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We just finished up the CATSLife1 study this year and are about to launch the second part of this study, CATSLife2. In CATSLife1 we tested approximately 1300 individuals in their late 20s to 40s from the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP) and Longitudinal Twin Study (LTS) sample, who have participated in two long-term longitudinal studies since infancy.


Here are some initial findings from the first round of testing (CATSLife1)

An established genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease, the APOE e4 allele, is associated with lower cognitive ability (IQ performance) in childhood and adolescence. The effects were small and more evident in females. Our finding suggests that early life cognitive development may contribute to how well we preserve abilities later in life. Thus, understanding the factors in youth that increase cognitive reserve may be essential. 

We considered patterns of development for memory and processing speed, or how quickly we respond to information, and the influences of stress and early life contexts. We observed that the increasing differences in memory and speed performance between childhood and early adulthood were not related to reports of stress in childhood and adolescence, although different patterns of gains in processing speed among adopted individuals suggest that early life factors may be important. 

We found that neighborhood stress is associated with worse cognitive performance at midlife. Perceptions of lack of safety, poorer upkeep (aesthetics), and crime are related to differences in cognitive performance, such as on spatial reasoning tasks (e.g., evaluating or rotating objects in two or three dimensions). Our findings suggest that stressful neighborhoods may be associated with reduced maintenance of some abilities even before old age. 


Check out our newsletters!

CATSLife Newsletter 2/21/2018

CATSLife Newsletter 6/23/2020

CATSLife Newsletter 1/2022