College of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Articles

Title

Memory evaluation in Alzheimer's disease. Caregivers' appraisals and objective testing.

ISBN or ISSN

0003-9942

Publication Title

Archives of neurology

Volume

50

Issue

1

Publication Date / Copyright Date

1-1-1993

First Page

92

Last Page

97

Publisher

American Medical Association

DOI Number

10.1001/archneur.1993.00540010086023

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate if caregivers are reliable informants concerning memory deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

DESIGN: Responses of caregivers of patients with probable AD and responses of healthy control subjects on a standardized memory questionnaire were compared with objective measures of cognition (Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease neuropsychological battery) and with clinical estimates of activities of daily living, depression, and psychopathology (Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease [CERAD] clinical assessment battery) using the Self-report Memory Questionnaire.

SETTING: A federally funded AD research center.

SUBJECTS: The referred sample included 117 patients with probable AD, their informants, and 41 healthy control subjects age-matched to the patients. Patients and control subjects were between the ages of 58 and 85 years, had between 9 and 19 years of education, and were in good health.

EXCLUSIONS: Patients who did not meet NINCDS-ADRDA criteria of probable AD.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The optimal number of questionnaire items yielding the best combination of sensitivity and specificity.

RESULTS: An abbreviated version of the scale, renamed the Short-Memory Questionnaire, had excellent specificity and sensitivity for identifying dementia. Positive and negative predictive values were 63.5% and near 100%, respectively. The Short-Memory Questionnaire showed good reliability, internal consistency, and external validity. Caregiver appraisals of memory deficits significantly correlated with objective measures of memory and also with generalized cognitive dysfunction.

CONCLUSIONS: Caregivers of patients with AD are reliable informants of their relatives' deficits. The Short-Memory Questionnaire is an easily administered, informant-based scale that may be useful in clinical settings or epidemiologic studies to screen out persons with memory difficulties.

Disciplines

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy

Keywords

Aged, Alzheimer Disease, Caregivers, Female, Humans, Male, Memory, Predictive Value of Tests, Psychometrics, Reproducibility of Results, Self-Assessment

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