CERAD-neuropsychological battery in screening mild Alzheimer's disease

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The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) neuropsychological battery (nb) is used as an evaluation tool for dementia. In Finland, CERAD-nb was introduced in 1999 and has been proposed to be used in primary health care. However, some of its parts need reassessment and focusing. The goal of this study was to examine the sensitivity and specificity of the subtests and their cut-off points most appropriate for identifying mild Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Materials and Methods–

The study population consisted of 171 patients with mild AD and 315 cognitively normal elderly. Both groups underwent CERAD-nb investigation as a part of a wider examination procedure.


The most efficient subtests to discriminate patients with mild AD from the normal elderly were Wordlist delayed recall and savings, Wordlist learning and Wordlist recognition and a new variable of Total recall. Optimal cut-off points for each subtest are suggested. The sensitivities of the verbal memory subtests varied between 0.75 and 0.94, the specificities between 0.80 and 0.93 and the areas under the receiver operating characteristics curve between 0.89 and 0.96.


The CERAD-nb is capable of differentiating cases with mild AD from normal elderly individuals particularly with its verbal memory subtests. New cut-off scores for CERAD's subtests validated in the study further enhance the differentiating power, and with these clarifications, CERAD-nb is considered appropriate to be used as a screening tool for AD even in primary health care.

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