[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biomarkers from multiple modalities have been shown to correlate with cognition in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the relationships of these markers with each other, and the use of multiple markers in concert to predict an outcome of interest, are areas that are much less explored. Our objectives in this study were (1) to evaluate relationships among 17 biomarkers previously reported to associate with cognition in PD or AD and (2) to test performance of a five-biomarker classifier trained to recognize AD in identifying PD with dementia (PDD). To do this, we evaluated a cross-sectional cohort of PD patients (n = 75) across a spectrum of cognitive abilities. All PD participants had 17 baseline biomarkers from clinical, genetic, biochemical, and imaging modalities measured, and correlations among biomarkers were assessed by Spearman’s rho and by hierarchical clustering. We found that internal correlation among all 17 candidate biomarkers was modest, showing a maximum pairwise correlation coefficient of 0.51. However, a five-marker subset panel derived from AD (CSF total tau, CSF phosphorylated tau, CSF amyloid beta 42, APOE genotype, and SPARE-AD imaging score) discriminated cognitively normal PD patients vs. PDD patients with 80% accuracy, when employed in a classifier originally trained to recognize AD. Thus, an AD-derived biomarker signature may identify PDD patients with moderately high accuracy, suggesting mechanisms shared with AD in some PDD patients. Based on five measures readily obtained during life, this AD-derived signature may prove useful in identifying PDD patients most likely to respond to AD-based crossover therapies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuronal loss and alpha-synuclein (α-syn) pathology are diagnostic of PD in the appropriate clinical context. However, some Parkinson's disease (PD) patients have comorbid Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology on autopsy, including amyloid-beta (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Florbetapir (18F) is a PET ligand that detects Aβ pathology. We hypothesized that florbetapir (18F) imaging could detect Aβ pathology in PD dementia (PDD) patients before death. The aim of this study was to determine the utility of florbetapir (18F) PET imaging in detecting Aβ pathology in patients with autopsy-confirmed PDD. Five participants with PDD had florbetapir (18F) PET imaging before death as a part of a longitudinal research study of cognitive decline in PD. PET scans were evaluated by expert raters blinded to clinical and neuropathological information. At autopsy, all 5 participants underwent semiquantitative assessments of regional Aβ and tau immunohistochemistry. All participants met neuropathological criteria for PD. Two had both positive florbetapir (18F) scans and Aβ-positive plaques in multiple brain regions. Regional florbetapir (18F) binding correlated with regional semiquantitative Aβ pathology in these cases. Three cases had negative florbetapir (18F) scans. Two of these had significant tau pathology without Aβ pathology, consistent with PSP in 1 case and argyrophilic grain disease in the other. The last case had a low level of AD neuropathological change. Florbetapir (18F) Aβ imaging can detect the presence of Aβ neuropathology in patients with PDD. This imaging technique may aid the clinical evaluation of PDD patients to determine whether cognitive decline is occurring in the setting of Aβ accumulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the distribution patterns of Lewy body-related pathology (LRP) and the effect of coincident Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology using a data-driven clustering approach that identified groups with different LRP pathology distributions without any diagnostic or researcher's input in two cohorts including: Parkinson disease patients without (PD, n = 141) and with AD (PD-AD, n = 80), dementia with Lewy bodies subjects without AD (DLB, n = 13) and demented subjects with AD and LRP pathology (Dem-AD-LB, n = 308). The Dem-AD-LB group presented two LRP patterns, olfactory-amygdala and limbic LRP with negligible brainstem pathology, that were absent in the PD groups, which are not currently included in the DLB staging system and lacked extracranial LRP as opposed to the PD group. The Dem-AD-LB individuals showed relative preservation of substantia nigra cells and dopamine active transporter in putamen. PD cases with AD pathology showed increased LRP. The cluster with occipital LRP was associated with non-AD type dementia clinical diagnosis in the Dem-AD-LB group and a faster progression to dementia in the PD groups. We found that (1) LRP pathology in Dem-AD-LB shows a distribution that differs from PD, without significant brainstem or extracranial LRP in initial phases; (2) coincident AD pathology is associated with increased LRP in PD indicating an interaction; (3) LRP and coincident AD pathology independently predict progression to dementia in PD, and (4) evaluation of LRP needs to acknowledge different LRP spreading patterns and evaluate substantia nigra integrity in the neuropathological assessment and consider the implications of neuropathological heterogeneity for clinical and biomarker characterization.