Motor abnormalities in premanifest persons with Huntington's disease: the PREDICT-HD study.

University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.
Movement Disorders (Impact Factor: 5.63). 07/2009; 24(12):1763-72. DOI: 10.1002/mds.22601
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The PREDICT-HD study seeks to identify clinical and biological markers of Huntington's disease in premanifest individuals who have undergone predictive genetic testing. We compared baseline motor data between gene-expansion carriers (cases) and nongene-expansion carriers (controls) using t-tests and Chi-square. Cases were categorized as near, mid, or far from diagnosis using a CAG-based formula. Striatal volumes were calculated using volumetric magnetic resonance imaging measurements. Multiple linear regression associated total motor score, motor domains, and individual motor items with estimated diagnosis and striatal volumes. Elevated total motor scores at baseline were associated with higher genetic probability of disease diagnosis in the near future (partial R(2) 0.14, P < 0.0001) and smaller striatal volumes (partial R(2) 0.15, P < 0.0001). Nearly all motor domain scores showed greater abnormality with increasing proximity to diagnosis, although bradykinesia and chorea were most highly associated with diagnostic immediacy. Among individual motor items, worse scores on finger tapping, tandem gait, Luria, saccade initiation, and chorea show unique association with diagnosis probability. Even in this premanifest population, subtle motor abnormalities were associated with a higher probability of disease diagnosis and smaller striatal volumes. Longitudinal assessment will help inform whether motor items will be useful measures in preventive clinical trials.

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    ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is currently diagnosed based on the presence of motor signs indicating 99% “diagnostic confidence” for HD. Recent advances in the understanding of HD natural history and neurobiology indicate that disease-related brain changes begin at least 12 to 15 years before the formal diagnosis based on motor onset. Furthermore, subtle motor dysfunction, cognitive changes, and behavioral alterations are often seen before diagnosis made according to the current criteria. As disease-modifying treatments are developed, likely beginning therapy early will be desirable. We therefore suggest that expanded diagnostic criteria for HD should be adapted to better reflect the natural history of the disease, to enable the conduct of clinical trials in premanifest subjects targeting prevention of neurodegeneration, and to facilitate earlier symptomatic treatment. We propose a new set of criteria for HD diagnostic categories in the International Classification of Diseases that reflect our current understanding of HD natural history and pathogenesis. Based on defined criteria, for example, the Diagnostic Confidence Level and the Total Functional Capacity scales of the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale, HD should be divided in the categories “genetically confirmed” with the subcategories “presymptomatic,” “prodromal,” and “manifest” and “not genetically confirmed” subdivided into “clinically at risk,” “clinically prodromal,” and “clinically manifest.” © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
    Movement Disorders 08/2014; · 5.63 Impact Factor
  • Movement Disorders 08/2014; · 5.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Motor slowing and forebrain white matter loss have been reported in premanifest Huntington's disease (HD) prior to substantial striatal neuron loss. These findings raise the possibility that early motor defects in HD may be related to loss of excitatory input to striatum. In a prior study, we showed that in the heterozygous Q140 knock-in mouse model of HD that loss of thalamostriatal axospinous terminals is evident by 4 months, and loss of corticostriatal axospinous terminals is evident at 12 months, before striatal projection neuron pathology. In the present study, we specifically characterized the loss of thalamostriatal and corticostriatal terminals on direct (dSPN) and indirect (iSPN) pathway striatal projection neurons, using immunolabeling to identify thalamostriatal (VGLUT2+) and corticostriatal (VGLUT1+) axospinous terminals, and D1 receptor immunolabeling to distinguish dSPN (D1+) and iSPN (D1-) synaptic targets. We found that the loss of corticostriatal terminals at 12 months of age was preferential for D1+ spines, and especially involved smaller terminals, presumptively of the intratelencephalically projecting (IT) type. By contrast, indirect pathway D1- spines showed little loss of axospinous terminals at the same age. Thalamostriatal terminal loss was comparable for D1+ and D1- spines at both 4 and 12 months. Regression analysis showed that the loss of VGLUT1+ terminals on D1+ spines was correlated with a slight decline in open field motor parameters at 12 months. Our overall results raise the possibility that differential thalamic and cortical input loss to SPNs is an early event in human HD, with cortical loss to dSPNs in particular contributing to premanifest motor slowing.
    Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 10/2014; 8:198.

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