domenica 25 settembre 2016

Pathophysiological and diagnostic implications of cortical dysfunction in ALS

Cortical dysfunction — specifically, the development of hyperexcitability — seems to be an early and intrinsic feature of sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) phenotypes, preceding the onset of lower motor neuron dysfunction and correlating with ensuing lower motor neuron dysfunction and degeneration. In fact, cortical dysfunction could provide a pathogenic basis for ALS, with corticomotor neuronal hyperexcitability mediating motor neuron degeneration via a trans-synaptic, glutamate-mediated, excitotoxic mechanism. The recent identification of C9orf72repeat expansion as an important genetic risk factor for both ALS and frontotemporal dementia has underscored the importance of cortical function in ALS pathogenesis, and has helped to confirm that the disease forms part of a spectrum of central neurodegenerative processes. Changes in cortical function that develop in ALS could prove useful as diagnostic biomarkers, potentially enhancing the diagnosis of ALS at an early stage of the disease process. Pathophysiological and diagnostic biomarkers of cortical function might also provide insights to guide the development of future therapeutic approaches, including stem cell and genetic interventions, thereby providing potential for more-effective management of patients with ALS

Nature Reviews Neurology 2016

sabato 24 settembre 2016

Efficacy and safety of abobotulinumtoxinA liquid formulation in cervical dystonia: A randomized-controlled trial



Approved botulinum toxin A products require reconstitution. AbobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection is a ready-to-use liquid formulation of abobotulinumtoxinA.


The objective of this study was to demonstrate the superior efficacy of abobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection to placebo and to test the noninferior efficacy of abobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection versus abobotulinumtoxinA (dry formulation) in cervical dystonia.


This was a phase-3, multicenter, prospective, double-blind, randomized, active, and placebo-controlled study (N = 369). Patients with cervical dystonia were randomized (3:3:1) to abobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection 500 U, abobotulinumtoxinA 500 U, or placebo. Following the double-blind phase, patients received abobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection, open-label, for up to 4 cycles. The primary outcome was change from baseline at week 4 of the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale total score. Secondary measures included change from baseline or cycle baseline in Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale scores.


At week 4, both products were superior to placebo (Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale total score least square mean decrease from baseline, abobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection 500 U −12.5, abobotulinumtoxinA 500 U −14.0, placebo −3.9; P < .0001 vs placebo). The noninferiority limit of 3 points in the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale total score at week 4 was not met for abobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection versus abobotulinumtoxinA. Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale total score reductions were maintained for up to 4 cycles of abobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection open-label follow-up treatment. Safety profiles of abobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection and abobotulinumtoxinA were similar, with dysphagia and injection-site pain the most frequent drug-related adverse events.


Although the predefined noninferiority criterion was not met, abobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection was similarly effective to freeze-dried abobotulinumtoxinA in reducing Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale total scores with a similar safety profile. AbobotulinumtoxinA solution for injection efficacy was maintained with chronic open-label treatment, and this novel formulation may add convenience as well as dosing accuracy to treatment with abobotulinumtoxinA.

Movement Disorders 2016

Neuropathic Gaucher's mutations accelerate cognitive decline in Parkinson's


Objective. We hypothesized that mutations in the β-glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA) causing neuropathic Gaucher's disease (GD) in homozygotes will be associated with aggressive cognitive decline in heterozygous Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, while mutations associated with non-neuropathic GD will confer intermediate progression rates.
Methods. 2,304 patients with PD and 20,868 longitudinal visits for up to 12.8 years (median 4.1) from seven cohorts were analyzed. Differential effects of four types of genetic variation in GBA on longitudinal cognitive decline were evaluated using mixed random and fixed effects and Cox proportional hazards models.
Results. 10.3% of patients with PD and GBA sequencing carried a mutation. Carriers of neuropathic GD mutations (1.4% of patients) had hazard ratios (HR) for global cognitive impairment of 3.17 (95% CI, 1.60 - 6.25) and a hastened decline in Mini Mental State Exam scores compared to non-carriers (p = 0.0009). Carriers of complex GBA alleles (0.7%) had HR of 3.22 (95% CI, 1.18 - 8.73; p = 0.022). By contrast, the common, non-neuropathic N370S mutation (1.5% of patients; HR of 1.96 (95% CI, 0.92 - 4.18)) or non-pathogenic risk variants (6.6% of patients; HR of 1.36 (95% CI, 0.89 - 2.05) did not reach significance.
Interpretation. Mutations in the GBA gene pathogenic for neuropathic GD and complex alleles shift longitudinal cognitive decline in PD into “high gear”. These findings suggest a relationship between specific types of GBA mutations and aggressive cognitive decline, and have direct implications for improving the design of clinical trials in PD. 

Annals Of Neurology 2016

Genetic Variants in CETP Increase Risk of Intracerebral Hemorrhage


In observational epidemiologic studies, higher plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) has been associated with increased risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). DNA sequence variants that decrease cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene activity increase plasma HDL-C; as such, medicines that inhibit CETP and raise HDL-C are in clinical development. Here, we test the hypothesis that CETP DNA sequence variants associated with higher HDL-C also increase risk for ICH.
We performed two candidate-gene analyses of CETP. First, we tested individual CETPvariants in a discovery cohort of 1149 ICH cases and 1238 controls from 3 studies, followed by replication in 1625 cases and 1845 controls from 5 studies. Second, we constructed a genetic risk score comprised of 7 independent variants at the CETP locus and tested this score for association with HDL-C as well as ICH risk.
Twelve variants within CETP demonstrated nominal association with ICH, with the strongest association at the rs173539 locus (odds ratio (OR) 1.25, standard error (SE) 0.06, p=6.0x10−4) with no heterogeneity across studies (I2=0%). This association was replicated in patients of European ancestry (p=0.03). A genetic score of CETP variants found to increase HDL-C by ∼2.85mg/dL in the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium was strongly associated with ICH risk (OR 1.86, SE 0.13, p=1.39x10−6).
Genetic variants in CETP associated with increased HDL-C raise the risk of ICH. Given ongoing therapeutic development in CETP inhibition and other HDL-raising strategies, further exploration of potential adverse cerebrovascular outcomes may be warranted. 

Annals Of Neurology 2016

Potential of the Antibody Against cis–Phosphorylated Tau in the Early Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of Alzheimer Disease and Brain Injury

Alzheimer disease (AD) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) share a common neuropathologic signature—neurofibrillary tangles made of phosphorylated tau—but do not have the same pathogenesis or symptoms. Although whether traumatic brain injury (TBI) could cause AD has not been established, CTE is shown to be associated with TBI. Until recently, whether and how TBI leads to tau-mediated neurodegeneration was unknown. The unique prolyl isomerase Pin1 protects against the development of tau-mediated neurodegeneration in AD by converting the phosphorylated Thr231-Pro motif in tau (ptau) from the pathogenic cis conformation to the physiologic trans conformation, thereby restoring ptau function. The recent development of antibodies able to distinguish and eliminate both conformations specifically has led to the discovery of cis-ptau as a precursor of tau-induced pathologic change and an early driver of neurodegeneration that directly links TBI to CTE and possibly to AD. Within hours of TBI in mice or neuronal stress in vitro, neurons prominently produce cis-ptau, which causes and spreads cis-ptau pathologic changes, termed cistauosis. Cistauosis eventually leads to widespread tau-mediated neurodegeneration and brain atrophy. Cistauosis is effectively blocked by the cis-ptau antibody, which targets intracellular cis-ptau for proteasome-mediated degradation and prevents extracellular cis-ptau from spreading to other neurons. Treating TBI mice with cis-ptau antibody not only blocks early cistauosis but also prevents development and spreading of tau-mediated neurodegeneration and brain atrophy and restores brain histopathologic features and functional outcomes. Thus, cistauosis is a common early disease mechanism for AD, TBI, and CTE, and cis-ptau and its antibody may be useful for early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these devastating diseases.

JAMA Neurology 2016

Autoimmune Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Astrocytopathy A Novel Meningoencephalomyelitis

