Noteworthy is the fact that diagnosis of dementia in these studies was mostly based on neuropsychological examination, and classifying
subtypes of dementia antemortem in the oldest-old is tricky, at best. Furthermore, oldest-old individuals are more likely to suffer from medical comorbidities and have high rates of sensory loss, psychoactive medication usage, frailty, and fatigue (for review see29). Together with the decline in cognition often observed in normal aging (discussed below), these factors impose a challenge on the diagnosis of dementia in this unique population, possibly Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical contributing to the variability in incidence rates reported in different studies. this site etiology OF DEMENTIA IN THE OLDEST-OLD Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical As for AD in young elderly, the etiology of dementia in the oldest-old is unknown. Several genetic and environmental factors have been proposed to increase the risk
of dementia in the oldest-old. Importantly, risk/protective factors for dementia in younger elderly subjects may not pertain to the oldest-old. Moreover, postmortem studies suggest that neuropathology is abundant in the oldest-old brains, and not necessarily correlated with dementia, making the determination of the etiology a difficult mission. In this section we review the risk factors and neurobiology of dementia in the oldest-old. Risk Factors for Dementia in the Oldest-Old Age Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical The high rates of incidence and prevalence of dementia in the oldest-old indicate Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical that age is an important risk factor. Although it has been suggested that dementia is an inevitable part of aging,30 dementia could result from the continued accumulation of potentially preventable age-related
risk factors,21 eventually surpassing a threshold after which protective mechanisms (such as neuroimmune response) and compensatory facilities (such as reserve capacity) cannot maintain healthy cognition. Since aging is inevitable, managing modifiable risk factors could, at least partially, prevent or delay some of the devastating aspects of extremely old-age dementia. Estrogen Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical and estrogen therapy Women’s life expectancy is longer than men’s. Also, sex differences in incidence/prevalence of all-cause dementia, as well as AD and VaD, have been reported in the oldest-old. selleck compound Results from the 90+ Study suggested higher prevalence (all cases) of all-cause dementia in women than in men,31 although the incidence (“new” cases) Batimastat rates were similar in both sexes.22 The authors suggested that sex differences in prevalence are due to shorter survival of men after a diagnosis of dementia, as previously reported in younger elderly.32 Examining dementia subtypes, the majority of the reports are in agreement with higher prevalence and incidence rates of AD in extremely old women.19,26,28,33–36 As for VaD, however, higher prevalence and incidence rates in very old men were suggested in some studies,26,27 but not all.