Browsing by Subject "IMPAIRMENT"

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  • Piispanen, Wilhelm W.; Lundell, Richard V.; Tuominen, Laura J.; Räisänen-Sokolowski, Anne K. (2021)
    Introduction: Cold water imposes many risks to the diver. These risks include decompression illness, physical and cognitive impairment, and hypothermia. Cognitive impairment can be estimated using a critical flicker fusion frequency (CFFF) test, but this method has only been used in a few studies conducted in an open water environment. We studied the effect of the cold and a helium-containing mixed breathing gas on the cognition of closed circuit rebreather (CCR) divers. Materials and Methods: Twenty-three divers performed an identical dive with controlled trimix gas with a CCR device in an ice-covered quarry. They assessed their thermal comfort at four time points during the dive. In addition, their skin temperature was measured at 5-min intervals throughout the dive. The divers performed the CFFF test before the dive, at target depth, and after the dive. Results: A statistically significant increase of 111.7% in CFFF values was recorded during the dive compared to the pre-dive values (p < 0.0001). The values returned to the baseline after surfacing. There was a significant drop in the divers' skin temperature of 0.48 degrees C every 10 min during the dive (p < 0.001). The divers' subjectively assessed thermal comfort also decreased during the dive (p = 0.01). Conclusion: Our findings showed that neither extreme cold water nor helium-containing mixed breathing gas had any influence on the general CFFF profile described in the previous studies from warmer water and where divers used other breathing gases. We hypothesize that cold-water diving and helium-containing breathing gases do not in these diving conditions cause clinically relevant cerebral impairment. Therefore, we conclude that CCR diving in these conditions is safe from the perspective of alertness and cognitive performance.
  • Sabia, Severine; Fayosse, Aurore; Dumurgier, Julien; van Hees, Vincent T.; Paquet, Claire; Sommerlad, Andrew; Kivimäki, Mika; Dugravot, Aline; Singh-Manoux, Archana (2021)
    Sleep dysregulation is a feature of dementia but it remains unclear whether sleep duration prior to old age is associated with dementia incidence. Using data from 7959 participants of the Whitehall II study, we examined the association between sleep duration and incidence of dementia (521 diagnosed cases) using a 25-year follow-up. Here we report higher dementia risk associated with a sleep duration of six hours or less at age 50 and 60, compared with a normal (7h) sleep duration, although this was imprecisely estimated for sleep duration at age 70 (hazard ratios (HR) 1.22 (95% confidence interval 1.01-1.48), 1.37 (1.10-1.72), and 1.24 (0.98-1.57), respectively). Persistent short sleep duration at age 50, 60, and 70 compared to persistent normal sleep duration was also associated with a 30% increased dementia risk independently of sociodemographic, behavioural, cardiometabolic, and mental health factors. These findings suggest that short sleep duration in midlife is associated with an increased risk of late-onset dementia.
  • Stephen, Ruth; Liu, Yawu; Ngandu, Tiia; Rinne, Juha O.; Kemppainen, Nina; Parkkola, Riitta; Laatikainen, Tiina; Paajanen, Teemu; Hanninen, Tuomo; Strandberg, Timo; Antikainen, Riitta; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Keinanen Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka; Vanninen, Ritva; Helisalmi, Seppo; Levalahti, Esko; Kivipelto, Miia; Soininen, Hilkka; Solomon, Alina (2017)
    Background: CAIDE Dementia Risk Score is the first validated tool for estimating dementia risk based on a midlife risk profile. Objectives: This observational study investigated longitudinal associations of CAIDE Dementia Risk Score with brain MRI, amyloid burden evaluated with PIB-PET, and detailed cognition measures. Methods: FINGER participants were at-risk elderly without dementia. CAIDE Risk Score was calculated using data from previous national surveys (mean age 52.4 years). In connection to baseline FINGER visit (on average 17.6 years later, mean age 70.1 years), 132 participants underwent MRI scans, and 48 underwent PIB-PET scans. All 1,260 participants were cognitively assessed (Neuropsychological Test Battery, NTB). Neuroimaging assessments included brain cortical thickness and volumes (Freesurfer 5.0.3), visually rated medial temporal atrophy (MTA), white matter lesions (WML), and amyloid accumulation. Results: Higher CAIDE Dementia Risk Score was related to more pronounced deep WML (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.05-1.43), lower total gray matter (beta- coefficient -0.29, p = 0.001) and hippocampal volume (beta- coefficient -0.28, p = 0.003), lower cortical thickness (beta-coefficient -0.19, p = 0.042), and poorer cognition (beta-coefficients -0.31 for total NTB score, -0.25 for executive functioning, -0.33 for processing speed, and -0.20 for memory, all p <0.001). Higher CAIDE Dementia Risk Score including APOE genotype was additionally related to more pronounced MTA (OR 1.15,95% CI 1.00-1.30). No associations were found with periventricular WML or amyloid accumulation. Conclusions: The CAIDE Dementia Risk Score was related to indicators of cerebrovascular changes and neurodegeneration on MRI, and cognition. The lack of association with brain amyloid accumulation needs to be verified in studies with larger sample sizes.
