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Mexican Americans suffer from a disproportionate burden of modifiable risk factors, which may contribute to the health disparities in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The purpose of this study was to elucidate the impact of comorbid depression and diabetes on proteomic outcomes among community-dwelling Mexican American adults and elders.
Data from participants enrolled in the Health and Aging Brain among Latino Elders study was utilized. Participants were 50 or older and identified as Mexican American (N = 514). Cognition was assessed via neuropsychological test battery and diagnoses of MCI and AD adjudicated by consensus review. The sample was stratified into four groups: Depression only, Neither depression nor diabetes, Diabetes only, and Comorbid depression and diabetes. Proteomic profiles were created via support vector machine analyses.
In Mexican Americans, the proteomic profile of MCI may change based upon the presence of diabetes. The profile has a strong inflammatory component and diabetes increases metabolic markers in the profile.
Medical comorbidities may impact the proteomics of MCI and AD, which lend support for a precision medicine approach to treating this disease.
The main aim of the present study is to investigate the association between different measures of cognitive reserve including bilingualism, mental activities, type of education (continuous versus distributed), age, educational level, and episodic memory in a healthy aging sample.
Four hundred and fifteen participants aged between 50 and 83 years participated in this cross-sectional study and were assessed with the Psychology Experimental Building Language Test battery tapping episodic memory. Demographic variables were collected from a questionnaire designed by the research team.
Compared to participants with continuous type of education, those with distributed type performed better in tests of episodic memory, while no differences were found between bilingual and monolingual participants. We additionally found that age negatively predicts episodic memory, whereas playing mind teasers and educational level have positive relationships with episodic memory.
Our results indicate that higher cognitive reserve, as measured by distributed educational training, higher level of education, and doing regular mental activities, is associated with better performance on episodic memory tasks in older adults. These results were discussed in connection with successful aging and protection against memory decline with aging.
The number of people living with dementia (PWD) is increasing worldwide, corresponding with an increasing number of caregivers for PWD. This study aims to identify and describe the literature surrounding the needs of caregivers of PWD and the solutions identified to meet these needs.
A literature search was performed in: PsycInfo, Medline, CINAHL, SCIELO and LILACS, January 2007–January 2018. Two independent reviewers evaluated 1,661 abstracts, and full-text screening was subsequently performed for 55 articles. The scoping review consisted of 31 studies, which were evaluated according to sociodemographic characteristics, methodological approach, and caregiver’s experiences, realities, and needs. To help extract and organize reported caregiver needs, we used the C.A.R.E. Tool as a guiding framework.
Thirty-one studies were identified. The most common needs were related to personal health (58% emotional health; 32% physical health) and receiving help from others (55%). Solutions from the articles reviewed primarily concerned information gaps (55%) and the education/learning needs of caregivers (52%).
This review identified the needs of caregivers of PWD. Caregivers’ personal health emerged as a key area of need, while provision of information was identified as a key area of support. Future studies should explore the changes that occur in needs over the caregiving trajectory and consider comparing caregivers’ needs across different countries.
Loneliness and social isolation have negative health consequences and are associated with depression. Personality characteristics are important when studying persons at risk for loneliness and social isolation. The objective of this study was to clarify the association between personality factors, loneliness and social network, taking into account diagnosis of depression, partner status and gender.
Cross-sectional data of an ongoing prospective cohort study, the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO), were used.
Setting and participants:
474 participants were recruited from mental health care institutions and general practitioners in five different regions in the Netherlands.
NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) personality factors and loneliness and social network were measured as well as possible confounders. Multinominal logistic regression analyses were performed to analyse the associations between NEO-FFI factors and loneliness and social network. Interaction terms were investigated for depression, partner status and gender.
Higher neuroticism and lower extraversion in women and lower agreeableness in both men and women were associated with loneliness but not with social network size irrespective of the presence of depression. In the non-depressed group only, lower openness was associated with loneliness. Interaction terms with partner status were not significant.
Personality factors are associated with loneliness especially in women. In men lower agreeableness contributes to higher loneliness. In non-depressed men and women, lower openness is associated with loneliness. Personality factors are not associated with social network size.
Older adults, especially those above age 80, are the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States and at risk for age-related cognitive decline and dementia. There is growing evidence that cognitive activity and training may allow adults to maintain or improve cognitive functioning, but little is known about the potential benefit in the oldest old. In this randomized trial, the effectiveness of a computerized cognitive training program (CCT program) was compared to an active control games program to improve cognition in cognitively normal individuals aged 80 and older.
Sixty-nine older adults were randomized to a 24-session CCT program (n = 39) or an active control program (n = 30). Participants completed a pre- and post- training neuropsychological assessment. The primary outcome measure was a global cognitive composite, and the secondary outcomes were the scores on specific cognitive domains (of memory, executive function/attention, and language).
Using linear mixed models, there were no significant differences between the CCT and the active control program on the primary (p = 0.662) or any of the secondary outcomes (language functioning, p = .628; attention/executive functioning, p = .428; memory, p = .749).
This study suggests that short-term CCT had no specific benefit for cognitive functioning in non-demented individuals aged 80 and older.
Behaviours associated with agitation are common in people living with dementia. The Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) is a 29-item scale widely used to assess agitation completed by a proxy (family carer or staff member). However, proxy informants introduce possible reporting bias when blinding to the treatment arm is not possible, and potential accuracy issues due to irregular contact between the proxy and the person with dementia over the reporting period. An observational measure completed by a blinded researcher may address these issues, but no agitation measures with comparable items exist.
Development and validation of an observational version of the CMAI (CMAI-O), to assess its validity as an alternative or complementary measure of agitation.
Fifty care homes in England.
Residents (N = 726) with dementia.
Two observational measures (CMAI-O and PAS) were completed by an independent researcher. Measures of agitation, functional status, and neuropsychiatric symptoms were completed with staff proxies.
The CMAI-O showed adequate internal consistency (α = .61), criterion validity with the PAS (r = .79, p = < .001), incremental validity in predicting quality of life beyond the Functional Assessment Staging of Alzheimer's disease (β = 1.83, p < .001 at baseline) and discriminant validity from the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Apathy subscale (r = .004, p = .902).
The CMAI-O is a promising research tool for independently measuring agitation in people with dementia in care homes. Its use alongside the CMAI could provide a more robust understanding of agitation amongst residents with dementia.
There is emerging evidence that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective for treating anxiety and depression in people living with dementia (PLWD). Discriminating between thoughts and feelings is a critical element of CBT and also of relevance to emotional understanding more generally. The aim of the present study was the structured adaptation and preliminary validation of an existing measure of thought–feeling discrimination for use in PLWD.
The Behavior Thought Feeling Questionnaire (BTFQ) was adapted via expert and service-user consultation for use in PLWD. One hundred two PLWD and 77 people aged over 65 years who did not have measurable cognitive impairments completed the adapted measure along with two measures of emotional recognition and reasoning. The factor structure of this measure was examined and the measure reduced.
Factor analysis suggested a two-factor solution with thought and feeling items loading on separate factors. The behavior items were not included in scoring due to high cross-loading and ceiling effects, leaving a 14-item measure with two subscales. Thus, an adapted measure was created (named the BTFQ-D), which showed moderate convergent validity in the PLWD but not the older adult sample. Both thought and feeling subscales showed good internal consistency.
The BTFQ-D showed preliminary validity as a measure of thought–feeling discrimination in PLWD. It may have utility in measuring readiness for CBT as part of clinical assessment. Further validation is required.
The objectives of this study were to investigate the primary diagnoses and outcomes of emergency department visits in older people with dementia and to compare these parameters with those in older adults without dementia.
Design and Setting:
This hospital-based retrospective study retrieved patient records from a hospital research database, which included the outpatient and inpatient claims of two hospitals.
The patient records were retrieved from the two hospitals in an urban setting. The inclusion criteria were all patients aged 65 and older who had attended the two hospitals as an outpatient or inpatient between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2016. Patients with dementia were identified to have at least three reports of diagnostic codes, either during outpatient visits, during emergency department visits, or in hospitalized database records. The other patients were categorized as patients without dementia.
The primary diagnosis during the emergency department visit, cost of emergency department treatment, cost of hospital admission, length of hospital stay, and diagnosis of death were collected.
A total of 149,203 outpatients and inpatients aged 65 and older who were admitted to the two hospitals were retrieved. The rate of emergency department visits in patients with dementia (23.2%) was lower than that in those without dementia (48.6%). The most frequent primary reason for emergency department visits and the main cause of patient death was pneumonia. Patients with dementia in the emergency department had higher hospital admission rates and longer hospital stays; however, the cost of treatment did not show a significant difference between the two groups.
Future large and prospective studies should explore the severity of disease in older people with dementia and compare results with older adults without dementia in the emergency department.
The authors assessed the association of physical function, social variables, functional status, and psychiatric co-morbidity with cognitive function among older HIV-infected adults.
From 2012–2014, a cross-sectional study was conducted among HIV-infected patients ages 50 or older who underwent comprehensive clinical geriatric assessment.
Two San Francisco HIV clinics.
359 HIV-infected patients age 50 years or older
Unadjusted and adjusted Poisson regression measured prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals for demographic, functional and psychiatric variables and their association with cognitive impairment using a Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score < 26 as reflective of cognitive impairment.
Thirty-four percent of participants had a MoCA score of < 26. In unadjusted analyses, the following variables were significantly associated with an abnormal MoCA score: born female, not identifying as homosexual, non-white race, high school or less educational attainment, annual income < $10,000, tobacco use, slower gait speed, reported problems with balance, and poor social support. In subsequent adjusted analysis, the following variables were significantly associated with an abnormal MoCA score: not identifying as homosexual, non-white race, longer 4-meter walk time, and poor social support. Psychiatric symptoms of depressive, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders did not correlate with abnormal MoCA scores.
Cognitive impairment remains common in older HIV-infected patients. Counter to expectations, co-morbid psychiatric symptoms were not associated with cognitive impairment, suggesting that cognitive impairment in this sample may be due to neurocognitive disorders, not due to other psychiatric illness. The other conditions associated with cognitive impairment in this sample may warrant separate clinical and social interventions to optimize patient outcomes.
Recently, there has been a growing interest in examining forms of illness-related resilience. This study examines associations between lifestyle behavioral factors and multimorbidity resilience (MR) among older adults.
Using baseline data from the Comprehensive Cohort of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, we studied 6,771 Canadian adults aged 65 or older who reported two or more of 27 chronic conditions, and three multimorbidity clusters: cardiovascular/metabolic, osteo-related, and mental health. Associations were explored using hierarchical linear regression modeling, controlling for sociodemographic, social/environmental, and illness context covariates.
Among older adults with two or more illnesses, as well as the cardiovascular/metabolic and osteo-related illness clusters, having a non-obese body mass, being a non-smoker, satisfaction with quality of sleep, having a good appetite, and not skipping meals are associated with MR. However, the mental-health cluster resulted in different behavioral lifestyle associations, where MR was not associated with obesity, smoking, or appetite, but inactivity demonstrated moderate positive associations with MR.
While there are similar patterns of lifestyle behaviors across multimorbidity and multimorbidity clusters involving physiological chronic illnesses, those associated with mental health are distinct. The results have implications for healthy aging among persons coping with multimorbidity.
Optimism and pessimism are distinct constructs that have demonstrated independent relationships with aspects of health and well-being. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether optimism or pessimism is more closely linked with physical and mental health among older adults.
Community-dwelling older adults (N = 272) ages 59–95 in the southern United States.
The Life Orientation Test—Revised and the Short Form 8.
At the bivariate level, optimism was associated with higher physical health and mental health, while pessimism was associated with lower physical health and mental health. Multiple-regression analyses as well as comparison of correlation coefficients found that pessimism was more closely associated with physical health and mental health than optimism.
These results add to the literature suggesting that, in terms of older adults’ health and well-being, avoiding pessimism may be more important than being optimistic.
The Visual Cognitive Assessment Test (VCAT) is a language-neutral cognitive screening tool designed for use in culturally diverse populations without the need for translations or adaptations. While it has been established to be language-neutral, the VCAT’s construct validity has not been investigated.
471 participants were recruited, comprising 233 healthy comparisons, 117 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 121 mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. VCAT and domain-specific neuropsychological tests were administered in the same sitting. Construct validity was assessed by analyzing domain-specific associations between the VCAT and well-established cognitive assessments. Reliability (internal consistency) was measured by Cronbach’s alpha. Diagnostic ability (area under the curve) and recommended cutoffs were determined by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.
The VCAT and its subdomains demonstrated good construct validity in terms of both convergent and divergent validity and good internal consistency (α = .74). ROC analysis found that the VCAT was on par with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) at distinguishing between healthy comparisons, MCI, and mild AD. Consistent with previous studies, VCAT scores were not affected by language of administration or ethnicity in our cohort. Findings suggest the following cutoffs: Dementia 0–19, MCI 20–24, Normal 25–30.
This study established the construct validity of the VCAT, which is vital to ensure its subdomains effectively measure the cognitive processes they were designed to. The VCAT is capable of detecting early cognitive impairments and allows for meaningful cross-cultural comparisons, especially useful for international collaborations and clinical trials, and for clinical use in diverse multiethnic populations.