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1.  An Eight-Year Clinic Experience with Clozapine Use in a Parkinson’s Disease Clinic Setting 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91545.
Background
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).
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091545
PMCID: PMC3960134  PMID: 24646688
2.  Cognition and Mood in Parkinson Disease in STN versus GPi DBS: The COMPARE Trial 
Annals of neurology  2009;65(5):586-595.
Objective
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).
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Interpretations
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.
doi:10.1002/ana.21596
PMCID: PMC2692580  PMID: 19288469
GPi; STN; DBS; Mood; Cognition; Side Effects; verbal fluency; motor; UPDRS
3.  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

Results 1-3 (3)