[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the pattern of longitudinal changes in cognition and anatomy in three variants of primary progressive aphasia (PPA). Eight patients with the non-fluent variant of PPA (nfvPPA), 13 patients with the semantic variant (svPPA), seven patients with the logopenic variant (lvPPA), and 29 age-matched, neurologically healthy controls were included in the study. All participants underwent longitudinal MRI, neuropsychological and language testing at baseline and at a 1-year follow-up. Tenser-based morphometry (TBM) was applied to T1-weighted MRI images in order to map the progression of gray and white matter atrophy over a 1-year period. Results showed that each patient group was characterized by a specific pattern of cognitive and anatomical changes. Specifically, nfvPPA patients showed gray matter atrophy progression in the left frontal and subcortical areas as well as a decline in motor speech and executive functions; svPPA patients presented atrophy progression in the medial and lateral temporal lobe and decline in semantic memory abilities; and lvPPA patients showed atrophy progression in lateral/posterior temporal and medial parietal regions with a decline in memory, sentence repetition and calculations. In addition, in all three variants, the white matter fibers underlying the abovementioned cortical areas underwent significant volume contraction over a 1-year period.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Positive emotions foster social relationships and motivate thought and action. Dysregulation of positive emotion may give rise to debilitating clinical symptomatology such as mania, risk taking, and disinhibition. Neuroanatomically, there is extensive evidence that the left hemisphere of the brain, and the left frontal lobe in particular, plays an important role in positive emotion generation. Although prior studies have found that left frontal injury decreases positive emotion, it is not clear whether selective damage to left frontal emotion regulatory systems can actually increase positive emotion. We measured happiness reactivity in 96 patients with frontotemporal dementia, a neurodegenerative disease that targets emotion-relevant neural systems and causes alterations in positive emotion (i.e., euphoria and jocularity), and in 34 healthy controls. Participants watched a film clip designed to elicit happiness and a comparison film clip designed to elicit sadness while their facial behavior, physiological reactivity, and self-reported emotional experience were monitored. Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analyses revealed that atrophy in predominantly left hemisphere fronto-striatal emotion regulation systems including left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, anterior insula, and striatum (pFWE < .05) was associated with greater happiness facial behavior during the film. Atrophy in left anterior insula and bilateral frontopolar cortex was also associated with higher cardiovascular reactivity (i.e., heart rate and blood pressure) but not self-reported positive emotional experience during the happy film (p< .005, uncorrected). No regions emerged as being associated with greater sadness reactivity, which suggests that left-lateralized fronto-striatal atrophy is selectively associated with happiness dysregulation. Whereas previous models have proposed that left frontal injury decreases positive emotional responding, we argue that selective disruption of left hemisphere emotion regulating systems can impair the ability to suppress positive emotions such as happiness.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9orf72 represents the most common genetic cause of familial and sporadic behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia. Previous studies show that some C9orf72 carriers with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia exhibit distinctive atrophy patterns whereas others show mild or undetectable atrophy despite severe behavioural impairment. To explore this observation, we examined intrinsic connectivity network integrity in patients with or without the C9orf72 expansion. We studied 28 patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, including 14 C9orf72 mutation carriers (age 58.3 ± 7.7 years, four females) and 14 non-carriers (age 60.8 ± 6.9 years, four females), and 14 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Both patient groups included five patients with comorbid motor neuron disease. Neuropsychological data, structural brain magnetic resonance imaging, and task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging were obtained. Voxel-based morphometry delineated atrophy patterns, and seed-based intrinsic connectivity analyses enabled group comparisons of the salience, sensorimotor, and default mode networks. Single-patient analyses were used to explore network imaging as a potential biomarker. Despite contrasting atrophy patterns in C9orf72 carriers versus non-carriers, patient groups showed topographically similar connectivity reductions in the salience and sensorimotor networks. Patients without C9orf72 expansions exhibited increases in default mode network connectivity compared to controls and mutation carriers. Across all patients, behavioural symptom severity correlated with diminished salience network connectivity and heightened default mode network connectivity. In C9orf72 carriers, salience network connectivity reduction correlated with atrophy in the left medial pulvinar thalamic nucleus, and this region further showed diminished connectivity with key salience network hubs. Single-patient analyses revealed salience network disruption and default mode network connectivity enhancement in C9orf72 carriers with early-stage or slowly progressive symptoms. The findings suggest that patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia with or without the C9orf72 expansion show convergent large-scale network breakdowns despite distinctive atrophy patterns. Medial pulvinar degeneration may contribute to the behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia syndrome in C9orf72 carriers by disrupting salience network connectivity. Task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging shows promise in detecting early-stage disease in C9orf72 carriers and may provide a unifying biomarker across diverse anatomical variants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, the Chinese Verbal Learning Test (ChVLT) was developed to assess episodic memory in Chinese speakers. The goal of this analysis was to determine whether memory consolidation as measured by the ChVLT was specifically associated with hippocampal volume in patients with cognitive impairment.