  • Arola, Anne; Laakso, Hanna M.; Pitkänen, Johanna; Koikkalainen, Juha; Lötjönen, Jyrki; Korvenoja, Antti; Erkinjuntti, Timo; Melkas, Susanna; Jokinen, Hanna (2021)
    Background and purpose Cerebral small vessel disease is characterized by progressive white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and cognitive decline. However, variability exists in how individuals maintain cognitive capabilities despite significant neuropathology. The relationships between individual cognitive reserve, psychological resilience and cognitive functioning were examined in subjects with varying degrees of WMH. Methods In the Helsinki Small Vessel Disease Study, 152 subjects (aged 65-75 years) underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, evaluation of subjective cognitive complaints and brain magnetic resonance imaging with volumetric WMH evaluation. Cognitive reserve was determined by education (years) and the modified Cognitive Reserve Scale (mCRS). Psychological resilience was evaluated with the Resilience Scale 14. Results The mCRS total score correlated significantly with years of education (r = 0.23, p < 0.01), but it was not related to age, sex or WMH volume. Together, mCRS score and education were associated with performance in a wide range of cognitive domains including processing speed, executive functions, working memory, verbal memory, visuospatial perception and verbal reasoning. Independently of education, the mCRS score had incremental predictive value on delayed verbal recall and subjective cognitive complaints. Psychological resilience was not significantly related to age, education, sex, WMH severity or cognitive test scores, but it was associated with subjective cognitive complaints. Conclusions Cognitive reserve has strong and consistent associations with cognitive functioning in subjects with WMH. Education is widely associated with objective cognitive functioning, whereas lifetime engagement in cognitively stimulating leisure activities (mCRS) has independent predictive value on memory performance and subjective cognitive complaints. Psychological resilience is strongly associated with subjective, but not objective, cognitive functioning.
  • Ylilauri, Maija P. T.; Hantunen, Sari; Lonnroos, Eija; Salonen, Jukka T.; Tuomainen, Tomi-Pekka; Virtanen, Jyrki K. (2022)
    Purpose To investigate if dairy, meat, and fish intakes associate with dementia and cognitive performance. Methods We included 2497 dementia-free men from Eastern Finland, aged 42-60 years in 1984-1989 at the baseline examinations. Data on cognitive tests [Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), trail making test (TMT), verbal fluency test (VFL), selective reminding test (SRT), and Russell's adaptation of the visual reproduction test (VRT)] at the 4-year re-examinations were available for 482 men and on the ApoE phenotype for 1259 men. Data on dementia events were obtained by linkage to national health registers. Diet was assessed with baseline 4-day food records. Cox regression and analysis of covariance were used for analyses. Results During a mean 22-year follow-up, 337 men had a dementia diagnosis. Among the foods, only cheese intake associated with dementia risk (hazard ratio in the highest vs. the lowest quartile = 0.72, 95% confidence interval = 0.52-0.99, P-trend = 0.05). In the cognitive tests, higher non-fermented dairy and milk intakes associated with worse verbal fluency (VFT). Higher processed red meat intake associated with worse verbal (SRT) and visual memory (VRT), whereas higher unprocessed red meat intake associated with better general cognitive functioning (MMSE) and processing speed and executive functioning (TMT). Higher fish intake associated with better verbal memory (SRT). Among APOE-epsilon 4 carriers, especially non-fermented dairy intake associated with higher risk of dementia outcomes, and higher fish intake indicated better cognitive performance. Conclusion Although higher intake of some food groups associated with cognitive performance, we found little evidence for associations with dementia risk.
