Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 11.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Hear” by Jaya Ramchandani is licensed under CC BY 2.0David G. Loughrey, BA(Hons) NEIL (Neuro Enhancement for Independent Lives) Programme Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, School of Medicine Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Age-related hearing loss, a common chronic condition among older adults, has emerged in the literature as a potential modifiable risk factor for dementia. This is of interest as current pharmacological therapies for dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease only offer symptom-modifying effects. Treatment of risk factors such as hearing loss may help delay the onset of dementia and may provide an alternate therapeutic strategy. However, there is variance in the research on hearing loss and cognition with some studies reporting a small or non-significant association. In this meta-analysis, we investigated this association and we only included observational studies that used standard assessments of cognitive function and pure-tone audiometry (the clinical standard).
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 30.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38640" align="alignleft" width="128"]Willemijn Jansen, PhD  Postdoctoral researcher Department of Psychiatry & Neuropsychology Maastricht University Medical Center School for Mental Health and Neuroscience Alzheimer Center Limburg  Dr. Jansen[/caption] Willemijn Jansen, PhD Postdoctoral researcher Department of Psychiatry & Neuropsychology Maastricht University Medical Center School for Mental Health and Neuroscience Alzheimer Center Limburg  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cerebral amyloid-β aggregation is an early pathological event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), starting decades prior to dementia onset. About 25% of cognitively normal elderly and 50% of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have biomarker evidence of amyloid pathology. These persons are at increased risk for developing AD-type dementia, but the extent to which amyloid-β aggregation affects cognitive function in persons without dementia is unclear. This is important to know for a better understanding of the course of Alzheimer’s disease and for the design of AD prevention trials. We here investigate the association between amyloid plaques and memory scores, using data from 53 international studies included in the Amyloid Biomarker study. Cognitively healthy elderly people with plaques have a low memory score twice as often as these persons without plaques. MCI patients with plaques had 20% more often low memory and low global cognition scores than MCI patients without plaques. We further observed 10- to 15-year intervals between the onset of amyloid positivity and emergence of low memory scores in cognitively healthy persons.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Genetic Research, Nature / 07.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38035" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr Miguel Chillon PhD Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Universitat Autonoma Barcelona Spain Dr. Chillon[/caption] Dr Miguel Chillon PhD Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Universitat Autonoma Barcelona Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Klotho is a protein with an anti-aging and neuroprotective role. Recent studies show it prevents the development of cognitive problems associated with aging and Alzheimer's disease. Klotho works mainly by inhibiting the insulin / IGF-1 signaling pathway and decreasing the damage caused by oxidative stress in the brain. One of the latest results revealed that the concentration of Klotho in cerebrospinal fluid is significantly lower in Alzheimer's patients than in human controls of the same age; and it is lower in the elderly with respect to young adults. Our study used a gene therapy strategy to introduce the Klotho gene into the Central Nervous System of adult animals. With just a single injection of the Klotho gene, young adult animals were protected over time from the cognitive decline associated with aging in old animals. These exciting results pave the way to further advances in research and the development of a neuroprotective therapy based on Klotho.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Johns Hopkins, Memory, Mental Health Research / 04.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Keenan A. Walker, PhD Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is quite a bit of evidence linking immune function with dementia. For example, several of the risk genes for Alzheimer’s disease are known to play a key role in immune functioning and the regulation of inflammation. We conducted the current study to determine whether systemic inflammation earlier in life might be a risk factor for neurodegeneration decades later. This long temporal window allows us to get closer to understanding causality. That is, which comes first – systemic inflammation or brain volume loss. Using a large community sample, we found that individuals with higher levels of blood inflammatory markers during midlife tended to have smaller brain volumes in select regions and reduced memory ability as older adults. We found the strongest associations between systemic inflammation and brain volume loss in brain regions most vulnerable Alzheimer’s disease.
