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This study describes the performance of the Multilingual Naming Test (MINT) by Chinese American older adults who are monolingual Chinese speakers. An attempt was also made to identify items that could introduce bias and warrant attention in future investigation.
The MINT was administered to 67 monolingual Chinese older adults as part of the standard dementia evaluation at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), New York, USA. A diagnosis of normal cognition (n = 38), mild cognitive impairment (n = 12), and dementia (n = 17) was assigned to all participants at clinical consensus conferences using criterion sheets developed at the ADRC at ISMMS.
MINT scores were negatively correlated with age and positively correlated with education, showing sensitivity to demographic factors. One item, butterfly, showed no variations in responses across diagnostic groups. Inclusion of responses from different regions of China changed the answers from “incorrect” to “correct” on 20 items. The last five items, porthole, anvil, mortar, pestle, and axle, yielded a high nonresponse rate, with more than 70% of participants responding with “I don’t know.” Four items, funnel, witch, seesaw, and wig, were not ordered with respect to item difficulty in the Chinese language. Two items, gauge and witch, were identified as culturally biased for the monolingual group.
Our study highlights the cultural and linguistic differences that might influence the test performance. Future studies are needed to revise the MINT using more universally recognized items of similar word frequency across different cultural and linguistic groups.
This study aimed to determine the diagnostic utility of a Chinese test battery for evaluating cognitive loss in elderly Chinese Americans.
Data from a pilot study at the Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center was examined. All participants were > 65 years old, primarily Chinese speaking, with adequate sensorimotor capacity to complete cognitive tests. A research diagnosis of normal mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was assigned to each participant in consensus conference. Composite scores were created to summarize test performance on overall cognition, memory, attention executive function, and language. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the sensitivity of each cognitive domain for discriminating three diagnostic categories. Adjustment was made for demographic variables (i. e., age, gender, education, primary language, and years living in the USA).
The sample included 67 normal, 37 MCI, and 12 AD participants. Performance in overall cognition, memory, and attention executive function was significantly worse in AD than in MCI, and performance in MCI was worse than in normal controls. Language performance followed a similar pattern, but differences did not achieve statistical significance among the three diagnostic groups.
This study highlights the need for cognitive assessment in elderly Chinese immigrants.
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