UK consensus on pre-clinical vascular cognitive impairment functional outcomes assessment : questionnaire and workshop proceedings

McFall, Aisling and Hietamies, Tuuli M and Bernard, Ashton and Aimable, Margaux and Allan, Stuart M and Bath, Philip M and Brezzo, Gaia and Carare, Roxana O and Carswell, Hilary V and Clarkson, Andrew N and Currie, Gillian and Farr, Tracy D and Fowler, Jill H and Good, Mark and Hainsworth, Atticus H and Hall, Catherine and Horsburgh, Karen and Kalaria, Rajesh and Kehoe, Patrick and Lawrence, Catherine and Macleod, Malcolm and McColl, Barry W and McNeilly, Alison and Miller, Alyson A and Miners, Scott and Mok, Vincent and O’Sullivan, Michael and Platt, Bettina and Sena, Emily S and Sharp, Matthew and Strangeward, Patrick and Szymkowiak, Stefan and Touyz, Rhian M and Trueman, Rebecca C and White, Claire and McCabe, Chris and Work, Lorraine M and Quinn, Terence J (2020) UK consensus on pre-clinical vascular cognitive impairment functional outcomes assessment : questionnaire and workshop proceedings. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 40 (7). pp. 1402-1414. ISSN 0271-678X

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      Abstract

      Assessment of outcome in preclinical studies of vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) is heterogenous. Through an ARUK Scottish Network supported questionnaire and workshop (mostly UK-based researchers), we aimed to determine underlying variability and what could be implemented to overcome identified challenges. Twelve UK VCI research centres were identified and invited to complete a questionnaire and attend a one-day workshop. Questionnaire responses demonstrated agreement that outcome assessments in VCI preclinical research vary by group and even those common across groups, may be performed differently. From the workshop, six themes were discussed: issues with preclinical models, reasons for choosing functional assessments, issues in interpretation of functional assessments, describing and reporting functional outcome assessments, sharing resources and expertise, and standardization of outcomes. Eight consensus points emerged demonstrating broadly that the chosen assessment should reflect the deficit being measured, and therefore that one assessment does not suit all models; guidance/standardisation on recording VCI outcome reporting is needed and that uniformity would be aided by a platform to share expertise, material, protocols and procedures thus reducing heterogeneity and so increasing potential for collaboration, comparison and replication. As a result of the workshop, UK wide consensus statements were agreed and future priorities for preclinical research identified.