[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies of 146 plasma protein levels in 818 individuals revealed 56 genome-wide significant associations (28 novel) with 47 analytes. Loci associated with plasma levels of 39 proteins tested have been previously associated with various complex traits such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Type 2 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. These data suggest that these plasma protein levels may constitute informative endophenotypes for these complex traits. We found three potential pleiotropic genes: ABO for plasma SELE and ACE levels, FUT2 for CA19-9 and CEA plasma levels, and APOE for ApoE and CRP levels. We also found multiple independent signals in loci associated with plasma levels of ApoH, CA19-9, FetuinA, IL6r, and LPa. Our study highlights the power of biological traits for genetic studies to identify genetic variants influencing clinically relevant traits, potential pleiotropic effects, and complex disease associations in the same locus.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE: Mutations in known causal Alzheimer disease (AD) genes account for only 1% to 3%of patients and almost all are dominantly inherited. Recessive inheritance of complex phenotypes can be linked to long (>1-megabase [Mb]) runs of homozygosity (ROHs) detectable by single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between ROHs and AD in an African American population known to have a risk for AD up to 3 times higher than white individuals. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Case-control study of a large African American data set previously genotyped on different genome-wide SNP arrays conducted from December 2013 to January 2015. Global and locus-basedROHmeasurementswere analyzed using rawor imputed genotype data.We studied the rawgenotypes from 2 case-control subsets grouped based on SNP array: Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium data set (871 cases and 1620control individuals) and Chicago Health and Aging Project-Indianapolis Ibadan Dementia Study data set (279 cases and 1367 control individuals).We then examined the entire data set using imputed genotypes from 1917 cases and 3858 control individuals. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The ROHs larger than 1Mb, 2Mb, or 3Mb were investigated separately for global burden evaluation, consensus regions, and gene-based analyses. RESULTS: The African American cohort had a lowdegree of inbreeding (F × 0.006). In the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium data set, we detected a significantly higher proportion of cases with ROHs greater than 2Mb (P =.004) or greater than 3Mb (P =.02), aswell as a significant 114-kilobase consensus region on chr4q31.3 (empirical P value 2 =.04; ROHs >2 Mb). In the Chicago Health and Aging Project-Indianapolis Ibadan Dementia Study data set, we identified a significant 202-kilobase consensus region on Chr15q24.1 (empirical P value 2 =.02; ROHs >1 Mb) and a cluster of 13 significant genes on Chr3p21.31 (empirical P value 2 =.03; ROHs >3 Mb). Atotal of 43 of 49 nominally significant genescommonfor both data sets also mapped to Chr3p21.31. Analyses of imputed SNP data from the entire data set confirmed the association of AD with global ROH measurements (12.38 ROHs >1Mb in cases vs 12.11 in controls; 2.986Mb average size of ROHs >2Mb in cases vs 2.889Mb in controls; and 22%of cases with ROHs >3Mb vs 19% of controls) and a gene-cluster on Chr3p21.31 (empirical P value 2 =.006-.04; ROHs >3 Mb). Also, we detected a significant association between AD and CLDN17 (empirical P value 2 =.01; ROHs >1 Mb), encoding a protein from the Claudin family, members of whichwere previously suggested as ADbiomarkers. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: To our knowledge, we discovered the first evidence of increased burden of ROHs among patients with AD from an outbred African American population, which could reflect either the cumulative effect of multiple ROHs to AD or the contribution of specific loci harboring recessive mutations and risk haplotypes in a subset of patients. Sequencing is required to uncover AD variants in these individuals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Agitation is common among patients with Alzheimer disease; safe, effective treatments are lacking. OBJECTIVE To assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of dextromethorphan hydrobromide-quinidine sulfate for Alzheimer disease-related agitation. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Phase 2 randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using a sequential parallel comparison design with 2 consecutive 5-week treatment stages conducted August 2012-August 2014. Patients with probable Alzheimer disease, clinically significant agitation (Clinical Global Impressions-Severity agitation score≥4), and a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 8 to 28 participated at 42 US study sites. Stable dosages of antidepressants, antipsychotics, hypnotics, and antidementia medications were allowed. INTERVENTIONS In stage 1, 220 patients were randomized in a 3:4 ratio to receive dextromethorphan-quinidine (n = 93) or placebo (n = 127). In stage 2, patients receiving dextromethorphan-quinidine continued; those receiving placebo were stratified by response and rerandomized in a 1:1 ratio to dextromethorphan-quinidine (n = 59) or placebo (n = 60). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary end pointwas change from baseline on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) Agitation/Aggression domain (scale range, 0 [absence of symptoms] to 12 [symptoms occur daily and with marked severity]). RESULTS Atotal of 194 patients (88.2%) completed the study. With the sequential parallel comparison design, 152 patients received dextromethorphan-quinidine and 127 received placebo during the study. Analysis combining stages 1 (all patients) and 2 (rerandomized placebo nonresponders)showedsignificantlyreducedNPIAgitation/Aggressionscoresfordextromethorphanquinidinevsplacebo( ordinaryleastsquareszstatistic,-3.95;P < .001).Instage1,meanNPIAgitation/ Aggression scoreswere reduced from 7.1 to 3.8 with dextromethorphan-quinidine and from 7.0to 5.3withplacebo.Between-grouptreatmentdifferencesweresignificantinstage1(leastsquaresmean, -1.5; 95%CI, -2.3 to -0.7; P<.001). In stage 2, NPI Agitation/Aggression scoreswere reduced from 5.8 to 3.8 with dextromethorphan-quinidine and from 6.7 to 5.8 with placebo. Between-group treatmentdifferenceswere also significant in stage2(leastsquaresmean,-1.6;95%CI,-2.9to-0.3; P=.02).Adverseevents included falls (8.6%fordextromethorphan-quinidine vs3.9%for placebo), diarrhea (5.9%vs 3.1%respectively), and urinary tract infection (5.3%vs 3.9%respectively). Serious adverse events occurred in 7.9%with dextromethorphan-quinidine vs 4.7%with placebo. Dextromethorphan-quinidinewas not associated with cognitiveimpairment, sedation, or clinically significantQTc prolongation. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this preliminary 10-week phase 2 randomized clinical trial of patients with probable Alzheimer disease, combination dextromethorphan-quinidine demonstrated clinically relevant efficacy for agitation and was generally well tolerated. TRIAL REGISTRATION clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01584440
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) recently established electrochemiluminescence-based assays to measure cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of total tau (t-tau) and amyloid-β 1-42 peptide (Aβ42) that can aid in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The goal of this investigation is to independently evaluate this platform and establish cut-off values of these biomarkers for AD diagnosis. Objective: To validate the analytical and clinical performance of the MSD t-tau and Aβ42 kits and propose diagnostic cut-off values for the field. Methods: The analytical performance of the CSF t-tau and Aβ42 assays was determined, followed by assessment of diagnostic performance of CSF t-tau, Aβ42, and t-tau/Aβ42 in three clinically characterized cohorts. Results: Both MSD assays demonstrated consistent and stable analytical performance, as well as resistance to several important pre-analytic variables. Diagnostically, t-tau/Aβ42 performed the best. Conclusions: Our results independently confirm the analytical and clinical performance of the MSD CSF t-tau and Aβ42 assays. Based on a large, multi-center, clinically-diagnosed cohort, we propose for the first time candidate diagnostic cut-offs for MSD measured CSF t-tau, Aβ42, and t-tau/Aβ42. However, these values needs to be refined as more subjects are included and the assays are tested by other laboratories.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, a rare variant in the amyloid precursor protein gene (APP) was described in a population from Iceland. This variant, in which alanine is replaced by threonine at position 673 (A673T), appears to protect against late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). We evaluated the frequency of this variant in AD cases and cognitively normal controls to determine whether this variant will significantly contribute to risk assessment in individuals in the United States.
To determine the frequency of the APP A673T variant in a large group of elderly cognitively normal controls and AD cases from the United States and in 2 case-control cohorts from Sweden.
Case-control association analysis of variant APP A673T in US and Swedish white individuals comparing AD cases with cognitively intact elderly controls. Participants were ascertained at multiple university-associated medical centers and clinics across the United States and Sweden by study-specific sampling methods. They were from case-control studies, community-based prospective cohort studies, and studies that ascertained multiplex families from multiple sources.
Genotypes for the APP A673T variant were determined using the Infinium HumanExome V1 Beadchip (Illumina, Inc) and by TaqMan genotyping (Life Technologies).
