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author:("litman, I")
1.  Roles of Education and IQ in Cognitive Reserve in Parkinson's Disease-Mild Cognitive Impairment 
The role of cognitive reserve in Parkinson's disease (PD)-mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is incompletely understood.
The relationships between PD-MCI, years of education, and estimated premorbid IQ were examined in 119 consecutive non-demented PD patients using logistic regression models.
Higher education and IQ were associated with reduced odds of PD-MCI in univariate analysis. In multivariable analysis, a higher IQ was associated with a significantly decreased odds of PD-MCI, but education was not.
The association of higher IQ and decreased odds of PD-MCI supports a role for cognitive reserve in PD, but further studies are needed to clarify the interaction of IQ and education and the impact of other contributors such as employment and hobbies.
PMCID: PMC3435526  PMID: 22962558
Parkinson's disease; Mild cognitive impairment; Education; IQ; Cognitive reserve
2.  MDS Task Force on Mild Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s disease: Critical Review of PD-MCI 
There is controversy regarding the definition and characteristics of mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease.
The Movement Disorders Society commissioned a Task Force to critically evaluate the literature and determine the frequency and characteristics of Parkinson’s disease-mild cognitive impairment and its association with dementia.
Comprehensive PubMed literature review using systematic inclusion and exclusion criteria.
A mean of 26.7% (range, 18.9–38.2%) of non-demented Parkinson’s disease patients have mild cognitive impairment. The frequency of Parkinson’s disease mild cognitive impairment increases with age, disease duration, and disease severity. Impairments occur in a range of cognitive domains, but single domain impairment is more common than multiple domain impairment, and within single domain impairment, non-amnestic is more common than amnestic impairment. A high proportion of patients with Parkinson’s disease-mild cognitive impairment progress to dementia in a relatively short period of time.
The primary conclusions of the Task Force are that: (1) Parkinson’s disease-mild cognitive impairment is common; (2) there is significant heterogeneity within Parkinson’s disease-mild cognitive impairment in the number and types of cognitive domain impairments; (3) Parkinson’s disease-mild cognitive impairment appears to place patients at risk of progressing to dementia; and (4) formal diagnostic criteria for Parkinson’s disease-mild cognitive impairment are needed.
PMCID: PMC3181006  PMID: 21661055
mild cognitive impairment; Parkinson’s disease; systematic review
3.  Mild Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease 
Minerva Medica  2011;102(6):441-459.
While Parkinson’s disease (PD) traditionally has been defined by its characteristic motor hallmarks, non-motor features such as cognitive impairment and dementia are increasingly recognized as part of PD. Mild cognitive impairment is common in non-demented PD patients, occurring in about 20-50%. Frequency estimates and clinical features of mild cognitive impairment in PD (PD-MCI), however, vary across studies due to methodological differences and lack of uniform diagnostic criteria for PD-MCI. Overall, PD-MCI patients exhibit nonamnestic deficits in cognitive domains such as executive function, attention, and visuospatial function; however, the cognitive phenotype of PD-MCI is heterogeneous with some patients demonstrating greater amnestic deficits. PD-MCI patients, particularly those with posterior cortical profiles, may be at high risk for developing dementia. Various biomarkers studied in PD-MCI including cerebrospinal fluid, genetic analyses, and neuroimaging suggest that there may be distinct PD-MCI profiles. Future studies using uniform PD-MCI diagnostic criteria and incorporating biomarkers and longitudinal follow-up of PD-MCI cohorts are needed to understand PD-MCI as a transitional state between normal cognition and dementia.
PMCID: PMC3370887  PMID: 22193376
Parkinson’s disease; dementia; mild cognitive impairment; executive dysfunction; cognitive domains
4.  Incidence of and risk factors for cognitive impairment in an early Parkinson disease clinical trial cohort 
Neurology  2009;73(18):1469-1477.
To investigate the incidence of and risk factors for cognitive impairment in a large, well-defined clinical trial cohort of patients with early Parkinson disease (PD).
The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was administered periodically over a median follow-up period of 6.5 years to participants in the Deprenyl and Tocopherol Antioxidative Therapy of Parkinsonism trial and its extension studies. Cognitive impairment was defined as scoring 2 standard deviations below age- and education-adjusted MMSE norms.
Cumulative incidence of cognitive impairment in the 740 participants with clinically confirmed PD (baseline age 61.0 ± 9.6 years, Hoehn-Yahr stage 1–2.5) was 2.4% (95% confidence interval: 1.2%–3.5%) at 2 years and 5.8% (3.7%–7.7%) at 5 years. Subjects who developed cognitive impairment (n = 46) showed significant progressive decline on neuropsychological tests measuring verbal learning and memory, visuospatial working memory, visuomotor speed, and attention, while the performance of the nonimpaired subjects (n = 694) stayed stable. Cognitive impairment was associated with older age, hallucinations, male gender, increased symmetry of parkinsonism, increased severity of motor impairment (except for tremor), speech and swallowing impairments, dexterity loss, and presence of gastroenterologic/urologic disorders at baseline.
The relatively low incidence of cognitive impairment in the Deprenyl and Tocopherol Antioxidative Therapy of Parkinsonism study may reflect recruitment bias inherent to clinical trial volunteers (e.g., younger age) or limitations of the Mini-Mental State Examination–based criterion. Besides confirming known risk factors for cognitive impairment, we identified potentially novel predictors such as bulbar dysfunction and gastroenterologic/urologic disorders (suggestive of autonomic dysfunction) early in the course of the disease.
= confidence interval;
= Controlled Word Association task;
= Deprenyl and Tocopherol Antioxidative Therapy of Parkinsonism;
= dementia with Lewy bodies;
= Digit Span Test;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= New Dot Task;
= Odd Man Out test;
= Parkinson disease;
= dementia in Parkinson disease;
= postural instability and gait difficulty;
= Symbol Digit Modalities Test;
= Selective Reminding Test;
= Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale.
PMCID: PMC2779004  PMID: 19884574
5.  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
6.  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
7.  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
8.  Time course of symptomatic orthostatic hypotension and urinary incontinence in patients with postmortem confirmed parkinsonian syndromes: a clinicopathological study 
OBJECTIVE—Although both orthostatic hypotension and urinary incontinence have been reported in a number of parkinsonian syndromes, such as Parkinson's disease (PD), multiple system atrophy (MSA), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), differences in the evolution of these features have not been studied systematically in pathologically confirmed cases.
METHODS—77 cases with pathologically confirmed parkinsonian syndromes (PD, n=11; MSA, n=15; DLB, n=14; CBD, n=13; PSP, n=24), collected up to 1994, formed the basis for a multicentre clinicopathological study organised by the NINDS to improve the differential diagnosis of parkinsonian disorders. The present study determined the time course—that is, latency to onset and duration from onset to death, of symptomatic orthostatic hypotension, and urinary incontinence in the NINDS series. Furthermore, the diagnostic validity of a predefined latency to onset within 1 year of disease onset of symptomatic orthostatic hypotension or urinary incontinence was analysed.
RESULTS—Significant group differences for latency, but not duration, of symptomatic orthostatic hypotension and urinary incontinence were found. Latencies to onset of either feature were short in patients with MSA, intermediate in patients with DLB, CBD, and PSP, and long in those with PD. Symptomatic orthostatic hypotension occurring within the first year after disease onset predicted MSA in 75% of cases; early urinary incontinence was less predictive for MSA (56%).
CONCLUSION—Latency to onset, but not duration, of symptomatic orthostatic hypotension or urinary incontinence differentiates PD from other parkinsonian syndromes, particularly MSA.

PMCID: PMC1736638  PMID: 10519868
9.  Neuropsychiatric features of corticobasal degeneration 
OBJECTIVE—To characterise the neuropsychiatric symptoms of patients with corticobasal degeneration (CBD).
