A Study of Early-onset Alzheimer's Disease

Overview

About this study

The purpose of this Longitudinal Early-onset Alzheimer's Disease Study (LEADS) is designed to look at disease progression in individuals with early onset cognitive impairment . Clinical/cognitive, imaging, biomarker, and genetic characteristics will be assessed across three cohorts: (1) early onset Alzheimer's Disease (EOAD) participants, (2) early onset non-Alzheimer's Disease (EO-nonAD) participants,and (3) cognitively normal (CN) control participants.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. If you need assistance understanding the eligibility criteria, please contact the study team.

Inclusion Criteria - Cognitively Impaired (EOAD and EO-nonAD) Cohorts Only:

  • Meets NIA-AA criteria for MCI due to AD or probable AD dementia.
  • Have a global CDR score ≤ 1.0.
  • Have capacity to provide informed consent (IC) or has a legal authorized representative or guardian who provides IC.
  • Age between 40-64 years (inclusive) at the time of consent .
  • Must have a study partner (informant) who spends a minimum average of 10 hours per week with the participant (e.g., family member, significant other, friend, caregiver) who is generally aware of the participants' daily activities and can provide information about the participant's cognitive and functional performance. If the participant does not have a study partner who spends 10 face-to-face hours per week, other arrangements for identifying a viable study partner will be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Site PI .
  • Willing and able to complete longitudinal study procedures aside from LP which is an optional procedure.
  • Not pregnant or lactating. Women must be two years post-menopausal, be surgically sterile, or have a negative pregnancy test prior to each PET scan.
  • Fluent in English.

Inclusion Criteria - Cognitively Normal (CN) Cohort Only:

  • Meets criteria for cognitively normal, based on an absence of significant impairment in cognitive functions or activities of daily living.
  • Have a global CDR score = 0.
  • Have capacity to provide informed consent.
  • Have a Mini-Mental State Exam score between 26-30 (inclusive). Exceptions may be made for participant with less than 8 years of education at the discretion of the Site PI.
  • Age between 40-64 years (inclusive) at the time of consent.
  • Must have a study partner (informant) who spends a minimum average of 10 hours per week with the participant (e.g., family member, significant other, friend, caregiver) who is generally aware of the participants' daily activities and can provide information about the participant's cognitive and functional performance. If the participant does not have a study partner who spends 10 face-to-face hours per week, other arrangements for identifying a viable study partner will be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Site PI.
  • Willing and able to complete longitudinal study procedures aside from LP which is an optional procedure.
  • Not pregnant or lactating. Women must be two years post-menopausal, be surgically sterile, or have a negative pregnancy test prior to each PET scan.
  • Fluent in English.

Exclusion Criteria - All (EOAD, EO-nonAD and CN) Cohorts:

  • Meets core clinical criteria for non-AD dementia.
  • Two or more first degree relatives with a history of early-onset dementia suggestive of autosomal dominant transmission, unless known pathogenic mutations in APP, PSEN1, PSEN2 have been excluded.
  • Known mutation in an ADAD gene (APP, PSEN1, PSEN2) or other autosomal dominant genes associated with other neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Contraindications to 3T MRI (e.g., claustrophobia, pacemaker, select aneurismal clip, artificial heart valve, select ear implants, select stents incompatible with 3T MRI, metal fragments or foreign objects in the eyes, skin or body, etc.).
  • Lifetime medical history of a brain disorder other than the disorder causing dementia except for headache (exceptions are allowed at the discretion of the Site PI - e.g., seizure disorder thought to be due to EOAD).
  •  MRI scan with evidence of infection or focal lesions, cortical strokes, multiple lacunes (single lacune is allowable unless it meets criteria for strategic lacune affecting cognition).
  • Any significant systemic illness or unstable medical condition, which could lead to difficulty complying with the protocol (at the discretion of the Site PI).
  • Medical radiation exposure will be assessed by the study physician. If the candidate participant has had more than one nuclear medicine study in the prior 12 months, study inclusion will require approval from the PET Core.
  • Investigational agents are prohibited 30 days prior to entry.
  • Previous enrollment in a therapeutic trial targeting amyloid or tau.
  • Participation in other clinical studies with neuropsychological measures, with the exception of participants who are co-enrolled in the NACC Uniform Data Set (UDS) protocol (Note: This criterion is intended to reduce repeat measures effects during neuropsychological testing. Exceptions are allowed at the discretion of the Site PI).
  • Lifetime history of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (DSM-5 criteria).
  • Current history (in previous 12 months) of DSM-5 diagnosis of mania, bipolar disorder with or without psychotic features.
  • Current history (in previous 6 months) of moderate or severe substance abuse (nicotine or caffeine is allowed).
  • Suicidal behaviors in the past 12 months or active suicidal ideations.
  • Residing in a 24-hour care skilled nursing facility (at the time of screening).
  • History of torsades de pointes or taking medications known to prolong the QT interval.
  • Corrected QT (QTc) interval ≥ 458 msec in males or ≥ 474 msec in females.
  • For optional lumbar puncture procedure only:
    • Clinical laboratory values must be within normal limits or, if abnormal, must be judged to be not clinically significant by the Site PI:
      • Platelet count <100,000/µl; 
      • INR>1.2;
      • Abnormal PT or PTT at screening.
    • Contraindications to the procedure, including but not limited to severe degenerative joint disease, deformity of the spine, history of a bleeding disorder. 
    • Suspected elevated intracranial pressure, Arnold Chiari malformation or mass lesion d. Use of the anticoagulant medications such as but not limited to warfarin, rivaroxaban, dabigatran.
  • Deemed ineligible by the Site PI for any other reason.

