Psychiatry - Research Publications

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    Spousal recollections of early signs of primary progressive aphasia
    Pozzebon, M ; Douglas, J ; Ames, D (WILEY, 2018-03-01)
    BACKGROUND: Although primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is characterized by progressive loss of language and communication skills, knowledge about the earliest emerging signs announcing the onset of this condition is limited. AIMS: To explore spousal recollections regarding the earliest signs of PPA and to compare the nature of the earliest perceived symptoms across the three PPA variants. METHODS & PROCEDURES: In-depth interviews focusing on the earliest signs of illness onset were conducted with 13 spouses whose partners were diagnosed with PPA. The earliest recollections and observations described by the spouses were analyzed and coded according to the DSM-5 criteria for a mild neurocognitive disorder. These data were then compared across and within each of the three PPA variants. OUTCOMES & RESULTS: Spousal retrospective accounts indicated the three PPA variants (semantic, logopenic and non-fluent) had a signature profile announcing illness onset. Changes in social cognition presented in all three variants of PPA, but at different points in the illness trajectory. In particular, the findings suggest the possibility that PPA initially presents as subtle changes in social cognition for semantic variant PPA (svPPA) and logopenic variant PPA (IvPPA) rather than overt language impairments as defined in the current diagnostic criteria. CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: Understanding the nature of symptoms perceived in the earliest stages of PPA has potential to inform earlier and accurate diagnosis and interventions to assist those living with the illness.
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    Trajectories of depressive and anxiety symptoms in older adults: a 6-year prospective cohort study
    Holmes, SE ; Esterlis, I ; Mazure, CM ; Lim, YY ; Ames, D ; Rainey-Smith, S ; Fowler, C ; Ellis, K ; Martins, RN ; Salvado, O ; Dore, V ; Villemagne, VL ; Rowe, CC ; Laws, SM ; Masters, CL ; Pietrzak, RH ; Maruff, P (WILEY, 2018-02-01)
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    The impact of telephone-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy and befriending on mood disorders in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A randomized controlled trial
    Doyle, C ; Bhar, S ; Fearn, M ; Ames, D ; Osborne, D ; You, E ; Gorelik, A ; Dunt, D (WILEY, 2017-09-01)
    OBJECTIVES: The main objectives of this pragmatic randomized controlled trial were to investigate the impact of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and an active social control (befriending) on depression and anxiety symptoms in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). METHODS: Eligible participants were randomly allocated to receive eight weekly telephone interventions of CBT (n = 54) or befriending (n = 56). Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to assess changes in scores and Cohen's d was used to assess effect sizes. RESULTS: Significant improvement was observed in anxiety symptoms for the befriending group from baseline (T1) to post-intervention assessment (T2) and to 8-week follow-up assessment (T3), with a small to medium effect size (Cohen's d = 0.3). Significant improvement was noted in depression symptoms from T1 to T2 for both groups, but only the CBT group had a significant difference at T3, with a small to medium effect size (Cohen's d = 0.4). For secondary outcomes, there was a significant change in COPD symptoms from T1 to T2 for the befriending group; however, at T3 this change was no longer significant. Finally, there was a significant change in general self-efficacy for both groups between T1 and T2, and T1 and T3. CONCLUSION: Cognitive behaviour therapy reduced depression symptoms but not anxiety. Befriending reduced depression symptoms in the short term and anxiety symptoms in both the short term and long term. Further research is needed to demonstrate non-inferiority of telephone delivery compared with other formats, and to understand the impact of befriending which has the potential to be a cost-effective support for people with COPD. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Depression and anxiety are common comorbidities in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Mood disorders are not commonly routinely treated in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Telephone-administered CBT has been shown to be as effective as face-to-face CBT in reducing depression and anxiety. What does this study add? Telephone-administered CBT can reduce depression symptoms in people with COPD. Telephone-administered befriending can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in people with COPD. People with COPD who have mood disorders would prefer to have CBT than befriending.
