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See detailGRN Mutations Are Associated with Lewy Body Dementia
Reho, Paolo; Koga, Shunsuke; Shah, Zalak et al

in Movement Disorders (2022)

ABSTRACT Background Loss-of-function mutations in GRN are a cause of familial frontotemporal dementia, and common variants within the gene have been associated with an increased risk of developing ... [more ▼]

ABSTRACT Background Loss-of-function mutations in GRN are a cause of familial frontotemporal dementia, and common variants within the gene have been associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Although TDP-43-positive inclusions are characteristic of GRN-related neurodegeneration, Lewy body copathology has also been observed in many GRN mutation carriers. Objective The objective of this study was to assess a Lewy body dementia (LBD) case–control cohort for pathogenic variants in GRN and to test whether there is an enrichment of damaging mutations among patients with LBD. Methods We analyzed whole-genome sequencing data generated for 2591 European-ancestry LBD cases and 4032 neurologically healthy control subjects to identify disease-causing mutations in GRN. Results We identified six heterozygous exonic GRN mutations in seven study participants (cases: n = 6; control subjects: n = 1). Each variant was predicted to be pathogenic or likely pathogenic. We found significant enrichment of GRN loss-of-function mutations in patients with LBD compared with control subjects (Optimized Sequence Kernel Association Test P = 0.0162). Immunohistochemistry in three definite LBD cases demonstrated Lewy body pathology and TDP-43-positive neuronal inclusions. Conclusions Our findings suggest that deleterious GRN mutations are a rare cause of familial LBD. © 2022 International Parkinson Movement Disorder Society. This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Interaction between HLA-DRB1 and Smoking in Parkinson's Disease Revisited
Domenighetti, Cloé; Douillard, Venceslas; Sugier, Pierre-Emmanuel et al

in Movement Disorders (2022)

Abstract Background Two studies that examined the interaction between HLA-DRB1 and smoking in Parkinson's disease (PD) yielded findings in opposite directions. Objective To perform a large-scale ... [more ▼]

Abstract Background Two studies that examined the interaction between HLA-DRB1 and smoking in Parkinson's disease (PD) yielded findings in opposite directions. Objective To perform a large-scale independent replication of the HLA-DRB1 × smoking interaction. Methods We genotyped 182 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) associated with smoking initiation in 12 424 cases and 9480 controls to perform a Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis in strata defined by HLA-DRB1. Results At the amino acid level, a valine at position 11 (V11) in HLA-DRB1 displayed the strongest association with PD. MR showed an inverse association between genetically predicted smoking initiation and PD only in absence of V11 (odds ratio, 0.74, 95 confidence interval, 0.59–0.93, PInteraction = 0.028). In silico predictions of the influence of V11 and smoking-induced modifications of α-synuclein on binding affinity showed findings consistent with this interaction pattern. Conclusions Despite being one of the most robust findings in PD research, the mechanisms underlying the inverse association between smoking and PD remain unknown. Our findings may help better understand this association. © 2022 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide Association and Meta-analysis of Age-at-Onset in Parkinson Disease: Evidence From COURAGE-PD Consortium 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200699
Grover, Sandeep; Ashwin, Ashok Kumar Sreelatha; Pihlstrom, Lasse et al

in Neurology (2022)

Background and Objectives: Considerable heterogeneity exists in the literature concerning genetic determinants of the age of onset (AAO) of Parkinson\textquoterights disease (PD), which could be ... [more ▼]

