Publications by authors named "Marco Onofrj"

194 Publications

Functional neurological disorder and somatic symptom disorder in Parkinson's disease.

J Neurol Sci 2021 Oct 2:120017. Epub 2021 Oct 2.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, "G. d'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy; Molecular Neurology and Behavioral Neurology Units, Center for Advanced Studies and Technology (CAST), "G. d'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy; Institute for Mind Impairments and Neurological Disorders-iMIND, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States. Electronic address:

The occurrence of Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) in PD was not commonly accepted until recently, despite some evidence that emerged in the pre and early L-Dopa era. More recently, the recognition of FND and SSD were noted to be relevant for the management of PD. FND and SSD appear early in the course of PD, often preceding motor symptoms, may interfere with treatment outcomes, often acquire psychotic features during progression, and are mixed with and often concealed by the progressive cognitive decline. We review the related features from the range of the available reports and discuss theoretical models conceived to explain the potential pathophysiological background of these disorders. Finally, we suggest that FND and SSD should be included among the non-motor symptoms of PD and be considered a prodromal feature in a subset of patients. This article is part of the Special Issue "Parkinsonism across the spectrum of movement disorders and beyond" edited by Joseph Jankovic, Daniel D. Truong and Matteo Bologna.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.120017DOI Listing
October 2021

A Critical Review of Alien Limb-Related Phenomena and Implications for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies.

Front Neurol 2021 9;12:661130. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, "G. D'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.

Consensus criteria on corticobasal degeneration (CBD) include alien limb (AL) phenomena. However, the gist of the behavioral features of AL is still "a matter of debate." CBD-related AL has so far included the description of involuntary movements, frontal release phenomena (frontal AL), or asomatognosia (posterior or "real" AL). In this context, the most frequent symptoms are language and praxis deficits and cortical sensory misperception. However, asomatognosia requires, by definition, intact perception and cognition. Thus, to make a proper diagnosis of AL in the context of CBD, cognitive and language dysfunctions must be carefully verified and objectively assessed. We reviewed the current literature on AL in CBD and now propose that the generic use of the term AL should be avoided. This catchall AL term should instead be deconstructed. We propose that the term AL is appropriate to describe clinical features associated with specific brain lesions. More discrete sets of regionally bound clinical signs that depend on dysfunctions of specific brain areas need to be assessed and presented when posing the diagnosis. Thus, in our opinion, the AL term should be employed in association with precise descriptions of the accompanying involuntary movements, sensory misperceptions, agnosia-asomatognosia contents, and the presence of utilization behavior. The review also offers an overview of functional magnetic resonance imaging-based studies evaluating AL-related phenomena. In addition, we provide a complementary set of video clips depicting CBD-related involuntary movements that should not mistakenly be interpreted as signs of AL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.661130DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8458742PMC
September 2021

Effect of the Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor FRM-0334 on Progranulin Levels in Patients With Progranulin Gene Haploinsufficiency: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Sep 1;4(9):e2125584. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

FORUM Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Importance: Histone deacetylase inhibitors have been repeatedly shown to elevate progranulin levels in preclinical models. This report describes the first randomized clinical trial of a histone deacetylase inhibitor in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) resulting from progranulin (GRN) gene variations.

Objective: To characterize the safety, tolerability, plasma pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamic effects of oral FRM-0334 on plasma progranulin and other exploratory biomarkers, including fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET), in individuals with GRN haploinsufficiency.

Design, Setting, And Participants: In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalating, phase 2a safety, tolerability, and pharmacodynamic clinical study, 2 doses of a histone deacetylase inhibitor (FRM-0334) were administered to participants with prodromal to moderate FTD with granulin variations. Participants were recruited from January 13, 2015, to April 13, 2016. The study included 27 participants with prodromal (n = 8) or mild-to-moderate symptoms of FTD (n = 19) and heterozygous pathogenic variations in GRN and was conducted at multiple centers in North America, the UK, and the European Union. Data were analyzed from June 9, 2019, to May 13, 2021.

Interventions: Daily oral placebo (n = 5), 300 mg of FRM-0334 (n = 11), or 500 mg of FRM-0334 (n = 11) was administered for 28 days.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary outcomes were safety and tolerability of FRM-0334 and its peripheral pharmacodynamic effect on plasma progranulin. Secondary outcomes were the plasma pharmacokinetic profile of FRM-0334 and its pharmacodynamic effect on cerebrospinal fluid progranulin. Exploratory outcomes were FDG-PET, FTD clinical severity, and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers (neurofilament light chain [NfL], amyloid β 1-42, phosphorylated tau 181, and total tau [t-tau]).

Results: A total of 27 participants (mean [SD] age, 56.6 [10.5] years; 16 women [59.3%]; 26 White participants [96.3%]) with GRN variations were randomized and completed treatment. FRM-0334 was safe and well tolerated but did not affect plasma progranulin (4.3 pg/mL per day change after treatment; 95% CI, -10.1 to 18.8 pg/mL; P = .56), cerebrospinal fluid progranulin (0.42 pg/mL per day; 95% CI, -0.12 to 0.95 pg/mL; P = .13), or exploratory pharmacodynamic measures. Plasma FRM-0334 exposure did not increase proportionally with dose. Brain FDG-PET data were available in 26 of 27 randomized participants. In a cross-sectional analysis of 26 individuals, bifrontal cortical FDG hypometabolism was associated with worse Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) plus National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center frontotemporal lobar degeneration sum of boxes score (b = -3.6 × 10-2 standardized uptake value ratio [SUVR] units/CDR units; 95% CI, -4.9 × 10-2 to -2.2 × 10-2; P < .001), high cerebrospinal fluid NfL (b = -9.2 × 10-5 SUVR units/pg NfL/mL; 95% CI, -1.3 × 10-4 to -5.6 × 10-5; P < .001), and high CSF t-tau (-7.2 × 10-4 SUVR units/pg t-tau/mL; 95% CI, -1.4 × 10-3 to -9.5 × 10-5; P = .03).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, the current formulation of FRM-0334 did not elevate PRGN levels, which could reflect a lack of efficacy at attained exposures, low bioavailability, or some combination of the 2 factors. Bifrontal FDG-PET is a sensitive measure of symptomatic GRN haploinsufficiency. International multicenter clinical trials of FTD-GRN are feasible.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02149160.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.25584DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8463943PMC
September 2021

Long-term outcomes in patients presenting with optic neuritis: Analyses of the MSBase registry.

