Publications by authors named "Jordi Clarimón"

164 Publications

Neuropathology of a patient with Alzheimer disease treated with low doses of Verubecestat.

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 2021 Nov 25. Epub 2021 Nov 25.

Memory Unit, Department of Neurology, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques Sant Pau - Hospital de Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nan.12781DOI Listing
November 2021

Phosphorylated tau181 in plasma as a potential biomarker for Alzheimer's disease in adults with Down syndrome.

Nat Commun 2021 07 14;12(1):4304. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Memory Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Plasma tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p-tau181) predicts Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology with high accuracy in the general population. In this study, we investigated plasma p-tau181 as a biomarker of AD in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). We included 366 adults with DS (240 asymptomatic, 43 prodromal AD, 83 AD dementia) and 44 euploid cognitively normal controls. We measured plasma p-tau181 with a Single molecule array (Simoa) assay. We examined the diagnostic performance of p-tau181 for the detection of AD and the relationship with other fluid and imaging biomarkers. Plasma p-tau181 concentration showed an area under the curve of 0.80 [95% CI 0.73-0.87] and 0.92 [95% CI 0.89-0.95] for the discrimination between asymptomatic individuals versus those in the prodromal and dementia groups, respectively. Plasma p-tau181 correlated with atrophy and hypometabolism in temporoparietal regions. Our findings indicate that plasma p-tau181 concentration can be useful to detect AD in DS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24319-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8280160PMC
July 2021

Association of Apolipoprotein E ɛ4 Allele With Clinical and Multimodal Biomarker Changes of Alzheimer Disease in Adults With Down Syndrome.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Aug;78(8):937-947

Sant Pau Memory Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Importance: Alzheimer disease (AD) is the leading cause of death in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). Previous studies have suggested that the APOE ɛ4 allele plays a role in the risk and age at onset of dementia in DS; however, data on in vivo biomarkers remain scarce.

Objective: To investigate the association of the APOE ɛ4 allele with clinical and multimodal biomarkers of AD in adults with DS.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This dual-center cohort study recruited adults with DS in Barcelona, Spain, and in Cambridge, UK, between June 1, 2009, and February 28, 2020. Included individuals had been genotyped for APOE and had at least 1 clinical or AD biomarker measurement; 2 individuals were excluded because of the absence of trisomy 21. Participants were either APOE ɛ4 allele carriers or noncarriers.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Participants underwent a neurological and neuropsychological assessment. A subset of participants had biomarker measurements: Aβ1-42, Aβ1-40, phosphorylated tau 181 (pTau181) and neurofilament light chain (NfL) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), pTau181, and NfL in plasma; amyloid positron emission tomography (PET); fluorine 18-labeled-fluorodeoxyglucose PET; and/or magnetic resonance imaging. Age at symptom onset was compared between APOE ɛ4 allele carriers and noncarriers, and within-group local regression models were used to compare the association of biomarkers with age. Voxelwise analyses were performed to assess topographical differences in gray matter metabolism and volume.

Results: Of the 464 adults with DS included in the study, 97 (20.9%) were APOE ɛ4 allele carriers and 367 (79.1%) were noncarriers. No differences between the 2 groups were found by age (median [interquartile range], 45.9 [36.4-50.2] years vs 43.7 [34.9-50.2] years; P = .56) or sex (51 male carriers [52.6%] vs 199 male noncarriers [54.2%]). APOE ɛ4 allele carriers compared with noncarriers presented with AD symptoms at a younger age (mean [SD] age, 50.7 [4.4] years vs 52.7 [5.8] years; P = .02) and showed earlier cognitive decline. Locally estimated scatterplot smoothing curves further showed between-group differences in biomarker trajectories with age as reflected by nonoverlapping CIs. Specifically, carriers showed lower levels of the CSF Aβ1-42 to Aβ1-40 ratio until age 40 years, earlier increases in amyloid PET and plasma pTau181, and earlier loss of cortical metabolism and hippocampal volume. No differences were found in NfL biomarkers or CSF total tau and pTau181. Voxelwise analyses showed lower metabolism in subcortical and parieto-occipital structures and lower medial temporal volume in APOE ɛ4 allele carriers.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, the APOE ɛ4 allele was associated with earlier clinical and biomarker changes of AD in DS. These results provide insights into the mechanisms by which APOE increases the risk of AD, emphasizing the importance of APOE genotype for future clinical trials in DS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.1893DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8261691PMC
August 2021

VAMP-2 is a surrogate cerebrospinal fluid marker of Alzheimer-related cognitive impairment in adults with Down syndrome.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2021 06 28;13(1):119. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Memory Unit and Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau), Neurology Department, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, c/Sant Quintí, 77-79, 08025, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: There is an urgent need for objective markers of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related cognitive impairment in people with Down syndrome (DS) to improve diagnosis, monitor disease progression, and assess response to disease-modifying therapies. Previously, GluA4 and neuronal pentraxin 2 (NPTX2) showed limited potential as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers of cognitive impairment in adults with DS. Here, we compare the CSF profile of a panel of synaptic proteins (Calsyntenin-1, Neuroligin-2, Neurexin-2A, Neurexin-3A, Syntaxin-1B, Thy-1, VAMP-2) to that of NPTX2 and GluA4 in a large cohort of subjects with DS across the preclinical and clinical AD continuum and explore their correlation with cognitive impairment.

