[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, a rare variant in the amyloid precursor protein gene (APP) was described in a population from Iceland. This variant, in which alanine is replaced by threonine at position 673 (A673T), appears to protect against late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). We evaluated the frequency of this variant in AD cases and cognitively normal controls to determine whether this variant will significantly contribute to risk assessment in individuals in the United States.
To determine the frequency of the APP A673T variant in a large group of elderly cognitively normal controls and AD cases from the United States and in 2 case-control cohorts from Sweden.
Case-control association analysis of variant APP A673T in US and Swedish white individuals comparing AD cases with cognitively intact elderly controls. Participants were ascertained at multiple university-associated medical centers and clinics across the United States and Sweden by study-specific sampling methods. They were from case-control studies, community-based prospective cohort studies, and studies that ascertained multiplex families from multiple sources.
Genotypes for the APP A673T variant were determined using the Infinium HumanExome V1 Beadchip (Illumina, Inc) and by TaqMan genotyping (Life Technologies).
The A673T variant genotypes were evaluated in 8943 US AD cases, 10 480 US cognitively normal controls, 862 Swedish AD cases, and 707 Swedish cognitively normal controls. We identified 3 US individuals heterozygous for A673T, including 1 AD case (age at onset, 89 years) and 2 controls (age at last examination, 82 and 77 years). The remaining US samples were homozygous for the alanine (A673) allele. In the Swedish samples, 3 controls were heterozygous for A673T and all AD cases were homozygous for the A673 allele. We also genotyped a US family previously reported to harbor the A673T variant and found a mother-daughter pair, both cognitively normal at ages 72 and 84 years, respectively, who were both heterozygous for A673T; however, all individuals with AD in the family were homozygous for A673.
The A673T variant is extremely rare in US cohorts and does not play a substantial role in risk for AD in this population. This variant may be primarily restricted to Icelandic and Scandinavian populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Background: Agitation is common across neuropsychiatric disorders and contributes to disability, institutionalization, and diminished quality of life for patients and their caregivers. There is no consensus definition of agitation and no widespread agreement on what elements should be included in the syndrome. The International Psychogeriatric Association formed an Agitation Definition Work Group (ADWG) to develop a provisional consensus definition of agitation in patients with cognitive disorders that can be applied in epidemiologic, non-interventional clinical, pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic interventional, and neurobiological studies. A consensus definition will facilitate communication and cross-study comparison and may have regulatory applications in drug development programs. Methods: The ADWG developed a transparent process using a combination of electronic, face-to-face, and survey-based strategies to develop a consensus based on agreement of a majority of participants. Nine-hundred twenty-eight respondents participated in the different phases of the process. Results: Agitation was defined broadly as: (1) occurring in patients with a cognitive impairment or dementia syndrome; (2) exhibiting behavior consistent with emotional distress; (3) manifesting excessive motor activity, verbal aggression, or physical aggression; and (4) evidencing behaviors that cause excess disability and are not solely attributable to another disorder (psychiatric, medical, or substance-related). A majority of the respondents rated all surveyed elements of the definition as "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" (68-88% across elements). A majority of the respondents agreed that the definition is appropriate for clinical and research applications. Conclusions: A provisional consensus definition of agitation has been developed. This definition can be used to advance interventional and non-interventional research of agitation in patients with cognitive impairment.
