REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia characterized by motor activity during sleep with dream mentation. Aggressiveness has been considered a peculiar feature of dreams associated with RBD, despite normal score in aggressiveness scales during wakefulness. We aimed to measure daytime aggressiveness and analyze dream contents in a population of patients with Parkinson disease (PD) with and without RBD.
Malnutrition has been found in up to 24% of patients with Parkinson's disease; dopaminergic drugs might impair nutritional status. We evaluated the association of nutritional status with the use of dopaminergic agents.
Patients with Parkinson disease exhibit a highly increased prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which has been also associated with the severity of motor fluctuations. Aim of this study was to test the efficacy of liquid levodopa with higher bioavailability in patients with SIBO.
Freezing of gait is a disabling episodic gait disturbance common in patients with Parkinson's disease. Recent evidences suggest a complex interplay between gait impairment and executive functions. Aim of our study was to evaluate whether specific motor conditions (sitting or walking) influence cognitive performance in patients with or without different types of freezing.
Autonomic nervous system dysfunction (ANSd) heralds or follows motor symptoms (MS) in Parkinson disease (PD), but may precede years and progress more rapidly in multiple system atrophy (MSA). Cardiac dysautonomia severity correlates with disabling symptoms thus a Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System Evaluation protocol (CANSEp) is useful to assess ANSd in PD and MSA patients.
Anhedonia is present in Parkinsons Disease (PD) as well as in addictive behaviors. Pathological Gambling (PG) and other Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs) have emerged as iatrogenic complications associated with dopamine replacement therapy. We studied 154 PD patients, divided into three groups: 11 with PG, 23 with other ICDs (compulsive buying, hypersexuality, binge eating), 120 without ICDs. All patients underwent a thorough clinical, neuropsychological and psychiatric evaluation. The PG-group, compared to the ICDs-group and PD-controls, reported a significantly higher incidence of anhedonia (45% vs. 9% vs. 14% respectively), higher Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale (SHAPS) scores (2.0±1.3 vs. 1.0±1.1 vs. 1.0±1.2), higher levels of impulsivity traits as measured by the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (70.0±10.6 vs. 64.8±11 vs. 60.9±9.3) and more severe frontal dysfunctions (Frontal Assessment Battery, FAB: 12.4±4.9 vs. 15.5±1.6 vs. 14.4±3). A model for PG (incorporating anhedonia, impulsivity levels and frontal impairment) is discussed in the context of the pathophysiology of addictive behaviors. The impairment of hedonic capacity, possibly resulting from an underlying neuropsychological dysfunction, might facilitate loss of control over reward-related behavior, thus favoring the shift towards predominantly habit-based compulsive behaviors.
In focal hand dystonia, the cortical somatosensory representation of the fingers is abnormal, with overlapping receptive fields and reduced interdigit separation. These abnormalities are associated with deficits in sensory perception, as previously demonstrated by applying tactile stimuli to one finger at a time. What is still unknown is whether the sensory deficits can be observed when tactile perception involves more than one finger. To address this issue, we applied Aristotles illusion to 15 patients with focal hand dystonia, 15 patients with dystonia not affecting the hand (blepharospasm and cervical dystonia) and 15 healthy control subjects. In this illusion, one object touching the contact point of two crossed fingertips is perceived as two objects by a blindfolded subject. The same object placed between two parallel fingertips is correctly perceived as one. The illusory doubling sensation is because of the fact that the contact point between the crossed fingers consists of non-adjacent and functionally unrelated skin regions, which usually send sensory signals to separate spots in the somatosensory cortex. In our study, participants were touched by one sphere between the second-third digits, the second-fourth digits and the fourth-fifth digits of both hands, either in crossed or in parallel position, and had to refer whether they felt one or two stimuli. The percentage of two stimuli responses was an index of the illusory doubling. Both healthy control subjects and dystonic patients presented Aristotles illusion when the fingers were crossed. However, patients with focal hand dystonia presented a significant reduction of the illusion when the sphere was placed between the crossed fourth and fifth digits of the affected hand. This reduction correlated with the severity of motor disease at the fingers. Similar findings were not observed in non-hand dystonia and control groups. The reduction of Aristotles illusion in non-affected fingers and its preservation in affected fingers suggests dissociation between the abnormal processing of sensory signals and the motor impairment. Based on previous evidence showing that the sensory signals coming from the fourth digit determine lower activation in the somatosensory cortex than those coming from the fifth digit, we suggest that in the crossed position, the tactile information conveyed by the fifth digit prevailed over the fourth digit, thus resulting in the perception of one stimulus. The reduction of the illusory doubling perception, therefore, may represent the functional correlate of the different level of activation between the fourth and the fifth digit in the somatosensory cortex.
