Neuropsychiatric disorders in the elderly

The increasing life expectancy in industrialized nations is associated with an increased incidence of brain disorders. For example, Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s Disease are the most common neurodegenerative disorders among those aged 65 and above. In addition to the characteristic physical restraints of these diseases, patients also become more prone to psychiatric comorbidities during the course of the disease. These put an additional substantial burden on the patients as well as on their caregivers.

This research topic is still under development in this unit and will focus on the epidemiology of neuropsychiatric disorders as well as associated factors that might have an impact on the course of the respective disease. Investigations will use secondary data (GePaRD) as well as primary data sources. As an example, the unit participates in the analyses of the nationwide longitudinal DEMPARK/LANDSCAPE-study (PI: Prof. Dr. Richard Dodel, Essen/Marburg, Sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research), which investigates the evolution of cognitive dysfunction in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, research projects dealing with polypharmacy and psychiatric disorders among the elderly are under preparation.

Selected publications:

  • Riedel, O., Bitters, D., Amann, U., Garbe, E. & Langner, I. (2016). Estimating the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and proportions with associated dementia and depression among the older adults using secondary claims data. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 31: 938-943. doi: 10.1002/gps.4414.
  • Riedel, O., Klotsche, J. & Wittchen, H.-U. (2016). Overlooking the informal dementia caregivers’ burden. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 9: 167-174. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20160531-02.