  • Neuvonen, Elisa; Lehtisalo, Jenni; Ngandu, Tiia; Levälahti, Esko; Antikainen, Riitta; Hänninen, Tuomo; Laatikainen, Tiina; Lindström, Jaana; Paajanen, Teemu; Soininen, Hilkka; Strandberg, Timo; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Kivipelto, Miia; Solomon, Alina (2022)
    Depression and cognition are associated, but the role of depressive symptoms in lifestyle interventions to prevent dementia needs further study. We investigated the intervention effect on depressive symptoms and their associations with cognition in the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER; NCT01041989), a two-year multidomain lifestyle trial. One thousand two-hundred and sixty individuals (60-77 years) at risk for dementia were randomised into a multidomain intervention (diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular/metabolic risk monitoring) or control group (regular health advice). Depressive symptoms (Zung scale) and cognition (modified Neuropsychological Test Battery) were evaluated at baseline, 12, and 24 months. One thousand one-hundred and twenty-five participants had baseline Zung data. Mean Zung score decreased 0.73 (SD 5.6) points in the intervention and 0.36 (5.6) points in the control group, with nonsignificant between-group difference (group x time coefficient -0.006, 95% CI -0.019 to 0.007). Overall, higher baseline Zung score was associated with less improvement in global cognition (-0.140, p = 0.005) and memory (-0.231, p = 0.005). Participants with clinically significant baseline depressive symptoms (Zung >= 40 points) had less intervention benefit to executive functioning (group x time x Zung -0.096, 95% CI -0.163 to -0.028). Change in Zung score was not associated with change in cognition. Clinically significant depressive symptoms warrant more attention when designing dementia-prevention interventions.
  • Lindstrom, R.; Lepistö-Paisley, T.; Makkonen, T.; Reinvall, O.; Nieminen-von Wendt, T.; Alen, R.; Kujala, T. (2018)
    Objective: The present study explored the processing of emotional speech prosody in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) but without marked language impairments (children with ASD [no LI]). Methods: The mismatch negativity (MMN)/the late discriminative negativity (LDN), reflecting pre-attentive auditory discrimination processes, and the P3a, indexing involuntary orienting to attention-catching changes, were recorded to natural word stimuli uttered with different emotional connotations (neutral, sad, scornful and commanding). Perceptual prosody discrimination was addressed with a behavioral sound-discrimination test. Results: Overall, children with ASD (no LI) were slower in behaviorally discriminating prosodic features of speech stimuli than typically developed control children. Further, smaller standard-stimulus event related potentials (ERPs) and MMN/LDNs were found in children with ASD (no LI) than in controls. In addition, the amplitude of the P3a was diminished and differentially distributed on the scalp in children with ASD (no LI) than in control children. Conclusions: Processing of words and changes in emotional speech prosody is impaired at various levels of information processing in school-aged children with ASD (no LI). Significance: The results suggest that low-level speech sound discrimination and orienting deficits might contribute to emotional speech prosody processing impairments observed in ASD. (C) 2018 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Tarkiainen, Mika; Sipola, Petri; Jalanko, Mikko; Helio, Tiina; Laine , Mika; Jarvinen, Vesa; Hayrinen, Kaisu; Lauerma, Kirsi; Kuusisto, Johanna (2016)
