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1.  Evidence-based guideline: Pharmacologic treatment of chorea in Huntington disease 
Neurology  2012;79(6):597-603.
To develop an evidence-based guideline assessing pharmacologic options for treating Huntington disease (HD) chorea.
We evaluated available evidence from a structured literature review performed through February 2011.
Results and recommendations:
If HD chorea requires treatment, clinicians should prescribe tetrabenazine (up to 100 mg/day), amantadine (300–400 mg/day), or riluzole (200 mg/day) (Level B) for varying degrees of expected benefit. Occurrence of adverse events should be discussed and monitored, particularly depression/suicidality and parkinsonism with tetrabenazine and elevated liver enzymes with riluzole. Clinicians may also prescribe nabilone for modest decreases (1- to <2-point changes on the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale [UHDRS] chorea score) in HD chorea (Level C), but information is insufficient to recommend long-term use, particularly given abuse potential concerns (Level U). Clinicians should not prescribe riluzole 100 mg/day for moderate (2- to < 3-point UHDRS chorea change) short-term benefits (Level B) or for any long-term (3-year) HD antichoreic goals (Level B). Clinicians may choose not to prescribe ethyl-EPA (Level B), minocycline (Level B), or creatine (Level C) for very important improvements (>3-point UHDRS chorea change) in HD chorea. Clinicians may choose not to prescribe coenzyme Q10 (Level B) for moderate improvements in HD chorea. Data are insufficient to make recommendations regarding the use of neuroleptics or donepezil for HD chorea treatment (Level U).
PMCID: PMC3413759  PMID: 22815556
2.  Extrastriatal dopaminergic abnormalities of DA homeostasis in Parkinson’s patients with medication-induced pathological gambling: A [11C] FLB-457 and PET study 
Neurobiology of disease  2012;48(3):519-525.
Impulse control disorders such as pathological gambling (PG) are a serious and common adverse effect of dopamine (DA) replacement medication in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Patients with PG have increased impulsivity and abnormalities in striatal DA, in common with behavioural and substance addictions in the non-PD population. To date, no studies have investigated the role of extrastriatal dopaminergic abnormalities in PD patients with PG. We used the PET radiotracer, [11C] FLB-457, with high-affinity for extrastriatal DA D2/3 receptors. 14 PD patients on DA agonists were imaged while they performed a gambling task involving real monetary reward and a control task. Trait impulsivity was measured with the Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS). Seven of the patients had a history of PG that developed subsequent to DA agonist medication. Change in [11C] FLB-457 binding potential (BP) during gambling was reduced in PD with PG patients in the midbrain, where D2/D3 receptors are dominated by autoreceptors. The degree of change in [11C] FLB-457 binding in this region correlated with impulsivity. In the cortex, [11C] FLB-457 BP was significantly greater in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in PD patients with PG during the control task, and binding in this region was also correlated with impulsivity. Our findings provide the first evidence that PD patients with PG have dysfunctional activation of DA autoreceptors in the midbrain and low DA tone in the ACC. Thus, altered striatal and cortical DA homeostasis may incur vulnerability for the development of PG in PD, linked with the impulsive personality trait.
PMCID: PMC3465363  PMID: 22766031 CAMSID: cams2373
Parkinson’s disease; Dopamine agonists; Pathological gambling; Impulsivity
3.  Evidence Report: The efficacy and safety of mitoxantrone (Novantrone) in the treatment of multiple sclerosis 
Neurology  2010;74(18):1463-1470.
The chemotherapeutic agent mitoxantrone was approved for use in multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2000. After a review of all the available evidence, the original report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee in 2003 concluded that mitoxantrone probably reduced clinical attack rates, MRI activity, and disease progression. Subsequent reports of decreased systolic function, heart failure, and leukemia prompted the US Food and Drug Administration to institute a “black box” warning in 2005. This review was undertaken to examine the available literature on the efficacy and safety of mitoxantrone use in patients with MS since the initial report.
Relevant articles were obtained through a review of the medical literature and the strength of the available evidence was graded according to the American Academy of Neurology evidence classification scheme.
The accumulated Class III and IV evidence suggests an increased incidence of systolic dysfunction and therapy-related acute leukemia (TRAL) with mitoxantrone therapy. Systolic dysfunction occurs in ∼12% of patients with MS treated with mitoxantrone, congestive heart failure occurs in ∼0.4%, and leukemia occurs in ∼0.8%. The number needed to harm is 8 for systolic dysfunction and 123 for TRAL. There is no new efficacy evidence that would change the recommendation from the previous report.
The risk of systolic dysfunction and leukemia in patients treated with mitoxantrone is higher than suggested at the time of the previous report, although comprehensive postmarketing surveillance data are lacking.
= American Academy of Neurology;
= congestive heart failure;
= chronic myeloid leukemia;
= Food and Drug Administration;
= left ventricular ejection fraction;
= Mitoxantrone in Multiple Sclerosis Group;
= multiple sclerosis;
= mitoxantrone hydrochloride;
= number needed to harm;
= relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis;
= secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis;
= therapy-related acute leukemia;
= Therapeutics and Technology Assessment.
PMCID: PMC2871006  PMID: 20439849
4.  Dopamine Agonists Diminish Value Sensitivity of the Orbitofrontal Cortex: A Trigger for Pathological Gambling in Parkinson’s Disease? 
The neurobehavioral underpinnings of pathological gambling are not well understood. Insight might be gained by understanding pharmacological effects on the reward system in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Treatment with dopamine agonists (DAs) has been associated with pathological gambling in PD patients. However, how DAs are involved in the development of this form of addiction is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that tonic stimulation of dopamine receptors specifically desensitizes the dopaminergic reward system by preventing decreases in dopaminergic transmission that occurs with negative feedback. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we studied PD patients during three sessions of a probabilistic reward task in random order: off medication, after levodopa (LD) treatment, and after an equivalent dose of DA (pramipexole). For each trial, a reward prediction error value was computed using outcome, stake, and probability. Pramipexole specifically changed activity of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in two ways that were both associated with increased risk taking in an out-of-magnet task. Outcome-induced activations were generally higher with pramipexole compared with LD or off medication. In addition, only pramipexole greatly diminished trial-by-trial correlation with reward prediction error values. Further analysis yielded that this resulted mainly from impaired deactivation in trials with negative errors in reward prediction. We propose that DAs prevent pauses in dopamine transmission and thereby impair the negative reinforcing effect of losing. Our findings raise the question of whether pathological gambling may in part stem from an impaired capacity of the OFC to guide behavior when facing negative consequences.
PMCID: PMC2972251  PMID: 19741594 CAMSID: cams1534
fMRI; impulse control disorder; dopamine agonist; reward; addiction; reinforcement

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