AUDIENCE: Neurology, Internal Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: Plasma tau, particularly when combined with genetic stratification for AD risk, can be a useful indicator of brain change in midlife. Accelerated inferior parietal cortex changes in midlife may be an important factor to consider as a marker of AD-related brain alterations.
BACKGROUND: Neuroimaging and biomarker studies in Alzheimer disease (AD) have shown well-characterized patterns of cortical thinning and altered biomarker concentrations of tau and ß-amyloid (A ß). However, earlier identification of AD has great potential to advance clinical care and determine candidates for drug trials. The extent to which AD risk markers relate to cortical thinning patterns in midlife is unknown. The first objective of this study was to examine cortical thickness change associated with genetic risk for AD among middle-aged military veterans. The second objective was to determine the relationship between plasma tau and A ß and change in brain cortical thickness among veterans stratified by genetic risk for AD.
DETAILS: Participants consisted of post-9/11 veterans (N = 155) who were consecutively enrolled in the Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders prospective longitudinal cohort and were assessed for mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic disorder (PTSD). Genome-wide polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for AD were calculated using summary results from the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Disease Project. T-tau and A ß40 and A ß42 plasma assays were run using Simoa technology. Whole-brain MRI cortical thickness change estimates were obtained using the longitudinal stream of FreeSurfer. Follow-up moderation analyses examined the AD PRS × plasma interaction on change in cortical thickness in AD-vulnerable regions. Higher AD PRS, signifying greater genetic risk for AD, was associated with accelerated cortical thickness change in a right hemisphere inferior parietal cortex cluster that included the supramarginal gyrus, angular gyrus, and intraparietal sulcus. Higher tau, but not A ß42/40 ratio, was associated with greater cortical thickness change among those with higher AD PRS. Mild TBI and PTSD were not associated with cortical thickness change.
Copyright © American Academy of Neurology. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Hayes, J. P., Pierce, M. E., Brown, E., et al. (2023). Genetic Risk for Alzheimer Disease and Plasma Tau Are Associated With Accelerated Parietal Cortex Thickness Change in Middle-Aged Adults. Neuro Genetics. 2023; 9(1): e200053. Published: February, 2023. DOI: 10.1212/NXG.0000000000200053.
AUDIENCE: Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: C. auris case counts have increased for many reasons, including poor general infection prevention and control (IPC) practices in healthcare facilities. Case counts may also have increased because of enhanced efforts to detect cases, including increased colonization screening, a test to see if someone has the fungus somewhere on their body but does not have an infection or symptoms of infection. The timing of this increase and findings from public health investigations suggest C. auris spread may have worsened due to strain on healthcare and public health systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BACKGROUND: Candida auris (C. auris), an emerging fungus considered an urgent antimicrobial resistance (AR) threat, spread at an alarming rate in U.S. healthcare facilities in 2020-2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Equally concerning was a tripling in 2021 of the number of cases that were resistant to echinocandins, the antifungal medicine most recommended for treatment of C. auris infections. In general, C. auris is not a threat to healthy people. People who are very sick, have invasive medical devices, or have long or frequent stays in healthcare facilities are at increased risk for acquiring C. auris. CDC has deemed C. auris as an urgent AR threat, because it is often resistant to multiple antifungal drugs, spreads easily in healthcare facilities, and can cause severe infections with high death rates.
DETAILS: "The rapid rise and geographic spread of cases is concerning and emphasizes the need for continued surveillance, expanded lab capacity, quicker diagnostic tests, and adherence to proven infection prevention and control," said CDC epidemiologist Dr. Meghan Lyman, lead author of the paper.
As further explained in the article, C. auris has spread in the United States since it was first reported in 2016, with a total of 3,270 clinical cases (in which infection is present) and 7,413 screening cases (in which the fungus is detected but not causing infection) reported through December 31, 2021. Clinical cases have increased each year since 2016, with the most rapid rise occurring during 2020-2021. CDC has continued to see an increase in case counts for 2022. During 2019-2021, 17 states identified their first C. auris case ever. Nationwide, clinical cases rose from 476 in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021. Screening cases tripled from 2020 to 2021, for a total of 4,041. Screening is important to prevent spread by identifying patients carrying the fungus so that infection prevention controls can be used.
The CDC's Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory Network, which provides nationwide lab capacity to rapidly detect antimicrobial resistance and inform local responses to prevent spread and protect people, provided some of the data for this report. CDC worked to significantly strengthen laboratory capacity, including in state, territorial, and local health departments, through supplemental funding supported by the American Rescue Plan Act. These efforts include increasing susceptibility testing capacity for C. auris from seven Regional Labs to more than 26 labs nationwide.
CDC continues to work with state, local, and territorial health departments and other partners to address this emerging threat to public health. Review more information on C. auris, the Antimicrobial Resistance Threats Report that identified C. auris as an urgent threat in the United States, or the WHO fungal priority pathogen list that identifies C. auris as a priority globally.
