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1.  Chronic Bickerstaff’s encephalitis with cognitive impairment, a reality? 
BMC Neurology  2014;14:99.
Background
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-14-99
PMCID: PMC4040113  PMID: 24885623
Bickerstaff’s encephalitis; Anti-ganglioside antibodies; Chronic encephalitis; Campylobacter jejuni; Molecular mimicry; Cognitive dysfunction; Dementia; Mild cognitive impairment
2.  Radiologically Isolated Syndrome: 5-Year Risk for an Initial Clinical Event 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90509.
Objective
To report the 5-year risk and to identify risk factors for the development of a seminal acute or progressive clinical event in a multi-national cohort of asymptomatic subjects meeting 2009 RIS Criteria.
Methods
Retrospectively identified RIS subjects from 22 databases within 5 countries were evaluated. Time to the first clinical event related to demyelination (acute or 12-month progression of neurological deficits) was compared across different groups by univariate and multivariate analyses utilizing a Cox regression model.
Results
Data were available in 451 RIS subjects (F: 354 (78.5%)). The mean age at from the time of the first brain MRI revealing anomalies suggestive of MS was 37.2 years (y) (median: 37.1 y, range: 11–74 y) with mean clinical follow-up time of 4.4 y (median: 2.8 y, range: 0.01–21.1 y). Clinical events were identified in 34% (standard error = 3%) of individuals within a 5-year period from the first brain MRI study. Of those who developed symptoms, 9.6% fulfilled criteria for primary progressive MS. In the multivariate model, age [hazard ratio (HR): 0.98 (95% CI: 0.96–0.99); p = 0.03], sex (male) [HR: 1.93 (1.24–2.99); p = 0.004], and lesions within the cervical or thoracic spinal cord [HR: 3.08 (2.06–4.62); p = <0.001] were identified as significant predictors for the development of a first clinical event.
Interpretation
These data provide supportive evidence that a meaningful number of RIS subjects evolve to a first clinical symptom. An age <37 y, male sex, and spinal cord involvement appear to be the most important independent predictors of symptom onset.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090509
PMCID: PMC3943959  PMID: 24598783
3.  Treatment of Neuromyelitis Optica: Review and Recommendations 
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune demyelinating disease preferentially targeting the optic nerves and spinal cord. Once regarded as a variant of multiple sclerosis (MS), NMO is now recognized to be a different disease with unique pathology and immunopathogenesis that does not respond to traditional MS immunomodulators such as interferons. Preventive therapy in NMO has focused on a range of immunosuppressive medications, none of which have been validated in a rigorous randomized trial. However, multiple retrospective and a few recent prospective studies have provided evidence for the use of six medications for the prevention of NMO exacerbations: azathioprine, rituximab, mycophenolate mofetil, prednisone, methotrexate and mitoxantrone. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of each of these medications in NMO and concludes with a set of recommended consensus practices.
doi:10.1016/j.msard.2012.06.002
PMCID: PMC3926208  PMID: 24555176
Neuromyelitis optica; aquaporin 4; drug therapy; immunosuppression
4.  Spastic paraplegia gene 7 in patients with spasticity and/or optic neuropathy 
Brain  2012;135(10):2980-2993.
Mutations in the spastic paraplegia 7 (SPG7) gene encoding paraplegin are responsible for autosomal recessive hereditary spasticity. We screened 135 unrelated index cases, selected in five different settings: SPG7-positive patients detected during SPG31 analysis using SPG31/SPG7 multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (n = 7); previously reported ambiguous SPG7 cases (n = 5); patients carefully selected on the basis of their phenotype (spasticity of the lower limbs with cerebellar signs and/or cerebellar atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging/computer tomography scan and/or optic neuropathy and without other signs) (n = 24); patients with hereditary spastic paraparesis referred consecutively from attending neurologists and the national reference centre in a diagnostic setting (n = 98); and the index case of a four-generation family with autosomal dominant optic neuropathy but no spasticity linked to the SPG7 locus. We identified two SPG7 mutations in 23/134 spastic patients, 21% of the patients selected according to phenotype but only 8% of those referred directly. Our results confirm the pathogenicity of Ala510Val, which was the most frequent mutation in our series (65%) and segregated at the homozygous state with spastic paraparesis in a large family with autosomal recessive inheritance. All SPG7-positive patients tested had optic neuropathy or abnormalities revealed by optical coherence tomography, indicating that abnormalities in optical coherence tomography could be a clinical biomarker for SPG7 testing. In addition, the presence of late-onset very slowly progressive spastic gait (median age 39 years, range 18–52 years) associated with cerebellar ataxia (39%) or cerebellar atrophy (47%) constitute, with abnormal optical coherence tomography, key features pointing towards SPG7-testing. Interestingly, three relatives of patients with heterozygote SPG7 mutations had cerebellar signs and atrophy, or peripheral neuropathy, but no spasticity of the lower limbs, suggesting that SPG7 mutations at the heterozygous state might predispose to late-onset neurodegenerative disorders, mimicking autosomal dominant inheritance. Finally, a novel missense SPG7 mutation at the heterozygous state (Asp411Ala) was identified as the cause of autosomal dominant optic neuropathy in a large family, indicating that some SPG7 mutations can occasionally be dominantly inherited and be an uncommon cause of isolated optic neuropathy. Altogether, these results emphasize the clinical variability associated with SPG7 mutations, ranging from optic neuropathy to spastic paraplegia, and support the view that SPG7 screening should be carried out in both conditions.
