Yuichi Kawagashira

Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan

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Publications (39)144.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To elucidate the significance of uncompacted myelin lamellae (UML) and ion channel disruption at the nodes of Ranvier in the polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome, we evaluated sural nerve biopsy specimens from 33 patients with POEMS syndrome and from 7 control patients. Uncompacted myelin lamellae distribution was assessed by electron microscopy and immunofluorescence microscopy. In the POEMS patient biopsies, UML were seen more frequently in small versus large myelinated fibers. Paranodes and Schmidt-Lanterman incisures, where normal physiologic UM is located, were frequently associated with UM. Widening of the nodes of Ranvier (i.e. segmental demyelination) was not associated with UML. There was axonal hollowing with neurofilament condensation at Schmidt-Lanterman incisures with abnormal UML, suggesting axonal damage at those sites in the POEMS patient biopsies. Myelin sheath irregularity was conspicuous in large myelinated fibers and was associated with abnormally widened bizarrely shaped Schmidt-Lanterman incisures. Indirect immunofluorescent studies revealed abnormalities of sodium (pan sodium) and potassium (KCNQ2) channels, even at nonwidened nodes of Ranvier. Thus, UML was not apparently associated with segmental demyelination but seemed to be associated with axonal damage. These observations suggest that nodal ion channel disruption may be associated with functional deficits in POEMS syndrome patient nerves.
    11/2015; 74(12):1127-1136. DOI:10.1097/NEN.0000000000000257

  • Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 11/2015; 10(Suppl 1):O11. DOI:10.1186/1750-1172-10-S1-O11 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate the pathologic significance of immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) in patients with inflammatory peripheral neuropathy. Methods: We clinicopathologically examined 149 consecutive patients with peripheral neuropathy who had clusters of inflammatory cells with or without vasculitis in sural nerve biopsy specimens and in whom we were able to assess the serum IgG4 levels. Results: Elevation of serum IgG4 levels and infiltration of IgG4-positive plasma cells, which are currently defined as the diagnostic criteria for IgG4-related disease, were found in 35 and 29 patients, respectively. In the 44 patients exhibiting either elevated serum IgG4 levels or IgG4-positive cell infiltration, the diagnoses prior to the examination of IgG4 in serum and pathologic samples included microscopic polyangiitis (12 patients) and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis, or Churg-Strauss syndrome (19 patients). Thirty-four patients (77%) had findings of vasculitis as indicated by the destruction or obstruction of the vessel walls. Sixteen (36%) of these patients had fibrinoid necrosis. Axonal degeneration without evidence of demyelination was observed irrespective of the presence of vasculitis. The extent of fibrosis, assessed as the fibrotic area in the epineurium, significantly correlated with the grade of IgG4-positive cell infiltration (p < 0.01). Conclusions: Elevated serum IgG4 levels and infiltration of IgG4-positive plasma cells were observed in a subgroup of patients with inflammatory neuropathy, particularly in patients diagnosed with primary systemic vasculitis, including microscopic polyangiitis. Epineurial IgG4-positive plasma cell infiltration correlated with the extent of epineurial fibrosis.
    Neurology 09/2015; 85(16). DOI:10.1212/WNL.0000000000002039 · 8.29 Impact Factor
  • G. Sechi · C. Fois · A. Addis · E. Sechi · H. Koike · K. Ohyama · Y. Kawagashira · M. Iijima · G. Sobue ·

    Neurology 09/2015; 85(12):1090-1091. DOI:10.1212/01.wnl.0000471972.90236.b6 · 8.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The clinical significance and characteristics of neuropathy caused by folate deficiency remain to be established. We examined the clinicopathologic features of 18 consecutive patients with neuropathy caused by folate deficiency who presented with low serum folate levels but normal blood thiamine and serum cobalamin levels in the absence of chronic alcoholism. Symptoms were relatively uniform, characterized by slowly progressive polyneuropathy with predominant involvement of the lower extremities, with a tendency to manifest as sensory rather than motor neuropathy and predominant deep rather than superficial sensory loss. The electrophysiologic features were consistent with axonal neuropathy. The histopathologic features of sural nerve biopsy specimens indicated large fiber-predominant axonal loss without segmental demyelination. Although macrocytosis was found in 7 patients, only 3 patients exhibited hemoglobin levels less than 10 g/dL. During the same study period, we found 12 patients who had low blood thiamine levels but normal serum folate and cobalamin levels without chronic alcoholism. Compared with patients who had thiamine-deficiency neuropathy, patients with a folate deficiency showed significantly slower progression (p < 0.01), a tendency to manifest sensory neuropathy (p < 0.05), predominant deep sensory loss (p < 0.01), and preservation of biceps tendon reflexes (p < 0.05). Folate-deficiency neuropathy was characterized by a slowly progressive and sensory-dominant pattern, which was different from thiamine-deficiency neuropathy (i.e., beriberi neuropathy). This study demonstrates the importance of folate deficiency in the differential diagnosis of neuropathy, particularly in countries where folic acid fortification has not yet been practiced. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.
    Neurology 02/2015; 84(10). DOI:10.1212/WNL.0000000000001343 · 8.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polyneuropathy associated with anti-Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein (MAG) antibody is a well-defined immune-mediated disease that develops in individuals with IgM monoclonal gammopathy. Factors related to response to rituximab treatment in anti-MAG neuropathy have not been clarified so far. We prospectively evaluated the clinical status, immunological changes, and electrophysiological parameters before and 12months after rituximab treatment in 7 patients with anti-MAG neuropathy. Pathological indices of sural nerve biopsy specimens before rituximab treatment were investigated. Overall, 4 patients improved by more than 5% either clinical scale, expressed according to the Medical Research Council (MRC) sum score or sensory sum score (SSS) 12months after rituximab treatment. The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores improved in 2 patients. With respect to the relationship between the response to rituximab treatment and the clinicopathological findings, short disease duration and preservation of nerve fiber density were significantly related. The immunohistochemical assessment suggested that low-intensity binding of anti-IgM antibody to the myelin sheath may contribute to the degree of response to rituximab treatment. The degree of axonal loss and the deposition of pathogenic autoantibodies in myelinated fibers may determine the therapeutic response to rituximab treatment in anti-MAG neuropathy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Journal of the Neurological Sciences 11/2014; 348(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2014.11.006 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and purposeMuscle atrophy is generally mild in patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) compared with the severity and duration of the muscle weakness. Muscle atrophy was evaluated using computed tomography (CT) in patients with CIDP.Methods Thirty-one patients with typical CIDP who satisfied the diagnostic criteria for the definite CIDP classification proposed by the European Federation of Neurological Societies and the Peripheral Nerve Society were assessed. The clinicopathological findings in patients with muscle atrophy were also compared with those in patients without atrophy.ResultsComputed tomography evidence was found of marked muscle atrophy with findings suggestive of fatty degeneration in 11 of the 31 patients with CIDP. CT-assessed muscle atrophy was in the lower extremities, particularly in the ankle plantarflexor muscles. Muscle weakness, which reflects the presence of muscle atrophy, tended to be more pronounced in the lower extremities than in the upper extremities in patients with muscle atrophy, whereas the upper and lower limbs tended to be equally affected in patients without muscle atrophy. Nerve conduction examinations revealed significantly greater reductions in compound muscle action potential amplitudes in the tibial nerves of patients with muscle atrophy. Sural nerve biopsy findings were similar in both groups. The functional prognoses after immunomodulatory therapies were significantly poorer amongst patients with muscle atrophy.Conclusions Muscle atrophy was present in a subgroup of patients with CIDP, including patients with a typical form of the disease. These patients tended to demonstrate predominant motor impairments of the lower extremities and poorer functional prognoses.
    European Journal of Neurology 03/2014; 21(7). DOI:10.1111/ene.12426 · 4.06 Impact Factor

  • The Journal of Dermatology 02/2014; 41(3). DOI:10.1111/1346-8138.12416 · 2.25 Impact Factor
  • Ken Ohyama · Haruki Koike · Mie Takahashi · Yuichi Kawagashira · Masahiro Iijima · Gen Sobue ·
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    ABSTRACT: The newly recognized entity IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is characterized by an elevated IgG4 serum concentration, swelling of organ, and tissue infiltration by IgG4-positive plasma cells with fibrosis. IgG4-RD has been reported in various organs. In the field of neurology, hypophysitis and hypertrophic pachymeningitis have been known to be related to IgG4-RD, while reported patients with neuropathy manifesting features compatible to IgG4-RD. The features of IgG4-related neuropathy are characterized by sensory-motor neuropathy, mononeuritis multiplex pattern, and predominant involvement of distal portions of the lower extremities. In the sural nerve biopsy specimens, fibrosis and IgG4-positive plasma cell infiltration in the epineurium and decreased myelinated fiber density due to axonal degeneration were observed. IgG4-RD should be considered as the differential diagnosis of neuropathy.
    Rinsho shinkeigaku = Clinical neurology 01/2014; 54(12):1047-9. DOI:10.5692/clinicalneurol.54.1047
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a 54-year-old man with mononeuritis multiplex and reactive lymphoid hyperplasia with increased immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-positive cells. Asymmetrical numbness and weakness had advanced stepwise for 6 years. Serum immunoglobulin G, IgG4, and immunoglobulin E levels were elevated, whereas M protein was not detected. Chest and abdominal computed tomography showed generalized lymphadenopathy. Inguinal lymph node biopsy revealed expansion of the interfollicular area with infiltration of IgG4-positive cells, of which the absolute number was greater than 100 per high-power field, and the percentage of IgG4+/immunoglobulin G+ plasma cells was 33%. Sural nerve biopsy disclosed axonal neuropathy with tumefactive lymphoid infiltrate in epineurium, but IgG4-positve plasma cells and fibrosis were not detected. Symptoms and laboratory data were improved with oral glucocorticoid therapy at a dose of 0.6 mg/kg per day. Although the causal mechanisms of neuropathy should be determined in future studies, peripheral nerve involvement may occur in patients with reactive lymphoid hyperplasia with increased IgG4-positive cells.
    Human pathology 11/2013; 45(2). DOI:10.1016/j.humpath.2013.07.047 · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We herein report the case of a patient with pancreatic cancer who manifested features of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) and autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA). A 78-year-old Japanese man presented with AIHA and was treated with steroids and splenectomy. Although the AIHA improved following splenectomy, the patient suffered from sensorimotor neuropathy soon after undergoing surgery. The electrophysiological features indicated demyelinating neuropathy. The neuropathy was refractory to immunomodulatory treatment, and intensive investigations revealed pancreatic cancer. The patient's neurological deficits improved significantly after the surgery for cancer. Although the combination of AIHA and CIDP has been reported anecdotally, this is the first case of the coexistence of these diseases as paraneoplastic syndromes.
    Internal Medicine 08/2013; 52(15):1737-40. DOI:10.2169/internalmedicine.52.9577 · 0.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphoma causes various neurological manifestations that might affect any part of the nervous system and occur at any stage of the disease. The peripheral nervous system is one of the major constituents of the neurological involvement of lymphoma. In this study we characterized the clinical, electrophysiological and histopathological features of 32 patients with neuropathy associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that were unrelated to complications resulting from treatment for lymphoma. Nine patients had pathologically-proven neurolymphomatosis with direct invasion of lymphoma cells into the peripheral nervous system. These patients showed lymphomatous cell invasion that was more prominent in the proximal portions of the nerve trunk and that induced demyelination without macrophage invasion and subsequent axonal degeneration in the portion distal from the demyelination site. Six other patients were also considered to have neurolymphomatosis because these patients showed positive signals along the peripheral nerve on fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography imaging. Spontaneous pain can significantly disrupt daily activities, as frequently reported in patients diagnosed with neurolymphomatosis. In contrast, five patients were considered to have paraneoplastic neuropathy because primary peripheral nerve lesions were observed without the invasion of lymphomatous cells, with three patients showing features compatible with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, one patient showing sensory ganglionopathy, and one patient showing vasculitic neuropathy. Of the other 12 patients, 10 presented with multiple mononeuropathies. These patients showed clinical and electrophysiological features similar to those of neurolymphomatosis rather than paraneoplastic neuropathy. Electrophysiological findings suggestive of demyelination were frequently observed, even in patients with neurolymphomatosis. Eleven of the 32 patients, including five patients with neurolymphomatosis, fulfilled the European Federation of Neurological Societies/Peripheral Nerve Society electrodiagnostic criteria of definite chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. Some of these patients, even those with neurolymphomatosis, responded initially to immunomodulatory treatments, including the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin and steroids. Patients with lymphoma exhibit various neuropathic patterns, but neurolymphomatosis is the major cause of neuropathy. Misdiagnoses of neurolymphomatosis as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy are frequent due to a presence of a demyelinating pattern and the initial response to immunomodulatory treatments. The possibility of the concomitance of lymphoma should be considered in various types of neuropathy, even if the diagnostic criteria of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy are met, particularly in patients complaining of pain.
    Brain 08/2013; 136(Pt 8):2563-78. DOI:10.1093/brain/awt193 · 9.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is an inherited spinocerebellar ataxia caused by the expansion of trinucleotide CAG repeats in the gene encoding ataxin-3. The clinical manifestations of SCA3 include peripheral neuropathy, which is an important cause of disability in a subset of patients. Although the loss of neurones in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) has been postulated to be the cause of this neuropathy, the precise mechanism remains to be elucidated. Methods: To clarify the clinicopathological characteristics of SCA3-associated peripheral neuropathy, we performed nerve conduction studies and histopathological analyses. Nerve conduction studies were carried out in 18 SCA3 patients. Immunohistochemical analyses of the anterior and posterior roots of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves were performed in five SCA3 patients. We also employed immunohistochemistry and immunoelectron microscopy analyses with an anti-polyglutamine antibody. Results: The mean sensory nerve action potentials of the SCA3 patients were half of the normal values. The motor conduction velocities were decreased, and the distal latencies were also significantly prolonged in the nerves studied relative to the those in normal controls. Histopathological analyses detected axonal sprouting and myelin thinning in all cases. Ataxin-3 aggregates were found in the cytoplasm of Schwann cells in all of the SCA3 patients examined but not in control subjects. Conclusions: In addition to the previously reported neuronopathy, the results of the present study indicate that Schwann cells are involved in the formation of the pathogenic intracytoplasmic ataxin-3 protein aggregates in patients with SCA3-associated neuropathy.
    Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 04/2013; 40(5). DOI:10.1111/nan.12055 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute sensory ataxic neuropathy (ASAN) is known to occur with acute and monophasic sensory ataxia. Although autonomic dysfunctions have been reported, no detailed descriptions are currently available. We describe a case of ASAN in which the autonomic manifestations were systematically investigated. Although the patient did not complain of any autonomic symptoms, except for photophobia due to mydriasis, autonomic testing revealed widespread autonomic dysfunctions. Norepinephrine and dobutamine infusion test indicated the presence of sympathetic dysfunction. Additionally, the pupillary response to pilocarpine revealed the presence of parasympathetic dysfunction. In conclusion, widespread, subclinical autonomic dysfunctions may be present in ASAN patients.
    Autonomic neuroscience: basic & clinical 04/2013; 179(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.autneu.2013.03.009 · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Importance: The newly recognized entity IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is characterized by an elevated IgG4 serum concentration and tissue infiltration by IgG4-positive plasma cells. We describe, for the first time, the clinical features and nerve biopsy findings of a patient with IgG4-RD who presented with neuropathy in the extremities. Observations: A 55-year-old man had histopathologically defined IgG4-RD that manifested as sensory-motor neuropathy. The neuropathic features were multiple mononeuropathies with electrophysiological findings suggestive of axonal neuropathy. Marked thickening with abundant collagen fibers and infiltration of IgG4-positive plasma cells were observed in the epineurium of the biopsied sural nerve. A moderate degree of myelinated fiber loss without evidence of segmental demyelination was present, whereas necrotizing vasculitis was not found. Oral prednisolone therapy ameliorated the neuropathic symptoms. Conclusions and relevance: This case of IgG4-RD presented as sensory-motor neuropathy with pain and sclerosis of the skin in the extremities. The differential diagnosis of neuropathy should include IgG4-RD.
    02/2013; 70(4):1-4. DOI:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.658
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Information related to the long-term follow-up of neuropathy in patients with familial amyloid polyneuropathy after liver transplantation is still scarce. Methods: We describe the neuropathic features of 3 patients with the transthyretin Val30Met mutation. Each patient underwent liver transplantation at an early stage of neuropathy, as indicated by the absence of motor dysfunction and relative preservation of myelinated fibers in sural nerve biopsy specimens. Results: Although the patient with late-onset disease (at age 60 years) presented with the least amount of amyloid deposition, he had neuropathic progression after liver transplantation. An older early-onset (at age 40 years) patient reported a slight exacerbation of both somatic and autonomic neuropathic symptoms 10 years after transplantation. However, the younger early-onset (at age 28 years) patient did not exhibit characteristics suggestive of neuropathy 7 years after transplantation. Conclusion: Aging may determine the progression of neuropathy after liver transplantation.
    Muscle & Nerve 12/2012; 46(6):961-4. DOI:10.1002/mus.23480 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS)-associated neuropathy manifests a wide variety of peripheral neuropathies that may show overlap among the neuropathic forms. In this report, we describe histopathological findings of two autopsy cases with pSS-associated neuropathy; one of them manifested the painful form and another showed ataxic form. The population of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and the density of myelinated fibers in the dorsal spinal root were variably reduced among spinal segments in both forms. In the painful form, there was a prominent reduction of small neurons, while in the ataxic form, large neurons were predominately lost. In accordance with the degree of the DRG cell loss, the modality of nerve fiber loss in the dorsal spinal roots and sural nerve correlated well with the corresponding DRG neuron loss. Prominent CD8+ T lymphocyte infiltration was present in the DRG, sympathetic ganglion, epineurial and perineurial space throughout the peripheral nerve trunks, and visceral organs, including the submandibular gland of both forms. Although the size of affected DRG neurons is different, these two forms share a similar causal mechanism, namely, cytotoxic autoimmunity to ganglion neurons, which may be one of a continuum of etiological factors. This hypothesis may have an impact on therapeutic approach.
    Journal of the neurological sciences 05/2012; 319(1-2):139-46. DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2012.05.022 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To elucidate the significance of folate deficiency in alcoholic and nutritional neuropathies. We preformed a comprehensive clinical screening of a patient with chronic alcoholism who manifested neuropathy, macrocytic anemia, liver dysfunction, and folate deficiency. A 33-y-old woman with chronic alcoholism presented with acutely progressive glove- and stocking-type sensorimotor polyneuropathy. Although an episode of neuropathy preceded the current episode by 2 y, its cause was never determined. The findings of nerve conduction studies were indicative of axonal neuropathy. Laboratory findings revealed macrocytic anemia and liver dysfunction. Her serum level of folate was reduced, whereas thiamine, riboflavin, and cobalamin levels were within normal range. The neuropathy and anemia showed gradual recovery after the initiation of folic acid supplementation. This case study indicates that folate deficiency should be monitored closely in patients with chronic alcoholism and associated malnutrition. Additionally, folate deficiency should be considered as a differential diagnosis of neuropathy.
    Nutrition 03/2012; 28(7-8):821-4. DOI:10.1016/j.nut.2011.11.022 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed the clinicopathological features of nine patients with pure autonomic neuropathy, that is, neuropathy without sensory or motor deficits. The duration from symptom onset to diagnosis ranged from 1 month to 13 years. Of eight patients in whom serum antiganglionic acetylcholine receptor antibody was determined, four were positive. All patients who tested positive for this antibody manifested widespread autonomic dysfunction, with the exception of one patient who only experienced orthostatic hypotension. However, patients who were negative for the antiganglionic acetylcholine receptor antibody presented with partial autonomic failure. One of these patients had diffuse parasympathetic failure and generalized hypohidrosis but no orthostatic hypotension, which is clinically compatible with postganglionic cholinergic dysautonomia. Electron microscopic examination revealed a variable degree of reduction in unmyelinated fibers. Compared with normal controls, the patients had a significantly increased density of collagen pockets (p < 0.05). Additionally, the percentage of Schwann cell subunits with axons (out of the total number of Schwann cell subunits associated with unmyelinated fibers) was significantly decreased (p < 0.01). The density of unmyelinated fibers tended to decrease with increasing time between the onset of autonomic symptoms and biopsy (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the clinical and pathological features of pure autonomic neuropathy vary in terms of progression, autonomic involvement, presence of the antiganglionic acetylcholine receptor antibody, and loss of unmyelinated fibers.
    Journal of Neurology 02/2012; 259(10):2067-75. DOI:10.1007/s00415-012-6458-x · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to elucidate the natural history of late-onset transthyretin Val30Met-associated familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP ATTR Val30Met) in non-endemic areas. The authors retrospectively assessed the development of major clinical landmarks and abnormalities of nerve conduction and cardiac examination indices in 50 patients with an age of onset older than 50 years and no relationship to endemic foci. Once the neuropathic process was initiated, sensory and motor symptoms of both the upper and lower extremities appeared within a period of one and a half years. Digestive and orthostatic symptoms also tended to occur in the early phase of the disease, whereas urinary symptoms appeared in the middle of the disease progress. Along with pain in the extremities, these symptoms progressed over time and significantly disturbed the quality of life during the late phase of the disease, resulting in the need for wheelchair use. Although cardiomyopathy became clinically apparent only in the late phase of the disease, it was found to be the major cause of death. The mean duration of the disease onset to death was 7.3 years. Although values at the time of diagnosis were extremely variable, serial measurements of electrophysiological indices, the cardiothoracic ratio and interventricular septum thickness indicated a steady exacerbation in these outcomes among patients within a span of a couple of years. The ages of onset of each clinical landmark were extremely variable between patients. However, once an initial symptom appeared, the chronological sequence of other clinical landmarks tended to be uniform, occurring within a relatively short time span.
    Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 02/2012; 83(2):152-8. DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2011-301299 · 6.81 Impact Factor