Latest Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on Physical Exercise and Cognitive Function in Adults Older Than 50 Years of Age (BBC News / NHS Choices / British Journal of Sports Medicine)

Summary

An Australian review of 39 studies has found that physical exercise (aerobic exercise and strength training) appears to improve cognitive functioning, including memory and attention. Interventions such as aerobic exercise, resistance training, multicomponent training and tai chi all confer significant benefits, to a varying extent.

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Exercise ‘keeps the mind sharp’ in over-50s, study finds’. London: BBC Health News, April 25th 2017.

NHS Choices Behind the Headlines cover this research, too.

“This study provides evidence that, even for people with some signs of declining mental function, regular moderately intense exercise has a positive effect”.

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Regular exercise for the over-50s ‘sharpens the mind’. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, April 26th 2017.

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Northey, JM. Cherbuin, N. [and] Pumpa, KL. [et al] (2017). Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine. April 24th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].

Posted in BBC News, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, Integrated Care, International, Management of Condition, NHS Choices, Non-Pharmacological Treatments, Person-Centred Care, Quick Insights, Systematic Reviews, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diet Drinks Triple Risk of Stroke and Dementia? (NHS Choices / Stroke / BBC Health News / NHS England)

Summary

Recently published evidence indicates that consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks is associated statistically with a higher risk of stroke and dementia, but these alleged links are not overwhelmingly convincing or concerning.

An NHS Choices Behind the Headlines critical appraisal explains the issues, and the strength of the evidence, most clearly:

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Reported link between diet drinks and dementia and stroke is weak. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, April 21st 2017.

This relates to:

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Reference

Pase, MP. Himali, JJ. [and] Beiser, AS. [et al] (2017). Sugar- and artificially sweetened beverages and the risks of incident stroke and dementia: a prospective cohort study. Stroke. April 20th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].

Headlines-Driven Policy?

A possibly coincidental NHS England policy announcement?

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Roxby, P. (2017). Shops agree to limit sugary drinks sales in hospitals. London: BBC Health News, April 21st 2017.

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NHS and leading suppliers join forces to cut sugary drinks. [Online]: NHS England, April 21st 2017.

“…leading retailers have agreed to continue voluntarily reducing sales of sugary drinks to 10% or less of their total drinks sales within hospitals over the coming year”.

Posted in Commissioning, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, Integrated Care, International, National, NHS, NHS Choices, NHS England, Nutrition, Quick Insights, Statistics, Stroke, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Potential Association Between Tea Consumption and a Reduced Risk of Developing Dementia? (NHS Choices / Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging)

Summary

There is some evidence from Singapore that tea drinkers may be less likely to develop brain disorders such as dementia. Researchers discovered that Chinese elderly tea drinkers appeared to be less likely to develop dementia compared to non-drinkers.

“The links were observed specifically in women tea drinkers, and in drinkers who carry the APOE ε4 gene that has been linked with Alzheimer’s development”.

Some questions have been raised as to the statistical significance of these findings. The following NHS Choices Behind the Headlines critical appraisal cautions readers against drawing rash conclusions.

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Tea not proven to ‘shield you against dementia’. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, April 7th 2017.

This relates to:

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Reference

Feng, L. Chong, MS. [and] Lim WS. [et al] (2016). Tea consumption reduces the incidence of neurocognitive disorders: findings from the Singapore Longitudinal Aging Study. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. December 2016; 20(10): pp.1002-1009.

Posted in For Researchers (mostly), In the News, International, NHS Choices, Nutrition, Quick Insights, Statistics, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review of Simulated Presence Therapy for BPSD (Cochrane Database)

Summary

Simulated Presence Therapy (SPT) is any type of intervention which uses video or audiotape recordings of family members presented to persons with dementia, and is viewed by some to be a possible approach to treating the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).

This systematic review assessed the efficacy of SPT as an intervention for reducing behavioural and psychological symptoms and / or improving the quality of life for people with dementia living in care homes.

