Publications by authors named "Arthur Watts"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Effect of Deutetrabenazine on Chorea Among Patients With Huntington Disease: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2016 Jul;316(1):40-50

Boston University Medical Campus, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Deutetrabenazine is a novel molecule containing deuterium, which attenuates CYP2D6 metabolism and increases active metabolite half-lives and may therefore lead to stable systemic exposure while preserving key pharmacological activity.

Objective: To evaluate efficacy and safety of deutetrabenazine treatment to control chorea associated with Huntington disease.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Ninety ambulatory adults diagnosed with manifest Huntington disease and a baseline total maximal chorea score of 8 or higher (range, 0-28; lower score indicates less chorea) were enrolled from August 2013 to August 2014 and randomized to receive deutetrabenazine (n = 45) or placebo (n = 45) in a double-blind fashion at 34 Huntington Study Group sites.

Interventions: Deutetrabenazine or placebo was titrated to optimal dose level over 8 weeks and maintained for 4 weeks, followed by a 1-week washout.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary end point was the total maximal chorea score change from baseline (the average of values from the screening and day-0 visits) to maintenance therapy (the average of values from the week 9 and 12 visits) obtained by in-person visits. This study was designed to detect a 2.7-unit treatment difference in scores. The secondary end points, assessed hierarchically, were the proportion of patients who achieved treatment success on the Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) and on the Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGIC), the change in 36-Item Short Form- physical functioning subscale score (SF-36), and the change in the Berg Balance Test.

Results: Ninety patients with Huntington disease (mean age, 53.7 years; 40 women [44.4%]) were enrolled. In the deutetrabenazine group, the mean total maximal chorea scores improved from 12.1 (95% CI, 11.2-12.9) to 7.7 (95% CI, 6.5-8.9), whereas in the placebo group, scores improved from 13.2 (95% CI, 12.2-14.3) to 11.3 (95% CI, 10.0-12.5); the mean between-group difference was -2.5 units (95% CI, -3.7 to -1.3) (P < .001). Treatment success, as measured by the PGIC, occurred in 23 patients (51%) in the deutetrabenazine group vs 9 (20%) in the placebo group (P = .002). As measured by the CGIC, treatment success occurred in 19 patients (42%) in the deutetrabenazine group vs 6 (13%) in the placebo group (P = .002). In the deutetrabenazine group, the mean SF-36 physical functioning subscale scores decreased from 47.5 (95% CI, 44.3-50.8) to 47.4 (44.3-50.5), whereas in the placebo group, scores decreased from 43.2 (95% CI, 40.2-46.3) to 39.9 (95% CI, 36.2-43.6), for a treatment benefit of 4.3 (95% CI, 0.4 to 8.3) (P = .03). There was no difference between groups (mean difference of 1.0 unit; 95% CI, -0.3 to 2.3; P = .14), for improvement in the Berg Balance Test, which improved by 2.2 units (95% CI, 1.3-3.1) in the deutetrabenazine group and by 1.3 units (95% CI, 0.4-2.2) in the placebo group. Adverse event rates were similar for deutetrabenazine and placebo, including depression, anxiety, and akathisia.

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with chorea associated with Huntington disease, the use of deutetrabenazine compared with placebo resulted in improved motor signs at 12 weeks. Further research is needed to assess the clinical importance of the effect size and to determine longer-term efficacy and safety.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01795859.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2016.8655DOI Listing
July 2016

Clinical-Genetic Associations in the Prospective Huntington at Risk Observational Study (PHAROS): Implications for Clinical Trials.

JAMA Neurol 2016 Jan;73(1):102-10

Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Importance: Identifying measures that are associated with the cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) expansion in individuals before diagnosis of Huntington disease (HD) has implications for designing clinical trials.

Objective: To identify the earliest features associated with the motor diagnosis of HD in the Prospective Huntington at Risk Observational Study (PHAROS).

Design, Setting, And Participants: A prospective, multicenter, longitudinal cohort study was conducted at 43 US and Canadian Huntington Study Group research sites from July 9, 1999, through December 17, 2009. Participants included 983 unaffected adults at risk for HD who had chosen to remain unaware of their mutation status. Baseline comparability between CAG expansion (≥37 repeats) and nonexpansion (<37 repeats) groups was assessed. All participants and investigators were blinded to individual CAG analysis. A repeated-measures analysis adjusting for age and sex was used to assess the divergence of the linear trend between the expanded and nonexpanded groups. Data were analyzed from April 27, 2010, to September 3, 2013.

Exposure: Huntington disease mutation status in individuals with CAG expansion vs without CAG expansion.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale motor (score range, 0-124; higher scores indicate greater impairment), cognitive (symbol digits modality is the total number of correct responses in 90 seconds; lower scores indicate greater impairment), behavioral (score range, 0-176; higher scores indicate greater behavioral symptoms), and functional (Total Functional Capacity score range, 0-13; lower scores indicate reduced functional ability) domains were assessed at baseline and every 9 months up to a maximum of 10 years.

Results: Among the 983 research participants at risk for HD in the longitudinal cohort, 345 (35.1%) carried the CAG expansion and 638 (64.9%) did not. The mean (SD) duration of follow-up was 5.8 (3.0) years. At baseline, participants with expansions had more impaired motor (3.0 [4.2] vs 1.9 [2.8]; P < .001), cognitive (P < .05 for all measures except Verbal Fluency, P = .52), and behavioral domain scores (9.4 [11.4] vs 6.5 [8.5]; P < .001) but not significantly different measures of functional capacity (12.9 [0.3] vs 13.0 [0.2]; P = .23). With findings reported as mean slope (95% CI), in the longitudinal analyses, participants with CAG expansions showed significant worsening in motor (0.84 [0.73 to 0.95] vs 0.03 [-0.05 to 0.11]), cognitive (-0.54 [-0.67 to -0.40] vs 0.22 [0.12 to 0.32]), and functional (-0.08 [-0.09 to -0.06] vs -0.01 [-0.02 to 0]) measures compared with those without expansion (P < .001 for all); behavioral domain scores did not diverge significantly between groups.

Conclusions And Relevance: Using these prospectively accrued clinical data, relatively large treatment effects would be required to mount a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving premanifest HD individuals who carry the CAG expansion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.2736DOI Listing
January 2016

Clinical-Genetic Associations in the Prospective Huntington at Risk Observational Study (PHAROS): Implications for Clinical Trials.

JAMA Neurol 2016 Jan;73(1):102-10

Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Importance: Identifying measures that are associated with the cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) expansion in individuals before diagnosis of Huntington disease (HD) has implications for designing clinical trials.

Objective: To identify the earliest features associated with the motor diagnosis of HD in the Prospective Huntington at Risk Observational Study (PHAROS).

Design, Setting, And Participants: A prospective, multicenter, longitudinal cohort study was conducted at 43 US and Canadian Huntington Study Group research sites from July 9, 1999, through December 17, 2009. Participants included 983 unaffected adults at risk for HD who had chosen to remain unaware of their mutation status. Baseline comparability between CAG expansion (≥37 repeats) and nonexpansion (<37 repeats) groups was assessed. All participants and investigators were blinded to individual CAG analysis. A repeated-measures analysis adjusting for age and sex was used to assess the divergence of the linear trend between the expanded and nonexpanded groups. Data were analyzed from April 27, 2010, to September 3, 2013.

Exposure: Huntington disease mutation status in individuals with CAG expansion vs without CAG expansion.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale motor (score range, 0-124; higher scores indicate greater impairment), cognitive (symbol digits modality is the total number of correct responses in 90 seconds; lower scores indicate greater impairment), behavioral (score range, 0-176; higher scores indicate greater behavioral symptoms), and functional (Total Functional Capacity score range, 0-13; lower scores indicate reduced functional ability) domains were assessed at baseline and every 9 months up to a maximum of 10 years.

