[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identification of risk factors and prodromal markers for Parkinson's disease (PD) and the understanding of the point in time of first occurrence is essential for the early detection of incident PD. In this three-center longitudinal, observational study, we evaluated the specific risk for PD associated with single or combinations of risk factors and prodromal markers. In addition, we evaluated which risk factors and prodromal markers emerge at which time before the diagnosis of PD. Of the 1,847 at-baseline PD-free individuals ≥50 years, 1,260 underwent the 5-year follow-up assessment. There were 21 cases of incident PD during the study period. Enlarged hyperechogenic substantia nigra was the most frequent baseline sign in individuals developing PD after 3 years (80.0 %) and 5 years (85.7 %) compared to healthy controls (17.5 %) followed by the occurrence of mild parkinsonian signs and hyposmia. Evaluation of the signs at the first follow-up assessment showed that individuals developing PD after two additional years showed the same pattern of signs as individuals who developed PD 3 years after baseline assessment.
Journal of Neurology 11/2013; · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) have a reduced myocardial MIBG uptake in MIBG scintigraphy, indicating myocardial sympathetic denervation. We were interested whether this myocardial sympathetic denervation coincides with clinical symptoms of autonomic impairment in IPD patients. We performed MIBG scintigraphy, the SCOPA-AUT scale, a standardized medical history (developed in our clinic) and autonomic nervous system testing in 47 IPD patients (21 female, 26 male patients). We correlated myocardial MIBG uptake with the results of the SCOPA-AUT scale, the standardized medical history and the autonomic nervous system testing through the use of Spearman's correlation. Myocardial MIBG uptake correlated significantly (p < 0.05) with several items of the SCOPA-AUT scale (in female patients: perspiration during the night, in male patients: sum score, saliva dribbling of the mouth, difficulty swallowing, fainting, constipation), of the standardized medical history (in male patients: swollen ankles) and of the autonomic nervous system testing (all patients: sum score, Ewing orthostasis test). Remarkably, we found more significant correlations in male than in female patients. Reduced myocardial sympathetic innervation-as revealed by MIBG scintigraphy-is associated with clinical symptoms of autonomic impairment. This association is more pronounced in male than in female patients. The cause for this gender-specific phenomenon is unclear.
Journal of Neurology 10/2013; · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) is based on clinical criteria. In the last two decades several neuroimaging methods using transcranial sonography (TCS) or radiolabelled tracers such as the myocardial MIBG scintigraphy were applied to support diagnosis of IPD. They have been used independently of each other and their interrelation is not yet clear. In the present study we analyzed the relation between findings of TCS, MIBG scintigraphy, and clinical presentation in 42 patients with IPD who were clinically diagnosed and underwent clinical follow-up over ≥3 years in order to confirm IPD diagnosis throughout the clinical course. The extent of substantia nigra hyperechogenicity (SN+) contralateral to the clinically more affected body side (SNcontra) was compared to myocardial (123)I-MIBG uptake. SNcontra did not correlate with the myocardial MIBG uptake (r = -0.10; p = 0.52). Both myocardial MIBG uptake and TCS did not correlate significantly with Hoehn and Yahr stage (r = -0.03; p = 0.87 and r = -0.10; p = 0.54, respectively). Sensitivity of TCS in the diagnosis of IPD was 79%, of MIBG scintigraphy 81%. The combination of both measurements reached a sensitivity of 95%. TCS and MIBG scintigraphy may disclose complementary aspects of IPD. The combined use of both neuroimaging methods might improve the diagnostic sensitivity regarding IPD.
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 07/2013; · 3.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thrombolysis with alteplase administered within a narrow therapeutic window provides an effective therapy for acute ischaemic stroke. However, mainly because of prehospital delay, patients often arrive too late for treatment, and no more than 1-8% of patients with stroke obtain this treatment. We recommend that all links in the prehospital stroke rescue chain must be optimised so that in the future more than a small minority of patients can profit from time-sensitive acute stroke therapy. Measures for improvement include continuous public awareness campaigns, education of emergency medical service personnel, the use of standardised, validated scales for recognition of stroke symptoms and for triaging to the appropriate institution, and advance notification to the receiving hospital. In the future, use of telemedicine technologies for interaction between the emergency site and hospital, and the strategy of treatment directly at the emergency site (mobile stroke unit concept), could contribute to more efficient use of resources and reduce the time taken to instigate treatment to within 60 min-the golden hour-of the onset of the symptoms of stroke.
The Lancet Neurology 06/2013; 12(6):585-596. · 23.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by deposits of amyloid β peptide (Aβ) and microglia-driven inflammatory activation. Tenascin-C (tnc) is an extracellular matrix protein that is upregulated in inflammation and induces further inflammatory responses. We hypothesized that tnc contributes to the inflammatory pathology in AD. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction, we observed that tnc gene transcription was upregulated in cultured microglia after Aβ challenge and in the brain of an AD mouse model that overexpresses mutated amyloid precursor protein (APP) in neural cells. By cross-breeding APP-transgenic mice and tenascin-C-deficient mice, we demonstrated using real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and immunohistochemistry that tnc deficiency reduces pro- but enhances anti-inflammatory activation in the mutated APP-transgenic mouse brain, associated with a reduced cerebral Aβ load and higher levels of the postsynaptic density protein 95. Thus, our study indicates that functional inhibition of tnc exerts beneficial effects on AD pathogenesis, suggesting a potential for tnc as a new therapeutic target in AD.
Neurobiology of aging 05/2013; · 5.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to assess nigrostriatal function over time in healthy subjects with substantia nigra hyperechogenicity (SN+) believed to be at higher risk for Parkinson's disease (PD), ten healthy SN+ subjects underwent [(18)Fluoro] Dopa positron emission tomography (PET) twice-at baseline and after a mean of 7.3 years. Neurological examination took place at study inclusion followed by a structured telephone interview focusing on early Parkinsonian symptoms at the time point of second PET study and 3.5 years later. The [(18)Fluoro] Dopa uptake remained unchanged in eight of ten participants. In the other two subjects marked unilateral reduction of putaminal [(18)Fluoro] Dopa uptake ratios appeared over the time, followed by complaints of a clinically manifest PD in one. We suggest that the progressive pathological PET findings in 20 % and PD conversion in 10 % of our cohort may be in accordance with the presumed proportion of SN+ individuals eventually developing PD based on SN+ prevalence of 10 % within the healthy population, being ten times higher than PD prevalence in the age of over 60 years. Our findings hint towards a significance of SN+ indicating a high risk for PD in some extrapyramidally healthy SN+ individuals.
Journal of Neurology 04/2013; · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: This study sought to assess the feasibility and safety of a recently described technique of mechanical recanalization with the help of a stent-like device. BACKGROUND: In the special group of acute stroke patients with an intracranial large vessel occlusion, intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator on its own leads to a good clinical outcome (mRS ≤2) in only 15% to 25% of cases. The aforementioned technique of mechanical recanalization showed very promising clinical results. METHODS: Forty patients presenting within 6 h from stroke symptom onset were enrolled. Mechanical recanalization was performed using a Solitaire FR revascularization device. The primary endpoint of the study was the clinical outcome rated with the help of the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) after 90 days. RESULTS: Twenty-four patients (60%) showed a good clinical outcome (mRS ≤2) at 90 days. One symptomatic hemorrhage was detected on follow-up computed tomography. The death rate was 12.5% (5 patients). Successful recanalization (Thrombolysis In Cerebral Infarction score ≥2b) of the target vessel was achieved in 95% of the patients with a mean of 1.8 runs with the device. CONCLUSIONS: The ReFlow (Mechanical Recanalization With Flow Restoration in Acute Ischemic Stroke) study shows that mechanical recanalization with flow restoration is highly effective in stroke patients with a large intracranial vessel occlusion presenting within 4.5 h after symptom onset. (Mechanical Recanalization With Flow Restoration in Acute Ischemic Stroke [ReFlow]; NCT01210729).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sphingolipids, the main component of cellular membranes, are cellular 'jack-of-all-trades', influencing a variety of functions including signal transduction, cell activation, membrane fluidity and cell-cell interactions.In the last few years, sphingolipids have begun to be investigated in the pathophysiology of major diseases of the brain, e.g. multiple sclerosis and dementia. Modulation of neuroinflammatory responses, such as lymphocyte behaviour, is a chance to intervene in the pathways that cause disease. There is much research still to be done in this field, but the prospect of treating previously untreatable medical conditions compels us onwards. Here, we review the current knowledge of the link between sphingolipids and neuroinflammation.
