sabato 28 dicembre 2013

Antibody titres at diagnosis and during follow-up of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis: a retrospective study

Anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis is a severe but treatable autoimmune disorder which diagnosis depends on sensitive and specific antibody testing. We aimed to assess the sensitivity and specificity of serum and CSF antibody testing in patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, and the relation between titres, relapses, outcome, and epitope repertoire.
In this observational study, we used rat brain immunohistochemistry and cell-based assays (CBA) with fixed or live NMDA receptor-expressing cells to determine the sensitivity and specificity of antibody testing in paired serum and CSF samples. Samples were obtained at diagnosis from patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and from control participants worldwide. We deemed a patient to be antibody positive if their serum, their CSF, or both tested positive with both immunohistochemistry and CBA techniques; we determined titres with serial sample dilution using brain immunohistochemistry. We examined samples from 45 patients (25 with good outcome [modified Rankin Scale, mRS 0—2], ten with poor outcome [mRS 3—6], and ten with relapses) at three or more timepoints. We determined the epitope repertoire in the samples of 23 patients with CBA expressing GluN1-NMDA receptor mutants.
We analysed samples from 250 patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and 100 control participants. All 250 patients had NMDA receptor antibodies in CSF but only 214 had antibodies in serum (sensitivity 100·0% [98·5—100·0%] vs 85·6% [80·7—89·4%], p<0·0001). Serum immunohistochemistry testing was more often in agreement with CBA with fixed cells (77 [71%] of 108) than with CBA with live cells (63 [58%] of 108, p=0·0056). In multivariable analysis, CSF and serum titres were higher in patients with poor outcome than in those with good outcome (CSF dilution 340 vs 129, difference 211, [95% CI 1—421], p=0·049; serum dilution 7370 vs 1243, difference 6127 [2369—9885], p=0·0025), and in patients with teratoma than in those without teratoma (CSF 395vs 110, difference 285 [134—437], p=0·0079; serum 5515 vs 1644, difference 3870 [548—7193], p=0·024). Over time there was a decrease of antibody titres in the 35 patients with good or poor outcome and samples followed at three timepoints regardless of outcome (from diagnosis to last follow-up: CSF 614 to 76, difference 538 [288—788]; serum 5460 to 1564, difference 3896 [2428—5362]; both p<0·0001). Relapses were associated with a change in titre more often in CSF than in serum (14 of 19 vs seven of 16, p=0·037). After recovery, 24 of 28 CSF samples and 17 of 23 serum samples from patients remained antibody positive. Patients' antibodies targeted a main epitope region at GluN1 aminoacid 369; the epitope repertoire did not differ between patients with different outcomes, and did not change during relapses.
The sensitivity of NMDA receptor antibody testing is higher in CSF than in serum. Antibody titres in CSF and serum were higher in patients with poor outcome or teratoma than in patients with good outcome or no tumour. The titre change in CSF was more closely related with relapses than was that in serum. These findings emphasise the importance of including CSF in antibody studies, and that antibody titres can complement clinical assessments.
Lancet Neurology 2013

Secondary stroke prevention

Survivors of stroke and transient ischaemic attacks are at risk of a recurrent stroke, which is often more severe and disabling than the index event. Optimum secondary prevention of recurrent stroke needs rapid diagnosis and treatment and prompt identification of the underlying cardiovascular cause. Effective treatments include organised acute assessment and intervention with antithrombotic therapy, carotid revascularisation, and control of causal risk factors, as appropriate. However, effective treatments are not implemented optimally in clinical practice. Recurrent strokes continue to account for 25—30% of all strokes and represent unsuccessful secondary prevention. Immediate and sustained implementation of effective and appropriate secondary prevention strategies in patients with first-ever stroke or transient ischaemic attack has the potential to reduce the burden of stroke by up to a quarter.
Lancet Neurology 2013

Continuous intrajejunal infusion of levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel for patients with advanced Parkinson's disease: a randomised, controlled, double-blind, double-dummy study

Levodopa is the most effective therapy for Parkinson's disease, but chronic treatment is associated with the development of potentially disabling motor complications. Experimental studies suggest that motor complications are due to non-physiological, intermittent administration of the drug, and can be reduced with continuous delivery. We aimed to assess efficacy and safety of levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel delivered continuously through an intrajejunal percutaneous tube.
In our 12-week, randomised, double-blind, double-dummy, double-titration trial, we enrolled adults (aged ≥30 years) with advanced Parkinson's disease and motor complications at 26 centres in Germany, New Zealand, and the USA. Eligible participants had jejunal placement of a percutaneous gastrojejunostomy tube, and were then randomly allocated (1:1) to treatment with immediate-release oral levodopa-carbidopa plus placebo intestinal gel infusion or levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel infusion plus oral placebo. Randomisation was stratified by site, with a mixed block size of 2 or 4. The primary endpoint was change from baseline to final visit in motor off-time. We assessed change in motor on-time without troublesome dyskinesia as a prespecified key secondary outcome. We assessed efficacy in a full-analysis set of participants with data for baseline and at least one post-baseline assessment, and imputed missing data with the last observation carried forward approach. We assessed safety in randomly allocated patients who underwent the percutaneous gastrojejunostomy procedure. This study is registered, numbers NCT00660387 and NCT0357994.
From baseline to 12 weeks in the full-analysis set, mean off-time decreased by 4·04 h (SE 0·65) for 35 patients allocated to the levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel group compared with a decrease of 2·14 h (0·66) for 31 patients allocated to immediate-release oral levodopa-carbidopa (difference −1·91 h [95% CI −3·05 to −0·76]; p=0·0015). Mean on-time without troublesome dyskinesia increased by 4·11 h (SE 0·75) in the intestinal gel group and 2·24 h (0·76) in the immediate-release oral group (difference 1·86 [95% CI 0·56 to 3·17]; p=0·0059). In the safety analyses 35 (95%) of 37 patients allocated to the levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel group had adverse events (five [14%] serious), as did 34 (100%) of 34 patients allocated to the immediate-release oral levodopa-carbidopa group (seven [21%] serious), mainly associated with the percutaneous gastrojejunostomy tube.
Continuous delivery of levodopa-carbidopa with an intestinal gel offers a promising option for control of advanced Parkinson's disease with motor complications. Benefits noted with intestinal gel delivery were of a greater magnitude than were those obtained with medical therapies to date, and our study is, to our knowledge, the first demonstration of the benefit of continuous levodopa delivery in a double-blind controlled study.
Lancet Neurology 2013

The tumour suppressor gene WWOX is mutated in autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia with epilepsy and mental retardation

We previously localized a new form of recessive ataxia with generalized tonic-clonic epilepsy and mental retardation to a 19 Mb interval in 16q21-q23 by homozygosity mapping of a large consanguineous Saudi Arabian family. We now report the identification by whole exome sequencing of the missense mutation changing proline 47 into threonine in the first WW domain of the WW domain containing oxidoreductase gene, WWOX, located in the linkage interval. Proline 47 is a highly conserved residue that is part of the WW motif consensus sequence and is part of the hydrophobic core that stabilizes the WW fold. We demonstrate that proline 47 is a key amino acid essential for maintaining the WWOX protein fully functional, with its mutation into a threonine resulting in a loss of peptide interaction for the first WW domain. We also identified another highly conserved homozygous WWOX mutation changing glycine 372 to arginine in a second consanguineous family. The phenotype closely resembled the index family, presenting with generalized tonic-clonic epilepsy, mental retardation and ataxia, but also included prominent upper motor neuron disease. Moreover, we observed that the short-lived Wwox knock-out mouse display spontaneous and audiogenic seizures, a phenotype previously observed in the spontaneous Wwox mutant rat presenting with ataxia and epilepsy, indicating that homozygous WWOX mutations in different species causes cerebellar ataxia associated with epilepsy.
Brain 2013

Epileptic seizures in diffuse low-grade gliomas in adults

Diffuse low-grade gliomas are highly epileptogenic brain tumours. We aimed to explore the natural course of epileptic seizures, their predictors and the prognostic significance of their occurrence in adult patients harbouring a diffuse low-grade glioma. An observational retrospective multicentre study examined 1509 patients with diffuse low-grade gliomas to identify mutual interactions between tumour characteristics, tumour course and epileptic seizures. At diagnosis, 89.9% of patients had epileptic seizures. Male gender (P = 0.003) and tumour location within functional areas (P = 0.001) were independent predictors of a history of epileptic seizures at diagnosis. Tumour volume, growth velocity, cortical location, histopathological subtype or molecular markers did not significantly affect epileptic seizure occurrence probability. Prolonged history of epileptic seizures (P < 0.001), insular location (P = 0.003) and tumour location close to functional areas (P = 0.038) were independent predictors of uncontrolled epileptic seizures at diagnosis. Occurrence of epileptic seizures (P < 0.001), parietal (P = 0.029) and insular (P = 0.002) locations were independent predictors of uncontrolled epileptic seizures after oncological treatment. Patient age (P < 0.001), subtotal (P = 0.007) and total (P < 0.001) resections were independent predictors of total epileptic seizure control after oncological treatment. History of epileptic seizures at diagnosis and total surgical resection were independently associated with increased malignant progression-free (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001) and overall (P < 0.001 and P = 0.016) survivals. Epileptic seizures are independently associated with diffuse low-grade glioma prognosis. Patients diagnosed with epileptic seizures and those with complete and early surgical resections have better oncological outcomes. Early and maximal surgical resection is thus required for diffuse low-grade gliomas, both for oncological and epileptological purposes.
Brain 2013

Identification of CHIP as a Novel Causative Gene for Autosomal Recessive Cerebellar Ataxia.

Autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxias are a group of neurodegenerative disorders that are characterized by complex clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Although more than 20 disease-causing genes have been identified, many patients are still currently without a molecular diagnosis. In a two-generation autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia family, we mapped a linkage to a minimal candidate region on chromosome 16p13.3 flanked by single-nucleotide polymorphism markers rs11248850 and rs1218762. By combining the defined linkage region with the whole-exome sequencing results, we identified a homozygous mutation (c.493CT) in CHIP (NM_005861) in this family. Using Sanger sequencing, we also identified two compound heterozygous mutations (c.389AT/c.441GT; c.621C>G/c.707GC) in CHIP gene in two additional kindreds. These mutations co-segregated exactly with the disease in these families and were not observed in 500 control subjects with matched ancestry. CHIP colocalized with NR2A, a subunit of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, in the cerebellum, pons, medulla oblongata, hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Wild-type, but not disease-associated mutant CHIPs promoted the degradation of NR2A, which may underlie the pathogenesis of ataxia. In conclusion, using a combination of whole-exome sequencing and linkage analysis, we identified CHIP, encoding a U-box containing ubiquitin E3 ligase, as a novel causative gene for autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia

KCNQ2 encephalopathy: Delineation of the electroclinical phenotype and treatment response

Neonatal-onset epilepsies are rare conditions, mostly genetically determined, that can have a benign or severe phenotype.There is recent recognition of de novo KCNQ2 mutations in patients with severe neonatal-onset epilepsy, with intractable seizures and severe psychomotor impairment, termed KCNQ2 encephalopathy. This is a rare condition and all patients reported so far were diagnosed well after the neonatal period. We report on 3 new cases of KCNQ2 encephalopathy diagnosed in the neonatal period and studied with continuous video-EEG recording. We describe a distinct electroclinical phenotype and report on efficacy of antiepileptic drug (AED) therapies
Neurology 2013

Amantadine's role in the treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesia

Levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) is one of the most common, frequently dose-limiting, complications of pharmacologic therapy for Parkinson disease (PD). These typically choreiform movements, usually occurring at the time of peak levodopa effect, occur in 40% to 50% of patients after 5 years of therapy, but have a reported incidence as high as 94% in a carefully conducted prospective study of patients under treatment for 15 years. When mild, LID often goes unnoticed by patients, but moderate or severe forms frequently constitute a major motor or emotional disability. This can lead to reduction or discontinuance of otherwise effective PD therapies, and may prompt implementation of more invasive treatments such as deep brain stimulation or direct intrajejunal infusion of levodopa gel. The need for a safe, effective, and enduring means of combating LID is clear. Although many drugs have been evaluated for this purpose, and others are currently under investigation, to date only one agent, amantadine, has been effective in an evidence-based medicine review.
Neurology 2013

Withdrawing amantadine in dyskinetic patients with Parkinson disease - THE AMANDYSK TRIAL

Methods: This was a 3-month, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, wash-out study conducted in 57 amantadine-treated (≥200 mg/d for ≥6 months) dyskinetic patients with PD. The primary outcome measure was the change from baseline in a Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) dyskinesia subscore (items 32 [duration] + 33 [severity]). Secondary outcomes included other LID measurements (“responders” analysis, premature dropout for LID, Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale). Exploratory outcomes included time with troublesome dyskinesia as measured by diaries, UPDRS Motor Examination (part III) for motor symptoms of PD, and fatigue and apathy scores for nonmotor symptoms.
Results: UPDRS items 32 + 33 deteriorated more in patients switched to placebo (“discontinuing” group) (+1.7 ± 2.0 units; 95% confidence interval 0.9, 2.4) as compared with those maintained on amantadine (“continuing” group) (+0.2 ± 1.5 units; 95% confidence interval −0.4, 0.8; p = 0.003). Secondary outcomes confirmed this difference because there were significantly more responders, more dropouts for LID, greater increase in “ON” time with troublesome dyskinesia, and greater worsening of Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale score in the discontinuing group. There were no between-group differences in the UPDRS Motor Examination, whereas apathy (as measured by caregivers) and fatigue scores tended to worsen more in patients randomized to placebo.
Conclusion: Wash-out of amantadine in dyskinetic patients with PD significantly worsened LID. No significant effect was observed on motor parkinsonian symptoms, while exploratory outcomes suggested that amantadine might improve apathy and fatigue in such patients
Neurology 2013

Evidence-based guideline: Assessment and management of psychiatric disorders in individuals with MS

Methods: We reviewed the literature (1950 to August 2011) and evaluated the available evidence.
Results and recommendations: Clinicians may consider using the Center for Neurologic Study Emotional Lability Scale to screen for pseudobulbar affect (Level C). Clinicians may consider the Beck Depression Inventory and a 2-question tool to screen for depressive disorders and the General Health Questionnaire to screen for broadly defined emotional disturbances (Level C). Evidence is insufficient to support/refute the use of other screening tools, the possibility that somatic/neurovegetative symptoms affect these tools' accuracy, or the use of diagnostic instruments or clinical evaluation procedures for identifying psychiatric disorders in MS (Level U). Clinicians may consider a telephone-administered cognitive behavioral therapy program for treating depressive symptoms (Level C). Although pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies are widely used to treat depressive and anxiety disorders in individuals with MS, evidence is insufficient to support/refute the use of the antidepressants and individual and group therapies reviewed herein (Level U). For pseudobulbar affect, a combination of dextromethorphan and quinidine may be considered (Level C). Evidence is insufficient to determine the psychiatric effects in individuals with MS of disease-modifying and symptomatic therapies and corticosteroids; risk factors for suicide; and treatment of psychotic disorders (Level U). Research is needed on the effectiveness in individuals with MS of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments frequently used in the non-MS population.
Neurology 2013

martedì 24 dicembre 2013

Mitochondrial Dynamics — Mitochondrial Fission and Fusion in Human Diseases

Mitochondria fuse and divide in response to cell demands and environment. Alterations in mitochondrial dynamics underlie various human diseases, including cancer and neurologic and cardiovascular diseases. Defining the alterations may identify potential therapeutic targets.

NEJM 2013

Auguri di Buon Natale

augurissimi a tutti per un gioioso Natale 2013

La Redazione 

domenica 22 dicembre 2013

Brivaracetam as adjunctive treatment for uncontrolled partial epilepsy in adults: A phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial


Brivaracetam (BRV) is a novel high-affinity synaptic vesicle protein 2A ligand currently being investigated for the treatment of epilepsy. The purpose of this phase III study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety/tolerability of adjunctive BRV in adults with uncontrolled partial-onset (focal) seizures.


This was a prospective, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, fixed-dose trial (N01253; NCT00464269). Adults aged 16–70 years with well-characterized partial epilepsy not fully controlled despite treatment with one or two antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) were enrolled. Patients who experienced eight or more partial-onset seizures, whether or not secondarily generalized, during the 8-week prospective baseline period were randomized (1:1:1:1) to receive twice-daily placebo (PBO) or BRV (5, 20, or 50 mg/day) without titration. The primary efficacy endpoint was percent reduction over PBO in baseline-adjusted partial-onset seizure frequency/week during the 12-week treatment period. Comparison of BRV with PBO was sequential (50, 20 mg/day, then 5 mg/day). Secondary endpoints included ≥50% responder rate and median percent reduction from baseline in partial-onset seizure frequency/week. Post hoc analyses included the primary efficacy endpoint evaluated over 28 days and exploratory subanalyses of efficacy by seizure subtype. Safety and tolerability assessments included treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), laboratory tests, electrocardiography, vital signs, and physical and neurologic examinations.

Key Findings

Of 400 patients randomized, 396 were included in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population (PBO n = 98, BRV 5 mg/day n = 97, BRV 20 mg/day n = 100, BRV 50 mg/day n = 101) and 392 comprised the modified ITT (mITT) population. A total of 361 (91.2%) of 396 patients completed the study. Most patients (78.3%) were receiving two concomitant AEDs. Percent reduction in partial-onset seizure frequency/week over PBO was −0.9% (p = 0.885) for BRV 5 mg/day, 4.1% (p = 0.492) for BRV 20 mg/day, and 12.8% (p = 0.025) for BRV 50 mg/day (mITT population). Statistical significance was also achieved for the percent reduction over PBO in baseline-adjusted partial-onset seizure frequency/28 days for BRV 50 mg/day (22.0%; p = 0.004) but not for the other BRV dose groups. In the BRV 50 mg/day group, statistical significance was also seen for the ≥50% responder rate (BRV 32.7% vs. PBO 16.7%; p = 0.008) and median percent reduction from baseline in partial-onset seizure frequency/week (BRV 30.5% vs. PBO 17.8%; p = 0.003). In the exploratory subanalysis by seizure subtype, median percent reduction from baseline in seizure frequency/week and ≥50% responder rate were numerically greater than PBO in the BRV 20 and 50 mg/day groups for simple partial, complex partial, and secondarily generalized seizures. BRV was generally well tolerated, with the majority of TEAEs being mild-to-moderate in intensity. Of the TEAEs reported by ≥5% patients, those with a frequency >3% higher than PBO for any dose of BRV compared with PBO were somnolence, dizziness, fatigue, influenza, insomnia, nasopharyngitis, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary tract infection, and nausea.


Adjunctive BRV at a daily dose of 50 mg was associated with statistically significant reductions in seizure frequency compared with PBO. All doses of BRV showed good tolerability throughout the study

Epilepsia 2013

Cavernoma-related epilepsy: Review and recommendations for management—Report of the Surgical Task Force of the ILAE Commission on Therapeutic Strategies

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are well-defined, mostly singular lesions present in 0.4–0.9% of the population. Epileptic seizures are the most frequent symptom in patients with CCMs and have a great impact on social function and quality of life. However, patients with CCM-related epilepsy (CRE) who undergo surgical resection achieve postoperative seizure freedom in only about 75% of cases. This is frequently because insufficient efforts are made to adequately define and resect the epileptogenic zone. The Surgical Task Force of the Commission on Therapeutics of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and invited experts reviewed the pertinent literature on CRE. Definitions of definitive and probable CRE are suggested, and recommendations regarding the diagnostic evaluation and etiology-specific management of patients with CRE are made. Prospective trials are needed to determine when and how surgery should be done and to define the relations of the hemosiderin rim to the epileptogenic zone.
Epilepsia 2013

Management of sialorrhoea in motor neuron disease: A survey of current UK practice Read More:

Our objective was to better understand UK-wide practice in managing sialorrhoea in motor neuron disease among specialist clinicians. We used a survey of neurologists in the UK with a special interest in motor neuron disease designed to establish clinicians’ attitudes towards treatment options and resources for sialorrhoea management. Twenty-three clinicians replied, representing 21 centres. Sixteen centres were specialist MND Care Centres. Clinicians estimated seeing a total of 1391 newly diagnosed patients with MND in 2011. One hundred and ninety-three patients were described. Forty-two percent of patients reviewed in clinicians’ last clinic had sialorrhoea and 46% of those with sialorrhoea had uncontrolled symptoms. Clinicians’ preferred drugs were hyoscine patches, amitriptyline, carbocisteine and botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin was used in 14 centres. Risk of dysphagia and staff skills were identified as the main barriers to botulinum toxin use. This survey suggests that there may be as many as 1700 patients with MND in the UK who have symptoms of sialorrhoea and that symptoms may be poorly controlled in nearly half. Treatment strategies varied, reflecting the lack of evidence based guidelines. The use of specialist treatments was influenced by local infrastructure. This study highlights the need for further work to develop evidence based guidance.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration 2013

Clinical, electrophysiologic, and imaging features of zoster-associated limb paresis (ZALP)

Introduction: Paresis is a long-recognized complication of herpes zoster, but there has been comparatively little study of zoster-associated limb paresis (ZALP).
Methods: We reviewed 49 Mayo Clinic patients with ZALP.
Results: The mean age of onset was 71 years, 67% were men, and the lower limb was affected in 55%. The mean weakness score was 2.0 (0=normal strength, 4=plegia). Most patients developed post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN, 92% at 1 month and 65% at 3 months), and the average minimum duration of weakness was 193 days. ZALP was caused by radiculopathy (37%), plexopathy (41%), mononeuropathy (14%), and radiculoplexus neuropathy (8%). MRI demonstrated nerve enlargement, T2 signal prolongation, or enhancement in a majority (64%) of affected plexi and peripheral nerves.
Discussion: ZALP is associated with considerable weakness. It typically lasts at least several months, localizes to plexus or peripheral nerve in 63%, and is associated with high rates of PHN. 
Muscle Nerve 2013

Another invited review - Pathophysiology of immune-mediated demyelinating neuropathies

This first article of this review deals with neuroscientific aspects of immune-mediated demyelinating neuropathies. It describes the anatomy and physiology of normal myelinated axons, methods of studying peripheral nerve physiology, pathophysiological consequences of demyelination or damage at the node of Ranvier, and the mechanisms that may lead to impaired axonal membrane dysfunction or axonal degeneration. This article (part I) will be followed by a second (part II) dealing with clinical aspects of these neuropathies. Muscle Nerve 2013

An interesting invited Review-Pathophysiology of immune-mediated demyelinating neuropathies

In the second part of this review we deal with the clinical aspects of immune-mediated demyelinating neuropathies. We describe the relationship between pathophysiology and symptoms and discuss the pathophysiology of specific disease entities, including Guillain–Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, multifocal motor neuropathy, anti–myelin-associated glycoprotein neuropathy, and POEMS syndrome.
 Muscle Nerve  2014

sabato 21 dicembre 2013

Biomarker Modeling of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a slowly progressing disorder in which pathophysiological abnormalities, detectable in vivo by biomarkers, precede overt clinical symptoms by many years to decades. Five AD biomarkers are sufficiently validated to have been incorporated into clinical diagnostic criteria and commonly used in therapeutic trials. Current AD biomarkers fall into two categories: biomarkers of amyloid-b plaques and of tau-related neurodegeneration. Three of the five are imaging measures and two are cerebrospinal fluid analytes. AD biomarkers do not evolve in an identical manner but rather in a sequential but temporally overlapping manner. Models of the temporal evolution of AD biomarkers can take the form of plots of biomarker severity (degree of abnormality) versus time. In this Review, we discuss several time-dependent models of AD that take into consideration varying age of onset (early versus late) and the influence of aging and co-occurring brain pathologies that commonly arise in the elderly.

Neuron 2013

Characterizing mild cognitive impairment in incident Parkinson disease The ICICLE-PD Study

Objective: To describe the frequency of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Parkinson disease (PD) in a cohort of newly diagnosed incident PD cases and the associations with a panel of biomarkers.
Methods: Between June 2009 and December 2011, 219 subjects with PD and 99 age-matched controls participated in clinical and neuropsychological assessments as part of a longitudinal observational study. Consenting individuals underwent structural MRI, lumbar puncture, and genotyping for common variants of COMTMAPTSNCABuChE,EGF, and APOE. PD-MCI was defined with reference to the new Movement Disorder Society criteria.
Results: The frequency of PD-MCI was 42.5% using level 2 criteria at 1.5 SDs below normative values. Memory impairment was the most common domain affected, with 15.1% impaired at 1.5 SDs. Depression scores were significantly higher in those with PD-MCI than the cognitively normal PD group. A significant correlation was found between visual Pattern Recognition Memory and cerebrospinal β-amyloid 1–42 levels (β standardized coefficient = 0.350; p = 0.008) after controlling for age and education in a linear regression model, with lower β-amyloid 1–42 and 1–40 levels observed in those with PD-MCI. Voxel-based morphometry did not reveal any areas of significant gray matter loss in participants with PD-MCI compared with controls, and no specific genotype was associated with PD-MCI at the 1.5-SD threshold.
Conclusions: In a large cohort of newly diagnosed PD participants, PD-MCI is common and significantly correlates with lower cerebrospinal β-amyloid 1–42 and 1–40 levels. Future longitudinal studies should enable us to determine those measures predictive of cognitive decline.

Neurology 2013

C9orf72 expansions are the most common genetic cause of Huntington disease phenocopies

Objective: In many cases where Huntington disease (HD) is suspected, the genetic test for HD is negative: these are known as HD phenocopies. A repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene has recently been identified as a major cause of familial and sporadic frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Our objective was to determine whether this mutation causes HD phenocopies.
Methods: A cohort of 514 HD phenocopy patients were analyzed for the C9orf72 expansion using repeat primed PCR. In cases where the expansion was found, Southern hybridization was performed to determine expansion size. Clinical case notes were reviewed to determine the phenotype of expansion-positive cases.
Results: Ten subjects (1.95%) had the expansion, making it the most common identified genetic cause of HD phenocopy presentations. The size of expansion was not significantly different from that associated with other clinical presentations of C9orf72 expanded cases. The C9orf72 expansion-positive subjects were characterized by the presence of movement disorders, including dystonia, chorea, myoclonus, tremor, and rigidity. Furthermore, the age at onset in this cohort was lower than previously reported for subjects with the C9orf72 expansion and included one case with pediatric onset.
Discussion: This study extends the known phenotype of the C9orf72 expansion in both age at onset and movement disorder symptoms. We propose a revised clinico-genetic algorithm for the investigation of HD phenocopy patients based on these data.

