A Filla

University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Campania, Italy

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Publications (291)1386.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Epoetin alfa (Eprex®) is a subcutaneous, injectable formulation of short half-life recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO). To current knowledge there are no published studies regarding the stability of rHuEPO once repackaging occurs (r-EPO) for clinical trial purposes.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS) is a neurodegenerative disease due to mutations in SACS, which encodes sacsin, a protein localized on the mitochondrial surface and possibly involved in mitochondrial dynamics. In view of the possible mitochondrial involvement of sacsin, we investigated mitochondrial activity at functional and molecular level in skin fibroblasts obtained from ARSACS patients. We observed remarkable bioenergetic damage in ARSACS cells, as indicated by reduced basal, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-linked and maximal mitochondrial respiration rate, and by reduced respiratory chain activities and mitochondrial ATP synthesis. These phenomena were associated with increased reactive oxygen species production and oxidative nuclear DNA damage. Our results suggest that loss of sacsin is associated with oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, and thus highlight a novel mechanism in the pathogenesis of ARSACS. The involvement of mitochondria and oxidative stress in disease pathogenesis has been described in a number of other neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, on the basis of our findings, which suggest a potential therapeutic role for antioxidant agents, ARSACS seems to fall within a larger group of disorders.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Neurology
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    Preview · Article · Oct 2015

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Spinocerebellar ataxias are dominantly inherited neurodegenerative diseases. As potential treatments for these diseases are being developed, precise knowledge of their natural history is needed. We aimed to study the long-term disease progression of the most common spinocerebellar ataxias: SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, and SCA6. Furthermore, we aimed to establish the order and occurrence of non-ataxia symptoms, and identify predictors of disease progression. Methods: In this longitudinal cohort study (EUROSCA), we enrolled men and women with positive genetic testing for SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, or SCA6 and with progressive, otherwise unexplained ataxia who were aged 18 years or older from 17 ataxia referral centres in ten European countries. Patients were seen every year for 3 years, and at irregular intervals thereafter. The primary outcome was the scale for the assessment and rating of ataxia (SARA), and the inventory of non-ataxia signs (INAS). We used linear mixed models to analyse progression. To account for dropouts, we applied a pattern-mixture model. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02440763. Findings: Between July 1, 2005, and Aug 31, 2006, 526 patients with SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, or SCA6 were enrolled. We analysed data for 462 patients with at least one follow-up visit. Median observation time was 49 months (IQR 35-72). SARA progression data were best fitted with a linear model in all genotypes. Annual SARA score increase was 2·11 (SE 0·12) in patients with SCA1, 1·49 (0·07) in patients with SCA2, 1·56 (0·08) in patients with SCA3, and 0·80 (0·09) in patients with SCA6. The increase of the number of non-ataxia signs reached a plateau in SCA1, SCA2, and SCA3. In patients with SCA6, the number of non-ataxia symptoms increased linearly, but more slowly than in patients with SCA1, SCA2, and SCA3 (p<0·0001). Factors that were associated with faster progression of the SARA score were short duration of follow-up (p=0·0179), older age at inclusion (0.04 [SE 0·02] per additional year; p=0·0476), and longer repeat expansions (0·06 [SE 0·02] per additional repeat unit; p=0·0128) in SCA1, short duration of follow-up (p<0·0001), lower age at onset (-0·02 [SE 0·01] per additional year; p=0·0014), and lower baseline SARA score (-0·02 [SE 0·01] per additional SARA point; p=0·0083) in SCA2, and lower baseline SARA score (-0·03 [SE 0·01] per additional SARA point; p=0·0195) in SCA6. In SCA3, we did not identify factors that affected progression of the SARA score. Interpretation: Our study provides quantitative data on the progression of the most common spinocerebellar ataxias based on a follow-up period that exceeds those of previous studies. Our data could prove useful for sample size calculation and patient stratification in interventional trials. Funding: EU FP6 (EUROSCA), German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF; GeneMove), Polish Ministry of Science, EU FP7 (NEUROMICS).
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · The Lancet Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Background Autosomal recessive (AR) spastic paraplegia type 5 (SPG5) is due to mutations in the CYP7B1 gene, encoding for the cytochrome P450-7B1, responsible for oxysterols 7α-hydroxylation. Oxysterol/cholestenoic acids pool plays a role in motor neuron survival and immune response. SPG5 is characterized by white matter abnormalities at brain resonance imaging (MRI). In view of clinical presentation and MRI findings, multiple sclerosis (MS) is a possible differential diagnosis of SPG5. This study aimed to evaluate the frequency of CYP7B1 mutations in patients with MS.Methods One hundred and seventeen MS patients with clinical spastic paraplegia or possible AR transmission were selected for the mutational screening.ResultsForty-three patients had primary progressive, 26 relapsing remitting, 26 secondary progressive, and 22 relapsing progressive MS clinical course. No CYP7B1 homozygous mutations were identified. Two novel variants and one pathogenic mutation were found at heterozygous state.Conclusions The two novel variants cosegregated with pyramidal signs and autoimmune diseases suggesting that they might be susceptibility factors. Reduced cytochrome P450-7B1 enzymatic activity could alter the balance among neurotoxic and neuroprotective oxysterols promoting motor neuron degeneration and/or immune response.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Acta Neurologica Scandinavica
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jul 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Plasticity of the primary motor cortex (M1) has a critical role in motor control and learning. The cerebellum facilitates these functions using sensory feedback. We investigated how cerebellar degeneration influences the plasticity of the M1 by using PAS (paired associative stimulation) technique. PAS involves repeated pairs of electrical stimuli to the median nerve and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex. If the interval between peripheral and TMS stimulation is around 21-25 ms, corticospinal excitability is increased via a long term potentiation (LTP)-like effect within M1. Our aims were: (i) to explore the presence of a time-specific influence of cerebellar degeneration on human associative plasticity; (ii) to evaluate the role played by somatosensory pathway on cerebellar modulation of sensory-motor plasticity. We studied 10 patients with pure cerebellar atrophy and 10 age-matched healthy subjects. Motor-evoked-potentials amplitudes, short-afferent inhibition (SAI), motor thresholds, I/O curves, somatosensory-evoked-potential (SEP) were measured before, just after and 30 min after PAS at ISIs (interstimulus intervals) of 21.5 and 25 ms. Cerebellar patients show a selective lack of LTP-like effect induced by PAS25 ms, but not at 21.5 ms. SAI was overall not truly modulated by PAS but clearly differed between cerebellar patients and healthy subjects for ISIs around 25 ms (+6 ms and +8 ms) (P < 0.01). SEPs showed the amplitude of P25 wave was markedly reduced in patients with a more severe clinical and radiological impairment of cerebellum. Cerebellar patients have an altered capability of cerebellar filtering or processing of time-specific incoming sensory volleys, influencing the plasticity of M1. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Brain Stimulation
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to investigate the integrity of the Resting State Networks in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) and the correlations between the modification of these networks and clinical variables. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) data from 19 SCA2 patients and 29 healthy controls were analyzed using an independent component analysis and dual regression, controlling at voxel level for the effect of atrophy by co-varying for gray matter volume. Correlations between the resting state networks alterations and disease duration, age at onset, number of triplets, and clinical score were assessed by Spearman's coefficient, for each cluster which was significantly different in SCA2 patients compared with healthy controls. In SCA2 patients, disruption of the cerebellar components of all major resting state networks was present, with supratentorial involvement only for the default mode network. When controlling at voxel level for gray matter volume, the reduction in functional connectivity in supratentorial regions of the default mode network, and in cerebellar regions within the default mode, executive and right fronto-parietal networks, was still significant. No correlations with clinical variables were found for any of the investigated resting state networks. The SCA2 patients show significant alterations of the resting state networks, only partly explained by the atrophy. The default mode network is the only resting state network that shows also supratentorial changes, which appear unrelated to the cortical gray matter volume. Further studies are needed to assess the clinical significance of these changes. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Movement Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA) variants that cause Gaucher disease are associated with Parkinson disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). To investigate the role of GBA variants in multiple system atrophy (MSA), we analyzed GBA variants in a large case-control series. We sequenced coding regions and flanking splice sites of GBA in 969 MSA patients (574 Japanese, 223 European, and 172 North American) and 1509 control subjects (900 Japanese, 315 European, and 294 North American). We focused solely on Gaucher-disease-causing GBA variants. In the Japanese series, we found nine carriers among the MSA patients (1.65%) and eight carriers among the control subjects (0.89%). In the European series, we found three carriers among the MSA patients (1.35%) and two carriers among the control subjects (0.63%). In the North American series, we found five carriers among the MSA patients (2.91%) and one carrier among the control subjects (0.34%). Subjecting each series to a Mantel-Haenszel analysis yielded a pooled odds ratio (OR) of 2.44 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14-5.21) and a P-value of 0.029 without evidence of significant heterogeneity. Logistic regression analysis yielded similar results, with an adjusted OR of 2.43 (95% CI 1.15-5.37) and a P-value of 0.022. Subtype analysis showed that Gaucher-disease-causing GBA variants are significantly associated with MSA cerebellar subtype (MSA-C) patients (P = 7.3 × 10(-3)). The findings indicate that, as in PD and DLB, Gaucher-disease-causing GBA variants are associated with MSA.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015
  • Giuseppe De Michele · Alessandro Filla