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Heart Disease / 26.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37734" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Leif Friberg MD, PhD Associate professor in cardiology Karolinska Institute Friberg Resarch Stockholm, Sweden  Dr. Leif Friberg[/caption] Dr. Leif Friberg MD, PhD Associate professor in cardiology Karolinska Institute Friberg Resarch Stockholm, Sweden  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I have been doing research on atrial fibrillation and stroke risk for many years and knew that the very common heart arrhythmia is associated with a 40% increased risk of dementia. Considering that that 12-15% of 75 years olds have this arrhythmia, and even more at higher ages, the problem is significant to say the least. The mechanism behind stroke in atrial fibrillation is that blood clots are formed in the heart. When these are dislodged they travel with the blood stream and may get stuck in the narrow vessels of the brain where they stop blood flow causing brain infarction or stroke. Oral anticoagulant drugs like warfarin or the newer so called NOAC (new oral anticoagulant) drugs are highly efficient in preventing formation of these large blood clots and offer at least 70% risk reduction. Now, blood clots come in different sizes. There are also microscopic clots that do not cause symptoms of stroke but all the same eat away at the brain at a slow but steady pace. Imaging studies shows this after only a few months or even weeks of atrial fibrillation. Our hypothesis was therefore: If anticoagulants are so effective in protecting against large clots, will they not help against the small ones too?
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA / 05.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36734" align="alignleft" width="125"]Carol A. Derby, Ph.D. Research Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology Research Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health Louis and Gertrude Feil Faculty Scholar in Neurology Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY 10461 Dr. Derby[/caption] Carol A. Derby, Ph.D. Research Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology Research Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health Louis and Gertrude Feil Faculty Scholar in Neurology Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY 10461 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The population over the age of 85 is expected to triple in the coming decades, and with the aging of the population, the number of individuals living with dementia is projected to increase dramatically. While dementia prevalence rates are driven by demographic shift to older ages, changes in dementia incidence- the rate at which new cases are diagnosed, would also impact the proportion of the population affected in the coming decades. Recently, studies have suggested that dementia incidence rates may be declining in some populations, although the results have not been consistent. Better understanding trends in dementia rates is important for public health planning. Our objective was to determine whether there has been a change in the incidence of dementia diagnosis within a community residing group of over older adults followed by the Einstein Aging Study, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, NY between the years 1993 and 2015. To accurately characterize trends over time in disease rates requires separating the effects of age and the effects of calendar time. Therefore, we conducted a birth cohort analysis in which we examined age specific dementia incidence rates by birth year, for individuals born between 1910 and 1940. The analysis included over 1300 individuals over the age of 70, who were free of dementia when they enrolled in the study. Dementia was diagnosed using identical criteria over the entire study period, and study recruitment was also consistent over the period. We also examined trends in cardiovascular co-morbidities that have been related to dementia risk, as well as trends in education. 
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, General Medicine, JAMA / 26.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36157" align="alignleft" width="144"]Jochen René Thyrian, PhD German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Greifswald, Germany      Dr. Thyrian[/caption] Jochen René Thyrian, PhD German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Greifswald, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Dementia presents a challenge to the health care systems worldwide. People with dementia (PWD) need comprehensive medical, nursing, psychological and social support to delay the progression of disease and sustain autonomy and social inclusion. Evidence-based interventions alleviate the burden of disease for PwD and their caregivers, as no curative treatment is currently available. Involving caregivers is important because they provide the largest proportion of care for PwD. General physicians in residency have been identified as the first point of contact for PwD and is thus a promising setting for identification, comprehensive needs assessment and initiating dementia-specific treatment and care. In this study we tested the effectiveness and safety of a model of collaborative care, Dementia Care Management (DCM) on patient-oriented outcomes in n=634 people screened positive for dementia in primary care. DCM is provided by specifically trained nurses, supported by a computerized intervention management system, in close cooperation with the treating physician at the people´s homes. Recommendations for improving treatment and care were based on a comprehensive needs assessment, discussed interprofessionally and their implementation monitored/ adjusted over the course of 6-12 months
