Publications by authors named "Tatiana Foroud"

420 Publications

Genome-wide association identifies the first risk loci for psychosis in Alzheimer disease.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Neuroscience Department, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

Psychotic symptoms, defined as the occurrence of delusions or hallucinations, are frequent in Alzheimer disease (AD with psychosis, AD + P). AD + P affects ~50% of individuals with AD, identifies a subgroup with poor outcomes, and is associated with a greater degree of cognitive impairment and depressive symptoms, compared to subjects without psychosis (AD - P). Although the estimated heritability of AD + P is 61%, genetic sources of risk are unknown. We report a genome-wide meta-analysis of 12,317 AD subjects, 5445 AD + P. Results showed common genetic variation accounted for a significant portion of heritability. Two loci, one in ENPP6 (rs9994623, O.R. (95%CI) 1.16 (1.10, 1.22), p = 1.26 × 10) and one spanning the 3'-UTR of an alternatively spliced transcript of SUMF1 (rs201109606, O.R. 0.65 (0.56-0.76), p = 3.24 × 10), had genome-wide significant associations with AD + P. Gene-based analysis identified a significant association with APOE, due to the APOE risk haplotype ε4. AD + P demonstrated negative genetic correlations with cognitive and educational attainment and positive genetic correlation with depressive symptoms. We previously observed a negative genetic correlation with schizophrenia; instead, we now found a stronger negative correlation with the related phenotype of bipolar disorder. Analysis of polygenic risk scores supported this genetic correlation and documented a positive genetic correlation with risk variation for AD, beyond the effect of ε4. We also document a small set of SNPs likely to affect risk for AD + P and AD or schizophrenia. These findings provide the first unbiased identification of the association of psychosis in AD with common genetic variation and provide insights into its genetic architecture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01152-8DOI Listing
June 2021

The Longitudinal Early-onset Alzheimer's Disease Study (LEADS): Framework and methodology.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 May 21. Epub 2021 May 21.

Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) are commonly excluded from large-scale observational and therapeutic studies due to their young age, atypical presentation, or absence of pathogenic mutations. The goals of the Longitudinal EOAD Study (LEADS) are to (1) define the clinical, imaging, and fluid biomarker characteristics of EOAD; (2) develop sensitive cognitive and biomarker measures for future clinical and research use; and (3) establish a trial-ready network. LEADS will follow 400 amyloid beta (Aβ)-positive EOAD, 200 Aβ-negative EOnonAD that meet National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association (NIA-AA) criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or AD dementia, and 100 age-matched controls. Participants will undergo clinical and cognitive assessments, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), [ F]Florbetaben and [ F]Flortaucipir positron emission tomography (PET), lumbar puncture, and blood draw for DNA, RNA, plasma, serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and post-mortem assessment. To develop more effective AD treatments, scientists need to understand the genetic, biological, and clinical processes involved in EOAD. LEADS will develop a public resource that will enable future planning and implementation of EOAD clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12350DOI Listing
May 2021

Genome-wide association study of more than 40,000 bipolar disorder cases provides new insights into the underlying biology.

Nat Genet 2021 Jun 17;53(6):817-829. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Neuroscience, Istituto Di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

Bipolar disorder is a heritable mental illness with complex etiology. We performed a genome-wide association study of 41,917 bipolar disorder cases and 371,549 controls of European ancestry, which identified 64 associated genomic loci. Bipolar disorder risk alleles were enriched in genes in synaptic signaling pathways and brain-expressed genes, particularly those with high specificity of expression in neurons of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Significant signal enrichment was found in genes encoding targets of antipsychotics, calcium channel blockers, antiepileptics and anesthetics. Integrating expression quantitative trait locus data implicated 15 genes robustly linked to bipolar disorder via gene expression, encoding druggable targets such as HTR6, MCHR1, DCLK3 and FURIN. Analyses of bipolar disorder subtypes indicated high but imperfect genetic correlation between bipolar disorder type I and II and identified additional associated loci. Together, these results advance our understanding of the biological etiology of bipolar disorder, identify novel therapeutic leads and prioritize genes for functional follow-up studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00857-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192451PMC
June 2021

Genetic Testing for Parkinson Disease: Are We Ready?

Neurol Clin Pract 2021 Feb;11(1):69-77

Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics (LC, JS, TF), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (CK, TH), New York; Parkinson's Foundation (AN), Miami, FL; Department of Neurology (JW, KP), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; Department of Neurology (RNA), Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York; Institute of Neurogenetics (CK), University of Lübeck, Germany; Department of Neurology (RS-P), Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York; and Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center (TS), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago IL.

Purpose Of Review: With the advent of precision medicine and demand for genomic testing information, we may question whether it is time to offer genetic testing to our patients with Parkinson disease (PD). This review updates the current genetic landscape of PD, describes what genetic testing may offer, provides strategies for evaluating whom to test, and provides resources for the busy clinician.

Recent Findings: Patients with PD and their relatives, in various settings, have expressed an interest in learning their PD genetic status; however, physicians may be hesitant to widely offer testing due to the perceived low clinical utility of PD genetic test results. The rise of clinical trials available for patients with gene-specific PD and emerging information on genotype-phenotype correlations are starting to shift this discussion about testing.

Summary: By learning more about the various genetic testing options for PD and utility of results for patients and their care, clinicians may become more comfortable with widespread PD genetic testing in the research and clinical setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/CPJ.0000000000000831DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8101316PMC
February 2021

Longitudinal Analysis of Multiple Neurotransmitter Metabolites in Cerebrospinal Fluid in Early Parkinson's Disease.

Mov Disord 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Paracelsus-Elena-Klinik, Kassel, Germany.

Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of monoamine metabolites may represent biomarkers of Parkinson's disease (PD).

Objective: The aim of this study was quantification of multiple metabolites in CSF from PD versus healthy control subjects (HCs), including longitudinal analysis.

Methods: Absolute levels of multiple monoamine metabolites in CSF were quantified by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry from 161 individuals with early PD and 115 HCs from the Parkinson's Progression Marker Initiative and de novo PD (DeNoPA) studies.

Results: Baseline levels of homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) were lower in individuals with PD compared with HCs. HVA levels correlated with Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale total scores (P < 0.01). Both HVA/dopamine and DOPAC/dopamine levels correlated with caudate nucleus and raw DOPAC with putamen dopamine transporter single-photon emission computed tomography uptake ratios (P < 0.01). No metabolite changed over 2 years in drug-naive individuals, but some changed on starting levodopa treatment.

Conclusions: HVA and DOPAC CSF levels mirrored nigrostriatal pathway damage, confirming the central role of dopaminergic degeneration in early PD. © 2021 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.28608DOI Listing
May 2021

Genomewide Association Studies of LRRK2 Modifiers of Parkinson's Disease.

Ann Neurol 2021 Jul 17;90(1):76-88. Epub 2021 May 17.

23andMe, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA.

Objective: The aim of this study was to search for genes/variants that modify the effect of LRRK2 mutations in terms of penetrance and age-at-onset of Parkinson's disease.

Methods: We performed the first genomewide association study of penetrance and age-at-onset of Parkinson's disease in LRRK2 mutation carriers (776 cases and 1,103 non-cases at their last evaluation). Cox proportional hazard models and linear mixed models were used to identify modifiers of penetrance and age-at-onset of LRRK2 mutations, respectively. We also investigated whether a polygenic risk score derived from a published genomewide association study of Parkinson's disease was able to explain variability in penetrance and age-at-onset in LRRK2 mutation carriers.

Results: A variant located in the intronic region of CORO1C on chromosome 12 (rs77395454; p value = 2.5E-08, beta = 1.27, SE = 0.23, risk allele: C) met genomewide significance for the penetrance model. Co-immunoprecipitation analyses of LRRK2 and CORO1C supported an interaction between these 2 proteins. A region on chromosome 3, within a previously reported linkage peak for Parkinson's disease susceptibility, showed suggestive associations in both models (penetrance top variant: p value = 1.1E-07; age-at-onset top variant: p value = 9.3E-07). A polygenic risk score derived from publicly available Parkinson's disease summary statistics was a significant predictor of penetrance, but not of age-at-onset.

Interpretation: This study suggests that variants within or near CORO1C may modify the penetrance of LRRK2 mutations. In addition, common Parkinson's disease associated variants collectively increase the penetrance of LRRK2 mutations. ANN NEUROL 2021;90:82-94.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.26094DOI Listing
July 2021

Cross-Sectional Exploration of Plasma Biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease in Down Syndrome: Early Data from the Longitudinal Investigation for Enhancing Down Syndrome Research (LIFE-DSR) Study.

J Clin Med 2021 Apr 28;10(9). Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

With improved healthcare, the Down syndrome (DS) population is both growing and aging rapidly. However, with longevity comes a very high risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The LIFE-DSR study (NCT04149197) is a longitudinal natural history study recruiting 270 adults with DS over the age of 25. The study is designed to characterize trajectories of change in DS-associated AD (DS-AD). The current study reports its cross-sectional analysis of the first 90 subjects enrolled. Plasma biomarkers phosphorylated tau protein (p-tau), neurofilament light chain (NfL), amyloid β peptides (Aβ, Aβ), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were undertaken with previously published methods. The clinical data from the baseline visit include demographics as well as the cognitive measures under the Severe Impairment Battery (SIB) and Down Syndrome Mental Status Examination (DS-MSE). Biomarker distributions are described with strong statistical associations observed with participant age. The biomarker data contributes to understanding DS-AD across the spectrum of disease. Collectively, the biomarker data show evidence of DS-AD progression beginning at approximately 40 years of age. Exploring these data across the full LIFE-DSR longitudinal study population will be an important resource in understanding the onset, progression, and clinical profiles of DS-AD pathophysiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10091907DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8124643PMC
April 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Predicting alcohol use disorder remission: a longitudinal multimodal multi-featured machine learning approach.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 Mar 15;11(1):166. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.

Predictive models for recovering from alcohol use disorder (AUD) and identifying related predisposition biomarkers can have a tremendous impact on addiction treatment outcomes and cost reduction. Our sample (N = 1376) included individuals of European (EA) and African (AA) ancestry from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) who were initially assessed as having AUD (DSM-5) and reassessed years later as either having AUD or in remission. To predict this difference in AUD recovery status, we analyzed the initial data using multimodal, multi-features machine learning applications including EEG source-level functional brain connectivity, Polygenic Risk Scores (PRS), medications, and demographic information. Sex and ancestry age-matched stratified analyses were performed with supervised linear Support Vector Machine application and were calculated twice, once when the ancestry was defined by self-report and once defined by genetic data. Multifeatured prediction models achieved higher accuracy scores than models based on a single domain and higher scores in male models when the ancestry was based on genetic data. The AA male group model with PRS, EEG functional connectivity, marital and employment status features achieved the highest accuracy of 86.04%. Several discriminative features were identified, including collections of PRS related to neuroticism, depression, aggression, years of education, and alcohol consumption phenotypes. Other discriminated features included being married, employed, medication, lower default mode network and fusiform connectivity, and higher insula connectivity. Results highlight the importance of increasing genetic homogeneity of analyzed groups, identifying sex, and ancestry-specific features to increase prediction scores revealing biomarkers related to AUD remission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01281-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7960734PMC
March 2021

Assessment of Blood Biomarker Profile After Acute Concussion During Combative Training Among US Military Cadets: A Prospective Study From the NCAA and US Department of Defense CARE Consortium.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 02 1;4(2):e2037731. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

US Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Importance: Validation of protein biomarkers for concussion diagnosis and management in military combative training is important, as these injuries occur outside of traditional health care settings and are generally difficult to diagnose.

