ObjectivesSeizure-related 6 homolog like 2 (SEZ6L2) antibody–associated ataxia is an extremely rare disease. Six patients have been reported and none of them improved significantly with immunotherapy. Herein, we present the case of a patient with cerebellar ataxia and SEZ6L2 antibodies who benefited from immunotherapy, which dramatically altered the course of her disease.MethodsWe present a case report of a 73-year-old woman with progressive balance problems. Her condition had rapidly deteriorated in the 2 weeks before the admission to our hospital leading to repeated falls and eventually left her bed-ridden.ResultsShe presented with severe trunk ataxia, bidirectional nystagmus, dysarthric speech, and persistent nausea. With the exception of cerebellar atrophy, extensive imaging studies revealed no pathology. SEZ6L2 antibodies were found in both CSF and serum. Over a period of 9 months, our patient received immunotherapy consisting of steroid pulse therapy, IV immunoglobulin infusions, rituximab, and cyclophosphamide. Consequently, her condition improved markedly, and she was discharged home from the neurologic rehabilitation unit.DiscussionOur case report shows that intense sequential immunotherapy may considerably improve level of functioning in some patients with SEZ6L2 antibody–associated cerebellar ataxia.Classification of EvidenceThis provides Class IV evidence. It is a single observational study without controls.
Background and ObjectivesDespite detection of autoantibodies, anti-IgLON5 disease was historically considered a tau-associated neurodegenerative disease, with limited treatment options and detrimental consequences for the patients. Observations in increasing case numbers hint toward underlying inflammatory mechanisms that, early detection provided, open a valuable window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention. We aimed to further substantiate this view by studying the CSF of patients with anti-IgLON5.MethodsWe identified 11 patients with anti-IgLON5 from our database and compared clinical, MRI, and CSF findings with a cohort of 20 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) (as a noninflammatory tauopathy) and 22 patients with functional neurologic disorder.ResultsPatients with anti-IgLON5 show inflammatory changes in routine CSF analysis, an increase in B-lymphocyte frequency, and the presence of plasma cells in comparison to the PSP-control group and functional neurologic disease controls. Patients with intrathecal plasma cells showed a clinical response to rituximab.DiscussionOur findings indicate the importance of inflammatory mechanisms, in particular in early and acute anti-IgLON5 cases, which may support the use of immune-suppressive treatments in these cases. The main limitation of the study is the small number of cases due to the rarity of the disease.
Background and ObjectivesImproved biomarkers of neuroprotective treatment are needed in progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS) to facilitate more efficient phase 2 trial design. The MS-STAT randomized controlled trial supported the neuroprotective potential of high-dose simvastatin in secondary progressive MS (SPMS). Here, we analyze serum from the MS-STAT trial to assess the extent to which neurofilament light (NfL) and neurofilament heavy (NfH), both promising biomarkers of neuroaxonal injury, may act as biomarkers of simvastatin treatment in SPMS.MethodsThe MS-STAT trial randomized patients to 80 mg simvastatin or placebo. Serum was analyzed for NfL and NfH using Simoa technology. We used linear mixed models to investigate the treatment effects of simvastatin compared with placebo on NfL and NfH. Additional models examined the relationships between neurofilaments and MRI and clinical measures of disease severity.ResultsA total of 140 patients with SPMS were included. There was no evidence for a simvastatin treatment effect on NfL or NfH: compared with placebo, NfL was 1.2% lower (95% CI 10.6% lower to 9.2% higher; p = 0.820) and NfH was 0.4% lower (95% CI 18.4% lower to 21.6% higher; p = 0.969) in the simvastatin treatment group. Secondary analyses suggested that higher NfL was associated with greater subsequent whole brain atrophy, higher T2 lesion volume, and more new/enlarging T2 lesions in the previous 12 months, as well as greater physical disability. There were no significant associations between NfH and MRI or clinical variables.DiscussionWe found no evidence of a simvastatin treatment effect on serum neurofilaments. While confirmation of the neuroprotective benefits of simvastatin is awaited from the ongoing phase 3 study (NCT03387670), our results suggest that treatments capable of slowing the rate of whole brain atrophy in SPMS, such as simvastatin, may act via mechanisms largely independent of neuroaxonal injury, as quantified by NfL. This has important implications for the design of future phase 2 clinical trials in PMS.Trial Registration InformationMS-STAT: NCT00647348.Classification of EvidenceThis study provides class I evidence that simvastatin treatment does not have a large impact on either serum NfL or NfH, as quantified in this study, in SPMS.
