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IDENTIFICATION AND TRACKING OF THE EMERGING PRODROMES OF HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE, PARKINSON'S DISEASE, ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, AND VASCULAR DEMENTIA
Jane Paulsen, Ph.D.
Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, University of Iowa,
Iowa City, IA, USA
Prodrome is a symptom or sign indicating the onset of a disease, sometimes referred to as a forewarning, precursor, or premonition. In the past decade, research has suggested that disease can be detected before a formal diagnosis can be made for many of the neurodegenerative disorders. Neuropsychological assessment is emerging as one of the primary tools for the detection and tracking of very early brain disease. As a result, new measures and methods have been developed to provide sensitive ways to detect and then to follow persons not yet diagnosed. This CE Seminar will provide a brief overview of the known prodromes for HD, PD, AD, and VaD. Some of the measures and methods currently being used will be reviewed, such as quantitative motor measures, cognitive science paradigms, functional and structural imaging, vascular functions, as well as cognitive assessments. As a result of participation in this course, the learner will achieve the following objectives: (1) have an understanding of the earliest indicators of neurodegenerative diseases and how to evaluate the comparative utility of the various measures being considered; and (2) be familiar with leading edge translational research techniques for investigating prodromes in preparation for preventative clinical trials.