Publications by authors named "Beniamino Giordano"

8 Publications

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Impaired connectivity within neuromodulatory networks in multiple sclerosis and clinical implications.

J Neurol 2020 Jul 26;267(7):2042-2053. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

There is mounting evidence regarding the role of impairment in neuromodulatory networks for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. However, the role of neuromodulatory networks in multiple sclerosis (MS) has not been assessed. We applied resting-state functional connectivity and graph theory to investigate the changes in the functional connectivity within neuromodulatory networks including the serotonergic, noradrenergic, cholinergic, and dopaminergic systems in MS. Twenty-nine MS patients and twenty-four age- and gender-matched healthy controls performed clinical and cognitive assessments including the expanded disability status score, symbol digit modalities test, and Hamilton Depression rating scale. We demonstrated a diffuse reorganization of network topography (P < 0.01) in serotonergic, cholinergic, noradrenergic, and dopaminergic networks in patients with MS. Serotonergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic network functional connectivity derangement was associated with disease duration, EDSS, and depressive symptoms (P < 0.01). Derangements in serotonergic, noradrenergic, cholinergic, and dopaminergic network impairment were associated with cognitive abilities (P < 0.01). Our results indicate that functional connectivity changes within neuromodulatory networks might be a useful tool in predicting disability burden over time, and could serve as a surrogate endpoint to assess efficacy for symptomatic treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-09806-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7320961PMC
July 2020

Predict cognitive decline with clinical markers in Parkinson's disease (PRECODE-1).

J Neural Transm (Vienna) 2020 01 18;127(1):51-59. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London, 125 Coldharbour Lane, Camberwell, London, SE5 9NU, UK.

Over the course of the disease, about 80% of Parkinson's disease patients will develop cognitive impairment. However, predictive factors associated with cognitive decline are still under investigation. Here, we investigated which clinically available markers are predictive of cognitive impairment in a cohort of early drug-naïve Parkinson's disease patients. 294 drug-naïve Parkinson's disease patients, who were cognitively normal at baseline, were recruited from the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative. At 36-month follow-up, patients were diagnosed with cognitive impairment according to two levels: Level 1 diagnosis was defined as MoCA < 26 and Level 2 diagnosis was defined as MoCA < 26, alongside an impaired score on at least two neuropsychological tests. Predictive variables with a validated cut-off were divided into normal or abnormal measures, whilst others were divided into normal or abnormal measures based on the decile with the highest power of prediction. At 3 years' follow-up, 122/294 Parkinson's disease (41.5%) patients had cognitive decline. We found that age at Parkinson's disease onset, MDS-UPDRS Part-III, Hopkin's Learning Verbal Test-Revised Recall, Semantic Fluency Test and Symbol Digit Modalities Test were all predictors of cognitive decline. Specifically, age at Parkinson's disease onset, Semantic Fluency Test and symbol Digit Modalities Test were predictors of cognitive decline defined by Level 2. The combination of three abnormal tests, identified as the most significant predictors of cognitive decline, gave a 63.6-86.7% risk of developing cognitive impairment defined by Level 2 and Level 1 criteria, respectively, at 36-month follow-up. Our findings show that these clinically available measures encompass the ability to identify drug-naïve Parkinson's disease patients with the highest risk of developing cognitive impairment at the earliest stages. Therefore, by implementing this in a clinical setting, we can better monitor and manage patients who are at risk of cognitive decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00702-019-02125-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6942604PMC
January 2020

Sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal dysfunction are associated with thalamic atrophy in Parkinson's disease.

BMC Neurosci 2019 10 22;20(1):55. Epub 2019 Oct 22.

Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London, London, UK.

Background: Non-motor symptoms are common aspects of Parkinson's disease (PD) occurring even at the prodromal stage of the disease and greatly affecting the quality of life. Here, we investigated whether non-motor symptoms burden was associated with cortical thickness and subcortical nuclei volume in PD patients.

Methods: We studied 41 non-demented PD patients. Non-motor symptoms burden was assessed using the Non-Motor Symptoms Scale grading (NMSS). Cortical thickness and subcortical nuclei volume analyses were carried out using Free-Surfer. PD patients were divided into two groups according to the NMSS grading: mild to moderate (NMSS: 0-40) and severe (NMSS: ≥ 41) non-motor symptoms.

