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1.  Randomized Controlled Trial of Atomoxetine for Cognitive Dysfunction in Early Huntington Disease 
Cognitive symptoms are associated with functional disability in Huntington disease; yet, few controlled trials have examined cognitive treatments that could improve patient independence and quality of life. Atomoxetine is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor approved for treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Twenty participants with mild Huntington disease who complained of inattention were randomized to receive atomoxetine (80 mg/d) or placebo in a 10-week double-blind crossover study. Primary outcome measures were self-reported attention and attention and executive neuropsychological composite scores. Secondary outcomes were psychiatric and motor symptom scores.
The rate of reported adverse effects while on atomoxetine was 56% (vs 35% on placebo), which most commonly included dry mouth (39%), loss of appetite (22%), insomnia (22%), and dizziness (17%). There were no serious adverse events related to atomoxetine. There were statistically significant, although mild, increases in heart rate and diastolic blood pressure on atomoxetine, consistent with other studies and not requiring medical referral. There were no significant improvements while on atomoxetine compared with placebo on primary outcomes. However, there was evidence of significant placebo effects on self-reported attention and psychiatric functions. There were no group differences on the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating total motor score.
Atomoxetine demonstrated no advantages over placebo for primary or secondary outcomes. Although atomoxetine was not effective at improving attention at this dose, its safety and tolerability were similar to other studies.
PMCID: PMC3806326  PMID: 19745649
Huntington disease; randomized controlled trial; neuropsychological assessment; clinical trials
2.  Obsessive and Compulsive Symptoms in Prediagnosed Huntington’s Disease 
The Journal of clinical psychiatry  2008;69(11):1758-1765.
Obsessive and compulsive symptoms (OCS) are more prevalent in patients with diagnosed Huntington’s disease (HD) than in the general population. Although psychiatric symptoms have been reported in individuals with the HD gene expansion prior to clinical diagnosis (pre-HD), little is known about OCS in this phase of disease.
The goal of this study was to assess OCS in 300 pre-HD individuals and 108 non–gene-expanded controls from the Neurobiological Predictors of Huntington’s Disease (PREDICTHD)study (enrolled between November 2002 and April 2007) using a multidimensional, self-report measure of OCS, the Schedule of Compulsions, Obsessions, and Pathologic Impulses (SCOPI). Additionally, pre-HD individuals were classified into 3 prognostic groups on the basis of age and CAG repeat length as “near-to-onset” (< 9 estimated years to onset), “mid-to-onset” (9–15 years to onset), and “far-to-onset” (> 15 years to onset). We compared the 3 pre-HD groups to the controls on SCOPI total score and 5 subscales (checking, cleanliness, compulsive rituals, hoarding, and pathologic impulses), controlling for age and gender.
All models showed a significant (p < .05) group effect except for hoarding, with an inverted-U pattern of increasing symptoms: controls < far-to-onset < mid-to-onset, with the near-to-onset group being similar to controls. Although the mid-to-onset group showed the most pathology, mean scores were below those of patients with diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder. SCOPI items that separated pre-HD individuals from controls were focused on perceived cognitive errors and obsessive worrying.
Subclinical OCS were present in pre-HD participants compared to controls. The OCS phenotype in pre-HD may present with obsessive worrying and checking related to cognitive errors and may be a useful target for clinical screening as it could contribute to functional status.
PMCID: PMC3658314  PMID: 19012814
3.  Perceived stress in prodromal Huntington disease 
Psychology & health  2011;27(2):196-209.
This study examines perceived stress and its relationship to depressive symptoms, life changes and functional capacity in a large sample of individuals who are positive for the Huntington disease (HD) gene expansion but not yet diagnosed. Participants were classified by estimated proximity to HD diagnosis (far, mid, near) and compared with a non gene-expanded comparison group. Persons in the mid group had the highest stress scores. A significant interaction between age and time since HD genetic testing was also found. Secondary analyses using data from a different data collection point and including a diagnosed group showed the highest stress scores in the diagnosed group. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3165107  PMID: 21623544
Huntington disease; perceived stress; depression
4.  Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in adult cancer patients with delirium 
Psychiatry research  2011;191(2):128-132.
Delirium is associated with a host of negative outcomes, including increased risk of mortality, longer hospital stay, and poor long-term cognitive function. The pathophysiology of delirium is not well understood. Cancer patients undergoing a bone marrow transplant (BMT) are at high risk for developing delirium and Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) could lead to better understanding of the delirium process.
Fourteen BMT patients and 10 controls completed 1H-MRS, positioned above the corpus callosum, shortly after delirium onset or at study end if no delirium occurred.
In the BMT-delirium group, statistically significantly elevated tCho/tCr was found in contrast to the BMT-no delirium group (p<0.05). The BMT–delirium group also showed statistically significantly lesser NAA/tCho compared to both controls (p=0.01) and the BMT–no delirium group (p=0.04).
Elevated choline and reduced NAA indicate inflammatory processes and white matter damage as well as neuronal metabolic impairment. Further research is needed to separate the choline peaks, as well as more detailed collection of medication regimens to determine whether a higher choline concentration is a function of the delirium process or cancer treatment effects.
PMCID: PMC3030637  PMID: 21227658
delirium; spectroscopy; choline; cancer; magnetic resonance imaging; cognition
5.  “Pre-symptomatic” Huntington's disease 
PMCID: PMC4219572  PMID: 18631781
6.  Characterization of Depression in Prodromal Huntington Disease in the Neurobiological Predictors of HD (PREDICT-HD) Study 
Journal of psychiatric research  2013;47(10):10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.05.026.
