Publications by authors named "Rabab Debs"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Focal chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy: Onset, course, and distinct features.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2021 Jun 16;26(2):193-201. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Département de neurophysiologie clinique, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, APHP Paris VI Université, Paris, France.

Focal chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) is defined as involving the brachial or lumbosacral plexus, or one or more peripheral nerves in one upper or one lower limb (monomelic distribution). However, other auto-immune neuropathies such as Lewis-Sumner syndrome (LSS) and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) can also have a focal onset. From a retrospective cohort of 30 focal CIDP patients with a monomelic onset dating back at least 2 years, we distinguished patients with plexus involvement (focal demyelinating plexus neuropathy [F-PN], n = 18) from those with sensory or sensorimotor (F-SMN, n = 7), or purely motor (F-MN, n = 5) impairment located in one or several peripheral nerves. Few (39%) F-PN patients had motor nerve conduction abnormalities, but the majority showed proximal conduction abnormalities in somatosensory evoked potentials (80%), and all had focal hypertrophy and/or increased short tau inversion recovery image signal intensity on plexus MRI. Impairment remained monomelic in most (94%) F-PN patients, whereas abnormalities developed in other limbs in 57% of F-SMN, and 40% of F-MN patients (P = .015). The prognosis of F-PN patients was significantly better: none had an ONLS score > 2 at the final follow-up visit, vs 43% of F-SMN patients and 40% of F-MN patients (P = .026). Our findings from a large cohort of focal CIDP patients confirm the existence of different entities that are typically categorized under this one term: on the one hand, patients with a focal plexus neuropathy and on the other, patients with monomelic sensori-motor or motor involvement of peripheral nerves. These two last subgroups appeared to be more likely to evolve to LSS or MMN phenotype, when F-PN patients have a more distinctive long-term, focal, benign course.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12438DOI Listing
June 2021

Demyelinating motor neuropathy associated with a homozygous GPT2 pathogenic variant.

Muscle Nerve 2021 05 15;63(5):E41-E44. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Genetics, APHP, Sorbonne Université, Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital, Paris, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mus.27183DOI Listing
May 2021

Development of new outcome measures for adult SMA type III and IV: a multimodal longitudinal study.

J Neurol 2021 May 2;268(5):1792-1802. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Laboratoire D'Imagerie Biomédicale, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, INSERM, Paris, France.

Objective: The aim of this study was the comprehensive characterisation of longitudinal clinical, electrophysiological and neuroimaging measures in type III and IV adult spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) with a view to propose objective monitoring markers for future clinical trials.

Methods: Fourteen type III or IV SMA patients underwent standardised assessments including muscle strength testing, functional evaluation (SMAFRS and MFM), MUNIX (abductor pollicis brevis, APB; abductor digiti minimi, ADM; deltoid; tibialis anterior, TA; trapezius) and quantitative cervical spinal cord MRI to appraise segmental grey and white matter atrophy. Patients underwent a follow-up assessment with the same protocol 24 months later. Longitudinal comparisons were conducted using the Wilcoxon-test for matched data. Responsiveness was estimated using standardized response means (SRM) and a composite score was generated based on the three most significant variables.

Results: Significant functional decline was observed based on SMAFRS (p = 0.019), pinch and knee flexion strength (p = 0.030 and 0.027), MUNIX and MUSIX value in the ADM (p = 0.0006 and 0.043) and in TA muscle (p = 0.025). No significant differences were observed based on cervical MRI measures. A significant reduction was detected in the composite score (p = 0.0005, SRM = -1.52), which was the most responsive variable and required a smaller number of patients than single variables in the estimation of sample size for clinical trials.

Conclusions: Quantitative strength testing, SMAFRS and MUNIX readily capture disease progression in adult SMA patients. Composite multimodal scores increase predictive value and may reduce sample size requirements in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10332-5DOI Listing
May 2021

Confirmed cases of Neuroborreliosis with involvement of peripheral nervous system: Description of a cohort.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 Oct;99(40):e21986

Département de Neurophysiologie Clinique, AP-HP, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.

The manifestations of borreliosis in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) remain poorly described. As the symptoms of neuroborreliosis can be reversed with timely introduction of antibiotics, early identification could avoid unnecessary axonal loss. Our aim was to describe the characteristics of confirmed neuroborreliosis cases involving the PNS diagnosed between 2007 and 2017 in our neuromuscular disease center in a nonendemic area (La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France).Neuroborreliosis was defined as follows: compatible neurological symptoms without other cause of neuropathy; cerebrospinal fluid and serum analysis (positive serological tests with ELISA, confirmed by Western Blot); and improvement of symptoms with adapted antibiotherapy. All the patients consulting in our center between 2007 and 2017 underwent electrophysiological study.Sixteen confirmed cases of neuroborreliosis involving the PNS were included: 10 cases of meningoradiculoneuritis, 4 of axonal neuropathy, and 2 of demyelinating neuropathy (one acute and one chronic). Only 4 (25%) patients reported tick bites. Meningoradiculoneuritis was characterized by lymphocytic meningitis, intense pain, cranial nerve palsy, and contrast enhancement of nerve roots on imagery. The patients with axonal neuropathy presented sensory symptoms with intense pain but no motor deficit and meningitis was rare. Nerve biopsy of 1 patient revealed lymphocytic vasculitis. Electrophysiological testing showed sensory or sensorimotor axonal neuropathy (3 subacute and 1 chronic) of the lower limbs, with asymmetrical neuropathy in 1 patients, symmetrical neuropathy in one and monomelic sensory mononeuritis multiplex in another. We also found 1 case of acute demyelinating neuropathy, treated with antibiotherapy and immunoglobulins, and 1 chronic demyelinating neuropathy. Overall, diaphragmatic paralysis was frequent (18.6%). Antibiotherapy (mostly ceftriaxone 3-4 weeks) resulted in symptom resolution.This series gives an updated overview of the peripheral complications of neuroborreliosis to help identify this disease so that timely treatment could avoid axonal loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000021986DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7535703PMC
October 2020

Predictive factors for prognosis after gastrostomy placement in routine non-invasive ventilation users ALS patients.

Sci Rep 2020 09 15;10(1):15117. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Département de Neurologie, Centre de Référence SLA, Centre de Recherche en Myologie, UMRS974, APHP, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, 47-83 Bd de l'Hôpital, 75013, Paris, France.

Due to the expanding use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the question of enteral nutrition is increasingly raised in NIV users ALS patients. Here, we aimed to determine the prognostic factors for survival after gastrostomy placement in routine NIV users, taking into consideration ventilator dependence. Ninety-two routine NIV users ALS patients, who underwent gastrostomy insertion for severe dysphagia and/or weight loss, were included. We used a Cox proportional hazards model to identify factors affecting survival and compared time from gastrostomy to death and 30-day mortality rate between dependent (daily use ≥ 16 h) and non-dependent NIV users. The hazard of death after gastrostomy was significantly affected by 3 factors: age at onset (HR 1.047, p = 0.006), body mass index < 20 kg/m at the time of gastrostomy placement (HR 2.012, p = 0.016) and recurrent accumulation of airway secretions (HR 2.614, p = 0.001). Mean time from gastrostomy to death was significantly shorter in the dependent than in the non-dependent NIV users group (133 vs. 250 days, p = 0.04). The 30-day mortality rate was significantly higher in dependent NIV users (21.4% vs. 2.8%, p = 0.03). Pre-operative ventilator dependence and airway secretion accumulation are associated with worse prognosis and should be key decision-making criteria when considering gastrostomy tube placement in NIV users ALS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-70422-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7492246PMC
September 2020

Motor chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) in 17 patients: Clinical characteristics, electrophysiological study, and response to treatment.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2020 06 26;25(2):162-170. Epub 2020 May 26.

Département de Neurophysiologie Clinique, Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière, Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France.

Motor chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a rare and poorly described subtype of CIDP. We aimed to study their clinical and electrophysiological characteristics and response to treatment. From a prospective database of CIDP patients, we included patients with definite or probable CIDP with motor signs and without sensory signs/symptoms at diagnosis. Patients were considered to have pure motor CIDP (PM-CIDP) if sensory conductions were normal or to have motor predominant CIDP (MPred-CIDP) if ≥2 sensory nerve action potential amplitudes were abnormal. Among the 700 patients with CIDP, 17 (2%) were included (PM-CIDP n = 7, MPred-CIDP n = 10); 71% were male, median age at onset was 48 years (range: 13-76 years), 47% had an associated inflammatory or infectious disease or neoplasia. At the more severe disease stage, 94% of patients had upper and lower limb weakness, with distal and proximal weakness in 4 limbs for 56% of them. Three-quarters (75%) responded to intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) and four of five patients to corticosteroids including three of three patients with MPred-CIDP. The most frequent conduction abnormalities were conduction blocks (CB, 82%) and F-wave abnormalities (88%). During follow up, 4 of 10 MPred-CIDP patients developed mild sensory symptoms; none with PM-CIDP did so. Patients with PM-CIDP had poorer outcome (median ONLS: 4; range: 22-5) compared to MPred-CIDP (2, range: 0-4; P = .03) at last follow up. This study found a progressive clinical course in the majority of patients with motor CIDP as well as frequent associated diseases, CB, and F-wave abnormalities. Corticosteroids might be considered as a therapeutic option in resistant IVIg patients with MPred-CIDP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12380DOI Listing
June 2020

Absence of hyperexcitability of spinal motoneurons in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

J Physiol 2019 11 26;597(22):5445-5467. Epub 2019 Oct 26.

Sorbonne Université, Inserm, CNRS, Laboratoire d'Imagerie Biomédicale, LIB, Paris, France.

Key Points: •Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) motoneurons become hypoexcitable with disease progression in experimental models, raising questions about the neural hyperexcitability supported by clinical observations. •A variant of the ∆F method, based on motor unit discharge frequency modulations during recruitment and derecruitment, has been developed to investigate the motoneuron capacity to self-sustained discharge in patients. •The modulation of motor unit firing rate during ramp contraction and vibration-induced recruitment are modified in ALS, suggesting lower motoneuron capacity to self-sustained discharge, which is a sign of hypoexcitability. •∆F-D decreases with functional impairment and its reduction is more pronounced in fast progressors. •In patients with ALS, motoneurons exhibit hypoexcitability, which increases with disease progression.

Abstract: Experimental models have primarily revealed spinal motoneuron hypoexcitability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is contentious considering the role of glutamate-induced excitotoxicity in neurodegeneration and clinical features rather supporting hyperexcitability. This phenomenon was evaluated in human patients by investigating changes in motor unit firing during contraction and relaxation. Twenty-two ALS patients with subtle motor deficits and 28 controls performed tonic contractions of extensor carpi radialis, triceps brachialis, tibialis anterior and quadriceps, aiming to isolate a low-threshold unit (U1) on the electromyogram (EMG). Subsequently, they performed a stronger contraction or tendon vibration was delivered, to recruit higher threshold unit (U2) for 10 s before they relaxed progressively. EMG and motor unit potential analyses suggest altered neuromuscular function in all muscles, including those with normal strength (Medical Research Council score at 5). During the preconditioning tonic phase, U1 discharge frequency did not differ significantly between groups. During recruitment, the increase in U1 frequency (∆F-R) was comparable between groups both during contraction and tendon vibration. During derecruitment, the decrease in U1 frequency (∆F-D) was reduced in ALS regardless of the recruitment mode, particularly for ∆F-R <8 Hz in the upper limbs, consistent with the muscle weakness profile of the group. ∆F-D was associated with functional disability and its reduction was more pronounced in patients with more rapid disease progression rate. This in vivo study has demonstrated reduced motoneuron capacity for self-sustained discharge, and further supports that motoneurons are normo- to hypoexcitable in ALS patients, similar to observations in experimental models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP278117DOI Listing
November 2019

Brain MRI features and scoring of leukodystrophy in adult-onset Krabbe disease.

Neurology 2019 08 23;93(7):e647-e652. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

From the Department of Neurology, Reference Center for Lysosomal Diseases, UF Neuro-Genetics and Metabolism (L.C., R.D., Y.N.), and Department of Neuroradiology (B.L.-Y., N.P., D.L.), Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris; Service de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire Grand Est (R.F., M.P.), Unité Médicale Pathologies Métaboliques, Erythrocytaires et Dépistage Périnatal, Centre de Biologie et de Pathologie Est, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Bron; UMR 5305 CNRS/UCBL (R.F.), Lyon, France; Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neurosciences (A.F., S.S.), Unit of Neurology and Neurometabolic Diseases, Medical School, University of Siena; Neuroradiology Unit (A.C.), Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Siena, Italy; Department of Neurology (M.C.M., J.D.), Coimbra Hospital and University Centre, Portugal; Department of Neurology (S.H.K.), College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea; Division of Neurology (H.A.), Hyogo Prefectural Amagasaki General Medical Center, Hyogo, Japan; Department of Neurology (B.A.), La Timone Hospital; Aix-Marseille University (B.A.), CNRS, CRMBM UMR, Marseille; Department of Neurology (X.A.), Montpellier University Hospital, France; Department of Neurology (Y.D.), Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China; Department of Neurology (R.H.), Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, Australia; Laboratory of Neurogenetics of Motion and Department of Neuroradiology (R.L.P.), Montréal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, Montréal; Department of Radiology (C.L.), Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (C.L.), International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD) (C.L.), Department of Physics and Astronomy (C.L.), and Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine (S.M.S.), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Department of Neurology (K.N.), Division of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan; Department of Radiology (R.R.), Uppsala University, Sweden; Department of Neurology and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research (L.S.), Eberhard-Karls-University; German Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) (L.S.), Tübingen, Germany; Department of Neurology (F.V.), Caen-Normandie University Hospital, Caen; Inserm U1077 (F.V.), EPHE, Caen-Normandie University, Caen, France; and Department of Neurology and Stroke (K.J.), Medical University of Lodz, Poland.

Objective: To perform a systematic analysis and scoring of brain MRI white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in adult-onset Krabbe disease.

Methods: We retrospectively collected basic clinical data and the first available brain MRI from patients with confirmed Krabbe disease with first clinical manifestations beyond 10 years of age. Data were obtained from our reference center for lysosomal diseases (n = 6) and from contacted authors of published articles describing patients with adult-onset Krabbe disease (n = 15). T2-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images of each patient were analyzed and scored using a radiologic score of WMH in a single center.

