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Skin Biopsy Detection of Phosphorylated α-Synuclein in Patients With Synucleinopathies

Gibbons, Christopher H; Levine, Todd; Adler, Charles; Bellaire, Bailey; Wang, Ningshan; Stohl, Jade; Agarwal, Pinky; Aldridge, Georgina M; Barboi, Alexandru; Evidente, Virgilio G H; Galasko, Douglas; Geschwind, Michael D; Gonzalez-Duarte, Alejandra; Gil, Ramon; Gudesblatt, Mark; Isaacson, Stuart H; Kaufmann, Horacio; Khemani, Pravin; Kumar, Rajeev; Lamotte, Guillaume; Liu, Andy J; McFarland, Nikolaus R; Miglis, Mitchell; Reynolds, Adam; Sahagian, Gregory A; Saint-Hillaire, Marie-Helene; Schwartzbard, Julie B; Singer, Wolfgang; Soileau, Michael J; Vernino, Steven; Yerstein, Oleg; Freeman, Roy
IMPORTANCE/UNASSIGNED:Finding a reliable diagnostic biomarker for the disorders collectively known as synucleinopathies (Parkinson disease [PD], dementia with Lewy bodies [DLB], multiple system atrophy [MSA], and pure autonomic failure [PAF]) is an urgent unmet need. Immunohistochemical detection of cutaneous phosphorylated α-synuclein may be a sensitive and specific clinical test for the diagnosis of synucleinopathies. OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:To evaluate the positivity rate of cutaneous α-synuclein deposition in patients with PD, DLB, MSA, and PAF. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS/UNASSIGNED:This blinded, 30-site, cross-sectional study of academic and community-based neurology practices conducted from February 2021 through March 2023 included patients aged 40 to 99 years with a clinical diagnosis of PD, DLB, MSA, or PAF based on clinical consensus criteria and confirmed by an expert review panel and control participants aged 40 to 99 years with no history of examination findings or symptoms suggestive of a synucleinopathy or neurodegenerative disease. All participants completed detailed neurologic examinations and disease-specific questionnaires and underwent skin biopsy for detection of phosphorylated α-synuclein. An expert review panel blinded to pathologic data determined the final participant diagnosis. EXPOSURE/UNASSIGNED:Skin biopsy for detection of phosphorylated α-synuclein. MAIN OUTCOMES/UNASSIGNED:Rates of detection of cutaneous α-synuclein in patients with PD, MSA, DLB, and PAF and controls without synucleinopathy. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Of 428 enrolled participants, 343 were included in the primary analysis (mean [SD] age, 69.5 [9.1] years; 175 [51.0%] male); 223 met the consensus criteria for a synucleinopathy and 120 met criteria as controls after expert panel review. The proportions of individuals with cutaneous phosphorylated α-synuclein detected by skin biopsy were 92.7% (89 of 96) with PD, 98.2% (54 of 55) with MSA, 96.0% (48 of 50) with DLB, and 100% (22 of 22) with PAF; 3.3% (4 of 120) of controls had cutaneous phosphorylated α-synuclein detected. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE/UNASSIGNED:In this cross-sectional study, a high proportion of individuals meeting clinical consensus criteria for PD, DLB, MSA, and PAF had phosphorylated α-synuclein detected by skin biopsy. Further research is needed in unselected clinical populations to externally validate the findings and fully characterize the potential role of skin biopsy detection of phosphorylated α-synuclein in clinical care.
PMID: 38506839
ISSN: 1538-3598
CID: 5640572

Peering further into the mind's eye: combining visual evoked potential and optical coherence tomography measures enhances insight into the variance in cognitive functioning in multiple sclerosis

