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Author: Alistair Burns (165)


Mar
2017

The objectives of this study were to describe changes in the proportion of people diagnosed with dementia and the pharmacological treatments prescribed to them over a 10 year period from 2005 to 2015 at a time of UK policy strategies and prioritisation of dementia. We aimed to explore the potential impact of policy on dementia care.
In this longitudinal retrospective cohort study, we included all patients registered at a Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) practice between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2015, with a diagnosis of dementia defined using Read codes.

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Oct
2017

This commentary discusses the implications of disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer's disease which seem likely to appear in the next few years and results from a meeting of British experts in neurodegenerative diseases in Edinburgh. The availability of such treatments would help change public and professional attitudes and accelerate engagement with the prodromal and preclinical populations who might benefit from them. However, this would require an updated understanding of Alzheimer's disease, namely the important distinction between Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's dementia.

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Dec
1969

Inappropriate social behaviour is an early symptom of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) in both behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and semantic dementia (SD) subtypes. Knowledge of social behaviour is essential for appropriate social conduct. The superior anterior temporal lobe (ATL) has been identified as one key neural component for the conceptual knowledge of social behaviour, but it is unknown whether this is dissociable from knowledge of the consequences of social behaviour.

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May
2017

There is currently no disease-modifying treatment available to halt or delay the progression of the disease pathology in dementia. An agreed core set of the best-available and most appropriate outcomes for disease modification would facilitate the design of trials and ensure consistency across disease modification trials, as well as making results comparable and meta-analysable in future trials.
To agree a set of core outcomes for disease modification trials for mild to moderate dementia with the UK dementia research community and patient and public involvement (PPI).

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Aug
2017

Policy interventions to address inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to older people diagnosed with dementia are commonplace. In the UK, warnings were issued by the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in 2004, 2009 and 2012 and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance was published in 2006. It is important to evaluate the impact of such interventions.

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Mar
2017

Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) is a well-established group psychosocial intervention for people with dementia. There is evidence that home-based programmes of cognitive stimulation delivered by family caregivers may benefit both the person and the caregiver. However, no previous studies have evaluated caregiver-delivered CST.

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Jan
2018

Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is a common cause of visual hallucinations in older people. The relationship between CBS and cognitive impairment is unclear, but anecdotal reports exist of dementia emerging in patients diagnosed with CBS. This work set out to determine if there is an increased incidence of dementia, and increased severity of cognitive impairment, in people with CBS compared to controls from the same clinical setting.

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Dec
1969

The British Association for Psychopharmacology coordinated a meeting of experts to review and revise its previous 2011 guidelines for clinical practice with anti-dementia drugs. As before, levels of evidence were rated using accepted standards which were then translated into grades of recommendation A-D, with A having the strongest evidence base (from randomised controlled trials) and D the weakest (case studies or expert opinion). Current clinical diagnostic criteria for dementia have sufficient accuracy to be applied in clinical practice (B) and both structural (computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging) and functional (positron emission tomography and single photon emission computerised tomography) brain imaging can improve diagnostic accuracy in particular situations (B).

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Dec
1969

Stroke is associated with the development of cognitive impairment and dementia. We assessed the effect of intensive blood pressure (BP) and/or lipid lowering on cognitive outcomes in patients with recent stroke in a pilot trial.
In a multicentre, partial-factorial trial, patients with recent stroke, absence of dementia, and systolic BP (SBP) 125-170 mmHg were assigned randomly to at least 6 months of intensive (target SBP <125 mmHg) or guideline (target SBP <140 mmHg) BP lowering.

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Feb
2017


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Dec
2017

Most investigations of pharmacotherapy for treating Alzheimer's disease focus on patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms, with little evidence to guide clinical decisions when symptoms become severe. We examined whether continuing donepezil, or commencing memantine, is cost-effective for community-dwelling, moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease patients.
Cost-effectiveness analysis was based on a 52-week, multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled, factorial clinical trial.

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Sep
2017

The literature commonly evaluates those daily activities which are impaired in dementia. However, in the mild stages, people with dementia (PwD) are still able to initiate and perform many of those tasks. With a lack of research exploring variations between different dementia diagnoses, this study sought to investigate those daily activities with modest impairments in the mild stages and how these compare between Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD) and mixed dementia.

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Jun
2016

Patients' and carers' experiences of UK memory services.

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2016 Jun 9;31(6):676-80. Epub 2015 Nov 9.
Emma Hailey, Sophie Hodge, Alistair Burns, Martin Orrell
The objective of this study is to test the validity of an accreditation programme for memory services in the UK by investigating whether different levels of accreditation status (excellent compared with accredited) are reflected in patients' and carers' reported satisfaction.
A comparison of survey data from patient and carer feedback questionnaires collected from services as part of the accreditation process.
Five hundred and eighty-three patient questionnaires and 663 carer questionnaires were returned from 41 services.

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Nov
2015

A common complication after stroke is development of cognitive impairment and dementia. However, effective strategies for reducing the risk of developing these problems remain undefined. Potential strategies include intensive lowering of blood pressure (BP) and/or lipids.

