Psychiatry - Research Publications

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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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    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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    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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    Association of Plasma A beta Peptides with Blood Pressure in the Elderly
    Lambert, J-C ; Dallongeville, J ; Ellis, KA ; Schraen-Maschke, S ; Lui, J ; Laws, S ; Dumont, J ; Richard, F ; Cottel, D ; Berr, C ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Rowe, CC ; Szoeke, C ; Tzourio, C ; Dartigues, J-F ; Buee, L ; Martins, R ; Amouyel, P ; Gravenor, MB (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2011-04-15)
    BACKGROUND: Aß peptides are often considered as catabolic by-products of the amyloid ß protein precursor (APP), with unknown physiological functions. However, several biological properties have been tentatively attributed to these peptides, including a role in vasomotion. We assess whether plasma Aß peptide levels might be associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure values (SBP and DBP, respectively). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Plasma Aß(1-40) and Aß(1-42) levels were measured using an xMAP-based assay in 1,972 individuals (none of whom were taking antihypertensive drugs) from 3 independent studies: the French population-based 3C and MONA-LISA (Lille) studies (n = 627 and n = 769, respectively) and the Australian, longitudinal AIBL study (n = 576). In the combined sample, the Aß(1-42)/ Aß(1-40) ratio was significantly and inversely associated with SBP (p = 0.03) and a similar trend was observed for DBP (p = 0.06). Using the median age (69) as a cut-off, the Aß(1-42)/Aß(1-40) ratio was strongly associated with both SBP and DBP in elderly individuals (p = 0.002 and p = 0.03, respectively). Consistently, a high Aß(1-42)/ Aß(1-40) ratio was associated with a lower risk of hypertension in both the combined whole sample (odds ratio [OR], 0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56-0.90) and (to an even greater extent) in the elderly subjects (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.37-0.75). Lastly, all these associations appeared to be primarily driven by the level of plasma Aß(1-40). CONCLUSION: The plasma Aß(1-42)/Aß(1-40) ratio is inversely associated with SBP, DBP and the risk of hypertension in elderly subjects, suggesting that Aß peptides affect blood pressure in vivo. These results may be particularly relevant in Alzheimer's disease, in which a high Aß(1-42)/Aß(1-40) plasma ratio is reportedly associated with a decreased risk of incident disease.
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    Age-related changes to the neural correlates of working memory which emerge after midlife
    Macpherson, HN ; White, DJ ; Ellis, KA ; Stough, C ; Camfield, D ; Silberstein, R ; Pipingas, A (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2014-04-16)
    Previous research has indicated that the neural processes which underlie working memory change with age. Both age-related increases and decreases to cortical activity have been reported. This study investigated which stages of working memory are most vulnerable to age-related changes after midlife. To do this we examined age-differences in the 13 Hz steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) associated with a spatial working memory delayed response task. Participants were 130 healthy adults separated into a midlife (40-60 years) and an older group (61-82 years). Relative to the midlife group, older adults demonstrated greater bilateral frontal activity during encoding and this pattern of activity was related to better working memory performance. In contrast, evidence of age-related under activation was identified over left frontal regions during retrieval. Findings from this study suggest that after midlife, under-activation of frontal regions during retrieval contributes to age-related decline in working memory performance.
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    APOE and BDNF polymorphisms moderate amyloid beta-related cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer's disease
    Lim, YY ; Villemagne, VL ; Laws, SM ; Pietrzak, RH ; Snyder, PJ ; Ames, D ; Ellis, KA ; Harrington, K ; Rembach, A ; Martins, RN ; Rowe, CC ; Masters, CL ; Maruff, P (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-11-01)
    Accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) in the brain is associated with memory decline in healthy individuals as a prelude to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Genetic factors may moderate this decline. We examined the role of apolipoprotein E (ɛ4 carrier[ɛ4(+)], ɛ4 non-carrier[ɛ4(-)]) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF(Val/Val), BDNF(Met)) in the extent to which they moderate Aβ-related memory decline. Healthy adults (n=333, Mage=70 years) enrolled in the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study underwent Aβ neuroimaging. Neuropsychological assessments were conducted at baseline, 18-, 36- and 54-month follow-ups. Aβ positron emission tomography neuroimaging was used to classify participants as Aβ(-) or Aβ(+). Relative to Aβ(-)ɛ4(-), Aβ(+)ɛ4(+) individuals showed significantly faster rates of cognitive decline over 54 months across all domains (d=0.40-1.22), while Aβ(+)ɛ4(-) individuals showed significantly faster decline only on verbal episodic memory (EM). There were no differences in rates of cognitive change between Aβ(-)ɛ4(-) and Aβ(-)ɛ4(+) groups. Among Aβ(+) individuals, ɛ4(+)/BDNF(Met) participants showed a significantly faster rate of decline on verbal and visual EM, and language over 54 months compared with ɛ4(-)/BDNF(Val/Val) participants (d=0.90-1.02). At least two genetic loci affect the rate of Aβ-related cognitive decline. Aβ(+)ɛ4(+)/BDNF(Met) individuals can expect to show clinically significant memory impairment after 3 years, whereas Aβ(+)ɛ4(+)/BDNF(Val/Val) individuals can expect a similar degree of impairment after 10 years. Little decline over 54 months was observed in the Aβ(-) and Aβ(+) ɛ4(-) groups, irrespective of BDNF status. These data raise important prognostic issues in managing preclinical AD, and should be considered in designing secondary preventative clinical trials.
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    Alterations in dorsal and ventral posterior cingulate connectivity in APOE epsilon 4 carriers at risk of Alzheimer's disease
    Kerestes, R ; Phal, PM ; Steward, C ; Moffat, BA ; Salinas, S ; Cox, KL ; Ellis, KA ; Cyarto, EV ; Ames, D ; Martins, RN ; Masters, CL ; Rowe, CC ; Sharman, MJ ; Salvado, O ; Szoeke, C ; Lai, M ; Lautenschlager, NT ; Desmond, PM (ROYAL COLL PSYCHIATRISTS, 2015-10-01)
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    The effects of a protein enriched diet with lean red meat combined with a multi-modal exercise program on muscle and cognitive health and function in older adults: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
    Daly, RM ; Gianoudis, J ; Prosser, M ; Kidgell, D ; Ellis, KA ; O'Connell, S ; Nowson, CA (BMC, 2015-08-08)
    BACKGROUND: Age-related muscle wasting has been strongly implicated with falls and fractures in the elderly, but it has also been associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Progressive resistance training (PRT) and adequate dietary protein are recognised as important contributors to the maintenance of muscle health and function in older adults. However, both factors also have the potential to improve brain function and prevent cognitive decline via several pathways, including the regulation of various growth and neurotrophic factors [insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)]; brain-derived growth factor (BDNF)] and/or the modulation of systemic inflammation. The primary aim of this study is to investigate whether a modest increase in dietary protein achieved through the consumption of lean red meat three days per week, when combined with PRT, can enhance muscle mass, size and strength and cognitive function in community-dwelling older people. METHODS/DESIGN: The study design is a 48-week randomised controlled trial consisting of a 24-week intervention with a 24-week follow-up. Men and women (n=152) aged 65 years and over residing in the community will be randomly allocated to: 1) PRT and provided with 220 g (raw weight) of lean red meat to be cooked and divided into two 80 g servings on each of the three days that they complete their exercise session, or 2) control PRT in which participants will be provided with and advised to consume ≥1 serving (~1/2 cup) of rice and/or pasta or 1 medium potato on each of the three training days. The primary outcome measures will be muscle mass, size and strength and cognitive function. Secondary outcomes will include changes in: muscle function, neural health (corticospinal excitability and inhibition and voluntary activation), serum IGF-1 and BDNF, adipokines and inflammatory markers, fat mass and inter-/intra-muscular fat, blood pressure, lipids and health-related quality of life. All outcome measures will be assessed at baseline and 24 weeks, with the exception of cognitive function and the various neurobiological and inflammatory markers which will also be assessed at week 12. DISCUSSION: The findings from this study will provide important new information on whether a modest increase in dietary protein achieved through the ingestion of lean red meat can enhance the effects of PRT on muscle mass, size and strength as well as cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults. If successful, the findings will form the basis for more precise exercise and nutrition guidelines for the management and prevention of age-related changes in muscle and neural health and cognitive function in the elderly. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12613001153707 . Date registered 16(th) October, 2013.
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    Sedentary behavior as a risk factor for cognitive decline? A focus on the influence of glycemic control in brain health.
    Wheeler, MJ ; Dempsey, PC ; Grace, MS ; Ellis, KA ; Gardiner, PA ; Green, DJ ; Dunstan, DW (Wiley, 2017-09)
    Cognitive decline leading to dementia represents a global health burden. In the absence of targeted pharmacotherapy, lifestyle approaches remain the best option for slowing the onset of dementia. However, older adults spend very little time doing moderate to vigorous exercise and spend a majority of time in sedentary behavior. Sedentary behavior has been linked to poor glycemic control and increased risk of all-cause mortality. Here, we explore a potential link between sedentary behavior and brain health. We highlight the role of glycemic control in maintaining brain function and suggest that reducing and replacing sedentary behavior with intermittent light-intensity physical activity may protect against cognitive decline by reducing glycemic variability. Given that older adults find it difficult to achieve current exercise recommendations, this may be an additional practical strategy. However, more research is needed to understand the impact of poor glycemic control on brain function and whether practical interventions aimed at reducing and replacing sedentary behavior with intermittent light intensity physical activity can help slow cognitive decline.