Introduction: We evaluated the prevalence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in indigenous Tsimane and Moseten, who lead a subsistence lifestyle.
Methods: Participants from population-based samples ≥ 60 years of age (n = 623) were assessed using adapted versions of the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination, informant interview, longitudinal cognitive testing and brain computed tomography (CT) scans.
Results: Tsimane exhibited five cases of dementia (among n = 435; crude prevalence = 1.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.4, 2.7); Moseten exhibited one case (among n = 169; crude prevalence = 0.6%, 95% CI: 0.0, 3.2), all age ≥ 80 years. Age-standardized MCI prevalence was 7.7% (95% CI: 5.2, 10.3) in Tsimane and 9.8% (95% CI: 4.9, 14.6) in Moseten. Cognitive impairment was associated with visuospatial impairments, parkinsonian symptoms, and vascular calcification in the basal ganglia.
Discussion: The prevalence of dementia in this cohort is among the lowest in the world. Widespread intracranial medial arterial calcifications suggest a previously unrecognized, non-Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia phenotype.
Keywords: Moseten; Tsimane; cognitive dysfunction; dementia; mental status and dementia tests.
© 2022 The Authors. Alzheimer's & Dementia published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Alzheimer's Association.