Parkinsons disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders whose etiology is multifactorial including both hereditary and environmental factors. Currently, pathogenic mutations in at least five genes have been implicated in familial PD generally accounting for less than 10 % of all PD cases in most populations. It has been suggested that polymorphisms in other genes such as those encoding enzymes involved in oxidative metabolism and detoxification could be involved in predisposition to PD since oxidative stress in dopaminergic neurons is thought to be of central importance in the pathogenesis of the disease. The aim of our work was to study the association of genetic polymorphisms in genes involved in oxidative metabolism and detoxification mechanism, namely GSTM1, GSTT1, GSTP1, and those involved in DNA damage repair, OGG1 and XRCC1, in an Italian cohort of sporadic PD patients. We did not detect any association between GSTT1 and GTTM1 null polymorphisms and PD, whereas the 104GSTP1 polymorphism was associated with PD in male patients but not in females. Furthermore, we detected a protective effect of wild type genotype of XRCC1 in women.
Understanding the relation between predominantly choreatic and hypokinetic-rigid motor subtypes and cognitive and general functioning may contribute to knowledge about different motor phenotypes in Huntingtons disease.
Botox(®) and Dysport(®) are the preparations of botulinum neurotoxin most widely used for therapeutic purposes. Several studies have addressed the topic of the equivalency ratio (D/B ratio) to be used in clinical practice and whether a reliable value exists is still a matter of debate. To this purpose, we ideated a novel paradigm by retrospectively examining the patients affected by hemifacial spasm and blepharospasm. We compared the pairs of treatments with a switch from one brand to the other undergone by the same patient in consecutive sessions with overlapping clinical outcome. Out of 2006 treatments, we found 51 treatment pairs. D/B ratio was extremely variable (range 1.2-13.3) and in most cases (65%) it was between 1:3 and 1:5. In conclusion, even if the 1:4 ratio might be reliable for clinical purpose, a true bioequivalence between Dysport(®) and Botox(®) might not exist due to the intrinsic difference in their pharmacokinetic properties.
Genome-wide analysis of a multi-incident family with autosomal-dominant parkinsonism has implicated a locus on chromosomal region 3q26-q28. Linkage and disease segregation is explained by a missense mutation c.3614G>A (p.Arg1205His) in eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4-gamma (EIF4G1). Subsequent sequence and genotype analysis identified EIF4G1 c.1505C>T (p.Ala502Val), c.2056G>T (p.Gly686Cys), c.3490A>C (p.Ser1164Arg), c.3589C>T (p.Arg1197Trp) and c.3614G>A (p.Arg1205His) substitutions in affected subjects with familial parkinsonism and idiopathic Lewy body disease but not in control subjects. Despite different countries of origin, persons with EIF4G1 c.1505C>T (p.Ala502Val) or c.3614G>A (p.Arg1205His) mutations appear to share haplotypes consistent with ancestral founders. eIF4G1 p.Ala502Val and p.Arg1205His disrupt eIF4E or eIF3e binding, although the wild-type protein does not, and render mutant cells more vulnerable to reactive oxidative species. EIF4G1 mutations implicate mRNA translation initiation in familial parkinsonism and highlight a convergent pathway for monogenic, toxin and perhaps virally-induced Parkinson disease.
Sepiapterin reductase (SPR) gene is an enzyme which catalyses the final step of tetrahydrobiopterin synthesis (BH4) and was implicated in Parkinsons disease (PD) pathogenesis as a candidate gene for PARK3 locus. A number of studies yielded association of the PARK3 locus with PD, and SPR knockout mice were shown to display parkinsonian features. To evaluate the role of SPR gene polymorphisms in diverse populations in PD, we performed collaborative analyses in the Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson Disease (GEO-PD) Consortium. A total of 5 single nucleotide polymorphisms (3 in the promoter region and 2 in the 3 untranslated region [UTR]) were genotyped. Fixed as well as random effect models were used to provide summary risk estimates of SPR variants. A total of 19 sites provided data for 6547 cases and 9321 controls. Overall odds ratio estimates varied from 0.92 to 1.01. No overall association with the SPR gene using either fixed effect or random effect model was observed in the studied population. I(2) Metric varied from 0% to 36.2%. There was some evidence for an association for participants of North European/Scandinavian descent with the strongest signal for rs1876487 (odds ratio = 0.82; p value = 0.003). Interestingly, families which were used to map the PARK3 locus, have Scandinavian ancestry suggesting a founder effect. In conclusion, this large association study for the SPR gene revealed no association for PD worldwide. However, taking the initial mapping of the PARK3 into account, the role of a population-specific effect warrants consideration in future studies.
