Publications by authors named "Joachim Havla"

49 Publications

The APOSTEL 2.0 Recommendations for Reporting Quantitative Optical Coherence Tomography Studies.

Neurology 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Neurology with Institute of Translational Neurology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.

Objective: To update the consensus recommendations for reporting of quantitative optical coherence tomography (OCT) study results, thus revising the previously published Advised Protocol for OCT Study Terminology and Elements (APOSTEL) recommendations.

Methods: To identify studies reporting quantitative OCT results, we performed a PubMed search for the terms "quantitative" and "optical coherence tomography" from 2015 to 2017. Corresponding authors of the identified publications were invited to provide feedback on the initial APOSTEL recommendations via online surveys following the principle of a modified Delphi method. The results were evaluated and discussed by a panel of experts, and changes to the initial recommendations were proposed. A final survey was recirculated among the corresponding authors to obtain a majority vote on the proposed changes.

Results: One hundred sixteen authors participated in the surveys, resulting in 15 suggestions, of which 12 were finally accepted and incorporated into an updated 9-point-checklist. We harmonized the nomenclature of the outer retinal layers, added the exact area of measurement to the description of volume scans; we suggested reporting device-specific features. We advised to address potential bias in manual segmentation or manual correction of segmentation errors. References to specific reporting guidelines and room light conditions were removed. The participants' consensus with the recommendations increased from 80% for the previous APOSTEL version to greater than 90%.

Conclusions: The modified Delphi method resulted in an expert-led guideline (evidence class III, GRADE criteria) concerning study protocol, acquisition device, acquisition settings, scanning protocol, fundoscopic imaging, post-acquisition data selection, post-acquisition analysis, nomenclature and abbreviations, and statistical approach. It will still be essential to update these recommendations to new research and practices regularly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000012125DOI Listing
April 2021

TSPO PET imaging of natalizumab-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Brain 2021 Mar 23. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology, University Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Munich, Germany.

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a severe infection of the central nervous system caused by the polyomavirus JC (JCV) that can occur in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients treated with natalizumab. Clinical management of patients with natalizumab-associated PML is challenging not the least because current imaging tools for the early detection, longitudinal monitoring and differential diagnosis of PML lesions are limited. Here we evaluate whether TSPO positron emission tomography (PET) imaging can be applied to monitor the inflammatory activity of PML lesions over time and differentiate them from MS lesions. For this monocenter pilot study we followed 8 patients with natalizumab-associated PML with PET imaging using the TSPO radioligand [18F]GE-180 combined with frequent 3 T MRI imaging. In addition we compared TSPO PET signals in PML lesions with the signal pattern of MS lesions from 17 independent MS patients. We evaluated the standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) as well as the morphometry of the TSPO uptake for putative PML and MS lesions areas compared to a radiologically unaffected pseudo-reference region in the cerebrum. Furthermore TSPO expression in situ was immunohistochemically verified by determining the density and cellular identity of TSPO-expressing cells in brain sections from four patients with early natalizumab-associated PML as well as five patients with other forms of PML and six patients with inflammatory demyelinating CNS lesions (clinically isolated syndrome/MS). Histological analysis revealed a reticular accumulation of TSPO expressing phagocytes in PML lesions, while such phagocytes showed a more homogenous distribution in putative MS lesions. TSPO PET imaging showed an enhanced tracer uptake in natalizumab-associated PML lesions that was present from the early to the chronic stages (up to 52 months after PML diagnosis). While gadolinium enhancement on MRI rapidly declined to baseline levels, TSPO tracer uptake followed a slow one phase decay curve. A TSPO-based 3-dimensional diagnostic matrix taking into account the uptake levels as well as the shape and texture of the TSPO signal differentiated more than 96% of PML and MS lesions. Indeed, treatment with rituximab after natalizumab-associated PML in three patients did not affect tracer uptake in the assigned PML lesions but reverted tracer uptake to baseline in the assigned active MS lesions. Taken together our study suggests that TSPO PET imaging can reveal CNS inflammation in natalizumab-associated PML. TSPO PET may facilitate longitudinal monitoring of disease activity and help to distinguish recurrent MS activity from PML progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab127DOI Listing
March 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anti-MOG antibody-associated disorders: differences in clinical profiles and prognosis in Japan and Germany.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2020 Nov 20. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan

Background: Neurological disorders with IgG antibodies against myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG-IgG) have been increasingly recognised as a new type of neuroinflammatory disorder.