Covey, Thomas J; Golan, Daniel; Sergott, Robert; Wilken, Jeffrey; Zarif, Myassar; Bumstead, Barbara; Buhse, MariJean; Kaczmarek, Olivia; Doniger, Glen M; Penner, Iris-Katharina; Hancock, Laura M; Bogaardt, Hans; Barrera, Marissa A; Morrow, Sarah A; Galetta, Steve; Gudesblatt, Mark
BACKGROUND:Spectral Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Visual Evoked Potentials (VEPs) have both emerged as potentially useful biomarkers of cognitive decline in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Their combined use may provide additional predictive value for identifying disease impact, progression, and remyelination capacity above-and-beyond what is captured using either approach alone. OBJECTIVE:We examined the relationship between OCT/VEP measures and cognitive functioning in 205 PwMS. OCT measures included Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Volume (RNFLV), Papillo-Macular Bundle Volume (PBMV), and Macular Volume (MV). VEP measures included latency of the P100, and inter-ocular latency. Cognitive performance was evaluated across seven separate domains of performance, and for overall cognition, using the NeuroTrax computerized testing battery. RESULTS:Both OCT and VEP measures were significantly correlated with cognitive performance across several domains. Linear regression models that controlled for the influence of visual acuity revealed (1) that reduced MV was significantly predictive of poorer visual-spatial functioning, and (2) that delayed VEP latency was significantly predictive of performance in global cognitive functioning and visual-spatial functioning, after controlling for multiple comparisons. Among PwMS with normal visual acuity, PwMS with a combination of both relatively low MV and delayed VEP latency tended to have poorer performance in the domains of global, executive, and visual-spatial functioning compared to PwMS with both high MV and normal VEP latency. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Approaches that combine the use of OCT and VEP measures can enhance insight into underlying factors that contribute to variance in cognitive functioning in PwMS.
PMID: 38091086
ISSN: 1432-1459
CID: 5589302

Diroximel fumarate in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: Final safety and efficacy results from the phase 3 EVOLVE-MS-1 study

Singer, Barry A; Arnold, Douglas L; Drulovic, Jelena; Freedman, Mark S; Gold, Ralf; Gudesblatt, Mark; Jasinska, Elzbieta; LaGanke, Christopher C; Naismith, Robert T; Negroski, Donald; Oh, Jiwon; Hernandez Perez, Miguel Angel; Selmaj, Krzysztof; Then Bergh, Florian; Wundes, Annette; Ziemssen, Tjalf; Castro-Borrero, Wanda; Chen, Hailu; Levin, Seth; Scaramozza, Matthew; Shankar, Sai L; Wang, Ting; Wray, Sibyl
BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:Diroximel fumarate (DRF) is approved for adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in Europe and for relapsing forms of MS in the United States. DRF and dimethyl fumarate (DMF) yield bioequivalent exposure of the active metabolite monomethyl fumarate. Prior studies indicated fewer gastrointestinal (GI)-related adverse events (AEs) with DRF compared with DMF. OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:To report final outcomes from EVOLVE-MS-1. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:EVOLVE-MS-1 was an open-label, 96-week, phase 3 study assessing DRF safety, tolerability, and efficacy in patients with RRMS. The primary endpoint was safety and tolerability; efficacy endpoints were exploratory. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:< 0.0001); adjusted annualized relapse rate was 0.13 (95% confidence interval: 0.11-0.15). CONCLUSION/UNASSIGNED:DRF was generally well tolerated over 2 years, with few discontinuations due to AEs; radiological measures indicated decreased disease activity from baseline. These outcomes support DRF as a treatment option in patients with RRMS.
PMID: 37905526
ISSN: 1477-0970
CID: 5611632

Multiple sclerosis and quality of life: The role of cognitive impairment on quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis

Bergmann, Catherine; Becker, Shenira; Watts, Adreanna; Sullivan, Cynthia; Wilken, Jeffrey; Golan, Daniel; Zarif, Myassar; Bumstead, Barbara; Buhse, MariJean; Kaczmarek, Olivia; Covey, Thomas J; Doniger, Glen M; Penner, Iris-Katharina; Hancock, Laura M; Bogaardt, Hans; Barrera, Marissa A; Morrow, Sara; Gudesblatt, Mark
BACKGROUND:Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease of the central nervous system (CNS), affects functional ability and quality of life (QoL). Depression, fatigue, and disability status are among the many factors that have been shown to impact QoL in people with MS, but the extent to which MS-related cognitive impairment is related to QoL is understudied in the literature. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to determine relevant predictors of QoL from a wide list of symptoms including physical disability, and a multi-dimensional computerized cognitive assessment battery (CAB), depression, fatigue, and demographic variables (including employment status). In addition, the unique predictive power of cognitive impairment on QoL was explored in relation to other common factors of disease impact. METHODS:171 people with MS (PwMS) were evaluated with a computerized assessment battery (CAB), EDSS examination, and validated Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) measures (Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale, MSIS-29; Beck Depression Inventory - Second Edition BDI-2; and the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale, MFIS). RESULTS:171 PwMS were included [Age: 46.02 years ± 9.85, 124 (72.5%) female]. Depression and fatigue scores were highly correlated with MSIS-29. EDSS, unemployment, memory, executive functioning, and motor skills were moderately correlated with MSIS-29. Predictors of QoL were EDSS, depression, fatigue, executive functioning, and attention. Attention and executive functioning were predictive of QoL even after controlling for demographic variables, fatigue, depression, and physical disability status. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Findings indicate the need for comprehensive and quantified evaluation of all factors associated with disease burden, which will ultimately serve to improve the QoL in PwMS through more targeted and patient-centered care.
PMID: 37690436
ISSN: 2211-0356
CID: 5594242

