[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glatiramer acetate (GA) is an approved therapy for relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis, but its efficacy for the prevention of attacks in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) remains unknown. We did a multicenter retrospective analysis of GA-treated patients with NMOSD, identified through a national registry. Annualized relapse rate and expanded disability status scale (EDSS) were the main outcome measures. We identified 23 GA-treated patients (21 female, 16 aquaporin-4 antibody-positive). GA was given for <6 months in seven patients; reasons for stopping were relapses (n = 3), confirmation of NMOSD (n = 2) and side effects (n = 2). Of 16 patients treated ≥6 months with GA (15 female, 11 aquaporin-4 antibody-positive), 14 experienced at least one relapse. There was no reduction in the mean annualized relapse rate in the total group (1.9 ± 1.1 before vs. 1.8 ± 1.4 during GA therapy), as well as in those patients who were aquaporin-4 antibody-positive, or had a history of prior immunotherapy or not. The median EDSS increased (2.5 start vs. 3.5 finish of GA, P < 0.05). GA therapy was discontinued in 15/16 patients; reasons were therapeutic inefficacy in 13 and post-injection skin reactions in two patients. We conclude that GA is not beneficial for preventing attacks in most patients with NMOSD, particularly in aquaporin-4 antibody-positive cases.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) effector functions are regulated by the composition of glycans attached to a conserved N-glycosylation site in the Fc part. Intrathecal production of IgG, especially IgG1, is a hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS), but nothing is known about IgG Fc glycosylation in MS and in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in general.
We applied mass spectrometry of tryptic Fc glycopeptides to analyze IgG Fc glycosylation (sialylation, galactosylation, fucosylation, and bisecting N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc)) in 48 paired CSF and serum samples from adult patients with MS or a first demyelinating event highly suggestive of MS (designated as MS cases), and from healthy volunteers and patients with other non-inflammatory diseases (control group). p values were adjusted for multiple testing.
Our experiments revealed four main results. First, IgG1 glycosylation patterns were different in CSF vs. serum, in the MS group and even in control donors without intrathecal IgG synthesis. Second, in MS patients vs. controls, IgG1 glycosylation patterns were altered in CSF, but not in serum. Specifically, in CSF from the MS group, bisecting GlcNAc were elevated, and afucosylation and galactosylation were reduced. Elevated bisecting GlcNAc and reduced galactosylation are known to enhance IgG effector functions. Third, hypothesis-free regression analysis revealed that alterations of afucosylation and bisecting GlcNAc in CSF from MS cases peaked 2-3 months after the last relapse. Fourth, CSF IgG1 glycosylation correlated with the degree of intrathecal IgG synthesis and CSF cell count.
The CNS compartment as well as the inflammatory milieu in MS affect IgG1 Fc glycosylation. In MS, the CSF IgG1 glycosylation has features that enhance Fc effector functions.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Neuroinflammation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite pleiotropic immunomodulatory effects of apolipoprotein E (apoE) in vitro, its effects on the clinical course of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and multiple sclerosis (MS) are still controversial. As sex hormones modify immunomodulatory apoE functions, they may explain contentious findings. This study aimed to investigate sex-specific effects of apoE on disease course of EAE and MS.
MOG 35-55 induced EAE in female and male apoE-deficient mice was assessed clinically and histopathologically. apoE expression was investigated by qPCR. The association of the MS severity score (MSSS) and APOE rs429358 and rs7412 was assessed across 3237 MS patients using linear regression analyses.
EAE disease course was slightly attenuated in male apoE-deficient (apoE −/− ) mice compared to wildtype mice (cumulative median score: apoE −/− = 2 [IQR 0.0–4.5]; wildtype = 4 [IQR 1.0–5.0]; n = 10 each group, p = 0.0002). In contrast, EAE was more severe in female apoE −/− mice compared to wildtype mice (cumulative median score: apoE −/− = 3 [IQR 2.0–4.5]; wildtype = 3 [IQR 0.0–4.0]; n = 10, p = 0.003). In wildtype animals, apoE expression during the chronic EAE phase was increased in both females and males (in comparison to naïve animals; p < 0.001). However, in MS, we did not observe a significant association between MSSS and rs429358 or rs7412, neither in the overall analyses nor upon stratification for sex.
apoE exerts moderate sex-specific effects on EAE severity. However, the results in the apoE knock-out model are not comparable to effects of polymorphic variants in the human APOE gene, thus pinpointing the challenge of translating findings from the EAE model to the human disease.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Neuroinflammation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease. Over the last decades therapeutic options have broadened tremendously. Nevertheless, various therapeutic agents, e.g., rituximab, are currently used in the treatment of MS off label. Disease or health registries are useful methods to collect information about off-label treatments. The German registry for autoimmune disease (GRAID) is a multicenter, retrospective, non-interventional database of patients with various autoimmune diseases.
