Lege Artis Medicinae

[Animal-assisted therapies for the treatment of elderly dementia ]

SOMOGYI Szilvia1

JANUARY 20, 2019

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2019;29(01-02)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33616/lam.29.009

[The therapeutic value of the relationship between humans and animals should be considered in the cases of patients suffering from dementia with the onset in old age. This paper provides an overview of the animal assisted interventions in dementia. Reviews emphasize the positive effects of pet-keeping on mental and physical quality of life. However, it can also have adverse effects unless the pet is selected with caution. Regular animal assisted therapies within institutional framework provide a valuable potential programme for the patients in care. Articles published so far depict the physiological, social and psychological output variables of animal assisted therapies. The enhancement of social behavior is considered to be a specific factor of animal assisted therapies. Among the physiological symptoms the enhanced physical activity, the decrease of stress response and sympathic activation have been highlighted. Among the psychological functions reduction of state anxiety, mood lift and the reduction of negative emotions such as isolation and abandonment should be underlined. Acknowledging the available results, it seems that cognitive efficacy is less impacted directly by animal assisted therapies. However, promising results have been acquired in the alleviation of the behavioural and psychological symptoms related to dementia ]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Semmelweis Egyetem, Pszichiátriai és Pszichoterápiás Klinika

COMMENTS

0 comments

Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Early detection of patients with dementia in Primary Care ]

OSTORHARICS-HORVÁTH György, TORZSA Péter

[Mental decline is becoming more and more frequent in the elderly these days. The symptoms of dementia may be best detected early in family practice. Physicians may detect the symptoms of mental decline of different levels. General practitioners play an important role in the early detection of patients with dementia. General practitioners keep contact and communicate with the caretaker of the patient regularly. If necessary General Practitioners visit the dementia patients in their own home environment, they can assess their patients’ circumstances and needs and if needed, they can prescribe home care. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Delirium in the elderly: a common and generally overlooked syndromE ]

SZENDI István

[Delirium is a disorder of the vigilance of attention and consciousness, and cognitive functions caused by brain disorders. It has an acute onset and a potentially fluctuating course. The neural dysfunction, which is responsible for the development of this syndrome often appears as a secondary condition due to systemic disorders. This is not a psychiatric illness: primary mental disorders do not cause troubles in the vigilance of consciousness. Among the elderly it occurs rather frequently, might affect approximately a seventy five thousand elderly people in our country. Shockingly, almost two-thirds of these cases remain unrecognised, which has a significance for public health since it increases markedly the risks of morbidity and mortality. Due to the frequent multimorbidity and polypragmasia, the treatment of this syndrome is a challenge requiring complex medical knowledge. Systematic non-pharmacologic preventive strategies have particular significance in its care. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Is Unacceptable Acceptable? – Michael Haneke: Love ]

SOPSITS Árpád

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Psychological resources of positive aging ]

OLÁH Attila

[This study has four parts. In the first part of the study the career of successful aging construct has been presented through the literature of gerontology from Cicero until nowadays while highlighting the problems that were until now hindering the validation of that scientific construct. Suggestions for kin concepts instead of successful aging (e.g. active, optimal, vital, effective aging) have been reviewed in detail. The second part of the paper presents the results of longitudinal and cross sectional empirical studies about influencing factors of successful aging. The third part refers to the research outcomes of ageing people by the positive psychology and suggests the definition of positive aging as a state of good biological, psychological, social and spiritual functions which coincides with above average levels of psychological immunity and coping capacity and abilities of inventing successful strategies in the day-to-day practices. The fourth part of the paper describes an empirical study with 7,506 participants and demonstrates how the (emotional, psychological, social, spiritual) components of well being contribute to the maintaining of old-age physical and mental health further the psychological immunity, savoring capacity, positive orientation and flourishing. While comparing the flourishing levels of specific age groups there was a clear decline of individuals above 65 years with weakening psychological immunity. The study defines positive aging as the ability to maintain flourishing under fire of ageing associated challenges.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Our stubborn misbeliefs on ageing ]

RAJNA Péter

[Stressing the continuous increase of elderly population, the author demonstrates the negative impact of technical development on everyday routines of old population. It can explain that members of younger generations often create false ideations on mental and cognitive abilities of older ones, and consequently some stubborn misbeliefs are existing here. He deals with the following four of them in details: (1) Young age means worth, while old age is equal to deficit, (2) Every old person becomes demented, (3) Elderly people loose their interest and social sensitivity, (4) Old people means ballast for younger ones. The author emphasizes, that even the elderly persons are able to fall into these traps of misbeliefs. In addition to complex refutations, he states that the “spacecraft-model” described by L. Hayflick offers efficient solutions to preserve an adequate quality of life both for old people and their society. ]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[The first identified Central-Eastern European patient with genetically confirmed dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy]

ZÁDORI Dénes, TÁNCZOS Tímea, JAKAB Katalin, VÉCSEI László, KLIVÉNYI Péter

[Aims - Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a trinucleotide repeat expansion. The disease mainly occurs amongst the Japanese and is extremely rare in the European population. The characteristic clinical symptoms are cerebellar ataxia, dementia, choreoathetoid movements, epileptic seizures and myoclonus. The aim of this study is to present the first genetically confirmed Hungarian case of DRPLA. Case report - The middle-aged female patient developed the characteristic clinical symptoms except myoclonus over her late thirties with positive family history. The major finding in the skull magnetic resonance imaging was the atrophy of infratentorial brain structures with the consequential dilation of related cerebrospinal fluid spaces. A detailed neuropsychological examination was also performed and it revealed moderate cognitive dysfunctions, mild depression and anxiety. As underlying conditions, Huntington’s disease and common spinocerebellar ataxia forms all came into consideration, but all the result of the respective genetic tests were negative. However, the test for mutation in the ATN1 gene revealed pathological heterozygous CAG repeat expansion. Conclusion - This case study serves as the first description of genetically confirmed DRPLA in the Central-Eastern region of Europe, the clinical features of which seems to be very similar to the previously reported cases.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Development of the diagnostic criteria of Alzheimer’s disease]

KOVÁCS Tibor

[Alzheimer’s disease is a new endemic of the 21st century, which is going to become the biggest health and social problem of the ageing societies in the next few decades. Significant discoveries have been made by structural and functional imaging and biochemical (especially CSF) and genetic tests regarding the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The modern diagnostic results were recently incorporated into the diagnostic criteria. This review summarises these diagnostic results.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The application of RBANS (Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status) in neurocognitive testing of patients suffering from schizophrenia and dementia]

JUHÁSZ Levente Zsolt, KEMÉNY Katalin, LINKA Emese, SÁNTHA Judit, BARTKÓ György

[Introduction - The purpose of our study was to find out whether the Hungarian adaptation of the RBANS (Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status), a brief neurocognitive screening test, is appropriate for the differentation of healthy and non-healthy subject groups, or for the detection of differences between the cognitive performance of patient groups. Patients and method - The test battery was administrated to 38 healthy subjects, 69 schizophrenic patients, and 18 patients suffering from dementia (10 probable Alzheimer-type and eight vascular dementia). Results - There was a significant decrease of performance in all patient groups compared to the healthy group. In the schizophrenic group, the test indicated a deterioration of functioning in all cognitive areas. The patient group with Alzheimer-type dementia performed only slightly better than the schizophrenic group, because the fall of performance was not significant only one of the cognitive areas (in the visuo-spatial tasks) when compared to the healthy group. There was no difference between the performance of patients with vascular dementia and that of healthy subjects in direct memory, verbal and visuo-spatial tasks. The test results indicated an even deterioration of cognitive areas in patients with Alzheimer-type dementia. As for the vascular dementia group, the most vulnerable area proved to be that of attention, while their verbal functions were relatively spared. The deterioration in other cognitive functions shown by schizophrenic subjects was more moderate, but still significant. A comparison of the RBANS scores of the schizophrenic patients in our study and the result of an American study was also carried out. The global indeces showed no difference; only the pattern of the sub-scales was a little different. Conclusion - The Hungarian version of the RBANS seems appropriate for the differentiation of healthy and deteriorated cognitive performance in a Hungarian patient population.]

Clinical Neuroscience

To treat or not to treat, cheyne-stokes respiration in a young adult with vascular encephalopathy

HUBATSCH Mihaela, ENGLERT Harald, WAGNER Ulrich

Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR) is a form of sleep-disordered breathing characterised by recurrent central sleep apnoea alternating with a crescendo-decrescendo pattern of tidal volume, relatively rare observation in sleep labs. It is mainly seen in severe heart failure and stroke. We report the case of a young man with CSR after sudden onset of seizure in the context of hypertensive exacerbation leading to the diagnosis of a leukoencephalopathy, and comment on differential diagnoses, prognostic and therapeutic outcomes. The very uniqueness of this case consists in the extremely young age for developing a vascular encephalopathy in the absence of genetic diseases and without previous diagnose of hypertension. There is no adequate explanation for the origin of vascular encephalopathy; also there is lack of evidence regarding the benefits and modality of treatment for CSR in neurologic diseases. Thus, we were forced to find the best compromise in a nocturnal oxygen therapy and follow-up.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[“Yesterday no longer exists either…” - End-of-life ethical issues in the care of dementia patients]

HEGEDÛS Katalin

[The number of dementia patiens is rising. Most of them die in various institutions, often after many years of care. The long process of nursing and care entails particular ethical requirements that are built primarily on vulnerability, dignity, and dia-logue. The dialogue, however, is often absent from the care of dementia patients. Do we find - as physicians, patients, relatives - that specific time when the patients can still make decisions about end-of-life treatments in a good mental state? Most patients would like to participate in these decisions. Talking about these issues in the early stage of dementia may help in the great emotional burden of family members and caregivers. Therefore the ethical aim is the ad­vance care planning (ACP) of the end-of-life treatments. The study reviews the latest scientific results, with special regard to resources that may be helpful in the course of conversations between doctor and patient on end-of-life preferences, and in the preparation for decision making. ]