Results: The corticospinal tract was always affected by WMH (100% of patients), however, with some distinctions along the tract: the precentral gyrus (100%), corona radiata (95%), and posterior internal capsule (81%) were highly abnormal, whereas the mesencephalon (57%), pons (52%), and medulla oblongata (5%) were less affected. WMH were also frequently present in the posterior lateral periventricular white matter (95%), optic radiations (86%), postcentral gyrus (71%), medial lemniscus (62%), and corpus callosum, especially in the isthmus (71%), whereas the genu was always normal. A few patients did not have the classical MRI pattern but extensive hyperintensities (n = 3), or patchy distribution of hyperintensities mimicking an acquired etiology (n = 2), or very subtle hyperintensities of the corticospinal tract (n = 1).

Conclusions: We specified the main locations of WMH, which were observed in the earliest stages of the disease and were also present in patients with atypical MRI pattern, highlighting the importance of radiologic features to guide the diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000007943DOI Listing
August 2019

The spinal and cerebral profile of adult spinal-muscular atrophy: A multimodal imaging study.

Neuroimage Clin 2019 28;21:101618. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Sorbonne Université, CNRS, INSERM, Laboratoire d'Imagerie Biomédicale, Paris, France; APHP, Département de Neurologie, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Centre référent SLA, Paris, France; Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Ulster University, C-TRIC, Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry, Londonderry, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type III and IV are autosomal recessive, slowly progressive lower motor neuron syndromes. Nevertheless, wider cerebral involvement has been consistently reported in mouse models. The objective of this study is the characterisation of spinal and cerebral pathology in adult forms of SMA using multimodal quantitative imaging.

Methods: Twenty-five type III and IV adult SMA patients and 25 age-matched healthy controls were enrolled in a spinal cord and brain imaging study. Structural measures of grey and white matter involvement and diffusion parameters of white matter integrity were evaluated at each cervical spinal level. Whole-brain and region-of-interest analyses were also conducted in the brain to explore cortical thickness, grey matter density and tract-based white matter alterations.

Results: In the spinal cord, considerable grey matter atrophy was detected between C2-C6 vertebral levels. In the brain, increased grey matter density was detected in motor and extra-motor regions of SMA patients. No white matter pathology was identified neither at brain and spinal level.

Conclusions: Adult forms of SMA are associated with selective grey matter degeneration in the spinal cord with preserved white matter integrity. The observed increased grey matter density in the motor cortex may represent adaptive reorganisation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2018.101618DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6413472PMC
December 2019

The motor unit number index (MUNIX) profile of patients with adult spinal muscular atrophy.

Clin Neurophysiol 2018 11 13;129(11):2333-2340. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Sorbonne Université, CNRS, INSERM, Laboratoire d'Imagerie Biomédicale, Paris, France; APHP, Département de Neurologie, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Centre référent SLA, Paris, France; Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Ulster University, C-TRIC, Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry/Londonderry, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Objective: Objective of this study is the comprehensive characterisation of motor unit (MU) loss in type III and IV Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) using motor unit number index (MUNIX), and evaluation of compensatory mechanisms based on MU size indices (MUSIX).

Methods: Nineteen type III and IV SMA patients and 16 gender- and age-matched healthy controls were recruited. Neuromuscular performance was evaluated by muscle strength testing and functional scales. Compound motor action potential (CMAP), MUNIX and MUSIX were studied in the abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor digiti minimi (ADM), deltoid, tibialis anterior and trapezius muscles. A composite MUNIX score was also calculated.

Results: SMA patients exhibited significantly reduced MUNIX values (p < 0.05) in all muscles, while MUSIX was increased, suggesting active re-innervation. Significant correlations were identified between MUNIX/MUSIX and muscle strength. Similarly, composite MUNIX scores correlated with disability scores. Interestingly, in SMA patients MUNIX was much lower in the ADM than in the ABP, a pattern which is distinctly different from that observed in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Conclusions: MUNIX is a sensitive measure of MU loss in adult forms of SMA and correlates with disability.

Significance: MUNIX evaluation is a promising candidate biomarker for longitudinal studies and pharmacological trials in adult SMA patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2018.08.025DOI Listing
November 2018

Rituximab in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy with associated diseases.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2018 12 7;23(4):235-240. Epub 2018 Oct 7.

Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, APHP, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France.

We aimed to analyse the response to rituximab in a cohort of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) patients with associated disorders. We conducted a clinical and electrophysiological retrospective monocentric study in 28 CIDP patients. Response to rituximab was defined as (a) a five-point increase in the Medical Research Council sum score or a one-point decrease in the Overall Neuropathy Limitations Scale score, compared to the score at the first rituximab infusion, or (b) the discontinuation of, or reduced need for, the last treatments before rituximab initiation. Twenty-one patients (75%) were responders to rituximab. The median time before response was 6 months (1-10 months). Only two patients needed to be treated again during a median follow-up of 2.0 years (0.75-9 years). Interestingly, the response rate was good in patients with associated autoimmune disease (5/8) and similar to the response rate observed in patients with a haematological disease (16/20) (P = 0.63). A shorter disease duration was associated with a better clinical response to rituximab (odds ratio 0.81, P = 0.025) and the response rate was better (P = 0.05) in common forms (83.3%) than in sensory forms (42.9%). No major adverse events were recorded. Rituximab is efficacious in CIDP patients with haematological or autoimmune disease. It improves clinical response and decreases dependence on first-line treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12287DOI Listing
December 2018

Extrapyramidal deficits in ALS: a combined biomechanical and neuroimaging study.

J Neurol 2018 Sep 11;265(9):2125-2136. Epub 2018 Jul 11.

Laboratoire CeRSM - EA 2931 Paris Ouest, Nanterre, France.

Introduction: Extrapyramidal deficits are poorly characterised in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) despite their contribution to functional disability, increased fall risk and their quality-of-life implications. Given the concomitant pyramidal and cerebellar degeneration in ALS, the clinical assessment of extrapyramidal features is particularly challenging.

Objective: The comprehensive characterisation of postural instability in ALS using standardised clinical assessments, gait analyses and computational neuroimaging tools in a prospective study design.

Methods: Parameters of gait initiation in the anticipatory postural adjustment phase (APA) and execution phase (EP) were evaluated in ALS patients with and without postural instability and healthy controls. Clinical and gait analysis parameters were interpreted in the context of brain imaging findings.

Results: ALS patients with postural instability exhibit impaired gait initiation with an altered APA phase, poor dynamic postural control and significantly decreased braking index. Consistent with their clinical profile, "unsteady" ALS patients have reduced caudate and brain stem volumes compared to "steady" ALS patients.

Interpretation: Our findings highlight that the ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-r) does not account for extrapyramidal deficits, which are major contributors to gait impairment in a subset of ALS patients. Basal ganglia degeneration in ALS does not only contribute to cognitive and behavioural deficits, but also adds to the heterogeneity of motor disability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-018-8964-yDOI Listing
September 2018

Treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis: clinical, neurophysiological, and quantitative brain structural outcomes.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2018 09 20;41(5):799-807. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Centre de Référence Neurométabolique Adulte, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.

Background: Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) is a rare neurodegenerative disease related to sterols metabolism. It affects both central and peripheral nervous systems but treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) has been reported to stabilize clinical scores and improve nerve conduction parameters. Few quantitative brain structural studies have been conducted to assess the effect of CDCA in CTX.

Methods And Results: We collected retrospectively clinical, neurophysiological, and quantitative brain structural data in a cohort of 14 patients with CTX treated by CDCA over a mean period of 5 years. Plasma cholestanol levels normalized under treatment with CDCA within a few months. We observed a significant clinical improvement in patients up to 25 years old, whose treatment was initiated less than 15 years after the onset of neurological symptoms. Conversely, patients whose treatment was initiated more than 25 years after neurological disease onset continued their clinical deterioration. Eleven patients presented with a length-dependent peripheral neuropathy, whose electrophysiological parameters improved significantly under CDCA. Volumetric analyses in a subset of patients showed no overt volume loss under CDCA. Moreover, diffusion weighted imaging showed improved fiber integrity of the ponto-cerebellar and the internal capsule with CDCA. CDCA was well tolerated in all patients with CTX.

Conclusion: CDCA may reverse the pathophysiological process in patients with CTX, especially if treatment is initiated early in the disease process. Besides tendon xanthoma, this study stresses the need to consider plasma cholestanol measurement in any patient with infantile chronic diarrhea and/or jaundice, juvenile cataract, learning disability and/or autism spectrum disorder, pyramidal signs, cerebellar syndrome or peripheral neuropathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-018-0162-7DOI Listing
September 2018

Clinical, Biomarker, and Molecular Delineations and Genotype-Phenotype Correlations of Ataxia With Oculomotor Apraxia Type 1.

JAMA Neurol 2018 04;75(4):495-502

Pediatric Neurology, Emma Children's Hospital, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Importance: Ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 1 (AOA1) is an autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia due to mutations in the aprataxin gene (APTX) that is characterized by early-onset cerebellar ataxia, oculomotor apraxia, axonal motor neuropathy, and eventual decrease of albumin serum levels.

Objectives: To improve the clinical, biomarker, and molecular delineation of AOA1 and provide genotype-phenotype correlations.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This retrospective analysis included the clinical, biological (especially regarding biomarkers of the disease), electrophysiologic, imaging, and molecular data of all patients consecutively diagnosed with AOA1 in a single genetics laboratory from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2014. Data were analyzed from January 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The clinical, biological, and molecular spectrum of AOA1 and genotype-phenotype correlations.

