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1.  Chronic Bickerstaff’s encephalitis with cognitive impairment, a reality? 
BMC Neurology  2014;14:99.
Bickerstaff’s encephalitis (BE) is an acute post-infectious demyelinating disease with albuminocytological dissociation. A chronic form has rarely been described previously.
Case presentation
A 44-year-old man was hospitalized for drowsiness, cognitive complaint limb weakness, ataxia and sensory disturbance after diarrhea. Neuropsychological evaluation showed slowing, memory and executive function impairment, while analysis of the CSF showed albuminocytological dissociation. Immunologic tests showed positive anti-ganglioside antibodies (anti-GM1 IgM, anti-GD1a IgG and anti-GD1b IgM). Brain MRI was normal but SPECT showed bilateral temporal and frontal hypoperfusion. Outcome under immunoglobulin treatment (IVIG) was favorable with an initial improvement but was marked by worsening after a few weeks. Consequently, the patient was treated with IVIG every 2 months due to the recurrence of symptoms after 6 weeks.
This case raises the question of the existence of a chronic form of BE with cognitive impairment, in the same way as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy is considered to be a chronic form of Guillain–Barré syndrome.
PMCID: PMC4040113  PMID: 24885623
Bickerstaff’s encephalitis; Anti-ganglioside antibodies; Chronic encephalitis; Campylobacter jejuni; Molecular mimicry; Cognitive dysfunction; Dementia; Mild cognitive impairment
2.  Review of Animal Models of Neuromyelitis Optica 
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a recurrent neuroinflammatory disease of the optic nerves and spinal cord associated with the anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody biomarker, NMO-IgG. As clinical and scientific research interest in NMO grows, the need for an animal model becomes more urgent. Over the past few years, several groups have developed rodent models that partially represent human NMO disease. Passive transfer of the NMO-IgG is not pathogenic alone, but in certain contexts can recruit granulocytes and lead to increased inflammation. Studies of the cellular immune response against AQP4 have also shed light on the roles of B and T cells in NMO, especially focusing on the role of Th17 T helper cells. This review discusses the contribution of the available NMO animal models to the understanding of NMO disease pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3926204  PMID: 24555175
Neuromyelitis optica; Aquaporin-4; Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis; NMO-IgG
3.  Cognitive Dysfunction and Dementia in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome 
ISRN Neurology  2013;2013:501327.
Background. Primary Sjögren's syndrome (PSS) is a frequent systemic autoimmune disease. In this study, we aimed to explore the cognitive impairment and the correlations with brain MRI. Methods. Twenty-five patients (mean age 55 ± 11.8 years, 21 females) with PSS were prospectively selected and tested with a French translation of the Brief Repeatable Battery for Neuropsychological Examination. The results were compared with the scores for 25 matched patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 25 controls. Brain lesions were assessed by brain MRI using the Wahlund classification. Results. Fifteen of the 25 PSS patients (60%) presented with cognitive disorders versus 19/25 MS patients (76%). Five patients had dementia in the PSS group. Speed of information processing, attention, immediate and long-term memory, and executive functions were frequently impaired. The mean duration of cognitive complaints was 5.6 ± 6.1 years, and the mean duration of PSS was 15.8 ± 14.0 years. A trend towards a correlation was found between the severity of cognitive impairment and the degree of white matter lesions (WML) (P = 0.03, rho = 0.43). Conclusion. Cognitive impairment—mild or dementia—exists in patients with PSS. Further MRI studies are needed to better understand the precise neural basis of cognitive impairment in PSS patients.
PMCID: PMC3793286  PMID: 24224097
4.  Evaluation of Clinical Interest of Anti-Aquaporin-4 Autoantibody Followup in Neuromyelitis Optica 
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune disease in which a specific biomarker named NMO-IgG and directed against aquaporin-4 (AQP4) has been found. A correlation between disease activity and anti-AQP4 antibody (Ab) serum concentration or complement-mediated cytotoxicity has been reported, but the usefulness of longitudinal evaluation of these parameters remains to be evaluated in actual clinical practice. Thirty serum samples from 10 NMO patients positive for NMO-IgG were collected from 2006 to 2011. Anti-AQP4 Ab serum concentration and complement-mediated cytotoxicity were measured by flow cytometry using two quantitative cell-based assays (CBA) and compared with clinical parameters. We found a strong correlation between serum anti-AQP4 Ab concentration and complement-mediated cytotoxicity (P < 0.0001). Nevertheless, neither relapse nor worsening of impairment level was closely associated with a significant increase in serum Ab concentration or cytotoxicity. These results suggest that complement-mediated serum cytotoxicity assessment does not provide extra insight compared to anti-AQP4 Ab serum concentration. Furthermore, none of these parameters appears closely related to disease activity and/or severity. Therefore, in clinical practice, serum anti-AQP4 reactivity seems not helpful as a predictive biomarker in the followup of NMO patients as a means of predicting the onset of a relapse and adapting the treatment accordingly.