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    The interactive effect of demographic and clinical factors on hippocampal volume: A multicohort study on 1958 cognitively normal individuals
    Ferreira, D ; Hansson, O ; Barroso, J ; Molina, Y ; Machado, A ; Andres Hernandez-Cabrera, J ; Muehlboeck, J-S ; Stomrud, E ; Nagga, K ; Lindberg, O ; Ames, D ; Kalpouzos, G ; Fratiglioni, L ; Backman, L ; Graff, C ; Mecocci, P ; Vellas, B ; Tsolaki, M ; Kloszewska, I ; Soininen, H ; Lovestone, S ; Ahlstrom, H ; Lind, L ; Larsson, E-M ; Wahlund, L-O ; Simmons, A ; Westman, E (WILEY, 2017-06-01)
    Alzheimer's disease is characterized by hippocampal atrophy. Other factors also influence the hippocampal volume, but their interactive effect has not been investigated before in cognitively healthy individuals. The aim of this study is to evaluate the interactive effect of key demographic and clinical factors on hippocampal volume, in contrast to previous studies frequently investigating these factors in a separate manner. Also, to investigate how comparable the control groups from ADNI, AIBL, and AddNeuroMed are with five population-based cohorts. In this study, 1958 participants were included (100 AddNeuroMed, 226 ADNI, 155 AIBL, 59 BRC, 295 GENIC, 279 BioFiNDER, 398 PIVUS, and 446 SNAC-K). ANOVA and random forest were used for testing between-cohort differences in demographic-clinical variables. Multiple regression was used to study the influence of demographic-clinical variables on hippocampal volume. ANCOVA was used to analyze whether between-cohort differences in demographic-clinical variables explained between-cohort differences in hippocampal volume. Age and global brain atrophy were the most important variables in explaining variability in hippocampal volume. These variables were not only important themselves but also in interaction with gender, education, MMSE, and total intracranial volume. AddNeuroMed, ADNI, and AIBL differed from the population-based cohorts in several demographic-clinical variables that had a significant effect on hippocampal volume. Variability in hippocampal volume in individuals with normal cognition is high. Differences that previously tended to be related to disease mechanisms could also be partly explained by demographic and clinical factors independent from the disease. Furthermore, cognitively normal individuals especially from ADNI and AIBL are not representative of the general population. These findings may have important implications for future research and clinical trials, translating imaging biomarkers to the general population, and validating current diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease and predementia stages.
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    Cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease biomarkers and longitudinal cognitive decline
    Yates, PA ; Villemagne, VL ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Martins, RN ; Desmond, P ; Burnham, S ; Maruff, P ; Ellis, KA ; Rowe, CC (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-06-01)
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    Amyloid burden and incident depressive symptoms in cognitively normal older adults
    Harrington, KD ; Gould, E ; Lim, YY ; Ames, D ; Pietrzak, RH ; Rembach, A ; Rainey-Smith, S ; Martins, RN ; Salvado, O ; Villemagne, VL ; Rowe, CC ; Masters, CL ; Maruff, P (WILEY, 2017-04-01)
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    Why attend a memory clinic? What do patients and their families want and/or expect?
    Mastwyk, M ; Dow, B ; Ellis, KA ; Ames, D (WILEY, 2016-09-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To explore which symptoms led people to seek a memory clinic assessment and what they wanted and expected from that assessment. Did the patient and family want and/or expect diagnostic disclosure and, if so, why? METHODS: Patients scheduled for memory clinic appoint-ments received two questionnaires by post prior to clinic attendance - one for the patient, one for the next-of- kin - regarding symptomatology, wants, expectations and rationale. RESULTS: Ninety-two per cent of patients (n = 47) and 88% (n = 43) of next-of-kin wanted the patient to be informed of the diagnosis; 84% (n = 43) of patients and 86% (n = 42) of next-of-kin expected the patient to be informed. Rationales for diagnostic disclosure were categorised under themes of planning, treatment, information, coping strategies and rights. CONCLUSIONS: Patients and families want diagnostic disclosure in order to plan, receive treatment, receive help and learn strategies to cope. This knowledge is seen as the patient's right.
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    Dementia and caregiver burden: A three-year longitudinal study
    Connors, MH ; Seeher, K ; Teixeira-Pinto, A ; Woodward, M ; Ames, D ; Brodaty, H (WILEY, 2019-12-10)
    OBJECTIVES: Dementia, with its progressive cognitive and functional decline and associated neuropsychiatric symptoms, places a large burden on caregivers. While frequently studied, longitudinal findings about the overall trajectory of burden are mixed. The study sought to characterize caregiver burden over a 3-year period and identify predictors of this burden. METHODS: Seven-hundred-and-eighty-one patients with dementia were recruited from nine memory clinics around Australia. Measures of caregiver burden, cognition, function, and neuropsychiatric symptoms were completed with patients and their caregivers at regular intervals over a 3-year period. Patients' level of services and medication use were also recorded. RESULTS: Of the 720 patients with measures of caregiver burden at baseline, 47.4% of caregivers had clinically significant levels of burden. This proportion increased over time, with 56.8% affected at 3 years. Overall levels of burden increased for caregivers of patients without services, though did not change for caregivers of patients receiving services or residential care after controlling for other variables. Patient characteristics-including greater neuropsychiatric symptoms, lower functional ability, fewer medications, lack of driving ability-and female sex of caregivers were associated with greater burden. CONCLUSIONS: High levels of caregiver burden are present in a large proportion of caregivers of people with dementia and this increases over time for those without services. Clinical characteristics of patients (including neuropsychiatric symptoms, function, overall health, driving status), level of services, and caregiver sex appear to be the best predictors of this burden. These characteristics may help identify caregivers at greater risk of burden to target for intervention.
