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Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana

versão On-line ISSN 2075-9479


ZIBETTI, Murilo Ricardo et al. Comparative study of neuropsychological functions among age groups from 21 to 90 years old. Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana [online]. 2010, vol.2, n.1, pp.55-67. ISSN 2075-9479.

Neuropsychological assessment allows the investigation of cognitive, communicative and emotional abilities, generating indices to diagnosis and rehabilitation of neuropsychological impairments. Studies with healthy individuals of different ages are relevant to the interpretation of the assessment data of neurologic and/or psychiatric patients. This research aimed at verifying if there are differences between four age groups regarding their neuropsychological functions processing, analyzing more specifically different mnemonic systems, as well as the oral and written language. The sample was composed of 207 neurologically healthy and highly-educated adults: 53 younger (21-39 years old), 63 middle-aged (40-59 years old), 48 elderly (60-75 years old) and 43 oldest old (76-90 years old). Participants' cognitive functions were assessed with the Brazilian Brief Neuropsychological Assessment Battery NEUPSILIN. The assessment included the following abilities: time and space orientation, attention, memory, arithmetic, language, motor functions, and executive functions (problem solving and verbal fluency). Between groups performance comparison was analyzed with one-way ANCOVA, and education and frequency of writing and reading habits as covariates. Results suggested that there was a low performance in some cognitive components mainly regarding the 76 year-old group, such as perception, problem solving, verbal fluency, working, episodic and prospective mnemonic components. In addition, there were differences between the oldest and the youngest groups when it comes to written language. Neuropsychological performance seems change throughout the aging process, especially from the age of 76, although this variable had a different role for each cognitive component.

Palavras-chave : Brief neuropsychological assessment; Age; Aging, Memory.

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