Handbook of experimental pharmacology 01/2013; 216:421-30.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contradictory results for concentrations of vitamin B12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), and methylmalonic acid (MMA) have been reported. We tested the hypothesis that the extracellular vitamin B12 markers are not reflecting the intracellular vitamin B12-dependent biochemical reactions in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The study included 92 patients with diabetes and 72 controls with similar age and sex distribution. We measured vitamin B12 markers [MMA, total serum vitamin B12, holoTC, total homocysteine (tHcy)], red blood cell (RBC)-B12, and the plasma concentrations of the methylation markers [S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH)]. In comparison to controls, diabetic patients showed significantly higher concentrations of plasma SAH (median 15.1 vs. 11.8 nmol/L; p<0.001) and lower SAM/SAH ratio (9.1 vs. 8.2; p=0.006). Concentrations of total vitamin B12 and holoTC did not differ significantly between the groups, but plasma MMA concentrations were significantly higher in diabetics (250 vs. 206 nmol/L). However, RBC-B12 was lower in diabetics compared to controls (median 230 vs. 260 pmol/L; p=0.001). The inverse correlation between MMA and RBC-B12 was stronger in the controls compared to that in the patients (correlation coefficient in controls R= -0.446, p=0.001; in patients R= -0.289, p=0.022). Metformin treatment was associated with a lower total serum vitamin B12, but a comparable RBC-B12 and a slightly lower MMA and better methylation index. In conclusion, patients with type 2 diabetes showed normal extracellular vitamin B12, but disturbed intracellular B12-dependent biochemical reactions. Metformin treatment was associated with low serum vitamin B12 and improved intracellular vitamin B12 metabolism despite low serum vitamin B12.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During aging the brain displays an increased proinflammatory status, which is associated with the pathogenesis of aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) facilitate the migration of inflammatory cells in tissues and modulate their inflammatory activity. In this study, we screened expression of MMPs in 3-, 10-, and 18-month-old mice and observed that cerebral MMP-12 expression was strongly upregulated during aging. We compared the neuroinflammation of 3-, 10-, and 18-month-old MMP-12-deficient versus wild type mice by counting microglia and measuring inflammatory gene transcripts in the brain and observed that MMP-12 deficiency reduced neuroinflammation during aging. In order to identify potential mechanisms, we analyzed the inflammatory activity of microglia directly isolated from adult mouse brains or cultured from newborn mice. We observed that MMP-12 deficiency increased the inflammatory activity of adult brain-derived microglia, but did not affect cultured microglia. We found greater numbers of CD11b/CD45(high) cells in the parenchyma of MMP-12 wild type than in the parenchyma of MMP-12-deficient mouse brains. Thus, our study suggested that the upregulated cerebral MMP-12 during aging enhances aging-associated neuroinflammation by facilitating recruitment of bone marrow-derived microglia into the brain.
Neurobiology of aging 11/2012; · 5.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune disorder caused by the interaction between cellular and humoral immune responses in the peripheral nervous system. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are key players in innate and have regulatory functions in adaptive immunity. In this study, we systematically examined expression patterns of TLRs in sciatic nerve and lymphoid organs during the disease course of murine experimental autoimmune neuritis and in blood from Guillain-Barré patients. A kinetic response pattern was identified, characterized by a pronounced up-regulation of TLR2, 6 and 11 on T cells and TLR4 and 6 on APCs, while TLR1 expression was decreased. Moreover, an enhanced expression of the disease promoting cytokine Interleukin-(IL)17A was detected. Additional analysis of GBS patients revealed an up-regulation of TLR2, TLR4 and TLR6 mRNA, negatively correlated with disease severity. This first systematic analysis of TLR expression pattern may contribute to elucidating the role of TLRs in GBS pathophysiology.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Only 2-5% of patients who have a stroke receive thrombolytic treatment, mainly because of delay in reaching the hospital. We aimed to assess the efficacy of a new approach of diagnosis and treatment starting at the emergency site, rather than after hospital arrival, in reducing delay in stroke therapy.
