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  • Clinical neuropsychology is concerned with brain and behavior, and how illnesses and injury to the brain affect behavior and the major domains of cognition including attention, language, memory, visuospatial abilities and personality.
    Most referrals received from neurologists and neurosurgeons to aid in the diagnosis and to document the course of brain disorders. Neuropsychology may also assist in patient care, assisting physicians and healthcare workers in management and treatment.
    Neuropsychology also helpful in estimating a pt’s level of functioning, the abilitly for self care. Therefore, neuropsychology may be helpful in the setting where elderly or geriatric pts are seen, but also with patients who may be at risk for cognitive changes.
  • Why should you care about the neuropsychological functioning of the patients you see?
    Determining a pt’s ability to live alone safely to complete IADLs is important.
    Consider the impact of a memory impairment, language impairment or attentional impairment for patients with many illnesses.
    difficulty understanding and remembering instructions or recommendations
    difficulty managing multiple medications - correct medicine in the correct dosage at the correct time
    difficulty recalling important information to share with you or to ask you during an office visit, or difficulty verbalizing one’s concerns
    pt safety
    These can impact pt compliance and ultimately have a negative affect on their cognitive abilities, physical health and level of functioning.
    As I’ll discuss in a bit - this can have a circular effect.
  • I think probably the most prototypical “cognitive impairment” is that of dementia.
    The two most common types of dementia are Vascular dementia and dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.
    The two may differ with regard to what aspects of cognitive function are initially impacted.
    Memory impairment, the hallmark symptoms of AD, if often the initial symptom reproted by patients and family members.
    In contrast, attention, psychomotor abilities and executive functions are disproportionately impaired in VaD.
  • AD affects every area of behavior, with memory being the most obvious of the early symptoms.
    Principle distinguishing features of AD are memory deficits, the presence of other intellectual disturbances in the absence of neurologic signs.
    Memory - difficulty learning new information
    temporal orientation and knowledge of current events problematic (poor learning)
    better recall of older memories
    learning for simple motor and skills is preserved
    Visuoperceptual and visuoconstructional abilities are evident on figure copying and drawings (such as clock drawing)
    Language - impaired quality, quantity and meaningfulness of speech
    px with verbal comprehension
    disruption of semantic meaning
    basic organizing principles of language remain intact, syntax and lexical structure OK (nounds placed where nouns go) - empty speech, little meaning and tendency to use words lacking clear referents (thing, this, that)
    naming problems seen later in course of disease
    Executive functions
    remain alert in early stages
    demonstrate difficulty with more complex aspects of attention - shifting, selective, divided attn
    perseverations and intrusions in speech and writing
    emotional and personality changes
    irritability and angry outbursts.
    Signs that herald AD - failing recent memory, depression and irritability, word finding problems.
    Disease begins insideously and decline is gradual.
  • Neurofillrillayr tangles and senile placques in the ctx, hippocampus and amygdaloid areas, as well as specific brain stem nuclei (NBM)
    Gross anatomic alterations - enlarged ventricals and thinning of cortical mantle.
    Neuronal loss in midfrontal and lower inferior parietal areas surrounding the temporal lobes -serves to disconnect Tl structures from rest of cerebral ctx, as well as disconnect prefrontal from parietal structures - which may account for the early compromise in attentional and spatial abilities.
  • Diagnosis of vascular dementia requires memory impairment and at least one other affected domain
    apraxia - inability to perform previously learned movements
    Memory impairment is relatively less severe than in AD, also reduced output (verbally and non-verbally).
    Unlike the gradual and insideous onset of cortical dementia, vascuclar dementia has an acute onset.
    Infarcts cause a step-wise decline in cognitive function.
    VAD is inferred if dementia occurs within 3 months of a stroke
    Vascular dementia was an umbrella term used for conditions in which widespread cognitive impairment takes place as a result of repeated infarctions - usually at many different sites. Now refers more specifically to large-vessel disease - often occlusions of main branches of middle, anterior and posterior cerebral arteries
  • It has been suggested that VaD may not be a specific single disease, but may include a number of disease processes associated with a variety of neuroanaotmical changes resulting from vascular disease.
    These vascular changes may be related to large strokes an/or small vessel disease.
    Local cerebral blood flow is lowest in periventricular regions and deep white matter. Thus the deep white matter is most susceptible to ischemia when there is a systematic drop in blood pressure.
    The diagnostic criteria of VAD requires a memory impairment. Many patients demonstrate difficulties in other domains with relatively intact memory. Emphasis on memory impairment may not be best for subcortical syndromes
    This diagnostic criteria suggests that a number of individuals who are experiencing cognitive changes, but not a primary memory impairment, are undiagnosed.
    Research investigating cognitive changes in individuals AT RISK for developing VaD has reported changes in executive function abilities in seemingly healthy individuals. Specifically, those diagnosed with hypertension or diabetes were more likely to experience impairment on measures of executive functions (thought to assess the frontal lobes).
    These findings suggest that the identification of cognitive changes associated with vascular disease may be made prior to the patient’s or family report and prior to a cerebrovascular event.
