Publications by authors named "Benedetta Nacmias"

174 Publications

Effect of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on hippocampal subfields in multiple sclerosis patients.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Oct 14. Epub 2021 Oct 14.

Department NEUROFARBA, Section Neurosciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism was shown to strongly affect BDNF function, but its role in modulating gray matter damage in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients is still not clear. Given BDNF relevance on the hippocampus, we aimed to explore BDNF Val66Met polymorphism effect on hippocampal subfield volumes and its role in cognitive functioning in MS patients. Using a 3T scanner, we obtained dual-echo and 3DT1-weighted sequences from 50 MS patients and 15 healthy controls (HC) consecutively enrolled. MS patients also underwent genotype analysis of BDNF, neurological and neuropsychological evaluation. Hippocampal subfields were segmented by using Freesurfer. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was found in 22 MS patients (44%). Compared to HC, MS patients had lower volume in: bilateral hippocampus-amygdala transition area (HATA); cornus ammonis (CA)1, granule cell layer of dentate gyrus (GCL-DG), CA4 and CA3 of the left hippocampal head; molecular layer (ML) of the left hippocampal body; presubiculum of right hippocampal body and right fimbria. Compared to BDNF Val66Val, Val66Met MS patients had higher volume in bilateral hippocampal tail; CA1, ML, CA3, CA4, and GCL-DG of left hippocampal head; CA1, ML, and CA3 of the left hippocampal body; left HATA and presubiculum of the right hippocampal head. In MS patients, higher lesion burden was associated with lower volume of presubiculum of right hippocampal body; lower volume of left hippocampal tail was associated with worse visuospatial memory performance; lower volume of left hippocampal head with worse performance in semantic fluency. Our findings suggest the BNDF Val66Met polymorphism may have a protective role in MS patients against both hippocampal atrophy and cognitive impairment. BDNF genotype might be a potential biomarker for predicting cognitive prognosis, and an interesting target to study for neuroprotective strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01345-1DOI Listing
October 2021

Gender differences in cognitive reserve: implication for subjective cognitive decline in women.

Neurol Sci 2021 Oct 8. Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla, 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Background: Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) is a self-experienced decline in cognitive capacity with normal performance on standardized cognitive tests, showing to increase risk of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Cognitive reserve seems to influence the progression from SCD to Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and to AD. The aim of our study was to investigate gender differences in cognitive reserve evaluating how sex might modulate the role of cognitive reserve on SCD.

Methods: We included 381 SCD patients who underwent clinical evaluation, neuropsychological assessment, evaluation of premorbid intelligence by the Test di Intelligenza Breve (TIB), cognitive complaints by the Memory Assessment Clinics Questionnaire (MAC-Q), and apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotyping.

Results: The proportion between women and men was significantly different (68.7% [95% CI 63.9-73.4 vs 31.4%, 95% CI 26.6-36.0]). Women were younger than men at onset of SCD and at the baseline visit (p = 0.021), had lower years of education (p = 0.007), lower TIB scores (p < 0.001), and higher MAC-Q scores (p = 0.012). TIB was directly associated with age at onset of SCD in both women and men, while years of education was inversely associated with age at onset only in women. Multivariate analysis showed that sex influences TIB independently from years of education. TIB was directly associated with MAC-Q in men.

Conclusions: Sex interacts with premorbid intelligence and education level in influencing the age at onset and the severity of SCD. As the effect of education was different between men and women, we speculated that education might act as a minor contributor of cognitive reserve in women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05644-xDOI Listing
October 2021

Neurofilament Light Chain and Intermediate HTT Alleles as Combined Biomarkers in Italian ALS Patients.

Front Neurosci 2021 3;15:695049. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

NEUROFARBA Department, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Objective: To study the possible implication of the two biomarkers, intermediate alleles (IAs) of the Huntingtin (HTT) gene and neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels in plasma, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients.

Methods: We analyzed IAs in a cohort of 106 Italian ALS patients and measured the plasma NfL levels in 20% of the patients of the cohort. We correlated the two biomarkers with clinical phenotypes.

Results: Intermediate alleles were present in 7.5% of the patients of our cohort, a frequency higher than that reported in general population. Plasma NfL levels increased with age at onset ( < 0.05). Patients with bulbar onset (BO) had higher plasma NfL concentration (CI -0.61 to -0.06, = 0.02) and a later age at onset of the disease (CI -24.78 to -4.93, = 0.006) with respect to the spinal onset (SO) form. Additionally, two of the patients, with IAs and plasma NfL concentration lower with respect to normal alleles' carriers, presented an age at onset higher than the mean of the entire cohort.

Conclusion: According to our findings, plasma NfL and IAs of HTT gene may represent potential biomarkers in ALS, providing evidence of a possible implication in clinical phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.695049DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8446383PMC
September 2021

The Effect of CAG Repeats within the Non-Pathological Range in the HTT Gene on Cognitive Functions in Patients with Subjective Cognitive Decline and Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Jun 7;11(6). Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence, 50139 Florence, Italy.

The Huntingtin gene (HTT) is within a class of genes containing a key region of CAG repeats. When expanded beyond 39 repeats, Huntington disease (HD) develops. Individuals with less than 35 repeats are not associated with HD. Increasing evidence has suggested that CAG repeats play a role in modulating brain development and brain function. However, very few studies have investigated the effect of CAG repeats in the non-pathological range on cognitive performances in non-demented individuals. In this study, we aimed to test how CAG repeats' length influences neuropsychological scores in patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We included 75 patients (46 SCD and 29 MCI). All patients underwent an extensive neuropsychological battery and analysis of HTT alleles to quantify the number of CAG repeats. Results: CAG repeat number was positively correlated with scores of tests assessing for executive function, visual-spatial ability, and memory in SCD patients, while in MCI patients, it was inversely correlated with scores of visual-spatial ability and premorbid intelligence. When we performed a multiple regression analysis, we found that these relationships still remained, also when adjusting for possible confounding factors. Interestingly, logarithmic models better described the associations between CAG repeats and neuropsychological scores. CAG repeats in the HTT gene within the non-pathological range influenced neuropsychological performances depending on global cognitive status. The logarithmic model suggested that the positive effect of CAG repeats in SCD patients decreases as the number of repeats grows.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11061051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8228729PMC
June 2021

Common variants in Alzheimer's disease and risk stratification by polygenic risk scores.

