Publications by authors named "Nikolaos Scarmeas"

168 Publications

Late life psychotic features in prodromal Parkinson's disease.

Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2021 Apr 7;86:67-73. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece; Center of Clinical, Experimental Surgery and Translational Research, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece. Electronic address:

Introduction: Some case series have suggested that psychotic features could occur even before the onset of motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease (PD). Our aim was to investigate a possible association between psychotic symptoms and prodromal Parkinson's disease in a population-based cohort, the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet study.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included participants aged ≥65 years without dementia or PD. We defined psychotic symptoms as the presence of at least one new hallucinatory or delusional feature, assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory scale and the Columbia University Scale for Psychopathology in Alzheimer's Disease, exhibited only at follow-up and not present at baseline visit. We calculated the probability of prodromal PD (pPD) for every participant, according to the 2019 International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society research criteria for prodromal PD.

Results: Participants who developed psychotic manifestations over a three-year follow up (20 of 914) had 1.3 times higher probability of pPD score (β [95%CI]: 1.3 [0.9-1.5], p=0.006) compared to non-psychotic subjects. This association was driven mostly by depressive symptoms, constipation and subthreshold parkinsonism (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Our data indicate that emerging psychotic features evolve in parallel with the probability of pPD. This is the first study that provides evidence for the presence of psychotic experiences in pPD. The association detected needs to be confirmed in longitudinal studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2021.04.001DOI Listing
April 2021

Dystonia assessment in children with cerebral palsy and periventricular leukomalacia.

Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2021 Mar 11;32:8-15. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

1st Department of Pediatrics, Aghia Sofia Children's Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Thivon and Levadias, Athens, 11527, Greece. Electronic address:

Objective: To describe the frequency, motor phenotype, clinical patterns and functional consequences of dystonia in patients with cerebral palsy (CP) in the setting of periventricular leukomalacia.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of a cohort of 31 patients with CP and periventricular leukomalacia. Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) and Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) were used to classify functional ability. Spasticity was rated using the Modified Ashworth Scale. Presence of dystonia was assessed by reviewing video recordings, and its severity by using the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale.

Results: All patients showed evidence of dystonia involving upper and/or lower limbs, neck, trunk, mouth and eyes in order of frequency. In 29% of patients dystonia involved only the limbs and in 71% it was multifocal. Dystonia severity ranged from slight to severe. Severity and distribution of dystonia did not correlate with gender, age, weeks of gestation or duration of neonatal unit stay. GMFCS and MACS correlated with dystonia but not with spasticity.

Conclusions: Severity of dystonia, but not spasticity is associated with the severity of motor functional disability in CP patients with periventricular leukomalacia and demonstrates the key role of dystonia in the motor function of these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2021.03.005DOI Listing
March 2021

DHA intake relates to better cerebrovascular and neurodegeneration neuroimaging phenotypes in middle-aged adults at increased genetic risk of Alzheimer disease.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 Mar 18. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: The number of APOE-ε4 alleles is a major nonmodifiable risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD). There is increasing evidence on the benefits of dietary DHA (22:6n-3) before the onset of AD symptoms, particularly in APOE-ε4 carriers. Brain alterations in the preclinical stage can be detected by structural MRI.

Objectives: We aimed, in middle-aged cognitively unimpaired individuals at increased risk of AD, to cross-sectionally investigate whether dietary DHA intake relates to cognitive performance and to MRI-based markers of cerebral small vessel disease and AD-related neurodegeneration, exploring the effect modification by APOE-ε4 status.

Methods: In 340 participants of the ALFA (ALzheimer and FAmilies) study, which is enriched for APOE-ε4 carriership (n = 122, noncarriers; n = 157, 1 allele; n = 61, 2 alleles), we assessed self-reported DHA intake through an FFQ. We measured cognitive performance by administering episodic memory and executive function tests. We performed high-resolution structural MRI to assess cerebral small vessel disease [white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) and cerebral microbleeds (CMBs)] and AD-related brain atrophy (cortical thickness in an AD signature). We constructed regression models adjusted for potential confounders, exploring the interaction DHA × APOE-ε4.

Results: We observed no significant associations between DHA and cognitive performance or WMH burden. We observed a nonsignificant inverse association between DHA and prevalence of lobar CMBs (OR: 0.446; 95% CI: 0.195, 1.018; P = 0.055). DHA was found to be significantly related to greater cortical thickness in the AD signature in homozygotes but not in nonhomozygotes (P-interaction = 0.045). The association strengthened when analyzing homozygotes and nonhomozygotes matched for risk factors.

Conclusions: In cognitively unimpaired APOE-ε4 homozygotes, dietary DHA intake related to structural patterns that may result in greater resilience to AD pathology. This is consistent with the current hypothesis that those subjects at highest risk would obtain the largest benefits from DHA supplementation in the preclinical stage.This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01835717.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab016DOI Listing
March 2021

Mediterranean diet and risk for dementia and cognitive decline in a Mediterranean population.

J Am Geriatr Soc 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.

Background: Current evidence suggests that nutrition in general and specific dietary patterns in particular, such as the Mediterranean type diet (MeDi), can be employed as potential preventive strategies against the development of dementia and cognitive decline. However, longitudinal data exploring the applicability of these findings in populations of Mediterranean origin are limited. The aim of the present study was to explore the potential relationships of MeDi adherence with dementia incidence rates and cognitive change over time in a traditional Mediterranean population, characterized by a lifelong exposure to Mediterranean eating habits and lifestyle.

