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1.  Clock Drawing Test Ratings by Dementia Specialists: Interrater Reliability and Diagnostic Accuracy 
The authors aim to study subjective ratings of clock drawing test by clinicians and determine interrater reliability and diagnostic accuracy. The clock drawing test has been advocated over the Mini-Mental State Examination as an office screening test for dementia, but use of the clock drawing test by neurologists and dementia specialist clinicians has not been validated. The authors conducted a study of clock drawing test scoring by dementia specialists. The authors randomly assigned 25 clocks from each of six predetermined groups based on consensus diagnosis (cognitive comparison subjects, subjects with a memory complaint but with normal neuropsychological testing, subjects with probable and possible mild cognitive impairment, and subjects with possible and probable Alzheimer’s disease) to dementia specialists for blinded scoring using a binary yes/no impairment system and a 0–10 scale as subjectively determined by each individual clinician rater. The authors collapsed the six groups into three (comparison subjects, mild cognitive impairment patients, and Alzheimer’s disease patients) and analyzed interrater reliability, sensitivity, and specificity for consensus diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. The authors found excellent interrater reliability, sensitivity, and specificity for predicting consensus diagnosis. The 0–10 clock drawing test rating scale was more predictive of consensus diagnosis than the binary impairment scale. Based on the five clinicians’ average dichotomous rating, the clinicians differentiated comparison and Alzheimer’s disease participants with a sensitivity of 0.75 and a specificity of 0.81. For three of the four comparisons, a cutoff score of two or greater resulted in the maximization of sensitivity and specificity for differentiating diagnostic groups. A cutoff score of four or greater maximized sensitivity (0.54) and specificity (0.74) for differentiating Alzheimer’s disease from mild cognitive impairment. Based on rating systems, clock drawing test scoring by dementia clinicians had excellent interrater reliability and sensitivity for differentiating the mild Alzheimer’s disease subjects from comparison subjects. When utilizing a binary rating scale for the clock drawing test in the absence of clinical information, dementia specialist clinicians at the Boston Medical Center were moderately sensitive and highly specific in separating mild cognitive impairment from healthy comparison subjects. These dementia clinicians were also highly sensitive and less specific in differentiating mild cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s disease.
PMCID: PMC2938787  PMID: 20160214
2.  Statistics on BCS Classification of Generic Drug Products Approved Between 2000 and 2011 in the USA 
The AAPS Journal  2012;14(4):664-666.
The Biopharmaceutics Classification system (BCS) classifies drug substances based on aqueous solubility and intestinal permeability. The objective of this study was to use the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines to determine the distribution of BCS Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 drugs in Abbreviated New drug Applications (ANDA) submissions. To categorize solubility and intestinal permeability properties of generic drugs under development, we used a list of 61 drugs which were classified as BCS 1, 2, 3, and 4 drugs with certainty in the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines. Applying this list to evaluation of 263 ANDA approvals of BCS drugs during the period of 2000 to 2011 indicated 110 approvals (41.8%) for Class 1 drugs (based on both biowaiver and in vivo bioequivalence studies), 55 (20.9%) approvals for Class 2 drugs, 98 (37.3%) approvals for Class 3 drugs, and no (0%) approvals for Class 4 drugs. The present data indicated a trend of more ANDA approvals of BCS Class 1 drugs than Class 3 or Class 2 drugs. Antiallergic drugs in Class 1, drugs for pain relief in Class 2 and antidiabetic drugs in Class 3 have received the largest number of approvals during this period.
PMCID: PMC3475853  PMID: 22718306
ANDA; BCS biowaiver; bioequivalence; Biopharmaceutics Classification System; generic drug product
3.  Clinical Characterization of a Kindred with a Novel Twelve Octapeptide Repeat Insertion in the Prion Protein Gene 
Archives of Neurology  2011;68(9):1165-1170.
To report the clinical, electroencephalographic, and neuroradiologic findings in a kindred with a novel insertion in the prion protein gene (PRNP).
Clinical description of a kindred.
Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Rochester).
Two pathologically-confirmed cases and their relatives.
Main outcome measures
Clinical features, electroencephalographic patterns, magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities, genetic analyses and neuropathological features.
The proband presented with clinical and neuroimaging features of atypical frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and ataxia. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures developed later in her course, and electroencephalography revealed spike and wave discharges but no periodic sharp wave complexes. Her affected sister and father also exhibited FTD-like features, and both experienced generalized tonic-clonic seizures and gait ataxia late in their course. Genetic analyses in the proband identified a novel defect in PRNP with one mutated allele carrying a 288 base pair insertion (BPI) consisting of 12 octapeptide repeats. Neuropathologic examination of the sister and proband revealed PrP-positive plaques and widespread tau-positive tangles.
This kindred has a unique combination of clinical and neuropathologic features associated with the largest BPI identified to date in PRNP, and underscores the need to consider familial prion disease in the differential diagnosis of a familial FTD-like syndrome.
