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      Decision Rules Guiding the Clinical Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease in Two Community-Based Cohort Studies Compared to Standard Practice in a Clinic-Based Cohort Study

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          Abstract

          We developed prediction rules to guide the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in two community-based cohort studies (the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project). The rules were implemented without informant interviews, neuroimaging, blood work or routine case conferencing. Autopsies were performed at death and the pathologic diagnosis of AD made with a modified version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) criteria. We compared the positive predictive value of the clinical diagnosis in the two community-based studies to the positive predictive value of the clinical diagnosis of AD made by standard clinical practice in a clinic-based cohort study using AD pathology as the gold standard. Of 306 clinic cases with probable AD, 286 (93.5%) met CERAD neuropathologic criteria for AD; the results were comparable for those with possible AD (51 of 54, 94.4%). Of 141 study subjects with probable AD, 130 (92.2%) met CERAD neuropathologic criteria for AD; the results were lower but acceptable for those with possible AD (26 of 37, 70.3%). The results were similar in secondary analyses using alternate neuropathologic criteria for AD. The clinical diagnosis of AD can be made in community-based studies without the use of informant interviews, neuroimaging, blood work or routine case conferencing. This approach holds promise for reducing the operational costs of epidemiologic studies of aging and AD.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Natural history of mild cognitive impairment in older persons.

          Cognitive abilities of older persons range from normal, to mild cognitive impairment, to dementia. Few large longitudinal studies have compared the natural history of mild cognitive impairment with similar persons without cognitive impairment. Participants were older Catholic clergy without dementia, 211 with mild cognitive impairment and 587 without cognitive impairment, who underwent annual clinical evaluation for AD and an assessment of different cognitive abilities. Cognitive performance tests were summarized to yield a composite measure of global cognitive function and separate summary measures of episodic memory, semantic memory, working memory, perceptual speed, and visuospatial ability. The authors compared the risk of death, risk of incident AD, and rates of change in global cognition and different cognitive domains among persons with mild cognitive impairment to those without cognitive impairment. All models controlled for age, sex, and education. On average, persons with mild cognitive impairment had significantly lower scores at baseline in all cognitive domains. Over an average of 4.5 years of follow-up, 30% of persons with mild cognitive impairment died, a rate 1.7 times higher than those without cognitive impairment (95% CI, 1.2 to 2.5). In addition, 64 (34%) persons with mild cognitive impairment developed AD, a rate 3.1 times higher than those without cognitive impairment (95% CI, 2.1 to 4.5). Finally, persons with mild cognitive impairment declined significantly faster on measures of episodic memory, semantic memory, and perceptual speed, but not on measures of working memory or visuospatial ability, as compared with persons without cognitive impairment. Mild cognitive impairment is associated with an increased risk of death and incident AD, and a greater rate of decline in selected cognitive abilities.
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            Neuropathologic features of amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

            The neuropathologic substrate of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is not known. To determine the neuropathologic features of patients who died while their clinical classification was aMCI. Cohort study. Community based. Sixty-six individuals, including 15 who had memory impairment beyond that allowed for aging but who were not demented, were studied along with 28 clinically healthy individuals and 23 patients with probable Alzheimer disease (AD) for comparison. Standard neuropathologic techniques and classification according to Khachaturian, Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer Disease, and National Institute on Aging-Reagan criteria were used to analyze autopsy tissue from 15 individuals who died while their clinical diagnosis was aMCI. For comparison, autopsy data on age-matched groups of clinically healthy individuals and patients with probable AD were analyzed. Most patients with aMCI did not meet the neuropathologic criteria for AD, but their pathologic findings suggest a transitional state of evolving AD. All the patients with aMCI had pathologic findings involving medial temporal lobe structures, likely accounting for their memory impairment. In addition, there were many concomitant pathologic abnormalities, including argyrophilic grain disease, hippocampal sclerosis, and vascular lesions. The neuropathologic features of aMCI matched the clinical features and seemed to be intermediate between the neurofibrillary changes of aging and the pathologic features of very early AD.
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              Core assessment program for intracerebral transplantations (CAPIT).

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NED
                Neuroepidemiology
                10.1159/issn.0251-5350
                Neuroepidemiology
                S. Karger AG
                0251-5350
                1423-0208
                2006
                October 2006
                27 October 2006
                : 27
                : 3
                : 169-176
                Affiliations
                aRush Alzheimer’s Disease Center and Departments of bNeurological Sciences, cPathology, dBehavioral Sciences, eFamily Practice and fInternal Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Ill., USA
                Article
                96129 Neuroepidemiology 2006;27:169–176
                10.1159/000096129
                17035694
                4d4213f1-8eaa-4e52-8d49-feb2edff3cb6
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 56, Pages: 8
                Categories
                Methods in Neuroepidemiology

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