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Studies have shown that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for older people with cognitive decline and depression/anxiety improves negative moods. However, CBT research focusing on this population in Japan is limited. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of a cognitive behavioural program for people with cognitive decline. Sixteen Japanese patients with mild dementia (n = 3) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n = 13) participated in the study. A single-arm, pre–post study was implemented in two hospitals in Japan. The CBT program included eight bi-weekly sessions. The feasibility outcomes (satisfaction, understanding and usefulness) were measured immediately after completing the sessions, and depression, anxiety, quality of life (QOL), neuropsychiatric symptoms, and caregiver burden were measured at three time points (i.e. before, immediately after, and 3-month follow-up). Ten MCI participants attended all sessions and the mean patient satisfaction scores using the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire were 31.0±10.05 out of 32. Linear mixed model analyses demonstrated that the time effect was significant for depression (d = 1.62), anxiety (d = 1.39), and QOL (d = 1.00) for the patients, and significant for anxiety (d = 1.08) for their caregivers. The study found that this CBT program is feasible and acceptable for older Japanese people with cognitive decline. The program also improved patients’ QOL, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and decreased caregivers’ anxiety.
Key learning aims
(1) Recently, studies have shown that CBT for older people living with dementia has been effective in treating their depression and anxiety. However, evidence for the efficacy of CBT and other curative or care options for people living with dementia is limited in Japan.
(2) We studied a short-period CBT program and found that it was likely to be feasible and acceptable for use among older Japanese people with mild cognitive impairment, that it may improve negative mood among this group, and that it may lessen the care burden for caregivers.
(3) Furthermore, we found that caregiver involvement in the implementation of CBT for older people may be effective in improving the mood of family members.
As we continue to elucidate the mechanisms underlying age-related brain diseases, the reductionist strategy in nutrition–brain function research has focused on establishing the impact of individual foods. However, the biological processes connecting diet and cognition are complex. Therefore, consideration of a combination of nutritional compounds may be most efficacious. One barrier to establishing the efficacy of multi-nutrient interventions is that the area lacks an established set of evidence-based guidelines for studying their effect on brain health. This review is an output of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Europe. A multi-disciplinary expert group was assembled with the aim of developing a set of considerations to guide research into the effects of multi-nutrient combinations on brain functions. Consensus recommendations converged on six key issues that should be considered to advance research in this area: (1) establish working mechanisms of the combination and contributions of each individual compound; (2) validate the relevance of the mechanisms for the targeted human condition; (3) include current nutrient status, intake or dietary pattern as inclusion/exclusion criteria in the study design; (4) select a participant population that is clinically and biologically appropriate for all nutritional components of the combination; (5) consider a range of cognitive outcomes; (6) consider the limits of reductionism and the ‘gold standard’ randomised controlled trial. These guiding principles will enhance our understanding of the interactive/complementary activities of dietary components, thereby strengthening the evidence base for recommendations aimed at delaying cognitive decline.
Serial position scores on verbal memory tests are sensitive to early Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related neuropathological changes that occur in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. The current study examines longitudinal change in serial position scores as markers of subtle cognitive decline in older adults who may be in preclinical or at-risk states for AD.
This study uses longitudinal data from the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Participants (n = 141) were included if they did not have dementia at enrollment, completed follow-up assessments, and died and were classified as Braak stage I or II. Memory tests were used to calculate serial position (primacy, recency), total recall, and episodic memory composite scores. A neuropathological evaluation quantified AD, vascular, and Lewy body pathologies. Mixed effects models were used to examine change in memory scores. Neuropathologies and covariates (age, sex, education, APOE e4) were examined as moderators.
Primacy scores declined (β = −.032, p < .001), whereas recency scores increased (β = .021, p = .012). No change was observed in standard memory measures. Greater neurofibrillary tangle density and atherosclerosis explained 10.4% of the variance in primacy decline. Neuropathologies were not associated with recency change.
In older adults with hippocampal neuropathologies, primacy score decline may be a sensitive marker of early AD-related changes. Tangle density and atherosclerosis had additive effects on decline. Recency improvement may reflect a compensatory mechanism. Monitoring for changes in serial position scores may be a useful in vivo method of tracking incipient AD.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been associated with numerous health consequences in adulthood including cognitive decline. However, the underlying mechanisms implicated remain unclear.
In this study, depressive symptoms and systemic inflammation were investigated as potential independent mediators of the association between ACEs and cognitive decline.
