Publications by authors named "Peter Van den Bergh"

71 Publications

European Academy of Neurology/Peripheral Nerve Society guideline on diagnosis and treatment of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy: Report of a joint Task Force-Second revision.

Eur J Neurol 2021 Jul 30. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Department of Pediatrics, Yeditepe University, İstanbul, Turkey.

Objective: To revise the 2010 consensus guideline on chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP).

Methods: Seventeen disease experts, a patient representative, and two Cochrane methodologists constructed 12 Population/Intervention/Comparison/Outcome (PICO) questions regarding diagnosis and treatment to guide the literature search. Data were extracted and summarized in GRADE summary of findings (for treatment PICOs) or evidence tables (for diagnostic PICOs).

Results: Statements were prepared according to the GRADE Evidence-to-Decision frameworks. Typical CIDP and CIDP variants were distinguished. The previous term "atypical CIDP" was replaced by "CIDP variants" because these are well characterized entities (multifocal, focal, distal, motor, or sensory CIDP). The levels of diagnostic certainty were reduced from three (definite, probable, possible CIDP) to only two (CIDP and possible CIDP), because the diagnostic accuracy of criteria for probable and definite CIDP did not significantly differ. Good Practice Points were formulated for supportive criteria and investigations to be considered to diagnose CIDP. The principal treatment recommendations were: (a) intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) or corticosteroids are strongly recommended as initial treatment in typical CIDP and CIDP variants; (b) plasma exchange is strongly recommended if IVIg and corticosteroids are ineffective; (c) IVIg should be considered as first-line treatment in motor CIDP (Good Practice Point); (d) for maintenance treatment, IVIg, subcutaneous immunoglobulin or corticosteroids are recommended; (e) if the maintenance dose of any of these is high, consider either combination treatments or adding an immunosuppressant or immunomodulatory drug (Good Practice Point); and (f) if pain is present, consider drugs against neuropathic pain and multidisciplinary management (Good Practice Point).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ene.14959DOI Listing
July 2021

Characterization of HNRNPA1 mutations defines diversity in pathogenic mechanisms and clinical presentation.

JCI Insight 2021 Jul 22;6(14). Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Translational Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and.

Mutations in HNRNPA1 encoding heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A1 are a rare cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multisystem proteinopathy (MSP). hnRNPA1 is part of the group of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that assemble with RNA to form RNPs. hnRNPs are concentrated in the nucleus and function in pre-mRNA splicing, mRNA stability, and the regulation of transcription and translation. During stress, hnRNPs, mRNA, and other RBPs condense in the cytoplasm to form stress granules (SGs). SGs are implicated in the pathogenesis of (neuro-)degenerative diseases, including ALS and inclusion body myopathy (IBM). Mutations in RBPs that affect SG biology, including FUS, TDP-43, hnRNPA1, hnRNPA2B1, and TIA1, underlie ALS, IBM, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we characterize 4 potentially novel HNRNPA1 mutations (yielding 3 protein variants: *321Eext*6, *321Qext*6, and G304Nfs*3) and 2 known HNRNPA1 mutations (P288A and D262V), previously connected to ALS and MSP, in a broad spectrum of patients with hereditary motor neuropathy, ALS, and myopathy. We establish that the mutations can have different effects on hnRNPA1 fibrillization, liquid-liquid phase separation, and SG dynamics. P288A accelerated fibrillization and decelerated SG disassembly, whereas *321Eext*6 had no effect on fibrillization but decelerated SG disassembly. By contrast, G304Nfs*3 decelerated fibrillization and impaired liquid phase separation. Our findings suggest different underlying pathomechanisms for HNRNPA1 mutations with a possible link to clinical phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.148363DOI Listing
July 2021

Symptomatic Val122del mutated hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis: Need for early diagnosis and prioritization for heart and liver transplantation.

Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int 2021 May 27. Epub 2021 May 27.

Institute for Experimental and Clinical Research (IREC), Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Avenue Hippocrate 55, Brussels 1200, Belgium. Electronic address:

Background Hereditary transthyretin (ATTRv) amyloidosis is an autosomal dominant disease linked to transthyretin gene mutations which cause instability of the transthyretin tetramer. After dissociation and misfolding they reassemble as insoluble fibrils (i.e. amyloid). Apart from the common Val30Met mutation there is a very heterogeneous group of non-Val30Met mutations. In some cases, the clinical picture is dominated by a rapidly evolving restrictive and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Methods A case series of four liver recipients with the highly clinically relevant, rare and particularly aggressive Val122del mutation is presented. Medical and surgical therapeutic options, waiting list policy for ATTRv-amyloidosis, including the need for heart transplantation, and status of heart-liver transplantation are discussed. Results Three patients needed a staged (1 patient) or simultaneous (2 patients) heart-liver transplant due to rapidly progressing cardiac failure and/or neurologic disability. Domino liver transplantation was impossible in two due to fibrotic hepatic transformation caused by cardiomyopathy. After a follow-up ranging from 3.5 to 9.5 years, cardiac (allograft) function was maintained in all patients, but neuropathy progressed in three patients, one of whom died after 80 months. Conclusions This is the first report in (liver) transplant literature about the rare Val122del ATTRv mutation. Due to its aggressiveness, symptomatic patients should be prioritized on the liver and, in cases with cardiomyopathy, heart waiting lists in order to avoid the irreversible neurological and cardiac damage that leads to a rapid lethal outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hbpd.2021.05.002DOI Listing
May 2021

Iatrogenic immune-mediated neuropathies: diagnostic, epidemiological and mechanistic uncertainties for causality and implications for clinical practice.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2021 Jun 8. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Inflammatory Neuropathy Clinic, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

Acute and chronic immune-mediated neuropathies have been widely reported with medical intervention. Although causal relationship may be uncertain in many cases, a variety of drugs, several vaccination types, surgical procedures and bone marrow transplants have been reported as possible cause or trigger of a putative immune-mediated response resulting in acute and chronic neuropathies. We conducted a systematic review of the literature from 1966 to 2020 on reported cases of possible iatrogenic immune-mediated neuropathies. We determined in each case the likelihood of causality based on frequency of the association, focusing primarily on clinical presentation and disease course as well as available ancillary investigations (electrophysiology, blood and cerebrospinal fluid and neuropathology). The response to immunotherapy and issue of re-exposure were also evaluated. We also considered hypothesised mechanisms of onset of immune-mediated neuropathy in the specific iatrogenic context. We believe that a likely causal relationship exists for only few drugs, mainly antitumour necrosis factor alpha agents and immune checkpoint inhibitors, but remains largely unsubstantiated for most other suggested iatrogenic causes. Unfortunately, given the lack of an accurate diagnostic biomarker for most immune-mediated neuropathies, clinical assessment will often override ancillary investigations, resulting in lower levels of certainty that may continue to cast serious doubts on reliability of their diagnosis. Consequently, future reports of suspected cases should collect and exhaustively assess all relevant data. At the current time, besides lack of evidence for causality, the practical implications on management of suspected cases is extremely limited and therapeutic decisions appear likely no different to those made in non-iatrogenic cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2019-321663DOI Listing
June 2021

European Academy of Neurology/Peripheral Nerve Society guideline on diagnosis and treatment of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy: Report of a joint Task Force-Second revision.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2021 Jun 4. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Department of Pediatrics, Yeditepe University, İstanbul, Turkey.

To revise the 2010 consensus guideline on chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP). Seventeen disease experts, a patient representative, and two Cochrane methodologists constructed 12 Population/Intervention/Comparison/Outcome (PICO) questions regarding diagnosis and treatment to guide the literature search. Data were extracted and summarized in GRADE summary of findings (for treatment PICOs) or evidence tables (for diagnostic PICOs). Statements were prepared according to the GRADE Evidence-to-Decision frameworks. Typical CIDP and CIDP variants were distinguished. The previous term "atypical CIDP" was replaced by "CIDP variants" because these are well characterized entities (multifocal, focal, distal, motor, or sensory CIDP). The levels of diagnostic certainty were reduced from three (definite, probable, possible CIDP) to only two (CIDP and possible CIDP), because the diagnostic accuracy of criteria for probable and definite CIDP did not significantly differ. Good Practice Points were formulated for supportive criteria and investigations to be considered to diagnose CIDP. The principal treatment recommendations were: (a) intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) or corticosteroids are strongly recommended as initial treatment in typical CIDP and CIDP variants; (b) plasma exchange is strongly recommended if IVIg and corticosteroids are ineffective; (c) IVIg should be considered as first-line treatment in motor CIDP (Good Practice Point); (d) for maintenance treatment, IVIg, subcutaneous immunoglobulin or corticosteroids are recommended; (e) if the maintenance dose of any of these is high, consider either combination treatments or adding an immunosuppressant or immunomodulatory drug (Good Practice Point); and (f) if pain is present, consider drugs against neuropathic pain and multidisciplinary management (Good Practice Point).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12455DOI Listing
June 2021

Elucidating autoimmune nodopathies and the CIDP spectrum.

Brain 2021 May;144(4):1043-1045

Department of Neurology, Neuromuscular Reference Centre, University Hospital Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab116DOI Listing
May 2021

Screening for oropharyngeal dysphagia in adult patients with neuromuscular diseases using the Sydney Swallow Questionnaire.

Muscle Nerve 2021 Apr 23. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Pôle de Pneumologie, ORL & Dermatologie, Groupe Recherche en Kinésithérapie Respiratoire, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Introduction/aims: Oropharyngeal dysphagia is common in patients with neuromuscular diseases (NMDs). Its early recognition is vital for proper management. We tested a large cohort of adult NMD patients for oropharyngeal dysphagia using the Sydney Swallow Questionnaire (SSQ). We also looked for possible differences in characteristics of oropharyngeal dysphagia in various NMD groups and diseases. Finally, we compared results of this screening with those from their corresponding medical records for eventual "clinical history" of dysphagia.

Methods: We asked patients to fill in the SSQ during follow-up outpatient visits at our neuromuscular reference center. A total score above the cutoff score of 118.5 out of 1700 was indicative of oropharyngeal dysphagia.

Results: Of the 304 adult patients assessed for eligibility, 201 NMD patients (96 women and 105 men, aged 49.0 ± 16.2 years) were included and tested in this study. Oropharyngeal dysphagia was detected in 45% of all the NMD patients when using the SSQ, whereas only 12% had a positive medical record for dysphagia. The median SSQ scores for patients with myotonic syndromes (including myotonic dystrophy type 1), with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and with facioscapulohumeral dystrophy were above the cutoff score. The SSQ scores obtained revealed distinct oropharyngeal dysphagia characteristics in the different NMD groups and diseases.

Discussion: The SSQ tests positively for oropharyngeal dysphagia in a higher proportion of NMD patients compared with their medical records. The distinct oropharyngeal dysphagia characteristics we revealed in different NMD groups and diseases may help to elaborate adapted clinical approaches in the management of oropharyngeal dysphagia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mus.27254DOI Listing
April 2021

Efficacy and Safety of Bimagrumab in Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis: Long-term Extension of RESILIENT.

Neurology 2021 03 17;96(12):e1595-e1607. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

