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This study investigated the relationship between insulin-resistance and constituent components of executive function in a sample of neurologically intact older adult subjects using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) and latent factors of working memory, cognitive control and processing speed derived from confirmatory factor analysis. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), mean arterial pressure (MAP), along with body mass index (BMI) and white matter hypointensity (WMH) were used to control for vascular risk factors, adiposity and cerebrovascular injury. The study included 119 elderly subjects recruited from the University of California, San Francisco Memory and Aging Center. Subjects underwent neuropsychological assessment, fasting blood draw and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Partial correlations and linear regression models were used to examine the HOMA-IR-executive function relationship. Pearson correlation adjusting for age showed a significant relationship between HOMA-IR and working memory (rp=−.18; p=.047), a trend with cognitive control (rp=−.17; p=.068), and no relationship with processing speed (rp=.013; p=.892). Linear regression models adjusting for demographic factors (age, education, and gender), LDL, MAP, BMI, and WMH indicated that HOMA-IR was negatively associated with cognitive control (r=−.256; p=.026) and working memory (r=−.234; p=.054). These results suggest a greater level of peripheral insulin-resistance is associated with decreased cognitive control and working memory. After controlling for demographic factors, vascular risk, adiposity and cerebrovascular injury, HOMA-IR remained significantly associated with cognitive control, with working memory showing a trend. These findings substantiate the insulin-resistance-executive function hypothesis and suggest a complex interaction, demonstrated by the differential impact of insulin-resistance on processing speed and specific aspects of executive function. (JINS, 2015, 21, 622–628)
This study examined everyday action impairment in participants with Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) by comparison with participants with Parkinson's disease-no dementia (PD) or Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in reference to a neuropsychological model. Participants with PDD (n = 20), PD (n = 20), or AD (n = 20) were administered performance-based measures of everyday functioning that allowed for the quantification of overall performance and error types. Also, caregiver ratings of functional independence were obtained. On performance-based tests, the PDD group exhibited greater functional impairment than the PD group but comparable overall impairment relative to the AD group. Error patterns did not differ between PDD and PD participants but the PDD group demonstrated a higher proportion of commission errors and lower proportion of omission errors relative to the AD group. Hierarchical regression analyses showed omission errors were significantly predicted by neuropsychological measures of episodic memory, whereas commission errors were predicted by both measures of general dementia severity (MMSE) and executive control. Everyday action impairment in PDD differs quantitatively from PD but qualitatively from AD and may be characterized by a relatively high proportion of commission errors—an error type associated with executive control deficits. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–12)
Libon et al. (2010) provided evidence for three statistically determined clusters of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI): amnesic (aMCI), dysexecutive (dMCI), and mixed (mxMCI). The current study further examined dysexecutive impairment in MCI using the framework of Fuster's (1997) derailed temporal gradients, that is, declining performance on executive tests over time or test epoch. Temporal gradients were operationally defined by calculating the slope of aggregate letter fluency output across 15-s epochs and accuracy indices for initial, middle, and latter triads from the Wechsler Memory Scale-Mental Control subtest (Boston Revision). For letter fluency, slope was steeper for dMCI compared to aMCI and NC groups. Between-group Mental Control analyses for triad 1 revealed worse dMCI performance than NC participants. On triad 2, dMCI scored lower than aMCI and NCs; on triad 3, mxMCI performed worse versus NCs. Within-group Mental Control analyses yielded equal performance across all triads for aMCI and NC participants. mxMCI scored lower on triad 1 compared to triads 2 and 3. dMCI participants also performed worse on triad 1 compared to triads 2 and 3, but scored higher on triad 3 versus triad 2. These data suggest impaired temporal gradients may provide a useful heuristic for understanding dysexecutive impairment in MCI. (JINS, 2012, 18, 20–28)
A group of 94 nondemented patients self-referred to an outpatient memory clinic for memory difficulties were studied to determine the incidence of single versus multi-domain mild cognitive impairment (MCI) using Petersen criteria. Fifty-five community dwelling normal controls (NC) participants without memory complaints also were recruited. Tests assessing executive control, naming/lexical retrieval, and declarative memory were administered. Thirty-four patients exhibited single-domain MCI, 43 patients presented with multi-domain MCI. When the entire MCI sample (n = 77) was subjected to a cluster analysis, 14 patients were classified with amnesic MCI, 21 patients with dysexecutive MCI, and 42 patients were classified into a mixed/multi-domain MCI group involving low scores on tests of letter fluency, “animal” fluency, and delayed recognition discriminability. Analyses comparing the three cluster-derived MCI groups versus a NC group confirmed the presence of memory and dysexecutive impairment for the amnesic and dysexecutive MCI groups. The mixed MCI group produced lower scores on tests of letter fluency compared with the amnesic MCI and NC groups and lower scores on tests of naming and memory compared with the NC group. In summary, multi-domain MCI is quite common. These data suggest that MCI is a highly nuanced and complex clinical entity. (JINS, 2010, 16, 84–93.)
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