ObjectivesIndividuals aged 90 or older (oldest-old), the fastest growing segment of the population, are at increased risk of developing cognitive impairment compared with younger old. Neuropsychological evaluation of the oldest-old is important yet challenging in part because of the scarcity of test norms for this group. We provide neuropsychological test norms for cognitively intact oldest-old.
MethodsTest norms were derived from 403 cognitively intact participants of The 90+ Study, an ongoing study of aging and dementia in the oldest-old. Cognitive status of intact oldest-old was determined at baseline using cross-sectional approach. Individuals with cognitive impairment no dementia or dementia (according to DSM-IV criteria) were excluded. Participants ranged in age from 90 to 102 years (mean=94). The neuropsychological battery included 11 tests (Mini-Mental Status Examination, Modified Mini-Mental State Examination, Boston Naming Test - Short Form, Letter Fluency Test, Animal Fluency Test, California Verbal Learning Test-II Short Form, Trail Making Tests A/B/C, Digit Span Forward and Backwards Test, Clock Drawing Test, CERAD Construction Subtests), and the Geriatric Depression Scale.
ResultsData show significantly lower scores with increasing age on most tests. Education level, sex, and symptoms of depression were associated with performance on several tests after accounting for age.
ConclusionsProvided test norms will help to distinguish cognitively intact oldest-old from those with cognitive impairment. (JINS, 2019, 25, 530-545).