    There may be a potential benefit of early identification of cognitive changes associated with vascular disease - as careful monitoring and medical compliance may assist in minimizing deficits as well as controlling the illnesses’ contribution to cognitive decline.
  • 15, 422 people in MA died of heart disease in 2000
    Stroke is #3 killer in MA
  • Typically, patients who complete neuropsychological or cognitive testing are referred because someone has noticed a problem. A family member, or a healthcare worker notices some changes in the patient’s memory, difficulty managing the check-book, personality changes.
    This calls in question - how long has the patient been experiencing problems and might it be possible to minimized the impact of cognitive changes if identified earlier?
    Recent study, surveyed physicians acknowledged the necessity of cognitive screening and identified difficulties of time management and test familiarity as barriers to performing routine cognitive screens.
    When physicians do screen, it is probably when the expect there might be a problem, something has suggested thereis an issue. And When they do screen or test they typically use…..
  • Much information can be obtained through observation and discussion with the patient.
    pt’s appearance - manner of dress, hygiene, etc
    pts language - fluent, word finding problems, articulation errors
    pts memory - can pt provide details and information regarding personal history
    test incidental and new learning - “can you tell me what’s been happening in the news lately”
    pts attention - can pt stay on topic, is pt able to interact with you
    visuospatial abilities - figure copy
    executive abilities - simple coin switch
    Observing and attending to pt’s behavior during interview provides a naturalistic and inoffensive manner of obtaining important information. Conversationally inquire about date, age of birth.
    Attending not only to the information provided by the patient, but the qualitative nature may be helpful in making an informal assessment.
    Given the high prevalence of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, the number of patients at risk for developing VaD - or cognitive impairment associated with vascular disease is growing drastically.
  • We are currently investigating the usefulness of a Clock Drawing test in determining cognitive change.
    The CDT is an often used neuropsychological measure considered a test of executive functioning. A variety of versions exist and a recent review of its psychometric properties found high levels of inter-rater reliability , high levels of test-retest reliability and positive predictive value across the varied versions.
    Additionally, the CDT is correlated with other established cognitive tests (e.g. Blessed Dementia sclcae, Block design).
    Given the characteristics of the CDT, we thought it might prove useful as a screening tool in the medical setting.
    Let me explain how we are using the CDT at this time.
  • When you think about this complicated system - you can see that is almost like a cycle.
    If one has an cardiac illness like high blood pressure or hypertension,
    One is likely prescribed medication. If that
  • File PowePoint

    1. 1. Executive Dysfunction in Patients with Cerebrovascular Risk Factors Laura Grande, Ph.D. Geriatric Neuropsychology Laboratory, New England GRECC VA Boston Healthcare System Harvard Medical School August 23, 2006
    2. 2. Neuropsychology: What is it good for?
    3. 3. Neuropsychology • Behavioral expression of brain dysfunction • Neuropsych exam: – Assists in diagnosis – Pt care (management & planning) • Provides insight into level of functioning • Not only elderly and geriatric pt’s
    4. 4. Neuropsychology and Medicine • Ability for self-care and independence • Understanding and remembering instructions and recommendations • Managing complex medical regimens • Remembering and accurately verbalizing concerns to physician • Pt safety (driving)
    5. 5. Cognitive Impairment • Dementia - prototypical • Two most common forms: – Vascular dementia (VaD) – Dementia of the Alzheimer’s type (AD) • Differ in initial cognitive changes
    6. 6. Learning/ Memory Attention Executive Functions LanguageVisuo-spatial Domains of Cognition
    7. 7. Learning/ Memory Attention Executive Functions Language Visuo-spatial Domains of Cognition
    8. 8. Cortical Dementia Alzheimer’s Disease • Affects every area of behavior • Learning and memory - problems with new information, better recall for older memories • Visuoperceptual - poor copying & constructional abilities • Language - speech, comprehension, semantic problems, naming, empty speech • Executive functions • Personality - emotional changes, irritability, lack of awareness • Insidious onset, steady decline
    9. 9. Alzheimer’s Disease
    10. 10. Vascular (Multi-Infarct) Dementia • Learning and memory - problems learning and remembering new information, relatively better than AD pts. • Other cognitive deficits may include – Language - aphasia – Motor - apraxia – Visuospatial - agnosia – Executive functions - inattention • Personality - later in course of disease • Acute onset, step-wise decline • Similar to subcortical dementias (PD, HD)
    11. 11. Vascular Dementia (VaD) • VaD may not be a specific single disease. • VaD associated with neuroanatomical changes resulting from vascular disease. • DSM-IV criteria - mandatory memory impairment. • Cognitive impairment observed in those at risk for VaD (Brady et al 1999; Pugh et al in prep). Bowler, Steenhuis & Hachinski (1999); Schmidtke & Hill (2002)
    12. 12. Memory vs. Executive Function • “Memory” problems - Elderly – Most commonly reported cognitive problem – Pts concerned about Alzheimer’s disease – Many problems labeled as memory • Executive dysfunction in those at risk for VaD – Hypertension (Brady et al 2001), diabetes (Pugh et al 2004) – Problems detected prior to pt/family report • Associated with frontal lobe functions.
