Clinical Neuroscience

[Clinical significance of the cardiovascular effects of fingolimod treatment in multiple sclerosis]


NOVEMBER 20, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(11-12)

[Fingolimod is a sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor modulator, which is effective in the treatment of severe relapsingremitting form of multiple sclerosis. Once daily oral use of fingolimod decreased the annualized relapse rate, inflammatory brain lesion activity and the rate of brain atrophy compared both to placebo and intramuscular administered interferon beta-1a. The drug targets the cardiovascular system as well via sphingosine- 1 phosphate receptors. After initiation of fingolimod therapy transient sinus bradycardia and slowing of the atrioventricular conduction develops. The onset of the effect is as early as 1 hour post administration, while heart rate and conduction normalized in 24 hours in most of the cases. According to the clinical trials symptomatic bradycardia developed in 0.5% of the cases, responding to the appropriate therapy. The incidence of Mobitz I type II atrioventricular blocks and blocks with 2:1 atrioventricular conduction was 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. All of these cardiovascular events showed regression during observation and no higher degree atrioventricular blocks were detected at the approved therapeutic dose. Following the first dose effect, fingolimod had a moderate hypertensive effect on long-term. For the safety of fingolimod treatment detailed cardiovascular risk stratification of all patients, adequate patient monitoring after the first dose and competency in treating the possible side effects is necessary. In patients with increased cardiovascular risks, treatment should be considered only if anticipated benefits outweigh potential risks and extended monitoring is required.]



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Clinical Neuroscience

[Vinpocetin in neurological diseases]

SZAPÁRY László, KÉSMÁRKY Gábor, TÓTH Kálmán, MISNYOVSZKY Melinda, TÓTH Tímea, BALOGH Ágnes, NAGY Krisztián, NÉMETH György, FEHÉR Gergely

[Introduction - Stroke is the third leading cause of death worldwide (following cardiovascular and cancer mortality) and associated with serious disability for the vast majority of patients. There is no salvage therapy for irreversibly damaged brain areas, improving the circulation of the surrounding hypoperfused territories may be associated with benefitial clinical states. Cerebral hypoperfusion may play a role in the pathogenesis of other kind of neurological diseases, improvement of global circulation may have a preventive effect on these conditions. Aims - The aim of our study was to review the experimental and clinical articles focusing on the role of vinpocetin in different neurological conditions. Results - Vinpocetin appears to have several different mechanisms of action that allow for its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, vasodilating, antiepileptic and neuroprotective activities in experimental conditions. On the other hand, several meta-analysis of the existing studies in acute stroke examining short and long term fatality rates with vinpocetin was unable to assess efficacy. In chronic cerebrovascular patients, vinpocetin improves impaired hemorheological variables, has significant vasodilating properties, improves endothelial dysfunction, neuroimaging studies showed selective increase in cerebral blood flow and cerebral metabolic rate, all of which are potentially beneficial in cerebrovascular disease and may improve cognitive functions. Summary - Based on the above mentioned results vinpocetin plays an important role both in basic research and in clinical management of different neurological diseases.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Rivaroxaban in prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation]


[Atrial fibrillation (AF) is well established risk factor for cardioembolic stroke. With thromboprophylatic treatment we can reduce the risk of stroke in patients with AF. Oral vitamin K antagonists (VKA) such as warfarin and acenocoumarol are effective for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. VKAs are associated with several limitations including very narrow therapeutic range, several factors (diet, drugs, alcohol consumption) affecting the effect of VKA and excessive bleeding may occur if INR value not controlled successfully. New oral anticoagulant direct Xa factor inhibitor rivaroxaban has a good therapeutic efficacy in prevention (primary and secondary) of stroke in AF patients. Its advantages are including no need for monitoring, fixed oral dose, not affected by meal, age and body weight, all of them can improve patient adherence. In ROCKET AF trial in patients with AF, rivaroxaban was noninferior to warfarin for the prevention of stroke or systemic embolism. There was no significant between-group difference in the risk of major bleeding, although intracranial and fatal bleeding occurred less frequently in the rivaroxaban group.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Aspirin and clopidogrel resistance: possible mechanisms and clinical relevance. Part I: Concept of resistance]