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact us for help.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Jacksonville, Fla.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Neill Graff Radford, M.D.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

(507) 284-1324

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

David Jones, M.D.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

(507) 284-1324

More information

Publications

  • Brief cognitive screens lack the sensitivity to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or support differential diagnoses. The objective of this study was to validate the 10-minute, tablet-based University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Brain Health Assessment (BHA) to overcome these limitations. Read More on PubMed
  • To evaluate the impact of amyloid PET imaging on diagnosis and patient management in a multicenter, randomized, controlled study. Read More on PubMed
  • Cerebrospinal fluid collection by lumbar puncture (LP) is performed in the diagnostic workup of several neurological brain diseases. Reluctance to perform the procedure is among others due to a lack of standards and guidelines to minimize the risk of complications, such as post-LP headache or back pain. Read More on PubMed
  • To determine the prevalence of autoimmune disease in symptomatic (C9) mutation carriers and frontotemporal dementia with motor neuron disease (FTD/MND) cohorts. Read More on PubMed
  • Causative variants in APP, PSEN1 or PSEN2 account for a majority of cases of autosomal dominant early-onset Alzheimer disease (ADEOAD, onset before 65 years). Variant detection rates in other EOAD patients, that is, with family history of late-onset AD (LOAD) (and no incidence of EOAD) and sporadic cases might be much lower. We analyzed the genomes from 264 patients using whole-exome sequencing (WES) with high depth of coverage: 90 EOAD patients with family history of LOAD and no incidence of EOAD in the family and 174 patients with sporadic AD starting between 51 and 65 years. We found three PSEN1 and one PSEN2 causative, probably or possibly causative variants in four patients (1.5%). Given the absence of PSEN1, PSEN2 and APP causative variants, we investigated whether these 260 patients might be burdened with protein-modifying variants in 20 genes that were previously shown to cause other types of dementia when mutated. For this analysis, we included an additional set of 160 patients who were previously shown to be free of causative variants in PSEN1, PSEN2 and APP: 107 ADEOAD patients and 53 sporadic EOAD patients with an age of onset before 51 years. In these 420 patients, we detected no variant that might modify the function of the 20 dementia-causing genes. We conclude that EOAD patients with family history of LOAD and no incidence of EOAD in the family or patients with sporadic AD starting between 51 and 65 years have a low variant-detection rate in AD genes. Read More on PubMed
  • Lumbar puncture (LP) is increasingly performed in memory clinics. We investigated patient-acceptance of LP, incidence of and risk factors for post-LP complications in memory clinic populations. Read More on PubMed
  • Traditional neuropsychological batteries may not distinguish early behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) from Alzheimer's disease (AD) without the inclusion of a social behavioral measure. We compared 33 participants, 15 bvFTD, and 18 matched patients with early-onset AD (eAD), on the Social Norms Questionnaire (SNQ), neuropsychological tests and 3-dimensional T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The analyses included correlations of SNQ results (total score, overendorsement or "overadhere" errors, and violations or "break" errors) with neuropsychological results and tensor-based morphometry regions of interest. Patients with BvFTD had significantly lower SNQ total scores and higher overadhere errors than patients with eAD. On neuropsychological measures, the SNQ total scores correlated significantly with semantic knowledge and the overadhere subscores with executive dysfunction. On MRI analysis, the break subscores significantly correlated with lower volume of lateral anterior temporal lobes (aTL). The results also suggest that endorsement of social norm violations corresponds to the role of the right aTL in social semantic knowledge. Read More on PubMed
  • As the discovery of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) genes, APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2, in families with autosomal dominant early-onset AD (EOAD), gene discovery in familial EOAD came more or less to a standstill. Only 5% of EOAD patients are carrying a pathogenic mutation in one of the AD genes or a apolipoprotein E (APOE) risk allele ε4, most of EOAD patients remain unexplained. Here, we aimed at summarizing the current knowledge of EOAD genetics and its role in ongoing approaches to understand the biology of AD and disease symptomatology as well as developing new therapeutics. Next, we explored the possible molecular mechanisms that might underlie the missing genetic etiology of EOAD and discussed how the use of massive parallel sequencing technologies triggered novel gene discoveries. To conclude, we commented on the relevance of reinvestigating EOAD patients as a means to explore potential new avenues for translational research and therapeutic discoveries. Read More on PubMed
  • Alzheimer's disease (AD) can present with distinct clinical variants. Identifying the earliest neurodegenerative changes associated with each variant has implications for early diagnosis, and for understanding the mechanisms that underlie regional vulnerability and disease progression in AD. We performed voxel-based morphometry to detect atrophy patterns in early clinical stages of four AD phenotypes: Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA, "visual variant," n=93), logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia (lvPPA, "language variant," n=74), and memory-predominant AD categorized as early age-of-onset (EOAD, <65 years, n=114) and late age-of-onset (LOAD, >65 years, n=114). Patients with each syndrome were stratified based on: (1) degree of functional impairment, as measured by the clinical dementia rating (CDR) scale, and (2) overall extent of brain atrophy, as measured by a neuroimaging approach that sums the number of brain voxels showing significantly lower gray matter volume than cognitively normal controls (n=80). Even at the earliest clinical stage (CDR=0.5 or bottom quartile of overall atrophy), patients with each syndrome showed both common and variant-specific atrophy. Common atrophy across variants was found in temporoparietal regions that comprise the posterior default mode network (DMN). Early syndrome-specific atrophy mirrored functional brain networks underlying functions that are uniquely affected in each variant: Language network in lvPPA, posterior cingulate cortex-hippocampal circuit in amnestic EOAD and LOAD, and visual networks in PCA. At more advanced stages, atrophy patterns largely converged across AD variants. These findings support a model in which neurodegeneration selectively targets both the DMN and syndrome-specific vulnerable networks at the earliest clinical stages of AD. Read More on PubMed
  • A 'frontal variant of Alzheimer's disease' has been described in patients with predominant behavioural or dysexecutive deficits caused by Alzheimer's disease pathology. The description of this rare Alzheimer's disease phenotype has been limited to case reports and small series, and many clinical, neuroimaging and neuropathological characteristics are not well understood. In this retrospective study, we included 55 patients with Alzheimer's disease with a behavioural-predominant presentation (behavioural Alzheimer's disease) and a neuropathological diagnosis of high-likelihood Alzheimer's disease (n = 17) and/or biomarker evidence of Alzheimer's disease pathology (n = 44). In addition, we included 29 patients with autopsy/biomarker-defined Alzheimer's disease with a dysexecutive-predominant syndrome (dysexecutive Alzheimer's disease). We performed structured chart reviews to ascertain clinical features. First symptoms were more often cognitive (behavioural Alzheimer's disease: 53%; dysexecutive Alzheimer's disease: 83%) than behavioural (behavioural Alzheimer's disease: 25%; dysexecutive Alzheimer's disease: 3%). Apathy was the most common behavioural feature, while hyperorality and perseverative/compulsive behaviours were less prevalent. Fifty-two per cent of patients with behavioural Alzheimer's disease met diagnostic criteria for possible behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia. Overlap between behavioural and dysexecutive Alzheimer's disease was modest (9/75 patients). Sixty per cent of patients with behavioural Alzheimer's disease and 40% of those with the dysexecutive syndrome carried at least one APOE ε4 allele. We also compared neuropsychological test performance and brain atrophy (applying voxel-based morphometry) with matched autopsy/biomarker-defined typical (amnestic-predominant) Alzheimer's disease (typical Alzheimer's disease, n = 58), autopsy-confirmed/Alzheimer's disease biomarker-negative behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (n = 59), and controls (n = 61). Patients with behavioural Alzheimer's disease showed worse memory scores than behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and did not differ from typical Alzheimer's disease, while executive function composite scores were lower compared to behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and typical Alzheimer's disease. Voxel-wise contrasts between behavioural and dysexecutive Alzheimer's disease patients and controls revealed marked atrophy in bilateral temporoparietal regions and only limited atrophy in the frontal cortex. In direct comparison with behavioural and those with dysexecutive Alzheimer's disease, patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia showed more frontal atrophy and less posterior involvement, whereas patients with typical Alzheimer's disease were slightly more affected posteriorly and showed less frontal atrophy (P < 0.001 uncorrected). Among 24 autopsied behavioural Alzheimer's disease/dysexecutive Alzheimer's disease patients, only two had primary co-morbid FTD-spectrum pathology (progressive supranuclear palsy). In conclusion, behavioural Alzheimer's disease presentations are characterized by a milder and more restricted behavioural profile than in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, co-occurrence of memory dysfunction and high APOE ε4 prevalence. Dysexecutive Alzheimer's disease presented as a primarily cognitive phenotype with minimal behavioural abnormalities and intermediate APOE ε4 prevalence. Both behavioural Alzheimer's disease and dysexecutive Alzheimer's disease presentations are distinguished by temporoparietal-predominant atrophy. Based on the relative sparing of frontal grey matter, we propose to redefine these clinical syndromes as 'the behavioural/dysexecutive variant of Alzheimer's disease' rather than frontal variant Alzheimer's disease. Further work is needed to determine whether behavioural and dysexecutive-predominant presentations of Alzheimer's disease represent distinct phenotypes or a single continuum. Read More on PubMed
  • Studies in adolescents and adults have demonstrated that polymorphisms in putative psychiatric risk genes are associated with differences in brain structure, but cannot address when in development these relationships arise. To determine if common genetic variants in disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 (DISC1; rs821616 and rs6675281), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT; rs4680), neuregulin 1 (NRG1; rs35753505 and rs6994992), apolipoprotein E (APOE; ε3ε4 vs. ε3ε3), estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1; rs9340799 and rs2234693), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; rs6265), and glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1; rs2270335) are associated with individual differences in brain tissue volumes in neonates, we applied both automated region-of-interest volumetry and tensor-based morphometry to a sample of 272 neonates who had received high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scans. ESR1 (rs9340799) predicted intracranial volume. Local variation in gray matter (GM) volume was significantly associated with polymorphisms in DISC1 (rs821616), COMT, NRG1, APOE, ESR1 (rs9340799), and BDNF. No associations were identified for DISC1 (rs6675281), ESR1 (rs2234693), or GAD1. Of note, neonates homozygous for the DISC1 (rs821616) serine allele exhibited numerous large clusters of reduced GM in the frontal lobes, and neonates homozygous for the COMT valine allele exhibited reduced GM in the temporal cortex and hippocampus, mirroring findings in adults. The results highlight the importance of prenatal brain development in mediating psychiatric risk. Read More on PubMed
  • We wished to develop a highly selective positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent targeting PHF-tau in human Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains. Read More on PubMed
  • Primary progressive aphasia is a neurodegenerative clinical syndrome that presents in adulthood with an isolated, progressive language disorder. Three main clinical/anatomical variants have been described, each associated with distinctive pathology. A high frequency of neurodevelopmental learning disability in primary progressive aphasia has been reported. Because the disorder is heterogeneous with different patterns of cognitive, anatomical and biological involvement, we sought to identify whether learning disability had a predilection for one or more of the primary progressive aphasia subtypes. We screened the University of California San Francisco Memory and Aging Center's primary progressive aphasia cohort (n = 198) for history of language-related learning disability as well as hand preference, which has associations with learning disability. The study included logopenic (n = 48), non-fluent (n = 54) and semantic (n = 96) variant primary progressive aphasias. We investigated whether the presence of learning disability or non-right-handedness was associated with differential effects on demographic, neuropsychological and neuroimaging features of primary progressive aphasia. We showed that a high frequency of learning disability was present only in the logopenic group (χ(2) = 15.17, P < 0.001) and (χ(2) = 11.51, P < 0.001) compared with semantic and non-fluent populations. In this group, learning disability was associated with earlier onset of disease, more isolated language symptoms, and more focal pattern of left posterior temporoparietal atrophy. Non-right-handedness was instead over-represented in the semantic group, at nearly twice the prevalence of the general population (χ(2) = 6.34, P = 0.01). Within semantic variant primary progressive aphasia the right-handed and non-right-handed cohorts appeared homogeneous on imaging, cognitive profile, and structural analysis of brain symmetry. Lastly, the non-fluent group showed no increase in learning disability or non-right-handedness. Logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia and developmental dyslexia both manifest with phonological disturbances and posterior temporal involvement. Learning disability might confer vulnerability of this network to early-onset, focal Alzheimer's pathology. Left-handedness has been described as a proxy for atypical brain hemispheric lateralization. As non-right-handedness was increased only in the semantic group, anomalous lateralization mechanisms might instead be related to frontotemporal lobar degeneration with abnormal TARDBP. Taken together, this study suggests that neurodevelopmental signatures impart differential trajectories towards neurodegenerative disease. Read More on PubMed
  • The aetiology and pathogenesis of non-genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is unknown and even with the genetic forms of FTD, pathogenesis remains elusive. Given the association between systemic inflammation and other neurodegenerative processes, links between autoimmunity and FTD need to be explored. Read More on PubMed
