[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the ICARO-3 study was to evaluate whether intra-arterial treatment, compared to intravenous thrombolysis, increases the rate of favourable functional outcome at 3 months in acute ischemic stroke and extracranial ICA occlusion. ICARO-3 was a non-randomized therapeutic trial that performed a non-blind assessment of outcomes using retrospective data collected prospectively from 37 centres in 7 countries. Patients treated with endovascular treatment within 6 h from stroke onset (cases) were matched with patients treated with intravenous thrombolysis within 4.5 h from symptom onset (controls). Patients receiving either intravenous or endovascular therapy were included among the cases. The efficacy outcome was disability at 90 days assessed by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), dichotomized as favourable (score of 0-2) or unfavourable (score of 3-6). Safety outcomes were death and any intracranial bleeding. Included in the analysis were 324 cases and 324 controls: 105 cases (32.4 %) had a favourable outcome as compared with 89 controls (27.4 %) [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.25, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.88-1.79, p = 0.1]. In the adjusted analysis, treatment with intra-arterial procedures was significantly associated with a reduction of mortality (OR 0.61, 95 % CI 0.40-0.93, p = 0.022). The rates of patients with severe disability or death (mRS 5-6) were similar in cases and controls (30.5 versus 32.4 %, p = 0.67). For the ordinal analysis, adjusted for age, sex, NIHSS, presence of diabetes mellitus and atrial fibrillation, the common odds ratio was 1.15 (95 % IC 0.86-1.54), p = 0.33. There were more cases of intracranial bleeding (37.0 versus 17.3 %, p = 0.0001) in the intra-arterial procedure group than in the intravenous group. After the exclusion of the 135 cases treated with the combination of I.V. thrombolysis and I.A. procedures, 67/189 of those treated with I.A. procedures (35.3 %) had a favourable outcome, compared to 89/324 of those treated with I.V. thrombolysis (27.4 %) (adjusted OR 1.75, 95 % CI 1.00-3.03, p = 0.05). Endovascular treatment of patients with acute ICA occlusion did not result in a better functional outcome than treatment with intravenous thrombolysis, but was associated with a higher rate of intracranial bleeding. Overall mortality was significantly reduced in patients treated with endovascular treatment but the rates of patients with severe disability or death were similar. When excluding all patients treated with the combination of I.V. thrombolysis and I.A. procedures, a potential benefit of I.A. treatment alone compared to I.V. thrombolysis was observed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Factors predicting family history (FH) of premature arterial thrombosis in young patients with ischaemic stroke (IS) have not been extensively investigated, and whether they might influence the risk of post-stroke recurrence is still unknown. In the present study we analysed 1,881 consecutive first-ever IS patients aged 18-45 years recruited from January 2000 to January 2012 as part of the Italian Project on Stroke in Young Adults (IPSYS). FH of premature arterial thrombosis was any thrombotic event [IS, myocardial infarction or other arterial events event] < 45 years in proband's first-degree relatives. Compared with patients without FH of premature arterial thrombosis, those with FH (n = 85) were more often smokers (odds ratio [OR], 1.94; 95 % confidence interval [CI], 1.21-3.09) and carriers of procoagulant abnormalities (OR, 3.66; 95 % CI, 2.21-6.06). Smoking (OR, 2.48; 95 % CI, 1.20-5.15), the A1691 mutation in factor V gene (OR, 3.64; 95 % CI, 1.31-10.10), and the A20210 mutation in the prothrombin gene (OR, 8.40; 95 % CI 3.35-21.05) were associated with FH of premature stroke (n = 33), while circulating anti-phospholipids to FH of premature myocardial infarction (n = 45; OR, 3.48; 95 % CI, 1.61-7.51). Mean follow-up time was 46.6 ± 38.6 months. Recurrent events occurred more frequently in the subgroup of patients with FH of premature stroke [19.4 %); p = 0.051] compared to patients without such a FH. In conclusion, young IS patients with FH of premature arterial thrombosis exhibit a distinct risk-factor profile, an underlying procoagulant state and have worse vascular prognosis than those with no FH of juvenile thrombotic events.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSECerebral vasomotor reserve (VMR) is the capability of cerebral arterioles to change their diameter in response to various stimuli, such hypercapnia. Changes of VMR due to transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have been poorly studied.METHODS
Twenty-five healthy subjects underwent anodal/cathodal and sham tDCS on right primary motor area. Before and after tDCS, we assessed VMR by Transcranial Color-Coded Sonography (TCCS) calculating trought Breath Holding Index (BHI) and Heart Rate Variability (HRV), in particular after Valsalva manouver.RESULTSA-tDCS decreased VMR and BHI (p < 0.05), whereas C-tDCS increased VMR, and BHI (p < 0.05); Sham doesn't provide statistically significant of both VMR, BHI and HRV (p > 0.05).CONCLUSIONS
Our study confirms that tDCS induces a modification of bilateral VMR with a polarity-specific effect; based on this bilateral MFV and BHI modifications, we can speculate an involvement of the SNS in the VMR regulation.