Background and Objectives: Considerable heterogeneity exists in the literature concerning genetic determinants of the age of onset (AAO) of Parkinson\textquoterights disease (PD), which could be attributed to lack of well-powered replication cohorts. The previous largest GWAS identified SNCA and TMEM175 loci on chromosome (Chr) 4 with a significant influence on AAO of PD, these have not been independently replicated. The present study aims to conduct a meta-analysis of GWAS of PD AAO and validate previously observed findings in worldwide populations.Methods: A meta-analysis was performed on PD AAO GWAS of 30 populations of predominantly European ancestry from the Comprehensive Unbiased Risk Factor Assessment for Genetics and Environment in Parkinson\textquoterights Disease (COURAGE-PD) consortium. This was followed up by combining our study with the largest publicly available European ancestry dataset compiled by the International Parkinson disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC).Results: The COURAGE-PD included a cohort of 8,535 patients with PD (91.9\%: Europeans, 9.1\%: East-Asians). The average AAO in the COURAGE-PD dataset was 58.9 years (SD=11.6), with an under-representation of females (40.2\%). The heritability estimate for AAO in COURAGE-PD was 0.083 (SE=0.057). None of the loci reached genome-wide significance (P\<5x10-8). Nevertheless, the COURAGE-PD dataset confirmed the role of the previously published TMEM175 variant as genetic determinant of AAO of PD with Bonferroni-corrected nominal levels of significance (P\<0.025): (rs34311866:β(SE)COURAGE=0.477(0.203), PCOURAGE=0.0185). The subsequent meta-analysis of COURAGE-PD and IPDGC datasets (Ntotal=25,950) led to the identification of two genome-wide significant association signals on Chr 4, including the previously reported SNCA locus (rs983361:β(SE)COURAGE+IPDGC=0.720(0.122), PCOURAGE+IPDGC=3.13x10-9) and a novel BST1 locus (rs4698412:β(SE)COURAGE+IPDGC=-0.526(0.096), PCOURAGE+IPDGC=4.41x10-8).Discussion: Our study further refines the genetic architecture of Chr 4 underlying the AAO of the PD phenotype through the identification of BST1 as a novel AAO PD locus. These findings open a new direction for the development of treatments to delay the onset of PD. [less ▲]

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See detailPolygenic Resilience Modulates the Penetrance of Parkinson Disease Genetic Risk Factors
Liu, Hui; Dehestani, Mohammad; Blauwendraat, Cornelis et al

in Annals of Neurology (2022)

Objective: The aim of the current study is to understand why some individuals avoid developing Parkinson disease (PD) despite being at relatively high genetic risk, using the largest datasets of ... [more ▼]

Objective: The aim of the current study is to understand why some individuals avoid developing Parkinson disease (PD) despite being at relatively high genetic risk, using the largest datasets of individual-level genetic data available. Methods: We calculated polygenic risk score to identify controls and matched PD cases with the highest burden of genetic risk for PD in the discovery cohort (International Parkinson's Disease Genomics Consortium, 7,204 PD cases and 9,412 controls) and validation cohorts (Comprehensive Unbiased Risk Factor Assessment for Genetics and Environment in Parkinson's Disease, 8,968 cases and 7,598 controls; UK Biobank, 2,639 PD cases and 14,301 controls; Accelerating Medicines Partnership–Parkinson's Disease Initiative, 2,248 cases and 2,817 controls). A genome-wide association study meta-analysis was performed on these individuals to understand genetic variation associated with resistance to disease. We further constructed a polygenic resilience score, and performed multimarker analysis of genomic annotation (MAGMA) gene-based analyses and functional enrichment analyses. Results: A higher polygenic resilience score was associated with a lower risk for PD (β = −0.054, standard error [SE] = 0.022, p = 0.013). Although no single locus reached genome-wide significance, MAGMA gene-based analyses nominated TBCA as a putative gene. Furthermore, we estimated the narrow-sense heritability associated with resilience to PD (h2 = 0.081, SE = 0.035, p = 0.0003). Subsequent functional enrichment analysis highlighted histone methylation as a potential pathway harboring resilience alleles that could mitigate the effects of PD risk loci. Interpretation: The present study represents a novel and comprehensive assessment of heritable genetic variation contributing to PD resistance. We show that a genetic resilience score can modify the penetrance of PD genetic risk factors and therefore protect individuals carrying a high-risk genetic burden from developing PD. ANN NEUROL 2022 [less ▲]

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See detailIndividual factors and beliefs determining COVID-19 vaccination willingness
Pauly, Laure UL; Paccoud, Ivana UL; Satagopam, Venkata UL et al

Poster (2022, April)

Background: High vaccination coverage rates are necessary to reduce infections and transmissions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 and to allow successful mitigation of the current pandemic. To ... [more ▼]

