Cognitive status in the oldest old and centenarians: a condition crucial for quality of life methodologically difficult to assess

Beatrice Arosio, Rita Ostan, Daniela Mari, Sarah Damanti, Francesco Ronchetti, Sara Arcudi, Maria Scurti, Claudio Franceschi, Daniela Monti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Human life expectancy and the number of the oldest old are rapidly increasing worldwide. Advanced age is the main risk factor for dementia, representing one of the major causes of disability/dependency among older people with a strong impact on their families/caregivers. Centenarians have reached the extreme limits of human life escaping or delaying the major age-related diseases. Thus, these extraordinary individuals embody the best model to answer the crucial question if cognitive decline and dementia are progressive and unavoidable occurrences of increasing age. Despite a growing amount of data underlines the importance of cognitive function for quality of life and survival in old age, studies on centenarians have paid more attention to their physical condition rather than the assessment of their actual cognitive abilities. Accordingly, this work aims to summarize available data on the prevalence of dementia in centenarians and to critically address topics which can have a relevant impact on the cognitive assessment/status of the oldest old: (i) lack of standardized tools for cognitive assessment; (ii) criteria and threshold to establish the presence of dementia; (iii) influence of birth cohort and education; (iv) role of depression or positive attitude towards life; (v) gender differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Volume165
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017

Keywords

  • Centenarians
  • Cognitive assessment
  • Cognitive decline
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cognitive status in the oldest old and centenarians: a condition crucial for quality of life methodologically difficult to assess'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this