sabato 22 febbraio 2014

A phase 2 trial of the GSK-3 inhibitor tideglusib in progressive supranuclear palsy

It is believed that glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) hyperphosphorylates tau protein in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). The Tau Restoration on PSP (TAUROS) study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial to assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of tideglusib, a GSK-3 inhibitor, as potential treatment for PSP. The study enrolled 146 PSP patients with mild-to-moderate disease who were randomized to receive once-daily 600 mg tideglusib, 800 mg tideglusib, or placebo (ratio, 2:2:1) administered orally over 52 weeks. The primary endpoint was the change from baseline to week 52 on the PSP rating scale. Secondary endpoints were safety and tolerability of tideglusib, changes in motor function (the Timed Up and Go Test), cognition (Dementia Rating Scale-2, Frontal Assessment Battery, verbal fluency), apathy (Starkstein scale), activities of daily living (Schwab and England scale; Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, part II), quality of life (EuroQol), and Global Clinical Assessment. Brain atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging and several biomarkers in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid also were examined. No significant differences were detected in the primary or secondary endpoints at week 52 between placebo and either dose of tideglusib. Tideglusib was safe, with the exception of some asymptomatic, transient, and reversible transaminase elevations (mainly alanine aminotransferase) in 9% of patients, and diarrhea in 13% of patients. Tideglusib was generally well tolerated but it did not show clinical efficacy in patients with mild-to-moderate PSP

Movement Disorders 2014

Characterization of ocular motor deficits in congenital facial weakness: Moebius and related syndromes

Congenital facial weakness is present in a heterogeneous group of conditions. Among them is Moebius syndrome, which has been defined as a disorder with congenital, non-progressive facial weakness and limited abduction of one or both eyes. It is typically attributed to agenesis of the abducens and facial cranial nerves. This paper details ocular motor findings of 40 subjects (23 months to 64 years; 24 females, 16 males) with congenital facial weakness: 38 presented at a Moebius Syndrome Conference and two were clinic patients. A new classification scheme of patterns based on ocular motor phenotype is presented. Of 40 subjects, 37 had bilateral and three had unilateral facial weakness. The most common ocular motor pattern (Pattern 1, n = 17, 43%) was bilateral horizontal gaze palsy with intact vertical range. Pattern 2 (n = 10, 26%) was bilateral horizontal gaze palsy with variable vertical limitations. Pattern 3, which was rare, was isolated abduction deficits (n = 2, 5%). Others had full motility range and did not meet minimal criteria for the diagnosis of Moebius syndrome (Pattern 4, n = 10, 26%). One subject was too severely affected to characterize. Abnormal vertical smooth pursuit was present in 17 (57%) of 30 subjects: nine with Pattern 1, five with Pattern 2, and three with Pattern 4. Abnormal vertical saccades were present in 10 (34%) of 29 subjects. Vertical saccades appeared slow in nine: six with Pattern 1 and three with Pattern 2. Vertical saccades were absent in one subject with Pattern 2. Abnormal vertical optokinetic nystagmus was present in 19 (68%) of 28 subjects: 10 with Pattern 1, six with Pattern 2, one with Pattern 3, and two with Pattern 4. Reduced convergence was present in 19 (66%) of 29 subjects: nine with Pattern 1, six with Pattern 2, one with Pattern 3, and three with Pattern 4. The most common pattern of ocular motor deficit in Moebius syndrome is bilateral horizontal gaze palsy from pontine abducens nuclear defects, rather than abducens nerve involvement. Defects in the range or dynamic properties of vertical movements in subjects with congenital facial weakness may suggest involvement of ocular motor structures in the midbrain, including oculomotor nerves or nuclei, vertical supranuclear saccadic centres, and convergence neurons. Such deficits were found even in subjects with full vertical motility range. Classification of patterns of ocular motor deficits in congenital facial weakness may assist with further delineation of anatomic localization and identification of genetic deficits underlying these disorders.
Brain 2014

Parkinson disease: Intestinal levodopa infusion in PD—the first randomized trial

The first randomized, placebo-controlled trial of intrajejunal levodopa provides support for the benefits of continuous dopaminergic drug delivery. Motor fluctuations in patients with advanced Parkinson disease were markedly improved. In clinical practice, the symptomatic benefits of this treatment need to be weighed carefully against its adverse effect profile.

