Although the preponderant prevalence in women has been identified, the sex differences in risk factors are unclear.
Disorders of memory and cognitive function are increasing in incidence as several societies deal with the demographic reality of an aging population. At present, it is estimated that 25 million people worldwide are suffering from dementia caused by Alzheimer disease (AD), with a predicted doubling in incidence every 20 years 1).
Dementia continues to enjoy a high public and political profile, the latter exemplified by the recent G8 summit meeting declaration to develop a cure or treatment by 2025. This is only likely to be achieved by a deeper understanding of the clinical and pathophysiological phenomena of dementia disorders 4).
Even though dementia is a cardinal symptom of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), there is few data available concerning cognitive functioning.
The association between exposure to general anesthesia and dementia risk has been inconsistently reported across epidemiological studies. To better understand the association, Jiang et al. conducted a metaanalysis of epidemiological studies. PubMed and Embase were searched through April 2017. Random-effects models were used to pool association estimates. They further evaluated potential dose-response relationship. Based on literature search, seven prospective/cohort studies, 11 case-control studies, and a pooled analysis of six case-control studies were identified. Sixteen of these studies were with high quality. After pooling available risk estimates, overall no significant association between exposure to general anesthesia (yes versus no) and dementia risk was detected (odds ratio (OR) = 1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90-1.19, p for heterogeneity < 0.001). The null association persisted in the majority of subgroup analyses, although a significant positive association was detected in studies collecting anesthesia exposure using records (OR = 1.22, 95% CI 1.01-1.47, p for heterogeneity < 0.001), a method that is less prone to bias compared with interview or questionnaire using proxy reporters. Based on the dose-response analysis of three studies, a significant nonlinear relationship between times of exposure to general anesthesia and increased risk of dementia was suggested (p < 0.0001). Overall, this meta-analysis suggests that overall the evidence from epidemiological studies supporting a link between general anesthesia exposure and an increased dementia risk is not very strong, while an association was suggested in the studies collecting anesthesia exposure using records and those providing anesthesia exposure frequency data. Further well-designed studies are warranted to better characterize the relationship of interest 5).
see Dementia treatment.
Liu et al., aimed to evaluate the sex differences in the prevalence of nonvascular cognitive impairment and the risk factors among the elderly in rural China screened with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
Between 2014 and 2015, a population-based cross-section study was conducted to collect basic information among the elderly aged 60 years and over. Those participants with the previous history of stroke or heart disease were excluded in this study. Nonvascular cognitive impairment was assessed using the MMSE scores.
The prevalence of cognitive impairment was 32.4% overall, 25.6% in men and 38.1% in women. In the multivariate analysis, older age and lower education were risk factors both in men and in women; older, large waist circumference was a protective factor for cognitive function in men; higher blood pressure was the risk factor in women.
These findings suggest that it is crucial to manage and control hypertension and improve educational attainment in order to reduce the prevalence and burden of nonvascular cognitive impairment among low-income residents, both men and women, in rural China 6).
Tabei et al., aimed to determine whether neuropsychological deficits and brain atrophy could predict the efficacy of non-pharmacological interventions. Forty-six participants with mild-to-moderate dementia were monitored for 6 months; 25 underwent an intervention involving physical exercise with music, and 21 performed cognitive stimulation tasks. Participants were categorized into improvement (IMP) and no-IMP subgroups. In the exercise-with-music group, the no-IMP subgroup performed worse than the IMP subgroup on the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test at baseline. In the cognitive-stimulation group, the no-IMP subgroup performed worse than the IMP subgroup on Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices and the cognitive functional independence measure at baseline. In the no-IMP subgroup, voxel-based morphometric analysis at baseline revealed more extensive gray matter loss in the anterior cingulate gyrus and left middle frontal gyrus in the exercise-with-music and cognitive-stimulation groups, respectively. Participants with mild-to-moderate dementia with cognitive decline and extensive cortical atrophy are less likely to show improved cognitive function after non-pharmaceutical therapy 7).