Maria Giovanna Marrosu

Università degli studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

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Publications (230)1063.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background The purpose is to measure the worsening of the Quality of Life (QoL) in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and the concomitant role of co-morbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Bipolar Disorder (BD), the latter not yet studied even though it was found strictly associated with MS. Methods Cases: 201 consecutive-MS-patients. Controls: 804 sex-and-age-matched subjects without MS, randomly selected from an epidemiological database study. Psychiatric diagnoses according to DSM-IV were determined by physicians using structured interview tools (ANTAS-SCID). Bipolar Spectrum Disorders were identified by Mood Disorders Questionnaire (MDQ). QoL was measured by SF-12. Results MS was the strongest determinant in worsening the QoL in the overall sample. Both MDD and BD type-II lifetime diagnoses were significantly associated with a poorer quality of life in the total sample as in cases of MS. In MS the impairment of the QoL attributable to BD type-II was even greater than that in MDD. Limitations The MS diagnosis was made differently in cases and controls. Although this may have produced false negatives in controls, it would have reinforced the null hypothesis (no role of MS in worsening the QoL); therefore, it does not invalidate the study. Conclusions MDD as well BD type-II are co-determinants in worsening QoL in MS. Clinicians should consider depressive symptoms as well as the hypomanic and mixed components in MS. Additional research is required to confirm our results and further clarify the manner in which BD and the mixed symptoms of BD type-II may affect awareness of both the underlying disease and psychiatric component and finally to what extent they impact treatment adherence with the available therapies for MS.
    Journal of Affective Disorders. 10/2014; 167:192–197.
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundBICAMS (Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis) has been recently developed as brief, practical and universal assessment tool for cognitive impairment in MS subjects. It includes the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), the California Verbal Learning Test-2 (CVLT2) and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test¿Revised (BVMT-R) . In this study we aimed at gathering regression based normative data for the BICAMS battery in the Italian population.Methodshealthy subjects were consecutively recruited among patient friends and relatives. Corrections for demographics were calculated using multivariable linear regression models. Test-retest reliability was assessed using the Pearson correlation coefficient.ResultsThe BICAMS battery was administered to 273 healthy subjects (180 women, mean age 38.9¿±¿13.0 years, mean education 14.9¿±¿3.0 years). Test-retest reliability was good for all the tests.Conclusions The study provided normative data of the BICAMS for the Italian population confirming good test-retest reliability which can facilitate the use of the battery in clinical practice, also for longitudinal patient assessments.
    BMC Neurology 09/2014; 14(1):171. · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The assessment of gait abnormalities in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) represents a key factor in evaluating the effectiveness of rehabilitation treatments. Despite the availability of sophisticated equipment to objectively evaluate the kinematic aspects of gait, there are still some difficulties in processing the large and complex amount of data they produce in the daily clinical routine. On the basis of the above-mentioned considerations we propose a novel characterization of gait kinematics in individuals with MS, based on a single measure (Gait Profile Score, GPS) obtained from a quantitative three-dimensional analysis of gait performed using an opto-electronic system. We also investigated the correlation between GPS and the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) values. Thirty-four patients suffering from relapsing-remitting MS (13 female, 21 male, mean age 46.7 years) with an EDSS score of ≤ 6 underwent a gait analysis from which the GPS index was calculated. Their results were compared with those of a control group of healthy age- and gender-matched subjects. The GPS of individuals with MS was found significantly higher with respect to controls (9.12° vs. 5.67°, p < 0.001) as the result of kinematic differences in gait patterns referring to pelvic tilt and rotation, hip flexion-extension and rotation, knee flexion-extension and ankle dorsi- and plantar-flexion. A moderate correlation was also found between the EDSS score of the participants and their GPS values (r = 0.63, p < 0.001). The GPS index thus appears suitable to represent gait deviations from physiological patterns in individuals affected by MS and potentially useful in assessing the outcomes related both to rehabilitation programs and pharmacologic/physical therapies.
