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Change in cognitive cababilities in the old-old: The effects of proximity to death in genetically-related individuals over a six-year period.

Journal article
Authors Boo Johansson
S, M Hofer
J, C Allaire
M, M Maldonado-Molina
M Piccinin
S Berg
N, L Pedersen
G, E McClearn
Published in Psych Aging
Issue 19
Pages 145-156
Publication year 2004
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 145-156
Language en
Keywords Aging , cognition, twins
Subject categories Psychology

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

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