Background and ObjectivesMyelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody–associated disorder (MOGAD) is a rare, autoimmune demyelinating CNS disorder, distinct from multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. Characterized by pathogenic immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against MOG, a potential treatment strategy for MOGAD is to reduce circulating IgG levels, e.g., by interference with the IgG recycling pathway mediated by the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn). Although the optic nerve is often detrimentally involved in MOGAD, the effect of FcRn blockade on the visual pathway has not been assessed. Our objective was to investigate effects of a monoclonal anti-FcRn antibody in murine MOG-IgG–associated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE).MethodsWe induced active MOG35-55 EAE in C57Bl/6 mice followed by the application of a monoclonal MOG-IgG (8-18C5) 10 days postimmunization (dpi). Animals were treated with either a specific monoclonal antibody against FcRn (α-FcRn, 4470) or an isotype-matched control IgG on 7, 10, and 13 dpi. Neurologic disability was scored daily on a 10-point scale. Visual acuity was assessed by optomotor reflex. Histopathologic hallmarks of disease were assessed in the spinal cord, optic nerve, and retina. Immune cell infiltration was visualized by immunohistochemistry, demyelination by Luxol fast blue staining and complement deposition and number of retinal ganglion cells by immunofluorescence.ResultsIn MOG-IgG–augmented MOG35-55 EAE, anti-FcRn treatment significantly attenuated neurologic disability over the course of disease (mean area under the curve and 95% confidence intervals (CIs): α-FcRn [n = 27], 46.02 [37.89–54.15]; isotype IgG [n = 24], 66.75 [59.54–73.96], 3 independent experiments), correlating with reduced amounts of demyelination and macrophage infiltration into the spinal cord. T- and B-cell infiltration and complement deposition remained unchanged. Compared with isotype, anti-FcRn treatment prevented reduction of visual acuity over the course of disease (median cycles/degree and interquartile range: α-FcRn [n = 16], 0.50 [0.48–0.55] to 0.50 [0.48–0.58]; isotype IgG [n = 17], 0.50 [0.49–0.54] to 0.45 [0.39–0.51]).DiscussionWe show preserved optomotor response and ameliorated course of disease after anti-FcRn treatment in an experimental model using a monoclonal MOG-IgG to mimic MOGAD. Selectively targeting FcRn might represent a promising therapeutic approach in MOGAD.
Background and ObjectivesThe central vein sign (CVS), a central linear hypointensity within lesions on T2*-weighted imaging, has been established as a sensitive and specific biomarker for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the CVS has not yet been comprehensively studied in newly developing MS lesions. We aimed to identify the CVS profiles of new white matter lesions in patients with MS followed over time and investigate demographic and clinical risk factors associated with new CVS+ or CVS− lesion development.MethodsIn this retrospective longitudinal cohort study, adults from the NIH MS Natural History Study were considered for inclusion. Participants with new T2 or enhancing lesions were identified through review of the radiology report and/or longitudinal subtraction imaging. Each new lesion was evaluated for the CVS. Clinical characteristics were identified through chart review.ResultsA total of 153 adults (95 relapsing-remitting MS, 27 secondary progressive MS, 16 primary progressive MS, 5 clinically isolated syndrome, and 10 healthy; 67% female) were included. Of this cohort, 96 had at least 1 new T2 or contrast-enhancing lesion during median 3.1 years (Q1–Q3: 0.7–6.3) of follow-up; lesions eligible for CVS evaluation were found in 62 (65%). Of 233 new CVS-eligible lesions, 159 (68%) were CVS+, with 30 (48%) individuals having only CVS+, 12 (19%) only CVS−, and 20 (32%) both CVS+ and CVS− lesions. In gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) lesions, the CVS+ percentage increased from 102/152 (67%) at the first time point where the lesion was observed, to 92/114 (82%) after a median follow-up of 2.8 years. Younger age (OR = 0.5 per 10-year increase, 95% CI = 0.3–0.8) and higher CVS+ percentage at baseline (OR = 1.4 per 10% increase, 95% CI = 1.1–1.9) were associated with increased likelihood of new CVS+ lesion development.DiscussionIn a cohort of adults with MS followed over a median duration of 3 years, most newly developing T2 or enhancing lesions were CVS+ (68%), and nearly half (48%) developed new CVS+ lesions only. Importantly, the effects of edema and T2 signal changes can obscure small veins in Gd+ lesions; therefore, caution and follow-up is necessary when determining their CVS status.Trial Registration InformationClinical trial registration number NCT00001248.Classification of EvidenceThis study provides Class III evidence that younger age and higher CVS+ percentage at baseline are associated with new CVS+ lesion development.
Background and ObjectivesThere has been growing interest in potential roles of the immune system in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). The aim of the current study was to comprehensively characterize phenotypic and functional profiles of circulating immune cells in patients with PD vs controls.MethodsPeripheral blood was collected from patients with PD and age- and sex-matched neurologically normal controls (NCs) in 2 independent cohorts (discovery and validation). Comprehensive multicolor flow cytometry was performed on whole blood leukocytes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells to characterize different immune subsets and their ex vivo responses.ResultsThe discovery cohort included 17 NCs and 12 participants with PD, and the validation cohort included 18 NCs and 18 participants with PD. Among major immune cell types, B cells appeared to be preferentially affected in PD. Proliferating B cell counts were decreased in patients with PD compared with controls. Proportions of B-cell subsets with regulatory capacity such as transitional B cells were preferentially reduced in the patients with PD, whereas proportions of proinflammatory cytokine-producing B cells increased, resulting in a proinflammatory shift of their B-cell functional cytokine responses. Unsupervised principal component analysis revealed increased expression of TNFα and GM-CSF by both B cells and T cells of patients with PD. In addition, levels of follicular T cells, an important B-cell helper T-cell population, decreased in the patients with PD, correlating with their B-cell abnormality.DiscussionOur findings define a novel signature of peripheral immune cells and implicate aberrant Tfh:B-cell interactions in patients with PD.
The visual system offers unparalleled precision in the assessment of neuroaxonal damage. With the majority of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) experiencing afferent and efferent visual dysfunction, outcome measures capturing these deficits provide insight into neuroaxonal injury, even in those with minimal disability. Ideal for use in clinical trials, visual measures are generally inexpensive, accessible, and reproducible. Quantification of visual acuity, visual fields, visual quality of life, and electrophysiologic parameters allows assessment of function, whereas optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides reliable measures of the structural integrity of the anterior afferent visual pathway. The technology of oculomotor biometrics continues to advance, and discrete measures of fixation, smooth pursuit, and saccadic eye movement abnormalities are ready for inclusion in future trials of MS progression. Visual outcomes allow tracking of neuroaxonal injury and aid in distinguishing MS from diseases such as neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody–associated diseases (MOGAD). OCT has also provided unique insights into pathophysiology, including the identification of foveal pitting in NMOSD, possibly from damage to Müller cells, which carry an abundance of aquaporin-4 channels. For some study designs, the cost-benefit ratio favors visual outcomes over more expensive MRI outcomes. With the next frontier of therapeutics focused on remyelination and neuroprotection, visual outcomes are likely to take center stage. As an international community of collaborative, committed, vision scientists, this review by the International MS Visual System Consortium (IMSVISUAL) outlines the quality standards, informatics, and framework needed to routinely incorporate vision outcomes into MS and NMOSD trials.
