Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry

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ISSN / EISSN : 0022-3050 / 1468-330X
Published by: BMJ (10.1136)
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Doriana Landi, , Alfonso Grimaldi, Pietro Osvaldo Annovazzi, Antonio Bertolotto, Alessia Bianchi, Giovanna Borriello, Vincenzo Brescia Morra, Sebastiano Bucello, Maria Chiara Buscarinu, et al.
Published: 30 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329657

Abstract:
Objective Assessing the risk of clinical and radiological reactivation during pregnancy and post partum in women with multiple sclerosis (MS) treated with natalizumab (NTZ) throughout pregnancy (LONG_EXP) compared with women interrupting treatment before (NO_EXP) and within >−30 days and ≤90 days from conception (SHORT_EXP), and describing newborns’ outcomes. Methods Maternal clinical and radiological outcomes and obstetric and fetal outcomes were retrospectively collected and compared among groups (NO_EXP, SHORT_EXP, LONG_EXP). Predictors of clinical and radiological reactivation were investigated through univariable and multivariable analysis. Results 170 eligible pregnancies from 163 women referring to 29 Italian MS centres were included. Annualised relapse rate (ARR) was significantly lower in LONG_EXP (n=66, 0.02 (0.001–0.09)) compared with NO_EXP (n=31, 0.43 (0.21–0.75), p=0.002) and SHORT_EXP (n=73, 0.46 (0.30–0.66), p=0.0004) during pregnancy, and in LONG_EXP (0.12 (0.05–0.24)) compared with SHORT_EXP (0.30 (0.17–0.50), p=0.008) during post partum. Gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) lesions were less frequent in LONG_EXP (n=6/50, 2.00%) compared with NO_EXP (n=9/21, 42.86%) and SHORT_EXP after delivery (n=17/49, 34.69%, p=0.010). Delaying NTZ resumption after delivery significantly increased the risk of relapses (OR=1.29 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.57), p=0.009) and Gd+ lesions (OR=1.49 (95% CI 1.17 to 1.89, p=0.001). Newborns’ weight, length, head circumference and gestational age did not differ among groups after adjusting for confounders. Anaemia was tracked in 4/69 LONG_EXP newborns. Congenital anomaly rate was within the expected range for the untreated MS population. Conclusions Our findings indicate that in women with MS treated with NTZ before conception, continuation of NTZ throughout pregnancy and its early resumption after delivery mitigate the risk of clinical and radiological reactivation. This approach has no major impact on newborns’ outcomes.
, , Izanne Roos, Ibrahima Diouf, Raed Alroughani, Serkan Ozakbas, Guillermo Izquierdo, Sara Eichau, Dana Horakova, Eva K Havrdova, et al.
Published: 30 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329713

Abstract:
Background Early recognition of markers of faster disability worsening in paediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (MS) is a key requisite of personalised therapy for children with MS at the earliest possible time. Objective To identify early predictors of rapid disability accrual in patients with paediatric-onset MS. Methods Using the global MSBase registry, we identified patients who were <18 years old at the onset of MS symptoms. The clinico-demographic characteristics examined as predictors of future MS Severity Score (MSSS) included sex, age at symptom onset, absence of disability at the initial assessment, maximum Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, relapse frequency and presence of brainstem, pyramidal, visual or cerebellar symptoms in the first year. A Bayesian log-normal generalised linear mixed model adjusted for cumulative proportion of time on higher-efficacy disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) was used to analyse the data. Results 672 patients (70% female) contributing 9357 visits were included. The median age at symptom onset was 16 (quartiles 15–17) years. Older age at symptom onset (exp(β)=1.10 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.17)), higher EDSS score (1.22 (1.12 to 1.34)) and pyramidal (1.31 (1.11 to 1.55)), visual (1.25 (1.10 to 1.44)) or cerebellar (1.18 (1.01 to 1.38)) symptoms in the first year were associated with higher MSSS. MSSS was reduced by 4% for every 24% increase in the proportion of time on higher-efficacy DMTs (0.96 (0.93 to 0.99)). Conclusions A relatively later onset of MS in childhood, higher disability and pyramidal, visual or cerebellar symptoms during the first year predicted significant worsening in disability in patients with paediatric-onset MS. Persistent treatment with higher-efficacy DMTs was associated with a reduced rate of disability worsening.
Adeline Sl Ng, Jayne Tan, E Ng, Kay Yaw Tay, Wing Lok Au, Louis Cs Tan, Eng King Tan
Published: 28 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329433

, Johannes Lorscheider, Sandra Vukusic, Maria Trojano, , Jan Hillert, Robert Hyde, Fabio Pellegrini, , Nils Koch-Henriksen, et al.
Published: 28 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329987

Abstract:
Background Over the decades, several natural history studies on patients with primary (PPMS) or secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) were reported from international registries. In PPMS, a consistent heterogeneity on long-term disability trajectories was demonstrated. The aim of this study was to identify subgroups of patients with SPMS with similar longitudinal trajectories of disability over time. Methods All patients with MS collected within Big MS registries who received an SPMS diagnosis from physicians (cohort 1) or satisfied the Lorscheider criteria (cohort 2) were considered. Longitudinal Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores were modelled by a latent class growth analysis (LCGA), using a non-linear function of time from the first EDSS visit in the range 3–4. Results A total of 3613 patients with SPMS were included in the cohort 1. LCGA detected three different subgroups of patients with a mild (n=1297; 35.9%), a moderate (n=1936; 53.6%) and a severe (n=380; 10.5%) disability trajectory. Median time to EDSS 6 was 12.1, 5.0 and 1.7 years, for the three groups, respectively; the probability to reach EDSS 6 at 8 years was 14.4%, 78.4% and 98.3%, respectively. Similar results were found among 7613 patients satisfying the Lorscheider criteria. Conclusions Contrary to previous interpretations, patients with SPMS progress at greatly different rates. Our identification of distinct trajectories can guide better patient selection in future phase 3 SPMS clinical trials. Additionally, distinct trajectories could reflect heterogeneous pathological mechanisms of progression.
, Paola Valsasina, Alessandro Meani, Claudio Gobbi, , Frederik Barkhof, , Eva M Strijbis, Hugo Vrenken, Antonio Gallo, et al.
Published: 28 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329854

Abstract:
Objectives To evaluate the combined contribution of brain and cervical cord damage in predicting 5-year clinical worsening in a multicentre cohort of definite multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Methods Baseline 3.0T brain and cervical cord T2-weighted and three-dimensional T1-weighted MRI was acquired in 367 patients with MS (326 relapse-onset and 41 progressive-onset) and 179 healthy controls. Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was obtained at baseline and after a median follow-up of 5.1 years (IQR=4.8–5.2). At follow-up, patients were classified as clinically stable/worsened according to EDSS changes. Generalised linear mixed models identified predictors of clinical worsening, evolution to secondary progressive (SP) MS and reaching EDSS=3.0, 4.0 and 6.0 milestones at 5 years. Results At follow-up, 120/367 (33%) patients with MS worsened clinically; 36/256 (14%) patients with relapsing–remitting evolved to SPMS. Baseline predictors of EDSS worsening were progressive-onset versus relapse-onset MS (standardised beta (β)=0.97), higher EDSS (β=0.41), higher cord lesion number (β=0.41), lower normalised cortical volume (β=−0.15) and lower cord area (β=−0.28) (C-index=0.81). Older age (β=0.86), higher EDSS (β=1.40) and cord lesion number (β=0.87) independently predicted SPMS conversion (C-index=0.91). Predictors of reaching EDSS=3.0 after 5 years were higher baseline EDSS (β=1.49), cord lesion number (β=1.02) and lower normalised cortical volume (β=−0.56) (C-index=0.88). Baseline age (β=0.30), higher EDSS (β=2.03), higher cord lesion number (β=0.66) and lower cord area (β=−0.41) predicted EDSS=4.0 (C-index=0.92). Finally, higher baseline EDSS (β=1.87) and cord lesion number (β=0.54) predicted EDSS=6.0 (C-index=0.91). Conclusions Spinal cord damage and, to a lesser extent, cortical volume loss helped predicting worse 5-year clinical outcomes in MS.
, Luigi Pontieri, Stephan Bramow, Finn Sellebjerg,
Published: 28 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329607

Abstract:
Objective We investigated whether clinical rebound occurred after fingolimod discontinuation in a complete population of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in Denmark. We further identified clinical and demographical factors associated with disease reactivation after fingolimod discontinuation. Methods The population comprised 992 RRMS patients treated with fingolimod for 6 months or more. We estimated annualised relapse rates (ARR) before, during and after treatment. We estimated overall ARRs and ARRs stratified by disease activity before discontinuation. We calculated the proportion of patients with a higher clinical disease activity after discontinuation than before treatment start. Finally, we analysed the association between variables at discontinuation and time to first relapse after discontinuation. Results The ARR 3 months after discontinuation (ARR=0.56; 95% CI=0.47 to 0.66) was statistically significantly lower (p<0.01) than the ARR 1 year before treatment (ARR=0.74; 95% CI=0.69 to 0.80). Results were similar when repeating analyses in patients with and without disease activity before discontinuation. In total, 124 patients (12.5%) had clinical rebound. Of those, 36 had no disease breakthrough before discontinuation (3.6% of total population). On treatment disease activity (HR=1.98, p<0.01), lower age (HR=0.98, p=0.01) and female sex (HR=1.68, p=0.02) were associated with a higher relapse risk after discontinuation. Conclusions Based on average ARR levels, there was no evidence of clinical rebound after fingolimod discontinuation. In total, 12.5% of patients had clinical rebound. Only 3.6%, however, had clinical rebound without disease activity before discontinuation. Disease activity before discontinuation, female sex and younger age were statistically significantly associated with a higher relapse risk after discontinuation.
, Tomoki Suichi
Published: 23 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329916

Abstract:
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is the most common immune-mediated neuropathy.1 Because of the lack of disease-specific diagnostic biomarkers, the diagnosis depends on combination of clinical, electrodiagnostic, and laboratory/neuroimaging findings, as well as exclusion criteria; and in clinical practice, misdiagnosis is not uncommon.
Yun Tian, Lu Zhou, Jing Gao, Bin Jiao, Sizhe Zhang, Qiao Xiao, Jin Xue, Ying Wang, Hui Liang, Yaling Liu, et al.
Published: 23 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329772

Abstract:
Background: Abnormal expanded GGC repeats within the NOTCH2HLC gene has been confirmed as the genetic mechanism for most Asian patients with neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease (NIID). This cross-sectional observational study aimed to characterise the clinical features of NOTCH2NLC-related NIID in China.Methods: Patients with NOTCH2NLC-related NIID underwent an evaluation of clinical symptoms, a neuropsychological assessment, electrophysiological examination, MRI and skin biopsy.Results: In the 247 patients with NOTCH2NLC-related NIID, 149 cases were sporadic, while 98 had a positive family history. The most common manifestations were paroxysmal symptoms (66.8%), autonomic dysfunction (64.0%), movement disorders (50.2%), cognitive impairment (49.4%) and muscle weakness (30.8%). Based on the initial presentation and main symptomology, NIID was divided into four subgroups: dementia dominant (n=94), movement disorder dominant (n=63), paroxysmal symptom dominant (n=61) and muscle weakness dominant (n=29). Clinical (42.7%) and subclinical (49.1%) peripheral neuropathies were common in all types. Typical diffusion-weighted imaging subcortical lace signs were more frequent in patients with dementia (93.9%) and paroxysmal symptoms types (94.9%) than in those with muscle weakness (50.0%) and movement disorders types (86.4%). GGC repeat sizes were negatively correlated with age of onset (r=−0.196, p<0.05), and in the muscle weakness-dominant type (median 155.00), the number of repeats was much higher than in the other three groups (p<0.05). In NIID pedigrees, significant genetic anticipation was observed (p<0.05) without repeat instability (p=0.454) during transmission.Conclusions: NIID is not rare; however, it is usually misdiagnosed as other diseases. Our results help to extend the known clinical spectrum of NOTCH2NLC-related NIID.
, Sara Locci, Laura Bergantini, Carlo Manco, Rosa Cortese, Martina Meocci, Dalila Cavallaro, Miriana D'Alessandro, Elena Bargagli, Nicola De Stefano
Published: 22 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329933

Abstract:
Background To assess whether SARS-CoV-2 infection may affect the central nervous system, specifically neurons and glia cells, even without clinical neurological involvement. Methods In this single centre prospective study, serum levels of neurofilament light chain (sNfL) and glial fibrillar acidic protein (sGFAp) were assessed using SimoaTM assay Neurology 2-Plex B Assay Kit, in 148 hospitalised patients with COVID-19 without clinical neurological manifestations and compared them to 53 patients with interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and 108 healthy controls (HCs). Results Age and sex-corrected sNfL levels were higher in patients with COVID-19 (median log10-sNfL 1.41; IQR 1.04–1.83) than patients with IPF (median log10-sNfL 1.18; IQR 0.98–1.38; p<0.001) and HCs (median log10-sNfL 0.89; IQR 0.72–1.14; p<0.001). Likewise, age and sex-corrected sGFAP levels were higher in patients with COVID-19 (median log10-sGFAP 2.26; IQR 2.02–2.53) in comparison with patients with IPF (median log10-sGFAP 2.15; IQR 1.94–2.30; p<0.001) and HCs (median log10-sGFAP 1.87; IQR 0.64–2.09; p<0.001). No significant difference was found between patients with HCs and IPF (p=0.388 for sNfL and p=0.251 for sGFAp). In patients with COVID-19, a prognostic model with mortality as dependent variable (26/148 patients died during hospitalisation) and sNfl, sGFAp and age as independent variables, showed an area under curve of 0.72 (95% CI 0.59 to 0.84; negative predictive value (NPV) (%):80,positive predictive value (PPV)(%): 84; p=0.0008). Conclusion The results of our study suggest that neuronal and glial degeneration can occur in patients with COVID-19 regardless of overt clinical neurological manifestations. With age, levels of sNfl and GFAp can predict in-hospital COVID-19-associated mortality and might be useful to assess COVID-19 patient prognostic profile.
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