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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.  Understandings of Basic Genetics in the United States: Results from a National Survey of Black and White Men and Women 
Public Health Genomics  2010;13(7-8):467-476.
Aim
This study examined understandings of basic genetic concepts among Americans.
Method
In a national telephone survey of 1,200 Americans with equal representation among Black and White men and women, subjects responded to 8 items developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts that assessed understanding of basic concepts in multiple domains, including inheritance, genetics and race, and genetics and behavior.
Results
Over 70% of subjects responded correctly on items about the genetic similarity of identical twins and siblings. Less than half of subjects responded correctly on all other items. Understanding of genetics was lowest in three areas: types/locations of genes in the body (29% correct), a genetic basis for race (25% correct), and the influence of single genes on behaviors (24% correct). Logistic regression models controlling for age and education showed some differences by race and gender on specific items but also showed that understandings are generally similar across these groups.
Conclusion
Misunderstandings about genetics are common among Black and White American men and women. Responses appear to reflect personal experiences, group values and interests. These findings emphasize the need for initiatives to improve the public's genetic literacy as well as a need for further investigation in this domain.
doi:10.1159/000293287
PMCID: PMC3025896  PMID: 20203477
Gender; Genetic knowledge; Race; Survey; Understanding
3.  A comprehensive analysis of deletions, multiplications, and copy number variations in PARK2 
Neurology  2010;75(13):1189-1194.
Objectives:
To perform a comprehensive population genetic study of PARK2. PARK2 mutations are associated with juvenile parkinsonism, Alzheimer disease, cancer, leprosy, and diabetes mellitus, yet ironically, there has been no comprehensive study of PARK2 in control subjects; and to resolve controversial association of PARK2 heterozygous mutations with Parkinson disease (PD) in a well-powered study.
Methods:
We studied 1,686 control subjects (mean age 66.1 ± 13.1 years) and 2,091 patients with PD (mean onset age 58.3 ± 12.1 years). We tested for PARK2 deletions/multiplications/copy number variations (CNV) using semiquantitative PCR and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, and validated the mutations by real-time quantitative PCR. Subjects were tested for point mutations previously. Association with PD was tested as PARK2 main effect, and in combination with known PD risk factors: SNCA, MAPT, APOE, smoking, and coffee intake.
Results:
A total of 0.95% of control subjects and 0.86% of patients carried a heterozygous CNV mutation. CNV mutations found in 16 control subjects were all in exons 1–4, sparing exons that encode functionally critical protein domains. Thirteen patients had 2 CNV mutations, 5 had 1 CNV and 1 point mutation, and 18 had 1 CNV mutation. Mutations found in patients spanned exons 2–9. In whites, having 1 CNV was not associated with increased risk (odds ratio 1.05, p = 0.89) or earlier onset of PD (64.7 ± 8.6 heterozygous vs 58.5 ± 11.8 normal).
Conclusions:
This comprehensive population genetic study in control subjects fills the void for a PARK2 reference dataset. There is no compelling evidence for association of heterozygous PARK2 mutations, by themselves or in combination with known risk factors, with PD.
GLOSSARY
= autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism;
= confidence interval;
= copy number variation;
= moving average plots;
= multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification;
= NeuroGenetics Research Consortium;
= odds ratio;
= Parkinson disease.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181f4d832
PMCID: PMC3013490  PMID: 20876472
4.  The role of disease perceptions and results sharing in psychological adaptation after genetic susceptibility testing: the REVEAL Study 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2010;18(12):1296-1301.
