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Navigating the U.S. regulatory landscape for neurologic digital health technologies

Busis, Neil A; Marolia, Dilshad; Montgomery, Robert; Balcer, Laura J; Galetta, Steven L; Grossman, Scott N
Digital health technologies (DHTs) can transform neurological assessments, improving quality and continuity of care. In the United States, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the safety and efficacy of these technologies, employing a detailed regulatory process that classifies devices based on risk and requires rigorous review and post-market surveillance. Following FDA approval, DHTs enter the Current Procedural Terminology, Relative Value Scale Update Committee, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services coding and valuation processes leading to coverage and payment decisions. DHT adoption is challenged by rapid technologic advancements, an inconsistent evidence base, marketing discrepancies, ambiguous coding guidance, and variable health insurance coverage. Regulators, policymakers, and payers will need to develop better methods to evaluate these promising technologies and guide their deployment. This includes striking a balance between patient safety and clinical effectiveness versus promotion of innovation, especially as DHTs increasingly incorporate artificial intelligence. Data validity, cybersecurity, risk management, societal, and ethical responsibilities should be addressed. Regulatory advances can support adoption of these promising tools by ensuring DHTs are safe, effective, accessible, and equitable.
PMID: 38609447
ISSN: 2398-6352
CID: 5646182

Brain morphometry in former American football players: Findings from the DIAGNOSE CTE research project

Arciniega, Hector; Baucom, Zachary H; Tuz-Zahra, Fatima; Tripodis, Yorghos; John, Omar; Carrington, Holly; Kim, Nicholas; Knyazhanskaya, Evdokiya E; Jung, Leonard B; Breedlove, Katherine; Wiegand, Tim L T; Daneshvar, Daniel H; Rushmore, R Jarrett; Billah, Tashrif; Pasternak, Ofer; Coleman, Michael J; Adler, Charles H; Bernick, Charles; Balcer, Laura J; Alosco, Michael L; Koerte, Inga K; Lin, Alexander P; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Reiman, Eric M; Stern, Robert A; Shenton, Martha E; Bouix, Sylvain
Exposure to repetitive head impacts (RHIs) in contact sports is associated with neurodegenerative disorders including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which currently can be diagnosed only at postmortem. American football players are at higher risk of developing CTE given their exposure to RHIs. One promising approach for diagnosing CTE in vivo is to explore known neuropathological abnormalities at postmortem in living individuals using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI brain morphometry was evaluated in 170 male former American football players ages 45-74 years (n = 114 professional; n = 56 college) and 54 same-age unexposed asymptomatic male controls (n = 58 age range 45-74). Cortical thickness and volume of regions of interest were selected based on established CTE pathology findings and were assessed using FreeSurfer. Group differences and interactions with age and exposure factors were evaluated using a generalized least squares model. A separate logistic regression and independent multinomial model were performed to predict each Traumatic Encephalopathy Syndrome (TES) diagnosis core clinical features and provisional level of certainty for CTE pathology using brain regions of interest. Former college and professional American football players (combined) showed significant cortical thickness and/or volume reductions compared to unexposed asymptomatic controls in the hippocampus amygdala entorhinal cortex parahippocampal gyrus insula temporal pole and superior frontal gyrus. Post-hoc analyses identified group-level differences between former professional players and unexposed asymptomatic controls in the hippocampus amygdala entorhinal cortex parahippocampal gyrus insula and superior frontal gyrus. Former college players showed significant volume reductions in the hippocampus amygdala and superior frontal gyrus compared to the unexposed asymptomatic controls. We did not observe age-by-group interactions for brain morphometric measures. Interactions between morphometry and exposure measures were limited to a single significant positive association between the age of first exposure to organized tackle football and right insular volume. We found no significant relationship between brain morphometric measures and the TES diagnosis core clinical features and provisional level of certainty for CTE pathology outcomes. These findings suggest that MRI morphometrics detects abnormalities in individuals with a history of RHI exposure that resemble the anatomic distribution of pathological findings from postmortem CTE studies. The lack of findings associating MRI measures with exposure metrics (except for one significant relationship) or TES diagnosis and core clinical features suggests that brain morphometry must be complemented by other types of measures to characterize individuals with RHIs.
PMID: 38533783
ISSN: 1460-2156
CID: 5644862

Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibody Disease Optic Neuritis: A Structure-Function Paradox?

