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Normative neuropsychological data are essential for interpretation of test performance in the context of demographic factors. The Mayo Normative Studies (MNS) aim to provide updated normative data for neuropsychological measures administered in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging (MCSA), a population-based study of aging that randomly samples residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, from age- and sex-stratified groups. We examined demographic effects on neuropsychological measures and validated the regression-based norms in comparison to existing normative data developed in a similar sample.
The MNS includes cognitively unimpaired adults ≥30 years of age (n = 4,428) participating in the MCSA. Multivariable linear regressions were used to determine demographic effects on test performance. Regression-based normative formulas were developed by first converting raw scores to normalized scaled scores and then regressing on age, age2, sex, and education. Total and sex-stratified base rates of low scores (T < 40) were examined in an older adult validation sample and compared with Mayo’s Older Americans Normative Studies (MOANS) norms.
Independent linear regressions revealed variable patterns of linear and/or quadratic effects of age (r2 = 6–27% variance explained), sex (0–13%), and education (2–10%) across measures. MNS norms improved base rates of low performance in the older adult validation sample overall and in sex-specific patterns relative to MOANS.
Our results demonstrate the need for updated norms that consider complex demographic associations on test performance and that specifically exclude participants with mild cognitive impairment from the normative sample.
The Stricker Learning Span (SLS) is a computer-adaptive digital word list memory test specifically designed for remote assessment and self-administration on a web-based multi-device platform (Mayo Test Drive). We aimed to establish criterion validity of the SLS by comparing its ability to differentiate biomarker-defined groups to the person-administered Rey’s Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT).
Participants (N = 353; mean age = 71, SD = 11; 93% cognitively unimpaired [CU]) completed the AVLT during an in-person visit, the SLS remotely (within 3 months) and had brain amyloid and tau PET scans available (within 3 years). Overlapping groups were formed for 1) those on the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) continuum (amyloid PET positive, A+, n = 125) or not (A-, n = 228), and those with biological AD (amyloid and tau PET positive, A+T+, n = 55) vs no evidence of AD pathology (A−T−, n = 195). Analyses were repeated among CU participants only.
The SLS and AVLT showed similar ability to differentiate biomarker-defined groups when comparing AUROCs (p’s > .05). In logistic regression models, SLS contributed significantly to predicting biomarker group beyond age, education, and sex, including when limited to CU participants. Medium (A− vs A+) to large (A−T− vs A+T+) unadjusted effect sizes were observed for both SLS and AVLT. Learning and delay variables were similar in terms of ability to separate biomarker groups.
Remotely administered SLS performed similarly to in-person-administered AVLT in its ability to separate biomarker-defined groups, providing evidence of criterion validity. Results suggest the SLS may be sensitive to detecting subtle objective cognitive decline in preclinical AD.
To characterize and compare the neuropsychological profiles of patients with primary progressive apraxia of speech (PPAOS) and apraxia of speech with progressive agrammatic aphasia (AOS-PAA).
Thirty-nine patients with PPAOS and 49 patients with AOS-PAA underwent formal neurological, speech, language, and neuropsychological evaluations. Cognitive domains assessed included immediate and delayed episodic memory (Wechsler Memory Scale-Third edition; Logical Memory; Visual Reproduction; Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test), processing speed (Trail Making Test A), executive functioning (Trail Making Test B; Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning Scale – Sorting), and visuospatial ability (Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure copy).
The PPAOS patients were cognitively average or higher in the domains of immediate and delayed episodic memory, processing speed, executive functioning, and visuospatial ability. Patients with AOS-PAA performed more poorly on tests of immediate and delayed episodic memory and executive functioning compared to those with PPAOS. For every 1 unit increase in aphasia severity (e.g. mild to moderate), performance declined by 1/3 to 1/2 a standard deviation depending on cognitive domain. The degree of decline was stronger within the more verbally mediated domains, but was also notable in less verbally mediated domains.
The study provides neuropsychological evidence further supporting the distinction of PPAOS from primary progressive aphasia and should be used to inform future diagnostic criteria. More immediately, it informs prognostication and treatment planning.
Rey’s Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) is a widely used word list memory test. We update normative data to include adjustment for verbal memory performance differences between men and women and illustrate the effect of this sex adjustment and the importance of excluding participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from normative samples.
This study advances the Mayo’s Older Americans Normative Studies (MOANS) by using a new population-based sample through the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, which randomly samples residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, from age- and sex-stratified groups. Regression-based normative T-score formulas were derived from 4428 cognitively unimpaired adults aged 30–91 years. Fully adjusted T-scores correct for age, sex, and education. We also derived T-scores that correct for (1) age or (2) age and sex. Test-retest reliability data are provided.
From raw score analyses, sex explained a significant amount of variance in performance above and beyond age (8–10%). Applying original age-adjusted MOANS norms to the current sample resulted in significantly fewer-than-expected participants with low delayed recall performance, particularly in women. After application of new T-scores adjusted only for age, even in normative data derived from this sample, these age-adjusted T-scores showed scores <40 T occurred more frequently among men and less frequently among women relative to T-scores that also adjusted for sex.
Our findings highlight the importance of using normative data that adjust for sex with measures of verbal memory and provide new normative data that allow for this adjustment for the AVLT.
The objective of this study was to describe the neuropsychological profiles of the three variants of primary progressive aphasia (PPA). Based on a comprehensive speech and language evaluation, 91 subjects were classified as logopenic (lvPPA=51), semantic (svPPA=13), or agrammatic (agPPA=27). All subjects completed a separate neuropsychological evaluation assessing verbal and visual memory, processing speed, executive function, and visuospatial function. The groups did not differ on demographic variables or on measures of disease duration or aphasia severity. There were group differences on aspects of learning and memory, as well as aspects of executive and visuospatial functions, primarily with the lvPPA group performing lower than the agPPA and svPPA groups. The agPPA group showed subtle deficits consistent with frontal lobe impairment, whereas neurocognitive weaknesses in the svPPA group were restricted to temporal lobe functions. The pattern of neurocognitive dysfunction in lvPPA suggests disease involvement of frontal lobe functions in addition to temporoparietal functions. These neurocognitive findings emphasize the value of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation of individuals who present with primary language disturbance, given the pattern of cognitive deficits may provide additive information for differentiating these clinical syndromes. (JINS, 2015, 21, 429–435)
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows changes in multiple regions in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). The concept of MCI recently evolved to include nonamnestic syndromes, so little is known about fMRI changes in these individuals. This study investigated activation during visual complex scene encoding and recognition in 29 cognitively normal (CN) elderly, 19 individuals with aMCI, and 12 individuals with nonamnestic MCI (naMCI). During encoding, CN activated an extensive network that included bilateral occipital–parietal–temporal cortex; precuneus; posterior cingulate; thalamus; insula; and medial, anterior, and lateral frontal regions. Amnestic MCI activated an anatomic subset of these regions. Non-amnestic MCI activated an even smaller anatomic subset. During recognition, CN activated the same regions observed during encoding except the precuneus. Both MCI groups again activated a subset of the regions activated by CN. During encoding, CN had greater activation than aMCI and naMCI in bilateral temporoparietal and frontal regions. During recognition, CN had greater activation than aMCI in predominantly temporoparietal regions bilaterally, while CN had greater activation than naMCI in larger areas involving bilateral temporoparietal and frontal regions. The diminished parietal and frontal activation in naMCI may reflect compromised ability to perform nonmemory (i.e., attention/executive, visuospatial function) components of the task. (JINS, 2009, 15, 372–382.)
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