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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.04.24

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September 2023
Doron Merims MD, Tania Boguslavsky MD

Only two approaches are currently accepted for patients with advanced dementia who are unable to eat independently or refuse to eat. One is feeding by either nasogastric tube (NGT) or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). The other is to avoid artificially feeding the patient to spare the prolonged suffering associated with these procedures. The second approach is generally reserved for patients with terminal malignant diseases and is less common in patients with advanced dementia, especially when their life expectancy is unknown. PEG and NGT nutrition can lead to complications such as the likelihood of patients pulling out feeding tubes due to cognitive impairment. Various studies have shown that this feeding approach can be distressing to patients and does not extend life expectancy compared to spoon-feeding [1,2].

July 2023
Yonatan Shneor Patt MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD, Lior Fisher MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Abdulla Watad MD, Kassem Sharif MD

Background: Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are inflammatory mediated myopathies characterized by progressive symmetric proximal muscle weakness and associated with extra-muscular involvement. Central nervous system complications are rarely reported with these diseases.

Objectives: To investigate the association between dementia and PM/DM.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using a database from Clalit Health Care, the largest health maintenance organization in Israel. Patients with a first recorded diagnosis of PM/DM were included and were compared with age- and sex-matched controls by a ratio of 1:5. The prevalence of dementia among PM/DM patients compared to controls was assessed using a univariate and a multivariable model. Binary logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess the association of different factors with dementia within the PM/DM cohort.

Results: The study included 2085 PM/DM cases (17.0%) and 10,193 age- and sex-matched controls (83.0%). During the follow-up time, 36 PM/DM patients were diagnosed with dementia compared to 160 controls, with a univariate hazard ratio (HR) of 1.10 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.77–1.58). Within the PM/DM cohort, significant predictors for the development of dementia included increased age at diagnosis (5 years increment; OR 1.86, 95%CI 1.57–2.21, P < 0.001) and treatment with glucocorticoids (OR 5.40, 95%CI 1.67–17.67, P = 0.005).

Conclusions: In our cohort, inflammatory myopathies were not associated with dementia. Age and treatment with glucocorticoids were associated with dementia. If dementia is diagnosed in patients with inflammatory myopathies, other systemic causes should be investigated.

Avi Ohry MD

This letter was inspired by the book The Road to the Open by the Austrian Jewish physician, author, and playwright Arthur Schnitzler [1]. In the Viennese fin-de-siecle era, with its famous physicians (Sigmund Freud, Josef Breuer, Róbert Bárány), musicians (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Joseph Haydn, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Johann Strauss II), and artists (Ernst and Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele), Schnitzler described the antisemitic atmosphere and the intellectual community's influence.

July 2022
Moshe Herskovitz MD, Rachel Ben Hayun MD, and Judith Aharon MD
February 2022
Assaf Shelef MD MHA, Sagit Dahan RN MA, Shira Weizman MD, and Esther Bloemhof Bris MA

Background: Risk factors for severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection include old age, chronic illness, and neurological conditions. In contrast, high vitamin D levels are known to augment immune activity and to reduce the severity of viral infections. Recently, a possible association between the likelihood of COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 severity, and vitamin D blood levels was reported.

Objective: To assess the possible association between vitamin D long-term supplementation and COVID-19 symptomatic severity and complications of COVID-19 infection in elderly psychiatric inpatients, a high at-risk group.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective case series study. Data of 14 elderly COVID-19 positive inpatients, presenting with dementia or schizophrenia and other medical conditions were extracted from medical records. All patients maintained a 800 IU daily dose of vitamin D prior to the infection.

Results: Most of the inpatients were asymptomatic or presented very few symptoms. No need for intensive care unit intervention or deaths were reported. Cognitive functioning of the patients remained unchanged.

Conclusions: Pre-existing vitamin D supplementation may reinforce immunity and reduce COVID-19 severity in elderly psychiatric inpatients.

November 2021
Dana Zelnik Yovel MD, Galina Goltsman MD, Itamar Y love MD, Noam Darnell MD, and Micha J. Rapoport MD

Background: The recent increase in enterococcal urinary tract infections (EUTI) and the potential morbidity and mortality associated with inappropriate antimicrobial treatment underscores the need for early risk assessment and institution of appropriate empirical antimicrobial therapy.

Objectives: To identify high-risk features associated with hospitalized patients with EUTI.

Methods: Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and bacteriological data of 285 patients hospitalized with UTI during 2016 were retrieved from the computerized database of Shamir Medical Center. Patients were divided into two groups: EUTI and non-EUTI (NEUTI), according to the presence or absence of enterococcus in the urine culture. The features of the two groups were compared.

Results: We obtained 300 urine cultures from 285 patients. Of the total, 80 patients (26.6%) had EUTI and 220 patients (73.3%) had NEUTI. A higher prevalence of urinary multi-bacterial cultures was found in EUTI compared to NEUTI patients (P < 0.01). Higher prevalence of permanent indwelling urinary catheter and dementia were found in hospitalized patients with community-acquired EUTI and nosocomial EUTI respectively (P = 0.02, P = 0.016) compared to patients with NEUTI.

Conclusions: Indwelling urinary catheter and dementia are risk factors for EUTI in patients with community and hospital acquired infection, respectively

October 2021
Yishai Levy MD and David Levy

An arginine-rich apolipoprotein was discovered 50 years ago and became known as apolipoprotein E (ApoE) 10 years later. ApoE is associated with triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and mediates the clearance of these lipoproteins from the plasma. The ApoE-deficient hypercholesterolemic mice are an excellent platform for experimental atherosclerosis because they are similar to human pathology with regard to an atherogenic diet. ApoE is mainly produced in the liver and central nervous system cells. Three alleles determine six ApoE phenotypes with different metabolic effects and plasma cholesterol levels. Type III dysbetalipoproteinemia is associated with wide-spread atherogenesis with a defective ApoE2 resulting in delayed clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. ApoE4 substantially increases the risk including age of onset, progression, and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, much effort has been directed to the elucidation of the pathogenic role of ApoE related to amyloid β (Aβ) acquisition in the brain. The ApoE trail passing from an enigmatic protein to a major player in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders is reviewed

March 2020
Eyal Lotan MD PhD, Kent P. Friedman MD, Tima Davidson MD and Timothy M. Shepherd MD PhD

The authors reviewed the two most common current uses of brain 18F-labeled fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) at a large academic medical center. For epilepsy patients considering surgical management, FDG-PET can help localize epileptogenic lesions, discriminate between multiple or discordant EEG or MRI findings, and predict prognosis for post-surgical seizure control. In elderly patients with cognitive impairment, FDG-PET often demonstrates lobar-specific patterns of hypometabolism that suggest particular underlying neurodegenerative pathologies, such as Alzheimer’s disease. FDG-PET of the brain can be a key diagnostic modality and contribute to improved patient care.

June 2018
Tamar Shalom PhD and Avichai Shuv-Ami PhD

Background: The treatment of advanced dementia patients is very complex and presents a difficult dilemma for physicians, and especially for the patient's family. In many cases, when the advanced dementia patient has no decisional capacity, the family needs to decide about force-feeding and resuscitation for their relative.

Objectives: To examine public opinion regarding force-feeding and resuscitation of patients with advanced dementia.

Methods: Data from 1002 people who accompanied a patient to a hospital emergency department in Israel were collected and analyzed.

Results: We noted the following results: the more religious the orientation of the respondents, the more likely they were to agree to forcefully feed and resuscitate advanced dementia patients and advanced dementia patients older than 80 years; those accompanying younger patients were more likely to think that the medical staff should resuscitate advanced dementia patients and advanced dementia patients older than 80 years compared to those accompanying elderly patients; younger people were more likely than older people to agree to force-feed and resuscitate patients.

Conclusions: This paper attempts to provide decision-makers and medical staff with some knowledge about public opinion regarding a sensitive and complex issue. This awareness may guide physicians in making critical medical decisions about those with dementia.

February 2017
Itay Katz, Daphna Katz, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP and Bat Sheva Porat-Katz MD
October 2015
January 2015
Daniel Elbirt MD, Keren Mahlab-Guri MD, Shira Bazalel-Rosenberg MD, Harpreet Gill BHSc, Malka Attali MD and Ilan Asher MD
September 2014
David Katz MD MPH FACP, Nael Da’as MD, Sara Amiel RN, Yael Levy BSW and Edward Flaschner MD
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