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Journal article

Self-neglect and cognitive function among community-dwelling older persons

Authors:
DONG XinQi, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(8), August 2010, pp.798-806.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

While self-neglect with older people is a public health issue, it is unclear to what extent it is associated with cognitive function. As such, this study examined the cross-sectional association between self-neglect and cognitive function. The study identified 1,094 Chicago Health and Aging Project participants who had self-neglect reported to social services, which assessed the self-neglect severity. Cognitive function was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (Perceptual Speed), and both immediate and delayed recall of the East Boston Memory Test (Episodic Memory). An index of global cognitive function scores was derived by averaging z-scores of all tests. Findings indicated that self-neglect was associated with poorer cognitive function. After adjusting for confounders, self-neglect was associated with lower global cognitive function, and perceptual speed. In addition, higher self-neglect severity scores were associated with lower global cognitive function. Greater self-neglect severity was not correlated with worse performance on MMSE, but was correlated with worse performance on both episodic memory, and perceptual speed. While self-neglect was associated with lower cognitive function, episodic memory and perceptual speed, future research is needed to examine the temporality of these associations.

Journal article

Training to enhance adult memory (TEAM): an investigation of the effectiveness of a memory training program with older adults

Authors:
FAIRCHILD J. Kaci, SCOGIN F.R.
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 14(3), April 2010, pp.364-373.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Prior research examining the effectiveness of memory enhancement programmes targeting both objective and subjective memory has yielded results with varying degrees of success. The current investigation aimed to evaluate an in-home memory enhancement programme for older adults that emphasised the importance of both objective memory ability and subjective beliefs about one’s memory. The participants, 53 community-dwelling older adults, were assigned to either a memory enhancement condition or a minimal social support condition. The memory enhancement participants met with a trainer once a week for 6 weeks, and had 3 training sessions targeting subjective memory which included information on aging, mood and nutrition, and 3 training sessions on mnemonics to target objective memory. The results showed that those in the memory enhancement condition had significant improvement in remembering names with faces and not misplacing household objects. Additionally, those in the memory enhancement condition also reported being more content with their memory, having fewer lapses in memory, greater use of mnemonic strategies, and were less bothered by memory complaints. Regression analyses indicated that neither levels of positive nor negative affect were predictive of participants' objective and subjective memory at post-treatment. The article concludes that these results provide support for the use of memory enhancement programs for older adults.

Journal article

Life story work in practice: magic moments

Author:
HEATHCOTE Julie
Journal article citation:
Journal of Dementia Care, 18(3), May 2010, pp.22-24.
Publisher:
Hawker

Reminiscing is a powerful communication tool which can be used to engage, stimulate and empower people. Recognising and valuing the person is an important aspect of care, and making a life story book is one way of doing this. If a life book is made at the right time, people can enjoy not only the process of making it but also benefit from its subsequent use as a memory prompt. This article discusses reasons to make and use life story books. It then provides advice on how to make them, including the format, items to include, and ownership. It also discusses the results of a small survey of a template life story book. One conclusion from this study is that there may be a limited period, after the diagnosis of dementia but before the stage where the condition has become advanced, which is the right time for making life story books. The article concludes that making and using life story books is a valuable tool for both the person remembering their story and the people working with them.

Journal article

The prescribed amount of physical activity in randomized clinical trials in older adults

Authors:
KRUGER Judy, BUCHNER David M., PROHASKA Thomas R.
Journal article citation:
Gerontologist, 49(S1), June 2009, pp.S100-S107.
Publisher:
Gerontological Society of America

This article describes the amount of physical activity prescribed between 1980 and 2005 to sedentary older adults enrolled in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using MEDLINE, Health and Psychological Instruments, EBM Reviews, CINAHL, ERIC, PsychInfo, and Social Science Abstracts with the key words "exercise," "physical activity," and "older adult." More than 13,502 research abstracts were reviewed, and 160 RCTs 12 weeks or more in duration with documented outcomes of physical activity were synthesized. The average prescribed dose of aerobic activity provided by interventions for older adults was less than the recommended amount of 150 min or more per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. In interpreting the results of RCTs, there is an insufficient body of evidence on the relationship between physical activity and cognitive health. However, studies indicated that moderate-intensity physical activity had a positive effect on cognitive health. Given the broad consensus of a dose–response relationship between aerobic activity and a variety of health outcomes, the RCT literature appears to have underestimated the benefit of physical activity for previously sedentary older adults because the prescribed dosages are not consistent with those recommended.

