Publications by authors named "Jeannette Lechner-Scott"

116 Publications

Biochemical Correlations with Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis Detected by MR 2D Localized Correlated Spectroscopy.

J Neuroimaging 2021 Feb 22. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.

Background And Purpose: Fatigue is the common symptom in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), yet its pathophysiological mechanism is poorly understood. We investigated the metabolic changes in fatigue in a group of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients using MR two-dimensional localized correlated spectroscopy (2D L-COSY).

Methods: Sixteen RRMS and 16 healthy controls were included in the study. Fatigue impact was assessed with the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS). MR 2D L-COSY data were collected from the posterior cingulate cortex. Nonparametric statistical analysis was used to calculate the changes in creatine scaled metabolic ratios and their correlations with fatigue scores.

Results: Compared to healthy controls, the RRMS group showed significantly higher fatigue and lower metabolic ratios for tyrosine, glutathione, homocarnosine (GSH+Hca), fucose-3, glutamine+glutamate (Glx), glycerophosphocholine (GPC), total choline, and N-acetylaspartate (NAA-2), while increased levels for isoleucine and glucose (P ≤ .05). Only GPC showed positive correlation with all fatigue domains (r = .537, P ≤ .05). On the other hand, Glx-upper, NAA-2, GSH+Hca, and fucose-3 showed negative correlations with all fatigue domains (r = -.345 to -.580, P ≤ .05). While tyrosine showed positive correlation with MFIS (r = .499, P ≤ .05), cognitive fatigue was negatively correlated with total GSH (r = -.530, P ≤ .05). No correlations were found between lesion load or brain volumes with fatigue score.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that fatigue in MS is strongly correlated with an imbalance in neurometabolites but not structural brain measurements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jon.12836DOI Listing
February 2021

Air pollution and multiple sclerosis risk.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021 Feb 30;48:102797. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, 4 Newark Street, London, E1 2AT.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2021.102797DOI Listing
February 2021

Lymphocyte reconstitution after DMF discontinuation in clinical trial and real-world patients with MS.

Neurol Clin Pract 2020 Dec;10(6):510-519

Department of Neurology (AC), Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland; Division of Neuroimmunology and Neurovirology (JR), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Brain Institute (JR), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Department of Neurology (JR), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center at the University of Colorado (EA), Aurora, CO; Department of Neurology and Center for Neuroinflammation and Experimental Therapeutics (AB-O), Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (AB-O), Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Central Clinical School (HB), Monash University, VIC, Australia; Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research (RJF), Cleveland Clinic, OH; Department of Neurology (RG), St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany; South Shore Neurologic Association PC (MG), Patchogue, NY; Eastern Health MS Service (JH), Box Hill, VIC, Australia; Department of Medicine and Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (TS), University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia; Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics (KW), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Imaging Program, Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis, Dallas, TX; Department of Neuroscience (DF, PS), Neurology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria, Modena, Italy; Liverpool Hospital (SH), NSW, Australia; Department of Medicine (TK), CORe Unit, University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Neurology (TK), Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC, Australia; School of Medicine and Public Health (JL-S), University Newcastle, NSW, Australia; Department of Neurology (JL-S), John Hunter Hospital, Hunter New England Health, Newcastle, NSW, Australia; Department of Neurology (C. McGuigan), St. Vincent's University Hospital and University College, Dublin, Ireland; Envision Pharma Group (KS), Fairfield, CT; and Biogen (CC, SF, FW, C. Miller), Cambridge, MA.

Background: Delayed-release dimethyl fumarate (DMF) has demonstrated robust efficacy in treating patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Decreases in absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) are a well-known pharmacodynamic effect of DMF treatment, but lymphocyte recovery dynamics are not well characterized after discontinuation of DMF.

Methods: Data sources included the Biogen DMF integrated clinical trial data set, a retrospective US chart abstraction study, and data from MSBase. We assessed rate and time course of lymphocyte reconstitution after DMF discontinuation.

Results: The majority of patients who developed lymphopenia while treated with DMF and subsequently discontinued treatment experienced ALC reconstitution. The median time to reach ALC ≥0.8 × 10/L was 2-4 months after discontinuation for patients treated in real-world data sets; the median time to reach ALC ≥0.91 × 10/L was 2 months after discontinuation in DMF clinical trials. Severity of lymphopenia on treatment and decline in ALC within the first 6 months did not affect the ALC reconstitution rate after DMF discontinuation; rather, on-treatment lymphopenia duration influenced the reconstitution rate. In patients with severe, prolonged lymphopenia for ≥3 years, lymphocyte reconstitution to ≥0.91 × 10/L was 12-18 months vs 2-3 months in patients with lymphopenia persisting <6 months.

Conclusions: The majority of patients who discontinued DMF due to lymphopenia experienced ALC reconstitution within 2-4 months following DMF discontinuation. This may help guide clinicians in managing patients who develop lymphopenia during DMF treatment. Prolonged lymphopenia on DMF treatment is associated with slow lymphocyte recovery after DMF discontinuation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/CPJ.0000000000000800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7837440PMC
December 2020

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
February 2021

Epigenetic differences at the HTR2A locus in progressive multiple sclerosis patients.

Sci Rep 2020 12 17;10(1):22217. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia.

The pathology of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) is poorly understood. We have previously assessed DNA methylation in the CD4 T cells of relapsing-remitting (RR) MS patients compared to healthy controls and identified differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in HLA-DRB1 and RNF39. This study aimed to investigate the DNA methylation profiles of the CD4 T cells of progressive MS patients. DNA methylation was measured in two separate case/control cohorts using the Illumina 450K/EPIC arrays and data was analysed with the Chip Analysis Methylation Pipeline (ChAMP). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assessed using the Illumina Human OmniExpress24 arrays and analysed using PLINK. Expression was assessed using the Illumina HT12 array and analysed in R using a combination of Limma and Illuminaio. We identified three DMRs at HTR2A, SLC17A9 and HDAC4 that were consistent across both cohorts. The DMR at HTR2A is located within the bounds of a haplotype block; however, the DMR remained significant after accounting for SNPs in the region. No expression changes were detected in any DMRs. HTR2A is differentially methylated in progressive MS independent of genotype. This differential methylation is not evident in RRMS, making it a potential biomarker of progressive disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78809-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7747721PMC
December 2020

"Rocking the boat" with a new drug for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Sep 26;44:102458. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102458DOI Listing
September 2020

The emerging role of artificial intelligence in multiple sclerosis imaging.

Mult Scler 2020 Oct 28:1352458520966298. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Hunter Medical Research Institute, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia/School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia/Department of Neurology, John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia.

Background: Computer-aided diagnosis can facilitate the early detection and diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) thus enabling earlier interventions and a reduction in long-term MS-related disability. Recent advancements in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) have led to the improvements in the classification, quantification and identification of diagnostic patterns in medical images for a range of diseases, in particular, for MS. Importantly, data generated using AI techniques are analyzed automatically, which compares favourably with labour-intensive and time-consuming manual methods.

Objective: The aim of this review is to assist MS researchers to understand current and future developments in the AI-based diagnosis and prognosis of MS.

Methods: We will investigate a variety of AI approaches and various classifiers and compare the current state-of-the-art techniques in relation to lesion segmentation/detection and prognosis of disease. After briefly describing the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques commonly used, we will describe AI techniques used for the detection of lesions and MS prognosis.

Results: We then evaluate the clinical maturity of these AI techniques in relation to MS.

Conclusion: Finally, future research challenges are identified in a bid to encourage further improvements of the methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458520966298DOI Listing
October 2020

The Incidence of Transverse Sinus Stenosis in Multiple Sclerosis: Further Evidence of Pulse Wave Encephalopathy.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Nov 19;46:102524. Epub 2020 Sep 19.

Newcastle University Faculty of Health, Callaghan Campus, Newcastle, NSW, Australia; Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, Australia.

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with a breakdown in the intracranial pulse wave dampening or windkessel effect. This is manifest by an increase in the arterial stroke volume and a decrease in the dampening afforded by both the CSF displaced into the spinal canal and the blood displaced by the venous sinus pulsation. There is evidence that the reduction in compliance of the sagittal and straight sinuses in MS is caused by an increase in venous pressure despite the jugular bulb pressures being normal. This implies MS patients have a venous outflow stenosis somewhere between the torcular and jugular bulbs. The purpose of the current study is to define the site, significance and cause of these stenoses.

Methods: 50 patients with MS were prospectively recruited from an MS clinic and compared to 50 matched control patients. Using 3DT1 post contrast images, a survey of the venous sinuses was performed looking for the narrowest portion of the sinuses in each of 4 segments from the sagittal sinus to jugular bulbs. The cross sectional areas and wetted circumferences of the venous sinuses were measured at each site to calculate the minimum hydraulic and effective diameters. The BMI, optic nerve sheath diameters and pituitary heights were measured. Statistical analysis was performed using non-parametric methods and was assessed using α≤0.05.

Results: Compared to controls, the MS patients' sagittal sinuses were 24% larger in cross-section (p=0.0001) with an 18% larger wetted circumference (p=0.0001). The MS patients' transverse sinuses had an average effective stenosis of 38% by area (p<0.0001) with 8/50 patients having a high grade stenosis of >65% by area and 16/50 a low grade stenosis of between 40-65% by area compared to 1/50 low grade stenoses in this segment in the controls. The commonest cause of the stenosis was a giant arachnoid granulation. The optic nerve sheaths were larger in MS than controls (p=0.0006). Comparing MS patients with transverse sinus stenosis to those without, the pituitary height was 16% smaller and BMI 25% larger (p=0.02 and 0.003 respectively) CONCLUSION: In patients with MS, the reduction in venous sinus compliance is associated with venous outflow stenoses in the transverse sinuses which increases the upstream venous pressure and dilates the sagittal sinuses. This finding suggests a continuum exists between MS and idiopathic intracranial hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102524DOI Listing
November 2020

Delay from treatment start to full effect of immunotherapies for multiple sclerosis.

Brain 2020 09;143(9):2742-2756

CORe, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 3050, Australia.

In multiple sclerosis, treatment start or switch is prompted by evidence of disease activity. Whilst immunomodulatory therapies reduce disease activity, the time required to attain maximal effect is unclear. In this study we aimed to develop a method that allows identification of the time to manifest fully and clinically the effect of multiple sclerosis treatments ('therapeutic lag') on clinical disease activity represented by relapses and progression-of-disability events. Data from two multiple sclerosis registries, MSBase (multinational) and OFSEP (French), were used. Patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, minimum 1-year exposure to treatment, minimum 3-year pretreatment follow-up and yearly review were included in the analysis. For analysis of disability progression, all events in the subsequent 5-year period were included. Density curves, representing incidence of relapses and 6-month confirmed progression events, were separately constructed for each sufficiently represented therapy. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to identify the first local minimum of the first derivative after treatment start; this point represented the point of stabilization of treatment effect, after the maximum treatment effect was observed. The method was developed in a discovery cohort (MSBase), and externally validated in a separate, non-overlapping cohort (OFSEP). A merged MSBase-OFSEP cohort was used for all subsequent analyses. Annualized relapse rates were compared in the time before treatment start and after the stabilization of treatment effect following commencement of each therapy. We identified 11 180 eligible treatment epochs for analysis of relapses and 4088 treatment epochs for disability progression. External validation was performed in four therapies, with no significant difference in the bootstrapped mean differences in therapeutic lag duration between registries. The duration of therapeutic lag for relapses was calculated for 10 therapies and ranged between 12 and 30 weeks. The duration of therapeutic lag for disability progression was calculated for seven therapies and ranged between 30 and 70 weeks. Significant differences in the pre- versus post-treatment annualized relapse rate were present for all therapies apart from intramuscular interferon beta-1a. In conclusion we have developed, and externally validated, a method to objectively quantify the duration of therapeutic lag on relapses and disability progression in different therapies in patients more than 3 years from multiple sclerosis onset. Objectively defined periods of expected therapeutic lag allows insights into the evaluation of treatment response in randomized clinical trials and may guide clinical decision-making in patients who experience early on-treatment disease activity. This method will subsequently be applied in studies that evaluate the effect of patient and disease characteristics on therapeutic lag.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa231DOI Listing
September 2020

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

Spiral MRSI and tissue segmentation of normal-appearing white matter and white matter lesions in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patients.

