The latest medical research on Geriatric Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about geriatric medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Amyloid-β peptides in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies.

Journal Alzheimers Research Therapy

One of the major challenges in diagnosing dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the common co-morbid presence of amyloid pathology. To understand the putative role of altered amyloid-β (Aβ) metabolism in dementia with DLB, we analyzed levels of different cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ peptides (Aβ38, Aβ40, Aβ42) in DLB, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and cognitively normal controls.

CSF from patients with DLB (n = 72; age 68 ± 6 years; 10%F; Mini-mental State examination (MMSE) 23 ± 4), AD (n = 38; age 68 ± 6 years; 8%F; MMSE 22 ± 5), and cognitively normal controls (n = 38; age 67 ± 7 years; 13%F; MMSE 29 ± 2) was analyzed using the Meso Scale Discovery assay for human Aβ peptides. We performed general linear models to compare CSF Aβ peptide levels between groups. Associations between CSF Aβ peptides and MMSE score at baseline and longitudinal changes over time were assessed with linear mixed models.

For all three CSF Aβ peptides and compared to controls (Aβ38 2676 ± 703 pg/ml, Aβ40 6243 ± 1500 pg/ml, and Aβ42 692 ± 205 pg/ml), we observed lower levels in DLB (Aβ38 2247 ± 638, Aβ40 5432 ± 1340, and Aβ42 441 ± 185, p < 0.05), whereas AD patients showed only lower Aβ42 levels (304 ± 71, p < 0.001). The observed differences in Aβ38 and Aβ40 were independent of co-morbid AD pathology (CSF tau/Aβ42 > 0.52) and APOE genotype. Finally, lower Aβ peptide levels were associated with lower MMSE score (β = 1.02-1.11, p < 0.05).

We demonstrated different profiles of CSF Aβ reduction in DLB and AD. In particular, while AD is characterized by an isolated drop in Aβ42, DLB comes with reductions in Aβ38, Aβ40, and Aβ42. This suggests that amyloid metabolism is affected in DLB, even in the absence of co-morbid AD pathology.

Testing the 2018 NIA-AA research framework in a retrospective large cohort of patients with cognitive impairment: from biological biomarkers to clinical syndromes.

Journal Alzheimers Research Therapy

According to the 2018 NIA-AA research framework, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is not defined by the clinical consequences of the disease, but by its underlying pathology, measured by biomarkers. Evidence of both amyloid-β (Aβ) and phosphorylated tau protein (p-tau) deposition-assessed interchangeably with amyloid-positron emission tomography (PET) and/or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis-is needed to diagnose AD in a living person. Our aim was to test the new NIA-AA research framework in a large cohort of cognitively impaired patients to evaluate correspondence between the clinical syndromes and the underlying pathologic process testified by biomarkers.

We retrospectively analysed 628 subjects referred to our centre in suspicion of dementia, who underwent CSF analysis, together with neuropsychological assessment and neuroimaging, and were diagnosed with different neurodegenerative dementias according to current criteria, or as cognitively unimpaired. Subjects were classified considering CSF biomarkers, and the prevalence of normal, AD-continuum and non-AD profiles in each clinical syndrome was calculated. The positivity threshold of each CSF biomarker was first assessed by receiver operating characteristic analysis, using Aβ-positive/negative status as determined by amyloid-PET visual reads. The agreement between CSF and amyloid-PET data was also evaluated.

Among patients with a clinical diagnosis of AD, 94.1% were in the AD-continuum, whereas 5.5% were classified as non-AD and 0.4% were normal. The AD-continuum profile was found also in 26.2% of frontotemporal dementia, 48.6% of Lewy body dementia, 25% of atypical parkinsonism and 44.7% of vascular dementia. Biomarkers' profile did not differ in amnestic and not amnestic mild cognitive impairment. CSF Aβ levels and amyloid-PET tracer binding negatively correlated, and the concordance between the two Aβ biomarkers was 89%.

The examination of the 2018 NIA-AA research framework in our clinical setting revealed a good, but incomplete, correspondence between the clinical syndromes and the underlying pathologic process measured by CSF biomarkers. The AD-continuum profile resulted to be a sensitive, but non-specific biomarker with regard to the clinical AD diagnosis. CSF and PET Aβ biomarkers were found to be not perfectly interchangeable to quantify the Aβ burden, possibly because they measure different aspects of AD pathology.

Conservative Oxygen Therapy during Mechanical Ventilation in the ICU.

N Engl J

Patients who are undergoing mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit (ICU) often receive a high fraction of inspired oxygen (Fio2) and have a high arterial oxygen tension. The conservative use of oxygen may reduce oxygen exposure, diminish lung and systemic oxidative injury, and thereby increase the number of ventilator-free days (days alive and free from mechanical ventilation).

We randomly assigned 1000 adult patients who were anticipated to require mechanical ventilation beyond the day after recruitment in the ICU to receive conservative or usual oxygen therapy. In the two groups, the default lower limit for oxygen saturation as measured by pulse oximetry (Spo2) was 90%. In the conservative-oxygen group, the upper limit of the Spo2 alarm was set to sound when the level reached 97%, and the Fio2 was decreased to 0.21 if the Spo2 was above the acceptable lower limit. In the usual-oxygen group, there were no specific measures limiting the Fio2 or the Spo2. The primary outcome was the number of ventilator-free days from randomization until day 28.

The number of ventilator-free days did not differ significantly between the conservative-oxygen group and the usual-oxygen group, with a median duration of 21.3 days (interquartile range, 0 to 26.3) and 22.1 days (interquartile range, 0 to 26.2), respectively, for an absolute difference of -0.3 days (95% confidence interval [CI], -2.1 to 1.6; P = 0.80). The conservative-oxygen group spent more time in the ICU with an Fio2 of 0.21 than the usual-oxygen group, with a median duration of 29 hours (interquartile range, 5 to 78) and 1 hour (interquartile range, 0 to 17), respectively (absolute difference, 28 hours; 95% CI, 22 to 34); the conservative-oxygen group spent less time with an Spo2 exceeding 96%, with a duration of 27 hours (interquartile range, 11 to 63.5) and 49 hours (interquartile range, 22 to 112), respectively (absolute difference, 22 hours; 95% CI, 14 to 30). At 180 days, mortality was 35.7% in the conservative-oxygen group and 34.5% in the usual-oxygen group, for an unadjusted odds ratio of 1.05 (95% CI, 0.81 to 1.37).

In adults undergoing mechanical ventilation in the ICU, the use of conservative oxygen therapy, as compared with usual oxygen therapy, did not significantly affect the number of ventilator-free days. (Funded by the New Zealand Health Research Council; ICU-ROX Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12615000957594.).

Randomized Trial of Medical versus Surgical Treatment for Refractory Heartburn.

N Engl J

Heartburn that persists despite proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) treatment is a frequent clinical problem with multiple potential causes. Treatments for PPI-refractory heartburn are of unproven efficacy and focus on controlling gastroesophageal reflux with reflux-reducing medication (e.g., baclofen) or antireflux surgery or on dampening visceral hypersensitivity with neuromodulators (e.g., desipramine).

Patients who were referred to Veterans Affairs (VA) gastroenterology clinics for PPI-refractory heartburn received 20 mg of omeprazole twice daily for 2 weeks, and those with persistent heartburn underwent endoscopy, esophageal biopsy, esophageal manometry, and multichannel intraluminal impedance-pH monitoring. If patients were found to have reflux-related heartburn, we randomly assigned them to receive surgical treatment (laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication), active medical treatment (omeprazole plus baclofen, with desipramine added depending on symptoms), or control medical treatment (omeprazole plus placebo). The primary outcome was treatment success, defined as a decrease of 50% or more in the Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)-Health Related Quality of Life score (range, 0 to 50, with higher scores indicating worse symptoms) at 1 year.

