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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(23)2022 Dec 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36498383

ABSTRACT

In the brain and cognitive reserves framework, aerobic exercise is considered as a protective lifestyle factor able to induce positive effects on both brain structure and function. However, specific aspects of such a beneficial effect still need to be completely clarified. To this aim, the present narrative review focused on the potential brain/cognitive/neural reserve-construction mechanisms triggered by different aerobic exercise types (land activities; such as walking or running; vs. water activities; such as swimming), by considering human and animal studies on healthy subjects over the entire lifespan. The literature search was conducted in PubMed database. The studies analyzed here indicated that all the considered kinds of activities exert a beneficial effect on cognitive/behavioral functions and on the underlying brain neurobiological processes. In particular, the main effects observed involve the cognitive domains of memory and executive functions. These effects appear related to structural and functional changes mainly involving the fronto-hippocampal axis. The present review supports the requirement of further studies that investigate more specifically and systematically the effects of each type of aerobic activity, as a basis to plan more effective and personalized interventions on individuals as well as prevention and healthy promotion policies for the general population.


Subject(s)
Cognition , Water , Humans , Executive Function , Life Style , Swimming
2.
Brain ; 145(11): 3776-3786, 2022 11 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36281767

ABSTRACT

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is emerging as a non-invasive therapeutic strategy in the battle against Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease patients primarily show alterations of the default mode network for which the precuneus is a key node. Here, we hypothesized that targeting the precuneus with TMS represents a promising strategy to slow down cognitive and functional decline in Alzheimer's disease patients. We performed a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled, phase 2, 24-week trial to determine the safety and efficacy of precuneus stimulation in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Fifty Alzheimer's disease patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to either receive precuneus or sham rTMS (mean age 73.7 years; 52% female). The trial included a 24-week treatment, with a 2-week intensive course in which rTMS (or sham) was applied daily five times per week, followed by a 22-week maintenance phase in which stimulation was applied once weekly. The Clinical Dementia Rating Scale-Sum of Boxes was selected as the primary outcome measure, in which post-treatment scores were compared to baseline. Secondary outcomes included score changes in the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale, Mini-Mental State Examination and Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living scale. Moreover, single-pulse TMS in combination with EEG was used to assess neurophysiological changes in precuneus cortical excitability and oscillatory activity. Our findings show that patients that received precuneus repetitive magnetic stimulation presented a stable performance of the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale-Sum of Boxes score, whereas patients treated with sham showed a worsening of their score. Compared with the sham stimulation, patients in the precuneus stimulation group also showed also significantly better performances for the secondary outcome measures, including the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale, Mini-Mental State Examination and Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living scale. Neurophysiological results showed that precuneus cortical excitability remained unchanged after 24 weeks in the precuneus stimulation group, whereas it was significantly reduced in the sham group. Finally, we found an enhancement of local gamma oscillations in the group treated with precuneus stimulation but not in patients treated with sham. We conclude that 24 weeks of precuneus rTMS may slow down cognitive and functional decline in Alzheimer's disease. Repetitive TMS targeting the default mode network could represent a novel therapeutic approach in Alzheimer's disease patients.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease , Humans , Female , Aged , Male , Activities of Daily Living , Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation/methods , Parietal Lobe , Magnetic Phenomena
3.
Clin Auton Res ; 32(6): 455-461, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36030471

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We sought to estimate the impact of cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (cAN) on informal caregivers of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), defined as individuals providing regular care to a friend, partner, or family member with PD, and to evaluate the mutual relationship between caregiver burden and patient health-related quality of life (HRQoL). METHODS: We enrolled 36 consecutive patients with PD and their informal caregivers. Patients underwent a detailed motor, autonomic, cognitive, and functional assessment. Caregivers were assessed using the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Differences in caregiver burden, expressed by the ZBI score, and strength of association between caregiver burden, cAN, and HRQoL were assessed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), logistic regression, and linear regression analyses. Analyses were adjusted for patients' age, PD duration, and motor and cognitive disability, as well as caregivers' age. RESULTS: Moderate-severe caregiver burden was reported in 41.7% of PDcAN+ versus 8.7% of PDcAN- (p < 0.001). The ZBI score was increased in PDcAN+ versus PDcAN- (31.5 ± 3.4 versus 15.2 ± 2.3; p < 0.001), with tenfold higher odds (p = 0.012) of moderate-severe caregiver burden in PDcAN+, even after adjusting for potential confounders. The ZBI score correlated with cAN severity (p = 0.005), global autonomic impairment (p = 0.012), and HRQoL impairment (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: These results highlight the significant impact of cAN on PD caregivers and the need for targeted interventions addressing this frequently overlooked and insufficiently treated source of nonmotor disability in PD.


Subject(s)
Parkinson Disease , Primary Dysautonomias , Humans , Parkinson Disease/complications , Parkinson Disease/therapy , Quality of Life , Cost of Illness , Caregivers/psychology , Primary Dysautonomias/etiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
J Neuropsychol ; 2022 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35968861

ABSTRACT

Prefrontal functions subserve inhibition control for retrieval of semantically related items inducing forgetting 19 a-MCI patients and 29 controls underwent neuropsychological evaluation and retrieval-practice paradigm (RPP) to estimate baseline remember (BR), retrieval-induced facilitation (FAC) and retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF). A-MCI patients underwent also 3 T-MRI to assess relationship between regional grey matter (rGM) volumes and RPP indexes Behaviourally, RIF and FAC were both observed controls, while RIF only was observed in a-MCI patients. In patients but not in controls, RIF was associated with cognitive efficiency and FAC with memory performance. Patients showed also associations between BR and rGM volumes in the precuneus, no association was found between rGM volumes and RIF and FAC. A-MCI patients did not benefit from repeated practice during retrieval of studied items, which is likely due to their memory disorder. In contrast, patient cognitive efficiency would drive retrieval suppression of interfering stimuli.

5.
J Alzheimers Dis ; 89(3): 811-824, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35964192

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cognitive reserve (CR) explains the individual resilience to neurodegeneration. OBJECTIVE: The present study investigated the effect of CR in modulating brain cortical architecture. METHODS: 278 individuals [110 Alzheimer's disease (AD), 104 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) due to AD, 64 healthy subjects (HS)] underwent a neuropsychological evaluation and 3T-MRI. Cortical thickness (CTh) and fractal dimension (FD) were assessed. Years of formal education were used as an index of CR by which participants were divided into high and low CR (HCR and LCR). Within-group differences in cortical architecture were assessed as a function of CR. Associations between cognitive scores and cortical measures were also evaluated. RESULTS: aMCI-HCR compared to aMCI-LCR patients showed significant decrease of CTh in the right temporal and in the left prefrontal lobe. Moreover, they showed increased FD in the right temporal and in the left temporo-parietal lobes. Patients with AD-HCR showed reduced CTh in several brain areas and reduced FD in the left temporal cortices when compared with AD-LCR subjects. HS-HCR showed a significant increase of CTh in prefrontal areas bilaterally, and in the right parieto-occipital cortices. Finally, aMCI-HCR showed significant positive associations between brain measures and memory and executive performance. CONCLUSION: CR modulates the cortical architecture at pre-dementia stage only. Indeed, only patients with aMCI showed both atrophy (likely due to neurodegeneration) alongside richer brain folding (likely due to reserve mechanisms) in temporo-parietal areas. This opposite trend was not observed in AD and HS. Our data confirm the existence of a limited time-window for CR modulation at the aMCI stage.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease , Cognitive Dysfunction , Cognitive Reserve , Alzheimer Disease/psychology , Brain/diagnostic imaging , Cognitive Dysfunction/psychology , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods , Neuropsychological Tests
6.
Alzheimers Res Ther ; 14(1): 112, 2022 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35964143

