[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the vacuolar protein sorting 35 homolog (VPS35) gene at the PARK17 locus, encoding a key component of the retromer complex, were recently identified as a new cause of late-onset, autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD). Here we explore the pathogenic consequences of PD-associated mutations in VPS35 using a number of model systems. VPS35 exhibits a broad neuronal distribution throughout the rodent brain, including within the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. In the human brain, VPS35 protein levels and distribution are similar in tissues from control and PD subjects, and VPS35 is not associated with Lewy body pathology. The common D620N missense mutation in VPS35 does not compromise its protein stability or localization to endosomal and lysosomal vesicles, or the vesicular sorting of the retromer cargo, sortilin, SorLA and cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor, in rodent primary neurons or patient-derived human fibroblasts. In yeast we show that PD-linked VPS35 mutations are functional and can normally complement VPS35 null phenotypes suggesting that they do not result in a loss-of-function. In rat primary cortical cultures the overexpression of human VPS35 induces neuronal cell death and increases neuronal vulnerability to PD-relevant cellular stress. In a novel viral-mediated gene transfer rat model, the expression of D620N VPS35 induces the marked degeneration of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons and axonal pathology, a cardinal pathological hallmark of PD. Collectively, these studies establish that dominant VPS35 mutations lead to neurodegeneration in PD consistent with a gain-of-function mechanism, and support a key role for VPS35 in the development of PD.
Human Molecular Genetics 04/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinsonian diseases comprise a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders, which show significant clinical and pathological overlap. Accurate diagnosis still largely relies on clinical acumen; pathological diagnosis remains the gold standard. There is an urgent need for biomarkers to diagnose parkinsonian disorders, particularly in the early stages when diagnosis is most difficult. In this review, several of the most promising cerebrospinal fluid candidate markers will be discussed. Their strengths and limitations will be considered together with future developments in the field.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 04/2014; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Data from an open label randomised controlled trial have suggested possible advantages on both motor and non-motor measures in patients with Parkinson's disease following 12 months exposure to exenatide. Objective: Continued follow up of these same patients was performed to investigate whether these possible advantages persisted in the prolonged absence of this medication. Methods: All participants from an open label, randomised controlled trial of exenatide as a treatment for Parkinson's disease, were invited for a further follow up assessment at the UCL Institute of Neurology. This visit included all 20 individuals who had previously completed twelve months exposure to exenatide 10ug bd and the 24 individuals who had acted as randomised controls. Motor severity of PD was compared after overnight withdrawal of conventional PD medication using blinded video assessment of the MDS-UPDRS, together with several non-motor tests. This assessment was thus 24 months after their original baseline visit, i.e. 12 months after cessation of exenatide. Results: Compared to the control group of patients, patients previously exposed to exenatide had an advantage of 5.6 points (95% CI, 2.2-9.0; p = 0.002) using blinded video rating of the MDS-UPDRS part 3 motor subscale. There was also a difference of 5.3 points; (95% CI, 9.3-1.4; p = 0.006) between the 2 groups on the Mattis Dementia Rating scale. Conclusions: While these data must still not be interpreted as evidence of neuroprotection, they nevertheless provide strong encouragement for the further study of this drug as a potential disease modifying agent in Parkinson's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular in assisting with the home management of People with Dementia (PwD) by offering services to the carers that may enhance their ability to care for their relative for longer. A computerized platform, ALADDIN, was evaluated in its usefulness to reduce carer burden and distress and to improve their quality of life, in an attempt to delay institutionalization of PwD. ALADDIN offers educational material about dementia to carers and provides the opportunity to contact other carers and clinicians. ALADDIN also facilitates remote monitoring of the PwD and their carers by the clinicians to enable speedy delivery of appropriate intervention. The ALADDIN platform was piloted at three European sites, and used by thirty carers of PwD living in the community (platform group). The platform group and a control group of thirty PwD and their carers were assessed at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. The results showed a significant improvement in the quality of life of the carers in the platform group, with some reduction in carer burden and distress. The platform was useful in monitoring the patients and facilitating contact with other professionals. Access to and use of the ALADDIN platform was rated positively by carers and clinicians. The ALADDIN platform's usefulness and applicability for prolonging the home management of PwD are discussed.
Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 03/2014; · 4.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) and osteoporosis are chronic diseases associated with increasing age. Single studies have reported associations between them and the major consequence, namely, increased risk of fractures. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the relationship of PD with osteoporosis, bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture risk.
A literature search was undertaken on 4 September 2012 using multiple indexing databases and relevant search terms. Articles were screened for suitability and data extracted where studies met inclusion criteria and were of sufficient quality. Data were combined using standard meta-analysis methods.
23 studies were used in the final analysis. PD patients were at higher risk of osteoporosis (OR 2.61; 95% CI 1.69 to 4.03) compared with healthy controls. Male patients had a lower risk for osteoporosis and osteopenia than female patients (OR 0.45; 95% CI 0.29 to 0.68). PD patients had lower hip, lumbar spine and femoral neck BMD levels compared with healthy controls; mean difference, -0.08, 95% CI -0.13 to -0.02 for femoral neck; -0.09, 95% CI -0.15 to -0.03 for lumbar spine; and -0.05, 95% CI -0.07 to -0.03 for total hip. PD patients were also at increased risk of fractures (OR 2.28; 95% CI 1.83 to 2.83).
This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrate that PD patients are at higher risk for both osteoporosis and osteopenia compared with healthy controls, and that female patients are at greater risk than male patients. Patients with PD also have lower BMD and are at increased risk of fractures.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 03/2014; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease presenting clinically with parkinsonian, cerebellar, and autonomic features. α-Synuclein (αsyn), encoded by the gene SNCA, is the main constituent of glial cytoplasmic inclusion (GCI) found in oligodendrocytes in MSA, but the methods of its accumulation have not been established. The aim of this study is to investigate alterations in regional and cellular SNCA mRNA expression in MSA as a possible substrate for GCI formation. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was performed on postmortem brain samples from 15 MSA, 5 IPD, and 5 control cases to investigate regional expression in the frontal and occipital regions, dorsal putamen, pontine base, and cerebellum. For cellular expression analysis, neurons and oligodendrocytes were isolated by laser-capture microdissection from five MSA and five control cases. SNCA mRNA expression was not significantly different between the MSA, IPD and control cases in all regions (multilevel model, P = 0.14). After adjusting for group effect, the highest expression was found in the occipital cortex while the lowest was in the putamen (multilevel model, P < 0.0001). At the cellular level, MSA oligodendrocytes expressed more SNCA than control oligodendrocytes and expression in MSA neurons was slightly lower than that in controls, however, these results did not reach statistical significance. We have demonstrated regional variations in SNCA expression, which is higher in cortical than subcortical regions. This study is the first to demonstrate SNCA mRNA expression by oligodendrocytes in human postmortem tissue using qPCR and, although not statistically significant, could suggest that this may be increased in MSA compared to controls. GLIA 2014.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the case of a 75-year-old ex-professional boxer who developed diplopia and eye movement abnormalities in his 60's followed by memory impairment, low mood and recurrent falls. Examination shortly before death revealed hypomimia, dysarthria, vertical supranuclear gaze palsy and impaired postural reflexes. Pathological examination demonstrated 4-repeat tau neuronal and glial lesions, including tufted astrocytes, consistent with a diagnosis of progressive supranuclear palsy. In addition, neurofibrillary tangles composed of mixed 3-repeat and 4-repeat tau and astrocytic tangles in a distribution highly suggestive of chronic traumatic encephalopathy were observed together with limbic TDP-43 pathology. Possible mechanisms for the co-occurrence of these two tau pathologies are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to develop a culturally adapted translation of the 12-item smell identification test from Sniffin’ Sticks (SS-12) for the Estonian population in order to help diagnose Parkinson’s disease (PD).
A standard translation of the SS-12 was created and 150 healthy Estonians were questioned about the smells used as response options in the test. Unfamiliar smells were replaced by culturally familiar options. The adapted SS-12 was applied to 70 controls in all age groups, and thereafter to 50 PD patients and 50 age- and sex-matched controls.
14 response options from 48 used in the SS-12 were replaced with familiar smells in an adapted version, in which the mean rate of correct response was 87% (range 73 to 99) compared to 83% with the literal translation (range 50 to 98). In PD patients, the average adapted SS-12 score (5.4/12) was significantly lower than in controls (average score 8.9/12), p <0.0001. A multiple linear regression using the score in the SS-12 as the outcome measure showed that diagnosis and age independently influenced the result of the SS-12. A logistic regression using the SS12 and age as covariates showed that the SS12 (but not age) correctly classified 79.0% of subjects into the PD and control category, using a cut-off of <7 gave a sensitivity of 76% and specificity of 86% for the diagnosis of PD.
The developed SS-12 cultural adaption is appropriate for testing olfaction in Estonia for the purpose of PD diagnosis.
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 01/2014; · 3.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this observational study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of tolcapone under practice conditions.
This 12-month non-interventional study was conducted from November 2005 to August 2009. Safety parameters were incidence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), signs and symptoms of liver failure, and liver monitoring. Efficacy was evaluated on the basis of the assessment by physicians and patients by means of the clinical global impression scale.
Data from 391 patients were available for evaluation. Fifty-six ADRs were documented in 45 patients: most frequently, increase in liver enzymes (5.6%), diarrhea (2.6%), and nausea (1.3%). No serious ADRs or fulminant hepatotoxicity occurred. Sixteen patients discontinued the treatment with tolcapone because of adverse events, thereof 7 because of increase in liver enzymes, as prespecified in the protocol. Sixty-two elevations of aspartate aminotransferase or alanine aminotransferase occurred in 34 patients (8.7%), most of them within the first 3 months after initiating tolcapone. Five patients (1.3%) experienced clinically relevant elevations (>2xULN). In most patients with minimally elevated transaminase levels, tolcapone was continued, leading to normalization of transaminase levels in 74% of these patients. Two patients died but without causal relationship to tolcapone. The physicians reported improvement of clinical global impression for 71.7% of the patients after 3 months and for 59.1% of the patients after 12 months.
Under routine practice conditions, tolcapone was shown to be safe and effective in patients with Parkinson disease. Significant liver transaminase elevations were rare and generally returned to normal without intervention in most patients. This study confirms the low risk for hepatotoxicity associated with tolcapone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
In preclinical studies, davunetide promoted microtubule stability and reduced tau phosphorylation. Because progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is linked to tau pathology, davunetide could be a treatment for PSP. We assessed the safety and efficacy of davunetide in patients with PSP.
In a double-blind, parallel group, phase 2/3 trial, participants were randomly assigned with permuted blocks in a 1:1 ratio to davunetide (30 mg twice daily, intranasally) or placebo for 52 weeks at 48 centres in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the UK, and the USA. Participants met the modified Neuroprotection and Natural History in Parkinson Plus Syndrome study criteria for PSP. Primary endpoints were the change from baseline in PSP Rating Scale (PSPRS) and Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living (SEADL) scale at up to 52 weeks. All participants and study personnel were masked to treatment assignment. Analysis was by intention to treat. The trial is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT01110720.
313 participants were randomly assigned to davunetide (n=157) or to placebo (n=156), and 241 (77%) completed the study (118 and 156 in the davunetide and placebo groups, respectively). There were no differences in the davunetide and placebo groups in the baseline PSPRS and SEADL. The davunetide and placebo groups did not differ in the change from baseline in PSPRS (median 11·8 [95% CI 10·5 to 13·0] vs 11·8 [10·5 to 13·0], respectively, p=0·41) or SEADL (−0·20 [−0·20 to −0·17] vs −0·20 [−0·22 to −0·17], respectively, p=0·92). 54 serious adverse events were reported in each of the treatment groups, including 11 deaths in the davunetide group and ten in the placebo group. The frequency of nasal adverse events was greater in the davunetide group than in the placebo group (epistaxis 18 [12%] of 156 vs 13 [8%] of 156, rhinorrhoea 15 [10%] vs eight [5%], and nasal discomfort 15 [10%] vs one [<1%]).
Davunetide is not an effective treatment for PSP. Clinical trials of disease-modifying treatment are feasible in patients with PSP and should be pursued with other promising tau-directed treatments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Problematic Internet Use (PIU) have been associated with impulse control disorders (ICD), and postulated to share characteristics of a behavioural addiction with both impulsive and compulsive features. However, Internet use has not been previously systematically studied in Parkinson’s disease.
We explore Internet use in PD patients with and without ICDs and matched healthy controls. We hypothesise that the PD-ICD patients will spend more time on the Internet, accessing websites related to their ICDs, compared with PD patients without ICDs and healthy volunteers.
Our study is the first to systematically explore problematic Internet use in patients with PD, with and without ICDs. Twenty-nine PD patients with ICDs, twenty PD patients without ICDs and nineteen healthy controls were recruited. All participants endorsed using the Internet for non-essential purposes. They underwent a semi-structured interview and completed questionnaires including the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale adapted for Internet use (Y-BOCS-Internet).
PD-ICD patients scored significantly higher on the Y-BOCS-Internet than the PD-control and HV groups (PD-ICD: 13.69; PD-control: 5.42; HV: 4.70; p<0.0001). Compared to PD controls and HV groups, the PD-ICD group spent more time on the Internet (p=0.0001), described significantly more effort to resist Internet use (p=0.0002), thoughts about Internet use (p<0.0001) and its interference with their life functioning (p=0.0025).
Our results suggest that PD patients with ICDs have a relative increased tendency towards excessive Internet use compared to those without ICDs and healthy controls. Clinicians should actively screen for excessive Internet use in patients with ICDs.
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 01/2014; · 3.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progressive supranuclear palsy is a rare parkinsonian disorder with characteristic neurofibrillary pathology consisting of hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Common variation defining the microtubule associated protein tau gene (MAPT) H1 haplotype strongly contributes to disease risk. A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) revealed 3 novel risk loci on chromosomes 1, 2, and 3 that primarily implicate STX6, EIF2AK3, and MOBP, respectively. Genetic associations, however, rarely lead to direct identification of the relevant functional allele. More often, they are in linkage disequilibrium with the causative polymorphism(s) that could be a coding change or affect gene expression regulatory motifs. To identify any such changes, we sequenced all coding exons of those genes directly implicated by the associations in progressive supranuclear palsy cases and analyzed regional gene expression data from control brains to identify expression quantitative trait loci within 1 Mb of the risk loci. Although we did not find any coding variants underlying the associations, GWAS-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms at these loci are in complete linkage disequilibrium with haplotypes that completely overlap with the respective genes. Although implication of EIF2AK3 and MOBP could not be fully assessed, we show that the GWAS single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1411478 (STX6) is a strong expression quantitative trait locus with significantly lower expression of STX6 in white matter in carriers of the risk allele.
Neurobiology of Aging. 01/2014; 35(6):1514.e1–1514.e12.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Bradykinesia Akinesia Incoordination (BRAIN) test is a computer keyboard-tapping task that was developed for use in assessing the effect of symptomatic treatment on motor function in Parkinson's disease (PD). An online version has now been designed for use in a wider clinical context and the research setting.
Validation of the online BRAIN test was undertaken in 58 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and 93 age-matched, non-neurological controls. Kinesia scores (KS30, number of key taps in 30 seconds), akinesia times (AT30, mean dwell time on each key in milliseconds), incoordination scores (IS30, variance of travelling time between key presses) and dysmetria scores (DS30, accuracy of key presses) were compared between groups. These parameters were correlated against total motor scores and sub-scores from the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS).
Mean KS30, AT30 and IS30 were significantly different between PD patients and controls (p≤0.0001). Sensitivity for 85% specificity was 50% for KS30, 40% for AT30 and 29% for IS30. KS30, AT30 and IS30 correlated significantly with UPDRS total motor scores (r = -0.53, r = 0.27 and r = 0.28 respectively) and motor UPDRS sub-scores. The reliability of KS30, AT30 and DS30 was good on repeated testing.
The BRAIN test is a reliable, convenient test of upper limb motor function that can be used routinely in the outpatient clinic, at home and in clinical trials. In addition, it can be used as an objective longitudinal measurement of emerging motor dysfunction for the prediction of PD in at-risk cohorts.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e96260. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this manuscript we summarize the role of chronic stress as a potential trigger factor for Parkinson's disease. Underlying mechanisms and stress-induced changes to the neuronal networks have been highlighted. Examples of stress induced reversible symptoms that resemble parkinsonism in humans and in animal models raise the question whether emotional stress can cause striatal degeneration in susceptible patients. A Pubmed literature review searching for the terms 'Stress', 'Distress and Parkinson's disease', 'Emotional Distress and Parkinson's disease', 'Stress and Parkinson's disease', 'Prodromal Parkinson's disease', 'Non motor symptoms and Parkinson's disease', 'Paradoxical kinesia', 'Psychogenic parkinsonism', 'Functional somatic syndromes', 'Chronic fatigue syndrome', 'Irritable bowel syndrome', 'Fibromyalgia', 'Dopamine and fibromyalgia', 'Dopamine and chronic fatigue syndrome' and 'Dopamine and irritable bowel syndrome' was carried out until April 2013. Articles were also identified through searches of the authors' own files. Only papers published in English were reviewed. The final reference list was generated on the basis of originality and relevance to the broad scope of this viewpoint.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 11/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlike most other cell types, neurons preferentially metabolize glucose via the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) to maintain their antioxidant status. Inhibiting the PPP in neuronal cell models causes cell death. In rodents, inhibition of this pathway causes selective dopaminergic cell death leading to motor deficits resembling parkinsonism. Using postmortem human brain tissue, we characterized glucose metabolism via the PPP in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and controls. AD brains showed increased nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) production in areas affected by disease. In PD however, increased NADPH production was only seen in the affected areas of late-stage cases. Quantifying PPP NADPH-producing enzymes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, showed a reduction in the putamen of early-stage PD and interestingly in the cerebellum of early and late-stage PD. Importantly, there was no decrease in enzyme levels in the cortex, putamen, or cerebellum of AD. Our results suggest that down-regulation of PPP enzymes and a failure to increase antioxidant reserve is an early event in the pathogenesis of sporadic PD.
Neurobiology of aging 11/2013; · 5.94 Impact Factor