Publications by authors named "Eva Kubala Havrdova"

45 Publications

Effects of Menopause in Women With Multiple Sclerosis: An Evidence-Based Review.

Front Neurol 2021 19;12:554375. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience, First Medical Faculty, General University Hospital, Charles University, Prague, Czechia.

Over two thirds of all individuals who develop multiple sclerosis (MS) will be women prior to the age of menopause. Further, an estimated 30% of the current MS population consists of peri- or postmenopausal women. The presence of MS does not appear to influence age of menopausal onset. In clinical practice, symptoms of MS and menopause can frequently overlap, including disturbances in cognition, mood, sleep, and bladder function, which can create challenges in ascertaining the likely cause of symptoms to be treated. A holistic and comprehensive approach to address these common physical and psychological changes is often suggested to patients during menopause. Although some studies have suggested that women with MS experience reduced relapse rates and increased disability progression post menopause, the data are not consistent enough for firm conclusions to be drawn. Mechanisms through which postmenopausal women with MS may experience disability progression include neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration from age-associated phenomena such as immunosenescence and inflammaging. Additional effects are likely to result from reduced levels of estrogen, which affects MS disease course. Following early retrospective studies of women with MS receiving steroid hormones, more recent interventional trials of exogenous hormone use, albeit as oral contraceptive, have provided some indications of potential benefit on MS outcomes. This review summarizes current research on the effects of menopause in women with MS, including the psychological impact and symptoms of menopause on disease worsening, and the treatment options. Finally, we highlight the need for more inclusion of MS patients from underrepresented racial and geographic groups in clinical trials, including among menopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.554375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017266PMC
March 2021

Isolated Cognitive Decline in Neurologically Stable Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Mar 7;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Charles University in Prague, 128 21 Prague, Czech Republic.

(1) Background: Cognitive deterioration is an important marker of disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS). It is vital to detect cognitive decline as soon as possible. Cognitive deterioration can take the form of isolated cognitive decline (ICD) with no other clinical signs of disease progression present. (2) Methods: We investigated 1091 MS patients from the longitudinal GQ (Grant Quantitative) study, assessing their radiological, neurological, and neuropsychological data. Additionally, the confirmatory analysis was conducted. Clinical disease activity was defined as the presence of new relapse or disability worsening. MRI activity was defined as the presence of new or enlarged T2 lesions on brain MRI. (3) Results: Overall, 6.4% of patients experienced cognitive decline and 4.0% experienced ICD without corresponding clinical activity. The vast majority of cognitively worsening patients showed concomitant progression in other neurological and radiologic measures. There were no differences in disease severity between completely stable patients and cognitively worsening patients but with normal cognition at baseline. (4) Conclusions: Only a small proportion of MS patients experience ICD over short-term follow-up. Patients with severe MS are more prone to cognitive decline; however, patients with normal cognitive performance and mild MS might benefit from the early detection of cognitive decline the most.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11030464DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7999620PMC
March 2021

Evolution of Brain Volume Loss Rates in Early Stages of Multiple Sclerosis.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2021 05 16;8(3). Epub 2021 Mar 16.

From the CORe (T.U., C.M., T.K.), Department of Medicine, the University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience (T.U., E.K.H., D.H.), Charles University in Prague, 1st Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital; Department of Radiology (J.K., M.V.), Charles University in Prague, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic; Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (N.B., M.G.D., R.Z.), Department of Neurology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York; IRCCS (N.B.), Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Milan, Italy; Center for Biomedical Imaging at Clinical Translational Science Institute (R.Z.), University at Buffalo, State University of New York; and Melbourne MS Centre (T.K.), Department of Neurology, the Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC, Australia.

Objective: To describe the dynamics of brain volume loss (BVL) at different stages of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), to describe the association between BVL and clinical measures, and to investigate an effect of treatment escalation on the rate of BVL.

Methods: Together, 1903 patients predominantly with RRMS from the Avonex-Steroids-Azathioprine cohort (N = 166), the study of early IFN-β1a treatment cohort (N = 180), and the quantitative MRI cohort (N = 1,557) with ≥2 MRI scans and ≥1-year of follow-up were included. Brain MRI scans (N = 7,203) were performed using a single 1.5-T machine. Relationships between age or disease duration and global and tissue-specific BVL rates were analyzed using mixed models.

Results: Age was not associated with the rate of BVL (β = -0.003; Cohen f2 = 0.0005; adjusted = 0.39). Although disease duration was associated with the rate of BVL, its effect on the BVL rate was minimal (β = -0.012; Cohen f2 = 0.004; adjusted = 4 × 10). Analysis of association between tissue-specific brain volume changes and age (β = -0.019 to -0.011; adjusted = 0.028-1.00) or disease duration (β = -0.028 to -0.008; adjusted = 0.16-0.96) confirmed these results. Although increase in the relapse rate (β = 0.10; adjusted = 9 × 10), Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS; β = 0.17; adjusted = 8 × 10), and EDSS change (β = 0.15; adjusted = 2 × 10) were associated with accelerated rate of BVL, their effect on the rate of BVL was minimal (all Cohen f2 ≤ 0.007). In 94 patients who escalated therapy, the rate of BVL decreased following treatment escalation by 0.29% (β = -0.29; Cohen f2 = 0.133; = 5.5 × 10).

Conclusions: The rate of BVL is relatively stable throughout the course of RRMS. The accelerated BVL is weakly associated with concurrent higher disease activity, and timely escalation to high-efficacy immunotherapy helps decrease the rate of BVL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000979DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7984675PMC
May 2021

Risk of requiring a wheelchair in primary progressive multiple sclerosis: Data from the ORATORIO trial and the MSBase registry.

Eur J Neurol 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Reaching Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) ≥7.0 represents the requirement for a wheelchair. Here we : (1) assess the effect of ocrelizumab on time to EDSS ≥7.0 over the ORATORIO (NCT01194570) double-blind and extended controlled periods (DBP+ECP); (2) quantify likely long-term benefits by extrapolating results; (3) assess the plausibility of extrapolations, using an independent real-world cohort (MSBase registry; ACTRN12605000455662).

Methods: Post-hoc analyses assessing time to 24-week confirmed EDSS ≥7.0 in two cohorts of patients with PPMS (baseline EDSS 3.0-6.5) were investigated, in ORATORIO and MSBase.

Results: In the ORATORIO DBP+ECP, ocrelizumab reduced the risk of 24-week confirmed EDSS ≥7.0 (hazard ratio=0.54, 95%CI: 0.31-0.92, P = 0.022). Extrapolated median time to 24-week confirmed EDSS ≥7.0 was 12.1 and 19.2 years for placebo and ocrelizumab, respectively (7.1-year delay [95%CI: -4.3-18.4]). In MSBase, the median time to 24-week confirmed EDSS ≥7.0 was 12.4 years.

Conclusion: Compared with placebo, ocrelizumab significantly delayed time to 24-week confirmed wheelchair requirement in ORATORIO. The plausibility of the extrapolated median time to reach this milestone in the placebo group was supported by observed real-world data from MSBase. Extrapolated benefits for ocrelizumab over placebo could represent a truly meaningful delay in loss of ambulation and independence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ene.14824DOI Listing
March 2021

Determinants of therapeutic lag in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2021 Jan 11:1352458520981300. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

CORe, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/Melbourne MS Centre, Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Background: A delayed onset of treatment effect, termed therapeutic lag, may influence the assessment of treatment response in some patient subgroups.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to explore the associations of patient and disease characteristics with therapeutic lag on relapses and disability accumulation.

Methods: Data from MSBase, a multinational multiple sclerosis (MS) registry, and OFSEP, the French MS registry, were used. Patients diagnosed with MS, minimum 1 year of exposure to MS treatment and 3 years of pre-treatment follow-up, were included in the analysis. Studied outcomes were incidence of relapses and disability accumulation. Therapeutic lag was calculated using an objective, validated method in subgroups stratified by patient and disease characteristics. Therapeutic lag under specific circumstances was then estimated in subgroups defined by combinations of clinical and demographic determinants.

Results: High baseline disability scores, annualised relapse rate (ARR) ⩾ 1 and male sex were associated with longer therapeutic lag on disability progression in sufficiently populated groups: females with expanded disability status scale (EDSS) < 6 and ARR < 1 had mean lag of 26.6 weeks (95% CI = 18.2-34.9), males with EDSS < 6 and ARR < 1 31.0 weeks (95% CI = 25.3-36.8), females with EDSS < 6 and ARR ⩾ 1 44.8 weeks (95% CI = 24.5-65.1), and females with EDSS ⩾ 6 and ARR < 1 54.3 weeks (95% CI = 47.2-61.5).

Conclusions: Pre-treatment EDSS and ARR are the most important determinants of therapeutic lag.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458520981300DOI Listing
January 2021

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

Factors influencing daily treatment choices in multiple sclerosis: practice guidelines, biomarkers and burden of disease.

Ther Adv Neurol Disord 2020 7;13:1756286420975223. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic.

At two meetings of a Central European board of multiple sclerosis (MS) experts in 2018 and 2019 factors influencing daily treatment choices in MS, especially practice guidelines, biomarkers and burden of disease, were discussed. The heterogeneity of MS and the complexity of the available treatment options call for informed treatment choices. However, evidence from clinical trials is generally lacking, particularly regarding sequencing, switches and escalation of drugs. Also, there is a need to identify patients who require highly efficacious treatment from the onset of their disease to prevent deterioration. The recently published European Committee for the Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis/European Academy of Neurology clinical practice guidelines on pharmacological management of MS cover aspects such as treatment efficacy, response criteria, strategies to address suboptimal response and safety concerns and are based on expert consensus statements. However, the recommendations constitute an excellent framework that should be adapted to local regulations, MS center capacities and infrastructure. Further, available and emerging biomarkers for treatment guidance were discussed. Magnetic resonance imaging parameters are deemed most reliable at present, even though complex assessment including clinical evaluation and laboratory parameters besides imaging is necessary in clinical routine. Neurofilament-light chain levels appear to represent the current most promising non-imaging biomarker. Other immunological data, including issues of immunosenescence, will play an increasingly important role for future treatment algorithms. Cognitive impairment has been recognized as a major contribution to MS disease burden. Regular evaluation of cognitive function is recommended in MS patients, although no specific disease-modifying treatment has been defined to date. Finally, systematic documentation of real-life data is recognized as a great opportunity to tackle unresolved daily routine challenges, such as use of sequential therapies, but requires joint efforts across clinics, governments and pharmaceutical companies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1756286420975223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7724259PMC
December 2020

Interpretation of Brain Volume Increase in Multiple Sclerosis.

J Neuroimaging 2021 Mar 13;31(2):401-407. Epub 2020 Dec 13.

Department of Radiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General, University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.

Background And Purpose: A high variability of brain MRI volume change measurement renders challenging its interpretation in multiple sclerosis (MS). Occurrence and clinical relevance of observed apparent brain volume increase (BVI) in MS patients have not been investigated yet. The objective was to quantify the prevalence and factors associated with BVI.

Methods: We examined 366 MS patients (2,317 scans) and 44 controls (132 scans). Volumetric analysis of brain volume changes was performed by SIENA and ScanView. BVI was defined as brain volume change >0%. We compared characteristics of patients with and without BVI.

Results: BVI was found in 26.3% (from 1,951) longitudinal scans (SIENA). If BVI occurred, a probability that BVI will be repeated consecutively more than or equal to two times was 15.9%. The repeated BVI was associated with clinical disease activity in 50% of cases. BVI was associated with shorter time and lower T2 lesion volume increase between two MRI scans, and higher normalized brain volume (all P < .0001). A proportion of scans with BVI was higher when analyzed by ScanView (35.3%) and in controls (36.4% by SIENA).

Conclusions: BVI occurs in a great proportion of MR scans over short-term follow-up and is not associated with disease stabilization. Although BVI can be caused by several factors, the results indicate that measurement error may contribute to BVI in the majority of cases. Clinicians should be aware of the frequent occurrence of apparent BVI, interpret brain volume changes in MS patients with great caution, and use methods with precise quantification of brain volume changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jon.12816DOI Listing
March 2021

Clinicogenomic factors of biotherapy immunogenicity in autoimmune disease: A prospective multicohort study of the ABIRISK consortium.

PLoS Med 2020 10 30;17(10):e1003348. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

CESP, INSERM UMR 1018, Faculty of Medicine, Paris-Sud University, UVSQ, Paris-Saclay University, Villejuif, France.

Background: Biopharmaceutical products (BPs) are widely used to treat autoimmune diseases, but immunogenicity limits their efficacy for an important proportion of patients. Our knowledge of patient-related factors influencing the occurrence of antidrug antibodies (ADAs) is still limited.

Methods And Findings: The European consortium ABIRISK (Anti-Biopharmaceutical Immunization: prediction and analysis of clinical relevance to minimize the RISK) conducted a clinical and genomic multicohort prospective study of 560 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS, n = 147), rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n = 229), Crohn's disease (n = 148), or ulcerative colitis (n = 36) treated with 8 different biopharmaceuticals (etanercept, n = 84; infliximab, n = 101; adalimumab, n = 153; interferon [IFN]-beta-1a intramuscularly [IM], n = 38; IFN-beta-1a subcutaneously [SC], n = 68; IFN-beta-1b SC, n = 41; rituximab, n = 31; tocilizumab, n = 44) and followed during the first 12 months of therapy for time to ADA development. From the bioclinical data collected, we explored the relationships between patient-related factors and the occurrence of ADAs. Both baseline and time-dependent factors such as concomitant medications were analyzed using Cox proportional hazard regression models. Mean age and disease duration were 35.1 and 0.85 years, respectively, for MS; 54.2 and 3.17 years for RA; and 36.9 and 3.69 years for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). In a multivariate Cox regression model including each of the clinical and genetic factors mentioned hereafter, among the clinical factors, immunosuppressants (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.408 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.253-0.657], p < 0.001) and antibiotics (aHR = 0.121 [0.0437-0.333], p < 0.0001) were independently negatively associated with time to ADA development, whereas infections during the study (aHR = 2.757 [1.616-4.704], p < 0.001) and tobacco smoking (aHR = 2.150 [1.319-3.503], p < 0.01) were positively associated. 351,824 Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and 38 imputed Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) alleles were analyzed through a genome-wide association study. We found that the HLA-DQA1*05 allele significantly increased the rate of immunogenicity (aHR = 3.9 [1.923-5.976], p < 0.0001 for the homozygotes). Among the 6 genetic variants selected at a 20% false discovery rate (FDR) threshold, the minor allele of rs10508884, which is situated in an intron of the CXCL12 gene, increased the rate of immunogenicity (aHR = 3.804 [2.139-6.764], p < 1 × 10-5 for patients homozygous for the minor allele) and was chosen for validation through a CXCL12 protein enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) on patient serum at baseline before therapy start. CXCL12 protein levels were higher for patients homozygous for the minor allele carrying higher ADA risk (mean: 2,693 pg/ml) than for the other genotypes (mean: 2,317 pg/ml; p = 0.014), and patients with CXCL12 levels above the median in serum were more prone to develop ADAs (aHR = 2.329 [1.106-4.90], p = 0.026). A limitation of the study is the lack of replication; therefore, other studies are required to confirm our findings.

