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1.  The acute brain response to levodopa heralds dyskinesias in Parkinson disease 
Annals of Neurology  2014;75(6):829-836.
Objective
In Parkinson disease (PD), long‐term treatment with the dopamine precursor levodopa gradually induces involuntary “dyskinesia” movements. The neural mechanisms underlying the emergence of levodopa‐induced dyskinesias in vivo are still poorly understood. Here, we applied functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the emergence of peak‐of‐dose dyskinesias in patients with PD.
Methods
Thirteen PD patients with dyskinesias and 13 PD patients without dyskinesias received 200mg fast‐acting oral levodopa following prolonged withdrawal from their normal dopaminergic medication. Immediately before and after levodopa intake, we performed fMRI, while patients produced a mouse click with the right or left hand or no action (No‐Go) contingent on 3 arbitrary cues. The scan was continued for 45 minutes after levodopa intake or until dyskinesias emerged.
Results
During No‐Go trials, PD patients who would later develop dyskinesias showed an abnormal gradual increase of activity in the presupplementary motor area (preSMA) and the bilateral putamen. This hyperactivity emerged during the first 20 minutes after levodopa intake. At the individual level, the excessive No‐Go activity in the predyskinesia period predicted whether an individual patient would subsequently develop dyskinesias (p < 0.001) as well as severity of their day‐to‐day symptomatic dyskinesias (p < 0.001).
Interpretation
PD patients with dyskinesias display an immediate hypersensitivity of preSMA and putamen to levodopa, which heralds the failure of neural networks to suppress involuntary dyskinetic movements. Ann Neurol 2014;75:829–836
doi:10.1002/ana.24138
PMCID: PMC4112717  PMID: 24889498
2.  Severe and rapidly progressing cognitive phenotype in a SCA17-family with only marginally expanded CAG/CAA repeats in the TATA-box binding protein gene: A case report 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:73.
Background
The autosomal dominant spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) confine a group of rare and heterogeneous disorders, which present with progressive ataxia and numerous other features e.g. peripheral neuropathy, macular degeneration and cognitive impairment, and a subset of these disorders is caused by CAG-repeat expansions in their respective genes. The diagnosing of the SCAs is often difficult due to the phenotypic overlap among several of the subtypes and with other neurodegenerative disorders e.g. Huntington’s disease.
Case presentation
We report a family in which the proband had rapidly progressing cognitive decline and only subtle cerebellar symptoms from age 42. Sequencing of the TATA-box binding protein gene revealed a modest elongation of the CAG/CAA-repeat of only two repeats above the non-pathogenic threshold of 41, confirming a diagnosis of SCA17. Normally, repeats within this range show reduced penetrance and result in a milder disease course with slower progression and later age of onset. Thus, this case presented with an unusual phenotype.
Conclusions
The current case highlights the diagnostic challenge of neurodegenerative disorders and the need for a thorough clinical and paraclinical examination of patients presenting with rapid cognitive decline to make a precise diagnosis on which further genetic counseling and initiation of treatment modalities can be based.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-73
PMCID: PMC3475097  PMID: 22889412
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 17; Dementia; Short CAG repeat expansion

Results 1-2 (2)