Journal of neuroimaging: official journal of the American Society of Neuroimaging 09/2014; · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fifteen days after a respiratory infection, a 45-year-old woman presented with paresthesias in the hands and feet, bilateral loss of vision, fever, headache, and impairment of consciousness. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed predominant lesions in the optic tracts, optic chiasm, and hypothalamus. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed elevated protein level, and lymphocytic pleocytosis. Neurophysiological studies disclosed a demyelinating sensorimotor polyneuropathy. Serum anti-Mycoplasma pneumoniae immunoglobulin (Ig)M, anti-GM1 IgG, and anti-AQP4 IgG were positive. This case, which is remarkable for post-infectious meningoencephalitis-like onset, MRI picture, and dysimmunity to central and peripheral nervous system autoantigens, underpins the pivotal diagnostic role of anti-AQP4-IgG, and expands the list of clinico-pathological findings that can associate with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a common congenital anatomical defect in the general population with a mean prevalence of 20 %. Transcranial Doppler sonography and echocardiography, both with infusion of agitated saline as an echo contrast, have been introduced for the diagnosis of PFO. Transesophageal echocardiography is considered the gold standard. Several studies have suggested an association between cryptogenetic stroke and PFO, but the role of this condition as a risk factor for stroke is still debated. The aims of this prospective multicentre study are the evaluation of PFO prevalence in the whole ischemic stroke population and the identification of a stroke recurrence profile risk in patients with PFO. All consecutive patients admitted for acute ischemic stroke and with a confirmed diagnosis at discharge are eligible cases for the study. Demographic and vascular risk factors are registered. Clinical severity is summarized by the National Institute of Health stroke scale. Echocardiographic and transcranial studies are performed in each patient to detect the presence of PFO. Prevalence of PFO will be calculated with 95 % CIs. Univariate analysis will be performed to detect the correlation of PFO with different registered factors and multivariable analysis with PFO as independent variable. The present study should contribute to better identify the role of PFO in ischemic stroke risk and recurrence-related events. Qualifying findings of the study are represented by the high number of enrolled patients, the prospective methodology of the study and the presence of secondary instrumental endpoints.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: The most common cause of sudden isolated and prolonged global aphasia
is acute stroke, affecting the cortical or subcortical language network. However, an
aphasic status epilepticus (ASE) has to be considered as a possible differential diagnosis
in awake patients presenting with acute and prolonged language impairment. ASE is
suggestive of a localized dysfunction of language processing in the dominant hemisphere.
ASE is a rare phenomenon and few cases are reported in the current literature. In the
differential diagnosis between ASE and stroke with aphasia, FDG-PET imaging could be
used when EEG shows no clear evidence of epileptic activity.
Case Presentation: We described a case of a 74 year-old woman who presented sudden
onset of isolated and prolonged global aphasia; she suffered 5 months before of a left
temporo-occipital hemorrhage and 20 days before a left hemispheric ischemic stroke. A
new ischemic or hemorrhagic event was excluded by neuroimaging (CT and MRI,
including DWI). Since several EEGs did not show ictal epileptic pattern, but only inter-ictal
slow waves in the left temporal region, an FDG-PET was performed, resulting in two
hypermetabolic areas in the left temporal and occipital lobes. The aphasia improved after
Discussion and Conclusion: In conclusion, this is a case of post-stroke ASE, in which
the evidence of hypermetabolism on FDG-PET allowed a definite diagnosis of epilepsy,
despite the non-ictal EEG pattern.
International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal. 01/2014; 2(5):186-191.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Concerning intravenous thrombolysis, only inconclusive data are available for patients older than 90. We retrospectively evaluated 11 such patients whom we treated with thrombolysis from June 2007 through April 2012, comparing them to 41 patients of the same age whom we treated conventionally in the same period. Baseline clinical data were superimposable, except for shorter onset-to-hospital time for thrombolyzed patients. Mortality and hemorrhagic transformation did not differ. Functional status (modified Rankin scale) 3 months after was better in treated patients, even when compared to controls who arrived early in the hospital. Treated patients were more often discharged home or to intensive rehabilitation, less often to a nursing home. We conclude that safety and effectiveness of intravenous thrombolysis in eligible nonagenarians are evident in a setting of everyday practice, and that patients 90 years or older should not be denied thrombolysis solely on the basis of their age.
European Neurology 07/2013; 70(1-2):84-87. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Natural killer (NK) cells can bridge innate and acquired immunity, and play a role in autoimmunity. A few studies evaluated the distribution of NK cells and the expression of their receptors in chronic immune-mediated demyelinating polyneuropathies. We investigated NK cell distribution and NK cell receptor expression in 20 naïve patients with anti-MAG polyneuropathy (MAG-PN). METHODS: Using flow cytometry, we analysed NK cells and a series of NK cell receptors in the peripheral blood of patients with MAG-PN, and, as controls, in patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating peripheral polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) and in healthy subjects. Six MAG-PN patients were also tested after rituximab treatment. RESULTS: At baseline the percentage of NK cells did not differ among the groups. KIR2DL2 receptor expression in MAG-PN patients was higher, andCD94/NKG2A receptor expression in both MAG-PN and CIDP patients was lower than in healthy controls. These abnormalities did not correlate with any clinical or demographic variable. No modification was found after rituximab therapy. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that MAG-PN shows abnormalities in NK cell receptors that characterise other autoimmune diseases, and cannot help in differential diagnosis with CIDP. The impairment of the relevant CD94/NKG2A inhibitory pathway, which might play a central role in the development and perpetuation of MAG-PN, warrants further functional investigations.
Journal of the neurological sciences 06/2013; · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Information about patients' adherence to therapy represents a primary issue in Parkinson's disease (PD) management. To perform the linguistic validation of the Italian version of the self-rated 8-Item Morisky Medical Adherence Scale (MMAS-8) and to describe in a sample of Italian patients affected by PD the adherence to anti-Parkinson drug therapy and the association between adherence and some socio-demographic and clinical features. MMAS-8 was translated into Italian language by two independent Italian mother-tongue translators. The consensus version was then back-translated by an English mother-tongue translator. This translation process was followed by a consensus meeting between the authors of translation and investigators and then by two comprehension tests. The translated version of the MMAS-8 scale was then administered at the baseline visit of the "REASON" study (Italian Study on the Therapy Management in Parkinson's disease: Motor, Non-Motor, Adherence and Quality Of Life Factors) in a large sample of PD patients. The final version of the MMAS-8 was easily understood. Mean ± SD MMAS-8 score was 6.1 ± 1.2. There were no differences in adherence to therapy in relationship to disease severity, gender, educational level or decision to change therapy. The Italian version of MMAS-8, the key tool of the REASON study to assess the adherence to therapy, has shown to be understandable to patients with PD. Patients enrolled in the REASON study showed medium therapy adherence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) has been proposed as a "congenital malformation" implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, numerous studies failed to confirm its presence in MS patients. This paper presents the rationale, design, and methodology adopted in the CoSMo study, conducted with the aim of verifying whether or not CCSVI is linked to MS. The primary endpoint of the CoSMo study is to compare the prevalence of CCSVI in patients with MS versus patients affected by other neurodegenerative diseases (OND) and healthy volunteers. CoSMo is a multicenter, blinded, prevalence study recruiting 2,000 adult subjects, involving 43 MS centers across Italy. Assessment of the presence or absence of CCSVI is performed by color-coded duplex (CCD) sonography and two out of the five criteria according to Zamboni are necessary for the diagnosis of CCSVI. Local CCD examination carried out by a certified sonologist and the central image readings performed by experts in the field are blinded. An advanced protocol is also described in this paper. The application of a rigorous methodological design will definitively confirm whether an association exists between CCSVI and MS. Should an association be observed, this study also further examines the link between CCSVI and the severity of MS. The addition of subgroups without MS and OND also provides information on whether CCSVI is specific to MS only. Results from the CoSMo study will play a crucial role in the possible studies concerning the potential treatment of CCSVI in MS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact on stroke outcome of statin use in the acute phase after IV thrombolysis. METHODS: Multicenter study on prospectively collected data of 2,072 stroke patients treated with IV thrombolysis. Outcome measures of efficacy were neurologic improvement (NIH Stroke Scale [NIHSS] ≤ 4 points from baseline or NIHSS = 0) and major neurologic improvement (NIHSS ≤ 8 points from baseline or NIHSS = 0) at 7 days and favorable (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] ≤ 2) and excellent functional outcome (mRS ≤ 1) at 3 months. Outcome measures of safety were 7-day neurologic deterioration (NIHSS ≥ 4 points from baseline or death), symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage type 2 with NIHSS ≥ 4 points from baseline or death within 36 hours, and 3-month death. RESULTS: Adjusted multivariate analysis showed that statin use in the acute phase was associated with neurologic improvement (odds ratio [OR] 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-2.25; p < 0.001), major neurologic improvement (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.11-1.85; p = 0.006), favorable functional outcome (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.18-2.26; p = 0.003), and a reduced risk of neurologic deterioration (OR: 0.31, 95% CI 0.19-0.53; p < 0.001) and death (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.28-0.82; p = 0.007). CONCLUSION: Statin use in the acute phase of stroke after IV thrombolysis may positively influence short- and long-term outcome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) are in vivo imaging techniques that, using a wide range of tracers, allow the non-invasive tracking of pathophysiological processes in healthy and diseased brain. One of most promising of the various PET and SPECT applications is the investigation of pathophysiological aspects of neurodegenerative disorders. This is an extremely important area of investigation given the aging of the global population and the high prevalence of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in elderly persons. Clinical translation of advances in molecular imaging research into clinical practice may, by overcoming the limitations of a diagnostic approach that relies exclusively on clinical judgment and structural imaging, lead to better clinical management of affected patients.