The A673T variant genotypes were evaluated in 8943 US AD cases, 10 480 US cognitively normal controls, 862 Swedish AD cases, and 707 Swedish cognitively normal controls. We identified 3 US individuals heterozygous for A673T, including 1 AD case (age at onset, 89 years) and 2 controls (age at last examination, 82 and 77 years). The remaining US samples were homozygous for the alanine (A673) allele. In the Swedish samples, 3 controls were heterozygous for A673T and all AD cases were homozygous for the A673 allele. We also genotyped a US family previously reported to harbor the A673T variant and found a mother-daughter pair, both cognitively normal at ages 72 and 84 years, respectively, who were both heterozygous for A673T; however, all individuals with AD in the family were homozygous for A673.
The A673T variant is extremely rare in US cohorts and does not play a substantial role in risk for AD in this population. This variant may be primarily restricted to Icelandic and Scandinavian populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Agitation is common across neuropsychiatric disorders and contributes to disability, institutionalization, and diminished quality of life for patients and their caregivers. There is no consensus definition of agitation and no widespread agreement on what elements should be included in the syndrome. The International Psychogeriatric Association formed an Agitation Definition Work Group (ADWG) to develop a provisional consensus definition of agitation in patients with cognitive disorders that can be applied in epidemiologic, non-interventional clinical, pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic interventional, and neurobiological studies. A consensus definition will facilitate communication and cross-study comparison and may have regulatory applications in drug development programs.
The ADWG developed a transparent process using a combination of electronic, face-to-face, and survey-based strategies to develop a consensus based on agreement of a majority of participants. Nine-hundred twenty-eight respondents participated in the different phases of the process.
Agitation was defined broadly as: (1) occurring in patients with a cognitive impairment or dementia syndrome; (2) exhibiting behavior consistent with emotional distress; (3) manifesting excessive motor activity, verbal aggression, or physical aggression; and (4) evidencing behaviors that cause excess disability and are not solely attributable to another disorder (psychiatric, medical, or substance-related). A majority of the respondents rated all surveyed elements of the definition as "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" (68-88% across elements). A majority of the respondents agreed that the definition is appropriate for clinical and research applications.
A provisional consensus definition of agitation has been developed. This definition can be used to advance interventional and non-interventional research of agitation in patients with cognitive impairment.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · International Psychogeriatrics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite extensive research, an unmet need remains for protein biomarkers of Parkinson's disease (PD) in peripheral body fluids, especially blood, which is easily accessible clinically. The discovery of such biomarkers is challenging, however, due to the enormous complexity and huge dynamic range of human blood proteins, which are derived from nearly all organ systems, with those originating specifically from the central nervous system (CNS) being exceptionally low in abundance. In this investigation of a relatively large cohort (~300 subjects), selected reaction monitoring (SRM) assays (a targeted approach), were used to probe plasma peptides derived from glycoproteins previously found to be altered in the CNS based on PD diagnosis or severity. Next, the detected peptides were interrogated for their diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, as well as the correlation with PD severity as determined by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). The results revealed that 12 of the 50 candidate glycopeptides were reliably and consistently identified in plasma samples, with three of them displaying significant differences among diagnostic groups. A combination of four peptides (derived from PRNP, HSPG2, MEGF8, and NCAM1) provided an overall area under curve (AUC) of 0.753 (sensitivity: 90.4% and specificity: 50.0%). Additionally, combining two peptides (derived from MEGF8 and ICAM1) yielded significant correlation with PD severity, i.e., UPDRS (r= 0.293, p=0.004). The significance of these results are at least two-fold: 1) it is possible to use a targeted approach to identify otherwise very difficult to detect CNS related biomarkers in peripheral blood, and 2) the novel biomarkers, if validated in independent cohorts, can be employed to assist with clinical diagnosis of PD as well as monitoring disease progression.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Proteome Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current study examined the association between pulse pressure (PP) and CSF-based biomarkers for Alzheimer disease, including β-amyloid 1-42 (Aβ1-42) and phosphorylated tau (P-tau) protein, in cognitively normal older adults.
One hundred seventy-seven cognitively normal, stroke-free older adult participants (aged 55-100 years) underwent blood pressure assessment for determination of PP (systolic - diastolic blood pressure) and lumbar puncture for measurement of CSF Aβ1-42 and P-tau. Pearson correlations and multiple linear regression, controlling for age, sex, APOE genotype, and body mass index, evaluated the relationship between PP and Alzheimer disease biomarkers.
