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Vascular endothelial growth factor and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: The interplay with exercise and noninvasive ventilation

Authors

  • Rita Carilho MSci,

    1. Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Oeiras, Portugal
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  • Mamede de Carvalho MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department Neurosciences, Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisbon, Portugal
    2. Translational and Clinical Physiology Unity, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal
    • Correspondence to: M. de Carvalho; e-mail: mamedemg@mail.telepac.ptContract grant sponsor: “Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia”; Contract grant numbers: PIC/IC/82765/2007 and PTDC/SAU-NEU/100724/2008

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  • Michael Swash MD,

    1. Translational and Clinical Physiology Unity, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal
    2. Departments of Neurology and Neuroscience, Royal London Hospital, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom
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  • Susana Pinto MD,

    1. Translational and Clinical Physiology Unity, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal
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  • Anabela Pinto MD,

    1. Translational and Clinical Physiology Unity, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal
    2. Department of Physical and Medical Rehabilitation, Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisbon, Portugal
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  • Júlia Costa PhD

    1. Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Oeiras, Portugal
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ABSTRACT

Introduction: We evaluated plasma vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with reference to the effects of respiratory failure, noninvasive ventilation (NIV), and exercise. Methods: We studied plasma VEGF levels in 83 ALS patients, 20 healthy controls, and 10 patients with other disorders. There were 4 groups of ALS patients: G1, 27 patients without respiratory problems; G2, 14 patients stabilized on nocturnal NIV; G3, 30 patients presenting with respiratory failure; G4, 12 patients on an aerobic exercise protocol. Results: VEGF plasma levels did not differ significantly between ALS patients and controls, or between ALS groups. In G3, the mean VEGF levels increased 75% during NIV. In G4, the mean VEGF level increased by 300% during the exercise program. VEGF levels did not change during the course of the disease. Conclusions: VEGF levels in ALS depend on changes in ventilation and exercise but are probably not affected by the disease process itself. Muscle Nerve 49:545–550, 2014

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