eCite Digital Repository

Diagnostic accuracy of the overlapping infinity loops, wire cube, and clock drawing tests in subjective cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment and dementia


Costa, S and St George, RJ and McDonald, S and Wang, X and Alty, J, Diagnostic accuracy of the overlapping infinity loops, wire cube, and clock drawing tests in subjective cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment and dementia, Australian Dementia Research Forum 2022 (ADFR), 30-31 May 2022, Online (2022) [Conference Extract]

PDF (Abstract presentation at conference)
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy

Official URL: https://www.australiandementiaresearchforum2022.or...



It is increasingly important to establish screening tests for early cognitive decline. Figure drawing tasks are commonly used as part of broader cognitive screening tests. The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of three commonly used figure drawing tasks (overlapping infinity loops, wire cube and clock drawing task (CDT)) in participants with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. The figure drawing tasks have only been assessed once before in MCI, and never before in SCD.


Participants with cognitive symptoms were recruited from the Tasmanian ISLAND cognitive clinic and healthy controls were recruited from a community sample. All participants completed the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination III which includes the three figure drawing tasks. Clinic patients were categorised according to interdisciplinary consensus diagnosis. Area under ROC curves were calculated to determine the discriminatory ability of each drawing task.


112 adults were recruited; 51 had normal cognition (NC), 21 SCD, 24 MCI and 16 dementia. The CDT was the most discriminatory between NC and dementia (AUC 0.77; p<0.01), and between MCI and dementia (AUC 0.76; p<0.01). The wire cube also discriminated between NC and dementia (AUC 0.7; p<0.05). None of the three tasks discriminated MCI from NC, or SCD from NC.


The CDT was the most discriminatory test, followed by the wire cube. This may help guide clinicians who often choose just one figure drawing task due to time constraints or patient fatigue. The infinity loops were not able to discriminate between any of the groups, which casts some doubt on their usefulness as a screening tool. Further studies are required to replicate these findings.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:diagnosis, dementia, cognitive
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Geriatrics and gerontology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Costa, S (Ms Sigourney Costa)
UTAS Author:St George, RJ (Dr Rebecca St George)
UTAS Author:McDonald, S (Dr Scott McDonald)
UTAS Author:Wang, X (Miss Xinyi Wang)
UTAS Author:Alty, J (Associate Professor Jane Alty)
ID Code:150141
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2022-05-30
Last Modified:2022-05-30

Repository Staff Only: item control page