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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2008;25(6):483-90. doi: 10.1159/000126499. Epub 2008 Apr 16.

Transition from cognitively impaired not demented to Alzheimer's disease: an analysis of changes in functional abilities in a dementia clinic cohort.

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Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.



Patients with cognitive impairment no dementia (CIND) are at an increased risk of progression to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Whether subtle impairments in functional or social abilities at the CIND stage can predict progression to AD is not yet fully determined. We evaluated whether impairments on the Disability Assessment for Dementia (DAD) and Functional Rating Scale (FRS) can predict progression to AD.


We examined 70 patients with CIND from the ACCORD cohort having complete DAD and FRS baseline and 2-year follow-up data. MANCOVA adjusted for age, sex, education and baseline MMSE score compared the baseline and 2-year change in DAD and FRS scores in CIND patients who progressed to AD versus non-progressors.


There were no significant differences between CIND progressors and non-progressors in baseline total DAD or FRS scores. FRS domain analysis revealed that greater impairment in social/occupational functioning significantly predicted progression, while there were no predictive DAD domains. In progressors, both DAD and FRS scores significantly declined over time with the largest changes in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL).


While changes in IADL characterize the progression from CIND to AD, impairment in complex social-cognitive competency significantly predicts risk of progression and may mark early AD.

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