American Journal of Alzheimer s Disease and Other Dementias 09/2014; · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The contribution of inflammation to deleterious aging outcomes is increasingly recognized; however, little is known about the complex relationship between interleukin-6 (IL-6) and brain structure, or how this association might change with increasing age. We examined the association between IL-6, white matter integrity, and cognition in 151 community dwelling older adults, and tested whether age moderated these associations. Blood levels of IL-6 and vascular risk (e.g., homocysteine), as well as health history information, were collected. Processing speed assessments were administered to assess cognitive functioning, and we employed tract-based spatial statistics to examine whole brain white matter and regions of interest. Given the association between inflammation, vascular risk, and corpus callosum (CC) integrity, fractional anisotropy (FA) of the genu, body, and splenium represented our primary dependent variables. Whole brain analysis revealed an inverse association between IL-6 and CC fractional anisotropy. Subsequent ROI linear regression and ridge regression analyses indicated that the magnitude of this effect increased with age; thus, older individuals with higher IL-6 levels displayed lower white matter integrity. Finally, higher IL-6 levels were related to worse processing speed; this association was moderated by age, and was not fully accounted for by CC volume. This study highlights that at older ages, the association between higher IL-6 levels and lower white matter integrity is more pronounced; furthermore, it underscores the important, albeit burgeoning role of inflammatory processes in cognitive aging trajectories.
PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e106521. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface dyslexia is one of the hallmark features of the semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA). Surface dyslexia is characterized as a selective impairment in reading words with exceptional spelling-to-sound correspondences (irregular words), where they are ‘over-generalized’ and pronounced as they are spelled (e.g., ‘sew’ pronounced ‘sue’). The impairments in svPPA are coupled with atrophy of the anterior temporal lobes (ATLs). While usually bilateral, atrophy is asymmetric and two variants are observed, one with predominantly left (L-svPPA) and the other with predominantly right atrophy (R-svPPA). Prior studies report some differences in the neuropsychological profile of these subgroups, most notably a more profound naming impairment in L-svPPA and a greater deficit in retrieving person-specific information in R-svPPA. We report the first comparison of reading performance. We investigated single word reading in 21 svPPA patients with left-predominant ATL atrophy, 12 with right-predominant atrophy and 14 healthy participants. Reading was assessed using the ‘Regularity’ and ‘Nonwords’ reading subtests of the Psycholinguistic Assessments of Language Processing in Aphasia battery (30 regular and 30 irregular words matched for frequency, imageability and word length, and 24 nonwords) or the Arizona Battery for Reading and Spelling (40 regular, 40 irregular words and 20 nonwords matched for word length). Object naming, repetition, syntax comprehension, pyramids and palm trees (PPT) test performance and visuospatial and executive function were also evaluated. Voxel-based morphometry was used to map differences in the distribution of ATL atrophy and identify a more precise locus of the grey matter correlate of exception word reading. Both svPPA groups exhibited a surface dyslexic profile, with relatively preserved regular word reading (96.5% and 97.8% accuracy, respectively) and impaired irregular word reading (74% and 85.5%). The discrepancy in reading irregular versus regular words (regularity effect), however, was almost two times greater in the L-svPPA group (22.5) than the R-svPPA group (12.2). The two svPPA groups performed equally in nonword reading (87%). Linear regression on all patients revealed that solely the word version of the PPT (not the picture version, repetition nor syntax comprehension) was a significant predictor of the regularity effect, suggesting that exception word reading ability is correlated with integrity of a verbal semantic system. Neuroimaging revealed that the distribution of ATL atrophy was relatively more symmetric in R-svPPA. However, there was a greater disparity in the extent of volume loss in lateral left ATL regions than in the basal left ATL (more atrophied in L-svPPA) and this lateral volume correlated with magnitude of the regularity effect. The selective impairment in reading irregularly spelled words in svPPA is greater in magnitude when the ATL atrophy is greater in the left than the right hemisphere. Moreover, the degree of impairment appears to be correlated particularly with the amount of atrophy in the lateral aspects of the left ATL. We hypothesize that the role of the lateral left ATL in irregular word reading is related to representations subserving lexical-semantics and that the lateralization of this role is due to proximity of these regions to the left lateralized speech production network.
Society For the Neurobiology of Language, Amsterdam, Netherlands; 08/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a complex disorder characterised by a broad range of clinical manifestations, differential pathological signatures, and genetic variability. Mutations in three genes-MAPT, GRN, and C9orf72-have been associated with FTD. We sought to identify novel genetic risk loci associated with the disorder.
METHODS: We did a two-stage genome-wide association study on clinical FTD, analysing samples from 3526 patients with FTD and 9402 healthy controls. To reduce genetic heterogeneity, all participants were of European ancestry. In the discovery phase (samples from 2154 patients with FTD and 4308 controls), we did separate association analyses for each FTD subtype (behavioural variant FTD, semantic dementia, progressive non-fluent aphasia, and FTD overlapping with motor neuron disease [FTD-MND]), followed by a meta-analysis of the entire dataset. We carried forward replication of the novel suggestive loci in an independent sample series (samples from 1372 patients and 5094 controls) and then did joint phase and brain expression and methylation quantitative trait loci analyses for the associated (p<5 × 10(-8)) single-nucleotide polymorphisms.
FINDINGS: We identified novel associations exceeding the genome-wide significance threshold (p<5 × 10(-8)). Combined (joint) analyses of discovery and replication phases showed genome-wide significant association at 6p21.3, HLA locus (immune system), for rs9268877 (p=1·05 × 10(-8); odds ratio=1·204 [95% CI 1·11-1·30]), rs9268856 (p=5·51 × 10(-9); 0·809 [0·76-0·86]) and rs1980493 (p value=1·57 × 10(-8), 0·775 [0·69-0·86]) in the entire cohort. We also identified a potential novel locus at 11q14, encompassing RAB38/CTSC (the transcripts of which are related to lysosomal biology), for the behavioural FTD subtype for which joint analyses showed suggestive association for rs302668 (p=2·44 × 10(-7); 0·814 [0·71-0·92]). Analysis of expression and methylation quantitative trait loci data suggested that these loci might affect expression and methylation in cis.
INTERPRETATION: Our findings suggest that immune system processes (link to 6p21.3) and possibly lysosomal and autophagy pathways (link to 11q14) are potentially involved in FTD. Our findings need to be replicated to better define the association of the newly identified loci with disease and to shed light on the pathomechanisms contributing to FTD
The Lancet Neurology 07/2014; 3(7):686-99. · 21.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accurate self-awareness is essential for adapting one's tasks and goals to one's actual abilities. Patients with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those with right frontal involvement, often present with poor self-awareness of their functional limitations that may exacerbate their already jeopardized decision-making and behaviour. We studied the structural neuroanatomical basis for impaired self-awareness among patients with neurodegenerative disease and healthy older adults. One hundred and twenty-four participants (78 patients with neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, right-temporal frontotemporal dementia, semantic variant and non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia, and 46 healthy controls) described themselves on the Patient Competency Rating Scale, rating observable functioning across four domains (daily living activities, cognitive, emotional control, interpersonal). All participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Informants also described subjects' functioning on the same scale. Self-awareness was measured by comparing self and informant ratings. Group differences in discrepancy scores were analysed using general linear models, controlling for age, sex and disease severity. Compared with controls, patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia overestimated their functioning in all domains, patients with Alzheimer's disease overestimated cognitive and emotional functioning, patients with right-temporal frontotemporal dementia overestimated interpersonal functioning, and patients with non-fluent aphasia overestimated emotional and interpersonal functioning. Patients with semantic variant aphasia did not overestimate functioning on any domain. To examine the neuroanatomic correlates of impaired self-awareness, discrepancy scores were correlated with brain volume using voxel-based morphometry. To identify the unique neural correlates of overlooking versus exaggerating deficits, overestimation and underestimation scores were analysed separately, controlling for age, sex, total intracranial volume and extent of actual functional decline. Atrophy related to overestimating one's functioning included bilateral, right greater than left frontal and subcortical regions, including dorsal superior and middle frontal gyri, lateral and medial orbitofrontal gyri, right anterior insula, putamen, thalamus, and caudate, and midbrain and pons. Thus, our patients' tendency to under-represent their functional decline was related to degeneration of domain-general dorsal frontal regions involved in attention, as well as orbitofrontal and subcortical regions likely involved in assigning a reward value to self-related processing and maintaining accurate self-knowledge. The anatomic correlates of underestimation (right rostral anterior cingulate cortex, uncorrected significance level) were distinct from overestimation and had a substantially smaller effect size. This suggests that underestimation or 'tarnishing' may be influenced by non-structural neurobiological and sociocultural factors, and should not be considered to be on a continuum with overestimation or 'polishing' of functional capacity, which appears to be more directly mediated by neural circuit dysfunction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated CSF τ is considered a biomarker of neuronal injury in newly developed Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) criteria. However, previous studies have failed to detect alterations of τ species in other primary tauopathies. We assessed CSF τ protein abnormalities in AD, a tauopathy with prominent Aβ pathology, and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a primary tauopathy characterised by deposition of four microtubule-binding repeat (4R) τ with minimal Aβ pathology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biomarkers derived from brain magnetic resonance (MR) imaging have promise in being able to assist in the clinical diagnosis of brain pathologies. These have been used in many studies in which the goal has been to distinguish between pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease and healthy aging. However, other dementias, in particular, frontotemporal dementia, also present overlapping pathological brain morphometry patterns. Hence, a classifier that can discriminate morphometric features from a brain MRI from the three classes of normal aging, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) would offer considerable utility in aiding in correct group identification. Compared to the conventional use of multiple pair-wise binary classifiers that learn to discriminate between two classes at each stage, we propose a single three-way classification system that can discriminate between three classes at the same time. We present a novel classifier that is able to perform a three-class discrimination test for discriminating among AD, FTD, and normal controls (NC) using volumes, shape invariants, and local displacements (three features) of hippocampi and lateral ventricles (two structures times two hemispheres individually) obtained from brain MR images. In order to quantify its utility in correct discrimination, we optimize the three-class classifier on a training set and evaluate its performance using a separate test set. This is a novel, first-of-its-kind comparative study of multiple individual biomarkers in a three-class setting. Our results demonstrate that local atrophy features in lateral ventricles offer the potential to be a biomarker in discriminating among AD, FTD, and NC in a three-class setting for individual patient classification.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia is characterized by abnormal responses to primary reward stimuli such as food, sex and intoxicants, suggesting abnormal functioning of brain circuitry mediating reward processing. The goal of this analysis was to determine whether abnormalities in reward-seeking behaviour in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia are correlated with atrophy in regions known to mediate reward processing. Review of case histories in 103 patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia identified overeating or increased sweet food preference in 80 (78%), new or increased alcohol or drug use in 27 (26%), and hypersexuality in 17 (17%). For each patient, a primary reward-seeking score of 0-3 was created with 1 point given for each target behaviour (increased seeking of food, drugs, or sex). Voxel-based morphometry performed in 91 patients with available imaging revealed that right ventral putamen and pallidum atrophy correlated with higher reward-seeking scores. Each of the reward-related behaviours involved partially overlapping right hemisphere reward circuit regions including putamen, globus pallidus, insula and thalamus. These findings indicate that in some patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, low volume of subcortical reward-related structures is associated with increased pursuit of primary rewards, which may be a product of increased thalamocortical feedback.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about how changes in DNA methylation mediate risk for human diseases including dementia. Analysis of genome-wide methylation patterns in patients with two forms of tau-related dementia - progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) - revealed significant differentially methylated probes (DMPs) in patients versus unaffected controls. Remarkably, DMPs in PSP were clustered within the 17q21.31 region, previously known to harbor the major genetic risk factor for PSP. We identified and replicated a dose-dependent effect of the risk-associated H1 haplotype on methylation levels within the region in blood and brain. These data reveal that the H1 haplotype increases risk for tauopathy via differential methylation at that locus, indicating a mediating role for methylation in dementia pathophysiology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Neuroimaging studies examining neural substrates of impaired self-awareness in patients with neurodegenerative diseases have shown divergent results depending on the modality (cognitive, emotional, behavioral) of awareness. Evidence is accumulating to suggest that self-awareness arises from a combination of modality-specific and large-scale supramodal neural networks. Methods: We investigated the structural substrates of patients' tendency to overestimate or underestimate their own capacity to demonstrate empathic concern for others. Subjects' level of empathic concern was measured using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and subject-informant discrepancy scores were used to predict regional atrophy pattern, using voxel-based morphometry analysis. Of the 102 subjects, 83 were patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) or semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA); the other 19 were healthy older adults. Results: bvFTD and svPPA patients typically overestimated their level of empathic concern compared to controls, and overestimating one's empathic concern predicted damage to predominantly right-hemispheric anterior infero-lateral temporal regions, whereas underestimating one's empathic concern showed no neuroanatomical basis. Conclusions: These findings suggest that overestimation and underestimation of one's capacity for empathic concern cannot be interpreted as varying degrees of the same phenomenon, but may arise from different pathophysiological processes. Damage to anterior infero-lateral temporal regions has been associated with semantic self-knowledge, emotion processing, and social perspective taking; neuropsychological functions partly associated with empathic concern itself. These findings support the hypothesis that-at least in the socioemotional domain-neural substrates of self-awareness are partly modality-specific.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffusion Weighted Imaging is extremely important for the diagnosis of probable sporadic Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease, the most common human prion disease. Although visual assessment of DWI MRI is critical diagnostically, a more objective, quantifiable approach might more precisely identify the precise pattern of brain involvement. Furthermore, a quantitative, systematic tracking of MRI changes occurring over time might provide insights regarding the underlying histopathological mechanisms of human prion disease and provide information useful for clinical trials. The purposes of this study were: 1) to describe quantitatively the average cross-sectional pattern of reduced mean diffusivity, fractional anisotropy, atrophy and T1 relaxation in the gray matter (GM) in sporadic Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease, 2) to study changes in mean diffusivity and atrophy over time and 3) to explore their relationship with clinical scales. Twenty-six sporadic Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease and nine control subjects had MRIs on the same scanner; seven sCJD subjects had a second scan after approximately two months. Cortical and subcortical gray matter regions were parcellated with Freesurfer. Average cortical thickness (or subcortical volume), T1-relaxiation and mean diffusivity from co-registered diffusion maps were calculated in each region for each subject. Quantitatively on cross-sectional analysis, certain brain regions were preferentially affected by reduced mean diffusivity (parietal, temporal lobes, posterior cingulate, thalamus and deep nuclei), but with relative sparing of the frontal and occipital lobes. Serial imaging, surprisingly showed that mean diffusivity did not have a linear or unidirectional reduction over time, but tended to decrease initially and then reverse and increase towards normalization. Furthermore, there was a strong correlation between worsening of patient clinical function (based on modified Barthel score) and increasing mean diffusivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Impaired self-awareness is characteristic of nearly all dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but the deficit is most severe in the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). The prominence of frontal pathology in bvFTD suggests that failure of online monitoring, the process by which individuals monitor their own cognitive processing in real time, is an important contributor. Metacognitive research offers several approaches to measure self-assessment, some more and others less sensitive to online monitoring. The goal of this study was to assess metacognition in bvFTD using several approaches, and to compare the results with those in AD. Method: We examined metacognition in 12 patients with bvFTD, 14 with AD, and 35 healthy controls using feeling of knowing (FOK), ease of learning (EOL), judgment of learning (JOL), and retrospective confidence rating (CR) tasks, as well as response to feedback about performance. Results: BvFTD and AD were both impaired at FOK compared with controls, although AD showed some sparing. Both groups were similarly impaired at CR and neither group was impaired at JOL after accounting for memory performance. Most striking, bvFTD patients failed to appropriately adjust their predictions about future memory performance even after receiving explicit feedback that they had performed worse than they expected. Conclusions: Both bvFTD and AD show deficits in online monitoring, although the deficit appears more severe in bvFTD. The insensitivity of bvFTD patients to overt feedback may point to unique mechanisms, possibly frontally mediated, that add to their severe lack of self-awareness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effect of amyloid imaging on clinical decision making.
We conducted a retrospective analysis of 140 cognitively impaired patients (mean age 65.0 years, 46% primary β-amyloid (Aβ) diagnosis, mean Mini-Mental State Examination 22.3) who underwent amyloid (Pittsburgh compound B [PiB]) PET as part of observational research studies and were evaluated clinically before and after the scan. One hundred thirty-four concurrently underwent fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET. We assessed for changes between the pre- and post-PET clinical diagnosis (from Aβ to non-Aβ diagnosis or vice versa) and Alzheimer disease treatment plan. The association between PiB/FDG results and changes in management was evaluated using χ(2) and multivariate logistic regression. Postmortem diagnosis was available for 24 patients (17%).
Concordance between scan results and baseline diagnosis was high (PiB 84%, FDG 82%). The primary diagnosis changed after PET in 13/140 patients (9%) overall but in 5/13 (38%) patients considered pre-PET diagnostic dilemmas. When examined independently, discordant PiB and discordant FDG were both associated with diagnostic change (unadjusted p < 0.0001). However, when examined together in a multivariate logistic regression, only discordant PiB remained significant (adjusted p = 0.00013). Changes in treatment were associated with discordant PiB in patients with non-Aβ diagnoses (adjusted p = 0.028), while FDG had no effect on therapy. Both PiB (96%) and FDG (91%) showed high agreement with autopsy diagnosis.
PET had a moderate effect on clinical outcomes. Discordant PiB had a greater effect than discordant FDG, and influence on diagnosis was greater than on treatment. Prospective studies are needed to better characterize the clinical role of amyloid PET.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Executive functioning is widely targeted when human cognition is assessed, but there is little consensus on how it should be operationalized and measured. Recognizing the difficulties associated with establishing standard operational definitions of executive functioning, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke entered into a contract with the University of California-San Francisco to develop psychometrically robust executive measurement tools that would be accepted by the neurology clinical trials and clinical research communities. This effort, entitled Executive Abilities: Measures and Instruments for Neurobehavioral Evaluation and Research (EXAMINER), resulted in a series of tasks targeting working memory, inhibition, set shifting, fluency, insight, planning, social cognition and behavior. We describe battery conceptualization and development, data collection, scale construction based on item response theory, and lay the foundation for studying the battery's utility and validity for specific assessment and research goals. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1-9).
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 10/2013; · 2.70 Impact Factor