Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome: An autoimmune disease characterized by weakness and fatigability of proximal muscles, particularly of the pelvic girdle, lower extremities, trunk, and shoulder girdle. There is relative sparing of extraocular and bulbar muscles. CARCINOMA, SMALL CELL of the lung is a frequently associated condition, although other malignancies and autoimmune diseases may be associated. Muscular weakness results from impaired impulse transmission at the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION. Presynaptic calcium channel dysfunction leads to a reduced amount of acetylcholine being released in response to stimulation of the nerve. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp 1471)Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital: A heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by a congenital defect in neuromuscular transmission at the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION. This includes presynaptic, synaptic, and postsynaptic disorders (that are not of autoimmune origin). The majority of these diseases are caused by mutations of various subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (RECEPTORS, NICOTINIC) on the postsynaptic surface of the junction. (From Arch Neurol 1999 Feb;56(2):163-7)Paraneoplastic Syndromes: In patients with neoplastic diseases a wide variety of clinical pictures which are indirect and usually remote effects produced by tumor cell metabolites or other products.Carcinoma, Small Cell: An anaplastic, highly malignant, and usually bronchogenic carcinoma composed of small ovoid cells with scanty neoplasm. It is characterized by a dominant, deeply basophilic nucleus, and absent or indistinct nucleoli. (From Stedman, 25th ed; Holland et al., Cancer Medicine, 3d ed, p1286-7)Myasthenia Gravis: A disorder of neuromuscular transmission characterized by weakness of cranial and skeletal muscles. Autoantibodies directed against acetylcholine receptors damage the motor endplate portion of the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION, impairing the transmission of impulses to skeletal muscles. Clinical manifestations may include diplopia, ptosis, and weakness of facial, bulbar, respiratory, and proximal limb muscles. The disease may remain limited to the ocular muscles. THYMOMA is commonly associated with this condition. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1459)Muscular Diseases: Acquired, familial, and congenital disorders of SKELETAL MUSCLE and SMOOTH MUSCLE.Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Calcium Channels: Voltage-dependent cell membrane glycoproteins selectively permeable to calcium ions. They are categorized as L-, T-, N-, P-, Q-, and R-types based on the activation and inactivation kinetics, ion specificity, and sensitivity to drugs and toxins. The L- and T-types are present throughout the cardiovascular and central nervous systems and the N-, P-, Q-, & R-types are located in neuronal tissue.Lung Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the LUNG.Syndrome: A characteristic symptom complex.
Muscular Dystrophy AssociationLambert–Eaton myasthenic syndromeParaneoplastic syndrome: A paraneoplastic syndrome is a syndrome (a set of signs and symptoms) that is the consequence of cancer in the body but that, unlike mass effect, is not due to the local presence of cancer cells.Paraneoplastic Syndromes, 2011, Darnell & Posner These phenomena are mediated by humoral factors (by hormones or cytokines) excreted by tumor cells or by an immune response against the tumor.Small-cell carcinomaHypersensitivityAcquired non-inflammatory myopathy: Acquired non-inflammatory myopathy (ANIM) is a neurological disorder primarily affecting skeletal muscle, most commonly in the limbs of humans, resulting in a weakness or dysfunction in the muscle. A myopathy refers to a problem or abnormality with the myofibrils, which compose muscle tissue.Autoantibody: An autoantibody is an antibody (a type of protein) produced by the immune system that is directed against one or more of the individual's own proteins. Many autoimmune diseases, (notably lupus erythematosus), are caused by such autoantibodies.Voltage-dependent calcium channel: Voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCC) are a group of voltage-gated ion channels found in the membrane of excitable cells (e.g.Targeted therapy of lung cancer: Targeted therapy of lung cancer refers to using agents specifically designed to selectively target molecular pathways responsible for, or that substantially drive, the malignant phenotype of lung cancer cells, and as a consequence of this (relative) selectivity, cause fewer toxic effects on normal cells.Malformative syndrome: A malformative syndrome (or malformation syndrome) is a recognizable pattern of congenital anomalies that are known or thought to be causally related (VIIth International Congress on Human Genetics).
(1/52) Lambert-Eaton antibodies inhibit Ca2+ currents but paradoxically increase exocytosis during stimulus trains in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells.
Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is an autoimmune disease that affects neurotransmitter release at peripheral synapses. LEMS antibodies inhibit Ca2+ currents in excitable cells, but it is not known whether there are additional effects on stimulus-secretion coupling. The effect of LEMS antibodies on Ca2+ currents and exocytosis was studied in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells using whole-cell voltage clamp in perforated-patch recordings. Purified LEMS IgGs from five patients inhibited N- and P/Q-type Ca2+ current components to different extents. The reduction in Ca2+ current resulted in smaller exocytotic responses to single depolarizing pulses, but the normal relationship between integrated Ca2+ entry and exocytosis (Enisch and Nowycky, 1996) was preserved. The hallmark of LEMS is a large potentiation of neuromuscular transmission after high-frequency stimulation. In chromaffin cells, stimulus trains can induce activity-dependent enhancement of the Ca2+-exocytosis relationship. Enhancement during trains occurs most frequently when pulses are brief and evoke very small amounts of Ca2+ entry (Engisch et al., 1997). LEMS antibody treatment increased the percentage of trains eliciting enhancement through two mechanisms: (1) by reducing Ca2+ entry and (2) through a Ca2+-independent effect on the process of enhancement. This leads to a paradoxical increase in the amount of exocytosis during stimulus trains, despite inhibition of Ca2+ currents. (+info)
(2/52) An autoimmune channelopathy associated with cancer: Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome.
The Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is an autoimmune disease that is often associated with lung cancer which shares a common antigenic protein with the motor nerve terminal. The myasthenic weakness is caused by an antibody-induced reduction in the release of acetylcholine from the nerve terminal. This study was undertaken to determine the target of LEMS antibodies and specify the voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) through which calcium influxes following the presynaptic membrane depolarization. Among the 5 types of VGCC, we found that the P/Q-type was highly recognized by LEMS antibodies. Using synthetic peptides or recombinant proteins as antigens for testing LEMS patients' sera or inducing an animal model of LEMS, we specified the S5-S6 linker regions in 3 of 4 domains constituting the alpha1 subunit of P/Q-type VGCC as immunodominant sites. Synaptotagmin, one of the functionally VGCC-associated proteins and a protein functioning as a calcium sensor for exocytosis of synaptic vesicles, was also found to be a pathogenic immunogen of LEMS when the recombinant protein for antibody assay and the synthetic peptide for the induction of animal model were used as antigens. The present study forms a united front against cancer and cancer-related myasthenic syndrome. (+info)
(3/52) Clinical analysis of 12 Korean Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) patients.
The Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) heralds the occurrence of malignancy, especially small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), but it can also occur in the absence of cancer. Twelve patients were diagnosed as LEMS by clinical features and the classical electrophysiological triad, which includes a low amplitude of compound muscle action potentials (CMAP), decremental responses on low-rate stimulation, and incremental responses on high-rate stimulation on the repetitive nerve stimulation (RNS) test. There were 6 male and 6 female patients, ranging in age from 49 to 66 years. Malignancy(all were SCLC) was found in 7 patients. Males predominantly expressed the paraneoplastic form; whereas the primary autoimmune form was found only in women, who showed a good response to corticosteroid treatment. The neurological features were similar in both groups: proximal lower limb weakness, depressed muscle stretch reflexes, and dryness of mouth in nearly all patients. Bulbar dysfunction and limb paresthesia were a little more frequent in the paraneoplastic form. In RNS tests, the characteristic electrophysiological abnormalities were found in all patients and were more profound in the paraneoplastic form. We concluded that LEMS is commonly associated with malignancy, especially SCLC, but it should also be stressed that there are many female LEMS patients who do not harbor any malignancy at all, and that other treatment strategies such as immunotherapy should be considered for these patients. (+info)
(4/52) Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome.
The Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder characterised by defective neurotransmitter release at autonomic neurones and presynaptic terminals of the neuromuscular junction. It is caused by an IgG autoantibody formed against especially the P/Q type of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) which is an essential component of the mechanism of neurotransmitter release. Many patients have an associated small cell carcinoma of the lung which appears to provide the antigenic stimulus for antibody production, although there is another group with no underlying malignancy. Both groups show an association with immunological disorders. Assay of VGCC antibody titres and electrophysiological tests help to differentiate Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome from other disorders of the neuromuscular junction. Several drugs and therapeutic interventions capable of producing significant clinical improvement are currently available. Patients should also be investigated for underlying tumours, the specific treatment of which can result in remission or amelioration of symptoms. (+info)
(5/52) Molecular targets for autoimmune and genetic disorders of neuromuscular transmission.
