The relationship between Piaget and cognitive levels in persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders

M. A. Matteson, A. D. Linton, S. J. Barnes, B. L. Cleary, Michael J Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Clinical observations and research studies have documented that people with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD) appear to regress developmentally during the course of the disease. The purpose of this study was to prospectively determine the association between changes in Piaget levels of cognitive development and cognitive decline in nursing home residents in various stages of ADRD. Fifty-seven people were tested three times at yearly intervals, using the Folstein Mini-Mental State Exam to determine cognitive levels and a set of 14 Piaget tasks to determine cognitive developmental levels: 1) Formal Operations; 2) Concrete Operations; 3) Preoperational; and 4) Sensorimotor. Mean MMSE scores declined from 12.7 to 9.4, and there was a downward trend in Piaget levels over the study period. ANOVA showed significant differences (p < 0.0005, Years 1, 2,3) in MMSE scores among all Piaget levels, and Spearman rho analysis showed significant correlations between Piaget levels and MMSE for each year (p < 0.0005, Years 1, 2, 3). The results suggest that there is a concurrent decline in cognitive developmental levels and cognition in people in various stages of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1996


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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