Importance  A novel astrocytic autoantibody has been identified as a biomarker of a relapsing autoimmune meningoencephalomyelitis that is immunotherapy responsive. Seropositivity distinguishes autoimmune glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) meningoencephalomyelitis from disorders commonly considered in the differential diagnosis.
Objective  To describe a novel IgG autoantibody found in serum or cerebrospinal fluid that is specific for a cytosolic intermediate filament protein of astrocytes.
Design, Setting, and Participants  Retrospective review of the medical records of seropositive patients identified in the Mayo Clinic Neuroimmunology Laboratory from October 15, 1998, to April 1, 2016, in blinded comprehensive serologic evaluation for autoantibody profiles to aid the diagnosis of neurologic autoimmunity (and predict cancer likelihood).
Main Outcomes and Measures  Frequency and definition of novel autoantibody, the autoantigen’s immunochemical identification, clinical and magnetic resonance imaging correlations of the autoantibody, and immunotherapy responsiveness.
Results  Of 103 patients whose medical records were available for review, the 16 initial patients identified as seropositive were the subject of this study. Median age at neurologic symptom onset was 42 years (range, 21-73 years); there was no sex predominance. The novel neural autoantibody, which we discovered to be GFAP-specific, is disease spectrum restricted but not rare (frequency equivalent to Purkinje cell antibody type 1 [anti-Yo]). Its filamentous pial, subventricular, and perivascular immunostaining pattern on mouse tissue resembles the characteristic magnetic resonance imaging findings of linear perivascular enhancement in patients. Prominent clinical manifestations are headache, subacute encephalopathy, optic papillitis, inflammatory myelitis, postural tremor, and cerebellar ataxia. Cerebrospinal fluid was inflammatory in 13 of 14 patients (93%) with data available. Neoplasia was diagnosed within 3 years of neurologic onset in 6 of 16 patients (38%): prostate and gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas, myeloma, melanoma, colonic carcinoid, parotid pleomorphic adenoma, and teratoma. Neurologic improvement followed treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, with a tendency of patients to relapse without long-term immunosuppression.
Conclusions and Relevance  Glial fibrillary acidic protein–specific IgG identifies a distinctive, corticosteroid-responsive, sometimes paraneoplastic autoimmune meningoencephalomyelitis. It has a lethal canine equivalent: necrotizing meningoencephalitis. Expression of GFAP has been reported in some of the tumor types identified in paraneoplastic cases. Glial fibrillary acidic protein peptide–specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells are implicated as effectors in a transgenic mouse model of autoimmune GFAP meningoencephalitis.

JAMA Neurology 2016

Tau Positron Emission Tomographic Imaging in the Lewy Body Diseases

Importance  The causes of cognitive impairment in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson disease (PD) are multifactorial. Tau pathologic changes are commonly observed at autopsy in individuals with DLB and PD dementia, but their contribution to these diseases during life is unknown.
Objective  To contrast tau aggregation in DLB, cognitively impaired persons with PD (PD-impaired), cognitively normal individuals with PD (PD-normal), and healthy persons serving as control participants, and to evaluate the association between tau aggregation, amyloid deposition, and cognitive function.
Design, Setting, and Participants  This cross-sectional study was conducted from January 1, 2014, to April 28, 2016, in a tertiary care center’s memory and movement disorders units. Twenty-four patients with Lewy body disease (7 DLB, 8 PD-impaired, and 9 PD-normal) underwent multimodal brain imaging, cognitive testing, and neurologic evaluation, and imaging measures were compared with those of an independently acquired group of 29 controls with minimal brain amyloid burden as measured with carbon 11–labeled Pittsburgh Compound B ([11C]PiB) positron emission tomography (PET).
Exposures  Imaging with fluorine 18–labeled AV-1451 ([18F]AV-1451) (formerly known as [18F]T807), [11C]PiB PET, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neurologic examination, and detailed cognitive testing using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Clinical Dementia Rating scale.
Main Outcomes and Measures  Main outcomes were differentiation of diagnostic groups on the basis of [18F]AV-1451 binding, the association of [18F]AV-1451 binding with [11C]PiB binding, and the association of [18F]AV-1451 binding with cognitive impairment. All but 3 individuals underwent amyloid imaging with [11C]PiB PET. The hypotheses being tested were formulated before data collection. Mini-Mental State Examination (range, 0-30, with 30 being best) and Clinical Dementia Rating scale sum-of-boxes scale (range, 0-18, with 0 being best) were used for assessment of cognitive function.
Results  In patients with DLB, cortical [18F]AV-1451 uptake was highly variable and greater than in the controls, particularly in the inferior temporal gyrus and precuneus. Foci of increased [18F]AV-1451 binding in the inferior temporal gyrus and precuneus were also evident in PD-impaired patients. Elevated cortical [18F]AV-1451 binding was observed in 4 of 17 patients with Lewy body disease with low cortical [11C]PiB retention. For DLB and PD-impaired patients, greater [18F]AV-1451 uptake in the inferior temporal gyrus and precuneus was associated with increased cognitive impairment as measured with the MMSE and the Clinical Dementia Rating scale sum-of-boxes score.
Conclusions and Relevance  Patients with Lewy body disease manifest a spectrum of tau pathology. Cortical aggregates of tau are common in patients with DLB and in PD-impaired patients, even in those without elevated amyloid levels. When present, tau deposition is associated with cognitive impairment. These findings support a role for tau copathology in the Lewy body diseases.