International Psychogeriatrics 10/2014; · 1.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite extensive research, an unmet need remains for protein biomarkers of Parkinson's disease (PD) in peripheral body fluids, especially blood, which is easily accessible clinically. The discovery of such biomarkers is challenging, however, due to the enormous complexity and huge dynamic range of human blood proteins, which are derived from nearly all organ systems, with those originating specifically from the central nervous system (CNS) being exceptionally low in abundance. In this investigation of a relatively large cohort (~300 subjects), selected reaction monitoring (SRM) assays (a targeted approach), were used to probe plasma peptides derived from glycoproteins previously found to be altered in the CNS based on PD diagnosis or severity. Next, the detected peptides were interrogated for their diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, as well as the correlation with PD severity as determined by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). The results revealed that 12 of the 50 candidate glycopeptides were reliably and consistently identified in plasma samples, with three of them displaying significant differences among diagnostic groups. A combination of four peptides (derived from PRNP, HSPG2, MEGF8, and NCAM1) provided an overall area under curve (AUC) of 0.753 (sensitivity: 90.4% and specificity: 50.0%). Additionally, combining two peptides (derived from MEGF8 and ICAM1) yielded significant correlation with PD severity, i.e., UPDRS (r= 0.293, p=0.004). The significance of these results are at least two-fold: 1) it is possible to use a targeted approach to identify otherwise very difficult to detect CNS related biomarkers in peripheral blood, and 2) the novel biomarkers, if validated in independent cohorts, can be employed to assist with clinical diagnosis of PD as well as monitoring disease progression.
Journal of Proteome Research 05/2014; · 5.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current study examined the association between pulse pressure (PP) and CSF-based biomarkers for Alzheimer disease, including β-amyloid 1-42 (Aβ1-42) and phosphorylated tau (P-tau) protein, in cognitively normal older adults.
One hundred seventy-seven cognitively normal, stroke-free older adult participants (aged 55-100 years) underwent blood pressure assessment for determination of PP (systolic - diastolic blood pressure) and lumbar puncture for measurement of CSF Aβ1-42 and P-tau. Pearson correlations and multiple linear regression, controlling for age, sex, APOE genotype, and body mass index, evaluated the relationship between PP and Alzheimer disease biomarkers.
PP elevation was associated with increased P-tau (r = 0.23, p = 0.002), reduced Aβ1-42 (r = -0.19, p = 0.01), and increased P-tau to Aβ1-42 ratio (r = 0.27, p < 0.001). After controlling for covariates, PP remained associated with P-tau (β = 0.18, p = 0.0196) and P-tau to Aβ1-42 ratio (β = 0.0016, p < 0.001) but was no longer associated with Aβ1-42 (β = -0.1, p = 0.35). Post hoc multivariate analyses indicated that increased PP was associated with all biomarkers in younger participants (aged 55-70 years) (Aβ1-42: p = 0.050; P-tau: p = 0.003; P-tau to Aβ ratio: p = 0.0007) but not older participants (aged 70-100 years).
PP elevation is associated with increased CSF P-tau and decreased Aβ1-42 in cognitively normal older adults, suggesting that pulsatile hemodynamics may be related to amyloidosis and tau-related neurodegeneration. The relationship between PP and CSF biomarkers is age-dependent and observed only in participants in the fifth and sixth decades of life.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether persisting cognitive complaints and postconcussive symptoms (PCS) reported by Iraq and Afghanistan war Veterans with blast- and/or combined blast/impact-related mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) are associated with enduring structural and/or functional brain abnormalities versus comorbid depression or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains unclear. We sought to characterize relationships among these variables in a convenience sample of Iraq and Afghanistan-deployed Veterans with (n=34) and without (n=18) a history of one or more combined blast/impact-related mTBIs. Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging of fractional anisotropy (FA) and macromolecular proton fraction (MPF) to assess brain white matter (WM) integrity; [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography imaging of cerebral glucose metabolism (CMRglu); structured clinical assessments of blast exposure, psychiatric diagnoses, and PTSD symptoms; neurologic evaluations; and self-report scales of PCS, combat exposure, depression, sleep quality, and alcohol use. Veterans with vs. without blast/impact-mTBIs exhibited reduced FA in the corpus callosum; reduced MPF values in subgyral, longitudinal, and cortical/subcortical WM tracts and gray matter/white matter border regions (with a possible threshold effect beginning at 20 blast-mTBIs); reduced CMRglu in parietal, somatosensory, and visual cortices; and higher scores on measures of PCS, PTSD, combat exposure, depression, sleep disturbance, and alcohol use. Neuroimaging metrics did not differ between participants with vs. without PTSD. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with a history of one or more blast-related mTBIs exhibit abnormalities of brain WM structural integrity and macromolecular organization and CMRglu which are not related to comorbid PTSD. These findings are congruent with recent neuropathologic evidence of chronic brain injury in this cohort of Veterans.
