J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2003 Dec;7(2):143-153.

A 6 Months Follow-Up of Cognitive Function in Urban Community Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea. junginkwa@hanmail.net


OBJECT: The purpose of this study was to measure the natural changes of cognitive function over 6 months and to determine which cognitive tests were valuable for early detection of dementia in community dwelling elderly. METHOD: Cognitive functions were measured in 94 elderly registered at the Public Welfare Center in Gwacheon, the urban community of Kyunggido. After 6 months, same cognitive functions were re-measured in 54 elderly. The measures were Korean version of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-K), Subtests of Korean Version of Memory Assesment Scales (KMAS), Verbal Fluency Test, Clock Drawing Task, Wechsler Digit Substitution Test and Wechsler Similarity Test.
The mean age was 73.61+/-5.97 year. Most part of the tests were influenced by education, but not by age and sex. Of the MMSE-K subtests, the score of memory registration and memory recall declined after 6 months. The score of delayed recall of K-MAS declined, too. Decreased score was also observed in 'country' of the category verbal fluency test and 'n' of phonemic verbal fluency test, Wechsler digit substitution test and Wechsler similarity test. But, score decline was not statistically significant. Three persons were diagnosed as dementia after 6 months. And, they acquired low scores in above cognitive function tests in first cognitive function tests.
Memory registration and memory recall of MMSE-K, delayed recall of K-MAS, verbal fluency test, Wechsler digit substitution test and Wechsler similarity test were sensitive to cognitive decline. The results suggest that these cognitive function tests could be applied to detect minimal changes of cognitive function in community dwelling elderly.


Elderly; Cognitive function test
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