Tag Archives: multiple sclerosis

Emotional disorders associated to multiple sclerosis and psychological interventions: a literature review

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0042

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable neurologic disease affecting 2.8 million people worldwide. Individuals with MS experience multiple physical and psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, and pain that impact their general functioning and quality of life. The aim of this review is to highlight the importance of psychological interventions in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms associated with the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Cognitive and behavioral techniques are also useful in relieving the specific symptoms of multiple sclerosis. However, few studies have captured the psychological processes involved in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety, which is why greater concern is recommended in future studies in order to develop better psychological interventions tailored for patients with multiple sclerosis.

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SARS-CoV2 Infection in a Multiple Sclerosis Patient Treated with Natalizumab – A Case Presentation

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0022

Introduction: The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV2, has rapidly spread worldwide and led to an intense collaboration among both physicians and researchers in order to stop its dissemination. Little is yet known about how this virus behaves, but recent studies have suggested the role of integrins in the viral penetration of target cells. Natalizumab is an anti-α4-β1 integrin monoclonal antibody used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurodegenerative auto-immune disease affecting primarily young adults. MS patients have a greater susceptibility to develop severe infections especially enhanced by the disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) which are currently recommended for their treatment. Natalizumab is considered the safest high-efficacy DMT in times of COVID-19 outbreak.
Case presentation: We hereby describe the first case from Romania of a MS patient treated with Natalizumab who subsequently acquired SARS-CoV2 infection and whose recovery was excellent, with no functional neurological or respiratory sequelae.
Conclusion: The favourable evolution of our patient supports the potential therapeutic effect Natalizumab might have in SARS-CoV2 treatment by specifically blocking integrins and by its immunosuppressant characteristics.

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Interferon Beta-1b for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis – More than 10 Years of Experience

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0003

Objective: Interferon beta-1b (IFNβ-1b) was the first disease-modifying agent (DMT) used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). We aimed to evaluate the first patients with MS that started treatment in our clinic.
Methods: An observational, retrospective study was performed on 78 patients that had continuous treatment with IFNβ-1b for more than 10 years. The collection of the demographical data and periodical clinical evaluation was performed on all patients. The disability was quantified using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), creating two groups of patients, G1: EDSS < 4.0 and G2: EDSS ≥ 4.0. The hallmarks of the disability evolution were gathered by direct patient interview, such as the symptoms at onset and relapse frequency.
Results: After more than 17 years of disease evolution, more than half (65.38%) of the patients present a mild disability score. The majority (54.90%) started treatment in the first three years after the onset, while the patients in G2 started treatment after more than 3 years from the onset. The initiation of IFNβ-1b lead to a significant reduction of the relapse rates. A reduced number of patients (<25%) transitioned from RRMS to SPMS.
Discussion: Continuous evaluation of MS patients allows us to assess the possibility of prolonged treatment with IFNβ-1b and to differentiate the responders from non-responders. The clear reduction in relapse rates and disability progression, notably in patients that started treatment early ensure us into continuing administering this medication. Compared to historical cohorts, our lot had a slower disability evolution and a significant proportion hadn’t reach an important disability score.

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Multiple Sclerosis Brain Lesions: Is Short Tau Inversion Recovery Sequence Suitable in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evaluation?

Purpose: To compare the sensitivity of Short Tau Inversion Recovery magnetic resonance sequence with Fast Spin-Echo T2-weighted and Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery magnetic resonance sequences in detection and evaluation of multiple sclerosis brain lesions.
Material and method: Fast Spin-Echo T2-weighted, Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery and Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequences were performed in 7 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Qualitative assessment, regarding the number of lesions detected, conspicuity and lesion location was performed on all images in each sequence by two radiologists. Consensus was reached by agreement.
Results: When comparing Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequences with Fast Spin-Echo sequences, Short Tau Inversion Recovery showed 51 lesions more than Fast Spin-Echo sequences and increased the number of lesions detected by 38% in posterior fossa and by 27% in juxtacortical locations. When comparing Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequences with Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery sequences, Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequences showed 72 lesions more than Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery sequences and increased the number of lesion detected by 86% in posterior fossa and by 24% in periventricular areas.
Conclusions: By increasing the sensitivity Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequence might be suitable as an additional sequence in routine magnetic resonance brain examinations in patients with multiple sclerosis. Although Short Tau Inversion Recovery provides essential supplementary information to conventional imaging for the visualization brain lesions in multiple sclerosis, especially in posterior fossa, it is not a substitute for other sequences.

