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1.  Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Subset of Minor Neurocognitive Disorder? 
The field of aging and dementia is increasingly preoccupied with identification of the asymptomatic phenotype of Alzheimer disease (AD). A quick glance at historical landmarks in the field indicates that the agenda and priorities of the field have evolved over time. The initial focus of research was dementia. In the late 1980s and 1990s, dementia researchers reported that some elderly persons are neither demented nor cognitively normal. Experts coined various terms to describe the gray zone between normal cognitive aging and dementia, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Advances made in epidemiologic, neuroimaging, and biomarkers research emboldened the field to seriously pursue the avenue of identifying asymptomatic AD. Accurate “diagnosis” of the phenotype has also evolved over time. For example, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) Task Force is contemplating to use the terms major and minor neurocognitive disorders. The six papers published in this edition of the journal pertain to MCI which is envisaged to become a subset of minor neurocognitive disorders. These six studies have three points in common: 1) All of them are observational studies; 2) They have generated useful hypotheses or made important observations without necessarily relying on expensive biomarkers; and 3) Based on the new National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association guidelines, all the studies addressed the symptomatic phase of AD. Questionnaire-based observational studies will continue to be useful until such a time that validated biomarkers, be it chemical or neuroimaging, become widely available and reasonably affordable.
PMCID: PMC3644585  PMID: 22935926
2.  Neuropsychiatric Aspects of Primary Progressive Aphasia 
Few studies have reported neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA), a neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects the left hemisphere. Depression is associated with left-sided stroke, but it remains unclear if depression and other NPS are also associated with PPA. The authors compared the frequency of NPS in 55 cases of PPA with 110 cognitively normal persons matched for age, sex and education. Depression, apathy, agitation, anxiety, appetite change, and irritability are associated with PPA. Hallucinations, delusion and night time behavior were not associated with PPA.
PMCID: PMC3204925  PMID: 21677245
3.  Mild Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults 
Current psychiatry reports  2012;14(4):320-327.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the intermediate stage between the cognitive changes of normal aging and dementia. Individuals with MCI show cognitive impairment greater than expected for their age, but otherwise are functioning independently and do not meet the criteria for dementia. MCI is important because it constitutes a high risk group for dementia. Ideally, prevention strategies should target individuals who are not even symptomatic. Indeed, the field is now moving towards identification of asymptomatic individuals who have underlying Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology that can be detected by using biomarkers and neuroimaging technologies. To this effect, the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging have developed a new classification scheme that has categorized AD into a preclinical phase (research category), MCI due to AD, and dementia of Alzheimer’s type. On the other hand, there are also ongoing researches to understand high risk groups for non-Alzheimer’s dementia as well.
PMCID: PMC3963488  PMID: 22773365
Aging; Mild cognitive impairment; Neuropsychiatric symptoms; Dementia; Dementia of Alzheimer’s type; Cognitive Impairment No dementia; Benign and malignant forgetfulness; Age-associated memory impairment; Age-associated cognitive decline; Mild neurocognitive decline; Age-associated memory impairment; Questionable dementia; Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease
4.  Cardiac Disease Increases Risk of Non-amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: Stronger impact in women 
JAMA neurology  2013;70(3):374-382.
Non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment (naMCI), a putative precursor of vascular and other non-Alzheimer’s disease dementias, is hypothesized to have a vascular etiology. We investigated the association of cardiac disease with amnestic (aMCI) and non-amnestic (naMCI) MCI.
A prospective, population-based, cohort study with a median 4.0 years of follow-up.
Olmsted County, Minnesota.
Participants were evaluated at baseline and every 15 months using the Clinical Dementia Rating scale, a neurological evaluation, and neuropsychological testing. A diagnosis of normal cognition, MCI, or dementia was made by consensus. Cardiac disease at baseline was assessed from the participant’s medical records.
Main outcome measures
Incident MCI, aMCI, naMCI.
