Characterization of lacunar infarction (LI) by use of multimodal MRI including diffusion- and perfusion-weighted imaging (DWI, PWI) is difficult because of the small lesion size. Only a few studies evaluated PWI in LI and the results are inconsistent.
In 16 LI patients who underwent initial MRI within 6 hours after symptom onset and follow-up MRI within 1 week demographics, clinical presentation, and MRI findings were analyzed with special emphasis on DWI and PWI findings. Time to peak maps were classified as showing a normal perfusion pattern or areas of hypoperfusion which were further categorized in mismatch (PWI>DWI), inverse mismatch (PWI
Of the 16 patients (mean age 65.5±12.9 years), 14 (87.5%) were male. Clinical symptoms comprised dysarthria (50%), hemiparesis (81.3%), and hemihypaesthesia (18.8%). Intravenous thrombolysis was performed in 7 (43.8%) patients. Clinical improvement was observed in 12 patients (75 %), while 2 (12.5%) patients showed a deterioration and another 2 (12.5%) a stable course. Acute ischemic lesions (mean volume of 0.46±0.29 cm3) were located in the thalamus (n=8, 50%), internal capsule (n=4, 25%), corona Radiata (n=3, 18.8%) and the mesencephalon (n=1, 6.3%). Circumscribed hypoperfusion (mean volume 0.61±0.48 cm3) was evident in 10 (62.5%) patients. Of these, 3 patients demonstrated a match, 4 an inverse mismatch, and 3 a mismatch between DWI and PWI lesion. Mean CBF and CBV ratios were 0.65±0.28 and 0.84±0.41 respectively. Growth of DWI lesions was observed in 7 (43.8%) and reversal of DWI lesions in 3 (18.8%) patients.
MRI allows identification of different DWI and PWI patterns in LI, including growth and reversal of ischemic lesions. Consequently, it may serve for a better characterization of this stroke subtype and support treatment decisions in daily clinical practice.
Fabry disease is a rare X-linked inherited lysosomal storage disorder affecting multiple organ systems. It includes central nervous system involvement via micro- and macroangiopathic cerebral changes. Due to its clinical symptoms and frequent MRI lesions, Fabry disease is commonly misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis. We present an overview of cases from Fabry centres in Germany initially misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis and report the clinical, MR-tomographical, and laboratory findings.
Eleven Fabry patients (one male, ten females) initially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis were identified from 187 patient records (5.9%) and analyzed for presenting symptoms, results of the initial diagnostic workup, and the clinical course of the disease.
Four patients were identified as having a “possible” history of MS, and 7 patients as “definite” cases of multiple sclerosis (revised McDonald criteria). On average, Fabry disease was diagnosed 8.2 years (±9.8 years) after the MS diagnosis, and 12.8 years after onset of first symptoms (±10.3 years). All patients revealed white matter lesions on MRI. The lesion pattern and results of cerebrospinal fluid examination were inconsistent and non-specific. White matter lesion volumes ranged from 8.9 mL to 34.8 mL (mean 17.8 mL±11.4 mL). There was no association between extra-neurological manifestations or enzyme activity and lesion load.
There are several anamnestic and clinical hints indicating when Fabry disease should be considered a relevant differential diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, e.g. female patients with asymmetric, confluent white matter lesions on MRI, normal spinal MR imaging, ectatic vertebrobasilar arteries, proteinuria, or lack of intrathecally derived immunoglobulin synthesis.
Current guidelines recommend withholding antithrombotic therapy (ATT) for at least 24 h in patients with acute ischemic stroke treated with thrombolytic therapy. Herein, we report a retrospective analysis of a single-centre experience on the safety and efficacy of antithrombotic therapy (ATT) started before or after 24 h of intravenous thrombolysis in a cohort of acute ischemic stroke patients.
A total of 139 patients (Rapid ATT group) received antithrombotic therapy before 24 h of thrombolysis, and 33 patients (Standard ATT group) after 24 h. The brain parenchyma and vessel status were assessed using simple CT scan on admission, multimodal CT scan at the end of thrombolysis, and angio-CT/MRI scan at day 3. Functional outcome was scored using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at day 90.
The two ATT groups had similar demographics, stroke subtypes, baseline NIHSS, thrombolytic strategies, vessel-patency rates at the end of thrombolysis, and incidence of bleeding complications at follow up. At day 3, the Rapid ATT group had a non-significant improved vessel-patency rate than the Standard ATT group. At day 90, a greater proportion of patients in the rapid ATT group had shifted down the mRS, and had improved in the NIHSS score.
ATT initiated before 24 h of intravenous thrombolytic therapy in acute stroke patients disclosed no safety concerns compared with a conventional antithrombotic therapy delay of 24 h and showed better functional outcome at follow up. The value of early initiation of ATT after thrombolysis deserves further assessment in randomized controlled trials.
Inflammation is a pathophysiological hallmark of many diseases of the brain. Specific imaging of cells and molecules that contribute to cerebral inflammation is therefore highly desirable, both for research and in clinical application. The 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) has been established as a suitable target for the detection of activated microglia/macrophages. A number of novel TSPO ligands have been developed recently. Here, we evaluated the high affinity TSPO ligand DPA-714 as a marker of brain inflammation in two independent animal models. For the first time, the specificity of radiolabeled DPA-714 for activated microglia/macrophages was studied in a rat model of epilepsy (induced using Kainic acid) and in a mouse model of stroke (transient middle cerebral artery occlusion, tMCAO) using high-resolution autoradiography and immunohistochemistry. Additionally, cold-compound blocking experiments were performed and changes in blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability were determined. Target-to-background ratios of 2 and 3 were achieved in lesioned vs. unaffected brain tissue in the epilepsy and tMCAO models, respectively. In both models, ligand uptake into the lesion corresponded well with the extent of Ox42- or Iba1-immunoreactive activated microglia/macrophages. In the epilepsy model, ligand uptake was almost completely blocked by pre-injection of DPA-714 and FEDAA1106, another high-affinity TSPO ligand. Ligand uptake was independent of the degree of BBB opening and lesion size in the stroke model. We provide further strong evidence that DPA-714 is a specific ligand to image activated microglia/macrophages in experimental models of brain inflammation.
The Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) signaling pathway is known to influence pathophysiological processes within the brain and the synthetic S1P analog FTY720 has been shown to provide neuroprotection in experimental models of acute stroke. However, the effects of a manipulation of S1P signaling at later time points after experimental stroke have not yet been investigated. We examined whether a relatively late initiation of a FTY720 treatment has a positive effect on long-term neurological outcome with a focus on reactive astrogliosis, synapses and neurotrophic factors.
We induced photothrombotic stroke (PT) in adult C57BL/6J mice and allowed them to recover for three days. Starting on post-stroke day 3, mice were treated with FTY720 (1 mg/kg b.i.d.) for 5 days. Behavioral outcome was observed until day 31 after photothrombosis and periinfarct cortical tissue was analyzed using tandem mass-spectrometry, TaqMan®analysis and immunofluorescence.
FTY720 treatment results in a significantly better functional outcome persisting up to day 31 after PT. This is accompanied by a significant decrease in reactive astrogliosis and larger post-synaptic densities as well as changes in the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor α (VEGF α). Within the periinfarct cortex, S1P is significantly increased compared to healthy brain tissue.
Besides its known neuroprotective effects in the acute phase of experimental stroke, the initiation of FTY720 treatment in the convalescence period has a positive impact on long-term functional outcome, probably mediated through reduced astrogliosis, a modulation in synaptic morphology and an increased expression of neurotrophic factors.
We examined the effect of Revacept, an Fc fusion protein which is specifically linked to the extracellular domain of glycoprotein VI (GPVI), on thrombus formation after vessel wall injury and on experimental stroke in mice.
Several antiplatelet drugs for the treatment of myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke with potent anti-ischemic effects have been developed, but all incur a significant risk of bleeding.
Platelet adhesion and thrombus formation after endothelial injury was monitored in the carotid artery by intra-vital fluorescence microscopy. The morphological and clinical consequences of stroke were investigated in a mouse model with a one hour-occlusion of the middle cerebral artery.
