Paraneoplastic and oncologic profiles of patients seropositive for type 1 antineuronal nuclear autoantibodies.
Lucchinetti CF. Kimmel DW. Lennon VA.
Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Type 1 antineuronal nuclear autoantibody (ANNA-1, also known as "anti-Hu") is a marker of neurologic autoimmunity that is highly associated with small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). To determine the spectrum of symptoms and signs as well as the frequency of cancer in adult patients who are seropositive for ANNA-1, we reviewed 162 sequential patients (67% female) identified as ANNA-1-positive in a comprehensive immunofluorescence screening test. In 21% of these patients, the antibody test requested by the physician was not ANNA-1. By the end of the follow-up period, cancer had been found in 142 patients (88%). Ten of these lacked evidence of SCLC (4 had prostate carcinoma, 3 breast carcinoma, 1 both prostate carcinoma and melanoma, 1 lymphoma, and 1 squamous-cell lung carcinoma). Of the 132 patients (81%) with proven SCLC, 17 had one or more coexisting malignant neoplasms (6 had renal carcinoma, 4 another lung primary carcinoma, 3 prostate carcinoma, 3 breast carcinoma, and 4 assorted neoplasms). The diagnosis of SCLC in 128 patients (97%) followed the onset of paraneoplastic symptoms. SCLC was identified in 10 patients by chest MRI after an equivocal chest radiograph or CT; in 28 by bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy, or thoracotomy; and in 7 at autopsy. Neurologic signs in decreasing frequency were neuropathy (sensory > mixed somatic > autonomic > cranial [especially cranial nerve VIII] > motor), cerebellar ataxia, limbic encephalitis, polyradiculopathy, associated Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, myopathy, myelopathy, opsoclonus/myoclonus, motor neuronopathy, brachial plexopathy, and aphasia. Nineteen patients had a solely gastrointestinal initial presentation, including gastroparesis, pseudo-obstruction, esophageal achalasia, or other dysmotility. We conclude that seropositivity for ANNA-1 can expedite the diagnosis and treatment of otherwise occult cancer in patients, especially tobacco abusers, with varied neurologic and gastroenterologic presentations. The search for SCLC should not end on discovering a different neoplasm.
Chronic progressive leukoencephalopathy in adult celiac disease.
Beyenburg S. Scheid B. Deckert-Schluter M. Lagreze HL.
Department of Neurology, Klinikum Leverkusen, Germany.
Progressive leukoencephalopathy developed in a patient with adult celiac disease. Neurologic abnormalities appeared 4 years after the gastrointestinal manifestations despite a gluten-free diet and replacement of vitamins. Brain MRI showed marked confluent white matter abnormalities, and stereotactic brain biopsy revealed chronic leukoencephalopathy. Treatment with I.V. steroids and immunoglobulins did not stop disease progression. Celiac disease should be considered in the differential diagnosis of the leukoencephalopathies.
CSF levels of carnitine in children with meningitis, neurologic disorders, acute gastroenteritis, and seizure.
Shinawi M. Gruener N. Lerner A.
Department of Pediatrics, Carmel Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.
Carnitine concentrations in CSF, serum, and urine in normal febrile children and children with meningitis, neurologic disorders, and dehydration were studied. Carnitine levels in CSF were 1/10 compared with serum in normal febrile children. These levels increased two- to three-fold in the pathologic conditions studied. Since damage to the blood-brain barrier occurs in these conditions, higher blood-brain barrier permeability might explain CNS carnitine accumulation.
Catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition with tolcapone reduces the wearing off phenomenon and levodopa requirements in fluctuating parkinsonian patients.
Baas H. Beiske AG. Ghika J. Jackson M. Oertel WH. Poewe W. Ransmayr G.
Klinik fur Neurologie, Klinikum der Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universitaet, Frankfurt, Germany.
BACKGROUND: More than 50% of patients with Parkinson's disease develop motor response fluctuations (the 'wearing off" phenomenon) after more than five years of levodopa therapy. Inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase by tolcapone has been shown to increase levodopa bioavailability and plasma elimination half life, thereby prolonging the efficacy of levodopa. OBJECTIVES: The primary objective was to evaluate the efficacy of tolcapone in reducing "wearing off" in levodopa treated, fluctuating parkinsonian patients. Secondary objectives included assessment of reduction in levodopa requirements, improvement in patients' clinical status, duration of improvements, and tolerability of tolcapone. METHODS: In this multicentre, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial, 58 patients received placebo, 60 received 100 mg tolcapone three times daily (tid), and 59 received 200 mg tolcapone tid, in addition to levodopa/benserazide. RESULTS: After three months with 200 mg tolcapone tid, "off" time decreased by 26.2% of the baseline value, "on" time increased by 20.6% (p < 0.01 vs. placebo), and the mean total daily levodopa dose decreased by 122 mg from the baseline dose of 676 mg (p < 0.01). These responses were maintained up to nine months. With 100 mg tolcapone tid, "off" time decreased by 31.5% (p < 0.05), "on" time increased by 21.3% (p < 0.01), and the mean total daily levodopa dose decreased by 109 mg from the baseline dose of 668 mg (p < 0.05). With 200 mg tolcapone tid, unified Parkinson's disease rating scale motor and total scores were significantly reduced, and quality of life (sickness impact profile) scores were significantly improved. Both dosages were well tolerated. Dyskinesia was the most often reported levodopa induced adverse event. Diarrhoea was the most often reported non-dopaminergic adverse event and the most frequent reason for withdrawal from the study: four patients in the 100 mg tolcapone tid group and six in the 200 mg tid group withdrew because of diarrhoea. CONCLUSION: Tolcapone prolongs "on" time in fluctuating parkinsonian patients while allowing a reduction in daily levodopa dosage, thereby improving the efficacy of long term levodopa therapy.