[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) reduces the number of falls in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). It was hypothesized that enhanced sensory processing contributes to this PPN-mediated gait improvement.
Four PD patients (and eight matched controls) with implanted bilateral PPN and subthalamic nucleus DBS electrodes were assessed on postural (with/without vision) and vestibular perceptual threshold tasks.
Pedunculopontine nucleus ON stimulation (compared to OFF) lowered vestibular perceptual thresholds but there was a disproportionate increase in the normal sway increase on going from light to dark.
The disproportionate increased sway with PPN stimulation in the dark may paradoxically improve balance function since mechanoreceptor signals rapidly adapt to continuous pressure stimulation from postural akinesia. Additionally, the PPN-mediated vestibular signal enhancement also improves the monitoring of postural sway. Overall, PPN stimulation may improve sensory feedback and hence balance performance.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · European Journal of Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LIDs) are the most common and disabling adverse motor effect of therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. In this study, we investigated serotonergic mechanisms in LIDs development in PD patients using 11C-DASB PET to evaluate serotonin terminal function and 11C-raclopride PET to evaluate dopamine release. PD patients with LIDs showed relative preservation of serotonergic terminals throughout their disease. Identical levodopa doses induced markedly higher striatal synaptic dopamine concentrations in PD patients with LIDs compared with PD patients with stable responses to levodopa. Oral administration of the serotonin receptor type 1A agonist buspirone prior to levodopa reduced levodopa-evoked striatal synaptic dopamine increases and attenuated LIDs. PD patients with LIDs that exhibited greater decreases in synaptic dopamine after buspirone pretreatment had higher levels of serotonergic terminal functional integrity. Buspirone-associated modulation of dopamine levels was greater in PD patients with mild LIDs compared with those with more severe LIDs. These findings indicate that striatal serotonergic terminals contribute to LIDs pathophysiology via aberrant processing of exogenous levodopa and release of dopamine as false neurotransmitter in the denervated striatum of PD patients with LIDs. Our results also support the development of selective serotonin receptor type 1A agonists for use as antidyskinetic agents in PD.
Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · The Journal of clinical investigation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Parkinson's disease the degree of motor impairment can be classified with respect to tremor dominant and akinetic rigid features. While tremor dominance and akinetic rigidity might represent two ends of a continuum rather than discrete entities, it would be important to have non-invasive markers of any biological differences between them in vivo, to assess disease trajectories and response to treatment, as well as providing insights into the underlying mechanisms contributing to heterogeneity within the Parkinson's disease population.
Here, we used magnetic resonance imaging to examine whether Parkinson's disease patients exhibit structural changes within the basal ganglia that might relate to motor phenotype. Specifically, we examined volumes of basal ganglia regions, as well as transverse relaxation rate (a putative marker of iron load) and magnetization transfer saturation (considered to index structural integrity) within these regions in 40 individuals.
We found decreased volume and reduced magnetization transfer within the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease patients compared to healthy controls. Importantly, there was a positive correlation between tremulous motor phenotype and transverse relaxation rate (reflecting iron load) within the putamen, caudate and thalamus.
Our findings suggest that akinetic rigid and tremor dominant symptoms of Parkinson's disease might be differentiated on the basis of the transverse relaxation rate within specific basal ganglia structures. Moreover, they suggest that iron load within the basal ganglia makes an important contribution to motor phenotype, a key prognostic indicator of disease progression in Parkinson's disease.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phenomenology of tremor is broad and its classification is complicated. Furthermore, the full range of tremor phenomenology with respect to specific neurological and neurodegenerative diseases has not been fully elaborated.
This right-handed man had a chief complaint of jaw tremor, which began approximately 20 years prior to death at age 101 years. He had been diagnosed with essential tremor (ET) by a local doctor. His examination at age 100 years was notable for marked jaw tremor at rest in the absence of other clear features of parkinsonism, mild kinetic tremor of the hands and, in the last year of life, a score of 22/41 on a cognitive screen. A senior movement disorder neurologist raised doubt about the "ET" diagnosis. The history and videotaped examination were reviewed by three additional senior tremor experts, who raised a number of diagnostic possibilities. A complete postmortem examination was performed by a senior neuropathologist, and was notable for the presence of tufted astrocytes, AT8-labeled glial cytoplasmic inclusions, and globose neuronal tangles. These changes were widespread and definitive. A neuropathological diagnosis of progressive supranuclear palsy was assigned.
This case presents with mixed and difficult to clinically classify tremor phenomenology and other neurological findings. The postmortem diagnosis was not predicted based on the clinical features, and it is possible that it does not account for all of the features. The case raises many interesting issues and provides a window into the complexity of the interpretation, nosology, and classification of tremor phenomenology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
The underlying pathophysiology of tremor in Parkinson disease (PD) is unclear; however, it is known that tremor does not appear to be as responsive to dopaminergic medication as bradykinesia or rigidity. It is suggested that serotonergic dysfunction could have a role in tremor development.
Using (11)C-DASB PET, a marker of serotonin transporter binding, and clinical observations, we have investigated function of serotonergic terminals in 12 patients with tremor-predominant and 12 with akinetic-rigid PD. Findings were compared with those of 12 healthy controls.
Reductions of (11)C-DASB in caudate, putamen, and raphe nuclei significantly correlated with tremor severity on posture and action, but not with resting tremor. The tremor-predominant group also showed reductions of (11)C-DASB in other regions involved in motor circuitry, including the thalamus and Brodmann areas 4 and 10.
Our findings support a role for serotonergic dysfunction in motor circuitries in the generation of postural tremor in PD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 48, XXYY syndrome is a form of sex chromosome aneuploidy that affects between 1 in 18 000 to 1 in 40 000 males. It is not inherited and is diagnosed by karyotyping. It has similarities to 47, XXY Klinefelter's syndrome, with tall stature, micro-orchidism, hypergonadotropic hypogonadism and infertility in males. However, patients with 48, XXYY syndrome also commonly have dental problems, tremor, attention deficit disorder, learning difficulties, allergies and asthma. The tremor is typically reported as an intention tremor (in 71% of patients XXYY aged >20 years with 48), which becomes more common with age and worsens over time.
No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Practical Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disordered copper metabolism may be important in the aetiology of Parkinsonism, as caeruloplasmin is a key enzyme in handling oxidative stress and is involved in the synthesis pathway of dopamine. The human Cu metabolism of ten Parkinsonism patients was compared to ten healthy controls with the aid of a stable (65)Cu isotope tracer. The analyses of blood serum (65)Cu/(63)Cu ratios yielded individual isotopic profiles, which indicate that the Cu metabolism is less controlled in patients with Parkinsonism. Modelling based on both isotope tracer and total Cu concentrations suggests that 30% of the subjects affected by Parkinsonism have abnormally large Cu stores in tissues. To detect the small differences in Cu metabolism between Parkinsonism and controls, the analysis of stable isotope composition must be performed using multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and the associated sample preparation techniques. This pilot investigation supports full-scale medical studies into the Cu metabolism of those with Parkinsonism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of neurological diseases, which typically present with progressive lower extremity weakness and spasticity causing progressive walking difficulties. Complicating neurological or extraneurological features may be present.
We describe a 19-year-old male who was referred because of an action tremor of the hands; he later developed walking difficulties. Callosal atrophy was present on his cerebral magnetic resonance imaging scan, prompting genetic testing for SPG11, which revealed homozygous mutations.
The clinical features, differential diagnosis and management of SPG11, the most common form of autosomal recessive complicated HSP with a thin corpus callosum are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The quadripolar electrodes used for deep brain stimulation are designed to give flexibility in contact configuration, optimize therapeutic effect, and minimize side-effects. A patient with essential tremor did not tolerate a bipolar setting due to the emergence of a pulling sensation in her face. However, when the polarity of the contacts was reversed, a 70% higher voltage was tolerated. Using an electric field model, we predicted that this effect was due to the proximity of the topmost contact to the internal capsule. Post-operative imaging supported this prediction. These results demonstrate how a multi-disciplinary approach allows us to optimize parameter settings.