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Revista Ecuatoriana de Neurología

versión On-line ISSN 2631-2581versión impresa ISSN 1019-8113


DEL BRUTTO, Oscar H.; MERA, Robertino M.; ZAMBRANO, Mauricio  y  DEL BRUTTO, Victor J.. Cognitive decline: prevalence and correlates in a rural Ecuadorian community. Lessons from the Atahualpa Project. Rev Ecuat Neurol [online]. 2017, vol.26, n.2, pp.164-177. ISSN 2631-2581.

Assessment of cognitive impairment in rural areas of developing countries is complicated by illiteracy and cross-cultural factors. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was used to estimate cognitive performance in individuals enrolled in the Atahualpa Project. Some problems were noticed with the use of this test, including issues related to naming animals, as well as the need to adjust a different cutoff for diagnosing mild cognitive decline than that used in highly educated individuals living in developed countries. After correlating MoCA scores with neuroimaging signatures of cortical and subcortical atrophy, a cutoff of 19-20 points would better define cognitive impaired individuals in rural areas. We also noticed that severe edentulism as well as psychological distress were associated with poor cognitive performance in older adults living in Atahualpa. In contrast, our study showed a linear, and dose-dependent, direct relationship between dietary oily fish intake and cognitive performance. We also aimed to assess the independent contribution and the interaction of age, the stroke itself and diffuse subcortical damage in the poor cognitive performance observed in patients with stroke, and noticed that interaction of age and diffuse subcortical damage are major determinants for poor cognitive performance among stroke patients. The total cerebral small vessel disease score can be used as a reliable predictor of poor cognitive performance, although its predictive power is not better than that of isolated neuroimaging signatures of cerebral small vessel disease. Finally, we noticed an inverse relationship between calcium content in the carotid siphon - used as a surrogate of intracranial atherosclerosis - and cognitive performance in our population.

Palabras clave : Atahualpa; population-based study; epidemiology; cardiovascular health; cerebrovascular disease; ischemic heart disease; Ecuador..

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