The usefulness of cube copying for evaluating treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2008 Oct-Nov;23(5):439-46. doi: 10.1177/1533317508320084.


Aims: Cube copying measures visuospatial ability, which is often impaired in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cube copying was examined as an evaluation of cholinesterase inhibitor (ChEI) treatment in AD.

Methods: Eighty-five ChEI-treated AD patients were included. Cube drawings made at prebaseline, baseline, 6 months, and 12 months were assessed. Cube drawings from 56 healthy individuals were also examined.

Results: The healthy individuals remained stable in cube copying, whereas untreated AD patients deteriorated during a median period of 6 months. When treatment was given, the deterioration was interrupted. After 12 months, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) had deteriorated compared with baseline whereas cube copying was unchanged.

Conclusions: The results indicate that cube copying can be used to evaluate ChEI treatment. It might also show a more long-lasting response to treatment than MMSE. Cube copying only measures a narrow cognitive function and can preferably be used with MMSE, which evaluates visuospatial ability poorly.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Dementia / drug therapy
  • Dementia / etiology
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychological Tests / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors