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Apathy is a salient feature of various neuropsychiatric disorders, from depression to Alzheimer's disease. We formally assess its prevalence in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) together with its clinical, neuropsychological, and morphometric correlates. Thirty patients with PD and 25 normal controls were assessed using an extensive neuropsychological(More)
BACKGROUND Background The leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) harbours highly penetrant mutations that are linked to familial parkinsonism. However, the extent of its polymorphic variability in relation to risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) has not been assessed systematically. We therefore assessed the frequency of LRRK2 exonic variants in individuals(More)
Platelets release glutamate upon activation and are an important clearance system of the amino acid from blood, through high-affinity glutamate uptake, similar to that described in brain synaptosomes. Since platelet glutamate uptake is decreased in neurodegenerative disorders, we performed a morphological and molecular characterization of platelet glutamate(More)
BACKGROUND Experimental evidence suggests that excitotoxicity might play a major role in HIV-induced neurodegeneration. However, few studies have investigated the role of endogenous glutamate in patients with HIV dementia. OBJECTIVE To analyze CSF and plasma glutamate levels in 30 patients with AIDS with different dementia severity compared with 10(More)
Oxidative stress, resulting from the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and antioxidant defenses, plays a major role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the contribution of levodopa (LD) therapy to oxidative damage is still debated. We investigated oxidative stress in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs)(More)
Benzodiazepines can regulate neoplastic growth and immune response through specific peripheral benzodiazepine receptors. We investigated the presence of peripheral and classic central benzodiazepine receptors as well as diazepam-binding inhibitor, an endogenous ligand of both types of receptors, in different human cerebral tumors. Peripheral benzodiazepine(More)
We report that the expression of mutant G93A copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1), associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, specifically causes a decrease in MTT reduction rate and ATP levels and an increase in both cytosolic and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells compared to cells(More)
BACKGROUND The Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) requires caregivers to rate decline in patients' cognitive and functional performance and has never been used for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). METHODS We contrasted the discriminative and predictive power of the IQCODE with that of the Mini Mental State Examination(More)
The methionine/valine (M/V) polymorphism at codon 129 within the prion protein gene (PRNP) represents a known risk factor for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Few authors reported also the effects of this polymorphism on the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), although with controversial results. To better clarify this issue, we performed a novel case-control(More)
Converging evidence points to a pivotal role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in neuronal protection and a lack of its activity in neurodegenerative disorders. To investigate this possible association, we screened the VEGF gene promoter for various well-known single-nucleotide polymorphisms in a series of 249 consecutively recruited Italian(More)