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Front Neurol ; 12: 647995, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1210489


Introduction: OnabotulinumtoxinA (BT-A) is a preventive treatment for chronic migraine (CM), which needs to be administered regularly by a trained clinician every 3 months. The spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 pandemic has forced many patients to momentarily stop the scheduled BT-A injections. The goal of this study was to explore whether those patients experienced a worsening of their CM and, if any, the clinical predictors of migraine worsening after BT-A withdrawal. Methods: This was a retrospective, multicenter study. Patients' clinical data were obtained from their clinical documentation stored at each center. In particular, the following variables were collected: the mean number of headache days in the last month (NHD), the average number of painkillers taken in the last month (AC), the average number of days in which patients took, at least, one painkiller in the last month (NDM), the average intensity of migraine using the numeric rating scale (NRS) score in the last month, and the average score obtained at the six-item Headache Impact Test. The variables mentioned earlier were compared before and after BT-A withdrawal. Results: After BT-A suspension, there was a significant increase in the NHD (P = 0.0313, Kruskal-Wallis rank test), AC (P = 0.0421, Kruskal-Wallis rank test), NDM (P = 0.0394, paired t-test), NRS score (P = 0.0069, Kruskal-Wallis rank test), and six-item Headache Impact Test score (P = 0.0372, Kruskal-Wallis rank test). Patients who were not assuming other preventive treatments other than BT-A displayed similar results. Patients who experienced a >30% worsening in NHD after BT-A was withdrawn displayed a longer CM history (P = 0.001, Kruskal-Wallis rank test), a longer MOH duration (P = 0.0017, Kruskal-Wallis rank test), a higher AC value at the baseline (P = 0.0149, Kruskal-Wallis rank test), a higher NDM (P = 0.0024, t-test), and a higher average value of the NRS score (P = 0.0073, Kruskal-Wallis rank test). Conclusion: BT-A withdrawn during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 pandemic was associated with a general worsening in patients suffering from CM, hence the need to continue BT-A injection to avoid patients' worsening.

J Neurol ; 268(8): 2671-2675, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841658


OBJECTIVE: To report on efficacy and safety of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy in a case series of patients with COVID-19-related encephalopathy. METHODS: We retrospectively collected data on all patients with COVID-19 hospitalized at two Italian hospitals who developed encephalopathy during disease course and were treated with IVIg. RESULTS: Five patients (two females, mean age 66.8 years) developed encephalopathy after a mean of 12.6 days, since the onset of respiratory/constitutional symptoms related to COVID-19. Four patients suffered severe respiratory distress, three of which required invasive mechanical ventilation. Neurological manifestations included impaired consciousness, agitation, delirium, pyramidal and extrapyramidal signs. EEG demonstrated diffuse slowing in all patients. Brain MRI showed non-specific findings. CSF analysis revealed normal cell count and protein levels. In all subjects, RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 in CSF tested negative. IVIg at 0.4 g/kg/die was commenced 29.8 days (mean, range: 19-55 days) after encephalopathy onset, leading to complete electroclinical recovery in all patients, with an initial improvement of neuropsychiatric symptoms observed in 3.4 days (mean, range: 1-10 days). No adverse events related to IVIg were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary findings suggest that IVIg may represent a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19-associated encephalopathy. Clinical efficacy may be driven by the anti-inflammatory action of IVIg, associated with its anti-cytokine qualities.

Brain Diseases , COVID-19 , Aged , Brain Diseases/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Neurol Sci ; 41(12): 3385-3389, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-812576


OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown came as a storm disrupting people's everyday life. This study aimed at observing whether the COVID-19 related lockdown influenced migraine frequency and disability in migraine patients on therapy with monoclonal antibodies inhibiting the CGRP pathway. METHODS: In this longitudinal observational cohort study, 147 consecutive patients receiving monthly administration of erenumab or galcanezumab were enrolled in four Italian headache centers. All patients filled a questionnaire concerning working and household settings, recent flu symptoms or COVID-19 diagnosis, and family loss due to COVID-19 infection. Monthly migraine days (MMDs), monthly painkiller intake (MPI), and HIT-6 disability relative to the first month of lockdown imposition (T-lock) and the month before (T-free) were also collected. RESULTS: From T-free to T-lock, the cohort displayed a reduction in MMDs (from 10.5 ± 7.6 to 9.8 ± 7.6, p = .024) and HIT-6 scores (from 59.3 ± 8.3 men reduced MPI more frequently than women (p = .005). CONCLUSIONS: Our study observed that the lockdown impact to 57.8 ± 8.8, p = .009), while MPI resulted unchanged (from 11.6 ± 11.5 to 11.1 ± 11.7; p = .114). MMDs, MPI, and HIT-6 variations from T-free to T-lock did not differ according to work settings or household. Patients beyond the first 3 months of therapy presented less often a reduction in MMDs (p = .006) and on everyday life did not affect the migraine load in patients receiving monoclonal antibodies inhibiting the CGRP pathway. Patients in the first months of therapy experienced a greater improvement according to drug pharmacokinetics, while women more frequently needed rescue medications, possibly indicating presenteeism or cephalalgophobia.

Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Migraine Disorders/drug therapy , Migraine Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine/psychology , Adult , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires