Brief Report  |   November 2017
Frailty Phenotype and Neuropsychological Test Performance: A Preliminary Analysis
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey (Drs Ginsberg, Powell, Chopra, Cavalieri, and Libon and Mr Patel), and the Department of Psychology at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey (Ms Emrani and Dr Libon). 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Terrie B. Ginsberg, DO, Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology, New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, 42 E Laurel Rd, Ste 1800, Stratford, NJ 08084-1338. E-mail: ginsbete@rowan.edu
     
Article Information
Geriatric Medicine / Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders
Brief Report   |   November 2017
Frailty Phenotype and Neuropsychological Test Performance: A Preliminary Analysis
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2017, Vol. 117, 683-687. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2017.134
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2017, Vol. 117, 683-687. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2017.134
Abstract

Context: Frailty is a common problem that affects adults older than 65 years. Correlations between the frailty phenotype and neuropsychological impairment have not been thoroughly researched.

Objective: To examine the association between frailty phenotype, neuropsychological screening test results, and neuropsychological domains known to characterize patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

Methods: This retrospective medical record analysis consisted of ambulatory patients aged 65 years or older seen in an outpatient geriatric practice. All patients were assessed with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). A portion of those patients also underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation that assessed executive control, naming/lexical access, and declarative memory expressed as 3 neuropsychological index scores. Frailty phenotype was determined using criteria by Fried et al.

Results: Simple correlation found that lower MoCA test scores were associated with a higher level of frailty (r=−0.34, P<.032). Regression analyses found that greater frailty was associated with worse performance on tests that assessed executive control and working memory (backward digit span; r2=0.267; β=−0.517; P<.011) and delayed recognition memory (r2=0.207; β=−0.455; P<.025).

Conclusion: A correlation was found between frailty and neuropsychological impairment, which suggests that frailty may be a potential indicator for the emergence of mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

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