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Nov
2015

Cognitive training (CT) offers a potential approach for dementia prevention and maintenance of cognitive function in older adults. Online delivery provides a cost-effective means of implementing CT compared with in-person interventions, with the potential of providing an effective public health intervention for risk reduction.
A double-blind 6-month online randomized controlled trial in adults older than 50 randomized to General CT, Reasoning CT, or control.

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Dec
2015

Findings from observational studies have suggested a delay in nursing home placement with dementia drug treatment, but findings from a previous randomised trial of patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease showed no effect. We investigated the effects of continuation or discontinuation of donepezil and starting of memantine on subsequent nursing home placement in patients with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease.
In the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled Donepezil and Memantine in Moderate to Severe Alzheimer's Disease (DOMINO-AD) trial, community-living patients with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease (who had been prescribed donepezil continuously for at least 3 months at a dose of 10 mg for at least the previous 6 weeks and had a score of between 5 and 13 on the Standardised Mini-Mental State Examination) were recruited from 15 secondary care memory centres in England and Scotland and randomly allocated to continue donepezil 10 mg per day without memantine, discontinue donepezil without memantine, discontinue donepezil and start memantine 20 mg per day, or continue donepezil 10 mg per day and start memantine 20 mg per day, for 52 weeks.

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Aug
2015

Group cognitive stimulation therapy programmes can benefit cognition and quality of life for people with dementia. Evidence for home-based, carer-led cognitive stimulation interventions is limited.
To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of carer-delivered individual cognitive stimulation therapy (iCST) for people with dementia and their family carers, compared with treatment as usual (TAU).

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Nov
2015

To produce a practice guideline that includes a set of detailed consensus principles regarding the prescription of antipsychotics (APs) amongst people with dementia living in care homes.
We used a modified Delphi consensus procedure with three rounds, where we actively specified and optimized statements throughout the process, utilizing input from four focus groups, carried out in UK, Norway, and the Netherlands. This was done to identify relevant themes and a set of statement that experts agreed upon using the Research and Development/University of California at Los Angeles (RAND/UCLA) methodology.

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Nov
2015

Phenotyping of 1,200 'healthy' adults from the UK has been performed through the investigation of diverse classes of hydrophilic and lipophilic metabolites present in serum by applying a series of chromatography-mass spectrometry platforms. These data were made robust to instrumental drift by numerical correction; this was prerequisite to allow detection of subtle metabolic differences. The variation in observed metabolite relative concentrations between the 1,200 subjects ranged from less than 5 % to more than 200 %.

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Apr
2015

Neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer disease (AD) cause significant distress and present a complex clinical challenge for treatment. Pharmacological treatment options are limited to antipsychotics, which carry extensive safety issues. There is emerging evidence to support the potential benefits of memantine, currently licensed for moderate to severe AD, in the prophylaxis of neuropsychiatric symptoms.

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Nov
2014

Epidemiological evidence linking low dose pesticide exposure and chronic ill-health in UK sheep farmers is limited. Our aim was to examine whether neuropsychiatric disorders were associated with low dose chronic and/or more acute pesticide exposure in sheep farmers.
A cohort of British farmers working in the 1970s was sent a screening questionnaire which asked about their health and work history.

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Nov
2014


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Mar
2015

To define a practice guideline for biological treatment of dementias for general practitioners in primary care.
This paper is a short and practical summary of the World Federation of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) guidelines for the Biological treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias for treatment in primary care ( Ihl et al. 2011 ).

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Dec
1969

A reliable and valid global staging scale has been lacking within dementia care.
To develop an easy-to-use multi-dimensional clinical staging schedule for dementia.
The schedule was developed through: i) Two series of focus groups (40 and 48 participants, respectively) in Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and UK with a multi-disciplinary group of professionals working within dementia care, to assess the need for a dementia-staging tool and to obtain suggestions on its design and characteristics; ii) A pilot-study over three rounds to test inter-rater reliability of the newly developed schedule using written case histories, with five members of the project's steering committee and 27 of their colleagues from Netherlands, France, and Spain as participants; and iii) A field-study to test the schedule's inter-rater reliability in clinical practice in France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Romania, and Serbia, which included 209 dementia patients and 217 of their caregivers as participants.

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May
2014

Alistair Burns: slippery when wet.

BMJ 2014 May 15;348:g3202. Epub 2014 May 15.
Alistair Burns

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Sep
2015

Executive control is impaired from the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and this produces deregulated semantic cognition (Corbett, Jefferies, Burns, & Lambon Ralph, ; Perry, Watson, & Hodges, ). While control deficits should affect semantic retrieval across all modalities, previous studies have typically focused on verbal semantic tasks. Even when non-verbal semantic tasks have been used, these have typically employed simple picture-matching tasks, which may be influenced by abnormalities in covert naming.

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May
2014

ABSTRACT Background: Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is defined as complex persistent visual hallucinations in the absence of mental disorder. It is common in conditions causing significant visual impairment. Many authors advise reassurance, considering the condition benign.

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Nov
2013

Stroke is a common cause of cognitive impairment and dementia. However, effective strategies for reducing the risk of post-stroke dementia remain undefined. Potential strategies include intensive lowering of blood pressure and/or lipids.

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Nov
2013

Authors' reply to Brunet.

BMJ 2013 Nov 12;347:f6708. Epub 2013 Nov 12.
Alistair Burns,

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Oct
2013

Assistive technology and telecare (ATT) are relatively new ways of delivering care and support to people with social care needs. It is claimed that ATT reduces the need for community care, prevents unnecessary hospital admission, and delays or prevents admission into residential or nursing care. The current economic situation in England has renewed interest in ATT instead of community care packages.

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Mar
2014

To prospectively monitor plasma inflammatory marker concentrations in peripheral blood, over 12 months, in subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and to determine the relationship between peripheral inflammatory markers and cognitive decline.
Seventy patients with amnestic MCI were recruited from two sites providing specialist memory assessment services in Manchester. The baseline assessment included physical examination, neuro-psychological testing and venous blood samples for C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) concentrations.

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Sep
2013

older prisoners are a fast-growing group but there is limited evidence for how well their needs are being met.
to quantify the social and custodial needs of older prisoners and suggest improvements for service provision.
cross-sectional study.

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May
2013

Preliminary evidence suggests that goal-oriented cognitive rehabilitation (CR) may be a clinically effective intervention for people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease, vascular or mixed dementia and their carers. This study aims to establish whether CR is a clinically effective and cost-effective intervention for people with early-stage dementia and their carers.
In this multi-centre, single-blind randomised controlled trial, 480 people with early-stage dementia, each with a carer, will be randomised to receive either treatment as usual or cognitive rehabilitation (10 therapy sessions over 3 months, followed by 4 maintenance sessions over 6 months).

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Aug
2014

To describe the health outcomes in older people following hip fracture surgery.
A naturalistic prospective study of people who had undergone hip fracture surgery undertaken in three specialist inpatient orthopaedic units in Manchester, England, with follow-up for 2 years in primary care. One hundred forty-two people, age 60 and older who had undergone hip fracture surgery of whom 74 were interviewed at follow-up.

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Feb
2013

Depression is a common and costly comorbidity in dementia. There are very few data on the cost-effectiveness of antidepressants for depression in dementia and their effects on carer outcomes.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of sertraline and mirtazapine compared with placebo for depression in dementia.

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Nov
2012

Existing drugs for Alzheimer's disease provide symptomatic benefit for up to 12 months, but there are no approved disease-modifying therapies. Given the recent failures of various novel disease-modifying therapies in clinical trials, a complementary strategy based on repositioning drugs that are approved for other indications could be attractive. Indeed, a substantial body of preclinical work indicates that several classes of such drugs have potentially beneficial effects on Alzheimer's-like brain pathology, and for some drugs the evidence is also supported by epidemiological data or preliminary clinical trials.

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Sep
2012

Improving the quality of care for people with dementia and their carers has become a national priority in many countries. Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) groups can be beneficial in improving cognition and quality of life for people with dementia. The aim of the current study is to develop and evaluate a home-based individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) programme for people with dementia which can be delivered by their family carer.

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Nov
2012

In this article, we discuss new data on currently licensed drugs for dementia and novel developments in the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia.
During the last years, a large body of evidence has been accumulated to support the use of antidementia medication in patients with severe Alzheimer's disease. Combination therapy with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for Alzheimer's disease remains controversial, as controlled trials have yielded conflicting results.

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Dec
1969

Championing of dementia in England.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2012 11;4(5):36. Epub 2012 Sep 11.
Zeinab Abdi, Alistair Burns
Dementia is starting to attract attention following decades of comparative neglect relative to other disease areas. England has been at the forefront of this sea change as one of the first countries in the world to develop a National Dementia Strategy (in 2009). Events leading up to the publication of this strategy and since will be examined here together with a glimpse at the international landscape.

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May
2012

The benefits of early diagnosis of dementia.

BMJ 2012 May 22;344:e3556. Epub 2012 May 22.
Alistair Burns

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Mar
2012

Clinical trials have shown the benefits of cholinesterase inhibitors for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. It is not known whether treatment benefits continue after the progression to moderate-to-severe disease.
We assigned 295 community-dwelling patients who had been treated with donepezil for at least 3 months and who had moderate or severe Alzheimer's disease (a score of 5 to 13 on the Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination [SMMSE, on which scores range from 0 to 30, with higher scores indicating better cognitive function]) to continue donepezil, discontinue donepezil, discontinue donepezil and start memantine, or continue donepezil and start memantine.

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Nov
2012

The health and social needs of older male prisoners.

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2012 Nov 5;27(11):1155-62. Epub 2012 Mar 5.
Adrian J Hayes, Alistair Burns, Pauline Turnbull, Jenny J Shaw
This study aimed to quantify the health and social needs of older male prisoners in the North West of England, to determine whether their needs were being met, and to explore an age cut-off for this group.
Data were collected by interview and case note review. Areas covered included physical health, mental health, personality disorder, cognitive impairment and social need.

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