Publications by authors named "Bradley F Boeve"

487 Publications

Biomarkers of conversion to α-synucleinopathy in isolated rapid-eye-movement sleep behaviour disorder.

Lancet Neurol 2021 Aug;20(8):671-684

Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; IRCCS, Istituto delle Scienze Neurologiche di Bologna, Bologna, Italy; UOC Clinica Neurologica Rete Metropolitana NEUROMET, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy.

Patients with isolated rapid-eye-movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) are commonly regarded as being in the early stages of a progressive neurodegenerative disease involving α-synuclein pathology, such as Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, or multiple system atrophy. Abnormal α-synuclein deposition occurs early in the neurodegenerative process across the central and peripheral nervous systems and might precede the appearance of motor symptoms and cognitive decline by several decades. These findings provide the rationale to develop reliable biomarkers that can better predict conversion to clinically manifest α-synucleinopathies. In addition, biomarkers of disease progression will be essential to monitor treatment response once disease-modifying therapies become available, and biomarkers of disease subtype will be essential to enable prediction of which subtype of α-synucleinopathy patients with isolated RBD might develop.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(21)00176-9DOI Listing
August 2021

FDG PET metabolic signatures distinguishing prodromal DLB and prodromal AD.

Neuroimage Clin 2021 Jul 4;31:102754. Epub 2021 Jul 4.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Background And Purpose: Patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are characterized by hypometabolism in the parieto-occipital cortex and the cingulate island sign (CIS) on F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET. Whether this pattern of hypometabolism is present as early as the prodromal stage of DLB is unknown. We investigated the pattern of hypometabolism in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who progressed to probable DLB compared to MCI patients who progressed to Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia and clinically unimpaired (CU) controls.

Methods: Patients with MCI from the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center who underwent FDG PET at baseline and progressed to either probable DLB (MCI-DLB; n = 17) or AD dementia (MCI-AD; n = 41) during follow-up, and a comparison cohort of CU controls (n = 100) were included.

Results: Patients with MCI-DLB had hypometabolism in the parieto-occipital cortex extending into temporal lobes, substantia nigra and thalamus. When compared to MCI-AD, medial temporal and posterior cingulate metabolism were preserved in patients with MCI-DLB, accompanied by greater hypometabolism in the substantia nigra in MCI-DLB compared to MCI-AD. In distinguishing MCI-DLB from MCI-AD at the maximum value of Youden's index, CIS ratio was highly specific (90%) but not sensitive (59%), but a higher medial temporal to substantia nigra ratio was both sensitive (94%) and specific (83%).

Conclusion: FDG PET is a potential biomarker for the prodromal stage of DLB. A higher medial temporal metabolism and CIS ratio, and lower substantia nigra metabolism have additive value in distinguishing prodromal DLB and AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8278422PMC
July 2021

Lewy Body Dementia Association's Industry Advisory Council: proceedings of the second annual meeting.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2021 07 8;13(1):124. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Lewy Body Dementia Association, S.W, Lilburn, GA, USA.

In 2019, the Lewy Body Dementia Association formed an Industry Advisory Council to bring together a collaborative group of stakeholders with the goal of accelerating clinical research into Lewy body dementia treatments. At the second annual meeting of the Industry Advisory Council, held virtually on June 18, 2020, the key members presented ongoing and planned efforts toward the council's goals. The meeting also featured a discussion about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Lewy body dementia clinical research, lessons learned from that experience, and how those lessons can be applied to the design and conduct of future clinical trials. This report provides a brief summary of the meeting proceedings with a focus on efforts to improve and adapt future Lewy body dementia clinical research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-021-00868-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8265285PMC
July 2021

Cerebrovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and clinical phenotype in dementia with Lewy bodies.

Neurobiol Aging 2021 Sep 14;105:252-261. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:

We investigated whether cerebrovascular disease contributes to neurodegeneration and clinical phenotype in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Regional cortical thickness and subcortical gray matter volumes were estimated from structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 165 DLB patients. Cortical and subcortical infarcts were recorded and white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) were assessed. Subcortical only infarcts were more frequent (13.3%) than cortical only infarcts (3.1%) or both subcortical and cortical infarcts (2.4%). Infarcts, irrespective of type, were associated with WMHs. A higher WMH volume was associated with thinner orbitofrontal, retrosplenial, and posterior cingulate cortices, smaller thalamus and pallidum, and larger caudate volume. A higher WMH volume was associated with the presence of visual hallucinations and lower global cognitive performance, and tended to be associated with the absence of probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. Presence of infarcts was associated with the absence of parkinsonism. We conclude that cerebrovascular disease is associated with gray matter neurodegeneration in patients with probable DLB, which may have implications for the multifactorial treatment of probable DLB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2021.04.029DOI Listing
September 2021

Selecting software pipelines for change in flortaucipir SUVR: Balancing repeatability and group separation.

Neuroimage 2021 09 9;238:118259. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 200 First Street SW, Rochester 55905, MN, USA.

Since tau PET tracers were introduced, investigators have quantified them using a wide variety of automated methods. As longitudinal cohort studies acquire second and third time points of serial within-person tau PET data, determining the best pipeline to measure change has become crucial. We compared a total of 415 different quantification methods (each a combination of multiple options) according to their effects on a) differences in annual SUVR change between clinical groups, and b) longitudinal measurement repeatability as measured by the error term from a linear mixed-effects model. Our comparisons used MRI and Flortaucipir scans of 97 Mayo Clinic study participants who clinically either: a) were cognitively unimpaired, or b) had cognitive impairments that were consistent with Alzheimer's disease pathology. Tested methods included cross-sectional and longitudinal variants of two overarching pipelines (FreeSurfer 6.0, and an in-house pipeline based on SPM12), three choices of target region (entorhinal, inferior temporal, and a temporal lobe meta-ROI), five types of partial volume correction (PVC) (none, two-compartment, three-compartment, geometric transfer matrix (GTM), and a tau-specific GTM variant), seven choices of reference region (cerebellar crus, cerebellar gray matter, whole cerebellum, pons, supratentorial white matter, eroded supratentorial WM, and a composite of eroded supratentorial WM, pons, and whole cerebellum), two choices of region masking (GM or GM and WM), and two choices of statistic (voxel-wise mean vs. median). Our strongest findings were: 1) larger temporal-lobe target regions greatly outperformed entorhinal cortex (median sample size estimates based on a hypothetical clinical trial were 520-526 vs. 1740); 2) longitudinal processing pipelines outperformed cross-sectional pipelines (median sample size estimates were 483 vs. 572); and 3) reference regions including supratentorial WM outperformed traditional cerebellar and pontine options (median sample size estimates were 370 vs. 559). Altogether, our results favored longitudinally SUVR methods and a temporal-lobe meta-ROI that includes adjacent (juxtacortical) WM, a composite reference region (eroded supratentorial WM + pons + whole cerebellum), 2-class voxel-based PVC, and median statistics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118259DOI Listing
September 2021

Dementia with Lewy bodies: association of Alzheimer pathology with functional connectivity networks.

Brain 2021 Jun 11. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is neuropathologically defined by the presence of α-synuclein aggregates, but many DLB cases show concurrent Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in the form of β-amyloid plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles. The first objective of this study was to investigate the effect of AD co-pathology on functional network changes within the default mode network (DMN) in DLB. Secondly, we studied how the distribution of tau pathology measured with PET relates to functional connectivity in DLB. Twenty-seven DLB, 26 AD, and 99 cognitively unimpaired (CU) participants (balanced on age and sex to the DLB group) underwent tau-PET with AV-1451 (flortaucipir), β-amyloid-PET with Pittsburgh compound-B (PiB), and resting state (rs)-fMRI scans. The rs-fMRI data were used to assess functional connectivity within the posterior DMN. This was then correlated with overall cortical flortaucipir-PET and PiB-PET standardized uptake value ratio (SUVr). The strength of inter-regional functional connectivity was assessed using the Schaefer atlas. Tau-PET covariance was measured as the correlation in flortaucipir SUVr between any two regions across participants. The association between region-to-region functional connectivity and tau-PET covariance was assessed using linear regression. Additionally, we identified the region with highest and the region with lowest tau SUVrs (tau hot- and coldspot) and tested whether tau SUVr in all other brain regions was associated with the strength of functional connectivity to these tau hot- and coldspots. A reduction in posterior DMN connectivity correlated with overall higher cortical tau- (r=-0.39, p = 0.04) and amyloid-PET uptake (r=-0.41, p = 0.03) in the DLB group, i.e. DLB patients with more concurrent AD pathology showed a more severe loss of DMN connectivity. Higher functional connectivity between regions was associated with higher tau covariance in CU, AD, and DLB. Furthermore, higher functional connectivity of a target region to the tau hotspot (i.e. inferior/medial temporal cortex) was related to higher flortaucipir SUVRs in the target region whereas higher functional connectivity to the tau coldspot (i.e. sensory-motor cortex) was related to lower flortaucipir SUVr in the target region. Our findings suggest that a higher burden of AD co-pathology in DLB patients is associated with more AD-like changes in functional connectivity. Furthermore, we found an association between the brain's functional network architecture and the distribution of tau pathology which has recently been described in AD. We show that this relationship also exists in DLB patients, indicating that similar mechanisms of connectivity-dependent occurrence of tau pathology might be at work in both diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab218DOI Listing
June 2021

APOE Allele Testing and Alzheimer Disease-Reply.

JAMA 2021 06;325(21):2211

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.4925DOI Listing
June 2021

Protocol for an observational cohort study identifying factors predicting accurately end of life in dementia with Lewy bodies and promoting quality end-of-life experiences: the PACE-DLB study.

BMJ Open 2021 05 26;11(5):e047554. Epub 2021 May 26.

Biostatistics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Introduction: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is one of the most common degenerative dementias. Despite the fact that most individuals with DLB die from complications of the disease, little is known regarding what factors predict impending end of life or are associated with a quality end of life.

Methods And Analysis: This is a multisite longitudinal cohort study. Participants are being recruited from five academic centres providing subspecialty DLB care and volunteers through the Lewy Body Dementia Association (not receiving specialty care). Dyads must be US residents, include individuals with a clinical diagnosis of DLB and at least moderate-to-severe dementia and include the primary caregiver, who must pass a brief cognitive screen. The first dyad was enrolled 25 February 2021; recruitment is ongoing. Dyads will attend study visits every 6 months through the end of life or 3 years. Study visits will occur in-person or virtually. Measures include demographics, DLB characteristics, caregiver considerations, quality of life and satisfaction with end-of-life experiences. For dyads where the individual with DLB dies, the caregiver will complete a final study visit 3 months after the death to assess grief, recovery and quality of the end-of-life experience. Terminal trend models will be employed to identify significant predictors of approaching end of life (death in the next 6 months). Similar models will assess caregiver factors (eg, grief, satisfaction with end-of-life experience) after the death of the individual with DLB. A qualitative descriptive analysis approach will evaluate interview transcripts regarding end-of-life experiences.

Ethics And Dissemination: This study was approved by the University of Florida institutional review board (IRB202001438) and is listed on clinicaltrials.gov (NCT04829656). Data sharing follows National Institutes of Health policies. Study results will be disseminated via traditional scientific strategies (conferences, publications) and through collaborating with the Lewy Body Dementia Association, National Institute on Aging and other partnerships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8160156PMC
May 2021

MRI quantitative susceptibility mapping of the substantia nigra as an early biomarker for Lewy body disease.

J Neuroimaging 2021 May 25. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Background And Purpose: Neurodegeneration of the substantia nigra in Lewy body disease is associated with iron deposition, which increases the magnetic susceptibility of the substantia nigra on MRI. Our objective was to measure iron deposition in the substantia nigra in patients with probable dementia with Lewy bodies (pDLB) and patients who are at risk for pDLB by quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM).

Methods: Participants included pDLB (n = 36), mild cognitive impairment with at least one core feature of DLB (MCI-LB; n = 15), idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (iRBD; n = 11), and an age-and gender-matched clinically unimpaired control group (n = 102). QSM was derived from multi-echo 3D gradient recalled echo MRI at 3T, and groups were compared on mean susceptibility values of the substantia nigra and its relation to parkinsonism severity.

Results: Patients with pDLB had higher susceptibility in the substantia nigra compared to controls (p< 0.001) and MCI-LB (p = 0.043). The susceptibility of substantia nigra showed an increasing trend from controls to iRBD and MCI-LB, and to pDLB (p< 0.001). Parkinsonism severity was not associated with the mean susceptibility in the substantia nigra in the patient groups.

Conclusions: Our data suggested that QSM is sensitive to the increased magnetic susceptibility due to higher iron content in the substantia nigra in pDLB. The trend of increasing susceptibility from controls to iRBD and MCI-LB, and to pDLB suggests that iron deposition in the substantia nigra starts to increase as early as the prodromal stage in DLB and continues to increase as the disease progresses, independent of parkinsonism severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jon.12878DOI Listing
May 2021

Long-read targeted sequencing uncovers clinicopathological associations for C9orf72-linked diseases.

Brain 2021 May;144(4):1082-1088

Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.

To examine the length of a hexanucleotide expansion in C9orf72, which represents the most frequent genetic cause of frontotemporal lobar degeneration and motor neuron disease, we employed a targeted amplification-free long-read sequencing technology: No-Amp sequencing. In our cross-sectional study, we assessed cerebellar tissue from 28 well-characterized C9orf72 expansion carriers. We obtained 3507 on-target circular consensus sequencing reads, of which 814 bridged the C9orf72 repeat expansion (23%). Importantly, we observed a significant correlation between expansion sizes obtained using No-Amp sequencing and Southern blotting (P = 5.0 × 10-4). Interestingly, we also detected a significant survival advantage for individuals with smaller expansions (P = 0.004). Additionally, we uncovered that smaller expansions were significantly associated with higher levels of C9orf72 transcripts containing intron 1b (P = 0.003), poly(GP) proteins (P = 1.3 × 10- 5), and poly(GA) proteins (P = 0.005). Thorough examination of the composition of the expansion revealed that its GC content was extremely high (median: 100%) and that it was mainly composed of GGGGCC repeats (median: 96%), suggesting that expanded C9orf72 repeats are quite pure. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that No-Amp sequencing is a powerful tool that enables the discovery of relevant clinicopathological associations, highlighting the important role played by the cerebellar size of the expanded repeat in C9orf72-linked diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105038PMC
May 2021

Recognition memory and divergent cognitive profiles in prodromal genetic frontotemporal dementia.

Cortex 2021 06 19;139:99-115. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Neurology, Memory and Aging Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Although executive dysfunction is the characteristic cognitive marker of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), episodic memory deficits are relatively common, and may be present even during the prodromal disease phase. In a cohort of mutation carriers with mild behavioral and/or cognitive symptoms consistent with prodromal bvFTD, we aimed to investigate patterns of performance on an abbreviated list learning task, with a particular focus on recognition memory. We further aimed to characterize the cognitive prodromes associated with the three major genetic causes of frontotemporal dementia, as emerging evidence suggests there may be subtle differences in cognitive profiles among carriers of different genetic mutations. Participants included 57 carriers of a pathogenic mutation in microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT, N = 23), or progranulin (GRN, N = 15), or a or a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72, N = 19), with mild cognitive and/or behavioral symptoms consistent with prodromal bvFTD. Familial non-carriers were included as controls (N = 143). All participants completed a comprehensive neuropsychological examination, including an abbreviated list learning test assessing episodic memory recall and recognition. MAPT mutation carriers performed worse than non-carriers in terms of list recall, and had difficulty discriminating targets from distractors on the recognition memory task, primarily due to the endorsement of distractors as targets. MAPT mutation carriers also showed nonverbal episodic memory and semantic memory dysfunction (object naming). GRN mutation carriers were variable in performance and overall the most dysexecutive. Slowed psychomotor speed was evident in C9orf72 repeat expansion carriers. Identifying the earliest cognitive indicators of bvFTD is of critical clinical and research importance. List learning may be a sensitive cognitive marker for incipient dementia in MAPT and potentially a subset of GRN carriers. Our results highlight that distinct cognitive profiles may be evident in carriers of the three disease-causing genes during the prodromal disease stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2021.03.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8119343PMC
June 2021

Plasma Neurofilament Light for Prediction of Disease Progression in Familial Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration.

Neurology 2021 05 7;96(18):e2296-e2312. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

From the University of California, San Francisco (J.C.R., P.W., A.M.S., Y.C., A.W., S.-Y.M.G., P.A.L., H.W.H., J.C.F., J.B.T., A.M.K., L.L.M., J.K., J.H.K., B.L.M., H.J.S., A.L.B.); UK Dementia Research Centre (C.H., D.M.C., R.S.C., M.B., M.F., C.V.G., G.P., L.R., I.S., E.T., J.D.R.), UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London; Quanterix Corp (E.V., L.S., A.J., D.H.), Lexington; Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research Inc (L.Y., A. Khinikar, R.S.), Cambridge, MA; Novartis Pharma AG (A. Kieloch, M.-A.V.), Basel, Switzerland; Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia (L.L.M., R.P.), San Francisco, CA; Mayo Clinic (K.K., D.S.K., B.F.B.), Rochester, MN; Mayo Clinic (N.G.-R., L.P., R.R.), Jacksonville, FL; University of Pennsylvania (D.J.I., M.G.), Philadelphia; University of California, Los Angeles (E.M.R., G.C., M.F.M., Y.B.); Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital (B.D.C.), Boston, MA; Washington University (N.G.), St. Louis, MO; Columbia University (E.D.H.), New York, NY; University of British Columbia (I.R.M., G.-Y.R.H.), Vancouver, Canada; Case Western Reserve University (B.S.A.), Cleveland, OH; University of Washington (K.D.-R.), Seattle; Laboratory of Neuroimaging (A.W.T.), University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Northwestern University (S.W.), Chicago, IL; University of North Carolina (D.I.K.), Chapel Hill; Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas (D.K.); University of California, San Diego (I.L.); Johns Hopkins Hospital (C.U.O., A.P.), Baltimore, MD; University of Alabama at Birmingham (E.D.R.); University of Toronto (M.C.T., M.M.), Ontario, Canada; Indiana University School of Medicine (T.F.), Indianapolis; Biogen Inc (W.C., J.C., D.L.G.), Cambridge, MA; Erasmus Medical Centre (J.C.v.S.), Rotterdam, the Netherlands; University of Brescia (B.B.), Italy; University of Barcelona (R.S.-V.); Donostia University Hospital (F.M.), San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, Spain; Clinique Interdisciplinaire de Mémoire (R.L.), Département des Sciences Neurologiques, CHU de Québec; Faculté de Médecine (R.L.), Université Laval, Quebec, Canada; Center for Alzheimer Research (C.G.), Division of Neurogeriatrics, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Bioclinicum, Karolinska Institutet; Unit for Hereditary Dementias (C.G.), Theme Aging, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Sweden; University of Tübingen (M.S.); Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) (M.S.), Tübingen, Germany; Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico (D.G.); University of Milan (D.G.), Centro Dino Ferrari, Italy; Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Cambridge University Hospital (J.B.R.), University of Cambridge, UK; University of Western Ontario (E.F.), London, Canada; KU Leuven (R.V.), Belgium; Neurology Service (R.V.), University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium; University of Lisbon (A.d.M.), Portugal; Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta (F.T.), Milan, Italy; University of Coimbra (I.S.), Portugal; McGill University (S.D.), Montreal, Québec, Canada; University of Oxford (C.R.B.); Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre (A.G.), University of Manchester, UK; University of Duisburg-Essen (A.G.), Duisberg; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (J.L., A.D.); German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (J.L.), Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy); University of Ulm (M.O.), Germany; and Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (S.S.), University of Florence, and IRCCS Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Florence, Italy.

Objective: We tested the hypothesis that plasma neurofilament light chain (NfL) identifies asymptomatic carriers of familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD)-causing mutations at risk of disease progression.

Methods: Baseline plasma NfL concentrations were measured with single-molecule array in original (n = 277) and validation (n = 297) cohorts. , , and mutation carriers and noncarriers from the same families were classified by disease severity (asymptomatic, prodromal, and full phenotype) using the CDR Dementia Staging Instrument plus behavior and language domains from the National Alzheimer's Disease Coordinating Center FTLD module (CDR+NACC-FTLD). Linear mixed-effect models related NfL to clinical variables.

Results: In both cohorts, baseline NfL was higher in asymptomatic mutation carriers who showed phenoconversion or disease progression compared to nonprogressors (original: 11.4 ± 7 pg/mL vs 6.7 ± 5 pg/mL, = 0.002; validation: 14.1 ± 12 pg/mL vs 8.7 ± 6 pg/mL, = 0.035). Plasma NfL discriminated symptomatic from asymptomatic mutation carriers or those with prodromal disease (original cutoff: 13.6 pg/mL, 87.5% sensitivity, 82.7% specificity; validation cutoff: 19.8 pg/mL, 87.4% sensitivity, 84.3% specificity). Higher baseline NfL correlated with worse longitudinal CDR+NACC-FTLD sum of boxes scores, neuropsychological function, and atrophy, regardless of genotype or disease severity, including asymptomatic mutation carriers.

Conclusions: Plasma NfL identifies asymptomatic carriers of FTLD-causing mutations at short-term risk of disease progression and is a potential tool to select participants for prevention clinical trials.

Trial Registration Information: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02372773 and NCT02365922.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that in carriers of FTLD-causing mutations, elevation of plasma NfL predicts short-term risk of clinical progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011848DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8166434PMC
May 2021

Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy Burden and Cerebral Microbleeds: Pathological Evidence for Distinct Phenotypes.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;81(1):113-122

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Background: The relationship between cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) on hemosiderin-sensitive MRI sequences and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) remains unclear in population-based participants or in individuals with dementia.

Objective: To determine whether CMBs on antemortem MRI correlate with CAA.

Methods: We reviewed 54 consecutive participants with antemortem T2*GRE-MRI sequences and subsequent autopsy. CMBs were quantified on MRIs closest to death. Autopsy CAA burden was quantified in each region including leptomeningeal/cortical and capillary CAA. By a clustering approach, we examined the relationship among CAA variables and performed principal component analysis (PCA) for dimension reduction to produce two scores from these 15 interrelated predictors. Hurdle models assessed relationships between principal components and lobar CMBs.

Results: MRI-based CMBs appeared in 20/54 (37%). 10 participants had ≥2 lobar-only CMBs. The first two components of the PCA analysis of the CAA variables explained 74% variability. The first rotated component (RPC1) consisted of leptomeningeal and cortical CAA and the second rotated component of capillary CAA (RPC2). Both the leptomeningeal and cortical component and the capillary component correlated with lobar-only CMBs. The capillary CAA component outperformed the leptomeningeal and cortical CAA component in predicting lobar CMBs. Both capillary and the leptomeningeal/cortical components correlated with number of lobar CMBs.

Conclusion: Capillary and leptomeningeal/cortical scores correlated with lobar CMBs on MRI but lobar CMBs were more closely associated with the capillary component. The capillary component correlated with APOEɛ4, highlighting lobar CMBs as one aspect of CAA phenotypic diversity. More CMBs also increase the probability of underlying CAA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-201536DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113155PMC
January 2021

Uniform data set language measures for bvFTD and PPA diagnosis and monitoring.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2021 20;13(1):e12148. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Department of Neurology Memory and Aging Center Weill Institute for Neurosciences University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) San Francisco California USA.

Introduction: The Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration Module (FTLD-MOD) includes a neuropsychological battery designed to assess the clinical features of FTLD, although much is unknown about its utility. We investigated FTLD-MOD and Uniform Data Set 3.0 (UDS) language tests for differential diagnosis and disease monitoring.

Methods: Linear regressions compared baseline performances in 1655 National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center participants (behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD, n = 612), semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA, n = 168), non-fluent/agrammatic variant PPA (nfvPPA, n = 168), logopenic variant PPA (lvPPA, n = 109), and controls (n = 581)). Sample sizes to detect treatment effects were estimated using longitudinal data.

Results: Among PPAs, the FTLD-MOD language tasks and UDS Multilingual Naming Test accurately discriminated svPPA. Number Span Forward best discriminated lvPPA; Phonemic:Semantic Fluency ratio was excellent for nfvPPA classification. UDS fluency and naming measures required the smallest sample size to detect meaningful change.

Discussion: The FTLD-MOD and UDS differentiated among PPA subtypes. UDS 3.0 measures performed best for longitudinal monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12148DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7896637PMC
February 2021

Genome sequencing analysis identifies new loci associated with Lewy body dementia and provides insights into its genetic architecture.

Nat Genet 2021 03 15;53(3):294-303. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Reta Lila Weston Institute, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.

The genetic basis of Lewy body dementia (LBD) is not well understood. Here, we performed whole-genome sequencing in large cohorts of LBD cases and neurologically healthy controls to study the genetic architecture of this understudied form of dementia, and to generate a resource for the scientific community. Genome-wide association analysis identified five independent risk loci, whereas genome-wide gene-aggregation tests implicated mutations in the gene GBA. Genetic risk scores demonstrate that LBD shares risk profiles and pathways with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, providing a deeper molecular understanding of the complex genetic architecture of this age-related neurodegenerative condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00785-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946812PMC
March 2021

TAR DNA-Binding Protein 43 Is Associated with Rate of Memory, Functional and Global Cognitive Decline in the Decade Prior to Death.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;80(2):683-693

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Background: Transactive response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) is associated with memory impairment and overall cognitive decline. It is unclear how TDP-43 contributes to the rate of clinical decline.

Objective: To determine whether cross-sectional and longitudinal cognitive and functional decline are associated with anatomical distribution of TDP-43 in the brain.

Methods: Longitudinal clinical-neuropathologic autopsy cohort study of 385 initially cognitively normal/mildly impaired older adults prospectively followed until death. We investigated how TDP-43, amyloid-β (Aβ), tau neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), Lewy body disease (LBD), age, sex, and genetics are associated with clinical scores and rates of their longitudinal decline.

Results: Of 385 participants, 260 (68%) had no TDP-43, 32 (8%) had TDP-43 limited to amygdala, and 93 (24%) had TDP-43 in the hippocampus and beyond. Higher TDP-43 and Braak NFT stages independently were associated with faster decline in global cognition, functional performance measured by Clinical Dementia Rating scale, and naming and episodic memory, whereas older age was associated with slower rate of cognitive, psychiatric, and functional decline. Cross-sectionally the following associations were found: higher TDP-43 and Braak NFT - worse performance; higher Aβ burden - worse global cognition, more behavioral changes, the latter also with higher LBD; older age - worse naming, lower frequency of behavioral changes; female sex - more impaired naming and better preserved episodic memory. There were no genetic associations.

Conclusion: The association of TDP-43 distribution with decline in cognitive and functional performance suggests that TDP-43 is playing a role in the clinical progression to dementia. Further characterization of clinical features associated with TDP-43 can facilitate establishment of antemortem diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-201166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8020877PMC
January 2021

Specialist approaches to prognostic counseling in isolated REM sleep behavior disorder.

Sleep Med 2021 03 24;79:107-112. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Mayo Center for Sleep Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, USA; Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA; Biomedical Ethics Research Program, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:

Objectives/background: Most middle-aged and older adult patients with isolated (idiopathic) REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) eventually develop parkinsonism, dementia with Lewy bodies, or multiple system atrophy. We aimed to describe the current sleep medicine specialist approach toward RBD prognostic counseling, and to determine physician beliefs and characteristics that impact provision of counseling.

Patients/methods: We surveyed 70 sleep medicine physicians with RBD expertise for demographic information, counseling practices, and their beliefs and understandings concerning the association between RBD and synucleinopathies, among other questions. Responses were summarized by descriptive statistics.

Results: Among the 44 respondents (63% response rate), 41 (93.2%) regularly provided prognostic counseling for most RBD patients, but only 31.8% routinely asked about patient preferences on receiving counseling. 41.8% believed that the risk for developing overt synucleinopathy following RBD diagnosis was >80%, but only 15.9% routinely provided this detailed phenoconversion risk estimate to their patients. Most respondents were concerned that RBD prognostic counseling could adversely impact on the patient's and family's mental health.

Conclusions: Most expert RBD sleep clinicians routinely counsel their patients regarding the high risk for phenoconversion to parkinsonism or dementia, yet relatively few routinely ask patients about their preferences for receiving this information, and fewer provide details concerning the known high risk estimates for developing a synucleinopathy. Future research should analyze patients' values and preferences in RBD populations to inform approaches toward shared decision making for RBD prognostic counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2020.12.014DOI Listing
March 2021

APOE ɛ4 Allele Testing and Risk of Alzheimer Disease.

JAMA 2021 Feb;325(5):484-485

Division of Behavioral Neurology, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.15085DOI Listing
February 2021

Clinical and Neuroimaging Aspects of Familial Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration Associated with MAPT and GRN Mutations.

Adv Exp Med Biol 2021 ;1281:77-92

Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Numerous kindreds with familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration have been linked to mutations in microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) or progranulin (GRN) genes. While there are many similarities in the clinical manifestations and associated neuroimaging findings, there are also distinct differences. In this review, we compare and contrast the demographic/inheritance characteristics, histopathology, pathophysiology, clinical aspects, and key neuroimaging findings between those with MAPT and GRN mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-51140-1_6DOI Listing
February 2021

The value of multimodal imaging with I-FP-CIT SPECT in differential diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease dementia.

Neurobiol Aging 2021 03 15;99:11-18. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:

Reduced nigrostriatal uptake on N-(3-fluoropropyl)-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-[I]iodophenyl) nortropane (I-FP-CIT) SPECT reflects dopamine dysfunction, while other imaging markers could be complementary when used together. We assessed how well I-FP-CIT SPECT differentiates dementia with Lewy bodies (DLBs) from Alzheimer's disease dementia (ADem) and whether multimodal imaging provides additional value. I-FP-CIT SPECT, magnetic resonance imaging, [F]2-fluoro-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography (PET), and C-Pittsburgh compound B (PiB)-PET were assessed in 35 participants with DLBs and 14 participants with ADem (autopsy confirmation in 9 DLBs and 4 ADem). Nigrostriatal dopamine transporter uptake was evaluated with I-FP-CIT SPECT using DaTQUANT software. Hippocampal volume was calculated with magnetic resonance imaging, cingulate island sign ratio with FDG-PET, and global cortical PiB retention with PiB-PET. The DaTQUANT z-scores of the putamen showed the highest c-statistic of 0.916 in differentiating DLBs from ADem among the analyzed imaging biomarkers. Adding another imaging modality to I-FP-CIT SPECT had c-statistics ranging from 0.968 to 0.975, and I-FP-CIT SPECT in combination with 2 other imaging modalities presented c-statistics ranging from 0.987 to 0.996. These findings suggest that multimodal imaging with I-FP-CIT SPECT aids in differentiating DLBs and ADem and in detecting comorbid Lewy-related and Alzheimer's disease pathology in patients with DLBs and ADem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.12.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7902470PMC
March 2021

Case Report: Early-Onset Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia in Patient With Retrotransposed Full-Length Transcript of Variant 5.

Front Neurol 2020 21;11:600468. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Department of Neurology, N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) rarely occurs in individuals under the age of 30, and genetic causes of early-onset FTD are largely unknown. The current report follows a 27 year-old patient with no significant past medical history presenting with two years of progressive changes in behavior, rushed speech, verbal aggression, and social withdrawal. MRI and FDG-PET imaging of the brain revealed changes maximally in the frontal and temporal lobes, which along with the clinical features, are consistent with behavioral variant FTD. Next generation sequencing of a panel of 28 genes associated with dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) initially revealed a duplication of exon 15 in (). Whole genome sequencing determined that this genetic anomaly was, in fact, a sequence corresponding with full-length variant 5 inserted into chromosome 12, indicating retrotransposition from a messenger RNA intermediate. To our knowledge, this is a novel mutation of , as the majority of mutations in linked to FTD-ALS are point mutations. Genomic DNA analysis revealed that this mutation is also present in one unaffected first-degree relative and one unaffected second-degree relative. This suggests that the mutation is either a disease-causing mutation with incomplete penetrance, which has been observed in heritable FTD, or a benign variant. Retrotransposons are not often implicated in neurodegenerative diseases; thus, it is crucial to clarify the potential role of this variant 5 retrotransposition in early-onset FTD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.600468DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7779795PMC
December 2020

β-Amyloid PET and I-FP-CIT SPECT in Mild Cognitive Impairment at Risk for Lewy Body Dementia.

Neurology 2021 Jan 6. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Objective: To determine the clinical phenotypes associated with the amyloid-β PET and dopamine transporter imaging (I-FP-CIT SPECT) findings in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with the core clinical features of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB; MCI-LB).

Methods: Patients with MCI who had at least one core clinical feature of DLB (n=34) were grouped into β-amyloid A+ or A- and I-FP-CIT SPECT D+ or D- groups based on previously established abnormality cut points for A+ with Pittsburgh compound-B PET standardized uptake value ratio (PiB SUVR) ≥1.48 and D+ with putamen z-score with DATQUANT < -0.82 on I-FP-CIT SPECT. Individual MCI-LB patients fell into one of four groups: A+D+, A+D-, A-D+, or A-D-. Log transformed PiB SUVR and putamen z-score were tested for associations with patient characteristics.

Results: The A-D+ biomarker profile was most common (38.2%) followed by A+D+ (26.5%) and A-D- (26.5%). Least common was A+D- biomarker profile (8.8 %). The A+ group was older, had a higher frequency of ε4 carriers, and a lower MMSE score than the A- group. The D+ group was more likely to have probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. Lower putamen DATQUANT z-scores and lower PiB SUVRs were independently associated with higher Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)-III scores.

Conclusions: A majority of MCI-LB patients are characterized by low amyloid-β deposition and reduced dopaminergic activity. Amyloid-β PET and I-FP-CIT SPECT are complementary in characterizing clinical phenotypes of patients with MCI-LB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011454DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055344PMC
January 2021

Novel Associations of and With REM Sleep Behavior Disorder.