Methods: The sample consisted of 1046 non-demented individuals over the age of 64 (mean age = 73.1; SD = 5.0), with available baseline dietary information and longitudinal follow-up. Diagnosis of dementia was made by a full clinical and neuropsychological evaluation, while cognitive performance was assessed according to five cognitive domains (memory, language, attention-speed, executive functioning, visuospatial perception) and a global cognitive score. Adherence to MeDi was evaluated by an a priori score (range 0-55), derived from a detailed food frequency questionnaire.

Results: A total of 62 incident dementia cases occurred during a mean (SD) of 3.1 (0.9) years of follow-up. Individuals in the highest MeDi quartile (highest adherence to MeDi) had a 72% lower risk for development of dementia, compared to those in the lowest one (p = 0.013). In addition, analysis of cognitive performance as a function of MeDi score revealed that the biennial cognitive benefit of a 10-unit increase in MeDi score offsets the cognitive decline associated with 1 year of cognitive aging.

Conclusion: In the present study, higher adherence to MeDi was associated with a reduced risk for dementia and cognitive decline in a traditional Mediterranean population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgs.17072DOI Listing
March 2021

Incidence of mild cognitive impairment in the elderly population in Greece: results from the HELIAD study.

Aging Clin Exp Res 2021 Mar 8. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

1st Department of Neurology, Aeginition University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, 72 Vassilissis Sophias Avenue, 11528, Athens, Greece.

Background: There are no published data on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) incidence in people over 65 years of age in Greece, relevant literature is scarce for Southern Europe, and reported rates worldwide show great variability.

Aims: To investigate the incidence and risk factors of MCI and its subtypes in the elderly population in Greece.

Methods: The incidence cohort of the HELIAD study (Hellenic Epidemiological Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet) comprised 955 individuals who received full neurological and neuropsychological evaluation on two separate occasions about three years apart.

Results: The MCI incidence rate in our cohort is 54.07 new cases per 1000 person-years, standardized by age and sex to 59.99. Each additional year of age over 65 raises the probability of novel MCI by 6.2%, while lower educational attainment more than doubles the risk for incident MCI. Apolipoprotein E-ε4 (APOE-ε4) carriage results in increased risk for MCI by more than 1.7 times. Incidence rates for amnestic MCI are slightly higher than for the non-amnestic subtype, and AD is the most common potential underlying etiology.

Discussion: The MCI incidence rate in the Greek population over 65 years of age is 54/1000 person-years. Advanced age and APOE-ε4 carriage are predisposing factors, while higher educational attainment was found to exert a protective effect.

Conclusions: MCI incidence in people over 65 years-old in Greece is consistent with reported rates around the world. Larger studies encompassing neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers will hopefully shed more light on MCI epidemiology in Greece in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40520-021-01819-wDOI Listing
March 2021

The factors associated with the presence of psychotic symptoms in the HELIAD Greek community study of older adults.

Aging Ment Health 2021 Jan 20:1-10. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Social Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Background: The prevalence and associated factors related to psychotic symptoms in older adults are understudied. The objectives were to assess the prevalence, incidence and factors associated with psychotic symptoms in a representative Greek sample of community living older adults.

Methods: The sample includes  = 1,904 residents of the cities of Larissa and Maroussi in Greece participating in the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet study with available data at baseline and  = 947 individuals at the 3-year follow-up. Past-month presence of delusions and hallucinations was assessed on the grounds of the 17 symptoms of the Columbia University Scale for Psychopathology in Alzheimer's Disease and 14 symptoms of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire. A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment for probable diagnosis of dementia and physical comorbidity was carried out by neurologists. Penalized logistic regression analyses were used to assess the socio-economic and clinical factors associated with psychotic symptoms.

Results: Past-month prevalence of psychotic symptoms was 1.9% and 1.0% when excluding cases of dementia. The prevalence of any delusion and hallucination was 0.8% and 0.3% when excluding dementia. The incidence of psychotic symptoms without dementia was 1.3%. Recent widows and farmers/breeders/craftsmen, versus public servants/teachers/executives, had both six times the odds of experiencing psychotic symptoms without dementia. Hearing impairment and the number of health conditions also increased the odds while increased age was protective.

Conclusion: Psychotic symptoms unrelated to dementia constitute a considerable mental health problem in old age. Paranoid delusions were the most prevalent. Socio-economic and health status factors are significant predictors of psychotic symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2021.1871882DOI Listing
January 2021

Dementia Incidence in the Elderly Population of Greece: Results From the HELIAD Study.

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2021 Jan-Mar 01;35(1):48-54

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School.

Objectives: Recently a declining trend in dementia incidence rates has been reported in high-income countries. We investigated dementia incidence in a representative sample of the Greek population in the age group of 65 years and above.

Methods: This research is part of the Hellenic Epidemiological Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD). The incidence cohort consisted of 1072 participants who were reevaluated after a mean period of 3.09 years.

Results: The incidence rate of dementia was 19.0 cases per 1000 person-years (age-standardized and sex-standardized incidence: 25.4/1000 person-years), of which 16.3 per 1000 person-years were attributable to Alzheimer disease. Each additional year of age increased dementia risk by 19.3% and each additional year of education decreased dementia risk by 12.1%. Apolipoprotein E (APOE)-ε4 homozygous participants were 18 times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia. A baseline diagnosis of mild cognitive decline (MCI) resulted in a risk for dementia increased by 3.7 times compared with the cognitively normal; in participants with MCI at baseline, APOE-ε4 carriage increased dementia risk by 4.5 times.

