Albert F.G. Leentjens

Maastricht Universitair Medisch Centrum, Maestricht, Limburg, Netherlands

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Publications (149)433 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Deep Brain Stimulation in psychiatric disorders is becoming an increasingly performed surgery. At present, seven different targets have been stimulated in Tourette Syndrome, including the internal globus pallidus. We describe the effects on tics and comorbid behavioral disorders of Deep Brain Stimulation of the anterior internal globus pallidus in five patients with refractory Tourette Syndrome. Methods: This study was performed as an open label study with follow-up assessment between 12 and 38 months. Patients were evaluated twice, one month before surgery and at long-term follow-up. Primary outcome was tic severity, assessed by several scales. Secondary outcomes were comorbid behavioral disorders, mood and cognition. The final position of the active contacts of the implanted electrodes was investigated and side effects were reported. Results: Three males and two females were included with a mean age of 41.6 years (SD 9.7). The total post-operative score on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale was significantly lower than the pre-operative score (42.2±4.8 versus 12.8±3.8, P=0.043). There was also a significant reduction on the modified Rush Video-Based Tic Rating Scale (13.0±2.0 versus 7.0±1.6, P=0.041) and in the total number of video-rated tics (259.6±107.3 versus 49.6±24.8, P=0.043). No significant difference on the secondary outcomes was found, however, there was an improvement on an individual level for obsessive-compulsive behavior. The final position of the active contacts was variable in our sample and no relationship between position and stimulation effects could be established. Conclusion: Our study suggests that Deep Brain Stimulation of the anterior internal globus pallidus is effective in reducing tic severity, and possibly also obsessive-compulsive behavior, in refractory Tourette patients without serious adverse events or side-effects.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Clinical neurology and neurosurgery
  • Angela E. P. Bouwmans · Albert F. G. Leentjens · Werner H. Mess · Wim E. J. Weber
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    ABSTRACT: . Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have a high risk of cognitive problems. Objective . This study assesses whether abnormal echogenicity of the substantia nigra (SN) and raphe nuclei (RN) and the diameter of third ventricle are markers of cognitive impairment in patients with PD and other forms of parkinsonism. Methods . 126 outpatients with early signs of parkinsonism underwent transcranial sonography (TCS). The scales for the outcome of Parkinson’s disease cognition (SCOPA-COG) were used as cognitive measure. Definite neurological diagnosis was established after two-year follow-up. Results . One-third of the patients with PD and half of those with APS had signs of cognitive impairment. The echogenicity of the SN was not related to cognitive impairment. The diameter of the third ventricle was significantly larger in PD patients with cognitive impairment compared to those without. In patients with APS we found a significantly higher frequency of hypoechogenic RN in patients with cognitive problems. Conclusions . Cognitive impairment is already present in a substantial proportion of patients with PD and APS at first referral. In patients with APS the frequency of hypoechogenic RN points to the direction of other pathophysiology with more emphasis on deficits in the serotonergic neurotransmitter system. The larger diameter of the third ventricle in PD patients with cognitive impairment may reflect Alzheimer like brain atrophy, as has been reported in earlier studies.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Parkinson's Disease
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The aim of this work was to construct a model for anxiety in PD and compare the relative contributions of PD-specific and -nonspecific general population risk factors for anxiety in this model. Methods: Structural equation modeling of associations of risk factors with the anxiety outcome using a cross-sectional data set of 342 patients with PD were used. Results: A model with acceptable to good fit was generated that explained 65% of the variance in anxiety scores. A previous history of depression and the severity of the depressive symptoms scored on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale were the only nonspecific variables with a direct effect on anxiety. The presence of motor fluctuations and disease-related decline in activities of daily living were PD-specific markers of anxiety. Nonspecific risk factors had a greater influence in the model than PD-specific risk factors. Standardized regression coefficients suggested that the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score was the most important contributor to the variation in anxiety. A post-hoc analysis showed that the effects of the following variables on anxiety levels were fully mediated by depression: sex; family history of depression; previous history of anxiety; cognitive status; difficulties in non-disease-specific activities of daily living; and severity of motor signs. Conclusion: In this cross-sectional study, we showed that nonspecific general population risk factors are more important markers for anxiety than PD-specific risk factors. Depression was the most prominent marker. PD-specific markers for anxiety appear to be more situational and related to off periods and disease-specific disturbances of activities of daily living. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Movement Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease includes neuropsychiatric manifestations, such as depression, anxiety, apathy, psychosis, and impulse control disorders, which often are unreported by patients and caregivers or undetected by doctors. Given their substantial impact on patients and caregivers as well as the existence of effective therapies for some of these disorders, screening for neuropsychiatric symptoms is important. Instruments for screening have a particular methodology for validation, and their performance is expressed in terms of accuracy compared with formal diagnostic criteria. The present study reviews the attributes of the screening instruments applied for detection of the aforementioned major neuropsychiatric symptoms in Parkinson's disease. A quasi-systematic review (including predefined selection criteria, but not evaluating the quality of the reviewed studies) was carried out on the basis of previous systematic reviews (commissioned by the American Academy of Neurology and the Movement Disorder Society) and made current by conducting a literature search (2005-2014). For depression, 11 scales and questionnaires were shown to be valid for Parkinson's disease screening. The recently developed Parkinson Anxiety Scale and the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory demonstrate satisfactory properties as screening instruments for anxiety, and the Lille Apathy Rating Scale for detection of apathy. No scale adequately screens for psychosis, so a specific psychosis instrument should be developed. The Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson's Disease (Questionnaire and Rating Scale) are valid for comprehensive screening of impulse control disorders, and the Parkinson's Disease-Sexual Addiction Screening Test for hypersexuality specifically. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Movement Disorders
  • M.P.G. Broen · A.F.G. Leentjens · S. Köhler · M.L. Kuijf · W.M. McDonald · I.H. Richard
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Depression is considered a syndrome with a constellation of symptoms that are frequently categorized into 3 domains including affective, somatic and cognitive. There has been limited research into the domain specific magnitude or relative timing of treatment response in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). In addition, antidepressant trials involving patients with PD have demonstrated a similar robust placebo response to that seen in other populations. However, the timing of the placebo response has not been carefully studied. Methods: We studied differential responses to antidepressant treatment in affective, somatic and cognitive domains of depression. Patients were treated for twelve weeks with placebo, venlafaxine or paroxetine as part of the Study of Antidepressants in Parkinson's Disease (SAD-PD) randomized controlled trial. Depressive symptoms were evaluated with three commonly used rating scales. Results: All symptom domains improved during the study period, There was a significant placebo effect, especially in the first two weeks that had diminished by week 12. Compared to placebo, the affective symptoms significantly improved during treatment as early as week 4, followed by the somatic symptoms of depression in week 6 and cognitive symptoms in week 8. The largest response was seen in the affective domain. Conclusion: In depressed PD patients treated with venlafaxine or paroxetine, affective symptoms improved first, followed by somatic symptoms and cognitive symptoms. These findings could guide patient counselling and increase patient compliance by informing about the expected treatment responses. The substantial placebo effect underlines the importance of a sufficiently long study period in future studies.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Some peer reviewers may inappropriately, or coercively request that authors include references to the reviewers' own work. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether, compared to reviews for a journal with single-blind peer review, reviews for a journal with open peer review included (1) fewer self-citations; (2) a lower proportion of self-citations without a rationale; and (3) a lower ratio of proportions of citations without a rationale in self-citations versus citations to others' work. Peer reviews for published manuscripts submitted in 2012 to a single-blind peer review journal, the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, were previously evaluated (Thombs et al., 2015). These were compared to publically available peer reviews of manuscripts published in 2012 in an open review journal, BMC Psychiatry. Two investigators independently extracted data for both journals. There were no significant differences between journals in the proportion of all reviewer citations that were self-citations (Journal of Psychosomatic Research: 71/225, 32%; BMC Psychiatry: 90/315, 29%; p=.50), or in the proportion of self-citations without a rationale (Journal of Psychosomatic Research: 15/71, 21%; BMC Psychiatry: 12/90, 13%; p=.21). There was no significant difference between journals in the proportion of self-citations versus citations to others' work without a rationale (p=.31). Blind and open peer review methodologies have distinct advantages and disadvantages. The present study found that, in reasonably similar journals that use single-blind and open review, there were no substantive differences in the pattern of peer reviewer self-citations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of psychosomatic research
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Clinical presentation and progression of cognitive disorders in Parkinson's disease (PD) is heterogeneous. Our objective was to confirm prospectively a previous exploratory cluster analysis based on retrospective data that identified five cognitive phenotypes in PD. Methods: A model-based confirmatory cluster analysis was conducted on the results of neuropsychological tests administered in 156 PD patients from two European movement disorder centers (Lille, n = 81; Maastricht, n = 75). The number of clusters was determined on the basis of statistical criteria as well as clinical plausibility. A factorial discriminant analysis assessed the quality of the clusters' separation. Results: A five-cluster model was statistically superior and clinically the most relevant. These clusters can be described as follows: 1) cognitively intact patients with high level of performance in all cognitive domains (25.64%), 2) cognitively intact patients slightly slower than those in cluster 1 (26.92%), 3) patients with deficits in executive functions (37.18%), 4) patients with severe deficits in all cognitive domains, particularly executive functions (3.20%), 5) patients with severe deficits in all cognitive domains, particularly working memory and recall in verbal episodic memory (7.05%). The groups differed in terms of age, apathy and frequency of hallucinations that were all higher in the clusters with cognitive deficits, and the duration of formal education was lower in those groups. Conclusion: We confirm our previous exploratory analysis. Cognitive disorders in PD patients are heterogeneous and can be separated in five clusters ranging from patients with performance in the normal range to patients with severe disorders in all cognitive domains.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
  • Albert F Leentjens
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    ABSTRACT: A large study corroborates the link between depression and increased risk of subsequent Parkinson disease (PD), but whether depression is a risk factor for or a prodromal symptom of PD remains a conundrum. Consideration of nonbiological risk factors and disorders associated
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Nature Reviews Neurology
  • A.F. Leentjens · A.J. Moonen · M. Wiesing · G.F. Fink · P.H. Weiss

    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Psychosomatic Research

  • No preview · Article · May 2015
  • A F G Leentjens · O A van den Heuvel
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    ABSTRACT: Psychiatric symptoms are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and may complicate treatment. To review the prevalence and treatment options of psychiatric symptoms in PD patients and discuss the dilemmas that may arise. Literature review. Psychiatric complaints, including depression, anxiety, apathy, impulse control disorders, hallucina-tions, delusions, sleep disturbances, and cognitive symptoms, frequently occur in PD patients. These symptoms have a great influence on the general functioning and quality of life of the patient. When treating these symptoms, adjusting neurological treatment and starting or adjusting psychotherapeutic or psychopharmacological treatment may be necessary. Even if individual symptoms can often be treated adequately, unwanted side effects in other symptom domains have to be taken into consideration. Adequate treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in PD patients is complex, and requires close multidisciplinary collaboration, especially in more advanced disease stages.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Tijdschrift voor psychiatrie
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    ABSTRACT: Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and have a major impact on wellbeing. They nevertheless receive limited scientific attention. This study aimed to establish the symptom dimensions of anxiety in PD, and their relationship with depression, autonomic failure and motor symptoms. In this cross-sectional observational study, symptoms of anxiety were measured with the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) in 294 PD patients. Symptom dimensions of anxiety in PD were explored through principal component analysis (PCA) of BAI items. The relationship between anxiety and depressive, autonomic and motor symptoms was assessed through PCA and regression analyses. Clinically relevant symptoms of anxiety were present in 45% of patients. PCA of the BAI resulted in five subscales, corresponding to a single affective and four somatic symptom dimensions (thermoregulation, hypotension, hyperventilation and trembling) of anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety and depression displayed a large overlap. All somatic BAI subscales were significantly influenced by motor and autonomic symptoms, while the affective subscale was not. Anxiety in PD comprises affective and somatic symptom dimensions. The affective subscale of the BAI is not influenced by motor or autonomic symptoms, and may therefore prove useful for future research. Scores on the somatic subscales of the BAI were associated with autonomic failure and motor impairment, demonstrating a strong interplay between motor and non-motor symptoms in PD. These results stress the importance of a holistic approach of anxiety in PD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: The Parkinson Anxiety Scale is a new scale developed to measure anxiety severity in Parkinson's disease specifically. It consists of three dimensions: persistent anxiety, episodic anxiety, and avoidance behavior. This study aimed to assess the measurement properties of the scale while controlling for the rater (self- vs. clinician-rated) effect. The Parkinson Anxiety Scale was administered to a cross-sectional multicenter international sample of 362 Parkinson's disease patients. Both patients and clinicians rated the patient's anxiety independently. A many-facet Rasch model design was applied to estimate and remove the rater effect. The following measurement properties were assessed: fit to the Rasch model, unidimensionality, reliability, differential item functioning, item local independency, interrater reliability (self or clinician), and scale targeting. In addition, test–retest stability, construct validity, precision, and diagnostic properties of the Parkinson Anxiety Scale were also analyzed. A good fit to the Rasch model was obtained for Parkinson Anxiety Scale dimensions A and B, after the removal of one item and rescoring of the response scale for certain items, whereas dimension C showed marginal fit. Self versus clinician rating differences were of small magnitude, with patients reporting higher anxiety levels than clinicians. The linear measure for Parkinson Anxiety Scale dimensions A and B showed good convergent construct with other anxiety measures and good diagnostic properties. Parkinson Anxiety Scale modified dimensions A and B provide valid and reliable measures of anxiety in Parkinson's disease that are comparable across raters. Further studies are needed with dimension C. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Movement Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have validated the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), and reported adequate reliability and construct validity. However, the factorial validity of the HAMD has not yet been investigated. The aim of our analysis was to explore the factor structure of the HAMD in a large sample of PD patients. A principal component analysis of the 17-item HAMD was performed on data of 341 PD patients, available from a previous cross sectional study on anxiety. An eigenvalue ≥1 was used to determine the number of factors. Factor loadings ≥0.4 in combination with oblique rotations were used to identify which variables made up the factors. Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure (KMO), Cronbach's alpha, Bartlett's test, communality, percentage of non-redundant residuals and the component correlation matrix were computed to assess factor validity. KMO verified the sample's adequacy for factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha indicated a good internal consistency of the total scale. Six factors had eigenvalues ≥1 and together explained 59.19% of the variance. The number of items per factor varied from 1 to 6. Inter-item correlations within each component were low. There was a high percentage of non-redundant residuals and low communality. This analysis demonstrates that the factorial validity of the HAMD in PD is unsatisfactory. This implies that the scale is not appropriate for studying specific symptom domains of depression based on factorial structure in a PD population. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Background In the absence of a gold standard, a panel of experts can be invited to assign a reference diagnosis for use in research. Available literature offers limited guidance on assembling and working with an expert panel for this purpose. We aimed to develop a protocol for an expert panel consensus diagnosis and evaluated its applicability in a pilot project.Methods An adjusted Delphi method was used, which started with the assessment of clinical vignettes by 3 experts individually, followed by a consensus discussion meeting to solve diagnostic discrepancies. A panel facilitator ensured that all experts were able to express their views, and encouraged the use of argumentation to arrive at a specific diagnosis, until consensus was reached by all experts. Eleven vignettes of patients suspected of having a primary neurodegenerative disease were presented to the experts. Clinical information was provided stepwise and included medical history, neurological, physical and cognitive function, brain MRI scan, and follow-up assessments over 2 years. After the consensus discussion meeting, the procedure was evaluated by the experts.ResultsThe average degree of consensus for the reference diagnosis increased from 52% after individual assessment of the vignettes to 94% after the consensus discussion meeting. Average confidence in the diagnosis after individual assessment was 85%. This did not increase after the consensus discussion meeting. The process evaluation led to several recommendations for improvement of the protocol.ConclusionA protocol for attaining a reference diagnosis based on expert panel consensus was shown feasible in research practice.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · BMC Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Peer reviewers sometimes request that authors cite their work, either appropriately or via coercive self-citation to highlight the reviewers' work. The objective of this study was to determine in peer reviews submitted to one biomedical journal (1) the extent of peer reviewer self-citation; (2) the proportion of reviews recommending revision or acceptance versus rejection that included reviewer self-citations; and (3) the proportion of reviewer self-citations versus citations to others that included a rationale. Methods: Peer reviews for manuscripts submitted in 2012 to the Journal of Psychosomatic Research were evaluated. Data extraction was performed independently by two investigators. Results: There were 616 peer reviews (526 reviewers; 276 manuscripts), of which 444 recommended revision or acceptance and 172 rejection. Of 428 total citations, there were 122 peer reviewer self-citations (29%) and 306 citations to others' work (71%). Self-citations were more common in reviews recommending revision or acceptance (105 of 316 citations; 33%) versus rejection (17/112; 15%; p<0.001). The percentage of self-citations with no rationale (26 of 122; 21%) was higher than for citations to others' work (15 of 306; 5%; p<0.001). Conclusions: Self-citation in peer reviews is common and may reflect a combination of appropriate citation to research that should be cited in published articles and inappropriate citation intended to highlight the work of the peer reviewer. Providing instructions to peer reviewers about self-citation and asking them to indicate when and why they have self-cited may help to limit self-citation to appropriate, constructive recommendations.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Psychosomatic Research

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Psychosomatic Research
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    Full-text · Conference Paper · Jul 2014
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    ABSTRACT: - A multidisciplinary workgroup has revised the 2004 practice guidelines on 'Delirium' on the initiative of the Dutch Geriatrics Society.- In comparison with the previous version, the new guidelines place more emphasis on screening and non-pharmaceutical prevention and treatment. They recommend a degree of restraint when prescribing medication.- Both the patient's and the caregiver's perspectives are discussed.- The guidelines also focus on delirium in patients in a nursing home setting, and describe what the workgroup regards as optimal care for patients suffering from delirium.- The revised guidelines consider the diagnosis and treatment of delirium as a part of basic medical care and primarily the responsibility of the attending physician.- The workgroup advises consulting an expert in the field of delirium only in cases of lack of experience, and for complex cases.- The guidelines also include recommendations for the organization of follow-up care for the delirium patient.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde
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    ABSTRACT: Existing anxiety rating scales have limited construct validity in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). This study was undertaken to develop and validate a new anxiety rating scale, the Parkinson Anxiety Scale (PAS), that would overcome the limitations of existing scales. The general structure of the PAS was based on the outcome of a Delphi procedure. Item selection was based on a canonical correlation analysis and a Rasch analysis of items of the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) from a previously published study. Validation was done in a cross-sectional international multicenter study involving 362 patients with idiopathic PD. Patients underwent a single screening session in which the PAS was administered, along with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the HARS, and the BAI. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview was administered to establish Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) diagnoses of anxiety and depressive disorders. The PAS is a 12-item observer or patient-rated scale with three subscales, for persistent, episodic anxiety and avoidance behavior. Properties for acceptability and reliability met predetermined criteria. The convergent and known groups validity was good. The scale has a satisfactory factorial structure. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve and Youden index of the PAS are higher than that of existing anxiety rating scales. The PAS is a reliable and valid anxiety measure for use in PD patients. It is easy and brief to administer, and has better clinimetric properties than existing anxiety rating scales. The sensitivity to change of the PAS remains to be assessed. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Movement Disorders

Publication Stats

4k Citations
433.00 Total Impact Points


  • 1999-2015
    • Maastricht Universitair Medisch Centrum
      • Central Diagnostic Laboratory
      Maestricht, Limburg, Netherlands
    • Maastricht University
      Maestricht, Limburg, Netherlands
  • 2008
    • University of Bergen
      Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
    • Leiden University Medical Centre
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Neurology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2003
    • Leiden University
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2002
    • Radboud University Medical Centre (Radboudumc)
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Nymegen, Gelderland, Netherlands
  • 1998
    • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands