Salthouse, Timothy A.
There are many reports of relations between age and cognitive variables and of relations between age and variables representing different aspects of brain structure and a few reports of relations between brain structure variables and cognitive variables. These findings have sometimes led to inferences that the age-related brain changes cause the…
Riedel, W J; Jolles, J
A review of recently published studies on the effect of cognition enhancers in non-demented human study participants is presented. The heterogeneity of the therapeutic target, age-associated cognitive decline, can be improved by separately treating groups in whom age-extrinsic factors may underlie cognitive pathology. Standardisation of cognitive assessments is necessary, since many different tests are applied to answer the same question. Modelling cognitive dysfunction, either by pharmacological or nonpharmacological means, in humans is highly recommended since it allows hypotheses to be tested in a clearly operationalised way. Predictive validity of the currently applied models for the clinical situation remains a problem, however. The scopolamine (hyoscine) model has, to a reasonable extent, predictive validity for the cholinergic agents. The results of 67 single-dose studies and 30 multiple-dose studies are summarised. All single-dose studies and 14 multiple-dose studies were carried out in young or elderly human volunteers. In 45 of 81 volunteer studies, models of cognitive dysfunction were employed. The scopolamine model was the most used (n = 21); the other studies induced cognitive dysfunction by means of benzodiazepines (8), hypoxia (7), alcohol (5) and sleep-deprivation (4). The remaining 16 multiple-dose studies were clinical trials of a duration varying between 2 weeks and 1 year (average duration was 14 weeks). In these trials, the effects of cognition enhancers were assessed in elderly people in whom impairment of memory, psychomotor performance or cognitive function was determined. These included age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) and age-associated cognitive decline (AACD). There were many studies in which the cognition enhancing properties of substances in humans were reliably demonstrated. The cognition enhancing properties of substances that are widely used, such as caffeine, nicotine and vitamins, may already be active against AACD. New
The goal of the current project was to examine whether engaging in social activity may moderate or mediate the relation between age and cognitive functioning. A large age range sample of adults performed a variety of cognitive tests and completed a social activities questionnaire. Results did not support the moderator hypothesis, as age…
This article investigates whether computer use for leisure could mediate or moderate the relations between age and cognitive functioning. Findings supported smaller age differences in measures of cognitive functioning for people who reported spending more hours using a computer. Because of the cross-sectional design of the study, two alternative…
Salthouse, Timothy A.
There are many reports of relations between age and cognitive variables and of relations between age and variables representing different aspects of brain structure, and a few reports of relations between brain structure variables and cognitive variables. These findings have sometimes led to inferences that the age-related brain changes cause the age-related cognitive changes. Although this conclusion may well be true, it is widely recognized that simple correlations are not sufficient to warrant causal conclusions, and other types of correlational information, such as mediation and correlations between longitudinal brain changes and longitudinal cognitive changes, also have limitations with respect to causal inferences. These issues are discussed, and the existing results on relations of regional volume, white matter hyperintensities, and DTI measures of white matter integrity to age and to measures of cognitive functioning are reviewed. It is concluded that at the current time the evidence that these aspects of brain structure are neuroanatomical substrates of age-related cognitive decline is weak. The final section contains several suggestions concerned with measurement and methodology that may lead to stronger conclusions in the future. PMID:21463028
Iselin, Anne-Marie R.; DeCoster, Jamie
Context processing has significant empirical support as an explanation of age- and psychopathology-related deficiencies in cognitive control. We examined whether context processing generalizes to younger individuals who are in trouble with the law. We tested whether age and delinquency might have unique relations to context processing skills in…
Ariel, Robert; Moffat, Scott D
Spatial cognitive performance is impaired in later adulthood but it is unclear whether the metacognitive processes involved in monitoring spatial cognitive performance are also compromised. Inaccurate monitoring could affect whether people choose to engage in tasks that require spatial thinking and also the strategies they use in spatial domains such as navigation. The current experiment examined potential age differences in monitoring spatial cognitive performance in a variety of spatial domains including visual-spatial working memory, spatial orientation, spatial visualization, navigation, and place learning. Younger and older adults completed a 2D mental rotation test, 3D mental rotation test, paper folding test, spatial memory span test, two virtual navigation tasks, and a cognitive mapping test. Participants also made metacognitive judgments of performance (confidence judgments, judgments of learning, or navigation time estimates) on each trial for all spatial tasks. Preference for allocentric or egocentric navigation strategies was also measured. Overall, performance was poorer and confidence in performance was lower for older adults than younger adults. In most spatial domains, the absolute and relative accuracy of metacognitive judgments was equivalent for both age groups. However, age differences in monitoring accuracy (specifically relative accuracy) emerged in spatial tasks involving navigation. Confidence in navigating for a target location also mediated age differences in allocentric navigation strategy use. These findings suggest that with the possible exception of navigation monitoring, spatial cognition may be spared from age-related decline even though spatial cognition itself is impaired in older age.
Horwitz, Anna; Dyhr Thomsen, Mia; Wiegand, Iris; Horwitz, Henrik; Klemp, Marc; Nikolic, Miki; Rask, Lene; Lauritzen, Martin; Benedek, Krisztina
Neocortical gamma activity is crucial for sensory perception and cognition. This study examines the value of using non-task stimulation-induced EEG oscillations to predict cognitive status in a birth cohort of healthy Danish males (Metropolit) with varying cognitive ability. In particular, we examine the steady-state VEP power response (SSVEP-PR) in the alpha (8Hz) and gamma (36Hz) bands in 54 males (avg. age: 62.0 years) and compare these with 10 young healthy participants (avg. age 27.6 years). Furthermore, we correlate the individual alpha-to-gamma difference in relative visual-area power (ΔRV) with cognitive scores for the older adults. We find that ΔRV decrease with age by just over one standard deviation when comparing young with old participants (p<0.01). Furthermore, intelligence is significantly negatively correlated with ΔRV in the older adult cohort, even when processing speed, global cognition, executive function, memory, and education (p<0.05). In our preferred specification, an increase in ΔRV of one standard deviation is associated with a reduction in intelligence of 48% of a standard deviation (p<0.01). Finally, we conclude that the difference in cerebral rhythmic activity between the alpha and gamma bands is associated with age and cognitive status, and that ΔRV therefore provide a non-subjective clinical tool with which to examine cognitive status in old age.
Dyhr Thomsen, Mia; Wiegand, Iris; Horwitz, Henrik; Klemp, Marc; Nikolic, Miki; Rask, Lene; Lauritzen, Martin; Benedek, Krisztina
Neocortical gamma activity is crucial for sensory perception and cognition. This study examines the value of using non-task stimulation-induced EEG oscillations to predict cognitive status in a birth cohort of healthy Danish males (Metropolit) with varying cognitive ability. In particular, we examine the steady-state VEP power response (SSVEP-PR) in the alpha (8Hz) and gamma (36Hz) bands in 54 males (avg. age: 62.0 years) and compare these with 10 young healthy participants (avg. age 27.6 years). Furthermore, we correlate the individual alpha-to-gamma difference in relative visual-area power (ΔRV) with cognitive scores for the older adults. We find that ΔRV decrease with age by just over one standard deviation when comparing young with old participants (p<0.01). Furthermore, intelligence is significantly negatively correlated with ΔRV in the older adult cohort, even when processing speed, global cognition, executive function, memory, and education (p<0.05). In our preferred specification, an increase in ΔRV of one standard deviation is associated with a reduction in intelligence of 48% of a standard deviation (p<0.01). Finally, we conclude that the difference in cerebral rhythmic activity between the alpha and gamma bands is associated with age and cognitive status, and that ΔRV therefore provide a non-subjective clinical tool with which to examine cognitive status in old age. PMID:28245274
Costa, P T; Fozard, J L; McCrae, R R; Bosśe, R
The relation between three cognitive ability factors - Information Processing Ability (IPA), Manual Dexterity (MD), and Pattern Analysis Capability (PAC) - and three personality dimensions - Anxiety, Extraversion, and Openness to Experience - were examined in three age groups. Subjects were 969 male volunteers ranging in age from 25 to 82. Subjects high in anixety scored lower on all three cognitive factors; subjects open to experience scored higher on IPA and PAC; and introverted subjects scored higher on PAC. Most of these effects remained when the education and socio-economic status were held constant in covariance analyses. Older subjects performed less well than younger ones on MD and PAC, but not on IPA. While personality has some influence on cognitive performance, the declines with age in performance on some cognitive tasks are not mediated by personality.
Guitart-Masip, Marc; Salami, Alireza; Garrett, Douglas; Rieckmann, Anna; Lindenberger, Ulman; Bäckman, Lars
Dopamine (DA) losses are associated with various aging-related cognitive deficits. Typically, higher moment-to-moment brain signal variability in large-scale patterns of voxels in neocortical regions is linked to better cognitive performance and younger adult age, yet the physiological mechanisms regulating brain signal variability are unknown. We explored the relationship among adult age, DA availability, and blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal variability, while younger and older participants performed a spatial working memory (SWM) task. We quantified striatal and extrastriatal DA D1 receptor density with [(11)C]SCH23390 and positron emission tomography in all participants. We found that BOLD variability in a neocortical region was negatively related to age and positively related to SWM performance. In contrast, BOLD variability in subcortical regions and bilateral hippocampus was positively related to age and slower responses, and negatively related to D1 density in caudate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, BOLD variability in neocortical regions was positively associated with task-related disengagement of the default-mode network, a network whose activation needs to be suppressed for efficient SWM processing. Our results show that age-related DA losses contribute to changes in brain signal variability in subcortical regions and suggest a potential mechanism, by which neocortical BOLD variability supports cognitive performance.
Stawski, Robert S.; Sliwinski, Martin J.; Smyth, Joshua M.; University, Syracuse
Both subjective distress and cognitive interference have been proposed as mechanisms underlying the negative effects of stress on cognition. Studies of aging have shown that distress is associated with lower cognitive performance, but none have examined the effects of cognitive interference. One hundred eleven older adults (Mage = 80) completed measures of working memory, processing speed, and episodic memory as well as self-report measures of subjective distress and cognitive interference. Cognitive interference was strongly associated with poorer performance on all 3 cognitive constructs, whereas distress was only modestly associated with lower working memory. The results suggest that cognitive process related to stress is an important predictor of cognitive function in advanced age. PMID:16953715
Ram, Nilam; Gerstorf, Denis; Lindenberger, Ulman; Smith, Jacqui
Repeated assessments obtained over years can be used to measure individuals' developmental change, whereas repeated assessments obtained over a few weeks can be used to measure individuals' dynamic characteristics. Using data from a burst of measurement embedded in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE; Baltes & Mayer, 1999), we illustrate and examine how long-term changes in cognitive ability are related to short-term changes in cognitive performance, cardiovascular function, and emotional experience. Our findings suggest that "better" cognitive aging over approximately 13 years was associated with greater cognitive plasticity, less cardiovascular lability, and less emotional diversity over approximately 2 weeks at age 90 years. The study highlights the potential benefits of multi-time scale longitudinal designs for the study of individual function and development.
Salthouse, Timothy A.
There has recently been a great deal of interest in cognitive interventions, particularly when applied in older adults with the goal of slowing or reversing age-related cognitive decline. Although seldom directly investigated, one of the fundamental questions concerning interventions is whether the intervention alters the rate of cognitive change, or affects the level of certain cognitive measures with no effect on the trajectory of change. This question was investigated with a very simple intervention consisting of the performance of three versions (treatment) or one version (control) of the relevant cognitive tests at an initial occasion. Participants were retested at intervals ranging from less than 1 to 12 years, which allowed rates of change to be examined in the control and treatment groups. Although the intervention can be considered modest, participants in the treatment group had about .25 standard deviations less negative cognitive change over an interval of approximately three years than those in the control group, which is comparable to effect sizes reported with more intensive interventions. However, there were no interactions of the intervention with length of the interval between occasions, and thus there was no evidence that the intervention affected the course of age-related cognitive decline. PMID:26478640
Ardila, A; Ostrosky-Solis, F; Rosselli, M; Gómez, C
The purpose of this study was to further analyze the effects of education on cognitive decline during normal aging. An 806-subject sample was taken from five different Mexican regions. Participants ranged in age from 16 to 85 years. Subjects were grouped into four educational levels: illiterate, 1-4, 5-9, and 10 or more years of education, and four age ranges: 16-30, 31-50, 51-65, and 66-85 years. A brief neuropsychological test battery (NEUROPSI), standardized and normalized in Spanish, was administered. The NEUROPSI test battery includes assessment of orientation, attention, memory, language, visuoperceptual abilities, motor skills, and executive functions. In general, test scores were strongly associated with level of educational, and differences among age groups were smaller than differences among education groups. However, there was an interaction between age and education such as that among illiterate individuals scores of participants 31-50 years old were higher than scores of participants 16-30 years old for over 50% of the tests. Different patterns of interaction among educational groups were distinguished. It was concluded that: (a) The course of life-span changes in cognition are affected by education. Among individuals with a low level of education, best neuropsychological test performance is observed at an older age than among higher-educated subjects; and (b) there is not a single relationship between age-related cognitive decline and education, but different patterns may be found, depending upon the specific cognitive domain.
Wilson, Robert S; Boyle, Patricia A; Yu, Lei; Segawa, Eisuke; Sytsma, Joel; Bennett, David A
The study aim was to determine the contribution of dementia related pathologies to the association of conscientiousness with late-life cognitive health. At enrollment in 2 longitudinal clinical-pathologic cohort studies, 309 older individuals without cognitive impairment completed a standard conscientiousness measure. Annually thereafter, they completed a battery of 17 cognitive tests. On death, they underwent a uniform neuropathologic examination from which measures of neurofibrillary tangles, Lewy bodies, chronic gross cerebral infarction, and hippocampal sclerosis were derived. The relation of conscientiousness and the neuropathologic markers to cognitive decline was assessed in mixed-effects change point models to accommodate nonlinear cognitive decline. During a mean of 10.7 years of follow-up, annual decline on a composite measure of global cognition (baseline M = 0.082, SD = 0.499) was gradual (estimated M = -0.036, 95% CI [-0.046, -0.025]) until a mean of 3.2 years before death (95% CI [-3.6, -2.8]) when it accelerated to a mean annual loss of 0.369 unit (95% CI [-0.426, -0.317]), a tenfold increase. Higher conscientiousness (baseline M = 33.6, SD = 5.1) was associated with slower terminal decline (estimate = 0.064, 95% CI [0.024, 0.103]) but not preterminal decline (estimate = 0.005, 95% CI [-0.003, 0.013]). After adjustment for neuropathologic burden, conscientiousness was still related to terminal decline (estimate = 0.057, 95% CI [0.019, 0.094]) and accounted for 4% of the variance in terminal slopes. In addition, the association of neocortical Lewy bodies with terminal cognitive decline was attenuated in those with higher conscientiousness. The results suggest that higher conscientiousness is protective of late-life cognitive health.
Mishra, Jyoti; Gazzaley, Adam
Cognitive deficits are common in older adults, as a result of both the natural aging process and neurodegenerative disease. Although medical advancements have successfully prolonged the human lifespan, the challenge of remediating cognitive aging remains. The authors discuss the current state of cognitive therapeutic interventions and then present the need for development and validation of more powerful neurocognitive therapeutics. They propose that the next generation of interventions be implemented as closed-loop systems that target specific neural processing deficits, incorporate quantitative feedback to the individual and clinician, and are personalized to the individual’s neurocognitive capacities using real-time performance-adaptive algorithms. This approach should be multimodal and seamlessly integrate other treatment approaches, including neurofeedback and transcranial electrical stimulation. This novel approach will involve the generation of software that engages the individual in an immersive and enjoyable game-based interface, integrated with advanced biosensing hardware, to maximally harness plasticity and assure adherence. Introducing such next-generation closed-loop neurocognitive therapeutics into the mainstream of our mental health care system will require the combined efforts of clinicians, neuroscientists, bioengineers, software game developers, and industry and policy makers working together to meet the challenges and opportunities of translational neuroscience in the 21st century. PMID:25520029
Hedden, Trey; Schultz, Aaron P; Rieckmann, Anna; Mormino, Elizabeth C; Johnson, Keith A; Sperling, Reisa A; Buckner, Randy L
Age-related alterations in brain structure and function have been challenging to link to cognition due to potential overlapping influences of multiple neurobiological cascades. We examined multiple brain markers associated with age-related variation in cognition. Clinically normal older humans aged 65-90 from the Harvard Aging Brain Study (N = 186) were characterized on a priori magnetic resonance imaging markers of gray matter thickness and volume, white matter hyperintensities, fractional anisotropy (FA), resting-state functional connectivity, positron emission tomography markers of glucose metabolism and amyloid burden, and cognitive factors of processing speed, executive function, and episodic memory. Partial correlation and mediation analyses estimated age-related variance in cognition shared with individual brain markers and unique to each marker. The largest relationships linked FA and striatum volume to processing speed and executive function, and hippocampal volume to episodic memory. Of the age-related variance in cognition, 70-80% was accounted for by combining all brain markers (but only ∼20% of total variance). Age had significant indirect effects on cognition via brain markers, with significant markers varying across cognitive domains. These results suggest that most age-related variation in cognition is shared among multiple brain markers, but potential specificity between some brain markers and cognitive domains motivates additional study of age-related markers of neural health.
Maillet, David; Schacter, Daniel L.
The majority of studies that have investigated the effects of healthy aging on cognition have focused on age-related differences in voluntary and deliberately engaged cognitive processes. Yet many forms of cognition occur spontaneously, without any deliberate attempt at engaging them. In this article we review studies that have assessed age-related differences in four such types of spontaneous thought processes: mind-wandering, involuntary autobiographical memory, intrusive thoughts, and spontaneous prospective memory retrieval. These studies suggest that older adults exhibit a reduction in frequency of both mind-wandering and involuntary autobiographical memory, whereas findings regarding intrusive thoughts have been more mixed. Additionally, there is some preliminary evidence that spontaneous prospective memory retrieval may be relatively preserved in aging. We consider the roles of age-related differences in cognitive resources, motivation, current concerns and emotional regulation in accounting for these findings. We also consider age-related differences in the neural correlates of spontaneous cognitive processes. PMID:26617263
Fama, Rosemary; Sullivan, Edith V.
The thalamus, with its cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar connections, is a critical node in networks supporting cognitive functions known to decline in normal aging, including component processes of memory and executive functions of attention and information processing. The macrostructure, microstructure, and neural connectivity of the thalamus changes across the adult lifespan. Structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have demonstrated, regional thalamic volume shrinkage and microstructural degradation, with anterior regions generally more compromised than posterior regions. The integrity of selective thalamic nuclei and projections decline with advancing age, particularly those in thalamofrontal, thalamoparietal, and thalamolimbic networks. This review presents studies that assess the relations between age and aging and the structure, function, and connectivity of the thalamus and associated neural networks and focuses on their relations with processes of attention, speed of information processing, and working and episodic memory. PMID:25862940
Gard, Tim; Hölzel, Britta K.; Lazar, Sara W.
With a rapidly aging society it becomes increasingly important to counter normal age-related decline in cognitive functioning. Growing evidence suggests that cognitive training programs may have the potential to counteract this decline. On the basis of a growing body of research that shows that meditation has positive effects on cognition in younger and middle-aged adults, meditation may be able to offset normal age-related cognitive decline or even enhance cognitive function in older adults. In this paper, we review studies investigating the effects of meditation on age-related cognitive decline. We searched the Web of Science (1900 to present), PsycINFO (1597 to present), MEDLINE (1950 to present), and CABI (1910 to present) to identify original studies investigating the effects of meditation on cognition and cognitive decline in the context of aging. Twelve studies were included in the review, six of which were randomized controlled trials. Studies involved a wide variety of meditation techniques and reported preliminary positive effects on attention, memory, executive function, processing speed, and general cognition. However, most studies had a high risk of bias and small sample sizes. Reported dropout rates were low and compliance rates high. We conclude that meditation interventions for older adults are feasible, and preliminary evidence suggests that meditation can offset age-related cognitive decline. PMID:24571182
Freeman, Willard M.; VanGuilder, Heather D.; Bennett, Colleen; Sonntag, William E.
Declining cognitive performance is associated with increasing age, even in the absence of overt pathological processes. We and others have reported that declining cognitive performance is associated with age-related changes in brain glucose utilization, long-term potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation, protein expression, neurotransmitter levels, and trophic factors. However, it is unclear whether these changes are causes or symptoms of the underlying alterations in dendritic and synaptic morphology that occur with age. In this study, we examined the hippocampal proteome for age- and cognition-associated changes in behaviorally stratified young and old rats, using 2-DIGE and MS/MS-MS. Comparison of old cognitively intact with old cognitively impaired animals revealed additional changes that would not have been detected otherwise. Interestingly, not all age-related changes in protein expression were associated with cognitive decline, and distinct differences in protein expression were found when comparing old cognitively intact with old cognitively impaired rats. A large number of protein changes with age were related to the glycolysis/gluconeogenesis pathway. In total, the proteomic changes suggest that age-related alterations act synergistically with other perturbations to result in cognitive decline. This study also demonstrates the importance of examining behaviorally-defined animals in proteomic studies, as comparison of young to old animals regardless of behavioral performance would have failed to detect many cognitive impairment-specific protein expression changes evident when behavioral stratification data was used. PMID:19135133
Gard, Tim; Hölzel, Britta K; Lazar, Sara W
With a rapidly aging society it becomes increasingly important to counter normal age-related decline in cognitive functioning. Growing evidence suggests that cognitive training programs may have the potential to counteract this decline. On the basis of a growing body of research that shows that meditation has positive effects on cognition in younger and middle-aged adults, meditation may be able to offset normal age-related cognitive decline or even enhance cognitive function in older adults. In this paper, we review studies investigating the effects of meditation on age-related cognitive decline. We searched the Web of Science (1900 to present), PsycINFO (1597 to present), MEDLINE (1950 to present), and CABI (1910 to present) to identify original studies investigating the effects of meditation on cognition and cognitive decline in the context of aging. Twelve studies were included in the review, six of which were randomized controlled trials. Studies involved a wide variety of meditation techniques and reported preliminary positive effects on attention, memory, executive function, processing speed, and general cognition. However, most studies had a high risk of bias and small sample sizes. Reported dropout rates were low and compliance rates high. We conclude that meditation interventions for older adults are feasible, and preliminary evidence suggests that meditation can offset age-related cognitive decline.
Bozoki, Andrea; Radovanovic, Mirjana; Winn, Brian; Heeter, Carrie; Anthony, James C
We developed a 'senior friendly' suite of online 'games for learning' with interactive calibration for increasing difficulty, and evaluated the feasibility of a randomized clinical trial to test the hypothesis that seniors aged 60-80 can improve key aspects of cognitive ability with the aid of such games. Sixty community-dwelling senior volunteers were randomized to either an online game suite designed to train multiple cognitive abilities, or to a control arm with online activities that simulated the look and feel of the games but with low level interactivity and no calibration of difficulty. Study assessment included measures of recruitment, retention and play-time. Cognitive change was measured with a computerized assessment battery administered just before and within two weeks after completion of the six-week intervention. Impediments to feasibility included: limited access to in-home high-speed internet, large variations in the amount of time devoted to game play, and a reluctance to pursue more challenging levels. Overall analysis was negative for assessed performance (transference effects) even though subjects improved on the games themselves. Post hoc analyses suggest that some types of games may have more value than others, but these effects would need to be replicated in a study designed for that purpose. We conclude that a six-week, moderate-intensity computer game-based cognitive intervention can be implemented with high-functioning seniors, but the effect size is relatively small. Our findings are consistent with Owen et al. (2010), but there are open questions about whether more structured, longer duration or more intensive 'games for learning' interventions might yield more substantial cognitive improvement in seniors.
Salthouse, Timothy A.
Both general (i.e., shared across different cognitive measures) and specific (i.e., unique to particular cognitive measures) influences can be postulated to contribute to the relations between adult age and measures of cognitive functioning. Estimates of general and specific influences on measures of memory, speed, reasoning, and spatial…
Tucker-Drob, Elliot M.; Reynolds, Chandra A.; Finkel, Deborah; Pedersen, Nancy L.
Aging-related declines occur in many different domains of cognitive function during middle and late adulthood. However, whether a global dimension underlies individual differences in changes in different domains of cognition and whether global genetic influences on cognitive changes exist is less clear. We addressed these issues by applying…
Salthouse, Timothy A.; Habeck, Christian; Razlighi, Qolamreza; Barulli, Daniel; Gazes, Yunglin; Stern, Yaakov
Recent advances in neuroimaging have identified a large number of neural measures that could be involved in age-related declines in cognitive functioning. A popular method of investigating neural-cognition relations has been to determine the brain regions in which a particular neural measure is associated with the level of specific cognitive measures. Although this procedure has been informative, it ignores the strong interrelations that typically exist among the measures in each modality. An alternative approach involves investigating the number and identity of distinct dimensions within the set of neural measures and within the set of cognitive measures prior to examining relations between the two types of measures. The procedure is illustrated with data from 297 adults between 20 and 79 years of age with cortical thickness in different brain regions as the neural measures, and performance on 12 cognitive tests as the cognitive measures. The results revealed that most of the relations between cortical thickness and cognition occurred at a general level corresponding to variance shared among different brain regions and among different cognitive measures. In addition, the strength of the thickness-cognition relation was substantially reduced after controlling the variation in age, which suggests that at least some of the thickness-cognition relations in age-heterogeneous samples may be attributable to the influence of age on each type of measure. PMID:26356042
Ryan, Lee; Walther, Katrin; Bendlin, Barbara B.; Lue, Lih-Fen; Walker, Douglas G.; Glisky, Elizabeth L.
While an extensive literature is now available on age-related differences in white matter integrity measured by diffusion MRI, relatively little is known about the relationships between diffusion and cognitive functions in older adults. Even less is known about whether these relationships are influenced by the apolipoprotein (APOE) ε4 allele, despite growing evidence that ε4 increases cognitive impairment in older adults. The purpose of the present study was to examine these relationships in a group of community-dwelling cognitively normal older adults. Data were obtained from a sample of 126 individuals (ages 52–92) that included 32 ε4 heterozygotes, 6 ε4 homozygotes, and 88 non-carriers. Two measures of diffusion, the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA), were obtained from six brain regions – frontal white matter, lateral parietal white matter, the centrum semiovale, the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum, and the temporal stem white matter – and were used to predict composite scores of cognitive function in two domains, executive function and memory function. Results indicated that ADC and FA differed with increasing age in all six brain regions, and these differences were significantly greater for ε4 carriers compared to noncarriers. Importantly, after controlling for age, diffusion measures predicted cognitive function in a region-specific way that was also influenced by ε4 status. Regardless of APOE status, frontal ADC and FA independently predicted executive function scores for all participants, while temporal lobe ADC additionally predicted executive function for ε4 carriers, but not noncarriers. Memory scores were predicted by temporal lobe ADC but not frontal diffusion for all participants, and this relationship was significantly stronger in ε4 carriers compared to noncarriers. Taken together, age and temporal lobe ADC accounted for a striking 53% of the variance in memory scores within the ε4 carrier
Ska, Bernadette; Joanette, Yves
It is now well documented that normal aging modifies the cognitive functioning and most observations suggest that cognition evolves in the direction of deterioration. The more frequently impaired functions are memory, attention and visual-spatial abilities. On the other hand, some abilities seem to increase, such as vocabulary. Considering the aging effect on cognition, questions remain regarding directionality, universality and reversibility. A great variability in aged related impacts is observed among subjects and among cognitive domains. Some individuals evolved more rapidly than others. Some cognitive functions are more affected by aging than others. General and specific factors are hypothesized to explain the aged related cognitive decline. Among them, educational level, health, cognitive style, life style, personality, are likely to modulate the aged related cognitive evolution by influencing attentional resources and cerebral plasticity. Cognitive resources are essential to develop adaptative strategies. During the life span, resources are activated and increased by learning and training. Considering the role of cognitive resources, successful aging is dependent on several conditions : absence of disease leading to a loss of autonomy, maintenance of cognitive and physical activities, and active and social engaged lifestyle.
Mager, Ralph; Bullinger, Alex H; Brand, Serge; Schmidlin, Maria; Schärli, Heinz; Müller-Spahn, Franz; Störmer, Robert; Falkenstein, Michael
Cognitive tasks involving conflicting stimuli and responses are associated with an early age-related decline in performance. Conflict and conflict-induced interference can be stimulus- or response-related. In classical stimulus-response compatibility tasks, such as the Stroop task, the event-related potential (ERP) usually reveals a greater negativity on incongruent versus congruent trials which has often been linked with conflict processing. However, it is unclear whether this negativity is related to stimulus- or response-related conflict, thus rendering the meaning of age-related changes inconclusive. In the present study, a modified Stroop task was used to focus on stimulus-related interference processes while excluding response-related interference. Since we intended to study work-relevant effects ERPs and performance were determined in young (about 30 years old) and middle-aged (about 50 years old) healthy subjects (total n=80). In the ERP, a broad negativity developed after incongruent versus congruent stimuli between 350 and 650 ms. An age-related increase of the latency and amplitude of this negativity was observed. These results indicate age-related alterations in the processing of conflicting stimuli already in middle age.
Matzel, Louis D.; Light, Kenneth R.; Wass, Christopher; Colas-Zelin, Danielle; Denman-Brice, Alexander; Waddel, Adam C.; Kolata, Stefan
Learning, attentional, and perseverative deficits are characteristic of cognitive aging. In this study, genetically diverse CD-1 mice underwent longitudinal training in a task asserted to tax working memory capacity and its dependence on selective attention. Beginning at 3 mo of age, animals were trained for 12 d to perform in a dual radial-arm…
Antoniou, Mark; Gunasekera, Geshri; Wong, Patrick C. M.
Over the next fifty years, the number of older adults is set to reach record levels. Protecting older adults from the age-related effects of cognitive decline is one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades as it places increasing pressure on families, health systems, and economies on a global scale. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline—Alzheimer's disease and other dementias—hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. However, there is evidence that cognitively stimulating activities protect against the adverse effects of cognitive decline. Similarly, bilingualism is also considered to be a safeguard. We propose that foreign language learning programs aimed at older populations are an optimal solution for building cognitive reserve because language learning engages an extensive brain network that is known to overlap with the regions negatively affected by the aging process. It is recommended that future research should test this potentially fruitful hypothesis. PMID:24051310
Antoniou, Mark; Gunasekera, Geshri M; Wong, Patrick C M
Over the next fifty years, the number of older adults is set to reach record levels. Protecting older adults from the age-related effects of cognitive decline is one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades as it places increasing pressure on families, health systems, and economies on a global scale. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline-Alzheimer's disease and other dementias-hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. However, there is evidence that cognitively stimulating activities protect against the adverse effects of cognitive decline. Similarly, bilingualism is also considered to be a safeguard. We propose that foreign language learning programs aimed at older populations are an optimal solution for building cognitive reserve because language learning engages an extensive brain network that is known to overlap with the regions negatively affected by the aging process. It is recommended that future research should test this potentially fruitful hypothesis.
Hennebelle, Marie; Plourde, Mélanie; Chouinard-Watkins, Raphaël; Castellano, Christian-Alexandre; Barberger-Gateau, Pascale; Cunnane, Stephen C
Epidemiological studies fairly convincingly suggest that higher intakes of fatty fish and n-3 fatty acids are associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). DHA in plasma is normally positively associated with DHA intake. However, despite being associated with lower fish and DHA intake, unexpectedly, plasma (or brain) DHA is frequently not lower in AD. This review will highlight some metabolic and physiological factors such as ageing and apoE polymorphism that influence DHA homeostasis. Compared with young adults, blood DHA is often slightly but significantly higher in older adults without any age-related cognitive decline. Higher plasma DHA in older adults could be a sign that their fish or DHA intake is higher. However, our supplementation and carbon-13 tracer studies also show that DHA metabolism, e.g. transit through the plasma, apparent retroconversion and β-oxidation, is altered in healthy older compared with healthy young adults. ApoE4 increases the risk of AD, possibly in part because it too changes DHA homeostasis. Therefore, independent of differences in fish intake, changing DHA homeostasis may tend to obscure the relationship between DHA intake and plasma DHA which, in turn, may contribute to making older adults more susceptible to cognitive decline despite older adults having similar or sometimes higher plasma DHA than in younger adults. In conclusion, recent development of new tools such as isotopically labelled DHA to study DHA metabolism in human subjects highlights some promising avenues to evaluate how and why DHA metabolism changes during ageing and AD.
Edmonds, Caroline J.; Isaacs, Elizabeth B.; Visscher, Peter M.; Rogers, Mary; Lanigan, Julie; Singhal, Atul; Lucas, Alan; Gringras, Paul; Denton, Jane; Deary, Ian J.
We studied the age-related differences in inspection time and multiple cognitive domains in a group of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins aged 7 to 17 years. Data from 111 twin pairs and 19 singleton siblings were included. We found clear age-related trends towards more efficient visual information processing in older participants. There…
Beam, Minna R.; Servaty-Seib, Heather L.; Mathews, Laura
To examine the eating-related cognitions and behaviors of college-age women who had experienced parental death, parental divorce, or neither loss condition, we recruited 48 women from science and social science departments at a state university in the Southeast. All participants completed the Mizes Anorectic Cognitions Scale (MAC) and the Bulimia…
Background Research on cognitive control suggests an age-related decline in proactive control abilities whereas reactive control seems to remain intact. However, the reason of the differential age effect on cognitive control efficiency is still unclear. This study investigated the potential influence of fluid intelligence and processing speed on the selective age-related decline in proactive control. Eighty young and 80 healthy older adults were included in this study. The participants were submitted to a working memory recognition paradigm, assessing proactive and reactive cognitive control by manipulating the interference level across items. Results Repeated measures ANOVAs and hierarchical linear regressions indicated that the ability to appropriately use cognitive control processes during aging seems to be at least partially affected by the amount of available cognitive resources (assessed by fluid intelligence and processing speed abilities). Conclusions This study highlights the potential role of cognitive resources on the selective age-related decline in proactive control, suggesting the importance of a more exhaustive approach considering the confounding variables during cognitive control assessment. PMID:24401034
Raj, Towfique; Chibnik, Lori B.; McCabe, Cristin; Wong, Andus; Replogle, Joseph M.; Yu, Lei; Gao, Sujuan; Unverzagt, Frederick W.; Stranger, Barbara; Murrell, Jill; Barnes, Lisa; Hendrie, Hugh C.; Foroud, Tatiana; Krichevsky, Anna; Bennett, David A.; Hall, Kathleen S.; Evans, Denis A.
Objective: To identify genetic risk factors associated with susceptibility to age-related cognitive decline in African Americans (AAs). Methods: We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and an admixture-mapping scan in 3,964 older AAs from 5 longitudinal cohorts; for each participant, we calculated a slope of an individual's global cognitive change from neuropsychological evaluations. We also performed a pathway-based analysis of the age-related cognitive decline GWAS. Results: We found no evidence to support the existence of a genomic region which has a strongly different contribution to age-related cognitive decline in African and European genomes. Known Alzheimer disease (AD) susceptibility variants in the ABCA7 and MS4A loci do influence this trait in AAs. Of interest, our pathway-based analyses returned statistically significant results highlighting a shared risk from lipid/metabolism and protein tyrosine signaling pathways between cognitive decline and AD, but the role of inflammatory pathways is polarized, being limited to AD susceptibility. Conclusions: The genetic architecture of aging-related cognitive in AA individuals is largely similar to that of individuals of European descent. In both populations, we note a surprising lack of enrichment for immune pathways in the genetic risk for cognitive decline, despite strong enrichment of these pathways among genetic risk factors for AD. PMID:28078323
Shatenstein, Bryna; Barberger-Gateau, Pascale; Mecocci, Patrizia
Brain aging is characterized by the progressive and gradual accumulation of detrimental changes in structure and function, which increase risk of age-related cognitive decline and dementia. This devastating chronic condition generates a huge social and economic burden and accounts for 11.2% of years of disability. The increase in lifespan has contributed to the increase in dementia prevalence; however, there is currently no curative treatment for most causes of dementias. This paper reviews evidence-based strategies to build, enhance, and preserve cognition over the lifespan by examining approaches that work best, proposing when in the life course they should be implemented, and in which population group(s). Recent work shows a tendency to decreased age-specific prevalence and incidence of cognitive problems and dementia among people born later in the first half of the 20th century, citing higher educational levels, improvements in lifestyle, and better handling of vascular risk factors. This implies that we can target modifiable environmental, lifestyle, and health risk factors to modify the trajectory of cognitive decline before the onset of irreversible dementia. Because building cognitive reserve and prevention of cognitive decline are of critical importance, interventions are needed at every stage of the life course to foster cognitive stimulation, and enable healthy eating habits and physical activity throughout the lifespan. Preventive interventions to decrease and delay cognitive decline and its consequences in old age will also require collaboration and action on the part of policy-makers at the political and social level.
Woodard, John L; Sugarman, Michael A
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows for dynamic observation of the neural substrates of cognitive processing, which makes it a valuable tool for studying brain changes that may occur with both normal and pathological aging. fMRI studies have revealed that older adults frequently exhibit a greater magnitude and extent activation of the blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal compared to younger adults. This additional activation may reflect compensatory recruitment associated with functional and structural deterioration of neural resources. Increased activation has also been associated with several risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD), including the apolipoprotein ε4 allele. Longitudinal studies have also demonstrated that fMRI may have predictive utility in determining which individuals are at the greatest risk of developing cognitive decline. This chapter will review the results of a number of task-activated fMRI studies of older adults, focusing on both healthy aging and neuropathology associated with AD. We also discuss models that account for cognitive aging processes, including the hemispheric asymmetry reduction in older adults (HAROLD) and scaffolding theory of aging and cognition (STAC) models. Finally, we discuss methodological issues commonly associated with fMRI research in older adults.
To summarize recent findings and current concepts in the beneficial effects of berry consumption on brain function during aging. Berryfruit supplementation has continued to demonstrate efficacy in reversing age-related cognitive decline in animal studies. In terms of the mechanisms behind the effe...
Maimaiti, Shaniya; Anderson, Katie L.; DeMoll, Chris; Brewer, Lawrence D.; Rauh, Benjamin A.; Gant, John C.; Blalock, Eric M.; Porter, Nada M.
Peripheral insulin resistance is a key component of metabolic syndrome associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. While the impact of insulin resistance is well recognized in the periphery, it is also becoming apparent in the brain. Recent studies suggest that insulin resistance may be a factor in brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) whereby intranasal insulin therapy, which delivers insulin to the brain, improves cognition and memory in AD patients. Here, we tested a clinically relevant delivery method to determine the impact of two forms of insulin, short-acting insulin lispro (Humalog) or long-acting insulin detemir (Levemir), on cognitive functions in aged F344 rats. We also explored insulin effects on the Ca2+-dependent hippocampal afterhyperpolarization (AHP), a well-characterized neurophysiological marker of aging which is increased in the aged, memory impaired animal. Low-dose intranasal insulin improved memory recall in aged animals such that their performance was similar to that seen in younger animals. Further, because ex vivo insulin also reduced the AHP, our results suggest that the AHP may be a novel cellular target of insulin in the brain, and improved cognitive performance following intranasal insulin therapy may be the result of insulin actions on the AHP. PMID:25659889
Pereira, Ana C.; Lambert, Hilary K.; Grossman, Yael S.; Dumitriu, Dani; Waldman, Rachel; Jannetty, Sophia K.; Calakos, Katina; Janssen, William G.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John H.
The dementia of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) results primarily from degeneration of neurons that furnish glutamatergic corticocortical connections that subserve cognition. Although neuron death is minimal in the absence of AD, age-related cognitive decline does occur in animals as well as humans, and it decreases quality of life for elderly people. Age-related cognitive decline has been linked to synapse loss and/or alterations of synaptic proteins that impair function in regions such as the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. These synaptic alterations are likely reversible, such that maintenance of synaptic health in the face of aging is a critically important therapeutic goal. Here, we show that riluzole can protect against some of the synaptic alterations in hippocampus that are linked to age-related memory loss in rats. Riluzole increases glutamate uptake through glial transporters and is thought to decrease glutamate spillover to extrasynaptic NMDA receptors while increasing synaptic glutamatergic activity. Treated aged rats were protected against age-related cognitive decline displayed in nontreated aged animals. Memory performance correlated with density of thin spines on apical dendrites in CA1, although not with mushroom spines. Furthermore, riluzole-treated rats had an increase in clustering of thin spines that correlated with memory performance and was specific to the apical, but not the basilar, dendrites of CA1. Clustering of synaptic inputs is thought to allow nonlinear summation of synaptic strength. These findings further elucidate neuroplastic changes in glutamatergic circuits with aging and advance therapeutic development to prevent and treat age-related cognitive decline. PMID:25512503
Bizon, J L; Lee, H J; Gallagher, M
Age-related decrements in hippocampal neurogenesis have been suggested as a basis for learning impairment during aging. In the current study, a rodent model of age-related cognitive decline was used to evaluate neurogenesis in relation to hippocampal function. New hippocampal cell survival was assessed approximately 1 month after a series of intraperitoneal injections of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Correlational analyses between individual measures of BrdU-positive cells and performance on the Morris water maze task provided no indication that this measure of neurogenesis was more preserved in aged rats with intact cognitive abilities. On the contrary, among aged rats, higher numbers of BrdU-positive cells in the granule cell layer were associated with a greater degree of impairment on the learning task. Double-labelling studies confirmed that the majority of the BrdU+ cells were of the neuronal phenotype; the proportion of differentiated neurons was not different across a broad range of cognitive abilities. These data demonstrate that aged rats that maintain cognitive function do so despite pronounced reductions in hippocampal neurogenesis. In addition, these findings suggest the interesting possibility that impaired hippocampal function is associated with greater survival of newly generated hippocampal neurons at advanced ages.
Voelcker-Rehage, Claudia; Godde, Ben; Staudinger, Ursula M
The benefits of fitness for cognitive performance in healthy older adults have repeatedly been demonstrated. Animal studies, however, have revealed differential relationships between physical and motor fitness and brain metabolism. We therefore investigated whether for older humans different dimensions of fitness are differentially associated with cognitive performance and brain activation patterns. Seventy-two participants (mean age 68.99 years, SD = 3.66; 52 females) completed four psychometric tests reflecting two primary abilities of higher cognitive functioning (executive control, perceptual speed) and a battery of fitness tests comprising two fitness dimensions (physical and motor fitness). We found that not only physical fitness indexed by cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength, but also motor fitness including movement speed, balance, motor coordination and flexibility showed a strong association with cognitive functioning. Additionally, functional brain imaging data revealed that physical and motor fitness were differentially related to cognitive processes. Results are discussed with regard to the compensation hypothesis and potential consequences for intervention work.
Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Head, Denise; Gunning-Dixon, Faith; Raz, Naftali
Our objectives were to assess age differences in perceptual repetition priming and perceptual skill learning, and to determine whether they are mediated by cognitive resources and regional cerebral volume differences. Fragmented picture identification paradigm allows the study of both priming and learning within the same task. We presented this task to 169 adults (ages 18–80), assessed working memory and fluid intelligence, and measured brain volumes of regions that were deemed relevant to those cognitive skills. The data were analyzed within a hierarchical path modeling framework. In addition to finding age-related decrease in both perceptual priming and learning, we observed several dissociations with regards to their neural and cognitive mediators. Larger visual cortex volume was associated with greater repetition priming, but not perceptual skill learning, and neither process depended upon hippocampal volume. In contrast, the volumes of the prefrontal gray and white matter were differentially related to both processes via direct and indirect effects of cognitive resources. The results indicate that age-related differences in perceptual priming and skill learning have dissociable cognitive and neural correlates. PMID:19586211
Ianov, Lara; Rani, Asha; Beas, Blanca S.; Kumar, Ashok; Foster, Thomas C.
Cognitive function depends on transcription; however, there is little information linking altered gene expression to impaired prefrontal cortex function during aging. Young and aged F344 rats were characterized on attentional set shift and spatial memory tasks. Transcriptional differences associated with age and cognition were examined using RNA sequencing to construct transcriptomic profiles for the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), white matter, and region CA1 of the hippocampus. The results indicate regional differences in vulnerability to aging. Age-related gene expression in the mPFC was similar to, though less robust than, changes in the dorsolateral PFC of aging humans suggesting that aging processes may be similar. Importantly, the pattern of transcription associated with aging did not predict cognitive decline. Rather, increased mPFC expression of genes involved in regulation of transcription, including transcription factors that regulate the strength of excitatory and inhibitory inputs, and neural activity-related immediate-early genes was observed in aged animals that exhibit delayed set shift behavior. The specificity of impairment on a mPFC-dependent task, associated with a particular mPFC transcriptional profile indicates that impaired executive function involves altered transcriptional regulation and neural activity/plasticity processes that are distinct from that described for impaired hippocampal function. PMID:27242522
Meyers, Emily A.; Gobeske, Kevin T.; Bond, Allison M.; Jarrett, Jennifer C.; Peng, Chian-Yu; Kessler, John A.
Aging is associated with decreased neurogenesis in the hippocampus and diminished hippocampus-dependent cognitive functions. Expression of bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) increases with age by more than 10-fold in the mouse dentate gyrus while levels of the BMP inhibitor, noggin, decrease. This results in a profound 30-fold increase in phosphorylated-SMAD1/5/8, the effector of canonical BMP signaling. Just as observed in mice, a profound increase in expression of BMP4 is observed in the dentate gyrus of humans with no known cognitive abnormalities. Inhibition of BMP signaling either by overexpression of noggin or transgenic manipulation not only increases neurogenesis in aging mice, but remarkably, is associated with a rescue of cognitive deficits to levels comparable to young mice. Additive benefits are observed when combining inhibition of BMP signaling and environmental enrichment. These findings indicate that increased BMP signaling contributes significantly to impairments in neurogenesis and to cognitive decline associated with aging, and identify this pathway as a potential druggable target for reversing age-related changes in cognition. PMID:26827654
Lu, Po H.; Lee, Grace J.; Tishler, Todd A.; Meghpara, Michael; Thompson, Paul M.; Bartzokis, George
Background: To assess the hypothesis that in a sample of very healthy elderly men selected to minimize risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cerebrovascular disease, myelin breakdown in late-myelinating regions mediates age-related slowing in cognitive processing speed (CPS). Materials and methods: The prefrontal lobe white matter and the genu of…
Helsen, Werner F.; Baker, Joseph; Schorer, Joerg; Steingröver, Christina; Wattie, Nick; Starkes, Janet L.
The relative age effect (RAE) has been demonstrated in many youth and professional sports. In this study, we hypothesized that there would also be a RAE among youth chess players who are typically involved in a complex cognitive task without significant physical requirements. While typical RAEs have been observed in adult chess players, in this…
Zelanti, Pierre S.; Droit-Volet, Sylvie
The current study investigated how the development of cognitive abilities explains the age-related changes in temporal judgment over short and long duration ranges from 0.5 to 30 s. Children (5- and 9-year-olds) as well as adults were given a temporal bisection task with four different duration ranges: a duration range shorter than 1 s, two…
Salthouse, Timothy A.
A major challenge for researchers interested in investigating relations between aging and cognitive functioning is distinguishing influences of aging from other determinants of cognitive performance. For example, cross-sectional comparisons may be distorted because people of different ages were born and grew up in different time periods, and longitudinal comparisons may be distorted because performance on a second occasion is influenced by the experience of performing the tests on the first occasion. One way in which these different types of influences might be investigated is with research designs involving comparisons of people of different ages from the same birth cohorts who are all tested for the first time in different years. Results from several recent studies using these types of designs suggest that the age trends in some cognitive abilities more closely resemble those from cross-sectional comparisons than those from longitudinal comparisons. These findings imply that a major reason for different age trends in longitudinal and cross-sectional comparisons of cognitive functioning is that the prior experience with the tests inflates scores on the second occasion in longitudinal studies. PMID:25382943
Mertes, Christine; Wascher, Edmund; Schneider, Daniel
The effect of healthy aging on cognitive control of irrelevant visual information was investigated by using event-related potentials. Participants performed a spatial cuing task where an irrelevant color cue that was either contingent (color search) or noncontingent (shape search) on the attentional set was presented before a target with different stimulus-onset asynchronies. In the contingent condition, attentional capture appeared independent of age and persisted over the stimulus-onset asynchronies but was markedly pronounced for elderly people. Accordingly, event-related potential analyses revealed that both older and younger adults initially selected the irrelevant cue when it was contingent on the attentional set and transferred spatial cue information into working memory. However, only younger adults revealed inhibitory mechanisms to compensate for attentional capture. It is proposed that this age-related lack of reactive inhibition leads to stickiness in visual processing whenever information is contingent on the attentional set, unveiling older adults' "Achilles' heel" in cognitive control.
Deibel, Scott H.; Zelinski, Erin L.; Keeley, Robin J.; Kovalchuk, Olga; McDonald, Robert J.
Circadian rhythm dysfunction and cognitive decline, specifically memory loss, frequently accompany natural aging. Circadian rhythms and memory are intertwined, as circadian rhythms influence memory formation and recall in young and old rodents. Although, the precise relationship between circadian rhythms and memory is still largely unknown, it is hypothesized that circadian rhythm disruption, which occurs during aging, contributes to age-associated cognitive decline, specifically memory loss. While there are a variety of mechanisms that could mediate this effect, changes in the epigenome that occur during aging has been proposed as a potential candidate. Interestingly, epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and sirtuin1 (SIRT1) are necessary for both circadian rhythms and memory. During aging, similar alterations of epigenetic mechanisms occur in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and hippocampus, which are necessary for circadian rhythm generation and memory, respectively. Recently, circadian rhythms have been linked to epigenetic function in the hippocampus, as some of these epigenetic mechanisms oscillate in the hippocampus and are disrupted by clock gene deletion. The current paper will review how circadian rhythms and memory change with age, and will suggest how epigenetic changes in these processes might contribute to age-related cognitive decline. PMID:26252151
Pichora-Fuller, M. Kathleen; Mick, Paul; Reed, Marilyn
Sensory input provides the signals used by the brain when listeners understand speech and participate in social activities with other people in a range of everyday situations. When sensory inputs are diminished, there can be short-term consequences to brain functioning, and long-term deprivation can affect brain neuroplasticity. Indeed, the association between hearing loss and cognitive declines in older adults is supported by experimental and epidemiologic evidence, although the causal mechanisms remain unknown. These interactions of auditory and cognitive aging play out in the challenges confronted by people with age-related hearing problems when understanding speech and engaging in social interactions. In the present article, we use the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and the Selective Optimization with Compensation models to highlight the importance of adopting a healthy aging perspective that focuses on facilitating active social participation by older adults. First, we examine epidemiologic evidence linking ARHL to cognitive declines and other health issues. Next, we examine how social factors influence and are influenced by auditory and cognitive aging and if they may provide a possible explanation for the association between ARHL and cognitive decline. Finally, we outline how audiologists could reposition hearing health care within the broader context of healthy aging. PMID:27516713
Pichora-Fuller, M Kathleen; Mick, Paul; Reed, Marilyn
Sensory input provides the signals used by the brain when listeners understand speech and participate in social activities with other people in a range of everyday situations. When sensory inputs are diminished, there can be short-term consequences to brain functioning, and long-term deprivation can affect brain neuroplasticity. Indeed, the association between hearing loss and cognitive declines in older adults is supported by experimental and epidemiologic evidence, although the causal mechanisms remain unknown. These interactions of auditory and cognitive aging play out in the challenges confronted by people with age-related hearing problems when understanding speech and engaging in social interactions. In the present article, we use the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and the Selective Optimization with Compensation models to highlight the importance of adopting a healthy aging perspective that focuses on facilitating active social participation by older adults. First, we examine epidemiologic evidence linking ARHL to cognitive declines and other health issues. Next, we examine how social factors influence and are influenced by auditory and cognitive aging and if they may provide a possible explanation for the association between ARHL and cognitive decline. Finally, we outline how audiologists could reposition hearing health care within the broader context of healthy aging.
Huang, Pei; Fang, Rong; Li, Bin-Yin; Chen, Sheng-Di
Aging and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are accompanied by decline of cognitive functions. Meanwhile, the most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is characterized by loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious to make difficulties for patients in their daily life. MCI is a transition period between normal aging and dementia, which has been used for early detection of emerging dementia. It converts to dementia with an annual rate of 5–15% as compared to normal aging with 1% rate. Small decreases in the conversion rate of MCI to AD might significantly reduce the prevalence of dementia. Thus, it is important to intervene at the preclinical stage. Since there are still no effective drugs to treat AD, non-drug intervention is crucial for the prevention and treatment of cognitive decline in aging and MCI populations. Previous studies have found some cognitive brain networks disrupted in aging and MCI population, and physical exercise (PE) could effectively remediate the function of these brain networks. Understanding the exercise-related mechanisms is crucial to design efficient and effective PE programs for treatment/intervention of cognitive decline. In this review, we provide an overview of the neuroimaging studies on physical training in normal aging and MCI to identify the potential mechanisms underlying current physical training procedures. Studies of functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography and positron emission tomography on brain networks were all included. Based on our review, the default mode network, fronto-parietal network and fronto-executive network are probably the three most valuable targets for efficiency evaluation of interventions. PMID:27014055
Borgesius, Nils Z; de Waard, Monique C; van der Pluijm, Ingrid; Omrani, Azar; Zondag, Gerben C M; van der Horst, Gijsbertus T J; Melton, David W; Hoeijmakers, Jan H J; Jaarsma, Dick; Elgersma, Ype
Age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases are a growing challenge for our societies with their aging populations. Accumulation of DNA damage has been proposed to contribute to these impairments, but direct proof that DNA damage results in impaired neuronal plasticity and memory is lacking. Here we take advantage of Ercc1(Δ/-) mutant mice, which are impaired in DNA nucleotide excision repair, interstrand crosslink repair, and double-strand break repair. We show that these mice exhibit an age-dependent decrease in neuronal plasticity and progressive neuronal pathology, suggestive of neurodegenerative processes. A similar phenotype is observed in mice where the mutation is restricted to excitatory forebrain neurons. Moreover, these neuron-specific mutants develop a learning impairment. Together, these results suggest a causal relationship between unrepaired, accumulating DNA damage, and age-dependent cognitive decline and neurodegeneration. Hence, accumulated DNA damage could therefore be an important factor in the onset and progression of age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.
Waldstein, Shari R; Giggey, Paul P; Thayer, Julian F; Zonderman, Alan B
This investigation examined cross-sectional and longitudinal relations, both linear and nonlinear, of blood pressure (BP) and its interaction with demographic and lifestyle variables to a broad spectrum of cognitive functions. Eight hundred forty-seven participants (503 men and 344 women) from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging completed tests of verbal and nonverbal memory, attention, perceptuo-motor speed, executive functions, and confrontation naming, and clinical assessment of BP on 1 to 7 occasions over 11 years. Mixed-effects regression models, adjusted for age, education, gender, alcohol consumption, smoking status, depression scores, and use of antihypertensive medications, revealed nonlinear relations of systolic BP with longitudinal change on tests of nonverbal memory and confrontation naming; cognitive decline was apparent among older (80 years) individuals with higher systolic BP. Cross-sectional findings, across testing sessions, indicated moderated U- and J-shaped relations between BP and cognitive function. Both high and low diastolic BP were associated with poorer performance on tests of executive function and confrontation naming among less-educated persons; with tests of perceptuo-motor speed and confrontation naming among nonmedicated (antihypertensives) individuals; and with executive function among older individuals. Cross-sectional linear relations included higher systolic BP and poorer nonverbal memory in nondrinkers, and higher diastolic BP and poorer working memory among less-educated individuals. Results indicate that cross-sectional and longitudinal relations of BP to cognitive function are predominantly nonlinear and moderated by age, education, and antihypertensive medications. Careful monitoring and treatment of both high and low BP levels may be critical to the preservation of cognitive function.
The availability of neuroimaging technology has spurred a marked increase in the human cognitive neuroscience literature, including the study of cognitive ageing. Although there is a growing consensus that the ageing brain retains considerable plasticity of function, currently measured primarily by means of functional MRI, it is less clear how age differences in brain activity relate to cognitive performance. The field is also hampered by the complexity of the ageing process itself and the large number of factors that are influenced by age. In this Review, current trends and unresolved issues in the cognitive neuroscience of ageing are discussed.
Graham, Eileen K.; Lachman, Margie E.
Personality traits and cognitive performance are related, but little work has examined how these associations vary by personality facet or age. 154 adults aged 22 to 84 completed the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT) and the NEO Five Factor Personality Inventory. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed negative emotional aspects of personality (neuroticism, depression) were associated with lower reasoning, and social aspects of personality (assertiveness) were associated with faster reaction time, yet lower reasoning. The association between neuroticism and performance was found primarily among younger adults. In older adulthood, better performance was associated with positive emotional aspects of personality. We discuss how personality may have different associations with performance across age and the implications for possible interventions. PMID:24821992
Graham, Eileen K; Lachman, Margie E
Personality traits and cognitive performance are related, but little work has examined how these associations vary by personality facet or age. 154 adults aged 22 to 84 completed the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT) and the NEO Five Factor Personality Inventory. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed negative emotional aspects of personality (neuroticism, depression) were associated with lower reasoning, and social aspects of personality (assertiveness) were associated with faster reaction time, yet lower reasoning. The association between neuroticism and performance was found primarily among younger adults. In older adulthood, better performance was associated with positive emotional aspects of personality. We discuss how personality may have different associations with performance across age and the implications for possible interventions.
Xu, Zhipeng; Dong, Yuanlin; Wang, Hui; Culley, Deborah J.; Marcantonio, Edward R.; Crosby, Gregory; Tanzi, Rudolph E.; Zhang, Yiying; Xie, Zhongcong
Post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is associated with increased cost of care, morbidity, and mortality. However, its pathogenesis remains largely to be determined. Specifically, it is unknown why elderly patients are more likely to develop POCD and whether POCD is dependent on general anesthesia. We therefore set out to investigate the effects of peripheral surgery on the cognition and Alzheimer-related neuropathology in mice with different ages. Abdominal surgery under local anesthesia was established in the mice. The surgery induced post-operative elevation in brain β-amyloid (Aβ) levels and cognitive impairment in the 18 month-old wild-type and 9 month-old Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice, but not the 9 month-old wild-type mice. The Aβ accumulation likely resulted from elevation of beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme and phosphorylated eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α. γ-Secretase inhibitor compound E ameliorated the surgery-induced brain Aβ accumulation and cognitive impairment in the 18 month-old mice. These data suggested that the peripheral surgery was able to induce cognitive impairment independent of general anesthesia, and that the combination of peripheral surgery with aging- or Alzheimer gene mutation-associated Aβ accumulation was needed for the POCD to occur. These findings would likely promote more research to investigate the pathogenesis of POCD.
Puccioni, Olga; Vallesi, Antonino
Several studies support the existence of a specific age-related difficulty in suppressing potentially distracting information. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether spatial conflict resolution is selectively affected by aging. The way aging affects individuals could be modulated by many factors determined by the socieconomic status: we investigated whether factors such as cognitive reserve (CR) and years of education may play a compensatory role against age-related deficits in the spatial domain. A spatial Stroop task with no feature repetitions was administered to a sample of 17 non-demented older adults (69–79 years-old) and 18 younger controls (18–34 years-old) matched for gender and years of education. The two age groups were also administered with measures of intelligence and CR. The overall spatial Stroop effect did not differ according to age, neither for speed nor for accuracy. The two age groups equally showed sequential effects for congruent trials: reduced response times (RTs) if another congruent trial preceded them, and accuracy at ceiling. For incongruent trials, older adults, but not younger controls, were influenced by congruency of trialn−1, since RTs increased with preceding congruent trials. Interestingly, such an age-related modulation negatively correlated with CR. These findings suggest that spatial conflict resolution in aging is predominantly affected by general slowing, rather than by a more specific deficit. However, a high level of CR seems to play a compensatory role for both factors. PMID:23248595
Tymula, Agnieszka; Rosenberg Belmaker, Lior A.; Ruderman, Lital; Glimcher, Paul W.; Levy, Ifat
It has long been known that human cognitive function improves through young adulthood and then declines across the later life span. Here we examined how decision-making function changes across the life span by measuring risk and ambiguity attitudes in the gain and loss domains, as well as choice consistency, in an urban cohort ranging in age from 12 to 90 y. We identified several important age-related patterns in decision making under uncertainty: First, we found that healthy elders between the ages of 65 and 90 were strikingly inconsistent in their choices compared with younger subjects. Just as elders show profound declines in cognitive function, they also show profound declines in choice rationality compared with their younger peers. Second, we found that the widely documented phenomenon of ambiguity aversion is specific to the gain domain and does not occur in the loss domain, except for a slight effect in older adults. Finally, extending an earlier report by our group, we found that risk attitudes across the life span show an inverted U-shaped function; both elders and adolescents are more risk-averse than their midlife counterparts. Taken together, these characterizations of decision-making function across the life span in this urban cohort strengthen the conclusions of previous reports suggesting a profound impact of aging on cognitive function in this domain. PMID:24082105
Picq, Jean-Luc; Villain, Nicolas; Gary, Charlotte; Pifferi, Fabien; Dhenain, Marc
The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a promising primate model for investigating normal and pathological cerebral aging. The locomotor behavior of this arboreal primate is characterized by jumps to and from trunks and branches. Many reports indicate insufficient adaptation of the mouse lemur to experimental devices used to evaluate its cognition, which is an impediment to the efficient use of this animal in research. In order to develop cognitive testing methods appropriate to the behavioral and biological traits of this species, we adapted the Lashley jumping stand apparatus, initially designed for rats, to the mouse lemur. We used this jumping stand apparatus to compare performances of young (n = 12) and aged (n = 8) adults in acquisition and long-term retention of visual discriminations. All mouse lemurs completed the tasks and only 25 trials, on average, were needed to master the first discrimination problem with no age-related differences. A month later, all mouse lemurs made progress for acquiring the second discrimination problem but only the young group reached immediately the criterion in the retention test of the first discrimination problem. This study shows that the jumping stand apparatus allows rapid and efficient evaluation of cognition in mouse lemurs and demonstrates that about half of the old mouse lemurs display a specific deficit in long-term retention but not in acquisition of visual discrimination.
Nashiro, Kaoru; Sakaki, Michiko; Braskie, Meredith N; Mather, Mara
Correlations in activity across disparate brain regions during rest reveal functional networks in the brain. Although previous studies largely agree that there is an age-related decline in the "default mode network," how age affects other resting-state networks, such as emotion-related networks, is still controversial. Here we used a dual-regression approach to investigate age-related alterations in resting-state networks. The results revealed age-related disruptions in functional connectivity in all 5 identified cognitive networks, namely the default mode network, cognitive-auditory, cognitive-speech (or speech-related somatosensory), and right and left frontoparietal networks, whereas such age effects were not observed in the 3 identified emotion networks. In addition, we observed age-related decline in functional connectivity in 3 visual and 3 motor/visuospatial networks. Older adults showed greater functional connectivity in regions outside 4 out of the 5 identified cognitive networks, consistent with the dedifferentiation effect previously observed in task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. Both reduced within-network connectivity and increased out-of-network connectivity were correlated with poor cognitive performance, providing potential biomarkers for cognitive aging.
Yaffe, Kristine; Hoang, Tina D; Byers, Amy L; Barnes, Deborah E; Friedl, Karl E
Lifestyle and health-related factors are critical components of the risk for cognitive aging among veterans. Because dementia has a prolonged prodromal phase, understanding effects across the life course could help focus the timing and duration of prevention targets. This perspective may be especially relevant for veterans and health behaviors. Military service may promote development and maintenance of healthy lifestyle behaviors, but the period directly after active duty has ended could be an important transition stage and opportunity to address some important risk factors. Targeting multiple pathways in one intervention may maximize efficiency and benefits for veterans. A recent review of modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer's disease estimated that a 25% reduction of a combination of seven modifiable risk factors including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, smoking, and education/cognitive inactivity could prevent up to 3 million cases worldwide and 492,000 cases in the United States. Lifestyle interventions to address cardiovascular health in veterans may serve as useful models with both physical and cognitive activity components, dietary intervention, and vascular risk factor management. Although the evidence is accumulating for lifestyle and health-related risk factors as well as military risk factors, more studies are needed to characterize these factors in veterans and to examine the potential interactions between them.
Siman-Tov, Tali; Bosak, Noam; Sprecher, Elliot; Paz, Rotem; Eran, Ayelet; Aharon-Peretz, Judith; Kahn, Itamar
As the world ages, it becomes urgent to unravel the mechanisms underlying brain aging and find ways of intervening with them. While for decades cognitive aging has been related to localized brain changes, growing attention is now being paid to alterations in distributed brain networks. Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) has become a particularly useful tool to explore large-scale brain networks; yet, the temporal course of connectivity lifetime changes has not been established. Here, an extensive cross-sectional sample (21–85 years old, N = 887) from a public fcMRI database was used to characterize adult lifespan connectivity dynamics within and between seven brain networks: the default mode, salience, dorsal attention, fronto-parietal control, auditory, visual and motor networks. The entire cohort was divided into young (21–40 years, mean ± SD: 25.5 ± 4.8, n = 543); middle-aged (41–60 years, 50.6 ± 5.4, n = 238); and old (61 years and above, 69.0 ± 6.3, n = 106) subgroups. Correlation matrices as well as a mixed model analysis of covariance indicated that within high-order cognitive networks a considerable connectivity decline is already evident by middle adulthood. In contrast, a motor network shows increased connectivity in middle adulthood and a subsequent decline. Additionally, alterations in inter-network interactions are noticeable primarily in the transition between young and middle adulthood. These results provide evidence that aging-related neural changes start early in adult life. PMID:28119599
Metzler, Megan J.; Saucier, Deborah M.; Metz, Gerlinde A.
Aging is associated with deterioration of skilled manual movement. Specifically, aging corresponds with increased reaction time, greater movement duration, segmentation of movement, increased movement variability, and reduced ability to adapt to external forces and inhibit previously learned sequences. Moreover, it is thought that decreased lateralization of neural function in older adults may point to increased neural recruitment as a compensatory response to deterioration of key frontal and intra-hemispheric networks, particularly of callosal structures. However, factors that mediate age-related motor decline are not well understood. Here we show that music training in childhood is associated with reduced age-related decline of bimanual and unimanual motor skills in a MIDI keyboard motor learning task. Compared to older adults without music training, older adults with more than a year of music training demonstrated proficient bimanual and unimanual movement, evidenced by enhanced speed and decreased movement errors. Further, this group demonstrated significantly better implicit learning in the weather prediction task, a non-motor task. The performance of older adults with music training in those tasks was comparable to young adults. Older adults, however, displayed greater verbal ability compared to young adults irrespective of a past history of music training. Our results indicate that music training early in life may reduce age-associated decline of neural motor and cognitive networks. PMID:23423702
Pereiro Rozas, Arturo X.; Juncos-Rabadan, Onesimo; Gonzalez, Maria Soledad Rodriguez
Processing speed, inhibitory control and working memory have been identified as the main possible culprits of age-related cognitive decline. This article describes a study of their interrelationships and dependence on age, including exploration of whether any of them mediates between age and the others. We carried out a LISREL analysis of the…
Vallet, Guillaume T.
Embodiment is revolutionizing the way we consider cognition by incorporating the influence of our body and of the current context within cognitive processing. A growing number of studies which support this view of cognition in young adults stands in stark contrast with the lack of evidence in favor of this view in the field of normal aging and neurocognitive disorders. Nonetheless, the validation of embodiment assumptions on the whole spectrum of cognition is a mandatory step in order for embodied cognition theories to become theories of human cognition. More pragmatically, aging populations represent a perfect target to test embodied cognition theories due to concomitant changes in sensory, motor and cognitive functioning that occur in aging, since these theories predict direct interactions between them. Finally, the new perspectives on cognition provided by these theories might also open new research avenues and new clinical applications in the field of aging. The present article aims at showing the value and interest to explore embodiment in normal and abnormal aging as well as introducing some potential theoretical and clinical applications. PMID:25932019
Lemke, Ulrike; Besser, Jana
Listening effort has been recognized as an important dimension of everyday listening, especially with regard to the comprehension of spoken language. At constant levels of comprehension performance, the level of effort exerted and perceived during listening can differ considerably across listeners and situations. In this article, listening effort is used as an umbrella term for two different types of effort that can arise during listening. One of these types is processing effort, which is used to denote the utilization of "extra" mental processing resources in listening conditions that are adverse for an individual. A conceptual description is introduced how processing effort could be defined in terms of situational influences, the listener's auditory and cognitive resources, and the listener's personal state. Also, the proposed relationship between processing effort and subjectively perceived listening effort is discussed. Notably, previous research has shown that the availability of mental resources, as well as the ability to use them efficiently, changes over the course of adult aging. These common age-related changes in cognitive abilities and their neurocognitive organization are discussed in the context of the presented concept, especially regarding situations in which listening effort may be increased for older people.
Boot, Walter R; Champion, Michael; Blakely, Daniel P; Wright, Timothy; Souders, Dustin J; Charness, Neil
Recent research has demonstrated broad benefits of video game play to perceptual and cognitive abilities. These broad improvements suggest that video game-based cognitive interventions may be ideal to combat the many perceptual and cognitive declines associated with advancing age. Furthermore, game interventions have the potential to induce higher rates of intervention compliance compared to other cognitive interventions as they are assumed to be inherently enjoyable and motivating. We explored these issues in an intervention that tested the ability of an action game and a "brain fitness" game to improve a variety of abilities. Cognitive abilities did not significantly improve, suggesting caution when recommending video game interventions as a means to reduce the effects of cognitive aging. However, the game expected to produce the largest benefit based on previous literature (an action game) induced the lowest intervention compliance. We explain this low compliance by participants' ratings of the action game as less enjoyable and by their prediction that training would have few meaningful benefits. Despite null cognitive results, data provide valuable insights into the types of video games older adults are willing to play and why.
Hubert, Valérie; Beaunieux, Hélène; Chételat, Gaël; Platel, Hervé; Landeau, Brigitte; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis
Cognitive procedural learning occurs in three qualitatively different phases (cognitive, associative, and autonomous). At the beginning of this process, numerous cognitive functions are involved, subtended by distinct brain structures such as the prefrontal and parietal cortex and the cerebellum. As the learning progresses, these cognitive components are gradually replaced by psychomotor abilities, reflected by the increasing involvement of the cerebellum, thalamus, and occipital regions. In elderly subjects, although cognitive studies have revealed a learning effect, performance levels differ during the acquisition of a procedure. The effects of age on the learning of a cognitive procedure have not yet been examined using functional imaging. The aim of this study was therefore to characterize the cerebral substrates involved in the learning of a cognitive procedure, comparing a group of older subjects with young controls. For this purpose, we performed a positron emission tomography activation study using the Tower of Toronto task. A direct comparison of the two groups revealed the involvement of a similar network of brain regions at the beginning of learning (cognitive phase). However, the engagement of frontal and cingulate regions persisted in the older group as learning continued, whereas it ceased in the younger controls. We assume that this additional activation in the older group during the associative and autonomous phases reflected compensatory processes and the fact that some older subjects failed to fully automate the procedure.
Shineman, Diana W; Salthouse, Timothy A; Launer, Lenore J; Hof, Patrick R; Bartzokis, George; Kleiman, Robin; Luine, Victoria; Buccafusco, Jerry J; Small, Gary W; Aisen, Paul S; Lowe, David A; Fillit, Howard M
This review summarizes the scientific talks presented at the conference "Therapeutics for Cognitive Aging," hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation on May 15, 2009. Attended by scientists from industry and academia, as well as by a number of lay people-approximately 200 in all-the conference specifically tackled the many aspects of developing therapeutic interventions for cognitive impairment. Discussion also focused on how to define cognitive aging and whether it should be considered a treatable, tractable disease.
Ngwenya, Laura B.; Heyworth, Nadine C.; Shwe, Yamin; Moore, Tara L.; Rosene, Douglas L.
The generation of new neurons in the adult mammalian brain is well-established for the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG). However, the role of neurogenesis in hippocampal function and cognition, how it changes in aging, and the mechanisms underlying this are yet to be elucidated in the monkey brain. To address this, we investigated adult neurogenesis in the DG of 42 rhesus monkeys (39 cognitively tested) ranging in age from young adult to the elderly. We report here that there is an age-related decline in proliferation and a delayed development of adult neuronal phenotype. Additionally, we show that many of the new neurons survive throughout the lifetime of the animal and may contribute to a modest increase in total neuron number in the granule cell layer of the DG over the adult life span. Lastly, we find that measures of decreased adult neurogenesis are only modestly predictive of age-related cognitive impairment. PMID:26236203
D’Angelo, Maria C.; Smith, Victoria M.; Kacollja, Arber; Zhang, Felicia; Binns, Malcolm A.; Barense, Morgan D.; Ryan, Jennifer D.
ABSTRACT Binding relations among items in the transverse patterning (TP) task is dependent on the integrity of the hippocampus and its extended network. Older adults have impaired TP learning, corresponding to age-related reductions in hippocampal volumes. Unitization is a training strategy that can mitigate TP impairments in amnesia by reducing reliance on hippocampal-dependent relational binding and increasing reliance on fused representations. Here we examined whether healthy older adults and those showing early signs of cognitive decline would also benefit from unitization. Although both groups of older adults had neuropsychological performance within the healthy range, their TP learning differed both under standard and unitized training conditions. Healthy older adults with impaired TP learning under standard training benefited from unitized training. Older adults who failed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) showed greater impairments under standard conditions, and showed no evidence of improvement with unitization. These individuals’ failures to benefit from unitization may be a consequence of early deficits not seen in older adults who pass the MoCA. PMID:27049878
Ability to predict and prevent incipient functional decline in older adults may help prolong independence. Cognition is related to everyday function and easily administered, sensitive cognitive tests may help identify at-risk individuals. Factors like depressive symptoms and self-rated health are also associated with functional ability and may be as important as cognition. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between concurrent longitudinal changes in cognition, depression, self-rated health and everyday function in a well-defined cohort of healthy 85 year olds that were followed-up at the age of 90 in the Elderly in Linköping Screening Assessment 85 study. Regression analyses were used to determine if cognitive decline as assessed by global (the Mini-Mental State Examination) and domain specific (the Cognitive Assessment Battery, CAB) cognitive tests predicted functional decline in the context of changes in depressive symptoms and self-rated health. Results showed deterioration in most variables and as many as 83% of these community-dwelling elders experienced functional difficulties at the age of 90. Slowing-down of processing speed as assessed by the Symbol Digits Modality Test (included in the CAB) accounted for 14% of the variance in functional decline. Worsening self-rated health accounted for an additional 6%, but no other variables reached significance. These results are discussed with an eye to possible preventive interventions that may prolong independence for the steadily growing number of normally aging old-old citizens. PMID:27551749
Raz, Naftali; Lindenberger, Ulman
The extant longitudinal literature consistently supports the notion of age-related declines in human brain volume. In a report on a longitudinal cognitive follow-up with cross-sectional brain measurements, Burgmans and colleagues (2009) claim that the extant studies overestimate brain volume declines, presumably due to inclusion of participants with preclinical cognitive pathology. Moreover, the authors of the article assert that such declines are absent among optimally healthy adults who maintain cognitive stability for several years. In this comment accompanied by reanalysis of previously published data, we argue that these claims are incorrect on logical, methodological, and empirical grounds.
Ritchie, Stuart J.; Gow, Alan J.; Deary, Ian J.
A well-replicated finding in the psychological literature is the negative correlation between religiosity and intelligence. However, several studies also conclude that one form of religiosity, church attendance, is protective against later-life cognitive decline. No effects of religious belief per se on cognitive decline have been found, potentially due to the restricted measures of belief used in previous studies. Here, we examined the associations between religiosity, intelligence, and cognitive change in a cohort of individuals (initial n = 550) with high-quality measures of religious belief taken at age 83 and multiple cognitive measures taken in childhood and at four waves between age 79 and 90. We found that religious belief, but not attendance, was negatively related to intelligence. The effect size was smaller than in previous studies of younger participants. Longitudinal analyses showed no effect of either religious belief or attendance on cognitive change either from childhood to old age, or across the ninth decade of life. We discuss differences between our cohort and those in previous studies – including in age and location – that may have led to our non-replication of the association between religious attendance and cognitive decline. PMID:25278639
De Oliveira, Thaís Cristina Galdino; Soares, Fernanda Cabral; De Macedo, Liliane Dias E Dias; Diniz, Domingos Luiz Wanderley Picanço; Bento-Torres, Natáli Valim Oliver; Picanço-Diniz, Cristovam Wanderley
The aim of the present report was to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of multisensory and cognitive stimulation on improving cognition in elderly persons living in long-term-care institutions (institutionalized [I]) or in communities with their families (noninstitutionalized [NI]). We compared neuropsychological performance using language and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) test scores before and after 24 and 48 stimulation sessions. The two groups were matched by age and years of schooling. Small groups of ten or fewer volunteers underwent the stimulation program, twice a week, over 6 months (48 sessions in total). Sessions were based on language and memory exercises, as well as visual, olfactory, auditory, and ludic stimulation, including music, singing, and dance. Both groups were assessed at the beginning (before stimulation), in the middle (after 24 sessions), and at the end (after 48 sessions) of the stimulation program. Although the NI group showed higher performance in all tasks in all time windows compared with I subjects, both groups improved their performance after stimulation. In addition, the improvement was significantly higher in the I group than the NI group. Language tests seem to be more efficient than the MMSE to detect early changes in cognitive status. The results suggest the impoverished environment of long-term-care institutions may contribute to lower cognitive scores before stimulation and the higher improvement rate of this group after stimulation. In conclusion, language tests should be routinely adopted in the neuropsychological assessment of elderly subjects, and long-term-care institutions need to include regular sensorimotor, social, and cognitive stimulation as a public health policy for elderly persons. PMID:24600211
De Oliveira, Thaís Cristina Galdino; Soares, Fernanda Cabral; De Macedo, Liliane Dias E Dias; Diniz, Domingos Luiz Wanderley Picanço; Bento-Torres, Natáli Valim Oliver; Picanço-Diniz, Cristovam Wanderley
The aim of the present report was to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of multisensory and cognitive stimulation on improving cognition in elderly persons living in long-term-care institutions (institutionalized [I]) or in communities with their families (noninstitutionalized [NI]). We compared neuropsychological performance using language and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) test scores before and after 24 and 48 stimulation sessions. The two groups were matched by age and years of schooling. Small groups of ten or fewer volunteers underwent the stimulation program, twice a week, over 6 months (48 sessions in total). Sessions were based on language and memory exercises, as well as visual, olfactory, auditory, and ludic stimulation, including music, singing, and dance. Both groups were assessed at the beginning (before stimulation), in the middle (after 24 sessions), and at the end (after 48 sessions) of the stimulation program. Although the NI group showed higher performance in all tasks in all time windows compared with I subjects, both groups improved their performance after stimulation. In addition, the improvement was significantly higher in the I group than the NI group. Language tests seem to be more efficient than the MMSE to detect early changes in cognitive status. The results suggest the impoverished environment of long-term-care institutions may contribute to lower cognitive scores before stimulation and the higher improvement rate of this group after stimulation. In conclusion, language tests should be routinely adopted in the neuropsychological assessment of elderly subjects, and long-term-care institutions need to include regular sensorimotor, social, and cognitive stimulation as a public health policy for elderly persons.
Barr, Rachel; Lauricella, Alexis; Zach, Elizabeth; Calvert, Sandra L.
This study described the relations among the amount of child-directed versus adult-directed television exposure at ages 1 and 4 with cognitive outcomes at age 4. Sixty parents completed 24-hour television diaries when their children were 1 and 4 years of age. At age 4, their children also completed a series of cognitive measures and parents…
Baierle, Marília; Charão, Mariele F; Göethel, Gabriela; Barth, Anelise; Fracasso, Rafael; Bubols, Guilherme; Sauer, Elisa; Campanharo, Sarah C; Rocha, Rafael C C; Saint'Pierre, Tatiana D; Bordignon, Suelen; Zibetti, Murilo; Trentini, Clarissa M; Avila, Daiana S; Gioda, Adriana; Garcia, Solange C
Aging is often accompanied by cognitive impairments and influenced by oxidative status and chemical imbalances. Thus, this study was conducted to examine whether age-related cognitive deficit is associated with oxidative damage, especially with inhibition of the enzyme delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase (ALA-D), as well as to verify the influence of some metals in the enzyme activity and cognitive performance. Blood ALA-D activity, essential (Fe, Zn, Cu, Se) and non-essential metals (Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cr, Ni, V) were measured in 50 elderly and 20 healthy young subjects. Cognitive function was assessed by tests from Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) battery and other. The elderly group presented decreased ALA-D activity compared to the young group. The index of ALA-D reactivation was similar to both study groups, but negatively associated with metals. The mean levels of essential metals were within the reference values, while the most toxic metals were above them in both groups. Cognitive function impairments were observed in elderly group and were associated with decreased ALA-D activity, with lower levels of Se and higher levels of toxic metals (Hg and V). Results suggest that the reduced ALA-D activity in elderly can be an additional factor involved in cognitive decline, since its inhibition throughout life could lead to accumulation of the neurotoxic compound ALA. Toxic metals were found to contribute to cognitive decline and also to influence ALA-D reactivation.
Baierle, Marília; Charão, Mariele F.; Göethel, Gabriela; Barth, Anelise; Fracasso, Rafael; Bubols, Guilherme; Sauer, Elisa; Campanharo, Sarah C.; Rocha, Rafael C. C.; Saint’Pierre, Tatiana D.; Bordignon, Suelen; Zibetti, Murilo; Trentini, Clarissa M.; Ávila, Daiana S.; Gioda, Adriana; Garcia, Solange C.
Aging is often accompanied by cognitive impairments and influenced by oxidative status and chemical imbalances. Thus, this study was conducted to examine whether age-related cognitive deficit is associated with oxidative damage, especially with inhibition of the enzyme delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase (ALA-D), as well as to verify the influence of some metals in the enzyme activity and cognitive performance. Blood ALA-D activity, essential (Fe, Zn, Cu, Se) and non-essential metals (Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cr, Ni, V) were measured in 50 elderly and 20 healthy young subjects. Cognitive function was assessed by tests from Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) battery and other. The elderly group presented decreased ALA-D activity compared to the young group. The index of ALA-D reactivation was similar to both study groups, but negatively associated with metals. The mean levels of essential metals were within the reference values, while the most toxic metals were above them in both groups. Cognitive function impairments were observed in elderly group and were associated with decreased ALA-D activity, with lower levels of Se and higher levels of toxic metals (Hg and V). Results suggest that the reduced ALA-D activity in elderly can be an additional factor involved in cognitive decline, since its inhibition throughout life could lead to accumulation of the neurotoxic compound ALA. Toxic metals were found to contribute to cognitive decline and also to influence ALA-D reactivation. PMID:25329536
Murman, Daniel L.
This article reviews the cognitive changes that occur with normal aging, the structural and functional correlates of these cognitive changes, and the prevalence and cognitive effects of age-associated diseases. Understanding these age-related changes in cognition is important given our growing elderly population and the importance of cognition in maintaining functional independence and effective communication with others. The most important changes in cognition with normal aging are declines in performance on cognitive tasks that require one to quickly process or transform information to make a decision, including measures of speed of processing, working memory, and executive cognitive function. Cumulative knowledge and experiential skills are well maintained into advanced age. Structural and function changes in the brain correlate with these age-related cognitive changes, including alterations in neuronal structure without neuronal death, loss of synapses, and dysfunction of neuronal networks. Age-related diseases accelerate the rate of neuronal dysfunction, neuronal loss, and cognitive decline, with many persons developing cognitive impairments severe enough to impair their everyday functional abilities. There is emerging evidence that healthy lifestyles may decrease the rate of cognitive decline seen with aging and help delay the onset of cognitive symptoms in the setting of age-associated diseases. PMID:27516712
Joly, Marine; Ammersdörfer, Sandra; Schmidtke, Daniel; Zimmermann, Elke
Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD) and reversal learning (PDR) tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research.
Bierre, Kirstin L; Lucas, Samuel J E; Guiney, Hayley; Cotter, James D; Machado, Liana
Alongside age-related brain deterioration, cognitive functioning declines, particularly for more demanding tasks. Past research indicates that, to offset this decline, older adults exhibit hemodynamic changes consistent with recruitment of more anterior brain regions. However, the nature of the hemodynamic changes remains unclear. To address this knowledge gap, we used near-infrared spectroscopy in 36 young adults (aged 18-30 years) and 36 older adults (aged 60-72 years) to assess anterior frontal hemodynamic responses to engagement in three cognitive tasks of increasing difficulty. Behavioral results for all three tasks confirmed aging deficits (evidenced by slower reaction times and reduced accuracy rates) that progressively increased with task difficulty. Hemodynamic results showed opposing effects in young versus older adults, with oxygenated and total hemoglobin decreasing in young but increasing in older adults, particularly during the harder tasks. Also, tissue oxygenation increased only in older adults during the harder tasks. Among the older adults only, anterior frontal hemodynamic changes correlated with better cognitive performance, indicating that they were compensatory in nature. These findings provide novel evidence of age-related anterior frontal hemodynamic changes that intensify with cognitive demands and compensate for performance deficits.
Pietrelli, A; Lopez-Costa, J; Goñi, R; Brusco, A; Basso, N
Recent research involving human and animals has shown that aerobic exercise of moderate intensity produces the greatest benefit on brain health and behavior. In this study we investigated the effects on cognitive function and anxiety-related behavior in rats at different ages of aerobic exercise, performed regularly throughout life. We designed an aerobic training program with the treadmill running following the basic principles of human training, and assuming that rats have the same physiological adaptations. The intensity was gradually adjusted to the fitness level and age, and maintained at 60-70% of maximum oxygen consumption (max.VO(2)). In middle age (8 months) and old age (18 months), we studied the cognitive response with the radial maze (RM), and anxiety-related behaviors with the open field (OF) and the elevated plus maze (EPM). Aerobically trained (AT) rats had a higher cognitive performance measured in the RM, showing that exercise had a cumulative and amplifier effect on memory and learning. The analysis of age and exercise revealed that the effects of aerobic exercise were modulated by age. Middle-aged AT rats were the most successful animals; however, the old AT rats met the criteria more often than the middle-aged sedentary controls (SC), indicating that exercise could reverse the negative effects of sedentary life, partially restore the cognitive function, and protect against the deleterious effects of aging. The results in the OF and EPM showed a significant decrease in key indicators of anxiety, revealing that age affected most of the analyzed variables, and that exercise had a prominent anxiolytic effect, particularly strong in old age. In conclusion, our results indicated that regular and chronic aerobic exercise has time and dose-dependent, neuroprotective and restorative effects on physiological brain aging, and reduces anxiety-related behaviors.
van Geldorp, Bonnie; Parra, Mario A; Kessels, Roy P C
The ability to form associations (i.e., binding) is critical for memory formation. Recent studies suggest that aging specifically affects relational binding (associating separate features) but not conjunctive binding (integrating features within an object). Possibly, this dissociation may be driven by the spatial nature of the studies so far. Alternatively, relational binding may simply require more attentional resources. We assessed relational and conjunctive binding in three age groups and we included an interfering task (i.e., an articulatory suppression task). Binding was examined in a working memory (WM) task using non-spatial features: shape and colour. Thirty-one young adults (mean age = 22.35), 30 middle-aged adults (mean age = 54.80) and 30 older adults (mean age = 70.27) performed the task. Results show an effect of type of binding and an effect of age but no interaction between type of binding and age. The interaction between type of binding and interference was significant. These results indicate that aging affects relational binding and conjunctive binding similarly. However, relational binding is more susceptible to interference than conjunctive binding, which suggests that relational binding may require more attentional resources. We suggest that a general decline in WM resources associated with frontal dysfunction underlies age-related deficits in WM binding.
Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Sensi, Francesca; Cilli, Franco; Mantini, Dante; Mattei, Peter A.; Frazzini, Valerio; Ciavardelli, Domenico; Gatta, Valentina; Ferretti, Antonio; Romani, Gian Luca; Sensi, Stefano L.
Background Aging is a major co-risk factor in many neurodegenerative diseases. Cognitive enrichment positively affects the structural plasticity of the aging brain. In this study, we evaluated effects of a set of structured multimodal activities (Combination Training; CT) on cognitive performances, functional connectivity, and cortical thickness of a group of healthy elderly individuals. CT lasted six months. Methodology Neuropsychological and occupational performances were evaluated before and at the end of the training period. fMRI was used to assess effects of training on resting state network (RSN) functional connectivity using Independent Component Analysis (ICA). Effects on cortical thickness were also studied. Finally, we evaluated whether specific dopamine-related genes can affect the response to training. Principal Findings Results of the study indicate that CT improves cognitive/occupational performances and reorganizes functional connectivity. Intriguingly, individuals responding to CT showed specific dopamine-related genotypes. Indeed, analysis of dopamine-related genes revealed that carriers of DRD3 ser9gly and COMT Val158Met polymorphisms had the greatest benefits from exposure to CT. Conclusions and Significance Overall, our findings support the idea that exposure to a set of structured multimodal activities can be an effective strategy to counteract aging-related cognitive decline and also indicate that significant capability of functional and structural changes are maintained in the elderly. PMID:22937122
Sullivan, Edith V.; Rose, Jessica; Rohlfing, Torsten; Pfefferbaum, Adolf
Postural stability becomes compromised with advancing age, but the neural mechanisms contributing to instability have not been fully explicated. Accordingly, this quantitative physiological and MRI study of sex differences across the adult age range examined the association between components of postural control and the integrity of brain structure and function under different conditions of sensory input and stance stabilization manipulation. The groups comprised 28 healthy men (age 30–73 years) and 38 healthy women (age 34–74 years), who completed balance platform testing, cognitive assessment, and structural MRI. The results supported the hypothesis that excessive postural sway would be greater in older than younger healthy individuals when standing without sensory or stance aids, and that introduction of such aids would reduce sway in both principal directions (anterior–posterior and medial–lateral) and in both the open-loop and closed-loop components of postural control even in older individuals. Sway reduction with stance stabilization, that is, standing with feet apart, was greater in men than women, probably because older men were less stable than women when standing with their feet together. Greater sway was related to evidence for greater brain structural involutional changes, indexed as ventricular and sulcal enlargement and white matter hyperintensity burden. In women, poorer cognitive test performance related to less sway reduction with the use of sensory aids. Thus, aging men and women were shown to have diminished postural control, associated with cognitive and brain structural involution, in unstable stance conditions and with diminished sensory input. PMID:17920729
Hagmann-von Arx, Priska; Manicolo, Olivia; Lemola, Sakari; Grob, Alexander
Age-dependent gait characteristics and associations with cognition, motor behavior, injuries, and psychosocial functioning were investigated in 138 typically developing children aged 6.7–13.2 years (M = 10.0 years). Gait velocity, normalized velocity, and variability were measured using the walkway system GAITRite without an additional task (single task) and while performing a motor or cognitive task (dual task). Assessment of children’s cognition included tests for intelligence and executive functions; parents reported on their child’s motor behavior, injuries, and psychosocial functioning. Gait variability (an index of gait regularity) decreased with increasing age in both single- and dual-task walking. Dual-task gait decrements were stronger when children walked in the motor compared to the cognitive dual-task condition and decreased with increasing age in both dual-task conditions. Gait alterations from single- to dual-task conditions were not related to children’s cognition, motor behavior, injuries, or psychosocial functioning. PMID:27014158
Muris, Peter; Mayer, Birgit; Freher, Nancy Kramer; Duncan, Sylvana; van den Hout, Annemiek
The present study examined age-related patterns in children's anxiety-related interpretations and internal attributions of physical symptoms. A large sample of 388 children aged between 4 and 13 years completed a vignette paradigm during which they had to explain the emotional response of the main character who experienced anxiety-related physical symptoms in a variety of daily situations. In addition, children completed measures of cognitive development and anxiety sensitivity. Results demonstrated that age, cognitive development, and anxiety sensitivity were all positively related to children's ability to perceive physical symptoms as a signal of anxiety and making internal attributions. Further, while a substantial proportion of the younger children (i.e., <7 years) were able to make a valid anxiety-related interpretation of a physical symptom, very few were capable of making an internal attribution, which means that children of this age lack the developmental prerequisites for applying physical symptoms-based theories of childhood anxiety.
Komes, Jessica; Schweinberger, Stefan R.; Wiese, Holger
Previous event-related potential (ERP) research revealed that older relative to younger adults show reduced inversion effects in the N170 (with more negative amplitudes for inverted than upright faces), suggestive of impairments in face perception. However, as these studies used young to middle-aged faces only, this finding may reflect preferential processing of own- relative to other-age faces rather than age-related decline. We conducted an ERP study in which young and older participants categorized young and old upright or inverted faces by age. Stimuli were presented either unfiltered or low-pass filtered at 30, 20, or 10 cycles per image (CPI). Response times revealed larger inversion effects, with slower responses for inverted faces, for young faces in young participants. Older participants did not show a corresponding effect. ERPs yielded a trend toward reduced N170 inversion effects in older relative to younger adults independent of face age. Moreover, larger inversion effects for young relative to old faces were detected, and filtering resulted in smaller N170 amplitudes. The reduced N170 inversion effect in older adults may reflect age-related changes in neural correlates of face perception. A smaller N170 inversion effect for old faces may indicate that facial changes with age hamper early face perception stages. PMID:26441790
American Psychologist, 2012
Dementia in its many forms is a leading cause of functional limitation among older adults worldwide and will continue to ascend in global health importance as populations continue to age and effective cures remain elusive. The following guidelines were developed for psychologists who perform evaluations of dementia and age-related cognitive…
Stevens, Michael C; Skudlarski, Pawel; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Calhoun, Vince D
A fundamental, yet rarely tested premise of developmental cognitive neuroscience is that changes in brain activity and improvements in behavioral control across adolescent development are related to brain maturational factors that shape a more efficient, highly-interconnected brain in adulthood. We present the first multimodal neuroimaging study to empirically demonstrate that maturation of executive cognitive ability is directly associated with the relationship of white matter development and age-related changes in neural network functional integration. In this study, we identified specific white matter regions whose maturation across adolescence appears to reduce reliance on local processing in brain regions recruited for conscious, deliberate cognitive control in favor of a more widely distributed profile of functionally-integrated brain activity. Greater white matter coherence with age was associated with both increases and decreases in functional connectivity within task-engaged functional circuits. Importantly, these associations between white matter development and brain system functional integration were related to behavioral performance on tests of response inhibition, demonstrating their importance in the maturation of optimal cognitive control.
Ferreira, Leandro; Ferreira Santos-Galduróz, Ruth; Ferri, Cleusa Pinheiro; Fernandes Galduróz, José Carlos
Some studies have shown differences in specific cognitive ability domains between the sexes at 60 years-of-age. However is important to analyze whether the rate of cognitive decline is also similar between the sexes after this age. The present study examined previously published literature to investigate whether cognitive decline is distinct between men and women after the age of 60 years. A systematic review was carried out with the PubMed, LILACS and PsycINFO databases (2001-2011) using the following search terms: aging, aged, cognitive function, mild cognitive impairment, mental health and cognition. We analyzed longitudinal research that used neuropsychological tests for evaluating cognitive function, showed results separated by sex and that excluded participants with dementia. Elderly women showed better performance in tests of episodic memory, whereas elderly men had a better visuospatial ability. Only one study detected distinct rates of cognitive decline in specific tests between the sexes. Despite differences observed in some domains, most of the studies showed that this rate is similar between the sexes until the age of 80 years. It is unclear whether sex influences the rate of cognitive decline after the age of 80 years. The present review observed that sex does not determine the rate of cognitive decline between 60 and 80 years-of-age. The contextual and cultural factors that involve men and women might determine a distinct decline between them, rather than sex alone.
Matzel, Louis D.; Grossman, Henya; Light, Kenneth; Townsend, David; Kolata, Stefan
A defining characteristic of age-related cognitive decline is a deficit in general cognitive performance. Here we use a testing and analysis regimen that allows us to characterize the general learning abilities of young (3-5 mo old) and aged (19-21 mo old) male and female Balb/C mice. Animals' performance was assessed on a battery of seven diverse…
Sharp, Emily Schoenhofen; Reynolds, Chandra A.; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Gatz, Margaret
The purpose of this study was to examine whether openness to experience is related to longitudinal change in cognitive performance across advancing age. Participants were 857 individuals from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA). Factors for 5 cognitive domains were created including: verbal ability, spatial ability, memory, processing speed, and a global score, “g”. Latent growth curve models were used to assess level and longitudinal trajectories of cognitive performance. It was hypothesized that individuals who endorsed higher levels of openness would have higher cognitive test scores and lesser rates of cognitive decline. As predicted, higher openness to experience was associated with significantly higher performance across all cognitive tests for both males and females even after adjusting for education, cardiovascular disease and activities of daily living. Openness, however, was not predictive of differences in the trajectories of cognitive performance over age. PMID:20230128
Peltz, Carrie Brumback; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica
Older adults exhibit great variability in their cognitive abilities, with some maintaining high levels of performance on executive control tasks and others showing significant deficits. Previous event-related potential (ERP) work has shown that some of these performance differences are correlated with persistence of the novelty/frontal P3 in older adults elicited by task-relevant events, presumably reflecting variability in the capacity to suppress orienting to unexpected but no longer novel events. In recent ERP work in young adults, we showed that the operation-span (OSPAN) task (a measure of attention control) is predictive of the ability of individuals to keep track of stimulus sequencing and to maintain running mental representations of task stimuli, as indexed by the parietally distributed P300 (or P3b). Both of these phenomena reflect aspects of frontal function (cognitive flexibility and attention control, respectively). To investigate these phenomena we sorted both younger and older adults into low- and high-working memory spans and low- and high-cognitive flexibility subgroups, and examined ERPs during an equal-probability choice reaction time task. For both age groups (a) participants with high OSPAN scores were better able to keep track of stimulus sequencing, as indicated by their smaller P3b to sequential changes; and (b) participants with lower cognitive flexibility had larger P3a than their high-scoring counterparts. However, these two phenomena did not interact suggesting that they manifest dissociable control mechanisms. Further, the fact that both effects are already visible in younger adults suggests that at least some of the brain mechanisms underlying individual differences in cognitive aging may already operate early in life. PMID:21887150
Liu, Jie; Huang, Yuling; Chen, Guojuan; Liu, Xiaoxue; Wang, Zhijun; Cao, Yibin; Li, Haitao; Song, Lu; Li, Chunhui; Zhao, Hualing; Chen, Shuohua; Wang, Yiming; Zhang, Ruiying; Wang, Anxin; Wu, Shouling
Abstract The association between systolic blood pressure (SBP) and cognitive function is controversial in elderly adults. In addition, few studies focused on the cumulative effect of SBP. We aimed to investigate the association between cumulative SBP exposure and cognitive function among middle-aged and elderly adults. The analysis was based on the Asymptomatic Polyvascular Abnormalities Community (APAC) study. The primary predictor was the cumulative SBP calculated by consecutive SBP values measured through baseline (2006–2007) up to the fourth examination (2012–2013). The cognitive function was estimated by mini-mental state examination (MMSE) in the fourth examination. Linear regression and logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the association between cumulative SBP and cognitive function. Among 2211 participants (41.4% female, aged 40–94 years), 167 (7.55%) were diagnosed with cognitive impairment (MMSE score < 24). Higher cumulative exposure to SBP (per SD increment) was independently associated with poor cognitive performance after controlling for multiple factors (P < 0.001). We observed nondifferential association between men and women. However, higher cumulative SBP in the adults aged ≥60 years had a stronger association with poor cognitive performance compared with that in adults aged 40 to 60 years. Greater exposure to cumulative SBP is associated with worse cognitive performance among middle-aged and elderly adults. This association is similar between men and women, but stronger in elderly adults. PMID:27902618
Hunt, Earl; Hertzog, Christopher
In order to alleviate present and anticipated personnel shortages, the Armed Services will have to move away from the present reliance on young adults as a source of personnel. Questions remain about the effects of age changes in cognition on work performance of older personnel. Changes in cognitive capacities over the adult working years are…
Bisaz, Reto; Boadas-Vaello, Pere; Genoux, David; Sandi, Carmen
Most of the mechanisms involved in neural plasticity support cognition, and aging has a considerable effect on some of these processes. The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) of the immunoglobulin superfamily plays a pivotal role in structural and functional plasticity and is required to modulate cognitive and emotional behaviors. However,…
Carman, A J; Dacks, P A; Lane, R F; Shineman, D W; Fillit, H M
Although nothing has been proven conclusively to protect against cognitive aging, Alzheimer's disease or related dementias, decades of research suggest that specific approaches including the consumption of coffee may be effective. While coffee and caffeine are known to enhance short-term memory and cognition, some limited research also suggests that long-term use may protect against cognitive decline or dementia. In vitro and pre-clinical animal models have identified plausible neuroprotective mechanisms of action of both caffeine and other bioactive components of coffee, though epidemiology has produced mixed results. Some studies suggest a protective association while others report no benefit. To our knowledge, no evidence has been gathered from randomized controlled trials. Although moderate consumption of caffeinated coffee is generally safe for healthy people, it may not be for everyone, since comorbidities and personal genetics influence potential benefits and risks. Future studies could include short-term clinical trials with biomarker outcomes to validate findings from pre-clinical models and improved epidemiological studies that incorporate more standardized methods of data collection and analysis. Given the enormous economic and emotional toll threatened by the current epidemic of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, it is critically important to validate potential prevention strategies such as coffee and caffeine.
Saugstad, L F
Onset of puberty is usually considered to coincide with the last major step in brain development: the elimination of some 40% of neuronal synapses. Mean pubertal age has declined by some 4 years during the last 100 years. There is a relation between age at puberty and body build, and between body build and mental illness. The difference in body build between schizophrenia (S) and manic-depressive psychosis (MDP) is similar to that between late and early maturers. It is suggested that S affects late-maturing individuals and MDP very early maturers. The observed marked rise in MDP and decline in the most malignant forms of S (non-paranoid) are in agreement with MDP and S as neurodevelopmental disorders occurring at the extremes of maturation. Maturational irregularities are most likely to occur at the extremes, and it is suggested that abbreviation of the regressive process may have led to persistent redundancy of neuronal synapses in MDP and that prolongation of the process past the optimal has yielded an inadequate synaptic density in S. The lack of cerebral abnormality in the majority of MDP and the presence of only subtle structural deficits in S, are in agreement with this. The two disorders are probably as old as mankind, and early puberty is the necessary factor for the development of MDP and late puberty is the necessary factor for that of S. There is an inverse relation between spatial ability and rate of maturation, whereas verbal ability is unaffected by maturational rate. From a previous predominance in both sexes, spatial ability (Performance IQ scores) has been reduced to below verbal ability (Verbal IQ scores) in the female sex and in early maturing males.
Bosma, H.; van Boxtel, M. P. J.; Ponds, R. W. H. M.; Houx, P. J. H.; Jolles, J.
Longitudinal data from a Dutch study of 708 older adults showed that persons with low educational attainment experienced more decline in information processing speed, memory, and cognitive function. About 42% of the variance was explained by low stimulus or challenge in work. Decline was independent of crystallized intelligence. (Contains 24…
Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Barceló, Francisco
Age-related neurocognitive effects have been observed at different levels ranging from reduced amplitudes of even-related potentials and brain oscillations, to topography changes of brain activity. However, their association remains incompletely understood. We investigated time-frequency and time-course effects in functional networks underlying the P300 and their involvement in reactive control. Electroencephalographic (EEG) data of three different age groups (30 young: 18-26 years, 30 mid-aged: 49-58 years, 30 elderly: 65-75 years) was measured while they performed a cued colour/thickness switching task. Neural data was analysed concerning the targets. To consider restart, mixing, and switching processes, the targets´ position after a cue (first or third target) as well as their context in the single-task (distractor cue) or the mixed-task block (switch- or repeat cue) was analysed. P300 EEG data was decomposed by means of group-independent component and time-frequency analyses focusing on theta and beta oscillations. RTs generally slowed down with age (main effect group), and effects were specifically strong in targets after a switching cue (larger Cohens d). Peaking at around 300 ms, we detected five functionally independent networks reflecting the multicomponent process underlying task-switching. These networks differed in terms of their topography (parietal and frontal), their involvement in task processes (switch-specific, mixing-, restart-, and single-task processes) and in terms of frequency effects. All were affected by age, as indicated by amplitude changes of the target-P300 and power reductions most consistently shown in beta oscillations. Most extensive age-related changes were observed in one parietal network sensitive to mixing and restart processes. Changes included a topography shift, P300 and beta amplitudes, and were ongoing in the elderly group.
Thompson, Joseph J.; Blair, Mark R.; Henrey, Andrew J.
Typically studies of the effects of aging on cognitive-motor performance emphasize changes in elderly populations. Although some research is directly concerned with when age-related decline actually begins, studies are often based on relatively simple reaction time tasks, making it impossible to gauge the impact of experience in compensating for this decline in a real world task. The present study investigates age-related changes in cognitive motor performance through adolescence and adulthood in a complex real world task, the real-time strategy video game StarCraft 2. In this paper we analyze the influence of age on performance using a dataset of 3,305 players, aged 16-44, collected by Thompson, Blair, Chen & Henrey . Using a piecewise regression analysis, we find that age-related slowing of within-game, self-initiated response times begins at 24 years of age. We find no evidence for the common belief expertise should attenuate domain-specific cognitive decline. Domain-specific response time declines appear to persist regardless of skill level. A second analysis of dual-task performance finds no evidence of a corresponding age-related decline. Finally, an exploratory analyses of other age-related differences suggests that older participants may have been compensating for a loss in response speed through the use of game mechanics that reduce cognitive load. PMID:24718593
Thompson, Joseph J; Blair, Mark R; Henrey, Andrew J
Typically studies of the effects of aging on cognitive-motor performance emphasize changes in elderly populations. Although some research is directly concerned with when age-related decline actually begins, studies are often based on relatively simple reaction time tasks, making it impossible to gauge the impact of experience in compensating for this decline in a real world task. The present study investigates age-related changes in cognitive motor performance through adolescence and adulthood in a complex real world task, the real-time strategy video game StarCraft 2. In this paper we analyze the influence of age on performance using a dataset of 3,305 players, aged 16-44, collected by Thompson, Blair, Chen & Henrey . Using a piecewise regression analysis, we find that age-related slowing of within-game, self-initiated response times begins at 24 years of age. We find no evidence for the common belief expertise should attenuate domain-specific cognitive decline. Domain-specific response time declines appear to persist regardless of skill level. A second analysis of dual-task performance finds no evidence of a corresponding age-related decline. Finally, an exploratory analyses of other age-related differences suggests that older participants may have been compensating for a loss in response speed through the use of game mechanics that reduce cognitive load.
Grady, Cheryl L.; Protzner, Andrea B.; Kovacevic, Natasa; Strother, Stephen C.; Afshin-Pour, Babak; Wojtowicz, Magda; Anderson, John A.E.; Churchill, Nathan; McIntosh, Anthony R.
We explored the effects of aging on two large scale brain networks, the default mode network (DMN) and the task-positive network (TPN). During fMRI scanning, young and older participants carried out four visual tasks: detection, perceptual matching, attentional cueing, and working memory. Accuracy of performance was roughly matched at 80% across tasks and groups. Modulations of activity across conditions were assessed, as well as functional connectivity of both networks. Younger adults showed a broader engagement of the DMN, and older adults a more extensive engagement of the TPN. Functional connectivity in the DMN was reduced in older adults, whereas the main pattern of TPN connectivity was equivalent in the two groups. Age-specific connectivity also was seen in TPN regions. Increased activity in TPN areas predicted worse accuracy on the tasks, but greater expression of a connectivity pattern associated with a right dorsolateral prefrontal TPN region, seen only in older adults, predicted better performance. These results provide further evidence for age-related differences in the DMN, and new evidence of age differences in the TPN. Increased use of the TPN may reflect greater demand on cognitive control processes in older individuals that may be partially offset by alterations in prefrontal functional connectivity. PMID:19789183
Corley, Janie; Gow, Alan J; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J
We tested the hypothesis that the previously reported association between a higher body mass index (BMI) and poorer cognition in later adulthood is an artifact of confounding by previous cognitive ability and socioeconomic status. Participants were 1,079 adults aged about 70 years in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 Study, on whom there are IQ data from age 11. Cognitive outcome measures included: IQ at age 70 using the same test that was administered at age 11; composite measures of general cognitive ability (g factor), speed of information processing, and memory; and two tests of verbal ability. People classified as overweight or obese in later adulthood had significantly lower scores on tests of childhood IQ, age 70 IQ, g factor, and verbal ability. There was no significant association with processing speed or memory performance. After adjusting for childhood IQ and social class in general linear models, associations with age 70 IQ and g factor were nonsignificant or attenuated. However, throughout the models, there was a persistent (inverse) relationship between BMI and performance on the National Adult Reading Test (NART) and Wechsler Test of Adult Reading (WTAR), which remained significant after full adjustment for all sociodemographic and health covariates (for the NART, p = .025; for the WTAR, p = .011). The findings suggest that the previously reported BMI-cognition associations in later adulthood could be largely accounted for by prior ability and socioeconomic status, and by the possible influence of these factors on the adoption of health behaviors in adulthood.
Moore, Raeanne C; Fazeli, Pariya L; Jeste, Dilip V; Moore, David J; Grant, Igor; Woods, Steven Paul
Neurocognitive impairments commonly occur and adversely impact everyday functioning in older adults infected with HIV, but little is known about successful cognitive aging (SCA) and its health-related quality of life (HRQoL) correlates. Seventy younger (≤40 years) and 107 older (≥50 years) HIV+ adults, as well as age-matched seronegative comparison groups of younger (N = 48) and older (N = 77) subjects completed a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological, psychiatric, medical, and HRQoL assessments. SCA was operationalized as the absence of both performance-based neurocognitive deficits and self-reported symptoms (SCA-ANDS) as determined by published normative standards. A stair-step decline in SCA-ANDS was observed in accordance with increasing age and HIV serostatus, with the lowest rates of SCA-ANDS found in the older HIV+ group (19 %). In both younger and older HIV+ adults, SCA-ANDS was strongly related to better mental HRQoL. HIV infection has additive adverse effects on SCA, which may play a unique role in mental well-being among HIV-infected persons across the lifespan.
Already in the 90s, Khachaturian stated that postponing dementia onset by five years would decrease the prevalence of the late onset dementia by 50%. After two decades of lack of success in dementia drug discovery and development, and knowing that worldwide, currently 36 million patients have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, a number that will double by 2030 and triple by 2050, the World Health Organization and the Alzheimer's Disease International declared that prevention of cognitive decline was a 'public health priority.' Numerous longitudinal studies and meta-analyses were conducted to analyze the risk and protective factors for dementia. Among the 93 identified risk factors, seven major modifiable ones should be considered: low education, sedentary lifestyle, midlife obesity, midlife smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and midlife depression. Three other important modifiable risk factors should also be added to this list: midlife hypercholesterolemia, late life atrial fibrillation, and chronic kidney disease. After their identification, numerous authors attempted to establish dementia risk scores; however, the proposed values were not convincing. Identifying the possible interventions, able to either postpone or delay dementia has been an important challenge. Observational studies focused on a single life-style intervention increased the global optimism concerning these possibilities. However, a recent extensive literature review of the randomized control trials (RCTs) conducted before 2014 yielded negative results. The first results of RCTs of multimodal interventions (Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability, Multidomain Alzheimer Prevention Study, and Prediva) brought more optimism. Lastly, interventions targeting compounds of beta amyloid started in 2012 and no results have yet been published. PMID:27688858
Barnes, Jill N
Increasing the lifespan of a population is often a marker of a country's success. With the percentage of the population over 65 yr of age expanding, managing the health and independence of this population is an ongoing concern. Advancing age is associated with a decrease in cognitive function that ultimately affects quality of life. Understanding potential adverse effects of aging on brain blood flow and cognition may help to determine effective strategies to mitigate these effects on the population. Exercise may be one strategy to prevent or delay cognitive decline. This review describes how aging is associated with cardiovascular disease risks, vascular dysfunction, and increasing Alzheimer's disease pathology. It will also discuss the possible effects of aging on cerebral vascular physiology, cerebral perfusion, and brain atrophy rates. Clinically, these changes will present as reduced cognitive function, neurodegeneration, and the onset of dementia. Regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, and we hypothesize that this occurs through beneficial adaptations in vascular physiology and improved neurovascular coupling. This review highlights the potential interactions and ideas of how the age-associated variables may affect cognition and may be moderated by regular exercise.
Giordano, Nunzia; Tikhonoff, Valérie; Palatini, Paolo; Bascelli, Anna; Boschetti, Giovanni; De Lazzari, Fabia; Grasselli, Carla; Martini, Bortolo; Caffi, Sandro; Piccoli, Antonio; Mazza, Alberto; Bisiacchi, Patrizia; Casiglia, Edoardo
In 288 men and women from general population in a cross-sectional survey, all neuropsychological tests were negatively associated with age; memory and executive function were also positively related with education. The hypertensives (HT) were less efficient than the normotensives (NT) in the test of memory with interference at 10 sec (MI-10) (−33%, P = 0.03), clock drawing test (CLOX) (−28%, P < 0.01), and mini-mental state examination (MMSE) (−6%, P = 0.02). Lower MMSE, MI-10, and CLOX were predicted by higher systolic (odds ratio, OR, 0.97, P = 0.02; OR 0.98, P < 0.005; OR 0.95, P < 0.001) and higher pulse blood pressure (BP) (OR 0.97, P = 0.02; OR 0.97, P < 0.01; and 0.95, P < 0.0001). The cognitive reserve index (CRI) was 6% lower in the HT (P = 0.03) and was predicted by higher pulse BP (OR 0.82, P < 0.001). The BP vectors of lower MMSE, MI-10, and CLOX were directed towards higher values of systolic and diastolic BP, that of low CRI towards higher systolic and lower diastolic. The label of hypertension and higher values of systolic or pulse BP are associated to worse memory and executive functions. Higher diastolic BP, although insufficient to impair cognition, strengthens this association. CRI is predicted by higher systolic BP associated to lower diastolic BP. PMID:22548150
Luk, Gigi; de Sa, Eric; Bialystok, Ellen
Young English-speaking monolingual and bilingual adults were examined for English proficiency, language use history, and performance on a flanker task. The bilinguals, who were about twenty years old, were divided into two groups (early bilinguals and late bilinguals) according to whether they became actively bilingual before or after the age of…
Moussa, Malaak N.; Simpson, Sean L.; Mayhugh, Rhiannon E.; Grata, Michelle E.; Burdette, Jonathan H.; Porrino, Linda J.; Laurienti, Paul J.
Recent census data has found that roughly 40% of adults 65 years and older not only consume alcohol but also drink more of it than previous generations. Older drinkers are more vulnerable than younger counterparts to the psychoactive effects of alcohol due to natural biological changes that occur with aging. This study was specifically designed to measure the effect of long-term moderate alcohol consumption on cognitive health in older adult drinkers. An extensive battery of validated tests commonly used in aging and substance use literature was used to measure performance in specific cognitive domains, including working memory and attention. An age (young, old) * alcohol consumption (light, moderate) factorial study design was used to evaluate the main effects of age and alcohol consumption on cognitive performance. The focus of the study was then limited to light and moderate older drinkers, and whether or not long-term moderate alcohol consumption exacerbated age-related cognitive decline. No evidence was found to support the idea that long-term moderate alcohol consumption in older adults exacerbates age-related cognitive decline. Findings were specific to healthy community dwelling social drinkers in older age and they should not be generalized to individuals with other consumption patterns, like heavy drinkers, binge drinkers or ex-drinkers. PMID:25601835
Boyle, Patricia A.; Yu, Lei; Barnes, Lisa L.; Schneider, Julie A.; Bennett, David A.
Objective: To test the hypothesis that cognitive activity across the life span is related to late-life cognitive decline not linked to common neuropathologic disorders. Methods: On enrollment, older participants in a longitudinal clinical-pathologic cohort study rated late-life (i.e., current) and early-life participation in cognitively stimulating activities. After a mean of 5.8 years of annual cognitive function testing, 294 individuals had died and undergone neuropathologic examination. Chronic gross infarcts, chronic microscopic infarcts, and neocortical Lewy bodies were identified, and measures of β-amyloid burden and tau-positive tangle density in multiple brain regions were derived. Results: In a mixed-effects model adjusted for age at death, sex, education, gross and microscopic infarction, neocortical Lewy bodies, amyloid burden, and tangle density, more frequent late-life cognitive activity (estimate = 0.028, standard error [SE] = 0.008, p < 0.001) and early-life cognitive activity (estimate = 0.034, SE = 0.013, p = 0.008) were each associated with slower cognitive decline. The 2 measures together accounted for 14% of the residual variability in cognitive decline not related to neuropathologic burden. The early-life–activity association was attributable to cognitive activity in childhood (estimate = 0.027, SE = 0.012, p = 0.026) and middle age (estimate = 0.029, SE = 0.013, p = 0.025) but not young adulthood (estimate = −0.020, SE = 0.014, p = 0.163). Conclusions: More frequent cognitive activity across the life span has an association with slower late-life cognitive decline that is independent of common neuropathologic conditions, consistent with the cognitive reserve hypothesis. PMID:23825173
Bilbo, Staci D
There is significant individual variability in cognitive decline during aging, suggesting the existence of "vulnerability factors" for eventual deficits. Neuroinflammation may be one such factor; increased glial reactivity is a common outcome of aging, which in turn is associated with numerous neurodegenerative conditions. Early-life infection leads to cognitive impairment in conjunction with an inflammatory challenge in young adulthood, which led us to explore whether it might also accelerate the cognitive decline associated with aging. Rats were treated on postnatal day 4 with PBS or Escherichia coli, and then tested for learning and memory at 2 or 16months of age, using two fear-conditioning tasks (context pre-exposure and ambiguous cue), and a spatial water maze task. Neonatally-infected rats exhibited memory impairments in both the ambiguous cue fear-conditioning task and in the water maze, but only at 16months. There were no differences in anxiety between groups. Neonatally-infected rats also exhibited greater aging-induced increases in glial markers (CD11b and MHCII on microglia, and GFAP on astrocytes), as well as selective changes in NMDA receptor subunit expression within the hippocampus, but not in amygdala or parietal cortex compared to controls. Taken together, these data suggest that early-life infection leads to less successful cognitive aging, which may be linked to changes in glial reactivity.
Lee, Jin San; Shin, Hee Young; Kim, Hee Jin; Jang, Young Kyoung; Jung, Na-Yeon; Lee, Juyoun; Kim, Yeo Jin; Chun, Phillip; Yang, Jin-Ju; Lee, Jong-Min; Kang, Mira; Park, Key-Chung; Na, Duk L; Seo, Sang Won
We investigated the association between self-reported physical exercise and cortical thickness in a large sample of cognitively normal individuals. We also determined whether a combination of physical exercise and education had more protective effects on age-related cortical thinning than either parameter alone. A total of 1,842 participants were included in this analysis. Physical exercise was assessed using a questionnaire regarding intensity, frequency, and duration. Cortical thickness was measured using a surface-based method. Longer duration of exercise (≥1 hr/day), but not intensity or frequency, was associated with increased mean cortical thickness globally (P-value = 0.013) and in the frontal regions (P-value = 0.007). In particular, the association of exercise with cortical thinning had regional specificity in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal, precuneus, left postcentral, and inferior parietal regions. The combination of higher exercise level and higher education level showed greater global and frontal mean thickness than either parameter alone. Testing for a trend with the combination of high exercise level and high education level confirmed this finding (P-value = 0.001-0.003). Our findings suggest that combined exercise and education have important implications for brain health, especially considering the paucity of known protective factors for age-related cortical thinning.
Barnes, Jill N.
Increasing the lifespan of a population is often a marker of a country's success. With the percentage of the population over 65 yr of age expanding, managing the health and independence of this population is an ongoing concern. Advancing age is associated with a decrease in cognitive function that ultimately affects quality of life. Understanding…
Wang, Dongmei; Mitchell, Ellen S.
Brain glucose hypometabolism is a common feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previous studies have shown that cognition is improved by providing AD patients with an alternate energy source: ketones derived from either ketogenic diet or supplementation with medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Recently, data on the neuroprotective capacity of MCT-derived medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) suggest 8-carbon and 10-carbon MCFA may have cognition-enhancing properties which are not related to ketone production. We investigated the effect of 8 week treatment with MCT8, MCT10 or sunflower oil supplementation (5% by weight of chow diet) in 21 month old Wistar rats. Both MCT diets increased ketones plasma similarly compared to control diet, but MCT diets did not increase ketones in the brain. Treatment with MCT10, but not MCT8, significantly improved novel object recognition memory compared to control diet, while social recognition increased in both MCT groups. MCT8 and MCT10 diets decreased weight compared to control diet, where MCFA plasma levels were higher in MCT10 groups than in MCT8 groups. Both MCT diets increased IRS-1 (612) phosphorylation and decreased S6K phosphorylation (240/244) but only MCT10 increased Akt phosphorylation (473). MCT8 supplementation increased synaptophysin, but not PSD-95, in contrast MCT10 had no effect on either synaptic marker. Expression of Ube3a, which controls synaptic stability, was increased by both MCT diets. Cortex transcription via qPCR showed that immediate early genes related to synaptic plasticity (arc, plk3, junb, egr2, nr4a1) were downregulated by both MCT diets while MCT8 additionally down-regulated fosb and egr1 but upregulated grin1 and gba2. These results demonstrate that treatment of 8- and 10-carbon length MCTs in aged rats have slight differential effects on synaptic stability, protein synthesis and behavior that may be independent of brain ketone levels. PMID:27517611
Wang, Dongmei; Mitchell, Ellen S
Brain glucose hypometabolism is a common feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previous studies have shown that cognition is improved by providing AD patients with an alternate energy source: ketones derived from either ketogenic diet or supplementation with medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Recently, data on the neuroprotective capacity of MCT-derived medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) suggest 8-carbon and 10-carbon MCFA may have cognition-enhancing properties which are not related to ketone production. We investigated the effect of 8 week treatment with MCT8, MCT10 or sunflower oil supplementation (5% by weight of chow diet) in 21 month old Wistar rats. Both MCT diets increased ketones plasma similarly compared to control diet, but MCT diets did not increase ketones in the brain. Treatment with MCT10, but not MCT8, significantly improved novel object recognition memory compared to control diet, while social recognition increased in both MCT groups. MCT8 and MCT10 diets decreased weight compared to control diet, where MCFA plasma levels were higher in MCT10 groups than in MCT8 groups. Both MCT diets increased IRS-1 (612) phosphorylation and decreased S6K phosphorylation (240/244) but only MCT10 increased Akt phosphorylation (473). MCT8 supplementation increased synaptophysin, but not PSD-95, in contrast MCT10 had no effect on either synaptic marker. Expression of Ube3a, which controls synaptic stability, was increased by both MCT diets. Cortex transcription via qPCR showed that immediate early genes related to synaptic plasticity (arc, plk3, junb, egr2, nr4a1) were downregulated by both MCT diets while MCT8 additionally down-regulated fosb and egr1 but upregulated grin1 and gba2. These results demonstrate that treatment of 8- and 10-carbon length MCTs in aged rats have slight differential effects on synaptic stability, protein synthesis and behavior that may be independent of brain ketone levels.
Cole, Rachel L.; Treadwell, Susanne; Dosani, Sima; Frederickson, Norah
This study evaluated the school-based short-term, cognitive-behavioral group anger management programme, "Learning How to Deal with our Angry Feelings" (Southampton Psychology Service, 2003). Thirteen groups of children aged 7- to 11-years-old were randomly allocated to two different cohorts: One cohort ("n"?=?35) first…
Weigand, Anne; Fan, Yan; Gärtner, Matti; Feeser, Melanie; Bajbouj, Malek
The main goal of this study was to assess the usability of a tablet-computer-based application (EmoCogMeter) in investigating the effects of age on cognitive functions across the lifespan in a sample of 378 healthy subjects (age range 18-89 years). Consistent with previous findings we found an age-related cognitive decline across a wide range of neuropsychological domains (memory, attention, executive functions), thereby proving the usability of our tablet-based application. Regardless of prior computer experience, subjects of all age groups were able to perform the tasks without instruction or feedback from an experimenter. Increased motivation and compliance proved to be beneficial for task performance, thereby potentially increasing the validity of the results. Our promising findings underline the great clinical and practical potential of a tablet-based application for detection and monitoring of cognitive dysfunction. PMID:24561917
Soubelet, Andrea; Salthouse, Timothy A
Although an increasing number of studies have investigated relations between dimensions of personality and level of cognitive functioning, the research results have been somewhat inconsistent. Furthermore, relatively little is known about whether the personality-cognition relations vary as a function of age in adulthood. The current project examined these issues with data from a sample of 2,317 adults between 18 and 96 years of age who each completed a personality inventory and performed a broad battery of cognitive tests. The results revealed strong relations of the personality trait of Openness with several distinct cognitive abilities and smaller relations of other personality traits with specific cognitive abilities. Comparisons across different age groups indicated that the personality-cognition relations were both qualitatively and quantitatively similar across the adult years.
Oh, M. Matthew; Simkin, Dina; Disterhoft, John F.
Aging-related cognitive deficits have been attributed to dysfunction of neurons due to failures at synaptic or intrinsic loci, or both. Given the importance of the hippocampus for successful encoding of memory and that the main output of the hippocampus is via the CA1 pyramidal neurons, much of the research has been focused on identifying the aging-related changes of these CA1 pyramidal neurons. We and others have discovered that the postburst afterhyperpolarization (AHP) following a train of action potentials is greatly enlarged in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged animals. This enlarged postburst AHP is a significant factor in reducing the intrinsic excitability of these neurons, and thus limiting their activity in the neural network during learning. Based on these data, it has largely been thought that aging-related cognitive deficits are attributable to reduced activity of pyramidal neurons. However, recent in vivo and ex vivo studies provide compelling evidence that aging-related deficits could also be due to a converse change in CA3 pyramidal neurons, which show increased activity with aging. In this review, we will incorporate these recent findings and posit that an interdependent dynamic dysfunctional change occurs within the hippocampal network, largely due to altered intrinsic excitability in CA1 and CA3 hippocampal pyramidal neurons, which ultimately leads to the aging-related cognitive deficits. PMID:27375440
Objectives This longitudinal investigation addressed whether and how lifetime cumulative adversity and depressive symptoms moderated age-related decline in markers of physical, mental and cognitive health. Method 1,248 older adults (mean age = 62 at Wave 1) who completed the first two waves of the Israeli component of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE-Israel) reported on exposure to potentially traumatic life events, depressive symptoms, and three outcomes – disability, quality of life and cognitive markers. Results Age was related to greater functional decline in outcome measures across the two waves (i.e., increase in disability and decrease in quality of life and cognitive functioning). This age-related decline became stronger as lifetime adversity increased. A three-way interaction showed that the greatest age-related functional decline in outcome measures was especially salient among those with high level of lifetime adversity and high level of depressive symptoms. Conclusion Lifetime cumulative adversity is associated with a more noticeable process of age-related dysfunction across various markers of health. Although the majority of older adults are resilient to lifetime adversity, prevention and intervention programs should be aimed at mitigating the pronounced senescence observed when adversity accumulated to a large degree, and especially when it is accompanied with high level of distress. PMID:24328416
Smith, Glenn E
Behavioral prevention strategies can help maintain high levels of cognition and functional integrity, and can reduce the social, medical, and economic burden associated with cognitive aging and age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Interventions involving physical exercise and cognitive training have consistently shown positive effects on cognition in older adults. "Brain fitness" interventions have now been shown to have sustained effects lasting 10 years or more. A meta-analysis suggests these physical exercise and brain fitness exercises produce nearly identical impact on formal measures of cognitive function. Behavioral interventions developed and deployed by psychologists are key in supporting healthy cognitive aging. The National Institutes of Health should expand research on cognitive health and behavioral and social science to promote healthy aging and to develop and refine ways to prevent and treat dementia. Funding for adequately powered, large-scale trials is needed. Congress must maintain support for crucial dementia-related initiatives like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Brain Initiative and fund training programs to insure there is a work force with skills to provide high quality care for older adults. Insurers must provide better coverage for behavioral interventions. Better coverage is needed so there can be increased access to evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion services with the potential for reducing dementia risk. (PsycINFO Database Record
Benice, Ted S.; Raber, Jacob
Compared with age-matched male mice, female mice experience a more severe age-related cognitive decline (ACD). Since androgens are less abundant in aged female mice compared with aged male mice, androgen supplementation may enhance cognition in aged female mice. To test this, we assessed behavioral performance on a variety of tasks in 22- to…
Ramos-Goicoa, Marta; Galdo-Álvarez, Santiago; Díaz, Fernando; Zurrón, Montserrat
Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 84 adults (51 to 87 years old) with the aim of exploring the effects of aging (middle-aged and older groups) and cognitive status (healthy or with amnestic mild cognitive impairment, aMCI) on the neural functioning associated with stimulus and response processing in a Stroop color-word task. An interference (or Stroop) effect was observed in the Reaction Time (RT), and the RT and number of errors results were consistent with the age-related decline in performance. Cognitive status did not affect the behavioral performance of the task, but age and cognitive status affected several ERP parameters. Aging was associated with a) slowing of the neural processing of the stimuli (P150, N2, and P3b latencies were longer), b) greater activation of the motor cortex for response preparation (LRP-R amplitude was larger), and c) use of more neural resources for cognitive control of stimuli (N2 amplitude was larger to the congruent and incongruent stimuli than to the colored X-strings, in the older group). Independent of age, aMCI dedicated more neural resources to processing the irrelevant dimension of the stimulus (they showed a greater difference than the control participants between the P3b amplitude to the colored X-strings and to the congruent/incongruent stimuli) and showed a deficit in the selection and preparation of the motor response (with smaller LRP-S and LRP-R amplitudes). Furthermore, the middle-aged aMCI participants evaluated and classified both congruent and incongruent stimuli more slowly (they showed longer P3b latencies) relative to middle-aged controls.
Martins, Isabel Pavão; Maruta, Carolina; Silva, Cláudia; Rodrigues, Pedro; Chester, Catarina; Ginó, Sandra; Freitas, Vanda; Freitas, Sara; Oliveira, António Gouveia
The present study aims to investigate the protective effect of formal education on age-related changes in different cognitive domains with the hypothesis that it may attenuate the rate of decline. Individuals aged 50 years or older attending primary care physicians without known brain disease (431 participants, mostly [60.3%] female with 66.3 [±9.1] years of age and 7.7 [±4.1] years of education, on average), were evaluated with a neuropsychological battery including 28 cognitive measures. Cognitive domains identified by factor analysis were subject to repeated multiple regression analyses to determine the variance explained by age and education controlling for gender, depressive symptoms, and vascular risk factors. The slope of the regression equation was compared between two educational groups with an average of 4 years and 11 years of education, respectively. Factors identified corresponded to processing ability (Factor 1), memory (Factor 2), and acquired knowledge (Factor 3). Although education improved performance in Factors 1 and 3, it did not change the slope of age-related decline in any factor. This study suggests that in culturally heterogeneous groups, small increments in education enhance cognition but do not modify the rate of decline of executive functioning with age. These results contradict some clinical findings and need to be confirmed in longitudinal studies.
Guo, Shan-Shan; Gao, Xiao-Fang; Gu, Yan-Rong; Wan, Zhong-Xiao; Lu, A-Ming; Qin, Zheng-Hong; Luo, Li
Maca has been used as a foodstuff and a traditional medicine in the Andean region for over 2,000 years. Recently the neuroprotective effects of maca also arouse interest of researchers. Decrease in mitochondrial function and decline in autophagy signaling may participate in the process of age-related cognitive decline. This study aimed to investigate if maca could improve cognitive function of middle-aged mice and if this effect was associated with improvement of mitochondrial activity and modulation of autophagy signaling in mouse cortex. Fourteen-month-old male ICR mice received maca powder administered by gavage for five weeks. Maca improved cognitive function, motor coordination, and endurance capacity in middle-aged mice, accompanied by increased mitochondrial respiratory function and upregulation of autophagy-related proteins in cortex. Our findings suggest that maca is a newly defined nutritional plant which can improve mitochondrial function and upregulate autophagy-related proteins and may be an effective functional food for slowing down age-related cognitive decline.
Guo, Shan-Shan; Gao, Xiao-Fang; Gu, Yan-Rong
Maca has been used as a foodstuff and a traditional medicine in the Andean region for over 2,000 years. Recently the neuroprotective effects of maca also arouse interest of researchers. Decrease in mitochondrial function and decline in autophagy signaling may participate in the process of age-related cognitive decline. This study aimed to investigate if maca could improve cognitive function of middle-aged mice and if this effect was associated with improvement of mitochondrial activity and modulation of autophagy signaling in mouse cortex. Fourteen-month-old male ICR mice received maca powder administered by gavage for five weeks. Maca improved cognitive function, motor coordination, and endurance capacity in middle-aged mice, accompanied by increased mitochondrial respiratory function and upregulation of autophagy-related proteins in cortex. Our findings suggest that maca is a newly defined nutritional plant which can improve mitochondrial function and upregulate autophagy-related proteins and may be an effective functional food for slowing down age-related cognitive decline. PMID:27648102
Gerstorf, Denis; Ram, Nilam; Lindenberger, Ulman; Smith, Jacqui
Mortality-related processes are known to modulate late-life change in cognitive abilities, but it is an open question whether and how precipitous declines with impending death generalize to other domains of functioning. We investigated this notion by using 13-year longitudinal data from now-deceased participants in the Berlin Aging Study (N = 439;…
La Rue, Asenath
Current knowledge about the roles of cognitively stimulating lifestyles and cognitive training interventions in preserving cognitive function in later life is reviewed. Potential mechanisms for beneficial effects of cognitive stimulation and training are discussed, and key gaps in research identified. Suggestions are provided for advising patients about brain-healthy lifestyles, acknowledging that much remains to be learned in this area of research. More randomized controlled trials, using challenging regimes of training and stimulation and long-term follow-up, are needed, measuring cognitive trajectories in normal aging and relative risk of Alzheimer disease as outcomes.
Soubelet, Andrea; Salthouse, Timothy A.
Although an increasing number of studies have investigated relations between dimensions of personality and level of cognitive functioning, the research results have been somewhat inconsistent. Furthermore, relatively little is known about whether the personality-cognition relations vary as a function of age in adulthood. The current project…
Yang, Lumeng; Zhang, Jing; Zheng, Kunmu; Shen, Hui; Chen, Xiaochun
In aging individuals, age-related cognitive decline is the most common cause of memory impairment. Among the remedies, ginsenoside Rg1, a major active component of ginseng, is often recommended for its antiaging effects. However, its role in improving cognitive decline during normal aging remains unknown and its molecular mechanism partially understood. This study employed a scheme of Rg1 supplementation for female C57BL/6J mice, which started at the age of 12 months and ended at 24 months, to investigate the effects of Rg1 supplementation on the cognitive performance. We found that Rg1 supplementation improved the performance of aged mice in behavior test and significantly upregulated the expression of synaptic plasticity-associated proteins in hippocampus, including synaptophysin, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit 1, postsynaptic density-95, and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha, via promoting mammalian target of rapamycin pathway activation. These data provide further support for Rg1 treatment of cognitive degeneration during aging.
Fernández-Ballesteros, Rocío; Botella, Juan; Zamarrón, María Dolores; Molina, María Ángeles; Cabras, Emilia; Schettini, Rocío; Tárraga, Lluis
The main goal of the present study is to examine to what extent age and cognitive impairment contribute to learning performance (cognitive plasticity, cognitive modifiability, or learning potential). To address this question, participants coming from four studies (Longitudinal Study of Active Aging, age range, 55–75 years, N = 458; Longitudinal Study in the very old [90+], age range, 90–102, N = 188, and Cognitive Plasticity within the Course of Cognitive Impairment, 97 “Normal”, 57 mild cognitive impairment [MCI], and 98 Alzheimer’s disease [AD] patients) were examined through a measure of verbal learning (developed from Rey). The results show that all age, MCI, and AD groups learned across the five learning trials of that test, but significant differences were found due to age, pathology, and education. The effects of pathology (MCI and AD) can be expressed in a metric of “years of normal decline by age”; specifically, being MCI means suffering an impairment in performance that is equivalent to the decline of a normal individual during 15 years, whereas the impact of AD is equivalent to 22.7 years. Likewise, the improvement associated with about 5 years of education is equivalent to about 1 year less of normal aging. Also, the two pathological groups significantly differed from “normal” groups in the delayed trial of the test. The most dramatic difference is that between the “normal” group and the AD patients, which shows relatively poorer performance for the AD group in the delayed trial than in the first learning trial. The potential role of this unique effect for quick detection purposes of AD is assessed (in the 75–89 years age range, sensitivity and specificity equal 0.813 and 0.917, respectively). PMID:22291469
Lacreuse, Agnès; Russell, Jamie L; Hopkins, William D; Herndon, James G
We present the first longitudinal data on cognitive and motor aging in the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Thirty-eight adult female chimpanzees (10-54 years old) were studied. The apes were tested longitudinally for 3 years in a modified Primate Cognition Test Battery, which comprised 12 tests of physical and social cognition. The chimpanzees were also administered a fine motor task requiring them to remove a steel nut from rods of various complexity. There was little evidence for an age-related decline in tasks of Physical Cognition: for most tasks, performance was either stable or improved with repeated testing across age groups. An exception was Spatial Memory, for which 4 individuals more than 50 years old experienced a significant performance decline across the 3 years of testing. Poorer performance with age was found in 2 tasks of Social Cognition, an attention-getting task and a gaze-following task. A slight motor impairment was also observed, with old chimpanzees improving less than younger animals with repeated testing on the simplest rod. Hormonal status effects were restricted to spatial memory, with non-cycling females outperforming cycling females independently of age. Unexpectedly, older chimpanzees were better than younger individuals in understanding causality relationships based on sound.
Thukham-Mee, Wipawee; Wattanathorn, Jintanaporn
The present study aimed to determine acute toxicity, the protective effect, and underlying mechanism of PM52, a combined extract of Cissampelos pareira and Anethum graveolens, against age-related cognitive impairment in animal model of age-related cognitive impairment. PM52 was determined as acute toxicity according to OECD guideline. Male Wistar rats, weighing 180-220 g, were orally given PM52 at doses of 2, 10, and 50 mg/kg at a period of 14 days before and 7 days after the bilateral administration of AF64A via intracerebroventricular route. All animals were assessed according to spatial memory, neuron density, MDA level, the activities of SOD, CAT, GSH-Px, and AChEI effect in hippocampus. It was found that all doses of PM52 could attenuate memory impairment and neurodegeneration in hippocampus. The possible mechanisms might occur via the suppression of AChE and the decreased oxidative stress in hippocampus. Therefore, our data suggest that PM52 may serve as food supplement to protect against age-related cognitive impairment such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early phase of Alzheimer's disease. However, further researches are still essential.
Objective. Investigate time-related age differences in cognitive functioning without influences of prior test experience. Methods. Cognitive scores were compared in different individuals from the same birth years who were tested in different years, when they were at different ages. These types of quasi-longitudinal comparisons were carried out on data from three large projects: the Seattle Longitudinal Study [Schaie, K. W. (2013). Developmental influences on adult intelligence: The Seattle Longitudinal Study (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press], the Betula Project [Ronnlund, M., & Nilsson, L-G. (2008). The magnitude, generality, and determinants of Flynn effects on forms of declarative memory and visuospatial ability: Time-sequential analyses of data from a Swedish cohort study. Intelligence, 36, 192–209], and the Virginia Cognitive Aging Project (this study). Results. In each data set, the results revealed that the estimates of cognitive change with no prior test experience closely resembled the estimates of age relations based on cross-sectional comparisons. Furthermore, longitudinal comparisons revealed positive changes at young ages that gradually became more negative with increased age, whereas all of the estimates of change without prior test experience were negative except those for measures of vocabulary. Discussion. The current results suggest that retest effects can distort the mean age trends in longitudinal comparisons that are not adjusted for experience. Furthermore, the findings can be considered robust because the patterns were similar across three data sets involving different samples of participants and cognitive tests, and across different methods of controlling experience effects in the new data set. PMID:25182845
Calero, Dolores; Navarro, Elena
The main objective of this study was to analyze the similarities and differences in cognitive performance, level of dependency, cognitive plasticity and QoL in a sample of young-old adults and old-old adults, bearing in mind both the age-group (under or over 80 years) and the cognitive status of the participants. The study population consisted of 220 people living in sheltered accommodation for elderly people in the South of Spain, with an average age of 80.75 years. Participants were evaluated by means of cognitive performance tests, a QoL questionnaire, a depression scale and a dependency assessment scale. The results indicate that the main differences in the variables analyzed are due to the cognitive status of the sample and not to the fact that the participants are under or over 80 years of age. The findings show that major inter-individual differences in this stage of life depend not only on age but also on cognitive status, which is thus an important factor to take into account when working with this sector of the population.
Pinal, Diego; Zurrón, Montserrat; Díaz, Fernando
Memory capacity suffers an age-related decline, which is supposed to be due to a generalized slowing of processing speed and to a reduced availability of processing resources. Information encoding in memory has been demonstrated to be very sensitive to age-related changes, especially when carried out through self-initiated strategies or under high cognitive demands. However, most event-related potentials (ERP) research on age-related changes in working memory (WM) has used tasks that preclude distinction between age-related changes in encoding and retrieval processes. Here, we used ERP recording and a delayed match to sample (DMS) task with two levels of memory load to assess age-related changes in electrical brain activity in young and old adults during successful information encoding in WM. Age-related decline was reflected in lower accuracy rates and longer reaction times in the DMS task. Beside, only old adults presented lower accuracy rates under high than low memory load conditions. However, effects of memory load on brain activity were independent of age and may indicate an increased need of processing after stimulus classification as reflected in larger mean voltages in high than low load conditions between 550 and 1000 ms post-stimulus for young and old adults. Regarding age-related effects on brain activity, results also revealed smaller P2 and P300 amplitudes that may signal the existence of an age dependent reduction in the processing resources available for stimulus evaluation and categorization. Additionally, P2 and N2 latencies were longer in old than in young participants. Furthermore, longer N2 latencies were related to greater accuracy rates on the DMS task, especially in old adults. These results suggest that age-related slowing of processing speed may be specific for target stimulus analysis and evaluation processes. Thus, old adults seem to improve their performance the longer they take to evaluate the stimulus they encode in visual WM.
Pinal, Diego; Zurrón, Montserrat; Díaz, Fernando
Memory capacity suffers an age-related decline, which is supposed to be due to a generalized slowing of processing speed and to a reduced availability of processing resources. Information encoding in memory has been demonstrated to be very sensitive to age-related changes, especially when carried out through self-initiated strategies or under high cognitive demands. However, most event-related potentials (ERP) research on age-related changes in working memory (WM) has used tasks that preclude distinction between age-related changes in encoding and retrieval processes. Here, we used ERP recording and a delayed match to sample (DMS) task with two levels of memory load to assess age-related changes in electrical brain activity in young and old adults during successful information encoding in WM. Age-related decline was reflected in lower accuracy rates and longer reaction times in the DMS task. Beside, only old adults presented lower accuracy rates under high than low memory load conditions. However, effects of memory load on brain activity were independent of age and may indicate an increased need of processing after stimulus classification as reflected in larger mean voltages in high than low load conditions between 550 and 1000 ms post-stimulus for young and old adults. Regarding age-related effects on brain activity, results also revealed smaller P2 and P300 amplitudes that may signal the existence of an age dependent reduction in the processing resources available for stimulus evaluation and categorization. Additionally, P2 and N2 latencies were longer in old than in young participants. Furthermore, longer N2 latencies were related to greater accuracy rates on the DMS task, especially in old adults. These results suggest that age-related slowing of processing speed may be specific for target stimulus analysis and evaluation processes. Thus, old adults seem to improve their performance the longer they take to evaluate the stimulus they encode in visual WM. PMID
Lipnicki, Darren M.; Crawford, John D.; Thalamuthu, Anbupalam; Castro-Costa, Erico; Stephan, Blossom C. M.; Lipton, Richard B.; Katz, Mindy J.; Ritchie, Karen; Scali, Jacqueline; Ancelin, Marie-Laure; Scarmeas, Nikolaos; Yannakoulia, Mary; Dardiotis, Efthimios; Lam, Linda C. W.; Fung, Ada W. T.; Vaccaro, Roberta; Davin, Annalisa; Kim, Ki Woong; Han, Ji Won; Kim, Tae Hui; Cherbuin, Nicolas; Butterworth, Peter; Scazufca, Marcia; Kumagai, Shuzo; Chen, Sanmei; Narazaki, Kenji; Lobo, Antonio; Lopez-Anton, Raúl; Santabárbara, Javier; Sachdev, Perminder S.
Background The prevalence of dementia varies around the world, potentially contributed to by international differences in rates of age-related cognitive decline. Our primary goal was to investigate how rates of age-related decline in cognitive test performance varied among international cohort studies of cognitive aging. We also determined the extent to which sex, educational attainment, and apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (APOE*4) carrier status were associated with decline. Methods and findings We harmonized longitudinal data for 14 cohorts from 12 countries (Australia, Brazil, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States), for a total of 42,170 individuals aged 54–105 y (42% male), including 3.3% with dementia at baseline. The studies began between 1989 and 2011, with all but three ongoing, and each had 2–16 assessment waves (median = 3) and a follow-up duration of 2–15 y. We analyzed standardized Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and memory, processing speed, language, and executive functioning test scores using linear mixed models, adjusted for sex and education, and meta-analytic techniques. Performance on all cognitive measures declined with age, with the most rapid rate of change pooled across cohorts a moderate -0.26 standard deviations per decade (SD/decade) (95% confidence interval [CI] [-0.35, -0.16], p < 0.001) for processing speed. Rates of decline accelerated slightly with age, with executive functioning showing the largest additional rate of decline with every further decade of age (-0.07 SD/decade, 95% CI [-0.10, -0.03], p = 0.002). There was a considerable degree of heterogeneity in the associations across cohorts, including a slightly faster decline (p = 0.021) on the MMSE for Asians (-0.20 SD/decade, 95% CI [-0.28, -0.12], p < 0.001) than for whites (-0.09 SD/decade, 95% CI [-0.16, -0.02], p = 0.009). Males declined on the MMSE at a slightly slower rate than females (difference = 0
Badgio, Peter C; Worden, Blaise L
Deficits in cognitive function may impact one's ability to attend to stimuli, think clearly, reason, and remember. Impaired cognitive function is a common complaint among older women presenting for treatment in both mental health and medical care settings, and differential diagnosis of type and extent of cognitive impairment is important for appropriate treatment planning and prognosis. Although overall gender differences in prevalence of cognitive dysfunction are minimal, it is important when treating older women to take into account unique challenges they face in the aging process that impact the cause, type and extent of cognitive complaints with which they present in clinical settings. The current paper provides an overview to guide accurate diagnosis, particularly in women, of different types of cognitive impairment under the broad category of dementias, including Alzheimer's, Lewy Body Disease, Vascular Dementia, and due to general medical conditions such as coronary artery bypass surgery, head injury, menopause, hypothyroidism, breast cancer treatment, Fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. In addition, emotional factors such as depression in older female patients complicate differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment and must be addressed. Given the multiplicity of causes of cognitive difficulties for women across the life span, careful assessment is crucial; the current paper reviews assessment strategies to prepare an integrated, biopsychosocial strategy for identifying particular cognitive deficits and related psychological and medical problems. In addition, prognostic indicators and treatment planning are discussed to help the practitioner organize an empathic, reasoned and multifaceted treatment approach to maximize recovery, minimize deterioration, and manage symptoms for older women in the context of their social support system and living environment.
Zhang, Shuai; Hu, Xueyuan; Guan, Wei; Luan, Li; Li, Bei; Tang, Qichao; Fan, Honggang
Isoflurane anesthesia has been shown to be responsible for cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and development of AD in the older age groups. However, the pathogenesis of AD-related cognitive impairments induced by isoflurane anesthesia remains elusive. Thus, this study was designed to investigate the mechanism by which isoflurane anesthesia caused AD-related cognitive impairments. Aged Wistar rats were randomly divided into 6 groups (n = 12), 1 control group (CONT) and 5 isoflurane treated (ISO) groups (ISO 0, ISO 0.5D, ISO 1D, ISO 3D and ISO 7D). The CONT group inhaled 30% O2 for 2 h without any anesthesia. ISO groups were placed under anesthesia with 3% isoflurane and then exposed to 1.5% isoflurane delivered in 30% O2 for 2 h. Rats in each ISO group were then analyzed immediately (ISO 0) or at various time points (0.5, 1, 3 or 7 day) after this exposure. Cognitive function was assessed using the Morris water maze test. Protein levels of amyloid precursor protein (APP), β-site APP cleavage enzyme-1 (BACE-1) and Aβ42 peptide were analyzed in hippocampal samples by Western blot. β-Amyloid (Abeta) plaques were detected in hippocampal sections by Congo red staining. Compared with controls, all ISO groups showed increased escape latency and impaired spatial memory. Isoflurane increased APP mRNA expression and APP protein depletion, promoting Aβ42 overproduction, oligomerization and accumulation. However, isoflurane did not affect BACE-1 expression. Abeta plaques were observed only in those ISO groups sacrificed at 3 or 7 d. Our data indicate that aged rats exposed to isoflurane had increased APP mRNA expression and APP protein depletion, with Aβ42 peptide overproduction and oligomerization, resulting in formation of Abeta plaques in the hippocampus. Such effects might have contributed to cognitive impairments, including in spatial memory, observed in these rats after isoflurane anesthesia.
Limbers, Christine A; Heffer, Robert W; Varni, James W
HRQOL as a multidimensional construct has not been previously investigated in children with Asperger's Syndrome. The objective of the present study was to examine the initial feasibility, reliability, and validity of the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales and PedsQL Cognitive Functioning Scale parent proxy-report versions in school-aged children with Asperger's Syndrome. The PedsQL evidenced no missing responses (0.0%), achieved excellent reliability for the Generic Core Total Scale score (alpha = 0.82) and Cognitive Functioning Scale (alpha = 0.92), distinguished between children with Asperger's Syndrome and a matched sample of healthy children, and was related to similar constructs on the Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale. The results demonstrate the initial measurement properties of the PedsQL in school-aged children with Asperger's Syndrome.
Hamadani, Jena Derakhshani; Tofail, Fahmida; Cole, Tim; Grantham-McGregor, Sally
There is a need for easily administered, low-cost measures to assess child development in large field studies. Many researchers evaluate the age of attainment of motor milestones, but there is little information on their validity. A large longitudinal study (MINIMat) was conducted in a poor rural area of Bangladesh and we assessed the age of attainment of motor milestones in a subsample of over 2000 children. We examined their association with scores on the Bayley psychomotor development index (PDI) and mental development index (MDI) at 18 months and with scores on the Movement Assessment Battery for Children and with intelligence quotient (IQ) on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence at 64 months. A field worker visited the children's homes monthly from 3 to 12 months of age and then at 15 months and examined the children. Mothers recorded the date of attainment of the milestones. Age of attainment of walking and standing alone was moderately correlated with the PDI and had significant but low associations with later motor development. They were as good as the PDI in predicting later motor development and could be used in field studies for that purpose. Milestone age of attainment had significant but low correlations with MDI and later IQ. Height for age at 15 months was related to milestones and later IQ and motor development and accounted for some of the association between milestones and IQ. Milestone age of attainment may not be sensitive enough to be used as an indicator of later IQ.
Constantinidou, Fofi; Zaganas, Ioannis; Papastefanakis, Emmanouil; Kasselimis, Dimitrios; Nidos, Andreas; Simos, Panagiotis G
Age-related memory changes are highly varied and heterogeneous. The study examined the rate of decline in verbal episodic memory as a function of education level, auditory attention span and verbal working memory capacity, and diagnosis of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI). Data were available on a community sample of 653 adults aged 17-86 years and 70 patients with a-MCI recruited from eight broad geographic areas in Greece and Cyprus. Measures of auditory attention span and working memory capacity (digits forward and backward) and verbal episodic memory (Auditory Verbal Learning Test [AVLT]) were used. Moderated mediation regressions on data from the community sample did not reveal significant effects of education level on the rate of age-related decline in AVLT indices. The presence of a-MCI was a significant moderator of the direct effect of Age on both immediate and delayed episodic memory indices. The rate of age-related decline in verbal episodic memory is normally mediated by working memory capacity. Moreover, in persons who display poor episodic memory capacity (a-MCI group), age-related memory decline is expected to advance more rapidly for those who also display relatively poor verbal working memory capacity.
Ihle, Andreas; Jopp, Daniela S.; Oris, Michel; Fagot, Delphine; Kliegel, Matthias
Health research suggests that findings on young-old adults cannot be generalized to old-old adults and thus that old-old age seems not a simple continuation of young-old age due to qualitative changes that result in a discontinuity in old age. Specifically, it would be of conceptual and methodological importance to inform research regarding estimates around which chronological age the beginning of old-old age could be placed at a population level, and whether this is universal or domain-specific. To derive such criteria, we investigated potential discontinuity of age relations between young-old and old-old age in a large population-based sample considering measures in different domains (processing speed, verbal abilities, general health status, activity participation, and life satisfaction). For processing speed, verbal abilities, general health status, and life satisfaction we observed some very small indication that there might be a discontinuity of age relations at the end of individuals’ eighties, and for activity participation already at the beginning of individuals’ eighties. In conclusion, models conceptualizing aging as a gradual development might not suffice to adequately represent the differences between the stages of young-old and old-old age due to some very small indication that there might be discontinuity in late adulthood. PMID:27827960
Roskos-Ewoldsen, Beverly; Black, Sheila R.; Mccown, Steven M.
Age-related differences in cognitive processes were used to understand age-related declines in creativity. According to the Geneplore model (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992), there are two phases of creativity--generating an idea and exploring the implications of the idea--each with different underlying cognitive processes. These two phases are…
Weinreb, Orly; Badinter, Felix; Amit, Tamar; Bar-Am, Orit; Youdim, Moussa B H
The present study aimed to investigate the protective effects of prolonged treatment with the selective, irreversible monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor, novel anti-parkinsonian drug, rasagiline (Azilect) in aged animals. Our findings from behavioral experiments demonstrated that long-term treatment of aged mice with rasagiline (0.2 mg/kg) exerted significant beneficial effects on mood-related dysfunction and spatial learning and memory functions. At this dose of rasagiline, chronic drug administration significantly inhibited monoamine oxidase-B activity and caused an increase in striatal dopamine and serotonin levels, while decreasing their metabolism. In addition, rasagiline treatment elevated striatal mRNA expression levels of dopamine receptors D1 and D2. Furthermore, we found that rasagiline upregulated expression levels of the synaptic plasticity markers brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tyrosine kinase-B receptor, and synapsin-1, increased Bcl-2 to Bax antiapoptotic ratio and the activity of the antioxidant enzyme, catalase in brain of aged mice. The present study demonstrated that long-term treatment with rasagiline could affect behavioral deficits in aged mice and upregulate various neuroprotective parameters in the aging brain, indicating that the drug may have therapeutic potential for treatment of age-associated neurodegenerative disorders.
Muris, Peter; Mayer, Birgit; Freher, Nancy Kramer; Duncan, Sylvana; van den Hout, Annemiek
The present study examined age-related patterns in children's anxiety-related interpretations and internal attributions of physical symptoms. A large sample of 388 children aged between 4 and 13 years completed a vignette paradigm during which they had to explain the emotional response of the main character who experienced anxiety-related physical…
Wang, Feng; Chen, Hong; Sun, Xiaojiang
At present, the mechanisms underlying cognitive disorders remain unclear. The senescence-accelerated mice (SAM) prone/8 (P8) has been proposed as a useful model for the study of aging, and SAM resistant/1 (R1) is its control as a normal aging strain. The purpose of this study was to investigate choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) expression in SAM brain. The age-related decline of learning and memory ability in P8 mice (4, 8 and 12 months old, n=10 for each group) was proved in Morris water maze test (MWM). After the behavioral test, protein and mRNA levels of ChAT were determined in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and forebrain by means of immunostaining, Western blotting, and real time quantitative PCR (QPCR). Comparing with 4-month-old P8 and R1, 8- and 12-month-old P8 showed age-related cognitive impairment in MWM test. The latencies of the 4-month-old P8 in a hidden platform trial were significantly shorter, and the retention time was significantly longer than that of the older P8 groups. In addition, significantly low level of ChAT protein was observed in older P8 groups. Comparing with the 4-month-old P8, ChAT mRNA in the 12-month-old P8 declined significantly in all three regions of P8 brain. Pearson correlation test showed that the latencies in the MWM were positively correlated with the level of ChAT in P8. Such phenomenon could not be detected in normal aging R1 mice. These findings suggest that the decrease of ChAT in P8 mice was responsible for the age-related learning and memory impairments in some sense.
Breuer, L E M; Boon, P; Bergmans, J W M; Mess, W H; Besseling, R M H; de Louw, A; Tijhuis, A G; Zinger, S; Bernas, A; Klooster, D C W; Aldenkamp, A P
A long-standing concern has been whether epilepsy contributes to cognitive decline or so-called 'epileptic dementia'. Although global cognitive decline is generally reported in the context of chronic refractory epilepsy, it is largely unknown what percentage of patients is at risk for decline. This review is focused on the identification of risk factors and characterization of aberrant cognitive trajectories in epilepsy. Evidence is found that the cognitive trajectory of patients with epilepsy over time differs from processes of cognitive ageing in healthy people, especially in adulthood-onset epilepsy. Cognitive deterioration in these patients seems to develop in a 'second hit model' and occurs when epilepsy hits on a brain that is already vulnerable or vice versa when comorbid problems develop in a person with epilepsy. Processes of ageing may be accelerated due to loss of brain plasticity and cognitive reserve capacity for which we coin the term 'accelerated cognitive ageing'. We believe that the concept of accelerated cognitive ageing can be helpful in providing a framework understanding global cognitive deterioration in epilepsy.
Riedel, W J; Jorissen, B L
Many nutrients or indices of nutritional status are associated with cognitive functioning, although the size of the effects on cognitive performance may be small. Results from recent studies, however, seem consistently to indicate that supplementation with beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol, substances that promote antioxidant vitamins A and E, respectively, can be beneficial to cognitive function in elderly people. Folate rather than vitamin B12 appears to be associated with cognitive functioning. Furthermore the daily intake of ginkgo biloba extract can enhance cognitive performance and has been proved to delay cognitive decline in dementia. A proper dietary composition with regard to the ratio of carbohydrates to proteins, as well as the inclusion of sufficient micronutrients, seems to be favourable in the maintenance of cognitive function in the elderly. Glucose can enhance cognitive function, but a rapid decline of glucose levels may impair cognitive function or may induce feelings of lack of energy. Low doses of caffeine may also enhance cognitive function, although most studies on caffeine and cognition, as with studies on glucose and cognition, have not been carried out in elderly individuals. The effects of nutritional supplements are modest but do not seem to be very different from those of medicinal or investigational cognition-enhancing or anti-dementia drugs.
Gilhooly, K. J.; Gilhooly, M. L.; Phillips, L. H.; Harvey, D.; Murray, A.; Hanlon, P.
This study examined relationships between cognitive functioning in older people and (1) levels of mental, physical and social activities, and (2) intentions regarding maintenance of cognitive functioning. Participants (N = 145) were 70-91 years of age, varied in health status and socio-economic backgrounds. Current cognitive functioning was…
Martín-Aragón, Sagrario; Villar, Ángel; Benedí, Juana
Dietary antioxidants might exert an important role in the aging process by relieving oxidative damage, a likely cause of age-associated brain dysfunctions. This study aims to investigate the influence of esculetin (6,7-dihydroxycoumarin), a naturally occurring antioxidant in the diet, on mood-related behaviors and cognitive function and its relation with age and brain oxidative damage. Behavioral tests were employed in 11-, 17- and 22-month-old male C57BL/6J mice upon an oral 35day-esculetin treatment (25mg/kg). Activity of antioxidant enzymes, GSH and GSSG levels, GSH/GSSG ratio, and mitochondrial function were analyzed in brain cortex at the end of treatment in order to assess the oxidative status related to mouse behavior. Esculetin treatment attenuated the increased immobility time and enhanced the diminished climbing time in the forced swim task elicited by acute restraint stress (ARS) in the 11- and 17-month-old mice versus their counterpart controls. Furthermore, ARS caused an impairment of contextual memory in the step-through passive avoidance both in mature adult and aged mice which was partially reversed by esculetin only in the 11-month-old mice. Esculetin was effective to prevent the ARS-induced oxidative stress mostly in mature adult mice by restoring antioxidant enzyme activities, augmenting the GSH/GSSG ratio and increasing cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity in cortex. Modulation of the mood-related behavior and cognitive function upon esculetin treatment in a mouse model of ARS depends on age and is partly due to the enhancement of redox status and levels of COX activity in cortex.
Souza, Leandro Cattelan; Antunes, Michelle Silva; Filho, Carlos Borges; Del Fabbro, Lucian; de Gomes, Marcelo Gomes; Goes, André Tiago Rossito; Donato, Franciele; Prigol, Marina; Boeira, Silvana Peterini; Jesse, Cristiano R
In this study, the effect of Chrysin (5,7-dihydroxyflavone), an important member of the flavonoid family, on memory impairment, oxidative stress and BDNF reduction generated by aging in mice were investigated. Young and aged mice were treated daily per 60days with Chrysin (1 and 10mg/kg; per oral, p.o.) or veichle (10ml/kg; p.o.). Mice were trained and tested in Morris Water Maze task. After the behavioural test, the levels of reactive species (RS), the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), as well as the activity of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase and the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were determined in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HC) of mice. Results demonstrated that the age-related memory decline was partially protected by Chrysin at a dose of 1mg/kg, and normalized at the dose of 10mg/kg (p<0.001). Treatment with Chrysin significantly attenuated the increase of RS levels and the inhibition of SOD, CAT and GPx activities of aged mice. Inhibition of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity in PFC and HP of aged mice was also attenuated by Chrysin treatment. Moreover, Chrysin marked mitigated the decrease of BDNF levels in the PFC and HC of aged mice. These results demonstrated that flavonoid Chrysin, an antioxidant compound, was able to prevent age-associated memory probably by their free radical scavenger action and modulation of BDNF production. Thus, this study indicates that Chrysin may represent a new pharmacological approach to alleviate the age-related declines during normal age, acting as an anti-aging agent.
Zanos, Panos; Bhat, Shambhu; Terrillion, Chantelle E; Smith, Robert J; Tonelli, Leonardo H; Gould, Todd D
Increased calcium influx through L-type voltage-gated calcium channels has been implicated in the neuronal dysfunction underlying age-related memory declines. The present study aimed to test the specific role of Cacna1c (which encodes Cav 1.2) in modulating age-related memory dysfunction. Short-term, spatial and contextual/emotional memory was evaluated in young and aged, wild-type as well as mice with one functional copy of Cacna1c (haploinsufficient), using the novel object recognition, Y-maze and passive avoidance tasks, respectively. Hippocampal expression of Cacna1c mRNA was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Ageing was associated with object recognition and contextual/emotional memory deficits, and a significant increase in hippocampal Cacna1c mRNA expression. Cacna1c haploinsufficiency was associated with decreased Cacna1c mRNA expression in both young and old animals. However, haploinsufficient mice did not manifest an age-related increase in expression of this gene. Behaviourally, Cacna1c haploinsufficiency prevented object recognition deficits during ageing in both male and female mice. A significant correlation between higher Cacna1c levels and decreased object recognition performance was observed in both sexes. Also, a sex-dependent protective role of decreased Cacna1c levels in contextual/emotional memory loss has been observed, specifically in male mice. These data provide evidence for an association between increased hippocampal Cacna1c expression and age-related cognitive decline. Additionally, they indicate an interaction between the Cacna1c gene and sex in the modulation of age-related contextual memory declines.
Vance, David E; McNees, Patrick; Meneses, Karen
Many older adults experience cognitive difficulties and declines as a part of normal aging. Nurses and other health care professionals will require assistance in technologies that can help older patients maintain or improve cognition. Cognitive remediation represents a well-established laboratory approach that augments cognitive functioning in older adults. Emerging technologies allow such cognitive remediation to be self-administered through gaming software, making it convenient, fun, and inexpensive to deliver. As such, guiding older patients, as well as some facilities, in this direction may be a way to help. However, certain caveats and suggestions are warranted.
Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Sadeh, Naomi; Leritz, Elizabeth C; McGlinchey, Regina E; Milberg, William P; Hayes, Jasmeet P; Salat, David H
Mounting evidence indicates that serum cholesterol and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease intensify normative trajectories of age-related cognitive decline. However, the neural mechanisms by which this occurs remain largely unknown. To understand the impact of cholesterol on brain networks, we applied graph theory to resting-state fMRI in a large sample of early- to mid-life Veterans (N = 206, Meanage = 32). A network emerged (centered on the banks of the superior temporal sulcus) that evidenced age-related decoupling (i.e., decreased network connectivity with age), but only in participants with clinically-elevated total cholesterol (≥180 mg/dL). Crucially, decoupling in this network corresponded to greater day-to-day disability and mediated age-related declines in psychomotor speed. Finally, examination of network organization revealed a pattern of age-related dedifferentiation for the banks of the superior temporal sulcus, again present only with higher cholesterol. More specifically, age was related to decreasing within-module communication (indexed by Within-Module Degree Z-Score) and increasing between-module communication (indexed by Participation Coefficient), but only in participants with clinically-elevated cholesterol. Follow-up analyses indicated that all findings were driven by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, rather than high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or triglycerides, which is interesting as LDL levels have been linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease, whereas HDL levels appear inversely related to such disease. These findings provide novel insight into the deleterious effects of cholesterol on brain health and suggest that cholesterol accelerates the impact of age on neural trajectories by disrupting connectivity in circuits implicated in integrative processes and behavioral control. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bak, Thomas H; Nissan, Jack J; Allerhand, Michael M; Deary, Ian J
Recent evidence suggests a positive impact of bilingualism on cognition, including later onset of dementia. However, monolinguals and bilinguals might have different baseline cognitive ability. We present the first study examining the effect of bilingualism on later-life cognition controlling for childhood intelligence. We studied 853 participants, first tested in 1947 (age = 11 years), and retested in 2008-2010. Bilinguals performed significantly better than predicted from their baseline cognitive abilities, with strongest effects on general intelligence and reading. Our results suggest a positive effect of bilingualism on later-life cognition, including in those who acquired their second language in adulthood.
Alexander, Gene E.; Ryan, Lee; Bowers, Dawn; Foster, Thomas C.; Bizon, Jennifer L.; Geldmacher, David S.; Glisky, Elizabeth L.
With the population of older adults expected to grow rapidly over the next two decades, it has become increasingly important to advance research efforts to elucidate the mechanisms associated with cognitive aging, with the ultimate goal of developing effective interventions and prevention therapies. Although there has been a vast research literature on the use of cognitive tests to evaluate the effects of aging and age-related neurodegenerative disease, the need for a set of standardized measures to characterize the cognitive profiles specific to healthy aging has been widely recognized. Here we present a review of selected methods and approaches that have been applied in human research studies to evaluate the effects of aging on cognition, including executive function, memory, processing speed, language, and visuospatial function. The effects of healthy aging on each of these cognitive domains are discussed with examples from cognitive/experimental and clinical/neuropsychological approaches. Further, we consider those measures that have clear conceptual and methodological links to tasks currently in use for non-human animal studies of aging, as well as those that have the potential for translation to animal aging research. Having a complementary set of measures to assess the cognitive profiles of healthy aging across species provides a unique opportunity to enhance research efforts for cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies of cognitive aging. Taking a cross-species, translational approach will help to advance cognitive aging research, leading to a greater understanding of associated neurobiological mechanisms with the potential for developing effective interventions and prevention therapies for age-related cognitive decline. PMID:22988439
Liu, Jie; Huang, Yuling; Chen, Guojuan; Liu, Xiaoxue; Wang, Zhijun; Cao, Yibin; Li, Haitao; Song, Lu; Li, Chunhui; Zhao, Hualing; Chen, Shuohua; Wang, Yiming; Zhang, Ruiying; Wang, Anxin; Wu, Shouling
The association between systolic blood pressure (SBP) and cognitive function is controversial in elderly adults. In addition, few studies focused on the cumulative effect of SBP. We aimed to investigate the association between cumulative SBP exposure and cognitive function among middle-aged and elderly adults.The analysis was based on the Asymptomatic Polyvascular Abnormalities Community (APAC) study. The primary predictor was the cumulative SBP calculated by consecutive SBP values measured through baseline (2006-2007) up to the fourth examination (2012-2013). The cognitive function was estimated by mini-mental state examination (MMSE) in the fourth examination. Linear regression and logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the association between cumulative SBP and cognitive function.Among 2211 participants (41.4% female, aged 40-94 years), 167 (7.55%) were diagnosed with cognitive impairment (MMSE score < 24). Higher cumulative exposure to SBP (per SD increment) was independently associated with poor cognitive performance after controlling for multiple factors (P < 0.001). We observed nondifferential association between men and women. However, higher cumulative SBP in the adults aged ≥60 years had a stronger association with poor cognitive performance compared with that in adults aged 40 to 60 years.Greater exposure to cumulative SBP is associated with worse cognitive performance among middle-aged and elderly adults. This association is similar between men and women, but stronger in elderly adults.
Nieboer, Dagmar; Douw, Linda; van Dijk, Bob W; Heymans, Martijn W; Stam, Cornelis J; Twisk, Jos W R
Objective Impaired blood flow of the carotid artery can result in cognitive impairment, but how these vascular impairments lead to global cognitive disturbances is largely unknown. Problems in functional connectivity between brain areas may be responsible for these widespread effects. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the association between carotid stiffness, functional connectivity and cognitive performance in relatively young and healthy adults before clinical vascular pathology occurs. Design The Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study: an observational study. Setting Participants were included by attending 1 of the 2 selected secondary schools in The Netherlands. Participants Men (n=110) and women (n=120) aged 41–44 years (42±0.7). Primary and secondary outcome measures Data were obtained with regard to local carotid stiffness captured measured with the Young's elastic modulus (YEM). All participants underwent a commonly used Dutch intelligence test and resting-state eyes-closed magnetoencephalography (MEG). Five artefact-free epochs were analysed. The phase lag index (PLI) was used as a measure of functional connectivity between all sensors and was assessed in six frequency bands (δ–γ). Results Carotid stiffness was significantly associated with increased functional connectivity in the α2 band in men (β: 0.287; p=0.008). The same results were found for women in the β band (β: 0.216; p=0.040). Furthermore, carotid stiffness was associated with superior cognitive function in men (β: 0.238; p=0.007). In addition, there was neither a significant association nor a consistent pattern between cognitive function and functional connectivity. Conclusions The increased connectivity might be a maladaptive phenomenon caused by disinhibition of neurons which may explain the direction of the results. This study suggests that detection of increased (local) carotid stiffness may be promising to identify a disturbance in the organisation of
DeCarlo, Correne A.; Tuokko, Holly A.; Williams, Dorothy; Dixon, Roger A.; MacDonald, Stuart W.S.
The search for reliable early indicators of age-related cognitive decline represents a critical avenue for progress in aging research. Chronological age is a commonly used developmental index; however, it offers little insight into the mechanisms underlying cognitive decline. In contrast, biological age (BioAge), reflecting the vitality of essential biological systems, represents a promising operationalization of developmental time. Current BioAge models have successfully predicted age-related cognitive deficits. Research on aging-related cognitive function indicates that the interaction of multiple risk and protective factors across the human lifespan confers individual risk for late-life cognitive decline, implicating a multi-causal explanation. In this review, we explore current BioAge models, describe three broad yet pathologically relevant biological processes linked to cognitive decline, and propose a novel operationalization of BioAge accounting for both moderating and causal mechanisms of cognitive decline and dementia. We argue that a multivariate and mechanistic BioAge approach will lead to a greater understanding of disease pathology as well as more accurate prediction and early identification of late-life cognitive decline. PMID:25278166
Park, Denise C.; Bischof, Gérard N.
Is it possible to enhance neural and cognitive function with cognitive training techniques? Can we delay age-related decline in cognitive function with interventions and stave off Alzheimer's disease? Does an aged brain really have the capacity to change in response to stimulation? In the present paper, we consider the neuroplasticity of the aging brain, that is, the brain's ability to increase capacity in response to sustained experience. We argue that, although there is some neural deterioration that occurs with age, the brain has the capacity to increase neural activity and develop neural scaffolding to regulate cognitive function. We suggest that increase in neural volume in response to cognitive training or experience is a clear indicator of change, but that changes in activation in response to cognitive training may be evidence of strategy change rather than indicative of neural plasticity. We note that the effect of cognitive training is surprisingly durable over time, but that the evidence that training effects transfer to other cognitive domains is relatively limited. We review evidence which suggests that engagement in an environment that requires sustained cognitive effort may facilitate cognitive function. PMID:23576894
Park, Denise C; Bischof, Gérard N
Is it possible to enhance neural and cognitive function with cognitive training techniques? Can we delay age-related decline in cognitive function with interventions and stave off Alzheimer's disease? Does an aged brain really have the capacity to change in response to stimulation? In the present paper, we consider the neuroplasticity of the aging brain, that is, the brain's ability to increase capacity in response to sustained experience. We argue that, although there is some neural deterioration that occurs with age, the brain has the capacity to increase neural activity and develop neural scaffolding to regulate cognitive function. We suggest that increase in neural volume in response to cognitive training or experience is a clear indicator of change, but that changes in activation in response to cognitive training may be evidence of strategy change rather than indicative of neural plasticity. We note that the effect of cognitive training is surprisingly durable over time, but that the evidence that training effects transfer to other cognitive domains is relatively limited. We review evidence which suggests that engagement in an environment that requires sustained cognitive effort may facilitate cognitive function.
Dong, Wen; Wang, Rong; Ma, Li-Na; Xu, Bao-Lei; Zhang, Jing-Shuang; Zhao, Zhi-Wei; Wang, Yu-Lan; Zhang, Xu
Recent studies indicated that different caloric intake may influence neuronal function. Excessive caloric intake associated with accelerated aging of the brain and increased the risk of neurodegenerative disorders. And low caloric intake (caloric restriction, CR) could delay aging, and protect the central nervous system from neurodegenerative disorders. The underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this study, thirty six-week-old male C57/BL male mice were randomly divided into three different dietary groups: normal control (NC) group (fed standard diet), CR group (fed low-caloric diet) and high-calorie (HC) group (fed high-caloric diet). After 10 months, spatial memory ability was determined by Morris water maze. Pathological changes of the hippocampus cells were detected with HE and Nissl staining. The expression of proteins involved in autophagy in the hippocampus was determined by immunofluorescence and Western blot. The result of Morris water maze showed that the learning and memory capacity significantly increased in the CR group, and significantly decreased in the HC group. HE and Nissl staining showed cells damaged obviously in the HC group. The expression of mTOR and p62 was increased in the HC group, and decreased in the CR group. The expression of Beclin1, LC3 and cathepsin B was decreased in the HC group, and increased in the CR group. Our findings demonstrate that long-term high caloric intake is a risk factor that can significantly contribute to the development of neurological disease via suppressing autophagy, and CR may prevent age-related learning ability impairment via activating autophagy in mice. PMID:26380026
Joseph, J A; Shukitt-Hale, B; Denisova, N A; Prior, R L; Cao, G; Martin, A; Taglialatela, G; Bickford, P C
Recent research has indicated that increased vulnerability to oxidative stress may be the major factor involved in CNS functional declines in aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, and that antioxidants, e.g., vitamin E, may ameliorate or prevent these declines. Present studies examined whether long-term feeding of Fischer 344 rats, beginning when the rats were 6 months of age and continuing for 8 months, with diets supplemented with a fruit or vegetable extract identified as being high in antioxidant activity, could prevent the age-related induction of receptor-mediated signal transduction deficits that might have a behavioral component. Thus, the following parameters were examined: (1) oxotremorine-enhanced striatal dopamine release (OX-K+-ERDA), (2) cerebellar beta receptor augmentation of GABA responding, (3) striatal synaptosomal 45Ca2+ clearance, (4) carbachol-stimulated GTPase activity, and (5) Morris water maze performance. The rats were given control diets or those supplemented with strawberry extracts (SE), 9.5 gm/kg dried aqueous extract (DAE), spinach (SPN 6.4 gm/kg DAE), or vitamin E (500 IU/kg). Results indicated that SPN-fed rats demonstrated the greatest retardation of age-effects on all parameters except GTPase activity, on which SE had the greatest effect, whereas SE and vitamin E showed significant but equal protection against these age-induced deficits on the other parameters. For example, OX-K+-ERDA enhancement was four times greater in the SPN group than in controls. Thus, phytochemicals present in antioxidant-rich foods such as spinach may be beneficial in retarding functional age-related CNS and cognitive behavioral deficits and, perhaps, may have some benefit in neurodegenerative disease.
Couzens, Donna; Cuskelly, Monica; Haynes, Michele
Growth models for subtests of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, 4th edition ( R. L. Thorndike, E. P. Hagen, & J. M. Sattler, 1986a , 1986b ) were developed for individuals with Down syndrome. Models were based on the assessments of 208 individuals who participated in longitudinal and cross-sectional research between 1987 and 2004. Variation in performance among individuals was large and significant across all subtests except Memory for Sentences. Scores on the Memory for Sentences subtest remained low between ages 4 to 30 years. Greatest variation was found on the Pattern Analysis subtest, where scores continued to rise into adulthood. Turning points for scores on the Vocabulary and Comprehension subtests appeared premature relative to normative patterns of development. The authors discuss development at the subdomain level and analyze both individual and group trajectories.
Larson, Michael J; Clayson, Peter E; Keith, Cierra M; Hunt, Isaac J; Hedges, Dawson W; Nielsen, Brent L; Call, Vaughn R A
Older adults display alterations in neural reflections of conflict-related processing. We examined response times (RTs), error rates, and event-related potential (ERP; N2 and P3 components) indices of conflict adaptation (i.e., congruency sequence effects) a cognitive control process wherein previous-trial congruency influences current-trial performance, along with post-error slowing, correct-related negativity (CRN), error-related negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe) amplitudes in 65 healthy older adults and 94 healthy younger adults. Older adults showed generalized slowing, had decreased post-error slowing, and committed more errors than younger adults. Both older and younger adults showed conflict adaptation effects; magnitude of conflict adaptation did not differ by age. N2 amplitudes were similar between groups; younger, but not older, adults showed conflict adaptation effects for P3 component amplitudes. CRN and Pe, but not ERN, amplitudes differed between groups. Data support generalized declines in cognitive control processes in older adults without specific deficits in conflict adaptation.
Germine, Laura T.; Duchaine, Bradley; Nakayama, Ken
Research on age-related cognitive change traditionally focuses on either development or aging, where development ends with adulthood and aging begins around 55 years. This approach ignores age-related changes during the 35 years in-between, implying that this period is uninformative. Here we investigated face recognition as an ability that may…
Laitman, Benjamin M; John, Gareth R
Alterations in the structure and organization of the aging central nervous system (CNS), and associated functional deficits, result in cognitive decline and increase susceptibility to neurodegeneration. Age-related changes to the neurovascular unit (NVU), and their consequences for cerebrovascular function, are implicated as driving cognitive impairment during aging as well as in neurodegenerative disease. The molecular events underlying these effects are incompletely characterized. Similarly, the mechanisms underlying effects of factors that reduce the impact of aging on the brain, such as physical exercise, are also opaque. A study in this issue of PLOS Biology links the NVU to cognitive decline in the aging brain and suggests a potential underlying molecular mechanism. Notably, the study further links the protective effects of chronic exercise on cognition to neurovascular integrity during aging.
Hommel, Bernhard; Kibele, Armin
Cognitive and neurocognitive approaches to human healthy aging attribute age-related decline to the biologically caused loss of cognitive-control functions. However, an embodied-cognition approach to aging implies a more interactive view according to which cognitive control emerges from, and relies on a person's active encounters with his or her physical and social environment. We argue that the availability of cognitive-control resources does not only rely on biological processes but also on the degree of active maintenance, that is, on the systematic use of the available control resources. Unfortunately, there is evidence that the degree of actual use might systematically underestimate resource availability, which implies that elderly individuals do not fully exploit their cognitive potential. We discuss evidence for this possibility from three aging-related issues: the reduction of dopaminergic supply, loneliness, and the loss of body strength. All three phenomena point to a downward spiral, in which losses of cognitive-control resources do not only directly impair performance but also more indirectly discourage individuals from making use of them, which in turn suggests underuse and a lack of maintenance-leading to further loss. On the positive side, the possibility of underuse points to not yet fully exploited reservoirs of cognitive control, which calls for more systematic theorizing and experimentation on how cognitive control can be enhanced, as well as for reconsiderations of societal practices that are likely to undermine the active maintenance of control resources-such as retirement laws.
Borrás Blasco, Consuelo; Viña Ribes, José
Brain ageing is produced by various morphological, biochemical, metabolic and circulatory changes, which are reflected in functional changes, whose impact depends on the presence or absence of cognitive impairment. Because of brain plasticity, together with redundancy of the distinct cerebral circuits, age- related deterioration of the brain at various levels does not always translate into loss of brain function. However, when the damage exceeds certain thresholds, there is age-related cognitive impairment, which increases the risk of developing various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease. Genetics, together with lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors, etc, can trigger the development of these diseases, which provoke cognitive impairment. This article discusses the most important age-related changes in the brain, as well as the pathophysiological foundations of cognitive impairment.
Jagla, Fedor; Pechanova, Olga
It is known that endothelial dysfunction plays an important role in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases implicated also in cognitive decline. Experimental studies pointed to the fact that the modification of NO levels via NOS activity may affect the blood pressure level as well as several higher nervous functions—for example, learning and memory. There are emerging evidences from in vitro and animal studies suggesting that polyphenols may potentially have a protective effect on the development of neurodegenerative diseases and may improve cognitive function as well as positively affecting the blood pressure regulatory mechanisms. This review accentuates the need for precisely defined clinically controlled studies as well as for use of adequate experimental procedures discriminating between the human higher brain functions and the only overall activation of the brain cortex. The physiological neurocardiovascular interactions are implicated in the increased healthy life span as well. PMID:26180593
Kropotov, Juri; Ponomarev, Valery; Tereshchenko, Ekaterina P.; Müller, Andreas; Jäncke, Lutz
As people age, their performance on tasks requiring cognitive control often declines. Such a decline is frequently explained as either a general or specific decline in cognitive functioning with age. In the context of hypotheses suggesting a general decline, it is often proposed that processing speed generally declines with age. A further hypothesis is that an age-related compensation mechanism is associated with a specific cognitive decline. One prominent theory is the compensation hypothesis, which proposes that deteriorated functions are compensated for by higher performing functions. In this study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) in the context of a GO/NOGO task to examine the age-related changes observed during cognitive control in a large group of healthy subjects aged between 18 and 84 years. The main question we attempted to answer was whether we could find neurophysiological support for either a general decline in processing speed or a compensation strategy. The subjects performed a relatively demanding cued GO/NOGO task with similar omissions and reaction times across the five age groups. The ERP waves of cognitive control, such as N2, P3cue and CNV, were decomposed into latent components by means of a blind source separation method. Based on this decomposition, it was possible to more precisely delineate the different neurophysiological and psychological processes involved in cognitive control. These data support the processing speed hypothesis because the latencies of all cognitive control ERP components increased with age, by 8 ms per decade for the early components (<200 ms) and by 20 ms per decade for the late components. At the same time, the compensatory hypothesis of aging was also supported, as the amplitudes of the components localized in posterior brain areas decreased with age, while those localized in the prefrontal cortical areas increased with age in order to maintain performance on this simple task at a relatively stable level
Justel, N; Mustaca, A; Boccia, M; Ruetti, E
Response to a reinforcer is affected by prior experience with different reward values of that reward, a phenomenon known as incentive relativity. Two different procedures to study this phenomenon are the incentive downshift (ID) and the consummatory anticipatory negative contrast (cANC), the former is an emotional-cognitive protocol and the latter cognitive one. Aged rodents, as also well described in aged humans, exhibit alterations in cognitive functions. The main goal of this work was to evaluate the effect of age in the incentive' assessment using these two procedures. The results indicated that aged rats had an adequate assessment of the rewards but their performance is not completely comparable to that of young subjects. They recover faster from the ID and they had a cognitive impairment in the cANC. The results are discussed in relation to age-related changes in memory and emotion.
Greenwood, Pamela M.; Parasuraman, Raja
What is the neurocognitive basis for the considerable individual differences observed in functioning of the adult mind and brain late in life? We review the evidence that in healthy old age the brain remains capable of both neuronal and cognitive plasticity, including in response to environmental and experiential factors. Neuronal plasticity (e.g., neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, cortical re-organization) refers to neuron-level changes that can be stimulated by experience. Cognitive plasticity (e.g., increased dependence on executive function) refers to adaptive changes in patterns of cognition related to brain activity. We hypothesize that successful cognitive aging requires interactions between these two forms of plasticity. Mechanisms of neural plasticity underpin cognitive plasticity and in turn, neural plasticity is stimulated by cognitive plasticity. We examine support for this hypothesis by considering evidence that neural plasticity is stimulated by learning and novelty and enhanced by both dietary manipulations (low-fat, dietary restriction) and aerobic exercise. We also examine evidence that cognitive plasticity is affected by education and training. This is a testable hypothesis which could be assessed in humans in randomized trials comparing separate and combined effects of cognitive training, exercise, and diet on measures of cognitive and brain integrity. Greater understanding of the factors influencing the course of cognitive aging and of the mechanisms underlying those factors could provide information on which people could base choices that improve their ability to age successfully. PMID:21151819
Greenwood, Pamela M; Parasuraman, Raja
What is the neurocognitive basis for the considerable individual differences observed in functioning of the adult mind and brain late in life? We review the evidence that in healthy old age the brain remains capable of both neuronal and cognitive plasticity, including in response to environmental and experiential factors. Neuronal plasticity (e.g., neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, cortical re-organization) refers to neuron-level changes that can be stimulated by experience. Cognitive plasticity (e.g., increased dependence on executive function) refers to adaptive changes in patterns of cognition related to brain activity. We hypothesize that successful cognitive aging requires interactions between these two forms of plasticity. Mechanisms of neural plasticity underpin cognitive plasticity and in turn, neural plasticity is stimulated by cognitive plasticity. We examine support for this hypothesis by considering evidence that neural plasticity is stimulated by learning and novelty and enhanced by both dietary manipulations (low-fat, dietary restriction) and aerobic exercise. We also examine evidence that cognitive plasticity is affected by education and training. This is a testable hypothesis which could be assessed in humans in randomized trials comparing separate and combined effects of cognitive training, exercise, and diet on measures of cognitive and brain integrity. Greater understanding of the factors influencing the course of cognitive aging and of the mechanisms underlying those factors could provide information on which people could base choices that improve their ability to age successfully.
O’Shea, Andrew; Cohen, Ronald A.; Porges, Eric C.; Nissim, Nicole R.; Woods, Adam J.
The hippocampus is one of the most well studied structures in the human brain. While age-related decline in hippocampal volume is well documented, most of our knowledge about hippocampal structure-function relationships was discovered in the context of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. The relationship between cognitive aging and hippocampal structure in the absence of disease remains relatively understudied. Furthermore, the few studies that have investigated the role of the hippocampus in cognitive aging have produced contradictory results. To address these issues, we assessed 93 older adults from the general community (mean age = 71.9 ± 9.3 years) on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a brief cognitive screening measure for dementia, and the NIH Toolbox-Cognitive Battery (NIHTB-CB), a computerized neurocognitive battery. High-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to estimate hippocampal volume. Lower MoCA Total (p = 0.01) and NIHTB-CB Fluid Cognition (p < 0.001) scores were associated with decreased hippocampal volume, even while controlling for sex and years of education. Decreased hippocampal volume was significantly associated with decline in multiple NIHTB-CB subdomains, including episodic memory, working memory, processing speed and executive function. This study provides important insight into the multifaceted role of the hippocampus in cognitive aging. PMID:28008314
McLennan, Skye N; Ihle, Andreas; Steudte-Schmiedgen, Susann; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kliegel, Matthias
It has been hypothesized that prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels results in cognitive impairment. However, previous research into the relationship between cortisol and cognition has produced mixed results, most likely due to difficulties achieving valid estimates of long-term cortisol exposure based on salivary or plasma cortisol assessments at a single time point. Furthermore, there has been little research on the cognitive effects of long-term cortisol exposure in working-age adults. In the present study, hair samples were collected from 246 nurses (89.8% female) aged from 21 to 62 (M=42.0, SD=11.2). Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) in the proximal 3-cm hair segment were analyzed providing an estimate of integrated cortisol secretion over the 3 month-period prior to hair sampling. Cognition was measured using a battery of 15 neuropsychological tests, measuring core dimensions of memory, inductive reasoning, processing speed, crystalized intelligence and major aspects of executive functioning. HCC was not significantly related to any of the cognitive abilities measured, either before or after controlling for potential moderators such as age, sex, education, health, well-being, work ability and burnout. Tests for nonlinear relationships also yielded non-significant results. Thus, despite the study being well powered, long term cortisol exposure did not appear to be related to cognitive performance in this sample of working-age adults, suggesting that long term cortisol exposure may be less relevant to cognition in younger and middle-aged adults than was previously thought.
Starnawska, A; Tan, Q; Lenart, A; McGue, M; Mors, O; Børglum, A D; Christensen, K; Nyegaard, M; Christiansen, L
The epigenetic clock, also known as DNA methylation age (DNAmAge), represents age-related changes of DNA methylation at multiple sites of the genome and is suggested to be a biomarker for biological age. Elevated blood DNAmAge is associated with all-cause mortality, with the strongest effects reported in a recent intrapair twin study where epigenetically older twins had increased mortality risk in comparison to their co-twins. In the study presented here, we hypothesize that DNAmAge in blood is associated with cross-sectional and longitudinal cognitive abilities in middle-aged individuals. In 486 monozygotic twins, we investigated the association of DNAmAge, difference between DNAmAge and chronological age and age acceleration with cognition. Despite using a powerful paired twin design, we found no evidence for association of blood DNAmAge with cognitive abilities. This observation was confirmed in unpaired analyses, where DNAmAge initially correlated with cognitive abilities, until adjusting for chronological age. Overall, our study shows that for middle-aged individuals DNAmAge calculated in blood does not correlate with cognitive abilities.
McPhee, Grace M; Downey, Luke A; Noble, Anthony; Stough, Con
As the elderly population grows the impact of age associated cognitive decline as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia will increase. Ageing is associated with consistent impairments in cognitive processes (e.g., processing speed, memory, executive function and learning) important for work, well-being, life satisfaction and overall participation in society. Recently, there has been increased effort to conduct research examining methods to improve cognitive function in older citizens. Cognitive training has been shown to improve performance in some cognitive domains; including memory, processing speed, executive function and attention in older adults. These cognitive changes are thought to be related to improvements in brain connectivity and neural circuitry. Bacopa monnieri has also been shown to improve specific domains of cognition, sensitive to age associated cognitive decline (particularly processing speed and memory). These Bacopa monnieri dependent improvements may be due to the increase in specific neuro-molecular mechanisms implicated in the enhancement of neural connections in the brain (i.e. synaptogenesis). In particular, a number of animal studies have shown Bacopa monnieri consumption upregulates calcium dependent kinases in the synapse and post-synaptic cell, crucial for strengthening and growing connections between neurons. These effects have been shown to occur in areas important for cognitive processes, such as the hippocampus. As Bacopa monnieri has shown neuro-molecular mechanisms that encourage synaptogenesis, while cognitive training enhances brain connectivity, Bacopa monnieri supplementation could theoretically enhance and strengthen synaptic changes acquired through cognitive training. Therefore, the current paper hypothesises that the combination of these two interventions could improve cognitive outcomes, over and above the effects of administrating these interventions independently, as an effective
Munger, Ronald G; Cutler, Adele; Quach, Anna; Bowles, Austin; Corcoran, Christopher; Tschanz, JoAnn T; Norton, Maria C; Welsh-Bohmer, Kathleen A
Background: Healthy dietary patterns may protect against age-related cognitive decline, but results of studies have been inconsistent. Objective: We examined associations between Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)– and Mediterranean-style dietary patterns and age-related cognitive change in a prospective, population-based study. Design: Participants included 3831 men and women ≥65 y of age who were residents of Cache County, UT, in 1995. Cognitive function was assessed by using the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS) ≤4 times over 11 y. Diet-adherence scores were computed by summing across the energy-adjusted rank-order of individual food and nutrient components and categorizing participants into quintiles of the distribution of the diet accordance score. Mixed-effects repeated-measures models were used to examine 3MS scores over time across increasing quintiles of dietary accordance scores and individual food components that comprised each score. Results: The range of rank-order DASH and Mediterranean diet scores was 1661–25,596 and 2407–26,947, respectively. Higher DASH and Mediterranean diet scores were associated with higher average 3MS scores. People in quintile 5 of DASH averaged 0.97 points higher than those in quintile 1 (P = 0.001). The corresponding difference for Mediterranean quintiles was 0.94 (P = 0.001). These differences were consistent over 11 y. Higher intakes of whole grains and nuts and legumes were also associated with higher average 3MS scores [mean quintile 5 compared with 1 differences: 1.19 (P < 0.001), 1.22 (P < 0.001), respectively]. Conclusions: Higher levels of accordance with both the DASH and Mediterranean dietary patterns were associated with consistently higher levels of cognitive function in elderly men and women over an 11-y period. Whole grains and nuts and legumes were positively associated with higher cognitive functions and may be core neuroprotective foods common to various healthy plant
In the last century, the lifespan of humans has almost doubled. Consequently, the percent of the population that is over the age of 65 years has markedly increased, making age-related pathologies a growing concern. Research has demonstrated, in both human and animals, that psychomotor and cognitive...
Aged rats show impaired performance on motor and cognitive tasks that require the use of spatial learning and memory. In previous studies, we have shown the beneficial effects of various berry fruits (blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) in reversing age-related deficits in behavioral and ne...
Daffner, Kirk R.
Promoting successful cognitive aging is a topic of major importance to individuals and the field of public health. This review presents a coherent framework not only for evaluating factors, protective activities, and enhancing agents that have already been proposed, but also ones that will be put forward in the future. The promotion of successful cognitive aging involves the dual goals of preventing loss of information processing capacity and cognitive reserve, and enhancing brain capacity and cognitive reserve. Four major lines of evidence are available for evaluating whether a proposed factor promotes successful cognitive aging: 1) epidemiologic/cohort studies; 2) animal/basic science studies; 3) human “proof-of-concept” studies; and 4) human intervention studies. Each line of evidence has advantages and limitations that will be discussed. Through illustrative examples, we trace the ways in which each method informs us about the potential value of several proposed factors. Currently, lines of converging evidence allow the strongest case to be made for physical and cognitively stimulating activities. Although epidemiological data seem to favor the use of statins to lower the risk of dementia, more definitive recommendations await further randomized controlled studies. There is presently no clear evidence that antioxidants or Ginkgo biloba promote successful cognitive aging. The impact of resveratrol, fish oil, and a long list of other proposed agents needs to be determined. Clinicians remain well-positioned to identify and aggressively treat vascular risk factors, diabetes, sleep disorders, and other conditions that may reduce brain capacity, and to encourage activities that can build cognitive reserve. PMID:20308777
Bauer, Patricia J.; Blue, Shala N.; Xu, Aoxiang; Esposito, Alena G.
We investigated 7- to 10-year-old children's productive extension of semantic memory through self-generation of new factual knowledge derived through integration of separate yet related facts learned through instruction or through reading. In Experiment 1, an experimenter read the to-be-integrated facts. Children successfully learned and…
Larsson, Maria; Öberg, Christina; Bäckman, Lars
The purpose of this study was to determine correlates of odor identification in old age. One hundred and thirty-two men and women (60-91 years) were assessed in a number of tasks tapping sensory acuity (i.e., odor sensitivity, intensity discrimination, quality discrimination) and different cognitive abilities (i.e., perceptual speed, executive functioning, verbal fluency). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that age, female sex, olfactory sensitivity, quality discrimination, cognitive speed, and verbal fluency were the most potent correlates of odor identification in general. In addition, the age-related variance in odor identification was eliminated when age-related deficits in odor sensitivity, quality discrimination, and perceptual speed were taken into account. This pattern of outcome suggests that age-related differences in these abilities underlie the well-established age impairment in odor identification.
With aging, most cognitive functions decline, especially processes concerning memorizing, attention, concentration, organizing, planning and problem solving. Neuropsychology can make an important contribution in early and differential diagnostics. The borderline between normal and pathological cognitive aging is especially important in this respect. The neuropsychologist gains insight in medical, biological, psychological and social factors of the aging person. Has the profile of complaints and deficits a normal background or is a pathological process taking place? It is important to people who are unnecessarily worried about possible dementia. Neuropsychological assessment also provides information about a patient's disturbed and undisturbed cognitive functions, their personality and their way of coping with problems in every day's life. This is of major importance, because it provides information and possibilities for biological or psychological interventions. Because of the complexity of problems that may occur, it is necessary that the neuropsychologist is experienced and works in a multidisciplinary team in which neurological and psychiatric expertise is present.
Maillot, Pauline; Perrot, Alexandra; Hartley, Alan
Advancing age is associated with cognitive decline, which, however, remains a very heterogeneous phenomenon. Indeed, several extrinsic factors seem to modulate the effect of aging on cognition. Recently, several studies have provided evidence that the practice of video games could engender many benefits by favoring the maintenance of cognitive vitality in the elderly. This review of the literature aims to establish a precise inventory of the relations between the various types of video games and cognitive aging, including both sedentary video games (i.e., classics as well as brain training) and active video games (i.e., exergames). The largest benefits seem to be provided by exergames which combine game play with significant physical exercise. This article also tries to define the determinants of the training programs which could be responsible for the observed improvements.
Hitzert, Marrit M.; Van Braeckel, Koenraad N. J. A.; Bos, Arend F.; Hunnius, Sabine; Geuze, Reint H.
Objective: Preterm infants are exposed to the visual environment earlier than fullterm infants, but whether early exposure affects later development is unclear. Our aim was to investigate whether the development of visual disengagement capacity during the first 6 months postterm was associated with cognitive and motor outcomes at school age, and whether associations differed between fullterms and low-risk preterms. Method: Seventeen fullterms and ten low-risk preterms were tested in a gaze shifting task every 4 weeks until 6 months postterm. The longitudinal data were converted into single continuous variables by fitting the data with an S-shaped curve (frequencies of looks) or an inverse model (latencies of looks). Neuropsychological test results at school age were converted into composite z scores. We then performed linear regression analyses for each functional domain at school age with the variables measuring infant visual attention as separate predictors and adjusting for maternal level of education and group (fullterms versus preterms). We included an interaction term, visual attention*group, to determine whether predictive relations differed between fullterms and preterms. Results: A slower development of disengagement predicted poorer performance on attention, motor skills, and handwriting, irrespective of fullterm or preterm birth. Predictive relationships differed marginally between fullterms and preterms for inhibitory attentional control (P = 0.054) and comprehensive reading (P = 0.064). Conclusion: This exploratory study yielded no indications of a clear advantage or disadvantage of the extra visual exposure in healthy preterm infants. We tentatively conclude that additional visual exposure does not interfere with the ongoing development of neuronal networks during this vulnerable period of brain development. PMID:25340045
Devitt, Aleea L; Schacter, Daniel L
As we age we become increasingly susceptible to memory distortions and inaccuracies. Over the past decade numerous neuroimaging studies have attempted to illuminate the neural underpinnings of aging and false memory. Here we review these studies, and link their findings with those concerning the cognitive properties of age-related changes in memory accuracy. Collectively this evidence points towards a prominent role for age-related declines in medial temporal and prefrontal brain areas, and corresponding impairments in associative binding and strategic monitoring. A resulting cascade of cognitive changes contributes to the heightened vulnerability to false memories with age, including reduced recollective ability, a reliance on gist information and familiarity-based monitoring mechanisms, as well as a reduced ability to inhibit irrelevant information and erroneous binding of features between memory traces. We consider both theoretical and applied implications of research on aging and false memories, as well as questions remaining to be addressed in future research.
Fortier, Jonathan; Besnard, Jérémy; Allain, Philippe
The concept of social cognition refers to a set of skills and to emotional and social experiences regulating relationships between individuals. This concept is appropriate in order to help us to explain individual human behaviours and behaviours in groups. Social cognition involves social knowledge, perception and processing of social cues, and the representation of mental states. The concept of social cognition thus refers to a multitude of skills. This paper stops on several of them, namely theory of mind, empathy, moral reasoning, emotional processing and emotional regulation. We propose a conceptual approach to each of these skills also stopping on their cerebral underpinnings. We also make an inventory of knowledge about the effects of age and neurodegenerative diseases on social cognition.
Josephs, Keith A; Murray, Melissa E; Tosakulwong, Nirubol; Whitwell, Jennifer L; Knopman, David S; Machulda, Mary M; Weigand, Stephen D; Boeve, Bradley F; Kantarci, Kejal; Petrucelli, Leonard; Lowe, Val J; Jack, Clifford R; Petersen, Ronald C; Parisi, Joseph E; Dickson, Dennis W
We investigate whether there is any association between the Braak neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) stage and clinical and MRI features in definite primary age-related tauopathy (PART). We analysed 52 cases with a Braak NFT tangle stage >0 and ≤IV, and a Thal phase of 0 (no beta-amyloid present). Twenty-nine (56%) were female. Median age at death was 88 years (IQR 82-92 years). Fifteen (29%) were TDP-positive (75% TDP stage I), 16 (31%) had argyrophilic grain disease and three (6%) had alpha-synuclein-positive Lewy bodies. TDP-43 inclusion when present were rare and predominantly perivascular. Of the 15 with TDP-43, three showed a moderate number of inclusions and also had hippocampal sclerosis, neuronal intranuclear inclusions and fine neurites of the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Four cases (8%) had an apolipoprotein epsilon 4 (APOE4) allele. There was a significant correlation between age at death and Braak NFT stage (r = 0.32, p = 0.02). After accounting for age at clinical examination, there were significant associations between Braak NFT stage, and WAIS-R Block Design and Trail Making Tests A and B, with higher Braak stage associated with poorer performances. Thirty of the 52 cases had completed an antemortem volumetric head MRI. Two separate MRI analyses revealed an association between higher Braak NFT stage and grey matter atrophy in the head of the left hippocampus. There were no significant clinical or radiologic associations with TDP-43. Findings from this study demonstrate that aggregated tau distribution is associated with poorer cognitive performance, as well as atrophy, in the absence of beta-amyloid. These findings support the parcellation of definite PART as a useful construct. The relatively low frequencies of APOE4, TDP-43, Lewy bodies, and hippocampal sclerosis, and the rarity and morphology of TDP-43 lesions are noted contrasts to what is typically observed in Alzheimer's disease of the old.
Kohman, Rachel A
Over the years it has become evident that the immune system can affect the function of the central nervous system (CNS), including altering cognitive processes. The impact of immune activation on the CNS is particularly important for aged individuals, as the brain's resident immune cells, microglia, acquire a pro-inflammatory profile. The low-grade chronic neuroinflammation that develops with normal aging likely contributes to the susceptibility to cognitive deficits and a host of age-related pathologies. Understanding why microglia show increased inflammatory activity (i.e., neuroinflammation) and identifying effective treatments to reduce microglia activation is expected to have beneficial effects on cognitive performance and measures of neural plasticity. However, microglia also promote regeneration after injury. Therefore, effective treatments must dampen inflammatory activity while preserving microglia's neuroprotective function. Discovering factors that induce neuroinflammation and investigating potential preventative therapies is expected to uncover the ways of maintaining normal microglia activity in the aged brain.
Background. Growing evidence suggests that self-reported physical activity accounts for variability in cognitive function among older adults, and aerobic intervention may improve cognitive function in this population. However, much less is known about the longitudinal association between direct measures of cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive function across the life span. The present study examined the prospective association between symptom-limited maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and longitudinal performance on a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Methods. Up to 1,400 participants aged 19–94 years underwent initial VO2max assessment and completed subsequent tests of memory, attention, perceptuomotor speed, language, and executive function, in addition to cognitive screening measures, on up to six occasions (mean, M = 2; standard deviation, SD = 1) for up to 18 years (M = 7, SD = 3). Mixed-effects regression models were adjusted for demographic, biomedical, and behavioral confounders. Results. Analyses revealed significant longitudinal associations between baseline VO2max and trajectory of performance on multiple measures of verbal and visual memory, as well as on a cognitive screening test (all ps < .05). Individuals with lower VO2max demonstrated accelerated trajectories of cognitive decline over time. Conclusions. Baseline cardiorespiratory fitness is related to longitudinal neuropsychological performance, and memory appears to be a particularly vulnerable domain. Evidence that aerobic fitness is associated with accelerated cognitive decline emphasizes the possible importance of behavioral interventions to optimize cognitive aging over time. PMID:24192540
Oliveira, Luciana; Graeff, Frederico G.; Pereira, Silvia R. C.; Oliveira-Silva, Ieda F.; Franco, Glaura C.
Emotion and spatial cognitive aspects were assessed in adult and middle-aged rats using the elevated T-maze (ETM) and the Morris water maze (MWM) tasks. Both adult and middle-aged rats were able to acquire inhibitory avoidance behaviour, though the middle-aged subjects showed larger latencies along the trials, including the baseline, which was significantly longer than that showed by adult rats. Further, compared to adult rats, middle-aged rats had longer escape latency. In spite of the worse performance in the second session of the spatial cognitive task, the middle-aged rats were able to learn the task and remember the information along the whole probe trial test. Both thalamic serotonin (5-HT) concentration and amygdala serotonergic activity (5-HIAA/5-HT) are significantly correlated, respectively, to escape latency and behavioural extinction in the MWM only for middle-aged rats. A significant correlation between the 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio in the amygdala and behavioural extinction for middle-aged, but not for adult, rats was observed. This result suggests that serotonergic activity in the amygdala may regulate behavioural flexibility in aged animals. In addition, a significant negative correlation was found between hippocampal 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio and the path length at the second training session of the MWM task, although only for adult subjects. This was the only session where a significant difference between the performance of middle-aged and adult rats has occurred. Although the involvement of the hippocampus in learning and memory is well established, the present work shows, for the first time, a correlation between a serotonergic hippocampal parameter and performance of a spatial task, which is lost with ageing. PMID:20431986
At present there is a rapid growth of aging population groups worldwide, which brings about serious economic and social problems. Thus, there is considerable effort to prolong the active life of these older people and keep them independent. The purpose of this mini review is to explore available clinical studies implementing computer-based cognitive training programs as intervention tools in the prevention and delay of cognitive decline in aging, with a special focus on their effectiveness. This was done by conducting a literature search in the databases Web of Science, Scopus, MEDLINE and Springer, and consequently by evaluating the findings of the relevant studies. The findings show that computerized cognitive training can lead to the improvement of cognitive functions such as working memory and reasoning skills in particular. However, this training should be performed over a longer time span since a short-term cognitive training mainly has an impact on short-term memory with temporary effects. In addition, the training must be intense to become effective. Furthermore, the results indicate that it is important to pay close attention to the methodological standards in future clinical studies. PMID:28066236
Li, Ye; Gao, Jie; Enkavi, A Zeynep; Zaval, Lisa; Weber, Elke U; Johnson, Eric J
Age-related deterioration in cognitive ability may compromise the ability of older adults to make major financial decisions. We explore whether knowledge and expertise accumulated from past decisions can offset cognitive decline to maintain decision quality over the life span. Using a unique dataset that combines measures of cognitive ability (fluid intelligence) and of general and domain-specific knowledge (crystallized intelligence), credit report data, and other measures of decision quality, we show that domain-specific knowledge and expertise provide an alternative route for sound financial decisions. That is, cognitive aging does not spell doom for financial decision-making in domains where the decision maker has developed expertise. These results have important implications for public policy and for the design of effective interventions and decision aids.
Li, Ye; Gao, Jie; Enkavi, A. Zeynep; Zaval, Lisa; Weber, Elke U.; Johnson, Eric J.
Age-related deterioration in cognitive ability may compromise the ability of older adults to make major financial decisions. We explore whether knowledge and expertise accumulated from past decisions can offset cognitive decline to maintain decision quality over the life span. Using a unique dataset that combines measures of cognitive ability (fluid intelligence) and of general and domain-specific knowledge (crystallized intelligence), credit report data, and other measures of decision quality, we show that domain-specific knowledge and expertise provide an alternative route for sound financial decisions. That is, cognitive aging does not spell doom for financial decision-making in domains where the decision maker has developed expertise. These results have important implications for public policy and for the design of effective interventions and decision aids. PMID:25535381
Wolf, D; Grothe, M; Fischer, F U; Heinsen, H; Kilimann, I; Teipel, S; Fellgiebel, A
The basal forebrain cholinergic system (BFCS) is known to undergo moderate neurodegenerative alterations during normal aging and severe atrophy in Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has been suggested that functional and structural alterations of the BFCS mediate cognitive performance in normal aging and AD. But, it is still unclear to what extend age-associated cognitive decline can be related to BFCS in normal aging. We analyzed the relationship between BFCS volume and cognition using MRI and a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery in a cohort of 43 healthy elderly subjects spanning the age range from 60 to 85 years. Most notably, we found significant associations between general intelligence and BFCS volumes, specifically within areas corresponding to posterior nuclei of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (Ch4p) and the nucleus subputaminalis (NSP). Associations between specific cognitive domains and BFCS volumes were less pronounced. Supplementary analyses demonstrated that especially the volume of NSP but also the volume of Ch4p was related to the volume of widespread temporal, frontal, and parietal gray and white matter regions. Volumes of these gray and white matter regions were also related to general intelligence. Higher volumes of Ch4p and NSP may enhance the effectiveness of acetylcholine supply in related gray and white matter regions underlying general intelligence and hence explain the observed association between the volume of Ch4p as well as NSP and general intelligence. Since general intelligence is known to attenuate the degree of age-associated cognitive decline and the risk of developing late-onset AD, the BFCS might, besides the specific contribution to the pathophysiology in AD, constitute a mechanism of brain resilience in normal aging.
S., Akbarian; S., Beeri M.; V., Haroutunian
A better understanding of normal and diseased brain aging and cognition will have a significant public health impact, given that the oldest-old persons over 85 years of age represent the fastest growing segment in the population in developed countries, with over 30 million new cases of dementia predicted to occur world-wide each year by 2040. Dysregulation of gene expression, and more generally, genome organization and function, is thought to contribute to age-related declines in cognition. Remarkably, nearly all neuronal nuclei that reside in an aged brain had permanently exited from the cell cycle during prenatal development, and DNA methylation and histone modifications and other molecular constituents of the epigenome are likely to play a critical role in the maintenance of neuronal health and function throughout the entire lifespan. Here, we provide an overview on age-related changes in the brain’s chromatin structures, highlight potential epigenetic drug targets for cognitive decline and age-related neurodegenerative disease and discuss opportunities and challenges when studying ‘epigenetic biomarkers’ in aging research. PMID:23571692
Reiman, Eric M; Brinton, Roberta Diaz; Katz, Russell; Petersen, Ronald C; Negash, Selam; Mungas, Dan; Aisen, Paul S
What will it take to develop interventions for the treatment of age-related cognitive decline? Session V of the Summit provided perspectives on the design of clinical trials to evaluate promising but unproven interventions, and some of the steps needed to accelerate the discovery and evaluation of promising treatments. It considered strategies to further characterize the biological and cognitive changes associated with normal aging and their translation into the development of new treatments. It provided regulatory, scientific, and clinical perspectives about neurocognitive aging treatments, their potential benefits and risks, and the strategies and endpoints needed to evaluate them in the most rapid, rigorous, and clinically meaningful way. It considered lessons learned from the study of Alzheimer's disease, the promising roles of biomarkers in neurocognitive aging research, and ways to help galvanize the scientific study and treatment of neurocognitive aging.
McQuail, Joseph A; Beas, B Sofia; Kelly, Kyle B; Simpson, Kailey L; Frazier, Charles J; Setlow, Barry; Bizon, Jennifer L
Working memory, the ability to temporarily maintain representational knowledge, is a foundational cognitive process that can become compromised in aging and neuropsychiatric disease. NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activation in prefrontal cortex (PFC) is necessary for the pyramidal neuron activity believed to enable working memory; however, the distinct biophysical properties and localization of NMDARs containing NR2A and NR2B subunits suggest unique roles for NMDAR subtypes in PFC neural activity and working memory. Experiments herein show that working memory depends on NR2A- but not NR2B-NMDARs in PFC of rats and that NR2A-NMDARs mediate the majority of evoked NMDAR currents on layer 2/3 PFC pyramidal neurons. Moreover, attenuated expression of the NR2A but not the NR2B subunit in PFC associates with naturally occurring working memory impairment in aged rats. Finally, NMDAR currents and working memory are enhanced in aged rats by promoting activation of the NR2A-enriched synaptic pool of PFC NMDARs. These results implicate NR2A-NMDARs in normal working memory and suggest novel treatment strategies for improving working memory in cognitive disorders.
AÇIKGÖZ, Mustafa; ÖZEN BARU T, Banu; EMRE, Ufuk; TAŞÇILAR, Nida; ATALAY, Adnan; KÖKTÜRK, Fürüzan
Introduction This study investigated the frequency of forgetfulness in elderly individuals over 55 years of age and examined the association of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) with objective cognitive functions,, depression and other risk factors. Methods We recruited 405 patients over 55 years of age who were referred to Neurology, Cardiology, or Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation outpatient clinics. All subjects were questioned regarding forgetfulness and then were administered the Subjective Memory Complaint (SMC) Scale, Mini Mental Test (MMT), Verbal Fluency Test (VFT), Clock Drawing Test (CDT) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Subjects with SMC were compared with those without SMC in terms of cognition, depression and some laboratory parameters. Results Of the patients, 42.5% complained of forgetfulness. None of these patients had been admitted to hospital for this complaint. Women and patients with low education had more forgetfulness as well as poorer results on the SMC Scale, MMT, VFT, and GDS. Patients with SMC had lower hemoglobin, ferritin and free T4 levels. Female gender and depression was found to be a risk factor for SMCs. Conclusion SMCs are common in people over 55 years of age. Being a woman as well as depression was found to be a risk factor for SMC. Since depression is a treatable condition, these people should be assessed carefully in terms of depressive symptoms. Laboratory parameters, such as hemoglobin, ferritin and free T4 levels should be investigated in patients with SMC. Unlike the other cognitive tests, CDT performance is independent of subjective memory complaints. Elderly patients rarely visit hospital with complaint of SMC, therefore, clinicians should be watchful for this problem.
Broeren, Suzanne; Muris, Peter
We examined the relation between cognitive development and fear, anxiety, and behavioral inhibition in a non-clinical sample of 226 Dutch children aged 4-9 years. To assess cognitive development, children were tested with Piagetian conservation tasks and a Theory-of-Mind (TOM) test. Fears were measured by means of a self-report scale completed by…
Cai, Liuyang; Chan, John S Y; Yan, Jin H; Peng, Kaiping
For more than two decades, there have been extensive studies of experience-based neural plasticity exploring effective applications of brain plasticity for cognitive and motor development. Research suggests that human brains continuously undergo structural reorganization and functional changes in response to stimulations or training. From a developmental point of view, the assumption of lifespan brain plasticity has been extended to older adults in terms of the benefits of cognitive training and physical therapy. To summarize recent developments, first, we introduce the concept of neural plasticity from a developmental perspective. Secondly, we note that motor learning often refers to deliberate practice and the resulting performance enhancement and adaptability. We discuss the close interplay between neural plasticity, motor learning and cognitive aging. Thirdly, we review research on motor skill acquisition in older adults with, and without, impairments relative to aging-related cognitive decline. Finally, to enhance future research and application, we highlight the implications of neural plasticity in skills learning and cognitive rehabilitation for the aging population.
Sayen, Alexandra; Hubert, Isabelle; Berrod, Jean-Paul
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a multifactorial disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It is the first cause of blindness in patients over 50 in the western world. The disease has been traditionally classified into early and late stages with dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular) forms: neovascular form is characterized by new blood vessels development under the macula (choroidal neovascularisation) which lead to a rapid decline of vision associated with metamorphopsia and requiring an urgent ophtalmological examination. Optical coherence tomography is now one of the most important part of the examination for diagnosis and treatment. Patient with age related maculopathy should consider taking a dietary supplement such that used in AREDS. The treatment of the wet ARMD has largely beneficied since year 2006 of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) molecules such as ranibizumab or bevacizumab given as repeated intravitreal injections. A systematic follow up each 4 to 8 week in required for several years. There is no effective treatment at the moment for dry AMD. For patients with binocular visual acuity under 60/200 rehabilitation includes low vision specialist, vision aids and psychological support.
Aging-related changes occur for multiple domains of cognitive functioning. An accumulating body of research indicates that, rather than representing statistically independent phenomena, aging-related cognitive changes are moderately to strongly correlated across domains. However, previous studies have typically been conducted in age-heterogeneous samples over longitudinal time lags of 6 or more years, and have failed to consider whether results are robust to a comprehensive set of controls. Capitalizing on 3-year longitudinal data from the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1936, we took a longitudinal narrow age cohort approach to examine cross-domain cognitive change interrelations from ages 70 to 73 years. We fit multivariate latent difference score models to factors representing visuospatial ability, processing speed, memory, and crystallized ability. Changes were moderately interrelated, with a general factor of change accounting for 47% of the variance in changes across domains. Change interrelations persisted at close to full strength after controlling for a comprehensive set of demographic, physical, and medical factors including educational attainment, childhood intelligence, physical function, APOE genotype, smoking status, diagnosis of hypertension, diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, and diagnosis of diabetes. Thus, the positive manifold of aging-related cognitive changes is highly robust in that it can be detected in a narrow age cohort followed over a relatively brief longitudinal period, and persists even after controlling for many potential confounders. PMID:24955992
Morris, Martha Savaria; Jacques, Paul F; Rosenberg, Irwin H; Selhub, Jacob
Background Historic reports on the treatment of pernicious anemia with folic acid suggest that high-level folic acid fortification delays the diagnosis of or exacerbates the effects of vitamin B-12 deficiency, which affects many seniors. This idea is controversial, however, because observational data are few and inconclusive. Furthermore, experimental investigation is unethical. Objective We examined the relations between serum folate and vitamin B-12 status relative to anemia, macrocytosis, and cognitive impairment (ie, Digit Symbol-Coding score <34) in senior participants in the 1999–2002 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Design The subjects had normal serum creatinine concentrations and reported no history of stroke, alcoholism, recent anemia therapy, or diseases of the liver, thyroid, or coronary arteries (n = 1459). We defined low vitamin B-12 status as a serum vitamin B-12 concentration <148 pmol/L or a serum methylmalonic acid concentration >210 nmol/L—the maximum of the reference range for serum vitamin B-12–replete participants with normal creatinine. Results After control for demographic characteristics, cancer, smoking, alcohol intake, serum ferritin, and serum creatinine, low versus normal vitamin B-12 status was associated with anemia [odds ratio (OR): 2.7; 95% CI: 1.7, 4.2], macrocytosis (OR: 1.8; 95% CI: 1.01, 3.3), and cognitive impairment (OR: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.6, 3.8). In the group with a low vitamin B-12 status, serum folate ≤59 nmol/L (80th percentile), as opposed to ≤59 nmol/L, was associated with anemia (OR: 3.1; 95% CI: 1.5, 6.6) and cognitive impairment (OR: 2.6; 95% CI: 1.1, 6.1). In the normal vitamin B-12 group, ORs relating high versus normal serum folate to these outcomes were <1.0 (Pinteraction <0.05), but significantly <1.0 only for cognitive impairment (0.4; 95% CI: 0.2, 0.9). Conclusion In seniors with low vitamin B-12 status, high serum folate was associated with anemia and cognitive impairment. When
Cassarino, Marica; Setti, Annalisa
Global ageing demographics coupled with increased urbanisation pose major challenges to the provision of optimal living environments for older persons, particularly in relation to cognitive health. Although animal studies emphasize the benefits of enriched environments for cognition, and brain training interventions have shown that maintaining or improving cognitive vitality in older age is possible, our knowledge of the characteristics of our physical environment which are protective for cognitive ageing is lacking. The present review analyses different environmental characteristics (e.g. urban vs. rural settings, presence of green) in relation to cognitive performance in ageing. Studies of direct and indirect associations between physical environment and cognitive performance are reviewed in order to describe the evidence that our living contexts constitute a measurable factor in determining cognitive ageing.
Geraci, Lisa; De Forrest, Ross; Hughes, Matthew; Saenz, Gabriel; Tirso, Robert
Subjective age, or how old a person feels, is an important measure of self-perception that is associated with consequential cognitive and health outcomes. Recent research suggests that subjective age is affected by certain situations, including cognitive testing contexts. The current study examined whether cognitive testing and positive performance feedback affect subjective age and subsequent cognitive performance. Older adults took a series of neuropsychological and cognitive tests and subjective age was measured at various time points. Participants also either received positive or no feedback on an initial cognitive task, an analogies task. Results showed that participants felt older over the course of the testing session, particularly after taking a working memory test, relative to baseline. Positive feedback did not significantly mitigate this subjective aging effect. Results suggest that subjective age is malleable and that it can be affected by standard cognitive and neuropsychological test conditions.
Pillai, Jagan A; McEvoy, Linda K; Hagler, Donald J; Holland, Dominic; Dale, Anders M; Salmon, David P; Galasko, Douglas; Fennema-Notestine, Christine
Education may reduce risk of dementia through passive reserve, by increasing neural substrate. We tested the hypotheses that education is associated with thicker cortex and reduced rates of atrophy in brain regions related to literacy and intellectual ability. Healthy older adults and those with mild cognitive impairment were categorized into high (≥18 years) and low (≤13 years) education groups. Higher education was associated with thinner cortices in several areas, but one-year atrophy rates in these areas did not differ by education group. These results do not support a passive reserve model in which early-life education protects against dementia by increasing cortical thickness. Connectivity and synaptic efficiency or other lifestyle factors may more directly reflect cognitive reserve.
Gold, Brian T; Kim, Chobok; Johnson, Nathan F; Kryscio, Richard J; Smith, Charles D
Recent behavioral data have shown that lifelong bilingualism can maintain youthful cognitive control abilities in aging. Here, we provide the first direct evidence of a neural basis for the bilingual cognitive control boost in aging. Two experiments were conducted, using a perceptual task-switching paradigm, including a total of 110 participants. In Experiment 1, older adult bilinguals showed better perceptual switching performance than their monolingual peers. In Experiment 2, younger and older adult monolinguals and bilinguals completed the same perceptual task-switching experiment while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed. Typical age-related performance reductions and fMRI activation increases were observed. However, like younger adults, bilingual older adults outperformed their monolingual peers while displaying decreased activation in left lateral frontal cortex and cingulate cortex. Critically, this attenuation of age-related over-recruitment associated with bilingualism was directly correlated with better task-switching performance. In addition, the lower blood oxygenation level-dependent response in frontal regions accounted for 82% of the variance in the bilingual task-switching reaction time advantage. These results suggest that lifelong bilingualism offsets age-related declines in the neural efficiency for cognitive control processes.
Gold, Brian T.; Kim, Chobok; Johnson, Nathan F.; Kryscio, Richard J.; Smith, Charles D.
Recent behavioral data have shown that lifelong bilingualism can maintain youthful cognitive control abilities in aging. Here, we provide the first direct evidence of a neural basis for the bilingual cognitive control boost in aging. Two experiments were conducted, using a perceptual task switching paradigm, and including a total of 110 participants. In Experiment 1, older adult bilinguals showed better perceptual switching performance than their monolingual peers. In Experiment 2, younger and older adult monolinguals and bilinguals completed the same perceptual task switching experiment while fMRI was performed. Typical age-related performance reductions and fMRI activation increases were observed. However, like younger adults, bilingual older adults outperformed their monolingual peers while displaying decreased activation in left lateral frontal cortex and cingulate cortex. Critically, this attenuation of age-related over-recruitment associated with bilingualism was directly correlated with better task switching performance. In addition, the lower BOLD response in frontal regions accounted for 82% of the variance in the bilingual task switching reaction time advantage. These results suggest that lifelong bilingualism offsets age-related declines in the neural efficiency for cognitive control processes. PMID:23303919
Cantanelli, Pamela; Sperduti, Samantha; Ciavardelli, Domenico; Stuppia, Liborio; Gatta, Valentina; Sensi, Stefano Luca
GluA1, GluA2, GluA3, and GluA4 are the constitutive subunits of amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs), the major mediators of fast excitatory transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. Most AMPARs are Ca2+-impermeable because of the presence of the GluA2 subunit. GluA2 mRNA undergoes an editing process that results in a Q–R substitution, a key factor in the regulation of AMPAR Ca2+-permeability. AMPARs lacking GluA2 or containing the unedited subunit are permeable to Ca2+ and Zn2+. The phenomenon physiologically modulates synaptic plasticity while, in pathologic conditions, leads to increased vulnerability to excitotoxic neuronal death. Given the importance of these subunits, we have therefore evaluated possible associations between changes in expression levels of AMPAR subunits and development of cognitive deficits in 3xTg-AD mice, a widely investigated transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). With quantitative real-time PCR analysis, we assayed hippocampal mRNA expression levels of GluA1–4 subunits occurring in young [3 months of age (m.o.a.)] and old (12 m.o.a) Tg-AD mice and made comparisons with levels found in age-matched wild type (WT) mice. Efficiency of GluA2 RNA editing was also analyzed. All animals were cognitively tested for learning short- and long-term spatial memory with the Morris Water Maze (MWM) navigation task. 3xTg-AD mice showed age-dependent decreases of mRNA levels for all the AMPAR subunits, with the exception of GluA2. Editing remained fully efficient with aging in 3xTg-AD and WT mice. A one-to-one correlation analysis between MWM performances and GluA1–4 mRNA expression profiles showed negative correlations between GluA2 levels and MWM performances in young 3xTg-AD mice. On the contrary, positive correlations between GluA2 mRNA and MWM performances were found in young WT mice. Our data suggest that increases of AMPARs that contain GluA1, GluA3, and GluA4 subunits may help in
Scullin, Michael K; Bliwise, Donald L
Sleep is implicated in cognitive functioning in young adults. With increasing age, there are substantial changes to sleep quantity and quality, including changes to slow-wave sleep, spindle density, and sleep continuity/fragmentation. A provocative question for the field of cognitive aging is whether such changes in sleep physiology affect cognition (e.g., memory consolidation). We review nearly a half century of research across seven diverse correlational and experimental domains that historically have had little crosstalk. Broadly speaking, sleep and cognitive functions are often related in advancing age, though the prevalence of null effects in healthy older adults (including correlations in the unexpected, negative direction) indicates that age may be an effect modifier of these associations. We interpret the literature as suggesting that maintaining good sleep quality, at least in young adulthood and middle age, promotes better cognitive functioning and serves to protect against age-related cognitive declines.
