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Behavioral pathology in Alzheimer's disease (BEHAVE-AD) rating scale

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Before the development of the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease (BEHAVE-AD) rating scale in 1987 by Reisberg and colleagues and its predecessor scale, the Symptoms of Psychosis in Alzheimer's Disease (SPAD) rating scale, in 1985 by Reisberg and Ferris, other scales were available for measuring behavioral disturbances and psychiatric disorders in patients with Alzheimer's disease. However, these scales generally mixed together cognitive disturbances with behavioral symptoms and sometimes included functional impairments as well. These predecessor scales also were not specifically designed to assess the types of behavioral problems seen in Alzheimer's disease. If a scale did address behavioral disturbances of dementia, it tended to be seriously underspecified in terms of the nature of behavioral disturbances.
... A study designed by Porteinsson et al. [6] included 186 participants who were randomized to receive cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT) plus citalopram (initial dose 10 mg daily and titrated up to 30 mg daily over three weeks based on individual response and tolerability), with the other group receiving CBT plus placebo; both groups received these interventions regularly for the nine-week trial. The measures of Porteinsson's study were based on: (1) Neuro-behavioral Rating Scale, (2) Agitation subscale (NBRS-A), (3) Modified Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Study-Clinical Global Impression of Change (Madcs-CGIC), (4) Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI), (5) Activities of daily living (ADLs), (6) Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), and (7) Comparing the adverse effects of citalopram at the level of 10 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg [12]. The outcome of this study showed significant improvement with citalopram compared to placebo. ...
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Background: Psychomotor agitation as part of the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) is one of the common issues found in aged care facilities. The current inadequate management strategies lead to poor functional and medical outcomes. Psychotropic interventions are the current preferred treatment method, but should these medications be the prescribers' first preference? This review aims to compare pharmacological interventions for psychomotor agitation, judging them according to their effectuality and justifiability profiles. This is to be achieved by retrieving information from Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews. Objectives: This review evaluates evidence from RCTs, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses of BPSD patients who have taken agitation treatments. Assessing the efficacy of citalopram, other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antipsychotic treatments were compared to each other for the purpose of improving agitation outcomes and lowering patient side effects. Methods: This review includes RCT that compared citalopram with one or more atypical antipsychotics or with a placebo, along with systematic reviews comparing citalopram (SSRI) with antipsychotics such as quetiapine, olanzapine, and risperidone. Studies were extracted by searching and accessing databases, such as PubMed, OVID, and Cochrane with restrictions of date from 2000 to 2021 and published in the English language. Conclusion: There are still a limited number of studies including SSRIs for the treatment of agitation in BPSD. SSRIs such as citalopram were associated with a reduction in the symptoms of agitation, and lower risk of adverse effects when compared to antipsychotics. Future studies are required to assess the long-term safety and efficacy of SSRI treatments for agitation in BPSD.
... Another assessment scale used in one of the studies was the BEHAVE-AD. This scale assesses behavioral and psychological symptoms in AD patients (Reisberg et al., 1997). ...
