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Anti-NMDAR encephalitis is the most frequent autoimmune encephalitis. It predominantly occurs in children and young females. Up to 80% of patients present with severe insomnia and psychiatric and behavioural symptoms that resemble those of psychotic episodes caused by primary psychiatric diseases. In addition to the psychiatric manifestations, patients develop neurological symptoms including seizures, abnormal movements, reduced verbal output, and dysautonomic features. Up to 50% of young females have an underlying ovarian teratoma that contains nervous tissue and NMDAR, which probably trigger the immune response. Less frequently, the encephalitis is triggered by an episode of herpes simplex encephalitis probably through the release of antigens by neurons damaged by the virus. The diagnosis of anti-NMDAR encephalitis requires the demonstration of the antibodies in CSF. Up to 14% of patients do not have detectable antibodies in serum. A positive result in serum but negative in CSF must be taken with caution as these patients do not present clinical features of encephalitis and many represent false positive results. Between 80% and 90% of patients respond to treatment which includes immunotherapy and removal of the tumour when it applies.
Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC), is a rare lysosomal storage disorder, which has a variable presentation based on the age of onset. We describe five adult/adolescent-onset NPC cases presenting with a range of movement disorders along with vertical supranuclear gaze palsy as part of the clinical presentation. A diagnostic delay of 4–17 years from the symptom onset was found in this case series. A high index of clinical suspicion in adult/adolescent patients presenting with vertical supranuclear gaze palsy along with various movement disorder phenomenology can help in the early diagnosis of NPC.
Essential tremor (ET) is a common movement disorder with ˜5% prevalence in individuals above the age of 65, but in rare cases, it arises during childhood. Growing evidence suggests the role of cerebellum in the disease mechanism. ET is highly heritable, however, poor replication of risk loci point to its significant heterogeneity. Thus, it is important to genetically investigate kindreds with a strong aggregation of ET.
We conducted a clinical and whole-genome investigation of a large Caucasian Canadian family, in which six out of eight patients are affected by childhood-onset ET in four consecutive generations. Eight family members were available for study, including three patients affected by ET. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was conducted for the four most informative individuals, followed by Sanger sequencing in the entire kindred.
We searched for rare variants absent in the eldest unaffected individual, but present in the patients (two siblings and their third-degree relative). Our stringent whole-genome filtering approach revealed a rare heterozygous p. Arg90Gln substitution in TCP10L (rs151233771) in all three investigated patients. Sanger sequencing confirmed the p. Arg90Gln variant and revealed its absence in the rest of the family members.
Whole-genome data of the family with ET resulted in a single candidate gene mapped to 21q22.11 locus (TCP10L) with the highest brain expression in cerebellum. Our study encourages future replication studies to validate the genetic link between TCP10L and ET, and suggests the p. Arg90Gln variant for functional investigation.
Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are considered as the risk factors for dementia (PDD). Posterior cortically based functions, such as visuospatial and visuoperceptual (VS-VP) processing, have been described as predictors of PDD. However, no investigations have focused on the qualitative analysis of the Judgment of Line Orientation Test (JLOT) and the Facial Recognition Test (FRT) in PD-SCD and PD-MCI. The aim of this work was to study the VS-VP errors in JLOT and FRT. Moreover, these variables are considered as predictors of PDD.
Forty-two PD patients and 19 controls were evaluated with a neuropsychological protocol. Patients were classified as PD-SCD and PD-MCI. Analyses of errors were conducted following the procedure described by Ska, Poissant, and Joanette (1990). Follow-up assessment was conducted to a mean of 7.5 years after the baseline.
PD-MCI patients showed a poor performance in JLOT and FRT total score and made a greater proportion of severe intraquadrant (QO2) and interquadrant errors (IQO). PD-SCD showed a poor performance in FRT and made mild errors in JLOT. PD-MCI and QO2/IQO errors were independent risk factors for PDD during the follow-up. Moreover, the combination of both PD-MCI diagnosis and QO2/IQO errors was associated with a greater risk.
PD-MCI patients presented a greater alteration in VS-VP processing observable by the presence of severe misjudgments. PD-SCD patients also showed mild difficulties in VS-SP functions. Finally, QO2/IQO errors in PD-MCI are a useful predictor of PDD, more than PD-MCI diagnosis alone.
