Nature Communications, 2021
Abstract: Genetic discoveries of Alzheimer’s disease are the drivers of our understanding, and together with polygenetic risk stratification can contribute towards planning of feasible and efficient preventive and curative clinical trials. We first perform a large genetic association study by merging all available case-control datasets and by-proxy study results (discovery n = 409,435 and validation size n = 58,190). Here, we add six variants associated with Alzheimer’s disease risk (near APP, CHRNE, PRKD3/NDUFAF7, PLCG2 and two exonic variants in the SHARPIN gene). Assessment of the polygenic risk score and stratifying by APOE reveal a 4 to 5.5 years difference in median age at onset of Alzheimer’s disease patients in APOE ɛ4 carriers. Because of this study, the underlying mechanisms of APP can be studied to refine the amyloid cascade and the polygenic risk score provides a tool to select individuals at high risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, 2021
Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity modifies the relationship between sedentary time and sarcopenia: the Tromsø Study 2015-2016
Background: Sarcopenia is an age-related muscle disease primarily characterized by reductions in muscle strength that increases the risk of falls, fractures, cognitive impairment, and mortality. Exercise is currently preferred in prevention and treatment, but it is unknown how different habitual physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns associate with sarcopenia status. The purpose of the present study was to compare associations of these patterns with probable sarcopenia in older adults.
Methods: In 3653 community-dwelling participants (51% women) aged 60–84 years from the seventh survey of the Tromsø Study, we assessed objective physical activity and sedentary behaviour collected over 8 days (ActiGraph wGT3X-BT Accelerometer), grip strength (Jamar+ Digital Dynamometer), five-repetition chair stands, and self-reported disease. We combined tertiles of sedentary (SED) time and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) to create nine different activity profiles (SEDHIGH, SEDMOD, and SEDLOW combined with MVPAHIGH, MVPAMOD, or MVPALOW). Multiple logistic regression models were used to examine how these profiles associated with probable sarcopenia, defined by low handgrip strength and/or slow chair stands time according to the revised European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People criteria.
Results: Probable sarcopenia was present in 227 (6.2%) participants. Men with probable sarcopenia had on average 35.3 min more SED time and 20 min less MVPA compared with participants without sarcopenia (P < 0.01 for all), while women with probable sarcopenia only had 18 min less MVPA (P < 0.001). Compared with the SEDHIGH–MVPALOW reference activity profile (714.2 min SED/day and 10.4 min MVPA/day), the SEDHIGH–MVPAMOD profile (697.1 min SED/day and 31.5 min MVPA/day) had significantly lower odds ratio (OR) for probable sarcopenia (OR 0.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.08–0.35), while the SEDLOW–MVPALOW profile (482.9 min SED/day and 11.0 min MVPA/day) did not (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.47–1.11). These findings were not influenced by age, sex, smoking, or self-reported diseases, and higher levels of MVPA did not further decrease ORs for probable sarcopenia.
Conclusions: Older adults who achieve moderate amounts of MVPA have reduced odds for probable sarcopenia, even when they have high sedentary time. Those with low sedentary time did not have reduced odds for probable sarcopenia when they also had low amounts of MVPA. These findings need confirmation in longitudinal studies but suggest that interventions for preventing sarcopenia should prioritize increasing MVPA over reducing sedentary behaviour.
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 2021
Sex Differences on Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Mini-Mental State Examination Scores and the Value of Self-Report of Memory Problems among Community Dwelling People 70 Years and above: The HUNT Study
Introduction: The aims were to examine if the total and item scores on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and self-reported memory problems differed between older women and men, and if self-reported memory problems were associated with scores on the 2 tests. Methods: We included 309 home-dwelling people aged 70 years and older, 155 women, mean age 75.6 (SD 4.1) years, and 154 men, mean age 76.0 (SD 4.6) years. They were examined with MoCA and MMSE, and they answered 2 questions: “have you experienced any memory problems” and “have you experienced significant memory problems the last 5 years?” Results: The participants scored significantly higher on the MMSE (women 28.0 [1.8], men 28.4 [1.4]) than on MoCA (women 24.6 [3.3], men 24.3 [3.1]). Spearman’s rho was 0.36 between the tests. Women scored significantly higher than men on delayed recall of MoCA (3.0 [1.6] vs. 2.4 [1.6]), whereas men scored significantly higher on visuoconstruction (3.8 [1.2] vs. 3.5 [1.0]) and serial subtraction on MoCA (2.7 [0.6] vs. 2.5 [0.8]) and serial sevens on MMSE (4.5 [0.8] vs. 4.1 [1.1]). Multivariate linear regression analyses revealed that female sex, younger age, and higher education were associated with a higher score on MoCA, whereas age and education were associated with a higher score on MMSE. About half of the participants (no sex difference) had experienced significant memory problems the last 5 years, and they had significantly lower scores on both tests. Conclusions: The MoCA score was associated with sex, age, and education, whereas sex did not influence the MMSE score. The question “have you experienced significant memory problems the last 5 years?” may be useful to evaluate older people’s cognition.
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 2021
The changing alcohol drinking patterns among older adults show that women are closing the gender gap in more frequent drinking: the Tromsø study, 1994-2016
Background: As the population of older adults continues to grow, changes in alcohol consumption are important to monitor because an increase may have public health consequences. Rates of alcohol use vary with geographical location. The aim of this study was to examine trends in alcohol consumption among older adults in a geographically defined area in Norway, especially changing sex differences in drinking patterns over a 22-year period.
Methods: Repeated cross-sectional survey (in 1994-95, 2007-08, and 2015-16) of a general population of older adults. Eligible for this study were 20,939 participants (aged 60-99 years). The data were analysed using generalized estimating equations, stratified by age and sex. Alcohol consumption and drinking patterns were assessed, using an adaptation of the AUDIT-C.
Results: Between 1994 and 2016, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of current drinkers among older adults. Furthermore, the probability of frequent drinking (alcohol consumption at least twice weekly) increased significantly between 1994 and 2016, particularly among older women; OR 8.02 (CI 5.97-10.79) and OR 5.87 (CI 4.00-8.63) in the age groups 60-69 and 70+ respectively for women, and OR 4.13 (CI 3.42-4.99) and OR 3.10 (CI 2.41-3.99), in the age groups 60-69 and 70+ respectively for men. The majority of older adults drank small amounts of alcohol on typical drinking days, but there was an increasing probability of drinking three drinks or more on each occasion over the study period, except among women aged 70+ years.
Conclusions: Among older adults in Norway, alcohol consumption in terms of frequency and quantity on typical drinking days has increased considerably from 1996 to 2016. This change is in the opposite direction of what has been reported among younger adults. The gap between women and men in frequent drinking has been markedly narrowed, which indicate that women’s drinking patterns are approaching those of men. This may involve a need to change alcohol policy in Norway to more targeted interventions aimed at older people.
IBRO Neuroscience Reports, 2021
Acute response of prefrontal cortex in institutionalized older adults undergoing a single exergames session
Abstract: Virtual reality-based exercise (exergames) improves cognition of the elderly but the neurophysiological effects are poorly understood. The hypothesis herein established is that an ultrafast neurophysiological adaptation occurs in prefrontal cortex of elderly after completion of a single exergames session. To reinforce the aforementioned hypothesis, individuals living in a Long-Term Care Home (LTCH) participated in the study and were randomly allocated into two groups (Virtual Reality Group, VRG, n=5; and Active Control Group, ACG n=5). VRG performed six exercises with exergames and ACG performed exercises with the same VRG movements but with no virtual reality. Assessment of frontal cortical activity at rest and during cognitive testing via electroencephalographic activity (EEG) was performed before and immediately after the intervention. Significant decrease in relative power of EEG (RPEEG) Beta brainwave (-29±18%) in the left prefrontal cortex of VRG compared to ACG (4±9%) (p=0.007). A slight improvement on semantic fluency in VRG (ES=0.21) was noted. An ultrafast prefrontal cortical adaptation may occur as an effect of a single exergames session, causing a small improvement on cognition of institutionalized elderly.
Health & Social Care in the Community, 2021
Self-reported quality of life in people with dementia attending a day-care programme in Norway: A 24-month quasi-experimental study
Abstract: The objectives of the study were (a) to compare self-reported Quality of Life (QoL) in a 24-month follow-up of people with dementia attending day care designed for people with dementia (day-care group, DC) with people with dementia who did not attend day care (control group, CG) and (b) to explore factors associated with QoL. A quasi-experimental design with a 24-month follow-up period was used. The DC group included 181 participants recruited from 53 day-care services. The CG included 76 participants recruited from 19 municipalities with no available day care designed for people with dementia. The sample covered the four health regions of Norway and inclusion period lasted from December 2013 to July 2015. The Quality of Life in Alzheimer’s Disease (QoL-AD) scale was used as the outcome measure. The differences in QoL between groups and the associations between participant characteristics and QoL, such as depressive symptoms and functional dependency, were examined using a linear mixed model. In the multiple model, the overall trend in QoL did not differ significantly between the DC and CG. However, the DC group exhibited significantly higher self-reported QoL than the CG at all time points (p < 0.001 at T0, p = 0.018 at T12, and p = 0.006 at T24). Participants with shallow or no awareness who attended day care had significantly higher scores on QoL-AD than persons with full awareness (p = 0.017). More depressive symptoms (p < 0.001) and higher functional dependency (p < 0.001) were associated with lower self-reported QoL. The study revealed higher scores of self-reported QoL among people attending day care compared with those who did not attend, showing that day care might have positive impact on the lives of people with dementia.
Tidsskr Nor Legeforen, 2021
Bakgrunn: Eldre med psykiske lidelser er særlig utsatt for å rammes av negative konsekvenser av smitteverntiltakene som er blitt iverksatt som følge av covid-19-pandemien.
Materiale og metode: En spørreundersøkelse ble sendt til 18 alderspsykiatriske avdelinger fra alle fire helseregionene i Norge.
Resultater: Tilsammen 83 behandlere fra ulike yrkesgrupper responderte, med representanter fra alle helseregioner. Nesten halvparten (45,8 %) rapporterte forverring i pasientens psykiske tilstand på grunn av sosial isolasjon i stor eller svært stor grad, og like mange (48,2 %) at vanlig oppfølging ble begrenset. Kontakten mellom spesialist- og primærhelsetjenesten var lavere, og 15,6 % rapporterte at pasienter ikke hadde fått nødvendig somatisk helsehjelp i stor eller svært stor grad.
Fortolkning: Tilbudet til eldre med psykiske lidelser i spesialisthelsetjenesten ble redusert som en følge av covid-19-pandemien, samtidig som samhandlingen med primærhelsetjenesten ble redusert, og mange pasienter ble psykisk dårligere som følge av smitteverntiltakene. Samarbeid mellom spesialist- og primærhelsetjenesten kan være et viktig satsningsområde for denne pasientgruppen.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 2021
How do multimorbidity and lifestyle factors impact the perceived health of adults with intellectual disabilities?
Background: Adults with intellectual disability (ID) have poorer physical and perceived health than the general population. Knowledge of perceived health predictors is both limited and important for guiding the development of preventive actions. The aims of this study were to investigate (1) the associations between perceived health and demographics, degree of ID, physical health conditions, and weight and physical activity level and (2) lifestyle factors and multimorbidity as predictors for perceived health adjusted for age, gender, and level of ID.
Method: The North Health in Intellectual Disability study is a community based cross‐sectional survey. The POMONA‐15 health indicators were used. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses with poor versus good health as the dependent variable were applied.
Results: The sample included 214 adults with a mean age 36.1 (SD 13.8) years; 56% were men, and 27% reported perceiving their health as poor. In univariate analyses, there were significant associations between poor health ratings and female gender, lower motor function, number of physical health conditions and several indicators of levels of physical activity. In the final adjusted model, female gender [odds ratio (OR) 2.4, P < 0.05], level of ID (OR 0.65, P < 0.05), numbers of physical health conditions (OR 1.6, P < 0.001) and lower motor function (OR 1.5 P < 0.05) were significant explanatory variables for poor perceived health, with a tendency to independently impact failure to achieve 30 min of physical activity daily (OR 2.0, P = 0.07).
Conclusion: Adults with ID with female gender, reduced motor function and more physical health conditions are at increased risk of lower perceived health and should be given attention in health promoting interventions. A lack of physical activity tends to negatively influence perceived health.
Research Involvement and Engagement, 2021
Background: Citizen involvement is important for ensuring the relevance and quality of many research and innovation efforts. Literature shows that inadequate citizen involvement poses an obstacle during the research, development, and implementation of assistive technology. Previous studies have addressed the advantages and disadvantages of citizen engagement in health research and technology development, and there is concern about how to ensure valuable engagement to avoid situations where they don’t have influence. Frail older adults are often excluded from being active partners in research projects. The overall objective of this commentary is to describe a case where dialogue cafés was used as a method for involving assisted living residents in technology discussions, elaborating on the following research question: In what ways are dialogue cafés useful for directing research and development and for engaging residents in assisted living facilities in assistive technology discussions?
Method: Six dialogue cafés with assisted living residents as participants were carried out over a period of 3 years (2016-19). Reports that were written after each café by the group leaders and rapporteurs provide the material for the analyses in this paper.
Results: This study demonstrates an example of facilitating user involvement where the participants felt useful by contributing to research and discussions on assistive technology and where this contribution in fact directed the research and development in the overall Assisted Living Project.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that dialogue cafés enable older residents at an assisted living facility to contribute with opinions about their needs and perspectives on assistive technologies. This negates the view of older adults as too frail to participate and demonstrates the importance of including and collaborating with older adults in research.
Brain and Behavior, 2021
Blood pressure in dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and subjective cognitive decline related to time of death
Objective: It is unknown whether systolic blood pressure (SBP) drop is part of the normal aging process or due to the onset of dementia for some people. SBP drop is referring to the decrease in blood pressure often seen before death. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine whether SBP at time of diagnosis of dementia, mild cognitive impairment, or subjective cognitive decline was associated with years prior to death, and whether these associations were modified by diagnoses, age, and sex.
Methods: Participants were 2,236 patients from the Norwegian Registry of Persons Assessed for Cognitive Symptoms (NorCog), who died during follow‐up (2009–2017) for whom we had valid blood pressure measurements. Mean age at diagnosis was 77.5 years (SD 8.3), and patients were followed for an average of 3.9 years (SD 2.2, maximum 10.5 years). The patients had subjective cognitive decline (95), mild cognitive impairment (573), dementia (1,401), or no diagnoses related to cognitive deficits (167). SBP as dependent variable was regressed against years prior to death.
Results: In men, SBP was 1.8 mmHg lower per year closer to death (p < .01), and this trend was linear without any acceleration. This association between years prior to death and SBP in men was not modified by age, year of diagnosis, or diagnosis. There was no such association in women.
Conclusion: SBP was significantly lower for those diagnosed close to death in men, but not in women. This association was not modified by either age or onset of diagnosis. Thus, the lowering of SBP is more related to closeness to death and sex than to dementia or age. The downward trend was linear all 10 years prior to death, with no acceleration closer to death.