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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 1992;15 Suppl 1:75-85.

Study on the validity of the Hodkinson Abbreviated Mental Test Score (AMTS) in detecting dementia of elderly subjects in appignano (Macerata province), Italy.

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Istituto Nazionale Riposo e Cura Anziani (I.N.R.C.A.), Via IV Novembre 116, I-62010 Appignano (Macerata), Italy.


The accuracy of the Hodkinson Abbreviated Mental Test Score (AMTS) as a screening instrument for dementia has been investigated in an Italian population. The AMTS was administered by nonmedical personnel to a random sample of 109 subjects over the age of 59; each subject was evaluated by a standardized dementia protocol (DSM-III criteria); and scores on the AMTS were compared to corresponding clinical diagnoses (standard for comparison). Five of the 109 subjects were found to be affected by dementia upon clinical investigation. Although a score of 6 showed the best combination of sensitivity (80%) and specificity (89%), only a score of 7 yielded 100% sensitivity (71% specificity). At all screening levels, specificity was higher for males vs. females, for younger vs. older, and for more educated vs. less educated subjects. The results suggest that brief cognitive tests may be successfully used in population screening for dementia, and that tests not requiring reading, writing or drawing, and not strictly dependent on the education level, are preferable; however, the instruments should be adapted and validated in the target population.

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