Results: Among the 983 research participants at risk for HD in the longitudinal cohort, 345 (35.1%) carried the CAG expansion and 638 (64.9%) did not. The mean (SD) duration of follow-up was 5.8 (3.0) years. At baseline, participants with expansions had more impaired motor (3.0 [4.2] vs 1.9 [2.8]; P < .001), cognitive (P < .05 for all measures except Verbal Fluency, P = .52), and behavioral domain scores (9.4 [11.4] vs 6.5 [8.5]; P < .001) but not significantly different measures of functional capacity (12.9 [0.3] vs 13.0 [0.2]; P = .23). With findings reported as mean slope (95% CI), in the longitudinal analyses, participants with CAG expansions showed significant worsening in motor (0.84 [0.73 to 0.95] vs 0.03 [-0.05 to 0.11]), cognitive (-0.54 [-0.67 to -0.40] vs 0.22 [0.12 to 0.32]), and functional (-0.08 [-0.09 to -0.06] vs -0.01 [-0.02 to 0]) measures compared with those without expansion (P < .001 for all); behavioral domain scores did not diverge significantly between groups.

Conclusions And Relevance: Using these prospectively accrued clinical data, relatively large treatment effects would be required to mount a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving premanifest HD individuals who carry the CAG expansion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.2736DOI Listing
January 2016

A randomized clinical trial of high-dosage coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease: no evidence of benefit.

JAMA Neurol 2014 May;71(5):543-52

Columbia University Medical Center, Neurological Institute, New York, New York.

Importance: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an antioxidant that supports mitochondrial function, has been shown in preclinical Parkinson disease (PD) models to reduce the loss of dopamine neurons, and was safe and well tolerated in early-phase human studies. A previous phase II study suggested possible clinical benefit.

Objective: To examine whether CoQ10 could slow disease progression in early PD.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A phase III randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial at 67 North American sites consisting of participants 30 years of age or older who received a diagnosis of PD within 5 years and who had the following inclusion criteria: the presence of a rest tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity; a modified Hoehn and Yahr stage of 2.5 or less; and no anticipated need for dopaminergic therapy within 3 months. Exclusion criteria included the use of any PD medication within 60 days, the use of any symptomatic PD medication for more than 90 days, atypical or drug-induced parkinsonism, a Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) rest tremor score of 3 or greater for any limb, a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 25 or less, a history of stroke, the use of certain supplements, and substantial recent exposure to CoQ10. Of 696 participants screened, 78 were found to be ineligible, and 18 declined participation.

Interventions: The remaining 600 participants were randomly assigned to receive placebo, 1200 mg/d of CoQ10, or 2400 mg/d of CoQ10; all participants received 1200 IU/d of vitamin E.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Participants were observed for 16 months or until a disability requiring dopaminergic treatment. The prospectively defined primary outcome measure was the change in total UPDRS score (Parts I-III) from baseline to final visit. The study was powered to detect a 3-point difference between an active treatment and placebo.

Results: The baseline characteristics of the participants were well balanced, the mean age was 62.5 years, 66% of participants were male, and the mean baseline total UPDRS score was 22.7. A total of 267 participants required treatment (94 received placebo, 87 received 1200 mg/d of CoQ10, and 86 received 2400 mg/d of CoQ10), and 65 participants (29 who received placebo, 19 who received 1200 mg/d of CoQ10, and 17 who received 2400 mg/d of CoQ10) withdrew prematurely. Treatments were well tolerated with no safety concerns. The study was terminated after a prespecified futility criterion was reached. At study termination, both active treatment groups showed slight adverse trends relative to placebo. Adjusted mean changes (worsening) in total UPDRS scores from baseline to final visit were 6.9 points (placebo), 7.5 points (1200 mg/d of CoQ10; P = .49 relative to placebo), and 8.0 points (2400 mg/d of CoQ10; P = .21 relative to placebo).

