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C1 Cervical Stenosis Causing Chronic Neck Pain and Ataxia: The Importance of Physical Examination and Radiographic Imaging

Lu, Danni; Kessler, Jason; Khan, Zuhair; Lau, Richard
PMID: 36730591
ISSN: 1537-7385
CID: 5502222

Effectiveness of Intrathecal Baclofen for Intractable Stiffperson Syndrome: a Case Report [Case Report]

Zhang, Bruce; Lau, Richard; van Why, David; Saulino, Michael
Background/UNASSIGNED:Intrathecal baclofen is considered an adjuvant therapy for patients with intractable spasms due to stiff-person syndrome. There is increasing evidence to support the use of intrathecal baclofen in the management of symptomatic stiffperson syndrome, with improvement in function. Case report/UNASSIGNED:A 38-year-old woman with stiff- person syndrome initially presented to inpatient rehabilitation for intractable muscle spasms. The symptoms made her non-ambulatory and limited her tolerance to wheelchair use for mobility. The patient underwent up-titration of oral baclofen and diazepam, with concurrent intravenous immunoglobulin cycles, leading to transient symptom relief. She agreed to explore intrathecal baclofen therapy. An initial trial of a single bolus of 50 μg intrathecal baclofen resulted in a significant decrease in spontaneous spasms, enabling modified independence in transfers and ambulation. The patient was subsequently implanted with a permanent intrathecal delivery system. To date, the intrathecal baclofen had been titrated to 186 μg per day with simple continuous delivery. The patient was weaned off oral baclofen. She attained complete functional independence with ambulation without the need for assistive devices, and has had no lasting post-procedural complications to date. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:This case report adds to the increasing evidence of cases of refractory stiff-person syndrome managed successfully using intrathecal baclofen therapy.
PMID: 33884154
ISSN: 2003-0711
CID: 4954252

Lipid Flippase Subunit Cdc50 Mediates Drug Resistance and Virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans

Huang, Wei; Liao, Guojian; Baker, Gregory M; Wang, Yina; Lau, Richard; Paderu, Padmaja; Perlin, David S; Xue, Chaoyang
UNLABELLED:Cryptococcus neoformans is a human fungal pathogen and a major cause of fungal meningitis in immunocompromised individuals. Treatment options for cryptococcosis are limited. Of the two major antifungal drug classes, azoles are active against C. neoformans but exert a fungistatic effect, necessitating long treatment regimens and leaving open an avenue for emergence of azole resistance. Drugs of the echinocandin class, which target the glucan synthase and are fungicidal against a number of other fungal pathogens, such as Candida species, are ineffective against C. neoformans Despite the sensitivity of the target enzyme to the drug, the reasons for the innate resistance of C. neoformans to echinocandins remain unknown. To understand the mechanism of echinocandin resistance in C. neoformans, we screened gene disruption and gene deletion libraries for mutants sensitive to the echinocandin-class drug caspofungin and identified a mutation of CDC50, which encodes the β-subunit of membrane lipid flippase. We found that the Cdc50 protein localized to membranes and that its absence led to plasma membrane defects and enhanced caspofungin penetration into the cell, potentially explaining the increased caspofungin sensitivity. Loss of CDC50 also led to hypersensitivity to the azole-class drug fluconazole. Interestingly, in addition to functioning in drug resistance, CDC50 was also essential for fungal resistance to macrophage killing and for virulence in a murine model of cryptococcosis. Furthermore, the surface of cdc50Δ cells contained increased levels of phosphatidylserine, which has been proposed to act as a macrophage recognition signal. Together, these results reveal a previously unappreciated role of membrane lipid flippase in C. neoformans drug resistance and virulence. IMPORTANCE:Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that is the most common cause of fungal meningitis, causing over 620,000 deaths annually. The treatment options for cryptococcosis are very limited. The most commonly used drugs are either fungistatic (azoles) or highly toxic (amphotericin B). Echinocandins are the newest fungicidal drug class that works well in treating candidiasis and aspergillosis, yet they are ineffective in treating cryptococcosis. In this study, we showed that the regulatory subunit of the lipid translocase (flippase), a protein that regulates the asymmetrical orientation of membrane lipids, is required for C. neoformans resistance to caspofungin, as well as for virulence during infection. This discovery identifies lipid flippase as a potential C. neoformans drug target, which plays an important role in the innate resistance of C. neoformans to echinocandins and in fungal virulence.
PMID: 27165800
ISSN: 2150-7511
CID: 5519572