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Subjective Cognitive Impairment and the Broad Autism Phenotype

Caselli, Richard J., MD*; Langlais, Blake T., BS; Dueck, Amylou C., PhD; Locke, Dona E.C., PhD, ABPP; Woodruff, Bryan K., MD*

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: October-December 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 4 - p 284–290
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000273
Original Articles

Introduction: Roughly 4% to 23% of the population embody stress prone personality and other traits characterizing a subclinical “broad autism phenotype” (BAP). Subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) among healthy elderly is associated with psychological distress leading us to predict BAP would be associated with SCI.

Methods: The Autism Spectrum Quotient, a self-administered 50 item questionnaire, was completed by 419 consecutive members of the Arizona APOE Cohort who underwent neuropsychological testing every 2 years. SCI was assessed with self and informant versions of the Multidimensional Assessment of Neurodegenerative Symptoms (MANS) Questionnaire.

Results: A total of 45 individuals scored in the BAP range, designated BAP+, and the rest were BAP−. At entry, both Multidimensional Assessment of Neurodegenerative Symptoms Questionnaire Self and Informant scores were higher in the BAP+ group (P<0.0001). After age 60, the BAP+ group had greater annual increases in Multidimensional Assessment of Neurodegenerative Symptoms Questionnaire Self scores (0.05 vs. 0.02; difference=0.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.004-0.05; P=0.02) yet there was no difference between groups in memory decline. Over ~10 years 33 individuals developed mild cognitive impairment: 4 in the BAP+ group (8.9%) and 29 in the BAP− group (7.8%), P=0.77.

Discussion: Individuals who meet criteria for the BAP have escalating SCI with age, but no greater rate of memory decline or clinical progression to mild cognitive impairment.

Departments of *Neurology

Biostatistics

Psychology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ

Supported by NIA P30AG019610, R01AG031581, and Arizona Alzheimer’s Research Consortium.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Richard J. Caselli, MD, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, 13400 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85259 (e-mail: caselli.richard@mayo.edu).

Received March 8, 2018

Accepted July 25, 2018

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