Nippon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. Japanese Journal of Geriatrics
Print ISSN : 0300-9173
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Review Article
Perspective of Aging Science
Clinical Practices of Geriatrics
Original Articles
  • Katsutoshi Furukawa, Isabelle Miyazawa, Eiji Kaneko, Aiko Ishiki, Hiro ...
    2021 Volume 58 Issue 4 Pages 570-578
    Published: October 25, 2021
    Released: December 08, 2021

    In Japan, which has become a super-aged society, medical care for the elderly is more important than ever before. Geriatric education for medical students and young doctors is essential to ensure the best medical care possible for the elderly. In this paper, the Working Group for Education of the Japan Geriatrics Society collected and analyzed data and information on undergraduate education in the fields of geriatrics and gerontology at medical schools in various countries through the Internet, comparing the findings with those in Japan. Of the countries surveyed, 62% had undergraduate education in geriatrics and gerontology as mandatory subjects in medical school. Countries with advanced welfare programs, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada and New Zealand, performed substantial undergraduate education in geriatrics and gerontology. A lack of available staff and time for education was cited as a hurdle in many countries. The importance of education in geriatrics and gerontology is being emphasized in many countries, but few programs are satisfactory at present. The "struggle" to improve undergraduate education in geriatrics and gerontology therefore continues. We should endeavor to improve education in the fields of geriatrics and gerontology by working hand in hand with geriatricians and gerontologists around the world.

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  • Kaori Kinoshita, Rei Otsuka, Michihiro Takada, Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui, ...
    2021 Volume 58 Issue 4 Pages 579-590
    Published: October 25, 2021
    Released: December 08, 2021

    Aim: The specific amino acid intake has been suggested to be positively associated with the cognitive function. However, few reports have investigated the association between the amino acid intake and episodic memory (EM). Therefore, we investigated this association.

    Methods: Data were obtained from the fourth survey (2004-2006) of the National Institute for Longevity Sciences - Longitudinal Study of Aging. We analyzed 2,082 participants 40-85 years old (50.1% male). The dietary intake was assessed by the three-day dietary records, and participants were classified into sex- and age-specific tertiles of protein and amino acid intakes. EM was assessed using the Logical Memory II of the Wechsler Memory Scale. The association of protein and amino acid intakes with EM was analyzed using the general linear model. Covariates were sex, age, body mass index, education, depressive symptoms, smoking status, employment status, living alone, and medical history in model 1. The energy intake was added to model 1 in model 2. The protein intake was added to model 2 in model 3.

    Results: The mean (standard deviation) age was 59.4 (12.3) years old. After adjusting for the energy intake, the EM tended to be higher with a higher protein intake (p=0.053 for group differences and p=0.015 for trends). Furthermore, after adjusting for energy and protein intake, EM was significantly higher with higher intakes of isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, valine, and histidine (p< 0.05, both for group differences and trends).

    Conclusion: Our findings suggest a positive association between EM and the intake of essential and semi-essential amino acids, independent of the protein and energy intake.

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  • Kayo Godai, Mai Kabayama, Kei Kamide, Motoko Nogami, Ayaka Kasuga, Sao ...
    2021 Volume 58 Issue 4 Pages 591-601
    Published: October 25, 2021
    Released: December 08, 2021

    Aim: To prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus [COVID-19] and stop its spread, a state of emergency was declared from April to May 2020. People were encouraged to refrain from outings and reduce their contact with people. The purpose of this study was to examine the subjective changes in the amount of activity under COVID-19 crisis among the elderly and the factors related to this decrease in activity.

    Methods: This study was part of the SONIC study, an ongoing prospective cohort study targeting community dwelling older people in their 70, 80, 90s, and over 100 years old in different regions (urban and suburban) of Japan. Subjective changes in the amount of activity during the state of emergency were assessed via a mail questionnaire.

    Results: The percentage decrease in activity for the subjects in their 70s, 80s, and 90s were 68.1% (513/753), 65.3% (324/496), and 56.0% (164/293), respectively. By region, 69.4% in urban, while 57.7% in the suburbs. In the 70- and 80-year-old cohorts, the decrease in activity was more frequent among those in urban areas than in suburban areas. In the 90-year-old cohort, the differences between the regions were attenuated, while the economic status and walking speed were significantly associated with a decrease in activity.

    Conclusions: The decrease in activity varied by age group and region, suggesting that approaches to preventing the adverse health effects associated with inactivity due to the COVID-19 crisis are more important in urban areas than in suburban ones.

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  • Eriko Koujiya, Mai Kabayama, Mariko Yamamoto, Yoko Higami, Kana Kodama ...
    2021 Volume 58 Issue 4 Pages 602-609
    Published: October 25, 2021
    Released: December 08, 2021

    Aim: We investigated seasonal variations in blood pressure (BP) and factors related to these variations among older patients receiving home medical care.

    Method: A total 57 patients ≥ 65 years old receiving home medical care who participated in the Osaka Home Care REgistry study (OHCARE), a prospective cohort study, were included. We investigated the seasonal patient characteristics and variations in the BP. In addition, to determine the influence of seasonal variations in the systolic blood pressure (SBP) on the occurrence of clinical events (hospitalization, falls and death), we classified patients into larger- and smaller- change groups based on the median seasonal variations in SBP.

    Result: About 60% of subjects were very frail or bedridden. The mean BP was higher in winter than in summer (124.7±11/69.5±7 vs.120.5±12/66.9±8 mmHg) (P< 0.01). On comparing the characteristics of the two groups with larger and smaller changes in the SBP, the group with large BP changes had a significantly lower BP in summer than the group with small BP changes. In addition, the incidence of "hospitalization" was significantly higher in the group with large BP changes than in the group with small BP changes (P = 0.03).

    Conclusion: The present study revealed that there were seasonal changes in the BP in older patients receiving home medical care. It was also suggested that seasonal changes in the BP might be associated with the risk of hospitalization events. Given these BP variations, doctors and visiting nurses should be alert for systemic abnormalities, especially in frail patients receinving home medical care.

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  • Satoshi Hirahara, Yasuhiro Yamaguchi, Takashi Yamanaka, Yoshihisa Hira ...
    2021 Volume 58 Issue 4 Pages 610-616
    Published: October 25, 2021
    Released: December 08, 2021

    Aim: Many older people with end-stage dementia die of pneumonia, but the details of their distress have been unclear. The present study clarified the distress experienced by such individuals due to pneumonia.

    Methods: We searched for literature corresponding to 5 clinical questions (CQs) concerning including "What distress is experienced by older people with end-stage dementia due to pneumonia (CQ1) ?" using a search formula with the Web version of the Central Medical Magazine, MEDLINE (STN)/EMBASE (STN), Cochrane Library, and extracted 604 articles. Forty-two articles corresponding to 5 CQs were extracted by primary screening using abstracts, and 17 articles were adopted after the secondary screening. A total of six articles corresponding to CQ1 were ultimately analyzed.

    Results: Older people with end-stage dementia who died of pneumonia reported more discomfort and dyspnea than those who died of dehydration. Their main symptoms were respiratory symptoms, such as cough, sputum, and dyspnea, a fever and somnolence. Distress such as dyspnea and discomfort among older people with end-stage dementia recovering from pneumonia peaked on the day of the diagnosis. Furthermore, in older people with end-stage dementia dying of pneumonia, distresses began approximately one week before death and peaked on the day before death. A few days before death, several distressing symptoms, such as pain, dyspnea and restlessness/agitation, were often observed at the same time.

    Conclusions: If older people with end-stage dementia contract pneumonia and die from it, attentive palliative care is needed to manage their severe discomfort, dyspnea and other sources of distress.

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Case Reports
  • Nobukiyo Sumi
    2021 Volume 58 Issue 4 Pages 617-623
    Published: October 25, 2021
    Released: December 08, 2021

    Two elderly lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) patients with spondylolisthesis underused with minimally invasive spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and electrophysiologic study of central motor conduction time (CMCT) and the cauda equina conduction time (CECT) were performed as spinal cord function evaluation. The usefulness of SCS treatment and electrophysiologic studies has been reported.

    A 68-year-old woman had bilateral leg pain, intermittent claudication, and left extensor hallucis longus (EHL) muscle weakness. The preoperative CMCT was prolonged on both sides, and the CECT was prolonged on the left, so corticospinal tract disorder and cauda equina disorder were suspected. Recovery of the left EHL 2 weeks after the operation and a tendency toward left-side improvement in the CMCT and CECT were seen at 10 weeks after surgery, and analgesics were no longer required by 4 months after surgery. A 79-year-old woman in failed back surgery syndrome had peroneal nerve palsy, lumbago, bilateral leg pain and muscle weakness, and gait disturbance at the first visit, along with bilaterally prolonged CMCT, suggesting corticospinal tract disorder. Two months after surgery, an improving trend in her muscle strength and CMCT were noted, and the peroneal nerve conduction velocity had been restored. In both of these cases, recovery of symptoms and improvement of in the CMCT and CECT were observed following SCS treatment without decompression of the organic compression of the nerve roots or dural canal in the lesion area. Minimally invasive SCS treatment may be useful in elderly patients with spinal diseases, and an electrophysiological diagnosis that can objectively evaluate the spinal cord function may be beneficial.

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  • Yu Suzuki, Kenzo Sakurai, Kenji Uchino, Takeo Inoue, Toshiyuki Takahas ...
    2021 Volume 58 Issue 4 Pages 624-629
    Published: October 25, 2021
    Released: December 08, 2021

    A 72-year-old woman developed a fever and consciousness disturbance after completing 8 courses of nivolumab for lung adenocarcinoma. A cerebrospinal fluid test showed an increased cell count, but bacterial culture, herpes simplex virus-polymerase chain reaction, acid-fast staining, and cytology were negative; serum paraneoplastic syndrome-related antibody was also negative. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid specimens were positive for anti-glutamate receptor (GluR) antibody, and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images on head magnetic resonance imaging showed a high signal intensity at the right parietal lobe. The condition was determined to be immune-mediated encephalitis, and pulse steroid therapy was performed. The symptoms promptly improved after treatment. The patient in the present case was anti-GluR antibody-positive but was determined to have nivolumab-related encephalitis based on the clinical course. The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors has become widespread in recent years, although it can occasionally lead to encephalitis. We herein report our experience with immune checkpoint inhibitor-related encephalitis, which is seldom reported in Japan.

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  • Yuki Miyaguchi, Satomi Kato, Manami Saito, Yohei Inoue, Kento Ieda, Sh ...
    2021 Volume 58 Issue 4 Pages 630-636
    Published: October 25, 2021
    Released: December 08, 2021

    An 81-year-old female was referred to our department 1 year ago due to a worsening renal function. Her manifestations met the criteria of Sjögren syndrome, suggesting renal failure likely resulting from tubulointerstitial nephritis (TIN) due to Sjögren syndrome. However, at her request, she was followed up with no further investigation or treatment. The following July, since her renal function deteriorated again, a renal biopsy was performed. Using IgM-CD138 dual staining, the renal pathology showed the infiltration of accumulated IgM-positive plasma cells within the renal insterstitium, so she was diagnosed with tubulointerstitial nephritis with IgM-positive plasma cells (IgMPC-TIN).

    IgMPC-TIN, proposed by Takahashi et al. in 2017, as a type of TIN, is characterized by the pathological infiltrations of IgM-positive plasma cells within the renal insterstitium and is effectively treated with corticosteroid therapy. Despite her old age, corticosteroid therapy was performed, resulting in the improvement in her renal function according to blood and urine tests and an improved pulmonary involvement, although renal dysfunction remained.

    Elderly patients often have multiple underlying medical conditions and take numerous medications, so differentiating renal disorders is challenging. However, a renal biopsy, even in an elderly patient, can aid in identifying the cause of renal disorders and predicting the prognosis. IgMPC-TIN is a condition in which renal function can be expected to improve if treated. It is thus important to make a diagnosis of IgMPC-TIN without overlooking and to consider proper treatment.

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