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The concept of transition is often used in health and lifecourse research to understand a significant movement from one state or place to another. While people with dementia experience more major transitions than their peers, they are often excluded from transitional care research. This study set out to develop meaningful transitional supports for people with dementia and complex support needs who were undertaking a significant planned geographical transition from their current residential aged care facility to a new purpose-built facility. Using the language of complex support needs acknowledges that participants in this study have a breadth and depth of need, including cognitive, physical, psycho-social and communication impairments and social and cultural disadvantage associated with ageing, institutionalisation and social isolation. To support their move, Participatory Action Research was used to support the co-creation of transitional objects (personalised scarves and blankets) with 15 people with dementia, their families and care staff. Whilst these objects were useful in supporting transition, it was not in the way we imagined. Whilst our initial focus had been on supporting a significant geographical transition, rather it was four types of micro transitions in which the transitional objects were used: small physical transitions (from one place to another); social transitions (entering or exiting personal interactions); activity transitions (moving between activities); and time travel (moving between different times). Reimagining transitions from the perspective of people with dementia and complex support needs involves the recognition of the need for supports for micro as well as macro transitions. Personalised objects to support these everyday micro transitions have the potential to make the lives of people with dementia and complex support needs more manageable, meaningful and comprehensible. Reimagining transitions in dementia in this way helps us reimagine dementia itself, as a constantly fluid, dynamic and responsive series of moments which also has implications for the re-imagination of dementia care.
Language can shape and reinforce attitudes and stereotypes about living with dementia. This can happen through use of metaphors. However, common metaphors may not capture the complexity of experience of dementia from the perspective of the individual person or a family carer. This paper presents an alternative metaphor – that of a theatre production – based on the strategies used by carers to support people with dementia to live well in the community. We conducted face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 12 family members caring for someone with dementia in the community in Queensland, Australia. Our aim was to explore the strategies these carers used to provide support. Interview recordings were fully transcribed and thematically analysed. We identified positive care-giving strategies that described multiple roles that carers fulfilled as they felt increasingly responsible for day-to-day decision making. Family carers explained how they supported the person with dementia to remain a central character in their life and continued to support the person to be themselves. To achieve this, family carers embodied roles that we identified as similar to roles in a theatre production: director, stage manager, supporting cast, scriptwriter, and costume designer and wardrobe manager. Our metaphor of a theatre production offers a fresh perspective to explore the experience of informal care-giving in the context of dementia.
Diagnosis of prodromal Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease dementia in people with Down syndrome is a major challenge. The Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders of Older People with Down's Syndrome and Others with Intellectual Disabilities (CAMDEX-DS) has been validated for diagnosing prodromal Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease dementia, but the diagnostic process lacks guidance.
To derive CAMDEX-DS informant interview threshold scores to enable accurate diagnosis of prodromal Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease dementia in adults with Down syndrome.
Psychiatrists classified participants with Down syndrome into no dementia, prodromal Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease dementia groups. Receiver operating characteristic analyses assessed the diagnostic accuracy of CAMDEX-DS informant interview-derived scores. Spearman partial correlations investigated associations between CAMDEX-DS scores, regional Aβ binding (positron emission tomography) and regional cortical thickness (magnetic resonance imaging).
Diagnostic performance of CAMDEX-DS total scores were high for Alzheimer's disease dementia (area under the curve (AUC), 0.998; 95% CI 0.953–0.999) and prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AUC = 0.954; 95% CI 0.887–0.982) when compared with healthy adults with Down syndrome. When compared with those with mental health conditions but no Alzheimer's disease, CAMDEX-DS Section B scores, denoting memory and orientation ability, accurately diagnosed Alzheimer's disease dementia (AUC = 0.958; 95% CI 0.892–0.984), but were unable to diagnose prodromal Alzheimer's disease. CAMDEX-DS total scores exhibited moderate correlations with cortical Aβ (r ~ 0.4 to 0.6, P ≤ 0.05) and thickness (r ~ −0.4 to −0.44, P ≤ 0.05) in specific regions.
CAMDEX-DS total score accurately diagnoses Alzheimer's disease dementia and prodromal Alzheimer's disease in healthy adults with Down syndrome.
This study aimed to apply the generalizability theory (G-theory) to investigate dynamic and enduring patterns of subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), and reliability of two widely used SCC assessment tools.
G-theory was applied to assessment scales using longitudinal measurement design with five assessments spanning 10 years of follow-up.
Community-dwelling older adults aged 70–90 years and their informants, living in Sydney, Australia, participated in the longitudinal Sydney Memory and Ageing Study.
The sample included 232 participants aged 70 years and older, and 232 associated informants. Participants were predominantly White Europeans (97.8%). The sample of informants included 76 males (32.8%), 153 females (65.9%), and their age ranged from 27 to 86 years, with a mean age of 61.3 years (SD = 14.38).
The Memory Complaint Questionnaire (MAC-Q) and the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE).
The IQCODE demonstrated strong reliability in measuring enduring patterns of SCC with G = 0.86. Marginally acceptable reliability of the 6-item MAC-Q (G = 0.77–0.80) was optimized by removing one item resulting in G = 0.80–0.81. Most items of both assessments were measuring enduring SCC with exception of one dynamic MAC-Q item. The IQCODE significantly predicted global cognition scores and risk of dementia incident across all occasions, while MAC-Q scores were only significant predictors on some occasions.
While both informants’ (IQCODE) and self-reported (MAC-Q) SCC scores were generalizable across sample population and occasions, self-reported (MAC-Q) scores may be less accurate in predicting cognitive ability and diagnosis of each individual.
Due to the unpredictable dementia trajectory, it is challenging to recognize illness progression and the appropriateness of a palliative approach. Further confusion occurs during hospitalization where the presence of comorbid conditions complicates prognostication. This research examined clinicians and families' perceptions of dementia as a terminal condition in relation to end-of-life admissions.
The study was based in the General Medicine units of one Australian public hospital. Medical, nursing, and social work clinicians were recruited to reflect multidisciplinary perspectives. Bereaved caregivers of deceased patients with dementia were interviewed 3 months following death.
Qualitative research underpinned by a social constructionist epistemology and framed through complex systems theory. Semi-structured interviews generated data that illuminated perceptions of deterioration observed toward the end of life.
Although participants anticipated general cognitive and physical deterioration associated with dementia, the emergence of comorbid illness made it difficult to predict the onset of the end of life. During a hospital admission, clinicians attributed the end of life to the advanced outcomes of dementia, whereas families described new medical crises. End-of-life admissions illuminated intersections between dementia and comorbidities rather than illness progression. In contrast with the perception that people with dementia lose awareness at the end of life, families drew attention to evidence that their loved one was present during the dying phase.
Significance of results
Our findings challenge the dominant understanding of dementia trajectories. Bifurcations between clinicians and families' views demonstrate the difficulties in recognizing end-of-life transitions. Implications for the integration of palliative care are considered.
The management of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in patients with dementia is a major challenge. Since no effective therapy has been found to date and drug treatments are associatedwith significant side effects, there seems to be a pressing need for alternative non-pharmacological interventions.
The current study aims to investigate and compare the effect of different types of physical exercise on the NPS.
A systematic review of the literature was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. Five databases (SCOPUS, PubMed, SPORT Discus, Web of science and ScienceDirect) were searched using the appropriate algorithm. What was sought out was randomized control trials (RCTs) that applied physical activity interventions with specific characteristics (type, frequency, intensity, and duration) in patients with dementia or mild cognitive impairment, studied the effect of exercise on their NPS and compared this effect with a control group that did not follow an exercise program.
From 512 articles, 13 studies were included in this review, involving a total of 1,925 patients. The results were analyzed and synthesized according to the type of exercise applied – aerobic exercise, multidimensional interventions and muscular strength training programs. In particular, the results showed that repetitive aerobic exercise three to five times a week had a positive effect on NPS, whereas multidimensional interventions combining different types of exercise did not appear to be as effective. Strength training programs have been found to significantly reduce depression symptoms and behavioral problems in demented patients with mobility problems.
There is clear evidence that physical activity and especially aerobic exercise may be effective in the management of NPS. However, it is necessary to apply specific practical recommendations and specially designed programs to incorporate physical exercise into the daily routine of these patients.
In diagnosing dementia, estimating premorbid functioning is critical for accurate detection of the presence and severity of cognitive decline. However, which assessments of premorbid intelligence are most suitable for use in clinical practice is not well established. Here, we systematically evaluate the validity of instruments for measuring premorbid intelligence in people living with dementia.
Design and setting:
In this systematic review, electronic databases (EMBASE, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and AMED) were searched to identify studies reporting on objective measures of premorbid intelligence in dementia. Participants from included studies were recruited from local communities and clinical settings.
A total of 1082 patients with dementia and 2587 healthy controls were included in the review.
The literature search resulted in 13 eligible studies describing 19 different instruments. The majority of instruments (n = 14) consisted of language-based measures, with versions of the National Adult Reading Test (NART) being most commonly investigated.
Preliminary evidence suggested comparable performance of patients with mild dementia and healthy controls on word reading tasks in English, Portuguese, Swedish, and Japanese. In moderate dementia, however, the performance was significantly impaired on most verbal tasks. There was a lack of reliability and validity testing of available instruments, with only one of the included studies reporting psychometric properties within the patient group.
The results demonstrate that there is a wide range of tools available for estimating premorbid intelligence in dementia, with cautious support for the potential of word reading tasks across different languages in individuals with mild dementia. However, the review highlights the urgent need for extensive assessments of the psychometric properties of these tasks in dementia. We propose that further longitudinal research and assessments of nonverbal measures are necessary to validate these instruments and enhance diagnostic procedures for people living with dementia worldwide.
To compare the prevalence of select cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) versus lifetime history of major depression disorder (MDD) and a normal comparison group using baseline data from the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia with Cognitive Remediation plus Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (PACt-MD) study.
Baseline data from a multi-centered intervention study of older adults with MCI, history of MDD, or combined MCI and history of MDD (PACt-MD) were analyzed.
Community-based multi-centered study based in Toronto across 5 academic sites.
Older adults with MCI, history of MDD, or combined MCI and history of MDD and healthy controls.
We examined the baseline distribution of smoking, hypertension and diabetes in three groups of participants aged 60+ years in the PACt-MD cohort study: MCI (n = 278), MDD (n = 95), and healthy older controls (n = 81). Generalized linear models were fitted to study the effect of CVRFs on MCI and MDD as well as neuropsychological composite scores.
A higher odds of hypertension among the MCI cohort compared to healthy controls (p < .05) was noted in unadjusted analysis. Statistical significance level was lost on adjusting for age, sex and education (p > .05). A history of hypertension was associated with lower performance in composite executive function (p < .05) and overall composite neuropsychological test score (p < .05) among a pooled cohort with MCI or MDD.
This study reinforces the importance of treating modifiable CVRFs, specifically hypertension, as a means of mitigating cognitive decline in patients with at-risk cognitive conditions.
This study compared dementia knowledge between older Chinese adults in Melbourne, Australia, and Beijing, China, and explored factors associated with dementia knowledge between these two groups. Ultimately, this study aimed to inform the development of tailored dementia education programs for older Chinese adults.
A cross-sectional design was employed in this study.
Participants were recruited from 5 Chinese community senior groups in Melbourne and 10 community health centers in Beijing from March to May 2019.
A total of 379 older Chinese adults aged 50 and over completed the questionnaire, including 153 from Melbourne and 226 from Beijing.
Dementia knowledge was assessed using the Alzheimer’s Disease Knowledge Scale (ADKS). Demographic characteristics, dementia-related experience, and the mental health status of participants were collected. Stepwise linear regression was used to analyze the factors associated with dementia knowledge.
In general, older Chinese adults in Melbourne and Beijing reported similar levels of dementia knowledge for both the overall ADKS scale (mean ± SD: 17.2 ± 2.9 in Melbourne vs. 17.5 ± 2.9 in Beijing, p > 0.05) and the seven subdomains. Of the subdomains, the highest correct response rates were observed in the life impact of the dementia subdomain, and the lowest rates were observed in the caregiving subdomain. Stepwise linear regression analysis revealed that younger age and self-reported dementia worry were significantly associated with higher levels of dementia knowledge in the Melbourne group, whereas a positive family history of dementia was significantly associated with higher levels of dementia knowledge in the Beijing group.
Older Chinese adults living in Melbourne and Beijing share similar levels of dementia knowledge, but factors associated with their knowledge are different. These findings will inform the development of culturally and socially appropriate dementia education programs for older Chinese populations in different countries.
To determine the willingness-to-pay (WTP) of family caregivers to learn care strategies for persons living with dementia (PLwD).
