Change in cognitive function in older persons from a community population

Relation to age and Alzheimer disease

Robert S. Wilson, Laurel A Beckett, David A. Bennett, Marilyn S. Albert, Denis A. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To examine change in cognitive function in older persons sampled from a community population, and its relation to age and Alzheimer disease. Design: Prospective cohort study with an average of 3.5 years of follow-up. Setting: East Boston, Mass - a geographically defined, urban, working-class community. Participants: A stratified, random sample of persons 65 years and older underwent uniform, structured clinical evaluation for Alzheimer disease. The 388 persons (89.2% of those eligible) who completed at least 1 annual follow-up evaluation were studied: 97 had Alzheimer disease at baseline; 95 developed Alzheimer disease during the study; and 196 were unaffected. Outcome Measures: Eight cognitive performance tests were administered, then converted to population-weighted z scores and averaged to create a composite summary measure of cognitive function. Initial level of and change in this score were the outcome measures. Results: In the population as a whole, many persons experienced a decline in cognitive performance, and age was related to both initial level and rate of decline. Analyses were conducted in 3 subgroups: persons with Alzheimer disease at baseline, those who developed Alzheimer disease during the study, and those who remained unaffected. In both Alzheimer disease subgroups, substantial cognitive decline was observed, but neither initial level nor rate of decline was related to age. In unaffected persons, little cognitive decline was evident, and there was a small, inverse association of age with initial level of cognitive function. Conclusion: In a general population sample, there was little evidence of cognitive decline during a 3.5-year period among persons who remained free of Alzheimer disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1274-1279
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Neurology
Volume56
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Community-Institutional Relations
Cognition
Alzheimer Disease
Population
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Alzheimer's Disease
Cognitive Function
Person
Cohort Studies
Prospective Studies
Cognitive Dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Change in cognitive function in older persons from a community population : Relation to age and Alzheimer disease. / Wilson, Robert S.; Beckett, Laurel A; Bennett, David A.; Albert, Marilyn S.; Evans, Denis A.

In: Archives of Neurology, Vol. 56, No. 10, 1999, p. 1274-1279.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wilson, Robert S. ; Beckett, Laurel A ; Bennett, David A. ; Albert, Marilyn S. ; Evans, Denis A. / Change in cognitive function in older persons from a community population : Relation to age and Alzheimer disease. In: Archives of Neurology. 1999 ; Vol. 56, No. 10. pp. 1274-1279.
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