Monday, September 17, 2018

Research Proves My Wife Wrong

For several years, my wife has told me, “You’re getting dumber every day.” She follows it up with something like, “I don’t know if it is the Kennedy’s Disease or what, but…”

Well, researchers have proven her wrong ‘once again’, and I love it. 😊

Nature.Com published in September the results of a study of patients with Spinal Bulbar Muscular Atrophy. Click on the link below to read the entire study.

UnimpairedNeuropsychological Performance and Enhanced Memory Recall in Patients with SBMA:A Large Sample Comparative Study


“Peculiar cognitive profile of patients with SBMA has been described by fragmented literature. Our retrospective study reports the neuropsychological evaluations of a large cohort of patients in order to contribute towards the understanding of this field. We consider 64 neuropsychological evaluations assessing mnesic, linguistic and executive functions collected from 2013 to 2015 in patients attending at Motor Neuron Disease Centre of University of Padova (Italy)…”

“…the aim of the present study is to report the neuropsychological evaluation of a large sample of SMBA patients in order to contribute towards the definition of these patients’ cognitive profile.”

“…administered brief neuropsychological battery aimed to a fast evaluation of short- and long-term memory, linguistic abilities and executive functioning (for details please see methodological section). The tasks’ choice had a clinical finality and was aimed to assess the integrity of the cognitive functions in order to eventually consider hinderances to an adequate communication with the doctor, or that could undermine patients’ compliance in the home management of care…”


Neuropsychological findings - “ANCOVA results showed no statistically significant difference between groups in all the examined test performance, except for the Babcock Story Recall Test score, in which patients performed better than control participants, with no relevant influence of age and education. Education level was instead a statistically significant covariate for all the other measures, while participants’ age was found statistically significant for the TMT B-A and the DSf scores only…”

Discussion – “No frank cognitive impairment was found in our retrospective study on 64 patients with SBMA, as deduced from the scores of patients on neuropsychological tests, compared with those of healthy male subjects. Surprisingly, patients showed better performance on the Prose Memory test score…”

“…This interpretation nicely fits with the phenomenon of the so called somatic mosaicism, characterizing this pathology. It implies that the number of CAG-repeats is not constant in every cell of an individual, but it may vary across tissues, including the cerebral ones; such an instability is typical of other neuromuscular diseases…”

Full Disclosure:  My ‘wonderful’ wife never said those things. She has questioned my intelligence, however, when I do something dumb and end up falling.

A Special Thank you:  Istvan Reinhardt sent me the link to the above study.


  1. I have a few concerns:
    1) Are you sure you want to prove your wife wrong?
    2) A positive answer to #1 could disprove the article.

    Thanks for this finding. It's good to know I'm not loosing my intelligence level.

  2. Jay, a good question. Being right happens so few times these days, I look at this as a small victory for husbands across the globe. :-)


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