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Influence of executive function on medication adherence in neurologically impaired and non-impaired elderly.

Description: Medication non-compliance has become one of the most prevalent reasons for hospitalization and doctor's visits by the elderly. As the elderly population is more likely to have decreased cognitive abilities, it is suggested that neuropsychological factors, especially executive function, are more influential in medication non-compliance than once thought. This study looked at executive function performance on a traditional battery of neuropsychological tests, self-report of perceived ability to perform executive function tasks, and the newly developed Pillbox Test, a performance based IADL measure. The Pillbox Test is designed to replicate a type of medication-management specific IADL as a means to asses executive function. Standard executive function measures only tap a portion of executive function, but it is believed that the Pillbox Test incorporates all four theoretical domains of executive function. The multiple measures of executive function performance were compared in three prevalent subgroups of the elderly population (mixed neurological group, cardiac medical-control group, and healthy community-control group). Results found significant differences, where the community-control and cardiac groups outperformed the mixed neurological group on the large majority of executive function tasks. Smaller differences were also noted between the community-control and cardiac groups and between the cardiac and mixed neurological groups. Together, these findings provide support for the diagnostic prevalence of mild cognitive impairment in the older adult cardiac population. Results also indicated the level of executive dysfunction on standardized neuropsychological measures was highly correlated with performance on both the Pillbox Test and the IADL based Direct Assessment of Functional Status measure. Finally, the Pillbox Test has moderate to strong ecological validity with 75% sensitivity and 87.5% specificity for five or more errors on this test.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Zartman, Andrea Leigh

Changes in Quantitative EEG and Low Resolution Tomography Following Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation.

Description: The effects of cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) on human EEG and brain current density were evaluated by quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) and low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). A total of 72 research subjects were provided with a single session of CES, 38 were provided with 0.5 Hz CES while 34 were provided with 100 Hz CES. The qEEG paired t-tests revealed that in both frequencies of CES there was a significant (.05) increase in alpha relative power with concomitant decreases in delta and beta relative power. The 0.5 Hz CES decreased a wider frequency range of delta activity, while the 100 Hz CES decreased a wider frequency range of beta activity; suggesting some difference may exist in the EEG response to different frequencies of CES. The changes found in qEEG relative power were consistent with the affective and cognitive effects of CES reported in the literature, such as increased relaxation and decreased anxiety. Statistically significant changes for qEEG values other than relative power, such as coherence, amplitude asymmetry, phase lag and power ratios were also found. The LORETA paired t-tests found statistically significant (.05) increases in cortical and subcortical theta and alpha frequency current density with concomitant decreases in delta and beta current density. The effects of CES on current density varied by frequency, but did not show a differential in response based on proximity to the contacts, or structures within the brain. Statistically significant changes in current density were found in all 2394 gray matter voxels represented by LORETA, indicating a whole brain response to the CES stimulus. The qEEG and LORETA findings revealed that a single 20-minute session of CES does have a significant effect on the cortical and subcortical activity of the human brain resulting in activity consistent with decreased anxiety and increased relaxation.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Kennerly, Richard C.

Pathophysiology and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Progression of Metabolic Syndrome

Description: Disparities exist in the U.S. between the health status of African American and Hispanic individuals and the health status of non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals across all age groups. Those minority individuals age 55 and over are more likely to suffer from specific health disparities in areas such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer than their white majority counterparts. Among the most common chronic disorders experienced within this age group are obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, all three of which collectively form what has recently become known as metabolic syndrome. As of 2004, metabolic syndrome is diagnosable once criteria are clinically significant for a variety of different risk factors designated by the World Health Organization. However, like many syndromes these criteria are not stable across individuals, and leaves variability between individuals being diagnosed. It has been seen that each of the above mentioned racial/ethnic groups experience the individual risk factors at disproportionate rates, making it plausible that metabolic syndrome could be experienced in distinctly different ways depending upon racial/ethnic background. Using two nationally representative data sets, it is first largely evident that African American and Hispanic individuals are reaching higher peak rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease much earlier in age than are non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals. The study goes on to reveals that the metabolic syndrome appears to follow one underlying progressive syndrome that begins with obesity and progresses towards heart disease. Each of the racial/ethnic groups experience significantly different progressions of the syndrome across time. Behavioral analysis found significant differences in health behaviors across the three groups; however a more pervasive lack of initiative in practicing preventive health behaviors is also present. The study achieved a higher understanding of individual differences within metabolic syndrome and insight into how and at what time in the lifespan health services can be ...
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Date: August 2006
Creator: O'Neill, Amy E.

NEPSY profiles in children diagnosed with different ADHD subtypes.

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine if attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) subtypes (predominantly hyperactive/impulsive, ADHD-HI; predominantly inattentive, ADHD-IA; combined, ADHD-C) exhibit distinct neuropsychological profiles, using the Attention and Executive Function subtests of the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, (NEPSY) and the omission and commission scores obtained on the Conners' Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II), a test that assesses attention processes. The sample was selected using archival data collected in a neurodevelopmental clinic over the past decade and consisted of 138 children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) (DSM-IV) criteria, the children were placed in either the ADHD-HI (n = 40), ADHD-IA (n = 35), or ADHD-C (n = 36) group, or a symptom free comparison group (n = 27). It was hypothesized that children with elevations on the impulsivity/ hyperactivity (ADHD-HI and ADHD-C) scale would be impaired on measures of inhibition and those with elevations on the inattention scale (ADHD-IA and ADHD-C) would be impaired on tests of attention, vigilance, and other executive functions. A one-way multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) was conducted (Group X Task), with significant results for overall main effect for group on the 7 dependent variables post hoc tests using the Tukey's honestly significant difference (HSD) revealed the following: the ADHD-HI group scored significantly lower on tests that require behavioral inhibition processes (Knock and Tap, Statue and CPT-Commission errors). The ADHD-IA group scored significantly lower on tests of problem-solving and planning (Tower) but not on tests of attention as was expected. The ADHD-C group scored significantly lower on tests of inhibition, attention, and other executive functions (Auditory Attention Response Set, Visual Attention, Tower, Knock and Tap, Statue, and CPT-Omission and CPT-Commission errors). Overall results suggest that the NEPSY Attention and Executive Function subtests are ...
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Couvadelli, Barbara

Cardiovascular Problems as a Predictor of Later Cognitive Decline: Moderating Effect of General and Spousal Social Support.

Description: Individuals are living longer now than they have in the past. As a result, there is an increased incidence in illnesses that are more prevalent in later life. One group of illnesses that is more prevalent is age related dementia. Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) are two common types of dementia found in the older adult population. Recent research suggests that these two types of dementia may both have a vascular component that is instrumental in their development. Not only may this vascular component be present in both these illnesses, but also it may be related to a more severe cognitive decline in the aging process. Results indicate that both cardiovascular disease and general and spousal social support in middle age are all three independent significant predictors of mild cognitive impairment and other non-normative cognitive impairment in later life. However, results do not indicate that social support moderates the relationship between cardiovascular disease and cognition.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Earnheart, Kristie