Publications by authors named "Ingo Kleiter"

94 Publications

[Treatment of antibody-mediated encephalomyelitis : Strategies for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease].

Nervenarzt 2021 Apr 30;92(4):334-348. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Klinik für Neurologie, St. Josef Hospital Bochum, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Deutschland.

Background: Antibody-mediated encephalomyelitis, such as neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease (MOGAD), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) antibody-associated astrocytopathy belong to a group of newly described autoimmune diseases.

Aim: Presentation of the treatment of antibody-mediated encephalomyelitis with a focus on NMOSD and MOGAD.

Methods: Selective literature search in PubMed taking the consultation version of the S2k guidelines of the German Society of Neurology (DGN) on the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), NMOSD and MOG IgG-associated diseases into account.

Results: Acute relapses are treated with high-dose steroid pulse therapy or apheresis therapy (plasma exchange or immunoadsorption). It is crucial to start treatment as quickly as possible and apheresis therapy can also be used as first-line treatment under certain conditions. For prophylactic immunotherapy, steroids, classical immunosuppressants and monoclonal antibodies with specific mechanisms of action are used. Eculizumab, inebilizumab and satralizumab are the first drugs approved for NMOSD. Symptomatic treatment and neurorehabilitation are important complementary measures.

Conclusion: Treatment of antibody-mediated encephalomyelitis differs from treatment of multiple sclerosis and requires specific measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00115-021-01090-4DOI Listing
April 2021

Pain, depression, and quality of life in adults with MOG-antibody-associated disease.

Eur J Neurol 2021 May 11;28(5):1645-1658. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Neurology, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Background And Purpose: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-antibody-associated disease (MOGAD) is an inflammatory autoimmune condition of the central nervous system. However, data on pain and depression have remained scarce. The aim of this study was to assess features of chronic pain and depression as well as their impact on health-related quality of life (hr-QoL) in MOGAD.

Methods: Patients with MOGAD were identified in the Neuromyelitis Optica Study Group registry. Data were acquired by a questionnaire, including clinical, demographic, pain (PainDetect, Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form, McGill Pain Questionnaire-Short Form), depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II), and hr-QoL (Short Form-36 Health Survey) items.

Results: Twenty-two of 43 patients suffered from MOGAD-related pain (11 nociceptive, eight definite neuropathic, three possible neuropathic) and 18 from depression. Patients with neuropathic pain had the highest pain intensity and most profound activities of daily living (ADL) impairment. Fifteen patients reported spasticity-associated pain, including four with short-lasting painful tonic spasms. Later disease onset, profound physical impairment, and depression were associated with chronic pain. Physical QoL was more affected in pain sufferers (p < 0.001) than in pain-free patients, being most severely reduced by neuropathic pain (p = 0.016). Pain severity, visual impairment, and gait impairment independently predicted lower physical QoL. Depression was the only factor reducing mental QoL. Twelve patients still suffering from moderate pain (pain severity 4.6 ± 2.3) received pain medication. Only four out of 10 patients with moderate to severe depression took antidepressants.

Conclusions: Being highly prevalent, pain and depression strongly affect QoL and ADL in MOGAD. Both conditions remain insufficiently controlled in real-life clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ene.14729DOI Listing
May 2021

Impact of a multimedia website with patient experiences of multiple sclerosis (PExMS) on immunotherapy decision-making: study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial in a mixed-methods design.

Pilot Feasibility Stud 2021 Jan 7;7(1):16. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Institute of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis (INIMS), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany.

Background: A variety of management options (e.g. immunotherapies, lifestyle interventions, and rehabilitation) are available for people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Besides coping with the diagnosis, people with MS (pwMS) have to make complex decisions such as deciding about immunotherapies. In addition to factual information, reports of patient experiences (PEx) may support patients in decision-making. The added value of PEx in decision-making is not clear, and controlled studies are rare. Therefore, systematic methods are necessary to develop and analyse PEx. As there are no evaluated PEx for MS in Germany, we are currently creating a website presenting PEx structured according to topics and illustrated by video, audio, and text files. We aim to determine the feasibility of an intervention using PEx and evaluate whether PEx may help pwMS in their immunotherapy decision-making processes as a supplement to evidence-based information.

Methods: This project will follow the Medical Research Council framework for development and evaluation of complex interventions. After the development of a website with PEx, a randomised controlled pilot trial (pilot RCT) will be conducted in 2-3 MS centres, clinics, or rehabilitation centres including 55 pwMS and accompanied by a process evaluation. Patients with a RRMS diagnosis considering immunotherapy are eligible. The primary outcome is decision self-efficacy. Secondary outcomes include preparation for decision-making, decisional conflict, risk knowledge, confidence in active participation, affective forecasting, social support, and self-reported impact of eHealth on its users. Participants will be randomly assigned either to (i) an intervention group with 4 weeks access to an evidence-based patient information resource and the PExMS-website as an adjunct or to (ii) the control group with access to evidence-based information alone. A 6-member advisory panel involving representatives of pwMS, researchers, and neurologists, who accompany the whole project, will mentor this pilot RCT.

Discussion: The intervention was developed with systematic methods, created with active patient involvement and in critical appraisal by an expert advisory panel. The study is innovative as it contributes to the controversial evidence on the use of PEx in the context of evidence-based patient information.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04236544.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40814-020-00749-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7788927PMC
January 2021

Early Tracheostomy Is Associated With Shorter Ventilation Time and Duration of ICU Stay in Patients With Myasthenic Crisis-A Multicenter Analysis.

J Intensive Care Med 2020 Nov 25:885066620967646. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

Background: Myasthenic crisis (MC) requiring mechanical ventilation (MV) is a rare and serious complication of myasthenia gravis. Here we analyzed the frequency of performed tracheostomies, risk factors correlating with a tracheostomy, as well as the impact of an early tracheostomy on ventilation time and ICU length of stay (LOS) in MC.

Methods: Retrospective chart review on patients treated for MC in 12 German neurological departments between 2006 and 2015 to assess demographic/diagnostic data, rates and timing of tracheostomy and outcome.

Results: In 107 out of 215 MC (49.8%), a tracheostomy was performed. Patients without tracheostomy were more likely to have an early-onset myasthenia gravis (27 [25.2%] vs 12 [11.5%], p = 0.01). Patients receiving a tracheostomy, however, were more frequently suffering from multiple comorbidities (20 [18.7%] vs 9 [8.3%], p = 0.03) and also the ventilation time (34.4 days ± 27.7 versus 7.9 ± 7.8, p < 0.0001) and ICU-LOS (34.8 days ± 25.5 versus 12.1 ± 8.0, p < 0.0001) was significantly longer than in non-tracheostomized patients. Demographics and characteristics of the course of the disease up to the crisis were not significantly different between patients with an early (within 10 days) compared to a late tracheostomy. However, an early tracheostomy correlated with a shorter duration of MV at ICU (26.2 days ± 18.1 versus 42.0 ± 33.1, p = 0.006), and ICU-LOS (26.2 days ± 14.6 versus 42.3 ± 33.0, p = 0.003).

Conclusion: Half of the ventilated patients with MC required a tracheostomy. Poorer health condition before the crisis and late-onset MG were associated with a tracheostomy. An early tracheostomy (≤ day 10), however, was associated with a shorter duration of MV and ICU-LOS by 2 weeks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0885066620967646DOI Listing
November 2020

A Comprehensive Monitoring Study on Electrocardiographic Assessments and Cardiac Events After Fingolimod First Dose-Possible Predictors of Cardiac Outcomes.

