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Patient-Reported Symptoms in the Global Multiple System Atrophy Registry

Palma, Jose-Alberto; Krismer, Florian; Meissner, Wassilios G; Kuijpers, Mechteld; Millar-Vernetti, Patricio; Perez, Miguel A; Fanciulli, Alessandra; Norcliffe-Kaufmann, Lucy; Bower, Pam; Wenning, Gregor K; Kaufmann, Horacio
Background/UNASSIGNED:The Global Multiple System Atrophy Registry (GLOMSAR) was established in 2013. It is an online patient-reported contact registry open and free that relies on self-reported diagnosis by the patient or caregiver. Objectives/UNASSIGNED:To report the demographics of patients enrolled in GLOMSAR and the results of an ancillary online symptom questionnaire. Methods/UNASSIGNED:Patients enrolled in GLOMSAR were invited to complete a custom-designed online questionnaire about disease onset and symptom prevalence. Results/UNASSIGNED:At the time of writing, there were 1083 participants in GLOMSAR, of which 33% (365) completed the questionnaire. The onset and frequency of most symptoms was similar to those reported in the literature in physician-reported studies. Some were understudied or not typically associated with multiple system atrophy (MSA), including reduced female sexual sensation (55%), forgetfulness (60%), pseudobulbar affect (37%), olfactory changes (36%), and visual hallucinations (21%). Conclusions/UNASSIGNED:Patient-reported studies and ancillary online questionnaires are valid, underused research tools useful to advance our knowledge on understudied MSA features and highlight the patients' voice.
PMID: 36247899
ISSN: 2330-1619
CID: 5360142

mTOR Inhibition with Sirolimus in Multiple System Atrophy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Futility Trial and 1-Year Biomarker Longitudinal Analysis

Palma, Jose-Alberto; Martinez, Jose; Millar Vernetti, Patricio; Ma, Thong; Perez, Miguel A; Zhong, Judy; Qian, Yingzhi; Dutta, Suman; Maina, Katherine N; Siddique, Ibrar; Bitan, Gal; Ades-Aron, Benjamin; Shepherd, Timothy M; Kang, Un J; Kaufmann, Horacio
BACKGROUND:Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the aggregation of α-synuclein in glia and neurons. Sirolimus (rapamycin) is an mTOR inhibitor that promotes α-synuclein autophagy and reduces its associated neurotoxicity in preclinical models. OBJECTIVE:To investigate the efficacy and safety of sirolimus in patients with MSA using a futility design. We also analyzed 1-year biomarker trajectories in the trial participants. METHODS:Randomized, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled clinical trial at the New York University of patients with probable MSA randomly assigned (3:1) to sirolimus (2-6 mg daily) for 48 weeks or placebo. Primary endpoint was change in the Unified MSA Rating Scale (UMSARS) total score from baseline to 48 weeks. ( NCT03589976). RESULTS:The trial was stopped after a pre-planned interim analysis met futility criteria. Between August 15, 2018 and November 15, 2020, 54 participants were screened, and 47 enrolled and randomly assigned (35 sirolimus, 12 placebo). Of those randomized, 34 were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. There was no difference in change from baseline to week 48 between the sirolimus and placebo in UMSARS total score (mean difference, 2.66; 95% CI, -7.35-6.91; P = 0.648). There was no difference in UMSARS-1 and UMSARS-2 scores either. UMSARS scores changes were similar to those reported in natural history studies. Neuroimaging and blood biomarker results were similar in the sirolimus and placebo groups. Adverse events were more frequent with sirolimus. Analysis of 1-year biomarker trajectories in all participants showed that increases in blood neurofilament light chain (NfL) and reductions in whole brain volume correlated best with UMSARS progression. CONCLUSIONS:Sirolimus for 48 weeks was futile to slow the progression of MSA and had no effect on biomarkers compared to placebo. One-year change in blood NfL and whole brain atrophy are promising biomarkers of disease progression for future clinical trials. © 2022 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
PMID: 35040506
ISSN: 1531-8257
CID: 5131432

Genetic Diagnosis in Movement Disorders. Use of Whole-Exome Sequencing in Clinical Practice [Letter]

Millar Vernetti, Patricio; Yanzi, María Agustina Ruiz; Rossi, Malco; Merello, Marcelo
PMID: 35531120
ISSN: 2160-8288
CID: 5285212

Inhibition of the norepinephrine transporter to treat neurogenic orthostatic hypotension: is this the end of the story? [Comment]

