Publications by authors named "Jeffrey Bennett"

209 Publications

Disability Outcomes in the N-MOmentum Trial of Inebilizumab in Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2021 05 26;8(3). Epub 2021 Mar 26.

From the Service de Neurologie Sclérose en Plaques (R.M.), Pathologies de La Myéline et Neuro-inflammation, Hôpital Neurologique Pierre Wertheimer, Hospices Civils de Lyon, France; University of Colorado School of Medicine (J.L.B.), Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora; Research Institute and Hospital of National Cancer Center (H.J.K.), Goyang, South Korea; Mayo Clinic (B.G.W., S.J.P.), Rochester, MN; Mayo Clinic (D.W.), Scottsdale, AZ; Department of Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics (K.F.), Fukushima Medical University and Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica Center, Southern Tohoku Research Institute for Neuroscience, Koriyama, Japan; Experimental and Clinical Research Center (F.P.), Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany; University of Alabama at Birmingham (G.R.C.); UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences (A.J.G.), Department of Neurology and Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Francisco; Medical Faculty (O.A., H.-P.H.), Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (F.D.L.), New York; Oxford PharmaGenesis Ltd (I.M.W.), UK; Viela Bio (J.D., D.S., D.C., W.R., M.S., J.N.R., E.K.), Gaithersburg, MD; and UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences (B.A.C.C.), University of California San Francisco.

Objective: To assess treatment effects on Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score worsening and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores in the N-MOmentum trial of inebilizumab, a humanized anti-CD19 monoclonal antibody, in participants with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).

Methods: Adults (N = 230) with aquaporin-4 immunoglobulin G-seropositive NMOSD or -seronegative neuromyelitis optica and an EDSS score ≤8 were randomized (3:1) to receive inebilizumab 300 mg or placebo on days 1 and 15. The randomized controlled period (RCP) was 28 weeks or until adjudicated attack, with an option to enter the inebilizumab open-label period. Three-month EDSS-confirmed disability progression (CDP) was assessed using a Cox proportional hazard model. The effect of baseline subgroups on disability was assessed by interaction tests. mRS scores from the RCP were analyzed by the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney odds approach.

Results: Compared with placebo, inebilizumab reduced the risk of 3-month CDP (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.375; 95% CI: 0.148-0.952; = 0.0390). Baseline disability, prestudy attack frequency, and disease duration did not affect the treatment effect observed with inebilizumab (HRs: 0.213-0.503; interaction tests: all > 0.05, indicating no effect of baseline covariates on outcome). Mean EDSS scores improved with longer-term treatment. Inebilizumab-treated participants were more likely to have a favorable mRS outcome at the end of the RCP (OR: 1.663; 95% CI: 1.195-2.385; = 0.0023).

Conclusions: Disability outcomes were more favorable with inebilizumab vs placebo in participants with NMOSD.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that for patients with NMOSD, inebilizumab reduces the risk of worsening disability. N-MOmentum is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02200770.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000978DOI Listing
May 2021

Serum Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein: A Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder Biomarker.

Ann Neurol 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Neurology, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Objective: Blood tests to monitor disease activity, attack severity, or treatment impact in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) have not been developed. This study investigated the relationship between serum glial fibrillary acidic protein (sGFAP) concentration and NMOSD activity and assessed the impact of inebilizumab treatment.

Methods: N-MOmentum was a prospective, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial in adults with NMOSD. sGFAP levels were measured by single-molecule arrays (SIMOA) in 1,260 serial and attack-related samples from 215 N-MOmentum participants (92% aquaporin 4-immunoglobulin G-seropositive) and in control samples (from healthy donors and patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis).

Results: At baseline, 62 participants (29%) exhibited high sGFAP concentrations (≥170 pg/ml; ≥2 standard deviations above healthy donor mean concentration) and were more likely to experience an adjudicated attack than participants with lower baseline concentrations (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval], 3.09 [1.6-6.1], p = 0.001). Median (interquartile range [IQR]) concentrations increased within 1 week of an attack (baseline: 168.4, IQR = 128.9-449.7 pg/ml; attack: 2,160.1, IQR = 302.7-9,455.0 pg/ml, p = 0.0015) and correlated with attack severity (median fold change from baseline [FC], minor attacks: 1.06, IQR = 0.9-7.4; major attacks: 34.32, IQR = 8.7-107.5, p = 0.023). This attack-related increase in sGFAP occurred primarily in placebo-treated participants (FC: 20.2, IQR = 4.4-98.3, p = 0.001) and was not observed in inebilizumab-treated participants (FC: 1.1, IQR = 0.8-24.6, p > 0.05). Five participants (28%) with elevated baseline sGFAP reported neurological symptoms leading to nonadjudicated attack assessments.

Interpretation: Serum GFAP may serve as a biomarker of NMOSD activity, attack risk, and treatment effects. ANN NEUROL 2021.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.26067DOI Listing
March 2021

Management of rhythm disorders in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Is sudden death a cardiac or pulmonary problem?

Pediatr Pulmonol 2021 Apr 2;56(4):760-765. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

The Heart Center, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Dystrophin deficiency results in the cardiomyopathy of variable onset and deficiency. Myocardial scarring commonly results in cardiac dysfunction, with both atrial and ventricular dysrhythmias. Heart failure, rather than arrhythmia burden, remains the strongest cardiac predictor of mortality in this patient population. Current data suggest the overall rate of sudden cardiac death in pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy is significantly lower than in adults. Specifically, in the Duchenne cardiomyopathy population, sudden death from an arrhythmic cause appears to be rare, even in patients with previously diagnosed arrhythmias. Despite this, recommendations for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) placement in patients with Duchenne cardiomyopathy has traditionally been extrapolated from adult heart failure recommendations based on decreased left ventricular ejection fraction <35%. Early involvement of the cardiologist in the care for patients with dystrophin-deficient cardiomyopathy is recommended for this reason. The indications for ICD placement to prevent sudden death in patients with Duchenne cardiomyopathy are not well defined. There is little evidence to suggest that placement meaningfully prolongs life in this population, and should be carefully considered in accordance with the care goals of the patient and his family.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ppul.25205DOI Listing
April 2021

Blood-brain barrier resealing in neuromyelitis optica occurs independently of astrocyte regeneration.

J Clin Invest 2021 Mar;131(5)

Institute of Neuropathology and.

Approximately 80% of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) patients harbor serum anti-aquaporin-4 autoantibodies targeting astrocytes in the CNS. Crucial for NMOSD lesion initiation is disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which allows the entrance of Abs and serum complement into the CNS and which is a target for new NMOSD therapies. Astrocytes have important functions in BBB maintenance; however, the influence of their loss and the role of immune cell infiltration on BBB permeability in NMOSD have not yet been investigated. Using an experimental model of targeted NMOSD lesions in rats, we demonstrate that astrocyte destruction coincides with a transient disruption of the BBB and a selective loss of occludin from tight junctions. It is noteworthy that BBB integrity is reestablished before astrocytes repopulate. Rather than persistent astrocyte loss, polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) are the main mediators of BBB disruption, and their depletion preserves BBB integrity and prevents astrocyte loss. Inhibition of PMN chemoattraction, activation, and proteolytic function reduces lesion size. In summary, our data support a crucial role for PMNs in BBB disruption and NMOSD lesion development, rendering their recruitment and activation promising therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI141694DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7919716PMC
March 2021

Sensitivity analysis of the primary endpoint from the N-MOmentum study of inebilizumab in NMOSD.

Mult Scler 2021 Feb 4:1352458521988926. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Viela Bio, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Background: In the N-MOmentum trial, the risk of an adjudicated neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) attack was significantly reduced with inebilizumab compared with placebo.

Objective: To demonstrate the robustness of this finding, using pre-specified sensitivity and subgroup analyses.

Methods: N-MOmentum is a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-masked trial of inebilizumab, an anti-CD19 monoclonal B-cell-depleting antibody, in patients with NMOSD. Pre-planned and analyses were performed to evaluate the primary endpoint across a range of attack definitions and demographic groups, as well as key secondary endpoints.

Results: In the N-MOmentum trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02200770), 174 participants received inebilizumab and 56 received placebo. Attack risk for inebilizumab versus placebo was consistently and significantly reduced, regardless of attack definition, type of attack, baseline disability, ethnicity, treatment history, or disease course (all with hazard ratios < 0.4 favoring inebilizumab, < 0.05). Analyses of secondary endpoints showed similar trends.

Conclusion: N-MOmentum demonstrated that inebilizumab provides a robust reduction in the risk of NMOSD attacks regardless of attack evaluation method, attack type, patient demographics, or previous therapy.The N-MOmentum study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT2200770.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458521988926DOI Listing
February 2021

Specific Induction of Double Negative B Cells During Protective and Pathogenic Immune Responses.

Front Immunol 2020 18;11:606338. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Department of Neurology and Stroke, Eberhard-Karls University, Tübingen, Germany.

Double negative (DN) (CD19CD20CD27IgD) B cells are expanded in patients with autoimmune and infectious diseases; however their role in the humoral immune response remains unclear. Using systematic flow cytometric analyses of peripheral blood B cell subsets, we observed an inflated DN B cell population in patients with variety of active inflammatory conditions: myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, meningitis/encephalitis, and rheumatic disorders. Furthermore, we were able to induce DN B cells in healthy subjects following vaccination against influenza and tick borne encephalitis virus. Transcriptome analysis revealed a gene expression profile in DN B cells that clustered with naïve B cells, memory B cells, and plasmablasts. Immunoglobulin VH transcriptome sequencing and analysis of recombinant antibodies revealed clonal expansion of DN B cells that were targeted against the vaccine antigen. Our study suggests that DN B cells are expanded in multiple inflammatory neurologic diseases and represent an inducible B cell population that responds to antigenic stimulation, possibly through an extra-follicular maturation pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.606338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7775384PMC
December 2020

The changing landscape of optic neuritis: a narrative review.

J Neurol 2021 Jan 3. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Surgery (Ophthalmology), University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Optic neuritis (ON) is an inflammatory optic neuropathy that is often a harbinger of central nervous system (CNS) demyelinating disorders. ON is frequently misdiagnosed in the clinical arena, leading to either inappropriate management or diagnostic delays. As a result, patients may fail to achieve optimal recovery. The treatment response to corticosteroids and long term risk of multiple sclerosis was established in the first clinical trials conducted roughly 30 years ago. Spontaneous resolution was observed in the vast majority of patients and intravenous high-dose corticosteroids hastened recovery; half of the patients eventually developed multiple sclerosis. Over the ensuing decades, the number of inflammatory conditions associated with ON has significantly expanded exposing substantial variability in the prognosis, treatment, and management of ON patients. ON subtypes can frequently be distinguished by distinct clinical, serological, and radiological profiles allowing expedited and specialized treatment. Guided by an increased understanding of the immunopathology underlying optic nerve and associated CNS injuries, novel disease management strategies are emerging to minimize vision loss, improve long-term surveillance strategies, and minimize CNS injury and disability. Knowledge regarding the clinical signs and symptoms of different ON subtypes is essential to guide acute therapy, prognosticate recovery, accurately identify underlying CNS inflammatory disorders, and facilitate study design for the next generation of clinical and translational trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10352-1DOI Listing
January 2021

Differential Effects of Fingolimod and Natalizumab on B Cell Repertoires in Multiple Sclerosis Patients.

Neurotherapeutics 2020 Nov 30. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Department of Neurology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 12700 East 19th Avenue, Aurora, Colorado, 80045, USA.

Natalizumab and fingolimod are effective multiple sclerosis (MS) therapies that disrupt lymphocyte migration but have differential effects on B cell maturation and trafficking. We investigated their effects on peripheral blood (PB) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) B cell repertoires using next-generation deep sequencing. Paired CSF and PB B cell subsets (naïve, CD27 memory, and CD27IgD double-negative B cells and plasmablasts) were collected by applying flow cytometry at baseline and after 6 months of treatment and their respective heavy-chain variable region repertoires assessed by Illumina MiSeq. Treatment with fingolimod contracted, whereas natalizumab expanded circulating PB B cells. CSF B cell numbers remained stable following fingolimod treatment but decreased with natalizumab therapy. Clonal overlap between CSF and PB B cells was reduced with natalizumab treatment but remained stable with fingolimod therapy. Lineage analyses of pre- and posttreatment CSF B cell repertoires revealed large, clonally expanded B cell clusters in natalizumab-treated MS patients but no intrathecal clonal expansion following fingolimod therapy. Our findings suggest that natalizumab diminishes the exchange of peripheral and intrathecal B cells without impacting intrathecal clonal expansion. In contrast, fingolimod treatment fails to alter blood-brain barrier B cell exchange but diminishes intrathecal clonal expansion. Sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor inhibition may alter intrathecal B cell biology in MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13311-020-00975-7DOI Listing
November 2020

Neuropsychological and neuropathological observations of a long-studied case of memory impairment.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 11 9;117(47):29883-29893. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

We report neuropsychological and neuropathological findings for a patient (A.B.), who developed memory impairment after a cardiac arrest at age 39. A.B. was a clinical psychologist who, although unable to return to work, was an active participant in our neuropsychological studies for 24 y. He exhibited a moderately severe and circumscribed impairment in the formation of long-term, declarative memory (anterograde amnesia), together with temporally graded retrograde amnesia covering ∼5 y prior to the cardiac arrest. More remote memory for both facts and autobiographical events was intact. His neuropathology was extensive and involved the medial temporal lobe, the diencephalon, cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum. In the hippocampal formation, there was substantial cell loss in the CA1 and CA3 fields, the hilus of the dentate gyrus (with sparing of granule cells), and the entorhinal cortex. There was also cell loss in the CA2 field, but some remnants remained. The amygdala demonstrated substantial neuronal loss, particularly in its deep nuclei. In the thalamus, there was damage and atrophy of the anterior nuclear complex, the mediodorsal nucleus, and the pulvinar. There was also loss of cells in the medial and lateral mammillary nuclei in the hypothalamus. We suggest that the neuropathology resulted from two separate factors: the initial cardiac arrest (and respiratory distress) and the recurrent seizures that followed, which led to additional damage characteristic of temporal lobe epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2018960117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7703620PMC
November 2020

Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-positive optic neuritis with considerable white blood cell elevation in cerebrospinal fluid.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Nov 20;46:102455. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN USA. Electronic address:

We present a case with an atypical presentation of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein associated disease (MOGAD) presenting with optic neuritis, short-segment transverse myelitis, and significant lymphocytic pleocytosis. The degree of lymphocytic pleocytosis in this case was unusually high and prompted extensive workup. Broad infectious and neoplastic work-up was unremarkable and raised the concern for aseptic meningitis. A literature review was performed of similar cases with documented CSF labs (see Table 1), which demonstrates the unique and significant pleocytosis noted in this case.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102455DOI Listing
November 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

Considerations for the Treatment of Inflammatory Neuro-Ophthalmologic Disorders During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

J Neuroophthalmol 2020 09;40(3):305-314

Departments of Ophthalmology (YMP, JLB, PSS, VSP), Neurology (YMP, JLB, PSS, VSP), and Neurosurgery (PSS), University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado; and Programs in Neuroscience and Immunology (JLB), University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.

The initiation and continuation of immune-based therapies to treat and prevent complications of inflammatory neuro-ophthalmologic disorders during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the subject of considerable debate. In each case, a treatment decision must be reached based on best clinical practices for the disorder, patient comorbidities, the current state of knowledge about the pathogenesis and infectivity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the utilization of hospital and community resources. Unfortunately, the evidence needed to standardize the decision-making process for each neuro-ophthalmologic disorder is currently absent and is likely to require months or years to develop based on the accrual of robust international data sets. In this article, we review the current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 complications to provide a framework for approaching the treatment of inflammatory neuro-ophthalmic disorders during the COVID-19 viral pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WNO.0000000000001016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7418184PMC
September 2020

Treatment of MOG-IgG-associated disorder with rituximab: An international study of 121 patients.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Sep 2;44:102251. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Department of Neurology, The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, United Kingdom; Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom; Department of Neurology, The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address:

Objective: To assess the effect of anti-CD20 B-cell depletion with rituximab (RTX) on relapse rates in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disorder (MOGAD).

Methods: Retrospective review of RTX-treated MOGAD patients from 29 centres in 13 countries. The primary outcome measure was change in relapse rate after starting rituximab (Poisson regression model).

Results: Data on 121 patients were analysed, including 30 (24.8%) children. Twenty/121 (16.5%) were treated after one attack, of whom 14/20 (70.0%) remained relapse-free after median (IQR) 11.2 (6.3-14.1) months. The remainder (101/121, 83.5%) were treated after two or more attacks, of whom 53/101 (52.5%) remained relapse-free after median 12.1 (6.3-24.9) months. In this 'relapsing group', relapse rate declined by 37% (95%CI=19-52%, p<0.001) overall, 63% (95%CI=35-79%, p = 0.001) when RTX was used first line (n = 47), and 26% (95%CI=2-44%, p = 0.038) when used after other steroid-sparing immunotherapies (n = 54). Predicted 1-year and 2-year relapse-free survival was 79% and 55% for first-line RTX therapy, and 38% and 18% for second-/third-line therapy. Circulating CD19B-cells were suppressed to <1% of total circulating lymphocyte population at the time of 45/57 (78.9%) relapses.

Conclusion: RTX reduced relapse rates in MOGAD. However, many patients continued to relapse despite apparent B-cell depletion. Prospective controlled studies are needed to validate these results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102251DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895306PMC
September 2020

Steroid-sparing maintenance immunotherapy for MOG-IgG associated disorder.

Neurology 2020 07 17;95(2):e111-e120. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (J.J.C., M.T.B.), Neurology (J.J.C., E.P.F., M.T.B., J.J., D.D., A.S.L.C., B.G.W., A.M., J.-M.T., V.A.L., C.F.L., A.K., S.J.P.), Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (E.P.F., J.J., D.D, J.P.F., A.M., V.A.L., S.J.P.), and Immunology (V.A.L.) and Center for MS and Autoimmune Neurology (E.P.F., D.D., B.G.W., A.M., V.A.L., C.F.L., A.K., S.J.P.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences (C.M.M., M.S.L.), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology (J.L.B., V.S.P.), University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Aurora; Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Neurology (G.V.S.), Washington University, St. Louis School of Medicine, MO; Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and Neurology (O.-O.O.A.), McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX; Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Neuro-Ophthalmology (E.R.E.), Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL; Departments of Ophthalmology (M.D.A.) and Neurology (D.M.W.), Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ; Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (B.L.L.), University of Miami, FL; Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology (H.M., S.B.), Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; Neuro-Ophthalmology (A.L.G.), Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, Vallejo; Department of Ophthalmology (V.S.), Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital, Houston; Department of Ophthalmology (G.A., D.M.C.), Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School, Boston; Department of Ophthalmology (G.H.), Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MA; and Neuro-Ophthalmology Unit (H.S.-K.), Department of Ophthalmology, Rabin Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Objective: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-immunoglobulin G (MOG-IgG) associated disorder (MOGAD) often manifests with recurrent CNS demyelinating attacks. The optimal treatment for reducing relapses is unknown. To help determine the efficacy of long-term immunotherapy in preventing relapse in patients with MOGAD, we conducted a multicenter retrospective study to determine the rate of relapses on various treatments.