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    'I know they are not trained in dementia': Addressing the need for specialist dementia training for home care workers
    Polacsek, M ; Goh, A ; Malta, S ; Hallam, B ; Gahan, L ; Cooper, C ; Low, L-F ; Livingston, G ; Panayiotou, A ; Loi, S ; Omoro, M ; Savvas, S ; Batchelor, F ; Ames, D ; Doyle, C ; Scherer, S ; Dow, B (WILEY, 2019-10-23)
    Global population ageing has meant a rapid increase in the numbers of older people with dementia, most of whom live in their own homes. Staying at home is an important determinant of health and well-being. As care needs increase, the quality of community support which older people receive directly influences their capacity to remain in their own homes. While many are supported informally by family carers, formal support provided by home care workers often enables them to remain at home for longer period. However, providing community-based care for people with dementia can be challenging. Workers often lack training in dementia-specific care for clients with increasingly complex needs, and typically work without direct supervision. As the demand for person-centred home care for people with dementia increases, specialist dementia training for home care workers is urgently needed. In this qualitative study, we used in-depth interviews of a purposive sample, comprising 15 family carers and four older people with dementia, to understand the experience of receiving community care. Data analysis was guided by Braun and Clarke's approach to thematic analysis and revealed the following five overlapping themes, relating to home care workers' understanding of dementia, person-centred care, communication and rapport, mutual collaboration, and the influence of organisational constraints on continuity of care. Although participants acknowledged that service providers operated under challenging circumstances, they were frustrated with home care workers' lack of dementia knowledge and inconsistent staff rostering. Conversely, an understanding of the lived experience of dementia, effective communication and rapport, and continuity of care contributed significantly to a positive experience of receiving care. The findings of this study will be used to inform the essential elements of a training program aimed at enabling and empowering a skilled, specialist home care workforce to support older people with dementia to live well at home for as long as possible.
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    Recommendations for the nomenclature of cognitive change associated with anaesthesia and surgery-2018
    Evered, L ; Silbert, B ; Knopman, DS ; Scott, DA ; DeKosky, ST ; Rasmussen, LS ; Oh, ES ; Crosby, G ; Berger, M ; Eckenhoff, RG (WILEY, 2018-11-01)
    Cognitive change affecting patients after anaesthesia and surgery has been recognised for more than 100 yr. Research into cognitive change after anaesthesia and surgery accelerated in the 1980s when multiple studies utilised detailed neuropsychological testing for assessment of cognitive change after cardiac surgery. This body of work consistently documented decline in cognitive function in elderly patients after anaesthesia and surgery, and cognitive changes have been identified up to 7.5 yr afterwards. Importantly, other studies have identified that the incidence of cognitive change is similar after non-cardiac surgery. Other than the inclusion of non-surgical control groups to calculate postoperative cognitive dysfunction, research into these cognitive changes in the perioperative period has been undertaken in isolation from cognitive studies in the general population. The aim of this work is to develop similar terminology to that used in cognitive classifications of the general population for use in investigations of cognitive changes after anaesthesia and surgery. A multispecialty working group followed a modified Delphi procedure with no prespecified number of rounds comprised of three face-to-face meetings followed by online editing of draft versions. Two major classification guidelines [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) and National Institute for Aging and the Alzheimer Association (NIA-AA)] are used outside of anaesthesia and surgery, and may be useful for inclusion of biomarkers in research. For clinical purposes, it is recommended to use the DSM-5 nomenclature. The working group recommends that 'perioperative neurocognitive disorders' be used as an overarching term for cognitive impairment identified in the preoperative or postoperative period. This includes cognitive decline diagnosed before operation (described as neurocognitive disorder); any form of acute event (postoperative delirium) and cognitive decline diagnosed up to 30 days after the procedure (delayed neurocognitive recovery) and up to 12 months (postoperative neurocognitive disorder).