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Baton Rouge, LA, United States

Calamia M.,Louisiana State University | Bernstein J.P.K.,Louisiana State University | Keller J.N.,Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Alzheimer's disease (AD) ranks as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, yet unlike other diseases in this category, there are no disease-modifying medications for AD. Currently there is significant interest in exploring the benefits of pharmacological treatment before the onset of dementia (e.g., in those with mild cognitive impairment); however, recruitment for such studies is challenging. The current study examined interest in pharmacological intervention trials relative to other types of clinical interventions. A total of 67 non-demented older adults enrolled in a longitudinal cognitive aging study completed a questionnaire assessing interest in participating in a variety of hypothetical research study designs. Consistent with past research, results showed that the opportunities for participants to advance science, receive feedback about their current health, and help themselves or others, were associated with increased interest in clinical trial participation. Some factors were not associated with change in interest (e.g., a doctor not recommending participation) while others were associated with decreased interest (e.g., having to come in for multiple visits each week). Relative to other types of interventions, pharmacological intervention trials were associated with the least interest in participation, despite pharmacological interventions being rated as more likely to result in AD treatment. Decreased interest was not predicted by subjective memory concerns, number of current medications, cardiovascular risk, or beliefs about the likely success of pharmacological treatments. These results highlight the challenges faced by researchers investigating pharmacological treatments in non-demented older individuals, and suggest future research could contribute to more effective ways of recruiting participants in AD-related clinical trials. © 2016 Calamia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

MacAulay R.K.,Louisiana State University | MacAulay R.K.,Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention | Allaire T.D.,Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention | Brouillette R.M.,Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention | And 5 more authors.
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Gait abnormalities are linked to cognitive decline and an increased fall risk within older adults. The present study addressed gaps from cross-sectional studies in the literature by longitudinally examining the interplay between temporal and spatial aspects of gait, cognitive function, age, and lower-extremity strength in elderly "fallers" and "non-fallers". Gait characteristics, neuropsychological and physical test performance were examined at two time points spaced a year apart in cognitively intact individuals aged 60 and older (N = 416). Mixed-model repeatedmeasure ANCOVAs examined temporal (step time) and spatial (stride length) gait characteristics during a simple and cognitive-load walking task in fallers as compared to non-fallers. Fallers consistently demonstrated significant alterations in spatial, but not temporal, aspects of gait as compared to non-fallers during both walking tasks. Step time became slower as stride length shortened amongst all participants during the dual task. Shorter strides and slower step times during the dual task were both predicted by worse executive attention/processing speed performance. In summary, divided attention significantly impacts spatial aspects of gait in "fallers", suggesting stride length changes may precede declines in other neuropsychological and gait characteristics, thereby selectively increasing fall risk. Our results indicate that multimodal intervention approaches that integrate physical and cognitive remediation strategies may increase the effectiveness of fall risk interventions. © 2015 Macaulay, Allaire, Brouillette, Foil, Bruce-keller, Han, Johnson and Keller.

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