Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New System Detects Dementia Risk Among Highly Educated Older Adults

Date:
July 16, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A different cutoff point on an existing mental function assessment may more effectively assess the risk of dementia in highly educated older adults, according to a new article.

A different cutoff point on an existing mental function assessment may more effectively assess the risk of dementia in highly educated older adults, according to a new article.

The most commonly administered screening test of cognitive (thinking, learning and memory) function is known as the mini-mental state examination (MMSE), according to background information in the article. "The MMSE is used to screen patients for cognitive impairment, track changes in cognitive functioning over time and often to assess the effects of therapeutic agents on cognitive function," the authors write. "Performance on the MMSE is moderated by demographic variables, with scores decreasing with advanced age and less education." The maximum MMSE score is 30; a score of 24 or less is typically used to detect individuals with cognitive dysfunction.

Sid E. O'Bryant, Ph.D., of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and colleagues reviewed the MMSE scores of 1,141 participants (93 percent white, average age 75.9 years) in the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer Disease Research Center and Alzheimer Disease Patient Registry who reported having 16 or more years of education. These included 307 patients with dementia, 176 patients with mild cognitive impairment and 658 control patients without dementia.

With the traditional cut score of 24 on the MMSE, 89 percent of the participants were accurately classified by dementia status. This score had a sensitivity of 66 percent and a specificity of 99 percent for the detection of dementia, meaning that an individual with a score of 23 or lower would be correctly identified as having dementia 66 percent of the time and an individual with score of 24 or higher would be correctly diagnosed as not having dementia 99 percent of the time. Raising the cut score to 27 changed the sensitivity to 89 percent and the specificity to 78 percent, correctly classifying 90 percent of the participants.

"The current findings are not intended to encourage the diagnosis of cognitive impairment or dementia based on total MMSE scores alone," the authors write. "Instead, these results provide practitioners with revised criteria for appropriate management of highly educated older white patients. Specifically, older patients who present with memory complaints (reported by themselves or others) who have attained a college degree or higher level of education and who score below 27 on the MMSE are at increased risk of cognitive dysfunction and dementia and should be referred for a comprehensive evaluation, including formal neuropsychological studies."

The authors suggest that use of this new cut point may help facilitate early detection of dementia in highly educated individuals. Timely treatment may be particularly important in this population, since individuals with more education tend to decline and die more quickly after they are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the authors note.

This study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging, and by the Robert and Clarice Smith and Abigail Van Buren Alzheimer's Disease Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sid E. O'Bryant; Joy D. Humphreys; Glenn E. Smith; Robert J. Ivnik; Neill R. Graff-Radford; Ronald C. Petersen; John A. Lucas. Detecting Dementia With the Mini-Mental State Examination in Highly Educated Individuals. Arch Neurol., 2008;65(7):963-967 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "New System Detects Dementia Risk Among Highly Educated Older Adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080714162606.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, July 16). New System Detects Dementia Risk Among Highly Educated Older Adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080714162606.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "New System Detects Dementia Risk Among Highly Educated Older Adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080714162606.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins