Publications by authors named "Riccardo Ricceri"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Platelet Function Monitoring Performed after Carotid Stenting during Endovascular Stroke Treatment Predicts Outcome.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Jul 5;30(7):105800. Epub 2021 May 5.

Stroke Unit, Neurology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Ospedale Civile, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Modena, Via Giardini 1355, Modena, Emilia Romagna 41126, Italy. Electronic address:

Objectives: Many studies showed that platelet reactivity testing can predict ischemic events after carotid stenting or ischemic stroke. The aim of our study was to assess the role of early platelet function monitoring in predicting 90-days functional outcome, stent thrombosis and hemorrhagic transformation in patients with ischemic stroke treated with endovascular procedures requiring emergent extracranial stenting.

Materials And Methods: We performed a retrospective study on consecutive patients with acute anterior circulation stroke admitted to our hospital between January 2015 and March 2020, in whom platelet reactivity testing was performed within 10 days from stenting. Patients were divided according to validated cutoffs in acetylsalicylic acid and Clopidogrel responders and not responders. Group comparison and regression analyses were performed to identify differences between groups and outcome predictors.

Results: We included in the final analysis 54 patients. Acetylsalicylic acid resistance was an independent predictor of poor 90 days outcome (OR for modified Rankin scale (mRS) ≤ 2: 0.10 95% CI: 0.02 - 0.69) whereas Clopidogrel resistance was an independent predictor of good outcome (OR for mRS ≤ 2: 7.09 95%CI: 1.33 - 37.72). Acetylsalicylic acid resistance was also associated with increased 90-days mortality (OR: 18.42; 95% CI: 1.67 - 203.14).

Conclusion: We found a significant association between resistance to acetylsalicylic acid and poor 90-days functional outcome and between resistance to Clopidogrel and good 90-days functional outcome. If confirmed, our results might improve pharmacological management after acute carotid stenting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.105800DOI Listing
July 2021

Olfactory function and viral recovery in COVID-19.

Brain Behav 2021 03 19;11(3):e02006. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Neurology Unit, OCB Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria, Modena, Italy.

Background: Olfactory and taste disorders were reported in up to 30%-80% of COVID-19 patients. The purpose of our study was to objectively assess smell impairment in COVID-19 patients and to correlate olfactory function with viral recovery.

Methods: Between 15 and 30 April 2020, hospitalized patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection underwent an objective assessment of olfactory function with the Smell Identification subtest of the Sniffin' Sticks Test (SI-SST). Association between viral recovery and SI-SST performance was evaluated.

Results: 51 patients were enrolled (49% males, mean age 66.2 ± 14.6 years). At the time of test administration, 45% were clinically recovered and 39% were virus-free. Objective hyposmia/anosmia was found in 45% of the patients. Subjective olfactory disorders showed no association with the clinical or viral recovery status of the patients. On the contrary, none of the patients with anosmia and the 5% of hyposmic patients at test had viral recovery. The relative risk for hyposmic patients to be still positive at swab test was 10.323 (95% CI 1.483-71.869, p < .0001). Logistic regression analysis showed an independent and significant correlation between viral clearance and SI-SST scores (OR = 2.242; 95% CI 1.322-3.802, p < .003). ROC curve analysis confirmed that a SI-SST > 10.5 predicts viral clearance with 79% sensitivity and 87% specificity (AUC = 0.883).

Conclusion: Hyposmia is part of COVID-19 symptoms; however, only objectively assessed olfactory function is associated with viral recovery. SI-SST is an easy and safe instrument, and further large multicentric studies should assess its value to predict infection and recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.2006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7994699PMC
March 2021

Middle cerebral artery ischemic stroke and COVID-19: a case report.

J Neurovirol 2020 12 8;26(6):967-969. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Stroke Unit - Neurology Clinic, Department of Neuroscience, Ospedale Civile di Baggiovara, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Modena, Modena, Italy.

