Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease classically defined by the impairment of the voluntary motor system and ubiquitin-positive intraneuronal aggregates in anterior horn cells. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a common form of neurodegenerative dementia and presents with personality change associated in a significant subgroup of patients with cortical ubiquitin-only neuropathology (FTD-U). Careful study of ALS as well as FTD patient cohorts suggests clinical as well as pathological overlap of ALS with FTD. The idea that this reflects a shared pathogenesis has received strong support from the identification of new genetic loci on chromosome 9p and of mutations in specific genes (CHMP2B and DCN1) in families with co-segregation of ALS and FTD. The identification of two further genetic causes of FTD-U with (rare) ALS (PGRN) or without ALS (VCP) also provides a starting point for exploring the pathways associated with ubiquitin-mediated protein mishandling in FTD-U and ALS. Pure ALS, through ALS with cognitive impairment and ALS-FTD to pure FTD-U, may represent a continuous spectrum of ubiquitin-associated neurodegenerative disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date



15 Spec No 2


R182 - R187


Adenosine Triphosphatases, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Cell Cycle Proteins, Dementia, Dynactin Complex, Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport, Genetic Linkage, Humans, Inclusion Bodies, Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Microtubule-Associated Proteins, Nerve Degeneration, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Progranulins, Ubiquitin, Valosin Containing Protein