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How does decisional capacity evolve with normal cognitive aging: systematic review of the literature

Abstract : Abstract Purpose Aging is associated with increased needs related to complex decisions, particularly in medical and social issues. However, the complexity of decision-making involves many neurological functions and structures which are potentially altered by cognitive aging. Methodology A systematic review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines to examine changes in decision-making occurring in normal cognitive aging. The keywords “decision making” and “normal aging” were used to find the clinical studies and literature reviews focused on these changes. Results A total of 97 articles were considered in the review, and ultimately 40 articles were selected, including 30 studies and 10 literature reviews. The data from these studies were of uneven quality and too disparate to allow meta-analysis according to PRISMA criteria. Nevertheless, a key result of the analysis is the decrease of processing speed with aging. In ambiguous decision-making situations, the alteration of the ventromedial system is associated with changes in motivation profiles. These changes can be compensated by experience. However, difficulties arise for older adults in the case of one-off decisions, which are very common in the medical or medico-social domains. Conclusions Cognitive aging is associated with a slowdown in processing speed of decision-making, especially in ambiguous situations. However, decision-making processes which are based on experience and cases in which sufficient time is available are less affected by aging. These results highlight the relativity of decision-making capacities in cognitive aging.
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Contributor : emmanuel haffen Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 3:45:51 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 5, 2022 - 4:19:10 PM

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Thomas Tannou, Séverine Koeberlé, Régis Aubry, Emmanuel Haffen. How does decisional capacity evolve with normal cognitive aging: systematic review of the literature. European Geriatric Medicine, Elsevier, 2020, 11 (1), pp.117-129. ⟨10.1007/s41999-019-00251-8⟩. ⟨hal-03658127⟩

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