The latest medical research on Multiple Sclerosis

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about multiple sclerosis gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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The Phenomenology of Primary Orthostatic Tremor.

"Movement Disorders Clinical Practice

The presence and prevalence of several neurological signs in patients with primary orthostatic tremor have not been systematically studied.

To assess the prevalence of clinical features of primary orthostatic tremor.

Video-based assessment by four raters of standardized neurological examination of 11 patients with primary orthostatic tremor.

On standing, bent knees (7/11), hem sign (6/10), and a broad base of support (6/11) were the three most prevalent signs. Examination of gait revealed abnormal tandem gait (9/11) and bent knees (6/11) as the most prevalent clinical signs. In the arms, none of the patients displayed bradykinesia, ataxia, or dystonia. In the legs, ataxia was absent in all patients and bradykinesia was present in only one patient.

Abnormal tandem gait, bent knees, hem sign, and broad base on standing are the most prevalent clinical signs in primary orthostatic tremor. We did not encounter clear extrapyramidal or unequivocal cerebellar signs.

Negative DAT-SPECT in Old Onset Parkinson's Disease: An Additional Pitfall?

"Movement Disorders Clinical Practice

Scans without evidence of dopaminergic deficit (SWEDDs) refer to patients clinically diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD), but showing normal findings on dopamine transporter single-photon emission computed tomography (DAT-SPECT). This entity remains highly debated, but recent findings suggesting that DAT-SPECT does not reflect either nigral cell bodies or striatal fibers of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons could improve our understanding of SWEDDs. Notably, compensatory downregulation of DAT in the early stages of PD seems to be less efficient in older-onset than in young-onset patients.

We report eight patients with old-onset clinical parkinsonism and a positive response to levodopa in which DAT-SPECT was normal both visually and semiquantitatively. Two subjects demonstrated an abnormal scan when repeated later.

We suggest that old-onset patients may truly have dopaminergic degeneration despite normal imaging results, presumably because they are diagnosed in the early stages confirming less efficient striatal compensatory strategies in old-age onset PD.

Level I PD-MCI Using Global Cognitive Tests and the Risk for Parkinson's Disease Dementia.

"Movement Disorders Clinical Practice

The criteria for PD-MCI allow the use of global cognitive tests. Their predictive value for conversion from PD-MCI to PDD, especially compared to comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, is unknown.

The MDS PD-MCI Study Group combined four datasets containing global cognitive tests as well as a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment to define PD-MCI (n = 467). Risk for developing PDD was examined using a Cox model. Global cognitive tests were compared to neuropsychological test batteries (Level I&II) in determining risk for PDD.

PD-MCI based on a global cognitive test (MMSE or MoCA) increases the hazard for developing PDD (respectively HR = 2.57, P = 0.001; HR = 4.14, P = <0.001). The C-statistics for MMSE (0.72) and MoCA (0.70) were lower than those based on neuropsychological tests (Level I = 0.82; Level II = 0.81). Sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy balance was best in Level II.

MMSE and MoCA predict conversion to PDD. However, Level II neuropsychological assessment seems the preferred assessment for PD-MCI.

Milestones in Tremor Research: 10 Years Later.

"Movement Disorders Clinical Practice

Major progress has occurred during the last decade in the field of tremor. From the clinical standpoint, a new classification has completely revise...

Antiphospholipid-Related Chorea: Two Case Reports and Role of Metabolic Imaging.

"Movement Disorders Clinical Practice

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a complex acquired autoimmune disease with a wide clinical spectrum. Chorea is a rare neurological manifestation of APS.

We report two elderly patients with APS-related chorea in whom functional imaging (18F-FDG positron emission tomography, FDG-PET) supported the diagnosis and compare our findings with existing literature.

Among 142 clinical cases of antiphospholipid-related chorea found in literature, only 10 had undergone brain metabolic imaging. Striatal hypermetabolism was evident in all cases (6) that underwent FDG-PET cerebral imaging. Cerebral perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was normal in two cases, while the other two presented with basal ganglia hypoperfusion.

Brain FDG-PET usually shows striatal hypometabolism in neurodegenerative types of chorea as opposed to striatal hypermetabolism observed in most cases of chorea from reversible etiologies, such as APS-related chorea. When a patient's clinical presentation is not clearly suggestive of either a neurodegenerative or autoimmune chorea, and first-line investigations are normal, FDG-PET may help in the differential diagnosis, especially in the presence of striatal hypermetabolism. SPECT data are less numerous and show either normal scans or basal ganglia hypoperfusion.

Pathologically Verified Corticobasal Degeneration Mimicking Richardson's Syndrome Coexisting with Clinically and Radiologically Shunt-Responsive Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.

"Movement Disorders Clinical Practice

Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) manifests as gait instability, cognitive impairment, and urinary incontinence. This clinical triad of NPH sometimes occurs with ventriculomegaly in patients with neurodegenerative disease. Patients with pathologically verified neurodegenerative diseases, such as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), have received antemortem diagnoses of NPH.

This study presents clinical and pathological features of a patient with pathologically verified corticobasal degeneration (CBD) coexisting with clinically shunt-responsive NPH.

We performed clinical, radiological, and pathological evaluations in a patient with CBD whose antemortem diagnosis was PSP Richardson's syndrome (PSP-RS) coexisting with shunt-responsive NPH.

A 59-year-old woman developed bradykinesia and gait instability and then frequent falls, urinary incontinence, and supranuclear vertical gaze palsy followed. At 63 years of age, her gait disturbance and urinary incontinence had deteriorated rapidly, and cognitive impairment was disclosed. There were typical findings of NPH with ventriculomegaly and disproportionately enlarged subarachnoid space hydrocephalus as well as a 2-layer appearance with decreased and increased cerebral blood perfusion. Shunt placement ameliorated gait instability for more than 1 year and improved radiological indicators of NPH. However, atrophy of the midbrain progressed with time after transient increases in size. Although the antemortem diagnosis was probable PSP-RS, pathological evaluation verified CBD. There were severe discontinuities of the ependymal lining of the lateral ventricles and subependymal rarefaction and gliosis with tau-positive deposition.

Shunt surgery could ameliorate NPH symptoms in patients with 4-repeat tauopathies. Careful assessments of clinical findings are necessary to predict the benefits of shunts as a therapeutic option for patients with neurodegenerative diseases coexisting with NPH.

Validation of the Dutch-Language Version of the Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction Score in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis.

International J MS Care

Neurogenic bowel dysfunction (NBD), like fecal incontinence and constipation, is a common symptom of disease in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The NBD score is a validated symptom-based questionnaire consisting of 10 multiple-choice questions. The aim of this study was to validate the Dutch version of the NBD score in patients with MS, creating an objective measuring tool of bowel dysfunction.

Translation and validation of the NBD score was performed according to standardized guidelines. Adult patients with MS visiting a urology department completed a set of questionnaires (test): the NBD score, the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale (FIQL), the Fecal Incontinence Severity Index (FISI), and the EQ-5D 3-Level questionnaire (EQ-5D-3L). After 1 to 2 weeks, the questionnaires were completed again (retest). A control group recruited at a general practitioner's practice completed the questionnaires once. Data were analyzed for measurement properties.

Sixty-one patients and 50 controls were included. Content validity was adequate, internal consistency was moderate (Cronbach α = 0.57 and 0.41), and reproducibility was excellent (interclass correlation coefficient = 0.78). Criterion validity was confirmed; the NBD score correlated moderately/strongly with the FIQL, FISI, and EQ-5D-3L. The NBD scores in the patient group were significantly higher than those in the control group, demonstrating good construct validity.

The Dutch version of the NBD score showed moderate to good validity and good reliability for assessment of NBD in patients with MS.

Oxygen Cost of Walking in People With Multiple Sclerosis and Its Association With Fatigue: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

International J MS Care

This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to compare the oxygen cost of walking in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) and controls and to assess the relationship between oxygen cost of walking and fatigue in individuals with MS.

Four databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, ProQuest, Web of Science) were searched up to September 2020. Studies were included if they recruited adults with MS and either compared oxygen cost of walking in those with MS and a control population or determined the relationship between oxygen cost of walking and fatigue. Meta-analysis of the standardized mean difference in oxygen cost of walking between individuals with MS and controls was performed.

Nine studies were included in this review, of which 7 compared oxygen cost of walking in individuals with MS (n = 176) and controls (n = 142) and 4 investigated the relationship between oxygen cost of walking and fatigue. Meta-analysis revealed that individuals with MS (with predominantly mild-to-moderate disability) had a significantly higher oxygen cost of walking compared with controls (standardized mean difference = 2.21, 95% CI = 0.88 to 3.54, P = .001). In addition, 3 studies found a significant yet weak positive association between oxygen cost of walking and fatigue.

Individuals with MS expend more energy when walking compared with controls. This increase in energy expenditure may contribute to the development of fatigue, as some studies found that higher oxygen costs of walking were associated with greater fatigue. Future studies should investigate whether reducing energy expenditure during movement improves fatigue.

Characteristics of Prescription Drug Use Among Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis in the US Medicare Population.

International J MS Care

Few studies have characterized the full spectrum of prescription drug use for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). The objective of this study was to describe patterns and expenditures for disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) and other prescription drugs among Medicare beneficiaries with MS.

Using Medicare claims data in 2014, we identified a cohort of Medicare beneficiaries with 12 months of continuous eligibility and 3 or more MS-related inpatient, outpatient, or prescription claims. We quantified the number, type, and costs of prescribed DMTs and other medications for MS-related symptoms. Medication costs were calculated according to whether beneficiaries received additional subsidies, which eliminate most out-of-pocket costs.

Of 43,283 Medicare beneficiaries identified with MS, 70% were DMT users. Most used self-administered DMTs (67%), and 3% used natalizumab; 93% received a supportive care medication. Among the 82% of individuals without subsidies, the annual median total and out-of-pocket DMT costs were $56,794 (interquartile range [IQR], $44,837-$62,038) and $4566 (IQR, $849-$5270), respectively. The most commonly used supportive care drugs were antidepressants (62%), opioid analgesics (50%), antispasticity drugs (47%), and anticonvulsants (46%). Annual median total and out-of-pocket costs for these drugs were $15,134 (IQR, $6571-$19,620) and $255 (IQR, $56-$877), respectively.

Most Medicare beneficiaries with MS using DMTs face considerable out-of-pocket costs. Beneficiaries also used a significant number of medications potentially used for MS-related symptoms, although total and out-of-pocket costs were modest.

Preliminary Support of a Behavioral Intervention for Trait Conscientiousness in Multiple Sclerosis.

International J MS Care

Conscientiousness, or the proclivity for deliberation, achievement, and order, declines in many individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). Decreased conscientiousness predicts future cognitive deterioration, brain atrophy, and employment loss in individuals with MS. As a psychological trait, it may be an actionable antecedent to these important outcomes. We pilot tested an application (app)-facilitated behavioral intervention to help adaptation to low conscientiousness and, in turn, improve employment.

Eleven individuals with MS (5 treatment, 6 control) with low conscientiousness were recruited for a 12-week randomized controlled trial. The treatment group received a newly developed behavioral treatment and smartphone app designed to help people behave more conscientiously, 2 teleconference booster sessions, and weekly telephone calls to monitor progress. Employment changes were recorded at baseline and follow-up. Patients provided detailed posttreatment interviews.

Participant groups were matched on baseline age, sex, education, disease duration, hours worked, and conscientiousness. All participants in the treatment arm reported benefits, found the app easy to use, and would recommend it to others. The treatment group reported significantly more positive work outcomes relative to controls at follow-up (P = .028). Other positive life changes were described by treatment participants during post-treatment interviews.

These results support the hypothesis that behaviors typically associated with low conscientiousness may be addressed by behavioral therapy in the MS population. In addition to the positive employment changes in the treatment group, several other quality of life changes were described by study participants. Additional research is needed.

A Qualitative Study of Health Care Professionals' Views on Bowel Care in Multiple Sclerosis: Whose Job Is It Anyway?

International J MS Care

Bowel dysfunction, including constipation and fecal incontinence, is prevalent in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), adversely affecting quality of life and increasing caregiver burden. How health care professionals (HCPs) identify, assess, and manage people with MS with bowel dysfunction is understudied. This study explored how HCPs think about, assess, and manage bowel dysfunction in individuals with MS.

Semistructured interviews were conducted with 18 HCPs from different professional disciplines and clinical specialties recruited from UK National Health Service primary, secondary, and tertiary care services using purposive and chain referral sampling through professional networks. One participant worked for a bladder and bowel charity. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Views differed regarding responsibilities for providing bowel care. Participants thought individuals with MS should notify HCPs of bowel symptoms and take responsibility for self-management where possible, with family caregivers required to help with bowel care. Although people with MS were often referred to bladder and bowel specialists when a crisis point was reached, earlier referral was called for by these HCPs. There were variations in assessment processes, treatment options offered, and service provision. Participants thought HCPs needed more education on bowel dysfunction, bowel care should take a high priority, and evidence-based clinical guidelines and referral pathways would improve service delivery.

The HCPs caring for individuals with MS see many with bowel dysfunction, and there is variation in care and service provision; HCPs require more education, evidence-based clinical guidelines, and referral pathways to improve case finding, assessment, and management of these symptoms for individuals with MS.

Sex-Based Differences in Oxygen Cost of Walking and Energy Equivalents in Minimally Disabled Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis and Controls.

International J MS Care

Elevated oxygen cost of walking and energy equivalents are reported for highly and moderately disabled individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, less is known about minimally impaired individuals. Moreover, no sex-based data on the metabolic rates of individuals with MS are available. In this cross-sectional study, the metabolic rates and temporospatial parameters of gait during overground walking in minimally disabled individuals with MS versus matched controls were quantified and whether sex-based differences occur was examined.

Sixty-nine minimally impaired adults with MS (37, relapsing-remitting MS [RRMS]; 32, clinically isolated syndrome [CIS]) and 25 matched controls completed two 6-minute walking bouts at comfortable and fast speeds. The oxygen cost of walking, energy equivalents, and respiratory exchange ratio were recorded through breath-by-breath open-circuit spirometry. Gait analysis was performed via a portable electronic walkway.

At comfortable but not at fast speed, men with RRMS showed higher oxygen cost of walking than men with CIS (+17.9%, P = .04) and male controls (+21.3%, P = .03). In the RRMS group, men showed higher oxygen cost of walking (+19.2%, P = .04) and energy equivalents (+19.2%, P = .02) than women. Elevated oxygen cost of walking and energy equivalents in men were paralleled by significantly larger base of support and step time asymmetry during walking.

Metabolic demands are elevated while walking in minimally disabled individuals with RRMS. Furthermore, higher energy demands occur in men, probably due to increased step symmetry and base of support. Clinicians are advised to follow energy expenditure metrics collected while walking because they can indicate a decrease in fitness, even in the early phase of MS.