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Effects of affective symptoms in adolescence and adulthood on trajectories of cognitive function from middle to late adulthood

John, A; James, SN; Rusted, J; Richards, M; Gaysina, D; (2019) Effects of affective symptoms in adolescence and adulthood on trajectories of cognitive function from middle to late adulthood. Journal of Affective Disorders , 259 pp. 424-431. 10.1016/j.jad.2019.08.077. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Little is known about the link between affective symptoms and cognitive function across the life course. This study aims to investigate whether affective symptoms in adolescence and adulthood predict trajectories of cognitive function from middle to late-adulthood. / Methods: Data from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), a cohort of 5362 individuals born in mainland UK in 1946, were utilised. Linear mixed models were used to model cognitive trajectories (memory and processing speed) over a three-decade period (from 43 to 69) and to test effects of affective symptoms in adolescence (ages 13-15) and adulthood (ages 36 and 43) on cognitive function at first testing (age 43) and decline in cognitive function (from 43 to 69). Models were adjusted for sex, childhood cognition, childhood socioeconomic position, and education. / Results: A quadratic model best fitted memory and processing speed data. Models revealed that adolescent affective symptoms were associated with lower memory (b=-1.11, SE=0.53, p=.04) and processing speed (b=-18.17, SE=7.53, p=.02) at first cognitive testing, but not with rates of decline from 43 to 69. There were no significant associations between adult affective symptoms and cognitive trajectories. / Limitations: Missing data is a potential limitation of this study. This was dealt with using maximum likelihood estimation and multiple imputation. / Conclusions: Findings suggest that adolescent, but not adult, affective symptoms are important predictors of cognitive function in midlife, but not rate of cognitive decline. This highlights the importance of early intervention to manage mental health in adolescence to protect later cognitive function.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of affective symptoms in adolescence and adulthood on trajectories of cognitive function from middle to late adulthood
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.08.077
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.08.077
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Affective symptoms; Cognitive ageing; Longitudinal; Birth Cohort.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10082707
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