    Journal of the Neurological Sciences 07/2014; · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Conserved populations, such as Sardinians, displaying elevated rates of familial or sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) provide unique information on the genetics of the disease. Our aim was to describe the genetic profile of a consecutive series of ALS patients of Sardinian ancestry. All ALS patients of Sardinian ancestry, identified between 2008 and 2013 through the Italian ALS Genetic Consortium, were eligible to be included in the study. Patients and controls underwent the analysis of TARDBP, C9ORF72, SOD1, and FUS genes. Genetic mutations were identified in 155 out of 375 Sardinian ALS cases (41.3%), more commonly the p.A382T and p.G295S mutations of TARDBP and the GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion of C9ORF72. One patient had both p.G295S and p.A382T mutations of TARDBP and 8 carried both the heterozygous p.A382T mutation of TARDBP and a repeat expansion of C9ORF72. Patients carrying the p.A382T and the p.G295S mutations of TARDBP and the C9ORF72 repeat expansion shared distinct haplotypes across these loci. Patients with cooccurrence of C9ORF72 and TARDBP p.A382T missense mutation had a significantly lower age at onset and shorter survival. More than 40% of all cases on the island of Sardinia carry a mutation of an ALS-related gene, representing the highest percentage of ALS cases genetically explained outside of Scandinavia. Clinical phenotypes associated with different genetic mutations show some distinctive characteristics, but the heterogeneity between and among families carrying the same mutations implies that ALS manifestation is influenced by other genetic and nongenetic factors.
    Neurobiology of aging. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Most of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients undergo disease modifying drug (DMD) therapy at childbearing age. The objective of this prospective, collaborative study, was to assess outcomes of pregnancies fathered by MS patients undergoing DMD.
    BMC Neurology 05/2014; 14(1):114. · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that has a notably high incidence in Sardinia. Our study focuses on two HLA class II haplotypes associated with the disease in Sardinia, the rare predisposing DRB1*15:01-DQB1*06:02 and the widespread protective DRB1*16:01-DQB1*05:02. This framework enabled the highlighting of HLA binding pocket specificity and peptide recognition mechanisms by employing molecular dynamics simulations of the whole DRB1-DQB1 haplotype interacting with MBP- and EBV-derived peptides. We analyzed peptide-protein interaction networks and temporal evolution of the original complexes and after key amino acid mutations. The mutation G86V of the protective DRB1 allele exerted its effect mainly in the presence of the EBV viral peptide, with local and long range outcomes. However, the V38A mutation of the protective DQB1 showed a long range effect only in the case of the MBP myelin peptide. Our findings also demonstrate a DRB1/DQB1 complementary molecular recognition of peptides. This mechanism could provide a robust synergistic action and a differential role of DRB1 and DQB1 in tissues and in the time-steps towards autoimmunity. In addition, we demonstrate that negatively charged residues in pockets 4 and 9 play a role in MS susceptibility. Our findings are supported by recent experiments using a closely related MS animal model. Overall, our analysis confirms the role of the DRB1-DQB1 haplotype in conferring disease predisposition and could provide a valuable aid in designing optimal therapeutic peptides for MS therapy.
    Molecular BioSystems 05/2014; · 3.35 Impact Factor
  • Eleonora Cocco, Maria Giovanna Marrosu
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    ABSTRACT: Mitoxantrone is an immunosuppressive drug approved for aggressive relapsing and progressive multiple sclerosis. In recent years, its use has decreased due to the risk of severe adverse events and the introduction of novel therapies, such as natalizumab or fingolimod. Mitoxantrone is effective in reducing inflammatory activity by decreasing the number of relapses and MRI lesions and simultaneously decreasing the worsening of disability. Apart from its role as a second/third-line therapy, some studies suggest its use as an induction therapy. However, mitoxantrone use is limited because of its potential risk of severe adverse events, such as cardiotoxicity and the induction of therapy-related acute leukemia. Genetic markers are on evaluation to predict side effects and therapeutic efficacy, which is consistent with the direction of personalized treatment. Considering its efficacy and the potential risks, mitoxantrone use is limited to active patients after a careful, individualized evaluation of the risk/benefit balance.
    Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 05/2014; · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epstein-Barr virus and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) have been associated to multiple sclerosis (MS). We searched for antibodies against the homologous peptides Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1)400-413, MAP_0106c protein (MAP)121-132, and myelin basic protein (MBP)85-98 on a MS Sardinian cohort, showing that these antibodies are highly prevalent among MS patients compared to healthy controls. Competitive assay demonstrated that antibodies recognizing EBNA1400-413 and MAP121-132 cross-react with MBP85-98, possibly through a molecular mimicry mechanism. Indeed, the fact that peptides from different pathogens can be cross-recognized by antibodies targeting self-epitopes supports the hypothesis that EBV and MAP might trigger autoimmunity through a common target.