Nature Reviews Neurology 2014- advanced online pubblication

TREM2 Variant p.R47H as a Risk Factor for Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Importance  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease in which microglia play a significant and active role. Recently, a rare missense variant (p.R47H) in the microglial activating gene TREM2 was found to increase the risk of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease. Whether the p.R47H variant is a risk factor for ALS is not known.
Objectives  To determine whether p.R47H (rs75932628) in TREM2 is a risk factor for ALS and assess whether TREM2 expression is dysregulated in disease.
Design, Setting, and Participants  Samples of DNA from 923 individuals with sporadic ALS and 1854 healthy control individuals self-reported as non-Hispanic white were collected from ALS clinics in the United States and genotyped for the p.R47H variant in TREM2. Clinical data were obtained on ALS participants for genotype/phenotype correlations. Expression of TREM2 was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and compared in spinal cord samples from 18 autopsied patients with ALS and 12 neurologically healthy controls, as well as from wild-type and transgenic SOD1G93A mice.
Main Outcomes and Measures  Minor allele frequency of rs75932628 and relative expression of TREM2.
Results  The TREM2 variant p.R47H was more common in patients with ALS than in the controls and is therefore a significant risk factor for ALS (odds ratio, 2.40; 95% CI, 1.29-4.15; P = 4.1×10−3). Furthermore, TREM2 expression was increased in spinal cord samples from ALS patients andSOD1G93A mice (P = 2.8×10−4 and P = 2.8×10−9, respectively), confirming dysregulated TREM2 in disease. Expression of TREM2 in the human spinal cord was negatively correlated with survival (P = .04) but not with other phenotypic aspects of disease.
Conclusions and Relevance  This study demonstrates that the TREM2 p.R47H variant is a potent risk factor for sporadic ALS. To our knowledge, these findings identify the first genetic influence on neuroinflammation in ALS and highlight the TREM2 signaling pathway as a therapeutic target in ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.

JAMA Neurology 2014

Intracranial Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis and the Risk of Stroke in Whites

Importance  Intracranial atherosclerosis represents a relatively unexplored, but potentially important, cause of stroke in a white population.
Objective  To investigate the relationship between intracranial carotid artery calcification (ICAC) as a marker of intracranial atherosclerosis and the risk of stroke in whites.
Design, Setting, and Participants  A population-based cohort study in the general community with 6 years of follow-up was conducted (the Rotterdam Study). Between 2003 and 2006, a random sample of 2323 stroke-free persons (mean age, 69.5 years) underwent computed tomography scanning to quantify ICAC volume. All participants were continuously monitored for the occurrence of stroke until January 1, 2012.
Exposure  Atherosclerotic calcification in the intracranial internal carotid arteries.
Main Outcome and Measure  Incident stroke.
Results  During 14 055 person-years of follow-up, 91 participants had a stroke, of which 74 were ischemic. Larger ICAC volume was related to a higher risk of stroke, independent of cardiovascular risk factors, ultrasound carotid plaque score, and calcification in other vessels (fully adjusted hazard ratio per an increase of 1 SD in ICAC volume, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.04-1.96]). Intracranial carotid artery calcification contributed to 75% of all strokes; for aortic arch and extracranial carotid artery calcification this incidence was only 45% and 25%, respectively.
Conclusions and Relevance  Our findings establish intracranial atherosclerosis as a major risk factor for stroke in the general white population and suggest that its contribution to the proportion of all strokes may be greater than that of large-artery atherosclerosis in more proximally located vessel beds.