The neuromuscular junction is the target of a variety of autoimmune, neurotoxic and genetic disorders, most of which result in muscle weakness. Most of the diseases, and many neurotoxins, target the ion channels that are essential for neuromuscular transmission. Myasthenia gravis is an acquired autoimmune disease caused in the majority of patients by antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor, a ligand-gated ion channel. The antibodies lead to loss of acetylcholine receptor, reduced efficiency of neuromuscular transmission and muscle weakness and fatigue. Placental transfer of these antibodies in women with myasthenia can cause fetal or neonatal weakness and occasionally severe deformities. Lambert Eaton myasthenic syndrome and acquired neuromyotonia are caused by antibodies to voltage-gated calcium or potassium channels, respectively. In the rare acquired neuromyotonia, reduced repolarization of the nerve terminal leads to spontaneous and repetitive muscle activity. In each of these disorders, the antibodies are detected by immunoprecipitation of the relevant ion channel labelled with radioactive neurotoxins. Genetic disorders of neuromuscular transmission are due mainly to mutations in the genes for the acetylcholine receptor. These conditions show recessive or dominant inheritance and result in either loss of receptors or altered kinetics of acetylcholine receptor channel properties. Study of these conditions has greatly increased our understanding of synaptic function and of disease aetiology. (+info)
(6/52) Long term outcome in Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome without lung cancer.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the prognosis in patients with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) without small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and to analyse longitudinal clinical, electrophysiological, and immunological data on each patient to establish prognostic factors for long term outcome. METHODS: The retrospective and part prospective study of 47 patients with LEMS was undertaken from data recorded during visits to a specialist neuromuscular clinic. Serial measurements of muscle strength score in shoulder abduction, elbow extension and hip flexion, compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude, and postcontraction increment in abductor digiti minimi (ADM), and anti-P/Q-type voltage gated calcium channel (VGCC) antibody titre were made at each visit. RESULTS: Muscle strength scores were improved in 88% of patients after a median duration of immunosuppressive treatment of 6 years (range 1.3 to 17 years); anti-VGCC antibody titres fell in 52% after treatment; and mean resting CMAP amplitude improved from 2.7 mV initially to 8.8 mV after 2 years of treatment p<0.001). Initial pretreatment anti-VGCC antibody titre did not correlate significantly with either CMAP amplitude, CMAP increment, or clinical score: from serial measurements made during follow up, significant correlation between antibody titre and CMAP amplitude was seen in only two patients. Sustained clinical remission was achieved by 20 (43%) of whom only four remained in remission without the need for immunosuppression. Using a Cox proportional hazards model, the only independent predictor of sustained clinical remission was initial pretreatment clinical score (p=0.03). Lymphoma presented in three patients during the study. CONCLUSIONS: The prognosis in patients with LEMS without SCLC is favourable, although patients often need significant doses of immunosuppressive treatment to remain clinically stable. Only initial clinical muscle strength measurements and not anti-VGCC antibody titres or electrophysiological recordings are predictive of long term outcome. (+info)
(7/52) Semiquantitative measurement of acetylcholine receptor at the motor end-plate in myasthenia gravis.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether this semiquantitative measurement of the motor end-plate acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) can be used to confirm the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis (MG), and in particular ocular MG. METHODS: Motor point biopsies were performed from the biceps brachii muscles. Measurement of AChRs was made in peroxidase-labeled alpha-bungarotoxin stained muscle specimens. PATIENTS: Twenty patients with ocular MG, 37 with generalized MG, 5 with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, 3 with botulism, 8 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and 8 controls were included in this study. RESULTS: AChRs were decreased in all patients with generalized MG and in 80% of ocular MG including patients without detectable circulating anti-AChR antibodies, as compared with the control subjects. CONCLUSION: This method is useful to confirm the diagnosis of MG, in particular ocular MG without detectable anti-AChR antibodies. (+info)
(8/52) The immunopathogenesis of paraneoplastic neurological syndromes.
Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes are rare non-metastatic complications of cancer that have an immune-mediated aetiology. The central and peripheral nervous systems are considered to be immune-privileged sites, since the presence of the 'blood-brain/nerve barrier' means that antigens sequestered within the nervous system do not normally induce an immune response. Aberrant expression of a neuronal antigen by a tumour arising outside this barrier can lead to the breakdown of immune tolerance to the nervous system. However, in many cases the immune mechanisms that result in neurological dysfunction remain poorly defined. Furthermore, aberrant expression of neuronal antigens can be detected in many tumours that are not complicated by non-metastatic neurological syndromes. This review article examines current concepts in the immunopathogenesis of paraneoplastic neurological syndromes. (+info)