We present a clinical case of a patient with SARS-CoV-2 infection and respiratory symptoms, complicated with a pro-thrombotic state involving multiple vascular territories and concomitant interleukin-6 increase. This case underlines the possibility to develop a COVID-19-related coagulopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13365-020-00898-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7478241PMC
December 2020

The Relation Between Aortic Arch Branching Types and the Laterality of Cardio-Embolic Stroke.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2020 Jul 13;29(7):104917. Epub 2020 May 13.

Department of Neuroscience, Stroke Unit - Neurology Clinic, Ospedale Civile di Baggiovara, AOU di Modena, Italy; Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35511, Egypt. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: The trajectory of cardiogenic emboli could be affected by anatomical and flow characteristics of the aortic arch. We aimed to study the relation between the different aortic arch patterns and the laterality of cardiogenic emboli.

Methods: 192 cardioembolic strokes were classified into 3 groups according to the type of the aortic arch; type 1 (n = 69), type 2 (n = 49), type 3 (n = 74). The side and site of the cerebral vessels occlusion were divided into anterior and posterior circulation strokes, and anterior strokes were further subdivided into right or left internal carotid, middle or anterior cerebral arteries occlusion.

Results: Overall, the anterior circulation embolic occlusions were more common than the posterior, and middle cerebral artery more commonly affected than internal carotid artery. The left side propensity was higher either in the total patients' pool or after segregation into atrial fibrillation (AF) and non AF cardio-embolic cases in all types of aortic arch except for type 1 aortic arch in the non AF cases. This propensity tended to get higher with advancement of the aortic arch types but failed to show statistically significant difference between the 3 arch types, however combination of type 2 and 3 arches into a single group showed statistically significant rise in the left side propensity in the total cardioembolic cases (P = 0.039) and in the non AF cardioembolic cases (P = 0.029). The bovine arch also showed increased left side propensity.

Conclusion: Cardioemboli tends to have left anterior cerebrovascular predilection especially with AF. Different geometrical patterns of aortic arch branching seem to affect the laterality of cardioemboli and increase its left side predilection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.104917DOI Listing
July 2020

Age, Height, and Sex on Motor Evoked Potentials: Translational Data From a Large Italian Cohort in a Clinical Environment.

Front Hum Neurosci 2019 4;13:185. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

Introduction: Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are known to be susceptible to several sources of variability. However, conflicting evidences on individual characteristics in relatively small sample sizes have been reported. We investigated the effect of age, height, and sex on MEPs of the motor cortex and spinal roots in a large cohort.

Methods: A total of 587 subjects clinically and neuroradiologically intact were included. MEPs were recorded during mild tonic contraction through a circular coil applied over the "hot spot" of the first dorsal interosseous and tibialis anterior muscles (TAs), bilaterally. Central motor conduction time (CMCT) was estimated as the difference between MEP cortical latency and the peripheral motor conduction time (PMCT) by cervical or lumbar magnetic stimulation. Peak-to-peak MEP amplitude to cortical stimulation and right-to-left difference of each parameter were also measured.

Results: After Bonferroni correction, general linear (multiple) regression analysis showed that both MEP cortical latency and PMCT at four limbs positively correlated with age and height. At lower limbs, an independent effect of sex on the same measures was also observed (with females showing smaller values than males). CMCT correlated with both age (negatively) and height (positively) when analyzed by a single regression; however, with a multiple regression analysis this significance disappeared, due to the correction for the multicollinearity within the dataset.

Conclusion: Physical individual features need to be considered for a more accurate and meaningful MEPs interpretation. Both in clinical practice and in research setting, patients and controls should be matched for age, height, and sex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2019.00185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6558095PMC
June 2019

Retroclival subdural hematoma after a lumbar puncture: An uncommon complication for a common procedure.

Neurol India 2017 Nov-Dec;65(6):1400-1401

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies, Section of Neurosciences, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Policlinico Vittorio Emanuele, Catania, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0028-3886.217963DOI Listing
June 2019

Cortical involvement in celiac disease before and after long-term gluten-free diet: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation study.

PLoS One 2017 10;12(5):e0177560. Epub 2017 May 10.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies, Section of Neurosciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

Objective: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in de novo patients with Celiac Disease previously revealed an imbalance in the excitability of cortical facilitatory and inhibitory circuits. After a median period of 16 months of gluten-free diet, a global increase of cortical excitability was reported, suggesting a glutamate-mediated compensation for disease progression. We have now evaluated cross-sectionally the changes of cortical excitability to TMS after a much longer gluten-free diet.

Methods: Twenty patients on adequate gluten-free diet for a mean period of 8.35 years were enrolled and compared with 20 de novo patients and 20 healthy controls. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation measures, recorded from the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the dominant hand, consisted of: resting motor threshold, cortical silent period, motor evoked potentials, central motor conduction time, mean short-latency intracortical inhibition and intracortical facilitation.

Results: The cortical silent period was shorter in de novo patients, whereas in gluten-free diet participants it was similar to controls. The amplitude of motor responses was significantly smaller in all patients than in controls, regardless of the dietary regimen. Notwithstanding the diet, all patients exhibited a statistically significant decrease of mean short-latency intracortical inhibition and enhancement of intracortical facilitation with respect to controls; more intracortical facilitation in gluten-restricted compared to non-restricted patients was also observed. Neurological examination and celiac disease-related antibodies were negative.

Conclusions: In this new investigation, the length of dietary regimen was able to modulate the electrocortical changes in celiac disease. Nevertheless, an intracortical synaptic dysfunction, mostly involving excitatory and inhibitory interneurons within the motor cortex, may persist. The clinical significance of subtle neurophysiological changes in celiac disease needs to be further investigated.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177560PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5425211PMC
September 2017

Correlation between Motor Cortex Excitability Changes and Cognitive Impairment in Vascular Depression: Pathophysiological Insights from a Longitudinal TMS Study.

Neural Plast 2016 20;2016:8154969. Epub 2016 Jul 20.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies, Section of Neurosciences, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy.

Background. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) highlighted functional changes in dementia, whereas there are few data in patients with vascular cognitive impairment-no dementia (VCI-ND). Similarly, little is known about the neurophysiological impact of vascular depression (VD) on deterioration of cognitive functions. We test whether depression might affect not only cognition but also specific cortical circuits in subcortical vascular disease. Methods. Sixteen VCI-ND and 11 VD patients, age-matched with 15 controls, underwent a clinical-cognitive, neuroimaging, and TMS assessment. After approximately two years, all participants were prospectively reevaluated. Results. At baseline, a significant more pronounced intracortical facilitation (ICF) was found in VCI-ND patients. Reevaluation revealed an increase of the global excitability in both VCI-ND and VD subjects. At follow-up, the ICF of VCI-ND becomes similar to the other groups. Only VD patients showed cognitive deterioration. Conclusions. Unlike VD, the hyperfacilitation found at baseline in VCI-ND patients suggests enhanced glutamatergic neurotransmission that might contribute to the preservation of cognitive functioning. The hyperexcitability observed at follow-up in both groups of patients also indicates functional changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission. The mechanisms enhancing the risk of dementia in VD might be related either to subcortical vascular lesions or to the lack of compensatory functional cortical changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8154969DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4971324PMC
September 2017

Cholinergic circuitry functioning in patients with vascular cognitive impairment--no dementia.

Brain Stimul 2016 Mar-Apr;9(2):225-33. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Department of Surgery and Medical-Surgical Specialties, University of Catania, Catania, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: An impairment of central cholinergic activity, as evaluated non-invasively by the short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) of motor responses evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), was observed in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment. Conversely, the involvement of central cholinergic neurotransmission in vascular dementia (VaD) is still under debate and data on Vascular Cognitive Impairment--No Dementia (VCI-ND) at risk for future VaD are lacking.

Objective: To test for the first time SAI in patients with VCI-ND.

Methods: Single-pulse TMS measures of cortical excitability and SAI were evaluated in 25 VCI-ND patients with subcortical ischemic lesions and 20 age-matched healthy controls. Functional status, neuropsychological tests evaluating frontal lobe abilities, and white matter lesions (WMLs) load were assessed.

Results: A significant difference was found between patients and controls for the mean SAI, although this result did not resist after the Bonferroni correction. In the whole group of patients and controls, SAI showed a correlation with worse scores at the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (r = 0.376, p < 0.01). SAI also positively correlated with the total vascular burden (r = 0.345, p < 0.05) but not with the WML severity.

