Associations between dementia/mild cognitive impairment and cognitive performance and activity levels in youth.
ABSTRACT To study the associations between dementia/mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and cognitive performance and activity levels in youth.
Retrospective cohort study.
Research volunteers living throughout the United States.
A total of 396 persons (mean age 75) who were graduates of the same high school in the mid-1940s.
Adolescent intelligence quotient (IQ) scores were gathered from archived student records, and activity levels were determined from yearbooks. A two-stage telephone screening procedure (Modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status or Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly followed by Dementia Questionnaire) was used to determine adult cognitive status. Data were analyzed using logistic regression to model the risk of cognitive impairment (dementia/MCI) versus no cognitive impairment as a function of IQ and activity level, adjusting for sex and education.
High adolescent IQ and greater activity level were each independently associated with a lower risk for dementia/MCI (odds ratio (OR) for a 1-standard deviation increase in IQ=0.51, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.32-0.79; OR for a unit increase in activity=0.32, 95% CI=0.12-0.84). No association was found between sex or education and adult cognitive status in this model.
High IQ and greater activity levels in youth reduce the risk for cognitive impairments in aging. The mechanism(s) underlying these associations are unknown, but intelligence may be a marker for cognitive/neurological "reserve," and involvement in activities may contribute to "reserve." Early neuropathology and ascertainment bias are also possible explanations for the observed associations.
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ABSTRACT: The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study-Younger (WHIMS-Y) was designed to assess the effect of prior random assignment to hormone therapy (HT) (conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) alone or CEE plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA)) on global cognitive function in younger middle-aged women relative to placebo. WHIMS-Y was an ancillary study to the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) HT trial and enrolled 1361 women who were aged 50–55 years and postmenopausal at WHI enrollment. WHIMS-Y will examine whether an average of 5.4 years of HT during early menopause has longer term protective effects on global cognitive function and if these effects vary by regimen, time between menopause and study initiation, and prior use of HT. We present the study rationale and design. We describe enrollment, adherence to assigned WHI therapy, and compare risk factor characteristics of the WHIMS-Y cohort at the time of WHI enrollment to similar aged women in the WHI HT who did not enroll in WHIMS-Y. Challenges of WHIMS-Y include lower than expected and differential enrollment. Strengths of WHIMS-Y include balance in baseline risk factors between treatment groups, standardized and masked data collection, and high rates of retention and on-trial adherence and exposure. In addition, the telephone-administered cognitive battery showed adequate construct validity. WHIMS-Y provided an unprecedented chance to examine the hypothesis that HT may have protective effects on cognition in younger postmenopausal women aged 50–55 years. Integrated into the WHI, WHIMS-Y optimized the experience of WHI investigators to ensure high retention and excellent quality assurance across sites.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Hormone Therapy.Brain research 04/2013; 1514:3–11. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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