Introduction: The Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE) is a brief bedside test battery to detect mild dementia and differentiate frontotemporal dementia (FTD) from Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Aim: To validate the ACE in Spanish.
Patients and methods: The study evaluated the Spanish version of ACE on 128 subjects consisting in two groups a patient group (n = 76) and a control subjects group (n = 52). The patient group was divided in AD (n = 54) based on the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria and FTD (n = 22) based on the Lund y Manchester criteria. All patients underwent clinical, neuropsychological, radiologic (MRI, CT, and SPECT), and laboratory evaluations. Group's differences were evaluated using ANOVA. The internal consistency of the Spanish version of the ACE was measured using the Cronbach's alpha coefficient. The discriminative capability of the Spanish version of the ACE was examined by the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.
Results: The cut-off score of 86 showed a sensitivity of 92% (CI 95% = 83.6-97.0) and a specificity of 96.2% (CI 95% = 86.8-99.4). The ROC curve showed higher sensitivity and specificity of the ACE than the Mini-Mental State Examination in discriminating the dementia and control group. The VLOM ratio (verbal fluency + language)/(orientation + memory) of < 1.82 discriminated for FTD and > 4.87 discriminated for AD.
Conclusion: The Spanish version of ACE is a brief and reliable instrument for early detection of dementia in highly educated people and offers a simple objective index to differentiate AD and FTD. More studies in less educated people are warranted.