Study examines cognitive impairment in families with exceptional longevity

May 6, 2013

A study by Stephanie Cosentino, Ph.D., of Columbia University, New York, and colleagues examines the relationship between families with exceptional longevity and cognitive impairment consistent with Alzheimer disease.

The cross-sectional study included a total of 1,870 individuals (1,510 and 360 spouse controls) recruited through the Long Life Family Study. The main outcome measure was the prevalence of cognitive impairment based on a diagnostic algorithm validated using the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center data set.

According to study results, the cognitive algorithm classified 546 individuals (38.5 percent) as having cognitive impairment consistent with Alzheimer disease. Long Life Family Study probands had a slightly but not statistically significant reduced risk of cognitive impairment compared with spouse controls (121 of 232 for probands versus 45 of 103 for spouse controls), whereas Long Life Family Study sons and daughters had a reduced risk of (11 of 213 for sons and daughters versus 28 of 216 for spouse controls). Restriction to nieces and nephews in the generation attenuated this association (37 of 328 for nieces and nephews versus 28 of 216 for spouse controls).

"Overall, our results appear to be consistent with a delayed onset of disease in long-lived families, such that individuals who are part of exceptionally long-lived families are protected but not later in life," the study concludes.

Explore further: Cardiac disease linked to higher risk of mental impairment

More information: JAMA Neurol. Published online May 6, 2013. doi:10.1001/.jamaneurol.2013.1959

Related Stories

Cardiac disease linked to higher risk of mental impairment

January 28, 2013

Cardiac disease is associated with increased risk of mild cognitive impairment such as problems with language, thinking and judgment—particularly among women with heart disease, a Mayo Clinic study shows. Known as nonamnestic ...

Recommended for you

After blindness, the adult brain can learn to see again

October 25, 2016

More than 40 million people worldwide are blind, and many of them reach this condition after many years of slow and progressive retinal degeneration. The development of sophisticated prostheses or new light-responsive elements, ...

The current state of psychobiotics

October 25, 2016

Now that we know that gut bacteria can speak to the brain—in ways that affect our mood, our appetite, and even our circadian rhythms—the next challenge for scientists is to control this communication. The science of psychobiotics, ...

Can a brain-computer interface convert your thoughts to text?

October 25, 2016

Ever wonder what it would be like if a device could decode your thoughts into actual speech or written words? While this might enhance the capabilities of already existing speech interfaces with devices, it could be a potential ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.