Publications by authors named "Norma Deri"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

COVID-19 in multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder patients in Latin America: COVID-19 in MS and NMOSD patients in LATAM.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021 Mar 7;51:102886. Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Centro de esclerosis múltiple de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Universitario de CEMIC, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Background: There is no data regarding COVID-19 in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) patients in Latin America.

Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients included in RELACOEM, a LATAM registry of MS and NMOSD patients infected with COVID-19.

Methods: RELACOEM is a longitudinal, strictly observational registry of MS and NMOSD patients who suffer COVID-19 and Dengue in LATAM. Inclusion criteria to the registry were either: (1) a biologically confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis based on a positive result of a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on a nasopharyngeal swab; or (2) COVID-19-typical symptoms (triad of cough, fever, and asthenia) in an epidemic zone of COVID-19. Descriptive statistics were performed on demographic and clinical variables. The cohort was later stratified for MS and NMOSD and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify variables associated with hospitalizations/intensive critical units (ICU) admission.

Results: 145 patients were included in the registry from 15 countries and 51 treating physicians. A total of 129 (89%) were MS patients and 16 (11%) NMOSD. 81.4% patients had confirmed COVID-19 and 18.6% were suspected cases. 23 (15.8%) patients were hospitalized, 9 (6.2%) required ICU and 5 (3.4 %) died due to COVID-19. In MS patients, greater age (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.05 - 1.25) and disease duration (OR 1.39, 95%CI 1.14-1.69) were associated with hospitalization/ICU. In NMOSD patients, a greater age (54.3 vs. 36 years, p=<0.001), increased EDSS (5.5 vs 2.9, p=0.0012) and disease duration (18.5 vs. 10.3 years, p=0.001) were significantly associated with hospitalization/ICU.

Conclusion: we found that in MS patients, age and disease duration was associated with hospitalization and ICU admission requirement, while age, disease duration and EDSS was associated in NMOSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2021.102886DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937038PMC
March 2021

What percentage of AQP4-ab-negative NMOSD patients are MOG-ab positive? A study from the Argentinean multiple sclerosis registry (RelevarEM).

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021 Jan 7;49:102742. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Sección de Neuroinmunología y Enfermedades Desmielinizantes, Servicio de Neurología - Hospital de Clínicas José de San Martín, CABA; Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Universitario de CEMIC, CABA.

Background: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies (MOG-ab) have been described in aquaporin-4-antibodies(AQP4-ab)-negative neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) patients. We aimed to evaluate the percentage of AQP4-ab-negative NMOSD patients who are positive for MOG-ab in a cohort of Argentinean patients included in RelevarEM (Clinical Trials registry number NCT03375177).

Methods: RelevarEM is a longitudinal, strictly observational multiple sclerosis (MS) and NMOSD registry in Argentina. Of 3031 consecutive patients (until March 2020), 165 patients with phenotype of suspected NMOSD, whose relevant data for the purpose of this study were available, were included. Data on demographic, clinical, paraclinical and treatment in AQP4-ab (positive, negative and unknown) and MOG-ab (positive and negative) patients were evaluated.

Results: A total of 165 patients (79 AQP4-Ab positive, 67 AQP4-Ab negative and 19 unknown) were included. Of these, 155 patients fulfilled the 2015 NMOSD diagnostic criteria. Of 67 AQP4-Ab-negative patients, 36 (53.7%) were tested for MOG-Ab and 10 of them (27.7%) tested positive. Serum AQP4-ab levels were tested by means of cell-based assay (CBA) in 48 (35.2%), based on tissue-based indirect immunofluorescence assays in 58 (42.6%) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 4 (2.9%). All MOG-ab were tested by CBA. Optic neuritis (90%) was the most frequent symptom at presentation and optic nerve lesions the most frequent finding (80%) in neuroimaging of MOG-ab-associated disease. Of these, six (60%) patients were under immunosuppressant treatments at latest follow-up.

