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See detailAdverse Life Trajectories Are a Risk Factor for SARS-CoV-2 IgA Seropositivity.
Holuka, Cyrielle; Snoeck, Chantal J.; Mériaux, Sophie B. et al

in Journal of clinical medicine (2021), 10(10),

Asymptomatic individuals, called "silent spreaders" spread SARS-CoV-2 efficiently and have complicated control of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As seen in previous influenza pandemics, socioeconomic and ... [more ▼]

Asymptomatic individuals, called "silent spreaders" spread SARS-CoV-2 efficiently and have complicated control of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As seen in previous influenza pandemics, socioeconomic and life-trajectory factors are important in disease progression and outcome. The demographics of the asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers are unknown. We used the CON-VINCE cohort of healthy, asymptomatic, and oligosymptomatic individuals that is statistically representative of the overall population of Luxembourg for age, gender, and residency to characterise this population. Gender (male), not smoking, and exposure to early-life or adult traumatic experiences increased the risk of IgA seropositivity, and the risk associated with early-life exposure was a dose-dependent metric, while some other known comorbidities of active COVID-19 do not impact it. As prior exposure to adversity is associated with negative psychobiological reactions to external stressors, we recorded psychological wellbeing during the study period. Exposure to traumatic events or concurrent autoimmune or rheumatic disease were associated with a worse evolution of anxiety and depressive symptoms throughout the lockdown period. The unique demographic profile of the "silent spreaders" highlights the role that the early-life period plays in determining our lifelong health trajectory and provides evidence that the developmental origins of health and disease is applicable to infectious diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailGDAP1 loss of function inhibits the mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex by altering the actin cytoskeleton 2021.03.04.433895
Wolf, Christina; Pouya, Alireza; Bitar, Sara et al

E-print/Working paper (2021)

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease 4A is an autosomal-recessive polyneuropathy caused by mutations of ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein 1 (GDAP1), a putative glutathione transferase ... [more ▼]

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease 4A is an autosomal-recessive polyneuropathy caused by mutations of ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein 1 (GDAP1), a putative glutathione transferase, which affects mitochondrial shape and alters cellular Ca2+ homeostasis. Here, we identify the underlying mechanism. We found that patient-derived motoneurons and GDAP1 knockdown SH-SY5Y cells display two phenotypes: more tubular mitochondria and a metabolism characterized by glutamine dependence and fewer cytosolic lipid droplets. GDAP1 interacts with the actin-depolymerizing protein Cofilin-1 in a redoxdependent manner, suggesting a role for actin signaling. Consistently, GDAP1 loss causes less F-actin close to mitochondria, which restricts mitochondrial localization of the fission factor dynamin-related protein 1, instigating tubularity. Changes in the actin cytoskeleton also disrupt mitochondria-ER contact sites. This results in lower mitochondrial Ca2+ levels and inhibition of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, explaining the metabolic changes upon GDAP1 loss of function. Together, these findings reconcile GDAP1-associated phenotypes and implicate disrupted actin signaling in CMT4A pathophysiology. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantifying activities of daily living impairment in Parkinson’s disease using the Functional Activities Questionnaire
Becker, Sara; Pauly, Claire UL; Lawton, Michael et al

in Neurological Sciences (2021)

Objective Cognitive-driven activity of daily living (ADL) impairment in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is increasingly discussed as prodromal marker for dementia. Diagnostic properties of assessments for this ... [more ▼]

Objective Cognitive-driven activity of daily living (ADL) impairment in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is increasingly discussed as prodromal marker for dementia. Diagnostic properties of assessments for this specifc ADL impairment are sparsely investigated in PD. The ability of the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) for diferentiating between PD patients with normal cognition and with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI), according to informant and self-reports, was examined. Global cognitive function in groups with and without mild ADL impairment was compared according to diferent cut-ofs. Methods Multicenter data of 589 patients of an international cohort (CENTRE-PD) were analyzed. Analyses were run separately for informant-rated and self-rated FAQ. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was conducted to defne the optimal FAQ cut-of for PD-MCI (≥1), and groups were additionally split according to reported FAQ cut-ofs for PD-MCI in the literature (≥3,≥5). Binary logistic regressions examined the efect of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score in PD patients with and without mild ADL impairment. Results Two hundred and twenty-fve (38.2%) patients were classifed as PD-MCI. For all three cut-of values, sensitivity was moderate to low (<0.55), but specifcity was moderately high (>0.54) with a tendency of higher values for self-reported defcits. For the self-report, the cut-of≥3 showed a signifcant efect of the MoCA (B= −0.31, p=0.003), where FAQ≥3 patients had worse cognition. No efect for group diferences based on informant ratings was detected. Conclusion Our data argue that self-reported ADL impairments assessed by the FAQ show a relation to the severity of cognitive impairment in PD. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Parkinson’s-disease-associated mutation LRRK2-G2019S alters dopaminergic differentiation dynamics via NR2F1
Walter, Jonas; Bolognin, Silvia UL; Poovathingal, Suresh et al

in Cell Reports (2021)

