Neuropathologic substrates of Parkinson disease dementia
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: A study was undertaken to examine the neuropathological substrates of cognitive dysfunction and dementia in Parkinson disease (PD). METHODS: One hundred forty patients with a clinical diagnosis of PD and either normal cognition or onset of dementia 2 or more years after motor symptoms (PDD) were studied. Patients with a clinical diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies were excluded. Autopsy records of genetic data and semiquantitative scores for the burden of neurofibrillary tangles, senile plaques, Lewy bodies (LBs), and Lewy neurites (LNs) and other pathologies were used to develop a multivariate logistic regression model to determine the independent association of these variables with dementia. Correlates of comorbid Alzheimer disease (AD) were also examined. RESULTS: Niney-two PD patients developed dementia, and 48 remained cognitively normal. Severity of cortical LB (CLB)/LN pathology was positively associated with dementia (p < 0.001), with an odds ratio (OR) of 4.06 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.87-8.81), as was apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) genotype (p = 0.018; OR, 4.19; 95% CI, 1.28-13.75). A total of 28.6% of all PD cases had sufficient pathology for comorbid AD, of whom 89.5% were demented. The neuropathological diagnosis of PDD+AD correlated with an older age of PD onset (p = 0.001; OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04-1.21), higher CLB/LN burden (p = 0.037; OR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.06-5.82), and cerebral amyloid angiopathy severity (p = 0.032; OR, 4.16; 95% CI, 1.13-15.30). INTERPRETATION: CLB/LN pathology is the most significant correlate of dementia in PD. Additionally, APOE4 genotype may independently influence the risk of dementia in PD. AD pathology was abundant in a subset of patients, and may modify the clinical phenotype. Thus, therapies that target α-synuclein, tau, or amyloid β could potentially improve cognitive performance in PD. ANN NEUROL 2012.
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ABSTRACT: α-Synuclein is an abundantly expressed neuronal protein that is at the center of focus in understanding a group of neurodegenerative disorders called α-synucleinopathies, which are characterized by the presence of aggregated α-synuclein intracellularly. Primary α-synucleinopathies include Parkinson's disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy, with α-synuclein also found secondarily in a number of other diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. Understanding how α-synuclein aggregates form in these different disorders is important for the understanding of its pathogenesis in Lewy body diseases. PD is the most prevalent of the α-synucleinopathies and much of the initial research on α-synuclein Lewy body pathology was based on PD but is also relevant to Lewy bodies in other diseases (dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease). Polymorphism and mutation studies of SNCA, the gene that encodes α-synuclein, provide much evidence for a causal link between α-synuclein and PD. Among the primary α-synucleinopathies, multiple system atrophy is unique in that α-synuclein deposition occurs in oligodendrocytes rather than neurons. It is unclear whether α-synuclein originates from oligodendrocytes or whether it is transmitted somehow from neurons. α-Synuclein exists as a natively unfolded monomer in the cytosol, but in the presence of lipid membranes it is thought to undergo a conformational change to a folded α-helical secondary structure that is prone to forming dimers and oligomers. Posttranslational modification of α-synuclein, such as phosphorylation, ubiquitination and nitration, has been widely implicated in α-synuclein aggregation process and neurotoxicity. Recent studies using animal and cell models, as well as autopsy studies of patients with neuron transplants, provided compelling evidence for prion-like propagation of α-synuclein. This observation has implications for therapeutic strategies, and much recent effort is focused on developing antibodies that target extracellular α-synuclein.Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 01/2014; 6(5):73. DOI:10.1186/s13195-014-0073-2 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Lewy body and Alzheimer-type pathologies often co-exist. Several studies suggest a synergistic relationship between amyloid-β (Aβ) and α-synuclein (α-syn) accumulation. We have explored the relationship between Aβ accumulation and the phosphorylation of α-syn at serine-129 (pSer129 α-syn), in post-mortem human brain tissue and in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells transfected to overexpress human α-syn. We measured levels of Aβ40, Aβ42, α-syn and pSer129 α-syn by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, in soluble and insoluble fractions of midfrontal, cingulate and parahippocampal cortex and thalamus, from cases of Parkinson's disease (PD) with (PDD; n = 12) and without dementia (PDND; n = 23), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB; n = 10) and age-matched controls (n = 17). We also examined the relationship of these measurements to cognitive decline, as measured by time-to-dementia and the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score in the PD patients, and to Braak tangle stage. In most brain regions, the concentration of insoluble pSer129 α-syn correlated positively, and soluble pSer129 α-syn negatively, with the levels of soluble and insoluble Aβ. Insoluble pSer129 α-syn also correlated positively with Braak stage. In most regions, the levels of insoluble and soluble Aβ and the proportion of insoluble α-syn that was phosphorylated at Ser129 were significantly higher in the PD and DLB groups than the controls, and higher in the PDD and DLB groups than the PDND brains. In PD, the MMSE score correlated negatively with the level of insoluble pSer129 α-syn. Exposure of SH-SY5Y cells to aggregated Aβ42 significantly increased the proportion of α-syn that was phosphorylated at Ser129 (aggregated Aβ40 exposure had a smaller, non-significant effect). Together, these data show that the concentration of pSer129 α-syn in brain tissue homogenates is directly related to the level of Aβ and Braak tangle stage, and predicts cognitive status in Lewy body diseases.Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 01/2014; 6(5-8):77. DOI:10.1186/s13195-014-0077-y · 3.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The clinical diagnostic criteria of Parkinson's disease (PD) have limitations in detecting the disease at early stage and in differentiating heterogeneous clinical progression. The lack of reliable biomarker(s) for early diagnosis and prediction of prognosis is a major hurdle to achieve optimal clinical care of patients and efficient design of clinical trials for disease-modifying therapeutics. Numerous efforts to discover PD biomarkers in CSF were conducted. In this review, we describe the molecular pathogenesis of PD and discuss its implication to develop PD biomarkers in CSF. Next, we summarize the clinical utility of CSF biomarkers including alpha-synuclein for early and differential diagnosis, and prediction of PD progression. Given the heterogeneity in the clinical features of PD and none of the CSF biomarkers for an early diagnosis have been developed, research efforts to develop biomarkers to predict heterogeneous disease progression is on-going. Notably, a rapid cognitive decline followed by the development of dementia is a risk factor of poor prognosis in PD. In connection to this, CSF levels of Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers have received considerable attention. However, we still need long-term longitudinal observational studies employing large cohorts to evaluate the clinical utility of CSF biomarkers reflecting Lewy body pathology and AD pathology in the brain. We believe that current research efforts including the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative will resolve the current needs of early diagnosis and/or prediction of disease progression using CSF biomarkers, and which will further accelerate the development of disease-modifying therapeutics and optimize the clinical management of PD patients.12/2014; 23(4):352-64. DOI:10.5607/en.2014.23.4.352