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

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Practice guideline update summary: Mild cognitive impairment Report of the Guideline Development, Dissemination, and Implementation Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology

Objective To update the 2001 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) guideline on mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Methods The guideline panel systematically reviewed MCI prevalence, prognosis, and treatment articles according to AAN evidence classification criteria, and based recommendations on evidence and modified Delphi consensus.
Results MCI prevalence was 6.7% for ages 60–64, 8.4% for 65–69, 10.1% for 70–74, 14.8% for 75–79, and 25.2% for 80–84. Cumulative dementia incidence was 14.9% in individuals with MCI older than age 65 years followed for 2 years. No high-quality evidence exists to support pharmacologic treatments for MCI. In patients with MCI, exercise training (6 months) is likely to improve cognitive measures and cognitive training may improve cognitive measures.
Major recommendations Clinicians should assess for MCI with validated tools in appropriate scenarios (Level B). Clinicians should evaluate patients with MCI for modifiable risk factors, assess for functional impairment, and assess for and treat behavioral/neuropsychiatric symptoms (Level B). Clinicians should monitor cognitive status of patients with MCI over time (Level B). Cognitively impairing medications should be discontinued where possible and behavioral symptoms treated (Level B). Clinicians may choose not to offer cholinesterase inhibitors (Level B); if offering, they must first discuss lack of evidence (Level A). Clinicians should recommend regular exercise (Level B). Clinicians may recommend cognitive training (Level C). Clinicians should discuss diagnosis, prognosis, long-term planning, and the lack of effective medicine options (Level B), and may discuss biomarker research with patients with MCI and families (Level C).
Neurology 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Unaffected mosaic C9orf72 case RNA foci, dipeptide proteins, but upregulated C9orf72 expression

Objective Suggested C9orf72 disease mechanisms for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration include C9orf72 haploinsufficiency, G4C2/C4G2 RNA foci, and dipeptide repeat (DPR) proteins translated from the G4C2expansion; however, the role of small expansions (e.g., 30–90 repeats) is unknown and was investigated here.
Methods We conducted a molecular and pathology study of a family in which the father (unaffected at age 90) carried a 70-repeat allele in blood DNA that expanded to ≈1,750 repeats in his children, causing ALS.
Results Southern blotting revealed different degrees of mosaicism of small and large expansions in the father's tissues from the CNS. Surprisingly, in each mosaic tissue, C9orf72 mRNA levels were significantly increased compared to an ALS-affected daughter with a large expansion. Increased expression correlated with higher levels of the 70-repeat allele (the upregulation was also evident at the protein level). Remarkably, RNA foci and DPR burdens were similar or even significantly increased (in cerebellum) in the unaffected father compared to the daughter with ALS. However, the father did not display TDP-43 pathology and signs of neurodegeneration.
Conclusion The presence of RNA foci and DPR pathology was insufficient for disease manifestation and TDP-43 pathology in the mosaic C9orf72 carrier with upregulated C9orf72 expression. It is important to conduct an investigation of similar cases, which could be found among unaffected parents of sporadic C9orf72 patients (e.g., 21% among Finnish patients with ALS). Caution should be taken when consulting carriers of small expansions because disease manifestation could be dependent on the extent of the somatic instability in disease-relevant tissues.
Neurology 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Associations between [18F]AV1451 tau PET and CSF measures of tau pathology in a clinical sample

Objective To assess the relationships between fluid and imaging biomarkers of tau pathology and compare their diagnostic utility in a clinically heterogeneous sample.
Methods Fifty-three patients (28 with clinical Alzheimer disease [AD] and 25 with non-AD clinical neurodegenerative diagnoses) underwent β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau ([18F]AV1451) PET and lumbar puncture. CSF biomarkers (Aβ42, total tau [t-tau], and phosphorylated tau [p-tau]) were measured by multianalyte immunoassay (AlzBio3). Receiver operator characteristic analyses were performed to compare discrimination of Aβ-positive AD from non-AD conditions across biomarkers. Correlations between CSF biomarkers and PET standardized uptake value ratios (SUVR) were assessed using skipped Pearson correlation coefficients. Voxelwise analyses were run to assess regional CSF–PET associations.
Results [18F]AV1451-PET cortical SUVR and p-tau showed excellent discrimination between Aβ-positive AD and non-AD conditions (area under the curve 0.92–0.94; ≤0.83 for other CSF measures), and reached 83% classification agreement. In the full sample, cortical [18F]AV1451 was associated with all CSF biomarkers, most strongly with p-tau (r = 0.75 vs 0.57 for t-tau and −0.49 for Aβ42). When restricted to Aβ-positive patients with AD, [18F]AV1451 SUVR correlated modestly with p-tau and t-tau (both r = 0.46) but not Aβ42 (r = 0.02). On voxelwise analysis, [18F]AV1451 correlated with CSF p-tau in temporoparietal cortices and with t-tau in medial prefrontal regions. Within AD, Mini-Mental State Examination scores were associated with [18F]AV1451-PET, but not CSF biomarkers.
Conclusion [18F]AV1451-PET and CSF p-tau had comparable value for differential diagnosis. Correlations were robust in a heterogeneous clinical group but attenuated (although significant) in AD, suggesting that fluid and imaging biomarkers capture different aspects of tau pathology.
Classification of evidence This study provides Class III evidence that, in a clinical sample of patients with a variety of suspected neurodegenerative diseases, both CSF p-tau and [18F]AV1451 distinguish AD from non-AD conditions.
Neurology 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Genetic variation in CFH predicts phenytoin-induced maculopapular exanthema in European-descent patients

Objective To characterize, among European and Han Chinese populations, the genetic predictors of maculopapular exanthema (MPE), a cutaneous adverse drug reaction common to antiepileptic drugs.
Methods We conducted a case-control genome-wide association study of autosomal genotypes, including Class I and II human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles, in 323 cases and 1,321 drug-tolerant controls from epilepsy cohorts of northern European and Han Chinese descent. Results from each cohort were meta-analyzed.
Results We report an association between a rare variant in the complement factor H–related 4 (CFHR4) gene and phenytoin-induced MPE in Europeans (p = 4.5 × 10–11; odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 7 [3.2–16]). This variant is in complete linkage disequilibrium with a missense variant (N1050Y) in the complement factor H (CFH) gene. In addition, our results reinforce the association between HLA-A*31:01 and carbamazepine hypersensitivity. We did not identify significant genetic associations with MPE among Han Chinese patients.
Conclusions The identification of genetic predictors of MPE in CFHR4 and CFH, members of the complement factor H–related protein family, suggest a new link between regulation of the complement system alternative pathway and phenytoin-induced hypersensitivity in European-ancestral patients.
Neurology 2017

sabato 23 dicembre 2017


NEWS FROM BRESCIA-Neuroanatomical Correlates of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Presymptomatic Granulin Mutation Carriers.


Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is characterized by behavioural and language impairment, accompanied by atrophic changes in fronto-temporo-insular cortices. In the presymptomatic phases of genetic FTD, subtle or no volumetric changes have been reported. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) represents an approach to explore cortical connectivity, and some TMS measures have been demonstrated to be impaired in Granulin (GRN) mutation carriers. We aimed at exploring cross-sectional changes in cortical thickness (CT) and surface area (SA) in the presymptomatic phases of GRN-related FTD, and their relationship with TMS parameters. Nineteen presymptomatic GRN mutation carriers and seventeen age and sex-matched non-carriers underwent 3T MRI scanning and a paired-pulse TMS protocol. The surface-based pipeline of FreeSurfer was applied in order to obtain cortical volumes (CVs), CT and SA measures. Then, between groups differences and correlation with TMS parameters were assessed. GRN carriers showed increased CT and decreased SA of the right parietal lobe, without significant volume changes. TMS parameters of intracortical inhibition and facilitation, which were significantly impaired in presymptomatic GRN mutation carriers, correlated with reduced SA and CV of the right insula. Our results suggest that splitting CV into its two main components could improve the sensitivity when exploring structural brain changes in presymptomatic or early phases of neurodegenerative conditions. TMS parameters might reflect damage within cortical regions reported to be affected early in the conversion to the symptomatic phase of the disease.

Brain Topogr. 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD-A Prospective Trial of Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy for Essential Tremor: Results at the 2-year Follow-up


Objective: Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) has recently been investigated as a new treatment modality for essential tremor (ET), but the durability of the procedure has not yet been evaluated. This study reports results at a 2- year follow-up after MRgFUS thalamotomy for ET.
Methods: A total of 76 patients with moderate-to-severe ET, who had not responded to at least two trials of medical therapy, were enrolled in the original randomized study of unilateral thalamotomy and evaluated using the clinical rating scale for tremor. Sixty-seven of the patients continued in the open-label extension phase of the study with monitoring for 2 years. Nine patients were excluded by two years, for example because of alternative therapy such as deep brain stimulation (n = 3) or inadequate thermal lesioning (n = 1). However, all patients in each follow-up period were analyzed.
Results: Mean hand tremor score at baseline (19.8±4.9, 76 patients) improved by 55% at 6 months (8.6±4.5, 75 patients). The improvement in tremor score from baseline was durable at 1 year (53%, 8.9±4.8, 70 patients) and at 2 years (56%, 8.8±5.0, 67 patients). Similarly, the disability score at baseline (16.4±4.5, 76 patients) improved by 64% at 6 months (5.4±4.7, 75 patients). This improvement was also sustained at 1 year (5.4±5.3, 70 patients) and at 2 years (6.5±5.0, 67 patients). Paresthesias and gait disturbances were the most common adverse effects at 1 year-each observed in 10 patients with an additional 5 patients experiencing neurological adverse effects. None of the adverse events worsened over the period of follow up and 2 of these resolved. There were no new delayed complications at 2 years.
Interpretation: Tremor suppression after MRgFUS thalamotomy for ET is stably maintained at 2 years. Latent or delayed complications do not develop after treatment. 

Annals Of Neurology 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Effect of Different Doses of Galcanezumab vs Placebo for Episodic Migraine Prevention A Randomized Clinical Trial

Importance  Galcanezumab (LY2951742), a monoclonal antibody against calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), is one of a novel class of new medicines for migraine prevention.
Objective  To assess whether at least 1 dose of galcanezumab was superior to placebo for episodic migraine prevention.
Design, Setting, and Participants  A randomized clinical trial was conducted in the United States (July 7, 2014, to August 19, 2015) in clinics of 37 licensed physicians with a specialty including, but not limited to, psychiatry, neurology, internal medicine, and primary care. Subcutaneous injections of galcanezumab, 5, 50, 120, or 300 mg, or placebo were given monthly during the 3-month treatment period. A total of 936 patients were assessed; 526 did not meet study entry or baseline criteria and 410 patients were randomly assigned to receive placebo or galcanezumab. Analyses were conducted on an intent-to-treat population, which included all patients who were randomized and received at least 1 dose of study drug.
Interventions  Short-term migraine treatments were allowed as needed except for opioids or barbiturates.
Main Outcomes and Measures  To determine if at least 1 of the 4 doses of galcanezumab tested was superior to placebo for migraine prevention measured by the mean change from baseline in the number of migraine headache days 9 weeks to 12 weeks after randomization.
Results  Of the 936 patients assessed, 410 met entry criteria (aged 18-65 years with 4-14 migraine headache days per month and migraine onset prior to age 50 years) and were randomized to receive placebo or galcanezumab.For the primary end point, galcanezumab, 120 mg, significantly reduced migraine headache days compared with placebo (99.6% posterior probability −4.8 days; 90% BCI, −5.4 to −4.2 days vs 95% superiority threshold [Bayesian analysis] −3.7 days; 90% BCI, −4.1 to −3.2 days). Adverse events reported by 5% or more of patients in at least 1 galcanezumab dose group and more frequently than placebo included injection-site pain, upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, dysmenorrhea, and nausea.
Conclusions and Relevance  Monthly subcutaneous injections of galcanezumab, both 120 mg and 300 mg, demonstrated efficacy (repeated-measures analysis) for the preventive treatment of migraine and support further development in larger phase 3 studies. All dosages were safe and well tolerated for the preventive treatment of episodic migraine.

