What effect does institutionalization have on cognitive functioning? Two groups of cognitively intact people were followed for 22 years. This study from southwest France looked at those who remained cognitively intact but became institutionalized and compared them to those who remained at home. It was found that within six months of moving into the nursing home, more of that group had cognitive decline as shown on the MMSE (mini-mental state examination) compared to those who remained home. (Free abstract only.)

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