Expert clinicians offer their perspectives on the upcoming IFN 2021 Congress, the impact of aducanumab, optic neuritis in NMOSD, cranial neuralgias, and miniature AD brain models.
The NeurologyLive team has been as busy as always bringing you the latest clinical news and research updates in neurology over the last month, including conducting several interviews with experts across a number of different and varying topics.
Among these included a preview of the upcoming and third annual International Congress on the Future of Neurology (IFN) with migraine section head Jessica Ailani, MD; perspective on a miniature brain model’s potential in Alzheimer disease from Yanhong Shi, PhD;1 insight on the controversial approval of aducanumab from Eric Reiman, MD; the personalization of treatment for cranial neuralgias detailed by Paul G. Mathew, MD, DNBPAS, FAAN, FAHS;2 and Melanie Truong-Le, DO, OD, on the diagnosis of optic neuritis and NMOSD.
Click through the slides to see and read more from each expert’s exclusive conversation with NeurologyLive in August 2021.
“[The migraine section of IFN] is a hybrid-type session, and I’m excited to see how that goes because I have a feeling this is really the future of how conferences are going to be looking.”
The upcoming third annual International Congress on the Future of Neurology (IFN), to be held virtually on September 17-18, will feature presentations on the most recent advancements in neurology, including migraine and headache. Jessica Ailani, MD, director, MedStar Georgetown Headache Center, spoke with NeurologyLive on the areas she is excited to see discussed.
When asked about upcoming “hot topics” Ailani called attention to the novel calcitonin gene-related peptide treatments and how experts are making use of them. She further commented on treatment options to be discussed at IFN 2021 for patients with migraine, including acute treatment, preventive treatment, and nonpharmacological options such as behavioral therapies.
“We believe that using this model, we will be able to review pathological mechanisms underlying Alzheimer disease that were not possible to uncover using the previous animal models or familial AD models. Also, this model will give us a powerful tool to test drugs for AD prior to them proceeding to clinical trials.”
Researchers at City of Hope have developed a miniature brain platform to study Alzheimer disease (AD), with the potential to evaluate new treatment options and explore the disease’s pathological mechanisms. Yanhong Shi, PhD, Herbert Horvitz professor in neuroscience and director, division of stem cell biology research, Department of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, spoke with NeurologyLive about the model and its anticipated use in clinical trials. Shi spoke specifically on the effect the mini brain organoid could have on high costs associated with drug development, as the mini brain model will allow experts to assess efficacy and neurotoxicity prior to moving to human trials.
“One of the benefits I am hoping we will see with aducanumab’s approval—and the growing access that we will have to blood-based biomarkers—will be the opportunities to reach out to wider groups of individuals and be able to provide information about those resources, while we’re awaiting those treatments that will even more dramatically slow down the [progression] and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.”
The FDA’s approval of aducanumab (Aduhelm; Biogen) for treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD) remains a controversial topic of conversation in the medical community. Eric Reiman, MD, executive director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, spoke with NeurologyLive about the approval, noting exciting aspects within the AD field and “animated discussions” in relation to impact for patients and associated costs.
Reiman discussed the potential of Aβ plaque reduction, as well as the importance of ongoing trials and understanding how to address unmet needs in care. Specific attention was called to inadequate standards of care for patients with memory and thinking problems.
For more coverage of AAIC 2021, click here.
"Because of the society we’re living in, when we’re typing, texting, eating, driving, we’re in this anterior position that puts a lot of tension on those muscles and generates a lot of bad chronic posture. Even something as simple as that, over the years, can lead to the development of occipital neuralgia.”
A recently conducted case study involving 2 patients with posttraumatic headache later diagnosed with auriculotemporal neuralgia and supratrochlear neuralgia, respectively, helped uncover more about the condition which some, including lead investigator Paul G. Mathew, MD, DNBPAS, FAAN, FAHS, consider “overlooked” within the headache space. Treatment options for painful cranial neuralgias are different than those traditionally employed for posttraumatic headache without cranial neuralgias.
He sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss the difficulties in treating patients with cranial neuralgias and why thorough examination and questioning are key to guiding patients towards making the correct treatment decisions.
“Previously, we used ELISA [enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay] or the fluorescence sorting method to detect the antibodies, and we found that the sensitivity and specificity was not as high. So, with the use of cell-based assays, our detection rate for these antibodies is just so much more sensitive and specific, and that has helped us to diagnose, fully, these patients with more confidence. With that confidence, I think we are able to manage and treat them much more appropriately.”
Melanie Truong-Le, DO, OD, neuro-ophthalmologist, Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, UT Southwestern Medical Center, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss the clinical application of new technology for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), as it relates to the treatment of optic neuritis. Truong-Le offered a unique perspective as a neuro-ophthalmologist, commenting on the use of optical coherence tomograph, a noninvasive imaging technique using light rays to look at nerve fiber layer. Truong-Le further discussed were technological advances associated with aquaporin-4 antibody detection, as well as with the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody detection.
To hear more insight from experts in the clinical care of patients and leading researchers in neurology, check out more of NeurologyLive's videos.