Clinical Neuroscience

[Extending therapeutic possibilities in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: dimethyl fumarate]


JANUARY 30, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(01-02)

[Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a novel oral therapy that has recently been approved for the treatment of relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Dimethyl fumarate shows anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective properties that are thought to be mediated primarily via activation of the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 - Nrf2 transcriptional pathway, which up-regulates the genes involved in the cellular response to oxidative stress. The drug was evaluated in 2 large, randomized, double-blind, multicentric, multinational, 2-year, phase III clinical trials. The DEFINE and CONFIRM trials, conducted with over 2600 adult patients suffering from RRMS, unequivocally confirmed the efficacy of DMF (2×240 mg daily) in reducing the annualized relapse rate (ARR) and reducing the proportion of patients with MS relapse at 2 years. Significantly reduced sustained disability progression was observed with the drug versus placebo in DEFINE, while the same tendency was seen in CONFIRM. The MRI results of the studies were also convincing: DMF significantly reduced the number of new/enlarging T2-hyperintense lesions and the number of Gd-enhancing lesions compared to placebo. Dimethyl fumarate was generally well tolerated and no safety concern has been raised. Adverse events that occurred most frequently included flushing and gastrointestinal events. The long- term efficacy and tolerability of dimethyl fumarate is currently being investigated in the ENDORSE trial, with interim results demonstrating the same results as the two previous studies. In conclusion, although further, mostly comparative data are needed to fully establish the relative efficacy and tolerability of dimethyl fumarate compared with other therapies, dimethyl-fumarate is a valuable addition to the therapeutic options available for RRMS.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience


RAJNA Péter, TAJTI János

Clinical Neuroscience

[Role of modified open-door laminoplasty in the treatment of multilevel cervical spinal stenosis: a retrospective analysis of 43 cases]


[Background and purpose - Symptomatic degenerative multilevel cervical spinal stenosis - beside other methods - is often treated using the open-door laminoplasty. This procedure aims to decompress the spinal cord and preserve the stability of the cervical spine. The efficiency and safety of the method was proved by numerous Japanese and American studies, also the technique related complications are well known. We treated 43 patients with symptomatic multilevel cervical spine stenosis using the open-door laminoplasty as a surgical procedure of choice in the National Institute of Clinical Neurosciences between 2009 and 2012. In this article we analyse our results and the related literature is discussed. Methods - Symptomatic patients with a minimum of three-segment cervical spine stenosis and radiologically proved myelopathy or with electrophisiologically verified subclinical myelopathy were selected for laminoplasty. Patients in whom cervical kyphosis was present were operated on using laminectomy and posterior fusion. Postoperative control CT, MRI and/or X-ray images were made after the surgery and at six weeks, three, six and 12 months after the operation and in the same time neurological evaluation was performed. The modified Japanase Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) scale value was assigned to patients preoperatively, six weeks, three, six and 12 months after the operation. The statistical difference between the groups of data was tested by chi square test. Results - The average follow-up time was 27 months (minimum seven, maximum 42). According to the mJOA scale, 26 patient’s condition (61%) improved, in 13 cases (30%) remained unchanged, and in one case (2%) we detected neurological deterioration. We lost three patients during the follow up period. The median of mJOA preoperatively was 12 (minimum eight, maximum 18), while six week postoperative mJOA was 14 (minimum 10, maximum 17). Three, six and 12 months mean value of mJOA was 14 which shows that the improvement in patients’ condition remained stable at one year after surgery. The difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). The canal’s average anteroposterior diameter on CT was 8.29±0.92 mm at the level of C III, while after the operation we measured 15.16±1.02 mm; 7.54±0.62 mm at the level of C IV before, and 15.29±0.2 mm after; 9.05±0.48 mm at the level of C V before and 17.23±0.4 mm after the surgery. The differences proved to be significant (p=0.0001). Conclusion - According to our experiences the modified open-door laminoplasty is an efficient and safe method for the treatment of symptomatic multilevel cervical spinal stenosis.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The efficacy of lacosamide in relation to antiepileptic drug history. Clinical experiences in adult partial epilepsy]