We did a randomised single-centre controlled trial to compare the time from alarm (emergency call) to therapy decision between mobile stroke unit (MSU) and hospital intervention. For inclusion in our study patients needed to be aged 18-80 years and have one or more stroke symptoms that started within the previous 2·5 h. In accordance with our week-wise randomisation plan, patients received either prehospital stroke treatment in a specialised ambulance (equipped with a CT scanner, point-of-care laboratory, and telemedicine connection) or optimised conventional hospital-based stroke treatment (control group) with a 7 day follow-up. Allocation was not masked from patients and investigators. Our primary endpoint was time from alarm to therapy decision, which was analysed with the Mann-Whitney U test. Our secondary endpoints included times from alarm to end of CT and to end of laboratory analysis, number of patients receiving intravenous thrombolysis, time from alarm to intravenous thrombolysis, and neurological outcome. We also assessed safety endpoints. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00153036.
We stopped the trial after our planned interim analysis at 100 of 200 planned patients (53 in the prehospital stroke treatment group, 47 in the control group), because we had met our prespecified criteria for study termination. Prehospital stroke treatment reduced the median time from alarm to therapy decision substantially: 35 min (IQR 31-39) versus 76 min (63-94), p<0·0001; median difference 41 min (95% CI 36-48 min). We also detected similar gains regarding times from alarm to end of CT, and alarm to end of laboratory analysis, and to intravenous thrombolysis for eligible ischaemic stroke patients, although there was no substantial difference in number of patients who received intravenous thrombolysis or in neurological outcome. Safety endpoints seemed similar across the groups.
For patients with suspected stroke, treatment by the MSU substantially reduced median time from alarm to therapy decision. The MSU strategy offers a potential solution to the medical problem of the arrival of most stroke patients at the hospital too late for treatment.
Ministry of Health of the Saarland, Germany, the Werner-Jackstädt Foundation, the Else-Kröner-Fresenius Foundation, and the Rettungsstiftung Saar.
The Lancet Neurology 04/2012; 11(5):397-404. · 23.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microglia activated by extracellularly deposited amyloid β peptide (Aβ) act as a two-edged sword in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis: on the one hand, they damage neurons by releasing neurotoxic proinflammatory mediators (M1 activation); on the other hand, they protect neurons by triggering anti-inflammatory/neurotrophic M2 activation and by clearing Aβ via phagocytosis. TLRs are associated with Aβ-induced microglial inflammatory activation and Aβ internalization, but the mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we used real-time surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy and conventional biochemical pull-down assays to demonstrate a direct interaction between TLR2 and the aggregated 42-aa form of human Aβ (Aβ42). TLR2 deficiency reduced Aβ42-triggered inflammatory activation but enhanced Aβ phagocytosis in cultured microglia and macrophages. By expressing TLR2 in HEK293 cells that do not endogenously express TLR2, we observed that TLR2 expression enabled HEK293 cells to respond to Aβ42. Through site-directed mutagenesis of tlr2 gene, we identified the amino acids EKKA (741-744) as a critical cytoplasmic domain for transduction of inflammatory signals. By coexpressing TLR1 or TLR6 in TLR2-transgenic HEK293 cells or silencing tlrs genes in RAW264.7 macrophages, we observed that TLR2-mediated Aβ42-triggered inflammatory activation was enhanced by TLR1 and suppressed by TLR6. Using bone marrow chimeric Alzheimer's amyloid precursor transgenic mice, we observed that TLR2 deficiency in microglia shifts M1- to M2-inflammatory activation in vivo, which was associated with improved neuronal function. Our study demonstrated that TLR2 is a primary receptor for Aβ to trigger neuroinflammatory activation and suggested that inhibition of TLR2 in microglia could be beneficial in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2011; 188(3):1098-107. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the technical success of carotid artery stenting in acute extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) occlusion as well as the benefit in clinical outcome.
Stroke caused by acute occlusion of the ICA is associated with a significant level of morbidity and mortality. For this type of lesion, treatment with standard intravenous thrombolysis alone leads to a good clinical outcome in only 17% of the cases, with a death rate as high as 55%. Recanalization of the occluded ICA can lead to an improvement in acute symptoms of stroke, prevent possible deterioration, and reduce long-term stroke risk. At present, there is no consensus treatment for patients with acute ischemic stroke presenting with severe clinical symptoms due to atherosclerotic occlusion of the extracranial ICA.
Carotid artery stenting was performed in 22 patients with acute atherosclerotic extracranial ICA occlusion within 6 h of stroke symptom onset. In 18 patients, there was an additional intracranial occlusion at the level of the terminal segment of the ICA (n = 4) and at the level of the middle cerebral artery (n = 14). Intracranial occlusions were either treated with the Penumbra system or the Solitaire stent-based recanalization system, or a combination of mechanical recanalization and intra-arterial thrombolysis. Recanalization results were assessed by angiography immediately after the procedure. The neurologic status was evaluated before and after the treatment with a follow-up as long as 90 days using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and the modified Rankin Scale.
Successful revascularization of extracranial ICA with acute stent implantation was achieved in 21 patients (95%). There was no acute stent thrombosis. After successful recanalization of the origin of the ICA, the intracranial recanalization with Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 2/3 was achieved in 11 of the 18 patients (61%). The overall recanalization rate (extracranial and intracranial) was 14 of 22 patients (63%). Nine patients (41%) had a modified Rankin Scale score of ≤2 at 90 days. The mortality rate was 13.6% at 90 days.
Carotid artery stenting in acute atherosclerotic extracranial ICA occlusion with severe stroke symptoms is feasible, safe, and useful within the first 6 h after symptom onset.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 11/2011; 58(23):2363-9. · 14.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether enlarged substantia nigra hyperechogenicity (SN+) is associated with an increased risk for Parkinson disease (PD) in a healthy elderly population.
Longitudinal 3-center observational study with 37 months of prospective follow-up.
Individuals 50 years or older without evidence of PD or any other neurodegenerative disease.
Of 1847 participants who underwent a full medical history, neurological assessment, and transcranial sonography at baseline, 1535 could undergo reassessment.
Incidence of new-onset PD in relation to baseline transcranial sonography status.
There were 11 cases of incident PD during the follow-up period. In participants with SN+ at baseline, the relative risk for incident PD was 17.37 (95% confidence interval, 3.71-81.34) times higher compared with normoechogenic participants.
In this prospective study, we demonstrate for the first time a highly increased risk for PD in elderly individuals with SN+. Transcranial sonography of the midbrain may therefore be a promising primary screening procedure to define a risk population for imminent PD.
Archives of neurology 07/2011; 68(7):932-7. · 6.31 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy is a well established nuclear medicine method to support the clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. In this study we examined the predictive value of the MIBG scintigraphy concerning the severity and progression of the parkinsonian motor symptoms.
This study included 40 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (age 56 ± 9 years, Hoehn and Yahr stage 1.4 ± 0.7, mean ± standard deviation). All patients underwent a baseline visit and a follow-up visit 3-8 years (5.3 ± 1.6 years) after the baseline visit. (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy was performed only once at the baseline visit. At both visits the motor symptoms bradykinesia, rigidity, resting tremor, postural tremor and axial symptoms were quantified by means of the motor part of the Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale.
The myocardial MIBG uptake correlated significantly with the annual progress of rigidity (r=-0.41, p<0.05; Pearson's correlation) and axial symptoms (r=-0.49, p<0.01). There was no significant correlation (p>0.05) between the initial myocardial MIBG uptake and the annual progress of the other motor symptoms.
The MIBG scintigraphy may predict the velocity of progress of rigidity and axial symptoms in the following 3-8 years. Such a prediction is not possible for the other motor symptoms resting tremor, postural tremor and bradykinesia.
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 03/2011; 17(5):372-5. · 3.27 Impact Factor