Neurophysiological and brain structural markers of cognitive frailty differs from Alzheimer’s disease

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Nesbitt, David 
Emery, Tina 

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pWith increasing life span, there is growing importance of understanding the mechanisms of successful cognitive ageing. In contrast, cognitive frailty has been proposed to be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. Here we test the hypothesis that cognitively frail adults represent a branch of healthy ageing, distinct from latent dementia. We used electro-magnetoencephalography and magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the structural and neurophysiological features of cognitive frailty in relation to healthy aging, and clinical presentations of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Cognitive performance of the cognitively frail group was similar to those with mild cognitive impairment. We used a novel cross-modal oddball task to induce mismatch responses to unexpected stimuli. Both controls and cognitively frail showed stronger mismatch responses and larger temporal grey matter volume, compared to people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Our results suggest that cognitively frail represents a spectrum of normal ageing rather than incipient or undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease. Lower cognitive reserve, hearing impairment and medical comorbidity might contribute to the aetiology of cognitive impairment.</jats:p>

Journal Title
The Journal of Neuroscience
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Society for Neuroscience
Wellcome Trust (103838/Z/14/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/8)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/12)
Medical Research Council (MR/L023784/2)
Medical Research Council (MR/L023784/1)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/H008217/1)
The study was supported by the Medical Research Council [SUAG/004 RG91365, SUAG/046 RG101400; SUAG/051 RG101400], the Wellcome Trust [103838], the Dementias Platform UK [MR/L023784/1 & MR/L023784/2], Alzheimer’s Research UK [ARUK-PG2017B-19], a Holt Fellowship, and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC-1215-20014). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright license to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.