Using data from the PRIAMO study, we investigated non-motor symptoms (NMS) versus frontal lobe dysfunction in patients with idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD); 808 patients with PD and 118 with atypical parkinsonisms (AP) were consecutively enrolled at 55 Centers in Italy. Twelve categories of NMS were investigated. Cognitive impairment was defined as a Mini-Mental Status Evaluation score ? 23.8 and frontal lobe dysfunction as a Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) score ? 3.48. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify predictor of frontal lobe dysfunction in 524 PD patients, and a generalized linear model was used for each of the six FAB items. Not only the total FAB scores but also the single FAB items were lower in AP versus PD (p ? 0.005). Age (OR = 1.05), cognitive impairment (OR = 9.54), lack of cardiovascular symptoms (OR = 3.25), attention or memory problems (OR = 0.59) and treatment with L: -DOPA (OR = 5.58) were predictors of frontal lobe dysfunction. MMSE was negatively associated with all FAB items (? ? -0.16) and age with all FAB items but prehension behavior (? ? -0.01). Previous use of L: -DOPA was negatively associated with verbal fluency (? = -0.32) possibly acting as surrogate marker of disease duration. Cognitive impairment is a predictor of frontal lobe dysfunction. Among NMS, lack of attention or memory problems were negatively associated with frontal impairment. Further studies are nonetheless needed to better identify the predictors of frontal impairment in PD patients.
Autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia with thin corpus callosum is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by spastic paraparesis, cognitive impairment, and peripheral neuropathy. The neuroradiologic hallmarks are thin corpus callosum and periventricular white matter changes. Mutations in the SPG11 gene have been identified to be a major cause of autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia with thin corpus callosum and recently also proven to be responsible for juvenile parkinsonism associated with spastic paraplegia.
Parkinsons disease (PD) is associated with gastrointestinal motility abnormalities that could favor the occurrence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in PD patients.
Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus represents the most important innovation for treatment of advanced Parkinsons disease. Prospective studies have shown that although the beneficial effects of this procedure are maintained at 5 years, axial motor features and cognitive decline may occur in the long term after the implants. In order to address some unsolved questions raised by previous studies, we evaluated a series of 20 consecutive patients who received continuous stimulation for 8 years. The overall motor improvement reported at 5 years (55.5% at Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale-motor part, P < 0.001 compared with baseline) was only partly retained 3 years later (39%, P < 0.001, compared with baseline; -16.5%, P < 0.01, compared with 5 years), with differential effects on motor features: speech did not improve and postural stability worsened (P < 0.05). The preoperative levodopa equivalent daily dose was reduced by 58.2% at 5 years and by 60.3% at 8 years. In spite of subtle worsening of motor features, a dramatic impairment in functional state (-56.6% at Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale-Activities of Daily Living, P < 0.01) emerged after the fifth year of stimulation. The present study did not reveal a predictive value of preoperative levodopa response, whereas few single features at baseline (such as gait and postural stability motor scores and the preoperative levodopa equivalent daily dose) could predict long-term motor outcome. A decline in verbal fluency (slightly more pronounced than after 5 years) was detected after 8 years. A significant but slight decline in tasks of abstract reasoning, episodic memory and executive function was also found. One patient had developed dementia at 5 years with further progression at 8 years. Executive dysfunction correlated significantly with postural stability, suggesting interplay between axial motor deterioration and cognition. Eight years after surgery, no significant change was observed on scales assessing depression or anxiety when compared with baseline. At 8 years, there was no significant increase of side-effects when compared with 5-year follow-up. In conclusion, deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus is a safe procedure with regard to cognitive and behavioural morbidity over long-term follow-up. However, the global benefit partly decreases later in the course of the disease, due to progression of Parkinsons disease and the appearance of medication- and stimulation-resistant symptoms.