Objective: The study aimed to identify regional and ethnic differences in clinical profiles of MOG-IgG-associated disorders between East Asian (Japanese) and Caucasian (German) patients.

Methods: Demographic, clinical and therapeutic data from 68 MOG-IgG-positive adults were collected (Japanese, n=44; German, n=24).

Results: Age and sex were similar between cohorts, with optic neuritis occurring most frequently at onset (Japanese: 61%; German: 58%). However, Japanese patients had a lower annualised relapse rate (0.4 vs 0.8, p=0.019; no relapse, 64% vs 25%, p=0.002) and lower Expanded Disability Status Scale score at the last visit (1.0 vs 2.0; p0.008), despite similar follow-up periods (mean, 73.9 months vs 73.4 months), than those of German patients, respectively. Cerebral syndromes were more common (27% vs 4%; p=0.021) and myelitis less common (21% vs 50%; p=0.012) in Japanese than in German patients, respectively. Japanese patients were more commonly treated with long-term corticosteroids (73%), whereas German patients were more commonly treated with rituximab or other immunosuppressants (63%).

Conclusions: Among patients with MOG-IgG, Japanese tended to have a monophasic milder disease, whereas the majority of German patients had a relapsing course and more frequent myelitis, findings compatible with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. Although the attack-prevention treatment regimens were considerably different, genetic and environmental factors may be important to determine clinical phenotypes and disease activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-324422DOI Listing
November 2020

Cohort profile: a collaborative multicentre study of retinal optical coherence tomography in 539 patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (CROCTINO).

BMJ Open 2020 10 29;10(10):e035397. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Neurological Department and Institute of Experimental Neurology (INSPE) Scientific Institute, Hospital San Raffaele; and University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) captures retinal damage in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD). Previous studies investigating OCT in NMOSD have been limited by the rareness and heterogeneity of the disease. The goal of this study was to establish an image repository platform, which will facilitate neuroimaging studies in NMOSD. Here we summarise the profile of the Collaborative OCT in NMOSD repository as the initial effort in establishing this platform. This repository should prove invaluable for studies using OCT to investigate NMOSD.

Participants: The current cohort includes data from 539 patients with NMOSD and 114 healthy controls. These were collected at 22 participating centres from North and South America, Asia and Europe. The dataset consists of demographic details, diagnosis, antibody status, clinical disability, visual function, history of optic neuritis and other NMOSD defining attacks, and OCT source data from three different OCT devices.

Findings To Date: The cohort informs similar demographic and clinical characteristics as those of previously published NMOSD cohorts. The image repository platform and centre network continue to be available for future prospective neuroimaging studies in NMOSD. For the conduct of the study, we have refined OCT image quality criteria and developed a cross-device intraretinal segmentation pipeline.

Future Plans: We are pursuing several scientific projects based on the repository, such as analysing retinal layer thickness measurements, in this cohort in an attempt to identify differences between distinct disease phenotypes, demographics and ethnicities. The dataset will be available for further projects to interested, qualified parties, such as those using specialised image analysis or artificial intelligence applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7597491PMC
October 2020

TSPO PET With 18F-GE-180 to Differentiate Variants of Multiple Sclerosis: Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, Tumefactive Demyelination, and Baló's Concentric Sclerosis.

Clin Nucl Med 2020 Oct;45(10):e447-e448

From the Departments of Neurology.

PET targeting the translocator protein (TSPO) expression is an interesting approach to detect neuroinflammation, as TSPO is upregulated in activated macrophages and microglia. Considering the variable pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) variants, we compare TSPO PET using F-GE-180 in 3 different demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system: relapsing-remitting MS, tumefactive MS, and Baló's concentric sclerosis. Visualization of neuroinflammation and its PET patterns in addition to MRI may contribute to accurate distinction and monitoring of central nervous system demyelination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/RLU.0000000000003220DOI Listing
October 2020

Altered fovea in AQP4-IgG-seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2020 09 23;7(5). Epub 2020 Jun 23.

From the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (S.M., F.C.O., J.B.-S., H.G.Z., F.P., A.U.B.), Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health; NeuroCure Clinical Research Center (S.M., F.C.O., S.K.Y., E.M.K., J.B.-S., H.G.Z., F.P., A.U.B.), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Germany; Division of Neuroinflammation and Glial Biology (F.C.O.), University of California, San Francisco; Nocturne GmbH (S.K.Y., E.M.K.), Berlin; Department of Neurology (M.W., M.R., O.A., P.A.), Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf; Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology (J.H.), LMU Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich; Department of Neurology (M.R.), Center for Neurology and Neuropsychiatry, LVR-Klinikum Düsseldorf; Department of Neurology (K.R., F.P.), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Germany; and Department of Neurology (A.U.B.), University of California, Irvine.

