dementia

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) that is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. These include memory, thinking, language, understanding and judgement. The different types of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease (where small clumps of protein, known as plaques, begin to develop around brain cells. This disrupts the normal workings of the brain), Vascular dementia (where problems with blood circulation result in parts of the brain not receiving enough blood and oxygen), Dementia with Lewy bodies (where abnormal structures, known as Lewy bodies, develop inside the brain), Frontotemporal dementia (where the frontal and temporal lobes (two parts of the brain) begin to shrink. Unlike other types of dementia, frontotemporal dementia usually develops in people who are under 65. It is much rarer than other types of dementia).

Our dementia Blogs

Dementia and hospitalisation: how do family carers respond?

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Clarissa Giebel analyses an Australian qualitative study into family carer feelings and responses, when their loved one with dementia is admitted to hospital.

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Smoking is associated with an increased risk of dementia

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Caroline Struthers reports on a recent meta-analysis, which finds that smoking is associated with an increased risk of dementia. The review finds that quitting smoking reduces the risk to the same level as those who have never smoked.

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Measuring concepts of dementia in UK Asian communities

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Caroline Struthers critically analyses research on a tool to capture understandings of dementia in UK South Asian communities and wonders about the application of the study to social care practice.

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Which quality of life measure is best for care homes?

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Clarissa Giebel interrogates a systematic review on quality of life measures for people living in care homes and discovers what’s best for people with dementia as well as those without.

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The Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale is a good tool for diagnosing dementia in multicultural populations

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Clarissa Giebel summarises a systematic review, which concludes that the Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (RUDAS) has good sensitivity (77.2%) and specificity (85.9%) for diagnosing dementia in multicultural populations.

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Dementia risk factors in people with mild cognitive impairment

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Akshay Nair summarises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of modifiable predictors of dementia in mild cognitive impairment. The meta-analysis finds that diabetes and the presence of any neuropsychiatric symptoms significantly predicted the conversion of mild cognitive impairment to dementia.

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A multitude of systematic reviews on dementia diagnosis

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Clarissa Giebel highlights 5 new Cochrane reviews on dementia diagnosis, focusing on the Mini-Cog, IQCODE and MMSE diagnostic tests.

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Pointing the FINGER at a multi-component intervention to prevent cognitive decline and dementia

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Caroline Struthers critically appraises a recent RCT of diet, exercise, cognitive training and vascular risk monitoring to prevent cognitive decline and dementia in at-risk Finnish women.

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What makes dementia care home staff happy at work?

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Clarissa Giebel looks at a paper by fellow blogger, Jill Manthorpe, and explores findings on what makes dementia care home staff happy in their jobs.

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