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Alterations in the intrinsic properties of striatal cholinergic interneurons after dopamine lesion and chronic L-DOPA

Choi, Se Joon; Ma, Thong C; Ding, Yunmin; Cheung, Timothy; Joshi, Neal; Sulzer, David; Mosharov, Eugene V; Kang, Un Jung
Changes in striatal cholinergic interneuron (ChI) activity are thought to contribute to Parkinson's disease pathophysiology and dyskinesia from chronic L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) treatment, but the physiological basis of these changes is unknown. We find that dopamine lesion decreases the spontaneous firing rate of ChIs, whereas chronic treatment with L-DOPA of lesioned mice increases baseline ChI firing rates to levels beyond normal activity. The effect of dopamine loss on ChIs was due to decreased currents of both hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) and small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels. L-DOPA reinstatement of dopamine normalized HCN activity, but SK current remained depressed. Pharmacological blockade of HCN and SK activities mimicked changes in firing, confirming that these channels are responsible for the molecular adaptation of ChIs to dopamine loss and chronic L-DOPA treatment. These findings suggest that targeting ChIs with channel-specific modulators may provide therapeutic approaches for alleviating L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in PD patients.
PMID: 32687053
ISSN: 2050-084x
CID: 4533332

Comparative study of cerebrospinal fluid α-synuclein seeding aggregation assays for diagnosis of Parkinson's disease

Kang, Un Jung; Boehme, Amelia K; Fairfoul, Graham; Shahnawaz, Mohammad; Ma, Thong Chi; Hutten, Samantha J; Green, Alison; Soto, Claudio
BACKGROUND:PD diagnosis is based primarily on clinical criteria and can be inaccurate. Biological markers, such as α-synuclein aggregation, that reflect ongoing pathogenic processes may increase diagnosis accuracy and allow disease progression monitoring. Though α-synuclein aggregation assays have been published, reproducibility, standardization, and validation are key challenges for their development as clinical biomarkers. OBJECTIVE:To cross-validate two α-synuclein seeding aggregation assays developed to detect pathogenic oligomeric α-synuclein species in CSF using samples from the same PD patients and healthy controls from the BioFIND cohort. METHODS:CSF samples were tested by two independent laboratories in a blinded fashion. BioFIND features standardized biospecimen collection of clinically typical moderate PD patients and nondisease controls. α-synuclein aggregation was measured by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (Soto lab) and real-time quaking-induced conversion (Green lab). Results were analyzed by an independent statistician. RESULTS:Measuring 105 PD and 79 healthy control CSF samples, these assays showed 92% concordance. The areas under the curve from receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for the diagnosis of PD versus healthy controls were 0.93 for protein misfolding cyclic amplification, 0.89 for real-time quaking-induced conversion, and 0.95 when considering only concordant assay results. Clinical characteristics of false-positive and -negative subjects were not different from true-negative and -positive subjects, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:These α-synuclein seeding aggregation assays are reliable and reproducible for PD diagnosis. Assay parameters did not correlate with clinical parameters, including disease severity or duration. This assay is highly accurate for PD diagnosis and may impact clinical practice and clinical trials. © 2019 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
PMID: 30840785
ISSN: 1531-8257
CID: 3733802

The role of neuroplasticity in dopaminergic therapy for Parkinson disease

Zhuang, Xiaoxi; Mazzoni, Pietro; Kang, Un Jung
Dopamine replacement is a mainstay of therapeutic strategies for Parkinson disease (PD). The motor response to therapy involves an immediate improvement in motor function, known as the short-duration response (SDR), followed by a long-duration response (LDR) that develops more slowly, over weeks. Here, we review evidence in patients and animal models suggesting that dopamine-dependent corticostriatal plasticity, and retention of such plasticity in the absence of dopamine, are the mechanisms underlying the LDR. Conversely, experience-dependent aberrant plasticity that develops slowly under reduced dopamine levels could contribute substantially to PD motor symptoms before initiation of dopamine replacement therapy. We place these findings in the context of the role of dopamine in basal ganglia function and corticostriatal plasticity, and provide a new framework suggesting that therapies that enhance the LDR could be more effective than those targeting the SDR. We further propose that changes in neuroplasticity constitute a form of disease modification that is distinct from prevention of degeneration, and could be responsible for some of the unexplained disease-modifying effects of certain therapies. Understanding such plasticity could provide novel therapeutic approaches that combine rehabilitation and pharmacotherapy for treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders involving basal ganglia dysfunction.
PMID: 23588357
ISSN: 1759-4766
CID: 3501622

