‘Lopsided’ test scores may predict Alzheimer’s sooner

Cognitive testing for dementia has a problem in that low scores on some tests may simply reflect a person's weakness in some cognitive areas, or the presence of a relatively benign form of mild cognitive impairment (one that is not going to progress to dementia). A 2008 study found that one of every six healthy adults scored poorly on two or more of 10 tests in a brief cognitive battery. Following this up, the same researchers now show that a more holistic view might separate those who are on the path to dementia from those who are not.

Data from 395 clinical patients (aged 60+) and 135 healthy older adults has revealed that, while the cognitively normal produce a pattern of scores on 13 cognitive tests that fits a bell-shaped curve, those experiencing some level of dementia produce a more skewed pattern. Increasingly lower scores and degree of positive skew was also associated with worsening dementia.

http://www.futurity.org/lopsided-cognition-may-predict-early-alzheimers/

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-11/jhm-jhr111113.php

[3601] Reckess GZ, Varvaris M, Gordon B, Schretlen DJ. Within-person distributions of neuropsychological test scores as a function of dementia severity. Neuropsychology. 2014 ;28(2):254 - 260.

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