[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neoplastic meningitis is a central nervous system complication that occurs in 3-5% of patients with cancer. Although most commonly seen in patients with disseminated disease, in a small percentage of patients, it may be the initial manifestation of cancer or even primitive in origin. In the absence of cancer history, the diagnosis of neoplastic meningitis may be challenging even for expert neurologists. Prognosis is poor, with a median overall survival of weeks from diagnosis. In the retrospective study herein, we described three cases of meningeal melanomatosis in patients without previous cancer history. The patients were diagnosed with significant delay (17 to 47 weeks from symptom onset) mainly due to the deferral in performing the appropriate testing. Even when the diagnosis was suspected, investigations by MRI, cerebrospinal fluid, or both proved at times unhelpful for confirmation. Prognosis was dismal, with a median survival of 4 weeks after diagnosis. Our observations are a cue to analyze the main pitfalls in the diagnosis of neoplastic meningitis in patients without cancer history and emphasize key elements that may facilitate early diagnosis.
BioMed Research International 01/2015; 2015:948497. DOI:10.1155/2015/948497 · 3.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to analyze the role of genes known to influence muscle performances on the outcome after enzyme replacement treatment (ERT) in type II Glycogenosis (GSDII). We analyzed 16 patients receiving ERT for ≥two years. We assessed the changes in muscle strength by hand-held dynamometry, muscle mass by quantitative MRI, and resistance to exercise by the 6-minute walking test. Exercise gene assessment included angiotensin converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism (ACE), alpha-actinin3 R577X polymorphism (ACTN3), and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha G/C polymorphism (PPARα). Independent of disease severity, one third of patients had a poor response to ERT, which was found to be associated with ACE DD genotype. The ACTN3 null polymorphism appeared to exert a positive effect on treatment efficacy, while PPARα did not seem to exert any influence at all. We conclude that poor treatment outcome in ACE DD genotypes is in line with previous observation of a worse disease course in this subpopulation, and suggests the need for a more careful follow-up and individualized treatment approaches for these patients. Exercise genes may provide a new opportunity for studying the outcome after treatment and the muscle regeneration abilities in other models of genetic myopathies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropeptides galanin and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) are involved in the regulation of memory and appetite. Increased galanin and decreased α-MSH levels were reported in postmortem brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) but the underlying mechanisms are uncertain. Here we studied if autoantibodies (autoAbs) reacting with galanin and α-MSH are altered in AD.
Levels of free and total IgG autoAbs reacting with galanin and α-MSH were measured in sera and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 18 subjects with AD and in 15 age-matched non-demented controls. Values were correlated with Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score, body mass index (BMI) and CSF levels of AD biomarkers.
CSF levels of total but not free IgG autoAbs against galanin were increased in AD, resulting in increased percentage of galanin autoAbs present as immune complexes. CSF levels of galanin total autoAbs and α-MSH free autoAbs correlated negatively with the severity of cognitive impairment as measured by MMSE. Both total and free autoAbs against galanin and α-MSH in CSF correlated negatively with age in AD patients but not in controls. CSF levels of galanin autoAbs and free α-MSH AutoAbs negatively correlated with CSF levels of t-Tau, p-Tau and ratios of t-Tau/Aβ42 or p-Tau/Aβ42 in AD patients but not in controls.
AutoAbs reacting with galanin and α-MSH are present in CSF and are associated with clinical characteristics of AD patients. The functional significance and therapeutic potential of these autoAbs should be further clarified.
Journal of neuroimmunology 11/2011; 240-241:114-20. DOI:10.1016/j.jneuroim.2011.10.003 · 2.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of chronic alcohol abuse on cognition are well known. Memory and executive functions appear to be the cognitive domains primarily impaired, and prefrontal and frontal damage is reported on neuroimaging studies both at micro- and macrostructural levels. Abstinence can partially reverse these alterations through mechanisms of neuroplasticity. Alcohol acts in a dose-dependent fashion, and a light-to-moderate consumption indeed has protective effects on cardiovascular risk factors and promotes anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative processes. In the elderly on such a regimen, several epidemiological studies have reported a decreased risk of both coronary and cerebrovascular disease and of dementia. However, because of data heterogeneity and the presence of several confounding variables, further studies are needed to clarify these findings. In addition, the complexity of alcohol neurobiology (interaction of alcohol effects with genetic predisposition and environmental factors) and the occurrence of age-related changes should also be taken into account. As dementia, stroke and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of mortality in older people in developed countries, a better knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol intake may be helpful from the perspective not only of medical management but also of social health policy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Muscle quality is defined as muscle strength generated per unit muscle mass. If enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has some effects on type II glycogenosis (GSDII) skeletal muscle pathology, we should be able to measure a change in strength and mass. We conducted a prospective study including 11 patients aged 54.2 ± 11.2 years, referring to a single institution and receiving ERT for ≥2 years. Median Walton score was 3 (2.5-6). Lower limb skeletal muscles were assessed by dynamometry and quantitative muscle MRI. Three segments (anterior thigh, posterior thigh, leg) were analysed separately. Clinical-MRI correlations were searched for at T0, T6/T8, and T18/24. Changes in lean and fat body composition were assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis. We found that the anterior thigh showed the best therapeutic response, with an improvement in muscle quality (muscle mass: +7.5%, p = 0.035; strength: +45%, p = 0.002). BMI and lean body mass increased (p = 0.007). Patients with low BMI showed a better outcome. Intramuscular fat accumulation significantly progressed in spite of ERT (+3.7%, p = 0.001), especially in the poorly responsive posterior thigh muscles. Both clinical assessment and MRI revealed a definite improvement in the anterior thigh muscles. However, progression of intramuscular fat accumulation during ERT, as well as the limited responsiveness of posterior thigh muscles, suggests the necessity for early treatment intervention. The better outcome of patients with low BMI, if confirmed, may indicate that dietary protocols could be adopted as adjuvant measures to ERT in adult GSDII.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In adult glycogen storage disease type II (GSDII), a single-gene mutation causes reduction of the lysosomal enzyme acid alpha-glucosidse. This produces a chronic proximal myopathy with respiratory involvement. Enzyme replacement treatment (ERT) has recently become available and is expected to improve muscle strength. This should result in increased lean body mass. In this study we evaluate body composition and nutritional status in GSDII, and assess whether these parameters changed during treatment.
Seventeen patients with late-onset GSDII, aged 52.6 +/- 16.8 years, received ERT for >18 months. Dietary habits and metabolic profiles of glucids, lipids, and proteins were assessed. Body composition was calculated using anthropometry and bioelectrical impedence analysis.
On inclusion, we found increased fat mass (FM) in five patients in severe disease stage; all had normal body mass index (BMI). FM correlated inversely, and lean mass (LM) directly, with creatine kinase, prealbumin and albumin levels. After treatment, BMI and FM significantly increased, while LM only showed a trend toward increase. Prealbumin and albumin levels increased as early as after the first months of ERT.
Body mass index value may underestimate FM in patients in severe stage of disease, due to altered body composition. In severely affected patients, laboratory parameters revealed a relative protein malnutrition, that was reversed by ERT, this reflecting restoration of normal muscle metabolic pathways. Increased BMI may indicate a reduction in energy consumption during exercise or respiration, along with clinical improvement.
European Journal of Neurology 02/2010; 17(7):957-62. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-1331.2010.02959.x · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Septo-optic dysplasia, a variable combination of abnormalities of cerebral midline structures, is a clinically heterogeneous syndrome in which the midline defects may be implicated in psychiatric disturbances.
To describe a case of septo-optic dysplasia associated with depression and psychosis and to discuss the role of these developmental abnormalities in psychiatric disturbances.
The patient's clinico-anamnestic, neuroradiologic, neuropsychiatric, endocrinologic, ophthalmologic, and genetic profile was evaluated.
Developmental abnormalities due to disruption of the complex neural network linking the septum pellucidum with other limbic structures may have been involved in the affective and psychotic disturbances observed in our patient.
Cognitive and behavioral neurology: official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology 01/2009; 21(4):254-7. DOI:10.1097/WNN.0b013e3181910f02 · 0.95 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 31 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), 19 with probable vascular dementia (VaD) and 20 with Possible AD and Possible VaD, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau levels hyperphosphorylated at threonine 181 (Ptau) were measured by ELISA. Thirty-six age-matched subjects were used as controls. The severity of the cognitive decline was assessed at the time of CSF analysis and after a 12-month follow-up. The groups had comparable age, degree of cognitive impairment and disease duration; these parameters were not related to P-tau levels. P-tau discriminated between demented patients and controls, but no significant difference emerged between AD and the other groups. By contrast, higher P-tau values were found to predict, independently of the clinical diagnosis, a more rapid evolution of cognitive decline. Whether these findings are due to a lack of CSF P-tau specificity or to the low reliability of clinical and radiological criteria remains unclear. P-tau may be useful in the evaluation of disease evolution, by predicting the rate of cognitive decline.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nasu-Hakola disease (NHD, polycystic lipomembranous osteodysplasia with sclerosing leukoencephalopathy, PLOSL) is a recessively inherited disorder characterized by systemic bone cysts and progressive presenile dementia associated with sclerosing encephalopathy. The disease has a worldwide distribution, but most patients have been reported in Finland and in Japan; in Italy there are anecdotal reports. The combination of neuropsychiatric symptoms and bone cysts is unique to this disease, which we believe to be underestimated in Italy. The molecular defect has been identified in loss-of-function mutations in the TYROBP gene in Finnish and in Japanese patients, and in the TREM2 gene in other families of different ethnic origins. We reviewed the international literature to define better the diagnostic steps and to draw the attention of neurologists and orthopaedic specialists to the disease. The identification of new cases followed by appropriate genetic counselling, genetic analysis, and study of the territorial distribution of affected patients could be a good strategy to follow in order to improve understanding of the disease.