Performance on the PD test battery by relatives of patients with progressive supranuclear palsy
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OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there is a greater prevalence of asymptomatic first-degree relatives (FDR) of patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) performing abnormally on the PD test battery (PD Battery) compared to sex- and age-matched normal control (NC) individuals. The PD Battery incorporates tests of motor function, olfaction, and mood. It has high specificity and sensitivity in distinguishing mildly affected PD patients from NC individuals in previous studies. METHODS: This test battery and regression analysis-derived scoring equations were applied to asymptomatic FDR. RESULTS: Twenty-three FDR and 23 NC individuals were tested. Of the FDR, 39% scored in the abnormal range, whereas none of the NC individuals achieved abnormal scores. This difference was significant. Further analysis demonstrated that the two groups differed significantly on a measure of simple reaction time. CONCLUSIONS: The proportion of FDR who demonstrated abnormal performance on the PD Battery was greater than NC individuals. Thus, the PD Battery may detect the asymptomatic carrier state or risk for PSP or a subclinical effect of a shared environmental exposure.
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