Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra, 2022
Introduction: Findings regarding brain morphometry among patients with dementia and concomitant depressive symptoms have been inconsistent. Thus, the aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that dementia and concomitant depressive symptoms are associated with structural brain changes in the temporal lobe measured with structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Methods: A sample of 492 patients from Norwegian memory clinics (n = 363) and Old Age Psychiatry services (n = 129) was studied. The assessment included the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale, Mini Mental State Examination, and MRI of the brain, processed with FreeSurfer to derive ROI measures of cortical thickness, volume, and area using the Desikan-Killiany parcellation, as well as subcortical volumes. Dementia was diagnosed according to ICD-10 research criteria. Correlates of brain morphometry using multiple linear regression were examined.
Results: Higher scores on the CSDD were associated with larger cortical volume (β = 0.125; p value = 0.003) and area of the left isthmus of the cingulate gyrus (β = 0.151; p value = <0.001) across all patients. Inclusion of an interaction term (dementia × CSDD) revealed a smaller area in the left temporal pole (β = −0.345; p value = 0.001) and right-transverse temporal cortex (β = −0.321; p value = 0.001) in patients with dementia and depressive symptoms.
Discussion/Conclusion: We confirm the previous findings of structural brain changes in temporal regions among patients with dementia and concomitant depressive symptoms. This may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying depression in dementia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest study conducted on this topic to date.
BMJ Open, 2022
Alpha-2-adrenergic receptor agonists for the prevention of delirium and cognitive decline after open heart surgery (ALPHA2PREVENT): protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial
Introduction: Postoperative delirium is common in older cardiac surgery patients and associated with negative short-term and long-term outcomes. The alpha-2-adrenergic receptor agonist dexmedetomidine shows promise as prophylaxis and treatment for delirium in intensive care units (ICU) and postoperative settings. Clonidine has similar pharmacological properties and can be administered both parenterally and orally. We aim to study whether repurposing of clonidine can represent a novel treatment option for delirium, and the possible effects of dexmedetomidine and clonidine on long-term cognitive trajectories, motor activity patterns and biomarkers of neuronal injury, and whether these effects are associated with frailty status.
Methods and analysis: This five-centre, double-blind randomised controlled trial will include 900 cardiac surgery patients aged 70+ years. Participants will be randomised 1:1:1 to dexmedetomidine or clonidine or placebo. The study drug will be given as a continuous intravenous infusion from the start of cardiopulmonary bypass, at a rate of 0.4 µg/kg/hour. The infusion rate will be decreased to 0.2 µg/kg/hour postoperatively and be continued until discharge from the ICU or 24 hours postoperatively, whichever happens first.Primary end point is the 7-day cumulative incidence of postoperative delirium (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition). Secondary end points include the composite end point of coma, delirium or death, in addition to delirium severity and motor activity patterns, levels of circulating biomarkers of neuronal injury, cognitive function and frailty status 1 and 6 months after surgery.
Journal of Women & Aging, 2022
Backgroud: The gendered aspects of extraordinary demanding spousal caring for people with young-onset dementia have been scarcely researched.
Aim: To analyze spouses’ experiences of the meaning, content, and effort of intensive caring for spouses/partners with young-onset frontotemporal dementia (YO-FTD), concentrating on a female perspective.
Method: A qualitative Norwegian study using narrative interviews with 10 wives and 6 husbands were conducted in 2014 and 2015.
Findings: The analysis resulted in four gendered main themes: Different caregiving periods, Distancing: experiencing a transformed spouse and relationship, Social isolation, and Needing assistance and relief. A case analysis of wives’ and men’s stories was applied, especially focusing on a wife’s story, to examine the detailed interrelationships between life situation, caring demands, experiences, and reactions. Spousal care is influenced by gendered caring norms and roles. The study finds marked differences between wives and husbands in the meaning, content and sustainability of care, and needs for support vary. Wives endured more stress longer than husbands, with a greater emotional impact and negative health consequences, and their needs are more easily neglected. Husbands presented their needs more efficiently and obtained public relief earlier.
Conclusion: Women may need more support earlier during different stages of caring for a spouse with YO-FTD. They need gender sensitive person-centered support to live their own lives and preserve their selves.
