Human Brain Mapping, 2020.
Multimodal imaging improves brain age prediction and reveals distinct abnormalities in patients with psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Abstract: The deviation between chronological age and age predicted using brain MRI is a putative marker of overall brain health. Age prediction based on structural MRI data shows high accuracy in common brain disorders. However, brain aging is complex and heterogenous, both in terms of individual differences and the underlying biological processes. Here, we implemented a multimodal model to estimate brain age using different combinations of cortical area, thickness and sub-cortical volumes, cortical and subcortical T1/T2-weighted ratios, and cerebral blood flow (CBF) based on arterial spin labeling. For each of the 11 models we assessed the age prediction accuracy in healthy controls (HC, n = 750) and compared the obtained brain age gaps (BAGs) between age-matched subsets of HC and patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD, n = 54), mild (MCI, n = 90) and subjective (SCI, n = 56) cognitive impairment, schizophrenia spectrum (SZ, n = 159) and bipolar disorder (BD, n = 135). We found highest age prediction accuracy in HC when integrating all modalities. Furthermore, two-group case-control classifications revealed highest accuracy for AD using global T1-weighted BAG, while MCI, SCI, BD and SZ showed strongest effects in CBF-based BAGs. Combining multiple MRI modalities improves brain age prediction and reveals distinct deviations in patients with psychiatric and neurological disorders. The multimodal BAG was most accurate in predicting age in HC, while group differences between patients and HC were often larger for BAGs based on single modalities. These findings indicate that multidimensional neuroimaging of patients may provide a brain-based mapping of overlapping and distinct pathophysiology in common disorders.
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra, 2020
Associations between Cognition and Hand Function in Older People Diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia.
Background/Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the associations between different cognitive domains and hand function in older people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia.
Methods: This study is cross-sectional, including 98 communityliving older people aged ≥65 years with MCI or dementia. Assessments of hand function included grip strength, the Finger Tapping Test, and the Grooved Pegboard. Cognitive assessments were the Mini-Mental State Examination, the Clock Drawing Test, and Trail Making Tests A and B, as well as a 10-word List Learning Test. Statistical analyses were based on descriptive statistics and univariable and multivariable analyses.
Results: Sixty participants were diagnosed with MCI and 38 were diagnosed with dementia. The mean age was 78.8 years (SD 7.4). Analyses of hand function, cognitive tests, and demographic factors showed an association between cognitive tests, in particular executive function (EF), and hand function.
Conclusions: The findings indicated an association between physical and cognitive function. Among the cognitive domains, declines in EF were most related to a reduced physical function.
J Appl Res Intellect Disabil, 2020
Participation in employment and day care for adults with intellectual disabilities: Equal access for all?
Background: The employment rate for people with intellectual disabilities is low. This study aims to increase the knowledge about the association between age, gender, diagnosis, functional level, educational level, and daily activities for adults with intellectual disabilities.
Method: A multinomial logistic analysis was applied to registry data on 12,735 adults
with intellectual disabilities from the Norwegian Information System for the Nursing and Care Sector (IPLOS) and Statistics Norway (SSB).
Results: Higher likelihood of employment and day care participation were associated with younger age but differed between genders and diagnoses. High functional level and lack of a registered functional level decreased the likelihood for employment. Educational level was not associated with employment.
Conclusions: The systematic differences in employment and day care participation among people with intellectual disabilities indicate that actions are needed to prevent inequalities. Improved individual assessment of personal resources and wishes might promote participation in employment and day care.
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 2020
A high cerebrospinal fluid soluble TREM2 level i s associated with slow clinical progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Introduction: The progression rate of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) varies and might be affected by the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM2) activity. We explored if cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) soluble TREM2 (sTREM2), a proxy of microglial activity, is associated with clinical progression rate.
Methods: Patients with clinical AD (N = 231) were followed for up to 3 years after diagnosis. Cognitively healthy controls (N = 42) were followed for 5 years. CSF sTREM2 was analyzed by enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay. Group‐based trajectory modeling revealed distinct clinical progression groups.
