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Journal article

The relationship between age and neurocognitive and daily functioning in adults with hoarding disorder

Authors:
DOZIER Mary E., et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 31(12), 2016, pp.1329-1336.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Objective: Given the increase in hoarding symptoms with age, there is a pressing need for understanding the clinical features as they relate to potential interventions for older adults with hoarding disorder (HD). The aim of the current investigation was to explore age-related differences in the level of functional and cognitive impairment in individuals with HD. Methods: The current study utilized the baseline assessments of 122 adults with HD. Age-related differences in the raw scores of psychiatric, cognitive, and daily functioning were analyzed using a series of multiple regression models controlling for the possible age-related differences in premorbid IQ. Results: The results suggested that older adults with HD may experience increased levels of impairment in skills related to executive functioning and everyday functioning when compared with younger adults with HD. Conclusions: Given these difficulties with neurocognitive functioning, older HD patients may require interventions that focus more on behavioural and functional skills, rather than focusing on changing thought processes. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Chronic endurance exercise training prevents aging-related cognitive decline in healthy older adults: a randomized controlled trial

Authors:
MUSCARI Antonio, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(10), October 2010, pp.1055-1064.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This study investigated the effects of endurance exercise training (EET) on the cognitive status of healthy community-dwelling older people in Pianoro, northern Italy. One hundred and twenty healthy subjects, aged 65 to 74 years, were randomised into treatment and control groups. The treatment consisted of 12 months of supervised EET in a community gym. All participants were assessed both at baseline and after 12 months. Cognitive status was assessed by the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Anthropometric indexes, routine laboratory measurements and C-reactive protein (CRP) were also assessed. The control group showed a significant decrease in MMSE score, which differed significantly from the treatment group scores. The odds ratio for the treated older adults to have a stable cognitive status after 1 year, as compared to the control group, was 2.74 after adjustment for age, gender, educational level and several other possible confounders. Blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and serum cholesterol did not differ significantly between the two groups, while CRP decreased only in the treatment group. The authors concluded that a 12-month EET intervention may reduce the onset of age-related cognitive decline.

Journal article

Alcohol, dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly: a systematic review

Authors:
PETERS Ruth, et al
Journal article citation:
Age and Ageing, 37(5), September 2008, pp.505-512.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Evidence from the review and meta-analysis of results from 23 longitudinal studies of people aged 65 and older suggests that small amounts of alcohol may be protective against unspecified incident dementia (risk ratio 0.63) and Alzheimer’s disease (RR 0.57) but not vascular dementia (RR 0.82) or cognitive decline (RR 0.89). However, studies varied, with differing lengths of follow-up, measurement of alcohol intake, inclusion of true abstainers and assessment of potential confounders. The results should therefore be interpreted with caution and, given the ethical objections to randomised placebo-controlled trials in this area, it may never be possible to know for certainty the relationship between alcohol intake and dementia.

Journal article

Prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms in an epidemiologic sample of community-dwelling elders with milder forms of cognitive impairment in Hong Kong SAR

Authors:
CHAN Sandra S. M., et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 23(6), June 2008, pp.611-617.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Depression and cognitive impairment in later-life have great bearings on public health. The two conditions often co-occur and have mutual implications on short-term risk and long-term prognosis. A two-phase epidemiologic survey on the prevalence of dementia in elders aged 60 and over was conducted in Hong Kong in 2005-06. In the first phase, 6,100 randomly selected community dwelling elders were assessed with a Cantonese version of Mini-Mental State Examination (C-MMSE) and Abbreviated Memory Inventory for Chinese (AMIC), of whom 2,073 were screened positive and invited for second phase cognitive and psychiatric assessment. 35.5% of screen-positive subjects participated in Phase 2 assessment conducted by psychiatrists for diagnosis of dementia. Severity of dementia was determined using Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR). Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) and a structured bedside cognitive battery were also administered to each subject. The results showed that 1.7% of subjects with CDR 0.5 and 5.9% of subjects with CDR 1 had clinically significant depressive symptoms. Score on CSDD correlated positively with duration of cognitive symptoms, scores on CIRS and CMMSE in linear regression model. In a logistic regression model, male gender, duration of cognitive symptoms, CIRS and CMMSE was associated with increased risk for clinically significant depressive symptoms. It was concluded that in the sample, milder forms of cognitive impairment were associated with increased risk for depression in the presence of other risk factors such as male gender, higher physical illness burden and longer duration of cognitive symptoms.

Journal article

Preferences for routines in older people: associations with cognitive and psychological vulnerability

Authors:
BERGUA Valerie, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21(10), October 2006, pp.990-998.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Although routine activities are important to normal functioning across all phases of life, their expression in older people may be associated with cognitive and psychological vulnerability. The relationship between these variables was explored in 235 elderly French participants from the PAQUID cohort study. Cross-sectional positive associations were found between preferences for routines, anxiety and depression levels, and cognitive complaints. General cognitive decline over a three-year time span was also associated with a greater desire for routines at the end of this period. The progressive routinization of behaviours and activities in older people is discussed as a marker of affective and cognitive vulnerability, and its understanding has potential for improving the early detection of adaptation difficulties and overall care in this population.

Journal article

Subjective memory beliefs and cognitive performance in normal and mildly impaired older adults

Authors:
CROOK S., MARSISKE M.
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 10(4), July 2006, pp.412-423.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Previous research suggests that subjective perceptions of memory may be related to objective memory performance. In the present study, healthy community-dwelling elders (N=73, mean age=75.25 years, education=16.2 years) completed a neuropsychological assessment, including two questionnaires of subjective memory beliefs. Each participant was identified, via consensus conference, as belonging to either an amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n=16) or no mild cognitive impairment (noMCI, n=57) group. Results indicated that subjective memory capacity beliefs were significantly related to verbal memory performance in the MCI group, but not in the noMCI group. This differential relationship persisted even after controlling for depressive symptoms, and was not reflective of unequal variances in the two groups. Thus, results indicate that subjective memory beliefs may be better indicators of performance in those with possible incipient cognitive impairment than normal older adults, perhaps because persons with MCI have heightened insight into their memory functioning, and that this relationship is not due to group differences in depressive symptoms.

Journal article

Physical activity and executive functions in the elderly with mild cognitive impairment

Authors:
SCHERDER E. J. A., et al
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 9(3), May 2005, pp.272-280.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

This study aimed to examine whether in the elderly with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the effect of physical activity measured directly following treatment, was reflected in an improvement in cognitive functioning in general or in executive functions (EF) in particular. The study also aimed to compare the effectiveness of two types of intervention, with varying intensities: walking and hand/face exercises. Forty-three frail, advanced elderly subjects (mean age: 86) with MCI were randomly divided into three groups:  a walking group (n=15), a group performing hand and face exercises (n=13), and a control group (n=15). All subjects received individual treatment for 30-minutes a day, three times a week, for a period of six weeks. A neuropsychological test battery, administered directly after cessation of treatment, assessed cognitive functioning. The results show that although a (nearly) significant improvement in tasks appealing to EF was observed in both the walking group and the hand/face group compared to the control group, the results should be interpreted with caution. Firm conclusions about the effectiveness of mild physical activity on EF in the oldest old can only be drawn after studies with larger number of subjects.

Journal article

Reminiscence: the art of remembering

Author:
MOWATT Mabel
Journal article citation:
Community Care, 15.11.01, 2001, p.36.
Publisher:
Reed Business Information

Discusses how helping older people to reminisce about their lives can help them overcome memory loss.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Mutual support groups: a response to the early and often forgotten stage of dementia

Authors:
PEACH Elizabeth, DUFF Gaynor
Journal article citation:
Practice: Social Work in Action, 6(2), 1992, pp.147-157.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Looks at the establishment of a mutual support group for people who have been given a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease or one of the related dementias, who have insight into their memory loss and confusion and are able to express their feelings with regard to this. Reviews the experience of a support group in New Zealand, which concludes that a mutual support group for people with insight into the early stages of dementia is worthwhile and one response to their needs.

Journal article

A social model of loneliness: the roles of disability, social resources, and cognitive impairment

Authors:
BURHOLT Vanessa, et al
Journal article citation:
Gerontologist, 57(6), 2017, pp.1020-1030.
Publisher:
Gerontological Society of America

Purpose of the study: The authors consider the points at which cognitive impairment may impact on the pathway to loneliness for older people, through impeding social interaction with family and friends, or by interfering with judgements concerning satisfaction with relationships. Design and methods: The authors conceptualise a mediation model anticipating that social resources (LSNS-6) will mediate the pathway between disability (Townsend Disability Scale) and loneliness (De Jong Gierveld 6-item scale) and a moderated-mediation model in which the authors hypothesise that cognitive impairment (MMSE) will moderate the association between disability and social resources and between social resources and loneliness. To validate the hypothesised pathways, the authors draw on the CFAS Wales data set (N = 3,593) which is a nationally representative study of community-dwelling people aged 65 and older in Wales. Results: Disability had a significant indirect effect on loneliness through the mediating variable social resources. Cognitive impairment was significantly associated with social resources, but did not moderate the relationship between disability and social resources. Cognitive impairment had a significant impact on loneliness, and moderated the effect of social resources on loneliness. Implications: Social structures can (dis)empower people with cognitive impairment and lead to exclusion from social resources or impact on the social construction of ageing, cognitive impairment, and dementia. The sense of self for an older person with cognitive impairment may be influenced by social norms and stereotypes, or through a temporal social comparison with an “earlier” sense of self. The authors conclude that loneliness interventions should be theoretically informed to identify key areas for modification. (Edited publisher abstract)

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