Conclusions: The incidence rate of dementia in people 65 years and above in Greece is generally consistent with recently published rates in Europe and North America. Advancing age, baseline MCI, and APOE-ε4 homozygosity are risk factors, while higher educational attainment seems protective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0000000000000407DOI Listing
April 2020

Association Between Sleep Disturbances and Frailty: Evidence From a Population-Based Study.

J Am Med Dir Assoc 2021 Mar 25;22(3):551-558.e1. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Greece; Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, Department of Neurology, Columbia University, New York, NY.

Objective: To explore the association between both self-reported quality and quantity sleep characteristics and frailty status in a large non-sex-specific population of older individuals in Greece.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting And Participants: In total, 1984 older individuals (≥65 years old) were drawn from the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD).

Measures: Frailty was assessed using 3 different definitions, the Frailty Index (FI), the Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI), and the Groningen Frailty Indicator (GFI). Sleep quality was evaluated through the Sleep Index II, which includes 9 of the 12 self-reported items of the Medical Outcomes Study-Sleep Scale. To examine sleep duration, participants were asked to report on how many hours they slept each night during the past 4 weeks. Logistic regression models adjusted for multiple covariates were explored. Additional analyses, stratified by gender, adjusting for sleep-related medications and excluding participants diagnosed with dementia, were also performed.

Results: In total, 389 (20%), 619 (31.9%), and 608 (31.3%) participants were categorized as frail according to the FI, the TFI, and the GFI respectively. Sleep quality was significantly associated with frailty in all models. Even after adjusting for subjective sleep duration, compared with participants who subjectively reported high sleep quality, those with low sleep quality had 3.7, 2.6, and 2.5 more times to be frail as measured with FI, TFI, and GFI respectively. Regarding the associations between frailty and self-reported sleep duration, sex-specific associations were observed: prolonged sleep duration was associated with frailty in the subsample of male participants.

Conclusions And Implications: The present study shows a strong correlation between subjective sleep quality and frailty status, contributing substantial information to the growing literature demonstrating that sleep is associated with older people's overall health. Sleep complaints should not be underestimated, and older individuals who self-report sleep disorders should be further assessed for frailty.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2020.08.012DOI Listing
March 2021

Biomarker counseling, disclosure of diagnosis and follow-up in patients with mild cognitive impairment: A European Alzheimer's disease consortium survey.

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2021 02 16;36(2):324-333. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Servicio de geriatria, Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.

Objectives: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is associated with an increased risk of further cognitive decline, partly depending on demographics and biomarker status. The aim of the present study was to survey the clinical practices of physicians in terms of biomarker counseling, management, and follow-up in European expert centers diagnosing patients with MCI.

Methods: An online email survey was distributed to physicians affiliated with European Alzheimer's disease Consortium centers (Northern Europe: 10 centers; Eastern and Central Europe: 9 centers; and Southern Europe: 15 centers) with questions on attitudes toward biomarkers and biomarker counseling in MCI and dementia. This included postbiomarker counseling and the process of diagnostic disclosure of MCI, as well as treatment and follow-up in MCI.

Results: The response rate for the survey was 80.9% (34 of 42 centers) across 20 countries. A large majority of physicians had access to biomarkers and found them useful. Pre- and postbiomarker counseling varied across centers, as did practices for referral to support groups and advice on preventive strategies. Less than half reported discussing driving and advance care planning with patients with MCI.

Conclusions: The variability in clinical practices across centers calls for better biomarker counseling and better training to improve communication skills. Future initiatives should address the importance of communicating preventive strategies and advance planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gps.5427DOI Listing
February 2021

Frailty and Prodromal Parkinson's Disease: Results From the HELIAD Study.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 Mar;76(4):622-629

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Greece.

Background: To investigate the association between frailty, Parkinson's disease (PD), and the probability of prodromal Parkinson's disease (prodromal PD) in Greek community-dwelling older individuals.

Methods: Parkinson's disease diagnosis was reached through standard clinical research procedures. Probability of prodromal PD was calculated according to the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society's research criteria for PD-free participants. Frailty was evaluated according to definitions of the phenotypic and multidomain approach. Logistic and linear regression models were performed to investigate associations between frailty (predictor) and the probability of prodromal PD, either continuous or dichotomous (≥30% probability score), or PD (outcome).

Results: Data from 1765 participants aged 65 and older were included in the present analysis. Parkinson's disease and prodromal PD prevalence were 1.9% and 3.0%, respectively. Compared to nonfrail participants, those who were frail, as identified with either the Fried frailty phenotype or Frailty Index had approximately 4 (odds ratio [OR] 4.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.54-10.89) and 12 times (OR 12.16, 95% CI 5.46-27.09) higher odds of having a PD diagnosis, respectively. Moreover, compared to the nonfrail, frail participants as identified with either the Fried frailty phenotype or Frailty Index had 2.8 (OR 2.83, 95% CI 1.09-7.37) and 8.3 times (OR 8.39, 95% CI 4.56-15.42) higher odds of having possible/probable prodromal PD, respectively.

Conclusions: Frailty status was associated with prodromal PD and PD, suggesting common characteristics or underlying mechanisms of these conditions. Although prospective studies are warranted, acknowledging the possible association of frailty, PD, and prodromal PD may improve their clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa191DOI Listing
March 2021

Does parity matter in women's risk of dementia? A COSMIC collaboration cohort study.

BMC Med 2020 08 5;18(1):210. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Neurology Department, University Hospital of Larissa, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece.

Background: Dementia shows sex difference in its epidemiology. Childbirth, a distinctive experience of women, is associated with the risk for various diseases. However, its association with the risk of dementia in women has rarely been studied.

