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  • Romano, Roberta; Rivellini, Cristina; De Luca, Maria; Tonlorenzi, Rossana; Beli, Raffaella; Manganelli, Fiore; Nolano, Maria; Santoro, Lucio; Eskelinen, Eeva-Liisa; Previtali, Stefano C.; Bucci, Cecilia (2021)
    The small GTPase RAB7A regulates late stages of the endocytic pathway and plays specific roles in neurons, controlling neurotrophins trafficking and signaling, neurite outgrowth and neuronal migration. Mutations in the RAB7A gene cause the autosomal dominant Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2B (CMT2B) disease, an axonal peripheral neuropathy. As several neurodegenerative diseases are caused by alterations of endocytosis, we investigated whether CMT2B-causing mutations correlate with changes in this process. To this purpose, we studied the endocytic pathway in skin fibroblasts from healthy and CMT2B individuals. We found higher expression of late endocytic proteins in CMT2B cells compared to control cells, as well as higher activity of cathepsins and higher receptor degradation activity. Consistently, we observed an increased number of lysosomes, accompanied by higher lysosomal degradative activity in CMT2B cells. Furthermore, we found increased migration and increased RAC1 and MMP-2 activation in CMT2B compared to control cells. To validate these data, we obtained sensory neurons from patient and control iPS cells, to confirm increased lysosomal protein expression and lysosomal activity in CMT2B-derived neurons. Altogether, these results demonstrate that in CMT2B patient-derived cells, the endocytic degradative pathway is altered, suggesting that higher lysosomal activity contributes to neurodegeneration occurring in CMT2B.
  • Annanmaki, Tua; Palmu, Kirsi; Murros, Kari; Partanen, Juhani (2017)
    The diagnosis of cognitive impairment and dementia often occurring with Parkinson's disease (PD) is still based on the clinical picture and neuropsychological examination. Ancillary methods to detect cognitive decline in these patients are, therefore, needed. Alterations in the latencies and amplitudes of evoked response potential (ERP) components N100 and P200 have been described in PD. Due to limited number of studies their relation to cognitive deficits in PD remains obscure. The present study was designed to examine if alterations in the N100- and P200-potentials associate with neuropsychological impairment in PD. EEG-ERP was conducted to 18 PD patients and 24 healthy controls. The patients underwent a thorough neuropsychological evaluation. The controls were screened for cognitive impairment with Consortium to Establish Alzheimer's disease (CERAD)-testing and a normal result were required to be included in the study. The N100-latency was prolonged in the patients compared to the controls (p = 0.05). In the patients, the N100 latency correlated significantly with a visual working memory task (p = 0.01). Also N100 latency was prolonged and N100 amplitude habituation diminished in the patients achieving poorly in this task. We conclude that prolonged N100-latency and diminished amplitude habituation associate with visual working memory impairment in PD.
  • Ni, Ruiqing; Gillberg, Per-Goran; Bogdanovic, Nenad; Viitanen, Matti; Myllykangas, Liisa; Nennesmo, Inger; Langstrom, Bengt; Nordberg, Agneta (2017)
    Introduction: Amyloid imaging has been integrated into diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease (AD). How amyloid tracers binding differ for different tracer structures and amyloid-beta aggregates in autosomal dominant AD (ADAD) and sporadic AD is unclear. Methods: Binding properties of different amyloid tracers were examined in brain homogenates from six ADAD with APPswe, PS1 M146V, and PS1 E Delta 9 mutations, 13 sporadic AD, and 14 control cases. Results: H-3-PIB, H-3-florbetaben, H-3-AZD2184, and BTA-1 shared a high-and a varying low-affinity binding site in the frontal cortex of sporadic AD. AZD2184 detected another binding site (affinity 33 nM) in the frontal cortex of ADAD. The H-3-AZD2184 and H-3-PIB binding were significantly higher in the striatum of ADAD compared to sporadic AD and control. Polyphenol resveratrol showed strongest inhibition on H-3-AZD84 binding followed by H-3-florbetaben and minimal on H-3-PIB. Discussion: This study implies amyloid tracers of different structures detect different sites on amyloid-beta fibrils or conformations. (C) 2016 the Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Vaskivuo, Laura; Hokkanen, Laura; Hänninen, Tuomo; Antikainen, Riitta; Bäckman, Lars; Laatikainen, Tiina; Paajanen, Teemu; Stigsdotter-Neely, Anna; Strandberg, Timo; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Soininen, Hilkka; Kivipelto, Miia; Ngandu, Tiia (2018)