Objective: To investigate acute blood protein levels in military cadets after combative training-associated concussions.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multicenter prospective case-control study was part of a larger cohort study conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the US Department of Defense Concussion Assessment Research and Education (CARE) Consortium from February 20, 2015, to May 31, 2018. The study was performed among cadets from 2 CARE Consortium Advanced Research Core sites: the US Military Academy at West Point and the US Air Force Academy. Cadets who incurred concussions during combative training (concussion group) were compared with cadets who participated in the same combative training exercises but did not incur concussions (contact-control group). Clinical measures and blood sample collection occurred at baseline, the acute postinjury point (<6 hours), the 24- to 48-hour postinjury point, the asymptomatic postinjury point (defined as the point at which the cadet reported being asymptomatic and began the return-to-activity protocol), and 7 days after return to activity. Biomarker levels and estimated mean differences in biomarker levels were natural log (ln) transformed to decrease the skewness of their distributions. Data were collected from August 1, 2016, to May 31, 2018, and analyses were conducted from March 1, 2019, to January 14, 2020.

Exposure: Concussion incurred during combative training.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Proteins examined included glial fibrillary acidic protein, ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1, neurofilament light chain, and tau. Quantification was conducted using a multiplex assay (Simoa; Quanterix Corp). Clinical measures included the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-Third Edition symptom severity evaluation, the Standardized Assessment of Concussion, the Balance Error Scoring System, and the 18-item Brief Symptom Inventory.

Results: Among 103 military service academy cadets, 67 cadets incurred concussions during combative training, and 36 matched cadets who engaged in the same training exercises did not incur concussions. The mean (SD) age of cadets in the concussion group was 18.6 (1.3) years, and 40 cadets (59.7%) were male. The mean (SD) age of matched cadets in the contact-control group was 19.5 (1.3) years, and 25 cadets (69.4%) were male. Compared with cadets in the contact-control group, those in the concussion group had significant increases in glial fibrillary acidic protein (mean difference in ln values, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.18-0.50; P < .001) and ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 (mean difference in ln values, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.44-1.50; P < .001) levels at the acute postinjury point. The glial fibrillary acidic protein level remained high in the concussion group compared with the contact-control group at the 24- to 48-hour postinjury point (mean difference in ln values, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.06-0.38; P = .007) and the asymptomatic postinjury point (mean difference in ln values, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.05-0.36; P = .01). The area under the curve for all biomarkers combined, which was used to differentiate cadets in the concussion and contact-control groups, was 0.80 (95% CI, 0.68-0.93; P < .001) at the acute postinjury point.

Conclusions And Relevance: This study's findings indicate that blood biomarkers have potential for use as research tools to better understand the pathobiological changes associated with concussion and to assist with injury identification and recovery from combative training-associated concussions among military service academy cadets. These results extend the previous findings of studies of collegiate athletes with sport-associated concussions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.37731DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7900866PMC
February 2021

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

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

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

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

Plasma Total-Tau and Neurofilament Light Chain as Diagnostic Biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment in Adults with Down Syndrome.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;79(2):671-681

University of North Texas Health Science Center, Institute for Translational Research and Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Fort Worth, TX, USA.

Background: The need for diagnostic biomarkers of cognitive decline is particularly important among aging adults with Down syndrome (DS). Growing empirical support has identified the utility of plasma derived biomarkers among neurotypical adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, the application of such biomarkers has been limited among the DS population.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the cross-sectional diagnostic performance of plasma neurofilament light chain (Nf-L) and total-tau, individually and in combination among a cohort of DS adults.

Methods: Plasma samples were analyzed from n = 305 (n = 225 cognitively stable (CS); n = 44 MCI-DS; n = 36 DS-AD) participants enrolled in the Alzheimer's Biomarker Consortium -Down Syndrome.

Results: In distinguishing DS-AD participants from CS, Nf-L alone produced an AUC of 90%, total-tau alone reached 74%, and combined reached an AUC of 86%. When age and gender were included, AUC increased to 93%. Higher values of Nf-L, total-tau, and age were all shown to be associated with increased risk for DS-AD. When distinguishing MCI-DS participants from CS, Nf-L alone produced an AUC of 65%, while total-tau alone reached 56%. A combined model with Nf-L, total-tau, age, and gender produced an AUC of 87%. Both higher values in age and total-tau were found to increase risk for MCI-DS; Nf-L levels were not associated with increased risk for MCI-DS.

Conclusion: Advanced assay techniques make total-tau and particularly Nf-L useful biomarkers of both AD pathology and clinical status in DS and have the potential to serve as outcome measures in clinical trials for future disease-modifying drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-201167DOI Listing
January 2021

Dopamine transporter imaging predicts clinically-defined α-synucleinopathy in REM sleep behavior disorder.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2021 01 15;8(1):201-212. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Neurology Service, Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Introduction: Individuals with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) are at high risk for a clinical diagnosis of an α-synucleinopathy (aSN). They could serve as a key population for disease-modifying trials. Abnormal dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging is a strong candidate biomarker for risk of aSN diagnosis in iRBD. Our primary objective was to identify a quantitative measure of DAT imaging that predicts diagnosis of clinically-defined aSN in iRBD.

Methods: The sample included individuals with iRBD, early Parkinson's Disease (PD), and healthy controls (HC) enrolled in the Parkinson Progression Marker Initiative, a longitudinal, observational, international, multicenter study. The iRBD cohort was enriched with individuals with abnormal DAT binding at baseline. Motor and nonmotor measures were compared across groups. DAT specific binding ratios (SBR) were used to calculate the percent of expected DAT binding for age and sex using normative data from HCs. Receiver operative characteristic analyses identified a baseline DAT binding cutoff that distinguishes iRBD participants diagnosed with an aSN in follow-up versus those not diagnosed.

