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1.  A multidisciplinary study of patients with early-onset PD with and without parkin mutations 
Neurology  2009;72(2):110-116.
Objective:
To establish phenotype–genotype correlations in early-onset Parkinson disease (EOPD), we performed neurologic, neuropsychological, and psychiatric evaluations in a series of patients with and without parkin mutations.
Background:
Parkin (PARK2) gene mutations are the major cause of autosomal recessive parkinsonism. The usual clinical features are early-onset typical PD with a slow clinical course, an excellent response to low doses of levodopa, frequent treatment-induced dyskinesias, and the absence of dementia.
Methods:
A total of 44 patients with EOPD (21 with and 23 without parkin mutations) and 9 unaffected single heterozygous carriers of parkin mutations underwent extensive clinical, neuropsychological, and psychiatric examinations.
Results:
The neurologic, neuropsychological, and psychiatric features were similar in all patients, except for significantly lower daily doses of dopaminergic treatment and greater delay in the development of levodopa-related fluctuations (p < 0.05) in parkin mutation carriers compared to noncarriers. There was no major difference between the two groups in terms of general cognitive efficiency. Psychiatric manifestations (depression) were more frequent in patients than in healthy single heterozygous parkin carriers but did not differ between the two groups of patients.
Conclusion:
Carriers of parkin mutations are clinically indistinguishable from other patients with young-onset Parkinson disease (PD) on an individual basis. Severe generalized loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta in these patients is associated with an excellent response to low doses of dopa-equivalent and delayed fluctuations, but cognitive impairment and special behavioral or psychiatric symptoms were not more severe than in other patients with early-onset PD.
GLOSSARY
= Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale;
= early-onset Parkinson disease;
= Frontal Assessment Battery;
= Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale;
= Mattis Dementia Rating Scale;
= Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= Trail Making Test;
= Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale;
= Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.
doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000327098.86861.d4
PMCID: PMC2677494  PMID: 18987353
2.  Tolerance and short term efficacy of rituximab in 43 patients with systemic autoimmune diseases 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2004;64(6):913-920.
Objective: To assess the tolerance and efficacy of rituximab in patients with various autoimmune diseases seen in daily rheumatological practice.
Methods: 866 rheumatology and internal medicine practitioners were contacted by email to obtain the files of patients treated with rituximab for systemic autoimmune diseases. Patients with lymphoma were analysed if the evolution of the autoimmune disease could be evaluated.
Results: In all, 43 of 49 cases could be analysed, including 14 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 13 with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), six with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), five with systemic vasculitis, and five with other autoimmune diseases. Rituximab was prescribed for lymphoma in two patients with RA and two with pSS. In the 39 other cases, rituximab was given because of the refractory character of the autoimmune disease. The mean follow up period was 8.3 months (range 2 to 26). There were 11 adverse events in 10 patients and treatment had to be discontinued in six. Efficacy was observed in 30 patients (70%): RA 11, SLE 9, pSS 5, vasculitis 2, antisynthetase syndromes 2, sarcoidosis 1. The mean decrease in corticosteroid intake was 9.5 mg/d (range 0 to 50) in responders. Seven patients experienced relapse after mean 8.1 months (5 to 15). Three patients died because of refractory autoimmune disease.
Conclusions: Despite absence of marketing authorisation, rituximab is used to treat various refractory autoimmune diseases in daily rheumatological practice. This study showed good tolerance and short term clinical efficacy, with marked corticosteroid reduction in patients with SLE, pSS, vasculitis, and polymyositis.
doi:10.1136/ard.2004.029694
PMCID: PMC1755517  PMID: 15550531
3.  Factors associated with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in Wegener's granulomatosis. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1995;54(12):991-994.