JAMA Neurology 2016

Neurochemical Aftermath of Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Importance  Evidence is accumulating that repeated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) incidents can lead to persistent, long-term debilitating symptoms and in some cases a progressive neurodegenerative condition referred to as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. However, to our knowledge, there are no objective tools to examine to which degree persistent symptoms after mTBI are caused by neuronal injury.
Objective  To determine whether persistent symptoms after mTBI are associated with brain injury as evaluated by cerebrospinal fluid biochemical markers for axonal damage and other aspects of central nervous system injury.
Design, Settings, and Participants  A multicenter cross-sectional study involving professional Swedish ice hockey players who have had repeated mTBI, had postconcussion symptoms for more than 3 months, and fulfilled the criteria for postconcussion syndrome (PCS) according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) matched with neurologically healthy control individuals. The participants were enrolled between January 2014 and February 2016. The players were also assessed with Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire and magnetic resonance imaging.
Main Outcomes and Measures  Neurofilament light protein, total tau, glial fibrillary acidic protein, amyloid β, phosphorylated tau, and neurogranin concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid.
Results  A total of 31 participants (16 men with PCS; median age, 31 years; range, 22-53 years; and 15 control individuals [11 men and 4 women]; median age, 25 years; range, 21-35 years) were assessed. Of 16 players with PCS, 9 had PCS symptoms for more than 1 year, while the remaining 7 returned to play within a year. Neurofilament light proteins were significantly increased in players with PCS for more than 1 year (median, 410 pg/mL; range, 230-1440 pg/mL) compared with players whose PCS resolved within 1 year (median, 210 pg/mL; range, 140-460 pg/mL) as well as control individuals (median 238 pg/mL, range 128-526 pg/mL; P = .04 and P = .02, respectively). Furthermore, neurofilament light protein concentrations correlated with Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire scores and lifetime concussion events (ρ = 0.58, P = .02 and ρ = 0.52, P = .04, respectively). Overall, players with PCS had significantly lower cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β levels compared with control individuals (median, 1094 pg/mL; range, 845-1305 pg/mL; P = .05).
Conclusions and Relevance  Increased cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light proteins and reduced amyloid β were observed in patients with PCS, suggestive of axonal white matter injury and amyloid deposition. Measurement of these biomarkers may be an objective tool to assess the degree of central nervous system injury in individuals with PCS and to distinguish individuals who are at risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

JAMA Neurology 2016

Cognitive decline following incident and preexisting diabetes mellitus in a population sample

Objective: To examine if incident and preexisting diabetes mellitus (DM) were associated with cognitive decline among African Americans (AAs) and European Americans (EAs).
Methods: Based on a prospective study of 7,740 older adults (mean age 72.3 years, 64% AA, 63% female), DM was ascertained by hypoglycemic medication use and Medicare claims during physician or hospital visits, and cognition by performance on a brief battery for executive functioning, episodic memory, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Decline in composite and individual tests among those with incident DM, with preexisting DM, and without DM was studied using a linear mixed effects model with and without change point.
Results: At baseline, 737 (15%) AAs and 269 (10%) EAs had preexisting DM. Another 721 (17%) AAs and 289 (12%) EAs had incident DM in old age. Following incident DM, cognitive decline increased by 36% among AAs and by 40% among EAs compared to those without DM. No significant difference was observed between AAs and EAs (p= 0.64). However, cognitive decline increased by 17% among AAs with preexisting DM compared to those without DM, but no increased decline was observed among EAs with preexisting DM. In secondary analyses, faster decline in executive functioning and episodic memory was observed following incident DM.
Conclusions: In old age, faster cognitive decline was present among AAs and EAs following incident DM, compared to cognitive decline prior to DM, and among those without DM. This underscores the need for stronger prevention and control of DM in old age.