Magn Reson Imaging 2020 12 6;74:21-30. Epub 2020 Sep 6.

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia; Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, Australia. Electronic address:

Purpose: To evaluate the performance of novel spiral MRSI and tissue segmentation pipeline of the brain, to investigate neurometabolic changes in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and white matter lesions (WML) of stable relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) compared to healthy controls (HCs).

Methods: Spiral 3D MRSI using LASER-GOIA-W [16,4] was undertaken on 16 RRMS patients and 9 HCs, to acquire MRSI data from a large volume of interest (VOI) 320 cm and analyzed using LCModel. MRSI data and voxel tissue segmentation were compared between the two cohorts using t-tests. Support vector machine (SVM) was used to classify tissue types and assessed by accuracy, sensitivity and specificity.

Results: Compared to HCs, RRMS demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in all mean brain tissues and increase in CSF volume. Within VOI, WM decreased (-10%) and CSF increased (41%) in RRMS compared to HCs (p < 0.001). MRSI revealed that total creatine (tCr) ratios of N-acetylaspartate and glutamate+glutamine in WML were significantly lower than NAWM-MS (-9%, -8%) and HCs (-14%, -10%), respectively. Myo-inositol/tCr in WML was significantly higher than NAWM-MS (14%) and HCs (10%). SVM of MRSI yielded accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of 86%, 95%, and 70%, respectively for HCs vs WML, which were higher than HC vs NAWM and WML vs NAWM models.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the benefit of MRSI in evaluating MS neurometabolic changes in NAWM. SVM of MRSI data in the MS brain may be suited for clinical monitoring and progression of MS patients. Longitudinal MRSI studies are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2020.09.001DOI Listing
December 2020

Concentrations of plasma-borne extracellular particles differ between multiple sclerosis disease courses and compared to healthy controls.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Oct 10;45:102446. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia; Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research, Hunter Medical Research Institute, New Lambton Heights NSW 2305, Australia; Department of Neurology, John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton Heights NSW 2305, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: Multiple sclerosis is a neurodegenerative, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Both peripheral blood and central nervous system facets play a role in the pathophysiology. Extracellular vesicles are small membrane-bound vesicles that are released by most cells in response to stress, activation, or pathology. As extracellular vesicles can cross the blood-brain barrier, they have the ability to link peripheral blood inflammation to central nervous system pathology in multiple sclerosis. The aim of this study was to obtain a comprehensive picture of the cellular origins of plasma-borne extracellular particles in multiple sclerosis.

Methods: Platelet-free plasma was obtained from 39 multiple sclerosis patients and 27 healthy controls via a series of centrifugation steps and assessed by flow cytometry. Plasma samples were stained with antibodies against CD4, CD8, CD14, CD20, CD41b, CD45, CD146, and CD235a. Gates were set using size-reference beads and extracellular particles were enumerated using commercial counting beads at known concentrations.

Results: In relapsing patients (n = 13) erythrocyte-derived (CD235a) extracellular particles were increased, while platelet-derived (CD41b), leukocyte-derived (CD45), and CD4T cell-derived (CD4) extracellular particles were decreased compared to both healthy controls (n = 27) (p<0.05) and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients (n = 9) (p < 0.05). Endothelium-derived extracellular particles (CD146) were increased in stable relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients (n = 17) compared to healthy controls (p < 0.05). Extracellular particles from several different cells of origin correlated with each other and clinical parameters (e.g. disease duration, number of relapses, EDSS), though clinical correlations did not withstand corrections for multiple comparisons.

Conclusions: Concentrations of erythrocyte-, leukocyte-, and platelet-derived extracellular particles were altered in relapsing multiple sclerosis patients and endothelium-derived extracellular particles were increased in stable relapsing-remitting patients compared to healthy controls. Extracellular particles may provide insights into altered the crosstalk between peripheral blood cells in multiple sclerosis, which may lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102446DOI Listing
October 2020

Dare we mention the C-word?

