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1.  The Contribution of Executive Control on Verbal-Learning Impairment in Patients with Parkinson's Disease with Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease 
Deficits in learning, memory, and executive functions are common cognitive sequelae of Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, the pattern of deficits within these populations is distinct. Hierarchical regression was used to investigate the contribution of two measures with executive function properties (Verbal Fluency and CLOX) on list-learning performance (CVLT-II total words learned) in a sample of 25 PDD patients and 25 matched AD patients. Executive measures were predictive of list learning in the PDD group after the contribution of overall cognition and contextual verbal learning was accounted for, whereas in the AD group the addition of executive measures did not add to prediction of variance in CVLT-II learning. These findings suggest that deficits in executive functions play a vital role in learning impairments in patients with PDD; however, for AD patients, learning difficulties appear relatively independent of executive dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC2765349  PMID: 19587066
Parkinson's disease with dementia; Alzheimer's disease; Executive function; List learning; Neuropsychologic tests; Comparative studies
2.  Spheramine for treatment of Parkinson’s disease 
Neurotherapeutics  2008;5(2):252-259.
Spheramine (Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Berlin, Germany) is currently being tested as a new approach for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). It consists of an active component of cultured human retinal pigment epithelial (hRPE) cells, attached to an excipient part of crosslinked porcine gelatin microcarrriers. Spheramine is administered by stereotactic implantation into the striatum of PD patients and the use of immunosuppression is not required. Current pharmacologic therapies of PD are oriented to the administration of dopaminergic medications. Human RPE cells produce levodopa, and this constitutes the rationale to use Spheramine for the treatment of PD. The preclinical development of Spheramine included extensive biologic, pharmacologic, and toxicologie studies in vitro and in animal models of PD. The first clinical trial in humans evaluated the safety and efficacy of Spheramine implanted in the postcommissural putamen contralateral to the most affected side in six patients with advanced PD. This open-label study demonstrated good tolerability and showed sustained motor clinical improvement. A phase II double-blind, randomized, multicenter, placebo-controlled (sham surgery) study is underway to evaluate safety, tolerability, and efficacy of Spheramine implanted bilaterally into the postcommissural putamen of patients with advanced PD. Spheramine represents a treatment approach with the potential of supplying a more continuous delivery of levodopa to the striatum in advanced PD than can be achieved with oral therapy alone.
PMCID: PMC5084167  PMID: 18394567
Parkinson’s disease; retinal pigment epithelial cells; neurotherapeutics; neurodegeneration; cellular therapies; cell transplantation

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