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1.  Driving Errors in Parkinson’s Disease: Moving Closer to Predicting On-Road Outcomes 
Between-group differences and on-road driving errors that predicted pass or fail on-road outcomes are described in a comparison of 101 drivers with PD and 138 healthy control drivers.
Age-related medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) compromise driver fitness. Results from studies are unclear on the specific driving errors that underlie passing or failing an on-road assessment. In this study, we determined the between-group differences and quantified the on-road driving errors that predicted pass or fail on-road outcomes in 101 drivers with PD (mean age = 69.38 ± 7.43) and 138 healthy control (HC) drivers (mean age = 71.76 ± 5.08). Participants with PD had minor differences in demographics and driving habits and history but made more and different driving errors than HC participants. Drivers with PD failed the on-road test to a greater extent than HC drivers (41% vs. 9%), χ2(1) = 35.54, HC N = 138, PD N = 99, p < .001. The driving errors predicting on-road pass or fail outcomes (95% confidence interval, Nagelkerke R2 =.771) were made in visual scanning, signaling, vehicle positioning, speeding (mainly underspeeding, t(61) = 7.004, p < .001, and total errors. Although it is difficult to predict on-road outcomes, this study provides a foundation for doing so.
PMCID: PMC3871971  PMID: 24367958
automobile driving; forecasting; Parkinson disease; task performance and analysis; safety
2.  Comparable Botulinum Toxin Outcomes between Primary and Secondary Blepharospasm: A Retrospective Analysis 
Blepharospasm is a focal cranial dystonia, which could be idiopathic in origin or secondary to an underlying disorder that commonly impairs quality of life. Botulinum toxin (BoNT) injections have become the treatment of choice; however, a less favorable response to BoNT is expected in secondary blepharospasm. No studies have been conducted comparing outcomes between blepharospasm cohorts. We therefore aim to compare BoNT outcomes in primary and secondary blepharospasm subjects.
A retrospective review of 64 blepharospasm subjects receiving BoNT therapy was conducted. Demographics, BoNT treatment schedules, duration of BoNT therapy, and side effects were recorded. Outcome measures were duration of benefit, peak-dose benefit recorded with the Clinical Global Impressions Scale (CGIS), and related side effects.
No difference was found between the two cohorts regarding duration of benefit from treatment (primary 9.47 weeks vs. secondary 9.63 weeks, p = 0.88). Perceived peak-dose benefit was more commonly reported as “very much improved” in secondary patients, but this was not significant (p = 0.13). Higher BoNT dosages were required in both groups over time, with a mean increase of 20.5% in primary and 26.5% in secondary blepharospasm. Ptosis (8%) and diplopia (6%) were the most common reported side effects. Mean follow-up in years was similar between groups, 3.6 years for primary vs. 2.4 years for secondary blepharospasm (p = 0.17).
BoNT injections were effective with comparable benefits seen in both primary and secondary blepharospasm populations. Clinicians should be aware of the similar benefit from BoNT reported in secondary blepharospasm patients. The average duration of benefit in this cohort was comparable with previous reports.
PMCID: PMC4266684  PMID: 25562037
Cranial dystonia; botulinum toxin; Parkinson's; tardive syndromes; Clinical Global Impressions Scale
3.  Deep Brain Stimulation for Tremor Associated with Underlying Ataxia Syndromes: A Case Series and Discussion of Issues 
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been utilized to treat various symptoms in patients suffering from movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and essential tremor. Though ataxia syndromes have not been formally or frequently addressed with DBS, there are patients with ataxia and associated medication refractory tremor or dystonia who may potentially benefit from therapy.
A retrospective database review was performed, searching for cases of ataxia where tremor and/or dystonia were addressed by utilizing DBS at the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration between 2008 and 2011. Five patients were found who had DBS implantation to address either medication refractory tremor or dystonia. The patient's underlying diagnoses included spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2), fragile X associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a case of idiopathic ataxia (ataxia not otherwise specified [NOS]), spinocerebellar ataxia type 17 (SCA17), and a senataxin mutation (SETX).
