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Although both obesity and ageing are risk factors for cognitive impairment, there is no evidence in Chile on how obesity levels are associated with cognitive function. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the association between adiposity levels and cognitive impairment in older Chilean adults. This cross-sectional study includes 1384 participants, over 60 years of age, from the Chilean National Health Survey 2009–2010. Cognitive impairment was evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination. BMI and waist circumference (WC) were used as measures of adiposity. Compared with people with a normal BMI, the odds of cognitive impairment were higher in participants who were underweight (OR 4·44; 95 % CI 2·43, 6·45; P < 0·0001), overweight (OR 1·86; 95 % CI 1·06, 2·66; P = 0·031) and obese (OR 2·26; 95 % CI 1·31, 3·21; P = 0·003). The associations were robust after adjustment for confounding variables. Similar results were observed for WC. Low and high levels of adiposity are associated with an increased likelihood of cognitive impairment in older adults in Chile.
To study the influence of cognitive reserve (CR) on cognitive performance of individuals with subjective cognitive complaints (SCCs) within a period of 36 months.
We used a general linear model repeated measures procedure to analyze the differences in performance between three assessments. We used a longitudinal structural equation modeling to analyze the relationship between CR and cognitive performance at baseline and at two follow-up assessments.
Participants with SCCs were recruited and assessed in primary care health centers.
A total of 212 participants older than 50 years with SCCs.
Cognitive reserve data were collected with an ad hoc questionnaire administered to the subjects in an interview. General cognitive performance (GCP), episodic memory (EM), and working memory (WM) have been evaluated. The Mini-Mental State Examination and the total score of Spanish version of the Cambridge Cognitive Examination evaluated the GCP. Episodic memory was assessed with the Spanish version of the California Verbal Learning. Working memory was evaluated by the counting span task and the listening span task.
The satisfactory fit of the proposed model confirmed the direct effects of CR on WM and GCP at baseline, as well as indirect effects on EM and WM at first and second follow-up. Indirect effects of CR on other cognitive constructs via WM were observed over time.
The proposed model is useful for measuring the influence of CR on cognitive performance over time. Cognitive response acquired throughout life may influence cognitive performance in old age and prevent cognitive deterioration, thus increasing processing resources via WM.
Cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS) has a complex relationship with disease progression and neurodegeneration. The aim of this study was to shed light on the importance of early detection of cognitive impairment in MS patients.
The study comprised two groups of definite MS patients, relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), each with 25 patients. Physical disability was assessed using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), while the risk of secondary progression was assessed using the Bayesian Risk Estimate for Multiple Sclerosis (BREMS). Cognitive functions were assessed using the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis (BICAMS) and Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT). Assessment of neurodegeneration was done using optical coherence tomography (OCT) via quantification of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL).
MS patients with higher RNFL thickness demonstrated a larger learning effect size than patients who had lower values in RNFL thickness regardless of MS type. RRMS patients showed significant improvement in delayed recall after giving cues than SPMS. The symbol digit modalities test was the only neuropsychological test that showed a significant negative correlation with EDSS (P = 0.009). There was a statistically significant negative correlation between BREMS scores and performance in all neuropsychological tests.
Inclusion of neurocognitive evaluation in the periodic assessment of MS patients is mandatory to detect patients at increased risk of secondary progression. The thickness of RNFL is suggested as a method to estimate the expected benefit of cognitive rehabilitation, regardless of MS type.
The purpose of this study was to examine sex differences in neuropsychological functioning after sports-related concussion using several approaches to assess cognition: mean performance, number of impaired scores, and intraindividual variability (IIV).
In the study, 152 concussed college athletes were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests, on average, 10 days post-concussion (SD = 12.75; Mdn = 4 days; Range = 0–72 days). Mean performance was evaluated across 18 individual neuropsychological variables, and the total number of impaired test scores (>1.5 SD below the mean) was calculated for each athlete. Two measures of IIV were also computed: an intraindividual standard deviation (ISD) score and a maximum discrepancy (MD) score.
Analyses of covariance revealed that, compared with males, females had significantly more impaired scores and showed greater variability on both IIV indices (ISD and MD scores) after adjusting for time since injury and post-concussive symptoms. In contrast, no significant effects of sex were found when examining mean neuropsychological performance.
Although females and males demonstrated similar mean performance following concussion, females exhibited a greater level of cognitive impairment and larger inconsistencies in cognitive performance than males. These results suggest that evaluating cognitive indices beyond mean neuropsychological scores may provide valuable information when determining the extent of post-concussion cognitive dysfunction. (JINS, 2019, 00, 1–7)
The prisoner population is ageing, and consideration is needed for how to best support those with age-related health conditions in the system. Existing work practices and organizational structures often fail to meet the needs of prisoners with dementia, and prison staff experience high levels of burden because of the increased needs of these prisoners. Little is known about the best method of responding to the needs of this growing subpopulation of prisoners.
A scoping review was conducted to answer the question: what are the perceived best care options for prisoners with dementia? To be included, publications had to be publicly available, reported on research findings, or viewed opinions and commentaries on care practices relevant to older prisoners with dementia. Searches were conducted in 11 databases to identify relevant publications. Data from the included publications were extracted and summarized into themes.
Eight themes were identified that could support better care practices for prisoners with dementia: (1) early and ongoing screening for older prisoners; (2) specialized services; (3) specialized units; (4) programs or activities; (5) adaptations to current contexts; (6) early release or parole for older prisoners with dementia deemed at low risk of reoffending; and (7) training younger prisoners (8) as well as staff to assist older prisoners with dementia. Besides practical strategies improving care practice, costs, prison-specific resources, and staff skills were highlighted as care barriers across all themes. A lack of empirical evidence supported these findings.
One of the implications of the international ageing prison population is the higher number of people living with dementia being incarcerated. Suggestions for best care approaches for prisoners with dementia now need to move from opinion to empirical approaches to guide practice.
Pakistan is a lower middle-income country, which to date has had very little research and policy making to address the challenge of dementia. This study aims to explore the perceptions of dementia in a group of Pakistani adults. A series of focus group discussions were completed during 2017 with men and women in two metropolitan centres in Pakistan (Lahore and Karachi) (N = 40). Two vignettes, depicting someone with mild dementia and someone with severe dementia, were used to facilitate discussions. An induction-led thematic analysis was completed. Five themes were identified, reflecting (a) dementia awareness, (b) responsibility, (c) barriers to health care, (d) identified support needs, and (e) religion. Most participants had little awareness and knowledge about dementia, commonly understood to be a disease of forgetting or just normal ageing. Thus, there is an urgent need of a nation-wide campaign to raise dementia awareness in Pakistan, though this needs to be accompanied by improved, accessible health and social care services.
The current study explored the experiences and aspirations of a cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with neurocognitive disability residing in a homeless shelter in regional Queensland, Australia. Neurocognitive disability (NCD) refers to any acquired disorder or injury to the brain where the primary clinical deficit is in cognitive function.
The data reported on in this paper emerged from a broader study that aimed to understand the extent and nature of neurocognitive disability amongst homeless Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The broader study found high levels of NCD which impacted on people’s ability to participate in society. As part of the study, qualitative information was sought regarding participant life experiences. A culturally safe and acceptable structure of “past, present and future” was applied to open-ended questions.
Thematic analysis of the data identified four broad themes of i) normalisation of illness and disability; ii) trauma and loss; iii) socioeconomic disadvantage; and iv) hope and disempowerment. This paper reports on these themes and experiences, which occurred across the life span, intersected with NCD, and contributed to what we have termed ‘complex disablement’ amongst this cohort.
While causal links between life experience, disability and disablement are not always clear, our findings suggest that attempts to address homelessness must engage with this complexity. The application of holistic, intersectoral supports, which encompass culturally informed, community driven approaches are needed. Understanding the impacts of individual and intergenerational trauma is crucial to safe and effective service provision for this cohort.