PP elevation was associated with increased P-tau (r = 0.23, p = 0.002), reduced Aβ1-42 (r = -0.19, p = 0.01), and increased P-tau to Aβ1-42 ratio (r = 0.27, p < 0.001). After controlling for covariates, PP remained associated with P-tau (β = 0.18, p = 0.0196) and P-tau to Aβ1-42 ratio (β = 0.0016, p < 0.001) but was no longer associated with Aβ1-42 (β = -0.1, p = 0.35). Post hoc multivariate analyses indicated that increased PP was associated with all biomarkers in younger participants (aged 55-70 years) (Aβ1-42: p = 0.050; P-tau: p = 0.003; P-tau to Aβ ratio: p = 0.0007) but not older participants (aged 70-100 years).
PP elevation is associated with increased CSF P-tau and decreased Aβ1-42 in cognitively normal older adults, suggesting that pulsatile hemodynamics may be related to amyloidosis and tau-related neurodegeneration. The relationship between PP and CSF biomarkers is age-dependent and observed only in participants in the fifth and sixth decades of life.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether persisting cognitive complaints and postconcussive symptoms (PCS) reported by Iraq and Afghanistan war Veterans with blast- and/or combined blast/impact-related mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) are associated with enduring structural and/or functional brain abnormalities versus comorbid depression or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains unclear. We sought to characterize relationships among these variables in a convenience sample of Iraq and Afghanistan-deployed Veterans with (n=34) and without (n=18) a history of one or more combined blast/impact-related mTBIs. Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging of fractional anisotropy (FA) and macromolecular proton fraction (MPF) to assess brain white matter (WM) integrity; [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography imaging of cerebral glucose metabolism (CMRglu); structured clinical assessments of blast exposure, psychiatric diagnoses, and PTSD symptoms; neurologic evaluations; and self-report scales of PCS, combat exposure, depression, sleep quality, and alcohol use. Veterans with vs. without blast/impact-mTBIs exhibited reduced FA in the corpus callosum; reduced MPF values in subgyral, longitudinal, and cortical/subcortical WM tracts and gray matter/white matter border regions (with a possible threshold effect beginning at 20 blast-mTBIs); reduced CMRglu in parietal, somatosensory, and visual cortices; and higher scores on measures of PCS, PTSD, combat exposure, depression, sleep disturbance, and alcohol use. Neuroimaging metrics did not differ between participants with vs. without PTSD. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with a history of one or more blast-related mTBIs exhibit abnormalities of brain WM structural integrity and macromolecular organization and CMRglu which are not related to comorbid PTSD. These findings are congruent with recent neuropathologic evidence of chronic brain injury in this cohort of Veterans.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of neurotrauma
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Concussions following head and/or neck injury are common, and although most people with mild injuries recover uneventfully, a subset of individuals develop persistent post-concussive symptoms that often include headaches. Post-traumatic headaches vary in presentation and may progress to become chronic and in some cases debilitating. Little is known about the pathogenesis of post-traumatic headaches, although shared pathophysiology with that of the brain injury is suspected. Following primary injury to brain tissues, inflammation rapidly ensues; while this inflammatory response initially provides a defensive/reparative function, it can persist beyond its beneficial effect, potentially leading to secondary injuries because of alterations in neuronal excitability, axonal integrity, central processing, and other changes. These changes may account for the neurological symptoms often observed after traumatic brain injury, including headaches. This review considers selected aspects of the inflammatory response following traumatic brain injury, with an emphasis on the role of glial cells as mediators of maladaptive post-traumatic inflammation.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreatitis is a complex, progressively destructive inflammatory disorder. Alcohol was long thought to be the primary causative agent, but genetic contributions have been of interest since the discovery that rare PRSS1, CFTR and SPINK1 variants were associated with pancreatitis risk. We now report two associations at genome-wide significance identified and replicated at PRSS1-PRSS2 (P < 1 × 10(-12)) and X-linked CLDN2 (P < 1 × 10(-21)) through a two-stage genome-wide study (stage 1: 676 cases and 4,507 controls; stage 2: 910 cases and 4,170 controls). The PRSS1 variant likely affects disease susceptibility by altering expression of the primary trypsinogen gene. The CLDN2 risk allele is associated with atypical localization of claudin-2 in pancreatic acinar cells. The homozygous (or hemizygous in males) CLDN2 genotype confers the greatest risk, and its alleles interact with alcohol consumption to amplify risk. These results could partially explain the high frequency of alcohol-related pancreatitis in men (male hemizygote frequency is 0.26, whereas female homozygote frequency is 0.07).