The source of episodic memory (EM) impairment in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is still unclear. In the present study, we sought to quantify specifically encoding, consolidation, and retrieval process deficits in a list-learning paradigm by a novel method, the item-specific deficit approach (ISDA).
We applied the ISDA method to the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) in a sample of 15 PD patients and 15 healthy participants.
The results revealed differences in free recall performance between PD patients and controls. These patients, however, benefited from cues as much as controls did, and total recall did not differ between groups. When analyzing the ISDA indices for encoding, consolidation, and retrieval deficits, the results showed a general memory deficit, but with a clear focus on encoding and retrieval, as revealed by the sensitivity values. Moreover, controlling for initial learning did not eliminate group effects in retrieval.
Our findings reveal a mixed pattern in PD patients, with deficits in both encoding and retrieval processes in memory. Also, despite the fact that an encoding dysfunction may explain some of the deficits observed at retrieval, it cannot fully account for the differences, highlighting that both encoding and retrieval factors are necessary to understand memory deficits in PD.
Clozapine is indicated for the treatment of patients intolerant of conventional antipsychotic agents. It is often used to treat those patients who have developed movement disorders while on conventional antipsychotics. We report three cases of dyskinesia associated with clozapine induction. We suggest a mechanism that might explain an underlying dopaminergic hypersensitivity during this transitional period. Further, we identify groups that might be at high risk of developing dyskinesia and suggest strategies to reduce risk especially in these groups.
This study explored mental rotation (MR) performance in patients with myotonic dystrophy 1 (DM1), an inherited neuromuscular disorder dominated by muscular symptoms, including muscle weakness and myotonia. The aim of the study was twofold: to gain new insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms of MR and to better clarify the cognitive profile of DM1 patients. To address these aims, we used MR tasks involving kinds of stimuli that varied for the extent to which they emphasized motor simulation and activation of body representations (body parts) versus visuospatial imagery (abstract objects). We hypothesized that, if peripheral sensorimotor feedback system plays a pivotal role in modulating MR performance, then DM1 patients would exhibit more difficulties in mentally rotating hand stimuli than abstract objects.
Twenty-four DM1 patients and twenty-four age- and education-matched control subjects were enrolled in the study and were required to perform two computerized MR tasks involving pictures of hands and abstract objects.
The analysis of accuracy showed that patients had impaired MR performance when the angular disparities between the stimuli were higher. Notably, as compared to controls, patients showed slower responses when the stimuli were hands, whereas no significant differences when stimuli were objects.
The findings are coherent with the embodied cognition view, indicating a tight relation between body- and motor-related processes and MR. They suggest that peripheral, muscular, abnormalities in DM1 lead to alterations in manipulation of motor representations, which in turn affect MR, especially when body parts are to mentally rotate.
This study aimed to assess the association between maternal-isolated oligohydramnios (IO) and offspring long-term neurological complications. A population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted, including all births at a single tertiary medical center in Israel between the years 1991 and 2014. Multiple pregnancies and potential pregnancy complications associated with oligohydramnios were excluded. The computerized obstetrical database was linked with the computerized dataset of all pediatric hospitalizations of the same medical center. Evaluation of cumulative neurological-associated hospitalizations rate over time was compared using a Kaplan–Meier survival curve. The Weibull survival parametric model was conducted to assess the neurological-associated hospitalization risk in the presence of IO, while accounting for potential confounders. A total of 190,259 pregnancies were included in the study, of which 4063 (2.13%) pregnancies were complicated with IO. Total neurological-related hospitalizations were significantly more common in the IO group (3.7% in the IO group and 3.0% in the comparison group, p = 0.005). Pervasive developmental disorder, movement disorders, developmental disorders, and degenerative and demyelization disorders were all specific neurological diagnoses significantly more common in the exposed group. The survival curve demonstrated a significantly higher cumulative hospitalization rate in the exposed group (log-rank p = 0.001). Using a multivariate model adjusting for gestational age, maternal age, and labor induction, an independent association between IO and long-term neurological morbidity of the offspring was observed (adjusted hazard ratio 1.203; 95% CI 1.02–1.42). In summary, a significant association was found between pregnancies complicated by IO and long-term neurological morbidity of the offspring.
