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Frascati international research criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are controversial; some investigators have argued that Frascati criteria are too liberal, resulting in a high false positive rate. Meyer et al. recommended more conservative revisions to HAND criteria, including exploring other commonly used methodologies for neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in HIV including the global deficit score (GDS). This study compares NCI classifications by Frascati, Meyer, and GDS methods, in relation to neuroimaging markers of brain integrity in HIV.
Two hundred forty-one people living with HIV (PLWH) without current substance use disorder or severe (confounding) comorbid conditions underwent comprehensive neurocognitive testing and brain structural magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Participants were classified using Frascati criteria versus Meyer criteria: concordant unimpaired [Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un)], concordant impaired [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Imp)], or discordant [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un)] which were impaired via Frascati criteria but unimpaired via Meyer criteria. To investigate the GDS versus Meyer criteria, the same groupings were utilized using GDS criteria instead of Frascati criteria.
When examining Frascati versus Meyer criteria, discordant Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter, greater sulcal cerebrospinal fluid volume, and greater evidence of neuroinflammation (i.e., choline) than concordant Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. GDS versus Meyer comparisons indicated that discordant GDS(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter and lower levels of energy metabolism (i.e., creatine) than concordant GDS(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. In both sets of analyses, the discordant group did not differ from the concordant impaired group on any neuroimaging measure.
The Meyer criteria failed to capture a substantial portion of PLWH with brain abnormalities. These findings support continued use of Frascati or GDS criteria to detect HIV-associated CNS dysfunction.
Cognitive tests of inhibitory control show variable results for the differential diagnosis between behavioural variant of Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We compared the diagnostic accuracies of tests of inhibitory control and of a behavioural questionnaire, to distinguish bvFTD from AD.
Three groups of participants were enrolled: 27 bvFTD patients, 25 AD patients, and 24 healthy controls. Groups were matched for gender, education, and socio-economic level. Participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of inhibitory control, including Hayling Test, Stroop, the Five Digits Test (FDT) and the Delay Discounting Task (DDT). Caregivers completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11th version (BIS-11).
bvFTD and AD groups showed no difference in the tasks of inhibitory control, while the caregiver questionnaire revealed that bvFTD patients were significantly more impulsive (BIS-11: bvFTD 76.1+9.5, AD 62.9+13, p < .001).
Neuropsychological tests of inhibitory control failed to distinguish bvFTD from AD. On the contrary, impulsivity caregiver-completed questionnaire provided good distinction between bvFTD and AD. These results highlight the current limits of cognitive measures of inhibitory control for the differential diagnosis between bvFTD and AD, whereas questionnaire information appears more reliable and in line with clinical diagnostics.
While the burden of dementia is increasing in low- and middle-income countries, there is a low rate of diagnosis and paucity of research in these regions. A major challenge to study dementia is the limited availability of standardised diagnostic tools for use in populations with linguistic and educational diversity. The objectives of the study were to develop a standardised and comprehensive neurocognitive test battery to diagnose dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to varied etiologies, across different languages and educational levels in India, to facilitate research efforts in diverse settings.
A multidisciplinary expert group formed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) collaborated towards adapting and validating a neurocognitive test battery, that is, the ICMR Neurocognitive Tool Box (ICMR-NCTB) in five Indian languages (Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam), for illiterates and literates, to standardise diagnosis of dementia and MCI in India.
Following a review of existing international and national efforts at standardising dementia diagnosis, the ICMR-NCTB was developed and adapted to the Indian setting of sociolinguistic diversity. The battery consisted of tests of cognition, behaviour, and functional activities. A uniform protocol for diagnosis of normal cognition, MCI, and dementia due to neurodegenerative diseases and stroke was followed in six centres. A systematic plan for validating the ICMR-NCTB and establishing cut-off values in a diverse multicentric cohort was developed.
A key outcome was the development of a comprehensive diagnostic tool for diagnosis of dementia and MCI due to varied etiologies, in the diverse socio-demographic setting of India.
This study aimed to examine: (1) patient–proxy agreement on executive functioning (EF) of patients with primary brain tumors, (2) the relationships between patient- and proxy-report with performance-based measures of EF, and (3) the potential influence of performance-based measures on the level of agreement.
Meningioma and low-grade glioma patients and their informal caregivers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF-A) 3 months after surgery. The two index scores of the BRIEF-A, Behavioral Regulation and Metacognition, were evaluated. Mean scores of patients and proxies were compared with normative values and with each other. Patient–proxy agreement was evaluated with Lin’s concordance correlation coefficients (CCCs) and Bland–Altman plots. Pearson correlation coefficients between reported EF and performance-based measures of EF were calculated. Multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the potential influence of test performance on differences in dyadic reports.
A total of 47 dyads were included. Patients reported significantly more problems on the Metacognition Index compared to norms, and also in comparison with their proxies. Effect sizes indicated small differences. Moderate to substantial agreement was observed between patients and proxies, with CCCs of 0.57 and 0.61 for Metacognition and Behavioral Regulation, respectively. Correlations between reported EF and test performance ranged between −0.37 and 0.10. Dyadic agreement was not significantly influenced by test performance.
Patient–proxy agreement was found to be moderate. No clear associations were found between reported EF and test performance. Future studies should further explore the existing and new methods to assess everyday EF in brain tumor patients.
Patients with essential tremor exhibit heterogeneous cognitive functioning. Although the majority of patients fall under the broad classification of cognitively “normal,” essential tremor is associated with increased risk for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. It is possible that patterns of cognitive performance within the wide range of normal functioning have predictive utility for mild cognitive impairment or dementia. These cross-sectional analyses sought to determine whether cognitive patterns, or “clusters,” could be identified among individuals with essential tremor diagnosed as cognitively normal. We also determined whether such clusters, if identified, were associated with demographic or clinical characteristics of patients.
Elderly subjects with essential tremor (age >55 years) underwent comprehensive neuropsychological testing. Domain means (memory, executive function, attention, visuospatial abilities, and language) from 148 individuals diagnosed as cognitively normal were partitioned using k-means cluster analysis. Individuals in each cluster were compared according to cognitive functioning (domain means and test scores), demographic factors, and clinical variables.
There were three clusters. Cluster 1 (n = 64) was characterized by comparatively low memory scores (p < .001), Cluster 2 (n = 39) had relatively low attention and visuospatial scores (p < .001), and Cluster 3 (n = 45) exhibited consistently high performance across all domains. Cluster 1 had lower Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores and reported more prescription medication use and lower balance confidence.
Three patterns of cognitive functioning within the normal range were evident and tracked with certain clinical features. Future work will examine the extent to which such patterns predict conversion to mild cognitive impairment and/or dementia.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) have substantial clinical and biological overlap, with cognitive deficits typically observed in the executive and visuospatial domains. However, the neuropsychological profiles of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) associated with these disorders are not well understood.
This systematic review examined existing literature on cognition in MCI due to LB disease (MCI-LB) and PD (PD-MCI) using an electronic search of seven databases (Medline, Embase, Psychinfo, PubMed, ProQuest, Scopus, and ScienceDirect). MCI-LB results were reviewed narratively given the small number of resulting papers (n = 7). Outcome variables from PD-MCI studies (n = 13) were extracted for meta-analysis of standardised mean differences (SMD).
In MCI-LB, executive dysfunction and slowed processing speed were the most prominent impairments, while visuospatial and working memory (WM) functions were also poor. MCI-LB scored significantly lower on verbal memory tests relative to controls, but significantly higher than patients with MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease. Quantitative analysis of studies in PD-MCI showed a similar profile of impairment, with the largest deficits in visuospatial function (Benton Judgement of Line Orientation, SMD g = −2.09), executive function (Trail Making Test B, SMD g = −1.65), verbal ability (Naming Tests, SMD g = −0.140), and WM (Trail Making Test A, SMD g = −1.20). In both MCI-LB and PD-MCI, verbal and visuospatial memory retrieval was impaired, while encoding and storage appeared relatively intact.
The findings of this systematic review indicate similar neuropsychological profiles in the MCI stages of DLB and PDD. Executive impairment may at least partially explain poor performance in other domains.
Language and communication are fundamental to the human experience, and, traditionally, spoken language is studied as an isolated skill. However, before propositional language (i.e., spontaneous, voluntary, novel speech) can be produced, propositional content or ‘ideas’ must be formulated.
This review highlights the role of broader cognitive processes, particularly ‘executive attention’, in the formulation of propositional content (i.e., ‘ideas’) for propositional language production.
Several key lines of evidence converge to suggest that the formulation of ideas for propositional language production draws on executive attentional processes. Larger-scale clinical research has demonstrated a link between attentional processes and language, while detailed case studies of neurological patients have elucidated specific idea formulation mechanisms relating to the generation, selection and sequencing of ideas for expression. Furthermore, executive attentional processes have been implicated in the generation of ideas for propositional language production. Finally, neuroimaging studies suggest that a widely distributed network of brain regions, including parts of the prefrontal and parietal cortices, supports propositional language production.
Theoretically driven experimental research studies investigating mechanisms involved in the formulation of ideas are lacking. We suggest that novel experimental approaches are needed to define the contribution of executive attentional processes to idea formulation, from which comprehensive models of spoken language production can be developed. Clinically, propositional language impairments should be considered in the context of broader executive attentional deficits.
To evaluate the sex differences in cognitive course over 4 years in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI) compared to controls.
Four-year longitudinal cognitive scores of 257 cognitively intact PD, 167 PD-MCI, and 140 controls from the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative were included. Longitudinal scores of men and women, and PD with and without MCI were compared.
Women had better verbal memory, men had better visuospatial function. There was no interaction between sex, diagnostic group, and/or time (4-year follow-up period).
Sex differences in cognitive course in de novo PD are similar to healthy aging. Cognitive decline rates in PD with and without MCI are similar for the first 4 years of PD.