Objective: To investigate disease-specific foveal shape changes in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs) using foveal morphometry.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included macular spectral domain optical coherence tomography scans of 52 eyes from 28 patients with aquaporin-4 immunoglobulin G (AQP4-IgG)-seropositive NMOSD, 116 eyes from 60 patients with MS, and 123 eyes from 62 healthy controls (HCs), retrospectively, and an independent confirmatory cohort comprised 33/33 patients with NMOSD/MS. The fovea was characterized using 3D foveal morphometry. We included peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness and combined macular ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) volume to account for optic neuritis (ON)-related neuroaxonal damage.

Results: Group comparison showed significant differences compared with HC in the majority of foveal shape parameters in NMOSD, but not MS. Pit flat disk area, average pit flat disk diameter, inner rim volume, and major slope disk length, as selected parameters, showed differences between NMOSD and MS ( value = 0.017, 0.002, 0.005, and 0.033, respectively). This effect was independent of ON. Area under the curve was between 0.7 and 0.8 (receiver operating characteristic curve) for discriminating between NMOSD and MS. Pit flat disk area and average pit flat disk diameter changes independent of ON were confirmed in an independent cohort.

Conclusions: Foveal morphometry reveals a wider and flatter fovea in NMOSD in comparison to MS and HC. Comparison to MS and accounting for ON suggest this effect to be at least in part independent of ON. This supports a primary retinopathy in AQP4-IgG-seropositive NMOSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000805DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7413713PMC
September 2020

Neurological phenotypes in patients with NLRP3-, MEFV-, and TNFRSF1A low-penetrance variants.

J Neuroinflammation 2020 Jun 20;17(1):196. Epub 2020 Jun 20.

Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology, Biomedical Center and University Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Marchioninistraße 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: Neurological manifestations and the co-occurrence of multiple sclerosis (MS) have been reported in patients with autoinflammatory diseases (AID) and variants of the NLRP3-, MEFV-, or TNFRSF1A gene. However, type and frequency of neurological involvement are widely undetermined.

Methods: We assessed clinical characteristics of 151 (108 with MS) patients carrying NLRP3-, MEFV- and TNFRSF1A low-penetrance variants  from the Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology. We evaluated demographic, genetic, and clinical features with a focus on central nervous system (CNS) involvement including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) data. The disease course of AID patients with MS was compared to a matched MS control group without mutations.

Results: The genetic distribution comprised 36 patients (23%) with NLRP3- and 66 patients (43%) with TNFRSF1A low-penetrance variants as well as 53 (34%) patients carrying pathogenic mutations or low-penetrance variants in the MEFV gene. MS patients displayed most frequently the R92Q TNFRSF1A variant (n = 51; 46%) followed by the Q703K NLRP3 variant (n = 15; 14%) and the E148Q substitution (n = 9; 8%) in the MEFV gene. The disease course of MS was not influenced by the genetic variants and did not differ from MS patients (n = 51) without mutations. AID patients without MS most frequently harbored MEFV mutations (n = 19, 43%) followed by NLRP3- (n = 17, 39%) and TNFRSF1A (n = 8, 18%) low-penetrance variants. Sixteen (36%) of them suffered from severe CNS involvement predominantly recurrent aseptic meningoencephalitis and optic neuritis accompanied by abnormal MRI and CSF results. Severe CNS inflammation was associated with the Q703K allele. Headache was a highly prevalent neurological symptom (up to 74%), irrespective of the underlying genetic variation. The NLRP3 cohort without MS more frequently exhibited affections of the cranial nerves (CN) (p = 0.0228) and motor symptoms (p = 0.0455). Elevated acute-phase reactants were detected in all patients, and fever episodes were present in up to 50%. Arthralgias were the most frequently identified constitutional symptom among all subgroups.

Conclusions: Our data highlight the high prevalence of neurological manifestations, including concomitant MS, among NLRP3-, MEFV-, and TNFRSF1A low-penetrance variants. In particular, patients carrying the Q703K NLRP3 variant are at risk for severe CNS inflammation and CN affection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12974-020-01867-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7306142PMC
June 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Possible link of genetic variants to autoimmunity in GAD-antibody-associated neurological disorders.

J Neurol Sci 2020 06 29;413:116860. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology, University Hospital and Biomedical Center, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Munich, Germany.