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Non‐invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) is a non‐pharmacological intervention that has shown some promise in improving cognition in people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but clinical trials involving NIBS have shown inconsistent results. This meta‐analysis investigated the efficacy of NIBS, particularly repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) compared to sham stimulation on global cognition in people with AD and its prodromal stage, mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Multi‐session randomized sham‐controlled clinical trials were identified though Medline, PsycInfo, and Embase until November 2020. Standardized mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) between the two groups were calculated using random‐effects meta‐analyses. Outcome measures for global cognition included scores on the Mini‐Mental State Examination (MMSE), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale–Cognitive Subscale (ADAS‐cog). Heterogeneity, from different NIBS techniques, disease populations, or tests used to assess global cognition, was measured using chi‐square and I2, and investigated using subgroup analyses. A total of 17 studies (Nactive=233, Nsham=218) were included. NIBS (rTMS [11 studies] + tDCS [6 studies]) significantly improved global cognition in patients with AD and MCI (SMD=1.11; 95% CI=0.42,1.80; p=0.002). Subgroup analyses showed that rTMS (SMD=1.08; CI=0.32,1.84; p=0.005) but not tDCS improved global cognition. Patients with AD [13 studies] (SMD=1.02; 95% CI=0.28,1.76; p=0.007) but not MCI [4 studies] showed significant improvement on global cognition following NIBS as compared to the sham group. Additionally, significant improvement on both the MMSE (SMD=0.67; 95% CI=0.13,1.22, p=0.016) and ADAS‐cog (SMD=1.34; 95% CI=0.30, 2.39; p=0.012) scores were seen in patients with AD following rTMS, when analyzed separately. There was substantial heterogeneity across all analyses (all I2 > 50%) that was not resolved by subgroup analyses. Egger’s test showed no evidence of a publication bias. NIBS, particularly rTMS, improved global cognition in those with AD. Further studies with bigger sample sizes in MCI and those using tDCS will help to fully evaluate the specific NIBS techniques and population most likely to benefit on global cognitive measures.
... Another assessment scale used in one of the studies was the BEHAVE-AD. This scale assesses behavioral and psychological symptoms in AD patients (Reisberg et al., 1997). ...
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Background Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques have shown some promise in improving cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and its prodromal stage, mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, data from clinical trials involving NIBS have shown inconsistent results. This meta-analysis investigated the efficacy of NIBS, specifically repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) compared to sham stimulation on global cognition and NPS in people with AD and MCI. Method Multi-session randomized sham-controlled clinical trials were identified through MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Embase until June 2021. Standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) between the active and sham treatments were calculated using random-effects meta-analyses. Included studies reported outcome measures for global cognition and/or NPS. Heterogeneity, from different NIBS techniques, disease populations, or tests used to assess global cognition or NPS, was measured using chi-square and I², and investigated using subgroup analyses. Possible effects of covariates were also investigated using meta-regressions. Result The pooled meta-analyses included 19 studies measuring global cognition (Nactive=288, Nsham=264), and 9 studies investigating NPS (Nactive=165, Nsham=140). NIBS significantly improved global cognition (SMD=1.14; 95% CI=0.49,1.78; p=0.001; I²= 90.2%) and NPS (SMD=0.82; 95% CI=0.13, 1.50; p=0.019; I²= 86.1%) relative to sham stimulation in patients with AD and MCI. Subgroup analyses found these effects were restricted to rTMS but not tDCS, and to patients with AD but not MCI. Meta-regression showed that age was significantly associated with global cognition response (Nstudies=16, p=0.020, I²= 89.51%, R²= 28.96%), with larger effects sizes in younger populations. All significant meta-analyses had large effect sizes (SMD ≥0.8), suggesting clinical utility of NIBS in the short term. There remained substantial heterogeneity across all subgroup analyses and meta-regressions (all I² > 50%). Egger’s tests showed no evidence of publication biases. Conclusion rTMS improved global cognition and NPS in those with AD. Further studies in MCI and using tDCS will help to fully evaluate the specific NIBS techniques and populations most likely to benefit on global cognition and NPS measures. Additional research should investigate the long term clinical utility of NIBS in these populations.
Article
Introduction: Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are symptoms of non-cognitive nature, which frequently develop during the course and different stages of dementia. The diagnosis of BPSD is complex due to symptom variety, and relies on detailed clinical evaluation and medical history. Accurate assessment of BPSD is crucial in order to tailor therapeutic intervention (non-pharmacological and pharmacological) for each individual and monitor patient response to therapy. Areas covered: This review encompasses the epidemiology, classification, assessment and etiology of BPSD, as well as their impact on caregiver distress, and gives an overview of current and emerging non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapeutic options, as well as potential BPSD biomarkers, in order to provide a framework for improving BPSD diagnosis and developing novel, targeted and specific therapeutic strategies for BPSD. Expert opinion: Due to the large heterogeneity of BPSD and of the fact that drugs available only alleviate symptoms, finding an adequate treatment is very challenging and often involves a polytherapeutic approach. Non-pharmacologic interventions have shown promising results in improving BPSD, however further research is needed to confirm their beneficial effects. Thus, the modification of pre-existancing as well as the development of novel pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic solutions should be considered for BPSD therapy.
