Neuropsychologic assessment in collaborative Parkinson’s disease research: A proposal from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association (Impact Factor: 12.41). 11/2012; 9(5). DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2012.07.006
Source: PubMed


Cognitive impairment (CI) and behavioral disturbances can be the earliest symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), ultimately afflict the vast majority of PD patients, and increase caregiver burden. Our two Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research were supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in an effort to recommend a comprehensive yet practical approach to cognitive and behavioral assessment to further collaborative research. We recommend a stepwise approach with two levels of standardized evaluation to establish a common battery, as well as an alternative testing recommendation for severely impaired subjects, and review supplemental tests that may be useful in specific research settings. Our flexible approach may be applied to studies with varying emphasis on cognition and behavior, does not place undue burden on participants or resources, and has a high degree of compatibility with existing test batteries to promote collaboration.

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Available from: James B Leverenz, Oct 05, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The substantial proportion of individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) who have or are expected to develop concomitant cognitive impairment emphasizes the need for large, well-characterized participant cohorts to serve as a basis for research into the causes, manifestations, and potential treatments of cognitive decline in those with PD. Objective: To establish a multi-site clinical core that cognitively and clinically characterizes patients with PD by obtaining quality longitudinal clinical, neuropsychological, and validated biomarker data. Methods: Six hundred nineteen participants with idiopathic PD (68.0 ± 9.1 years, 7.1 ± 6.2 years since diagnosis, 70% males) were enrolled in the Pacific Northwest Udall Center (PANUC), one of the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson's Research, Clinical Consortium and underwent comprehensive clinical and neuropsychological assessment. Participants were diagnosed with no cognitive impairment (PD-NCI), mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI), or dementia (PDD) at a diagnostic consensus conference. Results: A substantial proportion of the overall sample was diagnosed with cognitive impairment at baseline: 22% with PDD and 59% with PD-MCI. A higher rate of cognitive impairment was observed in men than women (87% vs. 68%, p < 0.0001), despite a higher level of education. Most patients older than 50 years at the time of diagnosis and with disease duration greater than 10 years were cognitively impaired or demented. Conclusions: The PANUC Clinical Consortium is a clinically and cognitively well-characterized cohort of patients with PD. Baseline cohort characteristics demonstrate a high rate of cognitive impairment in the sample, as well as potential sex differences with regard to cognitive diagnosis. The PANUC Clinical Consortium, with its access to biomarker, genetic, and autopsy data, provides an excellent foundation for detailed research related to cognitive impairment in PD.
    08/2013; 3(2):205-14. DOI:10.3233/JPD-130189
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    ABSTRACT: Research suggests an association between global cognition and postural instability/gait disturbance (PIGD) in Parkinson disease (PD), but the relationship between specific cognitive domains and PIGD symptoms is not clear. This study examined the association of cognition (global and specific cognitive domains) with PIGD symptoms in a large, well-characterized sample of individuals with PD. Cognitive function was measured with a detailed neuropsychological assessment, including global cognition, executive function, memory, visuospatial function, and language. PIGD symptoms were measured using the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) Part III, Motor Examination subscale. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relationship between cognition and PIGD symptoms with models adjusting for age, sex, education, enrollment site, disease duration, and motor symptom severity. The analysis included 783 participants, with mean (standard deviation) age of 67.3 (9.7) years and median (interquartile range) MDS-UPDRS Motor Subscale score of 26 (17, 35). Deficits in global cognition, executive function, memory, and phonemic fluency were associated with more severe PIGD symptoms. Deficits in executive function were associated with impairments in gait, freezing, and postural stability, while visuospatial impairments were associated only with more severe freezing, and poorer memory function was associated only with greater postural instability. While impairments in global cognition and aspects of executive functioning were associated with more severe PIGD symptoms, specific cognitive domains were differentially related to distinct PIGD components, suggesting the presence of multiple neural pathways contributing to associations between cognition and PIGD symptoms in persons with PD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 04/2015; 21(7). DOI:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2015.04.002 · 3.97 Impact Factor