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Reaction times and performance variability in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease


, : Reaction times and performance variability in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology 21(3): 204-218

This study evaluated whether reaction times (RT) and performance variability are potential markers for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cognitively healthy elderly (n = 218), persons with amnestic MCI (a-MCI) (n = 29) and patients with AD (n = 50) were examined with RT tasks with increasing complexity, subdividing RT into a decision and a movement component. Persons with cognitive deterioration demonstrated more intra-individual variability and more slowing than cognitively healthy elderly. The slowing in AD affects both the cognitive and the motor component, while performance variability mainly affects the cognitive component of the RT. Although in a-MCI not all differences reached statistical significance, primarily the cognitive component of the RT is affected in a-MCI. Intra-individual variability and RT of the complex tasks are the best predictors for a-MCI and AD status, respectively. We conclude that performance variability can be regarded as a useful preclinical marker for AD.

US$19.90

PMID: 18838743

DOI: 10.1177/0891988708320973


Other references

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