Predictors of cognitive decline in the community-dwelling elderly

Hamid Sohrabi

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    367 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is characterised by gradual cognitive decline and personality changes severely affecting patients' quality of life, resulting in death. The more common type of AD, namely late-onset AD (LOAD), is manifested by cognitive problems (including memory deterioration) that start many years prior to clinical diagnosis of AD. Previous research has indicated that different risk factors (ranging from genetic profile and lifestyle factors to psychopathological disorders and neuropsychological disturbances) are implicated in the aetiology of AD. Early detection of significant risk factors provides a potential opportunity for preventive interventions or early treatment of the disease. In the current project subjective memory complaints (SMCs), history of cardiovascular risk factors (including hypertension, diabetes and heart disease), blood homocysteine levels, apolipoprotein E genotype (APOE), baseline cognitive performance, olfactory dysfunction, psychiatric symptoms (depression and anxiety) and health related quality of life were considered as the most salient potential risk factors in age-related prodromal cognitive decline, prior to the onset of LOAD. A cohort of 336 healthy, community-dwelling individuals (mean age= 63.49, ±7.45 years) was recruited from an ongoing longitudinal study. This cohort was assessed on an annual basis for 3 consecutive years. Based on possession of the APOE ε4 allele, the most established susceptibility genetic risk factor for LOAD, participants were divided into APOE ε4 carriers (34.3%) and non-carriers (65.6%). Participants were further divided into a SMC group and a non-memory complaining (NMC) group, with 55.4% of participants being SMCs. History of cardiovascular disease, and clinically high versus low levels of homocysteine, were also considered as distinctions of interest for comparative analysis. The findings obtained in this research showed that age was significantly
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009

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