Vocabulary level as cognitive reserve proxy in evaluating mild cognitive impairment

Cristina Lojo-Seoane, David Facal, Onésimo Juncos-Rabadán, Arturo X. Pereiro


This paper studies the role of vocabulary as an indicator of cognitive reserve in the evaluation of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Three hundred twenty-six participants aged 50 years were classified into two groups, one of 104 patients with MCI and other of 222 healthy controls. We analyzed differences in the scores on different indicators of cognitive reserve, including scores on the WAIS vocabulary subtest and the vocabulary test Peabody. To analyze the effect of these indicators in the prevalence of MCI a logistic regression analysis was carried out.

The results indicated that the MCI group had significantly lower scores than the controls in tasks of vocabulary and in reading habits. The low scores on vocabulary tests were the cognitive reserve measures that best predicted the risk of MCI. The high level of vocabulary seems to help the increasing of cognitive reserve as an indicator protective against cognitive decline.


Lexical; memory; crystallized intelligence; cognitive impairment; adults

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6018/analesps.30.3.158481


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