Depression causes significant morbidity and mortality, and this also occurs in Huntington Disease (HD), an inherited neurodegenerative illness with motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. The presentation of depression in this population remains poorly understood, particularly in the prodromal period before development of significant motor symptoms. In this study, we assessed depressive symptoms in a sample of 803 individuals with the HD mutation in the prodromal stage and 223 mutation-negative participants at the time of entry in the Neurobiological Predictors of HD (PREDICT-HD) study. Clinical and biological HD variables potentially related to severity of depression were analyzed. A factor analysis was conducted to characterize the symptom domains of depression in a subset (n=168) with clinically significant depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms were found to be more prevalent in HD mutation carriers but did not increase with proximity to HD diagnosis and were not associated with length of the HD mutation. Increased depressive symptoms were significantly associated with female gender, self-report of past history of depression, and a slight decrease in functioning, but not with time since genetic testing. The factor analysis identified symptom domains similar to prior studies in other populations. These results show that individuals with the HD mutation are at increased risk to develop depressive symptoms at any time during the HD prodrome. The clinical presentation appears to be similar to other populations. Severity and progression are not related to the HD mutation.
PMCID: PMC3808084  PMID: 23790259
Huntington Disease; Depression; Suicide; Genetic testing
7.  Risk Factors for Delirium in Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Delirium is common following hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Early recognition and treatment have been shown to improve long term outcomes. We sought to investigate the relationship between potential risk-factors and the development of delirium following HSCT.
Fifty-four inpatients admitted for HSCT were assessed prospectively for delirium every 2-3 days through their inpatient stay using standardized delirium and neuropsychological measures. Patient’s self-reports of medical history, medical records, and neurocognitive and psychiatric assessments were used to identify risk factors. Both pre- and post-HSCT risk factors were examined.
Delirium incidence was 35% and occurred with highest frequency in the 2 weeks following transplant. The only pre-transplantation risk factors was lower oxygen saturation (p=0.003). Post-transplantation risk factors for delirium included higher creatinine (p<0.0001), higher blood urea nitrogen levels (p=0.005), lower creatinine clearance (p=0.0006), lower oxygen saturation (p=0.001), lower hemoglobin (p=0.04) and lower albumin (p=0.03). There was no observed association with level of cognitive performance, transplant type, disease severity, medical co-morbidity index, age or conditioning regimen.
Routine laboratory values can assist in the identification of high risk patients before delirium onset to improve early detection and treatment of delirium following HSCT.
PMCID: PMC4120828  PMID: 22860240
delirium; risk factors; cancer; hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation
8.  Cognitive Features Ten or More Years After Successful Breast Cancer Survival: Comparisons Across Types of Cancer Interventions 
Psycho-oncology  2012;22(4):862-868.
The present study examined the long-term cognitive implications of cancer treatment among breast cancer survivors aged 65 years and older. Fifty-seven women survivors were compared to 30 healthy older female adult comparisons, matched in terms of age and education, with no history of cancer. Cancer survivors were also compared based on treatment intervention, involving chemotherapy (n = 27) versus local therapy through surgery and radiation (n = 30). As a group, the breast cancer survivors scored lower on measures of general cognitive function, working memory, psychomotor speed, and executive function, when compared to the normal comparisons. Among the cancer survivors, those who received local therapy scored lower than the other survivors and normal comparisons on measures of verbal learning, visual perception and construction, as well as visual attention and short-term retention. Our findings suggest that cognitive outcomes may involve more age-related deficits among older cancer survivors compared to matched healthy subjects.
PMCID: PMC3475736  PMID: 22585465
breast cancer; chemotherapy; cognition; neuropsychological assessment
9.  Cognitive change in patients with Huntington disease on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status 
Huntington disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with cognitive, motor, and psychiatric deterioration over time. Although there is currently no cure for HD, there has been a surge of clinical trials available to patients with HD over the past 5 years. However, cognitive measures have generally been lacking from these trials. A brief, repeatable neuropsychological battery is needed to assess cognitive endpoints. The Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) may be useful for assessing change in interventional studies or for clinical monitoring. A total of 38 patients with HD were assessed using the RBANS, other cognitive tests, and the standardized HD battery (Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale, UHDRS) at two clinic visits approximately 16 months apart. The RBANS Attention Index, as well as individual subtest scores on Coding, Digit Span, List Recognition, Figure Copy, and Figure Recall all declined significantly over this interval. Performance on the UHDRS cognitive tests (Symbol Digit Modalities; Stroop Color, and Stroop Word) also declined, as did functional capacity. Results suggest that cognitive changes were detected both on established cognitive tasks used in HD research and on the RBANS in patients with measurable functional decline. The RBANS provided additional information about other cognitive domains affected (e.g., memory) and may be a useful measure for tracking longitudinal change.
PMCID: PMC3806302  PMID: 19882420
Huntington Disease; Neuropsychological assessment; Memory; Dementia; Executive functions
10.  Risperidone and the treatment of psychiatric, motor, and cognitive symptoms in Huntington’s disease 
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a progressive, neuropsychiatric disorder, and limited reports indicate that risperidone might improve motor and psychiatric functioning for these patients.
In an open label, retrospective study to evaluate the effectiveness of risperidone on motor, psychiatric, and cognitive functioning in HD, 17 patients taking risperidone and 12 patients not taking any antipsychotic medication were compared across a year.
Patients taking risperidone demonstrated significantly improved psychiatric functioning and motor stabilization, whereas patients not taking risperidone were stable psychiatrically and worsened motorically.
Although controlled clinical trials are clearly needed, these preliminary results support the use of risperidone in patients with HD in treating their psychiatric and possibly motor symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3806309  PMID: 18297579
Huntington’s disease; Risperidone; Treatment; Psychiatric symptoms; Motor; Cognition
11.  Short-term practice effects in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: implications for diagnosis and treatment 
Practice effects have been widely reported in healthy older adults, but these improvements due to repeat exposure to test materials have been more equivocal in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
The current study examined short-term practice effects in MCI by repeating a brief battery of cognitive tests across one week in 59 older adults with amnestic MCI and 62 intact older adults.
