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1.  APOE ε4 Increases Risk for Dementia in Pure Synucleinopathies 
JAMA neurology  2013;70(2):223-228.
To test for an association between the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele and dementias with synucleinopathy.
Genetic case-control association study.
Academic research.
Autopsied subjects were classified into 5 categories: dementia with high-level Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathologic changes (NCs) but without Lewy body disease (LBD) NCs (AD group; n=244), dementia with LBDNCs and high-level ADNCs (LBD-AD group; n=224), dementia with LBDNCs and no or low levels of ADNCs (pure DLB [pDLB] group; n=91), Parkinson disease dementia (PDD) with no or low levels of ADNCs (n=81), and control group (n=269).
Main Outcome Measure
The APOE allele frequencies.
The APOE ε4 allele frequency was significantly higher in the AD (38.1%), LBD-AD (40.6%), pDLB (31.9%), and PDD (19.1%) groups compared with the control group (7.2%; overall χ42=185.25; P=5.56×10−39), and it was higher in the pDLB group than the PDD group (P=.01). In an age-adjusted and sex-adjusted dominant model, ε4 was strongly associated with AD (odds ratio, 9.9; 95% CI, 6.4–15.3), LBD-AD (odds ratio, 12.6; 95% CI, 8.1–19.8), pDLB (odds ratio, 6.1; 95% CI, 3.5–10.5), and PDD (odds ratio, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.7–5.6).
The APOE ε4 allele is a strong risk factor across the LBD spectrum and occurs at an increased frequency in pDLB relative to PDD. This suggests that ε4 increases the likelihood of presenting with dementia in the context of a pure synucleinopathy. The elevated ε4 frequency in the pDLB and PDD groups, in which the overall brain neuritic plaque burden was low, indicates that apoE might contribute to neurodegeneration through mechanisms unrelated to amyloid processing.
PMCID: PMC3580799  PMID: 23407718
2.  Screening for impulse control symptoms in patients with de novo Parkinson disease 
Neurology  2013;80(2):176-180.
To determine the frequency and correlates of impulse control and related behavior symptoms in patients with de novo, untreated Parkinson disease (PD) and healthy controls (HCs).
The Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative is an international, multisite, case-control clinical study conducted at 21 academic movement disorders centers. Participants were recently diagnosed, untreated PD patients (n = 168) and HCs (n = 143). The outcome measures were presence of current impulse control and related behavior symptoms based on recommended cutoff points for the Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson's Disease (QUIP)-Short Form.
There were 311 participants with complete QUIP data. Frequencies of impulse control and related behavior symptoms for patients with PD vs HCs were as follows: gambling (1.2% vs 0.7%), buying (3.0% vs 2.1%), sexual behavior (4.2% vs 3.5%), eating (7.1% vs 10.5%), punding (4.8% vs 2.1%), hobbyism (5.4% vs 11.9%), walkabout (0.6% vs 0.7%), and any impulse control or related behavior (18.5% vs 20.3%). In multivariable models, a diagnosis of PD was not associated with symptoms of any impulse control or related behavior (p ≥ 0.10 in all cases).
PD itself does not seem to confer an increased risk for development of impulse control or related behavior symptoms, which further reinforces the reported association between PD medications and impulse control disorders in PD. Given that approximately 20% of patients with newly diagnosed PD report some impulse control or related behavior symptoms, long-term follow-up is needed to determine whether such patients are at increased risk for impulse control disorder development once PD medications are initiated.
PMCID: PMC3589192  PMID: 23296128
3.  Cognitive Outcomes after Sertaline Treatment in Patients with Depression of Alzheimer’s Disease 
While many depressed patients with Alzheimer’s disease are treated with antidepressants, the effect of such treatment on cognitive performance in these patients is not known. The authors report cognitive outcomes in patients with depression of Alzheimer’s disease (dAD) after a 24-week trial of sertraline or placebo.
Placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind trial.
Outpatient memory clinics at 5 academic medical centers in the United States.
131 patients with dAD (60 men) and Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) scores of 10–26.
Sertraline (n=67), target dose of 100mg daily, or matching placebo (n=64). Caregivers received standardized psychosocial intervention throughout the trial.
MMSE, ADAS-Cog, letter fluency, backwards Digit Span, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, and Finger Tapping Test, administered at baseline, and 8, 16, and 24 weeks following baseline.
A series of linear models indicated no effect of treatment or of depression remission on cognitive test performance at 24 weeks. Regardless of treatment condition, very little change in cognitive test performance was noted in general.
Treatment with sertraline in patients with dAD is not associated with greater improvement in cognition at week 24 as compared to treatment with placebo.
PMCID: PMC3508666  PMID: 23032478
4.  Psychosis in Parkinson’s Disease Without Dementia: Common and Comorbid With Other Non-Motor Symptoms 
Psychosis in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is common and associated with a range of negative outcomes. Dementia and psychosis are highly correlated in PD, but the frequency and correlates of psychosis in patients without cognitive impairment are not well understood. One hundred and ninety-one non-demented PD patients at two movement disorders centers participated in a study of neuropsychiatric complications in PD and completed a detailed neurological and neuropsychiatric assessment, including the rater-administered Parkinson Psychosis Rating Scale for hallucinations, delusions, and minor symptoms of psychosis (illusions and misidentification of persons). Psychotic symptoms were present in 21.5% of the sample. Visual hallucinations were most common (13.6%), followed by auditory hallucinations (6.8%), illusions or misidentification of people (7.3%), and paranoid ideation (4.7%). Visual hallucinations and illusions or misidentification of people were the most common comorbid symptoms (3.1%). Depression (P = 0.01) and rapid eye movement behavior disorder symptoms (P = 0.03) were associated with psychosis in a multivariable model. The odds of experiencing psychotic symptoms were approximately five times higher in patients with comorbid disorders of depression and sleep-wakefulness. Even in patients without global cognitive impairment, psychosis in PD is common and most highly correlated with other non-motor symptoms. Screening for psychosis should occur at all stages of PD as part of a broad non-motor assessment. In addition, these findings suggest a common neural substrate for disturbances of perception, mood, sleep-wakefulness, and incipient cognitive decline in PD.
PMCID: PMC3511789  PMID: 22674352
Parkinson’s disease; psychosis; non-demented; cognitively intact
5.  Citalopram for agitation in Alzheimer’s disease (CitAD): design and methods 
Agitation is one of the most common neuropsychiatric symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and is associated with serious adverse consequences for patients and caregivers. Evidence-supported treatment options for agitation are limited. The citalopram for agitation in Alzheimer’s disease (CitAD) study was designed to evaluate the potential of citalopram to ameliorate these symptoms.
CitAD is a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled multicenter clinical trial with two parallel treatment groups assigned in a 1:1 ratio and randomization stratified by clinical center. The study has eight recruiting clinical centers, a chair’s office and a coordinating center located in university settings in the United States and Canada. 200 people having probable Alzheimer’s disease with clinically significant agitation and without major depression are being recruited. Patients are randomized to receive citalopram (target dose of 30 mg/day) or matching placebo. Caregivers of patients in both treatment groups receive a structured psychosocial therapy. Agitation will be compared between treatment groups using the NeuroBehavioral Rating Scale and the AD Cooperative Study- Clinical Global Impression of Change which are the primary outcomes. Functional performance, cognition, caregiver distress and rates of adverse and serious adverse events will also be measured.
The authors believe the design elements in CitAD are important features to be included in trials assessing the safety and efficacy of psychotropic medications for clinically significant agitation in Alzheimer’s disease.
PMCID: PMC3333484  PMID: 22301195
Alzheimer dementia; citalopram; agitation; randomized trial
6.  Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease–Rating Scale 
Impulse control disorders and related disorders (hobbyism-punding and dopamine dysregulation syndrome) occur in 15% to 20% of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. We assessed the validity and reliability of the Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease–Rating Scale (QUIP-RS), a rating scale designed to measure severity of symptoms and support a diagnosis of impulse control disorders and related disorders in PD. A convenience sample of PD patients at a movement disorders clinic self-completed the QUIP-RS and were administered a semistructured diagnostic interview by a blinded trained rater to assess discriminant validity for impulse control disorders (n = 104) and related disorders (n = 77). Subsets of patients were assessed to determine interrater reliability (n = 104), retest reliability (n = 63), and responsiveness to change (n = 29). Adequate cutoff points (both sensitivity and specificity values >80% plus acceptable likelihood ratios) were established for each impulse control disorder and hobbyism-punding. Interrater and retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient r) were >0.60 for all disorders. Participants in an impulse control disorder treatment study who experienced full (t = 3.65, P = .004) or partial (t = 2.98, P = .01) response demonstrated significant improvement on the rating scale over time, while nonresponders did not (t = 0.12, P = .91). The QUIP-RS appears to be valid and reliable as a rating scale for impulse control disorders and related disorders in PD. Preliminary results suggest that it can be used to support a diagnosis of these disorders, as well as to monitor changes in symptom severity over time.
PMCID: PMC3537263  PMID: 22134954
dopamine agonists; impulse control disorder; Parkinson’s disease
7.  Sertraline for the Treatment of Depression in Alzheimer Disease: Genetic Influences 
To assess the potential for genetic influences on sertraline treatment efficacy for depression of Alzheimer disease (dAD). Four functional genetic variants were studied: 2 serotonin receptors (HTR2A-T102C and HTR2C-Cys23Ser), the serotonin transporter (5HTT-LPR), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF-Val66Met). Treatment response by genotype was measured by (1) the modified Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Clinical Global Impression of Change, (2) the Cornell scale for Depression in Dementia, and (3) remission of depression.
We utilized data from the Depression in Alzheimer’s Disease Study 2 (DIADS-2), a 24-week, randomized, multicenter trial showing no significant treatment effect of sertraline on dAD. Proportional odds logistic regression and mixed effects models were used to examine the above mentioned outcome measures.
No significant interactions were seen between any of the genetic polymorphisms and the selected outcomes above at 12 or 24 weeks.
Treatment outcomes in the DIADS-2 trial were not significantly influenced by genetic variation at the loci that were assessed. Future studies should continue to examine the interaction of depression-related genetic variants with antidepressant treatment in Alzheimer disease patients with depression.
PMCID: PMC3535452  PMID: 22228829
Alzheimer disease; sertraline; depression; randomized trial; dementia; antidepressant
8.  Alzheimer's disease pattern of brain atrophy predicts cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease 
Brain  2011;135(1):170-180.
Research suggests overlap in brain regions undergoing neurodegeneration in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. To assess the clinical significance of this, we applied a validated Alzheimer's disease-spatial pattern of brain atrophy to patients with Parkinson's disease with a range of cognitive abilities to determine its association with cognitive performance and decline. At baseline, 84 subjects received structural magnetic resonance imaging brain scans and completed the Dementia Rating Scale-2, and new robust and expanded Dementia Rating Scale-2 norms were applied to cognitively classify participants. Fifty-nine non-demented subjects were assessed annually with the Dementia Rating Scale-2 for two additional years. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were quantified using both a region of interest approach and voxel-based morphometry analysis, and a method for quantifying the presence of an Alzheimer's disease spatial pattern of brain atrophy was applied to each scan. In multivariate models, higher Alzheimer's disease pattern of atrophy score was associated with worse global cognitive performance (β = −0.31, P = 0.007), including in non-demented patients (β = −0.28, P = 0.05). In linear mixed model analyses, higher baseline Alzheimer's disease pattern of atrophy score predicted long-term global cognitive decline in non-demented patients [F(1, 110) = 9.72, P = 0.002], remarkably even in those with normal cognition at baseline [F(1, 80) = 4.71, P = 0.03]. In contrast, in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses there was no association between region of interest brain volumes and cognitive performance in patients with Parkinson's disease with normal cognition. These findings support involvement of the hippocampus and parietal–temporal cortex with cognitive impairment and long-term decline in Parkinson's disease. In addition, an Alzheimer's disease pattern of brain atrophy may be a preclinical biomarker of cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease.
PMCID: PMC3316476  PMID: 22108576
Alzheimer's disease; dementia; mild cognitive impairment; Parkinson's disease; neurodegeneration
9.  Dopamine and Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease 
Annals of neurology  2008;64(Suppl 2):S93-100.
There is an increasing awareness that impulse control disorders (ICDs), including compulsive gambling, buying, sexual behavior, and eating, can occur as a complication of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In addition, other impulsive or compulsive disorders have been reported to occur, including dopamine dysregulation syndrome (DDS) and punding. Case reporting and prospective studies have reported an association between ICDs and the use of dopamine agonists (DAs), particularly at greater dosages, whereas dopamine dysregulation syndrome has been associated with greater dosages of levodopa or short-acting DAs. Data suggest that risk factors for an ICD may include male sex, younger age or younger age at PD onset, a pre-PD history of ICD symptoms, personal or family history of substance abuse or bipolar disorder, and a personality style characterized by impulsiveness. Although psychiatric medications are used clinically in the treatment of ICDs, there is no empiric evidence supporting their use in PD. Therefore, management for clinically significant ICD symptoms should consist of modifications to dopamine replacement therapy, particularly DAs, and there is emerging evidence that such management is associated with an overall improvement in ICD symptomatology. It is important that PD patients be aware that DA use may lead to the development of an ICD, and that clinicians monitor patients as part of routine clinical care. As empirically validated treatments for ICDs are emerging, it will be important to examine their efficacy and tolerability in individuals with cooccurring PD and ICDs.
PMCID: PMC3530139  PMID: 19127573
10.  Pattern of Depressive Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease 
Psychosomatics  2009;50(5):448-454.
Depressive symptoms are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD); however, it is unclear whether there are specific depressive symptom patterns in patients with PD and co-morbid depression (dPD).
The goal of this study is to examine the frequency and correlates of specific depressive symptoms in PD.
A sample of 158 individuals with PD completed the self-rated Harvard Department of Psychiatry/National Depression Screening Day Scale (HANDS). By multiple-regression analysis, the authors examined the association between HANDS total and subscale scores and various demographic variables.
The frequency of depression was 37% (N=58). Patients with a history of depression before PD had significantly more serious depression than those who had no such history. Of those who were more depressed, the most common symptoms of depression endorsed were low energy, difficulty with concentration/making decisions, feeling blue, feeling hopeless, and having poor sleep.
There is a relatively high prevalence of dPD. Items on the HANDS that discriminated best between depressed and nondepressed subjects with PD included feeling blue, feeling hopeless, feeling worthless, lack of interest, and self-blame. It remains to be defined whether dPD should be understood primarily as a psychological reaction to a physical disability or perceived impending one, or as a direct expression of the neuropathology of PD.
PMCID: PMC3529169  PMID: 19855029
11.  Involuntary emotional expression disorder (IEED) in Parkinson’s disease 
Parkinsonism & related disorders  2009;15(7):511-515.
To estimate the frequency and correlates of involuntary emotional expression disorder (IEED) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) using the Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS) and recently-proposed diagnostic criteria for IEED.
IEED is characterized by uncontrollable emotional episodes, typically unrelated to or in excess of the underlying mood, and occurring with minimal or no stimulus. IEED has been reported to occur in many neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, but its prevalence and correlates in PD have not been well studied. Additionally, there is no published research using recently-proposed IEED diagnostic criteria in any population.
193 patients with idiopathic PD were assessed with a neuropsychiatric battery, including the CNS-LS and the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15). A subset (N =100) was also administered a diagnostic interview by a blinded rater that applied criteria for both IEED and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) depressive disorders.
Applying formal diagnostic criteria, 7.0% of patients were diagnosed with IEED, and an additional 7.0% had subsyndromal IEED symptoms. Applying recommended CNS-LS cutoff scores from other populations, either 42.5% (cutoff ≥13) or 16.6% (cutoff ≥17) screened positive for IEED. Depressive symptoms were associated with higher CNS-LS scores (B[SE] =0.27[.08], P =.001) but not with a diagnosis of IEED (odds ratio =1.1, [95% CI =1.0–1.3], P =.16). The CNS-LS had poor discriminant validity for an IEED diagnosis (AUC =.79, no cutoff value with sensitivity and specificity both >60%).
IEED and depression are overlapping but distinct disorders in PD. IEED symptoms may occur in up to 15% of PD patients, but a disorder occurs in only half of those, suggesting that often IEED symptoms are not clinically significant in this population. The CNS-LS does not appear to be a good screening instrument for IEED in PD, in part due to its high correlation with depressive symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3524499  PMID: 19181560
Involuntary emotional expression disorder; Pseudobulbar affect; Emotional lability; Depression; Parkinson’s disease
12.  Parkinson's Disease: The Quintessential Neuropsychiatric Disorder 
Although diagnosed by characteristic motor features, Parkinson's disease may be preceded, and is frequently accompanied by, a wide range of cognitive and neuropsychiatric features. In addition to the most commonly studied disorders of dementia, depression, and psychosis, other relatively common and clinically significant psychiatric complications include impulse control disorders, anxiety symptoms, disorders of sleep and wakefulness, and apathy. These problems may be underrecognized and are frequently undertreated. The emergent focus on nonmotor aspects of Parkinson's disease over the past quarter of a century is highlighted by a nonlinear increase in the number of articles published devoted to this topic. Although the development of newer antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics, and cholinesterase inhibitors in recent years has had a positive benefit on the management of these troublesome and distressing symptoms, responses are frequently suboptimal, and this remains an area of major unmet therapeutic need.
PMCID: PMC3513835  PMID: 21626547
Parkinson's; dementia; neuropsychiatric; depression; psychosis
13.  Neurodegeneration Across Stages of Cognitive Decline in Parkinson Disease 
Archives of Neurology  2011;68(12):1562-1568.
To assess regions and patterns of brain atrophy in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) with normal cognition (PD-NC), mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI), and dementia-level cognitive deficits (PDD).
Images were quantified using a region-of-interest approach and voxel-based morphometry analysis. We used a high-dimensional pattern classification approach to delineate brain regions that collectively formed the Spatial Pattern of Abnormalities for Recognition of PDD.
The Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Eighty-four PD patients (61 PD-NC, 12 PD-MCI, and 11 PDD) and 23 healthy control subjects (HCs) underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain.
The PD-NC patients did not demonstrate significant brain atrophy compared with HCs. Compared with PD-NC patients, PD-MCI patients had hippocampal atrophy (β=−0.37; P=.001), and PDD patients demonstrated hippocampal (β=−0.32; P=.004) and additional medial temporal lobe atrophy (β=−0.36; P=.003). The PD-MCI patients had a different pattern of atrophy compared with PD-NC patients (P=.04) and a similar pattern to that of PDD patients (P=.81), characterized by hippocampal, prefrontal cortex gray and white matter, occipital lobe gray and white matter, and parietal lobe white matter atrophy. In nondemented PD patients, there was a correlation between memory-encoding performance and hippocampal volume.
Hippocampal atrophy is a biomarker of initial cognitive decline in PD, including impaired memory encoding and storage, suggesting heterogeneity in the neural substrate of memory impairment. Use of a pattern classification approach may allow identification of diffuse regions of cortical gray and white matter atrophy early in the course of cognitive decline.
PMCID: PMC3290902  PMID: 22159053
14.  Olfactory dysfunction is associated with neuropsychiatric manifestations in Parkinson’s disease 
Hyposmia, psychiatric disorders and cognitive problems are common non-motor manifestations in Parkinson's Disease but how they are related remains unclear.
To investigate the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and neuropsychiatric manifestations we performed a cross-sectional study of 248 patients at two movement disorders clinics at academic medical centers. Psychiatric measures were the Geriatric Depression Scale-15, Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, State Anxiety Inventory, Apathy Scale and Parkinson's Psychosis Rating Scale. Cognitive measures were the Mini Mental State Examination, Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised, Digit Span, Tower of London-Drexel and the Stroop Color Word Test. Olfaction was tested with the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification test.
There was no significant association between olfaction and mood measures, but psychotic symptoms were more common in patients with olfaction scores below the median (30% vs. 12%, p<0.001). Worse olfaction was associated with poorer memory (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised delayed recall items: mean(standard deviation) 6.2(3.2) vs. 8.4(2.8), p<0.001) and executive performance (Tower of London total moves, 52(38) vs. 34(21), p<0.001). Odor-identification score was a significant predictor of abnormal performance on these cognitive tests after adjustment for age, sex and disease characteristics in logistic regression models.
The relationship between hyposmia, psychosis, and specific cognitive impairments may reflect the anatomic distribution of Lewy pathology and suggests that olfactory dysfunction could be a biomarker of additional extranigral disease. Future prospective studies are warranted to assess whether hyposmia, a very early feature of Parkinson's disease, might be used to predict the appearance of other common non-motor symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3168697  PMID: 21611985
Parkinson's Disease; olfaction; non-motor symptoms; psychiatric symptoms; cognitive symptoms
15.  Do treatment effects vary among differing baseline depression criteria in Depression in Alzheimer’s Disease Study – 2 (DIADS-2)? 
To determine if the effect of sertraline in the Depression in Alzheimer’s Disease Study – 2 (DIADS-2) differed in subgroups of patients defined by baseline depression criteria.
DIADS-2 was a randomized, parallel, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of sertraline (target dose of 100mg/day) for the treatment of depression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. DIADS-2 enrolled 131 patients who met criteria for depression of Alzheimer’s disease (dAD). Analyses reported here examined if the effect of sertraline differed in various subgroups, including those meeting criteria for major depressive episode (MaD), minor depressive episode (MiD) and Alzheimer’s-associated affective disorder (AAAD) at baseline.
At baseline, 52 of 131 participants (39.7%) met criteria for MaD, 54 (41.2%) for MiD and 90 (68.7%) for AAAD. For the primary outcome of modified Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Clinical Global Impression of Change (mADCS-CGIC) scores at 12 weeks of follow-up, the odds of being at or better than a given mADCS-CGIC category did not significantly differ between the two treatment groups for those patients with MaD at baseline (ORsertraline = 0.66 [95% CI: 0.24, 1.82], p = 0.42); tests for interactions between treatment group and baseline depression diagnostic subgroup were not significant for MaD vs. MiD vs. neither (χ2 = 1.05 (2df), p = 0.59) or AAAD vs. no AAAD (χ2 = 0.06 (1df), p = 0.81).
There was no evidence that sertraline treatment was more efficacious in those patients meeting baseline criteria for MaD compared to MiD or to neither.
Trial registration, NCT00086138
PMCID: PMC3414254  PMID: 20672243
Alzheimer’s dementia; sertraline; depression; randomized trial
16.  Patterns and Trends in Antipsychotic Prescribing for Parkinson Disease Psychosis 
Archives of neurology  2011;68(7):899-904.
Antipsychotic (AP) use is common in Parkinson disease (PD), but APs can worsen parkinsonism, evidence for efficacy is limited, and use in patients with dementia increases mortality.
To examine the frequency and characteristics, including changes over time, of AP use in a large cohort of patients with PD.
Using Veterans Affairs data from fiscal year (FY) 2008, rates and predictors of AP prescribing were determined for patients with PD and psychosis stratified by dementia status (N=2597) and a comparison group of patients with dementia and psychosis without PD (N=6907). Fiscal year 2008 and FY2002 data were compared to examine changes in AP prescribing over time.
Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient facilities.
Outpatients with PD and psychosis and outpatients without PD with dementia and psychosis, all receiving care at Veterans Affairs facilities in FY2002 and FY2008.
Main Outcome Measure
Antipsychotic prescribing, including overall, class, and specific medications.
In FY2008, 50% of patients with PD having a diagnosis of psychosis were prescribed an AP. Among treated patients, the atypical AP quetiapine was most frequently prescribed (66%), but approximately 30% received high-potency APs. Clozapine was rarely prescribed (<2%). In multivariate models, diagnoses of PD and dementia were associated with AP use. Comparing FY2008 with FY2002, AP use in PD was unchanged, with decreases in risperidone and olanzapine use offset by an increase in quetiapine prescribing and the introduction of aripiprazole.
