Publications by authors named "Marco Turatti"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Smoking-related cue reactivity in a virtual reality setting: association between craving and EEG measures.

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2020 Dec 2. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Diagnostic and Public Health, University of Verona, Piazzale Scuro 10, I-37134, Verona, Italy.

Background: Cue-reactivity is the array of responses that smokers exhibit when exposed to conditioned and contextual stimuli previously associated to substance use. The difficulty to experimentally recreate the complexity of smokers' spatial experience and context requires more ecological models. Virtual reality (VR) creates a state of immersion close to reality allowing controlled assessments of behavioral responses. To date, no studies investigated brain activation associated to smoking cue-reactivity in VR using electroencephalography (EEG).

Aims: To investigate whether a VR cue-reactivity paradigm (a) may increase smoking craving, (b) is feasible with EEG recording, and (c) induces craving levels associated to EEG desynchronization.

Methods: Smokers (N = 20) and non-smokers (N = 20) were exposed to neutral and smoking-related VR scenarios, without and with smoking conditioned stimuli, respectively. EEG was recorded from occipital and parietal leads throughout the sessions to assess alpha band desynchronization. Smoking and food craving and presence visual analogue scales (VAS) were assessed during the session.

Results: To be smoker, but not non-smoker, significantly influenced smoking craving VAS induced by smoking cue VR but not by neutral VR. No significant food craving changes was observed during the VR sessions. The new finding was that EEG alpha band power in posterior leads was significantly increased by the smoking context scenario only in smokers, and that the degree of smoking (i.e., heavy vs. light) was significantly associated to this neurophysiological measure.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated, for the first time, the feasibility of EEG recording in a VR setting, suggesting that EEG desynchronization may be a neurophysiological marker of smoking cue-reactivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-020-05733-3DOI Listing
December 2020

Epileptic seizures of suspected autoimmune origin: a multicentre retrospective study.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2020 Nov 28;91(11):1145-1153. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Department of Neuroscience, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, Section of Neurology, University of Verona, Verona, Italy

Objective: To analyse autoantibody status in a well-defined European multicentre cohort of patients with epilepsy of unknown aetiology and to validate the recently proposed Antibody Prevalence in Epilepsy (APE2) and Response to ImmunoTherapy in Epilepsy (RITE2) scores.

Methods: We retrospectively collected clinical and paraclinical data of 92 patients referred to the Neurology Units of Verona and Salzburg between January 2014 and July 2019 with new-onset epilepsy, status epilepticus or chronic epilepsy of unknown aetiology. Fixed and live cell-based assays, tissue-based assays, immunoblot, and live rat hippocampal cell cultures were performed in paired serum/cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to detect antineuronal and antiglial antibodies. The APE2 and RITE2 scores were then calculated and compared with clinical and laboratory data.

Results: Autoantibodies were detected in 29/92 patients (31.5%), with multiple positivity observed in 6/29 cases. The APE2 score (median 5, range 1-15) significantly correlated with antibody positivity (p=0.014), especially for the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms (p<0.01), movement disorders (p<0.01), dysautonomia (p=0.03), faciobrachial dyskinesias (p=0.03) and cancer history (p<0.01). Status epilepticus was significantly more frequent in antibody-negative patients (p<0.01). Among the items of the RITE2 score, early initiation of immunotherapy correlated with a good treatment response (p=0.001), whereas a cancer history was significantly more common among non-responders (p<0.01). Persistence of neuropsychiatric symptoms and seizures correlated with antiepileptic maintenance after at least 1 year.

Conclusions: This is the first study that independently validates the APE2 and RITE2 scores and includes the largest cohort of patients whose paired serum and CSF samples have been tested for autoantibodies possibly associated with autoimmune epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-323841DOI Listing
November 2020

Upregulated serum miR-128-3p in progressive and relapse-free multiple sclerosis patients.

Acta Neurol Scand 2020 Nov 5;142(5):511-516. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona - Neurology Section, Verona, Italy.

Background: Circulating microRNAs have emerged as novel multiple sclerosis (MS) biomarkers.

Aims: To assess the association between candidate miR expression in serum samples of patients with MS and the disease course.

Methods: Serum levels of ten microRNAs (ie, miR-199, miR-128-3p, miR-20a-5p, miR-27a-3p, miR-15b-5p, miR-325, miR-92a1-5p, miR-223-5p, miR-22-5p, and miR-23a-5p) were measured in 74 MS cases and 17 non-MS controls consecutively enrolled at Verona University Hospital. The association of microRNA expression with patients' clinical and MRI features was analyzed. Candidate microRNAs were detected by real-time PCR and expressed as ratio of each microRNA level to a normalizer.

Results: Serum miR-128-3p levels were higher in progressive than relapsing MS (median ratio 2.86 vs 0.73, P = .036). In addition, miR-128-3p was upregulated in patients without relapses after sample collection compared to cases who relapsed (1.64 vs 0.82; P = .014). miR-128-3p levels and relapse rate were inversely correlated (r = -.44, P = .008).

Conclusions: Serum levels of mir-128-3p could be related to biological mechanisms underlying MS activity and progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ane.13288DOI Listing
November 2020

Clinical and neurophysiological serial assessments of brentuximab vedotin-associated peripheral neuropathy.

Leuk Lymphoma 2019 11 6;60(11):2806-2809. Epub 2019 May 6.

Department of Neuroscience, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2019.1605068DOI Listing
November 2019

HPV-related papillary squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil during treatment with fingolimod.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2018 Jul 2;23:24-26. Epub 2018 May 2.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Bussolengo Hospital, Verona, Italy. Electronic address:

Fingolimod is a commonly used treatment for highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). We describe the case of a 50-year old man on fingolimod since 2011 who presented, in April 2017, with a voluminous swelling of the left tonsil. A left tonsillectomy was performed, and histological exam disclosed a papillary squamous cell carcinoma of the palatine tonsil, with an in situ hybridization positive for human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 DNA. Neither lymph nodes involvement nor other metastases were detected. Fingolimod was stopped as a precautionary measure in May 2017, and the patient currently continues his follow up at our Department. Immunocompromised patients are at risk for developing HPV-related malignancies probably in light of the suppression of T-cell immunity, therefore an increased risk for HPV activation in MS patients treated with disease modifying therapies (DMTs) characterized by a more pronounced immunosuppressant activity cannot be excluded. Given the absence of studies on larger cohorts of MS patients exposed to DMTs, additional monitoring for HPV infection during fingolimod treatment is not currently recommended. However, vigilance for this possible association is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2018.04.018DOI Listing
July 2018

Investigational immunosuppressants in early-stage clinical trials for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2018 03 23;27(3):273-286. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

b Neurology B Unit , Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata , Verona , Italy.

Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system with an immune mediated pathogenesis. Several therapies that suppress or modulate diverse immune system functions have been used for decades with the aim of modifying the disease course. However, these treatments have either limited efficacy or potentially serious adverse events that prevent first-line use on large scale.

Areas Covered: The aim of the present article is to review ongoing or recently completed clinical trials investigating immunosuppressive drugs for MS. The websites clinicaltrials.gov, clinicaltrialsregister.eu, and pubmed.gov were searched for phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3 trials starting from 2012. Twelve drugs were identified, including seven monoclonal antibodies and five small molecules.

Expert Opinion: Current or recently completed trials of immunosuppressants for MS are mainly proof-of-concept studies enrolling patients with relapsing disease and using efficacy endpoints based on magnetic resonance imaging measures of inflammatory activity. Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulators and B-cell depleting therapies represent the most commonly investigated drugs, suggesting that mechanisms of action that have already shown promise for MS treatment are being exploited to find new therapies with improved safety, tolerability, and convenience of dosing. Clinical trials of immunosuppressants for progressive MS are largely lacking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13543784.2018.1442437DOI Listing
March 2018

Clinical spectrum and IgG subclass analysis of anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated syndromes: a multicenter study.

J Neurol 2017 Dec 23;264(12):2420-2430. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Department of Neuroscience, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, Neurology Unit, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies (MOG-Ab) recently emerged as a potential biomarker in patients with inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system. We here compare the clinical and laboratory findings observed in a cohort of MOG-Ab seropositive and seronegative cases and describe IgG subclass analysis results. Consecutive serum samples referred to Verona University Neuropathology Laboratory for aquaporin-4 (AQP4)-Ab and/or MOG-Ab testing were analysed between March 2014 and May 2017. The presence of AQP4-Ab was determined using a cell-based assay. A live cell immunofluorescence assay was used for the detection of MOG-IgG and IgG subclass analysis. Among 454 analysed samples, 29 were excluded due to AQP4-Ab positivity or to the final demonstration of a disorder not compatible with MOG-Ab. We obtained clinical data in 154 out of 425 cases. Of these, 22 subjects resulted MOG-Ab positive. MOG-Ab positive patients were mainly characterised by the involvement of the optic nerve and/or spinal cord. Half of the cases presented relapses and the recovery was usually partial. Brain MRI was heterogeneous while short lesions were the prevalent observation on spinal cord MRI. MOG-Ab titre usually decreased in non-relapsing cases. In all MOG-IgG positive cases, we observed IgG1 antibodies, which were predominant in most subjects. IgG2 (5/22), IgG3 (9/22) and IgG4 (3/22) antibodies were also detectable. We confirm that MOG-Ab-related syndromes have distinct features in the spectrum of demyelinating conditions, and we describe the possible role of the different IgG subclasses in this condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-017-8635-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5688213PMC
December 2017

Primary progressive multiple sclerosis: current therapeutic strategies and future perspectives.

