Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 26 in total

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  1. Lee, CL, Zainuddin AA, Abdul Karim AK, Yulianty A, Law, ZK, Md.Isa N, et al.
    MyJurnal
    We report a rare case of altered mental status in a young patient with immature ovarian teratoma. A 22-year-old woman presented with seizures, hallucination, amnesia and orofacial dyskinesia. Examination and investigation revealed an ovarian massand asalphing-oophorectomy was performed. The histopathological examination result showed an immature teratoma grade 2 with thepresence of immature primitive glial tissue. Her CSF N-Methyl-D-Aspartic acid receptor (Anti-NMDAR) antibodytest was positive. N-Methyl-D-Aspartic acid receptor antibody associated limbic encephalitis is an autoimmune antibody-mediated neuropsychiatric disorder. Resection of the tumour and immunotherapy resulted in full recovery.
  2. Yap E, Law ZK, Aslan Abdullah NM, Abdul Wahid SF
    EXCLI J, 2017;16:1233-1248.
    PMID: 29285019 DOI: 10.17179/excli2017-805
    Patients with advanced aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are usually treated with rituximab in combination with chemotherapy. However, disease relapse rates are high. Radiotherapy (RT) has been shown to be efficacious in treating early-stage NHL but its role in advanced stage diseases is unclear. We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing chemotherapy with RT to chemotherapy alone in patients with newly diagnosed advanced aggressive NHL. We searched online databases and pooled similar outcome estimates. For time-to-event outcomes, we estimated hazard ratios (HR) for overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) using the fixed-effect model. Two RCTs involving 254 patients met inclusion criteria. The trials were single-centre RCTs with follow-up period of five and ten years. Both trials were conducted in the pre-rituximab era. Patients treated with consolidation RT had better OS (HR for mortality 0.61; 95 % CI 0.38 to 0.97) and EFS (HR for mortality 0.67; 95 % CI 0.46 to 0.98) compared to those who received no RT. There was an apparent benefit of RT on local control (OR 0.09; 95 % CI 0.04 to 0.20); although this was estimated as a dichotomous rather than time-to-event outcome. Limited evidence shows benefits of consolidation RT in advanced aggressive NHL. However, we were not able to estimate the effect size with confidence due to small number of trials and sample size. We cannot recommend routine consolidation RT in advanced aggressive NHL. More RCTs with the inclusion of rituximab and PET-CT monitoring are needed.
  3. Law ZK, Appleton JP, Bath PM, Sprigg N
    Clin Med (Lond), 2017 Apr;17(2):166-172.
    PMID: 28365631 DOI: 10.7861/clinmedicine.17-2-166
    Managing acute intracerebral haemorrhage is a challenging task for physicians. Evidence shows that outcome can be improved with admission to an acute stroke unit and active care, including urgent reversal of anticoagulant effects and, potentially, intensive blood pressure reduction. Nevertheless, many management issues remain controversial, including the use of haemostatic therapy, selection of patients for neurosurgery and neurocritical care, the extent of investigations for underlying causes and the benefit versus risk of restarting antithrombotic therapy after an episode of intracerebral haemorrhage.
  4. Abdul Wahid SF, Law ZK, Ismail NA, Lai NM
    Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2019 12 19;12:CD011742.
    PMID: 31853962 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011742.pub3
    BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as motor neuron disease (MND), is a fatal disease associated with rapidly progressive disability, for which no definitive treatment exists. Current treatment approaches largely focus on relieving symptoms to improve the quality of life of those affected. The therapeutic potential of cell-based therapies in ALS/MND has not been fully evaluated, given the paucity of high-quality clinical trials. Based on data from preclinical studies, cell-based therapy is a promising treatment for ALS/MND. This review was first published in 2015 when the first clinical trials of cell-based therapies were still in progress. We undertook this update to incorporate evidence now available from randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

    OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of cell-based therapy for people with ALS/MND, compared with placebo or no treatment.