Results: The diagnosis of AOA1 was confirmed in 80 patients (46 men [58%] and 34 women [42%]; mean [SD] age at onset, 7.7 [7.4] years) from 51 families, including 57 new (with 8 new mutations) and 23 previously described patients. Elevated levels of α-fetoprotein (AFP) were found in 33 patients (41%); hypoalbuminemia, in 50 (63%). Median AFP level was higher in patients with AOA1 (6.0 ng/mL; range, 1.1-17.0 ng/mL) than in patients without ataxia (3.4 ng/mL; range, 0.8-17.2 ng/mL; P < .01). Decreased albumin levels (ρ = -0.532) and elevated AFP levels (ρ = 0.637) were correlated with disease duration. The p.Trp279* mutation, initially reported as restricted to the Portuguese founder haplotype, was discovered in 53 patients with AOA1 (66%) with broad white racial origins. Oculomotor apraxia was found in 49 patients (61%); polyneuropathy, in 74 (93%); and cerebellar atrophy, in 78 (98%). Oculomotor apraxia correlated with the severity of ataxia and mutation type, being more frequent with deletion or truncating mutations (83%) than with presence of at least 1 missense variant (17%; P < .01). Mean (SD) age at onset was higher for patients with at least 1 missense mutation (17.7 [11.4] vs 5.2 [2.6] years; P < .001).

Conclusions And Relevance: The AFP level, slightly elevated in a substantial fraction of patients, may constitute a new biomarker for AOA1. Oculomotor apraxia may be an optional finding in AOA1 and correlates with more severe disease. The p.Trp279* mutation is the most frequent APTX mutation in the white population. APTX missense mutations may be associated with a milder phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.4373DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5933354PMC
April 2018

Plasma oxysterols: biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment in spastic paraplegia type 5.

Brain 2018 01;141(1):72-84

APHP, La Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital, Reference Center for Adult Neurometabolic Diseases, Paris, France.

The hereditary spastic paraplegias are an expanding and heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by spasticity in the lower limbs. Plasma biomarkers are needed to guide the genetic testing of spastic paraplegia. Spastic paraplegia type 5 (SPG5) is an autosomal recessive spastic paraplegia due to mutations in CYP7B1, which encodes a cytochrome P450 7α-hydroxylase implicated in cholesterol and bile acids metabolism. We developed a method based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography electrospray tandem mass spectrometry to validate two plasma 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-OHC) and 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OHC) as diagnostic biomarkers in a cohort of 21 patients with SPG5. For 14 patients, SPG5 was initially suspected on the basis of genetic analysis, and then confirmed by increased plasma 25-OHC, 27-OHC and their ratio to total cholesterol. For seven patients, the diagnosis was initially based on elevated plasma oxysterol levels and confirmed by the identification of two causal CYP7B1 mutations. The receiver operating characteristic curves analysis showed that 25-OHC, 27-OHC and their ratio to total cholesterol discriminated between SPG5 patients and healthy controls with 100% sensitivity and specificity. Taking advantage of the robustness of these plasma oxysterols, we then conducted a phase II therapeutic trial in 12 patients and tested whether candidate molecules (atorvastatin, chenodeoxycholic acid and resveratrol) can lower plasma oxysterols and improve bile acids profile. The trial consisted of a three-period, three-treatment crossover study and the six different sequences of three treatments were randomized. Using a linear mixed effect regression model with a random intercept, we observed that atorvastatin decreased moderately plasma 27-OHC (∼30%, P < 0.001) but did not change 27-OHC to total cholesterol ratio or 25-OHC levels. We also found an abnormal bile acids profile in SPG5 patients, with significantly decreased total serum bile acids associated with a relative decrease of ursodeoxycholic and lithocholic acids compared to deoxycholic acid. Treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid restored bile acids profile in SPG5 patients. Therefore, the combination of atorvastatin and chenodeoxycholic acid may be worth considering for the treatment of SPG5 patients but the neurological benefit of these metabolic interventions remains to be evaluated in phase III therapeutic trials using clinical, imaging and/or electrophysiological outcome measures with sufficient effect sizes. Overall, our study indicates that plasma 25-OHC and 27-OHC are robust diagnostic biomarkers of SPG5 and shall be used as first-line investigations in any patient with unexplained spastic paraplegia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awx297DOI Listing
January 2018

Fatigue evaluation in fingolimod treated patients: An observational study.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2017 May 14;14:8-11. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

Department of Neurology, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, APHP, Paris, France.

Background: Fatigue is one of the most disabling symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients and is associated with a low quality of life. Fingolimod (Fg), a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator, is the first oral MS disease modifying treatment. Little is known about its effect on fatigue. To assess the impact of Fg on fatigue within the first 6 months of treatment in MS patients, we conducted a prospective, open label study, in real life setting.

