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1.  Regional Epidemiologic Assessment of Prevalent Periodontitis Using an Electronic Health Record System 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;177(7):700-707.
An oral health surveillance platform that queries a clinical/administrative data warehouse was applied to estimate regional prevalence of periodontitis. Cross-sectional analysis of electronic health record data collected between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010, was undertaken in a population sample residing in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. Eligibility criteria included: 1) residence in defined zip codes, 2) age 25–64 years, and 3) ≥1 Marshfield dental clinic comprehensive examination. Prevalence was established using 2 independent methods: 1) via an algorithm that considered clinical attachment loss and probe depth and 2) via standardized Current Dental Terminology (CDT) codes related to periodontal treatment. Prevalence estimates were age-standardized to 2000 US Census estimates. Inclusion criteria were met by 2,056 persons. On the basis of the American Academy of Periodontology/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention method, the age-standardized prevalence of moderate or severe periodontitis (combined) was 407 per 1,000 males and 308 per 1,000 females (348/1,000 males and 269/1,000 females using the CDT code method). Increased prevalence and severity of periodontitis was noted with increasing age. Local prevalence of periodontitis was consistent with national estimates. The need to address potential sample selection bias in future electronic health record–based periodontitis research was identified by this approach. Methods outlined herein may be applied to refine oral health surveillance systems, inform dental epidemiologic methods, and evaluate interventional outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3613126  PMID: 23462966
electronic health records; oral disease; periodontal disease; periodontitis
2.  Staging Dementia Using Clinical Dementia Rating Scale Sum of Boxes Scores 
Archives of neurology  2008;65(8):1091-1095.
The Clinical Dementia Rating Scale Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) score is commonly used, although the utility regarding this score in staging dementia severity is not well established.
To investigate the effectiveness of CDRSOB scores in staging dementia severity compared with the global CDR score.
Retrospective study.
Texas Alzheimer's Research Consortium minimum data set cohort.
A total of 1577 participants (110 controls, 202 patients with mild cognitive impairment, and 1265 patients with probable Alzheimer disease) were available for analysis.
Main Outcome Measures
Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated from a derivation sample to determine optimal cutoff scores and ranges, which were then applied to the validation sample.
Optimal ranges of CDR-SOB scores corresponding to the global CDR scores were 0.5 to 4.0 for a global score of 0.5, 4.5 to 9.0 for a global score of 1.O, 9.5 to 15.5 for a global score of 2.0, and 16.0 to 18.0 for a global score of 3.0. When applied to the validation sample, κ scores ranged from 0.86 to 0.94 (P <.001 for all), with 93.0% of the participants falling within the new staging categories.
The CDR-SOB score compares well with the global CDR score for dementia staging. Owing to the increased range of values, the CDR-SOB score offers several advantages over the global score, including increased utility in tracking changes within and between stages of dementia severity. Interpretive guidelines for CDR-SOB scores are provided.
PMCID: PMC3409562  PMID: 18695059
3.  Decreased C-Reactive Protein Levels in Alzheimer Disease 
C-reactive protein (CRP) is an acute-phase reactant that has been found to be associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) in histo-pathological and longitudinal studies; however, little data exist regarding serum CRP levels in patients with established AD. The current study evaluated CRP levels in 192 patients diagnosed with probable AD (mean age = 75.8 ± 8.2 years; 50% female) as compared to 174 nondemented controls (mean age = 70.6 ± 8.2 years; 63% female). Mean CRP levels were found to be significantly decreased in AD (2.9 µg/mL) versus controls (4.9 µg/mL; P = .003). In adjusted models, elevated CRP significantly predicted poorer (elevated) Clinical Dementia Rating Scale sum of boxes (CDR SB) scores in patients with AD. In controls, CRP was negatively associated with Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores and positively associated with CDR SB scores. These findings, together with previously published results, are consistent with the hypothesis that midlife elevations in CRP are associated with increased risk of AD development though elevated CRP levels are not useful for prediction in the immediate prodrome years before AD becomes clinically manifest. However, for a subgroup of patients with AD, elevated CRP continues to predict increased dementia severity suggestive of a possible proinflammatory endophenotype in AD.
PMCID: PMC3204581  PMID: 19933496
Alzheimer disease; C-reactive protein; inflammation; treatment; primary prevention
4.  AGRICOH: A Consortium of Agricultural Cohorts 
AGRICOH is a recently formed consortium of agricultural cohort studies involving 22 cohorts from nine countries in five continents: South Africa (1), Canada (3), Costa Rica (2), USA (6), Republic of Korea (1), New Zealand (2), Denmark (1), France (3) and Norway (3). The aim of AGRICOH, initiated by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), is to promote and sustain collaboration and pooling of data to investigate the association between a wide range of agricultural exposures and a wide range of health outcomes, with a particular focus on associations that cannot easily be addressed in individual studies because of rare exposures (e.g., use of infrequently applied chemicals) or relatively rare outcomes (e.g., certain types of cancer, neurologic and auto-immune diseases). To facilitate future projects the need for data harmonization of selected variables is required and is underway. Altogether, AGRICOH provides excellent opportunities for studying cancer, respiratory, neurologic, and auto-immune diseases as well as reproductive and allergic disorders, injuries and overall mortality in association with a wide array of exposures, prominent among these the application of pesticides.
PMCID: PMC3108113  PMID: 21655123
agriculture; cohort studies; consortium, pesticides; occupational exposures
5.  Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Levels in Alzheimer's Disease 
The current search for biomarkers that are diagnostic and/or prognostic of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is of vital importance given the rapidly aging population. It was recently reported that brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) fluctuated according to AD severity, suggesting that BDNF might have utility for diagnostics and monitoring of therapeutic efficacy. The current study sought to examine whether BDNF levels varied according to AD severity, as previously reported.
There were 196 participants (Probable AD n = 98, Controls n = 98) in the Texas Alzheimer's Research Consortium (TARC) Longitudinal Research Cohort available for analysis. BDNF levels were assayed via multiplex immunoassay. Regression analyses were utilized to examine the relation between BDNF levels, MMSE, and CDR scores adjusting for age and gender.
In adjusted models, BDNF levels did not distinguish between AD patients and normal controls and did not significantly predict AD severity or global cognitive functioning.
These findings do not support the notion that BDNF serves as a diagnostic marker for AD or disease severity. It is likely that the most accurate approach to identifying biomarkers of AD will be through an algorithmic approach that combines multiple markers reflective of various pathways.
PMCID: PMC2787708  PMID: 19363274
Alzheimer's disease; Biomarkers; BDNF; Dementia Severity; Clinical Dementia Rating
6.  Medial Temporal Atrophy on MRI in Normal Aging and Very Mild Alzheimer's Disease 
Neurology  1997;49(3):786-794.
Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) based volumetric measurements of medial temporal lobe (MTL) structures can discriminate between normal elderly controls and patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) of moderate to advanced severity. In terms of clinical utility, however, a more important issue concerns the ability of the technique to differentiate between normal elderly controls and AD patients with the very mildest form of the disease. We performed MRI-based volume measurements of the hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and amygdala in 126 cognitively normal elderly controls and 94 patients with probable AD. The diagnosis of AD was made according to NINDS/ADRDA criteria, and disease severity was categorized by Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scores. Patients with CDR = 0.5 were classified as very mild, CDR = 1 as mild, and CDR = 2 moderate disease severity.
Volumes of each structure declined with increasing age in control subjects and did so in parallel for men and women. The volume of each measured MTL structure also declined with age in patients with AD. The volume of each MTL structure was significantly smaller in AD patients than control subjects (P<.001). Of the several MTL measures, the total hippocampal volume measurements were best at discriminating controls from AD cases. The mean hippocampal volumes for AD patients relative to controls by severity of disease were as follows: very mild AD (CDR 0.5) - 1.75 SD below the control mean, mild AD (CDR 1) - 1.99 SD, and moderate AD (CDR 2) - 2.22 SD. Age and gender adjusted normalized MRI-based hippocampal volume measurements provide a sensitive marker of the MTL neuroanatomic degeneration in AD early in the disease process.
PMCID: PMC2730601  PMID: 9305341
Alzheimer's Disease; Dementia; MRI; Quantitative MRI; Hippocampus
7.  Prediction of AD with MRI-Based Hippocampal Volume in Mild Cognitive Impairment 
Neurology  1999;52(7):1397-1403.
To test the hypothesis that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based measurements of hippocampal volume were related to the risk of future conversion to Alzheimer's disease (AD) in elderly patients with a mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
Persons who develop AD pass through a transitional state which can be characterized as a MCI. However, in some patients MCI is a more benign condition which may not progress to AD or may do so slowly.
Eighty consecutive patients who met criteria for the diagnosis of MCI were recruited from the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Center/Alzheimer's Disease Patient Registry.
At entry into the study each patient received a MRI examination of the head from which the volumes of both hippocampi were measured. Patients were then followed longitudinally with approximately annual clinical/cognitive assessments. The primary endpoint was the crossover of individual MCI patients to the clinical diagnosis of AD during longitudinal clinical followup.
Over the period of longitudinal observation, which averaged 32.6 months, 27 of the 80 MCI patients became demented. Hippocampal atrophy at baseline was associated with crossover from MCI to AD (relative risk, 0.69, p = 0.015). When hippocampal volume was entered into bivariate models with age, post menopausal estrogen replacement, standard neuropsychological tests, apolipoprotein E genotype, history of ischemic heart disease and hypertension the relative risks were not substantially different from that found univariately and the associations between hippocampal volume and crossover remained significant.
In elderly patients with MCI, hippocampal atrophy determined by premorbid MRI-based volume measurements is predictive of subsequent conversion to AD.
PMCID: PMC2730146  PMID: 10227624
Dementia; Alzheimer's disease; Magnetic resonance imaging; brain; Quantitative MRI; Hippocampus; Volumetric MR
9.  Combined Use of Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and Flow Cytometry To Detect Antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi in Domestic Canines in Texas 
Canines may be sentinels and/or reservoirs for human Trypanosoma cruzi exposures. This study adapted a method originally designed for human diagnostics to detect serum immunoglobulin G to T. cruzi in canines. The method combined an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for screening and flow cytometry detection of anti-live trypomastigote antibodies (ALTA) for confirmation. The assays were optimized by using known positive and negative control canine sera, and cutoff values were established. The ELISA and ALTA assay easily distinguished between reactive (positive controls) and nonreactive (negative controls) sera and were used to test sera collected in a cross-sectional seroprevalence survey of 356 domestic canines from Harris County, Tex., and the surrounding area. Fifty-three (14.9%) of 356 asymptomatic canines in the survey were positive by ELISA, and 5 (1.4%) were confirmed positive with the ALTA assay, with an additional 4 (1.1%) canines classified as “suspect positive.” Thus, the overall prevalence of T. cruzi antibodies in this population was 2.6%. This is the first U.S. study to use the combination of ELISA and ALTA to detect serum antibodies to T. cruzi and the first report of the prevalence of T. cruzi infection in domestic canines in the Houston, Tex. (Harris County), region. Our results demonstrate that the combination of ELISA and ALTA has been successfully adapted for use in testing canines for serological evidence of T. cruzi infection. Seroprevalence survey results suggest that T. cruzi antibody-positive domestic canines in the peridomestic setting are present in the Houston, Tex., region and further suggest that T. cruzi is enzootic in the region.
PMCID: PMC371209  PMID: 15013981

Results 1-9 (9)