Poor balance is considered a challenging risk factor for falls in older adults. Therefore,innovative interventions for balance improvement in this population are greatly needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a new virtual-reality system (the Balance Rehabilitation Unit [BRU]) on balance, falls, and fear of falling in a population of community-dwelling older subjects with a known history of falls. In this study, 60 community-dwelling older subjects were recruited after being diagnosed with poor balance at the Falls and Fractures Clinic, Nepean Hospital (Penrith, NSW, Australia). Subjects were randomly assigned to either the BRU-training or control groups. Both groups received the usual falls prevention care. The BRU-training group attended balance training (two sessions/week for 6 weeks) using an established protocol. Change in balance parameters was assessed in the BRU-training group at the end of their 6-week training program. Both groups were assessed 9 months after their initial assessment (month 0). Adherence to the BRU-training program was 97%. Balance parameters were significantly improved in the BRU-training group (P < 0.01). This effect was also associated with a significant reduction in falls and lower levels of fear of falling (P < 0.01). Some components of balance that were improved by BRU training showed a decline after 9 months post-training. In conclusion, BRU training is an effective and well-accepted intervention to improve balance, increase confidence, and prevent falls in the elderly.
Background: Over the years, a plethora of frailty assessment tools has been developed. These instruments can be basically grouped into two types of conceptualizations – unidimensional, based on the physical–biological dimension – and multidimensional, based on the connections among the physical, psychological, and social domains. At present, studies on the comparison between uni- and multidimensional frailty measures are limited. Objective: The aims of this paper were: 1) to compare the prevalence of frailty obtained using a uni- and a multidimensional measure; 2) to analyze differences in the functional status among individuals captured as frail or robust by the two measures; and 3) to investigate relations between the two frailty measures and disability. Methods: Two hundred and sixty-seven community-dwelling older adults (73.4±6 years old, 59.9% of women) participated in this cross-sectional study. The Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) index and the Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI) were used to measure frailty in a uni- and multidimensional way, respectively. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire, the Center of Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale, and the Loneliness Scale were administered to evaluate the functional status. Disability was assessed using the Groningen Activity Restriction Scale. Data were treated with descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, correlations, and receiver operating characteristic analyses through the evaluation of the areas under the curve. Results: Results showed that frailty prevalence rate is strictly dependent on the index used (CHS =12.7%; TFI =44.6%). Furthermore, frail individuals presented differences in terms of functional status in all the domains. Frailty measures were significantly correlated with each other (r=0.483), and with disability (CHS: r=0.423; TFI: r=0.475). Finally, the area under the curve of the TFI (0.833) for disability was higher with respect to the one of CHS (0.770). Conclusion: Data reported here confirm that different instruments capture different frail individuals. Clinicians and researchers have to consider the different abilities of the two measures to detect frail individuals.
Background: Krill oil, rich in n-3 (omega-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) incorporated in phosphatidylcholine, has been reported to have many effects on physiological function. However, there are few studies using psychophysiological methods published that describe the effects of krill oil on brain function. We investigated the influence of ingestion of krill oil on cognitive function in elderly subjects by using near-infrared spectroscopy and electroencephalography. Methods: A randomized, double-blind, parallel-group comparative study design was adopted. Forty-five healthy elderly males aged 61-72 years were assigned to receive 12 weeks of treatment with: medium-chain triglycerides as placebo; krill oil, which is rich in n-3 PUFAs incorporated in phosphatidylcholine; or sardine oil, which is abundant in n-3 PUFAs incorporated in triglycerides. Changes in oxyhemoglobin concentrations in the cerebral cortex during memory and calculation tasks were measured. The P300 component of event-related potentials was also measured during a working memory task. Results: During the working memory task, changes in oxyhemoglobin concentrations in the krill oil and sardine oil groups were significantly greater than those in the medium-chain triglyceride group at week 12. The differential value for P300 latency in the krill oil group was significantly lower than that in the medium-chain triglyceride group at week 12. With regard to the calculation task, changes in oxyhemoglobin concentrations in the krill oil group were significantly greater than those in the medium-chain triglyceride group at week 12. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that n-3 PUFAs activate cognitive function in the elderly. This is especially the case with krill oil, in which the majority of n-3 PUFAs are incorporated into phosphatidylcholine, causing it to be more effective than sardine oil, in which n-3 PUFAs are present as triglycerides.