Copyright © CDC. All rights reserved.
Source: Increasing Threat of Spread of Antimicrobial-resistant Fungus in Healthcare Facilities. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2023; 320. Published: March 20, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2023/p0320-cauris.html.
AUDIENCE: Ob/Gyn, Neurology, Family Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: Low-normal cervical length (25-30 mm) as measured before in-utero laparotomy-assisted fetoscopic spina bifida repair may increase the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes, including PPROM and preterm birth, leading to higher rates of neonatal complications. These data warrant further research and are of critical relevance for clinical teams considering the eligibility of patients for in-utero spina bifida repair. Based on this evidence, patients with a low-normal cervical length should be aware of their increased risk for adverse perinatal outcome.
BACKGROUND: Aim of this study i to determine if preoperative cervical length in the low-normal range increases the risk of adverse perinatal outcome in patients undergoing fetoscopic spina bifida repair.
DETAILS: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent fetal spina bifida repair between September 2014 and May 2022 at a single center. Cervical length was measured on transvaginal ultrasound during the week before surgery. Eligibility for laparotomy-assisted fetoscopic spina bifida repair was as per the criteria of the Management of Myelomeningocele Study, although maternal body mass index (BMI) up to 40 kg/m2 was allowed. Laparotomy-assisted fetoscopic spina bifida repair was performed, with carbon dioxide insufflation via two 12-French ports in the exteriorized uterus. All patients received the same peri- and postoperative tocolysis regimen, including magnesium sulfate, nifedipine and indomethacin. Postoperative follow-up ultrasound scans were performed either weekly ( 32 weeks' gestation) or twice a week (< 32 weeks). Perinatal outcome was compared between patients with a preoperative cervical length of 25-30 mm vs those with a cervical length > 30 mm. Logistic regression analyses and generalized linear mixed regression analyses were used to predict delivery at less than 30, 34 and 37 weeks' gestation. The study included 99 patients with a preoperative cervical length > 30 mm and 12 patients with a cervix 25-30 mm in length. One further case which underwent spina bifida repair was excluded because cervical length was measured > 1 week before surgery. No differences in maternal demographics, gestational age (GA) at surgery, duration of surgery or duration of carbon dioxide uterine insufflation were observed between groups. Cases with low-normal cervical length had an earlier GA at delivery (median (range), 35.2 (25.1-39.7) weeks vs 38.2 (26.0-40.9) weeks; P = 0.01), higher rates of delivery at < 34 weeks (41.7% vs 10.2%; P = 0.01) and < 30 weeks (25.0% vs 1.0%; P < 0.01) and a higher rate of preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PPROM) (58.3% vs 26.3%; P = 0.04) at an earlier GA (mean ± SD, 29.3 ± 4.0 weeks vs 33.0 ± 2.4 weeks; P = 0.05) compared to those with a normal cervical length. Neonates of cases with low-normal cervical length had a longer stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (20 (7-162) days vs 9 (3-253) days; P = 0.02) and higher rates of respiratory distress syndrome (50.0% vs 14.4%; P < 0.01), sepsis (16.7% vs 1.0%; P = 0.03), necrotizing enterocolitis (16.7% vs 0%; P = 0.01) and retinopathy (33.3% vs 1.0%; P < 0.01). There was an association between preoperative cervical length and risk of delivery at < 30 weeks which was significant only for patients with a maternal BMI < 25 kg/m2 (odds ratio, 0.37 (95% CI, 0.07-0.81); P = 0.02).
Copyright © International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. All rights reserved.
Source: Corets, M. S., Corroenne, R., Johnson, B., et al. (2022). Effect of Preoperative Low-Normal Cervical Length on Perinatal Outcome After Laparotomy-Assisted Fetoscopic Spina Bifida Repair. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2023; 61(1): 74-80. Published: January, 2023. DOI: 10.1002/uog.26070.
AUDIENCE: Psychiatry, Family Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: The results demonstrate an increased resemblance in both autistic male and female individuals' neuroanatomy with male-characteristic patterns associated with typically sex-differential social cognitive features and related gene expression patterns. The findings hold promise for future research aimed at refining the quest for biological mechanisms underpinning the etiology of autism.
BACKGROUND: The male preponderance in prevalence of autism is among the most pronounced sex ratios across neurodevelopmental conditions. The authors sought to elucidate the relationship between autism and typical sex-differential neuroanatomy, cognition, and related gene expression.