Neurology 2016

Social cognition in multiple sclerosis A systematic review and meta-analysis


Objective: To quantify the magnitude of deficits in theory of mind (ToM) and facial emotion recognition among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) relative to healthy controls.
Methods: An electronic database search of Ovid MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Embase was conducted from inception to April 1, 2016. Eligible studies were original research articles published in peer-reviewed journals that examined ToM or facial emotion recognition among patients with a diagnosis of MS and a healthy control comparison group. Data were independently extracted by 2 authors. Effect sizes were calculated using Hedges g.
Results: Twenty-one eligible studies were identified assessing ToM (12 studies) and/or facial emotion recognition (13 studies) among 722 patients with MS and 635 controls. Deficits in both ToM (g = −0.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] −0.88 to −0.55, p < 0.001) and facial emotion recognition (g = −0.64, 95% CI −0.81 to −0.47, p < 0.001) were identified among patients with MS relative to healthy controls. The largest deficits were observed for visual ToM tasks and for the recognition of negative facial emotional expressions. Older age predicted larger emotion recognition deficits. Other cognitive domains were inconsistently associated with social cognitive performance.
Conclusions: Social cognitive deficits are an overlooked but potentially important aspect of cognitive impairment in MS with potential prognostic significance for social functioning and quality of life. Further research is required to clarify the longitudinal course of social cognitive dysfunction, its association with MS disease characteristics and neurocognitive impairment, and the MS-specific neurologic damage underlying these deficits.

Neurology 2016

sabato 17 settembre 2016

Inflammatory risk factors, biomarkers and associated therapy in ischaemic stroke

Proinflammatory conditions, including acute and chronic infections, have been associated with an increased risk of stroke. The risk of stroke is increased by both the acute and chronic phases of a wide spectrum of proinflammatory conditions, suggesting that the association is related to activation of the inflammatory response rather than the condition itself. Different inflammatory mechanisms probably influence the risk of different stroke subtypes. This hypothesis is supported by observations that high levels of various immune system markers and acute phase reactants in otherwise healthy individuals have also been associated with ischaemic stroke subtypes. C-reactive protein, IL-6 and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 are some of the inflammatory markers that have been associated with stroke risk and prognosis. Multiple epidemiological studies have demonstrated that these markers are associated with the risk of stroke, but the value of these markers in a clinical setting has not yet been proven. Further research is needed to determine whether immune system modulators can lower the risk of stroke in individuals with elevated concentrations of inflammatory markers. Here, we review the association between infection, systemic inflammation, and ischaemic stroke, and discuss the currently recommended preventive methods to decrease the risk of stroke associated with systemic inflammation.

Nature Reviews Neurology 2016

Medication-overuse headache: risk factors, pathophysiology and management

Medication-overuse headache (MOH) is defined by the International Classification of Headache Disorders as a headache in patients with a pre-existing primary headache disorder that occurs on ≥15 days per month for >3 months, and is caused by overuse of medication intended for acute or symptomatic headache treatment. The prevalence of MOH in the general population is around 1%, but the condition is much more common in people with headache, in particular chronic migraine. The phenotype of the headache in MOH depends on the initial primary headache and the type of overused acute medication. In this Review, we will discuss the epidemiology, risk factors, pathophysiology, prevention and treatment of MOH. Treatment of MOH is performed in three steps: educating patients about the relationship between frequent intake of acute headache medication and MOH with the aim to reduce intake of acute medication; initiation of migraine prevention (such as topiramate or onabotulinumtoxin A in migraine) in patients who fail step 1; detoxification on an outpatient basis or in a day hospital or inpatient setting, depending on severity and comorbidities. The success rate of treatment is around 50–70%, although patients whose MOH is associated with opioid overuse have higher relapse rates. In all patients with MOH, relapse rates can be reduced by patient education and care in the follow-up period.

Nature Reviews Neurology 2016

Angelman syndrome — insights into a rare neurogenetic disorder

Angelman syndrome is a rare neurogenetic disorder that is characterized by microcephaly, severe intellectual deficit, speech impairment, epilepsy, EEG abnormalities, ataxic movements, tongue protrusion, paroxysms of laughter, abnormal sleep patterns, and hyperactivity. Angelman syndrome results from loss of function of the imprinted UBE3A (ubiquitin–protein ligase E3A) gene on chromosome 15q11.2–q13. This loss of function can be caused by a mutation on the maternal allele, a 5–7 Mb deletion of the maternally inherited chromosomal region, paternal uniparental disomy of chromosome 15, or an imprinting defect. The chromosomal deletion tends to cause the most severe symptoms, possibly owing to co-deletion of GABA receptor genes. UBE3A mutations and imprinting defects can be associated with a high risk of recurrence within families. Disruption ofUBE3A function in neurons seems to inhibit synapse formation and experience-dependent synapse remodelling. Clinical diagnosis of Angelman syndrome in infants and young children is sometimes difficult, but can be verified by genetic tests. At present, treatment of symptoms such as seizures is the only medical strategy, but genetic therapies aimed at activating the silent copy ofUBE3A on the paternal allele are conceivable.