    Background: Previous data suggest that mitral valve leaflets are elongated in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and mitral valve leaflet elongation may constitute a primary phenotypic expression of HCM. Our objective was to measure the length of mitral valve leaflets by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) in subjects with HCM caused by a Finnish founder mutation in the myosin-binding protein C gene (MYBPC3-Q1061X), carriers of the same mutation without left ventricular hypertrophy, as well as in unselected consecutive patients with HCM, and respective controls. Methods: Anterior mitral valve leaflet (AML) and posterior mitral valve leaflet (PML) lengths were measured by CMR in 47 subjects with the Q1061X mutation in the gene encoding MYBPC3 and in 20 healthy relatives without the mutation. In addition, mitral valve leaflet lengths were measured by CMR in 80 consecutive non-genotyped patients with HCM in CMR and 71 age-and gender-matched healthy subjects. Results: Of the subjects with the MYBPC-Q1016X mutation, 32 had left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH, LV maximal wall thickness >= 13 mm in CMR) and 15 had no hypertrophy. PML was longer in patients with the MYBPC3-Q1061X mutation and LVH than in controls of the MYBPC group (12.8 +/- 2.8 vs 10.6 +/- 1.9 mm, P = 0.013), but the difference between the groups was not statistically significant when PML was indexed for BSA (P = 0.066), or when PML length was adjusted for BSA, age, gender, LV mass and ejection fraction (P = 0.195). There was no significant difference in the PML length in mutation carriers without LVH and controls (11.1 +/- 3.4 vs 10.6 +/- 1.9, P = 0.52). We found no difference in AML lengths between the MYBPC mutation carriers with or without hypertrophy and controls. In 80 consecutive non-genotyped patients with HCM, there was no difference either in AML or PML lengths in subjects with HCM compared to respective control subjects. Conclusions: In subjects with HCM caused by the Q1061X mutation in the MYBPC3 gene, the posterior mitral valve leaflets may be elongated, but mitral valve elongation does not constitute primary phenotypic expression of the disease. Instead, elongated mitral valve leaflets seem to be associated with body size and left ventricular remodeling.
  • Kallioinen, Minna; Posti, Jussi P.; Rahi, Melissa; Sharma, Deepak; Katila, Ari; Grönlund, Juha; Vahlberg, Tero; Frantzén, Janek; Olkkola, Klaus T.; Saari, Teijo I.; Takala, Riikka (2020)
    Abstract Background Cerebral autoregulation is often impaired after aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH). Dexmedetomidine is being increasingly used, but its effects on cerebral autoregulation in patients with aSAH have not been studied before. Dexmedetomidine could be a useful sedative in patients with aSAH as it enables neurological assessment during the infusion. The aim of this preliminary study was to compare the effects of dexmedetomidine on dynamic and static cerebral autoregulation with propofol and/or midazolam in patients with aSAH. Methods Ten patients were recruited. Dynamic and static cerebral autoregulation were assessed using transcranial Doppler ultrasound during propofol and/or midazolam infusion and then during three increasing doses of dexmedetomidine infusion (0.7, 1.0 and 1.4 µg/kg/h). Transient hyperaemic response ratio (THRR) and strength of autoregulation (SA) were calculated to assess dynamic cerebral autoregulation. Static rate of autoregulation (sRoR)% was calculated by using noradrenaline infusion to increase the mean arterial pressure 20 mmHg above the baseline. Results Data from 9 patients were analysed. Compared to baseline, we found no statistically significant changes in THRR or sROR%. THRR was (mean±SD) 1.20 ±0.14, 1.17±0.13(p=0.93), 1.14±0.09 (p=0.72) and 1.19±0.18 (p=1.0) and sROR% was 150.89±84.37, 75.22±27.75 (p=0.08), 128.25±58.35 (p=0.84) and 104.82±36.92 (p=0.42) at baseline and during 0.7, 1.0 and 1.4 µg/kg/h dexmedetomidine infusion, respectively. Dynamic SA was significantly reduced after 1.0 µg/kg/h dexmedetomidine (p=0.02). Conclusions Compared to propofol and/or midazolam, dexmedetomidine did not alter static cerebral autoregulation in aSAH patients, whereas a significant change was observed in dynamic SA. Further and larger studies with dexmedetomidine in aSAH patients are warranted.