Cognitive impairment in people with multiple sclerosis: Perception vs. performance - factors that drive perception of impairment differ for patients and clinicians

Jackson, Daija A; Nicholson, Rachel; Bergmann, Catherine; Wilken, Jeffrey; Kaczmarek, Olivia; Bumstead, Barbara; Buhse, Marijean; Zarif, Myassar; Penner, Iris-Katharina; Hancock, Laura M; Golan, Daniel; Doniger, Glen M; Bogaardt, Hans; Barrera, Marissa; Covey, Thomas J; Gudesblatt, Mark
BACKGROUND:Neurologists' perceptions of the presence of cognitive impairment (CI) in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) may not always align with findings of objective cognitive assessment. The accuracy of self-reported CI in PwMS can also be highly variable across individuals, and may not align with objective measurement of cognitive disturbances. Research suggests that additional factors impact perceived cognitive ability, such as depression and fatigue. Objective cognitive screening regardless of patient or neurologist perception has been recommended but still is often limited in routine care. Moreover, comprehensive neuropsychological assessment is even less routinely done. OBJECTIVE:To explore how neurologists' perceptions of PwMS' CI compare to the perception of the patient by determining whether PwMS and their clinicians are accurate in detecting the presence and degree of CI as defined by a multi-domain validated computerized test battery in PwMS, as well as investigate what factors influence perception of CI in each group. METHODS:PwMS completed a computerized multi-domain cognitive testing battery, and self-reported measures of disease impact (MSIS-29), fatigue (MFIS), and depression (BDI-II). Disability was assessed by the clinician using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Clinicians and patients also provided an estimation of cognitive deficits along a Likert scale. RESULTS:In this cohort of PwMS (N=202, age range: 20 to 88, gender: 71% female), their level of accuracy in detecting attention deficits (k = -.028, p = .010) was low but statistically significant. In contrast, clinicians' accuracy in detecting global CI (k = -.037, p < .001) and a number of specific domain deficits was moderate. Fatigue (p < .001) and cognitive performance (p = .012) significantly predicted patient perceived cognitive deficits. Clinician perceived cognitive performance was significantly predicted by multiple factors: cognitive scores (p < .001), physical disability (p = .011), age (p = .021), and depression (p = .038). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:The need to objectively screen for CI in PwMS, regardless of perception, can be aided by a better understanding of the agreement and discrepancies between the patient and clinician regarding perceived cognitive disturbances and the presence of CI defined by a multi-dimensional objective screening battery.
PMID: 36399966
ISSN: 2211-0356
CID: 5428792

Humoral immune response after Ad26.COV2.S vaccination in patients with multiple sclerosis treated with natalizumab

Gudesblatt, Mark; Zarif, Myassar; Bumstead, Barbara; Buhse, Marijean; Kaczmarek, Olivia; Li, Hanyue; Sun, Zhaonan; Scott, Nicole; Mendoza, Jason P; Avila, Robin L
The immunomodulatory effects of disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis might affect the immune response to vaccines for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. We analyzed the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-specific antibody response and lymphocyte profile before and after Ad26.COV2.S (Johnson & Johnson) vaccination in natalizumab-treated patients with multiple sclerosis. There was a 72-fold increase in mean anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike immunoglobulin G levels 4 weeks after vaccination and a 137-fold increase after 6 months. Other immune signals were within normal ranges. Natalizumab-treated patients with multiple sclerosis had a robust immune response to Ad26.COV2.S vaccine, and other immune signals were not significantly affected.
PMID: 38089563
ISSN: 2055-2173
CID: 5589242

Individual differences in visual evoked potential latency are associated with variance in brain tissue volume in people with multiple sclerosis: An analysis of brain function-structure correlates

