Cognitive changes in young-old adults: effect of family history of dementia

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1995 Feb;17(1):65-70. doi: 10.1080/13803399508406582.


Cognitive performance of 40 first-degree relatives of patients with probable Alzheimer disease was compared to that of 24 matched controls without a family history of dementia. Across a test-retest interval ranging from 1 to 6 years, relatives more often showed evidence of cognitive decline, and in multivariate analyses of memory and intelligence measures, relatives of patients with early-onset dementia (< 67 years) showed greater decline than controls or relatives of patients with late-onset dementia. All changes observed to date are in the subclinical range, and further follow-up will be needed to determine the reliability of change trajectories. However, the findings suggest that family history of dementia may be worthy of monitoring in research on normal cognitive aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data