[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterised by well-known motor symptoms, whereas the presence of cognitive non-motor symptoms, such as emotional disturbances, is still underestimated. One of the major problems in studying emotion deficits in PD is an atomising approach that does not take into account different levels of emotion elaboration. Our study addressed the question of whether people with PD exhibit difficulties in one or more specific dimensions of emotion processing, investigating three different levels of analyses, that is, recognition, representation, and regulation.
Thirty-two consecutive medicated patients with PD and 25 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Participants performed a three-level analysis assessment of emotional processing using quantitative standardised emotional tasks: the Ekman 60-Faces for emotion recognition, the full 36-item version of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes (RME) for emotion representation, and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) for emotion regulation.
Regarding emotion recognition, patients obtained significantly worse scores than controls in the total score of Ekman 60-Faces but not in any other basic emotions. For emotion representation, patients obtained significantly worse scores than controls in the RME experimental score but no in the RME gender control task. Finally, on emotion regulation, PD and controls did not perform differently at TAS-20 and no specific differences were found on TAS-20 subscales. The PD impairments on emotion recognition and representation do not correlate with dopamine therapy, disease severity, or with the duration of illness. These results are independent from other cognitive processes, such as global cognitive status and executive function, or from psychiatric status, such as depression, anxiety or apathy.
These results may contribute to better understanding of the emotional problems that are often seen in patients with PD and the measures used to test these problems, in particular on the use of different versions of the RME task.
PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6):e0131470. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0131470 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purposeDepressed mood is a common psychiatric problem associated with Parkinson's disease (PD), and studies have suggested a benefit of rasagiline treatment.MethodsACCORDO (see the Appendix) was a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the effects of rasagiline 1 mg/day on depressive symptoms and cognition in non-demented PD patients with depressive symptoms. The primary efficacy variable was the change from baseline to week 12 in depressive symptoms measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-IA) total score. Secondary outcomes included change from baseline to week 12 in cognitive function as assessed by a comprehensive neuropsychological battery; Parkinson's disease quality of life questionnaire (PDQ-39) scores; Apathy Scale scores; and Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) subscores.ResultsOne hundred and twenty-three patients were randomized. At week 12 there was no significant difference between groups for the reduction in total BDI-IA score (primary efficacy variable). However, analysis at week 4 did show a significant difference in favour of rasagiline (marginal means difference ± SE: rasagiline −5.46 ± 0.73 vs. placebo −3.22 ± 0.67; P = 0.026). There were no significant differences between groups on any cognitive test. Rasagiline significantly improved UPDRS Parts I (P = 0.03) and II (P = 0.003) scores versus placebo at week 12. Post hoc analyses showed the statistical superiority of rasagiline versus placebo in the UPDRS Part I depression item (P = 0.04) and PDQ-39 mobility (P = 0.007) and cognition domains (P = 0.026).Conclusions
Treatment with rasagiline did not have significant effects versus placebo on depressive symptoms or cognition in PD patients with moderate depressive symptoms. Although limited by lack of correction for multiple comparisons, post hoc analyses signalled some improvement in patient-rated cognitive and depression outcomes.
European Journal of Neurology 05/2015; 22(8). DOI:10.1111/ene.12724 · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Cases of chronic inflammatory demyelinating poliradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) have been reported in hematopoietic stem cells transplantation complicated by graft versus host disease (GVHD). This study reviews the literature data and reports one additional case.Materials and MethodsA systematic review of the CIDP-like neuropathies associated with GVHD was conducted until January 2015, analyzing the clinical presentation and the response to different therapeutic regimens.ResultsNineteen patients with CIDP-like neuropathies associated with GVHD have been reported in literature including the present one. Fourteen subjects fulfilled the criteria for CIDP, while two cases presented with an asymmetric motor onset and one showed motor involvement only associated with anti-ganglioside antibodies. In addition, two subjects already affected by CIDP developed a significant relapse after GVHD.DiscussionThis study reviews the literature data and reports one additional case of CIDP and GVHD, suggesting that the two clinical entities might share a similar immunological background.
Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System 04/2015; 20(1). DOI:10.1111/jns.12108 · 2.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study analyzes the presence of dyskinesias-reduced-self-awareness in forty-eight patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD). As the association with executive dysfunction is a matter of debate and we hypothesize it plays an important role in dyskinesias self-unawareness, we analyzed the role of dopaminergic treatment on the medial-prefrontal-ventral-striatal circuitry using a neurocognitive approach. Special attention was given to metacognitive abilities related to action-monitoring that represent a novel explanation of the phenomenon.
PD patients were assessed using different rating scales that we devised to measure movement awareness disorders. In order to ascertain whether each variable measured at a cognitive-clinical level contributes to predicting the scores of the movement-disorder-awareness-scales, we conducted multiple logistic regression models using the latter as binary dependent variables. We used the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test-metacognitive-version to assess the executive functions of the prefrontal-ventral-striatal circuitry.
Data showed that a reduction of self-awareness using the Dyskinesia rating scale was associated with global monitoring (p=.04), monitoring resolution (p=.04) and control sensitivity (p=.04). Patients failed to perceive their performance, distinguish between correct and incorrect sorts, be confident in their choice and consequently decide to gamble during the task.
We did not find any association with executive functions using the Hypo-Bradykinesia rating scale.
Our findings indicate that when the comparator mechanism for monitoring attentive performance is compromised at a prefrontal striatal level, patients lose the ability to recognize their motor disturbances that do not achieve conscious awareness.
Key words: awareness of movement disorders, dyskinesias, Parkinson’s disease, self-awareness, metacognitive functions
Brain and Cognition 12/2014; 90. DOI:10.1016/j.bandc.2014.06.014 · 2.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: To evaluate the effect of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) on alexithymia, a deficit in affective regulation, comparing patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) submitted to STN-DBS (DBS group) to PD patients not yet treated with STN-DBS (pre-DBS group) and to healthy participants (C group).
Methods: We recruited 27 consecutive STN-DBS PD patients, 38 consecutive pre-DBS patients and 27 healthy participants. Patients were assessed for alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale), depression, [beck depression inventory (BDI)], and cognitive functions (reasoning, memory, attentional, and executive tests).
Results: The DBS patients performed worse than the pre-DBS patients in the corsi’s block-tapping test, in the phonemic fluency task and in the Frontal Assessment Battery. Around 30% of DBS (29.6%) and pre-DBS (31.6%) patients resulted alexithymic, compared with 14.8% in the C group. The results pointed out significantly higher alexithymia scores in both the DBS and pre-DBS groups compared with the C group, while no difference emerged between the DBS and pre-DBS groups. Pre-DBS group showed a significantly higher BDI score than the C group, while DBS group did not.
Conclusion: Although the results suggest that STN-DBS does not affect alexithymia, both the DBS and pre-DBS patients reported higher prevalence (about 30%) of alexithymia than did healthy subjects (14.8%).
Frontiers in Psychology 10/2014; 5(1168). DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01168 · 2.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This multi-center Italian prospective observational study reports the 4 months follow-up data of 87 patients affected by chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) shifted from intravenous to subcutaneous immunoglobulin treatment. A therapeutic shift from intravenous to subcutaneous immunoglobulin was performed in 87 patients (66 CIDP; 21 MMN) affected by immune-mediated peripheral neuropathies with evidence of a sustained clinical response to intravenous immunoglobulin. Patients were evaluated by means of the Overall Neuropathy Limitation Scale, Medical Research Council Scale and Life Quality Index questionnaire, both at the time of therapeutic shift and after 4 months of subcutaneous immunoglobulin treatment. A sustained clinical efficacy was observed after the switch to subcutaneous immunoglobulin: the Overall Neuropathy Limitation Scale score improved in the group of 66 CIDP patients (P = 0.018), with only one subject reporting a worsening of 1 point, and remained stable in the group of 21 MMN patients (P = 0.841), with one subject reporting a worsening of two points. An improvement in the patient's perception of therapeutic setting was reported in both groups. This large multi-center study confirms the short-term clinical equivalence of subcutaneous versus intravenous immunoglobulin and a possible improvement in the patient's perception of therapeutic setting with the subcutaneous administration. However, further studies are required to extend the results to a longer observational period.
Journal of Neurology 08/2014; 261(11). DOI:10.1007/s00415-014-7444-2 · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective To assess the frequency of symptoms of impulse control disorders (ICD, namely pathological gambling, compulsive sexual behaviour, compulsive eating and compulsive shopping) and related behaviours (hobbyism, punding, walkabout and dopamine dysregulation syndrome) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) with and without probable rapid eye movement, sleep behaviour disorder (pRBD).