DBS improved medication refractory tremor in the SCA2 and the ataxia NOS patients. The outcome for the FXTAS patient was poor. DBS improved dystonia in the SCA17 and SETX patients, although dystonia did not improve in the lower extremities of the SCA17 patient. All patients reported a transient gait dysfunction postoperatively, and there were no reports of improvement in ataxia-related symptoms.
DBS may be an option to treat tremor, inclusive of dystonic tremor in patients with underlying ataxia; however, gait and other symptoms may possibly be worsened.
PMCID: PMC4101398  PMID: 25120941
Tremor; SCA2; SCA17; fragile X syndrome; myoclonic dystonia; deep brain stimulation; unilateral
4.  The “Brittle Response” to Parkinson’s Disease Medications: Characterization and Response to Deep Brain Stimulation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94856.
Formulate a definition and describe the clinical characteristics of PD patients with a “brittle response” (BR) to medications versus a “non-brittle response” (NBR), and characterize the use of DBS for this population.
An UF IRB approved protocol used a retrospective chart review of 400 consecutive PD patients presenting to the UF Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration. Patient records were anonymized and de-identified prior to analysis. SPSS statistics were used to analyze data.
Of 345 included patients, 19 (5.5%) met criteria for BR PD. The BR group was comprised of 58% females, compared to 29% in the NBR group (P = .008). The former had a mean age of 63.4 compared to 68.1 in the latter. BR patients had lower mean weight (63.5 vs. 79.6, P = <.001), longer mean disease duration (12.6 vs. 8.9 years, P = .003), and had been on LD for more years compared to NBR patients (9.8 vs. 5.9, P = .001). UPDRS motor scores were higher (40.4 vs. 30.0, P = .001) in BR patients. No differences were observed regarding the Schwab and England scale, PDQ-39, and BDI-II. Sixty-three percent of the BR group had undergone DBS surgery compared to 18% (P = .001). Dyskinesias were more common, severe, and more often painful (P = <.001) in the BR group. There was an overall positive benefit from DBS.
BR PD occurred more commonly in female patients with a low body weight. Patients with longer disease duration and longer duration of LD therapy were also at risk. The BR group responded well to DBS.
PMCID: PMC3986256  PMID: 24733172
5.  An Eight-Year Clinic Experience with Clozapine Use in a Parkinson’s Disease Clinic Setting 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91545.
To examine our eight year clinic-based experience in a Parkinson’s disease expert clinical care center using clozapine as a treatment for refractory psychosis in Parkinson's disease (PD).
The study was a retrospective chart review which covered eight years of clozapine registry use. Statistical T-tests, chi-square, correlations and regression analysis were used to analyze treatment response for potential associations of age, disease duration, and Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) score, and degree of response to clozapine therapy.
There were 36 participants included in the analysis (32 PD, 4 parkinsonism-plus). The characteristics included 30.6% female, age 45–87 years (mean 68.3±10.15), disease duration of 17–240 months (mean 108.14±51.13) and H&Y score of 2 to 4 (mean 2.51±0.51). The overall retention rate on clozapine was 41% and the most common reasons for discontinuation were frequent blood testing (28%), nursing home (NH) placement (11%) and leucopenia (8%). Responses to clozapine across the cohort were: complete (33%), partial (33%), absent (16%), and unknown (16%). Age (r = −0.36, p<0.01) and H&Y score (r = −0.41, p<0.01) were shown to be related to response to clozapine therapy, but disease duration was not an associated factor (r = 0.21, p>0.05).
This single-center experience highlights the challenges associated with clozapine therapy in PD psychosis. Frequent blood testing remains a significant barrier for clozapine, even in patients with therapeutic benefit. Surprisingly, all patients admitted to a NH discontinued clozapine due to logistical issues of administration and monitoring within that setting. Consideration of the barriers to clozapine therapy will be important to its use and to its continued success in an outpatient setting.
PMCID: PMC3960134  PMID: 24646688
6.  Rescue GPi-DBS for a Stroke-associated Hemiballism in a Patient with STN-DBS 
Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements  2014;4:tre-04-214-4855-1.
Hemiballism/hemichorea commonly occurs as a result of a lesion in the subthalamic region.
Case Report
A 38-year-old male with Parkinson’s disease developed intractable hemiballism in his left extremities due to a small lesion that was located adjacent to the right deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead, 10 months after bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN)-DBS placement. He underwent a right globus pallidus internus (GPi)-DBS lead implantation. GPi-DBS satisfactorily addressed his hemiballism.
This case offered a unique look at basal ganglia physiology in human hemiballism. GPi-DBS is a reasonable therapeutic option for the treatment of medication refractory hemiballism in the setting of Parkinson’s disease.
PMCID: PMC3918512  PMID: 24587970
Globus pallidus internus; subthalamic nucleus; deep brain stimulation; hemiballism; stroke
7.  A Novel DYT-5 Mutation with Phenotypic Variability within a Colombian Family 
Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements  2013;3:tre-03-138-4462-2.
DYT-5 dystonia usually presents as a dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD) with early or late parkinsonian manifestations and/or dystonic features. Genetically, these patients have been described as having a wide array of independent mutations in the guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase 1 gene (GCH1), and these patients may also have a wide array of clinical manifestations.
A Colombian family with six affected female members was characterized.
Three members, including the index case, revealed mild parkinsonism, whereas three granddaughters of the index case showed severe generalized dystonia. No men were affected. There was anticipation, and a female predominance was uncovered. Treatment with levodopa was generally effective except in a case with severe skeletal deformities and contractions. Detailed genetic analysis in the index case revealed a new mutation in exon 1 of GCH1 (c.159delG).
This study revealed a new mutation of GCH1 that resulted in heterogeneous clinical presentations of DRD within a large family.
PMCID: PMC3822405  PMID: 24255805
DRD, dopamine; Parkinson's disease; dystonia, genetics
8.  DBS Candidates That Fall Short on a Levodopa Challenge Test 
The neurologist  2011;17(5):263-268.
Candidacy for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson disease (PD) is typically assessed by the preoperative motor response to levodopa along with an interdisciplinary evaluation. However, recent cases treated at our institution have achieved good outcomes with DBS despite a sub-30% improvement in motor scores. The aim of this study was to examine the outcomes of DBS in a subset of patients who failed to reach the 30% motor improvement threshold.
A review of all DBS patients treated at the University of Florida Movement Disorders Center between 2002 and 2009 was performed utilizing a DBS database. All patients with sub-30% improvement in Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale Part III after dopaminergic medication administration were included.
Nine patients were identified; DBS was performed for severe dyskinesia (n = 5), “on/off motor” fluctuations (n = 1) and medication-refractory tremor (n = 3). The target symptoms were improved in all patients. Postoperatively, scores on the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale Part II and III and subscores on Parkinson disease questionnaire-39 improved (P < 0.05).
Although motor response to levodopa remains the primary selection criteria for DBS candidacy in Parkinson disease, patients who do not meet the 30% threshold and have disabling symptoms may still benefit from DBS. Select patients with severe dyskinesia, “on/off” motor fluctuations, and/or medication-refractory tremor may experience significant benefits from DBS and should be considered on a case by case basis through an interdisciplinary team evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3789884  PMID: 21881468
deep brain stimulation; Parkinson disease; levodopa challenge test; dyskinesia; on-off motor fluctuations; tremor; quality of life
9.  Are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Associated With Greater Apathy in Parkinson’s Disease? 
Apathy is a common neuropsychiatric feature of Parkinson’s disease (PD), but little is known of relationships between apathy and specific medications in PD. Following a retrospective database and chart review of 181 Parkinson’s patients, relationships between Apathy Scale scores and use of psychotropic and antiparkinsonian medications were examined with multiple regression. Controlling for age, sex, education, and depression, the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but not other antidepressants, was associated with greater apathy. Use of monoamine oxidase B inhibitors was associated with less apathy. Longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate a potential SSRI-induced apathy syndrome in PD.
PMCID: PMC3759813  PMID: 23037646
10.  Dystonia, facial dysmorphism, intellectual disability and breast cancer associated with a chromosome 13q34 duplication and overexpression of TFDP1: case report 
BMC Medical Genetics  2013;14:70.
Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary sustained muscle contractions causing twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. Some cases of primary and neurodegenerative dystonia have been associated with mutations in individual genes critical to the G1-S checkpoint pathway (THAP1, ATM, CIZ1 and TAF1). Secondary dystonia is also a relatively common clinical sign in many neurogenetic disorders. However, the contribution of structural variation in the genome to the etiopathogenesis of dystonia remains largely unexplored.
Case presentation
Cytogenetic analyses with the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 identified a chromosome 13q34 duplication in a 36 year-old female with global developmental delay, facial dysmorphism, tall stature, breast cancer and dystonia, and her neurologically-normal father. Dystonia improved with bilateral globus pallidus interna (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS). Genomic breakpoint analysis, quantitative PCR (qPCR) and leukocyte gene expression were used to characterize the structural variant. The 218,345 bp duplication was found to include ADPRHL1, DCUN1D2, and TMCO3, and a 69 bp fragment from a long terminal repeat (LTR) located within Intron 3 of TFDP1. The 3' breakpoint was located within Exon 1 of a TFDP1 long non-coding RNA (NR_026580.1). In the affected subject and her father, gene expression was higher for all three genes located within the duplication. However, in comparison to her father, mother and neurologically-normal controls, the affected subject also showed marked overexpression (2×) of the transcription factor TFDP1 (NM_007111.4). Whole-exome sequencing identified an SGCE variant (c.1295G > A, p.Ser432His) that could possibly have contributed to the development of dystonia in the proband. No pathogenic mutations were identified in BRCA1 or BRCA2.
Overexpression of TFDP1 has been associated with breast cancer and may also be linked to the tall stature, dysmorphism and dystonia seen in our patient.
PMCID: PMC3722009  PMID: 23849371
Dystonia; Chromosome 13q34; Duplication; TFDP1; Breast cancer; G1-S Checkpoint pathway
11.  Do Stable Patients With a Premorbid Depression History Have a Worse Outcome After Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson Disease? 
Neurosurgery  2011;69(2):357-361.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been associated with mood sequelae in a subset of patients operated on in either the subthalamic nucleus or the globus pallidus internus for the treatment of Parkinson disease.
To compare mood and motor outcomes in those with and without a presurgical history of depression.
Unilateral subthalamic nucleus or unilateral globus pallidus internus DBS patients followed up for a minimum of 6 months were included. All patients underwent a comprehensive outpatient psychiatric evaluation by a board-certified psychiatrist. Psychiatric diagnoses were based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition, text revision, nomenclature (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Motor and mood outcomes were compared.
A total of 110 patients were included. There were no significant differences in baseline variables between the 2 groups. Those with a preoperative history of depression had significantly higher Beck Depression Inventory scores than the nondepression group after DBS (8.97 ± 7.55 vs 5.92 ± 5.71; P = .04). Patients with a depression history had less improvement (11.6%) in pre/post-DBS change when Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor scores were compared (P = .03) after adjustment for stimulation site and baseline demographic and clinical variables. Patients with a higher levodopa equivalent dose had a worse clinical motor outcome.
Patients with a preoperative depression history had higher Beck Depression Inventory scores after DBS and significantly less (albeit small) improvement in pre/post-DBS change in Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor scores than patients without a history of depression.
PMCID: PMC3593636  PMID: 21415789
DBS; Deep brain stimulation; Depression; DSM; Outcomes; Psychiatry; Psychology
12.  Mood and Motor Trajectories in Parkinson's Disease: Multivariate Latent Growth Curve Modeling 
Neuropsychology  2011;26(1):71-80.