Conclusion: We observed that 27.7% (10/36) of the AQP4-ab-negative patients tested for MOG-ab were positive for this antibody, in line with results from other world regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2021.102742DOI Listing
January 2021

Absence of latitudinal gradient in oligoclonal bands prevalence in Argentina.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Nov 13;46:102582. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Neuroimmunology Unit - FLENI, Montañeses 2325, CABA, Argentina.

Background: Like MS prevalence, oligoclonal bands (OCB) frequency seems to follow a latitudinal gradient. Argentina is extensive, latitude-wise, and previous studies have not found an MS prevalence latitudinal gradient. Our aim is to describe OCB prevalence in MS, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS) patients included in the Argentinean MS and NMOSD registry (RelevarEM) and to investigate if it follows a latitudinal gradient.

Methods: For each province, an average latitude was calculated, and OCB frequency was investigated. Multivariate logistical regression analysis and linear correlation were performed. Statistical analysis was repeated after excluding patients from centers using isoelectric focusing (IEF) in less than 95% of patients (CwIEF<95).

Results: We included 2866 patients. OCB where positive in 73.9% of patients. No association or correlation were found between OCB and latitude of residence, even after excluding patients from (CwIEF<95).

Conclusion: OCB positivity does not follow a latitudinal gradient in Argentina. Also, OCB positivity is lower than described in other world regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102582DOI Listing
November 2020

Usage trend of oral drugs for multiple sclerosis patients in Argentina.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021 Jan 2;47:102664. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Centro Universitario de Esclerosis Múltiple, Hospital JM Ramos Mejía. Electronic address:

Introduction: Over the past decade, numerous disease modifying drugs (DMDs) for relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) have been approved in Argentina. The use of oral DMDs (oDMDs) has increased in recent years, although real-life data in our region is limited. We aimed to describe the tendency in the use of oDMDs (as first treatment option or after switch) in relationship with their approval in Argentina.

Methods: A retrospective study in a cohort of MS patients from five Argentinian MS centers was conducted. Regarding the availability of different oDMDs in Argentina, we define three periods (P1-3): P1: 2012 - 2014; P2: 2015 - 2017 and P3: 2018 - 2020. An analysis was performed comparing between these three periods to assess the tendency for oDMDs use over time.

Result: The most frequently prescribed treatment as first DMD was: interferon beta 1a (40%) in P1, fingolimod (37.3%) in P2 and also fingolimod (35%) in P3. We found an increase in the use of oDMTs as initial treatment over time (P1: 17.7%, P2: 63.9% and P3: 65.0%; Chi-square = 41.9 p <0.01). We also found a tendency to increase the use of oDMTs after a first switch (P1: 45.5%, P2: 60.1% and P3 78.3%). Multivariate analysis showed that disease evolution (OR=1.06, p=0.04), and year of treatment initiation (OR=1.01 p<0.01) were independently associated with choice of oDMTs.

Conclusion: This study identified an increasing tendency for the use of oDMDs as initial treatment of RMS in relationship with their approval in Argentina.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102664DOI Listing
January 2021

High birth weight and risk of multiple sclerosis: A multicentre study in Argentina.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021 Jan 12;47:102628. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Centro de Esclerosis Múltiple de Buenos Aires, CABA, Argentina.

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is now recognized as a multifactorial disease in which genetic and environmental factors intervene. Considerable efforts have been made to identify external risk factors present in childhood, adolescence and youth, though only a few perinatal risk factors have been positively associated with MS. Previously, we found an association between high birth weight and MS in male patients in a small study in Argentina. The present research was designed to further assess the association between high birth weight and MS in a larger sample of patients, using an extensive and validated general population database as control.

Methods: We present an analytical observational, multicentre, population-based, and case-control study. A total of 637 patients (cases) with confirmed MS diagnosis attending five MS specialized centres in Argentina were included. Birth weight (BW) data was recalled by the patient's mother, which is a validated approach. A two-way comparison was performed. First, we used the standard categories of high, adequate and low BW in grams. Then, we applied the weight percentile distribution to provide reproducible results for further research. For a proper assessment and comparison of variables, we adopted the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics for neonate classification according to gestational weeks and to BW in grams. The neonate's BW distribution of the general population was used as control. For the purposes of the study, we adapted Urquía's et al. curves, which are based on an extensive database of all the live births registered in the country from 2003 to 2007. To measure the magnitude of the proportional differences between low, adequate and high BW, the odds ratio (OR) and their 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated. The mean BW and percentile values for each sex were compared using a z-Normal test. The respective MS patients and general population BW distribution curves by sex were compared between each other.