Thrombus formation was significantly decreased after endothelial injury by 1 mg/kg Revacept IV, compared to Fc only. 1 mg/kg Revacept IV applied in mice with ischemic stroke immediately before reperfusion significantly improved functional outcome, cerebral infarct size and edema compared to Fc only. Also treatment with 10 mg/kg rtPA was effective, and functional outcome was similar in both treatment groups. The combination of Revacept with rtPA leads to increased reperfusion compared to treatment with either agent alone. In contrast to rtPA, however, there were no signs of increased intracranial bleeding with Revacept. Both rtPA and Revacept improved survival after stroke compared to placebo treatment. Revacept and vWF bind to collagen and Revacept competitively prevented the binding of vWF to collagen.
Revacept reduces arterial thrombus formation, reduces cerebral infarct size and edema after ischemic stroke, improves functional and prognostic outcome without intracranial bleeding. Revacept not only prevents GPVI-mediated, but probably also vWF-mediated platelet adhesion and aggregate formation. Therefore Revacept might be a potent and safe tool to treat ischemic complications of stroke.
Oxygen depletion (O2) and a decrease in pH are initial pathophysiological events in stroke development, but secondary mechanisms of ischemic cell death are incompletely understood. By patch-clamp recordings of brain slice preparations we show that TASK1 and TASK3 channels are inhibited by pH-reduction (42 ± 2%) and O2 deprivation (36 ± 5%) leading to membrane depolarization, increased input resistance and a switch in action potential generation under ischemic conditions. In vivo TASK blockade by anandamide significantly increased infarct volumes at 24h in mice undergoing 30 min of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO). Moreover, blockade of TASK channels accelerated stroke development. Supporting these findings TASK1−/− mice developed significantly larger infarct volumes after tMCAO accompanied by worse outcome in functional neurological tests compared to wild type mice. In conclusion, our data provide evidence for an important role of functional TASK channels in limiting tissue damage during cerebral ischemia.
cerebral ischemia; transient middle cerebral artery occlusion; Two-pore domain potassium channels; TASK channels; thalamic neurons; TASK1−/− mice; electrophysiology
Recent studies have suggested a protective role of physiological β-amyloid autoantibodies (Aβ-autoantibodies) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the determination of both free and dissociated Aβ-autoantibodies in serum hitherto has yielded inconsistent results regarding their function and possible biomarker value. Here we report the application of a new sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the determination of antigen-bound Aβ-autoantibodies (intact Aβ-IgG immune complexes) in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of a total number of 112 AD patients and age- and gender-matched control subjects. Both serum and CSF levels of Aβ-IgG immune complexes were found to be significantly higher in AD patients compared to control subjects. Moreover, the levels of Aβ-IgG complexes were negatively correlated with the cognitive status across the groups, increasing with declining cognitive test performance of the subjects. Our results suggest a contribution of IgG-type autoantibodies to Aβ clearance in vivo and an increased immune response in AD, which may be associated with deficient Aβ-IgG removal. These findings may contribute to elucidating the role of Aβ-autoantibodies in AD pathophysiology and their potential application in AD diagnosis.
Platelet aggregation is essential for hemostasis, but can also cause myocardial infarction and stroke. A key but poorly understood step in platelet activation is increased function of the major adhesive receptor, αIIbβ3 integrin, which enables adhesion and aggregation. Phospholipases (PL), in response to agonist receptor stimulation, cleave membrane phospholipids to generate lipid second messengers. An essential role in platelet activation has been established for PLC, but not for PLD and its product phosphatidic acid. Here, we report the generation of Pld1−/− mice and show that their platelets display impaired αIIbβ3 integrin activation in response to classic agonists, and defective glycoprotein Ib-dependent aggregate formation under high shear flow conditions. This defect resulted in protection from thrombosis and ischemic brain infarction, without affecting tail bleeding times. These results indicate that PLD1 may be a critical regulator of platelet activity in the setting of ischemic cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events.
δ-opioid receptor (DOR) activation reduced brain ischemic infarction and attenuated neurological deficits, while DOR inhibition aggravated the ischemic damage. The underlying mechanisms are, however, not well understood yet. In this work, we asked if DOR activation protects the brain against ischemic injury through a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) -TrkB pathway.
