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Improved activity and mental function related to proper antiasthmatic treatment in elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) and bronchial asthma are common diseases in elderly patients. Untreated chronic diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, diabetes, heart failure, and asthma can be associated with declining cognitive function. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of asthma therapy performed according to Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines (GINA. Global strategy for asthma management and prevention. Report. Available online at last accessed Oct. 2009) on cognitive function and functional status in patients diagnosed with AD. A total of 302 participants who were diagnosed with bronchial asthma and mild or moderate AD (138 women and 164 men) with a mean age of 68.2 ± 5.1 years were included in the study. Cognitive function was assessed based on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the clock drawing test at the beginning of the study, after 6 months, and after 1 year. Results were compared with a control group of patients with AD but not asthma. Several patients (68.9%) had uncontrolled asthma (confirmed at the beginning of the study) and AD. After 1 year of antiasthmatic treatment, the mean MMSE score increased significantly from the baseline values of 17.2 ± 3.2 to 19.5 ± 2.1 (mean ± SD; p < 0.05). This change was significant compared with the control group. Significant improvement in instrumental activity was observed after 1 year of treatment in patients with asthma. Finally, 63.6% of patients met the criteria of well-controlled asthma. Adequate treatment of chronic asthma could improve some cognitive and instrumental activities. Asthma in patients with AD is commonly underdiagnosed and undertreated.

Keywords: Activity; Alzheimer's disease; COPD; Mini-Mental State Examination; asthma; cognition; dementia; elderly; inhaled steroids; spirometry

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Clinical Department of Internal Medicine, Dermatology and Allergology, Medical University of Silesia, Zabrze, Poland

Publication date: 2011-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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