VBCN - July 2016 Volume 3, No 2

In a phase 3, randomized clinical trial, natalizumab (Tysabri) failed to slow the progression of ambulatory disability unrelated to relapses (primary end point) in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). Although patients who received nataliz­umab were less likely to have progression of ambulatory disability than those receiving placebo, the difference was not significant, according to the results presented at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.

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Mounting evidence led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine in April 2016 that the Zika virus causes microcephaly and other congenital brain abnormalities. According to recent reports, however, the Zika virus may also be associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the brain’s myelin sheath, as is the case with multiple sclerosis.
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With approximately 20 antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) approved in the United States, choosing the optimal agent for an individual patient has become an increasingly daunting task.

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When it comes to migraine, the initial choice of therapy could mean the difference between episodic and chronic disease, according to a secondary analysis of the longitudinal migraine study American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP), presented at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.

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Cognitive enrichment, including intellectual and physical activities, has been shown to delay cognitive impairment; however, its role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease has yielded contradictory results. A team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, conducted a study on the impact of education on the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (Vemuri P, et al. Neurology. 2016;86:1128-1135).

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Although dopamine replacement therapy can improve many symptoms of Parkinson's disease, in rare cases clinicians have observed that gait worsens after the administration of medication, a phenomenon known as “on freezing.”

A new study showed that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has a positive effect in patients with “on freezing” as well as unpredicted “off freezing,” with a subsequent decrease in the number of falls. The treatment also has a high safety profile, with no long-term effects, reported Hatem Samir M. Shehata, MD, Professor of Neurology, Cairo University, Egypt, at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that causes demyelination and axonal damage in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The demyelination in MS is thought to be the result of abnormal immune response in which activated lymphocytes (T-cells and possibly B-cells) impact the CNS myelin.

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