Results: Cases and controls were comparable in their demographic, geographic and environmental characteristics. Males showed higher BW than females both in the MS patients and the general population groups. When we applied the sex stratified analysis separately, we found that males in the MS group showed an almost seven times higher risk of high birth weight than males from the general population (OR 6.58 [95% CI 4.81-8.99]). Female patients showed an almost five times higher risk of high BW than their respective controls (OR 4.5 [95% CI 3.06-6.58]). The comparison based on the BW percentile distribution confirmed that MS patients showed higher BW than the general population. This result reached statistical significance from the 75 percentile onwards for both sexes.

Conclusion: In summary, our findings suggested that high BW could be one of the earliest risk factors for MS in life. If this results were reproduced in other centres, high birth weight would emerge as a novel and very early risk factor, potentially modifiable in utero or immediately postpartum, representing a unique opportunity to prevent the disease in future generations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102628DOI Listing
January 2021

Clinical and demographic characteristics of primary progressive multiple sclerosis in Argentina: Argentinean registry cohort study (RelevarEM).

Neurol Sci 2020 Nov 25;41(11):3329-3335. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Centro Universitario de Esclerosis Múltiple, Hospital Dr. J. M. Ramos Mejía, Facultad de Medicina-UBA, Urquiza 609, C1221ADC, Buenos Aires City, Argentina.

Background: Primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) is an infrequent clinical form of multiple sclerosis (MS). Scarce information is available about PPMS in Latin America. The aim of this work is to describe the clinical and demographic characteristics of PPMS patients in Argentina.

Material And Methods: RelevarEM is a longitudinal, strictly observational registry in Argentina. Clinical and epidemiological data from PPMS patients were described.

Results: There were 144 cases of PPMS. They represented 7% of MS patients. The mean age was 44.1 years. The female:male ratio was 1.08. The mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was 5.5 and the mean disease evolution time was 10.6 years. Oligoclonal bands were found in 72.9%. At the time of diagnosis, magnetic resonance imaging showed spinal cord lesions in 82.6% and contrast-enhancing brain lesions in 18.1% of patients. Almost one third of patients were treated with a disease-modifying drug, and ocrelizumab was the most frequently used (55.8%).

Conclusions: PPMS is an infrequent subtype of MS and its recognition is of the highest importance as it has its own evolution, treatment, and prognosis. The importance of our research resides in providing local data and contributing to a better understanding of PPMS and its treatment in Latin America.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-020-04680-3DOI Listing
November 2020

Diagnostic uncertainty during the transition to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: Multicenter study in Argentina.

Mult Scler 2021 Apr 2;27(4):579-584. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Centro de Esclerosis Múltiple de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Background: A period of diagnostic uncertainty often characterizes the clinical transition from relapsing to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS).

Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the length of time required to reclassify relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients who have clinically transitioned to SPMS (diagnosis uncertainty).

Methods: This is a retrospective multicenter cohort study conducted in Argentina, identifying in every center all patients with diagnosis of MS who transitioned from RRMS to SPMS during the follow-up. We identified the dates of the last definitive RRMS and first definitive SPMS diagnoses for diagnostic uncertainty. The time required to reclassify RRMS who transitioned to SPMS and the time from disease onset to reclassify SPMS were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: A total of 170 patients were included, where the mean age at disease onset (first symptom) was 36 ± 6 years; the length of time required to reclassify RRMS patients who transitioned to SPMS was 3.3 ± 1.1 years (range = 1-7 years); and the time from disease onset to classify SPMS was 19.4 ± 8.5 years (range = 16-35 years).

Conclusion: A period of diagnostic uncertainty regarding the transition from RRMS to SPMS was present in many of our patients, with a mean time of 3.3 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458520924586DOI Listing
April 2021

Consensus recommendations for family planning and pregnancy in multiple sclerosis in argentina.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Aug 4;43:102147. Epub 2020 May 4.

Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common chronic immune-mediated neurological disorder in young adults, more frequently found in women than in men. Therefore, pregnancy-related issues have become an object of concern for MS professionals and patients. The aim of this work was to review the existing data to develop the first Argentine consensus for family planning and pregnancy in MS patients.

Methods: A panel of expert neurologists from Argentina engaged in the diagnosis and care of MS patients met both virtually and in person during 2019 to carry out a consensus recommendation for family planning and pregnancy in MS. To achieve consensus, the procedure of the "formal consensus-RAND/UCLA method" was used.

Results: Recommendations were established based on published evidence and expert opinion focusing on pre-pregnancy counseling, pregnancy, and postpartum issues.

Conclusion: The recommendations of these consensus guidelines are intended to optimize the management and treatment of MS patients during their reproductive age in Argentina.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102147DOI Listing
August 2020

Multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders in Argentina: comparing baseline data from the Argentinean MS Registry (RelevarEM).

Neurol Sci 2020 Jun 20;41(6):1513-1519. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Sanatorio Güemes, CABA, Argentina.

The objective of this study was to describe and compare the baseline epidemiological data of multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) patients included in RelevarEM (Clinical Trials registry number NCT03375177).

Methods: RelevarEM is a longitudinal, strictly observational MS and NMOSD registry in Argentina. Epidemiological and comorbidity data from MS and NMOSD patients were described and compared. For comorbidities, the Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) was used to calculate the burden at entry. CCI was stratified in 0 and ≥ 1 and described for the entire cohort.

Results: A total of 1588 and 75 MS and NMOSD patients (respectively) were included. For MS patients, the mean age was 42 ± 7 years, female sex 65.3%, mean EDSS 2, and mean disease duration 8 ± 6 years. In NMOSD, the mean age was 40 ± 7 years, female sex 78.7%, mean disease duration 5 ± 3.5 years, and mean EDSS 2.5. The most frequent MS phenotype was RRMS in 82.4%. In MS, the CCI was 0 in 85.8.2% while ≥ 1 was in 14.2% of patients. Regarding phenotype stratification, CCI ≥ 1 was 3.9% in CIS, 13.5% in RRMS, 28.7% in SPMS, and 17.4% in PPMS (p < 0.001 between groups). In NMOSD, the CCI was 0 in 64% while ≥ 1 was in 36%. The MS/NMOSD ratio found was 21/1.

Conclusions: This is the first analysis of the longitudinal Argentinean registry of MS and NMOSD describing and comparing conditions that contributes to provide reliable real-world data in the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-019-04230-6DOI Listing
June 2020

Consensus recommendations on the management of multiple sclerosis patients in Argentina.

J Neurol Sci 2020 Feb 2;409:116609. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Department of Neurology, Institute for Neurological Research Dr Raul Carrea, FLENI, Argentina.

Introduction: During the last 20 years, multiple sclerosis (MS) disease has seen major changes with new diagnostic criteria, a better identification of disease phenotypes, individualization of disease prognosis and the appearance of new therapeutic options in relapsing remitting as well as progressive MS. As a result, the management of MS patients has become more complex and challenging. The objective of these consensus recommendations was to review how the disease should be managed in Argentina to improve long-term outcomes in MS patients.

Methods: A panel of 36 experts in neurology from Argentina, dedicated to the diagnosis and care of MS patients, gathered both virtually and in person during 2018 and 2019 to carry out a consensus recommendation on the management of MS patients in Argentina. To achieve consensus, the methodology of "formal consensus-RAND/UCLA method" was used.

Results: Recommendations focused on diagnosis, disease prognosis, tailored treatment, treatment failure identification and pharmacovigilance process.

Conclusions: The recommendations of these consensus guidelines attempt to optimize the health care and management of patients with MS in Argentina.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2019.116609DOI Listing
February 2020

Risk of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: A longitudinal study.

Mult Scler 2020 01 9;26(1):79-90. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

CORe, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/L4 Centre, Melbourne Brain Centre at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Background: The risk factors for conversion from relapsing-remitting to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis remain highly contested.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the demographic, clinical and paraclinical features that influence the risk of conversion to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Methods: Patients with adult-onset relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and at least four recorded disability scores were selected from MSBase, a global observational cohort. The risk of conversion to objectively defined secondary progressive multiple sclerosis was evaluated at multiple time points per patient using multivariable marginal Cox regression models. Sensitivity analyses were performed.

Results: A total of 15,717 patients were included in the primary analysis. Older age (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.02,  < 0.001), longer disease duration (HR = 1.01,  = 0.038), a higher Expanded Disability Status Scale score (HR = 1.30,  < 0.001), more rapid disability trajectory (HR = 2.82,  < 0.001) and greater number of relapses in the previous year (HR = 1.07,  = 0.010) were independently associated with an increased risk of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Improving disability (HR = 0.62,  = 0.039) and disease-modifying therapy exposure (HR = 0.71,  = 0.007) were associated with a lower risk. Recent cerebral magnetic resonance imaging activity, evidence of spinal cord lesions and oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid were not associated with the risk of conversion.

Conclusion: Risk of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis increases with age, duration of illness and worsening disability and decreases with improving disability. Therapy may delay the onset of secondary progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458519868990DOI Listing
January 2020

The Argentinean multiple sclerosis registry (RelevarEM): Methodological aspects and directions.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2019 Jul 15;32:133-137. Epub 2019 May 15.

Centro de esclerosis múltiple de Buenos Aires, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Gascón 450,1181, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Despite that different registries already exist in various countries in Europe and North America, no ongoing nationwide registry exists in Latin America (LATAM), a region where the disease behaves differently than in other regions. The objective of this document is to describe the methodology behind RelevarEM, the first nationwide MS registry in Argentina and LATAM. METHODS: In this article, we described the creation, implementation and data management of the nationwide MS registry in Argentina. The registry contains information on the structure, ethical aspects, implementation and variables of the registry (Clinical Trials registry number NCT NCT03375177). CONCLUSION: RelevarEM is the first MS nationwide registry in Argentina, as well as in LATAM, with the objective of providing reliable real-world data of MS in the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2019.05.004DOI Listing
July 2019

Higher latitude is significantly associated with an earlier age of disease onset in multiple sclerosis.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2016 Dec 3;87(12):1343-1349. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Background: Age at onset (AAO) in multiple sclerosis (MS) is an important marker of disease severity and may have prognostic significance. Understanding what factors can influence AAO may shed light on the aetiology of this complex disease, and have applications in the diagnostic process.

Methods: The study cohort of 22 162 eligible patients from 21 countries was extracted from the MSBase registry. Only patients with MS aged ≥16 years were included. To reduce heterogeneity, only centres of largely European descent were included for analysis. AAO was defined as the year of the first symptom suggestive of inflammatory central nervous system demyelination. Predictors of AAO were evaluated by linear regression.

Results: Compared with those living in lower latitudes (19.0-39.9°), onset of symptoms was 1.9 years earlier for those at higher latitudes (50.0-56.0°) (p=3.83×10). A reciprocal relationship was seen for ambient ultraviolet radiation (UVR), with a significantly increasing AAO for patients with MS per each quartile increment of ambient UVR (p=1.56×10). We found that the AAO of female patients was ∼5 months earlier than male patients (p=0.002). AAO of progressive-onset patients with MS were ∼9 years later than relapsing-onset patients (p=1.40×10).

Conclusions: An earlier AAO in higher latitude regions was found in this worldwide European-descent cohort and correlated inversely with variation in latitudinal UVR. These results suggest that environmental factors which act at the population level may significantly influence disease severity characteristics in genetically susceptible populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2016-314013DOI Listing
December 2016

Highly active immunomodulatory therapy ameliorates accumulation of disability in moderately advanced and advanced multiple sclerosis.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2017 Mar 28;88(3):196-203. Epub 2016 Sep 28.

Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Objective: To evaluate variability and predictability of disability trajectories in moderately advanced and advanced multiple sclerosis (MS), and their modifiability with immunomodulatory therapy.

Methods: The epochs between Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) steps 3-6, 4-6 and 6-6.5 were analysed. Patients with relapse-onset MS and having reached 6-month confirmed baseline EDSS step (3/4/6) were identified in MSBase, a global observational MS cohort study. We used multivariable survival models to examine the impact of disease-modifying therapy, clinical and demographic factors on progression to the outcome EDSS step (6/6.5). Sensitivity analyses with varying outcome definitions and inclusion criteria were conducted.

Results: For the EDSS 3-6, 4-6 and 6-6.5 epochs, 1560, 1504 and 1231 patients were identified, respectively. Disability trajectories showed large coefficients of variance prebaseline (0.92-1.11) and postbaseline (2.15-2.50), with no significant correlations. The probability of reaching the outcome step was not associated with prebaseline variables, but was increased by higher relapse rates during each epoch (HRs 1.58-3.07; p<0.001). A greater proportion of each epoch treated with higher efficacy therapies was associated with lower risk of reaching the outcome disability step (HRs 0.72-0.91 per 25%; p≤0.02). 3 sensitivity analyses confirmed these results.

Conclusions: Disease progression during moderately advanced and advanced MS is highly variable and amnesic to prior disease activity. Lower relapse rates and greater time on higher efficacy immunomodulatory therapy after reaching EDSS steps 3, 4 and 6 are associated with a decreased risk of accumulating further disability. Highly effective immunomodulatory therapy ameliorates accumulation of disability in moderately advanced and advanced relapse-onset MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2016-313976DOI Listing
March 2017

Contribution of different relapse phenotypes to disability in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2017 Feb 11;23(2):266-276. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia/Department of Neurology, Melbourne Brain Centre at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Objective: This study evaluated the effect of relapse phenotype on disability accumulation in multiple sclerosis.

Methods: Analysis of prospectively collected data was conducted in 19,504 patients with relapse-onset multiple sclerosis and minimum 1-year prospective follow-up from the MSBase cohort study. Multivariable linear regression models assessed associations between relapse incidence, phenotype and changes in disability (quantified with Expanded Disability Status Scale and its Functional System scores). Sensitivity analyses were conducted.

Results: In 34,858 relapses recorded during 136,462 patient-years (median follow-up 5.9 years), higher relapse incidence was associated with greater disability accumulation (β = 0.16, p < 0.001). Relapses of all phenotypes promoted disability accumulation, with the most pronounced increase associated with pyramidal (β = 0.27 (0.25-0.29)), cerebellar (β = 0.35 (0.30-0.39)) and bowel/bladder (β = 0.42 (0.35-0.49)) phenotypes (mean (95% confidence interval)). Higher incidence of each relapse phenotype was associated with an increase in disability in the corresponding neurological domain, as well as anatomically related domains.

Conclusion: Relapses are associated with accumulation of neurological disability. Relapses in pyramidal, cerebellar and bowel/bladder systems have the greatest association with disability change. Therefore, prevention of these relapses is an important objective of disease-modifying therapy. The differential impact of relapse phenotypes on disability outcomes could influence management of treatment failure in multiple sclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458516643392DOI Listing
February 2017

Multiple sclerosis in Latin America: A different disease course severity? A collaborative study from the MSBase Registry.

Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin 2015 Jan-Dec;1:2055217315600193. Epub 2015 Aug 17.

Multiple Sclerosis Center, Hospital Italiano, Argentina.

Limited data suggest that multiple sclerosis (MS) in Latin America (LA) could be less severe than in the rest of the world. The objective was to compare the course of MS between LA and other regions.

Methods: Centers from 18 countries with >20 cases enrolled in the MSBase Registry participated. Patients with MS with a disease duration of >1 year and <30 years at time of EDSS measurement were evaluated. The MS Severity Score (MSSS) was used as a measure of disease progression. Comparisons among regions (North America, Europe, Australia and LA), hemispheres and countries were performed.

Results: A total of 9610 patients were included. Patients were from: Europe, 6290 (65.6%); North America, 1609 (16.7%); Australia, 1119 (11.6%); and LA, 592 (6.1%). The mean MSSS in patients from LA was 4.47 ± 2.8, 4.53 ± 2.8 in North America, 4.51 ± 2.8 in Europe and 4.49 ± 2.7 in Australia. Mean MSSS in the northern hemisphere was 4.51 ± 1.6 compared to 4.48 ± 1.9 in the southern hemisphere. No differences were found for MSSS among hemispheres ( = 0.68), regions ( = 0.96) or countries ( = 0.50).

Conclusions: Our analyses did not discover any difference in mean MSSS among patients from different regions, hemispheres or countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2055217315600193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5408755PMC
August 2015

Male Sex Is Independently Associated with Faster Disability Accumulation in Relapse-Onset MS but Not in Primary Progressive MS.

PLoS One 2015 5;10(6):e0122686. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, Australia.

Background: Multiple Sclerosis is more common in women than men and females have more relapses than men. In a large international cohort we have evaluated the effect of gender on disability accumulation and disease progression to determine if male MS patients have a worse clinical outcome than females.

Methods: Using the MSBase Registry, data from 15,826 MS patients from 25 countries was analysed. Changes in the severity of MS (EDSS) were compared between sexes using a repeated measures analysis in generalised linear mixed models. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to test for sex difference in the time to reach EDSS milestones 3 and 6 and the secondary progressive MS.

Results: In relapse onset MS patients (n = 14,453), males progressed significantly faster in their EDSS than females (0.133 vs 0.112 per year, P<0.001,). Females had a reduced risk of secondary progressive MS (HR (95% CI) = 0.77 (0.67 to 0.90) P = 0.001). In primary progressive MS (n = 1,373), there was a significant increase in EDSS over time in males and females (P<0.001) but there was no significant sex effect on the annualized rate of EDSS change.

Conclusion: Among registrants of MSBase, male relapse-onset patients accumulate disability faster than female patients. In contrast, the rate of disability accumulation between male and female patients with primary progressive MS is similar.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122686PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4457630PMC
March 2016

Seasonal variation of relapse rate in multiple sclerosis is latitude dependent.

Ann Neurol 2014 Dec 20;76(6):880-90. Epub 2014 Oct 20.

Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Australia.

Objective: Previous studies assessing seasonal variation of relapse onset in multiple sclerosis have had conflicting results. Small relapse numbers, differing diagnostic criteria, and single region studies limit the generalizability of prior results. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a temporal variation in onset of relapses in both hemispheres and to determine whether seasonal peak relapse probability varies with latitude.

Methods: The international MSBase Registry was utilized to analyze seasonal relapse onset distribution by hemisphere and latitudinal location. All analyses were weighted for the patient number contributed by each center. A sine regression model was used to model relapse onset and ultraviolet radiation (UVR) seasonality. Linear regression was used to investigate associations of latitude and lag between UVR trough and subsequent relapse peak.

Results: A total of 32,762 relapses from 9,811 patients across 30 countries were analyzed. Relapse onset followed an annual cyclical sinusoidal pattern with peaks in early spring and troughs in autumn in both hemispheres. Every 10° of latitude away from the equator was associated with a mean decrease in UVR trough to subsequent relapse peak lag of 28.5 days (95% confidence interval = 3.29-53.71, p = 0.028).

Interpretation: We demonstrate for the first time that there is a latitude-dependent relationship between seasonal UVR trough and relapse onset probability peak independent of location-specific UVR levels, with more distal latitude associated with shorter gaps. We confirm prior meta-analyses showing a strong seasonal relapse onset probability variation in the northern hemisphere, and extend this observation to the southern hemisphere.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.24287DOI Listing
December 2014

ENCOMS: Argentinian survey in cost of illness and unmet needs in multiple sclerosis.

Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2014 May;72(5):337-43

Novartis, Argentina.

Unlabelled: The objective of the study was to assess the cost of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in Argentina categorized by disease severity using a societal perspective.

Method: Cross-sectional study including MS patients from 21 MS centers in 12 cities of Argentina. Patients were stratified by disease severity using the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) (group 1 with EDSS score between 0 and 3; group 2 with EDSS >3 and <7; group 3 with EDSS ≥7). Direct and indirect costs were analyzed for the second quarter of 2012 from public sources and converted to US Dollars.