As the number of older immigrants in Europe rises, dementia within minority ethnic populations warrants attention as a significant public health problem. Equitable health and care services constitute a prioritised health policy aim on both supranational and national levels in Europe and is formulated in the Norwegian health legislation. Through interviews and focus groups with older immigrants, relatives of immigrants with dementia and health personnel, we explored the perceptions of dementia among ethnically diverse groups in Norway. The findings show that many interpret symptoms such as memory loss and disorientation as a natural part of ageing. Others consider dementia symptoms to have a psycho-social origin, deriving from social isolation. Some describe symptoms as an expression of a potentially transient sign of madness, while others point to destiny and God's will, representing basic and unalterable causes. However, another pattern of perception includes viewing dementia as a potentially transient physical illness, including a belief in a medical cure. By investigating how people with dementia and their families understand and manage the condition, one may facilitate access to relevant and adapted information. Furthermore, by exploring how people relate to their illness, health personnel may challenge explanatory models that create unrealistic expectations of cure, as well as models that, due to stigma or normalisation of symptoms, prevent the use of public care.
Working memory (WM) deficits are seen as a core deficit in schizophrenia, implicated in the broad cognitive impairment seen in the illness. Here we examine the impact of WM storage of a single item on the operation of other cognitive systems.
We studied 37 healthy controls (HCS) and 43 people with schizophrenia (PSZ). Each trial consisted of a sequence of two potential target stimuli, T1 and T2. T1 was a letter presented for 100 ms. After delays of 100–800 ms, T2 was presented. T2 was a 1 or a 2 and required a speeded response. In one condition, subjects were instructed to ignore T1 but respond to T2. In another condition, they were required to report T1 after making their speeded response to T2 (i.e. to make a speeded T2 response while holding T1 in WM).
PSZ were dramatically slowed at responding to T2 when T1 was held in WM. A repeated measures ANOVA yielded main effects of group, delay, and condition with a group by condition interaction (p's < 0.001). Across delays, the slowing of the T2 response when required to hold T1 in memory, relative to ignoring T1, was nearly 3 times higher in PSZ than HCS (633 v. 219 ms).
Whereas previous studies have focused on reduced storage capacity, the present study found that PSZ are impaired at performing tasks while they are successfully maintaining a single item in WM. This may play a role in the broad cognitive impairment seen in PSZ.
Despite growing evidence in the field of cognitive function in mood disorders, the neurocognitive profiles of patients with unipolar and bipolar depression still need further characterization. In this study, we applied network analysis, hypothesizing this approach could highlight differences between major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD) from a cognitive perspective.
The cognitive performance of 109 patients (72 unipolar and 37 bipolar depressed outpatients) was assessed through the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and a series of clinical variables were collected. Differences in cognitive performance between MDD and BD patients were tested using non-parametric tests. Moreover, a network graph representing MoCA domains as nodes and Spearman’s rho correlation coefficients between the domains as edges was constructed for each group.
The presence of mild cognitive impairment was observed in both MDD and BD patients during depression. No statistical significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of overall cognitive performance and across single domains. Nonetheless, network analytic metrics demonstrated different roles of memory and executive dysfunction in MDD versus BD patients: in particular, MDD network was more densely interconnected than BD network, and memory was the node with the highest betweenness and closeness centrality in MDD, while executive function was more central in BD.
From a network analytic perspective, memory impairment displays a central role in the cognitive impairment of patients with unipolar depression, whereas executive dysfunction appears to be more central in bipolar depression. Further research is warranted to confirm our results.
Postmortem human brain studies provide the molecular, cellular, and circuitry levels of resolution essential for the development of mechanistically-novel interventions for cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. However, the absence of measures of premortem cognitive aptitude in postmortem subjects has presented a major challenge to interpreting the relationship between the severity of neural alterations and cognitive deficits within the same subjects.
To begin addressing this challenge, proxy measures of cognitive aptitude were evaluated in postmortem subjects (N = 507) meeting criteria for schizophrenia, major depressive or bipolar disorder, and unaffected comparison subjects. Specifically, highest levels of educational and occupational attainment of the decedent and their parents were obtained during postmortem psychological autopsies.