Nature Reviews Neurology 2016

Fluid biomarkers for mild traumatic brain injury and related conditions

Diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), also known as concussion, remain a major unmet clinical need. Moderate to severe TBI can be diagnosed definitively by clinical assessment and standard neuroimaging techniques that detect the gross damage to the brain parenchyma. Diagnostic tools for mild TBI are lacking and, currently, the diagnosis has to be made on clinical grounds alone, because most patients show no gross pathological changes on CT. Most patients with mild TBI recover quickly, but about 15% develop an ill-defined condition called postconcussive syndrome (PCS). Repeated concussions have been associated with a chronic neurodegenerative disorder called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can only currently be diagnosed post mortem. Fluid biomarkers are needed to better define and detect mild TBI and related conditions. Here, we review the literature on fluid biomarkers for neuronal, axonal, oligodendrocytic, astroglial and blood–brain barrier injury, as well as markers for neuroinflammation and metabolic dysregulation, in the context of mild TBI, PCS and CTE. We also discuss technical and standardization issues and potential pathways to advance the most promising biomarker candidates into clinical laboratory practice.

Nature Reviews Neurology 2016

Endovascular Therapy for Acute Ischemic Stroke With Occlusion of the Middle Cerebral Artery M2 Segment

Importance  Randomized clinical trials have shown the superiority of endovascular therapy (EVT) compared with best medical management for acute ischemic strokes with large vessel occlusion (LVO) in the anterior circulation. However, of 1287 patients enrolled in 5 trials, 94 with isolated second (M2) segment occlusions were randomized and 51 of these received EVT, thereby limiting evidence for treating isolated M2 segment occlusions as reflected in American Heart Association guidelines.
Objective  To evaluate EVT safety and effectiveness in M2 occlusions in a cohort of patients with acute ischemic stroke.
Design, Setting, and Participants  This multicenter retrospective cohort study pooled patients with acute ischemic strokes and LVO isolated to M2 segments from 10 US centers. Patients with acute ischemic strokes and LVO in M2 segments presenting within 8 hours from their last known normal clinical status (LKN) from January 1, 2012, to April 30, 2015, were divided based on their treatment into EVT and medical management groups. Logistic regression was used to compare the 2 groups. Univariate and multivariate analyses evaluated associations with good outcome in the EVT group.
Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary outcome was the 90-day modified Rankin Scale score (range, 0-6; scores of 0-2 indicate a good outcome); the secondary outcome was symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage.
Results  A total of 522 patients (256 men [49%]; 266 women [51%]; mean [SD] age, 68 [14.3] years) were identified, of whom 288 received EVT and 234 received best medical management. Patients in the medical management group were older (median [interquartile range] age, 73 [60-81] vs 68 [56-78] years) and had higher rates of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator treatment (174 [74.4%] vs 172 [59.7%]); otherwise the 2 groups were balanced. The rate of good outcomes was higher for EVT (181 [62.8%]) than for medical management (83 [35.4%]). The EVT group had 3 times the odds of a good outcome as the medical management group (odds ratio [OR], 3.1; 95% CI, 2.1-4.4; P < .001) even after adjustment for age, National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomographic Score (ASPECTS), intravenous tissue plasminogen activator treatment, and time from LKN to arrival in the emergency department (OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 2-5.2; P < .001). No statistical difference in symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage was found (5.6% vs 2.1% for the EVT group vs the medical management group; P = .10). The treatment effect did not change after adjusting for center (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.9-5.8; P < .001). Age, NIHSS score, ASPECTS, time from LKN to reperfusion, and successful reperfusion score of at least 2b (range, 0 [no perfusion] to 3 [full perfusion with filling of all distal branches]) were independently associated with good outcome of EVT. A linear association was found between good outcome and time from LKN to reperfusion.
Conclusions and Relevance  Although a randomized clinical trial is needed to confirm these findings, available data suggest that EVT is reasonable, safe, and effective for LVO of the M2 segment relative to best medical management.

JAMA Neurology 2016