[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since brain stem regions associated with early Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology encroach upon those involved in taste function, the ability to taste may be compromised in PD. However, studies on this point have been contradictory. We administered well-validated whole-mouth and regional taste tests that incorporated multiple concentrations of sucrose, citric acid, caffeine, and sodium chloride to 29 early stage PD patients and 29 age-, sex-, and race-matched controls. Electrogustometry was also performed on the anterior tongue. The PD cohort was tested both on and off dopamine-related medications in counterbalanced test sessions. While whole-mouth taste identification test scores for all stimuli were, on average, nominally lower for the PD patients than for the controls, a trend in the opposite direction was noted for the intensity ratings at the lower stimulus concentrations for all stimuli except caffeine. Moreover, regional testing found that PD subjects tended to rate the stimuli, relative to the controls, as more intense on the anterior tongue and less intense on the posterior tongue. No significant associations were evident between taste test scores and UPDRS scores, L-DOPA medication equivalency values, or [(99m)Tc]TRODAT-1 SPECT imaging of dopamine transporter uptake within the striatum and associated regions. Our findings suggest that suprathreshold measures of taste function are influenced by PD and that this disease differentially influences taste function on anterior (CN VII) and posterior (CN IX) tongue regions. Conceivably PD-related damage to CN IX releases central inhibition on CN VII at the level of the brainstem, resulting in enhanced taste intensity on the anterior tongue.
Journal of Neurology 12/2014; · 3.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance: Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the most common cause of genetic Parkinson disease (PD) known to date. The clinical features of manifesting LRRK2 mutation carriers are generally indistinguishable from those of patients with sporadic PD. However, some PD cases associated with LRRK2 mutations lack Lewy bodies (LBs), a neuropathological hallmark of PD. We investigated whether the presence or absence of LBs correlates with different clinical features in LRRK2-related PD. Observations: We describe genetic, clinical, and neuropathological findings of 37 cases of LRRK2-related PD including 33 published and 4 unpublished cases through October 2013. Among the different mutations, the LRRK2 p.G2019S mutation was most frequently associated with LB pathology. Nonmotor features of cognitive impairment/dementia, anxiety, and orthostatic hypotension were correlated with the presence of LBs. In contrast, a primarily motor phenotype was associated with a lack of LBs. Conclusions and Relevance: To our knowledge, this is the first report of clinicopathological correlations in a series of LRRK2-related PD cases. Findings from this selected group of patients with PD demonstrated that parkinsonian motor features can occur in the absence of LBs. However, LB pathology in LRRK2-related PD may be a marker for a broader parkinsonian symptom complex including cognitive impairment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A number of sensory changes occur in the earliest stages of Parkinson's disease (PD), some of which precede the expression of the classic motor phenotype by years (e.g., olfactory dysfunction). Whether point pressure sensitivity (PPS), a cutaneous measure of light touch mediated by myelinated Aβ fibers, is altered in early PD is not clear. Prior studies on this point are contradictory and are based on non-forced-choice threshold tests that confound the sensitivity measure with the response criterion. While α-synuclein pathology, a defining feature of PD, is present in the skin of PD patients, it is restricted to unmyelinated nerve fibers, suggesting PPS may be spared in this disease. We determined PPS thresholds using a state-of-the-art forced-choice staircase threshold test paradigm in 29 early stage PD patients and 29 mathced controls at 11 body sites: the center of the forehead and the left and right forearms, the index fingers, the palms, the medial soles of the feet, and the plantar halluces. The patients were tested, in counterbalanced sessions, both on and off dopamine-related medications (DRMs). PPS was not influenced by PD and did not correlate with DRM l-DOPA equivalents, scores on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, side of the major motor disturbances, or SPECT imaging of the striatal dopamine transporter, as measured by technetium-99 m TRODAT. However, PPS thresholds were lower on the left than on the right side of the body (p = 0.008) and on the upper extremities relative to the toes and feet (ps < 0.0001). Positive correlations were evident among the thresholds obtained across all body sectors, even though disparate regions of the body differed in terms of absolute sensitivity. This study indicates that PPS is not influenced in early stage PD regardless of whether patients are on or off DRMs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cognitive impairment is a common and disabling problem in Parkinson disease (PD) that is not well understood and is difficult to treat. Identification of genetic variants that influence the rate of cognitive decline or pattern of early cognitive deficits in PD might provide a clearer understanding of the etiopathogenesis of this important nonmotor feature.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Impulse control disorders (ICDs) in Parkinson disease (PD) are common and can be difficult to manage. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy and tolerability of naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, for the treatment of ICDs in PD.METHODS: Patients with PD (n = 50) and an ICD were enrolled in an 8-week, randomized (1:1), double-blind, placebo-controlled study of naltrexone 50-100 mg/d (flexible dosing). The primary outcome measure was response based on the Clinical Global Impression-Change score, and the secondary outcome measure was change in symptom severity using the Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson's Disease-Rating Scale (QUIP-RS) ICD score.RESULTS: Forty-five patients (90%) completed the study. The Clinical Global Impression-Change response rate difference favoring naltrexone in completers was 19.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] -8.7% to 44.2%). While this difference was not significant (odds ratio = 1.6, 95% CI 0.5-5.2, Wald χ(2) [df] = 0.5 , p = 0.5), naltrexone treatment led to a significantly greater decrease in QUIP-RS ICD score over time compared with placebo (regression coefficient for interaction term in linear mixed-effects model = -7.37, F[df] = 4.3 [1, 49], p = 0.04). The estimated changes in QUIP-RS ICD scores from baseline to week 8 were 14.9 points (95% CI 9.9-19.9) for naltrexone and 7.5 points (95% CI 2.5-12.6) for placebo.CONCLUSIONS: Naltrexone treatment was not efficacious for the treatment of ICDs in PD using a global assessment of response, but findings using a PD-specific ICD rating scale support further evaluation of opioid antagonists for the treatment of ICD symptoms in PD.CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class I evidence that in patients with PD and an ICD, naltrexone does not significantly increase the probability of achieving response. However, the study lacked the precision to exclude an important difference in response rates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dementia in Parkinson's disease (PD) is a serious health issue and a major concern for many patients. In most cases mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered a transitional stage between normal cognitive functioning and dementia which is of potential importance in the early identification of patients at risk for dementia. Recently, the Movement Disorder Society (MDS) proposed diagnostic criteria for MCI in PD (PD-MCI). These criteria comprise two operationalizations: Level I (based on an abbreviated assessment) and Level II (based on comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation permitting MCI subtyping). These criteria need to be validated. This paper describes a project aiming to validate the MDS PD-MCI criteria by pooling and analyzing cross-sectional and longitudinal neuropsychological databases comprising ≥5,500 PD patients and ≥1,700 controls. After applying the MDS PD-MCI Level I and Level II criteria, rates of conversion to PD-dementia and predictive variables for conversion to PD-dementia will be established. This study will also assist in identifying whether revisions of the PD-MCI criteria are required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are defined by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in the central nervous system (CNS), and only neuropathological examination enables a definitive diagnosis. Brain banks and their associated scientific programs have shaped the actual knowledge of NDs, identifying and characterizing the CNS deposits that define new diseases, formulating staging schemes, and establishing correlations between neuropathological changes and clinical features. However, brain banks have evolved to accommodate the banking of biofluids as well as DNA and RNA samples. Moreover, the value of biobanks is greatly enhanced if they link all the multidimensional clinical and laboratory information of each case, which is accomplished, optimally, using systematic and standardized operating procedures, and in the framework of multidisciplinary teams with the support of a flexible and user-friendly database system that facilitates the sharing of information of all the teams in the network. We describe a biobanking system that is a platform for discovery research at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 08/2013; · 14.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Poor nocturnal sleep is common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and negatively impacts quality of life. There is little data on how dopaminergic drugs influence nocturnal sleep in PD, particularly in relation to medication timing. We examined the association between dopaminergic medications and subjective and objective nocturnal sleep in PD. METHODS: Individuals with PD were recruited from the outpatient clinic. Demographics and disease information were collected. Patients underwent one-night polysomnography and responded to SCOPA-SLEEP, a self-administered questionnaire which includes a section on nighttime sleep and an overall measure of sleep quality; higher scores indicate worse sleep. Medication intake, including medication timing in relation to bedtime, was obtained and converted to levodopa equivalents. RESULTS: 41 Males and 21 females, median age 63.9 years, participated. Median disease duration was 5 years. After adjusting for age, sex, disease severity, and disease duration, greater total levodopa equivalent intake within 4 h of sleep was associated with higher total SCOPA-nighttime score (p = 0.009) and greater wake time after sleep onset (p = 0.049). Greater dopaminergic medication intake prior to sleep was also associated with less rapid eye movement (REM) sleep as a percent of total sleep time (p = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Higher amounts of dopaminergic medications taken prior to sleep were associated with poor sleep quality and less REM sleep. Although poor nocturnal sleep in PD is likely multi-factorial in etiology, our findings suggest that timing and dose of medications prior to sleep need to be considered in its management.
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 06/2013; · 3.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Biochemical abnormalities present in GBA (mut/wt) carriers may offer new pathogenetic insights to and potential therapeutic targets in Parkinson disease (PD). OBJECTIVE To determine whether patients having PD with vs without GBA mutations differ in clinical phenotype or plasma protein expression. DESIGN AND SETTING Case-control study of patients having PD with vs without GBA mutations. Clinical characteristics were compared between groups, and biochemical profiling of 40 plasma proteins was performed to identify proteins that differed in expression between groups. PARTICIPANTS The discovery cohort included 20 patients having PD with GBA mutations. Clinical characteristics of GBA -associated PD cases were compared with those of 242 patients having PD in whom GBA mutations were excluded by full gene sequencing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Biochemical profiling was available for all 20 GBA -associated PD cases, as well as a subset (87 of 242) of the GBA -negative PD cases. The replication cohort included 19 patients having PD with GBA mutations and 41 patients having PD without GBA mutations. RESULTS Compared with patients having PD without GBA mutations, patients having PD with GBA mutations were younger at disease onset (P = .04) and were more likely to demonstrate cognitive dysfunction (P = .001). In a multiple regression model that included age, sex, and assay batch as covariates, GBA mutation status was significantly associated with plasma levels of interleukin 8 (P = .001), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (P = .008), and macrophage inflammatory protein 1α (P = .005). The association between interleukin 8 and GBA mutation status was replicated (P = .03) in a separate cohort of patients having PD with vs without GBA mutations. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Patients having PD with GBA mutations have earlier age at disease onset and are more likely to demonstrate cognitive dysfunction. Monocyte-associated inflammatory mediators may be elevated in patients having PD with GBA mutations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE While mutations in glucocerebrosidase (GBA1) are associated with an increased risk for Parkinson disease (PD), it is important to establish whether such mutations are also a common risk factor for other Lewy body disorders. OBJECTIVE To establish whether GBA1 mutations are a risk factor for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). DESIGN We compared genotype data on patients and controls from 11 centers. Data concerning demographics, age at onset, disease duration, and clinical and pathological features were collected when available. We conducted pooled analyses using logistic regression to investigate GBA1 mutation carrier status as predicting DLB or PD with dementia status, using common control subjects as a reference group. Random-effects meta-analyses were conducted to account for additional heterogeneity. SETTING Eleven centers from sites around the world performing genotyping. PARTICIPANTS Seven hundred twenty-one cases met diagnostic criteria for DLB and 151 had PD with dementia. We compared these cases with 1962 controls from the same centers matched for age, sex, and ethnicity. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Frequency of GBA1 mutations in cases and controls. RESULTS We found a significant association between GBA1 mutation carrier status and DLB, with an odds ratio of 8.28 (95% CI, 4.78-14.88). The odds ratio for PD with dementia was 6.48 (95% CI, 2.53-15.37). The mean age at diagnosis of DLB was earlier in GBA1 mutation carriers than in noncarriers (63.5 vs 68.9 years; P < .001), with higher disease severity scores. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Mutations in GBA1 are a significant risk factor for DLB. GBA1 mutations likely play an even larger role in the genetic etiology of DLB than in PD, providing insight into the role of glucocerebrosidase in Lewy body disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A disabling impairment of higher-order language function can be seen in patients with Lewy body spectrum disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). We focus on script comprehension in patients with Lewy body spectrum disorders. While scripts unfold sequentially, constituent events are thought to contain an internal organization. Executive dysfunction in patients with Lewy body spectrum disorders may interfere with comprehension of this internal structure. We examined 42 patients (30 non-demented PD and 12 mildly demented PDD/DLB patients) and 12 healthy seniors. We presented 22 scripts (e.g., "going fishing"), each consisting of six events. Pilot data from young controls provided the basis for organizing associated events into clusters and arranging them hierarchically into scripts. We measured accuracy and latency to judge the order of adjacent events in the same cluster versus adjacent events in different clusters. PDD/DLB patients were less accurate in their ordering judgments than PD patients and controls. Healthy seniors and PD patients were significantly faster to judge correctly the order of highly associated within-cluster event pairs relative to less closely associated different-cluster event pairs, while PDD/DLB patients did not consistently distinguish between these event-pair types. This relative insensitivity to the clustered-hierarchical organization of events was related to executive impairment and to frontal atrophy as measured by volumetric MRI. These findings extend prior work on script processing to patients with Lewy body spectrum disorders and highlight the potential impact of frontal/executive dysfunction on the daily lives of affected patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To identify plasma-based biomarkers for Parkinson's Disease (PD) risk. METHODS: In a discovery cohort of 152 PD patients, plasma levels of 96 proteins were measured by multiplex immunoassay; proteins associated with age at PD onset were identified by linear regression. Findings from discovery screening were then assessed in a second cohort of 187 PD patients, using a different technique. Finally, in a third cohort of at-risk, asymptomatic individuals enrolled in the Parkinson's Associated Risk Study (PARS, n=134), plasma levels of the top candidate biomarker were measured, and dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging performed, to evaluate the association of plasma protein levels with dopaminergic system integrity. RESULTS: One of the best candidate protein biomarkers to emerge from discovery screening was apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1, p=0.001). Low levels of ApoA1 correlated with earlier PD onset, with a 26% decrease in risk of developing PD associated with each tertile increase in ApoA1 (Cox proportional hazards p<0.001, hazard ratio=0.742). The association between plasma ApoA1 levels and age at PD onset replicated in an independent cohort of PD patients (p<0.001). Finally, in the PARS cohort of high-risk, asymptomatic subjects, lower plasma levels of ApoA1 were associated with greater putaminal DAT deficit (p=0.037). INTERPRETATION: Lower ApoA1 levels correlate with dopaminergic system vulnerability in symptomatic PD patients and in asymptomatic individuals with physiological reductions in dopamine transporter density consistent with prodromal PD. Plasma ApoA1 may be a new biomarker for PD risk. ANN NEUROL 2010.
Annals of Neurology 02/2013; · 11.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While plasma biomarkers have been proposed to aid in the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer disease (AD), few biomarkers have been validated in independent patient cohorts. Here we aim to determine plasma biomarkers associated with AD in 2 independent cohorts and validate the findings in the multicenter Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI).
Using a targeted proteomic approach, we measured levels of 190 plasma proteins and peptides in 600 participants from 2 independent centers (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Washington University, St. Louis, MO), and identified 17 analytes associated with the diagnosis of very mild dementia/mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or AD. Four analytes (apoE, B-type natriuretic peptide, C-reactive protein, pancreatic polypeptide) were also found to be altered in clinical MCI/AD in the ADNI cohort (n = 566). Regression analysis showed CSF Aβ42 levels and t-tau/Aβ42 ratios to correlate with the number of APOE4 alleles and plasma levels of B-type natriuretic peptide and pancreatic polypeptide.
Four plasma analytes were consistently associated with the diagnosis of very mild dementia/MCI/AD in 3 independent clinical cohorts. These plasma biomarkers may predict underlying AD through their association with CSF AD biomarkers, and the association between plasma and CSF amyloid biomarkers needs to be confirmed in a prospective study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
Annals of Neurology 06/2012; · 11.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of genetic factors in cognitive decline associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) is unclear. We examined whether variations in apolipoprotein E (APOE), microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT), or catechol-O-methytransferase (COMT) genotypes are associated with cognitive decline in PD. We performed a prospective cohort study of 212 patients with a clinical diagnosis of PD. The primary outcome was change in Mattis Dementia Rating Scale version 2 score. Linear mixed-effects models and survival analysis were used to test for associations between genotypes and change in cognitive function over time. The ε4 allele of APOE was associated with more rapid decline (loss of 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.7-4.1) of more points per year; P < 0.001) in total score and an increased risk of a ≥ 10 point drop during the follow-up period (hazard ratio, 2.8; 95% CI: 1.4-5.4; P = 0.003). MAPT haplotype and COMT genotype were associated with measures of memory and attention, respectively, over the entire follow-up period, but not with the overall rate of cognitive decline. These results confirm and extend previously described genetic associations with cognitive decline in PD and imply that individual genes may exert effects on specific cognitive domains or at different disease stages. Carrying at least one APOE ε4 allele is associated with more rapid cognitive decline in PD, supporting the idea of a component of shared etiology between PD dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Clinically, these results suggest that genotyping can provide information about the risk of future cognitive decline for PD patients.
Movement Disorders 02/2012; 27(4):512-8. · 5.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphorylated α-synuclein (PS-129), a protein implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), was identified by mass spectrometry in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). A highly sensitive and specific assay was established and used to measure PS-129 together with total α-synuclein in the CSF of patients with PD, other parkinsonian disorders such as multiple system atrophy (MSA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and healthy individuals (a total of ~600 samples). PS-129 CSF concentrations correlated weakly with PD severity and, when combined with total α-synuclein concentrations in CSF, contributed to distinguishing PD from MSA and PSP. Further rigorous validation in independent cohorts of patients, especially those where samples have been collected longitudinally, will determine whether the concentration of PS-129 in CSF will be useful for diagnosing PD and for monitoring PD severity and progression.
Science translational medicine 02/2012; 4(121):121ra20. · 10.76 Impact Factor