Special Issue "Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment"

A special issue of Geriatrics (ISSN 2308-3417).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. David Facal
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain
Interests: longitudinal process of cognitive aging; early signs of cognitive impairment; Mild Cognitive Impairment and mild dementia; the role of cognitive reserve in early manifestation of the disease; the development computerized cognitive interventions to prevent dementia and other age-related diseases
Prof. Dr. José Mª Cancela Carral
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Education and Sport Sciences, University of Vigo, Galicia, Spain
2. Member of Rede Galega de Investigación en Demencias (Galician Dementia Research Network), Galicia, Spain
Interests: Dementia; physical activity; physical exercise
Dr. Carlos Spuch
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
1. Galicia Sur Health Research Institute, Vigo, Galicia, Spain
2. Coordinator of Rede Galega de Investigación en Demencias (Galician Dementia Research Network), Galicia, Spain
Interests: Dementia; nutrition; physical activity; biomarkers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The huge impact of cognitive impairment and dementia has turned cognitive aging in a public health concern from many perspectives and requiring actions from many sectors. It is increasingly relevant to fully understand age-related neurocognitive changes observed in both normal and pathologic development.

Research on cognitive aging is concerned with language, learning, memory, and other intellectual abilities responsible for daily adjustment, and with explaining the mechanism of cognitive changes with advancing age. These changes range from subtle cognitive complaints associated with normal aging to mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Research on cognitive impairment is currently focused in identifying risk factors and mechanism of age-related impairment, with a strong focus on early detection of dementia and early interventions. New trends in the study of cognitive impairment include new diagnostic labels, such as Mild Behavioral Impairment and Subjective Cognitive Decline. In this context, early intervention and preventive approaches are gaining relevance, including cognitive training and cognitive stimulation, physical exercise, nutritional and technology-based interventions.

This Special Issue on Geriatrics will focus on current advances in the study of cognitive aging and the age-related risk factors of cognitive impairment, with a special emphasis on preventive interventions. The Special Issue provides an open access opportunity to publish research articles, reviews, opinions, letters, and case reports related to this important field of research. I encourage you and your colleagues to submit for publication in this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. David Facal
Prof. Dr. José Mª Cancela Carral
Dr. Carlos Spuch
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geriatrics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Cognitive aging
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Dementia
  • Cognitive reserve
  • Cognitive training
  • Cognitive frailty
  • Prevention

