Age and dementia effect on neuropsychological test performance in very old age — influence of risk factors for dementia
In old age a large part of the variance in cognitive performance in population samples is explained by normal aging; in addition many subjects over 80 years are demented and therefore dementia also explains a part of cognitive variability. The question is whether the different factors for dementia (such as ApoE4, external atrophy parameter of the cranial computer tomography [cCT], education, sex or serum zinc level) influence the relation between age or dementia and Mini Mental State (MMSE) performance. In an epidemiological study data were analyzed of N = 239 subjects for the above factors. Most statistically significant variables of the MMSE do not change the amount of the partial correlation coefficient between the parameters age or dementia and MMSE. The external atrophy, however, diminishes the magnitude of the partial correlation between age and MMSE. In contrast the dementia-MMSE relation is unchanged. This points to a generally similar factor structure of cognitive aging and dementia in old age, but differences exist with respect to the importance of the external atrophy parameter of the brain. Most factors investigated explain separate parts of variance of cognitive performance in old age.
KeywordsCognitive Aging Senile Dementia Serum Zinc Level Dementia Case Dementia Syndrome
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