Familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by episodes of transient hemiparesis followed by headache. Two chromosomal loci are associated to FHM: FHM1 on chromosome 19 and FHM2 on chromosome 1q21-23. Mutations of the alpha-1A subunit of the voltage gated calcium channel (CACNA1A) are responsible for FHM1. FHM2 critical region spans 28 cM, hence hampering the identification of the responsible gene. Here, we report the FHM2 locus refining by linkage analysis on two large Italian families affected by pure FHM. The new critical region covers a small area of 0.9Mb in 1q23 and renders feasible a positional candidate approach. By mutation analysis, we excluded the calsequestrin and two potassium channel genes mapping within the narrowed FHM2 locus.
Based on new understanding of nondopaminergic pathways involved in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathophysiology, a selective adenosine A(2A) receptor antagonist, istradefylline, shows promise for the treatment of PD.
Istradefylline (40mg/day) was studied in levodopa-treated PD subjects experiencing prominent wearing-off motor fluctuations. At 23 North American sites, 196 subjects were randomized in a double-blind, 12-week outpatient clinical trial of istradefylline (114 completing the trial) or placebo (58 completing the trial). The primary efficacy measure was change from baseline to end point in the percentage of daily awake "off" time, recorded by subjects using a patient PD diary. Secondary end points evaluated "on" time (including "on time with dyskinesia"), the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, and a Clinical Global Impression-Improvement of Illness score. Clinical laboratory, electrocardiograms, vital signs, and adverse event monitoring comprised the safety monitoring.
After randomization, approximately 88% of subjects completed the double-blind period. Compared with baseline, the decrease of daily awake "off" time for istradefylline was a mean (+/- standard deviation) of -10.8 +/- 16.6% (95% confidence interval, -13.46 to -7.52) and for placebo, -4.0 +/- 15.7% (95% confidence interval, -7.73-0.31; p = 0.007 using two-way analysis of variance). This effect corresponded to changes from baseline in total daily awake "off" time of -1.8 +/- 2.8 hours for istradefylline and -0.6 +/- 2.7 hours for placebo (p = 0.005). Treatment-emergent adverse effects with istradefylline were generally mild.
Istradefylline was safe, well tolerated, and offered a clinically meaningful reduction in "off" time without increased troublesome dyskinesia.
To determine the role of recombinant human erythropoietin as a possible treatment option in Friedreich's ataxia, we performed an open-label clinical pilot study. Primary outcome measure was the change of frataxin levels at week 8 versus baseline. Twelve Friedreich's ataxia patients received 5,000 units recombinant human erythropoietin three times weekly subcutaneously. Frataxin levels were measured in isolated lymphocytes by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In addition, urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine and serum peroxides, were measured. Treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin showed a persistent and significant increase in frataxin levels after 8 weeks (p < 0.01). All patients showed a reduction of oxidative stress markers.
Myostatin is an endogenous negative regulator of muscle growth and a novel target for muscle diseases. We conducted a safety trial of a neutralizing antibody to myostatin, MYO-029, in adult muscular dystrophies (Becker muscular dystrophy, facioscapulohumeral dystrophy, and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy).
This double-blind, placebo-controlled, multinational, randomized study included 116 subjects divided into sequential dose-escalation cohorts, each receiving MYO-029 or placebo (Cohort 1 at 1 mg/kg; Cohort 2 at 3 mg/kg; Cohort 3 at 10 mg/kg; Cohort 4 at 30 mg/kg). Safety and adverse events were assessed by reported signs and symptoms, as well as by physical examinations, laboratory results, echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, and in subjects with facioscapulohumeral dystrophy, funduscopic and audiometry examinations. Biological activity of MYO-029 was assessed through manual muscle testing, quantitative muscle testing, timed function tests, subject-reported outcomes, magnetic resonance imaging studies, dual-energy radiographic absorptiometry studies, and muscle biopsy.
MYO-029 had good safety and tolerability with the exception of cutaneous hypersensitivity at the 10 and 30 mg/kg doses. There were no improvements noted in exploratory end points of muscle strength or function, but the study was not powered to look for efficacy. Importantly, bioactivity of MYO-029 was supported by a trend in a limited number of subjects toward increased muscle size using dual-energy radiographic absorptiometry and muscle histology.
This trial supports the hypothesis that systemic administration of myostatin inhibitors provides an adequate safety margin for clinical studies. Further evaluation of more potent myostatin inhibitors for stimulating muscle growth in muscular dystrophy should be considered.
The NOA-03 trial explored high-dose methotrexate alone in 37 patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma. The overall median survival was 25 months. After 4 years, the rate of leukoencephalopathy in patients surviving more than 12 months was 58% with and 10% without whole-brain radiotherapy given at relapse (p = 0.11). Attention deficits were found in all six tested patients, and memory deficits in four patients. Two patients had normal, three had moderately restricted, and one had markedly restricted quality of life. Thus, high-dose methotrexate with deferred radiotherapy had only moderate efficacy and was associated with significant neurotoxicity in long-term surviving patients.
The prospective multicenter NOA-03 trial, conducted by the Neuro-Oncology Working Group (NOA) of the German Cancer Society, was initiated to define the feasibility and efficacy of single-agent high-dose methotrexate therapy without concomitant radiotherapy in immunocompetent patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma. Thirty-seven patients (median age, 60 years) received 179 biweekly courses of 8 g/m2 methotrexate. Response was assessed after 3 and 6 courses. We had planned to enter 105 patients into the trial. Since fewer than the projected 18 of 37 patients achieved a complete response after an intermediate analysis, the trial was closed. In intention-to-treat analysis, 11 of 37 patients (29.7%) achieved complete response, whereas 14 of 37 patients (37.8%) were found to have progressive disease. The median relapse-free survival among complete response patients was 13.7 months. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that corticosteroid application during the first methotrexate course was associated with complete response. The regimen was well tolerated, but, unlike previously reported results, the activity of high-dose methotrexate was only moderate.
The objective of this study is to comprehensively define the genetic basis of early onset myasthenia gravis (EOMG).
We have carried out a 2-stage genome-wide association study on a total of 649 North European EOMG patients. Cases were matched 1:4 with controls of European ancestry. We performed imputation and conditional analyses across the major histocompatibility complex, as well as in the top regions of association outside the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region.