Ross, Ruby; Kenney, Rachel; Balcer, Laura J; Galetta, Steven L; Krupp, Lauren; O'Neill, Kimberly A; Grossman, Scott N
BACKGROUND:Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD) is a demyelinating disorder that most commonly presents with optic neuritis (ON) and affects children more often than adults. We report 8 pediatric patients with MOG-associated ON and characterize focal optical coherence tomography (OCT) abnormalities over time that help distinguish this condition from the trajectories of other demyelinating disorders. These OCT findings are examined in the context of longitudinal visual function testing. METHODS:This is a retrospective case series of 8 pediatric patients with MOG-associated ON who were referred for neuro-ophthalmic evaluation. Longitudinal data for demographics, clinical history, physical examination, and OCT obtained in the course of clinical evaluations were collected through retrospective medical record review. RESULTS:Patients demonstrated acute peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickening in one or both eyes, consistent with optic disc swelling. This was followed by steady patterns of average RNFL thinning, with 9 of 16 eyes reaching significantly low RNFL thickness using OCT platform reference databases (P < 0.01), accompanied by paradoxical recovery of high-contrast visual acuity (HCVA) in every patient. There was no correlation between HCVA and any OCT measures, although contrast sensitivity (CS) was associated with global thickness, PMB thickness, and nasal/temporal (N/T) ratio, and color vision was associated with PMB thickness. There was a lower global and papillomacular bundle (PMB) thickness (P < 0.01) in clinically affected eyes compared with unaffected eyes. There was also a significantly higher N:T ratio in clinically affected eyes compared with unaffected eyes in the acute MOG-ON setting (P = 0.03), but not in the long-term setting. CONCLUSIONS:MOG shows a pattern of prominent retinal atrophy, as demonstrated by global RNFL thinning, with remarkable preservation of HCVA but remaining deficits in CS and color vision. These tests may be better clinical markers of vision changes secondary to MOG-ON. Of the OCT parameters measured, PMB thickness demonstrated the most consistent correlation between structural and functional measures. Thus, it may be a more sensitive marker of clinically significant retinal atrophy in MOG-ON. The N:T ratio in acute clinically affected MOG-ON eyes in our study was higher than the N:T ratio of neuromyelitis optica (NMO)-ON eyes and similar to the N:T ratio in multiple sclerosis (MS)-ON eyes as presented in the prior literature. Therefore, MOG may share a more similar pathophysiology to MS compared with NMO.
PMID: 38526582
ISSN: 1536-5166
CID: 5644452

Subacute Vision Loss in a Patient With HIV

Park, George T; Gold, Doria M; Modi, Yasha; Rucker, Janet C
PMID: 37995149
ISSN: 1536-5166
CID: 5608722

Treatment of Periodic Alternating Nystagmus as a Consequence of Ataxia-Telangiectasia

Jauregui, Ruben; Bhagat, Dhristie; Garcia, Mekka R; Miller, Claire; Grossman, Scott N
PMID: 36730924
ISSN: 1536-5166
CID: 5420452

Flortaucipir tau PET findings from former professional and college American football players in the DIAGNOSE CTE research project

Su, Yi; Protas, Hillary; Luo, Ji; Chen, Kewei; Alosco, Michael L; Adler, Charles H; Balcer, Laura J; Bernick, Charles; Au, Rhoda; Banks, Sarah J; Barr, William B; Coleman, Michael J; Dodick, David W; Katz, Douglas I; Marek, Kenneth L; McClean, Michael D; McKee, Ann C; Mez, Jesse; Daneshvar, Daniel H; Palmisano, Joseph N; Peskind, Elaine R; Turner, Robert W; Wethe, Jennifer V; Rabinovici, Gil; Johnson, Keith; Tripodis, Yorghos; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Shenton, Martha E; Stern, Robert A; Reiman, Eric M; ,
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Tau is a key pathology in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Here, we report our findings in tau positron emission tomography (PET) measurements from the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project. METHOD/METHODS:We compare flortaucipir PET measures from 104 former professional players (PRO), 58 former college football players (COL), and 56 same-age men without exposure to repetitive head impacts (RHI) or traumatic brain injury (unexposed [UE]); characterize their associations with RHI exposure; and compare players who did or did not meet diagnostic criteria for traumatic encephalopathy syndrome (TES). RESULTS:Significantly elevated flortaucipir uptake was observed in former football players (PRO+COL) in prespecified regions (p < 0.05). Association between regional flortaucipir uptake and estimated cumulative head impact exposure was only observed in the superior frontal region in former players over 60 years old. Flortaucipir PET was not able to differentiate TES groups. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:Additional studies are needed to further understand tau pathology in CTE and other individuals with a history of RHI.
PMID: 38134231
ISSN: 1552-5279
CID: 5611852

Relapsing White Matter Disease and Subclinical Optic Neuropathy: From the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Case Conference Proceedings

O'Neill, Kimberly A; Dugue, Andrew; Abreu, Nicolas J; Balcer, Laura J; Branche, Marc; Galetta, Steven; Graves, Jennifer; Kister, Ilya; Magro, Cynthia; Miller, Claire; Newsome, Scott D; Pappas, John; Rucker, Janet; Steigerwald, Connolly; William, Christopher M; Zamvil, Scott S; Grossman, Scott N; Krupp, Lauren B
A 16-year-old adolescent boy presented with recurrent episodes of weakness and numbness. Brain MRI demonstrated subcortical, juxtacortical, and periventricular white matter T2 hyperintensities with gadolinium enhancement. CSF was positive for oligoclonal bands that were not present in serum. Despite treatment with steroids, IV immunoglobulins, plasmapheresis, and rituximab, he continued to have episodes of weakness and numbness and new areas of T2 hyperintensity on imaging. Neuro-ophthalmologic examination revealed a subclinical optic neuropathy with predominant involvement of the papillomacular bundle. Genetic evaluation and brain biopsy led to an unexpected diagnosis.
PMID: 38181317
ISSN: 2332-7812
CID: 5628442

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