Front Neurol 2020 12;11:818. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Division for Metabolism and Cardiology, Department of Cardiology, Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

First dose observation for cardiac effects is required for fingolimod. Previous results in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) suggest that transient bradycardia and conduction abnormalities during the observation phase are rare, benign and reversible. Prior analyses corroborate these findings. The present large scale dataset allows subgroup analyses for differences in the incidence of cardiac findings depending on patient characteristics. START was an open-label, multi-center study that enrolled 6,998 RRMS patients. Primary endpoints were incidence of bradycardia (heart rate < 45 bpm) and second-/third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block during treatment initiation. Subgroup analyses were performed according to age, gender, body mass index (BMI), baseline expanded disability status scale (EDSS), and concomitant medication to determine the impact of these variables on cardiac outcomes parameters. 63 patients (0.9%) developed bradycardia (<45 bpm), 120 patients (1.7%) had a second-degree Mobitz I (Wenkebach) block and/or 2:1 AV block. One case of an asymptomatic third-degree AV block occurred. No Mobitz II AV block was observed. After 1 week, no second-/third-degree AV block was observed. The incidence of second- or third-degree AV blocks was significantly higher in older patients (≥50 years; = 0.014 vs. patients 35-49 years). Second- or third-degree AV blocks were more frequent in females (87.5% of all patients with a second- or third-degree AV block; < 0.001), while bradycardia occurred more often in males (58.7% of all bradycardia events; < 0.001). Furthermore, patients with a BMI below 25 had a higher incidence of second- or third-degree AV block. In summary, transient bradycardia and AV conduction abnormalities after the first dose of fingolimod were rare and asymptomatic. When compared to females, male patients might have a higher risk for bradycardia during treatment initiation, presumably due to a lower resting heart rate. Furthermore, a low heart rate before treatment initiation, low body weight, or low BMI possibly increases the risk for bradycardia. Second- or third-degree AV blocks were more frequent in females, older patients and patients with a low BMI. Nevertheless, these cardiac events remained rare and benign, confirming the favorable cardiac safety profile of fingolimod upon treatment initiation in MS patients without cardiovascular comorbidities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00818DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7434833PMC
August 2020

Cerebrospinal fluid findings in patients with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies. Part 2: Results from 108 lumbar punctures in 80 pediatric patients.

J Neuroinflammation 2020 Sep 3;17(1):262. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Department of Pediatric Neurology, Children's Hospital Datteln, University Witten/Herdecke, Datteln, Germany.

Background: New-generation, cell-based assays have demonstrated a robust association of serum autoantibodies to full-length human myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG-IgG) with (mostly recurrent) optic neuritis, myelitis, and brainstem encephalitis, as well as with neuromyelitis optica (NMO)-like or acute-disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)-like presentations. However, only limited data are yet available on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings in MOG-IgG-associated encephalomyelitis (MOG-EM; also termed MOG antibody-associated disease, MOGAD).

Objective: To describe systematically the CSF profile in children with MOG-EM.

Material And Methods: Cytological and biochemical findings (including white cell counts [WCC] and differentiation; frequency and patterns of oligoclonal bands; IgG/IgM/IgA and albumin concentrations and CSF/serum ratios; intrathecal IgG/IgM/IgA fractions; locally produced IgG/IgM/IgA concentrations; immunoglobulin class patterns; IgG/IgA/IgM reibergrams; Link index; measles/rubella/zoster [MRZ] reaction; other anti-viral and anti-bacterial antibody indices; CSF total protein; CSF L-lactate) from 108 lumbar punctures in 80 pediatric patients of mainly Caucasian descent with MOG-EM were analyzed retrospectively.

Results: Most strikingly, CSF-restricted oligoclonal IgG bands, a hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS), were absent in 89% of samples (N = 96), and the MRZ reaction, the most specific laboratory marker of MS known so far, in 100% (N = 29). If present at all, intrathecal IgG synthesis was low, often transient and mostly restricted to acute attacks. Intrathecal IgM synthesis was present in 21% and exclusively detectable during acute attacks. CSF WCC were elevated in 54% of samples (median 40 cells/μl; range 6-256; mostly lymphocytes and monocytes; > 100/μl in 11%). Neutrophils were present in 71% of samples; eosinophils, activated lymphocytes, and plasma cells were seen only rarely (all < 7%). Blood-CSF barrier dysfunction (as indicated by an elevated albumin CSF/serum ratio) was present in 46% of all samples (N = 79) and at least once in 48% of all patients (N = 67) tested. CSF alterations were significantly more frequent and/or more pronounced in patients with acute spinal cord or brain disease than in patients with acute ON and varied strongly depending on attack severity. CSF L-lactate levels correlated significantly with the spinal cord lesions load (measured in vertebral segments) in patients with acute myelitis (p = 0.0099). An analysis of pooled data from the pediatric and the adult cohort showed a significant relationship of QAlb (p < 0.0005), CST TP (p < 0.0001), and CSF L-lactate (p < 0.0003) during acute attacks with age.

Conclusion: MOG-IgG-associated EM in children is characterized by CSF features that are distinct from those in MS. With regard to most parameters, no marked differences between the pediatric cohort and the adult cohort analyzed in Part 1 were noted. Our findings are important for the differential diagnosis of pediatric MS and MOG-EM and add to the understanding of the immunopathogenesis of this newly described autoimmune disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12974-020-01825-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7470445PMC
September 2020

Cerebrospinal fluid findings in patients with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies. Part 1: Results from 163 lumbar punctures in 100 adult patients.

J Neuroinflammation 2020 Sep 3;17(1):261. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Molecular Neuroimmunology Group, Department of Neurology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: New-generation cell-based assays have demonstrated a robust association of serum autoantibodies to full-length human myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG-IgG) with (mostly recurrent) optic neuritis, myelitis, and brainstem encephalitis, as well as with neuromyelitis optica (NMO)-like or acute-disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)-like presentations. However, only limited data are yet available on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings in MOG-IgG-associated encephalomyelitis (MOG-EM; also termed MOG antibody-associated disease, MOGAD).

Objective: To describe systematically the CSF profile in MOG-EM.

Material And Methods: Cytological and biochemical findings (including white cell counts and differentiation; frequency and patterns of oligoclonal bands; IgG/IgM/IgA and albumin concentrations and CSF/serum ratios; intrathecal IgG/IgA/IgM fractions; locally produced IgG/IgM/IgA concentrations; immunoglobulin class patterns; IgG/IgA/IgM reibergrams; Link index; measles/rubella/zoster (MRZ) reaction; other anti-viral and anti-bacterial antibody indices; CSF total protein; CSF L-lactate) from 163 lumbar punctures in 100 adult patients of mainly Caucasian descent with MOG-EM were analyzed retrospectively.