SOR rapport, 2022
Voksne med borderline intellektuell fungering eller lett utviklingshemning og ikke-smittsomme sykdommer
Voksne med borderline intellektuell fungering eller lett utviklingshemning kan på grunn av sine ulike biologiske og miljømessige forutsetninger ha forhøyet risiko for å utvikle ikkesmittsomme sykdommer. Lav helsekompetanse og store forskjeller i behovene kan også skape særlige utfordringer når det gjelder å oppdage og følge opp sykdom. Hva vet vi om forekomsten av ikkesmittsomme sykdommer blant voksne med borderline intellektuell fungering eller lett utviklingshemning og hva bør tjenesteytere være oppmerksomme på?
BMC Geriatrics, 2022
Physical activity is important to health and wellbeing. People with dementia are less physically active than their cognitively healthy counterparts. Reasons for this are multifaceted, and are thought to be social, psychological, and physiological. People with dementia often use services such as home care, day care centres and nursing home, and according to the stage of disease they are less or more dependent on other people to take part in activities. To develop appropriate services to this patient group, their needs and preferences regarding physical activity must be recognized. The aim of the study was therefore to provide insight into experiences with physical activity in people with dementia.
The current study is part of a larger research project on needs in people with dementia. The main project included qualitative semi-structured interviews with 35 persons with dementia. 27 of the participants talked about their experience with physical activity. In the current study, the relevant findings on this theme were analysed separately. A phenomenological hermeneutic research design was applied.
The analysis revealed three main categories regarding experiences with physical activity. To be physically active provided positive experiences such as feelings of mastering and post-exercise euphoria. To be physically active was meaningful. The daily walk was an important routine to many, and it gave meaningful content to the day. Keeping up with activities confirmed identity. Lastly, to be active was perceived as challenging. Participants described different barriers to being physically active such as a decline of physical function, lack of motivation and being dependent on others to go out.
Many of the participants expressed that being physically active was important to them. It is essential that informal and formal carers are aware of the role physical activity plays in the lives of many people with dementia, so that appropriate measures can be taken to assure continued active living in order to preserve health and quality of life.
Nordisk sygeplejeforskning, 2022
Simulering og ferdighetstrening kombinert med bruk av systematiske verktøy i sykehjem – en kvalitativ studie av sykepleieres erfaringer
Bakgrunn: Pasienter i sykehjem har et sammensatt og komplekst sykdomsbilde. Pasientsikkerhetsprogrammet anbefaler bruk av verktøy for å systematisere kliniske observasjoner og sikre felles strukturerte rapporter mellom helsepersonell.
Formål: Hensikten med denne intervensjonsstudien var å utforske sykepleiere i sykehjem sine erfaringer med og utbytte av ferdighetstrening og simulering som metoder for kompetanseutvikling.
Metode: Intervensjonen inneholdt en kombinasjon av undervisning, ferdighetstrening og simulering kombinert med bruk av systematiske verktøy. Studien har et kvalitativt forskningsdesign der fokusgruppeintervjuer er valgt som metode for datasamling. Utvalget besto av 10 sykepleiere fra ett sykehjem.
Resultat: Ifølge deltakerne ga opplæringsintervensjonen økt faglig bevissthet og bedre kontroll i krevende situasjoner. Systematiske verktøy bidro til bedre samarbeid og kommunikasjon. En forutsetning for bred implementering av ny praksis er videre ferdighetstrening, deling av kunnskap og at nødvendig utstyr er tilgjengelig.
Konklusjon: Sykepleiere i sykehjem opplever stort behov for økt kompetanse i kartlegging og behandlingen av komplekse kliniske symptombilder hos pasientene. Studien viser at ferdighetstrening og simulering kombinert med bruk av systematiske verktøy synes å øke deltakernes kliniske observasjonsferdigheter.
Experimental Gerontology, 2022
Spatial navigation in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis
In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we compared the spatial navigation performance of older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and other dementias, using healthy older adults as controls. In addition, we evaluated the possible influence of the environment type (virtual and real), protocol (object- or environment-based), and the navigation mode (active and passive navigation) on spatial navigation task performance. In total, 1372 articles were identified and 24 studies were included in the meta-analysis. We found a large effect size on the spatial navigation performance of patients with cognitive decline (statistical mean difference (SMD) = 0.87, confidence interval (CI95%) = 0.62-1.09, p < 0.001), especially amnestic MCI (SMD = 1.10, CI95% = 0.71-1.49, p < 0.001) and patients with AD (SMD = 1.60, CI95% = 1.25-1.95, p < 0.001). However, the tasks did not identify mixed and vascular dementia (SMD = 0.92, CI95% = -0.33-2.18, p = 0.15 and SMD = 0.65, CI95% = -0.67-1.97, p = 0.33, respectively). Spatial navigation ability assessed using the Floor Maze Test showed the largest effect size in differentiating healthy older adults and patients with cognitive decline (SMD = 1.98,CI95% = 1.00-2.97, p < 0.001). In addition, tasks that require walking showed the greatest differences between the two groups. These results suggest that spatial navigation impairment is important, but disease-specific behavioral biomarker of the dementia pathology process that can be identified even in the early stages.