From the Department of Neurology (A.A.A.), Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Medical Research Council Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases (M.G.H., P.M.M.) and Institute of Neurology, Department of Neuromuscular Diseases & Centre for Rheumatology (P.M.M.), University College London; Department of Rheumatology & Queen Square Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases (P.M.M.), University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Department of Rheumatology (P.M.M.), Northwick Park Hospital, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, UK; Department of Neurology (U.A.B.), Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands; National Institute for Health Research Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (H.C.), Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The University of Manchester, UK; Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology (O.B.), Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France; Novartis Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. (K.A.K), Hyderabad, India; Novartis Pharmaceuticals (M.W., D.A.P.), East Hanover, NJ; Novartis Pharma AG (L.B.T., A.A.S-T.), Basel, Switzerland; Department of Neurology (T.E.L.), The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; Institute for Immunology & Infectious Diseases (M.N.), Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch University and Notre Dame University, Perth; Department of Neurology (C.L.), Royal North Shore Hospital, New South Wales; Calvary Health Care Bethlehem (K.A.R.), Caulfield South, Australia; Department of Neurology (M.d.V), Amsterdam University Medical Centre, the Netherlands; Department of Medicine (D.P.A.), University of Miami, FL; Department of Neurology (R.J.B., M.M.D.), University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City; Department of Neurology (J.A.L.M.), Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK; Department of Neurology (J.T.K.), The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus; Neuromuscular Research Center (B.O., N.C.J.), UC Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA; Department of Neurology (P.V.d.B.), University Hospital Saint-Luc, University of Louvain, Brussels; Neuromuscular Reference Centre, Department of Neurology (J.B.), Antwerp University Hospital; Institute Born-Bunge (J.B.), University of Antwerp; Department of Neurology (J.L.d.B.), Ghent University Hospital, Belgium; Department of Neurology (C.K.), Oregon Health & Science University, Portland; Department of Neurology (W.S.D.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Neuromuscular Diagnostic Center and Electromyography Laboratory, Boston; Department of Neurology (M.M.), Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS; Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (M.M.), Rome, Italy; Department of Neurology (S.P.N.), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Department of Neurology (H.H.J.), University Hospital and University of Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Neurosciences (E.P.), University of Padova School of Medicine; Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta (L.M.), Milan; Unit of Neurology and Neuromuscular Disorders (C.R.), Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico G Martino, University of Messina; Center for Neuromuscular Diseases (M.F.), Unit of Neurology, ASST Spedali Civili and University of Brescia, Italy; Nerve and Muscle Center of Texas (A.I.S.), Houston; Neuromuscular Research Center (K.S.), Phoenix, AZ; Department of Neurology (N.A.G.), ALS & Neuromuscular Center, University of California Irvine, Orange; Department of Neurology (M.M.-Y.), National Center Hospital, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo; Department of Neurology (S.Y.), Kumamoto University Hospital; Department of Neurology (N.S.), Tohoku University Hospital, Miyagi; Department of Neurology (M.A.), Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai; Department of Neurology (M.K.), Nagoya University Hospital, Aichi; Department of Neurology (H.M.), Osaka City General Hospital; Wakayama Medical University Hospital (K.M.); Tokushima University Hospital (H.N.); Department of Neuromuscular Research (I.N.), National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan; RTI Health Solutions (C.D.R., V.S.L.W.), Research Triangle Park, NC; Copenhagen Neuromuscular Center (J.V.), Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; and UCB (L.Z.A.), Bulle, Switzerland. H.N. is currently affiliated with the Department of Neurology, Kanazawa Medical University, Ishikawa, Japan. B.O. is currently affiliated with the Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.

Objective: To assess long-term (2 years) effects of bimagrumab in participants with sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM).

Methods: Participants (aged 36-85 years) who completed the core study (RESILIENT [Efficacy and Safety of Bimagrumab/BYM338 at 52 Weeks on Physical Function, Muscle Strength, Mobility in sIBM Patients]) were invited to join an extension study. Individuals continued on the same treatment as in the core study (10 mg/kg, 3 mg/kg, 1 mg/kg bimagrumab or matching placebo administered as IV infusions every 4 weeks). The co-primary outcome measures were 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) and safety.

Results: Between November 2015 and February 2017, 211 participants entered double-blind placebo-controlled period of the extension study. Mean change in 6MWD from baseline was highly variable across treatment groups, but indicated progressive deterioration from weeks 24-104 in all treatment groups. Overall, 91.0% (n = 142) of participants in the pooled bimagrumab group and 89.1% (n = 49) in the placebo group had ≥1 treatment-emergent adverse event (AE). Falls were slightly higher in the bimagrumab 3 mg/kg group vs 10 mg/kg, 1 mg/kg, and placebo groups (69.2% [n = 36 of 52] vs 56.6% [n = 30 of 53], 58.8% [n = 30 of 51], and 61.8% [n = 34 of 55], respectively). The most frequently reported AEs in the pooled bimagrumab group were diarrhea 14.7% (n = 23), involuntary muscle contractions 9.6% (n = 15), and rash 5.1% (n = 8). Incidence of serious AEs was comparable between the pooled bimagrumab and the placebo group (18.6% [n = 29] vs 14.5% [n = 8], respectively).

Conclusion: Extended treatment with bimagrumab up to 2 years produced a good safety profile and was well-tolerated, but did not provide clinical benefits in terms of improvement in mobility. The extension study was terminated early due to core study not meeting its primary endpoint.

Clinical Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02573467.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with sIBM, long-term treatment with bimagrumab was safe, well-tolerated, and did not provide meaningful functional benefit. The study is rated Class IV because of the open-label design of extension treatment period 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011626DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8032371PMC
March 2021

Making sense of missense variants in TTN-related congenital myopathies.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 03 15;141(3):431-453. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Mutations in the sarcomeric protein titin, encoded by TTN, are emerging as a common cause of myopathies. The diagnosis of a TTN-related myopathy is, however, often not straightforward due to clinico-pathological overlap with other myopathies and the prevalence of TTN variants in control populations. Here, we present a combined clinico-pathological, genetic and biophysical approach to the diagnosis of TTN-related myopathies and the pathogenicity ascertainment of TTN missense variants. We identified 30 patients with a primary TTN-related congenital myopathy (CM) and two truncating variants, or one truncating and one missense TTN variant, or homozygous for one TTN missense variant. We found that TTN-related myopathies show considerable overlap with other myopathies but are strongly suggested by a combination of certain clinico-pathological features. Presentation was typically at birth with the clinical course characterized by variable progression of weakness, contractures, scoliosis and respiratory symptoms but sparing of extraocular muscles. Cardiac involvement depended on the variant position. Our biophysical analyses demonstrated that missense mutations associated with CMs are strongly destabilizing and exert their effect when expressed on a truncating background or in homozygosity. We hypothesise that destabilizing TTN missense mutations phenocopy truncating variants and are a key pathogenic feature of recessive titinopathies that might be amenable to therapeutic intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-020-02257-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7882473PMC
March 2021

Efficacy and Safety of Rozanolixizumab in Moderate to Severe Generalized Myasthenia Gravis: A Phase 2 Randomized Control Trial.

Neurology 2021 02 20;96(6):e853-e865. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

From Toronto General Hospital (V.B.), University Health Network, University of Toronto, Canada; Department of Neurology (M. Benatar), Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, FL; Department of Neurology (H.A.), Aarhus University Hospital; Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet (J.V.), University of Copenhagen, Denmark; UCB Pharma (M. Brock), Raleigh, NC; UCB Pharma (B.G., P.K., F.W.), Monheim-am-Rhein, Germany; iMed Communications (L.G.), Macclesfield, UK; and Neuromuscular Reference Centre, Department of Neurology (P.V.d.B.), University Hospital Saint-Luc, University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Objective: To explore the clinical efficacy and safety of subcutaneous (SC) rozanolixizumab, an anti-neonatal Fc receptor humanized monoclonal antibody, in patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG).

