Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


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    Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology (Online)
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Significant evidence has demonstrated that Type 2 diabetes mellitus and related precursors are associated with diminished neurocognitive function and risk of dementia among older adults. However, very little research has examined relations of glucose regulation to neurocognitive function among older adults free of these conditions. The primary aim of this investigation was to examine associations among fasting glucose, glucose tolerance, and neurocognitive function among nondiabetic older adults. The secondary aim was to examine age, gender, and education as potential effect modifiers. Method: The study employed a cross-sectional, correlational study design. Participants were 172 older adults with a mean age of 64.43 years (SD = 13.09). The sample was 58% male and 87% White. Participants completed an oral glucose tolerance test as part of a larger study. Trained psychometricians administered neuropsychological tests that assessed performance in the domains of response inhibition, nonverbal memory, verbal memory, attention and working memory, visuoconstructional abilities, visuospatial abilities, psychomotor speed and executive function, and motor speed and manual dexterity. Linear multiple regressions were run to test study aims. Results: No significant main effects of fasting glucose and 2-hour glucose emerged for performance on any neurocognitive test; however, significant interactions were present. Higher fasting glucose was associated with poorer short-term verbal memory performance among men, but unexpectedly better response inhibition and long-term verbal memory performance for participants over age 70. Higher 2-hour glucose values were associated with reduced divided attention performance among participants with less than a high school education. Conclusions: Mixed findings suggest that glucose levels may be both beneficial and deleterious to neurocognition among nondiabetic older adults. Additional studies with healthy older adults are needed to confirm this unexpected pattern of associations; however, findings have implications for the importance of maintaining healthy glucose levels in older adulthood.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Although handedness as a measure of cerebral specialization has been linked to accident proneness, more direct measures of laterality are rarely considered. The present study aimed to fill that gap in the existing research. In addition, individual difference factors in accident proneness were further examined with the inclusion of mental rotation and navigation abilities measures. One hundred and forty participants were asked to complete the Mental Rotations Test, the Santa Barbara Sense of Direction scale, the Greyscales task, the Fused Dichotic Word Test, the Waterloo Handedness Questionnaire, and a grip strength task before answering questions related to number of accidents in five areas. Results indicated that handedness scores, absolute visual laterality score, absolute response time on the auditory laterality index, and navigation ability were significant predictors of the total number of accidents. Results are discussed with respect to cerebral hemispheric specialization and risk-taking attitudes and behavior.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 01/2015;
  • Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Diabetes is associated with cognitive impairments, particularly in executive functioning and memory. Aim: The aim was to describe cognitive functioning in Type 1 (T1DM) and Type 2 (T2DM) diabetes compared to healthy controls in a Serbian sample. Method: We studied 15 patients with adult onset T1DM (age range 19-60 years), 37 patients with T2DM (age range 50-77 years), and 32 healthy controls (28-78 years). All participants underwent comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. Results: T2DM subjects exhibited poorer performance than healthy controls in global cognitive performance, as well as verbal learning and memory. After correcting for multiple comparisons, follow-up examination of individual tests showed significantly poorer performance only on Trail Making Test Part B (TMT-B). Effect sizes for T2DM versus healthy controls ranged from medium to large for several cognitive variables, while comparisons between T1DM and the other two groups tended to yield much smaller effects. Conclusion: T2DM is associated with poorer cognition, particularly in executive functions, learning/memory, and global cognition. Lack of group differences may be due to use of an adult onset T1DM sample, relatively young age of our T2DM sample, or characteristics of healthy control subjects in our Serbian sample.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Much of the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) neuroimaging literature has exclusively focused on regions associated with Alzheimer's disease. Little research has examined white matter abnormalities of other brain regions, including those associated with visual processing, despite evidence that other brain abnormalities appear in these regions in early disease stages. Method: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was utilized to examine participants (n = 44) that completed baseline imaging as part of a longitudinal healthy aging study. Participants were divided into two groups based on scores from the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a brief screening tool for MCI. Participants who scored <26 were defined as "probable MCI" while those who scored ≥26 were labeled cognitively healthy. Two DTI indices were analyzed including fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD). DTI values for white matter in the lingual gyrus, cuneus, pericalcarine, fusiform gyrus, and all four lobes were compared using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Regression analyses examined the relationship between DTI indices and total MoCA score. Results: Results revealed significantly lower FA in the probable MCI group in the cuneus, fusiform, pericalcarine, and occipital lobe, and significantly higher MD in the temporal lobe. Fusiform FA and temporal lobe MD were significantly related to total MoCA score after accounting for age and education. Conclusions: Results indicate that there are posterior white matter microstructural changes in individuals with probable MCI. These differences demonstrate that white matter abnormalities are evident among individuals with probable MCI in regions beyond those commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease and anterior brain aging patterns.