Research has demonstrated significant impairments in information processing speed, psychomotor speed and learning among individuals with cardiovascular disease compared to healthy elderly. Such impairments have clinical significance, as cognition is known to influence the functional abilities of the elderly. The purpose of this proposal is to examine the link between cardiac function (i.e., ejection fraction), IADLs, and performance on tests of attention/ vigilance, executive functioning, psychomotor speed, and learning. Impairments of these cognitive functions are hypothesized, as cardiovascular disease is expected to exert greatest influence on cognitive components mediated by frontal-subcortical systems. This study aims to (1) demonstrate an association between impaired cardiac functioning and cognitive impairment, (2) demonstrate that functional activities are compromised in patients with impaired cardiac functioning, and (3) demonstrate that functional impairments among cardiac patients are influenced by cognitive impairments such as executive functioning. A thorough examination of ejection fraction may elucidate the relationship between cardiac compromise and cognition among patients who have not undergone prior cardiac surgery and inform treatment and rehabilitation programs for these patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-3 (01))
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Wagster, Molly V
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Miriam Hospital
United States
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Jefferson, Angela L (2010) Cardiac output as a potential risk factor for abnormal brain aging. J Alzheimers Dis 20:813-21
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Gunstad, John; Benitez, Andreana; Hoth, Karin F et al. (2009) P-selectin 1087G/A polymorphism is associated with neuropsychological test performance in older adults with cardiovascular disease. Stroke 40:2969-72
Tate, David F; Jefferson, Angela L; Brickman, Adam M et al. (2008) Regional White Matter Signal Abnormalities and Cognitive Correlates Among Geriatric Patients with Treated Cardiovascular Disease. Brain Imaging Behav 2:200-206
Hoth, Karin F; Haley, Andreana P; Gunstad, John et al. (2008) Elevated C-reactive protein is related to cognitive decline in older adults with cardiovascular disease. J Am Geriatr Soc 56:1898-903
Hoth, Karin F; Tate, David F; Poppas, Athena et al. (2007) Endothelial function and white matter hyperintensities in older adults with cardiovascular disease. Stroke 38:308-12
Jefferson, Angela L; Wong, Sarah; Gracer, Talia S et al. (2007) Geriatric performance on an abbreviated version of the Boston naming test. Appl Neuropsychol 14:215-23
Jefferson, Angela L; Poppas, Athena; Paul, Robert H et al. (2007) Systemic hypoperfusion is associated with executive dysfunction in geriatric cardiac patients. Neurobiol Aging 28:477-83
Jefferson, Angela L; Tate, David F; Poppas, Athena et al. (2007) Lower cardiac output is associated with greater white matter hyperintensities in older adults with cardiovascular disease. J Am Geriatr Soc 55:1044-8

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