Randomized clinical trial.
Community-dwelling PLwD and their caregivers (dyads) in Maryland and Washington, DC.
Tailored Activity Program (TAP) compared to attention control. TAP provides activities tailored to the PLwD and instructs caregivers in their use.
At baseline, 3 and 6 months, caregivers were asked their WTP per session for an 8-session 3-month in-home nonpharmacologic intervention to address behavioral symptoms and functional dependence.
At baseline, 3 and 6 months, caregivers assigned to TAP were willing to pay $26.10/session (95%CI:$20.42, $33.00), $28.70 (95%CI:$19.73, $39.30), and $22.79 (95%CI: $16.64, $30.09), respectively; attention control caregivers were willing to pay $37.90/session (95%CI: $27.10, $52.02), $30.92 (95%CI: $23.44, $40.94), $27.44 (95%CI: $20.82, $35.34), respectively. The difference in baseline to 3 and 6 months change in WTP between TAP and the attention control was $9.58 (95%CI: −$5.00, $25.47) and $7.15 (95%CI: −$5.72, $21.81). The difference between TAP and attention control in change in the proportion of caregivers willing to pay something from baseline to 3 and 6 months was −12% (95%CI: −28%, −5%) and −7% (95%CI:−25%, −11%), respectively. The difference in change in WTP, among caregivers willing to pay something, between TAP and attention control from baseline to 3 and 6 months was $17.93 (95%CI: $0.22, $38.30) and $11.81 (95%CI: −$2.57, $28.17).
Family caregivers are willing to pay more for an intervention immediately following participation in a program similar to which they were asked to value.
The term ‘in the moment’ has received growing interest in the context of music programmes for people living with dementia, with music therapists, family carers, health-care professionals and people living with dementia themselves reporting the value of framing musical experiences in the ‘here and now’. Although this term is being used more frequently within the literature, there has yet to be a formal examination of such ‘in the moment’ musical experiences and how they might benefit a person living with dementia. We used a multiple-case study approach to develop a thematic framework of ‘in the moment’ musical experiences within the context of a music-making programme for people living with dementia. The research followed six people living with dementia and four family carers, and used video-observation and video-elicitation interviews to capture and analyse ‘in the moment’ experiences. Four thematic observations were developed which captured ‘in the moment’ musical experiences: Sharing a life story through music, Musical agency ‘in the moment’, Feeling connected ‘in the moment’ and Musical ripples into everyday life. These findings showcase the creativity and musical abilities of people living with dementia whilst affirming music as a medium to connect people living with dementia with their own life story, other people and the environments in which music-making takes place.
Black adults are approximately twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD) than non-Hispanic Whites and access diagnostic services later in their illness. This dictates the need to develop assessments that are cost-effective, easily administered, and sensitive to preclinical stages of AD, such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Two computerized cognitive batteries, NIH Toolbox-Cognition and Cogstate Brief Battery, have been developed. However, utility of these measures for clinical characterization remains only partially determined. We sought to determine the convergent validity of these computerized measures in relation to consensus diagnosis in a sample of MCI and healthy controls (HC).
Participants were community-dwelling Black adults who completed the neuropsychological battery and other Uniform Data Set (UDS) forms from the AD centers program for consensus diagnosis (HC = 61; MCI = 43) and the NIH Toolbox-Cognition and Cogstate batteries. Discriminant function analysis was used to determine which cognitive tests best differentiated the groups.
NIH Toolbox crystallized measures, Oral Reading and Picture Vocabulary, were the most sensitive in identifying MCI apart from HC. Secondarily, deficits in memory and executive subtests were also predictive. UDS neuropsychological test analyses showed the expected pattern of memory and executive functioning tests differentiating MCI from HC.
Contrary to expectation, NIH Toolbox crystallized abilities appeared preferentially sensitive to diagnostic group differences. This study highlights the importance of further research into the validity and clinical utility of computerized neuropsychological tests within ethnic minority populations.
‘Dementia-friendly communities’ herald a shift toward the neighbourhood as a locus for the care and support of people with dementia, sparking growing interest in the geographies of dementia care and raising questions over the shifting spatial and social experience of the condition. Existing research claims that many people with dementia experience a ‘shrinking world’ whereby the boundaries to their social and physical worlds gradually constrict over time, leading to a loss of control and independence. This paper reports a five-year, international study that investigated the neighbourhood experience of people with dementia and those who care for and support them. We interrogate the notion of a shrinking world and in so doing highlight an absence of attention paid to the agency and actions of people with dementia themselves. The paper draws together a socio-relational and embodied-material approach to question the adequacy of the shrinking world concept as an explanatory framework and to challenge reliance within policy and practice upon notions of place as fixed or stable. We argue instead for the importance of foregrounding ‘lived place’ and attending to social practices and the networks in which such practices evolve. Our findings have implications for policy and practice, emphasising the need to bolster the agency of people living with dementia as a route to fostering accessible and inclusive neighbourhoods.
This paper reports on a study which examined the notions of authenticity and citizenship for people living with cognitive impairment or dementia in a care home in the North-East of England. We demonstrated that both notions were present and were encouraged by engagement with an artist, where this involved audio and visual recordings and the creation of a film. The artist's interactions were observed by a non-participant observer using ethnographic techniques, including interviews with the residents, their families and the staff of the care home. The data were analysed using grounded theory and the constant comparative method of qualitative analysis. Our findings suggest that participatory art might help to maintain and encourage authenticity and citizenship in people living with dementia in a care home. Certainly, authenticity and citizenship are notions worth pursuing in the context of dementia generally, but especially in care homes.
Disclosing a diagnosis of dementia is a key process involving people with dementia, carers, and healthcare professionals (HCPs) that can facilitate access to treatment and support. Receiving a diagnosis of dementia may represent a change in identity and loss of a planned-for future, resulting in an emotional impact for both people with dementia and carers. Delivering the diagnosis of dementia can be difficult and draining for HCPs.
We conducted a systematic review that included studies which explored the experience of giving or receiving a diagnosis of dementia from the perspectives of people with dementia, carers, or HCPs. All study designs were eligible except for previous literature reviews. Findings were analyzed thematically and grouped into categories and then synthesized into a narrative review. The quality of all included studies was assessed.
Fifty-two studies were included in this review. Findings indicated that receiving a diagnosis is generally a negative process for people with dementia, carers, and HCPs and leaves carers in particular feeling uncertain over the prognosis and future of the person they care for. Disclosing a diagnosis of dementia is a difficult and complex process, for which formal training and guidance is lacking. Carers in particular would welcome more opportunity for realistic and hopeful discussions of the implications of receiving a diagnosis of dementia.
Changes in some aspects of disclosure, such as providing a truthful diagnosis to the person with dementia, have occurred over the last decade. A process approach involving pre-diagnostic counseling and follow-up appointments could enable discussions regarding prognosis and the future, create opportunities to clarify the diagnosis, and reduce emotional burden on HCPs. There is a need for more objective evidence that considers the perspectives of all individuals involved.
This systematic review aimed to identify and appraise the evidence for online peer-support interventions for caregivers of stroke survivors (with and without aphasia), and people with dementia, traumatic brain injury (TBI), Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Research Design and Methods:
Systematic review conducted in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Five databases were systematically searched up until September 2020: EMBASE, PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus and Web of Science. Two reviewers independently screened titles, abstracts and full-text articles. The methodological quality of included studies was assessed using Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) and Mixed-Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) scales. Interventions were described using the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) checklist.
A total of 3026 records were identified from database searches. Following screening, 18 studies reporting 17 interventions were included in this review. Most studies (n = 13) reported interventions for caregivers of people with dementia. All studies incorporated an element of peer support as part of the intervention, however, most interventions (n = 15) comprised both psychosocial and educational elements. Statistically significant changes were reported for 11 interventions in one or more of the following domains: caregiver knowledge, mental health, stress, depression, distress, burden, self-efficacy, mastery, helplessness and perceived support. Qualitative outcomes included perceived reductions in stress and increased emotional and informational support.
Discussion and Implications:
Positive changes in caregiver outcomes were identified in response to multi-component online interventions (i.e., peer support in addition to education). Peer support was often poorly described, limiting the conclusions that could be drawn about the intervention components which result in better outcomes. Online interventions may provide an accessible and effective means of supporting caregivers.
There is growing evidence that people with mild dementia can benefit from using tablets and apps. Due to their cognitive decline, people with dementia need support in learning how to use these devices. The objective of this review was to identify which training interventions work best to help people with mild dementia (re)learn how to use technologies, including handheld touchscreen devices. Because the uptake of these devices in people with dementia is quite new, training interventions for the use of other technologies were also included, such as technologies assisting people in Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).
An electronic search was conducted in the following databases: PubMed, APA PsycInfo (EBSCO), and CINAHL (EBSCO). Themes discussed include the learning effects; training method (e.g. errorful (EF) and errorless (EL) learning); training intensity and setting; technology task type; dementia type and severity; and study design and outcome measures.
In total, 16 studies were included. All studies reported positive learning effects and improved task performance in people with dementia, regardless of dementia severity, training intensity, setting, and the method used. Although the EL training method was successful more often than the EF training method, it would be inappropriate to conclude that the EL method is more effective, because the majority of studies only investigated EL training interventions with (multiple) single-case study designs.
Future research should consider using more robust study designs, such as RCTs, to evaluate the effectiveness of training interventions for (re)learning technology-orientated tasks, including operating handheld touchscreen devices.
Increasing concern around perceived neurocognitive decline is increasing the number of referrals to specialists and anxiety for patients. We aimed to explore the likelihood of the “worried well” experiencing neurocognitive decline and developing a neurological diagnosis.
A total of 166 “worried well” patients who attended the Rural and Remote Memory Clinic (RRMC) between 2004 and 2019 were included in this study. Demographic, health, social, and behavioral factors were measured at the initial visit. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD), and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) scores were measured and compared at initial assessment and at 1-year follow-up. MMSE scores over time were assessed with a mean follow-up of 2.95 years (SD 2.87).
No statistically significant difference was seen in MMSE, CESD, or FAQ scores when comparing clinic day to 1-year follow-up, and no consistent pattern of MMSE score over time was seen. Of the 166 patients with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) on initial assessment, 5 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at 8.5, 3.5, 5, 3, and 1.75 years; 2 were diagnosed with MCI at 1 and 2 years; 1 was diagnosed with vascular cognitive impairment at 5 years; and 1 was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) at 0.5 years.
The likelihood of a patient with SCI developing a neurological diagnosis is reassuringly low (9/166), but not irrelevant. This, along with the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment for dementia, leads us to believe that patients with SCI should still be seen in follow-up at least at the 1-year mark.
To evaluate the association between neuropsychiatric symptoms and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ϵ4 allele among older people in Central African Republic (CAR) and the Republic of Congo (ROC).
Multicenter population-based study following a two-phase design.
From 2011 to 2012, rural and urban areas of CAR and ROC.
People aged 65 and over.
Following screening using the Community Screening Interview for Dementia, participants with low cognitive scores (CSI-D ≤ 24.5) underwent clinical assessment. Dementia diagnosis followed the DSM-IV criteria and Peterson’s criteria were considered for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Neuropsychiatric symptoms were evaluated through the brief version of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI-Q). Blood samples were taken from all consenting participants before APOE genotyping was performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between the APOE ϵ4 allele and neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Overall, 322 participants had complete information on both neuropsychiatric symptoms and APOE status. Median age was 75.0 years and 81.1% were female. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were reported by 192 participants (59.8%) and at least 1 APOE ϵ4 allele was present in 135 (41.9%). APOE ϵ4 allele was not significantly associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms but showed a trend toward a protective effect in some models.
This study is the first one investigating the association between APOE ϵ4 and neuropsychiatric symptoms among older people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Preliminary findings indicate that the APOE ϵ4 allele was not associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms. Further research seems, however, needed to investigate the protective trend found in this study.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) informs us that the first-line treatments for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are non-pharmacological. Although psychotropics used to be the main strategy in the management of behaviours that challenge, there has been an increase in the use of biopsychosocial formulations since 2010, and there are now over a dozen to choose from. However, many are overly focused on obtaining information about the agitation, and less specific about providing details of the actions required to manage the behaviours. The NICE guidelines too fail to provide specific guidance on which non-pharmacological approaches to use. This article argues for giving equal weight to both the collection of meaningful information and the development of ‘informed actions’, because it is the actions that lead to change. The article outlines a management programme providing a framework for the assessment, formulation and treatment of agitation in dementia. The work draws on theory, evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence to provide a model with sufficient structure and flexibility to be useful for clinicians across a range of settings and professional groups.