Differentiating between Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a difficult issue for many clinicians. To date, these diseases share most of their clinical, neuropathological, and management features. Therefore, PDD and DLB are considered by some authors to be the two extremities of a single spectrum disease named Lewy body diseases. Nevertheless, specific diagnostic criteria now exist for each disease and specific diagnosis remains of interest in clinical practice. In this article, we summarize features and diagnostic criteria of both PDD and DLB, compare them, and examine their treatment options.
Key words: Parkinson’s disease dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Lewy body disease, movement disorders, dementia, treatment.
Pressure ulcers are common, costly, and adversely affect quality of life. Nutritional status is one risk factor that predisposes individuals to the development of a pressure ulcer. The impact of nutritional supplementation is reflected in the reduced incidence of pressure ulcers; however, the evidence is limited. The precise role of nutritional supplementation in pressure ulcer healing is less clear, yet a trend towards healing has been suggested. Patients should have their nutritional status monitored carefully. If difficulties arise, these should be detected early, and if it is not possible to increase the intake of normal food and fluids, then advice should be sought from the dietitian.
Key words: pressure ulcers, risk, prevention, treatment, nutrition.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by the presence of bradykinesia, rigidity, and rest tremor. Nonmotor symptoms are also very common in PD and may result in significant disability. Many approaches are available to reduce symptoms. In this article we provide an update on the management of PD. We also discuss the limitations of current treatments.
Key words: Parkinson’s disease, treatment, motor response complications, nonmotor, nondopaminergic.
Chorea is a hyperkinetic movement disorder characterized by nonsustained, rapid, and random contractions that may affect all body parts. Chorea is hypothesized to be due to an imbalance between the direct and indirect pathways in the basal ganglia circuitry. Important causes of chorea among older adults include medications, stroke, and toxic-metabolic, infective, immune-mediated, and genetic causes. The history and clinical examination guide appropriate investigations and help determine an accurate diagnosis. In secondary causes, removal of the precipitating cause is the mainstay of treatment. If the chorea is persistent or progressive, drug therapy may be instituted. Genetic counselling is important in hereditary chorea.
Key words: movement disorders, chorea, older adults, diagnosis, treatment.
Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of hospitalization among older adults. Digoxin has been shown to reduce hospitalization due to worsening HF. However, at the commonly prescribed dose of 0.25 mg/day, digoxin does not reduce mortality. New data suggest that at low doses (0.125 mg/day or lower) digoxin not only reduces hospitalization due to HF, but may also reduce mortality. Further, at lower doses, it also reduces the risk of digoxin toxicity and obviates the need for routine serum digoxin level testing. Digoxin in low doses should be prescribed to older adults with symptomatic HF.
Key words: chronic heart failure, older adults, treatment, digoxin, update.
Stroke is a common disease in the older population. Many gender differences are seen in the epidemiology, outcomes, and treatment of geriatric stroke. Although these differences are not fully understood, recognition of gender differences may help with appropriate treatment and improve outcomes.
Key words: stroke, gender, outcomes, prevention, treatment.
Depression is a common sequela of stroke, occurring in approximately 33% of all patients. Post-stroke depression (PSD) is associated with greater cognitive and functional impairments, excess mortality, and increased health care costs, although symptoms are often mild. Diagnosis of PSD can be made using standard clinical criteria, despite the potential overlap with the somatic and vegetative symptoms of stroke. Post-stroke depression responds to standard antidepressant pharmacotherapies, but use of tricyclic antidepressants may result in increased cardiac adverse events. Given the high prevalence and major negative impact of PSD, active screening of all stroke patients for depression and aggressive treatment is recommended.
Key words: stroke, depression, diagnosis, risk factors, treatment.
Chronic primary insomnia is a sleep disorder with no known secondary etiology, and the prevalence increases with advancing age. Insomnia is associated with a range of adverse consequences, both on an individual and societal level. While pharmacotherapy is still the most common form of treatment of late-life insomnia, it is associated with a number of side effects, and recent evidence shows cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) to be more effective in managing chronic primary insomnia. This article will discuss the development, consequences, assessment and treatment of chronic primary insomnia among older adults.
Key words: sleep initiation and maintenance disorders, aged, morbidity, treatment, insomnia.
Skin ulcers are common among older adults, especially those in hospital or in long-term care facilities. Prevention of ulcers is important in all clinical settings. Clarifying the cause(s) and exacerbating factors is the first step in management. Pressure and venous insufficiency are the most common causes among older adults. Poor nutrition, edema, arterial insufficiency, and anemia may impair wound healing. Adequate debridement and cleaning is important to decrease infection risk and to promote healing. The choice of dressings depends on the needs of the individual wound but should emphasize the provision of a moist wound environment. Options for dressings are summarized.
Key words: skin ulcers, treatment, wound healing, older adults, pressure ulcers.
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