A 6-month follow-up of nutritional status in institutionalized patients with Alzheimer's disease.J Nutr Health Aging. 2004; 8(6):505-8.JN
A follow up of nutritional status in institutionalized patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Specialized unit for patients with Alzheimer's disease in Dijon hospital, France.
Fourteen women, aged 72-92 years.
On admission of patients to the specialized unit for dementia, body weight, body mass index, arm muscle circumference (AMC) and triceps skin fold (TSF) were measured. Serum concentrations of albumin, prealbumin, homocysteine, orosomucoide, calcium, folates, vitamins B12 and B6 and C-reactive protein were recorded. The same clinical and biological measurements were repeated at day 30, 90 and 180.
Both mean weight and mean BMI increased throughout the study with significant differences between day 0 and day 90, and day 180 (p<0.01). The weight gain was associated with a significant increase in AMC and TSF (p<0.01 and p<0.001, respectively). There was no significant difference for values of both mean serum levels of albumin and prealbumin between day 0 and day 180. Whatever the period, serum concentrations of folates and vitamin B12 were in the normal range, while mean levels of vitamin B6 were lower than the normal range; For all these values, there was no significant difference between day 0, 30, 90, 180. Mean levels of C-reactive protein and orosomucoide and lymphocyte counts were in the normal range both at admission and day 180. No significant difference was noted between value of homocysteine at admission and at day 180.
In this special care unit, the patients with Alzheimer's disease who take part in daily activities and particularly preparation of the meal don't lose weight. It is certain that future studies recording food intake and energy expenditure are necessary to explain the benefits in the nutritional status observed in patients showing dementia when they are institutionalized in a special unit.