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patient stratification is the division of a patient population into distinct subgroups based on the presence or absence of particular disease characteristics. As patient stratification can be used to account for the underlying pathology of a disease, it can help physicians to tailor therapeutic interventions to individuals and optimize their care management and treatment regime. Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, is a heterogeneous disease and its management benefits from patient stratification in clinical trials, and the development of personalized care and treatment strategies for people living with the disease. MAIN BODY: In this review, we discuss the importance of the stratification of people living with Alzheimer's disease, the challenges associated with early diagnosis and patient stratification, and the evolution of patient stratification once disease-modifying therapies become widely available. CONCLUSION: Patient stratification plays an important role in drug development in clinical trials and may play an even larger role in clinical practice. A timely diagnosis and stratification of people living with Alzheimer's disease is paramount in determining people who are at risk of progressing from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's dementia. There are key issues associated with stratifying patients which include the heterogeneity and complex neurobiology behind Alzheimer's disease, our inadequately prepared healthcare systems, and the cultural perceptions of Alzheimer's disease. Stratifying people living with Alzheimer's disease may be the key in establishing precision and personalized medicine in the field, optimizing disease prevention and pharmaceutical treatment to slow or stop cognitive decline, while minimizing adverse effects.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease , Cognitive Dysfunction , Alzheimer Disease/prevention & control , Alzheimer Disease/therapy , Humans
7.
Front Neurol ; 13: 855125, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35493836

ABSTRACT

Neuroimaging studies often lack reproducibility, one of the cardinal features of the scientific method. Multisite collaboration initiatives increase sample size and limit methodological flexibility, therefore providing the foundation for increased statistical power and generalizable results. However, multisite collaborative initiatives are inherently limited by hardware, software, and pulse and sequence design heterogeneities of both clinical and preclinical MRI scanners and the lack of benchmark for acquisition protocols, data analysis, and data sharing. We present the overarching vision that yielded to the constitution of RIN-Neuroimaging Network, a national consortium dedicated to identifying disease and subject-specific in-vivo neuroimaging biomarkers of diverse neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions. This ambitious goal needs efforts toward increasing the diagnostic and prognostic power of advanced MRI data. To this aim, 23 Italian Scientific Institutes of Hospitalization and Care (IRCCS), with technological and clinical specialization in the neurological and neuroimaging field, have gathered together. Each IRCCS is equipped with high- or ultra-high field MRI scanners (i.e., ≥3T) for clinical or preclinical research or has established expertise in MRI data analysis and infrastructure. The actions of this Network were defined across several work packages (WP). A clinical work package (WP1) defined the guidelines for a minimum standard clinical qualitative MRI assessment for the main neurological diseases. Two neuroimaging technical work packages (WP2 and WP3, for clinical and preclinical scanners) established Standard Operative Procedures for quality controls on phantoms as well as advanced harmonized quantitative MRI protocols for studying the brain of healthy human participants and wild type mice. Under FAIR principles, a web-based e-infrastructure to store and share data across sites was also implemented (WP4). Finally, the RIN translated all these efforts into a large-scale multimodal data collection in patients and animal models with dementia (i.e., case study). The RIN-Neuroimaging Network can maximize the impact of public investments in research and clinical practice acquiring data across institutes and pathologies with high-quality and highly-consistent acquisition protocols, optimizing the analysis pipeline and data sharing procedures.

8.
Neurol Sci ; 43(7): 4221-4229, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35244829

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) may represent a diagnostic challenge, since its clinical picture overlaps with other dementia. Two toolkits have been developed to aid the clinician to diagnose DLB: the Lewy Body Composite Risk Score (LBCRS) and the Assessment Toolkit for DLB (AT-DLB). We aim to evaluate the reliability of these two questionnaires, and their ability to enhance the interpretation of the international consensus diagnostic criteria. METHODS: LBCRS and AT-DLB were distributed to 135 Italian Neurological Centers for Cognitive Decline and Dementia (CDCDs), with the indication to administer them to all patients with dementia referred within the subsequent 3 months. We asked to subsequently apply consensus criteria for DLB diagnosis, to validate the diagnostic accuracy of the two toolkits. RESULTS: A total of 23 Centers joined the study; 1854 patients were enrolled. We found a prevalence of possible or probable DLB of 13% each (26% total), according to the consensus criteria. LBCRS toolkit showed good reliability, with a Cronbach alpha of 0.77, stable even after removing variables from the construct. AT-DLB toolkit Cronbach alpha was 0.52 and, after the subtraction of the "cognitive fluctuation" criterion, was only 0.31. Accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity were higher for LBCRS vs. AT-DLB. However, when simultaneously considered in the logistic models, AT-DLB showed a better performance (p < 0.001). Overall, the concordance between LBCRS positive and AT-DLB possible/probable was of 78.02% CONCLUSIONS: In a clinical setting, the LBCRS and AT-DLB questionnaires have good accuracy for DLB diagnosis.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease , Lewy Body Disease , Alzheimer Disease/diagnosis , Diagnosis, Differential , Humans , Italy , Lewy Body Disease/diagnosis , Reproducibility of Results
9.
Alzheimers Res Ther ; 14(1): 33, 2022 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35151361

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Positron emission tomography (PET) with amyloid tracers (amy-PET) allows the quantification of pathological amyloid deposition in the brain tissues, including the white matter (WM). Here, we evaluate amy-PET uptake in WM lesions (WML) and in the normal-appearing WM (NAWM) of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and non-AD type of dementia. METHODS: Thirty-three cognitively impaired subjects underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Aß1-42 (Aß) determination in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and amy-PET. Twenty-three patients exhibiting concordant results in both CSF analysis and amy-PET for cortical amyloid deposition were recruited and divided into two groups, amyloid positive (A+) and negative (A-). WML quantification and brain volumes' segmentation were performed. Standardized uptake values ratios (SUVR) were calculated in the grey matter (GM), NAWM and WML on amy-PET coregistered to MRI images. RESULTS: A+ compared to A- showed a higher WML load (p = 0.049) alongside higher SUVR in all brain tissues (p < 0.01). No correlations between CSF Aß levels and WML and NAWM SUVR were found in A+, while, in A-, CSF Aß levels were directly correlated to NAWM SUVR (p = 0.04). CSF Aß concentration was the only predictor of NAWM SUVR (adj R2 = 0.91; p = 0.04) in A-. In A+ but not in A- direct correlations were identified between WM and GM SUVR (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide evidence on the role of amy-PET in the assessment of microstructural WM injury in non-AD dementia, whereas amy-PET seems less suitable to assess WM damage in AD patients due to a plausible amyloid accrual therein.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease , White Matter , Alzheimer Disease/cerebrospinal fluid , Alzheimer Disease/diagnostic imaging , Amyloid/metabolism , Amyloid beta-Peptides/cerebrospinal fluid , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Positron-Emission Tomography/methods , White Matter/diagnostic imaging
10.
Front Neurol ; 12: 812100, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34975742
11.
Mult Scler Relat Disord ; 56: 103224, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34461571

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: brainstem monoaminergic (dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and serotoninergic) nuclei (BrMn) contain a variety of ascending neurons that diffusely project to the whole brain, crucially regulating normal brain function. BrMn are directly affected in multiple sclerosis (MS) by inflammation and neurodegeneration. Moreover, inflammation reduces the synthesis of monoamines. Aberrant monoaminergic neurotransmission contributes to the pathogenesis of MS and explains some clinical features of MS. We used resting-state functional MRI (RS-fMRI) to characterize abnormal patterns of BrMn functional connectivity (FC) in MS. METHODS: BrMn FC was studied with multi-echo RS-fMRI in n = 68 relapsing-remitting MS patients and n = 39 healthy controls (HC), by performing a seed-based analysis, after producing standard space seed masks of the BrMn. FC was assessed between ventral tegmental area (VTA), locus coeruleus (LC), median raphe (MR), dorsal raphe (DR), and the rest of the brain and compared between MS patients and HC. Between-group comparisons were carried out only within the main effect observed in HC, setting p<0.05 family-wise-error corrected (FWE). RESULTS: in HC, VTA displayed FC with the core regions of the default-mode network. As compared to HC, MS patients showed altered FC between VTA and posterior cingulate cortex (p<0.05FWE). LC displayed FC with core regions of the executive-control network with a reduced functional connection between LC and right prefrontal cortex in MS patients (p<0.05FWE). Raphe nuclei was functionally connected with cerebellar cortex, with a significantly lower FC between these nuclei and cerebellum in MS patients, as compared to HC (p<0.05FWE). CONCLUSIONS: our study demonstrated in MS patients a functional disconnection between BrMn and cortical/subcortical efferent targets of central brain networks, possibly due to a loss or a dysregulation of BrMn neurons. This adds new information about how monoaminergic systems contribute to MS pathogenesis and suggests new potential therapeutic targets.


Subject(s)
Multiple Sclerosis , Brain/diagnostic imaging , Brain Mapping , Brain Stem/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Multiple Sclerosis/diagnostic imaging
12.
Neurol Sci ; 42(12): 4899-4902, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34482471

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To provide new insights into neurological manifestations of COVID-19. We describe a patient with mild COVID-19 associated with diplopia from right sixth cranial nerve palsy and early diffuse leukoencephalopathy, successfully treated with intravenous methylprednisolone. METHODS: The patient was evaluated for diplopia that occurred 1 day after the onset of fever, myalgia, and headache. A complete neurological workup, including neurological examination, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis with viral polymerase chain reaction (PCR), serum autoimmune encephalitis, and anti-nerve antibodies and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), was performed. RESULTS: Clinical examination revealed incomplete right sixth cranial nerve palsy. Brain MRI showed diffuse confluent fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) hyperintense white matter abnormalities, while CSF analysis showed mild hyperproteinorrachia (61 mg/dL) without pleocytosis. The patients were treated with high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone with rapid improvement of neurological symptoms and resolution of CSF and MRI abnormalities. DISCUSSION: Our report shows that COVID-19 may predominantly present with neurological symptoms; furthermore, it argues the notion of leukoencephalopathy as a typical feature of a severe case of the disease. Mechanisms underpinning neurological symptoms in COVID-19 still need to be elucidated; nonetheless, early recognition and prompt management may ensure their improvement or even complete recovery and are therefore recommended.


Subject(s)
Abducens Nerve Diseases , COVID-19 , Leukoencephalopathies , Abducens Nerve Diseases/drug therapy , Diplopia/drug therapy , Diplopia/etiology , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Neuropsychologia ; 163: 108085, 2021 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34793818

ABSTRACT

The number produced on fluency tasks is widely used to measure voluntary response generation. To further evaluate the relationship between generation, errors, and the area of anatomical damage we administered eight fluency tasks (word, design, gesture, ideational) to a large group of focal frontal (n = 69) and posterior (n = 43) patients and controls (n = 150). Lesions were analysed by a finer-grained frontal localisation method, and traditional subdivisions (anterior/posterior, left/right frontal). Thus, we compared patients with Lateral lesions to patients with Medial lesions. Our results show that all fluency tasks are sensitive to frontal lobe damage for the number of correct responses and, for the first time, we provide evidence that seven fluency tasks show frontal sensitivity in terms of errors (perseverations, rule-breaks). Lateral (not Medial) patients produced the highest error rates, indicative of task-setting or monitoring difficulties. There was a right frontal effect for perseverative errors when retrieving known or stored items and rule-break errors when creating novel responses. Left lateral effects were specific to phonemic word fluency rule-breaks and perseverations for meaningless gesture fluency. In addition, our generation output and error findings support a frontal role in novelty processes. Finally, we confirm our previous generation findings suggesting critical roles of the superior medial region in energization and the left inferior frontal region in selection (Robinson et al., 2012). Overall, these results support the notion that frontal functions comprise a set of highly specialised cognitive processes, supported by distinct frontal regions.