Participants were adults aged 50+ from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (N = 3,029; 54.8% female). Measures included self-reported ACEs at wave 3 (2006-2007), C-reactive protein (CRP) and depressive symptoms at wave 4 (2008-2009), and cognitive function at waves 3 and 7 (2014-2015). Mediation analyses examined the direct associations between ACEs and cognitive function at wave 7 and the indirect associations via depressive symptoms and CRP at wave 4 and were conducted using ordinary least squares regression models with the SPSS PROCESS macro. In Step 1, models were adjusted for sociodemographic factors and baseline cognitive function. Models in Step 2 were additionally adjusted for obesity and health behaviours (n = 1,874).
Cumulative ACEs exposure was shown to positively predict later-life depressive symptoms, which in turn predicted cognitive decline. ACEs were also shown to positively predict systemic inflammation as measured by CRP. However, CRP did not mediate the association between ACEs and cognitive decline.
These findings suggest that ACEs are related to cognitive decline partly via depressive symptoms and corroborate prior research linking ACEs with adult systemic inflammation. Efforts towards screening for, preventing, and mitigating the effects of ACEs may therefore represent an important avenue for improving health outcomes in later life.
Brain infarction due to cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) accounts for up to 25% of all ischemic strokes. CADASIL (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy) and CARASIL (cerebral autosomal recessive arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy) are among the monogenic hereditary cerebral SVDs. Herein, we reported a case of sporadic CADASIL-like disease and provided information about CADASIL and CARASIL, two of the most common of inheredited SVDs that are usually overlooked
To evaluate whether cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, apolipoprotein e4, neuroimaging abnormalities, and neuropsychological data differentially predict progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia for men and women.
Participants who were diagnosed with MCI at baseline (n = 449) were classified as either progressing to Alzheimer’s dementia at follow-up or as not progressing. Men and women were first compared using bivariate analyses. Sex-stratified Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed examining the relationship between baseline data and the likelihood of progressing to dementia. Sex interactions were subsequently examined.
Cox proportional hazard regression controlling for age and education indicated that all variables significantly predicted subsequent progression to dementia for men and women. Sex interactions indicated that only Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) delayed recall and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) were significantly stronger risk factors for women. When all variables were entered into a fully adjusted model, significant risk factors for women were Aβ42, hippocampal volume, RAVLT delayed recall, Boston Naming Test, and FAQ. In contrast, for men, Aβ42, p-tau181, p-tau181/Aβ42, hippocampal volume, category fluency and FAQ were significant risk factors. Interactions with sex were only significant for p-tau181/Aβ42 and RAVLT delayed recall for the fully adjusted model.
Men and women with MCI may to differ for which factors predict subsequent dementia although future analyses with greater power are needed to evaluate sex differences. We hypothesize that brain and cognitive reserve theories may partially explain these findings.
The five times sit-to-stand test (FTSS) is an established functional test, used clinically as a measure of lower-limb strength, endurance and falls risk. We report a novel method to estimate and classify cognitive function, balance impairment and falls risk using the FTSS and body-worn inertial sensors. 168 community dwelling older adults received a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment which included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Berg Balance Scale (BBS). Each participant performed an FTSS, with inertial sensors on the thigh and torso, either at home or in the clinical environment. Adaptive peak detection was used to identify phases of each FTSS from torso or thigh-mounted inertial sensors. Features were then extracted from each sensor to quantify the timing, postural sway and variability of each FTSS. The relationship between each feature and MMSE and BBS was examined using Spearman’s correlation. Intraclass correlation coefficients were used to examine the intra-session reliability of each feature. A Poisson regression model with an elastic net model selection procedure was used to estimate MMSE and BBS scores, while logistic regression and sequential forward feature selection was used to classify participants according to falls risk, cognitive decline and balance impairment. BBS and MMSE were estimated using cross-validation with low root mean squared errors of 2.91 and 1.50, respectively, while the cross-validated classification accuracies for balance impairment, cognitive decline, and falls risk were 81.96, 72.71, and 68.74%, respectively. The novel methods reported provide surrogate measures which may have utility in remote assessment of physical and cognitive function.
How does change occur in healthcare settings? In this paper, we take a design-based approach to healthcare research. From researcher-patient interactions to information sharing between practitioners, we examine how clinical research can mediate a change of routines and illuminate potential new system structures. Using a hospital-based cognitive care clinic as an example, we demonstrate how the inclusion of new actors, tools and resources was able to shed light on the prevalence of hearing loss among mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients and lay the framework for new care pathways.
To determine associations of alcohol use with cognitive aging among middle-aged men.
1,608 male twins (mean 57 years at baseline) participated in up to three visits over 12 years, from 2003–2007 to 2016–2019. Participants were classified into six groups based on current and past self-reported alcohol use: lifetime abstainers, former drinkers, very light (1–4 drinks in past 14 days), light (5–14 drinks), moderate (15–28 drinks), and at-risk drinkers (>28 drinks in past 14 days). Linear mixed-effects regressions modeled cognitive trajectories by alcohol group, with time-based models evaluating rate of decline as a function of baseline alcohol use, and age-based models evaluating age-related differences in performance by current alcohol use. Analyses used standardized cognitive domain factor scores and adjusted for sociodemographic and health-related factors.
Performance decreased over time in all domains. Relative to very light drinkers, former drinkers showed worse verbal fluency performance, by –0.21 SD (95% CI –0.35, –0.07), and at-risk drinkers showed faster working memory decline, by 0.14 SD (95% CI 0.02, –0.20) per decade. There was no evidence of protective associations of light/moderate drinking on rate of decline. In age-based models, light drinkers displayed better memory performance at advanced ages than very light drinkers (+0.14 SD; 95% CI 0.02, 0.20 per 10-years older age); likely attributable to residual confounding or reverse association.
Alcohol consumption showed minimal associations with cognitive aging among middle-aged men. Stronger associations of alcohol with cognitive aging may become apparent at older ages, when cognitive abilities decline more rapidly.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is highly heritable, and AD polygenic risk scores (AD-PRSs) have been derived from genome-wide association studies. However, the nature of genetic influences very early in the disease process is still not well known. Here we tested the hypothesis that an AD-PRSs would be associated with changes in episodic memory and executive function across late midlife in men who were cognitively unimpaired at their baseline midlife assessment..
We examined 1168 men in the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA) who were cognitively normal (CN) at their first of up to three assessments across 12 years (mean ages 56, 62, and 68). Latent growth models of episodic memory and executive function were based on 6–7 tests/subtests. AD-PRSs were based on Kunkle et al. (Nature Genetics, 51, 414–430, 2019), p < 5×10−8 threshold.
AD-PRSs were correlated with linear slopes of change for both cognitive abilities. Men with higher AD-PRSs had steeper declines in both memory (r = −.19, 95% CI [−.35, −.03]) and executive functioning (r = −.27, 95% CI [−.49, −.05]). Associations appeared driven by a combination of APOE and non-APOE genetic influences.
Memory is most characteristically impaired in AD, but executive functions are one of the first cognitive abilities to decline in midlife in normal aging. This study is among the first to demonstrate that this early decline also relates to AD genetic influences, even in men CN at baseline.
This chapter outlines some of the ways in which cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders and depression has been modified and adapted to the ageing older population. Aspects that are outlined include modifications to the process of conceptualization, which has been expanded to include relevant gerontological factors. The areas that should be incorporated into the assessment of older adults with anxiety and depression prior to starting therapy are delineated, with a focus on the characteristic features that color the presentation in the case of older adults. The changes that must be made in carrying out CBT for older adults with depression and anxiety disorders so that it is effective are described. This includes accommodations for cognitive changes and health-related difficulties as well as taking into consideration factors that are specific to the older population.
A wide variety of neurological conditions may present first to a psychiatrist and it is important to be aware of these in differential diagnosis. A careful history, examination and a broad differential diagnosis can help set up an appropriate management plan – with room to change if things change in unexpected ways. In this article we explore common ground shared by psychiatry and neurology and show how incorporation of neurological knowledge can improve the practice of psychiatry. Using four fictional case vignettes of altered mental status we explore important neurological differential diagnoses which could present to the Psychiatrist.
Dementia is a major cause of disability worldwide. About 25%-40% of patients with mild to moderate dementia are affected by sleep-awake cycle disturbances, including increased daytime sleepiness and insomnia. However, little is known about the specific impact of excessive daytime sleepiness on the cognitive decline of dementia patients.
To evaluate the impact of daytime sleepiness on the cognitive decline of dementia patients. Additionally, longitudinal associations with functional impairment and neuropsychiatric symptoms will be explored.
A longitudinal study will be conducted in a psychogeriatric consultation. Patients will be consecutively invited according to predefined eligibility criteria. Those aged ≥65 years, with dementia diagnosis or Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) <24, and with a knowledgeable caregiver, will be included. The exclusion criteria are: a caregiver <18 years, terminally ill, incapable to communicate or with a known diagnosis of insomnia, sleep related respiratory disorders, central hyperinsomnia, restless legs syndrome or sleep paralysis. Participants will undergo an assessment with a comprehensive protocol including: Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Barthel and Lawton Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Global Deterioration Scale (GDS). Participants will be re-assessed 6 months after the initial evaluation. The Health Ethics Committee of Hospital Universitário de São João granted the study authorization (nº 260/2020).
Findings will be disseminated via publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national and international scientific conferences.
This study will address key questions on the relation of daytime sleepiness and dementia outcomes, in order to undertake corrective and preventive non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches.
The growth in the number of aged people in the population is considered a worldwide phenomenon, with direct consequences in health systems. The literature indicates an increase in the diagnosis of mental disorders and the use of psychotropic drugs for that population, as well as frequent complaints regarding to cognition.
To analyze the possible relationship between cognitive decline and use of psychiatric drugs in elderly with mental disorders, assisted by psychiatric outpatient clinics, city of Campo Grande, state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
Quantitative, exploratory, descriptive and cross-sectional research, with 59 participants.Sociodemographic and clinical variables were collected through semi-structured clinical interviews and medical records. To screen for cognitive decline, the Mini Mental State Examination was used.
Majority of females, with a mean age of 66.75 ± 0.63 years, married, up to 8 years of completed studies and living with family members. The prevalence of depressive disorders was higher (52.54%), with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant use in 67.8%. Most were using 2 or more psychotropics the most prevalent combination being benzodiazepines and antidepressants. 52.5% of the elderly reported cognitive complaints and 45.8% presented Mini Mental scores, suggesting cognitive decline. It was associated with depressive disorders and the consumption of 2 or more psychotropics.
Although there is evidence that psychotropic drugs represent effective strategies for the treatment of mental disorders, the use for this group of elderly should be carefully analyzed, due to the predisposition or worsening of cognitive decline, with impairment to the quality of life of this population.
Benzodiazepines (BZDs) and related drugs (BZRDs) are widely used to reduce agitation, anxiety and sleep disturbances in the elderly, despite concerns raised about their modest efficacy for such indications and risk of severe adverse effects, including acute consequences on cognition. Recently, some studies have also raised concerns about the long-term effect of BZDs, suggesting their association with an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
To review published synthesis studies on the risk of dementia development due to BZDs/BZRDs use.
An electronic search was conducted in PubMed. Meta-analysis, systematic and non-systematic reviews examining the association between BZDs/BZRDs and subsequent dementia were included. No language nor publication date restrictions were applied. Search results other than synthesis studies were excluded. Studies were screened for relevance based on predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Overall, 246 results were obtained. After initial screening, nine studies were included. From these, three were systematic reviews with meta-analysis of observational studies (cohort and/or case-control), one was a systematic review from observational studies and five were non-systematic reviews. Most studies found an association between BZDs/BZRDs and subsequent dementia, with meta-analysis studies reporting an increased risk (OR) between 1,38 and 1,78, even after controlling for protopathic bias. However, difficulties in establishing a causal relationship are reported due to the considerable clinical and methodological heterogeneity of the primary studies.
Most studies suggest an association between the use of BZDs/BZRDs and dementia risk, highlighting that their prescription should be cautious, prevented or reduced to attenuate this risk.
Anxiety Disorders (AnxDs) are highly prevalent in middle-aged and older individuals and are putative factors that might interfere with normal aging, by affecting cognitive functioning and neuroprogression.
This study aims to assess whether current AnxD in middle-aged and older subjects are associated with 1) lower neuropsychological performance, 2) shorter telomere length/lower plasmatic Amyloid-Beta, and 3) brain connectivity alterations, compared to subjects without lifetime psychiatric disorders (HCs).
This is an ongoing multicentric cross-sectional study. We collected preliminary data on neuropsychological performance through a standardized battery, in 60 outpatients with current AnxDs (DSM-5 criteria), 24 with psychopharmacological treatments (AnxDs+) and 36 without (AnxDs-), compared to 76 HCs, all aged 50-75 years. This study was supported by Fondazione Cariplo, grant n° 2014:0664.
AnxDs- patients showed poorer performance in the language domain, namely in semantic fluency (p=0.04), compared to HCs. No other significant differences were found between groups. Within the patients’ group, we found that a greater burden of psychiatric disorders or medical diseases, current use of benzodiazepines, or unhealthy lifestyle had significant detrimental effects on cognition, whereas current use of antidepressants, pharmacological treatments for medical conditions, and higher levels of physical activity exhibited the opposite effects.
We found only limited difference in cognitive performance between patients and controls. However, our preliminary results show that multiple factors influence cognitive performance in individuals with AnxDs, making these aspect important to monitor in clinical practice. So far, our results are provisional and further analyses in the final sample may provide more reliable conclusions.
Schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) are characterized by heterogeneity. Cognitive decline, due to recent research results, appears to be a core symptom of schizophrenia. Dimensional approach of SSDs allows the separate assessment of each psychotic symptom, as well as cognitive functioning. Thus, correlations among them and their alterations, between baseline and follow up examination, can be estimated.
The objective of this study is to correlate observed alterations in cognitive performance in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, compared with baseline measurement, with alterations in severity of psychotic symptoms.
85 Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, attended in the Outpatient Department of Early Intervention in Psychosis of University of Thessaly, Greece and its affiliated psychiatric clinics, were evaluated the last 24 months, using the CRDPSS (Clinician-Rated Dimensions of Psychosis Symptoms Severity) measure and the validated greek version of the MoCA test. 37 of them had a follow up evaluation. The relationship between the two new categorical variables [dMoCA (positive- negative) and dmCRDPSS7 (positive-negative)] was assessed with x² test.
Alterations in cognitive function, as assessed with MoCA scale and dMoCA variable, were inversely correlated with the alteration in mean severity of other dimensions of psychosis symptoms (dmCRDPSS7), x²(1, N = 37) = 9.4891, p = .0021.
Our data suggest that alterations in cognitive performance may predict an inverse effect in the severity of psychotic symptoms. Periodic follow up of cognitive functioning in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders is suggested, since it can be interpreted in clinically useful information considering relapse.
The Maintain Your Brain (MYB) trial is one of the largest internet-delivered multidomain randomised controlled trial designed to target modifiable risk factors for dementia. It comprises four intervention modules: physical activity, nutrition, mental health and cognitive training. This paper explains the MYB Nutrition Module, which is a fully online intervention promoting the adoption of the ‘traditional’ Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) pattern for those participants reporting dietary intake that does not indicate adherence to a Mediterranean-type cuisine or those who have chronic diseases/risk factors for dementia known to benefit from this type of diet. Participants who were eligible for the Nutrition Module were assigned to one of the three diet streams: Main, Malnutrition and Alcohol group, according to their medical history and adherence to the MedDiet at baseline. A short dietary questionnaire was administered weekly during the first 10 weeks and then monthly during the 3-year follow-up to monitor whether participants adopted or maintained the MedDiet pattern during the intervention. As the Nutrition Module is a fully online intervention, resources that promoted self-efficacy, self-management and process of change were important elements to be included in the module development. The Nutrition Module is unique in that it is able to individualise the dietary advice according to both the medical and dietary history of each participant; the results from this unique intervention will contribute substantively to the evidence that links the Mediterranean-type diet with cognitive function and the prevention of dementia and will increase our understanding of the benefits of a MedDiet in a Western country.
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.
Previous studies indicate that occupation might affect cognitive functioning in late life. As people in low- and middle-income countries often have to work until late life, we sought to investigate if there are cognitive benefits to working later into life and whether cognitive function deteriorates after exiting the labour force. We analysed longitudinal data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), a nationally representative sample of Mexican adults age 50+ (N = 7,375), that assessed cognitive functioning by verbal learning, delayed recall and visual scanning. Analyses were carried out using mixed-effects modelling corrected for the influence of gender, instrumental activities of daily living, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, depression, income and marital status. Results suggest that working actively, compared to exiting the workforce, was associated with cognitive performance only in context with occupation. Domestic workers had a faster decline in verbal learning (b = −0.02, p = 0.020) and delayed recall (b = −0.02, p = 0.036) if they continued working actively and people working in administration (b = 0.03, p = 0.007), sales (b = 0.02, p = 0.044) and educators (b = 0.03, p = 0.049) had a slower decline in visual scanning if they continued working in old age. Our findings indicate that continued participation in the labour force in old age does not necessarily come with cognitive benefits. Whether or not working actively in later life protects or even harms cognitive functioning is likely to depend on the type of job.