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1.  Mild cognitive impairment in clinical care 
Neurology  2010;75(5):425-431.
Objective:
To assess how neurologists view mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as a clinical diagnosis and how they treat patients with mild cognitive symptoms.
Methods:
Members of the American Academy of Neurology with an aging, dementia, or behavioral neurology practice focus were surveyed by self-administered questionnaire.
Results:
Survey respondents were 420 providers (response rate 48%), and 88% reported at least monthly encounters with patients experiencing mild cognitive symptoms. Most respondents recognize MCI as a clinical diagnosis (90%) and use its diagnostic code for billing purposes (70%). When seeing these patients, most respondents routinely provide counseling on physical (78%) and mental exercise (75%) and communicate about dementia risk (63%); fewer provide information on support services (27%) or a written summary of findings (15%). Most (70%) prescribe cholinesterase inhibitors at least sometimes for this population, with memantine (39%) and other agents (e.g., vitamin E) prescribed less frequently. Respondents endorsed several benefits of a diagnosis of MCI: 1) involving the patient in planning for the future (87%); 2) motivating risk reduction activities (85%); 3) helping with financial planning (72%); and 4) prescribing medications (65%). Some respondents noted drawbacks, including 1) too difficult to diagnose (23%); 2) better described as early Alzheimer disease (21%); and 3) diagnosis can cause unnecessary worry (20%).
Conclusions:
Patients with mild cognitive symptoms are commonly seen by neurologists, who view MCI as a useful diagnostic category. Information and treatments provided to patients with MCI vary significantly, suggesting a need for practice guidelines and further research on clinical decision-making with this population.
GLOSSARY
= age-associated memory impairment;
= American Academy of Neurology;
= Alzheimer disease;
= cognitive impairment, no dementia;
= Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition;
= mild cognitive impairment;
= not otherwise specified.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181eb5872
PMCID: PMC2918467  PMID: 20679636
2.  Surrogate consent for dementia research 
Neurology  2009;72(2):149-155.
Background
Research in novel therapies for Alzheimer disease (AD) relies on persons with AD as research subjects. Because AD impairs decisional capacity, informed consent often must come from surrogates, usually close family members. But policies for surrogate consent for research remain unsettled after decades of debate.
Methods
We designed a survey module for a random subsample (n = 1,515) of the 2006 wave of the Health and Retirement Study, a biennial survey of a nationally representative sample of Americans aged 51 and older. The participants answered questions regarding one of four randomly assigned surrogate-based research (SBR) scenarios: lumbar puncture study, drug randomized control study, vaccine study, and gene transfer study. Each participant answered three questions: whether our society should allow family surrogate consent, whether one would want to participate in the research, and whether one would allow one’s surrogate some or complete leeway to override stated personal preferences.
Results
Most respondents stated that our society should allow family surrogate consent for SBR (67.5% to 82.5%, depending on the scenario) and would themselves want to participate in SBR (57.4% to 79.7%). Most would also grant some or complete leeway to their surrogates (54.8% to 66.8%), but this was true mainly of those willing to participate. There was a trend toward lower willingness to participate in SBR among those from ethnic or racial minority groups.
Conclusions
Family surrogate consent–based dementia research is broadly supported by older Americans. Willingness to allow leeway to future surrogates needs to be studied further for its ethical significance for surrogate-based research policy.
doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000339039.18931.a2
PMCID: PMC2663398  PMID: 19139366
3.  Surrogate consent for dementia research 
Neurology  2009;72(2):149-155.
Background:
Research in novel therapies for Alzheimer disease (AD) relies on persons with AD as research subjects. Because AD impairs decisional capacity, informed consent often must come from surrogates, usually close family members. But policies for surrogate consent for research remain unsettled after decades of debate.
Methods:
We designed a survey module for a random subsample (n = 1,515) of the 2006 wave of the Health and Retirement Study, a biennial survey of a nationally representative sample of Americans aged 51 and older. The participants answered questions regarding one of four randomly assigned surrogate-based research (SBR) scenarios: lumbar puncture study, drug randomized control study, vaccine study, and gene transfer study. Each participant answered three questions: whether our society should allow family surrogate consent, whether one would want to participate in the research, and whether one would allow one’s surrogate some or complete leeway to override stated personal preferences.
Results:
Most respondents stated that our society should allow family surrogate consent for SBR (67.5% to 82.5%, depending on the scenario) and would themselves want to participate in SBR (57.4% to 79.7%). Most would also grant some or complete leeway to their surrogates (54.8% to 66.8%), but this was true mainly of those willing to participate. There was a trend toward lower willingness to participate in SBR among those from ethnic or racial minority groups.
Conclusions:
Family surrogate consent–based dementia research is broadly supported by older Americans. Willingness to allow leeway to future surrogates needs to be studied further for its ethical significance for surrogate-based research policy.
GLOSSARY
= Alzheimer disease;
= confidence interval;
= Health and Retirement Study;
= legally authorized representatives;
= lumbar puncture;
= odds ratio;
= randomized controlled trial;
= surrogate-based research.
doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000339039.18931.a2
PMCID: PMC2663398  PMID: 19139366

Results 1-3 (3)