METHODS—The neuropsychiatric inventory (NPI), a tool with established validity and reliability, was administered to 15 patients with CBD (mean (SEM), age 67.9 (2) years); 34 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) (66.6 (1.2) years); and 25 controls (70(0.8) years), matched for age and education. Both patient groups had similar duration of symptoms and mini mental state examination scores. Semantic fluency and motor impairment were also assessed.
RESULTS—Patients with CBD exhibited depression (73%), apathy (40%), irritability (20%), and agitation (20%) but less often had anxiety, disinhibition, delusions, or aberrant motor behaviour (for example, pacing). The depression and irritability of patients with CBD were more frequent and severe than those of patients with PSP. Conversely, patients with PSP exhibited significantly more apathy than patients with CBD. The presence of high depression and irritability and low apathy scale scores correctly differentiated the patients with CBD 88% of the time. The irritability of patients with CBD was significantly associated with disinhibition (r=0.85) and apathy (r=0.72). In CBD, apathy was associated with disinhibition (r=0.67); disinhibition was associated with aberrant motor behaviour (r=0.68) and apathy (r=0.67); and aberrant motor behaviour with delusions (r=1.0). On the other hand, depression was not associated with any other behaviour, suggesting that it has a different pathophysiological mechanism. Symptom duration was associated with total motor scores (r=0.69). However, total motor score was not associated with any behaviour or cognitive scores.
CONCLUSIONS—The findings indicate that frontosubcortical pathways mediating cognition, emotion, and motor function in CBD are not affected in parallel. Patients with CBD and PSP have overlapping neuropsychiatric manifestations, but they express distinctive symptom profiles. Evaluating the behavioural abnormalities of parkinsonian patients may help clarify the role of the basal ganglia in behaviour.

PMCID: PMC2170337  PMID: 9810944
10.  Natural history and survival of 14 patients with corticobasal degeneration confirmed at postmortem examination 
OBJECTIVE—To analyse the natural history and survival of corticobasal degeneration by investigating the clinical features of 14 cases confirmed by postmortem examination.
METHODS—Patients with definite corticobasal degeneration were selected from the research and clinical files of seven tertiary medical centres in Austria, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Clinical features were analysed in detail.
RESULTS—The sample consisted of eight female and six male patients; mean age at symptom onset was 63 (SD 7.7) years, and mean disease duration was 7.9 (SD 2.6) years. The most commonly reported symptom at onset included asymmetric limb clumsiness with or without rigidity (50%) or tremor (21%). At the first neurological visit, on average 3.0 (SD 1.9) years after symptom onset, the most often encountered extrapyramidal features included unilateral limb rigidity (79%) or bradykinesia (71%), postural imbalance (45%), and unilateral limb dystonia (43%). Ideomotor apraxia (64%), and to a lesser extent cortical dementia (36%), were the most common cortical signs present at the first visit. During the course of the disease, virtually all patients developed asymmetric or unilateral akinetic rigid parkinsonism and a gait disorder. No patient had a dramatic response to levodopa therapy. Median survival time after onset of symptoms was 7.9 (SD 0.7) (range, 2.5-12.5) years, and, after the first clinic visit, 4.9 (SD 0.7) (range, 0.8-10) years. Early bilateral bradykinesia, frontal syndrome, or two out of tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia, predicted a shorter survival.
CONCLUSION—The results confirm that unilateral parkinsonism unresponsive to levodopa and limb ideomotor apraxia are the clinical hallmarks of corticobasal degeneration, and only a minority of patients with corticobasal degeneration present with dementia. The study also suggests that a focal cognitive and extrapyramidal motor syndrome is indicative of corticobasal degeneration. Survival in corticobasal degeneration was shortened by the early presence of (more) widespread parkinsonian features or frontal lobe syndrome.

PMCID: PMC2169933  PMID: 9489528
11.  Natural history of progressive supranuclear palsy (Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome) and clinical predictors of survival: a clinicopathological study. 
OBJECTIVE--To analyse the natural history of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP or Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome) and clinical predictors of survival in 24 patients with PSP confirmed by necropsy, who fulfilled the NINDS criteria for a neuropathological diagnosis of typical PSP. METHODS--Patients were selected from the research and clinical files of seven medical centres involving tertiary centres of Austria, England, France, and the United States. Clinical features were analysed in detail. The patients' mean age at onset of PSP was 63 (range 45-73) years. RESULTS--The most frequent clinical features (occurring in at least 75% of the patients) were early postural instability and falls, vertical supranuclear palsy, akinetic-rigid predominant parkinsonian disorder characterised by symmetric bradykinesia and axial rigidity unrelieved by levodopa, pseudobulbar palsy, and frontal release signs. Occasionally, segmental dystonia or myoclonus were described, but neither aphasia nor alien limb syndrome was reported. Fractures occurred in 25% of the patients but were unrelated to the severity of the gait or to the presence of falls. Median survival time was 5.6 (range 2-16.6) years. Onset of falls during the first year, early dysphagia, and incontinence predicted a shorter survival time. Age at onset, sex, early onset of dementia, vertical supranuclear palsy, or axial rigidity had no effect on prognosis of survival. Pneumonia was the most common immediate cause of death. PSP was most often clinically misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease. Errors in diagnosis suggest that PSP is underdiagnosed. CONCLUSION--Progressive onset of early postural instability with falls or supranuclear vertical palsy in the fifth decade, should suggest the diagnosis of PSP. Onset of falls during the first year are emphasised, as they could lead to an early diagnosis and influence the prognosis of patients with PSP. Whether appropriate treatment of the dysphagia could prolong the survival of PSP patients needs to be explored.
PMCID: PMC1073943  PMID: 8648326
12.  Cerebrospinal fluid acetylcholinesterase in progressive supranuclear palsy: reduced activity relative to normal subjects and lack of inhibition by oral physostigmine. 
Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity was measured in lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 11 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and 18 age-matched healthy control subjects. Mean CSF AChE activity in PSP subjects was significantly reduced by 31% relative to control subjects (p less than 0.002). In the light of evidence of a central cholinergic deficit, physostigmine was administered orally (0.5-2.0 mg every two hours, six times a day for 10 days) to eight of the 11 PSP patients. CSF was sampled when the patients were on placebo and when receiving physostigmine and CSF AChE and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activities were measured. There was no significant change in either CSF AChE or BChE activities following physostigmine treatment. These data suggest that the doses of physostigmine used were insufficient to produce marked inhibition of AChE within the central nervous system.
PMCID: PMC1014527  PMID: 1955905
13.  Differential memory and executive functions in demented patients with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. 
Selected aspects of verbal memory and executive function were compared in 11 demented Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and 11 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients with equally severe dementia, with 11 healthy controls matched for age and education. Semantic and episodic memory were impared in all patients compared with controls, but to a relatively greater degree in AD patients than in those with PD. In contrast, demented PD patients were relatively more compromised on executive tasks. These findings, taken in the context of the neuropathological and neurochemical overlap between demented PD and AD patients, suggest that differences in neurobehavioural patterns in patients with these diseases are relative, rather than absolute.
PMCID: PMC1014293  PMID: 2010755
14.  Selective deficits in cognition and memory in high-functioning parkinsonian patients. 
To evaluate the profile and extent of cognitive deficits in Parkinson's disease, afflicted patients of exceptional professional distinction, who continue to function successfully in leadership positions, were compared neuropsychologically to neurologically normal individuals, matched for sex, age, education and professional standing. While patients showed relative preservation of verbal skills and higher executive function, they exhibited a significant reduction in episodic memory and visuospatial function. The observation of circumscribed impairment in this select group of Parkinsonian patients further implicates cognitive and memory deficits as consistent features of Parkinson's disease.
PMCID: PMC488138  PMID: 2391526

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