Studies of older persons show consumption of light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol is positively associated with cognitive function and, separately, is negatively associated with total brain volume (TBV). This is paradoxical as generally, cognitive function is positively associated with TBV. We examined the relationships of TBV, global cognitive function (GCF), and alcohol consumption in a population-based cohort of 3,363 men and women (b. 1907-1935) participating in the Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study (2002-2006) and who were free of dementia or mild cognitive impairment
Drinking status (never, former, and current) and current amount of alcohol consumed were assessed by questionnaire. GCF is a composite score derived from a battery of cognitive tests. TBV, standardized to head size, is estimated quantitatively from brain magnetic resonance imaging.
Among women and not men, adjusting for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors, current drinkers had significantly higher GCF scores than abstainers and former drinkers (p
To examine in men and women the independent associations between anxiety and depression and 1-year incident cognitive impairment and to examine the association of cognitive impairment, no dementia (CIND) and incident cognitive impairment with 1-year incident anxiety or depression.
Prospective cohort study.
Population-based sample of 1,942 individuals aged 65 to 96.
Two structured interviews 12 months apart evaluated anxiety and mood symptoms and disorders according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria. Incident cognitive impairment was defined as no CIND at baseline and a follow-up Mini-Mental State Examination score at least 2 points below baseline and below the 15th percentile according to normative data. The associations between cognitive impairment and anxiety or depression were assessed using logistic regression adjusted for potential confounders.
Incident cognitive impairment was, independently of depression, associated with baseline anxiety disorders in men (odds ratio (OR)=6.27, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.39-28.29) and anxiety symptoms in women (OR=2.14, 95%=1.06-4.34). Moreover, the results indicated that depression disorders in men (OR=8.87, 95%=2.13-36.96) and anxiety symptoms in women (OR=4.31, 95%=1.74-10.67) were particularly linked to incident amnestic cognitive impairment, whereas anxiety disorders in men (OR=12.01, 95%=1.73-83.26) were especially associated with incident nonamnestic cognitive impairment. CIND at baseline and incident cognitive impairment were not associated with incident anxiety or depression.
Anxiety and depression appear to have different relationships with incident cognitive impairment according to sex and the nature of cognitive impairment. Clinicians should pay particular attention to anxiety in older adults because it may shortly be followed by incident cognitive treatment.
Depressive symptoms are frequently observed in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, little is known regarding the cognitive characteristics of this important subgroup.
We examined executive functions (controlled inhibition) and verbal episodic memory in 33 healthy older adults (control group), 18 older adults with amnestic MCI plus subclinical depressive symptoms (a-MCI/D+ group), and 26 older adults with amnestic MCI but no depressive symptoms (a-MCI group).
Compared to the a-MCI and control groups, patients with a-MCI/D+ showed poor controlled inhibition. Moreover, in verbal episodic memory these patients recalled fewer words than control participants on immediate free, delayed free, and delayed total (free plus cued) recall. Performance on immediate recall suggested a self-retrieval deficit, but delayed performance also revealed the existence of an encoding impairment. In the a-MCI group, participants exhibited normal performance on the executive task, but pervasive memory impairment; the memory deficit concerned free and total recall on both immediate and delayed tasks, suggesting the existence of encoding and self-retrieval disturbances.
This study reveals differences between the pattern of cognitive impairment for a-MCI/D+ and a-MCI subgroups particularly at the level of executive capacities. In terms of memory functioning, the differences between the subgroups were more subtle; more studies are needed in order to better characterize the memory impairment of a-MCI/D+ and a-MCI patients.
There is evidence for long-lasting effects of birth characteristics on cognitive ability in childhood and adulthood. Further, low cognitive ability throughout the lifetime has been linked to age-related cognitive decline and dementia risk. However, little is known about the effects of birth characteristics on cognitive dysfunction late in life. Here we explore potential associations between birth characteristics (weight, head circumference, length, and gestational age), adjusted and not adjusted for gestational age, and cognitive impairment and dementia late in life.
Data from twins in the Swedish Twin Registry born 1926-1960 were merged with information from the Swedish birth, patient, and cause of death registries, resulting in a sample of 35,191 individuals. A subsample of 4,000 twins aged 65 years and older also participated in a telephone cognitive screening in 1998-2002. Associations of birth characteristics with registry-based dementia diagnoses and on telephone-assessed cognitive impairment were investigated in the full sample and subsample, respectively. The full sample contained 907 (2.6%) individuals with a dementia diagnosis (an incidence rate of 5.9% per 100,000 person-years), 803 (2.4%) individuals born small for gestational age, and 929 (2.8%) individuals born with a small head for gestational age. The subsample contained 569 (14.2%) individuals with cognitive impairment. Low birth weight for gestational age and being born with a small head for gestational age were significant risk factors for cognitive dysfunction late in life, with an up to 2-fold risk increase (p
ADHD is a common and disabling disorder, with an increased risk for coexisting disorders, substance abuse and delinquency. In the present study, we aimed at exploring ADHD and criminality. We estimated the prevalence of ADHD among longer-term prison inmates, described symptoms and cognitive functioning, and compared findings with ADHD among psychiatric outpatients and healthy controls.
At Norrtälje Prison, we approached 315 male inmates for screening of childhood ADHD by the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS-25) and for present ADHD by the Adult ADHD Self-Report Screener (ASRS-Screener). The response rate was 62%. Further, we assessed 34 inmates for ADHD and coexisting disorders. Finally, we compared findings with 20 adult males with ADHD, assessed at a psychiatric outpatient clinic and 18 healthy controls.
The estimated prevalence of adult ADHD among longer-term inmates was 40%. Only 2 out of 30 prison inmates confirmed with ADHD had received a diagnosis of ADHD during childhood, despite most needed health services and educational support. All subjects reported lifetime substance use disorder (SUD) where amphetamine was the most common drug. Mood and anxiety disorders were present among half of subjects; autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among one fourth and psychopathy among one tenth. Personality disorders were common; almost all inmates presented conduct disorder (CD) before antisocial personality disorder (APD). Prison inmates reported more ADHD symptoms during both childhood and adulthood, compared with ADHD psychiatric outpatients. Further, analysis of executive functions after controlling for IQ showed both ADHD groups performed poorer than controls on working memory tests. Besides, on a continuous performance test, the ADHD prison group displayed poorer results compared with both other groups.
This study suggested ADHD to be present among 40% of adult male longer-term prison inmates. Further, ADHD and coexisting disorders, such as SUD, ASD, personality disorders, mood- and anxiety disorders, severely affected prison inmates with ADHD. Besides, inmates showed poorer executive functions also when controlling for estimated IQ compared with ADHD among psychiatric outpatients and controls. Our findings imply the need for considering these severities when designing treatment programmes for prison inmates with ADHD.
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BACKGROUND: The cognitive and academic outcomes of infants exposed to radiation after the meltdown at Chornobyl have been intensely debated. Western-based investigations indicate that no adverse effects occurred, but local studies reported increased cognitive impairments in exposed compared with non-exposed children. Our initial study found that at age 11 years, school grades and neuropsychological performance were similar in 300 children evacuated to Kiev as infants or in utero compared with 300 classmate controls, yet more evacuee mothers believed that their children had memory problems. This study re-examined the children's performance and academic achievement at age 19 years.METHOD: In 2005-2006, we conducted an 8-year follow-up of the evacuees (n=265) and classmate controls (n=261) assessed in Kiev in 1997. Outcomes included university attendance, tests of intelligence, attention, and memory, and subjective appraisals of memory problems. Scores were standardized using a local population-based control group (n=327). Analyses were stratified by parental education. RESULTS: Evacuees and classmates performed similarly and in the normal range on all tests, and no differential temporal changes were found. The results were comparable for the in utero subsample. The rates of university attendance and self-reported memory problems were also similar. Nevertheless, the evacuee mothers were almost three times as likely to report that their children had memory problems compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: Chornobyl did not influence the cognitive functioning of exposed infants although more evacuee mothers still believed that their offspring had memory problems. These lingering worries reflect a wider picture of persistent health concerns as a consequence of the accident.
We examined the effects of early life stress on cognitive ability and decline among men of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, 10% of whom were separated temporarily (mean age at separation = 4.1 years) from their parent(s) during World War II. The men underwent the Finnish Defense Forces Basic Intellectual Ability Test twice, at 20 years and retest at 70 years. Compared with the men without childhood separation and matched for year of birth (n = 186), men separated from their parents (n = 93) scored lower by 5.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], -9.2 to -1.7), 4.2 (95% CI, -8.1 to -0.3), 3.1 (95% CI, -7.0 to 0.8), and 4.5 (95% CI, -10.5 to -1.4) standardized points (SD = 15) on verbal, visuospatial, arithmetic, and general cognitive ability, respectively, at 70 years. Longer duration of separation was associated with lower test scores. Though early life stress was also associated significantly with weaker cognitive performance at the ages 20 and 70 years, it was not associated with cognitive decline over the 50-year period within this sample.
There is evidence for cognitive dysfunction in unipolar depression among middle-aged and elderly patients, but cognitive functioning among depressed young adults has scarcely been systematically investigated. The aims of the present study were to examine cognitive functioning among depressed young adults identified from the general population and to determine whether cognitive deficits vary as a function of different disorder characteristics, such as severity and age at onset.
Performance in verbal and visual short-term memory, verbal long-term memory and learning, attention, processing speed, and executive functioning was compared between a population-based sample of 21-35-year-olds with a lifetime history of non-psychotic unipolar depressive disorders without psychiatric comorbidity (n=68) and healthy controls derived from the same population (n=70).
Depressed young adults were not found to be impaired in any of the assessed cognitive functions, except for some suggestion of mildly compromised verbal learning. Nevertheless, younger age at depression onset was associated with more impaired executive functioning.
The results may slightly underestimate of the true association between depression and cognitive impairments in the young adult population due to possible dropout of participants. Additionally, the problem of multiple testing was not entirely corrected.
The findings from this study indicate that a lifetime history of non-psychotic unipolar depressive disorders among young adults without psychiatric comorbidity may be associated only with minimal cognitive deficits, even when some residual depressive symptoms are prevalent. However, early-onset depression may represent a more severe form of the disorder, associated with more cognitive dysfunction.
Cognitive functioning in anxiety disorders has received little investigation, particularly among young adults and in non-clinical samples. The present study examined cognitive functioning in a population-based sample of young adults with anxiety disorders in comparison to healthy peers.
A population-based sample of 21-35-year-olds with a lifetime history of anxiety disorders (n=75) and a random sample of healthy controls (n=71) derived from the same population were compared in terms of performance in neuropsychological tests measuring verbal and visual short-term memory, verbal long-term memory, attention, psychomotor processing speed, and executive functioning.
In general, young adults with anxiety disorders did not have major cognitive impairments when compared to healthy peers. When participants with anxiety disorder in remission were excluded, persons with current anxiety disorder scored lower in visual working memory tests. Current psychotropic medication use and low current psychosocial functioning associated with deficits in executive functioning, psychomotor processing speed, and visual short-term memory.
Lifetime history of anxiety disorders is not associated with cognitive impairment among young adults in the general population. However, among persons with anxiety disorders, current psychotropic medication use and low psychosocial functioning, indicating more severe symptoms, may associate with cognitive impairments.
BACKGROUND: A review of studies of cognition in the euthymic phase of unipolar and bipolar affective disorder reveals diverging results. METHODS: The study was designed as a controlled cohort study, with the Danish psychiatric case register of admissions used to identify patients and the Danish civil register to identify controls. Patients who were hospitalized between 19 and 25 years ago with an affective diagnosis and who at interviews fulfilled criteria for a primary affective unipolar or bipolar disorder, according to ICD-10, were compared with age- and gender-matched controls. Interviews and assessment of the cognitive function were made in the euthymic phase of the disorder. In all, 118 unipolar patients, 28 bipolar patients and 58 controls were included. Analyses were adjusted for differences in the level of education and for subclinical depressive and anxiety symptoms. RESULTS: Patients with recurrent episodes were significantly more impaired than patients with a single episode and more impaired than controls. Also, within patients the number of prior episodes seemed to be associated with cognitive outcome. There was no difference in the severity of the dysfunction between unipolar and bipolar patients. CONCLUSIONS: Cognitive impairment in out-patients with unipolar and bipolar disorder appears to be associated with the number of affective episodes.