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  • 1. Airaksinen, Eija
    et al.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Kognitiv psykologi.
    Forsell, Yvonne
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Low episodic memory performance as a premorbid marker of depression:: Evidence from a 3-year follow-up2007In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Vol. 115, no 6, p. 458-465Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To examine low episodic memory scores as a potential risk factor for depression.

    Method: A population-based sample of non-depressed individuals (20–64 years) were re-examined 3 years after an initial screening (n ¼ 708). At baseline, information on episodic memory scores, demographic and socioeconomic factors, alcohol use and anxiety diagnoses was collected. The data for depression diagnoses were collected at both baseline and follow-up.

    Results: Logistic regressions, conducted on three separate study groups that were defined according to three assessments of episodic memory (i.e. free + cued recall, free recall, cued recall) among individuals who scored in the 25 lowest or highest percentiles in the memory tests, revealed that low episodic memory performance defined as the sum of free and cued recalls of organizable words constitutes a risk of depression diagnosis 3 years later.

    Conclusion: Low episodic memory performance predated depressive diagnosis and might be considered as a premorbid marker of depression.

  • 2. Airaksinen, Eija
    et al.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Forsell, Yvonne
    Cognitive and social functioning in recovery from depression: Results from a population-based three-year follow-up2006In: Journal of Affective Disorders, ISSN 0165-0327, Vol. 96, no 1-2, p. 107-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: This study prospectively examined cognitive and social functioning in recovery from depression using participants sampled from the general population. Method: Seventy-six depressed persons fulfilling (n=41) and not fulfilling (n=35) the criteria for DSM-IV depression at a threeyear follow-up were compared with respect to episodic memory performance and social functioning at baseline (T1), at follow-up (T2) and change across time. Results: The groups did not differ in episodic memory performance either at T1, T2 or in residual change. However, the groups differed in social functioning at T2 and in residual change indicating improved social functioning in the recovered group. Limitation: The absence of a healthy control group at follow-up. Conclusion: Despite the symptomatic improvement and improved social functioning, cognitive functioning does not follow this general recovery trend, at least not in the three-year interval examined.

  • 3. Bunce, David
    et al.
    Kivipelto, Miia
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Apolipoprotein E, B vitamins, and cognitive function in older adults.2005In: Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, ISSN 1079-5014, Vol. 60B, no 1, p. 41-48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recognition of dated and contemporary famous faces, short-term memory, and visuospatial abilities were investigated in adults aged 75 years and older as a function of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, ε4 or not ε4, and whether participants recorded normal or low levels of B vitamins. No associations between B vitamins and APOE were identified in respect to short-term memory or visuospatial skills, or for contemporary famous faces. However, in respect to the recognition of dated famous faces, deficits in persons carrying the ε4 allele who also recorded low vitamin B12 values were found. The results suggest that the neurological structures and processes supporting face recognition may be vulnerable to the combined influence of the APOE ε4 allele and low levels of vitamin B12. This finding was unrelated to incipient dementia up to 6 years following testing. The results are discussed with reference to the neuroanatomical reserves that epsilon4 carriers may possess.

  • 4.
    Cameron, Lisa J. H.
    et al.
    ICDDR,B, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
    Kabir, Zarina Nahar
    NVS Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Khanam, Masuma Akter
    ICDDR,B, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Streatfield, Peter K.
    ICDDR,B, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
    Earning Their Keep: The Productivity of Older Women and Men in Rural Bangladesh2010In: Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, ISSN 0169-3816, E-ISSN 1573-0719, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 87-103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Bangladesh, being active and able to participate in productive activities is often essential to ensure ongoing health and survival. This study aims to describe and explore the patterns of participation in productive activities by older people in Matlab, a rural area of Bangladesh. Data from a cross sectional survey of people over 60 years of age was utilised. Six hundred and twenty five men and women participated in home based interviews providing information about their participation in productive activities including work, domestic activities and community groups. Overall, 94.4% of subjects reported participation in at least one productive activity. Men were the main participants in paid work and community groups, with 62% reporting engagement in paid work and 44% contributing to community groups. Both men (95.4%) and women (91.9%) reported performing at least one domestic activity. Performance of higher numbers of domestic tasks was associated with being younger, female, not requiring any assistance with self care, not married, not living with any children and earning between 100–999 Bangladesh Taka in the past month. Participation in community groups was low with only 26% of the sample reporting any involvement. This study indicates a high level of productivity in the older population in Matlab which benefits the individual, the family and the wider community. The safety and suitability of typical productive activities needs further investigation, in order to inform strategies protecting the older population from the effects of over work and harmful activities.