Methods: We determined the frequency of relapses in patients receiving various forms of long-term immunotherapy for MOGAD. Inclusion criteria were history of ≥1 CNS demyelinating attacks, MOG-IgG seropositivity, and immunotherapy for ≥6 months. Patients were reviewed for CNS demyelinating attacks before and during long-term immunotherapy.

Results: Seventy patients were included. The median age at initial CNS demyelinating attack was 29 years (range 3-61 years; 33% <18 years), and 59% were female. The median annualized relapse rate (ARR) before treatment was 1.6. On maintenance immunotherapy, the proportion of patients with relapse was as follows: mycophenolate mofetil 74% (14 of 19; ARR 0.67), rituximab 61% (22 of 36; ARR 0.59), azathioprine 59% (13 of 22; ARR 0.2), and IV immunoglobulin (IVIG) 20% (2 of 10; ARR 0). The overall median ARR on these 4 treatments was 0.3. All 9 patients treated with multiple sclerosis (MS) disease-modifying agents had a breakthrough relapse on treatment (ARR 1.5).

Conclusion: This large retrospective multicenter study of patients with MOGAD suggests that maintenance immunotherapy reduces recurrent CNS demyelinating attacks, with the lowest ARR being associated with maintenance IVIG therapy. Traditional MS disease-modifying agents appear to be ineffective. Prospective randomized controlled studies are required to validate these conclusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000009758DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7455322PMC
July 2020

Safety and efficacy of satralizumab monotherapy in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder: a randomised, double-blind, multicentre, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial.

Lancet Neurol 2020 05;19(5):402-412

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Background: Satralizumab, a humanised monoclonal antibody targeting the interleukin-6 receptor, reduced the risk of relapse in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) when added to immunosuppressant therapy. This study assessed the safety and efficacy of satralizumab monotherapy in patients with the disorder.

Methods: In this phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial, we enrolled adults aged 18-74 years with aquaporin-4 antibody seropositive or seronegative NMOSD at 44 investigational sites in 13 countries. Eligible participants had experienced at least one documented NMOSD attack or relapse in the past 12 months and had a score of 6·5 or less on the Expanded Disability Status Scale. Exclusion criteria included clinical relapse 30 days or fewer before baseline. Participants were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive satralizumab 120 mg or visually matched placebo subcutaneously at weeks 0, 2, 4, and every 4 weeks thereafter. Taking immunosuppressants concomitantly was prohibited. The primary endpoint was time to the first protocol-defined relapse, based on the intention-to-treat population and analysed with stratification for two randomisation factors (previous therapy for prevention of attacks and nature of the most recent attack). Safety was assessed in all participants who received at least one dose of satralizumab or placebo. The double-blind phase was due to last until 44 protocol-defined relapses occurred or 1·5 years after random assignment of the last patient enrolled, whichever occurred first; participants could enter an open-label phase after the occurrence of a protocol-defined relapse or at the end of the double-blind phase. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02073279.

Findings: 95 (57%) of 168 screened participants were randomly assigned to treatment (63 to satralizumab; 32 to placebo) between Aug 5, 2014, and April 2, 2017. Protocol-defined relapses occurred in 19 (30%) patients receiving satralizumab and 16 (50%) receiving placebo (hazard ratio 0·45, 95% CI 0·23-0·89; p=0·018). 473·9 adverse events per 100 patient-years occurred in the satralizumab group, as did 495·2 per 100 patient-years in the placebo group; the incidence of serious adverse events and adverse events leading to withdrawal was similar between groups.

Interpretation: Satralizumab monotherapy reduced the rate of NMOSD relapse compared with placebo in the overall trial population, with a favourable safety profile. The patient population included a ratio of aquaporin-4 antibody seropositive and seronegative patients that was reflective of clinical practice. Satralizumab has the potential to become a valuable treatment option for patients with NMOSD.

Funding: Chugai Pharmaceutical (Roche).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30078-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935419PMC
May 2020

Safety and efficacy of tocilizumab versus azathioprine in highly relapsing neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (TANGO): an open-label, multicentre, randomised, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Neurol 2020 05;19(5):391-401

Department of Neurology, Tianjin Neurological Institute, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China; China National Clinical Research Center for Neurological Diseases, Advanced Innovation Center for Human Brain Protection, Department of Neurology, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Background: Azathioprine is used as a first-line treatment to prevent relapses of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Tocilizumab has been reported to reduce NMOSD disease activity in retrospective case reports. We aimed to compare the safety and efficacy of tocilizumab and azathioprine in patients with highly relapsing NMOSD.

Methods: We did an open-label, multicentre, randomised, phase 2 trial at six hospitals in China. We recruited adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with highly relapsing NMOSD diagnosed according to 2015 International Panel for Neuromyelitis Optica Diagnosis criteria, who had an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 7·5 or lower, and had a history of at least two clinical relapses during the previous 12 months or three relapses during the previous 24 months with at least one relapse within the previous 12 months. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to intravenous tocilizumab (8 mg/kg every 4 weeks) or oral azathioprine (2-3 mg/kg per day) by an independent statistician using computer-generated randomisation software with permuted blocks of four. The central review committee, EDSS raters, laboratory personnel, and radiologists were masked to the treatment assignment, but investigators and patients were aware of treatment allocation. The minimum planned duration of treatment was 60 weeks following randomisation. The primary outcome was time to first relapse in the full analysis set, which included all randomly assigned patients who received at least one dose of study drug, and the per-protocol population, which included all patients who used azathioprine or tocilizumab as monotherapy. For the analyses of the primary outcome, the patients were prespecified into two subgroups according to concomitant autoimmune disease status. Safety was assessed in the full analysis set. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03350633.

Findings: Between Nov 1, 2017, and Aug 3, 2018, we enrolled 118 patients, of whom 59 were randomly assigned to tocilizumab and 59 were randomly assigned to azathioprine. All 118 patients received one dose of study drug and were included in the full analysis set. 108 participants were included in the per-protocol analysis (56 in the tocilizumab group and 52 in the azathioprine group). In the full analysis set, median time to the first relapse was longer in the tocilizumab group than the azathioprine group (78·9 weeks [IQR 58·3-90·6] vs 56·7 [32·9-81·7] weeks; p=0·0026). Eight (14%) of 59 patients in the tocilizumab group and 28 (47%) of 59 patients in the azathioprine group had a relapse at the end of the study (hazard ratio [HR] 0·236 [95% CI 0·107-0·518]; p<0·0001). In the per-protocol analysis, 50 (89%) of 56 patients in the tocilizumab group were relapse-free compared with 29 (56%) of 52 patients in the azathioprine group at the end of the study (HR 0·188 [95% CI 0·076-0·463]; p<0·0001); the median time to first relapse was also longer in the tocilizumab group than the azathioprine group (67·2 weeks [IQR 47·9-77·9] vs 38·0 [23·6-64·9]; p<0·0001). In the prespecified subgroup analysis of the full analysis set stratified by concomitant autoimmune diseases, among patients without concomitant autoimmune diseases, three (9%) of 34 patients in the tocilizumab group and 13 (35%) of 37 patients in the azathioprine group had relapsed by the end of the study. Among patients with concomitant autoimmune diseases, a lower proportion of patients in the tocilizumab group had a relapse than in the azathioprine group (five [20%] of 25 patients vs 15 [68%] of 22 patients; HR 0·192 [95% CI 0·070-0·531]; p=0·0004). 57 (97%) of 59 patients in the tocilizumab group and 56 (95%) of 59 patients in the azathioprine group had adverse events. Treatment-associated adverse events occurred in 36 (61%) of 59 tocilizumab-treated patients and 49 (83%) of 59 azathioprine-treated patients. One death (2%) occurred in the tocilizumab group and one (2%) in the azathioprine group, but neither of the deaths were treatment-related.

Interpretation: Tocilizumab significantly reduced the risk of a subsequent NMOSD relapse compared with azathioprine. Tocilizumab might therefore be another safe and effective treatment to prevent relapses in patients with NMOSD.

Funding: Tianjin Medical University, Advanced Innovation Center for Human Brain Protection, National Key Research and Development Program of China, National Science Foundation of China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30070-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935423PMC
May 2020

Induction of aquaporin 4-reactive antibodies in Lewis rats immunized with aquaporin 4 mimotopes.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2020 04 15;8(1):49. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Department Neuroimmunology, Medical University Vienna, Center for Brain Research, Spitalgasse 4, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.

Most cases of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) harbor pathogenic autoantibodies against the water channel aquaporin 4 (AQP4). Binding of these antibodies to AQP4 on astrocytes initiates damage to these cells, which culminates in the formation of large tissue destructive lesions in the central nervous system (CNS). Consequently, untreated patients may become permanently blind or paralyzed. Studies on the induction and breakage of tolerance to AQP4 could be of great benefit for NMOSD patients. So far, however, all attempts to create suitable animal models by active sensitization have failed. We addressed this challenge and identified peptides, which mimic the conformational AQP4 epitopes recognized by pathogenic antibodies of NMOSD patients. Here we show that these mimotopes can induce the production of AQP4-reactive antibodies in Lewis rats. Hence, our results provide a conceptual framework for the formation of such antibodies in NMOSD patients, and aid to improve immunization strategies for the creation of animal models suitable for tolerance studies in this devastating disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-020-00920-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160927PMC
April 2020

Affinity-matured 'aquaporumab' anti-aquaporin-4 antibody for therapy of seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.

Neuropharmacology 2020 01 22;162:107827. Epub 2019 Oct 22.

Departments of Medicine and Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA. Electronic address:

Pathogenesis in seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (herein called NMO) involves binding of IgG1 autoantibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP4) on astrocytes in the central nervous system, which initiates complement and cellular injury. We previously developed an antibody blocking approach for potential therapy of NMO in which an engineered, monoclonal, anti-AQP4 antibody lacking cytotoxicity effector functions (called aquaporumab) blocked binding of NMO autoantibodies to astrocyte AQP4 (Tradtrantip et al. Ann. Neurol. 71, 314-322, 2012). Here, a high-affinity aquaporumab, which was generated by affinity maturation using saturation mutagenesis, was shown to block cellular injury caused by NMO patient sera. Anti-AQP4 antibody rAb-53, a fully human antibody with effector function neutralizing Fc mutations L234A/L235A and affinity-enhancing Fab mutations Y50R/S56R, called AQmab, bound to AQP4 in cell cultures with K ~ 18 ng/ml (~0.12 nM), ~8-fold greater affinity than the original antibody. AQmab, but without L234A/L235A Fc mutations, produced complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) with EC ~ 82 ng/ml. AQmab prevented CDC produced by sera from eight NMO patients with IC ranging from 40 to 80 ng/ml, and similarly prevented antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Mechanistic studies demonstrated that AQmab blocked binding of serum NMO autoantibodies to AQP4. AQmab offers a targeted, non-immunosuppressive approach for therapy of seropositive NMO. Autoantibody blocking may be a useful therapeutic strategy for other autoimmune diseases as well.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.107827DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7882122PMC
January 2020

Optic Neuritis.

Continuum (Minneap Minn) 2019 Oct;25(5):1236-1264

Purpose Of Review: This article discusses the clinical presentation, evaluation, and management of the patient with optic neuritis. Initial emphasis is placed on clinical history, examination, diagnostic testing, and medical decision making, while subsequent focus is placed on examining specific inflammatory optic neuropathies. Clinical clues, examination findings, neuroimaging, and laboratory testing that differentiate autoimmune, granulomatous, demyelinating, infectious, and paraneoplastic causes of optic neuritis are assessed, and current treatments are evaluated.

Recent Findings: Advances in technology and immunology have enhanced our understanding of the pathologies driving inflammatory optic nerve injury. Clinicians are now able to interrogate optic nerve structure and function during inflammatory injury, rapidly identify disease-relevant autoimmune targets, and deliver timely therapeutics to improve visual outcomes.

Summary: Optic neuritis is a common clinical manifestation of central nervous system inflammation. Depending on the etiology, visual prognosis and the risk for recurrent injury may vary. Rapid and accurate diagnosis of optic neuritis may be critical for limiting vision loss, future neurologic disability, and organ damage. This article will aid neurologists in formulating a systematic approach to patients with optic neuritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/CON.0000000000000768DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7395663PMC
October 2019

Clinical Features and Outcomes of Pediatric Monophasic and Recurrent Idiopathic Optic Neuritis.

J Child Neurol 2020 01 30;35(1):77-83. Epub 2019 Sep 30.

Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Limited data exist on isolated optic neuritis in children. We report the clinical features and treatment of pediatric subjects with monophasic and recurrent idiopathic optic neuritis. This retrospective cohort study of patients with isolated optic neuritis identified 10 monophasic and 7 recurrent optic neuritis cases. Monophasic optic neuritis patients were older (mean 13.3 ± 4.22) than those with recurrent idiopathic optic neuritis (9.86 ± 3.63). Females represented 50% of monophasic and 85.7% of recurrent idiopathic optic neuritis cases. Patients with monophasic optic neuritis were less likely to have a bilateral onset than recurrent idiopathic optic neuritis (40% vs 57.1%). Only 1 case had oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid CSF. Most recurrent idiopathic optic neuritis cases had evidence of anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies (5/7). Treatment of recurrent idiopathic optic neuritis cases included intravenous pulse glucocorticosteroids and immunotherapy. We observed differences between recurrent and monophasic idiopathic optic neuritis. Immunosuppression appeared to prevent further relapses in recurrent idiopathic optic neuritis patients. Weaning immunotherapies after several years of quiescence in recurrent idiopathic optic neuritis may be possible, but larger studies are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0883073819877334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7018758PMC
January 2020

Reclassification of Variants of Uncertain Significance in Children with Inherited Arrhythmia Syndromes is Predicted by Clinical Factors.

Pediatr Cardiol 2019 Dec 18;40(8):1679-1687. Epub 2019 Sep 18.

Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA.

Genetic testing is important to augment clinical diagnosis and inform management of inherited arrhythmias syndromes (IAS), but variants of uncertain significance (VUS) are common and remain a challenge in clinical practice. In 2015, American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) published updated guidelines for interpretation of genetic results. Despite increasing understanding of human genomic variation, there are no guidelines for reinterpretation of prior genetic test results. Patients at a single tertiary children's hospital with genetic testing for an IAS that demonstrated a VUS were re-evaluated using 2015 ACMG guidelines, clinical information, and publically available databases. Search of the electronic medical record identified 116 patients with genetic testing results available, and 24/116 (21%) harbored a VUS for an IAS. 23 unique VUS were evaluated from 12 genes. Over half of the VUS (12/23 (52%)) were reclassified using 2015 criteria, and 8 (35%) changed to pathogenic and 4 (17%) to benign. Relative risk of reclassification of VUS to a pathogenic variant in a patient with confirmed clinical diagnosis was 4.1 (95% CI 1.23-15.4). Reclassification was not associated with initial testing year. These data demonstrate 52% of VUS in children with IAS are reclassified with application of 2015 ACMG guidelines. Strength of phenotyping is associated with eventual pathogenic classification of genetic variants and periodic re-evaluation of VUS identified on genetic testing for IAS is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00246-019-02203-2DOI Listing
December 2019

Inebilizumab for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (N-MOmentum): a double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled phase 2/3 trial.

Lancet 2019 10 5;394(10206):1352-1363. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Viela Bio, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Background: No approved therapies exist for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), a rare, relapsing, autoimmune, inflammatory disease of the CNS that causes blindness and paralysis. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of inebilizumab, an anti-CD19, B cell-depleting antibody, in reducing the risk of attacks and disability in NMOSD.

Methods: We did a multicentre, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled phase 2/3 study at 99 outpatient specialty clinics or hospitals in 25 countries. Eligible participants were adults (≥18 years old) with a diagnosis of NMOSD, an Expanded Disability Status Scale score of 8·0 or less, and a history of at least one attack requiring rescue therapy in the year before screening or at least two attacks requiring rescue therapy in the 2 years before screening. Participants were randomly allocated (3:1) to 300 mg intravenous inebilizumab or placebo with a central interactive voice response system or interactive web response system and permuted block randomisation. Inebilizumab or placebo was administered on days 1 and 15. Participants, investigators, and all clinical staff were masked to the treatments, and inebilizumab and placebo were indistinguishable in appearance. The primary endpoint was time to onset of an NMOSD attack, as determined by the adjudication committee. Efficacy endpoints were assessed in all randomly allocated patients who received at least one dose of study intervention, and safety endpoints were assessed in the as-treated population. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02200770.

Findings: Between Jan 6, 2015, and Sept 24, 2018, 230 participants were randomly assigned to treatment and dosed, with 174 participants receiving inebilizumab and 56 receiving placebo. The randomised controlled period was stopped before complete enrolment, as recommended by the independent data-monitoring committee, because of a clear demonstration of efficacy. 21 (12%) of 174 participants receiving inebilizumab had an attack versus 22 (39%) of 56 participants receiving placebo (hazard ratio 0·272 [95% CI 0·150-0·496]; p<0·0001). Adverse events occurred in 125 (72%) of 174 participants receiving inebilizumab and 41 (73%) of 56 participants receiving placebo. Serious adverse events occurred in eight (5%) of 174 participants receiving inebilizumab and five (9%) of 56 participants receiving placebo.

Interpretation: Compared with placebo, inebilizumab reduced the risk of an NMOSD attack. Inebilizumab has potential application as an evidence-based treatment for patients with NMOSD.

Funding: MedImmune and Viela Bio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31817-3DOI Listing
October 2019

Heart rate variability and inflammatory markers in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Physiol Rep 2019 08;7(15):e14110

Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

To examine heart rate variability (HRV) and inflammatory markers as predictors for neurological injury in neonates undergoing therapeutic hypothermia for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). We hypothesized that HRV would differentiate between infants with no/mild injury and infants with moderate/severe injury observed on MRI. Because HRV can be associated with the inflammatory cascade, cytokine concentrations were compared with the severity of brain injury indicated by MRI. Further, we studied the effect of temperature, sex, and mechanical ventilation on HRV. HRV was prospectively collected on neonates with HIE using spectral analysis for low and high frequency components (n = 16). A subset (n = 10) of neonates had serum available for inflammatory cytokine analysis obtained during cooling. Neonates were stratified into no/mild or moderate/severe injury based on MRI obtained after rewarming. Differences in HRV were identified; lower low frequency power predicted more injury on MRI. Additionally, in neonates with HIE after cooling procedure, HRV differed by gender. Elevated RANTES (CCL5) and decreased GM-CSF (Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) at 96 hours predicted less severe injury. In this small study, HRV differs between no/mild and moderate/severe injury in neonates with HIE. With further study, this may aid the clinician in real-time decision making. HRV differs by gender. Finally, inflammatory biomarkers may help elucidate the pathophysiology of HIE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14814/phy2.14110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6687857PMC
August 2019

Novel clinical features of glycine receptor antibody syndrome: A series of 17 cases.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2019 09 1;6(5):e592. Epub 2019 Jul 1.

Department of Neurology (A.L.P., M.K., M.P.W., J.L.B., M.A.L., L.S., T.L.S.), University of Colorado, Aurora; Department of Neurology (A.L.P., J.E.A.W., M.M.P.S., S.L.C.), University of Utah; Department of Ophthalmology (J.E.A.W.), Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Department of Ophthalmology and Program in Neuroscience (J.L.B.), University of Colorado; Department of Neurology (T.L.S.), Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora; and Department of Veterans Affairs (M.M.P.S., S.L.C.), George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT.

Objective: To describe novel clinical features of GlyRα1-IgG-positive patients.

Methods: Patients with a positive serum GlyRα1-IgG were identified during a 2-year period from July 2016 to December 2018 at 2 academic centers and followed prospectively. All patients in this series were evaluated in the Neuroimmunology and Autoimmune Neurology clinics at the University of Utah or the University of Colorado.

Results: Thirteen of 17 patients had phenotypes more typically associated with glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) antibody syndromes, consisting of stiff-person syndrome (SPS) with parkinsonism or cerebellar signs. One patient with parkinsonism had a presentation similar to rapidly progressive multiple system atrophy with severe dysautonomia. Ten of 17 patients had various visual symptoms including visual snow, spider web-like images forming shapes and 3-dimensional images, palinopsia, photophobia, visual hallucinations, synesthesia, and intermittent diplopia. Three of 17 patients presented with primarily autoimmune epilepsy accompanied by psychiatric symptoms.

Conclusions: Clinicians should consider testing for GlyR antibodies in GAD65 antibody-negative or low-positive GAD65 antibody patients with SPS-like presentations, especially in the setting of atypical features such as visual disturbances, parkinsonism, or epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000592DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6624144PMC
September 2019

Collaborative International Research in Clinical and Longitudinal Experience Study in NMOSD.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2019 09 28;6(5):e583. Epub 2019 Jun 28.

University of Utah School of Medicine (L.J.C., J.W.R., J.S.A., A.M.J., R.K., B.M., M.P., R.E., J.Y., S.M.), Salt Lake City; Division of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Center (M.H.H.), Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University; Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences (A.J.T.), Stanford School of Medicine, CA; Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (M.L., M.A.M., J.C.), Baltimore, MD; Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology (J.L.B., R.J., M.B.-G.), University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora; Department of Medicine & Neurology (A.L.T., R.L.C., L.E.L., J.J.S., K.M.), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; NYU Langone Health (I.K., Z.R., A.R.), New York; Department of Neurology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (N.L.S.), Los Angeles, CA; Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research (S.M.P., J.A.C., D.I., J.L.S.), Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, OH; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (I.K.S.), New York; Multiple Sclerosis Center (P.R.), Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA; Department of Neurology (L.A., A.P., E.A.), Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Department of Neurology (T.C., D.S.M.), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Department of Neurology (E.C.K., A.W.R.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Department of Neurology (C.S.R., K.B.O., L.L., K.E.N.), Columbia University Medical Center; Weill Cornell Medicine (M.M.N., C.E., M.K.-H., M.M.), New York; Department of Neurology (L.T.), Division of Multiple Sclerosis, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, FL; PPD (A.R., A.G.), Wilmington, NC; The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation (M.K.B., R.R.R., D.W. Behne., D.W. Blackway, B.C., J.S., J.M.B.), Beverly Hills; Departments of Medicine and of Molecular Pharmacology (T.F.B.), Stanford University School of Medicine, CA; Kellogg Eye Center (T.J.S.), University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor; Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles (M.R.Y.); and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center/LABioMed (M.R.Y.), Torrance, CA.

Objective: To develop a resource of systematically collected, longitudinal clinical data and biospecimens for assisting in the investigation into neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment.

Methods: To illustrate its research-enabling purpose, epidemiologic patterns and disease phenotypes were assessed among enrolled subjects, including age at disease onset, annualized relapse rate (ARR), and time between the first and second attacks.

Results: As of December 2017, the Collaborative International Research in Clinical and Longitudinal Experience Study (CIRCLES) had enrolled more than 1,000 participants, of whom 77.5% of the NMOSD cases and 71.7% of the controls continue in active follow-up. Consanguineous relatives of patients with NMOSD represented 43.6% of the control cohort. Of the 599 active cases with complete data, 84% were female, and 76% were anti-AQP4 seropositive. The majority were white/Caucasian (52.6%), whereas blacks/African Americans accounted for 23.5%, Hispanics/Latinos 12.4%, and Asians accounted for 9.0%. The median age at disease onset was 38.4 years, with a median ARR of 0.5. Seropositive cases were older at disease onset, more likely to be black/African American or Hispanic/Latino, and more likely to be female.

Conclusions: Collectively, the CIRCLES experience to date demonstrates this study to be a useful and readily accessible resource to facilitate accelerating solutions for patients with NMOSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6624150PMC
September 2019

Calmodulin mutations and life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias: insights from the International Calmodulinopathy Registry.

Eur Heart J 2019 09;40(35):2964-2975

Istituto Auxologico Italiano, IRCCS, Center for Cardiac Arrhythmias of Genetic Origin, Milan, Italy.

Aims: Calmodulinopathies are rare life-threatening arrhythmia syndromes which affect mostly young individuals and are, caused by mutations in any of the three genes (CALM 1-3) that encode identical calmodulin proteins. We established the International Calmodulinopathy Registry (ICalmR) to understand the natural history, clinical features, and response to therapy of patients with a CALM-mediated arrhythmia syndrome.

Methods And Results: A dedicated Case Report File was created to collect demographic, clinical, and genetic information. ICalmR has enrolled 74 subjects, with a variant in the CALM1 (n = 36), CALM2 (n = 23), or CALM3 (n = 15) genes. Sixty-four (86.5%) were symptomatic and the 10-year cumulative mortality was 27%. The two prevalent phenotypes are long QT syndrome (LQTS; CALM-LQTS, n = 36, 49%) and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT; CALM-CPVT, n = 21, 28%). CALM-LQTS patients have extremely prolonged QTc intervals (594 ± 73 ms), high prevalence (78%) of life-threatening arrhythmias with median age at onset of 1.5 years [interquartile range (IQR) 0.1-5.5 years] and poor response to therapies. Most electrocardiograms (ECGs) show late onset peaked T waves. All CALM-CPVT patients were symptomatic with median age of onset of 6.0 years (IQR 3.0-8.5 years). Basal ECG frequently shows prominent U waves. Other CALM-related phenotypes are idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (IVF, n = 7), sudden unexplained death (SUD, n = 4), overlapping features of CPVT/LQTS (n = 3), and predominant neurological phenotype (n = 1). Cardiac structural abnormalities and neurological features were present in 18 and 13 patients, respectively.

Conclusion: Calmodulinopathies are largely characterized by adrenergically-induced life-threatening arrhythmias. Available therapies are disquietingly insufficient, especially in CALM-LQTS. Combination therapy with drugs, sympathectomy, and devices should be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehz311DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6748747PMC
September 2019

Early B cell tolerance defects in neuromyelitis optica favour anti-AQP4 autoantibody production.

Brain 2019 06;142(6):1598-1615

Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) constitute rare autoimmune disorders of the CNS that are primarily characterized by severe inflammation of the spinal cord and optic nerve. Approximately 75% of NMOSD patients harbour circulating pathogenic autoantibodies targeting the aquaporin-4 water channel (AQP4). The source of these autoantibodies remains unclear, but parallels between NMOSD and other autoantibody-mediated diseases posit compromised B cell tolerance checkpoints as common underlying and contributing factors. Using a well established assay, we assessed tolerance fidelity by creating recombinant antibodies from B cell populations directly downstream of each checkpoint and testing them for polyreactivity and autoreactivity. We examined a total of 863 recombinant antibodies. Those derived from three anti-AQP4-IgG seropositive NMOSD patients (n = 130) were compared to 733 antibodies from 15 healthy donors. We found significantly higher frequencies of poly- and autoreactive new emigrant/transitional and mature naïve B cells in NMOSD patients compared to healthy donors (P-values < 0.003), thereby identifying defects in both central and peripheral B cell tolerance checkpoints in these patients. We next explored whether pathogenic NMOSD anti-AQP4 autoantibodies can originate from the pool of poly- and autoreactive clones that populate the naïve B cell compartment of NMOSD patients. Six human anti-AQP4 autoantibodies that acquired somatic mutations were reverted back to their unmutated germline precursors, which were tested for both binding to AQP4 and poly- or autoreactivity. While the affinity of mature autoantibodies against AQP4 ranged from modest to strong (Kd 15.2-559 nM), none of the germline revertants displayed any detectable binding to AQP4, revealing that somatic hypermutation is required for the generation of anti-AQP4 autoantibodies. However, two (33.3%) germline autoantibody revertants were polyreactive and four (66.7%) were autoreactive, suggesting that pathogenic anti-AQP4 autoantibodies can originate from the pool of autoreactive naïve B cells, which develops as a consequence of impaired early B cell tolerance checkpoints in NMOSD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536857PMC
June 2019

Concentration-dependent effects of CSF1R inhibitors on oligodendrocyte progenitor cells ex vivo and in vivo.

Exp Neurol 2019 08 25;318:32-41. Epub 2019 Apr 25.

Department of Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA; Department of Ophthalmology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA; Program in Neuroscience, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA. Electronic address:

Microglia are the principal resident immune cells in the central nervous system (CNS) and play important roles in CNS development, maintenance and repair. The survival and development of microglia depends on colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R), a member of the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) family of tyrosine kinases. Recently pharmacological CSF1R inhibition has been used to investigate the effects of microglial depletion in numerous animal models of CNS disease. However, the effects of CSF1R inhibitors on other cell types in the CNS remains incompletely characterized. In this report, we compared the effect of two commonly used CSF1R inhibitors, PLX5622 and PLX3397, on microglia and oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) numbers. In ex vivo cerebellar slices and adult mouse brain, both PLX compounds caused robust microglia loss; the kinetics of microglial depletion was more rapid with PLX5622. While high-doses of PLX5622 and PLX3397 reduced OPC number in primary cultures in vitro and ex vivo, low-doses of PLX5622 did not affect the number of OPCs or mature oligodendroglia in culture or in vivo. In adult mice, treatment with PLX5622 had no effect on OPC numbers for 7 days; however, a mild reduction was observed after 21 days in some CNS regions. In contrast, PLX3397 caused significant OPC loss after 7 days of treatment, despite only modest microglia depletion. Neither PLX compound had a remarkable effect on mature oligodendrocytes or myelin protein expression following long-term oral administration. Our results show that CSF1R inhibition with PLX5622 can selectively deplete microglia ex vivo and in vivo without affecting OPC number, demonstrating that microglia are not essential for OPC viability in ex vivo slice cultures or adult CNS tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2019.04.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6615458PMC
August 2019

Membrane assembly of aquaporin-4 autoantibodies regulates classical complement activation in neuromyelitis optica.

J Clin Invest 2019 04 8;129(5):2000-2013. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Neuroscience and Medical Scientist Training Programs.

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune CNS disorder mediated by pathogenic aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channel autoantibodies (AQP4-IgG). Although AQP4-IgG-driven complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) is critical for the formation of NMO lesions, the molecular mechanisms governing optimal classical pathway activation are unknown. We investigated the molecular determinants driving CDC in NMO using recombinant AQP4-specific autoantibodies (AQP4 rAbs) derived from affected patients. We identified a group of AQP4 rAbs targeting a distinct extracellular loop C epitope that demonstrated enhanced CDC on target cells. Targeted mutations of AQP4 rAb Fc domains that enhance or diminish C1q binding or antibody Fc-Fc interactions showed that optimal CDC was driven by the assembly of multimeric rAb platforms that increase multivalent C1q binding and facilitate C1q activation. A peptide that blocks antibody Fc-Fc interaction inhibited CDC induced by AQP4 rAbs and polyclonal NMO patient sera. Super-resolution microscopy revealed that AQP4 rAbs with enhanced CDC preferentially formed organized clusters on supramolecular AQP4 orthogonal arrays, linking epitope-dependent multimeric assembly with enhanced C1q binding and activation. The resulting model of AQP4-IgG CDC provides a framework for understanding classical complement activation in human autoantibody-mediated disorders and identifies a potential new therapeutic avenue for treating NMO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI122942DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6486354PMC
April 2019