J Neurol Sci 2021 Sep 3;430:118067. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Department of Population Health, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Short-term outcomes of optic neuritis (ON) have been well characterized. Limited data exists on longer-term visual outcomes in patients who present with ON. The large MSBase registry allows for characterization of long-term visual outcomes after ON.

Methods: Via the MSBase Registry, data on patients from 41 centers was collected during routine clinical and research visits. Physical and visual disability were measured using the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and the visual function score (VFS). Inclusion criteria for this analysis included age ≥ 18 years, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), ON-onset, baseline visit within 6 months of onset, and at least one follow-up visit. Survival analysis was used to evaluate the association of disease-modifying treatment with time to conversion to clinically definite MS or sustained EDSS/VFS progression.

Results: Data from 60,933 patients were obtained from the MSBase registry in July 2019. Of these, 1317 patients met inclusion criteria; 935 were treated at some point in disease course, while 382 were never treated. At baseline, mean age was 32.3 ± 8.8 years, 74% were female, median EDSS was 2 (IQR 1-2), and median VFS was 1 (IQR 0-2). Median follow-up time was 5.2 years (IQR 2.4-9.3). Treatment was associated with reduced risk and delayed conversion to clinically definite MS (HR = 0.70, p < 0.001), sustained EDSS progression (HR = 0.46, p < 0.0001) and sustained VFS (HR = 0.41, p < 0.001) progression.

Conclusions: In the MSBase cohort, treatment after ON was associated with better visual and neurological outcomes compared to no treatment. These results support early treatment for patients presenting with ON as the first manifestation of MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.118067DOI Listing
September 2021

Natalizumab Versus Fingolimod in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: A Subgroup Analysis From Three International Cohorts.

CNS Drugs 2021 Sep 18. Epub 2021 Sep 18.

Neurology Unit, Garibaldi Hospital, Catania, Italy.

Introduction: Natalizumab has proved to be more effective than fingolimod in reducing disease activity in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Whether this association is universal for all patient groups remains to be determined.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the relative effectiveness of natalizumab and fingolimod in RRMS subgroups defined by the baseline demographic and clinical characteristics of interest.

Methods: Patients with RRMS who were given natalizumab or fingolimod were identified in a merged cohort from three international registries. Efficacy outcomes were compared across subgroups based on patients' sex, age, disease duration, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, and disease and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) activity 12 months prior to treatment initiation. Study endpoints were number of relapses (analyzed with weighted negative binomial generalized linear model) and 6-month confirmed disability worsening and improvement events (weighted Cox proportional hazards model), recorded during study therapy. Each patient was weighted using inverse probability of treatment weighting based on propensity score.

Results: A total of 5148 patients (natalizumab 1989; fingolimod 3159) were included, with a mean ± standard deviation age at baseline of 38 ± 10 years, and the majority (72%) were women. The median on-treatment follow-up was 25 (quartiles 15-41) months. Natalizumab was associated with fewer relapses than fingolimod (incidence rate ratio [IRR]; 95% confidence interval [CI]) in women (0.76; 0.65-0.88); in those aged ≤ 38 years (0.64; 0.54-0.76); in those with disease duration ≤ 7 years (0.63; 0.53-0.76); in those with EDSS score < 4 (0.75; 0.64-0.88), < 6 (0.80; 0.70-0.91), and ≥ 6 (0.52; 0.31-0.86); and in patients with pre-baseline relapses (0.74; 0.64-0.86). A higher probability of confirmed disability improvement on natalizumab versus fingolimod (hazard ratio [HR]; 95% CI) was observed among women (1.36; 1.10-1.66); those aged > 38 years (1.34; 1.04-1.73); those with disease duration > 7 years (1.33; 1.01-1.74); those with EDSS score < 6 (1.21; 1.01-1.46) and ≥ 6 (1.93; 1.11-3.34); and patients with no new MRI lesion (1.73; 1.19-2.51).

Conclusions: Overall, in women, younger patients, those with shorter disease durations, and patients with pre-treatment relapses, natalizumab was associated with a lower frequency of multiple sclerosis relapses than fingolimod. It was also associated with an increased chance of recovery from disability among most patients, particularly women and those with no recent MRI activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40263-021-00860-7DOI Listing
September 2021

Preexisting Bipolar Disorder Influences the Subsequent Phenotype of Parkinson's Disease.

Mov Disord 2021 Aug 24. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging, and Clinical Sciences, "G. d'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.

Background: Patients with bipolar spectrum disorders (BSDs) exhibit an increased risk of Parkinson's disease (PD).

Objective: The aim is to investigate whether a previous diagnosis of BSDs influences the phenotype of PD.

Methods: Of 2660 PD patients followed for at least 6 years (6-27), 250 (BSD-PD) had BSDs, 6-20 years before PD diagnosis; 48%-43% had a PD or BSD family history, and 34 carried glucocerebrosidase (GBA) and Parkin (PRKN) mutations. The cohort was split into a subset of 213 BSD-PD patients, compared with 426 matched PD patients without BSDs, and a subset of 34 BSD-PD and 79 PD patients carrying GBA or PRKN mutations. Carriers of mutations absent in BSD-PD patients and of synuclein triplication were excluded. Structured clinical interviews and mood disorder questionnaires assessed BSDs. Linear mixed models evaluated the assessment scales over time. Thirteen BSD-PD patients underwent subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) and were compared with 27 matched STN-DBS-treated PD patients.

Results: Compared to PD patients, BSD-PD showed (1) higher frequency of family history of PD (odds ratio [OR] 3.31; 2.32-4.71) and BSDs (OR 6.20; 4.11-9.35) 5); (2) higher incidence of impulse control disorders (hazard ratio [HR] 5.95, 3.89-9.09); (3) higher frequency of functional disorders occurring before PD therapy (HR, 5.67, 3.95-8.15); (4) earlier occurrence of delusions or mild dementia (HR, 7.70, 5.55-10.69; HR, 1.43, 1.16-1.75); and (5) earlier mortality (1.48; 1.11-1.97). Genetic BSD-PD subjects exhibited clinical features indistinguishable from nongenetic BSD-PD subjects. STN-DBS-treated BSD-PD patients showed no improvements in quality of life compared to the control group.

Conclusions: BSDs as a prodrome to PD unfavorably shape their course and are associated with detrimental neuropsychiatric features and treatment outcomes. © 2021 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.28745DOI Listing
August 2021

The contribution of the Italian residents in neurology to the COVID-19 crisis: admirable generosity but neurological training remains their priority.

Neurol Sci 2021 Nov 10;42(11):4425-4431. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Department of Human Neurosciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has severely impacted the Italian healthcare system, underscoring a dramatic shortage of specialized doctors in many disciplines. The situation affected the activity of the residents in neurology, who were also offered the possibility of being formally hired before their training completion.

Aims: (1) To showcase examples of clinical and research activity of residents in neurology during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy and (2) to illustrate the point of view of Italian residents in neurology about the possibility of being hired before the completion of their residency program.

Results: Real-life reports from several areas in Lombardia-one of the Italian regions more affected by COVID-19-show that residents in neurology gave an outstanding demonstration of generosity, collaboration, reliability, and adaptation to the changing environment, while continuing their clinical training and research activities. A very small minority of the residents participated in the dedicated selections for being hired before completion of their training program. The large majority of them prioritized their training over the option of earlier employment.

Conclusions: Italian residents in neurology generously contributed to the healthcare management of the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways, while remaining determined to pursue their training. Neurology is a rapidly evolving clinical field due to continuous diagnostic and therapeutic progress. Stakeholders need to listen to the strong message conveyed by our residents in neurology and endeavor to provide them with the most adequate training, to ensure high quality of care and excellence in research in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05346-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8353936PMC
November 2021

The factitious/malingering continuum and its burden on public health costs: a review and experience in an Italian neurology setting.

Neurol Sci 2021 Oct 4;42(10):4073-4083. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging, and Clinical Sciences, "G. D'Annunzio University" of Chieti-Pescara 66100, Chieti, Italy.

Factitious disorder is classified as one of the five aspects of somatic symptom disorders. The fundamental element of factitious disorder is deception, i.e., pretending to have a medical or psychiatric disorder, but the enactment of deception is considered unconscious. Indeed, volition, i.e., the perception of deliberate deception, is blurred in patients presenting with factitious disorder. In the USA and the UK, factitious disorder has received constant media attention because of its forensic implications and outrageous costs for the National Health Systems. Unfortunately, a comparable level of attention is not present in Italian National Health System or the Italian mass media. The review analyzes the classifications, disorder mechanisms, costs, and medico-legal implications in the hope of raising awareness on this disturbing issue. Moreover, the review depicts 13 exemplification cases, anonymized and fictionalized by expert writers. Finally, our paper also evaluates the National Health System's expenditures for each patient, outlandish costs in the range between 50,000 and 1 million euros.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05422-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8443469PMC
October 2021

Delirium in COVID-19 patients: a multicentric observational study in Italy.

Neurol Sci 2021 Oct 28;42(10):3981-3988. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, "G. D'Annunzio" University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy.

Introduction: Although recent data show that SARS-CoV-2 infection seems to affect the central nervous system (CNS), little is known about the neuropsychiatric effects resulting from this condition. In addition to the well-known neurotrophism of coronaviruses, recent evidence shows also that the "cytokine storm" induced by the infection is at the basis of the neuroinflammation of the CNS. Furthermore, prolonged hospitalization, polypharmacotherapy, and isolation could be at the basis of the onset of delirium in hospitalized COVID patients. This multicentric observational study explores the incidence of the onset of delirium in an Italian cohort of SARS-CoV-2 positive inpatients.

Methods: Data were collected in the COVIDhospitals of Brescia, Bergamo, Chieti, and Genova. Different socio-demographic, medical, neurological, and pharmacological parameters were collected. As a rapid screening for delirium, the 4AT scale was used. Eighty COVID-19 inpatients (mean age 74.7 ± 14.5 years) met the inclusion criteria (confirmed positivity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus; the presence of delirium and/or psychomotor agitation and/or new onset of other neuropsychiatric symptoms during hospitalization).

Results: The majority of these patients (68.8%) had "hyperactive delirium" subtype. Polypharmacotherapy, current treatment with corticosteroids, and higher age were associated with delirium severity.

Conclusion: These data provide an insight into the onset of delirium among COVID-19 patients underlining the need for monitoring, especially in elderly patients, the neuropsychiatric symptoms, and the therapy in order to have shorter hospitalization times and better outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05461-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8316107PMC
October 2021

New daily persistent headache after SARS-CoV-2 infection: a report of two cases.

Neurol Sci 2021 Oct 15;42(10):3965-3968. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Science, "G. d'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.

Background: The 2019 Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel respiratory virus which causes Coronavirus Disease19 (COVID-19). Although the predominant clinical picture of COVID-19 is represented by respiratory symptoms, neurological manifestations are being increasingly recognized. Headache, in particular migraine-like and tension types, has been largely reported in patients suffering from COVID-19 both in the acute and the healing phase of the infection. New daily persistent headache (NDPH) is a primary headache characterized by persistent and daily painful symptoms, with pain becoming continuous and non-remitting within 24 h, and lasting more than 3 months. Even though an increasing number of reports describe patients who develop a persistent headache, diagnosis of NPDH has been rarely explored in the context of COVID-19.

Methods: Two patients with persistent headache and Sars-CoV-2 infection were identified. Both underwent a full clinical and neuroradiological evaluation. Blood sample with inflammatory biomarkers search was also performed.