    SEARCH METHODS: On 31 July 2019, we searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Specialised Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, and Embase. We also searched two clinical trials registries for ongoing or unpublished studies.

    SELECTION CRITERIA: We included RCTs that assigned people with ALS/MND to receive cell-based therapy versus a placebo or no additional treatment. Co-interventions were allowed, provided that they were given to each group equally.

    DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We followed standard Cochrane methodology.

    MAIN RESULTS: Two RCTs involving 112 participants were eligible for inclusion in this review. One study compared autologous bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC) plus riluzole versus control (riluzole only), while the other study compared combined intramuscular and intrathecal administration of autologous mesenchymal stem cells secreting neurotrophic factors (MSC-NTF) to placebo. The latter study was reported as an abstract and provided no numerical data. Both studies were funded by biotechnology companies. The only study that contributed to the outcome data in the review involved 64 participants, comparing BM-MSC plus riluzole versus control (riluzole only). It reported outcomes after four to six months. It had a low risk of selection bias, detection bias and reporting bias, but a high risk of performance bias and attrition bias. The certainty of evidence was low for all major efficacy outcomes, with imprecision as the main downgrading factor, because the range of plausible estimates, as shown by the 95% confidence intervals (CIs), encompassed a range that would likely result in different clinical decisions. Functional impairment, expressed as the mean change in the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) score from baseline to six months after cell injection was slightly reduced (better) in the BM-MSC group compared to the control group (mean difference (MD) 3.38, 95% CI 1.22 to 5.54; 1 RCT, 56 participants; low-certainty evidence). ALSFRS-R has a range from 48 (normal) to 0 (maximally impaired); a change of 4 or more points is considered clinically important. The trial did not report outcomes at 12 months. There was no clear difference between the BM-MSC and the no treatment group in change in respiratory function (per cent predicted forced vital capacity; FVC%; MD -0.53, 95% CI -5.37 to 4.31; 1 RCT, 56 participants; low-certainty evidence); overall survival at six months (risk ratio (RR) 1.07, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.22; 1 RCT, 64 participants; low-certainty evidence); risk of total adverse events (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.62 to 1.19; 1 RCT, 64 participants; low-certainty evidence) or serious adverse events (RR 0.47, 95% CI 0.13 to 1.72; 1 RCT, 64 participants; low-certainty evidence). The study did not measure muscle strength.

    AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Currently, there is a lack of high-certainty evidence to guide practice on the use of cell-based therapy to treat ALS/MND. Uncertainties remain as to whether this mode of therapy is capable of restoring muscle function, slowing disease progression, and improving survival in people with ALS/MND. Although one RCT provided low-certainty evidence that BM-MSC may slightly reduce functional impairment measured on the ALSFRS-R after four to six months, this was a small phase II trial that cannot be used to establish efficacy. We need large, prospective RCTs with long-term follow-up to establish the efficacy and safety of cellular therapy and to determine patient-, disease- and cell treatment-related factors that may influence the outcome of cell-based therapy. The major goals of future research are to determine the appropriate cell source, phenotype, dose and method of delivery, as these will be key elements in designing an optimal cell-based therapy programme for people with ALS/MND. Future research should also explore novel treatment strategies, including combinations of cellular therapy and standard or novel neuroprotective agents, to find the best possible approach to prevent or reverse the neurological deficit in ALS/MND, and to prolong survival in this debilitating and fatal condition.

