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1.  Two new cases of anti-Ca (anti-ARHGAP26/GRAF) autoantibody-associated cerebellar ataxia 
Recently, we discovered a novel serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) autoantibody (anti-Ca) to Purkinje cells in a patient with autoimmune cerebellar ataxia (ACA) and identified the RhoGTPase-activating protein 26 (ARHGAP26; alternative designations include GTPase regulator associated with focal adhesion kinase pp125, GRAF, and oligophrenin-1-like protein, OPHN1L) as the target antigen. Here, we report on two new cases of ARHGAP26 autoantibody-positive ACA that were first diagnosed after publication of the index case study. While the index patient developed ACA following an episode of respiratory infection with still no evidence for malignancy 52 months after onset, neurological symptoms heralded ovarian cancer in one of the patients described here. Our finding of anti-Ca/anti-ARHGAP26 antibodies in two additional patients supports a role of autoimmunity against ARHGAP26 in the pathogenesis of ACA. Moreover, the finding of ovarian cancer in one of our patients suggests that anti-Ca/anti-ARHGAP26-positive ACA might be of paraneoplastic aetiology in some cases. In conclusion, testing for anti-Ca/anti-ARHGAP26 should be included in the diagnostic work-up of patients with ACA, and an underlying tumour should be considered in patients presenting with anti-Ca/ARHGAP26 antibody-positive ACA.
doi:10.1186/1742-2094-10-7
PMCID: PMC3549891  PMID: 23320754
Autoimmune cerebellar ataxia; Purkinje cells; Autoimmunity; Autoantibodies; RhoGTPase-activating protein 26 (ARHGAP26); GTPase regulator associated with focal adhesion kinase pp125 (GRAF); Oligophrenin-1-like protein; Paraneoplastic; Ovarian cancer
2.  Anterior interosseous nerve syndrome 
Neurology  2014;82(7):598-606.
Objective:
We sought to determine lesion sites and spatial lesion patterns in spontaneous anterior interosseous nerve syndrome (AINS) with high-resolution magnetic resonance neurography (MRN).
Methods:
In 20 patients with AINS and 20 age- and sex-matched controls, MRN of median nerve fascicles was performed at 3T with large longitudinal anatomical coverage (upper arm/elbow/forearm): 135 contiguous axial slices (T2-weighted: echo time/repetition time 52/7,020 ms, time of acquisition: 15 minutes 48 seconds, in-plane resolution: 0.25 × 0.25 mm). Lesion classification was performed by visual inspection and by quantitative analysis of normalized T2 signal after segmentation of median nerve voxels.
Results:
In all patients and no controls, T2 lesions of individual fascicles were observed within upper arm median nerve trunk and strictly followed a somatotopic/internal topography: affected were those motor fascicles that will form the anterior interosseous nerve further distally while other fascicles were spared. Predominant lesion focus was at a mean distance of 14.6 ± 5.4 cm proximal to the humeroradial joint. Discriminative power of quantitative T2 signal analysis and of qualitative lesion rating was high, with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity (p < 0.0001). Fascicular T2 lesion patterns were rated as multifocal (n = 17), monofocal (n = 2), or indeterminate (n = 1) by 2 independent observers with strong agreement (kappa = 0.83).
Conclusion:
It has been difficult to prove the existence of fascicular/partial nerve lesions in spontaneous neuropathies using clinical and electrophysiologic findings. With MRN, fascicular lesions with strict somatotopic organization were observed in upper arm median nerve trunks of patients with AINS. Our data strongly support that AINS in the majority of cases is not a surgically treatable entrapment neuropathy but a multifocal mononeuropathy selectively involving, within the main trunk of the median nerve, the motor fascicles that continue distally to form the anterior interosseous nerve.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000128
PMCID: PMC3963415  PMID: 24415574
3.  Rationale for treating oedema in Duchenne muscular dystrophy with eplerenone 
Acta Myologica  2012;31(1):31-39.
Recently we reported a cytoplasmic sodium overload to cause a severe osmotic oedema in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Our results suggested that this dual overload of sodium ions and water precedes the dystrophic process and persists until fatty muscle degeneration is complete. The present paper addresses the questions as to whether these overloads are important for the pathogenesis of the disease, and if so, whether they can be treated. As a first step, we investigated the effects of various diuretic drugs on a cell model of DMD, i.e. rat diaphragm strips previously exposed to amphotericin B. We found that both carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and aldosterone antagonists were able to repolarise depolarised muscle fibres. Since carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are known to have acidifying effects and this might be detrimental to the ventilation of DMD patients, we mainly concentrated on the modern spironolactone derivative, eplerenone. This drug had a very high repolarizing power, the parameter considered by us as being most relevant for a beneficial effect. In a pilot study we administered this drug to a 22-yr-old female DMD patient who was bound to an electric wheelchair and has had no corticosteroid therapy before. Eplerenone decreased both cytoplasmic sodium and water overload and increased muscle strength and mobility. We conclude that eplerenone has beneficial effects on DMD muscle. In our opinion the cytoplasmic oedema is cytotoxic and should be treated before fatty degeneration takes place.
PMCID: PMC3440802  PMID: 22655515
Duchenne muscular dystrophy; eplerenone; cytotoxic oedema

Results 1-3 (3)