  • 5. Cooray, Gerald
    et al.
    Nilsson, Erik
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Laukka, Erika J.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Brismar, Kerstin
    Brismar, Tom
    Effects of intensified metabolic control on CNS function in type 2 diabetes2011In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, E-ISSN 1873-3360, Vol. 36, no 1, p. 77-86Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The mild cognitive decline associated with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) has been suggested to be reversible with improved glycemic control. In order to characterise this cognitive decline and study the effects of improved glycemic control we have studied patients with T2DM (N = 28) and healthy control subjects (N = 21). One group of patients with diabetes (N = 15) were given a 2-month treatment of intensified glycemic control, whereas the other group (N = 13) maintained their regular treatment.

    Cognitive function in four different domains, auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) and resting EEG power spectrum were studied in the two groups of patients and in healthy control subjects before and after the 2-month trial period.

    There were significant differences at baseline (p < 0.02) between patients with T2DM and controls. Patients had lower scores in two cognitive domains: verbal fluency (p < 0.01) and visuospatial ability (p < 0.03). T2DM also affected ERP with a decrease in N100 amplitude (p < 0.04) and an increase in P300 latency (p < 0.03). Furthermore, resting EEG activity in the beta band (13–30 Hz) was reduced (p < 0.04). The change between 1st and 2nd investigation was significantly different in the three groups of patients/subjects (p < 0.03). Patients receiving intensified treatment for glycemic control had an improvement of cognitive ability in visuospatial ability (p < 0.02) and semantic memory performance (p < 0.04) together with increased resting EEG activity in the alpha band (8–13 Hz, p < 0.02) and connectivity in the theta (4–8 Hz, p < 0.03) and alpha bands (p < 0.03) over central and lateral regions. Furthermore, there was an increase in the connectivity in the beta band (p < 0.04) over the central regions of the scalp.

    In conclusion, subjects with T2DM had a similar type of cognitive function impairment and EEG/ERP abnormality as previously demonstrated for subjects with type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Intensified therapy showed cognitive improvement not shown for regular treatment, suggesting that the negative effect of T2DM on cognition is reversible by means of improved glycemic control. Furthermore, there was an improvement in electro-physiological measures, suggesting increased availability of compensatory mechanisms in subjects with intensified treatment.

  • 6.
    de Frias, Cindy M.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bunce, David
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Adolfsson, Rolf
    Sleegers, Kristel
    Cruts, Marc
    Van Broeckhoven, Christine
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Cholesterol and triglycerides moderate the effect of apolipoprotein E on memory functioning in older adults.2007In: Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, ISSN 1079-5014, Vol. 62B, no 2, p. P112-P118Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We used data from the Betula Study to examine associations between total cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein E on 10-year changes in cognitive performance. Tests assessing episodic memory (recall and recognition), semantic memory (knowledge and fluency), and visuospatial ability (block design) were administered to 524 nondemented adults (initial age of 55-80 years); multilevel modeling was applied to the data. Higher triglyceride levels were associated with a decline in verbal knowledge. Lipid levels moderated the influence of apolipoprotein E on episodic memory, such that among epsilon 4 allele carriers, decline in recognition was noted for individuals with higher cholesterol levels. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels are pharmacologically modifiable risk factors that account for variation In normal cognitive aging.

  • 7. Ferdous, Tamanna
    et al.
    Cederholm, Tommy
    Kabir, Zarina Nahar
    Hamadani, Jena Derakhshani
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nutritional Status and Cognitive Function in Community-Living Rural Bangladeshi Older Adults: Data from the Poverty and Health in Ageing Project2010In: Journal of The American Geriatrics Society, ISSN 0002-8614, E-ISSN 1532-5415, Vol. 58, no 5, p. 919-924Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVES To investigate the association between nutritional status and general and specific (fluid and crystallized) cognitive functioning in a group of older people living in a rural area in Bangladesh. DESIGN Cross-sectional study. SETTING Matlab, Bangladesh. PARTICIPANTS Four hundred fifty-seven randomly selected persons aged 60 and older (mean age 69.5 +/- 6.8), 55% female. MEASUREMENTS Nutritional status was evaluated using a modified form of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). General cognitive function was assessed using the Bangla Adaptation of the Mini-Mental State Examination, and a word synonym test was used to test semantic memory function (a crystallized ability). To assess cognitive processing speed (a fluid ability), ""cross balls"" and ""complete boxes"" tests (scores/time unit) were used. Clinical diagnoses were registered. Structured questionnaires were used to assess demographic and socioeconomic status of the participants. RESULTS Twenty-six percent of the participants were undernourished, and 62% were at risk of malnutrition according to the MNA. The MNA scores were significantly lower in women than in men (P=.01). Women performed worse than men in all three cognitive tasks (P <.001). Poorer cognitive performance was independently associated with older age, female sex, illiteracy, visual impairment, severity of disease, and depressive symptoms. There were significant associations between better nutritional status and better cognitive performance tests of general ability and processing speed, whereas semantic memory appeared to be less affected. CONCLUSION The association between nutritional status and cognitive function involves general and specific cognitive abilities, with fluid ability seeming to be affected but crystalized functions being relatively spared.

  • 8. Kabir, Zarina Nahar
    et al.
    Ferdous, Tamanna
    Cederholm, Tommy
    Khanam, Masuma Akter
    Streatfield, Kim
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Mini Nutritional Assessment of Rural Elderly People in Bangladesh: The impact of demographic, socio-economic and health factors.2006In: Public Health Nutrition, ISSN 1368-9800, Vol. 9, no 8, p. 968-974Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: In stating the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations aims to halve malnutrition around the world by 2015. Nutritional status of the elderly population in low-income countries is seldom focused upon. The present study aimed to evaluate the magnitude of malnutrition among an elderly population in rural Bangladesh. Design and setting: Data collection for a multidimensional cross-sectional study of community-based elderly people aged 60 years and over was conducted in a rural area in Bangladesh. Subjects: Of 850 randomly selected elderly individuals, 625 participated in home interviews. Complete nutritional information was available for 457 individuals (mean age 69 ^ 8 years, 55% female). Nutritional status was assessed using an adapted form of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) including body mass index (BMI). Age, sex, education, household expenditure on food and self-reported health problems were investigated as potential predictors of nutritional status. Results: BMI , 18.5 kg m 22, indicating chronic energy deficiency, was found in 50% of the population. MNA revealed a prevalence of 26% for protein–energy malnutrition and 62% for risk of malnutrition. Health problems rather than age had a negative impact on nutritional status. Level of education and food expenditure were directly associated with nutritional status. Conclusion: In order to reduce world hunger by half in the coming decade, it is important to recognise that a substantial proportion of the elderly population, particularly in low-income countries, is undernourished.

  • 9.
    Khanam, Masuma Akter
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Streatfield, Peter Kim
    Kabir, Zarina Nahar
    Qui, Chengxuan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Cornelius, Christel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Prevalence and Patterns of Multimorbidity among Elderly People in Rural Bangladesh: A Cross-sectional Study2011In: Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, ISSN 1606-0997, E-ISSN 2072-1315, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 406-414Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Data on multimorbidity among the elderly people in Bangladesh are lacking. This paper reports the prevalenceand distribution patterns of multimorbidity among the elderly people in rural Bangladesh. This crosssectionalstudy was conducted among persons aged ≥60 years in Matlab, Bangladesh. Information on theirdemographics and literacy was collected through interview in the home. Information about their assets wasobtained from a surveillance database. Physicians conducted clinical examinations at a local health centre.Two physicians diagnosed medical conditions, and two senior geriatricians then evaluated the same separately.Multimorbidity was defined as suffering from two or more of nine chronic medical conditions, suchas arthritis, stroke, obesity, signs of thyroid hypofunction, obstructive pulmonary symptoms, symptomsof heart failure, impaired vision, hearing impairment, and high blood pressure. The overall prevalence ofmultimorbidity among the study population was 53.8%, and it was significantly higher among women, illiterates,persons who were single, and persons in the non-poorest quintile. In multivariable logistic regressionanalyses, female sex and belonging to the non-poorest quintile were independently associated withan increased odds ratio of multimorbidity. The results suggest that the prevalence of multimorbidity is highamong the elderly people in rural Bangladesh. Women and the non-poorest group of the elderly people aremore likely than men and the poorest people to be affected by multimorbidity. The study sheds new lighton the need of primary care for the elderly people with multimorbidity in rural Bangladesh.

