Frank E Visser

Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (7)27.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We investigated antipsychotic drug prescription practice of Dutch ID physicians, studying prevalence of antipsychotic drug use, reasons for prescription and the relationship between these reasons and patient characteristics. A cross-sectional study of medical and pharmaceutical records in a population living in residential settings of three care providers for persons with IDs in the Netherlands (n = 2373). Prevalence of antipsychotic drug use was 32.2% (95% CI 30.1-33.9). Behavioural problems were the reason for prescription of antipsychotic drugs in 58% of cases and psychotic disorder or psychotic symptoms in 22.5%. In 11.7% the diagnosis of psychotic disorder was specified according to DSM-IV criteria. In 18.5% the reason for prescription was not noted in the medical record. Behavioural problems as reason for prescription was associated with profound and severe ID, living in a central location and male sex. Psychotic disorder specified according to DSM-IV as indication for prescription was negatively associated with profound and severe ID and with presence of an additional mental disorder. Absence of a noted reason for prescription was associated with female sex and with the presence of an additional mental disorder. Current prevalence and reason for prescription of antipsychotic drugs are similar with outcomes of previous studies. Our results show the continuing lack of evidence-based psychopharmacological treatment in mental health care for persons with IDs.
    Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 07/2010; 54(7):659-67. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a prospective longitudinal cohort study of dementia and mortality in persons with Down syndrome aged 45 years and older, 85 postmenopausal women were followed for a mean follow-up time of 4.3 years (range 0.0 to 7.4 years). The effect of age at menopause on age at diagnosis of dementia and survival was estimated using correlation analysis and Cox Proportional Hazard Model. We found a significant correlation between age at menopause and age at diagnosis of dementia (rho=0.52; p< 0.001), and between age at menopause and age at death (rho=0.49; p=0.01). Early age at menopause is associated with a 1.8 fold increased risk of dementia: Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.82 (95%Confidence Interval (CI): 1.31-2.52) and with risk of death: HR: 2.05 (95%CI: 1.33-3.16). Our study suggests that age at menopause in women with Down syndrome is a determinant of age at onset of dementia and mortality.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 01/2010; 19(2):545-50. · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a prospective longitudinal cohort study of dementia and mortality in persons with Down syndrome aged 45 years and older, 85 postmenopausal women were followed for a mean follow-up time of 4.3 years (range 0.0 to 7.4 years). The effect of age at menopause on age at diagnosis of dementia and survival was estimated using correlation analysis and Cox Proportional Hazard Model. We found a significant correlation between age at menopause and age at diagnosis of dementia (rho=0.52; p< 0.001), and between age at menopause and age at death (rho=0.49; p=0.01). Early age at menopause is associated with a 1.8 fold increased risk of dementia: Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.82 (95%Confidence Interval (CI): 1.31-2.52) and with risk of death: HR: 2.05 (95%CI: 1.33-3.16). Our study suggests that age at menopause in women with Down syndrome is a determinant of age at onset of dementia and mortality.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD. 10/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: The longer life expectancy now experienced by persons with Down syndrome (DS) makes it necessary to know the factors influencing survival in older persons with this syndrome. In a prospective longitudinal cohort study of dementia and mortality, 506 persons with DS aged 45 and older were followed for a mean of 4.5 years (range 0.0-7.6 years). Cognitive and social functioning were tested at baseline and annual follow-up. The diagnosis of dementia was determined according to a standardized protocol. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used for survival analysis. Relative preservation of cognitive and functional ability is associated with better survival in this study population. Clinically, the most important disorders in persons with DS that are related to mortality are dementia, mobility restrictions, visual impairment, and epilepsy but not cardiovascular diseases. Also, level of intellectual disability and institutionalization are associated with mortality.
    Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 01/2009; 56(12):2311-6. · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is consistently associated with dementia in the general population. Findings on the role of this gene in persons with Down's syndrome (DS) are inconclusive. We studied the effects of APOE on mortality and dementia in a longitudinal prospective study of a large population-based sample of persons with DS (n=425), demented and non-demented. There was evidence that APOE epsilon4 is correlated with the rate of decline in the social competence rating scale (SRZ) (p=0.04). In our population, we found overall a modest but not statistical significant effect on the prevalence of dementia (OR=1.57, 95%CI: 0.87-2.82). We did observed a significant long-term effect on the incidence of dementia (HR=4.66, 95%CI: 1.35-16.14), but for those with a follow-up less than 3 years the risk was not significantly increased: HR=0.83 (95%CI 0.35-1.94). When pooling our data in a meta-analysis, the APOE epsilon4 allele shows a 1.59-fold (95%CI: 1.19-2.12) increase in risk of dementia in persons with DS. We conclude that APOE is influencing the risk of dementia in persons with DS.
    Neurobiology of aging 07/2008; 29(6):828-35. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyloid beta (Abeta) immunoreactivity in neurons was examined in brains of 32 control subjects, 31 people with Down syndrome, and 36 patients with sporadic Alzheimer's disease to determine if intraneuronal Abeta immunoreactivity is an early manifestation of Alzheimer-type pathology leading to fibrillar plaque formation and/or neurofibrillary degeneration. The appearance of Abeta immunoreactivity in neurons in infants and stable neuron-type specific Abeta immunoreactivity in a majority of brain structures during late childhood, adulthood, and normal aging does not support this hypothesis. The absence or detection of only traces of reaction with antibodies against 4-13 aa and 8-17 aa of Abeta in neurons indicated that intraneuronal Abeta was mainly a product of alpha- and gamma-secretases (Abeta(17-40/42)). The presence of N-terminally truncated Abeta(17-40) and Abeta(17-42) in the control brains was confirmed by Western blotting and the identity of Abeta(17-40) was confirmed by mass spectrometry. The prevalence of products of alpha- and gamma -secretases in neurons and beta- and gamma-secretases in plaques argues against major contribution of Abeta-immunopositive material detected in neuronal soma to amyloid deposit in plaques. The strongest intraneuronal Abeta(17-42) immunoreactivity was observed in structures with low susceptibility to fibrillar Abeta deposition, neurofibrillary degeneration, and neuronal loss compared to areas more vulnerable to Alzheimer-type pathology. These observations indicate that the intraneuronal Abeta immunoreactivity detected in this study is not a predictor of brain amyloidosis or neurofibrillary degeneration. The constant level of Abeta immunoreactivity in structures free from neuronal pathology during essentially the entire life span suggests that intraneuronal amino-terminally truncated Abeta represents a product of normal neuronal metabolism.
    Acta Neuropathologica 05/2007; 113(4):389-402. · 9.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have documented that persons with Down's syndrome (DS) are at an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, at present it is still not clear whether or not all persons with DS will develop dementia as they reach old age. We studied 506 people with DS, aged 45 years and above. A standardized assessment of cognitive, functional and physical status was repeated annually. If deterioration occurred, the patients were examined and the differential diagnosis of dementia was made according to the revised Dutch consensus protocol and according to the ICD-10 Symptom Checklist for Mental Disorders. We compared our findings with those reported in the literature. The overall prevalence of dementia was 16.8%. Up to the age of 60, the prevalence of dementia doubled with each 5-year interval. Up to the age of 49, the prevalence is 8.9%, from 50 to 54, it is 17.7%, and from 55 to 59, it is 32.1%. In the age category of 60 and above, there is a small decrease in prevalence of dementia to 25.6%. The lack of increase after the age of 60 may be explained by the increased mortality among elderly demented DS patients (44.4%) in comparison with non-demented patients (10.7%) who we observed during a 3.3-year follow-up. There was no decrease in incidence of dementia in the age group of 60 and above. Our findings are very similar to those published in the literature. Patients with dementia were more frequently treated with antiepileptic, antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs. The history of depression was strongly associated with dementia. Our study is one of the largest population-based studies to date. We found that despite the exponential increase in prevalence with age, the prevalence of dementia in the oldest persons with DS was not higher than 25.6%.
    Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 11/2006; 50(Pt 10):768-77. · 1.88 Impact Factor