Results: Thalamic atrophy was associated with higher NMSQ and NMSS total scores. The non-motor symptoms that drove this correlation were sleep/fatigue and gastrointestinal tract dysfunction. We also found that PD patients with severe non-motor symptoms had significant thalamic atrophy compared to the group with mild to moderate non-motor symptoms.

Conclusions: Our findings show that greater non-motor symptom burden is associated with thalamic atrophy in PD. Thalamus plays an important role in processing sensory information including visceral afferent from the gastrointestinal tract and in regulating states of sleep and wakefulness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12868-019-0537-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6805461PMC
October 2019

[F]Florbetapir PET/MR imaging to assess demyelination in multiple sclerosis.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2020 02 21;47(2):366-378. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, IoPPN, King's College London, 125 Coldharbour Lane, Camberwell, London, SE5 9NU, UK.

Purpose: We evaluated myelin changes throughout the central nervous system in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients by using hybrid [F]florbetapir PET-MR imaging.

Methods: We included 18 relapsing-remitting MS patients and 12 healthy controls. Each subject performed a hybrid [F]florbetapir PET-MR and both a clinical and cognitive assessment. [F]florbetapir binding was measured as distribution volume ratio (DVR), through the Logan graphical reference method and the supervised cluster analysis to extract a reference region, and standard uptake value (SUV) in the 70-90 min interval after injection. The two quantification approaches were compared. We also evaluated changes in the measures derived from diffusion tensor imaging and arterial spin labeling.

Results: [F]florbetapir DVRs decreased from normal-appearing white matter to the centre of T2 lesion (P < 0.001), correlated with fractional anisotropy and with mean, axial and radial diffusivity within T2 lesions (coeff. = -0.15, P < 0.001, coeff. = -0.12, P < 0.001 and coeff. = -0.16, P < 0.001, respectively). Cerebral blood flow was reduced in white matter damaged areas compared to white matter in healthy controls (-10.9%, P = 0.005). SUV and DVR are equally able to discriminate between intact and damaged myelin (area under the curve 0.76 and 0.66, respectively; P = 0.26).

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that [F]florbetapir PET imaging can measure in-vivo myelin damage in patients with MS. Demyelination in MS is not restricted to lesions detected through conventional MRI but also involves the normal appearing white matter. Although longitudinal studies are needed, [F]florbetapir PET imaging may have a role in clinical settings in the management of MS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-019-04533-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6974490PMC
February 2020

Serotonergic pathology and disease burden in the premotor and motor phase of A53T α-synuclein parkinsonism: a cross-sectional study.

Lancet Neurol 2019 08 19;18(8):748-759. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Because of the highly penetrant gene mutation and clinical features consistent with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, carriers of the autosomal dominant Ala53Thr (A53T; 209G→A) point mutation in the α-synuclein (SNCA) gene are an ideal population to study the premotor phase and evolution of Parkinson's pathology. Given the known neurochemical changes in the serotonergic system and their association with symptoms of Parkinson's disease, we hypothesised that carriers of the A53T SNCA mutation might show abnormalities in the serotonergic neurotransmitter system before the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, and that this pathology might be associated with measures of Parkinson's burden.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we recruited carriers of the A53T SNCA mutation from specialist Movement Disorders clinics in Athens, Greece, and Salerno, Italy, and a cohort of healthy controls with no personal or family history of neurological or psychiatric disorders from London, UK (recruited via public advertisement) who were age matched to the A53T SNCA carriers. We also recruited one cohort of patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (cohort 1) from Movement Disorders clinics in London, UK, and retrieved data on a second cohort of such patients (cohort 2; n=40) who had been scanned with a different scanner. 7-day continuous recording of motor function was used to determine the Parkinson's disease status of the A53T carriers. To assess whether serotonergic abnormalities were present, we used [C]DASB PET non-displaceable binding to quantify serotonin transporter density. We constructed brain topographic maps reflecting Braak stages 1-6 and used these as seed maps to calculate [C]DASB non-displaceable binding potential in our cohort of A53T SNCA carriers. Additionally, all participants underwent a battery of clinical assessments to determine motor and non-motor symptoms and cognitive status, and [I]FP-CIT single-photon emission CT (SPECT) to assess striatal dopamine transporter binding and MRI for volumetric analyses to assess whether pathology is associated with measures of Parkinson's disease burden.