Expert Rev Neurother 2017 04 15;17(4):393-406. Epub 2016 Nov 15.

b Department of Neuroscience , Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata Verona , Verona , Italy.

Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the central nervous system with heterogeneous features. Primary progressive (PP) MS is a rare disease subtype characterized by continuous disability worsening from onset. No disease-modifying therapy is currently approved for PP MS due to the negative or inconsistent results of clinical trials conducted on a wide range of interventions, which are reviewed in the present paper. Areas covered: The features and results of randomized trials of disease-modifying treatments for PP MS are discussed, including immunosuppressants, immunomodulators, monoclonal antibodies, and putative neuroprotective agents. Expert commentary: The recent encouraging results of the ocrelizumab trial in PP MS, the first to reach the primary disability endpoint, indicate B cells as a promising therapeutic target to prevent disease progression. Other emerging treatment strategies include cell metabolism modulation and inflammatory pathways inhibition, which are being investigated in several ongoing phase II and III placebo-controlled trials. Future PP MS trials will need to systematically include efficacy endpoints other than physical disability alone, such as cognition, quality of life, advanced MRI measures and molecular biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14737175.2017.1257385DOI Listing
April 2017

Clinical efficacy, safety, and tolerability of fingolimod for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Drug Healthc Patient Saf 2015 11;7:157-67. Epub 2015 Dec 11.

Division of Neurology B, Verona University Hospital, Verona, Italy.

Fingolimod is a selective immunosuppressive agent approved worldwide for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic and potentially disabling neurological condition. Randomized double-blind clinical trials have shown that fingolimod significantly reduces relapse rate and ameliorates a number of brain MRI measures, including cerebral atrophy, compared to both placebo and intramuscular interferon-β1a. The effect on disability progression remains controversial, since one Phase III trial showed a significant benefit of treatment while two others did not. Although fingolimod has a very convenient daily oral dosing, the possibility of serious cardiac, ocular, infectious, and other rare adverse events justified the decision of the European Medicines Agency to approve the drug as a second-line treatment for MS patients not responsive to first-line therapy, or those with rapidly evolving course. In the United States, fingolimod is instead authorized as a first-line treatment. The aim of this review is to describe and discuss the characteristics of fingolimod concerning its efficacy, safety, and tolerability in the clinical context of multiple sclerosis management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DHPS.S69640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4686225PMC
December 2015

Benign course of tumour-like multiple sclerosis. Report of five cases and literature review.

J Neurol Sci 2013 Jan 11;324(1-2):156-62. Epub 2012 Nov 11.

The Section of Clinical Neurology, Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Motor Sciences, University of Verona, Italy.

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) with initial neuroradiological features suggestive of brain tumour (tumour-like MS) may represent a challenging diagnosis.

Methods: Among the patients seen at the MS centre of our Institution between 2000 and 2010, we identified cases presenting with a large (diameter>2 cm), well-defined lesion, suggestive of brain tumour on initial brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Only patients with at least 10 years follow-up were included.

Results: Five young women with MS who presented with a tumour-like lesion on initial brain MRI are described. All cases presented with sudden-onset neurological deficits due to a single large brain lesion compatible with neoplasm at MRI. Two cases underwent brain stereotactic biopsy, both misdiagnosed as astrocytoma. However, the subsequent clinical and MRI follow-up was consistent with MS in all cases. Unnecessary surgery and radiotherapy were responsible for disability in two cases. In three cases, the course of the disease remains benign after more than 13 years from symptoms onset.

Conclusions: Our report of clinical, radiological and pathological features of five tumour-like MS cases confirms that it is mandatory to consider a demyelinating process in the differential diagnosis of tumour-like brain lesions. Many tumour-like MS cases may have a favourable long term prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2012.10.026DOI Listing
January 2013

Prognostic value of multimodal evoked potentials in multiple sclerosis: the EP score.

J Neurol 2011 Nov 9;258(11):1933-9. Epub 2011 Apr 9.

