Study examines testing model to predict and diagnose new cases of dementia

Aug 19, 2008

A preliminary report published in the August 20 issue of JAMA suggests that within-person variability on neuropsychological testing may be associated with development of dementia in older adults.

"Developing strategies to improve the prediction and diagnoses of dementia has paramount therapeutic and public health implications," the authors write. "When neuropsychological tests are used for diagnostic purposes, an individual's level of performance on specific tests is measured against healthy normative samples to determine cognitive impairment. However, this approach does not take into account intra-individual variability in cognitive function." Intra-individual variability is inconsistency in cognitive performance within a person.

Roee Holtzer, Ph.D., and colleagues from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, New York, evaluated 897 individuals, age 70 or older, who are part of The Einstein Aging Study, a longitudinal study of aging and dementia in Bronx County, New York. Participants had follow-up visits every 12 to 18 months, at which they underwent detailed neurological and neuropsychological evaluations. The researchers included tests for verbal IQ, attention/executive function, and memory. The study focused on whether within-person across-neuropsychological test variability predicts future dementia.

"Of the 897 participants, there were 61 cases of incident dementia (6.8 percent) … identified during the follow-up period (mean [average] 3.3 years)," the authors report. "On the basis of the consensus clinical diagnostic procedures, 47 participants developed incident dementia of the Alzheimer type and 18 participants developed incident vascular dementia. During the study, 128 individuals died, as expected for the age of this cohort. Of these, 18 had developed incident dementia."

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Ebola chief says CDC lab incident poses no risk to public

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vitamin D and mental agility in elders

Jun 25, 2010

At a time when consumer interest in health-enhancing foods is high, Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists have contributed to a limited but growing body of evidence of a link between vitamin D and cognitive ...

Recommended for you

Four die of bird flu in Libya: minister

21 hours ago

Four people have died of bird flu in Libya in recent days, the health minister of the country's internationally recognised government said on Saturday.

Ebola expert calls for European anti-virus 'corps'

Dec 26, 2014

Europe will be "vulnerable" if it does not regard viruses as a "national security issue" like the United States, the microbiologist who discovered Ebola said in an interview published Friday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.