Articulation recovery in ALS patients after lineage-negative adjuvant cell therapy - preliminary report.
ABSTRACT: Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the most frequently occurring neurodegenerative diseases affecting speech and swallowing. This preliminary study aimed to investigate whether an autologous lineage-negative stem/progenitor cell therapy applied to ALS patients affects the level of selected trophic and proinflammatory factors, and subsequently improves the articulation. Methods: We enrolled 12 patients with sporadic ALS, who underwent autologous bone marrow-derived lineage negative (LIN-) cells administration into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We evaluated patients' articulation using the Frenchay Dysarthria Assessment on days 0 and 28 following the LIN- cells administration. Concentrations of various factors (BDNF, NGF, ANGP-2, VEGF, PDGF-AA, PEDF, COMP-FH, CRP, C3, C4) in CSF were quantified by multiplex fluorescent bead-based immunoassays in the samples collected on the day of LIN- cells administration and 28 days later. On top of this, we assessed levels of BDNF and NGF in the patients' plasma on the day of the injection, three, seven days and three months after the treatment. Results: Of the 12 patients who received the LIN- cell therapy 8 showed short-termed improvement in articulatory functions (group I), which was particularly noticeable in better phonation time, lips and soft palate performance, swallowing reflex and voice loudness. Four patients (group II) did not show substantial improvement. CSF concentrations of BDNF, ANGP-2 and PDGF-AA in group I decreased significantly 28 days after LIN- cells administration. The highest concentration levels of BDNF in group II and NGF in both groups in blood plasma were observed on day 3 following the injection. Conclusions: The outcomes of the LIN- cell application in ALS treatment of articulatory organs are promising. The procedure proved to be safe and feasible. A short-lasting trophic effect of autologous LIN- administration could encourage repeated cell's application in order to sustain their beneficial effects, however this approach needs further investigation.
Project description:Introduction:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease, leading to loss of muscle strength and motor control. Impaired speech and swallowing lower the quality of life and consequently may induce acute respiratory failure. Bone marrow-derived stem and progenitor cells (SPCs) may be a valuable source of trophic factors. In this study, we assessed whether adjuvant cellular therapy could affect the levels of selected neurotrophins and proinflammatory factors in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and subsequently prevent the deterioration of articulation. Materials and Methods:The study group consisted of 32 patients with sporadic ALS who underwent autologous lineage-negative (Lin-) stem cell intrathecal administration to the spinal canal. Lin- cells were aspirated from the bone marrow and isolated using immunomagnetic beads and a lineage cell depletion kit. Patients were examined for articulatory functions by means of the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) questionnaire and Frenchay Dysarthria Assessment (FDA). In parallel, we carried out the analysis of selected trophic and proinflammatory factors in CSF utilizing multiplex fluorescent bead-based immunoassays. Results:Of the 32 patients who received the Lin- progenitor cell therapy, 6 (group I) showed improvement in articulatory functions, 23 remained stable (group II), and 3 deteriorated (group III) on the 28th day. The improvement was particularly noticeable in a better cough reflex, laryngeal time, and dribble reflex. A statistically significant lower level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was observed on day 0 in group I compared to group II. The CSF concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) in group I significantly decreased 7 days after Lin- SPC transplantation. On the contrary, a significant increase in the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNF-R) level was confirmed among patients from group I with improvement of dribble and coughing reflex, tongue movements, and respiration on the 7th day, as well as on day 28 including dribble reflex solely. Conclusions:An application of Lin- stem cells could potentate the beneficial humoral effect. The prevention of deterioration of articulatory functions in ALS patients after applying adjuvant Lin- stem cell therapy seems to be promising. Although the procedure is safe and feasible, it requires further in-depth studies.
Project description:Therapeutic options for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are still limited. Great hopes, however, are placed in growth factors that show neuroprotective abilities (e.g., nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)) and in the immune modulating features, in particular, the anti-inflammatory effects. In our study we aimed to investigate whether a bone marrow-derived lineage-negative (Lin-) cells population, after autologous application into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), is able to produce noticeable concentrations of trophic factors and inflammatory-related proteins and thus influence the clinical course of ALS. To our knowledge, the evaluation of Lin- cells transplantation for ALS treatment has not been previously reported. Early hematopoietic Lin- cells were isolated from twelve ALS patients’ bone marrow, and later, the suspension of cells was administered into the subarachnoid space by lumbar puncture. Concentrations of selected proteins in the CSF and plasma were quantified by multiplex fluorescent bead-based immunoassays at different timepoints post-transplantation. We also chose microRNAs (miRNAs) related to muscle biology (miRNA-1, miRNA-133a, and miRNA-206) and angiogenesis and inflammation (miRNA-155 and miRNA-378) and tested, for the first time, their expression profiles in the CSF and plasma of ALS patients after Lin- cells transplantation. The injection of bone marrow cells resulted in decreased concentration of selected inflammatory proteins (C3) after Lin- cells injection, particularly in patients who had a better clinical outcome. Moreover, several analyzed miRNAs have changed expression levels in the CSF and plasma of ALS patients subsequent to Lin- cells administration. Interestingly, the expression of miR-206 increased in ALS patients, while miR-378 decreased both in the CSF and plasma one month after the cells’ injection. We propose that autologous lineage-negative early hematopoietic cells injected intrathecally may be a safe and feasible source of material for transplantations to the central nervous system (CNS) environment aimed at anti-inflammatory support provision for ALS adjuvant treatment strategies. Further research is needed to evaluate whether the observed effects could significantly influence the ALS progression.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains a fatal disease with limited therapeutic options. Signaling via neurotrophins (NTs), neuroinflammation, and certain micro-RNAs are believed to play essential role in ALS pathogenesis. Lineage-negative stem/progenitor cells (Lin-) were obtained from bone marrow of 18 ALS patients and administered intrathecally. Clinical assessment was performed using ALS Functional Rating Scale (FRSr) and Norris scale. Protein concentrations were measured in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by multiplex fluorescent bead-based immunoassay. Gene expression in nucleated blood cells was assessed using gene microarray technique. Finally, miRNA expression was analyzed using qPCR in CSF and plasma samples. We observed a significant decrease of C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration in plasma on the seventh day from the application of cells. Gene array results revealed decreased expression of gene sets responsible for neutrophil activation. Further analysis revealed moderate negative correlation between CRP level in CSF and clinical outcome. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations in both plasma and CSF significantly correlated with the favorable clinical outcome. On a micro-RNA level, we observed significant increase of miR-16-5p expression one week after transplantation in both body fluids and significant increase of miR-206 expression in plasma. Administration of Lin- cells may decrease inflammatory response and prevent neurodegeneration. However, these issues require further investigations.
Project description:Therapeutic interventions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are still far from satisfying. Immune modulating procedures raise hopes for slowing the disease progression. Stem cell therapies are believed to possess the ability to regulate innate and adaptive immune response and inflammation processes. Hence, three intrathecal administrations of autologous bone marrow-derived lineage-negative (Lin-) cells were performed every six weeks in 40 sporadic ALS patients. The concentrations of inflammatory-related proteins and expression profiles of selected miRNA in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma at different timepoints post-transplantation were quantified by multiplex Luminex and qRT-PCR. The global gene expression in nucleated blood cells was assessed using the gene microarray technique. According to the ALS Functional Rating Scale (FRSr), the study population was divided into responders (group I, n = 17) and non-responders (group II, n = 23). A thorough analysis of the pro-inflammatory expression profiles, regulated miRNA pathways, and global gene expression profiles at the RNA level revealed the local and systemic effects of Lin- cell therapy on the immune system of patients with ALS. The autologous application of Lin- cells in CSF modulates immune processes and might prevent the progression of neurodegeneration. However, further in-depth studies are necessary to confirm the findings, and prolonged intervention is needed to maintain therapeutic effects.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal degenerative disease of a rapid course. In 25% of ALS sufferers, speech disorders occur as prodromal symptoms of the disease. Impaired communication affects physical health and has a negative impact on mental and emotional condition. In this study, we assessed which domains of speech are particularly affected in ALS. Subsequently, we estimated possible correlations between the ALS patients' subjective perception of their speech quality and an objective assessment of the speech organs carried out by an expert. METHODS:The study group consisted of 63 patients with sporadic ALS. The patients were examined for articulatory functions by means of Voice Handicap Index (VHI) and the Frenchay Dysarthria Assessment (FDA). RESULTS:On the basis of the VHI scores, the entire cohort was divided into 2 groups: group I (40 subjects) with mild speech impairment, and group II (23 subjects) displaying moderate and profound speech deficits. In an early phase of ALS, changes were typically reported in the tongue, lips and soft palate. The FDA and VHI-based measurements revealed a high, positive correlation between the objective and subjective evaluation of articulation quality. CONCLUSIONS:Deterioration of the articulatory organs resulted in the reduction of social, physical and emotional functioning. The highly positive correlation between the VHI and FDA scales seems to indicate that the VHI questionnaire may be a reliable, self-contained tool for monitoring the course and progression of speech disorders in ALS. TRIAL REGISTRATION:NCT02193893 .
Project description:A number of brain regions have been implicated in articulation, but their precise computations remain debated. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examine the degree of functional specificity of articulation-responsive brain regions to constrain hypotheses about their contributions to speech production. We find that articulation-responsive regions (1) are sensitive to articulatory complexity, but (2) are largely nonoverlapping with nearby domain-general regions that support diverse goal-directed behaviors. Furthermore, premotor articulation regions show selectivity for speech production over some related tasks (respiration control), but not others (nonspeech oral-motor [NSO] movements). This overlap between speech and nonspeech movements concords with electrocorticographic evidence that these regions encode articulators and their states, and with patient evidence whereby articulatory deficits are often accompanied by oral-motor deficits. In contrast, the superior temporal regions show strong selectivity for articulation relative to nonspeech movements, suggesting that these regions play a specific role in speech planning/production. Finally, articulation-responsive portions of posterior inferior frontal gyrus show some selectivity for articulation, in line with the hypothesis that this region prepares an articulatory code that is passed to the premotor cortex. Taken together, these results inform the architecture of the human articulation system.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine the safety and efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-neurotrophic factor (NTF) cells (NurOwn®, autologous bone marrow-derived MSCs, induced to secrete NTFs) delivered by combined intrathecal and intramuscular administration to participants with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in a phase 2 randomized controlled trial. METHODS:The study enrolled 48 participants randomized 3:1 (treatment: placebo). After a 3-month pretransplant period, participants received 1 dose of MSC-NTF cells (n = 36) or placebo (n = 12) and were followed for 6 months. CSF was collected before and 2 weeks after transplantation. RESULTS:The study met its primary safety endpoint. The rate of disease progression (Revised ALS Functional Rating Scale [ALSFRS-R] slope change) in the overall study population was similar in treated and placebo participants. In a prespecified rapid progressor subgroup (n = 21), rate of disease progression was improved at early time points (p < 0.05). To address heterogeneity, a responder analysis showed that a higher proportion of treated participants experienced ?1.5 points/month ALSFRS-R slope improvement compared to placebo at all time points, and was significant in rapid progressors at 4 and 12 weeks (p = 0.004 and 0.046, respectively). CSF neurotrophic factors increased and CSF inflammatory biomarkers decreased in treated participants (p < 0.05) post-transplantation. CSF monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 levels correlated with ALSFRS-R slope improvement up to 24 weeks (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION:A single-dose transplantation of MSC-NTF cells is safe and demonstrated early promising signs of efficacy. This establishes a clear path forward for a multidose randomized clinical trial of intrathecal autologous MSC-NTF cell transplantation in ALS. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE:This phase II study provides Class I evidence.
Project description:Background and objectives: Speech disorders are observed in 30% of newly diagnosed sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Characterized by a dynamic course, dysfunction of articulation has not so far been well understood. The aim of this study was to analyze the influence of demographic factors (sex, age, duration of the disease) and concomitant diseases (degenerative spine disease, depression, hypertension, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and allergy) on the functioning of speech organs in ALS patients. Materials and Methods: The study group consisted of 65 patients with sporadic ALS. Patients were examined for articulatory functions by means of the Frenchay Dysarthria Assessment (FDA). Results: 68% of the study sample had spinal disorders. Logistic regression analysis showed that a decline in the functioning of lips, soft palate, length of phonation, and voice loudness was more common among men. Patients diagnosed with degenerative spine disease more often suffered from respiratory disorders, while younger patients (<60 years of age) significantly more often had the impairment of the sentence and spontaneous speech functions. Conclusions: The male gender in patients with ALS is associated with an increased risk of deterioration of the phonation length function. Patients under 60 years of age are associated with more often pronouncing sentences disorders and spontaneous speech disorders.
Project description:The current study investigated whether variation in children's default articulation rate might reflect individual differences in the development of articulatory timing control, which predicts a positive correlation between rate and perceived clarity (motor skills hypothesis), or whether such variation is better attributed to speech external factors, which predicts that faster rates result in poorer target attainment (undershoot hypothesis). Two different speech samples were obtained from 54 typically developing children (5;2 - 7;11). Six utterances were extracted from each sample and measured for articulation rate and segmental duration. Fourteen adult listeners rated the utterances for clarity (enunciation). Acoustic correlates of perceived clarity, pitch, and vowel quality were also measured. The findings were that age-dependent and individual differences in children's default articulation rates were due to segmental articulation and not to suprasegmental changes. The rating data indicated that utterances produced at faster rates were perceived as more clearly articulated than those produced at slower rates, regardless of a child's age. Vowel quality measures predicted perceived clarity independently of articulation rate. Overall, the results support the motor skills hypothesis: Faster default articulation rates emerge from better articulatory timing control.
Project description:To determine the safety of intrathecal autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cell treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).Participants with ALS were enrolled and treated in this phase I dose-escalation safety trial, ranging from 1 × 107 (single dose) to 1 × 108 cells (2 monthly doses). After intrathecal treatments, participants underwent standardized follow-up, which included clinical examinations, revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) questionnaire, blood and CSF sampling, and MRI of the neuroaxis.Twenty-seven patients with ALS were enrolled and treated in this study. The safety profile was positive, with the most common side effects reported being temporary low back and radicular leg pain at the highest dose level. These clinical findings were associated with elevated CSF protein and nucleated cells with MRI of thickened lumbosacral nerve roots. Autopsies from 4 treated patients did not show evidence of tumor formation. Longitudinal ALSFRS-R questionnaires confirmed continued progression of disease in all treated patients.Intrathecal treatment of autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells appears safe at the tested doses in ALS. These results warrant further exploration of efficacy in phase II trials.This phase I study provides Class IV evidence that in patient with ALS, intrathecal autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cell therapy is safe.