Lamotte, Guillaume; Millar Vernetti, Patricio
PMID: 34757507
ISSN: 1619-1560
CID: 5285202

A Prospective Study of Neurologic Disorders in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients in New York City

Frontera, Jennifer A; Sabadia, Sakinah; Lalchan, Rebecca; Fang, Taolin; Flusty, Brent; Millar-Vernetti, Patricio; Snyder, Thomas; Berger, Stephen; Yang, Dixon; Granger, Andre; Morgan, Nicole; Patel, Palak; Gutman, Josef; Melmed, Kara; Agarwal, Shashank; Bokhari, Matthew; Andino, Andres; Valdes, Eduard; Omari, Mirza; Kvernland, Alexandra; Lillemoe, Kaitlyn; Chou, Sherry H-Y; McNett, Molly; Helbok, Raimund; Mainali, Shraddha; Fink, Ericka L; Robertson, Courtney; Schober, Michelle; Suarez, Jose I; Ziai, Wendy; Menon, David; Friedman, Daniel; Friedman, David; Holmes, Manisha; Huang, Joshua; Thawani, Sujata; Howard, Jonathan; Abou-Fayssal, Nada; Krieger, Penina; Lewis, Ariane; Lord, Aaron S; Zhou, Ting; Kahn, D Ethan; Czeisler, Barry M; Torres, Jose; Yaghi, Shadi; Ishida, Koto; Scher, Erica; de Havenon, Adam; Placantonakis, Dimitris; Liu, Mengling; Wisniewski, Thomas; Troxel, Andrea B; Balcer, Laura; Galetta, Steven
OBJECTIVE:To determine the prevalence and associated mortality of well-defined neurologic diagnoses among COVID-19 patients, we prospectively followed hospitalized SARS-Cov-2 positive patients and recorded new neurologic disorders and hospital outcomes. METHODS:We conducted a prospective, multi-center, observational study of consecutive hospitalized adults in the NYC metropolitan area with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. The prevalence of new neurologic disorders (as diagnosed by a neurologist) was recorded and in-hospital mortality and discharge disposition were compared between COVID-19 patients with and without neurologic disorders. RESULTS:Of 4,491 COVID-19 patients hospitalized during the study timeframe, 606 (13.5%) developed a new neurologic disorder in a median of 2 days from COVID-19 symptom onset. The most common diagnoses were: toxic/metabolic encephalopathy (6.8%), seizure (1.6%), stroke (1.9%), and hypoxic/ischemic injury (1.4%). No patient had meningitis/encephalitis, or myelopathy/myelitis referable to SARS-CoV-2 infection and 18/18 CSF specimens were RT-PCR negative for SARS-CoV-2. Patients with neurologic disorders were more often older, male, white, hypertensive, diabetic, intubated, and had higher sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores (all P<0.05). After adjusting for age, sex, SOFA-scores, intubation, past history, medical complications, medications and comfort-care-status, COVID-19 patients with neurologic disorders had increased risk of in-hospital mortality (Hazard Ratio[HR] 1.38, 95% CI 1.17-1.62, P<0.001) and decreased likelihood of discharge home (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.63-0.85, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Neurologic disorders were detected in 13.5% of COVID-19 patients and were associated with increased risk of in-hospital mortality and decreased likelihood of discharge home. Many observed neurologic disorders may be sequelae of severe systemic illness.
PMID: 33020166
ISSN: 1526-632x
CID: 4626712

Afferent Baroreflex Dysfunction: Decreased or Excessive Signaling Results in Distinct Phenotypes

Norcliffe-Kaufmann, Lucy; Millar Vernetti, Patricio; Palma, Jose-Alberto; Balgobin, Bhumika J; Kaufmann, Horacio
Head and neck tumors can affect afferent baroreceptor neurons and either interrupt or intermittently increase their signaling, causing blood pressure to become erratic. When the afferent fibers of the baroreflex are injured by surgery or radiotherapy or fail to develop as in familial dysautonomia, their sensory information is no longer present to regulate arterial blood pressure, resulting in afferent baroreflex failure. When the baroreflex afferents are abnormally activated, such as by paragangliomas in the neck, presumably by direct compression, they trigger acute hypotension and bradycardia and frequently syncope, by a mechanism similar to the carotid sinus syndrome. We describe our observations in a large series of 23 patients with afferent baroreflex dysfunction and the cardiovascular autonomic features that arise when the sensory baroreceptor neurons are injured or compressed. The management of afferent baroreceptor dysfunction is limited, but pharmacological strategies can mitigate blood pressure swings, improve symptoms, and may reduce hypertensive organ damage. Although rare, the prevalence of afferent baroreflex dysfunction appears to be increasing in middle-aged men due to human papillomavirus related oropharyngeal cancer.
PMID: 32906172
ISSN: 1098-9021
CID: 4589272

Disease stage and UMSARS progression: Implications for clinical trials [Meeting Abstract]

Perez, M; Palma, J A; Norcliffe-Kaufmann, L; Millar, Vernetti P; Singer, W; Low, P; Pellecchia, M T; Kim, H J; Shibao, C; Peltier, A; Biaggioni, I; Giraldo, D; Marti, M J; Fanciulli, A; Terroba-Chambi, C; Merello, M; Goldstein, D; Freeman, R; Gibbons, C; Vernino, S; Krismer, F; Wenning, G; Kaufmann, H
Objective: To study the rate of progression of multiple system atrophy (MSA) and assess for a potential ceiling effect of the Unified Multiple System Atrophy Rating Scale (UMSARS).
Background(s): Disease progression of MSA as measured by UMSARS varied significantly in natural history studies. Reported 1-year UMSARS-1 and UMSARS-2 progression rates ranged from 3.9 to 6.5 and 3.5 to 8.2 respectively. We hypothesize that this variability is due, at least in part, to differences in severity at enrollment and a potential ceiling effect in the scale, so that patients in more advanced stages may appear to worsen less, which would have important implications for clinical trial design.
Method(s): We analyzed the rate of change in the UMSARS in a large international cohort of well-characterized patients with a clinical diagnosis of possible or probable MSA enrolled in the Natural History Study of Synucleinopathies. Annualized progression rates were obtained using 2-year follow-up data.
Result(s): Three hundred and forty nine patients (61.4+/-7.9 years old) with MSA were enrolled. Disease duration was 4.5+/-5.1 years. 143 patients completed 1-year evaluations and 61 completed the 2-year evaluation. The 12-month progression rates were 5.4+/-5.1 for the UMSARS-I, 5.9+/-5.3 for the UMSARS-II, and 11.8+/-9.6 for the total score. The 24-month progression rates were 10.8+/-7.3 for the UMSARS-I, 12.2+/-7.9 for the UMSARSII, and 22.6+/-13.7 for the total score. Annualized progression rates were divided according to their baseline UMSARS-I and UMSARS II. There was a significant (p = 0.0153) inverse relationship between rate of progression and UMSARS-I at baseline. A similar, but not significant trend was observed with UMSARS-II at baseline.
Conclusion(s): The rate of progression as measured by UMSARS is influenced by the baseline disease severity. A possible ceiling effect should be considered when planning enrollment, power calculations, and outcome measures in clinical trials
ISSN: 1531-8257
CID: 4756932

Towards a scoring system to distinguish early parkinsonian variant of multiple system atrophy from Parkinson's disease [Meeting Abstract]

Millar, Vernetti P; Palma, J A; Norcliffe-Kaufmann, L; Perez, M; Fanciulli, A; Krismer, F; Singer, W; Low, P; Pellecchia, M T; Kim, H J; Shibao, C; Peltier, A; Biaggioni, I; Marti, M J; Terroba-Chambi, C; Merello, M; Goldstein, D; Freeman, R; Gibbons, C; Vernino, S; Wenning, G; Kaufmann, H
Objective: To develop a clinical score to distinguish between the parkinsonian variant of multiple system atrophy (MSA-P) and Parkinson's disease (PD).
Background(s): The differential diagnosis between MSA-P and PD is often difficult, particularly early in the disease course.
Method(s): We compared patients with probable MSA-P and with PD with a disease duration of <3 years, selected from those who were enrolled in the Natural History Study of the Synucleinopathies, an international prospective observational study. Detailed clinical neurological, and autonomic parameters were assessed at enrollment using UMSARS part I, II and IV; Schrag quality of life (QoL) scale; burden of autonomic dysfunction by COMPASS-31 scale; smell function using the UPSIT; cardiovascular autonomic function using heart rate variability during deep-breathing, analysis of the Valsalva maneuver, orthostatic stress test, plasma catecholamine levels during supine rest and after head-up tilt; and cognitive evaluation using MoCA. Positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR) were obtained for each variable assessed. Multiple iterations of a composite score based on sequential addition of variables with the highest diagnostic accuracy were created by multiplying each variable's LR and applying a logarithmic function.
Result(s): Fifty-eight MSA-P and 53 PD patients had a disease duration of less than 3 years. The vast majority of patients had been diagnosed within the last 12 months (81% MSA-P and 66% PD patients). MSA-P patients were more frequently female (53% vs. 30% p<0.05) and younger at diagnosis (63+/-8 years vs. 71+/-8 years, p<0.001). A 7-item score comprising the bladder weighted subscore of the COMPASS-31, UMSARS's part 1, UPSIT, hyperreflexia, the motor subscore of Schrag's MSA quality of life scale, falls within 3 years of diagnosis, and new or increased snoring resulted in a ROC curve AUC of 0.983, with excellent 93% sensitivity and 98% specificity to distinguish early MSA-P from PD.
Conclusion(s): We propose a scale of 7 clinical items to distinguish early stage MSA-P from PD. It considers urinary function, olfactory function, corticospinal signs, performance of activities of daily living, motor symptoms burden on quality of life, frequent early falls and sleep disordered breathing. We are now prospectively validating the scale to determine its predictive value in our prodromal cohort. (Figure Presented)
ISSN: 1531-8257
CID: 4756942