PMCID: PMC3655457  PMID: 23710199
5.  Inflammatory-like presentation of CADASIL: a diagnostic challenge 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:78.
CADASIL is an autosomal dominant genetic leukoencephalopathy linked to mutations in the Notch3 gene. In rare cases, widespread brain lesions on T2 MRI mimicking multiple sclerosis are observed. From a national registry of 268 patients with adult-onset leukodystrophy, we identified two patients with an atypical presentation of CADASIL without co-occurrence of another systemic disease.
Case presentations
Patient 1 experienced progressive gait disability and patient 2 relapsing optic neuritis and sensory-motor deficit in the leg. Both patients responded to corticotherapy and patient 2 was also responsive to glatiramer acetate. No oligoclonal bands were found in the CSF, and MRI showed myelitis and lesions with gadolinium enhancement in brain (patient 1) or incomplete CADASIL phenotype (patient 2).
In rare cases, an inflammatory-like process can occur in CADASIL. In these patients, immunomodulatory treatments, including corticosteroids, could be effective.
PMCID: PMC3488471  PMID: 22905984
CADASIL; Multiple sclerosis; Leukoencephalopathy; Notch3; Cerebral vasculitis
6.  White Matter Atrophy and Cognitive Dysfunctions in Neuromyelitis Optica 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e33878.
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory disease of central nervous system characterized by optic neuritis and longitudinally extensive acute transverse myelitis. NMO patients have cognitive dysfunctions but other clinical symptoms of brain origin are rare. In the present study, we aimed to investigate cognitive functions and brain volume in NMO. The study population consisted of 28 patients with NMO and 28 healthy control subjects matched for age, sex and educational level. We applied a French translation of the Brief Repeatable Battery (BRB-N) to the NMO patients. Using SIENAx for global brain volume (Grey Matter, GM; White Matter, WM; and whole brain) and VBM for focal brain volume (GM and WM), NMO patients and controls were compared. Voxel-level correlations between diminished brain concentration and cognitive performance for each tests were performed. Focal and global brain volume of NMO patients with and without cognitive impairment were also compared. Fifteen NMO patients (54%) had cognitive impairment with memory, executive function, attention and speed of information processing deficits. Global and focal brain atrophy of WM but not Grey Matter (GM) was found in the NMO patients group. The focal WM atrophy included the optic chiasm, pons, cerebellum, the corpus callosum and parts of the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes, including superior longitudinal fascicle. Visual memory, verbal memory, speed of information processing, short-term memory and executive functions were correlated to focal WM volumes. The comparison of patients with, to patients without cognitive impairment showed a clear decrease of global and focal WM, including brainstem, corticospinal tracts, corpus callosum but also superior and inferior longitudinal fascicles. Cognitive impairment in NMO patients is correlated to the decreased of global and focal WM volume of the brain. Further studies are needed to better understand the precise origin of cognitive impairment in NMO patients, particularly in the WM.
PMCID: PMC3317931  PMID: 22509264
7.  Current and future treatment approaches for neuromyelitis optica 
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by severe attacks of optic neuritis and myelitis, and which, unlike multiple sclerosis (MS), commonly spares the brain in the early stages. NMO used to be considered as a special form of MS. During the past 10 years, however, the two diseases have been shown to be clearly different. NMO is a B-cell-mediated disease associated with anti-aquaporin-4 antibodies in many cases and its pathophysiology seems to be near the acute lesion of necrotizing vasculitis. Assessment of prevalence shows that NMO is far less frequent than MS, which explains the absence of randomized clinical trials and NMO treatment strategies validated by evidence-based medicine. Recently, many data have been published that suggest that the therapeutic option in NMO should be immunosuppressive rather than immunomodulatory drugs. In the present study, after a brief overview of NMO, we review therapeutic studies and propose new therapeutic strategies in the relapse and disease-modifying fields.
PMCID: PMC3105616  PMID: 21694808
CD20; complement; immunosuppressive drug; neuromyelitis optica

Results 1-7 (7)