Reliability of Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale - Cognitive (ADAS-Cog) tool varies widely
Breast cancer patients who receive breast-conserving therapy and radiation do not need a follow-up mammogram until 12 months after radiation, despite current guidelines that recommend follow-up mammograms at between six and 12 months after radiation, according to a November 15 study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of the American Society
Full Post: Mammogram most effective 12 months after radiation
A study published in the November issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Volume 15:3) suggests the reliability of the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale - Cognitive (ADAS-Cog) may vary and possess the ability to affect clinical trial outcomes.
Moreover, this study further suggests that ADAS-Cog rater training and experience are factors that contribute to variances seen in this assessment tool.
The importance of a reliable diagnosis of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is critical as new pharmacotherapies are being developed. The ADAS-cog is considered the gold-standard and the most popular cognitive testing instrument used in clinical trials to detect changes in the core symptoms of AD.
This study critically looks at various factors that might influence the way the ADAS-cog is administered and therefore may lead to and yield unintended outcomes. The study found factors such as rater training, rater education, variance in time allotment during testing as well as rater experience and individual judgment may contribute to variance in scoring when using this assessment.
“Clinical trials for the possible treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are becoming more expansive and being run in many countries. The necessity for the primary outcome instrument to be administered consistently in different countries, cultures and between different clinical trials is critical if we are to determine which treatment works better than others. Any variability in how the instruments are administered can adversely affect the ability to detect positive outcomes,” says Donald Connor PhD, PhD, director of neuropsychology at Banner Health’s Sun Health Research Institute.
Rater experiences were not the only factors that contributed to variances in ADAS-cog scoring. The study also suggested that test materials changed over time including large ranges in the quality of naming materials, word card decks, instruction manuals and worksheets, all factors that can affect outcomes.
“Even as we try to develop better instruments for the detection of meaningful change we must make sure that our current instruments are utilized as effectively as possible,” Dr. Connor says. “As the population continues to age rapidly and new Alzheimer’s medications are being developed, it is critical that all who are involved in clinical evaluation and testing does so with precision and consistency.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should examine whether combined exposures to chemicals known as phthalates could cause adverse health effects in humans, says a new report from the National Research Council. In addition, this analysis, called a cumulative risk assessment, should consider other chemicals that could potentially cause the same health effects as phthalates, instead
Full Post: EPA should assess health risk of phthalates and other chemicals
MRI scans that detect shrinkage in specific regions of the mid-brain attacked by Alzheimer’s disease accurately diagnose the neurodegenerative disease, even before symptoms interfere with daily function, a study by the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) in Miami and Tampa found. The study, reported earlier this month in the journal Neurology, adds to a
Full Post: MRI brain scans provide valuable diagnostic information about Alzheimer’s
Mice that were fed a diet rich in fat, sugar and cholesterol for nine months developed a preliminary stage of the morbid irregularities that form in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The study results, published in a doctoral thesis from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet (KI), give some indications of how this difficult to
Full Post: Diet rich in fat, sugar and cholesterol a potential risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease
Swedish research has found a link between fast food and Alzheimer’s disease. The research by scientists at the Karolinska Institutet has revealed that mice fed a diet of junk food for a nine month period developed the abnormal brain tangles which are seen in the preliminary stages of Alzheimer’s disease - they say a
Full Post: Fast food diet a suspect in Alzheimer’s disease
An estimated five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language and is the most common form of dementia among older people. Its causes have not yet been identified and there is no cure. Risk for Alzheimer’s increases with age. Onset usually occurs after
Full Post: NJISA experts available for interviews on Alzheimer’s disease