  • 10.
    Lövdén, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The sensory-cognition association in adulthood: Different magnitudes for processing speed, inhibition, episodic memory, and false memory?2005In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, Vol. 46, no 3, p. 253-262Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One hundred and forty-six participants (age range = 20-80) completed a battery of tests designed to measure visual acuity, processing speed, inhibition, episodic memory and false memory. The relations between visual acuity and general cognitive ability, as well as between visual acuity and the indicators of this construct, were evaluated with structural equation modeling. The measurement model confirmed that the indicators of the individual cognitive abilities could be grouped into a general cognitive functioning factor. However, the relation between episodic and false memory was not completely explained by the shared association with this general factor. Furthermore, visual acuity predicted approximately half of the age-related variance in the general cognition factor. Also, the proportion of age-related variance shared with vision was highest in inhibition and lowest in false memory. The results are discussed in the light of common cause accounts of cognitive aging.

  • 11.
    Persson, Ninni
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; Wayne State University, USA.
    Lavebratt, C.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Jönköping University, Sweden; University of Queensland, Australia.
    Synergy effects of HbA(1c) and variants of APOE and BDNFVal(66)Met explains individual differences in memory performance2013In: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, ISSN 1074-7427, E-ISSN 1095-9564, Vol. 106, p. 274-282Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We aimed at exploring if synergy effects of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Val66Met, Apolipoprotein E (APOE) and HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) could explain individual differences in memory performance over 10 years in a population based sample of nondemented adults (N = 888, 35–85 years at baseline). Episodic memory was affected by such agents, wheras semantic memory was spared. Both age and HbA1c were associated with episodic memory decline. BDNF66Met carriers with higher HbA1c levels evidenced slope decline in episodic recall. We found support for joint effects ofBDNFVal66Met × APOE × HbA1c and BDNFVal66Met × APOE × age on rates of episodic memory change over ten years, after controlling for age, sex, education and cardiovascular diseases. We conclude that variants of genetic polymorphisms act in synergy with long-term blood glucose control in shaping patterns of cognitive aging.

  • 12.
    Persson, Ninni
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Viitanen, M.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Almkvist, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Cognitive Functions and Their Associations to Demographic Factors and Aspects of Health in Young and Old Adults2011In: Journal of Psychophysiology, ISSN 0269-8803, E-ISSN 2151-2124, Vol. 25, p. 42-42Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13. Rana, A. K. M. M.
    et al.
    Kabir, Z. N.
    Lundborg, C. S.
    Wahlin, Å.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Health education improves both arthritis-related illness and self-rated health: An intervention study among older people in rural Bangladesh2010In: Public Health, ISSN 0033-3506, E-ISSN 1476-5616, Vol. 124, no 12, p. 705-712Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: To examine changes in self-reported arthritis-related illness and self-rated health as a result of a health education intervention, and the association between self-reported arthritis-related illness and self-rated health. Study design: A quasi-experimental study was conducted in eight randomly selected villages in rural Bangladesh (intervention = 4; control = 4). Methods: The intervention consisted of home-based physical activities, health advice and aspects of healthcare management over 15 months followed by a 3-month latent period. Data were collected before the intervention and after the latent period. Analyses included 839 participants (>= 60 years of age) who participated in both surveys. Participants in the intervention area were further categorized into two groups who self-reported compliance or non-compliance with recommended health advice. Self-rated health was assessed using a single global question. Self-reported arthritis-related illness was indicated by the presence of arthritis, back and joint pain, biting sensation, swelling and inflammation in the joints. Results: Hierarchical logistic regression analyses revealed that positive effects on episodes of arthritis-related illness [ odds ratio (OR) 1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-2.8] and self-rated health (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-1.9) were more likely among the compliant group compared with the control group. Furthermore, positive self-rated health was more likely among participants reporting a positive change in their arthritis-related illness (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.5-3.2). The results also showed that literate and non-poor participants were more likely to report positive health, and participants with advancing age were less likely to report positive health. Conclusion: Community-based health education is effective in reducing the burden of arthritis-related illness and in enhancing general health in old age.

