Age-Related Change in Cognitive Function

  • Robert S. Wilson
  • David A. Bennett
  • Andrea Swartzendruber
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)

Abstract

This chapter considers cognitive functioning in persons age 65 or older. Persons within this age group commonly report difficulty with memory and other cognitive abilities compared to an earlier period. These perceptions may contribute to concern about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementing illnesses. In view of the prevalence of AD and other conditions that affect cognition in this age group (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, stroke), such concern is understandable. Indeed, impaired cognitive function in older persons is associated with loss of independence, increased morbidity and mortality, and reduced quality of life. Not surprisingly, therefore, considerable scientific effort has been expended in attempts to understand age-related cognitive decline, its neural bases, and factors which may modify or delay it.

Keywords

Dementia Rosen 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Albert, M.S., Smith, L.A., Scherr, P.A., Funkenstein, H.H., Taylor, J.O., & Evans, D.A. (1991). Use of brief cognitive tests to identify individuals in the community with clinically diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease. International Journal of Neuroscience, 57, 167–178.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Babcock, H. (1930). An experiment in the measurement of mental deterioration. Archives of Psychology, 117, 1–105.Google Scholar
  3. Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. J. (1974). Working memory. In G. Bower (Eds.), The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 8, pp. 47–90). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  4. Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. J. (1994). Developments in the concept of working memory. Neuropsychology, 8, 485–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bennett, D. A., & Knopman, D. S. (1994). Alzheimer’s disease: A comprehensive approach to patient management. Geriatrics, 49, 20–26.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Chiarello, C., & Hoyer, W. J. (1988). Adult age differences in implicit and explicit memory: Time course and encoding effects. Psychology and Aging, 3, 358–366.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Colsher, P. L., & Wallace, R. B. (1991). Longitudinal application of cognitive function measures in a defined population of community-dwelling elders. Annals of Epidemiology, 1, 215–230.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cooper, J. A., & Sagar, H. J. (1993). Incidental and intentional recall in Parkinson’s disease: An account based on diminished attentional resources. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 15, 713–731.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Craik, F. I. M. (1986). A functional account of age differences in memory. In F. Klix & H. Hagendorf (Eds.), Human memory and cognitive capabilities—Mechanisms and performance (pp. 409–422). North-Holland: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.Google Scholar
  10. Craik, F. I. M., Byrd, M., & Swanson, J. M. (1987). Patterns of memory loss in three elderly samples. Psychology and Aging, 2, 79–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Evans, D. A. (1991). Why should we study change in cognitive function? Annals of Epidemiology, 1, 283–284.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Evans, D. A., Funkenstein, H. H., Albert, M. S., Scherr, P. A., Cook, N. R., Chown, M. J., Hebert, L. E., Hennekens, C. H., & Taylor, J. O. (1989). Prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in a community population of older persons—higher than previously reported. Journal of the American Medical Association, 262, 2551–2556.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Evans, D. A., Beckett, L. A., Albert, M. S., Hebert, L. E., Scherr, P. A., Funkenstein, H. H., & Taylor, J. O. (1993). Level of education and change in cognitive function in a community population of older persons. Annals of Epidemiology, 3, 71–77.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flicker, C., Ferris, S. H., & Reisberg, B. (1993). A longitudinal study of cognitive function in elderly persons with subjective memory complaints. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 41, 1029–1032.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Foos, P. W. (1989). Adult age differences in working memory. Psychology and Aging, 4, 269–275.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fromm, D., Holland, A. L., Nebes, R. D., & Oakley, M. A. (1991). A longitudinal study of word-reading ability in Alzheimer’s disease: Evidence from the National Adult Reading Test. Cortex, 17, 367–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gabrieli, J. D. E. (1994). Contributions of the basal ganglia to skill learning and working memory in humans. In J.C. Houk, J.L. Davis, & D.G. Beiser (Eds.), Models of information processing in the basal ganglia (pp. 277–294). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Gathercole, S. E. (1994). Neuropsychology and working memory: A review. Neuropsychology, 8, 494–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Golomb, J., de Leon, M. J., Kluger, A., George, A. E., Tarshish, C., & Ferris, S. H. (1993). Hippocampal atrophy in normal aging: An association with recent memory impairment. Archives of Neurology, 50, 967–976.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Golomb, J., Kluger, A., de Leon, M. J., Ferris, S. H., Convit, A., Mittelman, M. S., Cohen, J., Rusinek, H., De Santi, S., & George, A. E. (1994). Hippocampal formation size in normal human aging: A correlate of delayed secondary memory performance. Learning & Memory, 1, 45–54.Google Scholar
  21. Hultsch, D. F., Hertzog, C., Small, B. J., McDonald-Miszczak, L., & Dixon, R. A. (1992). Short-term longitudinal change in cognitive performance in later life. Psychology and Aging, 7, 571–584.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ivnik, R. J., Malec, J. F., Tangalos, E. G., Petersen, R. C., Kokmen, E., & Kurland, L. T. (1990). The Auditory-Verbal Learning Test (AVLT): Norms for ages 55 years and older. Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2, 304–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ivnik, R. J., Malec, J. F., Smith, G. E., Tangalos, E. G., Petersen, R. C., Kokmen, E., & Kurland, L. T. (1992a). Mayo’s Older Americans Normative Studies: WAIS-R norms for ages 56 to 97. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 6, 1–30.Google Scholar
  24. Ivnik, R. J., Malec, J. F., Smith, G. E., Tangalos, E. G., Petersen, R. C., Kokmen, E., & Kurland, L. T. (1992b). Mayo’s Older Americans Normative Studies: WMS-R norms for ages 56 to 94. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 6, 49–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Light, L. L., & Anderson, P. A. (1985). Working memory capacity, age, and memory for discourse. Journal of Gerontology, 40, 737–747.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lindenberger, U., Mayr, U., & Kliegl, R. (1993). Speed and intelligence in old age. Psychology and Aging, 8, 207–220.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mattis, S. (1988). Dementia Rating Scale (DRS). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  28. Morris, J. C., Heyman, A., Mohs, R. C., Hughes, J. P., van Belle, G., Fillenbaum, G., Mellits, E. D., Clark, C., & the CERAD Investigators. (1989). The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD). Part I. Clinical and neuropsychological assessment of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology, 39, 1159–1165.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moscovitch, M. (1994). Cognitive resources and dual-task interference effects at retrieval in normal people: The role of the frontal lobes and medial temporal cortex. Neuropsychology, 8, 524–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nelson, H. E. (1982). Nelson Adult Reading Test manual. London: the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases.Google Scholar
  31. Patterson, K., Graham, N., & Hodges, J. R. (1994). Reading in dementia of the Alzheimer type: A preserved ability? Neuropsychology, 8, 395–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pfeiffer, E. (1975). A short portable mental status questionnaire for the assessment of organic brain deficit in elderly patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 23, 433–439.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Rogosa, D. (1988). Myths about longitudinal research. In K.W. Schaie, R.T. Campbell, W. Meredith, & S.C. Rawlings (Eds.), Methodological issues in aging research (pp. 171–209). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  34. Rosen, W. G., Mohs, R. C., & Davis, K. L. (1984). A new rating scale for Alzheimer’s disease. American Journal of Psychiatry, 141, 1356–1364.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Ryan, J. J., Paolo, A. M., & Brungardt, T. M. (1990). Standardization of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised for persons 75 years and older. Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2, 404–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Salthouse, T. A. (1991). Mediation of adult age differences in cognition by reductions in working memory and speed of processing. Psychological Science, 2, 179–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Salthouse, T. A. (1992). What do adult age differences in the Digit Symbol Substitution Test reflect? Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 47, P121–P128.Google Scholar
  38. Salthouse, T. A. (1993). Speed and knowledge as determinants of adult age differences in verbal tasks. Journal of Gerontology, 48, 29–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Salthouse, T. A., & Babcock, R. L. (1991). Decomposing adult age differences in working memory. Developmental Psychology, 27, 763–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Salthouse, T. A., Babcock, R. L., & Shaw, R. J. (1991). Effects of adult age on structural and operational capacities in working memory. Psychology and Aging, 1, 118–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sano, M., Devanand, D. P., Richards, M., Miller, L. W., Marder, K., Bell, K., Dooneief, G., Bylsma, F. W, Lafleche, G., Albert, M., Folstein, M., & Stern, Y. (1995). A standardized technique for establishing onset and duration of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Archives of Neurology, 52, 961–966.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schaie, K. W. (1989). Perceptual speed in adulthood: Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Psychology and Aging, 4, 443–453.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Scherr, P. A., Albert, M. S., Funkenstein, H. H., Cook, N. R., Hennekens, C. H., Branch, L. G., White, L. R., Taylor, J. O., & Evans, D. A. (1988). Correlates of cognitive function in an elderly community population. American Journal of Epidemiology, 128, 1084–1101.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Smith, A. (1982). Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) Manual (Rev.). Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  45. Squire, L. R., & Zola-Morgan, S. (1991). The medial temporal lobe memory system. Science, 20, 1380–1386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stern, Y., Andrews, H., Pittman, J., Sano, M., Tatemichi, T., Lantigua, R., & Mayeux, R. (1992). Diagnosis of dementia in a heterogeneous population—Development of a neuropsychological paradigm-based diagnosis of dementia and quantified correction for the effects of education. Archives of Neurology, 49, 453–460.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Taylor, J. L., Miller, T. P., & Tinklenberg, J. R. (1992). Correlates of memory decline: A 4-year longitudinal study of older adults with memory complaints. Psychology and Aging, 7, 184–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tombaugh, T. N., & McIntyre, N. J. (1992). The Mini-Mental State Examination: A comprehensive review. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 40, 922–935.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Verhaeghen, P., & Marcoen, A. (1993). More or less the same? A memorability analysis on episodic memory tasks in young and older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 48, P172–P178.Google Scholar
  50. Wechsler, D. (1939). The measurement of adult intelligence. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wechsler, D. (1981). Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised Manual. New York: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  52. Wechsler, D. (1987). Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised Manual. New York: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  53. Wilson, R. S., Rosenbaum, G., & Brown, G. (1979). The problem of premorbid intelligence in neuropsychological assessment. Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology, 1, 49–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yates, A. (1956). The use of vocabulary in the measurement of intellectual deterioration—A review. Journal of Mental Science, 102, 409–440.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Youngjohn, J. R., & Crook, T. H., III. (1993). Stability of everyday memory in age-associated memory impairment: A longitudinal study. Neuropsychology, 7, 406–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zelinski, E. M., & Gilewski, M. J. (1988). Assessment of memory complaints by rating scales and questionnaires. Psychopharmacological Bulletin, 24, 523–529.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Wilson
    • 1
  • David A. Bennett
    • 1
  • Andrea Swartzendruber
    • 1
  1. 1.Rush Institute on Aging, Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical CenterChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations