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A Comparison of Patients' and Neurologists' Assessments of their Teleneurology Encounter: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Thawani, Sujata P; Minen, Mia T; Grossman, Scott N; Friedman, Steven; Bhatt, Jaydeep M; Foo, Farng-Yang A; Torres, Daniel M; Weinberg, Harold J; Kim, Nina H; Levitan, Valeriya; Cardiel, Myrna I; Zakin, Elina; Conway, Jenna M; Kurzweil, Arielle M; Hasanaj, Lisena; Stainman, Rebecca S; Seixas, Azizi; Galetta, Steven L; Balcer, Laura J; Busis, Neil A
PMID: 37624656
ISSN: 1556-3669
CID: 5599032

Inflammatory biomarkers for neurobehavioral dysregulation in former American football players: findings from the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project

van Amerongen, Suzan; Pulukuri, Surya V; Tuz-Zahra, Fatima; Tripodis, Yorghos; Cherry, Jonathan D; Bernick, Charles; Geda, Yonas E; Wethe, Jennifer V; Katz, Douglas I; Alosco, Michael L; Adler, Charles H; Balcer, Laura J; Ashton, Nicholas J; Blennow, Kaj; Zetterberg, Henrik; Daneshvar, Daniel H; Colasurdo, Elizabeth A; Iliff, Jeffrey J; Li, Gail; Peskind, Elaine R; Shenton, Martha E; Reiman, Eric M; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Stern, Robert A; ,
BACKGROUND:Traumatic encephalopathy syndrome (TES) is defined as the clinical manifestation of the neuropathological entity chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). A core feature of TES is neurobehavioral dysregulation (NBD), a neuropsychiatric syndrome in repetitive head impact (RHI)-exposed individuals, characterized by a poor regulation of emotions/behavior. To discover biological correlates for NBD, we investigated the association between biomarkers of inflammation (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and NBD symptoms in former American football players and unexposed individuals. METHODS:Our cohort consisted of former American football players, with (n = 104) or without (n = 76) NBD diagnosis, as well as asymptomatic unexposed individuals (n = 55) from the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project. Specific measures for NBD were derived (i.e., explosivity, emotional dyscontrol, impulsivity, affective lability, and a total NBD score) from a factor analysis of multiple self-report neuropsychiatric measures. Analyses of covariance tested differences in biomarker concentrations between the three groups. Within former football players, multivariable linear regression models assessed relationships among log-transformed inflammatory biomarkers, proxies for RHI exposure (total years of football, cumulative head impact index), and NBD factor scores, adjusted for relevant confounding variables. Sensitivity analyses tested (1) differences in age subgroups (< 60, ≥ 60 years); (2) whether associations could be identified with plasma inflammatory biomarkers; (3) associations between neurodegeneration and NBD, using plasma neurofilament light (NfL) chain protein; and (4) associations between biomarkers and cognitive performance to explore broader clinical symptoms related to TES. RESULTS:CSF IL-6 was higher in former American football players with NBD diagnosis compared to players without NBD. Furthermore, elevated levels of CSF IL-6 were significantly associated with higher emotional dyscontrol, affective lability, impulsivity, and total NBD scores. In older football players, plasma NfL was associated with higher emotional dyscontrol and impulsivity, but also with worse executive function and processing speed. Proxies for RHI exposure were not significantly associated with biomarker concentrations. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Specific NBD symptoms in former American football players may result from multiple factors, including neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Future studies need to unravel the exact link between NBD and RHI exposure, including the role of other pathophysiological pathways.
PMID: 38336728
ISSN: 1742-2094
CID: 5632112

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

Association of Vascular Risk Factors and CSF and Imaging Biomarkers With White Matter Hyperintensities in Former American Football Players