Nat Commun 2021 06 7;12(1):3417. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Servei de Neurologia, Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, Valencia, Spain.

Genetic discoveries of Alzheimer's disease are the drivers of our understanding, and together with polygenetic risk stratification can contribute towards planning of feasible and efficient preventive and curative clinical trials. We first perform a large genetic association study by merging all available case-control datasets and by-proxy study results (discovery n = 409,435 and validation size n = 58,190). Here, we add six variants associated with Alzheimer's disease risk (near APP, CHRNE, PRKD3/NDUFAF7, PLCG2 and two exonic variants in the SHARPIN gene). Assessment of the polygenic risk score and stratifying by APOE reveal a 4 to 5.5 years difference in median age at onset of Alzheimer's disease patients in APOE ɛ4 carriers. Because of this study, the underlying mechanisms of APP can be studied to refine the amyloid cascade and the polygenic risk score provides a tool to select individuals at high risk of Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22491-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8184987PMC
June 2021

Whole-genome sequencing analysis of semi-supercentenarians.

Elife 2021 05 4;10. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Medicine, Unit of Internal Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Extreme longevity is the paradigm of healthy aging as individuals who reached the extreme decades of human life avoided or largely postponed all major age-related diseases. In this study, we sequenced at high coverage (90X) the whole genome of 81 semi-supercentenarians and supercentenarians [105+/110+] (mean age: 106.6 ± 1.6) and of 36 healthy unrelated geographically matched controls (mean age 68.0 ± 5.9) recruited in Italy. The results showed that 105+/110+ are characterized by a peculiar genetic background associated with efficient DNA repair mechanisms, as evidenced by both germline data (common and rare variants) and somatic mutations patterns (lower mutation load if compared to younger healthy controls). Results were replicated in a second independent cohort of 333 Italian centenarians and 358 geographically matched controls. The genetics of 105+/110+ identified DNA repair and clonal haematopoiesis as crucial players for healthy aging and for the protection from cardiovascular events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.57849DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8096429PMC
May 2021

Dual Effect of C111G Polymorphism on Cognitive Functions across Progression from Subjective Cognitive Decline to Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Apr 18;11(4). Epub 2021 Apr 18.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy.

Background: Periodic circadian protein homolog 2 () has a role in the intracellular signaling pathways of long-term potentiation and has implications for synaptic plasticity. We aimed to assess the association of PER2 C111G polymorphism with cognitive functions in subjective cognitive decline (SCD).

Methods: Forty-five SCD patients were included in this study. All participants underwent extensive neuropsychological investigation, analysis of apolipoprotein E () and genotypes, and neuropsychological follow-up every 12 or 24 months for a mean time of 9.87 ± 4.38 years.

Results: Nine out of 45 patients (20%) were heterozygous carriers of the C111G polymorphism (G carriers), while 36 patients (80%) were not carriers of the G allele (G non-carriers). At baseline, G carriers had a higher language composite score compared to G non-carriers. During follow-up, 15 (34.88%) patients progressed to mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In this group, we found a significant interaction between PER2 G allele and follow-up time, as carriers of G allele showed greater worsening of executive function, visual-spatial ability, and language composite scores compared to G non-carriers.

Conclusions: C111G polymorphism is associated with better language performance in SCD patients. Nevertheless, as patients progress to MCI, G allele carriers showed a greater worsening in cognitive performance compared to G non-carriers. The effect of PER2 C111G polymorphism depends on the global cognitive status of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11040718DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8074126PMC
April 2021

Predictors of Function, Activity, and Participation of Stroke Patients Undergoing Intensive Rehabilitation: A Multicenter Prospective Observational Study Protocol.

Front Neurol 2021 8;12:632672. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

IRCCS Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Florence, Italy.

The complex nature of stroke sequelae, the heterogeneity in rehabilitation pathways, and the lack of validated prediction models of rehabilitation outcomes challenge stroke rehabilitation quality assessment and clinical research. An integrated care pathway (ICP), defining a reproducible rehabilitation assessment and process, may provide a structured frame within investigated outcomes and individual predictors of response to treatment, including neurophysiological and neurogenetic biomarkers. Predictors may differ for different interventions, suggesting clues to personalize and optimize rehabilitation. To date, a large representative Italian cohort study focusing on individual variability of response to an evidence-based ICP is lacking, and predictors of individual response to rehabilitation are largely unexplored. This paper describes a multicenter study protocol to prospectively investigate outcomes and predictors of response to an evidence-based ICP in a large Italian cohort of stroke survivors undergoing post-acute inpatient rehabilitation. All patients with diagnosis of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke confirmed both by clinical and brain imaging evaluation, admitted to four intensive rehabilitation units (adopting the same stroke rehabilitation ICP) within 30 days from the acute event, aged 18+, and providing informed consent will be enrolled (expected sample: 270 patients). Measures will be taken at admission (T0), at discharge (T1), and at follow-up 6 months after a stroke (T2), including clinical data, nutritional, functional, neurological, and neuropsychological measures, electroencephalography and motor evoked potentials, and analysis of neurogenetic biomarkers. In addition to classical multivariate logistic regression analysis, advanced machine learning algorithms will be cross-validated to achieve data-driven prognosis prediction models. By identifying data-driven prognosis prediction models in stroke rehabilitation, this study might contribute to the development of patient-oriented therapy and to optimize rehabilitation outcomes. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03968627. https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03968627?term=Cecchi&cond=Stroke&draw=2&rank=2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.632672DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8060493PMC
April 2021

Alpha-synuclein seeds in olfactory mucosa and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies.

Brain Commun 2021 22;3(2):fcab045. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine, and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Policlinico G. B. Rossi, 37134 Verona, Italy.

In patients with suspected dementia with Lewy bodies, the detection of the disease-associated α-synuclein in easily accessible tissues amenable to be collected using minimally invasive procedures remains a major diagnostic challenge. This approach has the potential to take advantage of modern molecular assays for the diagnosis of α-synucleinopathy and, in turn, to optimize the recruitment and selection of patients in clinical trials, using drugs directed at counteracting α-synuclein aggregation. In this study, we explored the diagnostic accuracy of α-synuclein real-time quaking-induced conversion assay by testing olfactory mucosa and CSF in patients with a clinical diagnosis of probable ( = 32) or prodromal ( = 5) dementia with Lewy bodies or mixed degenerative dementia (dementia with Lewy bodies/Alzheimer's disease) ( = 6). Thirty-eight patients with non-α-synuclein-related neurodegenerative and non-neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease ( = 10), sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ( = 10), progressive supranuclear palsy ( = 8), corticobasal syndrome ( = 1), fronto-temporal dementia ( = 3) and other neurological conditions ( = 6) were also included, as controls. All 81 patients underwent olfactory swabbing while CSF was obtained in 48 participants. At the initial blinded screening of olfactory mucosa samples, 38 out of 81 resulted positive while CSF was positive in 19 samples out of 48 analysed. After unblinding of the results, 27 positive olfactory mucosa were assigned to patients with probable dementia with Lewy bodies, five with prodromal dementia with Lewy bodies and three to patients with mixed dementia, as opposed to three out 38 controls. Corresponding results of CSF testing disclosed 10 out 10 positive samples in patients with probable dementia with Lewy bodies and six out of six with mixed dementia, in addition to three out of 32 for controls. The accuracy among results of real-time quaking-induced conversion assays and clinical diagnoses was 86.4% in the case of olfactory mucosa and 93.8% for CSF. For the first time, we showed that α-synuclein real-time quaking-induced conversion assay detects α-synuclein aggregates in olfactory mucosa of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies and with mixed dementia. Additionally, we provided preliminary evidence that the combined testing of olfactory mucosa and CSF raised the concordance with clinical diagnosis potentially to 100%. Our results suggest that nasal swabbing might be considered as a first-line screening procedure in patients with a diagnosis of suspected dementia with Lewy bodies followed by CSF analysis, as a confirmatory test, when the result in the olfactory mucosa is incongruent with the initial clinical diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcab045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042247PMC
March 2021

The Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Val66Met Polymorphism Can Protect Against Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis.

Front Neurol 2021 16;12:645220. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

IRCCS Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Florence, Italy.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of the neurotrophin family, involved in neuronal survival and synaptic plasticity. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is known to reduce BDNF expression and secretion; its role in multiple sclerosis (MS) is poorly investigated. In this multicenter, retrospective study, we assessed the role of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on cognitive and motor disability in MS patients consecutively referred to the University of Florence and the Hospital of Barletta. All patients underwent a genetic analysis for the presence of Val66Met polymorphism and a comprehensive neuropsychological examination on the Rao's Brief Repeatable Battery and the Stroop Color Word Test. Possible predictors of the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score and number of failed neuropsychological tests were assessed through linear multivariable regression models. Ninety-eight patients were recruited. Patients with the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (35.7%) were more frequently males ( = 0.020), more disabled ( = 0.026) and, marginally, older ( = 0.064). In the multivariable analysis, BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was associated with a better cognitive performance ( = -1.1 ± 0.5, = 0.027). Higher EDSS score was associated with a progressive disease course ( = 3.4, < 0.001) and, marginally, with the presence of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism ( = 0.56, = 0.066). Our results preliminarily suggest a protective role of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism against cognitive impairment in MS patients, possibly related to a detrimental effect of increased BDNF concentration in a neuroinflammatory environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.645220DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8011315PMC
March 2021

Late-onset Huntington disease: An Italian cohort.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Apr 27;86:58-63. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (NEUROFARBA), University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG expansion greater than 35 triplets in the IT-15 gene, with a clinical onset usually in the forties. Late-onset form of HD is defined as disease onset after the age of 59 years. The aim of the present study is to investigate the clinical-demographic features of Late-onset HD population (LoHD) in comparison to Classic-onset patients (CoHD). We analyzed a well-characterized Italian cohort of 127 HD patients, identifying 25.2% of LoHD cases. The mean age of onset was 65.9 and the mean length of pathological allele was 42.2. The 53.1% of LoHD patients had no family history of HD. No significant differences were observed in terms of gender, type of symptoms at disease onset, and clinical performance during the follow-up visits. The non-pathological allele resulted longer among LoHD patients. There is evidence that longer non-pathological allele is associated with a higher volume of basal ganglia, suggesting a possible protective role even in the onset of HD. In conclusion, LoHD patients in this Italian cohort were frequent, representing a quarter of total cases, and showed clinical features comparable to CoHD subjects. Due to the small sample size, further studies are needed to evaluate the influence of non-pathological alleles on disease onset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.12.025DOI Listing
April 2021

Matching Clinical Diagnosis and Amyloid Biomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia.

J Pers Med 2021 Jan 14;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence (NEUROFARBA), Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134 Florence, Italy.

Background: The aims of this study were to compare the diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) of different cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid biomarkers and amyloid-Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in patients with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD); to compare concordance between biomarkers; and to provide an indication of their use and interpretation.

Methods: We included 148 patients (95 AD and 53 FTD), who underwent clinical evaluation, neuropsychological assessment, and at least one amyloid biomarker (CSF analysis or amyloid-PET). Thirty-six patients underwent both analyses. One-hundred-thirteen patients underwent Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotyping.

Results: Amyloid-PET presented higher diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity, and NPV than CSF Aβ but not Aβ ratio. Concordance between CSF biomarkers and amyloid-PET was higher in FTD patients compared to AD cases. None of the AD patients presented both negative Aβ biomarkers.

Conclusions: CSF Aβ ratio significantly increased the diagnostic accuracy of CSF biomarkers. On the basis of our current and previous data, we suggest a flowchart to guide the use of biomarkers according to clinical suspicion: due to the high PPV of both amyloid-PET and CSF analysis including Aβ, in cases of concordance between at least one biomarker and clinical diagnosis, performance of the other analysis could be avoided. A combination of both biomarkers should be performed to better characterize unclear cases. If the two amyloid biomarkers are both negative, an underlying AD pathology can most probably be excluded.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jpm11010047DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7830228PMC
January 2021

Linguistic profiles, brain metabolic patterns and rates of amyloid-β biomarker positivity in patients with mixed primary progressive aphasia.

Neurobiol Aging 2020 12 8;96:155-164. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence, Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy. Electronic address:

We aimed to detail language profiles, brain metabolic patterns and proportion of Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in a cohort of patients with mixed primary progressive aphasia (mPPA). We considered 58 patients with PPA: 10 with non-fluent/agrammatic variant (nfvPPA), 16 with semantic variant (svPPA), 21 with logopenic variant (lvPPA) and 9 with mPPA. Patients with mPPA were further classified as 4 nf/lvPPA (with prevailing features for nfvPPA and lvPPA) and 5 s/lvPPA (with prevailing features for svPPA and lvPPA). Nf/lvPPA patients were characterized by higher proportion of Naming impairment compared to nfvPPA and more frequent Grammatical Errors and Phonologic Errors than lvPPA. S/lvPPA had higher proportion of impairment in Sentences Repetition compared to svPPA and in Single-word Comprehension compared to lvPPA. 100% of nf/lvPPA and 40% of s/lvPPA had Aβ positive biomarkers. Brain hypometabolic pattern in Nf/lvPPA was consistent with lvPPA, while s/lvPPA had a brain metabolism resembling svPPA. We concluded that nf/lvPPA patients might be considered as PPA variant due to Alzheimer's disease and s/lvPPA group mainly included patients with svPPA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.09.004DOI Listing
December 2020

Genetic variation in APOE, GRN, and TP53 are phenotype modifiers in frontotemporal dementia.

Neurobiol Aging 2021 03 2;99:99.e15-99.e22. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Alzheimer's Disease and Other Cognitive Disorders Unit, Hospital Clínic, Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a clinical, genetic, and pathologic heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we investigated the role of APOƐ4, rs5848 in GRN, and rs1042522 in TP53 gene as disease risk factors and/or phenotype modifiers in 440 FTD patients, including 175 C9orf72 expansion carriers. We found that the C9orf72 expansion carriers showing an earlier age at onset (p < 0.001). Among the clinical groups, the FTD-MND (motoneuron disease) showed the lowest survival (hazard ratio [HR] = 4.12), and the progressive nonfluent aphasia group showed the highest onset age (p = 0.03). In our cohort, the rs1042522 in TP53 was associated with disease onset (p = 0.02) and survival (HR = 1.73) and rs5848 GRN with a significantly shorter survival in CC homozygous patients (HR = 1.98). The frequency of APOƐ4 carriers was significantly increased in the C9orf72 noncarriers (p = 0.022). Although validation of our findings is necessary, our results suggest that TP53, GRN, and APOE genes may act as phenotype modifiers in FTD and should be considered in future clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.08.018DOI Listing
March 2021

, age at onset, and ancestry help discriminate behavioral from language variants in FTLD cohorts.

Neurology 2020 12 17;95(24):e3288-e3302. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

From the Institute of Neurology (B.C., D.A.K., J.H., P.A.L., R.F.), School of Pharmacy (C.M.), and UCL Movement Disorders Centre (J.H.), University College London; School of Pharmacy (C.M., P.A.L.), University of Reading, Whiteknights; Neurogenetics Laboratory (M.B.-Q., C.W., J.M.P.), National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK; Aptima Clinic (Miquel Aguilar), Terrassa; Memory Disorders Unit, Department of Neurology (I.A., M.D.-F., P.P.), University Hospital Mutua de Terrassa, Barcelona; Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (V.A., M.M.-G.), Oviedo, Spain; NORMENT (O.A.), Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway; Regional Neurogenetic Centre (Maria Anfossi, Livia Bernardi, A.C.B., M.E.C., Chiara Cupidi, F.F., Maura Gallo, R.M., N.S.), ASPCZ, Lamezia Terme; Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (S.B., B.N., I.P., S.S.), University of Florence; Molecular Markers Laboratory (Luisa Benussi, Giuliano Binetti, R.G.), IRCCS Istituto Centro San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli, Brescia, Italy; Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), Department of Neuroscience (D.B.), University of Sheffield, UK; Research Center and Memory Clinic (M.B., I.H., S.M.-G., Agustín Ruiz), Fundació ACE, Institut Català de Neurociències Aplicades, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), Barcelona, Spain; Centre for Neurodegenerative Disorders (B.B., A.P.), Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Italy; Department of Clinical Neurosciences (Lucy Bowns, T.E.C., J.B.R.), Cambridge University, UK; Department of Neurology (Geir Bråthen, S.B.S.), University Hospital of Trondheim, Norway; Dept NVS, Division of Neurogeriatrics (H.-H.C., C.G., B.K., L.Ö.), Karolinska Institutet, Bioclinicum Solna, Sweden; Department of Neurology (J.C., O.D.-I., I.I.-G., A.L.), IIB Sant Pau, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic (S.C., G.J.T.H., S.P.) and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (S.P.), University of Edinburgh, UK; NeuroGenomics and Informatics, Department of Psychiatry (Carlos Cruchaga), Washington University, St. Louis, MO; Cognitive Impairment Center (M.E.D.B., Maurizio Gallucci) and Immunohematology and Transfusional Medicine Service (E.D., A.V.), Local Health Authority n.2 Marca Trevigiana, Treviso, Italy; Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (J.D.-S., C.R.), School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Germany; Department of Neurology (D.F., M.G.K.) and Clinical Institute of Medical Genetics (A.M., B.P.), University Medical Center Ljubljana, Slovenia; Dino Ferrari Center (D.G., Elio Scarpini, M.S.), University of Milan, Italy; Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Think and Speak Lab (J.H.G.), Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Chicago, IL; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (Murray Grossman, EunRan Suh, J.Q.T., V.M.V.D.), Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; UCL Dementia Research Institute (J.H.), London; Reta Lila Weston Institute (J.H.), UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, UK; Institute for Advanced Study (J.H.), The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China; Royal Edinburgh Hospital (G.J.T.H.), UK; Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain (E.D.H.), Columbia University, New York, NY; Department of Neurology, Memory and Aging Center (A.K., B.M., J.Y.), University of California, San Francisco; UCL Genomics (M.K., G.K.M., Y.P.), UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London, UK; Geriatric Center Frullone ASL Napoli 1 Centro (G.M.), Napoli, Italy; Department of Neurology (M.O.M., J.v.R., J.C.V.S.), Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Rona Holdings (P.M.), Silicon Valley, CA; Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource, Institute of Neuroscience (C.M.M.), Newcastle University, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Department of Neurology (C.N.), Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden; Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS (V.N.), Rome, Italy; Division of Neuroscience & Experimental Psychology (S.P.-B., A.M.T.R., S.R., J.C.T.), University of Manchester, UK; Amsterdam University Medical Center (Y.A.L.P.), VU University Medical Center, the Netherlands; Cardiovascular Research Unit (A.A.P.), IRCCS Multimedica, Milan; Neurology I, Department of Neuroscience (I.R., Elisa Rubino), University of Torino; NeurOMICS laboratory (G.M., Antonella Rendina, E.V.), Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (IBBC), CNR Napoli, Italy; Manchester Centre for Clinical Neurosciences (A.M.T.R., J.S., J.C.T.), Salford Royal NHS Trust, Manchester, UK; Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (Ekaterina Rogaeva), University of Toronto, Canada; Department of Biotechnology (B.R.), Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Division of Neurology V and Neuropathology (G.R., F.T.), Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy; Alzheimer's Disease and Other Cognitive Disorders Unit (R.S.-V.), Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, Spain; Clinical Memory Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö (C.N., A.F.S.), and Division of Clinical Sciences Helsingborg, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund (M.L.W.), Lund University, Sweden; Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases Group (J.V.d.Z., C.V.B.), Center for Molecular Neurology, VIB, Antwerp, Belgium; Medical Research Council Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (V.E.-P.), Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences and Dementia Research Institute, Cardiff University, UK; Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Principado de Asturias (V.A.), Oviedo, Asturias; Fundació per la Recerca Biomèdica i Social Mútua Terrassa (I.A., M.D.-F., P.P.), Barcelona; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED) (M.B., J.C., O.D.-I., I.H., I.I.-G., A.L., S.M.-G., Agustín Ruiz), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain; MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (Lucy Bowns, T.E.C., J.B.R.), Cambridge University, UK; Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science (Geir Bråthen, S.B.S.), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway; Unit for Hereditary Dementias (H.-H.C., C.G., B.K., L.Ö.), Theme Aging, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Sweden; Medical Faculty (D.F., M.G.K.), University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Fondazione IRCCS Ca'Granda (D.G., Elio Scarpini, M.S.), Ospedale Policlinico, Milan, Italy; Penn Center for Frontotemporal Degeneration (Murray Grossman), Philadelphia, PA; Universidad de Oviedo (M.M.-G.), Asturias, Spain; IRCCS Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi (B.N., S.S.), Florence; Istituto di Medicina Genomica (V.N.), Università Cattolica del sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy; Amsterdam Neuroscience (Y.A.L.P.), the Netherlands; Department of Medicine and Surgery (A.A.P.), University of Salerno, Baronissi (SA), Italy; Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology (B.R.), University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Institud d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (R.S.-V.), Barcelona, Spain; Department of Biomedical Sciences (J.V.d.Z., C.V.B.), University of Antwerp, Belgium; and Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (P.A.L.), The Royal Veterinary College, London, UK.

