Introduction to the Cohort
Subjects were recruited from a general practitioner research network in the Herault department in the south of France as part of the Eugeria longitudinal study of cognitive ageing.
General practitioners were requested to send a
proxy screening questionnaire on cognitive functioning to all persons over 60 years of age in their practice who did not meet DSM-III criteria for senile dementia or other psychiatric disorder.
The first two waves of the Eugeria study were conducted between 1992 and 1995 and 833 normal (i.e. non-demented) elderly were recruited into the study.
Participants are all residents of the South of France. No other information on ethnicity or race has been reported.
Diagnosis & Evaluation Methods
A proxy screening questionnaire on cognitive function over the past year was sent to everyone over 60 years in each general practice not meeting DSM III criteria for senile dementia in a general practice network in the South of France.
The screening instrument is called DECO (Deterioration Cognitive Observee) is based on degree of change in behaviour over the last year as estimated by a proxy who has had at least monthly contact with the subject over the past 3 years.
A computerized neuropsychometric examination, ECO (Examen Cognitif par Ordinateur) was used to assess working memory, verbal and visuospatial secondasy memory, implicit memory, language skills, visuospatial performance, and focused and divided attention.
A standardized neurological examination for the diagnosis of psychogeriatric disorder corresponding to both DSM IIIR and International Classification of Diseases-9th revision criteria was carried out in the 3rd year. A semi-structured diagnostic interview was constructed by the study neurologist based on DSM III criteria and using cognitive assessment methods different from those used within the ECO. The dx of dementia was made bu applying the diagnostic algorithm of the DSM IIIR in conjunction with SPECT where available and the results of biological tests.
Ritchie, K., Leibovici, D., Ledesert, B.,Touchon, J. A typology of sub-clinical senescent cognitive disorder. Br J Psychiatry. 1996:168(4):470-476.