Background: High vaccination coverage rates are necessary to reduce infections and transmissions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 and to allow successful mitigation of the current pandemic. To date, we are still lacking information to explain the hesitancy in Luxembourg towards uptake of the available COVID-19 vaccines. The present study explored motivations for and against vaccination in a population-representative sample of residents across Luxembourg to identify hesitant groups and develop strategies to increase population immunity against SARS-CoV-2. Methods: In the framework of the nationwide, representative longitudinal CON-VINCE study, a sample of 1589 respondents (49.6% women, 84.3% Luxembourg nationality) ranging from 18-84 years, participated in the survey in spring 2021. The protocol of the CON-VINCE study has been described in detail elsewhere (Snoeck et al. 2020). Results: 52% of the respondents had at least partial vaccination at time of assessment between April to June 2021. The most common reasons for vaccination of those willing to be vaccinated (81.2%) were altruistic motivations. Prevalent reasons against vaccination for those undecided (8.7%) or reluctant (10.2%) to be vaccinated were that the vaccine had not been tested sufficiently and the fear of long-term vaccine side effects. Only very few of the vaccination-hesitant or -reluctant respondents reported that they did not believe in vaccination in general. Conclusion: The present study identified motivations for and against COVID-19 vaccination and determined demographic and socio-economic factors associated with vaccination willingness. To increase vaccination rates, public health communication needs to target those unsure or unwilling to be vaccinated. We will continue to study the vaccination uptake in the Luxembourg population, as CON-VINCE is now part of the H2020-funded international ORCHESTRA project (https://orchestra-cohort.eu), research into comparing these results on a Pan-European level. [less ▲]

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See detailRetrograde Procedural Memory in Parkinson’s Disease: A Cross-Sectional, Case-Control Study
Pauly, Laure UL; Pauly, Claire UL; Hansen, Maxime UL et al

in Journal of Parkinson's Disease (2022)

Background: The analysis of the procedural memory is particularly relevant in neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease, due to the central role of the basal ganglia in procedural memory. It ... [more ▼]

Background: The analysis of the procedural memory is particularly relevant in neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease, due to the central role of the basal ganglia in procedural memory. It has been shown that anterograde procedural memory, the ability to learn a new skill, is impaired in Parkinson’s disease. However, retrograde procedural memory, the long-term retention and execution of skills learned in earlier life stages, has not yet been systematically investigated in Parkinson’s disease. Objective: This study aims to investigate retrograde procedural memory in people with Parkinson’s disease.We hypothesized that retrograde procedural memory is impaired in people with Parkinson’s disease compared to an age- and gender-matched control group. Methods: First, we developed the CUPRO evaluation system, an extended evaluation system based on the Cube Copying Test, to distinguish the cube copying procedure, representing functioning of retrograde procedural memory, and the final result, representing the visuo-constructive abilities. Development of the evaluation system included tests of discriminant validity. Results: Comparing people with typical Parkinson’s disease (n = 201) with age- and gender-matched control subjects (n = 201), we identified cube copying performance to be significantly impaired in people with Parkinson’s disease (p = 0.008) No significant correlation was observed between retrograde procedural memory and disease duration. Conclusion: We demonstrated lower cube copying performance in people with Parkinson’s disease compared to control subjects, which suggests an impaired functioning of retrograde procedural memory in Parkinson’s disease. [less ▲]

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See detailRetrograde Procedural Memory in Parkinson's Disease
Pauly, Laure UL; Pauly, Claire UL; Hansen, Maxime UL et al

Poster (2022, March)

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See detailDairy Intake and Parkinson's Disease: A Mendelian Randomization Study
Domenighetti, Cloé; Sugier, Pierre-Emmanuel; Ashok Kumar Sreelatha, Ashwin et al

in Movement Disorders (2022)

Abstract Background Previous prospective studies highlighted dairy intake as a risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD), particularly in men. It is unclear whether this association is causal or explained ... [more ▼]

Abstract Background Previous prospective studies highlighted dairy intake as a risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD), particularly in men. It is unclear whether this association is causal or explained by reverse causation or confounding. Objective The aim is to examine the association between genetically predicted dairy intake and PD using two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR). Methods We genotyped a well-established instrumental variable for dairy intake located in the lactase gene (rs4988235) within the Courage-PD consortium (23 studies; 9823 patients and 8376 controls of European ancestry). Results Based on a dominant model, there was an association between genetic predisposition toward higher dairy intake and PD (odds ratio [OR] per one serving per day = 1.70, 95 confidence interval = 1.12–2.60, P = 0.013) that was restricted to men (OR = 2.50 [1.37–4.56], P = 0.003; P-difference with women = 0.029). Conclusions Using MR, our findings provide further support for a causal relationship between dairy intake and higher PD risk, not biased by confounding or reverse causation. Further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. © 2022 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society [less ▲]

