Change in Cognitive Capabilities in the Oldest Old: The Effects of Proximity to Death in Genetically Related Individuals over A 6-Year Period

Boo Johansson, Scott M. Hofer, Jason C. Allaire, Mildred M. Maldonado-Molina, Andrea M. Piccinin, Stig Berg, Nancy L. Pedersen, Gerald E. McClearn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Change in cognitive abilities was assessed over a 6-year period in a sample of monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twin pairs (N = 507 individuals), aged 80 and older (mean age = 83.3 years: SD = 3.1), who remained nondemented over the course of the study. Latent growth models (LGMs) show that chronological age and time to death are consistent predictors of decline in measures of memory, reasoning, speed, and verbal abilities. Multivariate LGM analysis resulted in weak and often negative correlations among rates of change between individuals within twin pairs, indicating greater differential change within twin pairs than occurs on average across twin pairs. These findings highlight several challenges for estimating genetic sources of variance in the context of compromised health and mortality-related change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-156
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology and Aging
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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    Johansson, B., Hofer, S. M., Allaire, J. C., Maldonado-Molina, M. M., Piccinin, A. M., Berg, S., Pedersen, N. L., & McClearn, G. E. (2004). Change in Cognitive Capabilities in the Oldest Old: The Effects of Proximity to Death in Genetically Related Individuals over A 6-Year Period. Psychology and Aging, 19(1), 145-156. https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.19.1.145