The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 12/22/16

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of neurology news covering various developments in subspecialties, the pharmaceutical industry, and the overall state of health care as it affects neurologists.

— The US FDA has extended the PDUFA date for ocrelizumab to March 28, 2017 after additional data regarding the manufacturing process — not the safety and efficacy of the drug — was submitted. Data from 3 large clinical trials in patients with multiple sclerosis were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine

— Acadia Pharma announced positive phase 2 data for pimavanserin for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease psychosis. The drug was previously approved by the FDA for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease psychosis. 

— “Mommy brain” may indeed be a thing after research published in Neuroscience showed that women who are pregnant experience changes in the size and structure of their brain. The changes were most significant in areas associated with the perception of feelings of others, ie maternal instinct. 

— After studying his works, a team of anthropologists and a neurologist suspect that 16th century painter El Greco suffered from several neurological ailments, including several strokes. 

— Twitter has surrendered user information after a tweet featuring a strobe image was directed at a reporter with known epilepsy and triggered an epileptic seizure.

— Early adopters of the AAN’s Axon Registry, which helps measure clinical quality, are sounding off on the utility of the program, which will be made available to all AAN members in 2017. 

— German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal Group has won breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA for its treatment for complex regional pain syndrome. 

— The Neurological Institute at Montreal’s McGill University is on a mission to tear down research silos. Since last spring, the unit has been pursuing open science, including open access to all research data and findings and halting the practice of patenting the institution’s findings. Watch the video to learn more about the first-of-its-kind program.