Tetrabenazine (TBZ) depletes presynaptic dopamine in the CNS. It has been found to be beneficial in hyperkinetic movement disorders without carrying the extrapyramidal side effects that are characteristic of neuroleptics.
Mutations in the THAP1 gene on chromosome 8p21-p22 (DYT6 locus) have been recently reported as causative of autosomal dominant primary torsion dystonia (PTD) in four Amish-Mennonite families and in 12 additional probands of different ancestry. We sequenced the THAP1 gene in 158 patients with DYT1-negative PTD who had onset of symptoms below 30 years and/or positive family history. One sporadic Greek male patient, aged 57 years, was found to carry a novel heterozygous missense variant in THAP1 exon 3 (p.Cys170Arg), of likely pathogenic significance. This subject first presented with right writers cramp at age of 10 years and, subsequently, developed left arm dystonia and an extremely severe left laterocollis, without further spreading to other body districts. Our findings expand the genotypic spectrum of THAP1 and strengthen the association with upper body involvement, including the cranial and cervical districts that are usually spared in DYT1-PTD.
Hyposmia is a common nonmotor feature of Parkinsons disease (PD) and has been variably detected in monogenic Parkinsonisms. To assess olfactory dysfunction in PINK1-related Parkinsonism, we evaluated olfactory detection threshold, odor discrimination, and odor identification in five groups of subjects: sporadic PD (n = 19), PINK1 homozygous (n = 7), and heterozygous (n = 6) parkinsonian patients, asymptomatic PINK1 heterozygous carriers (n = 12), and Italian healthy subjects (n = 67). All affected subjects and all healthy heterozygotes but one resulted hyposmic, with most patients in the range of functional anosmia or severe hyposmia. Detection threshold was more preserved and discrimination more impaired in patients with PINK1 mutations than in PD cases. Alterations of detection and discrimination were observed also in PINK1 asymptomatic heterozygotes. On the contrary, odor identification appeared to be mostly related to the disease status, as it was impaired in nearly all patients (including PD and PINK1 cases) and preserved in healthy heterozygotes. Our data indicate that olfactory dysfunction is common in PINK1 Parkinsonism and consists typically in defective odor identification and discrimination. A milder olfactory deficit, mostly involving discrimination, can be found in asymptomatic heterozygotes, possibly indicating an underlying preclinical neurodegenerative process.
High-profile studies have provided conflicting results regarding the involvement of the Omi/HtrA2 gene in Parkinsons disease (PD) susceptibility. Therefore, we performed a large-scale analysis of the association of common Omi/HtrA2 variants in the Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinsons disease (GEO-PD) consortium. GEO-PD sites provided clinical and genetic data including affection status, gender, ethnicity, age at study, age at examination (all subjects); age at onset and family history of PD (patients). Genotyping was performed for the five most informative SNPs spanning the Omi/HtrA2 gene in approximately 2-3 kb intervals (rs10779958, rs2231250, rs72470544, rs1183739, rs2241028). Fixed as well as random effect models were used to provide summary risk estimates of Omi/HtrA2 variants. The 20 GEO-PD sites provided data for 6378 cases and 8880 controls. No overall significant associations for the five Omi/HtrA2 SNPs and PD were observed using either fixed effect or random effect models. The summary odds ratios ranged between 0.98 and 1.08 and the estimates of between-study heterogeneity were not large (non-significant Q statistics for all 5 SNPs; I(2) estimates 0-28%). Trends for association were seen for participants of Scandinavian descent for rs2241028 (OR 1.41, p=0.04) and for rs1183739 for age at examination (cut-off 65 years; OR 1.17, p=0.02), but these would not be significant after adjusting for multiple comparisons and their Bayes factors were only modest. This largest association study performed to define the role of any gene in the pathogenesis of Parkinsons disease revealed no overall strong association of Omi/HtrA2 variants with PD in populations worldwide.
Stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is an effective treatment for advanced Parkinsons disease (PD), but the medication requirements after implant are poorly known. We performed a long-term prospective evaluation of 20 patients maintained at stable dopaminergic therapy for 5 years after bilateral STN implants, who were evaluated 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years after surgery. We measured, during the entire observation period, the effect of deep brain stimulation on motor and functional outcome measures, the levodopa equivalent daily dose and the total electrical energy delivered. At 5 years, the UPDRS motor score had improved by 54.2% and levodopa equivalent dose was reduced by 61.9%, compared with preimplant. Dopaminergic medication remained stable during the observation period, but energy was progressively increased over time. Rest tremor, rigidity, gait, lower and upper limb akinesia, and total axial score were improved in decreasing order. Postural stability and speech improved transiently, whereas on-period freezing of gait, motor fluctuations and dyskinesias recovered durably. Functional measures did not show improvement in autonomy and daily living activities after STN implant. Chronic STN stimulation allows to replace for dopaminergic medications in the long-term at the expense of an increase of the total energy delivered. This is associated with marked improvement of motor features without a matching benefit in functional measures.
We performed a multicenter survey using a semistructured interview in 1,072 consecutive patients with Parkinsons disease (PD) enrolled during 12 months in 55 Italian centers to assess the prevalence of nonmotor symptoms (NMSs), their association with cognitive impairment, and the impact on patients quality of life (QoL). We found that 98.6% of patients with PD reported the presence of NMSs. The most common were as follows: fatigue (58%), anxiety (56%), leg pain (38%), insomnia (37%), urgency and nocturia (35%), drooling of saliva and difficulties in maintaining concentration (31%). The mean number of NMS per patient was 7.8 (range, 0-32). NMS in the psychiatric domain were the most frequent (67%). Frequency of NMS increased along with the disease duration and severity. Patients with cognitive impairment reported more frequently apathy, attention/memory deficit, and psychiatric symptoms. Apathy was the symptom associated with worse PDQ-39 score but also presence of fatigue, attention/memory, and psychiatric symptoms had a negative impact on QoL. These findings further support a key role for NMS in the clinical frame of PD and the need to address them specifically in clinical trials using dedicated scales.
We assessed the effects of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) or internal pallidum (GPi-DBS) on health-related quality of life (HrQoL) in patients with advanced Parkinsons disease participating in a previously reported multicenter trial. Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) questionnaires were available for analysis in a subgroup of n = 20/20 patients with GPi-DBS and n = 45/49 patients with STN-DBS at baseline, 6 and 36 months. The SIP provides a physical dimension and a psychosocial dimension sum score and 12 category scores: Alertness/Intellectual Behavior (AIB), Ambulation (A), Body Care and Movement (BCM), Communication (C), Eating (E), Emotional Behavior (EB), Home Management (HM), Mobility (M), Recreation and Pastimes (RP), Sleep and Rest (SR), Social Interaction (SI), and Work (W). Motor functioning was assessed by means of the Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale and diaries. At 6 months significant improvements in off-period motor symptoms and activities of daily living were paralleled by significant reductions in the total, physical, and psychosocial SIP score in both treatment groups. At 3 years, sustained improvements were observed in the physical dimension score, BCM, E, M, RP after STN-DBS and M, SI after GPi-DBS. All other SIP subscores approached baseline values, but were still the same or better (except C) whereas motor functioning remained stable after 36 months. STN-DBS and GPi-DBS led to significant early improvements in HrQoL. Despite sustained motor improvements many of these initial benefits were lost after 3 years. This may reflect either progression of the disease or adaptive changes in the subjective perception of health-related wellbeing over time.
The PRIAMO study is a cross-sectional longitudinal observational study aimed at describing epidemiology and evolution of non-motor symptoms (NMS) in patients with different forms of parkinsonism recruited in 55 Italian centres and evaluated over 24 months. In this paper, we are reporting prevalence and clinical characteristics of NMS in patients with atypical and secondary parkinsonism. Out of 1307 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of parkinsonism, 83 patients had vascular parkinsonism (VP), 34 had multiple system atrophy (MSA), 30 had progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), 14 had dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and 11 had corticobasal degeneration (CBD). MSA and DLB had the highest number of NMS domains and symptoms, respectively. Gastrointestinal symptoms, pain, urinary problems and postural instability due to orthostatic hypotension were most frequent in MSA. Sleep disturbances were also common with a prevalence of approximately 70% in all diagnostic groups but CBD (36%). Psychiatric symptoms and attention and memory impairment were frequently observed in all diagnoses but were most prevalent among DLB patients, whereas the prevalence of skin and respiratory disorders was rather low in all forms, ranging between 10 and 30%. Atypical parkinsonism patients also reported a low QoL, with no significant differences among the different forms, whereas PD and VP patients had a better QoL.
Impulse control disorders (ICDs) are frequent in Parkinsons disease (PD). Aim of the present study was to investigate cognition and behaviour in PD patients with and without ICDs, in order to identify potential early clinical features which might be associated to the development of ICDs. We recruited 17 PD patients with ICDs and 17 without ICDs, matched for several clinical variables, without clinically significant cognitive deficits. Assessments included behavioural scales and a neuropsychological battery, including the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). In patients with ICDs, the total score of the BIS and the Motor Impulsivity subscore were significantly higher than in patients without ICDs. In patients with ICDs, we observed only statistical trends towards a worse performance on neuropsychological tasks (go-no-go subtest of the Frontal Assessment Battery, oral verb naming task, copying of drawings with landmarks) sensitive to frontal lobe dysfunction (FLD) and on the IGT (loss of a greater amount of money, more risky choices). As compared to patients without ICDs, they reported a more than threefold number of errors on the interference subtest of Stroop test, which is also sensitive to FLD. Although this study did not show any significant difference between PD patients presenting ICDs as compared with patients without ICDs on neuropsychological variables, some preliminary evidence was detected suggesting a trend toward a worse performance of the PD-ICD group on few neuropsychological tasks which are at least partially sensitive to frontal lobe dysfunction, including tasks sensitive to dysfunction of ventral fronto-striatal loops.
The facial phenotype of psychogenic movement disorders has not been fully characterized. Seven tertiary-referral movement disorders centers using a standardized data collection on a computerized database performed a retrospective chart review of psychogenic movement disorders involving the face. Patients with organic forms of facial dystonia or any medical or neurological disorder known to affect facial muscles were excluded. Sixty-one patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria for psychogenic facial movement disorders (91.8% females; age: 37.0 ± 11.3 years). Phasic or tonic muscular spasms resembling dystonia were documented in all patients most commonly involving the lips (60.7%), followed by eyelids (50.8%), perinasal region (16.4%), and forehead (9.8%). The most common pattern consisted of tonic, sustained, lateral, and/or downward protrusion of one side of the lower lip with ipsilateral jaw deviation (84.3%). Ipsi- or contralateral blepharospasm and excessive platysma contraction occurred in isolation or combined with fixed lip dystonia (60.7%). Spasms were reported as painful in 24.6% of cases. Symptom onset was abrupt in most cases (80.3%), with at least 1 precipitating psychological stress or trauma identified in 57.4%. Associated body regions involved included upper limbs (29.5%), neck (16.4%), lower limbs (16.4%), and trunk (4.9%). There were fluctuations in severity and spontaneous exacerbations and remissions (60%). Prevalent comorbidities included depression (38.0%) and tension headache (26.4%). Fixed jaw and/or lip deviation is a characteristic pattern of psychogenic facial movement disorders, occurring in isolation or in combination with other psychogenic movement disorders or other psychogenic features.
Psychiatric symptoms frequently occur in patients with movement disorders. They are not a mere reaction to chronic disability, but most likely due to a combination of psychosocial factors and biochemical dysfunction underlying the movement disorder. We assessed dopamine transporter (DAT) availability by means of (123)I-FP-CIT SPECT, and motor and psychiatric features in patients with Parkinsons disease, primary dystonia and essential tremor, exploring the association between SPECT findings and symptom severity.
The site of dystonia onset is known to affect the risk of spread in primary adult-onset focal dystonia, but other factors possibly influencing spread are unknown. This study explored the relationship between age and spread of dystonia in primary adult-onset focal dystonia.
Non-motor symptoms are gaining relevance in Parkinsons disease (PD) management but little is known about their progression and contribution to deterioration of quality of life. We followed prospectively 707 PD patients (62 % males) for 2 years. We assessed non-motor symptoms referred to 12 different domains, each including 1-10 specific symptoms, as well as motor state (UPDRS), general cognition, and life quality. Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) stage was used to categorize patient status (I-II mild; III moderate; IV-V severe). We found that individual non-motor symptoms had variable evolution over the 2-year follow-up with sleep, gastrointestinal, attention/memory and skin disturbances (hyperhidrosis and seborrhea) becoming more prevalent and psychiatric, cardiovascular, and respiratory disorders becoming less prevalent. Development of symptoms in the cardiovascular, apathy, urinary, psychiatric, and fatigue domains was associated with significant life-quality worsening (p < 0.0045, alpha with Bonferroni correction). During the observation period, 123 patients (17 %) worsened clinically while 584 were rated as stable. There was a fivefold greater increase in UPDRS motor score in worse compared with stable patients over 24 months (p < 0.0001 vs. baseline both in stable and worse group). The total number of reported non-motor symptoms increased over 24 months in patients with motor worsening compared to stable ones (p < 0.001). Thirty-nine patients died (3.4 % of patients evaluable at baseline) with mean age at death of 74 years. Deceased patients were older, had significantly higher H&Y stage and motor score, and reported a greater number of non-motor symptoms at baseline. In conclusion, overall non-motor symptom progression does not follow motor deterioration, is symptom-specific, and only development of specific domains negatively impacts quality of life. These results have consequences for drug studies targeting non-motor features.
Impulsive and compulsive behaviors, including pathologic gambling, hypersexuality, compulsive shopping, compulsive eating, excessive engagement in hobbies, punding, and Dopamine Dysregulation Syndrome (DDS), are increasingly reported serious side-effects of dopaminergic medication, used in the treatment of Parkinsons Disease (PD) and other disorders. Dopamine Agonists (DA) are strongly related with Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs), while L-dopa is associated with DDS. The present paper focuses on ICDs. The estimated prevalence of ICDs in PD patients treated with DA is as high as 14%. ICDs pathophysiology is complex, due to multiple contributing factors. Dopamine neurotransmission along the meso-cortico-limbic pathway is a modulator of risk behavior and can be altered in PD and in the course of dopaminergic treatment. Psychiatric complications, associated with treatment of PD are still underdiagnosed, although their consequences can be serious, even catastrophic. Physicians treating PD with DA should warn the patients and their relatives of the risk of inducing ICDs. Psychiatrists should be trained to recognize these side effects, that can mimic primary psychiatric conditions. The management of ICDs includes discontinuation of DA or switching from DA to other drugs for the treatment of PD. Cognitive behavior therapy, serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors, nalmefene, zonisamide, low dose of anti-dopaminergic drugs, as quetiapine or clozapine, can be effective. Psychological, spiritual, and ethical support (familial or individual) can help.
An impairment for verbs has been described in patients with Parkinsons disease (PD), suggesting that a disruption of frontal-subcortical circuits may result in dysfunction of the neural systems involved in action-verb processing. A previous study suggested that deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) during verb generation may affect the ability to select from many competing lexical alternatives. In this study, 12 PD patients who had undergone bilateral STN DBS and completed an 8-year follow-up and 14 matched normal controls were administered action and object naming tasks and verb and noun reading tasks. Their responses were recorded using a microphone, resulting in a signal that marked the onset of the verbal response and allowed to measure response times (RTs). Accuracy was scored manually.
Primary progressive freezing gait (PPFG) is a clinical syndrome underlain by diverse neurodegenerative diseases and characterized by early occurrence of gait freezing. Either degeneration or integrity of the nigrostriatal terminals have been found by SPECT and PET studies. In this retrospective study, we evaluated (123)I-FP-CIT SPECT findings in a consecutive series of 13 PPFG patients with detailed clinical evaluation over time (mean follow-up duration: 3.1 ± 1.2 years). In all patients, (123)I-FP-CIT SPECT has been performed at the time of first clinical evaluation (1.7 ± 1.4 years after disease onset) and was compared with data from 23 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. PPFG patients were categorized as having abnormal (n = 8) or normal (n = 5) SPECT. At disease onset, PPFG with abnormal SPECT had more frequent hypophonia, higher UPDRS-III scores and partial levodopa responsiveness. By contrast, PPFG with normal SPECT had more frequent bilateral plantar responses and no response to levodopa. At latest follow-up, initial diagnosis in the abnormal SPECT group was revised (n = 5) to progressive supranuclear palsy (n = 4) and pure akinesia with gait freezing (n = 1). Among the five patients with normal SPECT, follow-up evaluation disclosed corticobasal syndrome (n = 2) and primary lateral sclerosis (n = 1). Dopamine transporter imaging can capture the clinical heterogeneity of PPFG and might have a value to predict possible disease progression.
We report on a double-blind, crossover pilot trial for the treatment of rapid eye movement behavior disorder (RBD) in 12 patients with Parkinsons disease in whom conventional therapy failed.
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