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1.  Differentiation of dementia with Lewy bodies from Alzheimer's disease using a dopaminergic presynaptic ligand 
Background: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is one of the main differential diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Key pathological features of patients with DLB are not only the presence of cerebral cortical neuronal loss, with Lewy bodies in surviving neurones, but also loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurones, similar to that of Parkinson's disease (PD). In DLB there is 40–70% loss of striatal dopamine.
Objective: To determine if detection of this dopaminergic degeneration can help to distinguish DLB from AD during life.
Methods: The integrity of the nigrostriatal metabolism in 27 patients with DLB, 17 with AD, 19 drug naive patients with PD, and 16 controls was assessed using a dopaminergic presynaptic ligand, 123I-labelled 2ß-carbomethoxy-3ß-(4-iodophenyl)-N-(3-fluoropropyl)nortropane (FP-CIT), and single photon emission tomography (SPET). A SPET scan was carried out with a single slice, brain dedicated tomograph (SME 810) 3.5 hours after intravenous injection of 185 MBq FP-CIT. With occipital cortex used as a radioactivity uptake reference, ratios for the caudate nucleus and the anterior and posterior putamen of both hemispheres were calculated. All scans were also rated by a simple visual method.
Results: Both DLB and PD patients had significantly lower uptake of radioactivity than patients with AD (p<0.001) and controls (p<0.001) in the caudate nucleus and the anterior and posterior putamen.
Conclusion: FP-CIT SPET provides a means of distinguishing DLB from AD during life.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.73.2.134
PMCID: PMC1737968  PMID: 12122169
2.  Dementia with Lewy bodies: a comparison of clinical diagnosis, FP‐CIT single photon emission computed tomography imaging and autopsy 
Background
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a common form of dementia. The presence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology modifies the clinical features of DLB, making it harder to distinguish DLB from AD clinically during life. Clinical diagnostic criteria for DLB applied at presentation can fail to identify up to 50% of cases. Our aim was to determine, in a series of patients with dementia in whom autopsy confirmation of diagnosis was available, whether functional imaging of the nigrostriatal pathway improves the accuracy of diagnosis compared with diagnosis by means of clinical criteria alone.
Methods
A single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan was carried out with a dopaminergic presynaptic ligand [123I]‐2beta‐carbometoxy‐3beta‐(4‐iodophenyl)‐N‐(3‐fluoropropyl) nortropane (FP‐CIT; ioflupane) on a group of patients with a clinical diagnosis of DLB or other dementia. An abnormal scan was defined as one in which right and left posterior putamen binding, measured semiquantitatively, was more than 2 SDs below the mean of the controls.
Results
Over a 10 year period it was possible to collect 20 patients who had been followed from the time of first assessment and time of scan through to death and subsequent detailed neuropathological autopsy. Eight patients fulfilled neuropathological diagnostic criteria for DLB. Nine patients had AD, mostly with coexisting cerebrovascular disease. Three patients had other diagnoses. The sensitivity of an initial clinical diagnosis of DLB was 75% and specificity was 42%. The sensitivity of the FP‐CIT scan for the diagnosis of DLB was 88% and specificity was 100%.
Conclusion
FP‐CIT SPECT scans substantially enhanced the accuracy of diagnosis of DLB by comparison with clinical criteria alone.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.2006.110122
PMCID: PMC2117602  PMID: 17353255
3.  How useful is [123I]ß-CIT SPECT in clinical practice? 
Objective: To assess the accuracy and clinical usefulness of [123I]ß-CIT (2ß-carbomethoxy-3ß-(4-iodophenyl)tropane) SPECT in the differential diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
Subjects: 185 consecutive patients with symptoms of movement disorder were studied. The diagnoses were Parkinson's disease (92), essential tremor (16), vascular parkinsonism (15), various Parkinson plus syndromes (P+) (12), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) (5), dystonia (5), drug induced movement disorder (12), and other diagnoses (8). A reference group (psychogenic parkinsonism) comprised 20 subjects with complaints suggesting extrapyramidal disease but with no unequivocal signs on clinical examination and no abnormalities on brain imaging.
Results: ß-CIT uptake was significantly lower in the whole striatum as well as separately in the putamen and in the caudate nucleus in Parkinson's disease than in the reference group or in drug induced movement disorder, essential tremor, or dystonia. The uptake of ß-CIT in the vascular parkinsonism group was heterogeneous and mean ß-CIT uptake fell between the reference group and the Parkinson's disease group. In the P+ and DLB groups the striatal uptake ratios overlapped those of the Parkinson's disease group.
Conclusions: [123I]ß-CIT SPECT may not be as useful a tool in the clinical differential diagnosis of Parkinson's disease as was previously believed, but it was 100% sensitive and specific for the diagnosis in younger patients (age <55 years). In older patients (age >55 years) specificity was substantially lower (68.5%). This differential specificity reflected the different distribution of differential diagnostic disorders (P+, DLB, vascular parkinsonism) in the older and younger age groups.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.2004.045237
PMCID: PMC1739796  PMID: 16107353
4.  Comparison of cognitive decline between dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(1):e000380.
Objectives
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.
Design
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.
Setting
Patients were recruited from 40 European centres.
Participants
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).
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000380
PMCID: PMC3330257  PMID: 22318660
5.  Differential Diagnosis of Parkinsonism Using Dual-Phase F-18 FP-CIT PET Imaging 
Purpose
Dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging can demonstrate presynaptic dopaminergic neuronal loss in Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, differentiating atypical parkinsonism (APD) from PD is often difficult. We investigated the usefulness of dual-phase F-18 FP-CIT positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in the differential diagnosis of parkinsonism.
Methods
Ninety-eight subjects [five normal, seven drug-induced parkinsonism (DIP), five essential tremor (ET), 24 PD, 20 multiple system atrophy-parkinson type (MSA-P), 13 multiple system atrophy-cerebellar type (MSA-C), 13 progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and 11 dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)] underwent F-18 FP-CIT PET. PET images were acquired at 5 min (early phase) and 3 h (late phase) after F-18 FP-CIT administration (185 MBq). Regional uptake pattern of cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres was assessed on early phase images and striatal DAT binding pattern was assessed on late phase images, using visual, quantitative, and statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analyses.
Results
Striatal DAT binding was normal in normal, ET, DIP, and MSA-C groups, but abnormal in PD, MSA-P, PSP, and DLB groups. No difference was found in regional uptake on early phase images among normal DAT binding groups, except in the MSA-C group. Abnormal DAT binding groups showed different regional uptake pattern on early phase images compared with PD in SPM analysis (FDR < 0.05). When discriminating APD from PD, visual interpretation of the early phase image showed high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity (75.4 % and 100 %, respectively). Regarding the ability to distinguish specific APD, sensitivities were 81 % for MSA-P, 77 % for MSA-C, 23 % for PSP, and 54.5 % for DLB.
Conclusions
Dual-phase F-18 FP-CIT PET imaging is useful in demonstrating striatal DAT loss in neurodegenerative parkinsonism, and also in differentiating APD, particularly MSA, from PD.
doi:10.1007/s13139-012-0182-4
PMCID: PMC4035208  PMID: 24895507
Atypical parkinsonism; Dual-phase; F-18 FP-CIT; Positron emission tomography; PET
6.  Imaging amyloid deposition in Lewy body diseases 
Neurology  2008;71(12):903-910.
Background:
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).
Objectives:
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.
Methods:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusions:
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.
GLOSSARY
= 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.
doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000326146.60732.d6
PMCID: PMC2637553  PMID: 18794492
7.  Imaging amyloid deposition in Lewy body diseases 
Neurology  2008;71(12):903-910.
Background
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).
Objectives
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000326146.60732.d6
PMCID: PMC2637553  PMID: 18794492
8.  Long-term effects of the concomitant use of memantine with cholinesterase inhibition in Alzheimer disease 
Background
Patients using cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) have a delay in nursing home (NH) admission compared with those who were not using the medication. There are no long-term studies of the effects of memantine in combination with ChEIs use in Alzheimer disease (AD). This study was conducted to examine the effects of ChEIs and memantine on time to death and time to NH admission.
Methods
Time to NH admission and death was examined in 943 probable AD patients who had at least a 1-year follow-up evaluation. Of these patients, 140 (14.9%) used both ChEIs and memantine, 387 (45.0%) used only ChEIs, and 416 (40.1%) used neither. The mean (SD) follow-up time was 62.3 (35.8) months. The analysis was conducted with multivariable Cox proportional hazard models controlling for critical covariates (ie, age, education level, gender, severity of the dementia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, psychiatric symptoms and use of psychotropic medications).
Results
Compared with those who never used cognitive enhancers, patients who used ChEIs had a significant delay in NH admission (HR: 0.37, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.49); this effect was significantly augmented with the addition of memantine (HR: 0.29, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.72) (memantine+ChEI vs ChEI alone). ChEIs alone, or in combination with memantine had no significant association on time to death.
Conclusions
This observational study revealed that the addition of the NMDA receptor antagonist memantine to the treatment of AD with ChEI significantly altered the treated history of AD by extending time to nursing home admission.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.2008.158964
PMCID: PMC2823571  PMID: 19204022
9.  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.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.74.9.1215
PMCID: PMC1738667  PMID: 12933921
10.  [123I]ß-CIT SPECT is a useful method for monitoring dopaminergic degeneration in early stage Parkinson's disease 
Objectives:To examine the validity of [123I]ß-CIT SPECT for monitoring the progression of dopaminergic degeneration in Parkinson's disease; to investigate the influence of short term treatment with D2receptor agonists on striatal [123I]ß-CIT binding; and to determine the sample size and frequency of SPECT imaging required to demonstrate a significant effect of a putative neuroprotective agent.
Methods:A group of 50 early stage Parkinson's disease patients was examined. Two SPECT imaging series were obtained, 12 months apart. The mean annual change in the ratio of specific to non-specific [123I]ß-CIT binding to the striatum, putamen, and caudate nucleus was used as the outcome measure.
Results:A decrease in [123I]ß-CIT binding ratios between the two images was found in all regions of interest. The average decrease in [123I]ß-CIT binding ratios was about 8% in the whole striatum, 8% in the putaminal region, and 4% in the caudate region. Comparison of scans done in nine patients under two different conditions—in the off state and while on drug treatment—showed no significant alterations in the expression of striatal dopamine transporters as measured using [123I]ß-CIT SPECT. Power analysis indicated that to detect a significant (p < 0.05) effect of a neuroprotective agent with 0.80 power and 30% of predicted protection within two years, 216 patients are required in each group when the effects are measured in the whole putamen.
Conclusions:[123I]ß-CIT SPECT seems to be a useful tool to investigate the progression of dopaminergic degeneration in Parkinson's disease and may provide an objective method of measuring the effectiveness of neuroprotective treatments. Short term treatment with a D2agonist does not have a significant influence on [123I]ß-CIT binding to dopamine transporters. If the latter finding is replicated in larger groups of patients, it supports the suitability of [123I]ß-CIT SPECT for examining the progression of neurodegeneration in patients being treated with D2receptor agonists.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.74.3.294
PMCID: PMC1738309  PMID: 12588911
11.  [123I]FP-CIT SPECT shows a pronounced decline of striatal dopamine transporter labelling in early and advanced Parkinson's disease. 
OBJECTIVES: The main neuropathological feature in Parkinson's disease is a severe degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra resulting in a loss of dopamine (DA) transporters in the striatum. [123I]beta-CIT single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies have demonstrated this loss of striatal DA transporter content in Parkinson's disease in vivo. However, studies with this radioligand also showed that an adequate imaging of the striatal DA transporter content could only be performed on the day after the injection of radioligand, which is not convenient for outpatient evaluations. Recently, a new radioligand [123I]FP-CIT, with faster kinetics than beta-CIT, became available for imaging of the DA transporter with SPECT, and the applicability of this ligand was tested in patients with early and advanced Parkinson's disease, using a one day protocol. METHODS: [123I]FP-CIT SPECT was performed in six patients with early and 12 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, and in six age matched healthy volunteers. RESULTS: Compared with an age matched control group striatal [123I]FP-CIT uptake in patients with Parkinson's disease was decreased, and this result was measurable three hours after injection of the radioligand. In the Parkinson's disease group the uptake in the putamen was reduced more than in the caudate nucleus. The contralateral striatal uptake of [123I]FP-CIT was significantly lower than the ipsilateral striatal uptake in the Parkinson's disease group. Specific to non-specific striatal uptake ratios correlated with the Hoehn and Yahr stage. A subgroup of patients with early Parkinson's disease also showed significantly lower uptake in the putamen and lower putamen:caudate ratios than controls. CONCLUSION: [123I]FP-CIT SPECT allows a significant discrimination between patients with Parkinson's disease and age matched controls with a one day protocol, which will be to great advantage in outpatient evaluations.
Images
PMCID: PMC486723  PMID: 9048712
12.  PET imaging of amyloid with Florbetapir F 18 and PET imaging of dopamine degeneration with 18F-AV-133 (florbenazine) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body disorders 
BMC Neurology  2014;14:79.
Background
Biomarkers based on the underlying pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) have the potential to improve diagnosis and understanding of the substrate for cognitive impairment in these disorders. The objective of this study was to compare the patterns of amyloid and dopamine PET imaging in patients with AD, DLB and Parkinson’s disease (PD) using the amyloid imaging agent florbetapir F 18 and 18F-AV-133 (florbenazine), a marker for vesicular monamine type 2 transporters (VMAT2).
Methods
Patients with DLB and AD, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and healthy controls (HC) were recruited for this study. On separate days, subjects received intravenous injections of florbetapir, and florbenazine. Amyloid burden and VMAT2 density were assessed quantitatively and by binary clinical interpretation. Imaging results for both tracers were compared across the four individual diagnostic groups and for combined groups based on underlying pathology (AD/DLB vs. PD/HC for amyloid burden and PD/DLB vs. AD/HC for VMAT binding) and correlated with measures of cognition and parkinsonism.