Results: According to International Classifications of Headache Disorders diagnosis of probable new daily persistent headache was made. The treatment with high doses of steroids was associated with relief of symptoms.

Conclusions: Our report described two cases of probable NDPH due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Clinical evaluation of COVID-19 patients presenting with persistent headache should take into consideration NDPH. Given the supposed major role for neuroinflammation in the genesis of Sars-CoV-2-driven NDPH, immunomodulatory therapy should be promptly started. In line with this hypothesis, we obtained a good therapeutic response to short-term high dose of corticosteroids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05444-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8280630PMC
October 2021

Exploring the Connection between and Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Pilot Quantitative Study on the Bacterium Abundance in Oral Cavity and the Amount of Antibodies in Serum.

Biomolecules 2021 06 6;11(6). Epub 2021 Jun 6.

Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, "G. d'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara, 66013 Chieti, Italy.

Recent studies support the hypothesis that microbes can seed some Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases, leading to inflammation and overproduction of amyloid peptides. (Pg) is a keystone pathogen of chronic periodontitis and has been identified as risk factor for the development and progression of AD. The present preliminary study aimed to quantify Pg abundance in neurodegenerative disease (ND) patients compared with neurologic patients without neurodegenerative disorders (no-ND) and healthy controls (HC) to determine possible association between Pg abundance and neurodegenerative process. Pg was quantified on DNA extracted from the oral samples of 49 patients and 29 HC by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Anti-Pg antibodies were also detected on patient serum samples by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). The Pg abundance in the oral cavity was significantly different among groups ( = 0.004). It was higher in ND than no-ND ( = 0.010) and HC ( = 0.008). The Pg abundance was correlated with the antibodies ( = 0.001) with different slopes between ND and no-ND ( = 0.037). Pg abundance was not correlated with oral indices and comorbidities. These results extend our understanding of the association between oral pathogens and AD to other neurodegenerative processes, confirming the hypothesis that oral pathogens can induce an antibody systemic response, influencing the progression of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11060845DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8229521PMC
June 2021

Diabetes Mellitus and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Systematic Review.

Biomolecules 2021 06 10;11(6). Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University G. d'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, 66100 Chieti, Italy.

Background: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disorder which affects the motor neurons. Growing evidence suggests that ALS may impact the metabolic system, including the glucose metabolism. Several studies investigated the role of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) as risk and/or prognostic factor. However, a clear correlation between DM and ALS has not been defined. In this review, we focus on the role of DM in ALS, examining the different hypotheses on how perturbations of glucose metabolism may interact with the pathophysiology and the course of ALS.

Methods: We undertook an independent PubMed literature search, using the following search terms: ((ALS) OR (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) OR (Motor Neuron Disease)) AND ((Diabetes) OR (Glucose Intolerance) OR (Hyperglycemia)). Review and original articles were considered.

Results: DM appears not to affect ALS severity, progression, and survival. Contrasting data suggested a protective role of DM on the occurrence of ALS in elderly and an opposite effect in younger subjects.

Conclusions: The actual clinical and pathophysiological correlation between DM and ALS is unclear. Large longitudinal prospective studies are needed. Achieving large sample sizes comparable to those of common complex diseases like DM is a challenge for a rare disease like ALS. Collaborative efforts could overcome this specific issue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11060867DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8230511PMC
June 2021

Longitudinal machine learning modeling of MS patient trajectories improves predictions of disability progression.

Comput Methods Programs Biomed 2021 Sep 18;208:106180. Epub 2021 May 18.

19 Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey.

Background And Objectives: Research in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has recently focused on extracting knowledge from real-world clinical data sources. This type of data is more abundant than data produced during clinical trials and potentially more informative about real-world clinical practice. However, this comes at the cost of less curated and controlled data sets. In this work we aim to predict disability progression by optimally extracting information from longitudinal patient data in the real-world setting, with a special focus on the sporadic sampling problem.

Methods: We use machine learning methods suited for patient trajectories modeling, such as recurrent neural networks and tensor factorization. A subset of 6682 patients from the MSBase registry is used.

Results: We can predict disability progression of patients in a two-year horizon with an ROC-AUC of 0.85, which represents a 32% decrease in the ranking pair error (1-AUC) compared to reference methods using static clinical features.

Conclusions: Compared to the models available in the literature, this work uses the most complete patient history for MS disease progression prediction and represents a step forward towards AI-assisted precision medicine in MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmpb.2021.106180DOI Listing
September 2021

The effectiveness of natalizumab vs fingolimod-A comparison of international registry studies.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021 Aug 8;53:103012. Epub 2021 May 8.

KTU Medical Faculty Farabi Hospital, Trabzon, Turkey.

Background: Natalizumab and fingolimod were the first preparations recommended for disease breakthrough in priorly treated relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Of three published head-to-head studies two showed that natalizumab is the more effective to prevent relapses and EDSS worsening.

Methods: By re-analyzing original published results from MSBase, France, and Denmark using uniform methodologies, we aimed at identifying the effects of differences in methodology, in the MS-populations, and at re-evaluating the differences in effectiveness between the two drugs. We gained access to copies of the individual amended databases and pooled all data. We used uniform inclusion/exclusion criteria and statistical methods with Inverse Probability Treatment Weighting.

Results: The pooled analyses comprised 968 natalizumab- and 1479 fingolimod treated patients. The on-treatment natalizumab/fingolimod relapse rate ratio was 0.77 (p=0.004). The hazard ratio (HR) for a first relapse was 0.82 (p=0.030), and the HR for sustained EDSS improvement was 1.4 (p=0.009). There were modest differences between each of the original published studies and the replication study, but the conclusions of the three original studies remained unchanged: in two of them natalizumab was more effective, but in the third there was no difference between natalizumab and fingolimod.

Conclusion: The results were largely invariant to the epidemiological and statistical methods but differed between the MS populations. Generally, the advantage of natalizumab was confirmed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2021.103012DOI Listing
August 2021

Agitation and Dementia: Prevention and Treatment Strategies in Acute and Chronic Conditions.

Front Neurol 2021 16;12:644317. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University G. d'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.

