Publications by authors named "Markus Donix"

53 Publications

Lithium: A therapeutic option in Alzheimer's disease and its prodromal stages?

Neurosci Lett 2021 08 10;760:136044. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Dresden, Germany.

Experimental data reveal that lithium is capable of attenuating Alzheimer's disease pathology and stimulating adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Clinical studies show procognitive effects in lithium-treated patients with amnestic MCI and Alzheimer's disease. These procognitive effects are associated with changes of CSF biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. After 3 months of lithium treatment with low lithium levels, a slowing of cognitive decline is observed in patients with Alzheimer's disease. In patients with amnestic MCI with low-dose lithium treatment a trend of a reduced Alzheimer's disease conversion rate and longer cognitive stability was reported. Thus, lithium might be a therapeutic option in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and its prodromal stages. But its therapeutic efficacy needs further evaluation. Further studies should include head-to-head comparisons with approved dementia treatment options. Due to lithium's therapeutic toxicity a thorough preselection of patients and a closely therapeutic monitoring is necessary. This manuscript is based on a literature review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2021.136044DOI Listing
August 2021

Relation of retinal and hippocampal thickness in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and healthy controls.

Brain Behav 2021 05 15;11(5):e02035. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Dresden, Germany.

Objective: Investigating retinal thickness may complement existing biological markers for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. Although retinal thinning is predictive for cognitive decline, it remains to be investigated if and how this feature aligns with neurodegeneration elsewhere in the brain, specifically in early disease stages.

Methods: Using optical coherence tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, we examined retinal thickness as well as hippocampal structure in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and healthy controls.

Results: The groups did not differ in hippocampal and retinal thickness measures. However, we detected a correlation of peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and hippocampal thickness in healthy people but not in cognitively impaired patients. The ratio of hippocampus to retina thickness was significantly smaller in patients with mild cognitive impairment and correlated positively with cognitive performance.

Conclusions: Different temporal trajectories of neurodegeneration may disrupt transregional brain structure associations in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.2035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8119792PMC
May 2021

Familial risk of dementia and mediators of memory clinic referrals.

Psychogeriatrics 2020 09 24;20(5):790-791. Epub 2020 May 24.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyg.12566DOI Listing
September 2020

Case of Severe Acute-on-Chronic Lithium Intoxication with 8.6 mmol/l and Prompt Hemodialysis.

Pharmacopsychiatry 2020 Sep 11;53(5):235-236. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany.

Lithium has been the gold standard in the long-term treatment of bipolar disorder for more than 40 years 1. Due to a narrow therapeutic index lithium intoxication still is a common but potentially avoidable clinical problem 2. The possibility of SILENT-syndrome (syndrome of irreversible lithium-effectuated neurotoxicity) illustrates that prevention and optimal treatment of lithium intoxication is vitally important 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1167-3267DOI Listing
September 2020

Impact of cognitive reserve on clinical and neuropsychological measures in patients with mild cognitive impairment.

Australas Psychiatry 2020 08 15;28(4):386-390. Epub 2020 Mar 15.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.

Objective: Cognitive reserve influences age of onset, speed of progression, and clinical manifestations of Alzheimer's disease. We investigated whether cognitive reserve interacts with clinical and neuropsychological parameters in mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we recruited 273 people (70.6 ± 10.1 years, 54.6% women) suffering from subjective memory complaints ( = 65), MCI ( = 121), or dementia ( = 87). Patients underwent neuropsychological evaluation, laboratory testing, and brain imaging. Additionally, we obtained information on years of education and help-seeking motivation.

Results: MCI patients with a university degree were significantly older than those without (71.6 ± 9.6 vs. 66.9 ± 10.3, = 0.02). University-educated MCI patients demonstrated superior performance in verbal fluency. Intrinsic help-seeking motivation (self-referral) was associated with higher cognitive reserve. Female MCI patients presented with greater intrinsic motivation.

Conclusion: Cognitive reserve modulates clinical and neuropsychological measures in patients with MCI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1039856220908171DOI Listing
August 2020

Gender differences in the perception of cognitive decline.

Asian J Psychiatr 2019 Dec 23;46. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany; DZNE, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dresden, Germany. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2019.09.011DOI Listing
December 2019

Education correction for neurocognitive testing.

Psychogeriatrics 2020 03 5;20(2):237-238. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyg.12477DOI Listing
March 2020

[Folic acid and vitamin B12 determination in the assessment of cognitive disorders : Overview and data analysis from a university outpatient memory clinic].

Nervenarzt 2019 Nov;90(11):1162-1169

Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, 01307, Dresden, Deutschland.

Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies are particularly frequent conditions in older people. Since these metabolic disorders represent relevant dyscognitive factors, the assessment of vitamin B12 and folic acid levels is essential in the diagnostic approach of cognitive disorders, such as mild cognitive impairment and dementia in an outpatient memory clinic. This article summarizes the relevant diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies and their effects on cognition. The literature review is supplemented by a data analysis of a naturalistic cohort of 250 patients from this outpatient memory clinic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00115-019-0710-xDOI Listing
November 2019

[Analysis of risk factors, etiology and treatment standard of lithium poisoning].

Nervenarzt 2020 Jan;91(1):57-63

Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, 01307, Dresden, Deutschland.

Despite unlimited access to therapeutic drug monitoring lithium poisoning is still a common and potentially life-threatening but in most cases preventable complication of lithium treatment; however, it is still considered to be the gold standard in the treatment of affective disorders. The necessity of drug monitoring and potential lithium toxicity substantiate the skepticism of many therapists with respect to this often very effective treatment. This therefore limits the use of lithium although the unique therapeutic effects and high efficiency are well known. This retrospective data analysis of risk factors and etiology of lithium poisoning cases identified 58 cases of lithium poisoning, which were treated internally in this hospital between 2010 and 2014. Of the patients 67.2% were female and the majority were classified as chronic poisoning (66.1%). The most relevant patient-related risk factor seemed to be insufficient self-management as 26% of cases of lithium poisoning occurred during febrile infections or exsiccosis. Regarding practitioner-related risk factors, an insufficient consideration of drug interactions, insufficient therapeutic drug monitoring after dose increase and a paucity of experience and knowledge concerning lithium treatment were most relevant. This study illustrates the most important risk factors for lithium poisoning and their frequencies and contributes to raise awareness for this highly relevant topic. These data can help to prevent further cases of lithium poisoning. Furthermore, the results enable a comparison between the actual treatment reality and currently available evidence for the treatment of lithium poisoning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00115-019-0705-7DOI Listing
January 2020

[Analysis of risk factors, etiology and treatment standard of lithium poisoning].

Nervenarzt 2020 Jan;91(1):57-63

Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, 01307, Dresden, Deutschland.

Despite unlimited access to therapeutic drug monitoring lithium poisoning is still a common and potentially life-threatening but in most cases preventable complication of lithium treatment; however, it is still considered to be the gold standard in the treatment of affective disorders. The necessity of drug monitoring and potential lithium toxicity substantiate the skepticism of many therapists with respect to this often very effective treatment. This therefore limits the use of lithium although the unique therapeutic effects and high efficiency are well known. This retrospective data analysis of risk factors and etiology of lithium poisoning cases identified 58 cases of lithium poisoning, which were treated internally in this hospital between 2010 and 2014. Of the patients 67.2% were female and the majority were classified as chronic poisoning (66.1%). The most relevant patient-related risk factor seemed to be insufficient self-management as 26% of cases of lithium poisoning occurred during febrile infections or exsiccosis. Regarding practitioner-related risk factors, an insufficient consideration of drug interactions, insufficient therapeutic drug monitoring after dose increase and a paucity of experience and knowledge concerning lithium treatment were most relevant. This study illustrates the most important risk factors for lithium poisoning and their frequencies and contributes to raise awareness for this highly relevant topic. These data can help to prevent further cases of lithium poisoning. Furthermore, the results enable a comparison between the actual treatment reality and currently available evidence for the treatment of lithium poisoning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00115-019-0705-7DOI Listing
January 2020

Neural Responses to Faces of Attachment Figures and Unfamiliar Faces: Associations With Organized and Disorganized Attachment Representations.

J Nerv Ment Dis 2019 02;207(2):112-120

The neural response to faces of attachment figures compared with unfamiliar faces still remains elusive. In particular, the modulation of the neural response by the organized (secure, insecure) compared with disorganized attachment representation of the subject investigated is unknown. For the present study, 38 healthy participants (age range, 21-71 years) were recruited. Three attachment groups (secure, n = 14; insecure, n = 15; disorganized, n = 9) were assessed using the Adult Attachment Projective. The participants were shown pictures of the faces of attachment figures (romantic partner/parents) and unfamiliar faces in a blocked factorial design, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Showing pictures of attachment figures activated parts of a neural social judgment network, important for inferring others' affective and cognitive mental states (e.g., inferior parietal lobe/superior temporal gyrus) in securely attached healthy individuals. In contrast, disorganized attached individuals with the experience of unresolved attachment trauma in their biography showed deactivations in these areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0000000000000931DOI Listing
February 2019

Risk factors for dementia are not associated with cognitive dysfunction in young people with major depressive disorder.

J Affect Disord 2019 02 25;245:140-144. Epub 2018 Oct 25.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Fetscherstraße 74, Dresden 01307, Germany; Department of Neurology (Neustadt/Trachau), Städtisches Klinikum Dresden, Industriestr. 40, Dresden 01129, Germany.

Background: Hippocampal thinning and carrying the ε4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) are associated with reduced cognitive performance in older people. Although cognitive impairment is also frequent during and after depressive episodes, it may occur irrespective of age, which makes it difficult to determine, whether this symptom indicates a risk for or shared mechanisms with neurodegeneration. We therefore investigated the influence of genetic and brain imaging risk factors for dementia on cognitive impairment in young people with major depressive disorder.

Methods: We used magnetic resonance imaging, APOE genotyping and neurocognitive assessments to examine young adults (mean age: 29.1 ± 6.3 years) with major depressive disorder and a current depressive episode, presenting with or without cognitive deficits.

Results: Neither hippocampal thickness nor APOE genotype predicted cognitive impairment. Patients with objective cognitive deficits reported a greater number of previous depressive episodes.

Limitations: Our results have to be interpreted with caution. The small sample size could have prevented the detection of effects. Complementing research methods and investigations across the life span would be necessary to reveal possible interactions between risk factors for dementia, neurodegeneration, depression, and age.

Conclusions: In young adults, recurrent depressive episodes may increase the likelihood for cognitive deficits, while common risk factors for dementia do not.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.10.118DOI Listing
February 2019

Cognitive impairment and medial temporal lobe structure in young adults with a depressive episode.

J Affect Disord 2018 09 24;237:112-117. Epub 2018 May 24.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany; Department of Neurology (Neustadt/Trachau), Städtisches Klinikum Dresden, Industriestr. 40, 01129 Dresden, Germany.

Background: Cognitive deficits are common in patients with a depressive episode although the predictors for their development and severity remain elusive. We investigated whether subjective and objective cognitive impairment in young depressed adults would be associated with cortical thinning in medial temporal subregions.

Methods: High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging, cortical unfolding data analysis, and comprehensive assessments of subjective and objective cognitive abilities were performed on 27 young patients with a depressive episode (mean age: 29.0 ± 5.8 years) and 23 older participants without a history of a depressive disorder but amnestic mild cognitive impairment (68.5 ± 6.6 years) or normal cognition (65.2 ± 8.7 years).

Results: Thickness reductions in parahippocampal, perirhinal and fusiform cortices were associated with subjective memory deficits only among young patients with a depressive episode and a measurable cognitive impairment.

Limitations: Long-term longitudinal data would be desirable to determine the trajectories of cognitive impairment associated with depression in patients with or without cortical structure changes.

Conclusions: The presence of clinically significant cognitive deficits in young people with a depressive episode may identify a patient population with extrahippocampal cortical thinning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.05.015DOI Listing
September 2018

Family History of Alzheimer's Disease and Subjective Memory Performance.

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 2018 11 7;33(7):458-462. Epub 2018 May 7.

1 Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

People with a first-degree family history of Alzheimer's disease are at an increased risk of developing dementia. Subjective memory impairment among individuals with no measurable cognitive deficits may also indicate elevated dementia risk. It remains unclear whether nondemented people with a positive family history of Alzheimer's disease are more likely to experience cognitive deficits and whether such an association reflects underlying neuropathology. We therefore investigated subjective memory impairment and hippocampal cortical thickness in 40 healthy older adults and 35 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. We found greater subjective memory impairment and left hemispheric hippocampal cortical thinning associated with a first-degree family history of Alzheimer's disease in healthy older adults. This suggests that subjective memory impairment could reflect preclinical stage neurodegeneration among individuals with the family history risk factor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1533317518775033DOI Listing
November 2018

Extrinsic and Intrinsic Help-Seeking Motivation in the Assessment of Cognitive Decline.

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 2018 06 29;33(4):215-220. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

1 Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Diagnostic assessments for dementia include the evaluation of subjective memory impairment, dementia worries, or depressive symptoms. Data on the predictive value of these factors remain unclear, and varying help-seeking behavior may contribute to this finding. We investigate whether differentiating help-seeking motivation from other psychological factors associated with cognitive impairment would enhance the prediction of diagnostic outcomes in a memory clinic. We obtained information on help-seeking motivation from 171 patients who underwent routine diagnostic assessments. Utilizing a discriminant correspondence analysis, our results indicate that extrinsic motivation increases the likelihood of receiving a dementia diagnosis, whereas depression or the duration of deficits carries discriminatory information to further guide the differentiation of prodromal dementia. Recognizing motivational aspects of help-seeking behavior can complement the clinical evaluation of cognitive performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1533317518755332DOI Listing
June 2018

Driving Problems in the Elderly and Cognitively Impaired.

Pharmacopsychiatry 2017 Sep 18;50(5):197-202. Epub 2017 May 18.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Driving ability in the elderly and cognitively impaired is of growing demographic relevance. Driving represents a complex task for which multiple central resources are needed. In mild cognitive impairment and dementia, we need to closely monitor driving ability, as it gets irrecoverably lost in the course of the disease. In normal aging, people are often able to self-regulate driving behavior with respect to their medical conditions. Some studies demonstrated that older drivers perform well compared with younger drivers. Others suggest a decline of driving ability in the process of normal aging and an increasing involvement of older drivers in car crashes. However, these findings have been questioned because of several possible biases. Therefore, unnecessary driving restrictions need to be avoided. The reliable evaluation of driving ability requires a specialist assessment with detailed neurocognitive evaluation, investigation of medical history and medical history by proxy, as well as on-the-the-road tests. Highlighting current knowledge in this field, we would like to increase our readers' awareness for the complexity of driving-associated challenges in an aging population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0043-109560DOI Listing
September 2017

Accelerated Age-Dependent Hippocampal Volume Loss in Parkinson Disease With Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 2017 Sep 4;32(6):313-319. Epub 2017 May 4.

1 Division of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Department of Neurology, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany.

Background: Patients with Parkinson disease are at high risk of developing dementia. During the course of the disease, a substantial number of patients will experience a cognitive decline, indicating the dynamics of the underlying neuropathology. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become increasingly useful for identifying structural characteristics in radiological brain anatomy existing prior to clinical symptoms. Whether these changes reflect pathology, whether they are aging related, or both often remains unclear. We hypothesized that aging-associated brain structural changes would be more pronounced in the hippocampal region among patients with Parkinson disease having mild cognitive deficits relative to cognitively unimpaired patients.

Methods: Using MRI, we investigated 30 cognitively healthy patients with Parkinson disease and 33 patients with nondemented Parkinson disease having mild cognitive impairment. All participants underwent structural MRI scanning and extensive clinical and neuropsychological assessments.

Results: Irrespective of the study participants' cognitive status, older age was associated with reduced cortical thickness in various neocortical regions. Having mild cognitive impairment was not associated with an increased rate of cortical thinning or volume loss in these regions, except in the hippocampus bilaterally.

Conclusion: Patients with Parkinson disease having mild cognitive impairment show an accelerated age-dependent hippocampal volume loss when compared with cognitively healthy patients with Parkinson disease. This may indicate pathological processes in a key region for memory functioning in patients with Parkinson disease at risk of developing dementia. Structural MRI of the hippocampal region could potentially contribute to identifying patients who should receive early treatment aimed at delaying the clinical onset of dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1533317517698794DOI Listing
September 2017

Precuneus Structure Changes in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 2017 Feb 15;32(1):22-26. Epub 2016 Nov 15.

1 Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. Due to their prominent memory impairment, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) often focuses on the hippocampal region. However, recent positron-emission tomography data suggest that within a network of frontal and temporal changes, patients with aMCI show metabolic alterations in the precuneus, a key region for higher cognitive functions. Using high-resolution MRI and whole-brain cortical thickness analyses in 28 patients with aMCI and 25 healthy individuals, we wanted to investigate whether structural changes in the precuneus would be associated with cortical thickness reductions in frontal and temporal brain regions in patients with aMCI. In contrast to healthy people, patients with aMCI showed an association of cortical thinning in the precuneus with predominantly left-hemispheric thickness reductions in medial temporal and frontal cortices. Our data highlight structural neuronal network characteristics among patients with aMCI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1533317516678087DOI Listing
February 2017

MAPT mutation associated with frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism (FTDP-17).