This study evaluates the extent to which psychological adaptation (validated measures of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and test-specific distress) after genetic susceptibility testing is influenced by changes in beliefs about Alzheimer's disease (AD) and sharing of test results with others. Adult children of AD patients (N=269) from a randomized clinical trial involving genetic testing for apolipoprotein E (APOE) provided information before, as well as 6 weeks and 12 months after results disclosure. The levels of adaptation varied highly among participants at 12-month assessment. Participants who learned that they were ɛ4 negative (lower risk) had a reduction in perceived risk and concern about developing AD compared with those who learned that they were ɛ4 positive. Those who received results through an extended educational protocol (three in-person visits) had a larger decline in AD concern than those in a condensed protocol (educational brochure and two in-person visits). Increase in AD concern 6 weeks after disclosure was associated with increase in depression scores (b=0.20, P<0.01) and anxiety levels (b=0.20, P<0.01), and higher distress associated with AD genetic testing (b=0.18, P=0.02) 1 year after testing. Increase in perceived risk (b=0.16, P=0.04) was also associated with higher AD genetic testing distress. Sharing the test results with health professionals and friends (but not family) was associated with decrease in depression (b = −0.11, P = 0.05) and anxiety levels (b=−0.16, P<0.01), respectively after a year. Enhancing discussion with regard to risks and concerns about AD during pretesting counseling and obtaining support through sharing the results after testing may help facilitate test recipients' long-term psychological adaptation.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2010.119
PMCID: PMC2988099  PMID: 20664629
susceptibility genetic testing; AD; APOE; results disclosure; communication; risk perceptions
5.  Elevated dietary linoleic acid increases gastric carcinoma cell invasion and metastasis in mice 
British Journal of Cancer  2010;103(8):1182-1191.
Background:
Dietary (n-6)-polyunsaturated fatty acids influence cancer development, but the mechanisms have not been well characterised in gastric carcinoma.
Methods:
We used two in vivo models to investigate the effects of these common dietary components on tumour metastasis. In a model of experimental metastasis, immunocompromised mice were fed diets containing linoleic acid (LA) at 2% (LLA), 8% (HLA) or 12% (VHLA) by weight and inoculated intraperitoneally (i.p.) with human gastric carcinoma cells (OCUM-2MD3). To model spontaneous metastasis, OCUM-2MD3 tumours were grafted onto the stomach walls of mice fed with the different diets. In in vitro assays, we investigated invasion and ERK phosphorylation of OCUM-2MD3 cells in the presence or absence of LA. Finally, we tested whether a cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, indomethacin, could block peritoneal metastasis in vivo.
Results:
Both the HLA and VHLA groups showed increased incidence of tumour nodules (LA: 53% HLA: 89% VHLA: 100% P<0.03); the VHLA group also displayed increased numbers of tumour nodules and higher total volume relative to LLA group in experimental metastasis model. Both liver invasion (78%) and metastasis to the peritoneal cavity (67%) were more frequent in VHLA group compared with the LLA group (22% and 11%, respectively; P<0.03) in spontaneous metastasis model. We also found that the invasive ability of these cells is greatly enhanced when exposed to LA in vitro. Linoleic acid also increased invasion of other scirrhous gastric carcinoma cells, OCUM-12, NUGC3 and MKN-45. Linoleic acid effect on OCUM-2MD3 cells seems to be dependent on phosphorylation of ERK. The data suggest that invasion and phosphorylation of ERK were dependent on COX. Indomethacin decreased the number of tumours and total tumour volume in both LLA and VHLA groups. Finally, COX-1, which is known to be an important enzyme in the generation of bioactive metabolites from dietary fatty acids, appears to be responsible for the increased metastatic behaviour of OCUM-2MD3 cells in the mouse model.
Conclusion:
Dietary LA stimulates invasion and peritoneal metastasis of gastric carcinoma cells through COX-catalysed metabolism and activation of ERK, steps that compose pathway potentially amenable to therapeutic intervention.
doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605881
PMCID: PMC2967057  PMID: 20842125
gastric carcinoma; dietary fatty acid; cyclooxygenase; metastasis; invasion
6.  Returning Individual Research Results: Development of a Cancer Genetics Education and Risk Communication Protocol 
The obligations of researchers to disclose clinically and/or personally significant individual research results are highly debated, but few empirical studies have addressed this topic. We describe the development of a protocol for returning research results to participants at one site of a multicenter study of the genetic epidemiology of melanoma. Protocol development involved numerous challenges: (1) deciding whether genotype results merited disclosure; (2) achieving an appropriate format for communicating results; (3) developing education materials; (4) deciding whether to retest samples for additional laboratory validation; (5) identifying and notifying selected participants; and (6) assessing the impact of disclosure. Our experience suggests potential obstacles depending on researcher resources and the design of the parent study, but offers a process by which researchers can responsibly return individual study results and evaluate the impact of disclosure.
doi:10.1525/jer.2010.5.3.17
PMCID: PMC3159194  PMID: 20831418
genetic testing; cancer; CDKN2A; risk communication; return of research results; protocol development
7.  Estimating and disclosing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease: challenges, controversies and future directions 
Future neurology  2010;5(4):501-517.