Objective: In patients with GAD-antibody (ab) associated neurological disorders coexistence of other autoimmune disorders is observed.

Methods: In this exploratory study we analysed variations in 33 candidate genes involved in autoimmunity or representing immunological check-points using next-generation sequencing. We performed haplotype-analysis of HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1. Additionally, we analysed levels of sFasL, IL10, and IL18 in serum of patients and healthy controls.

Results: 19 patients (3 males, 16 females; mean age at onset: 46.4 years) with positive GAD-ab and the following neurological phenotypes were included: n = 8 cerebellar ataxia, n = 6 limbic encephalitis, n = 4 stiff person syndrome, n = 1 demyelinating CNS disease with recurrent optic neuritis. 15 patients exhibited at least one other autoimmune disorder and/or showed other auto-ab. We identified several variations in genes linked to autoimmunity or representing check-point proteins. Most frequently (14/19 patients, allele frequency: 42.1%), we observed an amino acid exchange in the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA4) gene. Two of the observed variants are known to cause alterations of protein function (Y446C in caspase-10, K750N in protein-tyrosin-phosphatase, non-receptor type 22). These latter variants were detected in two related patients (mother and daughter) who both present with GAD-ab-associated neurological disorders but with different clinical phenotypes. The rare haplotype DRB1*15:01:01 ~ DQA1*01:02:01 ~ DQB1*05:02:01 previously described in patients with GAD-ab-associated neurological disorders was not observed in any of our patients. No elevated serum levels of sFasL, IL18 or IL10 were observed in patients indicating no typical phenotype of autoimmune lymphoproliferate syndrome.

Conclusions: These findings suggest genetic risk factors in patients with GAD-ab-associated neurological disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.116860DOI Listing
June 2020

Protective effects of 4-aminopyridine in experimental optic neuritis and multiple sclerosis.

Brain 2020 04;143(4):1127-1142

NeuroCure Clinical Research Center and Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health and Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany.

Chronic disability in multiple sclerosis is linked to neuroaxonal degeneration. 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) is used and licensed as a symptomatic treatment to ameliorate ambulatory disability in multiple sclerosis. The presumed mode of action is via blockade of axonal voltage gated potassium channels, thereby enhancing conduction in demyelinated axons. In this study, we provide evidence that in addition to those symptomatic effects, 4-AP can prevent neuroaxonal loss in the CNS. Using in vivo optical coherence tomography imaging, visual function testing and histologic assessment, we observed a reduction in retinal neurodegeneration with 4-AP in models of experimental optic neuritis and optic nerve crush. These effects were not related to an anti-inflammatory mode of action or a direct impact on retinal ganglion cells. Rather, histology and in vitro experiments indicated 4-AP stabilization of myelin and oligodendrocyte precursor cells associated with increased nuclear translocation of the nuclear factor of activated T cells. In experimental optic neuritis, 4-AP potentiated the effects of immunomodulatory treatment with fingolimod. As extended release 4-AP is already licensed for symptomatic multiple sclerosis treatment, we performed a retrospective, multicentre optical coherence tomography study to longitudinally compare retinal neurodegeneration between 52 patients on continuous 4-AP therapy and 51 matched controls. In line with the experimental data, during concurrent 4-AP therapy, degeneration of the macular retinal nerve fibre layer was reduced over 2 years. These results indicate disease-modifying effects of 4-AP beyond symptomatic therapy and provide support for the design of a prospective clinical study using visual function and retinal structure as outcome parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa062DOI Listing
April 2020

Retinal axonal degeneration in Niemann-Pick type C disease.

J Neurol 2020 Jul 28;267(7):2070-2082. Epub 2020 Mar 28.

Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians University München, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Objective: Niemann-Pick disease type C1 (NPC1) is a rare autosomal-recessive lysosomal storage disorder presenting with a broad clinical spectrum ranging from a severe infantile-onset neurovisceral disorder to late-onset neurodegenerative disease. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is established to detect retinal degeneration in vivo. We examined NPC1-patients (NPC1-P), clinically asymptomatic NPC1-mutation carriers (NPC1-MC), and healthy controls (HC) to (1) identify retinal degeneration in NPC1-disease and (2) to investigate possible subclinical retinal degeneration in NPC1-MC.

Methods: Fourteen NPC1-P, 17 NPC1-MC, and 31 age-matched HC were examined using spectral-domain OCT. Neurological examinations, clinical scales [modified Disability Rating Scale (mDRS); Scale for the Rating and Assessment of Ataxia (SARA); Spinocerebellar Ataxia Functional Index (SCAFI)], and video-oculography (VOG) were correlated with OCT data.