Results: 266 patients were included. Mean annual cost per MS patient was USD 36,025 (95%CI 31,985-38,068) for patients with an EDSS between 0-3; USD 40,705 (95%CI 37,199-46,300) for patients with EDSS >3 and <7, and USD 50,712 (95%CI 47,825-62,104) for patients with EDSS ≥7.

Conclusions: This is the first Argentine study evaluating the costs of MS considering disease severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0004-282x20140016DOI Listing
May 2014

Predictors and dynamics of postpartum relapses in women with multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2014 May 9;20(6):739-46. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Department of Neurology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, UK.

Background: Several studies have shown that pregnancy reduces multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses, which increase in the early postpartum period. Postpartum relapse risk has been predicted by pre-pregnancy disease activity in some studies.

Objective: To re-examine effect of pregnancy on relapses using the large international MSBase Registry, examining predictors of early postpartum relapse.

Methods: An observational case-control study was performed including pregnancies post-MS onset. Annualised relapse rate (ARR) and median Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores were compared for the 24 months pre-conception, pregnancy and 24 months postpartum periods. Clustered logistic regression was used to investigate predictors of early postpartum relapses.

Results: The study included 893 pregnancies in 674 females with MS. ARR (standard error) pre-pregnancy was 0.32 (0.02), which fell to 0.13 (0.03) in the third trimester and rose to 0.61 (0.06) in the first three months postpartum. Median EDSS remained unchanged. Pre-conception ARR and disease-modifying treatment (DMT) predicted early postpartum relapse in a multivariable model.

Conclusion: Results confirm a favourable effect on relapses as pregnancy proceeds, and an early postpartum peak. Pre-conception DMT exposure and low ARR were independently protective against postpartum relapse. This novel finding could provide clinicians with a strategy to minimise postpartum relapse risk in women with MS planning pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458513507816DOI Listing
May 2014

Persistence on therapy and propensity matched outcome comparison of two subcutaneous interferon beta 1a dosages for multiple sclerosis.

PLoS One 2013 21;8(5):e63480. Epub 2013 May 21.

Departments of Medicine and Neurology, University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Objectives: To compare treatment persistence between two dosages of interferon β-1a in a large observational multiple sclerosis registry and assess disease outcomes of first line MS treatment at these dosages using propensity scoring to adjust for baseline imbalance in disease characteristics.

Methods: Treatment discontinuations were evaluated in all patients within the MSBase registry who commenced interferon β-1a SC thrice weekly (n = 4678). Furthermore, we assessed 2-year clinical outcomes in 1220 patients treated with interferon β-1a in either dosage (22 µg or 44 µg) as their first disease modifying agent, matched on propensity score calculated from pre-treatment demographic and clinical variables. A subgroup analysis was performed on 456 matched patients who also had baseline MRI variables recorded.

Results: Overall, 4054 treatment discontinuations were recorded in 3059 patients. The patients receiving the lower interferon dosage were more likely to discontinue treatment than those with the higher dosage (25% vs. 20% annual probability of discontinuation, respectively). This was seen in discontinuations with reasons recorded as "lack of efficacy" (3.3% vs. 1.7%), "scheduled stop" (2.2% vs. 1.3%) or without the reason recorded (16.7% vs. 13.3% annual discontinuation rate, 22 µg vs. 44 µg dosage, respectively). Propensity score was determined by treating centre and disability (score without MRI parameters) or centre, sex and number of contrast-enhancing lesions (score including MRI parameters). No differences in clinical outcomes at two years (relapse rate, time relapse-free and disability) were observed between the matched patients treated with either of the interferon dosages.

Conclusions: Treatment discontinuations were more common in interferon β-1a 22 µg SC thrice weekly. However, 2-year clinical outcomes did not differ between patients receiving the different dosages, thus replicating in a registry dataset derived from "real-world" database the results of the pivotal randomised trial. Propensity score matching effectively minimised baseline covariate imbalance between two directly compared sub-populations from a large observational registry.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0063480PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3660604PMC
December 2013