    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Nature Reviews Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: The family of genes implicated in hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) is quickly expanding, mostly owing to the widespread availability of next-generation DNA sequencing methods. Nevertheless, a genetic diagnosis remains unavailable for many patients. To identify the genetic cause for a novel form of pure autosomal dominant HSP. We examined and followed up with a family presenting to a tertiary referral center for evaluation of HSP for a decade until August 2014. Whole-exome sequencing was performed in 4 patients from the same family and was integrated with linkage analysis. Sanger sequencing was used to confirm the presence of the candidate variant in the remaining affected and unaffected members of the family and screen the additional patients with HSP. Five affected and 6 unaffected participants from a 3-generation family with pure adult-onset autosomal dominant HSP of unknown genetic origin were included. Additionally, 163 unrelated participants with pure HSP of unknown genetic cause were screened. Mutation in the neuronal isoform of carnitine palmitoyl-transferase (CPT1C) gene. We identified the nucleotide substitution c.109C>T in exon 3 of CPT1C, which determined the base substitution of an evolutionarily conserved Cys residue for an Arg in the gene product. This variant strictly cosegregated with the disease phenotype and was absent in online single-nucleotide polymorphism databases and in 712 additional exomes of control participants. We showed that CPT1C, which localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum, is expressed in motor neurons and interacts with atlastin-1, an endoplasmic reticulum protein encoded by the ATL1 gene known to be mutated in pure HSPs. The mutation, as indicated by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies, alters the protein conformation and reduces the mean (SD) number (213.0 [46.99] vs 81.9 [14.2]; P < .01) and size (0.29 [0.01] vs 0.26 [0.01]; P < .05) of lipid droplets on overexpression in cells. We also observed a reduction of mean (SD) lipid droplets in primary cortical neurons isolated from Cpt1c-/- mice as compared with wild-type mice (1.0 [0.12] vs 0.44 [0.05]; P < .001), suggesting a dominant negative mechanism for the mutation. This study expands the genetics of autosomal dominant HSP and is the first, to our knowledge, to link mutation in CPT1C with a human disease. The association of the CPT1C mutation with changes in lipid droplet biogenesis supports a role for altered lipid-mediated signal transduction in HSP pathogenesis.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · JAMA Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Twenty-five patients with Niemann Pick disease type C (age range: 7 months to 44 years) were enrolled in an Italian independent multicenter trial and treated with miglustat for periods from 48 to 96 months. Based on the age at onset of neurological manifestations patients’ phenotypes were classified as: adult (n = 6), juvenile (n = 9), late infantile (n = 6), early infantile (n = 2). Two patients had an exclusively visceral phenotype. We clinically evaluated patients’ neurological involvement, giving a score of severity ranging from 0 (best) to 3 (worst) for gait abnormalities, dystonia, dysmetria, dysarthria, and developmental delay/cognitive impairment, and from 0 to 4 for dysphagia. We calculated a mean composite severity score transforming the original scores proportionally to range from 0 to 1 to summarize the clinical picture of patients and monitor their clinical course. We compared the results after 24 months of treatment in 23 patients showing neurological manifestations. Stabilization or improvement of all parameters was observed in the majority of patients. With the exception of developmental delay/cognitive impairment, these results persisted after 48–96 months in 41 – 55% of the patients (dystonia: 55%, dysarthria: 50%, gait abnormalities: 43%, dysmetria: 41%, respectively). After 24 months of therapy the majority of the evaluable patients (n = 20), demonstrated a stabilization or improvement in the ability to swallow four substances of different consistency (water: 65%, purée: 58%, little pasta: 60%, biscuit: 55%). These results persisted after 48–96 months in 40-50% of patients, with the exception of water swallowing. Stabilization or improvement of the composite severity score was detected in the majority (57%) of 7 patients who were treated early (within 3.5 years from onset) and rarely in patients who received treatment later. The results of this study suggest that miglustat treatment can improve or stabilize neurological manifestations, at least for a period of time; the severity of clinical conditions at the beginning of treatment can influence the rate of disease progression. This conclusion applies particularly to patients with juvenile or adult onset of the disease. Trial registration EudraCT number 2006-005842-35
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Progressive myoclonus epilepsies (PMEs) are a group of rare, inherited disorders manifesting with action myoclonus, tonic-clonic seizures and ataxia. We sequenced the exomes of 84 unrelated individuals with PME of unknown cause and molecularly solved 26 cases (31%). Remarkably, a recurrent de novo mutation, c.959G>A (p.Arg320His), in KCNC1 was identified as a new major cause for PME. Eleven unrelated exome-sequenced (13%) and two affected individuals in a secondary cohort (7%) had this mutation. KCNC1 encodes KV3.1, a subunit of the KV3 voltage-gated potassium ion channels, which are major determinants of high-frequency neuronal firing. Functional analysis of the Arg320His mutant channel showed a dominant-negative loss-of-function effect. Ten cases had pathogenic mutations in known PME-associated genes (NEU1, NHLRC1, AFG3L2, EPM2A, CLN6 and SERPINI1). Identification of mutations in PRNP, SACS and TBC1D24 expand their phenotypic spectra to PME. These findings provide insights into the molecular genetic basis of PME and show the role of de novo mutations in this disease entity.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Nature Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is an autosomal dominant disorder. Lithium is able to stimulate autophagy, and to reduce Ca 2? efflux from the inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate receptor. We designed a phase II, ran-domized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 48-week trial with lithium carbonate in 20 patients with SCA2. The pri-mary objective was to determine safety and tolerability of lithium. The secondary objectives were to determine dis-ease progression, quality of life, mood, and brain volume change. Sixteen patients completed the trial, 8 randomized to lithium, 8 to placebo. Forty adverse events (AEs) were reported during the trial, twenty-eight in the lithium and 12 in the placebo group (p = 0.11). Mean AE duration was 57.4 ± 60.8 and 77.4 ± 68.5 days (p = 0.37). Non-sig-nificant differences were observed for the SARA and for brain volume change, whereas a significant reduction in the BDI-II was observed for lithium group (p \ 0.05). Lithium was well tolerated and reported AEs were similar to those previously described for bipolar disorder patients. A cor-rectly powered phase III trial is needed to assess if lithium may slow disease progression in SCA2.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Metabolic ataxias are rare. They usually start in the childhood and often have autosomal recessive inheritance. They may also present in adulthood. The diagnosis is important since some patients may be successfully managed with diet and treatments.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Current Molecular Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Polyglutamine-coding (CAG)n repeat expansions in seven different genes cause spinocerebellar ataxias. Although the size of the expansion is negatively correlated with age at onset, it accounts for only 50–70% of its variability. To find other factors involved in this variability, we performed a regression analysis in 1255 affected individuals with identified expansions (spinocerebellar ataxia types 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7), recruited through the European Consortium on Spinocerebellar Ataxias, to determine whether age at onset is influenced by the size of the normal allele in eight causal (CAG)n-containing genes (ATXN1–3, 6–7, 17, ATN1 and HTT). We confirmed the negative effect of the expanded allele and detected threshold effects reflected by a quadratic association between age at onset and CAG size in spinocerebellar ataxia types 1, 3 and 6. We also evidenced an interaction between the expanded and normal alleles in trans in individuals with spinocerebellar ataxia types 1, 6 and 7. Except for individuals with spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, age at onset was also influenced by other (CAG)n-containing genes: ATXN7 in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2; ATXN2, ATN1 and HTT in spinocerebellar ataxia type 3; ATXN1 and ATXN3 in spinocerebellar ataxia type 6; and ATXN3 and TBP in spinocerebellar ataxia type 7. This suggests that there are biological relationships among these genes. The results were partially replicated in four independent populations representing 460 Caucasians and 216 Asian samples; the differences are possibly explained by ethnic or geographical differences. As the variability in age at onset is not completely explained by the effects of the causative and modifier sister genes, other genetic or environmental factors must also play a role in these diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Brain

