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Midlife study of the Louisville Twins: Connecting cognitive development to biological and cognitive aging
Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States.
Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ARN-J (Aging Research Network - Jönköping). Department of Psychology, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN, United States.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2346-2470
Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States.
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2020 (English)In: Behavior Genetics, ISSN 0001-8244, E-ISSN 1573-3297, Vol. 50, no 2, p. 73-83Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Louisville Twin Study (LTS) began in 1958 and became a premier longitudinal twin study of cognitive development. The LTS continuously collected data from twins through 2000 after which the study closed indefinitely due to lack of funding. Now that the majority of the sample is age 40 or older (61.36%, N = 1770), the LTS childhood data can be linked to midlife cognitive functioning, among other physical, biological, social, and psychiatric outcomes. We report results from two pilot studies in anticipation of beginning the midlife phase of the LTS. The first pilot study was a participant tracking study, in which we showed that approximately 90% of the Louisville families randomly sampled (N = 203) for the study could be found. The second pilot study consisted of 40 in-person interviews in which twins completed cognitive, memory, biometric, and functional ability measures. The main purpose of the second study was to correlate midlife measures of cognitive functioning to a measure of biological age, which is an alternative index to chronological age that quantifies age as a function of the breakdown of structural and functional physiological systems, and then to relate both of these measures to twins’ cognitive developmental trajectories. Midlife IQ was uncorrelated with biological age (−.01) while better scores on episodic memory more strongly correlated with lower biological age (−.19 to −.31). As expected, midlife IQ positively correlated with IQ measures collected throughout childhood and adolescence. Additionally, positive linear rates of change in FSIQ scores in childhood significantly correlated with biological age (−.68), physical functioning (.71), and functional ability (−.55), suggesting that cognitive development predicts lower biological age, better physical functioning, and better functional ability. In sum, the Louisville twins can be relocated to investigate whether and how early and midlife cognitive and physical health factors contribute to cognitive aging. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2020. Vol. 50, no 2, p. 73-83
Keywords [en]
Aging, Cognitive ability, Developmental behavioral genetics, Louisville Twin Study
National Category
Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47220DOI: 10.1007/s10519-019-09983-6ISI: 000514795400001PubMedID: 31820295Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85076776263Local ID: ;HHJARNISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-47220DiVA, id: diva2:1382327
Available from: 2020-01-02 Created: 2020-01-02 Last updated: 2020-03-05Bibliographically approved

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Finkel, Deborah

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