S Knox

Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, Bath, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (13)29.42 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine whether donepezil treatment (10 mg/day over 24 weeks) is associated with delayed emergence of apathy in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to explore relationships between donepezil's effects on apathy and other Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI)-measured behavioural symptoms. Two randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled studies that met prespecified criteria and were sufficiently similar to allow data pooling were derived from all donepezil AD clinical trials. Patients scoring from 10 to 26 on baseline Mini-Mental Status Examination were included. A clinical milestone for apathy and other NPI items was defined as the first emergence of a composite score (frequency × severity) ≥ 3. Differences in time to event (i.e. milestone) between donepezil- and placebo-treated groups were assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test. Shift tables were constructed to evaluate clinical milestone status for apathy and other NPI items at baseline and endpoint, and were analysed using the Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel (CMH) test, stratified by baseline status. Of all NPI items, apathy had the highest proportion of subjects scoring ≥ 3 at baseline. Donepezil was superior to placebo on both apathy milestone analyses (time-to-event log-rank test and shift table CMH test, p = 0.01). Aberrant motor behaviour demonstrated similar benefit. Donepezil treatment appears to have resulted in a significant reduction over 6 months of the emergence of apathy in patients with AD. These data suggest that a prospective clinical trial in patients with early AD that includes apathy as a primary outcome measure may be warranted.
    International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 02/2011; 26(2):150-7. · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding and appreciating the awareness of, and attitudes towards, Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the general public is of paramount importance to those charged with the development of health care policy. Furthermore, it is essential that this policy be formulated with consideration given to both the attitudes of the general population and to those within society more directly affected by AD; namely, the caregivers of patients with the disease. In the IMPACT survey, approximately 1000 members of the general public and 250 caregivers in 5 European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) completed a 30-minute, Web-based questionnaire. In this article, we compare and contrast the attitudes and opinions of these populations in an attempt to define specific themes. Indeed, caregivers were more concerned about consequences of growing old and were more fearful of AD than general public respondents, although a high proportion in both groups acknowledged the significant impact of the disease. Similarly, although most respondents in the 2 groups recognised that early signs and symptoms of AD are difficult to detect, caregivers were more skeptical of the abilities of both primary physicians and specialists to detect these early signs and symptoms. In terms of treatment, caregivers were less convinced of the effectiveness of treatment beyond the early stages of AD and more likely to agree that current treatments are associated with side effects. Respondents in both groups had a negative view of their government's investment in AD, but caregivers, particularly those in France, Spain and the United Kingdom, were more likely to feel that their government acts as a barrier to treatment. Some survey respondents from the 2 groups also had a negative view of their governments' attempts to raise awareness of AD and make its treatment a high priority. Overall, comparison of responses from these 2 groups suggests that caregivers' personal experiences of AD profoundly affect their attitudes and perceptions surrounding the disease.
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 08/2010; 14(7):531-6. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Optimising the roles played by both generalists and specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) could have a major impact on the quality and cost of patient care. Therefore, one aim of the IMPACT survey was to characterise the similarities and differences between these 2 categories of physicians, in 5 different European countries, across a number of domains relevant to the medical care of people at risk for AD and those with the disease. Physician respondents comprised 250 generalists and 250 specialists from 5 European countries--France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. A substantial majority of generalists were either general practitioners or family physicians; the majority of specialists were neurologists. In April and May 2009, physician respondents completed a 30-minute, Web-based questionnaire during which they were presented with a number of multiple-choice-type questions concerning their knowledge of AD, approach to diagnosis and treatment of AD and experience of providing care for people with dementia. Generalists reported that 45% of their AD patients had mild symptoms at the initial visit compared with 60% for specialists (P < 0.001). Specialists claimed that they diagnose patients with AD themselves in 65% of cases versus 33% for generalists (P < 0.001). The main prescription treatment options employed were AD-specific medication (90%) and medication for mood or behaviour (78%). A similar percentage of generalists and specialists (77% and 75%) initiate drug treatment within 1 month of diagnosis. Overall, there were more similarities than differences between specialists and generalists regarding a broad spectrum of issues relating to AD; differences between countries appear to be greater than differences between physician groups.
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 08/2010; 14(7):545-52. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: People involved with development of health care policy must be appreciative of the social and economic challenges that will likely develop as a result of the rise in Alzheimer's disease (AD) as the 21st century progresses. Their attitudes, perceptions and understanding regarding AD were captured in the IMPACT survey, a 30-minute Web-based questionnaire. Fifty health policy managers and decision-makers (payors) were recruited, 10 each from 5 European countries--France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Most payors felt that AD was underdiagnosed and undertreated in their country (80% and 68%, respectively). Half of all payors felt that their government did not invest enough in treating AD, and 30% felt their government hindered access to drug therapy. Payors believed that treatment should be initiated as early as possible after a diagnosis of AD (82%), and that early treatment can delay progression of the disease (82%). Even more than caregivers, payors agreed that AD can have devastating effects on the family of the sufferer (90% vs 75%; P<0.05). Payors more often cited cancer, stroke and heart disease than AD as affecting their budgets, but cited AD more often than depression, diabetes, HIV/AIDs and arthritis. Cost savings were seen as the most important factor regarding policy decisions. These attitudes of the surveyed payors towards AD and the patients and caregivers affected by it suggest that they may advocate for national and international policies that will facilitate earlier diagnosis and improved access to treatment.
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 08/2010; 14(7):553-7. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Progressive development of pharmacotherapy for Alzheimer's disease (AD) as well as non-pharmacological treatments is critically dependent on the timely recruitment of appropriate subjects for clinical trials. Accordingly, the IMPACT survey sought to determine the level of awareness of clinical trials and the willingness to foster patient involvement/participation in research studies. IMPACT survey participants were recruited via the Internet in equal numbers from 5 European countries-France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. During April and May 2009, 250 caregivers and 500 physicians who agreed to participate in this market-based survey completed a 30-minute Web-based questionnaire that included items concerning awareness of clinical research and willingness to facilitate participation of AD patients in such research. Awareness of local clinical trials amongst both caregivers (24% overall; range by country, 14% to 34%) and physicians (19% overall; range by country, 13% to 30%) was found to be low in all countries surveyed. In contrast, the willingness of physicians to refer patients to, and caregivers to support their participation in, clinical trials was extremely high (98% and 81%, respectively). These results strongly indicate that physicians and caregivers are ready and waiting to become more involved in clinical research. Initiatives to increase awareness of clinical trials amongst caregivers and physicians and to conduct clinical trials within the geographical area of as many potential participants as possible should result in much more effective patient recruitment to AD clinical trials.
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 08/2010; 14(7):563-8. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Important Perspectives on Alzheimer's Care and Treatment (IMPACT) survey is an assessment in Europe of the attitudes of caregivers, physicians, the general public and payors towards Alzheimer's disease and dementia. This was an Internet-based questionnaire study, which sought to determine the opinion and perception of responders on issues relating to ageing and dementia. There were additional questions for caregivers on the impact of caregiving on their life. Responses were analysed from 949 members of the general public, 500 physicians (generalists and specialists), 250 caregivers and 50 payors from 5 countries--France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The survey highlighted the difficulty of diagnosing dementia, especially in the initial stages of the disease. The average time from first noticing symptoms to diagnosis varied from 36 to 63 weeks. Caregivers and the general public felt they had insufficient information about the benefits of treatment and care, although more than half the general public, caregiver and physician responders agreed that early treatment could delay the progression of the disease. The majority of respondents recognised the devastating effects of AD on caregivers and families, and a majority of caregivers, the general public and physicians agreed that their governments fail to view AD as a health care priority. This study occurs roughly 5 years after a similar survey, and provides a timely update. Despite some important differences between the methodologies used in these surveys, diagnosis of dementia is still a key issue, especially amongst generalists, as is the provision of information and support to caregivers. Despite the prevalence of AD in the ageing population of Europe, the perception within each of the 5 countries surveyed is that AD is not viewed as a health care priority.
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 08/2010; 14(7):525-30. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Given the important role that physicians play in clinical care, disease advocacy, national health policy making and clinical research, the IMPACT survey sought to assess the attitudes and perceptions of physicians in 3 general categories: diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD); caregivers and families of patients with AD; and the role of government in dealing with this disease and its consequences. Survey respondents comprised a total of 250 generalists and 250 specialists (neurologists, geriatricians, neuro-psychiatrists, psychiatrists and psychogeriatricians) from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Physicians were aged 25 to 69 years, in practice for between 5 and 30 years and currently spending more than 50% of their time in direct patient care. Results showed that a sizable majority of physicians throughout Europe, specialists and generalists alike, agree that: 1) AD is underdiagnosed and undertreated; 2) patients and families are not prepared to recognise the early symptoms of the disease; 3) early treatment can help to slow the progression of the disease; and 4) more effective treatments are needed. Attitudes were statistically significantly different between some groups of physicians regarding disclosure of the diagnosis of AD, the benefits of lifestyle modification, and the value of AD-specific medication in patients whose symptoms are worsening. Differences in attitudes and perceptions of AD between specialists and generalists were limited; differences between countries were more common and of greater magnitude, particularly with respect to barriers to the use of prescription medications.
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 08/2010; 14(7):537-44. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The IMPACT survey queried physicians, caregivers, payors and members of the general public from 5 European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) regarding their opinions towards screening for Alzheimer's disease (AD) as part of a 30-minute Web-based questionnaire conducted between April and May 2009. A larger proportion of caregivers (84%) and members of the general public (80%) than of physicians (56%) or payors (40%) viewed routine screening for AD as extremely or very important (P < 0.001 for caregivers or general public vs physicians or payors). When asked if everyone should be routinely screened for AD at age 65, a smaller proportion of physicians (42%) and payors (44%) than members of the general public (81%) or caregivers (80%) agreed (P < 0.001 for caregivers or general public vs physicians or payors). These opinions were generally consistent across the 5 countries for each respondent group. A notable exception was physician respondents from Italy, where most generalists and specialists actually favoured screening. Overall, generalists had a more positive attitude towards screening than specialists. The most frequently cited reason given by those who did not favour routine screening at age 65 was screening inaccuracy. This article discusses these results in relation to what screening is, when to screen and the barriers to screening. Despite the majority of IMPACT respondents being in favour of screening for AD, the evidence to support the introduction of population screening for cognitive impairment is not available; however, the importance of optimal identification of AD and other dementias in primary care should be a priority for community health professionals and payors. In order to do this effectively, further work is required to identify good assessment guidelines for use during opportunistic screening for cognitive impairment in primary care.
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 08/2010; 14(7):558-62. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding and appreciating the awareness of, and attitudes towards, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the general public is of paramount importance to those charged with the development of health care policy. Furthermore, it is essential that this policy be formulated with consideration given to both the attitudes of the general population and to those within society more directly affected by AD; namely, the caregivers of patients with the disease. In the IMPACT survey, approximately 1000 members of the general public and 250 caregivers in 5 European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) completed a 30-minute, Web-based questionnaire. In this article, we compare and contrast the attitudes and opinions of these populations in an attempt to define specific themes. Indeed, caregivers were more concerned about consequences of growing old and were more fearful of AD than general public respondents, although a high proportion in both groups acknowledged the significant impact of the disease. Similarly, although most respondents in the 2 groups recognised that early signs and symptoms of AD are difficult to detect, caregivers were more skeptical of the abilities of both primary physicians and specialists to detect these early signs and symptoms. In terms of treatment, caregivers were less convinced of the effectiveness of treatment beyond the early stages of AD and more likely to agree that current treatments are associated with side effects. Respondents in both groups had a negative view of their government’s investment in AD, but caregivers, particularly those in France, Spain and the United Kingdom, were more likely to feel that their government acts as a barrier to treatment. Some survey respondents from the 2 groups also had a negative view of their governments’ attempts to raise awareness of AD and make its treatment a high priority. Overall, comparison of responses from these 2 groups suggests that caregivers’ personal experiences of AD profoundly affect their attitudes and perceptions surrounding the disease. Key wordsAlzheimer’s disease-caregivers-general public-survey-attitudes-ageing
