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The objective of this study was to explore correlates of cognitive functioning of older adults visiting the emergency department (ED) after a minor injury.
These results are derived from a large prospective study in three Canadian EDs. Participants were aged ≥ 65 years and independent in basic activities of daily living, visiting the ED for minor injuries and discharged home within 48 hours (those with known dementia, confusion, and delirium were excluded). They completed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Potential correlates included sociodemographic and injury variables, and measures of psychological and physical health, social support, mobility, falls, and functional status.
Multivariate analyses revealed that male sex, age ≥ 85 years, higher depression scores, slower walking speed, and self-reported memory problems were significantly associated with lower baseline MoCA scores.
These characteristics could help ED professionals identify patients who might need additional cognitive evaluations or follow-ups after their passage through the ED. Obtaining information on these characteristics is potentially feasible in the ED context and could help professionals alter favorably elderly's trajectory of care. Since a significant proportion of elderly patients consulting at an ED have cognitive impairment, the ED is an opportunity to prevent functional and cognitive decline.
Background: Normal aging and dementia are characterized by increased prevalence of sleep disorders and alterations of both sleep continuity and architecture. However, little is still known about the nature of sleep in mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is presumably situated on the continuum from healthy aging to dementia. This unsystematic review summarizes the current literature on the prevalence and severity of sleep disturbances in MCI.
Methods: Eighteen studies addressing sleep/night-time disturbances among other neuropsychiatric symptoms in individuals with MCI were identified through a search of databases and an examination of reference lists of selected papers. Fifteen of those studies reported data on prevalence or severity of sleep/night-time disturbances.
Results: Results indicated that 14–59% of patients with MCI had sleep disturbances. These disturbances were often identified as one of the four most prevalent neuropsychiatric symptoms of MCI and were considered as clinically significant in some studies. In addition, there was some evidence that the prevalence of sleep disturbances in MCI is intermediate between that of normal aging and dementia. Longitudinal data suggest that sleep problems are associated with both incident MCI and dementia.
Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that sleep disturbances are one of the core non-cognitive symptoms of MCI. It remains to be known whether sleep problems could help to identify those individuals with MCI who will eventually develop dementia. Studies characterizing sleep more systematically are needed to verify this proposition and to clarify the associations between sleep disturbances and other neuropsychiatric symptoms of MCI.
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