    13. 13. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
    14. 14. Heart Dis & Stroke, 42% Suicides, homicies, 2% MVA 1% Accidents, 3% Kidney Disease, 3% Liver Disease, 1% Respiratory Disease, 6% Pneumonia & Influ., 4% AD, 3% Diabetes, 3% Cancer, 31% HIV, 1% Major Causes of Death in MA - 2001 American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2005 Update. Dallas, Tex.: American Heart Association;
    15. 15. Early identification and Screening • Evaluation occurs after problems are noticed. • Cognitive testing for all patients? – Unnecessary, time consuming, expensive • Screening in the primary care clinics? – Physicians reported need for screening (Hogervorst et al, 2001) – Time is biggest obstacle – Test familiarity • Could cognitive decline be minimized by early detection?
    16. 16. • Obtain useful information through observation and discussion – Pt’s use of language – Pt’s memory for own personal history, and new learning – Pt’s ability to attend and stay on topic • Naturalistic environment Non-Formal Assessment
    17. 17. Clock Drawing Test as a Screener • Considered measure of executive functioning. • Good psychometric properties across versions and scoring procedures. • Highly correlated with other cognitive measures. • Quick administration ( 2 minutes).≈ • Useful as a screening tool in the medical setting?
    18. 18. Please read and do the following carefully: • In the blue box on the next page: • Draw a picture of a clock • Put in all the numbers • Set the time to ten after eleven. Hand this sheet back and go to the next page
    19. 19. Clock Scoring • Working Memory Subscale – Correct square – Resembles clock – Includes all numbers – Correct time indicated (in any manner) • Four WM points • Planning & Organization Subscale – Appropriate size – Numbers in correct order – Numbers evenly spaced – Hands of different length • Four PO points Total Score = WM subscale + PO subscale
    20. 20. Clock-in-a-Box Score = 8
    21. 21. Clock-in-a-Box Score = 6
    22. 22. Clock-in-a-Box Score = 5
    23. 23. Clock-in-a-Box Score = 3
    24. 24. Clock-in-a-Box = 0
    25. 25. CIB Participants • 191 participants – 56 Healthy controls (HC) – 135 Cardiovascular pts • 31 Geriatric patients – Referred for evaluation at MGH
    26. 26. Demographic Information HC CV Geri Age, M(SD) 65 (8) 66 (9) 78 (9) Education, M(SD)* 15 (3) 13 (2) 14(2) Sex (n, % male) 26, 46% 97, 72% 17, 55% Race (n, % Caucasian) 39, 70% 59, 66% 28, 90% MMSE* 28.2 27.0 -- * *
    27. 27. CIB - Total Score 0 2 4 6 8 CIB HC CV Geri * * p<.01 *
    28. 28. CIB - Subscores 0 1 2 3 4 Working Memory Planning & Organization HC CV Geri * * p<.01 * *
    29. 29. CIB & EF Measures Trail A Trail B Phonemic Fluency Semantic Fluency CIB Total .074 -.257 * .192 * .010 Working Memory .097 -.166 * .065 .026 Planning/Organization .031 .255 * .240* .005 * p<.05
    30. 30. CIB & Memory Measures Learning Recall Retention Recognition CIB Total .330* .304 * .130 .160* Working Memory .249* .249 * .111 .133 Planning/Organization .300* .263 * .107 .138* * p<.05
    31. 31. Is the CIB a predictor? • Does CIB predict performance on standardized cognitive measures? – Stepwise linear regression • CIB total, age & education entered into model
    32. 32. Prediction of performance • Executive Function Measures – Trail Making A 54.6 + CIB (-2.211) + Educ (-1.39) + Age (.345) – Trail Making B 199.98 + CIB (-14.75) + Educ (-7) + Age (.237) – NOT a significant predictor of fluency • Memory Measures – Learning 10.64 + Educ (.341) + CIB (.273) + Age (-.137) – Recall 3.09 + CIB (.279) + Educ (.256) + Age (-.175) – Retention 54.25 + CIB (.194) – NOT a significant predictor of recognition
    33. 33. Cycle of Problems Cardiac Illness Diabetes Missing medications Not following Dr.’s plan Illnesses not well-controlled White matter changes Disrupted frontal lobe messages Problems with planning & problem solving Difficulty managing own medications and problems following Dr.’s plan
    34. 34. Procedures for Registering and Getting CE credit • VA people go to • Non-VA go to • First-time users will need to “click for first time users”; others should enter username and password • On “Librix homepage” click on “Available courses” and enter keyword “geriatric” • Click on “Geriatric Audioconference Series: Executive Dysfunction…” • Click on “Sign me in” and follow procedures
    35. 35. For Further Information: • Vascular Dementia and CIB – Laura Grande, PhD – • New England GRECC – Kathy Horvath, PhD RN – • Geriatric Audioconference Series – Ken Shay, DDS, MS – • Evaluation and CE Credit – – Instructions in “Brochure”
    36. 36. Upcoming Calls • Thursday, September 28, 3 pm eastern: “Sleep disorders in older people” (Sepulveda and Madison GRECCs)