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Background Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are common in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia, but substantial heterogeneity exists in the manifestation of NPS. Sex differences may explain this clinical variability. We aimed to investigate the sex differences in the prevalence and severity of NPS in AD dementia. Methods Literature searches were conducted in Embase, MEDLINE/PubMed, Web of Science Core Collection, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar from inception to February 2021. Study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment were conducted in duplicate. Effect sizes were calculated as odds ratios (OR) for NPS prevalence and Hedges’ g for NPS severity. Data were pooled using random-effects models. Sources of heterogeneity were examined using meta-regression analyses. Results Sixty-two studies were eligible representing 21,554 patients (61.2% females). The majority of the included studies had an overall rating of fair quality (71.0%), with ten studies of good quality (16.1%) and eight studies of poor quality (12.9%). There was no sex difference in the presence of any NPS ( k = 4, OR = 1.35 [95% confidence interval 0.78, 2.35]) and overall NPS severity ( k = 13, g = 0.04 [− 0.04, 0.12]). Regarding specific symptoms, female sex was associated with more prevalent depressive symptoms ( k = 20, OR = 1.60 [1.28, 1.98]), psychotic symptoms (general psychosis k = 4, OR = 1.62 [1.12, 2.33]; delusions k = 12, OR = 1.56 [1.28, 1.89]), and aberrant motor behavior ( k = 6, OR = 1.47 [1.09, 1.98]). In addition, female sex was related to more severe depressive symptoms ( k = 16, g = 0.24 [0.14, 0.34]), delusions ( k = 10, g = 0.19 [0.04, 0.34]), and aberrant motor behavior ( k = 9, g = 0.17 [0.08, 0.26]), while apathy was more severe among males compared to females ( k = 11, g = − 0.10 [− 0.18, − 0.01]). There was no association between sex and the prevalence and severity of agitation, anxiety, disinhibition, eating behavior, euphoria, hallucinations, irritability, and sleep disturbances. Meta-regression analyses revealed no consistent association between the effect sizes across studies and method of NPS assessment and demographic and clinical characteristics. Discussion Female sex was associated with a higher prevalence and greater severity of several specific NPS, while male sex was associated with more severe apathy. While more research is needed into factors underlying these sex differences, our findings may guide tailored treatment approaches of NPS in AD dementia.
Article
Objectives: To explore the nature and severity of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and outcomes for patients admitted to a specialist dementia care unit (SDCU) at a tertiary Australian hospital. Methods: This single-centre retrospective study categorised patients into a recognised seven-tiered model of severity of BPSD using a novel tool developed for this study. Descriptive characteristics, pharmacological management, and range and severity of BPSD were examined. Results: There were 125 patients admitted over a two-year period reviewed, with 62% being males and a mean age of 82.4 years. Those with high severity BPSD (n = 61, 49%) had a longer length of stay (p = 0.049), were on a greater number of psychotropic medications on admission (p < 0.001) and were more likely to be trialled on a new psychotropic medication (p = 0.001). At least five behaviours on admission were demonstrated in 84% of patients. Behaviours were ameliorated with reduction in tier severity at discharge (p < 0.005). The mean number of psychotropic medications on admission was not significantly different to discharge (p = 0.14). Sixty-seven per cent of patients living independently at admission were discharged to residential care, and 44% in residential care were discharged to a new facility. Conclusions: Multi-disciplinary management led to optimisation of behaviours and overall reduction in BPSD severity. This was achieved without a significant increase in the use of psychotropic medications, highlighting the importance of an individualised approach by a team skilled in the behavioural management of BPSD. The study confirms the high risk of transition to residential care for patients with BPSD.
