Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

  • Director: Laura E. Gómez Sánchez
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         February | May | August | November
  • ISSN: 0214-9915
  • Digital Edition:: 1886-144X
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Cognitive decline before the age of 50 can be detected with sensitive cognitive measures

Daniel Ferreira1,2, Rut Correia1,3, Antonieta Nieto1, Alejandra Machado1, Yaiza Molina1 and José Barroso1

1 University of La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain),
2 Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm (Sweden), and
3 Universidad Diego Portales (Chile)

Background: To define the profile of age-related differences in cognition in healthy middle-aged adults in order to identify the most sensitive measures of early cognitive decline. To study whether these differences precede cognitive decline in the elderly. Method: 141 cognitively normal participants (101 middle-aged adults with age 40-50±2; and 40 elderly individuals with age 65±2) were assessed with a comprehensive neuropsychological protocol covering processing speed, attention, executive functions, verbal and visual episodic memory, procedural memory, visuoconstructive, visuoperceptive and visuospatial functions, and language. Results: Age-related differences were detected before the age of 50 in cognitive reaction time, executive control, initial learning in verbal episodic memory, complex visuoconstructive and visuospatial functions, and lexical access. These differences preceded more extensive cognitive decline present at the age of 65. Conclusions: Our findings suggest subtle executive dysfunction before the age of 50, together with slowing in processing speed later on in the transition to old age. This profile could be explained by changes in the frontal lobe and its connections, starting at middle-age. These findings, together with future research, may be important for the diagnosis, prognosis, and prevention of pathological aging at a very early level.

El deterioro cognitivo puede ser detectado antes de los 50 años usando medidas cognitivas sensibles. Antecedentes: definir el perfil de cambios cognitivos durante la adultez de mediana edad para identificar medidas sensibles al deterioro cognitivo temprano. Estudiar si estos cambios preceden el deterioro cognitivo presente en la vejez. Método: 141 participantes cognitivamente normales (101 adultos entre 40-50±2 años; y 40 individuos con 65±2 años) fueron evaluados mediante un amplio protocolo neuropsicológico incluyendo velocidad de procesamiento, atención, funciones ejecutivas, memoria episódica verbal y visual, memoria procedimental, funciones visocontructivas, visoperceptivas y visoespaciales, y lenguaje. Resultados: se detectaron cambios cognitivos antes de los 50 años en tiempo de reacción cognitivo, control ejecutivo, adquisición inicial en memoria episódica verbal, funciones visoconstructivas y visoespaciales complejas, y acceso al léxico. Estos cambios precedieron un deterioro cognitivo más extenso evidenciado a la edad de 65 años. Conclusiones: existe una leve disfunción ejecutiva antes de los 50 años, junto con enlentecimiento cognitivo en la transición a la vejez. Este perfil de cambios podría explicarse por un deterioro en el lóbulo frontal y sus conexiones ya desde la adultez de mediana edad. Estos resultados, junto con investigación futura, podrían ser importantes para el diagnóstico, prognosis y prevención del envejecimiento patológico a nivel temprano.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2022:  SJR = 1.097;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)