Worth the Wait: Delayed Recall after 1 Week Predicts Cognitive and Medial Temporal Lobe Trajectories in Older Adults

Cutter A. Lindbergh, Nicole Walker, Renaud La Joie, Sophia Weiner-Light, Adam M. Staffaroni, Kaitlin B. Casaletto, Fanny Elahi, Samantha M. Walters, Michelle You, Devyn Cotter, Breton Asken, Alexandra C. Apple, Elena Tsoy, John Neuhaus, Corrina Fonseca, Amy Wolf, Yann Cobigo, Howie Rosen, Joel H. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: We evaluated whether memory recall following an extended (1 week) delay predicts cognitive and brain structural trajectories in older adults Method: Clinically normal older adults (52-92 years old) were followed longitudinally for up to 8 years after completing a memory paradigm at baseline [Story Recall Test (SRT)] that assessed delayed recall at 30 min and 1 week. Subsets of the cohort underwent neuroimaging (N = 134, mean age = 75) and neuropsychological testing (N = 178-207, mean ages = 74-76) at annual study visits occurring approximately 15-18 months apart. Mixed-effects regression models evaluated if baseline SRT performance predicted longitudinal changes in gray matter volumes and cognitive composite scores, controlling for demographics. Results: Worse SRT 1-week recall was associated with more precipitous rates of longitudinal decline in medial temporal lobe volumes (p =.037), episodic memory (p =.003), and executive functioning (p =.011), but not occipital lobe or total gray matter volumes (demonstrating neuroanatomical specificity; p >.58). By contrast, SRT 30-min recall was only associated with longitudinal decline in executive functioning (p =.044). Conclusions: Memory paradigms that capture longer-term recall may be particularly sensitive to age-related medial temporal lobe changes and neurodegenerative disease trajectories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-388
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognitive aging
  • Early diagnosis
  • Episodic memory
  • Learning
  • Temporal lobe


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