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Journal article

New approaches to understanding dementia

Author:
GINESI Laura
Journal article citation:
Nursing Times, 112(25), 2016, pp.16-19.
Publisher:
Nursing Times

Improving understanding of brain disorders is likely to be one of the core aims of physiological research in the 21st century. This article, the second in a four-part series, looks at the main types of dementia and explores emerging theories about how the condition develops. These theories are improving understanding of the neuro-degeneration that characterises the most common forms of dementia, and will help improve care for those living with dementia. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Perceptions of cause and control in people with Alzheimer’s Disease

Authors:
MATCHWICK Claire, et al
Journal article citation:
Gerontologist, 54(2), 2014, pp.268-276.
Publisher:
Gerontological Society of America

Purpose of the Study: To explore cause and control illness representations in older adults with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Design and Methods: Six older adults living in the North West of England completed semi-structured interviews that were subject to an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Three main themes emerged indicating that participants were trying to make sense of their AD by comparing it with their previous experience of physical health illnesses. All participants acknowledged their diagnosis of AD but engaged with it in a graded way because of a lack of tangible diagnostic evidence. Participants developed pragmatic emotional responses to their situation. Implications: One of the main implications of the results is that caution needs to be exercised within clinical practice so that the pragmatic responses of individuals with AD are not pathologised. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Personality changes in Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review

Authors:
WAHLIN Tarja-Brita Robins, BYRNE Gerald J.
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(10), October 2011, pp.1019-1029.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

People with Alzheimer's disease (AD) commonly exhibit changes in personality that sometimes precedes other early clinical manifestations such as cognitive impairment and mood changes. Early identification of personality change might therefore assist with diagnosis of AD. The objective of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the literature to examine the nature and extent of change in personality in people with AD. Systematic searches of 5 databases to November 2009 were undertaken to identify studies of informant-rated personality traits in AD patients. Nine studies that mapped changes in traits from the 5-factor model of personality (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness) were selected for analysis. The change in each of these 5 traits was calculated as the mean difference in score before and after the diagnosis of AD. The findings showed a mean increase in neuroticism of 10–20 T scores, a decrease of the same magnitude in extraversion, consistently reduced openness and agreeableness, and a marked decrease in conscientiousness of about 20–30 T scores. These changes were systematic and consistent. The article concludes that conscientiousness and neuroticism are the personality traits that exhibit the most change in dementia, and that these traits might therefore be useful early markers of dementia.

Journal article

The living dead? The construction of people with Alzheimer's disease as zombies

Author:
BEHUNIAK Susan M.
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 31(1), January 2011, pp.70-92.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Current literature shows how both Alzheimer's disease, and the people that suffer from it, have been stigmatised. In this article, the author suggests that Alzheimer's stigma is of a specific sort – dehumanisation based on disgust and fear. While blame for negative perceptions of people with Alzheimer's has been placed on the biomedical understanding of dementia, the author argues that strong negative emotional responses to Alzheimer's are also reinforced by the social construction of people with Alzheimer's as zombies. To highlight the case, this article identifies seven specific ways that the zombie metaphor is referenced in both the scholarly and popular literature on Alzheimer's. This common referencing of zombies is significant as it pervades the social discourse about Alzheimer's with a politics of revulsion and fear that separates and marginalises those with the disease. The article concludes that by recognising the power of this zombie label, its negative impact can be addressed through an emphasis of connectedness, commonality, and inter-dependency.

Journal article

Ambulatory actigraphy correlates with apathy in mild Alzheimer’s disease

Authors:
DAVID Renaud, et al
Journal article citation:
Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 9(4), November 2010, pp.509-516.
Publisher:
Sage

Research has revealed apathy as one of the most common behavioural symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study examined the relationship between apathy and locomotor activity in mild AD. Thirty AD subjects and fifteen healthy controls were recruited from the Nice Memory Center, France. Apathy was assessed with the Apathy Inventory (AI). Patients with a score greater than three on the AI caregiver version are considered in this report as having apathy. Locomotor activity was assessed using a wrist-worn actigraph for 75 minutes, during which a neuropsychological and behavioural examination were performed followed by 15 minutes of free activity. Findings revealed that AD patients shown lower motor activity than healthy subjects. AD patients with apathy had lower motor activity than AD patients without apathy. Apathy total score correlated negatively with mean motor activity. Most of the total score correlation was accounted for by correlations between the apathy dimensions lack of initiative and lack of interest, with mean motor activity. It is suggested that ambulatory actigraphy could be a simple technique to assess apathy objectively as part of routine assessment of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Book

Safeguarding people with dementia: recognising adult abuse

Author:
PRITCHARD Jacki
Publisher:
Alzheimer's Society
Publication year:
2009
Pagination:
23p.
Place of publication:
London

This booklet, produced by Alzheimer's Society and Action on Elder Abuse, is designed to help those who work with people with dementia become aware of the potential causes and signs of abuse. People with dementia can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment for many reasons. Dementia can also make it harder to detect when abuse is taking place. The booklet provides guidance on action to be taken and where to go for support. Contents include chapters on: what is dementia; what is abuse; why are people with dementia vulnerable to abuse; how do we recognise abuse; what action should be taken; and where to go for support?

Book

Music therapy in dementia care

Editors:
ALDRIDGE David, (ed.)
Publisher:
Jessica Kingsley
Publication year:
2000
Pagination:
256p., bibliog.
Place of publication:
London

The editor brings together the diverse research and personal experience of contributors from around the world to examine music therapy as a means of improving memory, health and identity in those suffering from dementia, particularly the Alzheimer's disease. It explores the issues which may arise in working with this group, such as coping with wartime memories, and shows how music therapy facilitates and enables communication through sound and movement. The book is expected to be of interest to caregivers and families of dementia sufferers and to become an essential resource for music therapists and professionals caring for dementia sufferers. Topics covered include: an overview of music therapy literature relating to elderly people; working with words, the significance of narratives; the importance of singing with elderly patients; the problem of agitation and potential benefits from music therapy; experience from the Netherlands; improvisation as an assessment of early Alzheimer’s disease; creative music therapy; remembering and forgiving; working with images and recollection; and dance movement therapy.

Book Full text available online for free

Deaths from Alzheimer's disease, dementia and senility in England

Author:
NATIONAL END OF LIFE CARE INTELLIGENCE NETWORK
Publisher:
National End of Life Care Intelligence Network
Publication year:
2010
Pagination:
34p.
Place of publication:
London

The analyses in this report are based on deaths registered between 2001 and 2009 of people who were usually resident in England and who died with Alzheimer's disease, dementia or senility recorded on their death certificates. The analyses examine numbers, age and gender profiles, and place of death, using mortality data compiled by the Office for National Statistics. The results show that there were 631,078 deaths for which one or more of the conditions Alzheimer's disease, dementia or senility were mentioned on death certificates between 2001 and 2009, representing approximately 15% of all deaths recorded in England over the same period.

Journal article

The brain and person-centred care: 2. Making sense of the paradoxes of dementia

Author:
MILWAIN Elizabeth
Journal article citation:
Journal of Dementia Care, 18(1), January 2010, pp.23-25.
Publisher:
Hawker

Dementia is defined as a syndrome of acquired intellectual loss, in which memory and at least one other cognitive function are damaged to such a degree that a person's normal life and functions are adversely affected. In this second article of a series on the brain and dementia care, the author explains how an understanding of the organisation of the human brain, and the fact that it is not one structure but many, can help with understanding some aspects of dementia including Alzheimer's disease. The article gives a brief overview of how the brain is organised, highlighting how certain structures of the brain are vulnerable to the causes of dementia but others less so and that of all the structures of the brain it is the cerebral cortex which is most involved in the symptoms of dementia, and noting that it is vital that each person is assessed individually, because different kinds of dementia will affect different parts of the brain.

Book

Understanding Alzheimer's disease and other dementias

Authors:
GRAHAM Nori, WARNER James
Publisher:
Family Doctor
Publication year:
2009
Pagination:
160p.
Place of publication:
Poole

Dementia is a term used to describe any condition where a variety of different brain functions such as memory, thinking, recognition, language, planning and personality deteriorate over time. Everyone gets more forgetful as they get older but that does not mean that they have dementia - it is not part of normal ageing. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, but there are several other types. This book is intended for patients and carers and for anyone who may be worried that they or one their family or friends may have dementia. Chapters include: Symptoms of dementia; Treatments for dementia; Living with dementia; Future prospects.

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