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See detailProdromal Markers in Parkinson's Disease: Limitations in Longitudinal Studies and Lessons Learned.
Heinzel, S.; Roeben, B.; Ben-Shlomo, Y. et al

in Frontiers in aging neuroscience (2016), 8

A growing body of evidence supports a prodromal neurodegenerative process preceding the clinical onset of Parkinson's disease (PD). Studies have identified several different prodromal markers that may ... [more ▼]

A growing body of evidence supports a prodromal neurodegenerative process preceding the clinical onset of Parkinson's disease (PD). Studies have identified several different prodromal markers that may have the potential to predict the conversion from healthy to clinical PD but use considerably different approaches. We systematically reviewed 35 longitudinal studies reporting prodromal PD features and evaluated the methodological quality across 10 different predefined domains. We found limitations in the following domains: PD diagnosis (57% of studies), prodromal marker assessments (51%), temporal information on prodromal markers or PD diagnosis (34%), generalizability of results (17%), statistical methods (accounting for at least age as confounder; 17%), study design (14%), and sample size (9%). However, no limitations regarding drop-out (or bias investigation), or report of inclusion/exclusion criteria or prodromal marker associations were revealed. Lessons learned from these limitations and additional aspects of current prodromal marker studies in PD are discussed to provide a basis for the evaluation of findings and the improvement of future research in prodromal PD. The observed heterogeneity of studies, limitations and analyses might be addressed in future longitudinal studies using a, yet to be established, modular minimal set of assessments improving comparability of findings and enabling data sharing and combined analyses across studies. [less ▲]

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See detailAiming for Study Comparability in Parkinson's Disease: Proposal for a Modular Set of Biomarker Assessments to be Used in Longitudinal Studies.
Lerche, S.; Heinzel, S.; Alves, G. W. et al

in Frontiers in aging neuroscience (2016), 8

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See detailMethods in Neuroepidemiology Characterization of European Longitudinal Cohort Studies in Parkinson's Disease - Report of the JPND Working Group BioLoC-PD
Lerche, S.; Liepelt-Scarfone, I.; Alves, G. et al

in Neuroepidemiology (2015), 45(4), 282-297

BACKGROUND: Enormous effort is being put into the identification and characterization of symptoms that may be used as predictive and progression markers in Parkinson's disease (PD). An impressive number ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Enormous effort is being put into the identification and characterization of symptoms that may be used as predictive and progression markers in Parkinson's disease (PD). An impressive number of PD patients and individuals at risk for or in the prodromal stage of PD are currently followed in longitudinal studies; however, there does not exist an overview on the kind of markers evaluated and the assessments used. METHODS: Information on the design, sample size, evaluated markers and assessments of 21 studies of the Joint Programme - Neurodegenerative Disease Research BioLoC-PD working group were collected by questionnaire. The studies were classified into at risk/prodromal or clinical PD cohorts. The assessments were grouped into quantitative assessments, investigator-rated assessments, investigator interviews, patient-rated questionnaires and caregiver-rated questionnaires. RESULTS: Compilation of these data revealed an interesting consensus on evaluated markers, but there was an enormous variability of assessments. Furthermore, there is a remarkable similarity in the markers assessed and evaluation methods applied in the risk/prodromal and clinical PD cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: The inventory of the longitudinal cohorts that are part of the BioLoC-PD consortium reveals that there is a growing consensus on the markers that should be assessed in longitudinal cohort studies in PD. However, controversy still exists on the specific type of assessment. To allow comparison of data and common analyses it will be essential to harmonize scales and assessment outcomes. [less ▲]

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