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1.  Ecology of aging human brain 
Archives of neurology  2011;68(8):1049-1056.
OBJECTIVE
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), cerebral vascular brain injury (VBI), and isocortical Lewy body (LB) disease (LBD) are the major contributors to dementia in community- or population-based studies: Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study, Honolulu-Asia Aging Study (HAAS), Nun Study (NS), and Oregon Brain Aging Study (OBAS). However, the prevalence of clinically silent forms of these diseases in cognitively normal (CN) adults is less clear.
DESIGN and SETTING
We evaluated 1672 brain autopsies from ACT, HAAS, NS, and OBAS of which 424 met criteria for CN.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Of these, 336 cases had a comprehensive neuropathologic examination of neuritic plaque (NP) density, Braak stage for neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), Lewy body (LB) distribution, and number of cerebral microinfarcts (CMIs).
RESULTS
47% of CN cases had moderate or frequent NP density; of these 6% also had Braak stage V or VI for NFTs. 15% of CN cases had medullary LBD; 8% also had nigral and 4% isocortical LBD. The presence of any CMIs was identified in 33% and high level CMIs in 10% of CN individuals. Overall burden of lesions in each individual and their co-morbidity varied widely within each study but were similar among studies.
CONCLUSIONS
These data show an individually varying complex convergence of subclinical diseases in the brain of older CN adults. Appreciating this ecology should help guide future biomarker or neuroimaging studies as well as clinical trials that focus on community- or population-based cohorts.
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.157
PMCID: PMC3218566  PMID: 21825242
Alzheimer’s disease; vascular brain injury; Lewy body disease; cognitive aging
2.  Diet Intervention and Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment 
Archives of neurology  2011;68(6):743-752.
Objective
To compare the effects of a 4-week high–saturated fat/high–glycemic index (HIGH) diet with a low–saturated fat/low–glycemic index (LOW) diet on insulin and lipid metabolism, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers of Alzheimer disease, and cognition for healthy adults and adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).
Design
Randomized controlled trial.
Setting
Veterans Affairs Medical Center clinical research unit.
Participants
Forty-nine older adults (20 healthy adults with a mean [SD] age of 69.3 [7.4] years and 29 adults with aMCI with a mean [SD] age of 67.6 [6.8] years).
Intervention
Participants received the HIGH diet (fat, 45% [saturated fat, >25%]; carbohydrates, 35%–40% [glycemic index, >70]; and protein, 15%–20%) or the LOW diet (fat, 25%; [saturated fat, <7%]; carbohydrates, 55%–60% [glycemic index, <5]; and protein, 15%–20%) for 4 weeks. Cognitive tests, an oral glucose tolerance test, and lumbar puncture were conducted at baseline and during the fourth week of the diet.
Main Outcome Measures
The CSF concentrations of β-amyloid (Aβ42 and Aβ40), tau protein, insulin, F2-isoprostanes, and apolipoprotein E, plasma lipids and insulin, and measures of cognition.
Results
For the aMCI group, the LOW diet increased CSF Aβ42 concentrations, contrary to the pathologic pattern of lowered CSF Aβ42 typically observed in Alzheimer disease. The LOW diet had the opposite effect for healthy adults, ie, decreasing CSF Aβ42, whereas the HIGH diet increased CSF Aβ42. The CSF apolipoprotein E concentration was increased by the LOW diet and decreased by the HIGH diet for both groups. For the aMCI group, the CSF insulin concentration increased with the LOW diet, but the HIGH diet lowered the CSF insulin concentration for healthy adults. The HIGH diet increased and the LOW diet decreased plasma lipids, insulin, and CSF F2-isoprostane concentrations. Delayed visual memory improved for both groups after completion of 4 weeks of the LOW diet.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that diet may be a powerful environmental factor that modulates Alzheimer disease risk through its effects on central nervous system concentrations of Aβ42, lipoproteins, oxidative stress, and insulin.
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.125
PMCID: PMC3175115  PMID: 21670398
3.  Temporoparietal hypometabolism is common in FTLD and is associated with imaging diagnostic errors 
Archives of neurology  2010;68(3):329-337.
