Department of Public Health Sciences

Everyday cognition in older adults: associations with neuropsychological performance and structural brain imaging

Farias ST, Park LQ, Harvey DJ, Simon C, Reed BR, Carmichael O, Mungas D.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society . 2013. 19(4):430-441.

The recently developed Everyday Cognition scales (ECog) measure multiple cognitively relevant functional domains (e.g., Everyday Memory, Everyday Language, Everyday Visuospatial abilities, and three everyday executive domains). The present study further evaluated the validity of the ECog by examining its relationship with objective measures of neuropsychological function, and neurobiological markers of disease as reflected by structural neuroimaging. Participants included 474 older adults (244 normals, 142 with MCI, 88 with dementia). The neuropsychological domains measured were episodic memory, semantic memory, spatial ability, and executive functioning. Brain MRI volumes included total brain (BV), hippocampus (HC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Neuropsychological measures of episodic memory and executive function were most consistently related to the ECog domains; spatial abilities had a specific relationship to the Everyday Visuospatial ECog domain. HC and BV volumes were related to most ECog domains, while DLPFC volume was independently related to two everyday executive domains (Everyday Planning and Everyday Organization). The pattern of associations varied somewhat as a function of diagnosis. Episodic memory and HC had more consistent associations with the ECog domains in older adults with MCI/dementia than in cognitively normal elderly. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–12)

Keywords: Activities of daily living; Instrumental activities of daily living; Functional abilities; MCI; Dementia; Neuroimaging; Episodic memory; Executive function



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