Mental health support for older adults needs to improve

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Dave Steele summarises an NIHR funded mixed methods study that concludes we don’t know much about how we should support older adults with mental health problems, except to say that we should be doing better.

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Lifestyle changes for cognition and dementia: better than a new drug?

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Should all molecular research institutes looking at neurodegenerative diseases be replaced by parks, playgrounds and cycle paths? Mark Horowitz highlights a recent systematic review of modifiable risk factors associated with cognition and dementia, which suggests that from a public health perspective, there may be some sense in this idea.

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Risk factors for dementia: separating the facts from the myths

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We are grateful to Josephine Neale who has read the 104 page World Alzheimer Report 2014 and summarised it for us in this very readable blog. The report is a comprehensive analysis of the risk factors for dementia, which focuses on a range of protective and modifiable factors.

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Medication in advanced dementia: how can we judge what is appropriate?

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Caroline Struthers appraises a recent US cross-sectional study of the use of medications of “questionable benefit” in nursing home residents with advanced dementia. She concludes that all medications are of questionable value if they have side effects which might have a negative impact on quality of life or are likely to cause harm.

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Lost in anxiety: treatment-resistant anxiety in older people

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Andrés Fonseca appraises a new systematic review of interventions for treatment-resistant anxiety in older people, which finds a disconcerting lack of evidence to help him support the many older patients he sees who are affected by anxiety disorders.

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Cognitive and exercise interventions for older adults with and without cognitive impairment

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Jake Crawshaw reports on a recent systematic review of cognitive and exercise interventions for older people with and without cognitive impairment.

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Alternatives to medication for agitation in dementia

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Andrés Fonseca summarises the findings of a recent systematic review of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sensory, psychological and behavioural interventions for managing agitation in dementia.

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Psychotherapy for depression in older adults: promising results, but insufficient good quality research

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This recent meta-analysis confirms that psychotherapy has a moderate to high effect on depression in older adults. However, a note of caution is sounded because of publication bias and the low quality of several of the included studies.

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What should we prescribe for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease?

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Psychiatrist Andrés Fonseca considers how his clinical practice should change, after reading a systematic review and meta-analysis of drug treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease

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