A total of 366 patients (mean age, 48.5 years; 280 men) were enrolled. Prerandomization procedures excluded 288 patients: 42 had relief of their heartburn during the 2-week omeprazole trial, 70 did not complete trial procedures, 54 were excluded for other reasons, 23 had non-GERD esophageal disorders, and 99 had functional heartburn (not due to GERD or other histopathologic, motility, or structural abnormality). The remaining 78 patients underwent randomization. The incidence of treatment success with surgery (18 of 27 patients, 67%) was significantly superior to that with active medical treatment (7 of 25 patients, 28%; P = 0.007) or control medical treatment (3 of 26 patients, 12%; P<0.001). The difference in the incidence of treatment success between the active medical group and the control medical group was 16 percentage points (95% confidence interval, -5 to 38; P = 0.17).

Among patients referred to VA gastroenterology clinics for PPI-refractory heartburn, systematic workup revealed truly PPI-refractory and reflux-related heartburn in a minority of patients. For that highly selected subgroup, surgery was superior to medical treatment. (Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01265550.).

20-Year Follow-up of Statins in Children with Familial Hypercholesterolemia.

N Engl J

Familial hypercholesterolemia is characterized by severely elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and premature cardiovascular disease. The short-term efficacy of statin therapy in children is well established, but longer follow-up studies evaluating changes in the risk of cardiovascular disease are scarce.

We report a 20-year follow-up study of statin therapy in children. A total of 214 patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (genetically confirmed in 98% of the patients), who were previously participants in a placebo-controlled trial evaluating the 2-year efficacy and safety of pravastatin, were invited for follow-up, together with their 95 unaffected siblings. Participants completed a questionnaire, provided blood samples, and underwent measurements of carotid intima-media thickness. The incidence of cardiovascular disease among the patients with familial hypercholesterolemia was compared with that among their 156 affected parents.

Of the original cohort, 184 of 214 patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (86%) and 77 of 95 siblings (81%) were seen in follow-up; among the 214 patients, data on cardiovascular events and on death from cardiovascular causes were available for 203 (95%) and 214 (100%), respectively. The mean LDL cholesterol level in the patients had decreased from 237.3 to 160.7 mg per deciliter (from 6.13 to 4.16 mmol per liter) - a decrease of 32% from the baseline level; treatment goals (LDL cholesterol <100 mg per deciliter [2.59 mmol per liter]) were achieved in 37 patients (20%). Mean progression of carotid intima-media thickness over the entire follow-up period was 0.0056 mm per year in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia and 0.0057 mm per year in siblings (mean difference adjusted for sex, -0.0001 mm per year; 95% confidence interval, -0.0010 to 0.0008). The cumulative incidence of cardiovascular events and of death from cardiovascular causes at 39 years of age was lower among the patients with familial hypercholesterolemia than among their affected parents (1% vs. 26% and 0% vs. 7%, respectively).

In this study, initiation of statin therapy during childhood in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia slowed the progression of carotid intima-media thickness and reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. (Funded by the AMC Foundation.).

Six-Month Randomized, Multicenter Trial of Closed-Loop Control in Type 1 Diabetes.

N Engl J

Closed-loop systems that automate insulin delivery may improve glycemic outcomes in patients with type 1 diabetes.

In this 6-month randomized, multicenter trial, patients with type 1 diabetes were assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive treatment with a closed-loop system (closed-loop group) or a sensor-augmented pump (control group). The primary outcome was the percentage of time that the blood glucose level was within the target range of 70 to 180 mg per deciliter (3.9 to 10.0 mmol per liter), as measured by continuous glucose monitoring.

A total of 168 patients underwent randomization; 112 were assigned to the closed-loop group, and 56 were assigned to the control group. The age range of the patients was 14 to 71 years, and the glycated hemoglobin level ranged from 5.4 to 10.6%. All 168 patients completed the trial. The mean (±SD) percentage of time that the glucose level was within the target range increased in the closed-loop group from 61±17% at baseline to 71±12% during the 6 months and remained unchanged at 59±14% in the control group (mean adjusted difference, 11 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 9 to 14; P<0.001). The results with regard to the main secondary outcomes (percentage of time that the glucose level was >180 mg per deciliter, mean glucose level, glycated hemoglobin level, and percentage of time that the glucose level was <70 mg per deciliter or <54 mg per deciliter [3.0 mmol per liter]) all met the prespecified hierarchical criterion for significance, favoring the closed-loop system. The mean difference (closed loop minus control) in the percentage of time that the blood glucose level was lower than 70 mg per deciliter was -0.88 percentage points (95% CI, -1.19 to -0.57; P<0.001). The mean adjusted difference in glycated hemoglobin level after 6 months was -0.33 percentage points (95% CI, -0.53 to -0.13; P = 0.001). In the closed-loop group, the median percentage of time that the system was in closed-loop mode was 90% over 6 months. No serious hypoglycemic events occurred in either group; one episode of diabetic ketoacidosis occurred in the closed-loop group.

In this 6-month trial involving patients with type 1 diabetes, the use of a closed-loop system was associated with a greater percentage of time spent in a target glycemic range than the use of a sensor-augmented insulin pump. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; iDCL ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03563313.).

No seasonal influence on cognitive performance in a national sample of older adults in New Zealand.

Australasian Journal on Ageing

A recent North American study reported seasonal differences in cognitive functioning in older adults. We assessed seasonality of cognitive functioning in a large data set of older adults in New Zealand.

The International Residential Assessment Instrument-Home Care (interRAI-HC) data set was analysed using a non-parametric method for testing seasonal distribution of cognitive and depression scale scores.

Participants were 73 285 New Zealanders 65 years and older who completed their first interRAI-HC assessment (mean age, 81.4 years; 57% female). We analysed this sample cross-tabulating season (summer, autumn, winter and spring) and the Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS) score (Kruskal-Wallis test, P = 0.45). Month-by-month CPS scores also demonstrated no variation (Spearman's test, P = 0.96). There was no association between season of assessment and the Depression Rating Scale score, ruling out variability in affect impacting on cognitive performance (Kruskal-Wallis test, P = 0.99).

Our findings, limited to the Southern Hemisphere, demonstrate a lack of seasonality in cognitive performance and impairment in older adults.

Staff perceptions of caring for people exhibiting behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia in residential aged care: A cross-sectional survey.

Australasian Journal on Ageing

To explore the attitudes of direct care staff in residential aged care when interacting with, and responding to, residents exhibiting behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).

Cross-sectional survey (n = 70).

Participants favoured a person-centred approach to their management of residents with BPSD and were aware of the causes of BPSD. There were significant differences between personal care workers' (PCWs) and enrolled nurses' (ENs) perceptions of the impact of interpersonal relationships and the physical environment on aggressive behaviours, and between registered nurses and both PCWs and ENs regarding the use of medications for aggressive behaviour and a medical approach to care.

The attitudes of participants reflected an awareness of BPSD and its causes. Participants recognised the benefits of a person-centred paradigm, but more education directed towards ENs and PCWs regarding appropriate administration and potential risks of psychotropic medication for BPSD may be beneficial.

Trajectories of home nursing use for older women in Melbourne, Australia: 2006-2015.

Australasian Journal on Ageing

To profile changes in older women accessing home nursing between 2006 and 2015, focussing on living circumstances.

Data pertaining to Australian women aged 55+ who accessed a home nursing service between 2006 and 2015 were analysed, stratified by living status. Comparisons were made between the years 2006 and 2015; rates and relative rates of use per 1000 clients were calculated.

Fewer women lived alone in 2015 compared with 2006. Women were older, less likely to be born in Australia, speak English at home, had more diagnoses and higher average Charlson Comorbidity Index scores in 2015. Relative rates of service use for older women living with others increased slightly over the 10 years, while decreasing by 13% for those living alone.