Journal article

Modality of physical exercise and cognitive function in Hong Kong older Chinese community

Authors:
LAM Linda C. W., et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 24(1), January 2009, pp.48-53.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This study reports on the association between modality of Physical Exercise and cognitive function in 782 older Chinese adults assessed in the second phase of a population survey for dementia in Hong Kong. Profiles of physical exercise was measured by a questionnaire (no exercise, stretching, aerobic and mind-body exercise). Cognitive Assessments included the CMMSE, ADAS-Cog, and Category Verbal Fluency Test (CVFT).  The aerobic and mind body exercise groups with longer exercise habits had higher scores in most cognitive tests. Beneficial effects were more significant in the young old group from 65- 75 years. It is concluded that possible age related specific effects of aerobic and mind body exercise on cognitive reserve are worthy of further exploration.

Book Full text available online for free

Cognitive testing: older people and the FRS material deprivation questions

Authors:
LEGARD Robin, GRAY Michelle, BLAKE Margaret
Publisher:
Great Britain. Department for Work and Pensions
Publication year:
2008
Pagination:
111p.
Place of publication:
London

Research, looked at developing a new set of survey questions which effectively capture the living standards of older people. This report details the programme of cognitive testing which was undertaken to understand more about why the previous material deprivation question wording and items on the Family Resources Survey (FRS) do not work effectively for older people and to develop new questions for use on the FRS. This study was part of a wider programme of research on developing a robust question block on older people's material deprivation. Readers are recommended to also consult DWP Working paper 54, Measuring material deprivation among older people: Methodological study to revise the FRS questions (released at the same time), undertaken by Stephen McKay, Professor of Social Research at the University of Birmingham, which provides an outline of the overall programme of research and makes recommendations for the implementation of the new question block on the FRS.

Journal article

A controlled evaluation of monthly maintenance interpersonal psychotherapy in late-life depression with varying levels of cognitive function

Authors:
CARREIRA Kristen, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 23(11), November 2008, pp.1110-1113.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This study evaluated the effect of maintenance Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) on recurrence rates and time to recurrence of major depression in elderly patients with varying levels of cognitive function. Two-year maintenance study of monthly maintenance IPT vs supportive clinical management (CM) in remitted depressed elderly who were participants in a previously reported placebo-controlled study of maintenance paroxetine and IPT (Reynolds et al., [2006]). Cox regression analysis was used to test interactions between cognitive status (Dementia Rating Scale score) and treatment (IPT, CM) with respect to recurrence of major depression. A significant interaction between cognitive status and treatment was observed: lower cognitive performance was associated with longer time to recurrence in IPT than in CM. Subjects with average cognitive performance showed no effect of maintenance IPT vs CM on time to recurrence. Monthly maintenance IPT confers protection against recurrence of major depression in elders with lower cognitive functioning.

Journal article

The effects of ECT on cognitive functioning in the elderly: a review

Authors:
TIELKES Caroline E M, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 23(8), August 2008, pp.789-795.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This study aimed to review all studies from 1980-2006 on ECT and cognition in the elderly with a minimum age of 55 years or a mean age of 55 years, and with valid measurements of cognition before and after ECT. Nine out of the 15 eligible studies were focused exclusively on the elderly. Three studies reported verbal learning- and recall problems post ECT, while three studies found positive effects of ECT on memory, speed of processing and concentration. Global cognitive functioning in patients with cognitive impairment improved in all studies. At follow up, most studies reported improvement of cognitive functions. Learning verbal information and executive functioning were impaired in M-ECT patients whereas global cognition remained stable after M-ECT over a year. To date research of ECT on cognitive functioning in the elderly is very limited. Small sample size, lack of controls, use of a single screening instrument and a short follow up period may explain the conflicting results. Given the clinical importance, more extensive research on cognition in elderly treated with ECT is urgently needed.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Thanks for the memory

Author:
HOPKINS Graham
Journal article citation:
Community Care, 5.4.07, 2007, pp.34-35.
Publisher:
Reed Business Information

The author reports on a scheme in West Yorkshire which is helping people with dementia recall their past and retain their identity. More than 60 people from two care homes and two day centers too part in the scheme which used memory boxes filled with mementos and memorabilia.

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.

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