  • Valtonen, Ville (2017)
    A great variety of non-specific symptoms may occur in patients living or working in moisture-damaged buildings. In the beginning, these symptoms are usually reversible, mild, and present irritation of mucosa and increased morbidity due to respiratory tract infections and asthma-like symptoms. Later, the disease may become chronic and a patient is referred to a doctor where the assessment of dampness and mold hypersensitivity syndrome (DMHS) often presents diagnostic challenges. Currently, unanimously accepted laboratory tests are not yet available. Therefore, the diagnosis of DMHS is clinical and is based on the patient's history and careful examination. In this publication, I reviewed contemporary knowledge on clinical presentations, laboratory methods, and clinical assessment of DMHS. From the literature, I have not found any proposed diagnostic clinical criteria. Therefore, I propose five clinical criteria to diagnose DMHS: (1) the history of mold exposure in water-damaged buildings, (2) increased morbidity to due infections, (3) sick building syndrome, (4) multiple chemical sensitivity, and (5) enhanced scent sensitivity. If all the five criteria are met, the patient has a very probable DMHS. To resolve the current problems in assigning correct DMHS diagnosis, we also need novel assays to estimate potential risks of developing DMHS.
  • Hokkanen, Laura; Barbosa, Fernando; Ponchel, Amelie; Constantinou, Marios; Kosmidis, Mary H.; Varako, Nataliya; Kasten, Erich; Mondini, Sara; Lettner, Sandra; Baker, Gus; Persson, Bengt A.; Hessen, Erik (2020)
    The prevalence and negative impact of brain disorders are increasing. Clinical Neuropsychology is a specialty dedicated to understanding brain-behavior relationships, applying such knowledge to the assessment of cognitive, affective, and behavioral functioning associated with brain disorders, and designing and implementing effective treatments. The need for services goes beyond neurological diseases and has increased in areas of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, among others. In Europe, a great deal of variability exists in the education and training of Clinical Neuropsychologists. Training models include master's programs, continuing education courses, doctoral programs, and/or post-doctoral specialization depending on the country, with no common framework of requirements, although patients' needs demand equal competencies across Europe. In the past 5 years, the Standing Committee on Clinical Neuropsychology of the European Federation of Psychologists' Association has conducted a series of surveys and interviews with experts in the field representing 30 European countries. The information, along with information from the existing literature, is used in presenting an overview of current and relevant topics related to policy and guidelines in the training and competencies in Clinical Neuropsychology. An option for the way forward is the EuroPsy Specialist Certificate, which is currently offered in Work and Organizational Psychology, and in psychotherapy. It builds upon the basic certificate and complements national standards without overriding them. General principles can be found that can set the basis for a common, solid, and comprehensive specialty education/training, sharpening the Neuropsychologists' competencies across Europe. The requirements in Clinical Neuropsychology should be comparable to those for the existing specialty areas in the EuroPsy model. Despite the perceived challenges, developing a specialist certificate appears a step forward for the development of Clinical Neuropsychology. Recommendations are proposed toward a shared framework of competencies by the means of a common level of education/training for the professionals in Europe. Benchmarking training standards and competencies across Europe has the potential of providing protection against unqualified and ethically questionable practice, creating transparency, raising the general European standard, and promoting mobility of both Clinical Neuropsychologists and patients in Europe, for the benefit of the professional field and the population.
  • Relander, Kristiina; Hietanen, Marja; Nuotio, Krista; Ijäs, Petra; Tikkala, Irene; Saimanen, Eija; Lindsberg, Perttu J.; Soinne, Lauri (2021)
    Background: Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has been associated with both postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) and improvement (POCI). However, the prognostic significance of postoperative cognitive changes related to CEA is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between postoperative cognitive changes after CEA and long-term survival. Methods: We studied 43 patients 1 day before CEA as well as 4 days and 3 months after surgery with an extensive neuropsychological test array, and followed them for up to 14 years. POCD and POCI relative to baseline were determined with the reliable change index derived from 17 healthy controls. Associations between POCD/POCI and mortality within the patient group were studied with Cox regression analyses adjusted for confounders. Results: POCD in any functional domain was evident in 28% of patients 4 days after surgery and in 33% of patients 3 months after surgery. POCI was shown in 23% of patients at 4 days and in 44% of patients at 3 months. POCD at 3 months was associated with higher long-term mortality (hazard ratio 5.0, 95% CI 1.8-13.9, p = 0.002) compared with patients with no cognitive decline. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that POCD in a stable phase, 3 months after CEA predicts premature death. Evaluation of postoperative cognitive changes is essential, and POCD in a stable phase after CEA should prompt scrutiny of underlying factors and better adherence to therapies to prevent recurrences and to promote early intervention in imminent deterioration.