Women using home nursing services are older than previously, more medically complex, more likely to be born from countries other than Australia and speak a preferred language other than English.

Current knowledge and practice of Australian and New Zealand health-care professionals in sarcopenia diagnosis and treatment: Time to move forward!

Australasian Journal on Ageing

To describe the current knowledge and practice of sarcopenia diagnosis and treatment among health-care professionals before, directly after and 6 months after a professional development event on sarcopenia.

This longitudinal study included Australian and New Zealand health-care professionals who completed questionnaires on knowledge, practice and barriers regarding sarcopenia before, directly after and 6 months after attending a professional development event on sarcopenia.

A total of 250 professionals participated; 84 completed the 6-month questionnaires. Before, directly after and at 6 months, respectively, 14.7%, 93.4% and 59.5% identified sarcopenia as a disease; 2.0%, 79.6% and 38.1% correctly answered the sex-specific cut-offs for low handgrip strength. Respectively, 12.0% and 14.3% reported to make sarcopenia diagnoses as part of their practice before and at 6 months.

Knowledge about sarcopenia is limited among health-care professionals who attended a professional development event. Retention of knowledge remains a challenge to be addressed.

The Volunteer Dementia and Delirium Care (VDDC)©: A pre-implementation study exploring perceived acceptability to implementing the program in an acute and subacute metropolitan hospital.

Australasian Journal on Ageing

To explore the perceived acceptability of the Volunteer Dementia and Delirium Care (VDDC)© program components from the perspective of key stakeholders in a metropolitan health network.

A mixed-methods design was used. Surveys (nurses) and focus groups and interviews (hospital staff, volunteers, patients and caregivers) were conducted simultaneously. Descriptive statistics were used to profile the survey responses. The framework method was used to analyse the qualitative data.

The majority of nurses identified that it is acceptable for volunteers to read to, and converse and play games with patients. Hospital staff perceived risk in volunteers assisting with feeding and mobilisation. Overall participants believed the VDDC was acceptable and would be of benefit to the patients.

Key stakeholders have a favourable view of the VDDC© program. Strategies can be developed to address the identified issues, and components of the program may be amended to ensure that implementation is acceptable.

Controlled Trial of Two Incremental Milk-Feeding Rates in Preterm Infants.

N Engl J

Observational data have shown that slow advancement of enteral feeding volumes in preterm infants is associated with a reduced risk of necrotizing enterocolitis but an increased risk of late-onset sepsis. However, data from randomized trials are limited.

We randomly assigned very preterm or very-low-birth-weight infants to daily milk increments of 30 ml per kilogram of body weight (faster increment) or 18 ml per kilogram (slower increment) until reaching full feeding volumes. The primary outcome was survival without moderate or severe neurodevelopmental disability at 24 months. Secondary outcomes included components of the primary outcome, confirmed or suspected late-onset sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, and cerebral palsy.

Among 2804 infants who underwent randomization, the primary outcome could be assessed in 1224 (87.4%) assigned to the faster increment and 1246 (88.7%) assigned to the slower increment. Survival without moderate or severe neurodevelopmental disability at 24 months occurred in 802 of 1224 infants (65.5%) assigned to the faster increment and 848 of 1246 (68.1%) assigned to the slower increment (adjusted risk ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92 to 1.01; P = 0.16). Late-onset sepsis occurred in 414 of 1389 infants (29.8%) in the faster-increment group and 434 of 1397 (31.1%) in the slower-increment group (adjusted risk ratio, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.07). Necrotizing enterocolitis occurred in 70 of 1394 infants (5.0%) in the faster-increment group and 78 of 1399 (5.6%) in the slower-increment group (adjusted risk ratio, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.16).

There was no significant difference in survival without moderate or severe neurodevelopmental disability at 24 months in very preterm or very-low-birth-weight infants with a strategy of advancing milk feeding volumes in daily increments of 30 ml per kilogram as compared with 18 ml per kilogram. (Funded by the Health Technology Assessment Programme of the National Institute for Health Research; SIFT Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN76463425.).