  • 14. Rönnberg, Jerker
    et al.
    Danielsson, Henrik
    Rudner, Mary
    Arlinger, Stig
    Sternäng, Ola
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hearing Loss Is Negatively Related to Episodic and Semantic Long-Term Memory but Not to Short-Term Memory2011In: Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, ISSN 1092-4388, E-ISSN 1558-9102, Vol. 54, no 2, p. 705-726Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To test the relationship between degree of hearing loss and different memory systems in hearing aid users. Method: Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to study the relationship between auditory and visual acuity and different cognitive and memory functions in an age-hetereogenous subsample of 160 hearing aid users without dementia, drawn from the Swedish prospective cohort aging study known as Betula (L.-G. Nilsson et al., 1997). Results: Hearing loss was selectively and negatively related to episodic and semantic long-term memory (LTM) but not short-term memory (STM) performance. This held true for both ears, even when age was accounted for. Visual acuity alone, or in combination with auditory acuity, did not contribute to any acceptable SEM solution. Conclusions: The overall relationships between hearing loss and memory systems were predicted by the ease of language understanding model (J. Rönnberg, 2003), but the exact mechanisms of episodic memory decline in hearing aid users (i.e., mismatch/disuse, attentional resources, or information degradation) remain open for further experiments. The hearing aid industry should strive to design signal processing algorithms that are cognition friendly.

  • 15.
    Sternäng, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Jonsson, Bert
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nyberg, Lars
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Examination of the common cause account in a population-based longitudinal study with narrow age cohort design2010In: Gerontology, ISSN 0304-324X, E-ISSN 1423-0003, Vol. 56, no 6, p. 553-563Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The common cause account suggests that there is a third factor causing aging effects in both sensory and cognitive functioning, hypothesized to be the integrity of the central nervous system [Lindenberger and Baltes; Psychol Aging 1994;9:339–355]. Importantly, the common cause account was developed based on cross-sectional data, which are especially biased by cohort effects. However, cohort effects can be controlled for in narrow age cohort (NAC) designs and by longitudinal examination. Findings from the few longitudinal studies that have studied the relation between age-related changes in sensory and cognitive functions are complex and give only partial support to the common cause account.

    Objective: The present paper examines the common cause account within a longitudinal setting.

    Method: Our study is unique in the sense that it tests the common cause account within a longitudinal NAC design using data from the Betula project. The participants (n = 1,057) were in the age range of 45–90 years.

    Results: The findings indicate that the relationship between sensory and memory functioning in both a longitudinal age-heterogeneous and a longitudinal NAC design are much weaker than that detected by an age-heterogeneous cross-sectional design.

    Conclusion: The demonstrated weak age-associated sensory-cognitive link raises questions regarding the explanatory value of the common cause account and related theoretical accounts for accounting for age-related cognitive changes.

  • 16.
    Sternäng, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Kabir, Zarina N.
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Hamadani, Jena D.
    International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    A cross-cultural perspective on aging and memory: Comparisons between Bangladesh and Sweden2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most studies on cognitive aging have been conducted in high-income countries (mainly on Western populations). The main aim of this study was to compare the relative importance of predictors of episodic and semantic memory performance in older people (≥60 years) from Bangladesh (n = 400) and Sweden (n = 1,098). Hierarchical regression models were used in order to study the importance of some commonly used predictors in the two countries. A main finding was that variations in age did not have much impact on episodic and semantic memory performance in Bangladesh. Instead, sex was a strong predictor for semantic memory performance. In Sweden this pattern was reversed. In the Western world, chronological age is believed to be strongly associated with memory performance in cross-sectional studies, particularly in people greater than 60 years of age. This study indicates that the difference between the two countries (in relative importance of the predictors included in this study) is mainly due to the fact that years of education is connected to age in the Western world but to sex in Bangladesh. It remains to be examined whether earlier selective survival is also responsible for the relative absence of cognitive age differences in Bangladesh.

  • 17.
    Sternäng, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Kabir, Zarina Nahar
    Hamadani, Jena Derakhshani
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    A cross-cultural view on cognitive aging: Comparisons between Bangladesh and SwedenManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Most studies on cognitive aging have been conducted in economically developed countries (mainly on Western populations). It is of importance to test the generalizability of obtained results with studies in cultural settings with different living conditions. However, the share of research conducted in cross-cultural cognitive aging is rather small, especially on memory. The main aim of this study was to compare relative importance of some commonly used predictors (age, sex, years of education, systolic blood pressure, vascular diseases, sensory-motor functioning, and processing speed) for episodic and semantic memory performance in older people (≥ 60 years) from Bangladesh (n = 400) and Sweden (n = 1098), respectively.

    A main finding was that age variations did not have as much impact on episodic and semantic memory performance in Bangladesh as in Sweden, and sex was of greater importance for semantic memory performance in Bangladesh. In the western world, chronological age is believed to be strongly associated with memory performance in cross-sectional studies, especially in people above 60 years of age. This study indicates that the difference between the two countries in relative importance of the predictors included in this study is mainly due to that years of education is connected to age in the western world but to sex in Bangladesh. It remains to be examined whether earlier selective survival is also responsible for the relative absence of cognitive age differences in Bangladesh.

     

  • 18.
    Sternäng, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    What Is the Role of Apolipoprotein E for Cognitive Functioning Across the Lifespan?2011In: Biological Psychiatry, ISSN 0006-3223, E-ISSN 1873-2402, Vol. 70, no 2, p. 109-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated APOE genotype and lipid levels in relation to some cognitive variables in children. However, there are other relevant cognitive variables remaining for study, such as executive functions and long-term declarative memory (episodic and semantic memory), often studied in connection to APOE in older adults. Design is also crucial to understand how the APOE gene affects cognitive functions across the lifespan. Longitudinal studies  (such as ALSPAC) are important in this respect. Taylor et al. found no evidence that the negative effects on cognitive functioning of the APOE ε4 allele appear as early as in the age span 7–14 years. Most studies of APOE involve older people, and therefore, the current study by Taylor et al. (3) on children represents a piece of important information that adds to the total picture of the role of APOE during the lifespan. Further research is needed to understand why the effects of APOE ε4 change from childhood to older age.

  • 19.
    Sternäng, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Adolfsson, Rolf
    Stockholm Brain Institute.
    Sleegers, Kristel
    Umeå universitet.
    Van Broeckhoven, Christine
    Umeå universitet.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    APOE and lipid level synergy effects on declarative memory functioning in adulthood2009In: European Psychologist, ISSN 1016-9040, E-ISSN 1878-531X, Vol. 14, no 4, p. 268-278Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study of the general population examined interactions of the gene Apolipoprotein E (APOE) and/or lipid levels, and their effects on cognitive change. A MANCOVA model based on longitudinal data (with a 5 year follow-up) obtained from the Betula study (n = 1777; age 35–85 years) was used. The significant two-way and three-way interaction effects detected were equally frequent in tests of episodic and semantic memory. A difference in the distribution of interaction effects on episodic and semantic memory decline was also found. Men demonstrated the worst cognitive development as shown by significant two-way interaction effects on episodic memory whereas two-way interaction effects among women resulted in the worst semantic memory development. This result is discussed from the viewpoint that tests of episodic and semantic memory have different cognitive demands. This study focuses on how interaction effects of the gene APOE and vascular risk factors (such as lipid levels) affect cognitive abilities and also whether the interaction effects vary across age and sex. In this study, the main focus is on interaction effects as a phenomenon in itself.

  • 20.
    Sternäng, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Examination of the processing speed account in a population-based longitudinal study with narrow age cohort design2008In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 49, no 5, p. 419-428Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The processing speed account suggests that general slowing of mental processing speed results in an overall decline, especially age-related decline, in other cognitive domains. Support for the speed account comes mainly from cross-sectional studies with participants that vary in age (age-heterogeneous samples). This study investigated how well variations in processing speed predict change of episodic recall in a longitudinal framework and examined with the Narrow Age Cohort (NAC) design. Data were obtained from Betula, a population-based longitudinal study. Both 5-year (n= 490; Time 3 – Time 4) and 10-year follow-up results (n= 608; Time 1 – Time 3) were used. In both samples, which were subjected to prospective dementia screening, we found considerably weaker associations in longitudinal data compared to cross-sectional, and also weaker associations in age-homogeneous than in age-heterogeneous samples. The results provide little support for the speed account.

  • 21. Sundgren, Mathias
    et al.
    Maurex, Liselotte
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Piehl, Fredrik
    Brismar, Tom
    Cognitive Impairment Has a Strong Relation to Nonsomatic Symptoms of Depression in RelapsingRemitting Multiple Sclerosis2013In: Archives of clinical neuropsychology, ISSN 0887-6177, E-ISSN 1873-5843, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 144-155Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is unclear how cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS) is influenced by physical disability, fatigue, and depression. Our aim was to identify the strongest clinical predictors for cognitive impairment in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients. The clinical risk factors included in the analysis were physical disability (EDSS), fatigue (FSS), the somatic and nonsomatic components of depression (BDI), disease progression rate [Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS)], and psychotropic medication. Cognitive impairment had a prevalence of 30.5% in patients affecting preferentially attention, executive functions, processing speed and visual perception/organization. MSSS was not associated with cognitive impairment, depression, or fatigue. In regression models, cognitive performance was best predicted by the nonsomatic symptoms of depression alone or in combination with physical disability. Exclusion of patients with any psychotropic medication did not influence the results. Our results underscore the importance of evaluating depressive symptoms when suspecting cognitive impairment in patients with RRMS.

  • 22.
    Wahlin, Åke
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Anstey, Kaarin J.
    McDonald, Stuart W. S.
    Ahmed, Syed M.
    Kivipelto, Miia
    Kunnukattil, K. Shaji S.
    Mai, Tran T.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Streatfield, Peter K.
    van Boxtel, Martin P. J.
    Kabir, Zarina N.
    The International Network on Public Health and Aging (INOPA): Introducing a Life Course Perspective to the Public Health Agenda2008In: Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, ISSN 0169-3816, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 97-105Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we present an international network of researchers from projects examining the human aging process and its consequences. It is both vital and urgent to include aging and a life course perspective on the public health agenda, particularly in low-income countries. By announcing the network in a publication, we wish not just to position the network but, more importantly, to attract the attention of other potential collaborators either at the project, institutional, decision making, or applied level.

  • 23.
    Wahlin, Åke
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bunce, David
    Wahlin, Tarja-Brita Robins
    Longitudinal evidence of the impact of normal thyroid stimulating hormone variations on cognitive functioning in very old age.2005In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, Vol. 30, no 7, p. 625-637Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to examine longitudinal associations among thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels and cognitive performance. Data collected at the first three assessment times, approximately 3 years apart, are reported for the survivors (nZ45) from a previously published cross-sectional study. Participants were aged 75–93 years at baseline, and data reported were collected in the Kungsholmen Project, a longitudinal project investigating aging and dementia. Analyses revealed that although declining verbal fluency and visuospatial abilities were accompanied by simultaneously declining TSH levels, the pattern of crosssectional and longitudinal results are interpreted such that declining TSH levels may have caused episodic memory deficits later on. These results were obtained in the examination of 6-year but not 3-year change, and after removal of the cognitive variation associated with depressive mood symptoms.

  • 24.
    Wahlin, Åke
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Kognitiv psykologi.
    Fahlander, Kjell
    Robins Wahlin, Tarja-Brita
    Bunce, David
    Bäckman, Lars
    Vitamin B Status and Cognitive Performance in Preclinical and Clinical Alzheimer’s Disease:: Data from the Kungsholmen Project2008In: Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, ISSN 1420-8008, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 23-31Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background/Aims: The impact of vitamin B status on cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is disputed. Using a population-based sample, we examined the associations of vitamin B12 and folate with cognitive functioning in clinical (n = 44) and preclinical (n = 39) AD. Methods: The groups were subdivided in terms of low (<200 pmol/l) versus normal levels of B12 and low (<13 nmol/l) versus normal folate levels. Participants were administered tests of verbal and nonverbal episodic memory, visuospatial abilities and verbal fluency. Results: As expected, the preclinical AD group performed better than the AD group across most cognitive tests. More interestingly, the effects of low vitamin B12 and folate levels were negligible across all cognitive tests in clinical and preclinical AD. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the influence of vitamin B deficiency on cognitive functioning is overshadowed by the neurodegenerative processes associated with AD.