Conclusion: In our study, we found that immunosuppressants and antibiotics were associated with decreased risk of ADA development, whereas tobacco smoking and infections during the study were associated with increased risk. We found that the HLA-DQA1*05 allele was associated with an increased rate of immunogenicity. Moreover, our results suggest a relationship between CXCL12 production and ADA development independent of the disease, which is consistent with its known function in affinity maturation of antibodies and plasma cell survival. Our findings may help physicians in the management of patients receiving biotherapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003348DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7598520PMC
October 2020

Quantitative proteomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid of women newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Int J Neurosci 2020 Oct 29:1-11. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

BIOCEV, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Vestec, Czech Republic.

Purpose: The lack of reliable diagnostic and/or prognostic biomarkers for multiple sclerosis (MS) is the major obstacle to timely and accurate patient diagnosis in MS patients. To identify new proteins associated with MS we performed a detailed proteomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients newly diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and healthy controls.

Material: Reflecting significantly higher prevalence of MS in women we included only women patients and controls in the study. To eliminate a potential effect of therapy on the CSF composition, only the therapy-naïve patients were included.

Methods: Pooled CSF samples were processed in a technical duplicate, and labeled with stable-isotope coded TMT tags. To maximize the proteome coverage, peptide fractionation using 2D-LC preceded mass analysis using Orbitrap Fusion Tribrid Mass Spectrometer. Differential concentration of selected identified proteins between patients and controls was verified using specific antibodies.

Results: Of the identified 900 CSF proteins, we found 69 proteins to be differentially abundant between patients and controls. In addition to several proteins identified as differentially abundant in MS patients previously, we observed several linked to MS for the first time, namely eosinophil-derived neurotoxin and Nogo receptor.

Conclusions: Our data confirm differential abundance of several previously proposed protein markers, and provide indirect support for involvement of copper-iron disbalance in MS. Most importantly, we identified two new differentially abundant CSF proteins that seem to be directly connected with myelin loss and axonal damage TLR2 signaling and Nogo-receptor pathway in women newly diagnosed with RRMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207454.2020.1837801DOI Listing
October 2020

The weak association between neurofilament levels at multiple sclerosis onset and cognitive performance after 9 years.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Nov 28;46:102534. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital, Katerinska 30, 120 00 Prague, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Background: Neurofilament light chain level in serum (sNfL) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF-NfL) is a promising biomarker of disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, predictive value of neurofilaments for development of cognitive decline over long-term follow-up has not been extensively studied.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between early neurofilament levels and cognitive performance after 9-years.

Methods: We included 58 MS patients from the SET study. sNfL levels were measured at screening, at 1 and 2 years. CSF-NfL were measured in 36 patients at screening. Cognitive performance was assessed by the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis and the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test-3 s at baseline, at 1, 2 and 9 years. Association between neurofilament levels and cognition was analyzed using Spearman´s correlation, logistic regression and mixed models.

Results: We did not observe associations among early sNfL levels and cross-sectional or longitudinal cognitive measures, except of a trend for association between higher sNfL levels at screening and lower California Verbal Learning Test-II (CVLT-II) scores at year 1 (rho=-0.31, unadjusted p = 0.028). Higher sNfL level was not associated with increased risk of cognitive decline, except of a trend for greater risk of CVLT-II decrease in patients with higher sNfL levels at 1 year (OR=15.8; 95% CI=1.7-147.0; unadjusted p = 0.015). Similar trends were observed for CSF-NfL.

Conclusion: We found only weak association between sNfL levels at disease onset and evolution of cognitive performance over long-term follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102534DOI Listing
November 2020

Treatment Response Score to Glatiramer Acetate or Interferon Beta-1a.

Neurology 2021 01 6;96(2):e214-e227. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

From the Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL) (F.B., M.P.S.), University of Genoa, Italy; CORe (T.K., C.M.), Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Australia; Department of Neurology (F.L.), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY; Department of Biostatistics (G.C.), University of Alabama at Birmingham; Department of Neurology and Center for Clinical Neuroscience (D.H., E.K.H.), First Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs (M. Trojano), University of Bari, Italy; Department of Neuroscience (A.P., M.G., P.D.), Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Neuroscience, Imaging, and Clinical Sciences (M.O.), University G. d'Annunzio, Chieti; IRCCS Istituto delle Scienze Neurologiche di Bologna (A.L.); Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Neuromotorie (A.L.), Università di Bologna, Italy; Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena (G. Izquierdo. S.E.), Sevilla, Spain; Department of Medical, Surgical Science and Advanced Technology "GF Ingrassia" (F.P.), University of Catania, Italy; Ondokuz Mayis University (M. Terzi), Department of Neurology, Samsun, Turkey; CISSS Chaudi're-Appalache (P.G.), Centre-Hospitalier, Levis, Quebec, Canada; IRCCS Mondino Foundation (R.B.), Pavia; Department of Neuroscience (P.S., D.F.), Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria, Modena, Italy; Department of Neurology (S.O.), Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey; Ospedali Riuniti di Salerno (G. Iuliano), Salerno, Italy; Department of Neurology (C.B.), Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey; Department of Neurology (R.H.), Zuyderland Medical Center, Sittard, the Netherlands; Neuro Rive-Sud (F.G.), Hôpital Charles LeMoyne, Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada; Clinico San Carlos (C.O.-G), Madrid, Spain; Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc (V.v.P.); Université Catholique de Louvain (V.v.P.), Brussels, Belgium; UOC Neurologia (E.C.), Azienda Sanitaria Unica Regionale Marche-AV3, Macerata, Italy; Kommunehospitalet (T.P.), Arhus C, Denmark; Koc University (A.A.), School of Medicine; Bakirkoy Education and Research Hospital for Psychiatric and Neurological Diseases (A.S.), Istanbul, Turkey; Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (C.R.-T.), Badalona, Spain; University of Queensland (P.M.), Brisbane, Australia; Haydarpasa Numune Training and Research Hospital (R.T.), Istanbul, Turkey; Central Clinical School (H.B.), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (J.S.W.); Rehabilitation Unit (C.S.), "Mons. L. Novarese" Hospital, Moncrivello; and IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino (M.P.S.), Genoa, Italy.

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of glatiramer acetate (GA) vs intramuscular interferon beta-1a (IFN-β-1a), we applied a previously published statistical method aimed at identifying patients' profiles associated with efficacy of treatments.

Methods: Data from 2 independent multiple sclerosis datasets, a randomized study (the Combination Therapy in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis [CombiRx] trial, evaluating GA vs IFN-β-1a) and an observational cohort extracted from MSBase, were used to build and validate a treatment response score, regressing annualized relapse rates (ARRs) on a set of baseline predictors.

Results: The overall ARR ratio of GA to IFN-β-1a in the CombiRx trial was 0.72. The response score (made up of a linear combination of age, sex, relapses in the previous year, disease duration, and Expanded Disability Status Scale score) detected differential response of GA vs IFN-β-1a: in the trial, patients with the largest benefit from GA vs IFN-β-1a (lower score quartile) had an ARR ratio of 0.40 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.25-0.63), those in the 2 middle quartiles of 0.90 (95% CI 0.61-1.34), and those in the upper quartile of 1.14 (95% CI 0.59-2.18) (heterogeneity = 0.012); this result was validated on MSBase, with the corresponding ARR ratios of 0.58 (95% CI 0.46-0.72), 0.92 (95% CI 0.77-1.09,) and 1.29 (95% CI 0.97-1.71); heterogeneity < 0.0001).

Conclusions: We demonstrate the possibility of a criterion, based on patients' characteristics, to choose whether to treat with GA or IFN-β-1a. This result, replicated on an independent real-life cohort, may have implications for clinical decisions in everyday clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010991DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7905777PMC
January 2021

Association of Pregnancy With the Onset of Clinically Isolated Syndrome.

JAMA Neurol 2020 Sep 14. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

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

Importance: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is usually diagnosed in women during their childbearing years. Currently, no consensus exists on whether pregnancy can delay the first episode of demyelination or clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).

Objective: To investigate the association of pregnancy with time to CIS onset.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multicenter cohort study collected reproductive history (duration of each pregnancy, date of delivery, length of breastfeeding) on all participants between September 1, 2016, and June 25, 2019. Adult women being treated at the MS outpatient clinics of 4 tertiary hospitals in 2 countries (Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic; Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne, Australia; Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia; and John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Australia) were recruited to participate in the study. Preexisting data (date of CIS onset, date of birth, sex, date of clinical onset, and Expanded Disability Status Scale result) were collected from MSBase, an international registry of long-term prospectively collected data on patients with MS. Data analyses were performed from June 1, 2019, to February 3, 2020.

Exposures: Gravida (defined as any pregnancy, including pregnancy that ended in miscarriage and induced abortion) and parity (defined as childbirth after gestational age of more than 20 weeks, including livebirth and stillbirth) before CIS onset.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Time to CIS onset. The following were assessed: (1) whether women with previous pregnancies and childbirths had a delayed onset of CIS compared with those who had never been pregnant and those who had never given birth, and (2) whether a dose response existed, whereby a higher number of gravidity and parity was associated with a later onset of CIS.

Results: Of the 2557 women included in the study, the mean (SD) age at CIS onset was 31.5 (9.7) years. Of these women, before CIS onset, 1188 (46%) had at least 1 pregnancy and 1100 (43%) had at least 1 childbirth. The mean (SD) age at first pregnancy was 23.3 (4.5) years and at first childbirth was 23.8 (4.5) years. Women with previous pregnancies and childbirths had a later onset of CIS compared with those who had never been pregnant (HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.62-0.75; P < .001), with a median delay of 3.3 (95% CI, 2.5-4.1) years. Women who had given birth also had a later CIS onset compared with women who had never given birth (HR 0.68; 95% CI, 0.61-0.75; P < .001), with a similar median delay of 3.4 (95% CI, 1.6-5.2) years. A higher gravidity and parity number was not associated with delay in CIS onset.

Conclusions And Relevance: This study suggests an association between previous pregnancies and childbirths and timing of CIS onset, but having more pregnancies or childbirths did not appear to be associated with a later CIS onset. Further studies are needed to help explain the mechanisms behind the associations between pregnancy and onset of multiple sclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.3324DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7490748PMC
September 2020

Using Serum Metabolomics to Predict Development of Anti-drug Antibodies in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Treated With IFNβ.

Front Immunol 2020 17;11:1527. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Centre for Rheumatology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Neutralizing anti-drug antibodies (ADA) can greatly reduce the efficacy of biopharmaceuticals used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the biological factors pre-disposing an individual to develop ADA are poorly characterized. Thus, there is an unmet clinical need for biomarkers to predict the development of immunogenicity, and subsequent treatment failure. Up to 35% of MS patients treated with beta interferons (IFNβ) develop ADA. Here we use machine learning to predict immunogenicity against IFNβ utilizing serum metabolomics data. Serum samples were collected from 89 MS patients as part of the ABIRISK consortium-a multi-center prospective study of ADA development. Metabolites and ADA were quantified prior to and after IFNβ treatment. Thirty patients became ADA positive during the first year of treatment (ADA+). We tested the efficacy of six binary classification models using 10-fold cross validation; k-nearest neighbors, decision tree, random forest, support vector machine and lasso (Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator) logistic regression with and without interactions. We were able to predict future immunogenicity from baseline metabolomics data. Lasso logistic regression with/without interactions and support vector machines were the most successful at identifying ADA+ or ADA- cases, respectively. Furthermore, patients who become ADA+ had a distinct metabolic response to IFNβ in the first 3 months, with 29 differentially regulated metabolites. Machine learning algorithms could also predict ADA status based on metabolite concentrations at 3 months. Lasso logistic regressions had the greatest proportion of correct classifications [F1 score (accuracy measure) = 0.808, specificity = 0.913]. Finally, we hypothesized that serum lipids could contribute to ADA development by altering immune-cell lipid rafts. This was supported by experimental evidence demonstrating that, prior to IFNβ exposure, lipid raft-associated lipids were differentially expressed between MS patients who became ADA+ or remained ADA-. Serum metabolites are a promising biomarker for prediction of ADA development in MS patients treated with IFNβ, and could provide novel insight into mechanisms of immunogenicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01527DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7380268PMC
April 2021

Neuroprotective associations of apolipoproteins A-I and A-II with neurofilament levels in early multiple sclerosis.

J Clin Lipidol 2020 Sep - Oct;14(5):675-684.e2. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA; Department of Neurology, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The role of cholesterol homeostasis in neuroaxonal injury in multiple sclerosis is not known.

Objective: The objective of the study is to investigate the associations of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum neurofilament light chain levels (CSF-NfL and sNfL, respectively), which are biomarkers of neuroaxonal injury, with cholesterol biomarkers at the clinical onset of multiple sclerosis.

Methods: sNfL, serum cholesterol profile (total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), serum apolipoprotein (Apo) levels (ApoA-I, ApoA-II, ApoB, and ApoE), and albumin quotient were obtained for 133 patients (63% female, age: 29.9 ± 8.0 years) during the first demyelinating event. CSF-NfL was available for 103 (77%) patients.

Results: CSF-NfL and sNfL were negatively associated with serum ApoA-II (P = .005, P < .001) and positively associated with albumin quotient (P < .001, P < .0001). In addition, higher CSF-NfL was associated with lower serum ApoA-I (P = .009) levels and higher sNfL was associated with lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = .010). In stepwise regression, age (P = .045), serum ApoA-II (P = .022), and albumin quotient (P < .001) were associated with CSF-NfL; albumin quotient (P = .002) and ApoA-II (P = .001) were associated with sNfL. Path analysis identified parallel pathways from ApoA-II (P = .009) and albumin quotient (P < .001) to the sNfL outcome that were mediated by CSF-NfL (P < .001). The associations of CSF-NfL with ApoA-I (P = .014) and ApoA-II (P = .015) and sNfL with ApoA-II (P < .001) remained significant after adjusting for number of contrast-enhancing lesions and T2 lesion volume.

Conclusion: Lower serum ApoA-II and ApoA-I levels are associated with greater neuroaxonal injury as measured by CSF-NfL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacl.2020.07.001DOI Listing
July 2020

Association of Sustained Immunotherapy With Disability Outcomes in Patients With Active Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

JAMA Neurol 2020 Jul 27. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Clinical Outcomes Research Unit (CORe), Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Importance: It is unclear whether relapses and disease-modifying therapies are associated with the rate of disability accumulation in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS).

Objective: To examine the association of relapses with the rate of disability accumulation in patients with SPMS and to assess whether treatment before or during the secondary progressive phase can slow the progression of disability accumulation.

Design, Setting, And Participants: In this observational cohort study, patient data were prospectively collected from the MSBase international registry between January 1, 1995, and February 1, 2018. Among 53 680 patients in the MSBase registry, 4997 patients with SPMS (using the Lorscheider definition) were identified. Of those, 1621 patients were eligible for study inclusion based on sufficient follow-up before and after the onset of SPMS. Data were analyzed from November 15, 2017, to January 13, 2020.

Exposures: The association between disability accumulation and several clinical and demographic variables, including relapses and exposure to immunotherapy, was evaluated.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Two outcomes were analyzed as measures of disability accumulation during SPMS: the rate of disability accumulation during the secondary progressive phase (change relative to the reference population of patients with MS and absolute change) and the risk of becoming wheelchair dependent. A third outcome, the cumulative risk of experiencing confirmed disability progression events, was used for a secondary analysis. Outcomes were evaluated using multivariable mixed models (ie, linear and Cox models).

