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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.07.24

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November 2008
Yoram Finkelstein, MD PhD, Na Zhang, PhD, Vanessa A. Fitsanakis, PhD, Malcolm J. Avison, PhD, John C. Gore, PhD and Michael Aschner, PhD

Background: Manganism is a central nervous system disorder caused by toxic exposure to manganese. Manganism has been related to occupational exposures, liver diseases, prolonged parenteral nutrition, and abuse of illicit drugs. Initially manifested by a reversible neuropsychiatric syndrome (locura manganica), the main symptoms and signs of manganism are emotional lability, compulsive behavior and visual hallucinations. Locura manganica is followed by an irreversible extrapyramidal syndrome, the onset of which occurs years after chronic exposure.

Objectives: To characterize the regional distribution of Mn[1] in the rat brain after subchronic exposure to Mn. This animal model holds special clinical relevance, reflecting the earlier clinical stages of manganism before chronic exposure to Mn exerts its irreversible effects.

Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were intravenously injected with MnCl2 weekly, for a total of 14 weeks – approximately 1/10 of the lifetime of the rat. T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was used to detect the distribution of Mn deposition in brain tissues, as evidenced by areas of T1-weighted hyperintense signals.

Results: A consistent region-specific pattern of T1-weighted hyperintensities was observed in the brains of Mn-treated rats. Cortical hyperintensities were prominent in the hippocampus and dentate gyrus. Hyperintensities were also observed in the olfactory bulbs, pituitary gland, optic nerves and chiasma, pons, midbrain tegmentum, habenula, lentiform and caudate nuclei, thalamus, chorioid plexus and cerebellar hemispheres.

Conclusions: Prominent Mn depositions, evidenced by T1-weighted hyperintensities in the hippocampus after subacute exposure to Mn, are compatible with the clinical picture of manganism during its early stages; and may explain its pathophysiology 






[1] Mn = manganese


June 2007
S. Flechter, J. Vardi, Y. Finkelstein, L. Pollak

Background: The cognitive impairment (frontal, parietal) in many patients with multiple sclerosis does not correlate with the degree of neurological disability and disease duration. Frontal/prefrontal cognitive impairment requires neuropsychological diagnostic tools.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical effect of IFNβ-1b[1] (Betaferon®) treatment on cognitive function and event-related potential as compared to the clinical course (EDSS[2]) in MS patients during 1 year of follow-up.

Methods: This prospective open-label design study included 16 consecutive patients with relapsing forms of MS attending the MS outpatient clinic. Mean EDSS score was calculated prior to starting treatment. Parietal lobe event-related potential P300 was elicited using an auditory physical stimulus to an alert subject. Mean P300 amplitude and latency were calculated for the group before treatment. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, which measures frontal lobe functions, was performed before the treatment. After 1 year of treatment a second P300 and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test were performed and the mean change between visit 1 and baseline was calculated for each parameter. Correlation between the change in P300 and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test score at baseline was measured using the paired t-test.

Results: There was a significant reduction in P300 amplitude and latency after 1 year of treatment with IFNβ-1b: from 20.3 ± 8.3 μv to 13.1 ± 10.6 μv (P = 0.026) for amplitude, and from 312.9 ± 15.6 msec to 302.0 ± 17.0 msec (P = 0.002) for latency. The Perseverative Response (raw score) and the Perseverative Response U.S. Census age-matched standard score showed a significant improvement – from 20.7 ± 30.7 to 13.1 ± 10.6 (P = 0.001) and 96.7 ± 15.7 to 100.1 ± 11.1 (P = 0.0025) respectively – after 1 year of treatment. A mild but not significant improvement was observed on the EDSS after 1 year of treatment: 2.9 ± 0.5 to 2.8 ± 1.1.

Conclusions: A cognitive decline in MS patients may have a negative impact on the quality of life, affecting all active daily living domains. IFNβ-1b, a disease-modifying therapy, has demonstrated a positive therapeutic effect on cognitive dysfunction, unrelated to its effect on the EDSS score and course of the disease.






[1] IFNβ = interferon beta

[2] EDSS = Expanded Disability Status Scale


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