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Author: Andrea M Piccinin (33)


Jan
2018

This study examines the role of educational attainment, an indicator of cognitive reserve, on transitions in later life between cognitive states (normal Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), mild MMSE impairment, and severe MMSE impairment) and death.
Analysis of six international longitudinal studies was performed using a coordinated approach. Multistate survival models were used to estimate the transition patterns via different cognitive states.

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Oct
2017

This study examined the Big Five personality traits as predictors of mortality risk, and smoking as a mediator of that association. Replication was built into the fabric of our design: we used a Coordinated Analysis with 15 international datasets, representing 44,094 participants. We found that high neuroticism and low conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness were consistent predictors of mortality across studies.

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Dec
1969

Cognitive reserve was postulated to explain individual differences in susceptibility to ageing, offering apparent protection to those with higher education. We investigated the association between education and change in memory in early old age.
Immediate and delayed memory scores from over 10,000 individuals aged 65 years and older, from 10 countries of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, were modeled as a function of time in the study over an 8-year period, fitting independent latent growth models.

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Dec
2016

Social activity is 1 aspect of an active lifestyle and some evidence indicates it is related to preserved cognitive function in older adulthood. However, the potential mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. We investigate 4 potential mediational pathways through which social activity may relate to cognitive performance.

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Aug
2017

We aimed to identify the hierarchy of rates of decline in 16 physical functioning measures in U.S. and English samples, using a systematic and integrative coordinated data analysis approach.

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Jul
2016

The association between patterns of change in self-rated health (SRH) and memory trajectories in older adults was examined using a systematic approach.
Data from the Health and Retirement Study ( n = 6,016) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing ( n = 734) were analyzed. Individuals were grouped into five categories according to their pattern of change in SRH over 8 years: stable excellent/very good/good, stable fair/poor, improvement, decline, and fluctuating pattern without a trend.

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Oct
2017

Several retrospective studies using informant report have shown that individuals with dementia demonstrate considerable personality change. Two prospective studies, also using informant report, have shown that individuals who develop dementia show some personality changes prior to diagnosis. The current study is the first to assess personality trait change prior to dementia diagnosis using self-report measures from longitudinal data.

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Dec
1969

The importance of preventing and controlling hypertension (HTN) and diabetes mellitus (DM) to mitigate risks to physical health has long been understood by health care professionals. More recently, a growing body of evidence implicates HTN and DM in age-related cognitive decline and risk for dementia, though consensus has yet to be reached on whether older adults living with comorbid HTN and DM are at heightened risk for cognitive impairment. The present study sought to contribute to this topic through a coordinated analysis of 3 longitudinal studies of aging from England, Sweden, and the United States (total N = 12,513).

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Dec
2015

A major goal of much aging-related research and geriatric medicine is to identify early changes in health and functioning before serious limitations develop. To this end, regular collection of patient-reported outcome measure (PROMs) in a clinical setting may be useful to identify and monitor these changes. However, existing PROMs were not designed for repeated administration and are more commonly used as one-time screening tools; as such, their ability to detect variation and measurement properties when administered repeatedly remain unknown.

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Jun
2016

Cognitive performance shows a marked deterioration in close proximity to death, as postulated by the terminal decline hypothesis. The effect of education on the rate of terminal decline in the oldest people (i.e.

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Dec
2014

The current study examines the role of social contact intensity, cognitive activity, and depressive symptoms as within- and between-person mediators for the relationships between physical activity and cognitive functioning.
All three types of mediators were considered simultaneously using multilevel structural equations modeling with longitudinal data. The sample consisted of 470 adults ranging from 79.

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Jun
2014

Previous research has demonstrated that adolescents make differential self-evaluations in multiple domains that include physical appearance, academic competence, and peer acceptance. We report growth curve analyses over a seven year period from age 9 to age 16 on the six domains of the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Children. In general, we find little change in self-concept, on average, but do find substantial individual differences in level, rate of change, and time-specific variation in these self- evaluations.

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Dec
1969

The quality of life over time of long-term survivors has become an important part of both cancer and aging research. This paper examines individual differences in trajectories of cancer-related worries and depressive symptoms of 179 participants who completed four waves of annual interviews. Cancer-related worries were significantly associated with both initial level and trajectories of depressive symptoms.

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Dec
2013

Age-related decline in processing speed has long been considered a key driver of cognitive aging. While the majority of empirical evidence for the processing speed hypothesis has been obtained from analyses of between-person age differences, longitudinal studies provide a direct test of within-person change. Using recent developments in longitudinal mediation analysis, we examine the speed-mediation hypothesis at both the within-and between-person levels in two longitudinal studies, Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) and Origins of Variance in the Oldest-Old (OCTO-Twin).

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Jun
2013

The terminal decline hypothesis states that in the proximity of death, an individual's decline in cognitive abilities accelerates. We aimed at estimating the onset of faster rate of decline in global cognition using Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores from participants of the Cambridge City over 75 Cohort Study (CC75C), a U.K.

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Nov
2012

One of the recommendations of the 2010 Leon Thal Symposium, organized to develop strategies to prevent Alzheimer's disease, was to build a global database of longitudinal aging studies. Although several databases of longitudinal aging studies exist, none of these are comprehensive or complete. In this article, we review selected databases of longitudinal aging studies.

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May
2013

We describe and compare the expected performance trajectories of older adults on the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) across six independent studies from four countries in the context of a collaborative network of longitudinal studies of aging. A coordinated analysis approach is used to compare patterns of change conditional on sample composition differences related to age, sex, and education. Such coordination accelerates evaluation of particular hypotheses.

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Dec
1969

The present study used a coordinated analyses approach to examine the association of physical activity and cognitive change in four longitudinal studies. A series of multilevel growth models with physical activity included both as a fixed (between-person) and time-varying (within-person) predictor of four domains of cognitive function (reasoning, memory, fluency, and semantic knowledge) was used. Baseline physical activity predicted fluency, reasoning and memory in two studies.

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Dec
1969

Engagement in cognitively stimulating activities has been considered to maintain or strengthen cognitive skills, thereby minimizing age-related cognitive decline. While the idea that there may be a modifiable behavior that could lower risk for cognitive decline is appealing and potentially empowering for older adults, research findings have not consistently supported the beneficial effects of engaging in cognitively stimulating tasks. Using observational studies of naturalistic cognitive activities, we report a series of mixed effects models that include baseline and change in cognitive activity predicting cognitive outcomes over up to 21 years in four longitudinal studies of aging.

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Dec
1969

Social activity is typically viewed as part of an engaged lifestyle that may help mitigate the deleterious effects of advanced age on cognitive function. As such, social activity has been examined in relation to cognitive abilities later in life. However, longitudinal evidence for this hypothesis thus far remains inconclusive.

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Dec
1969

We illustrate the use of the parallel latent growth curve model using data from OCTO-Twin. We found a significant intercept-intercept and slope-slope association between processing speed and visuospatial ability. Within-person correlations among the occasion-specific residuals were significant, suggesting that the occasion-specific fluctuations around individual's trajectories, after controlling for intraindividual change, are related between both outcomes.

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Dec
2011

Joint longitudinal-survival models are useful when repeated measures and event time data are available and possibly associated. The application of this joint model in aging research is relatively rare, albeit particularly useful, when there is the potential for nonrandom dropout. In this article we illustrate the method and discuss some issues that may arise when fitting joint models of this type.

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Jul
2011

In this article, we discuss the importance of studying the relationship between health and cognitive function, and some of the methods with which this relationship has been studied.
We consider the challenges involved, in particular operationalization of the health construct and causal inference in the context of observational data. We contrast the approaches taken, and review the questions addressed: whether health and cognition are associated, whether changes in health are associated with changes in cognition, and the degree of interdependency among their respective trajectories.

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Jul
2011

The terminal cognitive decline hypothesis has been debated for almost 50 years. This hypothesis implies a change in rate of decline within an individual. Therefore, we examine the hypothesis from a within-person perspective using a time to death chronological structure.

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Jul
2011

Although elevated rates of parent psychosocial distress have been associated with child behavior and emotional problems, little is known about the nature of this relationship over time. This study followed an epidemiological cohort of children and adolescents over 11 years with 4 waves of data collection. Within this cohort, complete data were available on 238 mothers and their children.

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May
2010

Toward an integrative science of life-span development and aging.

J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2010 May 17;65B(3):269-78. Epub 2010 Mar 17.
Scott M Hofer, Andrea M Piccinin
The study of aging demands an integrative life-span developmental framework, involving interdisciplinary collaborations and multiple methodological approaches for understanding how and why individuals change, in both normative and idiosyncratic ways. We highlight and summarize some of the issues encountered when conducting integrative research for understanding aging-related change, including, the integration of results across different levels of analysis; the integration of theory, design, and analysis; and the synthesis of results across studies of aging. We emphasize the necessity of longitudinal designs for understanding development and aging and discuss methodological issues that should be considered for achieving reproducible research on within-person processes.

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Dec
1969

To evaluate previously developed classification models to make implementation in primary care possible and aid early identification of persons at risk for dementia.
Data were drawn from the OCTO-Twin study. At baseline, 521 persons >or= 80 years of age were nondemented, and for 387 a blood sample was available.

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Sep
2009

Individual change and variation in emotional/behavioral disturbance in children and adolescents with intellectual disability has received little empirical investigation. Based on 11 years of longitudinal data from the Australian Child to Adult Development Study, we report associations among individual differences in level, rate of change, and occasion-specific variation across subscales of the Developmental Behavior Checklist (DBC) with 506 participants who had intellectual disability and were ages 5 to 19 years at study entry. Correlations among the five DBC subscales ranged from .

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Jun
2009

Replication of research findings across independent longitudinal studies is essential for a cumulative and innovative developmental science. Meta-analysis of longitudinal studies is often limited by the amount of published information on particular research questions, the complexity of longitudinal designs and the sophistication of analyses, and practical limits on full reporting of results. In many cases, cross-study differences in sample composition and measurements impede or lessen the utility of pooled data analysis.

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Dec
1969

The Developmental Behavior Checklist (DBC; Einfeld and Tonge, 1995) is a 95 item clinical screening checklist designed to assess the extent of behavioral and emotional disturbance in populations with intellectual deficit (ID). The DBC provides five principal-component derived subscales covering clinically relevant dimensions of psychopathology (i.e.

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Oct
2006

Comorbid severe mental health problems complicating intellectual disability are a common and costly public health problem. Although these problems are known to begin in early childhood, little is known of how they evolve over time or whether they continue into adulthood.
To study the course of psychopathology in a representative population of children and adolescents with intellectual disability.

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Apr
2006

The incidence of colorectal cancer in portions of rural Appalachia is higher than in much of the United States. To reduce this disparity, cancer-control strategies could be adapted to and implemented in rural Appalachian communities. The objectives of this pilot study were to develop and test community-based participatory research methods to examine whether cancer coalitions in Appalachia could effectively disseminate print materials from a national media campaign intended to promote colorectal cancer awareness to their rural communities.

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Mar
2004

Change in cognitive abilities was assessed over a 6-year period in a sample of monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twin pairs (N = 507 individuals), aged 80 and older (mean age = 83.3 years: SD = 3.1).

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