Increased Financial Altruism is Associated with Alzheimer's Disease Neurocognitive Profile in Older Adults

Gali H. Weissberger, Anya Samek, Laura Mosqueda, Annie L. Nguyen, Aaron C. Lim, Laura Fenton, S. Duke Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Older age is associated with an increase in altruistic behaviors such as charitable giving. However, few studies have investigated the cognitive correlates of financial altruism in older adults. Objective: This study investigated the cognitive correlates of financial altruism measured using an altruistic choice paradigm in a community-based sample of older adults. Methods: In the present study, a sample of older adults (N = 67; M age = 69.21, SD = 11.23; M education years = 15.97, SD = 2.51; 58.2% female; 71.6% Non-Hispanic White) completed a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment and an altruistic choice paradigm in which they made decisions about allocating money between themselves and an anonymous person. Results: In multiple linear regression analyses that controlled for age, education, and sex, financial altruism was negatively associated with performance on cognitive measures typically sensitive to early Alzheimer's disease (including word list learning and recall, delayed story recall, and animal fluency). Conclusion: Findings of this study point to a negative relationship between financial altruism and cognitive functioning in older adults on measures known to be sensitive to Alzheimer's disease. Findings also point to a potential link between financial exploitation risk and Alzheimer's disease in older age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1005
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 - IOS Press.


This work was supported by grants from the NIH (RF1AG068166) and the Elder Justice Foundation awarded to SDH, NIA (T32AG000037) to ACL, as well as the Department of Family Medicine of the University of Southern California. Some participants from the present study were recruited with the help of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG063954). The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry has been supported by the Alzheimer’s Association, Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation, Flinn Foundation, Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer’s Initiative, GHR Foundation, and the state of Arizona (Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the named funders. The authors acknowledge Caroline Nguyen for her help with management of the study and data collection.

FundersFunder number
Elder Justice Foundation
National Institutes of Health
National Institute on AgingRF1AG068166, R01AG063954, T32AG000037
Alzheimer's Association
Flinn Foundation
University of Southern California
Arizona State University
Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation
GHR Foundation


    • Altruism
    • Alzheimer's disease
    • cognition
    • economic factors
    • episodic memory


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