COVID-19 Stroke Recommendations, Nusinersen New SMA Results, Upcoming 2020 CMSC Virtual Annual Meeting

May 23, 2020

Neurology News Network for the week ending May 23, 2020.

This week Neurology News Network covered the new recommendations for treating stroke during COVID-19, the results of nusinersen from the SHINE study, and the upcoming 2020 CMSC Virtual Annual Meeting.

Marco Meglio: Welcome to this special edition of Neurology News Network. I’m Marco Meglio. Please excuse our appearance this week as a majority of the US workforce, including the NeurologyLive team, moves to working remote as we come together to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Recommendations created by an international group of stroke specialists, on behalf of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association Stroke Council Science Subcommittees, have been published, seeking to minimize the risk of infectious exposure of COVID-19 for emergency medical service providers when transferring patients with acute stroke. While the COVID-19 pandemic has broad implications on stroke patient triage, there are still unanswered questions and protocols to follow to minimize safety concerns. The recommendations note that EMS providers need to access a patient with acute stroke’s history and neurological status and determine the likelihood of a large vessel occlusion, all in a safe manner. Controlling infectious disease and determining the likelihood of the need for intensive care due to a potential COVID-19 infection are 2 additional factors that have come into play during this pandemic.

Results from 2 datasets from the open-label SHINE extension study of nusinersen revealed that treatment with the agent results in sustained efficacy and long-term safety in patients with both infantile-onset and later-onset spinal muscular atrophy. Using the October 15, 2018, interim data cut from SHINE, Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale-Expanded score at the modified maintenance dosing regimen Day 1 for patients with later-onset SMA was 26.0 for those who received nusinersen in CHERISH/SHINE and 21.2 for those randomized to sham-procedure in CHERISH and then nusinersen in SHINE. Nusinersen became the first FDA approved drug for the treatment of SMA in pediatric and adult patients in December 2016. The approved recommended dosage of the injection is 12 mg per intrathecal administration.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many society meetings and conferences have been forced to postpone, or worse, cancel. In an effort to help continue to provide the most up to date resources and educational opportunities for health care providers, NeurologyLive has partnered with the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) to convert many of the planned educational sessions from the in-person meeting to a virtual format. The 2020 CMSC Virtual Annual Meeting will feature 4 days of educational sessions, totaling up to 18 hours of potential continuing education credit. The agenda includes a range of experts in multiple sclerosis and related neuromuscular disorders, with the program headlined by Peter Calabresi, MD, who will deliver this year's Whitaker Lecture, "CNS Immune Responses that Underlie Progressive MS: Future Challenges in the COVID-19 Era."

For more information on CMSC 2020, and for more direct access to expert insight, head to NeurologyLive.com. This has been Neurology News Network. Thanks for watching.