Study: Internet-based screening can help detect aging-related cognitive deficits

Posted on December 8, 2014

Photo: flickr

"There is a need for rapid and reli­able Internet-based screen­ing tools for cog­ni­tive assess­ment in middle-aged and older adults. We report the psy­cho­me­t­ric prop­er­ties of an on-line tool designed to screen for cog­ni­tive deficits that require fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion. The tool (Editor’s note: Cog­nic­iti) is com­posed of mea­sures of mem­ory and exec­u­tive atten­tion processes known to be sen­si­tive to brain changes asso­ci­ated with aging and with cog­ni­tive dis­or­ders that become more preva­lent with age. These mea­sures included spa­tial work­ing mem­ory, Stroop inter­fer­ence, face-name asso­cia­tive recog­ni­tion, and number-letter alter­na­tion. Nor­ma­tive data were col­lected from 361 healthy adults age 50 to 79 who scored in the nor­mal range on a stan­dard­ized mea­sure of gen­eral cog­ni­tive abil­ity. Par­tic­i­pants took the 20-minute on-line test on their home com­put­ers, and a sub­set of 288 par­tic­i­pants repeated the test one week later. Analy­ses of the indi­vid­ual tasks indi­cated ade­quate inter­nal con­sis­tency, con­struct valid­ity, test-retest reli­a­bil­ity, and alter­nate ver­sion reli­a­bil­ity. As expected, scores were cor­re­lated with age. The four tasks loaded on the same prin­ci­ple com­po­nent. Demographically-corrected z-scores from the indi­vid­ual tasks were com­bined to cre­ate an over­all score, which showed good reli­a­bil­ity and clas­si­fi­ca­tion con­sis­tency. These results indi­cate the tool may be use­ful for iden­ti­fy­ing middle-aged and older adults with lower than expected scores who may ben­e­fit from clin­i­cal eval­u­a­tion of their cog­ni­tion by a health care professional."

Category(s):Aging & Geriatric Issues

Source material from Sharp brains