Background: About one-third of people older than 65 years fall at least once a year. Physical exercise has been previously demonstrated to improve gait, enhance physical fitness, and prevent falls. Nonetheless, the addition of cognitive training components may potentially increase these effects, since cognitive impairment is related to gait irregularities and fall risk. We hypothesized that simultaneous cognitive-physical training would lead to greater improvements in dual-task (DT) gait compared to exclusive physical training. Methods: Elderly persons older than 70 years and without cognitive impairment were randomly assigned to the following groups: 1) virtual reality video game dancing (DANCE), 2) treadmill walking with simultaneous verbal memory training (MEMORY), or 3) treadmill walking (PHYS). Each program was complemented with strength and balance exercises. Two 1-hour training sessions per week over 6 months were applied. Gait variables, functional fitness (Short Physical Performance Battery, 6-minute walk), and fall frequencies were assessed at baseline, after 3 months and 6 months, and at 1-year follow-up. Multiple regression analyses with planned comparisons were carried out. Results: Eighty-nine participants were randomized to three groups initially; 71 completed the training and 47 were available at 1-year follow-up. DANCE/MEMORY showed a significant advantage compared to PHYS in DT costs of step time variability at fast walking (P=0.044). Training-specific gait adaptations were found on comparing DANCE and MEMORY: DANCE reduced step time at fast walking (P=0.007) and MEMORY reduced gait variability in DT and DT costs at preferred walking speed (both trend P=0.062). Global linear time effects showed improved gait (P<0.05), functional fitness (P<0.05), and reduced fall frequency (-77%, P<0.001). Only single-task fast walking, gait variability at preferred walking speed, and Short Physical Performance Battery were reduced at follow-up (all P<0.05 or trend). Conclusion: Long-term multicomponent cognitive-physical and exclusive physical training programs demonstrated similar potential to counteract age-related decline in physical functioning.
Background: Anemia in later life is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and possible causes of anemia in the elderly in a well defined hospital cohort. Methods: Participants in this cross-sectional, retrospective analysis included all inpatients and outpatients aged >= 64 years with complete blood counts treated at Innsbruck Medical University Hospital between October 1, 2004 and September 29, 2005 (n=19,758, median age 73 years). Results: According to World Health Organization criteria, 21.1% of these patients were anemic, ie, 30.7% and 37.0% at 80+ years and 90+ years, respectively. The prevalence of anemia was significantly correlated with advanced age (r=0.21; P<0.001) and male sex (P<0.001). In anemic patients, renal insufficiency with a glomerular filtration rate <30 mL/min/1.73 m(2) (11.3% versus 2.1%), hyperinflammation (62.1% versus 31.4%), absolute (14.4% versus 6.9%) or functional (28.2% versus 11.8%) iron deficiency, and folate deficiency (6.7% versus 3.0%) were observed significantly more often than in nonanemic subjects (P<0.001). The pathogenesis of anemia was multifactorial, with decreased renal function (glomerular filtration rate. 60 mL/min/1.73 m(2)), signs of inflammation, and functional iron deficiency detected in 11.4% of anemic patients. Hemoglobin was significantly correlated with elevated C-reactive protein (r=-0.296; P<0.001) and low transferrin saturation (r=0.313; P<0.001). Mean corpuscular volume correlated only weakly with the various anemia subtypes. Cytopenias and morphologic alterations suggestive of underlying myelodysplastic syndromes were found in a substantial proportion of anemic patients, including thrombocytopenia (5.4%), leukopenia (8.26%), and macrocytic alterations (18.4%). Conclusion: Anemia was frequently diagnosed in this series of elderly patients. Partly treatable nutritional deficiencies, such as iron or folate deficiency, were identified as possible causes. A complex and heterogeneous interplay of chronic inflammation, functional iron deficiency, and renal impairment was identified in a large proportion of patients. A hitherto undiagnosed myelodysplastic syndrome can be assumed in a relevant proportion of patients. Morphologic classification based on mean corpuscular volume is inadequate from the standpoint of pathogenesis. New parameters are needed to differentiate the multifactorial pathogenesis of anemia in the elderly.
