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Articles by Walter A. Rocca
Total Records ( 3 ) for Walter A. Rocca
  Sudha Seshadri , Alexa Beiser , Rhoda Au , Philip A. Wolf , Denis A. Evans , Robert S. Wilson , Ronald C. Petersen , Ronald C. Petersen , Walter A. Rocca , Claudia H. Kawas , Maria M. Corrada , Brenda L. Plassman , Kenneth M. Langa and Helena C. Chui
  This article focuses on the effects of operational differences in case ascertainment on estimates of prevalence and incidence of cognitive impairment and/or dementia of the Alzheimer type. Experience and insights are discussed by investigators from the Framingham Heart Study, the East Boston Senior Health Project, the Chicago Health and Aging Project, the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, and the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study. There is a general consensus that the single most important factor determining prevalence estimates of Alzheimer‘s disease (AD) is the severity of cognitive impairment used as a threshold to define cases. Studies that require a level of cognitive impairment in which persons are unable to provide self-care will have much lower estimates than the studies aimed at identifying persons in the earliest stages of AD. There are limited autopsy data from the aforementioned epidemiological studies to address accuracy in the diagnosis of etiological subtype, namely the specification of AD alone or in combination with other types of pathology. However, other community-based cohort studies show that many persons with mild cognitive impairment and also some persons without dementia or mild cognitive impairment meet pathological criteria for AD, thereby suggesting that the number of persons who would benefit from an effective secondary prevention intervention is probably higher than the published prevalence estimates. Improved accuracy in the clinical diagnosis of AD is anticipated with the addition of molecular and structural biomarkers in the next generation of epidemiological studies.
  David S. Knopman , Ronald C. Petersen , Walter A. Rocca , Eric B. Larson and Mary Ganguli
  Passive surveillance for disease is a public health approach that relies on documentation available within existing health records for the region or community being studied. Its two primary advantages over active case-finding are the lower cost of research and the lower burden on the population under study. The effectiveness of passive case-finding depends on the comprehensiveness of the healthcare coverage in a given community and the adequacy of the available medical records. The Rochester Epidemiology Project has permitted dementia case detection for Olmsted County, Minnesota, using a medical records-linkage system. These data were compared with case ascertainment using direct assessment of individuals in an epidemiological study of the same community. At the Group Health Research Institute, investigators compared dementia and Alzheimer‘s disease cases detected using an electronic medical record database search with those identified by a parallel active case-finding study. In this article, the advantages and disadvantages of passive case-finding were discussed, and the following conclusion was drawn: the purpose of the study being conducted should determine the case-finding approach that is to be used.
  Walter A. Rocca , Ronald C. Petersen , David S. Knopman , Liesi E. Hebert , Denis A. Evans , Kathleen S. Hall , Sujuan Gao , Frederick W. Unverzagt , Kenneth M. Langa , Eric B. Larson and Lon R. White
  Declines in heart disease and stroke mortality rates are conventionally attributed to reductions in cigarette smoking, recognition and treatment of hypertension and diabetes, effective medications to improve serum lipid levels and to reduce clot formation, and general lifestyle improvements. Recent evidence implicates these and other cerebrovascular factors in the development of a substantial proportion of dementia cases. Analyses were undertaken to determine whether corresponding declines in age-specific prevalence and incidence rates for dementia and cognitive impairment have occurred in recent years. Data spanning 1 or 2 decades were examined from community-based epidemiological studies in Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana, and from the Health and Retirement Study, which is a national survey. Although some decline was observed in the Minnesota cohort, no statistically significant trends were apparent in the community studies. A significant reduction in cognitive impairment measured by neuropsychological testing was identified in the national survey. Cautious optimism appears justified.
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