Objective: We sought to characterize expansions in relation to genetic ancestry and age at onset (AAO) and to use these measures to discriminate the behavioral from the language variant syndrome in a large pan-European cohort of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) cases.

Methods: We evaluated expansions frequency in the entire cohort (n = 1,396; behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia [bvFTD] [n = 800], primary progressive aphasia [PPA] [n = 495], and FTLD-motor neuron disease [MND] [n = 101]). We then focused on the bvFTD and PPA cases and tested for association between expansion status, syndromes, genetic ancestry, and AAO applying statistical tests comprising Fisher exact tests, analysis of variance with Tukey post hoc tests, and logistic and nonlinear mixed-effects model regressions.

Results: We found pathogenic expansions in 4% of all cases (56/1,396). Expansion carriers differently distributed across syndromes: 12/101 FTLD-MND (11.9%), 40/800 bvFTD (5%), and 4/495 PPA (0.8%). While addressing population substructure through principal components analysis (PCA), we defined 2 patients groups with Central/Northern (n = 873) and Southern European (n = 523) ancestry. The proportion of expansion carriers was significantly higher in bvFTD compared to PPA (5% vs 0.8% [ = 2.17 × 10; odds ratio (OR) 6.4; confidence interval (CI) 2.31-24.99]), as well as in individuals with Central/Northern European compared to Southern European ancestry (4.4% vs 1.8% [ = 1.1 × 10; OR 2.5; CI 1.17-5.99]). Pathogenic expansions and Central/Northern European ancestry independently and inversely correlated with AAO. Our prediction model (based on expansions status, genetic ancestry, and AAO) predicted a diagnosis of bvFTD with 64% accuracy.

Conclusions: Our results indicate correlation between pathogenic expansions, AAO, PCA-based Central/Northern European ancestry, and a diagnosis of bvFTD, implying complex genetic risk architectures differently underpinning the behavioral and language variant syndromes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010914DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836664PMC
December 2020

Tumor Necrosis Factor α Influences Phenotypic Plasticity and Promotes Epigenetic Changes in Human Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neuroblasts.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Aug 25;21(17). Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Section of Human Anatomy and Histology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy.

TNFα is the main proinflammatory cytokine implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, but it also modulates physiological functions in both the developing and adult brain. In this study, we investigated a potential direct role of TNFα in determining phenotypic changes of a recently established cellular model of human basal forebrain cholinergic neuroblasts isolated from the nucleus basalis of Meynert (hfNBMs). Exposing hfNBMs to TNFα reduced the expression of immature markers, such as nestin and β-tubulin III, and inhibited primary cilium formation. On the contrary, TNFα increased the expression of TNFα receptor TNFR2 and the mature neuron marker MAP2, also promoting neurite elongation. Moreover, TNFα affected nerve growth factor receptor expression. We also found that TNFα induced the expression of DNA-methylation enzymes and, accordingly, downregulated genes involved in neuronal development through epigenetic mechanisms, as demonstrated by methylome analysis. In summary, TNFα showed a dual role on hfNBMs phenotypic plasticity, exerting a negative influence on neurogenesis despite a positive effect on differentiation, through mechanisms that remain to be elucidated. Our results help to clarify the complexity of TNFα effects in human neurons and suggest that manipulation of TNFα signaling could provide a potential therapeutic approach against neurodegenerative disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176128DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7504606PMC
August 2020

Challenges in Alzheimer's Disease Diagnostic Work-Up: Amyloid Biomarker Incongruences.

J Alzheimers Dis 2020 ;77(1):203-217

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Background: Discordance among amyloid biomarkers is a challenge to overcome in order to increase diagnostic accuracy in dementia.

Objectives: 1) To verify that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio (AβR) better agrees with Amyloid PET (Amy-PET) results compared to CSF Aβ42; 2) to detect differences among concordant positive, concordant negative, and discordant cases, basing the concordance definition on the agreement between CSF AβR and Amy-PET results; 3) to define the suspected underlying pathology of discordant cases using in vivo biomarkers.

Method: We retrospectively enrolled 39 cognitively impaired participants in which neuropsychological tests, apolipoprotein E genotype determination, TC/MRI, FDG-PET, Amy-PET, and CSF analysis had been performed. In all cases, CSF analysis was repeated using the automated Lumipulse method. In discordant cases, FDG-PET scans were evaluated visually and using automated classifiers.

Results: CSF AβR better agreed with Amy-PET compared to CSF Aβ42 (Cohen's K 0.431 versus 0.05). Comparisons among groups did not show any difference in clinical characteristics except for age at symptoms onset that was higher in the 6 discordant cases with abnormal CSF AβR values and negative Amy-PET (CSF AβR+/AmyPET-). FDG-PET and all CSF markers (Aβ42, AβR, p-Tau, t-Tau) were suggestive of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in 5 of these 6 cases.

Conclusion: 1) CSF AβR is the CSF amyloid marker that shows the better level of agreement with Amy-PET results; 2) The use of FDG-PET and CSF-Tau markers in CSFAβR+/Amy-PET-discordant cases can support AD diagnosis; 3) Disagreement between positive CSF AβR and negative Amy-PET in symptomatic aged AD patients could be due to the variability in plaques conformation and a negative Amy-PET scan cannot be always sufficient to rule out AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-200119DOI Listing
September 2021

Early functional MRI changes in a prodromal semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia: a longitudinal case report.

J Neurol 2020 Oct 10;267(10):3100-3104. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Via Olgettina, 60, 20132, Milan, Italy.

Objective: To assess longitudinal patterns of brain functional MRI (fMRI) activity in a case of prodromal semantic variant of a primary progressive aphasia (svPPA).

Methods: Clinical, cognitive and neuroimaging data (T1-weighted and task-based fMRI during silent naming [SN] and object knowledge [OK]) were obtained at baseline, month 8 and month 16 from a 49-year-old lady presenting with anomias and evolving to overt svPPA in 8 months.

Results: At baseline, the patient showed isolated anomias and mild left anterior temporal pole atrophy. During SN-fMRI, she showed bilateral temporal and left inferior frontal gyri (iFG) activations. During OK-fMRI, we observed normal performance and the recruitment of bilateral posterior hippocampi, iFG and left middle orbitofrontal gyrus (mOFG). At month 8, the patient received a diagnosis of svPPA and showed isolated right iFG activity during SN-fMRI, and a borderline performance during OK-fMRI together with a disappearance of mOFG recruitment. At the last visit (after 7-month language therapy), the patient showed a stabilization of naming disturbances, and, compared to previous visits, an increased left iFG recruitment during SN-fMRI. During OK-fMRI, she performed abnormally and did not show the activity of mOFG and iFG. Across all visits, brain atrophy remained stable.

Conclusions: This case report showed longitudinal fMRI patterns during semantic-related tasks from prodromal to overt svPPA. Frontal brain recruitment may represent a compensatory mechanism in patients with early svPPA, which is likely to be reinforced by language-therapy. Brain fMRI is more sensitive compared with structural MRI to detect progressive brain changes associated with disease and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10053-9DOI Listing
October 2020

Human iPSC-Derived Hippocampal Spheroids: An Innovative Tool for Stratifying Alzheimer Disease Patient-Specific Cellular Phenotypes and Developing Therapies.

Stem Cell Reports 2020 07 25;15(1):256-273. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

iPSC Laboratory for CNS Disease Modeling, Department of Experimental Medical Science, BMC D10, Lund University, Lund SE-221 84, Sweden; Strategic Research Area MultiPark, Lund University, Lund SE-221 84, Sweden; Lund Stem Cell Center, Lund University, Lund SE-221 84, Sweden. Electronic address:

The hippocampus is important for memory formation and is severely affected in the brain with Alzheimer disease (AD). Our understanding of early pathogenic processes occurring in hippocampi in AD is limited due to tissue unavailability. Here, we report a chemical approach to rapidly generate free-floating hippocampal spheroids (HSs), from human induced pluripotent stem cells. When used to model AD, both APP and atypical PS1 variant HSs displayed increased Aβ42/Aβ40 peptide ratios and decreased synaptic protein levels, which are common features of AD. However, the two variants differed in tau hyperphosphorylation, protein aggregation, and protein network alterations. NeuroD1-mediated gene therapy in HSs-derived progenitors resulted in modulation of expression of numerous genes, including those involved in synaptic transmission. Thus, HSs can be harnessed to unravel the mechanisms underlying early pathogenic changes in the hippocampi of AD patients, and provide a robust platform for the development of therapeutic strategies targeting early stage AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7363942PMC
July 2020

SIRT1 accelerates the progression of activity-based anorexia.

Nat Commun 2020 06 4;11(1):2814. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA.

Food consumption is fundamental for life, and eating disorders often result in devastating or life-threatening conditions. Anorexia nervosa (AN) is characterized by a persistent restriction of energy intake, leading to lowered body weight, constant fear of gaining weight, and psychological disturbances of body perception. Herein, we demonstrate that SIRT1 inhibition, both genetically and pharmacologically, delays the onset and progression of AN behaviors in activity-based anorexia (ABA) models, while SIRT1 activation accelerates ABA phenotypes. Mechanistically, we suggest that SIRT1 promotes progression of ABA, in part through its interaction with NRF1, leading to suppression of a NMDA receptor subunit Grin2A. Our results suggest that AN may arise from pathological positive feedback loops: voluntary food restriction activates SIRT1, promoting anxiety, hyperactivity, and addiction to starvation, exacerbating the dieting and exercising, thus further activating SIRT1. We propose SIRT1 inhibition can break this cycle and provide a potential therapy for individuals suffering from AN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16348-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7272424PMC
June 2020

Influence of Genotype and T3111C Interaction with Cardiovascular Risk Factors on the Progression to Alzheimer's Disease in Subjective Cognitive Decline and Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients.

J Pers Med 2020 May 29;10(2). Epub 2020 May 29.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health-University of Florence-Viale Pieraccini 6, 50139 Florence, Italy.

Background: Some genes could interact with cardiovascular risk factors in the development of Alzheimer's disease. We aimed to evaluate the interaction between ε4 status, T3111C and C111G polymorphisms with cardiovascular profile in Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Methods: We included 68 patients who underwent clinical evaluation; neuropsychological assessment; , and genotyping at baseline; and neuropsychological follow-up every 12-24 months for a mean of 13 years. We considered subjects who developed AD and non-converters.

Results: T3111C was detected in 47% of cases, C111G in 19% of cases. ε4 carriers presented higher risk of heart disease; C-carriers were more frequently smokers than non C-carriers. During the follow-up, 17 patients progressed to AD. Age at baseline, ε 4 and dyslipidemia increased the risk of conversion to AD. ε4 carriers with history of dyslipidemia showed higher risk to convert to AD compared to ε4- groups and ε4+ without dyslipidemia patients. C-carriers with history of blood hypertension had a higher risk of conversion to AD.

Conclusions: and T3111C seem to interact with cardiovascular risk factors in SCD and MCI patients influencing the progression to AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jpm10020045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7354597PMC
May 2020

Shared genetic risk between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes: Evidence from genome-wide association studies.

Addict Biol 2021 01 16;26(1):e12880. Epub 2020 Feb 16.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

Eating disorders and substance use disorders frequently co-occur. Twin studies reveal shared genetic variance between liabilities to eating disorders and substance use, with the strongest associations between symptoms of bulimia nervosa and problem alcohol use (genetic correlation [r ], twin-based = 0.23-0.53). We estimated the genetic correlation between eating disorder and substance use and disorder phenotypes using data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Four eating disorder phenotypes (anorexia nervosa [AN], AN with binge eating, AN without binge eating, and a bulimia nervosa factor score), and eight substance-use-related phenotypes (drinks per week, alcohol use disorder [AUD], smoking initiation, current smoking, cigarettes per day, nicotine dependence, cannabis initiation, and cannabis use disorder) from eight studies were included. Significant genetic correlations were adjusted for variants associated with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. Total study sample sizes per phenotype ranged from ~2400 to ~537 000 individuals. We used linkage disequilibrium score regression to calculate single nucleotide polymorphism-based genetic correlations between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes. Significant positive genetic associations emerged between AUD and AN (r = 0.18; false discovery rate q = 0.0006), cannabis initiation and AN (r = 0.23; q < 0.0001), and cannabis initiation and AN with binge eating (r = 0.27; q = 0.0016). Conversely, significant negative genetic correlations were observed between three nondiagnostic smoking phenotypes (smoking initiation, current smoking, and cigarettes per day) and AN without binge eating (r = -0.19 to -0.23; qs < 0.04). The genetic correlation between AUD and AN was no longer significant after co-varying for major depressive disorder loci. The patterns of association between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes highlights the potentially complex and substance-specific relationships among these behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/adb.12880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429266PMC
January 2021

A case of limbic encephalitis evolving into a frontotemporal dementia-like picture.

Psychogeriatrics 2020 05 27;20(3):355-357. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyg.12503DOI Listing
May 2020

Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for dementia: A case of post-lumbar puncture epidural hematoma.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2020 03 9;190:105638. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Neurology Unit, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy; IRCSS Don Carlo Gnocchi, University Of Florence, Florence, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2019.105638DOI Listing
March 2020

Age at symptom onset and death and disease duration in genetic frontotemporal dementia: an international retrospective cohort study.

Lancet Neurol 2020 02 3;19(2):145-156. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière & Centre de Référence des Démences Rares ou précoces, Institut de la Mémoire et de la Maladie d'Alzheimer, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.

Background: Frontotemporal dementia is a heterogenous neurodegenerative disorder, with about a third of cases being genetic. Most of this genetic component is accounted for by mutations in GRN, MAPT, and C9orf72. In this study, we aimed to complement previous phenotypic studies by doing an international study of age at symptom onset, age at death, and disease duration in individuals with mutations in GRN, MAPT, and C9orf72.

Methods: In this international, retrospective cohort study, we collected data on age at symptom onset, age at death, and disease duration for patients with pathogenic mutations in the GRN and MAPT genes and pathological expansions in the C9orf72 gene through the Frontotemporal Dementia Prevention Initiative and from published papers. We used mixed effects models to explore differences in age at onset, age at death, and disease duration between genetic groups and individual mutations. We also assessed correlations between the age at onset and at death of each individual and the age at onset and at death of their parents and the mean age at onset and at death of their family members. Lastly, we used mixed effects models to investigate the extent to which variability in age at onset and at death could be accounted for by family membership and the specific mutation carried.

Findings: Data were available from 3403 individuals from 1492 families: 1433 with C9orf72 expansions (755 families), 1179 with GRN mutations (483 families, 130 different mutations), and 791 with MAPT mutations (254 families, 67 different mutations). Mean age at symptom onset and at death was 49·5 years (SD 10·0; onset) and 58·5 years (11·3; death) in the MAPT group, 58·2 years (9·8; onset) and 65·3 years (10·9; death) in the C9orf72 group, and 61·3 years (8·8; onset) and 68·8 years (9·7; death) in the GRN group. Mean disease duration was 6·4 years (SD 4·9) in the C9orf72 group, 7·1 years (3·9) in the GRN group, and 9·3 years (6·4) in the MAPT group. Individual age at onset and at death was significantly correlated with both parental age at onset and at death and with mean family age at onset and at death in all three groups, with a stronger correlation observed in the MAPT group (r=0·45 between individual and parental age at onset, r=0·63 between individual and mean family age at onset, r=0·58 between individual and parental age at death, and r=0·69 between individual and mean family age at death) than in either the C9orf72 group (r=0·32 individual and parental age at onset, r=0·36 individual and mean family age at onset, r=0·38 individual and parental age at death, and r=0·40 individual and mean family age at death) or the GRN group (r=0·22 individual and parental age at onset, r=0·18 individual and mean family age at onset, r=0·22 individual and parental age at death, and r=0·32 individual and mean family age at death). Modelling showed that the variability in age at onset and at death in the MAPT group was explained partly by the specific mutation (48%, 95% CI 35-62, for age at onset; 61%, 47-73, for age at death), and even more by family membership (66%, 56-75, for age at onset; 74%, 65-82, for age at death). In the GRN group, only 2% (0-10) of the variability of age at onset and 9% (3-21) of that of age of death was explained by the specific mutation, whereas 14% (9-22) of the variability of age at onset and 20% (12-30) of that of age at death was explained by family membership. In the C9orf72 group, family membership explained 17% (11-26) of the variability of age at onset and 19% (12-29) of that of age at death.

Interpretation: Our study showed that age at symptom onset and at death of people with genetic frontotemporal dementia is influenced by genetic group and, particularly for MAPT mutations, by the specific mutation carried and by family membership. Although estimation of age at onset will be an important factor in future pre-symptomatic therapeutic trials for all three genetic groups, our study suggests that data from other members of the family will be particularly helpful only for individuals with MAPT mutations. Further work in identifying both genetic and environmental factors that modify phenotype in all groups will be important to improve such estimates.

Funding: UK Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, and Alzheimer's Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30394-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7007771PMC
February 2020

Role for ATXN1, ATXN2, and HTT intermediate repeats in frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Neurobiol Aging 2020 03 1;87:139.e1-139.e7. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

Movement Disorders Unit, Neurology Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon, Madrid, Spain.

We analyzed the frequency of intermediate alleles (IAs) in the ATXN1, ATXN2, and HTT genes in several neurodegenerative diseases. The study included 1126 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 440 patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and 610 patients with Parkinson's disease. In all cohorts, we genotyped ATXN1 and ATXN2 CAG repeats. In addition, in the FTD cohort, we determined the number of HTT CAG repeats. The frequency of HTT IAs was higher in patients with FTD (6.9%) versus controls (2.9%) and in the C9orf72 expansion noncarriers (7.2%) versus controls (2.9%), although the difference was nonsignificant after correction for multiple testing. Compared with controls, progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA) groups showed a significantly higher frequency of HTT IAs (13.6% vs. 2.9% controls). For the ATXN2 gene, we observed an increase in IA frequency in AD cases (AD 4.1% vs. controls 1.8%) and in the behavioral FTD group (4.8% vs. 1.8%). For the ATXN1 gene, we found a significant increase of IAs in patients with PNFA (18.6%) versus controls (6.7%). In conclusion, our work suggests that the HTT and ATXN1 IAS may contribute to PNFA pathogenesis and point to a link between ATXN2 IAS and AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2019.10.017DOI Listing
March 2020

High Frequency of Crossed Aphasia in Dextral in an Italian Cohort of Patients with Logopenic Primary Progressive Aphasia.

J Alzheimers Dis 2019 ;72(4):1089-1096

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (NEUROFARBA), University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Background: Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) has been described as a neurodegenerative language disorder mainly affecting the left hemisphere. Few cases of right hemisphere damage in right-handed PPA subjects have been reported. This condition, named crossed aphasia in dextral (CAD), is relatively rare and probably related to an alteration during neurodevelopment of language networks.

Objective: To explore the prevalence of CAD in an Italian cohort of 68 PPA patients, in order to evaluate whether right hemisphere language lateralization could be a risk factor for PPA.

Methods: Clinical-demographic and cerebral [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ([18F]FDG-PET) scan were analyzed, resulting in 23 logopenic variant (lvPPA) patients, 26 non-fluent variant (nfvPPA) patients, and 19 semantic variant (svPPA) patients. SPM single subject routine was performed for diagnostic purposes in order to identify the hypometabolic pattern of each patient. Based on brain metabolic profile, PPA patients were divided in right and left lvPPA, nfvPPA, and svPPA. [18F]FDG-PET group analyses were performed with SPM two-sample t-test routine.

Results: 26% of lvPPA cases were identified as CAD based on right hypometabolic pattern. CAD patients did not differ from left lvPPA regarding demographic features and general cognitive performance; however, they performed better in specific working memory tasks and showed brain hypometabolism limited to the superior, middle, and supramarginal temporal gyri.

Conclusion: Atypical lateralization of language function could determine a vulnerability of the phonological language loop and in that way could be a risk factor for lvPPA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-190677DOI Listing
December 2020

The implication of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism in progression from subjective cognitive decline to mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease: a 9-year follow-up study.

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2020 Jun 27;270(4):471-482. Epub 2019 Sep 27.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (NEUROFARBA), University of Florence, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi. Largo Brambilla, 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Brain-derived natriuretic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism has been frequently reported to be associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) with contrasting results. Numerous studies showed that Met allele increased the risk of AD only in women, while other studies have found worse cognitive performance in Val/Val carriers. We aimed to inquire the effects of Val66Met polymorphism on the progression from subjective cognitive decline (SCD) to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and from MCI to AD and to ascertain if this effect is modulated by demographic and cognitive variables. For this purpose, we followed up 74 subjects (48 SCD, 26 MCI) for a mean time of 9 years. All participants underwent extensive neuropsychological assessment, cognitive reserve estimation, BDNF and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype analysis at baseline. Personality traits and leisure activities were assessed in a subgroup. Each patient underwent clinical-neuropsychological follow-up, during which 18 out of 48 SCD subjects progressed to MCI and 14 out of 26 MCI subjects progressed to AD. We found that Val66Met increased the risk of progression from SCD to MCI and from MCI to AD only in women. Nevertheless, Val/Val carriers who progressed from SCD to MCI had a shorter conversion time compared to Met carriers. We concluded that Val66Met polymorphism might play different roles depending on sex and stage of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00406-019-01069-yDOI Listing
June 2020

Genome-wide association study identifies eight risk loci and implicates metabo-psychiatric origins for anorexia nervosa.

Nat Genet 2019 08 15;51(8):1207-1214. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Clinical Genetics Unit, Department of Woman and Child Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Characterized primarily by a low body-mass index, anorexia nervosa is a complex and serious illness, affecting 0.9-4% of women and 0.3% of men, with twin-based heritability estimates of 50-60%. Mortality rates are higher than those in other psychiatric disorders, and outcomes are unacceptably poor. Here we combine data from the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) and the Eating Disorders Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC-ED) and conduct a genome-wide association study of 16,992 cases of anorexia nervosa and 55,525 controls, identifying eight significant loci. The genetic architecture of anorexia nervosa mirrors its clinical presentation, showing significant genetic correlations with psychiatric disorders, physical activity, and metabolic (including glycemic), lipid and anthropometric traits, independent of the effects of common variants associated with body-mass index. These results further encourage a reconceptualization of anorexia nervosa as a metabo-psychiatric disorder. Elucidating the metabolic component is a critical direction for future research, and paying attention to both psychiatric and metabolic components may be key to improving outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0439-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6779477PMC
August 2019
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