Publications by authors named "Sandra Nischwitz"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Chronic Serotonergic Overstimulation Mimicking Panic Attacks in a Patient with Parkinson's Disease Receiving Additional Antidepressant Treatment with Moclobemide.

Case Rep Psychiatry 2021 1;2021:8868023. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Kraepelinstrasse 2-10, 80804 Munich, Germany.

Background: The pharmacological treatment options of Parkinson's disease (PD) have considerably evolved during the last decades. However, therapeutic regimes are complicated due to individual differences in disease progression as well as the occurrence of complex nonmotor impairments such as mood and anxiety disorders. Antidepressants in particular are commonly prescribed for the treatment of depressive symptoms and anxiety in PD. . In this case report, we describe a case of a 62-year-old female patient with PD and history of depressive symptoms for which she had been treated with moclobemide concurrent with anti-Parkinson medications pramipexole, rasagiline, and L-DOPA+benserazide retard. An increase in the dosage of moclobemide 12 months prior to admission progressively led to serotonergic overstimulation and psychovegetative exacerbations mimicking the clinical picture of an anxiety spectrum disorder. After moclobemide and rasagiline were discontinued based on the hypothesis of serotonergic overstimulation, the patient's psychovegetative symptoms subsided.

Conclusions: The specific pharmacological regime in this case probably caused drug-drug interactions resulting in a plethora of psychovegetative symptoms. Likely due to the delayed onset of adverse effects, physicians had difficulties in determining the pharmacologically induced serotonin toxicity. This case report emphasizes the complexity of pharmacological treatments and the importance of drug-drug interaction awareness in the treatment of PD patients with complicating nonmotor dysfunctions such as depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/8868023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7939734PMC
March 2021

Longitudinal prevalence and determinants of pain in multiple sclerosis: results from the German National Multiple Sclerosis Cohort study.

Pain 2020 04;161(4):787-796

Department of Neurology, Technical University of Munich (TUM), School of Medicine, Munich, Germany.

Pain is frequent in multiple sclerosis (MS) and includes different types, with neuropathic pain (NP) being most closely related to MS pathology. However, prevalence estimates vary largely, and causal relationships between pain and biopsychosocial factors in MS are largely unknown. Longitudinal studies might help to clarify the prevalence and determinants of pain in MS. To this end, we analyzed data from 410 patients with newly diagnosed clinically isolated syndrome or relapsing-remitting MS participating in the prospective multicenter German National MS Cohort Study (NationMS) at baseline and after 4 years. Pain was assessed by self-report using the PainDETECT Questionnaire. Neuropsychiatric assessment included tests for fatigue, depression, and cognition. In addition, sociodemographic and clinical data were obtained. Prevalence of pain of any type was 40% and 36% at baseline and after 4 years, respectively, whereas prevalence of NP was 2% and 5%. Pain of any type and NP were both strongly linked to fatigue, depression, and disability. This link was even stronger after 4 years than at baseline. Moreover, changes in pain, depression, and fatigue were highly correlated without any of these symptoms preceding the others. Taken together, pain of any type seems to be much more frequent than NP in early nonprogressive MS. Moreover, the close relationship between pain, fatigue, and depression in MS should be considered for treatment decisions and future research on a possible common pathophysiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001767DOI Listing
April 2020

DeepWAS: Multivariate genotype-phenotype associations by directly integrating regulatory information using deep learning.

PLoS Comput Biol 2020 02 3;16(2):e1007616. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Institute of Computational Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identify genetic variants associated with traits or diseases. GWAS never directly link variants to regulatory mechanisms. Instead, the functional annotation of variants is typically inferred by post hoc analyses. A specific class of deep learning-based methods allows for the prediction of regulatory effects per variant on several cell type-specific chromatin features. We here describe "DeepWAS", a new approach that integrates these regulatory effect predictions of single variants into a multivariate GWAS setting. Thereby, single variants associated with a trait or disease are directly coupled to their impact on a chromatin feature in a cell type. Up to 61 regulatory SNPs, called dSNPs, were associated with multiple sclerosis (MS, 4,888 cases and 10,395 controls), major depressive disorder (MDD, 1,475 cases and 2,144 controls), and height (5,974 individuals). These variants were mainly non-coding and reached at least nominal significance in classical GWAS. The prediction accuracy was higher for DeepWAS than for classical GWAS models for 91% of the genome-wide significant, MS-specific dSNPs. DSNPs were enriched in public or cohort-matched expression and methylation quantitative trait loci and we demonstrated the potential of DeepWAS to generate testable functional hypotheses based on genotype data alone. DeepWAS is available at https://github.com/cellmapslab/DeepWAS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007616DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7043350PMC
February 2020

GAD antibody-associated limbic encephalitis in a young woman with APECED.

Endocrinol Diabetes Metab Case Rep 2017 25;2017. Epub 2017 May 25.

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Clinical Neuroendocrinology Group, MunichGermany.

The autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a mutation in the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene. Immune deficiency, hypoparathyroidism and Addison's disease due to autoimmune dysfunction are the major clinical signs of APECED. We report on a 21-year-old female APECED patient with two inactivating mutations in the AIRE gene. She presented with sudden onset of periodic nausea. Adrenal insufficiency was diagnosed by means of the ACTH stimulation test. Despite initiation of hormone replacement therapy with hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone, nausea persisted and the patient developed cognitive deficits and a loss of interest which led to the diagnosis of depression. She was admitted to the psychiatric department for further diagnostic assessment. An EEG showed a focal epileptic pattern. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) antibodies, which had been negative eight years earlier, were now elevated in serum and in the cerebrospinal fluid. Oligoclonal bands were positive indicating an inflammatory process with intrathecal antibody production in the central nervous system (CNS). The periodic nausea was identified as dialeptic seizures, which clinically presented as gastrointestinal aura followed by episodes of reduced consciousness that occurred about 3-4 times per day. GAD antibody-associated limbic encephalitis (LE) was diagnosed. Besides antiepileptic therapy, an immunosuppressive treatment with corticosteroids was initiated followed by azathioprine. The presence of nausea and vomiting in endocrine patients with autoimmune disorders is indicative of adrenal insufficiency. However, our case report shows that episodic nausea may be a symptom of epileptic seizures due to GAD antibodies-associated LE in patients with APECED.

Learning Points: Episodic nausea cannot only be a sign of Addison's disease, but can also be caused by epileptic seizures with gastrointestinal aura due to limbic encephalitis.GAD antibodies are not only found in diabetes mellitus type 1, but they are also associated with autoimmune limbic encephalitis and can appear over time.Limbic encephalitis can be another manifestation of autoimmune disease in patients with APECED/APS-1 that presents over the time course of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EDM-17-0010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5445423PMC
May 2017

MALDI imaging mass spectrometry analysis-A new approach for protein mapping in multiple sclerosis brain lesions.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2017 Mar 1;1047:131-140. Epub 2016 Jul 1.

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Kraepelinstr. 2-10, 80804 Munich, Germany; Medical Park Bad Camberg, Obertorstr. 100-102, 65520 Bad Camberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system characterized by recurrent inflammatory demyelinating lesions in the early disease stage. Lesion formation and mechanisms leading to lesion remyelination are not fully understood. Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation Mass Spectrometry imaging (MALDI-IMS) is a technology which analyses proteins and peptides in tissue, preserves their spatial localization, and generates molecular maps within the tissue section. In a pilot study we employed MALDI imaging mass spectrometry to profile and identify peptides and proteins expressed in normal-appearing white matter, grey matter and multiple sclerosis brain lesions with different extents of remyelination. The unsupervised clustering analysis of the mass spectra generated images which reflected the tissue section morphology in luxol fast blue stain and in myelin basic protein immunohistochemistry. Lesions with low remyelination extent were defined by compounds with molecular weight smaller than 5300Da, while more completely remyelinated lesions showed compounds with molecular weights greater than 15,200Da. An in-depth analysis of the mass spectra enabled the detection of cortical lesions which were not seen by routine luxol fast blue histology. An ion mass, mainly distributed at the rim of multiple sclerosis lesions, was identified by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry as thymosin beta-4, a protein known to be involved in cell migration and in restorative processes. The ion mass of thymosin beta-4 was profiled by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry in brain slides of 12 multiple sclerosis patients and validated by immunohistochemical analysis. In summary, our results demonstrate the ability of the MALDI-IMS technology to map proteins within the brain parenchyma and multiple sclerosis lesions and to identify potential markers involved in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis and/or remyelination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2016.07.001DOI Listing
March 2017

Novel multiple sclerosis susceptibility loci implicated in epigenetic regulation.

Sci Adv 2016 06 17;2(6):e1501678. Epub 2016 Jun 17.

Clinical Neuroimmunology Group, Department of Neurology, Philipps-University of Marburg, 35043 Marburg, Germany.

We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility in German cohorts with 4888 cases and 10,395 controls. In addition to associations within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region, 15 non-MHC loci reached genome-wide significance. Four of these loci are novel MS susceptibility loci. They map to the genes L3MBTL3, MAZ, ERG, and SHMT1. The lead variant at SHMT1 was replicated in an independent Sardinian cohort. Products of the genes L3MBTL3, MAZ, and ERG play important roles in immune cell regulation. SHMT1 encodes a serine hydroxymethyltransferase catalyzing the transfer of a carbon unit to the folate cycle. This reaction is required for regulation of methylation homeostasis, which is important for establishment and maintenance of epigenetic signatures. Our GWAS approach in a defined population with limited genetic substructure detected associations not found in larger, more heterogeneous cohorts, thus providing new clues regarding MS pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1501678DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928990PMC
June 2016

Successful Replication of GWAS Hits for Multiple Sclerosis in 10,000 Germans Using the Exome Array.

Genet Epidemiol 2015 Dec 26;39(8):601-8. Epub 2015 Oct 26.

Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, Munich, Germany.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) successfully identified various chromosomal regions to be associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). The primary aim of this study was to replicate reported associations from GWAS using an exome array in a large German study. German MS cases (n = 4,476) and German controls (n = 5,714) were genotyped using the Illumina HumanExome v1-Chip. Genotype calling was performed with the Illumina Genome Studio(TM) Genotyping Module, followed by zCall. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in seven regions outside the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region showed genome-wide significant associations with MS (P values < 5 × 10(-8) ). These associations have been reported previously. In addition, SNPs in three previously reported regions outside the HLA region yielded P values < 10(-5) . The effect of nine SNPs in the HLA region remained (P < 10(-5) ) after adjustment for other significant SNPs in the HLA region. All of these findings have been reported before or are driven by known risk loci. In summary, findings from previous GWAS for MS could be successfully replicated. We conclude that the regions identified in previous GWAS are also associated in the German population. This reassures the need for detailed investigations of the functional mechanisms underlying the replicated associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.21933DOI Listing
December 2015

Evidence for VAV2 and ZNF433 as susceptibility genes for multiple sclerosis.

J Neuroimmunol 2010 Oct 2;227(1-2):162-6. Epub 2010 Jul 2.

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, 80804 Munich, Germany.

In a genome wide association study consisting of 592 German multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and 825 controls we were able to replicate the association of the HLA region with MS independently of previous case control studies. No SNPs outside the HLA region reached a genome wide level of significance. Nevertheless, we found suggestive evidence for an association of MS with variants in two new genes, the VAV2 gene and the gene for ZNF433.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroim.2010.06.003DOI Listing
October 2010
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