DARTT Launches The Investigation of Prevalence of Tobago. The research is currently being funded by a generous grant from The UWI-Trinidad and TobagoResearch and Development Impact Fund (RDI) http://sta.uwi.edu/rdifund/
The Prevalence and Economic cost of dementia in Trinidad and Tobago collaborative study between FMS and the HEU
Very little is known about the prevalence and costing of dementia in Trinidad and Tobago even though we are an aging nation. This investigation aims at establishing the prevalence of dementia in persons 60 and above in Trinidad and Tobago. Further it will also provide strong indicators about the economic burden of the disorder. This information is to be obtained using door-to-door interviews of a randomized selection of a total of 2000 persons in all municipalities in Trinidad and Tobago. The impacts of this study are as follows:
- Firstly this study is first of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago and will allow our policy makers to comprehend both the current prevalence and impact of dementia. Secondly and important it will be the first such survey to adopt age-stratified sampling.
- Impact from socioeconomic findings from our study It is anticipated that the findings of this study will build awareness of the full cost of dementia (including some cost elements that may not have been as obvious to those not directly impacted by dementia). This study will detail the needs of the individual and households affected by dementia with a view to enhancing the welfare and well-being of such individuals and households
- To raise public awareness about dementia which in turn should: reduce stigmas surrounding the disorder, encourage early diagnosis ,assist family and caregivers to cope with the disorder, lead to the adaptation of healthier life styles which could postpone the onset of dementia.
- One of the anticipated impacts of our study will be that policy makers will make dementia a national priority by adopting and implementing an A National Dementia Plan
ONGOING & Completed RESEARCH PROJECTS
- Mild cognitive impairment in diabetes
It remains unknown whether diabetes mellitus is a risk factor for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This study investigates the association of Diabetes Mellitus with MCI. Our study is being conducted, among a cohort that is being investigated for other complications of diabetes mellitus. See Poster
- Sialic acid and dementia.
This ongoing study investigates whether sialic acid could discriminate between healthy controls and patients with dementias of the Alzheimer’s type (AD), Alzheimer’s with vascular dementia (AD with VaD) and pure vascular dementia (VaD). Patients and controls are administered the MMSE and their blood is analyzed for levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), total homocysteine (tHcy) and total sialic acid. See Poster
- Prevalence of dementia in senior activity centres and geriatric homes in Trinidad and Tobago.
Dementia is present in 10 percent of persons over the age of 65 years. The sample population for this study comprises elderly individuals who either visit senior centres, or live in geriatric homes or nursing homes in Trinidad and Tobago. These institutions were chosen randomly from a list of registered centres and homes provided by the Division of Ageing, Ministry of Social Development of Trinidad & Tobago. The screening tools used to determine prevalence of dementia are the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Community Screening Instrument for Dementia (CSID), Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) Word List Learning Test and Recall, and Clock Drawing Test (CDT). See Poster
- Caregiver burden in persons caring for patients with dementia.
Caring for an individual with dementia is correlated with a high stress level. Caregiver burden is a broad term used to characterize the physical, emotional and financial toll of providing care. In this study caregiver burden is measured in persons caring for patients with dementia using the Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale (ZCBS), one of the most widely referenced assessment scales for caregiver burden. The General Health Questionnaire is also administered.
- Caregiver burden in persons caring for patients with dementia compared to persons caring for patients with other chronic diseases.
Caring for an individual with dementia is correlated with a higher stress level compared to caring for an individual with functional impairment from another type of chronic illness. In this study caregiver burden is measured in persons caring for patients with dementia and caregivers caring for patients with chronic medical illness using the Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale (ZCBS), one of the most widely referenced assessment scales for caregiver burden. The General Health Questionnaire is also administered. See Poster
- Community based prevalence study of dementia in a well defined catchment area.
Dementia is present in 10 percent of persons over the age of 65 years. The sample population for this study will be elderly individuals in a well defined catchment area representative of the population of Trinidad and Tobago. The screening tools used are Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Community Screening Instrument for Dementia (CSID), Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) Word List Learning Test and Recall, and Clock Drawing Test (CDT).
- The Involvement of Risk Factors in Alzheimer’s Patients of Different Ethnic Groups in Trinidad and Tobago.
This project hopes to establish the link between Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and vascular disease. The discovery of any association between dementia of the Alzheimer’s type and diabetes or cardiovascular disease could be important for prophylaxis, early intervention and diagnosis.
- Microglial antibodies and other biomarkers. Presence in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Our research has identified a microglial antibody in the serum of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This antibody is determined immunocytochemically using perinatal rat brain as the substrate. We are collaborating with a group of scientists trying to identify the antigen recognized by the microglial antibody to develop an ELISA test for blood that would be clinically attractive and could lead to the development of commercial diagnostic kits to identify patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This is a research project with a tremendous amount of potential.