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To evaluate the construct validity of the NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery (NIH TB-CB) in the healthy oldest-old (85+ years old).
Our sample from the McKnight Brain Aging Registry consists of 179 individuals, 85 to 99 years of age, screened for memory, neurological, and psychiatric disorders. Using previous research methods on a sample of 85 + y/o adults, we conducted confirmatory factor analyses on models of NIH TB-CB and same domain standard neuropsychological measures. We hypothesized the five-factor model (Reading, Vocabulary, Memory, Working Memory, and Executive/Speed) would have the best fit, consistent with younger populations. We assessed confirmatory and discriminant validity. We also evaluated demographic and computer use predictors of NIH TB-CB composite scores.
Findings suggest the six-factor model (Vocabulary, Reading, Memory, Working Memory, Executive, and Speed) had a better fit than alternative models. NIH TB-CB tests had good convergent and discriminant validity, though tests in the executive functioning domain had high inter-correlations with other cognitive domains. Computer use was strongly associated with higher NIH TB-CB overall and fluid cognition composite scores.
The NIH TB-CB is a valid assessment for the oldest-old samples, with relatively weak validity in the domain of executive functioning. Computer use’s impact on composite scores could be due to the executive demands of learning to use a tablet. Strong relationships of executive function with other cognitive domains could be due to cognitive dedifferentiation. Overall, the NIH TB-CB could be useful for testing cognition in the oldest-old and the impact of aging on cognition in older populations.
Depression and obesity are highly prevalent, and major impacts on public health frequently co-occur. Recently, we reported that having depression moderates the effect of the FTO gene, suggesting its implication in the association between depression and obesity.
To confirm these findings by investigating the FTO polymorphism rs9939609 in new cohorts, and subsequently in a meta-analysis.
The sample consists of 6902 individuals with depression and 6799 controls from three replication cohorts and two original discovery cohorts. Linear regression models were performed to test for association between rs9939609 and body mass index (BMI), and for the interaction between rs9939609 and depression status for an effect on BMI. Fixed and random effects meta-analyses were performed using METASOFT.
In the replication cohorts, we observed a significant interaction between FTO, BMI and depression with fixed effects meta-analysis (β=0.12, P = 2.7 × 10−4) and with the Han/Eskin random effects method (P = 1.4 × 10−7) but not with traditional random effects (β = 0.1, P = 0.35). When combined with the discovery cohorts, random effects meta-analysis also supports the interaction (β = 0.12, P = 0.027) being highly significant based on the Han/Eskin model (P = 6.9 × 10−8). On average, carriers of the risk allele who have depression have a 2.2% higher BMI for each risk allele, over and above the main effect of FTO.
This meta-analysis provides additional support for a significant interaction between FTO, depression and BMI, indicating that depression increases the effect of FTO on BMI. The findings provide a useful starting point in understanding the biological mechanism involved in the association between obesity and depression.
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