Cognitive Performance in Centenarians and the Oldest Old: Norms from the Georgia Centenarian Study

University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.
Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition (Impact Factor: 1.07). 09/2010; 17(5):575-90. DOI: 10.1080/13825585.2010.481355
Source: PubMed


We present normative data from a large population-based sample of centenarians for several brief, global neurocognitive tasks amenable for frail elders. Comparative data from octogenarians are included. A total of 244 centenarians and 80 octogenarians from Phase III of the Georgia Centenarian Study were administered the Mini-Mental Status Examination, Severe Impairment Battery, and Behavioral Dyscontrol Scale. Centenarians (age 98-107) were stratified into three age cohorts (98-99, 100-101, 102-107), octogenarians into two 5- year cohorts (80-84, 85-89). Highly significant differences were observed between groups on all measures, with greater variation and dispersion in performance among centenarians, as well as stronger associations between age and performance. Descriptive statistics and normative ranges (unweighted and population-weighted) are provided by age cohort. Additional statistics are provided by education level. While most previous centenarian studies have used convenience samples, ours is population-based and likely more valid for comparison in applied settings. Results suggest centenarians look different than do even the oldest age range of most normative aging datasets (e.g., 85-90). Results support using global measures of neurocognition to describe cognitive status in the oldest old, and we provide normative comparisons to do so.

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