[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is characterized by progressive visuoperceptual and visuospatial deficits and commonly considered to be an atypical variant of Alzheimer disease. Mutations of the GRN gene are responsible for a large phenotypic spectrum, but, to our knowledge, the association of PCA with GRN mutations has never been described.
We studied a patient presenting with insidious impairment of basic visuoperceptual skills and apperceptive visual agnosia with predominant posterior atrophy corresponding to a visual/ventral variant of PCA. A heterozygous p.Arg110* (c.328C>T) GRN mutation was identified in this patient.
This study extends the clinical spectrum of GRN mutations that may be responsible for a PCA phenotype. The GRN phenotypes overlap other degenerative dementias and highlight the limits of actual nosologic boundaries in dementias. The GRN gene should be analyzed in patients with PCA, particularly when the damage progresses to anterior cerebral regions and a family history of dementia is present.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Worldwide multidisciplinary translational research has led to a growing knowledge of the genetics and molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) indicating that pathophysiological brain alterations occur decades before clinical signs and symptoms of cognitive decline can be diagnosed. Consequently, therapeutic concepts and targets have been increasingly focused on early-stage illness before the onset of dementia; and distinct classes of compounds are now being tested in clinical trials. At present, there is a growing consensus that therapeutic progress in AD delaying disease progression would significantly decrease the expanding global burden. The evolving hypothesis- and evidence-based generation of new diagnostic research criteria for early-stage AD has positively impacted the development of clinical trial designs and the characterization of earlier and more specific target populations for trials in prodromal as well as in pre- and asymptomatic at-risk stages of AD.
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 12/2014; · 2.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The extent to which social cognitive changes reflect a discrete constellation of symptoms dissociable from general cognitive changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is unclear. Moreover, whether social cognitive symptoms contribute to disease severity and progression is unknown. The current multicenter study investigated cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between social cognition measured with six items from the Blessed Dementia Rating Scale, general cognition, and dependence in 517 participants with probable AD. Participants were monitored every 6 months for 5.5 years. Results from multivariate latent growth curve models adjusted for sex, age, education, depression, and recruitment site revealed that social cognition and general cognition were unrelated cross-sectionally and throughout time. However, baseline levels of each were related independently to dependence, and change values of each were related independently to change in dependence. These findings highlight the separability of social and general cognition in AD. Results underscore the relevance of considering social cognition when modeling disease and estimating clinical outcomes related to patient disability.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 11/2014; · 14.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Allais Paradox represents one of the earliest empirical challenges to normative models of decision-making, and suggests that choices in one part of a gamble may depend on the possible outcome in another, independent, part of the gamble—a violation of the so-called "independence axiom." To account for Allaisian behavior, one well-known class of models propose that individuals' choices are influenced not only by possible outcomes resulting from one's choices, but also the anticipation of regret for foregone options. Here we test the regret hypothesis using a population of patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), a clinical population known to present ventromedial prefrontal cortex dysfunctions and associated with impaired regret processing in previous studies of decision-making. Compared to matched controls and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, we found a striking diminution of Allaisian behavior among bvFTD patients. These results are consistent with the regret hypothesis and furthermore suggest a crucial role for prefrontal regions in choices that typically stands in contradiction with a basic axiom of rational decision-making.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether apparent involvement of DYRK1A in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology makes it a candidate plasma biomarker for diagnosis, we developed a method to quantify plasma DYRK1A by immunoblot in transgenic mouse models having different gene dosages of Dyrk1a, and, consequently, different relative protein expression. Then, we measured plasma DYRK1A levels in 26 patients with biologically confirmed AD and 25 controls (negative amyloid imaging available on 13). DYRK1A was detected in transgenic mouse brain and plasma samples, and relative levels of DYRK1A correlated with the gene copy number. In plasma from AD patients, DYRK1A levels were significantly lower compared with controls (P<0.0001). Results were similar when we compared AD patients with the subgroup of controls confirmed by negative amyloid imaging. In a subgroup of patients with early AD (CDR=0.5), lower DYRK1A expression was confirmed. In contrast, no difference was found in levels of DYRK1B, the closest relative of DYRK1A, between AD patients and controls. Further, AD patients exhibited a positive correlation between plasma DYRK1A levels and cerebrospinal fluid tau and phosphorylated-tau proteins, but no correlation with amyloid-β42 levels and Pittsburgh compound B cortical binding. DYRK1A levels detected in lymphoblastoid cell lines from AD patients were also lower when compared with cells from age-matched controls. These findings suggest that reduced DYRK1A expression might be a novel plasma risk factor for AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the past 8 years, both the International Working Group (IWG) and the US National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association have contributed criteria for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) that better define clinical phenotypes and integrate biomarkers into the diagnostic process, covering the full staging of the disease. This Position Paper considers the strengths and limitations of the IWG research diagnostic criteria and proposes advances to improve the diagnostic framework. On the basis of these refinements, the diagnosis of AD can be simplified, requiring the presence of an appropriate clinical AD phenotype (typical or atypical) and a pathophysiological biomarker consistent with the presence of Alzheimer's pathology. We propose that downstream topographical biomarkers of the disease, such as volumetric MRI and fluorodeoxyglucose PET, might better serve in the measurement and monitoring of the course of disease. This paper also elaborates on the specific diagnostic criteria for atypical forms of AD, for mixed AD, and for the preclinical states of AD.
The Lancet Neurology 06/2014; 13(6):614-29. · 21.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and a major epidemic worldwide. Although clinical assessment continues to remain the keystone for patient management and clinical trials, such evaluation has important limitations. In this context, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers are important tools to better identify high-risk individuals, to diagnose AD promptly and accurately, especially at the prodromal mild cognitive impairment stage of the disease, and to effectively prognosticate and treat AD patients. Recent advances in functional genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics will hopefully revolutionize unbiased inquiries into several putative CSF markers of cerebral pathology that may be concisely informative with regard to the various stages of AD progression through years and decades. Moreover, the identification of efficient drug targets and development of optimal therapeutic strategies for AD will increasingly rely on a better understanding and integration of the systems biology paradigm, which will allow predicting the series of events and resulting responses of the biological network triggered by the introduction of new therapeutic compounds. In this scenario, unbiased systems biology-based diagnostic and prognostic models in AD will consist of relevant comprehensive panels of molecules and key branches of the disease-affected cellular neuronal network. Such characteristic and unbiased biomarkers will more accurately and comprehensively reflect pathophysiology from the early asymptomatic and presymptomatic to the final prodromal and symptomatic clinical stages in individual patients (and their individual genetic disease predisposition), ultimately increasing the chances of success of future disease modifying and preventive treatments.
Journal of Neurology 05/2014; · 3.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several potential disease-modifying drugs for Alzheimer's disease (AD) have failed to show any effect on disease progression in clinical trials, conceivably because the AD subjects are already too advanced to derive clinical benefit from treatment and because diagnosis based on clinical criteria alone introduces a high misdiagnosis rate. Thus, well-validated biomarkers for early detection and accurate diagnosis are crucial. Low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of the amyloid-β (Aβ1-42) peptide, in combination with high total tau and phosphorylated tau, are sensitive and specific biomarkers highly predictive of progression to AD dementia in patients with mild cognitive impairment. However, interlaboratory variations in the results seen with currently available immunoassays are of concern. Recent worldwide standardization efforts and quality control programs include standard operating procedures for both preanalytical (e.g., lumbar puncture and sample handling) and analytical (e.g., preparation of calibration curve) procedures. Efforts are also ongoing to develop highly reproducible assays on fully automated instruments. These global standardization and harmonization measures will provide the basis for the generalized international application of CSF biomarkers for both clinical trials and routine clinical diagnosis of AD.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 05/2014; · 14.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence that subjective cognitive decline (SCD) in individuals with unimpaired performance on cognitive tests may represent the first symptomatic manifestation of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The research on SCD in early AD, however, is limited by the absence of common standards. The working group of the Subjective Cognitive Decline Initiative (SCD-I) addressed this deficiency by reaching consensus on terminology and on a conceptual framework for research on SCD in AD. In this publication, research criteria for SCD in pre-mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are presented. In addition, a list of core features proposed for reporting in SCD studies is provided, which will enable comparability of research across different settings. Finally, a set of features is presented, which in accordance with current knowledge, increases the likelihood of the presence of preclinical AD in individuals with SCD. This list is referred to as SCD plus.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 05/2014; · 14.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TREM2 mutations were first identified in Nasu-Hakola disease, a rare autosomal recessive disease characterized by recurrent fractures because of bone cysts and presenile dementia. Recently, homozygous and compound heterozygous TREM2 mutations were identified in rare families with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) but without bone involvement. We identified a p.Thr66Met heterozygous mutation in a new consanguineous Italian family. Two sibs had early onset autosomal recessive FTLD without severe bone disorders. Atypical signs were present in this family: early parietal and hippocampus involvement, parkinsonism, epilepsy, and corpus callosum thickness on brain magnetic resonance imaging. This study further demonstrates the implication of TREM2 mutations in FTLD phenotypes. It illustrates the variability of bone phenotype and underlines the frequency of atypical signs in TREM2 carriers. This and previous studies evidence that TREM2 mutation screening should be limited to autosomal recessive FTLD with atypical phenotypes characterized by: (1) a very young age at onset (20-50 years); (2) early parietal and hippocampal deficits; (3) the presence of seizures and parkinsonism; (4) suggestive extensive white matter lesions and corpus callosum thickness on brain magnetic resonance imaging.
Neurobiology of Aging 04/2014; · 4.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health-care stakeholders increasingly recognize that the scientific and economic challenges associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are simply too great for individual stakeholder groups to address solely from within their own silos. In the necessary spirit of collaboration, we present in this perspective a set of multicountry multistakeholder recommendations to improve the organization of existing AD and dementia care and the development of new treatments. In brief, the five recommendations are (1) health-care systems must make choices regarding the patient populations to be diagnosed and treated, (2) health-care systems should use an evidence-based standard of care, (3) increased collaboration between public and private institutions is needed to enhance research, (4) reimbursement end points need to be agreed on and validated, and (5) innovative business models should be used to spur the introduction of new medicines.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 04/2014; · 14.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Two major sets of criteria for the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) recently have been published, one from an International Working Group (IWG) and the other from working groups convened by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer's Association (AA) in the United States. These criteria both aim to support a clinical diagnosis with in vivo evidence of AD pathology, using imaging methods and detection of biofluid biomarkers, and emphasize an aetiological diagnosis even in the prodromal stages of the disorder. Nonetheless, there are substantial differences in these two sets of criteria. Methods
An international group of investigators with experience in the clinical diagnosis of AD met at the Key Symposium in Stockholm, Sweden on 6 & 7 December 2012, to develop recommendations to harmonize these criteria. The group was led by individuals who were integral to the development of both the IWG and the NIA-AA criteria. The similarities and differences between the two sets of criteria were identified and open discussion focused on ways to resolve the differences and thus yield a harmonized set of criteria. ResultsBased on both published evidence as well as the group's collective clinical experience, the group was tasked with achieving consensus, if not unanimity, as it developed recommendations for harmonized clinical diagnostic criteria for AD. Conclusion
The recommendations are to: (i) define AD as a brain disorder, regardless of clinical status; (ii) refer to the clinically expressed disorder, including its prodromal stages, as symptomatic AD; (iii) after the successful completion of standardization efforts, consider incorporating biomarkers into diagnostic algorithms for AD; and (iv) allow nonamnestic, atypical presentations to be included as symptomatic AD, especially when there is supportive biomarker evidence.
Journal of Internal Medicine 03/2014; 275(3). · 5.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Family caregivers play a very important role in the support of people with dementia. Nevertheless, caregiving can have negative consequences on both physical and psychological levels. These repercussions can vary as a function of the relationship with the patient (children/spouses) and the type of pathology (Alzheimer's disease/Frontotemporal Dementia – AD/FTD). Some authors recently focused on the exploration of dysfunctional thoughts regarding caregiving. These are thoughts, ideas or attitudes which will influence the manner in perceiving a problem and reacting towards stressful and/or difficult situations. Dysfunctional thoughts guide behavior in a maladaptive way and also influence the acceptance of assistance. They can affect the amount of help received by caregivers. Losada et al. developed an assessment instrument sensitive to dysfunctional thoughts about caregiving called “The Dysfunctional Thoughts about Caregiving Questionnaire”.
The major objective of the current study is to present the French translation and adaptation of this questionnaire. The DTCQ allows for a straightforward quantitative and qualitative evaluation of specific dysfunctional thoughts. It is composed of 2 factors: “perception of sole responsibility” and “perfectionism”. It is self-rated and it consists of 16 items scored on a 5-point Likert scale; total scores range between 0 and 64. The secondary objective is to study the dysfunctional thoughts about caregiving as a function of the relationship with the patient (children/spouse) and the type of pathology (AD/FTD).
The questionnaire was initially translated following a four-step process. A pilot study was carried out comparing four different caregivers groups (n = 28) participating in a psychoeducational program: (1) Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients’ spouses, (2) AD patients’ children caregivers (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients’ spouses, and (4) FTD patients’ children. In addition to the dysfunctional thoughts about caregiving, the burden, the perceived stress, the anxiety and the depressive symptomatology were evaluated using respectively the Zarit burden interview (Zarit), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), the State-Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Montgomery and Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).
The French version of the DTCQ was both well accepted and well understood by the caregivers in each group. The results showed that the two factors of the questionnaire (“perception of sole responsibility” and “perfectionism”) were strongly correlated to the total score, as in the original validation article. In addition, the results showed the DTCQ was a tool that could differentiate subjects according to the status (spouses/children). Spouses had significantly higher scores on the DTCQ (25.3 ± 6.9) than children (17.3 ± 9.6). Secondly, the DTCQ differentiated the subjects according to the pathology of the relative. The spouses of patients with AD (14.6 ± 2.7) had significantly more “perfectionism” dysfunctional thoughts than spouses of patients with FTD (10.57 ± 3.3). This result does not seem related to the age since in our study; the two groups of spouses were of the same average age. Moreover, the results indicated that the total score on the DTCQ was positively correlated with age and perceived stress and the DTCQ perfectionism score to trait-anxiety.
The French version of the DTCQ is a useful instrument for the evaluation of dysfunctional thoughts about caregiving. The DTCQ can be used both for research and in clinical practice, in particular to detect potentially more “at risk” caregivers. However, the results should be interpreted with caution because of the small number of subjects.
Journal de Thérapie Comportementale et Cognitive 03/2014;