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Garcia H.H.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencias Neurologicas | Garcia H.H.,Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University | Gonzales I.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencias Neurologicas | Lescano A.G.,Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University | And 10 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases

Background: Neurocysticercosis causes a substantial burden of seizure disorders worldwide. Treatment with either praziquantel or albendazole has suboptimum efficacy. We aimed to establish whether combination of these drugs would increase cysticidal efficacy and whether complete cyst resolution results in fewer seizures. We added an increased dose albendazole group to establish a potential effect of increased albendazole concentrations. Methods: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, patients with viable intraparenchymal neurocysticercosis were randomly assigned to receive 10 days of combined albendazole (15 mg/kg per day) plus praziquantel (50 mg/kg per day), standard albendazole (15 mg/kg per day), or increased dose albendazole (22·5 mg/kg per day). Randomisation was done with a computer generated schedule balanced within four strata based on number of cysts and concomitant antiepileptic drug. Patients and investigators were masked to group assignment. The primary outcome was complete cyst resolution on 6-month MRI. Enrolment was stopped after interim analysis because of parasiticidal superiority of one treatment group. Analysis excluded patients lost to follow-up before the 6-month MRI. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00441285. Findings: Between March 3, 2010 and Nov 14, 2011, 124 patients were randomly assigned to study groups (41 to receive combined albendazole plus praziquantel [39 analysed], 43 standard albendazole [41 analysed], and 40 increased albendazole [38 analysed]). 25 (64%) of 39 patients in the combined treatment group had complete resolution of brain cysts compared with 15 (37%) of 41 patients in the standard albendazole group (rate ratio [RR] 1·75, 95% CI 1·10-2·79, p=0·014). 20 (53%) of 38 patients in the increased albendazole group had complete cyst resolution at 6-month MRI compared with 15 (37%) of 41 patients in the standard albendazole group (RR 1·44, 95% CI 0·87-2·38, p=0·151). No significant differences in adverse events were reported between treatment groups (18 in combined treatment group, 11 in standard albendazole group, and 19 in increased albendazole group). Interpretation: Combination of albendazole plus praziquantel increases the parasiticidal effect in patients with multiple brain cysticercosis cysts without increased side-effects. A more efficacious parasiticidal regime without increased treatment-associated side-effects should improve the treatment and long term prognosis of patients with neurocysticercosis. Funding: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Huang Y.-Z.,Chang Gung University | Rothwell J.C.,University College London | Lu C.-S.,Chang Gung University | Wang J.,Chang Gung University | And 2 more authors.
Movement Disorders

To clarify the rationale for using rTMS of dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) to treat dystonia, we examined how the motor system reacts to an inhibitory form of rTMS applied to the PMd in healthy subjects and in a group of patients with focal hand dystonia and DYT1 gene carriers. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) with 300 and 600 pulses (cTBS300 and cTBS600) was applied to PMd, and its after-effects were quantified by measuring the amplitude of MEPs evoked by single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the primary motor cortex (M1), short interval intracortical inhibition/facilitation (SICI/ICF) within M1, the third phase of spinal reciprocal inhibition (RI), and writing tests. In addition, in DYT1 gene carriers, the effects of cTBS300 over M1 and PMd on MEPs were studied in separate experiments. In healthy subjects, cTBS300 and cTBS600 over PMd suppressed MEPs for 30 min or more and cTBS600 decreased SICI and RI. In contrast, neither form of cTBS over PMd had any significant effect on MEPs, while cTBS600 increased effectiveness of SICI and RI and improved writing in patients with writer's cramp. NMDYT1 had a normal response to cTBS300 over left PMd. We suggest that the reduced PMd to M1 interaction in dystonic patients is likely to be due to reduced excitability of PMd-M1 connections. The possible therapeutic effects of premotor rTMS may therefore involve indirect effects of PMd on SICI and RI, which this study has shown can be normalised by cTBS. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society. Source

Yang S.-T.,Chang Gung University | Lee J.-D.,Chang Gung University | Huang C.-H.,Chang Gung University | Wang J.-J.,Chang Gung University | And 2 more authors.
ICIC Express Letters

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has a high risk to convert into Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the related research, the volumetric analysis of hippocampus is the most extensive study. However, the segmentation and identification of the hippocampus are highly complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, we designed an MRI-based classification framework to distinguish the patients of MCI and AD from normal individuals. First, volumetric and shape features were extracted from MRI data. Principal component analysis (PCA) was utilized to decrease the dimensions of feature space. Support vector machine (SVM) classifier was trained for classification. Finally, a hybrid classification system based on particle swarm optimization (PSO) improved the performance of the SVM classifier. With the hybrid classification framework based on PSO, the result achieved up to 95.35% and 82.35% in AD and in MCI. © 2012 ICIC International. Source

Trojsi F.,The Second University of Naples | Trojsi F.,Neurological Institute for Diagnosis and Care Hermitage Capodimonte | Trojsi F.,Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center | Monsurr M.R.,The Second University of Naples | And 6 more authors.
Neural Plasticity

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disease principally affecting motor neurons. Besides motor symptoms, a subset of patients develop cognitive disturbances or even frontotemporal dementia (FTD), indicating that ALS may also involve extramotor brain regions. Both neuropathological and neuroimaging findings have provided further insight on the widespread effect of the neurodegeneration on brain connectivity and the underlying neurobiology of motor neurons degeneration. However, associated effects on motor and extramotor brain networks are largely unknown. Particularly, neuropathological findings suggest that ALS not only affects the frontotemporal network but rather is part of a wide clinicopathological spectrum of brain disorders known as TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathies. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge concerning the neuropsychological and neuropathological sequelae of TDP-43 proteinopathies, with special focus on the neuroimaging findings associated with cognitive change in ALS. Copyright © 2012 Francesca Trojsi et al. Source

Cirillo M.,The Second University of Naples | Cirillo M.,Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center | Esposito F.,Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center | Esposito F.,Neurological Institute for Diagnosis and Care Hermitage Capodimonte | And 17 more authors.
American Journal of Neuroradiology

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The extensive application of advanced MR imaging techniques to the study of ALS has undoubtedly improved our knowledge of disease pathophysiology, even if the actual spread of the neurodegenerative process throughout the central nervous system is not fully understood. The present study aimed to detect WM patterns of microstructural abnormalities to better investigate the pathologic process in ALS, within but also beyond CSTs, in a whole-brain analysis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: DTI was performed in 19 patients with ALS and 20 matched healthy controls, by using whole-brain TBSS and VOI analyses. RESULTS: We observed a significant decrease of FA in the body of CC of the ALS group (P < .05). At the VOI level, both FA decrease and RD increase in the body of CC significantly correlated with the UMN score (P = .003 and P = .02). Additionally, significant voxelwise positive correlations between FA and the ALSFRS-R were detected in the WM tracts underneath the left premotor cortex (P < .05). CONCLUSIONS: The correlations between reduction of FA and increase of RD in the body of CC with the UMN score indicate that the WM degeneration in the CC is strictly related to the ALS pyramidal impairment, while the correlation between FA and ALSFRS-R in the associative tracts underneath the left premotor cortex might reflect the progressive spread of the disease from the motor toward the extramotor areas. Source

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