Publications by authors named "Carmen-Adella Sirbu"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Effect of Disease-Modifying Therapy on Disability in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Over 15 Years.

Neurology 2021 02 28;96(5):e783-e797. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

From CORe (T.K., I.D., S.S., C.M.), Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne; MS Centre (T.K., I.D., S.S., C.M.), Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia; Karolinska Institute (T.S.), Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Neuroscience (T.S., V.J., A.v.d.W., O.S., H.B.), Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne; Burnet Institute (T.S.), Melbourne, Australia; Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience (D.H., E.K.H.), General University Hospital and Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic; Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs (M. Trojano), University of Bari, Italy; Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena (G.I.), Sevilla, Spain; Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences (A.L.), University "G. d'Annunzio," Chieti; Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences (A.L.), University of Bologna, IRCCS Istituto delle Scienze Neurologiche di Bologna, Italy; Hopital Notre Dame (A.P., M.G., P.D.), Montreal; CHUM and Universite de Montreal (A.P., M.G., P.D.); CISSS Chaudière-Appalache (P.G.), Levis, Canada; Department of Neurology (V.J., A.v.d.W., O.S., H.B.), Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; Neuro Rive-Sud (F. Grand'Maison), Quebec, Canada; Department of Neuroscience (P.S., D.F.), Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria, Modena, Italy; Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (V.S.), Isfahan, Iran; Amiri Hospital (R. Alroughani), Kuwait City, Kuwait; Zuyderland Ziekenhuis (R.H.), Sittard, the Netherlands; Medical Faculty (M. Terzi), 19 Mayis University, Samsun; KTU Medical Faculty Farabi Hospital (C.B.), Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey; School of Medicine and Public Health (J.L.-S.), University Newcastle; Department of Neurology (J.L.-S.), John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, Australia; UOC Neurologia (E.P.), Azienda Sanitaria Unica Regionale Marche-AV3, Macerata, Italy; Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc (V.V.P.), Brussels, Belgium; University of Parma (F. Granella); C. Mondino National Neurological Institute (R.B.), Pavia; Azienda Ospedaliera di Rilievo Nazionale San Giuseppe Moscati Avellino (D.S.), Italy; Flinders University (M. Slee), Adelaide; Westmead Hospital (S.V.), Sydney, Australia; Nemocnice Jihlava (R. Ampapa), Czech Republic; University of Queensland (P.M.), Brisbane; Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (P.M.), Brisbane, Australia; Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (C.R.-T.), Badalona, Spain; CSSS Saint-Jérôme (J.P.), Canada; Hospital Universitario Donostia (J.O.), Paseo de Begiristain, San Sebastián, Spain; Hospital Italiano (E.C.), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Brain and Mind Centre (M.B.), University of Sydney, Australia; INEBA-Institute of Neuroscience Buenos Aires (M.L.S.), Argentina; Hospital de Galdakao-Usansolo (J.L.S.-M.), Galdakao, Spain; Liverpool Hospital (S. Hodgkinson), Sydney, Australia; Jahn Ferenc Teaching Hospital (C.R.), Budapest, Hungary; Craigavon Area Hospital (S. Hughes), UK; Jewish General Hospital (F.M.), Montreal, Canada; Deakin University (C.S.), Geelong; Monash Medical Centre (E.B.), Melbourne, Australia; South East Trust (O.G.), Belfast, UK; Perron Institute (A.K.), University of Western Australia, Nedlands; Institute of Immunology and Infectious Diseases (A.K.), Murdoch University; Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (A.K.), Perth, Australia; Department of Neurology (T.C.), Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, Hungary; Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences (B.S.), Mumbai, India; St Vincents Hospital (N.S.), Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia; Veszprém Megyei Csolnoky Ferenc Kórház zrt (I.P.), Veszprem, Hungary; Royal Hobart Hospital (B.T.), Australia; Semmelweis University Budapest (M. Simo), Hungary; Central Military Emergency University Hospital (C.-A.S.), Bucharest; Titu Maiorescu University (C.-A.S.), Bucharest, Romania; BAZ County Hospital (A.S.), Miskolc, Hungary; and Box Hill Hospital (H.B.), Melbourne, Australia.

Objective: To test the hypothesis that immunotherapy prevents long-term disability in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), we modeled disability outcomes in 14,717 patients.

Methods: We studied patients from MSBase followed for ≥1 year, with ≥3 visits, ≥1 visit per year, and exposed to MS therapy, and a subset of patients with ≥15-year follow-up. Marginal structural models were used to compare the cumulative hazards of 12-month confirmed increase and decrease in disability, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) step 6, and the incidence of relapses between treated and untreated periods. Marginal structural models were continuously readjusted for patient age, sex, pregnancy, date, disease course, time from first symptom, prior relapse history, disability, and MRI activity.

Results: A total of 14,717 patients were studied. During the treated periods, patients were less likely to experience relapses (hazard ratio 0.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.43-0.82, = 0.0016), worsening of disability (0.56, 0.38-0.82, = 0.0026), and progress to EDSS step 6 (0.33, 0.19-0.59, = 0.00019). Among 1,085 patients with ≥15-year follow-up, the treated patients were less likely to experience relapses (0.59, 0.50-0.70, = 10) and worsening of disability (0.81, 0.67-0.99, = 0.043).

Conclusion: Continued treatment with MS immunotherapies reduces disability accrual by 19%-44% (95% CI 1%-62%), the risk of need of a walking aid by 67% (95% CI 41%-81%), and the frequency of relapses by 40-41% (95% CI 18%-57%) over 15 years. This study provides evidence that disease-modifying therapies are effective in improving disability outcomes in relapsing-remitting MS over the long term.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that, for patients with relapsing-remitting MS, long-term exposure to immunotherapy prevents neurologic disability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011242DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884998PMC
February 2021

SARS-CoV-2, multiple sclerosis, and focal deficit in a postpartum woman: A case report.

Exp Ther Med 2021 Jan 26;21(1):92. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Medical-Surgical and Prophylactic Disciplines, Faculty of Medicine, Titu Maiorescu University, 031593 Bucharest, Romania.

SARS-CoV-2 infections raise many practical concerns in a woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) during the perinatal period. On the other hand, the impact of COVID-19 on patients with MS and disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) is unknown. We report on a female patient who was treated with interferon beta 1a (IFNB-1a) for many years for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) until December 2018. She developed COVID 19 infection in April 2020, after giving birth to a healthy baby girl, five weeks before. She developed a mild right hemiparesis 2 weeks later, without cold symptoms. On admission, PCR for SARS-CoV-2 was positive, and she received antivirals and corticotherapy. One month later, specific IgG and IgM antibodies were negative. The patient did not develop immunity to COVID-19 infection. This report raises several problems. The focal deficit could be a real relapse or a pseudo-relapse due to SARS-CoV-2 and postpartum patient vulnerability. The treatment options in this particular case raise many challenges. The absence of antibodies after a SARS-CoV-2 infection raises a big question over the acquired immunity, the increased risk of reinfection, and the subsequent evolution of MS. The standard of care for a woman with MS and COVID-19 infection during the postpartum period must be explored and more precise recommendations must be established in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.9524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7725028PMC
January 2021

A new era for monoclonal antibodies with applications in neurology (Review).

Exp Ther Med 2021 Jan 26;21(1):86. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Medical-Surgical and Prophylactic Disciplines, Faculty of Medicine, 'Titu Maiorescu' University, 031593 Bucharest, Romania.

