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Major Issues in Cognitive Aging$
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Timothy Salthouse

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372151

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372151.001.0001

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Normal and Pathological Cognitive Aging in Late Adulthood

Normal and Pathological Cognitive Aging in Late Adulthood

(p.127) 5 Normal and Pathological Cognitive Aging in Late Adulthood
Major Issues in Cognitive Aging

Timothy A. Salthouse

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on cognitive functioning in late adulthood. It discusses three related topics: dementia, the preclinical phase of dementia, and the risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia. Dementia, and Alzheimer's disease in particular, is characterized by severe impairment in cognitive functioning. It is a particularly devastating disease because it destroys one's sense of self, and there are currently no effective treatments to prevent or even delay the disease. Research has revealed differences in cognitive performance between individuals who will and will not develop the disease several years prior to the eventual diagnosis. However, what is responsible for these relations and whether it is meaningful to refer to a distinct diagnostic category are still controversial issues.

Keywords:   cognitive aging, cognition, cognitive functioning, cognitive decline, dementia

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