VADÁSZ Dávid, SZTRIHA K László, SAS Katalin, VÉCSEI László

[Aspirin and clopidogrel are well established as antiplatelet medication in the treatment of atherothrombotic vascular disease. However, despite treatment, a substantial number of patients experience recurrent ischemic episodes, referred to as aspirin or clopidogrel treatment failure. Various laboratory techniques are available with which to evaluate the effectiveness of antiplatelet drugs. Interestingly, the agreement between the results of the different tests may be poor. The term aspirin or clopidogrel resistance denotes those conditions in which an inadequate inhibitory efficacy of the given antiplatelet agent is detected by an in vitro assay of platelet function. It has been estimated that on average some 30% of patients treated with aspirin, and 20% on clopidogrel, do not achieve an appropriate level of efficacy as concerns platelet activity.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of immobilization stress and sertindole on the expression of APP, MAPK-1 and β-actin genes in rat brain]

KÁLMÁN János, PÁKÁSKI Magdolna, SZŰCS Szabina, KÁLMÁN Sára, FAZEKAS Örsike, SÁNTHA Petra, SZABÓ Gyula, JANKA Zoltán

[Stress, depending on its level and quality, may cause adaptive and maladaptive alterations in brain functioning. As one of its multiple effects, elevated blood cortisol levels decrease the synthesis of the neuroprotective BDNF, thus leading to hippocampal atrophy and synapse loss, and rendering it a possible cause for the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) related neuropathological and cognitive changes. As a result of the stress response, intraneuronal alterations - also affecting the metabolism of β-actin - can develop. These have a role in the regulation of memory formation (LTP), but in pathological conditions (AD) they could lead to the accumulation of Hirano bodies (actin-cofilin rods). According to the dementia treatment guidelines, the behavioural and psychological symptoms of AD can be treated with certain antipsychotics. Therefore, the aim of our study was to examine the effects of sertindole (currently not used in the standard management of AD) on the transcription of some AD associated genes (amyloid precursor protein [APP], mitogen activated protein kinase-1 [MAPK-1], β-actin) in the brain of rats exposed to chronic immobilization stress (CIS). Male Wistar rats were exposed to CIS for three weeks. The four groups were: control (n=16), CIS (n=10), 10 mg/kg sertindole (n=5) and 10 mg/kg sertindole + CIS (n=4). Following transcardial perfusion, the relative levels of hippocampal and cortical mRNA of the previously mentioned genes were measured with real-time PCR. CIS induced hippocampal β-actin (p<0.01), MAPK-1 and APP (p<0.05) mRNA overexpression. The simultaneous administration of sertindole suppressed this increase in β-actin, MAPK-1 and APP expression (p<0.05). Ours is the first report about CIS induced β-actin gene overexpression. This finding, in accordance with the similar results in APP and MAPK-1 expression, underlines the significance of cytoskeletal alterations in AD pathogenesis. The gene expression reducing effect of sertindole suggests that antipsychotic drugs may have a neuroprotective effect.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Clinical experiences with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: three case studies]

SZŰCS Anna, VÁRALLYAY Péter, OSZTIE Éva, PAPP Erzsébet, SÓLYOM András, FINTA Lehel, VARGA Dániel, BARCS Gábor, HOLLÓ András, KAMONDI Anita

[The clinical picture, electroencephalographic, imaging and cerebrospinal fluid parameters as well as the molecular background of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have been well explored. The diagnostic criteria, offering clinicians a fair chance to identify these patients in vivo, have recently been updated. However, the diagnosis is still a challenge in everyday neurological routine. We report on three of our Creutzfeldt-Jakob patients for calling attention to the classical and the recently defined features of the disease. We conclude that based on the rapidly progressing neuropsychiatric syndrome Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may be suspected; follow-up EEG may reveal the typical (pseudo)-periodic pattern with progressive deterioration of the background activity. In addition, diffusion-weighted brain MRI imaging (DWI) has high diagnostic value. Detection of 14-3-3 protein in the cerebrospinal fluid supports the in vivo diagnosis.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Selective ultrastructural vulnerability in the cuprizone-induced experimental demyelination]

ÁCS Péter, KOMOLY Sámuel

[Background and purpose - It has been reported that multiple sclerosis has four different neuropathological subtypes, and two of them (type III and IV) are characterized by primary oligodendrocyte loss. However, the exact pathomechanism that lead to oligodendrocyte apoptosis in human demyelinating diseases is still elusive. The copper chelator cuprizone induces primary oligodendrocyte apoptosis and consequent demyelination in well defined areas of the mouse brain. Nevertheless, the precise subcellular events that result in oligodendrocyte cell death in the cuprizone model are still unknown. We aimed to study the ultrastructural alterations that might induce oligodendrocyte apoptosis in the cuprizone experimental demyelination model. Methods - C57BL/6 mice were given cuprizone for two, 21 and 35 days to induce demyelination to investigate early pathological events, and different stages of demyelination. In addition, mice were given cuprizone for 35 days and were allowed to recover for two or 14 days to study early and late remyelination. After the cuprizone treatment, mice were sacrificed and the corpus callosum, the superior cerebellar peduncle, the optic nerve and the sciatic nerve were studied by electron microscopy. Results - The ultrastructural analysis revealed that cuprizone induced oligodendrocyte apoptosis is accompanied by the formation of giant mitochondria in the affected cells in the corpus callosum and in the superior cerebellar peduncle. Apoptosis of the myelin producing cells was present through the whole cuprizone challenge. Severe demyelination occurred after three weeks of cuprizone administration associated with massive macrophage infiltration and astrocytosis of the demyelinated areas. Axons and neurons remained unaffected. Conclusion - The formation of giant mitochondria in myelin producing oligodendrocytes is the first pathological sign in the cuprizone experimental demyelination. Mitochondrium pathology in the cuprizone challenge might serve as a useful model to study the pathomechanism of multiple sclerosis subtypes (III and IV) characterized by primary oligodendrocyte degeneration.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Change of therapeutic algorithm in sclerosis multiplex based on two case reports]

BIERNACKI Tamás, BENCSIK Krisztina, KINCSES Zsigmond Tamás, SANDI Dániel, FRICSKA-NAGY Zsanett, FARAGÓ Péter, VÉCSEI László

[The aim of our case reports is to demonstrate the therapeutic use and possibilities one has with alemtuzumab, should it be used either as a first or second line therapy. Our first patient's disease in the beginning seemed to be benign. It was not the case however, over several years the diesase showed high activity both radiologically and clinically, she was treated with alemtuzumab as part of an esclationbased therapeutic strategy. The second patient's disease on the other hand showed formidable activity since the very beginning both radiologically and clinically. Therefore we were facing a very disastrous prognosis on the long run, accordingly he received alemtuzumab treatment very early into his illness.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Application of the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite in Debrecen]


[Introduction - The Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) has been recommended by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as a new clinical outcome measure. It is based on measurements in three clinical dimensions: leg function/ambulation (timed 25-foot walk), arm function (9-hole peg test), and cognitive function (paced auditory serial addition test). Scores on component measures are converted to standard scores (Z-scores) that reflect patient performance. This method has not yet been introduced into routine clinical practice. Patients and method - MSFC calculation was applied to 17 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (age mean: 37.4±10.8 years; duration of the disease: 5.5±4.9 years, EDSS: 2.7±1.4) seen at the neuroimmunological outpatient clinic to evaluate its usefulness and its correlation with the traditionally applied Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and with patient-reported quality of life. Fifteen patients received immunomodulatory treatment (interferon beta and glatiramer acetate). MSFC and EDSS were measured at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 months, and questionnaires on quality of life were filled in by the patients at 0, 6, 12, 18 months of follow- up. Results - The prospective study confirmed a strong correlation between EDSS and MSFC (Spearman correlation test, p=0.03, 0.004, 0.002, 0.004, 0.0008, 0.002; R=-0.54, -0.66, -0.68, -0.65, -0.73, -0.69) in multiple sclerosis. The MSFC was more sensitive to clinical changes than EDSS. The extent of changes on the two scales correlated only after 18 months (p<0.005, R=-0.65). The arm/hand function was the most sensitive measure for disease progression. There was no correlation between the quality of life and either of the two other clinical parameters. Conclusion - MSFC is a simple method, suitable for followup of multiple sclerosis patients in everyday clinical practice.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Fingolimod therapy in multiple sclerosis - the issue of the pathomechanism]

TAR Lilla, VÉCSEI László

[Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system with neurodegenerative chararacteristics. The newly discovered per os administrable drug fingolimod (FTY720) has a different mechanism of action than the current disease-modifying therapies. In vivo the drug binds to four out of the five sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors after phosphorylation. Fingolimod-phosphate (FTY720-P) causes internalization and degradation of the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors in the membrane of lymphocytes thus in contrast to sphingosine-1-phosphate it acts like a functional antagonist. In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis - an animal model of multiple sclerosis - fingolimod blocks the sphingosine-1-phosphate gradient controlled lymphocyte egress from the lymph nodes and therefore reduces the peripheral lymphocyte count especially the encephalitogenic Th17 subset is reduced. Modulation of the sinus lining and blood-brainbarrier constructing endothelial cells also contributes to the complex mechanism of action. Additionally due to its liphohilic nature fingolimod is able to penetrate the blood brain barrier thus, beside its peripheral effects the drug can probably modulate the cells of the central nervous system directly. Presumably it can reduce neurodegeneration caused by astrogliosis through modification of astrocyte and oligodendrocyte activity. The results of current clinical studies are holding out with bright prospective in the aspect of either the favourable effects or the well tolerated side effects.]