Vol. 12 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2018
Views & Reviews Páginas: 221 a 227

Operationalized definition of older adults with high cognitive performance

Authors Wyllians Vendramini Borelli1; Karoline Carvalho Carmona2; Adalberto Studart-Neto3; Ricardo Nitrini3; Paulo Caramelli2; Jaderson Costa da Costa1


keywords: memory, aging, neuropsychology, older adults, youthful cognition.

Recently, there has been an increasing number of studies on exceptional cognitive aging. Herein, we aim to objectively provide the operationalized characterization of older adults with unusually high memory ability. Some authors have defined them as "SuperAgers", individuals aged 80 years or older with memory ability similar or superior to middle-aged subjects. On the other hand, the terminology "high-performing older adults" (HPOA) seems to appropriately conceptualize these individuals without exaggeration. A threshold for age is not a reliable criterion, but may be defined as 75 and 80 years of age for developing and developed countries, respectively. We propose that HPOA may exhibit episodic memory test scores equal to or greater than those of individuals aged 50-60 years, according to the validated tables for the respective country. This group must also have global cognition scores within expected average values for age and education. Executive functioning may play a central role in the exceptional memory performance of this group. Further studies are essential to confirm existing findings and may provide important evidence for cognitive aging theory and the neurobiology of dementia.


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