Neurology 2021 03 4;96(10):e1402-e1412. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

From the Department of Human Genetics (K.M., E.Y., U.R., L.K., G.A.R., Z.G.-O.), Montreal Neurological Institute (K.M., E.Y., U.R., L.K., J.A.R., F.A., S.B.L., D.S., G.A.R., R.B.P., Z.G.-O.), Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery (J.A.R., F.A., S.B.L., D.S., G.A.R., R.B.P., Z.G.-O.), Centre de Recherche en Biologie Structurale (J.-F.T.), and Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics (J.-F.T.), McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Sleep Disorders Unit (I.A.), Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris Brain Institute and Sorbonne University, France; Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre (OPDC) (M.T.M.H.) and Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (M.T.M.H.), University of Oxford, UK; Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine (J.Y.M., J.-F.G., A.D., R.B.P.), Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal-Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal; Departments of Psychiatry (J.Y.M.) and Neurosciences (A.D.), Université de Montréal; Department of Psychology (J.-F.G.), Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada; National Reference Center for Narcolepsy (Y.D.), Sleep Unit, Department of Neurology, Gui-de-Chauliac Hospital, CHU Montpellier, University of Montpellier, Inserm U1061, France; Clinical Neurology Unit (G.L.G., M.V., F.J., A.B.), Department of Neurosciences, University Hospital of Udine; DMIF (G.L.G.) and Department of Medicine (DAME) (M.V.), University of Udine, Italy; Sleep Disorders Clinic (B.H., A.S., E.H.), Department of Neurology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria; Department of Neurology (K.S., D.K.) and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience (K.S., D.K.), Charles University, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic; Department of Neurology (W.O., A.J., F.S.-D.), Philipps University, Marburg, Germany; Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences (G.P.), University of Modena and Reggio-Emilia; IRCCS (G.P.), Institute of Neurological Sciences of Bologna; Neurology Unit (E.A.), Movement Disorders Division, Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona; Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health (M.F., M.P.), Sleep Disorder Research Center, University of Cagliari, Italy; Paracelsus-Elena-Klinik (B.M., C.T., F.S.-D.), Kassel; Department of Neurosurgery (B.M., C.T.), University Medical Centre Göttingen, Germany; Sleep and Neurology Unit (V.C.D.C.), Beau Soleil Clinic; EuroMov Digital Health in Motion (V.C.D.C.), University of Montpellier IMT Mines Ales; University Lille North of France (C.C.M.), Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and Sleep Center, CHU Lille; Department of Sleep Medicine and Neuromuscular Disorders (A.H.), University of Müenster, Germany; Department of Neurological Sciences (L.F.-S.), Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; Laboratory for Sleep Disorders (F.D., M.V.) and Department of Neurology (F.D., M.V.), St. Dimpna Regional Hospital, Geel; Department of Neurology (F.D.), University Hospital Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium; Sleep Disorder Unit (B.A.), Carémeau Hospital, University Hospital of Nîmes, France; and Department of Neurology (B.F.B.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Objective: To examine the role of genes identified through genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of Parkinson disease (PD) in the risk of isolated REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD).

Methods: We fully sequenced 25 genes previously identified in GWASs of PD in a total of 1,039 patients with iRBD and 1,852 controls. The role of rare heterozygous variants in these genes was examined with burden tests. The contribution of biallelic variants was further tested. To examine the potential effect of rare nonsynonymous variants on the protein structure, we performed in silico structural analysis. Finally, we examined the association of common variants using logistic regression adjusted for age and sex.

Results: We found an association between rare heterozygous nonsynonymous variants in and iRBD ( = 0.0003 at coverage >50× and 0.0004 at >30×), driven mainly by 3 nonsynonymous variants (p.V85M, p.I101V, and p.V272M) found in 22 (1.2%) controls vs 2 (0.2%) patients. All 3 variants seem to be loss-of-function variants with a potential effect on the protein structure and stability. Rare noncoding heterozygous variants in were also associated with iRBD ( = 0.0006 at >30×). We found no association between rare heterozygous variants in the rest of genes and iRBD. Several carriers of biallelic variants were identified, yet there was no overrepresentation in iRBD.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that rare coding variants in and rare noncoding variants in are associated with iRBD. Additional studies are required to replicate these results and to examine whether loss of function of could be a therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011464DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055320PMC
March 2021

MAPT subhaplotypes in corticobasal degeneration: assessing associations with disease risk, severity of tau pathology, and clinical features.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2020 12 7;8(1):218. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL, 32224, USA.

The microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) H1 haplotype is the strongest genetic risk factor for corticobasal degeneration (CBD). However, the specific H1 subhaplotype association is not well defined, and it is not clear whether any MAPT haplotypes influence severity of tau pathology or clinical presentation in CBD. Therefore, in the current study we examined 230 neuropathologically confirmed CBD cases and 1312 controls in order to assess associations of MAPT haplotypes with risk of CBD, severity of tau pathology (measured as semi-quantitative scores for coiled bodies, neurofibrillary tangles, astrocytic plaques, and neuropil threads), age of CBD onset, and disease duration. After correcting for multiple testing (P < 0.0026 considered as significant), we confirmed the strong association between the MAPT H2 haplotype and decreased risk of CBD (Odds ratio = 0.26, P = 2 × 10), and also observed a novel association between the H1d subhaplotype and an increased CBD risk (Odds ratio = 1.76, P = 0.002). Additionally, although not statistically significant after correcting for multiple testing, the H1c haplotype was associated with a higher risk of CBD (Odds ratio = 1.49, P = 0.009). No MAPT haplotypes were significantly associated with any tau pathology measures, age of CBD onset, or disease duration. Though replication will be important and there is potential that population stratification could have influenced our findings, these results suggest that several MAPT H1 subhaplotypes are primarily responsible for the strong association between MAPT H1 and risk of CBD, but that H1 subhaplotypes are unlikely to play a major role in driving tau pathology or clinical features. Our findings also indicate that similarities in MAPT haplotype risk-factor profile exist between CBD and the related tauopathy progressive supranuclear palsy, with H2, H1d, and H1c displaying associations with both diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-020-01097-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7720600PMC
December 2020

Brain volumetric deficits in MAPT mutation carriers: a multisite study.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2021 01 28;8(1):95-110. Epub 2020 Nov 28.

Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

Objective: MAPT mutations typically cause behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia with or without parkinsonism. Previous studies have shown that symptomatic MAPT mutation carriers have frontotemporal atrophy, yet studies have shown mixed results as to whether presymptomatic carriers have low gray matter volumes. To elucidate whether presymptomatic carriers have lower structural brain volumes within regions atrophied during the symptomatic phase, we studied a large cohort of MAPT mutation carriers using a voxelwise approach.

Methods: We studied 22 symptomatic carriers (age 54.7 ± 9.1, 13 female) and 43 presymptomatic carriers (age 39.2 ± 10.4, 21 female). Symptomatic carriers' clinical syndromes included: behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (18), an amnestic dementia syndrome (2), Parkinson's disease (1), and mild cognitive impairment (1). We performed voxel-based morphometry on T1 images and assessed brain volumetrics by clinical subgroup, age, and mutation subtype.

Results: Symptomatic carriers showed gray matter atrophy in bilateral frontotemporal cortex, insula, and striatum, and white matter atrophy in bilateral corpus callosum and uncinate fasciculus. Approximately 20% of presymptomatic carriers had low gray matter volumes in bilateral hippocampus, amygdala, and lateral temporal cortex. Within these regions, low gray matter volumes emerged in a subset of presymptomatic carriers as early as their thirties. Low white matter volumes arose infrequently among presymptomatic carriers.

Interpretation: A subset of presymptomatic MAPT mutation carriers showed low volumes in mesial temporal lobe, the region ubiquitously atrophied in all symptomatic carriers. With each decade of age, an increasing percentage of presymptomatic carriers showed low mesial temporal volume, suggestive of early neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51249DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7818091PMC
January 2021

Timeline of Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder in Overt Alpha-Synucleinopathies.

Ann Neurol 2021 02 20;89(2):293-303. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Objective: The aim was to analyze the timeline, prevalence, and survival of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) in patients who developed alpha-synucleinopathies (Parkinson disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and Parkinson disease dementia) compared with age- and sex-matched controls in a population-based incident-cohort study.

Methods: We used a population-based, 1991 to 2010 incident-cohort study of alpha-synucleinopathies. A movement-disorder specialist reviewed medical records to confirm diagnoses. RBD was diagnosed by reported dream-enactment symptoms or polysomnography. Probable RBD and polysomnographically confirmed RBD were analyzed separately and combined.

Results: Among the 444 incident cases of alpha-synucleinopathy, 86 were clinically diagnosed with RBD (19.8%), including 30 (35%) by polysomnography and 56 (65%) as probable. The prevalence of idiopathic RBD at alpha-synucleinopathy diagnosis was 3.4%, increasing to 23.8% after 15 years. Cumulative lifetime incidence was 53 times greater in alpha-synucleinopathy patients than in controls (odds ratio [OR] = 53.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 13.0-217.2, p < 0.0001), higher in dementia with Lewy bodies than in Parkinson disease (OR = 2.57, 95% CI: 1.50-4.40, p = 0.0004), and higher in men than in women with Parkinson disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, or Parkinson disease dementia (OR = 3.70, 95% CI: 2.07-6.62, p < 0.0001), but did not increase mortality risk.

Interpretation: Our cohort had RBD incidence of 3.4%. Overall RBD increased to 23.8% after 15 years, with an overall incidence of 2.5 cases per 100 person-years. With 53 times greater lifetime incidence in alpha-synucleinopathy patients than in controls, RBD was more likely to develop in dementia with Lewy bodies than in Parkinson disease or Parkinson disease dementia, and in men than in women, but did not increase mortality risk within our cohort. ANN NEUROL 2021;89:293-303.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.25952DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080353PMC
February 2021

Protein contributions to brain atrophy acceleration in Alzheimer's disease and primary age-related tauopathy.

Brain 2020 12;143(11):3463-3476

Department of Radiology (Radiology Research) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the presence of amyloid-β and tau deposition in the brain, hippocampal atrophy and increased rates of hippocampal atrophy over time. Another protein, TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been identified in up to 75% of cases of Alzheimer's disease. TDP-43, tau and amyloid-β have all been linked to hippocampal atrophy. TDP-43 and tau have also been linked to hippocampal atrophy in cases of primary age-related tauopathy, a pathological entity with features that strongly overlap with those of Alzheimer's disease. At present, it is unclear whether and how TDP-43 and tau are associated with early or late hippocampal atrophy in Alzheimer's disease and primary age-related tauopathy, whether either protein is also associated with faster rates of atrophy of other brain regions and whether there is evidence for protein-associated acceleration/deceleration of atrophy rates. We therefore aimed to model how these proteins, particularly TDP-43, influence non-linear trajectories of hippocampal and neocortical atrophy in Alzheimer's disease and primary age-related tauopathy. In this longitudinal retrospective study, 557 autopsied cases with Alzheimer's disease neuropathological changes with 1638 ante-mortem volumetric head MRI scans spanning 1.0-16.8 years of disease duration prior to death were analysed. TDP-43 and Braak neurofibrillary tangle pathological staging schemes were constructed, and hippocampal and neocortical (inferior temporal and middle frontal) brain volumes determined using longitudinal FreeSurfer. Bayesian bivariate-outcome hierarchical models were utilized to estimate associations between proteins and volume, early rate of atrophy and acceleration in atrophy rates across brain regions. High TDP-43 stage was associated with smaller cross-sectional brain volumes, faster rates of brain atrophy and acceleration of atrophy rates, more than a decade prior to death, with deceleration occurring closer to death. Stronger associations were observed with hippocampus compared to temporal and frontal neocortex. Conversely, low TDP-43 stage was associated with slower early rates but later acceleration. This later acceleration was associated with high Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage. Somewhat similar, but less striking, findings were observed between TDP-43 and neocortical rates. Braak stage appeared to have stronger associations with neocortex compared to TDP-43. The association between TDP-43 and brain atrophy occurred slightly later in time (∼3 years) in cases of primary age-related tauopathy compared to Alzheimer's disease. The results suggest that TDP-43 and tau have different contributions to acceleration and deceleration of brain atrophy rates over time in both Alzheimer's disease and primary age-related tauopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7719030PMC
December 2020

Challenges and opportunities for improving the landscape for Lewy body dementia clinical trials.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2020 10 29;12(1):137. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Lewy Body Dementia Association, S.W., Lilburn, GA, USA.

Lewy body dementia (LBD), including dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson's disease dementia, affects over a million people in the USA and has a substantial impact on patients, caregivers, and society. Symptomatic treatments for LBD, which can include cognitive, neuropsychiatric, autonomic, sleep, and motor features, are limited with only two drugs (cholinesterase inhibitors) currently approved by regulatory agencies for dementia in LBD. Clinical trials represent a top research priority, but there are many challenges in the development and implementation of trials in LBD. To address these issues and advance the field of clinical trials in the LBDs, the Lewy Body Dementia Association formed an Industry Advisory Council (LBDA IAC), in addition to its Research Center of Excellence program. The LBDA IAC comprises a diverse and collaborative group of experts from academic medical centers, pharmaceutical industries, and the patient advocacy foundation. The inaugural LBDA IAC meeting, held in June 2019, aimed to bring together this group, along with representatives from regulatory agencies, to address the topic of optimizing the landscape of LBD clinical trials. This review highlights the formation of the LBDA IAC, current state of LBD clinical trials, and challenges and opportunities in the field regarding trial design, study populations, diagnostic criteria, and biomarker utilization. Current gaps include a lack of standardized clinical assessment tools and evidence-based management strategies for LBD as well as difficulty and controversy in diagnosing LBD. Challenges in LBD clinical trials include the heterogeneity of LBD pathology and symptomatology, limited understanding of the trajectory of LBD cognitive and core features, absence of LBD-specific outcome measures, and lack of established standardized biologic, imaging, or genetic biomarkers that may inform study design. Demands of study participation (e.g., travel, duration, and frequency of study visits) may also pose challenges and impact trial enrollment, retention, and outcomes. There are opportunities to improve the landscape of LBD clinical trials by harmonizing clinical assessments and biomarkers across cohorts and research studies, developing and validating outcome measures in LBD, engaging the patient community to assess research needs and priorities, and incorporating biomarker and genotype profiling in study design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-020-00703-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7597002PMC
October 2020

Rates of Brain Atrophy Across Disease Stages in Familial Frontotemporal Dementia Associated With MAPT, GRN, and C9orf72 Pathogenic Variants.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 10 1;3(10):e2022847. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Neurology, Memory and Aging Center, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco.

Importance: Several clinical trials are planned for familial forms of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (f-FTLD). Precise modeling of brain atrophy in f-FTLD could improve the power to detect a treatment effect.

Objective: To characterize regions and rates of atrophy in the 3 primary f-FTLD genetic groups (MAPT, GRN, and C9orf72) across all disease stages from asymptomatic to dementia.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This investigation was a case-control study of participants enrolled in the Advancing Research and Treatment for Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration or Longitudinal Evaluation of Familial Frontotemporal Dementia studies. The study took place at 18 North American academic medical centers between January 2009 and September 2018. Participants with f-FTLD (n = 100) with a known pathogenic variant (MAPT [n = 28], GRN [n = 33], or C9orf72 [n = 39]) were grouped according to disease stage (ie, Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] plus National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center [NACC] FTLD module). Included were participants with at least 2 structural magnetic resonance images at presymptomatic (CDR + NACC FTLD = 0 [n = 57]), mild or questionable (CDR + NACC FTLD = 0.5 [n = 15]), or symptomatic (CDR + NACC FTLD = ≥1 [n = 28]) disease stages. The control group included family members of known pathogenic variant carriers who did not carry the pathogenic variant (n = 60).

Main Outcomes And Measures: This study fitted bayesian linear mixed-effects models in each voxel of the brain to quantify the rate of atrophy in each of the 3 genes, at each of the 3 disease stages, compared with controls. The study also analyzed rates of clinical decline in each of these groups, as measured by the CDR + NACC FTLD box score.

Results: The sample included 100 participants with f-FTLD with a known pathogenic variant (mean [SD] age, 50.48 [13.78] years; 53 [53%] female) and 60 family members of known pathogenic variant carriers who did not carry the pathogenic variant (mean [SD] age, 47.51 [12.43] years; 36 [60%] female). MAPT and GRN pathogenic variants were associated with increased rates of volume loss compared with controls at all stages of disease. In MAPT pathogenic variant carriers, statistically significant regions of accelerated volume loss compared with controls were identified in temporal regions bilaterally in the presymptomatic stage, with global spread in the symptomatic stage. For example, mean [SD] rates of atrophy in the left temporal were -231 [47] mm3 per year during the presymptomatic stage, -381 [208] mm3 per year during the mild stage, and -1485 [1025] mm3 per year during the symptomatic stage (P < .05). GRN pathogenic variant carriers generally had minimal increases in atrophy rates between the presymptomatic and mild stages, with rapid increases in atrophy rates in the symptomatic stages. For example, in the right frontal lobes, annualized volume loss was -267 [81] mm3 per year in the presymptomatic stage and -182 [90] mm3 per year in the mild stage, but -1169 [555] mm3 per year in the symptomatic stage. Compared with the other groups, C9orf72 expansion carriers showed minimal increases in rate of volume loss with disease progression. For example, the mean (SD) annualized rates of atrophy in the right frontal lobe in C9orf72 expansion carriers was -272 (118) mm3 per year in presymptomatic stages, -310 (189) mm3 per year in mildly symptomatic stages, and -251 (145) mm3 per year in symptomatic stages.

Conclusions And Relevance: These findings are relevant to clinical trial planning and suggest that the mechanism by which C9orf72 pathogenic variants lead to symptoms may be fundamentally different from the mechanisms associated with other pathogenic variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.22847DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7593814PMC
October 2020

Predicting future rates of tau accumulation on PET.

Brain 2020 10;143(10):3136-3150

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Clinical trials with anti-tau drugs will need to target individuals at risk of accumulating tau. Our objective was to identify variables available in a research setting that predict future rates of tau PET accumulation separately among individuals who were either cognitively unimpaired or cognitively impaired. All 337 participants had: a baseline study visit with MRI, amyloid PET, and tau PET exams, at least one follow-up tau PET exam; and met clinical criteria for membership in one of two clinical diagnostic groups: cognitively unimpaired (n = 203); or cognitively impaired (n = 134, a combined group of participants with either mild cognitive impairment or dementia with Alzheimer's clinical syndrome). Our primary analyses were in these two clinical groups; however, we also evaluated subgroups dividing the unimpaired group by normal/abnormal amyloid PET and the impaired group by clinical phenotype (mild cognitive impairment, amnestic dementia, and non-amnestic dementia). Linear mixed effects models were used to estimate associations between age, sex, education, APOE genotype, amyloid and tau PET standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR), cognitive performance, cortical thickness, and white matter hyperintensity volume at baseline, and the rate of subsequent tau PET accumulation. Log-transformed tau PET SUVR was used as the response and rates were summarized as annual per cent change. A temporal lobe tau PET meta-region of interest was used. In the cognitively unimpaired group, only higher baseline amyloid PET was a significant independent predictor of higher tau accumulation rates (P < 0.001). Higher rates of tau accumulation were associated with faster rates of cognitive decline in the cognitively unimpaired subgroup with abnormal amyloid PET (P = 0.03), but among the subgroup with normal amyloid PET. In the cognitively impaired group, younger age (P = 0.02), higher baseline amyloid PET (P = 0.05), APOE ε4 (P = 0.05), and better cognitive performance (P = 0.05) were significant independent predictors of higher tau accumulation rates. Among impaired individuals, faster cognitive decline was associated with faster rates of tau accumulation (P = 0.01). While we examined many possible predictor variables, our results indicate that screening of unimpaired individuals for potential inclusion in anti-tau trials may be straightforward because the only independent predictor of high tau rates was amyloidosis. In cognitively impaired individuals, imaging and clinical variables consistent with early onset Alzheimer's disease phenotype were associated with higher rates of tau PET accumulation suggesting this may be a highly advantageous group in which to conduct proof-of-concept clinical trials that target tau-related mechanisms. The nature of the dementia phenotype (amnestic versus non-amnestic) did not affect this conclusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa248DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7586089PMC
October 2020
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