Patients with essential tremor exhibit heterogeneous cognitive functioning. Although the majority of patients fall under the broad classification of cognitively “normal,” essential tremor is associated with increased risk for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. It is possible that patterns of cognitive performance within the wide range of normal functioning have predictive utility for mild cognitive impairment or dementia. These cross-sectional analyses sought to determine whether cognitive patterns, or “clusters,” could be identified among individuals with essential tremor diagnosed as cognitively normal. We also determined whether such clusters, if identified, were associated with demographic or clinical characteristics of patients.
Elderly subjects with essential tremor (age >55 years) underwent comprehensive neuropsychological testing. Domain means (memory, executive function, attention, visuospatial abilities, and language) from 148 individuals diagnosed as cognitively normal were partitioned using k-means cluster analysis. Individuals in each cluster were compared according to cognitive functioning (domain means and test scores), demographic factors, and clinical variables.
There were three clusters. Cluster 1 (n = 64) was characterized by comparatively low memory scores (p < .001), Cluster 2 (n = 39) had relatively low attention and visuospatial scores (p < .001), and Cluster 3 (n = 45) exhibited consistently high performance across all domains. Cluster 1 had lower Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores and reported more prescription medication use and lower balance confidence.
Three patterns of cognitive functioning within the normal range were evident and tracked with certain clinical features. Future work will examine the extent to which such patterns predict conversion to mild cognitive impairment and/or dementia.
Although therapeutic treatments are intended to help alleviate symptoms associated with disease, safety must be carefully considered and monitored to confirm continued positive benefit/risk balance. The objective of MOBILITY was to study the long-term safety of onabotulinumtoxinA for treatment of various therapeutic indications.
A prospective, multicenter, observational, Phase IV Canadian study in patients treated with onabotulinumtoxinA for a therapeutic indication. Dosing was determined by the participating physician. Adverse events (AEs) were recorded throughout the study.
Patients (n = 1372) with adult focal spasticity, blepharospasm, cerebral palsy, cervical dystonia, hemifacial spasm, hyperhidrosis, or “other” diagnoses were enrolled into the safety cohort. Eighty-three patients (6%) reported 209 AEs; 44 AEs in 24 patients (2%) were considered treatment-related AEs. Seventy-two serious AEs were reported by 38 patients (3%); 10 serious AEs in 5 patients (0.4%) were considered treatment related. Most commonly reported treatment-related AEs were muscular weakness (n = 7/44) and dysphagia (n = 6/44).
In patients with follow-up for up to six treatments with onabotulinumtoxinA, treatment-related AEs were reported in <2% of the safety population over the course of nearly 5 years. Our findings from MOBILITY provide further evidence that onabotulinumtoxinA treatment is safe for long-term use across a variety of therapeutic indications.
Essential tremor (ET) is associated with psychological difficulties, including anxiety and depression. Demoralization (feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, inability to cope), another manifestation of psychological distress, has yet to be investigated in ET. Our objectives are to (1) estimate the prevalence of demoralization in ET, (2) assess its clinical correlates, and (3) determine whether demoralization correlates with tremor severity.
We administered the Kissane Demoralization Scale (KDS-II) and several psychosocial evaluations (ie, scales assessing subjective incompetence, resilience, and depression [eg, Geriatric Depression Scale]) to 60 ET subjects. Tremor was assessed with a disability score and total tremor score. KDS-II >8 indicated demoralization.
Among 60 ET subjects (mean age = 70.2 ± 6.8 years), the prevalence of demoralization was 13.3%, 95% confidence interval = 6.9–24.2%. Although there was overlap between demoralization and depression (10% of the sample meeting criteria for both), 54% of depressed subjects were not demoralized, and 25% of demoralized subjects were not depressed. Demoralization correlated with psychological factors, but demoralized subjects did not have significantly higher total tremor scores, tremor disability scores, or years with tremor.
Demoralization has a prevalence of 13.3% in ET, similar to that in other chronic or terminal illnesses (eg, cancer 13–18%, Parkinson’s disease 18.1%, coronary heart disease 20%). Demoralization was not a function of increased tremor severity, suggesting that it is a separable construct, which could dictate how a patient copes with his/her disease. These data further our understanding of the psychological and psychosocial correlates of ET.
Objectives: Essential tremor (ET) is a movement disorder characterized by action tremor which impacts motor execution. Given the disrupted cerebellar-thalamo-cortical networks in ET, we hypothesized that ET could interfere with the control mechanisms involved in regulating motor performance. The ability to inhibit or stop actions is critical for navigating many daily life situations such as driving or social interactions. The current study investigated the speed of action initiation and two forms of action control, response stopping and proactive slowing in ET. Methods: Thirty-three ET patients and 25 healthy controls (HCs) completed a choice reaction task and a stop-signal task, and measures of going speed, proactive slowing and stop latencies were assessed. Results: Going speed was significantly slower in ET patients (649 ms) compared to HCs (526 ms; F(1,56) = 42.37; p <.001; η2 = .43), whereas proactive slowing did not differ between groups. ET patients exhibited slower stop signal reaction times (320 ms) compared to HCs (258 ms, F(1,56) = 15.3; p <.00; η2 = .22) and more severe motor symptoms of ET were associated with longer stopping latencies in a subset of patients (Spearman rho = .48; p <.05). Conclusions: In line with previous studies, ET patients showed slower action initiation. Additionally, inhibitory control was impaired whereas proactive slowing remained intact relative to HCs. More severe motor symptoms of ET were associated with slower stopping speed, and may reflect more progressive changes to the cerebellar-thalamo-cortical network. Future imaging studies should specify which structural and functional changes in ET can explain changes in inhibitory action control. (JINS, 2019, 25, 156–164)
Objectives: Essential tremor (ET) confers an increased risk for developing both amnestic and non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Yet, the optimal measures for detecting mild cognitive changes in individuals with this movement disorder have not been established. We sought to identify the cognitive domains and specific motor-free neuropsychological tests that are most sensitive to mild deficits in cognition as defined by a Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) of 0.5, which is generally associated with a clinical diagnosis of MCI. Methods: A total of 196 ET subjects enrolled in a prospective, longitudinal, clinical-pathological study underwent an extensive motor-free neuropsychological test battery and were assigned a CDR score. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the neuropsychological tests which best identified individuals with CDR of 0.5 (mild deficits in cognition) versus 0 (normal cognition). Results: In regression models, we identified five tests in the domains of Memory and Executive Function which best discriminated subjects with CDR of 0.5 versus 0 (86.9% model classification accuracy). These tests were the California Verbal Learning Test II Total Recall, Logical Memory II, Verbal-Paired Associates I, Category Switching Fluency, and Color-Word Inhibition. Conclusions: Mild cognitive difficulty among ET subjects is best predicted by combined performance on five measures of memory and executive function. These results inform the nature of cognitive dysfunction in ET and the creation of a brief cognitive battery to assess patients with ET for cognitively driven dysfunction in life that could indicate the presence of MCI. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1084–1098)
Objectives: Both depression and apathy, alone and in combination, have been shown to negatively affect cognition in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the influence of specific symptom dimensions of depression and apathy on cognition is not well understood. The current study investigated the relationship between symptom dimensions of depression and apathy, based on factors identified in Kirsch-Darrow et al. (2011), and memory and executive function in PD. Methods: A sample of 138 non-demented individuals with PD (mean age=64.51±7.43 years) underwent neuropsychological testing and completed the Beck Depression Inventory, 2nd Edition, and Apathy Scale. Separate hierarchical regression models examined the relationship between symptom dimensions of depression and apathy (“pure” depressive symptoms, “pure” apathy, loss of interest/pleasure [anhedonia], and somatic symptoms) and three cognitive domain composites: immediate verbal memory, delayed verbal memory, and executive function. Results: After adjusting for general cognitive status and the influence of the other symptom dimensions, “pure” depressive symptoms were negatively associated with the delayed verbal memory composite (p<.034) and somatic symptoms were positively associated with the executive function composite (p<.026). No symptom dimensions were significantly related to the immediate verbal memory composite. Conclusions: Findings suggest that specific mood symptoms are associated with delayed verbal memory and executive function performance in non-demented patients with PD. Further research is needed to better understand possible mechanisms through which specific symptom dimensions of depression and apathy are associated with cognition in PD. (JINS, 2018, 24, 269–282)