Agitation is a behavioral syndrome characterized by increased, often undirected, motor activity, restlessness, aggressiveness, and emotional distress. According to several observations, agitation prevalence ranges from 30 to 50% in Alzheimer's disease, 30% in dementia with Lewy bodies, 40% in frontotemporal dementia, and 40% in vascular dementia (VaD). With an overall prevalence of about 30%, agitation is the third most common neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in dementia, after apathy and depression, and it is even more frequent (80%) in residents of nursing homes. The pathophysiological mechanism underlying agitation is represented by a frontal lobe dysfunction, mostly involving the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), respectively, meaningful in selecting the salient stimuli and subsequent decision-making and behavioral reactions. Furthermore, increased sensitivity to noradrenergic signaling has been observed, possibly due to a frontal lobe up-regulation of adrenergic receptors, as a reaction to the depletion of noradrenergic neurons within the locus coeruleus (LC). Indeed, LC neurons mainly project toward the OFC and ACC. These observations may explain the abnormal reactivity to weak stimuli and the global arousal found in many patients who have dementia. Furthermore, agitation can be precipitated by several factors, e.g., the sunset or low lighted environments as in the sundown syndrome, hospitalization, the admission to nursing residencies, or changes in pharmacological regimens. In recent days, the global pandemic has increased agitation incidence among dementia patients and generated higher distress levels in patients and caregivers. Hence, given the increasing presence of this condition and its related burden on society and the health system, the present point of view aims at providing an extensive guide to facilitate the identification, prevention, and management of acute and chronic agitation in dementia patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.644317DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085397PMC
April 2021

Natalizumab, Fingolimod and Dimethyl Fumarate Use and Pregnancy-Related Relapse and Disability in Women With Multiple Sclerosis.

Neurology 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Liverpool Hospital, Australia.

Objective: To investigate pregnancy-related disease activity in a contemporary multiple sclerosis (MS) cohort.

Methods: Using data from the MSBase Registry, we included pregnancies conceived after 31 Dec 2010 from women with relapsing-remitting MS or clinically isolated syndrome. Predictors of intrapartum relapse, and postpartum relapse and disability progression were determined by clustered logistic regression or Cox regression analyses.

Results: We included 1998 pregnancies from 1619 women with MS. Preconception annualized relapse rate (ARR) was 0.29 (95% CI 0.27-0.32), fell to 0.19 (0.14-0.24) in third trimester, and increased to 0.59 (0.51-0.67) in early postpartum. Among women who used fingolimod or natalizumab, ARR before pregnancy was 0.37 (0.28-0.49) and 0.29 (0.22-0.37), respectively, and increased during pregnancy. Intrapartum ARR decreased with preconception dimethyl fumarate use. ARR spiked after delivery across all DMT groups. Natalizumab continuation into pregnancy reduced the odds of relapse during pregnancy (OR 0.76 per month [0.60-0.95], p=0.017). DMT re-initiation with natalizumab protected against postpartum relapse (HR 0.11 [0.04-0.32], p<0.0001). Breastfeeding women were less likely to relapse (HR 0.61 [0.41-0.91], p=0.016). 5.6% of pregnancies were followed by confirmed disability progression, predicted by higher relapse activity in pregnancy and postpartum.

Conclusion: Intrapartum and postpartum relapse probabilities increased among women with MS after natalizumab or fingolimod cessation. In women considered to be at high relapse risk, use of natalizumab before pregnancy and continued up to 34 weeks gestation, with early re-initiation after delivery is an effective option to minimize relapse risks. Strategies of DMT use have to be balanced against potential fetal/neonatal complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000012084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253565PMC
April 2021

Measures of resting state EEG rhythms for clinical trials in Alzheimer's disease: Recommendations of an expert panel.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 09 15;17(9):1528-1553. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

School of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

The Electrophysiology Professional Interest Area (EPIA) and Global Brain Consortium endorsed recommendations on candidate electroencephalography (EEG) measures for Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical trials. The Panel reviewed the field literature. As most consistent findings, AD patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia showed abnormalities in peak frequency, power, and "interrelatedness" at posterior alpha (8-12 Hz) and widespread delta (< 4 Hz) and theta (4-8 Hz) rhythms in relation to disease progression and interventions. The following consensus statements were subscribed: (1) Standardization of instructions to patients, resting state EEG (rsEEG) recording methods, and selection of artifact-free rsEEG periods are needed; (2) power density and "interrelatedness" rsEEG measures (e.g., directed transfer function, phase lag index, linear lagged connectivity, etc.) at delta, theta, and alpha frequency bands may be use for stratification of AD patients and monitoring of disease progression and intervention; and (3) international multisectoral initiatives are mandatory for regulatory purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12311DOI Listing
September 2021

Status epilepticus and COVID-19: A systematic review.

Epilepsy Behav 2021 05 17;118:107887. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Neurology, Hospital of Merano (SABES-ASDAA), Merano, Italy.

Purpose: In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the SARS-CoV-2 infection-related coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) a pandemic. During the first and second waves of the pandemic spread, there have been several reports of COVID-19-associated neurological manifestations, including acute seizures and status epilepticus (SE). In this systematic review, we summarized the available data on clinical features, diagnosis, and therapy of COVID-19-related SE.

Methods: We performed a systematic search of the literature to identify data on demographics, clinical, neurophysiological, and neuroradiological data of patients with COVID-19-related SE. We used regression models (linear or logistic) with a stepwise forward method to identify features associated with mortality or severity of SE.

Results: Thirty-nine articles were included with a total of 47 cases of SE associated with COVID-19. Age, time between the acute respiratory phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection and SE onset, and hospitalization correlated with a higher SE severity as assessed by quantitative validated scales.

Conclusions: SE can be a neurological manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although a possible association between SE and COVID-19 has been reported, the exact mechanisms are still not fully understood. Systemic inflammatory syndrome due to cytokine release could play a role in COVID-19-related SE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.107887DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7968345PMC
May 2021

Risk of requiring a wheelchair in primary progressive multiple sclerosis: Data from the ORATORIO trial and the MSBase registry.

