chapter  8
The frontal ageing hypothesis: evidence from normal ageing and dementia MacPherson, Sarah and Cox, Simon
Pages 20

It has now been over 20 years since neuropsychological theories first proposed that the cognitive changes associated with healthy adult ageing are due to frontal lobe decline (Mittenberg, Seidenburg, O’Leary, & DiGiulio, 1989; West, 1996). While advocates of the frontal ageing theory recognise that age-related decline occurs in other brain regions such as the medial temporal lobes (Driscoll et al., 2009; Fjell et al., 2009), the frontal lobes have been found to be especially vulnerable to agerelated changes in terms of overall and cortical volume, cortical thickness and white matter compared to other brain regions (Driscoll et  al., 2009; Fjell et  al., 2009). Studies of cognitive ageing have demonstrated that age-related differences are most apparent on tasks that tap frontal lobe dysfunction (Mittenberg et al., 1989).