A novel quantitative indicator for disease progression rate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a heterogeneous disease with large individual differences in the pattern of functional decline. This heterogeneity is one of the challenges in clinical trials for novel treatment development in ALS. In the current study, Dr. Yuko Kobayakawa, Professor Koji Todaka (both from Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Kyushu University Hospital), Associate Professor Ryo Yamasaki and Professor Noriko Isobe (both from Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medial Sciences, Kyushu University) developed a new method for evaluating the disease progression rate using a single measurement of the forced vital capacity (FVC) and named it as the FVC Decline Pattern scale (FVC-DiP). They found out that the FVC-DiP can successfully indicate the speed of disease progression in patients with ALS. As a patient’s FVC-DiP score can be determined from a single measurement of %FVC and the disease duration at assessment, it could easily be adopted to evaluate patients’ disease progression patterns, which is difficult when using %FVC values alone. “FVC-DiP scale could also be used to detect treatment effects and may be more sensitive than conventional outcome measurements. It is expected to be a useful tool for proving the efficacy of novel therapies in clinical trials.” said Dr. Yuko Kobayakawa, the first author of the study, published in Journal of Neurological Sciences, the official journal of the World Federation of Neurology.