New thoughts on what causes cognitive frailty,
A hot topic brought to you by SpecialtyRx, your partner in long-term care
A study out of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom has discovered that a reduction in cognitive function without substantial memory complaints may not be a sign of Alzheimer’s or other dementias but rather, it may simply be caused by the normal aging process.
The study did a comparison between the brains of older adults considered cognitively frail with those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s and healthy controls.
The cognitively frail adults had similar functional measures as those with MCI but brain activity and structure matched the health controls subjects. Regions such as the hippocampus showed no signs of atrophy or compromise as is common in brains with Alzheimer’s. Together, these results led study investigators to suggest that poor cognition may be associated with the “spectrum of cognitive aging”.
They also believe that lifestyle habits as well as lower lifelong cognitive reserve, hearing impairment and cardiovascular comorbidities may contribute to the etiology of the cognitive frailty. “These, and studies like it, can help our clients improve resident care. Anything we can do, such as sharing information like this, is part of our mission to help our clients provide quality care to their LTC residents,” stated Saba Ansari, Pharm. D – Operations Specialist.