Non-motor symptoms are present in Parkinson's disease (PD) and a key determinant of quality of life. The Non-motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS) is a validated scale that allows quantifying frequency and severity (burden) of NMS. We report a proposal for using NMSS scores to determine levels of NMS burden (NMSB) and to complete PD patient classification.
This was an observational, cross-sectional international study of 935 consecutive patients. Using a distribution of NMSS scores by quartiles, a classification based on levels from 0 (no NMSB at all) to 4 (very severe NMSB) was obtained and its relation with Hoehn and Yahr (HY) staging, motor and health-related quality of life scales was analyzed. Concordance between NMSB levels and grouping based on clinician's global impression of severity, using categorical regression, was determined. Disability and HRQoL predictors were identified by multiple regression models.
The distribution of motor and QoL scales scores by HY and NMSB levels was significantly discriminative. The difference in the classification of cases for both methods, HY and NMSB, was significant (gamma = 0.45; ASE = 0.032). Concordance between NMSB and global severity-based levels from categorical regression was 91.8%, (kappaw = 0.97). NMS score was predictor of disability and QoL.
Current clinical practice does not address a need for inclusion of non-motor scores in routine assessment of PD in spite of the overwhelming influence of NMS on disability and quality of life. Our data overcome the problems of “pure motor assessment” and we propose a combined approach with addition of NMSB levels to standard motor assessments.
A hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9ORF72 has been established as a common cause of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). However, the minimum repeat number necessary for disease pathogenesis is not known. The aims of our study were to determine the frequency of the C9ORF72 repeat expansion in two FTD patient collections (one Australian and one Spanish, combined n = 190), to examine C9ORF72 expansion allele length in a subset of FTD patients, and to examine C9ORF72 allele length in ‘non-expansion’ patients (those with <30 repeats). The C9ORF72 repeat expansion was detected in 5–17% of patients (21–41% of familial FTD patients). For one family, the expansion was present in the proband but absent in the mother, who was diagnosed with dementia at age 68. No association was found between C9ORF72 non-expanded allele length and age of onset and in the Spanish sample mean allele length was shorter in cases than in controls. Southern blotting analysis revealed that one of the nine ‘expansion-positive’ patients examined, who had neuropathologically confirmed frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 pathology, harboured an ‘intermediate’ allele with a mean size of only ∼65 repeats. Our study indicates that the C9ORF72 repeat expansion accounts for a significant proportion of Australian and Spanish FTD cases. However, C9ORF72 allele length does not influence the age at onset of ‘non-expansion’ FTD patients in the series examined. Expansion of the C9ORF72 allele to as little as ∼65 repeats may be sufficient to cause disease.
A single nucleotide polymorphism GRN rs5848 (3′UTR+78 C>T) was reported to alter the risk for frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Herein, we investigated the effect of GRN rs5848 on the risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD) by genotyping 573 Taiwanese patients with PD and 490 age-matched control subjects. Compared to subjects with CC genotype, those with TT genotype had a 1.58-fold increased risk of PD (95% CI: 1.77∼2.34, P = 0.021). PD patients demonstrate a higher frequency of T allele (37.2%) than controls (32.2%; odds ratio [OR] = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.04∼1.49, P = 0.017). This susceptibility was particularly observed in female subjects, in which TT genotype had a 2.16-fold increased risk of PD as compared with controls(95% CI: 1.24∼3.78, P = 0.006). The frequency of T allele (39.3%) in female PD patients was higher than in female control subjects (31.1%; OR = 1.43, CI: 1.11∼1.87, P = 0.007). No association was observed between GRN rs5848 and susceptibility in male subjects. These findings show that the GRN rs5848 TT genotype and T allele are risk factors for female Taiwanese patients with PD.
The diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains primarily a clinical issue, based mainly on phenotypic patterns. The identification of biomarkers capable of permitting the preclinical detection of PD is critically needed. α-Synuclein is a key protein in PD, with missense and multiplication mutations in the gene encoding α-synuclein (SNCA) having been reported in familial cases of PD, and accumulation of the protein identified in Lewy bodies (LBs) and Lewy neurites (LNs) in affected brain regions. With the objective of validating the use of α-synuclein as a clinical or progressive biomarker in an accessible tissue, we used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to measure α-synuclein levels in the peripheral blood plasma of idiopathic PD and LRRK2 mutation carrier patients and compared our findings with healthy control subjects. Compared to healthy controls, we found a significant decrease in plasma total α-synuclein levels in idiopathic PD (iPD) patients (n = 134, p = 0.010). However, the reduction was less significant in patients who were LRRK2 mutation carriers (n = 32, p = 0.133). This lack of significance could be due to the small number of individuals employed in this group. No predictive value of total α-synuclein in the diagnosis of PD was found in a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Although this is a pilot study requiring corroboration on a larger cohort of patients, our results highlight the possible use of plasma α-synuclein as a biomarker for PD.
Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) is an autosomal dominantly inherited central nervous system white matter disease with variable clinical presentations including personality and behavioral changes, dementia, depression, parkinsonism, seizures, and others1,2. We combined genome-wide linkage analysis with exome sequencing and identified 14 different mutations affecting the tyrosine kinase domain of the colony stimulating factor receptor 1 (encoded by CSF1R) in 14 families affected by HDLS. In one kindred, the de novo occurrence of the mutation was confirmed. Follow-up sequencing analyses identified an additional CSF1R mutation in a patient clinically diagnosed with corticobasal syndrome (CBS). In vitro, CSF-1 stimulation resulted in the rapid autophosphorylation of selected tyrosine-residues in the kinase domain of wild-type but not mutant CSF1R, suggesting that HDLS may result from a partial loss of CSF1R function. Since CSF1R is a critical mediator of microglial proliferation and differentiation in the brain, our findings suggest an important role for microglial dysfunction in HDLS pathogenesis.
The most frequent MAPT H1 haplotype is associated with the risk for developing progressive supranuclear palsy and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. A recent report suggests that the MAPT H1 is associated with the risk for developing essential tremor. We wanted to confirm this association in a different population. We analyzed the distribution of allelic and genotype frequencies of rs1052553, which is an H1/H2 SNP, in 200 subjects with familial ET and 291 healthy controls. rs1052553 genotype and allelic frequencies did not differ significantly between subjects with ET and controls and were unrelated with the age at onset of tremor or gender, and with the presence of head, voice, chin, and tongue tremor. Our study suggests that the MAPT H1 rs1052553 is not associated with the risk for developing familial ET in the Spanish population.
It has been suggested that a common LRRK2 polymorphic variant (A419V (rs34594498 C >T)) may be a risk factor among Asians (especially in Taiwan). In this study, we examined this variant in a larger and independent Taiwan cohort. We found the frequency of the variant (A419V) to be very rare in our Taiwan PD and controls (?0.6%). Further studies were conducted in two other Chinese populations (Singapore and China), comprising of a total of 3004 subjects including 1517 PD patients and 1487 control subjects. However, our multi-center Chinese study revealed that the frequency of the variant was rare (?0.4%) and was not associated with risk of PD, suggesting that the variant is not a major risk factor for PD among Chinese, at least in our study population.
Parkinson disease is caused by neuronal loss in the substantia nigra which manifests by abnormality of movement, muscle tone, and postural stability. Several genes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease, but the underlying molecular basis is still unknown for ∼70% of the patients. Using homozygosity mapping and whole exome sequencing we identified a deleterious mutation in DNAJC6 in two patients with juvenile Parkinsonism. The mutation was associated with abnormal transcripts and marked reduced DNAJC6 mRNA level. DNAJC6 encodes the HSP40 Auxilin, a protein which is selectively expressed in neurons and confers specificity to the ATPase activity of its partner Hcs70 in clathrin uncoating. In Auxilin null mice it was previously shown that the abnormally increased retention of assembled clathrin on vesicles and in empty cages leads to impaired synaptic vesicle recycling and perturbed clathrin mediated endocytosis. Endocytosis function, studied by transferring uptake, was normal in fibroblasts from our patients, likely because of the presence of another J-domain containing partner which co-chaperones Hsc70-mediated uncoating activity in non-neuronal cells. The present report underscores the importance of the endocytic/lysosomal pathway in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease and other forms of Parkinsonism.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease in which the etiology of 90 percent of the patients is unknown. Pesticide exposure is a major risk factor for PD, and paraquat (PQ), pyridaben (PY) and maneb (MN) are amongst the most widely used pesticides. We studied mRNA expression using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) in the ventral midbrain (VMB) and striatum (STR) of PQ, PY and paraquat+maneb (MNPQ) treated mice, followed by pathway analysis. We found concordance of signaling pathways between the three pesticide models in both the VMB and STR as well as concordance in these two brain areas. The concordant signaling pathways with relevance to PD pathogenesis were e.g. axonal guidance signaling, Wnt/β-catenin signaling, as well as pathways not previously linked to PD, e.g. basal cell carcinoma, human embryonic stem cell pluripotency and role of macrophages, fibroblasts and endothelial cells in rheumatoid arthritis. Human PD pathways previously identified by expression analysis, concordant with VMB pathways identified in our study were axonal guidance signaling, Wnt/β-catenin signaling, IL-6 signaling, ephrin receptor signaling, TGF-β signaling, PPAR signaling and G-protein coupled receptor signaling. Human PD pathways concordant with the STR pathways in our study were Wnt/β-catenin signaling, axonal guidance signaling and G-protein coupled receptor signaling. Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor delta (Ppard) and G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) were common genes in VMB and STR identified by network analysis. In conclusion, the pesticides PQ, PY and MNPQ elicit common signaling pathways in the VMB and STR in mice, which are concordant with known signaling pathways identified in human PD, suggesting that these pathways contribute to the pathogenesis of idiopathic PD. The analysis of these networks and pathways may therefore lead to improved understanding of disease pathogenesis, and potential novel therapeutic targets.
Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) sometimes develop impulsive compulsive behaviours (ICBs) due to their dopaminergic medication. We compared 26 impulsive and 27 non-impulsive patients with PD, both on and off medication, on a task that examined emotion bias in decision making. No group differences were detected, but patients on medication were less biased by emotions than patients off medication and the strongest effects were seen in patients with ICBs. PD patients with ICBs on medication also showed more learning from negative feedback and less from positive feedback, whereas off medication they showed the opposite effect.
We investigated the large-scale functional cortical connectivity network in focal hand dystonia (FHD) patients using graph theoretic measures to assess efficiency. High-resolution EEGs were recorded in 15 FHD patients and 15 healthy volunteers at rest and during a simple sequential finger tapping task. Mutual information (MI) values of wavelet coefficients were estimated to create an association matrix between EEG electrodes, and to produce a series of adjacency matrices or graphs, G, by thresholding with network cost. Efficiency measures of small-world networks were assessed. As a result, we found that FHD patients have economical small-world properties in their brain functional networks in the alpha and beta bands. During a motor task, in the beta band network, FHD patients have decreased efficiency of small-world networks, whereas healthy volunteers increase efficiency. Reduced efficient beta band network in FHD patients during the task was consistently observed in global efficiency, cost-efficiency, and maximum cost-efficiency. This suggests that the beta band functional cortical network of FHD patients is reorganized even during a task that does not induce dystonic symptoms, representing a loss of long-range communication and abnormal functional integration in large-scale brain functional cortical networks. Moreover, negative correlations between efficiency measures and duration of disease were found, indicating that the longer duration of disease, the less efficient the beta band network in FHD patients. In regional efficiency analysis, FHD patients at rest have high regional efficiency at supplementary motor cortex (SMA) compared with healthy volunteers; however, it is diminished during the motor task, possibly reflecting abnormal inhibition in FHD patients. The present study provides the first evidence with graph theory for abnormal reconfiguration of brain functional networks in FHD during motor task.
Genealogical investigation of a large Norwegian family (F04) with autosomal dominant parkinsonism has identified 18 affected family members over four generations. Genetic studies have revealed a novel pathogenic LRRK2 mutation c.4309 C>A (p.Asn1437His) that co-segregates with disease manifestation (LOD=3.15, θ=0). Affected carriers have an early age at onset (48 ± 7.7 SD years) and are clinically asymmetric and levodopa-responsive. The variant was absent in 623 Norwegian control subjects. Further screening of patients from the same population identified one additional affected carrier (1/692) with familial parkinsonism who shares the same haplotype. The mutation is located within the Roc domain of the protein and enhances GTP-binding and kinase activity, further implicating these activities as the mechanisms that underlie LRRK2-linked parkinsonism.
LRRK2; Parkinson’s disease; genetic; kinase
Mutations in the Glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA) have recently been associated with an increased risk of Parkinson disease (PD). GBA mutations have been observed to be particularly prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. Interestingly, this population also has a high incidence of the Lrrk2 p.G2019S mutation which is similar in North African Arab-Berber populations. Herein, our sequencing of the GBA gene, in 33 North African Arab-Berber familial parkinsonism probands, identified two novel mutations in three individuals (p.K-26R and p.K186R). Segregation analysis of these two variants did not support a pathogenic role. Genotyping of p.K-26R, p.K186R and the common p.N370S in an ethnically matched series consisting of 395 patients with PD and 372 control subjects did not show a statistically significant association (P>0.05). The p.N370S mutation was only identified in 1 sporadic patient with PD and 3 control subjects indicating that the frequency of this mutation in the North African Arab-Berber population is much lower than that observed in Ashkenazi Jews, and therefore arose in the latter after expansion of the Lrrk2 p.G2019S variant in North Africa.