Background: There is a lack of tools for selecting patients with advanced lung cancer who benefit the most from systemic treatment. Patient-reported physical function (PRPF) has been identified as a prognostic factor in this setting, but little is known about the prognostic value in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of this study was to investigate if measured physical performance was an independent or stronger prognostic factor than PRPF in patients with advanced NSCLC receiving platinum-doublet chemotherapy.
Methods: We analyzed patients from a randomized trial comparing immediate and delayed pemetrexed therapy in stage III/IV NSCLC (n = 232) who performed timed up and go (TUG) and 5 m walk test (5 mWT) and reported physical function on the EORTC QLQ-C30 before chemotherapy commenced.
Results: Overall, 208 patients performed TUG and 5 mWT and were included in the present study. Poor physical function was significantly associated with poor survival (TUG: HR 1.05, p < 0.01, 5 mWT: HR 1.05, p = 0.03, PRPF: 1.01, p < 0.01), but only PRPF remained an independent prognostic factor in multivariable analyses adjusting for baseline characteristics (HR 1.01, p = 0.03).
Conclusions: Patient-reported, but not measured, physical performance was an independent prognostic factor for survival in patients with advanced NSCLC receiving platinum-doublet chemotherapy.
BMC Medicine, 2022
The impact of medication reviews by general practitioners on psychotropic drug use and behavioral and psychological symptoms in home-dwelling people with dementia: results from the multicomponent cluster randomized controlled LIVE@Home.Path trial
Background: There is limited knowledge regarding the process of deprescribing psychotropic drugs to people with dementia (PwD) conducted by general practitioners (GP). We investigated the impact of a multicomponent intervention, emphasizing medication reviews, on psychotropic drugs and behavioral and psychological symptoms (BPSD) in home-dwelling PwD and quantified change in patient-GP communication evaluated by their informal caregivers.
Methods: LIVE@Home.Path is a stepped-wedge closed-cohort cluster randomized controlled trial for people with mild to moderate dementia aged ≥65 and their informal caregivers (dyads) in Norway. Complementary to health care as usual (control condition), municipal coordinators implemented the multicomponent LIVE intervention: Learning, Innovation, Volunteer support, and Empowerment (including medication review by the PwD’s regular GPs). Block-randomization was used to allocate dyads in three groups receiving the intervention sequentially in periods of 6 months duration. Prepandemic data from the first period is reported, resulting in a 1:2 intervention-to-control ratio. Primary outcome was change in psychotropic drug use. Secondary outcomes were changes in BPSD by Neuropsychiatric Inventory and Cornell Scale of Depression in Dementia and patient-GP communication by an adaption of the Clinical Global Impression of Change.
Results: Four hundred thirty-eight dyads were screened, 280 included, and 237 participated at 6 months (intervention group n=67; control condition n=170). At baseline, 63% used psychotropic medication regularly: antidementia drugs (47%), antidepressants (13%), hypnotics/sedatives (13%), antipsychotics (5%), and anxiolytics (2%). At 6 months, medication reviews were more frequently conducted in the intervention group compared to control (66% vs 42%, P=0.001). We found no differences regarding a change in drug use and BPSD. Patient-GP communication enhanced in the intervention group (mean score 0.95 [standard deviation 1.68] vs 0.41 [1.34], P=0.022). In the intervention group, control group, and overall sample, the informal caregivers of those who had their medications reviewed reported improved patient-GP communication compared to those who did not.
Conclusions: Change in psychotropic drug use and BPSD did not differ, even though patient-GP communication improved with medication reviews. Restricted psychotropic drug use among PwD likely reflects more judicious prescribing practices in recent years. Nevertheless, medication reviews could be cultivated to optimize pharmacologic treatment for this complex population.