MS Immunization Guidelines, Prognostic Value of NfL in ALS, the Future of Focused Ultrasound


Neurology News Network for the week ending September 7, 2019.

This week, Neurology News Network covered the release of American Academy of Neurology guidelines for the use of immunizations in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), results of a study of serum neurofilament light as a prognosticator for mortality risk in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and the future of focused ultrasound in a range of neurological disorders. (Transcript below).

Alicia: Welcome to Neurology News Network. I’m Alicia Bigica. Let’s get into the news from this week.

The American Academy of Neurology has released an updated practice guideline regarding the use of immunizations in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), advising that patients with MS should receive recommended vaccinations, including their yearly influenza vaccine. While data is limited, there is no evidence that suggests that immunizations increase the risk for development of MS or MS relapse. Still, the guideline authors recommend that clinicians should delay immunization in patients who are experiencing a relapse, and should discuss the patient’s opinions, preferences, and questions regarding vaccinations.

Serum neurofilament light may hold strong and independent prognostic value for mortality risk in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as early as the time of diagnosis. The 200-patient study revealed that serum neurofilament light levels predicted mortality with statistical significance, and were also useful for differentiating those with ALS from those without. The findings also revealed that weight loss and bulbar or spinal onset were independent predictors of mortality.

The implementation of focused ultrasound has been practice-changing in tremor, but the various arenas in which this technology can be used to open up new treatment avenues for a range of neurological disorders. The future of focused ultrasound is explored in an in-depth article in our latest print edition of NeurologyLive, and is also available on the website. The article explores current and potential applications for focused ultrasound in epilepsy, stroke, pain, dystonia, and more.

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