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

John, Amber, James, Sarah-Naomi, Rusted, Jennifer, Richards, Marcus and Gaysina, Darya (2019) Effects of affective symptoms in adolescence and adulthood on trajectories of cognitive function from middle to late adulthood. Journal of Affective Disorders. ISSN 01650327

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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 baseline cognitive function (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 baseline, but not with rates of decline over time 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.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Affective symptoms; Cognitive ageing; Longitudinal; Birth Cohort.
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 10:17
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2019 10:17
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/86866

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