Results: Higher CSF sTREM2 was associated with slow clinical progression. The slow‐ and medium‐progressing groups had higher CSF sTREM2 than the cognitively healthy, who had a similar level to patients with rapid clinical progression.
Discussion: CSF sTREM2 levels were associated with clinical progression in AD, regardless of core biomarkers. This could be useful in assessing disease development in relation to patient care and clinical trial recruitment.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2020
Vitamin D Levels, APOE Allele, and MRI Volumetry Assessed by NeuroQuant in Norwegian Adults with Cognitive Symptoms.
Background: Allele ɛ4 of the apolipoprotein (APOE∈4) gene is the strongest known genetic risk factor for late-onset sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. A possible relationship between vitamin D and APOE is not yet clear.
Objective: In this exploratory, cross-sectional study, we examined the association between serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and brain volumes and the associations of both serum levels of 25(OH)D and APOE polymorphism to brain volumes in 127 persons (mean age 66 years) with cognitive symptoms.
Methods: All subjects were examined with fully automated software for MRI volumetry, NeuroQuant.
Results: After adjustment for relevant covariates, higher serum 25(OH)D levels were associated with greater volumes of cortical gray matter on both left (p = 0.02) and right (p = 0.04) sides. When both 25(OH)D levels and APOE genotype were used as the main covariates, no significant associations were found between vitamin D level and brain volume in any of the 11 brain regions. In adjusted models, only homozygous but not heterozygous APOE∈4 allele carriers had significantly larger inferior lateral ventricles (p = 0.003) and smaller hippocampal volume (p = 0.035) than those without ɛ4. Homozygous APOE∈4 carriers also had significantly higher vitamin D levels (p = 0.009) compared to persons without the APOE∈4 allele.
Conclusion: Higher vitamin D levels might have a preserving effect on cortical grey matter volume.
International Psychogeriatrics, 2020
COVID-19 pandemic: a multinational report providing professional experiences in the management of mental health of elderly.
There is a huge amount of information on SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), but its influence on mental health is still lacking. Although all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face significant risk of developing severe illness (Kluge, Reference Kluge2020). The old age is an independent factor for the COVID-19-related death (RR = 9.45) (Zhao et al., Reference Zhao2020). This pandemic might affect this population’s mental health. Retrospective studies of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemic demonstrated that suicide rates raised among elderly during this period (Kluge, Reference Kluge2020). This data emphasize the urgency of studying COVID-19 mental health impact in real time, since it has brought consequences such as psychological suffering, fear, depression and anxiety (Courtin and Knapp, Reference Courtin and Knapp2017; Fiorillo and Gorwood, Reference Fiorillo and Gorwood2020).
Researchers and health professionals from Brazil, Norway and Portugal documented their health professional experiences facing this novel pandemic to advise health services. These countries were selected due to their position in the worldwide ranking on the 2019 Human Development (HD) Report (http://www.hdr.undp.org/en/2019-report). HD classifies countries according to indices such as economic and gender inequality, health, education, dignity and respect for human rights. Among the 100 countries in that report, Norway (1st), Portugal (40th) and Brazil (75th) are top, middle and bottom listed, respectively. Could the differences between these countries counteract the assistance to elderly in the COVID-19 pandemic age? This report aims to provide an overview of each country’s response from the authors’ perspective based on their informal interviews with a multidisciplinary health professional range.
PLoS One, 2020
Time from dementia diagnosis to nursing-home admission and death among persons with dementia: A multistate survival analysis
Objectives: To estimate transition times from dementia diagnosis to nursing-home (NH) admission or death and to examine whether sex, education, marital status, level of cognitive impairment and dementia aetiology are associated with transition times.
Design: Markov multistate survival analysis and flexible parametric models.
Setting: Participants were recruited from the Norwegian Registry of Persons Assessed for Cognitive Symptoms (NorCog) in specialist healthcare between 2008 and 2017 and followed until August 2019, a maximum of 10.6 years follow-up time (mean 4.4 years, SD 2.2). Participants’ address histories, emigration and vital status were retrieved from the National Population Registry from time of diagnosis and linked to NorCog clinical data.
Participants: 2,938 home-dwelling persons with dementia, ages 40-97 years at time of diagnosis (mean 76.1, SD 8.5).
Results: During follow-up, 992 persons (34%) were admitted to nursing-homes (NHs) and 1,556 (53%) died. Approximately four years after diagnosis, the probability of living in a NH peaked at 19%; thereafter, the probability decreased due to mortality. Median elapsed time from dementia diagnosis to NH admission among those admitted to NHs was 2.28 years (IQR 2.32). The probability of NH admission was greater for women than men due to women´s lower mortality rate. Persons living alone, particularly men, had a higher probability of NH admission than cohabitants. Age, dementia aetiology and severity of cognitive impairment at time of diagnosis did not influence the probability of NH admission. Those with fewer than 10 years of education had a lower probability of NH admission than those with 10 years or more, and this was independent of the excess mortality in the less-educated group.
Conclusion: Four years after diagnosis, half of the participants still lived at home, while NH residency peaked at 19%. Those with fewer than 10 years of education were less often admitted to NH.
Protein Intake, Protein Mealtime Distribution and Seafood Consumption in Elderly Norwegians: Associations with Physical Function and Strength
Abstract: Protein intake is considered important in the maintenance of muscle health in ageing. However, both the source and mealtime distribution of protein might affect the intake of protein and its effect on muscle protein synthesis. In this study, protein intake, mealtime distribution of protein, and seafood consumption were assessed in 92 older adults (aged 65+), and associations with physical performance (Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB)), grip strength and gait speed were assessed in a multiple linear regression analysis. The participants had a mean age of 73 ± 8.9 years. Mean protein intake was 1.1 g/kg body weight. Protein intake was well distributed, with coefficient of variance between meals (CV meals) 0.6 ± 0.3. However, dinner had the highest protein intake. No associations were found between the nutrition factors and physical performance or strength; however, this result might have been caused by a ceiling effect in the chosen test batteries, as the mean score on SPPB was 10.3 ± 2.7, and 48.9% of the participants reached the top score of 12 points. Mean grip strength was 44.4 ± 9.4 kg (men) and 26.2 ± 6.8 kg (women). Mean gait speed was 1.0 ± 0.3 m/s. The interaction analysis suggests that there might be gender differences in the effect of seafood consumption on gait speed.
Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 2020
Health professionals’ experience of nursing home residents’ consumption of alcohol and use of psychotropic drugs
Background: Nursing home (NH) residents are in most cases in older ages and use prescription drugs. As alcohol interacts with many commonly prescribed drugs, NH residents may be more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol.
Aim: To investigate the experiences of health professionals in
Norwegian NHs when it comes to residents’ alcohol consumption and use of psychotropic drugs, and the facilitation of such use in the NH.
Method: Focus-groups and individual interviews with NH health professionals were performed in 2017 and 2018. The data were analysed using content analysis.
Findings: Two main themes emerged: (1) the balancing of alcohol consumption, and (2) the use of psychotropic drugs. Each of these themes involved reasoning, which revealed that the informants in general had little attention regarding alcohol consumption among residents, and few institutions had policies regarding serving and consumption of alcohol. The informants reported an increased attention regarding use of psychotropic drugs and a tendency towards less use of psychotropic drugs among the residents than before, but few informants reported use of standardised observations tools of symptoms related to prescribing and discontinuation of drugs.
Conclusion: Alcohol policies or procedures related to alcohol consumption were uncommon at the NH that the interviewees of this study represented, and the professionals regarded infrequent serving and consumption of alcohol among the residents as a part of everyday life. In cases when residents frequently consumed alcohol, the professionals used dialogue to underpin the adherent risks and they also tried to control the consumption of the resident in different ways. The interviewees were aware of various side-effects of psychotropic drugs; they were also aware of their effects in combination with alcohol.