UO Neurologia, Istituto Ospedaliero Fondazione Poliambulanza, via Bissolati, 57, 25123 Brescia, Italy.

Evoked potentials (EPs) have long been used as diagnostic tools in multiple sclerosis (MS), although their importance decreased as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) became available. However, the prognostic value of EPs in MS has not been completely established. The aim of the study was to analyze the prognostic significance of EPs in a cohort of MS cases. From the Verona University Hospital MS Clinic database we retrospectively identified 80 MS patients who underwent a complete neurophysiological evaluation, including visual, brain stem, somatosensory and motor EPs and who were followed for at least 5 years after the study. EPs abnormalities were quantified through an index of global EPs alteration (EP score). The relationship between EP score and disability in terms of Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier survival method and Spearman ρ correlation coefficient. ROC curves were used to determine the best EP score cut off to predict different EDSS endpoints. For each endpoint, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of EP score were calculated. We found a significant correlation (p < 0.001) between EP score and EDSS score at the time of neurophysiological study and at 1, 3 and 5 years of follow-up, particularly for motor and somatosensory EPs. Kaplan-Meier curves confirmed an increased risk of disability in those patients with EP score higher than the median value. EP score of 8 or 9 showed the highest sensitivity and specificity in predicting EDSS 4.0 and 6.0. EPs are reliable procedures to predict disability in MS patients. The correlation between EPs abnormalities and EDSS is higher than between conventional MRI and EDSS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-011-6033-xDOI Listing
November 2011

Assessment of outcome predictors in first-episode acute myelitis: a retrospective study of 53 cases.

Arch Neurol 2010 Jun;67(6):724-30

Section of Clinical Neurology, Department of Neurological and Vision Sciences, University of Verona, Piazzale LA Scuro 10, 37134 Verona, Italy.

Objective: To identify predictors of short- and long-term outcomes in acute myelitis (AM).

Design: First episodes of AM were retrospectively identified in a single institution. Information regarding demographics, clinical status, laboratory workup, magnetic resonance imaging of the spine and brain, and electrophysiological assessment was collected. Tau, 14-3-3 protein, and cystatin C levels were assessed de novo in stored cerebrospinal fluid samples.

Setting: A neurological department database. Patients Fifty-three patients with a first episode of AM.

Main Outcome Measures: The prognostic value of all variables was analyzed for the following outcomes: recovery from the initial event, symptom recurrence, conversion to multiple sclerosis (MS), and long-term disability.

Results: Median follow-up was 6.2 years. Six patients (11%) remained monophasic; 5 (9%) developed recurrent myelitis; and 42 (79%) underwent conversion to MS. Sensory level absence, no sphincter involvement, abnormal magnetic resonance imaging findings in the brain, spinal cord lesions shorter than 3 vertebral segments, and abnormal somatosensory evoked potentials predicted MS conversion. Fifteen of 32 patients with pyramidal dysfunction at onset (47%) and 17 of 43 with relapses during follow-up (40%) had significant disability at the last visit compared with 2 of 21 patients without pyramidal manifestations (10%) and none of the patients without exacerbations (P = .006 and P = .02, respectively). In 11 patients with exacerbations, we observed a significant correlation between cerebrospinal fluid levels of cystatin C and the degree of neurological disability at the last visit (Spearman rho = 0.69; P = .03).

Conclusions: For patients with first-episode AM, the conversion rate to MS is high. Motor dysfunction at onset and relapse occurrence are associated with worse outcome. Cerebrospinal fluid levels of cystatin C may prove useful for predicting the prognosis of such patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archneurol.2010.107DOI Listing
June 2010

Long survival and clinical stability in Marburg's variant multiple sclerosis.

Neurol Sci 2010 Dec 12;31(6):807-11. Epub 2010 May 12.

Section of Neurology, Department of Neurological and Vision Sciences, University of Verona, Policlinico G. Rossi, Piazzale L.A. Scuro, 10, Verona, Italy.

Marburg's variant multiple sclerosis (MS) is an acute and aggressive atypical form of MS, leading frequently to death in few months. A 32-year-old man with motor and sensory symptoms suggestive of acute myelopathy, rapidly followed by cerebellar dysfunction and consciousness impairment. Clinical, laboratory and radiological evaluations suggested a central nervous system demyelinating disease. The diagnosis was Marburg's variant MS, usually leading to death in short time. He underwent different treatments, including steroids, cyclophosphamide, plasma exchange and lastly interferon-beta. The patient reached clinical stability with severe residual disability, persistent after 3 years from onset. This observation suggests that subjects with Marburg's MS might reach long clinical stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-010-0287-4DOI Listing
December 2010