Scullin, Michael K.; Bliwise, Donald L.
Sleep is implicated in cognitive functioning in young adults. With increasing age there are substantial changes to sleep quantity and quality including changes to slow wave sleep, spindle density, and sleep continuity/fragmentation. A provocative question for the field of cognitive aging is whether such changes in sleep physiology affect cognition (e.g., memory consolidation). We review nearly a half-century of research studies across 7 diverse correlational and experimental literature domains, which historically have had little crosstalk. Broadly speaking, sleep and cognitive functions are often related in advancing age, though the prevalence of null effects (including correlations in the unexpected, negative direction) in healthy older adults indicates that age may be an effect modifier of these associations. We interpret the literature as suggesting that maintaining good sleep quality, at least in young adulthood and middle age, promotes better cognitive functioning and serves to protect against age-related cognitive declines. PMID:25620997
Lemieszewska, Marta; Jakubik-Witkowska, Marta; Stańczykiewicz, Bartłomiej; Zambrowicz, Aleksandra; Zabłocka, Agnieszka; Polanowski, Antoni; Trziszka, Tadeusz; Rymaszewska, Joanna
The study aimed to assess the effect of the polypeptide Y complex (Yolkin), isolated from chicken egg yolk, on behavioural and cognitive functions. It also aimed to compare this activity with colostrum-derived substances (Colostrinin, Coloco), which have a confirmed impact on learning and memory. In the study, the effect of Yolkin, administered to rats of different ages, who performed various tasks involving spatial and episodic memory, motor functions and exploratory behavior, was assessed. The experiment was carried out in rats which were 6 and 12 months old. Two different doses of the studied specimens based on previous comparative studies and two different routes of administration (oral and retroperitoneal) were used. A series of behavioural tests were carried out, including an open field test, a novel object recognition test and a Morris water maze. They were used to evaluate the impact of the studied specimen on improving locomotor function and exploratory behaviour, preventing their decline and assess the functioning of episodic and spatial memory in aging rats. The administration of Yolkin gave distinct effects compared to colostrum-derived substances, although confirmed its suggested pro-cognitive action. Therefore, it may be used to enhance cognitive functions and inhibit the progression of dementia in the course of neurodegenerative disorders.
Jeong, Eunju; Ryu, Hokyoung
Cognitive decline is a natural phenomenon of aging. Although there exists a consensus that sensitivity to acoustic features of music is associated with such decline, no solid evidence has yet shown that structural elements and contexts of music explain this loss of cognitive performance. This study examined the extent and the type of cognitive decline that is related to the contour identification task (CIT) using tones with different pitches (i.e., melodic contours). Both younger and older adult groups participated in the CIT given in three listening conditions (i.e., focused, selective, and alternating). Behavioral data (accuracy and response times) and hemodynamic reactions were measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Our findings showed cognitive declines in the older adult group but with a subtle difference from the younger adult group. The accuracy of the melodic CITs given in the target-like distraction task (CIT2) was significantly lower than that in the environmental noise (CIT1) condition in the older adult group, indicating that CIT2 may be a benchmark test for age-specific cognitive decline. The fNIRS findings also agreed with this interpretation, revealing significant increases in oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb) concentration in the younger (p < 0.05 for Δpre - on task; p < 0.01 for Δon – post task) rather than the older adult group (n.s for Δpre - on task; n.s for Δon – post task). We further concluded that the oxyHb difference was present in the brain regions near the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Taken together, these findings suggest that CIT2 (i.e., the melodic contour task in the target-like distraction) is an optimized task that could indicate the degree and type of age-related cognitive decline. PMID:27378907
Jorgensen, Lindsey E; Messersmith, Jessica J
Many factors go into appropriate recommendation and use of hearing assistive technology (HAT). The aging auditory system presents with its own complications and intricacies; there are many types of age-related hearing loss, and it is possible that the underlying cause of hearing loss can significantly impact the recommendations and performance with HATs. The audiologist should take into consideration peripheral and central auditory function when selecting HATs for the aging adult population as well as when selecting appropriate types of technology including personal sound amplification products, hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive technology. The cognitive ability of the patient plays a central role in the recommendations of HAT. It is possible that the use of HATs could mitigate some of the effects of cognitive decline and thus should be considered as early as possible. Assessment of ability and appropriate recommendations are crucial to consistent use of HAT devices.
Halford, Graeme S.
Explicit representation of relations plays some role in virtually all higher cognitive processes, but relational knowledge has seldom been investigated systematically. This paper considers how relational knowledge is involved in some tasks that have been important to cognitive development, including transitivity, the balance scale, classification…
Aging is associated with cognitive decline in both humans and animals and of all brain regions, the hippocampus appears to be particularly vulnerable to senescence. Age-related spatial learning deficits result from alterations in hippocampal connectivity and plasticity. These changes are differentially expressed in each of the hippocampal fields known as cornu ammonis 1 (CA1), cornu ammonis 3 (CA3), and the dentate gyrus. Each sub-region displays varying degrees of susceptibility to aging. For example, the CA1 region is particularly susceptible in Alzheimer's disease while the CA3 region shows vulnerability to stress and glucocorticoids. Further, in animals, aging is the main factor associated with the decline in adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. This review discusses the relationship between region-specific hippocampal connectivity, morphology, and gene expression alterations and the cognitive deficits associated with senescence. In particular, data are reviewed that illustrate how the molecular changes observed in the CA1, CA3, and dentate regions are associated with age-related learning deficits. This topic is of importance because increased understanding of how gene expression patterns reflect individual differences in cognitive performance is critical to the process of identifying new and clinically useful biomarkers for cognitive aging. PMID:21048902
Aging is associated with cognitive decline in both humans and animals and of all brain regions, the hippocampus appears to be particularly vulnerable to senescence. Age-related spatial learning deficits result from alterations in hippocampal connectivity and plasticity. These changes are differentially expressed in each of the hippocampal fields known as cornu ammonis 1 (CA1), cornu ammonis 3 (CA3), and the dentate gyrus. Each sub-region displays varying degrees of susceptibility to aging. For example, the CA1 region is particularly susceptible in Alzheimer's disease while the CA3 region shows vulnerability to stress and glucocorticoids. Further, in animals, aging is the main factor associated with the decline in adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. This review discusses the relationship between region-specific hippocampal connectivity, morphology, and gene expression alterations and the cognitive deficits associated with senescence. In particular, data are reviewed that illustrate how the molecular changes observed in the CA1, CA3, and dentate regions are associated with age-related learning deficits. This topic is of importance because increased understanding of how gene expression patterns reflect individual differences in cognitive performance is critical to the process of identifying new and clinically useful biomarkers for cognitive aging.
Taillade, Mathieu; N'Kaoua, Bernard; Sauzéon, Hélène
The present study investigated the effect of aging on direct navigation measures and self-reported ones according to the real-virtual test manipulation. Navigation (wayfinding tasks) and spatial memory (paper-pencil tasks) performances, obtained either in real-world or in virtual-laboratory test conditions, were compared between young (n = 32) and older (n = 32) adults who had self-rated their everyday navigation behavior (SBSOD scale). Real age-related differences were observed in navigation tasks as well as in paper-pencil tasks, which investigated spatial learning relative to the distinction between survey-route knowledge. The manipulation of test conditions (real vs. virtual) did not change these age-related differences, which are mostly explained by age-related decline in both spatial abilities and executive functioning (measured with neuropsychological tests). In contrast, elderly adults did not differ from young adults in their self-reporting relative to everyday navigation, suggesting some underestimation of navigation difficulties by elderly adults. Also, spatial abilities in young participants had a mediating effect on the relations between actual and self-reported navigation performance, but not for older participants. So, it is assumed that the older adults carried out the navigation task with fewer available spatial abilities compared to young adults, resulting in inaccurate self-estimates.
Taillade, Mathieu; N'Kaoua, Bernard; Sauzéon, Hélène
The present study investigated the effect of aging on direct navigation measures and self-reported ones according to the real-virtual test manipulation. Navigation (wayfinding tasks) and spatial memory (paper-pencil tasks) performances, obtained either in real-world or in virtual-laboratory test conditions, were compared between young (n = 32) and older (n = 32) adults who had self-rated their everyday navigation behavior (SBSOD scale). Real age-related differences were observed in navigation tasks as well as in paper-pencil tasks, which investigated spatial learning relative to the distinction between survey-route knowledge. The manipulation of test conditions (real vs. virtual) did not change these age-related differences, which are mostly explained by age-related decline in both spatial abilities and executive functioning (measured with neuropsychological tests). In contrast, elderly adults did not differ from young adults in their self-reporting relative to everyday navigation, suggesting some underestimation of navigation difficulties by elderly adults. Also, spatial abilities in young participants had a mediating effect on the relations between actual and self-reported navigation performance, but not for older participants. So, it is assumed that the older adults carried out the navigation task with fewer available spatial abilities compared to young adults, resulting in inaccurate self-estimates. PMID:26834666
Fabrigoule, Colette; Lafont, Sylviane
Older drivers are more numerous on the roads. They are expert drivers, but with increasing age certain physiological changes can interfere with driving, which is a complex activity of daily living. Older drivers are involved in fewer accidents than younger drivers, but they have a higher accident rate per kilometer driven. The elderly are heavily represented in the balance sheet of road deaths, being motorists or pedestrians. This high mortality is largely explained by their physical frailty. In the presence of deficits, self-regulation of driving habits, changes/reductions or stopping in driving activity occur in the elderly. But cognitive deficits are associated with an increased risk of accidents. Among drivers with Alzheimer's disease, there is a heterogeneity of driving ability, making difficult the advisory role of a physician for driving. A protocol for physicians was developed to assess cognitive impairments that may affect driving in an elderly patient. The car plays an important role in the autonomy of the elderly and patient advice on stopping driving should take into account the risk/benefit ratio.
Steves, Claire J.; Mehta, Mitul M.; Jackson, Stephen H.D.; Spector, Tim D.
Background Many observational studies have shown a protective effect of physical activity on cognitive ageing, but interventional studies have been less convincing. This may be due to short time scales of interventions, suboptimal interventional regimes or lack of lasting effect. Confounding through common genetic and developmental causes is also possible. Objectives We aimed to test whether muscle fitness (measured by leg power) could predict cognitive change in a healthy older population over a 10-year time interval, how this performed alongside other predictors of cognitive ageing, and whether this effect was confounded by factors shared by twins. In addition, we investigated whether differences in leg power were predictive of differences in brain structure and function after 12 years of follow-up in identical twin pairs. Methods A total of 324 healthy female twins (average age at baseline 55, range 43-73) performed the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) at two time points 10 years apart. Linear regression modelling was used to assess the relationships between baseline leg power, physical activity and subsequent cognitive change, adjusting comprehensively for baseline covariates (including heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, lipids, diet, body habitus, smoking and alcohol habits, reading IQ, socioeconomic status and birthweight). A discordant twin approach was used to adjust for factors shared by twins. A subset of monozygotic pairs then underwent magnetic resonance imaging. The relationship between muscle fitness and brain structure and function was assessed using linear regression modelling and paired t tests. Results A striking protective relationship was found between muscle fitness (leg power) and both 10-year cognitive change [fully adjusted model standardised β-coefficient (Stdβ) = 0.174, p = 0.002] and subsequent total grey matter (Stdβ = 0.362, p = 0.005). These effects were robust in discordant
Durning, Steven J.; Artino, Anthony R.; Holmboe, Eric; Beckman, Thomas J.; van der Vleuten, Cees; Schuwirth, Lambert
The demands of physician practice are growing. Some specialties face critical shortages and a significant percentage of physicians are aging. To improve health care it is paramount to understand and address challenges, including cognitive issues, facing aging physicians. In this article, we outline several issues related to cognitive performance…
Objective: Normal aging in animals and humans is accompanied by a decline in cognitive performance which is thought to be due to the long-term effects of oxidative stress and inflammation on neurological processes. Previous findings have suggested that protection against age-related cognitive declin...
Fritsch, Thomas; McClendon, McKee J.; Smyth, Kathleen A.; Lerner, Alan J.; Friedland, Robert P.; Larsen, Janet D.
Purpose: According to the "reserve perspective" on cognitive aging, individuals are born with or can develop resources that help them resist normal and disease-related cognitive changes that occur in aging. The reserve perspective is becoming more sophisticated, but gaps in knowledge persist. In the present research, we considered three…
Madden, David J.; Bennett, Ilana J.; Song, Allen W.
The integrity of cerebral white matter is critical for efficient cognitive functioning, but little is known regarding the role of white matter integrity in age-related differences in cognition. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures the directional displacement of molecular water and as a result can characterize the properties of white matter that combine to restrict diffusivity in a spatially coherent manner. This review considers DTI studies of aging and their implications for understanding adult age differences in cognitive performance. Decline in white matter integrity contributes to a disconnection among distributed neural systems, with a consistent effect on perceptual speed and executive functioning. The relation between white matter integrity and cognition varies across brain regions, with some evidence suggesting that age-related effects exhibit an anterior-posterior gradient. With continued improvements in spatial resolution and integration with functional brain imaging, DTI holds considerable promise, both for theories of cognitive aging and for translational application. PMID:19705281
Wilson, Robert S; Capuano, Ana W; Sytsma, Joel; Bennett, David A; Barnes, Lisa L
During a mean of 5.2 years of annual follow-up, older Black (n = 647) and White (n = 647) persons of equivalent age and education completed a battery of 17 cognitive tests from which composite measures of 5 abilities were derived. Baseline level of each ability was lower in the Black subgroup. Decline in episodic and working memory was not related to race. Decline in semantic memory, perceptual speed, and visuospatial ability was slower in Black persons than White persons, and in semantic memory and perceptual speed this effect was stronger in older than younger participants. Racial differences persisted after adjustment for retest effects. The results suggest subtle cognitive aging differences between Black persons and White persons.
Lindenberger, U; Scherer, H; Baltes, P B
Cognitive aging research has documented a strong increase in the covariation between sensory and cognitive functioning with advancing age. In part, this finding may reflect sensory acuity reductions operating during cognitive assessment. To examine this possibility, the authors administered cognitive tasks used in prior studies (e.g., Lindenberger & Baltes, 1994) to middle-aged adults under age-simulation conditions of reduced visual acuity, auditory acuity, or both. Visual acuity was lowered through partial occlusion filters, and auditory acuity through headphone-shaped noise protectors. Acuity manipulations reduced visual acuity and auditory acuity in the speech range to values reaching or approximating old-age acuity levels, respectively, but did not lower cognitive performance relative to control conditions. Results speak against assessment-related sensory acuity accounts of the age-related increase in the connection between sensory and cognitive functioning and underscore the need to explore alternative explanations, including a focus on general aspects of brain aging.
Roberts, Katherine L.; Allen, Harriet A.
Ageing is associated with declines in both perception and cognition. We review evidence for an interaction between perceptual and cognitive decline in old age. Impoverished perceptual input can increase the cognitive difficulty of tasks, while changes to cognitive strategies can compensate, to some extent, for impaired perception. While there is strong evidence from cross-sectional studies for a link between sensory acuity and cognitive performance in old age, there is not yet compelling evidence from longitudinal studies to suggest that poor perception causes cognitive decline, nor to demonstrate that correcting sensory impairment can improve cognition in the longer term. Most studies have focused on relatively simple measures of sensory (visual and auditory) acuity, but more complex measures of suprathreshold perceptual processes, such as temporal processing, can show a stronger link with cognition. The reviewed evidence underlines the importance of fully accounting for perceptual deficits when investigating cognitive decline in old age. PMID:26973514
Michaud, Kathy; Forget, Helene; Cohen, Henri
Cumulative exposure to glucocorticoid hormones (GC) over the lifespan has been associated with cognitive impairment and may contribute to physical and cognitive degeneration in aging. The objective of the present study was to examine whether the pattern of cognitive deficits in patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS), a disorder characterized by…
Cox, Simon R; MacPherson, Sarah E; Ferguson, Karen J; Royle, Natalie A; Maniega, Susana Muñoz; Hernández, Maria Del C Valdés; Bastin, Mark E; MacLullich, Alasdair M J; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Deary, Ian J
Elevated glucocorticoid (GC) levels putatively damage specific brain regions, which in turn may accelerate cognitive ageing. However, many studies are cross-sectional or have relatively short follow-up periods, making it difficult to relate GCs directly to changes in cognitive ability with increasing age. Moreover, studies combining endocrine, MRI and cognitive variables are scarce, measurement methods vary considerably, and formal tests of the underlying causal hypothesis (cortisol→brain→cognition) are absent. In this study, 90 men, aged 73 years, provided measures of fluid intelligence, processing speed and memory, diurnal and reactive salivary cortisol and two measures of white matter (WM) structure (WM hyperintensity volume from structural MRI and mean diffusivity averaged across 12 major tracts from diffusion tensor MRI), hippocampal volume, and also cognitive ability at age 11. We tested whether negative relationships between cognitive ageing differences (over more than 60 years) and salivary cortisol were significantly mediated by WM and hippocampal volume. Significant associations between reactive cortisol at 73 and cognitive ageing differences between 11 and 73 (r=-.28 to -.36, p<.05) were partially mediated by both WM structural measures, but not hippocampal volume. Cortisol-WM relationships were modest, as was the degree to which WM structure attenuated cortisol-cognition associations (<15%). These data support the hypothesis that GCs contribute to cognitive ageing differences from childhood to the early 70s, partly via brain WM structure.
Braskie, Meredith N; Wilcox, Claire E; Landau, Susan M; O'Neil, James P; Baker, Suzanne L; Madison, Cindee M; Kluth, Jennifer T; Jagust, William J
Past research has demonstrated that performance on frontal lobe-dependent tasks is associated with dopamine system integrity and that various dopamine system deficits occur with aging. The positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer 6-[(18)F]fluoro-l-m-tyrosine (FMT) is a substrate of the dopamine-synthesizing enzyme, aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC). Studies using 6-[(18)F]fluorodopa (FDOPA) (another AADC substrate) to measure how striatal PET signal and age relate have had inconsistent outcomes. The varying results occur in part from tracer processing that renders FDOPA signal subject to aspects of postrelease metabolism, which may themselves change with aging. In contrast, FMT remains a purer measure of AADC function. We used partial volume-corrected FMT PET scans to measure age-related striatal dopamine synthesis capacity in 21 older (mean, 66.9) and 16 younger (mean, 22.8) healthy adults. We also investigated how striatal FMT signal related to a cognitive measure of frontal lobe function. Older adults showed significantly greater striatal FMT signal than younger adults. Within the older group, FMT signal in dorsal caudate (DCA) and dorsal putamen was greater with age, suggesting compensation for deficits elsewhere in the dopamine system. In younger adults, FMT signal in DCA was lower with age, likely related to ongoing developmental processes. Younger adults who performed worse on tests of frontal lobe function showed greater FMT signal in right DCA, independent of age effects. Our data suggest that higher striatal FMT signal represents nonoptimal dopamine processing. They further support a relationship between striatal dopamine processing and frontal lobe cognitive function.
Lindenberger, U; Baltes, P B
This study reports data on intellectual functioning in old and very old age from the Berlin Aging Study (N = 516; age range = 70-103 years; mean age = 85 years). A psychometric battery of 14 tests was used to assess five cognitive abilities: reasoning, memory, and perceptual speed from the broad fluid-mechanical as well as knowledge and fluency from the broad crystallized-pragmatic domains. Cognitive abilities had a negative linear relationship with age, with more pronounced age-based reductions in fluid-mechanical than crystallized-pragmatic abilities. At the same time, ability intercorrelations formed a highly positive manifold, and did not follow the fluid-crystallized distinction. Interindividual variability was of about equal magnitude across the entire age range studied. There was, however, no evidence for substantial sex differences. As to origins of individual differences, indicators of sensory and sensorimotor functioning were more powerful predictors of intellectual functioning than cultural-biographical variables, and the two sets of predictors were, consistent with theoretical expectations, differentially related to measures of fluid-mechanical (perceptual speed) and crystallized pragmatic (knowledge) functioning. Results, in general indicative of sizeable and general losses with age, are consistent with the view that aging-induced biological influences are a prominent source of individual differences in intellectual functioning in old and very old age. Longitudinal follow-ups are underway to examine the role of cohort effects, selective mortality, and interindividual differences in change trajectories.
Bialystok, Ellen; Craik, Fergus I M; Klein, Raymond; Viswanathan, Mythili
Previous work has shown that bilingualism is associated with more effective controlled processing in children; the assumption is that the constant management of 2 competing languages enhances executive functions (E. Bialystok, 2001). The present research attempted to determine whether this bilingual advantage persists for adults and whether bilingualism attenuates the negative effects of aging on cognitive control in older adults. Three studies are reported that compared the performance of monolingual and bilingual middle-aged and older adults on the Simon task. Bilingualism was associated with smaller Simon effect costs for both age groups; bilingual participants also responded more rapidly to conditions that placed greater demands on working memory. In all cases the bilingual advantage was greater for older participants. It appears, therefore, that controlled processing is carried out more effectively by bilinguals and that bilingualism helps to offset age-related losses in certain executive processes.
El Haj, Mohamad; Raffard, Stéphane; Gély-Nargeot, Marie-Christine
Destination memory is the ability to remember the destination to which a piece of information has been addressed (e.g., "Did I tell you about the promotion?"). This ability is found to be impaired in normal ageing. Our work aimed to link this deterioration to the decline in theory of mind. Forty younger adults (M age = 23.13 years, SD = 4.00) and 36 older adults (M age = 69.53 years, SD = 8.93) performed a destination memory task. They also performed the False-belief test addressing cognitive theory of mind and the Reading the mind in the eyes test addressing affective theory of mind. Results showed significant deterioration in destination memory, cognitive theory of mind and affective theory of mind in the older adults. The older adults' performance on destination memory was significantly correlated with and predicted by their performance on cognitive theory of mind. Difficulties in the ability to interpret and predict others' mental states are related to destination memory decline in older adults.
Eckert, Mark A.
Processing speed, or the rate at which tasks can be performed, is a robust predictor of age-related cognitive decline and an indicator of independence among older adults. This review examines evidence for neurobiological predictors of age-related changes in processing speed, which is guided in part by our source based morphometry findings that unique patterns of frontal and cerebellar gray matter predict age-related variation in processing speed. These results, together with the extant literature on morphological predictors of age-related changes in processing speed, suggest that specific neural systems undergo declines and as a result slow processing speed. Future studies of processing speed – dependent neural systems will be important for identifying the etiologies for processing speed change and the development of interventions that mitigate gradual age-related declines in cognitive functioning and enhance healthy cognitive aging. PMID:21441995
Raz, Naftali; And Others
The relationship between brain asymmetry and age-related differences in cognitive abilities was examined for 29 adults aged 18 to 78 years using magnetic resonance imagery (MRI). Brain and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex size correlated positively with fluid intelligence but did not add to the fluid intelligence variance explained by age alone.…
Lee, Annie; Tan, Mingzhen; Qiu, Anqi
Brain network hubs are susceptible to normal aging processes and disruptions of their functional connectivity are detrimental to decline in cognitive functions in older adults. However, it remains unclear how the functional connectivity of network hubs cope with cognitive heterogeneity in an aging population. This study utilized cognitive and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data, cluster analysis, and graph network analysis to examine age-related alterations in the network hubs’ functional connectivity of good and poor cognitive performers. Our results revealed that poor cognitive performers showed age-dependent disruptions in the functional connectivity of the right insula and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), while good cognitive performers showed age-related disruptions in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC. Additionally, the left PCC had age-related declines in the functional connectivity with the left medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Most interestingly, good cognitive performers showed age-related declines in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC with their right homotopic structures. These results may provide insights of neuronal correlates for understanding individual differences in aging. In particular, our study suggests prominent protection roles of the left insula and PCC and bilateral ACC in good performers. PMID:27667972
Alosco, Michael L.; Forman, Daniel E.
Aging is characterized by a decline in cognitive functions, particularly in the domains of executive function, processing speed and episodic memory. These age-related declines are exacerbated by cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, elevated total cholesterol). Structural and functional alterations in brain regions, including the fronto-parietal and medial temporal lobes, have been linked to age- and CVD-related cognitive decline. Multiple recent studies indicate that aerobic exercise programs may slow the progression of age-related neural changes and reduce the risk for mild cognitive impairment as well as dementia. We review age- and CVD-related decline in cognition and the underlying changes in brain morphology and function, and then clarify the impact of aerobic exercise on moderating these patterns. PMID:25750853
Hayes, Scott M; Alosco, Michael L; Forman, Daniel E
Aging is characterized by a decline in cognitive functions, particularly in the domains of executive function, processing speed and episodic memory. These age-related declines are exacerbated by cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, elevated total cholesterol). Structural and functional alterations in brain regions, including the fronto-parietal and medial temporal lobes, have been linked to age- and CVD-related cognitive decline. Multiple recent studies indicate that aerobic exercise programs may slow the progression of age-related neural changes and reduce the risk for mild cognitive impairment as well as dementia. We review age- and CVD-related decline in cognition and the underlying changes in brain morphology and function, and then clarify the impact of aerobic exercise on moderating these patterns.
Walsh, Laura A; Stock, Michelle L; Peterson, Laurel M; Gerrard, Meg
This study examined the impact of ultraviolet (UV) photography, cognition versus affect, and age on women's sun-related cognitions and a proxy measure of sun protection behavior. Participants (N = 114) were recruited via public advertisements and came to the lab to view a photo showing their UV damage. In addition, some participants received instructions to focus on either their thoughts (cognition) or feelings (affect) about their photograph before completing the survey. Women in the affect condition reported the lowest perceived vulnerability to skin cancer and highest absent/exempt beliefs (beliefs that one is unlikely to develop skin cancer if she hasn't already). Condition by age interactions showed that, among those in the cognition and control (no instructions) conditions, older women reported higher perceived vulnerability and lower absent/exempt beliefs, and took more sunscreen than younger women. However, older women reported higher absent/exempt beliefs and higher sun-risk willingness than younger women in the affect condition.
Luchsinger, José A.; Cabral, Rafi; Eimicke, Joseph P.; Manly, Jennifer J.; Teresi, Jeanne
Objective To examine the association of glycemia and diabetes status with cognition among 600 Hispanics aged 55 to 64 years from Northern Manhattan. Methods Diabetes was ascertained by history or Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Normal glucose tolerance (NGT) and pre-diabetes were ascertained with HbA1c. Memory was assessed with the Selective Reminding Test (SRT). Executive abilities were assessed using the Color trails 1 and 2, and verbal fluency test. The cross-sectional association of glycemia and diabetes status with cognitive performance was examined using linear regression. Results Participants were a mean age of 59.2 ± 2.9 years old, 76.7% were women, and more than 65% had pre-diabetes or diabetes. HbA1C (β = − 0.97; p <0.001) and diabetes (β = − 2.06; p = 0.001) were related with lower SRT total recall after adjustment for demographics, education, and vascular risk factors. Pre-diabetes was associated with worse performance in color trails 2 (β = − 6.45 p = 0.022) after full adjustment. Conclusions Higher glycemia and diabetes are related to worse memory and executive abilities in late middle age, while pre-diabetes is related only to worse executive abilities. Longitudinal follow-up is needed to understand the order and progression of these deficits. PMID:26163818
Qian, Xiao-Lan; Zhang, Wei; Liu, Ming-Zheng; Zhou, Yu-Bing; Zhang, Jing-Min; Han, Li; Peng, You-Mei; Jiang, Jin-hua; Wang, Qing-Duan
Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is a frequent complication following major surgery in the elderly. However, the exact pathogenic mechanisms are still unknown. Dexmedetomidine, a selective alpha 2 adrenal receptor agonist, was revealed anesthesia and brain protective role. The present study aimed to examine whether dexmedetomdine protects against POCD induced by major surgical trauma under general anesthesia in aged mice. In the present study, cognitive function was assessed by Y-maze. Proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), apoptosis-related factor caspase-3 and Bax were detected by real-time PCR, Western blot or immunohistochemistry. The results showed that anesthesia alone caused weak cognitive dysfunction on the first day after general anesthesia. Cognitive function in mice with splenectomy under general anesthesia was significantly exacerbated at the first and third days after surgery, and was significantly improved by dexmedetomidine administration. Splenectomy increased the expression of IL-1β, TNF-α, Bax and caspase-3 in hippocampus. These changes were significantly inversed by dexmedetomidine. These results suggest that hippocampal inflammatory response and neuronal apoptosis may contribute to POCD, and selective alpha 2 adrenal receptor excitation play a protective role.
Grant, Angela; Dennis, Nancy A.; Li, Ping
In recent years bilingualism has been linked to both advantages in executive control and positive impacts on aging. Such positive cognitive effects of bilingualism have been attributed to the increased need for language control during bilingual processing and increased cognitive reserve, respectively. However, a mechanistic explanation of how bilingual experience contributes to cognitive reserve is still lacking. The current paper proposes a new focus on bilingual memory as an avenue to explore the relationship between executive control and cognitive reserve. We argue that this focus will enhance our understanding of the functional and structural neural mechanisms underlying bilingualism-induced cognitive effects. With this perspective we discuss and integrate recent cognitive and neuroimaging work on bilingual advantage, and suggest an account that links cognitive control, cognitive reserve, and brain reserve in bilingual aging and memory. PMID:25520695
Rose, Susan A; Feldman, Judith F; Jankowski, Jeffery J
Recent work suggests that executive functions, the cornerstone of higher-level cognitive operations, are driven by basic information processing abilities. Using structural equation modeling, with latent variables, the present study provides the first evidence that this driving force begins in infancy, such that abilities in infancy predict executive functions at age 11. Information processing abilities in three domains (attention, processing speed, and memory) were assessed when participants were infants (7 and 12 months) and toddlers (24 and 36 months) and were used to predict three executive functions (working memory, inhibition, and shifting) when participants were 11 years old. A model relating infant abilities to age-11 executive functions fit well, and accounted for 9% to 19% of the variance in the executive functions. Paths from both speed and memory in infancy to age-11 working memory were significant, as was the path from Speed in infancy to age-11 Shifting. A model using abilities in toddlerhood as predictors fit similarly. These findings implicate early basic cognitive abilities in the development of executive functions.
Duda, Bryant; Puente, Antonio N; Miller, Lloyd Stephen
The ability to perform instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) is necessary for independent living. Research suggests that community-dwelling older adults are at risk for experiencing subtle decrements in the performance of IADLs. Neuropsychological tests have been used to account for differences in IADL status. Studies of the relationship between cognitive ability and functional status have produced variable results, however, and cognitive ability appears to be only a moderate predictor. Several studies of normal aging have revealed cognitive and functional benefits of higher cognitive reserve (CR) in healthy, nondemented older adults. The purposes of the present study were to: (a) examine the relationship between global cognitive ability and IADL performance among 53 community-dwelling older adults, and (b) determine whether formal education, as a proxy of CR, significantly moderates this relationship. Consistent with previous findings, global cognitive ability accounted for a considerable portion of variance in IADL performance [ΔR(2) = .54; ΔF(2, 53) = 67.96; p < .001]. Additionally, CR modestly but significantly attenuated this relationship [ΔR(2) = .044; ΔF(4, 53) = 5.98; p = .018; total R(2) = .65]. This finding suggests that community-dwelling older adults with lower levels of formal education may be at greater risk for functional decrements associated with age-related cognitive decline.
Mudar, Raksha A.; Chiang, Hsueh-Sheng; Maguire, Mandy J.; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Eroh, Justin; Michael, A. Kraut; Hart, John
We used event-related potentials (ERPs) to study age effects of perceptual (basic-level) vs. perceptual-semantic (superordinate-level) categorization on cognitive control using the go/nogo paradigm. Twenty-two younger (11 M; 21±2.2 years) and 22 older adults (9 M; 63±5.8 years) completed two visual go/nogo tasks. In the single car task (SiC) (basic), go/nogo responses were made based on single exemplars of a car (go) and a dog (nogo). In the object animal task (ObA) (superordinate), responses were based on multiple exemplars of objects (go) and animals (nogo). Each task consisted of 200 trials: 160 (80%) ‘go’ trials that required a response through button pressing and 40 (20%) ‘nogo’ trials that required inhibition/withholding of a response. ERP data revealed significantly reduced nogo-N2 and nogo-P3 amplitudes in older compared to younger adults, whereas go-N2 and go-P3 amplitudes were comparable in both groups during both categorization tasks. Although the effects of categorization levels on behavioral data and P3 measures were similar in both groups with longer response times, lower accuracy scores, longer P3 latencies, and lower P3 amplitudes in ObA compared to SiC, N2 latency revealed age group differences moderated by the task. Older adults had longer N2 latency for ObA compared to SiC, in contrast, younger adults showed no N2 latency difference between SiC and ObA. Overall, these findings suggest that age differentially affects neural processing related to cognitive control during semantic categorization. Furthermore, in older adults, unlike in younger adults, levels of categorization modulate neural processing related to cognitive control even at the early stages (N2). PMID:25823764
Okazaki, Fabio H. A.; Keller, Birgit; Fontana, Fabio E.; Gallagher, Jere D.
In sports, the relative age effect (RAE) refers to performance disadvantages of children born late in the competition year compared to those with birthdays soon after the cutoff date. This effect is derived from age grouping, a strategy commonly used in youth sport programs. The purpose of age grouping is to decrease possible cognitive, physical,…
Li, Ye; Baldassi, Martine; Johnson, Eric J.; Weber, Elke U.
Fluid intelligence decreases with age, yet evidence about age declines in decision-making quality is mixed: Depending on the study, older adults make worse, equally good, or even better decisions than younger adults. We propose a potential explanation for this puzzle, namely that age differences in decision performance result from the interplay between two sets of cognitive capabilities that impact decision making, one in which older adults fare worse (i.e., fluid intelligence) and one in which they fare better (i.e., crystallized intelligence). Specifically, we hypothesized that older adults’ higher levels of crystallized intelligence can provide an alternate pathway to good decisions when the fluid intelligence pathway declines. The performance of older adults relative to younger adults therefore depends on the relative importance of each type of intelligence for the decision at hand. We tested this complementary capabilities hypothesis in a broad sample of younger and older adults, collecting a battery of standard cognitive measures and measures of economically important decision-making “traits”—including temporal discounting, loss aversion, financial literacy, and debt literacy. We found that older participants performed as well as or better than younger participants on these four decision-making measures. Structural equation modeling verified our hypothesis: Older participants’ greater crystallized intelligence offset their lower levels of fluid intelligence for temporal discounting, financial literacy, and debt literacy, but not for loss aversion. These results have important implications for public policy and for the design of effective decision environments for older adults. PMID:24040999
Keefe-Cooperman, Kathleen; Brady-Amoon, Peggy
Research Findings: Preschoolers' sleep patterns were examined related to cognitive and adaptive functioning. The sample consisted of 874 typically developing preschool children with a mean age of 40.01 months. Parent/caregiver reports of children's sleep pattern factors, Stanford-Binet 5 intelligence scale scores, and Behavior Assessment System…
Limbers, Christine A.; Heffer, Robert W.; Varni, James W.
HRQOL as a multidimensional construct has not been previously investigated in children with Asperger's Syndrome. The objective of the present study was to examine the initial feasibility, reliability, and validity of the PedsQL[TM] 4.0 Generic Core Scales and PedsQL[TM] Cognitive Functioning Scale parent proxy-report versions in school-aged…
Individual differences in cognitive decline during normal aging need further delineation. The purpose of this study was to find the score dispersions in the WAIS-III subtests at different ages. Norms presented in the Administration and Scoring Manual [Wechsler, D. (1997). WAIS-III: Administration and scoring manual. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation] were used. The WAIS-III was standardized and normalized using 2450 American adults divided into 13 age ranges and 4 education groups. Means and standard deviations for the different WAIS-III subtests were deduced and the ratio Percentage of the mean="(standard deviation/mean)x100" was calculated. It was hypothesized that during normal aging, whereas mean scores decrease, score dispersions increase, pointing to an increased heterogeneity in intellectual abilities in older individuals. In all subtests, except Digit Span, it was found that score dispersions indeed increased during aging. However, in some subtests, increase in dispersion was less than 20% (Block Design, Object Assembly, and Information), whereas in others, increase in dispersion was over 200% (Matrix Reasoning, L-N Sequencing, Digit-Symbol, Picture Completion, and Picture Arrangement). It was proposed that cognitive heterogeneity during normal aging is related to those abilities measured with these latter subtests, basically, executive functions, attention, and selected non-verbal abilities. In other abilities (e.g., visuoconstructive abilities and fund of general information), normal aging is associated with a more homogenous pattern of decline.
Caselli, Richard J; Dueck, Amylou C; Locke, Dona E C; Baxter, Leslie C; Woodruff, Bryan K; Geda, Yonas E
Education and related proxies for cognitive reserve (CR) are confounded by associations with environmental factors that correlate with cerebrovascular disease possibly explaining discrepancies between studies examining their relationships to cognitive aging and dementia. In contrast, sex-related memory differences may be a better proxy. Since they arise developmentally, they are less likely to reflect environmental confounds. Women outperform men on verbal and men generally outperform women on visuospatial memory tasks. Furthermore, memory declines during the preclinical stage of AD, when it is clinically indistinguishable from normal aging. To determine whether CR mitigates age-related memory decline, we examined the effects of gender and APOE genotype on longitudinal memory performances. Memory decline was assessed in a cohort of healthy men and women enriched for APOE ɛ4 who completed two verbal [Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT), Buschke Selective Reminding Test (SRT)] and two visuospatial [Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (CFT), and Benton Visual Retention Test (VRT)] memory tests, as well as in a separate larger and older cohort [National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC)] who completed a verbal memory test (Logical Memory). Age-related memory decline was accelerated in APOE ɛ4 carriers on all verbal memory measures (AVLT, p=.03; SRT p<.001; logical memory p<.001) and on the VRT p=.006. Baseline sex associated differences were retained over time, but no sex differences in rate of decline were found for any measure in either cohort. Sex-based memory advantage does not mitigate age-related memory decline in either APOE ɛ4 carriers or non-carriers.
Subirana-Mirete, Judit; Bruna, Olga; Virgili, Carles; Signo, Sara; Palma, Carolina
A Quick Test of Cognitive Speed was administered to 357 participants without cognitive impairment, aged 18 to 85 years, to explore the effects of age on processing speed variables in Spanish speakers and to provide normative data for the test adapted to this population. Results were consistent with previous findings: correlations between age and naming times were high and statistically significant. Linear regression indicated that cognitive processing speed on this test slows 2 to 4 sec. per decade, depending on the task. Normalized data were provided. The findings concur with several studies that have linked age-cognitive impairment with slowing processing speed. This study attempted to assess the importance of this relation, as information processing speed could be considered a measure of cognitive impairment in everyday clinical screening evaluations.
Krawczyk, Daniel C
There has been a growing interest in understanding the complex cognitive processes that give rise to human reasoning. This review focuses on the cognitive and neural characteristics of relational reasoning and analogy performance. Initially relational reasoning studies that have investigated the neural basis of abstract reasoning with an emphasis on the prefrontal cortex are described. Next studies of analogical reasoning are reviewed with insights from neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies. Additionally, studies of cognitive components in analogical reasoning are described. This review draws together insights from numerous studies and concludes that prefrontal areas exhibit domain independence in relational reasoning, while posterior areas within the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes show evidence of domain dependence in reasoning. Lastly, future directions in the study of relational reasoning are discussed.
Reijnders, Jennifer; van Heugten, Caroline; van Boxtel, Martin
A psychoeducational face-to-face training program (Keep Your Brain Fit!) was developed to support the working population in coping with age-related cognitive changes and taking proactive preventive measures to maintain cognitive health. A feasibility study was conducted to test the training program presented in a workshop format. Participants…
Phillips, Natalie A
This review article considers some of the age-related changes in cognition that are likely to interact with hearing, listening effort, and cognitive energy. The focus of the review is on normative age-related changes in cognition; however, consideration is also given to older adults who experience clinically significant deficits in cognition, such as persons with Alzheimer's disease or who may be in a preclinical stage of dementia (mild cognitive impairment). The article distinguishes between the assessment of cognitive function for clinical versus research purposes. It reviews the goal of cognitive testing in older adults and discusses the challenges of validly assessing cognition in persons with sensory impairments. The article then discusses the goals of assessing specific cognitive functions (processing speed and attentional processes) for the purpose of understanding their relationships with listening effort. Finally, the article highlights certain concepts that are likely to be relevant to listening effort and cognitive energy, including some issues that have not yet received much attention in this context (e.g., conation, cognitive reserve, and second language speech processing).
Voleti, Vinod B; Hubschman, Jean-Pierre
As with many organs, compromised function of the eye is accompanied with age and has become increasingly prevalent with the aging population. When decreased visual loss becomes significant, patients' ability to perform activities of daily living becomes compromised. This decrease in function is met with morbidity and mortality, as well as a large socioeconomic burden throughout the world. This review summarizes the most common age-related eye diseases, including cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, and age-related macular degeneration. Although our understanding of the genetic and biochemical pathways of these diseases is sill at its primitive stages, we have become able to help our patients improve the quality of life as they age.
Konar, Arpita; Singh, Padmanabh; Thakur, Mahendra K.
Age-associated cognitive decline is an inevitable phenomenon that predisposes individuals for neurological and psychiatric disorders eventually affecting the quality of life. Scientists have endeavored to identify the key molecular switches that drive cognitive decline with advancing age. These newly identified molecules are then targeted as recovery of cognitive aging and related disorders. Cognitive decline during aging is multi-factorial and amongst several factors influencing this trajectory, gene expression changes are pivotal. Identifying these genes would elucidate the neurobiological underpinnings as well as offer clues that make certain individuals resilient to withstand the inevitable age-related deteriorations. Our laboratory has focused on this aspect and investigated a wide spectrum of genes involved in crucial brain functions that attribute to senescence induced cognitive deficits. We have recently identified master switches in the epigenome regulating gene expression alteration during brain aging. Interestingly, these factors when manipulated by chemical or genetic strategies successfully reverse the age-related cognitive impairments. In the present article, we review findings from our laboratory and others combined with supporting literary evidences on molecular switches of brain aging and their potential as recovery targets. PMID:27114845
Coley, Nicola; Vaurs, Charlotte; Andrieu, Sandrine
Numerous longitudinal observational studies have suggested that nutrients, such as antioxidants, B vitamins, and ω-3 fatty acids, may prevent cognitive decline or dementia. There is very little evidence from well-sized randomized controlled trials that nutritional interventions can benefit cognition in later life. Nutritional interventions may be more effective in individuals with poorer nutritional status or as part of multidomain interventions simultaneously targeting multiple lifestyle factors. Further evidence, notably from randomized controlled trials, is required to prove or refute these hypotheses.
Köstering, Lena; Stahl, Christoph; Leonhart, Rainer; Weiller, Cornelius; Kaller, Christoph P.
In line with the frontal hypothesis of aging, the ability to plan ahead undergoes substantial change during normal aging. Although impairments on the Tower of London planning task were reported earlier, associations between age-related declines and specific cognitive demands on planning have not been studied. Here we investigated the impact of…
Uphill, Mark A.; Jones, Marc V.
Cognitive motivational relational theory suggests that cognitive appraisals or core relational themes (a composite summary of appraisal components) represent the proximal determinants of athletes' emotions. Semistructured interviews with 12 current international athletes (1 woman and 11 men) ages 19 to 37 years (M age = 27 years, SD = 6.03),…
Noble, Kimberly G.; Korgaonkar, Mayuresh S.; Grieve, Stuart M.; Brickman, Adam M.
Socioeconomic status is an important predictor of cognitive development and academic achievement. Late adolescence provides a unique opportunity to study how the attainment of socioeconomic status (in the form of years of education) relates to cognitive and neural development, during a time when age-related cognitive and neural development is…
Lim, Laurence S; Mitchell, Paul; Seddon, Johanna M; Holz, Frank G; Wong, Tien Y
Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness worldwide. With ageing populations in many countries, more than 20% might have the disorder. Advanced age-related macular degeneration, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet) and geographic atrophy (late dry), is associated with substantial, progressive visual impairment. Major risk factors include cigarette smoking, nutritional factors, cardiovascular diseases, and genetic markers, including genes regulating complement, lipid, angiogenic, and extracellular matrix pathways. Some studies have suggested a declining prevalence of age-related macular degeneration, perhaps due to reduced exposure to modifiable risk factors. Accurate diagnosis combines clinical examination and investigations, including retinal photography, angiography, and optical coherence tomography. Dietary anti-oxidant supplementation slows progression of the disease. Treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration incorporates intraocular injections of anti-VEGF agents, occasionally combined with other modalities. Evidence suggests that two commonly used anti-VEGF therapies, ranibizumab and bevacizumab, have similar efficacy, but possible differences in systemic safety are difficult to assess. Future treatments include inhibition of other angiogenic factors, and regenerative and topical therapies.
In order to gain a greater understanding of the intellectual strengths and weaknesses of the young child, a test was developed (for which data collection is ongoing) to investigate a broad range of cognitive skills in the three- to five-year age range. The test covers skills within four main spheres--cognitively Directed Perception, Concepts and…
BACKGROUND: Healthy aging is associated with functional declines in mobility and cognition among both humans and non-human animals. OBJECTIVE: This study combines human measures of mobility and cognition to develop a test battery for evaluating the effects of dietary supplements among older adults....
Stranahan, Alexis M.; Mattson, Mark P.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represent points on a continuum of cognitive performance in aged populations. Cognition may be impaired or preserved in the context of brain aging. One theory to account for memory maintenance in the context of extensive pathology involves ‘cognitive reserve,’ or the ability to compensate for neuropathology through greater recruitment of remaining neurons. In this review, we propose a complementary hypothesis of ‘metabolic reserve’, where a brain with high metabolic reserve is characterized by the presence of neuronal circuits that respond adaptively to perturbations in cellular and somatic energy metabolism and thereby protects against declining cognition. Lifestyle determinants of metabolic reserve, such as exercise, reduced caloric intake, and intake of specific dietary components can promote neuroprotection, while pathological states arising from sedentary lifestyles and excessive caloric intake contribute to neuronal endangerment. This bidirectional relationship between metabolism and cognition may be mediated by alterations in central insulin and neurotrophic factor signaling and glucose metabolism, with downstream consequences for accumulation of amyloid beta and hyperphosphorylated tau. The metabolic reserve hypothesis is supported by epidemiological findings, and the spectrum of individual cognitive trajectories during aging, with additional data from animal models identifying potential mechanisms for this relationship. Identification of biomarkers for metabolic reserve could assist in generating a predictive model for the likelihood of cognitive decline with aging. PMID:22045480
Mandas, Antonella; Mereu, Rosa Maria; Catte, Olga; Saba, Antonio; Serchisu, Luca; Costaggiu, Diego; Peiretti, Enrico; Caminiti, Giulia; Vinci, Michela; Casu, Maura; Piludu, Stefania; Fossarello, Maurizio; Manconi, Paolo Emilio; Dessí, Sandra
Neurological disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, vascular and mixed dementia) and visual loss (cataract, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy) are among the most common conditions that afflict people of at least 65 years of age. An increasing body of evidence is emerging, which demonstrates that memory and vision impairment are closely, significantly, and positively linked and that statins and aspirin may lessen the risk of developing age-related visual and neurological problems. However, clinical studies have produced contradictory results. Thus, the intent of the present study was to reliably establish whether a relationship exist between various types of dementia and age-related vision disorders, and to establish whether statins and aspirin may or may not have beneficial effects on these two types of disorders. We found that participants with dementia and/or vision problems were more likely to be depressed and displayed worse functional ability in basic and instrumental activities of daily living than controls. Mini mental state examination scores were significantly lower in patients with vision disorders compared to subjects without vision disorders. A closer association with macular degeneration was found in subjects with Alzheimer’s disease than in subjects without dementia or with vascular dementia, mixed dementia, or other types of age-related vision disorders. When we considered the associations between different types of dementia and vision disorders and the use of statins and aspirin, we found a significant positive association between Alzheimer’s disease and statins on their own or in combination with aspirin, indicating that these two drugs do not appear to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or improve its clinical evolution and may, on the contrary, favor its development. No significant association in statin use alone, aspirin use alone, or the combination of these was found in subjects without vision
Loh, Kah Poh; Janelsins, Michelle C.; Mohile, Supriya G.; Holmes, Holly M.; Hsu, Tina; Inouye, Sharon K.; Karuturi, Meghan S.; Kimmick, Gretchen G.; Lichtman, Stuart M.; Magnuson, Allison; Whitehead, Mary I.; Wong, Melisa L.; Ahles, Tim A.
Chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) can occur during or after chemotherapy and represents a concern for many patients with cancer. Among older patients with cancer, in whom there is little clinical trial evidence examining side effects like CRCI, many unanswered questions remain regarding risk for and resulting adverse outcomes from CRCI. Given the rising incidence of cancer with age, CRCI is of particular concern for older patients with cancer who receive treatment. Therefore, research related to CRCI in older patients with cancers is a high priority. In this manuscript, we discuss current gaps in research highlighting the lack of clinical studies of CRCI in older adults, the complex mechanisms of CRCI, and the challenges in measuring cognitive impairment in older patients with cancer. Although we focus on CRCI, we also discuss cognitive impairment related to cancer itself and other treatment modalities. We highlight several research priorities to improve the study of CRCI in older patients with cancer. PMID:27197918
Madden, David J.; Spaniol, Julia; Costello, Matthew C.; Bucur, Barbara; White, Leonard E.; Cabeza, Roberto; Davis, Simon W.; Dennis, Nancy A.; Provenzale, James M.; Huettel, Scott A.
Previous research has established that age-related decline occurs in measures of cerebral white matter integrity, but the role of this decline in age-related cognitive changes is not clear. To conclude that white matter integrity has a mediating (causal) contribution, it is necessary to demonstrate that statistical control of the white…
Vance, David E.; Kaur, Jaspreet; Fazeli, Pariya L.; Talley, Michele H.; Yuen, Hon K.; Kitchin, Beth; Lin, Feng
The brain remains dynamic even in older age and can benefit from mental exercise. Thus, it is important to understand the concepts of positive neuroplasticity and negative neuroplasticity and how these mechanisms either support or detract from cognitive reserve. This article provides a brief review of these key concepts using four exemplary studies that clearly demonstrate the effects these neurological mechanisms exert on cognitive reserve and cognitive functioning. From this review, a working knowledge of how neuroplasticity and cognitive reserve are expressed in patients will be provided along with how this information can be incorporated into nursing practice and research. PMID:22743813
Allen, John S; Bruss, Joel; Damasio, Hanna
Compared to other primates, humans live a long time and have large brains. Recent theories of the evolution of human life history stages (grandmother hypothesis, intergenerational transfer of information) lend credence to the notion that selection for increased life span and menopause has occurred in hominid evolution, despite the reduction in the force of natural selection operating on older, especially post-reproductive, individuals. Theories that posit the importance (in an inclusive fitness sense) of the survival of older individuals require them to maintain a reasonably high level of cognitive function (e.g., memory, communication). Patterns of brain aging and factors associated with healthy brain aging should be relevant to this issue. Recent neuroimaging research suggests that, in healthy aging, human brain volume (gray and white matter) is well-maintained until at least 60 years of age; cognitive function also shows only nonsignificant declines at this age. The maintenance of brain volume and cognitive performance is consistent with the idea of a significant post- or late-reproductive life history stage. A clinical model, "the cognitive reserve hypothesis," proposes that both increased brain volume and enhanced cognitive ability may contribute to healthy brain aging, reducing the likelihood of developing dementia. Selection for increased brain size and increased cognitive ability in hominid evolution may therefore have been important in selection for increased lifespan in the context of intergenerational social support networks.
Michaud, Kathy; Forget, Hélène; Cohen, Henri
Cumulative exposure to glucocorticoid hormones (GC) over the lifespan has been associated with cognitive impairment and may contribute to physical and cognitive degeneration in aging. The objective of the present study was to examine whether the pattern of cognitive deficits in patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS), a disorder characterized by chronic exposure to elevated levels of glucocorticoids (GC), is similar to that observed in older individuals. Ten subjects with CS were compared to sex-, age-, and education-matched healthy controls and older subjects (age of CS subjects+15 yr). All participants were administered tests to assess attention, visuospatial processing, learning and memory, reasoning, concept formation and verbal fluency. MANCOVAs with depression scores as covariate and polynomial contrasts revealed that the age-matched control group performed better than the CS and older subject groups in visual target detection, trail making test, stroop task, digit symbol substitution, block design, object assembly, visual reproduction, spatial memory and similarities. The CS and older subjects performed similarly on these tasks. Further, a principal component analysis revealed two significant factors, representing general cognitive function and verbal memory explaining 39.9% and 10.0% of the variance, respectively. Additional MANCOVAs with depression as a covariate revealed that CS and older control subjects showed impaired performance on general cognitive function compared to age-matched controls. These results suggest that hypersecretion of GCs has "aging-like" effects on cognitive performance in individuals with CS.
Leung, Natalie T Y; Tam, Helena M K; Chu, Leung W; Kwok, Timothy C Y; Chan, Felix; Lam, Linda C W; Woo, Jean; Lee, Tatia M C
Increasing research has evidenced that our brain retains a capacity to change in response to experience until late adulthood. This implies that cognitive training can possibly ameliorate age-associated cognitive decline by inducing training-specific neural plastic changes at both neural and behavioral levels. This longitudinal study examined the behavioral effects of a systematic thirteen-week cognitive training program on attention and working memory of older adults who were at risk of cognitive decline. These older adults were randomly assigned to the Cognitive Training Group (n = 109) and the Active Control Group (n = 100). Findings clearly indicated that training induced improvement in auditory and visual-spatial attention and working memory. The training effect was specific to the experience provided because no significant difference in verbal and visual-spatial memory between the two groups was observed. This pattern of findings is consistent with the prediction and the principle of experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Findings of our study provided further support to the notion that the neural plastic potential continues until older age. The baseline cognitive status did not correlate with pre- versus posttraining changes to any cognitive variables studied, suggesting that the initial cognitive status may not limit the neuroplastic potential of the brain at an old age.
Bourassa, Kyle; Sbarra, David A
Inflammatory models of neurodegeneration suggest that higher circulating levels of inflammation can lead to cognitive decline. Despite established independent associations between greater body mass, increased inflammation, and cognitive decline, no prior research has explored whether markers of systemic inflammation might mediate the association between body mass and changes in cognitive functioning. To test such a model, we used two longitudinal subsamples (ns=9066; 12,561) of aging adults from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) study, which included two cognitive measures components of memory and executive functioning, as well as measurements of body mass and systemic inflammation, assessed via C-reactive protein (CRP). Greater body mass was indirectly associated with declines in memory and executive functioning over 6years via relatively higher levels of CRP. Our results suggest that systemic inflammation is one biologically plausible mechanism through which differences in body mass might influence changes in cognitive functioning among aging adults.
Budzinskaia, M V
The review provides an update on the pathogenesis and new treatment modalities for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The impact of polymorphism in particular genes, including complement factor H (CFH), age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2/LOC387715), and serine peptidase (HTRA1), on AMD development is discussed. Clinical presentations of different forms of exudative AMD, that is classic, occult, or more often mixed choroidal neovascularization, retinal angiomatous proliferation, and choroidal polypoidal vasculopathy, are described. Particular attention is paid to the results of recent clinical trials and safety issues around the therapy.
Keshavan, Matcheri S.; Kulkarni, Shreedhar; Bhojraj, Tejas; Francis, Alan; Diwadkar, Vaibhav; Montrose, Debra M.; Seidman, Larry J.; Sweeney, John
Neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia (SZ) are thought to be stable trait markers that predate the illness and manifest in relatives of patients. Adolescence is the age of maximum vulnerability to the onset of SZ and may be an opportune “window” to observe neurocognitive impairments close to but prior to the onset of psychosis. We reviewed the extant studies assessing neurocognitive deficits in young relatives at high risk (HR) for SZ and their relation to brain structural alterations. We also provide some additional data pertaining to the relation of these deficits to psychopathology and brain structural alterations from the Pittsburgh Risk Evaluation Program (PREP). Cognitive deficits are noted in the HR population, which are more severe in first-degree relatives compared to second-degree relatives and primarily involve psychomotor speed, memory, attention, reasoning, and social-cognition. Reduced general intelligence is also noted, although its relationship to these specific domains is underexplored. Premorbid cognitive deficits may be related to brain structural and functional abnormalities, underlining the neurobiological basis of this illness. Cognitive impairments might predict later emergence of psychopathology in at-risk subjects and may be targets of early remediation and preventive strategies. Although evidence for neurocognitive deficits in young relatives abounds, further studies on their structural underpinnings and on their candidate status as endophenotypes are needed. PMID:20300465
Zahodne, Laura B; Glymour, M Maria; Sparks, Catharine; Bontempo, Daniel; Dixon, Roger A; MacDonald, Stuart W S; Manly, Jennifer J
Although the relationship between education and cognitive status is well-known, evidence regarding whether education moderates the trajectory of cognitive change in late life is conflicting. Early studies suggested that higher levels of education attenuate cognitive decline. More recent studies using improved longitudinal methods have not found that education moderates decline. Fewer studies have explored whether education exerts different effects on longitudinal changes within different cognitive domains. In the present study, we analyzed data from 1014 participants in the Victoria Longitudinal Study to examine the effects of education on composite scores reflecting verbal processing speed, working memory, verbal fluency, and verbal episodic memory. Using linear growth models adjusted for age at enrollment (range, 54-95 years) and gender, we found that years of education (range, 6-20 years) was strongly related to cognitive level in all domains, particularly verbal fluency. However, education was not related to rates of change over time for any cognitive domain. Results were similar in individuals older or younger than 70 at baseline, and when education was dichotomized to reflect high or low attainment. In this large longitudinal cohort, education was related to cognitive performance but unrelated to cognitive decline, supporting the hypothesis of passive cognitive reserve with aging.
La Corte, Valentina; Sperduti, Marco; Malherbe, Caroline; Vialatte, François; Lion, Stéphanie; Gallarda, Thierry; Oppenheim, Catherine; Piolino, Pascale
Normal aging is related to a decline in specific cognitive processes, in particular in executive functions and memory. In recent years a growing number of studies have focused on changes in brain functional connectivity related to cognitive aging. A common finding is the decreased connectivity within multiple resting state networks, including the default mode network (DMN) and the salience network. In this study, we measured resting state activity using fMRI and explored whether cognitive decline is related to altered functional connectivity. To this end we used a machine learning approach to classify young and old participants from functional connectivity data. The originality of the approach consists in the prediction of the performance and age of the subjects based on functional connectivity by using a machine learning approach. Our findings showed that the connectivity profile between specific networks predicts both the age of the subjects and their cognitive abilities. In particular, we report that the connectivity profiles between the salience and visual networks, and the salience and the anterior part of the DMN, were the features that best predicted the age. Moreover, independently of the age of the subject, connectivity between the salience network and various specific networks (i.e., visual, frontal) predicted episodic memory skills either based on a standard assessment or on an autobiographical memory task, and short-term memory binding. Finally, the connectivity between the salience and the frontal networks predicted inhibition and updating performance, but this link was no longer significant after removing the effect of age. Our findings confirm the crucial role of episodic memory and executive functions in cognitive aging and suggest a pivotal role of the salience network in neural reorganization in aging. PMID:27616991
La Corte, Valentina; Sperduti, Marco; Malherbe, Caroline; Vialatte, François; Lion, Stéphanie; Gallarda, Thierry; Oppenheim, Catherine; Piolino, Pascale
Normal aging is related to a decline in specific cognitive processes, in particular in executive functions and memory. In recent years a growing number of studies have focused on changes in brain functional connectivity related to cognitive aging. A common finding is the decreased connectivity within multiple resting state networks, including the default mode network (DMN) and the salience network. In this study, we measured resting state activity using fMRI and explored whether cognitive decline is related to altered functional connectivity. To this end we used a machine learning approach to classify young and old participants from functional connectivity data. The originality of the approach consists in the prediction of the performance and age of the subjects based on functional connectivity by using a machine learning approach. Our findings showed that the connectivity profile between specific networks predicts both the age of the subjects and their cognitive abilities. In particular, we report that the connectivity profiles between the salience and visual networks, and the salience and the anterior part of the DMN, were the features that best predicted the age. Moreover, independently of the age of the subject, connectivity between the salience network and various specific networks (i.e., visual, frontal) predicted episodic memory skills either based on a standard assessment or on an autobiographical memory task, and short-term memory binding. Finally, the connectivity between the salience and the frontal networks predicted inhibition and updating performance, but this link was no longer significant after removing the effect of age. Our findings confirm the crucial role of episodic memory and executive functions in cognitive aging and suggest a pivotal role of the salience network in neural reorganization in aging.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly. AMD is diagnosed based on characteristic retinal findings in individuals older than 50. Early detection and treatment are critical in increasing the likelihood of retaining good and functional vision.
Cipolotti, Lisa; Healy, Colm; Chan, Edgar; MacPherson, Sarah E.; White, Mark; Woollett, Katherine; Turner, Martha; Robinson, Gail; Spanò, Barbara; Bozzali, Marco; Shallice, Tim
Age is known to affect prefrontal brain structure and executive functioning in healthy older adults, patients with neurodegenerative conditions and TBI. Yet, no studies appear to have systematically investigated the effect of age on cognitive performance in patients with focal lesions. We investigated the effect of age on the cognitive performance of a large sample of tumour and stroke patients with focal unilateral, frontal (n=68), or non-frontal lesions (n=45) and healthy controls (n=52). We retrospectively reviewed their cross sectional cognitive and imaging data. In our frontal patients, age significantly predicted the magnitude of their impairment on two executive tests (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, RAPM and the Stroop test) but not on nominal (Graded Naming Test, GNT) or perceptual (Incomplete Letters) task. In our non-frontal patients, age did not predict the magnitude of their impairment on the RAPM and GNT. Furthermore, the exacerbated executive impairment observed in our frontal patients manifested itself from middle age. We found that only age consistently predicted the exacerbated executive impairment. Lesions to specific frontal areas, or an increase in global brain atrophy or white matter abnormalities were not associated with this impairment. Our results are in line with the notion that the frontal cortex plays a critical role in aging to counteract cognitive and neuronal decline. We suggest that the combined effect of aging and frontal lesions impairs the frontal cortical systems by causing its computational power to fall below the threshold needed to complete executive tasks successfully. PMID:26102190
Ritchie, Stuart J; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J
The present study concerns the relation of mental and bodily characteristics to one another during ageing. The 'common cause' theory of ageing proposes that declines are shared across multiple, seemingly-disparate functions, including both physical and intellectual abilities. The concept of 'reserve' suggests that healthier cognitive (and perhaps bodily) functions from early in life are protective against the effects of senescence across multiple domains. In three waves of physical and cognitive testing data from the longitudinal Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (n = 1,091 at age 70 years; n = 866 at 73; n = 697 at 76), we used multivariate growth curve modeling to test the 'common cause' and 'reserve' hypotheses. Support for both concepts was mixed: although levels of physical functions and cognitive functions were correlated with one another, physical functions did not decline together, and there was little evidence for shared declines in physical and mental functions. Early-life intelligence, a potential marker of system integrity, made a significant prediction of the levels, but not the slopes, of later life physical functions. These data suggest that common causes, which are likely present within cognitive functions, are not as far-reaching beyond the cognitive arena as has previously been suggested. They also imply that bodily reserve may be similar to cognitive reserve in that it affects the level, but not the slope, of ageing-related declines.
Pantzar, Alexandra; Atti, Anna Rita; Bäckman, Lars; Laukka, Erika J.
Cognitive deficits in old-age depression vary as a function of multiple factors; one rarely examined factor is long-term psychiatric history. We investigated effects of psychiatric history on cognitive performance in old-age depression and in remitted persons. In the population-based Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen study, older persons (≥60 years) without dementia were tested with a cognitive battery and matched to the Swedish National Inpatient Register (starting 1969). Participants were grouped according to current depression status and psychiatric history and compared to healthy controls (n = 96). Group differences were observed for processing speed, attention, executive functions, and verbal fluency. Persons with depression and psychiatric inpatient history (n = 20) and late-onset depression (n = 49) performed at the lowest levels, whereas cognitive performance in persons with self-reported recurrent unipolar depression (n = 52) was intermediate. Remitted persons with inpatient history of unipolar depression (n = 38) exhibited no cognitive deficits. Heart disease burden, physical inactivity, and cumulative inpatient days modulated the observed group differences in cognitive performance. Among currently depressed persons, those with inpatient history, and late onset performed at the lowest levels. Importantly, remitted persons showed no cognitive deficits, possibly reflecting the extended time since the last admission (m = 15.6 years). Thus, the present data suggest that cognitive deficits in unipolar depression may be more state- than trait-related. Information on profiles of cognitive performance, psychiatric history, and health behaviors may be useful in tailoring individualized treatment. PMID:26175699
Forstmann, Birte U.; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan; Eichele, Tom; Brown, Scott; Serences, John T.
Cognitive neuroscientists study how the brain implements particular cognitive processes such as perception, learning, and decision-making. Traditional approaches in which experiments are designed to target a specific cognitive process have been supplemented by two recent innovations. First, formal models of cognition can decompose observed behavioral data into multiple latent cognitive processes, allowing brain measurements to be associated with a particular cognitive process more precisely and more confidently. Second, cognitive neuroscience can provide additional data to inform the development of cognitive models, providing greater constraint than behavioral data alone. We argue that these fields are mutually dependent: not only can models guide neuroscientific endeavors, but understanding neural mechanisms can provide critical insights into formal models of cognition. PMID:21612972
Eagles, J M; Beattie, J A; Restall, D B; Rawlinson, F; Hagen, S; Ashcroft, G W
STUDY OBJECTIVE--To study the association between cognitive impairment and early death in elderly patients living in the community. DESIGN--Case-control study of 410 patients assessed by the mental status questionnaire and followed up after three years. SETTING--A general practice in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, with 14,000 patients. PATIENTS--205 Patients aged greater than or equal to 65 with cognitive impairment according to the mental status questionnaire (score less than or equal to 8) and 205 patients scoring greater than 8 on the questionnaire matched for age and sex. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Death. RESULTS--The relative risk of death in the cognitively impaired patients overall was 3.5. Those patients who scored less than or equal to 7 on the mental status questionnaire were five times more likely to die than their controls. There was no difference in risk of death between those with severe or moderate cognitive impairment. CONCLUSIONS--Cognitive impairment is associated with early death. PMID:2106935
Dröge, Wulf; Schipper, Hyman M
Brain aging is associated with a progressive imbalance between antioxidant defenses and intracellular concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as exemplified by increases in products of lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and DNA oxidation. Oxidative conditions cause not only structural damage but also changes in the set points of redox-sensitive signaling processes including the insulin receptor signaling pathway. In the absence of insulin, the otherwise low insulin receptor signaling is strongly enhanced by oxidative conditions. Autophagic proteolysis and sirtuin activity, in turn, are downregulated by the insulin signaling pathway, and impaired autophagic activity has been associated with neurodegeneration. In genetic studies, impairment of insulin receptor signaling causes spectacular lifespan extension in nematodes, fruit flies, and mice. The predicted effects of age-related oxidative stress on sirtuins and autophagic activity and the corresponding effects of antioxidants remain to be tested experimentally. However, several correlates of aging have been shown to be ameliorated by antioxidants. Oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA and the electron transport chain, perturbations in brain iron and calcium homeostasis, and changes in plasma cysteine homeostasis may altogether represent causes and consequences of increased oxidative stress. Aging and cognitive decline thus appear to involve changes at multiple nodes within a complex regulatory network. PMID:17517043
Trouillet, Raphael; Doan-Van-Hay, Loane-Martine; Launay, Michel; Martin, Sophie
To explore the predictive value of cognitive and coping resources for problem- and emotion-focused coping with age, we collected data from community-dwelling adults between 20 and 90 years old. We hypothesized that age, perceived stress, self-efficacy, working-memory capacity, and mental flexibility were predictors of coping. We collected data…
La Rue, Asenath; Jarvik, Lissy F.
Examined longitudinal changes in cognitive functioning for aging twins. Found that those who were considered demented in old age had achieved lower test scores 20 years prior to diagnosis and experienced greater declines in vocabulary and forward digit span over time than those without dementia. Suggests that dementia may develop very slowly.…
Mapstone, Mark; Dickerson, Kathryn; Duffy, Charles J.
Similar manifestations of functional decline in ageing and Alzheimer's disease obscure differences in the underlying cognitive mechanisms of impairment. We sought to examine the contributions of top-down attentional and bottom-up perceptual factors to visual self-movement processing in ageing and Alzheimer's disease. We administered a novel…
Zamroziewicz, Marta K; Barbey, Aron K
Nutritional cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand nutrition's impact on cognition and brain health across the life span. Research in this burgeoning field demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition-from entire diets to specific nutrients-affect brain structure and function, and therefore have profound implications for understanding the nature of healthy brain aging. The aim of this Focused Review is to examine recent advances in nutritional cognitive neuroscience, with an emphasis on methods that enable discovery of nutrient biomarkers that predict healthy brain aging. We propose an integrative framework that calls for the synthesis of research in nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, incorporating: (i) methods for the precise characterization of nutritional health based on the analysis of nutrient biomarker patterns (NBPs), along with (ii) modern indices of brain health derived from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). By integrating cutting-edge techniques from nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, nutritional cognitive neuroscience will continue to advance our understanding of the beneficial effects of nutrition on the aging brain and establish effective nutritional interventions to promote healthy brain aging.
Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Barbey, Aron K.
Nutritional cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand nutrition's impact on cognition and brain health across the life span. Research in this burgeoning field demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition—from entire diets to specific nutrients—affect brain structure and function, and therefore have profound implications for understanding the nature of healthy brain aging. The aim of this Focused Review is to examine recent advances in nutritional cognitive neuroscience, with an emphasis on methods that enable discovery of nutrient biomarkers that predict healthy brain aging. We propose an integrative framework that calls for the synthesis of research in nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, incorporating: (i) methods for the precise characterization of nutritional health based on the analysis of nutrient biomarker patterns (NBPs), along with (ii) modern indices of brain health derived from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). By integrating cutting-edge techniques from nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, nutritional cognitive neuroscience will continue to advance our understanding of the beneficial effects of nutrition on the aging brain and establish effective nutritional interventions to promote healthy brain aging. PMID:27375409
Ebner, Natalie C.; Kamin, Hayley; Diaz, Vanessa; Cohen, Ronald A.; MacDonald, Kai
Aging is associated with well-recognized alterations in brain function, some of which are reflected in cognitive decline. While less appreciated, there is also considerable evidence of socioemotional changes later in life, some of which are beneficial. In this review, we examine age-related changes and individual differences in four neuroendocrine systems—cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, and oxytocin—as “difference makers” in these processes. This suite of interrelated hormonal systems actively coordinates regulatory processes in brain and behavior throughout development, and their level and function fluctuate during the aging process. Despite these facts, their specific impact in cognitive and socioemotional aging has received relatively limited study. It is known that chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol exert neurotoxic effects on the aging brain with negative impacts on cognition and socioemotional functioning. In contrast, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone appear to have neuroprotective effects in cognitive aging, but may decrease prosociality. Higher levels of the neuropeptide oxytocin benefit socioemotional functioning, but little is known about the effects of oxytocin on cognition or about age-related changes in the oxytocin system. In this paper, we will review the role of these hormones in the context of cognitive and socioemotional aging. In particular, we address the aforementioned gap in the literature by: (1) examining both singular actions and interrelations of these four hormonal systems; (2) exploring their correlations and causal relationships with aspects of cognitive and socioemotional aging; and (3) considering multilevel internal and external influences on these hormone systems within the framework of explanatory pluralism. We conclude with a discussion of promising future research directions. PMID:25657633
Shenkin, S; Starr, J; Pattie, A; Rush, M; Whalley, L; Deary, I; PHARAOH, E. P.
AIMS—To examine the relation between birth weight and cognitive function at age 11 years, and to examine whether this relation is independent of social class. METHODS—Retrospective cohort study based on birth records from 1921 and cognitive function measured while at school at age 11 in 1932.Subjects were 985 live singletons born in the Edinburgh Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital in 1921. Moray House Test scores from the Scottish Mental Survey 1932 were traced on 449of these children. RESULTS—Mean score on Moray House Test increased from 30.6 at a birth weight of <2500 g to 44.7 at 4001-4500 g, after correcting for gestational age, maternal age, parity, social class, and legitimacy of birth. Multiple regression showed that 15.6% of the variance in Moray House Test score is contributed by a combination of social class (6.6%), birth weight (3.8%), child's exact age (2.4%), maternal parity (2.0%), and illegitimacy (1.5%). Structural equation modelling confirmed the independent contribution from each of these variables in predicting cognitive ability. A model in which birth weight acted as a mediator of social class had poor fit statistics. CONCLUSION—In this 1921 birth cohort, social class and birth weight have independent effects on cognitive function at age 11. Future research will relate these childhood data to health and cognition in old age. PMID:11517097
VanGuilder, Heather D.; Freeman, Willard M.
Although steady progress on understanding brain aging has been made over recent decades through standard anatomical, immunohistochemical, and biochemical techniques, the biological basis of non-neurodegenerative cognitive decline with aging remains to be determined. This is due in part to technical limitations of traditional approaches, in which only a small fraction of neurobiologically relevant proteins, mRNAs or metabolites can be assessed at a time. With the development and refinement of proteomic technologies that enable simultaneous quantitative assessment of hundreds to thousands of proteins, neuroproteomic studies of brain aging and cognitive decline are becoming more widespread. This review focuses on the contributions of neuroproteomic investigations to advances in our understanding of age-related deficits of hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory. Accumulating neuroproteomic data demonstrate that hippocampal aging involves common themes of dysregulated metabolism, increased oxidative stress, altered protein processing, and decreased synaptic function. Additionally, growing evidence suggests that cognitive decline does not represent a “more aged” phenotype, but rather is associated with specific neuroproteomic changes that occur in addition to age-related alterations. Understanding if and how age-related changes in the hippocampal neuroproteome contribute to cognitive decline and elucidating the pathways and processes that lead to cognitive decline are critical objectives that remain to be achieved. Progress in the field and challenges that remain to be addressed with regard to animal models, behavioral testing, and proteomic reporting are also discussed. PMID:21647399
Henkel, Linda A.
The involvement of undergraduates in research on aging has benefits for the students and for the faculty mentors, as well as for their departments, their universities, and the field of gerontology at large. This article reports on the application of a 3-year Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) by the National Institute on Aging awarded to…
Jak, Amy J
With the aging of the population, there is continued emphasis on finding interventions that prevent or delay onset of cognitive disorders of aging. Pharmacological interventions have proven less effective than hoped in this capacity and a greater emphasis has therefore been placed on understanding behavioral interventions that will positively impact dementia risk. Building on a robust animal literature, a substantial volume of research has emerged, particularly over the last 5 years, to suggest that modifiable behaviors impact brain plasticity in both humans and animals. This chapter aims to provide a critical summary of this ever growing body of research, focusing specifically on participation in physical and cognitive activities among older adults and their impact on cognition, the brain, and cognitive aging outcomes. The animal literature on activity and cognition provides a series of hypotheses as to how exercise exerts its cognitive and brain benefits. Research in animals is briefly reviewed in the context of these hypotheses as it provides the groundwork for investigations in humans. The literature on physical and cognitive activity benefits to brain and cognition in humans is reviewed in more detail. The largely positive impact of physical and cognitive activities on cognition and brain health documented in epidemiological, cross sectional, and prospective randomized controlled studies are summarized. While most studies have targeted older adults in general, the implications of exercise and cognitive interventions in individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are also described as is the evidence supporting the ability for physical activity to modify genetic risk. The connection between activity levels and brain volume, white matter integrity, and improved functionality is reviewed. Practical recommendations regarding the nature, duration, intensity and age of onset of physical or mental activity necessary to reap cognitive
Rabbitt, Patrick; Ibrahim, Said; Lunn, Mary; Scott, Marietta; Thacker, Neil; Hutchinson, Charles; Horan, Michael; Pendleton, Neil; Jackson, Alan
Absolute differences in global brain volume predict differences in cognitive ability among healthy older adults. However, absolute differences confound lifelong differences in brain size with amounts of age-related shrinkage. Measurements of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume were made to estimate age-related shrinkage in 93 healthy volunteers aged 63 to 86 years. Their current levels of brain shrinkage predicted their amounts of decline over the previous 8 to 20 years on repeated assessments during a longitudinal study on the Cattell "Culture Fair" Intelligence Test, on two tests of information processing speed, and marginally on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (D. Wechsler, 1981), but not on three memory tests. Loss of brain volume is an effective marker both for current cognitive status and for amounts and rates of previous age-related cognitive losses.
Park, C. Sehwan; Valomon, Amandine; Welzl, Hans
Environmental enrichment has been reported to delay or restore age-related cognitive deficits, however, a mechanism to account for the cause and progression of normal cognitive decline and its preservation by environmental enrichment is lacking. Using genome-wide SAGE-Seq, we provide a global assessment of differentially expressed genes altered with age and environmental enrichment in the hippocampus. Qualitative and quantitative proteomics in naïve young and aged mice was used to further identify phosphorylated proteins differentially expressed with age. We found that increased expression of endogenous protein phosphatase-1 inhibitors in aged mice may be characteristic of long-term environmental enrichment and improved cognitive status. As such, hippocampus-dependent performances in spatial, recognition, and associative memories, which are sensitive to aging, were preserved by environmental enrichment and accompanied by decreased protein phosphatase activity. Age-associated phosphorylated proteins were also found to correspond to the functional categories of age-associated genes identified through transcriptome analysis. Together, this study provides a comprehensive map of the transcriptome and proteome in the aging brain, and elucidates endogenous protein phosphatase-1 inhibition as a potential means through which environmental enrichment may ameliorate age-related cognitive deficits. PMID:26102285
Head, Denise; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Raz, Naftali
Aging effects on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) are fairly well established but the mechanisms of the decline are not clearly understood. In this study, we examined the cognitive and neural mechanisms mediating age-related increases in perseveration on the WCST. MRI-based volumetry and measures of selected executive functions in…
Long-term effects of oxidative stress and inflammatory insults are thought to contribute to the decrements in cognitive performance seen in aging and neurodegenerative diseases. In previous studies, we have shown the beneficial effects of various dark-colored berry fruits in reversing age-related de...
Montie, Jeanne E.; Xiang, Zongping; Schweinhart, Lawrence J.
The IEA Preprimary Project is a longitudinal, cross-national study of preprimary care and education designed to identify how process and structural characteristics of the settings children attended at age 4 are related to their age-7 cognitive and language performance. Investigators collaborated to develop common instruments to measure family…
Previously, it has been shown that strawberry or blueberry supplementations, when fed to rats from 19-21 months of age, reverse age-related decrements in motor and cognitive performance. We have postulated that these effects may be the result of a number of positive benefits of the berry polyphenol...
Voytek, Bradley; Kramer, Mark A; Case, John; Lepage, Kyle Q; Tempesta, Zechari R; Knight, Robert T; Gazzaley, Adam
Aging is associated with performance decrements across multiple cognitive domains. The neural noise hypothesis, a dominant view of the basis of this decline, posits that aging is accompanied by an increase in spontaneous, noisy baseline neural activity. Here we analyze data from two different groups of human subjects: intracranial electrocorticography from 15 participants over a 38 year age range (15-53 years) and scalp EEG data from healthy younger (20-30 years) and older (60-70 years) adults to test the neural noise hypothesis from a 1/f noise perspective. Many natural phenomena, including electrophysiology, are characterized by 1/f noise. The defining characteristic of 1/f is that the power of the signal frequency content decreases rapidly as a function of the frequency (f) itself. The slope of this decay, the noise exponent (χ), is often <-1 for electrophysiological data and has been shown to approach white noise (defined as χ = 0) with increasing task difficulty. We observed, in both electrophysiological datasets, that aging is associated with a flatter (more noisy) 1/f power spectral density, even at rest, and that visual cortical 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related impairments in visual working memory. These results provide electrophysiological support for the neural noise hypothesis of aging. Significance statement: Understanding the neurobiological origins of age-related cognitive decline is of critical scientific, medical, and public health importance, especially considering the rapid aging of the world's population. We find, in two separate human studies, that 1/f electrophysiological noise increases with aging. In addition, we observe that this age-related 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related working memory decline. These results significantly add to this understanding and contextualize a long-standing problem in cognition by encapsulating age-related cognitive decline within a neurocomputational model of 1/f noise-induced deficits in
Lorenzo-Luaces, Lorenzo; Keefe, John R; DeRubeis, Robert J
Since the introduction of Beck's cognitive theory of emotional disorders, and their treatment with psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral approaches have become the most extensively researched psychological treatment for a wide variety of disorders. Despite this, the relative contribution of cognitive to behavioral approaches to treatment are poorly understood and the mechanistic role of cognitive change in therapy is widely debated. We critically review this literature, focusing on the mechanistic role of cognitive change across cognitive and behavioral therapies for depressive and anxiety disorders.
Konsolaki, Eleni; Tsakanikas, Panagiotis; Polissidis, Alexia V; Stamatakis, Antonios; Skaliora, Irini
In order to address pathological cognitive decline effectively, it is critical to adopt early preventive measures in individuals considered at risk. It is therefore essential to develop approaches that identify such individuals before the onset of irreversible dementia. A deficient cholinergic system has been consistently implicated as one of the main factors associated with a heightened vulnerability to the aging process. In the present study we used mice lacking high affinity nicotinic receptors (β2-/-), which have been proposed as an animal model of accelerated/premature cognitive aging. Our aim was to identify behavioral signs that could serve as indicators or predictors of impending cognitive decline. We used test batteries in order to assess cognitive functions and additional tasks to investigate spontaneous behaviors, such as species-specific activities and exploration/locomotion in a novel environment. Our data confirm the hypothesis that β2-/- animals exhibit age-related cognitive impairments in spatial learning. In addition, they document age-related deficits in other areas, such as recognition memory, burrowing and nesting building, thereby extending the validity of this animal model for the study of pathological aging. Finally, our data reveal deficits in spontaneous behavior and habituation processes that precede the onset of cognitive decline and could therefore be useful as a non-invasive behavioral screen for identifying animals at risk. To our knowledge, this is the first study to perform an extensive behavioral assessment of an animal model of premature cognitive aging, and our results suggest that β2-nAChR dependent cognitive deterioration progressively evolves from initial subtle behavioral changes to global dementia due to the combined effect of the neuropathology and aging.
Konsolaki, Eleni; Tsakanikas, Panagiotis; Polissidis, Alexia V.; Stamatakis, Antonios; Skaliora, Irini
In order to address pathological cognitive decline effectively, it is critical to adopt early preventive measures in individuals considered at risk. It is therefore essential to develop approaches that identify such individuals before the onset of irreversible dementia. A deficient cholinergic system has been consistently implicated as one of the main factors associated with a heightened vulnerability to the aging process. In the present study we used mice lacking high affinity nicotinic receptors (β2-/-), which have been proposed as an animal model of accelerated/premature cognitive aging. Our aim was to identify behavioral signs that could serve as indicators or predictors of impending cognitive decline. We used test batteries in order to assess cognitive functions and additional tasks to investigate spontaneous behaviors, such as species-specific activities and exploration/locomotion in a novel environment. Our data confirm the hypothesis that β2-/- animals exhibit age-related cognitive impairments in spatial learning. In addition, they document age-related deficits in other areas, such as recognition memory, burrowing and nesting building, thereby extending the validity of this animal model for the study of pathological aging. Finally, our data reveal deficits in spontaneous behavior and habituation processes that precede the onset of cognitive decline and could therefore be useful as a non-invasive behavioral screen for identifying animals at risk. To our knowledge, this is the first study to perform an extensive behavioral assessment of an animal model of premature cognitive aging, and our results suggest that β2-nAChR dependent cognitive deterioration progressively evolves from initial subtle behavioral changes to global dementia due to the combined effect of the neuropathology and aging. PMID:27199738
Root, Martin; Ravine, Erin; Harper, Anne
Cognitive decline occurs with age and may be slowed by dietary measures, including increased intake of dietary phytochemicals. However, evidence from large and long-term studies of flavonol intake is limited. Dietary intakes of flavonols were assessed from a large biracial study of 10,041 subjects, aged 45-64, by analysis of a food frequency questionnaire administered at visit 1 of triennial visits. Cognitive function was assessed at visits 2 and 4 with the following three cognitive performance tests: the delayed word recall test, the revised Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale digit symbol subtest, and the word fluency test of the Multilingual Aphasia Examination. The change in each score over 6 years was calculated, and a combined standardized change score was calculated. Generalized linear models controlled for age, ethnicity, gender, education level, energy intake, current smoking, physical activity, body mass index, diabetes, and vitamin C intake. Total flavonols across quintiles of intake were positively associated with preserved combined cognitive function (P<.001). This pattern with preserved combined cognitive function was consistent for the three major individual flavonols in the diet, myricetin, kaempferol, and quercetin (each P<.001). The positive association with total flavonols was strongest for the digit symbol subtest (P<.001). In this cohort, flavonol intake was correlated with protected cognitive function over time.
Nooyens, Astrid C J; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; van Gelder, Boukje M; van Boxtel, Martin P J; Verschuren, W M Monique
Accelerated cognitive decline increases the risk of dementia. Slowing down the rate of cognitive decline leads to the preservation of cognitive functioning in the elderly, who can live independently for a longer time. Alcohol consumption may influence the rate of cognitive decline. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the associations between the total consumption of alcoholic beverages and different types of alcoholic beverages and cognitive decline at middle age. In 2613 men and women of the Doetinchem Cohort Study, aged 43-70 years at baseline (1995-2002), cognitive function (global cognitive function and the domains memory, speed and flexibility) was assessed twice, with a 5-year time interval. In linear regression analyses, the consumption of different types of alcoholic beverages was analysed in relation to cognitive decline, adjusting for confounders. We observed that, in women, the total consumption of alcoholic beverages was inversely associated with the decline in global cognitive function over a 5-year period (P for trend = 0·02), while no association was observed in men. Regarding the consumption of different types of alcoholic beverages in men and women together, red wine consumption was inversely associated with the decline in global cognitive function (P for trend < 0·01) as well as memory (P for trend < 0·01) and flexibility (P for trend = 0·03). Smallest declines were observed at a consumption of about 1·5 glasses of red wine per d. No other types of alcoholic beverages were associated with cognitive decline. In conclusion, only (moderate) red wine consumption was consistently associated with less strong cognitive decline. Therefore, it is most likely that non-alcoholic substances in red wine are responsible for any cognition-preserving effects.
Choi, Catherine H.; Schoenfeld, Brian P.; Liebelt, David A.; Ferreiro, David; Ferrick, Neal J.; Hinchey, Paul; Kollaros, Maria; Rudominer, Rebecca L.; Terlizzi, Allison M.; Koenigsberg, Eric; Wang, Yan; Sumida, Ai; Nguyen, Hanh T.; Bell, Aaron J.; McDonald, Thomas V.
Fragile X syndrome afflicts 1 in 2,500 individuals and is the leading heritable cause of mental retardation worldwide. The overriding clinical manifestation of this disease is mild to severe cognitive impairment. Age-dependent cognitive decline has been identified in Fragile X patients, although it has not been fully characterized nor examined in animal models. A Drosophila model of this disease has been shown to display phenotypes bearing similarity to Fragile X symptoms. Most notably, we previously identified naive courtship and memory deficits in young adults with this model that appear to be due to enhanced metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) signaling. Herein we have examined age-related cognitive decline in the Drosophila Fragile X model and found an age-dependent loss of learning during training. We demonstrate that treatment with mGluR antagonists or lithium can prevent this age-dependent cognitive impairment. We also show that treatment with mGluR antagonists or lithium during development alone displays differential efficacy in its ability to rescue naive courtship, learning during training and memory in aged flies. Furthermore, we show that continuous treatment during aging effectively rescues all of these phenotypes. These results indicate that the Drosophila model recapitulates the age-dependent cognitive decline observed in humans. This places Fragile X in a category with several other diseases that result in age-dependent cognitive decline. This demonstrates a role for the Drosophila Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (dFMR1) in neuronal physiology with regard to cognition during the aging process. Our results indicate that misregulation of mGluR activity may be causative of this age onset decline and strengthens the possibility that mGluR antagonists and lithium may be potential pharmacologic compounds for counteracting several Fragile X symptoms. PMID:20039205
Gerstorf, Denis; Ram, Nilam; Hoppmann, Christiane; Willis, Sherry L.; Schaie, K. Warner
Life span researchers have long been interested in how and why fundamental aspects of human ontogeny differ between cohorts of people who have lived through different historical epochs. When examined at the same age, later born cohorts are often cognitively and physically fitter than earlier born cohorts. Less is known, however, about cohort differences in the rate of cognitive aging and if, at the very end of life, pervasive mortality-related processes overshadow and minimize cohort differences. We used data on 5 primary mental abilities from the Seattle Longitudinal Study (Schaie, 2005) to compare both age-related and mortality-related changes between earlier born cohorts (1886–1913) and later born cohorts (1914–1948). Our models covary for several individual and cohort differences in central indicators of life expectancy, education, health, and gender. Age-related growth models corroborate and extend earlier findings by documenting level differences at age 70 of up to 0.50 SD and less steep rates of cognitive aging on all abilities between 50 and 80 years of age favoring the later born cohort. In contrast, mortality-related models provide limited support for positive cohort differences. The later born cohort showed steeper mortality-related declines. We discuss possible reasons why often reported positive secular trends in age-related processes may not generalize to the vulnerable segment of the population that is close to death and suggest routes for further inquiry. PMID:21517155
Gur, R.C.; Gur, R.E.; Obrist, W.D.; Skolnick, B.E.; Reivich, M.
The relationship between age and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) activation for cognitive tasks was investigated with the xenon (Xe 133) inhalation technique. The sample consisted of 55 healthy subjects, ranging in age from 18 to 72 years, who were studied during rest and during the performance of verbal analogy and spatial orientation tasks. The dependent measures were indexes of gray-matter rCBF and average rCBF (gray and white matter) as well as the percentage of gray-matter tissue. Advanced age was associated with reduced flow, particularly pronounced in anterior regions. However, the extent and pattern of rCBF changes during cognition was unaffected by age. For the percentage of gray matter, there was a specific reduction in anterior regions of the left hemisphere. The findings suggest the utility of this research paradigm for investigating neural underpinnings of the effects of dementia on cognitive functioning, relative to the effects of normal aging.
Tenenbaum, Harriet R.; Leaper, Campbell
Used meta-analysis to examine relationship of parents' gender schemas and their offspring's gender-related cognitions, with samples ranging in age from infancy through early adulthood. Found a small but meaningful effect size (r=.16) indicating a positive correlation between parent gender schema and offspring measures. Effect sizes were influenced…
Palta, Mari; Kotelchuck, Milton; Poehlmann, Julie; Witt, Whitney P.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between cognitive delay (CD) and behavior problems between ages 9 months and 5 years, while adjusting for covariates related to CD. METHODS: Data were from 4 waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (n = 8000). Children were classified as typically developing (TD) or as having resolved, newly developed, or persistent CD between 9 and 24 months, based on scores from the Bayley Short Form-Research Edition below or above the 10th percentile. Child behavior was measured by using the Infant/Toddler Symptom Checklist (ages 9 and 24 months) and the Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales (ages 4 and 5 years); children in the top 10th percentile were considered to have a behavior problem. Hierarchical linear modeling estimated the effect of CD status on children’s behavioral trajectories, adjusted for confounders. RESULTS: CD resolved for 80.3% of children between 9 and 24 months. Behavior problems at 24 months were detected in 19.3%, 21.8%, and 35.5% of children with resolved, newly developed, and persistent CD, respectively, versus 13.0% of TD children. Behavior problems increased among children with CD over time, and more so among children with persistent CD. By age 5, children with persistent CD had behavior scores moderately (0.59 SD) higher than TD children. CONCLUSIONS: Behavior problems among children with CD are slightly higher at 9 months, clearly evident by 24 months, and increase as children move toward school age. Efforts to promote the earliest identification, evaluation, and service referral may be necessary to improve outcomes for these children. PMID:25113290
Demographic developments, characterized by ungreening’ and greying’ of the population at the same time, necessitate the reconsidering of early ... retirement schemes in general and possible those of military professionals as well. Keeping people in the services at older ages asks for continued training
La Fleur, Claire G; Salthouse, Timothy A
Prior research has established significant relations between measures of sensory ability and cognitive function in adults of different ages, and several explanations for this relation have been proposed. One explanation is that sensory abilities restrict cognitive processing, a second is that cognitive abilities influence assessments of sensory ability, and a third is that both sensory function and cognition are affected by a common, potentially age-based, third factor. These explanations were investigated using mediation and moderation analyses, with near visual acuity as the sensory measure and scores on visual speed tests and auditory memory tests as the cognitive measures. Measures of visual acuity, speed, and memory were obtained from three moderately large samples, two cross-sectional (N = 380, N = 4,779) and one longitudinal (N = 2,258), with participants ranging from 18 to 90 years of age. The visual acuity and cognitive measures had different age trajectories, and the visual acuity-cognition relations were similar in each 5-year age band. The results suggest that the age-related differences and changes in near visual acuity are unlikely to contribute to the age-related differences and changes in speed and memory measures.
Palmiero, Massimiliano; Di Giacomo, Dina; Passafiume, Domenico
Aging can affect cognition in different ways. The extent to which aging affects divergent thinking is unclear. In this study, younger and older adults were compared at the performance on the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking in visual and verbal form. Results showed that older adults can think divergently as younger participants, although they…
Clouston, Sean A. P.; Brewster, Paul; Kuh, Diana; Richards, Marcus; Cooper, Rachel; Hardy, Rebecca; Rubin, Marcie S.; Hofer, Scott M.
On average, older people remember less and walk more slowly than do younger persons. Some researchers argue that this is due in part to a common biologic process underlying age-related declines in both physical and cognitive functioning. Only recently have longitudinal data become available for analyzing this claim. We conducted a systematic review of English-language research published between 2000 and 2011 to evaluate the relations between rates of change in physical and cognitive functioning in older cohorts. Physical functioning was assessed using objective measures: walking speed, grip strength, chair rise time, flamingo stand time, and summary measures of physical functioning. Cognition was measured using mental state examinations, fluid cognition, and diagnosis of impairment. Results depended on measurement type: Change in grip strength was more strongly correlated with mental state, while change in walking speed was more strongly correlated with change in fluid cognition. Examining physical and cognitive functioning can help clinicians and researchers to better identify individuals and groups that are aging differently and at different rates. In future research, investigators should consider the importance of identifying different patterns and rates of decline, examine relations between more diverse types of measures, and analyze the order in which age-related declines occur. PMID:23349427
Wu, Tiffany; Hanson, Jesse E.; Alam, Nazia M.; Ngu, Hai; Lauffer, Benjamin E.; Lin, Han H.; Dominguez, Sara L.; Reeder, Jens; Tom, Jennifer; Steiner, Pascal; Foreman, Oded; Prusky, Glen T.
Abstract Age is the main risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, cognitive decline in aged rodents has been less well studied, possibly due to concomitant changes in sensory or locomotor function that can complicate cognitive tests. We tested mice that were 3, 11, and 23 months old in cognitive, sensory, and motor measures, and postmortem measures of gliosis and neural activity (c-Fos). Hippocampal synaptic function was also examined. While age-related impairments were detectable in tests of spatial memory, greater age-dependent effects were observed in tests of associative learning [active avoidance (AA)]. Gross visual function was largely normal, but startle responses to acoustic stimuli decreased with increased age, possibly due to hearing impairments. Therefore, a novel AA variant in which light alone served as the conditioning stimuli was used. Age-related deficits were again observed. Mild changes in vision, as measured by optokinetic responses, were detected in 19- versus 4-month-old mice, but these were not correlated to AA performance. Thus, deficits in hearing or vision are unlikely to account for the observed deficits in cognitive measures. Increased gliosis was observed in the hippocampal formation at older ages. Age-related changes in neural function and plasticity were observed with decreased c-Fos in the dentate gyrus, and decreased synaptic strength and paired-pulse facilitation in CA1 slices. This work, which carefully outlines age-dependent impairments in cognitive and synaptic function, c-Fos activity, and gliosis during normal aging in the mouse, suggests robust translational measures that will facilitate further study of the biology of aging. PMID:26473169
Lucas, Samuel J E; Ainslie, Philip N; Murrell, Carissa J; Thomas, Kate N; Franz, Elizabeth A; Cotter, James D
Regular exercise improves the age-related decline in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and is associated with improved cognitive function; however, less is known about the direct relationship between CBF and cognitive function. We examined the influence of healthy aging on the capability of acute exercise to improve cognition, and whether exercise-induced improvements in cognition are related to CBF and cortical hemodynamics. Middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity (MCAv; Doppler) and cortical hemodynamics (NIRS) were measured in 13 young (24±5 y) and 9 older (62±3 y) participants at rest and during cycling at 30% and 70% of heart rate range (HRR). Cognitive performance was assessed using a computer-adapted Stroop task (i.e., test of executive function cognition) at rest and during exercise. Average response times on the Stroop task were slower for the older compared to younger group for both simple and difficult tasks (P<0.01). Independent of age, difficult-task response times improved during exercise (P<0.01), with the improvement greater at 70% HRR exercise (P=0.04 vs. 30% HRR). Higher MCAv was correlated with faster response times for simple and difficult tasks at rest (R(2)=0.47 and R(2)=0.47, respectively), but this relation uncoupled progressively during exercise. Exercise-induced increases in MCAv were similar and unaltered during cognitive tasks for both age groups. In contrast, prefrontal cortical hemodynamic NIRS measures [oxyhemoglobin (O(2)Hb) and total hemoglobin (tHb)] were differentially affected by exercise intensity, age and cognitive task; e.g., there were smaller increases in [O(2)Hb] and [tHb] in the older group between exercise intensities (P<0.05). These data indicate that: 1) Regardless of age, cognitive (executive) function is improved while exercising; 2) while MCAv is strongly related to cognition at rest, this relation becomes uncoupled during exercise, and 3) there is dissociation between global CBF and regional cortical oxygenation and
Querques, Giuseppe; Avellis, Fernando Onofrio; Querques, Lea; Bandello, Francesco; Souied, Eric H
Clinical question: Is there any new knowledge about the pathogenesis and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Results: We now understand better the biochemical and pathological pathways involved in the genesis of AMD. Treatment of exudative AMD is based on intravitreal injection of new antivascular endothelial growth factor drugs for which there does not yet exist a unique recognized strategy of administration. No therapies are actually available for atrophic AMD, despite some experimental new pharmacological approaches. Implementation: strategy of administration, safety of intravitreal injection PMID:21654887
Rask, Lene; Bendix, Laila; Harbo, Maria; Fagerlund, Birgitte; Mortensen, Erik L.; Lauritzen, Martin J.; Osler, Merete
Importance: Cognitive skills are known to decline through the lifespan with large individual differences. The molecular mechanisms for this decline are incompletely understood. Although leukocyte telomere length provides an index of cellular age that predicts the incidence of age-related diseases, it is unclear whether there is an association between cognitive decline and leukocyte telomere length. Objective: To examine the association between changes in cognitive function during adult life and leukocyte telomere length after adjusting for confounding factors such as education, mental health and life style. Design, Setting, and Participants: Two groups of men with negative (n = 97) and positive (n = 93) change in cognitive performance were selected from a birth cohort of 1985 Danish men born in 1953. Cognitive performance of each individual was assessed at age ~20 and 56 years. Leukocyte telomere length at age ~58 was measured using qPCR. Linear regression models were used to investigate the association between cognitive function and leukocyte telomere length. Results: Men with negative change in cognitive performance during adult life had significantly shorter mean leukocyte telomere length than men with positive change in cognitive performance (unadjusted difference β = −0.09, 95% CI −0.16 to −0.02, p = 0.02). This association remained significant after adjusting for smoking, alcohol consumption, leisure time activity, body mass index (BMI) and cholesterol (adjusted difference β = −0.09, 95% CI −0.17 to −0.01, p = 0.02) but was non-significant after adjusting for smoking, alcohol consumption, leisure time activity, BMI, cholesterol, current cognitive function, depression and education (adjusted difference β = −0.07, 95% CI −0.16 to −0.01, p = 0.08). Conclusion and Relevance: Preclinical cognitive changes may be associated with leukocyte telomere length. PMID:28018213
Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Cesinaro, Stefano; Frazzini, Valerio; Sensi, Stefano L.
Brain aging and aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are major health challenges faced by modern societies. Brain aging is associated with cognitive and functional decline and represents the favourable background for the onset and development of dementia. Brain aging is associated with early and subtle anatomo-functional physiological changes that often precede the appearance of clinical signs of cognitive decline. Neuroimaging approaches unveiled the functional correlates of these alterations and helped in the identification of therapeutic targets that can be potentially useful in counteracting age-dependent cognitive decline. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that cognitive stimulation and aerobic training can preserve and enhance operational skills in elderly individuals as well as reduce the incidence of dementia. This review aims at providing an extensive and critical overview of the most recent data that support the efficacy of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions aimed at enhancing cognition and brain plasticity in healthy elderly individuals as well as delaying the cognitive decline associated with dementia. PMID:25228860
Costello, Matthew C.; Bloesch, Emily K.
Embodied cognition is a theoretical framework which posits that cognitive function is intimately intertwined with the body and physical actions. Although the field of psychology is increasingly accepting embodied cognition as a viable theory, it has rarely been employed in the gerontological literature. However, embodied cognition would appear to have explanatory power for aging research given that older adults typically manifest concurrent physical and mental changes, and that research has indicated a correlative relationship between such changes. The current paper reviews age-related changes in sensory processing, mental representation, and the action-perception relationship, exploring how each can be understood through the lens of embodied cognition. Compared to younger adults, older adults exhibit across all three domains an increased tendency to favor visual processing over bodily factors, leading to the conclusion that older adults are less embodied than young adults. We explore the significance of this finding in light of existing theoretical models of aging and argue that embodied cognition can benefit gerontological research by identifying further factors that can explain the cause of age-related declines. PMID:28289397
Cheung, Lily K; Eaton, Angie
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, and the prevalence of the disease increases exponentially with every decade after age 50 years. It is a multifactorial disease involving a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, metabolic, and functional factors. Besides smoking, hypertension, obesity, and certain dietary habits, a growing body of evidence indicates that inflammation and the immune system may play a key role in the development of the disease. AMD may progress from the early form to the intermediate form and then to the advanced form, where two subtypes exist: the nonneovascular (dry) type and the neovascular (wet) type. The results from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study have shown that for the nonneovascular type of AMD, supplementation with high-dose antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene) and zinc is recommended for those with the intermediate form of AMD in one or both eyes or with advanced AMD or vision loss due to AMD in one eye. As for the neovascular type of the advanced AMD, the current standard of therapy is intravitreal injections of vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors. In addition, lifestyle and dietary modifications including improved physical activity, reduced daily sodium intake, and reduced intake of solid fats, added sugars, cholesterol, and refined grain foods are recommended. To date, no study has demonstrated that AMD can be cured or effectively prevented. Clearly, more research is needed to fully understand the pathophysiology as well as to develop prevention and treatment strategies for this devastating disease.
Cognitive neuroscience has revealed aging of the human brain to be rich in reorganization and change. Neuroimaging results have recast our framework around cognitive aging from one of decline to one emphasizing plasticity. Current methods use neurostimulation approaches to manipulate brain function, providing a direct test of the ways that the brain differently contributes to task performance for younger and older adults. Emerging research into emotional, social, and motivational domains provides some evidence for preservation with age, suggesting potential avenues of plasticity, alongside additional evidence for reorganization. Thus, we begin to see that aging of the brain, amidst interrelated behavioral and biological changes, is as complex and idiosyncratic as the brain itself, qualitatively changing over the life span.
Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Eroku, Bernadette O; Tsipis, Constantinos P; Puchowicz, Michelle A; LaManna, Joseph C
Aging is associated with increased susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic insult and declines in behavioral function which may be due to attenuated adaptive/defense responses. We investigated if diet-induced ketosis would improve behavioral performance in the aged rats. Fischer 344 rats (3- and 22-month-old) were fed standard (STD) or ketogenic (KG) diet for 3 weeks and then exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Cognitive function was measured using the T-maze and object recognition tests. Motor function was measured using the inclined-screen test. Results showed that KG diet significantly increased blood ketone levels in both young and old rats. In the aged rats, the KG diet improved cognitive performance under normoxic and hypoxic conditions; while motor performance remained unchanged. Capillary density and HIF-1alpha levels were elevated in the aged ketotic group independent of hypoxic challenge. These data suggest that diet-induced ketosis may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions.
Wu, Xiang; Chen, Huixin; Huang, Chunhui; Gu, Xinmei; Wang, Jialing; Xu, Dilin; Yu, Xin; Shuai, Chu; Chen, Liping; Li, Shun; Xu, Yiguo; Gao, Tao; Ye, Mingrui; Su, Wei; Liu, Haixiong; Zhang, Jinrong; Wang, Chuang; Chen, Junping; Wang, Qinwen; Cui, Wei
Post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is associated with elderly patients undergoing surgery. However, pharmacological treatments for POCD are limited. In this study, we found that curcumin, an active compound derived from Curcuma longa, ameliorated the cognitive dysfunction following abdominal surgery in aged mice. Further, curcumin prevented surgery-induced anti-oxidant enzyme activity. Curcumin also increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-positive area and expression of pAkt in the brain, suggesting that curcumin activated BDNF signaling in aged mice. Furthermore, curcumin neutralized cholinergic dysfunction involving choline acetyltransferase expression induced by surgery. These results strongly suggested that curcumin prevented cognitive impairments via multiple targets, possibly by increasing the activity of anti-oxidant enzymes, activation of BDNF signaling, and neutralization of cholinergic dysfunction, concurrently. Based on these novel findings, curcumin might be a potential agent in POCD prophylaxis and treatment.
Laver, Gary D.
Involving undergraduate students in cognitive aging research requires extra efforts not associated with graduate assistants. However, if the researcher acknowledges the limited experience of undergraduates in structuring their participation, the rewards are copious for the students and researcher alike. This paper describes undergraduate student…
Spiegel, Amy M.; Sewal, Angila S.; Rapp, Peter R.
Epigenetic modifications of chromatin structure provide a mechanistic interface for gene-environment interactions that impact the individualization of health trajectories across the lifespan. A growing body of research indicates that dysfunctional epigenetic regulation contributes to poor cognitive outcomes among aged populations. Here we review…
Hua, Jeremy T; Hildreth, Kerry L; Pelak, Victoria S
Endogenous testosterone in the aging man has been scrutinized extensively in regard to its effects on performance in many cognitive domains, especially verbal fluency, visuospatial and visuoperceptual abilities, memory, and executive function. Studies of testosterone supplementation have sought to identify potential cognitive improvements in men with and without baseline cognitive impairment, and have had a wide range of results. The variability in outcomes is likely related, in part, to the lack of consensus on methods for testosterone measurement and supplementation and, in part, to the disparate measures of cognitive function used in randomized controlled studies. Despite the limitations imposed by such inconsistent methods, promising associations have been found between cognition and testosterone supplementation in both eugonadal men and men with low testosterone levels, with and without baseline cognitive dysfunction. This systematic review highlights the cognitive measures used in and the outcomes of existing studies of testosterone and cognition in aging men. The review suggests that larger studies and a more standardized approach to assessment will be needed before we can fully understand and realize sustained benefits from testosterone supplementation in the elderly male population, particularly given the substantial increase in testosterone supplementation in clinical practice.
Clausen, Aaron; Doctrow, Susan; Baudry, Michel
Continuous decline in cognitive performance accompanies the natural aging process in humans, and multiple studies in both humans and animal models have indicated that this decrease in cognitive function is associated with an age-related increase in oxidative stress. Treating aging mammals with exogenous free radical scavengers has generally been shown to attenuate age-related cognitive decline and oxidative stress. The present study assessed the effectiveness of the superoxide dismutase/catalase mimetics EUK-189 and EUK-207 on age-related decline in cognitive function and increase in oxidative stress. C57/BL6 mice received continuous treatment via osmotic minipumps with either EUK-189 or EUK-207 for 6 months starting at 17 months of age. At the end of treatment, markers for oxidative stress were evaluated by analyzing levels of free radicals, lipid peroxidation and oxidized nucleic acids in brain tissue. In addition, cognitive performance was assessed after 3 and 6 months of treatment with fear conditioning. Both EUK-189 and EUK-207 treatments resulted in significantly decreased lipid peroxidation, nucleic acid oxidation, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. In addition, the treatments also significantly improved age-related decline in performance in the fear-conditioning task. Our results thus confirm a critical role for oxidative stress in age-related decline in learning and memory and strongly suggest a potential usefulness for salen-manganese complexes in reversing age-related declines in cognitive function and oxidative load.
Chen, Huaihou; Zhao, Bingxin; Cao, Guanqun; Proges, Eric C.; O'Shea, Andrew; Woods, Adam J.; Cohen, Ronald A.
Neuroimaging studies of cognitive and brain aging often yield massive datasets that create many analytic and statistical challenges. In this paper, we discuss and address several limitations in the existing work. (1) Linear models are often used to model the age effects on neuroimaging markers, which may be inadequate in capturing the potential nonlinear age effects. (2) Marginal correlations are often used in brain network analysis, which are not efficient in characterizing a complex brain network. (3) Due to the challenge of high-dimensionality, only a small subset of the regional neuroimaging markers is considered in a prediction model, which could miss important regional markers. To overcome those obstacles, we introduce several advanced statistical methods for analyzing data from cognitive and brain aging studies. Specifically, we introduce semiparametric models for modeling age effects, graphical models for brain network analysis, and penalized regression methods for selecting the most important markers in predicting cognitive outcomes. We illustrate these methods using the healthy aging data from the Active Brain Study. PMID:27486400
Gazes, Yunglin; Bowman, F. DuBois; Razlighi, Qolamreza R.; O’Shea, Deirdre; Stern, Yaakov; Habeck, Christian
Previous studies investigating the relationship of white matter (WM) integrity to cognitive abilities and aging and have either focused on a global measure or a few selected WM tracts. Ideally, contribution from all of the WM tracts should be evaluated at the same time. However, the high collinearity among WM tracts precludes systematic examination of WM tracts simultaneously without sacrificing statistical power due to stringent multiple-comparison corrections. Multivariate covariance techniques enable comprehensive simultaneous examination of all WM tracts without being penalized for high collinearity among observations. Method In this study, Scaled Subprofile Modeling (SSM) was applied to the mean integrity of 18 major WM tracts to extract covariance patterns that optimally predicted four cognitive abilities (perceptual speed, episodic memory, fluid reasoning, and vocabulary) in 346 participants across ages 20 to 79 years old. Using expression of the covariance patterns, age-independent effects of white matter integrity on cognition and the indirect effect of WM integrity on age-related differences in cognition were tested separately, but inferences from the indirect analyses were cautiously made given cross-sectional data set was used in the analysis. Results A separate covariance pattern was identified that significantly predicted each cognitive ability after controlling for age except for vocabulary, but Age by WM covariance pattern interactions were not significant for any of the three abilities. Furthermore, each of the patterns mediated the effect of age on the respective cognitive ability. A distinct set of WM tracts was most influential in each of the three patterns. The WM covariance pattern accounting for fluid reasoning showed the most number of influential WM tracts whereas the episodic memory pattern showed the least number. Conclusion Specific patterns of WM tracts make significant contributions to the age-related differences in perceptual speed
Jeste, Dilip V; Wolkowitz, Owen M; Palmer, Barton W
Aging is not a uniform process. In the general population, there is a paradox of aging: age-associated decline in physical and some cognitive functions stands in contrast to an enhancement of subjective quality of life and psychosocial functioning. This paradox is even more striking in people with schizophrenia. Compared with the overall population, individuals with schizophrenia have accelerated physical aging (with increased and premature medical comorbidity and mortality) but a normal rate of cognitive aging, although with mild cognitive impairment starting from premorbid period and persisting throughout life. Remarkably, psychosocial function improves with age, with diminished psychotic symptoms, reduced psychiatric relapses requiring hospitalization and better self-management. Many older adults with schizophrenia successfully adapt to the illness, with increased use of positive coping techniques, enhanced self-esteem and increased social support. Although complete remission is uncommon, most individuals with schizophrenia experience significant improvement in their quality of well-being. Cohort effect and survivor bias may provide a partial explanation for this phenomenon. However, the improvement also may reflect some brain changes that are beneficial for the course of schizophrenia along with neuroplasticity of aging. The proposed hypothesis has several implications. As significant medical morbidity in schizophrenia takes years to develop, studies of changes in sensitive biomarkers of aging during the course of illness may point to new treatments aimed at normalizing the rate of biological aging in schizophrenia. At the same time, effective psychotherapeutic interventions can affect brain structure and function and produce lasting positive behavioral changes in aging adults with schizophrenia.
Ownby, Raymond L; Acevedo, Amarilis
Background In spite of treatment advances, HIV infection is associated with cognitive deficits. This is even more important as many persons with HIV infection age and experience age-related cognitive impairments. Both computer-based cognitive training and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have shown promise as interventions to improve cognitive function. In this study, we investigate the acceptability and efficacy of cognitive training with and without tDCS in older persons with HIV. Patients and methods In this single-blind randomized study, participants were 14 individuals of whom 11 completed study procedures (mean age =51.5 years; nine men and two women) with HIV-related mild neurocognitive disorder. Participants completed a battery of neuropsychological and self-report measures and then six 20-minute cognitive training sessions while receiving either active or sham anodal tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. After training, participants completed the same measures. Success of the blind and participant reactions were assessed during a final interview. Assessments were completed by an assessor blind to treatment assignment. Pre- and post-training changes were evaluated via analysis of covariance yielding estimates of effect size. Results All participants believed that they had been assigned to active treatment; nine of the 11 believed that the intervention had improved their cognitive functioning. Both participants who felt the intervention was ineffective were assigned to the sham condition. None of the planned tested interactions of time with treatment was significant, but 12 of 13 favored tDCS (P=0.08). All participants indicated that they would participate in similar studies in the future. Conclusion Results show that both cognitive training via computer game playing and tDCS were well accepted by older persons with HIV infection. Results are suggestive that tDCS may improve cognitive function in persons with HIV infection. Further
Hirsiger, Sarah; Koppelmans, Vincent; Mérillat, Susan; Liem, Franziskus; Erdeniz, Burak; Seidler, Rachael D; Jäncke, Lutz
Age-related behavioral declines may be the result of deterioration of white matter tracts, affecting brain structural (SC) and functional connectivity (FC) during resting state. To date, it is not clear if the combination of SC and FC data could better predict cognitive/motor performance than each measure separately. We probed these relationships in the cingulum bundle, a major white matter pathway of the default mode network. We aimed to attain deeper knowledge about: (a) the relationship between age and the cingulum's SC and FC strength, (b) the association between SC and FC, and particularly (c) how the cingulum's SC and FC are related to cognitive/motor performance separately and combined. We examined these associations in a healthy and well-educated sample of 165 older participants (aged 64-85). SC and FC were acquired using probabilistic tractography to derive measures to capture white matter integrity within the cingulum bundle (fractional anisotropy, mean, axial and radial diffusivity) and a seed-based resting-state functional MRI correlation approach, respectively. Participants performed cognitive tests measuring processing speed, memory and executive functions, and motor tests measuring motor speed and grip force. Our data revealed that only SC but not resting state FC was significantly associated with age. Further, the cingulum's SC and FC showed no relation. Different relationships between cognitive/motor performance and SC/FC separately were found, but no additive effect of the combined analysis of cingulum's SC and FC for predicting cognitive/motor performance was apparent.
Ritchie, Stuart J; Dickie, David Alexander; Cox, Simon R; Valdes Hernandez, Maria Del C; Corley, Janie; Royle, Natalie A; Pattie, Alison; Aribisala, Benjamin S; Redmond, Paul; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Taylor, Adele M; Sibbett, Ruth; Gow, Alan J; Starr, John M; Bastin, Mark E; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Deary, Ian J
Later-life changes in brain tissue volumes--decreases in the volume of healthy grey and white matter and increases in the volume of white matter hyperintensities (WMH)--are strong candidates to explain some of the variation in ageing-related cognitive decline. We assessed fluid intelligence, memory, processing speed, and brain volumes (from structural MRI) at mean age 73 years, and at mean age 76 in a narrow-age sample of older individuals (n = 657 with brain volumetric data at the initial wave, n = 465 at follow-up). We used latent variable modeling to extract error-free cognitive levels and slopes. Initial levels of cognitive ability were predictive of subsequent brain tissue volume changes. Initial brain volumes were not predictive of subsequent cognitive changes. Brain volume changes, especially increases in WMH, were associated with declines in each of the cognitive abilities. All statistically significant results were modest in size (absolute r-values ranged from 0.114 to 0.334). These results build a comprehensive picture of macrostructural brain volume changes and declines in important cognitive faculties during the eighth decade of life.
Marques, Paulo César Gonçalves; Soares, José Miguel Montenegro; Magalhães, Ricardo José da Silva; Santos, Nadine Correia; Sousa, Nuno Jorge Carvalho
Studies have shown that white matter (WM) volumetric reductions and overall degradation occur with aging. Nonetheless little is known about the WM alterations that may underlie different cognitive status in older individuals. The main goal of the present work was to identify and characterize possible macro and microstructural WM alterations that could distinguish between older healthy individuals with contrasting cognitive profiles (i.e., "poor" vs "good" cognitive performers). Structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging was performed in order to quantify local WM volumes, white matter signal abnormalities (WMSA) volume (a measure of lesion burden) and diffusion tensor imaging scalar maps known to probe WM microstructure. A battery of neurocognitive/psychological tests was administered to assess the cognitive performance. Poor performers showed a higher slope for the positive association between WMSA volume and age compared to good performers. Even when controlling for WMSA volume, poor performers also evidenced lower fractional anisotropy, as well as positive associations with age with higher slopes of regression parameters in radial and axial diffusivity. Altogether results suggest that cognitive performance is related to differences in WM, with poor cognitive performers displaying signs of faster aging in WM.
Raji, C A; Eyre, H; Wei, S H; Bredesen, D E; Moylan, S; Law, M; Small, G; Thompson, P M; Friedlander, R M; Silverman, D H; Baune, B T; Hoang, T A; Salamon, N; Toga, A W; Vernooij, M W
Preventive neuroradiology is a new concept supported by growing literature. The main rationale of preventive neuroradiology is the application of multimodal brain imaging toward early and subclinical detection of brain disease and subsequent preventive actions through identification of modifiable risk factors. An insightful example of this is in the area of age-related cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia with potentially modifiable risk factors such as obesity, diet, sleep, hypertension, diabetes, depression, supplementation, smoking, and physical activity. In studying this link between lifestyle and cognitive decline, brain imaging markers may be instrumental as quantitative measures or even indicators of early disease. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the major studies reflecting how lifestyle factors affect the brain and cognition aging. In this hot topics review, we will specifically focus on obesity and physical activity.
Knight, Michael J.; McCann, Bryony; Tsivos, Demitra; Dillon, Serena; Coulthard, Elizabeth; Kauppinen, Risto A.
In MRI, the coherence lifetime T2 is sensitive to the magnetic environment imposed by tissue microstructure and biochemistry in vivo. Here we explore the possibility that the use of T2 relaxometry may provide information complementary to that provided by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in ageing of healthy controls (HC), Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). T2 and diffusion MRI metrics were quantified in HC and patients with MCI and mild AD using multi-echo MRI and DTI. We used tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) to evaluate quantitative MRI parameters in white matter (WM). A prolonged T2 in WM was associated with AD, and able to distinguish AD from MCI, and AD from HC. Shorter WM T2 was associated with better cognition and younger age in general. In no case was a reduction in T2 associated with poorer cognition. We also applied principal component analysis, showing that WM volume changes independently of T2, MRI diffusion indices and cognitive performance indices. Our data add to the evidence that age-related and AD-related decline in cognition is in part attributable to WM tissue state, and much less to WM quantity. These observations suggest that WM is involved in AD pathology, and that T2 relaxometry is a potential imaging modality for detecting and characterising WM in cognitive decline and dementia.
Grosso, G; Estruch, R
Current knowledge on the effects of nut consumption on human health has rapidly increased in recent years and it now appears that nuts may play a role in the prevention of chronic age-related diseases. Frequent nut consumption has been associated with better metabolic status, decreased body weight as well as lower body weight gain over time and thus reduce the risk of obesity. The effect of nuts on glucose metabolism, blood lipids, and blood pressure is still controversial. However, significant decreased cardiovascular risk has been reported in a number of observational and clinical intervention studies. Thus, findings from cohort studies show that increased nut consumption is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality (especially that due to cardiovascular-related causes). Similarly, nut consumption has been also associated with reduced risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal, endometrial, and pancreatic neoplasms. Evidence regarding nut consumption and neurological or psychiatric disorders is scarce, but a number of studies suggest significant protective effects against depression, mild cognitive disorders and Alzheimer's disease. The underlying mechanisms appear to include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, particularly related to their mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA, as well as vitamin and polyphenol content). MUFA have been demonstrated to improve pancreatic beta-cell function and regulation of postprandial glycemia and insulin sensitivity. PUFA may act on the central nervous system protecting neuronal and cell-signaling function and maintenance. The fiber and mineral content of nuts may also confer health benefits. Nuts therefore show promise as useful adjuvants to prevent, delay or ameliorate a number of chronic conditions in older people. Their association with decreased mortality suggests a potential in reducing disease burden, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive impairments.
Dillon, Carol; Serrano, Cecilia M; Castro, Diego; Leguizamón, Patricio Perez; Heisecke, Silvina L; Taragano, Fernando E
Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are core features of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. On one hand, behavioral symptoms in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can indicate an increased risk of progressing to dementia. On the other hand, mild behavioral impairment (MBI) in patients who usually have normal cognition indicates an increased risk of developing dementia. Whatever the cause, all dementias carry a high rate of NPI. These symptoms can be observed at any stage of the disease, may fluctuate over its course, are a leading cause of stress and overload for caregivers, and increase rates of hospitalization and early institutionalization for patients with dementia. The clinician should be able to promptly recognize NPI through the use of instruments capable of measuring their frequency and severity to support diagnosis, and to help monitor the treatment of behavioral symptoms. The aims of this review are to describe and update the construct ‘MBI’ and to revise the reported NPS related to prodromal stages of dementia (MCI and MBI) and dementia stages of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. PMID:24092982
Askey, Charlotte; Playfoot, David
Changes in memory performance with advancing age have been well-documented, even in the absence of brain injury or dementia. The mechanisms underlying cognitive ageing are still a matter of debate. The current paper describes a comparison between young (18-25 year old) and older (60+ years) adults using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott false memory paradigm and manipulating the number of words included in the memory lists. Two key theories of cognitive ageing (the Inhibitory Deficit Hypothesis and the Transmission Deficit Hypothesis) predict opposing patterns on this task. Results showed that longer lists increase the likelihood that a lure is retrieved and that older adults are more susceptible to false memories than are younger adults. We argue that these findings are supportive of the Inhibitory Deficit Hypothesis and cannot easily be reconciled with the Transmission Deficit Hypothesis account.
Smith, Timothy W.; And Others
Examined the relation between cognitive distortion, as measured by the Cognitive Error Questionnaire, and both self-reported and interview-rated depression and disability in 92 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Found cognitive distortion significantly associated with depression, and also related to physical disability. Discusses the results,…
Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M.; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna
As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:26590911
Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna; Sonntag, William E
As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease.
Jung, Eunjoo; Molfese, Victoria J.; Beswick, Jennifer; Jacobi-Vessels, Jill; Molnar, Andrew
Research Findings: The present study used a longitudinal design to identify how sleep habits and learning-related behaviors impact the development of cognitive skills in preschoolers (ages 3-5). Sixty- seven children with parental report and cognitive skill assessment data were included. Scores on the Differential Ability Scales (C. Elliott, 1990)…
Guo, Juan; Zhang, XiangKui; Wang, Yong; Xeromeritou, Aphrodite
The researchers studied humour among Chinese and Greek preschool children in relation to cognitive development. The sample included 55 Chinese children and 50 Greek children ages 4½ to 5½ years. Results showed that both Chinese and Greek children's humour recognition were significantly and positively correlated to their cognitive development, but…
Bento-Torres, N V O; Bento-Torres, J; Tomás, A M; Costa, V O; Corrêa, P G R; Costa, C N M; Jardim, N Y V; Picanço-Diniz, C W
Few studies have examined the influence of a low level of schooling on age-related cognitive decline in countries with wide social and economic inequalities by using the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery (CANTAB). The aim of the present study was to assess the influence of schooling on age-related cognitive decline using unbiased cognitive tests. CANTAB allows cognitive assessment across cultures and education levels with reduced interference of the examiner during data acquisition. Using two-way ANOVA, we assessed the influences of age and education on test scores of old adults (61-84 years of age). CANTAB tests included: Visual Sustained Attention, Reaction Time, Spatial Working Memory, Learning and Episodic Memory. All subjects had a minimum visual acuity of 20/30 (Snellen Test), no previous or current history of traumatic brain/head trauma, stroke, language impairment, chronic alcoholism, neurological diseases, memory problems or depressive symptoms, and normal scores on the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Subjects were grouped according to education level (1 to 7 and ≥8 years of schooling) and age (60-69 and ≥70 years). Low schooling level was associated with significantly lower performance on visual sustained attention, learning and episodic memory, reaction time, and spatial working memory. Although reaction time was influenced by age, no significant results on post hoc analysis were detected. Our findings showed a significantly worse cognitive performance in volunteers with lower levels of schooling and suggested that formal education in early life must be included in the preventive public health agenda. In addition, we suggest that CANTAB may be useful to detect subtle cognitive changes in healthy aging.
Madden, David J.; Spaniol, Julia; Costello, Matthew C.; Bucur, Barbara; White, Leonard E.; Cabeza, Roberto; Davis, Simon W.; Dennis, Nancy A.; Provenzale, James M.; Huettel, Scott A.
Previous research has established that age-related decline occurs in measures of cerebral white matter integrity, but the role of this decline in age-related cognitive changes is not clear. To conclude that white matter integrity has a mediating (causal) contribution, it is necessary to demonstrate that statistical control of the white matter-cognition relation reduces the magnitude of age-cognition relation. In this research, we tested the mediating role of white matter integrity, in the context of a task switching paradigm involving word categorization. Participants were 20 healthy, community-dwelling older adults (60–85 years), and 20 younger adults (18–27 years). From diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography, we obtained fractional anisotropy (FA) as an index of white matter integrity in the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum and the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). Mean FA values exhibited age-related decline consistent with a decrease in white matter integrity. From a model of reaction time distributions, we obtained independent estimates of the decisional and nondecisional (perceptual-motor) components of task performance. Age-related decline was evident in both components. Critically, age differences in task performance were mediated by FA in two regions: the central portion of the genu, and splenium-parietal fibers in the right hemisphere. This relation held only for the decisional component and was not evident in the nondecisional component. This result is the first demonstration that the integrity of specific white matter tracts is a mediator of age-related changes in cognitive performance. PMID:18564054
Oh, M. Matthew; Oliveira, Fernando A.; Disterhoft, John F.
A goal of many laboratories that study aging is to find a key cellular change(s) that can be manipulated and restored to a young-like state, and thus, reverse the age-related cognitive deficits. We have chosen to focus our efforts on the alteration of intrinsic excitability (as reflected by the postburst afterhyperpolarization, AHP) during the learning process in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We have consistently found that the postburst AHP is significantly reduced in hippocampal pyramidal neurons from young adults that have successfully learned a hippocampus-dependent task. In the context of aging, the baseline intrinsic excitability of hippocampal neurons is decreased and therefore cognitive learning is impaired. In aging animals that are able to learn, neuron changes in excitability similar to those seen in young neurons during learning occur. Our challenge, then, is to understand how and why excitability changes occur in neurons from aging brains and cause age-associated learning impairments. After understanding the changes, we should be able to formulate strategies for reversing them, thus making old neurons function more as they did when they were young. Such a reversal should rescue the age-related cognitive deficits. PMID:20552042
Kokis, Judite V.; Macpherson, Robyn; Toplak, Maggie E.; West, Richard F.; Stanovich, Keith E.
Examined developmental and individual differences in tendencies to favor analytic over heuristic responses in three tasks (inductive reasoning, deduction under belief bias conditions, probabilistic reasoning) in children varying in age and cognitive ability. Found significant increases in analytic responding with development on first two tasks.…
Dickie, David Alexander; Cox, Simon R.; Valdes Hernandez, Maria del C.; Corley, Janie; Royle, Natalie A.; Pattie, Alison; Aribisala, Benjamin S.; Redmond, Paul; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Taylor, Adele M.; Sibbett, Ruth; Gow, Alan J.; Starr, John M.; Bastin, Mark E.; Wardlaw, Joanna M.; Deary, Ian J.
Abstract Later‐life changes in brain tissue volumes—decreases in the volume of healthy grey and white matter and increases in the volume of white matter hyperintensities (WMH)—are strong candidates to explain some of the variation in ageing‐related cognitive decline. We assessed fluid intelligence, memory, processing speed, and brain volumes (from structural MRI) at mean age 73 years, and at mean age 76 in a narrow‐age sample of older individuals (n = 657 with brain volumetric data at the initial wave, n = 465 at follow‐up). We used latent variable modeling to extract error‐free cognitive levels and slopes. Initial levels of cognitive ability were predictive of subsequent brain tissue volume changes. Initial brain volumes were not predictive of subsequent cognitive changes. Brain volume changes, especially increases in WMH, were associated with declines in each of the cognitive abilities. All statistically significant results were modest in size (absolute r‐values ranged from 0.114 to 0.334). These results build a comprehensive picture of macrostructural brain volume changes and declines in important cognitive faculties during the eighth decade of life. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4910–4925, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc PMID:26769551
Roberts, Joanne E.; And Others
Examined the association between otitis media with effusion (OME) during the first 3 years of life and cognitive, academic performance, and behavior outcomes at 12 years of age. Results indicated that OME during early childhood was not related to intellectual performance, academic achievement, behavior, and attention. Suggests that generalizations…
Vance, David E.; Fazeli, Pariya L.; Ball, David A.; Slater, Larry Z.; Ross, Lesley A.
Nearly half of people living with HIV experience cognitive deficits that may impact instrumental activities of daily living. As the number of people aging with HIV increases, concerns mount that disease-related cognitive deficits may be compounded by age-related deficits, which may further compromise everyday functions such as driving. In this cross-sectional pilot study, during a 2.5-hour visit, 26 middle-aged and older adults (40+ years) were administered demographic, health, psychosocial, and driving habits questionnaires; cognitive assessments; and driving simulator tests. Although CD4+T lymphocyte count and viral load were unrelated to driving performance, older age was related to poorer driving. Furthermore, poorer visual speed of processing performance (i.e., Useful Field of View) was related to poorer driving performance (e.g., average gross reaction time). Mixed findings were observed between driving performance and cognitive function on self-reported driving habits of participants. Implications for these findings on nursing practice and research are posited. PMID:24513104
Rudasill, Kathleen Moritz; Adelson, Jill L.; Callahan, Carolyn M.; Houlihan, Deanna Vogt; Keizer, Benjamin M.
Children whose parents are warm and responsive yet also set limits and have reasonable expectations for their children tend to have better outcomes than their peers whose parents show less warmth and responsiveness, have low expectations, or both. Parenting behavior is related to family race and children's sex, age, and cognitive ability. However,…
Wingfield, Arthur; Amichetti, Nicole M.; Lash, Amanda
The comprehension of spoken language has been characterized by a number of “local” theories that have focused on specific aspects of the task: models of word recognition, models of selective attention, accounts of thematic role assignment at the sentence level, and so forth. The ease of language understanding (ELU) model (Rönnberg et al., 2013) stands as one of the few attempts to offer a fully encompassing framework for language understanding. In this paper we discuss interactions between perceptual, linguistic, and cognitive factors in spoken language understanding. Central to our presentation is an examination of aspects of the ELU model that apply especially to spoken language comprehension in adult aging, where speed of processing, working memory capacity, and hearing acuity are often compromised. We discuss, in relation to the ELU model, conceptions of working memory and its capacity limitations, the use of linguistic context to aid in speech recognition and the importance of inhibitory control, and language comprehension at the sentence level. Throughout this paper we offer a constructive look at the ELU model; where it is strong and where there are gaps to be filled. PMID:26124724
Aging is associated with a wide range of human disorders, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Long thought to be an inexorable road toward decline and diseases, aging is in fact remarkably plastic. Such plasticity could be harnessed to approach age-related diseases from a novel perspective. Although many studies have focused on the genes that impact aging, the nongenetic regulation of aging is gaining increasing attention. Specifically, aging is associated with profound epigenetic changes, resulting in alterations of gene expression and disturbances in broad genome architecture and the epigenomic landscape. The potential reversibility of these epigenetic changes that occur as a hallmark of aging offers exciting opportunities to alter the trajectory of age-related diseases. This short review highlights key epigenetic players in the regulation of aging, as well as both future goals and challenges to the utilization of epigenetic strategies to delay and reverse the main diseases of aging. PMID:24833581
Brunet, Anne; Berger, Shelley L
Aging is associated with a wide range of human disorders, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Long thought to be an inexorable road toward decline and diseases, aging is in fact remarkably plastic. Such plasticity could be harnessed to approach age-related diseases from a novel perspective. Although many studies have focused on the genes that impact aging, the nongenetic regulation of aging is gaining increasing attention. Specifically, aging is associated with profound epigenetic changes, resulting in alterations of gene expression and disturbances in broad genome architecture and the epigenomic landscape. The potential reversibility of these epigenetic changes that occur as a hallmark of aging offers exciting opportunities to alter the trajectory of age-related diseases. This short review highlights key epigenetic players in the regulation of aging, as well as both future goals and challenges to the utilization of epigenetic strategies to delay and reverse the main diseases of aging.
Fortunato, S; Forli, F; Guglielmi, V; De Corso, E; Paludetti, G; Berrettini, S; Fetoni, A R
Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) has a multifactorial pathogenesis and it is an inevitable hearing impairment associated with reduction of communicative skills related to ageing. Increasing evidence has linked ARHL to more rapid progression of cognitive decline and incidental dementia. Many aspects of daily living of elderly people have been associated to hearing abilities, showing that hearing loss (HL) affects the quality of life, social relationships, motor skills, psychological aspects and function and morphology in specific brain areas. Epidemiological and clinical studies confirm the assumption of a relationship between these conditions. However, the mechanisms are still unclear and are reviewed herein. Long-term hearing deprivation of auditory inputs can impact cognitive performance by decreasing the quality of communication leading to social isolation and depression and facilitate dementia. On the contrary, the limited cognitive skills may reduce the cognitive resources available for auditory perception, increasing the effects of HL. In addition, hearing loss and cognitive decline may reflect a 'common cause' on the auditory pathway and brain. In fact, some pathogenetic factors are recongised in common microvascular disease factors such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and hypertension. Interdisciplinary efforts to investigate and address HL in the context of brain and cognitive ageing are needed. Surprisingly, few studies have been adressed on the effectiveness of hearing aids in changing the natural history of cognitive decline. Effective interventions with hearing aids or cochlear implant may improve social and emotional function, communication, cognitive function and positively impact quality of life. The aim of this review is to overview new insights on this challenging topic and provide new ideas for future research.
Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Strait, Dana L; Anderson, Samira; Hittner, Emily; Kraus, Nina
Much of our daily communication occurs in the presence of background noise, compromising our ability to hear. While understanding speech in noise is a challenge for everyone, it becomes increasingly difficult as we age. Although aging is generally accompanied by hearing loss, this perceptual decline cannot fully account for the difficulties experienced by older adults for hearing in noise. Decreased cognitive skills concurrent with reduced perceptual acuity are thought to contribute to the difficulty older adults experience understanding speech in noise. Given that musical experience positively impacts speech perception in noise in young adults (ages 18-30), we asked whether musical experience benefits an older cohort of musicians (ages 45-65), potentially offsetting the age-related decline in speech-in-noise perceptual abilities and associated cognitive function (i.e., working memory). Consistent with performance in young adults, older musicians demonstrated enhanced speech-in-noise perception relative to nonmusicians along with greater auditory, but not visual, working memory capacity. By demonstrating that speech-in-noise perception and related cognitive function are enhanced in older musicians, our results imply that musical training may reduce the impact of age-related auditory decline.
Noble, Kimberly G; Korgaonkar, Mayuresh S; Grieve, Stuart M; Brickman, Adam M
Socioeconomic status is an important predictor of cognitive development and academic achievement. Late adolescence provides a unique opportunity to study how the attainment of socioeconomic status (in the form of years of education) relates to cognitive and neural development, during a time when age-related cognitive and neural development is ongoing. During late adolescence it is possible to disambiguate age- and education-related effects on the development of these processes. Here we assessed the degree to which higher educational attainment was related to performance on a cognitive control task, controlling for age. We then used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to assess the degree to which white matter microstructure might mediate this relationship. When covarying age, significant associations were found between educational attainment and fractional anisotropy (FA) in the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and cingulum bundle (CB). Further, when covarying age, FA in these regions was associated with cognitive control. Finally, mediation analyses revealed that the age-independent association between educational attainment and cognitive control was completely accounted for by FA in these regions. The uncinate fasciculus, a late-myelinated control region not implicated in cognitive control, did not mediate this effect.
Latimer, Caitlin S.; Brewer, Lawrence D.; Searcy, James L.; Chen, Kuey-Chu; Popović, Jelena; Kraner, Susan D.; Thibault, Olivier; Blalock, Eric M.; Landfield, Philip W.; Porter, Nada M.
Vitamin D is an important calcium-regulating hormone with diverse functions in numerous tissues, including the brain. Increasing evidence suggests that vitamin D may play a role in maintaining cognitive function and that vitamin D deficiency may accelerate age-related cognitive decline. Using aging rodents, we attempted to model the range of human serum vitamin D levels, from deficient to sufficient, to test whether vitamin D could preserve or improve cognitive function with aging. For 5–6 mo, middle-aged F344 rats were fed diets containing low, medium (typical amount), or high (100, 1,000, or 10,000 international units/kg diet, respectively) vitamin D3, and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory were then tested in the Morris water maze. Rats on high vitamin D achieved the highest blood levels (in the sufficient range) and significantly outperformed low and medium groups on maze reversal, a particularly challenging task that detects more subtle changes in memory. In addition to calcium-related processes, hippocampal gene expression microarrays identified pathways pertaining to synaptic transmission, cell communication, and G protein function as being up-regulated with high vitamin D. Basal synaptic transmission also was enhanced, corroborating observed effects on gene expression and learning and memory. Our studies demonstrate a causal relationship between vitamin D status and cognitive function, and they suggest that vitamin D-mediated changes in hippocampal gene expression may improve the likelihood of successful brain aging. PMID:25267625
Pakhomov, Serguei V. S.; Hemmy, Laura S.; Lim, Kelvin O.
The objective of our study is to introduce a fully automated, computational linguistic technique to quantify semantic relations between words generated on a standard semantic verbal fluency test and to determine its cognitive and clinical correlates. Cognitive differences between patients with Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment are…
Ghadery, Christine; Pirpamer, Lukas; Hofer, Edith; Langkammer, Christian; Petrovic, Katja; Loitfelder, Marisa; Schwingenschuh, Petra; Seiler, Stephan; Duering, Marco; Jouvent, Eric; Schmidt, Helena; Fazekas, Franz; Mangin, Jean-Francois; Chabriat, Hugues; Dichgans, Martin; Ropele, Stefan; Schmidt, Reinhold
Brain iron accumulates during aging and has been associated with neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Magnetic resonance (MR)-based R2* mapping enables the in vivo detection of iron content in brain tissue. We investigated if during normal brain aging iron load relates to cognitive impairment in region-specific patterns in a community-dwelling cohort of 336 healthy, middle aged, and older adults from the Austrian Stroke Prevention Family Study. MR imaging and R2* mapping in the basal ganglia and neocortex were done at 3T. Comprehensive neuropsychological testing assessed memory, executive function, and psychomotor speed. We found the highest iron concentration in the globus pallidus, and pallidal and putaminal iron was significantly and inversely associated with cognitive performance in all cognitive domains, except memory. These associations were iron load dependent. Vascular brain lesions and brain volume did not mediate the relationship between iron and cognitive performance. We conclude that higher R2*-determined iron in the basal ganglia correlates with cognitive impairment during brain aging independent of concomitant brain abnormalities. The prognostic significance of this finding needs to be determined.
Kennedy, Kristen M.; Raz, Naftali
Disruption of cerebral white matter has been proposed as an explanation for age-related cognitive declines. However, the role of specific regions in specific cognitive declines remains unclear. We used diffusion tensor imaging to examine the associations between regional microstructural integrity of the white matter and performance on…
Bernard, Jessica A.; Seidler, Rachael D.
Though the cortical contributions to age-related declines in motor and cognitive performance are well-known, the potential contributions of the cerebellum are less clear. The diverse functions of the cerebellum make it an important structure to investigate in aging. Here, we review the extant literature on this topic. To date, there is evidence to indicate that there are morphological age differences in the cerebellum that are linked to motor and cognitive behavior. Cerebellar morphology is often as good as -- or even better -- at predicting performance than the prefrontal cortex. We also touch on the few studies using functional neuroimaging and connectivity analyses that further implicate the cerebellum in age-related performance declines. Importantly, we provide a conceptual framework for the cerebellum influencing age differences in performance, centered on the notion of degraded internal models. The evidence indicating that cerebellar age differences associate with performance highlights the need for additional work in this domain to further elucidate the role of the cerebellum in age differences in movement control and cognitive function. PMID:24594194
Bizon, Jennifer L; Foster, Thomas C; Alexander, Gene E; Glisky, Elizabeth L
Executive functions supported by prefrontal cortical (PFC) systems provide essential control and planning mechanisms to guide goal-directed behavior. As such, age-related alterations in executive functions can mediate profound and widespread deficits on a diverse array of neurocognitive processes. Many of the critical neuroanatomical and functional characteristics of prefrontal cortex are preserved in rodents, allowing for meaningful cross species comparisons relevant to the study of cognitive aging. In particular, as rodents lend themselves to genetic, cellular and biochemical approaches, rodent models of executive function stand to significantly contribute to our understanding of the critical neurobiological mechanisms that mediate decline of executive processes across the lifespan. Moreover, rodent analogs of executive functions that decline in human aging represent an essential component of a targeted, rational approach for developing and testing effective treatment and prevention therapies for age-related cognitive decline. This paper reviews behavioral approaches used to study executive function in rodents, with a focus on those assays that share a foundation in the psychological and neuroanatomical constructs important for human aging. A particular emphasis is placed on behavioral approaches used to assess working memory and cognitive flexibility, which are sensitive to decline with age across species and for which strong rodent models currently exist. In addition, other approaches in rodent behavior that have potential for providing analogs to functions that reliably decline to human aging (e.g., information processing speed) are discussed.
Trouillet, Raphaël; Doan-Van-Hay, Loane-Martine; Launay, Michel; Martin, Sophie
To explore the predictive value of cognitive and coping resources for problem- and emotion-focused coping with age, we collected data from community-dwelling adults between 20 and 90 years old. We hypothesized that age, perceived stress, self-efficacy, working-memory capacity, and mental flexibility were predictors of coping. We collected data using French versions of the Perceived Stress Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Way of Coping Checklist. Cognitive assessments comprised the WAIS III digit-span subtest and the Trail Making Test parts A and B. In multivariate analyses, neither working-memory nor mental-flexibility deficit predicted problem-focused coping. Age was found to predict only problem-focused coping. Self-efficacy predicted problem-focused coping, and perceived stress predicted emotion-focused coping. Our results confirmed that use of an emotion-focused coping style would not significantly change with age. Problem-focused coping increases with age and depends primarily on participants' confidence in their ability to successfully solve problems (i.e., self-efficacy).
Coubard, Olivier A; Duretz, Stéphanie; Lefebvre, Virginie; Lapalus, Pauline; Ferrufino, Lena
As society ages and frequency of dementia increases exponentially, counteracting cognitive aging decline is a challenging issue for countries of the developed world. Previous studies have suggested that physical fitness based on cardiovascular and strength training helps to improve attentional control in normal aging. However, how motor activity based on motor-skill learning can also benefit attentional control with age has been hitherto a neglected issue. This study examined the impact of contemporary dance (CD) improvisation on attentional control of older adults, as compared to two other motor training programs, fall prevention and Tai Chi Chuan. Participants performed setting, suppressing, and switching attention tasks before and after 5.7-month training in either CD or fall prevention or Tai Chi Chuan. Results indicated that CD improved switching but not setting or suppressing attention. In contrast, neither fall prevention nor Tai Chi Chuan showed any effect. We suggest that CD improvisation works as a training for change, inducing plasticity in flexible attention.
Shobin, Eli; Bowley, Michael P; Estrada, Larissa I; Heyworth, Nadine C; Orczykowski, Mary E; Eldridge, Sherri A; Calderazzo, Samantha M; Mortazavi, Farzad; Moore, Tara L; Rosene, Douglas L
While cognitive decline is observed in the normal aging monkey, neurons are not lost with age. Instead, frontal white matter is lost as myelin degenerates and both correlate with age-related cognitive decline. As age-related myelin damage increases, there should be an increase in clearance of damaged myelin by microglial phagocytosis. In this study, brains of behaviorally tested rhesus monkeys were assessed using unbiased stereology to quantify the density of activated microglia (LN3 antibody positive) and phagocytic microglia (galectin-3 (Gal-3) antibody positive) in three white matter regions: the corpus callosum, cingulum bundle (CGB), and frontal white matter (FWM). LN3 cell density was significantly increased in the CGB, whereas Gal-3 cell density was significantly increased in all regions. Increases in Gal-3 cell density in the FWM were associated with cognitive impairment. In the FWM of old animals, Gal-3-positive microglia were classified by morphological subtype as ramified, hypertrophic, or amoeboid. The densities of hypertrophic and amoeboid microglia significantly correlated with cognitive impairment. Finally, microglia were double-labeled with LN3 and Gal-3 showing that 91% of Gal-3 cells were also LN3 positive, thus expressing an "activated" phenotype. Furthermore, 15% of all double-labeled cells formed phagocytic cups. Overall, these results suggest that microglia become activated in white matter with age where the majority express a phagocytic phenotype. We hypothesize that age-related phagocytic activation of microglia is a response to accumulating myelin pathology. The association of Gal-3 in the FWM with cognitive impairment may reflect regional differences in damage or dysfunction of normal clearance mechanisms.
Tu, Yu-Kang; Law, Graham R.
A recent English study found that children from poor families who did well in cognitive tests at age three are expected to be overtaken in the cognitive test by the age of seven by children from rich families who did poorly in cognitive tests at age three. The conclusion was that family background seems to have a dominant influence on a child's…
Mather, Mara; Harley, Carolyn W.
Research on cognitive aging has focused on how decline in various cortical and hippocampal regions influence cognition. However, brainstem regions play essential modulatory roles, and new evidence suggests that among these, the integrity of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system plays a key role in determining late life cognitive abilities. The locus coeruleus is especially vulnerable to toxins and infection and is often the first place Alzheimer’s related pathology appears, with most people showing at least some tau pathology by their mid-twenties. On the other hand, norepinephrine released from the locus coeruleus during arousing, mentally challenging or novel situations helps protect neurons from damage, which may help explain how education and engaging careers prevent cognitive decline in later years. PMID:26895736
Foster, Thomas C.; DeFazio, R. A.; Bizon, Jennifer L.
Episodic memory, especially memory for contextual or spatial information, is particularly vulnerable to age-related decline in humans and animal models of aging. The continuing improvement of virtual environment technology for testing humans signifies that widely used procedures employed in the animal literature for examining spatial memory could be developed for examining age-related cognitive decline in humans. The current review examines cross species considerations for implementing these tasks and translating findings across different levels of analysis. The specificity of brain systems as well as gaps in linking human and animal laboratory models is discussed. PMID:22988436
Christopher, Micaela E; Keenan, Janice M; Hulslander, Jacqueline; DeFries, John C; Miyake, Akira; Wadsworth, Sally J; Willcutt, Erik; Pennington, Bruce; Olson, Richard K
Although previous research has shown cognitive skills to be important predictors of reading ability in children, the respective roles for genetic and environmental influences on these relations is an open question. The present study explored the genetic and environmental etiologies underlying the relations between selected executive functions and cognitive abilities (working memory, inhibition, processing speed, and naming speed) with 3 components of reading ability (word reading, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension). Twin pairs drawn from the Colorado Front Range (n = 676; 224 monozygotic pairs; 452 dizygotic pairs) between the ages of 8 and 16 (M = 11.11) were assessed on multiple measures of each cognitive and reading-related skill. Each cognitive and reading-related skill was modeled as a latent variable, and behavioral genetic analyses estimated the portions of phenotypic variance on each latent variable due to genetic, shared environmental, and nonshared environmental influences. The covariance between the cognitive skills and reading-related skills was driven primarily by genetic influences. The cognitive skills also shared large amounts of genetic variance, as did the reading-related skills. The common cognitive genetic variance was highly correlated with the common reading genetic variance, suggesting that genetic influences involved in general cognitive processing are also important for reading ability. Skill-specific genetic variance in working memory and processing speed also predicted components of reading ability. Taken together, the present study supports a genetic association between children's cognitive ability and reading ability.
Marchant, Natalie L.; Reed, Bruce R.; DeCarli, Charles S.; Madison, Cindee M.; Weiner, Michael W.; Chui, Helena C.; Jagust, William J.
The present study evaluated cerebrovascular disease (CVD), β-amyloid (Aβ), and cognition in clinically normal elderly adults. Fifty-four participants underwent MRI, PIB-PET imaging, and neuropsychological evaluation. High white matter hyperintensity burden and/or presence of infarct defined CVD status (CVD−: N = 27; CVD+: N = 27). PIB-PET ratios of Aβ deposition were extracted using Logan plotting (cerebellar reference). Presence of high levels of Aβ in prespecified regions determined PIB status (PIB−: N = 33; PIB+: N = 21). Executive functioning and episodic memory were measured using composite scales. CVD and Aβ, defined as dichotomous or continuous variables, were unrelated to one another. CVD+ participants showed lower executive functioning (P = 0.001) when compared to CVD− individuals. Neither PIB status nor amount of Aβ affected cognition (Ps ≥ .45), and there was no statistical interaction between CVD and PIB on either cognitive measure. Within this spectrum of normal aging CVD and Aβ aggregation appear to be independent processes with CVD primarily affecting cognition. PMID:22048124
Huijgen, Barbara C H; Leemhuis, Sander; Kok, Niels M; Verburgh, Lot; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Elferink-Gemser, Marije T; Visscher, Chris
Soccer players are required to anticipate and react continuously in a changing, relatively unpredictable situation in the field. Cognitive functions might be important to be successful in soccer. The current study investigated the relationship between cognitive functions and performance level in elite and sub-elite youth soccer players aged 13-17 years. A total of 47 elite youth soccer players (mean age 15.5 years, SD = 0.9) and 41 sub-elite youth soccer players (mean age 15.2 years, SD = 1.2) performed tasks for "higher-level" cognitive functions measuring working memory (i.e., Visual Memory Span), inhibitory control (i.e., Stop-Signal Task), cognitive flexibility (i.e., Trail Making Test), and metacognition (i.e., Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System Design Fluency Test). "Lower-level" cognitive processes, i.e., reaction time and visuo-perceptual abilities, were also measured with the previous tasks. ANOVA's showed that elite players outscored sub-elite players at the "higher-level" cognitive tasks only, especially on metacognition (p < .05). Using stepwise discriminant analysis, 62.5% of subjects was correctly assigned to one of the groups based on their metacognition, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility performance. Controlling for training hours and academic level, MANCOVA's showed differences in favor of the elite youth soccer players on inhibitory control (p = .001), and cognitive flexibility (p = .042), but not on metacognition (p = .27). No differences were found concerning working memory nor the "lower-level" cognitive processes (p > .05). In conclusion, elite youth soccer players have better inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and especially metacognition than their sub-elite counterparts. However, when training hours are taken into account, differences between elite and sub-elite youth soccer players remain apparent on inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility in contrast to metacognition. This highlights the need for longitudinal
Huijgen, Barbara C. H.; Leemhuis, Sander; Kok, Niels M.; Verburgh, Lot; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Elferink-Gemser, Marije T.; Visscher, Chris
Soccer players are required to anticipate and react continuously in a changing, relatively unpredictable situation in the field. Cognitive functions might be important to be successful in soccer. The current study investigated the relationship between cognitive functions and performance level in elite and sub-elite youth soccer players aged 13–17 years. A total of 47 elite youth soccer players (mean age 15.5 years, SD = 0.9) and 41 sub-elite youth soccer players (mean age 15.2 years, SD = 1.2) performed tasks for “higher-level” cognitive functions measuring working memory (i.e., Visual Memory Span), inhibitory control (i.e., Stop-Signal Task), cognitive flexibility (i.e., Trail Making Test), and metacognition (i.e., Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System Design Fluency Test). “Lower-level” cognitive processes, i.e., reaction time and visuo-perceptual abilities, were also measured with the previous tasks. ANOVA’s showed that elite players outscored sub-elite players at the “higher-level” cognitive tasks only, especially on metacognition (p < .05). Using stepwise discriminant analysis, 62.5% of subjects was correctly assigned to one of the groups based on their metacognition, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility performance. Controlling for training hours and academic level, MANCOVA’s showed differences in favor of the elite youth soccer players on inhibitory control (p = .001), and cognitive flexibility (p = .042), but not on metacognition (p = .27). No differences were found concerning working memory nor the “lower-level” cognitive processes (p > .05). In conclusion, elite youth soccer players have better inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and especially metacognition than their sub-elite counterparts. However, when training hours are taken into account, differences between elite and sub-elite youth soccer players remain apparent on inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility in contrast to metacognition. This highlights the
Shin, Min-Ho; Kweon, Sun-Seog; Choi, Jin-Su; Lee, Young-Hoon; Nam, Hae-Sung; Park, Kyeong-Soo; Kim, Hee N; Song, Hye-Rim; Kim, Byeong C; Choi, Seong-Min; Oh, Sun-Young; Jeong, Seul-Ki
It remains controversial whether APOE E4 polymorphism is related to cognitive function in general population. We aimed to evaluate an association between the APOE E4 genotype and cognitive function, and whether this association may differ by age. Cognitive function was assessed using the Korean version of modified Mini-Mental State Examination (K-mMMSE) in 10,371 Koreans aged 45-74 years in Namwon City. According to the APOE E4 status, all participants were classified as non-carriers, heterozygotes, or homozygotes. Multiple linear and logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between APOE genotypes and cognition. The frequency of APOE genotypes in the study population was 0.4, 10.1, 1.1, 72.9, 14.7 and 0.8 % for E2E2, E2E3, E2E4, E3E3, E3E4, and E4E4, respectively. Compared to the APOE E4 non-carriers, the heterozygotes and homozygotes showed 1.3 and 7.3 % lower K-mMMSE scores at 65-74 years and 0.8 and 4.6 % higher scores at 45-55 years, respectively. Educational attainment modified the effect of APOE E4 on cognitive function in the 45-54 age group (p for interaction =0.003), showing that the E4 carriers with no-formal education showed significantly higher cognitive function than those with formal education. The present study demonstrates that the effect of APOE E4 on cognitive function depends on age and education.
Goossens, Tine; Vercammen, Charlotte; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid
As people age, speech perception problems become highly prevalent, especially in noisy situations. In addition to peripheral hearing and cognition, temporal processing plays a key role in speech perception. Temporal processing of speech features is mediated by synchronized activity of neural oscillations in the central auditory system. Previous studies indicate that both the degree and hemispheric lateralization of synchronized neural activity relate to speech perception performance. Based on these results, we hypothesize that impaired speech perception in older persons may, in part, originate from deviances in neural synchronization. In this study, auditory steady-state responses that reflect synchronized activity of theta, beta, low and high gamma oscillations (i.e., 4, 20, 40, and 80 Hz ASSR, respectively) were recorded in young, middle-aged, and older persons. As all participants had normal audiometric thresholds and were screened for (mild) cognitive impairment, differences in synchronized neural activity across the three age groups were likely to be attributed to age. Our data yield novel findings regarding theta and high gamma oscillations in the aging auditory system. At an older age, synchronized activity of theta oscillations is increased, whereas high gamma synchronization is decreased. In contrast to young persons who exhibit a right hemispheric dominance for processing of high gamma range modulations, older adults show a symmetrical processing pattern. These age-related changes in neural synchronization may very well underlie the speech perception problems in aging persons. PMID:27378906
Chistiakov, Dimitry A; Sobenin, Igor A; Revin, Victor V; Orekhov, Alexander N; Bobryshev, Yuri V
Age-related changes in mitochondria are associated with decline in mitochondrial function. With advanced age, mitochondrial DNA volume, integrity and functionality decrease due to accumulation of mutations and oxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In aged subjects, mitochondria are characterized by impaired function such as lowered oxidative capacity, reduced oxidative phosphorylation, decreased ATP production, significant increase in ROS generation, and diminished antioxidant defense. Mitochondrial biogenesis declines with age due to alterations in mitochondrial dynamics and inhibition of mitophagy, an autophagy process that removes dysfunctional mitochondria. Age-dependent abnormalities in mitochondrial quality control further weaken and impair mitochondrial function. In aged tissues, enhanced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis contributes to an increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells. However, implementation of strategies such as caloric restriction and regular physical training may delay mitochondrial aging and attenuate the age-related phenotype in humans.
Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Voss, Michelle W; Cooke, Gillian E; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F
Decline in cognitive performance in old age is linked to both suboptimal neural processing in grey matter (GM) and reduced integrity of white matter (WM), but the whole-brain structure-function-cognition associations remain poorly understood. Here we apply a novel measure of GM processing-moment-to-moment variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD)-to study the associations between GM function during resting state, performance on four main cognitive domains (i.e., fluid intelligence, perceptual speed, episodic memory, vocabulary), and WM microstructural integrity in 91 healthy older adults (aged 60-80 years). We modeled the relations between whole-GM SDBOLD with cognitive performance using multivariate partial least squares analysis. We found that greater SDBOLD was associated with better fluid abilities and memory. Most of regions showing behaviorally relevant SDBOLD (e.g., precuneus and insula) were localized to inter- or intra-network "hubs" that connect and integrate segregated functional domains in the brain. Our results suggest that optimal dynamic range of neural processing in hub regions may support cognitive operations that specifically rely on the most flexible neural processing and complex cross-talk between different brain networks. Finally, we demonstrated that older adults with greater WM integrity in all major WM tracts had also greater SDBOLD and better performance on tests of memory and fluid abilities. We conclude that SDBOLD is a promising functional neural correlate of individual differences in cognition in healthy older adults and is supported by overall WM integrity.
Chapman, Sandra B; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S; Keebler, Molly W; DeFina, Laura F; Didehbani, Nyaz; Perez, Alison M; Lu, Hanzhang; D'Esposito, Mark
Insidious declines in normal aging are well-established. Emerging evidence suggests that non-pharmacological interventions, specifically cognitive and physical training, may counter diminishing age-related cognitive and brain functions. This randomized trial compared effects of two training protocols: cognitive training (CT) vs. physical training (PT) on cognition and brain function in adults 56-75 years. Sedentary participants (N = 36) were randomized to either CT or PT group for 3 h/week over 12 weeks. They were assessed at baseline-, mid-, and post-training using neurocognitive, MRI, and physiological measures. The CT group improved on executive function whereas PT group's memory was enhanced. Uniquely deploying cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral vascular reactivity (CVR) MRI, the CT cohort showed increased CBF within the prefrontal and middle/posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) without change to CVR compared to PT group. Improvements in complex abstraction were positively associated with increased resting CBF in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). Exercisers with higher CBF in hippocampi bilaterally showed better immediate memory. The preliminary evidence indicates that increased cognitive and physical activity improves brain health in distinct ways. Reasoning training enhanced frontal networks shown to be integral to top-down cognitive control and brain resilience. Evidence of increased resting CBF without changes to CVR implicates increased neural health rather than improved vascular response. Exercise did not improve cerebrovascular response, although CBF increased in hippocampi of those with memory gains. Distinct benefits incentivize testing effectiveness of combined protocols to strengthen brain health.
Chapman, Sandra B.; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Keebler, Molly W.; DeFina, Laura F.; Didehbani, Nyaz; Perez, Alison M.; Lu, Hanzhang; D'Esposito, Mark
Insidious declines in normal aging are well-established. Emerging evidence suggests that non-pharmacological interventions, specifically cognitive and physical training, may counter diminishing age-related cognitive and brain functions. This randomized trial compared effects of two training protocols: cognitive training (CT) vs. physical training (PT) on cognition and brain function in adults 56–75 years. Sedentary participants (N = 36) were randomized to either CT or PT group for 3 h/week over 12 weeks. They were assessed at baseline-, mid-, and post-training using neurocognitive, MRI, and physiological measures. The CT group improved on executive function whereas PT group's memory was enhanced. Uniquely deploying cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral vascular reactivity (CVR) MRI, the CT cohort showed increased CBF within the prefrontal and middle/posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) without change to CVR compared to PT group. Improvements in complex abstraction were positively associated with increased resting CBF in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). Exercisers with higher CBF in hippocampi bilaterally showed better immediate memory. The preliminary evidence indicates that increased cognitive and physical activity improves brain health in distinct ways. Reasoning training enhanced frontal networks shown to be integral to top-down cognitive control and brain resilience. Evidence of increased resting CBF without changes to CVR implicates increased neural health rather than improved vascular response. Exercise did not improve cerebrovascular response, although CBF increased in hippocampi of those with memory gains. Distinct benefits incentivize testing effectiveness of combined protocols to strengthen brain health. PMID:27462210
Bürkle, Alexander; Caselli, Graziella; Franceschi, Claudio; Mariani, Erminia; Sansoni, Paolo; Santoni, Angela; Vecchio, Giancarlo; Witkowski, Jacek M; Caruso, Calogero
On April 18, 2007 an international meeting on Pathophysiology of Ageing, Longevity and Age-Related Diseases was held in Palermo, Italy. Several interesting topics on Cancer, Immunosenescence, Age-related inflammatory diseases and longevity were discussed. In this report we summarize the most important issues. However, ageing must be considered an unavoidable end point of the life history of each individual, nevertheless the increasing knowledge on ageing mechanisms, allows envisaging many different strategies to cope with, and delay it. So, a better understanding of pathophysiology of ageing and age-related disease is essential for giving everybody a reasonable chance for living a long and enjoyable final part of the life. PMID:17683521
Agullo, Gloria Luque
One of the most controversial issues in foreign language (FL) teaching is the age at which language learning should start. Nowadays it is recognized that in second language contexts maturational constraints make an early start advisable, but there is still disagreement regarding the problem of when to start or the best way to learn in foreign…
Jura, Magdalena; Kozak, Leslie P
Obesity has become a major public health problem. Given the current increase in life expectancy, the prevalence of obesity also raises steadily among older age groups. The increase in life expectancy is often accompanied with additional years of susceptibility to chronic ill health associated with obesity in the elderly. Both obesity and ageing are conditions leading to serious health problems and increased risk for disease and death. Ageing is associated with an increase in abdominal obesity, a major contributor to insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. Obesity in the elderly is thus a serious concern and comprehension of the key mechanisms of ageing and age-related diseases has become a necessary matter. Here, we aimed to identify similarities underlying mechanisms related to both obesity and ageing. We bring together evidence that age-related changes in body fat distribution and metabolism might be key factors of a vicious cycle that can accelerate the ageing process and onset of age-related diseases.
Roehr, Susanne; Luck, Tobias; Heser, Kathrin; Fuchs, Angela; Ernst, Annette; Wiese, Birgitt; Werle, Jochen; Bickel, Horst; Brettschneider, Christian; Koppara, Alexander; Pentzek, Michael; Lange, Carolin; Prokein, Jana; Weyerer, Siegfried; Mösch, Edelgard; König, Hans-Helmut; Maier, Wolfgang; Scherer, Martin
Objective Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) might represent the first symptomatic representation of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is associated with increased mortality. Only few studies, however, have analyzed the association of SCD and mortality, and if so, based on prevalent cases. Thus, we investigated incident SCD in memory and mortality. Methods Data were derived from the German AgeCoDe study, a prospective longitudinal study on the epidemiology of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia in primary care patients over 75 years covering an observation period of 7.5 years. We used univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses to examine the relationship of SCD and mortality. Further, we estimated survival times by the Kaplan Meier method and case-fatality rates with regard to SCD. Results Among 971 individuals without objective cognitive impairment, 233 (24.0%) incidentally expressed SCD at follow-up I. Incident SCD was not significantly associated with increased mortality in the univariate (HR = 1.0, 95% confidence interval = 0.8–1.3, p = .90) as well as in the multivariate analysis (HR = 0.9, 95% confidence interval = 0.7–1.2, p = .40). The same applied for SCD in relation to concerns. Mean survival time with SCD was 8.0 years (SD = 0.1) after onset. Conclusion Incident SCD in memory in individuals with unimpaired cognitive performance does not predict mortality. The main reason might be that SCD does not ultimately lead into future cognitive decline in any case. However, as prevalence studies suggest, subjectively perceived decline in non-memory cognitive domains might be associated with increased mortality. Future studies may address mortality in such other cognitive domains of SCD in incident cases. PMID:26766555
Wilson, Robert S; Yu, Lei; James, Bryan D; Bennett, David A; Boyle, Patricia A
We tested the hypothesis that higher financial and health literacy is associated with better cognitive health in 755 older persons who completed a literacy measure (M = 67.9, SD = 14.5) and then had annual clinical evaluations for a mean of 3.4 years. In proportional hazards models, higher literacy was associated with decreased risk of developing incident Alzheimer's disease (n = 68) and results were similar for financial and health literacy subscales and after adjustment for potential confounders. In mixed-effects models, higher literacy was related to higher baseline level of cognition and reduced cognitive decline in multiple domains. Among the 602 persons without any cognitive impairment at baseline, higher literacy was associated with a reduced rate of cognitive decline and risk of developing incident mild cognitive impairment (n = 142). The results suggest that higher levels of financial and health literacy are associated with maintenance of cognitive health in old age.
Tang, Feng Ru; Loke, Weng Keong; Khoo, Boo Cheong
Irradiation of the brain in early human life may set abnormal developmental events into motion that last a lifetime, leading to a poor quality of life for affected individuals. While the effect of irradiation at different early developmental stages on the late human life has not been investigated systematically, animal experimental studies suggest that acute postnatal irradiation with ⩾0.1Gy may significantly reduce neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and endotheliogenesis in cerebral vessels and induce cognitive impairment and aging. Fractionated irradiation also reduces neurogenesis. Furthermore, irradiation induces hippocampal neuronal loss in CA1 and CA3 areas, neuroinflammation and reduces gliogenesis. The hippocampal neurovascular niche and the total number of microvessels are also changed after radiation exposures. Each or combination of these pathological changes may cause cognitive impairment and aging. Interestingly, acute irradiation of aged brain with a certain amount of radiation has also been reported to induce brain hormesis or neurogenesis. At molecular levels, inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, neural growth factors, neurotransmitters, their receptors and signal transduction systems, reactive oxygen species are involved in radiation-induced adverse effect on brain development and functions. Further study at different omics levels after low dose/dose rate irradiation may not only unravel the mechanisms of radiation-induced adverse brain effect or hormesis, but also provide clues for detection or diagnosis of radiation exposure and for therapeutic approaches to effectively prevent radiation-induced cognitive impairment and aging. Investigation focusing on radiation-induced changes of critical brain development events may reveal many previously unknown adverse effects.
Background: The towns of Marietta and East Liverpool (EL), Ohio, have been identified as having elevated manganese (Mn) in air due to industrial pollution. Objectives: To evaluate relationships between environmental Mn (Mn-air) exposure and distance from the source and cognitive function in residents of two Ohio towns. Methods: Data were obtained from an EPA-sponsored study comparing two towns exposed to Mn-air (Marietta and EL). A cross-sectional design was used. The same inclusion/exclusion criteria and procedures were applied in the two towns. A neuropsychological screening test battery was administered to study participants (EL=86, Marietta=100) which included Stroop Color Word Test, Animal Naming, Auditory Consonant Trigrams (ACT) and Rey-O. To estimate Mn-air, U.S.EPA’s AERMOD dispersion model was used. Distance from source was calculated based on participants’ residential address and air miles from industrial facility emitting Mn-air. A binary logistic regression model controlling for annual household income was used to examine distance from source and neuropsychological outcomes Results: There were no age, sex, or employment status differences between the two towns. Years education was lower in EL (mean (M)=12.9) than Marietta (M=14.6) and years residency in town were higher in EL (M=47.0) than Marietta (M=36.1). EL participants resided closer to the Mn source than Marietta (M=1.12 vs M=4.75 air miles). Mn-air concentrations were higher in EL (M=0
van Muijden, Jesse; Band, Guido P H; Hommel, Bernhard
The prevalence of age-related cognitive decline will increase due to graying of the global population. The goal of the present study was to test whether playing online cognitive training games can improve cognitive control (CC) in healthy older adults. Fifty-four older adults (age 60-77) played five different cognitive training games online for 30 min a day over a period of seven weeks (game group). Another group of 20 older adults (age 61-73) instead answered quiz questions about documentaries online (documentary group). Transfer was assessed by means of a cognitive test battery administered before and after the intervention. The test battery included measures of working memory updating, set shifting, response inhibition, attention, and inductive reasoning. Compared with the documentary group, the game group showed larger improvement of inhibition (Stop-Signal task) and inductive reasoning (Raven-SPM), whereas the documentary group showed more improvement in selective attention (UFoV-3). These effects qualify as transfer effects, because response inhibition, inductive reasoning and selective attention were not targeted by the interventions. However, because seven other indicators of CC did not show benefits of game training and some of those that did suffered from potential baseline differences, the study as a whole provides only modest support for the potential of videogame training to improve CC in healthy older adults.
Alm, Magnus; Behne, Dawn
Cognitive processing speed, hearing acuity, and audio-visual (AV) experience have been suggested to influence AV asynchrony detection. Whereas the influence of hearing acuity and AV experience have been explored to some extent, the influence of cognitive processing speed on perceived AV asynchrony has not been directly tested. Therefore, the current study investigates the relationship between cognitive processing speed and AV asynchrony detection in speech and, with hearing acuity controlled, assesses whether age-related AV experience mitigates the strength of this relationship. The cognitive processing speed and AV asynchrony detection by 20 young adults (20-30 years) and 20 middle-aged adults (50-60 years) were measured using auditory, visual and AV recognition reaction time tasks, and an AV synchrony judgment task. Strong correlations between audio, visual, and AV reaction times and AV synchrony window size were found for young adults, but not for middle-aged adults. These findings suggest that although cognitive processing speed influences AV asynchrony detection in speech, the strength of the relationship is seemingly reduced by AV experience.
Pichora-Fuller, M. Kathleen; Singh, Gurjit
Recent advances in research and clinical practice concerning aging and auditory communication have been driven by questions about age-related differences in peripheral hearing, central auditory processing, and cognitive processing. A “site-of-lesion” view based on anatomic levels inspired research to test competing hypotheses about the contributions of changes at these three levels of the nervous system. A “processing” view based on psychologic functions inspired research to test alternative hypotheses about how lower-level sensory processes and higher-level cognitive processes interact. In the present paper, we suggest that these two views can begin to be unified following the example set by the cognitive neuroscience of aging. The early pioneers of audiology anticipated such a unified view, but today, advances in science and technology make it both possible and necessary. Specifically, we argue that a synthesis of new knowledge concerning the functional neuroscience of auditory cognition is necessary to inform the design and fitting of digital signal processing in “intelligent” hearing devices, as well as to inform best practices for resituating hearing aid fitting in a broader context of audiologic rehabilitation. Long-standing approaches to rehabilitative audiology should be revitalized to emphasize the important role that training and therapy play in promoting compensatory brain reorganization as older adults acclimatize to new technologies. The purpose of the present paper is to provide an integrated framework for understanding how auditory and cognitive processing interact when older adults listen, comprehend, and communicate in realistic situations, to review relevant models and findings, and to suggest how new knowledge about age-related changes in audition and cognition may influence future developments in hearing aid fitting and audiologic rehabilitation. PMID:16528429
Gillette Guyonnet, S; Abellan Van Kan, G; Andrieu, S; Barberger Gateau, P; Berr, C; Bonnefoy, M; Dartigues, J F; de Groot, L; Ferry, M; Galan, P; Hercberg, S; Jeandel, C; Morris, M C; Nourhashemi, F; Payette, H; Poulain, J P; Portet, F; Roussel, A M; Ritz, P; Rolland, Y; Vellas, B
Cognitive impairment can be influenced by a number of factors. The potential effect of nutrition has become a topic of increasing scientific and public interest. In particular, there are arguments that nutrients (food and/or supplements) such as vitamins, trace minerals, lipids, can affect the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, especially in frail elderly people at risk of deficiencies. Our objective in this paper is to review data relating diet to risk of cognitive decline and dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease (AD). We chose to focus our statements on homocysteine-related vitamins (B-vitamins), antioxidant nutrients (vitamins E and C, carotenoids, flavonoids, enzymatic cofactors) and dietary lipids. Results of epidemiological studies may sometimes appeared conflicting; however, certain associations are frequently found. High intake of saturated and trans-unsaturated (hydrogenated) fats were positively associated with increased risk of AD, whereas intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats were protective against cognitive decline in the elderly in prospective studies. Fish consumption has been associated with lower risk of AD in longitudinal cohort studies. Moreover, epidemiologic data suggest a protective role of the B-vitamins, especially vitamins B9 and B12, on cognitive decline and dementia. Finally, the results on antioxidant nutrients may suggest the importance of having a balanced combination of several antioxidant nutrients to exert a significant effect on the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia, while taking into account the potential adverse effects of these nutrients. There is no lack of attractive hypotheses to support research on the relationships between nutrition and cognitive decline. It is important to stress the need to develop further prospective studies of sufficiently long duration, including subjects whose diet is monitored at a sufficiently early stage or at least before disease or cognitive decline exist. Meta
Vision loss among the elderly is an important health problem. Approximately one person in three has some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65 . Age-related cataract, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are the major diseases resulting in visu...
Nunley, Karen A.; Ryan, Christopher M.; Jennings, J. Richard; Aizenstein, Howard J.; Zgibor, Janice C.; Costacou, Tina; Boudreau, Robert M.; Miller, Rachel; Orchard, Trevor J.; Saxton, Judith A.
OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to investigate the presence and correlates of clinically relevant cognitive impairment in middle-aged adults with childhood-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS During 2010–2013, 97 adults diagnosed with T1D and aged <18 years (age and duration 49 ± 7 and 41 ± 6 years, respectively; 51% female) and 138 similarly aged adults without T1D (age 49 ± 7 years; 55% female) completed extensive neuropsychological testing. Biomedical data on participants with T1D were collected periodically since 1986–1988. Cognitive impairment status was based on the number of test scores ≥1.5 SD worse than demographically appropriate published norms: none, mild (only one test), or clinically relevant (two or more tests). RESULTS The prevalence of clinically relevant cognitive impairment was five times higher among participants with than without T1D (28% vs. 5%; P < 0.0001), independent of education, age, or blood pressure. Effect sizes were large (Cohen d 0.6–0.9; P < 0.0001) for psychomotor speed and visuoconstruction tasks and were modest (d 0.3–0.6; P < 0.05) for measures of executive function. Among participants with T1D, prevalent cognitive impairment was related to 14-year average A1c >7.5% (58 mmol/mol) (odds ratio [OR] 3.0; P = 0.009), proliferative retinopathy (OR 2.8; P = 0.01), and distal symmetric polyneuropathy (OR 2.6; P = 0.03) measured 5 years earlier; higher BMI (OR 1.1; P = 0.03); and ankle-brachial index ≥1.3 (OR 4.2; P = 0.01) measured 20 years earlier, independent of education. CONCLUSIONS Clinically relevant cognitive impairment is highly prevalent among these middle-aged adults with childhood-onset T1D. In this aging cohort, chronic hyperglycemia and prevalent microvascular disease were associated with cognitive impairment, relationships shown previously in younger populations with T1D. Two additional potentially modifiable risk factors for T1D-related cognitive impairment, vascular health and BMI
Jefferson, Angela L.; Hohman, Timothy J.; Liu, Dandan; Haj-Hassan, Shereen; Gifford, Katherine A.; Benson, Elleena M.; Skinner, Jeannine S.; Lu, Zengqi; Sparling, Jamie; Sumner, Emily C.; Bell, Susan; Ruberg, Frederick L.
Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and related risk factors are associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This association is less well-defined in normal cognition (NC) or prodromal AD (mild cognitive impairment (MCI)). Objective Cross-sectionally and longitudinally relate a vascular risk index to cognitive outcomes among elders free of clinical dementia. Methods 3117 MCI (74±8 years, 56% female) and 6603 NC participants (72±8 years, 68% female) were drawn from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center. A composite measure of vascular risk was defined using the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile (FSRP) score (i.e., age, systolic blood pressure, anti-hypertensive medication, diabetes, cigarette smoking, CVD history, atrial fibrillation). Ordinary linear regressions and generalized linear mixed models related baseline FSRP to cross-sectional and longitudinal cognitive outcomes, separately for NC and MCI, adjusting for age, sex, race, education, and follow-up time (in longitudinal models). Results In NC participants, increasing FSRP was related to worse baseline global cognition, information processing speed, and sequencing abilities (p-values<0.0001) and a worse longitudinal trajectory on all cognitive measures (p-values<0.0001). In MCI, increasing FSRP correlated with worse longitudinal delayed memory (p=0.004). In secondary models using an age-excluded FSRP score, associations persisted in NC participants for global cognition, naming, information processing speed, and sequencing abilities. Conclusions An adverse vascular risk profile is associated with worse cognitive trajectory, especially global cognition, naming, and information processing speed, among NC elders. Future studies are needed to understand how effective management of CVD and related risk factors can modify cognitive decline to identify the ideal timeframe for primary prevention implementation. PMID:25471188
... of Low Vision Age-Related Macular Degeneration Vision Simulator AMD Pictures and Videos: What Does Macular Degeneration ... degeneration as part of the body's natural aging process. There are different kinds of macular problems, but ...
Aged rats show impaired performance on motor and cognitive tasks. Similar changes in behavior occur in humans with age, and the development of methods to retard or reverse these age-related neuronal and behavioral deficits could increase healthy aging and decrease health care costs. In the present s...
McDougall, Graham J.; Wilson, Natalie; Debiasi, Marcus Otavio; Cody, Shameka L.
Combination active antiretroviral therapy prevents HIV from replicating and ravaging the immune system, thus allowing people to age with this disease. Unfortunately, the synergistic effects of HIV and aging can predispose many to become more at-risk of developing cognitive deficits which can interfere with medical management, everyday functioning, and quality of life. The purpose of this article is to describe the role of cognitive reserve and neuroplasticity on cognitive functioning in those aging with this disease. Specifically, the role of environment and the health of these individuals can compromise cognitive functioning. Fortunately, some cognitive interventions such as prevention and management of co-morbidities, cognitive remediation therapy, and neurotropic medications may be of value in preventing and rehabilitating the cognitive consequences of aging with HIV. Novel approaches such as cognitive prescriptions, transcranial direct stimulation, and binaural beat therapy may also be considered as possible techniques for cognitive rehabilitation. PMID:24817785
Silverwood, Richard J.; Richards, Marcus; Pierce, Mary; Hardy, Rebecca; Sattar, Naveed; Ferro, Charles; Savage, Caroline; Kuh, Diana; Nitsch, Dorothea
Background Previous studies have found associations between cognitive function and chronic kidney disease. We aimed to explore possible explanations for this association in the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, a prospective birth cohort representative of the general British population. Methods Cognitive function at age 60–64 years was quantified using five measures (verbal memory, letter search speed and accuracy, simple and choice reaction times) and glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at the same age was estimated using cystatin C. The cross-sectional association between cognitive function and eGFR was adjusted for background confounding factors (socioeconomic position, educational attainment), prior cognition, and potential explanations for any remaining association (smoking, diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, obesity). Results Data on all the analysis variables were available for 1306–1320 study members (depending on cognitive measure). Verbal memory and simple and choice reaction times were strongly associated with eGFR. For example, the lowest quartile of verbal memory corresponded to a 4.1 (95% confidence interval 2.0, 6.2) ml/min/1.73 m2 lower eGFR relative to the highest quartile. Some of this association was explained by confounding due to socioeconomic factors, but very little of it by prior cognition. Smoking, diabetes, hypertension, inflammation and obesity explained some but not all of the remaining association. Conclusions These analyses support the notion of a shared pathophysiology of impaired cognitive and kidney function at older age, which precedes clinical disease. The implications of these findings for clinical care and research are important and under-recognised, though further confirmatory studies are required. PMID:24482683
Zhu, Na; Schreiner, Pamela J.; Yaffe, Kristine; Bryan, Nick; Launer, Lenore J.; Whitmer, Rachel A.; Sidney, Stephen; Demerath, Ellen; Thomas, William; Bouchard, Claude; He, Ka; Reis, Jared; Sternfeld, Barbara
Objective: To investigate whether greater cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is associated with better cognitive function 25 years later. Methods: We studied 2,747 participants in the community-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study of black and white men and women aged 18 to 30 years at recruitment in 1985–1986 (baseline year 0). Symptom-limited maximal treadmill test durations at years 0 and 20 provided measures of CRF. Cognitive tests at year 25 measured verbal memory (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test [RAVLT]), psychomotor speed (Digit Symbol Substitution Test [DSST]), and executive function (Stroop Test). Results: Per minute of baseline CRF, the RAVLT was 0.12 words recalled higher (standard error [SE] = 0.03, p < 0.0001), the DSST was 0.92 digits higher (SE = 0.13, p < 0.0001), and the Stroop Test score was 0.52 lower (better performance, SE = 0.11, p < 0.0001), after accounting for race, sex, age, education, and clinical center. Compared with the lowest quartile of CRF, each cognitive test was 21% to 34% of an SD better in the highest CRF quartile. Further adjustment for lifestyle and clinical measures attenuated coefficients for RAVLT and DSST slightly, while the coefficient predicting the Stroop Test lost more than half its value (p = 0.07). Analysis in the subset of 1,957 participants who also completed the year-20 treadmill test showed that 20-year change in CRF was positively associated only with DSST (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Better verbal memory and faster psychomotor speed at ages 43 to 55 years were clearly associated with better CRF 25 years earlier. PMID:24696506
Febo, Marcelo; Foster, Thomas C.
Neuroimaging provides for non-invasive evaluation of brain structure and activity and has been employed to suggest possible mechanisms for cognitive aging in humans. However, these imaging procedures have limits in terms of defining cellular and molecular mechanisms. In contrast, investigations of cognitive aging in animal models have mostly utilized techniques that have offered insight on synaptic, cellular, genetic, and epigenetic mechanisms affecting memory. Studies employing magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRI and MRS, respectively) in animal models have emerged as an integrative set of techniques bridging localized cellular/molecular phenomenon and broader in vivo neural network alterations. MRI methods are remarkably suited to longitudinal tracking of cognitive function over extended periods permitting examination of the trajectory of structural or activity related changes. Combined with molecular and electrophysiological tools to selectively drive activity within specific brain regions, recent studies have begun to unlock the meaning of fMRI signals in terms of the role of neural plasticity and types of neural activity that generate the signals. The techniques provide a unique opportunity to causally determine how memory-relevant synaptic activity is processed and how memories may be distributed or reconsolidated over time. The present review summarizes research employing animal MRI and MRS in the study of brain function, structure, and biochemistry, with a particular focus on age-related cognitive decline. PMID:27468264
Lin, Feng; Roiland, Rachel; Polesskaya, Oksana; Chapman, Benjamin; Johnson, Melissa; Brasch, Judith; Chen, Ding-Geng; Mapstone, Mark
Objectives High fatigability, a dysfunctional adaption to fatigue, may lead to difficulties performing otherwise regularly encountered cognitive activities and may be related to pro-inflammatory reactivity. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of fatigability on cognitive processes and inflammatory response following an acute cognitive stress task in older adults. Design An observational laboratory stress reactivity study. Setting A light- and temperature-controlled laboratory. Participants Fifty-five community-dwelling individuals aged 75 years or older. Measurements We measured interleukin (IL)-6, self-reported acute fatigue, and frontally-oriented cognitive processes as part of a demanding set of cognitive tasks intended to induce stress. Results Subjects were classified into groups of low and high fatigability based on cluster analysis of their self-report acute fatigue before and after the cognitive tasks. The two clusters were comparable on levels of baseline IL-6 and cognitive processes; however, the high fatigability cluster had significantly higher levels of IL-6 response than the low fatigability cluster. After controlling for multiple covariates, fatigability moderated the relationship between speed of processing and IL-6 reactivity. Further exploratory analyses indicated significant adverse associations between speed of processing and attention and IL-6 reactivity in the group with low but not high fatigability. Conclusions While observational, these data are consistent with the notion that pro-inflammatory states in older adults might be reduced by improvements in cognitive processes. Since fatigability was associated with increased acute inflammatory response and disrupted the normal stress regulation provided by the cognitive processes, future randomized studies might examine whether fatigability alleviation reduces IL-6. PMID:24388221
Rosado, B; González-Martínez, A; Pesini, P; García-Belenguer, S; Palacio, J; Villegas, A; Suárez, M-L; Santamarina, G; Sarasa, M
Age-related cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) has been reported in dogs and it is considered a natural model for Alzheimer's disease in humans. Changes in spontaneous activity (including locomotor and exploratory behaviour) and social responsiveness have been related to the age and cognitive status of kennel-reared Beagle dogs. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of age and severity of CDS on locomotor and exploratory behaviour of privately owned dogs. This is the first part of a two-part report on spontaneous activity in pet dogs. An open-field (OF) test and a curiosity test were administered at baseline and 6 months later to young (1-4 years, n=9), middle-aged (5-8 years, n=9), cognitively unimpaired aged (≥ 9 years, n=31), and cognitively impaired aged ( ≥ 9 years, n=36) animals. Classification of cognitive status was carried out using an owner-based observational questionnaire, and in the cognitively impaired group, the dogs were categorised as having either mild or severe cognitive impairment. Dogs were recorded during sessions in the testing room and the video-recordings were subsequently analysed. The severity of CDS (but not age) influenced locomotion and exploratory behaviour so that the more severe the impairment, the higher the locomotor activity and frequency of corner-directed (aimless) behaviours, and the lower the frequency of door-aimed activities. Curiosity directed toward novel stimuli exhibited an age-dependent decline although severely affected animals displayed more sniffing episodes directed towards the objects. OF activity did not change after 6 months. Testing aged pet dogs for spontaneous behaviour might help to better characterise cognitively affected individuals.
Laing, Katharine R; Mitchell, David; Wersching, Heike; Czira, Maria E; Berger, Klaus; Baune, Bernhard T
Cognitive aging processes are underpinned by multiple processes including genetic factors. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in age-related cognitive decline in otherwise healthy individuals. The gender-specific role of the BDNF gene in cognitive aging remains unclear. The identification of genetic biomarkers might be a useful approach to identify individuals at risk of cognitive decline during healthy aging processes. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the BDNF gene and domains of cognitive functioning in normal cognitive aging. The sample, comprising 369 participants (M = 72.7 years, SD = 4.45 years), completed an extensive neuropsychological test battery measuring memory, motor function, and perceptual speed. The relationships between the SNPs rs6265, rs7103411, and rs7124442 and cognitive domains were examined. While significant main effects of BDNF SNPs on cognitive function were found for the association between rs7103411 and memory performance, gender-specific analyses revealed for females significant main effects of rs7103411 for memory and of rs6265 for perceptual speed independent of the APOE*E4 status and education. The finding for the association between rs6265 and perceptual speed in females remained significant after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. None of the analyses showed significant results for males. This study is the first to implicate that the SNPs rs6265 and rs7103411 affect cognitive function in the elderly in a gender-specific way.
Devous Sr, Michael D.; Navitsky, Michael; Lu, Ming; Salloway, Stephen; Schaerf, Frederick W.; Jennings, Danna; Arora, Anupa K.; McGeehan, Anne; Lim, Nathaniel C.; Xiong, Hui; Joshi, Abhinay D.; Siderowf, Andrew; Mintun, Mark A.
Abstract The advent of tau-targeted positron emission tomography tracers such as flortaucipir (18F-AV-1451, also known as 18F-T807) have made it possible to investigate the sequence of development of tau and amyloid-β in relationship to age, and to the development of cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, flortaucipir tau and florbetapir amyloid positron emission tomography were obtained for 217 subjects including 16 young and 58 older cognitively normal subjects, 95 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (Mini-Mental State Examination 24–30) and 48 subjects with clinically-defined possible or probable Alzheimer’s disease (Mini-Mental State Examination >10). Images were evaluated visually and quantitatively by regional and voxel-based cortical to cerebellar standard uptake value ratios. For amyloid positron emission tomography positive (Aβ+) subjects, flortaucipir neocortical standard uptake value ratio was significantly higher with more advanced clinical stage (Alzheimer’s disease > mild cognitive impairment > older cognitively normal) and was significantly elevated for Aβ+ mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease subjects relative to the respective Aβ− subjects. In contrast, florbetapir Aβ− older cognitively normal subjects showed an increase in flortaucipir standard uptake value ratios in mesial temporal lobe regions (amygdala, hippocampus/choroid plexus region of interest) compared to younger cognitively normal subjects, but no increased standard uptake value ratios in neocortical regions. Analysis of covariance with planned contrasts showed no differences in regional or composite posterior neocortical flortaucipir standard uptake value ratio as a function of diagnostic group among Aβ− older cognitively normal or clinically diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment subjects. The pattern of flortaucipir distribution among Aβ+ subjects was reminiscent of the cross-sectional distribution
Cremers, Lotte G M; de Groot, Marius; Hofman, Albert; Krestin, Gabriel P; van der Lugt, Aad; Niessen, Wiro J; Vernooij, Meike W; Ikram, M Arfan
White matter microstructural integrity has been related to cognition. Yet, the potential role of specific white matter tracts on top of a global white matter effect remains unclear, especially when considering specific cognitive domains. Therefore, we determined the tract-specific effect of white matter microstructure on global cognition and specific cognitive domains. In 4400 nondemented and stroke-free participants (mean age 63.7 years, 55.5% women), we obtained diffusion magnetic resonance imaging parameters (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity) in 14 white matter tracts using probabilistic tractography and assessed cognitive performance with a cognitive test battery. Tract-specific white matter microstructure in all supratentorial tracts was associated with poorer global cognition. Lower fractional anisotropy in association tracts, primarily the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and higher mean diffusivity in projection tracts, in particular the posterior thalamic radiation, most strongly related to poorer cognition. Altered white matter microstructure related to poorer information processing speed, executive functioning, and motor speed, but not to memory. Tract-specific microstructural changes may aid in better understanding the mechanism of cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases.
Franke, Katja; Ristow, Michael; Gaser, Christian
Aging alters brain structure and function. Personal health markers and modifiable lifestyle factors are related to individual brain aging as well as to the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study used a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based biomarker to assess the effects of 17 health markers on individual brain aging in cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects. By employing kernel regression methods, the expression of normal brain-aging patterns forms the basis to estimate the brain age of a given new subject. If the estimated age is higher than the chronological age, a positive brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE) score indicates accelerated atrophy and is considered a risk factor for developing AD. Within this cross-sectional, multi-center study 228 cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects (118 males) completed an MRI at 1.5Tesla, physiological and blood parameter assessments. The multivariate regression model combining all measured parameters was capable of explaining 39% of BrainAGE variance in males (p < 0.001) and 32% in females (p < 0.01). Furthermore, markers of the metabolic syndrome as well as markers of liver and kidney functions were profoundly related to BrainAGE scores in males (p < 0.05). In females, markers of liver and kidney functions as well as supply of vitamin B12 were significantly related to BrainAGE (p < 0.05). In conclusion, in cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects several clinical markers of poor health were associated with subtle structural changes in the brain that reflect accelerated aging, whereas protective effects on brain aging were observed for markers of good health. Additionally, the relations between individual brain aging and miscellaneous health markers show gender-specific patterns. The BrainAGE approach may thus serve as a clinically relevant biomarker for the detection of subtly abnormal patterns of brain aging probably preceding cognitive decline and development of AD. PMID:24904408
Small, Brent J.; Dixon, Roger A.; McArdle, John J.; Grimm, Kevin J.
Objective Do lifestyle activities buffer normal aging-related declines in cognitive performance? The emerging literature will benefit from theoretically broader measurement of both lifestyle activities and cognitive performance, and longer-term longitudinal designs complemented with dynamic statistical analyses. We examine the temporal ordering of changes in lifestyle activities and changes in cognitive neuropsychological performance in older adults. Method We assembled data (n = 952) across a 12-year (5-wave) period from the Victoria Longitudinal Study. Latent Change Score models were applied to examine whether (and in which temporal order) changes in physical, social, or cognitive lifestyle activities were related to changes in three domains of cognitive performance. Results Two main results reflect the dynamic coupling among changes in lifestyle activities and cognition. First, reductions in cognitive lifestyle activities were associated with subsequent declines in measures of verbal speed, episodic memory, and semantic memory. Second, poorer cognitive functioning was related to subsequent decrements in lifestyle engagement, especially in social activities. Conclusions The results support the dual contention that (a) lifestyle engagement may buffer some of the cognitive changes observed in late life, and (b) persons who are exhibiting poorer cognitive performance may also relinquish some lifestyle activities. PMID:22149165
Leventhal, Elaine A.; And Others
Health behavior may be influenced by age, beliefs, and symptomatology. To examine age-related health beliefs and behaviors with respect to six diseases (the common cold, colon-rectal cancer, lung cancer, heart attack, high blood pressure, and senility), 396 adults (196 males, 200 females) divided into three age groups completed a questionnaire…
Lepers, R; Sultana, F; Bernard, T; Hausswirth, C; Brisswalter, J
The aim of this study was two-fold: i) to analyse age-related declines in swimming, cycling, and running performances for Olympic and Ironman triathlons, and ii) to compare age-related changes in these three disciplines between the Olympic and Ironman triathlons. Swimming, cycling, running and total time performances of the top 10 males between 20 and 70 years of age (in 5 years intervals) were analysed for two consecutive world championships (2006 and 2007) for Olympic and Ironman distances. There was a lesser age-related decline in cycling performance (p<0.01) compared with running and swimming after 55 years of age for Olympic distance and after 50 years of age for Ironman distance. With advancing age, the performance decline was less pronounced (p<0.01) for Olympic than for Ironman triathlon in cycling (>55 years) and running (>50 years), respectively. In contrast, an age-related decline in swimming performance seemed independent of triathlon distance. The age-related decline in triathlon performance is specific to the discipline, with cycling showing less declines in performance with age than swimming and running. The magnitude of the declines in cycling and running performance at Ironman distance is greater than at Olympic distance, suggesting that task duration exerts an important influence on the magnitude of the age-associated changes in triathlon performance.
Cornish, Kim M; Li, Lexin; Kogan, Cary S; Jacquemont, Sebastien; Turk, Jeremy; Dalton, Ann; Hagerman, Randi J; Hagerman, Paul J
Fragile X syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is caused by the silencing of a single gene on the X chromosome, the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. Affected individuals display a unique neurocognitive phenotype that includes significant impairment in inhibitory control, selective attention, working memory, and visual-spatial cognition. In contrast, little is known about the trajectory and specificity of any cognitive impairment associated with the fragile X premutation (i.e., "carrier status") or its relationship with the recently identified neurodegenerative disorder, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). In the present study, we evaluated a broad sample of 40 premutation males (PM) aged 18-69 years matched on age and IQ to 67 unaffected comparison males (NC). Performance was compared across a range of cognitive domains known to be impaired in fragile X syndrome (i.e., "full mutation"). Tremor was also assessed using a self-report neurological questionnaire. PM displayed statistically significant deficits in their ability to inhibit prepotent responses, differentiating them from NC from age 30 onwards. With increasing age, the two groups follow different trajectories, with PM developing progressively more severe problems in inhibitory control. This deficit also has a strong co-occurrence in males displaying FXTAS-related symptomatology (p<.001). Selective attention was also impaired in PM but did not show any disproportionate aging effect. No other cognitive deficits were observed. We conclude that an inhibitory deficit and its impact across the lifespan are specifically associated with the fragile X premutation status, and may be a precursor for development of a more severe form of cognitive impairment or dementia, which has been reported in patients with the diagnosis of FXTAS.
Koechl, Birgit; Unger, Annemarie; Fischer, Gabriele
Research has shown that substance use, abuse and addiction are not limited to a specific age group. Problems related to substance addiction are an important cause of morbidity in the population aged 65 and above, especially the abuse of prescription drugs and legal substances. A lack of evidence-based studies and tailored treatment options for the aging population is evident. Appropriate and effective health-care is an important goal to improve health-related quality of life of elderly people. Research in the increasingly aging population needs to include an age- and gender-sensitive approach. PMID:22722821
Bordner, Kelly A.; Kitchen, Robert R.; Carlyle, Becky; George, Elizabeth D.; Mahajan, Milind C.; Mane, Shrikant M.; Taylor, Jane R.; Simen, Arthur A.
Aging in humans is associated with parallel changes in cognition, motivation, and motoric performance. Based on the human aging literature, we hypothesized that this constellation of age-related changes is mediated by the medial prefrontal cortex and that it would be observed in aging mice. Toward this end, we performed detailed assessments of cognition, motivation, and motoric behavior in aging mice. We assessed behavioral and cognitive performance in C57Bl/6 mice aged 6, 18, and 24 months, and followed this with microarray analysis of tissue from the medial prefrontal cortex and analysis of serum cytokine levels. Multivariate modeling of these data suggested that the age-related changes in cognition, motivation, motor performance, and prefrontal immune gene expression were highly correlated. Peripheral cytokine levels were also correlated with these variables, but less strongly than measures of prefrontal immune gene upregulation. To determine whether the observed immune gene expression changes were due to prefrontal microglial cells, we isolated CD11b-positive cells from the prefrontal cortex and subject them to next-generation RNA sequencing. Many of the immune changes present in whole medial prefrontal cortex were enriched in this cell population. These data suggest that, as in humans, cognition, motivation, and motoric performance in the mouse change together with age and are strongly associated with CNS immune gene upregulation. PMID:21453768
Vidal-Piñeiro, Didac; Valls-Pedret, Cinta; Fernández-Cabello, Sara; Arenaza-Urquijo, Eider M.; Sala-Llonch, Roser; Solana, Elisabeth; Bargalló, Núria; Junqué, Carme; Ros, Emilio; Bartrés-Faz, David
Ageing entails cognitive and motor decline as well as brain changes such as loss of gray (GM) and white matter (WM) integrity, neurovascular and functional connectivity alterations. Regarding connectivity, reduced resting-state fMRI connectivity between anterior and posterior nodes of the Default Mode Network (DMN) relates to cognitive function and has been postulated to be a hallmark of ageing. However, the relationship between age-related connectivity changes and other neuroimaging-based measures in ageing is fragmentarily investigated. In a sample of 116 healthy elders we aimed to study the relationship between antero-posterior DMN connectivity and measures of WM integrity, GM integrity and cerebral blood flow (CBF), assessed with an arterial spin labeling sequence. First, we replicated previous findings demonstrating DMN connectivity decreases in ageing and an association between antero-posterior DMN connectivity and memory scores. The results showed that the functional connectivity between posterior midline structures and the medial prefrontal cortex was related to measures of WM and GM integrity but not to CBF. Gray and WM correlates of anterio-posterior DMN connectivity included, but were not limited to, DMN areas and cingulum bundle. These results resembled patterns of age-related vulnerability which was studied by comparing the correlates of antero-posterior DMN with age-effect maps. These age-effect maps were obtained after performing an independent analysis with a second sample including both young and old subjects. We argue that antero-posterior connectivity might be a sensitive measure of brain ageing over the brain. By using a comprehensive approach, the results provide valuable knowledge that may shed further light on DMN connectivity dysfunctions in ageing. PMID:25309433
Hayhoe, Mary M.
Measurement of eye movements is a powerful tool for investigating perceptual and cognitive function in both infants and adults. Straightforwardly, eye movements provide a multifaceted measure of performance. For example, the location of fixations, their duration, time of occurrence, and accuracy all are potentially revealing and often allow…
Meissel, Emily E E; Salthouse, Timothy A
Although effects of anxiety on cognitive performance have been extensively examined, anxiety-cognition relationships are often defined by between-person relationships. The current research investigated the effects of within-person variations in state anxiety on cognitive performance based on measures from three separate sessions in a sample of 1,769 healthy adults ranging from 18 to 99 years of age. Some of the adults in the sample exhibited a wide range of state anxiety across the three sessions, whereas others were fairly stable. Although one might have expected that cognitive performance would be low only on sessions in which the level of state anxiety was high, this pattern was not evident in any of five different cognitive abilities (vocabulary, memory, reasoning, spatial relations, or perceptual speed tasks). Instead, one's average level of anxiety was a more important determinant of cognitive performance than one's current level of state anxiety. Specifically, for memory and reasoning abilities, trait anxiety alone related to decreased cognitive function, regardless of state anxiety. For spatial relations and speed abilities, low state anxiety was related to decreased cognitive function in participants with high trait anxiety.
Akpek, Esen K; Smith, Roderick A
The United States is an aging society. The number of Americans 65 years or older is expected to more than double over the next 40 years, from 40.2 million in 2010 to 88.5 million in 2050, with aging baby boomers accounting for most of the increase. As the society ages, the prevalence of age-related diseases, including diseases of the eye, will continue to increase. By 2020, age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of vision loss, is expected to affect 2.95 million individuals in the United States. Likewise, the prevalence of open-angle glaucoma, estimated at 2.2 million in 2000, is projected to increase by 50%, to 3.36 million by 2020. As the eye ages, it undergoes a number of physiologic changes that may increase susceptibility to disease. Environmental and genetic factors are also major contributors to the development of age-related ocular diseases. This article reviews the physiology of the aging eye and the epidemiology and pathophysiology of 4 major age-related ocular diseases: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye.
Coubard, Olivier A.; Duretz, Stéphanie; Lefebvre, Virginie; Lapalus, Pauline; Ferrufino, Lena
As society ages and frequency of dementia increases exponentially, counteracting cognitive aging decline is a challenging issue for countries of the developed world. Previous studies have suggested that physical fitness based on cardiovascular and strength training helps to improve attentional control in normal aging. However, how motor activity based on motor-skill learning can also benefit attentional control with age has been hitherto a neglected issue. This study examined the impact of contemporary dance (CD) improvisation on attentional control of older adults, as compared to two other motor training programs, fall prevention and Tai Chi Chuan. Participants performed setting, suppressing, and switching attention tasks before and after 5.7-month training in either CD or fall prevention or Tai Chi Chuan. Results indicated that CD improved switching but not setting or suppressing attention. In contrast, neither fall prevention nor Tai Chi Chuan showed any effect. We suggest that CD improvisation works as a training for change, inducing plasticity in flexible attention. PMID:21960971
Åsberg Johnels, Jakob; Kopp, Svenny; Gillberg, Christopher
Writing difficulties are common among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the nature of these difficulties has not been well studied. Here we relate behavioral, psycholinguistic, cognitive (memory/executive), and graphomotor measures to spelling skills in school-age girls with ADHD (n = 30) and an age-matched group…
Malone, Laura A; Bastian, Amy J
The healthy aging process affects the ability to learn and remember new facts and tasks. Prior work has shown that motor learning can be adversely affected by non-motor deficits, such as time. Here we investigated how age, and a dual task influence the learning and forgetting of a new walking pattern. We studied healthy younger (<30 yo) and older adults (>50 yo) as they alternated between 5-min bouts of split-belt treadmill walking and resting. Older subjects learned a new walking pattern at the same rate as younger subjects, but forgot some of the new pattern during the rest breaks. We tested if forgetting was due to reliance on a cognitive strategy that was not fully engaged after rest breaks. When older subjects performed a dual cognitive task to reduce strategic control of split-belt walking, their adaptation rate slowed, but they still forgot much of the new pattern during the rest breaks. Our results demonstrate that the healthy aging process is one component that weakens motor memories during rest breaks and that this phenomenon cannot be explained solely by reliance on a conscious strategy in older adults.
Dunn, Denise A.; And Others
A study was conducted that attempted to show changes in electroencephalographic (EEG) patterns (identified using topographic EEG mapping) when children were required to perform the relatively simple task of button pressing during an eyes-open baseline session of low cognitive demand and a complex reaction time (RT) task of high cognitive demand.…
Oliveira-Silva, Ieda F; Pinto, Lucas; Pereira, Silvia R C; Ferraz, Vany P; Barbosa, Alfredo J A; Coelho, Vivian A A; Gualberto, Felipe F A S; Souza, Valeria F; Faleiro, Rosiane R M; Franco, Glaura C; Ribeiro, Angela M
We investigated age-related changes in learning and memory performance and behavioural extinction in the water maze; and in endogenous levels of serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) in the neocortex, hippocampus, thalamus and dorsal raphe nucleus of Wistar rats. Another aim was to assess the correlation between behavioural and biochemical parameters, which were measured in rodents of two different ages: 5 months (adults) and 16 months (middle-aged). The middle-aged subjects succeeded in learning the behavioural task, albeit with significantly worse performance when compared to adult animals. Aging also had significant main effects on memory and extinction. An age-dependent decrease in 5-HIAA levels was observed in both hippocampus and dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). The decrease in DRN 5-HIAA was paralleled by a decrease in 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio in this brain area, which was significantly correlated to the animals' spatial memory performance and behavioural extinction. In addition, using middle-aged rats, a 2x2 factorial study was carried out to examine the effects of food restriction and chronic ethanol consumption on rat's performance in a spatial behavioural task and on central serotonergic parameters. None of these two treatments had a significant effect on the behavioural and biochemical parameters assessed, with the exception of extinction index, which was significantly affected by ethanol consumption. Long-term ethanol ameliorated the impairment in behavioural flexibility caused by aging. In conclusion, long-term ethanol consumption may have a role in protecting against age-related deficit in behavioural extinction. Moreover, the present results also indicate that DRN serotonergic system is involved in spatial memory and behavioural extinction.
Graham, Alice M.; Buss, Claudia; Rasmussen, Jerod M.; Rudolph, Marc D.; Demeter, Damion V.; Gilmore, John H.; Styner, Martin; Entringer, Sonja; Wadhwa, Pathik D.; Fair, Damien A.
The first year of life is an important period for emergence of fear in humans. While animal models have revealed developmental changes in amygdala circuitry accompanying emerging fear, human neural systems involved in early fear development remain poorly understood. To increase understanding of the neural foundations of human fear, it is important to consider parallel cognitive development, which may modulate associations between typical development of early fear and subsequent risk for fear-related psychopathology. We, therefore, examined amygdala functional connectivity with rs-fcMRI in 48 neonates (M=3.65 weeks, SD=1.72), and measured fear and cognitive development at 6-months-of-age. Stronger, positive neonatal amygdala connectivity to several regions, including bilateral anterior insula and ventral striatum, was prospectively associated with higher fear at 6-months. Stronger amygdala connectivity to ventral anterior cingulate/anterior medial prefrontal cortex predicted a specific phenotype of higher fear combined with more advanced cognitive development. Overall, findings demonstrate unique profiles of neonatal amygdala functional connectivity related to emerging fear and cognitive development, which may have implications for normative and pathological fear in later years. Consideration of infant fear in the context of cognitive development will likely contribute to a more nuanced understanding of fear, its neural bases, and its implications for future mental health. PMID:26499255
Graham, Alice M; Buss, Claudia; Rasmussen, Jerod M; Rudolph, Marc D; Demeter, Damion V; Gilmore, John H; Styner, Martin; Entringer, Sonja; Wadhwa, Pathik D; Fair, Damien A
The first year of life is an important period for emergence of fear in humans. While animal models have revealed developmental changes in amygdala circuitry accompanying emerging fear, human neural systems involved in early fear development remain poorly understood. To increase understanding of the neural foundations of human fear, it is important to consider parallel cognitive development, which may modulate associations between typical development of early fear and subsequent risk for fear-related psychopathology. We, therefore, examined amygdala functional connectivity with rs-fcMRI in 48 neonates (M=3.65 weeks, SD=1.72), and measured fear and cognitive development at 6-months-of-age. Stronger, positive neonatal amygdala connectivity to several regions, including bilateral anterior insula and ventral striatum, was prospectively associated with higher fear at 6-months. Stronger amygdala connectivity to ventral anterior cingulate/anterior medial prefrontal cortex predicted a specific phenotype of higher fear combined with more advanced cognitive development. Overall, findings demonstrate unique profiles of neonatal amygdala functional connectivity related to emerging fear and cognitive development, which may have implications for normative and pathological fear in later years. Consideration of infant fear in the context of cognitive development will likely contribute to a more nuanced understanding of fear, its neural bases, and its implications for future mental health.
Granholm, Ann-Charlotte; Boger, Heather; Emborg, Marina E.
The following review was constructed as a concept paper based on a recent workshop on neurodegenerative disease sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the American Geriatric Society (AGS), and the John A. Hartford Foundation. The meeting was entitled “Thinking, moving and feeling: Common underlying mechanisms? 4th Annual Bedside-to-Bench Conference” and had the purpose to connect current basic and clinical findings on common brain-related alterations occurring with aging such as depression, movement disorders, and cognitive decline. Many prominent researchers expressed their opinion on aging and it was revealed that age-related brain dysfunction of any kind seems to share several risk factors and/or pathways. But can something be done to actively achieve “successful aging”? In this review, based largely on the workshop and current literature, we have summarized some of the current theories for depression, movement and cognitive impairment with aging, as well as potential preventive measures. We have also summarized the emerging need for relevant animal models and how these could be developed and utilized. PMID:20021382
Wang, Pin; Huang, Rong; Lu, Sen; Xia, Wenqing; Cai, Rongrong; Sun, Haixia; Wang, Shaohua
Objective Receptor for advanced glycation end products (AGEs; RAGE) binds to both AGEs and amyloid-beta peptides. RAGE is involved in chronic complications of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. We aimed to investigate the roles of RAGE, AGEs and the Gly82Ser polymorphism of RAGE in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) among type 2 diabetes patients. Methods Of the 167 hospitalized type 2 diabetes patients recruited, 82 satisfied the diagnostic criteria for MCI, and 85 matched control individuals were classified as non-MCI. Demographic data were collected, and the soluble RAGE (sRAGE) concentrations, serum AGE-peptide (AGE-P) levels, RAGE Gly82Ser genotype and neuropsychological test results were examined. Results The MCI group exhibited a decreased sRAGE level (0.87±0.35 vs. 1.05±0.52 ng/ml, p<0.01) and an increased serum AGE-P level (3.54±1.27 vs. 2.71±1.18 U/ml, p<0.01) compared with the control group. Logistic regression analysis indicated that each unit reduction in the sRAGE concentration increased the MCI risk by 54% (OR 0.46[95% CI 0.22–0.96], p = 0.04) and that each unit increase in the AGE-P level increased the MCI risk by 72% in the type 2 diabetes patients (OR 1.72[95% CI 1.31–2.28], p<0.01). The serum sRAGE level was negatively correlated with the score on the trail making test-B (TMT-B) (r = -0.344, p = 0.002), which indicates early cognitive deficits related to diabetes. Moreover, the AGE-P level was positively correlated with multiple cognitive domains (all p<0.05). No significant differences in the neuropsychological test results or serum RAGE concentrations between the different RAGE genotypes or in the RAGE genotype frequencies between the MCI and control groups were identified (all p>0.05). Conclusions The RAGE pathway partially mediates AGE-induced MCI in diabetic patients. The serum AGE-P level may serve as a serum biomarker of MCI in these individuals, and sRAGE represents a predictor and even a potential intervention target of
Lavoie, Marie-Audrey; Plana, India; Bédard Lacroix, Jacinthe; Godmaire-Duhaime, Florence; Jackson, Philip L; Achim, Amélie M
Social cognition is affected in people with schizophrenia, but whether this is the case for healthy relatives of these patients is less clear. The presence of social cognition impairments in relatives would suggest a potential genetic role of social cognition in schizophrenia. To determine whether social cognition is affected in first-degree relatives of people with schizophrenia and examine the impact of potential moderator variables, a meta-analysis of studies investigating at least one domain of social cognition (mentalizing, emotional processing, social perception, social knowledge and/or attributional style) in adult first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia was performed. Our inclusion criteria were satisfied by 29 studies, of which 11 evaluated mentalizing, 20 emotional processing, and two social perception. Moderate mean effect sizes were obtained for these three components. Across all studies, effect sizes were significantly correlated with IQ and age differences between groups, calling for careful group matching for future studies. Overall, the results from this meta-analysis highlight that social cognition is globally affected in first-degree relatives of people with schizophrenia, suggesting that social cognition deficits in schizophrenia may be related to a genetic vulnerability for the disorder.
Reed, Andrew E.; Carstensen, Laura L.
The “positivity effect” refers to an age-related trend that favors positive over negative stimuli in cognitive processing. Relative to their younger counterparts, older people attend to and remember more positive than negative information. Since the effect was initially identified and the conceptual basis articulated (Mather and Carstensen, 2005) scores of independent replications and related findings have appeared in the literature. Over the same period, a number of investigations have failed to observe age differences in the cognitive processing of emotional material. When findings are considered in theoretical context, a reliable pattern of evidence emerges that helps to refine conceptual tenets. In this article we articulate the operational definition and theoretical foundations of the positivity effect and review the empirical evidence based on studies of visual attention, memory, decision making, and neural activation. We conclude with a discussion of future research directions with emphasis on the conditions where a focus on positive information may benefit and/or impair cognitive performance in older people. PMID:23060825
Arterberry, Brooke J.; Treloar, Hayley R.; Smith, Ashley E.; Martens, Matthew P.; Pedersen, Sarah; McCarthy, Denis M.
Objective The purpose of the present study was to examine cognitive risk factors for driving after use of marijuana. We tested whether marijuana outcome expectancies and specific cognitions about driving after marijuana use were uniquely associated with the likelihood and frequency of driving while high (DWH) and riding with a high driver (RWHD). Method Participants were college students recruited from introductory psychology classes at a Midwestern university who reported ever using marijuana in their lifetime and reported having access to a car or driving at least once a month (n = 506). Results Greater perceived dangerousness of DWH was associated with decreased likelihood of DWH and RWHD. Negative marijuana expectancies were associated with decreased likelihood of DWH, and social norms were associated with decreased likelihood of RWHD. All cognitive predictors were associated with decreased frequency of DWH and RWHD for individuals with the propensity to engage in these behaviors. Conclusions Findings suggest interventions to reduce risk of DWH and RWHD may benefit from targeting general expectancies about the negative effects of marijuana. Similarly, results suggest increasing students' knowledge of the potential danger of DWH may help to reduce the likelihood of and frequency of DWH and RWHD. PMID:23276319
Mei, Yufei; Jiang, Chun; Wan, You; Lv, Jihui; Jia, Jianping; Wang, Xiaomin; Yang, Xu; Tong, Zhiqian
A norepinephrine (NE) deficiency has been observed in aged rats and in patients with Alzheimer's disease and is thought to cause cognitive disorder. Which endogenous factor induces NE depletion, however, is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of aging-associated formaldehyde (FA) on the inactivation of NE in vitro and in vivo, and on memory behaviors in rodents. The results showed that age-related DNA demethylation led to hippocampal FA accumulation, and when this occurred, the hippocampal NE content was reduced in healthy male rats of different ages. Furthermore, biochemical analysis revealed that FA rapidly inactivated NE in vitro and that an intrahippocampal injection of FA markedly reduced hippocampal NE levels in healthy adult rats. Unexpectedly, an injection of FA (at a pathological level) or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, a NE depletor) can mimic age-related NE deficiency, long-term potentiation (LTP) impairments, and spatial memory deficits in healthy adult rats. Conversely, an injection of NE reversed age-related deficits in both LTP and memory in aged rats. In agreement with the above results, the senescence-accelerated prone 8 (SAMP8) mice also exhibited a severe deficit in LTP and memory associated with a more severe NE deficiency and FA accumulation, when compared with the age-matched, senescence-resistant 1 (SAMR1) mice. Injection of resveratrol (a natural FA scavenger) or NE into SAMP8 mice reversed FA accumulation and NE deficiency and restored the magnitude of LTP and memory. Collectively, these findings suggest that accumulated FA is a critical endogenous factor for aging-associated NE depletion and cognitive decline.
Wild, Katherine; Howieson, Diane; Webbe, Frank; Seelye, Adriana; Kaye, Jeffrey
Background Early detection of cognitive decline in the elderly has become of heightened importance in parallel with the recent advances in therapeutics. Computerized assessment may be uniquely suited to early detection of changes in cognition in the elderly. We present here a systematic review of the status of computer-based cognitive testing focusing on detection of cognitive decline in the aging population. Methods All studies purporting to assess or detect age-related changes in cognition or early dementia/mild cognitive impairment (MCI) by means of computerized testing were included. Each test battery was rated on availability of normative data, level of evidence for test validity and reliability, comprehensiveness, and usability. All published studies relevant to a particular computerized test were read by a minimum of two reviewers, who completed rating forms containing the above-mentioned criteria. Results Of the 18 test batteries identified from the initial search, eleven were appropriate to cognitive testing in the elderly and were subjected to systematic review. Of those 11, five were either developed specifically for application with the elderly or have been used extensively with that population. Even within the computerized testing genre, great variability existed in manner of administration, ranging from fully examiner administered to fully self-administered. All tests had at least minimal reliability and validity data, commonly reported in peer-reviewed articles. However, level of rigor of validity testing varied widely. Conclusion All test batteries exhibited some of the strengths of computerized cognitive testing: standardization of administration and stimulus presentation, accurate measures of response latencies, automated comparison in real-time with an individual’s prior performance as well as with age-related norms, and efficiencies of staffing and cost. Some, such as the MCIS, adapted complicated scoring algorithms to enhance the information
Nip, Ignatius S B; Green, Jordan R
Age-related increases of speaking rate are not fully understood, but have been attributed to gains in biologic factors and learned skills that support speech production. This study investigated developmental changes in speaking rate and articulatory kinematics of participants aged 4 (N = 7), 7 (N = 10), 10 (N = 9), 13 (N = 7), 16 (N = 9) years, and young adults (N = 11) in speaking tasks varying in task demands. Speaking rate increased with age, with decreases in pauses and articulator displacements but not increases in articulator movement speed. Movement speed did not appear to constrain the speaking. Rather, age-related increases in speaking rate are due to gains in cognitive and linguistic processing and speech motor control.
Koebele, Stephanie V; Mennenga, Sarah E; Hiroi, Ryoko; Quihuis, Alicia M; Hewitt, Lauren T; Poisson, Mallori L; George, Christina; Mayer, Loretta P; Dyer, Cheryl A; Aiken, Leona S; Demers, Laurence M; Carson, Catherine; Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A
Cognitive changes that occur during mid-life and beyond are linked to both aging and the menopause transition. Studies in women suggest that the age at menopause onset can impact cognitive status later in life; yet, little is known about memory changes that occur during the transitional period to the postmenopausal state. The 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) model simulates transitional menopause in rodents by depleting the immature ovarian follicle reserve and allowing animals to retain their follicle-deplete ovarian tissue, resulting in a profile similar to the majority of perimenopausal women. Here, Vehicle or VCD treatment was administered to ovary-intact adult and middle-aged Fischer-344 rats to assess the trajectory of cognitive change across time with normal aging and aging with transitional menopause via VCD-induced follicular depletion, as well as to evaluate whether age at the onset of follicular depletion plays a role in cognitive outcomes. Animals experiencing the onset of menopause at a younger age exhibited impaired spatial memory early in the transition to a follicle-deplete state. Additionally, at the mid- and post- follicular depletion time points, VCD-induced follicular depletion amplified an age effect on memory. Overall, these findings suggest that age at the onset of menopause is a critical parameter to consider when evaluating learning and memory across the transition to reproductive senescence. From a translational perspective, this study illustrates how age at menopause onset might impact cognition in menopausal women, and provides insight into time points to explore for the window of opportunity for hormone therapy during the menopause transition period. Hormone therapy during this critical juncture might be especially efficacious at attenuating age- and menopause- related cognitive decline, producing healthy brain aging profiles in women who retain their ovaries throughout their lifespan.
Passow, Susanne; Thurm, Franka; Li, Shu-Chen
Existing neurocomputational and empirical data link deficient neuromodulation of the fronto-parietal and hippocampal-striatal circuitries with aging-related increase in processing noise and declines in various cognitive functions. Specifically, the theory of aging neuronal gain control postulates that aging-related suboptimal neuromodulation may attenuate neuronal gain control, which yields computational consequences on reducing the signal-to-noise-ratio of synaptic signal transmission and hampering information processing within and between cortical networks. Intervention methods such as cognitive training and non-invasive brain stimulation, e.g., transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), have been considered as means to buffer cognitive functions or delay cognitive decline in old age. However, to date the reported effect sizes of immediate training gains and maintenance effects of a variety of cognitive trainings are small to moderate at best; moreover, training-related transfer effects to non-trained but closely related (i.e., near-transfer) or other (i.e., far-transfer) cognitive functions are inconsistent or lacking. Similarly, although applying different tDCS protocols to reduce aging-related cognitive impairments by inducing temporary changes in cortical excitability seem somewhat promising, evidence of effects on short- and long-term plasticity is still equivocal. In this article, we will review and critically discuss existing findings of cognitive training- and stimulation-related behavioral and neural plasticity effects in the context of cognitive aging, focusing specifically on working memory and episodic memory functions, which are subserved by the fronto-parietal and hippocampal-striatal networks, respectively. Furthermore, in line with the theory of aging neuronal gain control we will highlight that developing age-specific brain stimulation protocols and the concurrent applications of tDCS during cognitive training may potentially facilitate
Passow, Susanne; Thurm, Franka; Li, Shu-Chen
Existing neurocomputational and empirical data link deficient neuromodulation of the fronto-parietal and hippocampal-striatal circuitries with aging-related increase in processing noise and declines in various cognitive functions. Specifically, the theory of aging neuronal gain control postulates that aging-related suboptimal neuromodulation may attenuate neuronal gain control, which yields computational consequences on reducing the signal-to-noise-ratio of synaptic signal transmission and hampering information processing within and between cortical networks. Intervention methods such as cognitive training and non-invasive brain stimulation, e.g., transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), have been considered as means to buffer cognitive functions or delay cognitive decline in old age. However, to date the reported effect sizes of immediate training gains and maintenance effects of a variety of cognitive trainings are small to moderate at best; moreover, training-related transfer effects to non-trained but closely related (i.e., near-transfer) or other (i.e., far-transfer) cognitive functions are inconsistent or lacking. Similarly, although applying different tDCS protocols to reduce aging-related cognitive impairments by inducing temporary changes in cortical excitability seem somewhat promising, evidence of effects on short- and long-term plasticity is still equivocal. In this article, we will review and critically discuss existing findings of cognitive training- and stimulation-related behavioral and neural plasticity effects in the context of cognitive aging, focusing specifically on working memory and episodic memory functions, which are subserved by the fronto-parietal and hippocampal-striatal networks, respectively. Furthermore, in line with the theory of aging neuronal gain control we will highlight that developing age-specific brain stimulation protocols and the concurrent applications of tDCS during cognitive training may potentially facilitate
Desler, Claus; Frederiksen, Jane H.; Angleys, Maria; Maynard, Scott; Keijzers, Guido; Fagerlund, Birgitte; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Osler, Merete; Lauritzen, Martin; Bohr, Vilhelm A.; Rasmussen, Lene Juel
Mitochondrial bioenergetics, mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cellular levels of nucleotides have been hypothesized as early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Utilizing relative decline of cognitive ability as a predictor of AD risk, we evaluated the correlation between change of cognitive ability and mitochondrial bioenergetics, ROS and cellular levels of deoxyribonucleotides. Change of cognitive abilities, scored at ages of approximately 20 and 57 was determined for a cohort of 1985 male participants. Mitochondrial bioenergetics, mitochondrial ROS and whole-cell levels of deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from a total of 103 selected participants displaying the most pronounced relative cognitive decline and relative cognitive improvement. We show that relative cognitive decline is associated with higher PBMC content of deoxythymidine-triphosphate (dTTP) (20%), but not mitochondrial bioenergetics parameters measured in this study or mitochondrial ROS. Levels of dTTP in PBMCs are indicators of relative cognitive change suggesting a role of deoxyribonucleotides in the etiology of AD. PMID:26408413
Guillot, Casey R; Leventhal, Adam M; Raines, Amanda M; Zvolensky, Michael J; Schmidt, Norman B
Anxiety sensitivity (AS)--fear of anxiety-related experiences--has been implicated in smoking motivation and maintenance. In a cross-sectional design, we examined AS facets (physical, cognitive, and social concerns) in relation to tobacco use, abstinence-related problems, and cognitions in 473 treatment-seeking smokers. After controlling for sex, race, age, educational attainment, hypertension status, and neuroticism, linear regression models indicated that AS physical and cognitive concerns were associated with tobacco dependence severity (β=.13-.14, p<.01), particularly the severity of persistent smoking regardless of context or time of day (β=.14-.17, p<.01). All three AS facets were related to more severe problems during past quit attempts (β=.23-.27, p<.001). AS cognitive and social concerns were related to negative affect reduction smoking motives (β=.14, p<.01), but only the social concerns aspect of AS was related to pleasurable relaxation smoking motives and positive and negative reinforcement-related smoking outcome expectancies (β=.14-.17, p<.01). These data suggest that AS physical and cognitive concerns are associated with negative reinforcement-related smoking variables (e.g., abstinence-related problems), whereas the social concerns aspect of AS is associated with positive and negative reinforcement-related smoking variables. Together with past findings, current findings can usefully guide AS-oriented smoking cessation treatment development and refinement.
Barardo, Diogo; Thornton, Daniel; Thoppil, Harikrishnan; Walsh, Michael; Sharifi, Samim; Ferreira, Susana; Anžič, Andreja; Fernandes, Maria; Monteiro, Patrick; Grum, Tjaša; Cordeiro, Rui; De-