- Some people have a mutation in the C9ORF72 gene that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The mutation causes a small piece of DNA to repeat itself thousands of times. The C9ORF gene mutation mostly occurs in families. In those families, some persons have ALS and others have FTD. Occasionally the C9ORF gene mutation occurs in persons without a family history. Researchers want to understand how this gene causes different diseases. They will study how symptoms caused by the C9ORF gene develop and change over time. They will measure symptoms that occur in ALS and in FTD. In particular, they will measure strength, ability to move, thinking, and memory. They will also see if other tests are associated with progression of disease. These tests, called biomarkers, may help detect or measure C9ORF72 disease in the future.
- To understand how symptoms change over time in people with mutations in a gene called C9ORF72, which causes ALS and FTD.
- Adults over age 18 who have this genetic mutation
- Participants will have up to 4 in-person visits and 3 telephone interviews over 3 years. Each in-person visit may take place over several days. They may be either inpatient or outpatient visits.
- At each visit, participants will undergo a series of brain, language, and behavior tests. These will include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. This uses magnets, radio waves, and computers to produce detailed pictures of the brain.
- Collecting spinal fluid. The clinician will make the participant s back numb and then insert a needle to collect fluid.
<TAB>- Blood samples will be taken.
<TAB>- Participants will be asked to perform several language and movement tests.
<TAB>- Small skin samples will be taken on one visit
- Between visits, participants will answer questions about their health over the phone 3 times.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis , Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration
Type of Intervention:
Study Chair(s)/Principal Investigator(s):
Justin Y Kwan, M.D., National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Coordinating Center Contact Information
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, 20892 United States
Full Study Summary:
The primary objective of this study is to characterize the natural history of disease in patients who carry a repeat expansion in the C9ORF72 gene, which causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The secondary objective is to assess whether candidate biomarkers correlate with disease progression.
62 persons with a documented repeat expansion in C9ORF72 gene who have ALS, ALS-FTD, or FTD or who are carriers of the gene mutation and have a symptomatic family member.
Participants will undergo a structured battery of clinical and neuropsychological tests at enrollment and at three follow-up visits to NIH to assess disease severity. During these visits, physiological, imaging, blood, and CSF for testing of candidate biomarkers will be obtained. Between visits to NIH, assessments of functional status and cognition will be carried out by phone. Participants may be seen earlier than the scheduled follow-up visit or at home if phone assessments indicate clinical deterioration.
There will be three primary outcome measures, for changes in three areas of function over the first six months. The primary measure of the severity of motor clinical function will be the ALS Functional rating scale-revised (ALSFRS-R). The primary measure of the severity of cognitive function will be changes in verbal fluency score. The primary measure of the severity of behavioral dysfunction will be the caregiver assessment of the fronto-behavioral index (FBI). Secondary clinical outcomes will be the forced vital capacity (FVC) and survival. The correlation between primary and secondary clinical outcome measures and candidate biomarkers measures will be analyzed in an exploratory fashion to determine whether candidate biomarkers are predictive of disease onset or progression.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Participants will have up to 4 in-person visits and 3 telephone interviews over 3 years. Each in-person visit may take place over several days. They may be either inpatient or outpatient visits
Estimated Study Start Date:
09 / 30 / 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date:
02 / 23 / 2021
Posting Last Modified Date:
04 / 24 / 2023
Date Study Added to neals.org:
08 / 19 / 2013
Can participants use Riluzole?
Yes- INCLUSION CRITERIA:
Patients will be included if they:
- Are age 18 or older
- Have a confirmed repeat expansion in the C9ORF72 gene
Patients will be excluded if they
- have other major neurological or medical diseases that may cause progressive weakness or cognitive dysfunction, such as structural brain or spinal cord disease, metabolic diseases, paraneoplastic syndromes, hereditary diseases, infectious diseases, peripheral neuropathy or radiculopathy or other significant neurological abnormalities.
- require daytime ventilator support at the time of study entry
- are unable to travel to NIH at the time of study entry
- are unwilling to have follow-up visits
- are unable to understand or decline to sign the Informed Consent at the time of study entry. Participants can remain in the study (with DPA consent and participant assent) if they lose consent capacity.
- have pacemakers or other implanted electrical devices, brain stimulators, dental implants, aneurysm clips (metal clips on the wall of a large artery), metallic prostheses (including metal pins and rods, heart valves, and cochlear implants), permanent eyeliner, implanted delivery pumps, or shrapnel fragments, metal fragments in the eye) that exclude magnetic resonance imaging
- have unstable medical conditions that, in the opinion of the investigators, prevent safe participation in this study.
- are participating in experimental treatment trials at the time of study entry or plan such participation within 6 months of entry.
Patients will not be excluded if they are receiving standard care medications for treatment of ALS and its symptoms, or are participating in non-treatment clinical research studies. Patients will be permitted to participate in experimental treatment trials after the 6 month follow-up visit.
Patients with pacemakers or other implanted electrical devices, brain stimulators, dental implants, aneurysm clips (metal clips on the wall of a large artery), metallic prostheses (including metal pins and rods, heart valves, and cochlear implants), permanent eyeliner, implanted delivery pumps, or shrapnel fragments, metal fragments in the eye) will not be excluded but will not undergo magnetic resonance imaging or transcranial magnetic stimulation.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center