Live Discussion: Nomenclature Discussion
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Live discussion held 14 August 2001, 5 p.m. EST
Participants: Colin Masters, Nico Stanculescu (host), Richard Bowen,
Glenda Bishop, "J.P. Morgan", Mark Smith, George Perry, David Teplow, S.H. Kim,
Steve DeKosky, Ming Chen, Craig Atwood, June Kinoshita
Note: Transcript has been edited for clarity and accuracy.
Colin Masters: I'm now on line. Clear skies in Melbourne...no foggy issues
surrounding amyloid nomenclature. Anyone there?
Nico: Hello there!
Colin Masters: G'dday, who's leading off?
Nico: Hello! I just spoke to the Case group (Smith and Perry) - they're on
their "way" in...
Colin Masters: great
Nico: It must be very early there... almost 7, right?
Colin Masters: Yes, sun not yet up.
Nico: Oh, lord.... time for another sip of coffee then!
Nico: Hello Glenda!
Glenda Bishop: Hello Nico
Nico: We're just waiting another 10 minutes and we should be ready to go....
Glenda Bishop: Nico, I hear from Steve that the conference went well.
Nico: You mean, the one in Cincinnati?
Glenda Bishop: Yes
Nico: Oh, yes, I think it was... the different "flavor" that was good....
the interaction with the audience, the two sides (and more!) to a hypothesis,
Glenda Bishop: I was disappointed not to go. Too expensive for me here in
Nico: So sorry about that, Glenda.... Initially, we also wanted to do a webcast
of it but it was too expensive and we didn't have too many register for that....But
perhaps next time we can have some scholarships for cases like yours.
Glenda Bishop: Hopefully next time won't be an issue. I should be working
in America then
Nico: WOW! That's great!
Glenda Bishop: Hello Colin. It's nice and early here in Melbourne
Msmith: Hi guys
Nico: Hey, Mark!
Nico: Hello Professor Perry!
Glenda Bishop: Hi Mark
J. P. Morgan enters
Nico: Hey Steve! Thanks for coming!
Dekosky: Thanks for having me. The dean was kind enough to cancel a meeting.
Gperry: We should present our opening positions as Colin and Konrad have already
Colin Masters: That would be useful.
Teplow: Hello all!
Colin Masters: Our position was actually a rejoinder to the amyloid committee.
Gperry: As I see it the major issue is one of standardization for indexing,
editing and better conveyance of meaning. I agree the Amyloid nomenclature committee
did not consult with the AD community , but the AD community did not fill the
niche. Colin Masters: My position is that a utilitarian approach will always
win over the impractical.
Msmith: Sorry! Not a computer nerd!
Colin Masters: where did he come from?
Msmith: What did I miss? Is it over and done? We have a standard nomenclature?
Colin Masters: C'mon George, act the statesman.
Gperry: The Amyloid nomenclature was endorsed by the WHO and several journals.
If a new nomenclature is adopted, it must be utilitarian, practical, and represent
a consensus. That is the point of this session.
Colin Masters: I think a consensus has actually emerged
Msmith: Not on Medline!
Teplow: What is the argument? That we, in fact, need a new nomenclature?
Msmith: And that really is the point. We do not need new...just standard to
which everyone adheres (even though it may not be their pet name!).
Gperry: There are currently many terms used even for Abeta.
Colin Masters: And it doesn't include AbetaPP
Teplow: Every article I review I refer the authors to the WHO nomenclature.
Colin Masters: Who uses AbetaPP in any useful way?
Gperry: You served on the committee that recommended AbetaPP.
Msmith: Colin...why is AbetaPP so bad?
Msmith: Whoops…something I said?
Teplow: I did not serve on the committee, but I feel that they did a good
job and that the consistency they bring to the field is worth implementing.
Gperry: The WHO nomenclature is used in less than half the manuscripts I review.
Msmith: Colin was on the WHO committee.
Teplow: If we, as editors and reviewers, work towards the goal of implementing
this standard, we should be successful, eventually.
Gperry: David, I agree in lieu of any other consensus, the WHO seemed on track.
Msmith: David, well said. The goal, I guess, is that once a standard nomenclature
is agreed upon, it must become standard. At present this is clearly not the
case...I blame the journals. Editors must be told that this is the standard…
Teplow: I agree. The problem is to eliminate the egocentric behavior of coining
your own terms in favor of a consistent and logical lexicon.
Gperry: Yes, but it is a major effort for me to standardize words in JAD now
and for the previous 7 years at AJP.
Msmith: But then what do we rename Msmith protein (or its precursor!)
Teplow: George, I wonder if you could provide style sheets, which list nomenclature,
much as JBC does. That is, to the authors.
Msmith: Better yet to all journal editors.
Msmith: Who then enforce authors through style sheets.
Teplow: I like it!
Colin Masters enters
Gperry: At JAD and AJP we adopted the WHO standard, and it appeared in the
instructions. Even then half used divergent terms.
Teplow: How would we implement this strategy?
Colin Masters: I missed something, now back on line. Is there any agreement
on the use of AbetaPP?
Gperry: Go David!!!!!
Msmith: With the advent of electronic manuscript submissions, I think is easier
than you might think...also, if editors insist on this revision then it will
get done...only a small hoop.
Teplow: Could we set up some sort of working group at Neuroscience this year
to implement this strategy?
Msmith: Great idea.
Msmith: Colin, what, in your view, is wrong with the WHO system?
Gperry: Colin, in AJP and JAD we use AbetaPP until a new standard emerges.
Colin Masters: I think the standard is already out there in everyday use.
Msmith: Colin, what is this standard?
Teplow: Colin, I disagree.
Gperry: Colin get real, Abeta, betaA, A4, what is it?
Teplow: Go George!!!
Colin Masters: Abeta for the peptide, APP for the precursor.
Msmith: But that's neither the WHO standard, nor everyone's standard ...and
that's the problem.
Colin Masters: Listen guys, just see what everyone uses.
June: But who is "everyone"?
Colin Masters: Everyone I communicate with.
Teplow: I think a major problem is the fact that only 12 of the converted are
even discussing the issue here.
Gperry: How can a standard use three terms for the same thing?
Colin Masters: Right on, brother.
Dekosky: I agree with Colin that Abeta and APP are the terms most used, in
my experience. George, if people are not using the 'standard' terms even in
journals that require them, it is clear that there is not a standard USE, even
though there may be a Standard (by WHO or WHOever).
Gperry: Yes, David the rest go on using what is convenient, not what links
Colin Masters: It's not a matter of convenience, it's what works.
Richard Bowen: I think Colin has a good idea. Pick certain journals and for
a specified time period see what is the most common usage in the submitted manuscripts.
Msmith: If I can throw a wrench in here...beta is impossible to e-mail or
Richard Bowen: Good point
June: That's a problem for all Greek letters.
Gperry: Steven the point of this session is to lay the groundwork for a standard
usage that all could accept. That should be done?
Colin Masters: Exactly why we tried to avoid it in the beginning, but were
Teplow: I think a survey is irrelevant. The point is that we need a standard
and that the standard needs to be implemented. I advocate our discussing HOW
to implement the standard.
Dekosky: Yes, I was going to comment that people use it even though it is
difficult to use the Greek character and awkward to spell out.
Colin Masters: The JAD can come to its own opinion and publish.
June: What's the problem with the WHO standard?
Msmith: June...it's not standard!
Colin Masters: Too many greek letters. Msmith: Too easy and too rude
Gperry: The problem with only addressing what works is that it does not integrate
our AD work into the amyloidosis field as a whole. A term such as APP forsakes
other amyloids as significant.
Richard Bowen: Have any other fields had the same problem recently and what
have they done?
Msmith: Immunology! A complete disaster...
Colin Masters: Does anyone really like AbetaPP?
Gperry: Not really, but APP is elitist.
Teplow: Colin, I like APP, but I always use ABPP for the reasons I mentioned
June: AbetaPP certainly doesn't trip off the tongue. Is there an alternative
Gperry: Colin, who suggested AbetaPP originally, or is that a secret?
Colin Masters: George, the original idea came as a memorial to the work of
Gperry: Yes Glenner is deserving of honor, but the group should suggest terms
that are workable and speakable. Abeta is difficult in either regard.
Colin Masters: I don't think we can ever get away now from the Abeta usage
June How about beta-APP and beta-amyloid?
Colin Masters: Beta amyloid is fine, but the beta APP is nonsense
Teplow: June, I argue that we should not revisit the entire issue.
Craig: I don't believe that we should be elitist and separate ourselves from
other amyloids. Abeta is only one amyloid after all.
Teplow: No takers on my suggestion to move towards mechanisms of implementation?
Colin Masters: Yes, we should show some leadership here.
Msmith: David...I think the Neuroscience idea is great...but what to recommend?
Teplow: Well, I would volunteer to coordinate a meeting among us, or other
Colin Masters: I'd support that.
Gperry: Great idea David!!!! We could publish the consensus in JAD.
Teplow: George, that's wonderful. Also, as a board member at Amyloid, maybe
I could get Alan to also publish something.
Gperry: Great maybe we could co-publish it.
Colin Masters: As a courtesy, you should probably invite someone from the
Gperry: June we invited several to this session. Only Colin was so kind as
Colin Masters: Hey. I'm not in that club.
June: Well, we can prevail on Dennis Selkoe and John Hardy.
Colin Masters: They're not in that club either.
Gperry: Selkoe and Masters were pictured and named with the group.
Colin Masters: I deny it
Teplow: Maybe all of you that are interested in this working group could email
me and then I could establish a list.
Gperry: Teplow's suggestion of a working group is a good one if augmented with
an analysis of the frequency of use of various terms and most importantly involves
the major opinion makers and Journals.
June: But if you are looking at frequency of use, this suggests you do want
to reopen the question of choosing standard terminology.
Teplow: As I said, this is an important issue to me, and therefore I would
be happy to coordinate the effort in collaboration with you guys.
Gperry: Beta-amyloid is now used much less than Abeta. Colin Masters: We also
need to consider the use of alpha, beta gamma delta and epsilon for the secretase
Teplow: The first question we need to answer is, "What are the important questions?'
June: How about: Can we agree on the WHO standards, or do they need to be changed?
Gperry: The major issue is reaching a consensus on standard terms that can
be universally adopted.
Colin Masters: This needs a face-to-face meeting
Msmith: Over a few beers.
Colin Masters: How about in Stockholm next year?
Msmith: Are all [of you] going to Neuroscience?
Teplow: Prior to this meeting, it would help if a list of issues could be assembled
for discussion. This should be done pre facto so people can come prepared.
Colin Masters: Yes, that would be good
Msmith: Perhaps June could incorporate David's suggestion by way of a online
June: Sure, I can create an online questionnaire. This has to involve a representative
cross section of the community.
Gperry: Prior to a meeting, a list of terms and alternatives might be assembled.
Teplow: I suggest Neuroscience, at least initially. Then, if necessary, our
European colleagues who can't attend could be informed in Sweden next summer.
Gperry: Neuroscience should be the start, but Stockholm should iron out the
Craig: Is the issue about what the AD community wants or what is a standard
for amyloid diseases in general.
Colin Masters: Okay, but some of us can't get to San Diego.
Msmith: And some are not going to Sweden, especially the B club.
Teplow: That's why I'm suggesting some sort of email coordination of the effort.
June: The standards need to work for amyloid diseases in general (and beyond).
Gperry: Question: Should we be concerned about the standardization with the
amyloid community or adopt our own terms?
Craig: Does neuroscience cover all amyloid diseases?
Teplow: By no means.
June: No, Neuroscience does not cover all amyloid diseases.
Gperry: I think Neuroscience only covers AD, prion and amyloids related to
neuropathy, that is unless one also includes tau and synuclein.
June: Maybe we should invite someone from National Library of Medicine. One
reason for standard nomenclature is you need a controlled vocabulary to search
Msmith: Agreed. Okay, so everything pre-medline is out!
June: I can live with that. Colin Masters: Just review the last hundred papers.
Msmith: Colin...even if everyone uses it...is it right?
Craig: Everyone moved from using ICE to caspase.
June: Sometimes these things happen organically. But in the case of APP, problem
is non-AD people use it to mean other things.
June: So, step 1. Can we form a working group, with Dave Teplow as chair?
Gperry: The consensus is to have a meeting, face to face, at Neuroscience
to see where we go from here. Prior to that meeting, facts and a draft document
could be made. David, I would be happy to co-chair this with you.
Teplow: That's great.
Colin Masters: Looks good.
June: I can post the draft documents on the www.alzforum.org site and invite
comments from the community.
Teplow: I think that would be very helpful.
Colin Masters That's okay with me.
Craig: Sounds good, but will it be dominated by AD workers and not other workers
June: Then we should make sure to invite some other amyloidists.
Gperry: As the hour comes to an end I am delighted we now have the framework
to go ahead.
Msmith: Is there an AmyloidForum.Org?
June: Unfortunately, not. But there must be some kind of scientific society
for the study of amyloidoses.
Gperry: We should decide whether all amyloid should be represented.
Msmith: Okay, I for one would be happy to be part of the working group but
must go soon to fix a leaking bathtub!
June: I have to go break up a fight.
Colin Masters: We have enough problems just with AD.
Craig: Not if we did it at an amyloid meeting.
Gperry: Colin you may be correct in us dealing with our problem and then reaching
June: So, George, will you email all of those participating in today's chat,
plus other "stakeholders," and get the ball rolling?
Gperry: Together with Teplow, correct David?
June: And Colin?
Colin Masters: Look forward to hearing from you. We must solve this one way or another.
Gperry: Go Colin!!!!
Craig: I could represent the underrepresented on the working group!!!
Msmith: Great...wrench in hand, I sign off.Shalom!
June: I've got to go throw water on my daughters. Thanks to all for showing
Colin Masters leaves
Gperry: Of course you are in Colin. Should it be a three-way chair?
Gperry: I am too late.
Craig: As always, Perry!
Richard Bowen leaves
Teplow: It looks like things are winding down. Why don't you and I get the
ball rolling George.
Gperry: I also need to leave. I will work with David to get facts to form
the basis of a questionnaire and a draft.
Teplow: Alright, "see" you all later. Cheers!