Results
11 DLB, 10 AD, 5 PD, and 5 controls participated in the study. Amyloid binding was significantly higher in the combined AD/DLB patient group (n = 21) compared to the PD/HC groups (n = 10, mean SUVr: 1.42 vs. 1.07; p = 0.0006). VMAT2 density was significantly lower in the PD/DLB group (n = 16) compared to the AD/ HC group (n = 15; 1.83 vs. 2.97; p < 0.0001). Within the DLB group, there was a significant correlation between cognitive performance and striatal florbenazine binding (r = 0.73; p = 0.011).
Conclusions
The results of this study show significant differences in both florbetapir and florbenazine imaging that are consistent with expected pathology. In addition, VMAT density correlated significantly with cognitive impairment in DLB patients (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00857506, registered March 5, 2009).
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-14-79
PMCID: PMC4027995  PMID: 24716655
PET imaging; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; Biomarkers
13.  High correlation between in vivo [123I]β-CIT SPECT/CT imaging and post-mortem immunohistochemical findings in the evaluation of lesions induced by 6-OHDA in rats 
EJNMMI Research  2013;3:46.
Background
6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is widely used in pre-clinical animal studies to induce degeneration of midbrain dopamine neurons to create animal models of Parkinson's disease. The aim of our study was to evaluate the potential of combined single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) for the detection of differences in 6-OHDA-induced partial lesions in a dose- and time-dependent manner using the dopamine transporter (DAT) ligand 2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-[123I]iodophenyl)tropane ([123I]β-CIT).
Methods
Rats were unilaterally lesioned with intrastriatal injections of 8 or 2 × 10 μg 6-OHDA. At 2 or 4 weeks post-lesion, 40 to 50 MBq [123I]β-CIT was administered intravenously and rats were imaged with small-animal SPECT/CT under isoflurane anesthesia. The striatum was delineated and mean striatal activity in the lesioned side was compared to the intact side. After the [123I]β-CIT SPECT/CT scan, the rats were tested for amphetamine-induced rotation asymmetry, and their brains were immunohistochemically stained for DAT and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The fiber density of DAT- and TH-stained striata was estimated, and TH-immunoreactive cells in the rat substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) were stereologically counted.
Results
The striatal uptake of [123I]β-CIT differed significantly between the lesion groups and the results were highly correlated to both striatal DAT- and TH-immunoreactive fiber densities and to TH-immunoreactive cell numbers in the rat SNpc. No clear progression of the lesion could be seen.
Conclusions
[123I]β-CIT SPECT/CT is a valuable tool in predicting the condition of the rat midbrain dopaminergic pathway in the unilateral partial 6-OHDA lesion model of Parkinson's disease and it offers many advantages, allowing repeated non-invasive analysis of living animals.
doi:10.1186/2191-219X-3-46
PMCID: PMC3689076  PMID: 23758882
6-OHDA; β-CIT; Rat; SPECT
14.  Demography, diagnostics, and medication in dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease with dementia: data from the Swedish Dementia Quality Registry (SveDem) 
Introduction
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).
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.2147/NDT.S45840
PMCID: PMC3700781  PMID: 23847419
dementia with Lewy bodies; Parkinson’s disease with dementia; age; diagnostic approach; medication; Mini-Mental State Examination
15.  Impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease: decreased striatal dopamine transporter levels 
Objective
Impulse control disorders are commonly associated with dopaminergic therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD). PD patients with impulse control disorders demonstrate enhanced dopamine release to conditioned cues and a gambling task on [11C]raclopride positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and enhanced ventral striatal activity to reward on functional MRI. We compared PD patients with impulse control disorders and age-matched and gender-matched controls without impulse control disorders using [123I]FP-CIT (2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)tropane) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), to assess striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) density.
Methods
The [123I]FP-CIT binding data in the striatum were compared between 15 PD patients with and 15 without impulse control disorders using independent t tests.
Results
Those with impulse control disorders showed significantly lower DAT binding in the right striatum with a trend in the left (right: F(1,24)=5.93, p=0.02; left: F(1,24)=3.75, p=0.07) compared to controls.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that greater dopaminergic striatal activity in PD patients with impulse control disorders may be partly related to decreased uptake and clearance of dopamine from the synaptic cleft. Whether these findings are related to state or trait effects is not known. These findings dovetail with reports of lower DAT levels secondary to the effects of methamphetamine and alcohol. Although any regulation of DAT by antiparkinsonian medication appears to be modest, PD patients with impulse control disorders may be differentially sensitive to regulatory mechanisms of DAT expression by dopaminergic medications.
doi:10.1136/jnnp-2013-305395
PMCID: PMC4031642  PMID: 23899625
BEHAVIOURAL DISORDER; FUNCTIONAL IMAGING; NEUROPSYCHIATRY; SPECT; MOVEMENT DISORDERS
16.  Response to cholinesterase inhibitors affects lifespan in Alzheimer’s disease 
BMC Neurology  2014;14(1):173.
Background
A varying response to cholinesterase inhibitor (ChEI) treatment has been reported among patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Whether the individual-specific response, specific ChEI agent or dose affects mortality is unclear. We aimed to examine the relationship between the 6-month response to ChEI and lifespan.
Methods
Six hundred and eighty-one deceased patients with a clinical AD diagnosis and a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of 10–26 at the start of ChEI therapy (baseline) were included in a prospective, observational, multicentre study in clinical practice. At baseline and after 6 months of treatment, the participants were assessed using the MMSE, the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog), the Clinician’s Interview-Based Impression of Change (CIBIC), the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scale, and the Physical Self-Maintenance Scale (PSMS). The individuals’ socio-demographic characteristics, ChEI dose, and date of death were recorded. Responses to ChEI and the association of possible risk factors with survival were analysed using general linear models.
Results
A longer lifespan (mean of 0.5 years) was observed among the improved/unchanged patients, as measured by MMSE or CIBIC score, but not by ADAS-cog score, after 6 months of ChEI therapy. In the multivariate models, increased survival time was independently related to a better 6-month response in MMSE, CIBIC, IADL, and PSMS scores, female sex, no antihypertensive/cardiac or antidiabetic therapy, younger age, lower education, milder disease stage at baseline, and higher ChEI dose. Apolipoprotein E genotype did not affect mortality significantly. The patients who received a higher ChEI dose during the first 6 months had a mean lifespan after baseline that was 15 months longer than that of those who received a lower dose.
Conclusions
A better short-term response to ChEI might prolong survival in naturalistic AD patients. In individuals who received and tolerated higher ChEI doses, a longer lifespan can be expected.
doi:10.1186/s12883-014-0173-4
PMCID: PMC4172846  PMID: 25213579
Alzheimer’s disease; Cholinesterase inhibitors; Treatment effect; Life expectancy; Survival; Cognition; Activities of daily living; Predictors; Statistical models
17.  The role of 123I-ioflupane SPECT dopamine transporter imaging in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies 
The diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is difficult if one relies solely on clinical features. Current International Consensus Criteria for DLB have high specificity but a significant percentage of patients might be misdiagnosed. Reasons for clinical uncertainty regard the presence of concomitant motor signs in patients with Alzheimer’s disease as well as the observation that cognitive abnormalities in DLB might develop with memory impairment without significant parkinsonism. This has clinical relevance as DLB patients may be particularly sensitive to antipsychotics and even the effectiveness of atypical neuroleptics such as quetiapine for the treatment of agitation and hallucinations has been questioned by double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized studies. By contrast, acetyl-cholinesterase inhibitors such as rivastigmine have shown benefit not only on cognitive but also on psychiatric symptoms. Recent evidence shows that striatal dopamine transporter binding of 123I-ioflupane SPECT is reduced in DLB and this is consistent with a significant loss of nigral dopamine neurons in this disorder. Several studies have demonstrated the diagnostic accuracy of 123I-ioflupane in the differential diagnosis of parkinsonism. Given the availability of SPECT, this investigation represents a useful marker to support clinical diagnosis and can help establishing appropriate treatment for this disorder.
PMCID: PMC2654798  PMID: 19300562
dementia with Lewy bodies; 123I-ioflupane-SPECT; dopamine transporter; parkinsonism; Alzheimer’s disease
18.  Treatment With Cholinesterase Inhibitors and Memantine of Patients in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 
Archives of Neurology  2011;68(1):58-66.
Objectives
To assess the clinical characteristics and course of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild Alzheimer disease (AD) treated with cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) and memantine hydrochloride.
Design
Cohort study.
Setting
The 59 recruiting sites for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI).
Participants
Outpatients with MCI and AD in ADNI.
Main Outcome Measures
The AD Assessment Scale–cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale, and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ).
Results
A total of 177 (44.0%) of 402 MCI patients and 159 (84.6%) of 188 mild-AD patients were treated with ChEIs and 11.4% of MCI patients and 45.7% of AD patients with memantine at entry. Mild-cognitive-impairment patients who received ChEIs with or without memantine were more impaired, showed greater decline in scores, and progressed to dementia sooner than patients who did not receive ChEIs. Alzheimer-disease patients who received ChEIs and memantine took them longer, were more functionally impaired, and showed greater decline on the MMSE and CDR (but not on the ADAS-cog or FAQ) than those who received ChEIs only.
Conclusions
Academic physicians frequently prescribe ChEIs and memantine earlier than indicated in the US Food and Drug Administration–approved labeling to patients who are relatively more severely impaired or who are rapidly progressing toward cognitive impairment. The use of these medications in ADNI is associated with clinical decline and may affect the interpretation of clinical trial outcomes.
Study Registration
clinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00106899
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.343
PMCID: PMC3259850  PMID: 21220675
19.  Impact of geriatric comorbidity and polypharmacy on cholinesterase inhibitors prescribing in dementia 
BMC Psychiatry  2011;11:190.
Background
Although most guidelines recommend the use of cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) for mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease, only a small proportion of affected patients receive these drugs. We aimed to study if geriatric comorbidity and polypharmacy influence the prescription of ChEIs in patients with dementia in Germany.
Methods
We used claims data of 1,848 incident patients with dementia aged 65 years and older. Inclusion criteria were first outpatient diagnoses for dementia in at least three of four consecutive quarters (incidence year). Our dependent variable was the prescription of at least one ChEI in the incidence year. Main independent variables were polypharmacy (defined as the number of prescribed medications categorized into quartiles) and measures of geriatric comorbidity (levels of care dependency and 14 symptom complexes characterizing geriatric patients). Data were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression.
Results
On average, patients were 78.7 years old (47.6% female) and received 9.7 different medications (interquartile range: 6-13). 44.4% were assigned to one of three care levels and virtually all patients (92.0%) had at least one symptom complex characterizing geriatric patients. 13.0% received at least one ChEI within the incidence year. Patients not assigned to the highest care level were more likely to receive a prescription (e.g., no level of care dependency vs. level 3: adjusted Odds Ratio [OR]: 5.35; 95% CI: 1.61-17.81). The chance decreased with increasing numbers of symptoms characterizing geriatric patients (e.g., 0 vs. 5+ geriatric complexes: OR: 4.23; 95% CI: 2.06-8.69). The overall number of prescribed medications had no influence on ChEI prescription and a significant effect of age could only be found in the univariate analysis. Living in a rural compared to an urban environment and contacts to neurologists or psychiatrists were associated with a significant increase in the likelihood of receiving ChEIs in the multivariate analysis.
Conclusions
It seems that not age as such but the overall clinical condition of a patient including care dependency and geriatric comorbidities influences the process of decision making on prescription of ChEIs.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-11-190
PMCID: PMC3262154  PMID: 22145796
20.  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.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.2004.052332
PMCID: PMC1739807  PMID: 16107351
21.  Cholinesterase Inhibitors in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review of Randomised Trials 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(11):e338.
Background
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) refers to a transitional zone between normal ageing and dementia. Despite the uncertainty regarding the definition of MCI as a clinical entity, clinical trials have been conducted in the attempt to study the role of cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) currently approved for symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer disease (AD), in preventing progression from MCI to AD. The objective of this review is to assess the effects of ChEIs (donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine) in delaying the conversion from MCI to Alzheimer disease or dementia.
Methods and Findings
The terms “donepezil”, “rivastigmine”, “galantamine”, and “mild cognitive impairment” and their variants, synonyms, and acronyms were used as search terms in four electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, PsycINFO) and three registers: the Cochrane Collaboration Trial Register, Current Controlled Trials, and ClinicalTrials.gov. Published and unpublished studies were included if they were randomized clinical trials published (or described) in English and conducted among persons who had received a diagnosis of MCI and/or abnormal memory function documented by a neuropsychological assessment. A standardized data extraction form was used. The reporting quality was assessed using the Jadad scale. Three published and five unpublished trials met the inclusion criteria (three on donepezil, two on rivastigmine, and three on galantamine). Enrolment criteria differed among the trials, so the study populations were not homogeneous. The duration of the trials ranged from 24 wk to 3 y. No significant differences emerged in the probability of conversion from MCI to AD or dementia between the treated groups and the placebo groups. The rate of conversion ranged from 13% (over 2 y) to 25% (over 3 y) among treated patients, and from 18% (over 2 y) to 28% (over 3 y) among those in the placebo groups. Only for two studies was it possible to derive point estimates of the relative risk of conversion: 0.85 (95% confidence interval 0.64–1.12), and 0.84 (0.57–1.25). Statistically significant differences emerged for three secondary end points. However, when adjusting for multiple comparisons, only one difference remained significant (i.e., the rate of atrophy in the whole brain).
Conclusions
The use of ChEIs in MCI was not associated with any delay in the onset of AD or dementia. Moreover, the safety profile showed that the risks associated with ChEIs are not negligible. The uncertainty regarding MCI as a clinical entity raises the question as to the scientific validity of these trials.
A systematic review of trials of cholinesterase inhibitors for preventing transition of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia, conducted by Roberto Raschetti and colleagues, found no difference between treatment and control groups and concluded that uncertainty regarding the definition of MCI casts doubts on the validity of such trials.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Worldwide, more than 24 million people have dementia, a group of brain disorders characterized by an irreversible decline in memory, problem solving, communication, and other “cognitive” functions. The commonest form of dementia is Alzheimer disease (AD). The risk of developing AD increases with age—AD is rare in people younger than 65 but about half of people over 85 years old have it. The earliest symptom of AD is usually difficulty in remembering new information. As the disease progresses, patients may become confused and have problems expressing themselves. Their behavior and personality can also change. In advanced AD, patients need help with daily activities like dressing and eating, and eventually lose their ability to recognize relatives and to communicate. There is no cure for AD but a class of drugs called “cholinesterase inhibitors” can sometimes temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms. Three cholinesterase inhibitors—donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine—are currently approved for use in mild-to-moderate AD.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some experts have questioned the efficacy of cholinesterase inhibitors in AD, but other experts and patient support groups have called for these drugs to be given to patients with a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as well as to those with mild AD. People with MCI have memory problems that are more severe than those normally seen in people of their age but no other symptoms of dementia. They are thought to have an increased risk of developing AD, but it is not known whether everyone with MCI eventually develops AD, and there is no standardized way to diagnose MCI. Despite these uncertainties, several clinical trials have investigated whether cholinesterase inhibitors prevent progression from MCI to AD. In this study, the researchers have assessed whether the results of these trials provide any evidence that cholinesterase inhibitors can prevent MCI progressing to AD.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers conducted a systematic review of the medical literature to find trials that had addressed this issue, which met criteria that they had defined clearly in advance of their search. They identified three published and five unpublished randomized controlled trials (studies in which patients randomly receive the test drug or an inactive placebo) that investigated the effect of cholinesterase inhibitors on the progression of MCI. The researchers obtained the results of six of these trials—four examined the effect of cholinesterase inhibitors on the conversion of MCI to clinically diagnosed AD or dementia (the primary end point); all six examined the effect of the drugs on several secondary end points (for example, individual aspects of cognitive function). None of the drugs produced a statistically significant difference (a difference that is unlikely to have happened by chance) in the probability of progression from MCI to AD. The only statistically significant secondary end point after adjustment for multiple comparisons (when many outcomes are considered, false positive results can occur unless specific mathematical techniques are used to prevent this problem) was a decrease in the rate of brain shrinkage associated with galantamine treatment. More patients treated with cholinesterase inhibitors dropped out of trials because of adverse effects than patients given placebo. Finally, in the one trial that reported all causes of deaths, one participant who received placebo and six who received galantamine died.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the use of cholinesterase inhibitors is not associated with any delay in the onset of clinically diagnosed AD or dementia in people with MCI. They also show that the use of these drugs has no effect on most surrogate (substitute) indicators of AD but that the risks associated with their use are not negligible. However, because MCI has not yet been clearly defined as a clinical condition that precedes dementia, some (even many) of the patients enrolled into the trials that the researchers assessed may not actually have had MCI. Thus, further clinical trials are needed to clarify whether cholinesterase inhibitors can delay the progression of MCI to dementia, but these additional trials should not be done until the diagnosis of MCI has been standardized.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040338.
An essay by Matthews and colleagues, in the October 2007 issue of PLoS Medicine, discusses how mild cognitive impairment is currently diagnosed
The US Alzheimer's Association provides information about all aspects of Alzheimer disease, including fact sheets on treatments for Alzheimer disease and on mild cognitive impairment
The UK Alzheimer's Society provides information for patients and caregivers on all aspects of dementia, including drug treatments and mild cognitive impairment
The UK charity DIPEx provides short video clips of personal experiences of care givers of people with dementia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040338
PMCID: PMC2082649  PMID: 18044984
22.  SERT-to-DAT ratios in early Parkinson’s disease do not correlate with the development of dyskinesias 
EJNMMI Research  2013;3:44.
Background
Although the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is very effective, in the course of the disease, 40% to 60% of patients develop dyskinesias. The pathophysiology of dyskinesias is still unclear. Results of preclinical research suggest that uptake and uncontrolled release of dopamine by serotonergic neurons is an important factor. Based on this model, we hypothesized that dyskinesias will develop predominantly in PD patients with a relatively preserved serotonergic system.
Methods
Between 1995 and 1998, 50 patients with early-stage untreated PD, diagnosed according to clinical criteria, and reduced striatal [123I]β-carboxymethyoxy-3-beta-(4-iodophenyl) tropane (CIT) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) binding were recruited. To test our hypothesis, we retrospectively assessed baseline [123I]β-CIT SPECT scans for striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) and midbrain serotonin transporter (SERT) availability as well as the SERT-to-DAT ratios. We compared these data between patients that developed dyskinesias and patients that did not develop dyskinesias during a mean follow-up of 14.2 years.
Results
Approximately half of the PD patients developed dyskinesias. No differences in baseline [123I]β-CIT DAT availability, SERT availability, or SERT-to-DAT ratios were found between the dyskinetic and non-dyskinetic group. The development of dyskinesias was most strongly associated with the age of onset (P = 0.002).
Conclusions
SERT-to-DAT ratios in early-stage untreated PD do not correlate with the future development of dyskinesias. However, our study does not exclude the possibility that SERT-to-DAT ratios increase with disease progression in patients that develop dyskinesias because of a slower rate of degeneration of the serotonergic system.
doi:10.1186/2191-219X-3-44
PMCID: PMC3680321  PMID: 23738774
Parkinson’s disease; Dopamine transporter; Serotonin transporter; [123I]β-CIT SPECT; Dyskinesias; Age of onset
23.  CHRNA7 Polymorphisms and Response to Cholinesterase Inhibitors in Alzheimer's Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e84059.
Background
CHRNA7 encodes the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit, which is important to Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis and cholinergic neurotransmission. Previously, CHRNA7 polymorphisms have not been related to cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEI) response.
Methods
Mild to moderate AD patients received ChEIs were recruited from the neurology clinics of three teaching hospitals from 2007 to 2010 (n = 204). Nine haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms of CHRNA7 were genotyped. Cognitive responders were those showing improvement in the Mini-Mental State Examination score ≧2 between baseline and 6 months after ChEI treatment.
Results
AD women carrying rs8024987 variants [GG+GC vs. CC: adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 3.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.47–8.89] and GG haplotype in block1 (AOR = 3.34, 95% CI = 1.38–8.06) had significantly better response to ChEIs (false discovery rate <0.05). These variant carriers using galantamine were 11 times more likely to be responders than female non-carriers using donepezil or rivastigmine.
Conclusion
For the first time, this study found a significant association between CHRNA7 polymorphisms and better ChEI response. If confirmed by further studies, CHRNA7 polymorphisms may aid in predicting ChEI response and refining treatment choice.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084059
PMCID: PMC3877150  PMID: 24391883
24.  Effects of l-DOPA on striatal iodine-123-FP-CIT binding and behavioral parameters in the rat 
Nuclear Medicine Communications  2013;34(12):1223-1232.
Purpose
The effect of clinical l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) doses on the binding of [123I]N-Ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane ([123I]FP-CIT) to the rat dopamine transporter (DAT) was investigated using small animal single-photon emission computed tomography.
Materials and methods
DAT binding was measured at baseline, after challenge with the aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor benserazide, and after challenge with either 5 or 10 mg/kg l-DOPA plus benserazide. For baseline and challenges, striatal equilibrium ratios (V3′′) were computed as an estimation of the binding potential. Moreover, striatal V3′′ values were correlated with parameters of motor and exploratory behavior.
Results
V3′′ differed significantly between baseline and either dose of l-DOPA/benserazide. Moreover, V3′′ differed significantly between l-DOPA treatment groups. After 5 mg/kg l-DOPA/benserazide, DAT binding was inversely correlated with sitting duration (1–5 min) and sitting frequency (10–15 min). After 10 mg/kg l-DOPA/benserazide, an inverse correlation was found between DAT binding and sitting duration (1–30 min), whereas DAT binding and duration of ambulatory activity (1–30 min) as well as head and shoulder motility (10–15 min) exhibited a positive correlation.
Conclusion
Challenge with 5 and 10 mg/kg l-DOPA/benserazide led to mean reductions in DAT binding by 34 and 20%, respectively. Results indicate a biphasic response with a higher effect on DAT after the lower dose of l-DOPA. The reduction in DAT binding may be interpreted in terms of competition between [123I]FP-CIT and endogenous dopamine. Moreover, there is preliminary evidence of an association between striatal DAT and motor and exploratory parameters.
doi:10.1097/MNM.0b013e3283657404
PMCID: PMC3815148  PMID: 23982164
dopamine transporter; l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine methylester; motor behavior; Parkinson’s disease; small animal single-photon emission computed tomography
25.  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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.3988/jcn.2011.7.1.19
PMCID: PMC3079155  PMID: 21519522
dementia with lewy bodies; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease dementia; cognition; neuropsychology

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