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 14(7):531-536. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Given the important role that physicians play in clinical care, disease advocacy, national health policy making and clinical research, the IMPACT survey sought to assess the attitudes and perceptions of physicians in 3 general categories: diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD); caregivers and families of patients with AD; and the role of government in dealing with this disease and its consequences. Survey respondents comprised a total of 250 generalists and 250 specialists (neurologists, geriatricians, neuro-psychiatrists, psychiatrists and psychogeriatricians) from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Physicians were aged 25 to 69 years, in practice for between 5 and 30 years and currently spending more than 50% of their time in direct patient care. Results showed that a sizable majority of physicians throughout Europe, specialists and generalists alike, agree that: 1) AD is underdiagnosed and undertreated; 2) patients and families are not prepared to recognise the early symptoms of the disease; 3) early treatment can help to slow the progression of the disease; and 4) more effective treatments are needed. Attitudes were statistically significantly different between some groups of physicians regarding disclosure of the diagnosis of AD, the benefits of lifestyle modification, and the value of AD-specific medication in patients whose symptoms are worsening. Differences in attitudes and perceptions of AD between specialists and generalists were limited; differences between countries were more common and of greater magnitude, particularly with respect to barriers to the use of prescription medications. Key wordsAlzheimer’s disease-physicians-treatment-diagnosis-survey-dementia-attitudes
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 14(7):537-544. · 2.39 Impact Factor
  • Sean Knox, Craig W Ritchie
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is expected to significantly increase over the next few decades. Recognising symptoms in the routine clinical setting can be challenging, particularly in the early stages. Memory loss that causes disruption to everyday life may be the first presenting complaint; however, more subtle changes may occur much earlier. These may include difficulty in performing complex activities of daily living, decline in objective neuropsychological testing and apathy, which may be present for a decade before a diagnosis is made. In the non-specialist setting, the Mini Mental State Examination and the clock-drawing test still predominate and there is limited scope for applying tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning or plasma markers. At present we remain poor at diagnosing Alzheimer's dementia, particularly in the early stages; therefore, improved awareness of early symptoms as well as a belief in the value of early diagnosis may lead to more effective management of patients.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The IMPACT survey queried physicians, caregivers, payors and members of the general public from 5 European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) regarding their opinions towards screening for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as part of a 30-minute Web-based questionnaire conducted between April and May 2009. A larger proportion of caregivers (84%) and members of the general public (80%) than of physicians (56%) or payors (40%) viewed routine screening for AD as extremely or very important (P<0.001 for caregivers or general public vs physicians or payors). When asked if everyone should be routinely screened for AD at age 65, a smaller proportion of physicians (42%) and payors (44%) than members of the general public (81%) or caregivers (80%) agreed (P<0.001 for caregivers or general public vs physicians or payors). These opinions were generally consistent across the 5 countries for each respondent group. A notable exception was physician respondents from Italy, where most generalists and specialists actually favoured screening. Overall, generalists had a more positive attitude towards screening than specialists. The most frequently cited reason given by those who did not favour routine screening at age 65 was screening inaccuracy. This article discusses these results in relation to what screening is, when to screen and the barriers to screening. Despite the majority of IMPACT respondents being in favour of screening for AD, the evidence to support the introduction of population screening for cognitive impairment is not available; however, the importance of optimal identification of AD and other dementias in primary care should be a priority for community health professionals and payors. In order to do this effectively, further work is required to identify good assessment guidelines for use during opportunistic screening for cognitive impairment in primary care. Key wordsAlzheimer’s disease-screening-early diagnosis-physicians-caregivers-payors-general public
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 14(7):558-562. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: People involved with development of health care policy must be appreciative of the social and economic challenges that will likely develop as a result of the rise in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as the 21st century progresses. Their attitudes, perceptions and understanding regarding AD were captured in the IMPACT survey, a 30-minute Web-based questionnaire. Fifty health policy managers and decision-makers (payors) were recruited, 10 each from 5 European countries—France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Most payors felt that AD was underdiagnosed and undertreated in their country (80% and 68%, respectively). Half of all payors felt that their government did not invest enough in treating AD, and 30% felt their government hindered access to drug therapy. Payors believed that treatment should be initiated as early as possible after a diagnosis of AD (82%), and that early treatment can delay progression of the disease (82%). Even more than caregivers, payors agreed that AD can have devastating effects on the family of the sufferer (90% vs 75%; P<0.05). Payors more often cited cancer, stroke and heart disease than AD as affecting their budgets, but cited AD more often than depression, diabetes, HIV/AIDs and arthritis. Cost savings were seen as the most important factor regarding policy decisions. These attitudes of the surveyed payors towards AD and the patients and caregivers affected by it suggest that they may advocate for national and international policies that will facilitate earlier diagnosis and improved access to treatment. Key wordsAlzheimer’s disease-survey-payors-attitudes-cost-early diagnosis-role of government
    The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 14(7):553-557. · 2.39 Impact Factor