ABSTRACTBackground:Years of education is the most commonly used proxy measure of cognitive reserve. Other forms of cognitive stimulation in childhood may provide similar protection against cognitive decline, particularly in Indigenous groups, where education may have been lacking in quality or quantity. The Retrospective Indigenous Childhood Enrichment (RICE) scale was developed to measure non-school-based activities and environmental stimulation during childhood that are likely to have enhanced cognitive reserve. The aim of the study was to assess the validity and reliability of the RICE scale with a group of older Aboriginal Australians.
To examine associations between fall risk factors identified previously in other populations and falls among Aboriginal people aged 60 years and older, living in New South Wales, Australia. Falls were experienced by one-quarter of study participants. Fall risk factors identified for older Aboriginal people appear to be similar to those identified in the general population. Understanding of fall risk factors may assist with the development of appropriate and effective community-led fall prevention programs.
High rates of dementia have been observed in Aboriginal Australians. This study aimed to describe childhood stress in older Aboriginal Australians and to examine associations with late-life health and dementia. Childhood stress appears to have a significant impact on emotional health and dementia for older Aboriginal Australians. The ongoing effects of childhood stress need to be recognized as people grow older, particularly in terms of dementia prevention and care, as well as in populations with greater exposure to childhood adversity, such as Aboriginal Australians.
The MMSE is an effective cognitive screening tool in urban Aboriginal populations. The mKICA is a good alternative when illiteracy, language or cultural considerations deem it appropriate. The RUDAS also has adequate validity in this population.
Consistent with previous findings in a remote population, urban and regional Aboriginal Australians face high rates of dementia at younger ages, most commonly Alzheimer's dementia.
Memory complaints are common after stroke, yet there have been very few studies of the outcome of memory rehabilitation in these patients. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a new manualised, group-based memory training programme. Forty outpatients with a single-stroke history and ongoing memory complaints were enrolled. The six-week course involved education and strategy training and was evaluated using a wait-list crossover design, with three assessments conducted 12 weeks apart. Outcome measures included: tests of anterograde memory (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test: RAVLT; Complex Figure Test) and prospective memory (Royal Prince Alfred Prospective Memory Test); the Comprehensive Assessment of Prospective Memory (CAPM) questionnaire and self-report of number of strategies used. Significant training-related gains were found on RAVLT learning and delayed recall and on CAPM informant report. Lower baseline scores predicted greater gains for several outcome measures. Patients with higher IQ or level of education showed more gains in number of strategies used. Shorter time since onset was related to gains in prospective memory, but no other stroke-related variables influenced outcome. Our study provides evidence that a relatively brief, group-based training intervention can improve memory functioning in chronic stroke patients and clarified some of the baseline factors that influence outcome.
This paper details our protocol for a population-based study in collaboration with local Aboriginal community organizations. The study will provide the first available prevalence rates for dementia and cognitive impairment in a representative sample of urban Aboriginal people, across city and rural communities, where the majority of Aboriginal Australians live. It will also contribute to improved assessment of dementia and cognitive impairment and to the understanding of social determinants of successful aging, of international significance.
To determine whether Huntington disease (HD) mutation carriers have motor symptoms (complaints) when definite motor onset (motor phenoconversion) is diagnosed and document differences between the groups with and without unawareness of motor signs. Only half of the patients with newly diagnosed motor HD had motor symptoms. Unaware patients were less likely to be depressed. Self-report of symptoms may be inaccurate in HD at the earliest stage.
Memory problems are common in patients with a range of neurological conditions, but there have been few attempts to provide and evaluate the usefulness of memory training for groups of neurological outpatients. We used a waitlist-controlled trial design to assess the effectiveness of a newly created, 6-session intervention, which involved training in the use of compensatory strategies as well as education regarding memory function, neurological damage, sleep and lifestyle factors that have an impact on memory. Fifty-six patients with neurological conditions (e.g., stroke, epilepsy) and memory complaints completed the training and assessments. Outcomes were evaluated in terms of reported strategy use as well as objective and subjective measures of anterograde and prospective memory. Training resulted in significant improvements on number of strategies used, scores on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (total learning and delayed recall) and self-report on the Comprehensive Assessment of Prospective Memory. Improvements were stable at 3-month follow-up. Better individual outcomes were related to lower baseline memory scores, fewer symptoms of depression and greater self-awareness of memory function. Overall the study provides encouraging results to indicate that patients with neurological conditions such as stroke and epilepsy can show improvements in memory after a relatively short group-based intervention.
Patients with epilepsy experience memory problems, but there have been few attempts to provide and evaluate the effectiveness of memory training. We designed a 6-week, group-based, psychoeducation and strategy course that was evaluated using a waitlist crossover design, with three assessments conducted 12 weeks apart. Thirty-one patients with a history of seizures participated. Significant gains were found on tests of anterograde (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test) and appointment memory. In addition, patients reported using more strategies and experiencing fewer prospective memory difficulties in daily life. Memory was more likely to improve in participants who were younger, less educated, and less depressed. Moreover, lower baseline memory, but better attention corresponded to better outcome. Of the clinical variables related to epilepsy, only number of anticonvulsant medications was found to be associated with outcome. Our study provides evidence that a relatively short intervention can improve memory functioning in patients with epilepsy.
Prospective memory problems are common in patients with brain injury, but appropriate measures are limited. The reliability and validity of the newly designed Royal Prince Alfred Prospective Memory Test (RPA-ProMem), which has three alternate versions, was investigated in 20 healthy volunteers and 20 neurological patients with everyday prospective memory problems. The RPA-ProMem was found to be easy to score reliably (inter-rater reliability = .90) and its three versions were well matched (delayed alternate-form reliability = .71). Test validity and sensitivity to patient deficits were also supported. This new measure of prospective memory should be particularly useful in situations that require repeated assessments, such as evaluation of rehabilitation efforts.
Naltrexone had a greater effect on drinking when craving was high. These results support the role of naltrexone in reducing craving when that craving is highly salient. The role of acamprosate in reducing craving was not supported by these findings.
The results of this study support the efficacy of naltrexone in the relapse prevention of alcoholism amongst those with low levels of clinical depression and alcohol dependence severity. No effect of acamprosate was found in our sample.