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Neuropsychological measures predict decline to Alzheimer's dementia from mild cognitive impairment


Summers, MJ and Saunders, NLJ, Neuropsychological measures predict decline to Alzheimer's dementia from mild cognitive impairment, Neuropsychology, 26, (4) pp. 498-508. ISSN 0894-4105 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 American Psychological Association

DOI: doi:10.1037/a0028576


Objective: Studies of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) show elevated rates of conversion to dementia at the group level. However, previous studies of the trajectory of MCI identify great heterogeneity of outcomes, with a significant proportion of individuals with MCI remaining stable over time, changing MCI subtype classification, or reverting to a normal cognitive state at long-term follow-up.

Method: The present study examined individual outcomes at 20 months in a group of older adults classified according to MCI subtypes. A total of 106 participants, 81 with different subtypes of MCI and 25 healthy controls, undertook longitudinal neuropsychological assessment of visual and verbal memory, attentional processing, executive functions, working memory capacity, and semantic memory.

Results: At 20 months 12.3% of the MCI group progressed to dementia, 62.9% continued to meet MCI criteria, and 24.7% reverted to unimpaired levels of function. A discriminant function analysis predicted outcome at 20 months on the basis of baseline neuropsychological test performance with 86.3% accuracy. The analysis indicated that a pattern of impairments on visual episodic memory, verbal episodic memory, short-term memory, working memory, and attentional processing differentiated between participants who developed dementia, recovered from MCI, or remained in stable MCI.

Conclusions: The results of the present study raise questions regarding the specificity of existing criteria for the subtypes of MCI, with these results indicating a high degree of instability in classification over time. In addition, the results suggest that multidomain MCI is the most reliable precursor stage to the development of AD.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mild cognitive impairment, memory, executive function, attention, working memory
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Summers, MJ (Dr Mathew Summers)
UTAS Author:Saunders, NLJ (Dr Nichole Saunders)
ID Code:77736
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:113
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2012-05-23
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:11 View Download Statistics

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