Although there is ample evidence of frontal system dysfunction in old age, the clinical significance of these impairments has not been well studied. In this article, we examine the factor structure of putative executive measures in a sample of well elderly subjects. Three stable factors emerged, but only one was associated with measures of functional status. This factor was most strongly associated with relatively simple bedside executive measures that might prove useful in dementia screening. In contrast, a second factor, dominated by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, was weakly associated with disability. These data suggest that certain executive measures may be more relevant to functional outcomes, and hence dementia case finding, than others. Moreover, associations with functional status should not be casually extrapolated from regional frontal clinical correlations, particularly with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology