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Current drug treatment of myasthenia gravis.

Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a rare neurological disorder affecting the neuromuscular junction. Clinical hallmarks are fatigability and weakness affecting the extraocular, axial, limb and/or respiratory muscles. Despite immunosuppressive treatment, mainly based on corticosteroids and nonsteroidal immunosuppressants, the burden of MG is still significant, both in terms of inadequate disease control and burdensome side effects. Driven by such limits, the past years have been characterized by an escalation of MG drug development, with novel molecules which now focuses on having a more targeted effect, with a higher safety and efficacy profile. As the pathogenic mechanism of MG are slowly being unravelled, new potential targets for treatments are being considered. This has led since 2017 to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approval of three new drugs that either act by blocking the complement system (i.e., eculizumab and ravulizumab) or by blocking the neonatal Fc receptor thus preventing immunoglobulin recycling and reducing imunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies (i.e., efgartigimod). Other drugs, with similar mechanism of action, are currently under review for approval. The repertoire of available and developmental therapies for MG is rapidly expanding, finally responding to the unmet need of a more targeted and effective therapeutic approach in MG.

Web-based cognitive assessment in older adults: Where do we stand?

The use of digital tools for remote cognitive measurement of older adults is generating increasing interest due to the numerous advantages offered for accessibility and scalability. However, these tools also pose distinctive challenges, necessitating a thorough analysis of their psychometric properties, feasibility and acceptability. In this narrative review, we present the recent literature on the use of web-based cognitive assessment to characterize cognition in older adults and to contribute to the diagnosis of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. We present and discuss three types of web-based cognitive assessments: conventional cognitive tests administered through videoconferencing; unsupervised web-based assessments conducted on a computer; and unsupervised web-based assessments performed on smartphones. There have been considerable progress documenting the properties, strengths and limitations of web-based cognitive assessments. For the three types of assessments reported here, the findings support their promising potential for older adults. However, certain aspects, such as the construct validity of these tools and the development of robust norms, remain less well documented. Nonetheless, the beneficial potential of these tools, and their current validation and feasibility data, justify their application [see Supplementary Digital Content (SDC), http://links.lww.com/CONR/A69 ].

Open Access
Management of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia.

The purpose is to review the results and clinical implications of recent studies of neuropathology in relation to neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and discuss new therapeutic approaches based on evidence from clinical trials. In a large autopsy series from a national consortium, multiple neuropathologies of dementia subtypes were common and increased severity of specific NPS during life was associated with greater severity of neuropathology across diagnoses. Based on three clinical trials, brexpiprazole, which is an antipsychotic with dopamine and serotonin receptor partial agonism properties, was recently approved for the treatment of agitation in Alzheimer's dementia by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Its therapeutic profile indicates modest efficacy with high safety. Brexpiprazole has not been compared to other antipsychotics that are commonly prescribed to treat agitation in dementia, though none of them have been approved for this indication. Other drugs that showed positive results in Phase 2 trials are being tested in Phase 3 trials. These include cannabinoids and drug combinations that inhibit dextromethorphan metabolism peripherally, thereby increasing its bioavailability in the brain. Apathy is common in several types of dementia, and there is initial evidence that treatment with methylphenidate, a psychostimulant, may be efficacious with good tolerability. Greater understanding of the associations between NPS and dementia subtypes can improve clinical management of these disorders. In addition to the approval of brexpiprazole to treat agitation in Alzheimer's dementia, there is optimism about other medications based on ongoing clinical trials. Along with short-term improvement, altering the adverse impact on NPS on long-term prognosis remains an important challenge for the field.