The aim of this observational analysis is to present safety data of rituximab in the treatment of MS and neuromyelitis optica (NMO) in a real life clinical setting based on the available registry data.
Data were collected nationwide in patients who received rituximab. 56 patients were treated with rituximab for MS or NMO. Average observation period was 9.6 months (SD 7.6, ranging from 6 to 29.7 months). Interval between treatments cycles differed tremendously (ranging from 0 to 21 months, median 10 months). Number of infusions ranged from 1 up to more than 8. The analysis provides experience on almost 50 patient years. Infusion related reactions were most common and reported in four patients; infections were seen in three patients (two of them were hospitalized for urinary tract infection and urosepsis). All patients recovered from infection. Full treatment response was attested in a quarter of the patients; two thirds benefited partially from treatment.
Safety data of almost 50 patient years of treatment with rituximab show that rituximab is tolerated well in MS/NMO patients. Infections and infusion reactions are the most common adverse events. Our data may help the individual physician to balance efficacy of rituximab against the risk. • Data on rituximab in MS and NMO are provided for almost 50 patientyears • Rituximab was tolerated well • No unexpected side effects were seen • Almost 80 % of the patients benefited at least partially from treatment.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) attacks are often severe, difficult to treat, and leave residual deficits. Here, we analyzed the frequency, sequence, and efficacy of therapies used for NMO attacks.
Retrospective review of patient records to assess demographic/diagnostic data, attack characteristics, therapies, and the short-term remission status (complete, CR; partial, PR; no remission, NR). Inclusion criteria were NMO according to Wingerchuk's 2006 criteria or aquaporin-4 antibody-positive NMO spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Remission status was analyzed with generalized estimating equations (GEE), a patient-based statistical approach.
871 attacks in 185 patients (142 NMO/43 NMOSD, 82% female) were analyzed. The 1153 treatment courses comprised high-dose intravenous steroids (HD-S, n=810), plasma exchange (PE, n=192), immunoadsorption (IA, n=38), other (n=80), and unknown (n=33) therapies. The first treatment course led to CR in 19.1%, PR in 64.5%, and NR in 16.4% of attacks. Second, third, fourth, and fifth treatment courses were given in 28.2%, 7.1%, 1.4%, and 0.5% of attacks, respectively. This escalation of attack therapy significantly improved outcome (p<0.001, Bowker's test). Remission rates were higher for isolated optic neuritis vs. isolated myelitis (p<0.001,), and for unilateral vs. bilateral optic neuritis (p=0.020). Isolated myelitis responded better to PE/IA than to HD-S as first treatment course (p=0.037). Predictors of CR in multivariate GEE analysis were age (OR=0.97; p=0.011), presence of myelitis (OR=0.38; p=0.002), CR from previous attack (OR=6.85; p<0.001), and first-line PE/IA vs. HD-S (OR=4.38; p=0.006).
Particularly myelitis and bilateral ON have poor remission rates. Escalation of attack therapy improves outcome. PE/IA may increase recovery in isolated myelitis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Annals of Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) successfully identified various chromosomal regions to be associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). The primary aim of this study was to replicate reported associations from GWAS using an exome array in a large German study. German MS cases (n = 4,476) and German controls (n = 5,714) were genotyped using the Illumina HumanExome v1-Chip. Genotype calling was performed with the Illumina Genome Studio(TM) Genotyping Module, followed by zCall. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in seven regions outside the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region showed genome-wide significant associations with MS (P values < 5 × 10(-8) ). These associations have been reported previously. In addition, SNPs in three previously reported regions outside the HLA region yielded P values < 10(-5) . The effect of nine SNPs in the HLA region remained (P < 10(-5) ) after adjustment for other significant SNPs in the HLA region. All of these findings have been reported before or are driven by known risk loci. In summary, findings from previous GWAS for MS could be successfully replicated. We conclude that the regions identified in previous GWAS are also associated in the German population. This reassures the need for detailed investigations of the functional mechanisms underlying the replicated associations.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Genetic Epidemiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
A recent large-scale study in multiple sclerosis (MS) using the ImmunoChip platform reported on 11 loci that showed suggestive genetic association with MS. Additional data in sufficiently sized and independent data sets are needed to assess whether these loci represent genuine MS risk factors.
The lead SNPs of all 11 loci were genotyped in 10 796 MS cases and 10 793 controls from Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Russia, that were independent from the previously reported cohorts. Association analyses were performed using logistic regression based on an additive model. Summary effect size estimates were calculated using fixed-effect meta-analysis.
Seven of the 11 tested SNPs showed significant association with MS susceptibility in the 21 589 individuals analysed here. Meta-analysis across our and previously published MS case-control data (total sample size n=101 683) revealed novel genome-wide significant association with MS susceptibility (p<5×10(-8)) for all seven variants. This included SNPs in or near LOC100506457 (rs1534422, p=4.03×10(-12)), CD28 (rs6435203, p=1.35×10(-9)), LPP (rs4686953, p=3.35×10(-8)), ETS1 (rs3809006, p=7.74×10(-9)), DLEU1 (rs806349, p=8.14×10(-12)), LPIN3 (rs6072343, p=7.16×10(-12)) and IFNGR2 (rs9808753, p=4.40×10(-10)). Cis expression quantitative locus effects were observed in silico for rs6435203 on CD28 and for rs9808753 on several immunologically relevant genes in the IFNGR2 locus.
This study adds seven loci to the list of genuine MS genetic risk factors and further extends the list of established loci shared across autoimmune diseases.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Medical Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Natalizumab treatment is associated with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) development. Treatment duration, prior immunosuppressant use, and JCV serostatus are currently used for risk stratification, but PML incidence stays high. Anti-JCV antibody index and L-selectin (CD62L) have been proposed as additional risk stratification parameters.OBJECTIVE:This study aimed at verifying and integrating both parameters into one algorithm for risk stratification.METHODS:Multicentric, international cohorts of natalizumab-treated MS patients were assessed for JCV index (1921 control patients and nine pre-PML patients) and CD62L (1410 control patients and 17 pre-PML patients).RESULTS:CD62L values correlate with JCV serostatus, as well as JCV index values. Low CD62L in natalizumab-treated patients was confirmed and validated as a biomarker for PML risk with the risk factor "CD62L low" increasing a patient's relative risk 55-fold (p < 0.0001). Validation efforts established 86% sensitivity/91% specificity for CD62L and 100% sensitivity/59% specificity for JCV index as predictors of PML. Using both parameters identified 1.9% of natalizumab-treated patients in the reference center as the risk group.CONCLUSIONS:Both JCV index and CD62L have merit for risk stratification and share a potential biological relationship with implications for general PML etiology. A risk algorithm incorporating both biomarkers could strongly reduce PML incidence.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Multiple Sclerosis
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
To explore long-term effects of treatment and prognostic relevance of variables assessed at baseline and during the European secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) trial of interferon beta 1b (IFNB-1b).
We assessed 362 patients (60% female; median age 41 years; Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS): 5.5; 51% randomized to IFNB-1b) for their EDSS and treatment history after 10 years. Non-parametric analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and multivariate linear regression models were applied.
Median EDSS was 6.0 at the end of the randomized controlled trial (RCT), in the IFNB-1b and placebo groups, and 7.0 in long-term follow-up patients (those receiving IFNB-1b in the RCT were 6.5 and those receiving placebo in the RCT were 7.0; p = 0.086). 24 patients (6.6%) were deceased. The EDSS at baseline and the EDSS change during the RCT were the most important predictors of the EDSS 10 years later (partial R(2): 0.47). The ability to predict changes in EDSS 10 years after the RCT was limited (R(2): 0.12). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures remained in the predictive models, but explained < 5% of the variability.
The results from this analysis did not provide convincing evidence to support a favorable long-term outcome in those patients allocated IFNB-1b during the RCT, in our SPMS cohort. The progressive stage of the disease remains largely unpredictable by clinical and conventional MRI measures, so better prognostic markers are needed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years the approval of new substances has led to a substantial increase in the number of course-modifying immunotherapies available for multiple sclerosis. Therapy conversion therefore represents an increasing challenge. The treatment options sometimes show complex adverse effect profiles and necessitate a long-term and comprehensive monitoring. This article presents an overview of therapy conversion of immunotherapies for multiple sclerosis in accordance with the recommendations of the Disease-Related Competence Network for Multiple Sclerosis and the German Multiple Sclerosis Society as well as the guidelines on diagnostics and therapy for multiple sclerosis of the German Society of Neurology and the latest research results. At the present point in time it should be noted that no studies have been carried out for most of the approaches for therapy conversion given here; however, the recommendations are based on theoretical considerations and therefore correspond to recommendations at the level of expert consensus, which is currently essential for the clinical daily routine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the frequency of the cryoporin/NLRP3 low-penetrance mutations V198M and Q703K in patients who reported at least 2 symptoms compatible with cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) and to characterize the phenotype in mutation-positive patients.
The frequency of the V198M and Q703K mutations was investigated in a selected cohort of 108 patients from our neuroimmunology department. We describe the clinical, neurologic, immunologic, and neuroradiologic features of the mutation carriers.
Seventeen patients (16%) tested positive for either of the 2 mutations (V198M: n = 2; Q703K: n = 15). Eleven patients (65%) had severe headache syndromes. Six of these 11 patients were diagnosed with migraine. Nine patients (53%) had a concomitant diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). In 3 patients, we identified additional family members with the respective mutation as well as the diagnosis of MS. Severe recurrent cranial nerve (CN) affection was the hallmark feature in 7 of the 8 (88%) non-MS mutation carriers. Brain MRI showed abnormalities in all but 2 patients (88%) and detected CN inflammation in 4 patients. Interleukin-6 was elevated in the CSF of 2 patients in the non-MS cohort during acute CAPS episodes with severe CNS inflammation. 5 of 9 treated patients (56%) responded to anti-interleukin-1 therapy.
CAPS constitute rare but treatable and commonly misdiagnosed autoinflammatory syndromes. Our data expand the spectrum of CAPS-associated neurologic manifestations. They also broaden our concept of autoimmunity and autoinflammation by linking CAPS and MS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-Ab)-positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is a rare but often severe autoimmune disease with median onset around 40 years of age. We report characteristics of three very-late-onset NMOSD (including complete NMO) patients >75 years of age, in whom this diagnosis initially seemed unlikely because of their age and age-associated concomitant diseases, and briefly review the literature. All three patients, aged 79, 82 and 88 years, presented with a spinal cord syndrome as the first clinical manifestation of AQP4-Ab-positive NMOSD. They all had severe relapses unless immunosuppressive therapy was initiated, and one untreated patient died of a fatal NMOSD course. Two patients developed side effects of immunosuppression. We conclude that a first manifestation of NMOSD should be considered even in patients beyond the age of 75 years with a compatible syndrome, especially longitudinally extensive myelitis. Early diagnosis and treatment are feasible and highly relevant. Special attention is warranted in the elderly to recognize adverse effects of immunosuppressive therapies as early as possible.
No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present histological, MRI, and clinical features of an adult patient with relapsing encephalomyelitis and antibodies against myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG). Furthermore, we report molecular details of the recognized epitope that is specific for human MOG. A brain biopsy revealed multiple sclerosis (MS)-type II pathology. Some features overlapped with both MS and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD), whereas others were distinct from both MS and NMOSD. Immunoadsorption and rituximab induced clinical stabilization. This case contributes a new, so far missing link in the emerging spectrum of MOG-antibody-associated encephalomyelitis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, presumably autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. Early stages of the disease are characterized by conspicuous inflammation of the white and grey matter. During later stages, presumably secondary neurodegeneration leads to physical disability progression. Over the last decade increasingly effective therapeutic options have been approved. Currently 11 immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive therapies targeting relapse rate, disease progression and paraclinical disease activity are available, mostly for relapsing forms of MS. However, the ideal of "precision medicine" is still in the distant future since biomarkers for individualized treatment are lacking. For implementation of risk-management plans to minimize the risk of severe side effects, interdisciplinary collaboration between neurologists and internists is essential. In this review article we summarize practical aspects of the implemented risk-management plans, and discuss possible side effects and special caveats of the three new immunotherapies teriflunomide, dimethyl fumarate, and alemtuzumab. This article is based on, among others, the recently updated guidelines of the German Society of Neurology. Particular attention is given to the risks of new therapies, monitoring, and on special aspects needing attention when changing treatments. Teriflunomide, dimethyl fumarate, and alemtuzumab expand treatment options for relapsing-remitting MS. Treatment selection should take into consideration the safety profile of the substance, previous and concomitant diseases, and other individual factors. This requires in-depth consultation and individual assessment of current disease activity, the potential efficacy of the therapy, and the possible risks and side effects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately 25 % of women with multiple sclerosis (MS) suffer clinically relevant relapses during pregnancy. Almost all disease-modifying drugs are contraindicated in pregnancy. High-dose glucocorticoids have some serious risks, especially within the first trimester. Tryptophan immunoadsorption (IA) provides a safe option to treat MS relapses during pregnancy.
In this case series we describe for the first time the use of tryptophan IA for MS and neuromyelitis optica (NMO) relapses during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
In this study a total of 9 patients were retrospectively analyzed of which 7 patients received IA treatment during pregnancy, 2 during breastfeeding and 4-6 tryptophan IA treatments were performed per patient with the single use tryptophan adsorber. Primary outcome was symptom improvement of the relapse.
In this study four patients with MS and one with NMO relapse during pregnancy were treated with IA without preceding glucocorticoid pulse therapy. The MS patients showed improvement in the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) by at least one point, the NMO patient showed significant improvement in visual acuity and two pregnant patients with steroid-refractory relapses showed clinically relevant improvement after IA. Of the patients two suffered from steroid-refractory relapses during breastfeeding and relapse symptoms improved in both cases after treatment with IA. All treatments were well tolerated and no serious adverse events occurred.
Tryptophan IA was found to be safe, well-tolerated and effective in the treatment of MS and NMO relapses during pregnancy and breastfeeding, sometimes without preceding glucocorticoid pulse therapy. A binding recommendation is limited without prospective clinical studies.