sabato 30 dicembre 2017


NEWS FROM THE WORLD- A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of camicinal in Parkinson's disease


Background: Delayed gastric emptying may impair l-dopa absorption, contributing to motor fluctuations. We evaluated the effect of camicinal (GSK962040), a gastroprokinetic, on the absorption of l-dopa and symptoms of PD.
Methods: Phase II, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Participants were randomized to receive camicinal 50 mg once-daily (n = 38) or placebo (n = 20) for 7 to 9 days.
Results: l-dopa exposure was similar with coadministration of camicinal compared to placebo. Median time to maximum l-dopa concentration was reduced, indicating more rapid absorption of l-dopa. Camicinal resulted in significant reduction in OFF time (–2.31 hours; 95% confidence interval: –3.71, –0.90), significant increase in ON time (+1.88 hours; 95% confidence interval: 0.28, 3.48) per day, and significant decrease in mean total MDS-UPDRS score (–12.5; 95% confidence interval: –19.67, -5.29). Camicinal treatment was generally well tolerated.
Conclusions: PD symptom improvement with camicinal occurred in parallel with more rapid absorption of l-dopa. This study provides evidence of an improvement of the motor response to l-dopa in people with PD treated with camicinal 50 mg once-daily compared with placebo, which will require further evaluation. 

Movement Disorders 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Rating scales for cognition in Huntington's disease: Critique and recommendations


Cognitive impairment is one of the main features of Huntington's disease and is present across the disease spectrum. As part of the International Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Society-sponsored project to review all clinical rating scales used in Huntington's disease, a systematic review of the literature was performed to identify cognitive scales used in Huntington's disease and make recommendations for their use. A total of 17 cognitive scales were identified and evaluated. None of the scales met criteria for a “recommended” status. For assessing severity of cognitive dysfunction, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment was “recommended with caveats.” The UHDRS Cognitive Assessment, the UHDRS-For Advanced Patients cognitive section, the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale, the Frontal Assessment Battery, the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status were “suggested” for evaluating severity of cognitive impairment. The MoCA was “suggested” as a screening tool for cognitive impairment. The major challenge in the assessment of cognition in Huntington's disease is the lack of a formal definition of dementia and/or mild cognitive impairment in this disease. The committee concluded that there is a need to further validate currently available cognitive scales in Huntington's disease, but that it is premature to recommend the development of new scales. Recently developed Huntington's disease-specific scales, such as the Huntington's Disease-Cognitive Assessment Battery, hold promise but require the completion of more comprehensive clinimetric development.

Movement Disorders 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD-Pathological mechanisms underlying single large-scale mitochondrial DNA deletions

Objective. Single, large-scale deletions in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are a common cause of mitochondrial disease. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the genetic defect and molecular phenotype to improve understanding of pathogenic mechanisms associated with single, large-scale mtDNA deletions in skeletal muscle.
Methods. We investigated 23 muscle biopsies taken from adult patients (6 males/17 females with a mean age of 43y) with characterised single, large-scale mtDNA deletions. Mitochondrial respiratory chain deficiency in skeletal muscle biopsies was quantified by immunoreactivity levels for complex I and complex IV proteins. Single muscle fibres with varying degrees of deficiency were selected from six patient biopsies for determination of mtDNA deletion level and copy number by quantitative qPCR.
Results. We have defined three ‘classes' of single, large-scale deletion with distinct patterns of mitochondrial deficiency, determined by the size and location of the deletion. Single fibre analyses showed that fibres with greater respiratory chain deficiency harboured higher levels of mtDNA deletion with an increase in total mtDNA copy number. For the first time, we have demonstrated that threshold levels for complex I and complex IV deficiency differ based on deletion class.
Interpretation. Combining genetic and immunofluorescent assays, we conclude that thresholds for complex I and complex IV deficiency are modulated by the deletion of complex-specific protein-encoding genes. Furthermore, removal of mt-tRNA genes impacts specific complexes only at high deletion levels, when complex-specific protein-encoding genes remain. These novel findings provide valuable insight into the pathogenic mechanisms associated with these mutations. 

Annals Of Neurology 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Treatment Outcomes in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Epilepsy Treated With Established and New Antiepileptic Drugs A 30-Year Longitudinal Cohort Study

Importance  A study published in 2000 showed that more than one-third of adults with epilepsy have inadequate control of seizures with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). This study evaluates overall treatment outcomes in light of the introduction of more than 1 dozen new AEDs in the past 2 decades.
Objective  To assess long-term treatment outcome in patients with newly diagnosed and treated epilepsy.
Design, Setting, and Participants  This longitudinal observational cohort study was conducted at the Epilepsy Unit of the Western Infirmary in Glasgow, Scotland. A total of 1795 individuals who were newly treated for epilepsy with AEDs between July 1, 1982, and October 31, 2012, were included in this analysis. All patients were followed up for a minimum of 2 years (until October 31, 2014) or until death, whichever came sooner. Data analysis was completed between March 2015 and May 2016.
Exposures  Treatment with antiepileptic drugs for patients newly diagnosed with epilepsy.
Main Outcomes and Measures  Seizure control was assessed at the end of the study period. Probability of achieving 1-year seizure freedom was estimated for each AED regimen prescribed. Multivariable models assessed the associations between risk factors and AED treatment outcome after adjustments were made for demographic and clinical characteristics.
Results  Of the 1795 included patients, 964 (53.7%) were male; the median age was 33 years (range, 9-93 years). At the end of the study period, 1144 patients (63.7%) had been seizure free for the previous year or longer. Among those achieving 1-year seizure freedom, 993 (86.8%) were taking monotherapy and 1028 (89.9%) had achieved seizure control with the first or second AED regimens. Of the total patient pool, 906 (50.5%) remained seizure free for 1 year or longer with the initial AED. If this AED failed, the second and third regimens provided an additional 11.6% and 4.4% likelihoods of seizure freedom, respectively. Only 2.12% of patients attained optimal seizure control with subsequent AEDs. Epilepsy that was not successfully controlled with the first AED had 1.73 times greater odds of not responding to treatment for each subsequent medication regimen (odds ratio, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.56-1.91; P < .001).
Conclusions and Relevance  Despite the availability of many new AEDs with differing mechanisms of action, overall outcomes in newly diagnosed epilepsy have not improved. Most patients who attain control do so with the first or second AED. The probability of achieving seizure freedom diminishes substantially with each subsequent AED regimen tried. More than one-third of patients experience epilepsy that remains uncontrolled.
JAMA Neurology 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Association of Folic Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy With the Risk of Autistic Traits in Children Exposed to Antiepileptic Drugs In Utero

