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Worth the Wait: Delayed Recall after 1 Week Predicts Cognitive and Medial Temporal Lobe Trajectories in Older Adults

Abstract

Objective:

We evaluated whether memory recall following an extended (1 week) delay predicts cognitive and brain structural trajectories in older adults.

Method:

Clinically normal older adults (52–92 years old) were followed longitudinally for up to 8 years after completing a memory paradigm at baseline [Story Recall Test (SRT)] that assessed delayed recall at 30 min and 1 week. Subsets of the cohort underwent neuroimaging (N = 134, mean age = 75) and neuropsychological testing (N = 178–207, mean ages = 74–76) at annual study visits occurring approximately 15–18 months apart. Mixed-effects regression models evaluated if baseline SRT performance predicted longitudinal changes in gray matter volumes and cognitive composite scores, controlling for demographics.

Results:

Worse SRT 1-week recall was associated with more precipitous rates of longitudinal decline in medial temporal lobe volumes (p = .037), episodic memory (p = .003), and executive functioning (p = .011), but not occipital lobe or total gray matter volumes (demonstrating neuroanatomical specificity; p > .58). By contrast, SRT 30-min recall was only associated with longitudinal decline in executive functioning (p = .044).

Conclusions:

Memory paradigms that capture longer-term recall may be particularly sensitive to age-related medial temporal lobe changes and neurodegenerative disease trajectories.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr. Cutter A. Lindbergh, Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, 675 Nelson Rising Lane, Suite 190, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. E-mail: Cutter.Lindbergh@ucsf.edu

References

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Worth the Wait: Delayed Recall after 1 Week Predicts Cognitive and Medial Temporal Lobe Trajectories in Older Adults

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