Methods Two hundred and sixteen consecutive PD patients, attending two university-based movement disorders clinics, were screened for p-RBD using the RBD Single Question and the RBD Screening Questionnaire (RBDSQ). Current ICDs and related behaviours symptoms were assessed with the Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in PD (QUIP)-short form.
Results PD-pRBD patients (n=106/216;49%) had a longer PD duration, a higher Hoehn & Yahr score, a greater levodopa-equivalent daily dose (LEDD), but no difference in dopamine agonist use, compared to PD-without pRBD. A higher proportion of one or more current ICDs and related behaviours symptoms was reported in PD-pRBD compared to PD-without RBD (53% vs28%; p=0.0002). In a multivariate regression analysis accounting for gender, age of onset, PD duration, PD severity, depression score and total and dopaminergic agonist-LEDD, RBD was associated to a relative risk of 1.84 for any ICD or related behaviours symptoms (p=0.01), and to a risk of 2.59 for any ICD symptoms only (p=0.001). Furthermore, PD-pRBD had a more than fourfold risk for symptoms of pathological gambling (relative risk (RR): 4.87; p=0.049) compared to PD-without pRBD.
Conclusions The present study indicates that RBD is associated with an increased risk of developing symptoms of ICDs in PD. Identifying RBD in PD may help clinicians to choose the best therapeutic strategy.
Trial registration AU1023 Institutional Ethics Committee.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This observational study reports the long-term follow-up of 184 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients treated with subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS), retrospectively analyzing the outcomes of subjects with pre-surgical mild cognitive impairment (MCI) compared to those of patients with normal cognition. Patients were divided into PD-MCI or normal cognition groups at baseline, and then compared after 1, 3, 5 and >5 years of follow-up. Subjects assessed by outpatient clinical follow-up evaluation, not performing a complete clinical and neuropsychological follow-up assessment, were separately considered and rated according to their functional autonomy in daily living activities. The MCI prevalence at baseline was 23 %, increasing to 34 % at 1 year and over 40 % after 3 years. Dementia progressively affected more than 30 % of subjects after a median time of 6 years in the PD-MCI group and 11 years in the normal cognition group (p: 0.028). The mortality risk was slightly higher in PD-MCI patients. Outpatient clinical evaluations showed a progressive increase of subjects completely dependent in the activities of daily living, which ranged from the 11 % at 3 years to 23 % at 5 years and 31 % at >5 years. MCI can be frequently observed in PD patients, possibly influencing the outcome of surgical therapy. Our findings confirm the sustained long-lasting efficacy of STN-DBS on motor functions in both PD-MCI and normal cognition subjects. PD-MCI patients showed a more precocious cognitive impairment, as expected by natural history studies, but no case of dementia was observed early after surgery.
Journal of Neurology 06/2014; 261(9). DOI:10.1007/s00415-014-7414-8 · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disease, is based on the appearance of motor symptoms. A panel of protein biomarkers in the T-lymphocyte proteome was previously proposed as a Parkinson's disease signature. Here, we designed an LC-MS based method to quantitatively evaluate this protein signature by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) in T-lymphocytes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from a new cohort of nine patients with Parkinson's disease and nine unaffected subjects. Patients were classified using the discriminant function obtained from two-dimensional electrophoresis and protein amounts measured by MRM, thus assigning seven controls out of nine as true negatives and nine patients out of nine as true positives. A good discriminant power was obtained by selecting a subset of peptides from the protein signature, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.877. A similar result is achieved by evaluating all peptides of a selected panel of proteins (Gelsolin, Moesin, Septin-6, Twinfilin-2, Lymphocyte-specific protein 1, Vimentin, Transaldolase), with an area under curve of 0.840. Conversely, the signature was not able to classify the enrolled subjects when evaluated in whole mononuclear cells. Overall, this report shows the portability of the proposed method to a large-scale clinical validation study.
Journal of Proteome Research 06/2014; 13(8). DOI:10.1021/pr401142p · 4.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction. This study evaluates the efficacy of palmitoylethanolamide ultramicronized (PEA-um) as an add-on treatment in patients with diabetic or traumatic neuropathic pain (NP). Methods. 30 patients with chronic NP were assessed with Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), NP Symptom Inventory (NPSI), and Health Questionnaire Five Dimensions (EQ-5D), both at baseline and after 10 and 40 days of treatment with 1200 mg/die of PEA-um. All other therapies were maintained stable during the follow-up period. Results. VAS mean score significantly improved within the first 10 days, ranging from 8.20 ± 1.53 to 6.40 ± 1.83 (P < 0.002), with a further decrease to 5.80 ± 2.04 (P < 0.001) after 40 days of PEA-um administration. Moreover, NPSI total score improved from 5.2 ± 1.5 to 3.8 ± 2.1 (P: 0.025) and EQ-5D ranged from -0.30 ± 0.65 to 0.5 ± 0.34 (P < 0.001) between T0 and T2. Conclusions. This study reports the prospective short-term efficacy data of oral PEA-um in patients with diabetic or traumatic NP. A significant improvement was observed both in VAS and NPSI scores and in quality of life scales after 40 days of treatment, although some limitations should be considered, including the short followup and the open-label study design.
Pain Research and Treatment 05/2014; 2014(2):854560. DOI:10.1155/2014/854560
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is less data available regarding the characteristics of cognitive impairment in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in a population-based series.
Patients with ALS incident in Piemonte, Italy, between 2009 and 2011 underwent an extensive neuropsychological battery. Cognitive status was classified as follows: normal cognition, frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD), executive cognitive impairment (ALS-ECI), non-executive cognitive impairment (ALS-NECI), behavioural impairment (ALS-Bi), non-classifiable cognitive impairment. We also assessed 127 age-matched and gender-matched controls identified through patients' general practitioners.
Out of the 281 incident patients, 207 (71.9%) underwent the neuropsychological testing; of these, 19 were excluded from the analysis due previous conditions affecting cognition. Ninety-one (49.7%) patients were cognitively normal, 23 (12.6%) had ALS-FTD, 36 (19.7%) ALS-ECI, 10 (5.5%) ALS-NECI, 11 (6.0%) ALS-Bi and 11 (6.0%) non-classifiable cognitive impairment, 1 had comorbid Alzheimer's disease. Patients with ALS-FTD were older, had a lower education level, and had a shorter survival than any other cognitive group. Of the nine cases with C9ORF72 mutation, six had ALS-FTD, two ALS-ECI and one was cognitively normal; one of the five patients with SOD1 mutations and one of the five patients with TARBDP mutations had ALS-Bi.
About 50% of Italian patients with ALS had some degree of cognitive impairment, in keeping with a previous Irish study, despite the largely different genetic background of the two populations. The lower educational attainment in patients with ALS-FTD indicated a possible role of cognitive reserve in ALS-related cognitive impairment. ALS-ECI and ALS-NECI may represent discrete cognitive syndromes in the continuum of ALS and FTD.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 04/2014; 86(2). DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2013-307223 · 6.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus (STN-DBS) is an effective treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD), but only few studies investigated its long-term efficacy. Furthermore, little is known about the role of PD-subtype on STN-DBS long-term outcome.
To report the results of a long-term follow-up (mean 11 years, range 10-13) on 26 patients bilaterally implanted in two centres.
Patients were assessed preoperatively and 1, 5 and 11 years after the implant by the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and a battery of neuropsychological tests. Stimulation parameters, drugs dosages, non-motor symptoms and adverse events were also recorded.
At 11 years, stimulation significantly improved the motor symptoms by 35.8%, as compared to the preoperative off-state. Motor complications were well controlled, with a 84.6% improvement of dyskinesias and a 65.8% improvement of motor fluctuations. Despite this, the UPDRS-II-on score worsened by 88.5%, mainly for the worsening of poorly levodopa-responsive symptoms. More than 70% of the patients performed in the normal range in most of the neuropsychological tests, despite the development of dementia in 22.7%. Age at disease onset, axial subscore in off-condition and presence of REM behaviour disorder at baseline were found to be associated with a higher risk of developing disability over time.
Our study confirms the long-term safety and efficacy of STN-DBS in PD. Nevertheless, the functionality of patients worsens over time, mainly for the onset and progression of levodopa-resistant and non-motor symptoms. The role of PD-subtype seems to be relevant in the long-term outcome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
Assessing the frequency of Wearing-Off (WO) in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, and its impact on Quality of Life (QoL).
