Neuropsychology, Vol 38(2), Feb 2024, 184-197; doi:10.1037/neu0000928Objective: To investigate whether intraindividual variability (IIV) in reaction time (RT) over monthly administered cognitive tasks is increased in cognitively unimpaired older adults who are at risk for cognitive decline, and whether this is independent of mean RT performance. Method: N = 109 cognitively unimpaired individuals (age 77.4 ± 5.0, 61.5% female, Mini-Mental State Examination 29.1 ± 1.3) from the Harvard Aging Brain Study completed the self-administered Computerized Cognitive Composite (C3) monthly at home for up to 1 year (12.7 ± 3.2 C3 assessments). Baseline C3 assessment coincided with routine in-clinic visits, including amyloid and tau positron emission tomography imaging and standardized cognitive testing, with cognitive testing repeated annually (1.6 ± 1.2 years follow-up). The C3 includes two simple RT tasks and two complex RT tasks. IIV estimates were derived by computing intraindividual standard deviations on residual RT scores after regressing out age and session order effects. Cross-sectional associations of IIV with cognition (global cognition, memory, executive functions [EF], processing speed) and amyloid and tau burden were examined using linear regression analyses correcting for demographics and mean RT. The association between IIV and cognitive decline was assessed using linear mixed models correcting for demographic factors, mean RT, and amyloid burden. Results: After adjusting for mean RT, increased IIV on complex RT tasks was independently associated with worse EF performance (β = −0.10, 95% CI [−.16, −0.03], p = .004), greater inferior-temporal tau deposition (β = 0.18, 95% CI [0.02, 0.34], p = .024), and faster cognitive decline in those with elevated amyloid (β = −0.62, 95% CI [−1.18, −0.06], p = .033). Conclusions: Increased variability in monthly RT may reflect subtle EF deficits and provide unique information about short-term cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved)

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This post is Copyright: | November 16, 2023
Neuropsychology – Vol 38, Iss 2