Human life expectancy and the number of the oldest old are rapidly increasing worldwide. Advanced age is the main risk factor for dementia, representing one of the major causes of disability/dependency among older people with a strong impact on their families/caregivers. Centenarians have reached the extreme limits of human life escaping or delaying the major age-related diseases. Thus, these extraordinary individuals embody the best model to answer the crucial question if cognitive decline and dementia are progressive and unavoidable occurrences of increasing age. Despite a growing amount of data underlines the importance of cognitive function for quality of life and survival in old age, studies on centenarians have paid more attention to their physical condition rather than the assessment of their actual cognitive abilities. Accordingly, this work aims to summarize available data on the prevalence of dementia in centenarians and to critically address topics which can have a relevant impact on the cognitive assessment/status of the oldest old: (i) lack of standardized tools for cognitive assessment; (ii) criteria and threshold to establish the presence of dementia; (iii) influence of birth cohort and education; (iv) role of depression or positive attitude towards life; (v) gender differences.

Cognitive status in the oldest old and centenarians : a condition crucial for quality of life methodologically difficult to assess / B. Arosio, R. Ostan, D. Mari, S. Damanti, F. Ronchetti, S. Arcudi, M. Scurti, C. Franceschi, D. Monti. - In: MECHANISMS OF AGEING AND DEVELOPMENT. - ISSN 0047-6374. - 165:Pt B(2017), pp. 185-194.

Cognitive status in the oldest old and centenarians : a condition crucial for quality of life methodologically difficult to assess

B. Arosio;D. Mari;S. Damanti;F. Ronchetti;S. Arcudi;
2017

Abstract

Human life expectancy and the number of the oldest old are rapidly increasing worldwide. Advanced age is the main risk factor for dementia, representing one of the major causes of disability/dependency among older people with a strong impact on their families/caregivers. Centenarians have reached the extreme limits of human life escaping or delaying the major age-related diseases. Thus, these extraordinary individuals embody the best model to answer the crucial question if cognitive decline and dementia are progressive and unavoidable occurrences of increasing age. Despite a growing amount of data underlines the importance of cognitive function for quality of life and survival in old age, studies on centenarians have paid more attention to their physical condition rather than the assessment of their actual cognitive abilities. Accordingly, this work aims to summarize available data on the prevalence of dementia in centenarians and to critically address topics which can have a relevant impact on the cognitive assessment/status of the oldest old: (i) lack of standardized tools for cognitive assessment; (ii) criteria and threshold to establish the presence of dementia; (iii) influence of birth cohort and education; (iv) role of depression or positive attitude towards life; (v) gender differences.
Centenarians; Cognitive assessment; Cognitive decline; Dementia; Depression; Gender; Aging; Developmental Biology
Settore MED/09 - Medicina Interna
2017
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/543910
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