Methods: We quantified the synaptic panel proteins by selected reaction monitoring in CSF from 20 non-trisomic cognitively normal controls (mean age 44) and 80 adults with DS grouped according to clinical AD diagnosis (asymptomatic, prodromal AD or AD dementia). We used regression analyses to determine CSF changes across the AD continuum and explored correlations with age, global cognitive performance (CAMCOG), episodic memory (modified cued-recall test; mCRT) and CSF biomarkers, CSF Aβ ratio, CSF Aβ, CSF p-tau, and CSF NFL. P values were adjusted for multiple testing.

Results: In adults with DS, VAMP-2 was the only synaptic protein to correlate with episodic memory (delayed recall adj.p = .04) and age (adj.p = .0008) and was the best correlate of CSF Aβ (adj.p = .0001), p-tau (adj.p < .0001), and NFL (adj.p < .0001). Compared to controls, mean VAMP-2 levels were lower in asymptomatic adults with DS only (adj.p = .02). CSF levels of Neurexin-3A, Thy-1, Neurexin-2A, Calysntenin-1, Neuroligin-2, GluA4, and Syntaxin-1B all strongly correlated with NPTX2 (p < .0001), which was the only synaptic protein to show reduced CSF levels in DS at all AD stages compared to controls (adj.p < .002).

Conclusion: These data show proof-of-concept for CSF VAMP-2 as a potential marker of synapse degeneration that correlates with CSF AD and axonal degeneration markers and cognitive performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-021-00861-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8240298PMC
June 2021

Use of plasma biomarkers for AT(N) classification of neurodegenerative dementias.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2021 Nov 8;92(11):1206-1214. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Department of Neurology, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques Sant Pau - Hospital de Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain.

Objectives: All categories included in the AT(N) classification can now be measured in plasma. However, their agreement with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers is not fully established. A blood signature to generate the AT(N) classification would facilitate early diagnosis of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) through an easy and minimally invasive approach.

Methods: We measured Aβ, pTau181 and neurofilament light (NfL) in 150 plasma samples of the Sant Pau Initiative on Neurodegeneration cohort including patients with mild cognitive impairment, AD dementia, frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and cognitively normal participants. We classified participants in the AT(N) categories according to CSF biomarkers and studied the diagnostic value of plasma biomarkers within each category individually and in combination.

Results: The plasma Aβ composite, pTau181 and NfL yielded areas under the curve (AUC) of 0.75, 0.78 and 0.88 to discriminate positive and negative participants in their respective A, T and N categories. The combination of all three markers did not outperform pTau181 alone (AUC=0.81) to discriminate A+T+ from A-T- participants. There was a moderate correlation between plasma Aβ composite and CSF Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 (Rho=-0.5, p<0.001) and between plasma pTau181 and CSF pTau181 in the entire cohort (Rho=0.51, p<0.001). NfL levels in plasma showed high correlation with those in CSF (Rho=0.78, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Plasma biomarkers are useful to detect the AT(N) categories, and their use can differentiate patients with pathophysiological evidence of AD. A blood AT(N) signature may facilitate early diagnosis and follow-up of patients with AD through an easy and minimally invasive approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2021-326603DOI Listing
November 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

Diagnostic Utility of Measuring Cerebral Atrophy in the Behavioral Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia and Association With Clinical Deterioration.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 03 1;4(3):e211290. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

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

Importance: The presence of atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging can support the diagnosis of the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), but reproducible measurements are lacking.

Objective: To assess the diagnostic and prognostic utility of 6 visual atrophy scales (VAS) and the Magnetic Resonance Parkinsonism Index (MRPI).

Design, Setting, And Participants: In this diagnostic/prognostic study, data from 235 patients with bvFTD and 225 age- and magnetic resonance imaging-matched control individuals from 3 centers were collected from December 1, 1998, to September 30, 2019. One hundred twenty-one participants with bvFTD had high confidence of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) (bvFTD-HC), and 19 had low confidence of FTLD (bvFTD-LC). Blinded clinicians applied 6 previously validated VAS, and the MRPI was calculated with a fully automated approach. Cortical thickness and subcortical volumes were also measured for comparison. Data were analyzed from February 1 to June 30, 2020.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The main outcomes of this study were bvFTD-HC or a neuropathological diagnosis of 4-repeat (4R) tauopathy and the clinical deterioration rate (assessed by longitudinal measurements of Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes). Measures of cerebral atrophy included VAS scores, the bvFTD atrophy score (sum of VAS scores in orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate, anterior temporal, medial temporal lobe, and frontal insula regions), the MRPI, and other computerized quantifications of cortical and subcortical volumes. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) were calculated for the differentiation of participants with bvFTD-HC and bvFTD-LC and controls. Linear mixed models were used to evaluate the ability of atrophy measures to estimate longitudinal clinical deterioration.

