LAWLOR, B.A.

Teleconferencing as a Source of Social Support for Older Spousal Caregivers: Initial Explorations and Recommendations for Future Research

MCHUGH, J., WHERTON, J. P., PRENDERGAST, D. K, LAWLOR, B.A.
American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias
2012

McHugh et al (2012b) report on caregiver assessments of a pilot teleconferencing support group. This was a six-week social support group and participant opinions were gathered using semi-structured interviews. Two broad themes emerged; group processes and barriers.

Caregivers shared a common experience of caring and appreciated the support from others having a similar experience to their own.  Many of the barriers were technical in nature and the lack of face-to-face contact somewhat inhibited participants’ level of comfort with one another. The authors conclude that teleconferencing has the potential to offer social support for caregivers but requires leadership, researcher support, familiarity and comfort among participants, and the opportunity to be a longer term commitment.

Determinants of the desire to institutionalize in Alzheimer's caregivers

GALLAGHER, D., NI MHAOLAIN, A., CROSBY, L., RYAN, D., LACEY, L., COEN, R.F., WALSH, C., COAKLEY, D., WALSH, J.B., CUNNINGHAM, C., LAWLOR, B.A.
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
2011

In a second paper from the same study Gallagher et al. (2011b) explored determinants of the desire to institutionalise (DI) among those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

 They asked whether potentially modifiable caregivers attributes were linked to DI and found that the most significant of these were caregiver burden and depression.  They also found an association between low caregiver self-efficacy and DI, and that caregivers with an emotion focused coping style were less likely to report DI.  The authors conclude that a multifactoral approach should be taken to reduce symptoms of burden and depression among caregivers. 

Dependence and caregiver burden in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment (2011a)

Self-efficacy for managing dementia may protect against burden and depression in Alzheimer's caregivers(2011c)

Dependence and caregiver burden in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment

GALLAGHER, D., NI MHAOLAIN, A., CROSBY, L., RYAN, D., LACEY, L., COEN, R.F., WALSH, C., COAKLEY, D., WALSH, J.B., CUNNINGHAM, C., LAWLOR, B.A.
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
2011

One hundred participants with mostly mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers took part in this study by Gallagher et al (2011a), the objectives of which were to determine the impact of patient dependence on caregiver burden and to determine its value as a predictor of care

giver burden. The authors report functional decline and patient dependence as most predictive of caregiver burden in the earlier stages of dementia while neuropsychiatric or behavioural symptoms were most predictive as dementia progressed.  The authors also comment on the usefulness and easy administration of the dependence scale.

Determinants of the desire to institutionalize in Alzheimer's caregivers(2011b)

Self-efficacy for managing dementia may protect against burden and depression in Alzheimer's caregivers(2011c)

Everyday episodic memory in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: a preliminary investigation

IRISH, M., LAWLOR, B.A., COEN, R.F., O’MARA, S.M.
BMC Neuroscience
2011

In their study, Irish et al.

(2011) aimed to characterise the nature of the memory impairment in MCI (using experimental tasks probing multiple domains of episodic memory function, including associative, spatial and everyday memory tasks that are analogues of real-world scenarios and are commonly encountered by individuals in their daily lives) and to obtain preliminary data regarding which of these tasks, if any, could potentially serve as an aid to identifying individuals with MCI in the prodromal stages of AD. Longitudinal follow-up data suggested that delayed associative memory performance at baseline may have some predictive utility for subsequent conversion to probable AD. This suggests that a simple Face-Name pairs test may have the potential to be a useful neuropsychological task for identifying individuals in the prodromal stage of AD. 

Anxiety and behavioural disturbances as markers of prodromal Alzheimer’s disease in patients with mild cognitive impairment

GALLAGHER, D., COEN, R., KILROY, D., BELINSKI, K., BRUCE, I., COAKLEY, D., WALSH, J.B., CUNNINGHAM, C., LAWLOR, B.A.
International journal of geriatric psychiatry
2011

In another article concerned with predicting conversion of MCI to Alzheimer’s disease, Gallagher et al. (2011) followed 169 patients with MCI over 27 months, 69 (43%) of whom converted to Alzheimer’s disease.

Neuropsychiatric symptoms were assessed with the Behavioural Pathology in Alzheimer’s disease (BEHAVE-AD) rating scale. Survival analysis revealed that patients with MCI who had symptoms of anticipated anxiety and purposeless activity were approximately twice as likely to have earlier conversion to Alzheimer’s disease than patients with MCI who did not have these symptoms. This finding was independent of age, gender and education. However, since this finding was not independent of cognitive status at baseline, it may be, as the authors conclude, that the neuropsychiatric symptoms of anticipated anxiety and purposeless activity are markers of severity of disease rather than independent predictors of disease progression.    

Correlates of frailty In Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment

NI MHAOLAIN, A., GALLAGHER, D., CROSBY, L., RYAN, D., LACEY, L., COEN, R., BRUCE, I., WALSH, J.B., CUNNINGHAM, C., LAWLOR, B.A.
Age and Ageing, 40(5)
2011

Ni Mhaolain et al. (2011) examine the relationship between frailty and a range of domains including age, comorbidity, course of illness, cognitive impairment, functional limitations and abnormalities of behaviour in a group of patients with AD and MCI.

The study found that 51% of the patients were robust or not-frail, with 49% at an intermediate or complete stage of frailty.  It suggests that escalating frailty is positively associated with increasing number of medical comorbidities and advancing age rather than being a marker of cognitive decline and severity of illness. The study suggests that optimising the management of co-morbid illness in people with dementia may play a role in minimizing the health impact of frailty in this group. 

Education, occupation and retirement age effects on the age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease

LUPTON, M.K., STAHL., D., ARCHER, N., FOY, C., POPPE, M., LOVESTONE, S., HOLLINGSWORTH, P., WILLIAMS, J., OWEN, M.J., DOWZELL, K., ABRAHAM., R., SIMS, R., BRAYNE, C., RUBINSZTEIN, D., GILL., M., LAWLOR, B.A., LYNCH, A., POWELL., J.F
International journal of geriatric psychiatry
2010

This study by Lupton et al. (2010) is based on data from a sample of 1,320 people with probably Alzheimer’s disease from the UK and the ROI, who were primarily recruited to investigate candidate genes that may increase susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease.

Data was analysed (using multiple regression analysis) to determine the effects of early life education, midlife employment and later life age of retirement on the age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This study found no effect of education or employment on the age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but found a significant effect of a later retirement age in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.   

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