October 14, 2015

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE & OTHER DEMENTIAS


 

August 2015

 
Assessment of Paraoxonase 1 Activity in Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia

Pages: 437-438

The investigators reported that a significant difference in the serum paraoxonase 1 (PON-1) activity was observed in patients with vascular dementia when compared to healthy controls, whereas there were no significant difference between Alzheimer’s disease and healthy controls.

 

Melatonin for Sleep Disorders and Cognition in Dementia: A meta-analysis of Randomized controlled Trials

Pages: 439-447

The current review aims to examine melatonin therapy for both sleep disturbances and cognitive function in dementia. We searched all randomized controlled trials published in Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group’s Specialized Register, and Clinical Trials.gov. The grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation framework was used to assess the quality of evidence. Seven studies were included (n = 520). Treated participants showed prolonged total sleep time (TST) by 24.36 minutes (P = .02). Sleep efficacy (SE) was marginally improved (P=.07). This effect was stronger under a longer intervention period lasting more than 4 weeks (P = .02). Conversely, cognitive function did not change significantly. Additionally, there was no report of severe adverse events. Given the current studies, we conclude that melatonin therapy may be effective in improving SE and prolonging TST in patients with dementia; however, there is no evidence that this improvement impacts cognitive function. 

 

Alzheimer’s Disease and the Elderly in Israel: Are We Paying Enough Attention to the Topic in the Arab Population? 

Pages: 448-453

With the continuing rise in the elderly population, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia represent an increasing public health concern worldwide. In recent years, research has focused on the relationship between AD and ethnicity. Israel, a multiethnic society, provides a natural laboratory for research on ethnicity and health. The largest ethnic group is that of Israeli Jews, followed by Arab citizens, mostly Arab Muslims, with smaller numbers of Arab Christians in addition to Druze, Circassians, and others. The aim of this review is to clarify ethnic differences in prevalence and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. We review available literature on ethnic differences in epidemiologic and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, including genetic differences as well as disparities in health access and quality of health services. We will conclude with research and policy implications.

 

Using an Emic Lens to Understand How Latino Families Cope With Dementia Behavioral Problems

Pages: 454-462

Focus group data collected for a larger project to develop a fotonovela for Latino caregivers was used to conduct a meaning-centered thematic analysis in order to elicit Latino family caregiver perspectives on how behavior problems occurring in the context of dementia are perceived and managed. A sample of 42 Spanish-speaking Latino caregivers were recruited from organizations affiliated with the Alzheimer's Association near San Diego, California. Caregivers were queried on challenging behaviors, coping strategies, as well as other daily challenges. Focus group sessions were conducted in Spanish, translated and transcribed into English, and analyzed using qualitative, grounded anthropological methods. In addition to a range of behavior problems, five indigenous approaches to managing challenging behaviors were identified: acceptance, love, patience, adaptability, and establishing routines of care. Additionally, participants identified persistent challenges which deter effective coping. These include: issues with providers, problems with family members, limited knowledge of resources, emotional distress, and financial strain. To our knowledge, this is one of the few qualitative studies to report indigenous coping strategies for dementia behavioral problems. These findings have the potential to inform culturally-tailored intervention.

 

Living With Mild to Moderate Alzheimer Patients Increases the Caregiver’s Burden at 6 Months

Pages: 463-467

The objective of our study was to demonstrate that living with a person affected by mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease can lead to an increased perception of the caregiver’s burden using the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). The sample consisted of 153 dyads, caregiver–patient. At baseline, a greater perception of the caregiver’s burden was observed in the live-in caregivers. A further increase in the total burden of the live-in caregivers was noticed at the 6-month follow-up. More specifically, with the inclusion of correction factors such as the caregiver’s age and the CBI subscales at baseline, the social and emotional burden becomes statistically significant (P < .001). The present paper confirms our hypothesis that live-in caregivers perceive a greater burden than nonlive-in, and this difference increases further after 6 months. The difference in involvement between live-in and nonlive-in caregivers could be the foundation to tailor more specific interventions.

 


Intervention of Multi-Modal Activities for Older Adults With Dementia Translation to Rural Communities

Pages: 468-477

A Language-Enriched Exercise Plus Socialization (LEEPS) Program for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) was implemented in rural Wisconsin communities. Patterned after a university-based research intervention, 1 the LEEPS protocol entailed ongoing weekly to biweekly sessions with a trained volunteer and an individual with dementia, with exercise and language stimulation sessions interspersed with social or volunteer outings. Of 64 persons with ADRD who enrolled, 29 completed an initial follow-up assessment at an average of 10.65 months, and 8 completed a second follow-up at an average of 20.55 months. Results generally show stability in cognition, mood, and physical performance. Improvement was noted at the initial retest on 1 of the 3 physical fitness measures (arm curls; t = 2.61, P = .015), but self-rated quality of life declined slightly from baseline to the first retest (t = −2.09, P = .048). Change in the Mini-Mental State Examination at the first and second follow-ups (mean = +0.18 and −1.0, respectively) was negligible. The maintenance of function observed with LEEPS is an encouraging outcome, given the progressive nature of ADRD, but controlled investigations are needed to establish the efficacy of LEEPS. Barriers to implementation of an intensive activities-focused intervention in rural communities are discussed.

 

The Hypothalamus in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Golgi and Electron Microscope Study 

Pages: 478-487

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by irreversible decline of mental faculties, emotional and behavioral changes, loss of motor skills, and dysfunction of autonomic nervous system and disruption of circadian rhythms (CRs). We attempted to describe the morphological findings of the hypothalamus in early cases of AD, focusing our study mostly on the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the supraoptic nucleus (SON), and the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Samples were processed for electron microscopy and silver impregnation techniques. The hypothalamic nuclei demonstrated a substantial decrease in the neuronal population, which was particularly prominent in the SCN. Marked abbreviation of dendritic arborization, in association with spinal pathology, was also seen. The SON and PVN demonstrated a substantial number of dystrophic axons and abnormal spines. Alzheimer’s pathology, such as deposits of amyloid-β peptide and neurofibrillary degeneration, was minimal. Electron microscopy revealed mitochondrial alterations in the cell body and the dendritic branches. The morphological alterations of the hypothalamic nuclei in early cases of AD may be related to the gradual alteration of CRs and the instability of autonomic regulation.

 

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