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1.  Imaging amyloid deposition in Lewy body diseases 
Neurology  2008;71(12):903-910.
Extrapyramidal motor symptoms precede dementia in Parkinson disease (PDD) by many years, whereas dementia occurs early in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Despite this clinical distinction, the neuropsychological and neuropathologic features of these conditions overlap. In addition to widespread distribution of Lewy bodies, both diseases have variable burdens of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles characteristic of Alzheimer disease (AD).
To determine whether amyloid deposition, as assessed by PET imaging with the β-amyloid–binding compound Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB), can distinguish DLB from PDD, and to assess whether regional patterns of amyloid deposition correlate with specific motor or cognitive features.
Eight DLB, 7 PDD, 11 Parkinson disease (PD), 15 AD, and 37 normal control (NC) subjects underwent PiB-PET imaging and neuropsychological assessment. Amyloid burden was quantified using the PiB distribution volume ratio.
Cortical amyloid burden was higher in the DLB group than in the PDD group, comparable to the AD group. Amyloid deposition in the PDD group was low, comparable to the PD and NC groups. Relative to global cortical retention, occipital PiB retention was lower in the AD group than in the other groups. For the DLB, PDD, and PD groups, amyloid deposition in the parietal (lateral and precuneus)/posterior cingulate region was related to visuospatial impairment. Striatal PiB retention in the DLB and PDD groups was associated with less impaired motor function.
Global cortical amyloid burden is high in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) but low in Parkinson disease dementia. These data suggest that β-amyloid may contribute selectively to the cognitive impairment of DLB and may contribute to the timing of dementia relative to the motor signs of parkinsonism.
= Automated Anatomic Labeling;
= Alzheimer disease;
= Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center;
= American version of the National Adult Reading Test;
= analysis of covariance;
= Blessed Dementia Scale;
= cerebral amyloid angiopathy;
= Clinical Dementia Rating;
= Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= distribution volume ratio;
= Cued Selective Reminding Test;
= Free Selective Reminding Test;
= Hoehn and Yahr;
= Massachusetts General Hospital;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= normal control;
= neurofibrillary tangle;
= Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire;
= not significant;
= Parkinson disease;
= Parkinson disease dementia;
= Pittsburgh Compound B;
= region of interest;
= Statistical Parametric Mapping;
= UK Parkinson’s Disease Society Brain Bank Research Center;
= United Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale;
= Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised.
PMCID: PMC2637553  PMID: 18794492
2.  Demography, diagnostics, and medication in dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease with dementia: data from the Swedish Dementia Quality Registry (SveDem) 
Whether dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD) should be considered as one entity or two distinct conditions is a matter of controversy. The aim of this study was to compare the characteristics of DLB and PDD patients using data from the Swedish Dementia Quality Registry (SveDem).
SveDem is a national Web-based quality registry initiated to improve the quality of diagnostic workup, treatment, and care of patients with dementia across Sweden. Patients with newly diagnosed dementia of various types were registered in SveDem during the years 2007–2011. The current cross-sectional report is based on DLB (n = 487) and PDD (n = 297) patients. Demographic characteristics, diagnostic workup, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score, and medications were compared between DLB and PDD groups.
No gender differences were observed between the two study groups (P = 0.706). PDD patients were significantly younger than DLB patients at the time of diagnosis (74.8 versus 76.8 years, respectively; P < 0.001). A significantly higher prevalence of patients with MMSE score ≤24 were found in the PDD group (75.2% versus 67.6%; P = 0.030). The mean number of performed diagnostic modalities was significantly higher in the DLB group (4.9 ± 1.7) than in the PDD group (4.1 ± 1.6; P < 0.001). DLB patients were more likely than PDD patients to be treated with cholinesterase inhibitors (odds ratio = 2.5, 95% confidence interval = 1.8–3.5), whereas the use of memantine, antidepressants, and antipsychotics did not differ between the groups.
This study demonstrates several differences in the dementia work-up between DLB and PDD. The onset of dementia was significantly earlier in PDD, while treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors was more common in DLB patients. Severe cognitive impairment (MMSE score ≤24) was more frequent in the PDD group, whereas more diagnostic tests were used to confirm a DLB diagnosis. Some similarities also were found, such as gender distribution and use of memantine, antidepressants, and antipsychotics drugs. Further follow-up cost-effectiveness studies are needed to provide more evidence for workup and treatment guidelines of DLB and PDD.
PMCID: PMC3700781  PMID: 23847419
dementia with Lewy bodies; Parkinson’s disease with dementia; age; diagnostic approach; medication; Mini-Mental State Examination
3.  Performance on the dementia rating scale in Parkinson's disease with dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies: comparison with progressive supranuclear palsy and Alzheimer's disease 
Background: The relation between dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD) is unknown.
Objectives: To compare the cognitive profiles of patients with DLB and PDD, and compare those with the performance of patients with a subcortical dementia (progressive supranuclear palsy) and a cortical dementia (Alzheimer's disease).
Design: Survey of cognitive features.
Setting: General community in Rogaland county, Norway, and a university dementia and movement disorder research centre in the USA.
Patients: 60 patients with DLB, 35 with PDD, 49 with progressive supranuclear palsy, and 29 with Alzheimer's disease, diagnosed by either standardised clinical procedures and criteria (all PDD and Alzheimer cases and 76% of cases of progressive supranuclear palsy), or necropsy (all DLB cases and 24% of cases of progressive supranuclear palsy). Level of dementia severity was matched using the total score on the dementia rating scale adjusted for age and education.
Main outcome measures: Dementia rating scale subscores corrected for age.
Results: No significant differences between the dementia rating scale subscores in the PDD and DLB groups were found in the severely demented patients; in patients with mild to moderate dementia the conceptualisation subscore was higher in PDD than in DLB (p = 0.03). Compared with Alzheimer's disease, PDD and DLB had higher memory subscores (p < 0.001) but lower initiation and perseveration (p = 0.008 and p=0.021) and construction subscores (p = 0.009 and p = 0.001). DLB patients had a lower conceptualisation subscore (p = 0.004). Compared with progressive supranuclear palsy, PDD and DLB patients had lower memory subscores (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The cognitive profiles of patients with DLB and PDD were similar, but they differed from those of patients with Alzheimer's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy. The cognitive pattern in DLB and PDD probably reflects the superimposition of subcortical deficits upon deficits typically associated with Alzheimer's disease.
PMCID: PMC1738667  PMID: 12933921
4.  Imaging amyloid deposition in Lewy body diseases 
Neurology  2008;71(12):903-910.
Extrapyramidal motor symptoms precede dementia in Parkinson disease (PDD) by many years, whereas dementia occurs early in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Despite this clinical distinction, the neuropsychological and neuropathologic features of these conditions overlap. In addition to widespread distribution of Lewy bodies, both diseases have variable burdens of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles characteristic of Alzheimer disease (AD).
To determine whether amyloid deposition, as assessed by PET imaging with the β-amyloid–binding compound Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB), can distinguish DLB from PDD, and to assess whether regional patterns of amyloid deposition correlate with specific motor or cognitive features.
Eight DLB, 7 PDD, 11 Parkinson disease (PD), 15 AD, and 37 normal control (NC) subjects underwent PiB-PET imaging and neuropsychological assessment. Amyloid burden was quantified using the PiB distribution volume ratio.
Cortical amyloid burden was higher in the DLB group than in the PDD group, comparable to the AD group. Amyloid deposition in the PDD group was low, comparable to the PD and NC groups. Relative to global cortical retention, occipital PiB retention was lower in the AD group than in the other groups. For the DLB, PDD, and PD groups, amyloid deposition in the parietal (lateral and precuneus)/posterior cingulate region was related to visuospatial impairment. Striatal PiB retention in the DLB and PDD groups was associated with less impaired motor function.
Global cortical amyloid burden is high in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) but low in Parkinson disease dementia. These data suggest that β-amyloid may contribute selectively to the cognitive impairment of DLB and may contribute to the timing of dementia relative to the motor signs of parkinsonism.
PMCID: PMC2637553  PMID: 18794492
5.  Incidence of Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia 
JAMA neurology  2013;70(11):1396-1402.
Epidemiologic data on dementia with Lewy bodies (LBD) and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) remain limited in the US and worldwide. These data are essential to guide research and clinical or public health interventions.
To investigate the incidence of DLB among residents of Olmsted County, MN, and compare it to the incidence of PDD.
The medical records-linkage system of the Rochester Epidemiology Project was used to identify all persons who developed parkinsonism and, in particular, DLB or PDD from 1991 through 2005 (15 years). A movement disorders specialist reviewed the complete medical records of each suspected patient to confirm the diagnosis.
Olmsted County, MN, from 1991 through 2005 (15 years).
Main Outcome Measure
Incidence of DLB and PDD.
All the residents of Olmsted County, MN who gave authorization for medical record research.
Among 542 incident cases of parkinsonism, 64 had DLB and 46 had PDD. The incidence rate of DLB was 3.5 per 100,000 person-years overall, and it increased steeply with age. Similarly, the incidence of PDD was 2.5 overall and also increased steeply with age. The incidence rate of DLB and PDD combined was 5.9. Patients with DLB were younger at onset of symptoms than patients with PDD and had more hallucinations and cognitive fluctuations. Men had a higher incidence of DLB than women across the age spectrum. The pathology was consistent with the clinical diagnosis in 24 of 31 patients who underwent autopsy (77.4%).
The overall incidence rate of DLB is lower than the rate for Parkinson’s disease. DLB risk increases steeply with age and is markedly higher in men. This men-to-women difference may suggest different etiologic mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC4181848  PMID: 24042491
6.  Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Are More Similar to Alzheimer’s Disease than Dementia with Lewy Bodies: A Case-Control Study 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(4):e0153989.
Background and purpose
Previous studies on the clinical and pathological manifestations of Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) have reported findings more similar to dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) than to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The aim of this study was to investigate the neuropsychiatric symptoms of PDD compared to DLB and AD.
We conducted a retrospective case-control study on 125 newly diagnosed consecutive PDD patients and age- and dementia stage-matched controls with either DLB (N = 250) or AD (N = 500) who visited the same hospital over the same period. For each case and control, neuropsychiatric symptoms were assessed using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI).
Overall, 513 (58.6%) patients were female and 362 (41.4%) were male. Comparisons of clinical data revealed that the PDD group, similar to the AD group, had a lower NPI total score, NPI caregiver burden score, and rate of antipsychotic use (all p < 0.001) than the DLB group. One or more psychiatric symptoms were reported in 95.2% of the PDD, 99.2% of the DLB, and 96.8% of the AD patients. The PDD group had lower subscores in the items of delusions, hallucinations, agitation, anxiety, irritation, aberrant motor behavior compared to the DLB group. Severe neuropsychiatric symptoms among all dementia patients were associated with younger age, more advanced stage, and a diagnosis of DLB.
Neuropsychiatric symptoms in PDD were more like those in AD than in DLB. Severe neuropsychiatric symptoms in degenerative dementia were associated with younger age, more advanced stage of dementia, and a diagnosis of DLB.
PMCID: PMC4839640  PMID: 27101140
7.  Comparison of cognitive decline between dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(1):e000380.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) accounts for 10%–15% of dementia cases at autopsy and has distinct clinical features associated with earlier institutionalisation and a higher level of carer distress than are seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). At present, there is on-going debate as to whether DLB is associated with a more rapid cognitive decline than AD. An understanding of the rate of decline of cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms in DLB may help patients and carers to plan for the future.
In this cohort study, the authors compared 100 AD and 58 DLB subjects at baseline and at 12-month follow-up on cognitive and neuropsychiatric measures.
Patients were recruited from 40 European centres.
Subjects with mild–moderate dementia. Diagnosis of DLB or AD required agreement between consensus panel clinical diagnosis and visual rating of 123I-FP-CIT (dopamine transporter) single photon emission computed tomography neuroimaging.
Outcome measures
The Cambridge Cognitive Examination including Mini-Mental State Examination and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI).
The AD and DLB groups did not differ at baseline in terms of age, gender, Clinical Dementia Rating score and use of cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine. NPI and NPI carer distress scores were statistically significantly higher for DLB subjects at baseline and at follow-up, and there were no differences between AD and DLB in cognitive scores at baseline or at follow-up. There was no significant difference in rate of progression of any of the variables analysed.
DLB subjects had more neuropsychiatric features at baseline and at follow-up than AD, but the authors did not find any statistically significant difference in rate of progression between the mild–moderate AD and DLB groups on cognitive or neuropsychiatric measures over a 12-month follow-up period.
Article summary
Article focus
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) has distinct neuropsychiatric features.
At present, we do not know whether the poorer prognosis of DLB is due to a more rapid cognitive decline compared with Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Key messages
In this fairly large cohort of patients with DLB and AD, while there was no difference in level of cognitive impairment (Cambridge Cognitive Examination (CAMCOG) score) at baseline and at 12-month follow-up, DLB patients had significantly higher Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and NPI carer distress scores both at baseline and at 12-month follow-up.
Therefore, the worse prognosis of DLB is likely to be mediated by neuropsychiatric or other symptoms and not only by cognitive decline.
Strengths and limitations of this study
Inclusion of high number of subjects from 40 European clinical centres.
Well-characterised cases with both consensus panel clinical diagnosis (three clinical experts) and dopaminergic transporter single photon emission computed tomography imaging.
No autopsy data were available and therefore it is possible that more rapid cognitive decline may be present in pure DLB.
Only 1 year of follow-up.
There was higher attrition rate (no-follow-up assessment) in the DLB group, and DLB patients that did not return for follow-up were more impaired than AD patients.
PMCID: PMC3330257  PMID: 22318660
8.  Differential susceptibility to motor impulsivity among functional subtypes of Parkinson’s disease 
Background and objectives
Parkinson’s disease patients with predominant postural instability and gait difficulties (PIGD) may experience unique cognitive difficulties compared to patients with tremor predominant (TD) symptoms. PIGD patients are also at high risk for falling, and some of the worst fallers seem to react impulsively to their environment. We tested the hypothesis that PIGD patients show poorer control over motor impulses compared to TD patients.
34 PD participants were divided into predominant PIGD (n=17) or TD (n=17) functional subtypes based on their presenting symptoms in their optimally treated motor state. All participants performed a speeded reaction task that quantified motor impulsivity and the proficiency of inhibiting prepotent motor impulses.
The groups showed similar reaction times, but compared to TD patients, PIGD patients made significantly more impulsive motor errors. Notably, when the initial impulsive erroneous response was avoided, PIGD and TD groups were similar in their ability to suppress the incorrect motor impulse from further interfering with the selection of a correct action.
PD patients with PIGD predominant symptoms show greater susceptibility to acting on prepotent motor impulses compared to TD patients. This finding may have direct implications for fall risk and also points to dissociable neurocognitive pathologies in TD and PIGD subtypes. Clinically, the use of specific cognitive instruments to assess the expression and inhibition of motor impulses may help identify PD patients who have difficulty ‘thinking before they leap’ and are at high risk of falling.
PMCID: PMC3704227  PMID: 22917670
9.  Clinical and Neuropsychological Differences between Mild Parkinson's Disease Dementia and Dementia with Lewy Bodies 
The specific profile of dementia in Parkinson's disease (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) in the earliest stages of dementia is still unclear and subject of considerable controversy.
We investigated 27 PDD patients and 24 DLB patients with parkinsonism in the early stage of dementia, i.e. with a Mini-Mental State Examination score of ≥24.
Compared to PDD, patients with DLB demonstrated significantly lower scores when testing attention and executive functions [modified card sorting test (p < 0.001) and digit span backward (p < 0.02)], as well as when testing constructive abilities [copy of complex designs (p = 0.001) and pentagon (p < 0.001)]. Using logistic regression analysis, diagnosis was predicted from the cognitive profile, with an overall accuracy of 88.2%. In addition, PDD patients showed a significantly higher Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor subscore (p < 0.001) as well as higher UPDRS motor item scores [tremor at rest (p = 0.01) and bradykinesia (p = 0.001)].
The cognitive profile in PDD differs from that in DLB in the early stage of dementia, with worse performance on tests of attention and executive functions and constructive abilities in DLB compared to PDD patients. In contrast, motor symptoms are more severe in PDD than in DLB.
PMCID: PMC4483490  PMID: 26195977
Parkinson's disease; Mild dementia; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Clinical presentation
10.  Effect of levodopa on cognitive function in Parkinson's disease with and without dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies 
Levodopa (L‐dopa) is the gold standard treatment for Parkinson's disease, but a lack of clear efficacy combined with a perceived liability to neuropsychiatric side effects has limited L‐dopa use in patients with parkinsonism and dementia. Therefore, the effect of L‐dopa on the cognitive profile of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD) is unclear.
To ascertain the acute and long‐term effects of L‐dopa on aspects of attention and cognition in patients with DLB and PDD, and to compare these with the effects in Parkinson's disease.
Baseline cognitive and motor function was assessed off L‐dopa in patients with Parkinson's disease (n = 22), PDD (n = 27) and DLB (n = 11) using standard “bedside” measures and a computerised programme detecting reaction times and accuracy. All patients then underwent an acute L‐dopa challenge with subsequent subjective and objective analysis of alertness, verbal recall, reaction times and accuracy. The same parameters were measured after 3 months on L‐dopa to assess the prolonged effect.
Acute L‐dopa challenge considerably improved motor function and subjective alertness in all patients without compromising either reaction times or accuracy, but increased fluctuations were noted in both groups with dementia. Neuropsychiatric scores improved in patients with Parkinson's disease both with and without dementia on L‐dopa at 3 months. Although patients with Parkinson's disease also had better mean global cognitive function at this time, mean verbal attention and memory deteriorated, and patients with PDD had slower reaction times in some tests. No patient had a marked deterioration over this time. Patients with DLB did not experience any adverse cognitive or neuropsychiatric effects after 3 months of L‐dopa treatment.
The use of L‐dopa in patients with parkinsonism with dementia does not adversely affect cognitive function.
PMCID: PMC2077405  PMID: 16952917
11.  Dynamin1 concentration in the prefrontal cortex is associated with cognitive impairment in Lewy body dementia 
F1000Research  2014;3:108.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD) together, represent the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The synaptic dysfunctions underlying the cognitive decline and psychiatric symptoms observed throughout the development of PDD and DLB are still under investigation. In this study we examined the expression level of Dynamin1 and phospho-CaMKII, key proteins of endocytosis and synaptic plasticity respectively, as potential markers of molecular processes specifically deregulated with DLB and/or PDD. In order to measure the levels of these proteins, we isolated grey matter from post-mortem prefrontal cortex area (BA9), anterior cingulated gyrus (BA24) and parietal cortex (BA40) from DLB and PDD patients in comparison to age-matched controls and a group of AD cases. Clinical and pathological data available included the MMSE score, neuropsychiatric history, and semi-quantitative scores for AD pathology (plaques - tangles) and for α-synuclein (Lewy bodies).
Changes in the expression of the synaptic markers, and correlates with neuropathological features and cognitive decline were predominantly found in the prefrontal cortex. On one hand, levels of Dynamin1 were significantly reduced, and correlated with a higher rate of cognitive decline observed in cases from three dementia groups. On the other hand, the fraction of phospho-CaMKII was decreased, and correlated with a high score of plaques and tangles in BA9. Interestingly, the correlation between the rate of cognitive decline and the level of Dynamin1 remained when the analysis was restricted to the PDD and DLB cases, highlighting an association of Dynamin1 with cognitive decline in people with Lewy Body dementia.
PMCID: PMC4309165  PMID: 25671083
Alzheimer’s disease; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Parkinson’s disease with dementia; synaptic dysfunction; vesicle recycling; synaptic plasticity; beta amyloid; tau; cognitive impairment
12.  Gray matter atrophy distinguishes between Parkinson disease motor subtypes 
Neurology  2013;80(16):1476-1484.
To assess differences in gray matter (GM) atrophy between 2 Parkinson disease (PD) subtypes: the tremor dominant (TD) subtype and the postural instability gait difficulty (PIGD) subtype.
Patients were classified as belonging to the predominately PIGD (n = 30) or predominately TD (n = 29) subtype. Voxel-based morphometry was used to compare GM in these 2 subtypes and to evaluate correlations between predefined regions of interest and the degree of symptoms. In the regions where GM atrophy was associated with symptoms, the relationship between GM volumes and functional connectivity was examined.
GM was reduced in the predominately PIGD group, compared with the predominately TD group, in areas that involve motor, cognitive, limbic, and associative functions (p < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). Lower GM volumes in the pre–supplementary motor area (SMA) and in the primary motor area were associated with increased severity of PIGD symptoms (r = −0.42, p < 0.001; r = −0.38, p < 0.003, respectively). Higher GM volumes within the pre-SMA were associated with stronger functional connectivity between the pre-SMA and the putamen (r = 0.415, p < 0.025) in the patients with predominately PIGD.
In patients with PD, PIGD symptoms are apparently associated with GM atrophy in motor-related regions and decreased functional connectivity. GM degeneration and a related decrease in spontaneous coactivation between cortical and subcortical motor-planning areas may partially account for the unique clinical characteristics of a subset of patients with PD.
PMCID: PMC3662357  PMID: 23516323
13.  A meta-regression of the long-term effects of deep brain stimulation on balance and gait in PD 
Neurology  2010;75(14):1292-1299.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) alleviates the cardinal Parkinson disease (PD) symptoms of tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia. However, its effects on postural instability and gait disability (PIGD) are uncertain. Contradictory findings may be due to differences the in stimulation site and the length of time since DBS surgery. This prompted us to conduct the first meta-regression of long-term studies of bilateral DBS in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and globus pallidus interna (GPi).
Eleven articles reported a breakdown of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale score before and beyond 3 years postsurgery (mean 4.5 years). Random effects meta-regression revealed that DBS initially improved PIGD compared to the OFF medicated state before surgery, but performance declined over time and extrapolation showed subjects would reach presurgery levels 9 years postsurgery. ON medication, DBS improved PIGD over and above the effect of medication before surgery. Nevertheless, for the STN group, PIGD progressively declined and was worse than presurgery function within 2 years. In contrast, GPi patients showed no significant long-term decline in PIGD in the medicated state. Improvements in cardinal signs with DBS at both sites were maintained across 5 years in the OFF and ON medication states.
DBS alone does not offer the same improvement to PIGD as it does to the cardinal symptoms, suggesting axial and distal control are differentially affected by DBS. GPi DBS in combination with levodopa seemed to preserve PIGD better than did STN DBS, although more studies of GPi DBS and randomized controls are needed.
= deep brain stimulation;
= globus pallidus interna;
= Parkinson disease;
= postural instability and gait disability;
= subthalamic nucleus;
= Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale.
PMCID: PMC3013496  PMID: 20921515
14.  Progression of motor and nonmotor features of Parkinson's disease and their response to treatment 
(i) To describe the progression of the cardinal features of Parkinson's disease (PD); (ii) to investigate whether baseline PD subtypes explain disease progression; and (iii) to quantify the symptomatic and disease-modifying effects of anti-parkinsonian treatments.
Data were available for 795 PD subjects, initially untreated, followed for up to 8 years. Cardinal features [tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability and gait disorder (PIGD)] were derived from the total unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (total UPDRS), cognitive status from the mini-mental status exam score (MMSE) and depression status from the Hamilton depression scale (HAM-D). Analysis was performed using a nonlinear mixed effects approach with an asymptotic model for natural disease progression. Treatment effects (i.e. symptomatic and disease modifying) were evaluated by describing changes in the natural history model parameters.
Tremor progressed more slowly (half-time of 3.9 years) than all other motor features (half-time 2–3 years). The MMSE progression was negligible, while HAM-D progressed with a half-time of 5 years. Levodopa had marked symptomatic effects on all features, but low potency for effect on PIGD (ED50 of 1237 mg day−1 compared with 7–24 mg day−1 for other motor and nonmotor features). Other anti-parkinsonian treatments had much smaller symptomatic effects. All treatments had disease-modifying effects on the cardinal features of PD. Baseline PD subtypes only explained small differences in disease progression.
This analysis indicates that tremor progresses more slowly than other cardinal features and that PIGD is less treatment responsive in early PD patients. There was no evidence of baseline PD subtypes as a clinically useful predictor of disease progression rate. Anti-parkinsonian treatments have symptomatic and disease-modifying effects on all major features of PD.
PMCID: PMC3630747  PMID: 22283961
disease progression; levodopa; motor subscales; Parkinson's disease; pharmacodynamics; selegiline
15.  Different Clinical and Neuroimaging Characteristics in Early Stage Parkinson’s Disease with Dementia and Dementia with Lewy Bodies 
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease  null;52(1):205-211.
Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) both commonly exhibit brain Lewy body pathology and similar end-stage symptoms, but early symptoms differ. To clarify these differences, we compared the demographic characteristics, symptoms, cognitive and affective functioning, activities of daily life, and neuroimaging results between PDD (n = 52) and DLB (n = 46) patients. In measures of cognitive functioning, PDD patients had worse Hasegawa dementia scale-revised (HDS-R) scores (11.2±4.8) and better frontal assessment battery (FAB) scores (11.3±4.1) compared with DLB (17.0±6.4, p = 0.013 and 8.6±4.7, p = 0.039, respectively). DLB patients performed worse than PDD patients in “orientation to place” tasks. In affective functions, DLB patients had worse GDS (7.6±3.4) and ABS (9.9±5.3) scores than PDD patients (5.1±4.1 and 4.8±3.0, respectively). 99mTc-ECD images showed greater CBF in the whole cingulate gyrus and a lower CBF in the precuneus area in DLB than in PDD. These results suggest that PDD patients’ lower average scores for “repetition” (MMSE), “recent memory” (HDS-R), and “lexical fluency” (FAB) were related to lower CBF in the cingulate gyrus than in DLB. Furthermore, DLB patients’ poorer average subscale scores of “orientation to place” (MMSE) and “similarities”, “conflicting instructions”, and “go-no go” (FAB) tasks may be related to the lower CBF in the precuneus area in DLB than PDD.
PMCID: PMC4927815  PMID: 27060948
Affective function; cognitive function; dementia with Lewybodies; Parkinson’s disease with dementia; 99mTc-ECD images
16.  Dementia with Lewy Bodies versus Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease Dementia: A Comparison of Cognitive Profiles 
Background and Purpose
It is particularly difficult to differentiate dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from the related dementias of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD). Few studies have been designed to comparatively analyze detailed neuropsychological assessments of DLB patients and patients with AD and PDD.
Three groups of patients participated in this study: 10 with DLB, 76 with AD, and 17 with PDD, who had been diagnosed as probable DLB, AD, and PDD, respectively, according to the clinical criteria of the consortium on DLB, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke/Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorder Association, and the clinical diagnostic criteria for PDD. All patients were evaluated by careful neurological examination with detailed neuropsychological testing.
Significant differences among the three groups were found for attention, memory, and executive function, which included tasks of backward digit span, three-word recall, verbal delayed recall, and the Stroop test. Post hoc analysis revealed that the deficiencies of attention on the digit span task were greater in the DLB group than in the AD and PDD groups. The scores for episodic verbal memory tasks were significantly lower in the DLB and AD groups than in the PDD group. The performance in frontal executive function, as indicated by the Stroop test, was significantly worse in the DLB and PDD groups than in the AD group.
The results of the present study show that the pattern of cognitive dysfunction, in terms of attention, episodic memory, and executive functions, differ between patients with DLB and patients with AD and PDD.
PMCID: PMC3079155  PMID: 21519522
dementia with lewy bodies; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease dementia; cognition; neuropsychology
17.  Longitudinal assessment of global and regional atrophy rates in Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies 
NeuroImage : Clinical  2015;7:456-462.
Background & objective
Percent whole brain volume change (PBVC) measured from serial MRI scans is widely accepted as a sensitive marker of disease progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the utility of PBVC in the differential diagnosis of dementia remains to be established. We compared PBVC in AD and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and investigated associations with clinical measures.
72 participants (14 DLBs, 25 ADs, and 33 healthy controls (HCs)) underwent clinical assessment and 3 Tesla T1-weighted MRI at baseline and repeated at 12 months. We used FSL-SIENA to estimate PBVC for each subject. Voxelwise analyses and ANCOVA compared PBVC between DLB and AD, while correlational tests examined associations of PBVC with clinical measures.
AD had significantly greater atrophy over 1 year (1.8%) compared to DLB (1.0%; p = 0.01) and HC (0.9%; p < 0.01) in widespread regions of the brain including periventricular areas. PBVC was not significantly different between DLB and HC (p = 0.95). There were no differences in cognitive decline between DLB and AD. In the combined dementia group (AD and DLB), younger age was associated with higher atrophy rates (r = 0.49, p < 0.01).
AD showed a faster rate of global brain atrophy compared to DLB, which had similar rates of atrophy to HC. Among dementia subjects, younger age was associated with accelerated atrophy, reflecting more aggressive disease in younger people. PBVC could aid in differentiating between DLB and AD, however its utility as an outcome marker in DLB is limited.
•AD showed faster global and regional brain atrophy in comparison to DLB.•Similar rates of global and regional atrophy were found in DLB and HC.•Longitudinal imaging could improve clinical differentiation of DLB from AD.•Atrophy rates might not be a useful marker to track disease progression in DLB.
PMCID: PMC4325088  PMID: 25685712
Dementia; Alzheimer's disease; Lewy bodies; Neuroimaging; Atrophy
18.  Verbal Learning and Memory in Patients with Dementia with Lewy Bodies or Parkinson's Disease with Dementia 
This study compared verbal learning and memory in patients with autopsy-confirmed dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and patients with Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD). Twenty-four DLB patients, 24 PDD patients, and 24 normal comparison participants were administered the California Verbal Learning Test. The three groups were matched on demographic variables and the two patient groups were matched on the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale. The results indicated that DLB patients recalled less information than PDD patients on all but one recall measure and displayed a more rapid rate of forgetting. In contrast, the PDD patients committed a greater percent of perseveration errors than the DLB patients. The two groups did not differ in the percentage of recall intrusion errors or any measures of recognition. A discriminant function analysis (DFA) using short delay cued recall, percent perseveration errors, and list b recall, differentiated the DLB and PDD groups with 81.3% accuracy. The application of the DFA algorithm to another sample of 42 PDD patients resulted in a 78.6% correct classification rate. The results suggest that, despite equivalent levels of general cognitive impairment, patients with DLB or PDD exhibit a different pattern of verbal learning and memory deficits.
PMCID: PMC2935683  PMID: 19221922
19.  Thalamic cholinergic innervation is spared in Alzheimer disease compared to Parkinsonian disorders 
Neuroscience Letters  2012;514(2):169-172.
There are two major sources of cholinergic projections in the brain. The nucleus basalis of Meynert provides the principal cholinergic input of the cortical mantle and the pedunculopontine nucleus-laterodorsal tegmental complex (PPN-LDTC; hereafter referred to as PPN) provides the major cholinergic input to the thalamus. Cortical cholinergic denervation has previously been shown to be part of Alzheimer and parkinsonian dementia but there is less information about subcortical thalamic cholinergic denervation. We investigated thalamic cholinergic afferent integrity by measuring PPN-Thalamic (PPN-Thal) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity via PET imaging in Alzheimer (AD), Parkinson disease without dementia (PD), Parkinson disease with dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
AD (n=13; mean age 75.4±5.5), PD (n=11; age 71.4±6.4), PDD (n=6; age 70.8±4.7), DLB (n=6; age 68.0±8.6) and normal controls (NC; n=14; age 69.0±7.5) subjects underwent AChE [11C]-methyl-4-piperidinyl propionate (PMP) PET imaging. PPN-Thal PET data were analyzed using the Nagatsuka method.
There were no significant differences in mean age between the groups (F=1.86, p=0.134). Kruskal-Wallis testing demonstrated a significant group effect for PPN-Thal AChE hydrolysis rates (F=9.62, P<0.0001). Compared to NC, reduced thalamic k3 hydrolysis rate was noted in subjects with PDD (−19.8%; AChE k3 hydrolysis rates 0.1072±0.0143 min−1), DLB (−17.4%; 0.1103±0.0112 min−1) and PD (−12.8%; 0.1165±0.0114 min−1). Each of these 3 subgroups were statistically different from AD subjects (−0.7%; 0.1326±0.0095 min−1) who showed relatively spared thalamic k3 hydrolysis rates which were comparable to NC (0.1336±0.0142 min−1).
Thalamic cholinergic denervation is present in PD, PDD, and DLB but not in AD. Neurodegenerative involvement of thalamic cholinergic afferent projections may contribute to disease-specific motor and cognitive abnormalities.
PMCID: PMC3320689  PMID: 22414859
Acetylcholine; [11C] PMP PET; Alzheimer disease; Parkinson disease; PPN; Parkinson disease with dementia
20.  Analysis of the Substantia Innominata Volume in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease with Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Alzheimer’s Disease 
Journal of Movement Disorders  2011;4(2):68-72.
Background and Purpose
The substantia innominata (SI) contains the nucleus basalis of Meynert, which is the major source of cholinergic input to the cerebral cortex. We hypothesized that degeneration of the SI and its relationship to general cognitive performance differs in amyloidopathy and synucleinopathy.
We used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based volumetric analysis to evaluate the SI volume in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease-mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI), PD with dementia (PDD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and healthy elderly controls. The correlation between SI volume and general cognitive performance, measured using the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE), was examined.
Compared to control subjects, the mean normalized SI volume was significantly decreased in all of the other groups. The normalized SI volume did not differ between the subjects with PDD and DLB, whereas it was significantly smaller in subjects with PDD (p = 0.029) and DLB (p = 0.011) compared with AD. In subjects with PD-related cognitive impairment (PD-MCI, PDD, or DLB), there was a significant positive correlation between the SI volume and K-MMSE score (r = 0.366, p < 0.001), whereas no correlation was seen in subjects with AD-related cognitive impairment (aMCI or AD).
Our data suggest that the SI loss is greater in synucleinopathy-related dementia (PDD or DLB) than in AD and that the contribution of the SI to cognitive performance is greater in synucleinopathy than in amyloidopathy.
PMCID: PMC4027689  PMID: 24868398
The substantia innominata; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease-related cognitive dysfunction
21.  White Matter Hyperintensities in Parkinson’s Disease: Do They Explain the Disparity between the Postural Instability Gait Difficulty and Tremor Dominant Subtypes? 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e55193.
Brain white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) commonly observed on brain imaging of older adults are associated with balance and gait impairment and have also been linked to cognitive deficits. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is traditionally sub-classified into the postural instability gait difficulty (PIGD) sub-type, and the tremor dominant (TD) sub-type. Considering the known association between WMHs and axial symptoms like gait disturbances and postural instability, one can hypothesize that WMHs might contribute to the disparate clinical sub-types of patients with PD.
110 patients with PD underwent a clinical evaluation and a 3T MRI exam. Based on the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale, the patients were classified into motor sub-types, i.e., TD or PIGD, and scores reflecting PIGD and TD symptoms were computed. We compared white matter burden using three previously validated methods: one using a semi-quantitative visual rating scale in specific brain regions and two automated methods.
Overall, MRI data were obtained in 104 patients. The mean WMHs scores and the percent of subjects with lesions in specific brain regions were similar in the two subtypes, p = 0.678. The PIGD and the TD scores did not differ even when comparing patients with a relatively high burden of WMHs to patients with a relatively low burden. Across most of the brain regions, mild to moderate correlations between WMHs and age were found (r = 0.23 to 0.41; p<0.021). Conversely, no significant correlations were found between WMHs and the PIGD score or disease duration. In addition, depressive symptoms and cerebro-vascular risk factors were similar among the two subtypes.
In contrast to what has been reported previously among older adults, the present study could not demonstrate any association between WMHs and the PIGD or TD motor sub-types in patients with PD.
PMCID: PMC3561367  PMID: 23383104
22.  The role of levodopa in the management of dementia with Lewy bodies 
Background: One of the core clinical features of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is extrapyramidal syndrome (EPS). Levodopa is currently the gold standard oral therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD), but its use in DLB has been tempered by concerns of exacerbating neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Aim: To assess the efficacy and tolerability of L-dopa in managing EPS in DLB and to compare the motor response with that seen in PD and PD with dementia (PDD).
Method: EPS assessment consisted of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, motor subsection (UPDRS III), and finger tapping and walking tests. Patients with DLB were commenced on L-dopa. After 6 months, patients were examined in the "off" state, given L-dopa and assessed for motor responses. Identical assessments were performed in patients with PD and PDD also receiving L-dopa.
Results: Acute L-dopa challenge in 14 DLB patients yielded a mean 13.8% (p = 0.02) improvement in UPDRS III score, compared with 20.5% in PD (n = 28, p<0.0001) and 23% in PDD (n = 30, p<0.0001) respectively. Finger tapping scores increased (12.3% v 20% and 23%), while walking test scores decreased (32% v 41% and 67%). Of the DLB patients, 36% were classified as "responders" on L-dopa challenge, compared with 70% of the PDD and 57% of the PD patients. Nineteen DLB patients were treated for 6 months with L-dopa (mean daily dose 323 mg). Two withdrew prematurely with gastrointestinal symptoms and two with worsening confusion.
Conclusion: L-dopa was generally well tolerated in DLB but produced a significant motor response in only about one third of patients. Younger DLB cases were more likely to respond to dopaminergic treatment.
PMCID: PMC1739807  PMID: 16107351
23.  Brain amyloid and cognition in Lewy body diseases 
Many patients with Parkinson disease (PD) develop dementia (PDD), a syndrome that overlaps clinically and pathologically with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB); PDD and DLB differ chiefly in the relative timing of dementia and parkinsonism. Brain amyloid deposition is an early feature of DLB and may account in part for its early dementia. We sought to confirm this hypothesis and also to determine whether amyloid accumulation contributes to cognitive impairment and dementia in the broad range of parkinsonian diseases.
29 cognitively normal PD, 14 PD subjects with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI), 18 with DLB, 12 with PDD and 85 healthy control subjects (HCS) underwent standardized neurologic and neuropsychological examinations and PiB imaging with PET. Apolipoprotein (APOE) genotypes were obtained in many patients. PiB retention was expressed as the distribution volume ratio using a cerebellar tissue reference.
PiB retention was significantly higher in DLB than in any of the other diagnostic groups. PiB retention did not differ across PDD, PD-MCI, PD, and HCS. Amyloid burden increased with age and with the presence of the APOEε4 allele in all patient groups. Only in the DLB group was amyloid deposition associated with impaired cognition.
DLB subjects have higher amyloid burden than subjects with PDD, PD-MCI, PD or HCS; amyloid deposits are linked to cognitive impairment only in DLB. Early amyloid deposits in DLB relative to PDD may account for their difference in the timing of dementia and parkinsonism.
PMCID: PMC3725259  PMID: 22693110
dementia; Lewy; Parkinson; amyloid; PiB
24.  β-amyloid and postural instability and gait difficulty in Parkinson disease at risk for dementia 
Although motor impairments in Parkinson disease are attributed to nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation, postural instability and gait difficulty (PIGD) features are less responsive to dopaminergic medications. PIGD features are a risk factor also for development of dementia in Parkinson disease. These observations suggest that non-dopaminergic mechanisms may contribute to axial motor impairments. The objective was to perform a correlative positron emission tomography study to examine the relationship between neocortical β-amyloid deposition ([11C]-Pittsburgh Compound-B), nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation ([11C]-dihydrotetrabenazine), and PIGD feature severity in Parkinson disease patients at risk for dementia.
Cross-sectional study of 44 Parkinson disease patients (11 Female / 33 Male; 69.5 ± 6.6 years; 7.0 ± 4.8 years motor disease duration; mean Hoehn and Yahr stage 2.7 ± 0.5) who underwent positron emission tomography, motor feature severity assessment using the Movement Disorder Society revised Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, and the Dementia Rating Scale.
Linear regression (R2adj=0.147, F4,39=2.85, p=0.036) showed that increased PIGD feature severity was associated with increased neocortical [11C]-Pittsburgh Compound-B binding (β=0.346, t39=2.13, p=0.039), while controlling for striatal [11C]-dihydrotetrabenazine binding, age, and Dementia Rating Scale total score.
Increased neocortical β-amyloid deposition, even at low range levels, is associated with higher PIGD feature severity in Parkinson disease patients at risk for dementia. This finding may explain why the PIGD motor phenotype is a risk factor for development of dementia in Parkinson disease.
PMCID: PMC3680885  PMID: 23239424
Parkinson disease; β-amyloid; dopamine; PET; MDS-UPDRS
25.  Motor phenotype of LRRK2 G2019S carriers in Early Onset Parkinson Disease 
Archives of neurology  2009;66(12):1517-1522.
To determine the motor phenotype of LRRK2 G2019S mutation carriers
LRRK2 mutation carriers were previously reported to manifest the tremor-dominant (TD) motor phenotype, which has been associated with slower motor progression and less cognitive impairment compared to the postural instability gait difficulty (PIGD) phenotype.
Cross sectional observational study
13 movement disorders centers
925 Early Onset Parkinson Disease (EOPD) cases defined as age at onset (AAO) ≤50.
Main Outcome Measures
LRRK2 mutation status and PD motor phenotype: TD or PIGD
Demographic information, family history of PD (FHPD), and the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) were collected on all participants. DNA samples were genotyped for LRRK2 mutations (G2019S, I2020T, R1441C and Y1699C). Logistic regression was used to examine associations of G2019S mutation status with motor phenotype adjusting for disease duration, Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) ancestry, levodopa dose, and FHPD.
34 cases (3.7%) (14 previously reported) were G2019S carriers. No other mutations were found. Carriers were more likely to be AJ (55.9% vs. 11.9% p<0.001), but did not significantly differ in any other demographic or disease characteristics. Carriers had a lower tremor score (p=0.026) and were more likely to have a PIGD phenotype (92.3% vs. 58.9% p=0.003). The association of the G2019S mutation with PIGD phenotype remained after controlling for disease duration and AJ (OR= 17.7, p< 0.001).
EOPD G2019S LRRK2 carriers are more likely to manifest the PIGD phenotype, which may have implications for disease course.
PMCID: PMC2837584  PMID: 20008657

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