Neuropsychological Detection and Characterization of Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease

Jacobs, Diane; Sano, Mary; Dooneief, George; Marder, Karen; Bell, Karen L.; Stern, Yaakov

We attempted to characterize the changes in cognition associated with the earliest, or preclinical, stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by administering a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery to a group of initially nondemented older adults participating in a prospective epidemiologic study of dementia. Using Cox regression analyses, we examined the associations between baseline neuropsychological test scores and subsequent development of AD. Results confirmed preliminary findings that baseline scores on the Boston Naming Test, Immediate Recall on the Selective Reminding Test, and the Similarities subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised were significantly and independently associated with later diagnosis of AD. Analyses controlled for the effects of age, education, sex, and language of test administration. These results lend support to the notion of a preclinical phase of AD and indicate that this very early stage of AD is characterized by poor word-finding ability, abstract reasoning, and memory.


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February 23, 2018