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J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;22(3):889-96. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-101182.

Does the combination of the MMSE and clock drawing test (mini-clock) improve the detection of mild Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment?

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Salamanca, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.


There is currently a need to develop tools to identify patients with mild AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We determined the validity and reliability of a brief, easily administered cognitive screening battery consisting of fusion of two well-known brief tests (Mini-Mental Status Examination [MMSE] and Clock Drawing Test [CDT]) (Mini-clock) to differentiate between patients with mild AD, MCI, and healthy control subjects. 66 consecutive patients with mild AD, 21 with MCI, and 66 healthy controls seen in a memory clinic setting were compared. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to calculate the cut-off value permitting discrimination between mild AD, MCI, and healthy control subjects. Interrater and test-retest reliability were also assessed. Mean cognitive scores for patients with AD, MCI, and control subjects on all two individual tests were significantly different (for each, p < 0.001). The mean area under the ROC curve for Mini-clock was higher than that obtained with MMSE or CDT in differentiating mild AD from controls (0.973 vs. 0.952 and 0.881, respectively) and MCI from controls (0.855 vs. 0.821 and 0.779, respectively). Test-retest reliability for the Mini-clock was 0.99, meanwhile interrater reliability was 0.87. The mean time to complete the test for all subjects was 8 min and 50 s. The Mini-clock is highly sensitive and specific in the detection of mild AD and reasonably accurate when attempting to separate MCI from health controls. It has a high interrater and test-retest reliability, can be quickly administered, and does not require major training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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