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 October 22, 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 October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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