Intraindividual cognitive decline using a brief computerized cognitive screening test

Alzheimers Dement. 2012;8(2):95-104. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2010.12.009.


Background: Progressive intraindividual decline in memory and cognition is characteristic of dementia and may be useful in detecting very early Alzheimer's disease pathology.

Methods: This study evaluated the slopes of cognitive performance over a 12-month period in 263 healthy, community-dwelling, adult volunteers aged ≥50 years. Participants completed a brief computerized battery of cognitive tests (CogState) at baseline and during 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month follow-up assessments. Linear mixed models were used to estimate age-adjusted mean slopes and 95% confidence intervals of change for each of the cognitive measures.

Results: By defining age-adjusted mean slopes, and 95% confidence intervals for a measure of episodic memory, individuals with greater than expected decline (equal to or lower than the fifth percentile level of decline) were identified. From these, four individuals completed a full medical, neurologic, and neuropsychological evaluation, with none of them fulfilling criteria for mild cognitive impairment, but three (75%) having positive amyloid-positron emission tomographic scans.

Conclusions: Intraindividual decline in cognitive performance can be detected in otherwise healthy, community-dwelling, older persons, and this may deserve further study as a potential indicator of early Alzheimer's disease pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Episodic
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Thiazoles
  • Time Factors


  • 2-(4'-(methylamino)phenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Thiazoles