Aggregation-Seeding Forms of α-Synuclein Are Not Detected in Acute Coronavirus Disease 2019 Cerebrospinal Fluid [Letter]

Russo, Marco J; MacLeod, Karen; Lamoureux, Jennifer; Lebovitz, Russ; Pleshkevich, Maria; Steriade, Claude; Wisniewski, Thomas; Frontera, Jennifer A; Kang, Un Jung
PMID: 36208476
ISSN: 1531-8257
CID: 5351812

Study in Parkinson's disease of exercise phase 3 (SPARX3): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Patterson, Charity G; Joslin, Elizabeth; Gil, Alexandra B; Spigle, Wendy; Nemet, Todd; Chahine, Lana; Christiansen, Cory L; Melanson, Ed; Kohrt, Wendy M; Mancini, Martina; Josbeno, Deborah; Balfany, Katherine; Griffith, Garett; Dunlap, Mac Kenzie; Lamotte, Guillaume; Suttman, Erin; Larson, Danielle; Branson, Chantale; McKee, Kathleen E; Goelz, Li; Poon, Cynthia; Tilley, Barbara; Kang, Un Jung; Tansey, Malú Gámez; Luthra, Nijee; Tanner, Caroline M; Haus, Jacob M; Fantuzzi, Giamila; McFarland, Nikolaus R; Gonzalez-Latapi, Paulina; Foroud, Tatiana; Motl, Robert; Schwarzschild, Michael A; Simuni, Tanya; Marek, Kenneth; Naito, Anna; Lungu, Codrin; Corcos, Daniel M
BACKGROUND:To date, no medication has slowed the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Preclinical, epidemiological, and experimental data on humans all support many benefits of endurance exercise among persons with PD. The key question is whether there is a definitive additional benefit of exercising at high intensity, in terms of slowing disease progression, beyond the well-documented benefit of endurance training on a treadmill for fitness, gait, and functional mobility. This study will determine the efficacy of high-intensity endurance exercise as first-line therapy for persons diagnosed with PD within 3 years, and untreated with symptomatic therapy at baseline. METHODS:This is a multicenter, randomized, evaluator-blinded study of endurance exercise training. The exercise intervention will be delivered by treadmill at 2 doses over 18 months: moderate intensity (4 days/week for 30 min per session at 60-65% maximum heart rate) and high intensity (4 days/week for 30 min per session at 80-85% maximum heart rate). We will randomize 370 participants and follow them at multiple time points for 24 months. The primary outcome is the Movement Disorders Society-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) motor score (Part III) with the primary analysis assessing the change in MDS-UPDRS motor score (Part III) over 12 months, or until initiation of symptomatic antiparkinsonian treatment if before 12 months. Secondary outcomes are striatal dopamine transporter binding, 6-min walk distance, number of daily steps, cognitive function, physical fitness, quality of life, time to initiate dopaminergic medication, circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Tertiary outcomes are walking stride length and turning velocity. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:SPARX3 is a Phase 3 clinical trial designed to determine the efficacy of high-intensity, endurance treadmill exercise to slow the progression of PD as measured by the MDS-UPDRS motor score. Establishing whether high-intensity endurance treadmill exercise can slow the progression of PD would mark a significant breakthrough in treating PD. It would have a meaningful impact on the quality of life of people with PD, their caregivers and public health. TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04284436 . Registered on February 25, 2020.
PMCID:9535216
PMID: 36203214
ISSN: 1745-6215
CID: 5351692

Dysautonomia and REM sleep behavior disorder contributions to progression of Parkinson's disease phenotypes

Riboldi, Giulietta Maria; Russo, Marco J; Pan, Ling; Watkins, Kristen; Kang, Un Jung
Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) such as dysautonomia and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) are recognized to be important prodromal symptoms that may also indicate clinical subtypes of PD with different pathogenesis. Unbiased clustering analyses showed that subjects with dysautonomia and RBD symptoms, as well as early cognitive dysfunction, have faster progression of the disease. Through analysis of the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) de novo PD cohort, we tested the hypothesis that symptoms of dysautonomia and RBD, which are readily assessed by standard questionnaires in an ambulatory care setting, may help to independently prognosticate disease progression. Although these two symptoms associate closely, dysautonomia symptoms predict severe progression of motor and non-motor symptoms better than RBD symptoms across the 3-year follow-up period. Autonomic system involvement has not received as much attention and may be important to consider for stratification of subjects for clinical trials and for counseling patients.
PMCID:9427762
PMID: 36042235
ISSN: 2373-8057
CID: 5337682

Reply to: "Letter on Discussion of Gait Research" [Comment]

Bohnen, Nicolaas I; Costa, Rui M; Dauer, William T; Factor, Stewart A; Giladi, Nir; Hallett, Mark; Lewis, Simon J G; Nieuwboer, Alice; Nutt, John G; Takakusaki, Kaoru; Kang, Un Jung; Przedborski, Serge; Papa, Stella M
PMID: 35707827
ISSN: 1531-8257
CID: 5278642

mTOR Inhibition with Sirolimus in Multiple System Atrophy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Futility Trial and 1-Year Biomarker Longitudinal Analysis

Palma, Jose-Alberto; Martinez, Jose; Millar Vernetti, Patricio; Ma, Thong; Perez, Miguel A; Zhong, Judy; Qian, Yingzhi; Dutta, Suman; Maina, Katherine N; Siddique, Ibrar; Bitan, Gal; Ades-Aron, Benjamin; Shepherd, Timothy M; Kang, Un J; Kaufmann, Horacio
BACKGROUND:Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the aggregation of α-synuclein in glia and neurons. Sirolimus (rapamycin) is an mTOR inhibitor that promotes α-synuclein autophagy and reduces its associated neurotoxicity in preclinical models. OBJECTIVE:To investigate the efficacy and safety of sirolimus in patients with MSA using a futility design. We also analyzed 1-year biomarker trajectories in the trial participants. METHODS:Randomized, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled clinical trial at the New York University of patients with probable MSA randomly assigned (3:1) to sirolimus (2-6 mg daily) for 48 weeks or placebo. Primary endpoint was change in the Unified MSA Rating Scale (UMSARS) total score from baseline to 48 weeks. (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03589976). RESULTS:The trial was stopped after a pre-planned interim analysis met futility criteria. Between August 15, 2018 and November 15, 2020, 54 participants were screened, and 47 enrolled and randomly assigned (35 sirolimus, 12 placebo). Of those randomized, 34 were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. There was no difference in change from baseline to week 48 between the sirolimus and placebo in UMSARS total score (mean difference, 2.66; 95% CI, -7.35-6.91; P = 0.648). There was no difference in UMSARS-1 and UMSARS-2 scores either. UMSARS scores changes were similar to those reported in natural history studies. Neuroimaging and blood biomarker results were similar in the sirolimus and placebo groups. Adverse events were more frequent with sirolimus. Analysis of 1-year biomarker trajectories in all participants showed that increases in blood neurofilament light chain (NfL) and reductions in whole brain volume correlated best with UMSARS progression. CONCLUSIONS:Sirolimus for 48 weeks was futile to slow the progression of MSA and had no effect on biomarkers compared to placebo. One-year change in blood NfL and whole brain atrophy are promising biomarkers of disease progression for future clinical trials. © 2022 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
PMID: 35040506
ISSN: 1531-8257
CID: 5131432

Discussion of Research Priorities for Gait Disorders in Parkinson's Disease

Bohnen, Nicolaas I; Costa, Rui M; Dauer, William T; Factor, Stewart A; Giladi, Nir; Hallett, Mark; Lewis, Simon J G; Nieuwboer, Alice; Nutt, John G; Takakusaki, Kaoru; Kang, Un Jung; Przedborski, Serge; Papa, Stella M
Gait and balance abnormalities develop commonly in Parkinson's disease and are among the motor symptoms most disabling and refractory to dopaminergic or other treatments, including deep brain stimulation. Efforts to develop effective therapies are challenged by limited understanding of these complex disorders. There is a major need for novel and appropriately targeted research to expedite progress in this area. The Scientific Issues Committee of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society has charged a panel of experts in the field to consider the current knowledge gaps and determine the research routes with highest potential to generate groundbreaking data. © 2021 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
PMID: 34939221
ISSN: 1531-8257
CID: 5099992

Correction to: High diagnostic performance of independent alpha-synuclein seed amplification assays for detection of early Parkinson's disease

Russo, Marco J; Orru, Christina D; Concha-Marambio, Luis; Giaisi, Simone; Groveman, Bradley R; Farris, Carly M; Holguin, Bret; Hughson, Andrew G; LaFontant, David-Erick; Caspell-Garcia, Chelsea; Cofey, Christopher S; Mollon, Jennifer; Hutten, Samantha J; Merchant, Kalpana; Heym, Roland G; Soto, Claudio; Caughey, Byron; Kang, Un Jung
PMID: 34836545
ISSN: 2051-5960
CID: 5063942