Results: Of the 460 included participants, 296 (64.3%) were men, and the mean (SD) age was 62.6 (11.4) years. The accuracy of the bvFTD atrophy score for the differentiation of bvFTD-HC from controls (AUROC, 0.930; 95% CI, 0.903-0.957) and bvFTD-HC from bvFTD-LC (AUROC, 0.880; 95% CI, 0.787-0.972) was comparable to computerized measures (AUROC, 0.973 [95% CI, 0.954-0.993] and 0.898 [95% CI, 0.834-0.962], respectively). The MRPI was increased in patients with bvFTD and underlying 4R tauopathies compared with other FTLD subtypes (14.1 [2.0] vs 11.2 [2.6] points; P < .001). Higher bvFTD atrophy scores were associated with faster clinical deterioration in bvFTD (1.86-point change in Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes score per bvFTD atrophy score increase per year; 95% CI, 0.99-2.73; P < .001).

Conclusions And Relevance: Based on these study findings, in bvFTD, VAS increased the diagnostic certainty of underlying FTLD, and the MRPI showed potential for the detection of participants with underlying 4R tauopathies. These widely available measures of atrophy can also be useful to estimate longitudinal clinical deterioration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.1290DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7953307PMC
March 2021

Long runs of homozygosity are associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 02 24;11(1):142. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Dep. of Surgery, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, University of Málaga, Málaga, Spain.

Long runs of homozygosity (ROH) are contiguous stretches of homozygous genotypes, which are a footprint of inbreeding and recessive inheritance. The presence of recessive loci is suggested for Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, their search has been poorly assessed to date. To investigate homozygosity in AD, here we performed a fine-scale ROH analysis using 10 independent cohorts of European ancestry (11,919 AD cases and 9181 controls.) We detected an increase of homozygosity in AD cases compared to controls [β (CI 95%) = 0.070 (0.037-0.104); P = 3.91 × 10; β (CI95%) = 0.043 (0.009-0.076); P = 0.013]. ROHs increasing the risk of AD (OR > 1) were significantly overrepresented compared to ROHs increasing protection (p < 2.20 × 10). A significant ROH association with AD risk was detected upstream the HS3ST1 locus (chr4:11,189,482‒11,305,456), (β (CI 95%) = 1.09 (0.48 ‒ 1.48), p value = 9.03 × 10), previously related to AD. Next, to search for recessive candidate variants in ROHs, we constructed a homozygosity map of inbred AD cases extracted from an outbred population and explored ROH regions in whole-exome sequencing data (N = 1449). We detected a candidate marker, rs117458494, mapped in the SPON1 locus, which has been previously associated with amyloid metabolism. Here, we provide a research framework to look for recessive variants in AD using outbred populations. Our results showed that AD cases have enriched homozygosity, suggesting that recessive effects may explain a proportion of AD heritability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-01145-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7904832PMC
February 2021

Sex differences in the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia: A new window to executive and behavioral reserve.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 08 16;17(8):1329-1341. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

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

Introduction: Biological sex is an increasingly recognized factor driving clinical and structural heterogeneity in Alzheimer's disease, but its role in the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is unknown.

Methods: We included 216 patients with bvFTD and 235 controls with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from a large multicenter cohort. We compared the clinical characteristics and cortical thickness between men and women with bvFTD and controls. We followed the residuals approach to study behavioral and cognitive reserve.

Results: At diagnosis, women with bvFTD showed greater atrophy burden in the frontotemporal regions compared to men despite similar clinical characteristics. For a similar amount of atrophy, women demonstrated better-than-expected scores on executive function and fewer changes in apathy, sleep, and appetite than men.

Discussion: Our findings suggest that women might have greater behavioral and executive reserve than men, and neurodegeneration must be more severe in women to produce symptoms similar in severity to those in men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8364861PMC
August 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

Cognitive decline in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Neuropathological substrate and genetic determinants.

Brain Pathol 2021 05 12;31(3):e12942. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Neurological Tissue Bank, Biobanc-Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.

Cognitive impairment and behavioral changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are now recognized as part of the disease. Whether it is solely related to the extent of TDP-43 pathology is currently unclear. We aim to evaluate the influence of age, genetics, neuropathological features, and concomitant pathologies on cognitive impairment in ALS patients. We analyzed a postmortem series of 104 ALS patients and retrospectively reviewed clinical and neuropathological data. We assessed the burden and extent of concomitant pathologies, the role of APOE ε4 and mutations, and correlated these findings with cognitive status. We performed a logistic regression model to identify which pathologies are related to cognitive impairment. Cognitive decline was recorded in 38.5% of the subjects. Neuropathological features of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) were found in 32.7%, explaining most, but not all, cases with cognitive impairment. Extent of TDP-43 pathology and the presence of hippocampal sclerosis were associated with cognitive impairment. Mutation carriers presented a higher burden of TDP-43 pathology and FTLD more frequently than sporadic cases. Most cases (89.4%) presented some degree of concomitant pathologies. The presence of concomitant pathologies was associated with older age at death. FTLD, but also Alzheimer's disease, were the predominant underlying pathologies explaining the cognitive impairment in ALS patients. In sum, FTLD explained the presence of cognitive decline in most but not all ALS cases, while other non-FTLD related findings can influence the cognitive status, particularly in older age groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bpa.12942DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8412113PMC
May 2021

Biphasic cortical macro- and microstructural changes in autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 04 16;17(4):618-628. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Sant Pau Memory Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Introduction: A biphasic model for brain structural changes in preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD) could reconcile some conflicting and paradoxical findings in observational studies and anti-amyloid clinical trials.

Methods: In this study we tested this model fitting linear versus quadratic trajectories and computed the timing of the inflection points vertexwise of cortical thickness and cortical diffusivity-a novel marker of cortical microstructure-changes in 389 participants from the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network.

Results: In early preclinical AD, between 20 and 15 years before estimated symptom onset, we found increases in cortical thickness and decreases in cortical diffusivity followed by cortical thinning and cortical diffusivity increases in later preclinical and symptomatic stages. The inflection points 16 to 19 years before estimated symptom onset are in agreement with the start of tau biomarker alterations.

Discussion: These findings confirm a biphasic trajectory for brain structural changes and have direct implications when interpreting magnetic resonance imaging measures in preventive AD clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043974PMC
April 2021

Heterozygous APOE Christchurch in familial Alzheimer's disease without mutations in other Mendelian genes.

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 2021 06 5;47(4):579-582. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Networking Research Center on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.

We present the clinical and neuropathological findings of a patient with early onset Alzheimer's dementia (AD), heterozygous carrier of the rare Apolipoprotein E Christchurch (APOEch) variant. The patient did not harbor any pathogenic mutation in known Mendelian genes related to AD or other neurodegenerative disorders. A sibling of this patient, also carrying the APOEch variant, developed AD at the age of 66 years old. Our data suggest a possible deleterious effect of this variant, which contrast with the protective role that has been previously shown in a subject homozygous for the APOEch with he Paisa PSEN1 mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nan.12670DOI Listing
June 2021

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

Genetic-environmental factors finally assessed together in Parkinson's disease.

Authors:
Jordi Clarimón

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2020 10;91(10):1030

Genetics of Neurodegenerative Disorders Unit, Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute,Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-324472DOI Listing
October 2020

Cortical microstructure in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia continuum.

Neurology 2020 11 10;95(18):e2565-e2576. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

From the Sant Pau Memory Unit (I.I.-G., V.M., J.P., E.V., D.A., O.D.-I., L.M.-R., M.B.S.-S., A.S., L.V., I.S., I.B., S.V., R.B., J.C., A.L., J.F.), Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Neuromuscular Diseases Unit (N.d.L., J.T.-S., E.C.-V., R.R.-G.), Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER) (N.d.L., J.T.-S., E.C.-V., R.R.-G.), Valencia; Barcelona Down Medical Center (I.I.G., L.V., J.F.), Fundació Catalana de Síndrome de Down, Barcelona; and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (I.I.-G., V.M., J.P., E.V., D.A., O.D.-I., I.B., R.B., J.C., A.L., J.F.), CIBERNED, Madrid, Spain.

Objective: To characterize the cortical macrostructure and microstructure of behavioral and cognitive changes along the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-frontotemporal dementia (FTD) continuum.

Methods: We prospectively recruited 88 participants with a 3T MRI structural and diffusion-weighted imaging sequences: 31 with ALS, 20 with the behavioral variant of FTD (bvFTD), and 37 cognitively normal controls. Participants with ALS underwent a comprehensive cognitive and behavioral assessment and were dichotomized into ALS without cognitive or behavioral impairment (ALSno-cbi; n = 12) and ALS with cognitive or behavioral impairment (ALScbi; n = 19). We computed cortical thickness and cortical mean diffusivity using a surface-based approach and explored the cortical correlates of cognitive impairment with the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioral ALS Screen.

Results: The ALSno-cbi and ALScbi groups showed different patterns of reduced cortical thickness and increased cortical mean diffusivity. In the ALSno-cbi group, cortical thinning was restricted mainly to the dorsal motor cortex. In contrast, in the ALScbi group, cortical thinning was observed primarily on frontoinsular and temporal regions bilaterally. There were progressive cortical mean diffusivity changes along the ALSno-cbi, ALScbi, and bvFTD clinical continuum. Participants with ALS with either cognitive or behavioral impairment showed increased cortical mean diffusivity in the prefrontal cortex in the absence of cortical thickness.

Conclusions: Cortical mean diffusivity might be a useful biomarker for the study of extramotor cortical neurodegeneration in the ALS-FTD clinical spectrum.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that the cortical microstructure correlates with cognitive impairment in the ALS-FTD continuum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010727DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682829PMC
November 2020

Cerebrospinal fluid profile of NPTX2 supports role of Alzheimer's disease-related inhibitory circuit dysfunction in adults with Down syndrome.

Mol Neurodegener 2020 08 17;15(1):46. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Memory Unit and Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau), Neurology Department, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, 08025, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the major cause of death in adults with Down syndrome (DS). There is an urgent need for objective markers of AD in the DS population to improve early diagnosis and monitor disease progression. NPTX2 has recently emerged as a promising cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker of Alzheimer-related inhibitory circuit dysfunction in sporadic AD patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate NPTX2 in the CSF of adults with DS and to explore the relationship of NPTX2 to CSF levels of the PV interneuron receptor, GluA4, and existing AD biomarkers (CSF and neuroimaging).

Methods: This is a cross-sectional, retrospective study of adults with DS with asymptomatic AD (aDS, n = 49), prodromal AD (pDS, n = 18) and AD dementia (dDS, n = 27). Non-trisomic controls (n = 34) and patients with sporadic AD dementia (sAD, n = 40) were included for comparison. We compared group differences in CSF NPTX2 according to clinical diagnosis and degree of intellectual disability. We determined the relationship of CSF NPTX2 levels to age, cognitive performance (CAMCOG, free and cued selective reminding, semantic verbal fluency), CSF levels of a PV-interneuron marker (GluA4) and core AD biomarkers; CSF Aβ, CSF t-tau, cortical atrophy (magnetic resonance imaging) and glucose metabolism ([F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography).

Results: Compared to controls, mean CSF NPTX2 levels were lower in DS at all AD stages; aDS (0.6-fold, adj.p < 0.0001), pDS (0.5-fold, adj.p < 0.0001) and dDS (0.3-fold, adj.p < 0.0001). This reduction was similar to that observed in sporadic AD (0.5-fold, adj.p < 0.0001). CSF NPTX2 levels were not associated with age (p = 0.6), intellectual disability (p = 0.7) or cognitive performance (all p > 0.07). Low CSF NPTX2 levels were associated with low GluA4 in all clinical groups; controls (r = 0.2, p = 0.003), adults with DS (r = 0.4, p < 0.0001) and sporadic AD (r = 0.4, p < 0.0001). In adults with DS, low CSF NPTX2 levels were associated with low CSF Aβ (r > 0.3, p < 0.006), low CSF t-tau (r > 0.3, p < 0.001), increased cortical atrophy (p < 0.05) and reduced glucose metabolism (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Low levels of CSF NPTX2, a protein implicated in inhibitory circuit function, is common to sporadic and genetic forms of AD. CSF NPTX2 represents a promising CSF surrogate marker of early AD-related changes in adults with DS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13024-020-00398-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7433053PMC
August 2020

Motor cortex transcriptome reveals microglial key events in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2020 09 15;7(5). Epub 2020 Jul 15.

From the Memory Unit (O.D.-I., V.M., S.S., G.L.-P., L.C.-C., M.Q.-V., L.M., O.B., D.A., J.P., R.B., A.L., J.F., J.C.), Neurology Department and Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED) (O.D.-I., V.M., S.S., G.L.-P., L.C.-C., M.Q.-V., L.M., O.B., D.A., J.P., R.B., A.L., J.F., J.C.), Madrid; Neurological Tissue Bank of the Biobanc-Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS (L.M.-P.), Barcelona; Alzheimer's Disease and Other Cognitive Disorders Unit, Neurology Department (L.M.-P.), Hospital Clínic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona; Network Center for Biomedical Research in Rare Diseases (CIBERER) (J.T.-S., R.R.-G.), Madrid; and Neuromuscular Disorders Unit (J.T.-S., R.R.-G.), Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: To identify transcriptomic changes, neuropathologic correlates, and cellular subpopulations in the motor cortex of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Methods: We performed massive RNA sequencing of the motor cortex of patients with ALS (n = 11) and healthy controls (HCs; n = 8) and analyzed gene expression alterations, differential isoform usage, and gene coexpression networks. Furthermore, we used cell type deconvolution algorithms with human single-nucleus RNA sequencing data as reference to identify perturbations in cell type composition associated with ALS. We performed immunohistochemical techniques to evaluate neuropathologic changes in this brain region.

Results: We report extensive RNA expression alterations at gene and isoform levels, characterized by the enrichment of neuroinflammatory and synaptic-related pathways. The assembly of gene coexpression modules confirmed the involvement of these 2 major transcriptomic changes, which also showed opposite directions related to the disease. Cell type deconvolution revealed an overrepresentation of microglial cells in ALS compared with HC. Notably, microgliosis was driven by a subcellular population presenting a gene expression signature overlapping with the recently described disease-associated microglia (DAM). Using immunohistochemistry, we further evidenced that this microglial subpopulation is overrepresented in ALS and that the density of pTDP43 aggregates negatively correlates with the proportion of microglial cells.

Conclusions: DAM has a central role in microglia-related neuroinflammatory changes in the motor cortex of patients with ALS, and these alterations are coupled with a reduced expression of postsynaptic transcripts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000829DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7371375PMC
September 2020

Clinical and biomarker changes of Alzheimer's disease in adults with Down syndrome: a cross-sectional study.

Lancet 2020 06;395(10242):1988-1997

Sant Pau Memory Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Center of Biomedical Investigation Network for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Alzheimer's disease and its complications are the leading cause of death in adults with Down syndrome. Studies have assessed Alzheimer's disease in individuals with Down syndrome, but the natural history of biomarker changes in Down syndrome has not been established. We characterised the order and timing of changes in biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease in a population of adults with Down syndrome.

Methods: We did a dual-centre cross-sectional study of adults with Down syndrome recruited through a population-based health plan in Barcelona (Spain) and through services for people with intellectual disabilities in Cambridge (UK). Cognitive impairment in participants with Down syndrome was classified with the Cambridge Cognitive Examination for Older Adults with Down Syndrome (CAMCOG-DS). Only participants with mild or moderate disability were included who had at least one of the following Alzheimer's disease measures: apolipoprotein E allele carrier status; plasma concentrations of amyloid β peptides 1-42 and 1-40 and their ratio (Aβ), total tau protein, and neurofilament light chain (NFL); tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p-tau), and NFL in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); and one or more of PET with F-fluorodeoxyglucose, PET with amyloid tracers, and MRI. Cognitively healthy euploid controls aged up to 75 years who had no biomarker abnormalities were recruited from the Sant Pau Initiative on Neurodegeneration. We used a first-order locally estimated scatterplot smoothing curve to determine the order and age at onset of the biomarker changes, and the lowest ages at the divergence with 95% CIs are also reported where appropriate.

Findings: Between Feb 1, 2013, and June 28, 2019 (Barcelona), and between June 1, 2009, and Dec 31, 2014 (Cambridge), we included 388 participants with Down syndrome (257 [66%] asymptomatic, 48 [12%] with prodromal Alzheimer's disease, and 83 [21%] with Alzheimer's disease dementia) and 242 euploid controls. CSF Aβ and plasma NFL values changed in individuals with Down syndrome as early as the third decade of life, and amyloid PET uptake changed in the fourth decade. F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET and CSF p-tau changes occurred later in the fourth decade of life, followed by hippocampal atrophy and changes in cognition in the fifth decade of life. Prodromal Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed at a median age of 50·2 years (IQR 47·5-54·1), and Alzheimer's disease dementia at 53·7 years (49·5-57·2). Symptomatic Alzheimer's disease prevalence increased with age in individuals with Down syndrome, reaching 90-100% in the seventh decade of life.

Interpretation: Alzheimer's disease in individuals with Down syndrome has a long preclinical phase in which biomarkers follow a predictable order of changes over more than two decades. The similarities with sporadic and autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease and the prevalence of Down syndrome make this population a suitable target for Alzheimer's disease preventive treatments.

Funding: Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Fundació Bancaria La Caixa, Fundació La Marató de TV3, Medical Research Council, and National Institutes of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30689-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7322523PMC
June 2020

Assessing circular RNAs in Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

Neurobiol Aging 2020 08 1;92:7-11. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Genetics of Neurodegenerative Disorders Unit, Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; CIBERNED, Center for Networked Biomedical Research into Neurodegenerative Diseases, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

A circular-transcriptome-wide study has recently linked differential expression of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in brain tissue with Alzheimer's disease (AD). We aimed at replicating the major findings in an independent series of sporadic and familial AD. We also included cases with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), comprising brain specimens with TDP-43 aggregates (FTLD-TDP43) and samples that presented Tau accumulation (FTLD-Tau). Using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction approach, we evaluated 8 circRNAs that surpassed the significant threshold in the former meta-analysis (circHOMER1, circDOCK1, circFMN1, circKCNN2, circRTN4, circMAN2A1, circMAP7, and circPICALM). Average expression changes between patients with AD and controls followed the same directions as previously reported. We also confirmed an exacerbated alteration in circRNA expression in the familial AD group compared with the sporadic forms. Two circRNAs (circHOMER1 and circKCNN2) also showed significant expression alterations in the group of FTLD-Tau and FTLD-TDP43, respectively. Overall, these results reinforce the conception that expression of circRNAs is different in AD, and also suggest a wider involvement of this particular class of RNA in other neurodegenerative dementias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.03.017DOI Listing
August 2020

Developmental Dynamic Dysphasia: Are Bilateral Brain Abnormalities a Signature of Inefficient Neural Plasticity?

Front Hum Neurosci 2020 24;14:73. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Cognitive Neurology and Aphasia Unit, Centro de Investigaciones Médico-Sanitarias, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA), University of Malaga, Málaga, Spain.

The acquisition and evolution of speech production, discourse and communication can be negatively impacted by brain malformations. We describe, for the first time, a case of developmental dynamic dysphasia (DDD) in a right-handed adolescent boy (subject D) with cortical malformations involving language-eloquent regions (inferior frontal gyrus) in both the left and the right hemispheres. Language evaluation revealed a markedly reduced verbal output affecting phonemic and semantic fluency, phrase and sentence generation and verbal communication in everyday life. Auditory comprehension, repetition, naming, reading and spelling were relatively preserved, but executive function was impaired. Multimodal neuroimaging showed a malformed cerebral cortex with atypical configuration and placement of white matter tracts bilaterally and abnormal callosal fibers. Dichotic listening showed right hemisphere dominance for language, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) additionally revealed dissociated hemispheric language representation with right frontal activation for phonology and bilateral dominance for semantic processing. Moreover, subject D also had congenital mirror movements (CMM), defined as involuntary movements of one side of the body that mirror intentional movements of the other side. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and fMRI during voluntary unimanual (left and right) hand movements showed bilateral motor cortex recruitment and tractography revealed a lack of decussation of bilateral corticospinal tracts. Genetic testing aimed to detect mutations that disrupt the development of commissural tracts correlating with CMM (e.g., Germline DCC mutations) was negative. Overall, our findings suggest that DDD in subject D resulted from the underdevelopment of the left inferior frontal gyrus with limited capacity for plastic reorganization by its homologous counterpart in the right hemisphere. Corpus callosum anomalies probably contributed to hinder interhemispheric connectivity necessary to compensate language and communication deficits after left frontal involvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.00073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7107010PMC
March 2020

Downregulation of miR-335-5P in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Can Contribute to Neuronal Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Apoptosis.

Sci Rep 2020 03 9;10(1):4308. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Neuromuscular Diseases Laboratory - Biomedical Research Institute SantPau, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease for which the pathophysiological mechanisms of motor neuron loss are not precisely clarified. Environmental and epigenetic mechanisms such as microRNAs (miRNAs) could have a role in disease progression. We studied the expression pattern of miRNAs in ALS serum from 60 patients and 29 healthy controls. We also analyzed how deregulated miRNAs found in serum affected cellular pathways such as apoptosis, autophagy and mitochondrial physiology in SH-SY5Y cells. We found that miR-335-5p was downregulated in ALS serum. SH-SY5Y cells were transfected with a specific inhibitor of miR-335-5p and showed abnormal mitochondrial morphology, with an increment of reactive species of oxygen and superoxide dismutase activity. Pro-apoptotic caspases-3 and 7 also showed an increased activity in transfected cells. The downregulation of miR-335-5p, which has an effect on mitophagy, autophagy and apoptosis in SH-SY5Y neuronal cells could have a role in the motor neuron loss observed in ALS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-61246-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7062873PMC
March 2020

Genetic architecture of neurodegenerative dementias.

Neuropharmacology 2020 05 17;168:108014. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

CIBERNED, Center for Networked Biomedical Research into Neurodegenerative Diseases, Madrid, Spain; Research Center and Memory Clinic, Fundació ACE. Institut Català de Neurociències Aplicades-Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), Barcelona, Spain.

Molecular genetics has been an invaluable tool to help understand the molecular basis of neurodegenerative dementias. In this review, we provide an overview of the genetic architecture underlying some of the most prevalent causes of dementia, including Alzheimer's dementia, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Lewy body dementia, and prion diseases. We also discuss the complexity of the human genome and how the novel technologies have revolutionized and accelerated the way we screen the variety of our DNA. Finally, we also provide some examples about how this genetic knowledge is being transferred into the clinic through personalized medicine. This article is part of the special issue entitled 'The Quest for Disease-Modifying Therapies for Neurodegenerative Disorders'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2020.108014DOI Listing
May 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

APP-derived peptides reflect neurodegeneration in frontotemporal dementia.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2019 12 2;6(12):2518-2530. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Memory Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: We aimed to investigate the relationship between cerebrospinal fluid levels (CSF) of amyloid precursor protein (APP)-derived peptides related to the amyloidogenic pathway, cortical thickness, neuropsychological performance, and cortical gene expression profiles in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD)-related syndromes, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and healthy controls.

Methods: We included 214 participants with CSF available recruited at two centers: 93 with FTLD-related syndromes, 57 patients with AD, and 64 healthy controls. CSF levels of amyloid β (Aβ)1-42, Aβ1-40, Aβ1-38, and soluble β fragment of APP (sAPPβ) were centrally analyzed. We compared CSF levels of APP-derived peptides between groups and, we studied the correlation between CSF biomarkers, cortical thickness, and domain-specific cognitive composites in each group. Then, we explored the relationship between cortical thickness, CSF levels of APP-derived peptides, and regional gene expression profile using a brain-wide regional gene expression data in combination with gene set enrichment analysis.

Results: The CSF levels of Aβ1-40, Aβ1-38, and sAPPβ were lower in the FTLD-related syndromes group than in the AD and healthy controls group. CSF levels of all APP-derived peptides showed a positive correlation with cortical thickness and the executive cognitive composite in the FTLD-related syndromes group but not in the healthy control or AD groups. In the cortical regions where we observed a significant association between cortical thickness and CSF levels of APP-derived peptides, we found a reduced expression of genes related to synaptic function.

Interpretation: APP-derived peptides in CSF may reflect FTLD-related neurodegeneration. This observation has important implications as Aβ1-42 levels are considered an indirect biomarker of cerebral amyloidosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.50948DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6917306PMC
December 2019

The Genetic Architecture of Parkinson Disease in Spain: Characterizing Population-Specific Risk, Differential Haplotype Structures, and Providing Etiologic Insight.

Mov Disord 2019 12 29;34(12):1851-1863. Epub 2019 Oct 29.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Spain.

Background: The Iberian Peninsula stands out as having variable levels of population admixture and isolation, making Spain an interesting setting for studying the genetic architecture of neurodegenerative diseases.

Objectives: To perform the largest PD genome-wide association study restricted to a single country.

Methods: We performed a GWAS for both risk of PD and age at onset in 7,849 Spanish individuals. Further analyses included population-specific risk haplotype assessments, polygenic risk scoring through machine learning, Mendelian randomization of expression, and methylation data to gain insight into disease-associated loci, heritability estimates, genetic correlations, and burden analyses.

Results: We identified a novel population-specific genome-wide association study signal at PARK2 associated with age at onset, which was likely dependent on the c.155delA mutation. We replicated four genome-wide independent signals associated with PD risk, including SNCA, LRRK2, KANSL1/MAPT, and HLA-DQB1. A significant trend for smaller risk haplotypes at known loci was found compared to similar studies of non-Spanish origin. Seventeen PD-related genes showed functional consequence by two-sample Mendelian randomization in expression and methylation data sets. Long runs of homozygosity at 28 known genes/loci were found to be enriched in cases versus controls.

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate the utility of the Spanish risk haplotype substructure for future fine-mapping efforts, showing how leveraging unique and diverse population histories can benefit genetic studies of complex diseases. The present study points to PARK2 as a major hallmark of PD etiology in Spain. © 2019 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.27864DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8393828PMC
December 2019

The Sant Pau Initiative on Neurodegeneration (SPIN) cohort: A data set for biomarker discovery and validation in neurodegenerative disorders.

Alzheimers Dement (N Y) 2019 14;5:597-609. Epub 2019 Oct 14.

Department of Neurology, Sant Pau Memory Unit, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau - IIB Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain.

Introduction: The SPIN (Sant Pau Initiative on Neurodegeneration) cohort is a multimodal biomarker platform designed for neurodegenerative disease research following an integrative approach.

Methods: Participants of the SPIN cohort provide informed consent to donate blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples, receive detailed neurological and neuropsychological evaluations, and undergo a structural 3T brain MRI scan. A subset also undergoes other functional or imaging studies (video-polysomnogram, F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET, amyloid PET, Tau PET). Participants are followed annually for a minimum of 4 years, with repeated cerebrospinal fluid collection and imaging studies performed every other year, and brain donation is encouraged.

Results: The integration of clinical, neuropsychological, genetic, biochemical, imaging, and neuropathological information and the harmonization of protocols under the same umbrella allows the discovery and validation of key biomarkers across several neurodegenerative diseases.

Discussion: We describe our particular 10-year experience and how different research projects were unified under an umbrella biomarker program, which might be of help to other research teams pursuing similar approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trci.2019.09.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6804606PMC
October 2019
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