Among 1,450 subjects free of MCI or dementia at baseline, 366 developed MCI. Cardiac disease was associated with an increased risk of naMCI (hazard ratio [HR] 95% confidence interval; 1.77 [1.16–2.72]). However, the association varied by sex (P for interaction = .02). Cardiac disease was associated with an increased risk of naMCI (HR, 3.07 [1.58–5.99]) in women, but not in men (HR, 1.16 [0.68–1.99]. Cardiac disease was not associated with any MCI or aMCI.
Cardiac disease is an independent risk factor for naMCI, within sex comparisons showed a stronger association in women. Prevention and management of cardiac disease and vascular risk factors may reduce the risk of naMCI.
PMCID: PMC3734560  PMID: 23358884
5.  Recognition of Facial Emotional Expression in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment 
We examined whether recognition of facial emotional expression would be affected in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). A total of 50 elderly persons met the initial inclusion criteria, 10 were subsequently excluded (Geriatric Depression Score >5). 22 subjects were classified with aMCI based on published criteria (single domain aMCI [SD-aMCI], n = 10; multiple domain aMCI [MD-aMCI], n = 12); 18 subjects were cognitively normal. All underwent standard neurological and neuropsychological evaluations as well as tests of facial emotion recognition (FER) and famous faces identification (FFI). Among normal controls, FFI was negatively correlated with MMSE and positively correlated with executive function. Among patients with aMCI, FER was correlated with attention/speed of processing. No other correlations were significant. In a multinomial logistic regression model adjusted for age, sex, and education, a poorer score on FER, but not on FFI, was associated with greater odds of being classified as MD-aMCI (odds ratio [OR], 3.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05–13.91; p = 0.042). This association was not explained by memory or global cognitive score. There was no association between FER or FFI and SD-aMCI (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.36–3.57; p = 0.836). Therefore, FER, but not FFI, may be impaired in MD-aMCI. This implies that in MD-aMCI, the tasks of FER and FFI may involve segregated neurocognitive networks.
PMCID: PMC3918473  PMID: 22954669
assessment of cognitive disorders/dementia; cognitive aging; emotion; mild cognitive impairment; neuropsychiatric symptoms
6.  A purpose “driven” life: Is it potentially neuroprotective? 
Archives of neurology  2010;67(8):1010-1011.
PMCID: PMC3918477  PMID: 20697053
7.  Successful Aging: Definitions and Prediction of Longevity and Conversion to Mild Cognitive Impairment 
To examine alternative models of defining and characterizing successful aging.
A retrospective cohort study
Olmsted County, MN.
560 community-dwelling non-demented adults, aged 65 years and older.
Three models were developed. Each model examined subtests in four cognitive domains: memory, attention/executive function, language, and visual-spatial skills. A composite domain score was generated for each of the four domains. In Model 1, a global z-score was further generated from the four cognitive domains, and subjects with mean global z-score in the top 10% were classified as “successful agers” whereas those in the remaining 90% were classified as “typical agers”. In Model 2, subjects with all 4 domain scores above the 50th percentile were classified as “successful agers.” In Model 3, a primary neuropsychological variable was selected from each domain, and subjects whose score remained above minus 1 SD compared to norms for young adults were labeled successful agers. Validation tests were conducted to determine the ability of each model to predict survival and conversion to mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Model 1 showed 65% lower mortality in successful agers compared to typical agers, and also a 25% lower conversion rate to MCI.
Model 1 was most strongly associated with longevity and cognitive decline; as such, it can be useful in investigating various predictors of successful aging, including plasma level, APOE genotype, and neuroimaging measurements.
PMCID: PMC3918503  PMID: 21606901
successful aging; optimal aging; longevity; cognitive decline
8.  Caloric Intake, Aging, and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study 
In a population-based case-control study, we examined whether moderate and high caloric intakes are differentially associated with the odds of having mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The sample was derived from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Non-demented study participants aged 70–92 years (1,072 cognitively normal persons and 161 subjects with MCI) reported their caloric consumption within 1 year of the date of interview by completing a Food Frequency Questionnaire. An expert consensus panel classified each subject as either cognitively normal or having MCI based on published criteria. We conducted multivariable logistic regression analyses to compute odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) after adjusting for age, sex, education, depression, medical comorbidity, and body mass index. We also conducted stratified analyses by apolipoprotein E ε4 genotype status. Analyses were conducted in tertiles of caloric intake: 600 to <1,526 kcals per day (reference group); 1,526 to 2,143 kcals per day (moderate caloric intake group); and >2,143 kcals per day (high caloric intake group). In the primary analysis, there was no significant difference between the moderate caloric intake group and the reference group (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.53–1.42, p = 0.57). However, high caloric intake was associated with a nearly two-fold increased odds of having MCI (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.26–3.06, p = 0.003) as compared to the reference group. Therefore, high caloric intake was associated with MCI but not moderate caloric intake. This association is not necessarily a cause-effect relationship.
PMCID: PMC3578975  PMID: 23234878
aging; APOE ε4 genotype; caloric intake; mild cognitive impairment; population-based
9.  Longitudinal Stability of Subsyndromal Symptoms of Depression in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Relationship to Conversion to Dementia after Three Years 
To evaluate the degree to which longitudinal stability of subsyndromal symptoms of depression (SSD) is associated with conversion to dementia in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).
Data from 405 MCI participants from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study were analyzed. Participants were evaluated at baseline and 12 month intervals over three years. Participants were designated as MCI Converters if dementia was diagnosed within 3 years or as Cognitively Stable MCI if dementia was not diagnosed during this interval. SSD were evaluated utilizing the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Endorsement of specific SSD at baseline and the stability of SSD over 36 months were compared between the two MCI groups.
Baseline symptom endorsement and stability of total GDS scores did not differentiate MCI groups. Worsening of 4 individual items from the GDS over time (memory problems, feelings of helplessness, loss of interest, and preference for staying at home) differentiated MCI converters from cognitively stable MCI (p <0.05 for all). However, only increased endorsement of memory symptoms over time was associated with progression to dementia after controlling for other clinical variables (p=0.05).
SSD in MCI participants largely consist of cognitive symptoms and activity limitations and the stability of SSD over time differentiated the MCI groups better than baseline endorsement of symptoms. However, the only significant predictor of conversion to dementia was increased endorsement of memory problems, which likely represents insight into cognitive problems more than depressive symptomatology in MCI individuals.
PMCID: PMC3685477  PMID: 21744390
subsyndromal depression; longitudinal stability; mild cognitive impairment; insight; dementia
Our objective was to document the clinical and imaging features of Othello's syndrome (delusional jealousy).
The study design was a retrospective case series of 105 patients with Othello's syndrome that were identified by using the Electronic Medical Record system of Mayo Clinic.
The average age at onset of Othello's syndrome was 68 (25–94) years with 61.9% of patients being male. Othello's syndrome was most commonly associated with a neurological disorder (73/105) compared with psychiatric disorders (32/105). Of the patients with a neurological disorder, 76.7% had a neurodegenerative disorder. Seven of eight patients with a structural lesion associated with Othello's syndrome had right frontal lobe pathology. Voxel-based morphometry showed greater grey matter loss predominantly in the dorsolateral frontal lobes in the neurodegenerative patients with Othello's compared to matched patients with neurodegenerative disorders without Othello's syndrome. Treatment success was notable for patients with dopamine agonist induced Othello's syndrome in which all six patients had improvement in symptoms following decrease in medication.
This study demonstrates that Othello's syndrome occurs most frequently with neurological disorders. This delusion appears to be associated with dysfunction of the frontal lobes, especially right frontal lobe.
PMCID: PMC3144984  PMID: 21518145
Othello's Syndrome; Right frontal lobe; Delusions; Dementia
11.  Probable REM Sleep Behavior Disorder Increases Risk for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Parkinson’s Disease: A Population-Based Study 
Annals of Neurology  2012;71(1):49-56.
REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is associated with neurodegenerative disease and particularly with the synucleinopathies. Convenience samples involving subjects with idiopathic RBD have suggested an increased risk of incident mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia (usually dementia with Lewy bodies) or Parkinson’s disease (PD). There is no data on such risk in a population-based sample.
Cognitively normal subjects aged 70–89 in a population-based study of aging who screened positive for probable RBD using the Mayo Sleep Questionnaire were followed at 15 month intervals. In a Cox Proportional Hazards Model, we measured the risk of developing MCI, dementia, PD among the exposed (pRBD+) and unexposed (pRBD−) cohorts.
Forty-four subjects with pRBD+ at enrollment (median duration of pRBD features was 7.5 years), and 607 pRBD− subjects, were followed prospectively for a median of 3.8 years. Fourteen of the pRBD+ subjects developed MCI and one developed PD (15/44=34% developed MCI / PD); none developed dementia. After adjustment for age, sex, education, and medical comorbidity, pRBD+ subjects were at increased risk of MCI / PD [Hazard Ratio (HR) 2.2, 95% Confidence Interval (95%CI) 1.3 – 3.9; p=0.005]. Inclusion of subjects who withdrew from the study produced similar results, as did exclusion of subjects with medication-associated RBD. Duration of pRBD symptoms did not predict the development of MCI / PD (HR 1.05 per 10 years, 95%CI 0.84 – 1.3; p=0.68).
In this population-based cohort study, we observed that pRBD confers a 2.2-fold increased risk of developing MCI / PD over four years.
PMCID: PMC3270692  PMID: 22275251
sleep disorders; parasomnias; dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; dementia with Lewy bodies; parkinsonism; synuclein
12.  Relative Intake of Macronutrients Impacts Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment or dementia 
High caloric intake has been associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. Total caloric intake is determined by the calories derived from macronutrients. The objective of the study was to investigate the association between percent of daily energy (calories) from macronutrients and incident mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Participants were a population-based prospective cohort of elderly persons who were followed over a median 3.7 years (interquartile range, 2.5–3.9) of follow-up. At baseline and every 15 months, participants (median age, 79.5 years) were evaluated using the Clinical Dementia Rating scale, a neurological evaluation, and neuropsychological testing for a diagnosis of MCI, normal cognition, or dementia. Participants also completed a 128-item food-frequency questionnaire at baseline; total daily caloric and macronutrient intakes were calculated using an established database. The percent of total daily energy from protein (% protein), carbohydrate (% carbohydrate), and total fat (% fat) was computed. Among 937 subjects who were cognitively normal at baseline, 200 developed incident MCI or dementia. The risk of MCI or dementia (hazard ratio [HR], [95% confidence interval]) was elevated in subjects with high % carbohydrate (upper quartile: 1.89 [1.17–3.06]; P for trend=0.004), but was reduced in subjects with high % fat (upper quartile: 0.56 [0.34–0.91]; P for trend=0.03), and high % protein (upper quartile 0.79 [0.52 – 1.20]; P for trend=0.03) in the fully adjusted models. A dietary pattern with relatively high caloric intake from carbohydrates and low caloric intake from fat and proteins may increase the risk of MCI or dementia in elderly persons.
PMCID: PMC3494735  PMID: 22810099
Mild cognitive impairment; dementia; dietary proteins; dietary fats; dietary carbohydrates; caloric intake; energy intake; prospective studies; community-based
13.  Computer Activities, Physical Exercise, Aging, and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study 
Mayo Clinic Proceedings  2012;87(5):437-442.
To examine the association between computer use, physical exercise, aging, and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Patients and Methods
The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging is a population-based study of aging and MCI in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The study sample consists of a random sample of 926 nondemented individuals aged 70 to 93 years who completed self-reported questionnaires on physical exercise, computer use, and caloric intake within 1 year of the date of interview. The study was conducted from April 1, 2006, through November 30, 2008. An expert consensus panel classified each study participant as cognitively normal or having MCI on the basis of published criteria.
Using a multivariable logistic regression model, we examined the impact of the presence during the study period of 2 lifestyle factors (physical exercise and computer use) after adjusting for a third lifestyle factor (caloric intake) on aging and MCI. We also adjusted for age, sex, education, medical comorbidity, and depression. The median daily caloric intake was significantly higher in participants with MCI than in controls (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.06; P=.001). Participants who engaged in both moderate physical exercise and computer use had significantly decreased odds of having MCI (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 0.36 [0.20-0.68]) compared with the reference group. In the interaction analyses, there was an additive interaction (P=.012) but not multiplicative interaction (P=.780).
