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  • Psychological therapies with older people

    26 July 2017

    InPsychological Therapies with Older People,the authors demonstrate the value of a range of psychological interventions with older people, showing that it is 'not too late' to help.

  • Cognitive behaviour therapy

    26 July 2017

    Psychiatrists working with younger adults, geriatricians and other health professionals working with older people will also find in this book a handy resource to assist them when dealign with psychiatric disorders in older people.

  • Interpersonal psychotherapy

    26 July 2017

    Psychiatrists working with younger adults, geriatricians and other health professionals working with older people will also find in this book a handy resource to assist them when dealign with psychiatric disorders in older people.

  • Introduction to psychological treatments

    26 July 2017

    Psychiatrists working with younger adults, geriatricians and other health professionals working with older people will also find in this book a handy resource to assist them when dealign with psychiatric disorders in older people.

  • Lack of evidence for the efficacy of memantine in mild Alzheimer disease

    8 August 2017

    Objective: We directly assessed the clinical trials' evidence for memantine's efficacy in mild Alzheimer disease (AD). Memantine is indicated in the United States and Europe for moderate to severe AD, which is diagnosed if a patient has a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of less than 15 or less than 20, respectively. Yet memantine is very frequently prescribed for mild AD and mild cognitive impairment, and a manufacturer-sponsored meta-analysis claimed its efficacy in mild AD. Data Sources, Study Selection, and Data Extraction: Manufacturer-sponsored meta-analyses, registries, presentations, and publications were systematically searched for randomized placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical trials of memantine in patients with mild to moderate AD. The trials' characteristics and outcomes were extracted by one reviewer and checked by another. Meta-analyses were performed as inverse variance-weighted averages of mean differences using fixed-effects models. Summary results for patients with mild AD were obtained by contrasting the summary results for patients with mild or moderate AD with the summary results for the subset of patients with moderate AD. Data Synthesis: Three trials were identified that included 431 patients with mild AD (ie, with MMSE scores of 20-23) and 697 patients with moderate AD (ie, with MMSE scores of 10-19). There were no significant differences between memantine and placebo on any outcome for patients with mild AD, either within any trial or when data were combined: mean differences (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) on the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog), the Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change plus caregiver's input (CIBIC-plus), the Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Study-activities of daily living (ADCS-ADL) scale, and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) were -0.17 (95% CI, -1.60 to 1.26), -0.09 (95% CI, -0.30 to 0.12), 0.62 (95% CI, -1.64 to 2.71), and 0.09 (95% CI, -2.11 to 2.29), respectively. For patients with moderate AD, there were small differences on the ADAS-cog and the CIBIC-plus, -1.33 (95% CI, -2.28 to -0.38) and -0.16 (95% CI, -0.32 to 0.00), respectively, but no differences on the ADCS-ADL scale (-0.57 [95% CI, -1.75 to 0.60] ) or the NPI (0.25 [95% CI, -1.48 to 1.99]). Conclusions: Despite its frequent off-label use, evidence is lacking for a benefit of memantine in mild AD, and there is meager evidence for its efficacy in moderate AD. Prospective trials are needed to further assess the potential for efficacy of memantine either alone or added to cholinesterase inhibitors in mild and moderate AD. ©2011 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

  • Diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's disease: Rationale, methodology, and challenges

    26 July 2017

    There has been a large increase in the amount of research seeking to define or diagnose Alzheimer's disease before patients develop dementia. If successful, this would principally have clinical benefits both in terms of treatment as well as risk modification. Moreover, a better method for diagnosing predementia disease would assist research which seeks to develop such treatments and risk modification strategies. The evidence-based definition of a diagnostic test's accuracy is fundamental to achieve the above goals and to address this, the Cochrane Collaboration has established a Diagnostic Test Accuracy group dedicated to examining the utility and accuracy of proposed tests in dementia and cognitive impairment. We present here the assumptions and observations underpinning the chosen methodology as well as the initial methodological approach decided upon. © 2010 S. E. Mason et al.

  • Electronic tracking for people with dementia who get lost outside the home: A study of the experience of familial carers

    2 August 2017

    Purpose: The study aimed to elicit a description of GPS (global positioning system) tracking use in the care of people with dementia in domestic settings and to generate hypotheses about impact. Procedures: Users were recruited through a commercial provider. Qualitative interviews with 10 carers were completed to generate an in-depth description of how the devices were used and the perceived impact. A questionnaire was administered to ascertain sample characteristics. Findings: Most carers preferred to use tracking as a back-up to other strategies of management, particularly supervision by a carer and locked doors. In cases where the carers perceived the risk of harm from getting lost to be low, tracking was used to preserve the independence of the person with dementia. The carers reported that tracking gave them reassurance and also enhanced the sense of independence both for themselves and for the person with dementia. The poor reliability of the device was identified as a substantial limitation. Conclusion: Larger studies are needed to assess the safety and clinical value of GPS tracking. These should explore the views of people with dementia. Assessment tools are needed to assess suitability. Occupational therapy can play a pivotal role in this process of intervention design, assessment and evaluation. © The College of Occupational Therapists Ltd.

  • DOMINO-AD protocol: donepezil and memantine in moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease - a multicentre RCT.

    9 August 2017

    BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the commonest cause of dementia. Cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil, are the drug class with the best evidence of efficacy, licensed for mild to moderate AD, while the glutamate antagonist memantine has been widely prescribed, often in the later stages of AD. Memantine is licensed for moderate to severe dementia in AD but is not recommended by the England and Wales National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. However, there is little evidence to guide clinicians as to what to prescribe as AD advances; in particular, what to do as the condition progresses from moderate to severe. Options include continuing cholinesterase inhibitors irrespective of decline, adding memantine to cholinesterase inhibitors, or prescribing memantine instead of cholinesterase inhibitors. The aim of this trial is to establish the most effective drug option for people with AD who are progressing from moderate to severe dementia despite treatment with donepezil. METHOD: DOMINO-AD is a pragmatic, 15 centre, double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. Patients with AD, currently living at home, receiving donepezil 10 mg daily, and with Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE) scores between 5 and 13 are being recruited. Each is randomized to one of four treatment options: continuation of donepezil with memantine placebo added; switch to memantine with donepezil placebo added; donepezil and memantine together; or donepezil placebo with memantine placebo. 800 participants are being recruited and treatment continues for one year. Primary outcome measures are cognition (SMMSE) and activities of daily living (Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale). Secondary outcomes are non-cognitive dementia symptoms (Neuropsychiatric Inventory), health related quality of life (EQ-5D and DEMQOL-proxy), carer burden (General Health Questionnaire-12), cost effectiveness (using Client Service Receipt Inventory) and institutionalization. These outcomes are assessed at baseline, 6, 18, 30 and 52 weeks. All participants will be subsequently followed for 3 years by telephone interview to record institutionalization. DISCUSSION: There is considerable debate about the clinical and cost effectiveness of anti-dementia drugs. DOMINO-AD seeks to provide clear evidence on the best treatment strategies for those managing patients at a particularly important clinical transition point. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current controlled trials ISRCTN49545035.

  • The dementia antipsychotic withdrawal trial (DART-AD): long-term follow-up of a randomised placebo-controlled trial.

    11 August 2017

    BACKGROUND: Data from 12-week placebo-controlled trials have led to mounting concerns about increased mortality in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) who are prescribed antipsychotics; however, there are no mortality data from long-term placebo-controlled trials. We aimed to assess whether continued treatment with antipsychotics in people with AD is associated with an increased risk of mortality. METHODS: Between October, 2001, and December, 2004, patients with AD who resided in care facilities in the UK were enrolled into a randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel, two-group treatment discontinuation trial. Participants were randomly assigned to continue with their antipsychotic treatment (thioridazine, chlorpromazine, haloperidol, trifluoperazine, or risperidone) for 12 months or to switch their medication to an oral placebo. The primary outcome was mortality at 12 months. An additional follow-up telephone assessment was done to establish whether each participant was still alive 24 months after the enrollment of the last participant (range 24-54 months). Causes of death were obtained from death certificates. Analysis was by intention to treat (ITT) and modified intention to treat (mITT). This trial is registered with the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials/National Research Register, number ISRCTN33368770. FINDINGS: 165 patients were randomised (83 to continue antipsychotic treatment and 82 to placebo), of whom 128 (78%) started treatment (64 continued with their treatment and 64 received placebo). There was a reduction in survival in the patients who continued to receive antipsychotics compared with those who received placebo. Cumulative probability of survival during the 12 months was 70% (95% CI 58-80%) in the continue treatment group versus 77% (64-85%) in the placebo group for the mITT population. Kaplan-Meier estimates of mortality for the whole study period showed a significantly increased risk of mortality for patients who were allocated to continue antipsychotic treatment compared with those allocated to placebo (mITT log rank p=0.03; ITT p=0.02). The hazard ratio for the mITT group was 0.58 (95% CI 0.35 to 0.95) and 0.58 (0.36 to 0.92) for the ITT population. The more pronounced differences between groups during periods of follow up longer than 12 months were evident at specific timepoints (24-month survival 46%vs 71%; 36-month survival 30%vs 59%). INTERPRETATION: There is an increased long-term risk of mortality in patients with AD who are prescribed antipsychotic medication; these results further highlight the need to seek less harmful alternatives for the long-term treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in these patients. FUNDING: UK Alzheimer's Research Trust.

  • Alpha-synuclein pathology in the olfactory pathways of dementia patients.

    26 July 2017

    Lewy-type pathology is a characteristic of a number of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Thus far, the definitive diagnosis of these dementias can only be confirmed at post-mortem. However, it is known that the loss of smell (anosmia) is an early symptom in patients who develop dementia, and the use of the smell test has been proposed as an early diagnostic procedure. The aim of this study was to understand further the extent of Lewy pathology in the olfactory system of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Post-mortem tissue from 250 subjects was obtained from the OPTIMA brain bank. Five areas of the olfactory pathway were examined by immunolabelling for alpha-synuclein - a major component of Lewy pathology: the olfactory tract/bulb (n = 79), the anterior olfactory nucleus in the lateral olfactory gyrus (n = 193), the region of olfactory projection to the orbito-frontal cortex (n = 225), the hippocampus (n = 236) and the amygdala (n = 201). Results show that Lewy pathology affects different parts of the olfactory pathways differentially, suggesting a specific pattern of development of pathology. Clinical Parkinson's disease is most likely to be identified if the orbito-frontal cortex is affected, while the diagnosis is less likely if the pathology is restricted to the olfactory bulb or tract. These results suggest that pathology in the olfactory bulb and tract occurs prior to clinical signs of Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, the results presented here provide further evidence supporting the possible value of a smell test to aid the clinical diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.