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques
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    Preview · Article · Jun 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Erythropoietin (EPO) derivatives have been found to increase frataxin levels in Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) in vitro. This multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II clinical trial aimed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of Lu AA24493 (carbamylated EPO; CEPO). Thirty-six ambulatory FRDA patients harboring >400 GAA repeats were 2:1 randomly assigned to either CEPO in a fixed dose (325 µg thrice-weekly) or placebo. Safety and tolerability were assessed up to 103 days after baseline. Secondary outcome measures of efficacy (exploration of biomarkers and ataxia ratings) were performed up to 43 days after baseline. All patients received six doses of study medication. Adverse events were equally distributed between CEPO and placebo. There was no evidence for immunogenicity of CEPO after multiple dosing. Biomarkers, such as frataxin, or measures for oxidative stress and ataxia ratings did not differ between CEPO and placebo. CEPO was safe and well tolerated in a 2-week treatment phase. Secondary outcome measures remained without apparent difference between CEPO and placebo. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Movement Disorders

Publication Stats

9k Citations
1,386.09 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993-2015
    • University of Naples Federico II
      • Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 1986-2007
    • Second University of Naples
      Caserta, Campania, Italy
  • 2002
    • National Research Council
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2001
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      • Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic Medicine and Orthopedic Science
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1994
    • University of Milan
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
    • Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 1990
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      • Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1987
    • Policlinico Federico II di Napoli
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 1983
    • University of Bologna
      Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
    • Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
      Bari, Apulia, Italy