doi:10.1093/brain/aws240
PMCID: PMC3470714  PMID: 23065789
SPG7; hereditary spastic paraparesis; optic neuropathy; cerebellar atrophy, optical coherence tomography
5.  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.
doi:10.1155/2013/501327
PMCID: PMC3793286  PMID: 24224097
6.  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.
doi:10.1155/2013/146219
PMCID: PMC3655457  PMID: 23710199
7.  Inflammatory-like presentation of CADASIL: a diagnostic challenge 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:78.
Background
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).
Conclusions
In rare cases, an inflammatory-like process can occur in CADASIL. In these patients, immunomodulatory treatments, including corticosteroids, could be effective.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-78
PMCID: PMC3488471  PMID: 22905984
CADASIL; Multiple sclerosis; Leukoencephalopathy; Notch3; Cerebral vasculitis
8.  A Case of Paraneoplastic Demyelinating Motor Polyneuropathy 
Case Reports in Neurology  2012;4(1):71-76.
Peripheral neuropathy is commonly accompanied by cancer but demyelinating ones are not commonly reported. We report the clinical, neurophysiological, and biological characteristics of an 82-year-old patient who presented with a demyelinating motor neuropathy and high titre of anti-ganglioside antibodies associated with oesophageal cancer. The neurological course worsened rapidly despite immunotherapy, leading to a bedridden status. We propose to suspect a paraneoplastic origin in older patients or when the clinical course progresses rapidly within a few weeks or months.
doi:10.1159/000338296
PMCID: PMC3362224  PMID: 22649345
Motor neuropathy; Conduction block; Paraneoplastic neuropathy; Cancer; Onconeural antibodies; Anti-ganglioside antibodies
9.  Patient perceptions of multiple sclerosis and its treatment 
Background
In order to improve the treatment outcome in multiple sclerosis, it is important to document the factors that influence adherence to therapy. The purpose of this study was to determine patient perceptions and awareness of multiple sclerosis and its treatment, treatment adherence, and impact on quality of life and daily living.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional observational study performed in France. Each participating neurologist included the first three patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who consulted after the start of the study. Data on clinical features were collected from a physician questionnaire and on disease and treatment perception and on quality of life from a patient autoquestionnaire.
Results
A total of 175 neurologists entered 202 patients in the study. The mean duration of disease was 8.0 ± 7.0 years, and immunomodulatory treatment had been administered for a mean duration of 3.0 ± 2.0 years. A total of 166 patients (82.2%) were treated with interferon-β preparations and 36 patients (17.8%) with glatiramer acetate. Eighty-five patients (42.1%) reported missing their injections from time to time and 36 patients (17.8%) reported “drug holidays”. The most frequently given reason for nonadherence was forgetfulness (38.7% of cases). Eighty-six patients (42.6%) and 70 patients (34.7%) claimed to be well informed about their disease and treatment, respectively. Adherence was significantly higher in well informed patients (P = 0.035). The majority of patients (176 patients, 87.1%) intended continuing their current treatment and 49.5% considered that their current treatment might reduce relapses. The most frequently reported side effect was muscle pain (124 patients, 61.4%).
Conclusion
Patient understanding of treatment for disease enhances treatment adherence. Greater patient involvement in disease management requires better communication between physicians and their patients.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S27038
PMCID: PMC3333819  PMID: 22536062
multiple sclerosis; patient adherence; quality of life
10.  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.
doi:10.1177/1756285611398939
PMCID: PMC3105616  PMID: 21694808
CD20; complement; immunosuppressive drug; neuromyelitis optica

Results 1-10 (10)