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See detailSmart Scheduling (SMASCH): multi-appointment scheduling system for longitudinal clinical research studies.
Vega Moreno, Carlos Gonzalo UL; Gawron, Piotr UL; Lebioda, Jacek UL et al

in JAMIA open (2022), 5(2), 038

OBJECTIVE: Facilitate the multi-appointment scheduling problems (MASPs) characteristic of longitudinal clinical research studies. Additional goals include: reducing management time, optimizing clinical ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Facilitate the multi-appointment scheduling problems (MASPs) characteristic of longitudinal clinical research studies. Additional goals include: reducing management time, optimizing clinical resources, and securing personally identifiable information. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Following a model view controller architecture, we developed a web-based tool written in Python 3. RESULTS: Smart Scheduling (SMASCH) system facilitates clinical research and integrated care programs in Luxembourg, providing features to better manage MASPs and speed up management tasks. It is available both as a Linux package and Docker image (https://smasch.pages.uni.lu). DISCUSSION: The long-term requirements of longitudinal clinical research studies justify the employment of flexible and well-maintained frameworks and libraries through an iterative software life-cycle suited to respond to rapidly changing scenarios. CONCLUSIONS: SMASCH is a free and open-source scheduling system for clinical studies able to satisfy recent data regulations providing features for better data accountability. Better scheduling systems can help optimize several metrics that ultimately affect the success of clinical studies. [less ▲]

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See detailPINK1 Protects against Staurosporine-Induced Apoptosis by Interacting with Beclin1 and Impairing Its Pro-Apoptotic Cleavage.
Brunelli, Francesco; Torosantucci, Liliana; Gelmetti, Vania et al

in Cells (2022), 11(4),

PINK1 is a causative gene for Parkinson's disease and the corresponding protein has been identified as a master regulator of mitophagy-the autophagic degradation of damaged mitochondria. It interacts with ... [more ▼]

PINK1 is a causative gene for Parkinson's disease and the corresponding protein has been identified as a master regulator of mitophagy-the autophagic degradation of damaged mitochondria. It interacts with Beclin1 to regulate autophagy and initiate autophagosome formation, even outside the context of mitophagy. Several other pro-survival functions of this protein have been described and indicate that it might play a role in other disorders, such as cancer and proliferative diseases. In this study, we investigated a novel anti-apoptotic function of PINK1. To do so, we used SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, a neuronal model used in Parkinson's disease and cancer studies, to characterize the pro-survival functions of PINK1 in response to the apoptosis inducer staurosporine. In this setting, we found that staurosporine induces apoptosis but not mitophagy, and we demonstrated that PINK1 protects against staurosporine-induced apoptosis by impairing the pro-apoptotic cleavage of Beclin1. Our data also show that staurosporine-induced apoptosis is preceded by a phase of enhanced autophagy, and that PINK1 in this context regulates the switch from autophagy to apoptosis. PINK1 protein levels progressively decrease after treatment, inducing this switch. The PINK1-Beclin1 interaction is crucial in exerting this function, as mutants that are unable to interact do not show the anti-apoptotic effect. We characterized a new anti-apoptotic function of PINK1 that could provide options for treatment in proliferative or neurodegenerative diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of COVID-19 Pandemic on (Health) Care Situation of People with Parkinson’s Disease in Germany (Care4PD)
Fründt, Odette; Hanff, Anne-Marie UL; Mai, Tobias et al

in Brain Sciences (2022), 12(1 62),

The Care4PD study examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the care situation of people (PwP) with Parkinson’s disease in Germany. A comprehensive, nationwide, anonymous questionnaire for PwP was ... [more ▼]

