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Neuropsychological test performance of former American football players

Alosco, Michael L; Barr, William B; Banks, Sarah J; Wethe, Jennifer V; Miller, Justin B; Pulukuri, Surya Vamsi; Culhane, Julia; Tripodis, Yorghos; Adler, Charles H; Balcer, Laura J; Bernick, Charles; Mariani, Megan L; Cantu, Robert C; Dodick, David W; McClean, Michael D; Au, Rhoda; Mez, Jesse; Turner, Robert W; Palmisano, Joseph N; Martin, Brett; Hartlage, Kaitlin; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Reiman, Eric M; Shenton, Martha E; Stern, Robert A
BACKGROUND:Patterns of cognitive impairment in former American football players are uncertain because objective neuropsychological data are lacking. This study characterized the neuropsychological test performance of former college and professional football players. METHODS:One hundred seventy male former football players (n=111 professional, n=59 college; 45-74 years) completed a neuropsychological test battery. Raw scores were converted to T-scores using age, sex, and education-adjusted normative data. A T-score ≤ 35 defined impairment. A domain was impaired if 2+ scores fell in the impaired range except for the language and visuospatial domains due to the limited number of tests. RESULTS:Most football players had subjective cognitive concerns. On testing, rates of impairments were greatest for memory (21.2% two tests impaired), especially for recall of unstructured (44.7%) versus structured verbal stimuli (18.8%); 51.8% had one test impaired. 7.1% evidenced impaired executive functions; however, 20.6% had impaired Trail Making Test B. 12.1% evidenced impairments in the attention, visual scanning, and psychomotor speed domain with frequent impairments on Trail Making Test A (18.8%). Other common impairments were on measures of language (i.e., Multilingual Naming Test [21.2%], Animal Fluency [17.1%]) and working memory (Number Span Backward [14.7%]). Impairments on our tasks of visuospatial functions were infrequent. CONCLUSIONS:In this sample of former football players (most of whom had subjective cognitive concerns), there were diffuse impairments on neuropsychological testing with verbal memory being the most frequently impaired domain.
PMCID:9808953
PMID: 36597138
ISSN: 1758-9193
CID: 5409932

White matter hyperintensities in former American football players

Alosco, Michael L; Tripodis, Yorghos; Baucom, Zachary H; Adler, Charles H; Balcer, Laura J; Bernick, Charles; Mariani, Megan L; Au, Rhoda; Banks, Sarah J; Barr, William B; Wethe, Jennifer V; Cantu, Robert C; Coleman, Michael J; Dodick, David W; McClean, Michael D; McKee, Ann C; Mez, Jesse; Palmisano, Joseph N; Martin, Brett; Hartlage, Kaitlin; Lin, Alexander P; Koerte, Inga K; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Reiman, Eric M; Stern, Robert A; Shenton, Martha E; Bouix, Sylvain
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:The presentation, risk factors, and etiologies of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in people exposed to repetitive head impacts are unknown. We examined the burden and distribution of WMH, and their association with years of play, age of first exposure, and clinical function in former American football players. METHODS:A total of 149 former football players and 53 asymptomatic unexposed participants (all men, 45-74 years) completed fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging, neuropsychological testing, and self-report neuropsychiatric measures. Lesion Segmentation Toolbox estimated WMH. Analyses were performed in the total sample and stratified by age 60. RESULTS:In older but not younger participants, former football players had greater total, frontal, temporal, and parietal log-WMH compared to asymptomatic unexposed men. In older but not younger former football players, greater log-WMH was associated with younger age of first exposure to football and worse executive function. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:In older former football players, WMH may have unique presentations, risk factors, and etiologies. HIGHLIGHTS/CONCLUSIONS:Older but not younger former football players had greater total, frontal, temporal, and parietal lobe white matter hyperintensities (WMH) compared to same-age asymptomatic unexposed men. Younger age of first exposure to football was associated with greater WMH in older but not younger former American football players. In former football players, greater WMH was associated with worse executive function and verbal memory.
PMID: 35996231
ISSN: 1552-5279
CID: 5331552

The memory assessment clinics scale for epilepsy (MAC-E): A brief measure of subjective cognitive complaints in epilepsy

Miller, Margaret; Honomichl, Ryan; Lapin, Brittany; Hogan, Thomas; Thompson, Nicholas; Barr, William B; Friedman, Daniel; Sieg, Erica; Schuele, Stephan; Kurtish, Selin Yagci; Özkara, Cigdem; Lin, Katia; Wiebe, Samuel; Jehi, Lara; Busch, Robyn M
PMID: 33106081
ISSN: 1744-4144
CID: 5287482

Handedness and Cognition in Multiple Sclerosis: Potential Indications for Hemispheric Vulnerability

Miller, Jennifer R; Altaras, Caroline; Zemon, Vance; Barr, William B; Weinberger, Andrea H; Foley, Frederick W
BACKGROUND:Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects over 2.5 million individuals worldwide, yet much of the disease course is unknown. Hemispheric vulnerability in MS may elucidate part of this process but has not yet been studied. The current study assessed neuropsychological functioning as it relates to hemispheric vulnerability in MS. METHODS:Verbal IQ, as measured by verbal comprehension index (VCI), nonverbal IQ, as measured by perceptual reasoning index (PRI) and memory acquisition were compared in right-handed (dextral) and non-right-handed (non-dextral) persons with MS (PwMS). RESULTS:Linear mixed-effects modeling indicated a significant main effect of handedness, F(1, 195.35) = 3.95, p = .048, for a composite measure of VCI, PRI, and memory acquisition, with better performance for dextral PwMS. In examining differences for specific neuropsychological measures, the largest effect size between dextral and non-dextral participants was seen in PRI (d = 0.643), F(1,341) = 12.163, p = .001. No significant interaction effect between handedness and IQ was found, F(3, 525.60) = 0.75, p = .523. CONCLUSIONS:Dextral PwMS perform better than non-dextral PwMS when assessing neuropsychological performance for memory and IQ combined. Results are suggestive of increased vulnerability in the left brain to the pathological process of MS.
PMID: 35284930
ISSN: 1873-5843
CID: 5183752

Cognitive phenotypes in frontal lobe epilepsy

Arrotta, Kayela; Reyes, Anny; Kaestner, Erik; McDonald, Carrie R; Hermann, Bruce P; Barr, William B; Sarmey, Nehaw; Sundar, Swetha; Kondylis, Efstathios; Najm, Imad; Bingaman, William; Busch, Robyn M
OBJECTIVE:Neuropsychological profiles are heterogeneous both across and within epilepsy syndromes, but especially in frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE), which has complex semiology and epileptogenicity. This study aimed to characterize the cognitive heterogeneity within FLE by identifying cognitive phenotypes and determining their demographic and clinical characteristics. METHOD/METHODS:One hundred and six patients (age 16-66; 44% female) with FLE completed comprehensive neuropsychological testing, including measures within five cognitive domains: language, attention, executive function, processing speed, and verbal/visual learning. Patients were categorized into one of four phenotypes based on the number of impaired domains. Patterns of domain impairment and clinical and demographic characteristics were examined across phenotypes. RESULTS:Twenty-five percent of patients met criteria for the Generalized Phenotype (impairment in at least four domains), 20% met criteria for the Tri-Domain Phenotype (impairment in three domains), 36% met criteria for the Domain-Specific Phenotype (impairment in one or two domains), and 19% met criteria for the Intact Phenotype (no impairment). Language was the most common domain-specific impairment, followed by attention, executive function, and processing speed. In contrast, learning was the least impacted cognitive domain. The Generalized Phenotype had fewer years of education compared to the Intact Phenotype, but otherwise, there was no differentiation between phenotypes in demographic and clinical variables. However, qualitative analysis suggested that the Generalized and Tri-Domain Phenotypes had a more widespread area of epileptogenicity, whereas the Intact Phenotype most frequently had seizures limited to the lateral frontal region. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:This study identified four cognitive phenotypes in FLE that were largely indistinguishable in clinical and demographic features, aside from education and extent of epileptogenic zone. These findings enhance our appreciation of the cognitive heterogeneity within FLE and provide additional support for the development and use of cognitive taxonomies in epilepsy.
PMID: 35429174
ISSN: 1528-1167
CID: 5219182

Investigating the association between subjective and objective performance-based cognitive function among former collegiate football players

Bryant, Andrew M; Kerr, Zachary Y; Walton, Samuel R; Barr, William B; Guskiewicz, Kevin M; McCrea, Michael A; Brett, Benjamin L
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:Studies have observed variable associations of prior contact sport participation with subjective and objective measures of cognitive function. This study directly investigated the association between subjective self-report and objective performance-based cognition among former collegiate football players, as well as its relationship to self-reported concussion history. METHODS/UNASSIGNED: = 1.49]) retired from sport 15-years prior were enrolled. Linear regression models examined associations between subjective cognition (Quality of Life in Neurological Disorders Cognitive Functioning-Short Form), and performance on a neuropsychological battery. Domain specific (executive function) metrics of subjective (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult) and objective cognition were also exclusively examined. Associations between self-reported concussion history with subjective and objective measures were tested. Potential influential factors (sleep quality and distress) were included as covariates. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:= .033). CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Reliance on self-reported measures of cognitive functioning alone is insufficient when assessing cognition in former contact sport athletes. Assessment of other factors known to influence subjective cognitive complaints should also be examined in determining the presence of cognitive deficits.
PMID: 35670306
ISSN: 1744-4144
CID: 5283112

Development and application of the International Classification of Cognitive Disorders in Epilepsy (IC-CoDE): Initial results from a multi-center study of adults with temporal lobe epilepsy

McDonald, Carrie R; Busch, Robyn M; Reyes, Anny; Arrotta, Kayela; Barr, William; Block, Cady; Hessen, Erik; Loring, David W; Drane, Daniel L; Hamberger, Marla J; Wilson, Sarah J; Baxendale, Sallie; Hermann, Bruce P
OBJECTIVE:and to assess the ability of the IC-CoDE to produce definable and stable cognitive phenotypes in a large, multi-center temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patient sample. METHOD/METHODS:were derived across samples using the IC-CoDE and compared to distributions of phenotypes reported in existing studies. RESULTS:Impairment rates were highest on tests of language, followed by memory, executive functioning, attention/processing speed, and visuospatial ability. Application of the IC-CoDE using varying operational definitions of impairment (≤ 1.0 and ≤ 1.5 SD) produced cognitive phenotypes with the following distribution: cognitively intact (30%-50%), single-domain (26%-29%), bi-domain (14%-19%), and generalized (10%-22%) impairment. Application of the ≤ 1.5 cutoff produced a distribution of phenotypes that was consistent across cohorts and approximated the distribution produced using data-driven approaches in prior studies. CONCLUSIONS:The IC-CoDE is the first iteration of a classification system for harmonizing cognitive diagnostics in epilepsy research that can be applied across neuropsychological tests and TLE cohorts. This proof-of-principle study in TLE offers a promising path for enhancing research collaborations globally and accelerating scientific discoveries in epilepsy. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
PMID: 35084879
ISSN: 1931-1559
CID: 5171882

Religious conversion in an older male with longstanding epilepsy [Case Report]

Barr, William B; Liu, Anli; Laduke, Casey; Nadkarni, Siddhartha; Devinsky, Orrin
Religious experiences in epilepsy patients have provoked much interest with suggestions that hyperreligiosity is associated with temporal lobe seizures. Extreme varieties of religious behavior may be more frequent in epilepsy patients during ictal activity or during post-ictal psychotic episodes. We report a 75 year-old man with epilepsy who developed a progressive decline in cognition and behavior following a religious conversion 15 years earlier. He subsequently developed religious delusions of increasing severity and symptoms of Capgras syndrome. Brain imaging revealed bilateral posterior cortical atrophy, chronic right parieto-occipital encephalomalacia, and right mesial temporal sclerosis. Electroencephalograms and neuropsychological testing revealed initial right temporal lobe abnormalities followed by progressive frontal and bilateral dysfunction. The case highlights how a history of seizures, superimposed on sensory deprivation and a progressive impairment of right posterior and bilateral anterior brain function, may have contributed to religious conversion, which was followed by dementia and delusions involving religious content.
PMCID:9068733
PMID: 35528136
ISSN: 2589-9864
CID: 5214052

