Age differences in neuropsychological test performance in chronic psychological disorders

Helmes, Edward (2008) Age differences in neuropsychological test performance in chronic psychological disorders. In: Proceedings of the 31st Annual Brain Impairment Conference (9), p. 75. From: 31st Annual Brain Impairment Conference, 1-3 May 2008, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

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Abstract

Individuals with chronic psychological disturbances may undergo psychological assessment at some point in order to document any notable cognitive deficits associated with the disorder or because of concerns related to side effects of treatments. Education level, gender, and active treatment with psychoactive medication have been shown to influence performance on tests of learning and memory. Participants are 233 people (70 males) with chronic psychological disorders with strict exclusion criteria to rule out those with epilepsy or reports of abnormal EEG, with evidence of cerebral infarct from brain scan, CT, or MRI imaging, and any positive signs from neurological examination of abnormal reflexes or neuromuscular or sensory defects. The mean age was 32.7 years (SD = 15.8), with a mean of 10.3 years of education (SD = 3.1 years). Personality disorders and psychotic conditions were the most frequent diagnoses, with schizophrenia the single most frequently occurring condition. Several analyses are reported to explore changes in test performance with increasing age, including correlations and group comparisons of the oldest quartile (age 45 and older) against the younger group. Preliminary analyses show changes in performance on tests of motor speed and strength, complex coordinated movements (praxis), and executive functions(measures from the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test). Additional analyses report on the relative importance of age in test performance when education and medication usage are controlled. The evaluation of performance on neuropsychological tests by people with psychological disorders highlights the importance of appropriate norms and the consideration of these factors.

Item ID: 7962
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISSN: 1443-9646
Keywords: chronic psychological disorder; neuropsychological test performance; psychoactive medication
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Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2010 23:18
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology) @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110319 Psychiatry (incl Psychotherapy) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920111 Nervous System and Disorders @ 100%
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