Resilience to cognitive impairment in the oldest-old: design of the EMIF-AD 90+ study

BMC Geriatr. 2018 Nov 26;18(1):289. doi: 10.1186/s12877-018-0984-z.


Background: The oldest-old (subjects aged 90 years and older) population represents the fastest growing segment of society and shows a high dementia prevalence rate of up to 40%. Only a few studies have investigated protective factors for cognitive impairment in the oldest-old. The EMIF-AD 90+ Study aims to identify factors associated with resilience to cognitive impairment in the oldest-old. In this paper we reviewed previous studies on cognitive resilience in the oldest-old and described the design of the EMIF-AD 90+ Study.

Methods: The EMIF-AD 90+ Study aimed to enroll 80 cognitively normal subjects and 40 subjects with cognitive impairment aged 90 years or older. Cognitive impairment was operationalized as amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), or possible or probable Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The study was part of the European Medical Information Framework for AD (EMIF-AD) and was conducted at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (UMC) and at the University of Manchester. We will test whether cognitive resilience is associated with cognitive reserve, vascular comorbidities, mood, sleep, sensory system capacity, physical performance and capacity, genetic risk factors, hallmarks of ageing, and markers of neurodegeneration. Markers of neurodegeneration included an amyloid positron emission tomography, amyloid β and tau in cerebrospinal fluid/blood and neurophysiological measures.

Discussion: The EMIF-AD 90+ Study will extend our knowledge on resilience to cognitive impairment in the oldest-old by extensive phenotyping of the subjects and the measurement of a wide range of potential protective factors, hallmarks of aging and markers of neurodegeneration.

Trial registration: Nederlands Trial Register NTR5867 . Registered 20 May 2016.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Amnestic mild cognitive impairment; Amyloid; Cognitive impairment; Dementia; Magnetoencephalography (MEG); Oldest-old; Positron emission tomography; Resilience.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / metabolism
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology*
  • Female
  • Healthy Aging / metabolism
  • Healthy Aging / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers

Associated data

  • NTR/NTR5867