Methods: In this phase 2a, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2-period, multicenter trial (NCT03052751), patients were randomized (1:1) in period 1 (days 1-29) to 3 once-weekly (Q1W) SC infusions of rozanolixizumab 7 mg/kg or placebo. In period 2 (days 29-43), patients were re-randomized to either rozanolixizumab 7 mg/kg or 4 mg/kg (3 Q1W SC infusions), followed by an observation period (days 44-99). Primary endpoint was change from baseline to day 29 in Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis (QMG) score. Secondary endpoints were change from baseline to day 29 in MG-Activities of Daily Living (MG-ADL) and MG-Composite (MGC) scores and safety.

Results: Forty-three patients were randomized (rozanolixizumab 21, placebo 22 [period 1]). Least squares (LS) mean change from baseline to day 29 for rozanolixizumab vs placebo was as follows: QMG (LS mean -1.8 vs -1.2, difference -0.7, 95% upper confidence limit [UCL] 0.8; = 0.221; not statistically significant), MG-ADL (LS mean -1.8 vs -0.4, difference -1.4, 95% UCL -0.4), and MGC (LS mean -3.1 vs -1.2, difference -1.8, 95% UCL 0.4) scores. Efficacy measures continued to improve with rozanolixizumab 7 mg/kg in period 2. The most common adverse event in period 1 was headache (rozanolixizumab 57%, placebo 14%).

Conclusion: Whereas change from baseline in QMG was not statistically significant, the data overall suggest rozanolixizumab may provide clinical benefit in patients with gMG and was generally well tolerated. Phase 3 evaluation is ongoing (NCT03971422).

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that for patients with gMG, rozanolixizumab is well-tolerated, but did not significantly improve QMG score.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105899PMC
February 2021

Boundaries of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2020 03 4;25(1):4-8. Epub 2020 Feb 4.

Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Meyer 6-181a, North, Wolfe Street, Baltimore, US.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12364DOI Listing
March 2020

Original research: Second IVIg course in Guillain-Barré syndrome with poor prognosis: the non-randomised ISID study.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2020 02 5;91(2):113-121. Epub 2019 Oct 5.

Department of Neurology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Objective: To compare disease course in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) with a poor prognosis who were treated with one or with two intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) courses.

Methods: From the International GBS Outcome Study, we selected patients whose modified Erasmus GBS Outcome Score at week 1 predicted a poor prognosis. We compared those treated with one IVIg course to those treated with two IVIg courses. The primary endpoint, the GBS disability scale at 4 weeks, was assessed with multivariable ordinal regression.

Results: Of 237 eligible patients, 199 patients received a single IVIg course. Twenty patients received an 'early' second IVIg course (1-2 weeks after start of the first IVIg course) and 18 patients a 'late' second IVIg course (2-4 weeks after start of IVIg). At baseline and 1 week, those receiving two IVIg courses were more disabled than those receiving one course. Compared with the one course group, the adjusted OR for a better GBS disability score at 4 weeks was 0.70 (95%CI 0.16 to 3.04) for the early group and 0.66 (95%CI 0.18 to 2.50) for the late group. The secondary endpoints were not in favour of a second IVIg course.

Conclusions: This observational study did not show better outcomes after a second IVIg course in GBS with poor prognosis. The study was limited by small numbers and baseline imbalances. Lack of improvement was likely an incentive to start a second IVIg course. A prospective randomised trial is needed to evaluate whether a second IVIg course improves outcome in GBS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2019-321496DOI Listing
February 2020

Safety and efficacy of intravenous bimagrumab in inclusion body myositis (RESILIENT): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2b trial.

Lancet Neurol 2019 09;18(9):834-844

Center for Neuromuscular Diseases, Unit of Neurology, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Spedali Civili and University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Background: Inclusion body myositis is an idiopathic inflammatory myopathy and the most common myopathy affecting people older than 50 years. To date, there are no effective drug treatments. We aimed to assess the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of bimagrumab-a fully human monoclonal antibody-in individuals with inclusion body myositis.

Methods: We did a multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (RESILIENT) at 38 academic clinical sites in Australia, Europe, Japan, and the USA. Individuals (aged 36-85 years) were eligible for the study if they met modified 2010 Medical Research Council criteria for inclusion body myositis. We randomly assigned participants (1:1:1:1) using a blocked randomisation schedule (block size of four) to either bimagrumab (10 mg/kg, 3 mg/kg, or 1 mg/kg) or placebo matched in appearance to bimagrumab, administered as intravenous infusions every 4 weeks for at least 48 weeks. All study participants, the funder, investigators, site personnel, and people doing assessments were masked to treatment assignment. The primary outcome measure was 6-min walking distance (6MWD), which was assessed at week 52 in the primary analysis population and analysed by intention-to-treat principles. We used a multivariate normal repeated measures model to analyse data for 6MWD. Safety was assessed by recording adverse events and by electrocardiography, echocardiography, haematological testing, urinalysis, and blood chemistry. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01925209; this report represents the final analysis.

Findings: Between Sept 26, 2013, and Jan 6, 2016, 251 participants were enrolled to the study, of whom 63 were assigned to each bimagrumab group and 62 were allocated to the placebo group. At week 52, 6MWD change from baseline did not differ between any bimagrumab dose and placebo (least squares mean treatment difference for bimagrumab 10 mg/kg group, 17·6 m, SE 14·3, 99% CI -19·6 to 54·8; p=0·22; for 3 mg/kg group, 18·6 m, 14·2, -18·2 to 55·4; p=0·19; and for 1 mg/kg group, -1·3 m, 14·1, -38·0 to 35·4; p=0·93). 63 (100%) participants in each bimagrumab group and 61 (98%) of 62 in the placebo group had at least one adverse event. Falls were the most frequent adverse event (48 [76%] in the bimagrumab 10 mg/kg group, 55 [87%] in the 3 mg/kg group, 54 [86%] in the 1 mg/kg group, and 52 [84%] in the placebo group). The most frequently reported adverse events with bimagrumab were muscle spasms (32 [51%] in the bimagrumab 10 mg/kg group, 43 [68%] in the 3 mg/kg group, 25 [40%] in the 1 mg/kg group, and 13 [21%] in the placebo group) and diarrhoea (33 [52%], 28 [44%], 20 [32%], and 11 [18%], respectively). Adverse events leading to discontinuation were reported in four (6%) participants in each bimagrumab group compared with one (2%) participant in the placebo group. At least one serious adverse event was reported by 21 (33%) participants in the 10 mg/kg group, 11 (17%) in the 3 mg/kg group, 20 (32%) in the 1 mg/kg group, and 20 (32%) in the placebo group. No significant adverse cardiac effects were recorded on electrocardiography or echocardiography. Two deaths were reported during the study, one attributable to subendocardial myocardial infarction (secondary to gastrointestinal bleeding after an intentional overdose of concomitant sedatives and antidepressants) and one attributable to lung adenocarcinoma. Neither death was considered by the investigator to be related to bimagrumab.

