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1.  Normal Cognitive Aging 
Clinics in geriatric medicine  2013;29(4):737-752.
PMCID: PMC4015335  PMID: 24094294
2.  MRI Volume of the Medial Frontal Cortex Predicts Financial Capacity in Patients with Mild Alzheimer’s Disease 
Brain imaging and behavior  2013;7(3):10.1007/s11682-013-9226-3.
Persons with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have significant deficits in financial abilities. This study examined the relationship between brain structure volumes, cognition, and financial capacity in patients with mild AD. Sixteen mild AD patients and 16 older adult comparisons completed the Financial Capacity Instrument (FCI), a psychometric measure of financial abilities, and also underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain volumes of the bilateral hippocampi, angular gyri, precunei, and medial and dorsolateral frontal cortices. Mild AD patients performed significantly below comparisons on the FCI and had significantly smaller hippocampi. Among mild AD patients, FCI performance was moderately correlated with frontal (medial and dorsolateral frontal cortex) and posterior (angular gyri and precunei) cortical volumes. Stepwise regression demonstrated that medial frontal cortex volume predicted FCI score. The relationship between medial frontal cortex volume and overall FCI score was partially mediated by two measures of simple attention (DRS Attention, DRS Construction). The findings suggest that medial frontal cortex atrophy and associated declines in simple attention play an increasingly important role in declining financial skills in patients with mild AD.
PMCID: PMC3716854  PMID: 23504597
Alzheimer’s disease; financial capacity; magnetic resonance imaging; frontal cortex; precuneus; angular gyrus
This study investigated financial abilities of 154 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (116 Caucasian, 38 African American) using the Financial Capacity Instrument (FCI). In a series of linear regression models, we examined the effect of race on FCI performance and identified preliminary predictor variables that mediated observed racial differences on the FCI. Prior/premorbid abilities were identified. Predictor variables examined in the models included race and other demographic factors (age, education, gender), performance on global cognitive measures (MMSE, DRS-2 Total Score), history of cardiovascular disease (hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia), and a measure of educational achievement (WRAT-3 Arithmetic). African American patients with MCI performed below Caucasian patients with MCI on six of the seven FCI domains examined and on the FCI total score. WRAT-3 Arithmetic emerged as a partial mediator of group differences on the FCI, accounting for 54% of variance. In contrast, performance on global cognitive measures and history of cardiovascular disease only accounted for 14% and 2%, respectively, of the variance. Racial disparities in financial capacity appear to exist among patients with amnestic MCI. Basic academic math skills related to educational opportunity and quality of education account for a substantial proportion of the group difference in financial performance.
PMCID: PMC2992589  PMID: 20625268
Mild Cognitive Impairment; financial capacity; IADL; disability; ethnicity; African American
4.  Normative Performance on an Executive Clock Drawing Task (CLOX) in a Community-Dwelling Sample of Older Adults 
The CLOX is a clock drawing test used to screen for cognitive impairment in older adults, but there is limited normative data for this measure. This study presents normative data for the CLOX derived from a diverse sample of 585 community-dwelling older adults with complete cognitive data at baseline and 4-year follow-up. Participants with evidence of baseline impairment or substantial 4-year decline on the Mini-Mental State Examination were excluded from the normative sample. Spontaneous clock drawing (CLOX1) and copy (CLOX2) performances were stratified by age group and reading ability from the Wide Range Achievement Test, 3rd edition (WRAT-3). Lowest mean CLOX scores were observed for the oldest age group (75+ years old) with the lowest WRAT-3 reading scores. For all groups, average scores were higher for CLOX2 than CLOX1. These normative data may be helpful to clinicians and researchers for interpreting CLOX performance in older adults with diverse levels of reading ability.
PMCID: PMC2957959  PMID: 20601672
Normative data; Clock drawing test; Reading ability; Older adults; Aging
5.  Medical decision-making capacity in patients with malignant glioma 
Neurology  2009;73(24):2086-2092.
Patients with malignant glioma (MG) must make ongoing medical treatment decisions concerning a progressive disease that erodes cognition. We prospectively assessed medical decision-making capacity (MDC) in patients with MG using a standardized psychometric instrument.
Participants were 22 healthy controls and 26 patients with histologically verified MG. Group performance was compared on the Capacity to Consent to Treatment Instrument (CCTI), a psychometric measure of MDC incorporating 4 standards (choice, understanding, reasoning, and appreciation), and on neuropsychological and demographic variables. Capacity outcomes (capable, marginally capable, or incapable) on the CCTI standards were identified for the MG group. Within the MG group, scores on demographic, clinical, and neuropsychological variables were correlated with scores on each CCTI standard, and significant bivariate correlates were subsequently entered into exploratory stepwise regression analyses to identify multivariate cognitive predictors of the CCTI standards.
Patients with MG performed significantly below controls on consent standards of understanding and reasoning, and showed a trend on appreciation. Relative to controls, more than 50% of the patients with MG demonstrated capacity compromise (marginally capable or incapable outcomes) in MDC. In the MG group, cognitive measures of verbal acquisition/recall and, to a lesser extent, semantic fluency predicted performance on the appreciation, reasoning, and understanding standards. Karnofsky score was also associated with CCTI performance.
Soon after diagnosis, patients with malignant glioma (MG) have impaired capacity to make treatment decisions relative to controls. Medical decision-making capacity (MDC) impairment in MG seems to be primarily related to the effects of short-term verbal memory deficits. Ongoing assessment of MDC in patients with MG is strongly recommended.
= antiepileptic drug;
= Beck Depression Inventory;
= Capacity to Consent to Treatment Instrument;
= glioblastoma multiforme;
= Hopkins Verbal Learning Test;
= medical decision-making capacity;
= malignant glioma;
= University of Alabama at Birmingham.
PMCID: PMC2833103  PMID: 20018637
6.  Medical Decision-Making Capacity in Cognitively Impaired Parkinson's Disease Patients Without Dementia 
Little is currently known about the higher order functional skills of patients with Parkinson disease and cognitive impairment. Medical decision-making capacity (MDC) was assessed in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) with cognitive impairment and dementia. Participants were 16 patients with PD and cognitive impairment without dementia (PD-CIND), 16 patients with PD dementia (PDD), and 22 healthy older adults. All participants were administered the Capacity to Consent to Treatment Instrument (CCTI), a standardized capacity instrument assessing MDC under five different consent standards. Parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses were utilized to examine capacity performance on the consent standards. In addition, capacity outcomes (capable, marginally capable, or incapable outcomes) on the standards were identified for the two patient groups. Relative to controls, PD-CIND patients demonstrated significant impairment on the understanding treatment consent standard, clinically the most stringent CCTI standard. Relative to controls and PD-CIND patients, patients with PDD patients were impaired on the three clinical standards of understanding, reasoning, and appreciation. The findings suggest that impairment in decisional capacity is already present in cognitively impaired PD patients without dementia, and increases as these patients develop dementia. Clinicians and researchers should carefully assess decisional capacity in all PD patients with cognitive impairment.
PMCID: PMC2579319  PMID: 18759361
consent capacity; medical decision-making; cognitive impairment without dementia; functional change; Parkinson's disease

Results 1-6 (6)