  • 25.
    Wahlin, Åke
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    MacDonald, Stuart W S
    deFrias, Cindy M
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Dixon, Roger A
    How health and biological age influence chronological age and sex differences in cognitive aging: Moderating, mediating, or both?2006In: Psychology and Aging, ISSN 0882-7974, Vol. 21, no 2, p. 318-332Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Much research on cognitive competence in normal older adults has documented age and sex differences. We used cross-sectional data from the Victoria Longitudinal Study (n=386; age 61-95 years) to examine how health and biological age influence age and sex differences in cognitive aging. We found evidence for both moderating and mediating influences. Age differences were moderated by health status, such that the negative effects of age were most pronounced among participants of relatively better health. Sex differences were moderated by health and were pronounced among participants reporting comparatively poorer health. Although health mediated a notable amount of age-related cognitive variation, BioAge mediated considerably more variance, even after statistical control for differences in health. A complex pattern emerged for the mediation of sex differences: whereas BioAge accounted for sex-related variation in cognitive performance, health operated to suppress these differences. Overall, both health and BioAge predicted cognitive variation independently of chronological age.

  • 26. Östlund, G.
    et al.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sunnhagen, K.S.
    Borg, K.
    Vitality among Swedish post-polio patients: A physiological phenomenon2008In: Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, ISSN 1650-1977, Vol. 40, p. 709-714Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To evaluate quality of life, especially vitality and fatigue, in patients with postpolio syndrome (PPS), and the relative contributions of physiological and psychological parameters for level of vitality. Design: Multi-center study. Subjects: 143 patients, diagnosed with PPS from four Swedish post-polio out-clinics. Methods: Inventories of background information, quality of life (SF36), fatigue (MFI20) and sleep quality (SQS) were used. Pain was evaluated by a VAS scale. Descriptive statistics were used for examinations of demographic data, pain, quality of life, fatigue and sleep. Correlations included all selected parameters. Hierarchical regression models were constructed to examine predictors of variations in vitality, pain, reduced activity and physical fatigue. Results: General fatigue accounted for 68% of the variation in vitality. Of this, 91% was in turn accounted for by physiological indicators. After control for age, the physiological block of variables accounted for 56.6% and 25% of the variation in vitality, if entered before and after the psychological block of variables, respectively, while the impact of the psychological block almost disappeared after accounting for the physiological indicators. Physical fatigue, age and sleep quality were associated with variation in pain, whereas BMI, pain and sleep quality accounted for differences in reduced activity and physical fatigue. Conclusions: The phenomenon of vitality in PPS patients is mostly dependent on physiological parameters and mental fatigue is not a prominent predictor of vitality in PPS. The existence of subgroups of PPS patients with and without fatigue, independent of age or polio duration, needs further study.

  • 27. Östlund, Gunilla
    et al.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sunnerhagen, Katharina S.
    Borg, Kristian
    Post polio syndrome: Fatigued patients a specific subgroup?2011In: Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, ISSN 1650-1977, E-ISSN 1651-2081, Vol. 43, no 1, p. 39-45Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims: To examine characteristics of fatigued and non-fatigued post-polio patients and, to define potential subgroups across the fatigue continuum. Design: Multi-center study. Subjects: 143 post-polio patients were, by using the Multi Fatigue Inventory 20 General fatigue ratings, subdivided on the basis of percentile distribution into a fatigue, reference, and non-fatigue group. Methods: Data on background, quality of life, fatigue and pain were collected. Descriptive statistics and correlations in each group and Analysis of Variance and Chi2 for group comparisons were performed. To evaluate differences in the strength of associations between physical and mental fatigue, on the one hand, and vitality on the other, non-linear regressions were employed. Results: The fatigued group was younger, had shorter polio duration, more pain, higher Body Mass Index, lower quality of life and were more physically and mentally fatigued. More had contracted polio after 1956 and were under 65 years of age. Mental fatigue had a relatively higher explanatory value than physical fatigue for differences in vitality in the fatigued group, reversed patterns were seen in the other groups. Conclusions: It may be clamed that the fatigued PPS patients may be considered as a subgroup.

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