Saturday, April 12, 2008

I ...... Mac

In tomorrow's New York Times Sunday Magazine:

Total Recall
By GARY MARCUS
Published: April 13, 2008

"How much would you pay to have a small memory chip implanted in your brain if that chip would double the capacity of your short-term memory? Or guarantee that you would never again forget a face or a name?"

[...Read the full article...]

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Current Event: American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Conference, Chicago

The AAN conference takes place this week. Look for some interesting reports of dementia pharmaceutical clinical trials.

Visit the conference website: [Link].

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Neuropsychology Abstract of the Day: Parkinson's Disease and Olfaction

Kranick SM, & Duda JE. Olfactory dysfunction in Parkinson's disease. Neurosignals. 2008; 16(1): 35-40.

Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Prior to the onset of the cardinal motor features of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD), other manifestations of neurodegeneration such as olfactory dysfunction are often apparent. Characterizing these potential biomarkers of preclinical PD is particularly important in identifying individuals who will go on to develop disabling symptoms, and thus be good candidates for new neuroprotective strategies. As shown by the Braak neuropathologic staging of PD, the olfactory system is among the first neuronal populations to display Lewy body pathology. Clinically, loss of smell can be easily tested in the office using several validated techniques and is often helpful to the physician in distinguishing idiopathic PD from other forms of parkinsonism. Recent findings have indicated that a decline in olfaction may be observed in selected at-risk patients, which has significant implications for identifying potential study populations. Ongoing studies of olfactory dysfunction may also reveal potential for use as a medication-independent biomarker of disease progression in addition to use as a biomarker for the diagnosis of PD.

Publication Types: Review

PMID: 18097158 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Neuropsychology Abstract of the Day: Parkinson's Disease

Pagonabarraga J, Kulisevsky J, Llebaria G, García-Sánchez C, Pascual-Sedano B, & Gironell A. Parkinson's disease-cognitive rating scale: A new cognitive scale specific for Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders. 2008 Mar 31 [Epub ahead of print].

Movement Disorders Unit, Neurology Department, Sant Pau Hospital, Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Spain.

Cognitive defects associated with cortical pathology may be a marker of dementia in Parkinson's disease (PD). There is a need to improve the diagnostic criteria of PD dementia (PDD) and to clarify the cognitive impairment patterns associated with PD. Current neuropsychological batteries designed for PD are focused on fronto-subcortical deficits but are not sensitive for cortical dysfunction. We developed a new scale, the Parkinson's Disease-Cognitive Rating Scale (PD-CRS), that was designed to cover the full spectrum of cognitive defects associated with PD. We prospectively studied 92 PD patients [30 cognitively intact (CogInt), 30 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 32 PDD] and 61 matched controls who completed the PD-CRS and neuropsychological tests assessing the cognitive domains included in the PD-CRS. Acceptability, construct validity, reliability, and the discriminative properties of the PD-CRS were examined. The PD-CRS included items assessing fronto-subcortical defects and items assessing cortical dysfunction. Construct validity, test-retest and inter-rater reliability of PD-CRS total scores showed an intraclass correlation coefficient >0.70. The PD-CRS showed an excellent test accuracy to diagnose PDD (sensitivity 94%, specificity 94%). The PD-CRS total scores and confrontation naming item scores-assessing "cortical" dysfunction-independently differentiated PDD from non-demented PD. Alternating verbal fluency and delayed verbal memory independently differentiated the MCI group from both controls and CogInt. The PD-CRS appeared to be a reliable and valid PD-specific battery that accurately diagnosed PDD and detected subtle fronto-subcortical deficits. Performance on the PD-CRS showed that PDD is characterized by the addition of cortical dysfunction upon a predominant and progressive fronto-subcortical impairment. (c) 2008 Movement Disorder Society.

PMID: 18381647 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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