Ly, Monica T; Tuz-Zahra, Fatima; Tripodis, Yorghos; Adler, Charles H; Balcer, Laura J; Bernick, Charles; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Peskind, Elaine R; Au, Rhoda; Banks, Sarah J; Barr, William B; Wethe, Jennifer V; Bondi, Mark W; Delano-Wood, Lisa M; Cantu, Robert C; Coleman, Michael J; Dodick, David W; McClean, Michael D; Mez, Jesse B; Palmisano, Joseph; Martin, Brett; Hartlage, Kaitlin; Lin, Alexander P; Koerte, Inga K; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Reiman, Eric M; Shenton, Martha E; Stern, Robert A; Bouix, Sylvain; Alosco, Michael L; ,
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Recent data link exposure to repetitive head impacts (RHIs) from American football with increased white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden. WMH might have unique characteristics in the context of RHI beyond vascular risk and normal aging processes. We evaluated biological correlates of WMH in former American football players, including markers of amyloid, tau, inflammation, axonal injury, neurodegeneration, and vascular health. METHODS:ε4 carrier status, and evaluation site. Models were performed separately for former football players and a control group of asymptomatic men unexposed to RHI. RESULTS:(158%), and FA (287%) than the unexposed men. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:and diffusion tensor imaging indices of white matter integrity showed stronger associations with WMH in the former football players. FLAIR WMH may have specific risk factors and pathologic underpinnings in RHI-exposed individuals.
PMID: 38165330
ISSN: 1526-632x
CID: 5625972

Spastic Paraplegia Type 7-Associated Optic Neuropathy: A Case Series

Bell, Carter A; Ko, Melissa W; Mackay, Devin D; Bursztyn, Lulu L C D; Grossman, Scott N
BACKGROUND:Hereditary optic neuropathies comprise a group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders. Optic neuropathy has been previously reported in families with spastic paraplegia type 7 (SPG7) gene mutations. However, the typical time course and clinical presentation of SPG7-associated optic neuropathy is poorly understood. We report a series of 5 patients harboring pathogenic SPG7 mutations who originally presented to a neuro-ophthalmology clinic with symptoms of optic neuropathy. METHODS:Retrospective case series of 5 patients with pathogenic SPG7 mutations and optic atrophy from 3 neuro-ophthalmology clinics. Demographic, clinical, diagnostic, and treatment data were collected and reported by the clinician authors. RESULTS:Five patients ranging in age from 8 to 48 years were evaluated in the neuro-ophthalmology clinic. Although there were variable clinical presentations for each subject, all noted progressive vision loss, typically bilateral, and several also had previous diagnoses of peripheral neuropathy (e.g., Guillain-Barré Syndrome). Patients underwent neuro-ophthalmic examinations and testing with visual fields and optic coherence tomography of the retinal nerve fiber layer. Genetic testing revealed pathogenic variants in the SPG7 gene. CONCLUSIONS:Five patients presented to the neuro-ophthalmology clinic with progressive vision loss and were diagnosed with optic atrophy. Although each patient harbored an SPG7 mutation, this cohort was phenotypically and genotypically heterogeneous. Three patients carried the Ala510Val variant. The patients demonstrated varying degrees of visual acuity and visual field loss, although evaluations were completed during different stages of disease progression. Four patients had a previous diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy. This raises the prospect that a single pathogenic variant of SPG7 may be associated with peripheral neuropathy in addition to optic neuropathy. These results support the consideration of SPG7 testing in patients with high suspicion for genetic optic neuropathy, as manifested by symmetric papillomacular bundle damage without clear etiology on initial workup. Applied judiciously, genetic testing, including for SPG7, may help clarify the cause of unexplained progressive optic neuropathies.
PMID: 37983191
ISSN: 1536-5166
CID: 5608232

Examination of parkinsonism in former elite American football players

Alosco, Michael L; Adler, Charles H; Dodick, David W; Tripodis, Yorghos; Balcer, Laura J; Bernick, Charles; Banks, Sarah J; Barr, William B; Wethe, Jennifer V; Palmisano, Joseph N; Martin, Brett; Hartlage, Kaitlin; Cantu, Robert C; Geda, Yonas E; Katz, Douglas I; Mez, Jesse; Cummings, Jeffery L; Shenton, Martha E; Reiman, Eric M; Stern, Robert A; ,
BACKGROUND:Former American football players are at risk for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which may have parkinsonism as a clinical feature. OBJECTIVE:Former football players were prospectively assessed for parkinsonism. METHODS:120 former professional football players, 58 former college football players, and 60 same-age asymptomatic men without repetitive head impacts, 45-74 years, were studied using the MDS-UPDRS to assess for parkinsonism, and the Timed Up and Go (TUG). Traumatic encephalopathy syndrome (TES), the clinical syndrome of CTE, was adjudicated and includes parkinsonism diagnosis. Fisher's Exact Test compared groups on parkinsonism due to small cell sizes; analysis of covariance or linear regressions controlling for age and body mass index were used otherwise. RESULTS:Twenty-two (12.4%) football players (13.3% professional, 10.3% college) met parkinsonism criteria compared with two (3.3%) in the unexposed group. Parkinsonism was higher in professional (p = 0.037) but not college players (p = 0.16). There were no differences on the MDS-UPDRS Part III total scores. Scores on the individual MDS-UPDRS items were low. TUG times were longer in former professional but not college players compared with unexposed men (13.09 versus 11.35 s, p < 0.01). There were no associations between years of football, age of first exposure, position or level of play on motor outcomes. TES status was not associated with motor outcomes. CONCLUSIONS:Parkinsonism rates in this sample of football players was low and highest in the professional football players. The association between football and parkinsonism is inconclusive and depends on factors related to sample selection, comparison groups, and exposure characteristics.
PMID: 37981539
ISSN: 1873-5126
CID: 5608152

Opsoclonus and ocular flutter: evaluation and management

Grossman, Scott N; Rucker, Janet C
PURPOSE OF REVIEW/OBJECTIVE:Opsoclonus and ocular flutter are saccadic intrusions characterized by spontaneous, back-to-back, fast eye movements (saccades) that oscillate about the midline of central visual fixation without intervening inter-saccadic intervals. When this type of movement occurs exclusively in the horizontal plane, it is called ocular flutter. When it occurs in multiple planes (i.e. horizontal, vertical, and torsional) it is called opsoclonus. The most common etiologic categories are parainfectious and paraneoplastic diseases. Less common are toxic-metabolic, traumatic, or idiopathic origins. The mechanism of these movements relates to dysfunction of brainstem and cerebellar machinery involved in the generation of saccades. In this review, we discuss the characteristics of opsoclonus and ocular flutter, describe approaches to clinical evaluation and management of the patient with opsoclonus and ocular flutter, and review approaches to therapeutic intervention. RECENT FINDINGS/RESULTS:Recent publications demonstrated eye position-dependent opsoclonus present only in left gaze, which may be related to dysfunction of frontal eye fields or structures in the cerebellar vermis. SUMMARY/CONCLUSIONS:Opsoclonus and ocular flutter originate from a broad array of neuropathologies and have value from both a neuroanatomic and etiologic perspective.
PMID: 37603546
ISSN: 1531-7021
CID: 5598342

Amyloid PET across the cognitive spectrum in former professional and college American football players: findings from the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project

Stern, Robert A; Trujillo-Rodriguez, Diana; Tripodis, Yorghos; Pulukuri, Surya V; Alosco, Michael L; Adler, Charles H; Balcer, Laura J; Bernick, Charles; Baucom, Zachary; Marek, Kenneth L; McClean, Michael D; Johnson, Keith A; McKee, Ann C; Stein, Thor D; Mez, Jesse; Palmisano, Joseph N; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Shenton, Martha E; Reiman, Eric M; ,
BACKGROUND:Exposure to repetitive head impacts (RHI) in American football players can lead to cognitive impairment and dementia due to neurodegenerative disease, particularly chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The pathognomonic lesion of CTE consists of perivascular aggregates of hyper-phosphorylated tau in neurons at the depths of cortical sulci. However, it is unclear whether exposure to RHI accelerates amyloid-β (Aβ) plaque formation and increases the risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although the Aβ neuritic plaques characteristic of AD are observed in a minority of later-stage CTE cases, diffuse plaques are more common. This study examined whether former professional and college American football players, including those with cognitive impairment and dementia, have elevated neuritic Aβ plaque density, as measured by florbetapir PET. Regardless of cognitive and functional status, elevated levels of florbetapir uptake were not expected. METHODS:We examined 237 men ages 45-74, including 119 former professional (PRO) and 60 former college (COL) football players, with and without cognitive impairment and dementia, and 58 same-age men without a history of contact sports or TBI (unexposed; UE) and who denied cognitive or behavioral symptoms at telephone screening. Former players were categorized into four diagnostic groups: normal cognition, subjective memory impairment, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia. Positive florbetapir PET was defined by cortical-cerebellar average SUVR of ≥ 1.10. Multivariable linear regression and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) compared florbetapir average SUVR across diagnostic and exposure groups. Multivariable logistic regression compared florbetapir positivity. Race, education, age, and APOE4 were covariates. RESULTS:There were no diagnostic group differences either in florbetapir average SUVR or the proportion of elevated florbetapir uptake. Average SUVR means also did not differ between exposure groups: PRO-COL (p = 0.94, 95% C.I. = [- 0.033, 0.025]), PRO-UE (p = 0.40, 95% C.I. = [- 0.010, 0.029]), COL-UE (p = 0.36, 95% CI = [0.0004, 0.039]). Florbetapir was not significantly associated with years of football exposure, cognition, or daily functioning. CONCLUSIONS:Cognitive impairment in former American football players is not associated with PET imaging of neuritic Aβ plaque deposition. These findings are inconsistent with a neuropathological diagnosis of AD in individuals with substantial RHI exposure and have both clinical and medico-legal implications. TRIAL REGISTRATION:NCT02798185.
PMID: 37798671
ISSN: 1758-9193
CID: 5610362

Occipital Nocardia Abscess Presenting With Positive Visual Phenomenon and Quadrantanopsia

Fein, Alexander S; Kelly, Sean M; Louie, Eddie; Young, Matthew G; Jain, Rajan; William, Christopher M; Galetta, Steven L; Grossman, Scott N
A 74-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, glaucoma, and Stage IIIB squamous cell lung cancer experienced several minutes of flashing lights in his right visual hemifield, followed by onset of a right visual field defect. On examination, the patient had a right homonymous hemianopsia that was most dense inferiorly by confrontation testing. Emergent CT scan of the head revealed a 2.5 × 3 cm hypodensity in the left occipital lobe, which was interpreted as an acute stroke. Continuous EEG monitoring captured left posterior quadrant seizures that were temporally correlated to the positive visual phenomena. Subsequent MRI of the brain with and without contrast revealed a conglomerate of centrally necrotic and peripherally enhancing mass lesions. On biopsy, a thick purulent material was drained and Gram stain of the sample revealed gram-positive beaded rods, which speciated to Nocardia farcinica. The patient was treated with a six-week course of intravenous meropenem and a one-year course of oral trimethroprim-sulfamethoxazole. On follow-up, the patient experienced resolution of the right visual field deficit.
PMID: 37440372
ISSN: 1536-5166
CID: 5537712

Retinal hypoplasia and degeneration result in vision loss in Friedreich ataxia

Rodden, Layne N; McIntyre, Kellie; Keita, Medina; Wells, Mckenzie; Park, Courtney; Profeta, Victoria; Waldman, Amy; Rummey, Christian; Balcer, Laura J; Lynch, David R
OBJECTIVE:Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is an inherited condition caused by a GAA triplet repeat (GAA-TR) expansion in the FXN gene. Clinical features of FRDA include ataxia, cardiomyopathy, and in some, vision loss. In this study, we characterize features of vision loss in a large cohort of adults and children with FRDA. METHODS:Using optical coherence tomography (OCT), we measured peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in 198 people with FRDA, and 77 controls. Sloan letter charts were used to determine visual acuity. RNFL thickness and visual acuity were compared to measures of disease severity obtained from the Friedreich Ataxia Clinical Outcomes Measures Study (FACOMS). RESULTS:The majority of patients, including children, had pathologically thin RNFLs (mean = 73 ± 13 μm in FRDA; 98 ± 9 μm in controls) and low-contrast vision deficits early in the disease course. Variability in RNFL thickness in FRDA (range: 36 to 107 μm) was best predicted by disease burden (GAA-TR length X disease duration). Significant deficits in high-contrast visual acuity were apparent in patients with an RNFL thickness of ≤68 μm. RNFL thickness decreased at a rate of -1.2 ± 1.4 μm/year and reached 68 μm at a disease burden of approximately 12,000 GAA years, equivalent to disease duration of 17 years for participants with 700 GAAs. INTERPRETATION/CONCLUSIONS:These data suggest that both hypoplasia and subsequent degeneration of the RNFL may be responsible for the optic nerve dysfunction in FRDA and support the development of a vision-directed treatment for selected patients early in the disease to prevent RNFL loss from reaching the critical threshold.
PMID: 37334854
ISSN: 2328-9503
CID: 5542542