Subject(s)
Frontal Lobe , Verbal Behavior , Frontal Lobe/diagnostic imaging , Frontal Lobe/physiology , Humans , Mental Processes , Neuropsychological Tests , Prefrontal Cortex/pathology , Verbal Behavior/physiology
14.
Eur J Neurol ; 29(2): 505-514, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34687120

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Difficulties in emotion processing and social cognition identified in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients have a potential impact on their adaptation to the social environment. We aimed to explore the neural correlates of emotion recognition in MS and possible differences between relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS) patients by the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RMEt). METHODS: A total of 43 MS patients (27 RRMS, 16 SPMS) and 25 matched healthy controls (HC) underwent clinical assessments, RMEt, and a high-resolution T1-weighted 3-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. The number of correct answers on the RMEt was compared between groups. T1-weighted volumes were processed according to an optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) protocol to obtain gray matter (GM) maps. Voxelwise analyses were run to assess potential associations between RMEt performance and regional GM volumes. RESULTS: Taken altogether, MS patients reported significantly lower performance on the RMEt compared to HC. When dividing the patients into those with RRMS and those with SPMS, only the latter group was found to perform significantly worse than HC on the RMEt. VBM analysis revealed significant association between RMEt scores and GM volumes in several cortical (temporoparieto-occipital cortex) and subcortical (hippocampus, parahippocampus, and basal ganglia) brain regions, and in the cerebellum in SPMS patients only. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that, in addition to other clinical differences between RRMS and SPMS, the ability to recognize others' emotional states may be affected in SPMS more significantly than RRMS patients. This is supported by both behavioral and MRI data.


Subject(s)
Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive , Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting , Multiple Sclerosis , Emotions , Gray Matter/diagnostic imaging , Gray Matter/pathology , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods , Multiple Sclerosis/complications , Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive/complications , Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting/complications
15.
Neurol Sci ; 42(12): 4889-4892, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34436726

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has induced an urgent reorganization of the healthcare system to ensure continuity of care for patients affected by chronic neurological diseases including myasthenia gravis (MG). Due to the fluctuating nature of the disease, early detection of disease worsening, adverse events, and possibly life-threatening complications is mandatory. This work analyzes the main unresolved issues in the management of the myasthenic patient, the possibilities offered so far by digital technologies, and proposes an online evaluation protocol based on 4 simple tests to improve MG management. Telemedicine and Digital Technology might help neurologists in the clinical decision-making process of MG management, avoiding unnecessary in presence consultations and allowing a rational use of the time and space reduced by the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Myasthenia Gravis , Telemedicine , Humans , Myasthenia Gravis/diagnosis , Myasthenia Gravis/epidemiology , Myasthenia Gravis/therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Cerebellum ; 21(4): 647-656, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34432230

