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Computerised neuropsychological testing for early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment and dementia

Dr Nicole Kochan, Prof Perminder Sachdev, Dr Melissa Slavin, Prof Henry Brodaty
Research Centre DCRC Assessment and Better Care
Partner Institution centre-based
Project Description

Diagnosis of mild dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is challenging because cognitive problems are subtle and difficult to detect. Hence, diagnosis is commonly delayed and many older adults will not receive a diagnosis at all.

Our study will evaluate the potential of a brief, easily administered computerised neuropsychological test battery to identify MCI and early dementia and to predict ensuing cognitive decline within a large community-based old age cohort - the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study.

We will avail the opportunity to use comprehensive data collected during this prospective longitudinal study to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the SENSUS computerised battery which was administered to participants along with a traditional neuropsychological test battery.

The computerised tests were designed to tap cognitive processes vulnerable in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and include reaction time measures; an adaptation of the Stroop, a classical test of executive function and an episodic memory test targeting visuospatial associative memory. The additional predictive value of this test battery over traditional neuropsychological measures and its potential as a culture-fair instrument in individuals of CALD backgrounds will be investigated. A prospective study will also be conducted to investigate its utility in a clinical population recruited from a hospital clinic.

Alzheimer's Association International Conference, Denmark July 2014
Poster - Large View
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