The Care4PD study examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the care situation of people (PwP) with Parkinson’s disease in Germany. A comprehensive, nationwide, anonymous questionnaire for PwP was distributed by the members’ journal of the German Parkinson’s Disease Association and in several PD specialized in- and outpatient institutions. PwP subjectively evaluated their general care situation and individual impairments during the pandemic. We analyzed 1269 eligible out of 1437 returned questionnaires (88.3%) and compared PwP with (p-LTC) and without (np-LTC) professional long-term care. Both groups rated the general pandemic-related consequences as being rather mild to moderate (e.g., worsening of symptom or concerns). However, familial/social contact restrictions were indicated as most compromising, whereas access to outpatient professional health care providers was less affected. PwP with professional LTC reported more impairment than those without. COVID-19 vaccination rates and acceptance were generally high (p-LTC: 64.3%, np-LTC: 52.3%) at the time of the study, but realization of sanitary measures—especially wearing masks as a patient during care sessions—still needs to be improved. Technical options for telemedicine were principally available but only rarely used. Altogether, during the COVID-19 pandemic, PwP in Germany seemed to have a relatively stable health care access, at least in outpatient settings, while mainly social isolation compromised them. The p-LTC group was more impaired in everyday live compared with the np-LTC group. [less ▲]

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See detailDeterminants of Self-Stigma in People with Parkinson's Disease: A Mixed Methods Scoping Review
Hanff, Anne-Marie UL; Leist, Anja UL; Fritz, Joëlle UL et al

in Journal of Parkinson's Disease (2021)

Background: Self-stigma in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) can substantially impact quality of life and possibilities for social participation. An integrative analysis of determinants of self-stigma ... [more ▼]

Background: Self-stigma in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) can substantially impact quality of life and possibilities for social participation. An integrative analysis of determinants of self-stigma has been lacking. Objective: We sought to explore which complementary insights from qualitative and quantitative studies, as well as from expert consultation, could be gained. Methods: An established mixed methods study design was employed to first conduct a mixed methods scoping review of published qualitative and quantitative literature, and then consult with experts to arrive at an exhaustive list of determinants of self-stigma after a thematic synthesis. Results: A total of 87 unique determinants of self-stigma were identified. Quantitative studies and expert consultations mainly identified personal determinants of people with self-stigma (e.g., age, anxiety, or apathy). In contrast, qualitative studies identified social situations associated with self-stigma (e.g., joint meals of people with typical PD with others). Notably, self-stigma of people with PD was found to be particularly salient in unfamiliar places, at the working place or in contact with people without PD. Across methods, cognitive impairment, tremor, and abnormal walk and unsteady gait, respectively, were associated with self-stigma. Conclusion: The mixed method study design yielded complementary insights, but also factors commonly associated with self-stigma across methods. Future prioritization exercises may gain further insights into self-stigma of people with PD. Facilitating social encounters by both addressing needs of affected people and raising knowledge and public awareness may improve quality of life in people with PD [less ▲]

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See detailWhich demographic and socio-economic factors are associated with vaccination willingness and beliefs towards vaccination? Rapid report with first results
Leist, Anja UL; Klee, Matthias UL; Paccoud, Ivana UL et al

Report (2021)

In the framework of the CoVaLux project on vaccination and long COVID in Luxembourg, the project “Socio-economic determinants of long COVID and vaccination, and economic consequences with focus on labour ... [more ▼]

In the framework of the CoVaLux project on vaccination and long COVID in Luxembourg, the project “Socio-economic determinants of long COVID and vaccination, and economic consequences with focus on labour market and health care” aims to triangulate evidence from different data sources such as social security and general population data, the national cohort CON-VINCE as well as national health surveys. We seek to arrive at robust assessments of how socio-economic determinants shape vaccination willingness, occurrence, severity and persistence of long COVID, and economic consequences of long COVID in Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailGene-corrected p.A30P SNCA patient-derived isogenic neurons rescue neuronal branching and function
Barbuti, Peter A; Ohnmacht, Jochen UL; Santos, Bruno FR et al

in Scientific Reports (2021), 11

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterised by the degeneration of A9 dopaminergic neurons and the pathological accumulation of alpha-synuclein. The p.A30P SNCA mutation generates the pathogenic form of the ... [more ▼]

