OBJECTIVE: To identify time of onset and rate of mortality-related change (terminal decline) in cognitive abilities in later life. METHOD: The sample consisted of 288 individuals without dementia (born 1901ĝ€"1902) drawn from the population of G¶teborg, Sweden. Participants were followed from age 70 until death, with up to 12 measurement occasions on three cognitive abilities. Change-point analysis was performed using an automated piecewise linear mixed modeling approach to identify the inflection point indicating accelerated within-person change related to mortality. A profile likelihood method was used to identify the change point that best fit the data for each of three cognitive abilities. RESULTS: Onset of terminal decline was identified 6.6 years prior to death for verbal ability, 7.8 years for spatial ability, and 14.8 years for perceptual speed. CONCLUSIONS: There is substantial acceleration in cognitive decline many years prior to death among individuals without dementia. Time of onset and rate of terminal decline vary considerably across cognitive abilities.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Sep 16 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology