Abstract

Objective
The aim of this work was to evaluate the preprogressive phase in subjects with radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS) who evolve to primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS).

Methods
A multicenter RIS cohort was previously established. Demographic, clinical, and radiological characteristics of subjects with RIS that evolved directly to PPMS were compared to those that developed a relapsing disease course from onset (clinically isolated syndrome [CIS] or relapsing-remitting MS) and were also compared to two other population- and clinic-based PPMS cohorts.

Results
Of the 453 subjects with RIS, 128 evolved to symptomatic MS during the follow-up (113 developed a first acute clinical event consistent with CIS/MS, 15 evolved to PPMS). PPMS prevalence (11.7%) and onset age (mean ± standard deviation; 49.1 ± 12.1) in the RIS group were comparable to other PPMS populations (p > 0.05). Median time to PPMS was 3.5 years (range, 1.6–5.4). RIS evolved to PPMS more commonly in men (p = 0.005) and at an older age (p < 0.001) when compared to CIS/MS, independent of follow-up duration. Subjects who evolved to PPMS had more spinal cord lesions (100%) before symptomatic evolution than those that developed CIS/MS (64%) and those that remained asymptomatic (23%) within the follow-up period (P = 0.005). Other MRI characteristics in the preprogressive phase of PPMS were indistinguishable from CIS/MS.

Interpretation
Subjects with RIS evolve to PPMS at the same frequency as expected from general MS populations in an age-dependent manner. Besides age, unequivocal presence of spinal cord lesions and being male predicted evolution to PPMS. Our findings further suggest that RIS is biologically part of the MS spectrum. Ann Neurol 2016;79:288–294

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Abstract

Objective
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) attacks often are severe, are difficult to treat, and leave residual deficits. Here, we analyzed the frequency, sequence, and efficacy of therapies used for NMO attacks.

Methods
A retrospective review was made of patient records to assess demographic/diagnostic data, attack characteristics, therapies, and the short-term remission status (complete remission [CR], partial remission [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 (GEEs), a patient-based statistical approach.

Results
A total of 871 attacks in 185 patients (142 NMO/43 NMOSD, 82% female) were analyzed. The 1,153 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 test). Remission rates were higher for isolated optic neuritis versus isolated myelitis (p < 0.001), and for unilateral versus 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 (odds ratio [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 versus HD-S (OR = 4.38, p = 0.006).

Interpretation
Particularly myelitis and bilateral optic neuritis have poor remission rates. Escalation of attack therapy improves outcome. PE/IA may increase recovery in isolated myelitis. Ann Neurol 2016;79:206–216

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This article analyses data collected in the extension phase of TEMSO study, assessing teriflunomide efficacy and safety in RRMS.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
To report safety and efficacy outcomes from up to 9 years of treatment with teriflunomide in an extension (NCT00803049) of the pivotal phase 3 Teriflunomide Multiple Sclerosis Oral (TEMSO) trial (NCT00134563).

METHODS:
A total of 742 patients entered the extension. Teriflunomide-treated patients continued the original dose; those previously receiving placebo were randomized 1:1 to teriflunomide 14 mg or 7 mg.

RESULTS:
By June 2013, median (maximum) teriflunomide exposure exceeded 190 (325) weeks per patient; 468 patients (63%) remained on treatment. Teriflunomide was well-tolerated with continued exposure. The most common adverse events (AEs) matched those in the core study. In extension year 1, first AEs of transient liver enzyme increases or reversible hair thinning were generally attributable to patients switching from placebo to teriflunomide. Approximately 11% of patients discontinued treatment owing to AEs. Twenty percent of patients experienced serious AEs. There were 3 deaths unrelated to teriflunomide. Soon after the extension started, annualized relapse rates and gadolinium-enhancing T1 lesion counts fell in patients switching from placebo to teriflunomide, remaining low thereafter. Disability remained stable in all treatment groups (median Expanded Disability Status Scale score ≤2.5; probability of 12-week disability progression ≤0.48).

CONCLUSIONS:
In the TEMSO extension, safety observations were consistent with the core trial, with no new or unexpected AEs in patients receiving teriflunomide for up to 9 years. Disease activity decreased in patients switching from placebo and remained low in patients continuing on teriflunomide.

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An article recently published in the European Journal of Neurology

Abstract

Background and purpose
The role of chitinases and chitinase-like proteins in multiple sclerosis (MS) is currently unknown; however, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) predict prognosis in early MS. Whether this applies to other chitinases and chitinase-like proteins is yet to be established. Our objective was to investigate the potential of chitinase 3-like 2 (CHI3L2) and chitotriosidase as prognostic biomarkers in optic neuritis (ON) as the first demyelinating episode and to evaluate the ability of CHI3L2 to predict long-term MS risk and disability.

Methods
In a prospective cohort of 73 patients with ON as a first demyelinating episode and 26 age-matched healthy controls levels of CHI3L2 and chitotriosidase in CSF were explored by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Associations with magnetic resonance imaging white matter lesions, CSF oligoclonal bands, immunoglobulin G index and leukocyte count were investigated. Long-term MS risk and disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale, Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite components) were examined in a retrospective cohort of 78 patients with ON as the first demyelinating episode (mean follow-up 14 years). The predictive ability of CHI3L2 was compared with CHI3L1.

Results
Cerebrospinal fluid levels of CHI3L2 and chitotriosidase were significantly elevated in patients with ON and were associated with MS risk measures. CHI3L2 levels predicted MS development after ON (hazard ratio 1.95, P = 0.00039, Cox regression) and cognitive impairment by the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (P = 0.0357, linear regression) at follow-up. In a multivariate analysis of MS risk, CHI3L2 performed better than CHI3L1.

Conclusions
CHI3L2 and chitotriosidase are promising biomarkers in patients with a first demyelinating episode. Our findings thus support a role for these proteins as biomarkers in early MS.

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