[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although there are studies investigating the pathologic origins of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), they have revolved around comparisons to normal elderly individuals or those with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or other dementias. There are few studies directly comparing the comprehensive neuropathology of amnestic (aMCI) and nonamnestic (naMCI) MCI.
The database of the Brain and Body Donation Program ( www.brainandbodydonationprogram.org ), a longitudinal clinicopathological study of normal aging and neurodegenerative disorders, was queried for subjects who were carrying a diagnosis of aMCI or naMCI at the time of autopsy. Neuropathological lesions, including neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), Lewy bodies (LBs), infarcts, cerebral white matter rarefaction (CWMR), cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), and concurrent major clinicopathological diagnoses, including Parkinson's disease (PD) were analyzed.
Thirty four subjects with aMCI and 15 naMCI met study criteria. Subjects with aMCI were older at death (88 vs. 83 years of age, p = 0.03). Individuals with naMCI had higher densities of LBs within the temporal lobe (p = 0.04) while subjects with aMCI had a propensity for increased NFTs in parietal and temporal lobes (p values = 0.07). After adjusting for age at death, the only significant difference was greater densities of temporal lobe NFTs within the aMCI group. Other regional pathology scores for plaques, NFTs, and LBs were similar between groups. Subjects met clinico-pathological criteria for co-existent PD in 24 % aMCI and 47 % naMCI while neuropathological criteria for AD were met in equal percentages of aMCI and of naMCI cases (53 %); these proportional differences were not significant (p values > 0.35). Furthermore, regardless of amnestic status, there was a greater presence of CAA (71 % of MCI with executive dysfunction vs. 39 % without p = 0.03) and a greater presence of CWMR (81 % of MCI with executive dysfunction and 54 % without p = 0.046) in MCI cases with executive dysfunction.
No single pathologic entity strongly dichotomized MCI groups, perhaps due to the pathologic heterogeneity found within both entities. However, these data suggest the possibility for naMCI to have a propensity for increased LBs and aMCI for increased NFTs in select anatomic regions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance:
Identifying measures that are associated with the cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) expansion in individuals before diagnosis of Huntington disease (HD) has implications for designing clinical trials.
To identify the earliest features associated with the motor diagnosis of HD in the Prospective Huntington at Risk Observational Study (PHAROS).
Design, setting, and participants:
A prospective, multicenter, longitudinal cohort study was conducted at 43 US and Canadian Huntington Study Group research sites from July 9, 1999, through December 17, 2009. Participants included 983 unaffected adults at risk for HD who had chosen to remain unaware of their mutation status. Baseline comparability between CAG expansion (≥37 repeats) and nonexpansion (<37 repeats) groups was assessed. All participants and investigators were blinded to individual CAG analysis. A repeated-measures analysis adjusting for age and sex was used to assess the divergence of the linear trend between the expanded and nonexpanded groups. Data were analyzed from April 27, 2010, to September 3, 2013.
Huntington disease mutation status in individuals with CAG expansion vs without CAG expansion.
Main outcomes and measures:
Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale motor (score range, 0-124; higher scores indicate greater impairment), cognitive (symbol digits modality is the total number of correct responses in 90 seconds; lower scores indicate greater impairment), behavioral (score range, 0-176; higher scores indicate greater behavioral symptoms), and functional (Total Functional Capacity score range, 0-13; lower scores indicate reduced functional ability) domains were assessed at baseline and every 9 months up to a maximum of 10 years.
Among the 983 research participants at risk for HD in the longitudinal cohort, 345 (35.1%) carried the CAG expansion and 638 (64.9%) did not. The mean (SD) duration of follow-up was 5.8 (3.0) years. At baseline, participants with expansions had more impaired motor (3.0 [4.2] vs 1.9 [2.8]; P < .001), cognitive (P < .05 for all measures except Verbal Fluency, P = .52), and behavioral domain scores (9.4 [11.4] vs 6.5 [8.5]; P < .001) but not significantly different measures of functional capacity (12.9 [0.3] vs 13.0 [0.2]; P = .23). With findings reported as mean slope (95% CI), in the longitudinal analyses, participants with CAG expansions showed significant worsening in motor (0.84 [0.73 to 0.95] vs 0.03 [-0.05 to 0.11]), cognitive (-0.54 [-0.67 to -0.40] vs 0.22 [0.12 to 0.32]), and functional (-0.08 [-0.09 to -0.06] vs -0.01 [-0.02 to 0]) measures compared with those without expansion (P < .001 for all); behavioral domain scores did not diverge significantly between groups.
Conclusions and relevance:
Using these prospectively accrued clinical data, relatively large treatment effects would be required to mount a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving premanifest HD individuals who carry the CAG expansion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
It is believed that progressive Lewy-type synucleinopathy (LTS) is primarily responsible for the worsening of motor and non-motor Parkinson's disease (PD) signs and symptoms. Characterization of quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) abnormalities across the spectrum of LTS to PD dementia (PD-D) may provide insight into the pathophysiology of PD cortical dysfunction. Here our enlarged EEG database was leveraged to characterize spectral QEEG abnormalities in asymptomatic autopsy-defined groups of control participants and incidental Lewy body disease (ILBD) and three clinically defined groups of participants with PD (cognitively normal PD, mild cognitive impairment PD, and PD-D).
The PD cohort was studied as part of the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders (AZSAND). AZSAND utilizes its Brain and Body Donation Program to perform prospective, standardized, regular longitudinal pre-mortem assessments until death. Resting EEG from subjects was analyzed for spectral domain QEEG measures of background rhythm frequency and global relative power in delta, theta, alpha and beta bands.
The various spectral QEEG measures showed differential changes specific to the groups compared. Important findings were background rhythm frequency showing the most pairwise differences across the groups, and this also was the only significant difference between control and ILBD. An increase in delta bandpower was characteristic of worsening cognitive deficits.
Different patterns of change amongst QEEG measures across LTS and PD cognitive states suggest that they correlate with heterogeneous pathophysiologies of cortical dysfunction within the PD clinical spectrum. In addition, the biomarker application of a specific spectral QEEG measure needs to be selectively suited to its study purpose.
European Journal of Neurology 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/ene.12878 · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To study biomarkers of angiogenesis in Parkinson disease (PD), and how these are associated with clinical characteristics, blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, and cerebrovascular disease.
In this cross-sectional analysis, 38 elderly controls and 100 patients with PD (82 without dementia and 18 with dementia) were included from the prospective Swedish BioFinder study. CSF samples were analyzed for the angiogenesis biomarkers vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF); its receptors, VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2; placental growth factor (PlGF); angiopoietin 2 (Ang2); and interleukin-8. BBB permeability, white matter lesions (WMLs), and cerebral microbleeds (CMB) were assessed. CSF angiogenesis biomarkers were also measured in 2 validation cohorts: (1) 64 controls and 87 patients with PD with dementia; and (2) 35 controls and 93 patients with neuropathologically confirmed diagnosis of PD with and without dementia.
Patients with PD without dementia displayed higher CSF levels of VEGF, PlGF, and sVEGFR-2, and lower levels of Ang2, compared to controls. Similar alterations in VEGF, PlGF, and Ang2 levels were observed in patients with PD with dementia. Angiogenesis markers were associated with gait difficulties and orthostatic hypotension as well as with more pronounced BBB permeability, WMLs, and CMB. Moreover, higher levels of VEGF and PlGF levels were associated with increased CSF levels of neurofilament light (a marker of neurodegeneration) and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (a marker of glial activation). The main results were validated in the 2 additional cohorts.
CSF biomarkers of angiogenesis are increased in PD, and they are associated with gait difficulties, BBB dysfunction, WMLs, and CMB. Abnormal angiogenesis may be important in PD pathogenesis and contribute to dopa-resistant symptoms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To quantify the loss of pigmented neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) of autopsy-confirmed Parkinson disease (PD) and incidental Lewy body disease (ILBD) vs age-matched controls (C).
Unbiased stereology methods were used to rigorously count number and measure volumes of nigral pigmented neurons in PD, ILBD, and C brains. The obtained stereologic results were correlated with Lewy body (LB), amyloid plaque (AP), neurofibrillary tangle (NFT), and vascular pathology loads assessed in nigral and extranigral regions of each PD, ILBD, and C brain. The stereologic measurements were also correlated to predeath motor and cognitive scores as available for each participant.
A marked nigral neuronal loss (NNL) in PD (-82%) and ILBD (-40%) compared to C (p < 0.0001) was found. While there was significant correlation between NNL and LB in some cortical areas of PD (i.e., olfactory bulb), there were no correlations between NNL and LB, AP, or NFT loads or cerebral infarct volumes in any other examined regions for PD and ILBD brains.
Using unbiased stereology methods, we show that there is a significant loss and absence of hypertrophic changes in nigral pigmented neurons of ILBD in comparison to C brains. Intriguingly, no significant correlations were found between NNL and LB loads in the SN of both PD and ILBD brains. These autopsy-verified stereologically based findings are novel and support ILBD as a pathologic condition. These results suggest possible new and alternative pathophysiologic hypotheses on the actual relationship between NNL and LB pathology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clinical diagnosis and classification of neurodegenerative diseases based on clinical examination or available biomarkers are currently insufficiently accurate. Although histologic examination is considered the gold standard for diagnosis, brain biopsies have been avoided because of the high risk-benefit ratio. However, brain biopsies have previously been performed with a craniotomy and excision of approximately 1 cm of cerebral cortex tissue, and it is possible that needle core brain biopsies would have a lower morbidity and mortality risk. Here, we compared the ability of simulated needle core biopsy versus simulated open biopsy to detect the frontal cortex histopathology associated with common neurodegenerative diseases in the elderly using 144 autopsy-proven cases. Simulated needle core biopsy, as compared with simulated open biopsy, gave close to 90% sensitivity and specificity for identifying graded densities of β-amyloid and neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, phosphorylated α-synuclein, and phosphorylated TDP-43 pathology. This study shows that the presence and densities of the most common molecular pathologies may be histopathologically assessed in simulated frontal cortex needle biopsies, with accuracy very close to that obtained by open cortical biopsy. An accurate estimation of the morbidity and mortality risk associated with cortical needle core biopsy will require specifically designed clinical trials in appropriate subjects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Hyposmia is common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and is also observed with normal aging. It can be ascertained through objective testing, but it is unclear whether patients are aware of deficits and whether this has implications for cognitive status.Methods
Subjects in the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders were studied with annual motor and cognitive testing with objective smell testing (University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test; UPSIT) done every third year beginning in 2002. Those with a baseline UPSIT <25th percentile (hyposmia) were studied for presence of unawareness of hyposmia and cognitive status.ResultsThere were 75 subjects with PD and 143 nonparkinsonian controls with hyposmia. Lack of awareness of hyposmia was present in 16% of PD subjects and 47% of those without PD. In PD, there was no increase in unawareness in PD with dementia. In non-PD controls, unawareness was correlated with presence of dementia. Unawareness of hyposmia correlated most strongly with the neuropsychiatric tests of learning and memory. In controls without dementia or PD, 48% were unaware.Conclusions
Querying patients about anosmia might be useful in parkinsonian disorders without objective testing. However, in elderly controls, it should be followed by objective testing and lack of awareness has implications for worsened cognitive status.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dysphagia is common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and causes significant morbidity and mortality. PD dysphagia has usually been explained as dysfunction of central motor control, much like other motor symptoms that are characteristic of the disease. However, PD dysphagia does not correlate with severity of motor symptoms nor does it respond to motor therapies. It is known that PD patients have sensory deficits in the pharynx, and that impaired sensation may contribute to dysphagia. However, the underlying cause of the pharyngeal sensory deficits in PD is not known. We hypothesized that PD dysphagia with sensory deficits may be due to degeneration of the sensory nerve terminals in the upper aerodigestive tract (UAT). We have previously shown that Lewy-type synucleinopathy (LTS) is present in the main pharyngeal sensory nerves of PD patients, but not in controls. In this study, the sensory terminals in UAT mucosa were studied to discern the presence and distribution of LTS. Whole-mount specimens (tongue-pharynx-larynx-upper esophagus) were obtained from 10 deceased human subjects with clinically diagnosed and neuropathologically confirmed PD (five with dysphagia and five without) and four age-matched healthy controls. Samples were taken from six sites and immunostained for phosphorylated α-synuclein (PAS). The results showed the presence of PAS-immunoreactive (PAS-ir) axons in all the PD subjects and in none of the controls. Notably, PD patients with dysphagia had more PAS-ir axons in the regions that are critical for initiating the swallowing reflex. These findings suggest that Lewy pathology affects mucosal sensory axons in specific regions of the UAT and may be related to PD dysphagia.