Publications by authors named "Manuela Giuliani"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Functional Connectivity Changes After Initial Treatment With Fingolimod in Multiple Sclerosis.

Front Neurol 2019 22;10:153. Epub 2019 Mar 22.

Department of Radiology, IRCCS NEUROMED, Pozzilli, Italy.

On the basis of recent functional MRI studies, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has been interpreted as a multisystem disconnection syndrome. Compared to normal subjects, MS patients show alterations in functional connectivity (FC). However, the mechanisms underlying these alterations are still debated. The aim of the study is to investigate resting state (RS) FC changes after initial treatment with fingolimod, a proven anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating agent for MS. We studied 32 right-handed relapsing-remitting MS patients (median Expanded Disability Status Scale: 2.0, mean disease duration: 8.8 years) who underwent both functional and conventional MRI with a 3 Tesla magnet. All assessments were performed 3 weeks before starting fingolimod, then, at therapy-initiation stage and at month 6. Each imaging session included scans at baseline (run1) and after (run2) a 25-min, within-session, motor-practice task, consisting of a paced right-thumb flexion. FC was assessed using a seed on the left primary motor cortex to obtain parametric maps at run1 and task-induced FC change (run2-run1). Comparison between 3-week before- and fingolimod start sessions accounted for a test-retest effect. The main outcome was the changes in both baseline and task-induced changes in FC, between initiation and 6 months. MRI contrast enhancement was detected in 14 patients at initiation and only in 3 at month 6. There was a significant improvement ( < 0.05) in cognitive function, as measured by the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task, at month 6 compared to initiation. After accounting for test-retest effect, baseline FC significantly decreased at month 6, with respect to initiation ( < 0.05, family-wise error corrected) in bilateral occipito-parietal areas and cerebellum. A task-induced change in FC at month 6 showed a significant increment in all examined sessions, involving not only areas of the sensorimotor network, but also posterior cortical areas (cuneus and precuneus) and areas of the prefrontal and temporal cortices ( < 0.05, family-wise error corrected). Cognitive improvement at month 6 was significantly ( < 0.05) related to baseline FC reduction in posterior cortical areas. This study shows significant changes in functional connectivity, both at baseline and after the execution of a simple motor task following 6 months of fingolimod therapy.
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March 2019

Identifying Relapses in Multiple Sclerosis Patients through Administrative Data: A Validation Study in the Lazio Region, Italy.

Neuroepidemiology 2017 9;48(3-4):171-178. Epub 2017 Aug 9.

Department of Epidemiology, Regional Health Service, Lazio Region, Rome, Italy.

Background: Relapse is frequently considered an outcome measure of disease activity in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). The objectives of this study were to identify relapse episodes in patients with MS in the Lazio region using health administrative databases and to evaluate the validity of the algorithm using patients enrolled at MS treatment centers.

Methods: MS cases were identified in the period between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2009 using data from regional Health Information Systems (HIS). An algorithm based on HIS was used to identify relapse episodes, and patients recruited at MS centers were used to validate the algorithm. Positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) and the Cohen's kappa coefficient were calculated.

Results: The overall MS population identified through HIS consisted of 6,094 patients, of whom 67.1% were female and the mean age was 41.5. Among the MS patients identified by the algorithm, 2,242 attended the centers and 3,852 did not. The PPV was 58.9%, the NPV was 76.3%, and the kappa was 0.36.

Conclusions: The proposed algorithm based on health administrative databases does not seem to be able to reliably detect relapses; however, it may be a helpful tool to detect healthcare utilization, and therefore to identify the worsening condition of a patient's health.
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May 2018

Tp-Te interval predicts heart rate reduction after fingolimod administration in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Int J Cardiol 2016 Oct 9;221:881-5. Epub 2016 Jul 9.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, University of Rome Sapienza, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Background: FTY720 (Fingolimod) is an immunosuppressive drug, which provides favourable effects in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), albeit it induces heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) reductions. Therefore, we tested potential factors able to predict HR response in MS patients treated with fingolimod.

Methods: We analysed patients with MS followed at our Neurology Outpatient Clinic from May 2013 to June 2015. All patients underwent BP measurements and 12-lead ECG before and 6-h after drug administration. At these time intervals, conventional and new ECG indexes for cardiac damage, including Tp-Te interval, were measured. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to test the outcome of HR reduction more than median difference between baseline and final observations.

Results: 69 outpatients with MS (46 males, age 35.1±9.4years, BP 119.0±12.7/73.0±9.3mmHg, HR 73.5±11.4bpm) were included. No relevant adverse reactions were reported. Fingolimod induced progressive systolic (P=0.024) and diastolic (P<0.001) BP, as well as HR (P<0.001) reductions compared to baseline. Prolonged PQ (150.4±19.5 vs. 157.0±19.5ms; P<0.001), QT (374.9±27.0 vs. 400.0±25.8ms; P<0.001), Tp-Te (1.8±0.3 vs. 1.9±0.3mm; P=0.021), and reduced QTc (414.4±24.4 vs. 404.5±24.5ms; P<0.001) intervals were also recorded at final observation. Baseline HR, QT and Tp-Te intervals provided prognostic information at univariate analysis, although Tp-Te interval resulted the best independent predictor for HR reduction at multivariate analysis [0.057 (0.005-0.660); P=0.022].

Conclusions: This study firstly demonstrates that prolonged Tp-Te interval may identify those MS patients treated with fingolimod at higher risk of having significant, asymptomatic HR reduction during clinical observation.
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October 2016

Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the Lazio region, Italy: use of an algorithm based on health information systems.

J Neurol 2016 Apr 17;263(4):751-9. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

Department of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service, Via Cristoforo Colombo 112, 00142, Rome, Italy.

Compared with other areas of the country, very limited data are available on multiple sclerosis (MS) prevalence in Central Italy. We aimed to estimate MS prevalence in the Lazio region and its geographical distribution using regional health information systems (HIS). To identify MS cases we used data from drug prescription, hospital discharge and ticket exemption registries. Crude, age- and gender-specific prevalence estimates on December 31, 2011 were calculated. To compare MS prevalence between different areas within the region, we calculated age- and gender-adjusted prevalence and prevalence ratios using a multivariate Poisson regression model. Crude prevalence rate was 130.5/100,000 (95 % CI 127.5-133.5): 89.7/100,000 for males and 167.9/100,000 for females. The overall prevalence rate standardized to the European Standard Population was 119.6/100,000 (95 % CI 116.8-122.4). We observed significant differences in MS prevalence within the region, with estimates ranging from 96.3 (95 % CI 86.4-107.3) for Latina to 169.6 (95 % CI 147.6-194.9) for Rieti. Most districts close to the coast showed lower prevalence estimates compared to those situated in the eastern mountainous area of the region. In conclusion, this study produced a MS prevalence estimate at regional level using population-based health administrative databases. Our results showed the Lazio region is a high-risk area for MS, although with an uneven geographical distribution. While some limitations must be considered including possible prevalence underestimation, HIS represent a valuable source of information to measure the burden of SM, useful for epidemiological surveillance and healthcare planning.
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April 2016

We-Measure: Toward a low-cost portable posturography for patients with multiple sclerosis using the commercial Wii balance board.

J Neurol Sci 2015 Dec 14;359(1-2):440-4. Epub 2015 Oct 14.

Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

This study was aimed at investigating whether postural sway measures derived from a standard force platform were similar to those generated by a custom-written software ("We-Measure") acquiring and processing data from a commercial Nintendo balance board (BB). For this purpose, 90 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 50 healthy controls (HC) were tested in a single-day session with a reference standard force platform and a BB-based system. Despite its acceptable between-device agreement (tested by visual evaluation of Bland-Altman plot), the low-cost BB-based system tended to overestimate postural sway when compared to the reference standard force platform in both MS and HC groups (on average +30% and +54%, respectively). Between-device reliability was just adequate (MS: 66%, HC: 47%), while test-retest reliability was excellent (MS: 84%, HC: 88%). Concurrent validity evaluation showed similar performance between the reference standard force platform and the BB-based system in discriminating fallers and non-fallers among patients with MS. All these findings may encourage the use of this balance board-based new device in longitudinal study, rather than in cross-sectional design, thus providing a potential useful tool for multicenter settings.
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December 2015

Factors associated with hopelessness in epileptic patients.

World J Psychiatry 2014 Dec;4(4):141-9

Maurizio Pompili, Marco Innamorati, Franco Montebovi, Mariantonietta Milelli, Paolo Girardi, Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs, Suicide Prevention Center, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, 00189 Rome, Italy.

Aim: To investigate factors related to hopelessness in a sample of epileptic patients, including measures of depression and quality of life (QOL).

Methods: Sixty-nine participants were administered the following psychometric instruments: Beck Depression Inventory-II, Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), and QOL in Epilepsy (QOLIE)-89. Patients were dichotomized into two categories: those affected by epilepsy with generalized tonic-clonic seizures vs those having epilepsy with partial seizures.

Results: The groups differed on the QOLIE Role Limitation/Emotional dimension. Patients with generalized seizures reported more limitations in common social/role activities related to emotional problems than patients with other types of epilepsy (89.57 ± 25.49 vs 72.86 ± 36.38; t 63 = -2.16; P < 0.05). All of the respondents reported moderate to severe depression, and 21.7% of patients with generalized seizures and 28.6% of patients with other diagnoses had BHS total scores ≥ 9 indicating a higher suicidal risk. The study did not control for years of the illness.

Conclusion: Patients with generalized seizures reported more limitations in common social/role activities related to emotional problems compared to patients with other types of seizures. Patients at increased suicide risk as evaluated by the BHS were older than those who had a lower suicidal risk. Future studies are required to further investigate the impact of hopelessness on the outcome of epileptic patients.
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December 2014