The researchers were unable to draw any firm conclusions. As usually happens, this Cochrane Review points to the need for more well-conducted research and reminds the reader of how much we don’t yet know.

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Reference

Abraha, I. Rimland, JM. [and] Lozano-Montoya, I. [et al] (2017). Simulated presence therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. April 18th 2017; 4: CD011882. [Epub ahead of print].

There is also an Executive Summary.

Posted in Community Care, Depression, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), International, Management of Condition, Mental Health, Models of Dementia Care, Non-Pharmacological Treatments, Person-Centred Care, Personalisation, Quick Insights, Systematic Reviews, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pharmacist Involvement in Hospital Ward Teams and Rates of Hospital Readmission (European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology)

Summary

A recent Swedish trial was conducted to assess whether comprehensive medication reviews performed by clinical pharmacists working on hospital wards as part of healthcare multidisciplinary team might reduce drug-related hospital readmission rates for people with dementia or cognitive impairment.

The results were initially disappointing and inconclusive on the whole, although further detailed analysis – achieved by excluding certain categories of patients – indicated some slight grounds for optimism.

“Participation of clinical pharmacists in healthcare team conducting comprehensive medication reviews did not significantly reduce the risk of drug-related readmissions in patients with dementia or cognitive impairment; however, post-hoc and subgroup analyses indicated significant effects favoring the intervention. More research is needed”.

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Reference

Gustafsson, M. Sjölander, M. [and] Pfister, B. [et al] (2017). Pharmacist participation in hospital ward teams and hospital readmission rates among people with dementia: a randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. April 8th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].

Posted in Acute Hospitals, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), Integrated Care, International, Management of Condition, Models of Dementia Care, Person-Centred Care, Pharmacological Treatments, Quick Insights, Statistics, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grounds for Cautious Optimism Regarding Two Drugs Re-Purposed for Neurodegenerative Diseases? (BBC News / MRC / NHS Choices / Brain)

Summary

Animal research, involving mice, has indicated promising results for the potential of two re-purposed drugs in helping to slow or halt the progression of a number of neurodegenerative brain diseases, including dementia.

“The best known drug of the pair is Trazodone, which is already taken by patients with depression”.

Clinical trials are planned.

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Gallagher, J. (2017). Experts excited by brain ‘wonder-drug’. London: BBC Health News, April 20th 2017.

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MRC scientists discover two repurposed drugs that arrest neurodegeneration in mice. London: Medical Research Council (MRC), April 20th 2017.

Coincidentally:

“Professor Giovanna Mallucci, who led the team from the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Toxicology Unit in Leicester and the University of Cambridge, was today announced as one of the five associate directors of the UK Dementia Research Institute”.

Further appraisal:

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Two older drugs could be ‘repurposed’ to fight dementia. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, April 20th 2017.

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Halliday, M. Radford, H. [and] Zents, KAM. [et al] (2017). Repurposed drugs targeting eIF2α-P-mediated translational repression prevent neurodegeneration in mice. Brain. April 19th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].

Posted in Animal Studies, BBC News, For Researchers (mostly), In the News, National, NHS Choices, Parkinson's Disease, Pharmacological Treatments, Quick Insights, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Regional Variations in Care Home Quality in England (Independent Age)

Summary

Variations in the quality of care homes, between regions and local authorities across England, have been revealed by analysis of CQC care home inspections data. It appears that the North-West of England may be the worst performing region in England, concerning the proportion of satisfactory care homes and the choices available. London, by contrast, would seem to be the best performing region.

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Best and worst areas for care home quality in England revealed in new research. London: Independent Age, April 11th 2017.

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Care home performance across England: March 2017. London: Independent Age, April 2017.

Posted in Charitable Bodies, Commissioning, Community Care, CQC: Care Quality Commission, For Carers (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), In the News, Integrated Care, Local Interest, Management of Condition, National, Person-Centred Care, Quick Insights, Statistics, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment