Clinical Neuroscience

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

TAR Lilla, VÉCSEI László

MARCH 30, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(03-04)

[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.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[In memoriam András Fazekas MD 1941-2012]

VOLT munkatársai

Clinical Neuroscience

[Study of the effects of vinpocetin on cognitive functions]

VALIKOVICS Attila, CSÁNYI Attila, NÉMETH László

[Introduction - Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion is a risk factor for the development of certain types of dementia. Mild cognitive impairment is a stage of predementia condition, because the symptoms are similar but not as severe as the symptoms in patients with dementia. Vinpocetine, due to its complex mechanism of action, has an important role in the improvement of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. Objectives - The aim of our study was to determine the severity of the cognitive decline and to investigate the efficacy and safety of per os 18 months vinpocetine treatment in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Methods - We used psychometrical tests (MMSE, ADASCog) to assess the cognitive functions. CGIC-PGIC was used to evaluate the overall change in the disease status. ADL was used to assess the patient’s daily activity and the Hamilton Depression Scale to evaluate the patient’s mood. The assessments were performed at six visits during the 18 months treatment period. Results - At the beginning of the treatment, the stage of our patients’ mild cognitive impairment was moderately severe. Significant improvement was detected in the psychometrical tests after the 18 months treatment period. The overall status of the disease improved significantly according both to the patient and the investigator. Also significant improvement was detected in daily activity. The complex improvement of the clinical symptoms affected the patients’ mood positively. Moreover, vinpocetine was safe and had a good tolerability during the whole study period. Conclusions - Vinpocetine, due its complex mechanism of action, improved significantly the cognitive functions, overall disease status and quality of life in patients with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. As a result, vinpocetine treatment can be recommended for patients with mild cognitive impairment.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Botulinum neurotoxin-A therapy in migraine]

TAJTI János, SZOK Délia, TUKA Bernadett, CSÁTI Anett, KURIS Anikó, MAJLÁTH Zsófia, LUKÁCS Melinda, VÉCSEI László

[Although migraine is a common, paroxysmal, highly disabling disorder, the primary cause and the pathomechanism of migraine attacks are enigmatic. Experimental results suggest that activation of the trigeminovascular system is crucial in its pathogenesis. This activation leads to the release of vasoactive neuropeptides (calcitonin gene-related peptide - CGRP, and substance P - SP) and to neurogenic inflammation, and peripheral and central sensitisation are expressed. Botulinum neurotoxin-A (BoNT-A), a potent toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, affects the nervous system through specific cleavage of the soluble NSF-attachment protein receptor complex (SNARE), like synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25). The result of this multistage process is blockade of the presynaptic release of pain neurotransmitters such as CGRP, SP and glutamate. A pooled analysis of the data from two programmes of Phase 3 Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy (PREEMPT 1 and 2) with BoNT-A in chronic migraine demonstrated significant benefit of BoNT-A over placebo with regard to the numbers of headache days and migraine episodes. BoNT-A diminished the frequency of acute headache pain medication intake, and resulted in reductions in headache impact and improvements in scores on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire. The treatments with BoNT-A proved safe and were well tolerated.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Stroke prevention - A population screening day in district XII of Budapest]

FOLYOVICH András, BAKOS Mária, KÁNTOR Zita, HERTELENDY Anna, HORVÁTH Eszter, ZSIGA Katalin, LAKATOS Henriette, VADASDI Károly

[Along with advances in the treatment of acute stroke, new efforts have been made to enhance efficiency of the prevention of cerebrovascular diseases. Population screening is a way to contact high-risk patients, and there is an increasing international and national experience with the procedure. However, efforts are associated with high costs, so an efficient method, complying with local features, should be selected from the various methods. A stroke prevention day was organized in Szent János Hospital, localized in district XII, and data were analyzed. Taking advantage of the potentials of a large hospital, a comprehensive risk assessment - within the capacity of health care workers - was performed. Program and contact information of the screening day was published in the local newspaper of the district. Data of 48 residents of the district were analyzed. In addition to neurologists, a radiologist, a cardiologist and an ophtalmologist, as well as health care workers were involved in the project. A data sheet was filled in for all participants, including known risk factors, BMI, blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. All participants had duplex sonography of the cervical vessels, cardiac evaluation and ophtalmic examination. Data were analyzed anonymously, and - if participants approved - postcode and educational level were also recorded. Among the 48 individuals screened, 35 were female and 13 were male. Average age was 62.86 (±8.57) years, and participants were typically of higher educational level. 5 individuals had no known risk factors, most of them had 2-3 risk factors, and multiple risk factors were not uncommon. Individuals with six and seven risk factors were also found. 20 of 27 patients with known hypertension had target blood pressure levels. By duplex sonography, 36 individuals had mild, 4 had significant atherosclerosis. There was no significant carotid stenosis or occlusion. Based on ophtalmic evaluation, 26 patients had signs of vascular disease (mainly hypertensive fundus changes). Cardiac evaluation detected 14 patients with cardiovascular risk. The high standard of primary care in the district was reflected by the fact that all the 6 highrisk individuals were already taken care of by general practitioners (GP-s). One of the leading conclusions from the evaluation of the data is that local press, family ties and local communities play a major role in recruiting people for a screening day. In order to increase efficiency and cost-efficacy of the program, GP-s should also be involved in the planning process, because efficiency may be increased by pre-selecting high-risk individuals.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[One year follow-up after stroke. A preliminary feasibility study in Josephtown of Budapest]

SZŐCS Ildikó, SZATMÁRI Szabolcs, FEKETE Klára, ORBÁN-KIS Károly, VASTAGH Ildikó, FOLYOVICH András, AJTAY András, BERECZKI Dániel

[Stroke is a major public health issue in Hungary with considerable regional differences in mortality. We have limited information to explain such regional differences. To assess these differences, we would need comparative followup studies optimally carried out by personal contact with the patient or the carer. According to several epidemiological studies, follow-up can be carried out with significantly lower cost and similar efficiency by telephone contact or regular mail. In this pilot study we intend to assess: 1. the efficacy of telephone follow-up one year after stroke in this geographical region 2. whether the efficacy of follow-up can be further increased with questionnaires sent out by regular mail 3. whether telephone and mail-based assessment is sufficient to perform a larger population based study. We included 135 patients hospitalized consecutively for acute cerebrovascular disease (stroke or TIA) by the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University in January and February of 2008. Based on residence, patients were divided into three groups: those living in the least wealthy district of Budapest (i.e. District-8); those living in other districts of the city; and those living in suburban areas. One year after the hospital treatment follow-up was possible by telephone in 76%. Further 12 patients could be contacted by questionnaire sent out by regular mail. Efficacy of follow-up was altogether 84%. Even in this small group of patients, we have found a tendency for more severe strokes (p=0.06) and higher acute case fatality (32% vs. 5%, p=0.029) in residents of District-8 of Budapest compared to those residing in more wealthy districts of the city and in suburban areas. Survival rate one year after stroke or TIA was only 39% in those living in District-8, 66% in those living in other districts and 75% in suburban dwellers (p=0.006). Telephone and mail-based questionnaires are insufficient for follow-up in these regions even when applied in combination. These preliminary data raise the possibility that the socio-economical conditions might influence stroke severity and outcome in the population. A larger study to address this issue would require more accurate definition of patient-groups and more efficient follow-up methods.]

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Matrix metalloproteinases and their tissue inhibitors in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis: Possible markers and treatment agents

SANLI Arzu, OZTURK Musa, SOYSAL Aysun, DOVENTAS Yasemin, BASOGLU Fulya, GOZUBATIK-CELIK R. Gokcen, BAYBAS Sevim

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which are synthesized by many cell groups and responsible for the destruction of matrix proteins, and endogen tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) have a role in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by affecting the blood-brain barrier. We aimed to investigate the role of MMPs and TIMPs in the immunopathogenesis and in the course of multiple sclerosis (MS). We enrolled 25 relapsing remitting MS patients, who had a definite MS diagnosis according to McDonald criteria and 25 healthy subjects similar for age and gender as control group. MMP-9- and TIMP-1 levels were measured twice in patient group (one time during an attack and one in remission) and once in healthy subjects. MMP-9- and TIMP-levels of patients during attack and remission period and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio were found significantly higher than in the control subjects. In patient group MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio during attacks were not significantly different than during remission period. However, when subdivided according to their number of attacks, patients with 2 attacks had significantly higher levels during attack period comparing to remission period (p<0.05); in case of patients with more than 2 attacks did not have a statistically significant difference in attack and remission periods. Matrix metalloproteinases are important actors in MS immunopathogenesis, particularly in the early period and inhibitor agents for these enzymes can be used as a treatment option.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Controversies in neurology: Diagnosis, follow up and therapy of multiple sclerosis with pathomechanismal approach]

