Evaluating Age-related Cognitive performance; An Observational Pilot Study
Background: To the best of our knowledge, the general population of Pakistan has never been evaluated for age-related cognitive performance. We aimed to determine the decline in cognitive abilities using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Mini-Cognition (Mini-Cog) in the three age brackets, i.e. younger, middle-aged and older adults.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted over a sample of 200 subjects (both male and female) divided into three different groups with respect to their age, i.e. younger, middle-aged and older adults. For cognitive assessment, MMSE and Mini-Cog were used with predetermined cut-off values. A point was scored for each correct answer based on the participant’s familiarization of environment, memory, speech, and ability to follow instructions to read or write. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS version 22.0.
Results: Based on the study findings, MMSE suggested that 2.5% of participants had severe cognitive impairment, and 23% had mild cognitive impairment. Of these, 23 participants were in between 56 to 75 years of age, indicating increased cognitive decline among older adults. The mean MMSE score was 26.58 among young adults, which further decreased to 24.06 among older adults. The results of the regression analysis displayed that age, occupational load and educational levels were independent predictors of cognitive performances (higher MMSE score) (p<0.05). Besides for Mini-Cog scores, only education and occupation were the significant predictors.
Conclusion: This pilot study determining the cognitive performance in different age groups yielded positive outcomes. Both MMSE and Mini-Cog findings were comparable and indicated that there was a significant age-related cognitive decline which was comparatively more pronounced among males than females. However, further descriptive studies might help in defining the appropriate and timely screening of cognitive abilities using MMSE and Mini-Cog.
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