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Clinical differentiation of Lewy body disease (LBD) from Alzheimer disease (AD) is still problematic. Many persons with LBD lack the cardinal features of visual hallucinations, fluctuations in cognition, and mild Parkinsonism proposed by McKeith et al. (2005). Some studies suggest that history or presence of depression may help distinguish LBD from AD, but this is confounded because many clinically diagnosed LBD patients have significant co-morbid AD pathology and vice versa (Ranginwala et al., 2008). We aimed to clarify whether history or symptoms of depression differentiate LBD from AD, in autopsy-confirmed patients, excluding patients with mixed AD and LBD pathology.
Background: The purpose of this study is to determine if the three-step Luria test is useful for differentiating between cognitive disorders.
Methods: A retrospective record review of performance on the three-step Luria test was conducted on 383 participants from a university-based dementia clinic. The participants ranged in their diagnosis from frontotemporal dementia (FTD; n = 43), Alzheimer disease (AD; n = 153), mild cognitive impairment (MCI; n = 56), and normal controls (NC; n = 131). Performance of the Luria test was graded as normal or abnormal.
Results: An abnormal test occurred in 2.3% of NC, 21.4% of MCI, 69.8% of FTD, and 54.9% of AD subjects. The frequency of abnormal tests in all diagnostic groups increased with functional impairment as assessed by the Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR). When CDR = 3 (severe), 100% of the FTD and 72.2% of the AD subjects had abnormal Luria tests.
Conclusions: The three-step Luria test distinguished NC and persons with MCI from FTD and AD, but did not distinguish FTD from AD subjects.
Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating impact of executive functioning on the link between other neuropsychological domain scores and informant-based rating of functional status.
Methods: Data on 181 participants were analyzed from an ongoing epidemiological study of rural health, Project FRONTIER (mean age = 64.6 ± 13.8 years, 69% women, 42% Mexican American). Executive functioning was assessed by the EXIT25 and other neuropsychological domains were assessed via the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). Informant-based rating of functional status was assessed via the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale sum of boxes scores (CDR SB).
Results: RBANS Index scores were each significantly (p < 0.05) related to CDR SB scores and EXIT25 scores. EXIT25 score was a significant partial mediator of the link between four RBANS indices (Immediate Memory, Attention, Visuospatial/Construction, Delayed Memory) and CDR SB scores, and a complete mediator of the fifth index (Language).
Conclusion: Executive functioning is a mediator of the link between other neuropsychological domains and daily functioning. Neuropsychological assessments that do not measure executive functioning will provide only a partial clinical picture with adults and elders.
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