Apathy is a common feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) that can manifest independently of depression, but little is known about its natural progression in medically-managed patients. The present study sought to characterize and compare trajectories of apathy, depression, and motor symptoms in PD over 18 months.
Data from a sample of 186 PD patients (mean disease duration of 8.2 years) followed by the University of Florida Movement Disorders Center were obtained from a clinical research database. Scores on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (motor portion), Apathy Scale, and Beck Depression Inventory at three time-points (baseline, 6 months, 18 months) were analyzed in a structural equation modeling framework.
A multivariate growth model controlling for age, sex, education, and disease duration identified linear worsening of both apathy (slope estimate = 0.73; p <.001) and motor symptoms (slope estimate = 1.51; p <.001), and quadratic changes in depression (slope estimate = 1.18; p = .07). All symptoms were positively correlated. Higher education was associated with lower apathy, depression, and motor severity. Advanced age was associated with greater motor and apathy severity. Female sex and longer disease duration were associated with attenuated motor worsening. Antidepressant use was associated only with depression scores.
These longitudinal results support the differentiation of apathy and depression in PD. Like motor progression, apathy progression may be linked at least partially to dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Empirically-supported treatments for apathy in PD are needed.
PMCID: PMC3296901  PMID: 22142359
Apathy; depression; antidepressants; structural equation modeling; neurodegeneration
13.  SNCA Variants Are Associated with Increased Risk for Multiple System Atrophy 
Annals of neurology  2009;65(5):610-614.
To test whether the synucleinopathies Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy (MSA) share a common genetic etiology, we performed a candidate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) association study of the 384 most associated SNPs in a genome-wide association study of Parkinson’s disease in 413 MSA cases and 3,974 control subjects. The 10 most significant SNPs were then replicated in additional 108 MSA cases and 537 controls. SNPs at the SNCA locus were significantly associated with risk for increased risk for the development of MSA (combined p = 5.5 × 1012; odds ratio 6.2).
PMCID: PMC3520128  PMID: 19475667
14.  Emerging Opportunities for Serotypes of Botulinum Neurotoxins  
Toxins  2012;4(11):1196-1222.
Background: Two decades ago, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) type A was introduced to the commercial market. Subsequently, the toxin was approved by the FDA to address several neurological syndromes, involving muscle, nerve, and gland hyperactivity. These syndromes have typically been associated with abnormalities in cholinergic transmission. Despite the multiplicity of botulinal serotypes (designated as types A through G), therapeutic preparations are currently only available for BoNT types A and B. However, other BoNT serotypes are under study for possible clinical use and new clinical indications; Objective: To review the current research on botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A-G, and to analyze potential applications within basic science and clinical settings; Conclusions: The increasing understanding of botulinal neurotoxin pathophysiology, including the neurotoxin’s effects on specific neuronal populations, will help us in tailoring treatments for specific diagnoses, symptoms and patients. Scientists and clinicians should be aware of the full range of available data involving neurotoxin subtypes A-G.
PMCID: PMC3509704  PMID: 23202312
Botulinum toxin serotypes; neurotoxins subtypes; neuro-pharmacology toxins
15.  The Prevalence of Fatigue Following Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in Parkinson's Disease and Association with Quality of Life 
Parkinson's Disease  2012;2012:769506.
Fatigue is a common and disabling nonmotor symptom seen in Parkinson's disease (PD). While deep brain stimulation surgery (DBS) improves motor symptoms, it has also been associated with non-motor side effects. To date no study has utilized standardized instruments to evaluate fatigue following DBS surgery. Our objective was to determine the prevalence of fatigue following DBS surgery in PD its impact on quality of life and explore predictive factors. We recruited 44 PD subjects. At least one year following DBS placement, we administered the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39), the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the UPDRS, and a neuropsychological battery. Fifty-eight percent of subjects had moderate to severe fatigue. Fatigue was significantly associated with quality of life, depression, and anxiety. Depression preoperatively was the only predictive factor of fatigue. Fatigue is common following DBS surgery and significantly impacts quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3359731  PMID: 22666631
16.  Differential Response of Dystonia and Parkinsonism following Globus Pallidus Internus Deep Brain Stimulation in X-Linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism (Lubag) 
X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism (XDP; DYT3; Lubag) is an adult-onset hereditary progressive dystonia/parkinsonism which is typically minimally responsive to pharmacological treatment.
