Background: The Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) is the most accurate test for the diagnosis of prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, a novel cognitive test, the Loewenstein-Acevedo Scale for Semantic Interference and Learning (LASSI-L), has been developed in order to provide an early diagnosis.
Objective: To compare the diagnostic accuracy of the FCSRT and the LASSI-L for the diagnosis of AD in its preclinical and prodromal stages using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) as a reference.
Methods: Fifty patients consulting for subjective memory complaints without functional impairment and at risk for AD were enrolled and evaluated using FCSRT, LASSI-L, and FDG-PET. Participants were evaluated using a comprehensive neurological and neuropsychological protocol and were assessed with the FCSRT and LASSI-L. FDG-PET was acquired concomitantly and used for classification of patients as AD or non-AD according to brain metabolism using both visual and semi-quantitative methods.
Results: LASSI-L scores allowed a better classification of patients as AD/non-AD in comparison to FCSRT. Logistic regression analysis showed delayed recall and failure to recovery from proactive semantic interference from LASSI-L as independent statistically significant predictors, obtaining an area under the curve of 0.894. This area under the curve provided a better discrimination than the best FCSRT score (total delayed recall, area under the curve 0.708, p = 0.029).
Conclusions: The LASSI-L, a cognitive stress test, was superior to FCSRT in the prediction of AD features on FDG-PET. This emphasizes the possibility to advance toward an earlier diagnosis of AD from a clinical perspective.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; early detection; memory; mild cognitive impairment; neuropsychological assessment; positron emission tomography.