  • Liesto, Sanna; Sipilä, Reetta; Hietanen, Marja; Kalso, Eija (2022)
    Many patients return to cognitively demanding work after breast cancer treatments. This makes treatment-related cognitive decline an important research topic. Psychological resilience, cognitive reserve and better perceived general health may work as protective factors against cognitive decline. The aim of this study was to analyse whether these factors are associated with cognitive function among such women. Data from 384 breast cancer survivors who underwent neuropsychological examination at follow-up 4-9 years after surgery were used. The neurocognitive domain variable Learning and Memory was computed from Wechsler Memory Scale-III subtests Learning and Delayed Recall. Another variable, Attention, Processing speed and Executive function, was computed from semantic and verbal fluency tests, Trail Making Test A and B, and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test-IV subtest Coding. Psychological resilience was measured with Resilience Scale-14, and perceived general health with RAND-36 subitem General Health. Results: showed that levels of cognitive performance and general health were statistically higher than population average. Resilience and general health in separate models were associated with Attention, Processing speed and Executive function (beta = 0.14, p = 0.01; beta = 0.13, p = 0.03, respectively). When added simultaneously in the same model, resilience was significant (beta = 0.13, p = 0.04), but general health was not. These associations were nonsignificant after controlling for confounding factors. Learning and Memory was not associated with resilience or general health. Future research should focus on longitudinal studies identifying patients at a high risk of developing cognitive decline after breast cancer treatments and on preventive and therapeutic approaches.
  • Alenius, Minna; Koskinen, Sanna; Hallikainen, Ilona; Ngandu, Tiia; Lipsanen, Jari; Sainio, Päivi; Tuulio-Henriksson, Annamari; Hänninen, Tuomo (2019)
    Background/Aims: To detect cognitive decline in older adults, measures of verbal fluency and verbal memory are widely used. Less is known about performance in these measures in younger persons or according to education level and gender. We investigated cognitive performance according to age, education and gender among cognitively healthy adults aged 30-100 years. Methods: The study population comprised 4,174 cognitively healthy persons participating in the nationally representative Finnish Health 2011 survey. Cognitive assessment included verbal fluency, word list memory, word list recall and word list savings from the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease neuropsychological battery. Results: Total variance in the cognitive test performance explained by age, education and gender varied from 12.3 to 31.2%. A decreasing trend in cognitive performance existed in all subtests by advancing age, with differences appearing between 50 and 55 years. Persons with the highest-education level performed best for all measures. For the participants <55 years, education explained part of the variance, while age and gender did not. Conclusions: When assessing cognition, age and education should be accounted for in more detail in research and clinical practice. Additionally, the cohort effect and its potential impact on the renewal cycle of future normative values for cognitive tests should be considered. (C) 2019 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel
  • Alenius, Minna; Hokkanen, Laura; Koskinen, Sanna; Hallikainen, Ilona; Hänninen, Tuomo; Karrasch, Mira; Raivio, Minna M.; Laakkonen, Marja-Liisa; Krüger, Johanna; Suhonen, Noora-Maria; Kivipelto, Miia; Ngandu, Tiia (2022)
    We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of using real-world register data for identifying persons with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to describe their cognitive performance at the time of diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with AD during 2010-2013 (aged 60-81 years) were identified from the Finnish national health registers and enlarged with a smaller private sector sample (total n = 1,268). Patients with other disorders impacting cognition were excluded. Detailed clinical and cognitive screening data (the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease neuropsychological battery [CERAD-nb]) were obtained from local health records. Adequate cognitive data were available for 389 patients with mild AD (31%) of the entire AD group. The main reasons for not including patients in analyses of cognitive performance were AD diagnosis at a moderate/severe stage (n = 266, 21%), AD diagnosis given before full register coverage (n = 152, 12%), and missing CERAD-nb data (n = 139, 11%). The cognitive performance of persons with late-onset AD (n = 284), mixed cerebrovascular disease and AD (n = 51), and other AD subtypes (n = 54) was compared with that of a non-demented sample (n = 1980) from the general population. Compared with the other AD groups, patients with late-onset AD performed the worst in word list recognition, while patients with mixed cerebrovascular disease and AD performed the worst in constructional praxis and clock drawing tests. A combination of national registers and local health records can be used to collect data relevant for cognitive screening; today, the process is laborious, but it could be improved in the future with refined search algorithms and electronic data.
  • Kallio, Eeva-Liisa; Öhman, Hanna; Kautiainen, Hannu; Hietanen, Marja; Pitkala, Kaisu (2017)
    Background: Cognitive training (CT) refers to guided cognitive exercises designed to improve specific cognitive functions, as well as enhance performance in untrained cognitive tasks. Positive effects of CT on cognitive functions in healthy elderly people and persons with mild cognitive impairment have been reported, but data regarding the effects of CT in patients with dementia is unclear. Objective: We systematically reviewed the current evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to find out if CT improves or stabilizes cognition and/or everyday functioning in patients with mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease. Results: Altogether, 31 RCTs with CT as either the primary intervention or part of a broader cognitive or multi-component intervention were found. A positive effect was reported in 24 trials, mainly on global cognition and training-specific tasks, particularly when more intensive or more specific CT programs were used. Little evidence of improved everyday functioning was found. Conclusions: Despite some positive findings, the inaccurate definitions of CT, inadequate sample sizes, unclear randomization methods, incomplete datasets at follow-up and multiple testing may have inflated the results in many trials. Future high quality RCTs with appropriate classification and specification of cognitive interventions are necessary to confirm CT as an effective treatment option in Alzheimer's disease.
  • Tuomenoksa, Asta; Pajo, Kati; Klippi, Anu (2016)
    This study applies conversation analysis to compare everyday conversation samples between a person with aphasia (PWA) and a familiar communication partner (CP) before and after intensive language-action therapy (ILAT). Our analysis concentrated on collaborative repair sequences with the assumption that impairment-focused therapy would translate into a change in the nature of trouble sources, which engender collaborative repair action typical of aphasic conversation. The most frequent repair initiation technique used by the CP was candidate understandings. The function of candidate understandings changed from addressing specific trouble sources pre-ILAT to concluding longer stretches of the PWA's talk post-ILAT. Alongside with these findings, we documented a clinically significant increase in the Western Aphasia Battery's aphasia quotient post-ILAT. Our results suggest that instead of mere frequency count of conversational behaviours, examining the type and function of repair actions might provide insight into therapy-related changes in conversation following impairment-focused therapy.
  • Turunen, Merita; Hokkanen, Laura; Bäckman, Lars; Stigsdotter-Neely, Anna; Hänninen, Tuomo; Paajanen, Teemu; Soininen, Hilkka; Kivipelto, Miia; Ngandu, Tiia (2019)
    The possibilities of computer-based cognitive training (CCT) in postponing the onset of dementia are currently unclear, but promising. Our aim is to investigate older adults ' adherence to a long-term CCT program, and which participant characteristics are associated with adherence to the CCT. This study was part of the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER). Participants were 60-77-year-old individuals with increased dementia risk, recruited from previous population-based studies. The participants included in this study (n = 631) had been randomized to receive a multi-domain lifestyle intervention, including CCT. The measure of adherence was the number of completed CCT sessions (max = 144) as continuous measure. Due to a substantial proportion of participants with 0 sessions, the zero inflated negative binomial regression analyses were used to enable assessment of both predictors of starting the training and predictors of completing a higher number of training sessions. Several cognitive, demographic, lifestyle, and health-related variables were examined as potential predictors of adherence to CCT. Altogether, 63% of the participants participated in the CCT at least once, 20% completed at least half of the training, and 12% completed all sessions. Previous experience with computers, being married or cohabiting, better memory performance, and positive expectations toward the study predicted greater odds for starting CCT. Previous computer use was the only factor associated with a greater number of training sessions completed. Our study shows that there is a large variation in adherence to a long-lasting CCT among older adults with an increased risk of dementia. The results indicate that encouraging computer use, and taking into account the level of cognitive functioning, may help boost adherence to CCT.