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) helps to quantify vigilance impairments. Previous studies, in which five SART sessions on one day were administered, demonstrated worse performance during the first session than during the others. The present study comprises two experiments to identify a cause of this phenomenon. Method: Experiment 1, counting eighty healthy participants, assessed effects of repetition, napping, and time of day on SART performance through a between-groups design. The SART was performed twice in the morning or twice in the afternoon; half of the participants took a 20-minute nap before the second SART. A strong correlation between error count and reaction time (RT) suggested effects of test instruction. Participants gave equal weight to speed and accuracy in Experiment 1; therefore, results of 20 participants were compared to those of 20 additional participants who were told to prefer accuracy (Experiment 2). Results: The average SART error count in Experiment 1 was 10.1; the median RT was 280 ms. Neither repetition nor napping influenced error count or RT. Time of day did not influence error count, but RT was significantly longer for morning than for afternoon SARTs. The additional participants in Experiment 2 had a 49% lower error count and a 14% higher RT than the participants in Experiment 1. Error counts reduced by 50% from the first to the second session of Experiment 2, irrespective of napping or time of day. Conclusions: Preferring accuracy over speed was associated with a significantly lower error count. The data suggest that a worse performance in the first SART session only occurs when instructing participants to prefer accuracy, which is caused by repetition, not by napping or time of day. Note: We advise that participants are instructed to prefer accuracy over speed when performing the SART and that a full practice session is included.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Eye movement difficulties in multiple sclerosis (MS) are common and may influence performance on cognitive tests. The following studies examined associations between a new measure of speedy eye movement speed and visual/nonvisual cognitive tests. Method: In Experiment 1, MS patients (N = 71) were administered cognitive tests and the Speedy Eyes Test (SET) as a measure of purposeful speedy eye movements under timed conditions. Experiment 2 was composed of MS patients (n = 60) and a neurologically healthy comparison group (n = 31) and examined group differences in an abbreviated version of the SET. Results: In both studies, slower eye movements were significantly associated with poorer performance on cognitive tests with a large effect size in Experiment 1 and a medium effect size in Experiment 2. Analyses in Experiment 2 also revealed significant group differences in an abbreviated measure of the SET, where MS patients had slower eye movements than the comparison group. Conclusions: Pending further research, the SET, a brief, inexpensive, and nontechnical measure of speedy eye movement, may serve as a visual/oculomotor indicator of cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Predictors of functional independence in older adults are in need. Based on findings that delay discounting, probability discounting, and the ability to respond consistently use cognitive abilities and neural systems with central relevance to functional ability, the present study evaluated whether these behavioral economic variables account for variance in everyday functioning in older adults. It was hypothesized that greater preference for immediate/probabilistic rewards and response inconsistency would independently predict decrements in instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Method: Participants included 64 community-dwelling older adults (65-85 years; mean age = 76.25 years; 76.60% female). Exclusionary criteria were neurological illness, illiteracy, substance dependence within the past 5 years, score of ≤20 on the Mini-Mental State Examination, and/or presence of dementia. Delay/probability discounting tasks consisted of a series of dichotomous selections between smaller, immediate/guaranteed and larger, delayed/probabilistic monetary values. Area under the curve (AUC) was used to index levels of discounting, while response (in)consistency was based on the percentage of contradictory responses. The Direct Assessment of Functional Status-Revised (DAFS-R) provided a performance-based assessment of IADLs. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to determine whether discounting preferences and response consistency accounted for variance in functional ability over and above relevant demographic characteristics. Results: Demographic characteristics accounted for significance variance in IADLs (p = .001, R(2) = .237). Probability discounting AUC (p = .014, ΔR(2) = .075) and response (in)consistency (p = .046, ΔR(2) = .050) each accounted for significant additional variance in functional ability, as did delay discounting response (in)consistency (p = .010, ΔR(2) = .081). Delay discounting AUC did not add significantly to the model (p = .861). Conclusions: Discounting preferences and choice consistency hold potential to serve as relatively fast and inexpensive markers of functional decline, likely due to neurocognitive deterioration relevant to both behavioral economic decision making and functional independence.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: There is currently limited research evaluating planning abilities, a core subcomponent of executive functioning, in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In the present study, we utilized the "Amap Task," an open-ended problem-solving task, to separately evaluate the formulation and execution components of planning ability in individuals with MCI. Thirty-seven cognitively healthy older adults and 37 individuals with MCI used a map layout of a university apartment to develop and write out a strategy (formulation stage) to successfully complete a list of tasks (e.g., retrieve and fill a water pitcher before placing it in the refrigerator). Subsequently, participants carried out the tasks in the apartment with the aid of their formulated plan (execution stage). MCI participants performed more poorly than older adult (OA) controls during both the formulation and execution stages on measures of task accuracy and task efficiency. However, both groups were able to adjust and improve task accuracy and efficiency from formulation to task execution. Finally, MCI participants took significantly longer to complete the task and adhered less to their formulated plans during task completion. Using an open-ended problem-solving task, the findings revealed that individuals with MCI experienced difficulties with both the formulation and execution components of planning. Like controls, participants with MCI were able to successfully modify their plan online, improving their performance from task formulation to task execution.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 12/2014; 36(10):1084-97.
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, the sports community has been faced with the challenge of determining when it is safe to return concussed athletes to play. Given that return-to-play decisions are partially dependent upon athletes' endorsement of symptoms, better understanding what factors contribute to the presence of symptoms following concussion is crucial. The purpose of the present study was to better characterize the symptoms that athletes endorse at baseline and to determine what impact various premorbid (or preinjury) characteristics have on the presence and severity of postconcussion symptoms in the acute injury period following concussion. Two groups of participants with similar ages and levels of education were examined: athletes at baseline (N = 702) and postconcussion (N = 55). Athletes were administered a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests, consisting of neurocognitive and neurobehavioral measures, at both time periods. The main outcome measure was the Post-Concussion Symptoms Scale (PCSS). A factor analysis was conducted on the participants' baseline PCSS data to determine the factor structure of the PCSS, and separate logistic regression analyses were conducted that examined the baseline PCSS symptom clusters (derived from the factor analysis), demographic variables, and baseline neurocognitive variables as predictors of dichotomized postconcussion PCSS total scores (i.e., low versus high symptom reporting following concussion). Four distinct clusters emerged from the factor analysis measuring cognitive, physical, affective, and sleep symptoms. Logistic regression results indicated that the physical and affective symptom clusters at baseline reliably predicted athletes' postconcussion symptom group, as did sex and the neurocognitive composite score. These findings show that certain baseline characteristics of athletes confer risk for greater symptomatology postconcussion. Knowledge of these risk factors can assist the management and treatment of sports-related concussion.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 12/2014; 36(10):1098-111.
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. The objective was to determine whether neuropsychological tests provide an equivalent measure of the same psychological constructs in older adults with low versus higher levels of education. Method. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to evaluate the fit of a three-factor model (Verbal Ability, Visuospatial Ability, Long-Term Retention) to scores from the neuropsychological battery of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA). Measurement equivalence of the model across lower educated (LE; ≤8 years) and higher educated (HE; ≥9 years) participants was evaluated using invariance testing. Results. The measurement model demonstrated adequate fit across LE and HE samples but the loadings of the 11 tests onto the three factors could not be constrained equally across groups. Animal Fluency and the Token Test were identified as noninvariant tests of Verbal Ability that, when freed from constraints, produced a partial metric invariance model. Scalar invariance testing identified the Buschke Cued Recall Test and Block Design as measures with invariant factor loadings but noninvariant intercepts. Analyses were replicated in age- and sex-matched subsamples. Conclusions. Metric and scalar invariance across HE and LE samples was achieved for seven of the 11 tests in the CSHA battery. Animal Fluency and the Token Test were noninvariant measures of Verbal Ability, suggesting that cognitive processes underlying performance on these tests may vary as a function of education. In addition, scores from Block Design and the Buschke Cued Recall Test were observed to differ in their scale of measurement between HE and LE examinees.