  5. Al-Dubai SA, Sempeho J, Yadav H, Sahathevan R, Law ZK, Manaf MR
    Int J Stroke, 2016 07;11(5):NP58-9.
    PMID: 26865155 DOI: 10.1177/1747493016632252
  6. Azmin S, Sahathevan R, Suehazlyn Z, Law ZK, Rabani R, Nafisah WY, et al.
    BMC Infect Dis, 2013;13:179.
    PMID: 23594500 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-179
    BACKGROUND: Dengue is a common illness in the tropics. Equally common are neurological complications that stem from dengue infection. However, to date, parkinsonism following dengue has not been reported in medical literature.
    CASE PRESENTATION: A previously well 18-year old man developed parkinsonism, in addition to other neurological symptoms following serologically confirmed dengue fever. Alternative etiologies were excluded by way of imaging and blood investigations.
    CONCLUSIONS: The authors detail the first reported case of parkinsonism complicating dengue fever. Keeping rare presentations of common illnesses in mind, it behoves clinicians to consider parkinsonism as a complication following dengue infection. This would prevent injudicious treatment with L-dopa and dopamine agonists. Immunosuppression with steroids has been shown to be helpful in certain cases.
  7. Law ZK, Al-Shahi Salman R, Bath PM, Steiner T, Sprigg N
    Stroke, 2018 08;49(8):e271-e272.
    PMID: 30355046 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.022071
  8. Saeed N, Khoo CS, Remli R, Law ZK, Periyasamy P, Osman SS, et al.
    Front Neurol, 2018;9:966.
    PMID: 30564184 DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00966
    Leptospirosis is a spirochetal zoonotic disease with a wide clinical spectrum, often underdiagnosed especially when presented as an acute neurological manifestation. We report a case of a 24-year-old man with serologically positive leptospirosis, who presented with altered sensorium, seizures and subsequently developed cortical blindness. His brain MRI revealed bilateral occipital and later parietal lobe cerebritis.
  9. Abdul Wahid SF, Law ZK, Ismail NA, Azman Ali R, Lai NM
    Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2016 11 08;11:CD011742.
    PMID: 27822919
    BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as motor neuron disease (MND) is a fatal disease associated with rapidly progressive disability, for which no definitive treatment as yet exists. Current treatment regimens largely focus on relieving symptoms to improve the quality of life of those affected. Based on data from preclinical studies, cell-based therapy is a promising treatment for ALS/MND.

    OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of cell-based therapy for people with ALS/MND, compared with placebo or no additional treatment.

    SEARCH METHODS: On 21 June 2016, we searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Specialised Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, and Embase. We also searched two clinical trials' registries for ongoing or unpublished studies.

    SELECTION CRITERIA: We planned to include randomised controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs and cluster RCTs that assigned people with ALS/MND to receive cell-based therapy versus a placebo or no additional treatment. Co-interventions were allowable, provided that they were given to each group equally.

    DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We followed standard Cochrane methodology.

    MAIN RESULTS: No studies were eligible for inclusion in the review. We identified four ongoing trials.

    AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Currently, there is a lack of high-quality evidence to guide practice on the use of cell-based therapy to treat ALS/MND.We need large, prospective RCTs to establish the efficacy of cellular therapy and to determine patient-, disease- and cell treatment-related factors that may influence the outcome of cell-based therapy. The major goals of future research should be to determine the appropriate cell source, phenotype, dose, and route of delivery, as these will be key elements in designing an optimal cell-based therapy programme for people with ALS/MND. Future research should also explore novel treatment strategies, including combinations of cellular therapy and standard or novel neuroprotective agents, to find the best possible approach to prevent or reverse the neurological deficit in ALS/MND, and to prolong survival in this debilitating and fatal condition.

  10. Salma RA, Law ZK, Bath PM, Steiner T, Sprigg N
    Emergencias, 2020 06;32(3):201-202.
    PMID: 32395931
  11. Law ZK, Meretoja A, Engelter ST, Christensen H, Muresan EM, Glad SB, et al.
    European stroke journal, 2017 Mar;2(1):13-22.
    PMID: 31008298 DOI: 10.1177/2396987316676610
    Purpose: Haematoma expansion is a devastating complication of intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) with no established treatment. Tranexamic acid had been an effective haemostatic agent in reducing post-operative and traumatic bleeding. We review current evidence examining the efficacy of tranexamic acid in improving clinical outcome after ICH.