[Objective - A retrospective study in adult partial epilepsy on the efficacy of lacosamide in relation to previous antiepileptic drug experiences. Method - We analysed 3-65 months’ data on epilepsy-care of 43 pharmacoresistant partial epilepsy patients treated with lacosamide. Further analysis of antiepileptic drug history was carried out in strictly selected subgroups of patients with good and poor therapeutic response to lacosamide (10 and 9 patients, respectively) for 2-10 years long retrospective follow up. Patients - Adult patients with partial-onset seizures had been treated previously with three or more lifetime antiepileptic drugs without permanent success. Results - Six patients (14%) were seizure free, eleven patients (25%) have experienced important improvement (their seizure-frequency decreased by at least 50%) for more than 12 months. Fourteen patients (32%) improved for less than 6 months and then have relapsed; and add-on lacosamide proved ineffective in 12 patients (28%). Those selected 10 patients successfully treated with lacosamide (seizure free for at least six months) favourably responded to carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier and levetiracetam was ineffective or even caused worsening. The selected lacosamide-unresponsive nine patients responded unfavourably to carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier. Fifteen patients (35%) suffered side effects as dizziness or sleepiness, in 11 of them lacosamide was combined with a „traditional” sodium-channal blocker antiepileptic drug. Conclusion - Lacosamide is an effective add-on antiepileptic drug in difficult-to treat adult partial epilepsy patients. Our data suggest that good lacosamide response may be expected in those patients who reacted favourably to „traditional” sodium-channel blocker carabamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Assessment of severity and time course of critical illness neuropathy in septic patients: a prospective observational study]


[Objective - In this prospective observational study we investigated electrophysiological alterations in the early phase of critical illness and correlated electrophysiological findings with the clinical picture and outcome. Methods - We enrolled 21 critically ill surgical patients having ≥12 Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores on admission. Routine non-invasive bilateral electroneurography (ENG) examination of median and ulnar nerves was done on five consecutive days starting in two days after admission. Then weekly follow-up was performed. Motor and sensory nerve conduction indices were calculated and correlated with APACHE II and Simplified Acute Physiology Score II severity scores. Results - On the first examination 18/21 patients had >20% reduction in the motor and sensory nerve conduction indices. Severity score systems showed significant negative correlation with the daily change of CMAP and SNAP amplitudes and calculated nerve conduction indices (Spearman’s correlation, p<0,001). Mortality was higher in the patients with worse admission ENG and/or stagnant electrophysiological status or declining tendency in the first week. Conclusions - Electrophysiological alterations appeared soon after the development of critical illness. Early phase alterations showed a strong correlation with patients’ general condition and more severe electrophysiological alterations predisposed to higher mortality. In several cases early alterations proved to be reversible. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Intraoperativ electrophysiological monitoring during neurosurgery on eloquent structures]

FEKETE Gábor, NOVÁK László, ERÕSS Loránd, FABÓ Dániel, BOGNÁR László

[Objective - We summarize our experiences on intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring during neurosurgical procedures on eloquent neuronal structures. Patients, methods - Sixty patients were enrolled retrospectively in our study with pathologies involving eloquent neuronal structures. They were operated between May 2011. and March 2012. at the University of Debrecen, Department of Neurosurgery and at the National Institute of Neurosciences. Patients underwent standard preoperative examinations due to the primary pathology. In all cases we used intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring. We had 22 cases with cranial nerve monitoring, 10 cases with cauda monitoring, 16 cases with motor system monitoring, six cases with complex spinal cord monitoring, three degenerative spine reconstructions and 3 awake surgeries. Results - We found that with the use of intraoperative electrophysiology we could make these neurosurgical procedures safer, and were able to optimize the extent of resection in the cases of oncological pathologies. Conclusions - Our experiences as well as the international literature suggests that in certain high risk neurosurgical procedures intraoperative electrophysiology is indispensible for safe and optimally extended operation.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[Experience with natalizumab-treatment at Semmelweis University]

GOMBOS Barbara, ILJICSOV Anna, BARSI Péter, HEGEDÛS Katalin, SIMÓ Magdolna

[Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system. During the last two decades, numerous disease modifying drugs have been introduced for the treatment of the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. Since 2010, natalizumab (NTZ) treatment has been used as a second-line therapy for patients with breakthrough disease. In comparison to conventional immunomodulant drugs, NTZ has a more specific effect in that it prevents the entry of immune cells into the central nervous system without interfering with systemic immune response. The efficacy and the safety of NTZ have been confirmed by several studies. The most severe side-effect of NTZ is progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, which has been associated with an increased incidence in patients with anti-JCV antibody positivity, and in those who have been undergoing NTZ treatment for over two years and who have received prior immunosuppressive therapy. In the present study, our experience with natalizumab treatment of 37 patients at the Department of Neurology of Semmelweis University during the last 6 years is presented. We have observed a significant decrease of disease activity in our patients; in many cases the disease has become inactive both clinically (36/37) and radiologically (34/37). The patients’ quality of life has improved significantly during the treatment. In accordance with the literature, we confirm that NTZ is a highly effective treatment in a carefully selected patient group, and can be administered without significant inconvenience to the patient. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Cases of inborn errors of metabolism diagnosed in children with autism