Medical research continues to focus on developing specific treatment strategies, including biological products that are effective and have a good safety profile. Due to their novelty, an updated overall view is offered on some neurological diseases which benefit from monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), for better treatment in clinical decisions. An extensive literature review was performed using PubMed with the following search terms: 'monoclonal antibodies' and 'history of monoclonal antibodies' and 'monoclonal antibodies in neurology'. The following information was collected: the era before the discoveries of mAbs, the stage of implementation of biotechnologies for mAbs, and the clinical trials submitted at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ with patients suffering from neurological diseases treated with mAbs. Since 2004, mAbs have been used to treat several neurological diseases, yielding new therapeutic perspectives: natalizumab, alemtuzumab and ocrelizumab for multiple sclerosis, eculizumab for myasthenia gravis, erenumab and frenazumab for migraine, galcanezumab for migraine and cluster headache, eculizumab for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. As in other cases, drug repurposing is applied to monoclonal antibodies, saving time and money. These innovative therapies are more effective and can treat previously untreatable diseases. As better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of neurological diseases is gained, additional mAbs are expected to be developed at a lower cost and with better safety profile compared with current treatment options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.9519DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7725033PMC
January 2021

Vaccination in multiple sclerosis - Challenging practices (Review).

Exp Ther Med 2020 Dec 15;20(6):217. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Department of Medical-Surgical and Prophylactical Disciplines, Faculty of Medicine, Titu Maiorescu University, 031593 Bucharest, Romania.

Infections are an ever-present problem in the medical community, even more so for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), for whom these infections have been linked to relapses and neurological disabilities. Even though it was believed that MS can be caused by an infection, research does not support this theory. MS is a chronic inflammatory disease considered to be autoimmune. Vaccination is proven to be one of the most effective means to prevent infections, but still it is surrounded by controversy in the general populations, as well as in the MS group. Vaccines are generally considered safe for MS patients. The exceptions from this, which turn into contraindications, are a medical history of allergic reactions to one of the vaccine components and immunosuppressed patients in the particular case of live vaccines. Given the presumed autoimmunity of the disease, some medication for MS is immunosuppressive and any live vaccine should be administered before starting treatment. Although there is still confusion regarding this subject, the current guidelines have clearer recommendations about vaccinations in MS patients and especially in treated MS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.9347DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7604740PMC
December 2020

Predictive factors in early onset schizophrenia.

Exp Ther Med 2020 Dec 14;20(6):210. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Psychiatry Research Laboratory, 'Prof. Dr. Alexandru Obregia' Clinical Hospital of Psychiatry, 041914 Bucharest, Romania.

Schizophrenia is a neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by impairment in reasoning, affectivity and social relationships. Although the diagnosis of schizophrenia in children and adolescents has been challenged for many years, at present childhood-onset schizophrenia is considered and accepted as a clinical and biological continuum with the adult-onset disorder. The present study aimed to evaluate the influence of biological (psychiatric family history, perinatal factors), and socio-demographic factors (area of residence, gender) on the age at onset and severity of symptomatology in children and adolescent with schizophrenia. The data were collected from 2016 to 2019 and included 148 children and adolescents with schizophrenia. Data were analysed with statistical software (IBM SPSS 22, JASP and JAMOVI, Linear Regression Model, χ² tests, t-test, U-test). A positive familial history for psychiatric diseases was an important risk factor both for an early onset and for the severity of symptoms. Urbanicity was another studied risk factor, 61% of patients being from urban areas; no statistically significant correlations between urbanicity and age at onset and severity of symptoms were identified. There was no statistically significant gender difference in terms of age at onset and severity of symptoms. Moreover, no statistically significant correlations were found between perinatal factors and age at onset and severity of symptoms. Positive psychiatric family history showed a statistically significant influence on age at onset and symptoms severity in children and adolescent schizophrenia; no statistical significant impact on the aforementioned schizophrenia aspects was observed for urbanicity, gender or perinatal factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.9340DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7604757PMC
December 2020

Autonomic dysfunctions in multiple sclerosis: Challenges of clinical practice (Review).

Exp Ther Med 2020 Dec 14;20(6):196. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Preclinical Disciplines, Faculty of Medicine, 'Titu Maiorescu' University, 031593 Bucharest, Romania.

Multiple sclerosis, demyelinating, inflammatory, degenerative, and chronic disease, raises many challenges in terms of disease management. The autonomic nervous system is affected by neuroinflammation but also contributes to its maintenance and the evolution of the disease. Multiple sclerosis interfering with parasympathetic or sympathetic modulation may influence the immune response. Less attention is paid to autonomic dysfunctions, although they produce a serious impact on the quality of life. In addition to motor disabilities, patients also have non-motor dysfunctions. Regardless of its clinical forms, patients with multiple sclerosis may have autonomous disturbances such as bladder, sexual, cardiovascular, thermoregulatory, gastrointestinal dysfunction and fatigue. These must be identified based on medical history, clinical symptoms, and specific paraclinical tests. In addition to the multitude of immunomodulatory therapeutic agents that influence the progression of the disease, the therapy of autonomic dysfunctions remains difficult to address. However, their identification and treatment lead to increased quality of patient management and avoid complications of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.9326DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7588778PMC
December 2020

Multiple sclerosis, human herpesvirus 4 and thyroid collision tumor: A case report.

Exp Ther Med 2020 Oct 7;20(4):3458-3461. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, 'Titu Maiorescu' University, 031593 Bucharest, Romania.

The role of interferon β-1b (IFNβ-1b), used for multiple sclerosis (MS) therapy, in cancer occurrence is uncertain. There is evidence supporting the role of human herpesvirus 4 [Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)] in thyroid cancer and MS. Simultaneous occurrence of papillary and medullary carcinomas is rare, and its association with MS in a young woman raises questions. A 46-year-old female patient was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 2008. In 2018, cervical MRI detected a thyroid nodule with right cervical adenopathy. Her thyroid function was normal, but increased calcitonin levels were found (70.53 pg/ml; normal value: <9.82 pg/ml). EBV serology tested positive. Paraclinical studies ruled out multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome. Whole thyroid resection with whole cervical lymph node dissection was performed. To our knowledge, this is the first case that describes an association between MS and thyroid collision tumors. Histological examination ascertained both papillary and medullary thyroid cancer. After surgery, the calcitonin level normalized, and the patient received a therapeutic dose of iodine-131. IFNβ-1b therapy was discontinued. The coexistence of thyroid cancers in MS patients could be explained by immune-mediated inflammation. Although EBV is not the only agent responsible for the development of MS or thyroid cancers, it could be considered a contributory factor in our case. Further research on EBV involvement in the occurrence of simultaneous immune pathologies in various organs is needed to confirm these data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8975DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7465335PMC
October 2020

Active Pulmonary Tuberculosis Triggered by Interferon Beta-1b Therapy of Multiple Sclerosis: Four Case Reports and a Literature Review.

Medicina (Kaunas) 2020 Apr 24;56(4). Epub 2020 Apr 24.

Neurology Department, Titu Maiorescu University, 040441 Bucharest, Romania.

In this paper, we reported on four cases of severe pulmonary active tuberculosis in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) undergoing interferon beta-1b (IFNβ-1b) therapy. Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in MS may increase the risk of developing active tuberculosis (TB) due to their impact on cellular immunity. Screening for latent infection with (LTBI) should be performed, not only for the newer DMTs (alemtuzumab, ocrelizumab) but also for IFNβ-1b, alongside better supervision of these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/medicina56040202DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230182PMC
April 2020

Spinal Intramedullary Epidermoid Cyst: Case Report and Updated Literature Review.

World Neurosurg 2020 07 13;139:39-50. Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Department of Neurology, "Dr. Carol Davila" Central Military Emergency University Hospital, Bucharest, Romania; Faculty of Medicine, "Titu Maiorescu" University, Bucharest, Romania.

Background: Epidermoid cysts are rare benign neoplasms within the neuroaxis and account for <1% of all intraspinal tumors. They can be congenital or acquired. Being a slow-growing tumor, the clinical presentation is widely variable depending on the location, size, or age of the patient.

Objectives: Because of the rarity of this entity, the diagnosis and treatment are often delayed. We wanted to offer an updated overall view on spinal epidermoid cysts to facilitate diagnosis and treatment decisions.

Methods: We present the case of a patient with thoracic intramedullary epidermoid cyst and we conduct a review of reported cases in the literature using PubMed database.

Results: From 1962 to September 2019, we gathered 91 articles with a total of 139 cases (ours included). There is a slightly female predominance and a bimodal age distribution. Acquired cysts are seen in 38.1% of patients. The most frequent symptom was pain, followed by motor deficit, sensitive deficits, and sphincter deficiencies. The mean time delay to diagnosis is 26.36 ± 53.29 months. The most common localization was in the lumbar area and one third of the tumors were intramedullary. A good outcome was achieved in most of the treated cases.

Conclusions: To achieve a good outcome, an early recognition of this disease is essential. The management consists in most cases of surgical resection. Although recurrence is low, it can significantly alter the quality of life of our patients, and, therefore, gross total resection should be our goal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.03.207DOI Listing
July 2020

Monoclonal antibodies - a revolutionary therapy in multiple sclerosis.

Neurol Neurochir Pol 2020 24;54(1):21-27. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

Faculty of Medicine, Transilvania University of Brașov, 29, Eroilor Blvd, 500036 Brașov, Romania.

Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) has an increasing incidence and affects a young s egment of t he population, having a major impact on patients and consequently on society. The multifactorial aetiology and pathogenesis of this disease are incompletely known at present, but autoimmune aggression has a documented mechanism.

State Of The Art: Since the 1990s, immunomodulatory drugs of high efficacy and a good safety profile have been launched. But the concept of NEDA (No Evidence of Disease Activity) remains the target to achieve. Thus, the new revolutionary class of monoclonal antibodies (moAbs) used in multiple medical fields, from this perspective represents a challenge even for multiple sclerosis, including the primary progressive form, for which there has been no treatment until recently.

Clinical Implications: In this article, we will review monoclonal antibodies' use for MS, presenting their advantages and disadvantages, based on data accumulated since 2004 when the first monoclonal antibody was approved for active forms of the disease.

Future Directions: There is still a need for personalised medicines, with a specific target, which should have fewer adverse effects and drug interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5603/PJNNS.a2020.0008DOI Listing
March 2020

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS): Investigating care practices pointed out to disparities in diagnosis and treatment across European Union.

PLoS One 2019 5;14(12):e0225995. Epub 2019 Dec 5.

Reference Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases & INSERM U955-Team10, Henri Mondor University Hospital, Créteil, France.

ME/CFS is a chronic, complex, multisystem disease that often limits the health and functioning of the affected patients. Diagnosing patients with ME/CFS is a challenge, and many different case definitions exist and are used in clinical practice and research. Even after diagnosis, medical treatment is very challenging. Symptom relief and coping may affect how patients live with their disease and their quality of life. There is no consensus on which diagnostic criteria should be used and which treatment strategies can be recommended for patients. The purpose of the current project was to map the landscape of the Euromene countries in respect of national guidelines and recommendations for case definition, diagnosis and clinical approaches for ME/CFS patients. A 23 items questionnaire was sent out by email to the members of Euromene. The form contained questions on existing guidelines for case definitions, treatment/management of the disease, tests and questionnaires applied, and the prioritization of information for data sampling in research. We obtained information from 17 countries. Five countries reported having national guidelines for diagnosis, and five countries reported having guidelines for clinical approaches. For diagnostic purposes, the Fukuda criteria were most often recommended, and also the Canadian Consensus criteria, the International Consensus Criteria and the Oxford criteria were used. A mix of diagnostic criteria was applied within those countries having no guidelines. Many different questionnaires and tests were used for symptom registration and diagnostic investigation. For symptom relief, pain and anti-depressive medication were most often recommended. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Graded Exercise treatment were often recommended as disease management and rehabilitative/palliative strategies. The lack of consistency in recommendations across European countries urges the development of regulations, guidance and standards. The results of this study will contribute to the harmonization of diagnostic criteria and treatment for ME/CFS in Europe.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225995PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6894853PMC
March 2020

Redefining the Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS): The effect of sex and onset phenotype.

Mult Scler 2020 11 31;26(13):1765-1774. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia.

Background: The Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS) is a widely used measure of the disability progression rate. However, the global MSSS may not be the best basis for comparison between all patient groups.

Objective: We evaluated sex-specific and onset phenotype-specific MSSS matrices to determine if they were more effective than the global MSSS as a basis for comparison within these subsets.

Methods: Using a large international dataset of multiple sclerosis (MS) patient records and the original MSSS algorithm, we constructed global, sex-specific and onset phenotype-specific MSSS matrices. We compared matrices using permutation analysis.

Results: Our final dataset included 30,203 MS cases, with 28.9% males and 6.5% progressive-onset cases. Our global MSSS matrix did not differ from previously published data ( > 0.05). The progressive-onset-specific matrix differed significantly from the relapsing-onset-specific matrix ( < 0.001), with lower MSSS attributed to cases with the same Expanded Disability Status Score (EDSS) and disease duration. When evaluated with a simulation, using an onset-specific MSSS improved statistical power in mixed cohorts. There were no significant differences by sex.

Conclusion: The differences in the disability accrual rate between progressive- and relapsing-onset MS have a significant effect on MSSS. An onset-specific MSSS should be used when comparing the rate of disability progression among progressive-onset cases and for mixed cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458519881994DOI Listing
November 2020

Acute reversible parkinsonism post-influenza infection.

Acta Neurol Belg 2020 Jun 14;120(3):723-724. Epub 2019 Oct 14.

Department of Neurology, Central Military Emergency University Hospital "Carol Davila", 134 Calea Plevnei Street, 010242, Bucharest, Romania.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13760-019-01215-2DOI Listing
June 2020

International consensus on quality standards for brain health-focused care in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2019 11 1;25(13):1809-1818. Epub 2018 Nov 1.

Queen Mary University of London, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK.

Background: Time matters in multiple sclerosis (MS). Irreversible neural damage and cell loss occur from disease onset. The MS community has endorsed a management strategy of prompt diagnosis, timely intervention and regular proactive monitoring of treatment effectiveness and disease activity to improve outcomes in people with MS.

Objectives: We sought to develop internationally applicable quality standards for timely, brain health-focused MS care.

Methods: A panel of MS specialist neurologists participated in an iterative, online, modified Delphi process to define 'core', 'achievable' and 'aspirational' time frames reflecting minimum, good and high care standards, respectively. A multidisciplinary Reviewing Group (MS nurses, people with MS, allied healthcare professionals) provided insights ensuring recommendations reflected perspectives from multiple stakeholders.

Results: Twenty-one MS neurologists from 19 countries reached consensus on most core (25/27), achievable (25/27) and aspirational (22/27) time frames at the end of five rounds. Agreed standards cover six aspects of the care pathway: symptom onset, referral and diagnosis, treatment decisions, lifestyle, disease monitoring and managing new symptoms.

Conclusion: These quality standards for core, achievable and aspirational care provide MS teams with a three-level framework for service evaluation, benchmarking and improvement. They have the potential to produce a profound change in the care of people with MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458518809326DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826858PMC
November 2019

Data quality evaluation for observational multiple sclerosis registries.

Mult Scler 2017 Apr 5;23(5):647-655. Epub 2016 Aug 5.

Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/Department of Neurology, Box Hill Hospital, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Objective: Objective and reproducible evaluation of data quality is of paramount importance for studies of 'real-world' observational data. Here, we summarise a standardised data quality, density and generalisability process implemented by MSBase, a global multiple sclerosis (MS) cohort study.

Methods: Error rate, data density score and generalisability score were developed using all 35,869 patients enrolled in MSBase as of November 2015. The data density score was calculated across six domains (follow-up, demography, visits, MS relapses, paraclinical data and therapy) and emphasised data completeness. The error rate evaluated syntactic accuracy and consistency of data. The generalisability score evaluated believability of the demographic and treatment information. Correlations among the three scores and the number of patients per centre were evaluated.