Journal of neurotrauma 10/2013; · 4.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreatitis is a complex, progressively destructive inflammatory disorder. Alcohol was long thought to be the primary causative agent, but genetic contributions have been of interest since the discovery that rare PRSS1, CFTR and SPINK1 variants were associated with pancreatitis risk. We now report two associations at genome-wide significance identified and replicated at PRSS1-PRSS2 (P < 1 × 10(-12)) and X-linked CLDN2 (P < 1 × 10(-21)) through a two-stage genome-wide study (stage 1: 676 cases and 4,507 controls; stage 2: 910 cases and 4,170 controls). The PRSS1 variant likely affects disease susceptibility by altering expression of the primary trypsinogen gene. The CLDN2 risk allele is associated with atypical localization of claudin-2 in pancreatic acinar cells. The homozygous (or hemizygous in males) CLDN2 genotype confers the greatest risk, and its alleles interact with alcohol consumption to amplify risk. These results could partially explain the high frequency of alcohol-related pancreatitis in men (male hemizygote frequency is 0.26, whereas female homozygote frequency is 0.07).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We explored whether changes in the expression profile of peripheral blood plasma proteins may provide a clinical, readily accessible "window" into the brain, reflecting molecular alterations following traumatic brain injury (TBI) that might contribute to TBI complications. We recruited fourteen TBI and ten control civilian participants for the study, and also analyzed banked plasma specimens from 20 veterans with TBI and 20 control cases. Using antibody arrays and ELISA assays, we explored differentially-regulated protein species in the plasma of TBI compared to healthy controls from the two independent cohorts. We found three protein biomarker species, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3, and epidermal growth factor receptor, that are differentially regulated in plasma specimens of the TBI cases. A three-biomarker panel using all three proteins provides the best potential criterion for separating TBI and control cases. Plasma MCP-1 contents are correlated with the severity of TBI and the index of compromised axonal fiber integrity in the frontal cortex. Based on these findings, we evaluated postmortem brain specimens from 7 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 7 neurologically normal cases. We found elevated MCP-1 expression in the frontal cortex of MCI cases that are at high risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. Our findings suggest that additional application of the three-biomarker panel to current diagnostic criteria may lead to improved TBI detection and more sensitive outcome measures for clinical trials. Induction of MCP-1 in response to TBI might be a potential predisposing factor that may increase the risk for development of Alzheimer's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether antioxidant supplements presumed to target specific cellular compartments affected cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers. DESIGN: Double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. SETTING: Academic medical centers. PARTICIPANTS: Subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease. Intervention Random assignment to treatment for 16 weeks with 800 IU/d of vitamin E (α-tocopherol) plus 500 mg/d of vitamin C plus 900 mg/d of α-lipoic acid (E/C/ALA); 400 mg of coenzyme Q 3 times/d; or placebo. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes from baseline to 16 weeks in CSF biomarkers related to Alzheimer disease and oxidative stress, cognition (Mini-Mental State Examination), and function (Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study Activities of Daily Living Scale). RESULTS: Seventy-eight subjects were randomized; 66 provided serial CSF specimens adequate for biochemical analyses. Study drugs were well tolerated, but accelerated decline in Mini-Mental State Examination scores occurred in the E/C/ALA group, a potential safety concern. Changes in CSF Aβ42, tau, and P-tau(181) levels did not differ between the 3 groups. Cerebrospinal fluid F2-isoprostane levels, an oxidative stress biomarker, decreased on average by 19% from baseline to week 16 in the E/C/ALA group but were unchanged in the other groups. CONCLUSIONS: Antioxidants did not influence CSF biomarkers related to amyloid or tau pathology. Lowering of CSF F2-isoprostane levels in the E/C/ALA group suggests reduction of oxidative stress in the brain. However, this treatment raised the caution of faster cognitive decline, which would need careful assessment if longer-term clinical trials are conducted. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00117403.
