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Active lifestyle and cognitive performance in older adults
Poster Title: Active lifestyle and cognitive performance in older adults
Submitted on 18 Jan 2021
Author(s): Hana Georgi, Zuzana Frydrychová
Affiliations: National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic
This poster was presented at 5th BORDEAUX NEUROCAMPUS CONFERENCE 2018
Poster Views: 506
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Poster Information
Abstract: Level of education is known to correlate with performance in some cognitive tests and it is considered a part of the cognitive reserve. Type of profession (manual/mental) and mentally demanding leisure activities are also included in the cognitive reserve concept. Beside the age, lower education is one of the most reported risk factors for the development of a cognitive disorder in older age.
Our aim is to find whether the level of acquired education, the type of profession, and the number of regularly performed activities during productive adulthood and retirement predict cognitive performance in older age.

Participants: 324 cognitively normal community-dwelling older adults (60–74 years of age) without the serious neurological or psychiatric disorder, retired and not economically active for minimum 2 years (MMSE ≥ 26 and GDS15<7 or negative clinical interview for depression).
• The level of education – lower (basic or lower secondary schools, such as trade schools without the state leaving exam “maturita”) or higher (secondary/high schools including state graduation exam and tertiary
schools or universities)
• Type of profession – manual or mental
• Regularly performed activities (at least 1 time per week): Attending a course at a university of the third age; attending other courses such as language or ICT; physical exercise or gardening; the aerobic activity of medium intensity for at least 2,5 hours per week; a hobby; using a computer; reading books; reading newspapers and magazines; doing
crossword puzzles or quizzes.

• Cognitive performance - Composite scores (CS):
CSs were created based on mechanisms of the tests and dominant functions each test employs and partly on factor analysis.

a) Education, type of profession (both p<.001) and number of regularly performed activities (past (r=.17-33; p<.001) and current (r=.23-32; p<.001)) are significantly associated with the performance in all CS.
b) Higher level of education is significantly associated with the mental type of profession (p <.001), and more regularly performed activities in the past and current.
c1) All predictors (analyzed separately) significantly predict better performance in all composite scores except for activities in the past and CS memory.
c2) Education is a significant predictor of better cognitive performance in all three CS, however after the type of profession and activities (past and current) are inserted (Block 2) its effect disappears, and activities past or current remain the only predictor of better cognitive performance in all CS.
Therefore, we may perceive the number of activities as a mediator of the relationship between education and better cognitive performance.
Summary: Even though the probability of better cognitive performance rises with more activities only slightly, we may conclude that there is a potential positive effect of an active lifestyle on cognitive performance in older age. If we are optimistic, the message is that it is possible to escape from the predicament of lower education.References: Bezdicek, O., Lukavsky, J., Stepankova, H., Nikolai, T., Axelrod, B. N., Michalec, J., … Kopecek, M. (2015). The Prague Stroop Test: Normative standards in older Czech adults and discriminative validity for mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 37(8), 794–807.
Bezdicek, O., Stepankova, H., Axelrod, B. N., Nikolai, T., Sulc, Z., Jech, R., … Kopecek, M. (2017). Clinimetric validity of the TrailMaking Test Czech version in Parkinson’s disease and normative data for older adults. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 31(sup1), 42-60.
Frydrychova, Z., Kopeček, M., Bezdiček, O. & Štěpankova Georgi, H. (2018). Česke normy pro revidovany Reyův auditorně-verbalni test učeni (RAVLT) pro populaci staršich osob [Czech normative study of the revised Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) in older adults]. Československa psychologie, 62(4), 330-349.
Frydrychova, Z., & Štěpankova, H. (2017). Paralelni verze testu Logicke pamět
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