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Aug 25;43:102340. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Gavin Giovannoni, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, 4 Newark Street, London E1 2AT, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102340DOI Listing
August 2020

Prediction of on-treatment disability worsening in RRMS with the MAGNIMS score.

Mult Scler 2020 Jul 8:1352458520936823. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

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

Background: The magnetic resonance imaging in multiple sclerosis (MAGNIMS) score combines relapses and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) lesions to predict disability outcomes in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) treated with interferon-β.

Objective: To validate the MAGNIMS score and extend to other disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). To examine the prognostic value of gadolinium contrast-enhancing (Gd+) lesions.

Methods: This RRMS MSBase cohort study ( = 2293) used a Cox model to examine the prognostic value of relapses, MRI activity and the MAGNIMS score for disability worsening during treatment with interferon-β and three other DMTs.

Results: Three new T2 lesions (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.60,  = 0.028) or two relapses (HR = 2.24,  = 0.002) on interferon-β (for 12 months) were predictive of disability worsening over 4 years. MAGNIMS score = 2 (1 relapse and ⩾3 T2 lesions or ⩾2 relapses) was associated with a greater risk of disability worsening on interferon-β (HR = 2.0,  = 0.001). In pooled cohort of four DMTs, similar associations were seen (MAGNIMS score = 2: HR = 1.72,  = 0.001). Secondary analyses demonstrated that the addition of Gd+ to the MAGNIMS did not materially improve its prediction of disability worsening.

Conclusion: We have validated the MAGNIMS score in RRMS and extended its application to three other DMTs: 1 relapse and ⩾3 T2 lesions or ⩾2 relapses predicted worsening of disability. Contrast-enhancing lesions did not substantially improve the prognostic score.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458520936823DOI Listing
July 2020

Relapse Patterns in NMOSD: Evidence for Earlier Occurrence of Optic Neuritis and Possible Seasonal Variation.

Front Neurol 2020 16;11:537. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, Southport, QLD, Australia.

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) and multiple sclerosis (MS) show overlap in their clinical features. We performed an analysis of relapses with the aim of determining differences between the two conditions. Cases of NMOSD and age- and sex-matched MS controls were collected from across Australia and New Zealand. Demographic and clinical information, including relapse histories, were recorded using a standard questionnaire. There were 75 cases of NMOSD and 101 MS controls. There were 328 relapses in the NMOSD cases and 375 in MS controls. Spinal cord and optic neuritis attacks were the most common relapses in both NMOSD and MS. Optic neuritis ( < 0.001) and area postrema relapses ( = 0.002) were more common in NMOSD and other brainstem attacks were more common in MS ( < 0.001). Prior to age 30 years, attacks of optic neuritis were more common in NMOSD than transverse myelitis. After 30 this pattern was reversed. Relapses in NMOSD were more likely to be treated with acute immunotherapies and were less likely to recover completely. Analysis by month of relapse in NMOSD showed a trend toward reduced risk of relapse in February to April compared to a peak in November to January ( = 0.065). Optic neuritis and transverse myelitis are the most common types of relapse in NMOSD and MS. Optic neuritis tends to occur more frequently in NMOSD prior to the age of 30, with transverse myelitis being more common thereafter. Relapses in NMOSD were more severe. A seasonal bias for relapses in spring-summer may exist in NMOSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00537DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7308484PMC
June 2020

Is multiple sclerosis a risk factor for infections?

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Jun 7;41:102184. Epub 2020 May 7.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102184DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7204651PMC
June 2020

Disability outcomes of early cerebellar and brainstem symptoms in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2020 Jun 15:1352458520926955. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

CORe, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Neurology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Background: Cerebellar and brainstem symptoms are common in early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS) yet their prognostic values remain unclear.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate long-term disability outcomes in patients with early cerebellar and brainstem symptoms.