Objective
To evaluate the cause of diagnostic errors in the visual interpretation of positron emission tomography scans with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG-PET) in patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Design
Twelve trained raters unaware of clinical and autopsy information independently reviewed FDG-PET scans and provided their diagnostic impression and confidence of either FTLD or AD. Six of these raters also recorded whether metabolism appeared normal or abnormal in 5 predefined brain regions in each hemisphere – frontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, anterior temporal cortex, temporoparietal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex. Results were compared to neuropathological diagnoses.
Setting
Academic medical centers
Patients
45 patients with pathologically confirmed FTLD (n=14) or AD (n=31)
Results
Raters had a high degree of diagnostic accuracy in the interpretation of FDG-PET scans; however, raters consistently found some scans more difficult to interpret than others. Unanimity of diagnosis among the raters was more frequent in patients with AD (27/31, 87%) than in patients with FTLD (7/14, 50%) (p = 0.02). Disagreements in interpretation of scans in patients with FTLD largely occurred when there was temporoparietal hypometabolism, which was present in 7 of the 14 FTLD scans and 6 of the 7 lacking unanimity. Hypometabolism of anterior cingulate and anterior temporal regions had higher specificities and positive likelihood ratios for FTLD than temporoparietal hypometabolism had for AD.
Conclusions
Temporoparietal hypometabolism in FTLD is common and may cause inaccurate interpretation of FDG-PET scans. An interpretation paradigm that focuses on the absence of hypometabolism in regions typically affected in AD before considering FTLD is likely to misclassify a significant portion of FTLD scans. Anterior cingulate and/or anterior temporal hypometabolism indicates a high likelihood of FTLD, even when temporoparietal hypometabolism is present. Ultimately, the accurate interpretation of FDG-PET scans in patients with dementia cannot rest on the presence or absence of a single region of hypometabolism, but must take into account the relative hypometabolism of all brain regions.
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.295
PMCID: PMC3058918  PMID: 21059987
4.  A SNCA Variant Associated with Parkinson’s Disease and Plasma α-Synuclein Level 
Archives of neurology  2010;67(11):1350-1356.
Objective
A functional repeat polymorphism in the SNCA promoter (REP1) conveys susceptibility for Parkinson’s disease (PD). There is also increasing evidence that SNPs elsewhere in the gene associate with risk. We sought to further explore the disease association, determine whether evidence of allelic heterogeneity exists, and examine the correlation between PD-associated variants and plasma α-synuclein levels.
Methods
We performed a two-tiered analysis of 1,956 PD patients and 2,112 controls from the NeuroGenetics Research Consortium using a comprehensive tagSNP approach. Previously published REP1 genotypes were also included. Plasma α-synuclein was assayed in 86 cases and 78 controls using a highly sensitive Luminex assay.
Results
Five of the 15 SNPs genotyped were associated with PD under an additive model in Tier 1 (α=0.05). Of these, four were successfully replicated in Tier 2. In the combined sample, the most significant marker was rs356219 (OR, 1.41; CI, 1.28–1.55; p = 1.6 × 10−12) located ~ 9 kb downstream from the gene. A regression model containing rs356219 alone best fit the data. The linkage disequilibrium correlation coefficient between this SNP and REP1 was low (r2=0.09). The risk-associated C allele of rs356219 was also correlated with higher transformed plasma α-synuclein levels in cases under an adjusted additive model (p = 0.005).
Conclusions
Our data suggest that one or more unidentified functional SNCA variants modify risk for PD, and that the effect is larger than, and independent of, REP1. This variant(s), tagged by rs356219, might act by upregulating SNCA expression in a dose-dependent manner.
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.279
PMCID: PMC3010848  PMID: 21060011
5.  The Spectrum of Mutations in Progranulin 
Archives of neurology  2010;67(2):161-170.
Background
Mutation in the progranulin gene (GRN) can cause frontotemporal dementia (FTD). However, it is unclear whether some rare FTD-related GRN variants are pathogenic and whether neurodegenerative disorders other than FTD can also be caused by GRN mutations.
Objectives
To delineate the range of clinical presentations associated with GRN mutations and to define pathogenic candidacy of rare GRN variants.
