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Sami Abu Hamdeh, Johan Virhammar, Dag Sehlin, Irina Alafuzoff, Kristina Giuliana Cesarini and Niklas Marklund

OBJECTIVE

The authors conducted a study to test if the cortical brain tissue levels of soluble amyloid beta (Aβ) reflect the propensity of cortical Aβ aggregate formation and may be an additional factor predicting surgical outcome following idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) treatment.

METHODS

Highly selective ELISAs (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays) were used to quantify soluble Aβ40, Aβ42, and neurotoxic Aβ oligomers/protofibrils, associated with Aβ aggregation, in cortical biopsy samples obtained in patients with iNPH (n = 20), sampled during ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt surgery. Patients underwent pre- and postoperative (3-month) clinical assessment with a modified iNPH scale. The preoperative CSF biomarkers and the levels of soluble and insoluble Aβ species in cortical biopsy samples were analyzed for their association with a favorable outcome following the VP shunt procedure, defined as a ≥ 5-point increase in the iNPH scale.

RESULTS

The brain tissue levels of Aβ42 were negatively correlated with CSF Aβ42 (Spearman’s r = −0.53, p < 0.05). The Aβ40, Aβ42, and Aβ oligomer/protofibril levels in cortical biopsy samples were higher in patients with insoluble cortical Aβ aggregates (p < 0.05). The preoperative CSF Aβ42 levels were similar in patients responding (n = 11) and not responding (n = 9) to VP shunt treatment at 3 months postsurgery. In contrast, the presence of cortical Aβ aggregates and high brain tissue Aβ42 levels were associated with a poor outcome following VP shunt treatment (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Brain tissue measurements of soluble Aβ species are feasible. Since high Aβ42 levels in cortical biopsy samples obtained in patients with iNPH indicated a poor surgical outcome, tissue levels of Aβ species may be associated with the clinical response to shunt treatment.

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Sami Abu Hamdeh, Niklas Marklund, Anders Lewén, Tim Howells, Raili Raininko, Johan Wikström and Per Enblad

OBJECTIVE

Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) with diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is not well defined. This study investigated the occurrence of increased ICP and whether clinical factors and lesion localization on MRI were associated with increased ICP in patients with DAI.

METHODS

Fifty-two patients with severe TBI (median age 24 years, range 9–61 years), who had undergone ICP monitoring and had DAI on MRI, as determined using T2*-weighted gradient echo, susceptibility-weighted imaging, and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) sequences, were enrolled. The proportion of good monitoring time (GMT) with ICP > 20 mm Hg during the first 120 hours postinjury was calculated and associations with clinical and MRI-related factors were evaluated using linear regression.

RESULTS

All patients had episodes of ICP > 20 mm Hg. The mean proportion of GMT with ICP > 20 mm Hg was 5%, and 27% of the patients (14/52) spent more than 5% of GMT with ICP > 20 mm Hg. The Glasgow Coma Scale motor score at admission (p = 0.04) and lesions on DWI sequences in the substantia nigra and mesencephalic tegmentum (SN-T, p = 0.001) were associated with the proportion of GMT with ICP > 20 mm Hg. In multivariable linear regression, lesions on DWI sequences in SN-T (8% of GMT with ICP > 20 mm Hg, 95% CI 3%–13%, p = 0.004) and young age (−0.2% of GMT with ICP > 20 mm Hg, 95% CI −0.07% to −0.3%, p = 0.002) were associated with increased ICP.

CONCLUSIONS

Increased ICP occurs in approximately one-third of patients with severe TBI who have DAI. Age and lesions on DWI sequences in the central mesencephalon (i.e., SN-T) are associated with elevated ICP. These findings suggest that MR lesion localization may aid prediction of increased ICP in patients with DAI.

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Niklas Marklund, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg, Elisabeth Ronne-Engström, Per Enblad and Lars Hillered

Object

Damage to axons contributes to postinjury disabilities and is commonly observed following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Traumatic brain injury is an important environmental risk factor for the development of Alzheimer disease (AD). In the present feasibility study, the aim was to use intracerebral microdialysis catheters with a high molecular cutoff membrane (100 kD) to harvest interstitial total tau (T-tau) and amyloid beta 1–42 (Aβ42) proteins, which are important biomarkers for axonal injury and for AD, following moderate-to-severe TBI.

