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Didier Leys - Top 30 Publications

Topographic distribution of brain iron deposition and small cerebrovascular lesions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and in frontotemporal lobar degeneration: a post-mortem 7.0-tesla magnetic resonance imaging study with neuropathological correlates.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) in 15% of the cases. A neuropathological continuity between ALS and FTLD-TDP is suspected. The present post-mortem 7.0-tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study compares the topographic distribution of iron (Fe) deposition and the incidence of small cerebrovascular lesions in ALS and in FTLD brains. Seventy-eight post-mortem brains underwent 7.0-tesla MRI. The patients consisted of 12 with ALS, 38 with FTLD, and 28 controls. Three ALS brains had minor FTLD features. Three coronal sections of a cerebral hemisphere were submitted to T2 and T2* MRI sequences. The amount of Fe deposition in the deep brain structures and the number of small cerebrovascular lesions was determined in ALS and the subtypes of FTLD compared to control brains, with neuropathological correlates. A significant increase of Fe deposition was observed in the claustrum, caudate nucleus, globus pallidus, thalamus, and subthalamic nucleus of the FTLD-FUS and FTLD-TDP groups, while in the ALS one, the Fe increase was only observed in the caudate and the subthalamic nuclei. White matter changes were only significantly more severe in the FTLD compared to those in ALS and in controls brains. Cortical micro-bleeds were increased in the frontal and temporal lobes of FTLD as well as of ALS brains compared to controls. Cortical micro-infarcts were, on the other hand, more frequent in the control compared to the ALS and FTLD groups. The present study supports the assumption of a neuropathological continuity between ALS and FTLD and illustrates the favourable vascular risk profile in these diseases.

Predicting major bleeding in patients with noncardioembolic stroke on antiplatelets: S2TOP-BLEED.

To develop and externally validate a prediction model for major bleeding in patients with a TIA or ischemic stroke on antiplatelet agents.

In-hospital ischaemic stroke treated with intravenous thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy.

Patients with in-hospital strokes (IHS) may be eligible for recanalization therapies. The objective of this study is to compare outcomes in patients with IHS and community-onset strokes (COS) treated by recanalization therapy. We analysed data prospectively collected in consecutive patients treated by thrombolysis, thrombectomy, or both for cerebral ischemia at the Lille University Hospital. We compared four outcomes measures at 3 months in patients with IHS and COS: (1) modified Rankin scale (mRS) 0-1, (2) mRS 0-2, (3) death, and (4) symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage (ECASS 2 definition). Of 1209 patients, 64 (5.3%) had IHS, with an increasing proportion over time (p = 0.001). Their median onset-to-needle time was 128 min vs. 145 in COS (p < 0.001). They were more likely to have had a recent TIA [odds ratio (OR) 30.1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 11.5-78.7], to have been treated by vitamin K antagonist before (OR 4.2; 95% CI 1.4-12.0) and to undergo mechanical thrombectomy (45 vs. 10%, p < 0.001). They were less likely to have a pre-stroke mRS 0-1 (OR 0.22; 95% CI 0.09-0.50). After adjustment, IHS was not associated with any of the four outcome measures. Patients with IHS are treated 17 min earlier than patients with COS, but, taking into account that they were already in the hospital, delays are still too long. Their outcome does not differ from that of patients with COS, suggesting room for improvement if delays can be reduced. IHS being frequent, pre-specified pathways should be organised.

Cerebrovascular Lesions in Mixed Neurodegenerative Dementia: A Neuropathological and Magnetic Resonance Study.

In elderly brains of demented patients, Alzheimer and Lewy body pathology (LBP) are frequently associated. Cortical microinfarcts (CoMIs) are more observed in Lewy body disease, even in the absence of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). The present neuropathological and 7.0-tesla MRI studies investigate whether CoMIs are also more frequent in mixed neurodegenerative dementia syndromes.

Frequency and topography of small cerebrovascular lesions in vascular and in mixed dementia: a post-mortem 7-tesla magnetic resonance imaging study with neuropathological correlates.