Background and ObjectivesTo report a case of anti-NMDAR encephalitis presenting with isolated memory dysfunction.MethodsA 29-year-old woman was admitted to the Neurology Department referring memory impairment with a subacute onset. The initial assessment included EEG, neuropsychological tests, and brain MRI. Serum and CSF samples were collected for immunologic studies. The diagnostic evaluation was completed with a total body PET scan.ResultsPatient's neurologic examination was unremarkable apart from an episodic memory deficit, confirmed by neuropsychological examination. The EEG revealed epileptiform discharges in the temporal lobes, whereas brain MRI showed bilateral temporal lobes hyperintense lesions on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images and T2-weighted images. NMDAR-IgG was detected in the patient's serum and CSF by cell-based assay confirming the diagnosis of definite anti-NMDAR encephalitis. The total body PET showed only a slight hypometabolism in the right temporal cortex and in the cerebellar hemispheres. After a course of IV immunoglobulin and corticosteroid therapy, a marked improvement of the memory deficit was observed.DiscussionThis case shows that anti-NMDAR encephalitis can present with isolated memory loss. Neural antibody testing in these patients could play a pivotal role in early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
ObjectivesPopulation-based epidemiologic data for paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes (PNSs) in the United States are lacking. Our objective was to evaluate the incidence, prevalence, and associated morbidity of PNS.MethodsWe performed a population-based epidemiology study in Olmsted County, Minnesota, with patients identified between January 1, 1987, and December 31, 2018, using the medical records linkage system of the Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) who met the definite/probable 2021 PNS criteria and 2004 PNS criteria. Patients with dermatomyositis and myasthenia gravis with underlying tumors were included. Age- and sex-specific population counts were obtained from REP resources for January 1, 2014 (prevalence denominator) and annually for 1987–2018 (incidence denominator). Morbidity was estimated using disability-adjusted life years (DALYs; years lived with disability [YLD] plus years of life lost [YLL]).ResultsThere were 28 patients with PNS identified (50% female) residing in Olmsted County, Minnesota, with median age at diagnosis of 54.5 (IQR 46.5–69.0) years. All patients had a cancer diagnosis, and 18 (64%) patients were neural autoantibody positive including antineuronal nuclear autoantibody type 1 (ANNA-1/anti-Hu; n = 1), ANNA-2/anti-Ri (n = 1), muscle-type acetylcholine receptor (AChR; n = 6), Purkinje cell cytoplasmic antibody type 1 (PCA-1/anti-Yo; n = 1), kelch-like protein 11 (KLH11; n = 3), collapsin response mediator protein 5 (CRMP-5/anti-CV2; n = 2), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (n = 1), neurofilament light chain (n = 1), leucine zipper 4 (LUZP4; n = 1), and unclassified neural antibodies (n = 1). PNS incidence was 0.6/100,000 person-years and increased over time from 0.4/100,000 person-years (1987–2002) to 0.8/100,000 person-years (2003–2018) (p = 0.06). Prevalence was 5.4/100,000 people. The median follow-up period after PNS diagnosis was 3.1 years (IQR, 1.1–9.9 years). Total disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 28 patients with PNS were 472.7 years, based on total years of life lost (YLL) for patients dying between 1987 and 2018 (n = 15) of 445.3 years plus years lived with disability (YLD) 27.4 years.DiscussionPNSs are rare neurologic disorders but are associated with severe morbidity and mortality. The estimated number of prevalent PNS cases in the United States is 17,099, and predicted DALY for all US PNS cases is 292,393 years. Their apparent increasing rate of detection is attributable to increasing physician awareness and availability of serologic testing.