OBJECTIVE--To determine the factors associated with the occurrence of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG). METHODS--We retrospectively compared a group of 12 patients with WG and PCP (PCP group), with 32 WG patients without PCP followed over the same period in the same centres (control group). RESULTS--The mean delay of onset of PCP after the start of the immunosuppressive therapy was 127 (SD 128) days. Before treatment, the clinical and biological features of the two groups were similar, except for the mean lymphocyte count which was lower in the PCP group than in the control group (1060/mm3 v 1426/mm3; p = 0.04). During treatment, both groups were lymphopenic. There was a significant difference between the lowest absolute lymphocyte count in each group (244/mm3 in the PCP group v 738/mm3 in the control group; p = 0.001). During the first three months of treatment, the lymphocyte count was less than 600/mm3 at least once in 10 of the 12 patients in the PCP group and in 11 of the 32 patients in the control group (p < 0.01). The mean cumulative dose of cyclophosphamide was greater in the PCP group than in the control group at the end of both the second (1.55 mg/kg/day v 0.99 mg/kg/day; p = 0.05) and the third (1.67 mg/kg/day v 0.97 mg/kg/day; p = 0.03) months. However, in multivariate analysis, the only two factors independently and significantly associated with the occurrence of PCP were the pretreatment lymphocyte count (p = 0.018) and the lymphocyte count three months after the start of the immunosuppressive treatment (p = 0.014). CONCLUSIONS--The severity of lymphocytopenia before and during immunosuppressive treatment is the factor best associated with PCP in WG.
PMCID: PMC1010066  PMID: 8546533
4.  Rest tremor and extrapyramidal symptoms after midbrain haemorrhage: clinical and 18F-dopa PET evaluation. 
A 25 year old man had an acute subarachnoid haemorrhage due to the rupture of a right peduncular subthalamic arteriovenous malformation. Seven months later he developed a left rest tremor associated with mild bilateral extrapyramidal symptoms and responsive to levodopa treatment. Surface EMG recording showed synchronous activity of agonist and antagonist muscles in the left limbs. A PET 18F-dopa study showed a large decrease of the Ki value in the right striatum. One year after the stroke a persistent postural component developed in the tremor.
Images
PMCID: PMC1073089  PMID: 8057126
6.  Cell cycle variations of dinucleoside polyphosphates in synchronized cultures of mammalian cells. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1987;7(7):2444-2450.
Zajdela hepatoma culture cells (ZHC) and mouse embryo fibroblasts (Swiss 3T3) were synchronized in G1 or S phase by serum deprivation and aphidicolin treatment, respectively, to study the variations in adenylyl nucleotide (Ap4X) pool size during the progress of the cell cycle. Only minor variations, which never exceeded a factor of 2, were observed when the Ap4X concentrations were expressed on a cellular basis. The variations were found to be strictly parallel to the ATP variations. Upon release from an aphidicolin block, the minor variations of Ap4X followed DNA synthesis and preceded cytokinesis. When the nucleotide content was compared with the amount of proteins, the faint specific cell cycle changes were almost completely damped when the cells were synchronized by serum deprivation, but remained practically unchanged in the case of aphidicolin synchronization. These results suggest that the observed variations could reflect the accumulation of some nucleotides before cell division. It is not clear yet whether the variation in Ap4X concentration is significant by itself or is simply a phenomenon resulting from changes in the ATP pool.
Images
PMCID: PMC365376  PMID: 3475567
11.  Thermal perturbation differential spectra of ribonucleic acids. II. Nearest neighbour interactions. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1979;7(7):1981-2001.
Dinucleoside monophosphates are used here as models for studying sequence dependence of the hypochromic effect correlated with base stacking. It was shown that once the contribution due to the temperature dependent hydration change of the bases is substracted from the thermal perturbation difference spectra of dinucleoside monophosphates, the absorbance change of the dimer only due to unstacking of the bases could be obtained. In order to be able to use these corrected thermal perturbation difference spectra as models for studying nearest neighbour interactions in nucleic acids, it was necessary to normalize them to 100% unstacking of the bases. To perform this normalization, apparent thermodynamic parameters were extracted from the corrected transition curves by means of the two-state model.
PMCID: PMC342361  PMID: 395505
12.  Thermal perturbation differential spectra of ribonucleic acids. I. Hydration effects. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1979;7(7):1965-1980.
A relatively important change in UV absorption is observed upon thermal perturbation of nucleotide solutions. Comparison of these thermal perturbation spectra of nucleic acid residues with solvent perturbation spectra of the same compounds suggests that this spectral change can most probably be attributed to temperature induced hydration change of the bases. This conclusion is confirmed by the results obtained from acid-base perturbation spectra of these nucleotides as well as thermal perturbation spectra of nucleotides containing modified bases. It is shown that this temperature dependent change in UV absorption is also present in dinucleoside monophosphates. In that case, this effect is superimposed upon the well known change in absorbance due to the unstacking of the bases during heating.
PMCID: PMC342360  PMID: 43965

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