Interpretation: Bimagrumab showed a good safety profile, relative to placebo, in individuals with inclusion body myositis but did not improve 6MWD. The strengths of our study are that, to the best of our knowledge, it is the largest randomised controlled trial done in people with inclusion body myositis, and it provides important natural history data over 12 months.

Funding: Novartis Pharma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30200-5DOI Listing
September 2019

Current treatment practice of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Neurology 2019 07 7;93(1):e59-e76. Epub 2019 Jun 7.

From the Departments of Neurology (C.V., A.Y.D., B.C.J.) and Immunology (B.C.J.), Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Department of Neurology (G.G.), University Hospital of Modena, Italy; Department of Neurology (A.D., H.J.W.), University of Glasgow, UK; Department of Neurology (W.W.), University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington; Department of Clinical Neurophysiology (Y.P.), Reference Centre for NMD, Nantes University Hospital, France; Department of Medicine (N.S.), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Department of Neurology (S.K.), Kindai University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka, Japan; Department of Neurology (H.C.L.), Universitätsklinikum Köln, Germany; Department of Neurology (T.H.), Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark; Department of Neurology (S.M.), Hospital de Pediatría J.P. Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Department of Neurology (P.V.d.B.), University Hospital St-Luc, University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium; and Department of Neurology (D.R.C.), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Objective: To define the current treatment practice of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).

Methods: The study was based on prospective observational data from the first 1,300 patients included in the International GBS Outcome Study. We described the treatment practice of GBS in general, and for (1) severe forms (unable to walk independently), (2) no recovery after initial treatment, (3) treatment-related fluctuations, (4) mild forms (able to walk independently), and (5) variant forms including Miller Fisher syndrome, taking patient characteristics and hospital type into account.

Results: We excluded 88 (7%) patients because of missing data, protocol violation, or alternative diagnosis. Patients from Bangladesh (n = 189, 15%) were described separately because 83% were not treated. IV immunoglobulin (IVIg), plasma exchange (PE), or other immunotherapy was provided in 941 (92%) of the remaining 1,023 patients, including patients with severe GBS (724/743, 97%), mild GBS (126/168, 75%), Miller Fisher syndrome (53/70, 76%), and other variants (33/40, 83%). Of 235 (32%) patients who did not improve after their initial treatment, 82 (35%) received a second immune modulatory treatment. A treatment-related fluctuation was observed in 53 (5%) of 1,023 patients, of whom 36 (68%) were re-treated with IVIg or PE.

Conclusions: In current practice, patients with mild and variant forms of GBS, or with treatment-related fluctuations and treatment failures, are frequently treated, even in absence of trial data to support this choice. The variability in treatment practice can be explained in part by the lack of evidence and guidelines for effective treatment in these situations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000007719DOI Listing
July 2019

Progress in diagnosis and treatment of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy.

Lancet Neurol 2019 08 7;18(8):784-794. Epub 2019 May 7.

Department of Neurology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) is a rare and heterogeneous but treatable immune-mediated neuropathy. Nerve conduction studies are considered essential for a definite diagnosis, but poor performance and misinterpretation of the results frequently leads to misdiagnosis. Nerve ultrasound and MRI could be helpful in diagnosis. Whereas typical CIDP is relatively easy to diagnose, atypical variants with distinct phenotypes can be a diagnostic challenge. Intravenous or subcutaneous immunoglobulin, corticosteroids, and plasma exchange are effective treatments, but maintenance treatments are often required for years, and treatment regimens require careful and regular adjustments to avoid undertreatment or overtreatment. Patients who do not improve, or insufficiently improve after treatment, might have specific characteristics related to a distinct disease mechanism caused by immunoglobulin G4 antibodies to nodal or paranodal proteins, and could require alternative treatments. Future studies should focus on curative and individualised treatment regimens to improve the patient's condition and to prevent further nerve damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30144-9DOI Listing
August 2019

Toward understanding tissue-specific symptoms in dolichol-phosphate-mannose synthesis disorders; insight from DPM3-CDG.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2019 09 23;42(5):984-992. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

Department of Neurology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

The congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are inborn errors of metabolism with a great genetic heterogeneity. Most CDG are caused by defects in the N-glycan biosynthesis, leading to multisystem phenotypes. However, the occurrence of tissue-restricted clinical symptoms in the various defects in dolichol-phosphate-mannose (DPM) synthesis remains unexplained. To deepen our understanding of the tissue-specific characteristics of defects in the DPM synthesis pathway, we investigated N-glycosylation and O-mannosylation in skeletal muscle of three DPM3-CDG patients presenting with muscle dystrophy and hypo-N-glycosylation of serum transferrin in only two of them. In the three patients, O-mannosylation of alpha-dystroglycan (αDG) was strongly reduced and western blot analysis of beta-dystroglycan (βDG) N-glycosylation revealed a consistent lack of one N-glycan in skeletal muscle. Recently, defective N-glycosylation of βDG has been reported in patients with mutations in guanosine-diphosphate-mannose pyrophosphorylase B (GMPPB). Thus, we suggest that aberrant O-glycosylation of αDG and N-glycosylation of βDG in skeletal muscle is indicative of a defect in the DPM synthesis pathway. Further studies should address to what extent hypo-N-glycosylation of βDG or other skeletal muscle proteins contribute to the phenotype of patients with defects in DPM synthesis. Our findings contribute to our understanding of the tissue-restricted phenotype of DPM3-CDG and other defects in the DPM synthesis pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12095DOI Listing
September 2019

Regional variation of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Brain 2018 10;141(10):2866-2877

Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Cologne, Kerpenerstrasse 62, 50937, Cologne, Germany.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a heterogeneous disorder regarding the clinical presentation, electrophysiological subtype and outcome. Previous single country reports indicate that Guillain-Barré syndrome may differ among regions, but no systematic comparative studies have been conducted. Comparative studies are required to identify factors determining disease susceptibility, variation and prognosis, and to improve diagnostic criteria. The International Guillain-Barré Syndrome Outcome Study is a prospective, observational cohort study including all patients within the diagnostic spectrum, aiming to describe the heterogeneity of Guillain-Barré syndrome worldwide. The current study was based on the first 1000 inclusions with a follow-up of at least 1 year and confirmed the variation in clinical presentation, course and outcome between patients. The full clinical spectrum of Guillain-Barré syndrome was observed in patients from all countries participating in the International Guillain-Barré Syndrome Outcome Study, but the frequency of variants differed between regions. We compared three regions based on geography, income and previous reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome subtypes: 'Europe/Americas', 'Asia' (without Bangladesh), and 'Bangladesh'. We excluded 75 (8%) patients because of alternative diagnoses, protocol violations, or missing data. The predominant clinical variant was sensorimotor in Europe/Americas (n = 387/562, 69%) and Asia (n = 27/63, 43%), and pure motor in Bangladesh (n = 74/107, 69%). Miller Fisher syndrome and Miller Fisher-Guillain-Barré overlap syndrome were more common in Asia (n = 14/63, 22%) than in the other two regions (Europe/Americas: n = 64/562, 11%; Bangladesh: n = 1/107, 1%) (P < 0.001). The predominant electrophysiological subtype was demyelinating in all regions (Europe/Americas: n = 312/573, 55%; Asia: n = 29/65, 45%; Bangladesh: n = 38/94, 40%). The axonal subtype occurred more often in Bangladesh (n = 34/94, 36%) than in Europe/Americas (n = 33/573, 6%) and other Asian countries (n = 4/65, 6%) (P < 0.001). In all regions, patients with the axonal subtype were younger, had fewer sensory deficits, and showed a trend towards poorer recovery compared to patients with the demyelinating subtype. The proportion of patients able to walk unaided after 1 year varied between Asia (n = 31/34, 91%), Europe/Americas (n = 334/404, 83%) and Bangladesh (n = 67/97, 69%) (P = 0.003). A similar variation was seen for mortality, being higher in Bangladesh (n = 19/114, 17%) than in Europe/Americas (n = 23/486, 5%) and Asia (n = 1/45, 2%) (P < 0.001). This study showed that factors related to geography have a major influence on clinical phenotype, disease severity, electrophysiological subtype, and outcome of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awy232DOI Listing
October 2018

Detection of variants in dystroglycanopathy-associated genes through the application of targeted whole-exome sequencing analysis to a large cohort of patients with unexplained limb-girdle muscle weakness.

Skelet Muscle 2018 07 30;8(1):23. Epub 2018 Jul 30.

Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Dystroglycanopathies are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of disorders that are typically characterised by limb-girdle muscle weakness. Mutations in 18 different genes have been associated with dystroglycanopathies, the encoded proteins of which typically modulate the binding of α-dystroglycan to extracellular matrix ligands by altering its glycosylation. This results in a disruption of the structural integrity of the myocyte, ultimately leading to muscle degeneration.

Methods: Deep phenotypic information was gathered using the PhenoTips online software for 1001 patients with unexplained limb-girdle muscle weakness from 43 different centres across 21 European and Middle Eastern countries. Whole-exome sequencing with at least 250 ng DNA was completed using an Illumina exome capture and a 38 Mb baited target. Genes known to be associated with dystroglycanopathies were analysed for disease-causing variants.

Results: Suspected pathogenic variants were detected in DPM3, ISPD, POMT1 and FKTN in one patient each, in POMK in two patients, in GMPPB in three patients, in FKRP in eight patients and in POMT2 in ten patients. This indicated a frequency of 2.7% for the disease group within the cohort of 1001 patients with unexplained limb-girdle muscle weakness. The phenotypes of the 27 patients were highly variable, yet with a fundamental presentation of proximal muscle weakness and elevated serum creatine kinase.

Conclusions: Overall, we have identified 27 patients with suspected pathogenic variants in dystroglycanopathy-associated genes. We present evidence for the genetic and phenotypic diversity of the dystroglycanopathies as a disease group, while also highlighting the advantage of incorporating next-generation sequencing into the diagnostic pathway of rare diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13395-018-0170-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6066920PMC
July 2018

Impact of Very Early Physical Therapy During Septic Shock on Skeletal Muscle: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Crit Care Med 2018 09;46(9):1436-1443

Department of Critical Care Medicine, Saint Luc University hospital, Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels, Belgium.

Objectives: As the catabolic state induced by septic shock together with the physical inactivity of patients lead to the rapid loss of muscle mass and impaired function, the purpose of this study was to test whether an early physical therapy during the onset of septic shock regulates catabolic signals and preserves skeletal muscle mass.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Tertiary mixed ICU.

Patients: Adult patients admitted for septic shock within the first 72 hours.

Interventions: Patients were assigned randomly into two groups. The control group benefited from manual mobilization once a day. The intervention group had twice daily sessions of both manual mobilization and 30-minute passive/active cycling therapy.

Measurements And Main Results: Skeletal muscle biopsies and electrophysiology testing were performed at day 1 and day 7. Muscle biopsies were analyzed for histology and molecular components of signaling pathways regulating protein synthesis and degradation as well as inflammation markers. Hemodynamic values and patient perception were collected during each session. Twenty-one patients were included. Three died before the second muscle biopsy. Ten patients in the control and eight in the intervention group were analyzed. Markers of the catabolic ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, muscle atrophy F-box and muscle ring finger-1 messenger RNA, were reduced at day 7 only in the intervention group, but without difference between groups (muscle atrophy F-box: -7.3% ± 138.4% in control vs -56.4% ± 37.4% in intervention group; p = 0.23 and muscle ring finger-1: -30.8% ± 66.9% in control vs -62.7% ± 45.5% in intervention group; p = 0.15). Muscle fiber cross-sectional area (µm) was preserved by exercise (-25.8% ± 21.6% in control vs 12.4% ± 22.5% in intervention group; p = 0.005). Molecular regulations suggest that the excessive activation of autophagy due to septic shock was lower in the intervention group, without being suppressed. Markers of anabolism and inflammation were not modified by the intervention, which was well tolerated by the patients.

Conclusions: Early physical therapy during the first week of septic shock is safe and preserves muscle fiber cross-sectional area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0000000000003263DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6110624PMC
September 2018

Guillain-BarrÉ syndrome subtype diagnosis: A prospective multicentric European study.

Muscle Nerve 2018 Jan 5. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Centre de référence des maladies Neuromusculaires et la SLA. Hôpital de la Timone, Marseille, France.