Conclusions: Central cholinergic pathway does not seem to be involved in VCI-ND, and the current results differ from those reported in primary cholinergic forms of dementia, such as AD. SAI might represent a valuable additional tool in the differential diagnosis of the dementing processes and in identifying potential responders to cholinergic agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2015.09.013DOI Listing
February 2017

Effect of a Gluten-Free Diet on Cortical Excitability in Adults with Celiac Disease.

PLoS One 2015 8;10(6):e0129218. Epub 2015 Jun 8.

Department"Specialità Medico-Chirurgiche", University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

Introduction: An imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic excitability was observed in de novo patients with celiac disease (CD) in a previous study with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), suggesting a subclinical involvement of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission in asymptomatic patients. The aim of this investigation was to monitor the eventual changes in the same cohort of patients, evaluated after a period of gluten-free diet.

Methods: Patients were re-evaluated after a median period of 16 months during which an adequate gluten-free diet was maintained. Clinical, cognitive and neuropsychiatric assessment was repeated, as well as cortical excitability by means of single- and paired-pulse TMS from the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the dominant hand.

Results: Compared to baseline, patients showed a significant decrease of the median resting motor threshold (from 35% to 33%, p<0.01). The other single-pulse (cortical silent period, motor evoked potentials latency and amplitude, central motor conduction time) and paired-pulse TMS measures (intracortical inhibition and intracortical facilitation) did not change significantly after the follow-up period. Antibodies were still present in 7 subjects.

Discussion: In patients under a gluten-free diet, a global increase of cortical excitability was observed, suggesting a glutamate-mediated functional reorganization compensating for disease progression. We hypothesize that glutamate receptor activation, probably triggered by CD-related immune system dysregulation, might result in a long-lasting motor cortex hyperexcitability with increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials, probably related to phenomena of long-term plasticity. The impact of the gluten-free diet on subclinical neurological abnormalities needs to be further explored.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0129218PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4460029PMC
March 2016

Different patterns of cortical excitability in major depression and vascular depression: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

BMC Psychiatry 2013 Nov 9;13:300. Epub 2013 Nov 9.

Department "G,F, Ingrassia", Section of Neurosciences, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia, 78-95123 Catania, Italy.

Background: Clinical and functional studies consider major depression (MD) and vascular depression (VD) as different neurobiological processes. Hypoexcitability of the left frontal cortex to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is frequently reported in MD, whereas little is known about the effects of TMS in VD. Thus, we aimed to assess and compare motor cortex excitability in patients with VD and MD.

Methods: Eleven VD patients, 11 recurrent drug-resistant MD patients, and 11 healthy controls underwent clinical, neuropsychological and neuroimaging evaluations in addition to bilateral resting motor threshold, cortical silent period, and paired-pulse TMS curves of intracortical excitability. All patients continued on psychotropic drugs, which were unchanged throughout the study.

Results: Scores on one of the tests evaluating frontal lobe abilities (Stroop Color-Word interference test) were worse in patients compared with controls. The resting motor threshold in patients with MD was significantly higher in the left hemisphere compared with the right (p < 0.05), and compared with the VD patients and controls. The cortical silent period was bilaterally prolonged in MD patients compared with VD patients and controls, with a statistically significant difference in the left hemisphere (p < 0.01). No differences were observed in the paired-pulse curves between patients and controls.

Conclusions: This study showed distinctive patterns of motor cortex excitability between late-onset depression with subcortical vascular disease and early-onset recurrent drug resistant MD. The data provide a TMS model of the different processes underlying VD and MD. Additionally, our results support the "Vascular depression hypothesis" at the neurophysiological level, and confirm the inter-hemispheric asymmetry to TMS in patients with MD. We were unable to support previous findings of impaired intracortical inhibitory mechanisms to TMS in patients with MD, although a drug-induced effect on our results cannot be excluded. This study may aid the understanding of the pathogenetic differences underlying the clinical spectrum of depressive disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-13-300DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4226249PMC
November 2013