Cognitive decline in the elderly: An analysis of population heterogeneity

Kathleen M. Hayden, Bruce R Reed, Jennifer J. Manly, Douglas Tommet, Robert H. Pietrzak, Gordon J. Chelune, Frances M. Yang, Andrew J. Revell, David A. Bennett, Richard N. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Studies of cognitive ageing at the group level suggest that age is associated with cognitive decline; however, there may be individual differences such that not all older adults will experience cognitive decline. Objective: to evaluate patterns of cognitive decline in a cohort of older adults initially free of dementia. Design, setting and subjects: elderly Catholic clergy members participating in the Religious Orders Study were followed for up to 15 years. Cognitive performance was assessed annually. Methods: performance on a composite global measure of cognition was analysed using random effects models for baseline performance and change over time. A profile mixture component was used to identify subgroups with different cognitive trajectories over the study period. Results: from a sample of 1,049 participants (mean age 75 years), three subgroups were identified based on the distribution of baseline performance and change over time. The majority (65%) of participants belonged to a slow decline class that did not experience substantial cognitive decline over the observation period [-0.04 baseline total sample standard deviation (SD) units/year]. About 27% experienced moderate decline (-0.19 SD/year), and 8% belonged to a class experiencing rapid decline (-0.57 SD/year). A subsample analysis revealed that when substantial cognitive decline does occur, the magnitude and rate of decline is correlated with neuropathological processes. Conclusions: in this sample, the most common pattern of cognitive decline is extremely slow, perceptible on a time scale measured by decades, not years. While in need of cross validation, these findings suggest that cognitive changes associated with ageing may be minimal and emphasise the importance of understanding the full range of age-related pathologies that may diminish brain function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberafr101
Pages (from-to)684-689
Number of pages6
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Fingerprint

Population Characteristics
Clergy
Individuality
Cognition
Dementia
Cognitive Dysfunction
Observation
Pathology
Brain

Keywords

  • 80 and over
  • Aged
  • Cognition disorders
  • Elderly
  • Longitudinal study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Hayden, K. M., Reed, B. R., Manly, J. J., Tommet, D., Pietrzak, R. H., Chelune, G. J., ... Jones, R. N. (2011). Cognitive decline in the elderly: An analysis of population heterogeneity. Age and Ageing, 40(6), 684-689. [afr101]. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afr101

Cognitive decline in the elderly : An analysis of population heterogeneity. / Hayden, Kathleen M.; Reed, Bruce R; Manly, Jennifer J.; Tommet, Douglas; Pietrzak, Robert H.; Chelune, Gordon J.; Yang, Frances M.; Revell, Andrew J.; Bennett, David A.; Jones, Richard N.

In: Age and Ageing, Vol. 40, No. 6, afr101, 11.2011, p. 684-689.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hayden, KM, Reed, BR, Manly, JJ, Tommet, D, Pietrzak, RH, Chelune, GJ, Yang, FM, Revell, AJ, Bennett, DA & Jones, RN 2011, 'Cognitive decline in the elderly: An analysis of population heterogeneity', Age and Ageing, vol. 40, no. 6, afr101, pp. 684-689. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afr101
Hayden KM, Reed BR, Manly JJ, Tommet D, Pietrzak RH, Chelune GJ et al. Cognitive decline in the elderly: An analysis of population heterogeneity. Age and Ageing. 2011 Nov;40(6):684-689. afr101. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afr101
Hayden, Kathleen M. ; Reed, Bruce R ; Manly, Jennifer J. ; Tommet, Douglas ; Pietrzak, Robert H. ; Chelune, Gordon J. ; Yang, Frances M. ; Revell, Andrew J. ; Bennett, David A. ; Jones, Richard N. / Cognitive decline in the elderly : An analysis of population heterogeneity. In: Age and Ageing. 2011 ; Vol. 40, No. 6. pp. 684-689.
@article{683ca40a51614fcd9c02ee4d60597549,
title = "Cognitive decline in the elderly: An analysis of population heterogeneity",
abstract = "Background: Studies of cognitive ageing at the group level suggest that age is associated with cognitive decline; however, there may be individual differences such that not all older adults will experience cognitive decline. Objective: to evaluate patterns of cognitive decline in a cohort of older adults initially free of dementia. Design, setting and subjects: elderly Catholic clergy members participating in the Religious Orders Study were followed for up to 15 years. Cognitive performance was assessed annually. Methods: performance on a composite global measure of cognition was analysed using random effects models for baseline performance and change over time. A profile mixture component was used to identify subgroups with different cognitive trajectories over the study period. Results: from a sample of 1,049 participants (mean age 75 years), three subgroups were identified based on the distribution of baseline performance and change over time. The majority (65{\%}) of participants belonged to a slow decline class that did not experience substantial cognitive decline over the observation period [-0.04 baseline total sample standard deviation (SD) units/year]. About 27{\%} experienced moderate decline (-0.19 SD/year), and 8{\%} belonged to a class experiencing rapid decline (-0.57 SD/year). A subsample analysis revealed that when substantial cognitive decline does occur, the magnitude and rate of decline is correlated with neuropathological processes. Conclusions: in this sample, the most common pattern of cognitive decline is extremely slow, perceptible on a time scale measured by decades, not years. While in need of cross validation, these findings suggest that cognitive changes associated with ageing may be minimal and emphasise the importance of understanding the full range of age-related pathologies that may diminish brain function.",
keywords = "80 and over, Aged, Cognition disorders, Elderly, Longitudinal study",
author = "Hayden, {Kathleen M.} and Reed, {Bruce R} and Manly, {Jennifer J.} and Douglas Tommet and Pietrzak, {Robert H.} and Chelune, {Gordon J.} and Yang, {Frances M.} and Revell, {Andrew J.} and Bennett, {David A.} and Jones, {Richard N.}",
year = "2011",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1093/ageing/afr101",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "40",
pages = "684--689",
journal = "Age and Ageing",
issn = "0002-0729",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cognitive decline in the elderly

T2 - An analysis of population heterogeneity

AU - Hayden, Kathleen M.

AU - Reed, Bruce R

AU - Manly, Jennifer J.

AU - Tommet, Douglas

AU - Pietrzak, Robert H.

AU - Chelune, Gordon J.

AU - Yang, Frances M.

AU - Revell, Andrew J.

AU - Bennett, David A.

AU - Jones, Richard N.

PY - 2011/11

Y1 - 2011/11

N2 - Background: Studies of cognitive ageing at the group level suggest that age is associated with cognitive decline; however, there may be individual differences such that not all older adults will experience cognitive decline. Objective: to evaluate patterns of cognitive decline in a cohort of older adults initially free of dementia. Design, setting and subjects: elderly Catholic clergy members participating in the Religious Orders Study were followed for up to 15 years. Cognitive performance was assessed annually. Methods: performance on a composite global measure of cognition was analysed using random effects models for baseline performance and change over time. A profile mixture component was used to identify subgroups with different cognitive trajectories over the study period. Results: from a sample of 1,049 participants (mean age 75 years), three subgroups were identified based on the distribution of baseline performance and change over time. The majority (65%) of participants belonged to a slow decline class that did not experience substantial cognitive decline over the observation period [-0.04 baseline total sample standard deviation (SD) units/year]. About 27% experienced moderate decline (-0.19 SD/year), and 8% belonged to a class experiencing rapid decline (-0.57 SD/year). A subsample analysis revealed that when substantial cognitive decline does occur, the magnitude and rate of decline is correlated with neuropathological processes. Conclusions: in this sample, the most common pattern of cognitive decline is extremely slow, perceptible on a time scale measured by decades, not years. While in need of cross validation, these findings suggest that cognitive changes associated with ageing may be minimal and emphasise the importance of understanding the full range of age-related pathologies that may diminish brain function.

AB - Background: Studies of cognitive ageing at the group level suggest that age is associated with cognitive decline; however, there may be individual differences such that not all older adults will experience cognitive decline. Objective: to evaluate patterns of cognitive decline in a cohort of older adults initially free of dementia. Design, setting and subjects: elderly Catholic clergy members participating in the Religious Orders Study were followed for up to 15 years. Cognitive performance was assessed annually. Methods: performance on a composite global measure of cognition was analysed using random effects models for baseline performance and change over time. A profile mixture component was used to identify subgroups with different cognitive trajectories over the study period. Results: from a sample of 1,049 participants (mean age 75 years), three subgroups were identified based on the distribution of baseline performance and change over time. The majority (65%) of participants belonged to a slow decline class that did not experience substantial cognitive decline over the observation period [-0.04 baseline total sample standard deviation (SD) units/year]. About 27% experienced moderate decline (-0.19 SD/year), and 8% belonged to a class experiencing rapid decline (-0.57 SD/year). A subsample analysis revealed that when substantial cognitive decline does occur, the magnitude and rate of decline is correlated with neuropathological processes. Conclusions: in this sample, the most common pattern of cognitive decline is extremely slow, perceptible on a time scale measured by decades, not years. While in need of cross validation, these findings suggest that cognitive changes associated with ageing may be minimal and emphasise the importance of understanding the full range of age-related pathologies that may diminish brain function.

KW - 80 and over

KW - Aged

KW - Cognition disorders

KW - Elderly

KW - Longitudinal study

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80054884942&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80054884942&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/ageing/afr101

DO - 10.1093/ageing/afr101

M3 - Article

C2 - 21890481

AN - SCOPUS:80054884942

VL - 40

SP - 684

EP - 689

JO - Age and Ageing

JF - Age and Ageing

SN - 0002-0729

IS - 6

M1 - afr101

ER -