A transcultural cognitive marker of Alzheimer's Disease

Della Sala, Sergio and Kozlova, Irina and Stamate, Andreaa and Parra, Mario A. (2018) A transcultural cognitive marker of Alzheimer's Disease. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 33 (6). pp. 849-856. ISSN 1099-1166

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    Abstract

    Objective. Temporary Binding (TB) is sensitive and specific to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), is not affected by age, repeated testing or level of education. Hence, TB is useful to assess patients with very different socio-cultural backgrounds. However, the current computerized version of the test is not suitable for use in clinical settings. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a clinically friendly version of the TB task results in overlapping outcomes compared to the computerised version.Methods. A newly devised Flash-card version of the TB assesses temporary visual binding for arrays of stimuli such as shapes (polygons), colours, or combinations of shapes and colours. In Experiment 1 this version was compared with the laboratory computerised version. In Experiment 2, 33 AD patients and 33 matched controls, recruited from various geriatric centres in Romania, were assessed with the new TB test and with Free and Cued Selective Reminding test.Results. The results with the Flash-card version of the TB test were comparable to those obtained with the computerised version. TB was not affected by age but it was impaired by AD. The sensitivity and specificity of the new TB test were found to be greater than those achieved by a Selective Reminding test.Conclusions. TB deficits may be conceived as a fundamental marker of AD. The Flash-card version is suitable for clinical use also in primary care facilities and in intervention trials, requires minimal training for administration and scoring, is quick to administer, non-invasive, inexpensive and facilitates cross-cultural studies.