In this population-based sample, the presence of both physical exercise and computer use as assessed via survey was associated with decreased odds of having MCI, after adjustment for caloric intake and traditional confounders.
PMCID: PMC3538471  PMID: 22560523
CDR, Clinical Dementia Rating; CI, confidence interval; MCI, mild cognitive impairment; OR, odds ratio
14.  Engaging in Cognitive Activities, Aging and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study 
We investigated whether engaging in cognitive activities is associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in a cross-sectional study derived from an ongoing population-based study of normal cognitive aging and MCI in Olmsted County, Minnesota. A random sample of 1321 non-demented study participants ages 70 to 89 (n = 1124 cognitively normal persons and n = 197 subjects with MCI) was interviewed about the frequency of cognitive activities carried out in late life (within one year of the date of interview). Computer activities [OR (95% CI) = 0.50 (0.36, 0.71); p < .0001)], craft activities such as knitting, quilting, etc. [0.66 (0.47, 0.93); p = 0.019)], playing games [0.65 (0.47, 0.90); p = 0.010)], and reading books [0.67 (0.49, 0.94); p = 0.019)] were associated with decreased odds of having MCI. Social activities such as traveling were marginally significant [0.71 (0.51, 1.00); p = 0.050)]. Even though the point estimates for reading magazines, playing music, artistic activities, and group activities were associated with reduced odds of having MCI, none reached statistical significance. We could not expect to observe any difference between the two groups on the variable of reading newspapers since almost identical proportions of the two groups (97.4% of normals and 97.5% of the MCI group) were engaged in reading newspapers on a regular basis.
PMCID: PMC3204924  PMID: 21677242
cognitive activities; aging; mild cognitive impairment
15.  Physical Exercise as a Preventive or Disease-Modifying Treatment of Dementia and Brain Aging 
Mayo Clinic Proceedings  2011;86(9):876-884.
A rapidly growing literature strongly suggests that exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, may attenuate cognitive impairment and reduce dementia risk. We used PubMed (keywords exercise and cognition) and manuscript bibliographies to examine the published evidence of a cognitive neuroprotective effect of exercise. Meta-analyses of prospective studies documented a significantly reduced risk of dementia associated with midlife exercise; similarly, midlife exercise significantly reduced later risks of mild cognitive impairment in several studies. Among patients with dementia or mild cognitive impairment, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) documented better cognitive scores after 6 to 12 months of exercise compared with sedentary controls. Meta-analyses of RCTs of aerobic exercise in healthy adults were also associated with significantly improved cognitive scores. One year of aerobic exercise in a large RCT of seniors was associated with significantly larger hippocampal volumes and better spatial memory; other RCTs in seniors documented attenuation of age-related gray matter volume loss with aerobic exercise. Cross-sectional studies similarly reported significantly larger hippocampal or gray matter volumes among physically fit seniors compared with unfit seniors. Brain cognitive networks studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging display improved connectivity after 6 to 12 months of exercise. Animal studies indicate that exercise facilitates neuroplasticity via a variety of biomechanisms, with improved learning outcomes. Induction of brain neurotrophic factors by exercise has been confirmed in multiple animal studies, with indirect evidence for this process in humans. Besides a brain neuroprotective effect, physical exercise may also attenuate cognitive decline via mitigation of cerebrovascular risk, including the contribution of small vessel disease to dementia. Exercise should not be overlooked as an important therapeutic strategy.
PMCID: PMC3258000  PMID: 21878600
16.  Untreated Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications Are Associated With Subcortical Infarctions 
Diabetes Care  2010;34(1):184-186.
To investigate the association of type 2 diabetes with subcortical infarctions.
We investigated this association in subjects with type 2 diabetes (case subjects; n = 93) and without type 2 diabetes (control subjects; n = 186), matched by age, sex, and years of education. Participants were a subset of the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging (median age 79 years) who had undergone magnetic resonance imaging.
The frequency of subcortical infarctions was 39% in case subjects and 29% in control subjects (odds ratio 1.59 [95% CI 0.91–2.75]). The association was stronger in case subjects without treatment (2.60 [1.11–6.08]) and in case subjects with diabetes-related complications (1.96 [1.02–3.74]) compared with control subjects.