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Technology / 18.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35993" align="alignleft" width="200"]Douglas W. Scharre MD Professor of Clinical Neurology and Psychiatry Director Division of Cognitive Neurology, Department of Neurology  Director, Center for Cognitive and Memory Disorders Director, Memory Disorders Research Center Co-Director, Neuroscience Research Institute Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center  Columbus, OH Dr. Douglas Scharre[/caption] Douglas W. Scharre MD Professor of Clinical Neurology and Psychiatry Director, Division of Cognitive Neurology Department of Neurology Director, Center for Cognitive and Memory Disorders Director, Memory Disorders Research Center Co-Director, Neuroscience Research Institute Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Columbus, OH   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) is a pen-and paper, valid and reliable cognitive assessment tool for identifying individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early dementia. We published age and education normative data on SAGE and determined that one point be added to the scores when age over 79 and one point be added when education level is 12 years or less. We evaluated the identical test questions in digital format (eSAGE) made for tablet use, adjusted with previously published age and education norms, and determined eSAGE’s association with gold standard clinical assessments. eSAGE is commercially known as BrainTest.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA / 18.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34653" align="alignleft" width="130"]Archana Singh-Manoux, PhD Research Professor (Directeur de Recherche) Epidemiology of ageing & age-related diseases INSERM U1018, France Honorary Professor University College London, UK Dr. Archana Singh-Manoux[/caption] Archana Singh-Manoux, PhD Research Professor (Directeur de Recherche) Epidemiology of ageing & age-related diseases INSERM  France Honorary Professor University College London, UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Depressive symptoms are common in dementia patients. Previous studies, based on older adults, show depressive symptoms in late life to be associated with an increased risk of dementia. These studies do not allow conclusions to be drawn on the causal nature of the association between depressive symptoms and dementia.
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, PLoS / 04.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32653" align="alignleft" width="173"]Emma van Bussel MD, MSc Academic Medical Center | University of Amsterdam Amsterdam | The Netherlands Dr. Emma van Bussel[/caption] Emma van Bussel MD, MSc Academic Medical Center | University of Amsterdam Amsterdam | The Netherlands  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Dementia forms a high social and economic burden on society. Since there is a growing number of older people, the occurrence of dementia is expected to increase over the years to come. For future planning of care, it is important to have reliable predictions on new dementia cases for the population at large. Studies in Western countries suggested that the incidence per 1000 person years is declining. We studied the incidence trend of dementia in the Netherlands in primary care registry data, in a population of over 800,000 older people (60 years and over) for the years 1992 to 2014. Our results indicate a small increase of 2.1% (95% CI 0.5% to 3.8%) per year in dementia incidence over the past decades. The trend did not change in the years after 2003, when a national program was developed to support dementia care and research, compared to the years prior to 2003.
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Endocrinology, Journal Clinical Oncology, Prostate Cancer, Testosterone / 27.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Farzin Khosrow-Khavar, M.Sc. Ph.D. Candidate Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University Center for Clinical Epidemiology - Jewish General Hospital Montreal, QC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have shown an association between androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, these studies had methodological limitations that may account for this positive association. Using appropriate study design and methodology, we found no association between androgen deprivation therapy and risk of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) in patients with prostate cancer. These results were consistent by cumulative duration of  androgen deprivation therapy use and by ADT modality.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Geriatrics, Heart Disease, Stroke / 26.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32407" align="alignleft" width="200"]Ariela Orkaby, MD, MPH Geriatrics & Preventive Cardiology Associate Epidemiologist Division of Aging, Brigham and Women's Hospital Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School Dr. Ariela Orkaby[/caption] Ariela Orkaby, MD, MPH Geriatrics & Preventive Cardiology Associate Epidemiologist Division of Aging, Brigham and Women's Hospital Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Atrial Fibrillation is a common heart rhythm that affects 1 in 25 adults over age 60 and 1 in 10 adults over age 80. The feared consequence of atrial fibrillation is stroke, leading to the prescription of blood thinning medications (anticoagulants such as warfarin) to prevent strokes. However, there is an underutilization of these life-saving medications in older adults, and particularly in those who have dementia. In part, this is due to a lack of research and inclusion of older adults with dementia in prior studies. In this study, we used clinical Veterans Administration data, linked to Medicare, to follow 2,572 individuals over age 65 who had atrial fibrillation and until a diagnosis of dementia. The average age was 80 years, and 99% were male. We found that only 16% remained on warfarin. We used statistical methods to account for reasons why a patient would or would not be treated with warfarin and found that those who continued to take warfarin had a significantly lower risk of stroke (HR 0.74, 95% Confidence interval 0.54- 0.99, p=0.47) and death (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.60-0.87, p<0.01) compared to those who did not continue to take warfarin, without an increased risk of bleeding.