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Cognitive decline is defined as a negative change in cognitive status over time that can be a function of normal ageing, brain injury, dementing brain pathology (e.g. Alzheimer's disease), or other mechanisms. There are two major areas in which assessment of cognitive decline is important: (1) research on the nature of ageing and how it affects cognitive processes and mechanisms, and (2) individual assessment, in which cognitive testing is used to determine whether a specific individual has undergone cognitive decline, possibly due to age-related disease processes, such as Alzheimer's disease or stroke. Assessment of normative age-related change often involves use of panel designs, in which a large sample of individuals are given a set of cognitive tests and tasks. Prototypic examples of this kind of ...

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