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The Profile of Executive Functioning in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: Disproportionate Deficits in Inhibitory Control

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2012

Erin K. Johns
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology/Centre for Research in Human Development, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec
Natalie A. Phillips*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology/Centre for Research in Human Development, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Montréal, Québec Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Sylvie Belleville
Affiliation:
Centre de recherche, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
Diane Goupil
Affiliation:
Centre de recherche, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
Lennie Babins
Affiliation:
Memory Clinic, Neuropsychology Services, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Nora Kelner
Affiliation:
Memory Clinic, Neuropsychology Services, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Bernadette Ska
Affiliation:
Centre de recherche, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec Faculté de médecine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
Brigitte Gilbert
Affiliation:
Centre de recherche, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
Fadi Massoud
Affiliation:
Centre de recherche, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec Service de gériatrie, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
Chloé de Boysson
Affiliation:
Centre de recherche, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
Hilary D. Duncan
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology/Centre for Research in Human Development, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec
Howard Chertkow
Affiliation:
Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Montréal, Québec Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montréal, Québec
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Natalie Phillips, Department of Psychology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4B 1R6. E-mail: natalie.phillips@concordia.ca

Abstract

Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) represents a group of individuals who are highly likely to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although aMCI is typically conceptualized as involving predominantly deficits in episodic memory, recent studies have demonstrated that deficits in executive functioning may also be present, and thorough categorization of cognitive functioning in MCI may improve early diagnosis and treatment of AD. We first provide an extensive review of neuropsychology studies that examined executive functioning in MCI. We then present data on executive functioning across multiple sub-domains (divided attention, working memory, inhibitory control, verbal fluency, and planning) in 40 aMCI patients (single or multiple domain) and 32 normal elderly controls (NECs). MCI patients performed significantly worse than NECs in all 5 sub-domains, and there was impairment (>1.0 SD below the mean of NECs) in all sub-domains. Impairment on each test was frequent, with 100% of MCI patients exhibiting a deficit in at least one sub-domain of executive functioning. Inhibitory control was the most frequently and severely impaired. These results indicate that executive dysfunction in multiple sub-domains is common in aMCI and highlights the importance of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation for fully characterizing the nature and extent of cognitive deficits in MCI. (JINS, 2012, 18, 541–555)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2012

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