Suicidal Behavior in Dementia: A Special Risk in Semantic Dementia.

Suicidal Behavior in Dementia: A Special Risk in Semantic Dementia.

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2013 Jul 1;
Sabodash V, Mendez MF, Fong S, Hsiao JJ

Background:Some studies report a low suicide risk in general dementia and in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).Objective:To evaluate suicidal behavior among patients with semantic dementia (SD), a disorder that impairs semantic knowledge.Methods:We reviewed the presence of active suicidal behavior and related factors among 25 patients with SD compared to 111 age-matched patients with early-onset AD.Results:In all, 5 (20%) patients with SD had suicidal behavior (2 successfully killed themselves) compared to 1 (0.9%) with AD (P < .001). There was significantly more depression and greater premorbid history of suicidal behavior among the patients with SD compared to those with AD. Among the patients with SD, those with suicidal behavior, compared to those without, had more depression and greater insight into their deficits.Conclusions:Patients with SD are at special risk of committing suicide, particularly if they have depression and preserved insight. Possible mechanisms include an impaired sense of semantic competence with increased impulsivity. HubMed – depression


Calcineurin Inhibition Rescues Early Synaptic Plasticity Deficits in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Neuromolecular Med. 2013 Jul 3;
Cavallucci V, Berretta N, Nobili A, Nisticò R, Mercuri NB, D’Amelio M

Functional and ultrastructural investigations support the concept that altered brain connectivity, exhausted neural plasticity, and synaptic loss are the strongest correlates of cognitive decline in age-related neurodegenerative dementia of Alzheimer’s type. We have previously demonstrated that in transgenic mice, expressing amyloid-? precursor protein-Swedish mutation active caspase-3 accumulates in hippocampal postsynaptic compartments leading to altered postsynaptic density (PSD) composition, increased long-term depression (LTD), and dendritic spine loss. Furthermore, we found strong evidence that dendritic spine alteration is mediated by calcineurin activation, a calcium-dependent phosphatase involved in synapse signaling. In the present work, we analyzed the molecular mechanism linking alteration of synaptic plasticity to the increase of calcineurin activity. We found that acute treatment of young and plaque-free transgenic mice with the calcineurin inhibitor FK506 leads to a complete rescue of LTD and PSD composition. Our findings are in agreement with other results reporting that calcineurin inhibition improves memory function and restores dendritic spine density, confirming that calcineurin inhibition may be explored as a neuroprotective treatment to stop or slowdown synaptic alterations in Alzheimer’s disease. HubMed – depression


Significance of serum immune markers in identification of global functional impairment in the oldest old: cross-sectional results from the BELFRAIL study.

Age (Dordr). 2013 Jul 3;
Adriaensen W, Matheï C, van Pottelbergh G, Vaes B, Legrand D, Wallemacq P, Degryse JM

The large burden and coexistence of physical disability, cognitive impairment, and depression in the oldest old makes summary markers of global functioning of great value, allowing for risk stratification. Inflammation may be a common underlying cause or represents a final common pathway. The present study investigated the association between elevated serum inflammatory markers and global functioning and its underlying aspects. A representative sample of 415 community-dwelling elderly subjects participating in the BELFRAIL study, with a mean age of 85 years, was included in the present analysis. Data on physical performance, dependence, and mental aspects of functioning and serum levels of 15 inflammatory proteins, including cytokines, chemokines, and acute-phase proteins, were assessed. Interleukin (IL)-6 was negatively associated with global functioning (odds ratio (OR) 4.35). The odds ratios for C-reactive protein (CRP) (OR 2.37) and the combined score of IL-6 and CRP (OR 2.59) were lower or not significant. IL-6 was significantly associated with physical dependence and cognitive function, and only a highly elevated serum level was associated with physical performance. Physical dependence was associated with a highly elevated CRP serum level. The proportion of functionally impaired older persons with elevated IL-6 was 81.93 %, giving a low positive predictive value (0.38), but a high negative predictive value (0.87). So, IL-6 is strongly associated with global functioning and all of the individual aspects of functioning, except suspected depression, in community-dwelling persons 80 years and older. HubMed – depression


Sustaining Practice Change One Year After Completion of the National Depression Management Leadership Initiative.

Psychiatr Serv. 2013 Jul 1; 64(7): 703-706
Chung H, Duffy FF, Katzelnick DJ, Williams MD, Trivedi MH, Rae DS, Regier DA

OBJECTIVE This report describes the sustainability of quality improvement interventions for depression care in psychiatric practice one year after the completion of the National Depression Management Leadership Initiative (NDMLI) in 2006. The main intervention involved continued use of the nine-item depression scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for routine care of patients with depressive disorders. METHODS One year after project completion, lead psychiatrists from the 17 participating practices were surveyed about the sustainability of key practice interventions and dissemination of the interventions. RESULTS All 14 practices that provided baseline and follow-up data reported sustained use of the PHQ-9 for screening, diagnosis, or monitoring purposes. Moreover, practices reported dissemination of this approach to clinicians within and outside their practices. CONCLUSIONS Psychiatrists reported sustainability and dissemination of PHQ-9 use one year after the conclusion of the NDMLI. The model has potential as a depression care improvement strategy and is worthy of additional study. HubMed – depression


Drivers with Parkinson’s disease: are the symptoms of PD associated with restricted driving practices?

J Neurol. 2013 Jul 3;
Crizzle AM, Myers AM, Roy EA, Almeida QJ

This study examined whether symptoms (motor, cognitive, vision, sleepiness, depression) of Parkinson’s disease (PD) were associated with restricted driving practices. To quantify driving practices, electronic devices were installed in the vehicles of 27 drivers with PD (78 % men; M = 71.6, SD = 6.6; Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor score M = 30.1, SD = 8.6; disease duration M = 3.9, SD = 2.8 years) and 20 controls (80 % men; M = 70.6, SD = 7.9) for 2 weeks. Participants completed measures of sleepiness, depression, quality of life, and assessments of motor, cognitive and visual functions. The PD group had significantly slower brake response times (p < 0.05), poorer cognitive and quality of life scores (p < 0.01) and greater depression (p < 0.05) compared to controls. Slower reaction time was significantly related to reduced driving; specifically, fewer trips (r = -0.46; p < 0.05), distance (r = -0.54, p < 0.01) and duration at night (r = -0.58, p < 0.01). Better cognitive scores were associated with driving less often in difficult situations such as bad weather and rush hour (p < 0.05), as well as reduced speed on city streets, but only for the control group. While most drivers with PD rated their overall health as good or excellent, the five PD drivers who rated their health more poorly had significantly worse clinical symptoms (UPDRS motor scores, contrast sensitivity, depression, brake response time) and more restricted driving patterns. These findings show that drivers with PD who perceive their health poorly have greater symptomatology and were more likely to restrict their driving, possibly due to noticeable declines in multiple driving-related abilities. HubMed – depression