Int Psychogeriatr 2017 05 1;29(5):869-871. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Department of Psychiatry,University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus,Technische Universität Dresden,Dresden,Germany.

We present a 56-year-old patient suffering from frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17). The history included a three-generation pedigree and the patient was found to be a mutation carrier. The diagnosis was hindered by late appearance of the hypokinetic movement disorder. For clinicians, it is important to consider rare neurodegenerative disease variants in early-onset familial dementia syndromes with behavioral, cognitive, and motor symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1041610216002192DOI Listing
May 2017

Our Hidden Patients.

Authors:
Markus Donix

J Am Geriatr Soc 2017 01 27;65(1):221. Epub 2016 Nov 27.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität, Dresden, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14590DOI Listing
January 2017

Disclosing Pleiotropic Effects During Genetic Risk Assessment for Alzheimer Disease.

Ann Intern Med 2016 11;165(9):673

From University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität, Dresden, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/L16-0400DOI Listing
November 2016

Education and Genetic Risk Modulate Hippocampal Structure in Alzheimer's Disease.

Aging Dis 2016 Oct 1;7(5):553-560. Epub 2016 Oct 1.

1Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany; 2DZNE, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dresden, Germany.

Genetic and environmental protective factors and risks modulate brain structure and function in neurodegenerative diseases and their preclinical stages. We wanted to investigate whether the years of formal education, a proxy measure for cognitive reserve, would influence hippocampal structure in Alzheimer's disease patients, and whether apolipoprotein Eε4 (APOE4) carrier status and a first-degree family history of the disease would change a possible association. Fifty-eight Alzheimer's disease patients underwent 3T magnetic resonance imaging. We applied a cortical unfolding approach to investigate individual subregions of the medial temporal lobe. Among patients homozygous for the APOE4 genotype or carrying both APOE4 and family history risks, lower education was associated with a thinner cortex in multiple medial temporal regions, including the hippocampus. Our data suggest that the years of formal education and genetic risks interact in their influence on hippocampal structure in Alzheimer's disease patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14336/AD.2016.0305DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5036951PMC
October 2016

Family History of Alzheimer's Disease and Cortical Thickness in Patients With Dementia.

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 2016 08 14;31(5):450-6. Epub 2016 Jun 14.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany DZNE, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dresden, Germany

A first-degree family history of Alzheimer's disease reflects genetic risks for the neurodegenerative disorder. Recent imaging data suggest localized effects of genetic risks on brain structure in healthy people. It is unknown whether this association can also be found in patients who already have dementia. Our aim was to investigate whether family history risk modulates regional medial temporal lobe cortical thickness in patients with Alzheimer's disease. We performed high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and cortical unfolding data analysis on 54 patients and 53 nondemented individuals. A first-degree family history of Alzheimer's disease was associated with left hemispheric cortical thinning in the subiculum among patients and controls. The contribution of Alzheimer's disease family history to regional brain anatomy changes independent of cognitive impairment may reflect genetic risks that modulate onset and clinical course of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1533317516653827DOI Listing
August 2016

Chromosome aberration associated with hippocampal impairment.

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 2016 08 2;254:1-2. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.05.007DOI Listing
August 2016

Population Studies of Association Between Lithium and Risk of Neurodegenerative Disorders.

Curr Alzheimer Res 2016 ;13(8):873-8

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany.

Background: Lithium shows neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects in vitro and in vivo. Due to its involvement in hippocampal neurogenesis and the interaction with beta-amyloid and neurofibrillary tangle metabolism it has been hypothesized that lithium could have the potential to influence the development of dementia.

Method: Using the PubMed database and cross-reference search strategies our aim was to specifically identify population (cohort or case-control) studies investigating the association between lithium and dementia.

Results: Data from large cohort studies suggest an association between lithium treatment and dementia risk reduction or reduced dementia severity. Studies with smaller sample sizes yield more variable findings.

Conclusions: Lithium may reduce the risk of dementia among middle-aged and older people. Beneficial lithium effects are possibly limited to specific types of neurodegenerative processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1567205013666160219112957DOI Listing
October 2017

Preventive brain radio-chemotherapy alters plasticity associated metabolite profile in the hippocampus but seems to not affect spatial memory in young leukemia patients.

Brain Behav 2015 Sep 14;5(9):e00368. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Division of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Department of Neurology, Technische Universität Dresden 01307, Dresden, Germany ; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Dresden 10307, Dresden, Germany ; Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Technische Universität Dresden 01307, Dresden, Germany.

Background: Neuronal plasticity leading to evolving reorganization of the neuronal network during entire lifespan plays an important role for brain function especially memory performance. Adult neurogenesis occurring in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus represents the maximal way of network reorganization. Brain radio-chemotherapy strongly inhibits adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mice leading to impaired spatial memory.

Methods: To elucidate the effects of CNS radio-chemotherapy on hippocampal plasticity and function in humans, we performed a longitudinal pilot study using 3T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) and virtual water-maze-tests in 10 de-novo patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing preventive whole brain radio-chemotherapy. Patients were examined before, during and after treatment.

Results: CNS radio-chemotherapy did neither affect recall performance in probe trails nor flexible (reversal) relearning of a new target position over a time frame of 10 weeks measured by longitudinal virtual water-maze-testing, but provoked hippocampus-specific decrease in choline as a metabolite associated with cellular plasticity in (1)H-MRS.

Conclusion: Albeit this pilot study needs to be followed up to definitely resolve the question about the functional role of adult human neurogenesis, the presented data suggest that (1)H-MRS allows the detection of neurogenesis-associated plasticity in the human brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.368DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4589814PMC
September 2015

We Should Talk About This.

Authors:
Markus Donix

Am J Psychiatry 2015 Jul;172(7):614-5

From the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität, Dresden, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.15020228DOI Listing
July 2015

Effects of physical activity training in patients with Alzheimer's dementia: results of a pilot RCT study.

PLoS One 2015 17;10(4):e0121478. Epub 2015 Apr 17.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Division of Old Age Psychiatry and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307, Dresden, Germany; DZNE, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dresden, Germany.

Background: There is evidence that physical activity (PA) is of cognitive benefit to the ageing brain, but little is known on the effect in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The present pilot study assessed the effect of a home-based PA training on clinical symptoms, functional abilities, and caregiver burden after 12 and 24 weeks.

Methods: In an RCT thirty patients (aged 72.4±4.3 years) with AD (MMSE: 20.6±6.5 points) and their family caregivers were allocated to a home-based 12-week PA intervention program or the usual care group. The program changed between passive, motor-assisted or active resistive leg training and changes in direction on a movement trainer in order to combine physical and cognitive stimuli.

Results: Analysis of activities of daily living in the patients (ADCS ADL total score) revealed a significant group × time interaction effect (95% CI of the difference between both groups at T2: 5.01-10.51). The control group experienced decreases in ADL performance at week 12 and 24 whereas patients in the intervention group remained stable. Analyses of executive function and language ability revealed considerable effects for semantic word fluency with a group × time interaction (95% CI of the difference between both groups at T2: 0.18-4.02). Patients in the intervention group improved during the intervention and returned to initial performance at week 12 whereas the controls revealed continuous worsening. Analyses of reaction time, hand-eye quickness and attention revealed improvement only in the intervention group. Caregiver burden remained stable in the intervention group but worsened in the control group.

Conclusions: This study suggests that PA in a home-based setting might be an effective and intrinsically attractive way to promote PA training in AD and modulate caregiver burden. The results demonstrate transfer benefits to ADL, cognitive and physical skill in patients with AD.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02196545.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0121478PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4401690PMC
January 2016

High-resolution 7T fMRI of Human Hippocampal Subfields during Associative Learning.

J Cogn Neurosci 2015 Jun 16;27(6):1194-206. Epub 2014 Dec 16.

University of California, Los Angeles.

Examining the function of individual human hippocampal subfields remains challenging because of their small sizes and convoluted structures. Previous human fMRI studies at 3 T have successfully detected differences in activation between hippocampal cornu ammonis (CA) field CA1, combined CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus (DG) region (CA23DG), and the subiculum during associative memory tasks. In this study, we investigated hippocampal subfield activity in healthy participants using an associative memory paradigm during high-resolution fMRI scanning at 7 T. We were able to localize fMRI activity to anterior CA2 and CA3 during learning and to the posterior CA2 field, the CA1, and the posterior subiculum during retrieval of novel associations. These results provide insight into more specific human hippocampal subfield functions underlying learning and memory and a unique opportunity for future investigations of hippocampal subfield function in healthy individuals as well as those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00772DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4417053PMC
June 2015
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