Results: Errors were identified at the median rate of 3 per 100 patient-years. The generalisability score indicated the samples' representativeness of the known MS epidemiology. Moderate correlation between the density and generalisability scores (ρ = 0.58) and a weak correlation between the error rate and the other two scores (ρ = -0.32 to -0.33) were observed. The generalisability score was strongly correlated with centre size (ρ = 0.79).

Conclusion: The implemented scores enable objective evaluation of the quality of observational MS data, with an impact on the design of future analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458516662728DOI Listing
April 2017

Risk of relapse phenotype recurrence in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2014 Oct 28;20(11):1511-22. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Royal Melbourne Hospital, AustraliaUniversity of Melbourne, Australia.

Objectives: The aim was to analyse risk of relapse phenotype recurrence in multiple sclerosis and to characterise the effect of demographic and clinical features on this phenotype.

Methods: Information about relapses was collected using MSBase, an international observational registry. Associations between relapse phenotypes and history of similar relapses or patient characteristics were tested with multivariable logistic regression models. Tendency of relapse phenotypes to recur sequentially was assessed with principal component analysis.

Results: Among 14,969 eligible patients (89,949 patient-years), 49,279 phenotypically characterised relapses were recorded. Visual and brainstem relapses occurred more frequently in early disease and in younger patients. Sensory relapses were more frequent in early or non-progressive disease. Pyramidal, sphincter and cerebellar relapses were more common in older patients and in progressive disease. Women presented more often with sensory or visual symptoms. Men were more prone to pyramidal, brainstem and cerebellar relapses. Importantly, relapse phenotype was predicted by the phenotypes of previous relapses. (OR = 1.8-5, p = 10(-14)). Sensory, visual and brainstem relapses showed better recovery than other relapse phenotypes. Relapse severity increased and the ability to recover decreased with age or more advanced disease.

Conclusion: Relapse phenotype was associated with demographic and clinical characteristics, with phenotypic recurrence significantly more common than expected by chance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458514528762DOI Listing
October 2014

Sex as a determinant of relapse incidence and progressive course of multiple sclerosis.

Brain 2013 Dec 18;136(Pt 12):3609-17. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

1 Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

The aim of this work was to evaluate sex differences in the incidence of multiple sclerosis relapses; assess the relationship between sex and primary progressive disease course; and compare effects of age and disease duration on relapse incidence. Annualized relapse rates were calculated using the MSBase registry. Patients with incomplete data or <1 year of follow-up were excluded. Patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis were only included in the sex ratio analysis. Relapse incidences over 40 years of multiple sclerosis or 70 years of age were compared between females and males with Andersen-Gill and Tweedie models. Female-to-male ratios stratified by annual relapse count were evaluated across disease duration and patient age and compared between relapse-onset and primary progressive multiple sclerosis. The study cohort consisted of 11 570 eligible patients with relapse-onset and 881 patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Among the relapse-onset patients (82 552 patient-years), 48,362 relapses were recorded. Relapse frequency was 17.7% higher in females compared with males. Within the initial 5 years, the female-to-male ratio increased from 2.3:1 to 3.3:1 in patients with 0 versus ≥4 relapses per year, respectively. The magnitude of this sex effect increased at longer disease duration and older age (P < 10(-12)). However, the female-to-male ratio in patients with relapse-onset multiple sclerosis and zero relapses in any given year was double that of the patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Patient age was a more important determinant of decline in relapse incidence than disease duration (P < 10(-12)). Females are predisposed to higher relapse activity than males. However, this difference does not explain the markedly lower female-to-male sex ratio in primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Decline in relapse activity over time is more closely related to patient age than disease duration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awt281DOI Listing
December 2013

Country, sex, EDSS change and therapy choice independently predict treatment discontinuation in multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome.

PLoS One 2012 29;7(6):e38661. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.

Objectives: We conducted a prospective study, MSBASIS, to assess factors leading to first treatment discontinuation in patients with a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Methods: The MSBASIS Study, conducted by MSBase Study Group members, enrols patients seen from CIS onset, reporting baseline demographics, cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores. Follow-up visits report relapses, EDSS scores, and the start and end dates of MS-specific therapies. We performed a multivariable survival analysis to determine factors within this dataset that predict first treatment discontinuation.

Results: A total of 2314 CIS patients from 44 centres were followed for a median of 2.7 years, during which time 1247 commenced immunomodulatory drug (IMD) treatment. Ninety percent initiated IMD after a diagnosis of MS was confirmed, and 10% while still in CIS status. Over 40% of these patients stopped their first IMD during the observation period. Females were more likely to cease medication than males (HR 1.36, p = 0.003). Patients treated in Australia were twice as likely to cease their first IMD than patients treated in Spain (HR 1.98, p = 0.001). Increasing EDSS was associated with higher rate of IMD cessation (HR 1.21 per EDSS unit, p<0.001), and intramuscular interferon-β-1a (HR 1.38, p = 0.028) and subcutaneous interferon-β-1a (HR 1.45, p = 0.012) had higher rates of discontinuation than glatiramer acetate, although this varied widely in different countries. Onset cerebral MRI features, age, time to treatment initiation or relapse on treatment were not associated with IMD cessation.

Conclusion: In this multivariable survival analysis, female sex, country of residence, EDSS change and IMD choice independently predicted time to first IMD cessation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0038661PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3387159PMC
November 2012

Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor and probable sudden unexplained death in epilepsy: a case report.

J Med Case Rep 2011 Sep 7;5:441. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Central Military Emergency University Hospital, "Dr Carol Davila" Department of Neurology, Calea Plevnei 134, Bucharest, Romania.

Introduction: This is the first report of the case of a patient with a natural history of dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor associated with probable sudden unexplained death in epilepsy. These tumors are benign, arising within the supratentorial cortex. Over 100 cases have been reported in the literature since the first description by Daumas-Duport in 1988.

Case Presentation: A 24- year-old Caucasian woman had a long period of intractable complex partial seizures, sometimes with tonic-clonic generalization and neuropsychological abnormalities. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a cortico-subcortical parietal tumor with all the characteristics of these types of tumors. After 14 years of evolution, our patient died suddenly during sleep.

Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of probable sudden unexplained death in symptomatic epilepsy due to dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor with natural history. Early and complete excision, with functional studies before and during the surgery, leads to better control of seizures, avoiding neuropsychological changes and the risk of death. Patients with refractory epilepsy should be evaluated for any sleep disorders and should have complete cardiology assessments including electrocardiographic evaluation of cardiac rhythm disturbances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1752-1947-5-441DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183037PMC
September 2011

[Transient visual loss due to neurological cause].

Oftalmologia 2011 ;55(1):3-9

Suumcb Carol Davila, Bucureşti-Neurologie.

Acute decrease of mono or binocular vision although it is not a common clinical symptom, is of major importance, with serious implications for the patient and physician, requiring a comprehensive approach in terms of clinical, laboratory and therapeutic. It is an attempt that often proves difficulty by lack of access to specific investigations and the lack of neuroophthalmology specialists. In most cases, the sudden decrease of vision occurs in the stroke of the eye by occlusion of central retinal artery or one of its branch, occlusion of vein, occlusion of optic nerve vessels or by demyelinating processes of the optic nerve. Rapid diagnosis of eye disease by appropriate clinical or paraclinical investigations, leads to prompt treatment with decreased risk of complications, but in many cases it requires preventive measures.
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August 2011

Arthur Kreindler (1900-1988).

J Neurol 2006 Jul;253(7):965-6

Central Military Emergency, Clinic of Neurology, Clinical Hospital, Bucharest, Romania.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-006-0939-8DOI Listing
July 2006