Eleni Georgoulopoulou

Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modène, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (12)34.76 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Very few studies examined trend over time of the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and factors influencing it; previous studies, then, included only patients attending tertiary ALS Centres. We studied ALSFRS-R decline, factors influencing this trend and survival in a population-based setting. From 2009 onwards, a prospective registry records all incident ALS cases among residents in Emilia Romagna (population: 4.4 million). For each patient, demographic and clinical details (including ALSFRS-R) are collected by caring physicians at each follow-up. Analysis was performed on 402 incident cases (1279 ALSFRS-R assessments). The average decline of the ALSFRS-R was 0.60 points/month during the first year after diagnosis and 0.34 points/month in the second year. ALSFRS-R decline was heterogeneous among subgroups. Repeated measures mixed model showed that ALSFRS-R score decline was influenced by age at onset (p < 0.01), phenotype (p = 0.01), body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.01), progression rate at diagnosis (ΔFS) (p < 0.01), El Escorial Criteria-Revised (p < 0.01), and FVC% at diagnosis (p < 0.01). Among these factors, at multivariate analysis, only age, site of onset and ΔFS independently influenced survival. In this first population-based study on ALSFRS-R trend, we confirm that ALSFRS-R decline is not homogeneous among ALS patients and during the disease. Factors influencing ALSFRS-R decline may not match with those affecting survival. These disease modifiers should be taken into consideration for trials design and in clinical practice during discussions with patients on prognosis.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Neurological Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: We performed a population-based study to assess amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) survival after noninvasive ventilation (NIV), invasive ventilation (IV), and enteral nutrition (EN). Methods: We included patients diagnosed from 2000 to 2009 in Modena, where a prospective registry and a Motor Neuron Diseases Centre have been active since 2000. Results: Of the 193 incident cases, 47.7% received NIV, 24.3% received tracheostomy, and 49.2% received EN. A total of 10.4% of the patients refused NIV, 31.6% refused IV, and 8.7% refused EN. The median survival times after NIV, IV, and EN were 15, 19, and 9 months, respectively. Of the tracheostomized patients, 79.7% were discharged from the hospital; 73.0% were discharged to home. The median survival times for tracheostomized patients who were cared for at home and in nursing homes were 43 and 2 months, respectively. The multivariate analysis demonstrated that the place of discharge was the only independent prognostic factor after IV (P<0.01). Conclusions: Service organizations may promote adherence to NIV, IV, EN, and influence postprocedure survival. These data may be useful in defining health plans regarding advanced ALS care and in patient counseling.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Muscle & Nerve
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Our objective was to describe incidence and clinical features of ALS from a prospective population-based study in Emilia Romagna Region (ERR). From 2009 onwards, a prospective registry recorded all incident cases of ALS among residents in the ERR (population, 4.4 million inhabitants), involving 17 neurological departments. For each patient, detailed demographic and clinical information was collected by caring physicians. Results showed that from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2011, 347 patients received a new diagnosis of ALS with a crude incidence rate of 2.63/100,000/year. There was micro-geographic heterogeneity throughout ERR, with higher incidence rates in the low density population (3.27/100,000) (p < 0.01). ALS patients have been more frequently employed in agriculture than the general ERR population (8.64% vs. 4.6%, p < 0.01). Clinical features were similar to those described in previous population based studies. In conclusion, we report incidence rates similar to those reported by European registries, reflecting good accuracy of our prospective study. We confirmed previous studies reporting higher incidence rates in rural areas and among agricultural workers. Although genetics has been gaining increasing importance in ALS aetiology, some epidemiological data are still unexplained. Identifying geographical areas or populations with high incidence rates can be a starting point for identifying environmental risk factors. Further studies having this specific aim can shed light on these topics.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
  • Giuliana Galassi · Eleni Georgoulopoulou · Alessandra Ariatti
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of amiodarone is tempered by its toxicity, with 50% of long-term users discontinuing the drug. The non-cardiac side effects of amiodarone may involve central and peripheral nervous system. We studied two patients treated with amiodarone for 46 and 15 months respectively. Both patients exhibited progressive distal extremity weakness, impaired perception, loss of deep reflexes. Electrophysiology identified a widespread, sensorimotor polyneuropathy with features of axonal loss and demyelination. Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) showed prolonged P100 latency bilaterally in absence of visual symptoms or brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) abnormalities. Extensive laboratory examinations excluded known causes of peripheral neuropathies. At 21 months after amiodarone withdrawal, P100 latency of case 1 VEPs returned to normal, whereas polyneuropathy continued to progress. In the second patient neuropathy has worsened similarly over 2 years whereas P100 latency of VEPs recovered to normal within 7 months after withdrawal of amiodarone. These findings may suggest different mechanisms of toxicity, which could be due to amiodarone pharmacokinetic and its metabolite effects on the peripheral nerves, as opposed to the optic nerve. We emphasize that use of amiodarone needs monitoring of patients at risk of development side effects.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Central European Journal of Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) antibody-associated encephalitis is a well-known form of limbic encephalitis characterized by acute to subacute onset of confusion and cognitive impairment, mediotemporal seizures, and psychiatric disturbances.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to selenium, and particularly to its inorganic forms, has been hypothesized as a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fast progressing motor neuron disease with poorly understood etiology. However, no information is known about levels of inorganic and some organic selenium species in the central nervous system of ALS patients, and recent observations suggest that peripheral biomarkers of exposure are unable to predict these levels for several Se species including the inorganic forms. Using a hospital-referred cases-control series and advanced selenium speciation methods, we compared the chemical species of selenium in cerebrospinal fluid from thirty-eight ALS patients to those of thirty-eight reference neurological patients matched on age and gender. We found that higher concentrations of inorganic selenium in the form of selenite and of human serum albumin-bound selenium were associated with increased ALS risk (relative risks 3.9 (95% confidence interval 1.2-11.0) and 1.7 (1.0-2.9) for 0.1μg/l increase). Conversely, lower concentrations of selenoprotein P-bound selenium were associated with increased risk (relative risk 0.2 for 1μg/l increase, 95% confidence interval 0.04-0.8). The associations were stronger among cases age 50 years or older, who are postulated to have lower rates of genetic disease origin. These results suggest that excess selenite and human serum albumin bound-selenium and low levels of selenoprotein P-bound selenium in the central nervous system, which may be related, may play a role in ALS etiology.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · NeuroToxicology
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    ABSTRACT: The prognostic role of riluzole, enteral nutrition (EN), non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and interdisciplinary care in ALS is still debated. A population based study has been performed focusing on ALS survival, with particular attention to prognostic factors and therapeutic intervention. All patients diagnosed with ALS between 2000 and 2009 and residing in Modena, Italy, have been registered. A centre for motor neuron disease (MND) has been active in our province since 2000, in addition to a prospective registry collecting all incident cases. One hundred and ninety-three incident cases have been collected during the 10 years of the study. Results demonstrated that median survival was 41 months (the overall three-year and five-year survival rates being 54.36% and 28.81%, respectively). Based on univariate analysis, factors related to survival were: age at diagnosis, gender, site of onset, phenotype, riluzole treatment and tracheostomy. In the Cox multivariable model, the factors independently related to a longer survival were age (p < 0.01), site of onset (p = 0.02) and riluzole treatment (p < 0.01), with a median gain in survival of 29 months (patients aged < 55 years compared with patients ≥ 55 years), 20 months (spinal versus bulbar onset), and 12 months (riluzole, yes vs. no), respectively. In conclusion, the study has confirmed the prognostic role of clinical features, but has surprisingly demonstrated that riluzole prolonged life significantly longer than NIV and EN. This observational study described the effects of ALS management in a setting that may approximate routine clinical practice more closely than randomized controlled trial (RCT); effects of uncontrolled potential confounders, however, cannot be excluded.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013
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    ABSTRACT: We performed a prospective population-based study to describe the temporal pattern of the incidence and prevalence and the clinical features and phenotypes of ALS in Modena, Italy, from 2000 to 2009. From 2000 onwards, a prospective registry has been collecting all cases of incident ALS among residents in the province of Modena. This source was implemented by cases resulting from the provincial hospitals, and by death certificates. Based on 193 newly diagnosed cases, the crude average annual incidence rate of ALS was 2.9 cases per 100,000 person years (py); adjusted incidence rate was 2.8/100,000. The age-standardized incidence rates increased from 2.6 per 100,000 py in 2000-2004 to 2.9 per 100,000 py in 2005-2009, representing an annual increase of approximately 2% throughout the 10-year period. There was a constant increase in prevalence rates throughout the years of the study (from 5.8/100,000 on 31 December 2000 to 11.2/100,000 on 31 December 2009). Median life time was 29 months for patients diagnosed before the year 2000 and 36 months for patients diagnosed from 1 January 2000 (p < 0.01). Thus, we report incidence rates similar to those reported by recent European population based studies, but we observed an increasing trend over the 10 years of the study. The increasing incidence is not explained by aging of the population, and our study raises the question as to whether local environmental or genetic factors are driving this temporal trend. Along with an increasing incidence, we found an important increase in prevalence and survival probably related to access to mutidisciplinary clinics and improvements in symptomatic care of ALS.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 10% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases are familial, and the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene mutation accounts for 20% of them. More than 100 SOD1 mutations have been described, some with peculiar phenotypes. Moreover, mutations in the SOD1 gene have been described in apparently sporadic ALS cases. We report a new mutation (D11Y) in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene in a patient with ALS and an unusually slow disease progression.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Muscle & Nerve

  • No preview · Article · Jul 2010 · Archives of neurology

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2009 · Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2009 · Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Publication Stats

55 Citations
34.76 Total Impact Points


  • 2009-2014
    • Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
      • • Department of Diagnostic Medicine, Clinical and Public Health
      • • Department of Biomedical, Metabolical and Neurosciences
      Modène, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2010
    • Nuovo Ospedale Civile di Sassuolo
      Sassuolo, Emilia-Romagna, Italy