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Cognitive impairment is common in late-life depression, which may increase Alzheimer disease (AD) risk. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether late-life major depressive disorder (MDD) has worse cognition and increases the characteristic AD neuropathology. Furthermore, we carried out a comparison between treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and non-TRD. We hypothesized that patients with late-life depression and TRD may have increased β-amyloid (Aβ) deposits in brain regions responsible for global cognition.
We recruited 81 subjects, including 54 MDD patients (27 TRD and 27 non-TRD) and 27 matched healthy controls (HCs). Neurocognitive tasks were examined, including Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal Cognitive Assessment to detect global cognitive functions. PET with Pittsburgh compound-B and fluorodeoxyglucose were used to capture brain Aβ pathology and glucose use, respectively, in some patients.
MDD patients performed worse in Montreal Cognitive Assessment (p = 0.003) and had more Aβ deposits than HCs across the brain (family-wise error-corrected p < 0.001), with the most significant finding in the left middle frontal gyrus. Significant negative correlations between global cognition and prefrontal Aβ deposits existed in MDD patients, whereas positive correlations were noted in HCs. TRD patients had significantly more deposits in the left-sided brain regions (corrected p < 0.001). The findings were not explained by APOE genotypes. No between-group fluorodeoxyglucose difference was detected.
Late-life depression, particularly TRD, had increased brain Aβ deposits and showed vulnerability to Aβ deposits. A detrimental role of Aβ deposits in global cognition in patients with late-onset or non-late-onset MDD supported the theory that late-life MDD could be a risk factor for AD.
An abnormal central nervous system excitability level was found in patients with migraine. Whether it is hyper- or hypo-excitable is still debated. This study aimed to compare the somatosensory high-frequency oscillations (HFOs), which reflected subcortical excitability (early phase) and intracortical inhibition (late phase), between patients with migraine and control subjects.
HFOs were recorded from C3'-Fz, using a 500-1000 Hz frequency filter after stimulation at right median nerves at the wrists, and divided into early and late phases based on the N20 peak. Fifty-nine untreated patients (n=24 during ictal period; n=35, interictal) and 22 controls finished the study.
In early HFOs, patients both during ictal and interictal periods had higher maximal amplitudes (p =0.039) and area-under-curve (p =0.029) than those of the controls. Regarding the late HFOs, there were no significant differences among these groups.
Our study suggests a hyper-excitable state in the subcortical regions in patients with migraine both during interictal and ictal periods.
Previous studies in western countries have shown that about 30%–50% of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) have a positive family history, whereas the few epidemiological studies on FTLD done in Asia reported much lower frequencies. It is not clear the reason why the frequencies of FTLD with positive family history were lower in Asia. Furthermore, these findings were not from studies focused on family history. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct further studies on the family history of FTLD in Asia. This international multi-center research aims to investigate the family histories in patients with FTLD and related neurodegenerative diseases such as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal syndrome (CBS), and motor neuron diseases in a larger Asian cohort.
Participants were collected from five countries: India, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, and Philippines. All patients were diagnosed with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), semantic dementia (SD), progressive non-fluent aphasia (PA), frontotemporal dementia with motor neuron disease (FTD/MND), PSP, and corticobasal degeneration (CBD) according to international consensus criteria. Family histories of FTLD and related neurodegenerative diseases were investigated in each patient.
Ninety-one patients were included in this study. Forty-two patients were diagnosed to have bvFTD, two patients had FTD/MND, 22 had SD, 15 had PA, one had PA/CBS, five had CBS and four patients had PSP. Family history of any FTLD spectrum disorder was reported in 9.5% in bvFTD patients but in none of the SD or PA.
In contrast to patients of the western countries, few Asian FTLD patients have positive family histories of dementia.
The potential relationship between anaesthesia, surgery and onset of
dementia remains elusive.
To determine whether the risk of dementia increases after surgery with
anaesthesia, and to evaluate possible associations among age, mode of
anaesthesia, type of surgery and risk of dementia.
