Influence of Age on Clinical and Psychometric Assessment of Subjects With Very Mild or Mild Dementia of the Alzheimer Type

Eugene H. Rubin, Dorothy A. Kinscherf, Martha Storandt, John C. Morris, Leonard Berg, Elizabeth A. Grant, J. Philip Miller

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36 Scopus citations


The influence of age on performance on clinical and psychometric assessments is examined in groups of nondemented persons and individuals with either very mild or mild dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). —Initial clinical and psychometric assessments of persons enrolled in longitudinal studies of DAT and nondemented control subjects. —Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Washington University, St Louis, Mo. —Volunteer samples of 108 people (44 men, 64 women) with mild DAT, 61 people (30 men, 31 women) with very mild DAT, and 122 healthy nondemented people (45 men, 77 women) were recruited between 1979 and 1991. Age ranged from 54 to 87 years. Persons with confounding medical, neurologic, or psychiatric disorders were excluded. Dementia severity was staged using the Clinical Dementia Rating scale. —Five brief quantitative clinical tests included in the 90-minute clinician administered protocol, as well as 14 tests included in a 2-hour psychometric test battery. —Dementia severity affected performance on all measurements. Age did not influence performance on clinical assessments. There was a significant interaction between age and dementia severity on 10 of 14 psychometric measures. In general, older nondemented individuals performed less well than younger nondemented individuals while older mildly demented persons performed about the same as, or slightly better than, their younger counterparts. —Age does not affect performance on brief clinical assessment instruments. However, age affects psychometric performance differently in cognitively intact persons when compared with persons with DAT. As a result, psychometric differentiation between cognitively normal and demented individuals is more difficult in older populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-383
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1993


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