PMCID: PMC3326586  PMID: 21911696
frontotemporal dementia; FTD; nonfluent aphasia; Gerstmann–Straüssler–Scheinker syndrome (GSS); Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD); prion; PRNP
4.  Predicting cognitive decline and conversion to Alzheimer's disease in older adults using the NAB List Learning test 
To validate the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB) List Learning test as a predictor of future multi-domain cognitive decline and conversion to Alzheimer's disease (AD), participants from a longitudinal research registry at a national AD Center were, at baseline, assigned to one of three groups (control, mild cognitive impairment [MCI], or AD), based solely on a diagnostic algorithm for the NAB List Learning test (Gavett et al., 2009), and followed for 1–3 years. Rate of change on common neuropsychological tests and time to convert to a consensus diagnosis of AD were evaluated to test the hypothesis that these outcomes would differ between groups (AD>MCI>control). Hypotheses were tested using linear regression models (n = 251) and Cox proportional hazards models (n = 265). The AD group declined significantly more rapidly than controls on Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), animal fluency, and Digit Symbol; and more rapidly than the MCI group on MMSE and Hooper Visual Organization Test. The MCI group declined more rapidly than controls on animal fluency and CERAD Trial 3. The MCI and AD groups had significantly shorter time to conversion to a consensus diagnosis of AD than controls. The predictive validity of the NAB List Learning algorithm makes it a clinically useful tool for the assessment of older adults.
PMCID: PMC2922010  PMID: 20374677
Memory; Dementia; Differential diagnosis; Aging; Neuropsychology; Neuropsychological tests
5.  A New Scale Measuring Psychological Impact of Genetic Susceptibility Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease 
This paper describes the development and psychometric properties of a new scale for assessing the psychological impact of genetic susceptibility testing for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The new instrument, The REVEAL Impact of Genetic Testing for Alzheimer’s disease (IGT-AD) was designed to examine the unique nature of genetic information and the disease course of AD. The scale was tested as a part of a multicenter clinical trial designed to evaluate the impact of AD risk assessment and data was collected from 276 participants in the study. Using an iterative process of Principal Component Analysis and Cronbach’s alpha, the final 16 item IGT-AD was found to have a two factor structure with excellent internal reliability. Construct validity was established by patterns of correlation with other standardized self-reported measures. This scale should be useful in the identification of patients who maybe susceptible to the negative effects of receiving genetic information, monitoring of patients who have received genetic information, and as a tool for researchers who wish to study the effects of genetic susceptibility testing for AD.
PMCID: PMC2743905  PMID: 19266699
Alzheimer’s disease genetics; genetic testing; Alzheimer’s disease risk assessment
6.  Regulation of luteinizing hormone receptor mRNA expression by a specific RNA binding protein in the ovary* 
Molecular and cellular endocrinology  2006;260-262:109-116.
The expression of LH receptor mRNA shows significant changes during different physiological states of the ovary. Previous studies from our laboratory have identified a post-transcriptional mechanism by which LH receptor mRNA is regulated following preovulatory LH surge or in response to hCG administration. A specific binding protein, identified as mevalonate kinase, binds to the open reading frame of LH receptor mRNA. The protein binding site is localized to nucleotides 203–220 of the LH receptor mRNA and exhibits a high degree of specificity. The expression levels of the protein show an inverse relationship to the LH receptor mRNA levels. The hCG-induced down-regulation of LH receptor mRNA can be mimicked by increasing the intracellular levels of cyclic AMP by a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. An in vitro mRNA decay assay showed that addition of the binding protein to the decay system caused accelerated LH receptor mRNA decay. Our results therefore show that LH receptor mRNA expression in the ovary is regulated post-transcriptionally by altering the rate of mRNA degradation by a specific mRNA binding protein.
PMCID: PMC2677972  PMID: 17055149
7.  Diagnostic utility of the NAB List Learning test in Alzheimer’s disease and amnestic mild cognitive impairment 
Measures of episodic memory are often used to identify Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB) List Learning test is a promising tool for the memory assessment of older adults due to its simplicity of administration, good psychometric properties, equivalent forms, and extensive normative data. This study examined the diagnostic utility of the NAB List Learning test for differentiating cognitively healthy, MCI, and AD groups. One-hundred fifty-three participants (age: range = 57-94 years, M = 74 years, S. D. = 8 years; sex: 61% women) were diagnosed by a multidisciplinary consensus team as cognitively normal, amnestic MCI (aMCI; single and multiple domain), or AD, independent of NAB List Learning performance. In univariate analyses, receiver operating characteristics curve analyses were conducted for four demographically-corrected NAB List Learning variables. Additionally, multivariate ordinal logistic regression and five-fold cross-validation was used to create and validate a predictive model based on NAB List Learning test T-scores. At optimal cutoff scores, univariate sensitivity values ranged from .58 - .92 and univariate specificity values ranged from .52 - .97. Multivariate ordinal regression produced a model that classified individuals with 80% accuracy and good predictive power.
PMCID: PMC2666978  PMID: 19128535
Dementia; Sensitivity and Specificity; Differential Diagnosis; Neuropsychology; Neuropsychological Tests; Memory

Results 1-7 (7)