    Method: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL and clinical trial registers for studies using search strategies incorporating the terms 'intracerebral haemorrhage', 'tranexamic acid' and 'antifibrinolytic'. Authors of ongoing clinical trials were contacted for further details.

    Findings: We screened 268 publications and retrieved 17 articles after screening. Unpublished information from three ongoing clinical trials was obtained. We found five completed studies. Of these, two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing intravenous tranexamic acid to placebo (n = 54) reported no significant difference in death or dependency. Three observational studies (n = 281) suggested less haematoma growth with rapid tranexamic acid infusion. There are six ongoing RCTs (n = 3089) with different clinical exclusions, imaging selection criteria (spot sign and haematoma volume), time window for recruitment and dosing of tranexamic acid.

    Discussion: Despite their heterogeneity, the ongoing trials will provide key evidence on the effects of tranexamic acid on ICH. There are uncertainties of whether patients with negative spot sign, large haematoma, intraventricular haemorrhage, or poor Glasgow Coma Scale should be recruited. The time window for optimal effect of haemostatic therapy in ICH is yet to be established.

    Conclusion: Tranexamic acid is a promising haemostatic agent for ICH. We await the results of the trials before definite conclusions can be drawn.

  12. Pszczolkowski S, Law ZK, Gallagher RG, Meng D, Swienton DJ, Morgan PS, et al.
    Comput Biol Med, 2019 03;106:126-139.
    PMID: 30711800 DOI: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2019.01.022
    BACKGROUND: Spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (SICH) is a common condition with high morbidity and mortality. Segmentation of haematoma and perihaematoma oedema on medical images provides quantitative outcome measures for clinical trials and may provide important markers of prognosis in people with SICH.

    METHODS: We take advantage of improved contrast seen on magnetic resonance (MR) images of patients with acute and early subacute SICH and introduce an automated algorithm for haematoma and oedema segmentation from these images. To our knowledge, there is no previously proposed segmentation technique for SICH that utilises MR images directly. The method is based on shape and intensity analysis for haematoma segmentation and voxel-wise dynamic thresholding of hyper-intensities for oedema segmentation.

    RESULTS: Using Dice scores to measure segmentation overlaps between labellings yielded by the proposed algorithm and five different expert raters on 18 patients, we observe that our technique achieves overlap scores that are very similar to those obtained by pairwise expert rater comparison. A further comparison between the proposed method and a state-of-the-art Deep Learning segmentation on a separate set of 32 manually annotated subjects confirms the proposed method can achieve comparable results with very mild computational burden and in a completely training-free and unsupervised way.

    CONCLUSION: Our technique can be a computationally light and effective way to automatically delineate haematoma and oedema extent directly from MR images. Thus, with increasing use of MR images clinically after intracerebral haemorrhage this technique has the potential to inform clinical practice in the future.

