Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), also known as incipient dementia, is characterized by the decline of cognitive function greater than expected for a certain age and educational level of the individual but not severe enough to interfere with their daily activities. However, this mild cognitive impairment affects several areas: visuospatial, memory, attention and fluency and it is a significant concern because it decreases the quality of life and treatment adherence of these patients. On the other hand, evidence suggests that individuals with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also present an important risk of falls: 46% of these patients experience a fall/year, sometimes with fatal consequences. Standard clinical balance measures can predict the risk of falls in this population. Moreover, increased inflammatory biomarkers are associated with the decrease of cognitive functions and a higher risk of falls in this population. Patients with COPD have a higher balance and cognitive impairment than their healthy peers Therefore, it is important to identify, assess and understand the relevance of these comorbidities in order to characterize the full clinical spectrum of COPD and adjust prevention strategies, given the devastating consequences of these problems.
Part of the book: COPD
Respiratory muscle weakness is the main contributor to respiratory imbalance in patients with neuromuscular diseases (NMD). In the advanced stages of the disease, patients develop a chronic respiratory failure due to muscle weakness, which is the principal cause of death among these patients. Respiratory muscle weakness ultimately causes alveolar hypoventilation, initially nocturnal, and later daytime respiratory failure. The signs and symptoms of early respiratory muscle weakness are discrete, namely: dyspnoea on effort, orthopnea, insomnia, frequent nocturnal awakenings, morning headache, loss of appetite, excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, anxiety, and marked fatigue. The management of respiratory failure in neuromuscular diseases requires the use of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) to assist the respiratory muscles in order to correct the alveolar hypoventilation and ameliorate gas exchange. NIV thus slows down the decline of forced vital capacity thereby improving the patient’s quality of life, physical activity and hemodynamics, normalization of blood gases, slight improvement in other physiological measures, and maximal mouth pressures and increases survival. NIV support should be offered to all patients who present with early signs of ventilatory failure as it is probably the most effective among treatments in prolonging life in neuromuscular patients.
Part of the book: Noninvasive Ventilation in Medicine