DETAILS: Using a novel deep learning framework trained to predict biological sex based on T1-weighted structural brain images, the authors compared sex prediction model performance across neurotypical and autistic males and females. Multiple large-scale data sets comprising T1-weighted MRI data were employed at four stages of the analysis pipeline: 1) pretraining, with the UK Biobank sample (>10,000 individuals); 2) transfer learning and validation, with the ABIDE data sets (1,412 individuals, 5-56 years of age); 3) test and discovery, with the EU-AIMS/AIMS-2-TRIALS LEAP data set (681 individuals, 6-30 years of age); and 4) specificity, with the NeuroIMAGE and ADHD200 data sets (887 individuals, 7-26 years of age). Across both ABIDE and LEAP, features positively predictive of neurotypical males were on average significantly more predictive of autistic males (ABIDE: Cohen's d=0.48; LEAP: Cohen's d=1.34). Features positively predictive of neurotypical females were on average significantly less predictive of autistic females (ABIDE: Cohen's d=1.25; LEAP: Cohen's d=1.29). These differences in sex prediction accuracy in autism were not observed in individuals with ADHD. In autistic females, the male-shifted neurophenotype was further associated with poorer social sensitivity and emotional face processing while also associated with gene expression patterns of midgestational cell types.
Copyright © American Psychiatric Association. All rights reserved.
Source: Floris, D. L., Peng, H., Warrier, V., et al. (2022). The Link Between Autism and Sex-Related Neuroanatomy, and Associated Cognition and Gene Expression. Am J Psychiatry. Published: January, 2023. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.20220194.
Further Observations of the LEAP Study
AUDIENCE: Neurology, Internal Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: In patients with early Parkinson disease, levodopa improves bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremor to the same order of magnitude. For all 3 symptoms, effects were larger at 22 weeks compared with 4 weeks. At 80 weeks, there were fewer patients with motor response fluctuations in the group that had started levodopa earlier.
BACKGROUND: The Levodopa in Early Parkinson's Disease (LEAP) study enabled us to conduct post hoc analyses concerning the effects of levodopa in patients with early Parkinson disease.
DETAILS: The LEAP study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, delayed-start trial in which patients with early Parkinson disease were randomized to receive levodopa/carbidopa 300/75 mg daily for 80 weeks (early-start group) or to placebo for 40 weeks followed by levodopa/carbidopa 300/75 mg daily for 40 weeks (delayed-start group). We analyzed the effect of levodopa with the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale on bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremor. At week 80, participants answered 3 questions regarding motor response fluctuations. A total of 222 patients were randomized to the early-start group (mean ± SD age at baseline 64.8 ± 8.7 years; 71% male) and 223 to the delayed-start group (mean ± SD age at baseline 65.5 ± 8.8 years; 69% male). The difference between the early- and delayed-start groups in mean change from baseline to week 4, expressed as Hedges g effect size, was -0.33 for bradykinesia, -0.29 for rigidity, and -0.25 for tremor (for all symptoms indicating a small effect in favor of the early-start group); from baseline to week 22, respectively, -0.49, -0.36, and -0.44 (small to medium effect); and from baseline to week 40, respectively, -0.32, -0.19, and -0.27 (small effect). At 80 weeks, fewer patients in the early-start group (46 of 205 patients, 23%) experienced motor response fluctuations than patients in the delayed-start group (81 of 211, 38%; p < 0.01).
Copyright © American Academy of Neurology. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Frequin, H. L., Schouten, J., Vershuur, C. V. M., et al. (2022). Levodopa Response in Patients With Early Parkinson Disease: Further Observations of the LEAP Study. American Academy of Neurology. 2023; 100(4). Published: January 24, 2023. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000201448.
Comparative Cross-Sectional Study In Dutch General Practice
AUDIENCE: Family Medicine, Neurology
KEY FINDINGS: This study identified a younger onset of chronic illness and a higher prevalence of multiple comorbidities among people with ID in general practice than those without ID. This underlines the complexity of people with ID and chronic diseases in general practice. As this study confirmed the earlier onset of chronic diseases and comorbidities, it is recommended to acknowledge these age differences when following chronic disease guidelines.
BACKGROUND: Chronic disease and comorbidity patterns in people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are more complex than in the general population. However, incomplete understanding of these differences limits care providers in addressing them. Aim of this study is to compare chronic disease and comorbidity patterns in chronically ill patients with and without ID in Dutch general practice.
DETAILS: In this population-based study, a multi-regional primary care database of 2018 was combined with national population data to improve identification of adults with ID. Prevalence was calculated using Poisson regression to estimate prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the highest-impact chronic diseases (ischemic heart disease (IHD), cerebrovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus (DM), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)) and comorbidities. Information from 18,114 people with ID and 1,093,995 people without ID was available. When considering age and sex, CVD (PR = 1.1), DM (PR = 1.6), and COPD (PR = 1.5) times more prevalent in people with than without ID. At younger age, people with ID more often had a chronic disease and multiple comorbidities. Males with ID most often had a chronic disease and multiple comorbidities. Comorbidities of circulatory nature were most common.
Copyright © Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Source: van den Bemd, M., Schalk, B. W. M., Bischoff, E. W. M. A., et al. (2022). Chronic Diseases and Comorbidities In Adults With and Without Intellectual Disabilities: Comparative Cross-Sectional Study In Dutch General Practice. Family Practice. 2022; 39 (6): 1056-1062. Published: December, 2022. DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmac042.