Participants with amnestic MCI showed significantly greater improvements on two delayed recall measures (p < 0.01) compared to intact peers. All other practice effects were comparable between these two groups. Practice effects significantly improved scores in the MCI group so that 49% of them were reclassified as “intact” after one week, whereas the other 51% remained “stable” as MCI. Secondary analyses indicated the MCI-Intact group demonstrated larger practice effects on two memory measures than their peers (p < 0.01).
These results continue to inform us about the nature of memory deficits in MCI, and could have implications for the diagnosis and possible treatment of this amnestic condition.
PMCID: PMC3789513  PMID: 18405398
mild cognitive impairment; practice effects; repeat testing
12.  Patterns of serotonergic antidepressant usage in prodromal Huntington disease☆ 
Psychiatry research  2012;196(0):309-314.
Antidepressant usage in prodromal Huntington Disease (HD) remains uncharacterized, despite its relevance in designing experiments, studying outcomes of HD, and evaluating the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. We searched baseline medication logs of 787 prodromal HD and 215 healthy comparison (HC) participants for antidepressant use. Descriptive and mixed-effects logistic regression modeling characterized usage across participants. At baseline, approximately one in five prodromal HD participants took antidepressants. Of those, the vast majority took serotonergic antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)). Significantly more prodromal HD participants used serotonergic antidepressants than their HC counterparts. Because of the prevalence of these medications, further analyses focused on this group alone. Mixed-effects logistic regression modeling revealed significant relationships of both closer proximity to diagnosis and female sex with greater likelihood to be prescribed a serotonergic antidepressant. More prodromal HD participants took antidepressants in general and specifically the subclass of serotonergic antidepressants than their at-risk counterparts, particularly when they were closer to predicted time of conversion to manifest HD. These propensities must be considered in studies of prodromal HD participants.
PMCID: PMC3763706  PMID: 22397915
Psychiatric; Antidepressant; Neuroprotection; Clinical trials; SSRI
13.  Earliest functional declines in Huntington disease 
Psychiatry research  2010;178(2):414-418.
We examined the gold standard for Huntington disease (HD) functional assessment, the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS), in a group of at-risk participants not yet diagnosed but who later phenoconverted to manifest HD. We also sought to determine which skill domains first weaken and the clinical correlates of declines. Using the UHDRS Total Functional Capacity (TFC) and Functional Assessment Scale (FAS), we examined participants from Huntington Study Group clinics who were not diagnosed at their baseline visit but were diagnosed at a later visit (N = 265). Occupational decline was the most common with 65.1% (TFC) and 55.6% (FAS) reporting some loss of ability to engage in their typical work. Inability to manage finances independently (TFC 49.2%, FAS 35.1%) and drive safely (FAS 33.5%) were also found. Functional decline was significantly predicted by motor, cognitive, and depressive symptoms. The UHDRS captured early functional losses in individuals with HD prior to formal diagnosis, however, fruitful areas for expanded assessment of early functional changes are performance at work, ability to manage finances, and driving. These are also important areas for clinical monitoring and treatment planning as up to 65% experienced loss in at least one area prior to diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3629818  PMID: 20471695
Neuropsychological assessment; Depression; Daily functioning; Occupation; ADLs (activities of daily living)
14.  CAG repeat expansion in Huntington disease determines age at onset in a fully dominant fashion 
Lee, J.-M. | Ramos, E.M. | Lee, J.-H. | Gillis, T. | Mysore, J.S. | Hayden, M.R. | Warby, S.C. | Morrison, P. | Nance, M. | Ross, C.A. | Margolis, R.L. | Squitieri, F. | Orobello, S. | Di Donato, S. | Gomez-Tortosa, E. | Ayuso, C. | Suchowersky, O. | Trent, R.J.A. | McCusker, E. | Novelletto, A. | Frontali, M. | Jones, R. | Ashizawa, T. | Frank, S. | Saint-Hilaire, M.H. | Hersch, S.M. | Rosas, H.D. | Lucente, D. | Harrison, M.B. | Zanko, A. | Abramson, R.K. | Marder, K. | Sequeiros, J. | Paulsen, J.S. | Landwehrmeyer, G.B. | Myers, R.H. | MacDonald, M.E. | Gusella, J.F. | Durr, Alexandra | Rosenblatt, Adam | Frati, Luigi | Perlman, Susan | Conneally, Patrick M. | Klimek, Mary Lou | Diggin, Melissa | Hadzi, Tiffany | Duckett, Ayana | Ahmed, Anwar | Allen, Paul | Ames, David | Anderson, Christine | Anderson, Karla | Anderson, Karen | Andrews, Thomasin | Ashburner, John | Axelson, Eric | Aylward, Elizabeth | Barker, Roger A. | Barth, Katrin | Barton, Stacey | Baynes, Kathleen | Bea, Alexandra | Beall, Erik | Beg, Mirza Faisal | Beglinger, Leigh J. | Biglan, Kevin | Bjork, Kristine | Blanchard, Steve | Bockholt, Jeremy | Bommu, Sudharshan Reddy | Brossman, Bradley | Burrows, Maggie | Calhoun, Vince | Carlozzi, Noelle | Chesire, Amy | Chiu, Edmond | Chua, Phyllis | Connell, R.J. | Connor, Carmela | Corey-Bloom, Jody | Craufurd, David | Cross, Stephen | Cysique, Lucette | Santos, Rachelle Dar | Davis, Jennifer | Decolongon, Joji | DiPietro, Anna | Doucette, Nicholas | Downing, Nancy | Dudler, Ann | Dunn, Steve | Ecker, Daniel | Epping, Eric A. | Erickson, Diane | Erwin, Cheryl | Evans, Ken | Factor, Stewart A. | Farias, Sarah | Fatas, Marta | Fiedorowicz, Jess | Fullam, Ruth | Furtado, Sarah | Garde, Monica Bascunana | Gehl, Carissa | Geschwind, Michael D. | Goh, Anita | Gooblar, Jon | Goodman, Anna | Griffith, Jane | Groves, Mark | Guttman, Mark | Hamilton, Joanne | Harrington, Deborah | Harris, Greg | Heaton, Robert K. | Helmer, Karl | Henneberry, Machelle | Hershey, Tamara | Herwig, Kelly | Howard, Elizabeth | Hunter, Christine | Jankovic, Joseph | Johnson, Hans | Johnson, Arik | Jones, Kathy | Juhl, Andrew | Kim, Eun Young | Kimble, Mycah | King, Pamela | Klimek, Mary Lou | Klöppel, Stefan | Koenig, Katherine | Komiti, Angela | Kumar, Rajeev | Langbehn, Douglas | Leavitt, Blair | Leserman, Anne | Lim, Kelvin | Lipe, Hillary | Lowe, Mark | Magnotta, Vincent A. | Mallonee, William M. | Mans, Nicole | Marietta, Jacquie | Marshall, Frederick | Martin, Wayne | Mason, Sarah | Matheson, Kirsty | Matson, Wayne | Mazzoni, Pietro | McDowell, William | Miedzybrodzka, Zosia | Miller, Michael | Mills, James | Miracle, Dawn | Montross, Kelsey | Moore, David | Mori, Sasumu | Moser, David J. | Moskowitz, Carol | Newman, Emily | Nopoulos, Peg | Novak, Marianne | O'Rourke, Justin | Oakes, David | Ondo, William | Orth, Michael | Panegyres, Peter | Pease, Karen | Perlman, Susan | Perlmutter, Joel | Peterson, Asa | Phillips, Michael | Pierson, Ron | Potkin, Steve | Preston, Joy | Quaid, Kimberly | Radtke, Dawn | Rae, Daniela | Rao, Stephen | Raymond, Lynn | Reading, Sarah | Ready, Rebecca | Reece, Christine | Reilmann, Ralf | Reynolds, Norm | Richardson, Kylie | Rickards, Hugh | Ro, Eunyoe | Robinson, Robert | Rodnitzky, Robert | Rogers, Ben | Rosenblatt, Adam | Rosser, Elisabeth | Rosser, Anne | Price, Kathy | Price, Kathy | Ryan, Pat | Salmon, David | Samii, Ali | Schumacher, Jamy | Schumacher, Jessica | Sendon, Jose Luis Lópenz | Shear, Paula | Sheinberg, Alanna | Shpritz, Barnett | Siedlecki, Karen | Simpson, Sheila A. | Singer, Adam | Smith, Jim | Smith, Megan | Smith, Glenn | Snyder, Pete | Song, Allen | Sran, Satwinder | Stephan, Klaas | Stober, Janice | Sü?muth, Sigurd | Suter, Greg | Tabrizi, Sarah | Tempkin, Terry | Testa, Claudia | Thompson, Sean | Thomsen, Teri | Thumma, Kelli | Toga, Arthur | Trautmann, Sonja | Tremont, Geoff | Turner, Jessica | Uc, Ergun | Vaccarino, Anthony | van Duijn, Eric | Van Walsem, Marleen | Vik, Stacie | Vonsattel, Jean Paul | Vuletich, Elizabeth | Warner, Tom | Wasserman, Paula | Wassink, Thomas | Waterman, Elijah | Weaver, Kurt | Weir, David | Welsh, Claire | Werling-Witkoske, Chris | Wesson, Melissa | Westervelt, Holly | Weydt, Patrick | Wheelock, Vicki | Williams, Kent | Williams, Janet | Wodarski, Mary | Wojcieszek, Joanne | Wood, Jessica | Wood-Siverio, Cathy | Wu, Shuhua | Yastrubetskaya, Olga | de Yebenes, Justo Garcia | Zhao, Yong Qiang | Zimbelman, Janice | Zschiegner, Roland | Aaserud, Olaf | Abbruzzese, Giovanni | Andrews, Thomasin | Andrich, Jurgin | Antczak, Jakub | Arran, Natalie | Artiga, Maria J. Saiz | Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine | Banaszkiewicz, Krysztof | di Poggio, Monica Bandettini | Bandmann, Oliver | Barbera, Miguel A. | Barker, Roger A. | Barrero, Francisco | Barth, Katrin | Bas, Jordi | Beister, Antoine | Bentivoglio, Anna Rita | Bertini, Elisabetta | Biunno, Ida | Bjørgo, Kathrine | Bjørnevoll, Inga | Bohlen, Stefan | Bonelli, Raphael M. | Bos, Reineke | Bourne, Colin | Bradbury, Alyson | Brockie, Peter | Brown, Felicity | Bruno, Stefania | Bryl, Anna | Buck, Andrea | Burg, Sabrina | Burgunder, Jean-Marc | Burns, Peter | Burrows, Liz | Busquets, Nuria | Busse, Monica | Calopa, Matilde | Carruesco, Gemma T. | Casado, Ana Gonzalez | Catena, Judit López | Chu, Carol | Ciesielska, Anna | Clapton, Jackie | Clayton, Carole | Clenaghan, Catherine | Coelho, Miguel | Connemann, Julia | Craufurd, David | Crooks, Jenny | Cubillo, Patricia Trigo | Cubo, Esther | Curtis, Adrienne | De Michele, Giuseppe | De Nicola, A. | de Souza, Jenny | de Weert, A. Marit | de Yébenes, Justo Garcia | Dekker, M. | Descals, A. Martínez | Di Maio, Luigi | Di Pietro, Anna | Dipple, Heather | Dose, Matthias | Dumas, Eve M. | Dunnett, Stephen | Ecker, Daniel | Elifani, F. | Ellison-Rose, Lynda | Elorza, Marina D. | Eschenbach, Carolin | Evans, Carole | Fairtlough, Helen | Fannemel, Madelein | Fasano, Alfonso | Fenollar, Maria | Ferrandes, Giovanna | Ferreira, Jaoquim J. | Fillingham, Kay | Finisterra, Ana Maria | Fisher, K. | Fletcher, Amy | Foster, Jillian | Foustanos, Isabella | Frech, Fernando A. | Fullam, Robert | Fullham, Ruth | Gago, Miguel | García, RocioGarcía-Ramos | García, Socorro S. | Garrett, Carolina | Gellera, Cinzia | Gill, Paul | Ginestroni, Andrea | Golding, Charlotte | Goodman, Anna | Gørvell, Per | Grant, Janet | Griguoli, A. | Gross, Diana | Guedes, Leonor | BascuñanaGuerra, Monica | Guerra, Maria Rosalia | Guerrero, Rosa | Guia, Dolores B. | Guidubaldi, Arianna | Hallam, Caroline | Hamer, Stephanie | Hammer, Kathrin | Handley, Olivia J. | Harding, Alison | Hasholt, Lis | Hedge, Reikha | Heiberg, Arvid | Heinicke, Walburgis | Held, Christine | Hernanz, Laura Casas | Herranhof, Briggitte | Herrera, Carmen Durán | Hidding, Ute | Hiivola, Heli | Hill, Susan | Hjermind, Lena. E. | Hobson, Emma | Hoffmann, Rainer | Holl, Anna Hödl | Howard, Liz | Hunt, Sarah | Huson, Susan | Ialongo, Tamara | Idiago, Jesus Miguel R. | Illmann, Torsten | Jachinska, Katarzyna | Jacopini, Gioia | Jakobsen, Oda | Jamieson, Stuart | Jamrozik, Zygmunt | Janik, Piotr | Johns, Nicola | Jones, Lesley | Jones, Una | Jurgens, Caroline K. | Kaelin, Alain | Kalbarczyk, Anna | Kershaw, Ann | Khalil, Hanan | Kieni, Janina | Klimberg, Aneta | Koivisto, Susana P. | Koppers, Kerstin | Kosinski, Christoph Michael | Krawczyk, Malgorzata | Kremer, Berry | Krysa, Wioletta | Kwiecinski, Hubert | Lahiri, Nayana | Lambeck, Johann | Lange, Herwig | Laver, Fiona | Leenders, K.L. | Levey, Jamie | Leythaeuser, Gabriele | Lezius, Franziska | Llesoy, Joan Roig | Löhle, Matthias | López, Cristobal Diez-Aja | Lorenza, Fortuna | Loria, Giovanna | Magnet, Markus | Mandich, Paola | Marchese, Roberta | Marcinkowski, Jerzy | Mariotti, Caterina | Mariscal, Natividad | Markova, Ivana | Marquard, Ralf | Martikainen, Kirsti | Martínez, Isabel Haro | Martínez-Descals, Asuncion | Martino, T. | Mason, Sarah | McKenzie, Sue | Mechi, Claudia | Mendes, Tiago | Mestre, Tiago | Middleton, Julia | Milkereit, Eva | Miller, Joanne | Miller, Julie | Minster, Sara | Möller, Jens Carsten | Monza, Daniela | Morales, Blas | Moreau, Laura V. | Moreno, Jose L. López-Sendón | Münchau, Alexander | Murch, Ann | Nielsen, Jørgen E. | Niess, Anke | Nørremølle, Anne | Novak, Marianne | O'Donovan, Kristy | Orth, Michael | Otti, Daniela | Owen, Michael | Padieu, Helene | Paganini, Marco | Painold, Annamaria | Päivärinta, Markku | Partington-Jones, Lucy | Paterski, Laurent | Paterson, Nicole | Patino, Dawn | Patton, Michael | Peinemann, Alexander | Peppa, Nadia | Perea, Maria Fuensanta Noguera | Peterson, Maria | Piacentini, Silvia | Piano, Carla | Càrdenas, Regina Pons i | Prehn, Christian | Price, Kathleen | Probst, Daniela | Quarrell, Oliver | Quiroga, Purificacion Pin | Raab, Tina | Rakowicz, Maryla | Raman, Ashok | Raymond, Lucy | Reilmann, Ralf | Reinante, Gema | Reisinger, Karin | Retterstol, Lars | Ribaï, Pascale | Riballo, Antonio V. | Ribas, Guillermo G. | Richter, Sven | Rickards, Hugh | Rinaldi, Carlo | Rissling, Ida | Ritchie, Stuart | Rivera, Susana Vázquez | Robert, Misericordia Floriach | Roca, Elvira | Romano, Silvia | Romoli, Anna Maria | Roos, Raymond A.C. | Røren, Niini | Rose, Sarah | Rosser, Elisabeth | Rosser, Anne | Rossi, Fabiana | Rothery, Jean | Rudzinska, Monika | Ruíz, Pedro J. García | Ruíz, Belan Garzon | Russo, Cinzia Valeria | Ryglewicz, Danuta | Saft, Carston | Salvatore, Elena | Sánchez, Vicenta | Sando, Sigrid Botne | Šašinková, Pavla | Sass, Christian | Scheibl, Monika | Schiefer, Johannes | Schlangen, Christiane | Schmidt, Simone | Schöggl, Helmut | Schrenk, Caroline | Schüpbach, Michael | Schuierer, Michele | Sebastián, Ana Rojo | Selimbegovic-Turkovic, Amina | Sempolowicz, Justyna | Silva, Mark | Sitek, Emilia | Slawek, Jaroslaw | Snowden, Julie | Soleti, Francesco | Soliveri, Paola | Sollom, Andrea | Soltan, Witold | Sorbi, Sandro | Sorensen, Sven Asger | Spadaro, Maria | Städtler, Michael | Stamm, Christiane | Steiner, Tanja | Stokholm, Jette | Stokke, Bodil | Stopford, Cheryl | Storch, Alexander | Straßburger, Katrin | Stubbe, Lars | Sulek, Anna | Szczudlik, Andrzej | Tabrizi, Sarah | Taylor, Rachel | Terol, Santiago Duran-Sindreu | Thomas, Gareth | Thompson, Jennifer | Thomson, Aileen | Tidswell, Katherine | Torres, Maria M. Antequera | Toscano, Jean | Townhill, Jenny | Trautmann, Sonja | Tucci, Tecla | Tuuha, Katri | Uhrova, Tereza | Valadas, Anabela | van Hout, Monique S.E. | van Oostrom, J.C.H. | van Vugt, Jeroen P.P. | vanm, Walsem Marleen R. | Vandenberghe, Wim | Verellen-Dumoulin, Christine | Vergara, Mar Ruiz | Verstappen, C.C.P. | Verstraelen, Nichola | Viladrich, Celia Mareca | Villanueva, Clara | Wahlström, Jan | Warner, Thomas | Wehus, Raghild | Weindl, Adolf | Werner, Cornelius J. | Westmoreland, Leann | Weydt, Patrick | Wiedemann, Alexandra | Wild, Edward | Wild, Sue | Witjes-Ané, Marie-Noelle | Witkowski, Grzegorz | Wójcik, Magdalena | Wolz, Martin | Wolz, Annett | Wright, Jan | Yardumian, Pam | Yates, Shona | Yudina, Elizaveta | Zaremba, Jacek | Zaugg, Sabine W. | Zdzienicka, Elzbieta | Zielonka, Daniel | Zielonka, Euginiusz | Zinzi, Paola | Zittel, Simone | Zucker, Birgrit | Adams, John | Agarwal, Pinky | Antonijevic, Irina | Beck, Christopher | Chiu, Edmond | Churchyard, Andrew | Colcher, Amy | Corey-Bloom, Jody | Dorsey, Ray | Drazinic, Carolyn | Dubinsky, Richard | Duff, Kevin | Factor, Stewart | Foroud, Tatiana | Furtado, Sarah | Giuliano, Joe | Greenamyre, Timothy | Higgins, Don | Jankovic, Joseph | Jennings, Dana | Kang, Un Jung | Kostyk, Sandra | Kumar, Rajeev | Leavitt, Blair | LeDoux, Mark | Mallonee, William | Marshall, Frederick | Mohlo, Eric | Morgan, John | Oakes, David | Panegyres, Peter | Panisset, Michel | Perlman, Susan | Perlmutter, Joel | Quaid, Kimberly | Raymond, Lynn | Revilla, Fredy | Robertson, Suzanne | Robottom, Bradley | Sanchez-Ramos, Juan | Scott, Burton | Shannon, Kathleen | Shoulson, Ira | Singer, Carlos | Tabbal, Samer | Testa, Claudia | van, Kammen Dan | Vetter, Louise | Walker, Francis | Warner, John | Weiner, illiam | Wheelock, Vicki | Yastrubetskaya, Olga | Barton, Stacey | Broyles, Janice | Clouse, Ronda | Coleman, Allison | Davis, Robert | Decolongon, Joji | DeLaRosa, Jeanene | Deuel, Lisa | Dietrich, Susan | Dubinsky, Hilary | Eaton, Ken | Erickson, Diane | Fitzpatrick, Mary Jane | Frucht, Steven | Gartner, Maureen | Goldstein, Jody | Griffith, Jane | Hickey, Charlyne | Hunt, Victoria | Jaglin, Jeana | Klimek, Mary Lou | Lindsay, Pat | Louis, Elan | Loy, Clemet | Lucarelli, Nancy | Malarick, Keith | Martin, Amanda | McInnis, Robert | Moskowitz, Carol | Muratori, Lisa | Nucifora, Frederick | O'Neill, Christine | Palao, Alicia | Peavy, Guerry | Quesada, Monica | Schmidt, Amy | Segro, Vicki | Sperin, Elaine | Suter, Greg | Tanev, Kalo | Tempkin, Teresa | Thiede, Curtis | Wasserman, Paula | Welsh, Claire | Wesson, Melissa | Zauber, Elizabeth
Neurology  2012;78(10):690-695.
Age at onset of diagnostic motor manifestations in Huntington disease (HD) is strongly correlated with an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat. The length of the normal CAG repeat allele has been reported also to influence age at onset, in interaction with the expanded allele. Due to profound implications for disease mechanism and modification, we tested whether the normal allele, interaction between the expanded and normal alleles, or presence of a second expanded allele affects age at onset of HD motor signs.
We modeled natural log-transformed age at onset as a function of CAG repeat lengths of expanded and normal alleles and their interaction by linear regression.
An apparently significant effect of interaction on age at motor onset among 4,068 subjects was dependent on a single outlier data point. A rigorous statistical analysis with a well-behaved dataset that conformed to the fundamental assumptions of linear regression (e.g., constant variance and normally distributed error) revealed significance only for the expanded CAG repeat, with no effect of the normal CAG repeat. Ten subjects with 2 expanded alleles showed an age at motor onset consistent with the length of the larger expanded allele.
Normal allele CAG length, interaction between expanded and normal alleles, and presence of a second expanded allele do not influence age at onset of motor manifestations, indicating that the rate of HD pathogenesis leading to motor diagnosis is determined by a completely dominant action of the longest expanded allele and as yet unidentified genetic or environmental factors. Neurology® 2012;78:690–695
PMCID: PMC3306163  PMID: 22323755
15.  Practice effects predict cognitive outcome in amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment 
Practice effects on cognitive tests have been shown to further characterize patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI), and may provide predictive information about cognitive change across time. We tested the hypothesis that a loss of practice effects would portend a worse prognosis in aMCI.
Longitudinal, observational design following participants across one year.
Community-based cohort.
Three groups of older adults: 1. cognitively intact (n=57), 2. aMCI with large practice effects across one week (MCI+PE, n=25), and 3. aMCI with minimal practice effects across one week (MCI−PE, n=26).
Neuropsychological tests.
After controlling for age and baseline cognitive differences, the MCI−PE group performed significantly worse than the other groups after one year on measures of immediate memory, delayed memory, language, and overall cognition.
Although these results need to be replicated in larger samples, the loss of short-term practice effects portends a worse prognosis in patients with aMCI.
PMCID: PMC3202689  PMID: 22024617
Mild Cognitive Impairment; practice effects; dementia
16.  The Neuropsychological Course of Acute Delirium in Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Patients 
Although delirium is a common medical comorbidity with altered cognition as its defining feature, few publications have addressed the neuropsychological prodrome, profile, and recovery of patients tested during delirium. We characterize neuropsychological performance in 54 hemapoietic stem cell/bone marrow transplantation (BMT) patients shortly before, during, and after delirium and in BMT patients without delirium and 10 healthy adults. Patients were assessed prospectively before and after transplantation using a brief battery. BMT patients with delirium performed more poorly than comparisons and those without delirium on cross-sectional and trend analyses. Deficits were in expected areas of attention and memory, but also in psychomotor speed and learning. The patients with delirium did not return to normative “average” on any test during observation. Most tests showed a mild decline in the visit before delirium, a sharp decline with delirium onset, and variable performance in the following days. This study adds to the few investigations of neuropsychological performance surrounding delirium and provides targets for monitoring and early detection; Trails A and B, RBANS Coding, and List Recall may be useful for delirium assessment.
PMCID: PMC3104596  PMID: 21183605
Bone marrow transplantation; Cognition; Cancer; Attention; Delirium
17.  Estimating Premorbid Functioning in Huntington's Disease: The Relationship between Disease Progression and the Wide Range Achievement Test Reading Subtest 
The estimation of premorbid abilities is an essential part of a neuropsychological evaluation, especially in neurodegenerative conditions. Although word pronunciation tests are one standard method for estimating the premorbid level, research suggests that these tests may not be valid in neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, the current study sought to examine two estimates of premorbid intellect, the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) Reading subtest and the Barona formula, in 93 patients with mild to moderate Huntington's disease (HD) to determine their utility and to investigate how these measures relate to signs and symptoms of disease progression. In 89% of participants, WRAT estimates were below the Barona estimates. WRAT estimates were related to worsening memory and motor functioning, whereas the Barona estimates had weaker relationships. Neither estimate was related to depression or functional capacity. Irregular word reading tests appear to decline with HD progression, whereas estimation methods based on demographic factors may be more robust but overestimate premorbid functioning.
PMCID: PMC3021970  PMID: 21147861
Huntington's disease; movement disorders; basal ganglia; assessment; dementia
18.  Neurocognitive Signs in Prodromal Huntington Disease 
Neuropsychology  2011;25(1):1-14.
PREDICT-HD is a large-scale international study of people with the Huntington Disease CAG-repeat expansion who are not yet diagnosed with HD. The objective of this study was to determine at what stage in the HD prodrome cognitive differences from CAG-normal controls can be reliably detected.
For each of 738 HD CAG-expanded participants, we computed estimated years to clinical diagnosis and probability of diagnosis in five years, based on age and CAG repeat expansion number (Langbehn, Brinkman, Falush, Paulsen, & Hayden, 2004). We then stratified the sample into groups: “NEAR,” estimated to be ≤ 9 years, “MID,” between 9 and 15 years, and “FAR,” ≥ 15 years. The control sample included 168 CAG-normal participants. Nineteen cognitive tasks were used to assess attention, working memory, psychomotor functions, episodic memory, language, recognition of facial emotion, sensory-perceptual functions, and executive functions.
Compared to the controls, the NEAR group showed significantly poorer performance on nearly all, and the MID group on about half of the cognitive tests (p = 0.05, Cohen’s d Near as large as −1.17, Mid as large as −0.61). One test even revealed significantly poorer performance in the FAR group (Cohen’s d = −0.26). Individual tasks accounted for 0.2% to 9.7% of the variance in estimated proximity to diagnosis. Overall, the cognitive battery accounted for 34% of the variance; in comparison, the UHDRS Motor Score accounted for 11.7%.
Neurocognitive tests are robust clinical indicators of the disease process prior to reaching criteria for motor diagnosis of HD.
PMCID: PMC3017660  PMID: 20919768
cognitive assessment; presymptomatic; neuropsychology; psychomotor; prediagnosis
19.  Smaller intracranial volume in prodromal Huntington's disease: evidence for abnormal neurodevelopment 
Brain  2010;134(1):137-142.
Huntington’s disease is an autosomal dominant brain disease. Although conceptualized as a neurodegenerative disease of the striatum, a growing number of studies challenge this classic concept of Huntington’s disease aetiology. Intracranial volume is the tissue and fluid within the calvarium and is a representation of the maximal brain growth obtained during development. The current study reports intracranial volume obtained from an magnetic resonance imaging brain scan in a sample of subjects (n = 707) who have undergone presymptomatic gene testing. Participants who are gene-expanded but not yet manifesting the disease (prodromal Huntington’s disease) are compared with subjects who are non-gene expanded. The prodromal males had significantly smaller intracranial volume measures with a mean volume that was 4% lower compared with controls. Although the prodromal females had smaller intracranial volume measures compared with their controls, this was not significant. The current findings suggest that mutant huntingtin can cause abnormal development, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of Huntington’s disease.
PMCID: PMC3025719  PMID: 20923788
brain; brain imaging; brain volumes
20.  The RBANS Effort Index: Base rates in geriatric samples 
Applied neuropsychology  2011;18(1):11-17.
The Effort Index (EI) of the RBANS was developed to assist clinicians in discriminating patients who demonstrate good effort from those with poor effort. However, there are concerns that older adults might be unfairly penalized by this index, which uses uncorrected raw scores. Using five independent samples of geriatric patients with a broad range of cognitive functioning (e.g., cognitively intact, nursing home residents, probable Alzheimer’s disease), base rates of failure on the EI were calculated. In cognitively intact and mildly impaired samples, few older individuals were classified as demonstrating poor effort (e.g., 3% in cognitively intact). However, in the more severely impaired geriatric patients, over one third had EI scores that fell above suggested cut-off scores (e.g., 37% in nursing home residents, 33% in probable Alzheimer’s disease). In the cognitively intact sample, older and less educated patients were more likely to have scores suggestive of poor effort. Education effects were observed in 3 of the 4 clinical samples. Overall cognitive functioning was significantly correlated with EI scores, with poorer cognition being associated with greater suspicion of low effort. The current results suggest that age, education, and level of cognitive functioning should be taken into consideration when interpreting EI results and that significant caution is warranted when examining EI scores in elders suspected of having dementia.
PMCID: PMC3074382  PMID: 21390895
symptom validity testing; RBANS; geriatric assessment
21.  Comorbidities of obsessive and compulsive symptoms in Huntington disease 
Although current reports document a high rate of obsessive and compulsive symptoms (O/Cs) in Huntington disease (HD), there have been no studies published that have made an attempt to identify comorbidities of O/Cs in HD. We examined O/Cs in 1,642 individuals with a diagnosis of HD. Of those endorsing significant O/Cs (27.2%), nearly one-quarter reported obtaining treatment for OCD. Individuals with HD and O/Cs were older, had poorer functioning, and a longer duration of illness than those without O/Cs. Individuals with HD and O/Cs endorsed significantly higher psychiatric comorbidities of depression, suicidal ideation, aggression, delusions and hallucinations. Participants with the most severe O/Cs had greater bradykinesia and worse performance on the Stroop task, a measure of executive function. Clinicians should be aware that patients with HD and O/Cs might have a somewhat different clinical picture from those without, and may require a specialized treatment plan.
PMCID: PMC3164360  PMID: 20458194
Huntington disease; obsessive compulsive symptoms; comorbidity; cognition; motor signs; psychopathology
22.  Estimating premorbid IQ in the prodromal phase of a neurodegenerative disease 
The Clinical neuropsychologist  2011;25(5):757-777.
Estimates of premorbid intellect are often used in neuropsychological assessment to make inferences about cognitive decline. To optimize the method of controlling for premorbid intellect in assessments of prodromal neurodegenerative disease, we examined performance on the American National Adult Reading Test (ANART; administered during Years 1 and 3) and the two-subtest version of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI; administered in Years 2 and 4) in an ongoing prospective longitudinal study of 371 participants with prodromal Huntington disease and 51 participants with normal CAG repeats. Although both measures performed similarly, the ANART demonstrated slightly lower variability in performance over a two-year period and had slightly higher test-retest reliability than the WASI.
PMCID: PMC3159182  PMID: 21660882
premorbid IQ; intelligence; neuropsychological assessment; assessment; Huntington disease; prodromal neurodegenerative disease
23.  The Trail Making Test in Prodromal Huntington Disease: Contributions of Disease Progression to Test Performance 
We examined the Trail Making Test (TMT) in a sample of 767 participants with prodromal Huntington disease (prodromal HD) and 217 healthy comparisons to determine the contributions of motor, psychiatric, and cognitive changes to TMT scores. Eight traditional and derived TMT scores were also evaluated for their ability to differentiate prodromal participants closer to estimated age of diagnosis from those farther away and prodromal individuals from healthy comparisons. Results indicate that motor signs only mildly affected part A, and psychiatric symptoms did not affect either part. Tests of perceptual processing, visual scanning, and attention were primarily associated with part A, and executive functioning (response inhibition, set-shifting), processing speed, and working memory were associated with part B. Additionally, TMT scores differentiated between healthy comparisons and prodromal HD individuals as far as 9–15 years before estimated diagnosis. In participants manifesting prodromal motor signs and psychiatric symptoms, the TMT primarily measures cognition and is able to discriminate between groups based on health status and estimated time to diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3159183  PMID: 21302170
Huntington disease; cognition; motor; psychiatric; neurodegenerative
24.  Diagnostic Accuracy of the RBANS in Mild Cognitive Impairment: Limitations on Assessing Milder Impairments 
The Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) has demonstrated adequate sensitivity in detecting cognitive impairment in a number of neuropsychiatric conditions, including Alzheimer's disease. However, its ability to detect milder cognitive deficits in the elderly has not been examined. The current study examined the clinical utility of the RBANS by comparing two groups: Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI; n = 72) and cognitively intact peers (n = 71). Significant differences were observed on the RBANS Total score, 3 of the 5 Indexes, and 6 of the 12 subtests, with individuals with MCI performing worse than the comparison participants. Specificity was very good, but sensitivity ranged from poor to moderate. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for the RBANS Immediate and Delayed Memory Indexes and the Total Scale score were adequate. Although significant differences were observed between groups and the areas under the curves were adequate, the lower sensitivity values of the RBANS suggests that caution should be used when diagnosing conditions such as MCI.
PMCID: PMC2904671  PMID: 20570820
Mild Cognitive Impairment; Diagnostic accuracy; Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status
25.  Predicting cognitive change within domains 
The Clinical neuropsychologist  2010;24(5):779-792.
Standardized regression based (SRB) formulas, a method for predicting cognitive change across time, traditionally use baseline performance on a neuropsychological measure to predict future performance on that same measure. However, there are instances in which the same tests may not be given at follow-up assessments (e.g., lack of continuity of provider, avoiding practice effects). The current study sought to expand this methodology by developing SRBs to predict performance on different tests within the same cognitive domain. Using a sample of 127 non-demented community-dwelling older adults assessed at baseline and after one year, two sets of SRBs were developed: 1. those predicting performance on the same test, and 2. those predicting performance on a different test within the same cognitive domain. The domains examined were learning and memory, processing speed, and language. Across both sets of SRBs, one year scores were significantly predicted by baseline scores, especially for the learning and memory and processing speed measures. Although SRBs developed for the same test were comparable to those developed for different tests within the same domain, less variance was accounted for as tests became less similar. The current results lend preliminary support for additional development of SRBs, both for same- and different-tests, as well as beginning to examine domain-based SRBs.
PMCID: PMC2893275  PMID: 20358479
Predicting cognition; standardized based regression

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