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Front. Aging Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00421

Cognitive functioning in older people. Results of the first wave of Cognition of Older People, Education, Recreational activities, NutritIon, Comorbidities, fUnctional capacity Studies (COPERNICUS)

 Sławomir Kujawski1*, Agnieszka Kujawska2, 3, Małgorzata Gajos2, Weronika Topka2, Radosław Perkowski2, Joanna Androsiuk-Perkowska2, Julia L. Newton4, Paweł Zalewski1 and Kornelia Kędziora-Kornatowska2
  • 1Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland
  • 2Department and Clinic of Geriatrics, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland, Poland
  • 3Department of Physiology, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland
  • 4Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Background: Cognitive reserve as a way of explanation of why some individual with high degree of brain pathology are without clinical manifestations. Factors related to systemic diseases, body composition, aerobic capacity, past and current behavior were examined and included as predictors of cognitive function.
Materials and methods: 407 subjects (60-88 years old) underwent physical examination and cognitive function assessment (Mini–Mental State Examination (MMSE), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and Trail Making Test Part B (TMT B)). Predictors of cognitive functioning were evaluated: occupational status (OS), diet, mental and touristic activities were assessed using ad hoc questionnaire. Aerobic capacity was measured using six-minute walk test (6MWT).
Results: With each year of age there is a decrease in MMSE score by 0.18 point. Varicose veins on lower extremities and low OS were also significantly associated with MMSE result. For every year of having hypertension, low OS and not being abroad in the last three years, there was 0.17, 0.30 and 0.16 less points, respectively, and 0.15 more point per one additional meter walked in 6MWT in the MoCA score. With each year of age and for low OS there was there was 0.31 and 0.21 second more to complete TMT B, respectively.
Conclusion: Education, OS, presence of systemic diseases and social and tourist activities, aerobic capacity and body composition could be consider as factors contributing to cognitive functioning in older people. However, the relationship of above mentioned factors with education level and cognitive function may be not fully orthogonal.

Keywords: MMSE (Mini-Mental State Examination), MoCA = Montréal Cognitive Assessment, TMT B, occupational status, Education, aerobic capacity

Received: 06 Sep 2018; Accepted: 04 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Changiz Geula, Northwestern University, United States

Reviewed by:

Andrea Bosco, Università degli Studi di Bari, Italy
Dina Di Giacomo, University of L'Aquila, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Kujawski, Kujawska, Gajos, Topka, Perkowski, Androsiuk-Perkowska, Newton, Zalewski and Kędziora-Kornatowska. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Sławomir Kujawski, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Toruń, Poland, skujawski@cm.umk.pl