Visual associations cued recall A Paradigm for Measuring Episodic Memory Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease

Sascha R. A. Meyer, Pauline E. J. Spaan, Leo Boelaarts, Rudolf W. H. M. Ponds, Ben Schmand, Jos F. M. de Jonghe

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Repeated measurements of episodic memory are needed for monitoring amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Most episodic memory tests may pose a challenge to patients, even when they are in the milder stages of the disease. This cross-sectional study compared floor effects of the Visual Association Test (VAT) and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) in healthy elderly controls and in patients with aMCI or AD (N = 125). A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to examine whether linear or quadratic trends best fitted the data of cognitive test performance across global cognitive impairment. Results showed that VAT total scores decreased linearly across the range of global cognitive impairment, whereas RAVLT total scores showed a quadratic trend, with total scores levelling off for 90% of aMCI patients and 94% of AD patients. We conclude that the VAT shows few if any floor effects in patients with aMCI and mild AD and is therefore a potentially promising cognitive test for monitoring episodic memory impairment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-577
Number of pages12
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2016


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