Memory testing in dementia: how much is enough?

J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2001 Spring;14(1):1-6. doi: 10.1177/089198870101400102.


Analyses of eight widely used memory measures (Word List Acquisition and Recall used in the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale and the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease neuropsychology battery, Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised [WMS-R] Logical Memory I and II, WMS-R Visual Reproduction I and II, the memory scores from the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination [NCSE], memory scores from the Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE]), and the MMSE total score showed each to have moderate predictive power in differentiating between patients with mild dementia and healthy normal controls. When these instruments were combined in a logistic regression analysis, three of them had substantial predictive power. Together, the Word List Acquisition, WMS-R Logical Memory II, and WMS-R Visual Reproduction II were 97.26% accurate (100% sensitive and 94.59% specific) in distinguishing these two groups. The Word List Acquisition is a brief test that alone had high accuracy (92%). These memory tests are highly useful in the diagnosis of mild dementia.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity