Different Cognitive Frailty Models and Health- and Cognitive-related Outcomes in Older Age: From Epidemiology to Prevention

Francesco Panza, Madia Lozupone, Vincenzo Solfrizzi, Rodolfo Sardone, Vittorio Dibello, Luca Di Lena, Francesca D'Urso, Roberta Stallone, Massimo Petruzzi, Gianluigi Giannelli, Nicola Quaranta, Antonello Bellomo, Antonio Greco, Antonio Daniele, Davide Seripa, Giancarlo Logroscino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Frailty, a critical intermediate status of the aging process that is at increased risk for negative health-related events, includes physical, cognitive, and psychosocial domains or phenotypes. Cognitive frailty is a condition recently defined by operationalized criteria describing coexisting physical frailty and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), with two proposed subtypes: potentially reversible cognitive frailty (physical frailty/MCI) and reversible cognitive frailty (physical frailty/pre- MCI subjective cognitive decline). In the present article, we reviewed the framework for the definition, different models, and the current epidemiology of cognitive frailty, also describing neurobiological mechanisms, and exploring the possible prevention of the cognitive frailty progression. Several studies suggested a relevant heterogeneity with prevalence estimates ranging 1.0-22.0% (10.7-22.0% in clinical-based settings and 1.0-4.4% in population-based settings). Cross-sectional and longitudinal population-based studies showed that different cognitive frailty models may be associated with increased risk of functional disability, worsened quality of life, hospitalization, mortality, incidence of dementia, vascular dementia, and neurocognitive disorders. The operationalization of clinical constructs based on cognitive impairment related to physical causes (physical frailty, motor function decline, or other physical factors) appears to be interesting for dementia secondary prevention given the increased risk for progression to dementia of these clinical entities. Multidomain interventions have the potential to be effective in preventing cognitive frailty. In the near future, we need to establish more reliable clinical and research criteria, using different operational definitions for frailty and cognitive impairment, and useful clinical, biological, and imaging markers to implement intervention programs targeted to improve frailty, so preventing also late-life cognitive disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1012
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • biomarkers
  • dementia
  • frailty
  • lifestyle
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • nutrition
  • prevention
  • subjective cognitive decline
  • vascular dementia


Dive into the research topics of 'Different Cognitive Frailty Models and Health- and Cognitive-related Outcomes in Older Age: From Epidemiology to Prevention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this