dementia

Social activity in your 60s may lower dementia risk by 12%

New research over a 28-year follow-up period finds significant evidence that frequent social contact at the age of 60 can lower the risk of developing dementia later on. The link between having a rich social life and brain health has received much attention in the scientific community. Some studies have suggested that levels of social interaction can predict cognitive decline and even dementia, while others have shown that group socializing can prevent the harmful effects of aging…

Read More

Apathy: The forgotten symptom of dementia

Apathy is the most common neuropsychiatric symptom of dementia, with a bigger impact on function than memory loss — yet it is under-researched and often forgotten in care. A new study has found that apathy is present nearly half of all people with dementia, with researchers finding it is often distinct from depression. Although common, apathy is often ignored as it is less disruptive in settings such as care homes than symptoms like aggression. Defined…

Read More

Mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s diagnoses trigger lower self-ratings of quality of life

Researchers at Penn Medicine have discovered that a patient’s awareness of a diagnosis of cognitive impairment may diminish their self-assessment of quality of life. In a study published this month in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences the researchers report that older adults who were aware of their diagnosis — either Mild Cognitive Impairment or mild stage Alzheimer’s disease dementia — reported greater depression, higher stress, and lower quality of life than those who were unaware. They…

Read More

New low-cost workforce extends primary care to homes of older adults

A new study from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute has found that person-centered dementia care, which involves both patients and their caregivers, can be effectively provided by an engaged low-cost workforce — care coordinator assistants. Under the close supervision of clinical professionals, the care coordinator assistants, known as CCAs, work as integral health care team members conducting home and phone visits with dementia patients and family caregivers. CCAs, who typically…

Read More

Dementia care at home: Raising knowledge, confidence to improve quality, decrease costs

Over two thirds or the home health care population consists of adults over the age of 65, approximately 36% have some form of cognitive impairment, including dementia. According to the Institute of Medicine, the number of home health care (HHC) providers qualified to properly care for the older adults, including those with dementia, is inadequate. Seeing the need to fill the knowledge gap, Abraham Brody, PhD, RN, GNP-BC, an assistant professor at the New York…

Read More

Patient self-reporting version of ‘blood pressure cuff’ for dementia is reliable, valid

The patient self-reporting version of the Healthy Aging Brain Care Monitor — a primary-care tool to measure cognitive, functional and psychological symptoms — is user-friendly, reliable and valid, including being sensitive to symptom change, according to a new Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Center for Aging Research study. Similar to the way the blood pressure cuff measures blood pressure levels during (systolic) and between (diastolic) heart beats, the Healthy Aging Brain Center Monitor measures 27…

Read More

Less than half of UK prescriptions for antipsychotics issued for main licensed conditions

Less than half of UK prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs are being issued to treat the serious mental illnesses for which they are mainly licensed, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open. Instead, they may often be prescribed ‘off label’ to older people with other conditions, such as anxiety and dementia, despite the greater risk of potentially serious side effects in this age group, the findings indicate. The researchers analysed family doctors’ prescribing patterns for…

Read More

Most misdiagnosed form of dementia leaves patients, doctors unprepared

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the most misdiagnosed form of dementia, taking on average more than 18 months and three doctors to receive a correct diagnosis. Even though it is second only to Alzheimer’s disease as the most common cause of progressive dementia, affecting 1.3 million Americans, the symptoms of LBD are not well recognized by many physicians, especially primary care physicians and other general practitioners. Unfortunately, then, most people are not diagnosed until they…

Read More