With Alzheimer’s disease increasing in prevalence and public awareness, more people are becoming interested in learning their chances of developing this condition. Disclosing Alzheimer’s disease risk has been discouraged because of the limited predictive value of available tests, lack of prevention and treatment options, and concerns regarding potential psychological and social harms. However, challenges to this status quo include the availability of direct-to-consumer health risk information (e.g., genetic susceptibility tests), as well as a growing literature suggesting that people seeking risk information for Alzheimer’s disease through formal education and counseling protocols generally find it useful and do not experience adverse effects. This paper reviews current and potential methods of risk assessment for Alzheimer’s disease, discusses the process and impact of disclosing risk to interested patients and consumers, and considers the practical and ethical challenges in this emerging area. Anticipated future directions are addressed.
doi:10.2217/fnl.10.31
PMCID: PMC2941213  PMID: 20856693
Alzheimer’s disease; genetic testing; risk assessment; risk communication
8.  Meropenem Dosing in Critically Ill Patients with Sepsis Receiving High-Volume Continuous Venovenous Hemofiltration ▿  
Use of high ultrafiltrate flow rates with continuous venovenous hemofiltration (CVVHF) in critically ill patients is an emerging setting, for which there are few data to guide drug dosing. The objectives of this study were, firstly, to investigate the pharmacokinetics of meropenem in critically ill patients with severe sepsis who are receiving high-volume CVVHF with high-volume exchanges (≥4 liters/h); secondly, to determine whether standard dosing regimens (1,000 mg intravenously [i.v.] every 8 h) are sufficient for treatment of less susceptible organisms such as Burkholderia pseudomallei (MIC, 4 mg/liter); and, finally, to compare the clearances observed in this study with data from previous studies using lower-volume exchanges (1 to 2 liters/h). We recruited 10 eligible patients and collected serial pre- and postfilter blood samples and ultrafiltrate and urine samples. A noncompartmental method was used to determine meropenem pharmacokinetics. The cohort had a median age of 56.6 years, a median weight of 70 kg, and a median APACHE II (acute physiology and chronic health evaluation) score of 25. The median (interquartile range) values for meropenem were as follows: terminal elimination half-life, 4.3 h (2.9 to 6.0); terminal volume of distribution, 0.2 liters/kg (0.2 to 0.3); trough concentration, 7.7 mg/liter (6.2 to 12.9); total clearance, 6.0 liters/h (5.2 to 6.2); hemofiltration clearance, 3.5 liters/h (3.4 to 3.9). In comparing the meropenem clearance here with those in previous studies, ultrafiltration flow rate was found to be the parameter that accounted for the differences in clearance of meropenem (R2 = 0.89). In conclusion, high-volume CVVHF causes significant clearance of meropenem, necessitating steady-state doses of 1,000 mg every 8 h to maintain sufficient concentrations to treat less susceptible organisms such as B. pseudomallei.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01582-09
PMCID: PMC2897321  PMID: 20479205
9.  The role of disease perceptions and results sharing in psychological adaptation after genetic susceptibility testing: the REVEAL Study 
This study evaluates the extent to which psychological adaptation (validated measures of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and test-specific distress) after genetic susceptibility testing is influenced by changes in beliefs about Alzheimer's disease (AD) and sharing of test results with others. Adult children of AD patients (N=269) from a randomized clinical trial involving genetic testing for apolipoprotein E (APOE) provided information before, as well as 6 weeks and 12 months after results disclosure. The levels of adaptation varied highly among participants at 12-month assessment. Participants who learned that they were ε4 negative (lower risk) had a reduction in perceived risk and concern about developing AD compared with those who learned that they were ε4 positive. Those who received results through an extended educational protocol (three in-person visits) had a larger decline in AD concern than those in a condensed protocol (educational brochure and two in-person visits). Increase in AD concern 6 weeks after disclosure was associated with increase in depression scores (b=0.20, P<0.01) and anxiety levels (b=0.20, P<0.01), and higher distress associated with AD genetic testing (b=0.18, P=0.02) 1 year after testing. Increase in perceived risk (b=0.16, P=0.04) was also associated with higher AD genetic testing distress. Sharing the test results with health professionals and friends (but not family) was associated with decrease in depression (b= −0.11, P=0.05) and anxiety levels (b= −0.16, P<0.01), respectively after a year. Enhancing discussion with regard to risks and concerns about AD during pretesting counseling and obtaining support through sharing the results after testing may help facilitate test recipients' long-term psychological adaptation.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2010.119