Eur J Neurol 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, Texas, USA.

Background And Purpose: Reaching Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) ≥7.0 represents the requirement for a wheelchair. Here we (i) assess the effect of ocrelizumab on time to EDSS ≥7.0 over the ORATORIO (NCT01194570) double-blind and extended controlled periods (DBP+ECP), (ii) quantify likely long-term benefits by extrapolating results, and (iii) assess the plausibility of extrapolations using an independent real-world cohort (MSBase registry; ACTRN12605000455662).

Methods: Post hoc analyses assessing time to 24-week confirmed EDSS ≥7.0 in two cohorts of patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (baseline EDSS 3.0-6.5) were investigated in ORATORIO and MSBase.

Results: In the ORATORIO DBP+ECP, ocrelizumab reduced the risk of 24-week confirmed EDSS ≥7.0 (hazard ratio = 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.31-0.92; p = 0.022). Extrapolated median time to 24-week confirmed EDSS ≥7.0 was 12.1 and 19.2 years for placebo and ocrelizumab, respectively (7.1-year delay [95% CI: -4.3 to 18.4]). In MSBase, the median time to 24-week confirmed EDSS ≥7.0 was 12.4 years.

Conclusions: Compared with placebo, ocrelizumab significantly delayed time to 24-week confirmed wheelchair requirement in ORATORIO. The plausibility of the extrapolated median time to reach this milestone in the placebo group was supported by observed real-world data from MSBase. Extrapolated benefits for ocrelizumab over placebo could represent a truly meaningful delay in loss of ambulation and independence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ene.14824DOI Listing
March 2021

Visual evoked potential abnormalities in dementia with Lewy bodies.

Neurophysiol Clin 2021 Feb 27. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University G. d'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Italy; Department of Neurology, SS Annunziata Hospital, Chieti, Italy. Electronic address:

Objectives: Visuo-perceptual deficits and visual hallucinations (VHs) are common disturbances in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and those with Parkinson's disease (PD). In particular, delays in visual evoked potential (VEP), reversed by l-dopa administration, have previously been observed in PD patients. Impairment in metabolic functions of dopaminergic amacrine cells within the inner plexiform layer of the retina has been largely documented and has been posited as the underlying cause of visual and retinal alterations in PD. The aims of the present study were to investigate the presence of VEP abnormalities in DLB patients, as compared to a PD control group, and to assess the presence of significant correlations between neurophysiological measures and clinical symptoms (i.e., presence of visuospatial deficits and/or visual hallucinations).

Methods: Fifteen DLB patients and fifteen matched PD patients underwent pattern reversal before and after l-dopa administration, and a short neuropsychological assessment.

Results: In DLB patients, we observed delay of the P100 latency to foveal stimuli in both eyes compared to normative values. Compared to PD, DLB patients showed higher values of the P100 latency for foveal stimulation from the right eye prior to l-dopa administration (p = 0.018). No correlations between VEP alterations, visuo-spatial deficit and visual hallucinations were found.

Discussion: Our findings demonstrated a longer P100 delay in DLB than in PD patients, especially along the right visual pathway. In contrast to previous studies, which focused on a dopaminergic pre-geniculate impairment of visual pathways, our evidence suggests that other mechanisms, possibly relying on thalamic involvement, which is known to be dysfunctional in DLB, can interfere with VEP abnormalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neucli.2021.02.003DOI Listing
February 2021

Clinical presentation of strokes confined to the insula: a systematic review of literature.

Neurol Sci 2021 May 11;42(5):1697-1704. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Stroke Research Centre, Institute of Neurology, UCL, London and The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK.

Background And Purpose: The insular cortex serves a wide variety of functions in humans, ranging from sensory and affective processing to high-level cognition. Hence, insular dysfunction may result in several different presentations. Ischemic strokes limited to the insular territory are rare and deserve a better characterization, to be quickly recognized and to receive the appropriate treatment (e.g. thrombolysis).

Methods: We reviewed studies on patients with a first-ever acute stroke restricted to the insula. We searched in the Medline database the keywords "insular stroke" and "insular infarction", to identify previously published cases. Afterwards, the results were divided depending on the specific insular region affected by the stroke: anterior insular cortex (AIC), posterior insular cortex (PIC) or total insula cortex (TIC). Finally, a review of the clinical correlates associated with each region was performed.

Results: We identified 25 reports including a total of 49 patients (59.7 ± 15.5 years, 48% male) from systematic review of the literature. The most common clinical phenotypes were motor and somatosensory deficits, dysarthria, aphasia and a vestibular-like syndrome. Atypical presentations were also common and included dysphagia, awareness deficits, gustatory disturbances, dysautonomia, neuropsychiatric or auditory disturbances and headache.

Conclusions: The clinical presentation of insular strokes is heterogeneous; however, an insular stroke should be suspected when vestibular-like, somatosensory, speech or language disturbances are combined in the same patient. Further studies are needed to improve our understanding of more atypical presentations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05109-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043872PMC
May 2021

Unusual Presentation of Bilateral Carotid Artery Dissection: The Importance of Reasoning Outside the Box.

Ann Vasc Surg 2021 Jul 5;74:521.e9-521.e13. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Department of Neurology, SS Annunziata Hospital, Chieti, Italy.

A bilateral internal carotid artery dissection presenting with atypical symptoms of cerebral hypoperfusion has been rarely reported, especially in the absence of obvious precipitating factors. A middle-aged woman presented to the emergency department with a 2-day-history of progressive left arm numbness and weakness, confusion, disorientation and clumsiness worsened by upright position. A cerebral hypoperfusion condition was hypothesized and confirmed by a CT angiography, which showed bilateral internal carotid dissection with uncertain etiology. Screening for predisposing conditions to spontaneous carotid arteries dissection was basically negative. Regarding potential precipitating factors, the patient had used an electric olive harvester days before symptoms onset, without any painful sensation or sudden sequelae. Portable harvesters in olive growing transmit vibrations to the hand-arm system but it remains to be elucidated if hand-arm vibrations can be implicated in vessels wall injury and dissection. Bilateral carotid artery dissection is an infrequent and life-threatening condition which can rarely present with non-specific symptoms of cerebral hypoperfusion. The absence of typical symptoms and known precipitating factors can made the diagnosis quite hard to achieve.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2021.01.090DOI Listing
July 2021

Injectable Versus Oral First-Line Disease-Modifying Therapies: Results from the Italian MS Register.

