Falls can impair health and reduce quality of life among older adults. Although many factors are related to falling, few analyses examine causal models of this behavior. In this study, factors associated with falling were explored simultaneously using structural-equation modeling. A variety of cognitive, physical-performance, and health measures were administered to 694 older adult drivers from the state of Maryland. The observed and latent variables of age, cognitive ability, physical functioning, health, and falling behavior were used to create a causal model. The model revealed that being older was associated with declines in cognition, and such cognitive declines predicted increased falling. Similarly, poorer health was related to poorer physical functioning, which, in turn, also predicted increased falling. This model indicates that in addition to existing fall-prevention interventions aimed at improving physical functioning, interventions to improve cognition and health might also be effective. It is speculated that fear of falling, which often results in reduced mobility among older adults, might account for the lack of a direct relationship between age and falling. This hypothesis should be examined in further research.
David E. Vance, Karlene K. Ball, Daniel L. Roenker, Virginia G. Wadley, Jerri D. Edwards and Gayla M. Cissell
Kelly Lynn Mulvey, Sally Taunton, Adam Pennell and Ali Brian
. Development and Psychopathology, 20 , 821 – 843 . PubMed ID: 18606033 doi:10.1017/S0954579408000394 10.1017/S0954579408000394 Blair , C. ( 2002 ). School readiness. Integrating cognition and emotion in a neurobiological conceptualization of children’s functioning at school entry . American
Renata V. Pedroso, Carlos Ayán, Francisco J. Fraga, Thays M.V. da Silva, José M. Cancela and Ruth F. Santos-Galduròz
the afternoon and morning, respectively, and in a quiet environment. The assessment instruments used in this study were recommended for assessment of cognition and physical performance in older adults with dementia ( Bossers et al., 2012 ). Cognitive evaluation For a full cognitive assessment, a
Robert E. Dustman, Rita Emmerson and Donald Shearer
Findings from three research paradigms that employed aerobic exercise as an independent variable were used to test the hypothesis that aerobic exercise improves cognitive-neuropsychological functioning. The research paradigms were animal intervention studies, cross-sectional human studies, and human intervention studies. Results from studies of animals, usually rodents, provide consistent evidence that aerobic fitness is associated with improved neurobiological and behavioral functioning. Cross-sectional studies with humans indicate a strong positive association between physical activity level and cognitive-neuropsychological performance. However, results from these studies must be interpreted cautiously, as individuals who elect to exercise or not exercise may differ on other variables that could influence cognitive-neuropsychological performance. To date, human intervention studies have not consistently demonstrated cognitive-neuropsychological improvements following exercise training. To satisfactorily test the exercise/cognition hypothesis with humans, carefully controlled intervention studies that last longer than those previously employed are needed.
Eeva Aartolahti, Sirpa Hartikainen, Eija Lönnroos and Arja Häkkinen
This study was conducted to determine the characteristics of health and physical function that are associated with not starting strength and balance training (SBT). The study population consisted of 339 community-dwelling individuals (75–98 years, 72% female). As part of a population-based intervention study they received comprehensive geriatric assessment, physical activity counseling, and had the opportunity to take part in SBT at the gym once a week. Compared with the SBT-adopters, the nonadopters (n = 157, 46%) were older and less physically active, had more comorbidities and lower cognitive abilities, more often had sedative load of drugs or were at the risk of malnutrition, had lower grip strength and more instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) difficulties, and displayed weaker performance in Berg Balance Scale and Timed Up and Go assessments. In multivariate models, higher age, impaired cognition, and lower grip strength were independently associated with nonadoption. In the future, more individually-tailored interventions are needed to overcome the factors that prevent exercise initiation.
Alexander T. Latinjak
? Consciousness and Cognition, 22 , 1412 – 1421 . doi:10.1016/j.concog.2013.09.012 10.1016/j.concog.2013.09.012 Seli P. , Carriere J.S. , Levene M. , & Smilek D. ( 2013 ). How few and far between? Examining the effects of probe rate on self-reported mind wandering . Frontiers in Psychology, 4
Nicholas E. Fears and Jeffrey J. Lockman
, 1008 – 1017 . PubMed ID: 20822219 doi: 10.1037/a0020104 Hayhoe , M.M. ( 2000 ). Vision using routines: A functional account of vision . Visual Cognition, 7 ( 1–3 ), 43 – 64 . doi: 10.1080/135062800394676 Hayhoe , M.M. , Shrivastava , A. , Mruczek , R. , & Pelz , J.B. ( 2003 ). Visual
Ming Fung Godfrey Lui, Hung Kay Daniel Chow, Wai Ming Kenny Wong and Wai Nam William Tsang
tasks (see also Slotten & Krekling, 1996 ). Both impaired balance control and impaired cognition are risk factors for falls in older adults ( Rubenstein & Josephson, 2002 ). In daily life, people often handle two or more tasks concurrently, but general attentional capacity decreases with age ( Huxhold
Doeschka A. Ferro, Jan Berend Deijen, Lando L. Koppes, Willem van Mechelen, Jos W. Twisk and Madeleine L. Drent
Physical activity and fitness in adolescence may improve cognition in adulthood by increasing insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I).
As part of the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study, following subjects from age 13 to 42 years, physical activity and fitness of 303 subjects were assessed annually between the ages 13 to 16. At mean age 36, physical activity, fitness and IGF-I were measured. At mean age 42, IGF-I and cognitive factors (ie, executive functioning and visual-spatial memory) were measured. The linear regression of physical activity and fitness in adolescence and IGF-I in adulthood on cognitive scores in adulthood was investigated.
A significant association was found in males between physical activity in adolescence and executive function in adulthood (Spatial Working Memory Between Errors: β = –.18, B = –.13, 95% CI = –.259 to –.010; Spatial Working Memory Strategy: β = –.20, B = –.08, 95% CI = –.147 to –.014). No association between physical activity or fitness in adolescence and cognitive function in adulthood was found in females, nor any intermediate role for IGF-I in either sex.
The results suggest a stimulating effect of adolescent physical activity in males on executive functions in adulthood, emphasizing the importance of an active lifestyle among adolescent males.
Robert L. Wilkes and Jeffery J. Summers
The effectiveness of five types of cognitive preparation on strength performance was examined in a 2 X 5 (Pre- and Posttest × Mental Preparation Condition) design, with repeated measures on pre-posttest. The mental preparation conditions were: arousal, attention, imagery, self-efficacy, and a control read condition. Immediately following the posttest trials, subjects completed a questionnaire measuring various cognitive states. The results showed that preparatory arousal and self-efficacy techniques produced significantly greater posttest strength performance than the control group. Analysis of the postexperimental questionnaire data suggested that a general effect of the preparation strategies used was to focus attention on the task to be performed. It was concluded that the effectiveness of a particular cognitive strategy may depend on the nature of the task to be performed and the particular aspects of the task to which attention is directed.