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Shiro Horisawa, Atsushi Fukui, Hayato Yamahata, Yukiko Tanaka, Atsushi Kuwano, Oji Momosaki, Mutsumi Iijima, Magi Nanke, Takakazu Kawamata, and Takaomi Taira

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgical ablation is an effective treatment for medically refractory motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). A limited number of studies have reported the effect of ablation of the pallidothalamic tract for PD. In this study, the authors evaluated the safety and efficacy of unilateral pallidothalamic tractotomy for akinetic-rigid (AR)–PD.

METHODS

Fourteen AR-PD patients, who were enrolled in this prospective open-label study, underwent unilateral pallidothalamic tractotomy. The Movement Disorder Society–Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) Part III and Part IV (dyskinesia and dystonia) scores and levodopa equivalent daily dose (LEDD) were evaluated at baseline and at 3 and 12 months postoperatively.

RESULTS

Of the 14 patients enrolled in the study, 4 were lost to follow-up and 10 were analyzed. The total MDS-UPDRS Part III score significantly improved from 45 ± 4.6 at baseline to 32.9 ± 4.8 at 12 months postoperatively (p = 0.005). Contralateral side rigidity and bradykinesia significantly improved from 4.4 ± 0.5 and 10.4 ± 1.5 at baseline to 1.7 ± 0.4 (p = 0.005) and 5.2 ± 1.4 (p = 0.011) at 12 months, respectively. While posture significantly improved with a 20% reduction in scores (p = 0.038), no significant improvement was found in gait (p = 0.066). Dyskinesia and dystonia were improved with a 79.2% (p = 0.0012) and 91.7% (p = 0.041) reduction in scores, respectively. No significant change was found in the LEDD. Hypophonia was noted in 2 patients, eyelid apraxia was noted in 1 patient, and a reduced response to levodopa, which resulted in an increase in the daily dose of levodopa, was noted in 3 patients. No serious permanent neurological deficits were observed.

CONCLUSIONS

Unilateral pallidothalamic tractotomy improved contralateral side rigidity and bradykinesia, dyskinesia, and dystonia in patients with AR-PD.

Clinical trial registration no.: UMIN000031138 (umin.ac.jp)

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Tatsuya Tanaka, Atsushi Ogata, Jun Masuoka, Taichiro Mizokami, Tomihiro Wakamiya, Yukiko Nakahara, Kohei Inoue, Shoko Shimokawa, Fumitaka Yoshioka, Nobuaki Momozaki, Shuji Sakata, and Tatsuya Abe

OBJECTIVE

Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) is most often caused by the rupture of neovessels; however, the factors of intraplaque neovessel vulnerability remain unclear. In this study, the authors focused on pericytes and aimed to investigate the relationship between IPH and pericytes.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the medical records of all patients with carotid artery stenoses who had undergone carotid endarterectomy at their hospitals between August 2008 and March 2016. Patients with carotid plaques that could be evaluated histopathologically were eligible for study inclusion. Intraplaque hemorrhage was analyzed using glycophorin A staining, and patients were divided into the following 2 groups based on the extent of granular staining: high IPH (positive staining area > 10%) and low IPH (positive staining area ≤ 10%). In addition, intraplaque neovessels were immunohistochemically evaluated using antibodies to CD34 as an endothelial cell marker or antibodies to NG2 and CD146 as pericyte markers. The relationship between IPH and pathology for intraplaque neovessels was investigated.

RESULTS

Seventy of 126 consecutive carotid stenoses were excluded due to the lack of a specimen for histopathological evaluation; therefore, 53 patients with 56 carotid artery stenoses were eligible for study inclusion. Among the 56 stenoses, 37 lesions had high IPH and 19 had low IPH. The number of CD34-positive neovessels was equivalent between the two groups. However, the densities of NG2- and CD146-positive neovessels were significantly lower in the high IPH group than in the low IPH group (5.7 ± 0.5 vs. 17.1 ± 2.4, p < 0.0001; 6.6 ± 0.8 vs. 18.4 ± 2.5, p < 0.0001, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Plaques with high IPH are associated with fewer pericytes in the intraplaque neovessels. This finding may help in the development of novel therapeutic strategies targeting pericytes.