Motor Neuron Center
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RESEARCH THEME: The mission of the ALS Center at Columbia University Medical Center is to provide the best comprehensive care for patients with ALS and their families. We have the responsibility to investigate the cause and cure of this disease as well as educate health care professionals, patients and their families.

To this end, our research activity is largely focused on clinical trials. We have been involved with potential medications for ALS, which are tested in human patients for the first time as part of translational research derived from our translational researchers. We also conduct phase II studies, which are involved in exploring the feasibility and safety of preparing a larger pivotal study. We have been conducting and managing our own NIH-funded large multicenter, pivotal phase III studies, involving trials such as Coenzyme Q10 and Minocycline. We are also part of other larger National study consortia. We have been involved with studies to find out how to provide the best care for patients with ALS. We are also part of a large NIH study investigating the best way to provide nutritional and respiratory care.

In order to study the cause of ALS outside of the motoneuron and the nervous system in ALS, we have launched a new study on genetic environmental epidemiology. We believe that interactions between genetic predisposition and environmental/behavioral factors and exposures may lead to oxidative stress in patients who develop ALS. In collaboration with Drs. Ottman and Factor Litvak, we have already developed the interview tools for genetic, behavioral and environmental factors. Now, we are conducting a small center-based study in preparation for a future larger population-based study. For genetic factors, we also have been working with Dr. Kottmann, who is investigating motor neuron specific gene expression, and we are also a part of the ALS DNA repository.

BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION : Dr. Hiroshi Mitsumoto, Wesley J. Howe Professor of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center and College of Physicians and Surgeons, is Director of the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig MDA/ALS Research Center and Neuromuscular Division at the Neurological Institute of New York, a position he has held since 1999. He was educated in Japan, graduated from Toho University School of Medicine in 1968, and came to this country in 1972 to complete his medical internship at Johns Hopkins/Baltimore City Hospitals and his neurology residency at Case Western Reserve University under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph M. Foley. Subsequently, Dr. Mitsumoto completed a fellowship in neuropathology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and undertook neuromuscular research as an MDA fellow at Tufts University with Dr. Walter G. Bradley. In 1981, he joined Case Western Reserve University, and in 1983, he was named Director of the Neuromuscular Section and the ALS Center at the Cleveland Clinic until 1999. He has been recognized as a Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America.

1964 Toho University Premedical School, Japan. (B.S. equivalent)
1968 Toho University School of Medicine, Japan.
1968-69 Medical Internship. Toho University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
1969-72 Medical Residency. Toho University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
1972-73 Medical Internship. Baltimore City Hospitals/Johns-Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.
1973-76 Neurology Residency. University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland.
1976-79 Fellowship in Neuropathology. Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland.
1979-81 MDA Research Fellowship. Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston.
1980 Toho University School of Medicine, Japan. D.Sc. (Ph.D. Equivalent):

1968 Graduated Summa Cum Laude (Valedictorian) - Toho University School of Medicine.
1976-77 First and Second Prize Award, Cleveland Neuroscience Presentation.
1984 NINCDS - New Investigator award - 1984 to 1987
1996 Donald C. Mulder Award for achievement, leadership, and dedication in ALS from ALS Association.
1997 16th Annual Denny Brown Memorial Lecture, Boston.
1998 Forbes H. Norris Award for Compassion and Love for Humanity in Research and Treatment in Patients with ALS. The Ninth International ALS Symposium and International ALS Alliance, Munich, Germany.
2000 Annual Willium L Halseth MD ALS Visiting Professor, University of Colorado.
2000 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award from MDA
2002 Distinguished Alumnus Lecture, New Approaches to Therapies in ALS" at Cleveland Clinic, May, 2002.
2002 Brain Lecture (Journal of Brain) at King's College in London, "New Approaches to Therapy in ALS," June 2002.
2002 Diamond Award from MDA Wings Over Wall Street, New York.

  • Mitsumoto H, Bradley WG: The wobbler mouse: the murine motor neuron diseases: degeneration and regeneration of the lower motor neuron. Brain 1982; 105:811-834.
  • Mitsumoto H, Gambetti P: Impaired slow axonal transport in wobbler mouse motor neuron disease. Ann Neurol 1986; 19:64-68.
  • Mitsumoto H, Salgado ED, Negroski D et al: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Effects of acute intravenous and chronic subcutaneous administration of thyrotrophin-releasing hormone in controlled trials. Neurology 1986;36:152-159.
  • Mitsumoto H, Ikeda K, Holmlund TH, Greene T, Cedarbaum JM, Wong V, Lindsay RM: The effects of ciliary neurotrophic factor on motor dysfunction in wobbler mouse motor neuron disease. Ann Neurol 1994;36:142-8.
  • Mitsumoto H, Ikeda K, Klinkosz B, Cedarbaum JM, Wong V, Lindsay RM: Arrest of motor neuron disease in wobbler mice cotreated with CNTF and BDNF. Science 1994;265:1107-10.
  • Kaufmann P, Pullman SL, Shungu DC, et al, and H. Mitsumoto. Objective Tests for Upper Motor Neuron Involvement in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Neurology 2004; 62:1753-1757.
  • Mitsumoto H, Gordon P, Kaufmann P, Gooch C, Przedborski S, Rowland P. Randomized control trials in ALS: lessons learned. Amyotrop Lateral Scler and Other Motor Neuron Disease 2004; 5(suppl 1): 1-13.
  • Mitsumoto H, Chad D, Pioro EP: Monograph. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Contemporary Neurology Series 49. New York. Oxford Press. 1997: 1-480.
  • Mitsumoto H, Munsat TL (Eds). Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Patient and Family Guide to Management and Care. Demos, New York. 2001.
  • Mitsumoto H, Przedborski S Gordon P (Eds). Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Current Science and Approaches to Therapy. Taylor & Francis Group, New York, 2005.