[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
A previous phase 2 trial has suggested that statins might delay brain atrophy in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of atorvastatin add-on therapy on cerebral atrophy in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
This randomised, placebo-controlled study compared atorvastatin 40 mg or placebo add-on therapy to interferon β1b for 24 months. Brain magnetic resonance imaging, multiple sclerosis functional composite score, Rao neuropsychological battery and expanded disability status scale were evaluated over 24 months.
A total of 154 patients were randomly assigned, 75 in the atorvastatin and 79 in the placebo arms, with a comparable drop-out rate (overall 23.4%). Brain atrophy over 2 years was not different in the two arms (-0.38% and -0.32% for the atorvastatin and placebo groups, respectively). Relapse rate, expanded disability status scale, multiple sclerosis functional composite score or cognitive changes were not different in the two arms. Patients withdrawing from the study had a higher number of relapses in the previous 2 years (P=0.04) and a greater probability of relapsing within 12 months.
Our results suggest that the combination of atorvastatin and interferon β1b is not justified in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and adds to the body of evidence indicating an absence of significant radiological and clinical benefit of statins in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease that negatively impacts patients' lives.
ENABLE assessed the effect of long-term prolonged-release (PR) fampridine (dalfampridine extended release in the United States) treatment on patient-perceived health impact in patients with MS with walking impairment.
ENABLE was a 48-week, open-label, Phase 4 study of PR-fampridine 10 mg twice daily. Patients who showed any improvement in Timed 25-Foot Walk walking speed at weeks 2 and 4 and any improvement in 12-item MS Walking Scale score at week 4 remained on treatment. The primary endpoint was change from baseline in 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) physical component summary (PCS) score.
At week 4, 707/901 (78.5%) patients met the criteria to remain on treatment. Patients on treatment demonstrated significant and clinically meaningful improvements in SF-36 PCS scores from baseline (mean change (95% confidence interval)) to week 12 (4.30 (3.83, 4.78); p < 0.0001), week 24 (3.75 (3.23, 4.27); p < 0.0001), week 36 (3.46 (2.95, 3.97); p < 0.0001), and week 48 (3.24 (2.72, 3.77); p < 0.0001). Significant improvements from baseline were also demonstrated in secondary health measures in patients on treatment.
PR-fampridine improved patient-perceived physical and psychological health impact of MS measured in a real-life setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natalizumab is a promising option for pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with active evolution and a poor response to Interferon-beta or Glatiramer Acetate. However, no data are available in large cohorts of patients and after a long-term follow up. Our study was planned to shed lights on this topic.
A registry was established in 2007 in Italy to collect MS cases treated with Natalizumab (NA) before 18 years of age.
101 patients were included (69 females), mean age of MS onset 12.9 ± 2.7 years, mean age at NA initiation 14.7 ± 2.4 years. Mean treatment duration was 34.2 ± 18.3 months.
During NA treatment, a total of 15 relapses were recorded in 9 patients, annualized relapse rate was 2.3 ± 1.0 in the year prior to NA and decreased to 0.1 ± 0.3 (p < 0.001) at last NA infusion.
Mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) decreased from 2.6 ± 1.3 at initiation of NA to 1.8 ± 1.2 at the time of last visit (p < 0.001). At brain MRI, new T2 or Gd enhancing lesions were observed in 10/91 patients after 6 months, 6/87 after 12 months, 2/61 after 18 months, 2/68 after 24 months, 3/62 after 30 months, and 5/43 at longer follow up. At the time of last observation, 58 % of patients were free from clinical (relapses/increased EDSS) and/or MRI activity (new T2 or gadolinium-enhancing lesions). No relevant adverse events were recorded.
NA was safe, well tolerated and very efficacious in the large majority of patients. Our data support the use of this medication in subjects with pediatric MS and an aggressive course.
A relevant reduction of relapse rate and EDSS was observed during NA treatment, compared to pre-treatment period. No evidence of disease activity (NEDA) occurred in 58 % of cases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although pregnancy in women with multiple sclerosis (MS) is not generally considered high risk, there are some associated therapeutic challenges. The pregnancy-associated reduction in the relapse rate, especially in the third trimester, is followed by a sharp increase in the first few months postpartum. Nevertheless, retrospective evidence for pregnant women with and without MS followed for up to 10 years indicates that pregnancy has no perceptible effect on long-term disease course or disability progression. Likewise, MS has no apparent effects on the pregnancy course or fetal outcomes. All disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) have potential adverse effects on fertility and pregnancy outcomes, but the level of risk varies amongst agents. There is some support for continued use of interferon-β and glatiramer acetate throughout pregnancy to reduce the risk of relapse. Use of DMTs during breastfeeding is best avoided if possible. Close evaluation of drug safety information is imperative when managing women with MS who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant. Decision-making should be a shared experience between patient and physician, and the approach must be individualized for each patient.
European Journal of Neurology 09/2015; 22 Suppl 2(S2):34-9. DOI:10.1111/ene.12797 · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The comparative effectiveness of fingolimod versus interferon beta/glatiramer acetate was assessed in a multicentre, observational, prospectively acquired cohort study including 613 patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis discontinuing natalizumab in the Italian iMedWeb registry. First, after natalizumab suspension, the relapse risk during the untreated wash-out period and during the course of switch therapies was estimated through Poisson regression analyses in separated models. During the wash-out period an increased risk of relapses was found in patients with a higher number of relapses before natalizumab treatment (incidence rate ratio = 1.31, P = 0.0014) and in patients discontinuing natalizumab due to lack of efficacy (incidence rate ratio = 2.33, P = 0.0288), patient's choice (incidence rate ratio = 2.18, P = 0.0064) and adverse events (incidence rate ratio = 2.09, P = 0.0084). The strongest independent factors influencing the relapse risk after the start of switch therapies were a wash-out duration longer than 3 months (incidence rate ratio = 1.78, P < 0.0001), the number of relapses experienced during and before natalizumab treatment (incidence rate ratio = 1.61, P < 0.0001; incidence rate ratio = 1.13, P = 0.0118, respectively) and the presence of comorbidities (incidence rate ratio = 1.4, P = 0.0097). Switching to fingolimod was associated with a 64% reduction of the adjusted-risk for relapse in comparison with switching to interferon beta/glatiramer acetate (incidence rate ratio = 0.36, P < 0.0001). Secondly, patients who switched to fingolimod or to interferon beta/glatiramer acetate were propensity score-matched on a 1-to-1 basis at the switching date. In the propensity score-matched sample a Poisson model showed a significant lower incidence of relapses in patients treated with fingolimod in comparison with those treated with interferon beta/glatiramer acetate (incidence rate ratio = 0.52, P = 0.0003) during a 12-month follow-up. The cumulative probability of a first relapse after the treatment switch was significantly lower in patients receiving fingolimod than in those receiving interferon beta/glatiramer acetate (P = 0.028). The robustness of this result was also confirmed by sensitivity analyses in subgroups with different wash-out durations (less or more than 3 months). Time to 3-month confirmed disability progression was not significantly different between the two groups (Hazard ratio = 0.58; P = 0.1931). Our results indicate a superiority of fingolimod in comparison to interferon beta/glatiramer acetate in controlling disease reactivation after natalizumab discontinuation in the real life setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To test the effect of oral contraceptives (OCs) in combination with interferon β (IFN-β) on disease activity in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
One hundred fifty women with RRMS were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive IFN-β-1a subcutaneously (SC) only (group 1), IFN-β-1a SC plus ethinylstradiol 20 μg and desogestrel 150 μg (group 2), or IFN-β-1a SC plus ethinylestradiol 40 μg and desogestrel 125 μg (group 3). The primary endpoint was the cumulative number of combined unique active (CUA) lesions on brain MRI at week 96. Secondary endpoints included MRI and clinical and safety measures.
The estimated number of cumulative CUA lesions at week 96 was 0.98 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.81-1.14) in group 1, 0.84 (95% CI 0.66-1.02) in group 2, and 0.72 (95% CI 0.53-0.91) in group 3, with a decrease of 14.1% (p = 0.24) and 26.5% (p = 0.04) when comparing group 1 with groups 2 and 3, respectively. The number of patients with no gadolinium-enhancing lesions was greater in group 3 than in group 1 (p = 0.03). No significant differences were detected in other secondary endpoints. IFN-β or OC discontinuations were equally distributed across groups.
Our results translate the observations derived from experimental models to patients, supporting the anti-inflammatory effects of OCs with high-dose estrogens, and suggest possible directions for future research.
This study provides Class II evidence that in women with RRMS, IFN-β plus ethinylstradiol and desogestrel decreases the cumulative number of active brain MRI lesions compared with IFN-β alone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: . The role of prolactin (PRL) on tissue injury and repair mechanisms in multiple sclerosis (MS) remains unclear. The aim of this work was to investigate the relationship between PRL plasma levels and brain damage as measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
. We employed a chemiluminescence immunoassay for measuring plasma levels of PRL. We used a 1.5 T scanner to acquire images and Jim 4.0 and SIENAX software to analyse them.
. We included 106 women with relapsing remitting (RR) MS and stable disease in the last two months. There was no difference in PRL plasma levels between patients with and without gadolinium enhancement on MRI. PRL plasma levels correlated with white matter volume (WMV) (rho = 0.284,
) but not with grey matter volume (GMV). Moreover, PRL levels predicted changes in WMV (Beta: 984,
. Our data of a positive association between PRL serum levels and WMV support the role of PRL in promoting myelin repair as documented in animal models of demyelination. The lack of an increase of PRL in the presence of gadolinium enhancement, contrasts with the view considering this hormone as an immune-stimulating and detrimental factor in the inflammatory process associated with MS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. The role of prolactin (PRL) on tissue injury and repair mechanisms in multiple sclerosis (MS) remains unclear. The aim of this work was to investigate the relationship between PRL plasma levels and brain damage as measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods. We employed a chemiluminescence immunoassay for measuring plasma levels of PRL. We used a 1.5 T scanner to acquire images and Jim 4.0 and SIENAX software to analyse them. Results. We included 106 women with relapsing remitting (RR) MS and stable disease in the last two months. There was no difference in PRL plasma levels between patients with and without gadolinium enhancement on MRI. PRL plasma levels correlated with white matter volume (WMV) (rho = 0.284, í µí± = 0.014) but not with grey matter volume (GMV). Moreover, PRL levels predicted changes in WMV (Beta: 984, í µí± = 0.034). Conclusions. Our data of a positive association between PRL serum levels and WMV support the role of PRL in promoting myelin repair as documented in animal models of demyelination. The lack of an increase of PRL in the presence of gadolinium enhancement, contrasts with the view considering this hormone as an immune-stimulating and detrimental factor in the inflammatory process associated with MS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dear Sirs,The so-called “far transfer effect” or “transfer of training” refers to the occurrence of transferring improved performance in a specific function to different untrained functional domains. This implies little overlap between situations, being the original and transfer settings dissimilar .Commercial video games may provide integrated and adaptable training paradigms in which a transfer effect to executive functions (e.g.: problem solving, planning, reasoning, working memory or multitasking) can be achievable [2-4].Task-specific training using video games is emerging as a feasible approach for enhancing multitasking skills in older adults, and even for recovering motor and cognitive functions in patients affected by neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Emerging evidence supports the use of computer-assisted and video game-based cognitive rehabilitation to enhance working memory, complex attention function, visuo-constructive performance and even cognitiv ...
Journal of Neurology 01/2015; 262(3). DOI:10.1007/s00415-015-7640-8 · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: to evaluate the effect of age, sex and onset symptoms on the risk of the second clinical attack in a cohort of pediatric patients with a clinically isolated syndrome suggestive of MS (pCIS). BACKGROUND: Pediatric onset occurs in 5-10[percnt] of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. Due to its rare incidence limited epidemiological data are available. METHODS: Demographic and clinical data of a cohort of patients with pCIS and onset <= 15 years were extracted from the Italian iMedWeb registry and from the MSBase platform. A Cox-model adjusted for age at onset, sex and onset symptom(s) was performed to evaluate the time to a second clinical attack during the follow-up. Proportions of patients with different onset symptom(s) (optic, spinal, supratentorial, brainstem/cerebellum and multifocal) were calculated and compared between children (age at onset < 12 years) and adolescents (age at onset > 12) (chi-square test). RESULTS: a total of 1357 of pCIS patients with onset before 15 years was extracted. A shorter time to a second clinical attack was found in female pCIS (male vs female: HR= 0.82; p< 0.02) and in pCIS with an age at onset > 12 years (HR = 1.32; 95[percnt] CI: 1.13-1.54; p=0.0006). Brainstem onset was found to be more frequent in pCIS with an age at onset < 12 years in comparison to pCIS with an age at onset > 12 years (35.93 vs 26.43[percnt]; p=0.0019). CONCLUSIONS: the results indicate that the most significant factors influencing the time to reach a clinically definite MS diagnosis in pCIS are the female sex and an age at onset > 12 years. Moreover the results confirm that brainstem symptoms at onset are more frequent in children than in adolescents.