Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Successful Management of Natalizumab-Associated Progressive Multifocal Leukoence

Schröder A, Lee DH, Hellwig K, Lukas C, Linker RA, Gold R; Archives of Neurology (Jul 2010)OBJECTIVE: To describe a case of successful clinical management of natalizumab-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and immune reconstitution syndrome (IRIS) in a patient with multiple sclerosis. DESIGN: Case report. SETTING: University hospital. Patient A 41-year-old woman with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis developed PML after 29 natalizumab infusions. INTERVENTIONS: Immediate plasma exchange was combined for removal of natalizumab with application of mefloquine and mirtazapine to limit viral replication and oligodendrocyte infection. A subsequent IRIS was treated with glucocorticosteroids. RESULTS: After 3 months of treatment, cerebrospinal fluid tested negative for JC virus. There was a favorable outcome, and the Expanded Disability Status Scale score remained stable at 3.5 compared with before PML. CONCLUSIONS: In the setting of early diagnosis and consequent treatment, natalizumab-associated PML can be well managed in some cases. This situation differs from the course of PML in other conditions, eg, after the application of depleting monoclonal antibodies, in which irreversible cellular effects are associated with very high mortality.

Friday, July 02, 2010

MACFIMS- cognitive assessment for multiple sclerosis

Benedict R.  Minimal neuropsychological assessment of MS patients.  The Clinical Neuropsychologist 2002; 16:381-397.

Contains tests with alternate forms and test-retest capability. 

Processing speed/Working memory

Symbol Digit Modality Test (SDMT)  equally good as PASAT as standalone

Learning and Memory

Brief Visuospatia Memory Test- Revised

Executive Functions

D- Kefs Sorting Test- sorting cards, Trails, Tower, Design Fluency, Stroop

Visual perception/Spatial Processing

Judgment of Line Orientation


Verbal Fluency (COWAT)

Non Macfims-- office assessment
1 trial PASAT
Trails (public domain)
Mental control (days forward, backwards, serial 7's)
Cancellation test (public domain)

list learning, 10 common, easy, unrelated words, 3 trials, 20 minute delay with recognition trials (yes/no)


5-10 pictures use for each patient
COWAT equivalents (CFL, PRW, FAS)
semantic category fluency

Motor coordination/processing speed:
9 hole peg
Trails A
SDMT written and oral (public domain)


Multiple sclerosis neuropsychological questionnaire (Benedikt et al., 2004)
15 items, MSNQ

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Benign MS and cognition

Portaccio E, Stromillo ML, Goretti B, et al (last author Stefano) .  Neuropsychological and MRI measures predict short term evolution in benign multiple sclerosis.

Consensus for definition of b-MS is those who are fully functional after ten years.  Different systems are used to classify patients.  Authors defined as EDSS < 3 after 15 years of disease duration. 

Authors used Rao BRB and added Stroop test, using a cutoff as 2 SD's below Italian normals.  Patients with 3 or more test failures were classified as cognitively impaired.  Tests included SRT, SPART (spatial recall, 10/36 cutoff), PASAT, SDMT, WLG, Stroop. 

Authors followed patients at a mean of five years, using "still benign" measure.  Disability was EDSS>4, or increase of 1.5 if starting EDSS was zero, or increase of >1 point if starting EDSS was > 1 confirmed at six months.  31.8 percent of patients with "b-MS" were impaired at baseline cognitively.  Additional 16 % failed one test and 19 % failed 2 cognitive tests at baseline.  At followup, 43 % had EDSS progression of one or more points, confirmed.  18 % became "no longer benign," or "NLB."  NLB subjects had more relapses during followup period, but not in year before, and related to male gender and number of tests failed. Also baseline T1 lesion volume was predictive. 

Benedict RHB, Fazekas F.  Beningn or not benign MS: a role for routine neuropsychological assessment?  Neurology 2009; 73: 494-495.  Authors mention BRB and MacFims, each having alternate forms that permit repeat testing every 2-3 years.