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Neurology, Sleep Disorders / 25.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32381" align="alignleft" width="135"]Dr. Matthew P. Pase Sidney Sax NHMRC Fellow, Department of Neurology Boston University School of Medicine Investigator, Framingham Heart Study;  Senior Research Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology. Boston MA 02118 Dr. Matthew Pase[/caption] Dr. Matthew P. Pase Sidney Sax NHMRC Fellow, Department of Neurology Boston University School of Medicine Investigator, Framingham Heart Study; Senior Research Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology. Boston MA 02118 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sleep disturbances are common in dementia. However, most studies have focused on patients who already have dementia and so it is unclear whether disturbed sleep is a symptom or a cause of dementia. We studied 2,457 older participants enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study, a large group of adults sampled from the community in Framingham, Massachusetts. We asked participants to indicate how long they typically slept each night. Participants were then observed for the following 10-years to determine who developed dementia, including dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. Over the 10 years, we observed 234 cases of dementia. Information on sleep duration was then examined with respect to the risk of developing dementia.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews / 17.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shinsuke Ishigaki Department of Neurology Department of Therapeutics for Intractable Neurological Disorders Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine Nagoya,Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a pathological process that has been characterized by personality changes, abnormal behaviors, language impairment, and progressive dementia. The genetic and pathological similarities in fused in sarcoma (FUS), transactive response (TAR) DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), and C9orf72 in relation to FTLD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have recently lead to the recognition that the two conditions represent points on a spectrum of a single disease entity. Additionally, Frontotemporal lobar degeneration has also been classified as a tauopathy, characterized by an accumulation of phosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau (tau) in affected neurons. Our study demonstrated a biological link between FUS/SFPQ and the regulation of tau isoforms involved in the early phase of Frontotemporal lobar degeneration.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Environmental Risks, Lancet / 05.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30933" align="alignleft" width="150"]Hong Chen, PhD Scientist, Environmental Health Assessment Public Health Ontario | Santé publique Ontario Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Toronto, ON Dr. Hong Chen[/caption] Hong Chen, PhD Scientist, Environmental Health Assessment Public Health Ontario | Santé publique Ontario Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Toronto, ON MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past several decades, there is unequivocal evidence that living close to major roadways may lead to various adverse health outcomes, such as cardio-respiratory related mortality and mortality. In the past decade, concern is growing that exposures associated with traffic such as air pollution and noise may also have an adverse impact on brain health. Several experimental studies show that air pollutants and diesel exhaust induce oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, activate microglia (which act as the first and main form of immune defense in the central nervous system), and stimulate neural antibodies. There are also a small number of epidemiological studies linking traffic-related noise and air pollution to cognitive decline and increased incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies also showed that living near roads was associated with reduced white matter hyperintensity volume and cognition, but its effect on the incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis is unknown. Given hundreds of millions of people worldwide live close to major roads, we conducted this population-based cohort study to investigate the association between residential proximity to major roadways and the incidence of these three neurological diseases in Ontario, Canada.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Neurology / 19.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30638" align="alignleft" width="133"]Kay Deckers, MSc PhD student School for Mental Health and Neuroscience Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology Maastricht University The Netherlands Kay Deckers[/caption] Kay Deckers, MSc PhD student School for Mental Health and Neuroscience Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology Maastricht University The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In an earlier review (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25504093), we found that renal dysfunction was one the new candidate risk factors of dementia and needed further investigation. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Albuminuria is associated with an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment or dementia.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Health Care Systems, University of Pittsburgh / 12.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30462" align="alignleft" width="144"]Dr-Joshua-M-Thorpe.jpg Dr. Joshua Thorpe[/caption] Joshua M. Thorpe, PhD, MPH From the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Care coordination for persons with dementia is challenging for health care systems under the best of circumstances. These coordination challenges are exacerbated in Medicare-eligible veterans who receive care through both Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Recent Medicare and VA policy changes (e.g., Medicare Part D, Veteran’s Choice Act) expand veterans’ access to providers outside the VA. While access to care may be improved, seeking care across multiple health systems may disrupt care coordination and increase the risk of unsafe prescribing - particularly in veterans with dementia. To see how expanded access to care outside the VA might influence medication safety for veterans with dementia, we studied prescribing safety in Veterans who qualified for prescriptions through the VA as well as through the Medicare Part D drug benefit.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Depression, JAMA / 03.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zahinoor Ismail MD FRCPC Clinical Associate Professor, Hotchkiss Brain Institute University of Calgary MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Depression and depressive symptoms are common in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Evidence suggests that depression in MCI increases the likelihood of progression from MCI to dementia, compared to non-depressed people with MCI. In the newer construct of mild behavioural impairment (MBI), which describes the relationship between later life onset of sustained and impactful neuropsychiatric symptoms and the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, depression is an important subdomain (in addition to apathy, impulse control, social cognition and psychotic symptoms). Thus, depression and depressive symptoms are a significant risk factor for cognitive, behavioural and functional outcomes in older adults who have at most mild cognitive impairment. As the importance of neuropsychiatric symptoms in older adults emerges, good prevalence estimates are required to inform clinicians and researchers as well as public health policy and decision makers. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the best estimate of prevalence of depression in  mild cognitive impairment. We included 57 studies, representing 20,892 participants in the analysis. While we determined that the omnibus prevalence estimate was 32%, there was significant heterogeneity in this sample based on setting. In community samples, the rate was 25%, but in clinical samples this was higher at 40%. Additionally, different case ascertainment methods for depression (self report, clinician administered or caregiver report) and different MCI criteria didn't change the prevalence estimates.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Neurological Disorders / 20.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29020" align="alignleft" width="132"]Dr David Lynch MB, MRCPI Leonard Wolfson Clinical Fellow UCL Institute of Neurology Queen Square, London Dr David Lynch[/caption] Dr David Lynch MB, MRCPI Leonard Wolfson Clinical Fellow UCL Institute of Neurology Queen Square, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2011 it was discovered that mutations in a gene called CSF1R cause a rare syndrome of early onset dementia often accompanied by movement disorders, spasticity and seizures, which is named adult onset leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids (ALSP). The hallmarks of ALSP are a characteristic appearance on MRI imaging and findings in brain pathological specimens - axonal swellings or 'spheroids'. We manage a multidisciplinary group with expertise in leukoencephalopathies and have previously identified patients with mutations in CSF1R. However, we also found patients with a syndrome typical of ALSP who did not carry mutations in CSF1R. In this study, we showed that some of these patients carry recessive mutations in a different gene, AARS2. This included a patient with characteristic axonal spheroids in brain tissue and typical ALSP clinical and imaging features.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Hormone Therapy, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, University of Pennsylvania / 15.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kevin T. Nead, MD, MPhil Resident, Radiation Oncology Perelman School of Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Androgen deprivation therapy is a primary treatment for prostate cancer and works by lowering testosterone levels. There is a strong body of research suggesting that low testosterone can negatively impact neurovascular health and function. We were therefore interested in whether androgen deprivation therapy is associated with dementia through an adverse impact on underlying neurovascular function.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, End of Life Care, Geriatrics, JAMA / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28781" align="alignleft" width="142"]Joan M. Teno, MD, MS Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence University of Washington Medicine Seattle, Washington Dr. Joan Teno[/caption] Joan M. Teno, MD, MS Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence University of Washington Medicine Seattle, Washington MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: An important challenge for our health care system is effectively caring for persons that high-need, high-cost — persons afflicted with advanced dementia and severe functional impairment are among these persons, with substantial need and if hospitalized in the ICU and mechanically ventilated are high cost patients, who are unlikely to benefit from this level of care and our best evidence suggest the vast majority of persons would not want this care. In a previous study, we interviewed families of advance dementia with 96% starting the goals of care are to focus comfort. Mechanical ventilation in some cases may be life saving, but in cases such as those with advanced dementia and severe functional impairment, they may result in suffering without an improvement in survival.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 10.