JAMA Neurology 2014

Mutations in GNAL A Novel Cause of Craniocervical Dystonia

Importance  Mutations in the GNAL gene have recently been shown to cause primary torsion dystonia. The GNAL-encoded protein (Gαolf) is important for dopamine D1 receptor function and odorant signal transduction. We sequenced all 12 exons of GNAL in 461 patients from Germany, Serbia, and Japan, including 318 patients with dystonia (190 with cervical dystonia), 51 with hyposmia and Parkinson disease, and 92 with tardive dyskinesia or acute dystonic reactions.
Observations  We identified the following two novel heterozygous putative mutations in GNAL: p.Gly213Ser in a German patient and p.Ala353Thr in a Japanese patient. These variants were predicted to be pathogenic in silico, were absent in ethnically matched control individuals, and impaired Gαolf coupling to D1 receptors in a bioluminescence energy transfer (BRET) assay. Two additional variants appeared to be benign because they behaved like wild-type samples in the BRET assay (p.Ala311Thr) or were detected in ethnically matched controls (p.Thr92Ala). Both patients with likely pathogenic mutations had craniocervical dystonia with onset in the fifth decade of life. No pathogenic mutations were detected in the patients with hyposmia and Parkinson disease, tardive dyskinesias, or acute dystonic reactions.
Conclusions and Relevance  Mutations in GNAL can cause craniocervical dystonia in different ethnicities. The BRET assay may be a useful tool to support the pathogenicity of identified variants in the GNAL gene.
JAMA Neurology 2014

Recurrence of ICH after resumption of anticoagulation with VK antagonists -CHIRONE STUDY

Objective: To evaluate the risk of recurrent intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in patients on vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) after a first episode of ICH.
Methods: The Cerebral Haemorrhage in patients Restarting Oral Anticoagulant Therapy (CHIRONE) Study collected data of patients eligible for the study from the database of 27 centers affiliated with the Italian Federation of Anticoagulation Clinics.
Results: We enrolled 267 patients (163 male, median age 73.9 years) who had received VKA anticoagulation after an ICH event. During the total period of follow-up (778 patient-years), ICH recurred in 20 patients (7.5%; rate 2.56 × 100 patient-years) at a median time of 16.5 months, and was fatal in 5 patients (25%; rate 0.4 × 100 patient-years). Male sex, hypertension, prosthetic valves, previous ischemic stroke, renal failure, cancer, and spontaneous events were associated with the risk of recurrence, though none of them in isolation reached statistical significance. More than one-third of spontaneous recurrences occurred in patients with a posttraumatic index event.
Conclusions: Our results show that patients with a history of ICH carry a significant risk of recurrent ICH when treated with VKA anticoagulation. The risk is also present, though to a lower degree, in patients with previous posttraumatic events. All patients with a history of ICH require a careful evaluation of their thromboembolic risk to estimate the net clinical benefit of (re)starting anticoagulation with VKAs.

Neurology 2014

ALS2 mutations Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and generalized dystonia

Objective: To determine the genetic etiology in 2 consanguineous families who presented a novel phenotype of autosomal recessive juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis associated with generalized dystonia.
Methods: A combination of homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing in the first family and Sanger sequencing of candidate genes in the second family were used.
Results: Both families were found to have homozygous loss-of-function mutations in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 2 (juvenile) (ALS2) gene.
Conclusions: We report generalized dystonia and cerebellar signs in association with ALS2-related disease. We suggest that the ALS2 gene should be screened for mutations in patients who present with a similar phenotype.

Neurology 2014

domenica 16 febbraio 2014

Association of Parkinson Disease Risk Loci With Mild Parkinsonian Signs in Older Persons

Importance  Parkinsonian motor signs are common in the aging population and are associated with adverse health outcomes. Compared with Parkinson disease (PD), potential genetic risk factors for mild parkinsonian signs have been largely unexplored.
Objective  To determine whether PD susceptibility loci are associated with parkinsonism or substantia nigra pathology in a large community-based cohort of older persons.
Design, Setting, and Participants  Eighteen candidate single-nucleotide polymorphisms from PD genome-wide association studies were evaluated in a joint clinicopathologic cohort. Participants included 1698 individuals and a nested autopsy collection of 821 brains from the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project, 2 prospective community-based studies.
Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary outcomes were a quantitative measure of global parkinsonism or component measures of bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor, and gait impairment that were based on the motor Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale. In secondary analyses, we examined associations with additional quantitative motor traits and postmortem indices, including substantia nigra Lewy bodies and neuronal loss.
Results  Parkinson disease risk alleles in the MAPT (rs2942168; P = .0006) and CCDC62(rs12817488; P = .004) loci were associated with global parkinsonism, and these associations remained after exclusion of patients with a PD diagnosis. Based on motor Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale subscores, MAPT (P = .0002) and CCDC62 (P = .003) were predominantly associated with bradykinesia, and we further discovered associations between SREBF1 (rs11868035; P = .005) and gait impairment, SNCA (rs356220; P = .04) and rigidity, and GAK (rs1564282; P = .03) and tremor. In the autopsy cohort, only NMD3 (rs34016896; P = .03) was related to nigral neuronal loss, and no associations were detected with Lewy bodies.
Conclusions and Relevance  In addition to the established link to PD susceptibility, our results support a broader role for several loci in the development of parkinsonian motor signs and nigral pathology in older persons.

JAMA Neurology 2014

Phosphorylated Tau as a Candidate Biomarker for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Importance  An increasingly varied clinical spectrum of cases with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been identified, and objective criteria for clinical trial eligibility are necessary.
Objective  To develop a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of ALS.
Design, Setting, and Participants  A case-control study including 51 individuals with ALS and 23 individuals with a disorder associated with a 4-repeat tauopathy was conducted at an academic medical center.
Main Outcomes and Measures  The CSF level of tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (ptau) and ratio of ptau to total tau (ttau).
Results  Using a cross-validation prediction procedure, we found significantly reduced CSF levels of ptau and the ptau:ttau ratio in ALS relative to 4-repeat tauopathy and to controls. In the validation cohort, the receiver operating characteristic area under the curve for the ptau:ttau ratio was 0.916, and the comparison of ALS with 4-repeat tauopathy showed 92.0% sensitivity and 91.7% specificity. Correct classification based on a low CSF ptau:ttau ratio was confirmed in 18 of 21 cases (86%) with autopsy-proved or genetically determined disease. In patients with available measures, ptau:ttau in ALS correlated with clinical measures of disease severity, such as the Mini-Mental State Examination (n = 51) and ALS Functional Rating Scale–Revised (n = 42), and regression analyses related the ptau:ttau ratio to magnetic resonance imaging (n = 10) evidence of disease in the corticospinal tract and white matter projections involving the prefrontal cortex.
Conclusions and Relevance  The CSF ptau:ttau ratio may be a candidate biomarker to provide objective support for the diagnosis of ALS

JAMA Neurology 2014

The Growth and Impact of Alzheimer Disease Centers as Measured by Social Network Analysis

Importance  Alzheimer disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with no effective therapies. In 1984, the National Institute on Aging created the first 5 AD centers (ADCs) in an effort to coordinate research efforts into the pathology and treatment of the disease. Since that time, the ADC program has expanded to include 27 centers in major medical schools throughout the United States. A major aim of ADCs is to develop shared resources, such as tissue samples and patient populations, and thereby promote large-scale, high-impact studies that go beyond the capabilities of any single investigator or institution working in isolation.
Objective  To quantitatively evaluate the performance of the ADC program over the past 25 years.
Design and Setting  We systematically harvested every article published by ADC investigators and used social network analysis to analyze copublication networks.
Results  A total of 12170 ADC papers were published from 1985 through 2012. The frequency of collaborations has increased greatly from the time that the ADCs were started until the present, even after the expansion of ADCs and the recruitment of new investigators plateaued. Moreover, the collaborations established within the context of the ADC program are increasingly interinstitutional, consistent with the overall goal of the program to catalyze multicenter research teams. Most important, we determined that collaborative multi-ADC research articles are consistently of higher impact than AD articles as a whole.
Conclusions and Relevance  The ADC program has successfully fostered high-impact, multiuniversity collaborations; we suggest that its structural and administrative features could be replicated in other fields of patient-oriented research.