Importance  Strategies to prevent autism in children exposed to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) during pregnancy are important.
Objective  To explore whether folic acid supplementation and folate status in pregnancy are associated with reduced risk of autistic traits owing to in utero AED exposure.
Design, Setting, and Participants  The population-based, prospective Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study approached Norwegian-speaking women attending routine ultrasonographic examinations from June 1999 through December 31, 2008 (163 844 of 277 702 women refused). No exclusion criteria were applied beyond language. Questionnaires during and after pregnancy, analysis of blood samples, and linkage to the Medical Birth Registry of Norway were performed. Children aged 18 to 36 months of women with available information on use of AEDs and of folic acid supplementation (n = 104 946) were included in the analysis from March 1, 2016, through June 13, 2017.
Exposures  Maternal folic acid supplementation 4 weeks before to 12 weeks after conception. Plasma folate concentration was analyzed at gestational weeks 17 to 19.
Main Outcomes and Measures  Autistic traits were evaluated using the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers and Social Communication Questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) for autistic traits in children by maternal use vs nonuse of folic acid supplements were adjusted for maternal health and socioeconomic factors. Folate concentrations and folic acid doses were associated with the degree of autistic traits.
Results  The overall mean (SD) age of the 104 946 mothers of participating children was 29.8 (4.6) years, with complete information available for analysis in 103 868. Mean (SD) age of women with epilepsy who received AED treatment was 29.4 (4.9); women with epilepsy who did not receive AED treatment, 29.1 (4.9); and without epilepsy, 29.8 (4.6) years. In the 335 children exposed to AEDs, the risk for autistic traits was significantly higher at 18 months of age (adjusted OR [AOR], 5.9; 95% CI, 2.2-15.8) and 36 months of age (AOR, 7.9; 95% CI, 2.5-24.9) when their mothers had not used folic acid supplements compared with children of mothers who had used supplements. Among women without epilepsy, the corresponding risks were lower at 18 months of age (AOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.4) and 36 months of age (AOR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.5-1.9); among the 389 children of women with untreated epilepsy, the corresponding risks were not significant at 18 months of age (AOR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.4-3.0) and 36 months of age (AOR, 2.5; 95% CI, 0.4-16.6). Degree of autistic traits was inversely associated with maternal plasma folate concentrations (β = −0.3; P = .03) and folic acid doses (β = −0.5; P < .001). Concentrations of AEDs were not associated with the degree of autistic traits.
Conclusions and Relevance  Risk of autistic traits in children exposed to AEDs in utero may be mitigated by periconceptional folic acid supplementation and folate status. Fertile women using AEDs should take folic acid supplements continuously.
JAMA Neurology 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Whole genome sequence analyses of brain imaging measures in the Framingham Study

Objective We sought to identify rare variants influencing brain imaging phenotypes in the Framingham Heart Study by performing whole genome sequence association analyses within the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program.
Methods We performed association analyses of cerebral and hippocampal volumes and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) in up to 2,180 individuals by testing the association of rank-normalized residuals from mixed-effect linear regression models adjusted for sex, age, and total intracranial volume with individual variants while accounting for familial relatedness. We conducted gene-based tests for rare variants using (1) a sliding-window approach, (2) a selection of functional exonic variants, or (3) all variants.
Results We detected new loci in 1p21 for cerebral volume (minor allele frequency [MAF] 0.005, p = 10−8) and in 16q23 for hippocampal volume (MAF 0.05, p = 2.7 × 10−8). Previously identified associations in 12q24 for hippocampal volume (rs7294919, p= 4.4 × 10−4) and in 17q25 for WMH (rs7214628, p = 2.0 × 10−3) were confirmed. Gene-based tests detected associations (p ≤ 2.3 × 10−6) in new loci for cerebral (5q13, 8p12, 9q31, 13q12-q13, 15q24, 17q12, 19q13) and hippocampal volumes (2p12) and WMH (3q13, 4p15) including Alzheimer disease– (UNC5D) and Parkinson disease–associated genes (GBA). Pathway analyses evidenced enrichment of associated genes in immunity, inflammation, and Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease pathways.
Conclusions Whole genome sequence–wide search reveals intriguing new loci associated with brain measures. Replication of novel loci is needed to confirm these findings.
Neurology 2017