These findings suggest that untreated type 2 diabetes and type 2 diabetes with complications are associated with subcortical infarctions.
PMCID: PMC3005470  PMID: 20980413
17.  Coronary heart disease is associated with non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment 
Neurobiology of aging  2008;31(11):1894-1902.
The progression of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI) to Alzheimer’s disease and hypothesized progression of non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment (na-MCI) to non-degenerative or vascular dementias suggest etiologic differences. We examined the association between coronary heart disease (CHD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subtypes in a population-based cohort. Participants (n = 1969; aged 70-89 years) were evaluated using the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, a neurological examination, and neuropsychological testing for diagnoses of normal cognition, MCI, or dementia. CHD was defined as a history of myocardial infarction, angina, angiographic coronary stenosis, or coronary revascularization and ascertained by participant interview and from medical records. CHD was significantly associated with Na-MCI (OR = 1.93; 95% CI = 1.22-3.06) but not with a-MCI (OR = 0.94; 95% CI = 0.69-1.28). In contrast, ApoE ε4 allele was significantly associated with a-MCI (OR = 1.75; 95% CI = 1.28-2.41), but not with na-MCI (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 0.69-2.00). The association of CHD with prevalent na-MCI but not with a-MCI suggests that CHD and na-MCI may have similar underlying etiologies.
PMCID: PMC2888961  PMID: 19091445
Cognitive impairment; Coronary heart disease; Myocardial infarction; Angina; Coronary artery bypass grafting; Population-based
18.  Anxious Personality Predicts an Increased Risk of Parkinson’s Disease 
We studied the association of three personality traits related to neuroticism with the subsequent risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD) using a historical cohort study. We included 7,216 subjects who resided within the 120-mile radius centered in Rochester, MN, at the time they completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) for research at the Mayo Clinic from 1962–1965. We considered three MMPI personality scales (pessimistic, anxious, and depressive traits). A total of 6,822 subjects (94.5%) were followed over 4 decades either actively or passively. During follow-up, 227 subjects developed parkinsonism (156 developed PD). An anxious personality was associated with an increased risk of PD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16–2.27). A pessimistic personality trait was also associated with an increased risk of PD but only in men (HR = 1.92; 95% CI = 1.20–3.07). By contrast, a depressive trait was not associated with increased risk. Analyses combining scores from the three personality scales into a composite neuroticism score showed an association of neuroticism with PD (HR = 1.54; 95% CI = 1.10–2.16). The association with neuroticism remained significant even when the MMPI was administered early in life (ages 20–39 years). By contrast, none of the three personality traits was associated with the risk of non-PD types of parkinsonism grouped together. Our long-term historical cohort study suggests that an anxious personality trait may predict an increased risk of PD developing many years later.
PMCID: PMC3089895  PMID: 20669309
Parkinson’s disease; parkinsonism; anxious personality; pessimistic personality; neuroticism; Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
19.  Vegetables, Unsaturated Fats, Moderate Alcohol Intake, and Mild Cognitive Impairment 
To investigate associations of the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) components and the MeDi score with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Participants (aged 70–89 years) were clinically evaluated to assess MCI and dementia, and completed a 128-item food frequency questionnaire.
163 of 1,233 nondemented persons had MCI. The odds ratio of MCI was reduced for high vegetable intake [0.66 (95% CI = 0.44–0.99), p = 0.05] and for high mono-plus polyunsaturated fatty acid to saturated fatty acid ratio [0.52 (95% CI = 0.33–0.81), p = 0.007], adjusted for confounders. The risk of incident MCI or dementia was reduced in subjects with a high MeDi score [hazard ratio = 0.75 (95% CI = 0.46–1.21), p = 0.24].
Vegetables, unsaturated fats, and a high MeDi score may be beneficial to cognitive function.
PMCID: PMC2889256  PMID: 20502015
Mild cognitive impairment; Dietary intake; Moderate alcohol intake; Unsaturated fatty acids; Mediterranean diet; Longitudinal; Prevalence studies; Incidence studies; Population-based
20.  Pessimistic, Anxious, and Depressive Personality Traits Predict All-Cause Mortality: The Mayo Clinic Cohort Study of Personality and Aging 
Psychosomatic medicine  2009;71(5):491-500.
To study the association between several personality traits and all-cause mortality.
We established a historical cohort of 7216 subjects who completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) for research at the Mayo Clinic from 1962 to 1965, and who resided within a 120-mile radius centered in Rochester, MN. A total of 7080 subjects (98.1%) were followed over four decades either actively (via a direct or proxy telephone interview) or passively (via review of medical records or by obtaining their death certificates). We examined the association of pessimistic, anxious, and depressive personality traits (as measured using MMPI scales) with all-cause mortality.
A total of 4634 subjects (65.5%) died during follow-up. Pessimistic, anxious, and depressive personality traits were associated with increased all-cause mortality in both men and women. In addition, we observed a linear trend of increasing risk from the first to the fourth quartile for all three scales. Results were similar in additional analyses considering the personality scores as continuous variables, in analyses combining the three personality traits into a composite neuroticism score, and in several sets of sensitivity analyses. These associations remained significant even when personality was measured early in life (ages 20 to 39 years).
Our findings suggest that personality traits related to neuroticism are associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality even when they are measured early in life.
PMCID: PMC3087200  PMID: 19321849
personality; mortality; pessimism; anxiety; depression; neuroticism; MMPI
21.  Mild Cognitive Impairment: Ten Years Later 
Archives of neurology  2009;66(12):1447-1455.
In the past 10 years, there has been a virtual explosion in the literature concerning the construct of mild cognitive impairment. The interest in this topic demonstrates the increasing emphasis on the identification of the earliest features of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Mild cognitive impairment represents the earliest clinical features of these conditions and, hence, has become a focus of clinical, epidemiological, neuroimaging, biomarker, neuropathological, disease mechanism and clinical trials research. This review summarizes the progress that has been made while also recognizing the challenges that remain.
PMCID: PMC3081688  PMID: 20008648
Mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer’s disease; Imaging; Cognitive decline
22.  Association of Prior Stroke with Cognitive Function and Cognitive Impairment: A Population-based Study 
Archives of neurology  2009;66(5):614-619.
Defining the nature of the contribution of stroke to cognitive impairment remains challenging.
We randomly selected Olmsted County, MN residents aged 70–89 years on October 1, 2004 and invited eligible non-demented subjects to participate. Participants (n = 2,050) were evaluated with an informant interview, a neurological evaluation, and neuropsychological testing. Neuropsychological testing included 9 tests to assess memory, attention and executive function, visuospatial cognition and language. Subjects were diagnosed by consensus as cognitively normal, MCI (either amnestic (a-) or non-amnestic (na-)), or dementia. A history of stroke was obtained from the subject and confirmed in the medical record. We computed the odds ratios (OR) for a clinical diagnosis of MCI or for scoring in the lowest quartile on each cognitive domain.
There were 1640 cognitively normal and 329 MCI subjects, 241 a-MCI and 88 na-MCI. In fully adjusted models with non-demented subjects only, a history of stroke was associated with a higher odds ratio (OR) of na-MCI (OR= 2.85, 95% CI 1.61 – 5.04) than a-MCI (OR= 1.77, 95% CI 1.14 – 2.74). A history of stroke was also associated with impaired function in each cognitive domain except memory. The association was strongest for attention and executive function (OR=2.48, 95% CI 1.73 – 3.53). APOE e4 genotype was associated only with a-MCI and with impaired memory function.
In this population-based sample of non-demented persons, a history of stroke was particularly associated with na-MCI and with impairment in non-memory cognition. APOE e4 genotype was associated with memory impairment and a-MCI.
PMCID: PMC3050015  PMID: 19433661
23.  Metabolic Syndrome, Inflammation, and Non-Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment in Older Persons: A Population-Based Study 
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is more strongly associated with cognitive impairment in the presence of inflammation. This suggests that the association of MetS with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may vary with the etiology and the subtype of MCI. This study investigated the association between MetS with or without inflammation and MCI (amnestic [a-MCI] and non-amnestic [na-MCI]). We studied a randomly selected sample of 1969 subjects (ages 70 to 89 years) from Olmsted County, MN, using the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, a neurological evaluation, and neuropsychological testing. Data for participants were reviewed for a diagnosis of normal cognition, MCI, or dementia. Clinical components of MetS were ascertained by interview and confirmed from the medical records; biochemical measurements were assayed from a blood draw. We compared 88 na-MCI cases and 241 a-MCI cases with 1640 cognitively normal subjects. MetS was not associated with either na-MCI or a-MCI. High C-reactive protein (CRP highest tertile vs lowest tertile) was associated with na-MCI (odds ratio [OR] = 1.85; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.05, 3.24) but not with a-MCI, after adjusting for sex, age, and years of education. The combination of MetS and high CRP (compared to no Mets and lowest CRP tertile) was associated with na-MCI (OR = 2.31; 95% CI = 1.07, 5.00), but not with a-MCI (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.59, 1.54). The combined presence of MetS and high levels of inflammation is associated with na-MCI in this elderly cohort, and suggests etiologic differences in MCI subtypes.
PMCID: PMC2837096  PMID: 19568151
metabolic syndrome; insulin resistance; mild cognitive impairment; C-reactive protein; inflammation; cross-sectional study
24.  Validation of the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status-modified in Subjects with Normal Cognition, Mild Cognitive Impairment, or Dementia 
Neuroepidemiology  2009;34(1):34-42.
The telephone assessment of cognitive functions may reduce the cost and burden of epidemiological studies.
We validated the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status-modified (TICS-m) using an extensive in-person assessment as the standard for comparison. Clinical diagnoses of normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or dementia were established by consensus of physician, nurse, and neuropsychological assessments.
The extensive in-person assessment classified 83 persons with normal cognition, 42 persons with MCI, and 42 persons with dementia. There was considerable overlap in TICS-m scores among the three groups. Receiver operating characteristic curves identified ≤31 as the optimal cutoff score to separate subjects with MCI from subjects with normal cognition (sensitivity = 71.4%; subjects with dementia excluded), and ≤27 to separate subjects with dementia from subjects with MCI (sensitivity = 69.0%; subjects with normal cognition excluded). The TICS-m performed well when subjects with MCI were pooled either with subjects with dementia (sensitivity = 83.3%) or with subjects with normal cognition (sensitivity = 83.3%).
Although the TICS-m performed well when using a dichotomous classification of cognitive status, it performed only fairly in separating MCI from either normal cognition or dementia. The TICS-m should not be used as a free-standing tool to identify subjects with MCI, and it should be used with caution as a tool to detect dementia.
PMCID: PMC2857622  PMID: 19893327
Dementia; Mild cognitive impairment; Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status-modified
25.  Physical Exercise and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study 
Archives of neurology  2010;67(1):80-86.
Physical exercise was found to be associated with a decreased risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease. We investigated whether physical exercise is also associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Population-based case-control study.
The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, an ongoing population-based cohort study in Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA.
1324 non-demented subjects who completed a questionnaire on physical exercise.
Main Outcome Measures
An expert consensus panel classified each subject as either cognitively normal or affected by MCI using information from a Clinical Dementia Rating Scale administered to the subject and to an informant, a neurological evaluation, and neuropsychological testing to assess 4 cognitive domains.
We compared the frequency of physical exercise in 198 subjects with MCI to the frequency in 1126 cognitively normal subjects and adjusted analyses for age, sex, years of education, medical comorbidity, and depression. The odds ratio (OR) for any frequency of moderate-intensity exercise was 0.61 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43–0.88; P=.008) for exercise in midlife (aged 50–65 years), and 0.68 (95% CI, 0.49–0.93; P=.02) for exercise in late life. The findings were consistent in men and women. Light exercise and vigorous exercise were not significantly associated with MCI.
In this population-based case-control study, any frequency of moderate-intensity exercise carried out in either midlife or late life was associated with a reduced OR of MCI.
PMCID: PMC2919839  PMID: 20065133

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