Consecutive ambulatory patients, who were on dopaminergic treatment for ≥1 year, were included in this multicentre, observational cross-sectional study. In a single visit, WO was diagnosed based on neurologist assessment as well as using the validated Italian version of a patient self-rated 19-question Wearing-Off Questionnaire (WOQ-19); WO was defined for scores ≥ 2. QoL was evaluated by the 8-item Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-8).
617 subjects were included, with a mean anti-Parkinson treatment duration of 6.6 ± 4.6 years, 87.2% were on levodopa treatment. Neurologists identified presence of WO in 351 subjects (56.9%), whereas 415 subjects (67.3%) were identified by the self-administered WOQ-19. In patients with a <2.5 years disease duration, WO was diagnosed in 12 subjects (21.8%) by neurologists and in 23 subjects (41.8%) by the WOQ-19. The most frequent WO symptoms, as identified by WOQ-19, were “slowness of movements” (55.8%) and “reduced dexterity” (48.8%). Younger age, female gender, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part II score and duration of anti-Parkinson treatment were found significantly associated with WO. The number of motor (p < 0.0001) and non-motor (p < 0.0001) WO symptoms correlated with PDQ-8 total score.
WO is common already at the early stages of PD and is underestimated by routine neurological clinical evaluation. The number of WO symptoms, both motor and non motor, increases along with disease duration and has a negative impact on patients QoL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prior researches have suggested that home-based subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) is equally effective and can be less expensive than hospital-based intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in treating chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) patients. This economic evaluation aims at comparing costs of SCIG vs IVIG for CIDP patients in Italy. A 1-year model-based cost-minimization analysis basically populated via neurologists' opinion was undertaken from a societal perspective. Health care resources included immunoglobulin; drugs for premedication and complications (rash, headache, and hypertension) management; time of various health care professionals; pump for SCIG self-administration; infusion disposables. Non-health care resources encompassed transport and parking; losses of working and leisure time for patients and caregivers. Unit or yearly costs for resources valuation were mainly obtained from published sources. Costs were expressed in Euro ( ) 2013. An extensive one-way sensitivity analysis (OWSA) and a scenario SA tested the robustness of the base case findings. Overall costs per patient amount to 49,534.75 (SCIG) and 50,895.73 (IVIG); saving in favour of SCIG reaches 1360.98. For both SCIG and IVIG, the cost driver was immunoglobulin (94.06 vs 86.06 % of the overall costs, respectively). Sensitivity analyses confirmed the consistency of the baseline results. SCIG may be a cost-saving therapy for Italian CIDP patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, a GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9ORF72 gene, located on chromosome 9p21 has been demonstrated to be the commonest cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to account for 5 to 10 % of apparently sporadic ALS. Relatively little is known about the brain metabolism profile of patients carrying the expansion. Our aim was to identify the [(18)F]FDG PET profile in ALS patients with the C9ORF72 expansion (C9ORF72-ALS).
Fifteen C9ORF72-ALS patients were compared with 12 patients with ALS and comorbid frontotemporal dementia (FTD) without the C9ORF72 expansion (ALS-FTD) and 30 cognitively normal patients with ALS without mutations of ALS-related genes (sALS). The three groups were then cross-matched to 40 neurologically normal controls. All patients underwent FDG PET within 4 months of diagnosis.
The C9ORF72-ALS patients compared with the sALS patients showed significant hypometabolism in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, insula, caudate and thalamus, the left frontal and superior temporal cortex, and hypermetabolism in the midbrain, bilateral occipital cortex, globus pallidus and left inferior temporal cortex. The ALS-FTD patients compared with the sALS patients showed more limited hypometabolic areas, including the orbitofrontal, prefrontal, anterior cingulate and insular cortex, and hypermetabolic areas, including the bilateral occipital cortex, the left precentral and postcentral cortex and superior temporal gyrus. The C9ORF72-ALS patients compared with the ALS-FTD patients showed hypometabolism in the left temporal cortex.
ALS patients with the C9ORF72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion had a more widespread central nervous system involvement than ALS patients without genetic mutations, with or without comorbid FTD, consistent with their more severe clinical picture.
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 01/2014; 41(5). DOI:10.1007/s00259-013-2667-5 · 5.38 Impact Factor