Results: Of 1621 patients eligible for inclusion, 1103 patients (68.0%) were female, with a mean (SD) age at MS onset of 33.9 (10.6) years. A total of 661 patients (40.8%) experienced superimposed relapses during SPMS. Therapy receipt and relapses during early relapsing-remitting MS were not associated with disability accumulation during the secondary progressive phase. Higher relapse rates during the secondary progressive disease stage were associated with an increased risk of becoming wheelchair dependent (hazard ratio [HR], 1.87; 95% CI, 1.17-3.00; P = .009). Among patients who experienced superimposed relapses during SPMS, greater receipt of disease-modifying therapies was significantly associated with a reduced rate of disability progression and a lower risk of becoming wheelchair dependent.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, the rate of disability progression after the onset of SPMS was not associated with the early disease course and treatment decisions. Relapses during SPMS were associated with accelerated disability progression and represent an accessible treatment target. Disease-modifying therapy was associated with improvements in disability outcomes among patients with active relapses during SPMS. The study's results suggest that inflammatory disease activity remains a substantial yet modifiable component of SPMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.2453DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7385679PMC
July 2020

The introduction of new medications in pediatric multiple sclerosis: Open issues and challenges.

Mult Scler 2021 03 16;27(3):479-482. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Istituto di Neurologia Sperimentale (INSPE), IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.

Disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) for multiple sclerosis (MS) have been evaluated in pediatric patients in observational studies demonstrating a similar, even better clinical effect compared to adults, with a similar safety. Only fingolimod has been tested in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and is approved for pediatric multiple sclerosis (ped-MS). Numerous methodological, practical, and ethical issues underline that RCTs are difficult to conduct in ped-MS. This also creates a lack of safety information. To facilitate the availability of new agents in ped-MS, we encourage to develop a different approach based on pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies to yield information on optimal doses and implementation of obligatory registries to obtain information on safety as primary endpoint.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458520930620DOI Listing
March 2021

Long-term safety and efficacy of daclizumab beta in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: 6-year results from the SELECTED open-label extension study.

J Neurol 2020 Oct 25;267(10):2851-2864. Epub 2020 May 25.

Biogen, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Objective: SELECTED, an open-label extension study, evaluated daclizumab beta treatment for up to 6 years in participants with relapsing multiple sclerosis who completed the randomized SELECT/SELECTION studies. We report final results of SELECTED.

Methods: Eligible participants who completed 1-2 years of daclizumab beta treatment in SELECT/SELECTION received daclizumab beta 150 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks for up to 6 years in SELECTED. Safety assessments were evaluated for the SELECTED treatment period; efficacy data were evaluated from first dose of daclizumab beta in SELECT/SELECTION.

Results: Ninety percent (410/455) of participants who completed treatment in SELECTION enrolled in SELECTED. Within SELECTED, 69% of participants received daclizumab beta for > 3 years, 39% for > 4 years, and 9% for > 5 years; 87% of participants experienced an adverse event and 26% a serious adverse event (excluding multiple sclerosis relapse). No deaths occurred. Overall, hepatic events were reported in 25% of participants; serious hepatic events in 2%. There were no confirmed cases of immune-mediated encephalitis. Based on weeks from the first daclizumab beta dose in SELECT/SELECTION, adjusted annualized relapse rate (95% confidence interval) for weeks 0-24 was 0.21 (0.16-0.29) and remained low on continued treatment. Overall incidence of 24-week confirmed disability progression was 17.4%. Mean numbers of new/newly enlarging T2 hyperintense lesions remained low; percentage change in whole brain volume decreased over time.

Conclusions: The effects of daclizumab beta on clinical and radiologic outcomes were sustained for up to ~ 8 years of treatment. No new safety concerns were identified in SELECTED.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01051349; first registered on January 15, 2010.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-09835-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7501126PMC
October 2020

Quality of Life Improves with Alemtuzumab Over 6 Years in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients with or without Autoimmune Thyroid Adverse Events: Post Hoc Analysis of the CARE-MS Studies.

Neurol Ther 2020 Dec 14;9(2):443-457. Epub 2020 May 14.

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Introduction: In clinical trials of alemtuzumab, autoimmune thyroid adverse events (AEs) were frequent. Here, we assess the impact of thyroid AEs on health-related quality of life (HRQL) in alemtuzumab-treated patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Methods: In phase 3 CARE-MS I (NCT00530348) and II (NCT00548405) trials, patients with RRMS were administered alemtuzumab 12 mg/day on 5 consecutive days at baseline and on 3 consecutive days 12 months later. Patients could participate in an extension study (NCT00930553) through year 6. HRQL was assessed at baseline and annually using the Functional Assessment of Multiple Sclerosis (FAMS), EuroQoL-5 Dimension Visual Analog Scale (EQ-5D VAS), and 36-Item Short-Form Survey (SF-36) questionnaires. Outcomes were analyzed in patients with or without thyroid AEs (nonserious or serious). A subset of patients with thyroid AEs was analyzed to assess HRQL before and during the onset of thyroid AEs.

Results: A total of 811 CARE-MS patients were treated with alemtuzumab. Of these, 342 (42%) patients experienced thyroid AEs over 6 years; serious thyroid AEs occurred in 44 (5%) patients. At year 6, HRQL outcomes generally remained slightly improved or similar to core study baseline in alemtuzumab-treated patients with or without thyroid AEs: FAMS (least-squares mean change from baseline without thyroid AEs, 0.7; with nonserious thyroid AEs, 5.1; with serious thyroid AEs, - 5.3), EQ-5D VAS (2.0; 3.0; - 6.8), SF-36 mental component summary (MCS [0.6; 1.6; - 2.8]), SF-36 physical component summary (PCS [0.8; 1.0; 1.1]). Over 6 years, 63-82% of patients in each group had improved/stable SF-36 MCS and PCS scores. Among patients with thyroid AE onset in year 3 (peak incidence), there were minimal differences between HRQL outcomes before onset (year 2) and after onset (year 3).

Conclusion: Autoimmune thyroid AEs (serious and nonserious) had minimal impact on HRQL in alemtuzumab-treated patients. These data may aid therapeutic decisions in patients with relapsing MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40120-020-00191-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7606412PMC
December 2020

Early clinical markers of aggressive multiple sclerosis.

Brain 2020 05;143(5):1400-1413

CORe Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Patients with the 'aggressive' form of multiple sclerosis accrue disability at an accelerated rate, typically reaching Expanded Disability Status Score (EDSS) ≥ 6 within 10 years of symptom onset. Several clinicodemographic factors have been associated with aggressive multiple sclerosis, but less research has focused on clinical markers that are present in the first year of disease. The development of early predictive models of aggressive multiple sclerosis is essential to optimize treatment in this multiple sclerosis subtype. We evaluated whether patients who will develop aggressive multiple sclerosis can be identified based on early clinical markers. We then replicated this analysis in an independent cohort. Patient data were obtained from the MSBase observational study. Inclusion criteria were (i) first recorded disability score (EDSS) within 12 months of symptom onset; (ii) at least two recorded EDSS scores; and (iii) at least 10 years of observation time, based on time of last recorded EDSS score. Patients were classified as having 'aggressive multiple sclerosis' if all of the following criteria were met: (i) EDSS ≥ 6 reached within 10 years of symptom onset; (ii) EDSS ≥ 6 confirmed and sustained over ≥6 months; and (iii) EDSS ≥ 6 sustained until the end of follow-up. Clinical predictors included patient variables (sex, age at onset, baseline EDSS, disease duration at first visit) and recorded relapses in the first 12 months since disease onset (count, pyramidal signs, bowel-bladder symptoms, cerebellar signs, incomplete relapse recovery, steroid administration, hospitalization). Predictors were evaluated using Bayesian model averaging. Independent validation was performed using data from the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Registry. Of the 2403 patients identified, 145 were classified as having aggressive multiple sclerosis (6%). Bayesian model averaging identified three statistical predictors: age > 35 at symptom onset, EDSS ≥ 3 in the first year, and the presence of pyramidal signs in the first year. This model significantly predicted aggressive multiple sclerosis [area under the curve (AUC) = 0.80, 95% confidence intervals (CIs): 0.75, 0.84, positive predictive value = 0.15, negative predictive value = 0.98]. The presence of all three signs was strongly predictive, with 32% of such patients meeting aggressive disease criteria. The absence of all three signs was associated with a 1.4% risk. Of the 556 eligible patients in the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Registry cohort, 34 (6%) met criteria for aggressive multiple sclerosis. The combination of all three signs was also predictive in this cohort (AUC = 0.75, 95% CIs: 0.66, 0.84, positive predictive value = 0.15, negative predictive value = 0.97). Taken together, these findings suggest that older age at symptom onset, greater disability during the first year, and pyramidal signs in the first year are early indicators of aggressive multiple sclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa081DOI Listing
May 2020

Monitoring of radiologic disease activity by serum neurofilaments in MS.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2020 07 9;7(4). Epub 2020 Apr 9.

From the Department of Medicine (T.U., T.K.), CORe, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience (T.U., B.S., M.T., K.V., E.K.H., D.H.), Charles University in Prague, 1st Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic; Clinical Trial Unit (S.S., P.B.), Department of Clinical Research, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel; Departments of Medicine, Biomedicine and Clinical Research (C.B., J.O., D.L., Y.N., L.K., J. Kuhle), Neurologic Clinic and Policlinic, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Switzerland; Department of Neurology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (N.B., M.D., R.Z.), Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo; IRCCS "S. Maria Nascente" (N.B.), Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy; Department of Radiology (J. Krasensky, M.V.), Charles University in Prague, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic; Center for Biomedical Imaging at Clinical Translational Science Institute (R.Z.), University at Buffalo, State University of New York, NY; and Department of Neurology (T.K.), The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.

Objective: To determine whether serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) levels are associated with recent MRI activity in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).

Methods: This observational study included 163 patients (405 samples) with early RRMS from the Study of Early interferon-beta1a (IFN-β1a) Treatment (SET) cohort and 179 patients (664 samples) with more advanced RRMS from the Genome-Wide Association Study of Multiple Sclerosis (GeneMSA) cohort. Based on annual brain MRI, we assessed the ability of sNfL cutoffs to reflect the presence of combined unique active lesions, defined as new/enlarging lesion compared with MRI in the preceding year or contrast-enhancing lesion. The probability of active MRI lesions among patients with different sNfL levels was estimated with generalized estimating equations models.

Results: From the sNfL samples ≥90th percentile, 81.6% of the SET (OR = 3.4, 95% CI = 1.8-6.4) and 48.9% of the GeneMSA cohort samples (OR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.7-3.9) was associated with radiological disease activity on MRI. The sNfL level between the 10th and 30th percentile was reflective of negligible MRI activity: 1.4% (SET) and 6.5% (GeneMSA) of patients developed ≥3 active lesions, 5.8% (SET) and 6.5% (GeneMSA) developed ≥2 active lesions, and 34.8% (SET) and 11.8% (GeneMSA) showed ≥1 active lesion on brain MRI. The sNfL level <10th percentile was associated with even lower MRI activity. Similar results were found in a subgroup of clinically stable patients.

Conclusions: Low sNfL levels (≤30th percentile) help identify patients with MS with very low probability of recent radiologic disease activity during the preceding year. This result suggests that in future, sNfL assessment may substitute the need for annual brain MRI monitoring in considerable number (23.1%-36.4%) of visits in clinically stable patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000714DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7176248PMC
July 2020

Neurofilament levels are associated with blood-brain barrier integrity, lymphocyte extravasation, and risk factors following the first demyelinating event in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2021 02 7;27(2):220-231. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA/Department of Neurology, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA.

Background: Increased blood brain barrier (BBB) permeability, CNS inflammation and neuroaxonal damage are pathological hallmarks in early multiple sclerosis (MS).

Objective: To investigate the associations of neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels with measures of BBB integrity and central nervous system (CNS) inflammation in MS during the first demyelinating event.

Methods: Blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were obtained from 142 MS (McDonald 2017) treatment-naive patients from the SET study (63% female; age: 29.7 ± 7.9 years) following the disease onset. NfL, albumin, immunoglobulin G (IgG), and immunoglobulin M (IgM) levels were measured in CSF and blood samples. Albumin quotient was computed as a marker of BBB integrity. Immune cell subset counts in CSF were measured using flow cytometry. MS risk factors, such as Human leukocyte antigen locus gene ()*1501, anti-Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibodies, and 25-hydroxy vitamin D, were also measured.

Results: Higher serum NfL (sNfL) levels were associated with higher albumin quotient ( < 0.001), CSF CD80+ ( = 0.012), and CD80+ CD19+ ( = 0.015) cell frequency. sNfL levels were also associated with contrast-enhancing and T2 lesions on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; all  ⩽ 0.001). Albumin quotient was not associated with any of the MS risk factors assessed. sNfL levels were associated with anti-EBV viral capsid antigen (VCA) IgG levels ( = 0.0026).

Conclusion: sNfL levels during the first demyelinating event of MS are associated with greater impairment of BBB integrity, immune cell extravasation, and brain lesion activity on MRI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458520912379DOI Listing
February 2021

Timing of high-efficacy therapy for multiple sclerosis: a retrospective observational cohort study.

Lancet Neurol 2020 04 18;19(4):307-316. Epub 2020 Mar 18.

CORe, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: High-efficacy therapies in multiple sclerosis are traditionally used after unsuccessful treatment with first-line disease modifying therapies. We hypothesised that early commencement of high-efficacy therapy would be associated with reduced long-term disability. We therefore aimed to compare long-term disability outcomes between patients who started high-efficacy therapies within 2 years of disease onset with those who started 4-6 years after disease onset.

Methods: In this retrospective international observational study, we obtained data from the MSBase registry and the Swedish MS registry, which prospectively collect patient data that are specific to multiple sclerosis as part of routine clinical care. We identified adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, with at least 6 years of follow-up since disease onset, and who started the high-efficacy therapy (rituximab, ocrelizumab, mitoxantrone, alemtuzumab, or natalizumab) either 0-2 years (early) or 4-6 years (late) after clinical disease onset. We matched patients in the early and late groups using propensity scores calculated on the basis of their baseline clinical and demographic data. The primary outcome was disability, measured with the Expanded Disability Status Score (EDSS; an ordinal scale of 0-10, with higher scores indicating increased disability), at 6-10 years after disease onset, assessed with a linear mixed-effects model.

Findings: We identified 6149 patients in the MSBase registry who had been given high-efficacy therapy, with data collected between Jan 1, 1975, and April 13, 2017, and 2626 patients in the Swedish MS Registry, with data collected between Dec 10, 1997, and Sept 16, 2019. Of whom, 308 in the MSBase registry and 236 in the Swedish MS registry were eligible for inclusion. 277 (51%) of 544 patients commenced therapy early and 267 (49%) commenced therapy late. For the primary analysis, we matched 213 patients in the early treatment group with 253 in the late treatment group. At baseline, the mean EDSS score was 2·2 (SD 1·2) in the early group and 2·1 (SD 1·2) in the late group. Median follow-up time for matched patients was 7·8 years (IQR 6·7-8·9). In the sixth year after disease onset, the mean EDSS score was 2·2 (SD 1·6) in the early group compared with 2·9 (SD 1·8) in the late group (p<0·0001). This difference persisted throughout each year of follow-up until the tenth year after disease onset (mean EDSS score 2·3 [SD 1·8] vs 3·5 [SD 2·1]; p<0·0001), with a difference between groups of -0·98 (95% CI -1·51 to -0·45; p<0·0001, adjusted for proportion of time on any disease-modifying therapy) across the 6-10 year follow-up period.

Interpretation: High-efficacy therapy commenced within 2 years of disease onset is associated with less disability after 6-10 years than when commenced later in the disease course. This finding can inform decisions regarding optimal sequence and timing of multiple sclerosis therapy.

Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council Australia and MS Society UK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30067-3DOI Listing
April 2020

Serum neurofilament light chain reflects inflammation-driven neurodegeneration and predicts delayed brain volume loss in early stage of multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2021 01 21;27(1):52-60. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience, General University Hospital and First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Background: Serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) is a marker of neuroaxonal injury. There is a lack of studies investigating the dynamics of relationships between sNfL levels and radiological disease activity over long-term follow-up in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Objectives: To investigate the relationship among repeated measures of sNfL, lesion burden accumulation, brain volume loss and clinical measures.

Methods: We investigated 172 patients in the early stages of MS (McDonald 2017 criteria). Clinical exams were performed every 3 months and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were collected annually over 48 months. sNfL levels were measured in serum by Simoa assay at the time of treatment initiation and then annually over 36 months.

Results: In repeated-measures analysis, considering all time points, we found a strong relationship between percentage changes of sNfL and lesion burden accumulation assessed by T1 lesion volume ( < 0.001) and T2 lesion number ( < 0.001). There was no relationship between percentage changes of sNfL and brain volume loss over 36 months ( > 0.1). Early sNfL levels were associated with delayed brain volume loss after 48 months ( < 0.001). Patients with No Evidence of Disease Activity (NEDA-3) status showed lower sNfL levels compared with active MS patients.

Conclusions: sNfL is associated with ongoing neuroinflammation and predictive of future neurodegeneration in early MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458519901272DOI Listing
January 2021

Biofeedback Based Home Balance Training can Improve Balance but Not Gait in People with Multiple Sclerosis.

Mult Scler Int 2019 23;2019:2854130. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Department of Neurology and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.

Background: Impaired balance is common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and can be present even in those with a mild disability level. With increasing disability, gait, and balance impairment progress, and lead to increased risk of falls. In some recent studies, interactive commercial video games were used for improving balance, but their limitation is their lack of individual training parameter settings needed for rehabilitation purposes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and effect of balance exercise in the home setting using the rehabilitation Homebalance® system.

Methods: A single-centre, controlled, single blind study with allocation to intervention group or to control group was utilised. Participants were assessed at baseline, after four weeks of home-based balance training, and follow-up after four weeks. The primary outcomes were the Berg Balance Test (BBT). The secondary outcome measures included the Mini-BESTest, Timed Up, and Go Test (part of Mini-BESTest), and spatio-temporal gait parameter evaluation using the GAITRite instrument. The patient reported outcomes (PRO) included the 12-Item MS Walking Scale, Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale, and the Falls Efficacy Scale.

Results: A total of 39 people with Multiple Sclerosis (10 men) were enrolled into the study. The mean age of participants was 40.69 ± 10.2 years, with a mean disease duration 14.76 ± 9.1 years and mean disability level 3.8 ± 1.9 EDSS (EDSS range 1.5-7). Statistically significant improvements within the home exercise group were present for the BBT and the Mini-BESTest. This improvement was more significant in the subgroup with moderate and higher disability (EDSS 4.5-7). All other gait parameters and PRO did not show any improvement. Follow-up assessment after four weeks showed that the reached improvement persisted for a short time period after finishing the regular training regimen.

Conclusion: In comparison with no intervention, a short-term programme of home-based balance training using Homebalance® improved balance but not gait performance in a group of people with MS. It seems that home-based balance training tailored according to individual needs by a physiotherapist may be a future approach to consider for telerehabilitation of people with MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/2854130DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6942900PMC
December 2019

Clinical and therapeutic predictors of disease outcomes in AQP4-IgG+ neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Feb 25;38:101868. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

CORe, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: Aquaporin-4-IgG positive (AQP4-IgG+) Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) is an uncommon central nervous system autoimmune disorder. Disease outcomes in AQP4-IgG+NMOSD are typically measured by relapse rate and disability. Using the MSBase, a multi-centre international registry, we aimed to examine the impact immunosuppressive therapies and patient characteristics as predictors of disease outcome measures in AQP4-IgG+NMOSD.

Method: This MSBase cohort study of AQP4-IgG+NMOSD patients examined modifiers of relapse in a multivariable proportional hazards model and expanded disability status score (EDSS) using a mixed effects model.

Results: 206 AQP4-IgG+ patients were included (median follow-up 3.7 years). Age (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.82 per decade, p = 0.001), brainstem onset (HR = 0.45, p = 0.009), azathioprine (HR = 0.46, p<0.001) and mycophenolate mofetil (HR = 0.09, p = 0.012) were associated with a reduced risk of relapse. A greater EDSS was associated with age (β = 0.45 (per decade), p<0.001) and disease duration (β = 0.07 per year, p<0.001). A slower increase in EDSS was associated with azathioprine (β = -0.48, p<0.001), mycophenolate mofetil (β = -0.69, p = 0.04) and rituximab (β = -0.35, p = 0.024).

Interpretation: This study has demonstrated that azathioprine and mycophenolate mofetil reduce the risk of relapses and disability progression is modified by azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil and rituximab. Age and disease duration were the only patient characteristics that modified the risk of relapse and disability in our cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2019.101868DOI Listing
February 2020

Safety and efficacy of ozanimod versus interferon beta-1a in relapsing multiple sclerosis (RADIANCE): a multicentre, randomised, 24-month, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Neurol 2019 11 3;18(11):1021-1033. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

Neurologic Clinic and Policlinic, University Hospital and University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Background: Ozanimod is a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator, which selectively binds to sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor subtypes 1 and 5 with high affinity. In the RADIANCE phase 2 study in participants with relapsing multiple sclerosis, ozanimod was associated with better efficacy than placebo on MRI measures and was well tolerated. The RADIANCE phase 3 study aimed to confirm the safety and efficacy of ozanimod versus interferon beta-1a in individuals with relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Methods: We did a 24-month, multicentre, double-blind, double-dummy phase 3 trial in participants with relapsing multiple sclerosis at 147 medical centres and clinical practices in 21 countries. Participants were aged 18-55 years, had multiple sclerosis according to 2010 McDonald criteria, a relapsing clinical course, brain MRI lesions consistent with multiple sclerosis, an expanded disability status scale score of 0·0-5·0, and either at least one relapse within 12 months before screening or at least one relapse within 24 months before screening plus at least one gadolinium-enhancing lesion within the 12 months before randomisation. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1) via an interactive voice response system to daily oral ozanimod 1·0 mg or 0·5 mg or weekly intramuscular interferon beta-1a 30 μg. Participants, investigators, and study staff were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was annualised relapse rate (ARR) over 24 months. The primary analysis was done in the intention-to-treat population of all participants who received study drug and safety was assessed in all randomly assigned participants who received study drug, grouped by highest dose of ozanimod received. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02047734, and EudraCT, 2012-002714-40.

Findings: Between Dec 27, 2013, and March 31, 2015, we screened 1695 participants, of which 375 did not meet inclusion criteria. 1320 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to a group, of whom 1313 received study drug (433 assigned to ozanimod 1·0 mg, 439 assigned to ozanimod 0·5 mg, and 441 assigned to interferon beta-1a) and 1138 (86·7%) completed 24 months of treatment. Adjusted ARRs were 0·17 (95% CI 0·14-0·21) with ozanimod 1·0 mg, 0·22 (0·18-0·26) with ozanimod 0·5 mg, and 0·28 (0·23-0·32) with interferon beta-1a, with rate ratios versus interferon beta-1a of 0·62 (95% CI 0·51-0·77; p<0·0001) for ozanimod 1·0 mg and 0·79 (0·65 to 0·96; p=0·0167) for ozanimod 0·5 mg. The incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events was higher in the interferon beta-1a group (365 [83·0%] of 440 participants) than in the ozanimod 1·0 mg group (324 [74·7%] of 434) or the ozanimod 0·5 mg group (326 [74·3%] of 439). More participants in the interferon beta-1a group had treatment-emergent adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation than in the ozanimod groups. Incidences of infections and serious treatment-emergent adverse events were similar across treatment groups. No cases of ozanimod-related symptomatic reduction in heart rate and no second-degree or third-degree cases of atrioventricular block were reported.

Interpretation: In this 24-month phase 3 study in participants with relapsing multiple sclerosis, ozanimod was well tolerated and associated with a significantly lower rate of clinical relapses than intramuscular interferon beta-1a. These findings show the potential of ozanimod as an effective oral therapy for individuals with relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Funding: Celgene International II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30238-8DOI Listing
November 2019

Safety and efficacy of ozanimod versus interferon beta-1a in relapsing multiple sclerosis (SUNBEAM): a multicentre, randomised, minimum 12-month, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Neurol 2019 11 3;18(11):1009-1020. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Background: Ozanimod, a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator, selectively binds to receptor subtypes 1 and 5 with high affinity. The RADIANCE phase 2 study showed that ozanimod had better efficacy than placebo on MRI measures, with a favourable safety profile, in participants with relapsing multiple sclerosis. The SUNBEAM study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of ozanimod versus intramuscular interferon beta-1a in participants with relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Methods: SUNBEAM was a randomised, double-blind, double-dummy, active-controlled phase 3 trial done at 152 academic medical centres and clinical practices in 20 countries. We enrolled participants aged 18-55 years with relapsing multiple sclerosis, baseline expanded disability status scale (EDSS) score of 0·0-5·0, and either at least one relapse within the 12 months before screening or at least one relapse within 24 months plus at least one gadolinium-enhancing lesion within 12 months before screening. Participants were randomly assigned 1:1:1 by a blocked algorithm stratified by country and baseline EDSS score to at least 12 months treatment of either once-daily oral ozanimod 1·0 mg or 0·5 mg or weekly intramuscular interferon beta-1a 30 μg. Participants, investigators, and study staff were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was annualised relapse rate (ARR) during the treatment period and was assessed in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in all participants according to the highest dose of ozanimod received. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02294058 and EudraCT, number 2014-002320-27.

Findings: Between Dec 18, 2014, and Nov 12, 2015, 1346 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to ozanimod 1·0 mg (n=447), ozanimod 0·5 mg (n=451), or interferon beta-1a (n=448). 91 (6·8%) participants discontinued the study drug (29 in the ozanimod 1·0 mg group; 26 in the ozanimod 0·5 mg group; and 36 in the interferon beta-1a group). Adjusted ARRs were 0·35 (0·28-0·44) for interferon beta-1a, 0·18 (95% CI 0·14-0·24) for ozanimod 1·0 mg (rate ratio [RR] of 0·52 [0·41-0·66] vs interferon beta-1a; p<0·0001), and 0·24 (0·19-0·31) for ozanimod 0·5 mg (RR 0·69 [0·55-0·86] vs interferon beta-1a; p=0·0013). Few ozanimod-treated participants discontinued treatment because of adverse events (13 [2·9%] who received ozanimod 1·0 mg; seven [1·5%] who received ozanimod 0·5 mg; and 16 [3·6%] who received interferon beta-1a). No first-dose, clinically significant bradycardia or second-degree or third-degree atrioventricular block was reported. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and similar across treatment groups (13 [2·9%] participants who received ozanimod 1·0 mg; 16 [3·5%] who received ozanimod 0·5 mg; and 11 [2·5%] who received interferon beta-1a). No serious opportunistic infections occurred in ozanimod-treated participants.

Interpretation: In participants with relapsing multiple sclerosis treated for at least 12 months, ozanimod was well tolerated and demonstrated a significantly lower relapse rate than interferon beta-1a. These findings provide support for ozanimod as an oral therapy for individuals with relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Funding: Celgene International II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30239-XDOI Listing
November 2019

Additive Effect of Spinal Cord Volume, Diffuse and Focal Cord Pathology on Disability in Multiple Sclerosis.

Front Neurol 2019 6;10:820. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Department of Radiology, Charles University in Prague, 1st Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Prague, Czechia.

Spinal cord (SC) pathology is strongly associated with disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). We aimed to evaluate the association between focal and diffuse SC abnormalities and spinal cord volume and to assess their contribution to physical disability in MS patients. This large sample-size cross-sectional study investigated 1,249 patients with heterogeneous MS phenotypes. Upper cervical-cord cross-sectional area (MUCCA) was calculated on an axial 3D-T2w-FatSat sequence acquired at 3T using a novel semiautomatic edge-finding tool. SC images were scored for the presence of sharply demarcated hyperintense areas (focal lesions) and homogenously increased signal intensity (diffuse changes). Patients were dichotomized according EDSS in groups with mild (EDSS up to 3.0) and moderate (EDSS ≥ 3.5) physical disability. Analysis of covariance was used to identify factors associated with dichotomized MUCCA. In binary logistic regression, the SC imaging parameters were entered in blocks to assess their individual contribution to risk of moderate disability. In order to assess the risk of combined SC damage in terms of atrophy lesional pathology on disability, secondary analysis was carried out where patients were divided into four categories (SC phenotypes) according to median dichotomized MUCCA and presence/absence of focal and/or diffuse changes. MUCCA was strongly associated with total intracranial volume, followed by presence of diffuse SC pathology, and disease duration. Compared to the reference group (normally appearing SC, MUCCA>median), patients with the most severe SC changes (SC affected with focal and/or diffuse lesions, MUCCA
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00820DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691803PMC
August 2019

Risk of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: A longitudinal study.

Mult Scler 2020 01 9;26(1):79-90. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

CORe, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/L4 Centre, Melbourne Brain Centre at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Background: The risk factors for conversion from relapsing-remitting to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis remain highly contested.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the demographic, clinical and paraclinical features that influence the risk of conversion to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Methods: Patients with adult-onset relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and at least four recorded disability scores were selected from MSBase, a global observational cohort. The risk of conversion to objectively defined secondary progressive multiple sclerosis was evaluated at multiple time points per patient using multivariable marginal Cox regression models. Sensitivity analyses were performed.

Results: A total of 15,717 patients were included in the primary analysis. Older age (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.02,  < 0.001), longer disease duration (HR = 1.01,  = 0.038), a higher Expanded Disability Status Scale score (HR = 1.30,  < 0.001), more rapid disability trajectory (HR = 2.82,  < 0.001) and greater number of relapses in the previous year (HR = 1.07,  = 0.010) were independently associated with an increased risk of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Improving disability (HR = 0.62,  = 0.039) and disease-modifying therapy exposure (HR = 0.71,  = 0.007) were associated with a lower risk. Recent cerebral magnetic resonance imaging activity, evidence of spinal cord lesions and oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid were not associated with the risk of conversion.

Conclusion: Risk of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis increases with age, duration of illness and worsening disability and decreases with improving disability. Therapy may delay the onset of secondary progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458519868990DOI Listing
January 2020