Praetorius Björk et al., 2016. I forgot when I lost my grip—strong associations between cognition and grip strength in level of performance and change across time in relation to impending death

Björk, M. P., Johansson, B., & Hassing, L. B. (2016). I forgot when I lost my grip—strong associations between cognition and grip strength in level of performance and change across time in relation to impending death. Neurobiology of aging, 38, 68-72.

Year: 
2016
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

An association between level of cognitive function and grip strength is well established, whereas evidence for longitudinal associations of change in the 2 functions is still unclear. We examined associations between cognition and grip strength in levels of performance and in longitudinal change in late life in a population-based sample, aged ≥80 years at baseline, followed until death. The sample consisted of 449 nondemented individuals drawn from the OCTO-Twin Study. A test battery assessing 6 cognitive domains and grip strength was administered at 5 occasions with measurements intervals of 2 years. We fitted time to death bivariate growth curve models, adjusted for age, education, and sex which resulted in associations between grip strength and cognition in both levels of performance (across all cognitive domains) and rates of change (in 4 of 6 domains). These results show that cognition and grip strength change conjointly in later life and that the association between cognition and grip strength is stronger before death than earlier in life.

    Piccinin et al., 2013. Coordinated analysis of age, sex, and education effects on change in MMSE scores

    Piccinin, A. M., Muniz-Terrera, G., Clouston, S., Reynolds, C. A., Thorvaldsson, V., Deary, I. J., Deeg, DJ, Johansson, B., Mackinnon, A., Spiro, A., & Starr, J. M. (2012). Coordinated analysis of age, sex, and education effects on change in MMSE scores. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 68(3), 374-390.

    Year: 
    2013
    Status: 
    complete
    Abstract: 

    Objectives. We describe and compare the expected performance trajectories of older adults on the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) across six independent studies from four countries in the context of a collaborative network of longitudinal studies of aging. A coordinated analysis approach is used to compare patterns of change conditional on sample composition differences related to age, sex, and education. Such coordination accelerates evaluation of particular hypotheses. In particular, we focus on the effect of educational attainment on cognitive decline.

    Method. Regular and Tobit mixed models were fit to MMSE scores from each study separately. The effects of age, sex, and education were examined based on more than one centering point.

    Results. Findings were relatively consistent across studies. On average, MMSE scores were lower for older individuals and declined over time. Education predicted MMSE score, but, with two exceptions, was not associated with decline in MMSE over time.

    Conclusion. A straightforward association between educational attainment and rate of cognitive decline was not supported. Thoughtful consideration is needed when synthesizing evidence across studies, as methodologies adopted and sample characteristics, such as educational attainment, invariably differ.

    Clouston et al., 2015. Educational Inequalities in Health Behaviors at Midlife: Is There a Role for Early-life Cognition?

    Clouston, S. A., Richards, M., Cadar, D., & Hofer, S. M. (2015). Educational inequalities in health behaviors at midlife: Is there a role for early-life cognition? Journal of health and social behavior, 56(3), 323-340.

    Year: 
    2015
    Status: 
    complete
    Abstract: 

    Education is a fundamental cause of social inequalities in health because it influences the distribution of resources, including money, knowledge, power, prestige, and beneficial social connections, that can be used in situ to influence health. Recent studies have highlighted early-life cognition as commonly indicating the propensity for educational attainment and determining health and age of mortality. Health behaviors provide a plausible mechanism linking both education and cognition to later-life health and mortality. We examine the role of education and cognition in predicting smoking, heavy drinking, and physical inactivity at midlife using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (N = 10,317), National Survey of Health and Development (N = 5,362), and National Childhood Development Study (N = 16,782). Adolescent cognition was associated with education but was inconsistently associated with health behaviors. Education, however, was robustly associated with improved health behaviors after adjusting for cognition. Analyses highlight structural inequalities over individual capabilities when studying health behaviors.

    Cadar et al., 2016. The role of cognitive reserve on terminal decline: a cross-cohort analysis from two European studies

    Cadar, D., Stephan, B. C., Jagger, C., Johansson, B., Hofer, S. M., Piccinin, A. M., & Muniz‐Terrera, G. (2016). The role of cognitive reserve on terminal decline: A cross‐cohort analysis from two European studies: OCTO‐Twin, Sweden, and Newcastle 85+, UK. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 31(6), 601-610.

    Year: 
    2017
    Status: 
    complete
    Abstract: 

    OBJECTIVE: Cognitive performance shows a marked deterioration in close proximity to death, as postulated by the terminal decline hypothesis. The effect of education on the rate of terminal decline in the oldest people (i.e. persons 85+ years) has been controversial and not entirely understood. In the current study, we investigated the rate of decline prior to death with a special focus on the role of education and socioeconomic position, in two European longitudinal studies of ageing: the Origins of Variance in the Old-Old: Octogenarian Twins (OCTO-Twin) and the Newcastle 85+ study.

    METHODS: A process-based approach was used in which individuals' cognitive scores were aligned according to distance to death. In a coordinated analysis, multilevel models were employed to examine associations between different markers of cognitive reserve (education and socioeconomic position) and terminal decline using the mini-mental state examination (MMSE), controlling for age at baseline, sex, dementia incidence and time to death from the study entry to the time of death within each cohort.

    RESULTS: The current findings suggest that education was positively associated with higher MMSE scores prior to death in the OCTO-Twin, but not in the Newcastle 85+ study, independent of socioeconomic position and other factors such as baseline age, sex and time to death from the study entry. However, education was not associated with the rate of terminal decline in both of these studies.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our results offer only partial support to the cognitive reserve hypothesis and cognitive performance prior to death.

    Yoneda et al., 2018. Trajectories of Personality Traits Preceding Dementia Diagnosis

    Yoneda, T., Rush, J., Berg, A. I., Johansson, B. & Piccinin, A. (2017). Trajectories of Personality Traits Preceding Dementia Diagnosis. The Journal of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 72(6), 922-931, DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbw006

    Year: 
    2017
    Status: 
    complete
    Presentation Citations: 

    Yoneda, T. & Piccinin, A. A coordinated analysis examining personality change in older adults: Consistent results despite heterogeneity between datasets (November, 2018). Symposium Presentation to be presented at the Gerontological Society of America Conference, Boston, MA.

    Yoneda, T., Rush, J., Knight, J., Graham, E. K., Mroczek, D., Berg, A. I., Johansson, B., Pedersen, N., Comijs, H., Katz, M., Lipton, R. & Piccinin, A. (2017). Investigation of Personality Using Different Time Matrices, Control Variables and Inclusion Groups. Poster Presentation at IAGG conference in San Francisco. 

    Yoneda, T., Rush, J., Graham, E. K., Mroczek, D., Berg, A. I., Johansson, B., Pedersen, N., Comijs, H., Katz, M., Lipton, R. & Piccinin, A. (November, 2016). Trajectories of Personality Traits Preceding Dementia Diagnosis: A Coordinated Analysis. Symposium Presentation at the Gerontological Society of America Conference, New Orleans, LA.  

    Yoneda, T. (2016). Trajectories of Personality Traits Preceding Dementia Diagnosis: A Coordinated Analysis. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC. 

    Yoneda, T., Rush, J., Berg, A. I., Johansson, B., Comijs, H. & Piccinin, A. (November, 2015). Trajectories of Personality Traits Preceding Dementia Diagnosis: A Coordinated Analysis. Poster Presentation at the Gerontological Society of America Conference, Washington, D.C.
     

    Yoneda, T., Piccinin, A. & Johansson, B. (April, 2015). Association between cognition and personality change in the oldest-old. Presentation at University of Victoria Social Dimensions of Health 2015 Conference, Victoria, BC.

    Yoneda, T., Koval, A., Johansson, B. & Piccinin, A. (November, 2014). Personality change preceding diagnosis of dementia in the oldest-old. Poster Presentation at the Gerontological Society of America Conference, Washington, D.C.

    Abstract: 

    Introduction: Although personality change is typically considered a symptom of dementia, some studies suggest that personality change may be an early indication of dementia. This project examines this possibility by examining trajectories of personality traits preceding dementia diagnosis in several longitudinal studies of aging.

    Methods: Three independent series of latent growth curve models were fitted to data from the Origins of Variance in the Oldest-Old (OCTO-Twin), Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) and Einstein Aging Study (EAS) to estimate trajectories of personality traits in individuals with incident dementia diagnosis (Total N = 295), in individuals with incident Mild Cognitive Impairment (N = 135), and in individuals who did not receive a diagnosis during follow-up periods (Total N = 2109).

    Results: Controlling for sex, age, education, depressive symptoms, and the interaction between age and education, growth curve analyses consistently revealed significant linear increases in neuroticism preceding dementia diagnosis in both datasets and in individuals with MCI. Analyses examining individuals without a diagnosis revealed non-significant change in neuroticism overtime.

    Discussion: Replication in several datasets provides compelling evidence that increases in neuroticism may be early indication of dementia, which can facilitate development of screening assessments and aid in early care strategies.

    Knight et al., 2018. Olfactory Identification and Episodic Memory in Older Adults

    Knight, J. E., Bennett, D. A., & Piccinin, A. M. (2018). Variability and Coupling of Olfactory Identification and Episodic Memory in Older Adults. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B. DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gby058. 

    Year: 
    2018
    Status: 
    complete
    Presentation Citations: 

    Knight, J. E., & Piccinin, A. M. (2018, April). Poster. Foreshadowing Alzheimer’s: Variability and Coupling of Olfaction and Cognition. In D. Burgoyne & R. Gooding (Eds.), Research Now: Contemporary Writing in the Disciplines. Broadview Press.

    Knight, J. E., & Piccinin, A. M. (2017, July). Foreshadowing Alzheimer’s: Variability and Coupling of Olfaction and Cognition. Poster presented at 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG), San Francisco, USA.

    Knight, J. E., & Piccinin, A. M. (2016, November). Olfaction as a Predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology in Old Age: A Growth Curve Analysis. Poster presented at Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Scientific Meeting, New Orleans, USA

    Knight, J. E., & Piccinin, A. M. (2016, July). Olfaction as a Risk Factor for Dementia, Mortality and Stroke. Poster presented at Alzheimer’s International Conference (AAIC), Toronto, CA.

    Abstract: 

    Objectives: To determine whether assessment-to-assessment fluctuations in episodic memory (EM) reflect fluctuations in olfaction over time.

    Methods: Within-person coupled variation in EM and the Brief Smell Identification Test (BSIT) was examined in 565 participants aged 58–106 with autopsy data from the Rush Memory and Aging Project. A growth model for up to 15 years of EM data, with BSIT as time-varying covariate, was estimated accounting for main effects of sex, education, ε4 allele, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology, BSIT and time-varying BSIT, as well as the interaction between AD pathology and time-varying BSIT.

    Results: Individuals with higher BSIT scores (b = .01, standard error [SE] = .004, p = .009) had slower declines in EM. High AD pathology (b = −.06, SE = .02, p = .001) was associated with more rapid declines in EM. The association between time-specific fluctuations in EM and BSIT differed by level of AD pathology (b = .08, SE = .034, p = .028), with a higher EM–BSIT association at higher levels of pathology. Discussion: BSIT and EM fluctuate together over measurement occasions, particularly for individuals with AD pathology. Repeated intraindividual measurements provide information that could lead to early detection and inexpensive monitoring of accumulating AD pathology.

    Robitaille et al., 2018. Transitions across cognitive states and death among older adults in relation to education: a multi-state survival model using data from six longitudinal studies.

    Robitaille, A., van den Hout, A., Machado, R.M., Bennett, D.A., Čukić, I., Deary, I.J., Hofer, S.M., Hoogendijk, E.O., Huisman, M., Johansson, B., Koval, A.V., van der Noordt, M., Piccinin, A.M., Rijnhart, J.J.M., Singh-Manoux, A., Skoog, J., Skoog, I., Starr, J., Vermunt, L., Clouston, S., Muniz-Terrera, G. (2018). Transitions across cognitive states and death among older adults in relation to education: a multi-state survival model using data from six longitudinal studies. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 14(4), 462-472. DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2017.10.003

    Year: 
    2018
    Status: 
    complete
    Presentation Citations: 

    Robitaille, A., Van den Hout A., Machado, R.J.M., Čukić, I., Deary, I.J., Hofer, S.M., Hoogendijke, E.O., Johansson, B., Koval, A.V., Van der Noordt, M., Piccinin, A.M., Rijnhart, J.J.M., Singh-Manoux, A., Skoog, J., Skoog, I., Vermunt, L., Muniz-Terrera, G. (2017, July). Transitions across Cognitive States and Mortality among Older Adults: A Multi-State Survival Model. Paper presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), London, UK.  

    Hoogendijke, E.O., Robitaille, A., Van den Hout A., Machado, R.J.M., Čukić, I., Hofer, S.M., Johansson, B., Koval, A.V., Van der Noordt, M., Rijnhart, J.J.M., A., Skoog, J., Vermunt, L., Muniz-Terrera, G. (May, 2017). Transitions across cognitive states and mortality among older adults in relation to education. A multistate survival model using data from six longitudinal studies. Paper presented at the 29th REVES meeting, Santiago de Chile, Chile.

    Abstract: 

    Introduction: This study examines the role of educational attainment, an indicator of cognitive reserve, on transitions in later life between cognitive states (normal Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), mild MMSE impairment, and severe MMSE impairment) and death. Methods: Analysis of six international longitudinal studies was performed using a coordinated approach. Multistate survival models were used to estimate the transition patterns via different cognitive states. Life expectancies were estimated. Results: Across most studies, a higher level of education was associated with a lower risk of transitioning from normal MMSE to mild MMSE impairment but was not associated with other transitions. Those with higher levels of education and socioeconomic status had longer nonimpaired life expectancies. Discussion: This study highlights the importance of education in later life and that early life experiences can delay later compromised cognitive health. This study also demonstrates the feasibility and benefit in conducting coordinated analysis across multiple studies to validate findings.

    PIccinin et al., 2011. Terminal Decline From Within- and Between-Person Perspectives, Accounting for Incident Dementia

    Piccinin, A.M., Muniz, G., Matthews, F. & Johansson, B. (2011). Terminal decline from within and between person perspectives, accounting for incident dementia. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 66(4), 391-401.

    Year: 
    2011
    Status: 
    complete
    Presentation Citations: 

    Muniz, G., Piccinin, A.M., Johansson, B. Matthews, F. & Hofer, S. M. (November, 2011). Do all individuals experience a change in age-related cognitive decline? In A.M. Piccinin & G. Muniz (Chairs), Advances in Understanding Cognitive Aging: Longitudinal Research on Change, Variation, and Plasticity. Symposium conducted at the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA.

    Abstract: 

    Objective: The terminal cognitive decline hypothesis has been debated for almost 50 years. This hypothesis implies a change in rate of decline within an individual. Therefore, we examine the hypothesis from a within-person perspective using a time to death chronological structure.

    Method: Scores on a Swedish version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Information and Block Design scores from 461 OCTO-Twin Study participants with confirmed death dates were modeled using quadratic growth curve models including both age and distance from death at study entry, sex, education, and dementia diagnosis as covariates of initial performance and of linear and quadratic change over time.

    Results: Information scores showed statistically significant evidence of slight within-person acceleration of declines in the no dementia group. Individuals with incident dementia declined more quickly, and those who were closer to death at study baseline had a stronger acceleration. Block Design scores declined but did not show evidence of such acceleration either within or across individuals: Decline was faster in incident cases closer to death at study entry.

    Discussion. Within-person evidence of terminal decline is not as strong as previously published between-person results. Strategies for focusing models on longitudinal aspects of available data and the extent to which lack of within-person evidence for terminal decline may stem from common data limitations are discussed.

    Zahodne et al., 2011. Education Does Not Slow Cognitive Decline with Aging: 12-Year Evidence from the Victoria Longitudinal Study

    Zahodne, L.B., Glymour, M.M., Sparks, C., Bontempo, D., Dixon, R.A., MacDonald, S.W.S., & Manly, J.J. (2011). Education does not slow cognitive decline with aging: 12-year evidence from the Victoria Longitudinal Study. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17(6), 1039-1046

    Year: 
    2011
    Status: 
    complete
    Abstract: 

    Although the relationship between education and cognitive status is well-known, evidence regarding whether education moderates the trajectory of cognitive change in late life is conflicting. Early studies suggested that higher levels of education attenuate cognitive decline. More recent studies using improved longitudinal methods have not found that education moderates decline. Fewer studies have explored whether education exerts different effects on longitudinal changes within different cognitive domains. In the present study, we analyzed data from 1014 participants in the Victoria Longitudinal Study to examine the effects of education on composite scores reflecting verbal processing speed, working memory, verbal fluency, and verbal episodic memory. Using linear growth models adjusted for age at enrollment (range, 54–95 years) and gender, we found that years of education (range, 6–20 years) was strongly related to cognitive level in all domains, particularly verbal fluency. However, education was not related to rates of change over time for any cognitive domain. Results were similar in individuals older or younger than 70 at baseline, and when education was dichotomized to reflect high or low attainment. In this large longitudinal cohort, education was related to cognitive performance but unrelated to cognitive decline, supporting the hypothesis of passive cognitive reserve with aging. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1039–1046)

    Clouston et al., 2012. Benefits of educational attainment on adult fluid cognition

    Clouston, S., Kuh, D., Herd, P., Elliott, J., & Richards, M., & Hofer, S. M. (2012). Benefits of educational attainment on adult fluid cognition: International evidence from three birth cohorts. International Journal of Epidemiology, 41,1729-1736. PMID: 23108707.

    Year: 
    2012
    Status: 
    complete
    Presentation Citations: 

    Clouston, S., Kuh, D., Richards, M., & Hofer, S.M. (August, 2012). The implications of educational benefits and propensity for educational attainment in health research. Paper presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Denver.

    Clouston, S., Richards, M., Kuh, D., & Hofer, S.M. (November, 2011). Selection and causation: The Educational benefit to cognition in later life. In S. M. Hofer & D. Kuh (Chairs), The life course determinants of physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning. Symposium conducted at the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA.

    Hofer, S. M., & Clouston, S. (2011, October). Educational benefits in adult cognition: International evidence from three birth cohort studies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, Norman, OK.

    Clouston, S., Kuh, D., Richards, M., Deary, I. J., Cooper, R., Hardy, R., & Hofer, S. M. (August, 2011). Inequalities in life course cognition: Class reproduction, cognitive selection, and educational advantage in HALCyon cohorts. Paper presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Las Vegas.

    Abstract: 

    Background: Educational attainment is highly correlated with social inequalities in adult cognitive health; however, the nature of this correlation is in dispute. Recently, researchers have argued that educational inequalities are an artefact of selection by individual differences in prior cognitive ability, which both drives educational attainment and tracks across the rest of the life course. Although few would deny that educational attainment is at least partly determined by prior cognitive ability, a complementary, yet controversial, view is that education has a direct causal and lasting benefit on cognitive development.

    Methods: We use observational data from three birth cohorts, with cognition measured in adolescence and adulthood. Ordinary least squares regression was used to model the relationship between adolescent cognition and adult fluid cognition and to test the sensitivity of our analyses to sample selection, projection and backdoor biases using propensity score matching.

    Results: We find that having a university education is correlated with higher fluid cognition in adulthood, after adjustment for adolescent cognition. We do not find that adolescent cognition, gender or parental social class consistently modify this effect; however, women benefited more in the 1946 sample from Great Britain.

    Conclusions: In all three birth cohorts, substantial educational benefit remained after adjustment for adolescent cognition and parental social class, offsetting an effect equivalent of 0.5 to 1.5 standard deviations lower adolescent cognition. We also find that the likelihood of earning a university degree depends in part on adolescent cognition, gender and parental social class. We conclude that inequalities in adult cognition derive in part from educational experiences after adolescence.

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