[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify potential genetic modifiers contributing to the phenotypic variability that is detected in patients with repeat expansions in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72), we investigated the frequency of these expansions in a cohort of 334 subjects previously found to carry mutations in genes known to be associated with a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases.
A 2-step protocol, with a fluorescent PCR and a repeat-primed PCR, was used to determine the presence of hexanucleotide expansions in C9ORF72. For one double mutant, we performed Southern blots to assess expansion sizes, and immunohistochemistry to characterize neuropathology.
We detected C9ORF72 repeat expansions in 4 of 334 subjects (1.2% [or 1.8% of 217 families]). All these subjects had behavioral phenotypes and also harbored well-known pathogenic mutations in either progranulin (GRN: p.C466LfsX46, p.R493X, p.C31LfsX35) or microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT: p.P301L). Southern blotting of one double mutant with a p.C466LfsX46 GRN mutation demonstrated a long repeat expansion in brain (>3,000 repeats), and immunohistochemistry showed mixed neuropathology with characteristics of both C9ORF72 expansions and GRN mutations.
Our findings indicate that co-occurrence of 2 evidently pathogenic mutations could contribute to the pleiotropy that is detected in patients with C9ORF72 repeat expansions. These findings suggest that patients with known mutations should not be excluded from further studies, and that genetic counselors should be aware of this phenomenon when advising patients and their family members.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The present study characterizes the relationship between report of stroke symptoms (SS) or TIA and incident cognitive impairment in the large biracial cohort of the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study. METHODS: The REGARDS Study is a population-based, biracial, longitudinal cohort study that has enrolled 30,239 participants from the United States. Exclusion of those with baseline cognitive impairment, stroke before enrollment, or incomplete data resulted in a sample size of 23,830. Participants reported SS/TIA on the Questionnaire for Verifying Stroke-free Status at baseline and every 6 months during follow-up. Incident cognitive impairment was detected using the Six-item Screener, which was administered annually. RESULTS: Logistic regression found significant association between report of SS/TIA and subsequent incident cognitive impairment. Among white participants, the odds ratio for incident cognitive impairment was 2.08 (95% confidence interval: 1.81, 2.39) for those reporting at least one SS/TIA compared with those reporting no SS/TIA. Among black participants, the odds ratio was 1.66 (95% confidence interval: 1.45, 1.89) using the same modeling. The magnitude of impact was largest among those with fewer traditional stroke risk factors, particularly among white participants. CONCLUSIONS: Report of SS/TIA showed a strong association with incident cognitive impairment and supports the use of the Questionnaire for Verifying Stroke-free Status as a quick, low-cost instrument to screen for people at increased risk of cognitive decline.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The correlation of clinical presentation to pathology in dementia syndromes is important to correctly classify and ultimately treat these conditions. However, despite careful clinical characterization, it remains difficult to accurately predict an underlying causative pathology in some cases. Alzheimer disease is a well-defined clinical entity having established diagnostic criteria and characteristic neuropathologic findings. Alzheimer pathology, however, can cause varying clinical syndromes, including both atypical motor and behavioral presentations.
Atypical clinical presentations of Alzheimer disease are reviewed in a case-based format. Corticobasal syndrome, with asymmetric Parkinsonism, dystonia, and apraxia, is increasingly recognized as a presentation of Alzheimer pathology. Frontal variant Alzheimer, clinically indistinguishable from behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bv-FTD), can present with difficulties in executive function, poor attention, and behavioral issues. Posterior cortical atrophy (the "visual variant" of Alzheimer) has predominant visuospatial dysfunction and can be an Alzheimer presentation. Finally, Alzheimer can present as logopenic progressive aphasia with word-finding difficulty.
Clinicopathologic correlation may be more complex than previously realized, and the location of the microscopic changes may have as much to do with the clinical presentation as the nature of the changes themselves. Recognizing these clinical syndromes can lead to greater accuracy in diagnosis and treatment.
The Neurologist 09/2012; 18(5):266-72. · 1.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dopamine agonists ropinirole and pramipexole exhibit highly specific affinity for the cerebral dopamine D3 receptor. Use of these medications in Parkinson's disease has been complicated by the emergence of pathologic behavioral patterns such as hypersexuality, pathologic gambling, excessive hobbying, and other circumscribed obsessive-compulsive disorders of impulse control in people having no history of such disorders. These behavioral changes typically remit following discontinuation of the medication, further demonstrating a causal relationship. Expression of the D3 receptor is particularly rich within the limbic system, where it plays an important role in modulating the physiologic and emotional experience of novelty, reward, and risk assessment. Converging neuroanatomical, physiological, and behavioral science data suggest the high D3 affinity of these medications as the basis for these behavioral changes. These observations suggest the D3 receptor as a therapeutic target for obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance abuse, and improved understanding of D3 receptor function may aid drug design of future atypical antipsychotics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine vascular risk factors, as measured by the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile (FSRP), to predict incident cognitive impairment in a large, national sample of black and white adults age 45 years and older.
Participants included subjects without stroke at baseline from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study with at least 2 cognitive function assessments during the follow-up (n = 23,752). Incident cognitive impairment was defined as decline from a baseline score of 5 or 6 (of possible 6 points) to the most recent follow-up score of 4 or less on the Six-item Screener (SIS). Subjects with suspected stroke during follow-up were censored.
During a mean follow-up of 4.1 years, 1,907 participants met criteria for incident cognitive impairment. Baseline FSRP score was associated with incident cognitive impairment. An adjusted model revealed that male sex (odds ratio [OR] = 1.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.43-1.77), black race (OR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.88-2.35), less education (less than high school graduate vs college graduate, OR = 2.21, 95% CI 1.88-2.60), older age (10-year increments, OR = 2.11, per 10-year increase in age, 95% CI 2.05-2.18), and presence of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH, OR = 1.29, 95% CI 1.06-1.58) were related to development of cognitive impairment. When LVH was excluded from the model, elevated systolic blood pressure was related to incident cognitive impairment.
Total FSRP score, elevated blood pressure, and LVH predict development of clinically significant cognitive dysfunction. Prevention and treatment of high blood pressure may be effective in preserving cognitive health.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spinal cord compression may be associated with a fusiform cord lesion on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images, leading to confusion with transverse myelitis and delaying effective surgical treatment.
We describe 5 patients referred for evaluation of suspected neuromyelitis optica in whom the final diagnosis was symptomatic cervical spinal stenosis. The patients had gradually progressive myelopathy, with symptoms progressing over an average of 34.4 weeks. Although cervical spinal cord MRI identified long T2 hyperintense lesions, gadolinium enhancement was localized to the level of maximum spinal cord compression, in contrast to the much more extensive distribution of gadolinium enhancement characteristic of myelitis. Compressive myelopathy symptoms responded poorly to corticosteroids, but responded well to surgical decompression.
Cervical cord compression due to spinal stenosis may lead to long intramedullary fusiform T2 hyperintensity on MRI, mimicking inflammatory myelopathy, but the diagnoses can be accurately distinguished by a combination of clinical and radiologic characteristics.
The Neurologist 03/2010; 16(2):120-2. · 1.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To characterize a kindred with a familial neurodegenerative disorder associated with a mutation in progranulin (PGRN), with emphasis on the unique clinical features in this kindred.
Antemortem and postmortem characterization of a kindred with a familial neurodegenerative disorder.
Multispecialty group academic medical center.
Affected members of a kindred with dementia with or without parkinsonism associated with a unique mutation in PGRN.
Of 10 affected individuals identified, 6 presented with early amnestic symptoms which resulted in initial diagnoses of Alzheimer disease or amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Some individuals presented with features characteristic of frontotemporal dementia. Mean age at onset was substantially younger in generation III (75.8 years; range, 69-80 years) than in generation II (60.7 years; range, 55-66 years). The pattern of cerebral atrophy varied widely in the affected individuals. Neuropathologic features in 6 individuals included frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive neuronal cytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions (FTLD-U with NII). PGRN analysis revealed a single base pair deletion in exon 2 (c.154delA), which caused a frameshift (p.Thr52HisfsX2) and, therefore, creation of a premature termination codon and a likely null allele.
In this large kindred, most affected individuals had clinical presentations that resembled Alzheimer disease or amnestic mild cognitive impairment associated with a mutation in PGRN and underlying FTLD-U with NII neuropathologic abnormalities. This finding is in distinct contrast to previously reported kindreds, in which clinical presentations have typically been within the spectrum of FTLD. The basis for the large difference in age at onset between generations requires further study.
Archives of neurology 02/2010; 67(2):171-7. · 6.31 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To characterize a cohort of individuals who have experienced rapidly progressive dementia with onset before age 45.
Very little data regarding the clinical features or clinical spectrum of rapidly progressive young-onset dementia (RP-YOD) is available, primarily consisting of case reports or small series.
A search of the Mayo Clinic medical record was employed to identify patients who had onset before age 45 of rapidly progressive dementia. All available medical records, laboratory data, neuroimaging studies, and pathologic data were reviewed.
Twenty-two patients met the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Behavioral and affective disorders, cerebellar dysfunction, and visual and/or oculomotor dysfunction were common early clinical features within the cohort, as were clinical features often associated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Diagnostic testing identified an etiology in most patients.
Presentations of RP-YOD result from a variety of etiologies and significant overlap in clinical features is observed. Clinical features often associated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease seem to be common within the entire cohort of RP-YOD patients. Diagnostic studies aided in establishing a diagnosis in most patients, however 5 had uncertain diagnoses despite exhaustive evaluation.
Cognitive and behavioral neurology: official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology 04/2009; 22(1):22-7. · 1.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rarity of young-onset dementia (YOD), the broad differential diagnosis and unusual clinical presentations present unique challenges to correctly recognize the condition and establish an accurate diagnosis. Limited data exist regarding clinical features associated with dementia prior to the age of 45.
We retrospectively assessed cognitive and noncognitive neurological characteristics of 235 patients who presented for evaluation of YOD to investigate the clinical characteristics of YOD compared to later-onset dementias and to identify clinical features associated with specific etiologies that may aid in the evaluation of YOD.
Multiple cognitive domains were affected in most patients, and no significant differences in affected domains existed between groups. Early psychiatric and behavioral features occurred at very high frequencies. Nearly 80% of this YOD cohort had additional noncognitive symptoms or signs as a feature of their disease. Chorea was strongly associated with Huntington disease. Parkinsonism was not seen in patients having an autoimmune/inflammatory etiology.
The rarity of YOD and the high frequency of early psychiatric features led to frequent misdiagnosis early in the clinical course. The high frequency of noncognitive symptoms and signs may aid clinicians in distinguishing patients requiring a more extensive evaluation for YOD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Onset of dementia before age 45 years presents a difficult clinical circumstance, having a broad differential diagnosis and numerous psychosocial implications for the patient and their family. Few data exist regarding the demographics characterizing this population or the etiologic diagnoses among those affected.
To characterize the demographic characteristics and the etiologic causes of dementia with age at onset younger than 45 years.
Observational, retrospective, single-cohort study.
Multispecialty group academic medical center.
We searched the Mayo Clinic Rochester electronic Medical Record Linkage System to identify individuals who were seen for evaluation of progressive cognitive decline between the ages of 17 and 45 years from January 1996 through December 2006. This search identified 235 individuals who met the established inclusion and exclusion criteria.
All available clinical, laboratory, magnetic resonance imaging, and pathological data were reviewed.
Causes varied, with neurodegenerative etiologies accounting for 31.1% of the cohort; Alzheimer disease was uncommon. Autoimmune or inflammatory causes accounted for 21.3%. At last follow-up, 44 patients (18.7%) had an unknown etiology, despite exhaustive evaluation. Cause varied with age, with inborn errors of metabolism being more common before age 30 years and with neurodegenerative etiologies being more common after age 35 years.
Young-onset dementia (age at onset, <45 years) includes a broad variety of etiologies, with few patients having a potentially treatable disorder. The etiologic spectrum and the relative percentages of patients within etiologic groups differed in important ways from existing reports of early-onset dementia (ie, age at onset, <65 years).
Archives of neurology 11/2008; 65(11):1502-8. · 6.31 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been identified as the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin inclusions (FTLD-U), defining a novel class of neurodegenerative conditions: the TDP-43 proteinopathies. The first pathogenic mutations in the gene encoding TDP-43 (TARDBP) were recently reported in familial and sporadic ALS patients, supporting a direct role for TDP-43 in neurodegeneration. In this study, we report the identification and functional analyses of two novel and one known mutation in TARDBP that we identified as a result of extensive mutation analyses in a cohort of 296 patients with variable neurodegenerative diseases associated with TDP-43 histopathology. Three different heterozygous missense mutations in exon 6 of TARDBP (p.M337V, p.N345K, and p.I383V) were identified in the analysis of 92 familial ALS patients (3.3%), while no mutations were detected in 24 patients with sporadic ALS or 180 patients with other TDP-43-positive neurodegenerative diseases. The presence of p.M337V, p.N345K, and p.I383V was excluded in 825 controls and 652 additional sporadic ALS patients. All three mutations affect highly conserved amino acid residues in the C-terminal part of TDP-43 known to be involved in protein-protein interactions. Biochemical analysis of TDP-43 in ALS patient cell lines revealed a substantial increase in caspase cleaved fragments, including the approximately 25 kDa fragment, compared to control cell lines. Our findings support TARDBP mutations as a cause of ALS. Based on the specific C-terminal location of the mutations and the accumulation of a smaller C-terminal fragment, we speculate that TARDBP mutations may cause a toxic gain of function through novel protein interactions or intracellular accumulation of TDP-43 fragments leading to apoptosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complimentary and alternative medicine has an extensive worldwide history and is commonly used by older patients. A number of different alternative medicines are used by patients having Alzheimer disease. It is both desirable and expected for clinicians to be acquainted with these medications.
This paper discusses the available clinical trial evidence regarding 8 agents commonly used by people having Alzheimer disease. We provide an overview of the history and basic scientific evidence available for each agent, followed by a critical analysis of the evidence available from clinical trials, including the number of participants, trial duration, and specific outcomes evaluated.
Although many of these compounds have been associated with interesting basic science, none has shown clear clinical benefit to date. Data available for some, such as Ginkgo biloba, curcumin, and huperzine A, suggest that further evaluation is warranted. Familiarity with this literature will allow clinicians to provide meaningful recommendations to patients who wish to use these agents.
The Neurologist 10/2008; 14(5):299-306. · 1.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe neurological complications which manifested after a patient with unsuspected pheochromocytoma was administered dihydroergotamine. Following administration of dihydroergotamine, the patient developed Balint syndrome, with the appearance of symmetric, bilateral occipital signal change on magnetic resonance imaging suggestive of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome.
Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain 07/2008; 48(8):1237-9. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in progranulin (PGRN) are associated with frontotemporal dementia with or without parkinsonism. We describe the prominent phenotypic variability within and among eight kindreds evaluated at Mayo Clinic Rochester and/or Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in whom mutations in PGRN were found. All available clinical, genetic, neuroimaging and neuropathologic data was reviewed. Age of onset ranged from 49 to 88 years and disease duration ranged from 1 to 14 years. Clinical diagnoses included frontotemporal dementia (FTD), primary progressive aphasia, FTD with parkinsonism, parkinsonism, corticobasal syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and others. One kindred exhibited maximal right cerebral hemispheric atrophy in all four affected individuals, while another had maximal left hemisphere involvement in all three of the affected. Neuropathologic examination of 13 subjects revealed frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions plus neuronal intranuclear inclusions in all cases. Age of onset, clinical phenotypes and MRI findings associated with most PGRN mutations varied significantly both within and among kindreds. Some kindreds with PGRN mutations exhibited lateralized topography of degeneration across all affected individuals.
Neurobiology of aging 11/2007; 30(5):739-51. · 5.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The progranulin gene (GRN) is mutated in 5-10% of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and in about 20% of patients with familial FTLD. The most common mutation in GRN is Arg493X. We aimed to establish the contribution of this mutation to FTLD and related disorders.
We measured the frequency of Arg493X in 3405 unrelated patients with various neurodegenerative diseases using Taqman single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping. Clinicopathological characterisation and shared haplotype analysis were done for 30 families with FTLD who carry Arg493X. To investigate the effect of potential modifying loci, we did linear regression analyses with onset age as the covariate for GRN variants, for genotypes of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE), and for haplotypes of the microtubule-associated protein tau gene (MAPT).
Of 731 patients with FTLD, 16 (2%) carried Arg493X. This mutation was not detected in 2674 patients who did not have FTLD. In 37 patients with Arg493X from 30 families with FTLD, clinical diagnoses included frontotemporal dementia, primary progressive aphasia, corticobasal syndrome, and Alzheimer's disease. Range of onset age was 44-69 years. In all patients who came to autopsy (n=13), the pathological diagnosis was FTLD with neuronal inclusions that contained TAR DNA-binding protein or ubiquitin, but not tau. Neurofibrillary tangle pathology in the form of Braak staging correlated with overall neuropathology in the Arg493X carriers. Haplotype analyses suggested that Arg493X arose twice, with a single founder for 27 families. Linear regression analyses suggested that patients with SNP rs9897528 on their wild-type GRN allele have delayed symptom onset. Onset ages were not associated with the MAPT H1 or H2 haplotypes or APOE genotypes, but early memory deficits were associated with the presence of an APOE epsilon4 allele.
Clinical heterogeneity is associated with GRN haploinsufficiency, and genetic variability on the wild-type GRN allele might have a role in the age-related disease penetrance of GRN mutations.
The Lancet Neurology 11/2007; 6(10):857-68. · 23.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Upregulated noradrenergic activity occurs early in cocaine withdrawal. Our previous work revealed impaired cognitive flexibility in acute cocaine withdrawal, a cognitive domain that appears to be modulated by noradrenergic activity. Therefore, we wished to determine the effect of beta-adrenergic antagonists on cognitive performance in acute cocaine withdrawal. Eleven subjects acutely withdrawing from cocaine were tested in this pilot study on tasks of cognitive flexibility as well as word fluency, attention, verbal memory, and spatial memory, off and on propranolol in a double-blinded manner. Propranolol significantly benefited certain aspects of cognitive flexibility in acute cocaine withdrawal, and improved some measures of verbal fluency and verbal recall. Cocaine withdrawal treatment is characterized by high failure rates. Further research is needed to determine the role this finding of a reversible cognitive impairment in cocaine withdrawal has in treatment.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As our society ages, age-related diseases assume increasing prominence as both personal and public health concerns. Disorders of cognition are particularly important in both regards, and Alzheimer's disease is by far the most common cause of dementia of aging. In 2000, the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease in the United States was estimated to be 4.5 million individuals, and this number has been projected to increase to 14 million by 2050. Although not an inevitable consequence of aging, these numbers speak to the dramatic scope of its impact. This article focuses on Alzheimer's disease and the milder degrees of cognitive impairment that may precede the clinical diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease, such as mild cognitive impairment.
Neurologic Clinics 09/2007; 25(3):577-609, v. · 1.34 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To perform a pilot study to examine a range of cognitive flexibility tasks early in cocaine withdrawal.
Previous neuropsychological investigations of cocaine withdrawal have conflicted regarding whether impaired cognitive flexibility occurs. However, most studies have examined patients later in withdrawal. Anxiety and yohimbine-induced panic are greatest early in withdrawal, and both anxiety and increased noradrenergic tone can impair cognitive flexibility.
Twelve patients acutely withdrawing from cocaine were compared with gender-, age-, and estimated premorbid intelligence-matched control subjects on tests of cognitive flexibility as well as verbal fluency, verbal memory, spatial memory, and attention.
As predicted, impairments were found on the cognitive flexibility tasks. Impairments also were present in verbal fluency and verbal memory but not spatial memory or attention.
We propose that the cognitive flexibility impairment may relate to the increased noradrenergic activation recently described in cocaine withdrawal. Impairments on verbal tasks may also relate to an impaired flexibility in the search of semantic networks. Further research will explore the effects of pharmacologic manipulation of the noradrenergic system on cognition in acute withdrawal. Recently, propranolol has been shown to benefit patients in cocaine withdrawal. Further research will explore whether impaired cognitive flexibility related to altered noradrenergic tone could serve as a mechanism for this treatment response.
Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology 07/2005; 18(2):108-12. · 1.19 Impact Factor