Introduction: There is uncertainty as to whether the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) subtypes, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) and acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN), can be diagnosed electrophysiologically.

Methods: We prospectively included 58 GBS patients. Electrodiagnostic testing (EDX) was performed at means of 5 and 33 days after disease onset. Two traditional and one recent criteria sets were used to classify studies as demyelinating or axonal. Results were correlated with anti-ganglioside antibodies and reversible conduction failure (RCF).

Results: No classification shifts were observed, but more patients were classified as axonal with recent criteria. RCF and anti-ganglioside antibodies were present in both subtypes, more frequently in the axonal subtype.

Discussion: Serial EDX has no effect on GBS subtype proportions. The absence of exclusive correlation with RCF and anti-ganglioside antibodies may challenge the concept of demyelinating and axonal GBS subtypes based upon electrophysiological criteria. Frequent RCF indicates that nodal/paranodal alterations may represent the main pathophysiology. Muscle Nerve, 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mus.26056DOI Listing
January 2018

Sporadic late-onset nemaline myopathy: clinico-pathological characteristics and review of 76 cases.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2017 05 11;12(1):86. Epub 2017 May 11.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.

Background: Sporadic late-onset nemaline myopathy (SLONM) is a rare, late-onset muscle disorder, characterized by the presence of nemaline rods in muscle fibers. Phenotypic characterization in a large cohort and a comprehensive overview of SLONM are lacking.

Methods: We studied the clinico-pathological features, treatment and outcome in a large cohort of 76 patients with SLONM, comprising 10 new patients and 66 cases derived from a literature meta-analysis (PubMed, 1966-2016), and compared these with 15 reported HIV-associated nemaline myopathy (HIV-NM) cases. In 6 SLONM patients, we performed a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel comprising 283 myopathy genes.

Results: SLONM patients had a mean age at onset of 52 years. The predominant phenotype consisted of weakness and atrophy of proximal upper limbs in 84%, of proximal lower limbs in 80% and both in 67%. Other common symptoms included axial weakness in 68%, as well as dyspnea in 55% and dysphagia in 47% of the patients. In 53% a monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS) was detected in serum. The mean percentage of muscle fibers containing rods was 28% (range 1-63%). In 2 cases ultrastructural analysis was necessary to detect the rods. The most successful treatment in SLONM patients (all with MGUS) was autologous peripheral blood stem cell therapy. A targeted NGS gene panel in 6 SLONM patients (without MGUS) did not reveal causative pathogenic variants. In a comparison of SLONM patients with and without MGUS, the former comprised significantly more males, had more rapid disease progression, and more vacuolar changes in muscle fibers. Interestingly, the muscle biopsy of 2 SLONM patients with MGUS revealed intranuclear rods, whereas this feature was not seen in any of the biopsies from patients without paraproteinemia. Compared to the overall SLONM cohort, significantly more HIV-NM patients were male, with a lower age at onset (mean 34 years). In addition, immunosuppression was more frequently applied with more favorable outcome, and muscle biopsies revealed a significantly higher degree of inflammation and necrosis in this cohort. Similar to SLONM, MGUS was present in half of the HIV-NM patients.

Conclusions: SLONM presents a challenging, but important differential diagnosis to other neuromuscular diseases of adult onset. Investigations for MGUS and HIV should be performed, as they require distinct but often effective therapeutic approaches. Even though SLONM and HIV-NM show some differences, there exists a large clinico-pathological overlap between the 2 entities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-017-0640-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5425967PMC
May 2017

Cramp-fasciculation syndrome associated with monofocal motor neuropathy.

Muscle Nerve 2017 Oct 23;56(4):828-832. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Neuromuscular Reference Center, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc Avenue Hippocrate 10/13.11 1200 Brussels, Belgium.

Introduction: Cramp-fasciculation syndrome is a peripheral nerve hyperexcitability disorder, which could be caused by inflammatory neuropathy.

Case Report: We describe a 51-year-old woman who presented with a 4- to 5-year history of fasciculations and painful cramping of the right thenar eminence.

Results: Electrophysiological studies showed motor conduction block in the right median nerve between the axilla and the elbow with fasciculation potentials and cramp discharges on electromyography in the right abductor pollicis brevis muscle. High titers of serum anti-GM1 immunoglobulin M antibodies were detected.

Conclusions: Monofocal motor neuropathy of the right median nerve was diagnosed. Intravenous immunoglobulin treatment led to significant improvement of symptoms and signs. Although fasciculations and cramps have been reported in multifocal motor neuropathy and are considered supporting criteria for the diagnosis, the occurrence of cramp-fasciculation syndrome as the presenting feature and predominant manifestation in monofocal motor neuropathy, a variant of multifocal motor neuropathy, is unique. Muscle Nerve 56: 828-832, 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mus.25528DOI Listing
October 2017

Neuralgic amyotrophy associated with hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection: a case report.

Acta Neurol Belg 2017 06 19;117(2):555-557. Epub 2016 Apr 19.

Department of Neurology, Cliniques Universitaires UCL St-Luc, 10 avenue Hippocrate, B-1200, Brussels, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13760-016-0642-1DOI Listing
June 2017

How robust is ACTIVLIM for the follow-up of activity limitations in patients with neuromuscular diseases?

Neuromuscul Disord 2016 Mar 21;26(3):211-20. Epub 2015 Dec 21.

Institute of Neuroscience, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium; Arsalis SPRL, Glabais, Belgium. Electronic address:

This study aims to investigate the clinimetric properties of ACTIVLIM, a measure of activity limitations, when it is used in daily practice in a large nationwide representative cohort of patients with neuromuscular diseases. A cohort of 2986 patients was assessed at least once over 2 years in 6 national neuromuscular diseases reference centers. Successive Rasch analyses were conducted in order to investigate the scale validity, reliability, consistency across demographic and clinical sub-groups and its sensitivity to change. ACTIVLIM confirmed excellent fit to a unidimensional scale, with stable but 3-times more accurate item calibrations compared to the original publication. It showed a good reliability (R = 0.95), an appropriate targeting for 87% of the sample and an excellent invariance across age, gender, language and time. Despite some variations in the item difficulty hierarchy across diagnoses, ACTIVLIM exhibited a good capability to quantify small but significant changes in activity for various diagnostic groups. Overall, ACTIVLIM demonstrated very good clinimetric properties, allowing accurate quantitative measurement of activity limitations in both children and adults with a variety of neuromuscular diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2015.12.004DOI Listing
March 2016

Future needs in peripheral neuropathy outcome measures.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2015 Sep;20(3):341-6

Centre for Neuromuscular Disease, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12142DOI Listing
September 2015

Grip strength comparison in immune-mediated neuropathies: Vigorimeter vs. Jamar.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2015 Sep;20(3):269-76

Department of Neurology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

The Jamar dynamometer and Vigorimeter have been used to assess grip strength in immune-mediated neuropathies, but have never been compared to each other. Therefore, we performed a comparison study between these two devices in patients with immune-mediated neuropathies. Grip strength data were collected in 102 cross-sectional stable and 163 longitudinal (new diagnoses or changing condition) patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), gammopathy-related polyneuropathy (MGUSP), and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN). Stable patients were assessed twice (validity/reliability studies). Longitudinal patients were assessed 3-5 times during 1 year. Responsiveness comparison between the two tools was examined using combined anchor-/distribution-based minimum clinically important difference (MCID) techniques. Patients were asked to indicate their preference for the Jamar or Vigorimeter. Both tools correlated highly with each other (ρ = 0.86, p < 0.0001) and showed good intra-class correlation coefficients (Jamar [Right/Left hands]: ICC 0.997/0.96; Vigori: ICC 0.95/0.98). Meaningful changes were comparable between the two instruments, being higher in GBS compared to CIDP patients. In MGUSP/MMN poor responsiveness was seen. Significant more patients preferred the Vigorimeter. In conclusion, validity, reliability, and responsiveness aspects were comparable between the Jamar dynamometer and Vigorimeter. However, based on patients' preference, the Vigorimeter is recommended in future studies in immune-mediated neuropathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12126DOI Listing
September 2015

Outcome measures in neuromuscular disease: is the world still flat?

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2015 Sep;20(3):255-9

Neuromuscular Reference Centre UCL St-Luc, University Hospitals St-Luc, Brussels, Belgium.

Valid, responsive, and meaningful outcome measures for the measurement of the impairment, activity limitations, and quality of life in patients with neuromuscular disease are crucial to identify the natural history of disease and benefits of therapy in clinical practice and trials. Although understanding of many aspects of neuromuscular diseases has advanced dramatically, the development of outcome measures has received less attention. The scales developed from Rasch theory by the PeriNomS Group represent the biggest significant shift in thought in neuromuscular outcome measures for decades. There remain problems with many of them, and further developments are required. However, incorporating them into our outcome sets for daily use and in clinical trials will lead to the more efficient capture of meaningful change and will result in better assessment of individuals and groups of patients in both clinical trials and neurological practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12119DOI Listing
September 2015

Impairment measures versus inflammatory RODS in GBS and CIDP: a responsiveness comparison.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2015 Sep;20(3):289-95

Department of Neurology, University Medical Centre Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

This study aimed to 'define responder' through the concept of minimum clinically important differences using the individually obtained standard errors (MCID-SE) and a heuristic 'external criterion' responsiveness method in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP). One hundred and fourteen newly diagnosed or relapsing patients (GBS: 55, CIDP: 59) were serially examined (1-year follow-up). The inflammatory Rasch-built overall disability scale (I-RODS), Rasch-transformed MRC sum score (RT-MRC), and Rasch-transformed modified-INCAT-sensory scale (RT-mISS) were assessed. Being-a-responder was defined as having a MCID-SE cut-off ≥1.96. Also, the correlations between patients' scores on each scale and the EuroQoL health-status 'thermometer' (external criterion) were determined (higher correlation indicated better responsiveness). In both diseases, the SEs showed a characteristic 'U'-shaped dynamic pattern across each scales' continuum. The number of patients showing a meaningful change were higher for the I-RODS > RT-MRC > RT-mISS and were in GBS higher than CIDP patients. The MCID-SE concept using Rasch-transformed data demonstrated an individual pattern of 'being-a-responder' in patients with immune-mediated neuropathies, and the findings were validated by the external criterion responsiveness method. The I-RODS showed greater responsiveness compared with the MRC and INCAT-sensory scales, and its use is therefore recommended in future trials in GBS and CIDP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12118DOI Listing
September 2015

Comparing the NIS vs. MRC and INCAT sensory scale through Rasch analyses.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2015 Sep;20(3):277-88

Department of Neurology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

We performed a comparison between Neuropathy Impairment Scale-sensory (NISs) vs. the modified Inflammatory Neuropathy Cause and Treatment sensory scale (mISS), and NIS-motor vs. the Medical Research Council sum score in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), and IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance-related polyneuropathy (MGUSP). The ordinal data were subjected to Rasch analyses, creating Rasch-transformed (RT)-intervals for all measures. Comparison between measures was based on validity/reliability with an emphasis on responsiveness (using the patient's level of change related to the individually obtained varying SE for minimum clinically important difference). Eighty stable patients (GBS: 30, CIDP: 30, and MGUSP: 20) were assessed twice (entry: two observers; 2-4 weeks later: one observer), and 137 newly diagnosed or relapsing patients (GBS: 55, CIDP: 59, and IgM-MGUSP: 23) were serially examined with 12 months follow-up. Data modifications were needed to improve model fit for all measures. The sensory and motor scales demonstrated approximately equal and acceptable validity and reliability scores. Responsiveness scores were poor but slightly higher in RT-mISS compared to RT-NISs. Responsiveness was equal for the RT-motor scales, but higher in GBS compared to CIDP; responsiveness was poor in patients with MGUSP, suggesting a longer duration of follow-up in the latter group of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12127DOI Listing
September 2015

Severe rhabdomyolysis associated with simvastatin and role of ciprofloxacin and amlodipine coadministration.

Case Rep Nephrol 2015 26;2015:761393. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Department of Intensive Care, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium ; Louvain Centre for Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium.

Simvastatin is among the most commonly used prescription medications for cholesterol reduction and the most common statin-related adverse drug reaction is skeletal muscle toxicity. Multiple factors have been shown to influence simvastatin-induced myopathy. In addition to age, gender, ethnicity, genetic predisposition, and dose, drug-drug interactions play a major role. This is particularly true for drugs that are extensively metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP)3A4. We describe a particularly severe case of rhabdomyolysis after the introduction of ciprofloxacin, a weak CYP3A4 inhibitor, in a patient who previously tolerated the simvastatin-amlodipine combination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/761393DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4391689PMC
April 2015
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