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HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HANDs) are prevalent in older people living with HIV (PLWH) worldwide. HAND prevalence and incidence studies of the newly emergent population of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART)-treated older PLWH in sub-Saharan Africa are currently lacking. We aimed to estimate HAND prevalence and incidence using robust measures in stable, cART-treated older adults under long-term follow-up in Tanzania and report cognitive comorbidities.
A systematic sample of consenting HIV-positive adults aged ≥50 years attending routine clinical care at an HIV Care and Treatment Centre during March–May 2016 and followed up March–May 2017.
HAND by consensus panel Frascati criteria based on detailed locally normed low-literacy neuropsychological battery, structured neuropsychiatric clinical assessment, and collateral history. Demographic and etiological factors by self-report and clinical records.
In this cohort (n = 253, 72.3% female, median age 57), HAND prevalence was 47.0% (95% CI 40.9–53.2, n = 119) despite well-managed HIV disease (Mn CD4 516 (98-1719), 95.5% on cART). Of these, 64 (25.3%) were asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment, 46 (18.2%) mild neurocognitive disorder, and 9 (3.6%) HIV-associated dementia. One-year incidence was high (37.2%, 95% CI 25.9 to 51.8), but some reversibility (17.6%, 95% CI 10.0–28.6 n = 16) was observed.
HAND appear highly prevalent in older PLWH in this setting, where demographic profile differs markedly to high-income cohorts, and comorbidities are frequent. Incidence and reversibility also appear high. Future studies should focus on etiologies and potentially reversible factors in this setting.
We aimed to explore access by Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) elders to the memory services in Leicester and Leicestershire, examining any trends over time. We then compared the odds of referral by ethnicity, using observed versus expected referrals for the city of Leicester. We gathered data on a comprehensive county-wide memory clinic used by people with suspected dementia and memory problems from the Trust electronic record system during the period 2011–2017. For Leicester city, we compared referral rates for 2011–2017 and compared observed and expected referral rates with demographics from the UK Census 2011.
In Leicester, there was a significant underrepresentation of referrals from the BAME population as compared with the White population in 2011, 2012 and 2013, when compared with population estimates of those aged ≥60 years from the 2011 UK Census Leicester city data. Data for the Black population were too small for comparisons. The odds of being referred to a memory clinic for the White group was double that of the Asian group in 2011 (odds ratio 2.15, 95% CI 1.52–3.02) and nearly 1.5 times in 2012 (odds ratio 1.40, 95% CI 1.01–1.93). This difference did not persist after 2014. However, this differential odds of referral changes when the age difference between the groups is accounted for. After adjusting for age, there were no differences between the two groups in their odds of referral to the memory clinic from 2011 to 2013, but from 2014 to 2017, members of the Asian group had higher odds of being referred.
The relationship between BAME and access to memory services is complex. The relative lower prevalence of Asian people among referrals to memory services in Leicester from 2011 to 2013 may partly be explained by the lower ages of the Asian population at referral. The higher prevalence of Asian people in 2014–2017 may be owing to use of denominators from the 2011 UK Census, which are likely to be disproportionately low for this group. Further studies are needed to explore any potential barriers to the access of services by BAME communities.
Dementia with Lewy body (DLB) is considered to be the second most common form of neurodegenerative disorders after Alzheimer's disease (AD), affecting as many as 100,000 people in the UK and up to 1.3 million in the USA. However, nearly half of patients with DLB remain undiagnosed thus depriving many of them from an early and adequate treatment of their distressing symptoms. Accurate and early diagnosis of DLB is important for both patients and their caregivers, since the neuropsychiatric symptoms require specific management.
In the current study, we review the most recent developments in the field of molecular nuclear imaging to diagnose DLB.
The review addresses, the neurotransmitter based (dopaminergic, cholinergic, and glutamatergic) nuclear imaging techniques, role of the autonomic dysfunction and its visualization in DLB with myocardial sympathetic imaging and vesicular catecholamine uptake, as well as the use of amyloid polypeptides and glial markers as molecular imaging probes in the clinical diagnosis of DLB.
Most of the above nuclear imaging methods are restricted to highly specialized clinical centers, and thus not applicable to a large number of patients requiring dementia (e.g. DLB) diagnosis in routine clinical setting. Validating them against more readily accessible peripheral biomarkers, e.g. CSF and blood biomarkers linked to the DLB process, may facilitate their use in wider clinical settings.
Affective disorders are associated with cognitive disturbances but their role as risk factors for dementia is still not fully investigated.
To evaluate the risk of developing dementia in individuals with a history of affective disorder.
We conducted a systematic review of case-control and cohort studies addressing the risk of developing dementia in people with affective disorders. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic review that has included studies evaluating this risk specifically in people with bipolar disorder.
Fifty-one studies were included. Most of the studies found an increased risk for developing dementia in individuals with depression. Greater frequency and severity of depressive episodes seem to increase this risk. The evidence is contradictory regarding whether there is a difference in risk in people with early- or late-onset depression. The few available risk estimates for dementia in people with bipolar disorder suggest an even higher risk than for those with depression.
Affective disorders appear to be associated with an increased risk of developing dementia, and one that is dependent on clinical and demographic variables. Depression may be both a prodrome and a risk factor for dementia. Future research should aim to elucidate the mechanisms that mediate these links.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by impaired social skills, communication deficits and repetitive behaviours. Alterations in a number of neurotransmitter signalling systems and neuroregulatory proteins have been reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The most compelling evidence seems to suggest an imbalance in excitatory and inhibitory impulses in the premature autistic brain, combined with defects in secondary neurotransmitter systems, resulting in autistic traits. Serotonin, known to be disrupted in ASD, facilitates the release of both reelin and oxytocin, with excessive levels of serotonin resulting in a decrease in reelin and oxytocin. Deficits in developmental growth factors, such as reelin, may regulate or be regulated by oxytocin, thus contributing to both neurodevelopmental arrest and altered social behaviour, characteristic for the autistic spectrum. In this review we therefore concentrate on the role of the serotonin neurotransmitter and the two neuroregulatory proteins (reelin and oxytocin), and evaluate the pharmacological interventions available at the moment, associated with the latter neurochemical changes in autism.
Autism is regarded as a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder, characterised by a spectrum of impaired social skills, communication deficits, repetitive behaviour and frequently associated with co-morbid disorders (e.g. obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, tuberous sclerosis and Fragile X syndrome, among others; Gillberg and Billstedt, 2000). A significant number of individuals with autism also show hyperactivity, anxiety and self-injurious behaviours.