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Title: The effects of age and menopause on word finding abilities in midlife and late-life women
Author: Maitreyee, Ramya
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 0581
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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Word finding difficulties are a primary concern in older adults. Particularly in women, this decline has been associated with age and lowered sex hormone levels following menopause. However, a clear understanding of menopause effects on word finding abilities remains limited in the context of age effects, which are also inconsistent. The current study investigated the effects of age and menopause on wordfinding abilities in women aged 46-79 years. Seventy-eight healthy women were recruited in three age groups, 46-55, 56-65 and 70-79 years. Women in the first group were classified by menopause status (Pre-, Peri-, Post-menopause). A questionnaire was used to gather demographic information and reproductive history. A battery of tasks, consisting of verbal fluency, continuous series and verbal naming, was designed to assess specific aspects of word finding abilities. A significant effect of age was observed for picture naming latency; women aged 70-79 years had longer latencies than the younger groups. There were no significant effects of age on verbal fluency, continuous series measures and naming accuracy, although an age-related declining trend was observed. Women across menopause stages (aged 46-55 years) did not differ in their word finding abilities. Correlational results indicated that word production on letter fluency was strongly associated with switching but only in premenopausal women. Vocabulary and education were consistently correlated with word finding performance across age and menopause groups. This study replicates previous reports of age effects on picture naming and partially replicates those on verbal fluency. Lack of menopause effects fits with the lack of consistency in the literature. Absence of significant effects of age and menopause on word finding abilities is discussed in relation with neuroprotective effects of high levels of education on word finding and the cognitive reserve hypotheses (Stern, 2002).
Supervisor: Cowell, Patricia E. ; Whiteside, Sandra ; Varley, Rosemary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available