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterised by the degeneration of A9 dopaminergic neurons and the pathological accumulation of alpha-synuclein. The p.A30P SNCA mutation generates the pathogenic form of the alpha-synuclein protein causing an autosomal-dominant form of PD. There are limited studies assessing pathogenic SNCA mutations in patient-derived isogenic cell models. Here we provide a functional assessment of dopaminergic neurons derived from a patient harbouring the p.A30P SNCA mutation. Using two clonal gene-corrected isogenic cell lines we identified image-based phenotypes showing impaired neuritic processes. The pathological neurons displayed impaired neuronal activity, reduced mitochondrial respiration, an energy deficit, vulnerability to rotenone, and transcriptional alterations in lipid metabolism. Our data describes for the first time the mutation-only effect of the p.A30P SNCA mutation on neuronal function, supporting the use of isogenic cell lines in identifying image-based pathological phenotypes that can serve as an entry point for future disease-modifying compound screenings and drug discovery strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailTherapeutic maps for a sensor-based evaluation of deep brain stimulation programming
Bremm, René Peter UL; Berthold; Krüger, Rejko UL et al

in Biomedizinische Technik. Biomedical Engineering (2021)

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See detailGenetic evaluation of dementia with Lewy bodies implicates distinct disease subgroups
Kaivola, Karri; Shah, Zalak; Chia, Ruth et al

in Brain: a Journal of Neurology (2021), awab402

The APOE locus is strongly associated with risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In particular, the role of the APOE ε4 allele as a putative driver of α-synuclein ... [more ▼]

The APOE locus is strongly associated with risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In particular, the role of the APOE ε4 allele as a putative driver of α-synuclein pathology is a topic of intense debate. Here, we performed a comprehensive evaluation in 2,466 DLB cases versus 2,928 neurologically healthy, aged controls. Using an APOE-stratified genome-wide association study approach, we found that GBA is associated with risk for DLB in patients without APOE ε4 (p = 6.58 x 10−9, OR = 3.41, 95% CI = 2.25–5.17), but not with DLB with APOE ε4 (p = 0.034, OR = 1.87, 95%, 95% CI = 1.05–3.37). We then divided 495 neuropathologically examined DLB cases into three groups based on the extent of concomitant Alzheimer’s disease co-pathology: pure DLB (n = 88), DLB with intermediate Alzheimer’s disease co-pathology (DLB + iAD, n = 66), and DLB with high Alzheimer’s disease co-pathology (DLB + AD, n = 341). In each group, we tested the association of the APOE ε4 against the 2,928 neurologically healthy controls. Our examination found that APOE ε4 was associated with DLB + AD (p = 1.29x10−32, OR = 4.25, 95% CI = 3.35–5.39) and DLB + iAD (p = 0.0011, OR = 2.31, 95% CI = 1.40–3.83), but not with pure DLB (p = 0.31, OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.43–1.30). In conclusion, though deep clinical data were not available for these samples, our findings do not support the notion that APOE ε4 is an independent driver of α-synuclein pathology in pure DLB, but rather implicate GBA as the main risk gene for the pure DLB subgroup. [less ▲]

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See detailMendelian randomization study of smoking, alcohol, and coffee drinking in relation to Parkinso's disease
Domenighetti, Cloe; Sugier, Pierre Emmanuel; Sreelatha, Ashwin Ashok Kumar et al

in Journal of Parkinson's Disease (2021)

Background:Previous studies showed that lifestyle behaviors (cigarette smoking, alcohol, coffee) are inversely associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The prodromal phase of PD raises the possibility ... [more ▼]

Background:Previous studies showed that lifestyle behaviors (cigarette smoking, alcohol, coffee) are inversely associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The prodromal phase of PD raises the possibility that these associations may be explained by reverse causation. Objective:To examine associations of lifestyle behaviors with PD using two-sample Mendelian randomisation (MR) and the potential for survival and incidence-prevalence biases. Methods:We used summary statistics from publicly available studies to estimate the association of genetic polymorphisms with lifestyle behaviors, and from Courage-PD (7,369 cases, 7,018 controls; European ancestry) to estimate the association of these variants with PD. We used the inverse-variance weighted method to compute odds ratios (ORIVW) of PD and 95%confidence intervals (CI). Significance was determined using a Bonferroni-corrected significance threshold (p = 0.017). Results:We found a significant inverse association between smoking initiation and PD (ORIVW per 1-SD increase in the prevalence of ever smoking = 0.74, 95%CI = 0.60–0.93, p = 0.009) without significant directional pleiotropy. Associations in participants ≤67 years old and cases with disease duration ≤7 years were of a similar size. No significant associations were observed for alcohol and coffee drinking. In reverse MR, genetic liability toward PD was not associated with smoking or coffee drinking but was positively associated with alcohol drinking. Conclusion:Our findings are in favor of an inverse association between smoking and PD that is not explained by reverse causation, confounding, and survival or incidence-prevalence biases. Genetic liability toward PD was positively associated with alcohol drinking. Conclusions on the association of alcohol and coffee drinking with PD are hampered by insufficient statistical power. [less ▲]

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See detailA new brain organoid model to study Parkinson’s Disease
Bolognin, Silvia UL; Smits, Lisa UL; Nickels, Sarah Louise UL et al

in Biomedical Science and Engineering (2021)

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See detailThe retrograde procedural memory in people with Parkinson’s disease with or without freezing of gait – a cross-sectional study
Pauly, Laure UL; Rauschenberger, Armin UL; Pauly, Claire UL et al

Poster (2021, September 17)

Objective: To investigate the retrograde procedural memory in people with typical Parkinson’s disease (PwP) with or without freezing of gait (FOG). We hypothesized that the retrograde procedural memory is ... [more ▼]

Objective: To investigate the retrograde procedural memory in people with typical Parkinson’s disease (PwP) with or without freezing of gait (FOG). We hypothesized that the retrograde procedural memory is more strongly impaired in patients with FOG (FOG+) than in patients without FOG (FOG-). Background: Given that cognitive functions, like executive control and automaticity, are crucial for mobility, it is of great importance to get a deeper knowledge of the cognitive impairment that may interfere with walking and causing gait disturbances in PwP, i.e. FOG. The integrity of retrograde procedural memory, the ability to execute skills that have been learned in earlier life stages, is essential for a person’s ability to complete routine, procedural activities like walking. As FOG is characterized as a de-automatization disorder, we hypothesized an impairment of the retrograde procedural memory in patients with FOG. Methods: A total of 194 patients from the Luxembourg Parkinson’s study were included into the cross-sectional study. All patients were assigned to the FOG+ / FOG- groups based on a semi-structured interview conducted by a study physician. The extended evaluation system of the cube copying test was applied to evaluate both the cube-drawing procedure, representing the retrograde procedural memory, and the final result, representing the visuo-constructive abilities (Pauly et al., 2020, MDS abstract). We compared the cube copying performance of n=97 FOG+ with n=97 age-, gender- and education-matched FOG-. Results: FOG+ scored lower on the cube copying procedure compared to the FOG- (p=0.027), which is suggestive of an impaired retrograde procedural memory in FOG+. No significant differences in the visuo-constructional abilities were detected (p=0.945). Conclusion: In line with FOG being considered a de-automatization of walking, a skill acquired in earlier life stages, the present results suggest that PwP with FOG have an impaired retrograde procedural memory in comparison to PwP without FOG. The results lend support to the ability of the extended evaluation system of the cube copying test to assess impaired retrograde procedural memory and help improve our understanding of behavioral symptoms in PwP. [less ▲]

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See detailThe evolution and social determinants of mental health during the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Luxembourg
Ribeiro, Fabiana UL; Schröder, Valerie UL; Krüger, Rejko UL et al

in Psychiatry Research (2021), 303

Studies have been showing a negative impact of pandemic control measures on mental health. However, few studies assessed these effects longitudinally during the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 ... [more ▼]

Studies have been showing a negative impact of pandemic control measures on mental health. However, few studies assessed these effects longitudinally during the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goals of this study were to explore whether differential effects of COVID-19 restrictions on mental health could be observed by sex and age in a Luxembourgish nationally representative sample during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. Furthermore, we aimed to assess whether there are differences in risk and protective factors longitudinally at two assessment times. A total of 1,756 respondents aged 18 years and older (50.74% women) reported sociodemographic and socio-economic characteristics, depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Women and younger respondents reported higher rates of severe depression and anxiety symptoms, suggesting higher vulnerability to the pandemic control measures. This study contributes to the investigation of mental health consequences of the pandemic and the pandemic control measures, particularly related to shifts in care task responsibilities, gender and socio-economic inequalities, as well as younger groups' uncertainty about the future. [less ▲]

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