Covey, Thomas J; Golan, Daniel; Zarif, Myassar; Bumstead, Barbara; Buhse, Marijean; Kaczmarek, Olivia; Sergott, Robert; Wilken, Jeff; Sima, Diana M; Van Hecke, Wim; Gudesblatt, Mark
Visual evoked potentials (VEP) index visual pathway functioning, and are often used for clinical assessment and as outcome measures in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). VEPs may also reflect broader neural disturbances that extend beyond the visual system, but this possibility requires further investigation. In the present study, we examined the hypothesis that delayed latency of the P100 component of the VEP would be associated with broader structural changes in the brain in PwMS. We obtained VEP latency for a standard pattern-reversal checkerboard stimulus paradigm, in addition to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) measures of whole brain volume (WBV), gray matter volume (GMV), white matter volume (WMV), and T2-weighted fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) white matter lesion volume (FLV). Correlation analyses indicated that prolonged VEP latency was significantly associated with lower WBV, GMV, and WMV, and greater FLV. VEP latency remained significantly associated with WBV, GMV, and WMV even after controlling for the variance associated with inter-ocular latency, age, time between VEP and MRI assessments, and other MRI variables. VEP latency delays were most pronounced in PwMS that exhibited low volume in both white and gray matter simultaneously. Furthermore, PwMS that had delayed VEP latency based on a clinically relevant cutoff (VEP latency ≥ 113 ms) in both eyes had lower WBV, GMV, and WMV and greater FLV in comparison to PwMS that had normal VEP latency in one or both eyes. The findings suggest that PwMS that have delayed latency in both eyes may be particularly at risk for exhibiting greater brain atrophy and lesion volume. These analyses also indicate that VEP latency may index combined gray matter and white matter disturbances, and therefore broader network connectivity and efficiency. VEP latency may therefore provide a surrogate marker of broader structural disturbances in the brain in MS.
PMID: 36041331
ISSN: 2211-0356
CID: 5342402

Prolonged visual evoked potential latency predicts longitudinal worsening of fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis

Covey, Thomas J; Golan, Daniel; Doniger, Glen M; Sergott, Robert; Zarif, Myassar; Bumstead, Barbara; Buhse, Marijean; Kaczmarek, Olivia; Mebrahtu, Samson; Bergmann, Catie; Wilken, Jeffrey; Gudesblatt, Mark
BACKGROUND:Fatigue is a common problem experienced by people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and can impact physical, cognitive, and psychosocial aspects of daily living and quality of life. The tracking of meaningful longitudinal change in subjective fatigue that occurs as a result of MS activity may be enhanced by incorporating objective neurophysiological measures into longitudinal assessment. To examine this possibility, we examined the longitudinal relationship between visual evoked potential (VEP) measures and a variety of fatigue measures over an approximately two-year period in PwMS. METHODS:VEP measures were obtained using a checkerboard pattern-reversal paradigm. Fatigue was assessed with the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS Global, Physical, Cognitive, and Psychosocial subscales) and the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) questionnaires. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted in which the change in each fatigue scale score from baseline to follow-up (T1-to-T2) served as the outcome variables for separate models. Predictor variables included the peak latency of the P100 component of the VEP (maximum peak among the two eyes) and the inter-ocular latency (IOL) at T1, the T1-to-T2 change score for maximum VEP latency and IOL, and the fatigue score at T1 that corresponded to each outcome measure. RESULTS:Prolonged baseline VEP latency was a significant predictor of the T1-to-T2 increase in MFIS Global score, and increased VEP latency from baseline to follow-up was significantly associated with MFIS Cognitive score over the same time period. Furthermore, VEP latency measures in these two models were better predictors of changes in fatigue than baseline fatigue scores were, based on the magnitude of the standardized beta coefficients. Subsequent post-hoc analyses revealed that the relationship between change in VEP latency and change in MFIS Cognitive score was evident primarily for PwMS that had elevated MFIS Cognitive score at baseline. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:The present study provides novel evidence that prolonged VEP latency is predictive of worsening of global and cognitive fatigue in PwMS. VEP latency measures may therefore provide clinical utility for monitoring changes in fatigue in PwMS, when used in conjunction with other clinical tools.
PMID: 35964554
ISSN: 2211-0356
CID: 5342392

Dimethyl fumarate is associated with lower rates of infection and lower infection-related healthcare costs when compared with ocrelizumab

Nicholas, Jacqueline A; Gudesblatt, Mark; Garabedian, Meghan; Belviso, Nicholas; Shen, Changyu; Geremakis, Caroline; Shankar, Sai L; Mendoza, Jason P; Lewin, James B
BACKGROUND:Infections in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) may have a detrimental effect on disease progression, risk of hospitalization, and healthcare resource utilization (HRU). The infection risk and HRU costs may vary between disease-modifying therapies (DMTs); however, the individual risks and differences associated with DMTs are not well characterized. Some DMTs may increase the risk for infections in PwMS; however, previous studies have reported an intact humoral immune response in dimethyl fumarate (DMF)-treated patients. The objective was to compare infection-related HRU and healthcare costs (HCCs) between PwMS treated with DMF or ocrelizumab (OCR). METHODS:Eligible patients were identified from the Optum US claims database between April 2017 and September 2020 (DMF n = 1429; OCR n = 3170). Patients were followed from index date to first occurrence of: (1) end of study, (2) end of insurance eligibility, (3) discontinuation of index DMT, or (4) switch from index DMT to another DMT. Outcomes were annualized rate of infection encounters (defined as infection encounters [n] during follow-up window / days followed [n] × 365); annualized infection-related HCCs (defined as aggregated costs of infection encounters during follow-up window / days followed [n] × 365); location-specific infections, and overall infection-related events. Propensity score matching (PSM) 1:1 method was used; PS was calculated via logistic regression for probability of DMF treatment conditional on demographics and comorbidities. Mean differences (MD) were reported for infection encounter measures. RESULTS:After PSM, DMF and OCR cohorts (n = 1094 in each cohort) were balanced based on baseline characteristics (standardized MD of adjusted baseline characteristics <0.1). Mean (standard deviation) follow-up was 296 (244) days for DMF patients and 297 (243) for OCR patients. DMF patients experienced lower annualized rates of overall infection encounters vs OCR patients (MD -0.51 [95% confidence interval (CI): -0.92 to -0.11], p = 0.01). When stratified by type of infection encounter, DMF patients experienced significantly lower annualized rates of outpatient (MD [95% CI]: -0.44 [-0.80 to -0.08], p = 0.02) and inpatient/hospitalization infection encounters (-0.08 [-0.14 to -0.02], p<0.01) vs OCR patients. A trend towards a shorter duration of infection-related hospitalization in the DMF vs the OCR group was observed (MD [95% CI]: -2.20 [-4.73 to 0.26] days, p = 0.08). The most common infection types in both DMT groups were urinary tract infections, sepsis, and pneumonia. DMF patients experienced lower annualized infection-related HCCs (MD [95% CI]: -$3642 [-$6380 to -$904], p < 0.01) vs OCR patients, which were driven largely by infection-related hospitalization costs (-$3639 [-$6019 to -$1259], p < 0.01). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:DMF-treated patients PS-matched with OCR patients experienced lower annualized rates of infection encounters and lower infection-related HCCs.
PMID: 35700674
ISSN: 2211-0356
CID: 5342382

Health-Related Quality of Life with Diroximel Fumarate in Patients with Relapsing Forms of Multiple Sclerosis: Findings from Qualitative Research Using Patient Interviews

Gudesblatt, Mark; Roman, Cortnee; Singer, Barry A; Schmidt, Hollie; Thomas, Jessica; Shankar, Sai L; Lyons, Jennifer; Kapadia, Shivani
INTRODUCTION:Diroximel fumarate (DRF) is an oral fumarate for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). Clinical and real-world studies of DRF have demonstrated improved gastrointestinal (GI) tolerability and low (< 1%) GI-related treatment discontinuation versus dimethyl fumarate (DMF) and high rates of treatment adherence. Our aim was to conduct a concept elicitation study to identify treatment-related concepts most meaningful to patients and to evaluate how these concepts shape the patient perspective of DRF. METHODS:In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with patients from October to December 2020. US adults who had been prescribed DRF through routine clinical care and had taken DRF for ≥ 3 weeks in the past 6 months were eligible to participate. Semi-structured interviews explored patient perceptions on treatment selection and impact. RESULTS:Seventeen patients participated in the study. Mean (SD) age was 49.3 (12.0) years. Sixteen patients reported prior disease-modifying therapy, while 10 (58.8%) had prior DMF. DRF treatment duration ranged from ~ 6 weeks to 10 months. Four key concepts emerged: (1) overall wellness and quality of life, (2) ease of administration, (3) minimal and manageable side effects, and (4) patient optimism due to MS treatments. Mode of administration (82.4%), no/mild side effects (70.6%), convenience over injectable/infusion medications (58.8%), and effectiveness (64.7%) were cited as positive aspects of DRF treatment. Frequent dosing (52.9%) and food requirements (41.2%) were cited as negative attributes; however, 94.1% had no dietary changes since starting treatment. CONCLUSION:The patient perspective is a key aspect when considering a disease-modifying therapy for MS, given the multitude of options currently available. Overall wellness, ease of administration, and minimal and manageable side effects were DRF-related concepts most meaningful to patients on therapy. Acknowledging these patient perceptions in shared decision-making may lead to greater patient adherence and optimal treatment outcomes.
PMID: 35556227
ISSN: 1865-8652
CID: 5342372