysis shows that looking at multiple biomarkers to predict progression is not only mathematically possible, it improves upon methods using single biomarkers.

Statistical models analyzing plasma had reasonable ability to predict total disease duration and used seven relevant biomarkers. For example, higher levels of the protein IL-10 predict a longer disease duration. IL-10 is involved with anti-inflammation, suggesting that lower levels of inflammation are associated with a longer disease duration.

The researchers identified six biomarkers for cerebrospinal fluid. For example, higher levels of G-CSF -- a growth factor known to have protective effects on motor neurons, the cells that die in ALS -- predicts a longer disease duration.

Perhaps most importantly, the results suggest that a combination of biomarkers from both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid better predict disease duration.

While the size of this study is small, the ability of the specific biomarkers used to predict prognosis suggests that the approach holds promise.

"The results argue for the usefulness of researching this approach for ALS both in terms of predicting disease progression and in terms of determining the impact of therapeutic strategies," Connor said. "The results present a compelling starting point for the use of this method in larger studies and provide insights for novel therapeutic targets."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. The original article was written by Matt Solovey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Changes in proteins may predict ALS progression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217124015.htm>.
Penn State. (2013, December 17). Changes in proteins may predict ALS progression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217124015.htm
Penn State. "Changes in proteins may predict ALS progression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217124015.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins