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1.  Differential diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy, and Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome: discriminant analysis of striatal 18F-dopa PET data. 
Clinicopathological series indicate that the clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is correct in only 80% of cases. Multiple system atrophy (MSA) and Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome (SRO) comprise most of the misdiagnoses. By means of 18F-dopa PET the pattern of nigrostriatal dopaminergic dysfunction in 28 patients with clinically probable Parkinson's disease, 25 with MSA, and 10 patients with SRO, was assessed and compared with the pattern in 27 normal subjects. Discriminant function analysis was used to assess the ability of 18F-dopa PET to categorize individual parkinsonian patients on the basis of their caudate and putamen tracer uptake. Discriminant function analysis assigned all control subjects a normal category. One Parkinsonian patient out of 63 was classified as "normal" on the basis of PET findings, although this patient had significantly reduced putamen 18F-dopa uptake. Discriminant function analysis was less effective at distinguishing different categories of akinetic-rigid syndrome on the basis of their striatal 18F-dopa uptake, as judged against clinical criteria. Patients clinically labelled as having typical or atypical Parkinsonian syndromes were assigned the same category on PET criteria 64% and 69% of the time, respectively. When all three categories of Parkinson's disease, MSA, and SRO were considered together, clinical and 18F-dopa PET findings correlated in 64% of patients assigned a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and 70% of those given a diagnosis of SRO; MSA was less readily discriminated, patients with MSA being assigned to MSA, Parkinson's disease, and SRO groups with equal frequency. The correlation between clinical and discriminant function analysis assignment improved when separate comparisons were made between Parkinson's disease and MSA, or Parkinson's disease and SRO groups. In these analyses, clinical and PET categorisation of MSA and Parkinson's disease agreed in 60% of cases, and of SRO and Parkinson's disease in 90% of cases. In summary, (18)F-dopa PET successfully discriminates normal subjects from parkinsonian patients, and patients with Parkinson's disease from patients with SRO, but is less reliable in distinguishing Parkinson's disease from MSA. The concomitant assessment of striatal neuronal function with additional PET tracers may be necessary to reliably differentiate typical and atypical parkinsonian syndromes.
PMCID: PMC1072814  PMID: 8158173
2.  Clinical and neuropathologic variation in neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease 
Neurology  2004;63(8):1376-1384.
Recently described neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID) shows considerable clinical heterogeneity.
To assess the spectrum of the clinical and neuropathological features in 10 NIFID cases.
Retrospective chart and comprehensive neuropathological review of these NIFID cases was conducted.
The mean age at onset was 40.8 (range 23 to 56) years, mean disease duration was 4.5 (range 2.7 to 13) years, and mean age at death was 45.3 (range 28 to 61) years. The most common presenting symptoms were behavioral and personality changes in 7 of 10 cases and, less often, memory loss, cognitive impairment, language deficits, and motor weakness. Extrapyramidal features were present in 8 of 10 patients. Language impairment, perseveration, executive dysfunction, hyperreflexia, and primitive reflexes were frequent signs, whereas a minority had buccofacial apraxia, supranuclear ophthalmoplegia, upper motor neuron disease (MND), and limb dystonia. Frontotemporal and caudate atrophy were common. Histologic changes were extensive in many cortical areas, deep gray matter, cerebellum, and spinal cord. The hallmark lesions of NIFID were unique neuronal IF inclusions detected most robustly by antibodies to neurofilament triplet proteins and α-internexin.
NIFID is a neuropathologically distinct, clinically heterogeneous variant of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) that may include parkinsonism or MND. Neuronal IF inclusions are the neuropathological signatures of NIFID that distinguish it from all other FTD variants including FTD with MND and FTD tauopathies.
PMCID: PMC3516854  PMID: 15505152
3.  Motor subtype and cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease, Parkinson's disease with dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies 
A previous cross sectional study found over‐representation of a postural instability gait difficulty (PIGD) motor subtype in Parkinson's disease patients with dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), compared with Parkinson's disease (PD).
(1) To examine rates of cognitive and motor decline over two years in PD (n = 40), PDD (n = 42) and DLB (n = 41) subjects, compared with age matched controls (n = 41), (2) to record whether motor phenotypes of PD, PDD, and DLB subjects changed during the study, (3) to find out if cognitive and motor decline in PD was associated with baseline motor subtype, and (4) to report the incidence of dementia in PD patients in relation to baseline motor subtype.
Most of PDD and DLB participants were PIGD subtype at baseline assessment. In the non‐demented PD group, tremor dominant (TD) and PIGD subtypes were more evenly represented. Cognitive decline over two years was greater in PDD and DLB groups (mean decline in MMSE −4.5 and −3.9, respectively), compared with PD (−0.2) and controls (−0.3). There was an association between PIGD subtype and increased rate of cognitive decline within the PD group. Of 40 PD patients, 25% of the 16 PIGD subtype developed dementia over two years, compared with none of the 18 TD or six indeterminate phenotype cases (χ2 = 6.7, Fisher's exact test p<0.05).
A PIGD motor subtype is associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline in PD and may be considered a risk factor for incident dementia in PD.
PMCID: PMC2117449  PMID: 16614017
Lewy body disease; dementia; parkinsonism; motor subtype; progression
4.  The basal ganglia cholinergic neurochemistry of progressive supranuclear palsy and other neurodegenerative diseases 
Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder involving motor and cognitive dysfunction. Currently, there is no effective treatment either for symptomatic relief or disease modification. This relates, in part, to a lack of knowledge of the underlying neurochemical abnormalities, including cholinergic receptor status in the basal ganglia.
To measure muscarinic M2 and M4 receptors in the basal ganglia in PSP.
The muscarinic M2 (presynaptic) and M4 (postsynaptic) receptors in the striatum, pallidum and adjacent insular cortex were autoradiographically measured in pathologically confirmed cases of PSP (n = 18), and compared with cases of Lewy body dementias (LBDs; n = 45), Alzheimer's disease (AD; n = 39) and controls (n = 50).
In cases of PSP, there was a reduction in M2 and M4 receptors in the posterior caudate and putamen compared to controls, but no significant changes in the pallidum. Cases with AD showed lower M2 receptors in the posterior striatum. Groups with LBD and AD showed higher M2 binding in the insular cortex compared with controls.
The results suggest loss of posterior striatal cholinergic interneurones in PSP, and reduction in medium spiny projection neurones bearing M4 receptors. These results should be taken in the context of more widespread pathology in PSP, but may have implications for future trials of cholinergic treatments.
PMCID: PMC2077948  PMID: 17178818
5.  Ten steps to identify atypical parkinsonism 
Credibility of the 10‐step test in atypical parkinsonism
PMCID: PMC2077402  PMID: 17110742
6.  A multicentre longitudinal observational study of changes in self reported health status in people with Parkinson's disease left untreated at diagnosis 
The issue of when to start treatment in Parkinson's disease (PD) remains controversial. Some favour treatment at diagnosis while others opt for a “wait and watch” policy. The effect of the latter policy on the self reported health status of people with PD is unknown.
To record self reported health status through longitudinal use of a validated PD specific questionnaire (PDQ‐39) in untreated PD patients in multiple centres in the UK. To compare patients who were left untreated with those who were offered treatment during follow‐up.
A multicentre, prospective, “real life” observational audit based study addressing patient reported outcomes in relation to self reported health status and other sociodemographic details.
198 untreated PD were assessed over a mean period of 18 months. During two follow‐up assessments, the self reported health status scores in all eight domains of the PDQ‐39 and the overall PDQ‐39 summary index worsened significantly (p<0.01) in patients left untreated. In a comparative group in whom treatment was initiated at or soon after diagnosis, there was a trend towards improvement in self reported health status scores after treatment was started.
This study addresses for the first time self reported health status, an indicator of health related quality of life, in untreated PD. The findings may strengthen the call for re‐evaluation of the policy to delay treatment in newly diagnosed patients with PD.
PMCID: PMC2117846  PMID: 17098846
7.  Haplotypes and gene expression implicate the MAPT region for Parkinson disease 
Neurology  2008;71(1):28-34.
Microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) has been associated with several neurodegenerative disorders including forms of parkinsonism and Parkinson disease (PD). We evaluated the association of the MAPT region with PD in a large cohort of familial PD cases recruited by the GenePD Study. In addition, postmortem brain samples from patients with PD and neurologically normal controls were used to evaluate whether the expression of the 3-repeat and 4-repeat isoforms of MAPT, and neighboring genes Saitohin (STH) and KIAA1267, are altered in PD cerebellum.
Twenty-one single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the region of MAPT on chromosome 17q21 were genotyped in the GenePD Study. Single SNPs and haplotypes, including the H1 haplotype, were evaluated for association to PD. Relative quantification of gene expression was performed using real-time RT-PCR.
After adjusting for multiple comparisons, SNP rs1800547 was significantly associated with PD affection. While the H1 haplotype was associated with a significantly increased risk for PD, a novel H1 subhaplotype was identified that predicted a greater increased risk for PD. The expression of 4-repeat MAPT, STH, and KIAA1267 was significantly increased in PD brains relative to controls. No difference in expression was observed for 3-repeat MAPT.
This study supports a role for MAPT in the pathogenesis of familial and idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD). Interestingly, the results of the gene expression studies suggest that other genes in the vicinity of MAPT, specifically STH and KIAA1267, may also have a role in PD and suggest complex effects for the genes in this region on PD risk.
PMCID: PMC2654275  PMID: 18509094
8.  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
9.  Tauopathies with parkinsonism: clinical spectrum, neuropathologic basis, biological markers, and treatment options 
Tauopathies with parkinsonism represent a spectrum of disease entities unified by the pathologic accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau protein fragments within the central nervous system. These pathologic characteristics suggest shared pathogenetic pathways and possible molecular targets for disease-modifying therapeutic interventions. Natural history studies, for instance, in progressive supranuclear palsy, frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17, corticobasal degeneration, and Niemann-Pick disease type C as well as in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Parkinson–dementia complex permit clinical characterization of the disease phenotypes and are crucial to the development and validation of biological markers for differential diagnostics and disease monitoring, for example, by use of neuroimaging or proteomic approaches. The wide pathologic and clinical spectrum of the tauopathies with parkinsonism is reviewed in this article, and perspectives on future advances in the understanding of the pathogenesis are given, together with potential therapeutic strategies.
PMCID: PMC2847416  PMID: 19364361
corticobasal degeneration; frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17; microtubule-associated protein tau, multiple system atrophy; Parkinson disease; parkinsonism; progressive supranuclear palsy; tauopathies
10.  Strychnine poisoning as an unusual cause of convulsions. 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  1989;65(766):563-564.
A fatal case of strychnine poisoning is presented. The patient vomited then suffered a series of tonic convulsions which were triggered by tactile stimulation. In between paroxysms he was initially alert. Eventually the patient became comatosed due to anoxia and had a cardiac arrest. He presented with a marked metabolic acidosis and rapidly developed renal failure caused by acute rhabdomyolysis. This clinical picture is classical for strychnine poisoning and the complications which the intoxication produces. Attention is drawn to the fact that survival can even follow the ingestion of very large doses of strychnine providing there is no delay in diagnosis and treatment.
PMCID: PMC2429499  PMID: 2602253
11.  Multiple system atrophy: cellular and molecular pathology 
Molecular Pathology  2001;54(6):419-426.
Multiple system atrophy is an adult onset neurodegenerative disease, featuring parkinsonism, ataxia, and autonomic failure, in any combination. The condition is relentlessly progressive and responds poorly to treatment. Death occurs on average six to seven years after the onset of symptoms. No familial cases of multiple system atrophy have been reported, and no environmental factors have been robustly implicated as aetiological factors. However, analytical epidemiological studies are hampered because the condition is relatively rare. The discovery of the glial cytoplasmic inclusion (GCI) in 1989 helped to define multiple system atrophy as a clinicopathological entity, and drew attention to the prominent, if not primary, role played by the oligodendrocyte in the pathogenesis of the condition. Subsequently, GCIs were shown to be positive for α-synuclein, with immunostaining for this protein indicating that white matter pathology was more widespread than had previously been recognised. The presence of α-synuclein in GCIs provides a link with Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation, type 1 (or Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome), in which α-synuclein is also found within Lewy bodies. This has led to the term “synucleinopathy” to embrace this group of conditions. The GCIs of multiple system atrophy contain a range of other cytoskeletal proteins. It is unknown how fibrillogenesis occurs, and whether there is primary oligodendrocytic dysfunction, which then disrupts the neurone/axon as a consequence of the glial pathology, or whether the oligodendrocytic changes merely represent an epiphenomenon. Further research into this devastating condition is urgently needed to improve our understanding of the pathogenesis, and also to produce new treatment approaches.
PMCID: PMC1187133  PMID: 11724918
multiple system atrophy; glial cytoplasmic inclusion; α-synuclein; oligodendrocyte
12.  Familial cavernous angiomas masquerading as multiple sclerosis. 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  1998;74(874):489-491.
We report here two cases of cavernous angioma, in the proband and her father, with quite different clinical presentations. The proband presented with a brainstem syndrome, mimicking multiple sclerosis, while the father had a history of mild epilepsy. Both patients were managed conservatively. The cases also demonstrate the utility of magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of cavernous angioma.
PMCID: PMC2360890  PMID: 9926126
13.  Is bed rest useful after diagnostic lumbar puncture? 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  1992;68(801):581-583.
A randomized study of 110 patients undergoing their first diagnostic lumbar puncture was performed to compare the effect of immediate mobilization with 4 hours bed rest on the incidence of post lumbar puncture headache. There was no difference between the mobile (n = 54) and bed rest (n = 56) groups in the incidence of post lumbar puncture headache (32% versus 31%, respectively). We conclude that bed rest following lumbar puncture may be an unnecessary imposition on the patient, as well as on nursing staff.
PMCID: PMC2399377  PMID: 1437958
17.  A case of progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and positive antiglutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies [corrected] 
A 50 year old woman developed progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity over a three year period. Her CSF contained oligoclonal bands and both her serum and CSF contained antibodies directed against GABA-ergic synapses (antiglutamic acid decarboxylase [corrected] antibodies). These antibodies have recently been described in cases of stiff man syndrome. Both disorders may be part of a clinical spectrum that has an underlying autoimmune basis.
PMCID: PMC488547  PMID: 1865210

Results 1-17 (17)