Results: Most strikingly, CSF-restricted oligoclonal IgG bands, a hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS), were absent in almost 90% of samples (N = 151), and the MRZ reaction, the most specific laboratory marker of MS known so far, in 100% (N = 62). If present, intrathecal IgG (and, more rarely, IgM) synthesis was low, often transient and mostly restricted to acute attacks. CSF WCC was elevated in > 50% of samples (median 31 cells/μl; mostly lymphocytes and monocytes; > 100/μl in 12%). Neutrophils were present in > 40% of samples; activated lymphocytes were found less frequently and eosinophils and/or plasma cells only very rarely (< 4%). Blood-CSF barrier dysfunction (as indicated by an elevated albumin CSF/serum ratio) was present in 48% of all samples and at least once in 55% of all patients (N = 88) tested. The frequency and degree of CSF alterations were significantly higher in patients with acute myelitis than in patients with acute ON and varied strongly depending on attack severity. CSF L-lactate levels correlated significantly with the spinal cord lesion load in patients with acute myelitis (p < 0.0001). Like pleocytosis, blood-CSF barrier dysfunction was present also during remission in a substantial number of patients.

Conclusion: MOG-IgG-positive EM is characterized by CSF features that are distinct from those in MS. Our findings are important for the differential diagnosis of MS and MOG-EM and add to the understanding of the immunopathogenesis of this newly described autoimmune disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12974-020-01824-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7470615PMC
September 2020

Interleukin-6 in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder pathophysiology.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2020 09 20;7(5). Epub 2020 Aug 20.

From the Department of Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics (K.F.), Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine; and Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica Center, Southern TOHOKU Research Institute for Neuroscience, Koriyama, Japan; Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology (J.L.B.), Programs in Neuroscience and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora; Department of Neurology (J.S.), Hôpital de Hautepierre, Strasbourg Cedex, France; Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. (M.H.), Ltd, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Neurology (I.K.), St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum; Marianne-Strauß-Klinik (I.K.), Behandlungszentrum Kempfenhausen für Multiple Sklerose Kranke gGmbH, Berg, Germany; Department of Neurology (B.G.W.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; ApotheCom (D.K., T.M.), London, UK; and Department of Immunology (T.Y.), National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is a rare autoimmune disorder that preferentially affects the spinal cord and optic nerve. Most patients with NMOSD experience severe relapses that lead to permanent neurologic disability; therefore, limiting frequency and severity of these attacks is the primary goal of disease management. Currently, patients are treated with immunosuppressants. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine that is significantly elevated in the serum and the CSF of patients with NMOSD. IL-6 may have multiple roles in NMOSD pathophysiology by promoting plasmablast survival, stimulating the production of antibodies against aquaporin-4, disrupting blood-brain barrier integrity and functionality, and enhancing proinflammatory T-lymphocyte differentiation and activation. Case series have shown decreased relapse rates following IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) blockade in patients with NMOSD, and 2 recent phase 3 randomized controlled trials confirmed that IL-6R inhibition reduces the risk of relapses in NMOSD. As such, inhibition of IL-6 activity represents a promising emerging therapy for the management of NMOSD manifestations. In this review, we summarize the role of IL-6 in the context of NMOSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000841DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7455314PMC
September 2020

The transitional phase of multiple sclerosis: Characterization and conceptual framework.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Sep 29;44:102242. Epub 2020 May 29.

Department of Neurology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

The conversion of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) to secondary progressive MS (SPMS) cannot be defined by a sharp threshold determined by event-based measures, but rather represents a gradual process. In consequence, there may exist a transitional phase between RRMS and clearly established SPMS. So far, transitional MS has been poorly characterized in terms of patient properties, course of disease and therapeutic interventions that may delay conversion to SPMS. Furthermore, the pathogenesis of transitional MS is incompletely understood, and no definitive imaging or laboratory test informs when exactly a patient has entered the transitional MS phase. Here we review the current knowledge and evidence characterizing the transitional phase of MS and propose potential designs and criteria for a prospective clinical study in patients with transitional MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102242DOI Listing
September 2020

Explorative study of emerging blood biomarkers in progressive multiple sclerosis (EmBioProMS): Design of a prospective observational multicentre pilot study.

Contemp Clin Trials Commun 2020 Jun 19;18:100574. Epub 2020 May 19.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Background: Defining clinical and subclinical progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) is challenging. Patient history, expanded disability status scale (EDSS), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) all have shortcomings and may underestimate disease dynamics. Emerging serum biomarkers such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neurofilament light chain (NfL) proved useful in many cross-sectional studies. However, longitudinal data on patients with progressive MS is scarce.

Objectives: To assess whether the serum biomarkers GFAP and NfL might differentiate between patients with progressive vs. non-progressive disease stages and predict the disease course according to the Lublin criteria.

Methods: EmBioProMS is a pilot, observational, prospective, multicentric study funded by the German Multiple Sclerosis Society (DMSG). 200 patients with MS according to the 2017 McDonald criteria and history of relapse-independent progression at any time (progressive MS, PMS), younger than 65 years, and with EDSS ≤ 6.5 will be recruited in 6 centres in Germany. At baseline, month 6, and 18, medical history, EDSS, Nine-Hole-Peg-Test (9-HPT), Timed-25-Foot-Walk-Test (T-25FW), Symbol-Digit-Modalities-Test (SDMT), serum GFAP, and NfL, MRI (at least baseline and month 18) and optional optical coherence tomography (OCT) will be performed. Disease progression before and during the study is defined by confirmed EDSS progression, increase by ≥ 20% in 9-HPT or T-25FW time.

Conclusions: This longitudinal multicentre study will reveal to what extent the prediction of disease progression in patients with PMS will be improved by the analysis of serum biomarkers in conjunction with routine clinical data and neuroimaging measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2020.100574DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7251538PMC
June 2020

EAN Guideline on Palliative Care of People with Severe, Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

J Palliat Med 2020 11 29;23(11):1426-1443. Epub 2020 May 29.

The Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom.

Patients with severe, progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) have complex physical and psychosocial needs, typically over several years. Few treatment options are available to prevent or delay further clinical worsening in this population. The objective was to develop an evidence-based clinical practice guideline for the palliative care of patients with severe, progressive MS. This guideline was developed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation methodology. Formulation of the clinical questions was performed in the Patients-Intervention-Comparator-Outcome format, involving patients, carers and healthcare professionals (HPs). No uniform definition of severe MS exists: in this guideline, constant bilateral support required to walk 20 m without resting (Expanded Disability Status Scale score >6.0) or higher disability is referred to. When evidence was lacking for this population, recommendations were formulated using indirect evidence or good practice statements were devised. Ten clinical questions were formulated. They encompassed general and specialist palliative care, advance care planning, discussing with HPs the patient's wish to hasten death, symptom management, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, interventions for caregivers and interventions for HPs. A total of 34 recommendations (33 weak, 1 strong) and seven good practice statements were devised. The provision of home-based palliative care (either general or specialist) is recommended with weak strength for patients with severe, progressive MS. Further research on the integration of palliative care and MS care is needed. Areas that currently lack evidence of efficacy in this population include advance care planning, the management of symptoms such as fatigue and mood problems, and interventions for caregivers and HPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2020.0220DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7583337PMC
November 2020

Binding patterns and functional properties of human antibodies to AQP4 and MOG on murine optic nerve and retina.

