New Alzheimer’s Criteria, Guidelines Published
For the first time in 27 years, new criteria and guidelines for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have been published by three expert workgroups spearheaded by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health.
The workgroups published four articles including ready-to-use clinical diagnostic criteria for AD dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to AD. A research agenda was proposed for preclinical AD. The use of biomarkers in Alzheimer’s dementia and MCI due to AD was also proposed as a research agenda only and is not intended for application in clinical settings at this time.
The articles—collectively, the “National Institute on Aging/Alzheimer’s Association Diagnostic Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease”—expand the definition of AD to include two new phases of the disease: (a) presymptomatic and (b) mildly symptomatic but pre-dementia, along with (c) dementia caused by AD. This reflects current thinking that AD begins creating distinct and measurable changes in the brains of affected people years, perhaps decades, before memory and thinking symptoms are noticeable.
The proposed new AD diagnostic guidelines were published online in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
Source.“New Criteria and Guidelines for the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease Published for First Time in 27 Years.” (2011, April 19). Retrieved April 27, 2011, from http://www.alz.org/documents_custom/Alz_Assoc_diag_criteria_guidelines_press_release_041911.pdf.
Coumadin-Specific Book and Apps Detail Diet Targets
Individuals taking warfarin (Coumadin®) now have an additional resource to productively and enjoyably carry on with their lives while taking the prescription anticoagulant medication. Dr. Tim Harlan—who goes by the name “Dr. Gourmet”—a board-certified internist and Medical Director at Tulane University School of Medicine, has released a new book, The Dr. Gourmet Diet for Coumadin Users, along with two new iPhone® apps, vitKdiet and vitKfood, all of which take into special consideration the interactions and side effects of taking the drug.
In addition to other medications, foods that contain higher amounts of vitamin K reduce the effectiveness of Coumadin. Most physicians recommend limiting foods that contain very high or moderate amounts of vitamin K. The Dr. Gourmet Diet for Coumadin Users provides ideal body weight tables to identify target weight, as well as an estimated caloric intake needed to reach that ideal weight; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack guidelines that detail meal options to suit any craving; weekly meal plans with complete grocery shopping lists; and recipe tags that instantly identify serving sizes, mealtime (breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack), and how much time is needed to prepare. The corresponding apps, vitKfood and vitKdiet, provide even more Coumadin-friendly recipes, full shopping lists, information about managing diet, and lists of vitamin K content in more than 700 of the most common foods.
The Dr. Gourmet Diet for Coumadin Users is available for download at http://DrGourmet.com for $19.95 and e-book for $4.95. VitKdiet and vitKfood are available for download on iPad®, iPhone, and iPod touch® in the iTunes App Store for $9.99 and $4.99, respectively.
Source.“Attention Coumadin Users: Keep Eating Your Favorite Foods.” (2011, April 8). Retrieved April 27, 2011, from http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/04/prweb5235394.htm.
Wrong Medicines, Dosages Lead to Spike in Illnesses & Injuries
The number of people treated in U.S. hospitals for illnesses and injuries due to taking medicines jumped 52% between 2004 and 2008—from 1.2 million to 1.9 million—according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). These medication side effects and injuries resulted from taking or being given the wrong medicine or dosage. The AHRQ also found that in 2008:
- The top five categories of medicines that together sent more than 838,000 people to emergency departments for treatment and release were: unspecified medicines (261,600), pain medication (118,100), antibiotic agents (95,100), tranquilizer and anti-depressant medications (79,300), and corticosteroids and other hormones (71,400).
- For patients admitted to the hospital, the top five categories causing side effects and injuries were corticosteroids (283,700 cases), pain medications (269,400), blood-thinning drugs (218,800), drugs to treat cancer and immune system disorders (234,300), and heart and blood pressure medicines (191,300).
- More than half (53%) of hospitalized patients treated for side effects or other medication-related injuries were 65 and older, 30% were 45 to 64, 14% were 18 to 44, and 3% were younger than 18. Children and teenagers accounted for 22% of emergency cases.
- Approximately 57% of the hospitalized patients and 61% of emergency department cases were women.
Source.“Medication Injuries and Side Effects Are Up Dramatically.” (2011, April 13). Retrieved April 27,2011, from http://www.ahrq.gov/news/nn/nn041311.htm.
LGBT Community Worries About Discrimination in LTC
A majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults who answered a national online survey believe that staff of long-term care facilities would discriminate against an LGBT older adult who was open about his or her sexual orientation, and more than half believe that staff or other residents would abuse or neglect an LGBT older adult.
The report, LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the Field, uses survey results for the first glimpse into some of the issues faced by LGBT older adults in long-term care facilities. Of the 769 individuals who completed the survey, 328 people reported 853 instances of mistreatment in such facilities. The survey, conducted from October 2009 through June 2010, did not use a representative or scientific sample but includes hundreds of personal comments offered by the respondents, ranging from reports of staff harassment to staff refusals to provide basic services or care.
Of the 769 respondents, 284 identified themselves as LGBT older adults. Others said they were family members, friends, social service providers, legal services providers, or other interested individuals.
Some of the comments point to possible violations of federal nursing home law, while others signify that far more training and awareness by staff is needed in addition to enhanced consumer awareness. The report also points to a wide array of policy remedies that could be enacted to better support LGBT older adults and improve the facilities where they reside. The report’s recommendations are directed toward policy makers as well as long-term care providers.
Survey results, comments, and personal videos from LGBT older adults can be found at http://www.LGBTLongTermCare.org.
Source.“LGBT Elders Raise Serious Fears About Long-Term Care Facilities.” (2011, April 5). Retrieved April 27, 2011, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lgbt-elders-raise-serious-fears-about-long-term-care-facilities-119255584.html.
Demographic Data About Elder Abuse Victims Revealed
Victims of severe traumatic elder abuse are more likely to be women, have a neurological or mental disorder, and to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Twenty-nine percent of abuse victims in the study tested positive for alcohol, compared with 13% of controls.
Local researchers examined medical record data at two Chicago-area Level I trauma units from 41 cases of elder abuse and compared them to a random set of other over-60 patients between 1999 and 2006.
The researchers found that elderly victims of physical abuse experienced more severe injuries than their non-abused counterparts. They also disproportionately experienced preexisting medical conditions such as heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, mental illness, and alcohol abuse.
All of the key measures of injury severity—length of hospital stay, treatment in an intensive care unit, assisted breathing, injury severity scores, and in-hospital case fatality rates—were higher in the abuse cases, according to the researchers, and are associated with long-term adverse outcomes.
In the study, 20 victims of abuse returned to the environment in which the abuse occurred. In the majority of cases, the perpetrator had been arrested, but 17% of the victims expressed a desire to return to the perpetrator and not to press charges. Eighty-five percent of the perpetrators were family members or intimate partners. In most cases, the abuse was not identified until after the admission process or several days into hospitalization.
Source.“Elderly Victims of Abuse Often Use Alcohol or Drugs.” (2011, March 22). Retrieved April 27, 2011, from http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/574665/?sc=c96.