New test could detect early-stage dementia
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have developed a new model for reading cognitive test scores that could predict dementia in older adults. And that could improve early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Currently, cognitive tests are used to diagnose dementia, but it can be challenging for doctors to parse out who has dementia, because normal, healthy people will have low scores in some areas.
For the study, published in the journal Neuropsychology, researchers analyzed the records of 528 people who were referred to the Psychology Clinic for cognitive testing for dementia between 1996 and 2004. All patients were 60 or older. Researchers also analyzed 135 older adults who were part of a study on normal aging.
Both groups completed cognitive tests involving memory, language, attention, processing speed and drawing abilities. From the tests, researchers found that the scores of healthy adults showed a symmetrical bell curve, which suggested that each person was naturally skilled in some areas over others.
The dementia group was split up based on the severity of their condition. When comparing their test scores, researchers found that dementia caused the healthy bell curve shape to become asymmetrical, meaning lopsidedness in their scores correlated to dementia.
Researchers concluded that those with symmetrical scores were unlikely to develop dementia, and those with the lopsided scores were already experiencing dementia at varying levels. Researchers hope the new statistical model could help diagnose dementia earlier and begin treatment immediately.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, New cognitive model ‘could detect early-stage dementia’
Published On: Nov 14th 2013
Surgeons "emotionally affected" by OR complications
Researchers from Imperial College London in the U.K. say a recent survey of surgeons revealed that those who had experienced a surgical error within the past three months were more likely to have a lower quality of life and symptoms of fatigue and depression. The research was published in the British Journal of Surgery.
The researchers, led by Dr. Anna Pinto, looked to how surgeons are affected by surgical complications on a personal and professional level, as well as which factors play a part in their reactions, how they cope with these difficulties and their view on the support provided for them.
They interviewed 27 surgeons from two large teaching National Health Service (NHS) Trusts in London. To participate in the study, all surgeons had to be involved in general and vascular surgery–procedures with a higher risk of serious complications–and they had to be above “registrar level” with at least three years experience. All surgeons were required to take part in face-to-face interviews with an investigator who had a background in psychology and patient safety research.
The results showed that 26 out of 27 surgeons said that a surgical complication affected them emotionally, of which 15 said they felt guilt, and between three and eight surgeons said they had a crisis of confidence, felt worry for the patient and experienced anxiety or sadness. Furthermore, 21 of the surgeons said the complications had a behavioral impact, while 18 said their surgical practice had been affected. The researchers say that every surgeon referred to at least one situation when a surgical complication affected them personally and professionally.
From these findings, the researchers suggest that surgeons would really benefit from learning strategies aimed at coping with serious stress. They recommend that these initiatives should be in the form of surgical training, mentoring, mortality and morbidity meetings, focus on teamwork and psychological interventions.
NEXT: The happiness effect
Sourced from: Medical News Today, Surgeons ‘emotionally affected’ by surgical complications
Published On: Nov 14th 2013