We observed the strongest association in the HLA class I region at rs7750641 (p = 1.2 × 10−92; odds ratio [OR], 6.25). By imputation and conditional analyses, HLA-B*08 proves to be the major associated allele (p = 2.87 × 10−113; OR, 6.41). In addition to the expected association with PTPN22 (rs2476601; OR, 1.71; p = 8.2 × 10−10), an imputed coding variant (rs2233290) at position 151 (Pro→Ala) in the TNFAIP3-interacting protein 1, TNIP1, confers even stronger risk than PTPN22 (OR, 1.91; p = 3.2 × 10−10).
The association at TNIP1 in EOMG implies disease mechanisms involving ubiquitin-dependent dysregulation of NF-κB signaling. The localization of the major HLA signal to the HLA-B*08 allele suggests that CD8+ T cells may play a key role in disease initiation or pathogenesis. ANN NEUROL 2012;
Twenty patients with Parkinson's disease were treated with the 8-alpha-ergoline derivative mesulergine. Participants were divided into two groups, and over a nine-week period, mesulergine dosage was increased to a maximum of either 10 or 20 mg daily. During this time levodopa-carbidopa (LD-CD) dosage was reduced and treatment was discontinued if possible. The dosage of LD-CD was reduced 75% in the 10 mg group and 74% in the 20 mg group. Patients in the low-dose group maintained their functional status and showed improvement in postural stability. Patients in the high-dose group showed improvement in each of the cardinal signs of parkinsonism. Adverse effects were generally mild and infrequent. Many adverse effects induced by LD-CD diminished or resolved. Our results suggest that mesulergine can be valuable in the management of Parkinson's disease, particularly in those individuals experiencing dose-limiting adverse effects from LD-CD.
Preclinical evaluation of neuroprotectants fostered high expectations of clinical efficacy. When not matched, the question arises whether experiments are poor indicators of clinical outcome or whether the best drugs were not taken forward to clinical trial. Therefore, we endeavored to contrast experimental efficacy and scope of testing of drugs used clinically and those tested only experimentally.
We identified neuroprotectants and reports of experimental efficacy via a systematic search. Controlled in vivo and in vitro experiments using functional or histological end points were selected for analysis. Relationships between outcome, drug mechanism, scope of testing, and clinical trial status were assessed statistically.
There was no evidence that drugs used clinically (114 drugs) were more effective experimentally than those tested only in animal models (912 drugs), for example, improvement in focal models averaged 31.3 +/- 16.7% versus 24.4 +/- 32.9%, p > 0.05, respectively. Scope of testing using Stroke Therapy Academic Industry Roundtable (STAIR) criteria was highly variable, and no relationship was found between mechanism and efficacy.
The results question whether the most efficacious drugs are being selected for stroke clinical trials. This may partially explain the slow progress in developing treatments. Greater rigor in the conduct, reporting, and analysis of animal data will improve the transition of scientific advances from bench to bedside.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega-3), on levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LIDs) in parkinsonian 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated monkeys.
We explored the effect of DHA in two paradigms. First, a group of MPTP monkeys was primed with levodopa for several months before introducing DHA. A second group of MPTP monkeys (de novo) was exposed to DHA before levodopa therapy.
DHA administration reduced LIDs in both paradigms without alteration of the anti-parkinsonian effect of levodopa indicating that DHA can reduce the severity or delay the development of LIDs in a nonhuman primate model of Parkinson's disease.
These results suggest that DHA can reduce the severity or delay the development of LIDs in a nonhuman primate model of Parkinson's disease. DHA may represent a new approach to improve the quality of life of Parkinson's disease patients.
This report describes the presence of reactive microglia, the accumulation of extracellular melanin, and the extensive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of monkeys administered 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) 5 to 14 years before death. This evidence of chronic neuroinflammation years after MPTP exposure is similar to that previously reported in humans. The monkeys were drug free for at least 3 years before death, indicating that a brief exposure to MPTP had instituted an ongoing inflammatory process. The mechanism is unknown but could have important implications regarding the cause of Parkinson's disease and possible approaches to therapy.
This report provides the first detailed neuropathological study of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced parkinsonism in humans. All 3 subjects self-administered the drug under the impression it was "synthetic heroin" and subsequently developed severe and unremitting parkinsonism, which was L-dopa responsive, at least in the earlier stages of illness. Survival times ranged from 3 to 16 years. Neuropathological examination revealed moderate to severe depletion of pigmented nerve cells in the substantia nigra in each case. Lewy bodies were not present. In Patients 1 and 2, there was gliosis and clustering of microglia around nerve cells. Patient 3 had a similar picture and also showed large amounts of extraneuronal melanin. These findings are indicative of active, ongoing nerve cell loss, suggesting that a time-limited insult to the nigrostriatal system can set in motion a self-perpetuating process of neurodegeneration. Although the mechanism by which this occurs is far from clear, the precedent set by the cases could have broad implications for human neurodegenerative disease.
A 31-year-old man who had had slowly progressive proximal limb and trunk muscle wasting and weakness for seven years presented with pneumonia related to weak respiratory muscles. Histochemical and electron microscopical study of biopsies from deltoid and quadriceps muscles showed lysosomal storage of glycogen as well as ENnervation and reinnervation, implying primary disease both of muscle and of lower motoneurons. Electromyographic activity suggested a denervating process. Activity of acid λ-1,4-glucoside (acid maltase) was severely ENcreased in muscle and urine. Neutral maltase activity and glycogen content were normal in muscle. The findings in this patient suggest that in the adult from of acid maltase deficiency a significant neurogenic component may contribute to muscle wasting and weakness, presumably because of involvement of spinal motoneurons.
A total of 36 patients with Batten disease (juvenile-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis), homozygous or heterozygous for the major mutation, a 1.02-kb deletion, in the CLN3 gene, were studied to relate their genotype to their clinical phenotype. The onset of visual failure and epilepsy was highly concordant in both groups. Great inter- and intrafamilial heterogeneity was demonstrated in the development of mental and physical handicap and in magnetic resonance imaging findings among both homozygous and heterozygous patients. The 1.02-kb deletion in homozygous form was always associated with mental and physical handicap, whereas the heterozygous phenotype could be extremely benign without affecting the intellectual level of the patient. Our data suggest that genetic background, modifying genes, and environmental factors all influence the final phenotype of Batten disease.
Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP) is an autosomal dominant disorder of the peripheral nerves leading to increased susceptibility to mechanical traction or compression. Some patients have been shown to be carriers of a 1.5-Mb deletion in chromosome 17p11.2, which corresponds to the duplicated region present in most patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A. Recently, evidence has been presented that the deletion is not the only cause of HNPP. To determine the prevalence of the 1.5-Mb deletion, we have examined 22 unrelated families with HNPP in the following two ways: by polymerase chain reaction analysis of marker loci D17S122 and D17S261, and by gene dosage measurements with DNA probes for D17S122 (VAW409R3a) and D17S125 (VAW412R3a) and for the PMP-22 gene. The efficiency and sensitivity of these methods is discussed. Our results show that the prevalence of the 17p deletion in our families with HNPP is 68%. One patient, presenting as a sporadic case, was found to be affected by a de novo deletion in the paternal chromosome. Single-strand conformation analysis of the protein-coding region of the PMP-22 gene did not reveal any mutation in patients from the 7 families lacking the 17p deletion. As a group, these families could not be distinguished by clinical, electrophysiological, or morphological features from the families with the deletion.
Finger movement-related responses were identified in three discrete sites of mesial frontal cortex in 7 normal subjects using high resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging. During imagination of the same movements there was a differential response with rostral areas more active than caudal areas. Humans have multiple motor areas in mesial frontal cortex that subserve different functions in motor planning and execution.
Inherited erythermalgia (erythromelalgia) is an autosomal dominant disorder in which patients experience severe burning pain in the extremities, in response to mild thermal stimuli and exercise. Although mutations in sodium channel Na(v)1.7 have been shown to underlie erythermalgia in several multigeneration families with the disease that have been investigated to date, the molecular basis of erythermalgia in sporadic cases is enigmatic. We investigated the role of Na(v)1.7 in a sporadic case of erythermalgia in a Chinese family.
Genomic DNA from patients and their asymptomatic family members were sequenced to identify mutations in Na(v)1.7. Whole-cell patch clamp analysis was used to characterize biophysical properties of wild-type and mutant Na(v)1.7 channels in mammalian cells.
A single amino acid substitution in the DIIS4-S5 linker of Na(v)1.7 was present in two children whose parents were asymptomatic. The asymptomatic father was genetically mosaic for the mutation. This mutation produces a hyperpolarizing shift in channel activation and an increase in amplitude of the response to slow, small depolarizations.
Founder mutations in Na(v)1.7, which can confer hyperexcitability on peripheral sensory neurons, can underlie sporadic erythermalgia.
Small-fiber neuropathy (SFN) is characterized by injury to small-diameter peripheral nerve axons and intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENF). Although mechanisms underlying loss of IENF in SFN are poorly understood, available data suggest that it results from axonal degeneration and reduced regenerative capacity. Gain-of-function variants in sodium channel Na(V) 1.7 that increase firing frequency and spontaneous firing of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons have recently been identified in ∼30% of patients with idiopathic SFN. In the present study, to determine whether these channel variants can impair axonal integrity, we developed an in vitro assay of DRG neurite length, and examined the effect of 3 SFN-associated variant Na(V) 1.7 channels, I228M, M932L/V991L (ML/VL), and I720K, on DRG neurites in vitro. At 3 days after culturing, DRG neurons transfected with I228M channels exhibited ∼20% reduced neurite length compared to wild-type channels; DRG neurons transfected with ML/VL and I720K variants displayed a trend toward reduced neurite length. I228M-induced reduction in neurite length was ameliorated by the use-dependent sodium channel blocker carbamazepine and by a blocker of reverse Na-Ca exchange. These in vitro observations provide evidence supporting a contribution of the I228M variant Na(V) 1.7 channel to impaired regeneration and/or degeneration of sensory axons in idiopathic SFN, and suggest that enhanced sodium channel activity and reverse Na-Ca exchange can contribute to a decrease in length of peripheral sensory axons. Ann Neurol 2012.
Human and animal studies have shown that Na(v)1.7 sodium channels, which are preferentially expressed within nociceptors and sympathetic neurons, play a major role in inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Inherited erythromelalgia (IEM) has been linked to gain-of-function mutations of Na(v)1.7. We now report a novel mutation (V400M) in a three-generation Canadian family in which pain is relieved by carbamazepine (CBZ).
We extracted genomic DNA from blood samples of eight members of the family, and the sequence of SCN9A coding exons was compared with the reference Na(v)1.7 complementary DNA. Wild-type Na(v)1.7 and V400M cell lines were then analyzed using whole-cell patch-clamp recording for changes in activation, deactivation, steady-state inactivation, and ramp currents.
Whole-cell patch-clamp studies of V400M demonstrate changes in activation, deactivation, steady-state inactivation, and ramp currents that can produce dorsal root ganglia neuron hyperexcitability that underlies pain in these patients. We show that CBZ, at concentrations in the human therapeutic range, normalizes the voltage dependence of activation and inactivation of this inherited erythromelalgia mutation in Na(v)1.7 but does not affect these parameters in wild-type Na(v)1.7.
Our results demonstrate a normalizing effect of CBZ on mutant Na(v)1.7 channels in this kindred with CBZ-responsive inherited erythromelalgia. The selective effect of CBZ on the mutant Na(v)1.7 channel appears to explain the ameliorative response to treatment in this kindred. Our results suggest that functional expression and pharmacological studies may provide mechanistic insights into hereditary painful disorders.
Over a 3-year period, we encountered 6 adults whose seizure control unexpectedly deteriorated with the occurrence of partial status epilepticus and daily multiple seizures. Analysis of the case histories and subsequent clinical follow-up for 1 1/2 to 3 years disclosed the following evidence that demonstrates the role of carbamazepine-epoxide in the development of the seizure exacerbation: (1) There were high serum carbamazepine-epoxide concentrations while serum carbamazepine concentrations were lower than or the same as baseline levels; (2) all patients were taking drugs that are known to increase serum carbamazepine-epoxide concentrations; (3) status epilepticus failed to respond to intravenous phenytoin loading; (4) seizure exacerbation in all patients was corrected by withholding carbamazepine dose; (5) seizure exacerbation recurred in 1 patient who resumed the same dose of carbamazepine; and (6) there were no prior status epilepticus or daily multiple seizures despite previous toxicities with other antiepileptic drugs in 3 patients. Our experience shows that inconspicuous elevation of carbamazepine-epoxide levels during polytherapy may precipitate a distinct state of drug toxicity characterized by severe exacerbation of seizures. Mental retardation may be a predisposition to this condition.
There is currently no pharmacological treatment that provides protection against brain injury in neonates. It is known that activation of an innate immune response is a key, contributing factor in perinatal brain injury; therefore, the neuroprotective therapeutic potential of innate defense regulator peptides (IDRs) was investigated.
The anti-inflammatory effects of 3 IDRs was measured in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated murine microglia. IDRs were then assessed for their ability to confer neuroprotection in vivo when given 3 hours after neonatal brain injury in a clinically relevant model that combines an inflammatory challenge (LPS) with hypoxia-ischemia (HI). To gain insight into peptide-mediated effects on LPS-induced inflammation and neuroprotective mechanisms, global cerebral gene expression patterns were analyzed in pups that were treated with IDR-1018 either 4 hours before LPS or 3 hours after LPS+HI.
IDR-1018 reduced inflammatory mediators produced by LPS-stimulated microglia cells in vitro and modulated LPS-induced neuroinflammation in vivo. When administered 3 hours after LPS+HI, IDR-1018 exerted effects on regulatory molecules of apoptotic (for, eg, Fadd and Tnfsf9) and inflammatory (for, eg, interleukin 1, tumor necrosis factor α, chemokines, and cell adhesion molecules) pathways and showed marked protection of both white and gray brain matter.
IDR-1018 suppresses proinflammatory mediators and cell injurious mechanisms in the developing brain, and postinsult treatment is efficacious in reducing LPS-induced hypoxic-ischemic brain damage. IDR-1018 is effective in the brain when given systemically, confers neuroprotection of both gray and white matter, and lacks significant effects on the brain under normal conditions. Thus, this peptide provides the features of a promising neuroprotective agent in newborns with brain injury.
Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is an increasingly recognized autosomal dominant disorder that leads to cerebrovascular manifestations in early adulthood. This study delineates the phenotypic spectrum and the natural history of the disease in 102 affected individuals from 29 families with biopsy-proven CADASIL. Recurrent ischemic episodes (transient ischemic attack [TIA] or stroke) were the most frequent presentation found in 71% of the cases (mean age at onset, 46.1 years; range, 30-66 years; SD, 9.0 years). Forty-eight percent of the cases had developed cognitive deficits. Dementia (28%) was frequently accompanied by gait disturbance (90%), urinary incontinence (86%), and pseudobulbar palsy (52%). Thirty-nine patients (38%) had a history of migraine (mean age at onset, 26.0 years; SD, 8.2 years), which was classified as migraine with aura in 87% of the cases. Psychiatric disturbances were present in 30% of the cases, with adjustment disorder (24%) being the most frequent diagnosis. Ten patients (10%) had a history of epileptic seizures. To delineate the functional consequences of ischemic deficits, we studied the extent of disability in different age groups. The full spectrum of disability was seen in all groups older than age 45. Fifty-five percent of the patients older than age 60 were unable to walk without assistance. However, 14% in this age group exhibited no disability at all. Kaplan-Meier analysis disclosed median survival times of 64 years (males) and 69 years (females). An investigation of the 18 multiplex families revealed marked intrafamilial variations.
DBH is a candidate gene in Parkinson's disease (PD) and contains a putative functional polymorphism (-1021C-->T) that has been reported to modify PD susceptibility. We examined -1021C-->T in a sample of 1,244 PD patients and 1,186 unrelated control subjects. There was no significant difference in allele (p = 0.14) or genotype (p = 0.26) frequencies between the two groups. A similar result was obtained after pooling our data with those previously published. Furthermore, we found no evidence for an effect of genotype on age at onset among patients. Our findings argue against DBH -1021C-->T as a risk factor or age at onset modifier in PD.
Information obtained over the past 25 years indicates that the amino acid glutamate functions as a fast excitatory transmitter in the mammalian brain. Studies completed during the last 15 years have also demonstrated that glutamate is a powerful neurotoxin, capable of killing neurons in the central nervous system when its extracellular concentration is sufficiently high. Recent experiments in a variety of preparations have shown that either blockade of synaptic transmission or the specific antagonism of postsynaptic glutamate receptors greatly diminishes the sensitivity of central neurons to hypoxia and ischemia. These experiments suggest that glutamate plays a key role in ischemic brain damage, and that drugs which decrease the accumulation of glutamate or block its postsynaptic effects may be a rational therapy for stroke.
In the genetically homogeneous Scandinavian population, we have investigated chromosome 5 and the HLA (human leukocyte antigen) region on chromosome 6p21 by applying linkage and association analyses on 106 white sibling pair families with multiple sclerosis. The importance of genes within the HLA region for the susceptibility of multiple sclerosis has previously been reported. More recently, findings have suggested importance of regions on chromosome 5. Half of chromosome 5 was analyzed by using 14 microsatellite markers and a susceptibility region with a maximum LOD score of 1.1 was identified. Chromosome 6 was analyzed by HLA-DR typing and using the TNF alpha microsatellite marker. A peak maximum LOD score of 2.0 was found at the HLA-DR marker. Association studies were made for all the markers, comparing 106 probands from the sibling pairs with 100 unrelated controls. None of the markers on chromosome 5 showed significant association with multiple sclerosis, whereas strong association between multiple sclerosis and DR2 was found, with an odds ratio of 3.7 (p < 10(-5)). It is surprising that association was not seen for any of the TNF alpha alleles including the 121-bp allele, although this allele was in positive linkage disequilibrium with DR2 in both patients and controls. Our results support the existence of multiple sclerosis susceptibility loci on chromosomes 5p and 6p21.
Kleine-Levin syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by relapsing-remitting episodes of hypersomnia, cognitive disturbances, and behavioral disturbances, such as hyperphagia and hypersexuality.
We collected detailed clinical data and blood samples on 108 patients, 79 parent pairs, and 108 matched control subjects. We measured biological markers and typed human leukocyte antigen genes DR and DQ.
Novel predisposing factors were identified including increased birth and developmental problems (odds ratio, 6.5). Jewish heritage was overrepresented, and five multiplex families were identified. Human leukocyte antigen typing was unremarkable. Patients were 78% male (mean age at onset, 15.7 +/- 6.0 years), averaged 19 episodes of 13 days, and were incapacitated 8 months over 14 years. The disease course was longer in men, in patients with hypersexuality, and when onset was after age 20. During episodes, all patients had hypersomnia, cognitive impairment, and derealization; 66% had megaphagia; 53% reported hypersexuality (principally men); and 53% reported a depressed mood (predominantly women). Patients were remarkably similar to control subjects between episodes regarding sleep, mood, and eating attitude, but had increased body mass index. We found marginal efficacy for amantadine and mood stabilizers, but found no increased family history for neuropsychiatric disorders.
The similarity of the clinical and demographic features across studies strongly suggests that Kleine-Levin syndrome is a genuine disease entity. Familial clustering and increased prevalence in the Jewish population support a role for a major genetic susceptibility factor. Considering the inefficacy of available treatments, we propose that disease management should primarily be supportive and educational.
Twenty-one members of a Swedish family suffering from myopathy and cardiomyopathy underwent neurological and cardiological investigations. Medical charts of 2 affected deceased patients were reviewed. Twelve patients had myopathy. The distribution of weakness was axial in mildly affected, axial and predominantly distal in moderately affected, and generalized in severely affected patients. The electromyogram showed signs of myopathy in 10 patients. Muscle biopsy specimens showed myopathic changes, rimmed vacuoles, and accumulation of desmin, dystrophin, and other proteins. Electron microscopy revealed granulofilamentous changes and disorganization of myofibrils. Several patients had episodes of chest pain or palpitations. Three men had arrhythmogenic right ventribular cardiomyopathy. Nonsustained ventribular tachycardia, atrial flutter, and dilatation of the ventricles mainly affecting the right ventricle were documented. Two of them had a pacemaker implanted because of atrioventricular block and sick sinus syndrome. Inheritance is autosomal dominant with variable onset and severity of skeletal muscle and cardiac involvement. Linkage analysis of candidate chromosomal regions showed a maximum 2-point LOD score of 2.76 for marker locus D10S1752 on chromosome 10q. A multipoint peak LOD score of 3.06 between markers D10S605 and D10S215 suggests linkage to chromosome 10q22.3, and this region may harbor a genetic defect for myofibrillar myopathy with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopahty.
Previously, we reported evidence of genetic heterogeneity in late-onset familial Alzheimer's disease, based on sex of affected parent, demonstrating linkage to chromosome 10q, a region identified by other groups and implicated as a quantitative trait loci for Abeta levels, in families with an affected mother. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and a memory encoding task, we now show differential brain activation patterns among asymptomatic offspring which correspond to the previous linkage finding. These results suggest the possibility that activation patterns may prove useful as a preclinical quantitative trait related to the putative familial late-onset AD gene in this chromosome 10 region.
The hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders characterized by progressive lower-limb spasticity. In this study, we performed linkage analysis on an autosomal recessive pure HSP family and mapped the disease to chromosome 10q22.1-10q24.1, a locus partially overlapping the existing SPG9 locus. We have either identified a novel locus for pure recessive HSP (SPG27), or we have found the first case of allelic disorders with different mode of inheritance in HSP. If the disorders are indeed allelic, our results have reduced the SPG9 interval by 3Mb with D10S536 and D10S1758 as flanking markers.
Inheritance patterns in twins and multiplex families led us to hypothesize that two loci were segregating in subjects with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), one predisposing to generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) and a second to myoclonic seizures. We tested this hypothesis by performing genome-wide scan of a large family (Family 01) and used the results to guide analyses of additional families. A locus was identified in Family 01 that was linked to GTCS (10q25-q26). Model-based multipoint analysis of the 10q25-q26 locus showed a logarithm of odds (LOD) score of 2.85; similar results were obtained with model-free analyses (maximum nonparametric linkage [NPL] of 2.71; p = 0.0019). Analyses of the 10q25-q26 locus in 10 additional families assuming heterogeneity revealed evidence for linkage in four families; model-based and model-free analyses showed a heterogeneity LOD (HLOD) of 2.01 (alpha = 0.41) and maximum NPL of 2.56 (p = 0.0027), respectively, when all subjects with GTCS were designated to be affected. Combined analyses of all 11 families showed an HLOD of 4.04 (alpha = 0.51) and maximum NPL score of 4.20 (p = 0.000065). Fine mapping of the locus defined an interval of 4.45Mb. These findings identify a novel locus for GTCS on 10q25-q26 and support the idea that distinct loci underlie distinct seizure types within an epilepsy syndrome such as JME.
The effect of cerebral hemorrhage on regional cerebral blood flow (RCBF) in awake, unrestrained rats was studied by comparing intracaudate injections of whole blood (N = 14), centrifuged blood (N = 2), and inert plastic (N = 1). RCBF was measured by the polarographic hydrogen clearance technique using chronically implanted electrodes in the cortex and caudate bilaterally.
After hemorrhage, animals became comatose and flows diminished 23 to 30% (p < 0.01) below baseline values. Recovery of RCBF to prehemorrhage values was accompanied by awakening and survival while persistently low RCBF in all regions occurred only in the 2 animals that died, suggesting that physiological changes which lower RCBF after hemorrhage may be harmful. Transient hyperfusion of the contralateral cortex occurred in 6 of 10 animals during the first 10 minutes after hemorrhage.
In all 8 animals tested daily there was significant hyperperfusion of one or both cortical regions during the second or third day after hemorrhage (mean increase in right cortex RCBF, 30%, p < 0.05; left, 45%, p < 0.01). Injection of an identical volume of plastic was not accompanied by hyperperfusion, suggesting that destruction of the caudate or addition of an inuracerebral mass was not responsible for the increase in blood flow. However, injection of centrifuged blood components caused immediate hyperperfusion, which persisted in some cortical regions on the following day. A substance in cerebral hemorrhage clot may cause increased cortical RCBF.
A 78-year-old woman suffered a stroke inside a magnetic resonance scanner while being imaged because of a brief transient ischemic attack 2 hours earlier. Diffusion-weighted images obtained 11 minutes after stroke showed tissue injury not found on initial images. The data show early, abrupt diffusion changes in hypoperfused tissue, adding to our understanding of the progression of microstructural abnormalities in the hyperacute phase of stroke.
Several reports have indicated that cortical resection is effective in alleviating intractable epilepsy in children with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Because of the multitude of cortical lesions, however, identifying the epileptogenic tuber(s) is difficult and often requires invasive intracranial electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring. As increased concentrations of serotonin and serotonin-immunoreactive processes have been reported in resected human epileptic cortex, we used alpha-[11C]methyl-L-tryptophan ([11C]AMT) positron emission tomography (PET) to test the hypothesis that serotonin synthesis is increased interictally in epileptogenic tubers in patients with TSC. Nine children with TSC and epilepsy, aged 1 to 9 years (mean, 4 years 1 month), were studied. All children underwent scalp video-EEG monitoring, PET scans of glucose metabolism and serotonin synthesis, and EEG monitoring during both PET studies. [11C]AMT scans were coregistered with magnetic resonance imaging and with glucose metabolism scans. Whereas glucose metabolism PET showed multifocal cortical hypometabolism corresponding to the locations of tubers in all 9 children, [11C]AMT uptake was increased in one tuber (n=3), two tubers (n=3), three tubers (n=1), and four tubers (n=1) in 8 of the 9 children. All other tubers showed decreased [11C]AMT uptake. Ictal EEG data available in 8 children showed seizure onset corresponding to foci of increased [11C]AMT uptake in 4 children (including 2 with intracranial EEG recordings). In 2 children, ictal EEG was nonlocalizing, and in 1 child there was discordance between the region of increased [11C]AMT uptake and the region of ictal onset on EEG. The only child whose [11C]AMT scan showed no regions of increased uptake had a left frontal seizure focus on EEG; however, at the time of his [11C]AMT PET scan, his seizures had come under control. [11C]AMT PET may be a powerful tool in differentiating between epileptogenic and nonepileptogenic tubers in patients with TSC.
This study examined the temporal profile of ischemic neuronal damage following transient bilateral forebrain ischemia in the rat model of four-vessel occlusion. Wistar rats were subjected to transient but severe forebrain ischemia by permanently occluding the vertebral arteries and 24 hours later temporarily occluding the common carotid arteries for 10, 20, or 30 minutes. Carotid artery blood flow was restored and the rats were killed by perfusion-fixation after 3, 6, 24, and 72 hours. Rats with postischemic convulsions were discarded. Ischemic neuronal damage was graded in accordance with conventional neuropathological criteria. Ten minutes of four-vessel occlusion produced scattered ischemic cell change in the cerebral hemispheres of most rats. The time to onset of visible neuronal damage varied among brain regions and in some regions progressively worsened with time. After 30 minutes of ischemia, small to medium-sized striatal neurons were damaged early while the initiation of visible damage to hippocampal neurons in the h1 zone was delayed for 3 to 6 hours. The number of damaged neurons in neocortex (layer 3, layers 5 and 6, or both) and hippocampus (h1, h3-5, paramedian zone) increased significantly (p less than 0.01) between 24 and 72 hours. The unique delay in onset of ischemic cell change and the protracted increase in its incidence between 24 and 72 hours could reflect either delayed appearance of ischemic change in previously killed neurons or a delayed insult that continued to jeopardize compromised but otherwise viable neurons during the postischemic period.
Language skills continue to develop rapidly in children during the school-age years, and the "snapshot" view of the neural substrates of language provided by current neuroimaging studies cannot capture the dynamic changes associated with brain development. The aim of this study was to conduct a 5-year longitudinal investigation of language development using functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy children.
Thirty subjects enrolled at ages 5, 6, or 7 were examined annually for 5 years using a 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner and a verb generation task. Data analysis was conducted based on a general linear model that was modified to investigate developmental changes whereas minimizing the potential for missing data.
With increasing age, there is progressive participation in language processing by the inferior/middle frontal, middle temporal, and angular gyri of the left hemisphere and the lingual and inferior temporal gyri of the right hemisphere and regression of participation of the left posterior insula/extrastriate cortex, left superior frontal and right anterior cingulate gyri, and left thalamus.
The age-related changes observed in this study provide evidence of increased neuroplasticity of language in this age group and may have implications for further investigations of normal and aberrant language development.
Among patients with chronic idiopathic nonfamilial polyneuropathy studied 3 to 21 years after onset, we identified 11 cases associated with monoclonal gammopathy (MCG) (5 with IgGK, 4 with IgMK, 2 with IgMλ). The patients, aged 29 to 80 years, presented with sensorimotor polyneuropathy of insidious onset and slow, nonfluctuating progression, delayed motor and sensory nerve conduction, and increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protein. None of the patients in the initial or follow-up study (mean, 9.2 years) had or developed signs of multiple myeloma, malignant plasma cell dyscrasia, macroglobulinemia syndrome, amyloidosis, neoplasia, or other associated illness.
The CSF revealed abnormalities of protein electrophoresis or immunoelectrophoresis in 9 of the 11 patients. Three of 5 sural nerve biopsies studied by immunofluorescence demonstrated deposition in nerve fibers of the light chain characteristic of the abnormal circulating immunoglobulin. The findings suggest that these patients form a distinct subset of the dysimmune neuropathies. Although the immunoglobulin deposition and abnormal protein patterns in serum and CSF could be secondary to nerve damage, we propose that an immunopathological mechanism underlies the neuropathy. Immunosuppressants had minimal to marked beneficial effect in 4 of 5 patients, indicating that this polyneuropathy is potentially treatable.
Neuromuscular disorders reported in association with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection include several forms of peripheral neuropathy and polymyositis. We report 11 patients with HIV-associated myopathy. Five patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), 2 with AIDS-related complex, and 4 otherwise asymptomatic HIV-infected patients developed progressive proximal muscle weakness. Serum creatine phosphokinase levels were elevated and electromyography revealed abnormal spontaneous activity and myopathy in most patients. All 8 muscle biopsy specimens showed fiber necrosis. Four had inflammatory infiltrates, and nemaline rod bodies were prominent in 3. Immunosuppressant therapy in 5 patients resulted in improvement. Attempts at viral localization in 4 muscle biopsy specimens were unsuccessful. These findings suggest a distinct association between HIV infection and myopathy with features atypical for polymyositis.
We describe the use of carbon-11-labeled 3-N-methylspiperone, a ligand that preferentially binds to dopamine receptors in vivo, to image the receptors by positron emission tomography scanning in baboons and, for the first time, in a human. The method has now been used in 58 humans for noninvasive assessment of the state of brain dopamine receptors under normal and pathological conditions.
Progressive brain damage after transient cerebral ischemia may be related to changes in postischemic cerebral blood flow and metabolism. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and cerebral glucose utilization (rCGU) were measured in adult rats prior to, during (only rCBF), and serially after transient forebrain ischemia. Animals were subjected to 30 minutes of forebrain ischemia by occluding both common carotid arteries 24 hours after cauterizing the vertebral arteries. Regional CBF was measured by the indicator-fractionation technique using 4-iodo-[14C]-antipyrine. Regional CGU was measured by the 2-[14C]deoxyglucose method. The results were correlated with the distribution and progression of ischemic neuronal damage in animals subjected to an identical ischemic insult. Cerebral blood flow to forebrain after 30 minutes of moderate to severe ischemia (less than 10% control CBF) was characterized by 5 to 15 minutes of hyperemia; rCBF then fell below normal and remained low for as long as 24 hours. Post-ischemic glucose utilization in the forebrain, except in the hippocampus, was depressed below control values at 1 hour and either remained low (neocortex, striatum) or gradually rose to normal (white matter) by 48 hours. In the hippocampus, glucose utilization equaled the control value at 1 hour and fell below control between 24 and 48 hours. The appearance of moderate to severe morphological damage in striatum and hippocampus coincided with a late rise of rCBF above normal and with a fall of rCGU; the late depression of rCGU was usually preceded by a period during which metabolism was increased relative to adjacent tissue. Further refinement of these studies may help identify salvageable brain after ischemia and define ways to manipulate CBF and metabolism in the treatment of stroke.
Imaging of myelin tracts in vivo would greatly improve the monitoring of demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). To date, no imaging technique specifically targets demyelination and remyelination. Recently, amyloid markers related to Congo red have been shown to bind to central nervous system (CNS) myelin. Here we questioned whether the thioflavine-T derivative 2-(4'-methylaminophenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole (PIB), which also binds to amyloid plaques, could serve as a myelin marker.
PIB fixation to myelin was studied by fluorescence in the normal and dysmyelinating mouse brain, as well as in the postmortem brain of MS patients. Positron emission tomography (PET) experiments were conducted using [¹¹C]PIB in baboons and in a proof of concept clinical study in 2 MS patients.
Applied directly on tissue sections or after intraperitoneal injection, PIB stained CNS myelin, and the decrease in the level of fixation paralleled the amount of myelin loss in a dysmyelinating mutant. In normally myelinated areas of postmortem MS brain, demyelinated and remyelinated lesions were clearly distinguishable by the differential intensity of labeling observed with PIB. PET using intravenously injected radiolabeled [¹¹C]PIB imaged CNS myelin in baboons and humans. In MS patients, the dynamic analysis of PET acquisitions allowed quantitative assessment of demyelination.
PIB could be used as an imaging marker to quantify myelin loss and repair in demyelinating diseases.
Neuroimaging is an essential component of the acute stroke evaluation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is more accurate than computed tomography (CT) for the diagnosis of stroke, but is more costly and time-consuming. We sought to describe changes in MRI utilization from 1999 to 2008.
We performed a serial cross-sectional study with time trends of neuroimaging in patients with a primary International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition, Clinical Modification discharge diagnosis of stroke admitted through the emergency department in the State Inpatient Databases from 10 states. MRI utilization was measured by Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project criteria. Data were included for states from 1999 to 2008 where MRI utilization could be identified.
A total of 624,842 patients were hospitalized for stroke in the period of interest. MRI utilization increased in all states. Overall, MRI absolute utilization increased 38%, and relative utilization increased 235% (28% of strokes in 1999 to 66% in 2008). Over the same interval, CT utilization changed little (92% in 1999 to 95% in 2008). MRI use varied widely by state. In 2008, MRI utilization ranged from a low of 55% of strokes in Oregon to a high of 79% in Arizona. Diagnostic imaging was the fastest growing component of total hospital costs (213% increase from 1999 to 2007).
MRI utilization during stroke hospitalization increased substantially, with wide geographic variation. Rather than replacing CT, MRI is supplementing it. Consequently, neuroimaging has been the fastest growing component of hospitalization cost in stroke. Recent neuroimaging practices in stroke are not standardized and may represent an opportunity to improve the efficiency of stroke care.
The United Kingdom National General Practice Study of Epilepsy is a prospective, population-based study of newly diagnosed epilepsy. A cohort of 792 patients has now been followed for up to 14 years (median follow-up [25th, 75th percentiles] 11.8 years, range 10.6-11.7 years), a total of 11,400 person-years. These data are sufficient for a detailed analysis of mortality in this early phase of epilepsy. Over 70% of patients in this cohort have developed lasting remission from seizures, although the mortality rate in the long term was still twice that of the general population. The standardized mortality ratio (SMR), the number of observed deaths per number of expected deaths, was 2.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.8, 2.4). Patients with acute symptomatic epilepsy (SMR 3.0; 95% CI = 2.0, 4.3), remote symptomatic epilepsy (SMR 3.7; 95% CI = 2.9, 4.6), and epilepsy due to congenital neurological deficits (SMR 25; 95% CI = 5.1, 73.1) had significantly increased long-term mortality rates, whereas patients with idiopathic epilepsy did not (SMR 1.3; 95% CI = 0.9, 1.9). This increase in mortality rate was noted particularly in the first few years after diagnosis. Multivariate Cox regression and time-dependent co-variate analyses were utilized for the first time in a prospective study of mortality in epilepsy. The former showed that patients with generalized tonic-clonic seizures had an increased risk of mortality. The hazard ratio (HR), or risk of mortality in a particular group with a particular risk factor compared to another group without that particular risk factor, was 6.2 (95% CI = 1.4, 27.7; p = 0.049). Cerebrovascular disease (HR 2.4; 95% CI = 1.7, 3.4; p < 0.0001), central nervous system tumor (HR 12.0; 95% CI = 7.9, 18.2; p < 0.0001), alcohol (HR 2.9; 95% CI = 1.5, 5.7; p = 0.004), and congenital neurological deficits (HR 10.9; 95% CI = 3.2, 36.1; p = 0.003) as causes for epilepsy and older age at index seizure (HR 1.9; 95% CI = 1.7,2.0; p < 0.0001) were also associated with significantly increased mortality rates. These hazard ratios suggest that epilepsy due to congenital neurological deficits may carry almost the same risk of mortality as epilepsy due to central nervous system tumors and that epileptic seizures subsequent to alcohol abuse may carry almost the same risk of mortality as epilepsy due to cerebrovascular disease. The occurrence of one or more seizures before the index seizure (the seizure that led to the diagnosis of epilepsy and enrolment in the study) was associated with a significantly reduced mortality rate (HR 0.57; 95% CI = 0.42, 0.76; p = 0.00001). Time-dependent co-variate analysis was used to examine the influence of ongoing factors, such as seizure recurrence, remission, and antiepileptic drug use, on mortality rates in the cohort. Seizure recurrence (HR 1.30; 95% CI = 0.84, 2.01) and antiepileptic drug treatment (HR 0.97; 95% CI = 0.67, 1.38) did not influence mortality rate. There were only 5 epilepsy-related deaths (1 each of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, status epilepticus, burns, drowning, and cervical fracture), suggesting that death directly due to epileptic seizures is uncommon in a population-based cohort with epilepsy.
Six right-handed patients experienced a slowly progressing aphasic disorder without the additional intellectual and behavioral disturbances of dementia. The symptoms almost universally started in the presenium. The initial difficulty was an anomic aphasia in five of the patients and pure word deafness in the sixth. Continuous and gradual deterioration occurred in the five patients who presented with an anomic aphasia. They eventually experienced additional impairment of reading, writing, and comprehension. In four patients, other areas of comportment were not involved within the 5 to 11 years of follow-up. A more generalized state of dementia may have emerged in the other two patients, but only after 7 years of progressive debilitating aphasia. Neurodiagnostic procedures were consistent with preferential involvement of the left perisylvian region. In one patient, cortical biopsy did not show any pathognomonic change; specifically, no neurofibrillary tangles, amyloid plaques, neuronal inclusions, or gliosis were seen. This condition may constitute a syndrome of relatively focal cerebral degeneration with a predilection for the left perisylvian region.
The demyelinating type of hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN I) is characterized by progressive weakness and atrophy of leg muscles. Six patients (age, 25-79 yr) belonging to three generations had calf hypertrophy (6 of 6), foot drop or difficulty with heel walking (4 of 6), pes cavus (3 of 6), absent or depressed tendon jerks in the lower limbs (4 of 6), and mild distal sensory loss (3 of 6). No other family member had leg atrophy. Motor conduction velocities ranged from 20 to 40 m/sec. Sural nerve biopsy showed loss of large myelinated fibers, numerous onion bulbs, and segmental demyelination and remyelination. Computed tomographic scans of leg muscles and histological and morphometric findings in gastrocnemius revealed true muscular hypertrophy. Southern blot and fluorescence in situ hybridization documented the duplication of the entire 17p11.2 segment associated with classical HMSN IA. The pathogenesis of muscle hypertrophy in our cases is unclear. Chronic leg muscle weakness and long-standing partial denervation might cause calf enlargement by a combination of compensatory "work-induced" and "stretch-induced" fiber hypertrophy. Alternatively, that all the affected family members presented calf hypertrophy might suggest the action of a genetic factor associated with the duplication at 17p11.2.
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy is a late-onset, autosomally dominant disorder characterized by progressive ptosis, dysphagia, and extremity weakness. Linkage of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy to 14q11.2-q13 has been reported in a series of French Canadian families. Haplotype analysis in these data shows a single segregating disease chromosome, suggesting a founder effect in this population. We ascertained and sampled for linkage studies 5 multigenerational American families with oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy. Four of the 5 families have known French Canadian ancestry while the fifth is of English/Scottish origin. A peak multipoint lod score of 6.30 was obtained for the marker MYH7.1 in the families, confirming linkage to 14q11.2-q13. The English/Scottish family exhibited a different chromosomal haplotype for the oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy alleles than did the families of French Canadian origin. These data suggest that this family may represent a second, possibly independent mutation in this disorder.
Early-onset parkinsonism is frequently reported in connection with mutations in the parkin gene. In this study, we present the results of extensive genetic screening for parkin mutations in 111 community-derived early-onset parkinsonism patients (age of onset <50 years) from Germany with an overall mutation rate of 9.0%. Gene dosage alterations represented 67% of the mutations found, underlining the importance of quantitative analyses of parkin. In summary, parkin mutations accounted for a low but significant percentage of early-onset parkinsonism patients in a community-derived sample.
One hundred sixteen patients, aged 8 to 82 years, with myasthenia gravis were treated with prednisone, 60 to 80 mg daily, until the onset of improvement, followed by lower-dose alternate-day therapy of several years' duration. Of all patients, 80.2% achieved either remission (27.6%) or marked improvement (52.6%). Moderate improvement occurred in 14.7%, and 5.2% showed no improvement. Increasing age correlated with a favorable outcome, but sex, duration of illness prior to treatment, severity and distribution of weakness at the time of onset of treatment, and presence of thymoma were not factors in the response to therapy.
We used positron emission tomography (PET) to study brain [11C]flumazenil (FMZ) binding in four Angelman syndrome (AS) patients. Patients 1 to 3 had a maternal deletion of 15q11-q13 leading to the loss of beta3 subunit of gamma-aminobutyric acidA/benzodiazepine (GABA(A)/BZ) receptor, whereas Patient 4 had a mutation in the ubiquitin protein ligase (UBE3A) saving the beta3 subunit gene. [11C]FMZ binding potential in the frontal, parietal, hippocampal, and cerebellar regions was significantly lower in Patients 1 to 3 than in Patient 4. We propose that the 15q11-q13 deletion leads to a reduced number of GABA(A)/BZ receptors, which could partly explain the neurological deficits of the AS patients.
To determine the relationship between cerebral amyloid plaque load and rates of cerebral atrophy in Alzheimer's disease. (11)C-PIB((11)C-6-OH benzothiazole)PET (positron emission tomography) findings were correlated with volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements in nine subjects with mild to moderate AD. Analysis revealed a positive correlation between rates of whole brain atrophy and whole brain (p = 0.019) and regional (11)C-PIB uptake. This provides support for the central role of amyloid deposition in the pathogenesis of AD.