Conclusions And Relevance: Coenzyme Q10 was safe and well tolerated in this population, but showed no evidence of clinical benefit.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00740714.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.131DOI Listing
May 2014

Biosignatures for Parkinson's disease and atypical parkinsonian disorders patients.

PLoS One 2012 27;7(8):e43595. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

The Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology Department, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, The Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

Diagnosis of Parkinson' disease (PD) carries a high misdiagnosis rate due to failure to recognize atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD). Usually by the time of diagnosis greater than 60% of the neurons in the substantia nigra are dead. Therefore, early detection would be beneficial so that therapeutic intervention may be initiated early in the disease process. We used splice variant-specific microarrays to identify mRNAs whose expression is altered in peripheral blood of early-stage PD patients compared to healthy and neurodegenerative disease controls. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays were used to validate splice variant transcripts in independent sample sets. Here we report a PD signature used to classify blinded samples with 90% sensitivity and 94% specificity and an APD signature that resulted in a diagnosis with 95% sensitivity and 94% specificity. This study provides the first discriminant functions with coherent diagnostic signatures for PD and APD. Analysis of the PD biomarkers identified a regulatory network with nodes centered on the transcription factors HNF4A and TNF, which have been implicated in insulin regulation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0043595PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428307PMC
February 2013

Biosignatures for Parkinson's disease and atypical parkinsonian disorders patients.

PLoS One 2012 27;7(8):e43595. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

The Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology Department, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, The Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

Diagnosis of Parkinson' disease (PD) carries a high misdiagnosis rate due to failure to recognize atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD). Usually by the time of diagnosis greater than 60% of the neurons in the substantia nigra are dead. Therefore, early detection would be beneficial so that therapeutic intervention may be initiated early in the disease process. We used splice variant-specific microarrays to identify mRNAs whose expression is altered in peripheral blood of early-stage PD patients compared to healthy and neurodegenerative disease controls. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays were used to validate splice variant transcripts in independent sample sets. Here we report a PD signature used to classify blinded samples with 90% sensitivity and 94% specificity and an APD signature that resulted in a diagnosis with 95% sensitivity and 94% specificity. This study provides the first discriminant functions with coherent diagnostic signatures for PD and APD. Analysis of the PD biomarkers identified a regulatory network with nodes centered on the transcription factors HNF4A and TNF, which have been implicated in insulin regulation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0043595PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428307PMC
February 2013

Biosignatures for Parkinson's disease and atypical parkinsonian disorders patients.

PLoS One 2012 27;7(8):e43595. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

The Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology Department, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, The Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

Diagnosis of Parkinson' disease (PD) carries a high misdiagnosis rate due to failure to recognize atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD). Usually by the time of diagnosis greater than 60% of the neurons in the substantia nigra are dead. Therefore, early detection would be beneficial so that therapeutic intervention may be initiated early in the disease process. We used splice variant-specific microarrays to identify mRNAs whose expression is altered in peripheral blood of early-stage PD patients compared to healthy and neurodegenerative disease controls. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays were used to validate splice variant transcripts in independent sample sets. Here we report a PD signature used to classify blinded samples with 90% sensitivity and 94% specificity and an APD signature that resulted in a diagnosis with 95% sensitivity and 94% specificity. This study provides the first discriminant functions with coherent diagnostic signatures for PD and APD. Analysis of the PD biomarkers identified a regulatory network with nodes centered on the transcription factors HNF4A and TNF, which have been implicated in insulin regulation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0043595PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428307PMC
February 2013

Concomitant forms of abuse and help-seeking behavior among white, African American, and Latina women who experience intimate partner violence.

Violence Against Women 2011 Aug 4;17(8):1067-85. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

Arcadia University, Glenside, PA, 19038, USA.