Methods: We harmonized and pooled baseline data from 11 population-based cohorts from 11 countries over 3 continents, including 14,792 women aged 60 years or older. We investigated the association between parity and the risk of dementia using logistic regression models that adjusted for age, educational level, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cohort, with additional analyses by region and dementia subtype.

Results: Across all cohorts, grand multiparous (5 or more childbirths) women had a 47% greater risk of dementia than primiparous (1 childbirth) women (odds ratio [OR] = 1.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.10-1.94), while nulliparous (no childbirth) women and women with 2 to 4 childbirths showed a comparable dementia risk to primiparous women. However, there were differences associated with region and dementia subtype. Compared to women with 1 to 4 childbirths, grand multiparous women showed a higher risk of dementia in Europe (OR = 2.99, 95% CI = 1.38-6.47) and Latin America (OR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.04-2.12), while nulliparous women showed a higher dementia risk in Asia (OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.33-3.47). Grand multiparity was associated with 6.9-fold higher risk of vascular dementia in Europe (OR = 6.86, 95% CI = 1.81-26.08), whereas nulliparity was associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer disease (OR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.07-3.39) and non-Alzheimer non-vascular dementia (OR = 3.47, 95% CI = 1.44-8.35) in Asia.

Conclusion: Parity is associated with women's risk of dementia, though this is not uniform across regions and dementia subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01671-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7406389PMC
August 2020

Sleep and the aging brain. A multifaceted approach.

Sleep Sci 2020 Apr-Jun;13(2):152-156

Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center - New York - New York.

In the current review we provide a theoretical background on studies examining the association between sleep and brain function. We focus on the association between sleep and cognitive performance, cognitive changes over time and incident dementia as well. We then present some data on the link between sleep and subjective cognitive complaints, in participants without any objective clinical cognitive decline. We conclude with investigating the association between sleep and brain biomarkers, by highlighting the importance of specific genes and specific brain regions' morphometry. The role of sleep is vital in maintaining a healthy aging brain, and multiple factors should be taken under account when investigating this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5935/1984-0063.20190128DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7384533PMC
August 2020

Education and the moderating roles of age, sex, ethnicity and apolipoprotein epsilon 4 on the risk of cognitive impairment.

Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2020 Nov/Dec;91:104112. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, South Korea.

Background: We examined how the relationship between education and latelife cognitive impairment (defined as a Mini Mental State Examination score below 24) is influenced by age, sex, ethnicity, and Apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 (APOE*4).

Methods: Participants were 30,785 dementia-free individuals aged 55-103 years, from 18 longitudinal cohort studies, with an average follow-up ranging between 2 and 10 years. Pooled hazard ratios were obtained from multilevel parametric survival analyses predicting cognitive impairment (CI) from education and its interactions with baseline age, sex, APOE*4 and ethnicity. In separate models, education was treated as continuous (years) and categorical, with participants assigned to one of four education completion levels: Incomplete Elementary; Elementary; Middle; and High School.

Results: Compared to Elementary, Middle (HR = 0.645, P = 0.004) and High School (HR = 0.472, P < 0.001) education were related to reduced CI risk. The decreased risk of CI associated with Middle education weakened with older baseline age (HR = 1.029, P = 0.056) and was stronger in women than men (HR = 1.309, P = 0.001). The association between High School and lowered CI risk, however, was not moderated by sex or baseline age, but was stronger in Asians than Whites (HR = 1.047, P = 0.044), and significant among Asian (HR = 0.34, P < 0.001) and Black (HR = 0.382, P = 0.016), but not White, APOE*4 carriers.

Conclusion: High School completion may reduce risk of CI associated with advancing age and APOE*4. The observed ethnoregional differences in this effect are potentially due to variations in social, economic, and political outcomes associated with educational attainment, in combination with neurobiological and genetic differences, and warrant further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2020.104112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7724926PMC
December 2020

Nighttime Blood Pressure Interacts with APOE Genotype to Increase the Risk of Incident Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type in Hispanics.

J Alzheimers Dis 2020 ;77(2):569-579

Laboratory of Neuroscience, University of Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Background: Dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT) impacts Hispanics disproportionately, with almost a twofold elevated risk of developing DAT, as well as earlier onset of the disease, than in non-Hispanic Whites. However, the role of main risk factors for DAT, such as APOE-ɛ4 and blood pressure (BP) levels, remains uncertain among Hispanics.

Objective: To investigate the association of APOE-ɛ4 and BP levels, measures with 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring, with incidence of DAT in an elderly cohort of Hispanics.

Methods: 1,320 participants from the Maracaibo Aging Study, free of dementia at the baseline, and with ambulatory BP measurements and APOE genotype available were included. Adjusted Cox proportional models were performed to examine 1) the incidence of DAT and 2) the relationship between BP levels and DAT according to APOE genotypes. Models were adjusted by competing risk of death before the onset of DAT. Model performance was assessed by likelihood test.

Results: The average follow-up time was 5.3 years. DAT incidence was 5.8 per 1000 person-year. APOE-ɛ4 carriers had a higher risk of DAT. In unadjusted analyses, conventional, 24-h, and nighttime systolic BP levels were significantly higher in participants who developed DAT and of APOE-ɛ4 carriers (p < 0.05). After adjustment for competing risks, only higher nighttime systolic BP was associated with DAT incidence, but only among subjects carrying APOE-ɛ4.

Conclusion: In this Hispanic population, both APOE-ɛ4 genotype and assessment of nocturnal systolic BP (rather than diurnal or office BP) were necessary to estimate DAT risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-200430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7577347PMC
January 2020

A Prospective Validation of the Updated Movement Disorders Society Research Criteria for Prodromal Parkinson's Disease.

Mov Disord 2020 10 22;35(10):1802-1809. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Department, Hygeia Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Objective: The objective of this study was to validate the recently updated research criteria for prodromal Parkinson's disease (pPD) proposed by the International Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Society.

Methods: A total of 16 of 21 markers of pPD were ascertained in the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet cohort composed of community-dwelling individuals aged ≥65 years. The probability of pPD was calculated for 961 individuals without Parkinson's disease (PD) or dementia with Lewy bodies at baseline who were followed-up for a median of 3 years. The ability of the criteria to predict conversion to PD/dementia with Lewy bodies was assessed by estimating their sensitivity and specificity, plotting receiver operating characteristics curves, and using logistic regression. These analyses were repeated using the original criteria.

Results: No incident PD/dementia with Lewy bodies case had probable pPD at baseline (ie, ≥80% pPD probability). At cut-offs of 10%, 30%, and 50% probability of pPD, the sensitivity and specificity of the criteria ranged from 4.5% to 27.3%, and 85.7% to 98.3% respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve was 0.691 (95% confidence intervals, 0.605-0.777). In logistic regression models, the criteria-derived posttest odds of pPD were a significant predictor of conversion at follow-up. The updated criteria performed similarly to the original but showed a slight increase in sensitivity.

Conclusions: The new criteria demonstrated suboptimal sensitivity in our random sample of community-dwelling individuals. The absence of specialized assessments with high likelihood ratios in our cohort could be hindering the demonstration of higher sensitivities. Such assessments should be a part of future validation attempts. © 2020 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.28145DOI Listing
October 2020

APOE ε4 and the Influence of Sex, Age, Vascular Risk Factors, and Ethnicity on Cognitive Decline.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2020 09;75(10):1863-1873

Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.

We aimed to examine the relationship between Apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE*4) carriage on cognitive decline, and whether these associations were moderated by sex, baseline age, ethnicity, and vascular risk factors. Participants were 19,225 individuals aged 54-103 years from 15 longitudinal cohort studies with a mean follow-up duration ranging between 1.2 and 10.7 years. Two-step individual participant data meta-analysis was used to pool results of study-wise analyses predicting memory and general cognitive decline from carriage of one or two APOE*4 alleles, and moderation of these associations by age, sex, vascular risk factors, and ethnicity. Separate pooled estimates were calculated in both men and women who were younger (ie, 62 years) and older (ie, 80 years) at baseline. Results showed that APOE*4 carriage was related to faster general cognitive decline in women, and faster memory decline in men. A stronger dose-dependent effect was observed in older men, with faster general cognitive and memory decline in those carrying two versus one APOE*4 allele. Vascular risk factors were related to an increased effect of APOE*4 on memory decline in younger women, but a weaker effect of APOE*4 on general cognitive decline in older men. The relationship between APOE*4 carriage and memory decline was larger in older-aged Asians than Whites. In sum, APOE*4 is related to cognitive decline in men and women, although these effects are enhanced by age and carriage of two APOE*4 alleles in men, a higher numbers of vascular risk factors during the early stages of late adulthood in women, and Asian ethnicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7518559PMC
September 2020

Prevalence of Mild Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly Population in Greece: Results From the HELIAD Study.

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2020 Apr-Jun;34(2):156-162

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School.

Introduction: Timely recognition of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is essential in optimizing prevention and treatment for Alzheimer disease. Because of the paucity of data on MCI epidemiology in Greece and the variability of worldwide published results, we investigated the prevalence and determinants of MCI in the elderly population in Greece.

Methods: As part of the Hellenic Epidemiological Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD), we randomly selected 1960 individuals 65 years and older to undergo full neurological and neuropsychological assessment by a multidisciplinary team. MCI was diagnosed according to the Petersen criteria.

Results: The age-standardized and gender-standardized prevalence of MCI in people aged 65 years and older in Greece is 13.11%. The amnestic and multidomain MCI subtypes are more common than their nonamnestic and single-domain counterparts, respectively. Almost two thirds of cases are because of suspected Alzheimer disease. Every additional year of age increases the odds of prevalent MCI by 7.4%, every additional year of education decreases the odds of MCI by 6.3%, and apolipoprotein E (APOE-ε4) carriage increases the odds of MCI by 57.9%.

Conclusions: MCI prevalence in the elderly population in Greece is on par with previously reported rates. Prospective studies with robust methodology will enhance our understanding of the dementia continuum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0000000000000361DOI Listing
January 2020

Malnutrition in older adults: Correlations with social, diet-related, and neuropsychological factors.

Nutrition 2020 03 9;71:110640. Epub 2019 Nov 9.

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece. Electronic address:

Background: The number of older adults is increasing rapidly. Malnutrition is a major problem in this age group, which may adversely affect health and quality of life. Several physiological, socioeconomic, and neuropsychological factors can lead to malnutrition.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the nutritional status of community-dwelling older adults, and explore the associations of malnutrition risk with physiological, socioeconomic, and neuropsychological characteristics.

Methods: This study is part of the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet study, a cross-sectional observational study in Greece, and study participants were 1831 urban-dwelling elderly individuals (mean age: 73.1 ± 5.9 y; 40.8% men). Risk for malnutrition was assessed with the Determine Your Nutritional Health checklist. Data on age, sex, level of education, marital status, depression, cognitive performance, body mass index, total energy intake, and adherence to the Mediterranean diet were recorded. Correlations and multivariate analyses were performed between these variables and risk for malnutrition.

Results: The estimated prevalence of moderate and high nutritional risks was 34.8% and 29.4%, respectively. Risk for malnutrition was associated with marital status (unmarried), increased body mass index, male sex, lower level of education, lower cognitive performance, and lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Nutritional screening should be performed frequently in all community-dwelling older adults. Health experts should perform nutritional screening in all community-dwelling older adults as part of secondary prevention, and nutrition counselling and support should be offered in those at risk for malnutrition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2019.110640DOI Listing
March 2020

Dietary interventions in mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

Dialogues Clin Neurosci 2019 03;21(1):69-82

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Greece; Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, The Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, Department of Neurology, Columbia University, New York, USA.

Dietary intervention is an enticing approach in the fight against cognitive impairment. Nutritional supplements and dietetic counseling are relatively easy and benign interventions, but research has not yet yielded irrefutable evidence as to their clinical utility. Heterogeneity in the results of available clinical studies, as well as methodological and practical issues, does not allow replication and generalization of findings. The paper at hand reviews only randomized clinical trials of single nutrients, multi-nutrient formulations and dietary counseling in mild cognitive impairment and dementia of the Alzheimer's type focusing on both cognitive and functional outcomes. Thus far, folate, vitamin E, Ω-3 fatty acids, and certain multi-nutrient formulations have shown some preliminary promising results; larger, well-designed trials are needed to confirm these findings before nutritional elements can be incorporated in recommended clinical guidelines.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6780358PMC
March 2019

Q&A with Nikolaos Scarmeas

Mov Disord 2019 09;34(9):1303-1304

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.27844DOI Listing
September 2019

The Association of Sedentary Behaviour and Cognitive Function in People Without Dementia: A Coordinated Analysis Across Five Cohort Studies from COSMIC.

Sports Med 2020 Feb;50(2):403-413

Department of Geriatrics/Radboud Alzheimer Center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Route 925, Postbus 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Background: Besides physical activity as a target for dementia prevention, sedentary behaviour is hypothesized to be a potential target in its own right. The rising number of persons with dementia and lack of any effective treatment highlight the urgency to better understand these modifiable risk factors. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether higher levels of sedentary behaviour are associated with reduced global cognitive functioning and slower cognitive decline in older persons without dementia.

Methods: We used five population cohorts from Greece, Australia, USA, Japan, and Singapore (HELIAD, PATH, SALSA, SGS, and SLAS2) from the Cohort Studies of Memory in an International Consortium. In a coordinated analysis, we assessed the relationship between sedentary behaviour and global cognitive function with the use of linear mixed growth model analysis (mean follow-up range of 2.0-8.1 years).

Results: Baseline datasets combined 10,450 older adults without dementia with a mean age range between cohorts of 66.7-75.1 years. After adjusting for multiple covariates, no cross-sectional association between sedentary behaviour and cognition was found in four studies. One association was detected where more sedentary behaviour was cross-sectionally linked to higher cognition levels (SLAS2, B = 0.118 (0.075; 0.160), P < 0.001). Longitudinally, there were no associations between baseline sedentary behaviour and cognitive decline (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Overall, these results do not suggest an association between total sedentary time and lower global cognition in older persons without dementia at baseline or over time. We hypothesize that specific types of sedentary behaviour may differentially influence cognition which should be investigated further. For now, it is, however, too early to establish undifferentiated sedentary time as a potential effective target for minimizing cognitive decline in older adults without dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40279-019-01186-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6985182PMC
February 2020

Apolipoprotein ε4 allele is associated with frailty syndrome: results from the hellenic longitudinal investigation of ageing and diet study.

Age Ageing 2019 11;48(6):917-921

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.

Apolipoprotein (APOE) ε4 allele has been associated with a number of age-related diseases but previous studies failed to identify any link with Frailty syndrome. The aim of the present study is to investigate the association between APOE ε4 allele and frailty syndrome. We operationalised Frailty according to the Fried definition, and we determined the APOE genotype in 1234 participants of the hellenic longitudinal investigation of ageing and diet study. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between APOE ε4 allele and frailty. Models were adjusted for age, education, sex, presence (or absence) of hypertension, diabetes, myocardial infraction, coronary disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia or other heart disease, family history of dementia and current smoking. The same models were performed after exclusion of patients with dementia and participants with APOE ε2/ε4 genotype. In the fully adjusted model, carriers of APOE ε4 allele had 2.753 higher odds of frailty relative to non-carriers. After trichotomization of APOE genotype, APOE ε4 heterozygotes had 2.675 higher risk of frailty compared to non-carriers while exclusion of patients with dementia or/and APOE ε2/ε4 genotype did not alter the association. The APOE ε4 allele may be a significant biomarker of frailty with diagnostic and prognostic capacity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afz098DOI Listing
November 2019

The relationship between environmental factors and different Parkinson's disease subtypes in Greece: Data analysis of the Hellenic Biobank of Parkinson's disease.

Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2019 10 26;67:105-112. Epub 2019 Aug 26.

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece; 2nd Department of Neurology, Attikon University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece; Center of Clinical Research, Experimental Surgery and Translational Research, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Greece. Electronic address:

Introduction: The aim of this study is to investigate the association between environmental factors (smoking, coffee, pesticide exposure) and Parkinson's disease (PD) subtypes (early-onset, mid-and-late onset, familial and sporadic) in the Greek population.

Methods: The Hellenic Biobank of PD recorded information of PD cases and controls from two centers in Greece during 2006-2017. Patients with the A53T mutation in SNCA or GBA mutations were excluded. Associations of environmental factors with PD overall (and PD subtypes) versus controls were explored with logistic regression models adjusting for age, gender and each environmental factor.

Results: 686 patients and 356 controls were included. Smoking was associated with a reduced risk of PD overall (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.35-0.67), mid-and-late onset (0.46, 0.32-0.66), familial (0.53, 0.34-0.83) and sporadic (0.46, 0.32-0.65), but not early-onset PD. There was an inverse linear association with pack-years of smoking, except for early-onset PD. Early-onset PD was the only PD subtype inversely associated with coffee consumption when dichotomously treated. Compared to never-coffee drinkers, only those at the upper tertile had lower odds for PD overall (0.52, 0.29-0.91), early-onset (0.16, 0.05-0.53) and familial PD (0.36, 0.17-0.75). No associations were found between pesticides and PD.

Conclusions: Our study shows that the well-known negative association of smoking with PD occurs across all PD subtypes in the Greek population, apart from early-onset PD. Early-onset PD was also most strongly inversely associated with coffee consumption, highlighting a potential distinct underlying physiopathology in this PD subset that may involve specific gene-environment interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2019.08.013DOI Listing
October 2019

Social life characteristics in relation to adherence to the Mediterranean diet in older adults: findings from the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD) study.

Public Health Nutr 2020 02 23;23(3):439-445. Epub 2019 Aug 23.

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Eleftheriou Venizelou 70, 17676 Athens, Greece.

Objective: The present study aimed to explore the associations between social life and adherence to a healthy dietary pattern, the Mediterranean diet (MD), in a population-representative cohort of older people.

Design: Cross-sectional study. Adherence to the MD was evaluated by an a priori score; tertiles of the score, indicating low, medium and high adherence, were used in the analyses. Social life was assessed by a questionnaire evaluating participation in leisure-time activities and the number of social contacts; primary occupation was also recorded and job characteristics were further explored.

Setting: Community-dwelling older adults.

Participants: Adults from the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD) study (n 1933; age range 65-99 years).

Results: Each unit increase in the number of social contacts/month and in the frequency score of intellectual, social and physical activities was associated with a 1·6, 6·8, 4·8 and 13·7 % increase in the likelihood of a participant being in the high MD adherence group, respectively. The analysis by age group revealed that younger elderly participants had a 1·4, 8·4 and 11·3 % higher likelihood to be in the high adherence group for each unit increase in the number of social contacts/month and in the frequency score of engagement in intellectual and physical activities, respectively. Similar associations were found for older elderly participants with high compared with low MD adherence, except for the intellectual activities.

Conclusions: The present results suggest that high MD adherence is associated with good social life, suggesting a clustering of health-promoting lifestyle factors in older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980019002350DOI Listing
February 2020

Pesticide exposure and cognitive function: Results from the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD).

Environ Res 2019 Oct 13;177:108632. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus. Electronic address:

Background: Results from studies to date, regarding the role of chronic pesticide exposure on cognitive function remain contradictory.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between self-reported pesticide exposure and cognitive function.

Methods: Data from a population-based cohort study of older adults (HEllenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet) in Greece was used. Pesticide exposure classification was based on 1) living in areas that were being sprayed; 2) application of spray insecticides/pesticides in their gardens; and 3) occupational application of sprays. Associations between z-scores of cognitive performance and self-reported pesticide exposure were examined with linear regression analyses. Adjusted models were applied, for all analyses.

Results: Non-demented individuals who reported that they had been living in areas near sprayed fields, had poorer neuropsychological performance, compared to those who had never lived in such areas. Sub-analyses revealed poorer performance in language, executive and visual-spatial functioning, and attention. These associations remained after a sensitivity analysis excluding subjects with mild cognitive impairment.

Conclusion: Self-reported exposure to pesticides was negatively associated with cognitive performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108632DOI Listing
October 2019

Determinants of cognitive performance and decline in 20 diverse ethno-regional groups: A COSMIC collaboration cohort study.

PLoS Med 2019 07 23;16(7):e1002853. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.

Background: With no effective treatments for cognitive decline or dementia, improving the evidence base for modifiable risk factors is a research priority. This study investigated associations between risk factors and late-life cognitive decline on a global scale, including comparisons between ethno-regional groups.

Methods And Findings: We harmonized longitudinal data from 20 population-based cohorts from 15 countries over 5 continents, including 48,522 individuals (58.4% women) aged 54-105 (mean = 72.7) years and without dementia at baseline. Studies had 2-15 years of follow-up. The risk factors investigated were age, sex, education, alcohol consumption, anxiety, apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (APOE*4) status, atrial fibrillation, blood pressure and pulse pressure, body mass index, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, self-rated health, high cholesterol, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, physical activity, smoking, and history of stroke. Associations with risk factors were determined for a global cognitive composite outcome (memory, language, processing speed, and executive functioning tests) and Mini-Mental State Examination score. Individual participant data meta-analyses of multivariable linear mixed model results pooled across cohorts revealed that for at least 1 cognitive outcome, age (B = -0.1, SE = 0.01), APOE*4 carriage (B = -0.31, SE = 0.11), depression (B = -0.11, SE = 0.06), diabetes (B = -0.23, SE = 0.10), current smoking (B = -0.20, SE = 0.08), and history of stroke (B = -0.22, SE = 0.09) were independently associated with poorer cognitive performance (p < 0.05 for all), and higher levels of education (B = 0.12, SE = 0.02) and vigorous physical activity (B = 0.17, SE = 0.06) were associated with better performance (p < 0.01 for both). Age (B = -0.07, SE = 0.01), APOE*4 carriage (B = -0.41, SE = 0.18), and diabetes (B = -0.18, SE = 0.10) were independently associated with faster cognitive decline (p < 0.05 for all). Different effects between Asian people and white people included stronger associations for Asian people between ever smoking and poorer cognition (group by risk factor interaction: B = -0.24, SE = 0.12), and between diabetes and cognitive decline (B = -0.66, SE = 0.27; p < 0.05 for both). Limitations of our study include a loss or distortion of risk factor data with harmonization, and not investigating factors at midlife.

Conclusions: These results suggest that education, smoking, physical activity, diabetes, and stroke are all modifiable factors associated with cognitive decline. If these factors are determined to be causal, controlling them could minimize worldwide levels of cognitive decline. However, any global prevention strategy may need to consider ethno-regional differences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002853DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6650056PMC
July 2019

Motor function and the probability of prodromal Parkinson's disease in older adults.

Mov Disord 2019 09 17;34(9):1345-1353. Epub 2019 Jul 17.

1st Department of Neurology, Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.

Background: Identification and characterization of Parkinson's disease (PD) in its prodromal stage is crucial.

Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the association between motor function and the probability of prodromal PD in a community-dwelling older population.

Methods: We used data from a population-based cohort of older adults (HELIAD study). Subjective motor function was evaluated with a 12-item motor symptoms questionnaire and objective motor function indirectly with a physical activity questionnaire and two gait speed tests. The probability of prodromal PD was calculated according to the Movement Disorder Society research criteria for n = 1731 without PD. Regression multiadjusted models were used to investigate the associations between each motor measure and prodromal PD probability.

Results: For each unit increase in motor symptoms score and for each kcal/kg/day lower energy expenditure (corresponding to 20 minutes of light walking/day for a 75-kg man) there was a 27% and 3% higher probability for prodromal PD, respectively (P < 0.001). Having at least one subjective motor symptom increased the odds of having possible/probable prodromal PD (n = 49; P < 0.05). Including subjective and indirect motor variables in the same model showed that both (symptoms and physical activity) contributed significantly to the model (P < 0.01). Excluding subthreshold parkinsonism from the calculation showed that gait speed less than 0.8 m/s was also associated with a higher prodromal PD probability score (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Subjective motor symptoms as well as simple objective motor measures of physical activity or gait speed are associated with a higher probability of prodromal PD in older adults. These data may serve to enable the early identification of prodromal PD cohorts, particularly if they are confirmed in longitudinal studies. © 2019 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.27792DOI Listing
September 2019

Higher probability of prodromal Parkinson disease is related to lower cognitive performance.

Neurology 2019 05 3;92(19):e2261-e2272. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

From the 1st Department of Neurology (A.B., E.N., C.A.A., L.S., N.S.), Aiginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian, University of Athens Medical School; Department of Nutrition and Dietetics (M.I.M., M.Y., E.N., C.A.A.), Harokopio University; Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Department (M.S.), Hygeia Hospital, Athens, Greece; Department of Neurology (M.S.), Philipps University, Marburg, Germany; School of Medicine (G.X., E.D., G.M.H.), University of Thessaly, Larissa; Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, School of Psychology (M.H.K.), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece; Department of Neurology (G.M.H.), Medical School, University of Cyprus; Athens Association of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (E.N., P.S.), Maroussi; Center of Clinical, Experimental Surgery and Translational Research (L.S.), Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Greece; and Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain (N.S.), The Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, Department of Neurology, Columbia University, New York, NY.

Objective: Given the limited information on cognitive function before Parkinson disease (PD) clinical onset in the general population, we sought to assess prodromal PD (pPD) probability and relate it to detailed cognitive performance in a community cohort.

Methods: In a population-based cohort of 1,629 dementia-free and PD-free participants ≥65 years of age in Greece, we assessed probability of pPD according to the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society's criteria. Clinical cognitive diagnoses (cognitively unimpaired, mild cognitive impairment [MCI], dementia) considering neuropsychological testing and functional status were assigned in consensus conferences. Cognitive performance in 5 cognitive domains was assessed by a detailed neuropsychological battery and summarized in the form of z scores. We investigated associations between pPD probability (and its individual constituents) and cognitive outcomes.

Results: The median probability of pPD was 1.81% (0.2%-96.7%). Participants with MCI had higher probability of pPD compared to those with normal cognition ( < 0.001). Higher probability of pPD was related to lower performance in all cognitive domains (memory, language, executive, attention, and visuospatial function) ( < 0.001). Lower cognitive performance was further associated with certain nonmotor markers of pPD, such as daytime somnolence, depression, urinary dysfunction, constipation, and subthreshold parkinsonism ( < 0.001).

Conclusions: Higher probability of pPD was associated with lower cognitive performance in all domains and higher probability of MCI. This may reflect a widespread pathologic process although future studies are warranted to infer causality. These results suggest to clinicians that they should assess cognition early, and to researchers that they should further look into the possible mechanisms that may underlie this observation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000007453DOI Listing
May 2019

Dietary patterns in early life pay dividends for midlife cognitive performance.

Neurology 2019 04 6;92(14):645-646. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

From the Marcus Institute for Aging Research (G.L.B.), Hebrew SeniorLife; Department of Medicine (G.L.B.), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston; Department of Neurology (G.L.B.), Oregon Health & Science University, Portland; Department of Social Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology (N.S.), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; 1st Neurology Clinic (N.S.), Aeginition Hospital, Athens, Greece; and Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain (N.S.), Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, Department of Neurology, Columbia University, New York, NY.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000007229DOI Listing
April 2019