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Fuhs A.,University of Munster | Bentama D.,University of Munster | Antkowiak R.,University of Munster | Mathis J.,University of Bern | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

In a cohort study among 2751 members (71.5% females) of the German and Swiss RLS patient organizations changes in restless legs syndrome (RLS) severity over time was assessed and the impact on quality of life, sleep quality and depressive symptoms was analysed. A standard set of scales (RLS severity scale IRLS, SF-36, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) in mailed questionnaires was repeatedly used to assess RLS severity and health status over time and a 7-day diary once to assess short-term variations. A clinically relevant change of the RLS severity was defined by a change of at least 5 points on the IRLS scale. During 36 months follow-up minimal improvement of RLS severity between assessments was observed. Men consistently reported higher severity scores. RLS severity increased with age reaching a plateau in the age group 45-54 years. During 3 years 60.2% of the participants had no relevant (65 points) change in RLS severity. RLS worsening was significantly related to an increase in depressive symptoms and a decrease in sleep quality and quality of life. The short-term variation showed distinctive circadian patterns with rhythm magnitudes strongly related to RLS severity. The majority of participants had a stable course of severe RLS over three years. An increase in RLS severity was accompanied by a small to moderate negative, a decrease by a small positive influence on quality of life, depressive symptoms and sleep quality.©2014 Fuhs et al. Source


Doppler K.,University of Wurzburg | Ebert S.,University of Wurzburg | Uceyler N.,University of Wurzburg | Trenkwalder C.,Paracelsus Elena Klinik Kassel | And 3 more authors.
Acta Neuropathologica | Year: 2014

The deposition of alpha-synuclein in the brain, the neuropathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD), follows a distinct anatomical and temporal sequence. This study aimed to characterize alpha-synuclein deposition in cutaneous nerves from patients with PD. We further strived to explore whether peripheral nerve involvement is intrinsic to PD and reflective of known features of brain pathology, which could render it a useful tool for pathogenetic studies and pre-mortem histological diagnosis of PD. We obtained skin biopsies from the distal and proximal leg, back and finger of 31 PD patients and 35 controls and quantified the colocalization of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein in somatosensory and autonomic nerve fibers and the pattern of loss of different subtypes of dermal fibers. Deposits of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein were identified in 16/31 PD patients but in 0/35 controls (p < 0.0001). Quantification of nerve fibers revealed two types of peripheral neurodegeneration in PD: (1) a length-dependent reduction of intraepidermal small nerve fibers (p < 0.05) and (2) a severe non-length-dependent reduction of substance P-immunoreactive intraepidermal nerve fibers (p < 0.0001). The latter coincided with a more pronounced proximal manifestation of alpha-synuclein pathology in the skin. The histological changes did not correlate with markers of levodopa toxicity such as vitamin B12 deficiency. Our findings suggest that loss of peripheral nerve fibers is an intrinsic feature of PD and that peripheral nerve changes may reflect the two types of central alpha-synuclein-related PD pathology, namely neuronal death and axonal degeneration. Detection of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein in dermal nerve fibers might be a useful diagnostic test for PD with high specificity but low sensitivity. © 2014 The Author(s). Source

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