ABSTRACT

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a major mental illness characterized by periods of (hypo) mania and depression with inter-episode remission periods. Functional studies in BD have consistently implicated a set of linked cortical and subcortical limbic regions in the pathophysiology of the disorder, also including the cerebellum. However, the cerebellar role in the neurobiology of BD still needs to be clarified. Seventeen euthymic patients with BD type1 (BD1) (mean age/SD, 38.64/13.48; M/F, 9/8) and 13 euthymic patients with BD type 2 (BD2) (mean age/SD, 41.42/14.38; M/F, 6/7) were compared with 37 sex- and age-matched healthy subjects (HS) (mean age/SD, 45.65/14.15; M/F, 15/22). T1 weighted and resting-state functional connectivity (FC) scans were acquired. The left and right dentate nucleus were used as seed regions for the seed based analysis. FC between each seed and the rest of the brain was compared between patients and HS. Correlations between altered cerebello-cerebral connectivity and clinical scores were then investigated. Different patterns of altered dentate-cerebral connectivity were found in BD1 and BD2. Overall, impaired dentate-cerebral connectivity involved regions of the anterior limbic network specifically related to the (hypo)manic states of BD. Cerebello-cerebral connectivity is altered in BD1 and BD2. Interestingly, the fact that these altered FC patterns persist during euthymia, supports the hypothesis that cerebello-cerebral FC changes reflect the neural correlate of subthreshold symptoms, as trait-based pathophysiology and/or compensatory mechanism to maintain a state of euthymia.


Subject(s)
Bipolar Disorder , Mania , Bipolar Disorder/diagnostic imaging , Cerebellum/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Neural Pathways/diagnostic imaging
17.
J Neurol Sci ; 428: 117610, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34384971

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurological involvement in Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is widely recognized. However, the role of pre-existing neurological comorbidities in modulating COVID-19-related mortality still remains unclear. This cohort study evaluates the COVID-19-related case fatality rate (CFR) of patients with pre-existing neurological diseases. METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated all patients consecutively admitted to our hospital with a diagnosis of COVID-19 between March and April 2020. We used a multivariate regression analysis to estimate the association between pre-existing neurological diseases and COVID-19-related mortality. Then, we compared the CFR and survival curves of two cohorts (patients suffering vs. those not suffering from pre-existing neurological disease), matched trough the propensity score (PS). Age and other comorbidities were considered for PS calculation. We applied a 1:1 matching for the entire neurological cohort and, separately, for cerebrovascular, neurodegenerative, and other neurological diseases. RESULTS: Among 332 patients, 75 (22.6%) were affected by pre-existing neurological disease (n = 29 cerebrovascular, n = 26 neurodegenerative, n = 20 others). From the multivariate regression analysis, they resulted with a significant increase of COVID-19-related mortality (OR:2.559; 95%CI 1.181-5.545; p < 0.017). From the cohort analysis, CFR resulted 2-fold higher in patients with neurological disease (48.0% vs. 24.0%; p = 0.002). CFR was significantly higher in patients with neurodegenerative diseases compared to matched individuals (73.9% vs. 39.1%; p = 0.017), while CFR increase in patients with cerebrovascular diseases did not reach statistical significance (48.3% vs. 41.4%; p = 0.597). CONCLUSIONS: Pre-existing neurological comorbidities, in particular neurodegenerative diseases, increase significantly COVID-19-related case fatality, indicating a clear priority for viral screening, access to care facilities and vaccination in these populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Ther Adv Chronic Dis ; 12: 20406223211029616, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34367544

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital health, including telemedicine, is increasingly recommended for the management of chronic neurological disorders, and it has changed the roles of patients and clinicians. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study we aimed to investigate the digital work engagement of Italian neurologists through a survey collected between September 2020 and January 2021. Questionnaires were anonymous and collected demographic characteristics, attitudes towards digital devices and social media, and details about the clinician-patient relationship. We used logistic-regression models to identify characteristics associated with the propensity to communicate with patients using social media. RESULTS: Among the 553 neurologists who participated to the study, smartphones and computers were widely preferred compared with tablets; wearable devices were not common, although some neurologists desired them. A total of 48% of participants reported communicating with patients using social media but only a few were in favor of social friendship with patients; WhatsApp was the social media most popular for professional (86%) and personal (98%) purposes. Propensity to communicate with social media was significantly higher among those who were older (p < 0.001) and lived in regions outside northern Italy (center: p = 0.006; south and the islands: p < 0.001). For 58% of responders, social media improved their relationship with patients, but 72% usually warned patients about unreliable websites. CONCLUSIONS: The preferred social media were those which were rapid and which safeguard privacy more effectively; neurologists made many efforts to disprove fake news circulating online, providing help to patients in various ways. This analysis can help direct future interventions for the management of chronic neurological disorders.