Archives of neurology 03/2012; · 7.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The most common pathogenesis for familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) involves misprocessing (or alternative processing) of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by γ-secretase due to mutations of the presenilin 1 (PS1) gene. This misprocessing/alternative processing leads to an increase in the ratio of the level of a minor γ-secretase reaction product (Aβ42) to that of the major reaction product (Aβ40). Although no PS1 mutations are present, altered Aβ42/40 ratios are also observed in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (SAD), and these altered ratios apparently reflect deposition of Aβ42 as amyloid.
Using immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry with quantitative accuracy, we analyzed in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of various clinical populations the peptide products generated by processing of not only APP but also an unrelated protein, alcadein (Alc). Alc undergoes metabolism by the identical APP α-secretases and γ-secretases, yielding a fragment that we have named p3-Alc(α) because of the parallel genesis of p3-Alc(α) peptides and the p3 fragment of APP. As with Aβ, both major and minor p3-Alc(α) s are generated. We studied the alternative processing of p3-Alc(α) in various clinical populations.
We previously reported that changes in the Aβ42/40 ratio showed covariance in a linear relationship with the levels of p3-Alc(α) [minor/major] ratio in media conditioned by cells expressing FAD-linked PS1 mutants. Here we studied the speciation of p3-Alc(α) in the CSF from 3 groups of human subjects (n = 158): elderly nondemented control subjects; mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects with a clinical dementia rating (CDR) of 0.5; SAD subjects with CDR of 1.0; and other neurological disease (OND) control subjects. The CSF minor p3-Alc(α) variant, p3-Alc(α) 38, was elevated (p < 0.05) in MCI subjects or SAD subjects, depending upon whether the data were pooled and analyzed as a single cohort or analyzed individually as 3 separate cohorts.
These results suggest that some SAD may involve alternative processing of multiple γ-secretase substrates, raising the possibility that the molecular pathogenesis of SAD might involve γ-secretase dysfunction.
Annals of Neurology 06/2011; 69(6):1026-31. · 11.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting more than 4.5 million people in the US. Genetic studies of AD have previously identified pathogenic mutations in three genes ( APP , PSEN1 and PSEN2 ) and polymorphisms in APOE as risk factors. These findings have led to a better understanding of the underlying disease mechanisms. However, half of all AD cases have no known genetic risk factors for disease. Most studies are designed to identify variants associated with risk or age at onset, but rarely cover other important facets of AD, such as disease progression or duration. In this study we have used an established AD biomarker (cerebrospinal fluid tau phosphorylated at threonine 181, ptau<sub>181</sub>) to find genetic variants that influence levels of ptau<sub>181</sub> in the cerebrospinal fluid. This novel and powerful approach has allowed us to identify a genetic factor located in the regulatory subunit of the calcineurin that is also strongly associated with rate of progression of AD. This study is important because it defines a strategy to find novel genetic factors influencing different facets of AD pathobiology including risk, onset and progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers are representative of biochemical changes in the brain. Collection of CSF by lumbar puncture (LP) is essential for biomarker analysis, which is important for research in neurodegenerative disorders. However, LP for research purposes has been controversial due to a reported high incidence of severe LP headache when using standard 18g or 20g Quincke needles with a beveled cutting tip. A procedural safety analysis was performed using the database of a multicenter, 13-week study of CSF cholinesterase activity. A 24g Sprotte atraumatic needle was used to collect CSF at baseline and at Week 13 from 63 older patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. There was a < 2% LP headache incidence, and a favorable safety profile was reported. In conclusion, LP performed with a 24g Sprotte atraumatic needle (blunt, "bullet" tip) was a well tolerated procedure, with good acceptability.
Current Alzheimer research 06/2009; 6(3):290-2. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study consists of a 14-week, two parallel group, randomized placebo controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of the alpha-1 adrenergic antagonist, prazosin, for reducing trauma nightmares and sleep disturbance and improving global function and sense of well-being, in 210 OIF and OEF combat-exposed returnees with PTSD and persistent raumarelated nightmares and disrupted sleep. A secondary aim is to assess efficacy of prazosin for reducing total PTSD symptoms, reducing symptoms of depression, improving quality of life, and reducing alcohol craving.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have demonstrated that specific neuropathologic features may be associated with the presence of visual hallucinations in dementia patients, but the clinical usefulness of these studies has been limited because their subjects were selected on the basis of neuropathologic findings rather than clinical presentations. This study seeks to investigate the demographic, clinical, and neuropathologic features of community-based dementia subjects with and without visual hallucations.
A prospective examination of the clinical and neuropathologic correlates of visual hallucinations in community-based dementia subjects.
One hundred forty-eight subjects with sufficient clinical and neuropathologic data from a community-based incident dementia autopsy case series.
Subjects were classified according to the presence or absence of visual hallucinations and subjects with visual hallucinations (N = 27) were younger at intake and more likely to exhibit agitation, delusions, and apathy than subjects without visual hallucinations (N = 121). Subjects with visual hallucinations were also more likely than subjects without visual hallucinations to have Lewy-related pathology (LRP) (78% versus 45%). In addition, a higher frequency of visual hallucinations was observed in subjects with neocortical LRP than subjects with limbic-, amygdala-, or brainstem-predominant LRP. Although Alzheimer disease with concomitant LRP was the most common neuropathologic subtype in the visual hallucinations-positive group (59%), the frequency of subjects with Alzheimer disease pathology did not differ significantly between those with and without visual hallucinations (74% versus 62%).
Subjects with visual hallucinations were more likely to have concomitant postural and gait disturbance, additional neuropsychiatric symptoms, and neocortical LRP than subjects without visual hallucinations. Visual hallucinations accompanying dementia have distinct clinical and neuropathologic characteristics that are important for prognosis and clinical management.
The American journal of geriatric psychiatry: official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 05/2009; 17(4):317-23. · 3.35 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current study aimed to compare the effects of different cholinesterase inhibitors on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) activities and protein levels, in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of Alzheimer disease (AD) patients.
AD patients aged 50-85 years were randomized to open-label treatment with oral rivastigmine, donepezil or galantamine for 13 weeks. AChE and BuChE activities were assayed by Ellman's colorimetric method. Protein levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Primary analyses were based on the Completer population (randomized patients who completed Week 13 assessments). 63 patients were randomized to treatment. Rivastigmine was associated with decreased AChE activity by 42.6% and decreased AChE protein levels by 9.3%, and decreased BuChE activity by 45.6% and decreased BuChE protein levels by 21.8%. Galantamine decreased AChE activity by 2.1% and BuChE activity by 0.5%, but increased AChE protein levels by 51.2% and BuChE protein levels by 10.5%. Donepezil increased AChE and BuChE activities by 11.8% and 2.8%, respectively. Donepezil caused a 215.2% increase in AChE and 0.4% increase in BuChE protein levels. Changes in mean AChE-Readthrough/Synaptic ratios, which might reflect underlying neurodegenerative processes, were 1.4, 0.6, and 0.4 for rivastigmine, donepezil and galantamine, respectively.
The findings suggest pharmacologically-induced differences between rivastigmine, donepezil and galantamine. Rivastigmine provides sustained inhibition of AChE and BuChE, while donepezil and galantamine do not inhibit BuChE and are associated with increases in CSF AChE protein levels. The clinical implications require evaluation.
Current Alzheimer research 03/2009; 6(1):4-14. · 4.97 Impact Factor