    Journal of Neuroimmunology 05/2014; · 3.03 Impact Factor
  • Bipolar Disorders 05/2014; · 4.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroactive steroid family includes molecules synthesized in peripheral glands (i.e., hormonal steroids) and directly in the nervous system (i.e., neurosteroids) which are key regulators of the nervous function. As already reported in clinical and experimental studies, neurodegenerative diseases affect the levels of neuroactive steroids. However, a careful analysis comparing the levels of these molecules in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in plasma of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients is still missing. To this aim, the levels of neuroactive steroids were evaluated by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in CSF and plasma of male adults affected by Relapsing Remitting MS and compared with those collected in control patients. An increase of pregnenolone and isopregnanolone levels associated with a decrease of progesterone metabolites, dihydroprogesterone and tetrahydroprogesterone was observed in CSF of MS patients. Moreover, an increase of 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol and of 17β-estradiol levels associated with a decrease of dihydrotestosterone also occurred. In plasma, an increase of pregnenolone, progesterone and dihydrotestosterone and a decrease of dihydroprogesterone and tetrahydroprogesterone levels were reported. The present study shows for the first time that the levels of several neuroactive steroids, and particularly those of progesterone and testosterone metabolites, are deeply affected in CSF of relapsing remitting MS male patients.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 04/2014; · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Epstein–Barr virus and Mycobacterial avium ss. paratuberculosis (MAP) have been associated to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We searched for antibodies against the homologous peptides Epstein Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen 1 (EBNA1)400-413, MAP_0106c protein (MAP)121-132, and Myelin Basic Protein (MBP)85–98 on a MS Sardinian cohort, showing that these antibodies are highly prevalent among MS patients compared to healthy controls. Competitive assay demonstrated that antibodies recognizing EBNA1400-413 and MAP121-132 cross-react with MBP85–98, possibly through a molecular mimicry mechanism. Indeed, the fact that peptides from different pathogens can be cross-recognized by antibodies targeting self-epitopes, support the hypothesis that EBV and MAP might trigger autoimmunity trough a common target.
    Journal of neuroimmunology 01/2014; · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that has a notably high incidence in Sardinia. Our study focuses on two HLA class II haplotypes associated with the disease in Sardinia, the rare predisposing DRB1*15:01-DQB1*06:02 and the widespread protective DRB1*16:01-DQB1*05:02. This framework enabled the highlighting of HLA binding pocket specificity and peptide recognition mechanisms, by employing molecular dynamics simulations of the whole DRB1-DQB1 haplotype interacting with MBP- and EBV-derived peptides. We analyzed peptide-protein interaction networks and temporal evolution of the original complexes and after key amino acid mutations. The mutation G86V of the protective DRB1 allele exerted its effect mainly in presence of the EBV viral peptide, with local and long range outcomes. However, the V38A mutation of the protective DQB1 showed a long range effect only in the case of the MBP myelin peptide. Our findings demonstrate also a DRB1/DQB1 complementary molecular
    Molecular BioSystems 01/2014; · 3.35 Impact Factor
  • Muscle & Nerve 12/2013; · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interferon beta (IFNβ) was the first specific disease-modifying treatment licensed for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, and is still one of the most commonly prescribed treatments. A strong body of evidence supports the effectiveness of IFNβ preparations in reducing the annual relapse rate, magnetic resonance (MRI) disease activity and disease progression. However, the development of binding/neutralizing antibodies (BAbs/NAbs) during treatment negatively affects clinical and MRI outcomes. Therefore, guidelines for the clinical use for the detection of NAbs in MS may result in better treatment of these patients. In October 2012, a panel of Italian neurologists from 17 MS clinics convened in Milan to review and discuss data on NAbs and their clinical relevance in the treatment of MS. In this paper, we report the panel's recommendations for the use of IFNβ Nabs detection in the early identification of IFNβ non-responsiveness and the management of patients on IFNβ treatment in Italy, according to a model of therapeutically appropriate care.