  • The factors driving clinical heterogeneity in Alzheimer's disease are not well understood. This study assessed the relationship between amyloid deposition, glucose metabolism and clinical phenotype in Alzheimer's disease, and investigated how these relate to the involvement of functional networks. The study included 17 patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease (age at onset <65 years), 12 patients with logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia and 13 patients with posterior cortical atrophy [whole Alzheimer's disease group: age = 61.5 years (standard deviation 6.5 years), 55% male]. Thirty healthy control subjects [age = 70.8 (3.3) years, 47% male] were also included. Subjects underwent positron emission tomography with (11)C-labelled Pittsburgh compound B and (18)F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose. All patients met National Institute on Ageing-Alzheimer's Association criteria for probable Alzheimer's disease and showed evidence of amyloid deposition on (11)C-labelled Pittsburgh compound B positron emission tomography. We hypothesized that hypometabolism patterns would differ across variants, reflecting involvement of specific functional networks, whereas amyloid patterns would be diffuse and similar across variants. We tested these hypotheses using three complimentary approaches: (i) mass-univariate voxel-wise group comparison of (18)F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose and (11)C-labelled Pittsburgh compound B; (ii) generation of covariance maps across all subjects with Alzheimer's disease from seed regions of interest specifically atrophied in each variant, and comparison of these maps to functional network templates; and (iii) extraction of (11)C-labelled Pittsburgh compound B and (18)F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose values from functional network templates. Alzheimer's disease clinical groups showed syndrome-specific (18)F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose patterns, with greater parieto-occipital involvement in posterior cortical atrophy, and asymmetric involvement of left temporoparietal regions in logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia. In contrast, all Alzheimer's disease variants showed diffuse patterns of (11)C-labelled Pittsburgh compound B binding, with posterior cortical atrophy additionally showing elevated uptake in occipital cortex compared with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The seed region of interest covariance analysis revealed distinct (18)F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose correlation patterns that greatly overlapped with the right executive-control network for the early-onset Alzheimer's disease region of interest, the left language network for the logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia region of interest, and the higher visual network for the posterior cortical atrophy region of interest. In contrast, (11)C-labelled Pittsburgh compound B covariance maps for each region of interest were diffuse. Finally, (18)F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose was similarly reduced in all Alzheimer's disease variants in the dorsal and left ventral default mode network, whereas significant differences were found in the right ventral default mode, right executive-control (both lower in early-onset Alzheimer's disease and posterior cortical atrophy than logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia) and higher-order visual network (lower in posterior cortical atrophy than in early-onset Alzheimer's disease and logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia), with a trend towards lower (18)F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose also found in the left language network in logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia. There were no differences in (11)C-labelled Pittsburgh compound B binding between syndromes in any of the networks. Our data suggest that Alzheimer's disease syndromes are associated with degeneration of specific functional networks, and that fibrillar amyloid-β deposition explains at most a small amount of the clinico-anatomic heterogeneity in Alzheimer's disease. Read More on PubMed
  • In the search for new genes in Alzheimer's disease, classic linkage-based and candidate-gene-based association studies have been supplanted by exome sequencing, genome-wide sequencing (for mendelian forms of Alzheimer's disease), and genome-wide association studies (for non-mendelian forms). The identification of new susceptibility genes has opened new avenues for exploration of the underlying disease mechanisms. In addition to detecting novel risk factors in large samples, next-generation sequencing approaches can deliver novel insights with even small numbers of patients. The shift in focus towards translational studies and sequencing of individual patients places each patient's biomaterials as the central unit of genetic studies. The notional shift needed to make the patient central to genetic studies will necessitate strong collaboration and input from clinical neurologists. Read More on PubMed
  • Early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) beginning before the age of 65 may differ from late-onset AD (LOAD) in clinical course and frequency of nonamnestic presentations. In a 10-year retrospective review, 125 patients with EOAD, diagnosed clinically and verified by functional neuroimaging, were compared with 56 patients with LOAD and further classified depending on predominant cognitive difficulty on presentation. Eighty (64%) of the patients with EOAD had a nonamnestic presentation, compared with only 7 (12.5%) of the patients with LOAD. Compared with LOAD, the patients with EOAD had a shorter duration with lower Mini-Mental State Examination scores. The neuroimaging reports among the patients with EOAD showed more hippocampal atrophy with an amnestic presentation, more left parietal changes with impaired language presentations, and more right parietal and occipital changes with impaired visuospatial presentations. These findings indicate that EOAD differs from LOAD in a more aggressive course and in having predominantly nonamnestic presentations that vary in neuropathological location. Read More on PubMed
  • Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome that is characterised by progressive decline in visuospatial, visuoperceptual, literacy, and praxic skills. The progressive neurodegeneration affecting parietal, occipital, and occipitotemporal cortices that underlies PCA is attributable to Alzheimer's disease in most patients. However, alternative underlying causes, including dementia with Lewy bodies, corticobasal degeneration, and prion disease, have also been identified, and not all patients with PCA have atrophy on clinical imaging. This heterogeneity has led to inconsistencies in diagnosis and terminology and difficulties in comparing studies from different centres, and has restricted the generalisability of findings from clinical trials and investigations of factors that drive phenotypic variability. Important challenges remain, including the identification of factors associated not only with the selective vulnerability of posterior cortical regions but also with the young age of onset of PCA. Greater awareness of the syndrome and agreement over the correspondence between syndrome-level and disease-level classifications are needed to improve diagnostic accuracy, clinical management, and the design of research studies. Read More on PubMed
  • To determine the genetic contribution to non-autosomal dominant early-onset Alzheimer disease (EOAD) (onset age ≤60 years) cases and identify the likely mechanism of inheritance in those cases. Read More on PubMed
  • Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). ApoE4 has sex-dependent effects, whereby the risk of developing AD is higher in apoE4-expressing females than males. However, the mechanism underlying the sex difference, in relation to apoE4, is unknown. Previous findings indicate that apoE4 causes age-dependent impairments of hilar GABAergic interneurons in female mice, leading to learning and memory deficits. Here, we investigate whether the detrimental effects of apoE4 on hilar GABAergic interneurons are sex-dependent using apoE knock-in (KI) mice across different ages. We found that in female apoE-KI mice, there was an age-dependent depletion of hilar GABAergic interneurons, whereby GAD67- or somatostatin-positive--but not NPY- or parvalbumin-positive-interneuron loss was exacerbated by apoE4. Loss of these neuronal populations was correlated with the severity of spatial learning deficits at 16 months of age in female apoE4-KI mice; however, this effect was not observed in female apoE3-KI mice. In contrast, we found an increase in the numbers of hilar GABAergic interneurons with advancing age in male apoE-KI mice, regardless of apoE genotype. Moreover, male apoE-KI mice showed a consistent ratio of hilar inhibitory GABAergic interneurons to excitatory mossy cells approximating 1.5 that is independent of apoE genotype and age, whereas female apoE-KI mice exhibited an age-dependent decrease in this ratio, which was exacerbated by apoE4. Interestingly, there are no apoE genotype effects on GABAergic interneurons in the CA1 and CA3 subregions of the hippocampus as well as the entorhinal and auditory cortexes. These findings suggest that the sex-dependent effects of apoE4 on developing AD is in part attributable to inherent sex-based differences in the numbers of hilar GABAergic interneurons, which is further modulated by apoE genotype. Read More on PubMed
  • Neurofibrillary pathology has a stereotypical progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD) that is encapsulated in the Braak staging scheme; however, some AD cases are atypical and do not fit into this scheme. We aimed to compare clinical and neuropathological features between typical and atypical AD cases. Read More on PubMed
  • Some patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) present with a distinct phenotype. Typically, the first and most salient characteristic of AD is episodic memory impairment. A few patients, however, present with focal cortical, non-memory symptoms, such as difficulties with language, visuospatial, or executive functions. These presentations are associated with specific patterns of atrophy and frequently with a young age at onset. Age is not, however, the only determinant of phenotype; underlying factors, especially genetic factors, seem also to affect phenotype and predispose patients to younger or older age at onset. Importantly, patients with atypical early-onset disease seldom carry the APOE ɛ4 allele, which is the most important risk factor for lowering the age of onset in patients with AD. Additionally, theAPOE ɛ4 genotype seems to predispose patients to vulnerability in the medial temporal areas, which leads to memory loss. Conversely, patients negative for the APOE ɛ4 allele and with early-onset AD are more likely to be predisposed to vulnerability of cerebral networks beyond the medial temporal lobes. Other factors are probably involved in determining the pattern of atrophy, but these are currently unknown. Read More on PubMed
  • Alzheimer disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease affecting 1 in 68 in the population. An arbitrary cutoff 65 years as the age of onset to distinguish between early- and late-onset AD has been proposed and has been used in the literature for decades. As the majority of patients develop AD after 65 years of age, most clinical trials address this population. While the early-onset cases represent only 1% to 6% of AD cases, this population is the active working subset and thus contributes to a higher public health burden per individual, and early-onset cases are the most devastating at the level of the individual and their families. In this review, we compare and contrast the clinical, neuropsychological, imaging, genetic, biomarker, and pathological features of these two arbitrary groups. Finally, we discuss the ethical dilemma of non-abandonment and justice as it pertains to exclusion of the early-onset AD patients from clinical trials. Read More on PubMed
  • Apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. However, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We found that female apoE4 knock-in (KI) mice had an age-dependent decrease in hilar GABAergic interneurons that correlated with the extent of learning and memory deficits, as determined in the Morris water maze, in aged mice. Treating apoE4-KI mice with daily peritoneal injections of the GABA(A) receptor potentiator pentobarbital at 20 mg/kg for 4 weeks rescued the learning and memory deficits. In neurotoxic apoE4 fragment transgenic mice, hilar GABAergic interneuron loss was even more pronounced and also correlated with the extent of learning and memory deficits. Neurodegeneration and tauopathy occurred earliest in hilar interneurons in apoE4 fragment transgenic mice; eliminating endogenous Tau prevented hilar GABAergic interneuron loss and the learning and memory deficits. The GABA(A) receptor antagonist picrotoxin abolished this rescue, while pentobarbital rescued learning deficits in the presence of endogenous Tau. Thus, apoE4 causes age- and Tau-dependent impairment of hilar GABAergic interneurons, leading to learning and memory deficits in mice. Consequently, reducing Tau and enhancing GABA signaling are potential strategies to treat or prevent apoE4-related Alzheimer's disease. Read More on PubMed
  • The epsilon4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), but limited work has suggested that APOE genotype may modulate disease phenotype. Carriers of the epsilon4 allele have been reported to have greater medial temporal lobe (MTL) pathology and poorer memory than noncarriers. Less attention has focused on whether there are domains of cognition and neuroanatomical regions more affected in noncarriers. Further, a major potential confound of prior in vivo studies is the possibility of different rates of clinical misdiagnosis for carriers vs. noncarriers. We compared phenotypic differences in cognition and topography of regional cortical atrophy of epsilon4 carriers (n = 67) vs. noncarriers (n = 24) with mild AD from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, restricted to those with a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) molecular profile consistent with AD. Between-group comparisons were made for psychometric tests and morphometric measures of cortical thickness and hippocampal volume. Carriers displayed significantly greater impairment on measures of memory retention, whereas noncarriers were more impaired on tests of working memory, executive control, and lexical access. Consistent with this cognitive dissociation, carriers exhibited greater MTL atrophy, whereas noncarriers had greater frontoparietal atrophy. Performance deficits in particular cognitive domains were associated with disproportionate regional brain atrophy within nodes of cortical networks thought to subserve these cognitive processes. These convergent cognitive and neuroanatomic findings in individuals with a CSF molecular profile consistent with AD support the hypothesis that APOE genotype modulates the clinical phenotype of AD through influence on specific large-scale brain networks. Read More on PubMed
  • Patients with early age-of-onset Alzheimer's disease show more rapid progression, more generalized cognitive deficits and greater cortical atrophy and hypometabolism compared to late-onset patients at a similar disease stage. The biological mechanisms that underlie these differences are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to examine in vivo whether metabolic differences between early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer's disease are associated with differences in the distribution and burden of fibrillar amyloid-beta. Patients meeting criteria for probable Alzheimer's disease (National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer's; Disease and Related Disorders Association criteria) were divided based on estimated age at first symptom (less than or greater than 65 years) into early-onset (n = 21, mean age-at-onset 55.2 +/- 5.9 years) and late-onset (n = 18, 72.0 +/- 4.7 years) groups matched for disease duration and severity. Patients underwent positron emission tomography with the amyloid-beta-ligand [(11)C]-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B and the glucose analogue [(18)F]-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose. A group of cognitively normal controls (n = 30, mean age 73.7 +/- 6.4) was studied for comparison. [(11)C]-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B images were analysed using Logan graphical analysis (cerebellar reference) and [(18)F]-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose images were normalized to mean activity in the pons. Group differences in tracer uptake were assessed on a voxel-wise basis using statistical parametric mapping, and by comparing mean values in regions of interest. To account for brain atrophy, analyses were repeated after applying partial volume correction to positron emission tomography data. Compared to normal controls, both early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer's disease patient groups showed increased [(11)C]-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B uptake throughout frontal, parietal and lateral temporal cortices and striatum on voxel-wise and region of interest comparisons (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in regional or global [(11)C]-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B binding between early-onset and late-onset patients. In contrast, early-onset patients showed significantly lower glucose metabolism than late-onset patients in precuneus/posterior cingulate, lateral temporo-parietal and occipital corticies (voxel-wise and region of interest comparisons, P < 0.05). Similar results were found for [(11)C]-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B and [(18)F]-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose using atrophy-corrected data. Age-at-onset correlated positively with glucose metabolism in precuneus, lateral parietal and occipital regions of interest (controlling for age, education and Mini Mental State Exam, P < 0.05), while no correlations were found between age-at-onset and [(11)C]-labelled Pittsburgh compound-B binding. In summary, a comparable burden of fibrillar amyloid-beta was associated with greater posterior cortical hypometabolism in early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Our data are consistent with a model in which both early amyloid-beta accumulation and increased vulnerability to amyloid-beta pathology play critical roles in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease in young patients. Read More on PubMed
  • Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia at older age. Although less prevalent before the age of 65 years, it is still the most frequent cause of early-onset dementia followed by frontotemporal dementia. The typical presentation of AD is memory dysfunction, however, presentations with prominent cognitive impairment in other domains besides memory, like prominent apraxia, language problems, or executive dysfunction, may occur and are relatively more common in early-onset AD. In this retrospective descriptive study, we determined the prevalence of non-memory presentations in a large sample of early-onset AD patients compared to late-onset AD. The clinical files of 270 patients with AD starting before the age of 65 years and 90 patients with late-onset AD ( 65 years) were reviewed to assess clinical characteristics. Patients were classified as memory presentation and non-memory presentation according to their clinical presentation. The mean age of the early-onset group was 56 +/- 5 years and 74 +/- 6 years for the late-onset group. A third of the early-onset AD group presented with non-memory symptoms compared to only 6% in the late-onset group (p < 0.001). Within the group with non-memory presentations, apraxia/visuospatial dysfunction was the most prevalent presenting symptom (12%). Patients with early-onset AD often present with a non-memory phenotype, of which apraxia/visuospatial dysfunction is the most common presenting symptom. Atypical presentations of AD should be considered in the clinical differential diagnosis of early-onset dementia. Read More on PubMed
  • Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and logopenic progressive aphasia (LPA) are clinical syndromes associated with posterior brain atrophy. We compared PCA and LPA to each other and to an age-matched group of patients with early age at onset of Alzheimer disease (EO-AD). We hypothesized that these 3 syndromes are part of a single clinical and biologic continuum. Read More on PubMed
  • Research in Alzheimer's disease is focused mainly on younger old persons, whereas studies involving very old persons report attenuated relationships between the pathological features of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Read More on PubMed
  • APOE epsilon4 is the best-established genetic risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, while homozygotes show greater disease susceptibility and earlier age of onset than heterozygotes, they may not show faster rates of clinical progression. We hypothesize that there are differential APOE epsilon4 allele-load dependent influences on neuropathology across the brain. Our aim was to define the relationship between APOE epsilon4 allele load and regionally-specific brain cortical atrophy in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). For this reason voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was performed using T1-weighted MR images from 83 AD patients, contrasting regional cortical grey matter by APOE epsilon4 load according to either dominant or genotypic models. Patients fulfilled NINCDS-ADRDA criteria and were genotyped for APOE epsilon4 (15 epsilon4/epsilon4, 39 epsilon4/- and 29-/-). We observed that grey matter volume (GMV) decreased additively with increasing allele load in the medial (MTL) and anterior temporal lobes bilaterally. By contrast, a 2 degree-of-freedom genotypic model suggested a dominant effect of the APOE epsilon4 allele in the left temporal lobe. Brain regions showing a significant APOE epsilon4 allele load effect on GMV in AD included only some of those typically described as having greatest amyloid plaque deposition and atrophy. Temporal regions appeared to show a dominant effect of APOE epsilon4 allele load instead of the additive effect previously strongly associated with age of onset. Regional variations with allele load may be related to different mechanisms for effects of APOE epsilon4 load on susceptibility and disease progression. Read More on PubMed
  • Although risk factors for Alzheimer disease have been well studied, much less is known about risk factors for primary progressive aphasia (PPA). Read More on PubMed
  • To examine the spectrum of neuropathology in persons from the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal community-based clinical-pathologic cohort study. Read More on PubMed
  • Variation in the clinical characteristics of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is increasingly recognised, although the factors underlying variation are not fully understood. The study examined the cognitive characteristics of 523 AD patients at the time of their presentation to a neurological dementia clinic and explored the relationship to family history and apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype. Distinct profiles were identified, which were mirrored by topographical differences on neuroimaging. Clinical distinctions were maintained over time. Two-thirds of patients showed a constellation of deficits at presentation which included memory, language, visuospatial and constructional difficulties. However, a quarter had circumscribed presentations of amnesia, aphasia, perceptuospatial disorder or apraxia. The rare presence of frontal lobe characteristics was associated with a younger age of onset, an increased incidence of myoclonus at presentation, a positive family history but not with possession of APOE epsilon4 allele. An amnestic presentation (severe, yet circumscribed amnesia) was strongly associated with an older age of onset, a positive family history and the presence of APOE epsilon4 allele. Posterior cortical presentations showed a female bias, were typically sporadic, and showed no association with APOE epsilon4. The findings support the notion of phenotypic variation in AD, and show that genetic risk factors can influence clinical presentation. The findings draw attention to the specific association between APOE epsilon4 allele and memory but challenge the commonly held notion that the presence of the epsilon4 allele inevitably reduces onset age. The findings indicate that risk factors other than APOE epsilon4 allele underlie the non-familial, early onset posterior hemisphere presentations of AD. Read More on PubMed
  • We examined whether impairment in specific cognitive domains in Alzheimer's disease (AD) differed according to APOE genotype and age at onset. Read More on PubMed
  • The authors classified 100 patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) as presenting with a memory or nonmemory phenotype. APOE genotype was determined. There was an association between APOE-epsilon4 and clinical phenotype (odds ratio = 3.0; 95% CI: 1.2 to 7.8), suggesting that two subtypes of AD can be identified. The typical amnestic phenotype seems to be promoted by the APOE-epsilon4 allele, whereas the atypical nonmemory phenotype occurs in the absence of the APOE-epsilon4 allele. Read More on PubMed
  • The aims of this cross-sectional study were (i) to compare the overall glucose metabolism between early onset and late onset Alzheimer's disease in a large sample of patients; and (ii) to investigate the pattern of glucose metabolism as a function of dementia severity in early onset versus late onset Alzheimer's disease, using a statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analysis. Subjects consisted of four groups: 74 patients with early onset Alzheimer's disease, 46 patients with late onset of the disease, and two control groups age matched to each patient group. All the subjects underwent 2-[(18)F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG)-PET under the same scanning conditions. Severity of dementia was rated with the Clincial Dementia Rating (CDR). Voxel-based SPM99 was used for statistical analyses. Overall glucose hypometabolism of early onset Alzheimer's disease patients was much greater in magnitude and extent than that of late onset patients, though both groups were similar in dementia severity: the early onset group showed more severe hypometabolism in parietal, frontal and subcortical (basal ganglia and thalamus) areas. When the decline of glucose metabolism was compared as a function of CDR stage, the slope was steeper in early onset than in late onset Alzheimer's disease. The rapid decline occurred at CDR 0.5-1 in the early onset group, whereas similar changes occurred at CDR 2-3 in the late onset group. The greater hypometabolism in early onset than in late onset patients is required to reach the same severity of dementia, probably reflecting greater functional reserve in younger than in older subjects. Alternatively, the metabolic decline curve suggests that the early onset patients may take a more rapid course in the reduction of glucose metabolism than the late onset patients. Read More on PubMed
  • To develop a 10-minute cognitive screening tool (Montreal Cognitive Assessment, MoCA) to assist first-line physicians in detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a clinical state that often progresses to dementia. Read More on PubMed
  • To examine the brain structural correlates of age at onset in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Read More on PubMed
  • Although the APOE epsilon4 allele is a well-known risk factor for developing AD, the impact of the epsilon4 allele on clinical manifestations in patients with AD is still controversial. One possible reason for this controversy is that previous studies did not consider the effect of patient age at symptom onset. Read More on PubMed
  • Although the APOE epsilon 4 allele increases the risk of developing AD, the effects of the epsilon 4 allele on brain atrophy in clinical AD patients are controversial. Read More on PubMed
  • To test the hypothesis that the e4 allele of APOE is associated with a region-specific pattern of brain atrophy in AD. Read More on PubMed
  • To explore the impact of apoE-4 on Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its age at onset. Read More on PubMed
  • Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a heterogeneous entity presenting as sporadic and familial disease. In familial AD, there is evidence for genetic linkage to a yet undefined gene on chromosome 14 in early-onset pedigrees and on chromosome 19 in late-onset pedigrees. In a few early-onset kindreds, there were mutations in the amyloid precursor gene on chromosome 21. There is an increased frequency of apolipoprotein E (ApoE) epsilon4 allele in patients with late-onset AD. We studied the clinical presentation and profile of cognitive deficits in 58 AD patients at the early stage of the disease. We divided the AD patients into subgroups of sporadic late-onset (SLO) (> or = 65 years), familial late-onset (FLO) (> or = 65 years), sporadic early-onset (SEO) (<65 years), and familial early-onset (FEO) (<65 years) patients and into three subgroups according to their ApoE genotype zero epsilon4, one epsilon4, and two epsilon4 alleles. The AD subgroups did not differ in the global clinical severity of dementia or the duration of the disease. SLO, FLO, SEO, and FEO subgroups did not differ in clinical characteristics such as occurrence of rigidity, hypokinesia, tremor, myoclonus, hallucinations, delusions, or epileptic seizures nor in the profile of deficits on tests assessing memory, language, visuospatial, executive, and praxic functions. The epsilon4++ allele frequency was 0.43 for all AD patients and did not differ across subgroups divided according to the familial aggregation and age of onset. Patients with two epsilon4 alleles had earlier age at onset of dementia than those with no epsilon4 allele (63 +/- 9 versus 68 +/- 9 years), but otherwise the clinical symptoms and signs were not related to the ApoE genotype. However, the AD patients with two epsilon 4 alleles had lowest scores on memory tests and differed significantly from those with one or zero epsilon4 allele in the delayed list learning (p<0.05) and from those with zero epsilon4 allele in the immediate and delayed story recall. In contrast, verbal functions were better preserved in two epsilon4 patients than in those with other ApoE genotypes. This study failed to confirm the earlier reports of severe aphasia, agnosia, and apraxia in familial AD patients, but the clinical phenotype was similar irrespective to the familial aggregation. However, AD patients with two epsilon4 alleles are characterized by more severe memory loss and earlier age of onset than those without the epsilon4 allele. Read More on PubMed
  • To determine whether the age of the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is related to the expression and rate of decline of this disorder, we examined the clinical and neuropsychological performance of 421 patients entered into the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease and followed annually for up to 4 years. Statistical analyses were based on multivariable logistic regression analysis for dichotomous clinical measures and multivariable linear regression analysis for psychometric measures. All analyses examined the effect of age after controlling for gender, education, and stage of dementia. Clinical information obtained on entry into the study indicated that younger patients performed more poorly on measures of language and concentration, and older patients performed more poorly on measures of memory and orientation. On neuropsychological measures at entry, younger patients, performed more poorly on praxis and had significantly higher scores of confrontation naming. Younger age predicted a significantly faster rate of progression for all neuropsychological measures. These findings support the concept of age-related clinical subtypes of AD. Read More on PubMed
  • We developed a new instrument, the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), to assess 10 behavioral disturbances occurring in dementia patients: delusions, hallucinations, dysphoria, anxiety, agitation/aggression, euphoria, disinhibition, irritability/lability, apathy, and aberrant motor activity. The NPI uses a screening strategy to minimize administration time, examining and scoring only those behavioral domains with positive responses to screening questions. Both the frequency and the severity of each behavior are determined. Information for the NPI is obtained from a caregiver familiar with the patient's behavior. Studies reported here demonstrate the content and concurrent validity as well as between-rater, test-retest, and internal consistency reliability; the instrument is both valid and reliable. The NPI has the advantages of evaluating a wider range of psychopathology than existing instruments, soliciting information that may distinguish among different etiologies of dementia, differentiating between severity and frequency of behavioral changes, and minimizing administration time. Read More on PubMed
  • We examined the pattern of cognitive impairment and rate of cognitive and functional decline as a function of age at symptom onset in 127 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). At baseline, early-onset (before age 65) and late-onset groups were mildly and comparably impaired on the modified Mini-Mental State Examination (mMMS) and the Blessed Dementia Rating Scale-Part 1 (BDRS). Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed significantly more rapid decline in early-onset subjects over a 2-year follow-up period. Multivariate linear regression analyses indicated that age at symptom onset strongly predicted rate of decline on the mMMS and the BDRS, even after controlling for symptom duration, gender, family history of dementia, and baseline mMMS and BDRS scores. Early- and late-onset AD subjects also differed in terms of pattern of performance on the mMMS. Early-onset subjects scored significantly lower than late-onset subjects on attentional items of the mMMS at baseline and follow-up. Conversely, late-onset subjects scored significantly lower than early-onset subjects on memory and naming items at baseline, and the two groups were comparable on these tasks at follow-up. Results provide longitudinal evidence of more rapid cognitive and functional decline in subjects with early-onset AD and suggest that early-onset AD may be characterized by predominant impairment of attentional skills. Read More on PubMed
  • In this article, a theoretical framework is proposed for the inference processes that occur during reading. According to the framework, inferences can vary in the degree to which they are encoded. This notion is supported by three experiments in this article that show that degree of encoding can depend on the amount of semantic-associative information available to support the inference processes. In the experiments, test words that express possible inferences from texts are presented for recognition. When testing is delayed, with other texts and test items intervening between a text and its test word, performance depends on the amount of semantic-associative information in the text. If the inferences represented by the test words are not supported by semantic associates in the text, they appear to be only minimally encoded (replicating McKoon & Ratcliff, 1986), but if they are supported by semantic associates, they are strongly encoded. With immediate testing, only 250 ms after the text, performance is shown to depend on semantic-associative information, not on textual information. This suggests that it is the fast availability of semantic information that allows it to support inference processes. Read More on PubMed
  • A new rating instrument, the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale, was designed specifically to evaluate the severity of cognitive and noncognitive behavioral dysfunctions characteristic of persons with Alzheimer's disease. Item descriptions, administration procedures, and scoring are outlined. Twenty-seven subjects with Alzheimer's disease and 28 normal elderly subjects were rated on 40 items. Twenty-one items with significant intraclass correlation coefficients for interrater reliability (range, .650-.989) and significant Spearman rank-order correlation coefficients for test-retest reliability (range, .514-1) constitute the final scale. Subjects with Alzheimer's disease had significantly more cognitive and noncognitive dysfunction than the normal elderly subjects. Read More on PubMed
  • Two measures of social function designed for community studies of normal aging and mild senile dementia were evaluated in 195 older adults who underwent neurological, cognitive, and affective assessment. An examining and a reviewing neurologist and a neurologically trained nurse independently rated each on a Scale of Functional Capacity. Interrater reliability was high (examining vs. reviewing neurologist, r = .97; examining neurologist vs. nurse, tau b = .802; p less than .001 for both comparisons). Estimates correlated well with an established measure of social function and with results of cognitive tests. Alternate informants evaluated participants on the Functional Activities Questionnaire and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale. The Functional Activities Questionnaire was superior to the Instrumental Activities of Daily scores. Used alone as a diagnostic tool, the Functional Activities Questionnaire was more sensitive than distinguishing between normal and demented individuals. Read More on PubMed
  • A new Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) designed specifically for rating depression in the elderly was tested for reliability and validity and compared with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRS-D) and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS). In constructing the GDS a 100-item questionnaire was administered to normal and severely depressed subjects. The 30 questions most highly correlated with the total scores were then selected and readministered to new groups of elderly subjects. These subjects were classified as normal, mildly depressed or severely depressed on the basis of Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC) for depression. The GDS, HRS-D and SDS were all found to be internally consistent measures, and each of the scales was correlated with the subject's number of RDC symptoms. However, the GDS and the HRS-D were significantly better correlated with RDC symptoms than was the SDS. The authors suggest that the GDS represents a reliable and valid self-rating depression screening scale for elderly populations. Read More on PubMed
  • Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a clinical dementia syndrome with early symptoms of language dysfunction. Postmortem findings are varied and include Alzheimer disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), both tauopathies and TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43) proteinopathies. Clinical-pathological correlations in PPA are complex but the presence in the clinical profile of agrammatism has a high association with tauopathy. Grammatical competence is difficult to assess in the clinical setting with available methods. This article describes the Northwestern Anagram Test (NAT), a new clinical measure of sentence production. A total of 16 patients with PPA and their controls assembled single printed words to create sentences describing pictures. Northwestern Anagram Test performance was significantly correlated with a measure of sentence production and with aphasia severity but not with measures of naming, single word comprehension, object recognition, or motor speech. The NAT can be used to assess syntax competence when patients cannot be tested with measures that require intact speech production. Read More on PubMed
  • Four new nonproprietary tests were recommended for use in the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center's Uniform Data Set Neuropsychological Battery. These tests are similar to previous tests but also allow for continuity of longitudinal data collection and wide dissemination among research collaborators. Read More on PubMed
  • Phonological priming has been shown to facilitate naming in individuals with aphasia as well as healthy speakers, resulting in faster naming latencies. However, the mechanisms of phonological facilitation (PF) in aphasia remain unclear. Read More on PubMed
  • To examine more closely the association between apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype and Alzheimer disease (AD) by age and sex in populations of various ethnic and racial denominations. Read More on PubMed

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CLS-20449726

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