J Neuroimmunol 2020 Feb 20;342:577194. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Experimental Eye Research Institute, University Eye Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, In der Schornau 23-25, 44892 Bochum, Germany; Department of Neurology, Ruhr-University Bochum, St. Josef-Hospital, Gudrunstr. 56, 44791 Bochum, Germany. Electronic address:

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is an autoimmune-inflammatory CNS disease affecting spinal cord and optic nerves, mediated by autoantibodies against aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and myelin-oligodendrocyte-glycoprotein (MOG). Effects of those immunoglobulins (Ig) on retina and optic nerve are incompletely understood. We investigated AQP4-IgG and MOG-IgG sera on retina and optic nerve ex vivo and in 2D2 mice, which harbor a transgenic MOG-specific T-cell receptor. Some sera reacted with murine retina and optic nerve showing distinct binding patterns, suggesting different epitopes being targeted in both subgroups. Transfer of total IgG from a MOG-IgG positive patient to 2D2 mice did neither enhance disability nor induce functional or histological alterations in the retina.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroim.2020.577194DOI Listing
February 2020

Smad7 in intestinal CD4 T cells determines autoimmunity in a spontaneous model of multiple sclerosis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 12 3;116(51):25860-25869. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

St. Josef-Hospital, Department of Neurology, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44791 Bochum, Germany;

Environmental triggers acting at the intestinal barrier are thought to contribute to the initiation of autoimmune disorders. The transforming growth factor beta inhibitor Smad7 determines the phenotype of CD4 T cells. We hypothesized that Smad7 in intestinal CD4 T cells controls initiation of opticospinal encephalomyelitis (OSE), a murine model of multiple sclerosis (MS), depending on the presence of gut microbiota. Smad7 was overexpressed or deleted in OSE CD4 T cells to determine the effect on clinical progression, T cell differentiation, and T cell migration from the intestine to the central nervous system (CNS). Smad7 overexpression worsened the clinical course of OSE and increased CNS inflammation and demyelination. It favored expansion of intestinal CD4 T cells toward an inflammatory phenotype and migration of intestinal CD4 T cells to the CNS. Intestinal biopsies from MS patients revealed decreased transforming growth factor beta signaling with a shift toward inflammatory T cell subtypes. Smad7 in intestinal T cells might represent a valuable therapeutic target for MS to achieve immunologic tolerance in the intestine and suppress CNS inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1905955116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6926056PMC
December 2019

Longitudinal optic neuritis-unrelated visual evoked potential changes in NMO spectrum disorders.

Neurology 2020 01 3;94(4):e407-e418. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

From the Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty (M.R., J. Harmel, J.G., H.-P.H., O.A., P.A.), and Department of Neurology, Center for Neurology and Neuropsychiatry, LVR-Klinikum (M.R.), Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf; NeuroCure Clinical Research Center and Experimental and Clinical Research Center (H.Z., A.U.B., F.P.), Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin Institute of Health, and Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, Germany; Department of Neurology (A.U.B.), University of California Irvine; Department of Neurology (A.H., M.B.), University of Würzburg; Department of Neurology (M.B.), Caritas Hospital, Bad Mergentheim; Clinical Neuroimmunology and Neurochemistry (M.W.H.), Department of Neurology (C.T.), Hannover Medical School; Department of Neurology (C.S., I.A., I.K., K.H.), St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany; Department of Neurology (I.A.), Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia; Marianne-Strauß-Klinik (I.K.), Behandlungszentrum Kempfenhausen für Multiple Sklerose Kranke, Berg; Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology (J. Halva, T.K., H.P.), University Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich; Molecular Neuroimmunology Group, Department of Neurology (S.J., B.W.), University of Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Neurology (P.R.), Medical University of Vienna, Austria; Institute of Neuropathology (M.S.W.) and Department of Neurology (M.S.W., H.P., P.K.), University Medical Center Göttingen; Department of Neurology (L.R., C.G.), Jena University Hospital; Neuroimmunological Section, Department of Neurology (N.R., U.Z.), University of Rostock; Department of Neurology (M.D., L.K.), University of Münster; Department of Neurology and Institute of Neuroimmunology and MS (K.Y., J.-P.S.), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf; Department of Neurology (M.K., P.K.), Nordwest-Hospital Sanderbusch, Sande; Department of Neurology (W.M.), Helios Hanseklinikum Stralsund; Department of Neurology (F.L., H.T.), University of Ulm, Germany; and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (A.K.), Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Objective: To investigate if patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) develop subclinical visual pathway impairment independent of acute attacks.

Methods: A total of 548 longitudinally assessed full-field visual evoked potentials (VEP) of 167 patients with NMOSD from 16 centers were retrospectively evaluated for changes of P100 latencies and P100-N140 amplitudes. Rates of change in latencies (RCL) and amplitudes (RCA) over time were analyzed for each individual eye using linear regression and compared using generalized estimating equation models.

Results: The rates of change in the absence of optic neuritis (ON) for minimal VEP intervals of ≥3 months between baseline and last follow-up were +1.951 ms/y (n = 101 eyes; SD = 6.274; = 0.012) for the P100 latencies and -2.149 µV/y (n = 64 eyes; SD = 5.013; = 0.005) for the P100-N140 amplitudes. For minimal VEP intervals of ≥12 months, the RCL was +1.768 ms/y (n = 59 eyes; SD = 4.558; = 0.024) and the RCA was -0.527 µV/y (n = 44 eyes; SD = 2.123; = 0.111). The history of a previous ON >6 months before baseline VEP had no influence on RCL and RCA. ONs during the observational period led to mean RCL and RCA of +11.689 ms/y (n = 16 eyes; SD = 17.593; = 0.003) and -1.238 µV/y (n = 11 eyes; SD = 3.708; = 0.308), respectively.

Conclusion: This first longitudinal VEP study of patients with NMOSD provides evidence of progressive VEP latency delay occurring independently of acute ON. Prospective longitudinal studies are needed to corroborate these findings and help to interpret the clinical relevance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000008684DOI Listing
January 2020

Trial of Satralizumab in Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder.

N Engl J Med 2019 11;381(22):2114-2124

From the Department of Immunology, National Institute of Neuroscience, and the Multiple Sclerosis Center, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (T.Y.), and Chugai Pharmaceutical (H.Y., Y.K.), Tokyo, and the Department of Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics, Fukushima Medical University, and the Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica Center, Southern Tohoku Research Institute for Neuroscience, Koriyama (K.F.) - all in Japan; the Department of Neurology, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, and Marianne-Strauß-Klinik, Behandlungszentrum Kempfenhausen für Multiple Sklerose Kranke, Berg - both in Germany (I.K.); the Department of Clinical Neurology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford (J.P.), and Chugai Pharma Europe, London (P.W.) - both in the United Kingdom; the Department of Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (B.G.); the Department of Neurology, Warsaw Medical University, Warsaw, Poland (B.Z.-P.); the Department G.F. Ingrassia, Neuroscience Section, University of Catania, Catania, Italy (F.P.); the Neurologic Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan (C.-P.T.); the Service of Neurology, Hospital Clinic and Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona, Barcelona (A.S.); and the Department of Neurology, Hôpital de Hautepierre, Clinical Investigation Center, INSERM 1434, and Fédération de Médecine Translationelle, INSERM 1119 - all in Strasbourg, France (J.D.S.).

Background: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system and is associated with autoantibodies to anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4-IgG) in approximately two thirds of patients. Interleukin-6 is involved in the pathogenesis of the disorder. Satralizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the interleukin-6 receptor. The efficacy of satralizumab added to immunosuppressant treatment in patients with NMOSD is unclear.

Methods: In a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, patients with NMOSD who were seropositive or seronegative for AQP4-IgG to receive either satralizumab, at a dose of 120 mg, or placebo, administered subcutaneously at weeks 0, 2, and 4 and every 4 weeks thereafter, added to stable immunosuppressant treatment. The primary end point was the first protocol-defined relapse in a time-to-event analysis. Key secondary end points were the change from baseline to week 24 in the visual-analogue scale (VAS) pain score (range, 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more pain) and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F) score (range, 0 to 52, with lower scores indicating more fatigue). Safety was also assessed.