    Neurological Sciences 12/2013; · 1.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The aim was to determine the risk of Mood Disorders (MD), particularly Bipolar Disorders (BD), in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) using standardized psychiatric diagnostic tools. Methods Case-control study. Cases: 201 consecutive-patients with MS. Controls: 804 sex-and-age- matched subjects without MS, randomly selected from a database concurrently used for an epidemiological study on the MD prevalence in the community. Psychiatric diagnoses according to DSM-IV were determined by physicians using structured interview tools (ANTAS-SCID). Results Compared to controls, MS patients had a higher lifetime prevalence of DSM-IV Major Depressive Disorders (MDD) (P<0.0001), BD I (P=0.05), BD II (P<0.0001) and Cyclothymia (P=0.0001). As people with MS had a higher risk of depressive and bipolar spectrum disorders, ratio MDD/bipolar spectrum disorders was lower among cases (P<0.005) indicating a higher association with Bipolar Spectrum Disorders and MS. Limitations MS diagnosis was differently collected in cases and controls. Even if this might have produced false negatives in controls, it would have reinforced the null hypothesis of no increased risk for MD in MS; therefore, it does not invalidate the results of the study. Conclusions This study was the first to show an association between BD and MS using standardized diagnostic tools and a case-control design. The results suggest a risk of under-diagnosis of BD (particularly type II) in MS and caution in prescribing ADs to people with depressive episodes in MS without prior excluding BD. The association between auto-immune degenerative diseases (like MS) and BD may be an interesting field for the study of the pathogenic hypothesis.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 11/2013; · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) has a major impact on the physical, psychological and social life of patients and their families. The aim of this study was to evaluate the different perceptions of patients and caregivers about management of MS, particularly about the same items, to gather information to ameliorate the care of patients. We evaluated what MS patients and caregivers perceive as unmet needs and compared patients' opinions with caregivers' opinions using a multidimensional questionnaire. The questionnaire was specifically designed for the study, taking into account different aspects of the global care perceived by patients and care givers, such as information about MS, medical treatment and rehabilitation, patients' relationships with medical staff and their psychological and social life. We administered the questionnaire to 497 patients and 206 caregivers. Results showed that the majority of participants were satisfied with medical staff but expressed a desire that staff be more forthcoming with information about MS. As for medical treatment concerns, more patients found there to be useful a multidisciplinary approach than caregivers did. Both required psychological support for patients but patients felt a greater need for it at the time of diagnosis, whereas caregivers felt it was required post-diagnosis. Both reported significant strains on patient relationships at work but no effect on other social interactions. A better understanding of MS patient needs, starting from the point of view of patients and caregivers, could have a great impact on quality of life and on management of the disease.
    BMC Neurology 11/2013; 13(1):177. · 2.56 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Neurology 11/2013; 20(11):e127. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heat shock protein (HSP) family members are highly conserved in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms and are known to be immunodominant antigens in many bacteria. In particular, HSP70 has been linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), even if the available data are contradictory. Since different studies conducted on Sardinian subjects, have linked Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) presence to MS disease, and in view of the fact that human HSP70 is highly homologue to the majority of mycobacterial HSP70 proteins, we searched for anti-MAP HSP70 antibodies in the sera of 268 MS patients and 231 age and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs). All the subjects enrolled in the study were from Sardinia, which is an excellent setting for investigation since it has one of the highest prevalence of MS worldwide. HSP70 detection was carried out using ELISA methodology. A statistically significant difference was found between MS patients and HCs when analyzing the humoral response mounted against MAP HSP70 protein. Our study confirms that mycobacterial HSP70 might be involved in MS, and provides another piece of evidence sustaining the role played by MAP in MS in the context of Sardinian population.
    Journal of the Neurological Sciences 10/2013; · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium avium ss. paratuberculosis (MAP) is an intracellular pathogen recently associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Aiming to identify immunodominant epitopes belonging to MS related protein MAP2694 (UniProt accession no. Q73WG6), we investigated the binding activity of selected peptides against MS Sardinian sera. An overlapping 9-mers peptide library was synthesized spanning the entire aminoacidic sequence of the protein. Peripheral blood was collected from 47 MS patients and 42 sex and age matched healthy volunteers and subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in order to investigate the reaction against the linear peptides generated. Two out of 58 synthetic 9-mers were strongly recognized by MS patients' antibodies compared to controls. A competitive inhibition assay demonstrated that these two epitopes are immunodominant antibody targets within MAP2694 protein, as sera pre-adsorbed with these peptides were able to significantly block the antibody reaction to the MAP2694 protein, even if at a lesser extent than MAP2694 protein itself.
    Molecular Immunology 09/2013; 57(2):138-140. · 2.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
1,063.36 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1979–2014
    • Università degli studi di Cagliari
      • • Department of Public Health, Clinical and Molecular Medicine
      • • Department of Medical Science "Mario Aresu"
      • • Department of Biomedical Science
      Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
  • 2011–2013
    • Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Cagliari
      Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
  • 2012
    • University of Florence
      • Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Psicologia, Area del Farmaco e Salute del Bambino
      Florens, Tuscany, Italy
    • Second University of Naples
      Caserta, Campania, Italy
  • 1998–2012
    • Università degli Studi di Sassari
      • Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche
      Sassari, Sardinia, Italy
  • 2010
    • National Research Council
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2006
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2002–2004
    • Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society
      Genova, Liguria, Italy
  • 1999–2003
    • University of Leuven
      • Rega Institute for Medical Research
      Louvain, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2000
    • Queen's University Belfast
      • School of Pharmacy
      Belfast, NIR, United Kingdom
  • 1993–1995
    • Memorial University of Newfoundland
      • Discipline of Pathology
      St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada