Psychometric assessment of early signs of dementia in special consideration of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease—an update
The combination of subtests for assessment of higher brain functions reported in this paper, serves not only to identify the degree of dementia, but additionally is able to detect the special impairment of parkinsonians. Bradyphrenia is shown by unimpaired AW, GF, ZN and sum performance (untimed), and impaired timed subtests.—In many cases test protocol of BE and MT shows correct answers, but outside of the time limit.—In DAT subgroup—on the contrary—we see a general tendency of decreasing test performance.
When selecting practicable measurements, there appeared grouping criteria of utility.
The first group consists of scores, involved by different higher brain functions, german transformed versions available: trail making, digit symbol substitution, MMS, Benton test, and FRT.
These tests allow an economical assessment of a general demential process and a rough graduation. They are an useful possibility of “short-screening” in nonclinical area.
A deeper analysis of cognitive impairment is obtainable by the scores reported in the present paper. They are employable in the areas of clinical use and research, because of additional possibility of scoring isolated cognitive functions (cognitive speed, recent auditory memory etc.).
Concerning the measurement of every-day-life functions the presented subtests are not yet sufficient. But on the one hand they fulfil the formal assumptions of identifying dementia, and on the other hand measurement of “every-day-life” functions should not be misinterpreted as scoring of unique or peculiar capabilities of individuals.
Finally we have to be aware of the possibilities of computer-aided testing as a method of fast quantification of test scores.
For better comprehension of typical parkinsonians’ patterns of impairment, we have to enlarge our test battery by a personality inventory and by reaction-time methods to assess cognitive speed.
KeywordsParkinsonian Patient Digit Symbol Substitution Test Psychometric Assessment Dementia Rating Scale High Brain Function
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