19.
Mult Scler Relat Disord ; 54: 103118, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34246019

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: the distinct MRI features of MOG-antibody disease (MOG-AD) and AQP4-NMOSD are still poorly defined. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify specific patterns of MRI abnormalities able to discriminate between MOG-AD and AQP4-NMOSD. METHODS: fourteen case-series (1028 patients) were included. Outcomes were MRI lesion patterns in optic nerve (ON), brain and spinal cord (SC) that were selected after a systematic literature review and analysed separately as the event rate for individual MRI lesions in MOG-AD (experimental group) and AQP4-NMOSD (control group) by using a random effect model. RESULTS: MOG-AD showed a higher number of MRI lesions than AQP4-NMOSD patients in the retrobulbar ON (OR=5.67; 95%CI=2.11-15.24; p=0.0006) with ON head swelling (OR=8.20; 95%CI=4.13-16.28; p<0.00001), corpus callosum (OR=2.30; 95%CI=1.11-4.76; p=0.02), pons (OR=2.87; 95%CI=1.45-5.67; p=0.002), and lumbar/conus SC (OR=3.47; 95%CI=1.66-7.24; p=0.0009). Conversely, lesions in the canalicular (OR=0.42; 95%CI=0.18-0.98; p=0.05) and intracranial ON (OR=0.30; 95%CI=0.11=0.84; p=0.02), area postrema (OR=0.12; 95%CI=0.02-0.61; p=0.01), medulla (OR=0.40; 95%CI=0.20-0.78; p=0.007), and cervical SC (OR=0.29; 95%CI=0.09-0.92; p=0.04) were prominent in patients with AQP4-NMOSD. Participants' age was found to be a source of heterogeneity across studies. CONCLUSION: our study provides further evidence that MOG-AD and AQP4-NMOSD have distinct MRI features that may help clinicians for an early differential diagnosis.


Subject(s)
Aquaporin 4 , Neuromyelitis Optica , Autoantibodies , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein , Neuromyelitis Optica/diagnostic imaging
20.
J Neuropsychol ; 16(1): 131-148, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34170071

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Current theories assume that retrograde memory deficits for semantic information in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are temporally graded and partially sparing most remote memories. Moreover, these models assume a prevalent role of the hippocampus in early phases of memory consolidation and of the prefrontal mesial neocortical areas in permanent consolidation of traces. PURPOSE: To explore the relationship between hippocampus and memory accuracy for the most recent public events and between the ventro-medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and memory accuracy irrespective of the memory age, we investigated in aMCI patients the retrograde memory for public events and its relationship with grey matter volume reductions in the hippocampus and vmPFC. METHODS: 18 aMCI patients and 13 healthy subjects (HS) underwent a modified version of the Famous Events questionnaire (FEq) to assess their memory performance for public events. Patients underwent 3T-MRI scanning to assess correlations between FEq's scores and grey matter volumes. RESULTS: aMCI showed significantly reduced performances on FEq compared to HS in the recollection of most recent events, while no significant difference was observed for more remote memories, thus demonstrating a temporal gradient. Moreover, hippocampal volumes predicted accuracy scores for most recent, but not older, public events. Finally, an area in the subcallosal portion of the vmPFC, corresponding to BA32, predicted accuracy scores on FEq irrespective of the period examined. CONCLUSIONS: Pathological changes in a neural circuit linking hippocampal to medial prefrontal cortical regions are responsible for impaired recollection of retrograde memories in aMCI.


Subject(s)
Cognitive Dysfunction , Cognitive Dysfunction/psychology , Hippocampus/diagnostic imaging , Hippocampus/pathology , Humans , Memory Disorders/psychology , Neuropsychological Tests , Prefrontal Cortex/diagnostic imaging
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