Erin Abner

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, United States

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Publications (17)58.98 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction The Uniform Data Set (UDS) neuropsychological battery is frequently used in clinical studies. However, practice effects, effectiveness as a measure of global cognitive functioning, and detection of mild cognitive impairment have not been examined. Methods A normative total score for the UDS has been developed. Linear discriminant analysis determined classification accuracy in identifying cognitively normal and impaired groups. Practice effects were examined in cognitively normal and cognitively impaired groups. Results The total score differentiates between cognitively normal participants and those with dementia, but does not accurately identify individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Mean total scores for test-exposed participants were significantly higher than test-naive participants in both the normal and MCI groups and were higher, but not significantly so, in the dementia group. Conclusion The total score’s classification accuracy discriminates between cognitively normal versus participants who have dementia. The total score appears subject to practice effects.
    Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 01/2014; · 14.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Memory evaluation is a key component in the accurate diagnosis of cognitive disorders.One memory procedure that has shown promise in discriminating disease-related cognitive decline from normal cognitive aging is the New York University Paragraph Recall Test; however, the effects of education have been unexamined as they pertain to one's literacy level. The current study provides normative data stratified by estimated quality of education as indexed by irregular word reading skill. Method: Conventional norms were derived from a sample (N = 385) of cognitively intact elderly men who were initially recruited for participation in the PREADViSE clinical trial. A series of multiple linear regression models were constructed to assess the influence of demographic variables on mean NYU Paragraph Immediate and Delayed Recall scores. Results: Test version, assessment site, and estimated quality of education were significant predictors of performance on the NYU Paragraph Recall Test. Findings indicate that estimated quality of education is a better predictor of memory performance than ethnicity and years of total education. Normative data stratified according to estimated quality of education are presented. Discussion:The current study provides evidence and support for normativedata stratified by quality of education as opposed to years of education.
    Current Alzheimer research 08/2013; · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Successful African American recruitment for aging research requires sensitivity to factors that influence participation. In this work, a structured face-to-face educational interview was used to recruit African Americans for a longitudinal aging study and to collect information about attitudes related to research. The interview was designed to build trust and respect for research and to educate participants about the need for minority participants. Of the 91 African Americans aged 65 and older who completed interviews, 65 (71%) agreed to participate in the longitudinal study and approximately half agreed to brain donation. Those who enrolled and consented to brain donation were more likely to consider benefit to themselves or direct family unit as the main motivator for participation (P < .01). The study also found a significant increase in agreement to brain donation across enrollment periods (P = .0005).
    American Journal of Alzheimer s Disease and Other Dementias 05/2013; · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) set of tests is frequently used for tracking cognition longitudinally in both clinical and research settings. Repeated cognitive assessments are an important component in measuring such changes; however, practice effects and attrition bias may obscure significant clinical change over time. The current study sought to examine the presence and magnitude of practice effects and the role of attrition bias in a sample of cognitively normal older men enrolled in a prevention trial. Method: Participants were grouped according to whether they completed five years of follow-up (n = 182) or less (n = 126). Practice effects were examined in these participants as a whole (n = 308) and by group. Results: Findings indicate that moderate practice effects exist in both groups on the CERAD T-score and that attrition bias likely does not play a contributing role in improved scores over time. Conclusion: The current study provides additional evidence and support for previous findings that repeated cognitive assessment results in rising test scores in longitudinally collected data and demonstrates that these findings are unlikely to be due to attrition.
    International Psychogeriatrics 04/2013; · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Ruff 2&7 Selective Attention Test's (RSAT) current scoring data are relatively limited for older adults because persons over the age of 70 years were not included in the normative sample. Prior evidence suggests that changes in attention skills, such as those evaluated by the RSAT, may distinguish normal cognitive aging from pathologic cognitive decline. Thus normative data for older individuals on this measure increase its utility in diagnosing Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and dementia, and enhance its potential use in clinical and research settings. Data from 415 male volunteers (mean age = 69.5 ± 5.7 years) in the PREADViSE clinical trial were used in the current investigation. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) shows statistically significant effects of age, race, and education on RSAT Speed measures. Results indicate that age-expanded norms will provide a more accurate reflection of the typical performance of older individuals on the RSAT.
    The Clinical Neuropsychologist 05/2012; 26(5):751-68. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation in periodontal disease has been suggested as a potential risk factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this study was to examine serum antibody levels to bacteria of periodontal disease in participants who eventually converted to AD compared with the antibody levels in control subjects. Serum samples from 158 participants in the Biologically Resilient Adults in Neurological Studies research program at the University of Kentucky were analyzed for immunoglobulin G antibody levels to seven oral bacteria associated with periodontitis, including Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Campylobacter rectus, Treponema denticola, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Tannerella forsythia, and Prevotella intermedia. All 158 participants were cognitively intact at baseline venous blood draw. In all, 81 of the participants developed either mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or AD or both, and 77 controls remained cognitively intact in the years of follow-up. Antibody levels were compared between controls and subjects with AD at baseline draw and after conversion and controls and subjects with MCI at baseline draw and after conversion using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. AD and MCI participants were not directly compared. Linear regression models were used to adjust for potential confounding. Antibody levels to F nucleatum and P intermedia were significantly increased (α = 0.05) at baseline serum draw in the patients with AD compared with controls. These results remained significant when controlling for baseline age, Mini-Mental State Examination score, and apolipoprotein epsilon 4 status. This study provides initial data that demonstrate elevated antibodies to periodontal disease bacteria in subjects years before cognitive impairment and suggests that periodontal disease could potentially contribute to the risk of AD onset/progression. Additional cohort studies profiling oral clinical presentation with systemic response and AD and prospective studies to evaluate any cause-and-effect association are warranted.
    Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 05/2012; 8(3):196-203. · 14.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitively intact elderly research volunteers at the University of Kentucky have been recruited, followed longitudinally, and autopsied with extensive neuropathological evaluations since 1989. To date, the cohort has recruited 1,030 individuals with 552 participants being actively followed, 363 deceased, and 273 autopsied. An extensive database has been constructed with continuous updates that include textured clinical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging, and pathological information. The history, demographics, clinical observations, and pathological features of this research cohort are described. We also explain some of the evolving methodologies and the academic contributions that have been made due to this motivated group of older Kentuckians.
    Current Alzheimer research 04/2012; 9(6):724-33. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to determine whether calcium and vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of bone fractures in adult epilepsy patients. Records were obtained on 7716 patients with epilepsy prescribed antiepileptic drugs (AED) from the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. We performed a single center, retrospective cohort study to examine the proportion of fractures in 3303 patients on AED who took supplements compared to patients on AED not taking supplements. Patients prescribed long-term AEDs taking calcium and vitamin D were as likely to have fractures as those who did not take these supplements (11.7% vs. 9.9%, χ(2)=0.59, p=0.44). Phenytoin use was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of fractures OR=1.55 (1.10-2.24). Thus, in this group of patients with epilepsy on AED, bone fractures were not prevented in individuals taking calcium and vitamin D supplementation.
    Clinical neurology and neurosurgery 04/2011; 113(7):548-51. · 1.30 Impact Factor
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2010; 6(4).
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2009; 5(4).
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2009; 5(4).
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    ABSTRACT: The mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage of dementia with Lewy bodies (MCI-DLB) has not yet been defined, but is likely to differ in the MCI stage of Alzheimer's disease (MCI-AD). To determine whether clinical features distinguish MCI-DLB and MCI-AD, 9 cases of neuropathologically confirmed MCI-DLB and 12 cases of MCI-AD were compared. No significant differences were found between MCI-DLB and MCI-AD cases in age at death, gender, ApoE status, education, time followed while clinically normal, or duration of MCI. MCI-DLB and MCI-AD cases differed clinically in the expression of Parkinsonism (P=0.012), provoked hallucinations or delirium (P=0.042), or the presence of any of these noncognitive symptoms of DLB (P<0.0001). Letter fluency (P=0.007) was significantly lower and Wechsler Logical Memory I (P=0.019) was significantly higher in MCI-DLB compared to MCI-AD cases. These data demonstrate the feasibility of differentiating underlying pathologic processes responsible for cognitive decline in the preclinical disease state and suggest that further refinement in diagnostic criteria may allow more accurate early detection of prodromal DLB and AD.
    Neurobiology of aging 12/2008; 31(10):1805-13. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cerebral neuropathology of Type 2 diabetes (CNDM2) has not been positively defined. This review includes a description of CNDM2 research from before the 'Pubmed Era'. Recent neuroimaging studies have focused on cerebrovascular and white matter pathology. These and prior studies about cerebrovascular histopathology in diabetes are reviewed. Evidence is also described for and against the link between CNDM2 and Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. To study this matter directly, we evaluated data from University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center (UK ADC) patients recruited while non-demented and followed longitudinally. Of patients who had come to autopsy (N = 234), 139 met inclusion criteria. These patients provided the basis for comparing the prevalence of pathological and clinical indices between well-characterized cases with (N = 50) or without (N = 89) the premortem diagnosis of diabetes. In diabetics, cerebrovascular pathology was more frequent and Alzheimer-type pathology was less frequent than in non-diabetics. Finally, a series of photomicrographs demonstrates histopathological features (including clinical-radiographical correlation) observed in brains of persons that died after a history of diabetes. These preliminary, correlative, and descriptive studies may help develop new hypotheses about CNDM2. We conclude that more work should be performed on human material in the context of CNDM2.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 09/2008; 1792(5):454-69. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Comparative analysis of subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnosed in a primary research setting and those seen in a tertiary care memory disorders clinic. Subjects who received a diagnosis of MCI between July 1, 2005, and December 31, 2006, in a longitudinal research study of normal cognition (n = 48) and patients diagnosed in a tertiary care referral clinic (n = 34) were evaluated using similar methodologies. Comparative analyses of detailed medical, neurological and neuropsychological data are presented. The diagnosis of MCI was not accepted by 13 of 48 subjects (27%) classified as MCI in the primary research setting. Nondegenerative, potentially treatable causes of cognitive decline were found in 3 of 34 subjects (9%) seen in the tertiary referral clinic and in 11 of 35 subjects (31%) identified as MCI in the primary research setting (p = 0.02, Fisher's exact test). MCI subjects identified in the primary research setting were older than those referred to the memory clinic (mean +/- SD, 79.7 +/- 7.0 vs. 71.5 +/- 9.0 years, p < 0.0001, t test) and had more years of education (16.0 +/- 3.2 vs. 13.6 +/- 4.2 years, p < 0.01, t test). MCI subjects in the primary research setting appeared to be in a milder stage of disease, characterized by higher Mini-Mental State Examination scores (28.2 +/- 1.8 vs. 25.7 +/- 1.8, p < 0.0001), and a tendency towards single domain involvement, predominantly memory (mean number of domains involved, 1.0 vs. 2.5, p < 0.0001). More advanced stages of MCI, seen in the tertiary referral population, had additional involvement of attention (p < 0.0001, Fisher's exact test) and visuospatial domains (p < 0.0002, Fisher's exact test). Semiquantitative grading of hippocampal and medial temporal lobe atrophy did not differ between groups (p = 0.81, Mann-Whitney U test). The diagnosis of MCI may be unwelcome in naïve persons. Remedial causes of MCI should be actively investigated. Demographic and clinical characteristics of MCI differ between research subjects and patients referred to a tertiary care clinic.
    Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders 09/2008; 26(2):187-92. · 2.79 Impact Factor
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2008; 4(4).
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2008; 4(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research on the sexual abuse of older adults has revealed few cases of the sexual abuse of older men. The first national study of the sexual abuse of vulnerable adults in facilities, reported in this article, collected data on alleged, investigated, and substantiated cases of sexual abuse. This study revealed 26 cases reported and screened in for investigation concerning the alleged sexual abuse of older men (aged 50 and older) residing in nursing homes. Cases occurred in five states within a six month time period. Of these cases, six were confirmed upon investigation by Adult Protective Services or other regulatory agencies. Victims tended to be predominantly white males with cognitive and physical deficits that limited their ability for self care. The most typical sexual abuse alleged and substantiated was fondling. Residents were more often substantiated as the abuser than other perpetrators. Sexual abuse of older men in nursing homes crosses traditional gender, cultural, and role boundaries for both victims and perpetrators.
    Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect 02/2007; 19(1-2):29-45, table of contents.