Results: Macular retinal nerve fiber layer and volumes of combined ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer were significantly lower in NPC1-P compared to HC [mRNFL (µm):0.13 ± 0.01 vs. 0.14 ± 0.02; p = 0.01; GCIPL (mm):0.60 ± 0.05 vs. 0.62 ± 0.04; p = 0.04]. No significant differences were found in NPC1-MC in comparison to HC. In NPC1-P, the amplitude of upward vertical saccades showed positive associations with peripapillary RNFL (ρ = 0.645; p < 0.05), and thinned GCIP (ρ = 0.609; p < 0.05), but not in NPC1-MC. In NPC1-P correlations between combined outer plexiform layer and outer nuclear layer (OPONL) with mDRS (r = - 0.617; p < 0.05) and GCIP with SARA (r = - 0.622; p < 0.05) were observed. Furthermore, in NPC1-MC, motor scores were negatively associated with pRNFL (ρ = - 0.677; p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Using OCT, we showed retinal degeneration in NPC1-P and significant correlation between retinal neuroaxonal degeneration with clinical measurements. We observed a non-significant trend of retinal degeneration in NPC1-MC correlating with subclinical motor abnormalities. Based on these preliminary data, OCT may be an important marker of neurodegeneration in NPC1-disease after onset of clinical symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-09796-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7320959PMC
July 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Retinal inner nuclear layer volume reflects inflammatory disease activity in multiple sclerosis; a longitudinal OCT study.

Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin 2019 Jul-Sep;5(3):2055217319871582. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Department of Neurology, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: The association of peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (pRNFL) and ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) thickness with neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS) is well established. The relationship of the adjoining inner nuclear layer (INL) with inflammatory disease activity is less well understood.

Objective: The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship of INL volume changes with inflammatory disease activity in MS. In this longitudinal, multi-centre study, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and clinical data (disability status, relapses and MS optic neuritis (MSON)) were collected in 785 patients with MS (68.3% female) and 92 healthy controls (63.4% female) from 11 MS centres between 2010 and 2017 and pooled retrospectively. Data on pRNFL, GCIPL and INL were obtained at each centre.

Results: There was a significant increase in INL volume in eyes with new MSON during the study ( = 61/1562, β = 0.01 mm,  < .001). Clinical relapses (other than MSON) were significantly associated with increased INL volume (β = 0.005,  = .025). INL volume was independent of disease progression (β = 0.002 mm,  = .474).

Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that an increase in INL volume is associated with MSON and the occurrence of clinical relapses. Therefore, INL volume changes may be useful as an outcome marker for inflammatory disease activity in MSON and MS treatment trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2055217319871582DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6728683PMC
September 2019

Optical coherence tomography in myelin-oligodendrocyte-glycoprotein antibody-seropositive patients: a longitudinal study.

J Neuroinflammation 2019 Jul 25;16(1):154. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: Serum antibodies against myelin-oligodendrocyte-glycoprotein (MOG-IgG) are detectable in a proportion of patients with acute or relapsing neuroinflammation. It is unclear, if neuro-axonal damage occurs only in an attack-dependent manner or also progressively. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate longitudinally intra-retinal layer changes in eyes without new optic neuritis (ON) in MOG-IgG-seropositive patients.

Methods: We included 38 eyes of 24 patients without ON during follow-up (F/U) [median years (IQR)] 1.9 (1.0-2.2) and 56 eyes of 28 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC). The patient group's eyes included 18 eyes without (Eye) and 20 eyes with history of ON (Eye). Using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT), we acquired peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (pRNFL) and volumes of combined ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIP), inner nuclear layer (INL), and macular volume (MV). High-contrast visual acuity (VA) was assessed at baseline.

Results: At baseline in Eye, pRNFL (94.3 ± 15.9 μm, p = 0.36), INL (0.26 ± 0.03 mm, p = 0.11), and MV (2.34 ± 0.11 mm, p = 0.29) were not reduced compared to HC; GCIP showed thinning (0.57 ± 0.07 mm; p = 0.008), and VA was reduced (logMAR 0.05 ± 0.15 vs. - 0.09 ± 0.14, p = 0.008) in comparison to HC. Longitudinally, we observed pRNFL thinning in models including all patient eyes (annual reduction - 2.20 ± 4.29 μm vs. - 0.35 ± 1.17 μm, p = 0.009) in comparison to HC. Twelve Eye with other than ipsilateral ON attacks ≤ 6 months before baseline showed thicker pRNFL at baseline and more severe pRNFL thinning in comparison to 6 Eye without other clinical relapses.

Conclusions: We observed pRNFL thinning in patients with MOG-IgG during F/U, which was not accompanied by progressive GCIP reduction. This effect could be caused by a small number of Eye with other than ipsilateral ON attacks within 6 months before baseline. One possible interpretation could be a reduction of the swelling, which could mean that MOG-IgG patients show immune-related swelling in the CNS also outside of an attack's target area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12974-019-1521-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6657100PMC
July 2019

Risks and risk management in modern multiple sclerosis immunotherapeutic treatment.

Ther Adv Neurol Disord 2019 1;12:1756286419836571. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Department of Neurology with Institute of Translational Neurology, University of Münster, Building A1, Albert Schweitzer Campus 1, 48149 Münster, Germany.

In recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) owing to the approval of a number of new drugs with very distinct mechanisms of action. All approved disease-modifying drugs primarily work directly on the immune system. However, the identification of an 'optimal choice' for individual patients with regard to treatment efficacy, treatment adherence and side-effect profile has become increasingly complex including conceptual as well as practical considerations. Similarly, there are peculiarities and specific requirements with regard to treatment monitoring, especially in relation to immunosuppression, the development of secondary immune-related complications, as well as the existence of drug-specific on- and off-target effects. Both classical immunosuppression and selective immune interventions generate a spectrum of potential therapy-related complications. This article provides a comprehensive overview of available immunotherapeutics for MS and their risks, detailing individual mechanisms of action and side-effect profiles. Furthermore, practical recommendations for patients treated with modern MS immunotherapeutics are provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1756286419836571DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6444778PMC
April 2019

Optimal intereye difference thresholds by optical coherence tomography in multiple sclerosis: An international study.

Ann Neurol 2019 05 10;85(5):618-629. Epub 2019 Apr 10.

Department of Neurology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY.

Objective: To determine the optimal thresholds for intereye differences in retinal nerve fiber and ganglion cell + inner plexiform layer thicknesses for identifying unilateral optic nerve lesions in multiple sclerosis. Current international diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis do not include the optic nerve as a lesion site despite frequent involvement. Optical coherence tomography detects retinal thinning associated with optic nerve lesions.

Methods: In this multicenter international study at 11 sites, optical coherence tomography was measured for patients and healthy controls as part of the International Multiple Sclerosis Visual System Consortium. High- and low-contrast acuity were also collected in a subset of participants. Presence of an optic nerve lesion for this study was defined as history of acute unilateral optic neuritis.

Results: Among patients (n = 1,530), receiver operating characteristic curve analysis demonstrated an optimal peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer intereye difference threshold of 5μm and ganglion cell + inner plexiform layer threshold of 4μm for identifying unilateral optic neuritis (n = 477). Greater intereye differences in acuities were associated with greater intereye retinal layer thickness differences (p ≤ 0.001).

Interpretation: Intereye differences of 5μm for retinal nerve fiber layer and 4μm for macular ganglion cell + inner plexiform layer are robust thresholds for identifying unilateral optic nerve lesions. These thresholds may be useful in establishing the presence of asymptomatic and symptomatic optic nerve lesions in multiple sclerosis and could be useful in a new version of the diagnostic criteria. Our findings lend further validation for utilizing the visual system in a multiple sclerosis clinical trial setting. Ann Neurol 2019;85:618-629.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.25462DOI Listing
May 2019

Managing Risks with Immune Therapies in Multiple Sclerosis.

Drug Saf 2019 05;42(5):633-647

Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University, Moorenstrasse 5, 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Since the introduction of the interferons in the 1990s, a multitude of different immunomodulatory and immunosuppressant disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) have been developed. They have all shown positive effects on clinical endpoints such as relapse rate and disease progression and are a heterogeneous group of therapeutics comprising recombinant pegylated and non-pegylated interferon-β variants, peptide combinations, monoclonal antibodies, and small molecules. However, they have relevant side effect profiles, which necessitate thorough monitoring and straightforward patient education. In individual cases, side effects can be severe and potentially life-threatening, which is why knowledge about (neurological and non-neurological) adverse drug reactions is essential for prescribing neurologists as well as general practitioners. This paper aims to provide an overview of currently available MS therapies, their modes of action and safety profiles, and the necessary therapy monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40264-018-0782-8DOI Listing
May 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Retinal ganglion cell loss in neuromyelitis optica: a longitudinal study.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2018 12 19;89(12):1259-1265. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

NeuroCure Clinical Research Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Objectives: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) are inflammatory conditions of the central nervous system and an important differential diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Unlike MS, the course is usually relapsing, and it is unclear, if progressive neurodegeneration contributes to disability. Therefore, we aimed to investigate if progressive retinal neuroaxonal damage occurs in aquaporin4-antibody-seropositive NMOSD.

Methods: Out of 157 patients with NMOSD screened, 94 eyes of 51 patients without optic neuritis (ON) during follow-up (F/U) and 56 eyes of 28 age-matched and sex-matched healthy controls (HC) were included (median F/U 2.3 years). The NMOSD cohort included 60 eyes without (Eye) and 34 eyes with a history of ON prior to enrolment (Eye). Peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer thickness (pRNFL), fovea thickness (FT), volumes of the combined ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIP) and the inner nuclear layer (INL) and total macular volume (TMV) were acquired by optical coherence tomography (OCT).

Results: At baseline, GCIP, FT and TMV were reduced in Eye (GCIP p<2e; FT p=3.7e; TMV p=3.7e) and in Eye (GCIP p=0.002; FT p=0.040; TMV p=6.1e) compared with HC. Longitudinally, we observed GCIP thinning in Eye (p=0.044) but not in Eye. Seven patients had attacks during F/U; they presented pRNFL thickening compared with patients without attacks (p=0.003).

Conclusion: This study clearly shows GCIP loss independent of ON attacks in aquaporin4-antibody-seropositive NMOSD. Potential explanations for progressive GCIP thinning include primary retinopathy, drug-induced neurodegeneration and retrograde neuroaxonal degeneration from lesions or optic neuropathy. pRNFL thickening in the patients presenting with attacks during F/U might be indicative of pRNFL susceptibility to inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2018-318382DOI Listing
December 2018

Association of smoking but not HLA-DRB1*15:01, APOE or body mass index with brain atrophy in early multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2019 04 13;25(5):661-668. Epub 2018 Mar 13.

Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany/TUM-NIC Neuroimaging Center, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background: The course of multiple sclerosis (MS) shows substantial inter-individual variability. The underlying determinants of disease severity likely involve genetic and environmental factors.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of APOE and HLA polymorphisms as well as smoking and body mass index (BMI) in the very early MS course.

Methods: Untreated patients ( n = 263) with a recent diagnosis of relapsing-remitting (RR) MS or clinically isolated syndrome underwent standardized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Genotyping was performed for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs3135388 tagging the HLA-DRB1*15:01 haplotype and rs7412 (Ɛ2) and rs429358 (Ɛ4) in APOE. Linear regression analyses were applied based on the three SNPs, smoking and BMI as exposures and MRI surrogate markers for disease severity as outcomes.

Results: Current smoking was associated with reduced gray matter fraction, lower brain parenchymal fraction and increased cerebrospinal fluid fraction in comparison to non-smoking, whereas no effect was observed on white matter fraction. BMI and the SNPs in HLA and APOE were not associated with structural MRI parameters.

Conclusions: Smoking may have an unfavorable effect on the gray matter fraction as a potential measure of MS severity already in early MS. These findings may impact patients' counseling upon initial diagnosis of MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458518763541DOI Listing
April 2019

[F]-THK5351 PET Correlates with Topology and Symptom Severity in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Front Aging Neurosci 2017 17;9:440. Epub 2018 Jan 17.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany.

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a neurodegenerative movement disorder characterized by deposition of fibrillar aggregates of 4R tau-protein in neurons and glial cells of the brain. These deposits are a key neuropathological finding, allowing a diagnosis of "definite PSP," which is usually established post mortem. To date criteria for clinical diagnosis of PSP do not include biomarkers of tau pathology. For intervention trials, it is increasingly important to (i) establish biomarkers for an early diagnosis and (ii) to develop biomarkers that correlate with disease progression of PSP. [F]-THK5351 is a novel PET-ligand that may afford visualization and quantification of tau-related alterations. We investigated binding characteristics of [F]-THK5351 in patients with clinically diagnosed PSP and correlate tracer uptake with clinical findings. Eleven patients (68.4 ± 7.4 year; = 6 female) with probable PSP according to current clinical criteria and nine healthy controls (71.7 ± 7.2 year; = 4 female) underwent [F]-THK5351 PET scanning. Voxel-wise statistical parametric comparison and volume-of-interest based quantification of standardized-uptake-values (SUV) were conducted using the cerebellar cortex as reference region. We correlated disease severity as measured with the help of the PSP Rating Scale (PSPRS) as well as several other clinical parameters with the individual PET findings. By voxel-wise mapping of [F]-THK5351 uptake in the patient group we delineated typical distribution patterns that fit to known tau topology for PSP post mortem. Quantitative analysis indicated the strongest discrimination between PSP patients and healthy controls based on tracer uptake in the midbrain (+35%; = 3.01E-7; Cohen's d: 4.0), followed by the globus pallidus, frontal cortex, and medulla oblongata. Midbrain [F]-THK5351 uptake correlated well with clinical severity as measured by PSPRS ( = 0.66; = 0.026). OCT and MRI delineated PSP patients from healthy controls by use of established discrimination thresholds but only OCT did as well correlate with clinical severity ( = 0.79; = 0.024). Regional [F]-THK5351 binding patterns correlated well with the established post mortem distribution of lesions in PSP and with clinical severity. The contribution of possible MAO-B binding to the [F]-THK5351 signal needs to be further evaluated, but nevertheless [F]-THK5351 PET may still serve as valuable biomarker for diagnosis of PSP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5776329PMC
January 2018

No need for NMDA receptor antibody screening in neurologically asymptomatic patients with ovarian teratomas.

J Neurol 2018 Feb 22;265(2):431-432. Epub 2017 Dec 22.

Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Marchioninistr 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-017-8717-3DOI Listing
February 2018

Recurrence of disease activity during pregnancy after cessation of fingolimod in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2018 06 18;24(7):991-994. Epub 2017 Sep 18.

Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology, Biomedical Center and University Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany.

Background: Fingolimod is an effective treatment for active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Discontinuation of therapy may be followed by recurrence of disease activity. Thus, female MS patients may be at risk of relapse during pregnancy after stopping fingolimod.

Objectives And Methods: To report the disease course during pregnancy of five women who interrupted therapy with fingolimod for pregnancy.

Results: All patients experienced relapses during pregnancy and/or postpartum after stopping fingolimod.

Conclusion: The risk of recurrence of disease activity during pregnancy after stopping fingolimod may be substantial. This should be considered and discussed with MS patients who are planning to become pregnant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458517731913DOI Listing
June 2018

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

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

Department of Neurology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.

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

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

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

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

In Reply.

Authors:
Joachim Havla
April 2017

Patient-to-patient transmission of natalizumab-associated PML?

Mult Scler 2017 10 20;23(11):1564-1565. Epub 2017 Mar 20.

Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology, Biomedical Center and University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany; Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458517701316DOI Listing
October 2017

Interdisciplinary Risk Management in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016 Dec;113(51-52):879-886

Institute for Clinical Neuroimmunology, Biomedical Center and Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München, Munich; Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf; Department of Neurology, University Hospital Basel; Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy).

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. There are at least 150 000 persons with MS in Germany. Recent years have seen the approval of new drugs against.

Methods: This article is based on pertinent literature retrieved by a selective search in PubMed as well as on documentation of relevant risks and adverse effects in "red hand letters" (information bulletins from pharmaceutical companies to physicians about adverse drug effects) and elsewhere, along with data provided by the German Multiple Sclerosis Competence Network.

Results: In recent years, there have been major advances enabling better, more individualized treatment of patients with MS. Physicians must, however, give due consideration to potentially severe or even life-threatening adverse drug effects. These can include, for example, transaminase elevation (hepatotoxicity), cardio- and nephrotoxicity, or lympho- and leukopenia with a variable risk of infection. Among patients taking natalizumab, the cumulative risk of developing progressive multifocal leukencephalopathy (PML) may be 1:100 or higher, depending on the individual risk profile. Rare cases of PML have also been seen under treatment with fingolimod and dimethyl fumarate. Moreover, any type of immunosuppressive treatment can, at least theoretically, increase the risk of malignant disease. Secondary autoimmune diseases can arise as well: approximately 35% of patients treated with alemtuzumab develop autoimmune thyroid disease within two years, and 2% of patients who take daclizumab have severe autoimmune dermatological side effects. Teriflunomide, fingolimod, natalizumab, mitoxantrone, interferon β1-a/b, and daclizumab can all damage the liver. There are also psychiatric, reproductive, and vaccineassociated risks and side effects that must be considered.

Conclusion: Newer drugs for MS have enabled more effective treatment, but are also associated with a higher risk of side effects. Interdisciplinary risk management is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.2016.0879DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5282476PMC
December 2016