PMCID: PMC2988099  PMID: 20664629
susceptibility genetic testing; AD; APOE; results disclosure; communication; risk perceptions
10.  Effects of enzyme replacement therapy on growth in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type II 
Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II; Hunter syndrome) is an X-linked, recessive, lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of iduronate-2-sulfatase. It has multisystemic involvement, with manifestations in the brain, upper respiratory tract, heart, abdomen, joints and bones. Bone involvement leads to decreased growth velocity and short stature in nearly all patients. A therapeutic option for patients with MPS II is enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with idursulfase (Elaprase®). We compared annual growth rates before and during ERT in 18 patients from Mainz, Germany, and Manchester, UK. Group 1 included nine patients who started ERT before 10 years of age; group 2 contained nine patients aged more than 10 years at the start of ERT. All patients had received weekly or biweekly ERT or placebo for 1 year, followed by ERT for more than 3 years. For patients in group 1, the mean (± SD) height increase was 14.6 ± 5.5 cm during 3 years of ERT. Only one patient in this group (who was below the 3rd percentile when starting ERT) deviated from the normal growth curve over this time. Patients in group 2 had a mean height increase of 8.1 ± 1.7 cm after 3 years of ERT compared with an increase of 1 cm in the year before ERT. ERT seems to have a positive influence on growth in patients with MPS II. Most benefit is seen in patients beginning ERT before the age of 10 years. This supports the recommendation that ERT should be started as early as possible in patients with MPS II.
doi:10.1007/s10545-010-9215-2
PMCID: PMC3026660  PMID: 20978944
11.  Genetic Testing For Alzheimer’s And Long-Term Care Insurance 
Health affairs (Project Hope)  2010;29(1):102-108.
A genetic marker known as apolipoprotein E provides a clear signal of a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and thus that person’s future need for long-term care. People who find that they have the variant of the trait that increases Alzheimer’s disease risk are more likely to purchase long-term care insurance after receiving this information. If the information is widely introduced into the insurance market, coverage rates could be affected in different ways, depending on who possesses that information. Policymakers will eventually need to confront the issue of the use of this and other markers in the pricing of long-term care insurance.
doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0525
PMCID: PMC2931337  PMID: 20048367
12.  “I know what you told me, but this is what I think:” Perceived risk of Alzheimer disease among individuals who accurately recall their genetics-based risk estimate 
Purpose
This study evaluates the Alzheimer disease risk perceptions of individuals who accurately recall their genetics-based Alzheimer disease risk assessment.
Methods
Two hundred forty-six unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with Alzheimer disease were enrolled in a multisite randomized controlled trial examining the effects of communicating APOE genotype and lifetime Alzheimer disease risk information.
Results
Among the 158 participants who accurately recalled their Alzheimer disease risk assessment 6 weeks after risk disclosure, 75 (47.5%) believed their Alzheimer disease risk was more than 5% points different from the Alzheimer disease risk estimate they were given. Within this subgroup, 69.3% believed that their Alzheimer disease risk was higher than what they were told (discordant high), whereas 30.7% believed that their Alzheimer disease risk was lower (discordant low). Participants with a higher baseline risk perception were more likely to have a discordant-high risk perception (P < 0.05). Participants in the discordant-low group were more likely to be APOE ε4 positive (P < 0.05) and to score higher on an Alzheimer disease controllability scale (P < 0.05).
Conclusion
Our results indicate that even among individuals who accurately recall their Alzheimer disease risk assessment, many people do not take communicated risk estimates at face value. Further exploration of this clinically relevant response to risk information is warranted.
doi:10.1097/GIM.0b013e3181cef9e1
PMCID: PMC2921681  PMID: 20139767
risk recall; risk perception; Alzheimer disease; genetic susceptibility testing

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