Neurotherapeutics 2021 04 2;18(2):905-919. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department "G.F. Ingrassia", MS center, University of Catania, Policlinico G. Rodolico, V. Santa Sofia 78, 95123, Catania, Italy.

The current study aims to compare injectable and oral first-line disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for time to first relapse, time to confirmed disability progression (CDP), and time to discontinuation using a cohort of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients, with data extracted from the Italian MS Register. This multicenter, observational, retrospectively acquired, and propensity-adjusted cohort study utilized RRMS-naïve patients from the Italian MS Register who started either injectable or oral first-line DMTs between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2017, to evaluate the impact on disability outcomes in patients. Enrolled patients were divided into two groups, namely the injectable group (IG) and the oral group (OG). Of a cohort of 11,416 patients, 4602 were enrolled (3919 in the IG and 683 in the OG). The IG had a higher rate of women (67.3% vs 63.4%, p < 0.05) and a lower mean age (36.1 ± 10.9 vs 38.9 ± 11.8, p < 0.001). The event time to first relapse demonstrated a lower risk in the OG (HR = 0.58; CI 95% 0.48-0.72, p < 0.001). However, no differences were found between the two groups with respect to the risk of CDP (HR = 0.94; CI 95% 0.76-1.29, p = 0.941), while a lower risk of DMT was found in the OG (HR = 0.72; CI 95% 0.58-0.88, p = 0.002) for the event time to discontinuation. Real-world data from the Italian MS Register suggests that first-line oral DMTs are associated with a lower risk of experiencing a new relapse and of therapy discontinuation compared to injectable DMTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13311-020-01001-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8423935PMC
April 2021

Determinants of therapeutic lag in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2021 Oct 11;27(12):1838-1851. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

CHU de Caen, MS Expert Centre, Department of Neurology, avenue de la Côte-de-Nacre, Normandy University, Caen, France.

Background: A delayed onset of treatment effect, termed therapeutic lag, may influence the assessment of treatment response in some patient subgroups.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to explore the associations of patient and disease characteristics with therapeutic lag on relapses and disability accumulation.

Methods: Data from MSBase, a multinational multiple sclerosis (MS) registry, and OFSEP, the French MS registry, were used. Patients diagnosed with MS, minimum 1 year of exposure to MS treatment and 3 years of pre-treatment follow-up, were included in the analysis. Studied outcomes were incidence of relapses and disability accumulation. Therapeutic lag was calculated using an objective, validated method in subgroups stratified by patient and disease characteristics. Therapeutic lag under specific circumstances was then estimated in subgroups defined by combinations of clinical and demographic determinants.

Results: High baseline disability scores, annualised relapse rate (ARR) ⩾ 1 and male sex were associated with longer therapeutic lag on disability progression in sufficiently populated groups: females with expanded disability status scale (EDSS) < 6 and ARR < 1 had mean lag of 26.6 weeks (95% CI = 18.2-34.9), males with EDSS < 6 and ARR < 1 31.0 weeks (95% CI = 25.3-36.8), females with EDSS < 6 and ARR ⩾ 1 44.8 weeks (95% CI = 24.5-65.1), and females with EDSS ⩾ 6 and ARR < 1 54.3 weeks (95% CI = 47.2-61.5).

Conclusions: Pre-treatment EDSS and ARR are the most important determinants of therapeutic lag.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458520981300DOI Listing
October 2021

Acting Before; A Combined Strategy to Counteract the Onset and Progression of Dementia.

Curr Alzheimer Res 2020 ;17(9):790-804

Behavioral Neurology and Molecular Neurology Units, Center for Advanced Studies and Technology, CAST, University G. d'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Pescara, Italy.

Brain aging and aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are posing a significant challenge for health systems worldwide. To date, most of the therapeutic efforts aimed at counteracting dementiarelated behavioral and cognitive impairment have been focused on addressing putative determinants of the disease, such as β-amyloid or tau. In contrast, relatively little attention has been paid to pharmacological interventions aimed at restoring or promoting the synaptic plasticity of the aging brain. The review will explore and discuss the most recent molecular, structural/functional, and behavioral evidence that supports the use of non-pharmacological approaches as well as cognitive-enhancing drugs to counteract brain aging and early-stage dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1567205017666201203085524DOI Listing
October 2021

Low molecular weight heparin in COVID-19 patients prevents delirium and shortens hospitalization.

Neurol Sci 2021 Apr 13;42(4):1527-1530. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University G. d'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.

Background: COVID-19 patients present with delirium during their hospitalization.

Aims: To assess the incidence of delirium in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and analyze the possible association with demographic, clinical, laboratory, and pharmacological factors.

Methods: COVID-19 patients were assessed for clinical signs of delirium and administered the assessment test for delirium and cognitive impairment (4AT) and the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) scales.

Results: Out of the 56 patients of our cohort, 14 (25.0%) experienced delirium. The use of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) (enoxaparin 1 mg/kg/daily) was less frequent in patients with delirium (p = 0.004) and was accompanied by lower C reactive protein (CRP) levels (p = 0.006).

Discussion: The use of LMWH was associated with absence of delirium, independently of comorbidities and age.

Conclusions: The use of LMWH may help preventing the occurrence of delirium in COVID-19 patients, with possible reduction of length of stay in the hospital and sequelae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-020-04887-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7664586PMC
April 2021

New-onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE) in post SARS-CoV-2 autoimmune encephalitis: a case report.

Neurol Sci 2021 Jan 3;42(1):35-38. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Science, "G. D'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.

The 2019 new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel respiratory virus which has increasingly spread all over the world. Although the predominant clinical presentation is represented by respiratory symptoms, neurological manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 is being increasingly recognized. In the present report, we present a case of post SARS-CoV-2 autoimmune encephalitis associated with a new-onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-020-04846-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608104PMC
January 2021

An Atypical Presentation of CLIPPERS, a Challenging Diagnosis of Reversible Early-Onset Dementia.

Case Rep Neurol 2020 Sep-Dec;12(3):307-313. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Department of Neurosciences, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University G. d'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.

Chronic lymphocytic inflammation with pontine perivascular enhancement responsive to steroids (CLIPPERS) is a rare inflammatory disorder featured by pontocerebellar dysfunctions and, in some cases, later cognitive disturbances. Here, we describe an atypical presentation of CLIPPERS, characterized by clinical onset with neuropsychiatric and cognitive symptoms. A 45-year-old man was referred to our Memory Clinic due to difficulties at work for over a month, caused by confusion and asthenia. Furthermore, insomnia and mood changes appeared. These disturbances were unresponsive to antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs. At admission, the patient presented also with severe cognitive impairment, urinary incontinence, ataxic gait, and limitation of lateral conjugate gaze. During the hospitalization, the patient underwent cerebrospinal fluid analysis, serum systemic autoimmune disorders laboratory research, neoplastic markers analysis, and brain MRI scan. The radiological and laboratory findings were compatible with the diagnosis of CLIPPERS. The sudden clinical and radiological improvement of the patient's conditions, after only a week of steroid therapy, further confirmed our clinical suspicion. The present case enhances the necessity to consider CLIPPERS in the differential diagnosis of pre-senile cognitive impairment, even in the absence of early pontocerebellar neurological signs. Before the spreading of the neuroinflammatory and degenerative processes, CLIPPERS represents one among the few possible reversible causes of cognitive decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000508945DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7548967PMC
September 2020

Treatment Response Score to Glatiramer Acetate or Interferon Beta-1a.

Neurology 2021 01 6;96(2):e214-e227. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

From the Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL) (F.B., M.P.S.), University of Genoa, Italy; CORe (T.K., C.M.), Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Australia; Department of Neurology (F.L.), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY; Department of Biostatistics (G.C.), University of Alabama at Birmingham; Department of Neurology and Center for Clinical Neuroscience (D.H., E.K.H.), First Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs (M. Trojano), University of Bari, Italy; Department of Neuroscience (A.P., M.G., P.D.), Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Neuroscience, Imaging, and Clinical Sciences (M.O.), University G. d'Annunzio, Chieti; IRCCS Istituto delle Scienze Neurologiche di Bologna (A.L.); Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Neuromotorie (A.L.), Università di Bologna, Italy; Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena (G. Izquierdo. S.E.), Sevilla, Spain; Department of Medical, Surgical Science and Advanced Technology "GF Ingrassia" (F.P.), University of Catania, Italy; Ondokuz Mayis University (M. Terzi), Department of Neurology, Samsun, Turkey; CISSS Chaudi're-Appalache (P.G.), Centre-Hospitalier, Levis, Quebec, Canada; IRCCS Mondino Foundation (R.B.), Pavia; Department of Neuroscience (P.S., D.F.), Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria, Modena, Italy; Department of Neurology (S.O.), Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey; Ospedali Riuniti di Salerno (G. Iuliano), Salerno, Italy; Department of Neurology (C.B.), Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey; Department of Neurology (R.H.), Zuyderland Medical Center, Sittard, the Netherlands; Neuro Rive-Sud (F.G.), Hôpital Charles LeMoyne, Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada; Clinico San Carlos (C.O.-G), Madrid, Spain; Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc (V.v.P.); Université Catholique de Louvain (V.v.P.), Brussels, Belgium; UOC Neurologia (E.C.), Azienda Sanitaria Unica Regionale Marche-AV3, Macerata, Italy; Kommunehospitalet (T.P.), Arhus C, Denmark; Koc University (A.A.), School of Medicine; Bakirkoy Education and Research Hospital for Psychiatric and Neurological Diseases (A.S.), Istanbul, Turkey; Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (C.R.-T.), Badalona, Spain; University of Queensland (P.M.), Brisbane, Australia; Haydarpasa Numune Training and Research Hospital (R.T.), Istanbul, Turkey; Central Clinical School (H.B.), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (J.S.W.); Rehabilitation Unit (C.S.), "Mons. L. Novarese" Hospital, Moncrivello; and IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino (M.P.S.), Genoa, Italy.

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of glatiramer acetate (GA) vs intramuscular interferon beta-1a (IFN-β-1a), we applied a previously published statistical method aimed at identifying patients' profiles associated with efficacy of treatments.

Methods: Data from 2 independent multiple sclerosis datasets, a randomized study (the Combination Therapy in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis [CombiRx] trial, evaluating GA vs IFN-β-1a) and an observational cohort extracted from MSBase, were used to build and validate a treatment response score, regressing annualized relapse rates (ARRs) on a set of baseline predictors.

Results: The overall ARR ratio of GA to IFN-β-1a in the CombiRx trial was 0.72. The response score (made up of a linear combination of age, sex, relapses in the previous year, disease duration, and Expanded Disability Status Scale score) detected differential response of GA vs IFN-β-1a: in the trial, patients with the largest benefit from GA vs IFN-β-1a (lower score quartile) had an ARR ratio of 0.40 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.25-0.63), those in the 2 middle quartiles of 0.90 (95% CI 0.61-1.34), and those in the upper quartile of 1.14 (95% CI 0.59-2.18) (heterogeneity = 0.012); this result was validated on MSBase, with the corresponding ARR ratios of 0.58 (95% CI 0.46-0.72), 0.92 (95% CI 0.77-1.09,) and 1.29 (95% CI 0.97-1.71); heterogeneity < 0.0001).

Conclusions: We demonstrate the possibility of a criterion, based on patients' characteristics, to choose whether to treat with GA or IFN-β-1a. This result, replicated on an independent real-life cohort, may have implications for clinical decisions in everyday clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010991DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7905777PMC
January 2021
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