Subtle Changes in Medication-Taking Are Associated with Incident Mild Cognitive Impairment

Katherine E. Dorociak, Nora Mattek, John E. Ferguson, Zachary T. Beattie, Nicole Sharma, Jeffrey A. Kaye, Mira I. Leese, Bridget M. Doane, Adriana M. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Medication-Taking is a routine instrumental activity of daily living affected by mild cognitive impairment (MCI) but difficult to measure with clinical tools. This prospective longitudinal study examined in-home medication-Taking and transition from normative aging to MCI. Methods: Daily, weekly, and monthly medication-Taking metrics derived from an instrumented pillbox were examined in 64 healthy cognitively intact older adults (Mage=85.5 y) followed for a mean of 2.3 years; 9 transitioned to MCI during study follow-up. Results: In the time up to and after MCI diagnosis, incident MCI participants opened their pillbox later in the day (by 19 min/mo; β=0.46, P<0.001) and had increased day-To-day variability in the first pillbox opening over time (by 4 min/mo) as compared with stable cognitively intact participants (β=4.0, P=0.003). Discussion: Individuals who transitioned to MCI opened their pillboxes later in the day and were more variable in their medication-Taking habits. These differences increased in the time up to and after diagnosis of MCI. Unobtrusive medication-Taking monitoring is an ecologically valid approach for identifying early activity of daily living changes that signal transition to MCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalAlzheimer disease and associated disorders
Issue number3
Early online dateFeb 3 2021
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • activities of daily living
  • aging
  • digital biomarkers
  • in-home monitoring
  • medication adherence
  • mild cognitive impairment


Dive into the research topics of 'Subtle Changes in Medication-Taking Are Associated with Incident Mild Cognitive Impairment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this