This study uses National Violence against Women Survey data to investigate the differential impact of concomitant forms of violence (sexual abuse, stalking, and psychological abuse) and ethnicity on help-seeking behaviors of women physically abused by an intimate partner (n = 1,756). Controlling for severity of the physical abuse, women who experienced concomitant sexual abuse are less likely to seek help, women who experienced concomitant stalking are more likely to seek help, whereas concomitant psychological abuse is not associated with help seeking. Ethnic differences are found in help seeking from friends, mental health professionals, police, and orders of protection. Implications for service outreach are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077801211414846DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4196266PMC
August 2011

Oral desipramine and topical lidocaine for vulvodynia: a randomized controlled trial.

Obstet Gynecol 2010 Sep;116(3):583-593

From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Biostatistics, Anesthesiology and Neurology, and Psychiatry, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York.

Objective: To estimate the efficacy of common treatments for vulvodynia: topical lidocaine monotherapy, oral desipramine monotherapy, and lidocaine-desipramine combined therapy.

Methods: A 12-week randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 133 vulvodynia-afflicted women assigned to four treatment arms: placebo tablets-placebo cream, desipramine tablets-placebo cream, placebo tablets-lidocaine cream, and desipramine tablets-lidocaine cream. The tampon test was selected as primary end point using a modified intention-to-treat analysis. Twelve secondary end points were also examined. At completion of the 12-week randomized phase, women were examined "open label" through 52 weeks postrandomization.

Results: All treatment arms reported substantial tampon-test pain reduction: 33% reduction placebo cream-placebo tablet, 20% reduction lidocaine cream-placebo tablet, 24% reduction placebo cream-desipramine tablet, and 36% reduction lidocaine cream-desipramine tablet. Compared with placebo, we found no significant difference in tampon-test pain reduction with desipramine (t=0.90; P=.37) or lidocaine (t=1.27; P=.21). Of the remaining 12 outcome measures, only the Index of Sexual Satisfaction, improved with desipramine compared with placebo (t=-2.81; P=.006). During the open-label phase, women undergoing vestibulectomy surgery reported significantly improved pain as measured by cotton swab test and the McGill Pain Scale compared with nonsurgical alternatives.

Conclusion: Oral desipramine and topical lidocaine, as monotherapy or in combination, failed to reduce vulvodynia pain more than placebo. Placebo or placebo-independent effects are behind the substantial pain improvement seen in all treatment allocations.

Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00276068.

Level Of Evidence: I.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181e9e0abDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6545923PMC
September 2010

Safety and tolerability of high-dosage coenzyme Q10 in Huntington's disease and healthy subjects.

Mov Disord 2010 Sep;25(12):1924-8

University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ(10)), a potential neuroprotective compound, was previously investigated at a dosage of 600 mg/day in Huntington's disease (HD) patients and demonstrated a trend toward slowing disease progression. Higher CoQ(10) dosages may prove beneficial. We investigated the tolerability and blood levels associated with 1,200, 2,400, and 3,600 mg/day of CoQ(10) in HD and healthy subjects. Twenty-eight subjects (20 HD, 8 healthy) enrolled in a 20-week open-label trial. Subjects started on 1,200 mg/day of CoQ(10), increasing every 4 weeks by 1,200 mg to a maximum dosage of 3,600 mg/day. Monthly evaluations included review of adverse events and CoQ(10) blood levels. Twenty-three subjects (82%) achieved the target dosage of 3,600 mg/day. Six subjects (2 healthy, 4 HD) withdrew prematurely (gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in 3, worsening HD in 2, and 1 because of a fall). All three serious adverse events occurred in a single subject, and were deemed unrelated to CoQ(10). The most common adverse events seen were GI symptoms. Mean (± SD) CoQ10 blood levels achieved over the course of the trial were as follows: 1.26 ± 1.27 μg/mL (baseline, n = 28), 5.59 ± 2.24 μg/mL (1,200 mg/day, week 4, n = 26), 6.38 ± 3.25 μg/mL (2,400 mg/day, week 8, n = 25), 7.49 ± 4.09 μg/mL (3,600 mg/day, week 12, n = 23), and 6.78 ± 3.36 μg/mL (3,600 mg/day, week 20, n = 20). CoQ(10) was well tolerated with over 80% of subjects achieving the target dosage. Dosages of 2,400 mg/day may provide the best balance between tolerability and blood level achieved. Further studies examining the efficacy of 2,400 mg/day are planned.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.22408DOI Listing
September 2010

Urate as a predictor of the rate of clinical decline in Parkinson disease.