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See detailEditorial: Celebrating the Diversity of Genetic Research to Dissect the Pathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease
Farrer, Matthew J.; Bardien, Soraya; Hattori, Nobutaka et al

in Frontiers in Neurology (2021), 12

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the fastest growing neurological disorder worldwide, taking into account age-standardized rates for prevalence, disability and deaths (1). PD is characterized by a clinical ... [more ▼]

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the fastest growing neurological disorder worldwide, taking into account age-standardized rates for prevalence, disability and deaths (1). PD is characterized by a clinical symptomatology involving both motor and non-motor symptoms. According to the Global Burden of Disease study (2018), the global burden of this disorder has more than doubled over the past two decades from 2.5 million patients in 1990 to 6.1 million patients in 2016 (2). In this editorial and eBook, we highlight the research done on PD by members of a global consortium known as the Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson's disease (GEoPD) Consortium. We begin the editorial by providing a brief history of how GEoPD was started and how it has subsequently developed into an international endeavor. We then briefly summarize the completed and ongoing projects, and conclude with the future vision of this unique consortium. [less ▲]

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See detailPINK1 deficiency impairs adult neurogenesis of dopaminergic neurons
Brown, Sarah J; Boussaad, Ibrahim UL; Jarazo, Javier UL et al

in Scientific Reports (2021)

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See detailAnalysis and visualisation of tremor dynamics in deep brain stimulation patients
Bremm, René Peter UL; Koch, Klaus Peter; Krüger, Rejko UL et al

in Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering (2020), 6(3), 4

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See detailA rule-based expert system for real-time feedback-control in deep brain stimulation
Bremm, René Peter UL; Koch, Klaus Peter; Krüger, Rejko UL et al

in Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering (2020), 6(3), 4

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See detailCommon diseases alter the physiological age-related blood microRNA profile.
Fehlmann, Tobias; Lehallier, Benoit; Schaum, Nicholas et al

in Nature communications (2020), 11(1), 5958

Aging is a key risk factor for chronic diseases of the elderly. MicroRNAs regulate post-transcriptional gene silencing through base-pair binding on their target mRNAs. We identified nonlinear changes in ... [more ▼]

Aging is a key risk factor for chronic diseases of the elderly. MicroRNAs regulate post-transcriptional gene silencing through base-pair binding on their target mRNAs. We identified nonlinear changes in age-related microRNAs by analyzing whole blood from 1334 healthy individuals. We observed a larger influence of the age as compared to the sex and provide evidence for a shift to the 5' mature form of miRNAs in healthy aging. The addition of 3059 diseased patients uncovered pan-disease and disease-specific alterations in aging profiles. Disease biomarker sets for all diseases were different between young and old patients. Computational deconvolution of whole-blood miRNAs into blood cell types suggests that cell intrinsic gene expression changes may impart greater significance than cell abundance changes to the whole blood miRNA profile. Altogether, these data provide a foundation for understanding the relationship between healthy aging and disease, and for the development of age-specific disease biomarkers. [less ▲]

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See detailMitochondria interaction networks show altered topological patterns in Parkinson's disease.
Zanin, Massimiliano; Santos, Bruno F. R.; Antony, Paul UL et al

in NPJ systems biology and applications (2020), 6(1), 38

Mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, individual mitochondria-based analyses do not show a uniform feature in PD patients. Since mitochondria interact ... [more ▼]

Mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, individual mitochondria-based analyses do not show a uniform feature in PD patients. Since mitochondria interact with each other, we hypothesize that PD-related features might exist in topological patterns of mitochondria interaction networks (MINs). Here we show that MINs formed nonclassical scale-free supernetworks in colonic ganglia both from healthy controls and PD patients; however, altered network topological patterns were observed in PD patients. These patterns were highly correlated with PD clinical scores and a machine-learning approach based on the MIN features alone accurately distinguished between patients and controls with an area-under-curve value of 0.989. The MINs of midbrain dopaminergic neurons (mDANs) derived from several genetic PD patients also displayed specific changes. CRISPR/CAS9-based genome correction of alpha-synuclein point mutations reversed the changes in MINs of mDANs. Our organelle-interaction network analysis opens another critical dimension for a deeper characterization of various complex diseases with mitochondrial dysregulation. [less ▲]

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See detailMitochondrial and Clearance Impairment in p.D620N VPS35 Patient-Derived Neurons
Hanss, Zoé UL; Larsen, Simone UL; Antony, Paul UL et al

in Movement Disorders (2020)

Background: VPS35 is part of the retromer complex and is responsible for the trafficking and recycling of proteins implicated in autophagy and lysosomal degradation, but also takes part in the degradation ... [more ▼]

Background: VPS35 is part of the retromer complex and is responsible for the trafficking and recycling of proteins implicated in autophagy and lysosomal degradation, but also takes part in the degradation of mitochondrial proteins via mitochondria-derived vesicles. The p.D620N mutation of VPS35 causes an autosomal-dominant form of Parkinson’s disease (PD), clinically representing typical PD. Objective: Most of the studies on p.D620N VPS35 were performed on human tumor cell lines, rodent models overexpressing mutant VPS35, or in patient-derived fibroblasts. Here, based on identified target proteins, we investigated the implication of mutant VPS35 in autophagy, lysosomal degradation, and mitochondrial function in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from a patient harboring the p.D620N mutation. Methods: We reprogrammed fibroblasts from a PD patient carrying the p.D620N mutation in the VPS35 gene and from two healthy donors in induced pluripotent stem cells. These were subsequently differentiated into neuronal precursor cells to finally generate midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Results: We observed a decreased autophagic flux and lysosomal mass associated with an accumulation of α-synuclein in patient-derived neurons compared to controls. Moreover, patient-derived neurons presented a mitochondrial dysfunction with decreased membrane potential, impaired mitochondrial respiration, and increased production of reactive oxygen species associated with a defect in mitochondrial quality control via mitophagy. Conclusion: We describe for the first time the impact of the p.D620N VPS35 mutation on autophago-lysosome pathway and mitochondrial function in stem cell-derived neurons from an affected p.D620N carrier and define neuronal phenotypes for future pharmacological interventions [less ▲]

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See detailHaploinsufficiency due to a novel ACO2 deletion causes mitochondrial dysfunction in fibroblasts from a patient with dominant optic nerve atrophy
Neumann, Marie Anne-Catherine UL; Grossmann, Dajana UL; Schimpf-Linzenbold, Simone et al

in Scientific Reports (2020)

ACO2 is a mitochondrial protein, which is critically involved in the function of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), the maintenance of iron homeostasis, oxidative stress defense and the integrity of ... [more ▼]

ACO2 is a mitochondrial protein, which is critically involved in the function of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), the maintenance of iron homeostasis, oxidative stress defense and the integrity of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mutations in the ACO2 gene were identified in patients suffering from a broad range of symptoms, including optic nerve atrophy, cortical atrophy, cerebellar atrophy, hypotonia, seizures and intellectual disabilities. In the present study, we identified a heterozygous 51 bp deletion (c.1699_1749del51) in ACO2 in a family with autosomal dominant inherited isolated optic atrophy. A complementation assay using aco1-deficient yeast revealed a growth defect for the mutant ACO2 variant substantiating a pathogenic effect of the deletion. We used patient-derived fibroblasts to characterize cellular phenotypes and found a decrease of ACO2 protein levels, while ACO2 enzyme activity was not affected compared to two age- and gender-matched control lines. Several parameters of mitochondrial function, including mitochondrial morphology, mitochondrial membrane potential or mitochondrial superoxide production, were not changed under baseline conditions. However, basal respiration, maximal respiration, and spare respiratory capacity were reduced in mutant cells. Furthermore, we observed a reduction of mtDNA copy number and reduced mtDNA transcription levels in ACO2-mutant fibroblasts. Inducing oxidative stress led to an increased susceptibility for cell death in ACO2-mutant fibroblasts compared to controls. Our study reveals that a monoallelic mutation in ACO2 is sufficient to promote mitochondrial dysfunction and increased vulnerability to oxidative stress as main drivers of cell death related to optic nerve atrophy. [less ▲]

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See detailGeneration of two iPS cell lines (HIHDNDi001-A and HIHDNDi001-B) from a Parkinson's disease patient carrying the heterozygous p.A30P mutation in SNCA.
Barbuti, Peter; Santos, Bruno; Dording, Claire UL et al

in Stem cell research (2020), 48

Dermal fibroblasts from a patient carrying a heterozygous c.88G > C mutation in the SNCA gene that encodes alpha-synuclein were reprogrammed to pluripotency by retroviruses. This pathogenic mutation ... [more ▼]

Dermal fibroblasts from a patient carrying a heterozygous c.88G > C mutation in the SNCA gene that encodes alpha-synuclein were reprogrammed to pluripotency by retroviruses. This pathogenic mutation generates the p.A30P form of the alpha-synuclein protein leading to autosomal dominantly inherited Parkinson's disease (PD). Two clonal iPS cell lines were generated (A30P-3 and A30P-4) and characterised by validating the silencing of viral transgenes, the expression of endogenous pluripotency genes, directed differentiation into three germ layers in-vitro and a stable molecular genotype. These iPSC lines will serve as a valuable resource in determining the role of the p.A30P SNCA mutation in PD pathogenesis. [less ▲]

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See detailBidirectional Relation Between Parkinson’s Disease and Glioblastoma Multiforme
Mencke, Pauline UL; Hanss, Zoé; Boussaad, Ibrahim UL et al

in Frontiers in Neurology (2020)

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See detailGenome sequencing analysis identifies new loci associated with Lewy body dementia and provides insights into the complex genetic architecture
Chia, Ruth; Sabir, Marya S.; Bandres-Ciga, Sara et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

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 ... [more ▼]

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 and Parkinson’s disease, providing a deeper molecular understanding of the complex genetic architecture of this age-related neurodegenerative condition.Competing Interest StatementThomas G. Beach is a consultant for Prothena, Vivid Genomics and Avid Radiopharmaceuticals. He is a scientific advisory board member for Vivid Genomics. John A. Hardy, Huw R. Morris, Stuart Pickering-Brown, Andrew B. Singleton, and Bryan J. Traynor hold US, EU and Canadian patents on the clinical testing and therapeutic intervention for the hexanucleotide repeat expansion of C9orf72. Michael A. Nalls is supported by a consulting contract between Data Tecnica International and the National Institute on Aging, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA; as a possible conflict of interest Dr. Nalls also consults for Neuron23 Inc., Lysosomal Therapeutics Inc., Illumina Inc., the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Vivid Genomics among others. Jose A. Palma is an editorial board member of Movement Disorders, Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, BMC Neurology, and Clinical Autonomic Research. Bradley F. Boeve, James Leverenz, and Sonja W. Scholz serve on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Lewy Body Dementia Association. Sonja W. Scholz is an editorial board member for the Journal of Parkinson's Disease. Bryan J. Traynor is an editorial board member for JAMA Neurology; Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry; Brain; and Neurobiology of Aging. Zbigniew K. Wszolek serves as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on Abbvie, Inc. (M15-562 and M15-563), Biogen, Inc. (228PD201) grant, and Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BHV4157-206 and BHV3241-301). Zbigniew K. Wszolek serves as the principal investigator of the Mayo Clinic American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) Information and Referral Center, and as co-principal investigator of the Mayo Clinic APDA Center for Advanced Research. All other authors report no competing interests. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic Architecture of Parkinson's Disease in the Indian Population: Harnessing Genetic Diversity to Address Critical Gaps in Parkinson's Disease Research.
Rajan, Roopa; Divya, K. P.; Kandadai, Rukmini Mridula et al

in Frontiers in neurology (2020), 11

Over the past two decades, our understanding of Parkinson's disease (PD) has been gleaned from the discoveries made in familial and/or sporadic forms of PD in the Caucasian population. The transferability ... [more ▼]

Over the past two decades, our understanding of Parkinson's disease (PD) has been gleaned from the discoveries made in familial and/or sporadic forms of PD in the Caucasian population. The transferability and the clinical utility of genetic discoveries to other ethnically diverse populations are unknown. The Indian population has been under-represented in PD research. The Genetic Architecture of PD in India (GAP-India) project aims to develop one of the largest clinical/genomic bio-bank for PD in India. Specifically, GAP-India project aims to: (1) develop a pan-Indian deeply phenotyped clinical repository of Indian PD patients; (2) perform whole-genome sequencing in 500 PD samples to catalog Indian genetic variability and to develop an Indian PD map for the scientific community; (3) perform a genome-wide association study to identify novel loci for PD and (4) develop a user-friendly web-portal to disseminate results for the scientific community. Our "hub-spoke" model follows an integrative approach to develop a pan-Indian outreach to develop a comprehensive cohort for PD research in India. The alignment of standard operating procedures for recruiting patients and collecting biospecimens with international standards ensures harmonization of data/bio-specimen collection at the beginning and also ensures stringent quality control parameters for sample processing. Data sharing and protection policies follow the guidelines established by local and national authorities.We are currently in the recruitment phase targeting recruitment of 10,200 PD patients and 10,200 healthy volunteers by the end of 2020. GAP-India project after its completion will fill a critical gap that exists in PD research and will contribute a comprehensive genetic catalog of the Indian PD population to identify novel targets for PD. [less ▲]

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