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28675" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr Tamara Shiner MD PhD Specialist in Neurology Neurology Division Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre Dr Tamara Shiner[/caption] Dr Tamara Shiner MD PhD Specialist in Neurology Neurology Division Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although in the past believed to be sporadic, there is much emerging evidence for a significant genetic contribution to Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Hetrozygosity for common mutations in the GBA gene have been shown to be more frequent among DLB patients and Parkinson's disease patients than in the general population. We found that GBA mutations are in fact exceptionally frequent among Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) patients with Dementia with Lewy bodies. Our results indicate that one in three of all Ashkenazi DLB patients carry mutations in this specific gene (compared to approximately 6% in the general Ashkenazi Jewish population). We also found that those who carry these mutations have a more severe disease phenotype.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Calcium, Neurology / 19.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_27225" align="alignleft" width="150"]Silke Kern, MD, PhD Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Unit and Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg Gothenburg, Sweden Dr. Silke Kern[/caption] Silke Kern, MD, PhD Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Unit and Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg Gothenburg, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Calcium has an important role in ischemic neuronal cell death and atherosclerosis. Several studies suggest that increased serum calcium increases the risk for vascular events and worsens the outcome after stroke. Widespread ischemic neuronal cell death and atherosclerosis might lead to dementia. We therefore examined if Calcium supplementation is associated with development of dementia. Our study is the first to show a relationship between Calcium supplementation and increased risk for dementia in older women. This risk is mainly confined to women with cerebrovascular disease (history of stroke or presence of white matter lesions).
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Dental Research, Geriatrics, Kidney Disease / 05.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26794" align="alignleft" width="164"]Danielle Mairead Maire Ni Chroinin, MB BCh BAO BMedSc MD MRCPI FRACP Staff Specialist in Geriatric Medicine Liverpool Hospital and Senior Conjoint Lecturer UNSW Dr. Danielle Ni-Chroinin[/caption] Danielle Mairead Maire Ni Chroinin, MB BCh BAO BMedSc MD MRCPI FRACP Staff Specialist in Geriatric Medicine Liverpool Hospital and Senior Conjoint Lecturer UNSW MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Oral disease may have a large impact on older persons’ health and wellbeing, causing pain, impairing speech, adversely affecting nutrition, contributing to systemic infection and harming self-esteem. However, this important issue may be neglected in the acute hospital setting. Our aim was to investigate oral health status and abnormalities in older patients admitted acutely to hospital, exploring the association with medical co-morbidities. We included all individuals aged 70 and older admitted to a geriatric service over 3 months (N=202), and evaluated oral health using a simple bedside tool the Oral Health Assessment Tool (OHAT). Overall, we found that poor oral health was not uncommon, and was associated with dementia and renal impairment. This association persisted even after adjustment for anticholinergic medication and oral pH, highlighting that patients with these conditions may be particularly vulnerable.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Stroke / 14.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_25101" align="alignleft" width="137"]Alessandro Biffi, MD Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School Dr. Alessandro Biffi[/caption] Alessandro Biffi, MD Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Biffi: Intracerebral Hemorrhage (ICH) is the most severe form of stroke. It is a form of hemorrhagic (i.e. bleeding) stroke that accounts for ~ 15% of all acute cerebrovascular conditions, affecting ~ 70,000 Americans every year. However, because of its severity it is responsible for almost half of all stroke-related disability worldwide. Survivors of ICH are at very high risk for cognitive impairment (up to and including dementia) following the acute cerebral bleeding event. However, we possess very limited understanding of the time dynamics and risk factors for post-ICH dementia. In particular, prior to our study it was unclear whether the acute cerebral injury due to ICH would be the only mechanism potentially responsible for subsequent development of dementia. This question is motivated by prior observations suggesting that Intracerebral Hemorrhage represents the acute manifestation of cerebral small vessel disease, a progressive degenerative disorder of small caliber arteries of the central nervous system. There exist two major subtypes of small vessel disease: 1) cerebral amyloid angiopathy, caused by the deposition of a toxic protein product, beta-amyloid, in the blood vessels (in a process similar to the formation of beta-amyloid plaques that cause Alzheimer's disease); 2) arteriolosclerosis, caused by long-standing elevated blood pressure. ICH survivors have been previously shown to harbor very severe small vessel disease, which has been linked to dementia in patients without cerebral bleeding. Our hypothesis was that early-onset dementia (occurring in the first 6 months after ICH) is a manifestation of the acute neurological damage associated with cerebral bleeding, whereas delayed onset dementia (developing beyond 6 months from the acute ICH event) is associated with known markers of small vessel disease, including imaging findings on CT/MRI and genetic markers (such as the APOE gene).
AHA Journals, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Cognitive Issues, Stroke / 23.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24599" align="alignleft" width="200"]Kazem Rahimi, DM, MSc Oxford Martin School University of Oxford United Kingdom Dr. Kazem Rahimi[/caption] Kazem Rahimi, DM, MSc Oxford Martin School University of Oxford United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Rahimi: Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia and is increasing in prevalence worldwide. Vascular dementia often occurs after stroke and can cause apathy, depression, and a decline in cognitive function, and can eventually result in death. High blood pressure (BP) has been identified as a potential risk factor for the development of vascular dementia. However, previous studies, which have been small in size, have reported conflicting results on the relationship between blood pressure and vascular dementia.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Rheumatology / 16.05.2016

MedicalResearch.comcom Interview with: Hui-Wen Lin MD, PHD Department of Mathematics, Soochow University Evidence-Based Medicine Center, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University Taipei, Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Hui-Wen Lin: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disorder that affects multiple organ systems and it predominantly affects women aged 20 to 40 years, and clinical symptoms caused by autoantibody deposition that triggers subsequent inflammatory reactions vary between individuals. There were 30~80% of SLE patients present neurological symptoms, and it is referred to as neuropsychiatric SLE (NPSLE). However there is no research about risk of dementia for SLE patients. Therefore we investigated this issue by analyzing the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 06.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24125" align="alignleft" width="200"]T. Jared Bunch, MD Director of Heart Rhythm Research Medical Director for Heart Rhythm Services Intermountain Healthcare system Dr. T. Jared Bunch[/caption] T. Jared Bunch, MD Director of Heart Rhythm Research Medical Director for Heart Rhythm Services Intermountain Healthcare System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bunch: Approximately 6 years ago we found that patients with atrial fibrillation experienced higher rates of all forms of dementia, including Alzheimers disease.  At the time we started to ask the questions of why this association existed.  We know that atrial fibrillation patients experience higher rates of stroke.  These patients are placed on blood thinners, most commonly warfarin, to lower risk of stroke which at the same time expose that patient to a higher risk of intracranial bleeding.  One possibility to explain the association was that perhaps dementia in the manifestation of many small clots or bleeds in the brain that in total lead to cognitive decline.  If this is the case, then the efficacy and use of anticoagulation is very important in atrial fibrillation patients. We conducted additional studies that showed this to be the case.  In patients with no history of dementia, managed long-term with warfarin anticoagulation, those that had levels that were frequently too higher or too low that resulted in poor times in therapeutic range, experienced significantly higher rates of dementia.  The risk was highest in younger atrial fibrillation patients that were less than 80 years of age.  We then found that in atrial fibrillation patients that were frequently over anticoagulated and also use an antiplatelet agent, aspirin or plavix, the dementia rates nearly doubled.  At this point we raised the question if atrial fibrillation increased the risk beyond anticoagulation, or does anticoagulation efficacy drive most of the risk.  This question formed the background of the current study.