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Neurocognitive Function and Quality of Life Outcomes in the ONTRAC Study for Skin Cancer Chemoprevention by Nicotinamide
Geriatrics 2019, 4(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4010031 - 25 Mar 2019
Abstract
Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) has photoprotective effects and reduces skin cancer incidence in high risk patients. Nicotinamide also improves cognition in animal models. As part of the ONTRAC (Oral Nicotinamide To Reduce Actinic Cancer) phase III placebo-controlled, randomized trial to assess nicotinamide’s efficacy in [...] Read more.
Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) has photoprotective effects and reduces skin cancer incidence in high risk patients. Nicotinamide also improves cognition in animal models. As part of the ONTRAC (Oral Nicotinamide To Reduce Actinic Cancer) phase III placebo-controlled, randomized trial to assess nicotinamide’s efficacy in skin cancer prevention, we included clinical neurocognitive function and patient-reported quality of life assessments at baseline and after 12 months of intervention in individuals with previous skin cancer in order to assess any effect of oral nicotinamide (500 mg po twice daily) on cognitive function and quality of life. In our sample of 310 participants who completed neurocognitive function testing at baseline and at 12 months, we were not able to detect any significant effect of oral nicotinamide on cognitive function nor on quality of life. Further studies of nicotinamide’s effects on cognition in humans might include individuals with pre-existing mild cognitive impairment, and it may be that higher doses of nicotinamide are required to significantly influence cognitive function compared to doses required to reduce skin cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
Open AccessArticle
Characterisation of Benzodiazepine Use in an Older Population Registered in Family Health Units in the Region of Minho, Portugal
Geriatrics 2019, 4(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4010027 - 01 Mar 2019
Abstract
Benzodiazepines are the most frequently consumed psychotropic drugs among older persons. This pharmacological class has been advised against in this group, due to the various risks associated with its use in an older population. This study seeks to determine the prevalence of benzodiazepine [...] Read more.
Benzodiazepines are the most frequently consumed psychotropic drugs among older persons. This pharmacological class has been advised against in this group, due to the various risks associated with its use in an older population. This study seeks to determine the prevalence of benzodiazepine use in a non-institutionalized older population over the age of 75 that is registered in Family Health Units (USF) in the region of Minho, Portugal, as well as to characterize these patients and understand the link between benzodiazepine use and chronic medication use, risk of falls, and level of physical and functional dependence. The data extracted from the clinical records registered in the SAM® were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). A sample of 700 patients was obtained. These patients presented a mean age of 82.3 years, 62.7% were female, 95.3% were physically independent, and 38.0% were functionally independent. Almost half of the elder persons presented a moderate (36.9%) or high (11.4%) risk of falls. 37.9% of the patients were chronic benzodiazepines users, using between 1 and 3 active substances belonging to this pharmacological class, with a higher rate of use among women (p < 0.001) and elder persons. There was a statistically significant association among the use of benzodiazepines, a functional independence, and a higher risk of falls. These pioneering findings in Portugal reveal a high prevalence of benzodiazepine use in the population studied and warn about the specific characteristics of said population and the importance in reducing the risks associated with the inappropriate prescription of these drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
Open AccessCommunication
Rehabilitative Support for Persons with Dementia and Their Families to Acquire Self-Management Attitude and Improve Social Cognition and Sense of Cognitive Empathy
Geriatrics 2019, 4(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4010026 - 25 Feb 2019
Abstract
People with dementia are often inevitably confronted with various difficulties with social interaction and communication, which is a core problem that can be improved with rehabilitative support, thus improving their quality of life. The authors propose rehabilitative support using communication via activities; co-beneficial [...] Read more.
People with dementia are often inevitably confronted with various difficulties with social interaction and communication, which is a core problem that can be improved with rehabilitative support, thus improving their quality of life. The authors propose rehabilitative support using communication via activities; co-beneficial relationship-based rehabilitation, which emphasizes the following 3 points: support for people with dementia to improve social reserves, which is the ability to overcome the decline in social cognition; support for family members for improving cognitive empathy, which is the ability to analyze the background of others’ behaviors and speech; and the involvement of the practitioner to supervise and empower them. The process of intervention is as follows: (1) selecting activities for collaboration; (2) sharing information on their current situation including declined abilities; (3) enhancing cognitive empathy through dementia education; (4) designing the intervention measures together; and (5) practice and feedback. Living with dementia involves a continuous process of coping with various challenges in daily living, however, the process of effectively managing these challenges is one of the ways to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their family members. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
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Open AccessArticle
Dementia in an Acute Hospital Setting: Health Service Research to Profile Patient Characteristics and Predictors of Adverse Clinical Outcomes
Geriatrics 2019, 4(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4010007 - 02 Jan 2019
Abstract
Introduction: Patients with dementia often have other associated medical co-morbidities resulting in adverse outcomes. The National Audit of Dementia (NAD) in the UK showed a wide variation in the quality and clinical care for acute dementia patients. This study aims to record the [...] Read more.
Introduction: Patients with dementia often have other associated medical co-morbidities resulting in adverse outcomes. The National Audit of Dementia (NAD) in the UK showed a wide variation in the quality and clinical care for acute dementia patients. This study aims to record the clinical profile and benchmark clinical outcomes of acute dementia patients admitted within Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Wales (UK). Methods: This was a retrospective observational study based on analysis of the existing data for all acute dementia patients. Ethical approval was not required for this service evaluation. Results: In 2016, a total of 1770 dementia patients had 2474 acute admissions. We studied 1167 acute admissions (953 dementia patients) from 1st January 2016–30th June 2016. The mean age was 84.5 ± 7.8 years (females = 63.5%). Mean Charlson comorbidity index and the number of drugs were 6.0 ± 1.5 and 5.1 ± 2.1. 15.4% (147/953) patients were on antipsychotics. Overall mean hospital stay was 19.4 ± 27.2 days. 30-days readmission rate was 17.2% (138/800) with a mean hospital stay of 14.6 ± 17.9 days. 3.4% (32/953) patients were excluded due to a coding error. 70.3% (n = 670/953) were previously living in their own homes and only 26.3% (n = 251/953) were admitted from care homes. 59.5% patients (n = 399/670) were discharged back to their homes and 21.6% (145/670) were discharged to a new care home, which represents an approximately 1.68 times higher rate of new care home occupancy than the patients being originally admitted from a care home. Overall inpatient was 16.0% (153/953). 30-days and one-year mortality were 22.3% (213/953) and 49.2% (469/953) respectively. The observed mortality rates between patients admitted from home or from a care home were highly significant for one-year mortality (p < 0.001). The inpatient falls rate was significantly higher (1.8 times) as compared to overall general medical inpatient falls rate. Conclusion: Acute patients with dementia have a higher risk of adverse outcomes and the impact of hospitalisation. Prompt comprehensive geriatric assessment and quality improvement initiatives are needed to improve clinical outcomes and to enhance the quality of care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary
Giving Them a Voice: Challenges to Narrative Agency in People with Dementia
Geriatrics 2019, 4(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4010020 - 12 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, we argue that the capacity for narrative agency is significantly compromised in individuals with dementia due to at least three factors: (a) Dementia itself, which causes increasing difficulties in constructing and articulating coherent and meaningful stories, and sharing them with [...] Read more.
In this paper, we argue that the capacity for narrative agency is significantly compromised in individuals with dementia due to at least three factors: (a) Dementia itself, which causes increasing difficulties in constructing and articulating coherent and meaningful stories, and sharing them with others; (b) cultural narratives about dementia, which promote an extremely negative and pessimistic view of those with the disease; and (c) the convergence of these two last factors, which can lead to caregiving interactions that do not support storytelling and can even stop people with dementia from telling stories. We highlight the importance of narrative care, which involves interventions that focus on the person and their unique life narrative. In narrative care, people with dementia are treated not as impaired patients defined by the disease, but as human beings. In doing so, people with dementia can have their own voices back, which is silenced and discredited so many times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
Open AccessFeature PaperCase Report
Dementia and Challenging Behaviors in Gerontological Centers. A Case Report
Geriatrics 2019, 4(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4010015 - 22 Jan 2019
Abstract
Among the main challenges in geriatric and gerontological centers, we consider, central, the individualized attention to those elderly persons with challenging behaviors, to the extent that it is possible to design preventive strategies that delay cognitive deterioration and minimize consequences of behavior disorders. [...] Read more.
Among the main challenges in geriatric and gerontological centers, we consider, central, the individualized attention to those elderly persons with challenging behaviors, to the extent that it is possible to design preventive strategies that delay cognitive deterioration and minimize consequences of behavior disorders. The first step will be to develop the correct interpretation of symptoms and deficits as a guarantee of a correct diagnosis which, in addition to not always being easy, has to be adapted to the progression of the disease. We present the case of a 68-year-old institutionalized individual, with an initial diagnosis of diffuse Lewy bodies dementia, analyzing his cognitive and behavioral evolution, and the pharmacological and non-pharmacological approach to the case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
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