Results: A total of 83 patients were enrolled, with 41 assigned to the satralizumab group and 42 to the placebo group. The median treatment duration with satralizumab in the double-blind period was 107.4 weeks. Relapse occurred in 8 patients (20%) receiving satralizumab and in 18 (43%) receiving placebo (hazard ratio, 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16 to 0.88). Multiple imputation for censored data resulted in hazard ratios ranging from 0.34 to 0.44 (with corresponding P values of 0.01 to 0.04). Among 55 AQP4-IgG-seropositive patients, relapse occurred in 11% of those in the satralizumab group and in 43% of those in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.75); among 28 AQP4-IgG-seronegative patients, relapse occurred in 36% and 43%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.20 to 2.24). The between-group difference in the change in the mean VAS pain score was 4.08 (95% CI, -8.44 to 16.61); the between-group difference in the change in the mean FACIT-F score was -3.10 (95% CI, -8.38 to 2.18). The rates of serious adverse events and infections did not differ between groups.

Conclusions: Among patients with NMOSD, satralizumab added to immunosuppressant treatment led to a lower risk of relapse than placebo but did not differ from placebo in its effect on pain or fatigue. (Funded by Chugai Pharmaceutical; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02028884.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1901747DOI Listing
November 2019

Conversion to Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: Patient Awareness and Needs. Results From an Online Survey in Italy and Germany.

Front Neurol 2019 22;10:916. Epub 2019 Aug 22.

Unit of Neuroepidemiology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

Few studies have investigated the experiences of patients around the conversion to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). ManTra is a mixed-method, co-production research project conducted in Italy and Germany to develop an intervention for newly-diagnosed SPMS patients. In previous project actions, we identified the needs and experiences of patients converting to SPMS via literature review and qualitative research which involved key stakeholders. The online patient survey aimed to assess, on a larger and independent sample of recently-diagnosed SPMS patients: (a) the characteristics associated to patient awareness of SPMS conversion; (b) the experience of conversion; (c) importance and prioritization of the needs previously identified. Participants were consenting adults with SPMS since ≤5 years. The survey consisted of three sections: on general and clinical characteristics; on experience of SPMS diagnosis disclosure (aware participants only); and on importance and prioritization of 33 pre-specified needs. Of 215 participants, those aware of their SPMS diagnosis were 57% in Italy vs. 77% in Germany ( = 0.004). In both countries, over 80% of aware participants received a SPMS diagnosis from the neurologist; satisfaction with SPMS disclosure was moderate to high. Nevertheless, 28-35% obtained second opinions, and 48-56% reported they did not receive any information on SPMS. Participants actively seeking further information were 63% in Germany vs. 31% in Italy ( < 0.001). Variables independently associated to patient awareness were geographic area (odds ratio, OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.13-0.78 for Central Italy; OR 0.21, 95% CI 0.08-0.58 for Southern Italy [vs. Germany]) and activity limitations (OR 7.80, 95% CI 1.47-41.37 for dependent vs. autonomous patients). All pre-specified needs were scored a lot or extremely important, and two prioritized needs were shared by Italian and German patients: "physiotherapy" and "active patient care involvement." The other two differed across countries: "an individualized health care plan" and "information on social rights and policies" in Italy, and "psychological support" and "cognitive rehabilitation" in Germany. Around 40% of SPMS patients were not aware of their disease form indicating a need to improve patient-physician communication. Physiotherapy and active patient care involvement were prioritized in both countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6713887PMC
August 2019

Tamoxifen affects chronic pancreatitis-related fibrogenesis in an experimental mouse model: an effect beyond Cre recombination.

FEBS Open Bio 2019 10 7;9(10):1756-1768. Epub 2019 Sep 7.

Pancreas Cancer Research (PaCaRes) Lab, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Tamoxifen is very successfully used for the induction of Cre -mediated genomic recombination in conditional mouse models. Recent studies, however, indicated that tamoxifen might also affect the fibrotic response in several disease models following administration, both in vitro and in vivo. In order to investigate a possible effect of tamoxifen on pancreatic fibrogenesis and to evaluate an optimal treatment scheme in an experimental pancreatitis mouse model, we administered tamoxifen by oral gavage to both male and female C57BL/6J mice and then waited for different periods of time before inducing chronic pancreatitis by cerulein. We observed a sex-specific and time-dependent effect of tamoxifen on the fibrotic response as measured by collagen deposition and the number of myofibroblasts and macrophages. The findings of in vitro studies, in which cerulein was administrated with or without 4-hydroxytamoxifen to stimulate primary murine female and male pancreatic stellate cells, supported our in vivo observations. Real-time PCR also indicated that this effect may be related to differences in ERα expression between female and male stellate cells. Our data demonstrate that tamoxifen administration has unignorable side effects, which affect the experimental outcome in a cerulein-based model of chronic pancreatitis in mice. We suggest a 2-week waiting period before cerulein administration to reduce side effects to a minimum for the described fibrosis model in female mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.12714DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6768287PMC
October 2019

Fingolimod for Irradiation-Induced Neurodegeneration.

Front Neurosci 2019 9;13:699. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Department of Neurology, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany.

Background: Cranial irradiation is a common therapy for the treatment of brain tumors, but unfortunately patients suffer from side effects, particularly cognitive impairment, caused by neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory mechanisms. Finding a therapeutic agent protecting hippocampal neurons would be beneficial. Fingolimod (FTY720), a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator approved for multiple sclerosis, is an immunosuppressant and known to enhance proliferation and differentiation of neuronal precursor cells (NPCs).

Objectives: To investigate whether pre-treatment with FTY720 protects NPCs and from irradiation-induced damage.

Methods: Neuronal precursor cells were isolated from E13 C57BL/6 wildtype mice, treated at day 0 of differentiation with FTY720 and irradiated on day 6 with 1 Gy. NPCs were analyzed for markers of cell death (PI, caspase-3), proliferation (Ki67), and differentiation (DCX, βIII-tubulin). Adult C57BL/6 wildtype mice were treated with FTY720 (1 mg/kg) and received a single dose of 6 Gy cranial irradiation at day 7. Using immunohistochemistry, we analyzed DCX and BrdU as markers of neurogenesis and Iba1, GFAP, and CD3 to visualize inflammation in the dentate gyrus (DG) and the subventricular zone (SVZ). B6(Cg)-Tyrc-2J/J DCX-luc reporter mice were used for bioluminescence imaging to evaluate the effect of FTY720 on neurogenesis in the DG and the spinal cord of naïve mice.

Results: FTY720 protected NPCs against irradiation induced cell death . Treatment with FTY720 dose-dependently reduced the number of PI cells 24 and 96 h after irradiation without effecting proliferation or neuronal differentiation. treatment resulted in a significant survival of DCX neurons in the DG and the SVZ 4 weeks after irradiation as well as a slight increase of proliferating cells. FTY720 inhibited microglia activation 24 h after X-ray exposure in the DG, while astrocyte activation was unaffected and no lymphocyte infiltrations were found. In naïve mice, FTY720 treatment for 4 weeks had no effect on neurogenesis.

Conclusion: FTY720 treatment of NPCs prior to X-ray exposure and of mice prior to cranial irradiation is neuroprotective. No effects on neurogenesis were found.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019.00699DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6633210PMC
July 2019

SMAD signaling promotes melanoma metastasis independently of phenotype switching.

J Clin Invest 2019 04 30;129(7):2702-2716. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Stem Cell Biology, Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

The development of metastatic melanoma is thought to require the dynamic shifting of neoplastic cells between proliferative and invasive phenotypes. Contrary to this conventional "phenotype switching" model, we now show that disease progression can involve malignant melanoma cells simultaneously displaying proliferative and invasive properties. Using a genetic mouse model of melanoma in combination with in vitro analyses of melanoma cell lines, we found that conditional deletion of the downstream signaling molecule Smad4, which abrogates all canonical TGF-β signaling, indeed inhibits both tumor growth and metastasis. Conditional deletion of the inhibitory signaling factor Smad7, however, generated cells that are both highly invasive and proliferative, indicating that invasiveness is compatible with a high proliferation rate. In fact, conditional Smad7 deletion led to sustained melanoma growth and at the same time promoted massive metastasis formation, a result consistent with data indicating that low SMAD7 levels in patient tumors are associated with a poor survival. Our findings reveal that modulation of SMAD7 levels can overcome the need for phenotype switching during tumor progression and may thus represent a novel therapeutic target in metastatic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI94295DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6597210PMC
April 2019

Apheresis therapies for NMOSD attacks: A retrospective study of 207 therapeutic interventions.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2018 Nov 26;5(6):e504. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Department of Neurology (I.K., A.G., K.H.), St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum; Marianne-Strauß-Klinik (I.K.), Behandlungszentrum Kempfenhausen für Multiple Sklerose Kranke, Berg; NeuroCure Clinical Research Center and Experimental and Clinical Research Center (N.B., F. Pache), Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin; Department of Neurology (K.F., J.F.), Asklepios Fachklinikum Teupitz; CRO Sostana GmbH and Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (K.-D.W.); Department of Neurology and Clinical and Experimental Multiple Sclerosis Research Center (F.Pache, K.R.), Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin; Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology (J.H., T.K.), Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich; Department of Neurology (O.A., H.-P.H., M.R.), Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf; Department of Neurology (C.G., M. Schwab), Jena University Hospital; Department of Neurology (C.K.), University Hospital Essen; Department of Neurology (A.B.), Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich; Department of Neurology (B.H.), Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München and Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy); Department of Neurology (K.A.), University Hospital Regensburg; Institute of Neuroimmunology and MS (INIMS) and Department of Neurology (J.-P.S.), University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, HamburgKlinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie (S.S.), Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf; Clinical Neuroimmunology and Neurochemistry (M. Stangel), Department of Neurology, Hannover Medical School; Department of Neurology (F.L., H.T.), University of Ulm; Fachklinik für Neurologie Dietenbronn (H.T.), Akademisches Krankenhaus der Universität Ulm, Schwendi; Department of Neurology (C.M.), Goethe University Frankfurt; Department of Neurology & Stroke (M.K., L.Z., U. Ziemann), and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen; Department of Neurology (R.L.), Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg; Department of Neurology and Neurological Intensive Care (M.M.), Isar-Amper-Clinic, Munich-East, Haar; Department of Neurology (F.T.B.), University of Leipzig; Department of Neurology (U. Hofstadt-van Oy), Klinikum Westfalen, Dortmund; Department of Neurology (O.N.), SRH Krankenhaus Sigmaringen; Neuroimmunological Section (U. Zettl), Department of Neurology, University of Rostock; Molecular Neuroimmunology Group (B.W., S.J.), Department of Neurology, University of Heidelberg; NeuroCure Clinical Research Center (F. Paul), Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, and Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin; and Department of Neurology (C.T.), Hannover Medical School, Germany.

Objective: To analyze whether 1 of the 2 apheresis techniques, therapeutic plasma exchange (PE) or immunoadsorption (IA), is superior in treating neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) attacks and to identify predictive factors for complete remission (CR).

Methods: This retrospective cohort study was based on the registry of the German Neuromyelitis Optica Study Group, a nationwide network established in 2008. It recruited patients with neuromyelitis optica diagnosed according to the 2006 Wingerchuk criteria or with aquaporin-4 (AQP4-ab)-antibody-seropositive NMOSD treated at 6 regional hospitals and 16 tertiary referral centers until March 2013. Besides descriptive data analysis of patient and attack characteristics, generalized estimation equation (GEE) analyses were applied to compare the effectiveness of the 2 apheresis techniques. A GEE model was generated to assess predictors of outcome.

Results: Two hundred and seven attacks in 105 patients (87% AQP4-ab-antibody seropositive) were treated with at least 1 apheresis therapy. Neither PE nor IA was proven superior in the therapy of NMOSD attacks. CR was only achieved with early apheresis therapy. Strong predictors for CR were the use of apheresis therapy as first-line therapy (OR 12.27, 95% CI: 1.04-144.91, = 0.047), time from onset of attack to start of therapy in days (OR 0.94, 95% CI: 0.89-0.99, = 0.014), the presence of AQP4-ab-antibodies (OR 33.34, 95% CI: 1.76-631.17, = 0.019), and monofocal attack manifestation (OR 4.71, 95% CI: 1.03-21.62, = 0.046).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest early use of an apheresis therapy in NMOSD attacks, particularly in AQP4-ab-seropositive patients. No superiority was shown for one of the 2 apheresis techniques.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with NMOSD, neither PE nor IA is superior in the treatment of attacks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000504DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6192689PMC
November 2018

Flaccid paralysis in neuromyelitis optica: An atypical presentation with possible involvement of the peripheral nervous system.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2018 Oct 20;25:83-86. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Department of Neurology, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Background: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) typically lead to spastic paraparesis and spare the peripheral nervous system (PNS).

Case Report: Here, we describe an anti-aquaporin-4-seropositive NMOSD patient suffering from acute transverse myelitis with painful, flaccid paralysis and incontinence of urine and feces. Due to the involvement of the PNS as indicated by electrodiagnostic examination, we verified the expression of aquaporin-4-channels on the proximal dorsal spinal radix of rats by staining rat tissue with human NMOSD serum.

Conclusion: This case suggests a manifestation of the proximal PNS in NMOSD. Thus, NMOSD should be considered as a differential diagnosis for patients presenting with signs of spinal cord disease and additional radicular involvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2018.07.032DOI Listing
October 2018

Mobile Palliative Care Consultation Service (PCCS): Overview of Hospice and Palliative Care Evaluation (HOPE) Data on In-Patients With End-Stage Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, and Noncancer, Nonneurological Disease From 4 PCCS Centers in Germany in 2013.

Palliat Care 2018 18;11:1178224218785139. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

CLARA (CLinical Analysis, Research and Application) Klinische Forschung, Kleinmachnow, Germany.

Context: During the last decade, numerous in-patient Palliative Care Consultation Service (PCCS) units were established throughout Germany.

Objective: To provide an epidemiological overview on a whole year cohort of palliative patients in terms of demography, complaints, and therapy on admission to PCCS and the impact of PCCS treatment, and identify differences and similarities in different palliative patient subgroups.

Methods: Chi-square, analysis of variance (ANOVA), Kruskal-Wallis followed by Games-Howell analysis of HOspice and Palliative care Evaluation (HOPE 2013) data on 4 PCCS centers and in total 919 patients, with solid tumors (237), metastatic cancer (397), leukemia and lymphoma (99), neurological (109, mostly multiple sclerosis [MS]), and noncancer, nonneurological disease (NCNND, 77).