Parkinson disease; Gaucher disease; genetics
Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) has emerged as the most prevalent genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD) among Caucasians. Patients carrying an LRRK2 mutation display significant variability of clinical and pathologic phenotypes across and within affected families.
Herein, we review available clinical and pathologic data on patients with an LRRK2 mutation who have come to autopsy.
Thirty-eight patients have been reported who presented clinically with PD; parkinsonism with resistance to levodopa, supranuclear gaze palsy, or autonomic dysfunction; or tremor and dementia. Pathology showed typical PD-type Lewy body disease (LBD) in most patients, whereas in others there was ‘pure’ nigral degeneration (one with TDP-43-positive inclusions), diffuse LBD, or tau-, α-synuclein- or ubiquitin-positive pathology reminiscent of progressive supranuclear gaze palsy, multisystem atrophy, and frontotemporal dementia with ubiquitin-positive inclusions.
Such clinical and pathologic variability suggests Lrrk2 acts upstream from other proteins implicated in neurodegeneration. Specific mutations may be associated with alternative progressive supranuclear gaze palsy-like or ‘pure’ nigral degeneration phenotypes. A different effect on Lrrk2 kinase activity may play a role in such heterogeneity.
Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2gene; Parkinson's disease; Lewy body disease; Progressive supranuclear gaze palsy; Nigral degeneration
Perry syndrome is characterized clinically by autosomal dominantly inherited, rapidly progressive parkinsonism, depression, weight loss and hypoventilation. In the seven families reported previously and the two new families presented herein (the Hawaii family and the Fukuoka-4 Japanese family), the mean disease onset age is 48 years (range: 35-61) and the mean disease duration five years (range: 2-10). Histology and immunohistochemistry show severe neuronal loss in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus, with TDP-43-positive pathology in neurons (intranuclear and cytoplasmic inclusions, dystrophic neurites, axonal spheroids) and glial cells (glial cytoplasmic inclusions). Compared with other TDP-43-proteinopathies (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and ubiquitin-positive frontotemporal lobar degeneration), the distribution is unique in Perry syndrome with pallidonigral distribution and sparing of the cortex, hippocampus and motor neurons. The genetic cause of Perry syndrome was recently identified with five mutations in the dynactin gene (DCTN1) segregating with disease in eight families. DCTN1 encodes p150glued, the major subunit of the dynactin protein complex, which plays a crucial role in retrograde axonal and cytoplasmic transport of various cargoes. Evidence suggests the Perry mutations alter the binding of p150glued to microtubules. Further studies will examine reasons for the vulnerability of selected neuronal populations in Perry syndrome, and the link between the genetic defect and TDP-43 pathology.
Perry syndrome; parkinsonism; depression; hypoventilation; dynactin; DCTN1; p150glued; TDP-43
Recently, a variant in LINGO1 (rs9652490) was found to associate with increased risk of essential tremor. We set out to replicate this association in an independent case-control series of essential tremor from North America. In addition, given the clinical and pathological overlap between essential tremor and Parkinson disease, we also evaluate the effect of LINGO1 rs9652490 in two case-control series of Parkinson disease. Our study demonstrates a significant association between LINGO1 rs9652490 and essential tremor (P=0.014) and Parkinson disease (P=0.0003), thus providing the first evidence of a genetic link between both diseases.
LINGO1; Parkinson disease; essential tremor
Dopa-responsive dystonia is a familial childhood-onset disease characterized by fluctuating dystonia, associated with tremor and parkinsonism in some patients. In most families the disease displays autosomal dominant inheritance due to mutations in the GTP cyclohydrolase 1 gene (GCH1). Penetrance and symptom severity display strong female predominance for which gender-specific GCH1 expression has been hypothesized. In this study, GCH1 mRNA expression was measured in cerebellar tissue from 66 healthy human subjects (30 women), and in cerebellar and nigral tissue from 8 individuals. No significant difference was found between men and women with small effect sizes observed. Although the correlation between cerebellar and nigral GCH1 expression remains to be further examined, this exploratory study does not support gender-specific GCH1 expression being the basis for the skewed gender distribution observed in DRD patients.
Dopa-responsive dystonia; DRD; GCH1 expression; gender distribution
Genetic variation in fibroblast growth factor 20 (FGF20) has been associated with risk of Parkinson's disease (PD). Functional evidence suggested the T allele of one SNP, rs12720208 C/T, altered PD risk by increasing FGF20 and α-synuclein protein levels. Herein we report our association study of FGF20 and PD risk in four patient-control series (total: 1,262 patients and 1,881 controls), and measurements of FGF20 and α-synuclein protein levels in brain samples (nine patients). We found no evidence of association between FGF20 variability and PD risk, and no relationship between the rs12720208 genotype, FGF20 and α-synuclein protein levels.
Parkinson's disease; FGF20; α-synuclein; association study; genetics
Fahr disease; brain calcinosis; idiopathic basal ganglia calcification
Autosomal dominant parkinsonism, hypoventilation, depression and severe weight loss (Perry syndrome) is an early-onset rapidly progressive disease. At autopsy, previous studies have found severe neuronal loss in the substantia nigra without Lewy bodies. Transactive response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) has recently been identified as a major ubiquitinated constituent of neuronal and glial inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions and in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This study reports clinical, genetic and neuropathologic investigations of Perry syndrome.
Clinical data and autopsy brain tissue samples were collected from eight patients from four genealogically unrelated kindreds with Perry syndrome. Brain tissue was studied with immunohistochemistry and biochemistry for TDP-43. Patients were screened for mutations in the progranulin (GRN) and TDP-43 (TARDBP) genes.
The mean age at onset was 47 years (range: 40-56), and the mean age at death was 52 years (range: 44-64). In all patients, we identified TDP-43-positive neuronal inclusions, dystrophic neurites and axonal spheroids in a predominantly pallidonigral distribution, and we demonstrated changes in solubility and electrophoretic mobility of TDP-43 in brain tissue. The inclusions were highly pleomorphic and predominated in the extrapyramidal system, sparing the cortex, hippocampus and motor neurons. There were no mutations in GRN or TARDBP.
Perry syndrome displays unique TDP-43 pathology that is selective for the extrapyramidal system and spares the neocortex and motor neurons.
autosomal dominant; axonal dystrophy; neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions; pallidonigral; parkinsonism; Perry syndrome; TARDBP; TDP-43
Attempts at replicating the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) have not successfully identified genetic risk factors. The present study reevaluates data from the GWAS and focuses on the SNP (rs11155313, located in the Phactr2 gene) with the lowest P-value in the Tier 2 patient-control series of the first PD GWAS. We employed four case-control series to examine the nominated SNP rs11155313 and identified association in US (OR: 1.39, P=0.032), Canadian (OR: 1.41, P=0.014) and Irish (OR: 1.44, P=0.034) patient-control series, but not in the Norwegian series (OR: 1.15, P=0.27). When combining all four series the observed trend was statistically significant (OR: 1.30, P<0.001). This study shows reappraisal of publicly available results of GWAS may help nominate new risk factors for PD.
Genome-wide association; Parkinson's disease; Phactr2
Perry syndrome consists of early-onset parkinsonism, depression, severe weight loss and hypoventilation, in which brain pathology is characterized by TDP-43 immunostaining. Through genome-wide linkage analysis we have identified five disease-segregating dynactin (DCTN1) CAP-Gly domain substitutions in 8 families that diminish microtubule binding and lead to intracytoplasmic inclusions. DCTN1 mutations were previously associated with motor neuron disease but can underlie the selective vulnerability of other neuronal populations in distinct neurodegenerative disorders.
Dynactin; DCTN1; Perry syndrome; parkinsonism; neurodegeneration; TDP-43
Genetic studies have led to major discoveries in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases. Ubiquitin-positive familial frontotemporal dementia was recently found to be caused by mutations in the progranulin gene (PGRN), and the major constituent of the inclusions, TDP-43, was subsequently identified. The tau gene (MAPT) causes frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17. In Parkinson disease, LRRK2 mutations have emerged as a major cause of both familial and sporadic forms, adding to the previously known genes SNCA, PRKN, DJ1 and PINK1. Several genes have been implicated in Alzheimer disease, including the APP gene and the PSEN genes. Recently, variants in the sortilin-related receptor 1 gene, SORL1, were associated with Alzheimer disease.
Alzheimer disease; Dementia; Frontotemporal dementia; Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Neurodegeneration; Parkinson disease