Half of the patients with PD and psychosis receive APs, not uncommonly high-potency agents associated with worsening parkinsonism, and frequency of use has been unchanged since the “black box” warning for AP use in patients with dementia was issued. Recent trends are a shift to quetiapine use and the common use of aripiprazole. As psychosis and dementia are frequently comorbid in PD, safety risks associated with AP use in this population need to be assessed.
PMCID: PMC3141727  PMID: 21747029
17.  Plasma EGF levels predict cognitive decline in Parkinson's Disease 
Annals of neurology  2010;69(4):655-663.
Most people with Parkinson's disease (PD) eventually develop cognitive impairment (CI). However, neither the timing of onset nor the severity of cognitive symptoms can be accurately predicted. We sought plasma-based biomarkers for CI in PD.
A discovery cohort of 70 PD patients was recruited. Cognitive status was evaluated with the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale-2 (DRS) at baseline and on annual follow-up visits, and baseline plasma levels of 102 proteins were determined with a bead-based immunoassay. Using linear regression, we identified biomarkers of CI in PD, i.e. proteins whose levels correlated with cognitive performance at baseline and/or cognitive decline at follow-up. We then replicated the association between cognitive performance and levels of the top biomarker, using a different technical platform, with a separate cohort of 113 PD patients.
Eleven proteins exhibited plasma levels correlating with baseline cognitive performance in the discovery cohort. The best candidate was epidermal growth factor (EGF, p<0.001); many of the other 10 analytes co-varied with EGF across samples. Low levels of EGF not only correlated with poor cognitive test scores at baseline, but also predicted an eightfold greater risk of cognitive decline to dementia-range DRS scores at follow-up for those with intact baseline cognition. A weaker, but still significant, relationship between plasma EGF levels and cognitive performance was found in an independent replication cohort of 113 PD patients.
Our data suggest that plasma EGF may be a biomarker for progression to CI in PD.
PMCID: PMC3155276  PMID: 21520231
Epidermal growth factor; EGF; Parkinson's Disease; Parkinson's Disease with Dementia; Biomarker; Plasma
18.  Patient versus informant reporting of ICD symptoms in Parkinson’s disease using the QUIP: Validity and variability☆ 
Parkinsonism & related disorders  2010;17(3):153-155.
Questions exist regarding the validity of patient-reporting of psychiatric symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD). We assessed observer variability and validity in reporting of impulse control disorder (ICD) symptoms in PD by using the Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease (QUIP). PD patients and their informants (71 pairs) completed the QUIP to assess four ICDs (compulsive gambling, buying, sexual behavior, and eating) in patients. Trained raters then administered a diagnostic interview. Sensitivity of the QUIP for a diagnosed ICD was 100% for both patient- and informant-completed instruments, and specificity was 75% for both raters. Approximately 40% of patients without an ICD diagnosis had a positive QUIP, suggesting that many PD patients experience subsyndromal ICD symptoms that require ongoing monitoring. Agreement between patient- and informant-reporting of any ICD behaviors on the QUIP was moderate (kappa = 0.408), and for individual ICDs was highest for gambling (kappa = 0.550). Overall, a negative QUIP from either the patient or informant rules out the possibility of an ICD, while a positive QUIP requires a follow-up diagnostic interview and ongoing monitoring to determine if symptoms currently are, or in the future become, clinically significant.
PMCID: PMC3073062  PMID: 21186135
Impulse control disorders; Parkinson’s disease; QUIP
19.  Decreased Ventral Striatal Activity with Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease 
A range of impulse control disorders (ICDs) are reported to occur in Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, alterations in brain activity at rest and during risk taking occurring with ICDs in PD are not well understood.
We used both arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion fMRI to directly quantify resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) fMRI to measure neural responses to risk taking during performance on the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART).
18 PD patients, either with a diagnosis of one or more ICDs (N=9) or no lifetime ICD history (N=9), participated. BOLD fMRI data demonstrated that PD patients without an ICD activate the mesocorticolimbic pathway during risk taking. Compared with non-ICD patients, ICD patients demonstrated significantly diminished BOLD activity in the right ventral striatum during risk taking and significantly reduced resting CBF in the right ventral striatum.
ICDs in PD are associated with reduced right ventral striatal activity at rest and diminished striatal activation during risk taking, suggesting that a common neural mechanism may underlie ICDs in individuals with PD and those without PD. Thus, treatments for ICDs in non-PD patients warrant consideration in PD patients with ICDs.
PMCID: PMC3063061  PMID: 20589879
20.  Sertraline for the treatment of depression in Alzheimer’s disease: Week-24 outcomes 
Depression and antidepressant use are common in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but the effect of antidepressant treatment for depression on longer-term outcomes is unknown. We report the week-24 outcomes of patients who participated in a 12-week efficacy study of sertraline for depression of AD.
131 participants (sertraline=67, placebo=64) with mild-moderate AD and depression participated in the study. Patients who showed improvement on the modified Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Clinical Global Impression-Change (mADCS-CGIC) after 12 weeks of randomized treatment with sertraline or placebo continued double-blinded treatment for an additional 12 weeks. Depression response and remission at 24 weeks were based on mADCS-CGIC score and change in Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) score. Secondary outcome measures included time to remission, non-mood neuropsychiatric symptoms, global cognition, function, and quality of life.
117 (89.3%) participants completed all study assessments and 74 (56.5%; sertraline=38, placebo=36) completed all 24 weeks on randomized treatment. By 24 weeks, there were no between-group differences in depression response (sertraline=44.8%, placebo=35.9%; odds ratio [95% CI]=1.23 [0.64, 2.35]), change in CSDD score (median difference=0.6 [95% CI −2.26, 3.46], χ2 [df=2]=1.03), remission rates (sertraline=32.8%, placebo=21.8%; odds ratio [95% CI]=1.61 [0.70, 3.68]), or secondary outcomes. Common SSRI-associated adverse events, specifically diarrhea, dizziness, and dry mouth, and pulmonary serious adverse events (SAEs) were more frequent in sertraline-randomized patients than in placebo subjects.
Sertraline treatment is not associated with delayed improvement between 12 and 24 weeks of treatment and may not be indicated for the treatment of depression of AD.
PMCID: PMC2849739  PMID: 20220589
21.  Sertraline for the treatment of depression in Alzheimer’s disease 
Depression is common in Alzheimer’s disease [AD], and antidepressants are commonly used for its treatment, yet evidence for antidepressant efficacy in this population is lacking. We conducted a multi-center, randomized, placebo-controlled trial titled “Depression in Alzheimer’s Disease-2” (DIADS-2) to assess the efficacy and tolerability of sertraline for depression in AD.
One hundred thiry-one participants from 5 U.S. medical centers with mild-to-moderate AD (Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] scores 10–26) and depression of AD were randomized to double-blinded treatment with sertraline (N=67) or placebo (N=64), with a target dosage of 100 mg daily. Efficacy was assessed using logistic regressions and mixed effects models in an intention to treat (ITT) analysis with imputation of missing data. Principal outcome measures were modified Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study-Clinical Global Impression of Change (mADCS-CGIC), change in Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) scores, and remission defined by both mADCS-CGIC score ≤2 and CSDD score ≤ 6.
mADCS-CGIC ratings (OR = 1.01 (95% CI: 0.52, 1.97, p=0.98), CSDD scores (median difference at 12 weeks 1.2,[95% CI -1.65, 4.05], p=0.41), and remission at 12 weeks of followup (OR = 2.06, [95% CI - 0.84, 5.04], p=0.11) did not differ between sertraline (N=67) and placebo (N=64). Sertraline-treated patients experienced more adverse events, most notably gastrointestinal and respiratory, than placebo-treated patients.
Sertraline did not demonstrate efficacy for the treatment depression symptoms in patients with Alzheimer's disease. In addition, its use was associated with an increased incidence of adverse events. Thus, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be of limited value for treating depression in AD patients
PMCID: PMC2842121  PMID: 20087081
22.  Association Between Cognition and Function in Patients With Parkinson Disease With and Without Dementia 
Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) often have cognitive deficits from the time of diagnosis. Except in patients with dementia, the impact of cognitive symptoms on daily function is not well documented. This study had two objectives: (1) to determine the functional significance of cognitive deficits in nondemented patients with PD and (2) to assess the sensitivity of two measures of global cognitive abilities to identify individuals with impaired ADL function. One hundred eleven subjects with PD and a range of cognitive abilities were included. Of these, 20 were diagnosed with PDD. All subjects were assessed with the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale to two (DRS-2) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). ADL function was reported by an informant using the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study Activities of Daily Living Inventory (ADCS-ADL). The ability of the DRS-2 and MMSE to capture the impact of cognitive impairment on ADL function was assessed in the entire cohort and in subsets of nondemented individuals. After adjustment for covariates, cognition as measured by the DRS-2 was strongly related to ADL function in the entire cohort (partial correlation coefficient = 0.55, P < 0.001). The association remained strong when only nondemented subjects were included (r = 0.42, P < 0.001). The DRS-2 was significantly more accurate than the MMSE, particularly for detecting milder degrees of ADL impairment (ROC area = 0.87 vs. 0.75, P = 0.0008). Cognition is associated with impairment in ADL function, even in nondemented patients with PD. However, sensitive cognitive assessment measures may be needed to identify these functionally relevant impairments.
PMCID: PMC2963089  PMID: 20310053
Parkinson's disease; cognitive impairment; ADL
23.  Use of Latent Variable Modeling to Delineate Psychiatric and Cognitive Profiles in Parkinson’s Disease 
A range of psychiatric symptoms and cognitive deficits occur in Parkinson’s disease (PD), and symptom overlap and co-morbidity complicate the classification of non-motor symptoms. The objective of this study was to use analytic-based approaches to classify psychiatric and cognitive symptoms in PD.
Cross-sectional evaluation of a convenience sample of patients in specialty care.
Two outpatient movement disorders centers at the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
177 patients with mild-moderate idiopathic PD and without significant global cognitive impairment.
Subjects were assessed with an extensive psychiatric, neuropsychological, and neurological battery. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to statistically delineate group-level symptom profiles across measures of psychiatric and cognitive functioning. Predictors of class membership were also examined.
Results from the LCA indicated that a four-class solution best fit the data. 32.3% of the sample had good psychiatric and normal cognitive functioning, 17.5% had significant psychiatric co-morbidity but normal cognition, 26.0% had few psychiatric symptoms but had poorer cognitive functioning across a range of cognitive domains, and 24.3% had both significant psychiatric co-morbidity and poorer cognitive functioning. Age, disease severity, and medication use predicted class membership.
LCA delineates four classes of patients in mild-moderate PD, three of which experience significant non-motor impairments and comprise over two-thirds of patients. Neuropsychiatric symptoms and cognitive deficits follow distinct patterns in PD, and further study is needed to determine if these classes are generalizable, stable, predict function, quality of life and long-term outcomes, and are amenable to treatment at a class level.
PMCID: PMC2848973  PMID: 19855199
Parkinson’s disease; neuropsychology; psychiatry; cognition; depression
24.  Validation of the Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease (QUIP) 
As no comprehensive assessment instrument for impulse control disorders (ICDs) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) exists, the aim of this study was to design and assess the psychometric properties of a self-administered screening questionnaire for ICDs and other compulsive behaviors in PD.
The Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease (QUIP) has 3 sections: Section 1 assesses four ICDs (involving gambling, sexual, buying, and eating behaviors), Section 2 other compulsive behaviors (punding, hobbyism and walkabout), and Section 3 compulsive medication use. For validation, a convenience sample of 157 PD patients at 4 movement disorders centers first completed the QUIP, and then was administered a diagnostic interview by a trained rater blinded to the QUIP results. A shortened instrument (QUIP-S) was then explored.
The discriminant validity of the QUIP was high for each disorder or behavior (receiver operating characteristic area under the curve [ROC AUC]: gambling=0.95, sexual behavior=0.97, buying=0.87, eating=0.88, punding=0.78, hobbyism=0.93, walkabout=0.79). On post hoc analysis, the QUIP-S ICD section had similar properties (ROC AUC: gambling=0.95, sexual behavior=0.96, buying=0.87, eating=0.88). When disorders/behaviors were combined, the sensitivity of the QUIP and QUIP-S to detect an individual with any disorder was 96% and 94%, respectively.
Scores on the QUIP appear to be valid as a self-assessment screening instrument for a range of ICDs and other compulsive behaviors that occur in PD, and a shortened version may perform as well as the full version. A positive screen should be followed by a comprehensive, clinical interview to determine the range and severity of symptoms, as well as need for clinical management.
PMCID: PMC2848971  PMID: 19452562
Parkinson’s disease; impulse control disorders; dopamine dysregulation syndrome; punding; pathological gambling
25.  Mild cognitive impairment is common in Parkinson’s disease patients with normal Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores 
Parkinsonism & related disorders  2008;15(3):226-231.
Cognitive impairment occurs in the majority of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients, but little is known about detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in this population. We report on the frequency and characteristics of cognitive deficits in PD patients with intact global cognition based on Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) performance.
One hundred and six PD patients with normal age- and education-adjusted MMSE scores (mean [SD] score = 29.1 [1.1]) were administered standardized neuropsychological tests assessing memory, executive function, and attention. Impairment on a cognitive domain was a low score (i.e., ≥1.5 SD below the published normative mean) on at least two measures or tests (for memory and executive abilities) or a single measure (for attention).
Mild cognitive impairment was found in 29.2% of PD patients, with 17.9% demonstrating single domain and 11.3% multiple domain impairment. Memory and attention impairment were most common (15.1% and 17.0%, respectively), followed by executive impairment (8.5%). Depending on the measure of disease severity chosen, increasing age and disease severity, anti-anxiety medication use, and a suggestion for increasing severity of daytime sleepiness were independent predictors of cognitive impairment.
Cognitive deficits are common in PD patients with “normal” cognition based on MMSE performance, suggesting that MCI is under-recognized in clinical practice due to routine use of insensitive screening instruments. In contrast with some previous reports, early memory impairment may be as common as either executive or attentional deficits in PD. In addition, psychiatric medication use and daytime sleepiness may be reversible or treatable contributors to cognitive impairment.
PMCID: PMC2668811  PMID: 18595765
Mild cognitive impairment; Parkinson’s disease; Mini-Mental State Examination; Neuropsychology

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