The study cohort comprised patients aged 50 years and older who were
anaesthetised for the first time since 1995 between 1 January 2004 and 31
December 2007, and a control group of randomly selected patients matched
for age and gender. Patients were followed until 31 December 2010 to
identify the emergence of dementia.
Relative to the control group, patients who underwent anaesthesia and
surgery exhibited an increased risk of dementia (hazard ratio = 1.99) and
a reduced mean interval to dementia diagnosis. The risk of dementia
increased in patients who received intravenous or intramuscular
anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia and general anaesthesia.
The results of our nationwide, population-based study suggest that
patients who undergo anaesthesia and surgery may be at increased risk of
Background: The caregiver burden on foreign paid caregivers (FPCs) is currently not well understood. This study identified predictors and differences in caregiver burden between FPCs and family caregivers who provided care for patients with dementia.
Methods: We recruited 489 patients with dementia (diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition) and used the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) Scale to assess their neuropsychiatric behavioral problems and severity of dementia. All caregivers [FPCs (n = 42) and family caregivers with (n = 42) and without (n = 447) FPCs] completed three questionnaires: the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), the Center for Epidemiological Studies–Depression Scale (CES-D), and caregivers’ knowledge of dementia (KD). To understand caregiver burden, we analyzed the correlations between ZBI and other variables and investigated the differences between family caregivers and FPCs.
Results: NPI and CDR scores were higher among patients assisted by FPCs than among those whose families did not employ FPCs. Burdens were greater among family caregivers assisted by FPCs than among FPCs and family caregivers who were not assisted by FPCs. Family caregivers had greater knowledge of dementia than did FPCs. For family caregivers, CES-D scores (Spearman's r = 0.650; p < 0.01) and patients’ NPI scores (Spearman's r = 0.471; p < 0.01) were correlated with caregiver burden. For FPCs, only CES-D scores (Spearman's r = 0.511; p < 0.01) were correlated with caregiver burden. A linear regression model showed that CES-D scores contributed most to caregiver burden in all groups [β = 0.560 (family caregivers without FPCs), 0.546 (family caregivers with FPCs), and 0.583 (FPCs); p < 0.005].
Conclusion: Both family caregivers and FPCs need emotional support. Adequate treatment to reduce the neuropsychiatric symptoms of patients with dementia might reduce the burden on family caregivers.
Background: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are common in patients with dementia associated with Parkinson's disease (PDD). The relationship between cognition and NPS in PDD has not been well studied.
Methods: Patients diagnosed with PDD were assessed for cognitive function and NPS. The instruments used were the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and semantic verbal fluency according to the recommendation of the Movement Disorder Society Task Force.
Results: We evaluated 127 PDD patients (76 males/51 females; mean age 77 ± 6.3 years). Their mean MMSE score was 17 ± 6.5 and the mean NPI score was 19 ± 20.4. The most prevalent NPI items were anxiety (57.5%), sleep problems (53.5%), and apathy (52.0%). Principal component factor analysis revealed that 12 items formed three factors, namely “mood and psychosis” (delusion, hallucination, agitation, depression, anxiety, apathy, and irritability), “vegetative” (sleep and appetite problems), and “frontal” (euphoria, disinhibition, and aberrant motor behavior). Symptoms of hallucination were significantly associated with MMSE score, even after controlling for the confounding variables.
Conclusion: NPS are common and diverse among patients with PDD. Three specific subgroups of NPS were identified. Hallucination was significantly correlated with cognitive impairment, and could be a predictor of cognition in PDD patients.
Background: The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is an instrument for screening mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This study examined the psychometric properties and the validity of the Taiwan version of the MoCA (MoCA-T) in an elderly outpatient population.
Methods: Participants completed the MoCA-T, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and the Chinese Version Verbal Learning Test. The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) was made based on the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria, and MCI was diagnosed through the criteria proposed by Petersen et al. (2001).
Results: Data were collected from 207 participants (115 males/92 females, mean age: 77.3 ± 7.5 years). Ninety-eight participants were diagnosed with AD, 71 with MCI, and 38 were normal controls. The area under the receiver operator curves (AUC) for predicting AD was 0.98 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.97–1.00) for the MMSE, and 0.99 (95% CI = 0.98–1.00) for the MoCA-T. The AUC for predicting MCI was 0.81 (95% CI = 0.72–0.89) using the MMSE and 0.91 (95% CI = 0.86–1.00) using the MoCA-T. Using an optimal cut-off score of 23/24, the MoCA-T had a sensitivity of 92% and specificity of 78% for MCI. Item response theory analysis indicated that the level of information provided by each subtest of the MoCA-T was consistent. The frontal and language subscales provided higher discriminating power than the other subscales in the detection of MCI.
Conclusion: Compared to the MMSE, the MoCA-T provides better psychometric properties in the detection of MCI. The utility of the MoCA-T is optimal in mild to moderate cognitive dysfunction.
The behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are common and serious problems that affect the quality of life of the patients who experience such symptoms as well as their caregivers (Matsui et al., 2006). BPSD present a major challenge in the medical management of cognitively impaired patients. Our paper entitled “Behavioral disorders and caregivers’ reaction in Taiwanese patients with Alzheimer's disease” (hereafter referred to as the “paper”) (Fuh et al., 2001) has been cited widely, reflecting the importance of these clinical issues and the growing international interest in studies of BPSD.
The Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (RMBPC) is a 24-item caregiver report that measures observable behavioral and memory problems in dementia patients and their caregivers' reaction to these problems. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the applicability of the RMBPC for use in Taiwanese patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The subjects included 76 AD patients (39 men and 37 women, mean age 72.3) and their caregivers (34 men and 42 women, mean age 53.5) who participated in a comprehensive assessment at the Veterans General Hospital-Taipei. The Chinese version of the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument was administered to the patients. Their caregivers rated the RMBPC and the short version of the Geriatric Depression Score (GDS). To assess the test-retest reliability, 30 caregivers rated a second RMBPC 3 days after the first evaluation. The mean score for the frequency rating on the RMBPC was 32.63 (SD = 12.44, range = 5–61) and the mean reaction score was 10.96 (SD = 11.53). The reaction score was significantly correlated with the GDS score (r = .363, p = .001). The Cronbach's alpha coefficients for frequency and reaction scores were .816 and .895 respectively. The test-retest reliabilities of total frequency and reaction scores were significantly correlated; overall correlations were .89 for frequency (p < .001) and .74 for reaction (p < .001). These findings suggest that the RMBPC be recommended as a reliable tool to assess behavioral and memory disturbance in Taiwanese AD patients.
Objectives: To evaluate the applicability of the Chinese version of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Scale (NPI), and to explore the neuropsychiatric manifestations of Taiwanese patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and caregiver distress. Method: The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was administered to 95 patients with AD, and their caregivers were interviewed with the NPI. To assess the test-retest reliability of the Chinese version of the NPI, 86 caregivers underwent a second NPI 3 weeks later. Results: The Cronbach's alpha coefficient of the Chinese version of the NPI was .76. The test-rest reliabilities of frequency, severity, and caregiver burden scores were significantly correlated; overall correlations were .85 for frequency (p < .001), .82 for severity (p < .001), and .79 (p < .001) for distress. Factor analysis was carried out, and three groups, “mood and psychosis,” “psychomotor regulation,” and “social engagement,” were found. Aberrant motor behavior was the most frequently recorded behavior; euphoria was the least. There was no significant correlation between the patient's MMSE and the caregiver distress score, except for aberrant motor activity (r = −.23, p = .03). The symptoms most frequently reported to be severely distressing to caregivers were aberrant motor activity, anxiety, agitation, and delusions. Conclusions: These results indicate that the NPI is a reliable tool to assess behavioral disturbance and caregiver distress in Taiwanese AD patients. These findings also confirm the high prevalence of psychopathology among AD patients and the marked distress produced by many of these behaviors.
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