CAKAR Emel Nafiye, YILMAZBAS Pınar

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a heterogeneous presentation, the etiology of which is not clearly elucidated. In recent years, comorbidity has become more evident with the increase in the frequency of autism and diagnostic possibilities of inborn errors of metabolism. One hundred and seventy-nine patients with diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder who presented to the Pediatric Metabolism outpatient clinic between 01/September/2018-29/February/2020 constituted the study population. The personal information, routine and specific metabolic tests of the patients were analyzed retrospectively. Out of the 3261 patients who presented to our outpatient clinic, 179 (5.48%) were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and were included in the study. As a result of specific metabolic examinations performed, 6 (3.3%) patients were diagnosed with inborn errors of metabolism. Two of our patients were diagnosed with classical phenylketonuria, two with classical homocystinuria, one with mucopolysaccharidosis type 3D (Sanfilippo syndrome) and one with 3-methylchrotonyl Co-A carboxylase deficiency. Inborn errors of metabolism may rarely present with autism spectrum disorder symptoms. Careful evaluation of the history, physical examination and additional findings in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder will guide the clinician in the decision-making process and chose the appropriate specific metabolic investigation. An underlying inborn errors of metabolism may be a treatable cause of autism.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Health status and costs of ambulatory patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary]

PÉNTEK Márta, GULÁCSI László, RÓZSA Csilla, SIMÓ Magdolna, ILJICSOV Anna, KOMOLY Sámuel, BRODSZKY Valentin

[Background and purpose - Data on disease burden of multiple sclerosis from Eastern-Central Europe are very limited. Our aim was to explore the quality of life, resource utilisation and costs of ambulating patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary. Methods - Cross-sectional questionnaire survey was performed in two outpatient neurology centres in 2009. Clinical history, health care utilisation in the past 12 months were surveyed, the Expanded Disability Status Scale and the EQ-5D questionnaires were applied. Cost calculation was conducted from the societal perspective. Results - Sixty-eight patients (female 70.6%) aged 38.0 (SD 9.1) with disease duration of 7.8 (SD 6.7) years were involved. Fifty-five (80.9%) had relapsing-remitting form and 52 (76.5%) were taking immunomodulatory drug. The average scores were: Expanded Disability Status Scale 1.9 (SD 1.7), EQ-5D 0.67 (SD 0.28). Mean total cost amounted to 10 902 Euros/patient/year (direct medical 67%, direct nonmedical 13%, indirect costs 20%). Drugs, disability pension and informal care were the highest cost items. Costs of mild (Expanded Disability Status Scale 0-3.5) and moderate (Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.0-6.5) disease were 9 218 and 17 634 Euros/patient/year respectively (p<0.01), that is lower than results from Western European countries. Conclusion - Our study provides current inputs for policy making and contributes to understanding variation of costof- illness of multiple sclerosis in Europe.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Family planning in multiple sclerosis: conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding]

RÓZSA Csilla

[Family planning is an exceptionally important question in multiple sclerosis, as women of childbearing age are the ones most often affected. Although it is proven that pregnancy does not worsen the long-term prognosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, many patients are still doubtful about having children. This question is further complicated by the fact that patients – and often even doctors – are not sufficiently informed about how the ever-increasing number of available disease-modifying treatments affect pregnancies. Breastfeeding is an even less clear topic. Patients usually look to their neurologists first for answers concerning these matters. It falls to the neurologist to rationally evaluate the risks and benefits of contraception, pregnancy, assisted reproduction, childbirth, breastfeeding and disease modifying treatments, to inform patients about these, and then together come to a decision about the best possible therapeutic approach, taking the patients’ individual family plans into consideration. Here we present a review of relevant literature adhering to international guidelines on the topics of conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a special focus on the applicability of approved disease modifying treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The goal of this article is to provide clinicians involved in the care of MS patients with up-to-date information that they can utilize in their day-to-day clinical practice. ]