  • Smith, Martine M.; Batorowicz, Beata; Sandberg, Annika Dahlgren; Murray, Janice; Stadskleiv, Kristine; van Balkom, Hans; Neuvonen, Kirsi; von Tetzchner, Stephen (2018)
    Narratives are a pervasive form of discourse and a rich source for exploring a range of language and cognitive skills. The limited research base to date suggests that narratives generated using aided communication may be structurally simple, and that features of cohesion and reference may be lacking. This study reports on the analysis of narratives generated in interactions involving aided communication in response to short, silent, video vignettes depicting events with unintended or unexpected consequences. Two measures were applied to the data: the Narrative Scoring Scheme and the Narrative Analysis Profile. A total of 15 participants who used aided communication interacted with three different communication partners (peers, parents, professionals) relaying narratives about three video events. Their narratives were evaluated with reference to narratives of 15 peers with typical development in response to the same short videos and to the narratives that were interpreted by their communication partners. Overall, the narratives generated using aided communication were shorter and less complete than those of the speaking peers, but they incorporated many similar elements. Topic maintenance and inclusion of scene-setting elements were consistent strengths. Communication partners offered rich interpretations of aided narratives. Relative to the aided narratives, these interpreted narratives were typically structurally more complete and cohesive and many incorporated more elaborated semantic content. The data reinforce the robust value of narratives in interaction and their potential for showcasing language and communication achievements in aided communication.
  • Suzzi, Stefano; Ahrendt, Reiner; Hans, Stefan; Semenova, Svetlana A.; Chekuru, Avinash; Wirsching, Paul; Kroehne, Volker; Bilican, Saygin; Sayed, Shady; Winkler, Sylke; Spiess, Sandra; Machate, Anja; Kaslin, Jan; Panula, Pertti; Brand, Michael (2021)
    LRRK2 gain-of-function is considered a major cause of Parkinson's disease (PD) in humans. However, pathogenicity of LRRK2 loss-of-function in animal models is controversial. Here we show that deletion of the entire zebrafish lrrk2 locus elicits a pleomorphic transient brain phenotype in maternal-zygotic mutant embryos (mzLrrk2). In contrast to lrrk2, the paralog gene lrrk1 is virtually not expressed in the brain of both wild-type and mzLrrk2 fish at different developmental stages. Notably, we found reduced catecholaminergic neurons, the main target of PD, in specific cell populations in the brains of mzLrrk2 larvae, but not adult fish. Strikingly, age-dependent accumulation of monoamine oxidase (MAO)-dependent catabolic signatures within mzLrrk2 brains revealed a previously undescribed interaction between LRRK2 and MAO biological activities. Our results highlight mzLrrk2 zebrafish as a tractable tool to study LRRK2 loss-of-function in vivo, and suggest a link between LRRK2 and MAO, potentially of relevance in the prodromic stages of PD. Author summary Parkinson's disease is the second most common degenerative disorder of the brain. Mutations of the LRRK2 gene are the most recurrent genetic cause of pathology, and are thought to result in a more active LRRK2 protein, a large enzyme whose biological function is unclear. Therefore, LRRK2 inhibitors are regarded as promising therapeutics. However, mouse models do not reproduce human pathology unless they also lack LRRK1, and there is evidence of dominant negative effects of LRRK2 mutations. Therefore, the characterization of reliable LRRK2 knockout models might provide insights. In our study, we used the zebrafish as a tractable model to study both early developmental and adult phenotypes resulting from the loss of the entire endogenous lrrk2 gene. We found that mutant embryos displayed subtle brain phenotypes, including reduction of catecholaminergic neurons, the main target of human disease, that spontaneously resolved with development, and a late-onset and progressive increase of dopamine and serotonin degradation consistent with increased MAO enzyme activity. Our results suggest that similar defects might occur in the pre-symptomatic stage of the disease in humans, and warrant further evaluation of LRRK2 inhibition in a therapeutic perspective.