Methods

Eight patients (5 men and 3 women) were included in the study; 5 of the patients had a focal/mixed TBI and 3 had a diffuse axonal injury (DAI). Following the bedside analysis of the routinely measured energy metabolic markers (that is, glucose, lactate/pyruvate ratio, glycerol, and glutamate), the remaining dialysate was pooled and two 12-hour samples per day were used to analyze T-tau and Aβ42 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from Day 1 up to 8 days postinjury.

Results

The results show high levels of interstitial T-tau and Aβ42 postinjury. Patients with a predominantly focal lesion had higher interstitial T-tau levels than in the DAI group from Days 1 to 3 postinjury (p < 0.05). In contrast, patients with DAI had consistently higher Aβ42 levels when compared with patients with focal injury.

Conclusions

These results suggest that monitoring of interstitial T-tau and Aβ42 by using microdialysis may be an important tool when evaluating the presence and role of axonal injury following TBI.

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Niklas Marklund, Florence M. Bareyre, Nicolas C. Royo, Hilaire J. Thompson, Anis K. Mir, M. Sean Grady, Martin E. Schwab and Tracy K. McIntosh

Object

Central nervous system axons regenerate poorly after traumatic brain injury (TBI), partly due to inhibitors such as the protein Nogo-A present in myelin. The authors evaluated the efficacy of anti–Nogo-A monoclonal antibody (mAb) 7B12 administration on the neurobehavioral and cognitive outcome of rats following lateral fluid-percussion brain injury, characterized the penetration of the 7B12 or control antibodies into target brain regions, and evaluated the effects of Nogo-A inhibition on hemispheric tissue loss and sprouting of uninjured motor tracts in the cervical cord. To elucidate a potential molecular response to Nogo-A inhibition, we evaluated the effects of 7B12 on hippocampal GAP-43 expression.

Methods

Beginning 24 hours after lateral fluid-percussion brain injury or sham injury in rats, the mAb 7B12 or control antibody was infused intracerebroventricularly over 14 days, and behavior was assessed over 4 weeks.

Results

Immunoreactivity for 7B12 or immunoglobulin G was detected in widespread brain regions at 1 and 3 weeks postinjury. The brain-injured animals treated with 7B12 showed improvement in cognitive function (p < 0.05) at 4 weeks but no improvement in neurological motor function from 1 to 4 weeks postinjury compared with brain-injured, vehicle-treated controls. The enhanced cognitive function following inhibition of Nogo-A was correlated with an attenuated postinjury downregulation of hippocampal GAP-43 expression (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

Increased GAP-43 expression may be a novel molecular mechanism of the enhanced cognitive recovery mediated by Nogo-A inhibition after TBI in rats.

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Elisabeth Ronne-Engström, Kristina Giuliana Cesarini, Per Enblad, Göran Hesselager, Niklas Marklund, Pelle Nilsson, Konstantin Salci, Lennart Persson and Lars Hillered

Object. When evaluating the results of intracerebral microdialysis, the in vivo performance of the microdialysis probe must be considered, because this determines the fraction of the interstitial concentration obtained in the microdialysis samples. The in vivo performance is dependent on several factors, for example, the interstitial compartment's diffusion characteristics, which may vary during the course of the acute brain injury process. In the present study the authors investigated the method of controlling the in vivo performance by using urea, which is evenly distributed in all body fluid compartments, as an endogenous reference compound and by comparing the urea levels in three compartments: the brain (CNS), abdominal subcutaneous tissue (SC), and blood serum (BS).

Methods. Sixty-nine patients with traumatic brain injury or cerebrovascular disease were included in the study. In 63 of these patients a CNS probe was used, an SC probe was used in 40, and both were used in 34. Urea was measured by enzymatic methods, at bedside for the microdialysis samples and in routine clinical laboratory studies for the BS samples, with the probe calibrated to give identical results. The correlation coefficient for CNS/SC urea was 0.88 (2414 samples), for CNS/BS urea it was 0.89 (180 samples), and for SC/BS urea it was 0.98 (112 samples).

Conclusions. Urea levels in the CNS, SC, and BS were highly correlated, which supports the assumption that urea is evenly distributed. The CNS/SC urea ratio can therefore be used for monitoring the CNS probe's in vivo performance. Fluctuations in other substances measured with microdialysis are probably caused by biological changes in the brain, as long as the CNS/SC urea ratio remains constant.