  13. Appleton JP, Blair GW, Flaherty K, Law ZK, May J, Woodhouse LJ, et al.
    Front Neurol, 2019;10:723.
    PMID: 31333572 DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00723
    Background: Cilostazol and isosorbide mononitrate (ISMN) are candidate treatments for cerebral small vessel disease and lacunar ischaemic stroke. As both drugs may influence hemoglobin and platelet count, and hemodynamics, we sought to assess their effects in the lacunar intervention-1 (LACI-1) trial. Methods: Fifty-seven lacunar ischaemic stroke patients were randomized to immediate ISMN, cilostazol, or their combination for 9 weeks in addition to guideline stroke prevention. A fourth group received both drugs with a delayed start. Full blood count, platelet function, peripheral blood pressure (BP), heart rate and central hemodynamics (Augmentation index, Buckberg index) were measured at baseline, and weeks 3 and 8. Differences were assessed by multiple linear regression adjusted for baseline and key prognostic variables. Registration ISRCTN 12580546. Results: At week 8, platelet count was higher with cilostazol vs. no cilostazol (mean difference, MD 35.73, 95% confidence intervals, 95% CI 2.81-68.66, p = 0.033), but no significant differences were noted for hemoglobin levels or platelet function. At week 8, BP did not differ between the treatment groups, whilst heart rate was higher in those taking cilostazol vs. no cilostazol (MD 6.42, 95% CI 1.17-11.68, p = 0.017). Buckberg index (subendocardial perfusion) was lower in those randomized to cilostazol vs. no cilostazol and in those randomized to both drugs vs. either drug. Whilst ISMN significantly increased unadjusted augmentation index (arterial stiffness, MD 21.19, 95% CI 9.08-33.31, p = 0.001), in isolation both drugs non-significantly reduced augmentation index adjusted for heart rate. Conclusions: Cilostazol increased heart rate and platelet count, and reduced Buckberg index, whilst both drugs may individually reduce arterial stiffness adjusted for heart rate. Neither drug had clinically significant effects on hemoglobin or platelet function over 8 weeks. Further assessment of the safety and efficacy of these medications following lacunar ischaemic stroke is warranted.
  14. Ng CS, Azmin S, Law ZK, Sahathevan R, Wan Yahya WN, Remli R, et al.
    Med J Aust, 2015 Apr 06;202(6):333-4.
    PMID: 25832163
  15. Dineen RA, Pszczolkowski S, Flaherty K, Law ZK, Morgan PS, Roberts I, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2018 02 03;8(2):e019930.
    PMID: 29431141 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019930
    OBJECTIVES: To test whether administration of the antifibrinolytic drug tranexamic acid (TXA) in patients with spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (SICH) leads to increased prevalence of diffusion-weighted MRI-defined hyperintense ischaemic lesions (primary hypothesis) or reduced perihaematomal oedema volume, perihaematomal diffusion restriction and residual MRI-defined SICH-related tissue damage (secondary hypotheses).

    DESIGN: MRI substudy nested within the double-blind randomised controlled Tranexamic Acid for Hyperacute Primary Intracerebral Haemorrhage (TICH)-2 trial (ISRCTN93732214).

    SETTING: International multicentre hospital-based study.

    PARTICIPANTS: Eligible adults consented and randomised in the TICH-2 trial who were also able to undergo MRI scanning. To address the primary hypothesis, a sample size of n=280 will allow detection of a 10% relative increase in prevalence of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) hyperintense lesions in the TXA group with 5% significance, 80% power and 5% imaging data rejection.

    INTERVENTIONS: TICH-2 MRI substudy participants will undergo MRI scanning using a standardised protocol at day ~5 and day ~90 after randomisation. Clinical assessments, randomisation to TXA or placebo and participant follow-up will be performed as per the TICH-2 trial protocol.

    CONCLUSION: The TICH-2 MRI substudy will test whether TXA increases the incidence of new DWI-defined ischaemic lesions or reduces perihaematomal oedema or final ICH lesion volume in the context of SICH.

    ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The TICH-2 trial obtained ethical approval from East Midlands - Nottingham 2 Research Ethics Committee (12/EM/0369) and an amendment to allow the TICH-2 MRI sub study was approved in April 2015 (amendment number SA02/15). All findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals. The primary outcome results will also be presented at a relevant scientific meeting.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN93732214; Pre-results.

  16. Bala U, Leong MP, Lim CL, Shahar HK, Othman F, Lai MI, et al.
    PLoS One, 2018;13(5):e0197711.
    PMID: 29795634 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197711
    BACKGROUND: Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder caused by presence of extra copy of human chromosome 21. It is characterised by several clinical phenotypes. Motor dysfunction due to hypotonia is commonly seen in individuals with DS and its etiology is yet unknown. Ts1Cje, which has a partial trisomy (Mmu16) homologous to Hsa21, is well reported to exhibit various typical neuropathological features seen in individuals with DS. This study investigated the role of skeletal muscles and peripheral nerve defects in contributing to muscle weakness in Ts1Cje mice.

    RESULTS: Assessment of the motor performance showed that, the forelimb grip strength was significantly (P<0.0001) greater in the WT mice compared to Ts1Cje mice regardless of gender. The average survival time of the WT mice during the hanging wire test was significantly (P<0.0001) greater compared to the Ts1Cje mice. Also, the WT mice performed significantly (P<0.05) better than the Ts1Cje mice in the latency to maintain a coordinated motor movement against the rotating rod. Adult Ts1Cje mice exhibited significantly (P<0.001) lower nerve conduction velocity compared with their aged matched WT mice. Further analysis showed a significantly (P<0.001) higher population of type I fibres in WT compared to Ts1Cje mice. Also, there was significantly (P<0.01) higher population of COX deficient fibres in Ts1Cje mice. Expression of Myf5 was significantly (P<0.05) reduced in triceps of Ts1Cje mice while MyoD expression was significantly (P<0.05) increased in quadriceps of Ts1Cje mice.

    CONCLUSION: Ts1Cje mice exhibited weaker muscle strength. The lower population of the type I fibres and higher population of COX deficient fibres in Ts1Cje mice may contribute to the muscle weakness seen in this mouse model for DS.

  17. Law ZK, England TJ, Mistri AK, Woodhouse LJ, Cala L, Dineen R, et al.
    European stroke journal, 2020 Jun;5(2):123-129.
    PMID: 32637645 DOI: 10.1177/2396987320901391
    Introduction: Seizures are common after intracerebral haemorrhage. Tranexamic acid increases the risk of seizures in non-intracerebral haemorrhage population but its effect on post-intracerebral haemorrhage seizures is unknown. We explored the risk factors and outcomes of seizures after intracerebral haemorrhage and if tranexamic acid increased the risk of seizures in the Tranexamic acid for IntraCerebral Haemorrhage-2 trial.

    Patients and methods: Seizures were reported prospectively up to day 90. Cox regression analyses were used to determine the predictors of seizures within 90 days and early seizures (≤7 days). We explored the effect of early seizures on day 90 outcomes.

    Results: Of 2325 patients recruited, 193 (8.3%) had seizures including 163 (84.5%) early seizures and 30 (15.5%) late seizures (>7 days). Younger age (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 0.98 per year increase, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97-0.99; p = 0.008), lobar haematoma (aHR 5.84, 95%CI 3.58-9.52; p 

  18. Law ZK, Dineen R, England TJ, Cala L, Mistri AK, Appleton JP, et al.
    Transl Stroke Res, 2020 Sep 09.
    PMID: 32902808 DOI: 10.1007/s12975-020-00845-6
    Neurological deterioration is common after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We aimed to identify the predictors and effects of neurological deterioration and whether tranexamic acid reduced the risk of neurological deterioration. Data from the Tranexamic acid in IntraCerebral Hemorrhage-2 (TICH-2) randomized controlled trial were analyzed. Neurological deterioration was defined as an increase in National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) of ≥ 4 or a decline in Glasgow Coma Scale of ≥ 2. Neurological deterioration was considered to be early if it started ≤ 48 h and late if commenced between 48 h and 7 days after onset. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors and effects of neurological deterioration and the effect of tranexamic acid on neurological deterioration. Of 2325 patients, 735 (31.7%) had neurological deterioration: 590 (80.3%) occurred early and 145 (19.7%) late. Predictors of early neurological deterioration included recruitment from the UK, previous ICH, higher admission systolic blood pressure, higher NIHSS, shorter onset-to-CT time, larger baseline hematoma, intraventricular hemorrhage, subarachnoid extension and antiplatelet therapy. Older age, male sex, higher NIHSS, previous ICH and larger baseline hematoma predicted late neurological deterioration. Neurological deterioration was independently associated with a modified Rankin Scale of > 3 (aOR 4.98, 3.70-6.70; p 
  19. Blair GW, Appleton JP, Law ZK, Doubal F, Flaherty K, Dooley R, et al.
    Int J Stroke, 2018 07;13(5):530-538.
    PMID: 28906205 DOI: 10.1177/1747493017731947
    Rationale The pathophysiology of most lacunar stroke, a form of small vessel disease, is thought to differ from large artery atherothrombo- or cardio-embolic stroke. Licensed drugs, isosorbide mononitrate and cilostazol, have promising mechanisms of action to support their testing to prevent stroke recurrence, cognitive impairment, or radiological progression after lacunar stroke. Aim LACI-1 will assess the tolerability, safety, and efficacy, by dose, of isosorbide mononitrate and cilostazol, alone and in combination, in patients with ischemic lacunar stroke. Sample size A sample of 60 provides 80+% power (significance 0.05) to detect a difference of 35% (90% versus 55%) between those reaching target dose on one versus both drugs. Methods and design LACI-1 is a phase IIa partial factorial, dose-escalation, prospective, randomized, open label, blinded endpoint trial. Participants are randomized to isosorbide mononitrate and/or cilostazol for 11 weeks with dose escalation to target as tolerated in two centers (Edinburgh, Nottingham). At three visits, tolerability, safety, blood pressure, pulse wave velocity, and platelet function are assessed, plus magnetic resonance imaging to assess cerebrovascular reactivity in a subgroup. Study outcomes Primary: proportion of patients completing study achieving target maximum dose. Secondary symptoms whilst taking medications; safety (hemorrhage, recurrent vascular events, falls); blood pressure, platelet function, arterial stiffness, and cerebrovascular reactivity. Discussion This study will inform the design of a larger phase III trial of isosorbide mononitrate and cilostazol in lacunar stroke, whilst providing data on the drugs' effects on vascular and platelet function. Trial registration ISRCTN (ISRCTN12580546) and EudraCT (2015-001953-33).
  20. Ramli K, Aminath Gasim I, Ahmad AA, Hassan S, Law ZK, Tan GC, et al.
    Cell Biol. Int., 2019 Mar;43(3):233-252.
    PMID: 30362196 DOI: 10.1002/cbin.11067
    In peripheral nerve injuries, Schwann cells (SC) play pivotal roles in regenerating damaged nerve. However, the use of SC in clinical cell-based therapy is hampered due to its limited availability. In this study, we aim to evaluate the effectiveness of using an established induction protocol for human bone marrow derived-MSC (hBM-MSCs) transdifferentiation into a SC lineage. A relatively homogenous culture of hBM-MSCs was first established after serial passaging (P3), with profiles conforming to the minimal criteria set by International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT). The cultures (n = 3) were then subjected to a series of induction media containing β-mercaptoethanol, retinoic acid, and growth factors. Quantitative RT-PCR, flow cytometry, and immunocytochemistry analyses were performed to quantify the expression of specific SC markers, that is, S100, GFAP, MPZ and p75 NGFR, in both undifferentiated and transdifferentiated hBM-MSCs. Based on these analyses, all markers were expressed in undifferentiated hBM-MSCs and MPZ expression (mRNA transcripts) was consistently detected before and after transdifferentiation across all samples. There was upregulation at the transcript level of more than twofolds for NGF, MPB, GDNF, p75 NGFR post-transdifferentiation. This study highlights the existence of spontaneous expression of specific SC markers in cultured hBM-MSCs, inter-donor variability and that MSC transdifferentiation is a heterogenous process. These findings strongly oppose the use of a single marker to indicate SC fate. The heterogenous nature of MSC may influence the efficiency of SC transdifferentiation protocols. Therefore, there is an urgent need to re-define the MSC subpopulations and revise the minimal criteria for MSC identification.
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