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The present paper addresses the psychometric quality of the shortened Dutch version of The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT), a social cognition task comprising dynamic social interactions. Because the original TASIT required a rather long administration time, two shortened parallel forms were developed. Results showed that TASIT-short was feasible and that the two alternate forms were reasonably comparable in a group of neurologically healthy individuals (N = 98). Also, the results confirmed the ecological validity of TASIT-short in this healthy group. The test appeared sensitive to brain injury as it differentiated between the healthy subjects and a group of patients with acquired brain injury (N = 16). On the basis of the present study we conclude that TASIT-short has added value to the assessment of social cognition in patients with acquired brain injury.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 genotype is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. In community surveys, older adults with this genotype have been found to have lower scores on neuropsychological tests than those who do not. It is possible that this is the consequence of subclinical changes in cognition in those persons who later develop dementia. The aim of this research was to determine whether the effect of APOE genotype on cognition would remain if those who subsequently became demented were retrospectively removed from the analysis of the baseline test data from a sample of healthy adults. Method: A sample of 241 nondemented persons over the age of 65 for whom APOE genotyping was available were administered a range of neuropsychological tests at baseline and were followed up 10 years later. Results: Significant differences between the ε4-present and ε4-absent groups were found for the delayed recall trial of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test and the Trail Making Test. When those participants known to have developed dementia during the follow-up period were excluded from the analysis of the baseline data these differences disappeared. A total of 113 nondemented survivors from the original sample were retested, and no difference was found in the rate of decline on any measure between the ε4-present and ε4-absent groups. Conclusions: It is likely that the reported effect of the ε4 APOE genotype on cognition is the consequence of the ε4-present group containing persons whose cognition is subtly affected by the early stages of a dementing process. It is also unlikely that the presence of the ε4 allele by itself leads to a significantly accelerated rate of cognitive decline in the nondemented elderly.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Self-perceived mental fatigue is a common presenting symptom in many neurological diseases. Discriminating objective fatigability from self-perceived mental fatigue might facilitate neuropsychological diagnosis and treatment programs. However clinically valid neuropsychological instruments suitable for assessment of fatigability are still lacking. The prime aim of the study was to investigate aspects of cognitive fatigability and to identify properties of neuropsychological tests suitable to assess fatigability in patients with persistent cognitive complaints after mild brain injury. Another aim was to investigate whether cognitive fatigability captured by neuropsychological measures is influenced by depression or sleep disturbances. Method: Twenty-four patients with persistent cognitive symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), (aged 18-51 years) and 31 healthy controls (aged 20-49 years) underwent neuropsychological testing measuring three cognitive fatigability domains: Attention fatigability was assessed using the Ruff 2 & 7 Selective Attention Test, executive fatigability using the Color Word Test (Stroop), and psychomotor fatigability using the Digit Symbol Substitution Test from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition (WAIS-III). Subjective fatigue was measured using the Fatigue Severity Scale and a questionnaire of everyday consequences of fatigue. Depression was screened using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and sleep disturbances using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Results: The patients reported significantly more mental fatigue and performed worse on tests of psychomotor and executive fatigability than the healthy controls. Furthermore, the cognitive fatigability measures were not influenced by depression or sleep disturbances, as was the case in self-reported fatigue. Conclusion: Tests demanding executive or simultaneous processing of several neuropsychological functions seem most sensitive in order to capture cognitive fatigability. Clinical tests that can capture fatigability enable a deeper understanding of how fatigability might contribute to cognitive complaints and problems in maintaining daily activities.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The "z-drugs" zopiclone, zolpidem, eszopiclone, and zaleplon were introduced in the 1980s for the treatment of insomnia, as it was observed that the side effect profile associated with these medications were more benign than those related to the benzodiazepines. This meta-analysis set out to ascertain which domains of cognitive function, if any, were affected by the ingestion of these medications. A total of 20 studies met the study inclusion criteria. Results revealed medium effect sizes for zopiclone and zolpidem on measures of verbal memory. An additional medium effect size was observed for zolpidem on attention. Finally, smaller effect sizes were observed for zolpidem speed of processing and for zopiclone on working memory. It is clear from these data that the use of a single dose of the z-drugs in healthy adults as measured in the morning following the exposure does produce a specific rather than a generalized negative effect on cognitive function. However, there were only enough studies to evaluate the individual cognitive effects of the zolpidem and zopiclone medications; the specific effects of zaleplon and eszopiclone cannot be ascertained because only one study met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the review.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 06/2014;