Wednesday, 20 August 2003: 09:00-10:30
Superior Room (Sheraton Hotel and Towers)

S058 Transcultural Aspects of Aging and Dementia

This symposium will cover a wide-range of transcultural aspects of aging and dementia. Special emphasis will be on behavioral problems, cognitive changes and patient-caregiver relations. Edna Ballard will overview the patterns and paradoxes in considering treatment, care and research options in black Americans. As the American society grows increasingly older and the elder population more diverse, there is recognition of the need to include populations with different ethnic and cultural orientations in the search for a greater understanding of how to assist all persons with Alzheimer's and the families and professionals who care for them. This presentation will look specifically at strategies and models designed to reach black Americans, many of which are critical components in planning outreach to any ethnic population. Jong-Ling Fuh will present clinical characteristics of neuropsychiatric manifestation of dementia in Taiwanese patients. It is known that aberrant motor behaviors are more popular among Chinese dementia patients than Caucasians. On the other hand, abnormal eating behaviors and apathy are more frequently observed among Caucasian patients than Chinese patients. In this presentation, dementia patients with agitation from three ethnic groups (Taiwan, Italy and the US) will be compared. Agitation appears to be associated with hallucinations in Taiwanese patients whereas agitation and apathy are related in Italian patients. Sociocultural factors may influence neuropsychiatric manifestation in patients with dementia. Ricardo Nitrini will present two studies done in Brazil concerning the influence of illiteracy on subjective memory impairment and neuropsychological performance. In Brazil, there exist a number of illiterates in the elderly population. Individuals without dementia were examined in the urban area of Catanduva, a town in southeastern part of Brazil, and in the Amazonian region, to verify if subjective memory impairment is more common in illiterate. The other study investigated how the illiteracy influenced performance on various neuropsychological tests. Patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (n=21, 9 illiterate) as well as control subjects were examined on neuropsychological tests including the Brief Cognitive Screening Battery (Nitrini et al, 1999). It will be discussed how to better diagnose illiterate individuals with dementia. Kenichi Meguro will focus on how the dementing process affects Japanese writing system, a unique transcultural aspect of Japan. The Japanese language has two script forms; Kanji (morphograms) and Kana (syllabograms). The dysgraphic pattern of Kanji and Kana was studied in normal elderly subjects (CDR 0) and subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)(CDR 0.5) in Tajiri town in Miyagi Prefecture. MCI subjects wrote a decreased number of Kanji and Kana. The number of errors in Kana was significantly different between the normal elderly and MCI subjects. The connection between Kanji and Kana was impaired in MCI, thus suggesting that MCI is quantitatively different from the normal state. Masaru Mimura will discuss problems of truth telling and caregiver stress in outpatient clinics in Japan. Diagnosis telling has become increasingly important since a growing number of subjects with MCI and early stage of dementia visit clinics for treatment. Different attitudes toward dementia between Tokyo and rural areas of Japan will be presented.
Chair:Masaru Mimura
 S058-001 Patterns and Paradoxes: Escaping the Past to Bring Parity in Alzheimer's Care, Information and Research Options to Black Americans
Edna L. Ballard
 S058-002 Neuropsychiatric Manifestations of Dementia in Taiwanese Patients: A Transcultural Aspect
Jong-Ling Fuh
 S058-003 Influence of Illiteracy on Subjective Memory Impairment and the Accuracy of Neuropsychological Tests in Dementia Diagnosis
Ricardo Nitrini
 S058-004 Different patterns of Kanji and Kana dysgraphia in normal aging and MCI: the Tajiri project
Kenichi Meguro
 S058-005 Problems of Truth-Telling and Caregivers' Stress in Urban and Rural Areas in Japan
Masaru Mimura

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