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Population-based neuropathological studies of dementia: design, methods and areas of investigation – a systematic review

Zaccai, J., Ince, P. and Brayne, C. (2006) Population-based neuropathological studies of dementia: design, methods and areas of investigation – a systematic review. BMC Neurology, 6 (2). ISSN 1471-2377

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Abstract

Background

Prospective population-based neuropathological studies have a special place in dementia research which is under emphasised.

Methods

A systematic review of the methods of population-based neuropathological studies of dementia was carried out. These studies were assessed in relation to their representativeness of underlying populations and the clinical, neuropsychological and neuropathological approaches adopted.

Results

Six studies were found to be true population-based neuropathological studies of dementia in the older people: the Hisayama study (Japan); Vantaa 85+ study (Finland); CC75C study (Cambridge, UK); CFAS (multicentre, UK); Cache County study (Utah, USA); HAAS (Hawaï, USA). These differ in the core characteristics of their populations. The studies used standardised neuropathological methods which facilitate analyses on: clinicopathological associations and confirmation of diagnosis, assessing the validity of hierarchical models of neuropathological lesion burden; investigating the associations between neuropathological burden and risk factors including genetic factors. Examples of findings are given although there is too little overlap in the areas investigated amongst these studies to form the basis of a systematic review of the results.

Conclusion

Clinicopathological studies based on true population samples can provide unique insights in dementia. Individually they are limited in power and scope; together they represent a powerful source to translate findings from laboratory to populations.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2006 Zaccai et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Medicine (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:49
Published Version: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2377/6/2
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1186/1471-2377-6-2
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1078

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