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Extracranial Jugular Venous Insufficiency in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Treated with Interferon Beta

Background: The term „vascular immunology” was created when recent studies have suggested that topographic perivenous pattern of demyelinated MS plaques may be caused by venous congestion. This condition termed as „chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency” has raised important issues. Our objective was to investigate the haemodinamics of the internal jugular vein (IJV) using extracranial Color-Doppler (ECD) sonography in MS patients treated with IFN-β.
Methods: 140 patients with MS (mean age: 41.1±9.2, mean EDSS: 2.73±1,96, 68.6 % RRMS and 31.4 % SPMS, mean relapses in the past 12 months: 0.43±0.61 with at least 18 months of IFN-β treatment as unique DMT, underwent ECD with detection of four parameters: A – reflux present in IJV; B – evidence of proximal IJV stenosis; C – flow not Doppler detectable in IJV; D – negative difference in the cross sectional area in IJV supine/sitting postures. We studied which criteria correlate significantly with EDSS, number of relapses, form of MS and time to initiation of therapy.
Results: Thirty patients (21.8 %) had at least 2 unilateral parameters present on IJV. This patients had significantly more frequent SPMS (p=0.02), higher EDSS (p=0.04) and started later IFN-β therapy (p=0.03). Taken separately, the number of parameters C+D correlates significantly with EDSS (p=0.04) and form of MS (p=0.01).
Conclusions: ECDS is non-invasive, repeatable, cost-effective and permits to investigate the cerebral venous outflow. The frequency of ECDS criteria in our patient group is significantly lower compared with the results published by Zamboni et al. The absence of IJV flow and negative difference in the cross sectional area in IJV supine/sitting postures correlates significantly with the patient’s clinical characteristics.

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Multiple Sclerosis of the Spinal Cord: is Gadolinium Irreplaceable in Assessing Lesion Activity?

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2013-0037

Purpose: To evaluate the relationship between the T2 patterns of spinal cord multiple sclerosis lesions and their contrast uptake.
Material and method: We retrospectively reviewed the appearance of spinal cord lesions in 29 patients (with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis) who had signs and symptoms of myelopathy on neurologic examination and at least one active lesion visualized on magnetic resonance examinations performed between 2004 and 2011. We correlated the T2 patterns of lesions with contrast enhancement and calculated sensitivity and specificity in predicting gadolinium enhancement.
Results: Only focal patterns consisting of a lesion’s center homogenously brighter than its periphery on T2-weighed images (type I) correlated significantly with the presence of contrast enhancement (p = 0.004). Sensitivity was 0.307 and specificity 0.929. In contrast, enhancement was not significantly related to uniformly hyperintense T2 focal lesions (type II) or diffuse (type III) pattern defined as poorly delineated areas of multiple small, confluent, subtle hyperintense T2 lesions (p >0.5 for both).
Conclusions: We believe that information about the activity of multiple sclerosis spinal cord lesions in patients with myelopathy may be extracted not only from contrast enhanced, but also from non-enhanced magnetic resonance images.

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Correlations Between Depression, Cognitive Status, Functional Scores, Disability and Lesion Load in Multiple Sclerosis Treated with Interferon Beta 1a

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2015-0016

Introduction: Depression and cognitive impairment are the most frequent mental disorders in multiple sclerosis (MS) and represent an important cause of morbidity and mortality. The aim of the study was to analyse the main determinants of depression in multiple sclerosis.
Materials and methods: Thirty-two patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), treated with Interferon Beta 1a, without relapses and corticosteroid treatment in the last 30 days, were included in the study. The mean age of the patients was 35.4±9.2 years, M/F ratio 0.33. Depression level was evaluated by the Romanian version of Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the cognitive function with Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test 3 (PASAT 3), Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT). The functional status and disability level of the patients were evaluated with Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite and Expanded Disability Status Scale. In all patients a cerebral MRI with intravenous contrast administration was performed using a 1.5T MRI device.
Results: Twenty-three patients were free of depression (score 1-10), 4 patients presented mild mood disturbance (score 11-16), 3 borderline clinical depression (score 17-20) and 2 moderate depression (score 21-30). The mean BDI score was 8.71±7.16. BDI score correlated significantly with EDSS (R=0.38, p=0.03), PASAT 3 (R=-0.42, p=0.01), SDMT (R=-0.58, p=0.0007), Timed 25-Foot Walk (R=0.43, p=0.01) and 9-Hole Peg Test (R=0.45, p=0.008). From the EDSS functional scores, significant correlations were found with the urinary score (R=0.4, p=0.01) and sensitive score (R=0.49, p=0.004). BDI score correlated significantly with the total number of T2 lesions (R=0.31, p=0.05) while there was no correlation with the number of active lesions.
Conclusions: The main determinants of depression in RRMS patients are the cognitive impairment, the affection of fine hand movements (9-HP), gait impairment (T25FT) and bladder and sensitive dysfunction.

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