Remote Memory in Epilepsy: Assessment, Impairment, and Implications Regarding Hippocampal Function

Rastogi, Sanya; Meador, Kimford J; Barr, William B; Devinsky, Orrin; Leeman-Markowski, Beth A
Studies of epilepsy patients provide insight into the neuroscience of human memory. Patients with remote memory deficits may learn new information but have difficulty recalling events from years past. The processes underlying remote memory impairment are unclear and likely result from the interaction of multiple factors, including hippocampal dysfunction. The hippocampus likely has a continued role in remote semantic and episodic memory storage over time, and patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) are at particular risk for deficits. Studies have focused on lateralization of remote memory, often with greater impairment in left TLE, which may relate to verbal task demands. Remote memory testing is restricted by methodological limitations. As a result, deficits have been difficult to measure. This review of remote memory focuses on evidence for its underlying neurobiology, theoretical implications for hippocampal function, and methodological difficulties that complicate testing in epilepsy patients.
PMCID:9024073
PMID: 35463127
ISSN: 1664-2295
CID: 5217232

Moving towards a taxonomy of cognitive impairments in epilepsy: application of latent profile analysis to 1178 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy

Reyes, Anny; Hermann, Bruce P; Busch, Robyn M; Drane, Daniel L; Barr, William B; Hamberger, Marla J; Roesch, Scott C; McDonald, Carrie R
In efforts to understand the cognitive heterogeneity within and across epilepsy syndromes, cognitive phenotyping has been proposed as a new taxonomy aimed at developing a harmonized approach to cognitive classification in epilepsy. Data- and clinically driven approaches have been previously used with variability in the phenotypes derived across studies. In our study, we utilize latent profile analysis to test several models of phenotypes in a large multicentre sample of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and evaluate their demographic and clinical profiles. For the first time, we examine the added value of replacing missing data and examine factors that may be contributing to missingness. A sample of 1178 participants met the inclusion criteria for the study, which included a diagnosis of temporal lobe epilepsy and the availability of comprehensive neuropsychological data. Models with two to five classes were examined using latent profile analysis and the optimal model was selected based on fit indices, posterior probabilities and proportion of sample sizes. The models were also examined with imputed data to investigate the impact of missing data on model selection. Based on the fit indices, posterior probability and distinctiveness of the latent classes, a three-class solution was the optimal solution. This three-class solution comprised a group of patients with multidomain impairments, a group with impairments predominantly in language and a group with no impairments. Overall, the multidomain group demonstrated a worse clinical profile and comprised a greater proportion of patients with mesial temporal sclerosis, a longer disease duration and a higher number of anti-seizure medications. The four-class and five-class solutions demonstrated the lowest probabilities of a group membership. Analyses with imputed data demonstrated that the four-class solution was the optimal solution; however, there was a weak agreement between the missing and imputed data sets for the four-Class solutions (κ = 0.288, P < 0.001). This study represents the first to use latent profile analysis to test and compare multiple models of cognitive phenotypes in temporal lobe epilepsy and to determine the impact of missing data on model fit. We found that the three-phenotype model was the most meaningful based on several fit indices and produced phenotypes with unique demographic and clinical profiles. Our findings demonstrate that latent profile analysis is a rigorous method to identify phenotypes in large, heterogeneous epilepsy samples. Furthermore, this study highlights the importance of examining the impact of missing data in phenotyping methods. Our latent profile analysis-derived phenotypes can inform future studies aimed at identifying cognitive phenotypes in other neurological disorders.
PMCID:9692194
PMID: 36447559
ISSN: 2632-1297
CID: 5383582