Arch Neurol 2009 Dec;66(12):1460-8

Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: The risk of Parkinson disease (PD) and its rate of progression may decline with increasing concentration of blood urate, a major antioxidant.

Objective: To determine whether serum and cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of urate predict clinical progression in patients with PD.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Eight hundred subjects with early PD enrolled in the Deprenyl and Tocopherol Antioxidative Therapy of Parkinsonism (DATATOP) trial. The pretreatment urate concentration was measured in serum for 774 subjects and in cerebrospinal fluid for 713 subjects.

Main Outcome Measures: Treatment-, age-, and sex-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for clinical disability requiring levodopa therapy, the prespecified primary end point of the original DATATOP trial.

Results: The HR of progressing to the primary end point decreased with increasing serum urate concentrations (HR for highest vs lowest quintile = 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.44-0.94; HR for a 1-SD increase = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.73-0.93). In analyses stratified by alpha-tocopherol treatment (2000 IU/d), a decrease in the HR for the primary end point was seen only among subjects not treated with alpha-tocopherol (HR for a 1-SD increase = 0.75; 95% CI, 0.62-0.89; vs HR for those treated = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.75-1.08). Results were similar for the rate of change in the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale score. Cerebrospinal fluid urate concentration was also inversely related to both the primary end point (HR for highest vs lowest quintile = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.44-0.96; HR for a 1-SD increase = 0.89; 95% CI, 0.79-1.02) and the rate of change in the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale score. As with serum urate concentration, these associations were present only among subjects not treated with alpha-tocopherol.

Conclusions: Higher serum and cerebrospinal fluid urate concentrations at baseline were associated with slower rates of clinical decline. The findings strengthen the link between urate concentration and PD and the rationale for considering central nervous system urate concentration elevation as a potential strategy to slow PD progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archneurol.2009.247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2795011PMC
December 2009

Pain and depression in gynecology patients.

Psychosomatics 2009 May-Jun;50(3):270-6

University of Rochester Medical Center, 300 Crittenden Blvd., Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

Background: The prevalence and consequences of comorbid pain and depression in gynecology patients are understudied.

Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine the prevalence of pain, depression, and their co-occurrence among gynecology patients, and to examine how pain and depression are associated with additional comorbid mental disorders.

Method: Self-reported pain, depressive symptoms, other mental-disorder symptoms, functional status, interpersonal distress, and abuse were assessed in 1,647 gynecology patients by use of the Patient Health Questionnaire and the Medical Outcomes Study (SF-20).

Results: Moderate-to-severe pain was reported by 29% of patients; depression, by 21%; with both present in 10.3%. Comorbid pain and depression was associated with anxiety, suicidal or death ideation, functional impairment, interpersonal distress, and physical or sexual abuse.

Discussion: Innovative approaches are needed to assess and treat gynecology patients with comorbid pain and depression, given the degree of overlap between them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.psy.50.3.270DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819088PMC
October 2009

The tampon test for vulvodynia treatment outcomes research: reliability, construct validity, and responsiveness.

Obstet Gynecol 2009 Apr;113(4):825-832

From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Biostatistics, and Anesthesiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York.

Objective: A standardized tampon insertion and removal test, the Tampon Test provides an alternative to sexual intercourse pain as an outcome measure for vulvodynia research. We report upon the reliability, validity, and responsiveness to change of the Tampon Test as an outcome measure for vulvodynia clinical trials.

Methods: Outcome measures were assessed in women enrolled in the Vulvar Vestibulitis Clinical Trial, a randomized clinical trial of oral desipramine and topical lidocaine effectiveness. Reliability estimates of the Tampon Test using the Kappa statistic evaluated week-to-week measures at baseline. Tampon Test construct and discriminant validity were assessed through correlation with other outcome measures. Patients' ability to regularly perform the Tampon Test was compared with regularity of reporting intercourse pain.

Results: During the 2-week baseline phase, women with vulvodynia reported stable mean Tampon Test scores 4.6+/-2.6 (week -2); 4.6+/-2.7 (week -1); and 4.7+/-2.8 (week 0) with moderate week-to-week reliability (weighted Kappa 0.52). Over an 8-week phase of trial intervention, change in the Tampon Test measure significantly correlated to a number of outcome measures, including daily pain (r=0.42), intercourse pain (r=0.35), cotton swab vestibular pain (r=0.38), and the Brief Pain Inventory (r=0.49). Women with vulvodynia study participants performed the Tampon Test 96.3% of the requested time, which was twofold higher adherence than intercourse pain measurement (49.7%).

Conclusion: The Tampon Test reflects a real life experience that is reliable, with good construct validity as shown by the breadth of correlated outcome measures. The Tampon Test is an appropriate outcome measure for vulvodynia research that can be considered for use as the primary efficacy endpoint in clinical trials of treatments for vulvodynia.

Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00276068

Level Of Evidence: II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0b013e31819bda7cDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2756618PMC
April 2009

Serum urate as a predictor of clinical and radiographic progression in Parkinson disease.

Arch Neurol 2008 Jun 14;65(6):716-23. Epub 2008 Apr 14.

MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA.

Objective: To determine whether concentration of serum urate, a purine metabolite and potent antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson disease (PD), predicts prognosis in PD.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: The Parkinson Research Examination of CEP-1347 Trial (PRECEPT) study, which investigated the effects of a potential neuroprotectant on rates of PD progression, was conducted between April 2002 and August 2005 (average follow-up time 21.4 months).

Participants: Eight hundred four subjects with early PD enrolled in the PRECEPT study.

Main Outcome Measures: The primary study end point was progression to clinical disability sufficient to warrant dopaminergic therapy. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of reaching end point according to quintiles of baseline serum urate concentration, adjusting for sex, age, and other potential covariates. Change in striatal uptake of iodine I 123-labeled 2-beta-carbomethoxy-3-beta-(4-iodophenyl)tropane ([(123)I]beta-CIT), a marker for the presynaptic dopamine transporter, was assessed with linear regression for a subset of 399 subjects.

Results: The adjusted HR of reaching end point declined with increasing baseline concentrations of urate; subjects in the top quintile reached the end point at only half the rate of subjects in the bottom quintile (HR, 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37-0.72; P for trend < .001). This association was markedly stronger in men (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.26-0.60; P for trend < .001) than in women (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.39-1.50; P for trend = .33). The percentage of loss in striatal [(123)I]beta-CIT uptake also improved with increasing serum urate concentrations (overall P for trend = .002; men, P = .001; women, P = .43).

Conclusions: These findings identify serum urate as the first molecular factor directly linked to the progression of typical PD and suggest that targeting urate or its determinants could be an effective disease-modifying therapy in PD. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00040404.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archneur.2008.65.6.nct70003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2574855PMC
June 2008

Interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed women with sexual abuse histories: a pilot study in a community mental health center.

J Nerv Ment Dis 2005 Dec;193(12):847-50

Department of Psychiatry, Medical Center, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 300 Crittenden Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14642-8409, USA.

Depression among women with childhood sexual abuse histories has a chronic and treatment-refractory course, and is accompanied by high rates of comorbid illness and adult trauma exposures. Reducing the disproportionate burden of serious mental illness among depressed, traumatized women must be a priority in community mental health settings. Effective treatments are needed. The feasibility and effects of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for women with major depression and childhood trauma histories were tested. Twenty-five women in a community mental health center were enrolled in a 16-session course of IPT. Symptoms, functioning, and feasibility (e.g., participation rates) were measured at baseline, 10 weeks, 24 weeks, and 36 weeks. Fifteen of the 25 participants completed eight or more sessions. Significant improvements in depression and psychological functioning, but not in social functioning, were observed. Although a 16-session course of IPT appears feasible and promising, modifications may be needed to reduce barriers to care and enhance treatment potency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.nmd.0000188987.07734.22DOI Listing
December 2005

Pramipexole vs levodopa as initial treatment for Parkinson disease: a 4-year randomized controlled trial.

Arch Neurol 2004 Jul;61(7):1044-53

Department of Neurology, University of Rochester, 1351 Mt. Hope Avenue, Suite 220, Rochester, NY 14620, USA.

Background: The best way to initiate dopaminergic therapy for early Parkinson disease remains unclear.

Objective: To compare initial treatment with pramipexole vs levodopa in early Parkinson disease, followed by levodopa supplementation, with respect to the development of dopaminergic motor complications, other adverse events, and functional and quality-of-life outcomes.

Design: Multicenter, parallel-group, double-blind, randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Academic movement disorders clinics at 22 sites in the United States and Canada.

Patients: Patients with early Parkinson disease (N = 301) who required dopaminergic therapy to treat emerging disability, enrolled between October 1996 and August 1997 and observed until August 2001.

Intervention: Subjects were randomly assigned to receive 0.5 mg of pramipexole 3 times per day with levodopa placebo (n = 151) or 25/100 mg of carbidopa/levodopa 3 times per day with pramipexole placebo (n = 150). Dosage was escalated during the first 10 weeks for patients with ongoing disability. Thereafter, investigators were permitted to add open-label levodopa or other antiparkinsonian medications to treat ongoing or emerging disability.

Main Outcome Measures: Time to the first occurrence of dopaminergic complications: wearing off, dyskinesias, on-off fluctuations, and freezing; changes in the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale and quality-of-life scales; and adverse events.

Results: Initial pramipexole treatment resulted in a significant reduction in the risk of developing dyskinesias (24.5% vs 54%; hazard ratio, 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25-0.56; P<.001) and wearing off (47% vs 62.7%; hazard ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.49-0.63; P =.02). Initial levodopa treatment resulted in a significant reduction in the risk of freezing (25.3% vs 37.1%; hazard ratio, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.11-2.59; P =.01). By 48 months, the occurrence of disabling dyskinesias was uncommon and did not significantly differ between the 2 groups. The mean improvement in the total Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale score from baseline to 48 months was greater in the levodopa group than in the pramipexole group (2 +/- 15.4 points vs -3.2 +/- 17.3 points, P =.003). Somnolence (36% vs 21%, P =.005) and edema (42% vs 15%, P<.001) were more common in pramipexole-treated subjects than in levodopa-treated subjects. Mean changes in quality-of-life scores did not differ between the groups.

Conclusions: Initial treatment with pramipexole resulted in lower incidences of dyskinesias and wearing off compared with initial treatment with levodopa. Initial treatment with levodopa resulted in lower incidences of freezing, somnolence, and edema and provided for better symptomatic control, as measured by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, compared with initial treatment with pramipexole. Both options resulted in similar quality of life. Levodopa and pramipexole both appear to be reasonable options as initial dopaminergic therapy for Parkinson disease, but they are associated with different efficacy and adverse-effect profiles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archneur.61.7.1044DOI Listing
July 2004

The Secretary's Statements.

Authors:
Arthur Watts

Hospital (Lond 1886) 1919 Sep;66(1737):619-620

Secretary. Queen Charlotte's Lying-In Hospital.

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5252370PMC
September 1919
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