Frailty phenotype and neuropsychological test performance: A preliminary analysis

Terrie B. Ginsberg, Leonard Powell, Arif Patel, Sheina Emrani, Anita Chopra, Thomas Cavalieri, David J. Libon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Context: Frailty is a common problem that affects adults older than 65 years. Correlations between the frailty phenotype and neuropsychological impairment have not been thoroughly researched. Objective: To examine the association between frailty phenotype, neuropsychological screening test results, and neuropsychological domains known to characterize patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Methods: This retrospective medical record analysis consisted of ambulatory patients aged 65 years or older seen in an outpatient geriatric practice. All patients were assessed with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). A portion of those patients also underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation that assessed executive control, naming/lexical access, and declarative memory expressed as 3 neuropsychological index scores. Frailty phenotype was determined using criteria by Fried et al. Results: Simple correlation found that lower MoCA test scores were associated with a higher level of frailty (r=−0.34, P<.032). Regression analyses found that greater frailty was associated with worse performance on tests that assessed executive control and working memory (backward digit span; r2=0.267; β=−0.517; P<.011) and delayed recognition memory (r2=0.207; β=−0.455; P<.025). Conclusion: A correlation was found between frailty and neuropsychological impairment, which suggests that frailty may be a potential indicator for the emergence of mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-687
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Osteopathic Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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