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Older adults, 65 years of age and older, living in long-term care (LTC) commonly experience anxiety. This study aimed to understand care providers’ perspectives on the barriers to and facilitators of managing anxiety in residents of LTC. Ten semi-structured interviews with care providers in LTC were completed. Framework analysis methods were used to code, thematically analyze, designate codes as barriers or facilitators, and map the codes to the Theoretical Domains Framework. Themes were categorized as acting at the resident, provider, or system level, and were labelled as either barriers to or facilitators of anxiety care. Key barriers to anxiety care at each level were resident cognitive impairment or co-morbidities; lack of staff education, staff treatment uptake and implementation; as well as the care delivery environment and access to resources. There is a need to prioritize measurement-based care for anxiety, have increased access to non-pharmacological treatments, and have a care delivery environment that supports anxiety management to improve the care for anxiety that is delivered to residents.
The International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) published a provisional consensus definition of agitation in cognitive disorders in 2015. As proposed by the original work group, we summarize the use and validation of criteria in order to remove “provisional” from the definition.
This report summarizes information from the academic literature, research resources, clinical guidelines, expert surveys, and patient and family advocates on the experience of use of the IPA definition. The information was reviewed by a working group of topic experts to create a finalized definition.
We present a final definition which closely resembles the provisional definition with modifications to address special circumstances. We also summarize the development of tools for diagnosis and assessment of agitation and propose strategies for dissemination and integration into precision diagnosis and agitation interventions.
The IPA definition of agitation captures a common and important entity that is recognized by many stakeholders. Dissemination of the definition will permit broader detection and can advance research and best practices for care of patients with agitation.
To develop an agitation reduction and prevention algorithm is intended to guide implementation of the definition of agitation developed by the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA)
Review of literature on treatment guidelines and recommended algorithms; algorithm development through reiterative integration of research information and expert opinion
IPA Agitation Workgroup
IPA panel of international experts on agitation
Integration of available information into a comprehensive algorithm
The IPA Agitation Work Group recommends the Investigate, Plan, and Act (IPA) approach to agitation reduction and prevention. A thorough investigation of the behavior is followed by planning and acting with an emphasis on shared decision-making; the success of the plan is evaluated and adjusted as needed. The process is repeated until agitation is reduced to an acceptable level and prevention of recurrence is optimized. Psychosocial interventions are part of every plan and are continued throughout the process. Pharmacologic interventions are organized into panels of choices for nocturnal/circadian agitation; mild-moderate agitation or agitation with prominent mood features; moderate-severe agitation; and severe agitation with threatened harm to the patient or others. Therapeutic alternatives are presented for each panel. The occurrence of agitation in a variety of venues—home, nursing home, emergency department, hospice—and adjustments to the therapeutic approach are presented.
The IPA definition of agitation is operationalized into an agitation management algorithm that emphasizes the integration of psychosocial and pharmacologic interventions, reiterative assessment of response to treatment, adjustment of therapeutic approaches to reflect the clinical situation, and shared decision-making.
Older adults experience symptoms of depression, leading to suffering and increased morbidity and mortality. Although we have effective depression therapies, physical distancing and other public health measures have severely limited access to in-person interventions.
To describe the efficacy of virtual interventions for reducing symptoms of depression in community-dwelling older adults.
We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Libraries, PsycINFO, and gray literature from inception to July 5, 2021.
Participants and interventions:
We included randomized trials (RCTs) comparing the efficacy of virtual interventions to any other virtual intervention or usual care in community-dwelling adults ≥60 years old experiencing symptoms of depression or depression as an outcome.
The primary outcome was change in symptoms of depression measured by any depression scale.
We screened 12,290 abstracts and 830 full text papers. We included 15 RCTs (3100 participants). Five RCTs examined persons with depression symptoms at baseline and ten examined depression as an outcome only. Included studies demonstrated feasibility of interventions such as internet or telephone cognitive behavioral therapy with some papers showing statistically significant improvement in depressive symptoms.
There is a paucity of studies examining virtual interventions in older adults with depression. Given difficulty in accessing in-person therapies in a pandemic and poor access for people living in rural and remote regions, there is an urgent need to explore efficacy, effectiveness, and implementation of virtual therapies.
Depression is common in persons experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), with 32% (95% Cl 27, 37) overall experiencing depression. Persons with MCI who have depression have more cognitive changes compared to those without depression. To understand how we can detect depressive symptoms in persons with MCI, we undertook a systematic review to identify tools that were validated compared with a reference standard.
We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and Cochrane from inception to April 25, 2021, and conducted a gray literature search. Title/abstract and full-text screening were completed in duplicate. Demographic information, reference standards, prevalence, and diagnostic accuracy measures were then extracted from included articles (PROSPERO CRD: CRD42016052120).
Across databases, 8,748 abstracts were generated after removing duplicates. Six hundred and sixty-five records underwent full-text screening, with six articles included for data extraction. Nine tools were identified compared to a reference standard, with multiple demonstrating a sensitivity of 100% (Brief Assessment Schedule Depression Cards, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, Zung Self-Rated Depression Scale, and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory). The second highest sensitivity reported was 89% (Patient Health Questionnaire-9). Too few studies were available for a meta-analysis.
Multiple depression detection tools have been examined amongst MCI outpatients, with several showing high sensitivity. However, this evidence is only present in single studies, with little demonstration of how differing MCI types affect accuracy. More research is needed to confirm the accuracy of these tools amongst persons with MCI. At this time, several tools could be suitable for use in cognitive clinics.
In this large population study, we set out to examine the profile of mild behavioral impairment (MBI) by using the Mild Behavioral Impairment Checklist (MBI-C) and to explore its factor structure when employed as a self-reported and informant-rated tool.
A total of 5,742 participant-informant dyads participated in the study.
Both participants and informants completed the MBI-C. The factor structure of the MBI-C was evaluated by exploratory factor analysis.
The most common MBI-C items, as rated by self-reported and informants, related to affective dysregulation (mood/anxiety symptoms), being present in 34% and 38% of the sample, respectively. The least common items were those relating to abnormal thoughts and perception (psychotic symptoms) (present in 3% and 6% of the sample, respectively). Only weak correlations were observed between self-reported and informant-reported MBI-C responses. Exploratory factor analysis for both sets of respondent answers indicated that a five-factor solution for the MBI-C was appropriate, reflecting the hypothesized structure of the MBI-C.
This is the largest and most detailed report on the frequency of MBI symptoms in a nondementia sample. The full spectrum of MBI symptoms was present in our sample, whether rated by self-reported or informant report. However, we show that the MBI-C performs differently in self-reported versus informant-reported situations, which may have important implications for the use of the questionnaire in clinic and research.
To estimate the prevalence of Mild Behavioral Impairment (MBI) in people with Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD), and validate the Mild Behavioral Impairment Checklist (MBI-C) with respect to score distribution, sensitivity, specificity, and utility for MBI diagnosis, as well as correlation with other neuropsychological tests.
Correlational study with a convenience sampling. Descriptive, logistic regression, ROC curve, and bivariate correlations analyses were performed.
Primary care health centers.
127 patients with SCD.
An extensive evaluation, including Questionnaire for Subjective Memory Complaints, Mini-Mental State Examination, Cambridge Cognitive Assessment-Revised, Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire (NPI-Q), the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 items (GDS-15), the Lawton and Brody Index and the MBI-C, which was administered by phone to participants’ informants.
MBI prevalence was 5.8% in those with SCD. The total MBI-C scoring was low and differentiated people with MBI at a cut-off point of 8.5 (optimizing sensitivity and specificity). MBI-C total scoring correlated positively with NPI-Q, Questionnaire for Subjective Cognitive Complaints (QSCC) from the informant and GDS-15.
The phone administration of the MBI-C is useful for detecting MBI in people with SCD. The prevalence of MBI in SCD was low. The MBI-C detected subtle Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) that were correlated with scores on the NPI-Q, depressive symptomatology (GDS-15), and memory performance perceived by their relatives (QSCC). Next steps are to determine the predictive utility of MBI in SCD, and its relation to incident cognitive decline over time.
The World Alzheimer Report 2016 estimated that 47 million people are living with dementia worldwide (Alzheimer's Disease International, 2016). In the inaugural World Health Organization Ministerial Conference on Global Action against Dementia, six of the top ten research priorities were focused on prevention, identification, and reduction of dementia risk, and on delivery and quality of care for people with dementia and their carers (Shah et al., 2016). While the Lancet Neurology Commission has suggested that even minor advances to delay progression or ameliorate symptoms might have substantial financial and societal benefits (Winblad et al., 2016), advances have been slow.
This Special Issue provides a systematic examination of the neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) and non-cognitive prodromes of dementia, with an eye toward validating the construct of mild behavioral impairment (MBI).
Mild behavioral impairment (MBI) is characterized by later life acquired, sustained, and impactful neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) of any severity that cannot be better accounted for by other formal medical and psychiatric nosology. MBI is an “at risk” state for incident cognitive decline and dementia, and for some, MBI is the index manifestation of neurodegeneration, observed in advance of cognitive impairment. Initially described in Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), MBI evolved to describe a preclinical stage of all cause dementia, and has been operationalized in the International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment-Alzheimer's Association (ISTAART-AA) proposed research diagnostic criteria. Here, we describe three cases in which patients diagnosed with a variety of dementing conditions initially presented with NPS to the Cognitive Neurosciences Clinic at the University of Calgary, Canada. All patients described in our series were given a final diagnosis of dementia; the etiology supported by clinical, cognitive, and neuroimaging findings. In all three cases, the progression to dementia was preceded by NPS that meet criteria for MBI. With these examples, we are able to illustrate that MBI can represent a premonitory stage of dementia of different etiologies. These cases demonstrate early use of the MBI checklist (MBI-C). The cases presented in this series serve as examples of NPS as early manifestations of dementia. Our case examples include both FTD and AD, and demonstrate that before a diagnosis of a neurodegenerative disease is considered, often patients will be diagnosed with and treated for a psychiatric condition. These early NPS can be characterized within the domains outlined in the ISTAART-AA MBI criteria, and detected with the MBI-C, which may help clinicians consider neurodegenerative disease in the differential diagnosis of later life onset psychiatric symptomatology.
A dearth of population-based epidemiological research examines neuropsychiatric symptom (NPS) in sub-clinical populations across the spectrum from normal aging to mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The construct of mild behavioral impairment (MBI) describes the emergence of sustained and impactful NPS in advance of or in combination with MCI. This is the first epidemiological study to operationalize the recently published diagnostic criteria for MBI and determine prevalence estimates across the spectrum from cognitively normal to MCI.
MBI was assessed in 1,377 older (age range 72–79 years; 52% male; MCI ;= 133; cognitively normal, but-at-risk = 397; cognitively healthy = 847). MBI was assessed in accordance with the ISTAART-AA diagnostic criteria for MBI using the neuropsychiatric inventory.
34.1% of participants met the criteria for MBI. High prevalence of MBI across the cognitive spectrum was reported (48.9% vs. 43.1% vs. 27.6%). Irrespective of level of cognitive impairment, impulse dyscontrol (33.8% vs. 28.7% vs. 17.2%) and decreased motivation (32.3% vs. 26.2% vs. 16.3%) were the most frequently met MBI domains. MBI was more prevalent in men (χ2 = 4.98, p = 0.026), especially the domains of decreased motivation and impulse dyscontrol.
This study presents the first population-based prevalence estimates for MBI using the recently published ISTAART-AA diagnostic criteria. Findings indicate relatively high prevalence of MBI in pre-dementia clinical states and amongst cognitively healthy older adults. Findings were gender-specific, with MBI affecting more men than women. Knowing the estimates of these symptoms in the population is essential for understanding and differentiating the very early development of clinical disorders.
Affective and emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, euphoria, and irritability are common neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in pre-dementia and cognitively normal older adults. They comprise a domain of Mild Behavioral Impairment (MBI), which describes their emergence in later life as an at-risk state for cognitive decline and dementia, and as a potential manifestation of prodromal dementia. This selective scoping review explores the epidemiology and neurobiological links between affective and emotional symptoms, and incident cognitive decline, focusing on recent literature in this expanding field of research.
Existing literature in prodromal and dementia states was reviewed, focusing on epidemiology, and neurobiology. Search terms included: “mild cognitive impairment,” “dementia,” “prodromal dementia,” “preclinical dementia,” “Alzheimer's,” “depression,” “dysphoria,” “mania,” “euphoria,” “bipolar disorder,” and “irritability.”
Affective and emotional dysregulation are common in preclinical and prodromal dementia syndromes, often being harbingers of neurodegenerative change and progressive cognitive decline. Nosological constraints in distinguishing between pre-existing psychiatric symptomatology and later life acquired NPS limit historical data utility, but emerging research emphasizes the importance of addressing time frames between symptom onset and cognitive decline, and age of symptom onset.
Affective symptoms are of prognostic utility, but interventions to prevent dementia syndromes are limited. Trials need to assess interventions targeting known dementia pathology, toward novel pathology, as well as using psychiatric medications. Research focusing explicitly on later life onset symptomatology will improve our understanding of the neurobiology of NPS and neurodegeneration, enrich the study sample, and inform observational and clinical trial design for prevention and treatment strategies.
Mild behavioral impairment (MBI) describes later life acquired, sustained neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in cognitively normal individuals or those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), as an at-risk state for incident cognitive decline and dementia. We developed an operational definition of MBI and tested whether the presence of MBI was related to caregiver burden in patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) or MCI assessed at a memory clinic.
MBI was assessed in 282 consecutive memory clinic patients with SCD (n = 119) or MCI (n = 163) in accordance with the International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment – Alzheimer's Association (ISTAART–AA) research diagnostic criteria. We operationalized a definition of MBI using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q). Caregiver burden was assessed using the Zarit caregiver burden scale. Generalized linear regression was used to model the effect of MBI domains on caregiver burden.
While MBI was more prevalent in MCI (85.3%) than in SCD (76.5%), this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.06). Prevalence estimates across MBI domains were affective dysregulation (77.8%); impulse control (64.4%); decreased motivation (51.7%); social inappropriateness (27.8%); and abnormal perception or thought content (8.7%). Affective dysregulation (p = 0.03) and decreased motivation (p=0.01) were more prevalent in MCI than SCD patients. Caregiver burden was 3.35 times higher when MBI was present after controlling for age, education, sex, and MCI (p < 0.0001).
MBI was common in memory clinic patients without dementia and was associated with greater caregiver burden. These data show that MBI is a common and clinically relevant syndrome.
Placebo responses raise significant challenges for the design of clinical trials. We report changes in agitation outcomes in the placebo arm of a recent trial of citalopram for agitation in Alzheimer's disease (CitAD).
In the CitAD study, all participants and caregivers received a psychosocial intervention and 92 were assigned to placebo for nine weeks. Outcomes included Neurobehavioral Rating Scale agitation subscale (NBRS-A), modified AD Cooperative Study-Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGIC), Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) Agitation/Aggression domain (NPI A/A) and Total (NPI-Total) and ADLs. Continuous outcomes were analyzed with mixed-effects modeling and dichotomous outcomes with logistic regression.
Agitation outcomes improved over nine weeks: NBRS-A mean (SD) decreased from 7.8 (3.0) at baseline to 5.4 (3.2), CMAI from 28.7 (6.7) to 26.7 (7.4), NPI A/A from 8.0 (2.4) to 4.9 (3.8), and NPI-Total from 37.3 (17.7) to 28.4 (22.1). The proportion of CGI-C agitation responders ranged from 21 to 29% and was significantly different from zero. MMSE improved from 14.4 (6.9) to 15.7 (7.2) and ADLs similarly improved. Most of the improvement was observed by three weeks and was sustained through nine weeks. The major predictor of improvement in each agitation measure was a higher baseline score in that measure.
We observed significant placebo response which may be due to regression to the mean, response to a psychosocial intervention, natural course of symptoms, or nonspecific benefits of participation in a trial.
Geriatric psychiatry hospital beds are a limited resource. Our aim was to determine predictors of hospital length of stay (LOS) for geriatric patients with dementia admitted to inpatient psychiatric beds.
Admission and discharge data from a large urban mental health center, from 2005 to 2010 inclusive, were retrospectively analyzed. Using the resident assessment instrument - mental health (RAI-MH), an assessment that is used to collect demographic and clinical information within 72 hours of hospital admission, 169 geriatric patients with dementia were compared with 308 geriatric patients without dementia. Predictors of hospital LOS were determined using a series of general linear models.
A diagnosis of dementia did not predict a longer LOS in this geriatric psychiatry inpatient population. The presence of multiple medical co-morbidities had an inverse relationship to length of hospital LOS – a greater number of co-morbidities predicted a shorter hospital LOS in the group of geriatric patients who had dementia compared to the without dementia study group. The presence of incapacity and positive psychotic symptoms predicted longer hospital LOS, irrespective of admission group (patients with dementia compared with those without). Conversely, pain on admission predicted shorter hospital LOS.
Specific clinical characteristics generally determined at the time of admission are predictive of hospital LOS in geriatric psychiatry inpatients. Addressing these factors early on during admission and in the community may result in shorter hospital LOS and more optimal use of resources.
Lacunar stroke is a small (<2 cm) infarction that accounts for approximately 20% of all strokes. While a third of all stroke patients experience depressive symptoms, the prevalence of depression in the lacunar stroke patient population is unclear. This meta-analysis aimed to synthesize the evidence on the effect of lacunar stroke and deep white matter disease on depressive symptoms.
A systematic search of electronic databases was conducted, resulting in the inclusion of 12 studies. Analyses were performed on the effects of lacunar stroke, volume and location of lacunes on depression prevalence, and the effect on depression severity. The effects estimates were calculated in random-effects models.
None of the analyses produced statistically significant results. Lacunar stroke patients had a non-significantly higher prevalence of depression compared to patients with non-lacunar cerebrovascular diseases (OR = 1.46, 95% CI: 0.88–2.43, p = 0.15). Neither thalamic (OR = 1.37 (0.85–2.20), p = 0.19), deep white matter (RR = 1.16 (0.85–1.57), p = 0.35), multiple lacunes (OR = 1.34 (0.81–2.22), p = 0.25), or the volume of lacunes (MD = −4.71 (−351.59–342.18), p = 0.98) had an effect on depression prevalence. Lastly, lacunar stroke did not influence depressive symptom severity (MD = 0.96 (−1.57–3.48), p = 0.46).
The pooled group of patients with lacunar stroke and deep white matter disease appear to have a similar prevalence of depression compared to those with other types of cerebrovascular diseases. However, the small number of studies, heterogeneous comparison groups, and high statistical heterogeneity between studies posed an obstacle to the meta-analysis. To determine appropriate screening and treatment approaches, future research will need to separate lacunar stroke and deep white matter disease patients, and include larger sample sizes and healthy control groups to determine their distinct contributions to depression.
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