Sunday, July 29, 2018

Centenarians and Cognitive Resilience

The June issue of The Journals of Gerontology: Series A has this interesting study which suggests that the offspring of centenarians are more successful at preserving their cognitive functioning at older ages than offspring from parents that do not live so long. And if this is so, it would make the benefits of an applied gerontological intervention even more significant.

A sample from the study's abstract:

After adjustment for age, sex, education, stroke, and diabetes, offspring were 46% less likely to have baseline cognitive impairment (adjusted odds ratio 0.54, 95% CI 0.35–0.82) and were 27% less likely to become cognitively impaired over a median follow-up of 7.8 years (adjusted hazard ratio 0.73, 95% CI 0.53–0.99). Female gender was also independently associated with lower odds of baseline cognitive impairment and lower risk of incident cognitive impairment.

Familial longevity may confer exposure to genetic and environmental factors that predispose centenarian offspring to preservation of cognitive function at older ages. Centenarian offspring cohorts may provide an opportunity to study cognitive resilience associated with familial longevity.