We exposed adult male Sprague-Dawley rats to focal cerebral ischemia, which was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). DOR agonist TAN-67 (60 nmol), antagonist Naltrindole (100 nmol) or artificial cerebral spinal fluid was injected into the lateral cerebroventricle 30 min before MCAO. Besides the detection of ischemic injury, the expression of BDNF, full-length and truncated TrkB, total CREB, p-CREB, p-ATF and CD11b was detected by Western blot and fluorescence immunostaining.
DOR activation with TAN-67 significantly reduced the ischemic volume and largely reversed the decrease in full-length TrkB protein expression in the ischemic cortex and striatum without any appreciable change in cerebral blood flow, while the DOR antagonist Naltrindole aggregated the ischemic injury. However, the level of BDNF remained unchanged in the cortex, striatum and hippocampus at 24 hours after MCAO and did not change in response to DOR activation or inhibition. MCAO decreased both total CREB and pCREB in the striatum, but not in the cortex, while DOR inhibition promoted a further decrease in total and phosphorylated CREB in the striatum and decreased pATF-1 expression in the cortex. In addition, MCAO increased C11b expression in the cortex, striatum and hippocampus, and DOR activation specifically attenuated the ischemic increase in the cortex but not in the striatum and hippocampus.
DOR activation rescues TrkB signaling by reversing ischemia/reperfusion induced decrease in the full-length TrkB receptor and reduces brain injury in ischemia/reperfusion
The inflammatory response following ischemic stroke is dominated by innate immune cells: resident microglia and blood-derived macrophages. The ambivalent role of these cells in stroke outcome might be explained in part by the acquisition of distinct functional phenotypes: classically (M1) and alternatively activated (M2) macrophages. To shed light on the crosstalk between hypoxic neurons and macrophages, an in vitro model was set up in which bone marrow-derived macrophages were co-cultured with hippocampal slices subjected to oxygen and glucose deprivation. The results showed that macrophages provided potent protection against neuron cell loss through a paracrine mechanism, and that they expressed M2-type alternative polarization. These findings raised the possibility of using bone marrow-derived M2 macrophages in cellular therapy for stroke. Therefore, 2 million M2 macrophages (or vehicle) were intravenously administered during the subacute stage of ischemia (D4) in a model of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Functional neuroscores and magnetic resonance imaging endpoints (infarct volumes, blood-brain barrier integrity, phagocytic activity assessed by iron oxide uptake) were longitudinally monitored for 2 weeks. This cell-based treatment did not significantly improve any outcome measure compared with vehicle, suggesting that this strategy is not relevant to stroke therapy.
Human cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) has distinct histopathologic and imaging findings in its advanced stages. In spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rats (SHRSP), a well-established animal model of CSVD, we recently demonstrated that cerebral microangiopathy is initiated by early microvascular dysfunction leading to the breakdown of the blood–brain barrier and an activated coagulatory state resulting in capillary and arteriolar erythrocyte accumulations (stases). In the present study, we investigated whether initial microvascular dysfunction and other stages of the pathologic CSVD cascade can be detected by serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Fourteen SHRSP and three control (Wistar) rats (aged 26–44 weeks) were investigated biweekly by 3.0 Tesla (3 T) MRI. After perfusion, brains were stained with hematoxylin–eosin and histology was correlated with MRI data. Three SHRSP developed terminal CSVD stages including cortical, hippocampal, and striatal infarcts and macrohemorrhages, which could be detected consistently by MRI. Corresponding histology showed small vessel thromboses and increased numbers of small perivascular bleeds in the infarcted areas. However, 3 T MRI failed to visualize intravascular erythrocyte accumulations, even in those brain regions with the highest densities of affected vessels and the largest vessels affected by stases, as well as failing to detect small perivascular bleeds.
Serial MRI at a field strength of 3 T failed to detect the initial microvascular dysfunction and subsequent small perivascular bleeds in SHRSP; only terminal stages of cerebral microangiopathy were reliably detected. Further investigations at higher magnetic field strengths (7 T) using blood- and flow-sensitive sequences are currently underway.
Cerebral small vessel disease; SHRSP; MRI
Pannexin1 (Panx1) is a plasma membrane channel permeable to relatively large molecules, such as ATP. In the central nervous system (CNS) Panx1 is found in neurons and glia and in the immune system in macrophages and T-cells. We tested the hypothesis that Panx1-mediated ATP release contributes to expression of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for multiple sclerosis, using wild-type (WT) and Panx1 knockout (KO) mice. Panx1 KO mice displayed a delayed onset of clinical signs of EAE and decreased mortality compared to WT mice, but developed as severe symptoms as the surviving WT mice. Spinal cord inflammatory lesions were also reduced in Panx1 KO EAE mice during acute disease. Additionally, pharmacologic inhibition of Panx1 channels with mefloquine (MFQ) reduced severity of acute and chronic EAE when administered before or after onset of clinical signs. ATP release and YoPro uptake were significantly increased in WT mice with EAE as compared to WT non-EAE and reduced in tissues of EAE Panx1 KO mice. Interestingly, we found that the P2X7 receptor was upregulated in the chronic phase of EAE in both WT and Panx1 KO spinal cords. Such increase in receptor expression is likely to counterbalance the decrease in ATP release recorded from Panx1 KO mice and thus contribute to the development of EAE symptoms in these mice. The present study shows that a Panx1 dependent mechanism (ATP release and/or inflammasome activation) contributes to disease progression, and that inhibition of Panx1 using pharmacology or gene disruption delays and attenuates clinical signs of EAE.
Post-stroke hypoxia is common, and may adversely affect outcome. We have recently shown that oxygen supplementation may improve early neurological recovery. Here, we report the six-month outcomes of this pilot study.
Patients with a clinical diagnosis of acute stroke were randomized within 24 h of admission to oxygen supplementation at 2 or 3 L/min for 72 h or to control treatment (room air). Outcomes (see below) were assessed by postal questionnaire at 6 months. Analysis was by intention-to-treat, and statistical significance was set at p≤0.05.
Out of 301 patients randomized two refused/withdrew consent and 289 (148 in the oxygen and 141 in the control group) were included in the analysis: males 44%, 51%; mean (SD) age 73 (12), 71 (12); median (IQR) National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score 6 (3, 10), 5 (3, 10) for the two groups respectively. At six months 22 (15%) patients in the oxygen group and 20 (14%) in the control group had died; mean survival in both groups was 162 days (p = 0.99). Median (IQR) scores for the primary outcome, the modified Rankin Scale, were 3 (1, 5) and 3 (1, 4) for the oxygen and control groups respectively. The covariate-adjusted odds ratio was 1.04 (95% CI 0.67, 1.60), indicating that the odds of a lower (i.e. better) score were non-significantly higher in the oxygen group (p = 0.86). The mean differences in the ability to perform basic (Barthel Index) and extended activities of daily living (NEADL), and quality of life (EuroQol) were also non-significant.
None of the key outcomes differed at 6 months between the groups. Although not statistically significant and generally of small magnitude, the effects were predominantly in favour of the oxygen group; a larger trial, powered to show differences in longer-term functional outcomes, is now on-going.
Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN12362720; Eudract.ema.europa.eu 2004-001866-41
It is established that proplatelets are formed from mature megakaryocytes (MK) as intermediates before platelet production. Recently, the presence of proplatelets was described in blood incubated in static conditions. We have previously demonstrated that platelet and proplatelet formation is upregulated by MK exposure to high shear rates (1800 s−1) on immobilized von Willebrand factor (VWF). The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether VWF is involved in the regulation of terminal platelet production in blood. To this end, Vwf −/− mice, a model of severe von Willebrand disease, were used to create a situation in which blood cells circulate in a vascular tree that is completely devoid of VWF. Murine platelets were isolated from Vwf −/− and Vwf +/+ blood, exposed to VWF at 1800 s−1 in a microfluidic platform, and examined by means of videomicroscopy, as well as fluorescence and activation studies. Proplatelets became visible within 5 minutes, representing 38% of all platelets after 12 minutes and 46% after 28 min. The proportion of proplatelets was 1.8-fold higher in blood from Vwf−/− mice than from Vwf+/+ mice, suggesting a role of VWF in vivo. Fragmentation of these proplatelets into smaller discoid platelets was also observed in real-time. Platelets remained fully activatable by thrombin. Compensation of plasmatic VWF following hydrodynamic gene transfer in Vwf−/− mice reduced the percentage of proplatelets to wild-type levels. A thrombocytopenic mouse model was studied in the flow system, 7 days after a single 5-FU injection. Compared to untreated mouse blood, a 2-fold increase in the percentage of proplatelets was detected following exposure to 1800 s−1 on VWF of samples from mice treated with 5-FU. In conclusion, VWF and shear stress together appear to upregulate proplatelet reorganization and platelet formation. This suggests a new function for VWF in vivo as regulator of bloodstream thrombopoiesis.
Recurrent bleeding can complicate the treatment of thrombosis patients with vitamin K antagonists (VKA), even at a well-regulated level of anticoagulation. In this proof-of-principle study, we investigated whether alterations in platelet function or von Willebrand factor (vWf) contribute to a bleeding phenotype in these patients.
In this case-control study 33 well-regulated patients without bleeding events (controls) and 33 patients with recurrent bleeding (cases) were retrospectively included. Thrombin generation and vWf were determined in plasma. Platelet function was assessed by light transmission aggregometry and flow cytometry using a validated panel of agonists.
Thrombin generation was similarly reduced in controls and cases, in comparison to normal plasma. Plasma vWf level was above the normal range in 85% of controls and 67% of the cases. vWf activity was similarly increased in all patients in comparison to healthy volunteers. Platelet aggregation was in the normal range for almost all patients irrespective of the type of agonist. However, in response to a low collagen dose, platelets from 21% of controls and 27% of cases showed diminished responses. Agonist-induced secretion of alpha- and dense-granules or integrin αIIbβ3 activation were affected in platelets from neither controls nor cases.
Recurrent bleeding in well-controlled patients on VKA therapy is not explained by anti-hemostatic changes in platelet or vWf function.
Background and Purpose
The brain-specific astroglial protein GFAP is a blood biomarker candidate indicative of intracerebral hemorrhage in patients with symptoms suspicious of acute stroke. Comparably little, however, is known about GFAP release in other neurological disorders. In order to identify potential “specificity gaps” of a future GFAP test used to diagnose intracerebral hemorrhage, we measured GFAP in the blood of a large and rather unselected collective of patients with neurological diseases.
Within a one-year period, we randomly selected in-patients of our university hospital for study inclusion. Patients with ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack and intracerebral hemorrhage were excluded. Primary endpoint was the ICD-10 coded diagnosis reached at discharge. During hospital stay, blood was collected, and GFAP plasma levels were determined using an advanced prototype immunoassay at Roche Diagnostics.
A total of 331 patients were included, covering a broad spectrum of neurological diseases. GFAP levels were low in the vast majority of patients, with 98.5% of cases lying below the cut-off that was previously defined for the differentiation of intracerebral hemorrhage and ischemic stroke. No diagnosis or group of diagnoses was identified that showed consistently increased GFAP values. No association with age and sex was found.
Most acute and chronic neurological diseases, including typical stroke mimics, are not associated with detectable GFAP levels in the bloodstream. Our findings underline the hypothesis that rapid astroglial destruction as in acute intracerebral hemorrhage is mandatory for GFAP increase. A future GFAP blood test applied to identify patients with intracerebral hemorrhage is likely to have a high specificity.
The exact underlying pathomechanism of central sleep apnea with Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSA-CSR) is still unclear. Recent studies have demonstrated an association between cerebral white matter changes and CSA. A dysfunction of central respiratory control centers in the brainstem was suggested by some authors. Novel MR-imaging analysis tools now allow far more subtle assessment of microstructural cerebral changes. The aim of this study was to investigate whether and what severity of subtle structural cerebral changes could lead to CSA-CSR, and whether there is a specific pattern of neurodegenerative changes that cause CSR. Therefore, we examined patients with Fabry disease (FD), an inherited, lysosomal storage disease. White matter lesions are early and frequent findings in FD. Thus, FD can serve as a "model disease" of cerebral microangiopathy to study in more detail the impact of cerebral lesions on central sleep apnea.
Patients and Methods
Genetically proven FD patients (n = 23) and age-matched healthy controls (n = 44) underwent a cardio-respiratory polysomnography and brain MRI at 3.0 Tesla. We applied different MR-imaging techniques, ranging from semiquantitative measurement of white matter lesion (WML) volumes and automated calculation of brain tissue volumes to VBM of gray matter and voxel-based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analysis.
In 5 of 23 Fabry patients (22%) CSA-CSR was detected. Voxel-based DTI analysis revealed widespread structural changes in FD patients when compared to the healthy controls. When calculated as a separate group, DTI changes of CSA-CSR patients were most prominent in the brainstem. Voxel-based regression analysis revealed a significant association between CSR severity and microstructural DTI changes within the brainstem.
Subtle microstructural changes in the brainstem might be a neuroanatomical correlate of CSA-CSR in patients at risk of WML. DTI is more sensitive and specific than conventional structural MRI and other advanced MR analyses tools in demonstrating these abnormalities.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised by loss of motor neurons that currently has no cure. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), have many health benefits including neuroprotective and myoprotective potential. We tested the hypothesis that a high level of dietary EPA could exert beneficial effects in ALS. The dietary exposure to EPA (300 mg/kg/day) in a well-established mouse model of ALS expressing the G93A superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutation was initiated at a pre-symptomatic or symptomatic stage, and the disease progression was monitored until the end stage. Daily dietary EPA exposure initiated at the disease onset did not significantly alter disease presentation and progression. In contrast, EPA treatment initiated at the pre-symptomatic stage induced a significantly shorter lifespan. In a separate group of animals sacrificed before the end stage, the tissue analysis showed that the vacuolisation detected in G93A-SOD1 mice was significantly increased by exposure to EPA. Although EPA did not alter motor neurone loss, EPA reversed the significant increase in activated microglia and the astrocytic activation seen in G93A-SOD1 mice. The microglia in the spinal cord of G93A-SOD1 mice treated with EPA showed a significant increase in 4-hydroxy-2-hexenal, a highly toxic aldehydic oxidation product of omega-3 fatty acids. These data show that dietary EPA supplementation in ALS has the potential to worsen the condition and accelerate the disease progression. This suggests that great caution should be exerted when considering dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplements in ALS patients.
The application of susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) in brain tumor imaging is mainly used to assess tumor-related “susceptibility based signals” (SBS). The origin of SBS in glioblastoma is still unknown, potentially representing calcifications or blood depositions. Reliable differentiation between both entities may be important to evaluate treatment response and to identify glioblastoma with oligodendroglial components that are supposed to present calcifications. Since calcifications and blood deposits are difficult to differentiate using conventional MRI, we investigated whether a new post-processing approach, quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), is able to distinguish between both entities reliably.
Materials and Methods
SWI, FLAIR, and T1-w images were acquired from 46 patients with glioblastoma (14 newly diagnosed, 24 treated with radiochemotherapy, 8 treated with radiochemotherapy and additional anti-angiogenic medication). Susceptibility maps were calculated from SWI data. All glioblastoma were evaluated for the appearance of hypointense or hyperintense correlates of SBS on the susceptibility maps.
43 of 46 glioblastoma presented only hyperintense intratumoral SBS on susceptibility maps, indicating blood deposits. Additional hypointense correlates of tumor-related SBS on susceptibility maps, indicating calcification, were identified in 2 patients being treated with radiochemotherapy and in one patient being treated with additional anti-angiogenic medication. Histopathologic reports revealed an oligodendroglial component in one patient that presented calcifications on susceptibility maps.
QSM provides a quantitative, local MRI contrast, which reliably differentiates between blood deposits and calcifications. Thus, quantitative susceptibility mapping appears promising to identify rare variants of glioblastoma with oligodendroglial components non-invasively and may allow monitoring the role of calcification in the context of different therapy regimes.
Sudden tetraparesis represents a neurological emergency and is most often caused by traumatic spinal cord injury, spinal epidural bleeding or brainstem ischemia and less frequently by medial disc herniation or spinal ischemia.
Here we report the rare case of an 82-year-old Caucasian man who developed severe tetraparesis four days after radical cystoprostatectomy. An emergency diagnostic study for spinal cord affection was normal. Brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed acute bilateral ischemic strokes in the precentral gyri as the underlying cause.
This case report underlines the need to also consider unusual causes of tetraparesis in an emergency situation apart from spinal cord or brain stem injury in order not to leave severe symptomatology unclear and possibly miss therapeutic options.