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Different cognitive profiles for single compared with recurrent fallers without Dementia

Anstey, Kaarin J., Caldwell, Haley, Wood, Joanne M., Kerr, Graham, & Lord, Stephen R. (2009) Different cognitive profiles for single compared with recurrent fallers without Dementia. Neuropsychology, 23(4), pp. 500-508.

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Abstract

Relationships between self-reported retrospective falls and cognitive measures (executive function, reaction time, processing speed, working memory, visual attention) were examined in a population based sample of older adults (n = 658). Two of the choice reaction time tests involved inhibiting responses to either targets of a specific color or location with hand and foot responses. Potentially confounding demographic variables, medical conditions and postural sway were controlled for in logistic regression models, excluding participants with possible cognitive impairment. A factor analysis of cognitive measures extracted factors measuring reaction time, accuracy and inhibition, and visual search. Single fallers did not differ from non-fallers in terms of health, sway or cognitive function, except that they performed worse on accuracy and inhibition. In contrast, recurrent fallers performed worse than non-fallers on all measures. Results suggest that occasional falls in late life may be associated with subtle age-related changes in the pre-frontal cortex leading to failures of executive control, whereas recurrent falling may result from more advanced brain ageing that is associated with generalized cognitive decline.

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35 citations in Scopus
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33 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 30083
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: inhibition, executive function, processing speed, cognitive decline, falls
DOI: 10.1037/a0015389
ISSN: 0894-4105
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2010 15:03
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:09

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