Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My research interest focuses on the epidemiology of Parkinsons disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, specifically evaluating the genetic and environmental contributions to these neurodegenerative disorders. I am also interested in studying the relation of cognition, estradiol exposure (endogenous and exogenous), and genetic factors.
Our research group developed an expanded screening questionnaire for diagnosing restless legs syndrome and evaluated the reliability and validity of this instrument. We found that while the sensitivity of the recommended set of three questions for screening RLS is good (86%), the specificity is poor (45%) when examined in a sample that over-represents subjects with conditions that are commonly misclassified as RLS. We showed that specificity can be improved by including separate questions on cardinal features, as used in our expanded questionnaire, and by including a few questions that identify RLS mimics, thereby reducing false positives.
A copy of the expanded questionnaire can be accessed under "Links" (which can be viewed under the Bio tab). It is a research tool that is being made available “as is” and may be used freely for any purpose under the following terms and conditions:
- No modifications may be made to ensure the validity and reliability of the questionnaire.
-The following acknowledgement should be used in any publication or reproduction:
Popat RA, Van Den Eeden SK, Tanner CM , Kushida C, Rama A, Black J, Bernstein AL, Kasten M, Chade A,Leimpeter A, Cassidy J, McGuire V, Nelson LM. Reliability and validity of two self-administered questionnaires for screening restless legs syndrome in population-based studies. Sleep Medicine 2010; 11(2): 154-160.