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Aggregation of abnormal memory scores and risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease dementia: A measure of objective memory impairment in amnestic mild cognitive impairment

Bradfield, N.I., Ellis, K.A., Savage, G., Maruff, P., Burnham, S., Darby, D., Lautenschlager, N.T., Martins, R.N., Masters, C.L., Rainey-Smith, S.R., Robertson, J., Rowe, C., Woodward, M. and Ames, D. (2021) Aggregation of abnormal memory scores and risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease dementia: A measure of objective memory impairment in amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 27 (2). pp. 146-157.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S135561772000079X
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Abstract

Objectives:

The criteria for objective memory impairment in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are vaguely defined. Aggregating the number of abnormal memory scores (NAMS) is one way to operationalise memory impairment, which we hypothesised would predict progression to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia.

Methods:

As part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing, 896 older adults who did not have dementia were administered a psychometric battery including three neuropsychological tests of memory, yielding 10 indices of memory. We calculated the number of memory scores corresponding to z ≤ −1.5 (i.e., NAMS) for each participant. Incident diagnosis of AD dementia was established by consensus of an expert panel after 3 years.

Results:

Of the 722 (80.6%) participants who were followed up, 54 (7.5%) developed AD dementia. There was a strong correlation between NAMS and probability of developing AD dementia (r = .91, p = .0003). Each abnormal memory score conferred an additional 9.8% risk of progressing to AD dementia. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for NAMS was 0.87 [95% confidence interval (CI) .81–.93, p < .01]. The odds ratio for NAMS was 1.67 (95% CI 1.40–2.01, p < .01) after correcting for age, sex, education, estimated intelligence quotient, subjective memory complaint, Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score and apolipoprotein E ϵ4 status.

Conclusions:

Aggregation of abnormal memory scores may be a useful way of operationalising objective memory impairment, predicting incident AD dementia and providing prognostic stratification for individuals with MCI.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © 2020 INS
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/60678
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