Parkin Pleiotropy: Extremely Atypical Phenotypes in Patients With Compound Heterozygous Mutations [Case Report]

Millar Vernetti, Patricio; Rossi, Malco; Merello, Marcelo
Background:Parkin mutations are suspected in early-onset Parkinson's disease with early motor complications, and in pedigrees showing an autosomal recessive pattern. Some compound heterozygous mutations can present with various uncommon phenotypes. Case Report:Two siblings with the same mutations, one with atypical postural and action tremor, and the other with an axonal motor autonomic neuropathy. A woman with a 45-year history of slowly progressive parkinsonism with no motor complications. Discussion:Due to the variability of phenotypes of Parkin mutations, testing should also be warranted in patients with atypical tremor syndromes or axonal polyneuropathy when more common causes have been ruled out. Highlights:We report three patients with extremely atypical parkin mutation phenotypes: an atypical tremor syndrome, an axonal motor autonomic neuropathy, and a remarkably slowly progressive parkinsonism. This shows that parkin mutations may present with a highly variable phenotype, and should be considered in patients with such manifestations.
PMID: 32864185
ISSN: 2160-8288
CID: 4839952

Transcranial Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy in Essential Tremor: A Comprehensive Lesion Characterization

Pineda-Pardo, José Angel; Urso, Daniele; Martínez-Fernández, Raul; Rodríguez-Rojas, Rafael; Del-Alamo, Marta; Millar Vernetti, Patricio; Máñez-Miró, Jorge U; Hernández-Fernández, Frida; de Luis-Pastor, Esther; Vela-Desojo, Lydia; Obeso, José A
BACKGROUND:Transcranial magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (tcMRgFUS) thalamotomy is a novel and effective treatment for controlling tremor in essential tremor patients. OBJECTIVE:To provide a comprehensive characterization of the radiological, topographical, and volumetric aspects of the tcMRgFUS thalamic lesion, and to quantify how they relate to the clinical outcomes. METHODS:In this study, clinical and radiological data from forty patients with medically-refractory essential tremor treated with unilateral tcMRgFUS thalamotomy were retrospectively analyzed. Treatment efficacy was assessed with Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST). Lesions were manually segmented on T1, T2, and susceptibility-weighted images, and 3-dimensional topographical analysis was then carried out. Statistical comparisons were performed using nonparametric statistics. RESULTS:The greatest clinical improvement was correlated with a more inferior and posterior lesion, a bigger lesion volume, and percentage of the ventral intermediate nucleus covered by the lesion; whereas, the largest lesions accounted for the occurrence of gait imbalance. Furthermore, the volume of the lesion was significantly predicted by the number of sonications surpassing 52°C. CONCLUSION:Here we provide a comprehensive characterization of the thalamic tcMRgFUS lesion including radiological and topographical analysis. Our results indicate that the location and volume of the lesion were significantly associated with the clinical outcome and that mid-temperatures may be responsible for the lesion size. This could serve ultimately to improve targeting and judgment and to optimize clinical outcome of tcMRgFUS thalamotomy.
PMID: 31574145
ISSN: 1524-4040
CID: 4839932