Methods: This study used data from MSBase registry. Patients with early cerebellar/brainstem presentations were identified as those with cerebellar/brainstem relapse(s) or functional system score ⩾ 2 in the initial 2 years. Early pyramidal presentation was chosen as a comparator. Andersen-Gill models were used to compare cumulative hazards of (1) disability progression events and (2) relapses between patients with and without early cerebellar/brainstem symptoms. Mixed effect models were used to estimate the associations between early cerebellar/brainstem presentations and expanded disability status scale (EDSS) scores.

Results: The study cohort consisted of 10,513 eligible patients, including 2723 and 3915 patients with early cerebellar and brainstem symptoms, respectively. Early cerebellar presentation was associated with greater hazard of progression events (HR = 1.37,  < 0.001) and EDSS (β = 0.16,  < 0.001). Patients with early brainstem symptoms had lower hazard of progression events (HR = 0.89,  = 0.01) and EDSS (β = -0.06,  < 0.001). Neither presentation was associated with changes in relapse risk.

Conclusion: Early cerebellar presentation is associated with unfavourable outcomes, while early brainstem presentation is associated with favourable prognosis. These presentations may be used as MS prognostic markers and guide therapeutic approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458520926955DOI Listing
June 2020

Real-world effectiveness of cladribine for Australian patients with multiple sclerosis: An MSBase registry substudy.

Mult Scler 2021 Mar 12;27(3):465-474. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

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

Background/objective: Observational clinical data from cladribine-treated patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) were recorded in the Australian MS registry powered by the MSBase registry platform (5-year follow-up) and analysed to complement information from the pivotal cladribine clinical trials in MS.

Methods: A cohort of 90 cladribine-treated patients with follow-up data reported by treating physicians and recorded in the Australian MSBase registry (database lock February 2016) were examined. Clinical data included Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores, relapses and other disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) administered before and after cladribine treatment.

Results: Mean age on starting cladribine was 47 years; mean age at MS onset was 34 years, and median baseline EDSS score was 5.25. Disability trajectories in patients with sufficient follow-up suggested an overall increasing trend prior to cladribine treatment which was reduced during the 2-year post-treatment. Approximately 80% of patients were EDSS progression-free, 65% remained relapse-free after 2 years and median time to next DMD was 1.7 years.

Conclusion: These observational data suggest a disease-modifying effect in this cohort of relapsing MS patients characterised by older and more disabled patients. Since these data represent a single-arm cohort, clinical trials and larger comparative post-marketing studies are needed to validate and extend these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458520921087DOI Listing
March 2021

Erythrocyte microRNAs show biomarker potential and implicate multiple sclerosis susceptibility genes.

Clin Transl Med 2020 Jan 10;10(1):74-90. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.

Background: Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating autoimmune disease, for which there is no blood-borne biomarker. Erythrocytes may provide a source of such biomarkers as they contain microRNAs. MicroRNAs regulate protein translation through complementary binding to messenger RNA. As erythrocytes are transcriptionally inactive, their microRNA profiles may be less susceptible to variation. The aim of this study was to assess the biomarker potential of erythrocyte microRNAs for multiple sclerosis and assess the potential contribution of erythrocyte-derived extracellular vesicle microRNAs to pathology.

Methods: Erythrocytes were isolated from whole blood by density gradient centrifugation. Erythrocyte microRNAs of a discovery cohort (23 multiple sclerosis patients and 22 healthy controls) were sequenced. Increased expression of miR-183 cluster microRNAs (hsa-miR-96-5p, hsa-miR-182-5p and hsa-miR-183-5p) was validated in an independent cohort of 42 patients and 45 healthy and pathological (migraine) controls. Erythrocyte-derived extracellular vesicles were created ex vivo and their microRNAs were sequenced. Targets of microRNAs were predicted using miRDIP.

Results: Hsa-miR-182-5p and hsa-miR-183-5p were able to discriminate relapsing multiple sclerosis patients from migraine patients and/or healthy controls with 89-94% accuracy and around 90% specificity. Hsa-miR-182-5p and hsa-miR-183-5p expression correlated with measures of physical disability and hsa-miR-96-5p expression correlated with measures of cognitive disability in multiple sclerosis. Erythrocytes were found to selectively package microRNAs into extracellular vesicles and 34 microRNAs were found to be differentially packaged between healthy controls and multiple sclerosis patients. Several gene targets of differentially expressed and packaged erythrocyte microRNAs overlapped with multiple sclerosis susceptibility genes. Gene enrichment analysis indicated involvement in nervous system development and histone H3-K27 demethylation.

Conclusions: Erythrocyte miR-183 cluster members may be developed into specific multiple sclerosis biomarkers that could assist with diagnosis and disability monitoring. Erythrocyte and their extracellular microRNAs were shown to target multiple sclerosis susceptibility genes and may be contributing to the pathophysiology via previously identified routes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ctm2.22DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7240864PMC
January 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and the use of MS disease-modifying therapies.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 04 27;39:102073. Epub 2020 Mar 27.

Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, 4 Newark Street, London, E1 2AT, UK; The Albion Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7138156PMC
April 2020

Comparison of BICAMS and ARCS for assessment of cognition in multiple sclerosis and predictive value of employment status.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Jun 2;41:102037. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia; Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research, Hunter Medical Research Institute, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: Cognitive impairment is common in multiple sclerosis (MS) but not adequately monitored by Expanded Disability Status Scale assessment. The Audio Recorded Cognitive Screen (ARCS) and Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis (BICAMS) are easy-to-use tools to assess cognitive function in clinical practice.

Objective: To compare the sensitivity of ARCS to BICAMS and their relative predictive value for employment status.

Methods: MS patients and healthy controls were assessed using the ARCS and the BICAMS consecutively. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were used to compare the two tests. A step-wise, logistic regression analysis was used to identify the cognitive test(s) that best predicted employment status and quality of life.

Results: Total ARCS, memory and attention domain scores were moderately correlated with all BICAMS tests (r = 0.3-0.5; P ≤ 0.05). Total ARCS predicts cognitive impairment with good sensitivity and specificity relative to the BICAMS tests (AUC = 0.8; P = 0.00045). Total ARCS detects higher levels of impairment than BICAMS in MS patients (44% versus 21%). The memory domain of the ARCS and the BVMT-R were the best predictors of employment status (OR = 1.12 and 1.14, P < 0.05).

Conclusion: BICAMS and ARCS have comparable sensitivity for cognitive impairment in MS. Memory assessment from either tests is the best predictor of employment status; however, the BICAMS is a better predictor of work productivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102037DOI Listing
June 2020

Ageing and multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 02 2;38:101953. Epub 2020 Feb 2.

Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, 4 Newark Street, London E1 2AT, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.101953DOI Listing
February 2020

The clinical profile of NMOSD in Australia and New Zealand.

J Neurol 2020 May 31;267(5):1431-1443. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

Menzies Health Institute Queensland, School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Gold Coast, QLD, 4222, Australia.

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) are an inflammation of the central nervous system associated with autoantibodies to aquaporin-4. We have undertaken a clinic-based survey of NMOSD in the Australia and New Zealand populations with the aim of characterising the clinical features and establishing the value of recently revised diagnostic criteria. Cases of possible NMOSD and age and sex-matched controls with multiple sclerosis (MS) were referred from centres across Australia and New Zealand. Cases were classified as NMOSD if they met the 2015 IPND criteria and remained as suspected NMOSD if they did not. Clinical and paraclinical data were compared across the three groups. NMOSD was confirmed in 75 cases and 89 had suspected NMOSD. There were 101 controls with MS. Age at onset, relapse rates and EDSS scores were significantly higher in NMOSD than in MS. Lesions and symptoms referable to the optic nerve were more common in NMOSD whereas brainstem, cerebellar and cerebral lesions were more common in MS. Longitudinally extensive spinal cord lesions were seen in 48/71 (68%) of cases with NMOSD. Elevations of CSF, white cell count and protein were more common in NMOSD. We have confirmed a clinical pattern of NMOSD that has been seen in several geographical regions. We have demonstrated the clinical utility of the current diagnostic criteria. Distinct patterns of disease are evident in NMOSD and MS, but there remains a large number of patients with NMOSD-like features who do not meet the current diagnostic criteria for NMOSD and remain a diagnostic challenge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-09716-4DOI Listing
May 2020

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

Silent symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2019 11 18;36:101453. Epub 2019 Oct 18.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2019.101453DOI Listing
November 2019

The effect of emerging nutraceutical interventions for clinical and biological outcomes in multiple sclerosis: A systematic review.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Jan 2;37:101486. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Australia; National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Research School of Population Health, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Background: Due to the considerable burden of multiple sclerosis (MS)-related symptoms and the need to identify effective interventions to prevent disease progression, various nutraceutical interventions have been trialed as adjunctive treatments. The aim of this review was to investigate the efficacy and safety of nutraceutical interventions for clinical and biological outcomes in people with MS.

Methods: In accordance with PRISMA reporting guidelines, a systematic literature search was conducted using three electronic literature databases. Risk of bias was assessed using the Jadad scale.

Results: Thirty-seven randomized controlled trials, investigating fourteen nutraceuticals, were included in the review. Trials that investigated alpha lipoic acid (n = 4/6), ginkgo biloba (n = 3/5), vitamin A (n = 2/2), biotin (n = 1/2), carnitine (n = 1/2), green tea (n = 1/2), coenzyme Q10 (n = 1/1), probiotics (n = 1/1), curcumin (n = 1/1), Andrographis paniculata (n = 1/1), ginseng (n = 1/1), and lemon verbena (n = 1/1) were reported to improve biological (e.g. MRI brain volume change, antioxidant capacity) and/or clinical (e.g. fatigue, depression, Expanded Disability Status Scale) outcomes in multiple sclerosis compared to control. However, most trials were relatively small (average study sample size across included studies, n = 55) and there were few replicate studies per nutraceutical to validate the reported results. Furthermore, some nutraceuticals (e.g. green tea and inosine) should be used with caution due to reported adverse events. Risk of bias across most studies was low, with 31 studies receiving a score between 4 and 5 (out of 5) on the Jadad Scale.

Conclusion: The existing literature provides preliminary support for the use of a number of nutraceutical interventions in MS. However, sufficiently powered long-term trials are required to expand the currently limited literature and to investigate unexplored nutraceuticals that may target relevant pathways involved in MS such as the gut microbiome and mitochondrial dysfunction. Prospero ID: CRD42018111736.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2019.101486DOI Listing
January 2020

Grassroot efforts towards diversity in MS care and research: Win-win for patients and science.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2019 10 2;35:A1-A2. Epub 2019 Oct 2.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2019.101428DOI Listing
October 2019

2D L-COSY spectroscopy identifies neurometabolite alterations in treated multiple sclerosis.

Ther Adv Neurol Disord 2019 19;12:1756286419877081. Epub 2019 Oct 19.

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia.

Background: We have applied two-dimensional (2D) localized correlation spectroscopy (2D L-COSY), in treated relapsing relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) to identify novel biomarkers in normal-appearing brain parenchyma.

Methods: 2D L-COSY magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) spectra were prospectively acquired from the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) in 45 stable RRMS patients undergoing treatment with Fingolimod, and 40 age and sex-matched healthy control (HC) participants. Average metabolite ratios and clinical symptoms including, disability, cognition, fatigue, and mental health parameters were measured, and compared using parametric and nonparametric tests. Whole brain volume and MRS voxel morphometry were evaluated using SIENAX and the SPM LST toolbox.

Results: Despite the mean whole brain lesion volume being low in this RRMS group (6.8 ml) a significant reduction in PCC metabolite to tCr ratios were identified for multiple N-acetylaspartate (NAA) signatures, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamine and glutamate (Glx), threonine, and isoleucine/lipid. Of the clinical symptoms measured, visuospatial function, attention, and memory were correlated with NAA signatures, Glx, and isoleucine/lipid in the brain.

Conclusions: 2D L-COSY has the potential to detect metabolic alterations in the normal-appearing MS brain. Despite examining only a localised region, we could detect metabolic variability associated with symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1756286419877081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6801886PMC
October 2019