Neurology 2013

domenica 15 dicembre 2013

Double-blind study of the actively transported levodopa prodrug XP21279 in Parkinson's disease

The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of XP21279-carbidopa in patients with Parkinson's disease who experience motor fluctuations compared with immediate-release carbidopa-levodopa tablets. XP21279 is a levodopa prodrug that is actively absorbed by high-capacity nutrient transporters expressed throughout the gastrointestinal tract and then rapidly converted to levodopa by carboxylesterases. XP21279-carbidopa sustained-release bilayer tablets were developed to overcome pharmacokinetic limitations of levodopa by providing more continuous exposure. Patients with motor fluctuations who required carbidopa-levodopa four or five times daily were optimized for 2 weeks each on carbidopa-levodopa four or five times daily and XP21279-carbidopa three times daily in a randomized sequence. Next, they received each optimized treatment for 2 weeks in a double-blind/double-dummy, randomized sequence. The primary outcome measure was change from baseline in daily off time at the end of each double-blind treatment period. All patients at 2 sites underwent pharmacokinetic analyses. Twenty-eight of 35 enrolled patients completed both double-blind treatments. The mean total daily off time was reduced from baseline by a mean (± standard error) of 2.7 hours (± 0.48 hours) for immediate-release carbidopa-levodopa and 3.0 hours (± 0.57 hours) for XP21279-carbidopa (P = 0.49). Among 11 patients who completed pharmacokinetic sampling on each optimized treatment, the percentage deviation from the mean levodopa concentration was lower (P < 0.05) for XP21279-carbidopa than carbidopa-levodopa. Both treatments had a similar incidence of new or worsening dyskinesias. XP21279-carbidopa administered three times daily produced a reduction in off time similar to that of carbidopa-levodopa administered four or five times daily, and the difference was not statistically significant. XP21279-carbidopa significantly reduced variability in levodopa concentrations compared with carbidopa-levodopa.

Movement Disorders 2013

Congenital myopathies – Clinical features and frequency of individual subtypes diagnosed over a 5-year period in the United Kingdom

The congenital myopathies are a group of inherited neuromuscular disorders mainly defined on the basis of characteristic histopathological features. We analysed 66 patients assessed at a single centre over a 5year period. Of the 54 patients where muscle biopsy was available, 29 (54%) had a core myopathy (Central Core Disease, Multi-minicore Disease), 9 (17%) had Nemaline Myopathy, 7 (13%) had Myotubular/Centronuclear Myopathy, 2 (4%) had Congenital Fibre Type Disproportion, 6 (11%) had isolated type 1 predominance and 1 (2%) had a mixed Core–Rod Myopathy. Of the 44 patients with a genetic diagnosis, RYR1 was mutated in 26 (59%), ACTA1 in 7 (16%), SEPN1 in 7 (16%), MTM1 in 2 (5%), NEB in 1 (2%) and TPM3 in 1 (2%). Clinically, 77% of patients older than 18months could walk independently. 35% of all patients required ventilatory support and/or enteral feeding. Clinical course was stable or improved in 57/66 (86%) patients, whilst 4 (6%) got worse and 5 (8%) died. These findings indicate that core myopathies are the most common form of congenital myopathies and that more than half can be attributed to RYR1 mutations. The underlying genetic defect remains to be identified in 1/3 of congenital myopathies cases.

Neuromuscular Disorders 2013

Pharmacokinetics and safety of single doses of drisapersen in non-ambulant subjects with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Results of a double-blind randomized clinical trial

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive, lethal neuromuscular disorder caused by the absence of dystrophin protein due to mutations of the dystrophin gene. Drisapersen is a 2′-O-methyl-phosphorothioate oligonucleotide designed to skip exon 51 in dystrophin pre-mRNA to restore the reading frame of the mRNA. This study assessed safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of drisapersen after a single subcutaneous administration in non-ambulatory subjects. Eligible subjects were non-ambulant boys aged 9years, in wheelchairs for 1 to ⩽4years, with a diagnosis of DMD resulting from a mutation correctable by drisapersen treatment. Four dose cohorts were planned (3, 6, 9 and 12mg/kg), but study objectives were met with the 9mg/kg dose. Less than proportional increase in exposure was demonstrated over the 3–9mg/kg dose range, though post hoc analysis showed dose proportionality was more feasible over the 3–6mg/kg range. Single doses of drisapersen at 3 and 6mg/kg did not result in significant safety or tolerability concerns; however, at the 9mg/kg dose, pyrexia and transient elevations in inflammatory parameters were seen. The maximum tolerated dose of 6mg/kg drisapersen was identified for further characterization in multiple dose studies in the non-ambulant DMD population.

Neuromuscular Disorders 2013

Prognosis of Untreated Strokes Due to Anterior Circulation Proximal Intracranial Arterial Occlusions Detected by Use of Computed Tomography Angiography

Importance  Limited data exist regarding the natural history of proximal intracranial arterial occlusions.
Objective  To investigate the outcomes of patients who had an acute ischemic stroke attributed to an anterior circulation proximal intracranial arterial occlusion.
Design, Setting, and Participants  A prospective cohort study at 2 university-based hospitals from 2003 to 2005 in which nonenhanced computed tomography scans and computed tomography angiograms were obtained at admission of all adult patients suspected of having an ischemic stroke in the first 24 hours of symptom onset.
Exposure  Anterior circulation proximal intracranial arterial occlusion.
Main Outcomes and Measures  Frequency of good outcome (defined as a modified Rankin Scale score of ≤2) and mortality at 6 months.
Results  A total of 126 patients with a unilateral complete occlusion of the intracranial internal carotid artery (ICA; 26 patients: median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score, 11 [interquartile range, 5-17]), of the M1 segment of the middle cerebral artery (MCA; 52 patients: median NIHSS score, 13 [interquartile range, 6-16]), or of the M2 segment of the MCA (48 patients: median NIHSS score, 7 [interquartile range, 4-15]) were included. Of these 3 groups of patients, 10 (38.5%), 20 (38.5%), and 26 (54.2%) with ICA, MCA-M1, and MCA-M2 occlusions, respectively, achieved a modified Rankin Scale score of 2 or less, and 6 (23.1%), 12 (23.1%), and 10 (20.8%) were dead at 6 months. Worse outcomes were seen in patients with a baseline NIHSS score of 10 or higher, with a modified Rankin Scale score of 2 or less achieved in only 7.1% (1 of 14), 23.5% (8 of 34), and 22.7% (5 of 22) of patients and mortality rates of 35.7% (5 of 14), 32.4% (11 of 34), and 40.9% (9 of 22) among patients with ICA, MCA-M1, and MCA-M2 occlusions, respectively. Age (odds ratio, 0.94 [95% CI, 0.91-0.98]), NIHSS score (odds ratio, 0.73 [95% CI, 0.64-0.83]), and strength of leptomeningeal collaterals (odds ratio, 2.37 [95% CI, 1.08-5.20]) were independently associated with outcome, whereas the level of proximal intracranial arterial occlusion (ICA vs MCA-M1 vs MCA-M2) was not.
Conclusions and Relevance  The natural history of proximal intracranial arterial occlusion is variable, with poor outcomes overall. Stroke severity and collateral flow appear to be more important than the level of proximal intracranial arterial occlusion in determining outcomes. Our results provide useful data for proper patient selection and sample size calculations in the design of new clinical trials aimed at recanalization therapies.
A proximal intracranial arterial occlusion is an independent factor associated with poor functional outcomes and high mortality rates in patients with acute ischemic stroke.13 Yet limited data exist about the natural history of proximal intracranial arterial occlusions. Most of the available information about the course of this disease comes from large intervention trials that might have limitations (such as limited generalizability) owing to their intrinsic design.1,2
Currently, the only approved pharmacological therapy for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke is intravenous (IV) tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) administered within 4.5 hours of symptom onset. Intra-arterial techniques, including mechanical thrombectomy, are rapidly evolving and may represent an option for those patients who have contraindications to IV tPA or for those patients for whom IV tPA is not effective. However, its efficacy remains to be proved in randomized trials. Further information on the natural history of proximal intracranial arterial occlusions is essential for the proper design of clinical trials to test the efficacy of endovascular approaches. In the present study, we sought to establish the rates and predictors of long-term outcomes of patients who had an acute ischemic stroke attributed to an anterior circulation proximal intracranial arterial occlusion and who did not undergo any reperfusion therapy.