JAMA Neurology 2017

NEWS FRO THE WORLD- Bilateral Deep Brain Stimulation of the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert for Parkinson Disease Dementia A Randomized Clinical Trial

Importance  Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM DBS) has been proposed as a treatment option for Parkinson disease dementia.
Objective  To evaluate the safety and potential symptomatic effects of NBM DBS in patients with Parkinson disease dementia.
Design, Setting, and Participants  A randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical trial evaluated the results of 6 patients with Parkinson disease dementia who were treated with NBM DBS at a neurosurgical referral center in the United Kingdom from October 26, 2012, to July 31, 2015. Eligible patients met the diagnostic criteria for Parkinson disease dementia, had motor fluctuations, were appropriate surgical candidates aside from the coexistence of dementia, were age 35 to 80 years, were able to give informed consent, had a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 21 to 26, had minimal atrophy seen on results of brain magnetic resonance imaging, and lived at home with a caregiver-informant.
Interventions  After surgery, patients were assigned to receive either active stimulation (bilateral, low-frequency [20 Hz] NBM DBS) or sham stimulation for 6 weeks, followed by the opposite condition for 6 weeks.
Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary outcome was the difference in scores on each item of an abbreviated cognitive battery (California Verbal Learning Test-II, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III digit span, verbal fluency, Posner covert attention test, and simple and choice reaction times) between the 2 conditions. Secondary outcomes were exploratory and included differences in scores on standardized measurements of cognitive, psychiatric, and motor symptoms and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Results  Surgery and stimulation were well tolerated by all 6 patients (all men; mean [SD] age, 65.2 [10.7] years), with no serious adverse events during the trial. No consistent improvements were observed in the primary cognitive outcomes or in results of resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. An improvement in scores on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory was observed with NBM DBS (8.5 points [range, 4-26 points]) compared with sham stimulation (12 points [range, 8-38 points]; median difference, 5 points; 95% CI, 2.5-8.5 points; P = .03) and the preoperative baseline (13 points [range, 5-25 points]; median difference, 2 points; 95% CI, −8 to 5.5 points; P = .69).
Conclusions and Relevance  Low-frequency NBM DBS was safely conducted in patients with Parkinson disease dementia; however, no improvements were observed in the primary cognitive outcomes. Further studies may be warranted to explore its potential to improve troublesome neuropsychiatric symptoms.
JAMA Neurology 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- The importance of early immunotherapy in patients with faciobrachial dystonic seizures


Faciobrachial dystonic seizures and limbic encephalitis closely associate with antibodies to leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1 (LGI1). Here, we describe 103 consecutive patients with faciobrachial dystonic seizures and LGI1 antibodies to understand clinical, therapeutic and serological differences between those with and without cognitive impairment, and to determine whether cessation of faciobrachial dystonic seizures can prevent cognitive impairment. The 22/103 patients without cognitive impairment typically had normal brain MRI, EEGs and serum sodium levels (P < 0.0001). Overall, cessation of faciobrachial dystonic seizures with antiepileptic drugs alone occurred in only 9/89 (10%) patients. By contrast, 51% showed cessation of faciobrachial dystonic seizures 30 days after addition of immunotherapy (P < 0.0001), with earlier cessation in cognitively normal patients (P = 0.038). Indeed, expedited immunotherapy (P = 0.031) and normal cognition (P = 0.0014) also predicted reduced disability at 24 months. Furthermore, of 80 patients with faciobrachial dystonic seizures as their initial feature, 56% developed cognitive impairment after 90 days of active faciobrachial dystonic seizures. Whereas only one patient developed cognitive impairment after cessation of faciobrachial dystonic seizures (P < 0.0001). All patients had IgG4-LGI1 antibodies, but those with cognitive impairment had higher proportions of complement-fixing IgG1 antibodies (P = 0.03). Both subclasses caused LGI1-ADAM22 complex internalization, a potential non-inflammatory epileptogenic mechanism. In summary, faciobrachial dystonic seizures show striking time-sensitive responses to immunotherapy, and their cessation can prevent the development of cognitive impairment.

Brain 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Evaluation of the noradrenergic system in Parkinson’s disease: an 11C-MeNER PET and neuromelanin MRI study


Pathological involvement of the noradrenergic locus coeruleus occurs early in Parkinson’s disease, and widespread noradrenaline reductions are found at post-mortem. Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) accompanies Parkinson’s disease and its presence predicts an unfavourable disease course with a higher propensity to cognitive impairment and orthostatic hypotension. MRI can detect neuromelanin in the locus coeruleus while 11C-MeNER PET is a marker of noradrenaline transporter availability. Here, we use both imaging modalities to study the association of RBD, cognition and autonomic dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease with loss of noradrenergic function. Thirty non-demented Parkinson’s disease patients [16 patients with RBD and 14 without RBD, comparable across age (66.6 ± 6.7 years), sex (22 males), and disease stage (Hoehn and Yahr, 2.3 ± 0.5)], had imaging of the locus coeruleus with neuromelanin sensitive MRI and brain noradrenaline transporter availability with 11C-MeNER PET. RBD was confirmed with polysomnography; cognitive function was assessed with a neuropsychological test battery, and blood pressure changes on tilting were documented; results were compared to 12 matched control subjects. We found that Parkinson’s disease patients with RBD showed decreased locus coeruleus neuromelanin signal on MRI (P < 0.001) and widespread reduced binding of 11C-MeNER (P < 0.001), which correlated with amount of REM sleep without atonia. Parkinson’s disease with RBD was also associated with a higher incidence of cognitive impairment, slowed EEG activity, and orthostatic hypotension. Reduced 11C-MeNER binding correlated with EEG slowing, cognitive performance, and orthostatic hypotension. In conclusion, reduced noradrenergic function in Parkinson’s disease was linked to the presence of RBD and associated with cognitive deterioration and orthostatic hypotension. Noradrenergic impairment may contribute to the high prevalence of these non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease, and may be of relevance when treating these conditions in Parkinson’s disease.

Brain 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Motor learning and metaplasticity in striatal neurons: relevance for Parkinson’s disease


Nigro-striatal dopamine transmission is central to a wide range of neuronal functions, including skill learning, which is disrupted in several pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease. The synaptic plasticity mechanisms, by which initial motor learning is stored for long time periods in striatal neurons, to then be gradually optimized upon subsequent training, remain unexplored. Addressing this issue is crucial to identify the synaptic and molecular mechanisms involved in striatal-dependent learning impairment in Parkinson’s disease. In this study, we took advantage of interindividual differences between outbred rodents in reaching plateau performance in the rotarod incremental motor learning protocol, to study striatal synaptic plasticity ex vivo. We then assessed how this process is modulated by dopamine receptors and the dopamine active transporter, and whether it is impaired by overexpression of human α-synuclein in the mesencephalon; the latter is a progressive animal model of Parkinson’s disease. We found that the initial acquisition of motor learning induced a dopamine active transporter and D1 receptors mediated long-term potentiation, under a protocol of long-term depression in striatal medium spiny neurons. This effect disappeared in animals reaching performance plateau. Overexpression of human α-synuclein reduced striatal dopamine active transporter levels, impaired motor learning, and prevented the learning-induced long-term potentiation, before the appearance of dopamine neuronal loss. Our findings provide evidence of a reorganization of cellular plasticity within the dorsolateral striatum that is mediated by dopamine receptors and dopamine active transporter during the acquisition of a skill. This newly identified mechanism of cellular memory is a form of metaplasticity that is disrupted in the early stage of synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson’s disease, and that might be relevant for other striatal pathologies, such as drug abuse.

