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Alzheimer's Disease: How to Treat it: A Work in Progress

Description: Poster presented at the 2009 University Scholars Day at the University of North Texas. This poster discusses research on Alzheimer's disease and how to treat it. The presenters conducted a meta-analysis on data about available treatments to see which one is the most effective in alleviating or reversing the symptoms.
Date: April 2, 2009
Creator: Parker, Neeka & Eve, Susan Brown
Partner: UNT Honors College

Effectiveness of the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination in Assessing Alzheimer's Disease

Description: Accurate, early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease is becoming increasingly important in light of its growing prevalence among the expanding older-aged adult population. Due to its ability to assess multiple domains of cognitive functioning and provide a profile of impairment rather than a simple global score, the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination (NCSE) is suggested to better assess such patterns of cognitive deficit for the purpose of diagnosis. The performance of the NCSE was compared with that of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) for diagnostic sensitivity in a sample of patients diagnosed as having probable Alzheimer's Disease. The strength of correlation between severity of cognitive impairment on these tests and report of behavior problems on the Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (MBPC) was also explored, as was performance on the NCSE and report of behavior problems using the MBPC in predicting Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scan results. The NCSE was found to exhibit greater sensitivity to physician diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's Disease relative to two versions (Serial 7's or WORLD) of the MMSE (.90, .77 and .68, respectively). While both measures were found to correlate significantly with the report of behavior problems, only a moderate proportion (NCSE = .22 and MMSE = .33) of the explained variance was accounted for by either test. Severity of cognitive impairment on the NCSE was found to be significant, though small in estimate of its effect size, for predicting the absence/presence of pathognomic findings on SPECT scans. In contrast, the report of behavior problems on the MBPC did not significantly predict SPECT scan outcomes. The NCSE would appear to be a sensitive tool for the identification of the extent and severity of cognitive impairment found among demented individuals; however, it may be "over"-sensitive to such diagnosis. Although relationships between cognitive impairment and behavior problems ...
Date: December 1996
Creator: Begnoche, Normand B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Blood-Based Biomarkers: A blood screening test for Alzheimer's disease

Description: This article describes the first-ever multiethnic referent sample that spans community-based and clinic-based populations for implementation of an Alzheimer's disease blood screen.
Date: June 25, 2016
Creator: O'Bryant, Sid E.; Edwards, Melissa; Johnson, Leigh A.; Hall, James R.; Villarreal, Alcibiades E.; Britton, Gabrielle B. et al.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Alzheimer's Disease and Attention: An Investigation into the Initial Stage of Information Processing

Description: This study explores the possibility that attentional deficits are an early clinical symptom of Alzheimer's disease. The three goals are to demonstrate that individuals with Alzheimer's disease are impaired on tasks of attentional processing, to compare the sensitivity of currently used measures of attention to attentional dysfunction, and to compare the behavioral response styles (errors of commission) of Alzheimer's disease subjects and non-impaired subjects. The subjects were 22 males and 46 females with a mean age of 70.76 years. Thirty-six had the presumptive diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease; 18 were identified as mildly impaired and 18 as moderately impaired on the Cognitive Capacity Screening Examination. The remaining 32 subjects comprised the non-impaired control group. Five measures of attention were administered to all participants: the Digit Span Subtest of the WAIS-R, the Seashore Rhythm Test of the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery, the Vigilance and Distractibility tasks of the Gordon Diagnostic System, and the Concentration/Interference task. The results show a significant difference in attentional processing between normal (non-impaired) subjects and subjects diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. All measures of attention used in this study, except the Concentration/Interference task, differentiated normal subjects from moderately impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects. The Digit Span Subtest and the Seashore Rhythm Test were unable to differentiate between normals and mildly impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects or between mildly and moderately impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects. The Gordon Diagnostic System was able to distinguish normals form mildly impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects and mildly from moderately impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects. On the Gordon Diagnostic System the Alzheimer's disease subjects made significantly more errors of commission than did the normal subjects. This investigation concludes that attentional processing dysfunction occurs in the dementing process associated with Alzheimer's disease. The findings suggest that the Gordon Diagnostic System is a more sensitive technique for assessing attentional dysfunction than the ...
Date: August 1990
Creator: Houtz, Andrew W. (Andrew William)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship Between Neuropsychological Performance and Daily Functioning in Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease

Description: The results of neuropsychological tests are often used by clinicians to make important decisions regarding a demented patient's ability to competently and/or independently perform activities of daily living. However, the ecological validity of most neuropsychological instruments has yet to be adequately established. The current study examined the relationship between neuropsychological test performance and functional status in 42 individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. A comprehensive battery of cognitive tests was employed in order to assess a wide range of neuropsychological abilities. Functional status was measured through the use of both a performance-based scale of activities of daily living (The Direct Assessment of Functional Status; Loewenstein et al., 1989) as well as by a caregiver/informant-based rating scale (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living; Lawton & Brody, 1969). Findings suggest that neuropsychological functioning is moderately predictive of functional status. Memory performance was the best predictor of functional status in most ADL domains, followed by executive functioning and visuospatial abilities.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Tomaszewski, Sarah
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship Between Leisure and Perceived Burden of Spouse Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer's Disease

Description: The problem of this study was to better understand spouse caregivers' leisure involvement, experience, and barriers and their relationships with perceived burden. Thirty-six wife and 19 husband caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders volunteered to participate in this study, either by mailed questionnaire or interview. Respondents were primarily female, white, with an average age of 72 years. The conclusions of the study were: (a) caregivers significantly reduce both their leisure involvement; (b) self-reported health, perceived social supports, income level, use of paid help, and leisure activity patterns are major factors associated with caregivers' leisure; and (c) leisure barriers are a significant contributor to caregivers' perceived burden. Recommendations were presented for caregivers, practitioners, and future study.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Tu, Su-Fen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fear of Developing Dementia

Description: This presentation is part of the faculty lecture series UNT Speaks Out on Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The presenter discusses his research into the fear of dementia.
Date: February 28, 2013
Creator: Page, Kyle S.; Hayslip, Bert & Wadsworth, Dee
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

UNT Speaks Out on Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Description: This poster introduces the faculty lecture series UNT Speaks Out on Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia. This series features Dr. Meharvan Singh, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Neurosciencea at the UNT Health Science Center, Dr. Bert Hayslip, regents professor in the Department of Psychology, and Kyle Page, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology.
Date: February 28, 2013
Creator: Lawrence, Samantha
Partner: UNT Libraries

"The Long Goodbye": Uncertainty Management in Alzheimer's Caregivers

Description: Caregivers for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) shoulder a remarkably complex burden as compared to other caregivers of elderly individuals. For long distance caregivers, geographical separation further compounds the problems experienced by AD caregivers, as they are isolated from family members and support networks. Both on-site and long-distance AD caregivers experience uncertainty; the findings from this study illustrate how AD caregivers manage the uncertainty of the disease and primary care, as well as how uncertainty differs between on-site and long-distance caregivers. AD caregiver (N = 13) interviews were transcribed and qualitatively analyzed using uncertainty management theory as a thematic lens. The analysis revealed that AD caregivers experience overwhelming feelings of burden, guilt, and doubt; however, these feelings manifest differently depending on caregiver type. The findings of this study demonstrate that sources for obtaining information regarding AD and caregiving were useful for on-site caregivers; however, the sources did not account for the needs of long-distance caregivers or the psychosocial needs of on-site caregivers. Furthermore, AD caregivers did not seek support or information about AD and caregiving from health care professionals. Implications for future research regarding long-distance and on-site AD caregiving are discussed.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Shaunfield, Sara
Partner: UNT Libraries

Risk Factors for Vascular Dementia

Description: Dementia is a devastating disorder that commonly affects people over the age of 65. Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are the most common forms of dementias. A number of studies have implicated cardiovascular risks as important factors in the development of dementia. These risks include high-risk behaviors such as smoking and risks related at least partially to health behaviors such as diet and exercise. This study examines a group of cardiovascular risk factors, as defined by the Framingham study, to ascertain if they are predictors of dementia. A retrospective chart review of 481consecutive patients seen in a geriatric medicine clinic produced a sample of 177 individuals diagnosed with dementia and 304 individuals without a dementia diagnosis. Relative risk ratio (RRR) results indicate that a history of hypertension (RRR= 1.80, p = .009) and a history of hypercholesterolemia (RRR = 1.85, p = .016) are significant predictors of Alzheimer's disease. A history of tobacco use (RRR = 2.18, p = .01) is a significant predictor of vascular dementia. Stepwise regression analyses indicate that hypercholesterolemia is an independent predictor of dementia (b = -.113, p = .009) and hypercholesterolemia (b = -.104, p = .018) and hypertension (b = -.094, p = .031) clustered together have an additive risk factor effect. These results are discussed in terms of the importance of specific health behaviors in the development and possible prevention of dementia.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Cornett, Patricia F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Caring for Yourself as a Caregiver

Description: This presentation is part of the faculty lecture series UNT Speaks Out on Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia. In this presentation, Bert Hayslip, Regents Professor in the Department of Psychology, will discuss caregiving for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
Date: February 28, 2013
Creator: Hayslip, Bert
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

The Effectiveness of the Geriatric Depression Scale to Distinguish Apathy From Depression in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias.

Description: Early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias in the elderly is critical for improving treatment methods and is a necessary component for improving public health interventions. One of the earliest and most common behavioral syndromes of AD is apathy and is associated with executive dysfunction. Apathy in AD is often misdiagnosed as depression due to an overlap in symptoms. Studies that have found depression to be associated with executive dysfunction have not always controlled for the presence of apathy. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a widely used instrument designed to assess depression in the elderly. This study utilized the GDS and a set of standard neuropsychological instruments to investigate the relationship between apathy, depression, and executive functions in individuals with AD and related dementias. The first objective of this study was to determine if apathy has a greater impact on executive functions compared to depression in AD and related dementias. The second objective was to determine the effectiveness of the GDS as a screen for apathy. The results of the analyses did not support the hypotheses. However, exploratory analyses suggested a possible non-linear relationship with apathy and various levels of dementia severity. Exploratory analysis also suggested mean levels of endorsement for apathy varied by diagnosis. Further research is warranted to investigate this relationship and the GDS endorsement patterns for caregivers regarding their impression of the demented individual.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Davis, Tommy E., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Alert Systems for Missing Adults in Eleven States: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the emerging development of nationwide alert systems to recover missing adults, such as those with mental impairment (such as Alzheimer's disease), developmental disabilities, or suicidal tendencies. This report provides an overview of such alert systems in 11 states: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia. This report also provides a discussion of issues for Congress to consider with respect to the federal role, if any, in developing state alert programs for missing adults.
Date: May 7, 2009
Creator: Fernandes, Adrienne L. & Colello, Kirsten J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department