VÉCSEI László

[The clinical boundaries between the relapsing and progressive course of multiple sclerosis are often indistinct. Despite the variable patterns of evolution, there are no biological reasons for discerning different multiple sclerosis phenotypes. Indeed, both primary progressive and secondary forms of the disease share similar pathological features in respect of the extent of inflammatory infiltrates, axonal damage, and cortical demyelination. The data indicating that primary progressive multiple sclerosis is preceded by an asymptomatic relapsing remitting phase. The proposed definition of secondary progressive multiple slcerosis, the attainment of at least EDSS of 4 is required to mark the transition to the progressive phase. Therefore, the clinical progress can be uncovered in the early phase of the disease. Furthermore, a continuous progression independent of relapsing activity is commonly observed during the relapsing remitting phase. A continuous smouldering process underpins the subtle clinical deterioration, which stands out as an important unmet treatment target. Concerning cognitive dysfunction of the patients pro-inflammatory cytokines have been associated with worse cognition in active multiple sclerosis, and this inflammatory milieu could also contribute to altered mentation during relapses. Therefore, long before people with multiple sclerosis become physically disabled, they have usually acquired hidden disabilities related to cognitive impairment. Silent progression appears during the relapsing remitting phase and it associates with brain atrophy. This suggests that the same process that underlies secondary progressive multiple sclerosis likely begins far earlier than is generally recognized. This supports a unitary view of multiple sclerosis biology. ]

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. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The Expanded Disability Status Scale scoring in patients with multiple sclerosis]

FÜVESI Judit

[Gait disturbance is a major symptom in patients with multiple sclerosis. The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) was first used in clinical trials of multiple sclerosis for the assessment of disability, however it has become more and more widely used in clinical practice as well. Nowadays its use is essential in application of the new diagnostic criteria, the new clinical form classification and in monitoring the efficacy of therapies. EDSS is based on a standardised neurological examination, but focuses on those symptoms that are frequent in multiple sclerosis. Based on the examination it assesses seven functional systems: visual, brainstem, pyramidal, cerebellar, sensory, bowel-bladder and cerebral functions. EDSS scores can be determined based on the scores given in the functional systems and on testing the walking distance. In newer versions the “Ambulation score” has been added. This chapter clarifies the scores based on the maximal walking distance and the need for a walking aid to walk this distance. The Neurostatus/EDSS training method improves the reproducibility of the standardised neurological examination that forms the basis of the EDSS scoring. Of the tests assessing walking, the Timed-25 Foot Walk Test and the self-administered 12-Item Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale are suitable for routine evaluation of walking performance. An increase of more than 20% in the Timed-25 Foot Walk may be considered a significant change in gait. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis: A review of the 2017 revisions of the McDonald criteria]

CSÉPÁNY Tünde

[The revolutionary progress of research in neuroimmu­nology has led to the introduction of disease modifying therapies in multiple sclerosis at the end of the last century. The International Panel on Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis originally proposed the 2001 McDonald criteria to facilitate the diagnosis of MS in patients with the first objective neurological symptom(s) suggesting demyelinating event, when magnetic resonance imaging is integrated with clinical and other paraclinical diagnostic methods. New terms have been introduced to substitute clinical information by MRI: dissemination in space - indicating a multifocal central demyelinating process and dissemination in time - indicating the development of new CNS lesions over time. The criteria for diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis have continuously evolved, they were modified in 2005 and 2010 allowing for an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of MS over time, and they provided the most up-to-date guidance for clinicians and researchers. The last recommended revisions relied entirely on available evidence, and not on expert opinion thereby reducing the risk of the misdiagnosis. The 2017 McDonald criteria continue to apply primarily to patients experiencing a typical, clinically isolated syndrome. In this review, we provide an overview of the recent 2017 revisions to the criteria of dissemination in space and time with the importance of the presence of CSF-specific oligoclonal bands; keeping fully in mind that there is no better explanation for symptoms than diagnosis of MS. In the future, validation of the 2017 McDonald criteria will be needed in diverse populations. Further investigations are required on the value of new MRI approaches, on optic nerve involvement, on evoked potential and optical coherence tomography, in order to assess their possible contribution to diagnostic criteria.]