Consistent with prior findings in living subjects, subjects with schizophrenia had the lowest educational and occupational attainment relative to all other subject groups, and they also failed to show the generational improvement in attainment observed in all other subject groups.
Educational and occupational attainment data obtained during postmortem psychological autopsies can be used as proxy measures of premortem cognitive function to interrogate the neural substrate of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Despite the possibility that cognitive deficits associated with depression may have different patterns depending on the level of neurocognitive impairment, there remains no clear evidence of this. This study aimed to investigate the differential association between depression and cognitive function in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
A cross-sectional analysis was performed of data from 1,724 patients with MCI and 1,247 patients with AD from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia in Korea. Depression was assessed using the Korean form of the Geriatric Depression Scale, and cognition was measured using the Seoul Neuropsychological Screening Battery, which includes five domains (attention, language and related function, visuospatial function, memory, and frontal/executive function).
Significant differences were found between the two groups (non-depressed vs. depressed) in visuospatial, memory, and executive function domains in the MCI group, as well as in the attention domain in the AD group. The association between depressive symptoms and cognitive function was significantly greater in patients with MCI than in those with AD. These associations were more pronounced in memory and executive function.
Our findings suggest that the association between depression and decreased cognitive function is more pronounced in MCI than AD.
Cognitive impairment in late-life depression is common and associated with a higher risk of all-cause dementia. Late-life depression patients with comorbid cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) or related risk factors may experience higher risks of cognitive deterioration in the short term. We aim to investigate the effect of CVDs and their related risk factors on the cognitive function of patients with late-life depression.
A total of 148 participants were recruited (67 individuals with late-life depression and 81 normal controls). The presence of hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, or hyperlipidemia was defined as the presence of comorbid CVDs or related risk factors. Global cognitive functions were assessed at baseline and after a one-year follow-up by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Global cognitive deterioration was defined by the reliable change index (RCI) of the MMSE.
Late-life depression patients with CVDs or related risk factors were associated with 6.8 times higher risk of global cognitive deterioration than those without any of these comorbidities at a one-year follow-up. This result remained robust after adjusting for age, gender, and changes in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) scores.
This study suggests that late-life depression patients with comorbid CVDs or their related risk factors showed a higher risk of cognitive deterioration in the short-term (one-year follow up). Given that CVDs and their related risk factors are currently modifiable, active treatment of these comorbidities may delay rapid cognitive deterioration in patients with late-life depression.
This study aimed at assessing daily physical activity and its relationship with functional and cognitive status in nonagenarians. Cross-sectional study. 167 nonagenarians (124 women and 43 men, mean age 92 years ± 3) who participated in the Mugello study. Participants underwent daily step count through the SenseWear armband, which was considered as an indicator of physical activity. Other main variables were: handgrip strength, gait speed, depression, cognitive status and quality of life. The median value of steps per day was 883 and 658 in women and men, respectively, with a participant, in the women group, showing values up to 10,000. After adjusting for potential confounders, physical activity remained a significant positive correlate of handgrip strength (r = 0.4), gait speed (r = 0.8), and cognitive status (r = 0.6 and 0.8, respectively for raw scores and for scores adjusted for age and education). On the contrary, physical activity remained a significant negative correlate of depression (r = 0.5). Our results provide quantitative information on daily physical activity and show a significant relationship between daily physical activity and functional and cognitive status in nonagenarians.
Depression and cognitive impairment are highly prevalent in type 2 diabetes (T2D), yet little is known about how their relationship varies by sex. We examined this question in a large T2D sample (N = 897) of non-demented elderly (≥ 65) participating in the Israel Diabetes and Cognitive Decline (IDCD) Study. Cognition was evaluated by a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and depressive symptoms were assessed by the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). The results showed that in all but the executive function domain, the association of depressive symptoms with poorer cognitive function was stronger in women than men, with a significant interaction for language/semantic categorization and missed significance for episodic memory. When defining clinical depression as GDS of ≥6, women with depression had significantly poorer language/semantic categorization, episodic memory, and overall cognitive function. Inclusion of antidepressants in the model did not alter substantively the associations. Our results suggest that depressed T2D women may have poorer cognitive performance, highlighting the significance of sex-specific personalized management of depression in elderly diabetics.
Hearing loss is highly prevalent in older adults and can pose challenges for neuropsychologists, as assessment and intervention procedures often involve orally presented information which must be accurately heard. This project examined the hearing status of 20 clients (mean age = 71 years) in a hospital-based outpatient neuropsychology clinic, and explored whether information about hearing loss informed neuropsychologists’ clinical practice. A research assistant administered a brief hearing screening test to each participant. Four treating neuropsychologists were asked to comment on their client’s hearing status before and after being shown their client’s hearing screen test results. Screening revealed that the majority of participants had at least mild hearing loss, and that the neuropsychologists were relatively accurate (60%) at estimating their clients’ hearing status. Neuropsychologists used information about a client’s hearing status to make recommendations that clients pursue audiologic services, and to educate clients and family members about hearing loss and communication.
Cognitive dysfunction is a symptomatic domain identified across many mental disorders. Cognitive deficits in individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) contribute significantly to occupational and functional disability. Notably, cognitive subdomains such as learning and memory, executive functioning, processing speed, and attention and concentration are significantly impaired during, and between, episodes in individuals with MDD. Most antidepressants have not been developed and/or evaluated for their ability to directly and independently ameliorate cognitive deficits. Multiple interacting neurobiological mechanisms (eg, neuroinflammation) are implicated as subserving cognitive deficits in MDD. A testable hypothesis, with preliminary support, posits that improving performance across cognitive domains in individuals with MDD may improve psychosocial function, workplace function, quality of life, and other patient-reported outcomes, independent of effects on core mood symptoms. Herein we aim to (1) provide a rationale for prioritizing cognitive deficits as a therapeutic target, (2) briefly discuss the neurobiological substrates subserving cognitive dysfunction, and (3) provide an update on current and future treatment avenues.
Objectives: Recognition of cognitive impairment in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its impact on functioning in adults is growing. The vast majority of studies to date have been conducted in older populations where CKD is more pronounced; however, the degree to which age-related cognitive changes could be influencing these findings remains unaddressed. This current study thus aimed to review cognitive impairment findings by stage in non-elderly CKD samples. Methods: PubMed and Medline via Scopus were searched for cross-sectional or cohort studies and randomized controlled trials that assessed cognitive function in individuals with CKD in any research setting. CKD studies including patients at any illness stage were included providing participants were below 65 years old, were not on peritoneal dialysis and had not undergone a kidney transplant. Results: Fifteen studies, with a total of 9304 participants, were included. Cognitive function broadly deteriorated from stage 1 to stage 5. Early stage CKD was associated with a drop in speed of processing, attention, response speed, and short-term memory abilities. Moderate stage CKD was associated with deficits in executive functioning, verbal fluency, logical memory, orientation and concentration. People with end stage kidney disease manifested significant deficits in all previous cognitive domains, along with cognitive control, delayed and immediate memory, visuospatial impairment, and overall cognitive impairment. Conclusions: Cognitive impairment is evident across the stages of CKD, independent of age-related changes, for both lower-order and higher-order cognitive abilities. These impairments also increase between the stages, suggesting a cumulative effect. Future directions for research are discussed. (JINS, 2019, 25, 101–114)
Hearing loss is one of the most common yet unrecognized impairments experienced by adults, especially as they age. Mental health investigators and practitioners require better understanding of hearing loss, its association with psychiatric disorders, and the treatment of these disorders in the presence of hearing loss as well as the treatment of hearing loss itself. In this review, the authors briefly explore the global burden of hearing loss. Next we provide an overview of the extant literature on hearing loss associated with cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety disorders, psychoses, and quality of life with attention focused on the strength of the association, possible mechanisms explaining the association, data on treatment options specific to these disorders, and future research opportunities for these disorders. Current approaches to the treatment of hearing loss are presented, including hearing aids, rehabilitation including psychotherapies, surgical procedures (specifically cochlear implants), and induction loops connected to telecoils. Finally, cutting edge research into the pathophysiology and potential biological treatments of hearing loss is described.