Methods: Change of Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS) between Fg treatment start and at 6 months was used as a first outcome. Secondary outcomes were changes of MFIS subscales, Fatigue severity scale (FSS) and Visual Analogic Scale of Fatigue (VAS-F) scores, RESULTS: 54 completed the study at M6. No significant change was noted in global MFIS (and neither in sub analysis of MFIS), FSS or VAS-F at M6. Patients with high level of fatigue (MFIS or ≥38) had a higher EDSS score than patients with lower level of fatigue (MFIS <38), (mean 3.3, [SD 1.6] versus 1.6 [SD1.1], p=0.0002) but showed no significant difference in MFIS evolution at M6. There was no significant statistical difference in fatigue parameters evolution at M6 within patients Nz+ or Nz-.

Conclusion: There is no significant impact of Fg on fatigue after 6 months of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2017.03.006DOI Listing
May 2017

A new treatment regimen with high-dose and fractioned immunoglobulin in a special subgroup of severe and dependent CIDP patients.

Int J Neurosci 2017 Oct 20;127(10):864-872. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

a Département de Neurophysiologie , Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtriére , AP-HP , Paris , France.

Background: Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is treated with intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg), corticosteroids or plasma exchange (PE). IVIg dosage is not universal and markers for treatment management are needed.

Methods: We report the response to high-dose and fractioned IVIg in a subgroup of definite CIDP patients, resistant to corticosteroids and PE, responders to IVIg but with an efficacy window <15 d.

Results: Four patients were included with similar predominantly clinical motor form and conduction abnormalities. Treatment management consisted of fractioning IVIg and increasing the monthly cumulated dose (mean: 3 g/kg/month). Serum IgG concentration was measured and correlated to the clinical state. Monitoring of serum IgG helped to guide IVIg administration dosage and frequency. A mean of 10 months was required to improve symptoms; therapy was then switched to subcutaneous (SC) route (maintenance dose: 3.5 g/kg/month). The mean Overall Neuropathy Limitations Scale was improved from 11 to 3.2 and the mean Medical Research Council scale from 26 to 90.

Conclusion: It is important to distinguish patients with short IVIg efficacy window from those with classical resistance since the former may benefit from fractioning and increasing the IVIg dose. The monitoring of serum IgG level and its correlation to the clinical response could be of help in monitoring each individual's dosage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207454.2016.1269328DOI Listing
October 2017

Transcriptome Analysis of Peripheral Blood in Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy Patients Identifies TNFR1 and TLR Pathways in the IVIg Response.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2016 May;95(19):e3370

From the Sorbonne Universités (AR, J-CC, KT), UPMC Univ Paris 06, INSERM UMRS_1127, CIC_1422, CNRS UMR_7225, AP-HP, and ICM, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Département des maladies du système nerveux; Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière (RD, PR, KV), Département de Neurophysiologie Clinique; Plateforme Post-génomique P3S (WC), UPMC, Site Pitié Salpêtrière; IHU-A-ICM Bioinformatics/Biostatistics Core Facility (JG, VG), Paris; Hôpital de Bicêtre (CL, DA), Centre de Référence des Neuropathies Amyloïdes et autres Neuropathies Périphériques Rares, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre; and AP-HP, Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière, Service de Médecine Interne, Institut E3M, Centre National de Référence Maladies auto-immunes Systémiques Rares, et Université Paris VI Pierre et Marie Curie, Sorbonnes Université, Paris, France (FCA).

We have studied the response to intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) by a transcriptomic approach in 11 chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) patients (CIDP duration = 6 [0.83-6.5] years). RNA was extracted from cells in whole blood collected before and 3 weeks after IVIg treatment, and hybridized on Illumina chips. After RNA quality controls, gene expression was analyzed using statistical tests fitted for microarrays (R software, limma package), and a pathway analysis was performed using DAVID software. We identified 52 genes with expression that varied significantly after IVIg (fold change [FC] > 1.2, P < 0.001, false discovery rate [FDR] <0.05). Among these 52 genes, 7 were related to immunity, 3 were related to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α receptor 1 (TNFR1) pathway (inhibitor of caspase-activated DNase (ICAD): FC = 1.8, P = 1.7E-7, FDR = 0.004; p21 protein-activated kinase 2 [PAK2]: FC = 1.66, P = 2.6E-5, FDR = 0.03; TNF-α-induced protein 8-like protein 1 [TNFAIP8L1]: P = 1.00E-05, FDR = 0.026), and 2 were related to Toll-like receptors (TLRs), especially TLRs 7 and 9, and were implicated in autoimmunity. These genes were UNC93B1 (FC = 1.6, P = 2E-5, FDR = 0.03), which transports TLRs 7 and 9 to the endolysosomes, and RNF216 (FC = 1.5, P = 1E-05, FDR = 0.03), which promotes TLR 9 degradation. Pathway analysis showed that the TNFR1 pathway was significantly lessened by IVIg (enrichment score = 24, Fischer exact test = 0.003). TNF-α gene expression was higher in responder patients than in nonresponders; however, it decreased after IVIg in responders (P = 0.04), but remained stable in nonresponders. Our data suggest the actions of IVIg on the TNFR1 pathway and an original mechanism involving innate immunity through TLRs in CIDP pathophysiology and the response to IVIg. We conclude that responder patients have stronger inflammatory activity that is lessened by IVIg.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000003370DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4902477PMC
May 2016

Extensive brain demyelinating lesions under natalizumab: The role of anti-natalizumab antibodies.

Neurology 2015 Nov 9;85(18):1630-2. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

From the Department of Neurology (R.D., E.M., R.F., C.P., C.L.), Department of Neuroradiology (D.G.), Department of Neuropathology (C.D.), Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris AP HP, France; and Institute of Neuropathology (C.S.), University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000002084DOI Listing
November 2015

Fecundity in women with multiple sclerosis: an observational mono-centric study.

J Neurol 2015 12;262(4):957-60. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

AP-HP, Neurology Department, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, 43-87 Boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75013, Paris, France.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease mostly affecting women of childbearing age. When counseling MS patients, many questions arise on the reciprocal influence of MS and pregnancy. However, little is known on the impact of MS and its treatments on the time to pregnancy. The objective was to evaluate fecundity (pregnancy and time to pregnancy) in a French cohort of MS women. One hundred and fifteen women with MS were included consecutively in this observational retrospective study. Pregnancy and time to pregnancy were collected using self-questionnaires. Among the 115 patients, 216 pregnancies (from 84 women) were reported. Mean time to pregnancy, which was available for 124 of these pregnancies, was 8.57 months when pregnancy occurred before MS onset, and 7.53 months after MS onset. Among the 95 patients who had a parental project, 2.27 spontaneous pregnancies per woman were recorded. The mean number of children per woman with MS was 1.37. Spontaneous pregnancies per woman and time to pregnancy were not different from the general French population. However, despite a normal fecundity, the mean number of children per woman with MS (1.37) was lower than in the general French population (1.99).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-015-7663-1DOI Listing
January 2016

Krabbe disease in adults: phenotypic and genotypic update from a series of 11 cases and a review.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2013 Sep 30;36(5):859-68. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Department of Neurology, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris and University Pierre&Marie Curie, Paris, France.

Krabbe disease usually presents as a severe leukodystrophy in early infancy and childhood. From a series of 11 patients and 30 cases previously reported in the literature we describe the clinical, radiological, electrophysiological and genetic features of adult Krabbe disease. Patients diagnosed after the age of 16 years were included in this study. They were further divided into three groups depending on age at symptoms onset: (1) childhood onset cases (n = 7); (2) adolescence onset cases (n = 6) and adult onset cases (n = 28). Overall, 96 % of patients in the adult-onset group presented with signs of pyramidal tracts dysfunction. Spastic paraparesis or tetraparesis became prominent in all cases. A peripheral neuropathy was present in 59 % of cases and was most often demyelinating (80 %). Other clinical signs encompassed dysarthria (31 %), cerebellar ataxia (27 %), pes cavus (27 %), deep sensory signs (23 %), tongue atrophy (15 %), optic neuropathy (12 %), cognitive decline (12 %). Cerebrospinal fluid protein concentration was moderately increased in 54 % of patients. Patients in the adolescent- and childhood-onset groups had similar presentations but were more likely to display optic neuropathy (33 % and 57 %) and cerebellar ataxia (50 % and 57 %). In the adult-onset group, the disease progressed slowly over more than 10 years, but a rapid course was observed in two patients. Abnormalities of brain MRI was similar in the three groups and included high signals of cortico-spinal tracts (94 % of cases), hyper-intensities of optic radiations (89 %) and hyper-intensities or atrophy of the posterior part of the corpus callosum (60 %). No clear genotype-phenotype relationship could be demonstrated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-012-9560-4DOI Listing
September 2013

Biotin-responsive basal ganglia disease in ethnic Europeans with novel SLC19A3 mutations.

Arch Neurol 2010 Jan;67(1):126-30

Federation of Nervous System Diseases, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris CEDEX 13, France.

Objective: To report the first 2 European cases of biotin-responsive basal ganglia disease and novel SLC19A3 mutations.

Design: Case reports.

Setting: University hospital. Patients A 33-year-old man and his 29-year-old sister, both of Portuguese ancestry, presented with recurrent episodes of encephalopathy. Between episodes patients exhibited generalized dystonia, epilepsy, and bilateral hyperintensities of the caudate and putamen.

Main Outcome Measures: Clinical and radiologic findings.

Results: Administration of high doses of biotin or of a combination of biotin and thiamine during encephalopathies resulted in spectacular clinical and radiologic improvement in both patients. Sequencing of the SLC19A3 disclosed 2 novel mutations, both of which created premature stop codons in the protein sequence of hTHTR2.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that biotin-responsive basal ganglia disease is a panethnic condition. A therapeutic trial with high doses of biotin and thiamine seems mandatory in every unexplained encephalopathy with bilateral lesions of putamen and caudate nuclei.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archneurol.2009.293DOI Listing
January 2010
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