Results: The sample included 38 with iRBD, 205 with PD, and 92 HC who underwent DAT-SPECT at baseline. Over 4.7 years of mean follow-up, 14 (36.84%) with iRBD were clinically diagnosed with aSN. Risk of aSN diagnosis was significantly elevated among those with baseline putamen SBR ≤ 48% of that expected for age and sex, relative to those above this cutoff (hazard ratio = 17.8 [95%CI: 3.79-83.3], P = 0.0003).

Conclusion: We demonstrate the utility of DAT SBR to identify individuals with iRBD with increased short-term risk of an aSN diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51269DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7818144PMC
January 2021

Outcomes of genetic test disclosure and genetic counseling in a large Parkinson's disease research study.

J Genet Couns 2021 Jun 15;30(3):755-765. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Genetic testing for Parkinson's disease (PD) is growing as interventional clinical trials begin to enroll participants with PD who carry pathogenic variants in the LRRK2 or GBA genes. However, the impact of receiving genetic test results and the satisfaction with receiving genetic counseling among PD populations have not yet been studied. The purpose of this study was to evaluate (1) the psychological impact of genetic testing for PD and (2) satisfaction with genetic counseling. Surveyed participants (N = 875) were individuals with PD or at risk of developing PD, initially recruited for the Parkinson's Progression Marker Initiative (PPMI) study and currently enrolled in the Widespread Recruitment Initiative (WRI) at Indiana University. Individuals were surveyed following genetic test disclosure and genetic counseling regarding results from targeted testing for pathogenic variants in the LRRK2 and GBA genes. Participants were surveyed via two tools: a modified version of the Multidimensional Impact of Cancer Risk Assessment Survey (M-MICRA), which measured the psychological impact of genetic testing and the Genetic Counseling Satisfaction Survey (GCSS). Participants were divided into affected/unaffected and variant positive/negative groups for subset analyses. The majority of participants had favorable M-MICRA scores and were satisfied with the disclosure of the genetic test results and genetic counseling for PD. However, participants with PD and those with pathogenic variants had less favorable M-MICRA scores and lower satisfaction scores compared to those without disease or pathogenic variants. This information is valuable to providers performing genetic testing of and genetic counseling to people and families affected with PD. Individuals with PD and individuals with pathogenic variants may benefit from additional interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1366DOI Listing
June 2021

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

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

Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

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

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

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

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

A large-scale genome-wide association study meta-analysis of cannabis use disorder.

Lancet Psychiatry 2020 12 20;7(12):1032-1045. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Stanford University Graduate School of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Background: Variation in liability to cannabis use disorder has a strong genetic component (estimated twin and family heritability about 50-70%) and is associated with negative outcomes, including increased risk of psychopathology. The aim of the study was to conduct a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify novel genetic variants associated with cannabis use disorder.

Methods: To conduct this GWAS meta-analysis of cannabis use disorder and identify associations with genetic loci, we used samples from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Substance Use Disorders working group, iPSYCH, and deCODE (20 916 case samples, 363 116 control samples in total), contrasting cannabis use disorder cases with controls. To examine the genetic overlap between cannabis use disorder and 22 traits of interest (chosen because of previously published phenotypic correlations [eg, psychiatric disorders] or hypothesised associations [eg, chronotype] with cannabis use disorder), we used linkage disequilibrium score regression to calculate genetic correlations.

Findings: We identified two genome-wide significant loci: a novel chromosome 7 locus (FOXP2, lead single-nucleotide polymorphism [SNP] rs7783012; odds ratio [OR] 1·11, 95% CI 1·07-1·15, p=1·84 × 10) and the previously identified chromosome 8 locus (near CHRNA2 and EPHX2, lead SNP rs4732724; OR 0·89, 95% CI 0·86-0·93, p=6·46 × 10). Cannabis use disorder and cannabis use were genetically correlated (r 0·50, p=1·50 × 10), but they showed significantly different genetic correlations with 12 of the 22 traits we tested, suggesting at least partially different genetic underpinnings of cannabis use and cannabis use disorder. Cannabis use disorder was positively genetically correlated with other psychopathology, including ADHD, major depression, and schizophrenia.

Interpretation: These findings support the theory that cannabis use disorder has shared genetic liability with other psychopathology, and there is a distinction between genetic liability to cannabis use and cannabis use disorder.

Funding: National Institute of Mental Health; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; National Institute on Drug Abuse; Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine and the Centre for Integrative Sequencing; The European Commission, Horizon 2020; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Health Research Council of New Zealand; National Institute on Aging; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium; UK Research and Innovation Medical Research Council (UKRI MRC); The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation; National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia; Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program of the University of California; Families for Borderline Personality Disorder Research (Beth and Rob Elliott) 2018 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant; The National Child Health Research Foundation (Cure Kids); The Canterbury Medical Research Foundation; The New Zealand Lottery Grants Board; The University of Otago; The Carney Centre for Pharmacogenomics; The James Hume Bequest Fund; National Institutes of Health: Genes, Environment and Health Initiative; National Institutes of Health; National Cancer Institute; The William T Grant Foundation; Australian Research Council; The Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation; The VISN 1 and VISN 4 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Centers of the US Department of Veterans Affairs; The 5th Framework Programme (FP-5) GenomEUtwin Project; The Lundbeck Foundation; NIH-funded Shared Instrumentation Grant S10RR025141; Clinical Translational Sciences Award grants; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30339-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7674631PMC
December 2020

Novel Alzheimer Disease Risk Loci and Pathways in African American Individuals Using the African Genome Resources Panel: A Meta-analysis.

JAMA Neurol 2021 01;78(1):102-113

Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University, New York, New York.

Importance: Compared with non-Hispanic White individuals, African American individuals from the same community are approximately twice as likely to develop Alzheimer disease. Despite this disparity, the largest Alzheimer disease genome-wide association studies to date have been conducted in non-Hispanic White individuals. In the largest association analyses of Alzheimer disease in African American individuals, ABCA7, TREM2, and an intergenic locus at 5q35 were previously implicated.

Objective: To identify additional risk loci in African American individuals by increasing the sample size and using the African Genome Resource panel.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This genome-wide association meta-analysis used case-control and family-based data sets from the Alzheimer Disease Genetics Consortium. There were multiple recruitment sites throughout the United States that included individuals with Alzheimer disease and controls of African American ancestry. Analysis began October 2018 and ended September 2019.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Diagnosis of Alzheimer disease.

Results: A total of 2784 individuals with Alzheimer disease (1944 female [69.8%]) and 5222 controls (3743 female [71.7%]) were analyzed (mean [SD] age at last evaluation, 74.2 [13.6] years). Associations with 4 novel common loci centered near the intracellular glycoprotein trafficking gene EDEM1 (3p26; P = 8.9 × 10-7), near the immune response gene ALCAM (3q13; P = 9.3 × 10-7), within GPC6 (13q31; P = 4.1 × 10-7), a gene critical for recruitment of glutamatergic receptors to the neuronal membrane, and within VRK3 (19q13.33; P = 3.5 × 10-7), a gene involved in glutamate neurotoxicity, were identified. In addition, several loci associated with rare variants, including a genome-wide significant intergenic locus near IGF1R at 15q26 (P = 1.7 × 10-9) and 6 additional loci with suggestive significance (P ≤ 5 × 10-7) such as API5 at 11p12 (P = 8.8 × 10-8) and RBFOX1 at 16p13 (P = 5.4 × 10-7) were identified. Gene expression data from brain tissue demonstrate association of ALCAM, ARAP1, GPC6, and RBFOX1 with brain β-amyloid load. Of 25 known loci associated with Alzheimer disease in non-Hispanic White individuals, only APOE, ABCA7, TREM2, BIN1, CD2AP, FERMT2, and WWOX were implicated at a nominal significance level or stronger in African American individuals. Pathway analyses strongly support the notion that immunity, lipid processing, and intracellular trafficking pathways underlying Alzheimer disease in African American individuals overlap with those observed in non-Hispanic White individuals. A new pathway emerging from these analyses is the kidney system, suggesting a novel mechanism for Alzheimer disease that needs further exploration.

Conclusions And Relevance: While the major pathways involved in Alzheimer disease etiology in African American individuals are similar to those in non-Hispanic White individuals, the disease-associated loci within these pathways differ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.3536DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7573798PMC
January 2021

Longitudinal Measurements of Glucocerebrosidase activity in Parkinson's patients.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2020 10 5;7(10):1816-1830. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Rare and Neurological Diseases Therapeutic Area, Sanofi, Framingham, Massachusetts, USA.

Objective: Reduction in glucocerebrosidase (GCase; encoded by GBA) enzymatic activity has been linked to Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we correlated GCase activity and PD phenotype in the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) cohort.

Methods: We measured GCase activity in dried blood spots from 1559 samples of participants in the inception PPMI cohort, collected in four annual visits (from baseline visit to Year-3). Participants (PD, n = 392; controls, n = 175) were fully sequenced for GBA variants by means of genome-wide genotyping arrays, whole-exome sequencing, whole-genome sequencing, Sanger sequencing, and RNA-sequencing.

Results: Fifty-two PD participants (13.4%) and 13 (7.4%) controls carried a GBA variant. GBA status was strongly associated with GCase activity. Among noncarriers, GCase activity was similar between PD and controls. Among GBA p.E326K carriers (PD, n = 20; controls, n = 5), activity was significantly lower in PD carriers than control carriers (9.53 µmol/L/h vs. 11.68 µmol/L/h, P = 0.035). Glucocerebrosidase activity was moderately (r = 0.45) associated with white blood cell (WBC) count. Next, we divided the noncarriers with PD to tertiles based on WBC count-corrected enzymatic activity. Members of the lower tertile had higher MDS-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor score in the "off" medication examination at year-III exam. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated slight reduction of activity in samples collected earlier on in the study, likely because of longer storage time.

Interpretation: GCase activity is associated with GBA genotype, WBC count, and among p.E326K variant carriers, with PD status. Reduced activity may also be associated with worse phenotype but longer follow up is required to confirm this observation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7545591PMC
October 2020

Obesity, Diabetes, Coffee, Tea, and Cannabis Use Alter Risk for Alcohol-Related Cirrhosis in 2 Large Cohorts of High-Risk Drinkers.

Am J Gastroenterol 2021 01;116(1):106-115

Drug Health Services, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, Australia.

Introduction: Sustained high alcohol intake is necessary but not sufficient to produce alcohol-related cirrhosis. Identification of risk factors, apart from lifetime alcohol exposure, would assist in discovery of mechanisms and prediction of risk.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter case-control study (GenomALC) comparing 1,293 cases (with alcohol-related cirrhosis, 75.6% male) and 754 controls (with equivalent alcohol exposure but no evidence of liver disease, 73.6% male). Information confirming or excluding cirrhosis, and on alcohol intake and other potential risk factors, was obtained from clinical records and by interview. Case-control differences in risk factors discovered in the GenomALC participants were validated using similar data from 407 cases and 6,573 controls from UK Biobank.

Results: The GenomALC case and control groups reported similar lifetime alcohol intake (1,374 vs 1,412 kg). Cases had a higher prevalence of diabetes (20.5% (262/1,288) vs 6.5% (48/734), P = 2.27 × 10-18) and higher premorbid body mass index (26.37 ± 0.16 kg/m2) than controls (24.44 ± 0.18 kg/m2, P = 5.77 × 10-15). Controls were significantly more likely to have been wine drinkers, coffee drinkers, smokers, and cannabis users than cases. Cases reported a higher proportion of parents who died of liver disease than controls (odds ratio 2.25 95% confidence interval 1.55-3.26). Data from UK Biobank confirmed these findings for diabetes, body mass index, proportion of alcohol as wine, and coffee consumption.

Discussion: If these relationships are causal, measures such as weight loss, intensive treatment of diabetes or prediabetic states, and coffee consumption should reduce the risk of alcohol-related cirrhosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14309/ajg.0000000000000833DOI Listing
January 2021

Genome-wide Association Study and Meta-analysis on Alcohol-Associated Liver Cirrhosis Identifies Genetic Risk Factors.

Hepatology 2021 May;73(5):1920-1931

Population Health Sciences Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, International Centre for Life, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Background And Aims: Only a minority of heavy drinkers progress to alcohol-associated cirrhosis (ALC). The aim of this study was to identify common genetic variants that underlie risk for ALC.

Approach And Results: We analyzed data from 1,128 subjects of European ancestry with ALC and 614 heavy-drinking subjects without known liver disease from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and three countries in Europe. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed, adjusting for principal components and clinical covariates (alcohol use, age, sex, body mass index, and diabetes). We validated our GWAS findings using UK Biobank. We then performed a meta-analysis combining data from our study, the UK Biobank, and a previously published GWAS. Our GWAS found genome-wide significant risk association of rs738409 in patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 (PNPLA3) (odds ratio [OR] = 2.19 [G allele], P = 4.93 × 10 ) and rs4607179 near HSD17B13 (OR = 0.57 [C allele], P = 1.09 × 10 ) with ALC. Conditional analysis accounting for the PNPLA3 and HSD17B13 loci identified a protective association at rs374702773 in Fas-associated factor family member 2 (FAF2) (OR = 0.61 [del(T) allele], P = 2.56 × 10 ) for ALC. This association was replicated in the UK Biobank using conditional analysis (OR = 0.79, P = 0.001). Meta-analysis (without conditioning) confirmed genome-wide significance for the identified FAF2 locus as well as PNPLA3 and HSD17B13. Two other previously known loci (SERPINA1 and SUGP1/TM6SF2) were also genome-wide significant in the meta-analysis. GeneOntology pathway analysis identified lipid droplets as the target for several identified genes. In conclusion, our GWAS identified a locus at FAF2 associated with reduced risk of ALC among heavy drinkers. Like the PNPLA3 and HSD17B13 gene products, the FAF2 product has been localized to fat droplets in hepatocytes.

Conclusions: Our genetic findings implicate lipid droplets in the biological pathway(s) underlying ALC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep.31535DOI Listing
May 2021

Validation of Serum Neurofilament Light Chain as a Biomarker of Parkinson's Disease Progression.

Mov Disord 2020 11 15;35(11):1999-2008. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Discovery and Early Development Biomarkers, Biogen, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: The objective of this study was to assess neurofilament light chain as a Parkinson's disease biomarker.

Methods: We quantified neurofilament light chain in 2 independent cohorts: (1) longitudinal cerebrospinal fluid samples from the longitudinal de novo Parkinson's disease cohort and (2) a large longitudinal cohort with serum samples from Parkinson's disease, other cognate/neurodegenerative disorders, healthy controls, prodromal conditions, and mutation carriers.

Results: In the Parkinson's Progression Marker Initiative cohort, mean baseline serum neurofilament light chain was higher in Parkinson's disease patients (13 ± 7.2 pg/mL) than in controls (12 ± 6.7 pg/mL), P = 0.0336. Serum neurofilament light chain increased longitudinally in Parkinson's disease patients versus controls (P < 0.01). Motor scores were positively associated with neurofilament light chain, whereas some cognitive scores showed a negative association.

Conclusions: Neurofilament light chain in serum samples is increased in Parkinson's disease patients versus healthy controls, increases over time and with age, and correlates with clinical measures of Parkinson's disease severity. Although the specificity of neurofilament light chain for Parkinson's disease is low, it is the first blood-based biomarker candidate that could support disease stratification of Parkinson's disease versus other cognate/neurodegenerative disorders, track clinical progression, and possibly assess responsiveness to neuroprotective treatments. However, use of neurofilament light chain as a biomarker of response to neuroprotective interventions remains to be assessed. © 2020 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.28206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017468PMC
November 2020

A novel SNCA E83Q mutation in a case of dementia with Lewy bodies and atypical frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

Neuropathology 2020 Dec 12;40(6):620-626. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

In this case report, we discuss a patient presenting with parkinsonism followed by a non-amnestic dementia with aphasic clinical features, as well as frontal dysexecutive syndrome. There was a family history of dementia with an autopsy diagnosis of "Pick's disease" in the proband's father. Neuroimaging of the patient revealed focal and severe temporal lobe and lesser frontoparietal lobe atrophy. At autopsy, there was severe frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Histologic evaluation revealed an absence of tau or transactivation response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP) pathology but rather severe Lewy body deposition in the affected cortices. Genetic phenotyping revealed a novel missense mutation (p.E83Q) in exon 4 of the gene encoding α-synuclein (SNCA). This case study presents a patient with a novel SNCA E83Q mutation associated with widespread Lewy body pathology with prominent severe atrophy of the frontotemporal lobes and corresponding cognitive impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/neup.12687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7787029PMC
December 2020

Genome-wide transcriptome analysis identifies novel dysregulated genes implicated in Alzheimer's pathology.

Alzheimers Dement 2020 09 5;16(9):1213-1223. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Center for Neuroimaging, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Introduction: Abnormal gene expression patterns may contribute to the onset and progression of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD).

Methods: We performed transcriptome-wide meta-analysis (N = 1440) of blood-based microarray gene expression profiles as well as neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) endophenotype analysis.

Results: We identified and replicated five genes (CREB5, CD46, TMBIM6, IRAK3, and RPAIN) as significantly dysregulated in LOAD. The most significantly altered gene, CREB5, was also associated with brain atrophy and increased amyloid beta (Aβ) accumulation, especially in the entorhinal cortex region. cis-expression quantitative trait loci mapping analysis of CREB5 detected five significant associations (P < 5 × 10 ), where rs56388170 (most significant) was also significantly associated with global cortical Aβ deposition measured by [ F]Florbetapir positron emission tomography and CSF Aβ .

Discussion: RNA from peripheral blood indicated a differential gene expression pattern in LOAD. Genes identified have been implicated in biological processes relevant to Alzheimer's disease. CREB, in particular, plays a key role in nervous system development, cell survival, plasticity, and learning and memory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12092DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7541709PMC
September 2020

In vivo distribution of α-synuclein in multiple tissues and biofluids in Parkinson disease.

Neurology 2020 09 3;95(9):e1267-e1284. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

From the Department of Neurology (L.M.C., S.M.), University of Pittsburgh, PA; Banner Sun Health Research Institute (T.G.B., G.E.S.), Sun City, AZ; University of Iowa (M.C.B., C.S.C., C.C.-G.), Iowa City; Department of Neurology (C.H.A.), Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Scottsdale, AZ; St. Michael's Hospital (D.G.M.), Toronto, Canada; University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (C.L.W.), Dallas; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (J.F.C.), New York, NY; Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders (D.J.), New Haven, CT; BioLegend Inc. (P.T.), Dedham, MA; Indiana University (T.F.), Indianapolis; The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (V.A., C.M.K., L.R., K.D.D.), New York, NY; and Department of Neurology (B.M.), Center of Parkinsonism and Movement Disorders Paracelsus-Elena Klinik Kassel and University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany.

Objective: The Systemic Synuclein Sampling Study (S4) measured α-synuclein in multiple tissues and biofluids within the same patients with Parkinson disease (PD) vs healthy controls (HCs).

Methods: S4 was a 6-site cross-sectional observational study of participants with early, moderate, or advanced PD and HCs. Motor and nonmotor measures and dopamine transporter SPECT were obtained. Biopsies of skin, colon, submandibular gland (SMG), CSF, saliva, and blood were collected. Tissue biopsy sections were stained with 5C12 monoclonal antibody against pathologic α-synuclein; digital images were interpreted by neuropathologists blinded to diagnosis. Biofluid total α-synuclein was quantified using ELISA.

Results: The final cohort included 59 patients with PD and 21 HCs. CSF α-synuclein was lower in patients with PD vs HCs; sensitivity/specificity of CSF α-synuclein for PD diagnosis was 87.0%/63.2%, respectively. Sensitivity of α-synuclein immunoreactivity for PD diagnosis was 56.1% for SMG and 24.1% for skin; specificity was 92.9% and 100%, respectively. There were no significant relationships between different measures of α-synuclein within participants.

Conclusions: S4 confirms lower total α-synuclein levels in CSF in patients with PD compared to HCs, but specificity is low. In contrast, α-synuclein immunoreactivity in skin and SMG is specific for PD but sensitivity is low. Relationships within participants across different tissues and biofluids could not be demonstrated. Measures of pathologic forms of α-synuclein with higher accuracy are critically needed.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that total CSF α-synuclein does not accurately distinguish patients with PD from HCs, and that monoclonal antibody staining for SMG and skin total α-synuclein is specific but not sensitive for PD diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010404DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7538226PMC
September 2020

Testing influences of APOE and BDNF genes and heart failure on cognitive function.

Heart Lung 2021 Jan - Feb;50(1):51-58. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing, 600 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε2, ε4 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met alleles have been associated with cognition. Associations of these alleles with cognition in heart failure (HF) and influences of HF across the cognitive spectrum (i.e., cognitively normal to Alzheimer's dementia [AD]) remain unexplored.

Objectives: To investigate influences of APOE ε2, ε4, BDNF Met and HF on cognition among participants across the cognitive spectrum.

Methods: Genetic association study using national databases (N = 7,166).

Results: APOE ε2 frequencies were similar across the cognitive spectrum among participants with HF. APOE ε4 frequency was lower among participants with HF and AD than non-HF participants with AD. BDNF Met frequencies did not differ across the spectrum. HF was associated with worse attention and language. In the HF subsample, ε4 was associated with worse memory.

Conclusion: Associations between APOE and cognition may differ in HF but need to be tested in a larger sample.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2020.06.014DOI Listing
April 2021

Quality of life and caregiver burden in familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration: Analyses of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals within the LEFFTDS cohort.

Alzheimers Dement 2020 08 13;16(8):1115-1124. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Objective: The Longitudinal Evaluation of Familial Frontotemporal Dementia Subjects evaluates familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) kindreds with MAPT, GRN, or C9orf72 mutations. Objectives were to examine whether health-related quality of life (HRQoL) correlates with clinical symptoms and caregiver burden, and whether self-rated and informant-rated HRQoL would correlate with each other.

Methods: Individuals were classified using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR ) Scale plus National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) FTLD. HRQoL was measured with DEMQOL and DEMQOL-proxy; caregiver burden with the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). For analysis, Pearson correlations and weighted kappa statistics were calculated.

Results: The cohort of 312 individuals included symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. CDR plus NACC FTLD was negatively correlated with DEMQOL (r = -0.20, P = .001), as were ZBI and DEMQOL (r = -0.22, P = .0009). There was fair agreement between subject and informant DEMQOL (κ = 0.36, P <.0001).

Conclusion: Lower HRQoL was associated with higher cognitive/behavior impairment and higher caregiver burden. These findings demonstrate the negative impact of FTLD on individuals and caregivers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12095DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7534513PMC
August 2020

Genome-wide admixture mapping of DSM-IV alcohol dependence, criterion count, and the self-rating of the effects of ethanol in African American populations.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2021 04 11;186(3):151-161. Epub 2020 Jul 11.

Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

African Americans (AA) have lower prevalence of alcohol dependence and higher subjective response to alcohol than European Americans. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified genes/variants associated with alcohol dependence specifically in AA; however, the sample sizes are still not large enough to detect variants with small effects. Admixture mapping is an alternative way to identify alcohol dependence genes/variants that may be unique to AA. In this study, we performed the first admixture mapping of DSM-IV alcohol dependence diagnosis, DSM-IV alcohol dependence criterion count, and two scores from the self-rating of effects of ethanol (SRE) as measures of response to alcohol: the first five times of using alcohol (SRE-5) and average of SRE across three times (SRE-T). Findings revealed a region on chromosome 4 that was genome-wide significant for SRE-5 (p value = 4.18E-05). Fine mapping did not identify a single causal variant to be associated with SRE-5; instead, conditional analysis concluded that multiple variants collectively explained the admixture mapping signal. PPARGC1A, a gene that has been linked to alcohol consumption in previous studies, is located in this region. Our finding suggests that admixture mapping is a useful tool to identify genes/variants that may have been missed by current GWAS approaches in admixed populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32805DOI Listing
April 2021

Proteomic profiles for Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment among adults with Down syndrome spanning serum and plasma: An Alzheimer's Biomarker Consortium-Down Syndrome (ABC-DS) study.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2020 30;12(1):e12039. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience Institute for Translational Research University of North Texas Health Science Center Fort Worth Texas USA.

Introduction: Previously generated serum and plasma proteomic profiles were examined among adults with Down syndrome (DS) to determine whether these profiles could discriminate those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI-DS) and Alzheimer's disease (DS-AD) from those cognitively stable (CS).

Methods: Data were analyzed on n = 305 (n = 225 CS; n = 44 MCI-DS; n = 36 DS-AD) enrolled in the Alzheimer's Biomarker Consortium-Down Syndrome (ABC-DS).

Results: Distinguishing MCI-DS from CS, the serum profile produced an area under the curve (AUC) = 0.95 (sensitivity [SN] = 0.91; specificity [SP] = 0.99) and an AUC = 0.98 (SN = 0.96; SP = 0.97) for plasma when using an optimized cut-off score. Distinguishing DS-AD from CS, the serum profile produced an AUC = 0.93 (SN = 0.81; SP = 0.99) and an AUC = 0.95 (SN = 0.86; SP = 1.0) for plasma when using an optimized cut-off score. AUC remained unchanged to slightly improved when age and sex were included. Eotaxin3, interleukin (IL)-10, C-reactive protein, IL-18, serum amyloid A , and FABP3 correlated fractions at r> = 0.90.

Discussion: Proteomic profiles showed excellent detection accuracy for MCI-DS and DS-AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7327223PMC
June 2020

Evolution of Alzheimer's Disease Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers in Early Parkinson's Disease.

Ann Neurol 2020 09 2;88(3):574-587. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Objective: We analyzed the longitudinal profile of Alzheimer's disease (AD) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers in early Parkinson's disease (PD) compared with healthy controls (HCs) and tested baseline CSF biomarkers for prediction of clinical decline in PD.

Methods: Amyloid-β 1 to 42 (Aβ ), total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) at the threonine 181 position were measured using the high-precision Roche Elecsys electrochemiluminescence immunoassay in all available CSF samples from longitudinally studied patients with PD (n = 416) and HCs (n = 192) followed for up to 3 years in the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI). Longitudinal CSF and clinical data were analyzed with linear-mixed effects models.

Results: We found patients with PD had lower CSF t-tau (median = 157.7 pg/mL; range = 80.9-467.0); p-tau (median = 13.4 pg/mL; range = 8.0-40.1), and Aβ (median = 846.2 pg/mL; range = 238.8-3,707.0) than HCs at baseline (CSF t-tau median = 173.5 pg/mL; range = 82.0-580.8; p-tau median = 15.4 pg/mL; range = 8.1-73.6; and Aβ median = 926.5 pg/mL; range = 239.1-3,297.0; p < 0.05-0.001) and a moderate-to-strong correlation among these biomarkers in both patients with PD and HCs (Rho = 0.50-0.97; p < 0.001). Of the patients with PD, 31.5% had pathologically low levels of CSF Aβ at baseline and these patients with PD had lower p-tau levels (median = 10.8 pg/mL; range = 8.0-32.8) compared with 27.7% of HCs with pathologically low CSF Aβ (CSF p-tau median = 12.8 pg/mL; range 8.2-73.6; p < 0.03) In longitudinal CSF analysis, we found patients with PD had greater decline in CSF Aβ (mean difference = -41.83 pg/mL; p = 0.03) and CSF p-tau (mean difference = -0.38 pg/mL; p = 0.03) at year 3 compared with HCs. Baseline CSF Aβ values predicted small but measurable decline on cognitive, autonomic, and motor function in early PD.

Interpretation: Our data suggest baseline CSF AD biomarkers may have prognostic value in early PD and that the dynamic change of these markers, although modest over a 3-year period, suggest biomarker profiles in PD may deviate from healthy aging. ANN NEUROL 2020;88:574-587.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.25811DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7497251PMC
September 2020