Results: A mostly uniform block of 3 cancer subgroups in terms of demographics, admission complaints, and initial pharmacological treatment diverged from the neurologic/MS disease subgroup. The "intermediate," NCNND subgroup coalesced with the cancer or the neurologic/MS subgroups in part of the demographics, complaint, and drug parameters. Tetraparesis, requirement for nursing, and help with daily living were more, and pain, dyspnea, weakness, appetite loss, and fatigue were less frequent in neurologic patients compared with the cancer subgroups. Neurologic patients also showed more common use of coanalgetics and antidepressives, less opiates and nonopiate analgetics, corticosteroids, and antiemetics and antacids. NCNND patients had a particularly high rate of disorientation (48%) and death during PCCS (39%). In the 3 cancer subgroups, dyspnea, weakness, appetite loss, and anxiolytic use were less frequent in solid tumor patients. Palliative Care Consultation Service treatment was associated with reduction in symptom severity independent of subgroup entity. All listed differences were significant at  < .05 level.

Conclusion: Despite divergence in demographics, symptoms, and medication, the data underline general usefulness of PCCS care in all end-stage patients and not only the cancer subgroups. Nevertheless, the strong differences revealed in the current study also underscore the need for a carefully tuned, disease-specific therapeutic approach to these subgroups of palliative patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1178224218785139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6053857PMC
July 2018

Ovarian Reserve in Women With Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder.

Front Neurol 2018 19;9:446. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

Department of Neurology, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is a neuroinflammatory disease. The majority of NMOSD patients is seropositive for aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibodies. AQP4 is the main water channel protein in the central nervous system, but has also been identified in the female reproductive system. Fertility issues and ovarian reserve has not yet been studied in females with NMOSD. The purpose of this study was to measure serum Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) in females with NMOSD compared to healthy controls (HC), in combination with other lifestyle and reproduction parameters. AMH is independent from the menstrual cycle and a reliable indicator of both ovarian reserve and ovarian function. We included a total of 32 reproductive-age females, 18 HC and 14 with NMOSD. We used an enzymatically amplified two-site immunoassay to determine serum AMH level. In comparison to HC, mean AMH value was reduced in NMOSD. Apart from that significantly more women with NMOSD showed low AMH levels (< 0.8 ng/ml). Low AMH was associated with disease activity. In contrast, none of the immunotherapies for NMOSD, neither any reproductive life style parameter was associated with a decreased AMH. Our results contribute to understanding of hindered fertility in females with NMOSD and enables neurologists to better counsel female patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00446DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020788PMC
June 2018

Laquinimod protects the optic nerve and retina in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model.

J Neuroinflammation 2018 Jun 14;15(1):183. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Experimental Eye Research Institute, University Eye Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, In der Schornau 23-25, 44892, Bochum, Germany.

Background: The oral immunomodulatory agent laquinimod is currently evaluated for multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment. Phase II and III studies demonstrated a reduction of degenerative processes. In addition to anti-inflammatory effects, laquinimod might have neuroprotective properties, but its impact on the visual system, which is often affected by MS, is unknown. The aim of our study was to investigate potential protective effects of laquinimod on the optic nerve and retina in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model.

Methods: We induced EAE in C57/BL6 mice via MOG immunization. Animals were divided into an untreated EAE group, three EAE groups receiving laquinimod (1, 5, or 25 mg/kg daily), starting the day post-immunization, and a non-immunized control group. Thirty days post-immunization, scotopic electroretinograms were carried out, and mice were sacrificed for histopathology (HE, LFB), immunohistochemistry (MBP, Iba1, Tmem119, F4/80, GFAP, vimentin, Brn-3a, cleaved caspase 3) of the optic nerve and retina, and retinal qRT-PCR analyses (Brn-3a, Iba1, Tmem119, AMWAP, CD68, GFAP). To evaluate the effect of a therapeutic approach, EAE animals were treated with 25 mg/kg laquinimod from day 16 when 60% of the animals had developed clinical signs of EAE.

Results: Laquinimod reduced neurological EAE symptoms and improved the neuronal electrical output of the inner nuclear layer compared to untreated EAE mice. Furthermore, cellular infiltration, especially recruited phagocytes, and demyelination in the optic nerve were reduced. Microglia were diminished in optic nerve and retina. Retinal macroglial signal was reduced under treatment, whereas in the optic nerve macroglia were not affected. Additionally, laquinimod preserved retinal ganglion cells and reduced apoptosis. A later treatment with laquinimod in a therapeutic approach led to a reduction of clinical signs and to an improved b-wave amplitude. However, no changes in cellular infiltration and demyelination of the optic nerves were observed. Also, the number of retinal ganglion cells remained unaltered.

Conclusion: From our study, we deduce neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of laquinimod on the optic nerve and retina in EAE mice, when animals were treated before any clinical signs were noted. Given the fact that the visual system is frequently affected by MS, the agent might be an interesting subject of further neuro-ophthalmic investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12974-018-1208-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6002998PMC
June 2018

Alemtuzumab as rescue therapy in a cohort of 50 relapsing-remitting MS patients with breakthrough disease on fingolimod: a multi-center observational study.

J Neurol 2018 Jul 25;265(7):1521-1527. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.

Background: Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) requires efficient immunomodulatory treatment to reach "no evidence of disease activity" status at best. Alemtuzumab and fingolimod have proved to be efficient options in RRMS with active disease course. Yet, side effects and break-through disease may limit long-time treatment and necessitate switch of medication. Data on efficacy and safety of alemtuzumab following fingolimod treatment are limited, but useful for clinical practice.

Methods: Clinical and MRI data of 50 RRMS patients with a history of therapy switch from fingolimod to alemtuzumab were retrospectively analyzed. Data were acquired from nine large German MS Centers from 2013 to 2016 and analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: On average, patients with disease duration of 12.9 years and median EDSS of 3.0 at baseline switched to alemtuzumab after 68 weeks of fingolimod treatment. Thereafter, patients on alemtuzumab were followed for a mean of 64 weeks. The annualized relapse rate decreased from 2.2 in the year prior to 0.34 in the following year after switching to alemtuzumab and EDSS stabilized. In a subgroup of patients (n = 23), MRI data point to a reduction in enhancing (4.47 vs. 0.26) and new/enlarging T2 lesions (5.8 vs. 0.27) after treatment adjustment. Side effects were generally as expected from published data for alemtuzumab (autoimmunity 2/50, severe infections 1/50). One patient suffered combined lethal necrotizing leukoencephalopathy and hemolytic anemia.

Discussion: Therapy switch was highly effective in reducing clinical and MRI surrogates of disease activity and was mainly well tolerated within one year of follow-up. Hence, alemtuzumab constitutes a promising therapy in RRMS with refractory disease activity despite fingolimod treatment. Further studies are warranted to confirm these beneficial findings and to reveal safety concerns in the longer-term follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-018-8871-2DOI Listing
July 2018

Adherence, satisfaction and functional health status among patients with multiple sclerosis using the BETACONNECT® autoinjector: a prospective observational cohort study.

BMC Neurol 2017 Sep 6;17(1):174. Epub 2017 Sep 6.

Bayer Vital GmbH, Leverkusen, Germany.

Background: Maintaining patient adherence to disease modifying drugs in multiple sclerosis is a challenge, which can be improved by autoinjectors. The BETACONNECT® is a fully electronic autoinjector for the injection of interferon beta-1b (IFN beta-1b) automatically recording injections.

Methods: The BETAEVAL study was a prospective, observational, cohort study over 24 weeks among patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis or clinically isolated syndrome treated with IFN beta-1b in Germany using the BETACONNECT®. The primary aim was to investigate treatment adherence, secondary aims included assessing satisfaction and functional health status. Adherence was evaluated from injection data recorded by the device. Patient-related data were obtained from clinical examinations and patient questionnaires.

Results: Of the 151 patients enrolled, 143 were available for analysis. Thirty-four patients discontinued the study prematurely. 107/143 (74.8%) patients still used the BETACONNECT® at the end of the study. Injection data from the device at any visit was available for 107 patients. Among those, the percentage of adherent patients injecting ≥80% of doses and still participating in the study was 57.9% at week 24. 29% of patients prematurely stopped the study, 13.1% injected <80%. Among patients with BETACONNECT® data at the respective visit, the proportion of adherent patients was high over the entire study period (week 4: 81.1% [N = 95], week 12: 86.7% [N = 83], week 24: 80.5% [N = 77]). Participants (N = 143) indicated high satisfaction with the BETACONNECT®. At week 24, 98.0% of patients who completed the corresponding questionnaire (strongly) agreed that it was user-friendly, 81.2% felt confident in using it compared to their previous way and 85.5% preferred it to their previous way of injection. Injection-related pain was rated as mild to moderate at all follow-up visits. Whereas 17.2% of patients with corresponding questionnaire indicated using analgesics prior to injection at week 4, only 9.1% did at week 24. Outcomes from questionnaires assessing functional health status, depression, fatigue and cognitive function were very similar throughout the study course.

Conclusions: The majority of patients continued using the BETACONNECT® for IFN beta-1b treatment during the 24-week study period. Adherence was high among participants still using the BETACONNECT® and patients were highly satisfied with the device. Ongoing studies will evaluate long-term adherence and treatment outcomes in patients using the BETACONNECT®.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrails.gov NCT02121444 (registered April 22, 2014).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12883-017-0953-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5588619PMC
September 2017

Numeracy of multiple sclerosis patients: A comparison of patients from the PERCEPT study to a German probabilistic sample.

Patient Educ Couns 2018 Jan 17;101(1):74-78. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Institute for Neuroimmunology and Clinical MS Research and Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Objective: A shared decision-making approach is suggested for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. To properly evaluate benefits and risks of different treatment options accordingly, MS patients require sufficient numeracy - the ability to understand quantitative information. It is unknown whether MS affects numeracy. Therefore, we investigated whether patients' numeracy was impaired compared to a probabilistic national sample.

Methods: As part of the larger prospective, observational, multicenter study PERCEPT, we assessed numeracy for a clinical study sample of German MS patients (N=725) with a standard test and compared them to a German probabilistic sample (N=1001), controlling for age, sex, and education. Within patients, we assessed whether disease variables (disease duration, disability, annual relapse rate, cognitive impairment) predicted numeracy beyond these demographics.

Results: MS patients showed a comparable level of numeracy as the probabilistic national sample (68.9% vs. 68.5% correct answers, P=0.831). In both samples, numeracy was higher for men and the highly educated. Disease variables did not predict numeracy beyond demographics within patients, and predictability was generally low.

Conclusion: This sample of MS patients understood quantitative information on the same level as the general population.

Practice Implications: There is no reason to withhold quantitative information from MS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2017.07.018DOI Listing
January 2018

Aquaporin-4 antibodies in patients treated with natalizumab for suspected MS.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2017 Jul 16;4(4):e363. Epub 2017 Jun 16.

Department of Neurology (A.G., A.-K.T., S.H., R.G., I.K.), St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum; Department of Neurology (M.R., O.A.), Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf; Department of Neurology (A.B.), Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München; and Molecular Neuroimmunology Group (B.W., S.J.), Department of Neurology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Objective: To evaluate (1) the frequency of aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-ab)-seropositive cases among patients treated with natalizumab (NAT) and previously diagnosed with MS (MS) in a nationwide cohort, (2) the clinical course of NAT-treated AQP4-ab-seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) patients (NMO), (3) AQP4-ab titers in NMO and AQP4-ab-seropositive NMOSD treated with other immunotherapies (NMO), and (4) immune mechanisms influencing disease activity in NMO.

Methods: MS serum samples were retrospectively screened with a cell-based assay for AQP4-IgG and titers determined by ELISA. The annualized relapse rate (ARR) and disability progression were assessed. Serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-17, IL-21, and interferon [IFN]-γ) and the chemokine CXCL-10 of NMO patients identified in this (n = 4) and a previous study (n = 5) were measured by cytometric bead array and ELISA.

Results: Of the 1,183 MS patients (851 female, median 9 NAT infusions), only 4 (0.33%; 3 female, 1 male) had AQP4-IgG. Of these, 2 fulfilled the 2006 NMO criteria and all met the 2015 NMOSD criteria. The ARR was higher in NMO vs MS ( = 0.0182). All 4 NMO patients had relapses and 2 had an increase of disability. AQP4-ab titers were higher in NMO (n = 9) vs NMO (n = 13; = 0.0059). IL-8, IL-1β, and IFN-γ serum levels were significantly higher, and CXCL-10 was significantly lower in NMO vs NMO.

Conclusions: Misdiagnosis of NMOSD with MS is rare. NAT was not able to control disease activity in NMO patients, who had higher serum levels of AQP4-IgG and proinflammatory cytokines than patients with NMOSD treated with other immunotherapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000363DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473957PMC
July 2017

Immunotherapies in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder: efficacy and predictors of response.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2017 08 1;88(8):639-647. Epub 2017 Jun 1.

Department of Neurology, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Objective: To analyse predictors for relapses and number of attacks under different immunotherapies in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).

Design: This is a retrospective cohort study conducted in neurology departments at 21 regional and university hospitals in Germany. Eligible participants were patients with aquaporin-4-antibody-positive or aquaporin-4-antibody-negative NMOSD. Main outcome measures were HRs from Cox proportional hazard regression models adjusted for centre effects, important prognostic factors and repeated treatment episodes.

Results: 265 treatment episodes with a mean duration of 442 days (total of 321 treatment years) in 144 patients (mean age at first attack: 40.9 years, 82.6% female, 86.1% aquaporin-4-antibody-positive) were analysed. 191 attacks occurred during any of the treatments (annual relapse rate=0.60). The most common treatments were rituximab (n=77, 111 patient-years), azathioprine (n=52, 68 patient-years), interferon-β (n=32, 61 patient-years), mitoxantrone (n=34, 32.1 patient-years) and glatiramer acetate (n=17, 10 patient-years). Azathioprine (HR=0.4, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.7, p=0.001) and rituximab (HR=0.6, 95% CI 0.4 to 1.0, p=0.034) reduced the attack risk compared with interferon-β, whereas mitoxantrone and glatiramer acetate did not. Patients who were aquaporin-4-antibody-positive had a higher risk of attacks (HR=2.5, 95% CI 1.3 to 5.1, p=0.009). Every decade of age was associated with a lower risk for attacks (HR=0.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 1.0, p=0.039). A previous attack under the same treatment tended to be predictive for further attacks (HR=1.5, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.4, p=0.065).

Conclusions: Age, antibody status and possibly previous attacks predict further attacks in patients treated for NMOSD. Azathioprine and rituximab are superior to interferon-β.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2017-315603DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537514PMC
August 2017