Findings: Between Sept 1, 2016, and Sept 30, 2018, we recruited 14 A53T SNCA carriers, 25 healthy controls, and 25 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Seven (50%) of 14 A53T SCNA carriers were confirmed to have motor symptoms and confirmed to have Parkinson's disease, and the absence of motor symptoms was confirmed in seven (50%) A53T SCNA carriers (ie, premotor), in whom [I]FP-CIT SPECT confirmed the absence of striatal dopaminergic deficits. Compared with healthy controls, premotor A53T SNCA carriers showed loss of [C]DASB non-displaceable binding potential in the ventral (p<0·0001) and dorsal (p=0·0002) raphe nuclei, caudate (p=0·00015), putamen (p=0·036), thalamus (p=0·00074), hypothalamus (p<0·0001), amygdala (p=0·0041), and brainstem (p=0·046); and in A53T SNCA carriers with Parkinson's disease this loss was extended to the hippocampus (p=0·0051), anterior (p=0·022) and posterior cingulate (p=0·036), insula (p=0·0051), frontal (p=0·0016), parietal (p=0·019), temporal (p<0·0001), and occipital (p=0·0053) cortices. A53T SNCA carriers with Parkinson's disease showed a loss of striatal [I]FP-CIT-specific binding ratio compared with healthy controls (p<0·0001). Premotor A53T SNCA carriers had loss of [C]DASB non-displaceable binding potential in brain areas corresponding to Braak stages 1-3, whereas [C]DASB non-displaceable binding potential was largely preserved in areas corresponding to Braak stages 4-6. Except for one participant who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the past year, all A53T SNCA carriers with Parkinson's disease had decreases in [C]DASB non-displaceable binding potential in brain areas corresponding to Braak stages 1-6. Decreases in [C]DASB non-displaceable binding potential in the brainstem were associated with increased Movement Disorder Score-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale total scores in all A53T SNCA carriers (r -0·66, 95% CI -0·88 to -0·20; p=0·0099), idiopathic Parkinson's disease cohort 1 (r -0·66, -0·84 to -0·36; p=0·00031), and idiopathic Parkinson's disease cohort 2 (r -0·71, -0·84 to -0·52; p<0·0001).

Interpretation: The presence of serotonergic pathology in premotor A53T SNCA carriers preceded development of dopaminergic pathology and motor symptoms and was associated with disease burden, highlighting the potential early role of serotonergic pathology in the progression of Parkinson's disease. Our findings provide evidence that molecular imaging of serotonin transporters could be used to visualise premotor pathology of Parkinson's disease in vivo. Future work might establish whether serotonin transporter imaging is suitable as an adjunctive tool for screening and monitoring progression for individuals at risk or patients with Parkinson's disease to complement dopaminergic imaging, or as a marker of Parkinson's burden in clinical trials.

Funding: Lily Safra Hope Foundation and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at King's College London.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30140-1DOI Listing
August 2019

Serotonergic dysregulation is linked to sleep problems in Parkinson's disease.

Neuroimage Clin 2018 2;18:630-637. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London, London, UK. Electronic address:

Introduction: Sleep disturbances are common non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD). Experimental studies suggest involvement of the serotonergic system in the regulation of sleep and arousal. Using [C]DASB positron emission tomography, a marker of serotonin transporter availability, we investigated whether sleep dysfunction is associated with serotonergic dysfunction in PD.

Methods: We studied 14 PD patients with sleep dysfunction, 14 PD without sleep dysfunction, and 12 healthy controls. Groups were matched for age, disease duration, severity of motor symptoms, daily intake of levodopa equivalent units, body-mass-index, depression and fatigue. [C]DASB non-displaceable binding potential (BP) was calculated for regions with a role in the regulation of sleep and arousal.

Results: [C]DASB BP was reduced by 32-49% in PD patients with sleep dysfunction, and 14-25% in PD without sleep dysfunction, compared to healthy controls. PD patients with sleep dysfunction had lower [C]DASB BP in caudate ( < 0.01), putamen ( < 0.001), ventral striatum ( < 0.001), thalamus ( < 0.05), hypothalamus ( < 0.001) and raphe nuclei ( < 0.01), compared to PD without sleep dysfunction. Higher severity of sleep symptoms (assessed with Parkinson Disease Sleep Scale) correlated with lower [C]DASB binding in caudate ( = 0.77;  < 0.001), putamen ( = 0.84;  < 0.001), ventral striatum ( = 0.86;  < 0.001), thalamus ( = 0.79;  < 0.001), hypothalamus ( = 0.90;  < 0.001) and raphe nuclei ( = 0.83;  < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that sleep dysfunction in PD is associated with reduced serotonergic function in the midbrain raphe, basal ganglia and hypothalamus. Strategies to increase serotonin levels in the brain could be a promising approach to treat sleep dysfunction in PD, and may also have relevance in other neurodegenerative disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2018.03.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5964830PMC
January 2019

Multiple intra-hepatic and abdominal splenosis: an easy call if you know about it.

Acta Radiol Open 2018 May 11;7(5):2058460118772324. Epub 2018 May 11.

Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University Federico II, Naples Italy.

Hepatic splenosis represents the heterotopic implantation of splenic tissue caused by the spillage of cells from the spleen usually after splenectomy or splenic trauma. This condition is usually an incidental finding during surgery and its real incidence is unknown. Splenic implants, which can be placed anywhere in the abdominal cavity, are usually multiple and may be confused with different benign and malignant conditions such as renal tumors, abdominal lymphomas, and endometriosis. We hereby report an unusual case of multiple abdominal splenosis, with a particular intra-hepatic location, that could be misinterpreted as an hepato-cellular carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2058460118772324DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5952290PMC
May 2018

Diabetes mellitus and Parkinson disease.

Neurology 2018 05 6;90(19):e1654-e1662. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

From the Neurodegeneration Imaging Group (G.P., S.P., H.W., B.G., F.N., M.P.), Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, UK; and Division of Geriatrics (B.G., N.F.), Department of Translational Medical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Italy.

Objective: To investigate whether diabetes mellitus is associated with Parkinson-like pathology in people without Parkinson disease and to evaluate the effect of diabetes mellitus on markers of Parkinson pathology and clinical progression in drug-naive patients with early-stage Parkinson disease.

Methods: We compared 25 patients with Parkinson disease and diabetes mellitus to 25 without diabetes mellitus, and 14 patients with diabetes mellitus and no Parkinson disease to 14 healthy controls (people with no diabetes mellitus or Parkinson disease). The clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus was confirmed by 2 consecutive fasting measurements of serum glucose levels >126 mL/dL. Over a 36-month follow-up period, we then investigated in the population with Parkinson disease whether the presence of diabetes mellitus was associated with faster motor progression or cognitive decline.

Results: The presence of diabetes mellitus was associated with higher motor scores ( < 0.01), lower striatal dopamine transporter binding ( < 0.05), and higher tau CSF levels ( < 0.05) in patients with Parkinson disease. In patients with diabetes but without Parkinson disease, the presence of diabetes mellitus was associated with lower striatal dopamine transporter binding ( < 0.05) and higher tau ( < 0.05) and α-synuclein ( < 0.05) CSF levels compared to healthy controls. At the Cox survival analysis in the population of patients with Parkinson disease, the presence of diabetes mellitus was associated with faster motor progression (hazard ratio = 4.521, 95% confidence interval = 1.468-13.926; < 0.01) and cognitive decline (hazard ratio = 9.314, 95% confidence interval = 1.164-74.519; < 0.05).

Conclusions: Diabetes mellitus may predispose toward a Parkinson-like pathology, and when present in patients with Parkinson disease, can induce a more aggressive phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000005475DOI Listing
May 2018
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