Brain 2017

NEWS FROM THE WORLD- Prediction of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis in patients with clinically isolated syndrome using the 2016 MAGNIMS and 2010 McDonald criteria: a retrospective study



In 2016, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis (MAGNIMS) network proposed modifications to the MRI criteria to define dissemination in space (DIS) and time (DIT) for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). Changes to the DIS definition included removal of the distinction between symptomatic and asymptomatic lesions, increasing the number of lesions needed to define periventricular involvement to three, combining cortical and juxtacortical lesions, and inclusion of optic nerve evaluation. For DIT, removal of the distinction between symptomatic and asymptomatic lesions was suggested. We compared the performance of the 2010 McDonald and 2016 MAGNIMS criteria for multiple sclerosis diagnosis in a large multicentre cohort of patients with CIS to provide evidence to guide revisions of multiple sclerosis diagnostic criteria.


Brain and spinal cord MRI and optic nerve assessments from patients with typical CIS suggestive of multiple sclerosis done less than 3 months from clinical onset in eight European multiple sclerosis centres were included in this retrospective study. Eligible patients were 16–60 years, and had a first CIS suggestive of CNS demyelination and typical of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, a complete neurological examination, a baseline brain and spinal cord MRI scan obtained less than 3 months from clinical onset, and a follow-up brain scan obtained less than 12 months from CIS onset. We recorded occurrence of a second clinical attack (clinically definite multiple sclerosis) at months 36 and 60. We evaluated MRI criteria performance for DIS, DIT, and DIS plus DIT with a time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.


Between June 16, 1995, and Jan 27, 2017, 571 patients with CIS were screened, of whom 368 met all study inclusion criteria. At the last evaluation (median 50·0 months [IQR 27·0–78·4]), 189 (51%) of 368 patients developed clinically definite multiple sclerosis. At 36 months, the two DIS criteria showed high sensitivity (2010 McDonald 0·91 [95% CI 0·85–0·94] and 2016 MAGNIMS 0·93 [0·88–0·96]), similar specificity (0·33 [0·25–0·42] and 0·32 [0·24–0·41]), and similar area under the curve values (AUC; 0·62 [0·57–0·67] and 0·63 [0·58–0·67]). Performance was not affected by inclusion of symptomatic lesions (sensitivity 0·92 [0·87–0·96], specificity 0·31 [0·23–0·40], AUC 0·62 [0·57–0·66]) or cortical lesions (sensitivity 0·92 [0·87–0·95], specificity 0·32 [0·24–0·41], AUC 0·62 [0·57–0·67]). Requirement of three periventricular lesions resulted in slightly lower sensitivity (0·85 [0·78–0·90], slightly higher specificity (0·40 [0·32–0·50], and similar AUC (0·63 [0·57–0·68]). Inclusion of optic nerve evaluation resulted in similar sensitivity (0·92 [0·87–0·96]), and slightly lower specificity (0·26 [0·18–0·34]) and AUC (0·59 [0·55–0·64]). AUC values were also similar for DIT (2010 McDonald 0·61 [0·55–0·67] and 2016 MAGNIMS 0·61 [0·55–0·66]) and DIS plus DIT (0·62 [0·56–0·67] and 0·64 [0·58–0·69]).


The 2016 MAGNIMS criteria showed similar accuracy to the 2010 McDonald criteria in predicting the development of clinically definite multiple sclerosis. Inclusion of symptomatic lesions is expected to simplify the clinical use of MRI criteria without reducing accuracy, and our findings suggest that needing three lesions to define periventricular involvement might slightly increase specificity, suggesting that these two factors could be considered during further revisions of multiple sclerosis diagnostic criteria.

Lancet Neurology 2017