    Objectives: Subjective memory complaints (SMCs) are among the key concerns in the elderly, but their role in detecting objective cognitive problems is unclear. The aim of this study was to clarify the association between SMCs (both prospective and retrospective memory complaints) and neuropsychological test performance in older adults at risk of cognitive decline. Methods: This investigation is part of the FINGER project, a multicenter randomized controlled trial aiming at preventing cognitive decline in high-risk individuals. The cognitive assessment of participants was conducted at baseline using a modified neuropsychological test battery (NTB). SMCs were evaluated with the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ) in a sub-sample of 560 participants (mean age, 69.9 years). Results: Having more prospective SMCs was associated with slower processing speed, but not with other NTB domains. Retrospective SMCs were linked to poorer function on NTB total score, processing speed, and memory. Executive function domain was not associated with any PRMQ ratings. Depressive symptoms and poor quality of life diluted the observed associations for NTB total score and memory. However, the association between PRMQ and processing speed remained even after full adjustments. Conclusions: Our results indicate that self-reported memory problems, measured with PRMQ, are associated with objectively measured cognitive performance. Such complaints in healthy elderly people also seem to reflect reduced mental tempo, rather than memory deficits. Slowing of processing speed may thus be negatively related to memory self-efficacy. It is also important to consider affective factors among those who report memory problems.
  • Öhman, Hannareeta; Savikko, N. R. N.; Strandberg, T. E.; Kautiainen, H.; Raivio, M. M.; Laakkonen, M. L.; Tilvis, R.; Pitkala, K. H. (2017)
    Background: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are common in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and are associated with admission to institutional care. Current guidelines recommend non-pharmacological interventions as the first-line treatment for NPS. However, high-quality randomized studies focused on NPS are scarce. The objective here was to examine whether a regular and long-term exercise programme either at home or as a group-based exercise at an adult day care centre has beneficial effects on AD patients' NPS or permanent institutionalizations. Design, setting, and participants: A randomized, controlled trial with 210 community-dwelling AD patients. Intervention: Two types of intervention comprising (1) group-based exercise in day care centres (GE) and (2) tailored home-based exercise (HE), both twice a week for 12 months, were compared with (3) a control group (CG) receiving usual community care. Measurements: NPS were measured with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) at baseline and 6 months, and depression with the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) at baseline and 12 months. Data on institutionalizations were retrieved from central registers. Results: No significant differences between the groups were detected in NPI at 6 months or in CSDD at 12 months when analyses were adjusted for age, sex, baseline Clinical Dementia Rating, and Functional Independence Measure. There was no difference in admissions to permanent institutional care between the groups. Conclusions: Regular, long-term exercise intervention did not decrease NPS in patients with AD. (C) 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS and European Union Geriatric Medicine Society. All rights reserved.
  • Lindgren, Noora; Kaprio, Jaakko; Rinne, Juha; Vuoksimaa, Eero (2019)
    Objective To investigate the effect of familial risk for dementia on verbal learning by comparing cognitively healthy twins who had demented co-twins with cognitively healthy twins who had cognitively healthy co-twins. Methods 4367 twins aged >= 65 years including 1375 twin pairs (533 monozygotic (MZ), 823 dizygotic (DZ) and 19 unknown zygosity pairs) from a population-based Finnish Twin Cohort participated in a cross-sectional telephone assessment for dementia and in a single free recall trial of a 10-item word list. Results Cognitively healthy twins with demented co-twins (n=101 pairs) recalled less words than cognitively healthy twins with cognitively healthy co-twins (n=770 pairs) after adjusting for age, sex and education, B=-0.44, 95% C I (-0.73 to -0.14), p=0.003. The effect size was similar in MZ (n=31) twins (3.88 vs 4.29 words, B=-0.41, 95% C I (-0.96 to 0.13)) and DZ (n=66) twins (3.70 vs 4.17 words, B=-0.47, 95% C I (-0.84 to -0.10)). The heritability estimate of immediate recall (IR) was 0.37, 95% C I (0.21 to 0.43). Conclusions The results demonstrate that familial risk for dementia is reflected in the IR performance of cognitively healthy older persons. The finding of poorer IR performance in non-affected siblings compared with the general population, together with substantial heritability of IR, supports IR as a useful endophenotype for molecular genetic studies of dementia.
  • Virachit, Sophie; Mathews, Kathryn J.; Cottam, Veronica; Werry, Eryn; Galli, Emilia; Rappou, Elisabeth; Lindholm, Pӓivi; Saarma, Mart; Halliday, Glenda M.; Weickert, Cynthia Shannon; Double, Kay L. (2019)
    Growth factors can facilitate hippocampus-based learning and memory and are potential targets for treatment of cognitive dysfunction via their neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects. Dementia is common in Parkinson's disease (PD), but treatment options are limited. We aimed to determine if levels of growth factors are altered in the hippocampus of patients with PD, and if such alterations are associated with PD pathology. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to quantify seven growth factors in fresh frozen hippocampus from 10 PD and nine age-matched control brains. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to explore cellular and inflammatory changes that may be associated with growth factor alterations. In the PD hippocampus, protein levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were significantly decreased, despite no evidence of neuronal loss. In contrast, protein levels of fibroblast growth factor 2 and cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor were significantly increased in PD compared to controls. Levels of the growth factors epidermal growth factor, heparin-binding epidermal growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor did not differ between groups. Our data demonstrate changes in specific growth factors in the hippocampus of the PD brain, which potentially represent targets for modification to help attenuate cognitive decline in PD. These data also suggest that multiple growth factors and direction of change needs to be considered when approaching growth factors as a potential treatment for cognitive decline.
  • Tian, Li; Hui, Chin Wai; Bisht, Kanchan; Tan, Yunlong; Sharma, Kaushik; Chen, Song; Zhang, Xiangyang; Tremblay, Marie-Eve (2017)
    Mounting evidence indicates the importance of microglia for proper brain development and function, as well as in complex stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders and cognitive decline along the aging trajectory. Considering that microglia are resident immune cells of the brain, a homeostatic maintenance of their effector functions that impact neuronal circuitry, such as phagocytosis and secretion of inflammatory factors, is critical to prevent the onset and progression of these pathological conditions. However, the molecular mechanisms by which microglial functions can be properly regulated under healthy and pathological conditions are still largely unknown. We aim to summarize recent progress regarding the effects of psychosocial stress and oxidative stress on microglial phenotypes, leading to neuroinflammation and impaired microglia-synapse interactions, notably through our own studies of inbred mouse strains, and most importantly, to discuss about promising therapeutic strategies that take advantage of microglial functions to tackle such brain disorders in the context of adult psychosocial stress or aging-induced oxidative stress. (c) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Vuoksimaa, Eero; McEvoy, Linda K.; Holland, Dominic; Franz, Carol E.; Kremen, William S. (2020)
    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a heterogeneous condition with variable outcomes. Improving diagnosis to increase the likelihood that MCI reliably reflects prodromal Alzheimer's Disease (AD) would be of great benefit for clinical practice and intervention trials. In 230 cognitively normal (CN) and 394 MCI individuals from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, we studied whether an MCI diagnostic requirement of impairment on at least two episodic memory tests improves 3-year prediction of medial temporal lobe atrophy and progression to AD. Based on external age-adjusted norms for delayed free recall on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT), MCI participants were further classified as having normal (AVLT+, above -1 SD, n = 121) or impaired (AVLT -, -1 SD or below, n = 273) AVLT performance. CN, AVLT+, and AVLT- groups differed significantly on baseline brain (hippocampus, entorhinal cortex) and cerebrospinal fluid (amyloid, tau, p-tau) biomarkers, with the AVLT- group being most abnormal. The AVLT- group had significantly more medial temporal atrophy and a substantially higher AD progression rate than the AVLT+ group (51% vs. 16%, p <0.001). The AVLT+ group had similar medial temporal trajectories compared to CN individuals. Results were similar even when restricted to individuals with above average (based on the CN group mean) baseline medial temporal volume/thickness. Requiring impairment on at least two memory tests for MCI diagnosis can markedly improve prediction of medial temporal atrophy and conversion to AD, even in the absence of baseline medial temporal atrophy. This modification constitutes a practical and cost-effective approach for clinical and research settings.
  • Sami, Saber; Williams, Nitin; Hughes, Laura E.; Cope, Thomas E.; Rittman, Timothy; Coyle-Gilchrist, Ian T. S.; Henson, Richard N.; Rowe, James B. (2018)
    The disruption of brain networks is characteristic of neurodegenerative dementias. However, it is controversial whether changes in connectivity reflect only the functional anatomy of disease, with selective vulnerability of brain networks, or the specific neurophysiological consequences of different neuropathologies within brain networks. We proposed that the oscillatory dynamics of cortical circuits reflect the tuning of local neural interactions, such that different pathologies are selective in their impact on the frequency spectrum of oscillations, whereas clinical syndromes reflect the anatomical distribution of pathology and physiological change. To test this hypothesis, we used magnetoencephalography from five patient groups, representing dissociated pathological subtypes and distributions across frontal, parietal and temporal lobes: amnestic Alzheimer's disease, posterior cortical atrophy, and three syndromes associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration. We measured effective connectivity with graph theory-based measures of local efficiency, using partial directed coherence between sensors. As expected, each disease caused large-scale changes of neurophysiological brain networks, with reductions in local efficiency compared to controls. Critically however, the frequency range of altered connectivity was consistent across clinical syndromes that shared a likely underlying pathology, whilst the localization of changes differed between clinical syndromes. Multivariate pattern analysis of the frequency-specific topographies of local efficiency separated the disorders from each other and from controls (accuracy 62% to 100%, according to the groups' differences in likely pathology and clinical syndrome). The data indicate that magnetoencephalography has the potential to reveal specific changes in neurophysiology resulting from neurodegenerative disease. Our findings confirm that while clinical syndromes have characteristic anatomical patterns of abnormal connectivity that may be identified with other methods like structural brain imaging, the different mechanisms of neurodegeneration also cause characteristic spectral signatures of physiological coupling that are not accessible with structural imaging nor confounded by the neurovascular signalling of functional MRI. We suggest that these spectral characteristics of altered connectivity are the result of differential disruption of neuronal microstructure and synaptic physiology by Alzheimer's disease versus frontotemporal lobar degeneration.
  • Nikolaev, Alexandre; Higby, Eve; Hyun, JungMoon; Lehtonen, Minna; Ashaie, Sameer; Hallikainen, Merja; Hänninen, Tuomo; Soininen, Hilkka (2020)
    While cognitive changes in aging and neurodegenerative disease have been widely studied, language changes in these populations are less well understood. Inflecting novel words in a language with complex inflectional paradigms provides a good opportunity to observe how language processes change in normal and abnormal aging. Studies of language acquisition suggest that children inflect novel words based on their phonological similarity to real words they already know. It is unclear whether speakers continue to use the same strategy when encountering novel words throughout the lifespan or whether adult speakers apply symbolic rules. We administered a simple speech elicitation task involving Finnish-conforming pseudo-words and real Finnish words to healthy older adults, individuals with mild cognitive impairment, and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to investigate inflectional choices in these groups and how linguistic variables and disease severity predict inflection patterns. Phonological resemblance of novel words to both a regular and an irregular inflectional type, as well as bigram frequency of the novel words, significantly influenced participants’ inflectional choices for novel words among the healthy elderly group and people with AD. The results support theories of inflection by phonological analogy (single-route models) and contradict theories advocating for formal symbolic rules (dual-route models).
  • Bajo, R.; Pusil, S.; Lopez, M. E.; Canuet, L.; Pereda, E.; Osipova, D.; Maestu, F.; Pekkonen, E. (2015)
    Scopolamine administration may be considered as a psychopharmacological model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we studied a group of healthy elderly under scopolamine to test whether it elicits similar changes in brain connectivity as those observed in AD, thereby verifying a possible model of AD impairment. We did it by testing healthy elderly subjects in two experimental conditions: glycopyrrolate (placebo) and scopolamine administration. We then analyzed magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data corresponding to both conditions in resting-state with eyes closed. This analysis was performed in source space by combining a nonlinear frequency band-specific measure of functional connectivity (phase locking value, PLV) with network analysis methods. Under scopolamine, functional connectivity between several brain areas was significantly reduced as compared to placebo, in most frequency bands analyzed. Besides, regarding the two complex network indices studied (clustering and shortest path length), clustering significantly decreased in the alpha band while shortest path length significantly increased also in alpha band both after scopolamine administration. Overall our findings indicate that both PLV and graph analysis are suitable tools to measure brain connectivity changes induced by scopolamine, which causes alterations in brain connectivity apparently similar to those reported in AD.
  • Ahmadi-Abhari, Sara; Guzman-Castillo, Maria; Bandosz, Piotr; Shipley, Martin J.; Muniz-Terrera, Graciela; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Kivimaki, Mika; Steptoe, Andrew; Capewell, Simon; O'Flaherty, Martin; Brunner, Eric J. (2017)
    OBJECTIVE To forecast dementia prevalence with a dynamic modelling approach that integrates calendar trends in dementia incidence with those for mortality and cardiovascular disease. DESIGN Modelling study. SETTING General adult population of England and Wales. PARTICIPANTS The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) is a representative panel study with six waves of data across 2002-13. Men and women aged 50 or more years, selected randomly, and their cohabiting partners were recruited to the first wave of ELSA (2002-03). 11392 adults participated (response rate 67%). To maintain representativeness, refreshment participants were recruited to the study at subsequent waves. The total analytical sample constituted 17 906 people. Constant objective criteria based on cognitive and functional impairment were used to ascertain dementia cases at each wave. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES To estimate calendar trends in dementia incidence, correcting for bias due to loss to follow-up of study participants, a joint model of longitudinal and time-to-event data was fitted to ELSA data. To forecast future dementia prevalence, the probabilistic Markov model IMPACT-BAM (IMPACT-Better Ageing Model) was developed. IMPACT-BAM models transitions of the population aged 35 or more years through states of cardiovascular disease, cognitive and functional impairment, and dementia, to death. It enables prediction of dementia prevalence while accounting for the growing pool of susceptible people as a result of increased life expectancy and the competing effects due to changes in mortality, and incidence of cardiovascular disease. RESULTS In ELSA, dementia incidence was estimated at 14.3 per 1000 person years in men and 17.0/1000 person years in women aged 50 or more in 2010. Dementia incidence declined at a relative rate of 2.7% (95% confidence interval 2.4% to 2.9%) for each year during 2002-13. Using IMPACT-BAM, we estimated there were approximately 767 000 (95% uncertainty interval 735 000 to 797 000) people with dementia in England and Wales in 2016. Despite the decrease in incidence and age specific prevalence, the number of people with dementia is projected to increase to 872 000, 1 092 000, and 1 205 000 in 2020, 2030, and 2040, respectively. A sensitivity analysis without the incidence decline gave a much larger projected growth, of more than 1.9 million people with dementia in 2040. CONCLUSIONS Age specific dementia incidence is declining. The number of people with dementia in England and Wales is likely to increase by 57% from 2016 to 2040. This increase is mainly driven by improved life expectancy.
  • Savolainen-Peltonen, Hanna; Rahkola-Soisalo, Päivi; Hoti, Fabian; Vattulainen, Pia; Gissler, Mika; Ylikorkala, Olavi; Mikkola, Tomi S. (2019)
    OBJECTIVES To compare the use of hormone therapy between Finnish postmenopausal women with and without a diagnosis for Alzheimer's disease. DESIGN Nationwide case-control study. SETTING Finnish national population and drug register, between 1999 and 2013. PARTICIPANTS All postmenopausal women (n= 84 739) in Finland who, between 1999 and 2013, received a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease from a neurologist or geriatrician, and who were identified from a national drug register. Control women without a diagnosis (n= 84 739), matched by age and hospital district, were traced from the Finnish national population register. INTERVENTIONS Data on hormone therapy use were obtained from the Finnish national drug reimbursement register. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for Alzheimer's disease, calculated with conditional logistic regression analysis. RESULTS In 83 688 (98.8%) women, a diagnosis for Alzheimer's disease was made at the age of 60 years or older, and 47 239 (55.7%) women had been over 80 years of age at diagnosis. Use of systemic hormone therapy was associated with a 9-17% increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. The risk of the disease did not differ significantly between users of estradiol only (odds ratio 1.09, 95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.14) and those of oestrogen-progestogen (1.17, 1.13 to 1.21). The risk increases in users of oestrogen-progestogen therapy were not related to different progestogens (noreth isterone acetate, medroxyprogesterone acetate, or other progestogens); but in women younger than 60 at hormone therapy initiation, these risk increases were associated with hormone therapy exposure over 10 years. Furthermore, the age at initiation of systemic hormone therapy was not a decisive determinant for the increase in risk of Alzheimer's disease. The exclusive use of vaginal estradiol did not affect the risk of the disease (0.99, 0.96 to 1.01). CONCLUSIONS Long term use of systemic hormone therapy might be accompanied with an overall increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, which is not related to the type of progestogen or the age at initiation of systemic hormone therapy. By contrast, use of vaginal estradiol shows no such risk. Even though the absolute risk increase for Alzheimer's disease is small, our data should be implemented into information for present and future users of hormone therapy.