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Acta Neuropathologica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathological accumulation of abnormally phosphorylated tau protein in astrocytes is a frequent, but poorly characterized feature of the aging brain. Its etiology is uncertain, but its presence is sufficiently ubiquitous to merit further characterization and classification, which may stimulate clinicopathological studies and research into its pathobiology. This paper aims to harmonize evaluation and nomenclature of aging-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG), a term that refers to a morphological spectrum of astroglial pathology detected by tau immunohistochemistry, especially with phosphorylation-dependent and 4R isoform-specific antibodies. ARTAG occurs mainly, but not exclusively, in individuals over 60 years of age. Tau-immunoreactive astrocytes in ARTAG include thorn-shaped astrocytes at the glia limitans and in white matter, as well as solitary or clustered astrocytes with perinuclear cytoplasmic tau immunoreactivity that extends into the astroglial processes as fine fibrillar or granular immunopositivity, typically in gray matter. Various forms of ARTAG may coexist in the same brain and might reflect different pathogenic processes. Based on morphology and anatomical distribution, ARTAG can be distinguished from primary tauopathies, but may be concurrent with primary tauopathies or other disorders. We recommend four steps for evaluation of ARTAG: (1) identification of five types based on the location of either morphologies of tau astrogliopathy: subpial, subependymal, perivascular, white matter, gray matter; (2) documentation of the regional involvement: medial temporal lobe, lobar (frontal, parietal, occipital, lateral temporal), subcortical, brainstem; (3) documentation of the severity of tau astrogliopathy; and (4) description of subregional involvement. Some types of ARTAG may underlie neurological symptoms; however, the clinical significance of ARTAG is currently uncertain and awaits further studies. The goal of this proposal is to raise awareness of astroglial tau pathology in the aged brain, facilitating communication among neuropathologists and researchers, and informing interpretation of clinical biomarkers and imaging studies that focus on tau-related indicators.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Acta Neuropathologica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) presents with a variety of clinical phenotypes including motor impairments such as gait dysfunction, rigidity, tremor and bradykinesia as well as cognitive deficits including personality changes and dementia. In recent years, colony stimulating factor 1 receptor gene (CSF1R) has been identified as the primary genetic cause of HDLS. We describe the clinical and neuropathological features in three siblings with HDLS and the CSF1R p.Arg782His (c.2345G > A) pathogenic mutation. Each case had varied motor symptoms and clinical features, but all included slowed movements, poor balance, memory impairment and frontal deficits. Neuroimaging with magnetic resonance imaging revealed atrophy and increased signal in the deep white matter. Abundant white matter spheroids and CD68-positive macrophages were the predominant pathologies in these cases. Similar to other cases reported in the literature, the three cases described here had varied clinical phenotypes with a pronounced, but heterogeneous distribution of axonal spheroids and distinct microglia morphology. Our findings underscore the critical importance of genetic testing for establishing a clinical and pathological diagnosis of HDLS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is one of the leading causes of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. A high-ranking candidate to become a diagnostic marker for a major pathological subtype of FTLD is the transactive response DNA binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43). The main objective is to elucidate which antibodies are specific for pathological TDP-43, with special interest in its modified isoforms. Indeed, TDP-43 has been shown to be hyperphosphorylated and truncated in disease. A secondary objective is to review existing immunoassays that quantify TDP-43 in biofluids.
A systematic review of literature was performed by searching PubMed and Web of Science using predefined keywords. Of considered research papers the methods section was reviewed to select publications that enabled us to answer our learning objective. After quality assessment, antibody characteristics and related outcomes were extracted. We identified a series of well-characterized antibodies based on a scoring system that assessed the ability of each antibody to detect TDP-43 pathology.
A selection of 29 unique antibodies was made comprising 10 high-ranking antibodies which were reported multiple times to detect TDP-43 pathology in both immunostaining and immunoblotting experiments and 19 additional antibodies which detected TDP-43 pathology but were only scored once.
This systematic review provides an overview of antibodies that are reported to detect pathological TDP-43. These antibodies can be used in future studies of TDP-43 proteinopathies. Additionally, selected antibodies hold the potential to be used in the development of novel immunoassays for the quantification of TDP-43 in biofluids, as a possible biomarker for FTLD-TDP.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To characterize sequential patterns of regional neuropathology and clinical symptoms in a well-characterized cohort of 21 patients with autopsy-confirmed Pick's disease.
Detailed neuropathological examination using 70 µm and traditional 6 µm sections was performed using Thioflavin-S staining and immunohistochemistry for phosphorylated-tau, 3R and 4R tau isoforms, ubiquitin, and C-terminally truncated tau. Patterns of regional tau deposition were correlated with clinical data. In a subset of cases (n=5) converging evidence was obtained using antemortem neuroimaging measures of grey and white matter integrity.
Four sequential patterns of pathological tau deposition were identified starting in frontotemporal limbic/paralimbic and neocortical regions (Phase I). Sequential involvement was seen in subcortical structures, including basal ganglia, locus coeruleus and raphe nuclei (Phase II), followed by primary motor cortex and pre-cerebellar nuclei (Phase III) and finally visual cortex in the most severe (Phase IV) cases. Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia was the predominant clinical phenotype (18/21) but all patients eventually developed a social comportment disorder. Pathological tau phases reflected the evolution of clinical symptoms and degeneration on serial antemortem neuroimaging, directly correlated with disease-duration and inversely correlated with brain-weight at autopsy. The majority of neuronal and glial tau inclusions were 3R tau-positive and 4R tau-negative in sporadic cases. There was a relative abundance of mature tau pathology markers in frontotemporal limbic/paralimbic regions compared to neocortical regions.
Pick's disease tau neuropathology may originate in limbic/paralimbic cortices. The patterns of tau pathology observed here provide novel insights into the natural history and biology of tau-mediated neurodegeneration. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Annals of Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Digital image analysis of histology sections provides reliable, high-throughput methods for neuropathological studies but data is scant in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), which has an added challenge of study due to morphologically diverse pathologies. Here, we describe a novel method of semi-automated digital image analysis in FTLD subtypes including: Pick's disease (PiD, n=11) with tau-positive intracellular inclusions and neuropil threads, and TDP-43 pathology type C (FTLD-TDPC, n=10), defined by TDP-43-positive aggregates predominantly in large dystrophic neurites. To do this, we examined three FTLD-associated cortical regions: mid-frontal gyrus (MFG), superior temporal gyrus (STG) and anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG) by immunohistochemistry. We used a color deconvolution process to isolate signal from the chromogen and applied both object detection and intensity thresholding algorithms to quantify pathological burden. We found object-detection algorithms had good agreement with gold-standard manual quantification of tau- and TDP-43-positive inclusions. Our sampling method was reliable across three separate investigators and we obtained similar results in a pilot analysis using open-source software. Regional comparisons using these algorithms finds differences in regional anatomic disease burden between PiD and FTLD-TDP not detected using traditional ordinal scale data, suggesting digital image analysis is a powerful tool for clinicopathological studies in morphologically diverse FTLD syndromes.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance
The extent to which large-caliber axonal degeneration contributes to Alzheimer disease (AD) progression is unknown. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurofilament light (NFL) concentration is a general marker of damage to large-caliber myelinated axons.Objective
To test whether CSF NFL concentration is associated with cognitive decline and imaging evidence of neurodegeneration and white matter change in AD.Design, Setting, and Participants
A commercially available immunoassay was used to analyze CSF NFL concentration in a cohort of patients with AD (n = 95) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (n = 192) and in cognitively normal individuals (n = 110) from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The study dates were January 2005 to December 2007. The NFL analysis was performed in November 2014.Main Outcomes and Measures
Correlation was investigated among baseline CSF NFL concentration and longitudinal cognitive impairment, white matter change, and regional brain atrophy within each diagnostic group.Results
Cerebrospinal fluid NFL concentration (median [interquartile range]) was higher in the AD dementia group (1479 [1134-1842] pg/mL), stable MCI group (no progression to AD during follow-up; 1182 [923-1687] pg/mL), and progressive MCI group (MCI with progression to AD dementia during follow-up; 1336 [1061-1693] pg/mL) compared with control participants (1047 [809-1265] pg/mL) (P < .001 for all) and in the AD dementia group compared with the stable MCI group (P = .01). In the MCI group, a higher CSF NFL concentration was associated with faster brain atrophy over time as measured by changes in whole-brain volume (β = −4177, P = .003), ventricular volume (β = 1835, P < .001), and hippocampus volume (β = −54.22, P < .001); faster disease progression as reflected by decreased Mini-Mental State Examination scores (β = −1.077, P < .001) and increased Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale cognitive subscale scores (β = 2.30, P < .001); and faster white matter intensity change (β = 598.7, P < .001).Conclusions and Relevance
Cerebrospinal fluid NFL concentration is increased by the early clinical stage of AD and is associated with cognitive deterioration and structural brain changes over time. This finding corroborates the contention that degeneration of large-caliber axons is an important feature of AD neurodegeneration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is normally a nuclear RNA-binding protein that exhibits a range of functions including regulation of alternative splicing, RNA trafficking, and RNA stability. However, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 inclusions (FTLD-TDP), TDP-43 is abnormally phosphorylated, ubiquitinated, and cleaved, and is mislocalized to the cytoplasm where it forms distinctive aggregates. We previously developed a mouse model expressing human TDP-43 with a mutation in its nuclear localization signal (ΔNLS-hTDP-43) so that the protein preferentially localizes to the cytoplasm. These mice did not exhibit a significant number of cytoplasmic aggregates, but did display dramatic changes in gene expression as measured by microarray, suggesting that cytoplasmic TDP-43 may be associated with a toxic gain-of-function. Here, we analyze new RNA-sequencing data from the ΔNLS-hTDP-43 mouse model, together with published RNA-sequencing data obtained previously from TDP-43 antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) knockdown mice to investigate further the dysregulation of gene expression in the ΔNLS model. This analysis reveals that the transcriptomic effects of the overexpression of the ΔNLS-hTDP-43 transgene are likely due to a gain of cytoplasmic function. Moreover, cytoplasmic TDP-43 expression alters transcripts that regulate chromatin assembly, the nucleolus, lysosomal function, and histone 3' untranslated region (UTR) processing. These transcriptomic alterations correlate with observed histologic abnormalities in heterochromatin structure and nuclear size in transgenic mouse and human brains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) causes progressive personality, behavior and/or language disturbances, and represents the second most common form of dementia under the age of 65. Over half of all FTD cases are classified pathologically as frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) pathology (FTLD-TDP). In FTLD-TDP brains, TDP-43 is phosphorylated, C-terminally cleaved, lost from the nucleus and accumulates in the cytoplasm and processes of neurons and glia. However, the contribution of TDP-43 C-terminal fragments (CTFs) to pathogenesis remains poorly understood. Here we developed transgenic (Tg) mice with forebrain Camk2a-controlled doxycycline-suppressible expression of a TDP-43 CTF (amino acids 208-414, designated 208 TDP-43 CTF), previously identified in FTLD-TDP brains. In these 208 TDP-43 Tg mice, detergent-insoluble 208 TDP-43 CTF was present in a diffuse punctate pattern in neuronal cytoplasm and dendrites without forming large cytoplasmic inclusions. Remarkably, the hippocampus showed progressive neuron loss and astrogliosis in the dentate gyrus (DG). This was accompanied by phosphorylated TDP-43 in the CA1 subfield, and ubiquitin and mitochondria accumulations in the stratum lacunosum moleculare (SLM) layer, without loss of endogenous nuclear TDP-43. Importantly, 208 TDP-43 CTF and phosphorylated TDP-43 were rapidly cleared when CTF expression was suppressed in aged Tg mice, which ameliorated neuron loss in the DG despite persistence of ubiquitin accumulation in the SLM. Our results demonstrate that Camk2a-directed 208 TDP-43 CTF over-expression is sufficient to cause hippocampal pathology and neurodegeneration in vivo, suggesting an active role for TDP-43 CTFs in the pathogenesis of FTLD-TDP and related TDP-43 proteinopathies.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Human Molecular Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
In previous studies, a dichotomous stratification of subjects into "cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) normal" and "CSF pathologic" was used to investigate the role of biomarkers in the prediction of progression to dementia in pre-dementia/mild cognitive impairment subjects. With the previously published Erlangen Score Algorithm, we suggested a division of CSF patterns into five groups, covering all possible CSF result combinations based on the presence of pathologic tau and/or amyloid-β CSF values.
This study aimed to validate the Erlangen Score diagnostic algorithm based on the results of biomarkers analyses obtained in different patients cohorts, with different pre-analytical protocols, and with different laboratory analytical platforms.
We evaluated the algorithm in two cohorts of pre-dementia subjects: the US-Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and the German Dementia Competence Network.
In both cohorts, the Erlangen scores were strongly associated with progression to Alzheimer's disease. Neither the scores of the progressors nor the scores of the non-progressors differed significantly between the two projects, in spite of significant differences in the cohorts, laboratory methods, and the samples treatment.
Our findings confirm the utility of the Erlangen Score algorithm as a useful tool in the early neurochemical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Vascular risk factors are increasingly recognized as risks factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and early conversion from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. While neuroimaging research in AD has focused on brain atrophy, metabolic function, or amyloid deposition, little attention has been paid to the effect of cerebrovascular disease to cognitive decline.
To investigate the correlation of brain atrophy and white matter lesions with cognitive decline in AD, MCI, and control subjects.
Patients with AD and MCI, and healthy subjects were included in this study. Subjects had a baseline MRI scan, and baseline and follow-up neuropsychological battery (CERAD). Regional volumes were measured, and white matter lesion segmentation was performed. Correlations between rate of CERAD score decline and white matter lesion load and brain structure volume were evaluated. In addition, voxel-based correlations between baseline CERAD scores and atrophy and white matter lesion measures were computed.
CERAD rate of decline was most significantly associated with lesion loads located in the fornices. Several temporal lobe ROI volumes were significantly associated with CERAD decline. Voxel-based analysis demonstrated strong correlation between baseline CERAD scores and atrophy measures in the anterior temporal lobes. Correlation of baseline CERAD scores with white matter lesion volumes achieved significance in multilobar subcortical white matter.
Both baseline and declines in CERAD scores correlate with white matter lesion load and gray matter atrophy. Results of this study highlight the dominant effect of volume loss, and underscore the importance of small vessel disease as a contributor to cognitive decline in the elderly.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To report the rates and predictors of progression from normal cognition to either mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia using standardized neuropsychological methods.
A prospective cohort of patients diagnosed with Parkinson disease (PD) and baseline normal cognition was assessed for cognitive decline, performance, and function for a minimum of 2 years, and up to 6. A panel of movement disorders experts classified patients as having normal cognition, MCI, or dementia, with 55/68 (80.9%) of eligible patients seen at year 6. Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine cognitive decline and its predictors.
We enrolled 141 patients, who averaged 68.8 years of age, 63% men, who had PD on average for 5 years. The cumulative incidence of cognitive impairment was 8.5% at year 1, increasing to 47.4% by year 6. All incident MCI cases had progressed to dementia by year 5. In a multivariate analysis, predictors of future decline were male sex (p = 0.02), higher Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor score (p ≤ 0.001), and worse global cognitive score (p < 0.001).
Approximately half of patients with PD with normal cognition at baseline develop cognitive impairment within 6 years and all new MCI cases progress to dementia within 5 years. Our results show that the transition from normal cognition to cognitive impairment, including dementia, occurs frequently and quickly. Certain clinical and cognitive variables may be useful in predicting progression to cognitive impairment in PD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
The dynamic range of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid β (Aβ1-42) measurement does not parallel to cognitive changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cognitively normal (CN) subjects across different studies. Therefore, identifying novel proteins to characterize symptomatic AD samples is important.
Proteins were profiled using a multianalyte platform by Rules Based Medicine (MAP-RBM). Due to underlying heterogeneity and unbalanced sample size, we combined subjects (344 AD and 325 CN) from three cohorts: Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, Penn Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research of the University of Pennsylvania, and Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis. We focused on samples whose cognitive and amyloid status was consistent. We performed linear regression (accounted for age, gender, number of APOE e4 alleles, and cohort variable) to identify amyloid-related proteins for symptomatic AD subjects in this largest ever CSF-based MAP-RBM study. ANOVA and Tukey's test were used to evaluate if these proteins were related to cognitive impairment changes as measured by mini-mental state examination (MMSE).
Seven proteins were significantly associated with Aβ1-42 levels in the combined cohort (false discovery rate adjusted P < .05), of which lipoprotein a (Lp(a)), prolactin (PRL), resistin, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) have consistent direction of associations across every individual cohort. VEGF was strongly associated with MMSE scores, followed by pancreatic polypeptide and immunoglobulin A (IgA), suggesting they may be related to staging of AD.
Lp(a), PRL, IgA, and tissue factor/thromboplastin have never been reported for AD diagnosis in previous individual CSF-based MAP-RBM studies. Although some of our reported analytes are related to AD pathophysiology, others' roles in symptomatic AD samples worth further explorations.