Case Report
We report a 63- year-old man with a diagnosis of XDP who underwent bilateral globus pallidus internus deep brain stimulator (GPi-DBS) placement. His course initially began with right hand tremor and dystonia at age 57 and progressed to also include bradykinesia and rigidity. The patient tolerated the procedure without significant complications. GPi-DBS improved his right hand dystonia, but did not significantly improve his parkinsonism.
DBS may be a therapeutic option for select cases of XDP, but its specificindications must be carefully discussed, as the available cases have had mixed responses. Whether other targets may be more effective is not known.
PMCID: PMC2969112  PMID: 20714213
X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism; Globus pallidus internus; Cognitive impairment; Medication-resistant parkinsonism
17.  Binge Eating in Parkinson Disease: Prevalence, Correlates, and the Contribution of Deep Brain Stimulation 
Of 96 Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients at the University of Florida Movement Disorders Center, one (1%) met diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder (BED). Eight (8.3%) exhibited subthreshold BED. Psychometric criteria classified problem gambling in 17.8%, hoarding in 8.3%, buying in 11.5%, hypersexuality in 1.0%, and mania in 1.0% of patients. More overeaters met psychometric criteria for at least one additional impulse control disorder (67% vs. 29%). No more overeaters than non-overeaters were taking a dopamine agonist (44% vs. 41%). More overeaters had a history of subthalamic DBS (44% vs. 14%). History of DBS was the only independent predictor of overeating.
PMCID: PMC3075093  PMID: 21304139
Parkinson’s disease; binge eating; impulse control disorders
18.  The Frequency of Nonmotor Symptoms among Advanced Parkinson Patients May Depend on Instrument Used for Assessment 
Parkinson's Disease  2011;2011:290195.
Background. Nonmotor symptoms (NMS) of Parkinson's disease (PD) may be more debilitating than motor symptoms. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency and corecognition of NMS among our advanced PD cohort (patients considered for deep brain stimulation (DBS)) and caregivers. Methods. NMS-Questionnaire (NMS-Q), a self-administered screening questionnaire, and NMS Assessment-Scale (NMS-S), a clinician-administered scale, were administered to PD patients and caregivers. Results. We enrolled 33 PD patients (23 males, 10 females) and caregivers. The most frequent NMS among patients using NMS-Q were gastrointestinal (87.9%), sleep (84.9%), and urinary (72.7%), while the most frequent symptoms using NMS-S were sleep (90.9%), gastrointestinal (75.8%), and mood (75.8%). Patient/caregiver scoring correlations for NMS-Q and NMS-S were 0.670 (P < 0.0001) and 0.527 (P = 0.0016), respectively. Conclusion The frequency of NMS among advanced PD patients and correlation between patients and caregivers varied with the instrument used. The overall correlation between patient and caregiver was greater with NMS-Q than NMS-S.
PMCID: PMC3144664  PMID: 21808724
19.  Greater improvement in quality of life following unilateral deep brain stimulation surgery in the globus pallidus as compared to the subthalamic nucleus 
Journal of neurology  2009;256(8):1321-1329.
While deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is a well-accepted treatment for Parkinson disease (PD) that improves overall quality of life (QoL), its effects across different domains of QoL are unclear. The study reported here directly compared the effects of unilateral DBS in subthalamic nucleus (STN) or globus pallidus (GPi) on QoL in 42 non-demented patients with medication-refractory PD. Patients were enrolled in the COMPARE trial, a randomized clinical trial of cognitive and mood effects of STN versus GPi DBS conducted at the University of Florida Movement Disorders Center. Patients underwent motor, mood, verbal fluency and QoL (Parkinson disease questionnaire: PDQ-39) measures before and 6 months following surgery. Groups experienced motor and mood improvements that did not differ by target. Patients with STN DBS evidenced a slight decrement on letter fluency. On average, all patients endorsed better overall QoL after surgery. However, despite similar motor and mood improvements, GPi patients improved more than STN patients (38 vs. 14%, respectively; P = 0.03). Patients reported better QoL on subscales of mobility, activities of daily living (ADLs), emotional well-being, stigma, cognition and discomfort, but not on those of social support and communication. Improvements on the mobility, ADLs, stigma and social support subscales were greater amongst GPi patients. In regression analyses, only depression changes independently predicted changes in overall QoL as well as emotional well-being and social support changes. Within the STN group only, declining category fluency scores correlated with poorer QoL on the communication subscale. Unilateral DBS in both STN and GPi improved QoL overall and in disparate domains 6 months after surgery. Patients receiving GPi DBS reported greater improvements that cannot be explained by differential mood or motor effects; however, verbal fluency changes may have partially contributed to lesser QoL improvements amongst STN patients.
PMCID: PMC3045861  PMID: 19363633
Cognition; Deep brain stimulation; Depression; Parkinson disease; Quality of life
The Clinical neuropsychologist  2008;23(3):385-405.
Conflicting research suggests that deep brain stimulation surgery, an effective treatment for medication-refractory Parkinson’s disease (PD), may lead to selective cognitive declines. We compared cognitive performance of 22 PD patients who underwent unilateral DBS to the GPi or STN to that of 19 PD controls at baseline and 12 months. We hypothesized that compared to PD controls, DBS patients would decline on tasks involving dorsolateral prefrontal cortex circuitry (letter fluency, semantic fluency, and Digit Span Backward) but not on other tasks (Vocabulary, Boston Naming Test), and that a greater proportion of DBS patients would fall below Reliable Change Indexes (RCIs). Compared to controls, DBS patients declined only on the fluency tasks. Analyses classified 50% of DBS patients as decliners, compared to 11% of controls. Decliners experienced less motor improvement than non-decliners. The present study adds to the literature through its hypothesis-driven method of task selection, inclusion of a disease control group, longer-term follow-up and use of Reliable Change. Our findings provide evidence that unilateral DBS surgery is associated with verbal fluency declines and indicate that while these changes may not be systematically related to age, cognitive or depression status at baseline, semantic fluency declines may be more common after left-sided surgery. Finally, use of Reliable Change highlights the impact of individual variability and indicates that fluency declines likely reflect significant changes in a subset of patients who demonstrate a poorer surgical outcome overall.
PMCID: PMC3045862  PMID: 18821180
Parkinson’s disease; Deep brain stimulation; Reliable Change
21.  Cognition and Mood in Parkinson Disease in STN versus GPi DBS: The COMPARE Trial 
Annals of neurology  2009;65(5):586-595.
There is a paucity of level-one evidence comparing STN and GPi DBS. Our aim in this prospective blinded randomized trial was to compare the cognitive and mood effects of unilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) vs. unilateral globus pallidus interna (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients with Parkinson disease (PD).
Fifty-two subjects with moderate-to-advanced PD were randomized to either unilateral STN or GPi DBS. Right or alternatively left sided stimulation was chosen to address the side of the body with the most bothersome symptoms. The co-primary outcome measures were the change in the 8 subscales of the Visual Analog Mood Scale (VAMS), and the change in the 2 versions of verbal fluency (i.e. semantic and letter), at 7 months post-DBS in the optimal setting compared to the pre-DBS state. In addition, at 7 months post-DBS, after subjects underwent initial evaluation off medications and on optimized DBS therapy, they were tested in four randomized and counterbalanced conditions (optimal DBS, ventral DBS, dorsal DBS, and off DBS) while remaining off medication. Secondary outcome measures then compared the differences in the VAMS items and verbal fluency subscales within the 4 DBS conditions at 7 months, and the change in the VAMS items and verbal fluency subscales from the pre-DBS state to the other 3 DBS conditions (ventral, dorsal and off ) at 7 months.
Forty-five subjects (23 GPi and 22 STN) completed the protocol. The study revealed no significant difference between STN and GPi DBS in the change of co-primary mood and cognitive outcomes from pre- to post-DBS in the optimal setting (Hotelling's T2 test: p=0.16 and 0.08 respectively). When comparing the 4 DBS conditions at 7 months, subjects in both targets were less “happy”, less “energetic” and more “confused” when stimulated ventrally to the optimal stimulation site. When comparing the other 3 DBS conditions (ventral, dorsal and off DBS) to the pre-DBS state, the STN group showed a larger deterioration of letter verbal fluency scores than the GPi group, especially in the off DBS state. A 12-point mean improvement in the UPDRS motor subscale was seen post DBS, but there was no significant difference between targets.
There were no significant differences in in the co-primary outcome measures of mood and cognition between STN and GPi in the optimal DBS state.. However, adverse mood effects were noted when stimulating ventrally to the optimal site in both targets. Furthermore, a worsening for letter verbal fluency was noted in the 3 non-optimal post-DBS states in the STN target only. The persistence of deterioration in verbal fluency in the off DBS state at 7 months is, suggestive of a surgical rather than a stimulation-induced effect at the STN target. STN and GPi DBS resulted in similar motor improvement.
PMCID: PMC2692580  PMID: 19288469
GPi; STN; DBS; Mood; Cognition; Side Effects; verbal fluency; motor; UPDRS
22.  Prevalence of hypersexual behavior in Parkinson’s disease patients: Not restricted to males and dopamine agonist use 
This study investigates the prevalence and demographic characteristics of hypersexuality in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Impulse control disorders in PD patients have been associated with dopamine agonist therapy. Moreover, hypersexuality and pathological gambling have been associated with males, while females may be inherently thought to be more likely to participate in compulsive shopping and binge-eating behaviors. In this study, a screening mail-in survey was sent to all PD patients at a single Movement Disorders Center. One hundred forty one of 400 (35.3%) research packets were returned completed. Fifteen of 141 patients met initial screening criteria for hypersexual behavior. After detailed interview, only 6/141 (4.3%) of PD patients met criteria for pathologic hypersexual behavior. These behaviors included: compulsive masturbation, prostitution, and paraphilias. Patients with a younger age of PD onset were more likely to exhibit hypersexual behavior. Unlike previous report, no significant association was found between hypersexuality and gender or dopamine agonist use. Rather, this study suggests that physicians should be vigilant for hypersexual behavior in all PD patients, regardless of gender and PD medication regimen. Ultimately, given the innate sensitivity of the topic and survey limitations, it is very likely that hypersexual behavior in our cohort, as it is in the general PD population, has been under-reported.
PMCID: PMC2840579  PMID: 20360887
Parkinson’s disease; hypersexuality; impulsive behavior; dopamine agonists
24.  The four As associated with pathological Parkinson disease gamblers: anxiety, anger, age, and agonists 
Several studies have related pathological gambling in PD to dopamine agonist therapy. A mail-in survey was sent to PD patients seen at the University of Florida Movement Disorders Center to determine gambling frequency and behavior, and any lifestyle or environmental factors associated with compulsive gambling in PD. 462 surveys were sent and 127 completed surveys were returned, of which ten were from patients who met criteria for compulsive gambling. All ten were taking dopamine agonists coincident with the compulsive gambling. Compulsive gamblers were younger, and psychological distress measures revealed that compulsive gamblers exhibited higher levels of anxiety, anger, and confusion. Thus in this cohort, we have uncovered the several characteristics of the most likely PD compulsive gambler, namely: (young) age, “angry”, “anxious”, and using a (dopamine) agonist.
PMCID: PMC2654528  PMID: 19300546
Parkinson; gambling; compulsive behavior; dopamine agonist; anxiety

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