Objectives: An international group proposed the existence of "cognitive frailty", a condition defined by simultaneous presence of physical frailty and cognitive impairment in the absence of dementia. The objective was to compare the neuropsychological profiles in subgroups of elders differentiated across their physical frailty (Fried phenotype) and cognitive status (Clinical Dementia Rating score) to characterize the "cognitive frailty" entity.
Method: We studied baseline characteristics of 1,617 subjects enrolled in Multidomain Alzheimer Disease Preventive Trial (MAPT). Included subjects were aged 70 years or older and presented at least 1 of the 3 following clinical criteria: (1) Memory complaint spontaneously reported to a general practitioner, (2) limitation in one instrumental activity of daily living, (3) slow gait speed. Subjects with dementia were not included in the trial.
Results: "Cognitive frailty individuals" significantly differed from "individuals with cognitive impairment and without physical frailty", scoring worse at executive, and attention tests. They presented subcortico-frontal cognitive pattern different of Alzheimer Disease. Cognitive performance of subjects with 3 criteria or more of the frailty phenotype are cognitively more impaired than subjects with only one.
Discusion: The characterization of "cognitive frailty" must be done in frail subjects to set up specific preventive clinical trials for this population.
Keywords: Alzheimer Disease; MAPT trial; cognitive frailty; elderly; physical frailty.