JAMA Neurology 2014

Parkinson Disease subtypes

Importance  It is increasingly evident that Parkinson disease (PD) is not a single entity but rather a heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder.
Objective  To evaluate available evidence, based on findings from clinical, imaging, genetic and pathologic studies, supporting the differentiation of PD into subtypes.
Evidence Review  We performed a systematic review of articles cited in PubMed between 1980 and 2013 using the following search terms: Parkinson disease, parkinsonism, tremor, postural instability and gait difficulty, and Parkinson diseasesubtypes. The final reference list was generated on the basis of originality and relevance to the broad scope of this review.
Findings  Several subtypes, such as tremor-dominant PD and postural instability gait difficulty form of PD, have been found to cluster together. Other subtypes also have been identified, but validation by subtype-specific biomarkers is still lacking.
Conclusions and Relevance  Several PD subtypes have been identified, but the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the observed clinicopathologic heterogeneity in PD are still not well understood. Further research into subtype-specific diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers may provide insights into mechanisms of neurodegeneration and improve epidemiologic and therapeutic clinical trial designs.

JAMA Nerology 2014

Blood pressure variability and outcome after acute intracerebral haemorrhage: a post-hoc analysis of INTERACT2, a randomised controlled trial

INTERACT2 enrolled 2839 adults with spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) and high systolic blood pressure (150—220 mm Hg) without a definite indication or contraindication to early intensive treatment to reduce blood pressure. Participants were randomly assigned to intensive treatment (target systolic blood pressure <140 mm Hg within 1 h using locally available intravenous drugs) or guideline-recommended treatment (target systolic blood pressure <180 mm Hg) within 6 h of onset of ICH. The primary outcome was death or major disability at 90 days (modified Rankin Scale score ≥3) and the secondary outcome was an ordinal shift in modified Rankin Scale scores at 90 days, assessed by investigators masked to treatment allocation. Blood pressure variability was defined according to standard criteria: five measurements were taken in the first 24 h (hyperacute phase) and 12 over days 2—7 (acute phase). We estimated associations between blood pressure variability and outcomes with logistic and proportional odds regression models. The key parameter for blood pressure variability was standard deviation (SD) of systolic blood pressure, categorised into quintiles.
We studied 2645 (93·2%) participants in the hyperacute phase and 2347 (82·7%) in the acute phase. In both treatment cohorts combined, SD of systolic blood pressure had a significant linear association with the primary outcome for both the hyperacute phase (highest quintile adjusted OR 1·41, 95% CI 1·05—1·90; ptrend=0·0167) and the acute phase (highest quintile adjusted OR 1·57, 95% CI 1·14—2·17; ptrend=0·0124). The strongest predictors of outcome were maximum systolic blood pressure in the hyperacute phase and SD of systolic blood pressure in the acute phase. Associations were similar for the secondary outcome (for the hyperacute phase, highest quintile adjusted OR 1·43, 95% CI 1·14—1·80; ptrend=0·0014; for the acute phase OR 1·46, 95% CI 1·13—1·88; ptrend=0·0044).

Lancet Neurology 2014

Axonal Transport of TDP-43 mRNA Granules Is Impaired by ALS-Causing Mutations

The RNA-binding protein TDP-43 regulates RNA metabolism at multiple levels, including transcription, RNA splicing, and mRNA stability. TDP-43 is a major component of the cytoplasmic inclusions characteristic of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and some types of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. The importance of TDP-43 in disease is underscored by the fact that dominant missense mutations are sufficient to cause disease, although the role of TDP-43 in pathogenesis is unknown. Here we show that TDP-43 forms cytoplasmic mRNP granules that undergo bidirectional, microtubule-dependent transport in neurons in vitro and in vivo and facilitate delivery of target mRNA to distal neuronal compartments. TDP-43 mutations impair this mRNA transport function in vivo and in vitro, including in stem cell-derived motor neurons from ALS patients bearing any one of three different TDP-43 ALS-causing mutations. Thus, TDP-43 mutations that cause ALS lead to partial loss of a novel cytoplasmic function of TDP-43.

Neuron 2014

SIRT1 in Neurodevelopment and Brain Senescence

Sirtuins are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)-dependent deacylases that have traditionally been linked with calorie restriction and aging in mammals. These proteins also play an important role in maintaining neuronal health during aging. During neuronal development, the SIR2 ortholog SIRT1 is structurally important, promoting axonal elongation, neurite outgrowth, and dendritic branching. This sirtuin also plays a role in memory formation by modulating synaptic plasticity. Hypothalamic functions that affect feeding behavior, endocrine function, and circadian rhythmicity are all regulated by SIRT1. Finally, SIRT1 plays protective roles in several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and motor neuron diseases, which may relate to its functions in metabolism, stress resistance, and genomic stability. Drugs that activate SIRT1 may offer a promising approach to treat these disorders.

Neuron 2014

Biochemical stages of amyloid-β peptide aggregation and accumulation in the human brain and their association with symptomatic and pathologically preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the deposition of amyloid-β peptide in the brain. N-terminal truncation resulting in the formation of AβN3pE and phosphorylation at serine 8 have been reported to modify aggregation properties of amyloid-β. Biochemically, soluble, dispersible, membrane-associated, and insoluble, plaque-associated amyloid-β aggregates have been distinguished. Soluble and dispersible amyloid-β aggregates are both in mixture with the extracellular or intracellular fluid but dispersible aggregates can be cleared from proteins in solution by ultracentrifugation. To clarify the role of phosphorylated amyloid-β and AβN3pE in soluble, dispersible, membrane-associated, and plaque-associated amyloid-β aggregates in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease we studied brains from 21 cases with symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease, 33 pathologically preclinical Alzheimer’s disease cases, and 20 control cases. Western blot analysis showed that soluble, dispersible, membrane-associated and plaque-associated amyloid-β aggregates in the earliest preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease did not exhibit detectable amounts of AβN3pE and phosphorylated amyloid-β. This stage was referred to as biochemical stage 1 of amyloid-β aggregation and accumulation. In biochemical amyloid-β stage 2, AβN3pE was additionally found whereas phosphorylated amyloid-β was restricted to biochemical amyloid-β stage 3, the last stage of amyloid-β aggregation. Phosphorylated amyloid-β was seen in the dispersible, membrane-associated, and plaque-associated fraction. All cases with symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease in our sample fulfilled biochemical amyloid-β stage 3 criteria, i.e. detection of phosphorylated amyloid-β. Most, but not all, cases with pathologically preclinical Alzheimer’s disease had biochemical amyloid-β stages 1 or 2. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the hierarchical occurrence of amyloid-β, AβN3pE, and phosphorylated amyloid-β in amyloid plaques. Phosphorylated amyloid-β containing plaques were, thereby, seen in all symptomatic cases with Alzheimer’s disease but only in a few non-demented control subjects. The biochemical amyloid-β stages correlated with the expansion of amyloid-β plaque deposition and with that of neurofibrillary tangle pathology. Taken together, we demonstrate that AβN3pE and phosphorylated amyloid-β are not only detectable in plaques, but also in soluble and dispersible amyloid-β aggregates outside of plaques. They occur in a hierarchical sequence that allows the distinction of three stages. In light of our findings, it is tempting to speculate that this hierarchical, biochemical sequence of amyloid-β aggregation and accumulation is related to disease progression and may be relevant for an increasing toxicity of amyloid-β aggregates.

Brain 2014

Glucocerebrosidase is shaking up the synucleinopathies

The lysosomal enzyme glucocerebrosidase, encoded by the glucocerebrosidase gene, is involved in the breakdown of glucocerebroside into glucose and ceramide. Lysosomal build-up of the substrate glucocerebroside occurs in cells of the reticulo-endothelial system in patients with Gaucher disease, a rare lysosomal storage disorder caused by the recessively inherited deficiency of glucocerebrosidase. Gaucher disease has a broad clinical phenotypic spectrum, divided into non-neuronopathic and neuronopathic forms. Like many monogenic diseases, the correlation between clinical manifestations and molecular genotype is not straightforward. There is now a well-established clinical association between mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene and the development of more prevalent multifactorial disorders including Parkinson’s disease and other synucleinopathies. In this review we discuss recent studies advancing our understanding of the cellular relationship between glucocerebrosidase and α-synuclein, the potential impact of established and emerging therapeutics for Gaucher disease for the treatment of the synucleinopathies, and the role of lysosomal pathways in the pathogenesis of these neurodegenerative disorders.

Brain 2014

The expanding clinical and genetic spectrum of ATP1A3-related disorders

Objective: We aimed to delineate the clinical and genetic spectrum of ATP1A3-related disorders and recognition of a potential genotype-phenotype correlation.
Methods: We identified 16 new patients with alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) and 3 new patients with rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism (RDP) and included these as well as the clinical and molecular findings of all previously reported 164 patients with mutation-positive AHC and RDP in our analyses.
Results: Major clinical characteristics shared in common by AHC and RDP comprise a strikingly asymmetric, predominantly dystonic movement disorder with rostrocaudal gradient of involvement and physical, emotional, or chemical stressors as triggers. The clinical courses include an early-onset polyphasic for AHC, a later-onset mono- or biphasic for RDP, as well as intermediate forms. Meta-analysis of the 8 novel and 38 published ATP1A3 mutations shows that the ones affecting transmembrane and functional domains tend to be associated with AHC as the more severe phenotype. The majority of mutations are located in exons 8, 14, 17, and 18.
Conclusion: AHC and RDP constitute clinical prototypes in a continuous phenotypic spectrum of ATP1A3-related disorders. Intermediate phenotypes combining criteria of both conditions are increasingly recognized. Efficient stepwise mutation analysis of the ATP1A3 gene may prioritize those exons where current state of knowledge indicates mutational clusters.

Neurology 2014

Randomized trial of IV valproate vs metoclopramide vs ketorolac for acute migraine

Objective: We compared the efficacy of IV valproate with metoclopramide and with ketorolac in patients presenting to an emergency department (ED) with acute migraine.
Methods: This was a double-blind comparative efficacy trial. Patients were randomized to 1,000 mg sodium valproate, 10 mg metoclopramide, or 30 mg ketorolac, each administered as an IV drip over 15 minutes. The primary outcome was improvement in headache by 1 hour, measured on a verbal 0 to 10 scale, at baseline and 60 minutes later. Important secondary outcomes included (1) need for rescue medication in the ED, and (2) sustained headache freedom.
Results: Three hundred thirty patients were enrolled over 30 months beginning in October 2010. Baseline characteristics were comparable among the 3 arms. On the primary outcome, patients receiving IV valproate improved by a mean of 2.8 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.3, 3.3) on the 0 to 10 scale; those receiving IV metoclopramide improved by 4.7 (95% CI: 4.2, 5.2); and those receiving IV ketorolac improved by 3.9 (95% CI: 3.3, 4.5). On the secondary endpoints, 69% (95% CI: 60%, 78%) of patients receiving valproate required rescue medication, compared with 33% (95% CI: 24%, 42%) of metoclopramide patients and 52% (95% CI: 42%, 63%) of those assigned to ketorolac. Sustained headache freedom was achieved in 4% (95% CI: 0%, 7%) of those randomized to valproate, 11% (95% CI: 5%, 17%) of metoclopramide patients, and 16% (95% CI: 9%, 23%) receiving ketorolac. In the metoclopramide arm, 6% (95% CI: 3%, 12%) of patients reported feeling “very restless” after investigational medication administration.
Conclusions: Valproate was less efficacious than either metoclopramide or ketorolac. Metoclopramide demonstrated superiority to ketorolac on several endpoints.
Classification of evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that in ED patients with acute migraine, IV valproate is inferior to metoclopramide or ketorolac in improving headache outcomes
Neurology 2014