The Mild Cognitive Impairment Screen (MCIS) is a computer-based cognitive assessment designed for clinical and research use in detecting amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Performance on the MCIS is reported as the Memory Performance Index (MPI). However, the comparability between the MPI and traditional neuropsychological tests in detecting aMCI, and in differentiating it from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and normal aging has not been examined. A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the validity of the MPI relative to standard neuropsychological measures. Participants included 12 individuals diagnosed with aMCI, 49 with mild AD, and 25 healthy elderly. The MCIS significantly discriminated among aMCI, AD, and healthy elderly controls. The MCIS is effective in detecting aMCI, and in discriminating it from cognitive changes observed in AD and normal aging. The MCIS may be a valuable tool in the identification of elderly at high risk for dementia due to its ease-of-use and brief administration time.
Mild Cognitive Impairment; Dementia; Alzheimer’s Disease; Screening; Memory
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a syndrome thought to be a prodrome of dementia for some patients. One subtype, amnestic MCI, may be specifically predispose patients to develop Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD). Since dementia has been associated with a range of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS), we sought to examine the prevalence of NPS in MCI and its subtypes.
1779 participants in the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center (NACC) with MCI were included in this study. All participants were evaluated systematically with a thorough cognitive battery, clinical interview, and consensus diagnoses, and subtyped as: 1) amnestic (aMCI) (single- or multiple-domain) vs. non-amnestic (non-aMCI); 2) executive dysfunction-MCI (exMCI) (single- or multiple-domain) vs. no executive dysfunction-MCI (non-exMCI); 3) both aMCI and exMCI; 4) and neither aMCI nor exMCI. Additionally , aMCI vs. nonaMCI and exMCI vs. non-exMCI dichotomies were explored. NPS were assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI-Q) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS).
1379 participants (77.5%) met criteria for aMCI and 616 (34.6%) for exMCI. No differences were observed in the prevalence of NPS between aMCI vs. non-aMCI. However, exMCI was associated with greater severity of depression, anxiety, agitation, disinhibition, irritability, and sleep problems, although these differences do not persist after adjustment for several variables. .
While there were few associations between aMCI and NPS, the presence of executive dysfunction in MCI was associated with greater severity of symptoms and specifically with depression (evidenced by GDS score) and anxiety. These findings may have implications for MCI prognosis and need to be explored in longitudinal studies.
Mild Cognitive Impairment; Depression; Executive Dysfunction; Neuropsychiatric symptoms
Measures of episodic memory are often used to identify Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB) List Learning test is a promising tool for the memory assessment of older adults due to its simplicity of administration, good psychometric properties, equivalent forms, and extensive normative data. This study examined the diagnostic utility of the NAB List Learning test for differentiating cognitively healthy, MCI, and AD groups. One-hundred fifty-three participants (age: range = 57-94 years, M = 74 years, S. D. = 8 years; sex: 61% women) were diagnosed by a multidisciplinary consensus team as cognitively normal, amnestic MCI (aMCI; single and multiple domain), or AD, independent of NAB List Learning performance. In univariate analyses, receiver operating characteristics curve analyses were conducted for four demographically-corrected NAB List Learning variables. Additionally, multivariate ordinal logistic regression and five-fold cross-validation was used to create and validate a predictive model based on NAB List Learning test T-scores. At optimal cutoff scores, univariate sensitivity values ranged from .58 - .92 and univariate specificity values ranged from .52 - .97. Multivariate ordinal regression produced a model that classified individuals with 80% accuracy and good predictive power.
Dementia; Sensitivity and Specificity; Differential Diagnosis; Neuropsychology; Neuropsychological Tests; Memory
Although a majority of patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) progress to Alzheimer disease, the natural history of nonamnestic MCI (naMCI) is less clear. Noninvasive imaging surrogates for underlying pathological findings in MCI would be clinically useful for identifying patients who may benefit from disease-specific treatments at the prodromal stage of dementia.
To determine the characteristic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and proton MR spectroscopy (1H MRS) profiles of MCI subtypes.
Community-based sample at a tertiary referral center.
Ninety-one patients with single-domain aMCI, 32 patients with multiple-domain aMCI, 20 patients with single- or multiple-domain naMCI, and 100 cognitively normal elderly subjects frequency-matched by age and sex.
Main Outcome Measures
Posterior cingulate gyrus 1H MRS metabolite ratios, hippocampal volumes, and cerebrovascular disease on MRI.
Patients with single-domain aMCI were characterized by small hippocampal volumes and elevated ratios of myo-inositol to creatine levels. Patients with naMCI on average had normal hippocampal volumes and 1H MRS metabolite ratios, but a greater proportion (3 of 20 patients [15%]) had cortical infarctions compared with patients with single-domain aMCI (6 of 91 [7%]). For characterization of MCI subtypes, 1H MRS and structural MRI findings were complementary.
The MRI and 1H MRS findings in singledomain aMCI are consistent with a pattern similar to that of Alzheimer disease. Absence of this pattern on average in patients with naMCI suggests that cerebrovascular disease and other neurodegenerative diseases may be contributing to the cognitive impairment in many individuals with naMCI.
Elderly persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at increased risk of dementia and functional impairments. The present study investigated the contribution of three domains of executive cognition to everyday functioning among persons with MCI.
124 MCI patients and 68 cognitively normal elderly participants were administered a cognitive screening battery. These tests were used to divide patients into four subgroups (amnestic single domain, amnestic multiple domain, non-amnestic single domain, and non-amnestic multiple domain). Subjects were then administered 18 executive function tests that assess planning/problem-solving, working memory, and judgment. Performance of everyday activities and everyday cognition was rated with two informant-reported measures.
All MCI subtypes had more difficulties in everyday activities than cognitively normal elderly participants. Multiple domain MCI patients had more functional impairments than single domain MCI patients. Contrary to our expectations, only one executive function component, working memory, contributed significantly to functional status after controlling for demographic, health-related and other cognitive factors.
Functional abilities are compromised in all MCI subtypes. Working memory may be associated with functional impairments, but general cognitive measures account for more unique variance.
everyday functioning; executive cognition; working memory; mild cognitive impairment
To determine if mild cognitive impairment (MCI) represents a continuum of cognitive and functional deficits.
Clinical data of 164 subjects with no dementia (ND, n = 52), uncertain dementia (n = 69), and mild probable Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 43) were reviewed. Uncertain dementia patients were classified as pre-MCI (n = 11), early amnestic MCI (e-aMCI, n = 15) and late amnestic MCI (l-aMCI, n = 15). Cognitive assessments [Chinese Mini-Mental State Examination (CMMSE) and a validated neuropsychological battery], functional assessments (Lawton's scale for instrumental activities of daily living) and neuroimaging (ischemic lesions and medial temporal lobe atrophy) were reviewed.
ND, aMCI and mild AD subjects demonstrated a significant trend for worsening performance for all cognitive and functional measures (ANOVA, p < 0.05). Pre-MCI subjects performed significantly better than aMCI subjects in all verbal memory domains (p < 0.001), while l-aMCI had worse functional performance (p = 0.007), a trend towards greater depressive symptoms (p = 0.05) and higher medial temporal lobe atrophy scores (p = 0.06). l-aMCI subjects were more likely than either pre-MCI or e-aMCI to progress to dementia over a mean follow-up period of 2.5 years (46.7 vs. 9.1 and 20.0%, respectively).
Clinical delineation of aMCI allows the differentiation of those likely to progress for better correlation to biomarker development.
Alzheimer's disease; Clinical dementia rating; Disease spectrum; Mild cognitive impairment
Proverb interpretation is assumed to reflect executive functions. We hypothesized that proverb interpretation is impaired in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) diagnosed as single-domain impairment by common neuropsychological testing.
We compared performance in a proverb interpretation test in single-domain aMCI patients and patients with early Alzheimer's disease (EAD).
The groups with aMCI and EAD performed significantly worse than healthy controls. Both patient groups gave concrete answers with a similar frequency. However, patients with EAD tended to give senseless answers more frequently.
Our data suggest that in patients diagnosed as single-domain aMCI, deterioration of executive functions is detectable with subtle and appropriate neuropsychological testing. Implementation of these procedures may improve the early prediction of AD.
Amnestic mild cognitive impairment; Concrete thinking; Early Alzheimer's disease; Executive dysfunction; Neuropsychological testing; Non-literal language
To determine if more widespread cognitive deficits are present in a narrowly defined group of patients with the amnestic form of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
From a larger sample of patients clinically diagnosed as meeting the criteria of Petersen et al. for amnestic MCI, we selected 22 subjects who had Clinical Dementia Rating scores of zero on all domains besides memory and orientation. These MCI subjects with presumably isolated memory impairments were compared to 35 age-matched normal controls and 33 very mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients on a battery of neuropsychological tests.
In addition to the expected deficits in episodic memory, the amnestic MCI group performed less well than the controls but better than the AD group on design fluency, category fluency, a set shifting task and the Stroop interference condition. Over half the amnestic MCI group (vs. none of the normal controls) scored at least 1 standard deviation below control means on 4 or more of the nonmemory cognitive tasks.
Isolated memory impairment may be fairly uncommon in clinically diagnosed amnestic MCI patients, even when the criteria for amnestic MCI are fairly narrow. Additional cognitive impairments are likely to include fluency and executive functioning. These more diffuse deficits argue for comprehensive cognitive assessments, even when the patient and family are reporting only memory decline, and are consistent with the increase in attention paid to the heterogeneity of MCI.
Amnestic mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer's disease; Executive function; Fluency
To describe the neuropsychological characteristics of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subgroups identified in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) cognition study.
MCI was classified as MCI‐amnestic type (MCI‐AT): patients with documented memory deficits but otherwise normal cognitive function; and MCI‐multiple cognitive deficits type (MCI‐MCDT): impairment of at least one cognitive domain (not including memory), or one abnormal test in at least two other domains, but who had not crossed the dementia threshold. The MCI subjects did not have systemic, neurological, or psychiatric disorders likely to affect cognition.
MCI‐AT (n = 10) had worse verbal and non‐verbal memory performance than MCI‐MCDT (n = 28) or normal controls (n = 374). By contrast, MCI‐MCDT had worse language, psychomotor speed, fine motor control, and visuoconstructional function than MCI‐AT or normal controls. MCI‐MCDT subjects had memory deficits, though they were less pronounced than in MCI‐AT. Of the MCI‐MCDT cases, 22 (78.5%) had memory deficits, and 6 (21.5%) did not. MCI‐MCDT with memory disorders had more language deficits than MCI‐MCDT without memory disorders. By contrast, MCI‐MCDT without memory deficits had more fine motor control deficits than MCI‐MCDT with memory deficits.
The most frequent form of MCI was the MCI‐MCDT with memory deficits. However, the identification of memory impaired MCI groups did not reflect the true prevalence of MCI in a population, as 16% of all MCI cases and 21.5% of the MCI‐MCDT cases did not have memory impairment. Study of idiopathic amnestic and non‐amnestic forms of MCI is essential for an understanding of the aetiology of MCI.
Alzheimer's disease; aging; dementia; mild cognitive impairment; neuropsychology
Sleep is important for declarative memory consolidation in healthy adults. Sleep disruptions are typical in Alzheimer’s disease, but whether they contribute to memory impairment is unknown. Sleep has not been formally examined in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), which is characterized by declarative-memory deficits without dementia and can signify prodromal Alzheimer’s disease. We studied 10 aMCI patients and 10 controls over 2 weeks using daily sleep surveys, wrist-worn activity sensors, and daily recognition tests. Recognition was impaired and more variable in aMCI patients, whereas sleep was similar across groups. However, lower recognition of items learned the previous day was associated with lower subjective sleep quality in aMCI patients. This correlation was not present for information learned the same day, thus did not reflect nonspecific effects of poor sleep on memory. These results indicate that inadequate memory consolidation in aMCI patients is related to declines in subjective sleep indices. Furthermore, participants with greater across-night sleep variability exhibited lower scores on a standardized recall test taken prior to the 2-week protocol, suggesting that consistent sleep across nights also contributes to successful memory. Physiological analyses are needed to further specify which aspects of sleep in neurological disorders impact memory function and consolidation.
declarative memory; sleep; amnestic mild cognitive impairment; memory consolidation
Patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) have been described as exhibiting greater impairment on tests of category fluency than letter fluency. This has been offered as evidence that this condition represents pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We hypothesized that this pattern of differential impairment is dependent on the specific semantic categories and initial letters selected, and is not specific to AD and aMCI. A total of 40 cognitively normal older adults, 74 MCI patients—25 “amnestic single domain” (aMCI), 27 “amnestic multiple domain”, and 22 non-amnestic—and 29 AD patients were tested with multiple forms of semantic-category and initial-letter fluency tasks. The pattern of deficits within and across groups was highly dependent on the specific categories and letters chosen. Overall, aMCI patients did not demonstrate greater impairment in category than letter fluency. In fact, the level and pattern of their performance resembled that of cognitively normal older adults much more than AD patients. MCI patients with deficits in multiple cognitive domains performed most like AD patients. These findings indicate that verbal fluency performance is highly influenced by the specific tasks used, and impairment on semantic fluency is not characteristic of pure amnestic MCI.
Verbal fluency; Mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer’s disease.
Impairment in executive cognition (EC) is now recognized as relatively common among older persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and may be predictive of the development of dementia. However, both MCI and executive functioning are broad and heterogeneous constructs. The present study sought to determine whether impairments in specific domains of EC are associated with specific subtypes of MCI. 124 MCI patients were divided into four subgroups (amnestic versus nonamnestic, and single- versus multiple-domain) based on their performance of widely-used neuropsychological screening tests. These patients and 68 normal elderly were administered 18 clinical and experimental tests of executive function. Principal components analysis suggested two highly reliable EC components, planning/problem-solving and working memory, and a less reliable third component, judgment. Planning/problem-solving and working memory, but not judgment, were impaired among the MCI patients. This was true even among those with Apure amnestic@ MCI, the least impaired group overall. Multiple-domain MCI patients had more severe impairments in planning/problem-solving and working memory than single-domain patients, leading to the supposition that they, not pure amnestic MCIs, are at highest risk of imminent dementia.
executive function; mild cognitive impairment; dementia; principal components analysis; flexibility; working memory; planning
To investigate the longitudinal stability and progression of different subtypes of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in older adults.
We classified 217 individuals with no cognitive impairment (NCI), amnestic MCI (aMCI) based on a single test (aMCI-1) or multiple tests (aMCI-2+), nonamnestic MCI (naMCI) based on a single test (naMCI-1) or multiple tests (naMCI-2+), or amnestic + nonamnestic MCI (a+naMCI), using their baseline neuropsychological test scores, and performed annual follow-up evaluations for up to 3 years.
None of the subjects with aMCI-2+ reverted to normal during follow-up, with 50% of these subjects remaining stable and 50% worsening over time. Similarly, less than 20% of subjects with aMCI-2+ and a+naMCI reverted to NCI during the follow-up period, whereas 50% of aMCI-1 and 37% with naMCI-1 reverted to NCI during this same period.
Reversion to NCI occurs much more frequently when the diagnosis of MCI is based on the results of a single neuropsychological test than when it is based on the results of more memory tests. In epidemiological studies and clinical trials the diagnosis of MCI will likely be more stable if impairment on more than one test is required for amnestic and/or nonamnestic domains.
Cognitive subtypes; Mild cognitive impairment; Longitudinal prediction; Alzheimer's disease
Subgroups of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have been proposed, but few studies have investigated the non-amnestic, single-domain subgroup of MCI. The goal of the study was to compare clinical and neuroimaging characteristics of two single domain MCI subgroups: amnestic MCI (aMCI) and dysexecutive MCI (dMCI).
We compared the cognitive, functional, behavioral and brain imaging characteristics of patients with aMCI (n=26), dMCI (n=32) and age- and education-matched controls (n=36) using analysis of variance and chi-squared tests. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to examine group differences in brain MRI atrophy patterns.
Patients with dMCI had significantly lower scores on the majority of executive function tests, increased behavioral symptoms, and left prefrontal cortex atrophy on MRI when compared to controls. In contrast, patients with aMCI had significantly lower scores on tests of memory and a pattern of atrophy including bilateral hippocampi and entorhinal cortex, right inferior parietal cortex, and posterior cingulate gyrus when compared to controls.
Overall, the clinical and neuroimaging findings provide support for two distinct single-domain subgroups of MCI, one involving executive function and the other involving memory. The brain imaging differences suggest that the two MCI subgroups have distinct patterns of brain atrophy.
Many screening tools for detecting cognitive decline require in-person assessment, which is often not cost effective or feasible for those with physical limitations. The Modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-M) has been used for screening dementia, but little is known about its usefulness in detecting amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI). Community-dwelling participants (mean age= 74.9, mean education= 16.1 years) were administered the TICS-M during initial screening and subsequently given a multi-domain neuropsychological battery. Participants were classified by consensus panel as normal older adult (noMCI, N= 54) or aMCI (N= 17) based on neuropsychological performance and Clinical Dementia Rating Scale interview, but independent of TICS-M score. There was a significant difference between groups in TICS-M score (t= 8.04, p < 0.01, noMCI range 32–43, mean [SD]= 37.4 [2.5], aMCI range 25–37, mean [SD]= 31.2 [3.5]). Discriminant function analysis revealed that TICS-M alone correctly classified 85.9% of participants into their respective diagnostic classification (sensitivity= 82.4%, specificity= 87.0%). Receiver operating characteristics analysis resulted in cutoff score of 34 that optimized sensitivity and specificity of aMCI classification. The TICS-M is a brief, cost-effective screening measure for identifying those with and without aMCI.
Mild cognitive impairment; ROC analysis; telephone assessment
The original conceptualization of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was primarily as an amnestic disorder representing an intermediate stage between normal aging and Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). More recently, broader conceptualizations of MCI have emerged that also encompass cognitive domains other than memory. These characterizations delineate clinical subtypes that commonly include amnestic and non-amnestic forms, and that involve single and multiple cognitive domains. With the advent of these broader classifications, more specific information is emerging regarding the neuropsychological presentation of individuals with MCI, risk for dementia associated with different subtypes of MCI, and neuropathologic substrates connected to the clinical subtypes. This review provides an overview of this burgeoning literature specific to clinical subtypes of MCI. Focus is primarily on neuropsychological and structural neuroimaging findings specific to clinical subtypes of MCI as well as the issue of daily functioning. Although investigations of non-amnestic subtypes using advanced neuroimaging techniques and clinical trials are quite limited, we briefly review these topics in MCI because these data provide a framework for future investigations specifically examining additional clinical subtypes of MCI. Finally, the review comments on select methodological issues involved in studying this heterogeneous population, and future directions to continue to improve our understanding of MCI and its clinical subtypes are offered.
We investigated the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Olmsted County, MN, using in-person evaluations and published criteria.
We evaluated an age- and sex-stratified random sample of Olmsted County residents who were 70–89 years old on October 1, 2004, using the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, a neurologic evaluation, and neuropsychological testing to assess 4 cognitive domains: memory, executive function, language, and visuospatial skills. Information for each participant was reviewed by an adjudication panel and a diagnosis of normal cognition, MCI, or dementia was made using published criteria.
Among 1,969 subjects without dementia, 329 subjects had MCI, with a prevalence of 16.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 14.4–17.5) for any MCI, 11.1% (95% CI 9.8–12.3) for amnestic MCI, and 4.9% (95% CI 4.0–5.8) for nonamnestic MCI. The prevalence of MCI increased with age and was higher in men. The prevalence odds ratio (OR) in men was 1.54 (95% CI 1.21–1.96; adjusted for age, education, and nonparticipation). The prevalence was also higher in subjects who never married and in subjects with an APOE ε3ε4 or ε4ε4 genotype. MCI prevalence decreased with increasing number of years of education (p for linear trend <0.0001).
Our study suggests that approximately 16% of elderly subjects free of dementia are affected by MCI, and amnestic MCI is the most common type. The higher prevalence of MCI in men may suggest that women transition from normal cognition directly to dementia at a later age but more abruptly.
= Alzheimer disease;
= amnestic mild cognitive impairment;
= Clinical Dementia Rating scale;
= confidence interval;
= Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition;
= Functional Activities Questionnaire;
= mild cognitive impairment;
= nonamnestic mild cognitive impairment;
= odds ratio;
= Short Test of Mental Status;
= Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status-modified;
= Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised.
This study evaluated the utility of the Florida Brief Memory Screen (FBMS), a new memory screening measure developed for Spanish-speaking and English-speaking subjects that takes only 3 to 4 minutes to administer.
The FBMS was administered to 25 patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease (pAD), 23 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and 80 cognitively normal elderly.
The FBMS evidenced good test-retest reliability and high correlation with standard measures of memory. In ROC analyses, the FBMS correctly classified 100% of pAD patients and 87.5% of normal elderly subjects. Sensitivity and specificity for aMCI patients was 82.6% and 87.5%; respectively. Performance on the FBMS was generally independent of the effects of age, education, or primary language.
The FBMS is a reliable and valid measure when screening for memory impairment in the elderly and when determining whether a more extensive evaluation is warranted.
Cognitive screening; mild cognitive impairment; dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; memory
Remembering the location of objects in the environment is both important in everyday life and difficult for patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), a clinical precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. To test the hypothesis that memory impairment for object location in aMCI reflects hippocampal dysfunction, we used an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm to compare patients with aMCI and healthy elderly controls (HEC) as they encoded 90 ecologically-relevant object-location associations (OLAs). Two additional OLAs, repeated a total of 45 times, served as control stimuli. Memory for these OLAs was assessed following a 1-hour delay. The groups were well matched on demographics and brain volumetrics. Behaviorally, HEC remembered significantly more OLAs than did aMCI patients. Activity differences were assessed by contrasting activation for successfully encoded novel stimuli vs. repeated stimuli. The HEC demonstrated activity within object-related (ventral visual stream), spatial location-related (dorsal visual stream), and feature binding-related cortical regions (hippocampus and other memory-related regions) as well as in frontal cortex and associated subcortical structures. Activity in most of these regions correlated with memory test performance. Although the aMCI patients demonstrated a similar activation pattern, the HEC showed significantly greater activity within each of these regions. Memory test performance in aMCI patients, in contrast to the HEC, was correlated with activity in regions involved in sensorimotor processing. We conclude that aMCI patients demonstrate widespread cerebral dysfunction, not limited to the hippocampus, and rely on encoding-related mechanisms that differ substantially from healthy individuals.
Learning; memory; associative memory; object-location associations; Alzheimer’s disease; aging; hippocampus; functional magnetic resonance imaging; fMRI
Background and Purpose
Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is a putative prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) characterized by deficits in episodic verbal memory. Our goal in the present study was to determine whether executive dysfunction may also be detectable in individuals diagnosed with aMCI.
This study used a hidden maze learning test to characterize component processes of visuospatial executive function and learning in a sample of 62 individuals with aMCI compared with 94 healthy controls.
Relative to controls, individuals with aMCI made more exploratory/learning errors (Cohen's d = .41). Comparison of learning curves revealed that the slope between the first two of five learning trials was four times as steep for controls than for individuals with aMCI (Cohen's d = .64). Individuals with aMCI also made a significantly greater number of rule-break/error monitoring errors across learning trials (Cohen's d = .21).
These results suggest that performance on a task of complex visuospatial executive function is compromised in individuals with aMCI, and likely explained by reductions in initial strategy formulation during early visual learning and “on-line” maintenance of task rules.
Background and Purpose
It was recently reported that the prevalence of poststroke memory dysfunction might be higher than previously thought. Stroke may exist concomitantly with underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD), and so we determined whether post-stroke memory dysfunction indicates manifestation of underlying subclinical AD.
Of 1201 patients in a prospective cognitive assessment database, we enrolled subjects with poststroke amnestic vascular cognitive impairment-no dementia (aVCIND; n=48), poststroke nonamnestic vascular cognitive impairment-no dementia (naVCIND; n=50), and nonstroke amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI; n=65). All subjects had cognitive deficits, but did not meet the criteria for dementia. A standardized neuropsychological test battery and magnetic resonance imaging were performed at least 90 days after the index stroke (mean, 473 days). Visual assessment of medial temporal atrophy (MTA) was used as a measure of underlying AD pathology.
The MTA score was significantly lower in the naVCIND group (0.64±0.85, mean±SD) than in the aVCIND (1.10±1.08) and aMCI (1.45±1.13; p<0.01) groups. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression analysis revealed that compared with naVCIND, aVCIND [odds ratio (OR)=2.69; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.21-5.99] and aMCI (OR=5.20; 95% CI=2.41-11.23) were significantly associated with increasing severity of MTA.
Our findings show that compared with poststroke naVCIND, the odds of having more-severe MTA were increased for poststroke aVCIND and nonstroke aMCI.
vascular cognitive impairment; memory dysfunction; stroke; poststroke dementia
Differentiating amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) from normal cognition is difficult in clinical settings. Self-reported and informant-reported memory complaints occur often in both clinical groups, which then necessitates the use of a comprehensive neuropsychological examination to make a differential diagnosis. However, the ability to identify cognitive symptoms that are predictive of aMCI through informant-based information may provide some clinical utility in accurately identifying individuals who are at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD).
The current study utilized a case-control design using data from an ongoing validation study of the Alzheimer's Questionnaire (AQ), an informant-based dementia assessment. Data from 51 cognitively normal (CN) individuals participating in a brain donation program and 47 aMCI individuals seen in a neurology practice at the same institute were analyzed to determine which AQ items differentiated aMCI from CN individuals.
Forward stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis which controlled for age and education showed that 4 AQ items were strong indicators of aMCI which included: repetition of statements and/or questions [OR 13.20 (3.02, 57.66)]; trouble knowing the day, date, month, year, and time [OR 17.97 (2.63, 122.77)]; difficulty managing finances [OR 11.60 (2.10, 63.99)]; and decreased sense of direction [OR 5.84 (1.09, 31.30)].
Overall, these data indicate that certain informant-reported cognitive symptoms may help clinicians differentiate individuals with aMCI from those with normal cognition. Items pertaining to repetition of statements, orientation, ability to manage finances, and visuospatial disorientation had high discriminatory power.
To identify, characterize and compare the frequency of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) subtypes at baseline in a large, late-life cohort (N=3,063) recruited into a dementia prevention trial.
A retrospective, data-algorithmic approach was used to classify participants as cognitively normal or MCI with corresponding subtype (e.g., amnestic vs. non-amnestic, single domain vs. multiple domain) based on a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological test scores, with and without Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) global score included in the algorithm.
Overall, 15.7% of cases (n=480) were classified as MCI. Amnestic MCI was characterized as unilateral memory impairment (i.e., only verbal or only visual memory impaired) or bilateral memory impairment (i.e., both verbal and visual memory impaired). All forms of amnestic MCI were almost twice as frequent as non-amnestic MCI (10.0% vs. 5.7%). Removing the CDR = 0.5 (“questionable dementia”) criterion resulted in a near doubling of the overall MCI frequency to 28.1%.
Combining CDR and cognitive test data to classify participants as MCI resulted in overall MCI and amnestic MCI frequencies consistent with other large community-based studies, most of which relied on the “gold standard” of individual case review and diagnostic consensus. The present data-driven approach may prove to be an effective alternative for use in future large-scale dementia prevention trials.
MCI; Neuropsychology; Dementia Prevention Trials
To compare clinical, imaging, and neuropsychological characteristics and longitudinal course of subjects with premild cognitive impairment (Pre-MCI), who exhibit features of MCI on clinical examination but lack impairment on neuropsychological examination, to subjects with no cognitive impairment (NCI), nonamnestic MCI (naMCI), amnestic MCI (aMCI), and mild dementia.
For 369 subjects, clinical dementia rating sum of boxes (CDR-SB), ApoE genotyping, cardiovascular risk factors, parkinsonism (UPDRS) scores, structural brain MRIs, and neuropsychological testing were obtained at baseline, whereas 275 of these subjects received an annual follow-up for 2–3 years.
At baseline, Pre-MCI subjects showed impairment on tests of executive function and language, higher apathy scores, and lower left hippocampal volumes (HPCV) in comparison to NCI subjects. Pre-MCI subjects showed less impairment on at least one memory measure, CDR-SB and UPDRS scores, in comparison to naMCI, aMCI and mild dementia subjects. Follow-up over 2–3 years showed 28.6% of Pre-MCI subjects, but less than 5% of NCI subjects progressed to MCI or dementia. Progression rates to dementia were equivalent between naMCI (22.2%) and aMCI (34.5%) groups, but greater than for the Pre-MCI group (2.4%). Progression to dementia was best predicted by the CDR-SB, a list learning and executive function test.
This study demonstrates that clinically defined Pre-MCI has cognitive, functional, motor, behavioral and imaging features that are intermediate between NCI and MCI states at baseline. Pre-MCI subjects showed accelerated rates of progression to MCI as compared to NCI subjects, but slower rates of progression to dementia than MCI subjects.
Algorithmic diagnosis; Alzheimer disease; amnestic MCI; clinical diagnosis; dementia; hippocampal volume; longitudinal analysis; MCI; mild cognitive impairment; MRI; neuropsychological tests; pre-MCI
The Trail making test (TMT) is culture-loaded because of reliance on the Latin alphabet, limiting its application in Eastern populations. The Shape Trail Test (STT) has been developed as a new variant. This study is to examine the applicability of the STT in a senile Chinese population and to evaluate its potential advantages and disadvantages.
A total of 2470 participants were recruited, including 1151 cognitively normal control (NC), 898 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and 421 mild Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. Besides the STT, the Mini mental state examination and a comprehensive neuropsychological battery involving memory, language, attention, executive function and visuospatial ability were administered to all the participants. In a subgroup of 100 NC and 50 AD patients, both the STT and the Color Trail Test (CTT) were performed.
In NC, the time consumed for Part A and B (STT-A and STT-B) significantly correlated with age and negatively correlated with education (p<0.01). STT-A and B significantly differed among the AD, aMCI and NC. The number that successfully connected within one minute in Part B (STT-B-1 min) correlated well with STT-B (r = 0.71, p<0.01) and distinguished well among NC, aMCI and AD. In the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, the AUCs (area under the curve) for STT-A, STT-B, and STT-B-1min in identifying AD were 0.698, 0.694 and 0.709, respectively. The STT correlated with the CTT, but the time for completion was longer.
The TMT is a sensitive test of visual search and sequencing. The STT is a meaningful attempt to develop a “culture-fair” variant of the TMT in addition to the CTT.