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Introducción: Los síntomas psicológicos y conductuales de la demencia (SPCD), así como las alteraciones del estado de ánimo, representan un conjunto de síntomas relevantes en la enfermedad de Alzheimer (EA). Objetivo: Determinar la influencia del programa de musicoterapia en una muestra de enfermos de Alzheimer sobre el área conductual y el estado de ánimo. Método: Consistió en un estudio longitudinal basado en la implantación durante 3 meses de un programa de mu-sicoterapia a un total de 17 participantes de los cuales 8 eran hombres y 9 mujeres, con edades comprendidas entre los 67 y los 90 años. Se administraron la escala de depresión geriátrica (GDS), el BEHAVE y el NPI. El programa estuvo formado por 5 sesiones. Las dos primeras sesiones, contaron con 5 actividades relativas al caldeamiento, motivación para la sesión, activación corporal consciente, desarrollo perceptivo, relajación y valoración. La tercera, cuarta y quinta sesión, además incluyeron una actividad complementaria, como fue motivación para la sesión en la tercera sesión y desarrollo perceptivo en la cuarta y quinta. Las sesiones se repitieron tres veces, haciendo un total de 15 sesiones. Se trabajó la memoria, lenguaje, praxias, reconocimiento, los SPCD y estado de ánimo. Resultados: Tras la aplicación del programa, se obtuvieron diferencias significativas en la escala de depresión geriátrica (p=0'02). También hubo mejora en las medias del BEHAVE y NPI, aunque no llegaron a ser significativas. Conclusión: Se determinó que la aplicación del programa influyó de forma positiva en el estado de ánimo y que podría resultar beneficioso para mantener los síntomas psicológicos y conductuales de la EA. Introduction: The psychological and behavioral symptoms of dementia (SPCD), as well as mood alterations, represent a set of symptoms relevant to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Objective: To determine the influence of the music therapy program in a sample of Alzheimer's patients on the behavioral area and mood. Methods: It consisted of a longitudinal study based on the implantation during 3 months of a music therapy program to a total of 17 participants of which 8 were men and 9 women, with ages between 67 and 90 years. The geriatric depression scale (GDS), BEHAVE and NPI was administered. The program consisted of 5 sessions. The first two sessions included 5 activities related to heating, session motivation, conscious body activation, perceptual development, relaxation , and assessment. The third, fourth and fifth sessions also included a complementary activity, such as motivation for the session in the third session and perceptual development in the fourth and fifth sessions. The sessions were repeated three times, making a total of 15 sessions. Memory, language, praxis, recognition, SPCDs, and moods were worked on. Results: After the application of the program, significant differences were obtained in the geriatric depression scale (p=0.02). There was also an improvement in the BEHAVE and NPI means, although they did not become significant. Conclusion: It was determined that the application of the program had a positive influence on mood and that it could be beneficial in maintaining the psychological and behavioral symptoms of AD.
Technical Report
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The GSA KAER Toolkit, Fall 2020 Edition, is intended to support primary care teams in implementing a comprehensive approach to initiating conversations about brain health, detecting and diagnosing dementia, and providing individuals with community-based supports. It includes practical approaches, educational resources, and validated clinical tools that teams can integrate into their workflow. Acknowledgments: GSA is grateful to Katie Maslow, MSW, Richard Fortinsky, PhD, and the members of the GSA Workgroup on Cognitive Impairment Detection and Earlier Diagnosis for their contributions to the first edition of the GSA KAER Toolkit. GSA would also like to acknowledge Eli Lilly and Company for their support of the first edition. This updated edition was prepared by GSA staff member Judit Illes, BCL, LLB, in consultation with Karen Tracy. GSA appreciates the work of Joshua Chodosh, MD, Patricia C. Heyn, PhD, Fred Kobylarz, MD, Jody Krainer, LCSW, Ian Kremer, JD, Karen Love, Jackie Pinkowitz, Nicholas Reed, Au.D., and Stephanie Trifoglio, MD, for their review of and edits to this current edition of the toolkit.
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We examined how family caregivers react, and what interventions they use in response to delusions exhibited by relatives with dementia in a community setting. Structured interviews were conducted with 68 family caregivers whose relatives were described as experiencing delusions based on the BEHAVE-AD or the NPI. Quantitatively, we cross-tabulated the type of response to delusion by the type of person providing the response and by the type of delusion manifested. Qualitatively, we analyzed open-ended responses to understand the types of caregivers’ responses to delusions, the contextual circumstances, and the impact of the responses. Caregiver responses to delusions included “Explaining that the delusion was wrong” (34% of responses), “Trying to calm down” (27%), “Agreeing with the delusion” (13%), “Distracting” (12%), and “Ignoring” (10%). Responses including “Anger, yelling or scolding,” were rare. The vast majority of reactions were by family caregivers of the persons with dementia. The relative frequency of the type of reaction tended to be consistent across delusion types. The qualitative analyses added some categories of reactions, but mostly highlighted issues to be considered when examining responses and their efficacy, including the use of multiple responses, and the manner and mood in which responses are conveyed. To cope with delusions, family caregivers develop intuitive intervention techniques. Understanding those interventions and reactions by caregivers and their relative efficacy can inform guidance programs for family caregivers. Improved support for family caregivers has the potential to positively influence the behavior of caregivers and older adults with dementia and improve their respective quality of life.
Article
Background The progression of many degenerative diseases is tracked periodically using scales evaluating functionality in daily activities. Although estimating the timing of critical events (i.e., disease tollgates) during degenerative disease progression is desirable, the necessary data may not be readily available in scale records. Further, analysis of disease progression poses data challenges, such as censoring and misclassification errors, which need to be addressed to provide meaningful research findings and inform patients. Methods We developed a novel binary classification approach to map scale scores into disease tollgates to describe disease progression leveraging standard/modified Kaplan-Meier analyses. The approach is demonstrated by estimating progression pathways in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Tollgate-based ALS Staging System (TASS) specifies the critical events (i.e., tollgates) in ALS progression. We first developed a binary classification predicting whether each TASS tollgate was passed given the itemized ALSFRS-R scores using 514 ALS patients’ data from Mayo Clinic-Rochester. Then, we utilized the binary classification to translate/map the ALSFRS-R data of 3,264 patients from the PRO-ACT database into TASS. We derived the time trajectories of ALS progression through tollgates from the augmented PRO-ACT data using Kaplan-Meier analyses. The effects of misclassification errors, condition-dependent dropouts, and censored data in trajectory estimations were evaluated with Interval Censored Kaplan Meier Analysis and Multistate Model for Panel Data. Results The approach using Mayo Clinic data accurately estimated tollgate-passed states of patients given their itemized ALSFRS-R scores (AUCs>0.90). The tollgate time trajectories derived from the augmented PRO-ACT dataset provide valuable insights; we predicted that the majority of the ALS patients would have modified arm function (67%) and require assistive devices for walking (53%) by the second year after ALS onset. By the third year, most (74%) ALS patients would occasionally use a wheelchair, while 48% of the ALS patients would be wheelchair-dependent by the fourth year. Assistive speech devices and feeding tubes were needed in 49% and 30% of the patients by the third year after ALS onset, respectively. The onset body region alters some tollgate passage time estimations by 1-2 years. Conclusions The estimated tollgate-based time trajectories inform patients and clinicians about prospective assistive device needs and life changes. More research is needed to personalize these estimations according to prognostic factors. Further, the approach can be leveraged in the progression of other diseases.
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