Early Stages of Frailty have an Effect on Cognition

Frailty and dementia are extremely prevalent in the aging population, both of which are related to the high risks of disability. Frailty increases vulnerability in older adults and diminishes their ability to deal with stressors. Most studies have shown that cognitive disability is strongly associated with physical frailty. A recent study explored how physical frailty influenced cognition in individual’s without dementia in order to better understand the pure effect of frailty on cognitive functioning and the susceptibility of cognitive states in different frail conditions.

In this study, researchers wanted to find out if understated cognitive impairment was present in individuals who did not have dementia or expressed cognitive complaints but had physical frailty or was in earlier prefrail state.

The study found that even though participants who were either prefrail or frail did not have subjective cognitive complaints, they were at higher risk of cognitive impairment. The accumulative impact of frailty on cognitive ability and the vulnerability of nonmemory domain provides a new approach in studying the pathogenesis of the association between frailty and cognitive impairment.