Background: Dysfunction of the meibomian gland (MG) is among the most frequent causes of ophthalmological symptoms. The inflammation seen in meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is part of its pathogenesis, and evidence of the antioxidant-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids suggests this to be an appropriate treatment for MGD. Objective: We aimed to assess the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids versus placebo, in improving the symptoms and signs of MGD. Methods: We conducted a randomized and double-mask trial of 3 months duration. We enrolled 61 patients who presented with symptomatic MGD and no tear instability (defined as tear breakup time [TBUT],10 seconds). Participants were randomly assigned to two homogeneous subgroups. For patients in group A, the study treatment included cleaning the lid margins with neutral baby shampoo and use of artificial tears without preservatives, plus a placebo oral agent. For patients in group B, the study treatment included cleaning the lid margins with neutral baby shampoo and use of artificial tears without preservatives, plus oral supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids. We performed the following tests: (1) TBUT; (2) Schirmer I test; (3) Ocular Surface Disease Index (c) (OSDI (c); Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA, USA); (4) MG expression; (5) evaluation of lid margin inflammation; and (6) interpalpebral and corneal dye staining. Results: After 3 months of evaluation, the mean OSDI, TBUT, lid margin inflammation, and MG expression presented improvement from the baseline values, in group B (P<0.01, P<0.001, P<0.0001, P<0.0001, respectively). The Schirmer test results were also improved and statistically significant (P<0.01). Conclusion: Oral omega-3 fatty acids, 1.5 grams per day, may be beneficial in the treatment of MGD, mainly by improving tear stability.
Background: Sarcopenic obesity (SO) is a geriatric syndrome characterized by the disproportion between the amount of lean mass and fat mass. Exercise decreases fat and maintains muscle mass; however, older people fail to exercise at doses sufficient to affect musculoskeletal and cardiometabolic risk factors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS), a time-efficient, joint-friendly and highly individualized exercise technology, on sarcopenia and SO in older men. Materials and methods: A total of 100 community-dwelling northern Bavarian men aged >= 70 years with sarcopenia and obesity were randomly (1-1-1) assigned to either 16 weeks of 1) WB-EMS and protein supplementation (WB-EMS&P), 2) isolated protein supplementation or 3) nonintervention control. WB-EMS consisted of 1.5x20 min (85 Hz, 350 mu s, 4 s of strain to 4 s of rest) applied with moderate-to-high intensity while moving. We further generated a daily protein intake of 1.7-1.8 g/kg/body mass per day. The primary study end point was Sarcopenia Z-Score, and the secondary study end points were body fat rate (%), skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) and handgrip strength. Results: Intention-to-treat analysis determined a significantly favorable effect of WB-EMS&P (P < 0.001) and protein (P=0.007) vs control. Both groups significantly (P < 0.001) lost body fat (WB-EMS&P: 2.1%; protein: 1.1%) and differed significantly (P<0.004) from control (0.3%). Differences between WB-EMS&P and protein were significant for the Sarcopenia Z-Score (P=0.39) and borderline nonsignificant (P=0.051) for body fat. SMI increased significantly in both groups (P, 0.001 and P=0.043) and decreased significantly in the control group (CG; P=0.033); differences between the verum groups and control were significant (P <= 0.009). Handgrip strength increased in the WB-EMS group (1.90 kg; P < 0.001; P=0.050 vs control) only. No adverse effects of WB-EMS or protein supplementation were recorded. Conclusion: WB-EMS&P is a safe and efficient method for tackling sarcopenia and SO in older men. However, the suboptimum effect on functional parameters should be addressed by increased voluntary activation during WB-EMS application.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is common in older people, with an estimated prevalence of 10% in the US population aged >= 75 years. Inhaled medications are the cornerstone of treatment for COPD and are typically administered by one of three types of devices, ie, pressurized metered dose inhalers, dry powder inhalers, and nebulizers. However, age-related pulmonary changes may negatively influence the delivery of inhaled medications to the small airways. In addition, physical and cognitive impairment, which are common in elderly patients with COPD, pose special challenges to the use of handheld inhalers in the elderly. Health care providers must take time to train patients to use handheld inhalers and must also check that patients are using them correctly on a regular basis. Nebulizers should be considered for patients unable to use handheld inhalers properly. What follows is a review of issues associated with COPD and its treatment in the elderly patient.
Objective: To evaluate the effects of Tai chi exercise on balance, sleep quality, and cognitive performance in community-dwelling elderly in Vinh city, Vietnam. Design: A randomized controlled trial. Participants: One hundred two subjects were recruited. Intervention: Subjects were divided randomly into two groups. The Tai chi group was assigned 6 months' Tai chi training. The control group was instructed to maintain their routine daily activities. Outcome measures: The Falls Efficacy Scale (FES), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Trail Making Test (TMT) were used as primary outcome measures. Results: Participants in the Tai chi group reported significant improvement in TMT (part A) (F [1, 71] = 78.37, P < 0.001) and in TMT (part B), (F [1, 71] = 175.00, P < 0.001) in comparison with the control group. Tai chi participants also reported better scores in FES (F [1, 71] = 96.90, P < 0.001) and in PSQI (F [1,71] = 43.69, P = 0.001) than the control group. Conclusion: Tai chi is beneficial to improve balance, sleep quality, and cognitive performance of the elderly.
Objective: Elderly people constitute over 80% of the population of patients with heart failure (HF). Frailty is a distinct biological syndrome that reflects decreased physiologic reserve and resistance to stressors. Moreover, frailty can serve as an independent predictor of visits to the emergency department, hospitalizations, and mortality. The purpose of this paper was to assess the relationship between frailty, anxiety and depression, and the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of elderly patients with HF. Patients and methods: The study included 100 patients (53 men and 47 women) with a diagnosis of HF. Frailty was measured using the Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI) scale. HRQoL was measured using the 36-Item Short Form Medical Outcomes Study Survey. To determine the prevalence of anxiety and depression, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used. Results: Frailty was found in 89% of the studied population. The study showed significant inverse correlations between the values of the physical component scale (PCS) domain results and TFI score, and a significant inverse correlation between the values of the mental component scale (MCS) domain and TFI score. When participants showed increased levels of frailty as measured by the TFI scale, there was also an increase in the levels of anxiety and depression. With increased anxiety and depression, there was deterioration in the quality of life of patients with HF. Conclusion: Frailty has a negative impact on the HRQoL results of elderly patients with HF. The assessment of frailty syndrome, and anxiety and depression should be taken into account when estimating risk and making therapeutic decisions for cardiovascular disease treatment and care.
Purpose: In a society where technology progresses at an exponential rate, older adults are often unaware of the existence of different kinds of information and communication technologies (ICTs). To bridge the gap, we launched a 2-year project, during which we conducted focus groups (FGs) with demonstrations of ICTs, allowing older adults to try them out and to share their opinions. This study aimed at investigating how participants perceived this kind of initiative and how they reacted to different kinds of ICTs. Patients and methods: In total, 14 FGs were conducted with community-dwelling older adults, with a frequency of two FGs on the same topic once per trimester. Twenty-three older adults (four men and 19 women) attended at least one FG but only nearly half of them were regular attendants (ten participating in at least five sessions). Age of participants ranged from 63 years to 88 years, with a mean of 77.1 years. All of them had completed secondary education. The analyses of the data were performed according to inductive thematic analysis. Results: Four overarching themes emerged from the analysis. The first concerned participants' motivation for and assessment of the project. The second theme identified the underlying factors of the "digital divide" between the younger and the older generations. The third theme concerned the factors of technology adoption among older adults. The fourth one identified participants' attitudes toward assistive ICTs, designed specifically for older adults ("gerontechnologies"). Discussions and conclusion: This project encouraging older adults to be informed about different kinds of ICTs was positively rated. With regard to ICTs, participants perceived a digital divide. The underlying factors are generation/cohort effects, cognitive and physical decline related to aging, and negative attitudes toward technologies. However, more and more older adults adopt different kinds of ICTs in order to fit in with the society. Concerning assistive ICTs, they manifested a lack of perceived need and usefulness. Also, there was a negative image of end users of this kind of technologies. The so-called gerontechnologies specifically targeting older adults contain stigmatizing symbolism that might prevent them from adopting them.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the acute care of frail elderly patients in a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) unit is superior to the care in a conventional acute medical care unit. Design: This is a clinical, prospective, randomized, controlled, one-center intervention study. Setting: This study was conducted in a large county hospital in western Sweden. Participants: The study included 408 frail elderly patients, aged >= 75 years, in need of acute in-hospital treatment. The patients were allocated to the intervention group (n=206) or control group (n=202). Mean age of the patients was 85.7 years, and 56% were female. Intervention: This organizational form of care is characterized by a structured, systematic interdisciplinary CGA-based care at an acute elderly care unit. Measurements: The primary outcome was the change in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) 3 months after discharge from hospital, measured by the Health Utilities Index-3 (HUI-3). Secondary outcomes were all-cause mortality, rehospitalizations, and hospital care costs. Results: After adjustment by regression analysis, patients in the intervention group were less likely to present with decline in HRQoL after 3 months for the following dimensions: vision (odds ratio [OR] = 0.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.14-0.79), ambulation (OR =0.19, 95% CI = 0.1-0.37), dexterity (OR =0.38, 95% CI =0.19-0.75), emotion (OR =0.43, 95% CI =0.22-0.84), cognition (OR =0.076, 95% CI =0.033-0.18) and pain (OR =0.28, 95% CI =0.15-0.50). Treatment in a CGA unit was independently associated with lower 3-month mortality adjusted by Cox regression analysis (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.32-0.96), and the two groups did not differ significantly in terms of hospital care costs (P>0.05). Conclusion: Patients in an acute CGA unit were less likely to present with decline in HRQoL after 3 months, and the care in a CGA unit was also independently associated with lower mortality, at no higher cost.
Objective: Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) is a surgical procedure that has been widely used to treat patients suffering from osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs). The procedure involves injection of bone cement into a fractured vertebra. In this study, we investigated whether the distribution of the cement in the vertebral body is related to the occurrence of recompression after surgery. Patients and methods: A total of 172 patients diagnosed with OVCF, from January 2008 to June 2013, were retrospectively reviewed. Fifty of these patients experienced recompression after surgery during the follow-up period (recompression group), and 122 patients had no recompression observed during the follow-up period (control group). Statistical analysis was performed to compare clinical and operative parameters between these two groups. Results: Differences were found in bone cement distribution between the recompression group and control group (P=0.001). Patients with bone cement distributed around both upper and lower endplates had a significantly less incidence of recompression (4/50 patients), when compared to other patterns of cement distribution (eg, below upper endplate, above lower endplate, and in the middle of vertebral body). The logistic multiple regression analysis also indicated that patients with bone cement distributed around both the upper and lower endplates had a lower risk of recompression when compared to patients with bone cement distributed in the middle of vertebral body (odds ratio =0.223, P=0.003). Conclusion: We herein suggest that the control of bone cement distribution during surgery provides beneficial effects on reducing the risks of recompression after PVP treatment in patients with OVCF.
Background: Polypharmacy and inappropriate drug use cause numerous complications, such as cognitive impairment, frailty, falls, and functional dependence. The present study aimed to determine the effect of the comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) on polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) and potential prescribing omissions (PPOs), and to evaluate the economic reflections of medication changes. Methods: One thousand five hundred and seventy-nine older patients, who had undergone CGA, were retrospectively evaluated. The drugs, drug groups, and number of drugs that the patients used were recorded. Appropriate drug therapy was identified by both CGA and STOPP/START criteria. Based on these criteria, PIMs were discontinued and PPOs were started. The monthly cost of these drugs was calculated separately for PIMs and PPOs by using the drug-store records. Results: After CGA, while the prevalence of non-polypharmacy was increased from 43.3% to 65.6%, the prevalence of polypharmacy and hyperpolypharmacy was decreased from 56.7% to 34.4% and 12.0% to 3.6%, respectively. The three most common PIMs discontinued were proton pump inhibitors, anti-dementia drugs, and antipsychotics, respectively. However, the most common PPOs started were vitamin D and B12 supplements, and anti-depressants. After CGA, monthly saved total per capita cost of PIMs was US$12.8 and monthly increased total per capita cost of PPOs was $5.6. Conclusion: It was demonstrated that prevalence of polypharmacy, PIM, and PPO could be decreased by CGA including START/STOPP criteria in older adults. Furthermore, this will have beneficial effects on economical parameters due to decreasing drug-related health care costs.
Objective: The aim of this case series was to assess the impact of auditory rehabilitation with cochlear implantation on the cognitive function of elderly patients over time. Design: This is a longitudinal case series of prospective data assessing neurocognitive function and speech perception in an elderly cohort pre- and post-implantation. Setting: University cochlear implant center. Participants: The patients were post-lingually deafened elderly female (mean, 73.6 years; SD, 5.82; range, 67-81 years) cochlear implant recipients (n=7). Measurements: A neurocognitive battery of 20 tests assessing intellectual function, learning, short-and long-term memory, verbal fluency, attention, mental flexibility, and processing speed was performed prior to and 2-4.1 years (mean, 3.7) after cochlear implant (CI). Speech perception testing using Consonant-Nucleus-Consonant words was performed prior to implantation and at regular intervals postoperatively. Individual and aggregate differences in cognitive function pre- and post-CI were estimated. Logistic regression with cluster adjustment was used to estimate the association (% improvement or % decline) between speech understanding and years from implantation at 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years post-CI. Results: Improvements after CI were observed in 14 (70%) of all subtests administered. Declines occurred in five (25%) subtests. In 55 individual tests (43%), post-CI performance improved compared to a patient's own performance before implantation. Of these, nine (45%) showed moderate or pronounced improvement. Overall, improvements were largest in the verbal and memory domains. Logistic regression demonstrated a significant relationship between speech perception and cognitive function over time. Five neurocognitive tests were predictive of improved speech perception following implantation. Conclusion: Comprehensive neurocognitive testing of elderly women demonstrated areas of improvement in cognitive function and auditory perception following cochlear implantation. Multiple neurocognitive tests were strongly associated with current speech perception measures. While these data shed light on the complex relationship between hearing and cognition by showing that CI may slow the expected age-related cognitive decline, further research is needed to examine the impact of hearing rehabilitation on cognitive decline.
The issue of osteoporosis-induced fractures has attracted the world's attention. Postmenopausal women are particularly at risk for this type of fracture. The nonmedicinal intervention for postmenopausal women is mainly exercise. Whole body vibration (WBV) is a simple and convenient exercise. There have been some studies investigating the effect of WBV on osteoporosis; however, the intervention models and results are different. This study mainly investigated the effect of high-frequency and high-magnitude WBV on the bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine in postmenopausal women. This study randomized 28 postmenopausal women into either the WBV group or the control group for a 6-month trial. The WBV group received an intervention of high-frequency (30 Hz) and high-magnitude (3.2 g) WBV in a natural full-standing posture for 5 minutes, three times per week, at a sports center. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to measure the lumbar BMD of the two groups before and after the intervention. Six months later, the BMD of the WBV group had significantly increased by 2.032% (P=0.047), while that of the control group had decreased by 0.046% (P=0.188). The comparison between the two groups showed that the BMD of the WBV group had increased significantly (P=0.016). This study found that 6 months of high-frequency and high-magnitude WBV yielded significant benefits to the BMD of the lumbar spine in postmenopausal women, and could therefore be provided as an alternative exercise.
Background: Whether older adults with sarcopenia who underperform controls on tests of physical performance and cognition also have a higher likelihood of combined cognitive-physical impairment is not clear. We assessed the impact of sarcopenia on impairment in both aspects of functionality and the relative contribution of its components, muscle mass and strength. Methods: Two hundred and twenty-three community-dwelling adults aged 40 years and older (mean age = 68.1 +/- 10.6 years; 65% female) were recruited and underwent physical functionality, anthropometry, and cognitive testing. Participants with low muscle mass were categorized as pre-sarcopenic; those with low muscle mass and muscle strength as sarcopenic; those with higher muscle mass and low muscle strength only were categorized as non-sarcopenic and were compared on risk of cognitive impairment (Montreal Cognitive Assessment. 26; Ascertaining Dementia 8. 2), physical impairment (Mini Physical Performance Test. 12), both, or neither by ordinal logistic regression. Results: Compared to controls, those with sarcopenia were six times more likely to have combined cognitive impairment/physical impairment with a fully adjusted model showing a three-fold increased odds ratio. The results were consistent across different measures of global cognition (odds ratio = 3.46, 95% confidence interval = 1.07-11.45 for the Montreal Cognitive Assessment; odds ratio = 3.61, 95% confidence interval = 1.11-11.72 for Ascertaining Dementia 8). Pre-sarcopenic participants were not different from controls. The effect of sarcopenia on cognition is related to low muscle strength rather than low muscle mass. Conclusion: Individuals with sarcopenia are not only more likely to have single but also to have dual impairment in cognitive and physical function. Interventions designed to prevent sarcopenia and improve muscle strength may help reduce the burden of cognitive and physical impairments of functionality in community-dwelling seniors.
Background and aim: Amyloid-beta (A beta) peptide is reported to initiate flexible inflammation in the hippocampus of the human brain in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The present study aimed to investigate the possible effects of atorvastatin on the production of inflammation cytokines in the hippocampus and the potential impacts on behavioral ability, in an AD model. Methods: We firstly established AD rat models using intracerebroventricular injection of A beta 1-42. A Morris water maze was also performed to determine the spatial learning and memory ability in the AD models. Intracellular staining of interleukin (IL)-1 beta, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha was determined using immunohistochemical staining at 6 hours and day 7 after the injection of A beta. Results: The escape latency of the atorvastatin-treated AD group (5 mg/kg/d) was significantly shorter than that of AD group on day 3 (41 +/- 1.05 seconds versus 47 +/- 1.05 seconds, P < 0.01) and day 4 (34 +/- 1.25 seconds versus 43 +/- 1.01 seconds, P < 0.01) after the beginning of the training. Furthermore, the atorvastatin-treated AD group displayed a significant higher mean number of annulus crossings than did the AD group (2.9 +/- 0.5 versus 2.4 +/- 0.9, P < 0.05). Fewer injured nerve cells and proliferated glial cells were also demonstrated in the atorvastatin-treated AD group than in the AD group. Of great importance, we demonstrated that IL-1 beta, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha were significantly decreased in the atorvastatin-treated AD group than that in the AD group. Conclusion: Atorvastatin might attenuate the damage of nerve cells and improve learning and memory ability by inhibiting inflammatory response in the progression of AD.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain growth and development. They play an important role throughout life, as critical modulators of neuronal function and regulation of oxidative stress mechanisms, in brain health and disease. Docosahexanoic acid (DHA), the major omega-3 fatty acid found in neurons, has taken on a central role as a target for therapeutic intervention in Alzheimer's disease (AD). A plethora of in vitro, animal model, and human data, gathered over the past decade, highlight the important role DHA may play in the development of a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including AD. Cross sectional and prospective cohort data have demonstrated that reduced dietary intake or low brain levels of DHA are associated with accelerated cognitive decline or the development of incipient dementia, including AD. Several clinical trials investigating the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in AD have been completed and all failed to demonstrate its efficacy in the treatment of AD. However, these trials produced intriguing data suggesting that the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may depend on the stage of disease, other dietary mediators, and apolipoprotein E status.
Background: The swallowing mechanism changes significantly as people age, even in the absence of chronic diseases. Presbyphagia, a term that refers to aging-related changes in the swallowing mechanism, may be linked to many health conditions and presents itself in distinct ways. Swallowing disorders are also identified as a major problem amongst the elderly population living in nursing homes. Methods: The study sought to determine the prevalence of swallowing disorders in nursing home residents, to identify the relationship between self-perceived swallowing disorders, cognitive functions, autonomy, and depression, and also to analyze which variables explain the score of the Dysphagia Self-Test (DST). For this purpose, the researchers chose to apply a survey conveying questions on demographic aspects, general health, eating and feeding, as well as instruments to assess functional performance and the 3 ounce Water Swallow Test. Results: The sample consisted of 272 elderly people living in eight nursing homes in Portugal. Six did not sign the informed consent form. Of the total, 29% were totally dependent, 33% were depressed, 45% had cognitive impairment, and 38% needed help with feeding. About 43% of the individuals reported having problems related to eating. Regarding the DST, 40% showed signs of dysphagia. With respect to the 3 ounce Water Swallow Test, 38% revealed at least one of the symptoms, wet voice being the most prevalent. Correlation measures showed that age had no linear association with the DST score although correlation with the Barthel Index and Mini Mental State Examination was found to be significant. A linear regression model was estimated with the DST score as the dependent variable and the MMSE and BI scores, gender, age, education, the Geriatric Depression Scale score, 3 ounce Water Swallow Test, and diagnosed conditions (such as neurological disorder, dementia, and cardiorespiratory problems) as explaining variables. Conclusion: Results showed a high prevalence of dysphagia signs amongst a nursing home population. For the purpose of the present study, both a subjective and an objective assessment were applied. Results pointed to a significant statistical relation between objective and subjective measures, thus indicating that a self-perception test should be included in the assessment of swallowing disorders in a nursing home population. Notwithstanding, it should not be used as a single or principal measure as it is influenced by the individuals' cognitive condition.