<i><b>Introduction</b>: Mixed dementia (MixD) refers to a combination of definite Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular encephalopathy. The existence of a "pure" type of vascular dementia (VaD) is controversial. There is a need to find magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics allowing the distinction between VaD and MixD. The present post-mortem 7.0-tesla MRI compares the frequency or severity and the topography of the small cerebrovascular lesions in brains of patients with VaD and with MixD. <b>Material and methods</b>: Based on neuropathological criteria, 14 brains were classified as VaD, 24 as MixD and 11 as controls. Three coronal sections of a cerebral hemisphere and a horizontal section of a cerebellar hemisphere underwent T2 and T2* 7.0-tesla MRI examination. The mean values and topographic distribution of white matter changes (WMCs), lacunar infarcts (LIs), cortical microbleeds (CoMBs) and cortical microinfarcts (CoMIs) were determined and compared between the different groups. <b>Results</b>: Compared to the controls, both VaD and MixD brains had significantly more severe WMCs and increased numbers of CoMBs and CoMIs. Lacunar infarcts predominated only in the VaD cases. On mutual comparison of VaD and MixD brains, CoMBs and CoMIs predominated in the frontal lobe and the cerebellum of VaD, while were mainly present in the occipital lobe of MixD. White matter changes predominated in the temporal lobe of MixD cases. Lacunar infarcts were significantly increased in the corona radiata and putamen of VaD patients. <b>Conclusions</b>: The present post-mortem MRI study shows clear differences in the distribution and the types of cerebrovascular lesions on high-field MRI, confirming that VaD and MixD are different diseases. </i>.

Genetic Imbalance in Patients with Cervical Artery Dissection.

Genetic and environmental risk factors are assumed to contribute to the susceptibility to cervical artery dissection (CeAD). To explore the role of genetic imbalance in the etiology of CeAD, copy number variants (CNVs) were identified in high-density microarrays samples from the multicenter CADISP (Cervical Artery Dissection and Ischemic Stroke Patients) study and from control subjects from the CADISP study and the German PopGen biobank. Microarray data from 833 CeAD patients and 2040 control subjects (565 subjects with ischemic stroke due to causes different from CeAD and 1475 disease-free individuals) were analyzed. Rare genic CNVs were equally frequent in CeAD-patients (16.4%; n=137) and in control subjects (17.0%; n=346) but differed with respect to their genetic content. Compared to control subjects, CNVs from CeAD patients were enriched for genes associated with muscle organ development and cell differentiation, which suggests a possible association with arterial development. CNVs affecting cardiovascular system development were more common in CeAD patients than in control subjects (p=0.003; odds ratio (OR) =2.5; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) =1.4-4.5) and more common in patients with a familial history of CeAD than in those with sporadic CeAD (p=0.036; OR=11.2; 95% CI=1.2-107).

Cervical artery dissection in patients ≥60 years: Often painless, few mechanical triggers.

In a cohort of patients diagnosed with cervical artery dissection (CeAD), to determine the proportion of patients aged ≥60 years and compare the frequency of characteristics (presenting symptoms, risk factors, and outcome) in patients aged <60 vs ≥60 years.

Stroke occurring in patients with cognitive impairment or dementia.

To determine how pre-stroke cognitive impairment can be detected, its mechanism, and influence on outcome and management.

The management of acute cerebral ischaemia is now just a matter of organization. For spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage, all has still to be done….

Vascular Cognitive Impairment.

Cerebrovascular disease typically manifests with stroke, cognitive impairment, or both. Vascular cognitive impairment refers to all forms of cognitive disorder associated with cerebrovascular disease, regardless of the specific mechanisms involved. It encompasses the full range of cognitive deficits from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. In principle, any of the multiple causes of clinical stroke can cause vascular cognitive impairment. Recent work further highlights a role of microinfarcts, microhemorrhages, strategic white matter tracts, loss of microstructural tissue integrity, and secondary neurodegeneration. Vascular brain injury results in loss of structural and functional connectivity and, hence, compromise of functional networks within the brain. Vascular cognitive impairment is common both after stroke and in stroke-free individuals presenting to dementia clinics, and vascular pathology frequently coexists with neurodegenerative pathology, resulting in mixed forms of mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Vascular dementia is now recognized as the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease, and there is increasing awareness that targeting vascular risk may help to prevent dementia, even of the Alzheimer type. Recent advances in neuroimaging, neuropathology, epidemiology, and genetics have led to a deeper understanding of how vascular disease affects cognition. These new findings provide an opportunity for the present reappraisal of vascular cognitive impairment. We further briefly address current therapeutic concepts.

Sex Differences and Functional Outcome After Intravenous Thrombolysis.

Women have a worse outcome after stroke compared with men, although in intravenous thrombolysis (IVT)-treated patients, women seem to benefit more. Besides sex differences, age has also a possible effect on functional outcome. The interaction of sex on the functional outcome in IVT-treated patients in relation to age remains complex. The purpose of this study was to compare outcome after IVT between women and men with regard to age in a large multicenter European cohort reflecting daily clinical practice of acute stroke care.

STROKOG (stroke and cognition consortium): An international consortium to examine the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neurocognitive disorders in relation to cerebrovascular disease.

The Stroke and Cognition consortium (STROKOG) aims to facilitate a better understanding of the determinants of vascular contributions to cognitive disorders and help improve the diagnosis and treatment of vascular cognitive disorders (VCD).

Post-stroke dementia - a comprehensive review.

Post-stroke dementia (PSD) or post-stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) may affect up to one third of stroke survivors. Various definitions of PSCI and PSD have been described. We propose PSD as a label for any dementia following stroke in temporal relation. Various tools are available to screen and assess cognition, with few PSD-specific instruments. Choice will depend on purpose of assessment, with differing instruments needed for brief screening (e.g., Montreal Cognitive Assessment) or diagnostic formulation (e.g., NINDS VCI battery). A comprehensive evaluation should include assessment of pre-stroke cognition (e.g., using Informant Questionnaire for Cognitive Decline in the Elderly), mood (e.g., using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and functional consequences of cognitive impairments (e.g., using modified Rankin Scale). A large number of biomarkers for PSD, including indicators for genetic polymorphisms, biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid and in the serum, inflammatory mediators, and peripheral microRNA profiles have been proposed. Currently, no specific biomarkers have been proven to robustly discriminate vulnerable patients ('at risk brains') from those with better prognosis or to discriminate Alzheimer's disease dementia from PSD. Further, neuroimaging is an important diagnostic tool in PSD. The role of computerized tomography is limited to demonstrating type and location of the underlying primary lesion and indicating atrophy and severe white matter changes. Magnetic resonance imaging is the key neuroimaging modality and has high sensitivity and specificity for detecting pathological changes, including small vessel disease. Advanced multi-modal imaging includes diffusion tensor imaging for fiber tracking, by which changes in networks can be detected. Quantitative imaging of cerebral blood flow and metabolism by positron emission tomography can differentiate between vascular dementia and degenerative dementia and show the interaction between vascular and metabolic changes. Additionally, inflammatory changes after ischemia in the brain can be detected, which may play a role together with amyloid deposition in the development of PSD. Prevention of PSD can be achieved by prevention of stroke. As treatment strategies to inhibit the development and mitigate the course of PSD, lowering of blood pressure, statins, neuroprotective drugs, and anti-inflammatory agents have all been studied without convincing evidence of efficacy. Lifestyle interventions, physical activity, and cognitive training have been recently tested, but large controlled trials are still missing.

Management of acute cerebral ischaemia.

Stroke is a major public health issue. Many are treatable in the acute stage, provided patients are admitted soon enough. The overall incidence of stroke in Western countries is approximately 2400 per year per million inhabitants, and 80% are due to cerebral ischaemia. The prevalence is approximately 12,000 per million inhabitants. Stroke is associated with increased long-term mortality, handicap, cognitive and behavioural impairments, recurrence, and an increased risk of other types of vascular events. There is strong evidence that stroke patients should be treated in dedicated stroke units; each time 24 patients are treated in a stroke unit, instead of a conventional ward, one death and one dependence are prevented. This effect does not depend on age, severity, and the stroke subtype. For this reason, stroke unit care is the cornerstone of the treatment of stroke, aiming at the detection and management of life-threatening emergencies, stabilization of most physiological parameters, and prevention of early complications. In cerebral ischaemia, besides this general management, specific therapies include intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, given as soon as possible and before 4.5hours, mechanical thrombectomy on top of rt-PA or alone in case of contra-indication to rt-PA, in patients with proximal large-vessel occlusion, aspirin 300mg, immediately or after 24hours in case of thrombolysis, and, in a few patients, decompressive surgery.

Proportion of single-chain recombinant tissue plasminogen activator and outcome after stroke.

To determine whether the ratio single chain (sc)/(sc + 2 chain [tc]) recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) influences outcomes in patients with cerebral ischemia.

Cognitive status after intracerebral haemorrhage - Authors' reply.

Lobar intracerebral haematomas: Neuropathological and 7.0-tesla magnetic resonance imaging evaluation.

The Boston criteria for cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) need validation by neuropathological examination in patients with lobar cerebral haematomas (LCHs). In "vivo" 1.5-tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is unreliable to detect the age-related signal changes in LCHs. This post-mortem study investigates the validity of the Boston criteria in brains with LCHs and the signal changes during their time course with 7.0-tesla MRI.

Author Response.

The Topography of Cortical Microinfarcts in Neurodegenerative Diseases and in Vascular Dementia: A Postmortem 7.0-Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.

Cortical microinfarcts (CoMIs) are considered as barely visible lesions in clinical-neuroradiological correlation studies. On postmortem 7.0-tesla MRI, however, CoMIs of different size are easily detected.

The incidence of post-mortem neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular pathology in mixed dementia.

The clinical picture of dementia in most aged patients is due to a combination of different neurodegenerative processes and frequently associated to cerebrovascular lesions. They are called mixed dementia (MixD) cases, to be differentiated from those with pure vascular dementia (VaD) and those with Alzheimer's dementia (AD). The present study compares the frequency of different associated lesions in these disease groups.

Orolingual Angioedema During or After Thrombolysis for Cerebral Ischemia.

Orolingual angioedema (OLAE) is a life-threatening complication of intravenous thrombolysis. Our objective was to compare outcomes of patients with and without OLAE.

Dementia risk after spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage: a prospective cohort study.

Dementia occurs in at least 10% of patients within 1 year after stroke. However, the risk of dementia after spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage that accounts for about 15% of all strokes has not been investigated in prospective studies. We aimed to determine the incidence of dementia and risk factors after an intracerebral haemorrhage.

close: Closure of patent foramen ovale, oral anticoagulants or antiplatelet therapy to prevent stroke recurrence: Study design.

Currently available data do not provide definitive evidence on the comparative benefits of closure of patent foramen ovale, oral anticoagulants and antiplatelet therapy in patients with patent foramen ovale-associated cryptogenic stroke

Intravenous Thrombolysis in Patients Dependent on the Daily Help of Others Before Stroke.

We compared outcome and complications in patients with stroke treated with intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) who could not live alone without help of another person before stroke (dependent patients) versus independent ones.

European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study-4: Extending the time for thrombolysis in emergency neurological deficits ECASS-4: ExTEND.

Thrombolytic therapy with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is an effective and approved therapy for acute ischemic stroke within 4.5 h of onset except for USA, Canada, Croatia, and Moldovia with a current 3 h label. We hypothesized that ischemic stroke patients selected with significant penumbral mismatch on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 4.5-9 h after onset of stroke will have improved clinical outcomes when given intravenous rt-PA (alteplase) compared to placebo.

Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Young-Onset Stroke Identifies a Locus on Chromosome 10q25 Near HABP2.

Although a genetic contribution to ischemic stroke is well recognized, only a handful of stroke loci have been identified by large-scale genetic association studies to date. Hypothesizing that genetic effects might be stronger for early- versus late-onset stroke, we conducted a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies, focusing on stroke cases with an age of onset <60 years.

Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 Plasmatic Levels In Stroke: Influence of Pre-Existing Cognitive Status and Stroke Characteristics.

Many stroke patients have pre-existing cognitive impairment. Plasma amyloid β peptides (Aβ) - possible biomarkers of Alzheimer's pathology - induce vascular dysfunction. Our objective was to evaluate factors influencing plasma Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 peptides in a cohort of stroke patients. In the Biostroke study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00763217), we collected vascular risk factors, neuroimaging features and biological tests including Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42. We used the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) to systematically assess the pre-existing cognitive status. Of 403 patients (371 ischemia), 25 met criteria for pre-existing dementia, 142 for pre-existing cognitive decline-no-dementia, and 236 had no PCoI. Aβ1-42 was independently associated with PCoI (odds ratio 0.973; 95% confidence interval: 0.950-0.996; p=0.024). Factors associated with plasma Aβ1- 40 were age, smoking and diabetes mellitus. After exclusion of hemorrhagic strokes, the results remained unchanged, but blood samples taken less than 12 hours after onset were associated with lower plasma Aβ1-40. Our results support a dissociated response of the 2 plasma Aβ peptides in stroke patients, plasma Aβ1-40 being involved in vascular aspects whereas Aβ1-42 might be involved in neurodegenerative processes.

Detection of Cortical Microbleeds in Postmortem Brains of Patients with Lewy Body Dementia: A 7.0-Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study with Neuropathological Correlates.

It is unclear whether associated cerebrovascular pathology contributes to the clinical spectrum of Lewy body dementia (LBD).

Higher neutrophil counts before thrombolysis for cerebral ischemia predict worse outcomes.

To determine whether higher neutrophil counts before IV recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) administration in ischemic stroke (IS) patients are associated with symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhages (sICH) and worse outcomes at 3 months.

Individual patient data meta-analysis of antiplatelet regimens after noncardioembolic stroke or TIA: rationale and design.

The Cerebrovascular Antiplatelet Trialists' Collaborative Group was formed to obtain and analyze individual patient data from the major randomized trials of common antiplatelet regimens after cerebral ischemia. Although the risk of stroke can be reduced by antiplatelet drugs, there continues to be uncertainty about the balance of risk and benefits of different antiplatelet regimens for an individual patient.