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NGF controls survival, differentiation, and target innervation of both peptidergic and nonpeptidergic DRG sensory neurons. The common receptor for GDNF family ligands, Ret, is highly expressed in nonpeptidergic neurons, but its function during development of these neurons is unclear. Here, we show that expression of Ret and its coreceptors GFRalpha1 and(More)
Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4) is a rare autosomal dominant form of juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) characterized by distal muscle weakness and atrophy, normal sensation, and pyramidal signs. Individuals affected with ALS4 usually have an onset of symptoms at age <25 years, a slow rate of progression, and a normal life span. The(More)
Myelination increases neuronal conduction velocity through its insulating properties and an unidentified extrinsic effect that increases axonal caliber. Although it is well established that demyelination can cause axonal atrophy, the myelin molecule that regulates axonal caliber is not known. Loss of the structural proteins of compact peripheral nervous(More)
Guillain-Barré syndrome has been considered to be primarily an acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP). Our experience with Guillain-Barré syndrome in northern China differs from the traditional concept. Electrophysiologically and pathologically, most of our patients have motor axonal degeneration with minimal cellular inflammation, which we(More)
The motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) causes profound muscle weakness that most often leads to early death. At autopsy, SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons and muscle atrophy, but the initial cellular events that precipitate motor unit dysfunction and loss remain poorly characterized. Here, we examined the function and(More)
We report 2 patients with a treatable, immune-mediated motor polyneuropathy associated with antibodies to defined neural antigens. In these patients asymmetrical weakness developed in one arm and progressed over 2 to 3 years to involve the other arm, legs, and trunk. Both patients were initially diagnosed as having lower motor neuron forms of amyotrophic(More)
OBJECTIVE To use punch skin biopsies to evaluate the loss of intra-epidermal nerve fibers in sensory neuropathies. BACKGROUND Previous assessments of epidermal nerve fibers have been constrained by relatively insensitive staining techniques and variability in quantification. METHODS Punch skin biopsies were performed on the heel and leg of(More)
The concept of a severe motor-sensory neuropathy of acute onset caused by an immune attack on the axon ("axonal" Guillain-Barré syndrome) has been advanced primarily based on electrodiagnostic and limited pathological data, but remains controversial. At autopsy some cases demonstrate unusually severe inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy. There are(More)
The acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) form of the Guillain-Barre syndrome is a paralytic disorder of abrupt onset characterized pathologically by motor nerve fiber degeneration of variable severity and by sparing of sensory fibers. There is little demyelination or lymphocytic inflammation. Most cases have antecedent infection with Campylobacter jejuni(More)
Gangliosides are a family of sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids highly enriched in the mammalian nervous system. Although they are the major sialoglycoconjugates in the brain, their neurobiological functions remain poorly defined. By disrupting the gene for a key enzyme in complex ganglioside biosynthesis (GM2/GD2 synthase; EC we generated(More)