Design
Case-control study.
Setting
Clinical and neuropathology dementia research studies at 8 academic centers.
Participants
Four hundred thirty-four patients with FTD, including primary progressive aphasia, semantic dementia, FTD/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), FTD/motor neuron disease, corticobasal syndrome/corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, Pick disease, dementia lacking distinctive histopathology, and pathologically confirmed cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U); and 111 non-FTD cases (controls) in which TDP-43 deposits were a prominent neuropathological feature, including subjects with ALS, Guam ALS and/or parkinsonism dementia complex, Guam dementia, Alzheimer disease, multiple system atrophy, and argyrophilic grain disease.
Main Outcome Measures
Variants detected on sequencing of all 13 GRN exons and at least 80 base pairs of flanking introns, and their pathogenic candidacy determined by in silico and ex vivo splicing assays.
Results
We identified 58 genetic variants that included 26 previously unknown changes. Twenty-four variants appeared to be pathogenic, including 8 novel mutations. The frequency of GRN mutations was 6.9% (30 of 434) of all FTD-spectrum cases, 21.4% (9 of 42) of cases with a pathological diagnosis of FTLD-U, 16.0% (28 of 175) of FTD-spectrum cases with a family history of a similar neurodegenerative disease, and 56.2% (9 of 16) of cases of FTLD-U with a family history.
Conclusions
Pathogenic mutations were found only in FTD-spectrum cases and not in other related neurodegenerative diseases. Haploinsufficiency of GRN is the predominant mechanism leading to FTD.
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.328
PMCID: PMC2901991  PMID: 20142524
6.  Glucocerebrosidase Gene Mutations 
Archives of neurology  2008;65(3):379-382.
Background
Mutations in the glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene have been reported to modify risk for Parkinson disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). However, these findings have not been consistently replicated, and most studies have had substantial methodological shortcomings.
Objective
To better assess the role of GBA variants in altering risk for Lewy body disorders.
Design
Case-control study.
Setting
Four movement disorder clinics in the Seattle, Washington, area.
Participants
Seven hundred twenty-one patients with PD, 554 healthy control subjects, and 57 patients with DLB.
Main Outcome Measures
Disease status and presence or absence of the 2 most common GBA mutations (N370S and L444P).
Results
We observed a significantly higher heterozygote frequency for the 2 mutations in patients with PD (2.9%; P<.001) and those with DLB (3.5%; P=.045) compared with control subjects (0.4%).
Conclusion
Our findings suggest that GBA mutations exert a large effect on susceptibility for Lewy body disorders at the individual level but are associated with a modest (approximately 3%) population-attributable risk in individuals of European ancestry.
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2007.68
PMCID: PMC2826203  PMID: 18332251
9.  Lewy Body Pathology in Familial Alzheimer Disease 
Archives of neurology  2006;63(3):370-376.
Background
The origin and significance of Lewy bodies and neurites (Lewy body pathology [LBP]) in Alzheimer disease (AD) are poorly understood.
Objective
To examine LBP in the brainstem, limbic cortex, and neocortex of a large number of familial AD cases with mutations in 2 presenilin (PSEN) genes.
Methods
Twenty-five familial AD cases with 9 known PSEN 1 mutations and 14 familial AD cases with a single PSEN 2 mutation (N141I) were examined for LBP using α-synuclein immunohistochemistry and sampling of multiple brainstem and cortical regions.
Results
The amygdala was the most vulnerable site for LBP. In fact, virtually all (24 [96%] of 25 cases) of the PSEN 1 mutation cases had LBP in the amygdala. The PSEN 1 mutation cases also had more frequent LBP in the amygdala and neocortex than those with the PSEN 2 mutation. However, within families with a single mutation of either PSEN 1 or PSEN 2, there was frequent variability of the LBP.
Conclusion
These findings suggest that there are genetic influences on the presence of LBP in familial AD as demonstrated by the differences between PSEN 1 and PSEN 2 mutation cases.
doi:10.1001/archneur.63.3.370
PMCID: PMC1892620  PMID: 16533963

Results 1-9 (9)