The purpose of this study was to assess the intellectual ability and activity of daily living (ADL) of 12 centenarians in institutions for the elderly and to compare them with individuals in the 62-99 age group. At the time of our study, 66.7% of the centenarians were severely demented, three quarters of them suffering from Alzheimer's type dementia and the other one quarter the mixed type. There were qualitative differences between non-demented centenarians and the demented elderly in general, particularly in regard to understanding of surrounding objects and the presence or absence of mental symptoms indicating intellectual deterioration. A total of 50% of the centenarians were bedridden, but 41.7% of them could eat without assistance. Intellectual ability and ADL directly decreased with aging. We think centenarians do not present a special case and our clinical observations suggest a continuous process of aging. Five of the centenarians recently died and were autopsied. The agreement rate between clinical diagnoses and pathological findings with respect to dementia was 80.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology