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Geriatrics, Volume 1, Issue 4 (December 2016)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Psychosocial Correlates of Frailty in Older Adults
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 26; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040026
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 18 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
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Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate psychosocial variables associated with frailty status. Moreover, gender differences in the psychosocial variables associated with frailty were examined. Methods: This cross-sectional study examined a community-dwelling sample of N = 210 older adults (M
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Background: The aim of this study was to investigate psychosocial variables associated with frailty status. Moreover, gender differences in the psychosocial variables associated with frailty were examined. Methods: This cross-sectional study examined a community-dwelling sample of N = 210 older adults (M = 75.31 years). Frailty was measured with the Tilburg Frailty Indicator. Quality of life, depression, resilience, social support, self-efficacy, traumata experienced, and trauma severity were assessed as psychosocial variables. Logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: In total, 41.4% of the participants were frail (49.6% women, 27.8% men). Main correlates of frailty were depressive symptoms, quality of life, and resilience. Gender differences for frailty correlates were found. Depressive symptoms and perceived social support were mainly associated with frailty in women. Furthermore, age was only significantly associated with frailty in women. Quality of life was significantly associated with frailty being a protective factor in both women and men. Trauma count and trauma severity were associated with an elevated risk for frailty in men. Conclusions: The results show that the psychosocial variables depressive symptoms, quality of life, and resilience are associated with frailty. Gender-specific differences in psychosocial correlates of frailty were revealed. Results suggest that gender-specific assessments and interventions should be developed to prevent frailty in late life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frailty and Sarcopenia in Old Age)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Family Carers of People with Young-Onset Dementia: Their Experiences with the Supporter Service
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 28; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040028
Received: 23 September 2016 / Revised: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 31 October 2016 / Published: 5 November 2016
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Abstract
Background: Family carers and people with young-onset dementia (YOD) require tailored assistance as dementia progresses. A variety of health care services is needed, including supporter services. To our knowledge, research focusing on experiences with the supporter service is scarce. Aim: To evaluate the
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Background: Family carers and people with young-onset dementia (YOD) require tailored assistance as dementia progresses. A variety of health care services is needed, including supporter services. To our knowledge, research focusing on experiences with the supporter service is scarce. Aim: To evaluate the supporter service by examining how primary family carers experience the assistance provided. Method: Qualitative interviews with 16 primary family carers of people with YOD were performed from 2014 to 2015. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Three main themes emerged from the interviews. First, a good match focused on the carers’ experiences of the relationship between the supporter and the person with YOD and included three subthemes: a nice, empathetic personality, a friendship-like relationship, and the content of the meetings. The second theme, relief, addressed the carers’ experiences with the service. The third, coordination, concerned the carers’ relationship with the health care service. Conclusion: Developing tailored services and assistance initiatives is important. A well-organized supporter service is a valuable supplement to formal programs and should be developed as part of an overall support package. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenges of Caring of Neurodegenerative Diseases)
Open AccessArticle Motor Sequence Learning in Healthy Older Adults Is Not Necessarily Facilitated by Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 32; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040032
Received: 7 August 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
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Abstract
Background: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) can modulate neuronal activity, and improve performance of basic motor tasks. The possibility that tDCS could assist in rehabilitation (e.g., for paresis post-stroke) offers hope but the evidence base is incomplete,
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Background: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) can modulate neuronal activity, and improve performance of basic motor tasks. The possibility that tDCS could assist in rehabilitation (e.g., for paresis post-stroke) offers hope but the evidence base is incomplete, with some behavioural studies reporting no effect of tDCS on complex motor learning. Older adults who show age-related decline in movement and learning (skills which tDCS could potentially facilitate), are also under-represented within tDCS literature. To address these issues, we examined whether tDCS would improve motor sequence learning in healthy young and older adults. Methods: In Experiment One, young participants learned 32 aiming movements using their preferred (right) hand whilst receiving: (i) 30 min Anodal Stimulation of left M1; (ii) 30 min Cathodal Stimulation of right M1; or (iii) 30 min Sham. Experiment Two used a similar task, but with older adults receiving Anodal Stimulation or Sham. Results: Whilst motor learning occurred in all participants, tDCS did not improve the rate or accuracy of motor learning for either age group. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the effects of tDCS may be limited to motor performance with no clear beneficial effects for motor learning. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication Call to Caution with the Use of Atypical Antipsychotics for Treatment of Depression in Older Adults
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 33; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040033
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 16 December 2016
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Abstract
Atypical antipsychotics are increasingly being used to manage depression in older adults where these symptoms can often be refractory to first-line treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Unfortunately, atypical antipsychotics can be associated with the development
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Atypical antipsychotics are increasingly being used to manage depression in older adults where these symptoms can often be refractory to first-line treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Unfortunately, atypical antipsychotics can be associated with the development of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), with drug-induced parkinsonism (DIP) being the most common movement disorder induced by this class of medication. The management of treatment-resistant depression in older adults is of particular concern as depression is a common feature of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD) and can manifest prior to the development of motor symptoms. Herein, we discuss the use of atypical antipsychotics for the management of depression in older adults including the risk of DIP and propose that antipsychotics may potentially unmask IPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Depressive Disorder in the Elderly)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Is Pet Ownership Helpful in Reducing the Risk and Severity of Geriatric Depression?
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 24; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040024
Received: 21 July 2016 / Accepted: 21 September 2016 / Published: 4 October 2016
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Abstract
Many community-dwelling older adults are searching for ways to remain mentally and physically healthy as they age. One frequently offered suggestion is for older people to adopt a pet to avoid loneliness, to stay socially engaged, and to stave off depression. Despite the
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Many community-dwelling older adults are searching for ways to remain mentally and physically healthy as they age. One frequently offered suggestion is for older people to adopt a pet to avoid loneliness, to stay socially engaged, and to stave off depression. Despite the ubiquity of this advice in popular culture, research findings are equivocal on whether pet ownership is beneficial to the physical and psychological health of older adults. This article evaluates published data relating to pet ownership and its possible impact on depression and related symptoms in the elderly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Depressive Disorder in the Elderly)
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Open AccessReview Prostate Cancer: Is It a Battle Lost to Age?
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 27; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040027
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 10 October 2016 / Accepted: 31 October 2016 / Published: 3 November 2016
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Abstract
Age is often considered an important non-modifiable risk factor for a number of diseases, including prostate cancer. Some prominent risk factors of prostate cancer include familial history, ethnicity and age. In this review, various genetic and physiological characteristics affected due to advancing age
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Age is often considered an important non-modifiable risk factor for a number of diseases, including prostate cancer. Some prominent risk factors of prostate cancer include familial history, ethnicity and age. In this review, various genetic and physiological characteristics affected due to advancing age will be analysed and correlated with their direct effect on prostate cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview Neuroprotective Effect of Several Phytochemicals and Its Potential Application in the Prevention of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 29; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040029
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 16 October 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 12 November 2016
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Abstract
The detrimental effects of oxidative stress and chronic neuroinflammation on neuronal cell death have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The nutritional neuroscience is quickly growing, and phytochemicals or phytobioactive compounds such
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The detrimental effects of oxidative stress and chronic neuroinflammation on neuronal cell death have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The nutritional neuroscience is quickly growing, and phytochemicals or phytobioactive compounds such as curcumin, resveratrol, propolis, ginsenoside, and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been extensively applied to potential therapeutic purposes for numerous neurodegenerative diseases for their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. However, their administration as food supplements in the daily diet of the elderly is normally a voluntary and less-organized behavior, indicating the uncertainty of therapeutic effects in this sporadic population; specifically, the effective physiological dosages and the real positive effects in preserving brain health have not yet been fully elucidated. In this review, we collect several lines of evidence on these compounds, which constitute a major type of nutraceuticals and are widely integrated into the daily anti-aging caring of elderly patients, and discuss the underlying anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of these phytochemicals. In conclusion, we highlight the implications of these compounds in the prevention and treatment of geriatric diseases, and of the potential supplementation procedures used as a dietary therapeutic program in clinical nursing services for patients with neurodegenerative diseases or for the elderly in certain communities, which we hope will lead to more beneficial health outcomes with respect to brain function, innate immunity, and gastrointestinal function, as well as more economic and social benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenges of Caring of Neurodegenerative Diseases)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Indirect Costs of Late-Life Depression in the United States: A Literature Review and Perspective
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 30; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040030
Received: 16 July 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 14 November 2016
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Abstract
Late-life depression is a leading cause of disability in older adults and is associated with significant economic burden. This article draws from the existing literature and publicly available databases to describe the relative importance of the indirect costs associated with late-life depression. The
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Late-life depression is a leading cause of disability in older adults and is associated with significant economic burden. This article draws from the existing literature and publicly available databases to describe the relative importance of the indirect costs associated with late-life depression. The authors found that unpaid caregiver costs represent the largest component of the indirect costs of late-life depression, with the highest level of economic burden attributed to the majority of care recipients who have fewer depressive symptoms. Other indirect costs, such as productivity losses related to early retirement, reduced ability to fulfill work and family functions and diminished financial success were mostly under-appreciated in the literature. Also, mortality cost estimates provided little clarity, employing variable methodologies and revealing mixed results. With respect to late-life suicide studies, studies approximated both economic costs and savings. More rigorous efforts to evaluate the indirect costs of late-life depression would afford a better understanding of the social and economic toll of this disorder and could influence the allocation of resources for research and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Depressive Disorder in the Elderly)
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Open AccessReview Stroke and Falls—Clash of the Two Titans in Geriatrics
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 31; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040031
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 20 November 2016 / Accepted: 26 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Both stroke and falls are common conditions affecting the older adult. Despite stroke being considered a well-established major risk factor for falls, there remains no evidence for effective prevention strategies for falls specifically for stroke survivors. Previous observational studies evaluating falls risk factors
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Both stroke and falls are common conditions affecting the older adult. Despite stroke being considered a well-established major risk factor for falls, there remains no evidence for effective prevention strategies for falls specifically for stroke survivors. Previous observational studies evaluating falls risk factors in stroke have mainly been uncontrolled and found similar risk factors for stroke populations compared to general older populations. Specific risk factors, however, are likely to play a greater role in stroke survivors including unilateral weakness, hemisensory or visual neglect, impaired coordination, visual field defects, perceptual difficulties and cognitive issues. In addition, individuals with stroke are also more likely to have other associated risk factors for falls including diabetes, falls risk increasing drugs, atrial fibrillation, and other cardiovascular risk factors. While anticoagulation is associated with increased risk of intracranial bleeding after a fall, the risk of suffering a further stroke due to atrial fibrillation outweigh the risk of bleeding from a recurrent fall. Similarly, while blood pressure lowering medications may be linked to orthostatic hypotension which in turn increases the risk of falls, the benefit of good blood pressure control in terms of secondary stroke prevention outweighs the risk of falls. Until better evidence is available, the suggested management approach should then be based on local resources, and published evidence for fall prevention. Multicomponent exercise and individually tailored multifactorial interventions should still be considered as published evidence evaluating the above have included stroke patients in their study population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stroke in Ageing)
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Other

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Open AccessDiscussion Dementia: Sustaining Self in the Face of Cognitive Decline
Geriatrics 2016, 1(4), 25; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1040025
Received: 8 September 2016 / Revised: 13 October 2016 / Accepted: 20 October 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
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Abstract
It is argued that the way in which we view a person with dementia can have a significant effect on the level of disability and wellbeing of the person. There is a divergence between a belief that the self disintegrates, leaving a non-person,
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It is argued that the way in which we view a person with dementia can have a significant effect on the level of disability and wellbeing of the person. There is a divergence between a belief that the self disintegrates, leaving a non-person, and a belief that the self remains but is misplaced and can be maintained with the appropriate approach from others. This article seeks to examine the differing approaches to self and personhood in dementia care, and establish ways of approaching care for the person with dementia which may limit the extent of disability in the face of cognitive decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenges of Caring of Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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